A Rose By Any Other Name February 26, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
The main lesson we learn from History is that we don’t learn from History. The lack of historical perspective is, I believe, one of the major contributing factors in America’s current state.
People don’t realize that all of these novel fixes our collectivist leaders are shoving down our throats with regard to health care have been tried multiple times before. Or that they have failed every time.
People don’t realize that preemptive imperial wars of aggression and suppression have been disguised as endless wars for peace since Sargon the Great marched out of Akkad to found the first known empire.
Running true to form most people, apparently including our national leaders both political and military and the news anchors for the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, do not realize that ISIS is not an aberration in Islamic History.
Neither are the other forms of Islamic terrorist groups which have plagued the world since the late 1960s when Palestinian secular movements such as Al Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) began to target civilians outside the immediate arena of conflict. These were self-proclaimed secular groups. As pointed out by RAND’s Bruce Hoffman, in 1980 two out of 64 groups were categorized as largely religious in motivation; in 1995 almost half of the identified groups, 26 out of 56, were classified as religiously motivated; the majority of these espoused Islam as their guiding force.
Political Islam, as opposed to fundamentalist or neo-fundamentalist Islam, posits a worldview that can deal with and selectively integrate modernity. In contrast, fundamentalist Islam calls for a return to an ontological form of Islam that rejects modernity; groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad are representative of fundamentalist Islam.
Unlike the “secular” national, radical, anarchist terrorism which have been sponsored by states such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, and behind the scenes by the former Soviet camp, most of the religious Islamic terrorist groups have never been sponsored by states. Many Egyptian organizations emerged from the Egyptian domestic landscape. Algerian groups likewise were not sponsored by foreign states. Hezbollah certainly can be viewed as an Iranian surrogate, but other movements, while open to state assistance, remain operationally and ideologically independent. ISIS is different in that it has declared itself to be a state.
This brings us to the willful disregard of easily accessible knowledge which brings all of our political and cultural leaders to constantly say:
- That the forces of ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations are not Islamic.
- That these groups have somehow hijacked Islam or that they are merely criminals hiding behind Islamic names and slogans.
For one thing who are we to judge another’s faith? If someone says they are followers of Muhammed who are we to say they aren’t? If someone says they are doing their best to live by their interpretation of the Koran who are we to say they aren’t?
This is one of the reasons it is so hard to get even the most “moderate” of Muslims to denounce ISIS and the other Islamic Terror organizations. Even if they personally disagree with their theology and their methods there is enough in their declarations of faith that align with traditional strains of Islam. It would be like a Catholic saying a Pentecostal isn’t a Christian because they have differing views of the actions of the Holy Spirit in the modern day.
This refusal to admit the Islamic nature of these groups disarms the West. We cannot understand what they want, what they do, or why they have such a strong hold on the lives of so many. Another aspect of our official blindness that prevents us from confronting this clash of civilizations appropriately is the oft repeated mantra that those Muslims who support the radicals is a tiny group, often mentioned at 1%. We are also reminded often that 1.6 billion people make up the Muslim world. If this second figure is correct the tiny minority of the first figure translates to 16 million people.
Sixteen million people willing to fight to the death, blow themselves up, or financially support them is larger than any army ever fielded by Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, or Stalin. Obviously this is a threat that should be taken seriously. It should not be dismissed by ignoring what they say about themselves. Imagine if the leaders of the western democracies had bothered to read Hitler’s Mein Kampf and believe that he meant what he said. They could have stopped him when he marched into the Rhineland with no trouble whatsoever. Instead they ignored what he said and fifty million people paid with their lives.
Today we stand in a similar place. We ignored Osama Bin Laden when he declared war on America in 1988 and 1996 with disastrous consequences. Now we are ignoring the inherent attraction of those who claim the Islamic world as their own when we say they are not motivated by their religion. It strips us of the ability to understand them, their objectives, their appeal, and their tactics.
Another disservice our leaders are foisting on us is the other mantra of their secular religion that Islam is a religion of peace. This flies in the face of historical reality. Islam did not initially spread as Christianity did by the power of its message and the blood of its martyrs. Islam spread as a conquering religion. Muhammed conquered Medina and Mecca, forced unity on the disparate Arab tribes before bursting forth from the Arabian Peninsula and spreading through military conquest and forcible conversions.
Rod Dreher in the American Conservative has done a masterful job of asking two important questions, “Is ISIS Islamic? How would we know?” Much of what follows is excerpted from his penetrating analysis.
To take one example: In September, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments—the stoning and crop destruction—juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide. As if to show that he could terrorize by imagery alone, Adnani also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as an “uncircumcised geezer.”
Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion. His exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of Kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel contends that the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States. Haykel regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous and sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. According to Professor Haykel, “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else” Haykel continued.
In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day” says Haykel.
According to one thought passed along by Rod Dreher what we call “Islamic fundamentalism” or “Islamic extremism” is so hard to defeat because it is so clearly rooted in Islamic history and Scripture. To tell the followers of ISIS that they are “un-Islamic” in their practices when they are doing, or trying to do, exactly as the Prophet and his early followers did, is a hard sell to fellow Muslims. It is also the kind of self-imposed blindness that stops us from effectively knowing what we are dealing with.
If we ignore what we know due to political correctness how will it ever be possible to do what needs to be done? If we refuse to name something does that mean it isn’t what it claims to be? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and an Islamic Fundamentalist is a follower of Muhammad no matter what we say or how we say it. There are none so blind as those who will not see, and when the blind follow the blind they both end up in the ditch.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
We Need More of Moore February 19, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution states that, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
This past Sunday Chris Wallace interviewed Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Chief Justice Moore is once again in the news for standing up for the rule of law, limited government, and the viability of the Constitution as a meaningful document as opposed to a Living Document that means whatever the nine black robed oligarchs say it means.
This happened once before. Back in 2000 he was elected to the position as Alabama’s top jurist on the promise that he would restore the moral foundations of the law in Alabama. Several months later he made good on that promise when he set a Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. He was promptly sued in federal district court by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State who complained that the Chief Justice’s actions were an unconstitutional “establishment of religion.”
