This page, in the spirit of The Federalist Papers, contains letters to editors and articles that have been published in several newspapers, mostly local to the Albany New York area but national in scope. The purpose of this endeavor is to chronicle for posterity my efforts to restore and advance the cause of Individual Liberty as fully as my faculties allow and by the Grace of God.
David Richard Crawmer
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5-29-2017 Taxing Ownership
The more I learn about Ben Franklin, the more I appreciate his role in the founding of our nation. Most of us know of his printing press. Fewer know about the genius of his efficient planning and organization methods that people still utilize daily. People who are learned in politics will know that he very portentously described our form of government as “a republic – if you can keep it”.
But it seems as if very few of our nation’s leaders know of or respect Franklin’s admonition that one of the most patriotic things a citizen can do is to own real estate.
The core of all versions of socialism is some form of government control or ownership. Classical socialism is defined as government control of the means of production through its ownership. This of course is now widely known to be unworkable, although some despotic regimes like those of North Korea and Venezuela still employ it.
Modern interpretations of socialism still require government control but not necessarily through direct ownership. Owning a business or anything material for that matter (including real estate) has responsibilities and a risk of losing that ownership if it isn’t managed responsibly. Hence socialism’s inevitable failure.
The way that new socialism’s variants get around direct ownership is to simply tax what the people own. That way the government avoids the loss of ownership while enjoying the benefits and maintaining control. Using taxation to control what government doesn’t own deprives citizens of the benefits and value of ownership while leaving them the responsibility.
Who would want to own something of no value? Can a nation, or a state like New York, survive if survival depends on taxing the ownership of something people can avoid owning?
What happens when property taxes get so high that they devalue the property? This is the situation that New York State property owners are dealing with, many of whom are simply moving out of state.
Real estate in New York is losing value. Don’t confuse value with price. The price of real estate is its value plus costs; things like taxes, interest and insurance. If you start out with a value of $100k and pay $100k in interest and taxes, you will have to sell the property for $200k just to break even.
When taxes continue to rise as they have in New York, they account for an increasing percentage of the cost of the property. The only way to offset the increased cost and maintain value is to inflate the price of the property. New York property owners, those who’ve chosen to stay, have been stuck in this vicious cycle for decades. Their property taxes have doubled over the term of their mortgage. Their property valued at $100k now has $200k in interest and taxes over time but the selling price has been stifled because it no longer has equity value. People will invest their $100k in another state where it can be the traditional equity building nest-egg they seek.
God bless the wise New Yorkers who vote with their feet but this leaves stalwarts with another dilemma. Even if government spending leveled off, the cost to individual taxpayers would continue to rise as there will be fewer of them. A primary factor in government spending is school budgets and they aren’t leveling off. How could they when they are the product of a perverted democratic voting process that Ben Franklin warned us about. You cannot keep a republic when the consumers of the taxes they are voting for increasingly outnumber the tax producers who are leaving.
Another thing, not that you need to be more discouraged but when the government gives tax breaks to out-of-state businesses to relocate to states like New York, we aren’t going to get businesses from low-tax states. We get cronyism. We get businesses, mostly corporations, from other high-tax areas that will very likely relocate again once the tax breaks end. They might stay if the competitive advantage they get by not paying taxes leads to the closure of the disadvantaged native Main Street and family businesses so that the carpet-baggers can then inflate their prices to pay the taxes after they have extinguished that competition.
5-1-17 Just Say "NO" to Voter Apathy
May 16th is the day that registered voters in New York get to vote for or against a tax increase for their public school district. But very few people actually bother to take the time to do so.
We know that all the employees of the schools will be out to vote themselves a salary increase and that most of the families of children in school will be voting for it as well. But only a small percentage of other voters will take the time, even though the school budget is the only example of direct democracy they can actually engage in.
The school property tax in New York is the largest tax most people have to pay. It's a tax that, unlike the income tax, doesn't consider your ability to pay. You have to pay the tax on the property in which you live even if you happen to be out of work, retired, sick or took a pay cut. Even if you took a huge tax hit to pay for the mandatory ObamaCare insurance you couldn't afford you will still have to pay the school tax increase that your wealthy neighbors vote for. New York residents are the most oppressed taxpayers in the nation. Many have taken to voting with their feet. Why do so many abstain from participation in the only annual event that they can directly vote against a tax increase?
People are made to feel that they would be evil and hateful for voting against what public school unions and administrators say is needed to provide the children with a quality education. So, they either vote "YES" ... or don't vote at all, which isn't much different.
You voted "YES" for decades and the budgets always passed but the quality of education has not improved or has declined.
You voted "NO" last year because you couldn't afford another tax increase but the budget passed anyway so why bother. (That's pure democracy - where the rich can vote to tax the poor)
You voted "NO" and the budget failed but was repackaged and re-voted with little or no changes and passed on the second attempt.
You voted "NO" and an austerity budget was put in place that was not exactly austere.
The state implements a 2% tax cap but your local tax assessor increases your assessment so your taxes still go up.
The state implements a 2% tax cap but allows districts to present "Capital Improvement" bond propositions that will likely be used to bolster the maintenance funds they had to sacrifice in the budget.
I can't blame you if none of this inspires you to get out and vote "NO". You're a good person and you have an innate trust that you project onto those in the teaching profession. Most of them are also good people but stuck in a broken system they have no control over.
