Posts Tagged ‘never fail to take advantage of a good crisis’

Reform School

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Americana, Capitalism, Communications, Economy, Freedom, Media, Oppression, Politics, Tyranny
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“Reform” is a common concept in government. My experience has been that whenever government reforms something, it will inevitably be worse. The nine-letter word “reforming” coincides with the nine-letter result: Imscrewed. Big government statists cannot resist increasing government size or power. That is one stark illustration of why the so-called “War on Drugs” has been a forty-year failure. Government and its political enablers have an addiction problem that is much more harmful for the nation than any individual’s reliance on an illicit substance. The only government program that has succeeded at any measurable level is the “War on Liberty” that was begun with little fanfare one century ago.


You may recall the “Tax Reform Act of 1986.” That overhaul was a result of an agreement between President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill. The President agreed to some tax increases in the “reform” bill in exchange for sizable spending cuts in subsequent budgets.  As usual the spending cuts never materialized and a radical transform of the tax code went forward. Prior to the 1986 tax bill interest expenses were deductible, but after passage, credit card and non-mortgage, non-business interest payments were no longer allowed as tax deductions. Personally, interest deductions are not important for me. I would rather eliminate the income tax altogether and eliminate the incessant tinkering and tweaking that costs taxpayers more money while Congress rewards its favored groups or companies.


So, as a brief summary of the prologue, reform generally represents more of the same though worse. As an example, please join me in a “quickie’ review of Ohio Sub. HB 194…of the 129th General Assembly.

This so-called election administrative reform bill is similar to many other bills under consideration by our legislative bodies. Its provisions resemble tentacles as they weave and wind around so many facets of Ohio election law, and yet….this purportedly comprehensive overhaul ignores a gorilla in the room…a gaping intentional oversight in violation of a court order. The aspect of ballot access for minor parties was never addressed, thus allowing the existing law to stand which had earlier been declared unfair by the court. Similar to Obamacare and so many legislative initiatives, Sub. HB 194 addresses several areas of concern that could result in some unanticipated problems because of the breadth of the bill.


The Ohio bill must have some merit because President Obama’s campaign is opposed to it because of its stricter provisions regarding voter identification…..could possibly limit cheating, and thus, is not Obama-friendly. The legislation covers a broad scale of issues affecting Ohio elections such as we “cannot assume that poll workers erred.” Proof must be submitted before allegations or assumptions are allowed. Clearly the Voter I.D. provision is the lightning rod of the bill as liberals, progressives, Marxists and cheaters are fearful that a photo I.D. would minimize their opportunities for stealing elections.


An omnibus bill that purports to reform a broad swath of law is inherently doomed. Unintended consequences will cling to the legislation like flies to road kill. Opponents will target one or more aspects of the legislation and may seek judicial intervention. Forecasting what some judges would do is similar to predicting when and where a first raindrop may land. Broad based initiatives allow the dedicated public servants to crow about their major accomplishments, and at the same time, condense the heavy lifting of formulating meaningful legislation. This in turn generates more free time for lobbyist-funded meals and adult beverages.


Admittedly I am a skeptic and a cynic, but I do suspect that some omnibus bills are staff-created legislative shortcuts for elected officials. If there is a sincere intent to dramatically change the status quo, the omnibus bill does provide some cover in the sense that changes that may inspire opposition could perhaps, maybe, theoretically, possibly get lost in the weeds of a broad undertaking. In addition, a huge bill that deals with various facets of state law (elections for example) has many sponsors, co-sponsors and amendment sponsors so that disgruntled citizens or groups may find it difficult to place blame for what they believe to be an egregious legislative result. While the omnibus bill may provide a cloak of anonymity for its advocates, it may also lead to glaring oversights….legislators and staff members become so enamored with the forest that individual trees lose their identities.


As the kind trusting person that I am, I will assume that the “too-broad, glaring-omission” explanation is the logical one for the failure of Sub. HB 194 to address the issue of minor party ballot access. Clearly, the elected members of the Ohio General Assembly believe in the Republic and the rights of citizens to freely elect their representatives. Obviously the members of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate would do nothing that intentionally enables a continuing duopoly of power, thought and avarice. After all, the two old parties have shared power, meals and drinks for more than 150 years so it cannot be possible that third-party competition would be seriously challenging to them. Right?


Intentional self-serving denial of opportunity in a republic is just as loathsome as a poll tax or a literacy test. When two parties hold absolute control of the election apparatus, logical reasoning would lead one to believe that power will be misapplied. Because the two old parties have controlled the election apparatus across the nation for so long, they have not been seriously challenged to account for their malfeasance, misfeasance and misdeeds. We have all been losers because of the lack of electoral accountability. Reform? Yeah, right.



