Tag Archives: libertarian

#StandWithRand – People all over, were missing the point

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

As you may have noticed, Rand Paul has attracted a lot of attention recently; some inexplicably negative. There were attacks on the Senate floor, arrows slung on Twitter, poorly written articles full of hyperbole by people who missed the point, etc. I find it increasingly frustrating that people who should know better; don’t. I’m not about to speak on behalf of Rand Paul, nor am I authorized too, but I won’t sit idly by and watch people either lie about or distort the obvious purpose of his filibuster either.

Senator Rand Paul (R)
Senator Rand Paul (R)

I’m usually a fan of Breitbart news, and considered Andrew Breitbart an honorable conservative hero—he is sorely missed. But Aaron Goldenberg at Breitbert.com wrote this article, which is a good illustration of the ignorance on Rand Paul’s filibuster. I don’t know anything about Aaron, and don’t mean to attack him personally, but based on his article, the point of Paul’s actions was completely lost on him, as well as senators McCain and Graham, and a portion of the populace as well. While Aaron’s article is factual in that if the president wanted to kill you, he has many means at his disposal besides drones; that’s not, nor ever was the issue.

Addressing the hyperbole; he talks about the fact that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh haven’t been bombed as proof that Obama has no intention of using drone strikes on American soil. While the president certainly doesn’t like those people, they are not considered terrorists, even by White House standards. We don’t have satellites that can read a newspaper from space either. Giving Aaron the benefit of the doubt, I believe he was being facetious and comedic, but such hyperbole distracts from the truth, and isn’t proper journalism. I’m an amateur blogger who just spouts off, but Breitbart.com; while openly conservative, is a proper investigative news site—they should maintain higher journalistic standards than such ridiculous hyperbole.

Here some important facts:

  • Anwar al-Aulaqi was the first American to be targeted for assassination without due process (that we know of) and was obliterated by a US air strike on Sept 30, 2011. While I agree he was a bad man with intentions of doing bad things to America, and I am glad he’s dead; he was not killed on a battlefield, nor executed as a result of a judicial sentence. We determined, without due process, that he should be killed, and carried out that objective—creating a precedent doing so. Rand Paul was absolutely right to ask what would have stopped us from potentially doing the same to Jane Fonda during Vietnam.
  • Anwar’s son Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi was an American killed in October 14th 2011 by a US drone strike as well without due process, although he was officially not identified as the target for that attack.
  • These are real American’s who were really killed by real drone strikes which set a real precedent. Nothing theoretical there.
  • Based on this information, Rand Paul wrote letters to the nominee for the CIA John Brennan, starting in January which can be seen here, here, and here, asking if they believed they could legally target American’s on American soil. They already set one precedent, it was fair to assume that could potentially be the next logical step.
  • The White House was largely quiet at first, but as CNN reported, “In a letter to Paul dated on Monday, Holder said it was possible, ‘I suppose,’ to imagine an ‘extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate’ under U.S. law for the president to authorize the military to ‘use lethal force’ within the United States.”

Detractors of Rand Paul’s filibuster have insinuated that Rand Paul is either accusing Obama of planning on such a hit, or at least wanting to do it in the future. However, that is not the case. Prior to Obama, the thought of killing an American without due process seemed ludicrous, yet it happened to the Al-Aulaqis.

Filibuster From Mr Smith Goes To Washington
Filibuster From Mr Smith Goes To Washington

Rand’s question was a general one, but let’s use an example. If Al-Aulaqi lived in a remote cabin somewhere in the Midwest, and the CIA and/or FBI were afraid that the land might be full of booby traps making it dangerous to execute an arrest, would the administration believe they have the right to use a drone strike to take him out without him having being tried (even in absentia), convicted, and sentenced first?

Again, I do not want to speak on behalf of Senator Paul, but whether the plane was piloted or not isn’t the issue. It just so happens that drones have recently begun operating within our borders, and it begged the question why. But, the issue was about killing Americans without due process, drone strikes merely served as the example.

Let me illustrate this with a hypothetical question. Imagine we were at a dinner party and I asked, “Can you envision a time when it would be OK to have sex with a ten-year-old?” Unless you’re someone required to notify people you are now living in their area, you would immediately and emphatically say “no.” It’s a blatantly offensive proposition that most humans would not have to consider before answering.

To people like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, democrats like Ron Wyden, liberal commentator Bob Beckel, and many others (me included) it wasn’t a partisan issue, and it should have garnered an immediate and emphatic “No” as well—which it didn’t. Obama, Holder, and Brennan showed clear signs that they felt such an option should be on the table in extreme circumstances.

