You Didn’t Build That December 5, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, Progressive agenda, Obama’s agenda, Utopia, socialist agenda, Civilization, utopian plans, utopian agenda
We can’t know what we don’t know however we can know that we don’t know or as Socrates taught us the recognition of our ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.
The society and civilization in which any human lives and operates is like water to a fish. Something they move around in, something they need to survive, it is also something they don’t even notice. If we wish to understand the world in which we live we need to realize that the civilization which serves as our support and framework is based upon vast amounts of knowledge those who fill its ranks give no thought to whatsoever.
It is also necessary to understand that civilization isn’t something consciously created by man. Civilizations build up over time by humans interacting with and attempting to modify their surroundings. As such our civilizations are more accretions than structures.
What our civilization is today is no more the conscious product of some master plan than the course of a river. Life flows into the channels of least resistance and is moved by forces that act upon it. We can no more predict what our civilization will look like in a few generations than one of our 17th century ancestors could have described the lives we live today.
What will be invented tomorrow that will change the future in ways we could never imagine? Thirty years ago in 1983 who would have thought we would all walk around with minicomputers we call cell phones? Or that there would be hundreds of television stations? Or a worldwide internet that can cross-pollenate thought at the speed of light? What may be around the next corner is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, thirty years from now we will live in ways we never imagined today.
This is the foundational problem that undergirds and eliminates the possibility of success from any of the utopian central-planning schemes that litter History and of the ones we are trying today. The planners cannot take the place of masses of people living, innovating and creating. No one person or group can substitute their decisions for the independent decisions of everyone else without short circuiting the system and causing civilization to stall out. No one is as smart as everyone.
If two minds are better than one how much better are 100,000 or 1 million or billions? Over and over those who think they and they alone are intelligent, far seeing or inspired enough to shape the future have grabbed the reins of power and tried to impose their vision on the world around them. Sooner or later reality comes along and teaches them that it just won’t work. We have people trying to guide trillion dollar economies who know nothing of economics, and people trying to guide History who know nothing of History. We are surrounded by political savants who know how to get elected and not much else. Some even have the hubris to list running a campaign as a life skill that qualifies them to run the lives of everyone around them.
What is even more bizarre than this is that people believe them and vote them into office based on such sketchy experience and vague promises as hope and change. Then when the Rube Goldberg plans they devise fall apart and everyone is worse off than before the savants say, “You just didn’t give us enough power to accomplish the task. What we need now is more of the same.” Time after time civilizations have fallen for this siren song of perfection. And time after time civilizations have fallen because they did.
Why does this destructive desire to trade freedom for the promise of utopia always fail? Because it’s based on the erroneous idea that humanity created civilization and therefore it is possible to alter its institutions, operations, and mechanisms whenever and however we please.
This assertion would be valid only if we had created civilization deliberately with full knowledge of what we were doing while we were doing it. In a way it is true that humanity has made its civilization in that it was not brought here by some aliens who placed us in it like animals in the artificial habitat of a zoo. Civilization is the product of the combined actions of hundreds of generations living their lives, making choices, succeeding and failing, rising and falling. This however, does not mean civilization is the conscious product of human design or that any one individual or group can completely comprehend all of its functions or what is required for its continued existence.
The very idea that humanity sprang from the earth with a mind able to conceive civilization and then proceeded to systematically create it does not fit the anthropological or historical record. Our minds themselves are the product of the constant adjustments we make as we attempt to adapt to our surroundings.
Is it nature or nurture is an age old debate.
The reality is that it is both. Our minds are what they are, unbelievably intricate bio-computers able to think in symbolic terms and extrapolate beyond what is known to what is imagined. They are the wonder upon which civilization is built; however they did not design and then initiate civilization. If they were, all we would have to do to reach a higher plane of civilization is imagine it and then make it happen. The fact that civilization has advanced by fits and starts shows that some things work and some things don’t. It is the constant adjustment that moves us forward.
Believing the lie that man is the measure of all things is the trap the utopians fall into: that man in and of himself has the capacity to control History. It seems so enticing and yet it never works because that isn’t how civilizations grow. They grow by the friction between our present conditions and our dreams. They grow by the incessant revision of what is into what we want it to be. Our current experience shapes our course deviations in so many ways that cannot be foretold leading in a zigzag fashion from the present to the future.
The weathermen who have a hard time accurately predicting what the weather will be like five days from now seem ever ready to tell us what it will be like five hundred years from now. The economic forecasters who are surprised every month by what the economy did last month have no problem making absolute statements about how actions today will guide our multifaceted economy for years in the future.