The lawyers had charged the Chief Justice with illegally establishing “religion.” But what religion was he trying to establish? That remained a mystery since these aggrieved lawyers also argued that the court should not define the term “religion.” The federal district court judge, Myron Thompson, agreed with their argument refusing to render a definition of “religion.” Judge Thompson nevertheless found the Chief Justice guilty of establishing that which he himself could not define and ordered the monument removed.
The Chief Justice refused to comply with this order. Chief Justice Moore said, “The entire judicial system of the State of Alabama is established in the Alabama constitution invoking the favor and guidance of almighty God. The 10th amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits federal courts from interfering with that power to establish a judicial system. They have no power, no authority no jurisdiction to tell the State of Alabama that we cannot acknowledge God as the source of our law.”
At least in Alabama the Chief Justice did not stand alone. Another man elected by the voters of the State, Governor Bob Riley said, “I have a deep and abiding belief that there is nothing wrong or unconstitutional about the public display of the Ten Commandments and disagree with the court’s mandate to remove them.”
And yet this representative of the people of Alabama was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court in November 2003. A state ethics panel unanimously decided to remove him from the bench owing to his refusal to follow judicial rulings.
That was then. This is now.
In 2015 the courageous Chief Justice Moore (he was re-elected in 2012) has ordered probate judges in his state to ignore a Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages to go forward over the state’s constitutional ban. Once again the Chief Justice is standing up for State sovereignty against a judicial system that believes they can make law. This time the battle is over gay marriage. The Alabama Constitution as amended in 2006 by Amendment 774, the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. This amendment was approved by 81% of the voters. On January 23, 2015, Chief Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Callie V. Grenade, issued a ruling striking down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage as violations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.
This brings us to the aforementioned interview of Chief Justice Moore by Chris Wallace on his Sunday Fox television program.
Chris Wallace seemed baffled by Chief Justice Moore’s arguments as if he had never heard such things before. When he questioned how anyone could dispute a ruling of a Federal Judge, Chief Justice Moore replied, “When federal courts start changing our Constitution by defining words that are not even there, like marriage, they’re going to do the same thing with family in the future,” Moore declared. The Chief Justice went on to say, “When a word’s not in the Constitution, clearly the powers of the Supreme Court do not allow them to redefine words and seize power. Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. This power over marriage which came from god under our organic law is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court.”
The look on Mr. Wallace’s face was one of bewilderment.
To support his argument that the words of Federal Judges are final Mr. Wallace appealed to President Obama who stated in an interview with Buzzfeed News about this controversy saying, “When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.”
The Chief Justice answered, “I’d like to tell President Obama that he’s entirely correct, federal law does trump state law,” Moore said. “But what this Harvard professor who is president of the United States does not understand, is that a trial court’s decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that — it’s an opinion. It may be law of the case before her. It is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges.”
Mr. Wallace looked at the Chief Justice as if he were speaking a foreign language. I believe that the reason for this disconnect is not merely Mr. Wallace’s. It is shared by many who have had the benefit of America’s progressive education. It has been drummed into generations of Americans that the opinion of judges about the meaning of the Constitution, and not the Constitution itself, is the law of the land. For them, whether conservative or liberal they have an allegiance to the judiciary rather than to the Constitution and the laws enacted pursuant to it.
A still apparently amazed Wallace then accused Moore of being “a little fuzzy” on whether state judges would have to adhere by a SCOTUS ruling in favor of allowing same-sex marriage.
To which Chief Justice Moore replied, “State courts are bound by the ruling of the Supreme Court,” Moore replied. “But when a strict interpretation of the Constitution…is abandoned in the theoretical opinion of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution. We’re under the government of individual men who for the time being declared what the Constitution is according to their own views.”
As if saying something is the same as proving something Mr. Wallace replied, When Mr. Wallace stated that, “When the Supreme Court Rules, It Rules.”
However, there is a fundamental principle of constitutional law that most Americans have never been taught. According to the Constitution Congress, and Congress alone, has the power to make law. According to the Constitution Federal Courts have the power only to apply law in particular cases and controversies. Yet in the face of the clear language of the Constitution, most Americans who have been progressively indoctrinated over several generations blindly repeat the platitude as if it is common knowledge that courts make law.
An error that flows from this false view that courts have the power to make law is the belief that the law is not what the Constitution says but rather what judges say about the Constitution. Through a distortion of the common law principles of precedent and stare decisis, a court’s holding in a particular case is converted into a law binding on all persons within the court’s jurisdiction and all inferior courts. The proper use of the principles of precedent and stare decisis is that holdings in past court decisions serve as a compelling guide in subsequent proceedings, but they do not bind unless they are themselves consistent with the law.
We have come to the place where the Progressives want to ignore the clear language of the Constitution as in the Second Amendment protection of citizens to own and carry guns. At the same time these same big government statists demand that citizens submit to decisions carrying the weight of law based on the partisan interpretations of words which are found nowhere in the document such as Privacy and Marriage.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
With a vision of State Sovereignty, individual liberty, personal freedom and economic opportunity framed by the ninth and tenth amendments to the Constitution. Looking at the current crop of right and left wing Progressives and the coming crop of potential right and left wing Progressives my only reaction is, “We need more of Moore.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Huge Hoax Holds Humanity Hostage February 12, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Wow! The Man-made Global Warming Hoax is a Hoax. Who saw this coming except anyone investing five minutes examining the scientific evidence from both sides? Or anyone remembering this is the same crowd of alarmists who warned of a new ice age in the 1970s. Let’s see, they wouldn’t buy the Brooklyn Bridge but they’re willing to mortgage the farm for the Golden Gate. Now people are beginning to say that the Global Warming Hoax is the biggest scientific scandal ever.
