Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mitt Romney's Top Eleven Bizarre Beliefs

Let me begin this by stating that I'm a member of an organization that believes a Jewish prophet once made an axe head float, that another man was once reprimanded by his donkey, and that if we eat some Ritz crackers and drink some Welch's grape juice, it kinda represents the body and blood of God and we become more like him.  I'm what is called a "Baptist".

I have other friends who believe that it is best to get the virgin Mary involved if you want to communicate with Jesus.  They believe that when they eat the Ritz and Welch's, it literally becomes the body and blood of God, instead of just a symbol.  They are called "Catholics".     
My daughter believes that it's a good idea to split 10's against a dealer Ace.  She is what is called "lucky".   

We all have our quirks. 

Mitt Romney, who announced his candidacy for the presidency a few days ago, has his quirks.  Mr. Romney is a member of the LDS church, AKA the Mormons. 

Mitt has some strange beliefs relative to the irrefutable spiritual opinions that the rest of us hold.  As Mark Twain once said about the Christian Scientists, "he is no more insane than the rest of us.  But he is more picturesquely insane than some of us." 

Here are Romney's Top Eleven Bizarre Beliefs, courtesy of  (The eleventh came from elsewhere). 

References to "D and C" are to the Mormon book of "Doctrine and Covenants". 

10. Tithing


While tithes are not uncommon among religion, rarely are they mandatory. LDS theology states that in order to make it to the highest kingdom of heaven, you must pay a full and honest tithe.

D and C 119: 3-63 And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.

4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.

5 Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.

6 And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you.

9. Pleasure in Life


This is one of the most famous pieces of LDS doctrine. It’s also the cause of many myths about Mormons. Basically; no coffee, no drugs, no tobacco.

D and C 89: 5-13
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.

6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.

7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.

9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—

11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

8. Spirits


This one is very unique to the LDS faith. Basically, everyone on earth now was a spirit in the pre-existence. When we die, our spirits are separated from our bodies and if we were good they go to “spirit paradise.” If we were bad they go to “spirit prison.” The spirit world exists as a place for spirits to go while awaiting the second coming.

D and C 138: 8-14
8 “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

9 “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:18—20.)

10 “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6.)

11 As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great.

12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;

13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name.

14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

7. Modern Revelation


Almost everyone who knows anything about the Mormon religion knows they have a prophet. What many don’t know, is anything that the prophet says in official capacity is considered official canon.

D and C 43: 2-9
2 For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations from my hand.

3 And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.

4 But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.

5 And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments;

6 And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me.

7 For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.

8 And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

9 And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me—

6. Jesus visited the Americas


The Book of Mormon is a book of LDS scripture that takes place during the same time as the Bible and takes place on the American continent. It follows the stories of two tribes who descended from the family of Lehi. After Jesus’ resurrection LDS people believe he visited the peoples of the Americas.

3 Nephi 11: 7-12
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.

8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

11 And behold, I am the alight and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.

5. The Nature of God


While most religions believe in God, the LDS religion believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate beings. They also believe that God, Jesus and resurrected beings have bodies of “flesh and bone.”

D and C 129:1-5
1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—

2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.

4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.

5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.

D and C 130: 22-23
22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.

4. Priesthood


In the LDS religion any worthy male can be given the priesthood and is given specific duties. Black people were not allowed to have the priesthood until 1978. Females are not allowed to have the priesthood.

D and C 107: 1-51 There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.

2 Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.

3 Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.

4 But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.

5 All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood.

Official Declaration – 2, 1978
Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

3. Multiple Heavens


In LDS doctrine there are three heavens: the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial is the highest, where God and the ones who followed his law reside. The Terrestrial is the middle, where people who followed the Law of Moses reside. The Telestial is the lowest, where the ones who followed carnal law reside.

D and C 76: 94-98
94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;

95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.

96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.

97 And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one.

98 And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;

2. Forgiveness


In LDS theology you can be forgiven for any sin, save two. First, denying the Holy Spirit, and second, murder. Also, God is infinitely forgiving, until the second coming. After that, you end up where you end up, no matter what. There are no second chances. Period.