Man knows not his time and we cannot know the future. In other words we can’t know what we don’t know. About the best we can do is know that we don’t know.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Step by Step Inch by Inch November 15, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: central-planning, Dr. Robert Owens, fundamentally transform America, Obama’s agenda, Progressive agenda, socialist agenda
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How do you fundamentally transform a nation from what it has been to what a clique of ideologues wants it to be? The easiest way is to convince the general population that what the would-be masters want is what the people want. Those seeking to subvert a culture must take a long view. They must realize that this will be a multistage project that will take generations to achieve.
As an example that will strike home and ring true to every engaged American let’s look at how the Progressives have incrementally moved us from the best educated, most politically engaged population in History to a flock of militantly apathetic fans. Couch potatoes waiting for the next game or reality show unaware how our government operates and impatient with anyone who tries to explain it to them. How did they nudged us from the most self-reliant people in the world to a line of people waiting hat in hand for the next transfer payment?
The first goal was the educational system. Capture that and it was possible to raise up generations who either thought as they did or who didn’t think at all. Dumb it down, exchange confused thinking for critical thinking and soon the people who once asked hard questions will swallow easy answers. The best place to start is at the colleges and universities. If you can convince a generation of teachers that the snake-oil you’re selling will cure everything you will soon have them indoctrinating generations that the sickness is really the cure.
A target of particular interest is of course was journalism schools. Once these schools become factories churning out carbon copies it isn’t necessary to have an official propaganda ministry. The journalists themselves will self-censor anything that doesn’t fit the reality they imbibed along with the Kool-aide. Once the editorial boards and the human resource departments are filled with clones none but clones need apply. Today the portals of American media are filled with people who don’t even know someone who is pro-life. They don’t know anyone who sympathizes with the Tea Party. So those on the other side are always the other. There is no understanding or compassion for thoughts and ideas they find foreign and alien even though they represent the thinking of the majority of Americans. So as we cling to our Bibles and our guns the megaphones of the public discourse represent mainstream America as a fringe while holding up a cross section of the Jerry Springer Show or the Gong Show as the new normal.
The next target in America’s transition from a society built upon individualism, self-reliance and innovation into a centrally-planned experiment in utopian collectivism might have been the hardest or it might have been the easiest: capitalism itself.
As layer after layer of regulations entangled the economy there came a tipping point. This was reached when government interference in the economy became the dominant feature. Then business decisions were no longer made because they were right but instead because of how they intersected with government policy. Look at the stock market today. It no longer moves due to innovation or even speculation it instead moves like a marionette to the strings pulled by the Federal Reserve. It reacts to real, perceived or imagined government actions.
No longer do we have Henry Fords or J. D. Rockefellers moving and shaking the economy to build industries. Now we have crony capitalists who use their connections to get sweetheart deals, tax subsidies and bailouts. Too Big to Fail has replaced Laissez-faire and it is no longer what you know but who you know that brings success in America.
The most insidious aspect of this incremental transformation of America is what it has done to truth. Once thought to be an objective reality, in a centralized utopia truth must become whatever endorses and supports the efforts to reach the designated goals. If necessary, good becomes bad, up becomes down and dark becomes light if that is what is required to make the assumptions and conclusions of the planners plausible.
War becomes peace. Inequality becomes equality. Pork becomes stimulus. Stonewalling and taking the fifth becomes the most transparent administration in history and the destruction of the greatest health system ever known becomes affordable care.
As the meanings of words change it becomes increasingly hard to hold an intelligent conversation, because no one is sure what anyone else means. This cannot be viewed as the natural evolution of language. This is a direct by-product of the effort to centrally-plan a society. Since all efforts must be bent to the centrally directed goals all thoughts must be shaped to conform to the politically correct thoughts of the leaders. All other thoughts become suspect and are held up to ridicule.
The prevailing mood of cynicism and the general intellectual climate that this produces brings about the loss of even the meaning of truth. Truth becomes relative. It is wholly dependent upon political considerations as the spirit of independent inquiry itself disappears. Under the constant barrage of the all-embracing central government and their willing allies in the media the belief in the power of rational conviction fades from view and only the official line seems to make sense to those who through either apathy or complacency swallow the party line and march in lock-step from freedom to serfdom.
The desire to force people to accept a creed and to salute the flag is nothing new. What is new is the justification for doing so that lies at the basis of our current round of communal thought control. It is believed by some that there is no real freedom of thought in any society at all. The thoughts of the masses have always been and will always be shaped by what we now call propaganda or governmental advertising by the laws and regulations of the leaders and the example of the upper classes. Those who wish to regiment thought and control opinion act as if since this is so it is incumbent upon them to direct the thoughts of the masses into a desirable direction. Or in other words a direction that supports the movement towards the goals and objectives previously chosen by the central planners.
