Monday, March 30, 2009

Truths lost in the rhetoric

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Truths lost in the rhetoric

Jim Fedako

Here are just five of the truths lost in the rhetoric. There are many more missing from the political debates.

One: Without real savings, there is no division of labor, no roundabout production, and no modern economy. Money in the bank is not real savings.

Two: Credit requires real savings. Notations on the FED's accounts are not real savings and, therefore, cannot provide real credit.

Three: A nonperforming asset - a bad asset - always results in a loss; a loss suffered by someone (asset owner, taxpayer, holder of currency, etc.). Moving bad assets from brick bank to phantom bank simply deposits the loss in the taxpayer's account.

Four: Earning an income by satisfying the wants of the consumer (without violating the person or property of others) is a benefit to the community, always. Volunteering on government projects and programs never produces benefits when weighed against the unseen -- the alternate costs. Mandating volunteering is justifying slavery, regardless of the project or program.

Five: Government is an aggregation of the worst characteristics found in your friends, neighbors, and local crooks. The cream does not rise to the top, so to speak, in government agencies. Also, since politicians and government agents are neither omniscient nor altruistic as individuals, they are neither omniscient nor altruistic as a collective body.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Amazing Race and Probability

Amazing Race is one of just a couple of TV shows that we watch (Yes, we are not watching TV otherwise). On tonight's episode, there was a task where the contestants had to guess which of about 60 boxes on the wall of a Thai store held a clue card.

Since there were six clue cards and 60 boxes, the probability of guessing the right box was 1 in 10. Now, if a team noted which box they had previously chosen, and they never repeated a choice, the odds improve with each guess. So the key is to never select a box previously chosen. Yet, team after team, chose boxes at random.

Remember, it's probabilistic. Choosing boxes in an orderly fashion provides the same probability of winning as choosing at random. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, most folks feel that by choosing at random they can beat probability. Instead of beating probability, they were putting themselves at risk of repeating a guess -- a very poor strategy.

A simple understanding of math would defeat the human tendency to believe that probability can be outplayed -- a fool's errand.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kindergarten Economics

A cute saying is, “Everything I know, I learned in Kindergarten.” That may indeed be the case for some, but learning doesn't always imply useful knowledge. Sometimes the item learned becomes an axiom of errant logic and false conclusions. These conclusions then drive economic policy toward the -isms of socialism, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, environmentalism, etc., the often-prized third way. But in actuality, Ludwig von Mises showed that the direction provide by these conclusions leads down the one-way street to the socialist cul-de-sac.

The classroom poster reads, “There are no wrong ideas here.” Is this apodictically true? If it is not, where does this false statement lead? What conclusions and actions result from a saying so apparently innocuous? You might be surprised.

Future educators are being indoctrinated by college professors adhering to progressive and socialist educational utopian ideals – just as current educators were indoctrinated during their college years. Mises in
Human Action noted that Charles Fourier, the French utopian socialist, believed that man could create a world where the seas are made from lemonade. Mises also quotes Trotsky’s belief that the world in the 1920’s was about to witness the birth of the ideal super human as “the average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.”

These Utopian ideals are certainly powerful statements, but they are a too outrageous for the typical education major. Keep the utopian ideal, but spin the rhetoric into the less offensive Kindergarten concept that no ideas can be wrong and you've hooked the teachers, parents and school board. And, more importantly, you've inculcated a new generation. Gramsci was right, why fight in the streets when patience and time will bring about socialism through lectures and textbooks as each subsequent generation is taught party-line thoughts and ideas at state-run schools.

There are many in my generation who believe that all ideas are good. Failure is not the product of a bad idea; failure is instead the product of market flaws and the sign that government intervention is required.

In reality most ideas are not worthy of consideration; they're inefficient, wasteful and just plain wrong. In Kindergarten and throughout the public K-12 system that statement is politically incorrect.

A little history is in order.
Otto von Bismarck’s dream of state socialism was given birth decades before his rise to power when the calls for compulsory public education were heard soon after Napoleon defeated the Prussian army at Jena. The Prussian system supposedly began producing the best and the brightest, at least that’s what Horace Mann, the father of public education in the US, believed. Later, John Dewey, the father of the current pedagogy, was enthralled by what he saw during a 1928 visit to the Soviet Union. Trotsky’s Utopian man was envisioned by the Progressives as the product of public education.

This has left us with a
free and compulsory school system that is convinced that five 7th graders sitting around a table can construct the concepts that required the brightest intellects hundreds of years to conceive. It took the likes of Carl Menger and the passage of a century to overthrow Adam Smith’s Classical School and institute the Marginalist Revolution. The discovery of marginal utility, considered the mark of a genius, is now supposed to be replicated by less-than-eager adolescents within a 40-minute class period. The utopian man has arrived.

“No wrong ideas here.” Every thought uttered by any child or adult has to be given equal standing. Consensus, an ideal adhered to by the education monopoly, is the blending of these ideas into an Hegelian synthesis [1] that becomes truth. Synthesis can then be tested using the latest tools of the econometrician. That this new truth stands outside a priori logic is of no consequence. Without a system built on a priori logic to test ideas, anything can be deemed possible.
Polylogism is certainly alive and well.

The empiricist’s test of the statement, “No wrong ideas here,” is a view of two snapshots of a local strip mall taken one year apart. Most of the stores open in year one are gone in year two; bad ideas.

Weren't these ideas entrepreneurial dreams? Certainly, but not all dreams lead to viable concerns. Mises considered the consumer a heartless taskmaster. The statement in the Kindergarten classroom fails the empirical test and thus must be concluded as false.

Not so fast. Wasn't the test the result of a flawed system? Didn't the statistical noise from the market cause a false reading of the results? Aren’t we confounding correlation with causation since the market caused the failures? Such ideas are hard to refute since they spin faster than anyone can apply logic to them.

Unlike the Kindergarten teachers who may truly believe that all ideas – dreams – should be allowed to germinate and bloom, the consumer does not see the dream, only the product. We see Wal Mart but we don't see the thousand other stores that opened in the 1950’s that, while being the dreams of entrepreneurs, did not provide for the most urgent wants of the customers. These businesses failed. Their business model was incorrect and inefficient.

