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artist, thinker, entrepreneur, general-pain-in-the-ass

Posts tagged politics:

California Primary Guide

As the California primaries are right around the corner (June 5th), I wanted to create this simple guide for friends and family to refer to. As a Ron Paul supporter, I registered Republican, and accordingly, this is my list of ballot preferences and my reasonings thereof.

PRESIDENT
Ron Paul
The singular champion of liberty, he is the only man who stands for peace, small government, civil liberties, and fiscal responsibility. No one else deserves the nomination but Ron Paul.

COUNTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE
This is based on the least amount of research, as the Republican Central Committee has the least amount of impact on the state of things:
Jon Aiken
Jeff Mathews
Scott Baugh
Allan Bartlett
Richard “Dick” Palmer
Scott “Scotty” Peotter


U.S. SENATOR
I’m currently torn between two options:
Rick Williams
While he is another champion of liberty, and would support Ron Paul in his policies, I am a bit wary of his stance on immigration. I believe we should allow immigrants to freely enter this country, rather than put hoops on the entire process. I believe an Ellis Island approach to immigration is far healthier than sending illegal immigrants back at this point, especially considering that millions of these people are filing federal taxes through I-TIN. Plus, their support of the local economy also leads to sales tax accumulation, so it’s just a weak argument to say that they don’t pay taxes.

Gail Lightfoot
I align with nearly all of her views on the issues. We only differ on abortion: I believe that life begins at conception, and so it must be defended at all costs. However, it should be up to the states to decide the punishment, as Ron Paul has often mentioned. Gail believes that abortions should be restricted to the first term, something I appreciate, but I don’t necessarily agree with. However, given that Roe v. Wade currently stands, there isn’t much we can do about abortion, so restricting it is a far more viable option at this point.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 48TH DISTRICT
Dana Rohrbacher
Having written to him several times about my stance on issues, he has supported them and shown me a commitment to a smaller government, lower taxes and more civil liberties. While he has a ways to go to be a true champion of liberty, he is the best option at this point.

STATE SENATOR
Mimi Walters
While I appreciate certain views that Steve Young shares (apprenticeship as an alternative to college), his pro-state increased spending is the last thing we need. Mimi Walters would not be my first choice, but these are the only two candidates on the ballot.

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY, 74TH DISTRICT
Allan Mansoor
While there isn’t much truly remarkable about Allan Mansoor’s platform, his commitment to keeping taxes low lends my vote over to him. Bob Rush is another candidate who has some great views on civil liberties and education, but a pro-state approach is the worst way to go about it. And as far as Leslie Daigle is concerned, the fact that Charles Munger, Jr. PAC spent nearly half a million dollars on her behalf is enough to keep my vote away from her.

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE NO. 1
Eugene Jizhak
While this was the toughest office I had to research, what brought me to my conclusion were two things, the first being that Eugene Jizhak believes courts should treat citizens with more respect than they currently do. I agree wholeheartedly as government institutions have a tendency to treat you as criminals or time-wasters. Secondly, Deborah Chung has received contributions from firefighters and police, and has mentioned that the toughest problem facing her today is pension reform. It may be a jump, but I don’t think it’s wise to have someone like that in office. Contrarily, Eugene Jizhak hasn’t received any contributions to date, which means he doesn’t owe his allegiance to anyone.

PROP 28: LIMITS ON LEGISLATORS’ TERMS IN OFFICE
NO
This is a rather sneaky proposition. It says it “limits” the terms of legislators, but it actually increases it. Currently, Assemblymen can serve a total of 6 years, and State Senators can serve a total of 8 years. Combined, this adds up to 14 years in office. This proposition, however, changes it so that a legislator can serve up to 12 years in the Assembly, the State Senate, or a combination of both. This actually increases the time a politician can serve in a single position, which means that lobbyists control them that much longer. This isn’t something I intend to support.

PROP 29: TAX ON CIGARETTES FOR CANCER RESEARCH
NO
I don’t care for increased taxation on anything, so whether or not the money ends up in cancer research (debatable), I will be voting against it.

MEASURE A: COUNTY OF ORANGE, OFFICE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR
YES
This is to vote on whether the office will be filled by appointment or election. I’m not a fan of direct democracy, so I vote for appointment.

MEASURE B: COUNTY OF ORANGE, MANDATORY MINIMUM PENSION SELECTION
ABSTAIN
While I’m inclined to lean towards voting ‘yes’ on this measure, it’s a mess either way. Currently, the system allows for two pension options: 2.7% at age 55 and 1.62% at age 65. A ‘yes’ on this measure would force everyone to enroll in the 1.62% at 65, which is a good thing because it would begin to address the $3.5 million in unfunded pensions in the county. However, the option to opt out of pensions (which currently exists) is taken away, and that may create more problems. Until real reform can be made without taking away the choice of opting out, I intend to abstain from this measure.

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For a handy PDF copy of these recommendations, click HERE

Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform.

Henry David Thoreau, On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience

Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.

In the latter stages of the war all the belligerent governments practiced, from necessity or incompetence, what a Bolshevist might have done from design. Even now, when the war is over, most of them continue out of weakness the same malpractices. But further, the governments of Europe, being many of them at this moment reckless in their methods as well as weak, seek to direct on to a class known as ‘profiteers’ the popular indignation against the more obvious consequences of their vicious methods.

These ‘profiteers’ are, broadly speaking, the entrepreneur class of capitalists, that is to say, the active and constructive element in the whole capitalist society, who in a period of rapidly rising prices cannot but get rich quick whether they wish it or desire it or not. If prices are continually rising, every trader who has purchased for stock or owns property and plant inevitably makes profits. By directing hatred against this class, therefore, the European governments are carrying a step further the fatal process which the subtle mind of Lenin had consciously conceived. The profiteers are a consequence and not a cause of rising prices. By combining a popular hatred of the class of entrepreneurs with the blow already given to social security by the violent and arbitrary disturbance of contract and of the established equilibrium of wealth which is the inevitable result of inflation, these governments are fast rendering impossible a continuance of the social and economic order of the 19th century. But they have no plan for replacing it.

The inflationism of the currency systems of Europe has proceeded to extraordinary lengths. The various belligerent governments, unable or too timid or too short-sighted to secure from loans or taxes the resources they required, have printed notes for the balance. In Russia and Austria Hungary this process has reached a point where for the purposes of foreign trade the currency is practically valueless. The Polish mark can be bought for about [three cents] and the Austrian crown for less than [two cents], but they cannot be sold at all. The German mark is worth less than [four cents] on the exchanges.

But while these currencies enjoy a precarious value abroad, they have never entirely lost, not even in Russia, their purchasing power at home. A sentiment of trust in the legal money of the state is so deeply implanted in the citizens of all countries that they cannot but believe that some day this money must recover a part at least of its former value…. They do not apprehend that the real wealth, which this money might have stood for has been dissipated once and for all. This sentiment is supported by the various legal regulations with which the governments endeavor to control internal prices, and so to preserve some purchasing power for their legal tender.

The preservation of a spurious value for the currency, by the force of law expressed in the regulation of prices, contains in itself, however, the seeds of final economic decay, and soon dries up the sources of ultimate supply. If a man is compelled to exchange the fruits of his labors for paper which, as experience soon teaches him, he cannot use to purchase what he requires at a price comparable to that which he has received for his own products, he will keep his produce for himself, dispose of it to his friends and neighbors as a favor, or relax his efforts in producing it.

A system of compelling the exchange of commodities at what is not their real relative value not only relaxes production, but [also] leads finally to the waste and inefficiency of barter. If, however, a government refrains from regulation and allows matters to take their course, essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer.

The effect on foreign trade of price-regulation and profiteer-hunting as cures for inflation is even worse. Whatever may be the case at home, the currency must soon reach its real level abroad, with the result that prices inside and outside the country lose their normal adjustment. The price of imported commodities, when converted at the current rate of exchange, is far in excess of the local price, so that many essential goods will not be imported at all by private agency, and must be provided by the government, which, in re-selling the goods below cost price, plunges thereby a little further into insolvency.

The note circulation of Germany is about 10 times what it was before the war. The value of the mark in terms of gold is about one-eighth of its former value.

It is a hazardous enterprise for a merchant or a manufacturer to purchase with a foreign credit material for which, when he has imported it or manufactured it, he will receive mark currency of a quite uncertain and possibly unrealizable value.

It may be the case, therefore, that a German merchant, careful of his future credit and reputation, who is actually offered a short-period credit in terms of sterling or dollars, may be reluctant and doubtful whether to accept it. He will owe sterling or dollars, but he will sell his product for marks, and his power, when the time comes, to turn these marks into the currency in which he has to repay his debt is entirely problematic. Business loses its genuine character and becomes no better than a speculation in the exchanges, the fluctuations in which entirely obliterate the normal profits of commerce.

Thus the menace of inflationism described above is not merely a product of the war, of which peace begins the cure. It is a continuing phenomenon of which the end is not yet in sight.

John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, pages 235-248

Jon Stewart continues to rip into the GSA… so ridiculous that this is our government’s accountability group. Hah!

Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives.

Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence

A King & A Kingdom, by Derek Webb

Who’s your brother, who’s your sister?
You just walked past him,
I think you missed her
As we’re all migrating to the place where our father lives
Because we married in to a family of immigrants

So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a king and a kingdom

There are two great lies that I’ve heard:
“The day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
And that “Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class Republican,
And if you wanna be saved, you have to learn to be like Him”

So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a king and a kingdom

But nothing unifies like a common enemy
And we’ve got one, sure as hell
But he may be living in your house
He may be raising up your kids
He may be sleeping with your wife
Oh no, he may not look like you think…

On Pacifism

Pacifism is an oft-confused topic. Liberals would like you to believe that there is a singular brand of pacifism: non-violence. Of course, they don’t even believe that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see them go postal over Kony, or defend Obama over blowing the hell out of Libya and Pakistan. But I wanted to talk about a thin but distinct line between two sects of pacifism: non-violence and non-aggression.

Non-violence suggests that no violence will ever be employed, no matter the nature of the transgression against you. The aggressor could be trying to kill or rape you, or your family, but you will not lift a finger to stop them. There are very few people in the history of the world that have adhered to strict non-violence. The far more popular brand of pacifism is non-aggression. This means that one does not seek out violence, but will come to the defense of his person, property, and his family. This also means that if a country is attacked unprovoked, they have every right to defend themselves.

Of course, this is not the stance that conservatives take either. They continue America’s intervention in the affairs of the Middle-East, then wonder why they hate us. It’s not rocket science. But that’s besides the point, which is that you can be a pacifist without adhering to non-violence. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re either a saint (unlikely), or a hypocrite.
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