Incrementally, step by step, inch by inch the highly individualistic descendants of the pioneers have become a mob clamoring for bread and circuses. Dependent upon government for their very livelihood a large portion, perhaps a majority of the electorate, eagerly embrace the thinking needed to justify robbing their fellow citizens through transfer payments to subsidize their lifestyle. Society becomes rigid and any deviance from the proscribed way of thinking is ostracized. Any attempt to break free of the stranglehold of political correctness on the thoughts and opinions of a once free people must be punished. The best that we can hope is that since we have gone step by step and inch by inch eventually, slowly we will turn.
In George Orwell’s classic 1984 it was the thought police that monitored and directed the thoughts of an entire nation. On a smaller scale the sadistic captain of the chain-gang in Cool Hand Luke phrased it this way when referring to people who tried to break out of the system, “You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Political Action Follows Political Philosophy November 8, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, economic security, political action, Political philosophy, social engineering, social welfare, socialism, socialist agenda
The vast majority of human action reflects the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of the actor. There have always been and there will always be those whose actions are erratic or divorced from reality. The actions of this small minority are best ascribed to pathology not philosophy. For the rest of us we think therefore we are. What we think about today we act upon tomorrow.
In the realm of political action this holds true. The philosophies propagated today may not bear fruit or even appear to germinate during the lifetime of those who share them. However, if they resonate with the thoughts, beliefs and natures of others they will bring forth a harvest in due time.
The time and effort involved in producing a coherent and logical body of work in the field of political philosophy may feel like a fool’s errand or wasted effort to the author working away often without recognition and in seclusion, never seeing the validity of their thoughts acknowledged by their peers or their intended audience. However, anyone involved in such an effort needs to have a long view and the fortitude to plant so that others may harvest.
Having prefaced my thoughts and illuminated my actions let me plant some seeds.
For my entire life I have had Progressive instructors, politicians, friends and relatives admonish me that the reason for subverting the greatest experiment in human personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity in the History of humanity is that we need to provide for the less fortunate. They often refer to providing some type of economic security for those who cannot provide for themselves. They often mean the leveling of society so that there is a minimum level of economic security.
The problem with “economic security” is that the term is so vague how do we know when it has been achieved? Much like a war on terror it is open ended and can be interpreted in many ways. What is considered economic security to one may not be to another.
If by economic security we mean security with regard to physical needs and a minimum amount of food that is one thing. If by economic security we mean the guarantee of a certain standard of living or a pre-assigned social status we are speaking of something else altogether.
It seems clear that any society which has achieved the levels of sophistication and civilization that we have should be able to provide for the basic needs of our citizens who cannot take care of themselves without endangering the freedom of all. There will be debates as to the levels of help which should be provided; however as to the belief that we should not allow our fellow citizens to starve or freeze I believe we are all agreed.
These questions will undoubtedly cause political debate and they may even cause tempers to flare; however that there is some minimum standard all will agree. These minimum standards of economic security can be provided to those who cannot provide for themselves without endangering the wider economy and without unduly infringing upon the liberty of the productive members of society.
However, any attempt to guarantee the pre-assigned social status of anyone, or any group, the attempt to provide for those who can provide for themselves and choose not to do so will inevitably cause so many dislocations in the economy and require so many regulations both personal freedom and economic opportunity will be severely restricted.
This is where the debate heats up. We have those who believe our society can and should protect and provide for those who cannot protect and provide for themselves and those who wish to use social welfare for social engineering.
The levels of taxation and regulation needed to support the minimalist approach can easily be borne by our society and our economy without compromising our freedom if they are applied evenly and fairly. A flat tax without loopholes, subsidies or any of the other trappings of crony capitalism does nothing to inhibit innovation, enterprise, or competition. Regulations requiring the equal treatment of individuals or the setting of safety or access levels likewise do not detract from opportunity as long as they are universally applied.
However, to attain the maximized levels of central-planning required to impose a Utopian vision of equality of outcome on any society require so many regulations and such high levels of taxation that they effectively strangle innovation, enterprise and competition. Why couldn’t that gigantic prison house of nations, the USSR, compete with the United States?
Because they professed to seek a society wherein everyone was equal at all times. Did they accomplish it? No. The ruling Communists simply replaced the ruling hereditary aristocracy. They killed millions to improve life. They destroyed the incentive and creativity of their people in an effort to produce a more productive economy by fiat instead of freedom. They eventually made working for the collective so meaningless that a common saying was, “They pretend to pay us so we pretend to work.” Citizens ended up with worthless money, empty stores and services such as health care that only worked for the privileged government workers. In any society that robs Peter to pay Paul eventually everyone changes their name to Paul.
As dire as the results have always been for Utopian experiments it is the morality of attempting to level society that needs to be questioned. I contend that competition is a fundamental quality of humanity. Striving to improve, to provide for one’s self and one’s family are basic instincts, and when governments interfere with these in an effort to ensure the success of some they have to limit the success of others.
