About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Open Market - A Method Of Free Enterprise Cooperation

Many have seen the cover of his book Free To Choose in which Professor Friedman holds a pencil in such a way that begs the obvious question "what's with the pencil?"
 
Click on the referenced post below to hear the great libertarian professor present & explain the free enterprise cooperation involved in making a simple lead pencil – it is truly astounding when you think of all the steps & people involved from so many corners of the world.
 
In this same light, Andy George, recently took six months out of his life to show what similar type of cooperation is involved in making a chicken sandwich.  The result is a real homemade sandwich that points out how much of capitalism we take for granted in our daily lives – like eating lunch.
 
Lastly, click on this video that shows the importance of trade to maintaining our standard of living that also demonstrates Professor Friedman's words – "Our gain from foreign trade is what we import.  Exports are the price we pay to get imports . . . the citizens of a nation benefit from getting as large a volume of imports as possible in return for its exports, or equivalently, from exporting as little as possible to pay for its imports."
 
The graph below shows another troubling trend for America in this regard.
 
click on graph to enlarge
 
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Establishment Republicans' & Media's First Priority - Getting Rid Of Carson

 
 
The above two polls show the three outsider candidates for the Republican nomination for president have a combined 68% share in Nevada & 61% in South Carolina, but with Lindsey Graham bringing in an oversized 5% in SC the outsider share will increase in SC when Lindsey drops out.
 
Now the establishment Republicans want to get rid of Don, Ben, & Carly so that Bush, Rubio, or Kasich becomes the Republican presidential nominee & of course that will ensure that any of the five Democrat debaters (except Webb) last week becomes the next president. 
 
Ben Carson, appears somewhat more na├»ve or politically unsavvy to the establishment Republicans & the media than Don or Carly, so Ben has been the subject of some very simple minded attacks the past few weeks with the idea of getting rid of him first.  Simple minded meaning that is what the establishment Republicans & media think of us by figuring their mindless attacks on Dr. Carson would stick.
 
First Martha Raddatz, one of the detestable debate moderators from the 2012 presidential campaign, offers Ben the chance to retract his previous statement that America should never elect an observant Muslim president.  Now anyone who has paid the least bit of attention the past fourteen years knows that the Quran & the Hadith hold Sharia law above all else including the U. S. Constitution & accordingly disqualifies observant Muslims from the U.S. presidency because taking the presidential oath of office (Article II, Section 1) would be a violation of their Muslim faith & Sharia law.  I knew what Dr. Carson meant the first time I heard him say it & so did Raddatz – she was, & probably still is, counting on the apathetic electorate not knowing, or ever hearing of Sharia law.  Such people could easily dismiss Dr. Carson as too prejudiced to become president - removing Carson from the above list thereby making it easier for the Democrat nominee to win the White House.
 
Shortly thereafter Wolf Blitzer played the despicable race card on Dr. Carson trying to put Ben in a catch-22 discussing Rupert Murdock's recent tweet saying that Carson would be a real black president unlike BO.  This was followed in the same interview with Blitzer hounding Carson about whether or not Ben thought BO was a Christian.
 
The lines of questioning of both Raddatz & Blitzer clearly reveal that the media has their own agenda & what they ask is not in the citizenry's interest.
 
Unfortunately the majority of the citizenry, for their part, just doesn't even know what to ask. 
 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

An Explanation Of The Deterioration Of America's Middle Class

 
c click on graph to enlarge
 
The above graph from the September 2015 U.S. Census Bureau report Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014 shows that median earnings for men working full time year round was stagnate @ $50,000 per year in constant 2014 dollars from 1972 to the present – a horrible record even considering that income mobility is dynamic meaning it is different people moving above & below the green horizontal median line throughout this entire time frame.  The purchasing power of the middle class has not increased by this measure in over 40 years.
 
Not all of the data presented in the report is terrible – there were periods of prosperity.  From 1981 to 1989 real inflation adjusted median annual household income (2014 dollars) increased from $47,658 to $53,306 & from 1993 to 1999 the increase went from $50,421 to $57,843 - the all time peak in median annual household income.  These periods correspond to 1) the Reagan presidency & 2) the combined Clinton presidency & Gingrich House speakership respectively. 
 
Since 1999 there is a 7.2% decrease in median constant dollar annual household income from the peak & a 6.5% decrease since 2007 to $53,657 in 2014 under Bush's & BO's presidencies.
 
The phenomenon of men's median annual income stagnating for the past 42 years & household income showing periods of increases as indicated above is explained in the report by women entering the work force in larger numbers over the years & their incomes not stagnating – going from $30,000 to almost $40,000 per year during this period in constant 2014 dollars as indicated on the above graph.  According to Harvard economics Professor Martin Feldstein the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 38% of married women with income in the U.S. earned more than their husbands in 2013.  The above graph shows a rise in the earnings of women & when you couple this rise with two people getting married & forming one household you can see that any rise in household income is due to the larger number of women entering the work force over the past four decades.
 
But all of this in totality indicates that something is terribly wrong & has been wrong for decades. 
 
Manufacturing plants & jobs have disappeared from America.  Rick Santorum reports that just since 2007 fifteen thousand manufacturing plants have shut down & more than 2 million manufacturing jobs have been lost.
 
From a technical standpoint the dollar has lost 96% of its purchasing power since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 (with the goal of preserving the value of the dollar).  Also in 1913 the federal income tax system was put into place - the income tax system has damaged America because it taxes work, savings, & investment & as such is the basis of so many ill-advised incentives that have nothing to do with our prosperity except for destroying it.  The inflation that followed Nixon taking the U.S. off the gold standard in 1971 is more than coincidental when you look @ the statistics from 1972 to the present as the report does.  It was this inflation that forced more & more women to enter the work force to help make family ends meet – but this started another problem with mothers not being in the home like many of the members of this readership benefitted from.
 
Lenin was an advocate of putting an end to enemy countries by destroying that country's families as well as overturning a society by debauching the currency so that not one man in a million would be aware of the subtle destruction going on.  The U.S. has experienced & is experiencing both of these phenomenons.
 
Every time government gets bigger free enterprise principles are distorted thereby putting more of a drag on the entrepreneur – the creator of wealth & meaningful jobs that support a family - the foundation of the self-respect & dignity that not only promoted but naturally bred the country's original mindset.   In 1930 federal government spending equaled 3% of GDP. Today federal government spending approximates 20% of GDP.  State & local government spending approximates 17% of GDP for a government spending total of 37% of GDP.
 
Of course all of this government spending started as part of FDR's New Deal in the 1930s & was expanded by LBJ's Great Society programs of the 1960s & continues with BO's pet project – ObamaCare.
 

The 1930s started as the complacency to apathy stage & with our very own eyes we have seen our country move to the apathy to dependence stage & if we don't turn the current mindset around we will witness the dependence back into bondage final stage of the Death Of Democracy.


There are many features of WW II that ended the Great Depression but by the time the war ended many Americans were very used to & liked government dependence – whether they readily admitted it or not. It was the wage & price freeze during the war that resulted in employers finding (with Congress's help) the loophole to provide medical insurance that would not count as wage increases that resulted in the insurance-dependent system we have today.
 
The U.S. dominated the world economy for the next two to three decades following WW II until the economies of Europe & Japan were restored - thereby creating competition to challenge America's dominance.  Along the way China & other Asian countries entered the global economy bringing over a billion low-wage people into the world work force.  The onset of capital automation & innovation replacing labor & relocating American manufacturing facilities overseas resulted in Americans competing for jobs against people who make pennies per day.
 
School quality started to deteriorate in the 1930s along with the expansion & centralization of government until today it is hard to find employers who are satisfied with the quality of graduates whether from college, high school, or vocational school.  See the graph below for the latest evidence of the skills mismatch in openings & hires for construction workers in the residential home building industry.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
The above narrative & statistics explain what happened to the American middle class during the 42 year period 1972 to 2014 – & there is no end in sight of this deterioration until our schools improve & the citizenry is motivated to get the education that will allow them to compete with the market forces that exist around the world.  The seeming infinite number of government dependent programs provide all the wrong incentive for any improvement to this situation – young people trading leisure time off & rotten part time jobs in exchange for the benefits of one government program or another or moving back with their parents is a slow burn to the oblivion of being totally unaware of the end that is becoming more clearly in sight for @ least some of us.
 
The more alert readers of this post may feel that the American citizenry has been cheated by the country's succumbing to the mixed economy that still includes some degree of capitalism but an ever increasing proportion of socialism.
 
John C. Webb, writing in the WSJ last month, uses Table A-4 of the report to quantify just how much we have been cheated out of.  Please direct your attention to the slope of the green line on the left hand side of the top graph that shows the growth in real median annual earnings for men between 1960 ($37,564) & 1972 ($51,649).  Mr. Webb calculates that had this growth continued @ the same rate that the typical male worker would today be making $157,400 per year.
 
Reference post:  Death Of Democracy
 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Misuse Of The Power Of The Purse

About 40 conservative congressmen (known as members of the Freedom Caucus) & the majority of their constituents have become impatient with the lack of results obtained since Republicans took majority control of both the House & Senate following the midterm election of 2014.  This impatience led to the outright dissatisfaction that forced House Speaker John Boehner to resign not only his speakership but also his seat in Congress effective October 30. 
 
Speaker Boehner & Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were not able to devise, let alone implement, a plan that would repeal & replace ObamaCare, stop BO's nuclear weapons deal with Iran, or defund Planned Parenthood following several undercover videos that showed the barbaric taking of organs from fetuses & selling them to the highest bidder.  This has infuriated the Freedom Caucus members as well as members of the Tea Party Caucus, the Liberty Caucus, & the Republican Study Committee.
 
It is very upsetting that all of these things happened under a Republican controlled Congress after it was promised that repealing & replacing ObamaCare would just be the start of setting things right after the Republicans held the House in 2014 & also took majority control of the Senate.  And it certainly was understood that none of the other type incidents – Iran deal & Planned Parenthood tactics – would ever be allowed to stand by this congressional majority.
 
Now the aforementioned politicians surely knew they were overpromising & with a high degree of certainty so did their constituents.  
 
First, the 54 to 46 Republican majority in the Senate needs six Democrats to cooperate to get to the 60 vote supermajority required to bring a measure like any of the above three to cloture – otherwise the measure dies in the Senate deliberative body labyrinth of endless filibuster debate with no positive corrective action whatsoever for the nation. 
 
Next it takes 67 senators & 290 congressmen (including 43 Democrats if all 247 Republicans voted in lockstep) to override BO's certain veto on all of the above three issues – an even harder task.  So a simple majority of both chambers of Congress will not be sufficient to control any of the above three issues based on the numbers. 
 
But the 40 conservative congressmen & talk-radio showmen like Sean Hannity believe they have a winning hand in invoking the Appropriations Claus of the Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Clause 7) which is the cornerstone of Congress's power of the purse function that limits spending of the federal government – in this latest case defunding Planned Parenthood restricts BO's access to the funds formerly subsidized to Planned Parenthood. 
 
The strategy in the defunding Planned Parenthood matter is that a Continuing Resolution (CR) will be submitted without any funding for Planned Parenthood & when BO refuses to sign the measure the government will start to shut down & BO & the Democrats will be blamed.
 
But Boehner & McConnell would have none of this & by coupling every Democrat (except two who didn't vote in the House) & enough statist Republicans the CR passed both the House & Senate thereby funding the government keeping federal agencies operating until December 11 when Congress gets to do it all over again.  The CR did not include any Planned Parenthood cuts or defunding meaning it is merely short term legislation passed by Congress & signed by BO to keep the government open.  The CR does nothing to solve the problems of BO & the Republican groups mentioned above which will resurface again on December 11 when Boehner will no longer be the Speaker.
 
In effect Boehner & McConnell have become the leaders of the Democrats instead of the Republicans.  See the list of 151 congressmen & 20 senators who voted "nay" below.  If your Republican congressmen or senators are not on the list below they voted with Boehner, McConnell, & the Democrats to fund Planned Parenthood @ current levels of over $1 million per day.
 
Now are Sean Hannity & the aforementioned 171 conservative Republicans correct in thinking more of a fight should have been made by the Republican majority Congress by invoking the power of the purse – they claim this is what the Founders & Framers of the Constitution intended?
 
It is certainly true that Congress has the power of the purse but this function was used much differently in 1787 than it is today.  When the Constitution was written there was virtually no money being spent; in fact the only two spending functions of the federal government (i.e., Congress) under the Constitution were to pay the debts of the country & to provide for the common defense & general welfare of the United States (meaning the national welfare of the entire country & not local or regional benefits & certainly not to establish a government giveaway welfare state like we have today). 
 
Contrast this original intended meaning of the power of the purse with the emergence today of 126 welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute.  Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation determined that the average middle class family receives over $7,000 more in benefits than they pay in federal taxes each year.  The Pew Research Center reports that more than 65% of millenials (people born between 1981 & 2005) support reducing military spending in order to preserve spending on these welfare programs – source Mark Levin, Plunder & Deceit, Page 157.
 
Based on the above it is obvious that the majority of Americans are more interested in receiving government benefits than they are about being financially responsible.  Accordingly, their elected representatives have to be sure they know what they are supporting.  The graph below indicates that an overwhelming majority of people oppose cutting the funding to Planned Parenthood so conservatives (whether in the House, Senate, or talk radio) who are advocating shutting down the government over this issue should take pause to consider where they are in their political lives before continuing with this approach which will be reenacted @ the December 11 CR deadline or the next debt ceiling confrontation scheduled for early November.
 
click on graph to enlarge
 
It is not about picking battles – defunding Planned Parenthood is certainly a worthwhile battle in helping to restore the virtue, morality, & integrity of the country that slips farther away every day - but rather picking how to fight these type of battles so the statist mindset in America can be turned around in order to preserve our standard of living.
 
Remaining silent for months @ a time & then strategizing how to shut down the government @ the last minute point of brinksmanship is a losing approach for Republicans that should be replaced by people who are prepared & dedicated to be long term consistent living examples who can explain & demonstrate the benefits the libertarian principles the country was founded upon & originally followed provide to those of us lucky enough to be born & raised in America.
 
To reverse the growing statist mindset in America the focus must clearly be on trying to reach the 47% of people that Mitt Romney described as "dependent on government, believe they are victims entitled to government handouts, & pay no income tax"; & by reclaiming the education of our children to be responsible citizens who understand that the free enterprise system in America has been so badly & intentionally deformed by BO & the Democrats – virtually beyond recognition – that life has become desperate for far too many people.  
 
To understand how America went from the original mindset where people rebuilt cities that had been destroyed by fires, hurricanes, & earthquakes without asking for government assistance to a mindset of "I deserve, I'm entitled," & "its my right" we must start by seeing how government has increasingly crept into our lives over the decades since America's founding - & all for the worse.
 
Part of our problem can be explained by the busy lives people live that does not allow time for them to know what is happening to themselves or our country. Most such people are uninformed & many do not feel they have any skin in the game or even realize that a game is going on. Now it is human nature to not want to have skin in the game if you are able to play the game & either don't have any skin in the game or think you don't. But we all do & it is the job of those of us who know what our future holds to convince the uninformed that they really do have skin in the game in that their entire standard of existence is @ stake when the government gravy train stops abruptly.
 
FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 528
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

      H R 719      YEA-AND-NAY      30-Sep-2015      4:57 PM
      QUESTION:  On Concurring in the Senate Adt to the House Adt to the Senate Adt
      BILL TITLE:
TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2015

YEAS NAYS PRES NV
REPUBLICAN 91 151   4
DEMOCRATIC 186     2
INDEPENDENT        
TOTALS 277 151   6
 
--- NAYS    151 ---

Abraham
Aderholt
Allen
Amash
Babin
Barr
Barton
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Blum
Boustany
Brat
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Buck
Bucshon
Burgess
Byrne
Carter (GA)
Carter (TX)
Chabot
Chaffetz
Clawson (FL)
Collins (GA)
Conaway
Crawford
DeSantis
DesJarlais
Duffy
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Ellmers (NC)
Emmer (MN)
Farenthold
Fincher
Fleischmann
Fleming
Flores
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Garrett
Gibbs
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Gosar
Gowdy
Granger

Graves (GA)
Graves (LA)
Graves (MO)
Griffith
Grothman
Guinta
Guthrie
Harper
Harris
Hartzler
Hensarling
Hice, Jody B.
Hill
Holding
Huelskamp
Huizenga (MI)
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurt (VA)
Jenkins (KS)
Johnson, Sam
Jones
Jordan
Kelly (MS)
Kelly (PA)
King (IA)
Labrador
LaHood
Lamborn
Latta
Long
Loudermilk
Love
Luetkemeyer
Lummis
Marchant
Marino
Massie
McCaul
McClintock
Meadows
Messer
Mica
Miller (FL)
Moolenaar
Mooney (WV)
Mulvaney
Murphy (PA)
Neugebauer
Nugent
Olson

Palazzo
Palmer
Pearce
Perry
Pittenger
Poe (TX)
Pompeo
Posey
Price, Tom
Ratcliffe
Renacci
Ribble
Rice (SC)
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rokita
Rooney (FL)
Roskam
Ross
Rothfus
Rouzer
Russell
Salmon
Sanford
Schweikert
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shuster
Smith (MO)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Stewart
Stutzman
Wagner
Walberg
Walker
Walorski
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Westerman
Westmoreland
Williams
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Yoder
Yoho
Young (IN)


---- NOT VOTING    6 ---

Brady (TX)
Culberson

Hudson
Kelly (IL)

Meeks
Reichert


 
Measure Number:
H.R. 719 (TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2015 )
 
Measure Title:
A bill to require the Transportation Security Administration to conform to existing Federal law and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions, and for other purposes.
 
Vote Counts: YEAs 78
NAYs 20
Not Voting 2
 
NAYs ---20
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Coats (R-IN)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)

Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)

Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)

Not Voting - 2
Graham (R-SC)
Rubio (R-FL)
 
 
 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

American Airman On Terrorized French Train

click on photo to enlarge

Click here to see the appreciative reception given by a late night TV host, his audience, & by extension his network - none of whom are generally known for their admiration of people like Spencer Stone, a heroic 1st Class Airman who helped stop a deadly terrorist attack on a French train in August.

Airman 1st Class Stone was severely cut on both his left hand & back of his neck (two places) by the heavily armed 26 year old Moroccan terrorist whose identity has not been forthcoming with certainty supposedly because an investigation is ongoing. 

The incident started with the terrorist wielding a Kalashnikov rifle before being subdued by Stone & his friends as indicated in the above video – truly an inspirational story of action that came very naturally to these men on vacation.