Tag Archives: government

Capitalist

Capitalist
n 1. A person who is a supporter of capitalism.

Wikitionary

The term “capitalist” does not just mean “rich industrialist.” It also means “anyone who believes/practices the tenets of capitalism.”

Capitalism
1.(politics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on private property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of an unregulated market.
2.(economics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately-owned capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of an unregulated market.
3.(countable) a specific variation or implementation of either such socio-economic system.

Wiktionary (emphasis mine)

Small business owners ARE capitalists.

Besides, many industrialists are not TRUE capitalists. Anyone who has accepted a government bailout or has government assistance in creating a monopoly (whether a total or functional monopoly) for themselves is NOT a capitalist. They are not existing in the free market and are attempting to subvert it through the use of force, in this case government funding or legislative action.

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Foreign Laws

This was the second half of my last post. However, I think it stands on its own better than as a part of that one, so here it is again:

The idea of using foreign laws to influence American court decisions has always been repulsive to me. Foreign laws are made by foreign leaders using foreign methods to meet foreign needs. While there are certainly elements common to all humanity, there are also regional variations based on geography, culture, and other factors that cannot allow a cookie-cutter mentality toward shaping laws. This applies within the 50 United States. What works in Maine might not necessarily work in Arizona. It applies even more so from one country to another. Foreign laws are also made by foreign legislatures whose methods might be illegal in the U.S. We are bound by our constitution, not foreign constitutions.

Foreign law might work for foreign countries, but it often goes against our laws, our traditions, our culture, our Constitution, and our liberty. If people want to adopt an idea from another country, let them put it before the Congress, or the state legislatures. Let our legislators study them, debate them, and modify them as necessary to meet our needs. Using foreign ideas to influence American court decisions thus bypassing the people’s elected representatives is a subversion of the sovereignty of the people and is (in my mind) close to treason.

Besides, it just doesn’t fit. The culture, economies, people, traditions, and constitutions of other countries are sufficiently different from ours to render them functionally incompatible. Trying to use foreign law to render court decisions in the U.S. is like trying to play Monopoly using the rules from Risk.

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Anchor Babies and Foreign Laws

In her column of 8/18/2010, Ann coulter makes yet another obzervation regarding liberal hypocrisy.

Liberals/progressives/leftists in this country constantly try to get U.S. courts to make decisions based not on U.S. law, but on foreign law. There is, however, one notable exception: anchor babies.

But when it comes to anchor babies, The New York Times and the entire Democratic establishment plug their ears and hum rather than consider foreign laws on citizenship. (For more on this, see “Mexican immigration law versus U.S. immigration law.”)

Needless to say, America is the only developed nation that allows illegal aliens to gain full citizenship for their children merely by dropping them on U.S. soil.

The article goes on to cite the immigration policies of Sweden (usually a leftist’s dream), Britain, and Canada. Looks like we are the only ones to allow anchor babies. Of course, the left would argue that the 14th Amendment causes that, but the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” does not require that interpretation.

Anyway, the idea of using foreign laws to influence American court decisions has always been repulsive to me. Foreign laws are made by foreign leaders using foreign methods to meet foreign needs. While there are certainly elements common to all humanity, there are also regional variations based on geography, culture, and other factors that cannot allow a cookie-cutter mentality toward shaping laws. This applies within the 50 United States. What works in Maine might not necessarily work in Arizona. It applies even more so from one country to another. Foreign laws are also made by foreign legislatures whose methods might be illegal in the U.S. We are bound by our constitution, not foreign constitutions.

Foreign law might work for foreign countries, but it often goes against our laws, our traditions, our culture, our Constitution, and our liberty. If people want to adopt an idea from another country, let them put it before the Congress, or the state legislatures. Let our legislators study them, debate them, and modify them as necessary to meet our needs. Using foreign ideas to influence American court decisions thus bypassing the people’s elected representatives is a subversion of the sovereignty of the people and is (in my mind) close to treason.

