Wednesday, November 27, 2019

WoW! Woodrow Wilson sounded a LOT like Rush Limbaugh!

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Whereas Wilson said, "Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it."
(Woodrow Wilson)

"I want anyone who believes in life, liberty, pursuit of happiness to succeed. And I want any force, any person, any element of an overarching Big Government that would stop your success, I want that organization, that element or that person to fail. I want YOU to succeed."
(Rush Limbaugh)

BOTH sentiments are CORRECT...and express virtually the SAME views in different words.

Jefferson Was RIGHT! . . .

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Thomas Jefferson
"Our greatest happiness DOES NOT depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is ALWAYS the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and individual liberty in all just pursuits."
(Thomas Jefferson)

To Jefferson and the rest of America's Founders, "freedom" meant INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, which is freedom FROM government.

That's why the entire Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments) RESTRICTED government action.

JFK Was Murdered 56 Years Ago This Past Friday (11/22/1963)




Here is John F. Kennedy on Halloween, 1963 answering reporters questions on many of the issues of that day.

From the time of this exchange, John F. Kennedy had about 500 hours to live.

In many ways, JFK was the last AMERICAN President. He came into office and almost immediately went to war with the Intelligence Community of that day. He began undermining the federal Reserve by directing the U.S. Treasury to print Silver backed certificates, the first time the U.S. Treasury printed currency in over 50 years.

Kennedy was a traditional Democrat. A tax cutting, Nationalist and a vehement anti-Globalist.

America was irreparably harmed and terribly changed after his assassination. America was greatly diminished by that horrific act, that many have referred to as, a "Coup."

Trump, the Draft and the Recent Military Pardons

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I'm always perplexed by the views of those who didn't live through the Vietnam War era.

There was NO universal Military Draft at that time...and more's the pity.

Instead of a universal Military Draft, what we had was one filled with endless exceptions, waivers and loopholes for avoiding that Draft. They ranged from Medical (as Trump took), Academic (as Dick Cheney and countless others took - many switched majors numerous times to stay in school), there was even a Marriage deferment.

Bill Clinton simply refused to go, rejecting the deal he made with his local Draft Board allowing him to attend Cambridge.

Once safely in England, he simply refused to honor that deal.

The sad fact is that none of this is new. EVERY war has had Draft exceptions...even WWI & WWII. In the American Civil War you could simply buy your way OUT of Service to the Union Army for $300 (a good deal of cash back then).

Fact is Trump, like 15+ MILLION other Americans got LEGAL deferments. I lived through that era, although I was in HS through 1972 and by early 1972 the U.S. troops were being evacuated en masse. Only some "Advisors" being left there.

The Draft ended on January 27th, 1973.

An article in the Atlantic put it into a proper perspective, "More than 15 million men of Trump’s generation sought to avoid active-duty military service, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, and Dan Quayle. Up to 60 percent of men in the Vietnam generation took active measures to qualify for a deferment from the draft, while up to 90 percent of enlistments in the National Guard were draft-motivated by 1970.

"His (Trump's) story says less about the president as an individual than about the choices America has made as a society about who should bear the burden of military service."

ALL of that, in the Atlantic article, is true, America's history of blatantly unfair Military Drafts isn't the issue in this case, these ridiculous rules of engagement, that hold U.S. soldiers to the standards Police Officers, are absurd. Many of those rules of engagement have been implemented by people who've sat behind desks their entire careers.

Trump, like 15+ million Americans, including GW Bush, Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, avoided Military service. As POTUS, Trump has pardoned a number of combat Soldiers over violations of various rules of engagement.

Generally, the people who actually support the line (combat) troops, tend to support these pardons, so WHY is Trump's lack of Military service an issue in this particular matter? (…/donald-trump-block-r…/4257573002/)

Understanding "Wealth" & Taxation...AND Making a Case for What YOU Believe

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Some folks complain that tax cuts are always, "Skewed toward the wealthy."

Seriously? Tax cuts skewed toward the wealthy?

That's like complaining that "Life is skewed toward the wealthy," because the highest paying jobs go to those with the rarest and most difficult skills to master.

Yes that's true...and gravity is skewed against the fat kid who likes lots of cake...I get it.

ALL of THAT is true, at least so far as it goes.

Truth is, ANY RATE CUT, like the 2017 GOP cut that reduced tax RATES by 2% across all income groups delivers less to the guy earning $50,000/year than the one earning $500,000/year because lower income earners pay a LOT LESS.

The person earning $50,000/year pays about 20% in income taxes (appx. $10,000/year), so a 2% rate cut means about $200/year to that individual.

The person earning $500,000/year pays about 36% in taxes ($180,000/year), so that 2% cut equals about $3,600/year.

The basic complaint DOESN'T seem to be about tax rates, but about income disparities, which are made clear by the value of each worker's work skills. Yes, a Thoracic surgeon, or a good attorney earns about 20, 30, or more times what a truck driver, school teacher, or cop earns, because very few people can master the skills of the surgeon or the attorney.

There's NOTHING "unfair" about such income disparities.

At any rate, the truly "rich" DON'T rely on income for wealth. That's why NONE of the richest 1% in America are top income earners.

You can't get rich working for someone else.

Jeff Bezos has an "INCOME" of $100,000/year, Warren Buffet pays himself an "income" of $84,000/year. Their wealth comes from low tax and even nontaxable sources, like investments taxed at the lower Capital Gains rate, or exponential stock valuations - stocks splitting 4 or 5 times, so that 2,500 shares becomes 5,000, then 10,000, then 20,000 and then 40,000, etc., so that initial 2,500 shares at $20/share (a $50,000 investment), becomes 40,000 shares at $150/share (a $6 million holding) all of that $5,750,000 is UNTAXED until cashed out at the lower Capital Gains rate.

THAT is how real wealth is created/earned.

The only way the idea of of "the greedy rich," OR, "punishing the rich for taking more than their fair share" makes sense is IF there were only so much wealth/currency in circulation at any time...BUT that's NOT the case.

Jeff Bezos didn't glom $140 BILLION from a fixed amount of wealth in existence, instead, he created about $2.5 trillion in wealth for the economy and kept $140 billion (mostly in stock valuations) for himself.

Only a handful of people (mostly innovators) move humanity forward. NONE of those are found in governments. They are the Ford's, Tesla's, Carnegie's, Edison's, Gates', Jobs', Musk's, Bezos', etc. The last innovators in government were Tom Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc. and they delivered us a Constitutional Republic instead of the widely accepted Monarchy, a Constitution that delivered LIBERTY as "freedom FROM government action." The Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments ALL restrict government action. Those innovators produced a government model that made government a servant, NOT a leader. That's why they made local government more powerful than any central government.

It's these innovators that create the opportunities others live off of. Those people create the private sector entities that fund a public sector.

Most people don't understand how money and taxation work. I once had an email exchange with a very well-read friend who vehemently took issue with the idea that, "There isn't a fixed amount of wealth available at any given time, as it's innovators/entrepreneurs who create wealth."

His position was that , "Governments print currency, so government creates the wealth available and there is only a certain amount to go around, since there is only a specific amount of currency in circulation at any given time." I knew the guy, I even liked the guy, but on this, he was wrong.

He never made any arguments explaining why his view was right. He claimed it was, "obvious," or "self evident."

I knew that, his view was erroneous.
First, currency ISN'T wealth. It's merely a representation of wealth.

A new business, say, a restaurant creates wealth that didn't exist before it opened. It exchanges $1,000 worth of food supplies into $25,000 worth of prepared meals every day and through that magic of commerce, produces a number of jobs, from chefs and managers to wait staff and busboys and generates new, never before existing tax revenues.

The owner earns the most for taking the risk, having the vision and starting the enterprise...and that's right & just.

Through that small business, new wealth is created. That owner, by taking 35% of the profits for herself isn't glomming too much wealth, she's created new wealth that wouldn't have existed before.

It took a few years, but that friend came to see his original view was in error (as anyone who really thinks about that would), because he read more about how economies work.

That's how people change their minds...on their own terms and by dint of their own reading/research. That's also why many people NEVER change their minds, they don't READ....they VIEW...they trust sources that they don't understand. If we understand a source's arguments and accept them as true, we can make such arguments for our views, based on them.

