Archive for May, 2013

Civilization Works Best When…

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that I refer to William James theory of pragmatism often but have not really explained it. The theory of pragmatism is what I call the quintessential American philosophy. Not because William James was an American philosopher but in that it sums up the heretofore American ethos. That ethos being explained earlier by Tocqueville in his concept of Americans being, “Self Interested Rightly Understood.” These two philosophies dovetail into a whole that, I believe, is the reason the American experiment worked so well. Understanding this should be the first responsibility of anyone who want’s their representatives voted in, instead of, barged in at the point of a gun.

Pragmatism looks at the results of philosophies and actions. It takes past results and extrapolates them into future outcomes. As such we can say Pragmatism is a results oriented philosophy. We can also say that pragmatism is only really a means to test other philosophies or actions. It is more a measuring stick to reconcile outcomes of actions than a play that orchestrates all actions. Some philosophies are idealistic and some are rationalistic. Pragmatism falls closer to the rationalistic than the idealistic, but recognizes that if the outcome is good the philosophy should be followed, even if it isn’t totally rationalistic and is in fact moralistic or even religious.

Close association with capitalism trains the minds of people to be, Self Interested Rightly Understood, or put another way, Rational Maximisers. To engage in the market, in almost any function, one must weigh this action against that action. We test in our minds what the outcome of producing a million of this product at cost of that production. The very act of work then trains the mind to weigh costs versus benefits. It is only natural that we bring this understanding into other aspects of our lives.

When we do we start to become a Rational Maximizer. But to get all the way there, we must also have the understanding, that our good is in fact tied up in everyone’s good. Not that we have collective duties… we have individual duties. To the extent we have collective duties we have become subservient to the group. So, when we get the habit of weighing the cost versus the benefits of all of our actions, and we have a proper moral template to apply the actions, we can be said to be Self Interested Rightly Understood.

If someone has children their understanding of the universe is different from someone who doesn’t. Once a person understands that there are considerations outside ones self, considerations that we value so highly they outweigh our own worth, then the person who is Self Interested Rightly Understood, will be heroic. Even though that heroic act may cost the individual his or her life he or she will act, because they will have weighed the cost of doing so, against not doing so. This tally is done without conscious thought. This is the essence of what it is to be Self Interested Rightly Understood. It is sometimes to do that which is not in our immediate interests but meets our larger interests. Even such a mundane act like putting a few dollars away each week is the act of a Rational Maximizer.

To use pragmatism comes naturally to someone who is Self Interested Rightly Understood. As I said before part of being Self Interested Rightly Understood is to weigh costs versus benefits. This is the essence of pragmatism, to weigh the probable outcome of an action or philosophy against the probable benefit. The outcome can be reliably predicted by past examples and the benefit can be placed against that measure. Couple pragmatism with rational maximisers and you have a society that is geared to win. People will strive to get ahead but will have the self restraint that comes with civilization. Because really, isn’t that exactly what we are talking about, when we imagine people who are Self Interested Rightly Understood and Pragmatic… Civilized people.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Our Flawed Primary System

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the primary election system for President in the United States, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The bastardized system we now have, to decide who will represent either of the two major political parties in the US, insures the will of the people is not met. Such a system, one that undermines the people’s wants and needs in favor of the Elite’s preferences, is one that is in great need of renovation. To continue with such a flawed method, is to perpetuate the horrible election options we have had for the last few decades, along with ever lower voter turnout.

Today the Presidential candidates have different elections in various States at assorted times. The system is such that if a candidate that the Elite don’t like, wins the first State, the Elite have sufficient time to undermine his or her candidacy to get their man in. This insures the Elite’s candidate gets both the Democrat and Republican candidacy. The Elite cannot loose, and the people cannot win.

We are given the illusion of fair elections by this fatally flawed system when in fact we have very little say. Take the last election. Mitt Romney, who by all accounts is a decent and good person, was the least liked by the Republican electorate. Yet he won the primary. Other candidates, like Michele Bachman was far better liked and even won the initial straw poll. That initial win put her in the crosshairs of the media and political elite however. They pulled out all the stops to vilify her at every turn, undermining her candidacy to the point of making her a laughing stock.