D and C 76: 43-45
43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

44 Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—

45 And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;

D and C 18: 42
18 And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.

D and C 76: 111-112
111 For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared;

112 And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.

1. Multiple Worlds and Multiple Gods


This deserves some explanation. Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.

D and C 76: 2424 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

D and C 93: 10
10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.

Moses 1: 33
33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.

D and C 76: 108
108 Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever.

D and C 131: 1-5
1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];

3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

5 (May 17th, 1843.) The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.

Ok, those are Mitt Romney's Top 10 Bizarre Beliefs. 
But there's one more.....

11.  Man-made Global Warming

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change.

“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”…

In addressing climate change and energy policy, Romney called on the United States to break its dependence on foreign oil, and expand alternative energies including solar, wind, nuclear and clean coal.

Notice that he didn't say "Climate Change", or cover his bets in any way.  Mr. Romney is accustomed to ridicule and doubled down on "Global Warming".  I applaud his courage. 

If Romney had stopped his press conference to advocate prayer as a means of changing the weather, he would have been ridiculed mercilessly. 

But Mitt supports wind power in an effort to change the weather.  Boldy, and without blinking.  No one in the mainstream media will criticize him for this, no one will compare goals with results, and no one will laugh.  But you can bet your ass that the Mainstream Media will ask Romney if he really believes that Jesus once came to America.  
Putting up windmills is a colossal waste, and future generations will look back on our new west Texas windmills the way we look at putting gargoyles on the sides of cathedrals, burying New Age crystals in your house foundation, or any other superstition.
Wind power is almost like being a Baptist.  Parts of it are silly, but nobody laughs. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Columbia Missouri SWAT team is still breaking into homes and shooting dogs

For those of you with limited time, go ahead and forward to the 5 minute mark.
This is from the Keep Columbia (Missouri) Free website.

This is a video of the Columbia, MO SWAT team serving a search warrant for marijuana on 03.07.2008 at the home of Mr. Jonathan March.

According to Attorney Dan Viets, “Mr. March had no prior felony convictions” at the time of the raid and he did “possess firearms which were absolutely legal and constitutionally protected.”

During the raid, 5 concussion grenades were exploded in and around the home. One of the grenades exploded near the feet of the young lady visitor, seen in the video, who, at the time, was seated on the couch. Two additional grenades were exploded subsequent to the arrest on the premise that the CPD needed to prove that the previous 5 grenades had done no damage. The grenades left clear charred remains on the carpet and other areas of the home.

During sworn testimony taken by Viets, the SWAT officers who executed this raid acknowledged that they had shot to death two dogs with their machine guns. Both dogs were shot in the back while retreating. One of the dogs is shot at around the 6:30 mark in the video as an officer tops the stairs, passes a suspect on the floor, and steps into a bedroom. You can see a glimpse of the dead dog as the officer stands in the doorway. The dog is obviously facing away from the officer. At 6:55 you can see another injured dog struggling in the hall.

It is important to note that this raid took place before Chief Ken Burton accepted his position with the CPD. Due to the overwhelming public outcry stemming from a more recent yet similar raid under his command, Chief Burton has, for the time being, reigned in the use of his SWAT team to serve search warrants for non-violent crimes and criminals.

While the prevalence of violent, paramilitary raids has waned in Columbia, this type of raid is happening somewhere in the United States right now. Please speak out against this government sanctioned domestic terrorism.

This next one is the real heartbreaker. 
Do we really want to be a nation that allows local Barney Fife police officers to dress up like Seal Team 6 and bust in on people who are engaging in a voluntary, victimless activity?  Isn't it now safe to say that this is nothing but a jobs program for police, jailers, the prison industry, counselors, probation and parole officers, and their suppliers? 
History would be a lot different if this had happened to Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry, Mitch Daniels, or any other politician who has admitted to smoking weed. 