At first, if I was being kind to the Obama administration, they are lawyers. Lawyers love to leave themselves “outs” and rarely like stating something for the record that might be used against them later. But, holder wrote the first response above indicating that while it was unlikely, he would not rule it out. Would that be your response to molesting a child? Would you say, “Well in extreme circumstances, maybe…”? Those of us who feel killing without due process as being similarly offensive to molesting a child for example, were rightfully concerned.

Aaron also went on to say the filibustering the nomination of John Brennan was irrelevant, but I called Rand Paul’s office; they sent three letters to the man asking him to respond, along with asking the president and Holder. So Rand killed two birds with one stone. He held up the nomination of a man who would be responsible for carrying out such a strike, while at the same time forcing Obama to respond, lest no work go through the senate for the indefinite future.

Predator Drone
Predator Drone

If you don’t agree that killing Americans without due process is that big of a deal as long as the president says they’re a “Bad guy,” then so be it; that’s your prerogative.

But to John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and anyone else who thought Rand Paul was wasting time, your position disgusts me. Rand Paul got two lawyers in high office to agree on their limit of power over We The People definitively and on the record. That’s a win!

This president has constantly tested his constitutional limits, and often shown his frustration with the Constitution holding him back. Thus, it was a legitimate question based on precedents set, the president’s history of action, and the fact that the proposition offered didn’t seem to bother him.

Rand Paul has nothing but praise coming from me for putting his foot down and forcing these people to acknowledge and respect the limits of power our forefathers put on them. Bravo to him for doing so. I #StandWithRand

Let’s Protect The Victims, Not The Felons

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

This may not seem very libertarian of me to some, but often we have our own unique views of liberty. Some libertarians are anarchists who believe in no rule of law whatsoever. But much like socialism; anarchy relies on the notion that people will always do the right thing, which is obviously unrealistic. Under anarchy, those who don’t respect the rights of others would be brought to justice solely by vigilantism; a scary proposition. As such, like socialism, anarchy would never work if we are to maintain a civilized society.

So as a logical libertarian, I feel there is a need for police to protect one person’s constitutional rights from another who might infringe upon them. If this occurs, then government applies commonly accepted justice to the offenders. However, the power to protect ourselves must remain with the people first.

Home IntruderHere’s the part where I think my opinion may be somewhat unique and controversial. While I consider myself a humanitarian, I draw a very clear and concise line on the lives I respect.

It stops at people who would willingly infringe upon my rights; such as rapists, murderers, molesters, and other violent felons. If someone breaks into my home in an attempt to take my life or property, I feel they’ve voluntarily forfeited their rights, and I will kill them with little remorse—a scenario most castle doctrines allow. I am always content to read about such attackers getting killed by either the police or their victims; it’s the epitome of swift justice.

Having liberty means that you have the right to take risks. You should be able to sky-dive, smoke a cigarette, drive without a seat belt, or drink a 20-oz soda (despite his excellency King Bloomberg’s wishes) if you so desire. So then in my opinion, if someone decides to engage in a felonious act against another person, whatever happens to them during that act was the risk they took in doing so.

If a man decides to rape a woman, and she shoots him in the back as he climbs off of her and runs away, you expect me to believe that she’s done something wrong? Yet by law, she is a murderer.

Jonathan Lowe's Mother
Jonathan Lowe’s Mother

I was disgusted last year to read about disabled veteran Jonathan Lowe being prosecuted, despite being the victim, because he stabbed a man to death who violently attacked him. How can any reasonable person consider this justice? The reason given was that the attacker had gotten up and was fleeing when Jonathan grabbed him and stabbed him, but I don’t care. Jonathan’s reaction was purely understandable.

The issue with many lawmakers and pacifists is that they’ve never been a victim of a violent crime, nor seem to appreciate the reaction it induces in even the most altruistic people. It requires unfathomable hubris to assume that they know how people will react in such a situation if they’ve not experience such an attack themselves. Controlling one’s instincts, emotions, and resultant actions after such an event is nearly impossible.

Humans have an innate sense or instinct of self-preservation. No matter how hard we might try to suppress it, we will react in an uncontrollable manner to stay alive. Don’t believe me? It is virtually impossible to commit suicide by holding your own breath. You’ll either breathe despite your best efforts not to, or you’ll pass out and then take a breath once you’re unconscious.