In 2008 Hillary Clinton was the most qualified on the Democratic side, yet she was crushed under the wheel of the unbiased media and the political Elite, in favor of Barok Obama. As it turns out the candidacy of Obama was terribly flawed. Had he gotten even a smidgen of scrutiny by the unbiased media, he couldn’t have won a single State. The media gave his drug use a pass, they ignored his associations with domestic terrorists, they gave his lack of experience no mention, Obama’s anti American pastor Jeremiah Wright was glossed over, they never reported on his questionable birthplace, they overlooked his overtly communist leanings and they pilloried anyone who brought these flaws up. Compare Obama’s treatment at the hands of the unbiased media to the treatment Herman Cain got.

When you have a system that insures the Elite’s selection of both candidates in both parties, you have a system that is set up to protect the interests of the Elite, at cost to the interests of the people. Such a system is tilted in favor of candidates that have the political leaning of the Elite… in academia, media, culture, politics and wealth. The interests of the people to have limited government is undermined, so the power of government can be exploited, to protect the interests of the Elite. The result is that we have elected representatives that are unilateral in their political view, progressive. The unbiased media decry that there are any politicians who have a different political view and take every opportunity to paint the non-progressives as extremists and anti American.

The answer to this dilemma, is to have a primary election in June or July, where every State votes at the same time. This would curtail the Elite’s ability to push the primary election to their man. Such a system which would essentially mirror the November election, giving power to the people, and removing that power from the Elite. To continue with a system, one that empowers a small faction of the population to have outsized influence on the outcome of elections, is to anoint that faction an oligarchy. Modern history shows this to be the case. Once government is essentially an oligarchy, the machinations of government can be used to do such things as… leave soldiers to die if it is politically expedient, lie under oath without real consequence, use the taxing power of government to suppress their political opponents, mislabel their political opponents as enemies, tap the phones of the press to suppress distribution of information, send guns to drug lords while vilifying the Second Amendment for it, and act above their own laws while ignoring the Constitution. Such a system cannot be said to lead to tyranny, because it is in fact tyranny, disguised as democracy. No matter the quality of the sheep’s pelt the wolf in it is insatiable.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Giant Omnibus Laws and Comprehensive Immigration

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the only reason to pass massive omnibus bills, is to hide pernicious things in it. Every time you open the paper lately there is this or that omnibus bill being debated. Everything must be passed in a “comprehensive” bill. We and our representatives are told the World will end if it is not passed. We are subjected to pressure tactics by disingenuous elites who seek nothing like what they pretend to propose. There is a better way… To pass small, easily readable bills that can be understood by the vast majority of the people.

The “Affordable Care Act” is one such example. As the leviathan law is enacted by the bureaucracy the pages of regulation grow alarmingly. Even organizations and groups that initially promoted the bill, because in most cases they got waivers from it, are calling for it’s repeal now they understand their waivers are temporary. You know a bill is not good when the Elite that pass it exempt themselves from it. The labyrinthine rules and regulations have done incalculable damage to our economy and I maintain the Affordable Care Act is the primary reason this economic recovery has been so pathetic.

The Dodd Frank banking regulations create more problems than solutions. The results of Dodd Frank are in direct opposition to the stated goals. This titanic of legislation was supposed to prevent banks from getting “Too big to fail” and stop the systemic risk that such large financial institutions represent to the economy as a whole. Under Dodd Frank the giant banks have grown ever larger at an increased pace. The law’s provisions further lowers economic output by putting huge regulatory strains on small and medium sized banks. The very banks that loan to small businesses! Talk about pernicious, banks are discouraged from loaning to small businesses, under Dodd Frank. This is another reason our economy has performed so poorly.

