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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Pizza Order & The Fourth Amendment

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"Not sure that fed employees can connect the dots by themselves.  However if the Gov outsources this to Google the (following) is quite possible" was the thought expressed by a long time subscriber who sent this link that reveals the unreasonable searches & seizures whose accumulations of American's personal information have been recorded on computers so that the seemingly simple process of ordering a pizza becomes a libertarian nightmare.
The video acts as if this is something that can happen in the future but people who travel by airplane can already sympathize with the cartoon character with a gallstone shown above.
Also anyone who has completed an online application for a bank or brokerage account since 9/11 knows how real the intrusions encountered in ordering a pizza as shown in the video are right now – not some time in the future.  Answering multiple choice questions about your distant past to prove to a computer that you really are who you say you are strains memories & makes you wonder who knew all of this stuff about you from half a century ago.
Judge for yourself how many Fourth Amendment rights are abused with the intrusions & rummages into the security of your "persons, houses, papers, & effects" that have been going on for decades.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Or Will We?

"Without the individual mandate in the (ObamaCare) law people would not need to secure insurance while they were healthy but rather could wait until they were sick enough to need it under the 'guaranteed issue' clauses of the law.  The 'community rating' clauses of the law would ensure such sick people would pay no more than perfectly healthy people who chose to buy insurance for their own reasons while they were healthy.  You can see that insurance companies would quickly go out of business setting up & really accelerating exacting what BO has wanted all along – single payer universal healthcare.
"America could be on this accelerated path to socialism this summer if the majority of the nine Supreme Court Justices rule (vote) as indicated above.  Nine people who the great majority of Americans could not name or identify if their lives depended on it – which in this case it just might."  last two paragraphs of RTE posting of 3/29/12 following Supreme Court oral arguments on ObamaCare
"The best part of the letter (from Boehner et al., to BO) is that the Republicans ask for a response by July 16 so we won't have to wait long to see what happens, if anything." – Last sentence of the July 15 posting re the letter that asked many pointed questions including why BO unilaterally delayed the enforcement of the employer mandate (that requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer government approved healthcare insurance to workers or pay a $2,000 per full-time employee fine) for a year but left the mandate for individuals in place.
click on graph to enlarge
Since I was not aware of BO's response to the above mentioned letter I called Boehner's office to find out what the response was.  Boehner only had an answering machine hooked up in his office – I left a message & so far there has been no call back.  Called Cantor & the aide had no idea if any response was received but did call me back & said that no response to the letter had been received.
So after BO ignored the letter's requested deadline to respond - the next day the House decided to pass two bills – the first one delaying the employer mandate for a year which is exactly what BO is doing with or without the House bill & the second one also delaying the individual mandate for a year which will go nowhere legislatively – but it did put House Democrats on record.
In this regard thirty five Democrats voted to delay the employer mandate & twenty two Democrats voted to delay the individual mandate.
This seems anticlimactic & another symbolic gesture since the Republican controlled House has already voted to completely repeal the entire ObamaCare bill three times & to defund or dismantle it thirty-nine times – & of course other than a few provisions like the tax reporting requirements for small businesses & the long term care part of the original bill this has gone nowhere. 
But the big danger here is that by voting to delay the individual mandate clause while keeping the guaranteed issue clause of ObamaCare in place means that sick people with pre-existing conditions can get healthcare insurance while healthy people continue to skate.  If this were to happen the healthcare insurance business would be doomed.  Republicans have to do more than read these bills – they also have to understand the consequences of their votes.
Only one Republican, Morgan Griffith, (VA, 9th district) voted against both bills.  I called Griffith's office & an aide did not know why Griffith voted against these bills.  I asked the aide to find out why & call me back – I'm still waiting.  I did find out through the internet that Griffith is for healthcare reform but also feels "in essence, ObamaCare is like an abscessed tooth – delaying fixing the problem is not going to make it better; it only makes it worse."  There is an Atlas Shrugged sense to this logic that I share on ObamaCare & for that matter on the entire state of our republic – the quicker it falls to the trough the sooner we will recover, if ever.
There is a group of senators led by Mike Lee of Utah that is for withholding funding of ObamaCare by not funding it through the next Continuing Resolution that will come up in September.  Ringside Reid & BO will never cooperate with this approach & any shut down of the government will work in BO's favor so this approach is dangerous for those of us who would like to see ObamaCare repealed.
No one knows politically what is the right way to proceed to control ObamaCare but the Atlas Shrugged approach takes on more credibility every day – the next Congress & President can repeal ObamaCare after an apathetic citizenry pays the price for not being involved.  Of course the rest of us do too.
Just look @ the above graph that clearly shows what is happening to the unsustainable cost growth of Medicare & Medicaid.
In the case of Medicare – seniors love it & why not since they are only paying 25% of its costs.  I cringe when I hear someone say they paid into Medicare all of their lives & are entitled to it.
Today's retiring baby boomers are the only people who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives.  Medicare Part A is primarily paid for by the 2.9% payroll tax plus co-pays & deductibles paid for by the recipient while Medicare Part B is primarily paid for from funds taken out of the general tax revenues from the U.S. Treasury plus monthly premiums & shared co-pays & deductibles paid for by the recipients.  The portion of Medicare Part B paid by seniors amounts to only 25% of the program's cost.  Medicare Part D is under a similar arrangement as Part B & is 75% funded by the U.S. Treasury meaning that the drug plan constitutes a public subsidy of 75% of the cost of the program.