We’re unfairly penalizing people for succumbing to this instinct in a situation that they did not cause nor create. Once your life is threatened, unless you’re a soldier or police officer trained to stay calm in life-threatening events, temporary insanity will often ensue as you fight to stay alive and destroy that which threatens you. Anyone who has ever been violently attacked knows this.

With all that in mind, I am proposing victim protection legislation that would involve the following:

  • Duty to retreat laws should be abolished and prohibited at all levels.
  • Stand-your-ground-legislation should be a constitutionally enumerated right.
  • A carry-conceal permit from one state should be recognized by all states, just as a driver’s license currently is.
  • Committing an unprovoked felony would constitute a total forfeiture of rights under the law during the commission and escape of the felony by the felon.
  • The state, nor the perpetrator and their family should ever be allowed to criminally or civilly prosecute a victim, Samaritan, or officer who retaliated against the felon, no matter what injuries the felon may have sustained as long as the actions were committed during the commission of, or the fleeing from, the crime scene. If the felon escapes visual contact, only then should the victim or defender be required to cease any attempt to retaliate and allow the police to take over. as to stop vigilantism.
  • If someone retaliates recklessly, such as shooting a fleeing felon on a city street, the original victim could be charged for discharging a weapon within city limits or other applicable crimes, but the victim could not be charged in any way for a crime against the felon.

I specified “unprovoked” so that random bar fights and other escalations that started off civilly and grew to a felony would be treated differently. My act should only pertain to violent felonies involving premeditated intent, not flared tempers.

Police OfficerOne of the reasons crime is so prevalent is that criminals have too many protections under the law that embolden them. If more Americans armed themselves, and more would-be felons were killed by people who stood up to defend each other, then would-be-criminals who are on the fence about committing a felony might think twice.

I have a great amount of respect for our people in uniform overseas and on America’s streets. But I’m sick of the police telling me that I should allow myself to be victimized because the felon has rights too.

If the police had a 100% prosecution rate, if a victim’s property was always returned in tact, and the victim never suffered permanent bodily injury or emotional damage, maybe I could go along with giving the felons rights. But conviction rates are around 80%, and that’s only when they are able to find and arrest a defendant. Plus, property loss along with physical and emotional injury are the norm.

So with respect Mr. Police Officer or politician that thinks I should be bound by law to behave rationally when faced with an irrational attack—f*** you. I’ve been the victim of a violent crime twice in my life, and both times wasn’t armed. To this day, I regret not being able to retaliate against those thugs, and that was decades ago. Hopefully there isn’t a third, but if there is, armed with my pistol, I intend to be severely more prepared. Best of luck to my attacker (not really), but be assured I’ll be calling the police to send the coroner, not asking for them to come save me when they can get around to it.

Why can’t I have a nuclear weapon?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

In the course of endeavoring for reasoned debate, I often find people who either do not understand the word reasonable, or simply can’t be bothered with reason. These days, they’re often referred to as internet trolls. People who love to use hyperbole, ad hominem attacks, and sometimes, just plain old personal insults to make their point.

In Internet Trollmaking the case for why the Armalite AR-15 should not be subject to some sort of ban, one of those folks asked me a question that was clearly born of hyperbole with the intent of destroying my arguments for why one should be allowed to own such a weapon. On the face of it, it’s actually a poignant question, but the tone of his asking it suggested he wasn’t interested in an answer; he felt the question was redundant, rhetorical, and had proved his point with no further dialogue needed.

The Armalite AR-15questions is often used by gun control zealots, and always given with the same smirky attitude that defines the fringe of any party who aren’t interested in debate, but merely getting you to agree with them. The question was this:

If you can have an AR-15 legally, why can’t you have a nuclear weapon?

After which, he snidely said, “yay, nukes for us all!” This of course being the point I knew he wasn’t interested in an answer.

When nuclear-missile-in-silo[1]he first asked the question, I realized I’ve heard this before, and if I truly believe in ultimate liberty, then why would I not support allowing citizens to own a nuclear weapon? Being someone who strives for consistency in my beliefs, how do I reconcile this question without violating my ideology of liberty?

I’ve made it clear that I am not an anarchist, I am a libertarian. A person who believes in limited government, not a total lack of it. For me, the roles of government are defined as people employed by the populace to protect our rights. In my opinion, anything the government does outside that realm is oppression. This responsibility of government I’ve enunciated is where his argument falls apart.

