Thursday, October 16, 2008

Be afraid Very afraid

For several days I've been lessoning to people talking about 'socialism' and 'redistribution of wealth'. they seem to think that, one this is something that is going to be done and two, it is something to fear. I hate to tell you this but both 'socialism' and 'redistribution of wealth' are here and they've always been here. What people are really afeared of is not 'socialism' but the 'State' taking what is mine away from them and giving it to someone else. It is not the 'State control of the means of production', which is the classic definition of 'socialism'. WAKE UP people, the 'State' has been doing this ever since the first laws were passed.

When the first tribal leader told Joe the Hunter to go and hunt rabbits, not boar the 'State' has been controlling the means of production. City-state tyrants to modern day Nation-states the government has exercised control over the means of production. And don't go saying that 'socialism' is 'State ownership of the means of production'. If ownership does not contain control then it is basically means nothing. Ownership with out control means you are totally dependent on who does have control of what you own for the welfare of your property.

As for 'redistribution of wealth', that's been going on since first exchange of my stone tool for your carved bone. What has been happening on the Stock Markets these last few weeks has been a sudden, dramatic redistribution of wealth from the people who sold stock before the big selloff to the people who sold stock during the big selloff. Right here I'd like to point out that for the last 30 years there has been a steady transfer of wealth from the those who make less that $250,000/yr to those who do. In fact wealth has been being concentrated in 5% of the population and when this concentration gets to high there will be a sudden and dramatic flow of this wealth from where it has been concentrated to some where else. We only have two chooses now, the wealth can be more evenly distributed over the population by moving the wealth to other people or we can destroy it. In the former case the nations wealth will stay just about the same, in the other it will get markedly smaller.

There are many ways we can implement the 'redistribution of wealth'. We can do it in a relatively peaceful way, with only a few people getting hurt, or we can let it be destroyed (the more traditional way) where a lot of people get hurt.

The choice is ours to make.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yesterday, we did good.

Yesterday something happened in the U.S. Senate that would put smiles on the "Founding Fathers, and Mothers" faces. Citizens got so involved with their government to change what the Senate had in mind. This is how our Founding Fathers intended our government to work, an aroused citizenry affecting the making of their law.

Yesterday, for most of the day, I had my T.V. tuned to C-Span2 to listen to the Senate debate the FISA bill. I fully expected to see a knockdown drag out for the next few days ending with the bill passed and Sen. Dodd, and others, battered and bloody on the Senate Camber Floor. To my everlasting pleasure and surprise this did not happen. I was disappointed, but not surprised when one of my Senators (Sen. Feinstein) voted for closure. I have a fair understanding of how the Senate works and knew that this was just round one.

On a personal note, I was also looking forward to hearing a "vigorous" debate on the FISA issues and this what this first vote would lead to.

When the vote was over my wife and I decided to get involved and sent off two emails, one congratulating one of our Senators and the another saying she had lost our support for her vote. I'm sure that by itself our email did not influence either Senator, but with all of the others that we now know came in something happened. Senator Feinstein publicly changed her position for unconditional support of the FISA bill, to conditional. When I heard Sen. Feinstein say this I told my wife that something was "happening".

This change in Sen. Feinstein position, coupled with the defeat of the 60 votes to amend (a unanimous consent motion if my memory servers me correctly) I thought that bill was loosing support. While I have no supporting evidence at this time, I have been told that the Senate was being bombarded with emails, blogs, and other communications almost from the start of the debate on Monday morning. So I say once again, the "Founding Fathers, and Mothers, are Smiling" yesterday, their heirs did good.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

2ND Ammendment Debate

In the last few days I've gotten myself involved in a debate on the 2ND Amendment (US Constitution) on another blog and it has brought into light an issue that needs to be discussed. The point is that the 2d Amendment debate is a political staking horse that is being used to distract the electorate form real constitutional issues.

I feel that the debate on the 2ND Amendment is fundamentally unresolvable at this time because no consensus exists yet. It is my belief that constitutional issues are not resolved until the American people come to a consensus on the issue. An how do we know that a consensus has been reached, that is hard to tell. What is easier to know is when a consensus has yet to be released.

I feel that when people talk past each other, when they endlessly debate what is meant by a phrase or the definition of a word. When you demonize the other side of the debate. This is when a consensus lacking. When you can not agree on what is meant and the definition of the words being used it is like you are speaking different languages and not knowing it. When you demonize the other side you deny the possibility of the validity of their position.

So what is the point I'm tying to make here? Simply this, those of us who want to resolve the 2ND Amendment issue need to strive for a consensus. We need to start with two things, first end the demonetization. Every time you hear someone demonizing the other side call them on it. I recommend ending the debate then and there. Next work for agreement on what the words in the 2ND Amendment mean. Both of these actions will be difficult to accomplish. For far too long all sides have been locked into our current unproductive state. For far too long people have felt that if I just say the same thing I've been saying all along the other side will understand the 'rightness' of it all.