Tue & Wed, 6-7pm on 1370 WSPD, Toledo


Crisis Creation

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Capitalism, Communications, Economy, Media, Oppression, Politics, Rants, Taxes, Tyranny
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If you have been on this earth for any significant time, you have probably and painfully learned that there is a difference between thoughtful consideration and procrastination. Dithering does not qualify as deliberation. Certainly prudence demands that we examine our options to determine which one will yield the most favorable outcome. Undoubtedly you are familiar with the term, “paralysis by analysis,” wherein over-examination of a difficult decision leads to a failure to act or respond. These scenarios are common for most of us, and we recognize the pitfalls that arise because of our inability to respond. These are some of the rules of life, but in certain quarters the rules are suspended. Take career politicians for example.


Most professional politicians suffer from an aversion to critical decision making. As you know, on an issue that is prominent and divided, the politician risks annoying or infuriating a large portion of his constituents no matter how she or he may vote. As a result, many crises in our affairs of state arise because of the career politicians’ refusal to deal with an issue promptly and forthrightly.  Issues become problems that beget crises that cause nervous handwringing and intense arm twisting. Generally, the politician succumbs to expediency and meekly follows the leadership to a minimalist response to the moment to escape the volcanic wrath of the electorate. Thus, the “can” of concern is kicked further down the road only to rise again at a later time with consequences far greater.


Abscessed characters and absences of integrity are too common among the careerist political class. The most self-centered among them weigh every decision on the scales of electoral expediency. In some respects the self-serving types are preferable to the indecisive cowards because their positions are so predictable. Whatever vote or pledge has the greatest potential for maintaining or advancing the politician’s career is the one that is taken or cast. The concept of a principled vote or position is alien to the class of politician who is consumed by opportunism. It is the expedient politician who has helped to elevate his class on a par with used car salesmen and snake oil peddlers in the popular views of the people.


Another factor besides the personalities and preferences of the politicians for the sense of crisis that seems pervasive is the sheer size of government…at all levels. Their consistent expansion and overreaching for the past century has resulted in bloated monstrosities that are ineffective and impossible to manage. Factor in the overlap and redundancy elements of many governments, and we often find ourselves in crisis mode because of competing bureaucracies or sectors of interest that are unaddressed because the various bureaucracies remain stuck in “turf-protection” gear. Large sluggish enterprises are inefficient and ineffective. Large public sector institutions are much worse than their private sector cohorts because it is nearly impossible to dismiss incompetent or lazy workers. So the massive organizational structure of government is a primary contributor to the frequency of crises in our public discourse.  Government agencies often overreach and frequently under perform. Either of those response modes could germinate a crisis.


Closely associated with the unrestrained growth of government is its insatiable need for operating funds. With Big Brother and Nanny State gobbling more control of our lives and our commerce, the financial requirements escalate. So, it seems there is a constant crisis for funding…at all levels of government. Their incestuous relationships and complex network of grants and mandates place an increasing financial burden on the taxpayers. When the bureaucrats and political class decide that additional funding is required, they claim that a crisis is imminent, and the funds are vital for averting a catastrophe.


There are two aspects of crisis that may not have so large of a domestic human component in the chain of causation..…attack by foreign entities and a natural or commercial disaster. Time and again our government’s response to a provocation or natural disruption has been too little, too late. Often when lives were saved, it was the heroic actions of individuals—some from the public sector and others just ordinary citizens—whose actions were the most helpful and effective. We may never know what involvement government had in the generating of the crises, if any, because of foreign policy, the inadequate construction and repair of levees, unrealistic environmental restrictions that limit the building of water-breaks and dams. The point is that people, local people, respond more quickly and effectively in many cases than does the government-controlled response agency. Does the memory of thousands of unused FEMA trailers for the Gulf Coast ring a bell? Many of those trailers were sources of breathing problems because the gaseous releases from the interiors….typical.


In every crisis for the nation, governments play an instrumental role. Sometimes government’s failure to act initiates the problem or makes it worse. On other occasions government’s response is inadequate or inappropriate and may exacerbate the problem. Finally some issues may be precipitated by government so as to assume more power and control over the population. In summary, big government and crisis appear to be synonymous. Friends, we have a crisis, and as Rahm Emanuel advises “we should not let a crisis go to waste.” Continue putting the heat on them, jump on your pony, Patriot, and let’s get control of this monstrosity.


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