So vote "NO" on May 16th as a statement of no confidence in the system.
Vote “NO” to show that you are watching.
Vote "NO" to take a stand against the rich passing tax increases that the poor must pay.
4-13-17 FREE & Worth Every Penny
New York now has “FREE” college courtesy of Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Sound too good to be true? Of course, it’s another Liberal Democrat contrivance.
We’ve had decades of public school property tax increases depriving high school graduates of the job opportunities necessary to retain them as tax producing residents and now we have a “free college” scheme which requires they LIVE & WORK in NY after they graduate.
Here’s a question: Will those who graduate with a useless liberal arts degree under this plan be funneled into a state job that further exacerbates the imbalance between tax producers and tax consumers?
This plan is so convoluted that it’s hard to see how it could benefit anyone… except for the Governor who thinks it will boost his Presidential bid.
The “free” isn’t free if you must pay it back by sacrificing your opportunities post-graduation. It also isn’t free when you consider state college students’ room & board, fees, books and supplies are double the cost of the free tuition. They’ll give you $6300 worth of tuition but you still have to pay $12590 room and board. And don’t think the books & supplies cronies don’t see an opportunity to raise their prices beyond the outrageous levels they’re currently getting (reported to currently be well over $1000).
Like all “free” stuff liberals offer to rich corrupt cronies and poor inexperienced voters, Cuomo’s tax-free zones and jobs schemes have proven huge wastes of taxpayer monies and this free college scheme is no different.
Keep this in mind May 16th when you vote on your school district’s multi-million dollar capital improvement project that they pitch by claiming “the state” will pay for it. You, your family, friends and neighbors will be paying the bill just by staying in New York.
Vote “NO” at the booth now or with your feet later.
3-18-17 The Changing Political Climate
We’ve just come off of 8 years of relative quiet regarding the politics of “climate change”. That’s all about to change.
In order to understand why, you have to realize that climate change is not a scientific term but a political one and that the pundits and politicians who promote it are leftists.
During President Obama’s reign, these environmental leftists had a benefactor in control of their grant money. They didn’t have any reason to expose their unscientific “settled science” proclamation to scrutiny.
With the new administration’s promise to ease the business community’s federal tax and regulatory burden, all the left’s political antagonists like Bill Nye for example, are gearing for war.
You would think with all the tax money these climate scientists have had at their disposal to date, they would have been able to prove their theory of “man-made climate change”. They haven’t… because there’s nothing to prove. They live off their grant money by giving politicians a “crisis” to exploit for the political contributions that complete their symbiotic cycle of mutual dependency. If they or any of the other left-wing antagonists were to solve their respective problems, they would break their fiscal cycle and be out of a job.
Notice how the climate change industry’s promoters conflate the terms “climate change” and “man-made climate change”. We all know that climate change exists… it never stops changing. The changes, for better and for worse, are the only constant. The industry of climate change is the only thing man-made.
They easily get everyone to agree to one because it’s the truth, then they assume fealty to the other. Bait and switch is what scammers do to their victims. Don’t become a victim.
3-12-17 Trump Ain’t No Bush
Let’s play connect the devious Democrat dots and get a glimpse into how our shadow government (A.K.A. the “deep state”) operates.
Before the November election, the New York Times reported that the Trump campaign was being investigated for colluding with the Russians to influence the election. It turns out that it was a lie and Mr. Trump knew it.
Others who knew it was a lie were the liars themselves. If he had actually colluded with the Russians and his adversaries were listening to him doing it, they would do more than just leak accusations about it in the NY Times.
To call them out, Mr. Trump went on offense and circumvented the MSM enablers by using social media (Twitter) to accuse the Democrats of hacking his phone.
Well now the devious Democrats have been snared in their own web of deceit. The Obama administration used dubiously acquired FISA warrants to eavesdrop on Russians who were conversing with a lot of people including the Trump campaign. The Obama Administration had illegally engaged in an unwarranted phishing expedition that turned up nothing. They had no probable cause to seek the warrant but the temptation of securing the electoral victory for Hillary was worth the minimal risk of being caught. After all, the feckless Republicans never fight back. At least that’s what they thought… but Trump ain’t no Bush.
Now that the Democrat’s illegal political activity has been exposed, the MSM has dropped the Trump\Russia collusion narrative like a hot potato.
This whole sordid Democrat mess reminds me of the shadow government’s Valerie Plame affair in which the NY Times played the key role of running an editorial written by Plame’s husband, Democrat Party hack Joe Wilson.
Wilson was a former Ambassador who was sent by the CIA to try to get to the bottom of George W. Bush’s claim that Iraq “sought” uranium to make WMDs. Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA.
Wilson claimed he had proof that George Bush lied about WMDs to justify invading Iraq. But the only so-called “proof” he came back with was that Iraq hadn’t actually “bought” such uranium. But there’s a huge difference between “sought” and “bought”.
The Democrats and their willing accomplices in the MSM used the factually unsupported accusation to launch a special investigation that they hoped would unseat President Bush. They didn’t have proof that Bush lied. In fact they had proved that he hadn’t lied… but that didn’t stop them from pushing the false narrative to gain a political advantage
Mr. Bush went on defense and complied with an investigation that did nothing more than ruin the career of Scooter Libby… just as this current witch-hunt has ruined that of Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.