This has a butterfly effect where a regulation for a positive action here about that affects something else over there about this negatively. Multiply this many thousands of time and we have a cascading effect that restricts opportunity except for those who direct the effort to achieve the equality of all. Or as the last remaining commandment at the animal farm eventually said, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
No one is as smart as everyone. No set of central planners seeking the improvement of some can substitute their decisions for the millions of decisions made by free individuals seeking their own improvement. It just won’t work. It never has and it never will. Therefore I contend that if it is inherently detrimental to society as a whole and since it is impossible to achieve it is immoral to attempt.
Man was created with free choice. This is our fundamental nature. Therefore what goes against that nature is contrary to the truth of who man is or is meant to be.
That the darker side needs to be restrained is generally agreed. Every society condemns murder. Even thieves have a code; at home they know theft is wrong. Children should be protected and provided for as should those who cannot protect or provide for themselves. No people has prospered or advanced by leaving their poor to starve or their sick to die.
Likewise no people have ever successfully built a society on the pipedream of equality of outcome. All that has ever produced is the fever dream of a socially engineered stagnant society where the government picks winners and everyone except the choosers and the chosen few end up losers.
The idea that man is meant to be free birthed this country. No matter how far we fall beneath the Progressive avalanche of regulation, taxation, and corruption this idea will one day once again take flight. As long as there are those who will propagate the philosophy the action will one day follow. Just as sure as a sunrise always follows the darkest night someday a free America will rise from the ash heap of History to which socialism inevitably leads.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
When the Have Nots Become the Haves October 25, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, nationalized healthcare, Obama agenda, Obamacare, Progressive agenda, Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky, single payer, socialist, socialist agenda
Saul Alinsky the political thinker who seems to have had more impact on President Obama than any other was very clear in his most important book about what his motives were and what he was aiming at, “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. ‘The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. ‘Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
With the November Revolution of 2008 which gave us one party rule for two years the Progressive Democrat party saw their chance and they took it. Within the two years it took for the people to realize they needed some balance the Progressives passed Obamacare which effectively gives government control of 1/6 of the economy. They passed Dodd-Frank which gives them extensive control over the financial sector. When they couldn’t push Cap-N-Trade even through a rubber-stamp Congress the President imposed it by executive order. When they likewise failed to muster enough of their own hacks to pass the Dream Act once again it was imposed by fiat.
The anti-capitalist programs of the Progressive Bush Administration’s final days were continued and amplified by the Obama Administration. TARP was followed by the Stimulus. The takeover of AIG was joined by the take-over of the auto industry and by force feeding money into the economy for years of quantitative easing as the casino we call the stock market soars.
Unemployment reporting has become totally unhinged from reality as the real rate stays at levels which would easily shine the light of truth on the fiction of a recovery.
According to the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics the real unemployment rate (U-6) has been continuously above 13 % for the last year. This information is readily available (one click of the mouse) and yet the media (including Fox) have told us day-by-day that it is falling and is now down to 7.2. This typifies the manufactured reality the federal government and the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media shovel into the public trough. If the plagiarized opinions I hear my fellow citizens share everyday are any indication the average person accepts the fiction as reality.
New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.
“We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient,” says the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.
The minority side also states that, “The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects over that time.” And the staggering sum of $3.7 trillion is not even the entire amount spent on federal poverty support, as states contribute more than $200 billion each year primarily in the form of free low-income health care.
The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits. In the fourth quarter of 2011, (the last full year for which statistics are available) 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.
In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.
This included 82,457,000 people–or 26.9 percent of the population–who lived in households in which one or more people received Medicaid benefits.
At the same time a large number of Americans no longer pay any federal taxes. Even the Progressive Huffington Post states, “Some 76 million tax filers, or 46.4 percent of the total, will be exempt from federal income tax in 2011.” (Using the same year as a way of fair comparison)
Just imagine an undisciplined out-of-control shopaholic whose credit limit has just been extended. Now they can continue overspending without any accountability. That shopaholic is the U.S. government.
In the week since Congress reached a temporary deal to suspend the U.S. government’s debt ceiling the Treasury department has added another $375 billion in new debt.
The suspension of a cap on U.S. debt, which was previously fixed at $16.69 trillion, means the Treasury department can spend whatever amount of money it wants.
How much money will the U.S. government put on our grandchildren’s credit card by the next debt ceiling deadline? At the current rate of deficit spending which is $375 billion per week, U.S. public debt will reach $22.70 trillion by Feb. 7, 2014.
All these transfer payments impoverish the working middle class who pay the biggest share of their income in taxes and empower those who receive the benefits, often being the same ones who pay no taxes. Thus the have nots become the haves fulfilling the goal of the Alinsky inspired community organizing program which has become Americas master plan.
