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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey! Fatty! Put That Gigundo Soda Down!

New York City Mayor Nanny Michael Bloomberg has announced that he thinks he has the legal authority to keep all of us fatsos (even the skinny ones) from drinking giant-ass sodas and sugary drinks. Thanks to a couple of tubbies here and there, your right to drink whatever the hell you choose to drink is going to be taken away within the five boroughs of New York City.

I guess Michael Bloomberg is not pro-choice, even though he is a Democrat.

So, anyway, while Bloomberg is busy sticking his little tiny nose into your bidness, I have a few other suggestions I would like the Mayor Nanny to consider outlawing:
  1. Pizza. Seriously Mike, have you ever seen the size of some of those $5.00 slices you can get downtown? They're freakin' enormous. I eat one of those and I'm feeling it for like two days. Stop me!
  2. Buying Multiple Sodas. I'm a smart guy and figured I would outsmart you by just buying two or four 8oz sodas each day to satisfy my need for a giant-ass soda, so please save me from myself and make me register each soda I buy. It's the only way to go Mike. I need your help Mike. You care for me so much better than I do for myself. By the way, what the hell are we gonna do after you're gone and a Republican gets elected and let's us take care of ourselves?
  3. Hot Dogs From Street Vendors. I can't help myself. Every time I pass one of those horribly dirty dirt-water dog vendors I have to stop and eat one. My wife, bless her heart, tries and tries to keep me from eating them, but alas, she has not the power to keep me from my beloved wieners. You do, Mike. You do.
  4. Giant Disgusting Cold Pretzels Sold From Shopping Carts. Never mind Mike, this is a problem for Mayor Nutter in Philadelphia, so if he ever gets to the point in his city that you've gotten to in yours', you know, the point where all the problems have been solved except for fatties drinking soda, I'll send this down to him.
  5. Tourists. They're a giant pain-in-the-ass, Mike. Even though I don't live in the city, I used to work there so I'm actually like a local. Couldn't you tax them or limit them or something? Especially tourists from Europe and places like that. I hear them talking and I can't understand a word they say which always makes me think they're talking about me.
  6. People Who Enter A Building Using The Left Door. A long time pet peeve of mine, I figured I'd throw it in and take a chance that you'd care. I understand people will just be people and you can't control everything they do, but could you at least make a law that says people have to say 'thank you' when they think I'm opening the door for them when in reality I'm using the door to leave the building?
  7. Tchotkes. Years ago my brother hit my in the eye with a miniature Empire State Building and it hurt like hell. It also left a mark. If my parents hadn't bought that damned tchotke I would have been spared all that pain and humiliation. If you won't ban tchotkes maybe you should consider having Social Services accompany every family when they visit your fair city. Think of the children Mike. The children are the future.
  8. Pigeons. I hate those friggin' things. Stinking rats with wings. And they've got attitude too. Try walking up 5th Avenue above Central Park South, they don't move, the bastards. It's like they're daring you to get all up in their beaks or something. Help us, Mike, won't you?
  9. Crime. I know the soda ban is a start Mike, because now there will be fewer teenagers hopped on too much caffeine from 32oz Mountain Dews, but I just thought I might remind you there is still some crime here and there in the five boroughs. I mean, what people drink is far more important than say, a drive-by shooting that takes out an innocent twelve-year-old girl, but I think you're on the right track controlling the fatties first.
  10. Noise. I have very sensitive ears Mike, and let's face it, your city is pretty noisy. Have you ever heard one of those damned firetrucks racing to the scene of another false alarm? All sirens blaring and horns blasting with the volume turned all the way up. I get the jitters just thinking about it. How about "quiet zones" where everybody has to use their inside voices (and sirens)? Think about it.
  11. Urine-Soaked Subway Stations. In France back in the day (if your day was 1918), there used to be urinals on pretty much every street corner. You might want to consider this as a tidy way to keep the pee-stench at least contained to a small area. As it stands now, when visiting New York, from the time you get to Hoboken until you get back home it's like living in a pee-fest. But then again, now that people won't be drinking so much soda this problem should take care of itself. Never mind, Mike. Sorry to have distracted you from the important things.
Well, I have to go now, I had a 32oz Diet Pepsi (I watch my weight whenever possible) at lunch, and seriously, I have to go. Right now. So Mike, hopefully some of my suggestions will help you help make life an even cheerier and safer experience for everyone -- even the fat people who are forced to drink giant sodas because, well I don't exactly know why, but if you say people have no control over what they put in their bodies then it must be so. I mean after-all, you're the Mayor.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Alarming Rate of Missing American Citizens Who Are Black -- What the Media Isn't Telling Us

Lately, it seems that the favorite story of The Monolithic Media is the missing child or woman, with a particular focus on young, white, blond women. Are these stories tragic? Absolutely. I do not mean in any way to lessen the emotional trauma and burden of the loved ones of the missing, but it's for that exact reason I think we need to have a little perspective on the "epidemic" we are currently experiencing.

Without much mental effort, I can think of four college-aged women and three female children whose disapperances are covered regularly. It should be noted that each of the four women I can immediately recall are blond and white. This is not a reflection of my racial views, it's a reflection of the saturation of the news media. In fact, instead of questioning my racial views, you should be questioning the racial motivations of the Monolithic Media.

These stories make riveting content on our 24 hour-a-day news cycle, but are they representative of reality?

All of the following statistics are from the FBI National Crime Information Center. The last year statistics were available is 2010.
  • As of 12-31-10 there were 692,944 active missing persons files
  • 515,531 were classified "juvenile" (5,324 were over the age of 18)
  • 5,298 (under 18) and 14,555 (over 18) were considered "involuntary"
  • 288,213 were female and 243,686 were male (under 18)
  • 67,030 were female and 93,974 were male (over 18)
  • 14,529 were Asian (all ages)
  • 229,736 were Black (all ages)
  • 9,284 were Native America (all ages)
  • 418,859 were Caucasian or Hispanic (all ages)

This breaks down as follows:
  • Males over 18 were more likely to be classified as missing than females
  • Females under the age of 18 were more likely to be classified as missing than males
  • Caucasians/Hispanics make up 80.7% of the total population and account for 60% of missing persons
  • Asians make up 4.5% of the total population and account for 2% of missing persons
  • Native Americans make up 0.8% of the total population and account for 1% of missing persons
The biggest cause for concern:
  •  Blacks make up 12.2% of the total population and account for 33% of missing persons
For Caucasians/Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans, the representative ratios are expected, but the ratio for Blacks is so far out of alignment that we as a nation should be alarmed. Yet, the Monolithic Media would have us believe that only white, mostly blond, females ever go missing.

I was not able to find numbers representing the number of Black females versus Black males who were listed as missing, but in the general population females represented 51% of all missing person (48% male; 1% unknown) so one would expect the male/female ratio to be relatively stable when broken down by race.

The Monolithic Media, that survives the daily struggle for advertising dollars by sensationalizing everything it can possible sensationalize is strangely silent on -- and certainly not statistically representing -- the epidemic of missing Black men, women and children while it attempts to get us to believe that if you are white, female and, in particular, blond, you will most certainly go missing at some point in your life.

There are two points that must be considered here:
  • What is the racial motivation of the Monolithic Media to all but ignore the plight of missing Blacks while trumpeting cases of missing white women with little or no regard for statistical representation?(Yes, trumpeting. Whether that word makes you uncomfortable or not is not my concern.)
  • The Monolithic Media is playing to the darkest fears of its audience by featuring these stories ahead of what used to be considered hard news, just like a B movie producer does to create a return on his investment, and we buy this fraud whole cloth out of some strange guilt or sick fascincation
  • What is the problem in a segment of the population that also ignores a completely out of proportion number of its members going missing without taking steps to alter the course it is on? (Yes, I asked the question, call me racist for doing so, but I would offer that those of you who are offended by this question are not only racist yourselves, you're also intellectually dishonest)
The Monolithic Media once again proves it is not interested in reality, but that it will chase the profits its managers think are to be earned from covering certain stories while ignoring others -- all while hiding behind the cloak of journalistic integrity.

I'm all for profit, but earning profit without regard for the truth is fraud.

Data compiled from the following websites:

Friday, May 18, 2012

All Hope Is Not Lost

To my detractors, and there are many (and I'm not just talking about my ex-wife's family), I am the following:
  • Enemy of the USA
  • @$$%^&*
  • Old, Out-of-Touch White Conservative $H^&H#$%
  • F#$%^&* @$$%^&*
  • Troll
  • F#$%^&* Idiot
  • Racist Puke
  • Lardass Whitey
  • Stupid Piece of $H^&
And that's just since Monday.

Knowing that there are still some people in the world who don't like me, I stopped to buy some gasoline on my way to work this morning because I still have to carry on.
work/w…ôrk/Noun: Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Verb: Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result, esp. in one's job; do work. Synonyms: noun. job - labor - business - labour - occupation - employment verb. operate - labor - function - labour - run - go - make
That's just in case some of my detractors are unfamiliar with the term.

Anyway, I got into a discussion with the attendant, (I live in New Jersey -- the government here is afraid to let us pump our own gas). Normally I don't speak to gas station attendants because I'm generally so annoyed at having to wait for them to get off their cell phones that by the time they get to me I choose to remain quiet lest I act like a gas attendant detractor.

Let's call the attendant "Kyle" because that's his name. Kyle is the opposite age and color than I am, but both of us being males, we had our love for cars in common. In particular, my dirty, unwaxed 2003 Ford pickup with 170,000 miles on that can kick your pickup's ass.

We got to talking about automobile detailing. Kyle explained that he has an OCD-like attention to detail when he cleans his mom and dad's car and that he's often thought about opening his own detailing business. I was already late for work, so I had plenty of time to explore this further with him.

He threw out some ideas about working, and I gave him back some ideas about marketing and pricing. He excused himself after the guy on the next island beeped his horn and looked like I usually look when I buy gas, while I thought more about the opportunity at hand. After about 10 minutes, we came to the conclusion that for about a $200 investment he could start his own door-to-door auto-detailing business.

Politicians and liberals take note: That $200 figure was before you guys got your regulatory hooks into the poor kid.

I finally left and the thought occurred to me that other than Kyle's parents, no one had probably ever urged him to be a capitalist. Just encountering this kid who was out hustling at 7:00AM trying to turn a buck while he was open to discussing other ways to work his rear-end off to earn more bucks reminded me that as long as there are new generations of people who understand the value of being alive and working to make a life for themselves, we'll all be okay.

Now the job for my generation -- the one supposedly in charge now -- is to make it as easy as possible for the Kyle's of the world to live their lives fruitfully and joyfully.

Government doesn't do that. People do.

Note at the Bottom: I'll be off the grid next week taking a little vacation with the fam. Haters can continue to load my inbox up with spite and vitriol, I'll delete it all when I get back. Everyone else who understands what this blog is all about just go on about your business, enjoying your life and your freedom and never forget our job as libertarians is to keep liberty alive for everyone, even those folks who call us ugly names.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ: A Capitalist Libertarian's Conundrum

The Personal Background You May Not Be Interested In

I grew up about three miles from the Atlantic Ocean in the part of New Jersey people visit to escape the ugly places they come from up north. When I was a little kid people who knew how to behave themselves in public went to Point Pleasant to enjoy the ocean and boardwalk; everyone else went to Seaside, which is a few miles down the road. Of course, when I was a little kid you could win clackers and albums on the boardwalk and we made fun of people like Snooki and The Situation instead of trying to emulate them. But I digress.

As a matter of full disclosure, by my teenage years I went to Seaside instead of Point Pleasant. You kids today have nothing on my generation when it comes to not behaving well in public (we could drink at 18 and we all know how that worked out). And anyway, stay off my lawn.

Point Pleasant Bar Owners Work Overtime to Kill The Fatted Calf

Come on. Why respect your neighbors?
 Everyone wants to be like Snooki.
It's the Jersey Shore for crying out loud.
Taken on Seaside Heights boardwalk.
Courtesy Business Insider.
Point was a nice little town that kept its prices high, to, well, make it hard for the riff-raff to afford going there. But somehow the riff-raff discovered the two main bars on the boardwalk and now Point Pleasant sucks -- at least to the people who live there and have to deal with hordes of drunken fools urinating, fighting and defecating on their properties all summer long. (Yes, that's right, some homeowners have had to clean up human feces from their porches. Still siding with the people you drink with on the boardwalk?)

Meanwhile, the bars rake in tons of money.

The Politics of Behaving Badly

You know how I constantly preach about your rights being sacred until they interfere with mine? Point Pleasant, NJ, is a perfect example of that.

The borough council passed a measure this week mandating bars within the borough close at midnight, effective July 1. A provision within the ordinance allowing bars to stay open until 2:00AM for a fee paid to the borough to provide additional security was tabled until June 12. The affected establishments had offered $800,000 over five years to the borough to pay for security, but they also shot themselves in their collective feet by filing a lawsuit against the borough over a parking matter, negating any goodwill they might have garnered, shutting down goodwill negotiations.
While some employees are worried they might lose their jobs because of the shorter hours, residents in the area are mostly just hoping drunken patrons don't have to pee real bad before midnight.

As much as the owners of the establishments and their patrons may not be happy about the move to a 12:00 AM closing time, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Government becomes necessary when fools and low-functioning adults are not able to maintain a sense of civility and propriety. The property owners in Point Pleasant Beach deserve the same peace and protection people who own homes in non-resort towns deserve. Business owners who earn a profit by attracting people who are not respectful of the rights of others have no reason to complain when they're taken to task for their irresponsibility.
These people, enjoying the Jersey Shore circa 1910,
may seem quaint to you, but at least they
 had the common decency not to poop
on other people's property.

While this was going on, the owners had the collective poor business sense to sue the town to overturn existing ordinances restricting free parking. There is plenty of available metered parking, but the establishments are suing the borough to overturn restrictions that allow only residents to park on borough streets from midnight to 6:00AM. That they turned a deaf ear to the problems being caused by their businesses while at the same time demanding the residents and borough government bend over even further backwards for them is laughable -- and a good example of the complete disregard the boardwalk businesses show the year-round residents.

Finally, A Government Action That Actually Helps the Governed

The people who live near the boardwalk are being asked to suffer the idiotic behavior of people who can't handle their alcohol so a few business owners can profit. I like profit. I like business. I don't like businesses that turn a blind eye to the problems they cause. Generally I would support letting the dollars of the affected do the talking by walking away from these businesses, but the simple fact is neither the patrons nor the businesses have any ties to the community so what the hell do they care how about body functions on private property? The borough government was left with no option other than to step in and lessen the time the behaving public has to deal with the miscreant public. The business owners may argue that they do indeed have ties to the community, but the proof of that is not there -- unless of course they behave the same way in their neighborhoods that their drunken clientele behaves in Point Pleasant Beach.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Catholic Universities: Georgetown and Franciscan

Article 1 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It used to be, the best thing about living in the United States was a kind of "you do your thing and I'll do mine" mentality. We were a country with a contract among citizens and between citizens and their government that as long as no harm came to the rights of others we were all free to pursue life how we perceived it. This no longer exists.

Franciscan University, located in Steubenville, OH, is a small Catholic University with an approximate undergraduate population of 2,500. It is considered a top academic university among schools of its size and is also considered among the top Catholic universities in the country.

Undergraduate students at Franciscan were required to purchase health insurance, which typically ran each student around $600 per year. According to university vice-president Mike Hernon those costs are expected to double next year under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (derisively known as 'Obamacare' among thinking people), and triple in 2014. The costs are an outrageous expense the Federal government is forcing on students who attend Franciscan (and presumably other universities and colleges around the country whose Board of Directors are willing to stand on their principles). There is also the troubling issue of conscience.

A statement on the university's website sums up their view point:
"The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover 'women’s health services' including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life."
The statement goes on to explain the changes the students will see in the Fall. Read the entire statement here.

Obamacare mandates that "children" be allowed to stay on their parents' health plans until the age of 26, which is a defense used by the Administration and supporters of Nationalized Healthcare when things like this unexpectedly pop up. I remember when 26 year-olds were adults, but that's grist for another mill. Obamacare has broken a plan that worked perfectly -- a typical result of government interference -- in order to cater to the needs of the ideologues in the Washington.

To sum up what has been done to the students at Franciscan University:
  • Obamacare has forced students to depend on their parents healthcare insurance
  • Obamacare has forced the Board at Franciscan to take a stand on their principles which is necessarily affecting their students
  • A small, private university in Ohio has been victimized by the Federal Government's clear violation of the First Amendment because it being forced to choose between taking care of its students and following its faith
No one in the national media or political arena has come to the aid of the students of Franciscan who are now going to spend more to go to school there because of the government's edict.

By contrast, the whole country got enmeshed in the fight when Sandra Fluke asked the government to force Georgetown University (a Jesuit instituion) to pay for birth control, and other "women' health" costs, across the board. Here is the official statement from Georgetown President John J. DeGioia:
"There is a legitimate question of public policy before our nation today. In the effort to address the problem of the nearly fifty million Americans who lack health insurance, our lawmakers enacted legislation that seeks to increase access to health care. In recent weeks, a question regarding the breadth of services that will be covered has focused significant public attention on the issue of contraceptive coverage. Many, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have offered important perspectives on this issue."
Read the full text here.

