Calexit

The vote counting continues. Thus far Clinton has accrued approximately 2.5 million more popular votes than Trump. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues – “how can this be? Democracy!?” The democracy game depends in large part on how one slices the pie. Democracy is fundamentally arbitrary insofar as the rules for inclusion are based on imaginary invisible lines in the dirt. Just take a look at a map of gerrymandered congressional districts; those distended and warped puzzle pieces forensically betray the party of their author. We could easily redraw state boundaries that would give Clinton a win; likewise we could draw new state boundaries that would give Trump an even larger electoral college win. But let’s play this game: if we look solely at popular vote within two distinct geographical areas we find a stark contrast. The first region is California and the second region is every other state except California. In California, Clinton handily won by 4 million votes. But in the other not-California region Trump won by 1.5 million. If direct democracy popular voting is going to be the new gold standard, then would it not be a crime to force the entirety of not-California to suffer under a Clinton presidency merely because one state, California, wished it to be so? Indeed, remove just one more state from that mix, New York, and the differential climbs to a 3 million more for Trump in the new country known as not-California-or-New-York.

Oh but you argue that’s disingenuous, we are “one country.” But are we? Borders are arbitrary, there is no physical law of nature that dictates biological entities living at these coordinates on a sphere must be irreversibly bound into a political union. Unions exist only so long as the parties wish it. Indeed, union dissolution is the last vestige of the people’s right to counter federal overreach. Yes, we’re talking about the “s” word: secession, an end to that “indivisible” union. Before November 7, 2016 such talk was ridiculed by the left (in straw man like fashion) to be the bailiwick of racists. However, now that the left no longer holds the reins of power they have suddenly discovered the merits of federalism, states rights, and even (gasp) secession. There is currently a movement for “Calexit”, that is the idea that California should leave the union and becomes it’s own country. A Calexit success would finally sever that peculiar linkage of secession to slavery in the American psyche. Normalization of secession would release a long neglected cudgel against expanding federal power.

The mere fact that secession is on the table as an option is further proof of the failure of the constitution (or rather the failure of men to be bound by it). The principals of federalism embodied in that document gave most power to the states with only a narrow set of enumerated powers granted to the federal government. Were that still the case no one would even care who the president was.

December 07 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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Whitewash

So Fidel Castro is dead – well it’s about time. His “revolution” plunged the island nation of Cuba into a 50-year nightmare. Cuban citizens were stripped of all rights (speech, assembly, movement, property, etc.) and reborn as slaves on Fidel’s Cuban plantation. His lapdog, brother Raúl, was his remorseless enforcer (so do not expect much to change until Raúl is dead as well.) To those with the audacity to oppose either, cold-blooded murder was the response. To those that attempted escape, death on the high seas was the prevailing fate. To those that remained, a life of poverty and servitude to the state was the best one could hope for. Castro’s crimes against humanity are on par with those of Pol Pot, Pinochet, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and every other petty dictator who believes the path to unanimity and consent is to kill all those that disagree.

But while those dictators are (mostly) vilified by the popular media, for some grotesque reason Castro is nearly universally held in high regard by today’s ruling class and ivory tower academics. Then again perhaps it should be unsurprising; they are all cut from the same statist cloth. They differ only in degree, not kind. Would that they could get away with Castro’s methods they’d do so in a heartbeat. Those darn pesky constitutions keep getting in their way. But the people aren’t stupid. We the common folk know what kind of monster Castro was.

If you are still struggling to understand why Trump won, look no further than the difference between his response to Castro’s death and Obama’s. Obama wrote the following: “At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Talk about whitewashed apologia for a dictator! Obama turns ambiguity into an art form. Assuming you knew nothing about Castro would the reader take away from this that he was a murderous dictator that executed thousands of his own people (yes I suppose murdering someone would alter the course of their life)? Or that he put homosexuals in slave labor camps to “cure” them? Or that he forbade his citizens to leave the country, turning into a Caribbean Alcatraz? This insipid portrayal insults the memory of those that gave their lives opposing him as much as portraying Hitler as an “important figure in unifying Europe and whose aspirations eventually propelled the founding of the state of Israel” would insult the memory of those that died in his concentration camps.

Now, here’s what Donald Trump said: “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

Any questions?

November 29 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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#NoPresidentNeeded

Donald Trump may turn out to be the best thing ever for this country. In less than a week after the election he has managed to rouse the question-authority left from their deep slumber. Apparently Obama’s actual abuses of presidential power (secret kill lists) and continued prosecution of the morally bankrupt war on drugs and futilely destructive war on terror were A-Okay, but straw-men based fears of what Trump could do (even though having never uttered a word on such subjects e.g. gay marriage) is more than sufficient to goad them into action once again. Sorry if I have no sympathy for their outrage if droning children in foreign lands strikes no passion in their heart but a 0.0001% risk of not getting to use the bathroom of their choice does. As they say, first world problems.

Trump’s big-league greatness will come from his capacity to get growing numbers of people to see the presidency and by extension much of government for what it is: a joke. People bizarrely hold the office of the presidency (and by extension all of government) on a pedestal. Wise, somber, erudite, self-sacrificing statesmen lead the country forward upon their trusty stead. Like nationalized parents they comfort the country with their solemn words in times of tribulation. Oh, all bow down before our wise leaders. All nonsense. Adults need neither leaders nor caretakers. This religious-like fervor infects so many minds when thinking of the Presidency. Trump has shattered this illusion. “Trump, why he’s a joke, he’s not a real leader! We want the officially sanctioned model, not some cheap knock off!” Sorry folks, but you got McDowell’s, not McDonalds. Ultimately this will be beneficial when it instigates a national introspection that leads all to realize McDonald’s is no different than McDowell’s.

Once this insight is achieved there will be a real possibility for expansion of freedom and liberty in this country that follows in the wake of greater rejection of state power. Thankfully it seems to be starting. All those #notmypresident types are finally getting it! No one should ever be #mypresident. The fact that some people are finally coming to realize that if Trump is not their president, and so by extension no one is their president, they have no need for a President.

To be clear, Trump is no more or less qualified to be in office than any one else. They are ALL just regular folks like you and me. No one possesses magical qualities that make them qualified to run the lives of 300 million people. All they do is decide who gets to be left alone and who gets to suffer state interference. Apparently “good” presidents interfere in the most lives (FDR), while “bad” ones do little (Coolidge). It remains to be seen where Trump will fall on that spectrum, but any increase in the number that regard the Presidency as irrelevant will be a step in the right direction.

November 22 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
Comments 1 Comment

Phantom Menace

I voted for Johnson. Trump was not my guy, but… moving past the initial shock of his win, I am both cautiously optimistic and filled with schadenfreude. The schadenfreude is directed at Hillary supporters. Donald Trump is the perfect vessel for wiping that conceited smugness from their soul. As the saying goes, if you live by the sword, don’t act all shocked when someone uses the sword to vanquish you. That sword is democracy and she is indeed a fickle mistress. If you abuse her power she will flee you and indeed that is exactly what happened to the left. For 8 long years they crammed tax increases, Obamacare, pro-Union rules, and a tidal wave of new regulations down our throats. They thought it would improve our lives. I’m sure they meant well. But they were wrong (economic ignorance will do that n.b. Bernie supporters).

People ultimately vote their pocket book, which is why it was not a wave of “white racism” that elected Trump (indeed he carried less of the white vote than Romney and the same as Bush) but rather economic self-interest. Yes, Trump is a boorish loudmouth, but people don’t care as long as they think he’s the most likely to improve their lot. Do you poll your plumber about his relationships with women or do you just want him to fix your toilet? I’m not hiring Donald Trump to teach manners or to babysit my kids. People voted for Trump not because of the things he said, but in spite of them. That takes real courage.

But you wouldn’t know it to witness the outpouring of apocalyptic hyperbole from the left on social media and the airwaves. The hypocrisy is astounding. Not two weeks ago after the third debate the liberal media was all a twitter about Trump’s unprecedented remarks about reserving his acceptance of the results until after the election and what this would mean for our democracy. Gasp! The liberal media predicted possible violence and turmoil from trigger-happy right wing nut-jobs. Well guess what? The left lost and then behaved exactly as they had predicted the right would! Indeed, it is their behavior that is unprecedented. Never before have elections results in the US been openly and violently contested. Then right on cue (see we were right!) the prophecies came true. Stories started coming in of pro-Trump violence against minorities. But this boy has cried wolf one too many times. The left has a track record of such false flags. Thanks to Wikileaks we learned the Clinton campaign paid people to incite violence at Trump rallies. Likewise we soon found that most if not all of these stories were either fabricated from whole cloth or were grossly misrepresented. https://goo.gl/Q269bv

But so far these protests aren’t about anything Trump has done, merely their fear of what he might do. He is today but a phantom menace. I suppose that fear is understandable given the mantle of unchallenged executive authority he is inheriting from Obama. Perhaps if the left had not been so indifferent to the pleas of libertarians and constitutional conservatives about executive abuses of power they would have less to fear now. But, I guess when it’s your guy doing stuff you approve of it’s no big deal. I don’t know what you’re afraid of though, it’s not like Trump is going to round up all the Muslims or Mexicans and put them in internment camps. Only a Democrat (FDR) would do something like that.

November 15 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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Trust, but Verify

By the time you read this the election will have been decided. No matter who won, the Earth will continue to rotate on its axis and life will go on without nary a concern over the grand egoists in Washington (or Atlanta) who would presume to be our guardians. And that is as it should be. Children require guardians; adults do not.

But, if you are desirous of returning to the womb and feeling comforted in the knowledge that selfless and wise public servants will protect you from all harms, then by all means you have the right, nay, the obligation to demand they prove beyond a reasonable doubt their wisdom and selflessness. In the past all we had as evidence of their competency was their word, or the word of a B-list celebrity on their behalf. If the race was important enough, there might actually be some investigative journalism (back when journalists actually took pride in their work and fully vetted their facts and sources). Whoever was most capable at marketing themselves – apropos in a market driven economy – would ultimately be the winner.

But this election cycle has seen a sea change in terms of trust. As old Russian proverb say, “trust, but verify.” Surely Trump’s puppet master Putin has taught him that one. The Internet has conferred power to the powerless. It has democratized information distribution as the citizen journalist plies his wares in the form of blogs, YouTube videos, and social media memes; a million different opinions and viewpoints all vying to be heard. Some good, some bad, but the for the first time in history everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard (even if fewer today listen as each wrestles for control of the podium). It is the anonymizing power of the Internet that made such platforms as Wikileaks and Anonymous possible. Were they printed media sources they would have been instantly squashed by those in power seeking to silence the Truth they disburse.

History shows that wherever technology ignites the flames that will clear the old ways for the new, there is resistance; the obsolete rarely goes gently into that good night. From the likely apocryphal tale of Dutch workers whose jobs were threatened by industrialization throwing their “sabot” into machinery to undermine its efficiency, to today’s taxi unions pushing to outlaw or undermine crowd-sourced systems such as Uber or Lyft we see the similar desperate grabs at retaining power in journalism. CNN’s Chris Cuomo (wrongly) asserted that only they, the anointed acolytes in The Media could read and interpret the contents of WikiLeaks email dumps. I believe Martin Luther took similar issue with the Pope over proper authority to interpret the Written Word. The Protestant Reformation ensued.

If we are to be ruled like children, then we the People have the right to learn all we can about those who would presume to rule us, by any and all means necessary. Those who would attack the truth because they find its means of delivery distasteful are undeserving of our trust or obedience.

November 09 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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Party of Choice?

There was a moment in the recent third presidential debate where Hillary Clinton sounded downright libertarian in her rhetoric. She said: “I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that [people] make … And I will stand up for that right.” The original quote referenced “women” rather than “people” but I think it’s safe to assume Hillary would consider women to be people. The “decision” under discussion here is abortion. Oddly this seems to be the only individual right the left is willing to defend against government intrusion. Indeed, the refrain of “my body, my choice” is reserved exclusively to abortion but not to say prostitution or recreational drugs. Why is that? Because Democrats (like Republicans) are crass opportunists who will do or say anything to get elected. Recall how Hillary was against gay marriage when it was unpopular but is now for it since public opinion has shifted. Prostitution and illicit drugs don’t garner votes but abortion does. What an odd world we live in where paying for sex is frowned upon, but paying to undo the results of sex is not.

The Democrats claim they are the party of “choice,” unless it’s an activity where they think you’ll make the “wrong” choice. Can I choose where I send my children to school? No. Can I choose to not join a union? No. Can an employer and employee choose a mutually agreeable wage? No. Can I choose to not participate in an inter-generational Ponzi scheme (Social Security)? No. Can I choose to put into my body whatever I want? No. Can I buy (or sell) any good or service? No. Can I choose to start a business without first asking, “mother may I” of the state? No. Can I keep my health plan if I like my plan? I think you get the idea. Now it is true that Republicans are also backers of many of these same prohibitions, but, Republicans have never held themselves up as the “party of choice.” It is for this core hypocrisy I skewer Democrats today. Being for “choice” means supporting it in ALL arenas, not just the politically expedient ones.

Briefly, to return to the topic that started this column, it should be pointed out third trimester abortions could be eliminated without making them illegal. Medical technology is now at the point where just about any child delivered between 7-9 months can survive outside the womb. Groups fighting abortion should shift their resources from sticks (more laws) to carrots. Use those resources to pay the full medical costs of any child that would otherwise have been aborted in the third trimester in exchange for a transfer of guardianship rights from the mother. Perhaps such an arrangement is “illegal” today. I do not know. But if so, hopefully the Party of Choice will lead the way in restoring the right for people to make such mutually beneficial arrangements, turning former foes (abortion opponents) into allies in the process.

November 01 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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Just vote “NO”

Georgia residents will see four ballot initiatives in the upcoming November 8 election. When in doubt you should almost always vote “NO” on any constitution changing ballot initiative. The overwhelming tendency is for government power to expand as personal freedom declines – and ballot initiatives generally reflect this reality. I invite the reader to review the exact wording of the initiatives as well as a more comprehensive overview of the true motivations behind them here. In brief though they follow a formulaic pattern that goes something like this: “Shall bad or disreputable thing, children, children, be fixed by implementing innocuous sounding program?” The new program is invariably a Trojan horse designed to expand the state’s purview of unaccountable authority.

Ballot Question 1 proposes to “fix” “failing” schools by allowing the state to take them over. Sounds good, right? Who could be for failing schools? What is omitted is that the entity proposing to take them over would also sets the standard of what constitutes “failing.” All it takes is a legislative tweak to the standard and suddenly all schools in the state are “failing” and require a takeover. Also omitted is that the state turns control over to private companies in a classic cronyist-fascist-public-private “partnership” model. While there is nothing wrong with private entities running schools, they should do so on their own without help from the government to gain clientele.

Ballot Question 2 is even sneakier. It tries to capitalize on widespread distaste for the sex-industry (prostitution, strip clubs, etc.) to sneak in a new layer of government. It proposes new fines and penalties (there are already fines that are quite high) for illegal activity but then slyly adds a new tax on a legal business type (strip clubs) for the express purpose of establishing yet another program to help supposed “victims” of these consensual activities. Even if you find the sex-industry distasteful, please realize they are using that distaste as a pretext to sneak in constitutional permission to impose a tax on ANY type of business to fund ANY new program (strip clubs are merely the “random” example chosen). That’s picking winners and losers. Legislators don’t like Uber? Ok, new “fee” assessed on it to fund a program to retrain cabbies that lost their job or perhaps subsidize cab companies to “help” them compete with Uber et al. That’s what this is about. It’s not about the sex trade. They just know most people will unthinkingly vote for anything that sounds like it might punish that industry.

Ballot Question 3 just gets even worse. What they don’t tell you speaks mountains. Restating without the omissions, “Shall the independent and not accountable to any branch of government Judicial Qualifications Committee (that is, can’t be influenced by those in government) be abolished and a new one be created that is populated with political appointees who owe allegiance to the very entity they are supposedly overseeing (that is, the government)” Yeah, the foxes are tired of the dog guarding the henhouse – they want a fox to guard the henhouse.

Ballot Question 4 sounds the most reasonable and straightforward; no flowery language here. The deception relies on the fact that most people have no idea how the General Assembly funds programs in Georgia. So they are duped into voting for a less efficient system than the one we already have. And as usual that deception is based on tapping into fear; fear that fireworks are harming untold thousands. So we must DO something! The thing is we already fund the programs they cite. Earmarking funds this way sounds good but in reality is less effective because there is no direct correlation between fireworks sales and public safety services. Creating a special fund means those services could be either over or under funded depending on the vagaries of such sales or the random distribution of injuries

So, to sum up, vote “NO” on all four proposals. Each is nothing more than a deceptive attempt to expand the power and influence of individuals within the state government at the expense of all the citizens.

October 28 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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Actions Trump Words

I’m certainly no Trump fan, but the level of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of the Clinton campaign is breathtaking. So when Bill Clinton came under fire with decades old charges of sexual assault, well that was just part of a vast right wing conspiracy to smear his good name and obviously had no impact on his ability to govern. However, when Donald Trump is the target of similar charges (although Trump barely made it to first base whereas Clinton made several home runs) from years gone by, well that is an obvious reason to disqualify him from the Presidency. Hillary’s tepid defense of women runs only as deep as their politics. If they are opposed to her or her husband then they are liars. But, if they are aligned with her, then their word is sacrosanct and it is up to the accused to prove his innocence.

Now of course the mainline Republicans aren’t much better. They were all too eager to skewer Bill Clinton over his indiscretions many years ago, but seem content to whistle past the graveyard of sexual escapades now that the Donald has come under similar fire. So it seems the general rule in politics is this: if my candidate does X that’s no big deal, but if the opposition does X then that instantly disqualifies them from holding office.

Again, Trump is no saint, but it does seem odd to get so upset over his mere words in contrast to Clinton’s deeds. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Clinton was actively involved in the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in Libya and Syria. As Secretary of State she directly shaped policies of the Obama administration that led to destabilization of Libya by overthrowing Kaddafi. This Libyan power vacuum led to a widening of the conflict in Syria as the US-armed rebels in Libya moved into Syria and morphed into ISIS. So while some may fear what sort of rash behavior the loudmouth blowhard that is Donald Trump might engage in, I’d say we should be more fearful of the person for whom we have an actual record of action. Clinton either knew that this bloodshed and destabilization would result or she was unable to foresee the obvious consequences of such interventionism – either is sufficient to disqualify her from being given even more responsibility.

Trump is a businessman. Businesses try to achieve their goals with the least expenditure of resources. War is costly in comparison to peace, so that supposition and Trump’s own words suggest he would be more likely to invest in non-violent resolutions. Peace is far more profitable.

So whereas Gary Johnson is the far better candidate than either of these two loons, if you are convinced voting for Gary is “wasting” your vote (however false that premise may be) then at least vote for the candidate less likely to get us embroiled in World War III with Russia (as Clinton’s mentor Obama seems poised to do right now). After all Trump and Putin are pals, right?

October 21 / 2016

Color of Law

If you, like me, have been periodically receiving recorded messages on your voicemail from a heavily accented hypnotized Haldol user purporting to be from the IRS you will be relived to hear those calls were actually fraudulent. Yes, I know it is hard to believe. Indian authorities recently raided and arrested hundreds involved in this scam. If you’re curious to hear first-hand how the scam plays out for those willing to take the bait, have a listen to podcaster Tom Woods as he has a little bit of fun with them. It basically ends with the victim being instructed to purchase Target Green Dot cards (of all things) to stave off an imminent IRS raid. We may laugh at the notion that anyone could be so gullible as to fall for this scam but sadly at least 1 in 100 people did indeed fall for it. After the raid it was reported that these scammers raked in from one-hundred to one-hundred fifty thousand dollars every day.

Although we can agree their actions were contemptible, there is actually little separating what they were doing and what the IRS itself does everyday. Granted the IRS does not threaten people over the phone. No, the IRS is much more polite; they use the mail instead. I know. I’ve received many such letters over the years. And in every single case it was due to an error on the IRS’s part. In other words, guilty until proven innocent. Fortunately my issues were all resolved but not without unwarranted time and expense. But more to the point, the IRS is no different than these scammers even when the amounts owed are correct. Why are such amounts “owed”? Because someone somewhere scribbled ink on a piece of paper and bellowed the incantation “lllllaaaaawwwwwwww” over said paper in order to sanctify its legitimacy. The ostensible use of the idea of “law” in order to extract money from a victim is no more legitimate than the actions of such con-men. The fact that a “law” must be made to extract payment proves the transaction is not voluntary – were it so then no law would be needed. We don’t pass laws that stipulate you must purchase food everyday or else.

The same phenomenon exists with money. Counterfeiters are excoriated as contemptuous thieves who extract goods from society without producing anything of value. Their nefarious duplication of currency parasitically extracts value from all other currency holders. True enough. But if a “law” says the government, excuse me, Federal Reserve, may do the exact same thing, well, that is perfectly fine. This is the economic equivalent of a state granted license to kill and no one bats an eye.

So the next time we are cheering for the apprehension of a villainous criminal lets take a moment to shift focus from the mote in their eye and toward the beam in the eye of the state who is more likely than not engaging in the same practice but under the color of law. Remember, don’t steal, the government hates competition.

October 21 / 2016
Author Greg Morin
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