When you challenge someone’s religion be prepared for a spirited reaction. Those who realized Man-made Global Warming was a hoax have long recognized this is a faith-based movement. They also realized the agenda of the hipper-than-thou high priests of this movement has always been something other than a cool world. Science is advanced by hypothesis, experimentation, and analysis not by consensus. Consensus is a political term, a political concept and a clue that the Man-made Global Warming agenda is a political agenda. The only credible science these scam artists are using is Political Science.
Al Gore, the world’s self-proclaimed leading Man-made Global Warming expert and lobbyist and by sheer coincidence one of the world’s largest Green Entrepreneurs has garnered a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar and millions of dollars by scaring the wits out of people who believe the cherry-picked data he and others present as evidence. As a college professor I would be shocked if any freshman submitted a paper with the flimsy sources of his transparently fictitious movie. The unattributed scenes from the Hollywood movie Day After Tomorrow presented as unattributed evidence would’ve earned him an “F” for plagiarism.
Calling the Man-made Global Warming crusade a hoax isn’t fair to hoaxes. This is and always has been a scam perpetrated by the evil upon the naïve. It isn’t about the environment it’s about power. Have you ever noticed how the apostles of Man-made Global Warming use private jets and limos going to paved-over acres of paved-over rain-forest to hold self-promoting conferences? These are hypocrites masquerading as humanitarians holding humanity hostage with a huge hoax.
Notwithstanding beheadings, burning people alive and conquering a large swath of the Mideast our President at a meeting with his Global Warming co-religionists boldly says that “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” Then he doubled down in his State of the Union talking points, “That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”
The recent and on-going revelations of collusion, deception and fraud between government-funded scientists, research universities, bureaucrats, green corporations, the Media and the Man-made Global Warming Illuminati should open the eyes of even the willfully blind. Remember, when you challenge someone’s religion you should expect a spirited reaction. There’s no disappointment in that regard. Now that the curtain has been pulled away and everyone can see grifters are manipulating levers behind the great and munificent High Priest Gore all the stops have been pulled out.
The Man-made Global Warming Lobby presses day and night to ensnare the United States in an international treaty in which the West confesses guilt for causing Man-made Global Warming as unrealistically as the Treaty of Versailles forced the Germans to accept 100% of the blame for World War I. The Copenhagen monstrosity also imposes wealth-transfer payments upon the U. S. potentially as destructive as the reparations demanded of a defeated Germany by the victorious Allies.
After the fall of Communism in America vast numbers of uninformed voters, the easily frightened and the purely partisan proved sufficient to rescue radical Liberalism from its well-deserved place in the dustbin of history. Using the cover of an unpopular war and the ineptness of co-opted politicians pretending to be conservatives the radical liberals won an unstoppable majority in Congress and the White House. Now they’re advancing a legislative agenda aimed at central-planning while preparing to surrender our sovereignty through international treaties.
The fact that Man-made Global Warming has been exposed as the greatest swindle ever attempted will not phase the ideologues and statists who’ve gained a stranglehold on power in America. They’re going to force an economy killing Cap-N-Trade boondoggle and the Copenhagen Capitulation down our throats before the voters get a chance to speak as loudly as the Tea Party Patriots and the honest scientists have spoken already. Before We the People get an opportunity in 2010 to right the ship of state this collection of demagogues are attempting to seal our fate.
Hordes of voters awaken from a media-induced trance and realize the change they can believe in was really bait-and-switch. In the hearts of many buyer’s remorse replaces the mesmerizing effects of a manufactured messiah than rising up in their righteous indignation they elect him again.
The euphoria of “GM is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead” wore off quickly and by 2014 the GOP rolled up the biggest majorities they’ve had since the 1940s.
Knowing they have all the power needed to accomplish their goal of downsizing America and seeing a voter’s revolt on the horizon the statists push forward the hoax of Man-made Global Warming. They have several generations of Americans brainwashed into believing the sky is falling. Talk to anyone under 25 and tell me you don’t feel like Chicken Little is in the room. It’s all they’ve ever heard even if there hasn’t been any global warming since before they started school. Tell them anything different and you will be accused of be a Climate Denier which is now as bad a s wearing a hood and burning a cross. If the government Global warming pied pipers have their way they may yet turn this science fiction into the reality of a Man-caused Disaster.
I’m not saying the climate doesn’t change. After two days of raking leaves I can truthfully testify that it does about every three months. The planet tilts, wobbles and moves in its orbit and there’s a thermonuclear ball of heat and light out there called the Sun which I believe has more to do with global warming and cooling than anything man has ever or will ever do. Once the hokum is out of the hoax if the shamans of the First Church of Man-Made Global Warming can change the climate I’ll take 72-76º, rain at night and sunny all day.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Don’t Tell Someone Else February 5, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
I’m thinking about changing my economic strategy. My parents were raised in the Roosevelt Depression and they taught me to work hard, save money, and pay for what I wanted. I was a deficit hawk when being a deficit hawk wasn’t cool’ Now that it isn’t even an option why should I stay at the party when there’s no one left to dance with?
In our new Omerica I think I’ll join the winning side and try spending more than I make every day for the rest of my life and see how that works out. If I can just manage to get to where I owe so much that I’m too big to fail I can start really living large on federal handouts, excuse me bailouts, excuse me stimulus. Won’t that be sweet? I’ll hold seminars on “How to Borrow Your Way to Wealth,” or “If You’ll Take a Check I’ll Take Two Please.” What a great racket, excuse me scheme, excuse me program. And technically it’s not a shell game if you don’t use shells.
According to a USA Today study back in 2009 at the beginning of the present Imperial Presidency American taxpayers assumed an additional $55,000 per household for federal spending and promises in the just the last 12 months of the Bush Debacle. That represents a 12% increase in the deficient just in George II’s final year in office and the media tells us he’s a conservative. Of course he’s the kind of conservative who can also use modern double-speak. I think this one should be above the door to his multi-million dollar presidential library down in Dallas, “”I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” This spending spree raised the per household federal debt to $546,668 which is four times the average personal debt for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards combined. Instead of “Don’t Tread on ME” perhaps we should have flags that proclaim, “Send Me the Stuff And Send the Bill to Someone Else”
Don’t tell Someone Else but this means our runaway government assumed a staggering $6.8 trillion in new obligations during the government created crash of 2008 alone. Then along came Obama. His explosion of excess when added to the creatively hidden realities of the federal entitlement programs brings poor old Someone Else’s debt load (including unfunded liabilities) to the incomprehensible total of $187 trillion.