As the have nots rise to become the haves and the haves descend to become the have nots the cycle repeats itself in an endless spiral of social warfare and the only ones who really benefit are those whose goal is power irrespective of who has what.
This is why the President and his advisors seem so oblivious to the turmoil and destruction the implementation of their plans cause. The goal of the President and of the other Progressive leaders has always been universal single payer insurance no matter what they had to say to sell it. Obamacare was always seen as a half-step in the direction of total government control. So what do a few speed bumps along the way matter when the goal is to totally transform America?
Our current administration seems to have no respect for the law.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange.
The Obama administration has ignored that part in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued Healthcare.gov website.
Thirty-six states chose not to set up their exchanges, a move that effectively froze Washington, D.C. out of the authority to pay subsidies and other pot-sweeteners to convince citizens in those states to buy medical insurance. However, the IRS overstepped its authority promising to pay subsidies in those states anyway.
The imperious leaders of the have nots now have the government, and tradition, laws, and history all take a back seat to the alliance of Progressives who want to have it all.
Give Them an Inch October 11, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Owens, government shutdown, healthcare waivers, Impeach Obama, Obamacare, Progressive agenda, socialist agenda
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Let’s see the government had three years and the entire resources of the federal government and they can’t build a website that works. Now we have a website that won’t let you leave, is open to hackers, presents people with insurance they can’t afford and we are going to fine, excuse me, tax anyone without insurance who doesn’t use it. These people are making the DMV look efficient.
Many of their own supporters and allies tried to warn them the website was not ready. The administration which estimated the cost spent to be 93 million for development of the website and ended up paying $634,320,919, which is more than it cost to develop Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, released it knowing it wasn’t ready. Those who have ventured to apply or to investigate report that on average 1 in 10 are able to navigate through the maze to the find the cheese of higher rates.
Maybe that’s because a website tasked with servicing millions was designed to accommodate 50,000? Maybe it’s because it appears as if no one bothered to test it before launch? Maybe it’s because instead of using the most up-to-date technology and the latest computer code the government bought some extremely high priced outdated, costly and buggy technology?
Or perhaps it all merely proves the truth of what Ronald Reagan told us many years ago, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
The Democrats and their media allies tell us daily that Obamacare is the law of the land and we have no choice but to fund it, obey it, and carry it on our backs till the end of time. They say that Congress passed it, the president signed it, the last election ratified it, the Supreme Court upheld it, and that is that.
Congress did pass it without one Republican vote. This is the first and only entitlement that was passed without even a fig leaf of bipartisan support.
Of course the president signed this Holy Grail the Progressives have been seeking for more than a century, because they know that taking control of the healthcare system, 1/6 of the economy, and taking control of everyone’s health will give them easy access to total control. Or as Lenin said, “Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.”
The last election did return President Obama to the White House for a second term; however, it also returned a Republican majority to the House of Representatives. The Constitution designed the House as the branch of government closest to the people, and this House is listening to the people.
And yes, the Supreme Court did uphold it. How? By calling what the Congress that passed the bill adamantly said was not a tax is a tax. This was an example of philosophical gymnastics that found the argument originally used to pass the bill unconstitutional but found the law constitutional as long as it is what they told us it wasn’t.
All of which brings us to the question, “How can Obamacare be settled law when the president can change it anytime in any way he wants?” There was no provision in the law as passed for all the waivers and exceptions our imperial president makes with the wave of his pen. If it is settled law, how and why can the president change it without Congressional approval?
Is it now illegal or immoral to work to change “settled” law? Does this mean that it is wrong for people who believe abortion is murder to work to change the law. Oh wait a moment the law still says abortion is murder it is only a Supreme Court ruling that holds the laws of the states in check. Does this mean it is now wrong to protest the never ending wars that are impoverishing our nation without contributing to our security?
The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” The vote to withhold funding for an unpopular law is not only proper and not only voicing the will of the people, but it is also constitutional.
How can it be constitutional for a president to change a law whenever he wants to do so? Should we just add this to the list of unconstitutional acts the present administration has perpetrated since gaining power? How long can a nation stand idly by while a rogue administration grabs power and control? How long will a timid and overawed opposition refrain from raising the cry, “Impeachment!” when faced with the illegal actions of a naked Progressive coup?
Just because something is legal does not mean it is right. Hitler gained power legally. He assumed totalitarian power legally. He built concentration camps legally. He waged war and killed millions legally. So did Stalin. Just because something is legal does not mean it is right. How long America? How long? Have we been giving these Progressive camels inches for so long we don’t even notice they have already taken the whole mile?