With no truth to the claim that Bush lied, the Plame affair investigation was transformed into a witch-hunt to determine who actually leaked Valerie Plame’s job at the CIA. Many Republicans were accused and it was a huge news story right up until the day that it was reported that the actual leaker of Plame’s identity was a fellow anti-war member of the shadow government by the name of Richard Armatige. The fake news MSM immediately dropped the story and they’re doing the same thing now. But they have yet to recognize that they have been supplanted by the real news of the new interactive social media.Having the truth on your side is the only way to survive a legal attack. It’s also the only way to win when you’re the attacker. Truth is both a sword and a shield. Trump must stay on offense and DRAIN THE SWAMP.
1-9-17 Celebrities & Liberalism - Understanding the Connection
Actors live by projecting their emotions. Their fame hinges on their ability to express their emotions so convincingly that you see yourself in the role they play.
It’s that emotional quotient that makes them an integral part of political brainwashing and ideological indoctrination.
All a politician need do is suggest that their goal is benevolent and kind and that anyone who disagrees is malevolent and hateful.
Once they have that emotional connection there is little chance that reason will prevail.
If a politician can convince a famous actor to carry the torch of the policy they want to advance, they can reach a lot more people and they don’t have to worry about explaining how their policy is supposed to work or in most cases, why it never works.
The actor speaks and the singer sings and their audiences can do naught but listen. They leave no room for rebuttal. It’s not just an expedient way to advance a political goal but often the only way as is the case with policies that defy logic.
Essentially, actors are being used. They are playing a part and the script is a work of fiction that someone else wrote. They may think they have taken an independent stand of their own volition and they’re far too vane to convince otherwise. Have pity on them.
Watch their shows and applaud their sorrow and joy. Then look elsewhere when you want to engage your mind and interact with intelligence.
12-23-16 Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Security Fraudster
A friend of mine is a Bernie Sanders supporter who thinks that all we have to do to save Social Security is to raise the amount of taxes “the rich” pay into it. If you also have such a friend, here are a few points in rebuttal:
1st. Taxing some people more than others is immoral and unconstitutional.
2nd. BS says that the money you put into social security is yours. That's only half true. Your contribution is matched by your employer.
3rd. Employers (“the rich”) pay 100% of their own social security tax AND 50% of yours.
4th. Your employer also pays 100% of your workman's compensation insurance, disability insurance and unemployment insurance, all of which are routinely abused by employees.
5th. If you think that you are entitled to the money you put into the system, shouldn't your employers be entitled to theirs? By applying the tax to a larger percentage of the employers' income, you are forcing them to contribute vastly more than they are allowed to collect.
6th. Employers pay many other taxes that dwarf income and payroll taxes...property taxes are the most onerous...and not just for the rich. Whether you own or rent, you pay a school/property tax on your housing that is not based on your income. You will see your property tax go up when your school budget is passed by your wealthy neighbors. I just received a $2/month cost of living increase in my social security check at the same time that my monthly property tax escrow increased by $200.
7th. BS is a politician. He works with policies that have no bearing on the science of economics. His policies only have to be supported by a majority of voters who also do not consider factual realities.
8th. Economics is science.
9th. BS is BS.
12-17-16 The "Man-Made Climate Change" hoax
I went online this morning to check the weather and noticed a “news” article posted over on the right side of the webpage. The headline was: “How climate change is hurting ecosystems across the globe” and the first thing I thought was that I’ve seen how climate change is actually helping ecosystems first hand.
I’m not saying that mankind hasn’t directly harmed a number of ecosystems but there is a much greater amount of natural climate change occurring and it is both hurting and helping existing ecosystems.
The thing is, we have identified where we have done damage and taken steps to mitigate and reverse it. But there are far more natural changes occurring that we have no hope of countering, such as fissures deep in the ocean that are leaking infinitely more oil than what man has accidentally spilled.
Volcanoes, both above ground and under the oceans have created and destroyed ecosystems for as long as the Earth has existed. The Moon and Earth’s rotation and molten core cause air and water currents and continental shifts. And the Sun causes massive climate changes to every planet in the solar system.
Glaciers and the polar ice caps have destroyed more ecosystems than they have created. We can only guess what was under the glacier that created Lake George before it receded but we can see the life and beauty that developed after it was gone. The habitat that few plants and animals were able to adapt to became the much more vibrant ecosystem that we see today.
There’s nothing man can do to stop natural climate change…nor should we. What we can do is to be smart about the minute changes we effect as we turn inhospitable environments into human habitat. Let’s intelligently minimize the negative aspects of our existence without succumbing to the emotionally driven hyperbole that exemplifies today’s wack-a-doodle environmental movement.
The “majority of scientists” who insist that man is responsible are just trying to keep their grant money flowing.
They haven’t even met the criterion that establishes science. Consensus is not science. Real scientists develop a theory and then try to disprove it. If they cannot disprove their theory, it becomes a settled fact.
These climate scientists start with what they feel is settled and then provide only the data that supports it. They have even been caught purposefully deleting data that disproves their theory.
It’s a scam of mutual back-scratching between pseudo-scientists and crony politicians to turn taxpayer dollars into profit for their “non-profit” schemes. When you want to know the truth, just follow the money.
12/12/16 Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me again, shame on me.
Have you ever spoken to a victim of an Internet scam? I have because it’s my job. I hear stories every day of how a fake technician established trust with their victim for the express purpose of violating that trust.