Finally, be ready to be attacked from all sides. Peace makers may be blessed, but far too often they are also martyred.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sen. Vitter & "Drink Wet, Vote Dry"

Back in 1958 (I was 7 at the time) I remember my father in a heated discussion at a church function. It was memorable because it was the first time I think I ever heard my father so contemptuous and for the phrase "Those BBs, they Drink Wet and Vote Dry".

I knew what BBs were, after all I had just gotten a BB gun for Christmas that year. What I couldn't figure out was how they, the BBs, could drink. It wasn't till years later, after we hand moved to California, that I found out that the BBs my Dad was talking about were the Bootleggers & Baptist. The issue was if Oklahoma would stay Dry or go Wet (that is would prohibition be ended). Everyone new were the Bootleggers stood but they didn't have the votes to keep Oklahoma dry. The key was all of the voters who would drink themselves under the table on Saturday night and then go to church on Sunday and denounce the evil 'wets'.

So what's my point? That hypocritical behavior by social conservatives is nothing new. It has a very long tradition in American politics so don't be surprised with Sen. Vitter. The good Senator is just following the grand southern tradition of "Do as I say, not as I do."

Monday, July 02, 2007

An so it goes....

Conservatives of all strips have taken a god offal hit today with commutation of 'Scooter' Libby's sentence. Eight years ago, when the GOP & conservatives pushed for the impeachment of Pres. Clinton they took the position that it didn't matter one iota what he lied about, what mattered was that he lied under oath. In eight short years we see this simple idea disowned like a drunken uncle. What can we expect from a political party that is younger by several decades than the Democratic party calling itself the "Grand Old Party". Not much it would seem.

Please do not think that the GOP operatives will stop harping on the Lying of Clinton under oath, not for one minute. What will happen is that the 50% of the voting public that are fundamentally "independents" will no longer blindly except the proposition that conservatives in general, and the GOP in particular, are more ethical of the two parties. Some may even see how much the GOP has been taken over by the extreme Authoritarians of the conservative movement.

An yes I still beleave in miracles.;)

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Non-Executive Branch VP

Over the last two days I've been reading a lot on the Constitutional theory being expounded by VP Chaney's office that the office of of the Vice Precedent (OVP) is not a part of the executive branch.

"The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter. The Vice Presidency performs functions in both the legislative branch (see article I, section 3 of the Constitution) and in the executive branch (see article II, and amendments XII and XXV, of the Constitution, and section 106 of title 3 of the United States Code)."

I'm not going to contest this theory here, rather I'm going to explore some consequences that follow from this position.

First, if the OVP is not a part of the executive branch is not the OVP out of the chain of command? If the VP gave an order, directive, etc to a member of the executive branch would not that order, directive, etc be unlawful? This would be of particular importance the military.

Next, can a person or office hold a position of trust in the government of the United States and not be a member of the executive, legislative, or judicial branches? Related to this is can the President delegate any of the duties, responsibilities, or authorities of the Executive Branch to someone who is not a member of the executive branch? Could this be done for the Office of the President of the Senate?

Does the OVP have 'executive privilege'? Or for that matter any of the rights, privileges, or prerogatives of the Presidency and/or can the Precedent extend them to the OVP?

Finally how does the Congress fund the OVP? Would not the Congress have to fund the OVP separately from all the other branch's of government? If fact could they do this legally or would they need to fund just the Office of the President of the Senate?

It seems to me that this argument makes the VP just an office that has no right or ability to participate in the government of the United States. That all authority for the VP to do anything derives from his position as the President of the Senate.

What's your take?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina & the White House

What has happened in the gulf coast of Mississippi & Louisiana should make every US citizen take a moment and think about how prepared they are for a disaster.  With many days warning that  a major (level 3 or higher) hurricane was headed for the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico and two days warning that it was headed for the mouth of the Mississippi river (and New Orleans) it still took days and days for the relief effort to get started.  Anyone who lives where a disaster, natural or man-made, can hit an area larger that a few tens of square miles should take what happened to heart and start make there own plans.

If you are middle income or less then the Federal Relief effort has given you fair warning, you’re on your own for the first week after things settle down.  If Homeland Security, Fema, and the US military can take two to five days to get its act together just how long will it take them when they are caught truly flat-footed?

By the way, did anyone notice how fast the US relief effort for the tsunami last year and how slow it was for Katrina?  What has changed?  Does this administration think that Americans don’t need help as much as people of India Ocean?  Does the White House think that Americans don’t need help because ‘All True Americans’ take care of them selves and don’t go ‘hat in hand’ begging for help when a disaster hits?  I don’t think so, so I’m left with only one other conclusion; they are incompetent or they just don’t care that much.  We should know soon.  I wait with baited breath.