Archive for the ‘#bananarepublic’ Tag

The Entitlement State that Nobody Mentioned | Richard M. Ebeling   Leave a comment

The Republican and Democrat Party Conventions are now behind us. But through all the cheers and jeers, hoopla and poopla, warnings of a dark and dangerous future or promises of a bright and beautiful shape-of-things-to-come, one of the most serious shadows hanging over America was hardly mentioned at all: the unsustainability of the “entitlement” programs of the welfare state.

In fact, Clinton and the Democrats have proposed to both maintain and expand the redistributive state, and Trump has expressed his intention of not challenging Social Security or Medicare.

Growing Government Debt as Far as the Eye Can See

In July 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its“2016 Long-Term Budget Outlook.” Looking over the next 30 years from 2016 to 2046, the CBO estimates that the federal government’s debt held by the public will increase from its current level of equal to 75 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 141 percent of GDP in 30-years time. The national debt will be far above its previous high of 106 percent of GDP shortly after the end of the Second World War in 1945.

Source: The Entitlement State that Nobody Mentioned | Richard M. Ebeling

He Said, She Said: Choose Your Central Plan | Jeffrey Tucker   1 comment

She wears white. He wears blue. She speaks about community. He talks about himself. She is chilly and sometimes nice. He is mean and sometimes funny. He says “manly” things. She talks about women’s rights.

And rarely have two candidates hated each other more. He says she is a criminal. She says he is a psychopath. The debates will be an international media bonanza to equal the Olympics.

Source: He Said, She Said: Choose Your Central Plan | Jeffrey Tucker

Hillary Clinton Totally Dependent Upon Party Apparatus   1 comment

Source: Hillary Clinton’s status as the presidential candidate of her party is totally due to the national party organization. Unlike Donald Trump, who earned the votes of 14 million primary voters without any help from his party, Hillary is totally de…

Posted July 28, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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The fullness of time will vindicate Ted Cruz’s actions at the National Convention this week   2 comments

I am not a huge Ted Cruz supporter, though I voted for him in the GOP primary. Cruz won the Alaska GOP primary, by the way. Alaska is not a winner-take-all state. We distribute delegates proportional to the popular vote. Even though Ben Carson had withdrawn from the race, he received enough votes here to have delegates, which many of us were appalled to see the Alaska GOP reapportion to Trump instead of splitting them up between the two front-runners. Trump became even with Cruz by that act of treachery. When Rubio withdrew, his delegates were reapportioned a bit more fairly because the State GOP had been served notice that people were watching, but it served to put Trump ahead of Cruz by a tiny margin.

Remember what I said about Alaska apportioning the delegates proportional to the popular vote? Monday night’s shouting match on the convention floor was, in part, because Alaskan delegates wanted their votes correctly counted. They weren’t. The same thing happened in 2012 with Ron Paul, but that time was because the Alaska GOP screwed the voters and refused to send Paul delegates. This time it was because the RNC screwed the Alaska GOP and didn’t count the delegates as supporting Cruz rather than Trump.

I’m not saying I would vote for Ted Cruz in the future, but I think he did the right thing if he wants a future in politics. And, this article does a good job of explaining why.

If elections are to continue to mean anything in this country, we have got to dismantle this system that forces everyone into two cattle chutes to the same slaughter house. We need to fix the primary “rules” so that people know their votes will count. We need to assure that third party candidates have equal ballot access and representation in the Electoral College based upon what proportion of the popular vote they receive. If we don’t, we might as well just admit that we’re a #BananaRepublic and be done with it. Lela

Source: The fullness of time will vindicate Ted Cruz’s actions at the National Convention this week, and as a bonus, the reaction has exposed that Donald Trump has indeed jumped in between the sheets with the Republican Establishment.  On the second…

Posted July 26, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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Seek Ye First the Protection of Property Rights   1 comment

When Screwtape, depicted by C.S. Lewis as a mid-level administrator in hell’s Lowerarchy, gloated that “Prosperity knits a man to this world,” he might well have been thinking of tax-exempt religious corporations.

The “Utah Compromise” on religious liberty, which was enacted with the conspicuous support of the LDS Church, offers a splendid case study of the depths of cravenness to which a corporate church will descend in order to preserve its tax exemption. The headline selected by the LDS Church-owned Deseret News captures the import of that ignoble legislation: “LDS Church’s chief lawyer says not all religious freedoms should be defended the same.”

When “rights” become the subject of triage, they cease to be rights and mutate into conditional, revocable privileges. All legitimate rights are property rights, and all property rights are absolute. They can, and must, be exercised simultaneously by believers, agnostics, and atheists alike, and are reconciled through commerce and contract.

Source: Seek Ye First the Protection of Property Rights

Posted July 26, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Learning What It’s Like To Be Serfs?   Leave a comment


July 21, 2016

In the ten days between July 7’s five dead cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge’s ambush of three on July 17, police nationwide slew almost four times as many of us. And only ten of those 31 fatalities were black. Not that it matters—but let’s repudiate the notion that black Americans alone die from serficide. This tragedy affects all of us, regardless of color.