The scammer will report a “problem” with your computer that really isn’t a problem and offer a “solution” that actually is a problem. The only thing they will clean out for you is your bank account.
When someone brings their computer to me and the first thing they say is either: “I got a call from a tech…” or “I called a tech support number that popped up…” That’s all I need to hear to know they’ve been the victim of a perpetrator of fraud.
The victim then proceeds to tell me what the fake technician initially said to gain their trust. I tell them that it was a lie. They then go into specific details and I have to tell them that each one was a lie. They say: “But but but” and I say: “Lie lie lie”. It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.
One day it dawned on me that these recent fake tech scams are just a small scale copy-cat of a much more tragic scam that’s been afflicting the American public for far longer.
The Main Stream Media are the original trust-violating scam artists… the original fake news sources. They have become a tool of the left for the express purpose of gaining and then violating your trust. They have spent decades inventing “problems” that fit nicely into their preconceived solutions.
If you’ve been a victim of these scams, don’t be embarrassed. Believing a lie doesn’t mean you’re stupid. You’re simply an honest person who assumes the same of others. Your honesty is a virtue that hones your ability to detect it in others and put your trust where it’s deserved. Recall that old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me again, shame on me. Discrimination isn’t always a bad word.
11/28/16 Electoral Emotions
President Elect Donald Trump has beaten the Democrats at their own game, using a powerful emotional quotient to gain patriotic voters’ unwavering loyalty.
EQ (as opposed to IQ) and the left's reliance upon it, is why our liberal population is losing its collective mind and acting irrationally right now. They let their emotions run their lives.
From Wikipedia: "Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capability of individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and to manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt environments or achieve one's goal(s)." Coleman, Andrew (2008). A Dictionary of Psychology (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199534067.
Our nation's liberal political faction has been playing with citizens' minds, using psychographic manipulation to attract them to emotional goals instead of intelligent goals.
Emotions have gotten plenty of politicians elected but that doesn’t make their policies work and that’s why our economy and society are currently in crisis.
President Obama in particular focused his election campaign on “hope and change” as opposed to specific actions that uninformed voters found hard to understand.
Voters who understood Mr. Obama’s plans to fundamentally alter government’s responsibility with citizens’ rights, and knew those plans would fail, were outnumbered by those who held deep passion for the President’s skin color.
This manipulation, this mind control, began in our public schools decades ago. The presence of school psychologists and use of psychotropic drugs are contributing factors.
It’s why Democrats are against school choice which would enable too many students to escape indoctrination.
Donald Trump’s voters have a passion for restoring law, order and fiscal responsibility in our government. They also have the intelligence to understand that accomplishing this will benefit all Americans of every orientation.
9/27/16 Freedom = Independence = Liberty
President Obama says we have POSITIVE and NEGATIVE liberties. Knowing what he means by this is key to understanding what he and the Democrats have been doing to our Constitution. In reality, there is no such thing as a "positive liberty"…it is a false premise offered simply to provide thin cover for violating the Constitution and our genuine rights.
Obama and a handful of conniving leftists have redefined the pure liberties in our Bill of Rights as a list of "negative" liberties. Liberty is passive and free for citizens to enjoy at their discretion as opposed to what leftists describe as active, positive liberties that the government must provide you with.
A positive liberty is an oxymoron. We have a right to pray, speak, defend ourselves etc., if we so choose. The government cannot force us to participate in those rights and they cannot subsidize them by providing us with a church, podium or gun. A positive liberty to pray would be one where the government provided the church and forced you to attend. Obama has used this contrived notion of positive liberty to justify forcing us to buy health insurance.
There is only one kind of liberty, just as there is only one definition of truth. Neither can be subdivided without becoming the opposite of the original. Independence is the liberty to seek health care through an insurance policy if we so choose.
When government decides you must receive health care by way of an insurance policy, it has taken away your liberty. When government gives you health insurance for free, it has made you dependent. When it makes someone else pay for your health insurance, it has deprived them of the means to exercise their own liberty.
“Positive” liberty is dependence for some, the subjugation of others and liberty for none.
9/11/16 Solidarity against Xerxes
There’s a big rift between the staunch “NeverTrump” conservatives and the rest of our country’s right-leaning voters. You see it in the social media trenches and all over talk radio. It’s reached the point where conservative icons Beck and Hannity are even at each other’s throats.
As I see it, Mr. Trump has been beating the Democrats at their own game, addressing key issues in a way that people connect with emotionally. Once he has his target audience’s heart, that audience is immune to the voice of reason. The problem with this tactic is that it also creates an emotional opposition… equally immune to voices of reason.
NeverTrump conservatives hate Mr. Trump for the way he disposed of Ted Cruz in the primary. I don’t know what it will take to moderate that hatred and redirect it. Maybe they need more time. Maybe they can take another look at some of Trump’s positions and find something there worth fighting for. There are a number of conservative positions that Cruz and Trump share. For me, the most important of them is the Second Amendment and School Choice…but the sad reality is that the entirety of our freedom is under assault by the left.
The “NeverTrump” conservatives are the same people who sat on their hands when it came to voting for McCain and Romney… but this time it’s personal. They passively disliked McCain and Romney just enough to hand the elections to Obama. Mr. Trump turned that passive dislike into an active hatred.