But, wait. Failure means that an idea was wrong. We have been taught that ideas are correct; it is the market that fails. Your snapshots from above shows different store fronts because the free market suffers the inherent flaw that the passing fancies of consumers trump the dreams of the child, now entrepreneur. This conclusion is what we were taught in Kindergarten as impressionable and malleable children. It’s the evils of the market that steal the dreams of the Utopian man.

The market didn't steal the dreams, the dreams still exist. But consumers – you and I – shouldn't have to pay for another man’s dream. The dream must simply remain one man’s dream. Under a system of interventionism, the dreams of the entrepreneur are exchanged for the dreams of the elected official or bureaucrat. The entrepreneur that dreamed of building a store on the premise of “always high prices” is now sitting behind an agency desk commanding the economy. Instead of fully stocked Wal Marts carrying fresh foods from all around the globe, the consumer is stuck with the drab, dirty Soviet-quality stores stocked with Vodka, cookies and little else.

Saying an idea is wrong does not mean that ideas shouldn't be tested. IBM thought Gates was off the mark trying to peddle computers for home use. Other examples abound where ideas considered crazy brought innovation to the market and eased the urgent wants of the consumers.

Unlike a lab where all conditions must be controlled for an experiment to work, the market allows someone with an idea, enthusiasm and some financial backing to test that idea at the local strip mall. Should the concept align with the needs of the consumer, the next Subway-style success will begin opening franchises in strip malls throughout the US.

Better the foot-long turkey on wheat served with a smile than the slice of salami on stale bread coming from the scowling apparachik wearing a faded Babushka. The more productive an idea, the more efficient the economy will run. We all benefit when ideas that are wrong are allowed to be discarded in the waste pile.

I will contend that all truths I know about the market I learned through studying Human Action and Murray Rothbard’s classic,
Man, Economy and State. Since these books reconstruct economics around solid a priori logic, they are irrefutable. These books deliver conclusions will challenge all that was learned in Kindergarten and beyond, but those very conclusions must be understood as the guiding lights to a brighter future for all.

[1] The common usage is
Hegelian while this usage is more along the lines of Fichte's system, the predecessor of Hegel.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Usury is the cause

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Usury is the cause

Jim Fedako

According to Robyn Blumner, legalized "[u]sury has been a known evil since Babylonian times, yet we allowed it to revive and flourish. And so paved our path to ruin." She obviously missed Rothbard's History of Economic Thought during her research into the history of usury. Regardless, for many politicians, commentators, and assorted Progressives, the current crisis opens the door for new regulations, with the goal to end actions perceived to be societal ills. Next, I am waiting for blame to fall on trans fats, tobacco, and SUVs.


1. Ironically, while she states, "We've built trillion-dollar enterprises on nothing more than huckstering newer and more esoteric financial products," the folks in DC are huckstering newer and more esoteric trillion-dollar financial enterprises.
2. As you read her column, note how she alludes to bond traders as being nothing more than the despised middlemen -- sitting in mahogany offices, raking the cream off of financial transactions, and producing nothing save waste.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life follows art

You can take in the 8th grade art over at Hyatts Middle School and then cross the street and buy the real thing over at Liberty High School. "I'll take a balloon of heroin and reenact the art I viewed in 6th grade."

Who encourages this art? And for what reason?

Then Wade and his ilk will go on and on about the Whole Child. Amazing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Houston, We Found Our Scapegoat!

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Houston, We Found Our Scapegoat!

Jim Fedako

Thankfully, a state lawmaker in West Virginia is fighting to keep his state safe from "dolls that promote or influence girls to place an undue importance on physical beauty to the detriment of their intellectual and emotional development." For this, he got a standing ovation from his House colleagues.

Who said the nanny state is growing? Property rights anyone?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wade learns from the kids

Here's a revealing quote from Wade, "I learn much more from students than I do from adults." That's great, he will have four kids serving on his board, so he can learn a lot.

From Wade's

wadelucas said:
Wendy and Scott:

VERY GOOD POINTS! Thanks for responding. I am a firm believer that today's teachers must be
facilitators of the classroom. We are all learning on a daily basis - in fact
Wendy, I agree with you in that at times I learn much more from students than I
do from adults.

The post is par for the course. It quotes the collectivists and Marxists over at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. But it's Wade's history lesson that's a real winner -- and proof that real knowledge is NOT the end product of public schools.

According to Wade, "[S]ociety's expectation of what public schools should provide have gone from preserving Democracy (1700's) to keeping America competitive in a global economy (today)." Does Wade not know that public education came to the US in the mid 1800's as a hat tip to socialist Prussia? Does he even care? Hmmm.

Hey, it sounds good. And we end up paying for the nonsense. Reminds me of the time the Olentangy High School principal gave a speech on Constitution Day. His speech so aroused the staff and administration that the superintendent sent a copy to the board. What did the principal say? Something along the lines of, "We should be proud that our Constitution gave us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Sure sounds good ... but, hey, that's the Declaration not the Constitution. Amazing.

Perspectives / Learning: Whose Job Is It?
"In these days when making adequate yearly progress is a school's major goal, instilling ownership of learning can seem like a low priority. But making adequate yearly progress is no guarantee that students will be ready for college, citizenship, and employment, says Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap. And statistics show that students drop out more from boredom than from failure. Using external measures for accountability is nowhere near as powerful as imparting to 21st-century students that ancient staple of learning—ownership."

This is an excerpt from an interesting article in Educational Leadership regarding ownership for learning. Before reading the article, take the time to view this video clip from YouTube titled: "A Vision of Students Today." According to recent studies in neuroscience, the way we learn doesn't always match up with the way we are taught. Along with this, society's expectation of what public schools should provide have gone from preserving Democracy (1700's) to keeping America competitive in a global economy (today). This brings many questions to the forefront of the conversation but two questions stand out for now: What is YOUR expectation of public schools in today's world? and.. Who is responsible for the learning process??

Keep in mind that from Wade's perspective, education is not his job. And he receives almost $300K for this nonsense. Amazing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Send in the clowns

It sounds like the flunkies are part of the package. From Wade's blog over at Green Local Schools.

