Tag Archives: Government

Why Even Try

Depends on what the definition of ethics isHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously claimed under her leadership the Democrats would run the most ethical congress ever.

My question: why even try?

If ethics are situational and morality is ambiguous at best and pointless at worst, why even pretend, in all your intelligence, to pander to use rubes down here in the trenches?

For many of the leadership in Washington, and most of the Democrats in that rarefied local, there is no objective truth. The only morality comes from being caught.

And so, instead of claiming to run the most ethical congress ever and training a huge microscope and target on yourself, use all that energy to cover and obfuscation and hide what we know you’re going to do anyways because when you don’t believe in objective truth and morality, there’s no reason to trust you to do anything except what furthers your own aim and brings power to those things you consider most important.

So, with the recent “everybody knows except Pelosi” Rangel scandal, and now the Massa issues, and Mr. Porkulus (may he rest in peace) Murtha, and Mr. Sweetheart-Deal Dodd, and Mrs. My-Husbands-Business-Likes-My-China-Policy Pelosi herself, it seems that (D) stands for Dishonest.

The bible asks what companionship can light have with darkness. This isn’t just good marriage advice. It’s good advice for any place where we trust others to work on our behalf. For the average Joes and Janes out here in the sticks, we can still operate as friends and coworkers and have normal friendly relationships. But when we are speaking of handing power and national responsibility to people, we need to ask ourselves this: “If I wouldn’t truth them babysitting my children, why would I trust them running my country?”

On Government

UPDATE: This was not from Honest Abe.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

Lax credit and easy spending policies are products of both Democrat and Republican leaderships in years past. The conservative movement has recognized the failures of this more so than their compatriots in the liberal movement. Calls for the privatization of Fannie and Freddie, two of the main contributors to the whole system of easy credit, are not likely to be heeded by the current elected leadership in Washington D.C. And Fed Chairman Bernanke believes such easy credit is the best policy, despite it’s contribution to the economic failures of the last several years.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

Political correctness is losing favor across the ideological aisles. This false equality of outcome which relies on enforced restrictions on true equality, that is, the equality of potential, has been a pernicious evil in our country. But other perniciously evil policies continue to thrive here. Policies that drag down those who have achieved in order to not unnecessarily burden those who will not achieve with that natural and good desire to become something other than the abject failures. Except that’s not right, you can only fail if you’ve started at something. Many of these haven’t started anything and therefore aren’t failures but worse. Any system that encourages people in any way to remain nothings is evil for it robs them of their humanity as surely as Nazi extermination program robbed so many of their humanity.

You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

In that iconic moment when Joe the Plumber‘s question drew out then Senator Obama‘s statement that we need to spread the wealth around, it revealed a misunderstanding of economic systems that time has not changed. If you want to grow jobs, you make it easier for companies to make and keep money. If you take what they make for your own wealth redistribution programs and to “spread it around” you hurt not just the business you wanted to stick it to, but all its employees and potential employees as well. This isn’t rocket science.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.

Ever since FDR, liberal leaders have been adept at pitting class against class. There is no inherent nobility in the individual man whose mind and heart must be won. There is only the group, the LGBT, the blacks, the whites, the lower class, the middle class, the upper class, the “them”, the “us”, the hispanics, the wage earners, the corporations, the haves, the have-nots. Targeted fiscal policy meant to assuage the ire of a particular class are unconstitutional as they do not benefit every American equally, which is a requirement of federal policy. It’s vote-buying and favor peddling. And the result is a torn and fragmented society beset by such tensions within it cannot unify to address situations without.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

The poor will always be among us. This doesn’t free us from a responsibility to assist them. Instead it requires we develop consistent and repeatable patterns of assistance with several criteria. There must be a filter that prevents moochers and freeloaders from taking resources that would be better appreciated and taken advantage of by those deserving poor. And the money for such charity must be given willingly, not taken without recourse. A rich man who does not give to charity only illumines the shallowness of his own soul. He does not deserve theft of his goods, only the scorn of society.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

This is a failure of nearly everybody in leadership in Washington D.C. and a result of an uncareful electorate who do not take real pains to determine the true character of the candidate or who believe that character doesn’t matter.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.

Just as by helping a butterfly escape it’s chrysalid prison you doom it to a short, painful life and quick, ugly death, by taking away the responsibilities of a person or natural societal group, you end up with stunted and immature people who will continue all the ills aformentioned.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

There are few things more evil than to do for someone else what they are capable of doing themselves. Particularly when they are not in dire need and what they need to accomplish is a task that would encourage or build in them traits of character not already full-fledged in their being.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Government Gets It Wrong. Again.

Evil phone attacking innocent but distracted motorist

A new study is out reporting that laws forbidding cell phone use, both texting and calling, while driving do not have a significant impact on the number of car accidents. Instead, it’s distractions, not just cell phones, that kill.

In the Wall Street Journal:

Laws that forbid motorists from using hand-held phones or texting while driving don’t appear to result in a significant decrease in vehicle crashes, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute expected to be released Friday.The study, expected to be released at a conference in Washington, D.C., Friday, comes amid stepped-up efforts by federal highway-safety regulators to ban texting while driving and curb other forms of driver distraction. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood earlier this week announced rules to forbid commercial truck and bus drivers from text messaging while driving. Mr. LaHood has said he would ban all texting while driving if he could.

But the government and do-gooders who live by restricting others will not give up so easily.

The Transportation Department won’t be troubled with little things like facts:

…it is irresponsible to suggest that laws banning cell phone use while driving have zero effect on the number of crashes on our nation’s roadways. A University of Utah study shows that using a cell phone while driving can be just as dangerous and deadly as driving drunk. We know that by enacting and enforcing tough laws, states have reduced the number of crashes leading to injuries and fatalities.

In that statement they claim one substantiated claim, that the University of Utah found cell phone driving is as bad as drunk driving, and one unsubstantiated claim phrased in such as way as to scoff at substantiation, “We know that by enacting and enforcing tough laws, states have reduced the number of crashes leading to injuries and fatalities.”

That’s pretty much the same as leading an argument with “everybody knows…”, appealing to common sense without factual basis.

The Highway Loss Data Institute, which sponsored this new study, is financed by the insurance industry. This will lend credence to the study as insurance companies need to mitigate risk in order to maximize profit, and this report claims there is much less risk than previously assumed.

The facts (WSJ):

The HLDI studied data on monthly collision claims in four states that banned the use of hand-held phones by motorists before and after the bans went into effect. The HLDI also compared collision data from states that enacted bans on driving while texting or phoning to accident claims in states that didn’t enact such bans.

In New York, HLDI said its researchers found that collision claims decreased compared to other states, but the decrease began before the state’s ban on hand-held phoning took effect.

The HLDI data don’t show whether drivers involved in accidents were using cellphones at the time. But the HLDI said in a statement “reductions in observed phone use following bans are so substantial and estimated effects of phone use on crash risk are so large that reductions in aggregate crashes would be expected.”

So what are we left with? Restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving which do not affect the number of accidents.

Sounds like and apology and lifting of the regulations is in order.

Likelihood of this occuring? Nil.

Story in CNET.

Story in the Wall Street Journal.

Unchecked Free Market Problems

Unrestricted free market

Gary A writes article on the investing opinion site SeekingAlpha.com claiming that while limited government sounds good, it’s not a reasonable policy if the goal is market stability:

I support the free market but unlike them I don’t trust the free market. I don’t think that having just capitalists in charge of the free market can possibly keep it free very long. Capitalists cannot police themselves. Every game has rules. Try playing baseball without umpires. Try playing tennis without line judges. There are even rules when racing at the Indianapolis 500.

I agree with him, to an extent:

I agree that having capitalists in charge of capitalism can and has caused many a problem. Having Marxists in charge of a market causes even more.

The issue is that there is no suitable force acting upon the individuals that make up a government capable of restraining their choices actions.

And the more levels of government that are constructed to check and balance any system of man only lead to more levels of waste and corruption as they, in turn, fall to the very same forces.

The brilliance of the original American system was that it pitted this thirst for power against itself by building three branches of government with competing but not overlapping responsibilities.

This system worked well enough, for in that inherent tension there was stability left for those under it.

As the government’s greatest enemy was itself, instead of the people, the people were free to go about their ways.

As the government power alignment adjusted, mainly beginning with Lincoln’s power consolidation in the Civil war the forces of government were aligned and now could seek to take power, not from each other, but from the populace.

So is it a perfect system? No. Is it better than the alternatives? It depends on how you define better. I would say it is, with better being that state where there is least government intrusion into my affairs and then only so much as is necessary to prevent me from infringing unjustly on another’s affairs.

Of course, then you get into what is just and unjust.

The whole problem is that unless you accept a sovereign moral force who/which defines morality for us unsovereign beings, there is really no way to define right except through might.

Those in power get to define morality apart from that sovereign moral entity. And without an acceptance of a sovereign moral entity there is no legitimate basis for a universal and effective set of ethics to guide the behaviors of individuals, groups, corporations, societies, or nations.

Yes, I believe it all boils down to whether or not you subscribe to the idea there is a higher power who will judge you for your actions and your intentions and the results.

News & Views

Several news articles caught my attention this morning.

Michelle Obama as pop culture

In yet another article about content providers raising rates for the cable TV companies to continue running their shows, the NY Times reports millions of viewers complained at having missed a particular Iron Chef show which featured… drum roll please… Michelle Obama and the White House Chef.

I enjoy Iron Chef. I don’t enjoy a President and his family acting as though they are pop-culture icons. There is real America, lived by you and me and represented by a President. And then there is entertainment America, where we go to escape at times.

The President and his family do not necessarily belong in pop culture the same way actors and other people who haven’t actually contributed much to the nation. Or maybe that’s why this President and his family go on such shows…

Will latest jobs bill really produce jobs?

Asks ABC News implying that previous ones haven’t.

Oh, and the answer, as before, is no.

The reason, in case you didn’t already know, is that the government doesn’t produce jobs, businesses do.

Government spending costs more, has unintended consequences

The Wall Street Journal reports that government stimulus programs encouraged states to spend more instead of tightening their belts for these lean times. So now there are more, bigger programs, and less money to pay for them with.

And we’re surprised why?

Settled climate science not so settled after all

The Daily News Online on the climate emails:

It has been written that “there is room for legitimate civilized disagreement as to the role of human activity in climate change,” and that is correct. But that is not how the climate zealots see it. On Nov. 19, 2008, the president said, “The Science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.” Actually, how the earth’s climate works is the most complex question scientists have ever addressed, any conclusions that can be drawn now are “highly speculative.”

The government doesn’t like accountability

The TSA is apparently more concerned that the new media (bloggers) have found out information about their processes and procedures than they are about yours and my security at the airport and in air travel.

Thankfully cooler heads prevailed after the new media (bloggers) showed just how good they were at raising a stink.

The new media (bloggers) are read by people who care. The old media are viewed passively by people who couldn’t care less. That’s where the real power of blogging and the internet comes through.