This whole thing reminds me of the movie “300” and the degree of difficulty involved in bringing Sparta and the rest of Greece together to defeat Xerxes. Human nature hasn’t changed all that much in 2500 years.
8/20/16 Response to a local leftist's Letter to the Editor
Truly bizarre! Nothing else can describe Michael Roland’s incoherent defense of socialism in his July 18th letter in The Advertiser. The title of his letter: “Democratic Socialism”, itself is oxymoronic. It does not exist. The terms are mutually exclusive. Like oil and water, when you try to mix the two, you get sludge.
Democracy is when people have choices. Socialism is when people don’t have choices. When people have choices, you have prosperity. Without choices, you have economic decline.
Mr. Roland lists national defense and voting rights as examples of socialism. Seriously? If I were a Democrat I would be embarrassed to share party affiliation with such a delusion. In the same list he includes a number of institutions that have been nearly destroyed by the steady creep of socialism including schools and a number of insurance schemes.
Our public schools have declined in quality and increased in cost in direct relation to the lack of choice required by socialism.
And then there’s mandatory health insurance. Insurance only works if people participate in it voluntarily. To have no choice but to buy insurance as the only way to get health care is a violation of all participants’ civil rights...it’s no longer free enterprise. When the government requires that “insurance” covers pre-existing conditions, it can no longer be called "insurance". And when someone else has to pay the premiums, it can no longer be called a "right". It’s just another socialist program that is doomed to failure. It is already rife with cronyism as insurance companies make deals with government to keep exchanges from collapsing…and that cronyism, that venture socialism, is what has been at the heart of the divide between the rich and the poor that Mr. Roland railed against.
Socialists are their own worst enemy. They stubbornly refuse to let conservatives save them from themselves.
7/22/16 Intentions and Consequences
There’s a lot of talk about “intent” lately since FBI director James Comey inferred no criminal intent on Hillary Clinton’s grossly negligent handling of classified information on her unsecured personal IT equipment.
Besides national security, another reason why public servants are supposed to use government IT equipment is so there is a record of what people in government have done. Mrs. Clinton knows this well because she led the charge to impeach President Nixon and acquire recorded evidence of what and when he knew about the Watergate scandal.
So, what was Mrs. Clinton’s intent? Was it to not put herself in the same position of leaving a discoverable trail of evidence that could get her in trouble...again?
The last time Mrs. Clinton was in the White House, she put together conferences of public and private sector people to design her national health care scheme. She was supposed to keep a record of who attended those conferences in order to prevent conflicts of interest and collusion. While she may have had knowledge of who was in attendance and may have known that it was illegal for some of the participants to be there in secret, she refused to provide that information even when it was demanded by a court.
Washington DC is filthy with corruption and it is absolutely unconscionable that the mainstream media that was so energetic in its pursuit of President Nixon would be silent or even complicit in the cover-up of Mrs. Clinton’s nefarious activities.
While Hillary uses lack of intent as cover for her actions, it seems as though intent is all that matters when Liberal Democrat policies result in failure.
Maybe we should disregard the stated intent these corrupt politicians provide when proposing bills that will clearly have negative consequences…just to be consistent.
7/13/16 Defining Socialism
I graduated high school about the same time that Bernie Sanders became a member of Socialist Party in Vermont in the early ‘70s. I remember my history teacher describing Socialism and how the people of Russia were trapped in that system.
Most memorable was the fact that they were not allowed to leave because that freedom would result in the mass exodus of most, if not all, of the country’s productive individuals. But they had social justice as we would call it today. Everyone was equal…equally poor.
As a consequence of their not having the freedom to leave, and having no incentive, motivation or ability to improve their lot in life, everyone became equally unproductive. The declining productivity caused shortages of goods and services to the point where the government had to borrow the revenue it needed in order to provide them. Over time, that massive borrowing led to their economy’s eventual collapse. Sound familiar?
Dictionary definitions of socialism, variations on government’s control of the means of production, have often been used to dismiss legitimate concerns that it was creeping into our institutions. But those definitions are simplistic.
For a broader understanding of socialism and the impossibility of its success, it’s necessary to read a few books on the subject; “Animal Farm” comes to mind right off the bat but a deeper understanding can be found in: “The Road To Serfdom” by Hayek. More recently, Robert Skidelsky wrote: “The Road From Serfdom”, which confirmed in my mind that Hayek was right and that socialism is nothing more than a state of perpetual economic decline. An easier read I highly recommend would be “Radical Son” by David Horowitz.
If reading books is too much to ask, I offer this simplistic definition: Nazi’s were National Socialists.
6/21/16 Knowing Truth Requires Healthy Cynicism
One of the biggest misunderstandings about the Democrat Party is what the party truly stands for as opposed to what Democrat politicians say they stand for.
The party of democracy means that the majority of voters and/or the voters’ representatives make the rules. It means that natural law and God’s law are not “inalienable” as stated in our Constitution. It means that the inferior laws of man supersede the laws of liberty and that equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities take a back seat to the illusion of equal outcomes…a.k.a. “social justice”.
If Democrat politicians were honest about what their party stood for, they would have to admit that they intend to overturn the Constitution that they swear to uphold and defend. They are getting close to that point. The popularity of a Democratic Socialist candidate among voters who don’t understand the science in law and economics is testament to the success of the socialists’ long-term, incremental approach to “fundamental transformation”.