Now our elected representatives are debating a massive comprehensive immigration bill. This bill is supposed to stop illegal immigration, put an end to defacto amnesty, bring hard working immigrants in from the shadows, stop welfare fraud, stop rampant identity theft, make our system more “fair,” and put a puppy in every child’s arms. Even a cursory look at history shows these are the least likely outcomes of such a bill. When Ronald Reagan passed a similar bill, with the same lofty goals, the results went wide of the target. The enforcement mechanism in that historic bill was draconian enforcement of the illegal immigrant labor laws on firms that hired them. Those businesses would be severely punished. They were at first, but as soon as the monied and elite felt the sting, the enforcement mechanism was tossed out. Does anyone believe, for even a second, the same thing won’t be done now?

Another pernicious result of the last comprehensive immigration bill was to encourage a tsunami of illegal immigration. Millions poured across the porous Mexican US border. Apparently rewarding illegal behavior seems to encourage illegal behavior. Although that may seem obvious to you and I it is a revelation to our lawmakers. The Heritage Foundation wrote a paper claiming that if this bill passed, the cost to the US would run to 6.4 TRILLION dollars, and were pilloried for it. The reason… almost all the illegal immigrants in the US today are low skilled and low wage laborers. Does the US have a dearth of low wage low skilled laborers? Of course not! That is absurd. The US has need of high skilled workers. Those that have come here and have no jobs will certainly remain on the welfare roles. To think otherwise is insane.

If the government passed small bills, the results could be anticipated, if they fall short. it would be an easy task to remove them and pass different ones that actually solve the problem. Take immigration for example. It would be easy to take away the incentive for people to immigrate illegally, by passing a law that anyone found to be in the US illegally, cannot ever become a citizen. Once that law is passed, examine the results, if it needs to be changed, change it. If it doesn’t work at all, repeal it and if it works, leave it alone and go on to the next step. Drastically raising the number of people who can come to the US of the type the economy needs. Keep it simple and it will simply work.

The elite are in love with comprehensive, omnibus laws however. They cannot see any reason to pass small, easily understood bills that work, when giant omnibus bills are so effective at hiding pork. The elite can claim to have done something when they have in fact made matters worse. This plays to their benefit however. Because the worse they make things, the more need we have of large comprehensive bills, to rectify the problems created by past giant comprehensive laws. Laws that continue the slide to a totalitarian state. You see, passing omnibus bills is a self promoting phenomenon, like fire… and no one wants out of control fire, except arsonists.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Nothing Discredits a Philosophy More Effectively than Violence

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, nothing discredits a philosophy more effectively than violence. Those that resort to violence, to hold practitioners, convert people to their way of thinking or punish those that disagree, disprove their philosophy more effectively than any logician. Violence is the ultimate admission that one’s ideas are bad, and that the practitioner of violence has ceded the ground of logic and persuasion, proving the wrongness of their ideas. This is a lesson that seems to be lost on societies today. We unlearn this basic simple truth to the detriment of us, our neighbors and our children.

This is not to say we must not defend ourselves. To be a pacifist in the face of violence is to relinquish the future to the evil and pernicious. The lot of humanity would be forever lowered by this, and as rational maximisers, we are duty bound to defend ourselves and our fellows, whenever violence, and thereby fear, is the means of persuasion. Those sophists who would use violence to extend the reach of their bad philosophies, have no self imposed limits on their actions, and would twist logic to their own ends without a qualm… Ends that are clearly not in line with a human hearted civilization.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu said, the utility of a vessel is in emptiness. Meaning, if you need to store something and all you have is a full jar, it is not useful. The human mind is a vessel that can have the quality of emptiness or fullness. The amount of knowledge it retains has no bearing on it’s fullness or emptiness however. The attribute of emptiness is a factor of presumption. If someone presumes to know all that is needed then their mind is full and has no further utility. When a person understands that they don’t know, their mind can be said to be empty, regardless of their knowledge.

We must be discerning what we fill our minds with however. If we put dog poop in a bag that bag becomes unsuitable for popcorn. The dog poop effecting the quality of popcorn… and it doesn’t take much poop to corrupt a lot of popcorn. The popcorn does not effect the quality of the dog poop however. From this we can say, if we put evil in our minds then we corrupt the good in them, but the good does not purify the evil. There are several measures we can use to determine the goodness or badness of an idea.

Pragmatism shows us, those concepts that result in lowering the lot of humanity, are bad, those that raise mankind are good. Pragmatism is the quintessential American Philosophy invented by William James. From this we can see that results outweigh intentions. No matter how much we may want some idea or concept to be true, if the results are counter to the good of mankind, it is not. Therefore, we must discard those ideas that are evil, because by holding them they corrupt the goodness in us.

Presumption is the very essence of fullness of mind. Those who presume to know best are, by that very notion, closing their minds to other possibilities. Their mind is not empty, because they are unwilling to accept different ideas, it is closed off. But, as I said before, we must not accept all ideas unquestioningly. We must discern, by pragmatism, what is good and what is bad. To put evil in our mind is not to be open minded it is to corrupt our minds with a vile contagion.

Violence flows naturally from presumption like effluent from a sewer pipe. Once we accept the evil of presumption, we pollute any good intentions we may have had, turning them to evil. The results will be bad regardless of the intentions. To be free of presumption one must have an empty mind. Again, as I explained before, to have an empty mind is not to be ignorant, it is to reject presumption. Violence as a means of persuasion then, is the result of a full mind, (a presumptuous mind), a mind not empty but corrupted by the bad notions we have accepted, crowding out all others. Those bad ideas, ideas that preach violence, whether it is personal violence, State violence or any other violence, discredit those ideas. Just as dog poop corrupts popcorn… violence pollutes intentions. We must be empty of presumption, knowing that results trump intentions and if we embrace the evil of violence, we pollute our very own minds.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

This Scandal Ridden Administration

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, President Obama has presided over the most scandal ridden administration since the founding of the United States. His scandals are not only regular but they are profoundly perverse. No other president in my lifetime has had such critical lapses of judgment, if they are lapses of judgment. Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had Iran Contra, Clinton had Lewinsky, Bush had Valery Plame, none of them rising to the least of Obama’s scandals. Our republic is put in greater and greater danger every time a new one comes to light and there are no consequences. If we want to continue to live in a free country, it is up to us to force our government to follow the law, else our grandchildren will consider us villains.

Fast and Furious has been forgotten by the complicit media. In my blog, Fast and Furious a Despicable act of War, I point out that while the administration was shipping hundreds of high powered guns into Mexico, so they would show up at crime scenes, Obama was vilifying the Second Amendment… because US guns were showing up at Mexican crime scenes! This immoral tactic to undermine a Right enumerated in the Bill of Rights directly led to the deaths of at least 300 Mexicans! The only media to do even a cursory examination was Univision. When the Congress asked for records, Obama claimed Executive privilege, which is only applicable for direct communications between the President himself and his staff. This either proves he had knowledge of the program or he is fraudulently using Executive Privilege.

Billions of dollars of graft were handed out to Obama’s political backers in the stimulus bill. Remember Solyndra? Or any of the other boondoggles of the stimulus bill? Literally billions of dollars of taxpayer money was shoveled out to political backers of this President. Had there been a truly unbiased media, this would have been bigger than Watergate, but it was ignored and covered up by the complicit press.

Benghazi is being swept under the rug as you read this. The newest scandals have put Benghazi on the back burner and the press won’t even mention it now. The media have forgotten it in favor of the latest scandals. One point to make here is that Obama claims there wasn’t enough time to send troops. This presupposes he had foreknowledge of the attack and it’s intended duration. The only way he could have had that knowledge is if he were in on planning the attack. Otherwise, he couldn’t have known if there was time or not. Ordering the military to stand down, and not immediately sending relief troops in, is, at the very least, dereliction of duty. So what was it, was Obama in on the planning of the attack, or simply derelict in his duty?

Now we have the IRS using the power of the taxing authority to attack Obama’s political foes. Could there be a more pernicious use of a Federal agency than to use the power of bureaucracy to hobble your political enemies? We are being told that it was a low level staffer. If that is true then why has there never been an example of a progressive organization targeted? If low level staffers are so poorly supervised they can use their power to target a political faction they personally disagree with, surely some low level staffer is conservative, and would have targeted a liberal organization. The very fact none have ever been targeted, shows the orders to target conservatives and then leak the information to Obama’s political allies, came from the top.