Source: Learning What It’s Like To Be Serfs?

Posted July 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Trump Truth-O-Meter   2 comments

I’m not voting for Donald Trump, but following my long-established habit, I watched his acceptance speech and looked for the fact check on it.

I don’t wholly agree with Politifact on their conclusion that Clinton had no connection to ISIS. There’s been credible evidence that the State Department under her watch was arming ISIS in Libya. That lends credence to the belief that her State Department also armed ISIS in Syria. So I would score Donald Trump’s statement on that subject as Mostly True.

They also scored his statement on “America has the highest taxes in the industrialized world” as Mostly False, but he was clearly referring to the corporate income tax rate, which is completely true.

They rated Trump’s remarks about Hillary’s gun control plans as False, but I would submit her own statements as proof that, if elected president, she will pursue a gun control policy that will disarm all law-abiding citizens, leaving only the totalitarian cops and criminals legally armed in this nation. The criminals might stand a chance against the cops, but the rest of us had better learn to be silent and keep our eyes on the ground.

Do check the fact-check out though because they do get it right in some critical areas where I didn’t expect Politifact (which tends to err toward liberal ideals) to actually say were correct.

While I was watching Trump’s acceptance speech, I kept thinking “He sounds pretty reasonable and “presidential”, but this guy is so totalitarian, so egotistical. He will be dangerous to my liberty.” I believe that whole-heartedly. His facts about the state of the country are 90% right, but his conclusions on how to fix it are 90% wrong.

So this next week, we’ll get to hear Hillary and run her through the Truth-o-Meter.


  • Will she do any better on telling the truth? I doubt it because she appears to be a pathological liar. How many more times do we have to catch her in big whoppers before we conclude that she is incapable of telling the truth?
  • Will she be any less totalitarian? Don’t make me laugh. She has already proven she won’t be, not overseas and certainly not here.
  • Will she be any less corrupt that Trump? Her connections with Wall Street and selection of Tim Cain as her running mate pretty much tells us that she won’t be.
  • Will I vote for her if her acceptance speech sounds more reasonable and “presidential”? Hell, no! She has a 30-year career of making a lot of statements, writing a lot of books and one speech or a dozen won’t take that stink off of her.

This is a woman who wants to force people into a universal health care ghetto from which there is no escape … who believes it’s all right, even good, to take children from their parents if the parents own guns or believe in using effective discipline or don’t believe it’s morally right to kill your children in the womb (go read her books if you don’t believe me). Under her reign at the State Department, the US involved itself in at least three wars we didn’t need to be involved in (and in her book Tough Choices, she admitted she encouraged the Obama Administration to get into those wars and three others that Obama chose to avoid). She’s proud of the mess she made in Libya and unrepentant for arming ISIS rebels there and then leaving four men to die in the consequence of her ill-conceived “foreign policy”. Her own record condemns her.

So, I won’t be voting for her either. Doesn’t mean I won’t fact-check her just like I do every presidential candidate.

Wakey-wakey, people! Wake up and smell the coffee burning. This is perhaps the MOST-IMPORTANT election of our lifetimes and we have clowns on the right and tinpot dictators on the left. There is a reasonable choice if you break out of your partisan myopia. A Libertarian president probably couldn’t solve all or even most of the country’s problems in four or even eight years, but he might drag us back from the edge just a little bit. And thinking outside of our elite-defined box might just give us fresh ideas that will cause us to become the change agents we have been looking for.

What If the Fix Was In?   1 comment


July 21, 2016

What if the folks who run the Department of Political Justice recently were told that the republic would suffer if Hillary Clinton were indicted for espionage because Donald Trump might succeed Barack Obama in the presidency? What if espionage is the failure to safeguard state secrets and the evidence that Clinton failed to safeguard them is unambiguous and overwhelming?

What if President Obama never really liked his former rival whom he appointed as his secretary of state? What if he had no real interest in seeing her succeed him because he and his wife simply could never trust her?

What if, when Clinton suggested to the president that the U.S. wage a secret undeclared war against Libya, the president went along with it as a no-lose proposition? What if he assumed that if her secret war succeeded he’d get the credit and if her secret war failed she would get the blame?

Source: What If the Fix Was In?

Controlling the Cops   Leave a comment

Do you lie awake at night in constant fear a fire will break out and nothing will be done to put it out?

Yeah, me either.

Brad has been saying this for a long time and I just decided to explore it recently. Firefighters aren’t patrolling the streets in their large red trucks looking for fires. They hang out in the station waiting for a call to come in. They still manage to arrive at the scene of a fire within minutes of an emergency call.

So why aren’t police departments run in a similar fashion?

If you think about it honestly, a whole lot of dead people would still be alive if police stayed back at the station instead of roaming the streets looking for trouble. No one had called 911 asking for protection from Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Zachary Hammond, or Philando Castile. No judges had issued warrants for their arrests. At the time of their arrests, all three were just walking or driving down the street, minding their own business. They were detained in what are generally considered “routine” but are in reality wholly unnecessary encounters with police.

There’s a lot of exercised discussion being expended right now over whether three of these victims were treated differently because of their race, but I don’t see a way to end that discussion with any sort of practical solutions.

So Brad has a bold … even radical solution … in keeping with  our proclaimed status as “land of the free” Take cops off the streets. Allow them outside the building only when responding to a 911 call or serving a legitimate warrant issued by a judge.

Everyone would be safer, including the police officers themselves. Ultimately, I don’t think the problem of police brutality stems from how they do their jobs. It’s that we ask them to do that particular job. A free society shouldn’t be asking armed agents of the state to patrol the streets, keeping its citizens under 24/7 surveillance. It encourages police to prevent crime by any means necessary. That flies in the face of the foundation of our form of government. The 4th and 5th amendments were written to keep the government from even trying to prevent crime. They assume the government is powerless until a crime has already occurred. The 4th amendment even provides further restraint on how the government investigates after the fact.

Defending oneself while a crime is occurring is left to the citizen. It’s not a police responsibility. The Supreme Court has agreed that protecting oneself is what the Second Amendment is all about.

The job we ask police to do today annihilates the 4th amendment’s principle for existence. Police surveilling all of society all of the time is as unreasonable a search as there can be or ever was. Only decades of becoming accustomed to the idea allows us to see it any other way.

There is no historical basis for it. The police departments we know today are a product of the 20th century. Prior to that, peace officers were generally dispatched in response to a complaint by the victim of a real crime, usually with a warrant. Contrary to legend, this did not lead to chaos, not even in the “Wild West” or the “Last Frontier”.

In fact, the first time I remember thinking the cops in our community were not adequate to the task of protecting the town was when three soon-to-be-rapists tried to enter our home. Mom scared them off with a gun while I called 911. I was informed that the cops were all tied up at a bar fight in downtown. Fortunately, Mom had already taken care of our needs. However, those same three men showed up at another house where they gained entry and raped a girl while her father was forced to watch. Years later, I spoke to one of the bartenders who witnessed that fight. He swore the cops started it by harassing a prostitute who had stepped inside the bar to warm up. And then they were too busy quelling the fight they caused to respond to an actual need of the public’s. Had they responded to my call, their presence in the vicinity might well have prevented the rape of the neighbor girl.

Would life where cops were only allowed to respond to reported crimes be significantly less safe? I doubt it because I grew up in a community where there were few cops and they mostly did exactly that, until a population explosion provided State funds to vastly increase the number of officers, who then had to justify their existence by looking for trouble — i.e., starting a bar fight so they could break it up. The laws that might go unenforced are largely those that shouldn’t exist anyway. Yes, more people might “get away with” driving 66 mph in a 55, but people would be free to call the police if a reckless driver were truly threatening public safety. The same goes for thousands of other victimless “crimes” currently enforced by police.

Freedom matters. It’s THE founding principle of our nation. We need to get back to organizing society around it. Redefining the role of the police would be a great start. Let’s restrict their interactions with the public to serving warrants and answering emergency calls. We’d all be freer and safer and cops could do the job they joined the force to do. They could spend their down time watching videos on the Constitution and how to properly interact with their ultimate employers — the public. As they passed people on the street on their way to real crimes, they’d no longer be looking for people about to commit a crime. They’d soon stop viewing all people as potential criminals and once more begin to view us as neighbors. And, in time, people would stop viewing the police as harassing oppressors and begin once more to view them as people with a job to do that shouldn’t impact our quality of life unless we have committed an actual crime that might cause an actual victim to call the police.

JFK: Shrinking from Controversy = Crime   Leave a comment

Back when John F. Kennedy was president, the government did not have our current technology to spy on conversations in our houses. His Secretary of State could not run multiple servers to hide information from watchdogs or the president, but JFK wanted to warn people that there was a movement to do things like that. He also wanted to assure people that this was not his intention. How much JKF really wanted to protect the privacy rights of Americans is debatable, but here’s what he said in 1961. Some people believe this speech is what got him killed. If you prefer to listen along, here’s a YouTube link.

“Ladies and gentlemen. The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it.

Even today, there is little value in opposing the thread of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in assuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it’s in my control. And no official of my administration whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press or the public the facts they deserve to know.

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, onguerrillas by night instead of armies by day. (VN:  This description tells us he not only knew their tactics already, but he knew “WHO” by this time as well.)

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. It’s mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding, and from that understanding comes support or opposition, and both are necessary.

I’m not asking your newspapers to support an administration. But I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers, I welcome it. This administration intends to be candid about its errors. For as a wise man once said, an error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors. And we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker, Solon, decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

That is why our press was protected by the First Amendment, the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution, not primarily to amuse and to entertain, not to emphasis the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crisis and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means greater coverage and analysis of international news, for it is no longer far away and foreign, but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improve the understanding of the news as well as improve transmission. And it means finally that government at all levels must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security.

And so it is to the printing press, to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news, that we look for strength and assistance. Confident that with your help, man will be what he was born to be, free and independent.

Let us remember that JFK was a Democrat and just do a little comparison between him and the current Democratic applicant for the office.

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