Scott Mayer

July 30, 2016

Is Trump Snake Oil or the Medicine we Need?

TrumpMy article as originally published in American Thinker:             

The United States is deathly ill from fighting a century-long chronic infection (call it Bacterium Progressivism) that Americans can no longer afford to ignore. Donald Trump claims he has (or is) the cure for what currently plagues this nation, but a number of conservative intellectuals are horrified by the idea and point out that Trump is no conservative at all and would be merely a dose of snake oil. As Ben Shapiro outlines at Breitbart, to whatever extent Trump is conservative, his record shows he’s at best a very recent convert. Of course, the symptom-free D.C. establishment want to see both Trump and Cruz dumped so constituents can be force-fed another useless placebo disguised as the next blockbuster cure.

I don’t know the appropriate length of time for an individual to be held in quarantine after having claimed to have been cured of some or all their formerly progressive contagion. I’m sure a Thomas Sowell or David Horowitz could better provide guidance here. What I do know is that to date, Trump has gained support by blasting through a wall of political correctness and successfully delivering certain messages that resonate with a large number of people who are justly concerned about the survival of the United States. But this is true only because Trump is seen as a D.C. outsider and his supporters believe (rightly or wrongly) that he will actually help deliver needed medicine to at least one or more areas of this terrible infection.

Perhaps a better analogy for the Trump phenomenon is that he more resembles what is called a liposome than any form of medicine. A liposome is a microscopic membrane shell that can be used to encapsulate things such as antibiotics and deliver them more effectively to specifically targeted areas of infection (I only know this because I’m invested in a biotech that’s using liposomes to deliver a common antibiotic directly to serious lung infections). What’s the use in administering a known effective drug (even a superior one) if it has little chance of ever reaching its intended target?

When certain infections are left untreated for too long, the bacteria can form a slime-like protective barrier called a biofilm that is extremely resistant to antibiotics. By using liposomes to carry medicine with an electric charge opposite that of the biofilm, instead of getting hung up in the biofilm (opposite charges attract), some of the same (previously ineffective) antibiotic is able to slip past the biofilm before being released where the bacteria are hiding, giving the drug a much higher chance of eradicating the disease.

While the Republican establishment occasionally pays lip-service to prescribing the medicine needed to save the U.S., it is clear that they have no interest in actually administering it, as the GOPe is part of what is in essence a biofilm. A biofilm protecting big-government in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere that is made up of politicians of both parties, media elites, cronies, big-education, Hollywood and scores of political pundits. This slime-barrier is tightly bound together with propaganda, political correctness, unlimited excuses, fabulous social gatherings and bundles and bundles of other people’s money.

Sure, a controlled dose of liberty-saving medicine may occasionally be permitted to bypass the biofilm and briefly slow down the progression of the disease to pacify the masses. But the establishment — human nature being what it is — mostly disallows anything other than placebo from penetrating the biofilm and reaching the steadily growing abscess that is Washington D.C. Trump’s seeming ability to penetrate this D.C. biofilm (as an outsider), while promising to use medicine that is positive (+) America, is why so many are willing to take a chance with him. And why the establishment of both parties are so terrified of him.

Trump clearly has a mixed ideological record and I certainly find many of his past (and recent) statements troubling and contradictory. But I do recognize and admire his ability to penetrate this D.C. biofilm. The thing is, if Trump truly wants to “make America great again” — a goal I suspect is as genuine as Obama’s successful negative (-) plan to “fundamentally transform” the U.S. was — he will have no choice but to expand upon his apparent new-found conservatism and embrace the limited-government (including separation of powers), free-market medicine as prescribed by our Founders more than two centuries ago. And if he doesn’t and ends up just getting stuck in the biofilm, well, we’ll essentially have what we have now.

Most Americans who recognize the rapidly fading health of this nation are intelligent enough to read and understand the Trump warning label with its list of possible side-effects. The Trump phenomenon shows just how desperate Americans are in that so many are willing to accept these potential side-effects for the possibility of seeing a cure delivered to even one area of this progressive disease.