Allison Chamers said...
It sad to hear that you will be leaving Green Schools. I understand your reasons. I am wondering if Linda Martin and Stan Taylor will be leaving Green Schools since they moved up to Green with you. Gool luck on your move.
Posted on 1/26/2009

Wade Lucas said...
Allison: I can not speak nor should I speak for Stan and Linda. I would suggest that you ask them this question. Thanks.

Wade Lucas: Internet dating

When Wade said he would be dating the community, I didn't know it was to be over the internet. Feel a little cheated on this date? Feel that Wade is just a little insincere? Keep in mind that you met him over the internet. Really, what do you expect?

(note: If you can't view the video below, try linking to the district page here.)

(click the play arrow to begin your date with Wade)

Milking the cow dry

From a reader:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hezekiah Walker

Great soul from Hezekiah Walker.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Fundamentals: with a wink and a nudge

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

The Fundamentals: with a wink and a nudge

Jim Fedako

Since we are homeschooling parents, my wife and I are responsible for grading all of our children's schoolwork. We had a little disagreement this week over the practice of scoring partial credit on high school math tests. I said that partial credit is fine while my wife expects no errors whatsoever, no matter how trivial. I explained -- from my point of view as a former math major -- that simple errors in arithmetic can be glossed over with a wink and a nudge. I mean, come on, and try to find a math professor who is error free. Just try.

In advanced math, it is expected that partial credit be given where the work shows knowledge of the concepts being tested. No one doubts that the student has a grasp of 1 + 1. Moreover, no one believes that a simple error is something else altogether -- the result of the student questioning the fundamentals of arithmetic.

Now, turn to economics. Here the fundamentals are to be questioned. In fact, the professor and student are to brush them aside whenever convenient. The wink and nudge in this instance is not a hat tip of recognition to the student who grasps concepts but errors on the basics. No, the wink and the nudge are the secret signs that the student has exited the science of economics and entered the wonderland of political economy -- a world cloaked in the acceptance of economics as a science, yet a world divorced from the realms of science.

A mathematician who dared to argue that one plus one is not two would be laughed out of the field. Yet an economist, such as Krugman, can refute the fundamentals of the science of economics and be herald a laureate -- a visionary.

Note: Not to fear, I will not accept minor errors when the fundamentals of economics are being tested. No wink and no nudge here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Rise and Fall of Society: a live blog

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

The Rise and Fall of Society: a live blog

Jim Fedako

Chapter 1: Economics and Politics

"It may be that wary beasts of the forest come around to accepting the hunter's trap as a necessary concomitant of foraging for food. At any rate, the presumably rational human animal has become so inured to political interventions that he cannot think of the making of a living without them; in all his economic calculations his first consideration is, what is the law in the matter? Or, more likely, how can I make use of the law to improve my lot in life? This may be described as a conditioned reflex. It hardly occurs to us that we might do better operating under our own steam, within the limits put upon us by nature, and without political restraints, controls, or subventions. It never enters our minds that these interventionary measures are placed in our path, like the trap, for purposes diametrically opposed to our search for a better living. We automatically accept them as necessary to that purpose."

And this is from 1959, a time when many folks alive still remembered life without an intrusive government. While reading the passage, I couldn't help but wonder what Chodorov would have to say about our current situation. And what of our current situation? I live in Ohio where many still remember life before the advent of the state income tax. Yet ask those folks to imagine life without the tax and the majority will come up short, unable to conceive of such a world. But that trap was set only 37 years ago. However, for the majority, acceptance of the vile and pernicious tax is now a "conditioned reflex."

In this chapter, Chodorov correctly declares that economics is not politics. To begin the defense of this proposition, he notes that the science of economics has been subsumed by practice of politics. As the state grows by factors, the science of economics subdivides in proportion. Mainstream economics is now nothing more than the study of government interventions in the market, Not a study of the flaws of those interventions and impossibilities for their success, but a challenge to get the interventions right this time around.

So we have the economics of this and the economics of that. The economics of agriculture is somehow differentiated from the economics of international trade, as if the fundamentals of the science of economics are dependent on the subject at hand - a process that fits the politics of the day.

According to Chodorov: economics is not politics. "One is a science, concerned with the immutable and constant laws of nature that determine the production and distribution of wealth; the other is the art of ruling. One is amoral, the other is moral." Furthermore, "Economics, like chemistry, has nothing to do with politics."

However, politics has intruded on the science of economics. Just witness the assumed truth - though false - that the president can improve the economy. Sure, Obama could work to reduce regulations, taxation, etc, but it is acting man alone who improves the economy - men and women freely choosing among scarce resources in order to achieve purely subjective ends. As Chodorov notes, "The assumption that economics is subservient to politics stems from a logical fallacy ... that in controlling men the State can also bend [economic] laws to its will." Nevertheless, "men labor in order to satisfy their desires." They labor for no other reason. Certainly the state can hinder and enslave men, but a slave is "a poor producer because he is a poor consumer."

And this is true regardless of time and geography. It is an immutable truth.

Chodorov observes that "in the long run every State collapses, frequently disappears altogether and becomes an archeological curio." This is true since the state (qua virus) slowly robs its citizens (qua host) of lifeblood, energy, and ambition. In the end, and in all instances, "Society collapsed and drew the State down with it."

The American state was birthed outside the traditions of Europe. It was nursed on the ideals of liberty, not the divine right of kings. The men responsible for the Constitution, for the most part, conceived of a state "surrounded with a number of ingenious prohibitions and limitations." A state "condemned to get along on a meager purse."

Nevertheless, this arrangement was challenged by those very same men once they got their first taste of power. Government grew, slowly at first, until it found the main artery - the one pumping the lifeblood of income. "The Sixteenth Amendment not only violated the right of the individual to the product of his efforts, the essential ingredient of freedom, but it also gave the American State the means to become the nation's biggest consumer, employer, banker, manufacturer, and owner of capital."

In 1959, Chodorov could write, "There is now no phase of economic life in which the State is not a factor, there is no enterprise or occupation free of its intervention." Moreover, "The metamorphosis of the American State from an apparently harmless establishment to an interventionary machine as powerful as that of Rome at its height took place within a century and a half; the historians estimate that the gestation of the greatest State of antiquity covered four centuries; we travel faster these days."