When are we going to stop paying people to do this? 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Charlie Robison at 8.0's in downtown Fort Worth

Because God loves me, and wants me to be happy, I got to hear one of my heroes do an all-acoustic show at 8.0's in downtown Fort Worth last night. 
Yes, Charlie Robison took on human flesh and dwelt among us. 

Thanks to the generosity of The Aggie, I'd heard him with his new band about a month and a half ago, for something like the 12th time.  But this was the first time I'd been to an all-acoustic show. 

The hairy guy backing Charlie up was excellent. 
The sound system was excellent. 

Charlie did all of his standard schtick: Lots of Fake Irish Dancing in the crowd for "John O'Reilly", inviting some ladies to sing with him on "The Wedding Song", and and getting the crowd to sing along during "Loving County". 

In the middle of everything, just to prove that he could, he threw in a couple of Steve Miller songs. 

I was close enough to the stage to touch the hem of his garments

It was a great, great time.  Charlie's music makes me glad to be alive. 

Here's Mr. Robison doing an acoustic version of "John O'Reilly".

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A letter to my unborn grandchildren about ObamaCare ®.

To my grandchildren, who probably won't be born until around the year 2020,

By the time you're old enough to care anything about reading this, I'll probably be dead.  Please come see me at Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.  If things go as planned I won't be in a grave, but in a Sepulchre - ideally, a very white one. 

There's a kid named Josh Ritter whose music I really like.  If he's still alive and still making music, could you please drop by and play some of his new CD's in the cemetery for me?  Or his MP3's?  Or 8-tracks?  Or whatever people are now using to play music?  It doesn't matter. 

The reason I'm leaving you this message is that I want you to understand how good we had it in the U.S. in the year 2011.    I'm afraid that my generations is not going to leave you very much to work with.  (This is off-topic, but on behalf of my generation, I apologize for leaving you with that massive national debt.  I hope your Chinese creditors are going easy on you, and allowing you to work it off on the weekends.)
Back to my point....Several months ago, the U.S. government passed a set of regulations that we're calling ObamaCare ®.   Our previous system had its faults, among which were over-regulation, insurance not being allowed to cross state lines, and excessive credentialing.  But people came here from all over the world for medical treatment. 

During this same time period (I'm writing this in June of 2011, and I have no idea what kind of device you'll be using to read this in 2035),  England's socialized medical system had a goal of getting people into their emergency rooms in four hours.  That's four hours from the time a patient showed up until they were admitted, transferred, died, or were discharged.  Yeah, people died outside while waiting to be admitted to National Health Service hospitals.  The British government had a goal of treating all patients in 18 weeks.  (To us, this is a ridiculously long period of time.)  One British guy that I've corresponded with a few times has started something called the National Death Service blog.

For reasons that I still don't understand, we decided to imitate the British system.  Once again, on behalf of my generation, I apologize. 

Just so you'll believe these things once existed, here are some pictures of billboards advertising the emergency room services of American hospitals in the Year Of Our Lord 2011.  Our 2011 hospitals actually bragged about their short waiting times !!   At the time this picture was taken (using a primitive device we called a camera), the waiting time at this hospital's emergency room was 13 minutes. 

Think of how long you now have to wait and wait and wait to see the government-approved doctor for your zip code.  Compare that agony to this:

   Don't you wish that your U.S. Government hospitals still had to compete for your business? 

I hope you kids are doing well, and are staying healthy, and don't need hospitals.

Once again, sorry about that national debt.  I bitched and moaned about it online and tried to get people to vote Libertarian.  It was the best I could do. 

There was another guy named John Prine whose music I really liked.  If you could find his CD called "Bruised Orange" and play it outside my sepulchre, I'd appreciate it.   

I wish I could see you now,

Your Grandfather


I don't know if these links will work in the year 2035, but the billboard pictures came from here and here and here and here and here

Here's John Prine doing "That's The Way The World Goes Round" from that "Bruised Orange" CD.  I really liked this song.   

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This week in superstition

A teenaged Muslim girl was stoned to death about a week ago.  She had participated in a beauty contest. 

An Egyptian general recently admitted that female anti-Mubarak protesters "had to submit to virginity tests."