A one-term presidency in which much of the immigration problem is cured (although I personally don’t think a wall would be as necessary if the giant red carpet were removed through entitlement reform) and ObamaCare repealed, minus any other major reforms would be an enormous success.

While Donald Trump isn’t the candidate that I’ve been supporting throughout this race, I’ve come to the realization that prescribing the needed liberty-saving medicine is mostly pointless without the ability to penetrate and break up the biofilm currently protecting Washington, D.C. With that said, at some point certain conservatives may want to stop trying to destroy the liposome and instead begin preparing to help influence what types of medicine go into it.

 


‘Free’ cars from Bernie

BernieMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

While the Hillary campaign is headed toward the ditch, more and more vehicles are appearing on the roads and in parking lots displaying “Bernie 2016” or “Feel the Bern” bumper stickers.  By showing support for a socialist/Marxist, it’s as if the owners of these cars are in essence exclaiming: “I have a right to your stuff!”  It’s like looking at tiny billboards that flash the message: “I have zero respect for your liberty and property rights.”

So why, pray tell, should we in turn show respect for their property?  Couldn’t the tables easily be turned on these Bernie supporters by instead reading the bumper stickers to mean “free car for the taking” or “community car”?

Now, I’m not suggesting people take arms and demand Bernie supporters give up their autos at gunpoint.  That’s something only our benevolent government can pull off unscathed.  But these Bernie stickers could make for some great conversation-starters.  So if you encounter a car sporting one of these anti-American stickers and you (or someone you know) don’t own a car or you just spot one that you really, really, really like (notice many are on much nicer cars than one would normally expect to see on lefty-mobiles) because it’s way cooler than the one you own, why not politely ask the “privileged” owner to redistribute it to you in the name of fairness and equality (of outcome)?

Now, if a Bernie fan suddenly comes down with a case of “socialism for thee, but not for me” syndrome and flat-out refuses to give you ____ (insert preferred gender identity here) car, before you give up and call ____ a spoiled hypocrite, at the very least request that ____ give you a “free” ride somewhere.  And ask ____ to stop and throw in a “free” cup of coffee or perhaps even a “free” lunch while _____ is at it.  We could call it the “Bernie Car-Share Program” or simply “The People’s Cars.”

While Uber perfectly exemplifies the superiority of the capitalist system and the redundancy of most government regulation (think unnecessary, high-paying cushy jobs for bureaucrats and rampant cronyism), why call up an Uber driver and waste your own resources when you can hitch a ride with an idealistic Bernie driver – for “free”?

The support of an open socialist (read: honest Democrat) by so many young hipsters highlights the dismal failure of our education system, including esteemed institutions of higher learning (and no, not because college isn’t “free”).  Socialism in all its forms (Marxism, Communism, Nazism, et al.) has always failed, yet the left continues to prop it up like the corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s.  And yes, Bernie Sanders is confused, as even Scandinavian nations are not good examples of socialism “working.”

Like him or not, Trump has awakened a pro-America sleeping giant, while on the other hand, Sanders has awakened sleeping tyrants.  The sad irony is that if Bernie supporters were to get what they wish for and he is elected president, they and the rest of us will in fact “Feel the Bern” and end up with a nasty (and possibly incurable) case of VD (Venezuela Disease).

 

 


A wannabe ‘assault rifle’ speaks out

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

I came into this world circa 1990 via Sturm, Ruger & Co. – a strapping young Mini-14 Ranch Rifle.  Soon thereafter, I was sent to California and eventually was adopted by a very kind gun-loving family.  I was fortunate enough to spend a good number of hours at the shooting range over the years, but after carefully observing the performance of some of the more popular centerfire rifles – the military-looking ones – I realized I wanted to be more than just an ordinary “Ranch Rifle.”

I’ve always felt inadequate bench-resting next to my like-caliber AR-15-style friends because of their awesome military-style looks.  But don’t let my somewhat innocuous appearance fool you – regardless of my own insecurities, I’m able to do nearly everything they can do.  I chamber the very same .223 (5.56mm NATO) rounds, accept high-capacity magazines and sport the same semi-automatic action (pull my trigger once, and I fire one round, eject the casing, and chamber a new round to lie in wait for a second trigger pull) as do my AR-15 type friends.

