Tag Archives: Pork

For The Love Of Power

Peanuts Comic: April 5th 1961

Political Power, unlike money, is a zero sum game.

In order for one to gain and consolidate more of it, another must lose it through neglect and carelessness or bitter struggle.

At the same time, power is not necessarily directly correlated with size. A large organization can run fluidly and freely given good leadership and skilled and involved members. A power-grabbing entity does tend to bloat with those drawn to power and the ease of corruption.

It is not size that corrupts, but immoral people.

The presidential race should give us each an opportunity to see honestly and completely the morals, ethics, and skills of those who would lead us but which instead tends to show us carefully scripted appearances controlled by any number of variously corrupt entities.

The candidates themselves try to control their images. None of them have nothing to hide, and therefore, they dodge and obfuscate.

The media, with it’s control over what is shown in living rooms across the world, has a powerful ability to shape the discourse. If it doesn’t show up on the nightly news, it didn’t happen.

Charles Kessler, in a speech before Hillsdale College summarized in In Primis, speaks to the difference between size and power, and how size and corruption are not necessarily related.

Juan Gonzalez, in the New York Daily News, tells the sordid tale of pork and corruption which has birthed an amazingly idiotic tax hike in downtown New York:

No one could recall such a naked combination of arm-twisting and pork-barrel handouts to pressure City Council members to approve the huge tax increase known as congestion pricing.

The real problem is always complex and deep, but a significant part of the root is that we, the people, don’t really care.

Like Charlie Brown’s baseball team, we don’t want to be held accountable for our government. We pass the buck to the elected officials, who pass the buck on and on.

If we and a larger percentage of the population of America took responsibility for our government, there would not be a problem of usurpation of power and conglomeration of authority.

An aware and concerned citizenry is a powerful citizenry and the bane of corrupt politics everywhere.

Who Owns The Money?

McCain may not be with conservatives on many social issues, but he’s definitely with us on fiscal issues. He’ll at least work hard to keep America from going broke.

Three articles across the internet today highlight the heart of this issue: the willingness of the candidates to spend money which you’ve given them in self-serving pork projects.

Buying votes with your cash.

First, from the Washington Post: Candidates Earmarks Worth Millions:

Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, [Sen. Hillary] Clinton [(NY)] supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely, part of his long-standing view that such measures prompt needless spending.

In the Boston Herald (winner of todays Most Absolutely Annoying And Alliterative Headline: Blustering Bubba Blasts Barak for Babbling Baloney) editorial, The Race For Earmarks, the editors note that Hillary sent $342 million to her own constituents, putting her in the top ten porkers. McCain, on the other hand, was against earmarks before that was even beginning to become popular.The porkers which inhabit Washington desire power. It is not altruism which drives them, but instead a compelling desire to get as many people subscribing to their ascendancy by giving them money.

But whose money do they use? Yours.

If it were their money there would not be an issue, except for the ethical implications of graft and cronyism and what they say of the character of the individual engaging in them.

Further insight into the candidates philosophies can be seen in who they get money for:

As a campaign issue, earmarks highlight significant differences in the spending philosophies of the top three candidates. Clinton has repeatedly supported earmarks as a way to bring home money for projects, while Obama adheres to a policy of using them only to support public entities.

McCain is using his blanket opposition to earmarked spending as a regular line of attack against Clinton, even running an Internet ad mocking her $1 million request for a museum devoted to the Woodstock music festival. Obama has been criticized for using a 2006 earmark to secure money for the University of Chicago hospital where his wife worked until last year.

McCain, for his seeming contempt for many social-conservative causes, respects the citizenry enough to protect their investment in government.

It reminds me of the story of Davy Crockett, who, when a disaster struck his home state while he was a member of Congress, and his constituents begged that he send federal money to help the stricken area, said that he would not.

He stated that money spent by the government can only be used in ways which benefit ALL citizens equally.

If only more in the current crop of public megalomaniacs servants would espouse this truism.

But the porkers currently running for the Democrat nomination do not.

The Scheming Communist Operative, Hillary, does what is best for her and only, ever, what is best for her. If this involves giving your money to someone she thinks can pave her way to power, that’s what she does.

The Idyllic Communist, Obama, only gives to “worthy causes”.

The problem is, people (you and I) are much more efficient and effective at getting money to worthy causes:

  • We are better at choosing those causes which are actually worthy.
  • We’re less likely to be duped in significant numbers and for substantial amounts of money than the government with its fat-handed largess.
  • And it doesn’t cost as much for us to get our money to those causes which are worthy, so more money gets to them overall and less is wasted in the endless iterations of bureaucracy.

Hillary is a smart (not intelligent, just smart) and conniving operative with one goal, her own supremacy.

Obama is an intelligent and misguided idealist. He wants to solve all the world problems, but everything he claims for his plans have all been tried before, and failed. Over and over again.

The picture which comes to mind is that of Kranzy October, the Russian Revolution in “Red” October of 1917.

The idealists, mostly young Russians, many of the Jewish Russians seeking a Utopian society free of the perceived inequities of the Tzarist system followed headlong into the dismal black of Communist Russia. The smart ones saw chance of personal aggrandizement and turned coat. Spying on their idealist brethren and reporting false crimes until they were the only ones surviving. Lenin rose to power in this era not through altruism and idealism but through corruption and power-lust, scheming and buying his way to the top.

Hillary is a Lenin-type, while Obama is a type of the dead idealists.

Both are dead wrong in their goals, but each have their own reasons, methods, and paths to achieve the death of our Great Nation.

Obama is not naive, but he is not a leader.

Check his closet for skeletons.

Where Government Has No Business

In the Colorado Springs Gazette, an opinion article points out that, regardless of individual positions on embryonic stem cell research and cloning, we should agree the government should not sponsor ANY scientific research.

The central government of the United States has no business funding radical medical experiments, whether or not the president deems them morally correct. It’s not the government’s duty.

Highly recommend this article. The free, unregulated market provides support to those who deserve, need, or work hard for the support, and denies support to those who do not try or whose ideas have no merit.

Government handouts always create an atmosphere of expectation and dependence. The government is not only poorly equipped for accurate and fair judgment of proposals for grants, it is significantly more prone to scamming and cheating in spreading its copious amounts of money.

Look no further than the times when altruism and human goodness should have most triumphed: natural and national disasters. The cleanup after hurricane Katrina was as much a disaster as the hurricane itself, with longer lasting damage continuing even today.

Take all grants and pork out of the government pot. Deny congress and any government authority the ability to give money to anybody for any reason beyond payment for services rendered. Then take the largess which will be left over from that and return it to the people who’ve paid for the privilege of living in this great nation. With the extra money suddenly available there can be nothing but good as they choose the destination for their additional retained earnings.

Millions of individual moral agents are deciding the destination of their own money is vastly more efficient and entirely superior to one vast immoral one spreading its unearned largess to the noisiest mouths.

Beyond the fiscal and governmental arguments, there are inescapable moral arguments in this issue:

While the attempt to obtain embryonic-like stem cells for the purpose of establishing cell lines without destroying embryos is, in principle, morally laudable, any procedure that places at risk the health and life of a human embryo for purposes that do not directly benefit the embryo is morally unacceptable.
~Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.

Ron Paul?

A friend of mine supports Ron Paul for president. Admittedly, his libertarian views are very appealing to many people feeling as though the Republican mainstream has hung them out to dry. However, there are deep issues that I have with Ron Paul, very deep issues.

My friend and I got into a discussion regarding Ron Paul, and they have graciously given me permission to post it here:

Matthew:

Please tell me you only joined the group supporting Ron Paul as a joke.

Friend:

No, I wasn’t joking. Why should I? Go ahead and convince me! =] I’m game.

Matthew:

His political platform is mostly appealing, I do agree with that. However, he supports pulling us out of a war that, regardless of whether you agree with the necessity of the war or no, you must understand to pull out is to give a victory to an enemy who will not accept our defeat graciously but who will next bring the war to our doorstep again. His consistency on the issues he is most vocal about on the campaign trail is also less than stellar, with a marked propensity for bringing “pork” projects to his district.

Finally, and I know he himself does not espouse these beliefs, but white supremacists have jumped on his campaign, contributing money and support. Ron Paul has not repudiated these supporters or returned their money or prevented their support.

He is not a leader in the sense America needs. And while the the pickings are few in the field, I think of all the candidates running with an (R) after their name, Paul is least qualified.

Friend:

We are in a war that can’t be won. Don’t you remember that Bush declared victory over 4 years ago? Since then, 3,735 American soldiers have lost their lives. If that is victory, then we can’t win this war.

Do you remember Vietnam? We lost that war, and had the common sense to get out of there, (although it wasn’t until we lost 58,000 of our guys) and now? We trade with them! Our relations with Vietnam are as they should be with any country!

If a forthcoming attack is your concern, think about this. When Ron Paul talks about bringing our troops home, he’s talking about bringing home ALL of the troops from over 700 military bases, in over 160 different countries, all over the world. We would not no longer be growing resentment in any of these countries, who all deserve, as much as we do, to run their countries how the want, and not have a bigger, more powerful government come and tell them how to live. How would you feel if China or Russia came over here, and built 15 military bases or more, and started telling us how to run our lives? Would you sit back, and let them? I wouldn’t… I would do everything in my power, (which isn’t much=]) to stop them!

So, who would you stand behind for the next president of the US?

Matthew:

First, what about the war we are currently in is failing so very badly that there is no way the war can be one? Have you followed the news beyond what has been force-fed us by the media? Read the post here to see one side of the new growth of freedom in Baghdad. Even the New York Times, a paper arguably more invested than any other in our defeat in Iraq, last week published on the front page an article telling of the good that is occurring there.

We lost Vietnam because the politicians (the revered but Clintonesque JFK and the worst president in history Lindon Baines Johnson) would not allow the military to prosecute the war as it needed to be. The president selected the military targets, micromanaging far beyond what any true and wise leader would have or should have done. There was a small but vocal contingent at home which proclaimed the injustice of the war, getting their faces (and other body parts) smeared all over the evening news as our country fought for it’s soul. Public figures such as Jane Fonda openly consorted with the enemy while our soldiers, not allowed to fight as they should have, were captured and imprisoned and tortured. We still do not know the fate of many of those imprisoned, as the Vietnamese Communists who gained power through the pride and ineptitude of our leaders at the time, persecuting and killing many of their own countrymen as well as our servicemen.

Comparing that just but unjustly-prosecuted war with the conflict we are currently in, the times when the current was going poorly coincide with times when the military leadership has taken away responsibility and power from their field-level commanders, much as in the Vietnam war. One of the the reasons freedom from tyranny is succeeding right now and we are experiencing success in our military operations is that the generals are giving direction and responsibility and allowing the people under them to work and decide and wage their battles as they know best.

And regarding the justice of the war. Who do you believe attacked us in 1992, attempting to topple the trade towers? And again in 2001? The same people made both attempts. And regarding specifically the portion of the conflict in Iraq, yes, we have not found weapons of mass destruction. But operating on the intelligence we had then, all the leaders, not just Bush, not just Republicans, not just ‘hawks’, and not just Americans, but the UN security council (regardless of the morality of their position) supported us in our use of force to depose Saddam Hussein and protect the world from any furtherance of his tyranny, either on his own people or on others through his state-sponsoring of terrorists and their weapons systems. Important to remember in this is that while we have not found any actual WMDs we have not found evidence that they were not or never there. Instead, the consensus is that they were trucked across the border to Syria and Iran, both countries with despotic governments who are not shy about broadcasting their intentions of world domination by their religion by their leadership.

As far as defense goes. The worst defense is the kind where all your assets are kept close by. With the world getting “smaller” as technology and transportation move more and more people further and further more and more quickly, and with weapons capable of striking anyplace from anywhere in mere hours, being “on-site” and in the region of conflict is a much more effective defense.

Regarding the bad feelings we are breeding by our presence in the regions. First, America is the only superpower in the history of the world which has neither forced it’s culture upon those it is around as superior, nor have we failed to relinquish sovereign control of the nations we’ve fought in to legitimate governments of those nations in most cases (several islands in the Pacific being the only exceptions to that). Instead, we fight alongside indigent warriors to free their nations, then we spend billions upon billions of dollars to shore up those nations economies and social structures. The hotbeds of hatred spring up wherever they will regardless of our presence. And to remove from the area would only grant unwelcome power to an unworthy underclass of malcontents and misfits.

I am not sure who I’m supporting for the nomination. I will support any Republican nominee in the main presidential race because: 1, they are all and each morally and pragmatically superior to any of the Democrat nominees, and 2, third party candidates are never a viable option except to take votes away from one of the two main party’s candidate (yes, liberal third partiers… keep up the good work, grin).

As far as the nominees, I’m becoming more and more convinced that Rudy is bad news, and his promises to set up conservative judges are likely to be empty. Romney, I think most of his detractors are picking at straws in their critiques of him, but I do not think I’ll vote for him in the nomination for his lack of history to his moral beliefs regarding abortion. Thompson is (little) talk and I think he’ll fade away soon. Huckabee looks good but I’ve heard those close to him call him a pro-life liberal. I think he’d make an excellent VP if given a position of counsel and some authority. I’m not sold on him.

Of all these, I think Huckabee, if he shows strength continuing into these upcoming primaries, is my preferred choice, pending a bit more investigation.

We didn’t continue the conversation further mainly due to busy-ness.

Huckabee is looking to be less and less of a man I’d want to lead this country. He’d make an admirable vice-president, but his fiscal and many of his social programs are not good. He does not see that the best way to help people is to remove all government-sponsored assistance and as much government-required hindrance and and encourage as much private assistance as possible.

Instead his proposals include large amounts of money to be given to people by the government. Government money is never free and it always comes with strings. And it costs you and me. Why not just take less to start with?

But Ron Paul is the last person this nation needs. He does not appreciate the necessity of remaining in Iraq to bring it to a place of stability. A process in which much progress has already been made. He is not a man of his word.

Save The Internet

In a recent comment, Kristi linked to a site which we as independent website owners/operators, ie. the Little Guys, ought to frequent and support. It’s sad to see that so many conservative leaders are slow getting on this bandwagon. We know that corporate pork and funding flow equally among the parties, but it seems as though the recent generation of Democrat Liberal leaders are being very much more vocal about their support of net neutrality.