So what's not for seniors to like – except that these programs are not financially sustainable?  How unkind is it for our elected reps to let this continue until total collapse of the programs?  It is the elderly & people over 55 who are dependent on these programs who will be hurt the most when the programs collapse.  Just what will these people do then?


Now ObamaCare is following a similar road to ruin to the single payer universal healthcare model.


The minute ObamaCare was passed into law it started to implement the two principles that the free market healthcare insurance business cannot tolerate – guaranteed issue & community rating as described above in the 3/29/12 posting quote.  Centering ObamaCare on these two principles ensures the demise of the healthcare insurance business – all per BO's design. 


Currently BO wants to delay the employer mandate past the 2014 mid-term elections so that employers will not have the incentive to reduce employee's hours to part time status (below 30 hours per week) or start laying off workers with the employees dropped from coverage going on the exchanges thereby raising the government's cost of ObamaCare.


By not wanting to delay the individual mandate to buy healthcare insurance BO may very well be counting on people taking full advantage of the subsidies (that can apply to four times the poverty level for each family size – about $46,000 per year for a single person) that cannot be verified by employers because the healthcare exchanges will not be electronically up & running any time soon.  This is a risky position & BO may very well be counting on his likeability factor to work its magic again if problems develop.


All of the above, & more if you think about it, show the ever-present danger to our republic.  BO is spoon feeding the destruction while waiting for takeover of the House in 2014.  He has all of this as measured as he did his reelection.  He knows what he wants & he is winning a planned collectivist government with single payer universal healthcare insurance where medical treatment can be denied by death panel boards.  Remember there is a difference between having healthcare insurance & getting healthcare.

But its summertime & the kids are out of school & people are going on vacation hoping to relax & get away from all of this so they can enjoy themselves.  We'll have plenty of time to return in the fall to tackle this baby head on.  Or will we?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Follow Up - Encore - Solution To Doug's Billing Problem

As promised below are the responses from 2007 to the original posting repeated on July 17 regarding my billing problem.  You will see below two readers replied with what made sense to them.  There were many responses in 2007 I did not publish – in one a reader let me know she told her boss about my billing problem & asked for a raise to cover the fuel surcharge she incurred commuting to work & another responder did a complete constitutional analysis of Carol's solution to my billing problem.
To understand why the original billing-problem posting is my favorite please refer to Neal Boortz's regular commentary from his radio program & message on his blog - "Don't believe anything you read on this web page or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your own satisfaction."  It is this same common sense standard I always encourage readers of RTE to use – questioning & commenting are how we all learn & I thank everyone who participates & contributes.
Admittedly the billing-problem posting was out of character – but really no more so than someone asking you to sign a petition to repeal the First Amendment commenting while you have pen in hand "I don't know where the Republicans think they have the right to say what they want to say."
Responses – Solution To Doug's Billing Problem - 2/26/07

Received more responses to my billing problem note than any other ever.  Shows what an alert group we have who cut right through the baloney. Below are two responses representative of the ones that got right to it. I won't show the ones who thought this was serious - if you did, read it again in light of the following two responses & also if you thought this was serious & still get your news from the hostile media use this as an example of why you shouldn't believe anything that doesn't make sense to you.

Response # 1 from the Historian

"what has fuel surcharge have to do with insurance;??? what has health care surcharge have to do with fuel???? somebody is pulling your leg."

Response # 2 from our SC Business Man

":-) There are times when a bit of levity is appreciated. We need more of them so we don't turn into Democratics (You know how they hate being called Democrats.)"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blog Notice - VATs

The statistics provided to me everyday by Google show a tremendous current interest in VATs.  In fact the posting of June 7, 2009 re VATs has vaulted from nowhere to the most read posting.  I suggest that anyone interested in VATs click on The Differences Between The FairTax & VATs.  This write-up can also be found on the left hand side of RTE under The FairTax.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Encore - Solution To Doug's Billing Problem

The two-back July 11 posting regarding Mark Dice's work with zombies signing petitions to repeal the Bill Of Rights brought to mind my favorite posting of all time – see below.  It too has been a topic of conversation recently.  A posting showing the responses from 2007 & why it is my favorite will follow.

Solution To Doug's Billing Problem - 2/25/2007

Over the weekend I was sitting @ my kitchen table paying my bills when I noticed that there was a fuel surcharge on my insurance bill, an insurance surcharge on my health-care bill, & a health-care surcharge on my fuel bill.

Upon telling Carol of this she told me "we need Congress to establish a non-partisan study group to develop alternative plans with various sacrifices in spending & taxation to achieve prudent ratios of debt-to-GDP & unfunded liabilities-to-GDP, using dynamic scoring with conservative assumptions.  Then the political fight can proceed over which sacrifices should be made, & an informed electorate can vote accordingly to @ least partially help solve your billing problem."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Delay In Employer Mandate Gives Republicans A Chance To Unwind ObamaCare

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Many of us who want ObamaCare repealed are eager to see what comes of the one year delay in enforcement to January 1, 2015 of the part of ObamaCare, known as the employer mandate, that requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer government approved healthcare insurance to workers or pay a $2,000 per full-time employee fine.  My specific interest in this delay questions the legality of BO's unilateral decision to enforce only parts of the crippling law.  A case can be made that a president is required by the Constitution to faithfully execute our laws – not parts of them.  How does BO have the authority to unilaterally delay the part of the law mandating employers to provide healthcare insurance or pay fines?
I am anxious to see if this legal question is the opening champions of repealing ObamaCare like Michele Bachmann & Steve King have been waiting for. 
Now the implementation of ObamaCare has run into several speed humps since passage in March 2010. 
First - Roberts ruled that states can op-out of the law's Medicaid expansion & 28 states have indicated they will or may op-out. 
Second - 36 states have refused to fully set up the troubled healthcare-insurance exchanges (see above graph) that will allow people who do not have employer coverage to buy insurance through the exchanges with part of the premiums paid by government subsidies – the federal government will run the exchanges in the states colored yellow.
Although BO acts as though he delayed the employer mandate to help businesses the reality is that the government's computer systems connecting businesses, the IRS, Social Security, DHS, & all of the participating insurance companies will not be ready on October 1 for exchange operation & January 1 for enforcing the employer mandate – both dates specified in the law.
So the postponement of the employer mandate to furnish healthcare insurance or pay a fine is just the latest problem & in truth it may be more of a political problem BO wants to head off than an administrative computer problem when you realize the new effective date for the employer mandate is right after the 2014 midterm congressional elections.  The postponement merely delays a potential problem that could cost the Democrats a few House or Senate seats & oh does BO want to control both Chambers of Congress his last two years in office. 
The employer mandate postponement really could have a small impact because most firms with over 50 employees already offer healthcare insurance.  BO's political fear is that if he does not delay the employer mandate past the midterm elections employers might drop healthcare insurance coverage with the employees dropped from coverage going on the exchanges thereby raising the government's cost of ObamaCare.  Since the employer mandate only applies to full-time employees, defined as employees who work 30 hours or more, it also could threaten to depress full-time employment right before the congressional midterms. 
With a giant hole in ObamaCare in 2014 – parts of the law in effect & key parts not in effect - the government will rely on the honor system in approving applications for the premium subsidies absent employer verifications through the aforementioned computer systems.
BO's delay in implementing the employer mandate gives the Republicans a chance to unwind the ObamaCare step by step implementation that has been going on for over three years.  With the completion of each step BO's goal of universal single payer healthcare insurance gets closer. 
The Republican House leadership has written a letter to BO detailing new questions & concerns with ObamaCare based on the above & it is a good first step.  The best part of the letter is that the Republicans ask for a response by July 16 so we won't have to wait long to see what happens, if anything.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Community Organizing Zombies

Thanks to a long time subscriber to RTE for sending this URL that includes several of activist Mark Dice's man-in-the-street type YouTube videos where Mark gets people to sign petitions for the first three topics listed below & poses as a member of the Obama civilian national security force in the fourth.  People willingly responded to whatever Mark asked when they heard it was for Obama.  I highlight my favorite quotes from each video:
1.  Petition to repeal the Bill Of Rights – "Obama is doing everything he can to repeal the Bill Of Rights & we're just showing that the citizenry is right behind him."
2.  Petition to ban the First Amendment – "I don't know where the Republicans think they have the right to say what they want to say."
3.  Petition to ban the Second Amendment – "We are going to make sure only the illegal unregistered guns stay on the street.  We want to make sure only the criminals have guns & get guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens."
4.  Back pack searches on college campus – "We are just checking your back pack while violating your Fourth Amendment rights."
Of course the entire thing is a farce but the people in the videos, except for a very few, were only too glad to sign their rights away with no idea or concern about what they were signing.
Do your own estimate of how many of the people you saw in these videos you think actually vote.  Just imagine how many current nonvoters a community organizer following the Alinsky method could get to the polls to vote for Michelle Obama for President in 2016.  We are outnumbered already & the numbers keep growing to our further disfavor every day.
That is exactly what BO Campaign Manager Jim Messina is working on right now with Organizing For Action while Republicans continue trying to figure out the best way to pander to Hispanics in the immigration bill – what a mismatch in focus.  The idea of Messina's work is to create & maintain an influence across America in support of BO's policies & you can see from the videos that there is plenty of support for these policies whether the people know what the policies are or not.
When I saw how little liberty meant to the people signing the petitions I realized that we are only free because it is convenient & most advantageous to the high energy people in the country who are calling the shots to let us remain that way. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Huckabee Commentary - The Elimination Of The IRS Through The FairTax

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Click here to hear Mike Huckabee's excellent commentary about eliminating the IRS as part of the FairTax legislation, HR 25.
Under the FairTax every individual decides, instead of the IRS, how much tax they pay & when they pay it.  The April 15 income tax filing deadline is eliminated & instead you "do your taxes" at the checkout counter whenever you make a purchase - and walk away with no chance of an audit.  Under the FairTax, the ordinary citizen will never come into contact with a federal agency for the purposes of collecting taxes again.
In the video Mike also recommends that even under the current income tax system that all government subsidies to all entities – religious or not – be ended.  Mike says – "If you want something pay for it.  Leave the government out of it."  That very simple idea by itself would solve so many of our problems starting with the lesson that government is not free.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Inspirational Independence Day Message From Carly Fiorina

Click here to hear Carly Fiorina's inspirational Independence Day message that highlights one of America's gifts to the world – the spirit of innovation & entrepreneurship.  Carol & I saw the presentation live that was given @ the National Press Club on July 1.
The speech was entitled "American Innovation -- Leadership in the 21st Century."
Most people know Carly was the CEO & Chairman of Hewlett Packard from 1999 to 2005.  She currently is the Chairman of Good360, Alexandria VA – described as the world's largest product philanthropy organization.
In the speech Carly explains how she started work as a secretary in a nine person company & was recognized even in that position by the owners of the company as an entrepreneur – a person she defines as someone who envisions a different future, dreams big, works long hours, sees possibilities & by seizing these possibilities creates possibilities for others – i.e., jobs.  It is the anti-business, anti-innovator, & anti-entrepreneur hostile class warfare mindset that BO has created & continues to promote & advance that is keeping the American economy bogged down.  Until this is reversed people cannot find gainful employment but rather will become more government dependent – exactly BO's plan & he is winning.
Now I have an idea how hard Carly worked from following her career for over fifteen years as she travelled all over the world. 
After all of her travels Carly says America is still the only place in the world where it is possible for a young woman typing & filing to become the head of one of the largest companies in the world & it is not that she was so special but that this place is so special.
Hope you enjoy the video – it is a most welcome inspirational message when we need one the most.