An Iranian cleric has examined the Koran and determined that killing Israeli children is ok. 

The Reverend Doctor Albert Mohler of Southern (Baptist) Seminary in Louisville KY  has condemned the Presbyterians for ordaining gays and lesbians. 

The picture of the cat who happened to be born black came from here. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ron Paul's most "extreme" positions

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man" - George Bernard Shaw

Mother Jones magazine recently took Ron Paul to task for being too extreme.  (As if there's a painless and moderate way to get out from under a 14 trillion dollar debt.)

Here are Dr. Paul's beliefs that made Mother Jones run for the smelling salts, along with additional commentary on my part. 

1. Eviscerate Entitlements: Believes that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unconstitutional, and has compared the failure of federal courts to strike them down to the courts' failure to abolish slavery in the 19th century.

People of good will can indeed argue that the constitution's General Welfare clause gives Congress enough wiggle room to collect their party money via Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid contributions.  And all of those funds will be out of money by the time I retire.  The constitutionality of those programs is irrelevant.  Our government will never, ever use the money responsibly, and the contributions to those funds went to other programs ages ago.  This one is irrelevant, and the sooner I'm allowed to put my own money into my own retirement fund, the better off I'll be.  The sooner you can do the same for yourself, the better off you'll be. 
It takes a lot of humility to admit that I have no idea what is best for you.  I wish that our Washington Lords and Masters felt the same way. 
This one is a moot point. 

2. Lay Off Half His Cabinet: Wants to abolish half of all federal agencies, including the departments of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor.

Ok, let's beat hook the winch and the chain hoist up to this dead horse and drag it out of the bushes for another beating. 

Since its founding, the Department of Education has almost doubled education expenses and test scores haven't budged. 

Since its founding (to decrease our dependence on foreign oil) the Department of Energy has spent billions and our foreign oil purchase percentage is within 1% of where they started. 

The Department of Agriculture gives subsidies to some of the wealthiest people in the nation.  They also support ethanol subsidies.  For this alone, their building should be nuked. 

If the Department of Commerce were to cease their endless quotas, tariffs, protectionism, kickbacks and allotments and let us have a more frictionless economy, we just might be able to get out of this recession.  But no.  They've got to do something.  Why does anyone need an 800 page Free Trade Agreement?  Why not just say "Fort Worth can trade freely with Dallas".  "Oklahoma can trade freely with Florida".  And last but not least, "You can trade freely with Canada".  We wouldn't need to take in so much in import duties if we didn't have to support these unnecessary a-holes.
I occasionally have to get things done via companies that are afflicted with Teamster's Union members.  Screw the Department of Labor, and all that they stand for.  If your boss promised you X, but didn't give it to you, take him to court.  If your boss had faulty equipment that took off one of your fingers, take her to court and sue her until she glows.  It's that simple. 

If we could get the CIA on a shorter leash, we wouldn't need a Department Of Homeland Security.  If we could get our troops out of Germany, Korea, Japan, and the Middle East, and bring 'em back to the house, we wouldn't need a Department Of Homeland Security.  We could cut troop levels in half, and still not be able to see the beach because of all the troops defending our borders.
Ok, imagine you won $100 million in the lottery, and you wanted to give it away to good, helpful institutions.  Make your list of your top 20.  Did you include the Department Of Health And Human Services?  Good.  Nobody else would either, including Ron Paul, or whoever wrote this tripe for Mother Jones. 

3. Enable State Extremism: Would let states set their own policies on abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school, and most other issues.

It's called States' Rights.  If a state wants to legalize gay marriage, abortion, etc., the state should be allowed to do so.  Gays and lesbians could be married in those states.  Women wanting an abortion could travel to those states.  Before long, those states would have an advantage that others did not.  The alternative is having the heavy hand of Washington oversee everything, with a one-size-fits-all policy. 

4. Protect Sexual Predators' Privacy: Voted against requiring operators of wi-fi networks who discover the transmission of child porn and other forms online sex predation to report it to the government.

Well, there's more to it than that.....
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.