A Word to the Wise September 19, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, equality of opportunity, Equality of result, liberal media, Mainstream Media, media bias, Obama’s agenda, Progressive agenda, socialism, socialist agenda
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The most insidious result that central-planning and the overabundance of government control that it requires is not the maladjustments that it inevitably creates in the economy. It is not the crony capitalism and bureaucratic nepotism that it always fosters. It is not the smothering blanket of nanny-state regulations that strangle creativity. It is not even the tendency to one-party rule even when camouflaged behind a two party system that is in reality two heads of the same bird of prey. It is not a system which may actually contain only two parties if you believe there is the government party and the country party.
No none of these missteps on the way to an illusionary utopia are the most insidious result of any system no matter what it is called that is some variation on the socialist theme of “From each according to their ability and to each according to their need.” Instead the most insidious result of the effort by some to control all is a change in the character of the people.
When government regulation becomes an all-embracing web of minutia that requires lawyers, accountants, and other translators of government-speak to comprehend, when safety-nets become hammocks, and when the do-gooders believe that they know what is best for everyone reaches a tipping point people begin to expect others to do for them what they used to do for themselves. A nation of self-reliant, go-getters can be changed into a sea of slugs on the dole constantly crying and voting for more.
The descendants of the pilgrims and the pioneers are content to wait for their government check and their food stamps as long as there is a game on their flat screen and minutes left on their obamaphone. Militant apathy has ossified the sinews of a once great people. So many people don’t care about anything beyond their creature comforts, the most basic of which are guaranteed, that the will to succeed has been squashed.
When you guarantee success and everyone gets a trophy just for showing up few will strive to do more than is required. When success is punished by the ridicule of the media and the inequality of government policies such as a progressive income tax that says, “The more you make the more we take” few will strive to do more than is required. When college entrance quotas and set-asides say, “We don’t seek the best and the brightest we look at race and gender to pick the winners and losers” few will strive to do more than is required. When government subsidies and tax-breaks say, “If you have connections the government will hold back the crushing reality of the market at tax-payers’ expense” few will strive to do more than is required.
In America today we are surrounded by low-information voters who either don’t pay any attention to affairs beyond their life or who get their news exclusively from the Progressive controlled Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media. Their opinions are scripted for them by the progressive group-think of corporate hacks constantly building a narrative to advance their utopian agenda. If it doesn’t fit it doesn’t print. If they don’t like what you say it will never play. America’s once dynamic free press transformed into a one-sided monologue reciting over and over, “Government knows best.”
Our government controlled and increasingly standardized education system works hard to say as some of my students have; “a ‘D’ is good enough.” Or, “At our school we receive an attendance diploma it just means we were there it don’t mean we learned anything.” Assignments such as I witnessed in a 12th grade Political Science class, “Watch Michael Moore’s film, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ and then write an essay on how many ways Bush lied to trick us into invading Iraq” show indoctrination has in many places swallowed education. Circumstances such as these tend to stifle those who would drive innovation and promote those who are just along for the ride, pass the mediocre while holding back the brilliant.
We have moved from a capitalist system to a mixed economy and now under a president who promised to fundamentally transform America we are lurching into a socialist system in all but name that seeks to ensure equality of result instead of the equal opportunity which has traditionally been the seedbed of America’s meritocracy. We have transitioned from a small limited government, a representative republic that operates on democratic principles into an all-powerful central government that operates through a massive bureaucracy. Executive orders are used to make end-runs around Congress and the Constitution. Unconstitutional and illegal recess appointments are used to avoid the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation. Our borders are for all intents and purposes open like an automatic door at Wal-Mart. Forgetting what Ronald Reagan told us, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”
Norman Thomas, an early Socialist candidate for President said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” And as Lenin said, “Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.”
Step-by-step we have journeyed from being a people birthed in rebellion against tyranny, a people who founded the world’s first experiment in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Until a nation founded upon a written constitution which guaranteed limited-government, personal liberty, and economic freedom has become just another failed utopia that is spending itself into oblivion as the band plays, “let the good times roll.”
At a time like this it is good to remember some of the wisdom of those who have gone before:
Noah Webster said, “There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government.”
Alexis de Tocqueville said, “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”
Benjamin Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
Barry Goldwater said, “A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”
Alexander Tyler said, “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship”
A word to the wise they say is sufficient.
It Doesn’t Make Sense August 23, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, NSA, Obama agenda, Progressive agenda, socialism in America, socialist agenda, spying on citizens
Our leaders aren’t stupid. They may be foolish, they may be corrupt, but they aren’t stupid.
This isn’t just a Democrat phenomenon. It didn’t start with President Obama’s occupation of the White House. This is a manifestation of the Dualocracy: the regime of the government party, that great two headed Hydra wherein the Democrat and Republican Parties are merely two heads on the same bird of prey.
When we look at the current direction our country is going in many people say, “That just doesn’t make sense.” I hear this or a variation of it all the time. We see laws, regulations, and programs spewing forth from Chicago on the Potomac on a daily basis that just don’t add up.