The 50 years since Chodorov wrote this book has seen an ever-increasing state, to the point that we may soon face, just like Rome, our own decline and fall. If the state continues to destroy wealth and the ability to produce wealth, society will collapse. In all similar instances, "Society, which flourishes only under a condition of freedom, collapsed first; there was no disposition to resist the invading hordes."

From the Heartland to the Border

An older Ludwig von Mises Institute article by Jim Fedako

My family recently traveled to Texas to relax and camp. I returned with a few observations.

Because They Can

Camping? Alright, we pull a travel trailer, with hot water, A/C, etc. We're not roughing it, but our SUV is relatively cramped when you consider the empty space being towed behind us. One of my daughters asked, "Why did the state make it illegal to ride in the trailer?" Questions like these always give me pause.

There is the party line: "Well, state officials feel that riding in the trailer can be dangerous. They are only protecting us." But, wait. Since not all states ban such travel, the party line is not valid — it never is.

The true response is this: "The state officials ban activities because they can. Regardless of the reason, regardless of their belief in an individual's ability to act in his or her best interest, they ban it because they can. Plain and simple."

Division of the Consumer

Sure, we give labor its due, but what about the consumer? While traveling and camping, we end up at a different campground every night. Since we were in areas new to us, we had no real action-knowledge of possible campgrounds, their cost, or condition.[1] Sure, there is the occasional KOA, but for the most part, campgrounds are independently owned and locally operated.

All that we had to guide us was our Garmin and campground guide. Yet, every campground we stayed at was just what we desired: clean and cheap.

Even though each owner can be almost certain that we are never going to return to their campground, they were pleasant and helpful. So, why are these campgrounds such joys? Simple: the division of the consumer.

You see, it is the locals and the regulars who demand quality at a reasonable price. In addition, it is these very same folks — and their preferences — that drive the market for local campgrounds. Through this process, my family benefits.

Of course, the same is true for most hotels, stores, restaurants, etc., across the United States; the locals and regulars guide the entrepreneur and his investments.

When these folks visit my slice of Ohio, I will repay them. They will benefit from my buying and abstaining from buying. Each day, my neighbors and I direct local entrepreneurs to produce desired products and services. In the end, everyone benefits from individuals acting in their own best interests, acting without outside — or centralized — influence.

Public Schools

Regardless of the socioeconomics of an area, and in spite of any drought or water shortage, every public school that we encountered was the best-looking building in sight, surrounded by the greenest grass. This is the result of the false belief that government spending drives improvements and leads to positive results, and the belief that tax dollars spent by public schools benefit children and society, both locally and throughout the nation — as if impoverishing the nation for new bricks and green grass will bring about utopia.

In reality, these expensive, well-kept edifices are simply the tokens that government provides for confiscated income and indoctrinated children. Not a fair trade in my eyes.

Route 66: Capital, Value, and Taxation

I-44 through Oklahoma parallels the famed Route 66. For a stretch, we ventured off the highway and back in time.

Route 66 is still strewn with small towns, motels, garages, etc., all suffering from the lack of consumers and dollars. We spent one night camping at an RV park that has seen wealthier days. The campground's facilities and bathrooms were clean and functional, with the exception of the pool and bathhouse. From all appearances, the owner abandoned the pool years ago, probably not too long after I-44 replaced Route 66 as the road west.

Now, the going rate for campgrounds in that area is $18 per night for water, electricity, and sewer hookup. The owner obviously recognizes that money spent on the pool does not lead to more guests or more profit. Moreover, the guests — all overnighters — have little value for a pool. Therefore, capital reinvestment was reduced from that which sustained a prized Route 66 campground to that which sustains one that now exists off the main road — and the pool is gone.

Likely, the market value of the campground fell the moment I-44 was first proposed. The value of the campground has nothing to do with the amount of labor and resources that went into its production. No, its value is purely driven by the ability of an entrepreneur to obtain profits from his investment.

This is important to note: Since taxation on capital goods reduces the ability of entrepreneurs to obtain a profit, taxation reduces the value of commercial property and the amount of capital reinvestment. Taxation moves the capital good from the main road of consumer preference to the slow, back roads of misallocation — and the pool is gone, so to speak.

Taxation does not create value. Instead, it leads to higher current consumption over capital investments, steadily robbing our future, and our children's future.

The Border

We spent four nights in Big Bend National Park, alongside the Rio Grande, with Mexico literally a stone-skip away. If it wasn't for the green swath of vegetation that accompanies the Rio, you likely wouldn't even notice the river. And yet this is the evil border, and we were about to meet its residents.[2]

Criminalizing Trade

Boquillas is a small village just south of the Big Bend in the Rio. This village used to be the home of 200 people who made a living trading with park visitors. Just a handful of years ago, the border in this area was relatively open, and park visitors and village residents could cross at will. That all changed with 9-11 and the fear subsidized by government and prodded by politicians. Now, it is illegal to cross the border. But the traders to the south still venture across the knee-high waters in order to sell their wares: walking sticks, painted rocks, etc.

The park newsletter notes that items purchased from these Mexicans are considered contraband and will be confiscated by officers. In addition, US citizens who cross the Rio and attempt to reenter the US are liable for a "fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for up to one year or both."

With a stroke of the pen, the United States criminalized free trade, and Boquillas is now a dying village. Are we safer? Absolutely not. Criminalizing activities does nothing more than create criminals on both sides of the border.

The "illegals" we encountered were very friendly, just business folks looking to put food on the table. Regardless, someone under threat of government will react differently than the storekeeper in some situations. In the end, it is the park visitor who likely ends up the criminal, simply by crossing a river to make an exchange that benefits both parties, and harms neither.

The Function of Government

What is the role of government, if any? One can only justify government as the force that protects property. Of course, the extension of this argument quickly becomes contradictory, but we live in a world where government is reality.

The park newsletter notes that visitors who purchase a walking stick from Mexicans are subject to confiscation, etc., while also noting that visitors need to be on the lookout for drug runners and similar activities. On top of that, most parking spots had warnings noting frequent break-ins of unattended vehicles.