That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.
 Most wi-fi providers have other things to do.  I don't want to spy on my neighbors.  I can also promise you that my definition of "obscene" doesn't match yours.  And then there's the 4th Amendment:

5. Rescind the Bin Laden Raid: Instead of authorizing the Navy Seals to take him out, President Paul would have sought Pakistan's cooperation to arrest him.

Would that have worked?  Who knows.  But our potential Paki enemies would be a lot less pissed if we had given Dr. Paul's method a try. 
How would you feel if a group of VietNamese invaded D.C. with a helicopter raid and took out Henry Kissinger? 

6. Simplify the Census: The questions posed by the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey, which collects demographics data such as age, race, and income, are "both ludicrous and insulting," Paul says.

True.  The race questions are often used to reenforce tribalism.  They don't need to know anything but your name and address. 

7. Let the Oldest Profession Be: Paul wants to legalize prostitution at the federal level.

I believe you can find other instances where he says its a States' Rights issue. 
There's something funny about these people....

....enforcing a ban on whoring. 

8. Legalize All Drugs: Including cocaine and heroin.

Yes !!  And if we do, are you going to suddenly start doing coke and heroin?  I'm not.  I hope you don't.  But it'll end almost all of our problems on the Texas/Mexico border, they way the end of alcohol prohibition ended our problems on the Canadian border in the 1920's. 
Which monopolies do you want to preserve for the Drug Lords of Mexico and Afghanistan?

9. Keep Monopolies Intact: Opposes federal antitrust legislation, calling it "much more harmful than helpful." Thinks that monopolies can be controlled by protecting "the concept of the voluntary contract."

Yep.  Can anyone name a true monopoly that has existed without help from Uncle Sugar? 

10. Lay Off Ben Bernanke: Would abolish the Federal Reserve and revert to use of currencies that are backed by hard assets such as gold.

And speaking of monopolies that answer to no one, here's what The Fed has done to our money supply.  Folks, prices aren't going up because of weather, China, India, famine, or Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Disruption.  Dollars are less scarce.  Therefore it takes more of them to swap for something else. 

11. Stop Policing the Environment: Believes that climate change is no big deal and the Environmental Protection Agency is unnecessary. Most environmental problems can be addressed by enforcing private-property rights. Paul also thinks that interstate issues such as air pollution are best dealt with through compacts between states.

Yep.  The EPA is a jobs program. 

12. Not Do Anything, but Still...: Would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it was a "massive violation of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of a free society."

This is true.  I discriminate.  You discriminate.  There are some people that I won't allow into my house or my truck.  There are others that I welcome. 
A business has the right to do this also.  But if you don't allow people in because they're black, gay, coneheaded, hispanic, or green, I'm not going to shop at your business.  Lots of other people will follow suit. 
The market works, and is more efficient that setting up a feast for lawyers. 

13. Let Markets Care for the Disabled: "The ADA should have never been passed," Paul says. The treatment of the handicapped should be determined by the free market.

Has the percentage of handicapped people in the workplace gone up or down since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act?  Google it.  (Hint:  It's gone down.  Government regulations screw up the best intentions, without fail.) 

14. First, Do Harm: Wants to end birthright citizenship. Believes that emergency rooms should have the right to turn away illegal immigrants.

It's called "Birth Tourism".  It's a huge problem as long as we have a welfare state.  Have your kid on this side of the border, and your kid is an American. 
End the welfare state, and its no problem.  Go here to join the Facebook group called "Ron Paul Supporters For Open Borders". 

15. Diss Mother Teresa: Voted against giving her the Congressional Gold Medal. Has argued that the medal, which costs $30,000, is too expensive.

When time permits, read "The Missionary Position", Christopher Hitchens' devastating attack on the life and works of Mother Teresa. 
The expense is the least of the problems. 
Those are Ron Paul's positions that scare the bejeebers out of Mother Jones magazine.  What's funny is that getting out of our current mess is going to require people who make Ron Paul look moderate. 
Hope this helped ! 
Have a good Memorial Day !!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day - some gave all for Lockheed Martin

About 6 months after starting this website, I discovered the power of the Demotivational Poster.  If you've got the time and patience to create one, and it starts getting emailed and re-posted and linked, it'll drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your site. 
I've tried to hit all the major holidays. 
The link between "Demotivational" and the self-motivated nature of my ex-military employees came to mind when Memorial Day rolled around.  Here's what I did with it:

I now find myself wishing I could have a do-over with this one, and I don't know if I can articulate why. 

Last night, after holding forth on a few political issues, someone asked me if I'll ever admit to being wrong about anything political. 

Well, yeah.  I will.  Like most folks, I've only got about a 70% success rate. 

I once thought that it would be a good idea to go into Iraq, overthrow Saddam, and set up a democracy there.  After all, he had slaughtered 90,000 Kurds, and was rewarding the families of suicide bombers. 

I probably would've gotten behind the invasion of Libya, had it happened a decade earlier. 

Had I been of age, I probably woulda supported our adventure in bringing democracy to Viet Nam. 

Ditto for Korea. 

We are often told that our military dead gave their lives "defending our freedoms".  But why do our freedoms need defending so much more often that those of, say, Canada?  Or Mexico?  Or Switzerland?  And why is the fighting for our freedom usually done in someone else's country?  Are our freedoms being violated in Afghanistan?   

If Mexico were to decided that we needed a "regime change" in the U.S., organized a coup, and put a group more to their liking in power, we would resent Mexico.  We would bomb Mexican embassies.  We would try to kill their soldiers and citizens in dance halls.  But when we put Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party in power in Iraq, did we really expect to be immune from any blowback? 

If China were to remove our head of state and set up a China-friendly puppet, the way we did in Iran, I believe that we would take pride in undermining China.  Hijacking their airliners would only be the beginning of what we would do for retaliation.  Please don't get me wrong on this.  I'm glad we found Osama.  Killing women and children with airplanes crosses the line, if there is one. 

But does anyone else find it odd that the threat to our freedoms from Islamic Fundamentalism came along almost immediately after the threat to our freedoms from Communism were ended? 

If I could redo this poster, it would probably say something like "Memorial Day - In Honor Of Those Willing To Die For Their Politicians".  Or "Memorial Day - Some Gave All For Lockheed Martin". 

In which the Fort Worth Star-Telegram fails to ask the big questions

Jim Fuquay of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has written a lengthy front page article about rising prices for food, fuel, and clothing. 

The print version explains that bad weather has driven up food prices. 

Mr. Fuquay says that  competition from China is sending fuel prices upward. 

Nowhere in the entire article does Mr. Fuquay ask the obvious questions....

"Why in the hell is the government printing so much money, and when will it stop?" 

Here's Ron Paul on the real cause of inflation:

Because no one understands that inflation is growth in the monetary supply, no one is able to combat it effectively. We hear all sorts of hand-wringing about increasing inflation, and all sorts of explanations about how rising oil and food prices will make inflation worse. At the same time, the fact that MZM, the closest approximation to total money supply that still is reported by the Fed, is still rising by almost 15% per year and that M2 is rising significantly as well is quietly ignored. The pundits have causation backwards: it is inflation that leads to rising prices of oil and food, and not vice versa.

Until the cause of inflation is understood, no effective strategy can be undertaken to combat it. The problem, however, is that the government does not want inflation to be done away with. Inflation benefits debtors and harms creditors, and the United States government is the biggest debtor of all. The United States government, the banking monopoly under the Federal Reserve System, and politically-connected firms and industries are the first entities to take advantage of new money injected into the system, before prices increase. As the increased supply of money begins to chase the same number of goods, prices rise, and the average American suffers. Poor and middle-class Americans are always the hardest hit by inflation, as the weakening dollar makes the imported goods that many Americans depend on more expensive.
Governments love to talk about "things" costing more.  They almost never talk about dollars being worth less.
Why is it that the unpaid bloggers are the ones who have to point this out? 