As I wrote in my blog, The Frog and the Scorpion, the unbiased media that has been carrying Obama across the pond of public opinion, is feeling the first sting of the scorpion’s tail, now that it has been reviled that the Obama administration has been looking into the phone records of the Associated Press. Holder is claiming the Associated Press is under scrutiny because of a dangerous leak of classified information, but has recused himself of any involvement, (for plausible deniability no doubt). The unbiased media have been claiming lately, who cares if you or I are surveilled as long as you are doing nothing wrong, so I ask, what has the AP to worry about?

There are far more scandals but my space is limited, while the Obama administration’s penchant for abusing power for crass political gain is unlimited. Obama’s main defense is the incompetence defense. He could not have known about these things because the government is too big and Obama is too inept. Yet this faction wants to manage every aspect of every American’s life? Really! Who really believes this President is so bungling he is unaware of anything going on in his administration? Only a fool would believe that. Obama makes sure he has plausible deniability whenever he is undermining a basic Right, enumerated in Our Bill of Rights, he is totally oblivious when his stimulus grants billions of dollars to his backers, he was too tired to stay abreast when one of our Ambassadors was under siege, he only learned about the IRS scandal when he read the papers that morning, despite earlier briefings on the issue, moreover he claims he is outraged by it! Our republic is disintegrating around our head and ears under this President. To not see it is to be blind, deaf and stupid. Boy… do we need a Fourth Branch!

Sincerely,

John Pepin

The Presumptuous and the Insane

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, just as those who consider themselves to be the only sane person on the planet, are insane, those that consider themselves to be the only enlightened people on the planet, are truly unenlightened. These two groups of people have many attributes in common. They both have the hubris to believe they presume to know better than everybody else, they feel they must take matters into their own hands, often resorting to violence and both deny the human right of self determination. The threat both groups represent is that they feel they have a moral imperative to do what they believe they must do. In the case of the insane, they sometimes go into theaters and shoot up the place, in the case of the unenlightened, they overthrow governments and install tyrannies. The one threatens only a few while the other threaten all of mankind.

Throughout history we have faced those who presumed they had a duty to protect us from ourselves. They have taken many forms, the dreaded inquisitor of the Dark Ages, the despot, the revolutionary and the eugenicist are but a few. They have all done their part to keep churn in the affairs of Mankind. The common thread is the hubris to believe they know better than everyone else. The rest of us, who have not been enlightened, must be controlled for our own good… else we might think wrongly, worship wrongly, have wrong government, warm the planet, or breed wrongly. They deny self determination, are materialists, and know better than all the rest of humanity… because they believe they do.

Another common thread is that the insane and the presumptuous are amoral. They don’t feel compelled by human mores and traditions. They are psychopaths and sociopaths. Why should they allow others to do as they please when the hubristic and the insane know better? If you or I say something they disagree with, they appoint themselves to shut down our free speech, if you or I want to do something they don’t like, they outlaw that action, if you or I have property they want, they are greedy enough to take that property by force.

The violence the insane and the self righteous visit on humanity takes many forms. It can be as mundane as censoring the opinions of others to chopping off the head of an infidel with a scimitar. Those who believe themselves to be enlightened are the quickest to resort to violence… especially when they claim to be nonviolent. As history has shown, those that seek revolution disdain violence by others and so call themselves nonviolent, but are happy to use violence to further their own agenda. Only people who eschew violence themselves can reasonably be called nonviolent. Those that willingly and happily use violence themselves, but decry it in others, are dangerously delusional hypocrites.

One way to instantly tell the insane and presumptuous from the average person, is that their proscriptions are always for the rest of mankind… never themselves. They seek to shut down the free speech of others, but freak out if their free speech is impeded, they seize control of the language to forward their goals, they call for shared sacrifice, while they live in luxury, their own life is precious, but the lives of others are valueless, the list is endless but is tied together with a common bow, they don’t lead by example, they lead by the nose. They do unto others that which they would never want done unto themselves.