Georgetown University, with an approximate undergraduate population of 14,000, is a big player in Washington, D.C. It is entrenched in the government miasma creeping out of the Potomac swamps and strangling the entire country. Georgetown's religion is more governmental than spiritual.

The difference is stark. DeGioia makes no statement of principle other than to say that Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student who testified on behalf of Democrats about the devastating affect paying for birth control would have on college students, was the victim "of behavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student." Of course he was speaking about private citizens making their opinions known in public forums. The fact that some of Fluke's detractors made complete asses of themselves (Rush Limbaugh) should not matter. Public discourse can sometimes be unpleasant, but you make the choice to be attacked when you take a stand. Ms. Fluke knew what she was getting into, and if she didn't, her Democrat handlers should have warned her.

But DeGioia makes no mention of principle other than to say that the people who attacked Ms. Fluke were wrong. They may have been coarse in their words, but I would submit to John DeGioia that even the coarsest amongst us has a right to speak their minds. Beyond that, it is my suspicion that Georgetown University and its President John DeGioia come from the branch of Catholicism that's less interested in principle than it is in scoring political brownie points.

It matters not what your faith is. Atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and whoever else I just offended by not mentioning, all have the same skin in the game that Franciscan University does:
A government that can tell any group of people how to practice their faith is a government that can force all of us to bend to its will. If your faith does not include blowing up airplanes or killing others in the name of protecting the unborn, and the like, the government has no business in your business.

Franciscan University has been forced to change the way it operates because of the dictates of a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. How long before that same bureaucrat changes something you hold dear?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Special College Graduation Edition: Want To Be Rich? It's Easy. Watch The Rich People and Do What They Do

Back in the 80s, when having money and being happy was okay and nobody hated you for enjoying your life, there was a guy on TV who had a get-rich quick program that pretty much consisted of buying real estate. The best part of his show was his tag line: "Wanna be rich? Watch the rich people and do what they do! It's easy!"

Well, now we live in dark and depressing days. Being successful is frowned upon unless you're a rapper or government employee. Being rich is evil and people who enjoy their lives do so at the expense of others. The younger you are the sadder this political climate is. But its all smoke and mirrors. Don't buy into the political hype. Remember, the first job of a politician is to make you think you need him so you will give him a job.

I'm urging you recent college graduates to get over it. And when you get over it, take advantage of the vacuum left by the mopers of the world and go out make some money. Of course, my secret plan is to have you earn more money not so you can support dopey government programs, but so you will cherish the freedom and initiative it took you to earn your money. I'm a libertarian, we depend on your happiness and welfare so you'll leave us alone.

I am not a billionaire, so I wouldn't listen to me about getting rich, but I will say this: In the blink of an eye you people will be running the country. Don't screw up like my generation is in the process of doing.

Here's a list of current billionaires, how they made their money, and a short piece of advice from each:

Steve Jobs: Apple. Net worth (at the time of his death): $31.6 billion. "'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

Michael Bloomberg: Bloomberg, LP. Net worth: $22 billion. "My first job out of school was on Wall Street and I stayed there for 15 years. It was a terrific ride: Fun times, and lots of praise from my bosses. Everybody loved me–right up until the day they fired me! But I remained optimistic–because happiness for me has always been going out and trying to beat the odds. So the next day after I got fired, literally the next day, I started a new company."

Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com. Net worth: $18.4 billion. "When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story."

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook. Net worth: $17.5 billion. "If you actually do something you love it’s a lot easier and takes on a lot more purpose."

Larry Page: Google. Net worth: $16.7 billion. "I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. There are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name. They all travel as if they are pack dogs and stick to each other like glue. The best people want to work the big challenges."

Michael Dell: Dell Computers. Net worth: $15.9 billion. "Never be the smartest person in a room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people…or find a different room. In professional circles it’s called networking."

Carl Icahn: Hedge Fund Manager: Net worth: $14 billion. "When you go out there, you can be one of two types of guys. You can be a guy that thinks for himself, and I think the world and our corporations are now waiting for that. There are CEOs that really do think for themselves, that are innovative, that go against the trend… You should try to stand against the trend, even though it might cost you your job, cost your promotion. But in the end, think for yourself, be innovative. If you have ideas, go slam the table, don’t worry about it, because that’s what this company needs."

Steve Ballmer: Microsoft. Net worth: $13.9 billion. "Passion is the ability to get excited about something. Irrepressibility and tenacity is about the ability to stay with it. If you take a look at all of the companies that have been started in our business, most of them fail. If you take even a look at the companies that have succeeded, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, you name it, all of these companies went through times of hardship. You get some success. You run into some walls. You try a formula for a new idea, a new innovation, it doesn’t work. And it’s how tenacious you are, how irrepressible, how ultimately optimistic and tenacious you are about it that will determine your success."

Eric Schmidt; Google. Net worth: $6.2 billion. "Don’t bother to have a plan at all. All that stuff about plan, throw that out.  It seems to me that it’s all about opportunity and make your own luck. You study the most successful people, and they work hard and they take advantage of opportunities that come that they don’t know are going to happen to them."

Eli Broad: Real Estate Developer. Net worth: $5.8 billion. "No one ever made a million bucks by being cautious or timid or reasonable. I was 22 years old and recently married when I had the crazy idea that I should give up my career as a CPA and become a homebuilder. I didn’t know anything about building houses. Sometimes the craziest ideas are the ones that yield the greatest payoffs. I took the risk in 1953 of building houses without basements – something that hadn’t been done in the Midwest — because the monthly mortgage payment would be less than what most people were paying for rent."

Without the freedom to fail, and with a government that holds our hands from the cradle to the grave, this advice is useless and the ability to succeed is attenuated.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What Exactly the Hell Am I Entitled to Anyway?

Occasionally, I am so busy fighting with liberals on Twitter that I run out of words for a new column. Today is one of those days. Also, as I approach my 20,000th reader I'll be re-posting some columns from back when just my dad read this blog. This piece was originally published February 23, 2011.

So it seems that everybody is complaining lately because nobody is getting what they're entitled to. I'm speaking mostly about labor unions, and more particularly about government and public sector labor unions. But as I think deeper, I could also be talking about teenagers, ex-spouses, that lady that cut in front of me this morning at Dunkin' Donuts, and for that matter, everybody else. So I did some reading in an attempt to figure just what the hell I am entitled to exactly. There were no websites or books enumerating what I was entitled to, but I did come across the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of United States of America, which was nice enough to list my rights for me. So here's what I was able to figure out I'm entitled to, and this goes for the rest of you too (even Democrats).

I am entitled to:
  • a government that does not force a religious practice on me
  • assemble peacefully and petition the government about my grievances
  • keep and bear arms
  • not have soldiers stay in my home unless I want them to
  • not be searched unreasonably or to have my things seized by the government without a warrant
  • not be tried for a capital crime without an indictment
  • not be put in jeopardy of my life or limbs twice for the same crime
  • be free to not testify against myself
  • not be deprived of my life or arms or legs or property without due process
  • keep my property unless the government wants it for the public good, and at that point they have to pay me fair market value for it
  • have a speedy trial in front of my peers when I commit a crime
  • confront my accusers
  • have a jury trial if I get sued for more than $20
  • not be cruelly or unusually punished
  • live in a state that takes care of the rest of the rights the Constitution doesn't list
Among other things, I was broken hearted to find that it doesn't say anything about me being entitled to healthcare, or a job, or a flatscreen TV, or a raise, or anything. In fact, pretty much the Constitution is telling me "look, I'll make sure the government leaves you alone, now you go out and be free and make yourself a nice little life."

Sorry kids, I just listed all of the things we as Americans are entitled to. If it's not on this list its not Constitutional. I guess you'll all have to be happy with being free enough to follow your own human potential.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama Affirms Same Sex Marriage, Or, The Politics of Pandering to the Short of Attention

You're a trollish, right wing, racist, homophobe, corporate loving, gas guzzling, white guy, what the hell do you know?

Well, now that you've voiced your default response to anyone who disagrees with you, let me answer your question.

Actually I'm a deist libertarian, which means I believe in God (right? opposite of atheist libertarian). I believe in the right of each person to live their lives how they choose with no interference from the state until said person puts someone else's life or freedom in jeopardy. An atheistic libertarian believes in no higher power or force than the existence of man in the here and now, a theist libertarian believes what you do is between you and whatever it is that put you here. Therefore, same-sex marriage does not affect me either way, in fact, I am a strong supporter of a person's right to choose who they want to share their life and assets with. However, as a person who believes in tradition I don't think it would hurt anybody's feelings to call the different "marriages" (same-sex and heterosexual) by different names because they are in fact different things.

Okay, Mr. Liberty McLibertarianstein, what does Barack Obama's "affirmation" really mean?

Barack Obama's announcement this week "affirming" same-sex marriage did absolutely nothing to further the cause of same-sex couples who are fighting for legal recognition of their chosen partners. Obama deferred to the 10th Amendment for the sake of expediency, thereby putting himself in the position of "affirming" something he has been ambivalent about or against in the past while using his position to curry political favor with donors. This is laughable because Democrats in general despise the 10th Amendment because in their eyes it lessens Federal power.

If you think Obama's announcement is going to change anything, you are going to be sorely disappointed. I won't call you gullible so you don't get mad at me, but I think you get the point. Sure, you might "feel" all happy inside that the President of the United States "affirmed" your right to choose you partner, but listen up kids, he did nothing, zero, zilch, nada, to help you protect or achieve your rights.

Wait until this summer when the Democrat Party Platform is announced. There will be nary a word on the Federal level about same-sex marriage. It's been deferred to the states (where it belongs) so don't celebrate Obama's announcement as some sort of political victory. You have been sold-out for campaign cash.

You're wrong, moron, it was a civil rights victory for the oppressed!

This affirmation was not a "civil rights" victory. Homosexuals can drink out of the same water fountains as heterosexuals. They can sit in the front of the bus, they can go to school with heterosexuals, they were not held as slaves, and even though there are morons among us, homosexuals are not institutionally run out of town or intimidated by cross burnings. You cannot equate this country's historical institutional treatment of blacks and Native Americans with the personal prejudices of those who disagree with you on the definition of a word or with what they view as a lifestyle choice.

Is there discrimination against homosexuals? Absolutely. Until human thought is regulated or outlawed completely there will always be discrimination. You cannot institutionalize discrimination out of existence.

That being said, what really happened?

President Obama played politics with your sexuality and your emotions to protect as much of his base as he possibly could. It worked, but nothing has changed for you if you are trying to have your same-sex partner recognized in the same way my opposite-sex partner is recognized. I won't say you've been duped, but you sure as heck haven't been told the truth -- or had your problem even partially solved.

Obama needed to say something to respond to Joe Biden's defacto support of same-sex marriage which was in opposition to the Obama Administration's stated policy, but he didn't do anything. By the way, the Defense of Marriage Act is still on the books.

The announcement also served to deflect attention away from matters we should all (gay and straight) be concerned with -- the future of our country. The Democrat Party default when it's faced with a problem that's not easily solvable among the electorate is to purposely deflect attention onto a social issue that illuminates the divisions between us. By applauding Obama's big words and non-action you have unwittingly been used as a Democrat pawn in the war of propaganda currently being waged between the two dominant political parties.

Wow, you're kind of brilliant, so tell me, what really matters?

If the economy crumbles or America completely loses its identity as a place that encourages individual achievement and prosperity, it's not going to matter who you marry -- you're both going to be destitute.

Forget who you are sexually, ethnically, racially, politically. Remember that you are an American and in order for you to pursue the life you want to pursue, America has to work to its fullest potential. When our president and the dominant media leaders in this country pander to subsets of Americans in order to divide us and profit off us, we all lose.

The smallest minority is the individual, so when a leader panders to any one particular group -- no matter how small the group is -- he is by default discriminating against an uncountable number of minorities. The main effort of the President of the United States of America should not be the division of Americans by belief.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Not Satisfied With Highest Taxes In The Nation, Chris Christie Lays Claim To Your Gift Cards

Note: As you read this you'll probably say to yourself "So what?" "Big Deal" and "I'll make sure I use my gift cards right away." But you'll miss the bigger picture: This is not about unused gift cards, it's about a government entity deciding it has complete and total dominion over your personal property.

Live in New Jersey? Saving up your gift cards to buy something really special for yourself? If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, don't bother being responsible because the State of New Jersey, backed by "conservative" Governor Chris Christie, has laid claim to your unused gift card balances.

Simply put, if you don't use the entire balance of a gift card within two years, the State of New Jersey has decided your money belongs to the collective kitty in Trenton. Graciously, the State of New Jersey has decreed that you can get your money back by filing a claim with New Jersey's Unclaimed Property Administration, but the fact is you wouldn't have to file a claim if the State didn't confiscate your private property in the first place. Also, the State will make you expend effort to retrieve your money but they won't pay you any interest for the time they had use of your money. Ten dollars left over on a gift card sitting on top of your dresser is like found money. Ten dollars sitting in Trenton that you have to file a claim with the State to get back is ten dollars the State just stole from you.

You might have a perfectly good reason to hold on to your gift cards, or you might not -- either way it's nobody's business. But the reality is, the State of New Jersey has decided it has control of your private property and they will tell you when you need to use it.

Even though estimates of lost sales tax revenue range between $64 million and $94 million a year, as American Express and others prepare to pull out of the state, Giant SmartAss Governor Chris Christie cavalierly and ignorantly said in reference to the law, "I’m not worried about it and [I'm not] not losing any sleep over it. If they want to move out, move out. It’s their call."

This is the guy Republicans all over the country love.

Christie also said this law keeps private companies from keeping unused gift card balances as profit. No one had the nerve or intelligence to point out to Christie that the State is confiscating the private property of its citizens without the consent of the person they are confiscating the money from, which is actually worse than what they were trying to prevent.

Why is no one upset that a government entity is limiting the ability of a company to earn a profit from money earned in a private transaction at the same time the government entity is confiscating that profit for its own use?

Should companies that sell gift cards be allowed to implement charges that whittle away at the balances of unused cards? Absolutely not. They also shouldn't be allowed to confiscate the balance after a pre-determined amount of time -- unless the consumer is aware of the terms of the transaction.

If the State of New Jersey was actually as concerned about these practices as Chris Christie claims it is, it could have just made it illegal to charge fees or institute expiration dates on gift cards. But why do the simple thing when you can confiscate even more money from New Jersey's taxpayers?

In yet another example of legislative idiocy, The State of New Jersey claims it is trying to protect consumers from predatory corporate practices by enacting a law that legalizes the predatory act of seizing the funds of consumers without their consent.

The next time a gift card vendor asks for your address or ZIP code, understand they are asking because Chris Christie and the rest of the State of New Jersey are standing behind the salesclerk with their greedy little fingers twitching in anticipation of confiscating even more of your money -- all while they are telling you they are "protecting" you.  

Don't lose any sleep Chris, just let the government continue to chip away at the rights and possessions of private citizens while you flaunt your complete and total lack of American values under the guise of being a tedious and boring Jersey tough-guy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Governor of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuno: The Left Is Afraid of Him and The Right May Not Know What To Do With Him

Luis Fortuno was sworn in as governor of Puerto Rico in January of 2009. At the time, Puerto Rico was in abysmal fiscal shape. Truth be told it is still not growing at a great pace -- but it is recovering faster than most of the actual states in the United States. Fortuno lowered the corporate tax rate from 41% to 30% as well as cutting individual tax rates and since his actions, Puerto Rico’s deficit has shrunk from $3.3 billion to around $600 million. Granted, there are still some pressing issues in Puerto Rico that his detractors are quick to point out, but he is the first conservative governor of Puerto Rico since 1969 -- repairing the damage left by the wanton spending of the modern liberal will take longer than three years.

“These are not Washington cuts. Puerto Rico’s fiscal and economic operation was by far the worst in the country,” Fortuno says about his policy actions.

Fortuno also supports comprehensive immigration reform, securing our borders and enforcing current immigration laws. Like most libertarians, he does not support forced deportation of resident illegal immigrants.

Puerto Rico's infrastructure made New Jersey's infrastructure look pretty good (for those of you residing west of the Delaware River, that means that Puerto Rico's infrastructure was approaching Dresden circa 1945 levels of horribleness). In his efforts to reclaim Puerto Rico's infrastructure left after 40 years of non-conservative rule, Fortuno's policy has been to use private sector contractors for maintenance and improvement, which is both cheaper and far more efficient than public sector efforts.

Fortuno is a solid conservative and while some of his views diverge from libertarian policy, he is exactly the type of leader the GOP is starving for.

Why haven't you heard of him then?

Because the Left is deathly afraid of a Hispanic with conservative bona fides who has actually been successful implementing plans the Right understands the country needs and the Left realizes will destroy their power base.

The GOP (notice I didn't say "Right") is sort of like Baby Huey when it comes to embracing things it should embrace without much hesitation (how many times did Reagan have to run before the establishment GOP accepted him?). The good news is the Romney campaign has Fortuno on their radar for the veep slot.

The GOP should be fully vetting Mr. Fortuno as you read this -- they refrain from doing so at their own peril. Forget his race, or ethnicity, or whatever it is you people insist of cubbyholing people with...there may be few more qualified running mates for Romney than Luis Fortuno (even though Fortuno is prohibited from voting in the presidential election).