The bottom line: pesky varmints (I don’t have enough power to lawfully take deer in most states) and armed criminals intending to do harm would be unable to tell the difference between myself and one of my more ferocious-looking military-style counterparts.

I understand I’ll always be a Ruger Mini-14 at heart; it’s in my DNA.  And I know I should be proud of who I am.  After all, I’m styled in the likeness of the combat-proven M-14.  But I still want a modern upgrade so I’ll look more like one of the cool guns that get all the attention at gun ranges.  Even some of my younger Mini-14 siblings now have an amazing “tactical” look.  Fortunately, there does exist a massive aftermarket dedicated to making it easy for guns like me to facilitate this type of transformation.

My owner did some research, and as it turns out, transforming me from a boring “Ranch Rifle” into a military-looking weapon would be a fairly easy endeavor.  But due to California’s discriminatory gun laws, making such changes would cause me to then be labeled an “assault rifle.”  My AR-15-style buddies already have to endure this discrimination (wrong-headedly, since actual military rifles are either full-auto or semi/tri-burst).  So suddenly, based purely upon my looks, it would be illegal for me to continue residing in the state I currently call home.

Some people think my friends and I are evil, but let’s be honest here: I am just a tool.  It is humans who are either willing, or not, to commit an act of evil against their fellow man.  And considering that a common car was the weapon of choice used recently in Las Vegas to deliberately ram into a crowd, killing one and injuring thirty-seven more, it’s clear that there are any number of tools that can be used to cause mass carnage at the hands of what I would call “assault humans.”  And indiscriminately outlawing certain unpopular paint colors for automobiles would do nothing to prevent this from being repeated in the future.

I may merely be a wannabe “assault rifle,” but if I had some advice for you humans, it would be to stop electing useless tools like Lieutenant Governor (and governor wannabe) Gavin Newsom, who, like many politicians and members of the media, has little understanding of how I and other guns actually function.  He and others continue to promote more useless laws to restrict guns that are rarely used in crimes and in the end only hamper the rights of law-abiding humans.

Worse yet, while Newsom attempts to make it more difficult for the law-abiding to protect themselves and their families using firearms such as myself, he supports sanctuary cities, which provide shelter for law-breaking humans who occasionally end up committing horrific crimes such as rape and even murder.

 


The economic burden of Islamic FUD

My article as originally published in  American Thinker:

On Tuesday, the entire Los Angeles Unified School District was shut down and more than 640,000 kids were forced to stay home due to a “credible terror threat” received via email.  Fortunately, it turned out to be just a hoax, but following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, everyone is on edge, and it’s clear that Islamic FUD has taken root.

Creating an atmosphere of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the Islamic terrorists.  FUD is what enables a small number of jihadists to commit a violent act and subsequently causes millions to alter their behavior in the aftermath.  The emotional and financial costs of FUD can be staggering.

Tuesday’s shutdown of LA schools is a perfect example.  While FUD certainly caused an overreaction to a perceived “terror threat,” beyond the emotional response there was also an enormous cost burden placed upon the taxpayers.  Before we even get to the expense of law enforcement and parents missing work, think of the fiscal consequences of keeping more than 640,000 kids out of school for one day.

I’ll use round numbers for simplicity, but we know that average K-12 education spending per pupil (from all sources, not just state funding) in California currently tops $12,000 per year and that there are about 175 school days per school year in the state.  This means that the cost for each student is about $68 per day of instruction.  Multiply that by 640,000 kids, and astonishingly, this one email hoax wasted more than $43,000,000 of the taxpayers’ education dollars.

A few more days like this, and we’ll be talking about some real money ($43 million is surely a simple rounding error for Governor Brown).  I’m confident the terrorists are pretty darn good at math and understand this all too well.  In addition to worries over Islamic FUD, it’s clear that the recurring response to Islamic terrorism from the Obama administration is leaving the American people with presidential FUD on the brain.

