01 Apr

The emotional side of politics

I had an interesting discussion today with a now-ex Facebook friend of mine.  To protect the name of the guilty, let’s call this person Peter.

Peter, who gets the majority of his news through such hard-hitting sources like ThinkProgress.org, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post, is a very proud Obama-supporting liberal.  And as such, this person can safely be assumed to be a tender-hearted, compassionate person.  He loves every ONE and every THING, and hates discrimination.

I mean, just can’t stand it.

Recently, Peter posted a message to his Facebook wall about how proud he was of a CEO of a tech company (let’s call this company Tender Hearted, Inc) who pulled their business from Indiana after the recent signing of a law by Governor Mike Pence that, according to its detractors, would essentially legalize discrimination.

As a comment to that post, I wrote a message in an attempt to prove that the concept of “discrimination”, contrary to popular belief, isn’t a one-way street.

I wrote that the CEO of Tender Hearted, Inc discriminated against the state of Indiana by pulling its business from the state, and that the government should step in and do something about it.  Tender Hearted, Inc, I wrote, has absolutely no right to pull its business from the state of Indiana, just like businesses should have no right to refuse service to anyone.

This message upset Peter, upset him greatly.  He proceeded to do three things as a response to my comment:

  1. Called me an idiot
  2. Invited me to eat shit
  3. Removed the thread and banned me from his Facebook account

He also accused me of supporting a position that a business SHOULD refuse service to people because of whom they love.

Unfortunately, this is what happens when you let emotion get in the way of your mind.  Peter is a smart guy.  But when you let your emotions rule your life, you end up angry, frustrated and hating the world most of the time, often resorting to the use of grade school name calling as your only response.

That is no way to live. 

Of course I in no way insinuated that I actually support a business discriminating against anyone.  But logic and objectivity have no place in a political debate when emotions rule your position.

In truth, the point that I was making is that this CEO is discriminating against the state of Indiana because the Governor of the state took a position that the CEO did not like.  Why is this discrimination okay, but it is not okay for a business owner to refuse service to someone whom they do not like?

This is a different situation, right?  Well actually, no, it’s not.  The state of Indiana is the customer of Tender Hearted, Inc.  The state took a position that this CEO did not agree with, and the CEO responded by essentially refusing service to the state of Indiana.  This is the exact scenario under which so-called “anti-discrimination” activists would have the government intervene if the situation were between a business and an individual customer.

As believers in a free market, we understand that discrimination is bad for business.  Even if all discrimination were legal, the large majority of businesses would not discriminate, and for what should be obvious reasons.  Businesses operate to make money.  The minute that someone finds out that a business owner refused service to someone based on the color of their skin, their origin, gender or sexual preference, they’ll be run out of business in a flash.

Customers don’t like doing business with racist bastards.

Ironically, these anti-discrimination laws are essentially enabling these very same racist bastards.  If a business cannot legally discriminate, they will continue doing business with those that they hate.  Customers are handing over their hard-earned money to businesses owners who hate their guts, and may even contribute to organizations that those customers would abhor.

All because anti-discrimination laws require commerce.

What Peter is inadvertently supporting is an anti-free-market system that keeps bigots behind the wheel of businesses, and keeps customers forking over money to these bigots.  I understand that it makes Peter feel better about himself that he opposes discrimination, and that’s great.

I also oppose discrimination…in ALL its forms.

However, I do not support the unintended consequences of these laws that wind up hurting people whom they were designed to supposedly protect.

The problem is in order to observe this dreadful phenomenon, one first needs to remove the emotional cloak that prevents the brain from taking hold.

All the best to you, Peter.

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11 Nov

Speak Truth to Power on Veterans Day


By Ron Paul – Veterans Day was initially called Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I and recognize the soldiers who died. Today it’s a day in the United States to recognize all veterans in all wars—not just those who died or were wounded or even served in a war at all. It’s designed to heap praise and adulation on all things military. In doing so, in the name of patriotism, it therefore endorses all of our war policies, right or wrong. Every veteran becomes a hero and no questions are to be asked of the wisdom, morality, or constitutionality of our wars of the past 100 years.

At one time, especially in Europe, it was called Remembrance Day—a day to remember those who died. Remembrance Day could be a better name if we remember that almost all wars make no sense and intellectually digest the flawed excuses for our involvement. This is not likely to happen, except for the few historians who are willing to tell the truth.

Making all veterans heroes and endlessly lavishing great praise on them is designed as a distraction from the consequence of a deeply flawed foreign policy. Constantly we hear veterans being thanked for their services, for protecting our liberties and the constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The wars, especially of the past 70 years, were used to justify undermining our liberties at home while abusing the constitution and significantly contributing to our bankruptcy.