You now have the right to eat Roach Coach food in San Antonio

The Institute For Justice has triumphed over evil

Practiced since ancient times, street vending is more popular than ever. The Economist magazine predicted that in 2011 “some of the best food Americans eat may come from a food truck.” Vendors are the darlings of many food critics, and they even have their own reality show on the Food Network.

But El Paso, Texas, has recently made it illegal for mobile food vendors to operate within 1,000-feet of any restaurant, convenience store, or grocer. The city even prohibits vendors from parking to await customers, which forces vendors to constantly drive around town until a customer successfully flags them down–and then be on the move again as soon as the customer walks away.

Thus, while people across the country embrace mobile vendors for the vitality and creativity they bring to a local restaurant scene, El Paso has decided to threaten vendors with thousands of dollars in fines and effectively run them out of town. El Paso’s No-Vending Zone scheme is in place for one reason: to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from honest competition. But economic protectionism is not a valid use of government power.

Someday soon, I'm going to throw out a Bon Apetit/Gourmet magazine parody post that ranks all of the Fort Worth Roach Coaches, since I'm somewhat of a fan of the concept. 
The people who operate them have to endure lots of crap from government pygmies. 
Go here if you've got time to read some old rants about other municipalities trying to shut down street vendors.  Or licensing tamale ladies. 

John Spivey on Memorial Day

John Spivey, Chair of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party, tagged me in this EXCELLENT Facebook note. 

A Few Thoughts About Memorial Day: Our Honored War Dead and Why Many of Them Didn't Have To Die.

Recently, I've done some genealogical research and found quite a few direct grandparents that served in various capacities in many wars. They fought in European wars to the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, World War II, The Korean Conflict and Viet Nam. Fortunately, no American relation of mine that I've found died during a military conflict.

Like many of you, my late father was a WWII vet and was in the Pacific Theatre. He said something to me one day that I think is very applicable to our situation today. He told me that he could have never imagined that the Japanese would've ever become one of our biggest allies and trading partners - especially after we set off two atomic weapons that killed over 200,000 non-military citizens to completely defeat them - and then occupied them.

Why did he think Japan would never be anything but an enemy, or at best a non-friend? He said that at the time he thought they were all insane and so religiously dedicated to their emperor - they called him "Heavenly Sovereign", after all - that they would voluntarily fly their planes into our strategic structures and vessels in suicide bombing missions. "There's no way, I thought, you can turn people like that around to deal with you rationally", he said.

During and after the Japanese occupation, we eased up on our trade restrictions tremendously to help get their economy going. That REALLY worked, if you haven't noticed. After all, the primary reason Japan attacked us on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor is due to our oil embargo and trading prohibitions against them that severely restricted their acquisition of resources during their war in Indochina. Today we are such a strong trading partner with Japan that they could never dream of restarting a war with us.

Like many Hawks of today, my father couldn't imagine these people, who so deeply infused their political system with their mysterious religious ideology, would or could become one of our allies, much less our BFFs. After we won the war, we occupied and demilitarized Japan, got their industries up and running, liberalized their economy, democratized their government and then left. Yep, just up and left. (Unfortunately, we still do have bases there - but as an ally and not as a threatening occupier)

By the way, today Japan still has the mysterious religion of Shintoism as their primary religion and they have an Emperor who is still the head of the Shinto religion and is considered a semi-deity by some, although his governmental role is largely ceremonial today. He is still called "His Majesty, the Heavenly Sovereign" by his subjects.

This has a deja vu all over again feel to me with our current situation in the Middle East. If we could pretty much do the same thing - that is, leave - JUST PACK UP AND LEAVE AND START TRADING WITH THEM, their urge to 'kill us for our freedoms' would subside shortly after the cash really starts rolling in and life starts getting good for them. Bombing them into submission only gets them to cry "Uncle". Trading them into friendship will get them to cry "Uncle Sam - we love you!"

This weekend is a time to remember and honor our war dead that heroically fought and died for our country - unfortunately at times when free trade would've allowed us to have avoided war when our show of force and trading restrictions all to frequently pushed us into conflict.