 


Buffalo Barack strikes in Roseburg

5191066383_95854ecabf_qMy article as originally published in American Thinker:       

Without being armed with all the facts, President Obama shamelessly rushed out and used the victims of the horrific Umpqua Community College massacre for political gain, just as he had with Sandy Hook and other carefully chosen shootings that have occurred during his tenure.  He then skipped right over the heavily gun-regulated war zone of Chicago to fly to Roseburg, Oregon and further exploit the grieving community.  This president is clearly uncomfortable with America’s skin, which is why he is hell-bent on transforming every aspect of it.

In the movie The Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill was also unable to achieve the fundamental change he desired (a sex-change in his particular case), so his “solution” was to sew together sections of skin from the carefully selected young ladies he murdered to construct a “woman suit” and ultimately complete his desired transformation.  In other words, he was a total nutcase.

In an eerily similar fashion, the thin-skinned Buffalo Barack carefully selects and exploits the lifeless victims of certain crimes involving firearms in order to further his desire to “fundamentally transform” the United States into something it was never born to be.  He, along with his tailors in the media, carefully stitch together anti-gun narratives using their chosen victims along with various red herrings, straw men, and outright lies concocted (like the unwarranted media attention so-called “assault weapons” receive) to further the ultimate goal of overturning the Second Amendment.

There is deafening silence from Buffalo Barack with regard to the countless shooting victims in areas such as Chicago, where highly restrictive gun laws are the norm because those victims fail to further his cause.  And he conveniently ignores mass shootings in “civilized” nations that take place despite “sensible” gun laws such as in Oslo, Norway, where a gunman was able to effortlessly slaughter 77 people using semi-auto firearms and explosives (afterward, Norway’s “sensible” sentencing laws put that psycho away for a mere 21 years).  And even the existence of total gun control within the totalitarian regime known as China hasn’t stopped mass killings with knives, as can be seen here, here, and here.  Evil will always find a way.

The truth of the matter is that Obama and his media sycophants have about as much chance of ending gun violence through the exploitation of gun victims and the further expansion of gun control as Buffalo Bill had of becoming an actual woman by wearing his suit made out of the skins of the young women he murdered.  Buffalo Bill was at war with Mother Nature, while Buffalo Barack and his ilk are clearly at war with natural law.

Given that this is really a war over liberty, Andrew C. McCarthy makes a great point:

Why are we debating policy? After all, gun rights are explicit in the Second Amendment. In general, there is not supposed to be much policy debate where our fundamental rights are concerned. We would not, for example, abide a suggestion that we reconsider whether the government may break into your home and poke around for evidence without a warrant. That is not to say there may not be logical reasons to allow a police officer to act unilaterally on a strong hunch; it is to say that a constitutional right is supposed to be a guarantee – something the government has to respect, not something the citizen has to justify.

Of course progressives will never give up.  And looking forward, if elected president, Hillary Clinton has made it pretty clear she plans on cannibalizing our Second Amendment rights – perhaps with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

 

 


Thinking about Obamacare while in Cabo

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

My family and I recently returned from a much-needed vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We had a blast, but unfortunately, I was unable to completely escape being reminded of the disaster known as ObamaCare, despite being many hundreds of miles south of the U.S. border.

Feeding a family of four while on vacation can be a costly endeavor. My wife and I usually enroll in an all-inclusive meal plan because once the fixed price is paid, we can mostly order what we like without having to worry about keeping track of every minute expenditure. It may not be very cost effective, but it does help expedite the process of relaxation and ensure there are no multi-thousand-peso surprises at the end of the trip.  But since it was the first time we had brought our kids to Cabo, we wanted them to experience a few of the off-resort restaurants that the city had to offer. Therefore, it made no economic sense for four people to be on a meal plan during the days when the most expensive meal of the day would be enjoyed elsewhere.

We settled for four days on the all-inclusive plan and three days off of it. The price for adults was $105 USD and for children it was $55 USD. But the cut-off age for kids was thirteen which meant our son was priced as a child and our daughter (who doesn’t eat very much) as an adult. We did inquire as to why teens cost as much as adults, after all, our daughter wouldn’t be consuming any adult beverages. We were told that experience had shown that teenagers in possession of all-inclusive bracelets tended to order a meal, take just a few bites, and then order something entirely different, i.e., they waste resources. Cabo economic lesson #1.