That's why the positions many take that, "It's true because it's obvious/self evident," or, "It's true because that's what some "expert" in the media said," are always losing ones.

NOTHING is "self evident"...AND "experts" are often wrong.

Moreover...IF you can't make your own compelling cases for your views you probably don't understand the subject well enough.

So, how can it make us mad when others disagree? They might understand the issue better than we do.

Why be mad at others just because they may know more than we do, when we can actually read and find the answers for ourselves?
If others disagree with things you KNOW to be true, you're always going to be able to make strong arguments for why your view is right and the opposing one wrong.

If NOT...that's a sign we need to read more.

"Unconstitutional" Stop & Frisk?

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Former NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill
The other day, after former NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill defended the NYPD's Stop & Frisk policies (…/oneill-defends-stop-and-frisk-after-b…/), I heard someone argue that "Stop & Frisk" policies were clearly Unconstitutional.

Interestingly enough, there's actually NOTHING "Unconstitutional" about Stop & Frisk.

All ANY cop needs, ANYWHERE is "reasonable suspicion," to stop, detain and search a citizen. The term "reasonable suspicion" is deliberately it must be.

Same with interrogations. It's why Police can lie and mislead suspects, claiming someone else had blamed them for a crime, claiming to have evidence they don't have, etc.. These things put tremendous pressure on suspects to cooperate. It's how most convictions are garnered.

It's not a perfect criminal justice system, because nothing human is without flaws. It's just the best system around.

In much of the world, the accused must prove their innocence. Not here.

Those same people often counter that, "The 4th Amendment says, "We are to be secure in our place and person."

Yes, that's correct...and "reasonable suspicion" is the standard in use today.

The 1st Amendment appears to guarantee unfettered freedom of expression. It DOES NOT...because today, we've outlawed slander, incitement & threats.

The 2nd Amendment appears to guarantee the right of ALL to bear firearms. It DOES NOT, as today laws ban criminals and mental defectives (the mentally/emotionally ill) from owning guns. Courts have upheld the rights of government to limit/restrict the type of weapons civilians can own (automatic weapons and teflon tipped, body armor piercing ammunition are banned for civilian use).

Same in the case of the 4th Amendment, EVERY court has upheld the right of law enforcement to act on "reasonable suspicion"; "I thought I saw an unnatural bulge under suspect's jacket," etc.

During the 1970s the "Exclusionary Rule," kept Police for searching a suspect unless evidence of a crime was "in plain sight."

That was the Brennan Court's work.

That's since been amended and today, a cop can stop a person for speeding and if they begin to act "suspiciously," or get argumentative, the law allows him to search that vehicle based on that "suspicious behavior," during the stop.

All of this has been a balancing act for the courts.

In the abstract, we might support unfettered free speech, but reality says that too many of us will abuse that with threats, slander/libel, etc., and we just can't have that.

No, the Stop & Frisk policies worked very well.

You'd actually expect that cops, judges, Corrections Officers, etc. WOULD oppose such policies because they're "bad for business."

For a very long time we've had a "disaster-based economy," that is, an army of relatively well off, well connected people become attorneys, judges, Court and Corrections Officers, Police and other 1st Responders and they earn their livelihoods by the grinding up the criminal class, a group mostly comprised of those who come from among those who are not well off, or well connected.

Crime creates tens of thousands of high status, high paying jobs.

The fact that the victims tend to overwhelmingly come from among the poorest and most vulnerable populations, validates that work as noble, because the overwhelming number of crime victims come from that same population as so many of the predators.

Some opponents of such policies claim, "I base my views on the Constitution, as written," and they ARE entitled to their own views. That said, the Constitution "as written," has not been in effect since 1865, when the South fought and LOST a war defending that original Constitution that put the individual over all and the States above any Central/federal government.

We've outlawed types of speech, restricted gun use and limited privacy provisions.

What's more, the overwhelming bulk of the American people support banning gun ownership for those ONCE convicted of a violent crime for life. They support outlawing threats, slander, etc., most of us even eagerly support the current ubiquitous Surveillance State that's been in place since 9/11. In short, the bulk of the people support "what works."
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