Why would our government spend us into the poorhouse? Borrow more money than anyone could ever pay back? Create money out of thin air like Weimar Republic? Pass Healthcare reform to insure millions that’s really a tax, is almost incomprehensible even to those who supposedly wrote it, and doesn’t insure anyone? Why would we help overthrow our friends to empower our enemies? Why do we look for ways to legalize illegals now and make promises about securing the border in the future? Why? Why? Why?
It doesn’t make sense.
The problem is these people are too smart and their organizations are too well-oiled to do so much that is nonsensical. I don’t believe the problem is that they are from Bizarro World or that they are political savants. I believe we are not looking at what is happening in and to our country in the proper context.
Much like a person who needs glasses: if the lenses aren’t right everything looks blurry or distorted. So too when we look at the actions of intelligent people who are operating with a grand design of how they want the world to be and nothing makes any sense: we need some new lenses. The problem most Tea Party types have understanding what our dear leaders are doing is that we think they should be trying to preserve the America we received from our forefathers. We look at their actions, and they seem like the theater of the absurd.
Who would do what they do if they want what we want?
That’s the key. They don’t want what we want. We want to preserve our heritage and they want to fundamentally transform the United States of America. We believe the Constitution recognizes what the Declaration of Independence calls our “unalienable rights” and it is a good thing to limit government from having the power to violate those rights. Our Progressive masters bemoan the fact that the Constitution only gives negative rights which limit the power of the central government. They dream instead of a second bill of rights which bestows upon the central government and its mammoth bureaucracy a mandate to legislate, regulate, and strangulate us into their vision of utopia.
The problem with any Utopia is that it’s always based upon coercion. People must be forced to do what some all-knowing god-like central authority decides is the way to achieve perfection. From Plato’s Republic to Sir Thomas More’s Utopia from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to Kurt Vonnegut’s Piano Player the visions of a perfect society herded and regimented by an all-powerful government will always end up as some dystopian reflection of George Orwell’s 1984.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but perfection will never happen in this life. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. God has endowed us with certain rights and without them it is not possible to be all that we are meant to be. The only way to ensure them is to limit governments from violating them. That is why we have a Constitution to empower our government to do those things we need done for the general good such as defense and providing a sound money while limiting it from trampling upon the things that make us a free people, namely our freedom of action, our privacy and our inviolability as individuals.
In recent years this has been turned on its head as rights we plainly have, rights which are explicitly enumerated such as the right to keep and bear arms are endlessly debated and infringed upon while rights imagined are held up as constitutional.
A case in point: What ever happened to the Fourth Amendment?
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
This is where our God given right to privacy is acknowledged and protected by the Constitutional government of the United States. It expressly mentions the inviolability of our “houses, papers, and effects.” It doesn’t mention abortion. This is the pattern in America today: ignore what the Constitution plainly says and extol imagined things the Progressives wish it said.
Today a Progressive Supreme Court has decreed there is a constitutional right to privacy involved when a woman wants to terminate the life of an unborn child and nowhere else in our 21st century surveillance state America? The right to terminate life is protected and even subsidized by the central government and the right to have a private conversation is no longer acknowledged. Today in the post-constitutional America it is all right for the government to listen to and record every communication of every citizen and the one person who tells us that they are doing so is a traitor.
All it takes is the right set of lenses and we can see clearly. Rather than not making any sense it all makes total sense. Our leaders are leading us from where we have been: a constitutionally limited government ensuring personal freedom, individual liberty and economic opportunity to a centrally-planned, highly regimented, constantly watched society marching lock-step towards a utopia that will never work. With leaders like this all I can do is echo Scott Adams warning, “Don’t step in the leadership.”
Who Does He Say That He Is? November 30, 2012Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: central-planning, Dr. Robert Owens, election 2012, Obama agenda, Progressive agenda, socialist agenda
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People learn by moving from the known to the unknown. An analogy inherently proposes the idea, that if things agree in some respect they probably agree in others. Secular prophecy uses knowledge of the past and the present to predict the future. The past is the womb of the present and the present is the History of the Future. As the past may be interpreted and the present may be misunderstood the future is never certain. Platitudes may outline the shape of something, but they can never define anything.
If Michelle is like Marie Antoinette to whom shall we compare Barack? The thought that he’s Louis XVI is unthinkable. George III is too easy. All of the megalomaniacs or despots of the twentieth century would be politically incorrect in the extreme. Some would be considered too far left and some too far right though in reality the extreme on both sides meet at the intersection of totalitarianism and brutality. Since he rode a wave of secular messianic fever into power and since he won a second term due to the devotion of his disciples perhaps an appropriate paraphrase from the Good Book would be, “Who does he say that he is?”