Besides, it just doesn’t fit. The culture, economies, people, traditions, and constitutions of other countries are sufficiently different from ours to render them functionally incompatible. Trying to use foreign law to render court decisions in the U.S. is like trying to play Monopoly using the rules from Risk.

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Criticizing the NRA’s “carveout”

updated 6/18/2010, 6/20/2010
Note: Upon further consideration, my position regarding this issue has changed. I have chosen to leave the original parts, and simply add new material at the bottom of the article.

Redstate is among the many voices criticizing the NRA for their decision to take the “carveout” in the latest attempt at campaign “finance reform.” Indeed, many NRA members, myself included, do not agree with the decision to take this exemption from a bad and unconstitutional piece of legislation. Even a member of the NRA’s board has joined in the criticism.

It looks as though the leadership of the NRA decided to take the first offering instead of holding out for something better. Though I do not agree with their actions here, I do understand them. The NRA may be mighty (and this shows that the left fears them), but they do not have unlimited resources. They would prefer to spend their time and money fighting for the second amendment and allow other single issue organizations to fight for the first. Therefore, they took the first small victory rather than hold out for the better victory they could have attained. While I understand why they took that action, I heartily disagree with it. First, there is no guarantee that the “carveout” would survive into the final version signed into law. Second, the ‘carveout” would not protect other champions of the second amendment like the state affiliates of the NRA as well as its “rival” organizations. This does not serve the cause of our second amendment freedoms. Third, the law is, itself, unconstitutional and an affront to all free people.

The problem, though, is that this actions has led to people cancelling their NRA memberships and calling on others to do the same. This is not a good idea. I will NOT cancel my NRA membership.

To abandon the NRA because they are not perfect is not wise. If you support the right to keep and bear arms, you should be in the NRA if you can afford to spend the $35/year. If you prefer another group, such as the GOA, then join BOTH. The NRA has something other “purer” groups don’t: numbers. The left doesn’t fear the GOA, JPFO, or any other gun group. They do fear the NRA. The NRA has serious clout because of their history, their reputation, and their numbers.

Despite this disagreement, I will continue to be a proud member of the NRA. They are my best representative on second amendment issues in DC and nationwide.


6/18/2010
Let me clarify, I’m glad that the NRA participated in the fight for the first amendment. I just know that when negotiating from a position of power, one does not take the first offer of the weaker party. Am I overestimating the power of the NRA? If this exemption were all they could get, then I could see doing that, but this is the name that makes liberals go into a cold sweat.

I understand that the NRA is not a first amendment organization. They only got into this fight to protect themselves and got out as soon as they were protected. They want to reserve their resources for the second amendment. I understand that. I just think accepting the first offer from the surrendering party is not the best strategy. The NRA is exempt, but what about their state affiliates. Besides, the exception could easily be repealed and allowing the law to pass sets a very bad precedent.

Anyway, that was not intended to be the main point of my post. The point was that I am still a proud and loyal member of the National Rifle Association. Those who would leave the NRA over this would only weaken the cause of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.


6/18/2010 (addendum)
The Washington Post reports that the NRA’s exemption to the DISCLOSE act has caused disunity within the Democratic party. This may have the effect of killing the bill. I sincerely hope so.


6/20/2010
Upon further consideration of the issue, I no longer oppose the decision by the NRA to accpet this exemption. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a part of me that objects to this, but overall, I believe this is the right decision. I had considered deleting this post as I no longer agree with my original position regarding the exemption, but decided to leave it and add to it so that my reconsideration of the issue might be a part of this record.

As to the people who are leaving the NRA over this issue, my position has not changed. The NRA is the largest and most effective organization defending our second amendment. Leaving because of one or even many disagreements is not a good idea (unless you no longer agree with the right to keep and bear arms). I don’t agree 100% with anyone, even my wife, who I love beyond words. If you believe in our right to keep and bear arms, join the NRA. If you want to join other “purer” groups as well, then do that too. I believe that we need all of our organizations. They help each other (even if they don’t admit it) though they could do a better job at cooperative effort.


6/20/2010 (addendum)
What made me change my mind was thinking of the TV show M*A*S*H. The 4077th is a battlefield hospital in a war, not a civilian hospital in a quiet little town. When mass casualties arrive, the doctors there must engage in triage and meatball surgery. There are more patients than surgeons or time. Now, a TV show is not going to be consistently accurate in their depiction of medical procedures, but these procedures (as depicted in M*A*S*H) are instructive as we are engaged in a (metaphorical) war for our second amendment rights.

Triage is separating patients into categories and priority levels. Basically, some patients will live even if they have to wait. These patients can be ignored for the time being until the more urgent patients are taken care of or if their condition worsens. Other patients will die no matter what can be done for them or would require a level of care that could not be provided due to the number of patients and limited resources. As unpleasant as this is, these patients must be ignored in a crisis situation. Patients with an intermediate level of need are seen first.

“Meatball surgery” is a colloquial term for battlefield surgery. It is done quickly with the goal of stabilizing the patient enough to survive. This would allow the surgeons to move on to save other patients or transport the patient to another hospital where the surgical “fine tuning” could be done.

In this “war” to preserve our liberty we must triage or pick our battles. Some fights are more strategically important or even easier to win. Other fights must be avoided or postponed.

Similarly, we sometimes must perform “meatball surgery” – not putting full resources into a worthy fight in order to have resources available for other fights. The 4077th would “patch them up then send them out” to another hospital in order to maximize resources. The NRA joined this fight, achieved its objective, then handed the fight to other organizations – ones that are dedicated to preserving the first amendment. The NRA is mighty and greatly feared by the opponents of liberty, but it does not have limitless resources. The forces of statism are fighting this war on many fronts with the resources of wealthy progressives behind them. Unfortunately, there are more battles than can actually be fought at any given time.

Just as any physician who values the Hippocratic Oath will be pained at having to follow these emergency procedures, I and others are not completely satisfied with the outcome of this situation. However, I now believe that the leadership of the NRA made the right decision here.



The NRA’s statement regarding the “DISCLOSE Act.”

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Limited Government – Fast Food Style

I’ve eaten at more fast food establishments than I can count. Some are quality and some are not. 

One of my favorites is Chick-Fil-A. Famous for their spelling-impaired cows, Chick-Fil-A has made a name for themselves by selling an amazing number of menu items that feature chicken. You can get it grilled or breaded and fried; patty, strips, or nuggets; on a bun, in a wrap, in a salad, or by itself. They even do chicken for breakfast! Chick-Fil-A basically does one main thing (with a variety of smaller things in the side) and does it well. 

In-N-Out Burger is another favorite of mine. This west coast establishment also has a “do one thing, do it well” philosophy. Where some fast food joints have over twenty combos, In-N-Out has three. (Of course there is also their “not-so-secret secret menu,” but that is just a re-arrangement of existing menu ingredients.) Missing is the bewildering array found at most fast food restaurants – there is a beautiful simplicity to their menu. I’ve watched employees in so many eateries have to look up seldom-ordered menu options. In my own (brief and fruitless) fast food experience, I had to look up things as well. At the well-oiled machine that is In-N-Out, I have never seen an employee bewildered at what something is. Their kitchen is open, so customers can see what is going on inside. A large window in the drive-through ensures that customers there can see in as well. Again, we see an eatery that does one thing, and does it well. 

Both of these culinary delights are quite popular despite not having the bewildering menu array we have come to expect from fast food restaurants. I would assert that the simplicity of their menus is a leading contributor to the quality that customers appreciate in their products. 

Now, contrast that with our government. Over the past century or so, the size and scope of our federal government has grown considerably, as have those of the states. Government is doing for us many things that we ought to be doing for ourselves. As a result, the bureaucratic intrusion in our daily lives has grown crippling to our liberty and the economy. Taxes, permits, fees, regulations, paperwork… the list grows rather than shrinks. 

In an attempt to “straw man” the concerns of conservatives, tea party activists, and others; those on the left have often accused us of wanting no government or even being anti-government. This is not at all what we want. We want what our Constitution mandates: a government limited to a few specific areas. Within those areas, the federal government has tremendous power and authority. Outside those, it has little to none. 

By seeking to do everything and taking authority away from the states, the people, private enterprise, private charity, and private organizations the federal government has bloated itself beyond reason. This is not just an argument against high taxes or high spending. The very fact that the government is trying to do things that is not designed to do, has no constitutional authority to do, and is not effective at doing is causing it to fail at it all. 

I would rather have the “lean machine” government that was both effective and respectful of the Constitution and the people. Eateries such as Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger are able to focus on quality through their relatively simple menus. The government would do well to learn from their “do one thing, do it well” philosophy. 


Hindenblog asserts that President Obama’s attempts to straw man fans of limited government opens the door for us to talk to others about just what limited government is all about.

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Term Limits Amendment

1. No person shall serve as a Senator for more than two complete terms.
If a person has served an incomplete term it shall be considered a complete term if the period of service were more than three years.  

2. No person shall serve as a Representative for more than six complete terms.
If a person has served an incomplete term it shall be considered a complete term if the period of service were more than one year.  

3. This Article shall not apply to any person serving in either House of Congress during the time that this Article becomes operative so long as that person maintains continuous service in that same House of Congress.  

=========================================  

Many people (myself included) have long desired term limits as a means to limit the personal greed and power-lust of the members of Congress, as well as the undesired side-effects these have on the American people, our liberty, and the economy. However, getting the Congress to limit their own power voluntarily would be like asking a cat to be kind to mice. They would never voluntarily limit the years of their service. Many current and former members of Congress originally promised to limit themselves to a certain number of terms. Some may have actually intended to do just that. However, few kept that promise.  

The solution, as I see it, is to exempt the sitting members of Congress from such limits. New members of Congress would have their years of service limited by this amendment, but those serving at the time that the amendment is ratified would be exempt so long as they continued to be reelected to that same office. This exemption would cease to apply to any member of Congress who lost a bid for reelection or who decided not to seek reelection. It would also not apply to a member of one House of Congress who decided to run for the other House of Congress.  

I believe that more members of Congress would be willing to vote for term limits if they could exempt themselves from them. In addition, more might vote for this amendment since new members would be subject to limits. This would benefit the exempt members in the seniority-based system. Since many people have called for term limits for some time, they could easily accomplish a popular measure without affecting themselves personally.  

Some have called for the repeal of the 17th Amendment. In the unlikely event that this occurs, I believe this amendment will be unaffected as currently worded since the text simply refers to service, not the manner of election to the Senate.  

I realize that some people will view this as a flawed means of getting term limits, especially with the increase of power for the exempt members. However, I see this as the only practical way to accomplish that. I believe that the goal of term limits is important enough to accept this trade-off. The exempt incumbents will eventually retire or lose a reelection bid. Their successor would then be bound by term limits.  


Other relevant posts of mine:

Questions We Should Ask About a Constitutional Convention

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Gov Jan Brewer of Arizona responds

Arizona governor: Boycott is misguided

In this article, Gov Jan Brewer of Arizona responds to the calls from the left to boycott Arizona and anything even remotely associated with Arizona.

One of the comments on the page struck me.

C.J.SNOW says: May 6, 2010, 3:28 PM ET
Since the NBA and in particular, the Phoenix (Los) Suns have came out in opposition to the Arizona law, I say we all show up at the next game without tickets and demand to be let in. Demand to be fed. Demand to be given shelter. Demand that during the game, they have some educational program for our children just for starters.

I think that speaks for itself.

Of course, we could just take a page from the leftists’ playbook and claim that the only reason that anyone opposes Gov. Brewer is sexism.

In response to the boycotts that may or may not be happening, Stand With Arizona and other groups have organized a BUYcott to encourage people to support Arizona businesses. Also see the list of Arizona businesses
The BUYcott has organized a facebook page
Follow the BUYcott at @ArizonaBUYcott

They have planned an event in Phoenix on May 29, 2010 for people to stand in support of Arizona.

Stand With Arizona
Buycott Arizona
Tea Party Patriots

Follow Gov. Brewer at @GovBrewer

Of course, Obama thinks all this is funny.

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