Neither of these groups in human society can be eliminated. They are as human as the need to eat and sleep. Moreover we do ourselves a disservice by trying to eliminate the hubristic and the insane. To do so makes us just as guilty of self appointed grandeur as them. As I have pointed out in past blogs… the ends does NOT justify the means, the means TAINTS the ends.

The answer to the question of, “how to keep society from succumbing to the self appointed gods and lunatics,” is to recognize them when we see them, then deny them the power they seek over us and our fellows. When we ignore their censoring the thoughts and words of others, we participate in their shutting off debate, when we agree with the rantings of sociopaths, we empower them, and most of all, when we react out of fear, we are giving legitimacy to violence as a means to control society. To stop the next Pol Pot or Adam Lanza, we must understand that they don’t act alone, they have help. Pol Pot had the help of brainwashed children and Adam Lanza had the help of everyone who turned a blind eye to his insanity. We must grow ourselves, recognizing them, standing against violence and we must refuse to be taken in by a charismatic sociopath, but most of all, we must lead by example. Else we become the sponsors of our own oppression.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Banghazi and the Fall of America

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, if my government lies to me it is called politics, but if I lie to my government, it is a felony. I am held to a higher standard of action than government officials. When officials who can lie to the public with no repercussions, they have no incentive to tell the truth, especially when the truth is embarrassing or politically inconvenient. We, on the other hand, must tell the whole truth whenever we are questioned by our government, else we face heavy sanctions including jail, no matter how embarrassing, inconvenient or self incriminating. Citizens have a relationship with the government. Whenever one party to a relationship abuses the other, without consequence, the relationship is degrading. Lying is a form of abuse. When the relationship is a marital one, we have a case of spousal abuse, when the relationship is economic, we have a case of fraud or slavery, when the relationship is political, we have a case of oppression.

Thomas Jefferson said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” This simply means when government can do anything it pleases, because it has no fear of the reaction of the people, that government has no limit on it’s actions. When government fears the reaction of the people those actions are limited by the will of the people. Government that has no limit on it’s actions is the definition of despotic. The explanation of liberty is the limit on the actions of the government by the will of the people. Government that can lie to the people, about the most important debates of the day without consequence, is showing it has no fear of the people, but when the people are jailed for far less, we clearly have reason to fear our government… This, by Jefferson’s own statement, is tyranny.

Benghazi is a perfect example of this. As it has become clear, the lying tour of the media by Susan Rice was total fiction, told without consequence to the American people, to protect the President’s reelection. The President was derelict in his duty, not only to protect those in his staff, but when they came under attack he told the military to stand down. The attack went on for nine hours, and we are lied to again, that the military could not get assets into the area soon enough to make a difference. Now it has come to light that there were military assets available but were told to stand down. Had the few brave Navy Seals followed that order by the President’s staff, every man and woman in that CIA house, would have died in the attack. Abusing whistle blowers is only icing on the cake. The Congressional hearing will turn out to be mere window dressing, furthering the cover up and giving it legitimacy, the President will again get away with something, that if you or I did we would go to jail for.

The Fast and Furious cover up is another egregious example. Eric Holder has been proven to have lied to Congress about it, with no real repercussion, other than a toothless contempt citation. President Obama claimed he had no knowledge of the operation, that intentionally put guns in the hands of Mexican drug lords, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least one American. Which the president then exploited to undermine the Second Amendment until the truth came out. When Congress tried to get documents on it the President used executive privilege. Since Executive privilege can only be used in cases of the president’s personal interactions with his staff, it’s use proves Obama had knowledge of the operation, else the use of executive privilege is itself a lie without consequence.