Some might say, “Wait a minute! This guy is way over board! Our national debt is only $18 trillion.” I wish I could convince myself it was only $18 trillion that would help me sleep at night. However, government books are so over-cooked they make Enron and WorldCom look as honest as the day is long. The real number doesn’t just cover what we’ve borrowed so far but what we’ve promised to pay in the future minus what we might conceivably raise to offset future borrowing. When you lump that all together you end up with the $187 trillion or some other such ridiculous number.
At least we can tell Someone Else that all this national shopaholicism isn’t being wasted buying $7,000 toilet seats and $800 hammers its buying things we really need. Remember the stimulus, the one that ended the Great Recession? It paid for such needed items as: $97 million for a program that was already cancelled at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the interests of national defense our government decided to replace old nuclear warheads with new ones. The rocket-scientists in the planning department said they needed two new buildings to produce the necessary plutonium components. Then the program was cancelled.
Never fear government is here and when has the lack of common sense ever gotten in the way of a good boondoggle? Along came our earmark-free stimulus and the $97 Million enters stage-left. Now that the money was there of course we had to spend it otherwise who would get stimulated. So the construction continued for buildings that were no longer needed. At least all these shovel-ready jobs have the economy purring along like a well-oiled machine even if they weren’t as shovel-ready as our Dear Leader thought.
Remember the GM Bailout? Now there was a deal that just couldn’t lose. It inspired the following joke.
A man walks into a bank to open a checking account the teller says, “I have good news and bad news.” The man asks, “What’s the good news?” The teller says, “When you open an account with us you can have either a new toaster or 1000 shares of GM stock.” “What’s the bad news?” “We’re all out of toasters.” No one would buy GM stock which is why it fell to the 1$ range and our Glorious Leader decided to spend money that was authorized under TARP to buy up toxic assets to instead buy GM. So out comes Uncle Sugar’s checkbook and out goes billions of Someone Else’s money to buy the majority share in a company that was estimated to turn a profit when?
How could this ever fail? It turned out after all the celebrations of success that Someone Else lost $11.2 billion on that deal. And how is the resurrected auto giant? In 2014 GM recalled more cars than they made and while they are closing plants in America they are building them overseas.
What dolts we were working and saving when all you have to do is want something, charge it to Someone Else and shazam you get the stuff and Someone Else gets the bill. That Someone Else sure is a generous person aren’t they? There’s only one problem with this perpetual-motion money machine. When you look in the mirror Someone Else is looking back.
How Do We Get Back to Where We Were? January 29, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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It’s hard to be a conservative when there’s little left to conserve. The increasing pace of America’s progression from free markets to a command economy has reached such a pace and become so obvious that way back in 2009 the Russian Prime Minister used his spotlight time at the World Economic Forum to warn America not to follow the socialist path. The Russian newspaper Pravda, once the leading communist voice on earth published an article entitled, “American capitalism gone with a whimper.” People around the world can see the individual decisions of producers and consumers are being replaced by the form letters of a faceless central-planning bureaucracy even if the Obama boosters still haven’t swallowed the red pill and watched the matrix dissolve.
Pushed by the breathtaking speed of America’s devolution into a command economy some conservatives have entered the ranks of the radicals. They’re beginning to think about how to cure the systemic political problems precipitating the November Revolution of 2008. One solution some are embracing is known as the Sovereignty Movement. This is a movement of citizens and state representatives attempting to right the listing ship-of-state by appealing to the 10th Amendment which says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The 10th Amendment addressed one of the most hard-fought points in the establishment of a central government. The States even though they surrendered some of their sovereignty didn’t want to lose it all. Specifically they didn’t want to lose the power to make internal decisions. They did not want to be powerless before a distant national bureaucracy. So as the cap-stone of the Bill of Rights the 10th Amendment was meant to reassure the States they would remain sovereign within their borders. However, since the 1830s, court rulings have garbled the once universally accepted meaning of the 10th Amendment as the Federal Government extended its authority from roads to schools to GM to Health Care to whatever they want.
Now some are turning to a resurrection of the straightforward meaning of the 10th Amendment as a way to mitigate the ever expanding power of centralized-control and social engineering combined with perpetual re-election and runaway pork-barrel deficit spending. But, is this enough?
As a Historian I always believe even a little history might help push back the darkness swirling around us. In 1787, at the close of the Constitutional Convention, as Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall a lady asked “Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy.” “A republic” replied Franklin “if you can keep it.”
Many have the mistaken idea that the United States is a democracy. It’s not. It’s a representative republic. The Framers distrusted unfettered democracy therefore they inserted several mechanisms into the Constitution which added some innovations between direct democracy and the power to rule.
One of the great innovations the Framers built into our system is the federal concept. Since this is an important component of our political legacy that has been overlooked in our contemporary education system let me define what is meant by federal. A federal system is a union of states with a central authority wherein the member states still retain certain defined powers of government.
According to the Constitution the Federal Government cannot mandate policies relating to local issues such as housing, business, transportation, etc. within the States. At least this was how the Constitution was interpreted by President James Madison, the Father of the Constitution. He expressed this clearly in a veto statement in 1817. In that there has never been anyone more qualified to address the original intent of the framers I believe it is important to bring his entire statement into this article:
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled “An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements,” and which sets apart and pledges funds “for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense,” I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.
The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation within the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States.
“The power to regulate commerce among the several States” cannot include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such a commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress.
To refer the power in question to the clause “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms “common defense and general welfare” embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared “that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, inasmuch as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.