Democrats have had success in transforming our 1st amendment right of free speech into one that is limited to what lawmakers allow. They say they are protecting the “rights” of minorities but the truth is that “hate speech” laws are just getting the camel’s nose under the tent. It’s just one step in their incremental approach to preventing journalists from speaking truth to power.
They have had more limited success trying to overturn our 2nd amendment right of self defense by being dishonest about the types of guns being used in high-profile crimes. Democrats’ goals in limiting gun ownership have nothing to do with keeping citizens safe from one another. The truth is that they intend to limit our ability to defend ourselves against the usurpation of the rest of our rights.
Be cynical. Be free.
5/24/16 The Rich Are Taxing The Poor
I’m sure you’ve seen more than a few “TAX THE RICH” bumper stickers but I’ll bet you've never questioned the duplicitous reality of such a policy.
Do you recall uber-rich icons Warren Buffett and John Kerry publicly suggesting they should be paying higher taxes? Did you ever think they were being a bit disingenuous…especially after John Kerry was caught trying to take possession of his new yacht in a state that mitigated his tax responsibility?
Does “free” education help the poor? Think about how school taxes are democratically decided, by way of a vote in which the people who can afford to pay higher taxes (the rich) vote YES to a tax increase that the people who vote NO (the poor) will have to pay.
Who votes for the Liberal, Socialist and Democrat politicians who promise free stuff? That would be the recipients of the free stuff, right? In order to get elected, these politicians have to promise free stuff to a majority of the voters. Who pays for the free stuff? That would be the minority of voters. This has the long term effect of increasing the ranks of those who become dependent on the free stuff and diminishing the ranks of those who pay for it.
What happens when the pool of independent tax producers is diminished to the point where it cannot create enough revenue to satisfy the demands of the dependent tax consumers and their political pimps? One thing that happens…and has been happening for quite some time, is the government borrows the money it needs to keep getting its pimps elected…and future generations have no democratic choice but to pay that debt or vote with their feet.
And that’s what you call today's Upstate New York.
5/18/16 Fundamental Transformation
What does it mean to be liberal?
At one point in recent history it was said that if a twenty year old person wasn’t liberal, he had no heart, but if by the age of thirty he was still a liberal, he had no brain. Previous generations described socialism the same way and that’s because liberalism has morphed into socialism.
The morphing of liberalism and socialism has not been a matter of happenstance. Classical liberalism used to be the opposite of socialism. If you listened today to the speeches of JFK in the sixties, you would think you were listening to Rush Limbaugh. The most notable example being: Ask not what your country can do for you (think, free health care and college) – ask what you can do for your country.
The rise of socialism in the United States has occurred due to the political abuse of democracy. In politics, democracy is nothing more than making a choice at the voting booth and politicians will offer you free stuff to get you to vote for them. In economics, democracy means having spending, investment and job choices.
Few remember that when Bernie Sanders entered politics in the early seventies it was as a member of the Socialist Party. The year after that, the party changed its name to the Democratic Socialist Party. It was simply a name change to make themselves sound more appealing to voters. They did not change their policies. Socialists do not offer economic choices. You must send your children to the nearest government school. You must buy health insurance. You must join a union if you want to be a teacher, etc.
Our nation is great because we are a republic, a nation of laws that limit the political abuses of democracy.
Vote Republican to restore economic democracy.
4/5/16 The Ben Franklin Presidency
If Donald Trump or Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination, who do you think would make for a good Vice-Presidential candidate? There have been more than a few pundits who’ve suggested that the best ticket for winning the general election would be a Trump/Cruz or Cruz/Trump ticket.
This makes perfect sense because of how well liked each of these candidates are by their base. The problem, or at least one of the problems with this ticket is that a lot of Cruz supporters really dislike Trump…and vice versa.
But let’s say the candidates and their supporters were to overcome that hurdle for the sake of The Republic. And let’s also say that they went on to win the general election. How might such an administration play out? God only knows but it’s an interesting exercise to venture a guess.
I look at Donald Trump as kind of a Benjamin Franklin…with maybe a little Patrick Henry mixed in. Would Ben Franklin have been a good President? He was essential to the creation of The Republic but while he knew a lot about how to broker the deal, he obviously left the system’s complexities to others.
Cruz on the other hand reminds me of a George Washington, Thomas Payne figure. He knows what it’s all about and has the determination to see it through. The Presidency of George Washington is a known commodity but I can also envision Cruz as a great Vice President restoring the role of President of the Senate.
Either of these men could make a great President. Each has a lot of what it takes but I think the more important question is: Do we as a people have what it takes to make America great again?
So, on the other side, which founders do Hillary and Bernie most remind you of? - Just kidding.
3/22/16 EDUCATION INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT
Albany lawmakers are working on proposals designed to provide income tax credits to individuals for donations made to education scholarship funds. The Education Investment Tax Credit a.k.a. the Parental Choice in Education Act, is a small step in the right direction but still, there is heavy union opposition.
Among those speaking against the proposals during a March 9th radio broadcast was Jasmine Gripper, described as a Statewide “Education” Advocate for the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE)…which is a completely misleading moniker as she and it only advocate for unionized public schools, as opposed to the “education” in their title which is supposed to encompass all pedagogical institutions.