If one does not march lock step in support of our veterans, one gets blamed for being unpatriotic.

Of course, many soldiers over the years under dire circumstances performed many brave deeds to best protect and save the lives of their fellow soldiers. Just staying alive was enough to preoccupy all soldiers pushed into battle without much opportunity to change policy.

Nevertheless, being a veteran myself, I am insulted by many who profusely thank me for my service when they themselves did everything possible to avoid the draft yet only too anxious as a political leader to propagandize for more senseless war and killing.

Unfortunately World War I was not the war to end all wars and make the world safe for democracy. That failed, and the war propagandists continue winning the PR fight.

Veterans Day celebrations are not only useless, but detrimental if we do not use them to speak truth to power and make the case for a noninterventionist foreign policy. That is the only road to peace and prosperity for a nation.

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17 Oct

Socialists Push For $20 Minimum Wage But Won’t Pay Workers That Much


(Reason Magazine) – The Freedom Socialist Party wants the minimum wage to be $20 an hour. However, they don’t feel compelled to compensate their own workers with that kind of cash.

The party is looking for a web developer, and posted a job listing on Craigslist a week ago and Indeed.com yesterday, and it’s been raising eyebrows on social media.


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16 Oct

$619 billion missed from federal transparency site


government website intended to make federal spending more transparent was missing at least $619 billion from 302 federal programs, a government audit has found.

And the data that does exist is wildly inaccurate, according to the Government Accountability Office, which looked at 2012 spending data. Only 2% to 7% of spending data onUSASpending.gov is “fully consistent with agencies’ records,” according to the report.

Among the data missing from the 6-year-old federal website:


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15 Oct

Food stamp fraud rampant: GAO report


(Fox News) – Americans receiving food stamps were caught selling and bartering their benefits online for art, housing and cash, according to a new federal report that investigates fraud in the nation’s largest nutrition support program.

Complicating the situation is the fact states around the country are having trouble tracking and prosecuting the crimes because their enforcement budgets have been slashed despite the rapidly-rising number of food stamp recipients, according to the Government Accountability Office report.

Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, 47 million people have been awarded $76 billion in benefits. State agencies are responsible for addressing SNAP recipient fraud under the guidance and monitoring of the Food and Nutrition Service.


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14 Oct

Senator lives like a Rockefeller but bills the cost to taxpayers


(Washington Examiner) – Sen. Jay Rockefeller comes from one of America’s wealthiest families and represents a state only 60 miles from the District of Columbia, yet he travels home almost exclusively via private charter plane at $4,400 per trip and sends the bill to taxpayers.

There are as many as six commercial flights a day between D.C. and Charleston, W.Va., the city Rockefeller flies to and from. A round-trip ticket for the one-hour flight costs as little as $206.

Rockefeller’s aversion to traveling as most other Americans do may be somewhat ironic, as he is chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over transportation issues.


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13 Oct

The debt deniers who threaten America’s future


(The Hill) – There is no shortage of both real and imagined crises vying for the headlines these days. Left relatively unchallenged, largely ignored, or often denied by Washington and the media, however, is one of the gravest internal, self-made threats to our economy: the crisis of government debt. Most economists agree that the United States federal debt poses a real and serious problem for our future, but for the debt deniers, such warnings fall on deaf ears.

As the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report notes, even with the recent—and temporary—decline in budget deficits, government debt continues surging to historic levels. In 2007, for example, debt owed to outside investors (called “debt held by the public”) equaled about 35 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Today this debt level is 74 percent—or nearly three-quarters the size of our entire economy—and is projected to grow larger from there.


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12 Oct

If You Like Your Plan, You Still Can’t Keep It

(US News) – There’s a bizarre reason why millions of Americans saw their health insurance plans cancelled in 2013 – and as explained in a new video put out by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, millions more will lose their plans in years to come.

Insurance coverage for Americans will remain in permanent turmoil because the Affordable Care Act requires all plans to fit within four cookie-cutter designs called “metallic tiers.” (The tiers – bronze, silver, gold and platinum – refer to the percentage of medical expenses a particular plan pays.) The video also notes that families may have to change plans repeatedly because, as circumstances change, a plan that fits within a tier one year may not fit in any tier a later year.


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11 Oct

Inventor of World Wide Web warns of threat to internet


(AFP) – The British inventor of the World Wide Web warned on Saturday that the freedom of the internet is under threat by governments and corporations interested in controlling the web.

Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who invented the web 25 years ago, called for a bill of rights that would guarantee the independence of the internet and ensure users’ privacy.

“If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life,” Berners-Lee said at the London “Web We Want” festival on the future of the internet.


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