A restriction of the power “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” to cases which are to be provided for by the expenditure of money would still leave within the legislative power of Congress all the great and most important measures of Government, money being the ordinary and necessary means of carrying them into execution.
If a general power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses, with the train of powers incident thereto, be not possessed by Congress, the assent of the States in the mode provided in the bill cannot confer the power. The only cases in which the consent and cession of particular States can extend the power of Congress are those specified and provided for in the Constitution.
I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the Constitution, and believing that it cannot be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and a reliance on insufficient precedents; believing also that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it, and to cherishing the hope that its beneficial objects may be attained by a resort for the necessary powers to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation which established the Constitution in its actual form and providently marked out in the instrument itself a safe and practicable mode of improving it as experience might suggest.
This is an eloquent expression of how the Constitution was meant to be understood. However, through expansive interpretations by activist judges this gradually morphed into almost limitless Federal control of the domestic affairs of the States.
Another vital component of our Constitutional heritage is the protection provided by a system of “Checks and Balances” wherein each level or branch of government acts as a barrier to other levels or branches of government from acquiring too much power. The most important check on the power of the Federal Government in relation to the constituent States was the Senate. In the Constitution the people directly elected the House of Representatives to represent their interests, the various State legislatures elected the members of the Senate to represent the individual states.
The adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 mandating the popular election of Senators fatally damaged this system. Since then, the States have been reduced from equal partners with the Federal Government to a group of individual lobbyists. Before this amendment senators remained in office based upon how they upheld the rights of their state. The hot-and-cold winds of populist considerations didn’t compromise the Senator’s ability to serve. This freedom to vote against populist sentiment allowed the Senators to balance the directly-elected House.
Now we have two houses of Congress trying to spend enough of other people’s money to make political profits for themselves. So what do I propose? Resurrect the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th and while we’re at it we should drive a stake through the heart of the 16th which allows progressive taxation and all that’s still on the conservative side of radicalism.
Restore the balance and save the Republic!
Bankrupt Who’s Bankrupt? January 22, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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A few years ago, with tongue securely in cheek, I wrote about the Fed buying Treasury Bonds. I tried using the absurd to make a point. I explained this would be like issuing your own credit card, buying everything you want, paying for the credit card with your checking account, and filling the checking account with cash advances from the credit card. I was just kidding. I never thought this would actually happen. It has. Similarly, years ago when I wrote about the nationalization of GM and the financial system I was again trying to use absurdity to make a point. My problem is that it’s getting hard to be absurd in America today.
When I read the headlines all I do is mutter to myself, “You just can’t make this stuff up” because when I did no one took me seriously.
Today with the Fed buying treasury bonds America has in effect declared bankruptcy. We might not think so because the mainstream media hasn’t mentioned it but our creditors have noticed. China wants higher interest rates and collateral. Dancing down the yellow-brick road to Insolvency City our leaders announce a new trillion dollar something or other every day. A trillion here, a trillion there and eventually trillion doesn’t sound so shockingly big any more.
What comes after a trillion? It’s a quadrillion with 15 zeros then a quintillion with 18 zeros. What’s the difference between these bewildering figures? A trillion is a million millions. There are a million seconds in 11 days. A billion seconds is around 32 years. And a trillion seconds in approximately 32,000 years. To the average person it doesn’t matter whether it’s a million, a billion or a trillion they’re all too big to wrap our heads around.
What’s next? Nationalize the New York Times and the rest of the liberal media because people won’t support them any longer. How about, the thousands of Acorn workers who suddenly disappeared when it became obvious what a corrupt democrat front organization it really was magically reappeared as ACORN by other names still receiving government money. How about Comprehensive Immigration Reform which Congress repeatedly refused to pass becoming law by presidential fiat, with voting for illegal aliens in an election coming to you soon. Then we have Obamacare nationalizing 17 % of the GDP which may soon squeeze the private healthcare insurance industry out of the market. As people who don’t work at Wal-Mart demonstrate to unionize Wal-Mart. The Federal Government listens to and records everything everyone says without a warrant and the person who tells us about it is a traitor.
Could any of this happen in America the land of the free and the home of the brave? Don’t be absurd!
The current economic woes may not be popular with Americans but George Soros the Bankroll of the Left loves it. He says, “the financial crisis has been stimulating.” Then after mentioning the 11.6 billion he made during the 2008 crash adds, “It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life’s work.” Capitalism may be dyeing all around us but at least the Socialists are making money. And how did this prime mover of the socialist agenda in America make all this money? Did he build factories? Create Jobs? No he runs a hedge fund and makes money appear out of thin air through manipulation of currencies, monetized derivatives, credit swaps and other types of voodoo economics.
Obama’s much ballyhooed recovery may look great from the White House even though it looks quite a bit like the Great Recession from our houses. The mood of the American people is cratering through this Great Recession into everyone’s personal Great Depression.
We may be feeling down but at least we’ve got the Progressives that Soros supports looking out for us.
For example after the crash there was second-generation Senator Dodd who inherited his seat from his father. He’s the guy who fought so hard to stop all those greedy AIG executives from getting their excessive bonuses after he forgot he inserted the amendment into the pork-laden stimulus boondoggle to make sure the AIG executives got their bonuses when the company went on welfare. I’m sure it was a coincidence he received his largest donations from AIG and his wife served as a director of an AIG company. Nobody told Senator Dodd where his money came from, who his wife worked for or what amendments he offered so his outrage and bluster were obviously much more than theatrics.
Here’s a guy who gets sweetheart deals on mortgages for multiple houses and has the nerve to tell a national news conference he didn’t know getting a VIP rate was a special deal. This paragon of fiduciary integrity also voted for a Treasury Secretary who blames his tax deficiencies on not understanding turbo-tax. Giving oversight of the IRS to a man who didn’t know he couldn’t deduct the fee for his children to go to summer camp as a business expense because Turbo-tax didn’t tell him? Maybe the Senate should have held a hearing and investigated Turbo Tax? Maybe they could have ponied up some donations to make all the hub-bub go away.