First, who do others say Mr. Obama reminds them of?
His rapid supporters have finally gone the extra mile. During his first presidential campaign they merely treated him as if he was their messiah. After his second victory they are shouting it from the roof tops. At the BET Soul Train Awards show Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx actually called Barack Obama “our lord and savior.” Some will say he’s a comedian and this was said tongue in cheek. From the reaction of the crowd it was received like a proclamation from Mount Sinai. The wild cheering brought down the house. If this isn’t a cult of personality what is?
I heard a woman who fled Venezuela to escape Hugo Chavez and his democratic revolution crying, “Obama is doing the same things as Chavez! He’s following the same path, going to the same place, but now we have nowhere to run.” Someone who escaped the USSR told me, “I’ve seen all this before. Obama is like Nikita Khrushchev. He says he brings hope and change but really he’s just blaming the past because he hopes to rule the present while destroying the hope of the future.” According to an escapee of East Germany, “Obama is like Leonid Brezhnev. He promises security, pensions and benefits but all he brings are taxes, regulations and more bureaucrats, always more bureaucrats.”
I cannot bring myself to compare an American President to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, not even to Mussolini. To who shall I compare this man who brings the crest of the century-long Progressive wave crashing against the American experiment? Instead of doing the comparing myself let’s explore who he and his unpaid media arm in the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Press compare himself to.
President Obama announced his run for the presidency in Springfield, Illinois on the steps of the old state capitol building. Choosing a setting in Springfield where Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech condemning slavery and calling for the United States to unite prompted the Progressives at ABC News to observe, “Springfield allowed Obama to immodestly and continuously compare himself to Lincoln.”
Immediately after his first victory the cover of Time magazine depicted the President-elect as FDR riding in an open car with his trademark cigarette holder clamped tightly in his smile. So we know his promoters in the press want us to compare him to the four term president-for-life who until now has been the epitome of a Progressive president. But does President Obama make the comparison himself? According to Politico, “President Barack Obama compared himself to FDR.” What does History tell us about FDR? Major portions of his New Deal were declared unconstitutional, many economists believe his policies prolonged the Great Depression, his advisor Alger Hiss really was a communist spy, and at Yalta Roosevelt gave Poland, whose freedom World War II was fought to preserve, to Stalin who initially invaded the country as an ally of Hitler. If we forget the facts I guess comparing yourself to FDR is a good thing.
During his first campaign the Washington Post said that Mr. Obama, “Sells Himself as the New JFK.” At the time other news outlets noted, fellow Progressive’s disputed the comparison using the headline, “Hillary to Obama: You’re No JFK.” Undeterred Mr. Obama continued to cast himself as the successor to Camelot. In a review of his first term we could agree his glorious adventure in Libya as revealed in Benghazi makes him the rightful heir to such shameful military adventures as the Bay of Pigs or his much proclaimed victory over Al Qaeda to such questionable victories as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Turning to JFK’s most memorable phrase Mr. Obama, as any good Harvard trained lawyer would do, has parsed the meaning of “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” In Progressive newspeak this becomes, “If you’re a non-tax payer let me tell you what I’m going to do for you –if you’re a tax payer let me tell you what I’m going to do to you.”
President Obama also compares himself to the icon of the anti-Progressives: Ronald Reagan. According to Politico in an interview with a print journalist the President, “made the case that his movement is as much about a national moment as about him as a ‘singular’ individual” also noting “he drew a rather odd analogy for a Democrat: Ronald Reagan.” President Reagan told us, “government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” President Obama told us, “Only Government Can Fix the Economy.” President Ragan told us, “We are today, the last best hope of man on earth.” President Obama told us, “America is no longer what it could be, what it once was.” That’s not even comparing apples to oranges it’s more like comparing truth to fiction, good to bad, or freedom to dependency.
All the people mentioned above who escaped socialism, left homes, families, and countries seeking freedom remind me of something else Ronald Reagan said, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”
The Americans devoted to constitutionally limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom may have lost a battle. We may finally accept that we have become a minority in our own land. However, we will never accept serfdom and we will never accept the permanent imposition of socialism in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their country. Educate yourself regarding the History of our Republic. Learn so that you may teach. We must educate new generations of patriots to carry the torch so that the light of freedom is never extinguished. A slender majority of our fellow voting citizens may have chosen the path of central-planning and collectivism. Most through ignorance, some through avarice, and a few through pure evil have diverted the American experiment into an economic and political dead-end, but like all dead ends it will eventually end. The empires of looters always collapse when the loot runs out and another day will dawn.
That same Good Book tells us, “the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” And it also promises, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So the Progressives may have followed their play book to a worldly victory. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to follow that Good Book to an eternal one.
Keep the faith. Keep the Peace. We shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens