Jason Hayes

Libertarian thought, policy, religion, the environment, tech, coffee, and Tabasco – the stuff of life
This is my personal blog - the thoughts and ideas expressed here are posted on my own time and are mine and mine alone.

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Thug Rules

Nate Beeler’s (unfortunately) very accurate portrayal of the Obama administration’s “three branches of government.”
Thug Rules

Video #5 of Gruber mocking Obamacare concerns

The unbridled arrogance of Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber, clearly knows no bounds.

If you dare to express concerns about the “Affordable Care Act,” you are nothing more than a small, noisy child in Gruber’s mind. His words indicate a seething contempt for you and your perceived inability to comprehend the nuanced import of the legislation, or to express an intelligent argument against it.

It doesn’t matter what your abilities, education, experience, or background might be. Even “a former senior policy adviser in the White House” can be quickly dismissed as an “adolescent” by this towering intellect, who has been made wealthy by the very tax dollars to which you juveniles so desperately (and ignorantly) cling.

The President’s harshest critic

You won’t hear these arguments from the mainstream media, so you should listen to President Obama as he becomes his own best critic on the issue of whether or not he should unilaterally move to grant amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.

“I am not a dictator, I’m the President.”

Fundamental principles

John Adams (Source: Wikipedia)

John Adams (Source: Wikipedia)

 

 

The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratic council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor.

- John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson [November 13, 1815]

Our guiding light

“To reverse the trend and reduce the role of government in our lives, and thus alleviate the government deficit and inflation pressures, is a giant educational task. The social and economic ideas that gave birth to the transfer system must be discredited and replaced with old values of individual independence and self-reliance. The social philosophy of individual freedom and unhampered private property must again be our guiding light.”
- Hans F. Sennholz

Honesty

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (Source: Wikipedia)

He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
- Thomas Paine

Great question

Brent Bozell asks a simple, but very pertinent question. That is, “at what point will the news media decide that that the IRS scandal is news?” How much more obvious does it need to get that something is rotten in the state of DC before the media takes part?

Cover up of a cover up is absolutely accurate because the media spent dozens of hours of nightly news covering the Bush TX ANG story. However, they are so thoroughly in the tank for the Obama administration that they can’t even be bothered to cover their own polls when those polls show a strong majority of Americans find fault with the President’s foreign policy.

CNN openly admits they are in the bag for Hillary

CNN anchors are now openly and laughingly admitting the media “are the biggest ones promoting (Hillary Clinton’s political) campaign so far.”

It’s time to stick a fork in American “journalism,” it’s done.

Hillary burnishes her anti-2nd Amendment cred

Hillary was out stumping for her 2016 Presidential run and burnishing her anti-2nd Amendment cred last night. In a CNN town hall she advocated for reinstating the “assault weapons” ban and attacked firearms owners, arguing that they “terrorize the majority” of Americans.

Asked by an audience member whether an assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limit would affect gun violence in the United States, Clinton answered, “We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority, of people hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”

In other words, Clinton equated gun owners and gun rights advocates with terrorists. …

But the most galling aspect of Clinton’s response is her flippant dismissal of a substantial section of the population, and her flagrant disregard for Constitutional liberties. According to her, supporting the right to bear arms and protecting that right by being vocal about our liberties is terrorism

Jake Tapper picked up on the same thing in a recent Tweet.

It’s time to rally and recall

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (Source: Wikipedia)

Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed.

 – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Joseph Priestley [1802]

Q1 GDP numbers even worse that we thought

Seriously people, I am wondering how much worse it has to get before we can plainly state that the Obama administration–with its Keynesian sycophants, heavy-handed regulation, anti-energy, tax-and-spend policies–has completely botched the job?

The U.S. economy may have contracted more than previously thought during the first three months of 2014, private economists said Wednesday based on new health care-sector data from the government.

Some analysts said economic output may have contracted at a 2% pace in the first quarter. That would be its worst performance since the recession. …

J.P. Morgan Chase economist Daniel Silver and Pierpont Securities economist Stephen Stanley both cautioned that it’s not clear exactly how the Commerce Department will adjust GDP to account for the new health-care services data.

But they and other analysts downgraded their estimates for the first quarter based on the new survey, as well as other recently released data. Mr. Silver predicted GDP declined at a 1.6% pace in the first three months of the year. Mr. Stanley predicted contraction at a 2% pace. Macroeconomic Advisers also estimated GDP shrank at a 2% pace.

Tankchair

This is American ingenuity at work! Brad Soden’s Tankchair.

Trust no man living with power to endanger liberty

John Adams (Source: Wikipedia)

John Adams (Source: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” –John Adams, Notes for an oration at Braintree, 1772

War

James Madison (Source: Wikipedia)

James Madison (Source: Wikipedia)

In the general distribution of powers, we find that of declaring war expressly vested in the Congress, where every other legislative power is declared to be vested, and without any other qualification than what is common to every other legislative act. The constitutional idea of this power would seem then clearly to be, that it is of a legislative and not an executive nature.

 – James Madison, Helvidius No. 1 [August 24, 1793]

The people

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (Source: Wikipedia)

 

 

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”

–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XIV, 1781

Guard the public liberty

Patrick Henry (Source: the Moral Liberal)

Patrick Henry (Source: the Moral Liberal)

 

 

 

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.”

–Patrick Henry (1778)

Helping the poor

What … can the government do to help the poor? The only answer is the libertarian answer: Get out of the way.
 

– Murray N. Rothbard

Political opponents

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (Source: Wikipedia)

 

 

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.”

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard M. Johnson, 1808

Neutrality

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton (Source: teachingamericanhistory.org)

 

 

 

“The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 11, 1787

On the “heroes” of the political right

Updates at the bottom of this post.


Bernard Goldberg has an interesting column up on his site that describes the problems that can easily arise when desperate people make heroes out of polarizing or extreme figures.

Ideologically pure conservatives apparently are so desperate for heroes, so fed up with what they call the overreach of the federal government, that they have turned Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy into an American folk hero – a modern day no-nonsense cowboy who takes no guff; a 2014 version of John Wayne.

As Goldberg notes, Bundy has apparently stepped up the polarizing statements by sharing his views on African-Americans. The quotes being attributed to Bundy are,

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro … and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

I’ll start out by quoting Ayn Rand’s take on people who engage in racism,

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.  It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. (Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness)

If Bundy is actually making this type of statement, he should be called out on it. Racism is a grotesque evil, no matter who takes part in it. It would be one thing if Bundy were discussing the American family being damaged by intrusive government, but trying to pretend that only one segment of society is impacted in this way is nonsensical. To the extent that Bundy engages in racism, he should be unhesitatingly and loudly castigated for it.

Moving forward, a key failing with Goldberg’s critique is the notion that the political right en masse idolizes or supports Cliven Bundy as a person and a political leader or hero. From what I have seen (and written myself) people have always been cautious about their support of Bundy. They have recognized that (at best) he is on tenuous legal ground, seeing how at least two courts (possibly more) have held that he has no legal claim to the land he is ranching and that he does owe (at least several hundred thousand in) back grazing fees. Bundy apparently admits this himself. However, he claims that he will only pay the fees to the State of Nevada and not the federal government.

The vast majority of those on the right who are commenting on the Bundy issue have also noted that they do not support the use of violence. Of course there are some extreme elements who have advocated violence, however, I don’t believe that they constituted any serious or significant sector of the political right or libertarian sentiment. To forestall any argument, I’ll borrow again from minds greater than mine in stating that aggression–or the initiation of aggressive physical force against persons or property–is inherently illegitimate, unless it is carried out in defense against another aggressive force. I’ll also add that I am glad that the two sides were able to back away from the situation and let cooler heads prevail, as a violent confrontation would have only inflamed passions and made this situation much worse.

Where Goldberg also fails is in his lack of attention to the overreach of the federal government–via the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Parks Service (NPS)–which is the key issue for the political right and libertarians that are commenting on this situation. He gives little more than a passing glance at the driving force behind Bundy’s stand and the support that his cause has received from around the country.

There are legitimate arguments to be made about whether the federal government should control so much land in the West.  And it’s understandable that westerners – especially ranchers who live off the land – would be especially concerned.

Nowhere in his article does he make any serious attempt to address the fact that the federal government owns the vast majority of the state of Nevada (and similarly of the west). Nowhere does he attempt to address the fact that the BLM and NPS have fully outfitted and trained SWAT teams, K-9 teams, snipers–they are essentially now a para-military force, but few understand why they are or would ever think they needed to be. Nowhere does Goldberg address the issue of BLM being prepared to declare war on a single family of Americans–racist or not. Nowhere in his article does he address the fact that the federal government spent over $900,000 to hire consultant cow herders to round up Bundy’s herd for a (claimed) $1 million in back grazing fees. Nowhere does he address the fact that the federal government was able to put up fences to keep American ranchers off of the land they have managed for over a century, but cannot be bothered–after decades–to address the issue of millions of illegal immigrants crossing over very similar land only a few hundred miles south of the Bundy ranch on a daily basis. To put it another way, nowhere in the article does Goldberg seriously attempt to address the actual issues that have caused the entire situation to arise.

Cliven Bundy may well be a racist. Again, if he is, he should be called out on that point.

Whether Bundy is a racist or not, ignoring the issue of federal government abuse and overreach does not make for a strong argument by Goldberg. Wasting time on taking shots at Fox News and creating a straw man arguments about the right pushing Cliven Bundy as a political hero only distracts from his abilities as a journalist and from the larger point being discussed.

Goldberg is a much better journalist than this and his readers really deserve better than this effort.



Update: Thank you Kira Davis for doing a better job of making the same point as I tried to make this morning.

Update #2 – This CNN reporter did not get the response (I’m quite sure) they were expecting when they discussed Cliven Bundy’s racism with his African-American bodyguard.