The complete disconnect began when Al Gore was caught blatantly violating Campaign finance laws, and his reply was, “There is no over riding legal authority…” Bill Clinton was praised by the unbiased media for lying. We were told that everyone lies about sex and that lies are a helpful social mechanism to protect hurt feelings. This puts the beginning of the down fall around 1992. So, what we have, is a government in America that is abusive, lies without consequence and is therefore, by Thomas Jefferson’s definition, tyrannical. Our government seeks to further water down the ability of the American citizenry to force our will on our government, by making millions of people, who have no real stake in the country… voters, by amnesty. The American people are lulled to sleep by the media that engage in the old sophist tactic, of changing the subject, whenever their guy gets in trouble. We are at the same place that Rome was during the reign of August Caesar. The department of Homeland security is the praetorian guard in all but name, and we pile on, pillorying anyone who rings the alarm bell.

Rome was a republic for 900 years before it became a tyranny, and was a tyranny for 150 years. Therefore, we can estimate Rome’s fall to be 17% of the republican era. America was a republic for 200 years. Using the same number, 17%, we can estimate America’s total collapse to be 34 years or so from 1992, which puts it around 2026… Time is running short and the trend is accelerating. Unless we do something about it. Demand from you representative a special prosecutor to look into Benghazi and Fast and Furious… Else, participate in the destruction of liberty in the World, perhaps for generations, what kind of villain does that make us for allowing it to happen?

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Charity at the Point of a Gun

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, charity cannot come at the point of a gun it must come from the heart, else it is not charity, it is robbery. At first glance this doesn’t seem to be a very controversial stance, but if we look into it a bit, we see that this basic, common sense statement is politically charged. That such an intuitive position could be politically charged, shows the total lack of wisdom in our society and how far politics has encroached into our lives, politicizing that which should not be political. If this encroachment is allowed to continue, our society, children and our very spirits will inevitably suffer.

For charity to be charity it must be given freely. As I pointed out, if you are coerced into giving someone alms by the threat of violence, it cannot be called charity. The moment the threat of violence enters the equation we are talking about robbery. Robbery can never be charity they are fundamentally different actions. To confuse the two is either stupidity or a means to confound. If it is mere stupidity, simply pointing out the error would be enough to rectify it, but if it is a sinister means to confuse then it cannot be stopped by merely pointing out the folly of it, in fact, logic will garner character assaults and ad homonym attacks.

We give alms to the poor not only for them but for us as well. Giving to the less fortunate is a form of exercise for the spirit. All three parts of a fully actualized human being, must be exercised, else they atrophy. We understand this when it comes to physical and mental exercise, but the most neglected part of the human being today, is the spiritual part. Charity is a good way to exercise the spirit. When charity is turned to robbery, it ceases to be charity and the good that charity bestows on the giver and the receiver is not only lost, it is undermined. We become less charitable when we equate charity to robbery. This has the pernicious effect of weakening our spirit and at the same time it builds resentment to the needy. From this we see the negative effects are not only on individuals but on society as well.

The welfare state is predicated on robbing one to give to another. If you don’t think taxes are taken at the point of a gun… try not paying them. This is what makes the statement, “Charity cannot come at the point of a gun it must come from the heart, else it is not charity, it is robbery,” politically charged. Those that use our natural sense of compassion for those less fortunate, to turn charity into robbery, are tricking us into turning charity into robbery, with all the negative consequences this brings. These people get to seize the moral high road even as they take the low road. They are Thrasymachus’ heirs. They seek to appear just while actually being unjust. Are we to assume that famine would exist if the State didn’t coerce money from some to redistribute to others? This question is answered by history, and history is clear, in a capitalist society, charity is available more and more but is needed less and less. In the socialist society however, where charity is robbery, charity is needed more and more, until eventually all need charity, and none is charitable.

Those who point out, using taxes to pay for charitable endeavors turns charity into robbery, are vilified as heartless and mean, by the unbiased media, the Elite and those who have fallen for the deception. But, the reality is that those who seek to use robbery for charity, are the ones who are the villains. They weaken our spirits, create resentment for the poor, confuse reality with rhetoric, lower the lot of Mankind and use unjust means to unjust ends… while trying to appear just. To these people logic and common sense are an anathema. These villains undermine the philosophy of a rational maximizer and turn him into an egoist. Rational maximizers, or to use Tocqueville’s term, people who are self interested rightly understood, are rationally charitable, because they know the benefits, both personal and societal will come back tenfold, while the egoist has no such wisdom, they resent the poor, they may be strong physically and mentally, but they are spiritual weaklings. All societies are well served when the people are charitable, making us spiritually strong, strengthening societal ties, and giving us a stake in the society we live in. Rational maximizers keep charity in their hearts and are sharp enough to see sophist rhetoric when they see it. The question then becomes, “Are you a rational maximizer… or have you fallen for the deception?”

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Shysters and Liars

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, when a millionaire stands in front of me and claims he is going to hurt the rich and help me, I know I am being lied to. Carneades said, people are like animals, each striving for his or her own best interests, and so true justice cannot exist, because for a person to be truly just they must damage their own interests. In the case of a rich man telling me how he is going to damage the rich to help me, he must be lying, because to do that he would have to do damage to his own self interests, and no man, rich or poor would do that. This is a lesson to all those who tend to believe it when a millionaire claims he is going to tax the rich and help the poor. The rich politician only seeks to appear that he is taxing the rich when in fact his goal is to protect the rich. If a majority of us don’t learn this lesson we will continually be disappointed at the economic results of our votes.

Obama is a case in point, he claims to be against the rich and for the poor. But his latest poll numbers show that he is loved, by the very rich he is so intent on taxing to death, and not liked so much by those he claims he is trying to help. The higher the income the higher Obama’s poll numbers. If the results of his tax increases were so damaging to the rich, why do they love him so, and, if his policies are so geared to helping the poor, why do we like him less? A brief look at the results of Obama’s policies will make the point.

The uber rich are doing very well indeed under the Obama regime. Despite Warren Buffet’s claim that his tax rate is lower than his secretary’s, his taxes have not gone up, but his secretary’s have. The Obama administration handed the billionaire investor a tidy windfall when Obama vetoed the Keystone oil pipeline. The oil didn’t go unused it is traveling to Texas in Warren Buffet’s trains. Increasing the carbon footprint of the oil, increasing the danger of a major spill if a train were to derail, driving up the cost of that oil and eliminating the thousands of jobs that would have been created if the pipeline had gone through. In this one case, we see clearly that despite the rhetoric, Obama damaged the interests of the little guy and gave a hand up to the uber rich guy.

The money printing of the Federal reserve is another manifestation of Obama’s policies helping the uber rich and hurting the little guy. The 40 billion dollars a month the FED is printing to buy mortgage loans, to drive down the cost of mortgages, could make 40 thousand people millionaires every month! Add to that the 45 billion Bernanke is printing to buy treasuries and the total would be 85 thousand people made millionaires a month! Think of how this would stimulate the economy! If the FED did a random drawing of 85 thousand people a month, and cut them a check for a million dollars each, the economy would boom overnight. But instead, the FED is buying treasuries and mortgage loans… lining the pockets of the rich with the printed money.

Obama care’s tsunami of taxes and regulation will wash away any economic gain from all the money printing. This is the dirty little secret that economists don’t tell you. Obama care will destroy the American economy and everyone in business knows it. The regulations alone will drive up the cost of labor so much that many businesses will have to lay people off. The confiscatory taxes will drive many out of business altogether. The reason so many firms have been cutting labor and ratcheting up productivity, is that they know the ones who have the lowest labor cost as a percentage of the total cost of production, will be the only ones to survive. Those that have not cut to the bone will be pulled out to sea and drowned by Obama’s tsunami.

Obama’s claims to help the working man have come with policies that damage working people’s interests and helped the uber rich. Money printing to “stimulate” the economy into creating jobs, has only made the rich richer, and the tsunami of Obama care will swamp our economy, eliminating jobs just when we need them most. If we want to live in liberty and freedom it is imperative we learn to recognize shysters when we see them. Clearly we have not, but I am hopeful that the Obama administration has gone a long way, to teaching this generation to recognize one when they see one. So, now you know too, that when a rich person stands in front of you and claims he or she is going to hurt the rich and help you… you are being lied to.

Sincerely

John Pepin