Our children clearly thought they were royalty for the first four days while the all-inclusive plan was in effect. We normally teach our children to be cost-conscience (as I write this, my son informed me that he needed to lick the maple syrup off his plate because it’s expensive and shouldn’t be wasted), so at first they were a little reluctant to splurge, but we reassured them that everything was already paid for and that they could order as much of anything as they wished within the limits of the plan. Human nature took over from there and we did our best to extract every penny of value we could from the plan. I’m fairly confident the resort actually lost money on our deceptively-thin eleven-year-old son.

To the great disappointment of our children, the meal plan eventually expired and we were forced to revert back to reality and once again be cost-conscience. It was at that point that I began thinking about ObamaCare and health insurance in general. I realized that the days we spent on the meal plan were somewhat like being enrolled in the typical third-party payer health plan before ObamaCare had taken effect. After a set price was paid, there was really no thought given to what was consumed. This is why while on the plan, we were determined to get all we could out of it and gave little thought toward overconsumption or waste. After all, we’d paid good money for the privilege of doing just that. Be it food, healthcare or anything else, there’s no real incentive to conserve resources under this type of arrangement. The predictable behavior that ensues is in part why the cost of health insurance and all-inclusive plans both continue to rise.

Our attitudes changed quite dramatically once we entered the pay-as-you-go phase of our trip. We were suddenly much more cautious about our spending habits. Those enormous plates of carne asada nachos could now be shared by two of us; multiple appetizers were no longer ordered with each dinner and extra bottled waters were no longer requested with each drink order. My wife and I had planned ahead for this phase of the trip and set aside a chunk of cash that we had hoped to make last for the remainder of the trip. It was almost like having a health savings account (HSA). And it worked pretty darn well. The cost of the typical extended day by the pool including drinks, snacks and lunch was averaging about $130 USD while on the meal plan but had dropped to about $60 USD once we were off of it. Full disclosure: the off-plan cost would have been slightly higher had we not hoarded “free” bottled waters while the meal plan was still in effect.

So how did ObamaCare fit into our all-inclusive Cabo experience?  Fortunately, it didn’t, which is why there’s a very good chance we’ll be going back. While it’s true that third-party payer health insurance may not be the most efficient method of providing healthcare, any improvements are best left to the free market.

No, an ObamaCare-like experience would have required the Federales to show up at the resort and enforce a mandate that everyone purchase a government approved all-inclusive meal plan. Further, since not everyone around the pool could afford the expensive meal plan, the government would ensure that those who couldn’t pay for it would be subsidized by those who were already willing to pay for the plan, and by those who could afford it but choose not to enroll for various reasons of their own choosing.

After accounting for all of the mandates, subsidies (including for those who would purposefully earn less in order to qualify), failed website design and salaries consumed by bureaucrats, the bottom line would be that those vacationers who were once happy with going either all-inclusive or pay-as-you-go would find that they were now forced to buy an all-inclusive plan and then, in addition, pay sky-high “deductibles” before they could ever use it. So by the time any benefits actually kicked in, vacation would long be over with. Meanwhile, those being subsidized would have even less of an incentive to conserve resources than a fickle teenager in possession of an all-inclusive bracelet.

Back in the U.S., we’re stuck with ObamaCare because the president spends much, much more time vacationing than he does studying even the most rudimentary laws of economics.

 


Dining with Big Government

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

Government regulation is a hidden tax that now consumes an astonishing $1.9 trillion of the U.S. economy per year. I’m preaching to the choir here, but for those seeking ways to converse with others about how destructive and unnecessary most regulations are, try discussing the voluntary exchanges that occur while dining out at a favorite restaurant. People may go for the food, atmosphere, or for economic reasons, but they do so primarily out of self-interest. And neither local politician nor D.C. bureaucrat is needed to tell them where to go, what to eat, how much to eat, how to eat it or how much money to spend. If the food sucks, the service is terrible, if someone gets food poisoning, no form of regulation is needed to tell even low-info types it’s time to dine elsewhere.

Regulatory aficionados (such as Obama, Bloomberg, and Jonathan Gruber) think otherwise and believe we’re all too stupid to make everyday decisions on our own. And unfortunately, too many Americans appear to feel that much of this regulation is both necessary and innocuous. But people should understand that just as government regulation isn’t needed to “save” them from a terrible dining experience, the same holds true with regard to nearly all the voluntary transactions that occur within the marketplace, e.g., what size soda to buy; the securing of a payday loan; ensuring restaurant employees wash their hands; the amount of salt preferred in food or the minimum wage that is paid to an individual.

Additionally, those in support of being “protected” by the nanny-state should be aware the cost to society is even greater than what is easily seen (to borrow from Bastiat). Sure, it’s easy to envision the added expense of compliance: the permits; the mountains of paperwork; the time-consuming inspections or costly signage that regulations impose upon businesses. But what also needs to be visualized is the enormous, ever-growing army of unelected bureaucrats that politicians put in place to bring about and enforce all of this needless regulation.

So while dining out, it’s as if a large group of regulators are seated with us in the restaurant, unnecessarily making numerous decisions for the patrons, restaurant owners, employees, vendors, and about darn near everything else — bolted down or otherwise. These “public servants” consume resources as if they’re at an all-you-can-eat buffet, continually search for new things to regulate and compliance is never optional. In the end, it is “We the People” who are stuck paying the entire bill, part of which now ends up on the “credit card” for future generations to labor over.

The crux of the problem is that even if these regulators were to do as efficient a job as the free market — they can’t and don’t — they are merely “dining” at the expense of everyone else in the “restaurant.”  It’s impossible for society to truly “progress” when a growing number of unaccountable bureaucrats are gobbling up tax dollars for no reason and driving up product and service prices with an ever-growing number of superfluous dictates. Free markets (combined with equal protection under the law) are already self-regulating because unlike the DMV, Post Office or Amtrak, businesses that fail to modify bad or inefficient ways will eventually go out of business. So why then are we constantly being force-fed more and more of these redundant regulations?

The dirty little secret — the rancid meat statists attempt to heavily season over with the promise of Utopia — is that coupled with an entourage of hungry bureaucrats and cronies, top-down regulatory control enables folks like Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and a host of status quo Republicans and Democrats to gain real power and become fantastically wealthy without ever having to provide anything of real economic value to society. Making a living in this way is a much easier task than having to provide a product or service to citizens (like a restaurant owner or the Koch brothers must do) who are able to freely vote yea or nay with their pocketbooks.

This is in part why the zip codes that surround the D.C. area have become among the wealthiest in the nation. All while the labor participation rate is at a thirty-year low, food stamp usage is near an all-time high, and more American small businesses are dying than being created.

The fact that government regulation isn’t needed to enjoy a night out at a restaurant should be a fairly easy concept to grasp. But we’re not just dining with big-government, we’re being forced to live with it on a nearly 24/7 basis. And as Governor Moonbeam (a connoisseur of all things regulatory) recently said while discussing California’s government-caused water shortages: “that’s the beauty of government, it doesn’t go away.”

Nanny-state regulations and the regulators who impose them won’t “go away” unless more Americans become enlightened and begin to lose their appetite for big-government.

 


Crowdfunding for Almost Everyone

15870049980_f2cc2b087e_qMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

During the ginned up controversy surrounding the religious freedom law in Indiana, Memories Pizza was nearly put out of business for merely answering “incorrectly” a hypothetical question about catering a gay wedding.  Shortly after the incident, a GoFundMe campaign was started and subsequently raised nearly $850K for the owners, who, at the time, were forced into hiding with an uncertain future.

This was not the end result certain groups were looking for.  Today, in politically correct America, freedom of choice is limited only to the “correct” choices, and the totalitarian left demands the final word on all such things.  That word was effectively nullified in short order by freedom-loving Americans who financially contributed to the cause of liberty – for everyone – in support of freedom of association and religion.

Fast-forward to the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore, and a group of police officers set up a GoFundMe page to provide support for the six officers facing charges in what Alan Dershowitz has called a “show trial.”  While most of the facts are still unknown in the case, GoFundMe shut down the page within 40 minutes due to some recent changes to its terms of service.  The site had made these changes following the hugely successful fundraising campaigns in support of businesses like Memories Pizza and several Christian bakeries that had chosen not to bake cakes for gay weddings.

GoFundMe proudly displays the message “crowdfunding for everyone” on its homepage, but that is a misnomer, since it has created a set of guidelines to discriminate against the campaigns of certain groups of people.  Per the new terms of service, these include “[c]ampaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”  While this may sound like reasonable policy, the wording clearly leaves much open to interpretation.

But since GoFundMe is a private entity, shouldn’t the owners just be left to associate with whomever they wish?  Or should the government step in to stop the “H8” and use force to require GoFundMe not to discriminate and allow “=” access for “everyone”?

Of course, the government should do no such thing.  The free market (combined with a stable rule of law) already handles these types of issues without the need for government to step in.  The fact that GoFundMe chooses to not serve a particular segment of the population using its own vague set of rules doesn’t create a human rights problem (as the use of force does); it creates a market opportunity.

If enough people take issue with this policy, an enterprising individual will come along and effectively tell GoFundMe to GoPoundSand by starting a pro-liberty version, and provide some competition in the crowdfunding business (yes, business).  This person could profit handsomely by providing the world with a little bit more diversity.  While this may come as a shock to those who hide behind the currently hijacked term “liberal,” these very same market forces hold true for pizzerias and bakeries, making the left’s continuous tyrannical stomping of liberty for naught.

One other thing that will drive the left nuts: successful crowdfunding campaigns also help highlight the abysmal failure of the welfare state, and they do so in real time.  Private charity is much more efficient than big government.  When people are free to vote “like” or “dislike” with the click of a button, more resources end up actually reaching the intended targets (the Clinton Foundation would be a poor example, though).  It’s much harder for fraudsters to pull the wool over the eyes of millions of people with smartphones who are collectively making billions of decisions instantly while interacting with others.  On the other hand, the massive and inefficient welfare state is wrought with fraud and abuse due to the dependency it creates, bureaucratic self-interest, and the reality that government is able to react only with the speed of a Banana slug on Quaaludes.

Crowdfunding that occurs within a truly free market gives the silent majority a platform to collectively make some loud noise, and challenge what used to be the final word of the left.  An unchallenged final word equals control, which is why progressives simply can’t allow “crowdfunding for everyone.”

 


Iran has a Pet BaRock

OMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

The creator of the iconic Pet Rock passed away just the other day, but following Obama’s “negotiations” with Iran, it is now clear that the president may in fact be the 2015 equivalent.

Here are some highlights from a copy of the original Pet Rock training manual (emphasis mine) that could provide some insight into the mindset of Iranian leadership during “negotiations” with Obama to reach a “deal” that Israel says is “detached from wretched reality.”

Your pet [BA]rock and you.

Your PET [BA]ROCK will be a devoted friend and companion for many years to come. Rocks enjoy a rather long life span so the two of you will never have to part—at least not on your PET [BA]ROCK’s account. Once you have transcended the awkward training stage your rock will mature into a faithful, obedient, loving pet with but one purpose in life—to be at your side when you want it to, and to go lie down when you don’t.

Initial Training.

Nobody, but nobody likes a surly, misbehaving rock. Therefore, it is most important that you begin training immediately. Your PET [BA]ROCK should be made to know who is the boss, and that you will demand certain good manners and impeccable behavior if the two of you are to have a happy, well adjusted relationship.

The leadership of Iran clearly read and followed this manual to a T.  The instinct of most American presidents would be to halt any type of negotiations at the sight of Iran bombing a mock U.S. aircraft carrier (during “negotiations”) or after hearing its supreme leader call for “death to America” (during negotiations).  But not the obedient Pet BaRock.

SECTION ONE  

Simple obedience.

Come.

It is essential that your PET [BA]ROCK learn this command. A rock that doesn’t come when it’s called will cause its owner endless embarrassment.

Heel.

It is extremely unusual to see a rock strolling around unaccompanied-There’s a very good reason for this. Most PET [BA]ROCK owners have had the patience and good judgment to teach the command, HEEL.

To teach your PET [BA]ROCK to HEEL, simply follow these easy steps. First, place your PET [BA]ROCK on the floor or ground directly behind your right heel. Next, give the command, HEEL, and stand absolutely still. Slowly, without moving your feet, turn and look down at your rock. You will be both pleased and amazed to see it is still there, right where you want it be, directly behind your right heel. Your PET [BA]ROCK has learned the command.

Following Pet BaRock’s “red line” incident, the Iranians surely understood that teaching the president simple obedience would be an easy and rewarding task.

SECTION TWO

Amusing Tricks.

Few pets are more anxious to please their masters than are PET [BA]ROCKS. It is surprisingly easy to teach your rock cute tricks that will entertain you and your friends for hours

Despite the danger posed to the American people, Pet BaRock seems to love performing this next trick for our enemies.

Roll Over.

Your PET [BA]ROCK will learn this trick the very first time you give it a lesson. That statement may be hard to believe but it is, nevertheless, quite true. The best place to teach your PET [BA]ROCK to ROLL OVER is on the side of a hill. Place your rock on the ground at the top of a hill and give the command, ROLL OVER. Now, let go of your rock. It’s that simple!

The following may best describe the current state of Obama’s presidency:

Rock Bottom.

If your PET [BA]ROCK appears nervous and fidgety, it’s a better than even chance it’s suffering from dreaded Rock Bottom. No other disease is as debilitating to PET ROCKS as Rock Bottom. The first symptoms are manifested in an almost unbelievable forgetfulness. Your PET [BA]ROCK will not remember a single command or trick. All the hours of training will be forgotten. It will be the saddest day of your life. From simple loss of memory it gets worse. So bad in fact, that we won’t go into it here. Suffice to say that, should your PET [BA]ROCK contract Rock Bottom, get a new PET [BA]ROCK immediately. There is no known cure.

Unfortunately, due to Iran’s new Pet BaRock, it is the United States that is tumbling toward rock bottom on the world stage.

 


Force Iran to ‘go green’

SolarMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

Several days ago during the KSFO Morning Show out of San Francisco, a caller raised an excellent question with regard to Obama’s nuclear “negotiations” with Iran. The astute caller asked why it was that the Obama administration didn’t just demand that Iran scrap their dangerous nuclear “power” program and instead “go green” by switching to solar and/or wind power just as they expect Americans to do. A very good question since the Left loves green energy and detests all things nuclear. But that would be to expect consistency from the Left.

Two of the adults in the room, Benjamin Netanyahu and Senator Tom Cotton, clearly understand that Iran really has no interest in using nuclear for power generation or medicine as claimed, and that allowing Iran to continue with its program would only serve to give the bomb to an Islamic terrorist state hell-bent on the destruction of Western civilization.

But actually, a treaty forcing Iran to drop its nuke program and “go green” might have a better chance of turning this whole debacle into a win/win situation vs. whatever see-no-evil plan Team Obama unilaterally comes up with behind closed doors. A win for President Obama who could feed his fragile ego by finally being able to point to a reason — any reason — for his “prophetic” Nobel Peace Prize win. And a big win for the civilized among us by keeping Iran nuclear-free, and forcing it to use an extremely expensive energy source that would surely help send it into an economic death-spiral. The green movement has already done a fabulous job on our own economy, so why not export some of the same “winning formulas” to our enemies?

Of course, all of this assumes that Iran would actually comply with any such treaty. After all, a treaty is merely a piece of paper with some words scribbled upon it that one party can easily choose to ignore if so inclined. And wouldn’t it be foolish to trust the word of an Islamic state that wishes to destroy Israel, calls for “death to America,” and is well known for conducting an actual war on women, and gays? Of course, those reasons alone wouldn’t be enough to cause the Left to lend support to the use force for non-compliance. But the strategic insertion of language into the treaty labeling Iran as “climate deniers” (a major offence as some state governors may soon discover) for being incompliant would surely be enough to unleash the full wrath of the Obama Administration, and a willing national coalition of greenies upon them.

In the unlikely event any such treaty ever did come to fruition, I am fairly confident that Hillary’s brother would somehow “coincidently” become the sole provider of solar panels to the Iranians.