So there you have it: government writ large. The only entity that can legally carry a weapon in the park is not willing or able to protect my property. This very same entity will quickly fine, arrest, etc., anyone caught purchasing an untaxed, $5 painted walking stick. Government security is nothing less than a sham.

In the end, government exists solely to protect itself from my activities. It does not exist to protect my property.

Postscript: Presumed Guilt

On the trip home from the border, with the Rio some 100 miles behind us, we were forced to pull into a border patrol station along with everyone else on the road. Here, the rule is presumed guilt. And, in a scene from a cheap war movie, a man with a sidearm asked me where we were from and where we were going. Milling about were five other holstered agents with a guard dog, deciding whether my story met with their approval.

The officer at my window, with his challenging mannerisms, listened to my story and made his decision, all the while holding my life and liberty in the balance. It was then that I realized that it wasn't just my family that was on vacation — we have allowed liberty to go on vacation as well.

Thinking back to my response to my daughter's question, I realized that it was time to extend my words: They do it because they can. We fight for liberty because we must. No one else will do it for us.

Jim Fedako, a homeschooling father of five who lives in Lewis Center, OH, maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist. Send him mail. See his archive. Comment on the blog.

[1] See "Symposium on Information and Knowledge in Economics," Econ Journal Watch, Volume 2, Number 1, April 2005, pp. 75–81.
[2] In a nation turned upside down, the closer we got to the Rio, the lower the fear of open borders. No one we met in the park had anything good to say about restricted border crossings. Yet, here in the heartland, the fear of the border is still a powerful political weapon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eastwood and Liberty

Not all Hollywood males are effimate. From recent edition of the Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

Friday, March 13, 2009

I like the libertarian view, which is to leave everyone alone. Even as a kid, I was annoyed by people who wanted to tell everyone how to live.

— Clint Eastwood

Aggregating nonsense, and little else

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Aggregating nonsense, and little else

Jim Fedako

Two articles from a recent edition of The Columbus Dispatch make use of meaningless aggregations. First off is the collective political force. A columnist writes, "But in November, voters elected a Democratic House and a Republican Senate to safeguard Ohio's cashbox." As if voters across the state conspired to split the Ohio legislature. Nonsense. Yet, by claiming as much, writers can ascribe all kinds of attributes and voices to the collective voter, allowing for lengthy columns and little else.

Then there is the backward definition of the rational man -- the rational man defined as anyone who seeks the same ends sought by the researcher. Of course, this implies that actions are irrational which are not aligned to the ends sought by the researcher -- the self-assumed rational man. However, Mises showed long ago that all actions are rational from the actor's point of view. And who really cares about the observer? A host of researchers, politicians, nanny do-gooders, and assorted madmen, of course.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dating Wade Lucas

According to the Olentangy Valley News, Wade "has set a goal to meet everyone" in the community. Instead of taking his sales pitch on the road, why doesn't he take a reduced salary and work to lower tax rates? Nah. Wade would rather shake our hands while picking our pockets.

Note: The district can give back both operating and bond millages -- they can reduce the amount of taxes they collect. Anyone want to bet they do?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A losing war

The drug war is a losing war for a number of reasons. Most important is that we -- the nonusers of drugs -- end up losing our rights. And, as far as I can tell, the more money devoted to the so-called war on drugs the greater the demand for those drugs.

This article is from John McAlister, member of the Gahanna city council.

ThisWeek Community Newspapers (Columbus, OH)

Drug war is worse than drug abuse

By John McAlister

Published: February 26, 2009
Edition: Rocky Fork
Section: Commentary & opinion
Page: 04A

In order to raise the awareness of my fellow city council members and the public at large, I have been voting no on any ordinance that comes before council that is in any way connected to this country's insane drug policy. It was for this reason that I invited a former drug warrior and prosecuting attorney from Chicago to address our council Feb 9. Jim Geirach is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. LEAP's mission is to inform the public, the media and policymakers about the failure of current drug policy. The group presents a true picture of the history, causes and effects of drug abuse and the crimes related to drug prohibition. LEAP also wants to restore the public's respect for law enforcement, which has been greatly diminished by its involvement in imposing drug prohibition.

I found Mr. Gierach's facts and figures he presented to council to be informative and insightful. Although I've received no feedback from anyone on council or the mayor, I would have to believe that they would agree with Mr. Gierach when he said that, like Al Capone, who was in favor of prohibition of alcohol, Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord, drug dealers, pushers, gangs and even Osama Bin Laden are all in favor of prohibition of drugs because it is the cornerstone and foundation of their business. They are the bad guys. Shouldn't we who are the good guys be against their position?

Mr. Gierach pointed out that so many people are now making money from this war that it permeates every aspect of our society even at the local level. Cities, including Gahanna, are now using drug money to finance police equipment and cruisers. Of course, we need police equipment but is it moral to be financing it with "blood money?" Does it make any sense to continually vote yes for a policy that for 38 years has shown to be a complete failure in stopping people from using drugs? People today are now in more danger from fallout from the drug war than the danger an addict poses.

Certainly, drug abuse is bad, but the drug war is worse. Mr. Geirach pointed out that every crisis in America is compounded by the drug war: crime, corruption, education, health care, terrorism, prisons, federal, state and local budgets, etc., etc. Simple marijuana (cannabis) possession is the fourth-most common cause of arrest in the United States, according to the FBI, costing $7-billion annually. An American is now arrested for violating cannabis laws every 38 seconds.

There is no doubt that drug abuse is a problem, and there are some intelligent people out there, like those at, who are addressing this problem and formulating "drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and a just society in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more." It's time to let their voices be heard rather than ignored or drowned out by the drug war.

John McAlister is a Gahanna City Council member.

Copyright 2009 ThisWeek Community Newspapers. All Rights Reserved.

Privatize Business by Michael Cloud

From our good friend over at The Center For Small Government:

Privatize Business
by Michael Cloud

"Business interference in government is the main cause of today's economic meltdown and recession," argue liberals.

"Government intervention in business is the primary reason for the mess," say conservatives.

They're each half right.

There are 2 root causes of the meltdown and recession: business meddling in government AND government meddling in business.

Why did America establish the Separation of Church and State? To prevent religion from corrupting and dominating government - AND to keep government from corrupting and dominating religion.

For the same reasons, champions of small government advocate the Separation of Business and State. To prevent business from corrupting and dominating government - AND to keep government from corrupting and dominating business.

We can take one simple step in this direction: Privatize Business.
Get businesses' hands off government. Get government's hands off business.

All governments: federal, state, and local. And their agencies.

END and LEGALLY FORBID all government subsidies to business.

OUTLAW all government loans to business.

FORBID all government loan guarantees to business.

OUTLAW all government insurance guarantees to business.

FORBID all government liabilities for business.

OUTLAW all special tax benefits to favored or privileged businesses. ALL special exemptions, deductions, deferrals or other tax advantages must given to all businesses. No business is more equal than other businesses.

LEGALLY FORBID all special government benefits to relocate or attract foreign or out-of-state business.

AND give back 100% of these tax dollars to taxpayers. Every year.

Privatize business.

Private enterprise.

Private risks and private choices.

Private assets and private liabilities.

Private profits and private losses.

Private insurance and private risk.

Private businesses are responsive to and accountable to their customers.

In a private enterprise system, businesses reap what they sow.

Good private businesses attract more customers and investors. They make profits.

Bad private businesses repel customers and investors. They incur losses.

In a private enterprise system, good business practices pay off. And reckless and irresponsible business practices cost their users dearly.

When we privatize business, innocent taxpayers will never be forced to pay for the risky and unwise business decisions of others.

When we privatize business, unsuccessful companies will suffer the consequences of their actions - but they will NOT be able to impose their costs and consequences on successful companies.

Private enterprise is a system that encourages and rewards business virtue.

Privatize business.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Olentangy: they can't even get their stories straight

The district tells The Columbus Dispatch that it's student-teacher ratio for core classes in K-3 is 23.1 at the same time the district's own reports show the ratio to be 20.6. The difference is 32 teachers or $2.3 million. Hey, but what's a few million when its taxpayer money.


What's more amazing is that the governor is stating that an adequate education requires a student-teacher ratio of 15 for core classes in K-3. As if more unionized government workers will solve the problem. Now, what's that joke? Oh, yes, now I remember. How many unionized government teachers does it take to provide an adequate education?

note: The Olentangy administrators forgot that kindergarten is only one-half day, so each kindergartner counts as one-half student. I'm still shaking my head.

Agreeing with Rush

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Agreeing with Rush

Jim Fedako

Yes, it's true. I agree with Rush Limbaugh: I do not want Obama to succeed.

According to Newt Gingrich, that makes me irrational. So be it. While I'm admitting my irrationality, I must also state that I do not want my governor, county commissioners, or township trustees to succeed either. Nor, for that matter, my local scenic river advisory council.

Note: When Gingrich states, "You're irrational if you don't want the president to succeed. Because if he doesn't succeed the country doesn't succeed," he's conflating country with its occupying force.

Monday, March 09, 2009

A great quote

From this Mises blog post:

"Getting money from the government is like borrowing money from your Mother in Law - sooner or later, she will want to choose the color to paint the walls of my house"

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Voting in private

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Voting in private

Jim Fedako

Today, Ohio had its first hint of spring. As I road my bike around the neighborhoods, I noticed a display of innate respect for property. Neighbors met and talked at either the property line or on the sidewalk. No one crossed property lines uninvited. I've experienced this myself, as I feel great unease crossing over to my neighbor's property without some sign of welcome.

At least publicly, Americans tend to respect the property rights of their neighbors. But the same cannot be said of the actions of the majority in private.

Since our country has adopted the voting method known as the Australian ballot (or secret ballot), many do in private that which they would never do in public -- violate the property of their neighbors.

I wonder: If all taxation was local, would the tendency to vote out of envy be tempered by a public show of hands? Could folks openly reach into their neighbor's wallet? I wonder.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Article from World Magazine

We subscribe to World Magazine -- the Christian version of Time, Newsweek, etc.

Of course, every media source has its own bias, so chose the bias that fits your worldview. And since World Magazine does not publish "R" rated photos or stories, you don't have to be embarrassed leaving a copy around for kids and guests to read. The magazine contains nothing other than national and world news reported from a Christian perspective. Refreshing, indeed.

Below is an excerpt from a great article that appears in the latest edition. While I do not agree with the conclusion -- that vouchers are the solution, the article correctly identifies the source of the problem -- government schools.

Buy them out
An education proposal for extraordinary times

Joel Belz

The sinister influence is the state-sponsored school system. I already argued here, quite recently, how absurd it is to fret about the possibility of nationalized banks, nationalized auto manufacturers, nationalized health care, nationalized energy producers, nationalized retirement programs, and nationalized radio networks—how absurd it is to worry about all that when we long ago nationalized the educational systems that shape the worldview of 90 percent of all Americans.

Why should anyone be even the tiniest bit surprised if people who have been taught by statist educators should end up with statist ideas and values? Why, indeed, should we expect them to have anything else? (To make matters worse, we have to admit, way too many private educators—especially on the college and graduate level—have joined the chorus of those singing the praises of statist solutions.)

Friday, March 06, 2009

FFF and the right to bear arms

From recent edition of the Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

— Arkansas Supreme Court, concerning the Arkansas Constitution'sright to keep and bear arms [1878]

The Democrats are going to complete the job

The Republican politicians only defend the Second Amendment due to pressure from the NRA. Absent that, the Republicans under Bush would have confiscated your firearms years ago.

And don't trust Tiberi to fight for your rights -- backbones do not spontaneously regenerate inside Beltway bozos.

Keep in mind that since Obama is on the the throne, it's only a matter of time before some incident leads to the end of the right to bear arms. It's coming.

From our good friends over at Freedom Watch.

The War in Mexico

Greetings Liberty Belles and Beaux!

According to a recent article on CBS News, "There's a lot to pay attention to in Mexico: 60,000 Mexican military and police are fighting against the five major drug cartels which control lucrative smuggling routes into the U.S." According to the article and numerous other television and print reports, the war between Mexican drug cartels and law enforcement is spilling into the United States. In fact, Phoenix, Arizona was recently declared the kidnapping capital of the United States, second only to Mexico City worldwide.

Attorney General Eric Holder's proposed solution to the crime problem is to prevent American citizens from lawfully purchasing semi-automatic rifles. In other words, the Attorney General is using border problems as an excuse to reinstate the Clinton gun ban.

Read more about this topic and others on

* Justice Department to force criminals to register illegal guns

* A Clandestine Agenda in Washington

* Armed citizen saves 2 lives

Thank you for your support!

Jennifer Freeman Liberty Belles
Putting the Second Amendment first.

Chodorov: a classic for the current times

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at

Chodorov: a classic for the current times

Jim Fedako

Almost a month ago, Jeffrey Tucker challenged folks to live-blog books offered by the Mises Institute Online Store. His challenge intrigued me. You see, I really love reading my way through the store catalogue, finding gems at every turn. And I love the idea of getting into the material as much as possible. So, I figured the added stress of live-blogging would force me to concentrate and really take in the subject matter of some truly excellent books.

I accepted the challenge and sent Jeffrey a list of books I wanted to live-blog. My list contained both books that I wanted to reread and those I had not yet read - with the exception of one book, books already sitting beside my desk, in my reading on-deck pile.

I had a plan. I would finish one other book sitting around unread - a quick read I assumed, then I would begin my live-blogging. Easy enough. Or so I thought.

Some books are a challenge to read. I think of Human Action, a treatise that takes time and effort to comprehend. Some days I could make it through just a couple of pages, while other days I could "breeze" through a dozen or so. Nevertheless, the time and effort I devoted to the book turned out to be more valuable ex post than I assumed ex ante - a psychic profit indeed.

Other books are much less challenging, with writing that is fast and free. These books are true pleasures that also leave a lasting mark. Many such books come to mind. I think of The Kohler Strike as but one example.

Then there are books that appear simple at first glance. Books that are wonderfully written and full of deep and interesting insight. When I begin one of these books, I end up shocked. A book I would expect to take but days to read ends up taking weeks as I think and rethink the author's views. Not a word can be glossed over, not an idea left unconsidered.

Frank Chodorov's The Rise and Fall of Society is one such book. Even though this book is now 50 years old, it is as important today as when it was written. The book caught me. Each chapter sends my thoughts sailing, and I spend more time musing than reading. Ironically, it is Chodorov's clarity of ideas that turns a 168-page book into a month-long read.

I have revisited my plan. My first live-blog will be The Rise and Fall of Society. Though I am almost finished, I am excited to go back to page one and once again journey with Chodorov. I hope you will enjoy the journey as well. And, in the end, I hope to inspire you to immerse yourself in this classic of freedom.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Chuck Baldwin and Romans 13 Revisited

A great article from Chuck Baldwin:

Romans 13 Revisited
by Chuck Baldwin
February 27, 2009

It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, "What about Romans Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone," or words to that effect.

No doubt, some who use this argument are sincere. They are only repeating what they have heard their pastor and other religious leaders say. On the other hand, let's be honest enough to admit that some who use this argument are just plain lazy, apathetic, and indifferent. And Romans 13 is their escape from responsibility. I suspect this is the much larger group, by the way.

Nevertheless, for the benefit of those who are sincere (but obviously misinformed), let's briefly examine Romans Chapter 13. I quote Romans Chapter 13, verses 1 through 7, from the Authorized King James text:

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

Do our Christian friends who use these verses to teach that we should not oppose any political leader really believe that civil magistrates have unlimited authority to do anything they want without opposition? I doubt that they truly believe that.

For example, what if our President decided to resurrect the old monarchal custom of Jus Primae Noctis (Law of First Night)? That was the old medieval custom when the king claimed the right to sleep with a subject's bride on the first night of their marriage. Would our sincere Christian brethren sheepishly say, "Romans Chapter 13 says we must submit to the government"? I think not. And would any of us respect any man who would submit to such a law? I wouldn't.

So, there are limits to authority. A father has authorityin his home, but does this give him power to abuse his wife and children? Of course not. An employer has authority on the job, but does this give him power to control the private lives of his employees? No. A pastor has overseer authority in the church, but does this give him power to tell employers in his church how to run their businesses? Of course not. All human authority is limited in nature. No man has unlimited authority over the lives of other men. Lordship and Sovereignty is the exclusive domain of Jesus Christ.

By the same token, a civil magistrate has authority in civil matters, but his authority is limited and defined. Observe that Romans Chapter 13 clearly limits the authority of civil government by strictly defining its purpose: "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil . . . For he is the minister of God to thee for good . . . for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."

Notice that civil government must not be a "terror to good works." It has no power or authority to terrorize good works or good people. God never gave it that authority. And any government that oversteps that divine boundary has no divine authority or protection.

Civil government is a "minister of God to thee for good." It is a not a minister of God for evil. Civil magistrates have a divine duty to "execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." They have no authority to execute wrath upon him that doeth good. None. Zilch. Zero. And anyone who says they do is lying. So, even in the midst of telling Christians to submit to civil authority, Romans Chapter 13 limits the power and reach of civil authority.

Did Moses violate God's principle of submission to authority when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew? Did Elijah violate God's principle of submission to authority when he openly challenged Ahab and Jezebel? Did David violate God's principle of submission to authority when he refused to surrender to Saul's troops? Did Daniel violate God's principle of submission to authority when he disobeyed the king's law to not pray audibly to God? Did the three Hebrew children violate God's principle of submission to authority when they refused to bow to the image of the state? Did John the Baptist violate God's principle of submission to authority when he publicly scolded King Herod for his infidelity? Did Simon Peter and the other Apostles violate God's principle of submission to authority when they refused to stop preaching on the streets of Jerusalem? Did Paul violate God's principle of submission to authority when he refused to obey those authorities that demanded he abandon his missionary work? In fact, Paul spent almost as much time in jail as he did out of jail.

Virtually every apostle of Christ (except John, who survived being boiled in oil, according to historians) experienced martyrdom from hostile civil authorities. In addition, Christians throughout church history were imprisoned, tortured, or killed by civil authorities of all stripes for refusing to submit to their various laws and prohibitions. Did all of these Christian martyrs violate God's principle of submission to authority?

So, even the great prophets, apostles, and writers of the Bible (including the writer of Romans Chapter 13) understood that human authority--including civil authority--is limited.

Plus, Paul makes it clear that our submission to civil authority must be predicated on more than fear of governmental retaliation. Notice, he said, "Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." Meaning, our obedience to civil authority is more than just "because they said so." It is also a matter of conscience. This means we must think and reason for ourselves regarding the justness and rightness of our government's laws. Obedience is not automatic or robotic. It is a result of both rational deliberation and moral approbation.

Remember, too, that we are all subject to Natural Law. No human authority has the right to demand that men surrender their submission to God's law "written in their hearts." When any human authority attempts to do this, it becomes tyrannical, because, again, it challenges the Lordship and Sovereignty of man's Creator.

As William Blackstone (as studied and devoted a Christian scholar as there ever was) wrote, "This law of nature, being co-eval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original." (Source: William Blackstone, "Of The Nature of Laws in General")

Therefore, there are times when civil authority must be resisted. Either governmental abuse of power or the violation of conscience (or both) could precipitate civil disobedience. Of course, how and when we decide to resist civil authority is an entirely separate issue. And I will reserve that discussion for another time.

Beyond that, we in the United States of America do not live under a monarchy. We have no king. There is no single governing official in this country. America's "supreme Law" does not rest with any man or any group of men. America's "supreme Law" does not rest with the President, the Congress, or even the Supreme Court. In America, the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land." Under our laws, every governing official publicly promises to submit to the Constitution of the United States. Do readers understand the significance of this distinction? I hope so.

This means that in America the "higher powers" are not the men who occupy elected office, they are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Under our laws and form of government, it is the duty of every citizen, including our elected officials, to obey the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, this is how Romans Chapter 13 reads to Christians in America:

"Let every soul be subject unto the [U.S. Constitution.] For there is no [Constitution] but of God: the [Constitution] that be [is] ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the [Constitution], resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For [the Constitution is] not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the [Constitution]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For [the Constitution] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for [the Constitution] beareth not the sword in vain: for [the Constitution] is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for [the Constitution is] God's minister, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

Dear Christian friend, the above is exactly the proper understanding of our responsibility to civil authority in these United States, per the teaching of Romans Chapter 13.

Furthermore, Christians, above all people, should desire that their elected representatives submit to the Constitution, because it is constitutional government that has done more to protect Christian liberty than any governing document ever devised by man. As I have noted before in this column, Biblical principles form the foundation of all three of America's founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

(See: )

In addition, if Christians (and others) had been properly obedient to the Constitution (and Romans 13), they would also have submitted to the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which recognizes the authority of the States in matters not specifically ceded to the federal government. In other words, the Constitution intended that the authority of the federal government be small and limited, with most authority residing within the States and among the people themselves.

As submission to the Constitution and Natural Law have provided a haven of peace and prosperity in these United States, Christians (for the most part) have not had to face the painful decision to "obey God rather than men" and defy their civil authorities. However, as it is obvious that a majority of our government leaders currently have almost no fidelity to their oaths to defend the U.S. Constitution, it is becoming more and more likely that we--like our forefathers--will need to rediscover Benjamin Franklin's declaration that "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God." (Of course, this effort, too, must be accomplished within the scope of law, both divine and

The problem in America today is that we have allowed our political leaders to violate their oaths of office and to ignore, and blatantly disobey, the "supreme Law of the Land," the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if we truly believe Romans Chapter 13, we will insist and demand that our civil magistrates submit to the U.S. Constitution.

Now, how many of us Christians are going to truly obey Romans Chapter 13?

Distributed by

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

From a reader

A great quote from Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931:

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Bush: the unconstitutionalist

Christopher Manion lays out the evidence over at the blog on

Surprise! Bush Amended The Constitution!
Posted by Christopher Manion at March 2, 2009 08:49 PM

Actually, he trashed it. Did it escape your notice? Here are a couple of his amendments, secret until now, which didn't even have to pass muster with that nasty liberal Supreme Court! (At least Earl Warren had to find four other justices to go along with him).

"Fourth Amendment protections against unwarranted search and seizure, for instance, did not apply in the United States as long as the president was combating terrorism, the Justice Department said in an Oct. 23, 2001, memo. [Note: VP Cheney said the War On Terrorism would go on for fifty years, so we can assume that the original Fourth Amendment will come back into force in 2059].

"First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully," Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo wrote, adding later: "The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically." [Note: Bush went to the U.N. for the authorization to go to war, instead of the Congress, as the original Constitution requires -- but who cares?].

The only way to solve this problem is to pass the entire original Bill Of Rights again -- all Ten Amendments -- amending every subsequent amendment, court case, and government malfeasance -- so that the Bill Of Rights will once more be the law of the land, unsullied by two centuries of abuse by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Class warfare comes full circle

Now that government employees -- especially public school teachers -- are the only ones prospering in the new socialist economy, it's ironic to hear them whine about being soaked by their beloved progressive tax system. From our good friend over at The Education Intelligence Agency:

Soaking the Rich. I offer in full and without further comment, this letter to the editor of New York Teacher, the organ of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), written by Ed Gruber, president of the Eastchester Teachers Association:

"In your Feb. 5 edition, it was interesting to see that NYSUT is joining 'most New Yorkers' and calling for a 'more progressive' income tax plan ('A matter of fairness') that would tax high-income New Yorkers making more than $250,000. Though the article was not specific, other news sources have specified that the tax would apply to households earning more than $250,000. What you are supporting alienates part of your membership.

"My wife and I are both employed as science teachers in Westchester County, and earned a gross household income in 2007 of more than $240,000. This year, we may top the $250,000 figure with step increases and extracurricular activities. Thus, NYSUT is suggesting that union teachers who worked hard to get good-paying jobs be taxed at a higher percentage than others.

"Most Westchester teachers already pay the painfully unfair Alternative Minimum Tax, which disproportionately taxes household income over $150,000 by taking itemized deductions (such as classroom supply deductions) away from high-income households.

"This threshold was never corrected for inflation. A progressive state income tax will tax high-earning teachers similarly to the AMT. Remember, you represent us as well."