Ms. Gripper started her rant by claiming that: “…our public schools are being starved for resources…” and “…it is absurd for the state to be giving away money to private and parochial schools.” But reality begs to differ.
First off, they aren’t “our” public schools. They are the government’s schools and they are fat with all the revenue the local property taxpayers have been able to muster and then some. It’s only non-union, non-government schools that have been starved for that funding. What is truly absurd is that the government’s compulsory and undemocratic unionized schools have received their vast amounts of revenue by way of an equally undemocratic school district budget voting process that enables the wealthiest property taxpayers to vote away the last dime of income from the poorest residents of their school district.
Secondly, it’s not the state that is “giving away money” that was destined for public school coffers. It’s the individual taxpayers giving away their own money and the tax credit that the donors receive is applied toward their state income tax payment which goes into the general fund and will have no impact on public school funding. The donor’s school property tax will be unaffected.
2/24/16 One Hoax Leads To Another
There’s a short video circulating the Internet this week featuring a washed up ignorant left-wing hack by the name of Robert Reich who pretends to be a college professor using a white-board to illustrate the things that make Ted Cruz a dangerous choice for President.
But to the trained eye, the video actually illustrates how the left operates; how they brainwash and indoctrinate their sheep.
The left has invested a great deal of time and energy as well as vast amounts of the public’s tax dollars in creating a voting base that believes their climate-change hoax. They aren’t at all pleased that they don’t have a Presidential candidate willing to run on that agenda.
The Democrat primaries thus far have had extremely low voter turn-out while the Republicans’ turn-out has been extremely high. So the climate-change hoaxters have set out to show the more malleable unprincipled politicians in this race that they can provide a base of voters… that their climate-change sheep can be a voting factor in relation to other issues.
The video has Mr. Reich looking straight into the camera, aghast and in all seriousness, telling his sheep that Ted Cruz actually believes the 2nd Amendment gives people the right to own a gun! OMG! Even worse; he doesn’t believe in climate change!
This is how the left has managed to compromise the center. They bring you into the fold on one issue and lay claim to your allegiance on all issues. If you are an environmentalist, you cannot also be pro-2nd amendment. If you are a feminist, you cannot be pro-life. If you are a scientist, you cannot believe in God…and on and on with every issue.
They think their voters are stupid. Are you?
2/9/16 PRAGMATISM – THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
As we get further into this presidential primary season, many of the candidates are adjusting the focus of their campaigns to illustrate how they are different from each other.
Each candidate has principles that define them and differentiate them from the others. In the case of Bernie Sanders, he is an avowed socialist. Hillary Clinton describes herself as a progressive.
But if you were watching CNN on TV last week, you would hear Sanders described as an idealist and Clinton as the pragmatist.
In order to characterize Mrs. Clinton as a pragmatist, CNN would have to consider principles that they believe she would be justified in abandoning for the sake of winning the election.
As for characterizing Mr. Sanders as an idealist, CNN’s ideals ought to be American ideals, not those of the defunct U.S.S.R.
On the Republican side, we have a three-way race between Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. Each of whom has been ascribed varying degrees of pragmatism, idealism and conservatism.
Mr. Cruz is considered an idealist but his are the conservative ideals of the United States’ Constitution, which is based on the ideals of our Creator.
Mr. Rubio is also a conservative but considered pragmatic in the sense that he is willing to compromise a principle in order to implement a policy that his opposition’s idealists will agree to.
I won’t be considering Mr. Trumps principles because he has yet to specify them with any consistency. But he can be considered the most pragmatic because of how malleable he will be with the opposition.
Voters will essentially be asked to decide whose ideals to endorse and whose to compromise; those of man or those of Man’s Creator.
2/5/16 MAKING THE CASE FOR AN ABORTION
Well, the presidential primary season is upon us and all political insiders are working overtime to align the public in their direction. And what a colorful array of characters we have in the mix this time.
Leading the field of “colorful” is The Donald. I don’t know his middle name but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Charisma. He’s been doing a great job of energizing the voters and setting the agenda. If it weren’t for him we would be falling asleep while Jeb Bush and Bernie Sanders drone on about free college and housing for illegal immigrants and Syrian refugees.
He’s also been slaying the left’s political correctness. In doing so he has cleared the field of those mines for all the other candidates. He’s showing them that they shouldn’t be afraid to shout the truth to the PC Paper-Tiger. He’s essentially been doing down-field blocking for the statesman who will take the ball to the goal.
But sooner or later, Mr. Trump will have to get out of the way…he’s not the one carrying the ball. At this point, after the Iowa caucuses when other candidates are trying to get their substantive messages to prospective voters, Mr. Trump is trying to redirect voters’ attention with superficial gamesmanship.
Just like political correctness, superficial gamesmanship is the left’s baby and Hillary Clinton is its mid-wife. He might be able to beat her at that game but this truly is a case where I would be in favor of an abortion. I think we can do without all that crying and poop.
1/30/16 COLD IS THE NEW WARM
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and every other left-wing politician use democratic principles to get elected, make laws and guide their tax policies.
But America is not a democracy. We have a Constitution that prohibits democratic principles. Our laws are not derived from the will of the majority.
Our Constitution is the center of all our principles and laws. Politicians and voters who use the Constitution as the guide to their principles, policies and laws occupy the center of the political spectrum. They are not right-wing extremists.