Having people like these look after our finances is sort of like having the fox guard the hen house. Of course even after they have eaten all the hens these chickens will still come home to roost.
Looks like Chicago has finally made it to the Big Leagues, Big Al would be so proud. I wonder if this administration knows how to appoint someone who pays their taxes. Remember how poor Limousine Tom Daschle was forced to withdraw his nomination just for being a tax cheat? Now it turns out that’s no longer a disqualifier since if it was who would we find to run the federal government and decide how much we should pay in taxes?
Speaking of Chicago one of the people who led Freddie Mac over the cliff was Rahm Emmanuel. He was on the Board of Directors for 14 months. And all he got was $320,000 which is barely $22,800 per month so how much due diligence could anyone expect? Yet another humble public servant from Chicago, while out serving hash to the poor unfortunates, some unpatriotic news hound noticed Michelle’s sneakers cost $540. Thus the theater of the absurd has become main stream.
Bankrupt Who’s Bankrupt? Don’t be absurd!
Dr. Owens’ Newest Book January 19, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Dr. Robert Owens announces his newest book:
Colonial American History: The Essential Story
From Westphalia Press
This work is written for non-Historians, and is a handy easy-to-read condensed look at Early American History. It is composed of short chapters each of which is designed to be a stand-alone treatment of a segment of time. It is my hope that this book will help fill the void that is exposed by the general lack of historical perspective which I believe is a major contributor to America’s current lack of self-awareness of and appreciation for the uniqueness which is the United States.
This exciting new book is available through Westphalia Press at https://www.createspace.com/5115518
And other sites online.
You can also request that your local library obtain a copy.
Do You have Hope? January 15, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Marching out of Yorktown to surrender the British Army played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.” As I drive to Meg Lo Mart to make my latest deposit of monopoly money in a Chinese savings account all I can do is mumble the final tag-line of the Wicked Witch of the West, “What a world? What a world?”
There is a massive unspoken problem in America today, floating like the iceberg in front of the Titanic waiting to sink the unsinkable ship. Founded by revolutionaries crying “No taxation without representation!” the Republic these revolutionaries devised has devolved into a society where more than 40% of the people pay no Federal Income Tax and the number of people receiving government benefits is even higher. What incentive would these non-paying receivers have to reign in an overbearing and intrusive government? This unseen and unspoken problem is a cancer in the body politic.
Self-serving professional politicians buy votes by exempting non-productive people from personal financial responsibility while providing ever-expanding benefits at the expense of the productive. This is not the right versus left, conservative versus liberal, democrat versus republican he-said-she-said endless debate that devours the chatocracy of cable’s wall-to-wall talking-heads. This is not an academic exercise that pointy-headed political science and history majors with dueling pocket protectors debate for hours in their mother’s basement as they post their latest scoop on their samizdat blogs. If it is not any of these things what is it? It is a dagger pointing directly at the heart of our civilization.
Western Civilization awoke from the slumber of the Dark Ages enlightened and empowered by a belief, based in the Judeo-Christian tradition that humanity has an innate right to be free and a natural right to excel. Rights and freedoms are given by God not bestowed at the whim of some Legend-in-his-own-mind Leader. This civilization gathered steam in Europe exploding upon the world stage through an energetic period of exploration.
In America after a revolution fought by farmers and merchants against the greatest empire of the day the Founders, dared to declare “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” After centuries of government thugs standing on the windpipe of everyday people these self-sacrificing giants observed that in a civilized world government was not imposed by the strong upon the weak it was instead built upon a social contract between the governed and those entrusted with the privilege to govern when they said, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Today this bold and unique experiment in freedom is being devoured from within and challenged from without. Those who believe the collective should reign over the individual, those who believe in the suffocating sameness of socialism over the rough-and-tumble of capitalism have worked for generations building a culture of dependency which has tempered the steel will of the pioneers into the sloppy demands of the couch-potato slacker waiting for someone to find their remote as they guzzle some refreshments and wait for the game as bread and circuses take the place of innovation and accomplishment. Schools teaching 2+2 might = 5, trophies for everyone, politically correct new-speak and affirmative action promotions have sapped the vitality from the citizens of our Republic. Politicians and their fellow-travelers use a system of cronies and sweet-heart deals to reward each other for siphoning trillions from the public treasury promising the dumbed-down descendants of revolutionaries that they just might win the lotto before they have to declare bankruptcy so they might as well re-elect the same old grafters once again.
There comes a time when those who are raising the sails and paddling the boat have to admit to themselves the ballast down in steerage weighs more than the cargo. There comes a time when even the most non-confrontational and loyal among us begin to ask, “Who is John Galt” as Atlas tires of his thankless job and shrugs the burden of dead-weight into the dustbin of history. As the perpetually-reelected and the propaganda spewing Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media trumpet the inevitability of government rationed health-care, cap-n-trade industrial suicide, comprehensive import-a-voter immigration reform and the surrender of sovereignty through treaties supposedly designed to deal with mythical global warming there shines a light in a bell tower, one if by land and two if by sea.
Without hope you’re hopeless and I refuse to allow the unbelievable changes currently assaulting our economy and our political system to bring about my own personal Great Depression. Those who believe in the Devil believe he comes to steal, kill and destroy. I believe if he can’t steal your joy he can’t keep your stuff and weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Don’t despair pray. Don’t give up, give it up to God. Let me ask you, “Do you have hope?” I hope so. Personally as for me and my house we will trust the Lord for our hope is in Christ.
What Happens When Progressives Tax (and Spend) January 8, 2015Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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As Rush Limbaugh so rightly pointed out, “No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.”
So many people have accepted the argument that progressive taxation is just, necessary, and fair, so I know this article will offend many. Hopefully it will also make a few people reconsider their acceptance of policy. Many who are vehemently opposed to socialism, collectivism, and all the other trappings of the centralized corporate state believe that any injustice that might result from a free society would and should be mitigated by a policy of progressive taxation. The government through its education arm and the politicians through their media arm have used both hands and done a superb job.