I personally own an AR-15, and have easily shot thousands of rounds through it at a shooting range and other safe environments. No one has ever died, nor even been hit by a bullet fired from my gun. As such, I can make an argument that I can own and use an AR-15 without being a harm to anyone by virtue of having done so repeatedly. The only person at risk is the guy who thinks my TV should be his TV and has no qualms about attempting to make it so.

However, while I am not a nuclear physicist, I am pretty comfortable in claiming that I could likely not detonate a nuclear weapon without likely threatening the rights to life, liberty, and/or property of another. So the line is pretty simple to me as to what weapons should be legal versus those that must be banned.Nuclear Detonation

If the weapon is one that can be used without harming others, you should have the right to own it—period. If however, that weapon or item is a danger to society with little to no ability to be used without harming someone, it must remain illegal as it is a threat to the rights of another. If you could own a piece of property so remote and isolated from the world that you could detonate an H-bomb on it without risking anyone’s life but your own, then frankly, I’d be OK with it.

So there you have it, a logical answer to a question many assume has no reasonable answer, and consistency in my beliefs about liberty are still in tact. Next question!

Hollywood and Socialism: The ultimate in hypocrisy and ignorance.

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Socialism: an interesting concept. Depending on who you are, your reasons for supporting it may vary.

Let’s start first with the basic concept which is inherently altruistic in nature. The idea that we should all pull together in an ultimate show of social equality—no winners or losers.

The people who have never lived under socialist rule who describe themselves as socialists, or their less extreme quasi-socialists who simply believe equal opportunity should be synonymous with equal result (We’ll call them quocialists), see socialism as a means of helping the less fortunate.

hollywood-sign[1]I find Hollywood ironic—they are composed of America’s most outspoken quocialists. However, think back to every movie where the plot line was a government that tried to create a socialistic utopia. 1984 and others all had one common thread: utopias suck and a government that tries to create one is inherently evil. There are hundreds of movies based on this concept, yet the hero is always someone yearning for freedom who leads a rebellion to fight the power. Government is never the benevolent protagonist.

So are Hollywood writers smart, yet actors blissfully ignorant?

Maybe.

If so, actors are either dupes or hypocrites. They take roles that reflect that big government is evil, while promoting it as the answer to everyone’s problems off the silver screen.

So then why do quocialists continue to pound the drum of more government? If you’re ignorant of history, and want to be loved by everyone, you fight to take away the bread crumbs from the rich and assume that will be enough to feed the poor.

The problem with this, is that they’re not taking just the bread crumbs—that’s never enough. They’re trying to take three or more courses of a five-course meal. Plus, they aren’t doing all of the giving, they’re forcing others to do it.

The reason I say they are ignorant is because we have many real-world examples of socialism to learn from. I cannot recall one socialist nation whose people don’t live in squalor. Hollywood writes these movies—even they can’t make it seem awesome. History shows it leads to deplorable economies; yet these folks, mired in ideology so thick they can no longer see through it, promote something that anyone with a modicum of knowledge has seen, never works to the benefit of the people.

DictatorSo let’s throw out full-blown socialism for the half-hearted version our president routinely proposes; you know, the one where he says he loves business, but conveniently leaves out the “so I can tax them to hell and back” part.

Apparently these folks again are ignoring that no government has ever taxed itself into prosperity, and conversely ignoring that as a country embraces free markets and liberty, it thrives.

Look at Hong Kong vs China as a prime example. As the people of mainland China jump to their death from the Foxconn plant because conditions are so bad; a mere boat ride away, Hong Kong is a massively growing economy where people thrive and prosper making nearly 2-1/2 times as much per capita. Similar culture and people, just communism vs capitalism.

Suicide Prevention Nets at Foxconn factory
Suicide Prevention Nets at Foxconn factory

Compare the number of people fleeing socialist nations for America versus the number of Americans fleeing to go live in a socialist nation—then try to make your best case for socialism.

The problem is that Hollywood literally lives in a land of make-believe; where if something can be written, through imagination and companies like Industrial Light & Magic, it can be turned into an on-screen reality. When you live with a mantra that anything is possible, you start to believe that anything really is possible; such as making sure no one is left behind. The intentions are good. But much like science-fiction, it’s always lacking in real science that actually works.

Now to look at other paradigms, let’s talk about the people who live under socialist rule.

  • We know that people living under socialism often are dying to get out. Why do we know this? Because they are literally dying to get out. If you’ve not yet been disarmed, you become a rebel, fight the power, and likely die a martyr. If you have been disarmed; cutting and running is the soup du jour, with dreams of asylum yet nightmares of a watery grave on your mind.
  • Some are exactly what socialist rulers hope they would be: loyal servants of the state. They’ve been ingrained with the notion that serving your country is the most noble cause imaginable just as we’ve been ingrained that freedom is an unalienable right. If every person were born without a sense of individualism and a desire to want more, this socialism fad might just work. Too bad that’s not in the nature of mankind. Even the most loyal patriot drives 60 mph in a 55 mph zone. We just want to be free!
  • Many stay and take advantage of the hard work of others. They are beaten down, convinced there’s no reason for hard work (in their world there isn’t), and just do what they can to stay off the radar while working as little as possible and living off of the state.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in being any one of those people.

The last group I want to emphasize the most: socialist leaders. From Adolf HitlerKim Jong Il, Fidel Castro et al., they all have one thing in common. They expect everyone to pull their “fair share” and work together as a unified state. Name me one socialist leader however who doesn’t own several mansions, diamond encrusted Mercedes Benzes, and servants to wash85204d1147826246-diamond-encrusted-mercedes-benz-sl-diamond-2[1] their family jewels—yes, those jewels.

I’ll believe real-world socialism isn’t evil hypocrisy when I see one socialist leader that lives on the same income as the people they govern.

The quocialists of America continue to assert that income disparity here in America is bad, but in China you have a couple of billionaires thanks to government corruption, then the other 99% who are lucky if they’re making a fifth of what we do here. Maybe American quocialists ought to take notice that while the real socialists build the iPhone and iPad, it’s those of us who live under capitalism that can actually afford to own one.

There are thousands of people in the United States that make far more money than the presidential salary our current POTUS rakes in. but that would rarely be tolerated under socialist rule?

So for Americans, socialism in any form is just a means for them to convince you they want what is best for you. Some are altruistic, but most are doing it to feel good about themselves. For people under socialism, they’re miserable, live in conditions I wouldn’t subject my dog to, or they die on a boat or a revolution dying to escape. Can you cite examples of anyone dying while trying to flee America or any other free country?

For socialist leaders, they have no intention of giving the people anything other than what is needed to convince the people not to revolt—not a penny more. To them, the food provided is merely fuel for the workhorses of their economy. Promises of primary needs are merely done for self-preservation of the socialist ruler, not the benefit of the people. Like Hollywood, they want to be worshiped and loved, but just can’t be bothered to do any actual work to earn that worship and love.

So are socialist leaders evil? All the socialist leaders I know of are.

Are Hollywood quocialists evil? No, They’re just altruistic, but lazy and ignorant.

Are people who live under socialist rule evil? No, they’re victims.

Taxes should be a fee for services rendered, not a penalty for success.

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

With the hullabaloo about the fiscal cliff and April 15th on its way, it’s time again to think about taxes. I know you would rather slide down a fire pole covered in razor blades and battery acid than think about Uncle Sam’s yearly dues, but we can be the instruments of change. If liberty minded people can inject a little logic and reason into the somewhat socialist-minded which currently dominate our media, Senate, White House, and any number of voting blocks, change can happen.Uncle Sam

So with that in mind, let’s talk first about what taxes are for. The government is an extension of the people here in the United States. Everything our government does should be a service that you and I have elected them to do at our behest. We pay these folks for services rendered through taxes levied.

In the private sector, when we hire someone to do a job, they name their price, and we pay it. However, let me provide an example of what they don’t say:

How much do you make? Oh, you make $200,000 a year? Well in that case, I’m going to charge you $10,000. I know I only charged your neighbor $5,000, but he only makes $100,000 a year. I’m sure you understand.

I know that exchange sounded ridiculous because it is. But imagine the next person you hire to perform a service for you asking how much you make before giving their estimate. If you tell me that your response would be remotely different from, “none of your damn business” I’m going to call you a liar. Yet this is exactly how our tax system works, and we tolerate it year after year.

We the people must demand a complete overhaul to our tax system based on consumption, not income. Income taxes, property taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes should be constitutionally abolished via an amendment, and all taxes should be attained by only two methods. A fee for services, such as when we buy license plates, or a consumption tax on commerce. Since the government provides infrastructure and protection so that we can conduct such commerce; that’s a more fair method.

The reasons this makes far more logical sense are numerous, so I’ll do my best to enumerate a few:

First, an income tax is a penalty for success, whereas a consumption tax is a fee for services rendered. In America, the land of opportunity, we shouldn’t be penalizing people for being successful, we should be encouraging it.

The Fair Tax is probably the most comprehensive proposal along these lines, but I haven’t read it all completely and am not necessarily endorsing it; however, it certainly seems better than the monstrosity we have now.fairtax[1]

Those who feel it would raise taxes on the poor may not be aware that they proposed a prebate to cover the taxes that would be applied to the basic needs of every American, so that in effect, your first $3,500 in taxes for instance (A made up number for purposes of this debate) would be paid for you up front. If you decide to spend more, those taxes are your responsibility.

I think we’ve all seen examples of wasteful spending from those who shouldn’t be doing so. Have you seen someone who has $2,000 wheels and a $5,000 stereo in a $500 car, yet never seems to have a money for the things that matter. I had one such example ask me for $5 at a convenience store.Random Hoopty

Second, those with money would still pay a higher tax rate because they buy more goods and conduct more commerce. It would effectively be a progressive system as it is currently; except now, there wouldn’t be write-offs and loopholes to take advantage of. Businesses would pay taxes on the products they buy, as well as consumers. Everyone benefiting from government services, is now contributing their equitable share, without anyone getting taxed twice.

Third, The IRS is massively reduced as a result, no more stress of getting your taxes done before tax day and what you might owe, and no more worrying about when and how you have to pay taxes.

For instance, if a family member helps you financially by giving you money, you won’t have to worry about reporting that. If someone is gifted or wins an expensive item like a car or a home makeover, they no longer have to sell that car or home just to pay the income taxes on it. Sadly, these beneficiaries of goodwill and fortune often end up losing all they have won or been given because of the income taxes owed. I’d like to think that reasonable people find this appalling.

Plue, there are many instances were you are expected to know what and when to pay that many are either ignorant of, or purposefully don’t report, in order to cheat.

Fourth, Imagine getting all of your paycheck instead of the 1/2 – 2/3 you get now, and then you decide what you’ll pay in taxes by how much you spend on goods and services out of that paycheck. If it was a bad week, you only buy the essentials, and thus you pay no tax, presuming we wouldn’t levy food and water.

The last point I’d like to make, which could be the most important of all—no more freeloaders. We all know that there are citizens and non-citizens who often work under the table or are involved in criminal enterprise and thus pay no income taxes. All of a sudden, the people gaming the system and not putting their two cents in (literally), will be compelled to pay their share for the services the government provides them too.

Sadly Republicans and Democrats alike seem to dismiss such a system. Libertarianism is catching on in the United States though, and this was part of their platform. Sharing this story and information about the Fair Tax on Twitter, Facebook, et al., will hopefully help to get a consumption and fee based tax system to take hold in the marketplace of ideas; furthering the national discussion. This should not be a partisan issue since the rate and prebates can be set at whatever number the current legislature decides.

However, it is a radical change; thus, a tough row to hoe. But if we passed the radical overhaul to our healthcare system, known as the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), we can certainly achieve change as logical as a consumption tax if clear thinking Americans make some noise.

No one is worth that amount of money! What Dictates Someone’s Payscale?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

This last election showed that painting those with money out to be people who have unfairly attained wealth at the expense of the masses is sadly resonating here in America. We are supposed to be the land of opportunity; where one can achieve as much success as their imagination, hard work, and risk can take them. Yet once they do, the quasi-socialists of today attack instead of praise, and the masses harbor jealousy and animosity instead of admiration and respect.

One of the arguments that irritates me like sand encrusted toilet paper is the no-one-should-be-worth-that-much argument. Fairytales like Robin Hood and almost every movie with a happy ending have ingrained us to believe that just by being altruistic, hard-working, and smart, you should achieve fame and fortune.Robin Hood

The reality is that Robin Hood would have likely been shot, and rightly so—he’s a thief. Hard work doesn’t come close to guaranteeing you a better living—it most often just leads to more hard work. Altruism is hardly a harbinger of hope for wealth neither. Do you know of any active duty soldiers listed on the Forbes 500 list? Neither do I.

So do the socialists have a point? Let’s apply some logic with a side of skepticism.

Are people who are rich stealing from the poor? I mentioned I don’t know of any soldiers on the Forbes 500, but I don’t know of any career criminals on there either. Contrary to the Hollywood portrayal of high-profile con artists, et al., the fact is that most thieves are broke and about two steps away from a lengthy prison stay. So they certainly don’t make up the 2%.

Are they taking advantage of the poor by paying them less than what they are worth? Anyone with a modicum of understanding in regards to economic history knows that companies competing in a free market yield a better product at a lower cost. But what people so often fail to realize is that employees are competing in a free market too. If a person goes to work somewhere, and the company doesn’t pay well, most go work somewhere else. Companies who have a reputation for thrift eventually only get the dregs of the working world applying, and then it’s not long before they go out of business at the mercy of companies who opted to treat their employees better.

Business moguls of a past era such as Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller were not competing in a free market; they were collusionists and monopolists. But we Americans created laws to protect the consumer from capitalists who endeavored to destroy the free market over a century ago by passing anti-trust laws and prohibiting collusion. There’s likely no one left that has been taken advantage of in such a way.

Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller

So then why are NFL players paid millions while soldiers are paid modest 5-figure salaries? I’ve struggled with this one for a while, because I don’t feel good about it either. As I racked my brain for answers, it dawned on me that the number one factor in what people get paid is irreplaceability. If we’re talking about entrepreneurs; add risk to that.

I know the anti-capitalists on the left hate corporate bosses, but the fact is that every one who has ever dreamed, has dreamed of owning their own business or being independently wealthy. So let’s logically draw the scenario out. If you started your own company, and within that company you had a need for a job that was fairly rudimentary, would you pay someone a fortune to do it? Of course not. You would hire a person at a low wage, because no matter how dirty, altruistic, or physically demanding that job might be, if you are 99% sure you could train a gorilla to do it, why would you pay anyone more? If the person doing it leaves, it’s pretty easy to plug a new person into the mix and have them trained and running in little time.

However, if your new business involved a biological research lab which required someone with a background in the study of the molecular structure of cancerous cells and how they react to radiation exposure, you can’t just grab a homeless guy off the street and hope for the best, can you?

So when we look at most everyone who is employed, the more money they make is in direct correlation with how easy it would be to replace them. As much as it pains me to say this, many have the abilities required to be a school teacher, police officer, or a soldier. It is not however easy to find a guy who can jump three feet, catch a football in one hand, while being tackled, and yet somehow have the wherewithal to reach out his toes to get both feet in-bounds. It aches my heart to know an athlete makes more than a soldier, but my logic generally holds true.Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks

When it comes to entrepreneurs, I mentioned the addition of risk. Any gambler or stock investor will tell you that if you want to make a million dollars, you have to start with 10 million. Those who have only seen movies about gamblers and investors have been duped by Hollywood into believing that you can put up a dollar and win millions. You might think the lottery disproves this, but the fact is that for every one million won, there are several million lost. Entrepreneurs make money by risking almost all that they have on an idea that they think you the consumer will consider irreplaceable, such as your smart phone that you can’t live without. Therefore, irreplaceability + risk = success.

So the bottom line is that hard work is only a good way to not get fired, altruism is a good way to be loved by many, and intellect is merely a good foundation for success, but only if applied in such a way as to make you more irreplaceable.

If you want to make a fortune, you must find a way to become one in a million. If you really want to make a fortune, put your bank account, home, and first-born at risk and invent something irreplaceable. But all that being said, virtue is its own reward, and as long as you are happy in your career, and you feel good about who you are as a person, try being happy instead of jealous for those who have attained more than you. As long as they did you no harm, there’s no logical reason to advocate taking what they’ve achieved away from them or hating them for achieving a success greater than your own. The American dream isn’t just for you—stop being selfish. If you must have an emotion about them, try being motivated to be like them instead of tearing them down.

Gun Owners and Women Drivers Must Be Stopped!

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Sadly, anti-gun nuts have reached a new low in America. They’ve decided that your personal information as a gun owner should be made public, regardless of the risk it imposes upon you. Apparently, exercising your rights under the Constitution is now akin to being a sexual predator to these zealots since they feel in both cases, the public should be aware of who you are and where you live.

Blog1The Journal News in New York, in order to further its hateful agenda, decided to publish the locations of all registered handgun permit holders in the Westchester and Rockland counties without disclosing any logical reason for doing so. So it merely appears motivated by a desire to put those who applied and were granted a permit for a handgun at undue risk as if they are by default, a danger to society.

I certainly love the US Constitution, and am quite in favor of freedom of the press, but this clear invasion of people’s privacy has to be a sign for Americans to stand up against pervasive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which allowed this data to be disclosed in the first place.

If attaining a permit is considered a matter of public record, then where does it end? If I’m driving down the highway and I see a beautiful woman I’d like to meet; I can’t take down her license plate and file a FOIA request to get access to her address and phone number in order to more easily stalk her. That would be a huge violation of privacy, and no  one outside the rapist community would support that. The government has her information since she applied for a drivers permit, but that shouldn’t mean I have the right to know that data.

So let me give a similar analogy to what has transpired here. Imagine I decided to request drivers license information for all females in the district and published their names and addresses. Maybe I think female drivers are dangerous just like this newspaper thinks gun owners are dangerous.  Therefore, I want you to be protected from these dangerous women drivers.

Both cases involve people asking for information about lawful citizens who have done nothing wrong, but instead merely applied for a driving permit or a gun permit. Since there are a greater percentage of deaths by car in relation to car owners as there are deaths by gun rational to gun owners; clearly we need to know who has a license to drive, right?

blog1Obviously I’m being facetious, stats show women are generally very good drivers, just as stats show gun owners are rarely violent. But my argument against women drivers is EXACTLY the same as the anti-gun zealots arguments against lawful gun owners. For every one of them who wrongfully harms someone, there are thousands upon thousands who have never, nor will never harm an innocent being. Yet these sanctimonious people have decided that if one gun owner is bad, they must all be. There’s a word for that kind of nonsense; B-I-G-O-T-R-Y.

Reasonable and intelligent people just agree to disagree, but the anti-gun zealots that do these kind of things can’t bring themselves to do that. If you don’t agree with them, in their mind, you’re the most hateful S-O-B on the planet, and they have no qualms about destroying you; feeling better about themselves for having done so.

To them, gun owners are pure evil, and these journalists feel like Batman thwarting the Joker by taking them down. Responsible gun owners have been politely agreeing to disagree with those who don’t want guns for years. Charleton Heston never went to a anyone and tried to force them to buy a gun, yet these people are trying to force us to give up ours.joker_and_batman_by_moroteo56-d3g54v9[1]

Responsible journalists used to go after a scoop and expose corruption, as in the Watergate scandal. They did mountains of work and networking, gathered evidence, corroborated that evidence, and made sure that what they wrote was fair, accurate, and accomplished noble goals like protecting the people from a corrupt government.

The hacks of today however, are too often a cult that worships their lord and savior currently residing at the White House. Instead of protecting the people from an oppressive government, they protect the government from the people revolting against an overreaching government by suppressing stories of corruption, while at the same time attacking the Americans who would stand and fight against such a corruption.

I’ve heard if you want to make Pecan Pie, you have to crack a few nuts, and some gun owners have decided that’s just what they’ll do. For example, the folks who made this yard sign below apparently decided to strike back against anti-gun advocates who take issue with their right to bear arms, and I’m sure in the wake of this story, there will be others:

Blog1-Neighbor

I think it’s logical to assume that criminals looking to steal a gun have just been provided a list of places a gun is likely to be found that probably isn’t as well protected as a gun shop. If they can case the place and catch the homeowners away—pay dirt!

So now that every lawful gun owner has legitimately been put in harm’s way, turning the tables sadly seems to be the only thing gun owners can do to get their attention. But I cannot condone putting the lives of these people needlessly at risk either—it seems hypocritical.

The sign above would make it clear to any would-be-robber, molester, and murderer, which house his odds of success are greater at and level of danger is less at. I understand the “eye for an eye” concept at play, but it still seems wrong.

With any luck, these are severe overreactions after a national tragedy that will subside as cooler heads prevail, but nonetheless, us responsible gun owners cannot just continue to allow ourselves to be abused by anti-gun wing nuts. However, instead of striking back as the in the above picture, I hope gun owners will instead look to solidify Constitutional liberty by calling for serious modifications to FOIA regulations all across the nation. It should be done so that private information is not disclosed under any circumstance, outside the investigation of a crime, unless that information may be infringing upon the rights to life, liberty, and property of another individual, such as the aforementioned sexual predators.

We cannot have liberty if we do not have privacy, and even anti-gun nuts deserve theirs. Sadly, while many people who don’t care to own a gun wouldn’t dream of exposing their gun owning neighbors to something as disgusting as this, there are the irrational hate mongers in the media who have no reservations about it. Instead of resorting to dangerous games, I hope gun owners will take the high road and demand our government be better caretakers of our private information. Because lawful citizens of all kinds should never be allowed to be put at risk by political rivals in order to further a political agenda.