The creation and use of the term “right-wing extremist” has been a devious ploy used by left-wing extremists to undermine the Constitution.
Imagine you have political aspirations that require the implementation of principles, policies and laws that are prohibited by the Constitution. How would you go about getting elected by a majority of voters? You would have to be devious, wouldn’t you?
You would have to project your extremism unto your opposition. If you are to the political left and know that the majority of voters occupy the political center, you’ll have to move the center line in your direction.
If the Constitution was considered a temperature benchmark, it would be seventy two degrees. If you are cold but want people to think you are warm, you would have to convince them that seventy two degrees is hot. You know that the Constitution will always be warm but you only have to change peoples’ perception. You would always refer to warm as extremely hot...dittos for warm voters and politicians.
Over time, through relentless “it’s too hot” propaganda, you will convince the majority that cold is the new warm.
Now you just have to figure out how to stop their teeth from chattering.
1/24/16 TESTING TEXTING
One of the first books I read when I entered the education reform movement twenty years ago was: Why Johnny Can’t Read. It detailed the progressive public school establishment’s experiment with a new theory of how reading should be taught known as “whole word”.
The progressive education movement was, and still is, no different than every new generation that tries to make its mark by rejecting and replacing the previous generation’s ideas. In the case of how reading was taught, the progressives rejected the time-honored method known as “phonics”.
What they failed to understand was that most of what is time-honored is such because it is the best way. They also didn’t understand that many new ideas aren’t new at all…just new to them. The problem with today’s generation of progressives is that their carefully cultivated self esteem doesn’t allow them to admit they were wrong.
Progressive schools aren’t the only culprit in the decline of Americans’ reading ability. We can also find unwitting fault in video entertainment. Watching a video is a lot easier than reading. A picture is worth a thousand words so moving pictures ought to be worth a million words.
The down-side is that reading requires thought. Watching a video is thoughtless and can often misrepresent the truth.
Another culprit I’ll bet you never gave a thought to is the personal computer. Our first computers required their users to have the ability to read and write. Their operating systems were DOS based and you had to know and type written commands before you could use a program. The advent of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) a.k.a. windows made it so anyone could click on a picture to open a program. There’s no need to be able to read.
With very reduced need for reading, we naturally have less need for writing. With less need for writing, our schools have moved away from handwriting in favor of keyboarding. There’s less emphasis on spelling, vocabulary and grammar as well.
Is it any wonder students have fallen behind on standardized tests?
1-1-16 Liberties - 1st & 2nd Amendments, Healthcare & Education
President Obama has recently made the claim that as a professor of Constitutional law, he knows something about the 2nd amendment. Well, there are more than a few Constitutional professors who not only know more about the Constitution, they know pretty much the opposite of what Mr. Obama “knows”.
In order to understand the perspective that the President holds with regard to our Constitutional rights, we have to look back to his early assertions that our liberty, a.k.a. freedom, comes in two varieties; positive and negative.
In plain terms, liberty is a human individual’s activity devoid of government. A negative liberty is happiness in the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints. A positive liberty is the seeking of such happiness. The government has no role in either except to insure that no citizen deprives another of such. Our Constitution expressly prohibits the deprivation or provision of happiness by the government. It can provide for the general welfare, not for individual’s welfare.
The theory that human beings possess positive and negative liberties was espoused by very few philosophers before our Constitution was created. None of our founding documents entertain the theory and Mr. Obama seems to consider that to be a fundamental flaw, one of his unspecified “failed policies of the past” and one that he intends to rectify as part of our fundamental transformation. In hindsight it seems to be a key position that should have been discussed in more detail at the time. But decades of dumbing down has created a philosophically illiterate electorate incapable of understanding little more than “Hope & Change”.
The President wrongly believes in positive liberties being a subtype that must be provided by the government; we have a “right” to health care so it must be provided by the government…dittos for education. Is it a right if we have no choice?
Can you think of any other “positive liberties” that our Creator has endowed us with?
Freedom of speech is a fundamental liberty. Should the government provide us with a podium or microphone or the means to purchase such to enable the achievement of our liberty? If so, where would the means come from?
The government doesn’t have the means (money) so they would have to tax someone, another citizen, and that is when the theoretical negative liberty becomes a positive liberty. As a subsidized positive liberty, the facilitation of one citizen’s speech would have to be at the expense of another’s.
Liberty is independence. As such we have the right to speech and are free to act on our desire to speak, if we so choose. If the government were to consider free speech to be a positive right, in the vein of health care and education, we would be compelled to speak even if we chose not to. If we applied this notion of two types of liberties to our other Constitutional rights, it’s easy to see that it is a fundamentally flawed theory. A positive liberty to bear arms would compel the ownership of a weapon provided by the government at taxpayer expense. A positive freedom of religion would require public worship in public places.
Subdivisions of liberty are inferior to primary liberty. The notion of a superior “positive liberty” is a duplicitous construct of the statist/collectivist mind. A subsidized liberty for one citizen is a tax on another. Being as we are all equal, and liberty has no cost, it is not possible to tax all citizens equally to provide equal liberties. To be provided with a liberty is to be made dependent…the positive liberty becomes an oxymoron and anathema to the Constitution. Mr. Obama’s stated opinion of the primacy of liberty and actions in pursuit of inferior liberties not specifically expressed in our Constitution do not comport with upholding and defending it. He is violating his oath and impeaching himself.