Friday, May 24, 2013

Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-Sugar Tit)

Back in 2010, an Agriculture Subsidies Welfare Queen named Stephen Fincher ran for Congress and won.

Here's a campaign pic of the smiling Fincher family, content in the knowledge that no one will ever legislate that they be Drug Tested prior to receiving their corporate welfare check.  CPS will never show up at their home to ensure that the parents of these kids aren't blowing the money (that you sent them) on crack.   You donated to the Fincher family on April 15, tax day, whether you wanted to or not. 

Here's some of the rant I posted about his campaign a couple of years ago:

Stephen Fincher, a Republican candidate for congress in Tennessee's 8th district, favors small-government, lower taxes, and he has an appropriate disdain for Obamacare.

Good for him.
He's also a gospel singer.
He's a succesful cotton farmer.

And in one eleven-year period, from 1995 - to 2006, Fincher and his wife received 2.5 million dollars in crop subsidies from government you.

Now, just for the sheer joy of it, imagine if the Democrats dared to nominate a traditional welfare queen for Congress. Someone who sits around the house all day, collecting welfare and producing little babies who will reliably vote for Democrats. Do you think there might be an uproar?

So what is there about this form of welfare that bathes Stephen Fincher in such down-home, cottony goodness?

When our government subsidizes a particular crop, it confuses the price signals. In a truly free market, if too much cotton was produced, the price would drop. Fewer people would grow cotton. The price would then reflect what people were willing to pay for it, and what farmers would willingly be paid to grow it.

If not enough cotton was on the market, the price would rise. More and more people would grow cotton until the price dropped again.

Are Obama and Pelosi and Reid paying too many people to grow cotton? We'll never know.

But are you having to pay too much for cotton T-shirts, shirts, socks and sheets because of farm subsidies and prohibitive tariffs on cotton imports? Hell yes.
The rant continues for a few more paragraphs, explaining how Brazil was going to retaliate with tariffs on our exported cotton because of Uncle Sam giving handouts to Welfare Queens like Fincher.  We compromised by buying most of the Brazilian Cotton crop.  I swear to God, that's how we solved the problem. 
I hope you'll read the whole thing. 
Go here for it. 
I grinned several times, having forgotten most of the thing.   

Congressman Fincher is back in the news, this time because he wants to cut food stamps while maintaining his own place at the public trough. 
Hell, I'm all for feeding people, but we could easily make a lot of progress on lowering the price of food by ending the Fincher Subsidy, and then ending all the quotas, tariffs, and limitations related to what Mr. Obama allows to come through the bars of our national cage.  The Institute for International Economics estimates the annual cost of U.S. foreign protectionism at $6,027 per household.   

I think that $6,000.00 per family would make up for a lot of food stamps, don't you?  But then Mr. Fincher's farm has to be protected.  Here's what was in today's Huffington Post:
Fincher has said his farm would have shut down without the subsidies, which he argued protect American farmers from more heavily subsidized foreign competition. "We would be all for not having government in our business," Fincher told the Washington Post in 2010, "but we need a fair system."

The federal government's complex system of farm subsidies is supposed to shield farmers from some of the uncertainties inherent to the industry, but critics like the Environmental Working Group say the safety net unfairly benefits the biggest farms at the expense of smaller ones.
You think that farming has "some uncertainties inherent to the industry"???  Try building fruitstands.  Open a restaurant.  Start a used bookstore.  Open a clothing store.  Go into the carwash business.  Drive a semi-truck.  Those businesses open and struggle and crash and burn every day.
There's risk everywhere. 
But the risk in farming is just more....wholesome, right? 

And that's how Welfare Queens like Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-Sugar Tit) wind up getting $70,000 a year from the government  from you. 

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend, and that everyone pause for a few minutes to think of those who fought and died to support Stephen Fincher in the style to which he has grown accustomed. 

Too harsh.  Have a GREAT Memorial Day weekend!!!  Be safe!!  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Coming Home" - by Sabrina Brady

This morning's Google logo features a heartwarming drawing by Sabrina Brady called "Coming Home". 
I can't imagine what this feels like for a kid - being reunited with a parent who has been in harm's way for months and months. 

But it's getting to the point where you can't go to a football or baseball game without seeing an orchestrated surprise reunion between a soldier/sailor/airman and his family.  These things are great.  But they distract us from the bigger issue. 

We have enough Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard personnel on active duty to put a soldier, sailor, pilot, marine or coast-guarder at every 20 feet of the U.S.'s borders.  I figured it out the other day.  Every 20 feet. 

On the other hand, we have Secretary's Of State like John Kerry, She Whose Name Is Not Spoke, Condi Rice and Colin Powell wandering the earth, sticking our noses into other people's bidness, drumming up more and more business for Lockheed and General Dynamics.   

Do you think that maybe, just maybe, fewer soldiers would experience tearful reunions if we kept John Kerry at his house for a couple of years? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our employees just found out "what's in the bill"

Joy.  Bliss. 

About 500 employees at my workplace, Jukt Micronics, recently found out "what's in the bill" (to quote Nancy Pelosi).

This questionnaire went out to each shop, just to kinda get a feel for how the employees felt about things. 

Here's how the thing was worded:


Starting in 2014, the US government is enacting a law which requires every person to have health insurance or be charged an additional tax.  As a requirement of this law, Jukt Micronics will be providing a plan that you may join.  We need to get an idea of how many employees might be interested in this coverage.  there will be a cost to us as employees with these options. 

* Option 1:  Pay approximately $1,800.00 per year (this breaks down to $150.00 per month or $34.00 per week) for company-provided health care coverage with an estimated deductible of $3,000.00 per individual.

* Option 2: Pay a government fine or tax of $95.00 for the first year or 1% of your annual income, whichever is greater.  (If you made $18,000.00 in box 2 of your W-2 last year, 1% of $180 - just move the decimal point over two places.) 

*Option 3: Obtain insurance coverage through the individual market, i.e. Blue Cross, Aetna, or some other "family plan". 


Work kinda ground to a halt as everyone digested this. 

But let's say you're a low-income worker, making $8.50 per hour.  You're going to pay the fine.  Every time.  They can't turn away pre-existing conditions.  If you get cancer or if you accidentally saw your leg off, you can sign up for insurance in the ambulance (or in my case, the helicopter) on the way to the hospital.  The damn fools wrote it where insurance companies can't turn away anyone with a pre-existing condition. 

Ok, how about high-income workers? 

Same thing.  The only people who will pay $1,800.00 per year with a $3,000.00 deductible are those with incomes higher than $180,000.00
Otherwise, they're better off paying the fine.  (Yeah, the fines go up each year after 2014, but there's no penalty for getting a good deal the first year!!)
They can't turn anyone away from insurance coverage, so signing up for it after you've gotten sick seems to be the only rational response to the law.
As I wrote multiple times during the debates about this madness, no one will stay in the business of insuring the houses that have already caught on fire, but that's what The Teleprompter Jesus has asked insurance companies to do.

As our cleaning guy said, "This thing kinda sounds like slavery." 

I'll be writing more (with some input from our H.R. department) as the questionnaires come in. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The March Against Monsanto - Fort Worth, Texas Edition

Why would the Tarrant County Libertarian Party participate in a "March Against Monsanto"? (Saturday, May 25th at 1:00 p.m., General Worth Square, Downtown Fort Worth)

Because that's where a crowd is going to be !!! We'll be handing out flyers and spreading the word about the Libertarian movement.

And seriously.... Monsanto developed some hybrid life forms. That's not problem for many of us.

Monsanto wanted a monopoly on these plants and started suing people who used "their" seeds without their permission.

One of Monsanto's former lawyers, Clarence Thomas, was appointed to the Supreme Court, where he eventually wrote a majority opinion in a 2001 lawsuit, stating that "newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States".

Sorry, Clarence, but if someone purchases a John Grisham novel and then re-sells it to Half-Price Books, that individual can't be sued because he didn't mail John Grisham a check.

The same thing goes for purchasing, and then re-selling a car, a stapler, or Beyonce's Greatest Hits. It's called the "First Sale Doctrine".

The Tarrant County Libertarian Party Executive Committee believes that corporations shouldn't "own" life forms. Where would it end? Farmers have been planting, growing, and then re-using their seeds for ten thousand years. Clarence Thomas and Monsanto should not be allowed to interfere in that process.

Hope to see you there, Saturday May 25th, General Worth Square, 900 Main Street. It starts at 1:00 p.m. Go to the open area north of the Fort Worth Convention Center. Look for the old hippies and passionate Gen-X'ers.

I own me. You own you. And if you grow some soybeans, you have a right to do what you want with the seeds. It really is that simple.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm 103

Despite having no budget, no staff, no foundation, no board of directors, and (often) no sobriety, this website is still hanging in at #103 on the list of Top Libertarian Websites.  Go here. 

Google started steering traffic away from their Blogspot line about a year or so ago.  I'm not griping.  People who are worth a crap can create their own audience, right?  Anyway, traffic is waaaaaaay down on this thing as compared to two years ago. 

I'll take it.  Thanks for reading, and thanks for hitting the ads.  The money from that pays for a Starbucks double-espresso every morning of my life. 

(And I can't believe I'm outdrawing Hammer Of Truth, Cato-At-Liberty, and the freakin' Goldwater Institute! Stephan Kinsella and Walter Block better watch their backs.  I bet they can already smell the dachshunds....) 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On Liberals, Progressives, and using a name until you've defiled it

Here's something from one of George Will's latest rants:
Liberalism’s agenda has been constant since long before liberals, having given their name a bad name, stopped calling themselves liberals and resumed calling themselves progressives, which they will call themselves until they finish giving that name a bad name.
 I think of myself as a "Classical Liberal".  Hit this link for the reason why.  Here's a partial definition:
Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology that emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in Europe and the United States.  It shares a number of beliefs with other belief systems belonging to liberalism, advocating civil liberties and political freedom, limited government, rule of law, and belief in free marke.  Classical liberalism is built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, such as selected ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo, stressing the belief in free market and natural law, utilitarianism, and progress. Classical liberals were more suspicious than conservatives of all but the most minimal government....
When David Nolan started my political party in 1973, he had to call it "Libertarian", because the group already calling themselves "Liberals" had squatters' rights on the name.  Unfortunately, these phony Liberals advocated higher taxes, bigger government, prohibition, protectionism, quotas, tariffs, and a host of other plagues. 

Prior to that, this (mostly Democrat) group had called itself "Progressive".  Hit this link.  The history of the Progressives (eugenics, prohibition, creating the Federal Reserve, etc.) is too depressing to copy and paste.  Anyway, the Progressives had started calling themselves Liberals sometime in the 1930's when FDR started screwing up the world. 

I'm betting that the Statists will stop calling themselves "Progressives" sometime in the next ten years.  By that time the stench of failure should've left the word "Liberal", and libertarians will be able to refer to themselves by that term.  Heck, look at the Latin words "Liber," "Libera," and "Liberum" from the root meaning, "to pour." From these we get the word "Liberty", from the freedom we feel when we get drunk.  (Seriously.  Hit the link.  Liberty comes from the latin root for getting plastered.)  We also get "Liberation".  "Libertarian."  "Liberate."  And of course, "Liberal". 

Liberals need to either change their name, or change their ways.  The good guys want the word back. 

Go here to read more about the Classical Liberal tradition.