GOV. FRAUD/WASTE/ABUSE

June 24, 2016

‘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.

 


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.

 


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.

 


Ban all human-shaped targets?

TargetMy article as originally published in American Thinker:    

Pennsylvania representative Thaddeus Kirkland (Democrat) has a brilliant plan to finally put an end to violence and will introduce legislation that bans human-shaped targets on civilian shooting ranges within the state.

His memorandum in part states:

Rather than perpetuate violence by continuing to allow individuals to practice their target shooting by shooting at human silhouette targets at shooting ranges, my legislation will prohibit the use of targets that depict human silhouettes at shooting ranges across the Commonwealth.

While I doubt you’ll find many violent criminals at public shooting ranges practicing their craft on paper humans, law-abiding citizens do depend on these targets to practice their right of defense (something France could learn from) from those who intend to do them harm.

Fortunately, the use of animal targets such as bear, deer, turkey, and elk will still be within the law (at least until PETA gets wind of this), but I do have one question.  Would this ban on human-shaped targets include all humans, or just the ones that happen to be older than the age of legal abortion?

Just sayin’.

 


America is in a Progressive Chokehold

15393977094_82b1786e83_qMy article as originally published in   American Thinker:

To allege that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was fully responsible for the chokehold death of Eric Garner would be absurd.  Nearly as asinine, though, given the available evidence in the case, was de Blasio’s unbelievably divisive red-herring declaring that “centuries of racism” were somehow at the root of Garner’s untimely death.  Now, it appears the race-baiting propaganda of de Blasio, Obama, Holder and Sharpton, has finally come to bear fruit given the recent execution of two NYC police officers.

Comrade de Blasio likes to scold America regarding human rights yet embraces an ideology that places people — regardless of race or gender — in an unyielding big-government chokehold.  This “progressive” ideology leads to an equally wretched existence for all but the politically connected at its lesser extreme and is responsible for the murder of over one-hundred-million innocent men, women and children (and “centuries” were not required in doing so) at its most.

It’s well noted that Garner was being arrested for his participation in a black market that exists solely because of sky-high cigarette taxes.  There can certainly be harsh consequences that one must live — and sometimes die — with for resisting arrest as Garner clearly chose to do.  But when government gets to the point where every minute detail of a citizen’s life is micro-managed by “expert” planners, hungry for more power and tax revenue, it eventually becomes nearly impossible to not be in violation of some vague or inane statute.  As this over criminalization that degrades liberty becomes more systemic, a greater number of people will end up in tangles with police (who are human and make mistakes) and the result will be a greatly increased chance for something to go terribly wrong.

Frédéric Bastiat warned against these types of legal bastardization in his timeless essay, The Law, written more than one and one half centuries ago.

It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our works, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things.

Increases in the impossible task of central planning assure that things will go terribly wrong thus requiring government and its cronies to create scapegoats to mask-over the inevitable failures. Today, the scapegoat for the failures of the “progressive” welfare state is so-called “racist” cops.  Tomorrow it will be what ever the big-government complex, including its protectors in the mainstream media, need it to be in order to further the “progressive” cause.

Unfortunately, today, Americans can now end up in potential harm’s way just for opening a lemonade stand without a permit; feeding the homeless; making Gibson Guitars out of unauthorized wood; collecting rainwater on one’s own property or as in the case of Eric Garner — selling “loosie” cigarettes.  It is amazing that those who decry police encounters gone awry think the solution is even more government, which as a consequence will result in increased police encounters.

No, de Blasio certainly didn’t kill Eric Garner, but he, President Obama and the bulk of the Democratic Party clearly support the “progressive” government chokehold on liberty that bears some responsibility in Garner’s death.  And the sideshow of anti-police rhetoric turned violent shows they’re willing to mask the failures of “progress” by any means necessary.

Big-brother likes to play really, really rough, so unless this “progressive” chokehold on liberty is released, Americans may as well get used to gasping for air.

 


Risky Proposition: Obama and Illegal Immigrants

Immigrant Sign 2My article as originally published in American Thinker:

In a speech containing more than a meager dusting of lies, President Obama quashed any previous assertion that it would be unlawful for him to act singlehandedly on illegal immigration by unlawfully loosening immigration enforcement for those who have unlawfully bypassed the lawful immigration process, which will make millions of unlawful immigrants lawful – unlawfully.  Makes my head spin as well.

From Obama’s speech detailing his unlawful deal:

If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.

[Snip]

What I’m describing is accountability. A common sense middle-ground approach. If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.

If a greater number of congressional Republicans were equipped with metaphorical body parts of a spherical nature that contained even a slight trace of a certain copper/zinc alloy, the “leadership” would have clearly outlined a plan for ending Obama’s unlawful abuse of power – before leaving on holiday.  I guess the message of November 4 is so yesterday?

Democrats are surely delighted with the president’s executive order, since most of these unlawful immigrants will become useful weapons – future voting weapons – to be used against the Republican Party.  And now that the door is wide open, is there any doubt that Democrats will further build upon their arsenal?

In a post-constitutional America, where the rule of law will now be subject to the unbridled whims of whoever holds the office, placing blind trust in one politician can be an extremely risky proposition.

Obama said it would be safe for a large block of illegal immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and “register” with the government to stay in the U.S.  But he also said that “if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”  Normally, ignoring immigration laws would make one a criminal, but Obama has dictated that the government ignore this minor detail – for now.

Perhaps a future “thanks for the list Mr. Obama” will be in order?