It hasn’t only been dumbing down it has also been indoctrination convincing the patient that it makes sense to cut off both legs to keep them from running amuck. However; as James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.”
The easiest thing to do would be to ignore this 800 pound elephant. As the cop on the block says when something has happened and there is most definitely something to see, “Move along there’s nothing to see here.” However as the Historian of the Future that would be irresponsible. For it is in the mass acceptance of this inherently unfair coercive action as fair that the base of democratic irresponsibility forms the basis for the towering structure which is the Progressive State.
For generations this once unconstitutional procedure for wealth distribution has been accepted without question. This was not always the case.
James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, had some interesting things to say about unequal taxation. Such as in his Essay on Property, March 29, 1792, “That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.” And “A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor.”
In Europe which is often the source and first scene of the crime when it comes to the Socialist/Utopian schemes foisted on the uninformed and unsuspecting American public, when progressive taxation was first proposed during the French Revolution the classical liberal Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, said, “One ought to execute the author and not the project.”
During the socialist led revolutions of 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels frankly proposed “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax” as one of the measures by which, after the first stage of the revolution, “the proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeois, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state.” And these measures they described as “means of despotic inroads on the right of property, and on the condition of bourgeois production … measures …which appear economically insufficient and untenable but which, in the course of the movement outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.”
According to John Chamberlain in 1961, “It was Marxian socialism—‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs—which fathered the great attack on proportional tax equity: a ‘heavy graduated income tax’ is a salient feature of the Communist Manifesto of 1848. But the Marxians would have made little headway if non-Marxian economists had not come unwittingly to their support with the theory that ‘it is not equal to treat unequals equally.’ In cases of charity, this is undoubtedly true, but no comprehensive legal system can be reared on a rule which begins by regarding everybody as an exception.”
After these proposals for income redistribution had been dismissed out of hand by economic experts and thinking people as inherently unfair they were smuggled in as supposedly rational arguments based on the need or desire to spread the sacrifice equally. Those who presented this type of argument were careful to stress that they were not interested in income redistribution and that any progression beyond a modest scale should of course be condemned. Opponents tried to point out that once the principle of progression was accepted there was no limit to which the progression could be pushed. These opponents were said to be maliciously distorting the argument and showing a lack of confidence in democratic rule. Even today the watch word for the advocates of progressive taxation is that everyone should pay their fair share. This fair share is never defined.
The countries of Europe led by Prussia fell first to this pernicious scam. In the 1910 and 1913 respectively Great Britain and then the United States bought into the lie that inequality in taxation provides equality in sacrifice. At first the rates were moderate. In Great Britain they started at 8.5 % and In America at 7%. However within 30 years the top rates were 97.5% and 91 %. Within one generation that which its proponents said would never happen and its opponents said was inevitable came to pass.
This radical change in the rates and the progressive nature of the tax changed not only the degree but also the character of what was taking place. This soon became a vehicle for income distribution and nothing more. Social engineering based on the communist dictum “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.” This is all based upon the difference between greed and envy. Greed wants more and will do what is necessary to attain it. Envy wants what someone else has and will do what is necessary to take it.
To solve the problem of greedy people making more than others, envious people created a system to take what the greedy had earned.
One of the foundation stones of the continuing support by the general non envious public for this institutionalized theft is the belief that the high rates levied on the rich make an indispensable contribution to the total revenue of the nation. This is an illusion. If all the assets of the rich were expropriated in their entirety they would not cover the profligate spending of the political class.
In 2011 Steve McCann pointed out, “Using the latest statistics from the IRS, in 2004 there were 2.7 million adults with a net worth above $1.5 million. If the government were to seize all the wealth above the $1.5 million threshold, Washington would realize a one-time windfall of $4.0 Trillion — and no one would again attempt to accumulate wealth. Assuming it was applied to the national debt (unlikely with the Left in charge as they would spend it) the national debt would only be reduced from$14.5 Trillion to $10.0 Trillion.” And that would be a once in a lifetime score. Today the debt stands above 18 trillion.
In 2012 John Stossel noted, “If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion. That’s only a third of this year’s deficit. Our national debt would continue to explode.”
According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation’s David Logan, “Even taking every last penny from every individual making more than $10 million per year would only reduce the nation’s deficit by 12 percent and the debt by 2 percent.” In any event according to Parkinson’s Law, “The expenditures of the State always rise to meet potential income.”
According to F. A Hayek:
“The real reason why all the assurances that progression would remain moderate have proved false and why its development has gone far beyond the most pessimistic prognostications of its opponents is that all arguments in support of progression can be used to justify any degree of progression. Its advocates may realize that beyond a certain point the adverse effects on the efficiency of the economic system may become so serious as to make it inexpedient to push it any further. But the argument based on the presumed justice of progression provides for no limitation, as has often been admitted by its supporters, before all incomes above a certain figure are confiscated and those below left untaxed. Unlike proportionality, progression provides no principle which tells us what the relative burden of different persons ought to be. It is no more than a rejection of proportionality in favor of a discrimination against the wealthy without any criterion for limiting the extent of this discrimination.”
- R. McCulloch expressed the problem with progressive taxation in this way, “The moment you abandon the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or of their property, you are at sea without rudder or compass, and there is no amount of injustice and folly you may not commit.”
When will the insanity of unequal = equal stop? It will never end because there is no ideal rate of progression that can be demonstrated by any type of formula. There is never a reason why “a little more than before” should not always be represented as just and reasonable.
Looking to the end result Alexis de Tocqueville told us long ago, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
Hayek assures us that this is not a general attack upon democratic principles. It is instead the revelation that democracy must be guided by principles or it will founder on the shoals of expediency and the illusion of rationality.
Hayek expressed it well, “It is no slur on democracy, no ignoble distrust of its wisdom, to maintain that, once it embarks upon such a policy, it is bound to go much further than originally intended. This is not to say that “free and representative institutions are a failure” or that it must lead to “a complete distrust in democratic government, but that democracy has yet to learn that, in order to be just, it must be guided in its action by general principles. What is true of individual action is equally true of collective action except that a majority is perhaps even less likely to consider explicitly the long-term significance of its decision and therefore is even more in need of guidance by principles. Where, as in the case of progression, the so-called principle adopted is no more than an open invitation to discrimination and, what is worse, an invitation to the majority to discriminate against a minority, the pretended principle, of justice must become the pretext for pure arbitrariness.”
So what’s the answer? First it should be obvious that the majority should not be able to impose a tax rate that it does not pay. Secondly the maximum rate of taxation should be tied to the % of the GDP devoted to government. If the government is absorbing 25% of the economy no rate higher than 25% should be allowed. If in the case of a war or other national emergency the rate of government cost rises the rate could rise, and when it falls the rate should fall.
Raising tax rates as a way to solve the debt problem just doesn’t work. Looking at the 1950s when the rates were higher than they are today Hayek pointed out, “How small is the contribution of progressive tax rates (particularly of the high punitive rates levied on the largest incomes) to total revenue may be illustrated by a few figures for the United States and for Great Britain. Concerning the former it has been stated (in 1956) that the entire progressive super-structure produces only about 17 per cent of the total revenue derived from the individual income tax’-or about 8.5 per cent of all federal revenue,– and that of this half is taken from taxable income brackets up through $16,000-$18,000, where the tax rate approaches 50 per cent (while] the other half comes from the higher brackets and rates.”
When Congress was debating the 16th Amendment to allow for individual income taxes Massachusetts Rep. Samuel McCall stated, “The character of the argument which had been made leads me to believe that the chief purpose of the tax is not financial, but social. It is not primarily to raise money for the state, but to regulate the citizen and to regenerate the moral nature of man. The individual citizen will be called on to lay bare the inner-most recesses of his soul in affidavits, and with the aid of the Federal inspector, who will supervise his books and papers and business secrets, he may be made to be good, according the notions of virtue at the moment prevailing in Washington.”
To paraphrase Parkinson ’s Law, “Government spending always rises to exceed revenues.”
So what happens when Progressives tax? They tax us into poverty.
Spend us into insolvency.
What is Christmas? December 22, 2014Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: born again, Christmas, Dr. Robert Owens, Jesus, meaning of Christmas, the Roman Road
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Yoko Ono and John Lennon, a Buddhist and a who-knows-what Maharishi chasing pop singer who said the “Beatles are bigger than Jesus,” wrote a Christmas song. It’s a classic. We hear it every year. If you really listen to the lyrics it is about a world where everyone gets along, there is no fear, and “war is over, if you want it, war is over now.” Everyone thinks the title to this much beloved and much played song is “So This Is Christmas.” Those are really just the first words and part of the refrain. The title is actually “Happy Christmas (war Is Over),” so it should surprise no one that it wasn’t written as a Christmas song. Instead it was written as an anti-Vietnam War song disguised as a Christmas song. Yet, it’s a classic. We hear it every year.
This brings me to the question, “What is Christmas”? I believe it is such a personal thing it can truly only be answered as “What is Christmas to me”?
Is it an arbitrary date instituted by the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD during the reign of Constantine. In 350 AD Pope Julius I declared December 25 the official date and in 529 AD Emperor Justinian declared Christmas a civic holiday.
There is no Biblical evidence to support the date. Bible History tells us, “Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled.”
We know it isn’t just a date. So what is Christmas?
Is it a baptized celebration of the winter solstice? Is it a cultural holiday to celebrate love and family? Is it all about Frosty and Rudolph and George Bailey? No, I don’t believe that this is the answer to the question “What is Christmas?” and I know it isn’t the answer to the question, “What is Christmas to me”?
What is Christmas?
Culturally Christmas is more than the sum of all its parts. It is the public declaration that we are a Christian culture founded upon faith in His declaration, “I am” when he was asked “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” It is a public declaration that we as a people dedicate ourselves to living as Christ taught us we should no matter how imperfectly we do so.
What is Christmas to me?
It is a time to celebrate the love that Christ has birthed in my heart for friends and family. It is a time to cherish the traditions which have become Holy through usage and dear through memory. Above all it is a time to affirm in my heart that Jesus is the only name under heaven by which men must be saved and that Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior.
Christmas is a time to give gifts in memory of the greatest gift of all: Christ the friend of sinners given to a world that did not know Him when He arrived, does not honor Him now, and will not be prepared when He comes again.
The greatest gift I could ever give I give to you. The Bible is the unadulterated Word of God and it does not leave us any doubt about how to be saved. In the Bible is something called by many the Romans Road. I followed it years ago, and it changed me forever and gave me a new life. I pray that it will do the same thing for you.
The Romans Road lays out the plan of salvation through a series of Bible verses from the book of Romans . When arranged in order, these verses form an easy, systematic way of explaining the message of salvation. There are many different versions of Romans Road with slight variations in Scriptures, but the basic message and method is the same. Many evangelical missionaries, evangelists, and lay people memorize and use Romans Road when sharing the good news.
Romans Road Clearly Defines:
- Who needs
- Why we need salvation.
- How God provides salvation.
- How we receive salvation.
- The results of salvation.
Romans Road to Salvation
Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.
Romans 3:10-12, and 23
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” … For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT)
The price (or consequence) of sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
We receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9-10, and 13
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NLT)
Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us into a relationship of peace with God.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
Responding to Romans Road
If you believe Romans Road leads to the path of truth, you can respond by receiving God’s free gift of salvation today. Here’s how to take a personal journey down Romans Road:
- Admit you are a sinner.
- Understand, that as a sinner, you deserve death.
- Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from sin and death.
- Repent by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ.
- Receive, through faith in Jesus Christ, his free gift of salvation.
So this is Christmas: The birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God Himself clothed in flesh, the incarnate creator of the universe here to open the way for his creation to be reunited with Him. This makes possible our new birth as a child of God. It’s open to all. It’s free. It is yours for the taking, and you can unwrap this present any day of any year.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens