Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Medicaid Expansion

If you're aware of the differences between Medicaid and Medicare, you may not have noticed the distinction in the recent Supreme Court decision.

Oregon is not likely to take advantage of this "advantage."

States, like Idaho and Montana, will.

Imagine, South Dakota having a larger domestic product than Oregon. Well.

It's going to happen.

$200 for Romney

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Understanding Today's Decision

One of the characteristics of a judicial opinion is, the footnotes.

If you were a judge, what would determine whether or not you agreed with a plaintiff, or with a defendent? I think the first impulse would be, "what are the facts?" What do you do, if you find that the facts alone don't support the allegations of either the plaintiff, or the defense?

Obamacare is a particularly egregious situation that we find ourselves. It is clearly beyond the limits of the Constitution for the federal government to tell us whether or not we need avail ourselves of certain commercial services. Like, insurance. But Constitutional Law isn't like running a business, where we can make quick adaptations to current conditions. What we want from constitutional law is a steady reliance upon those cases that have come up, and rely upon the decisions of those cases, as articulated by the Majority and Minority opinions those cases have produced.

This post isn't going to digress into the correctness of the decision released today by America's top court. Instead, I'm going to give you a link to another case, in ways, just as important as today's case, dealing with the First Amendment, and an issue referred to as Fair Use.

I like this decision. Having spent time crawling through decisions as a "wannabee" lawyer, I want to point out that this decision has a very clear structure, in terms of referring to the terms of the issue at hand, and the point-by-point method that the writer has, in refuting the claims of the plaintiff. It is simple, it is direct, and most of all, in my opinion, a wonderful teaching tool in terms of how good application of previously decided law (stare decisis) can be applied to create a forceful and vigourous defense for the defendent.

And, it's obvious, the judge enjoyed writing this decision.

I give you, Brownmark Films, LLC., v. Comedy Partners, et al. (.pdf)

Blow Out For Holder Contempt Vote

Congress easily passed the contempt motion against Attorney General Holder this afternoon. The final vote was 256 to 66, with one member voting "present."

Just shy of 80 (79-1/4) percent of the House of Representatives voting, voted to make the Attorney General accountable for his unwillingness to supply information that led to the death of hundreds of innocent Mexicans, and a federal border agent, Brian Terry.

Eight-to-two is pretty good odds. The White House should have seen this coming.

What It Will Cost

What's the cost of Obamacare going to be? You can hit the WaPo link at Mover Mike's

Currently, I'm uninsured. But that doesn't mean I want for health care. When I want to see a doctor, I go to a doctor. When I want to see a dentist, I go to a dentist.

The difference, of course, is that I write a check. I purchase the health care I choose to purchase.

As a result, my demand for health care services is low. My total health care costs for 2012 to date is $1967.00. The total for 2011 was $4968.89. Two crowns and a root canal add up. (One root canal this year.)

A lot of the little stuff, like skin tags, I've had moderate to severe foot pain for six to eight months. As it turns out, I've determined the cause of the pain--it had to do with weight shift during my golf swing--and the pain is no longer an issue (and I'm hitting the ball better. Win/win.)

So, now it looks like I'm going to be forced to spend money on insurance. My out of pocket will be thirty percent, according to the WaPo widget. So, I'll be spending $3325.00 in 2011, plus $1490.00 for deductibles and co-pays. Pretty much a wash, eh?

But it won't be. Whenever I get an annoying bump, bruise or fever, I'm going to allocate myself a greater share of the available health care resources that are available to me, since I'm already paying for those services.

And, I'm not going to be alone. As demand for health care services increase, the costs of insurance are going to rise. The costs of those services will rise, too. (See Supply and Demand.)

Will I be healthier? Nope. Does the Obamacare address the type of insurance coverage I'd be willing to pay for, if it was legallly possible to purchase such care? Nope, again. Will I be adding full-time employees?


Will I be alone?


By the way, I want to thank Gordon for the graphic in my header.

Theft, Gordon, is the most sincere form of flattery, neh?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pre-determined Outcomes

How many of you have heard of Trofim Lysenko?


Lysenoism is rampant today, in my opinion. Oregon is the worst offender, yet I've heard California is leading Oregon. It may be hard to dispute that California is worse, since the cause celebre of Oregon has been to be more progressive than our neighbors to the south. Perhaps is is, that we just aren't in as much debt yet, compared to our Californian druyge. What we are finding is, that stupid is difficult, and massive stupid requires larger populations. Oregon is still too rural for the kind of stupidity that California is exhibiting. That takes massive urban influence. Not that cities are bad. But if you want to find large pockets of useless people, the first place I'd look would be in cities. And not all cities. Our largest city had become the home of the worst depredations. A city that was once led by my own--as a youngster--favourite politician, John Lindsay.

John Lindsay was a young rebel, an early libertarian, when libertariansism was in its infancy. His stand against teachers' unions was unheard of, previously. My dad was a teacher, and had taught for more than twenty years when Lindsay became governor. The crux of the matter for teachers was, are we going to be professionals, or are we going to become a protected labour class? 

My dad believed that teaching was a professsion. A view I wish was held largely, today.

Education is an important economic sector. It is important in the way that your children are affected. I know that much noise has been made about the abuse of children by priests. Chances are, you don't have a clue about the abuse your child has been a victim from teachers.

Lysenko is important. Lysenko is the face of the modern Democrat Party.

Take, for example, a recent press release from one of Oregon's United States Senators. In this press release, Senator Wyden advocates for "multiple farm-to-school" projects that "will make gleaners eligible for USDA-backed microloans to purchase the equipment such as refrigerators or vehicles needed to expand their efforts."

Gleaners are people that go through garbage. 

Senator Merkley entices us with his urbanity with his amendment to the Farm Bill. The subsidies for farmers are anachronisms, crying for an end. My family has been farming for around 120 years. Farm subsidies have never--NEVER--assisted my family. During the Depression, it limited the amount of land my family could farm. Under threat of imprisonment, my family complied. Wickard had far-ranging impact. Farm subsidies were crafted to provide payments to people who weren't willing to compete. It is, at best, a negative tariff. Tariffs are placed on products that are imported to this country, in order to provide "protection" for domestic producers of those products. Subsidies are direct payments to producers for products that can't compete in international markets. We're not creating barriers to trade. We simply provide subsidies to industries that can't compete.

Why should we be surprised when Senator Merkley provides subsidies to another industry in the face of failure? On June 20th, his office put out a presser on his amendment to the Farm Bill that will provide a subsidy to organic farmers. 

Take a pause. 

Organic farmers. Their model of production is so screwed up, that they can't compete with "non-organic" farmers. 

“Oregon is a leader in organic farming, and our farmers deserve crop insurance that reflects the high value of the crops they produce,” Merkley said. “There are more than 500 organic farms in Oregon, and that number is expanding rapidly. Today’s vote is an important step toward a crop insurance model that works for this growing segment of Oregon’s farmers.”

I had a salad today. None of the ingredients were "organic." 

I live.


National Academy of Sciences.


You know what science is . Science is the way that "we" will find our way. Religion will never again light the way for our understanding of ourselves. Only science can fill that role. Scientifically. And yet, the National Academy of Sciences has recently released a report that reeks of Lysenko. 

"Global sea level rose during the 20th century, and observations and projections suggest that it will rise at a higher rate during the 21st century, placing coastal cities and infrastructure at increased risk from flooding, storm surges, shoreline erosion and retreat, and wetland loss.  However, sea-level rise is not uniform and varies from place to place.  A new report from the National Research Council projects global sea-level rise as well as for California , Oregon , and Washington for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100."

Here's a quick test. Grab a glass. Fill it with ice. Then, add water. Mark the water level at the point where the ice starts to rise. Let the ice melt. Check the mark.


I love those who state that only government can lead the way to a new, better society. I've recently registered as a Democrat, since I want to stay out of the camps, after they gain complete control. The tempo of change will be rapid, once they've determined that such things as the Constitution is no longer the controlling authority in this nation. Changes in immigration? Why worry? Changes in marriage? Why worry? Changing America's reliance on the individual to care for himself, and for his family? Why worry? Let's let the one percent take care of the rest of us.

Let's just make America like any other place. Why worry?

What do we want the outcomes to be? Simply legislate the outcomes. Want an economy dependent upon alternative energy sources? Simply legislate the outcome. Whether or not the technology exists is an extraneous consideration. Who cares whether or not we can actually do what we legislate. We'll create penalties that will require the outcome. 


Under Democrat Party leadership, states across this nation are victims of Lysenko. Nationally, we're attacked every day by Lysenko.

If you can't love Lysenko, you can't love the New America.

Get used to it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Form of Democracy

When I write, "Our Form of Democracy," it is based upon the mis-conception that we, as Americans, live in a democracy. As much as advocates can assert that we are de facto living in a democracy, the truth is closer to the understanding that we live in a republic. We don't directly vote, as citizens, in order to implement law. We elect representatives to speak for us. And, as messy as this has been, it has--in my opinion--worked out fairly well. The difference is, we don't live in a democracy, and this was as was designed by our Constitutional Framers.

What most of us think of as law can best be described as proscriptive; dont' speed, don't steal, don't murder. Mosaic Law is seen in the main as proscriptive. The "thou shalt nots". (As a side note, since we're looking at electing a Mormon for the first time, is a curious note about Mormonism. They don't only have the shalt nots, but have "shalls.")

There are times when I have the feeling that the least educated amongst us, are those who claim the greatest levels of education. Teachers and professors. There are current educational themes that one finds oneself rubbing up against, that asserts that the foundational writers of our American Constitution were lacking in certain types of understanding. You can hear this refrain when issues of differences come up; race, sexual preference, productivity.

The argument fails, most notably in its lack of new information. There is nothing new to be found in current arguments against our form of government. What we find ourselves dealing with is old arguments being re-iterated, under the mantle of Progressivism. Which, itself, is over an hundred years old, as a movement. What is so progressive with a movement that can be traced back, at least an hundred, seventy years?

But in the instant, what are the arguments being offered by the Left? Let's look at race, sexual preference and productivity. Race is important because differences in race is given as a reason for economic harm. Sexual preference is seen as a harm because differences in sexual preference is given as a reason for economic harm. Productivity is seen as an harmful measure, since differences in productivity are given as a reason for economic harm. I think it's interesting that most, if not all, arguments from the Left about the failures of the conservative American model of self-governance tend to center around economic arguments, since none of the adherents of modern Progressivism seem to have any semblance of understanding of how economic systems work, either in the micro-economic, or in the macro-economic sense of economics. That is, most argument against the current system we work under--loosely defined as the free-market, or capitalist system--neither criticises markets or capitalism, but the results of this system that fails to meet their burden of proof of "fairness."


It is inarguable that race was an important determinant of economic success for years. But not in the way that the revisionists wish to portray race. Revisionists wish to portray the European Invasion of the New World in a way that is consistent, and yet the history of the European Invasion isn't consistent in one regard; the way that immigrants to the New World treated the residents found upon arrival. I'm not sure that the view the Hurons held against these "new tribes" were viewed as subjectively different from their view of the Cuyoga. Or, Seneca.  And by "new tribes," I mean groups of people unfamiliar to those viewing them for the first time. The French spoke french. The English, english. Dress was different, customs were different. Were early Settlers to be viewed correctly as "racist"? What we call "indians" were more like us, than not like us. They spoke different languages, their custom in dress was different. Their tools were primative when compared to the tools of the early European settlers. Was their culture subjectively inferior to the culture of the emigres?

Not at all.

The contact we had with the West following Columbus' discovery was as startling as the contact we had with Jodie Foster in the movies. No less than Thomas More, in Utopia, has a discovery had more impact on the view of a society. European society. The society that was advancing away from the status quo of Europe, to the New World. The impact of opening the Euro-centrism of political and philosophy from Rome, Paris, London, Madrid, etc., to a New World? How to describe the potential of this new discovery? From 1492 to 1776 religions, national boundaries, and more importantly ideas, changed.

It's been some time since I've read Utopia, but the idea that something approaching Biblical proportions being possible, here on earth, was advanced. Reading Milton one is filled with ideas of hope and change that were dependent upon the unknown. The stories that came back to Europe, of the native men and women running around half-naked, carrying their children in papooses, living off the land, created a fictional narrative that we still find ourselves subject to, today. But more important than the fictions being created of the New World were the rational narratives finding voice about this important philosophical starting point; the State of Nature.

What we've been led to believe, is that early reports of the inhabitants Europeans found in the New World were denigrated, as naked savages. That is not the case. The inquiry into the West was centered around the comparison between the centrism of feudal and ducal estates, and the dispersion of apparent authority found in these new territories. When the Mayflower hit Massachusetts in  1620, more than an hundred years had passed from the first crossing by Columbus. In the interim, the French had established settlements in the West, as had the Spanish, and Dutch.

Was race an issue in 1492? In 1620? I don't think the question has any merit. Were different people coming into contact? Sure. Were there stark cultural differences? Yes. When a party of 50 Mohicans could wipe out your settlement, was there an issue of race? Or, a difference in who was attempting to assert control?

Race is a by-product of difference. If all your opponents are of a singular outward appearance, then, I guess you may feel that race is an issue. "Look, they are darker, they wear different clothes, and they don't speak our language." Is this racial? Again, I don't think so. "Red men" aren't really red. Not all Indians have "high cheekbones."

And yet, if I was to assert that eastern Indians looked more like Jews, and western Indians looked more like Japanese, don't be surprised to find that a great deal of time and money has been spent in order to inquire whether or not this type of speculation is fanciful or significant. Race is important to some people. But to the recent arrival from Holland, none of this is useful. If you're a Mohawk living in New York today, chances are you've a job waiting for you. Is this racist?

Sexual preference.

If you're a Progressive, what does it say about you when one of your most important issues is about sexual preference? Talk about tongue-in-cheek. I don't know what you've read about Sanger, but she's one of the icons of the modern Progressive movement. Somewhere amongst dwarves and gypsies are homosexuals. That today we find Progressives arm-in-arm with homosexuals should sound a certain clarion call amongst homosexuals. Progressives are quick to turn on those they feel inferior. Just as soon as their authority is unquestioned.


If you're not productive, what is it about you? You live in a land replete with the fruits of productivity, and yet you decry the notion that productivity, being useful to those around you, is a form of discrimination.

So, here are three issues; racism, sexual preference and productivity. These are the themes of the President's re-election campaign.

You know, when you think about it, there's really not so much there, there. Is there?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Learning About Law

I've enjoyed the nascent rise of the Tea Party. I was watching CNBC when Rick Santelli gave his famous rant against the ludicrous use of public funds to bail out real estate speculators who were over-extended at the end of the housing bubble.

Students of history know that farming underwent a bubble in the late 19th century, here in America. Farm prices were rising, crops were rising, and then, we had an economic downturn. Banks were foreclosing on farmers. It was the One Percent against the Ninety-nine. Popular agrarianism, replete with quotations from T. Jefferson were worked over the available media, from stump speeches to newspaper. The social media of the time were replete with messages about how important farming was to the success of the American experience. (As an example, see this item from

Capital is an easy enemy of populism, since populism is generally agreed upon to be pandering to the lowest instincts of a country's population. It isn't hard to win an election when one understands the Bell Curve. When we look at a group's intelligence, and measure the intelligence of that group, there are certain statistical constraints--including fair sampling, randomness and even distribution--that help us derive this curve. Bottom line is, when in comes to intelligence, half of the group is below the mean, half are above. Coming up with a policy that requires broad elections seemingly skews the results of broad-based election in favour of those at the lowest intelligence levels, rather than those above the mean. If you can get those below median to polling places, you can be assured of the outcomes of their votes, since the lowest of ability are probably the most likely to afford themselves of programs that provide for free (taxpayer funded) programs, while the most intelligent amongst us are more likely to see government programs that provide for the least able are most likely to be abused, filled with waste, mis-directed and with less means or success testing than any other government programs.

Try cutting Head Start. A program that since the '60's has had no discernible impact on student scores. Any attempt at cutting Head Start is demogogued as anti-poverty, racist, anti-blfdjsio. It doesn't matter how jumbled the criticism is, Head Start is an anointed program that doesn't deserve examination.

We have many programs that result in screaming under the gaze of criticism.

I have several unimportant hooks that I hang my intellectual hat upon, from time to time. One of these is etymology.

"Criticism, n.1.a The act of criticising, esp. unfavorably; fault finding; censure; as an act incurring criticism. b A critical observation, judgement, or review; a critique; as, Addison's criticims of Paradise Lost.  2. A subtle point or distinction; nicety; subtlety. Obs. 

The choicest delights and criticisms of sin.                             Milton

"3The art of judging or evaluating with knowledge and propriety the beauties and faults of works of art or literature;--extended to similar consideratioin of moral values, of the soundness of scientific  hypotheses and procedures, etc.

   The first principle of criticism, which is, to consider the nature of the piece, and the intent of its author.

"4. The scientific investigation of the origin, text, composition, character, history, etc., of literary documents, esp. the Bible. SEE HIGHER CRITICISM, LOWER CRITICISM. 

"Syn.--See ANIMADVERSION REVIEW. (Webster's International Dictionary.)

Where does criticism come from? The most obvious source would be, critical thinking. It's raining outside, someone says. Is that true? You have no reason to disbelieve the speaker of that utterance, but are you willing to bet an hundred dollars on the proposition, it's raining outside? Once one puts value on an utterance, the reliability of that utterance is transformed. 

It's raining outside. That's what you've been told. I offer to disagree, and in so doing, posit a wager of an hundred dollars. It's not raining, I proffer. And, I'm willing to bet you an hundred dollars that I'm right, and your belief that it's raining outside, is wrong. 

You've been told, or overheard, that it is raining outside. Will you, would you, take my wager? 

We walk outside, the sidewalks are wet, but, it's not raining. Who wins the bet?

We walk outside, the sidewalks are dry, and, it's not raining. Who wins the bet?

We walk outside, the sidewalks are dry, but it's raining. Who wins the bet?

The principle of criticism is, is there fault in the underlying premise? Is your observation of the state of nature of things accurate? Are there parameters that should be understood before one commits to belief, and is there a difference between belief and knowledge? 

Is Head Start a valuable program? Do gay and lesbian parents do as an effective job of parenting as heterosexual parents? Does spending money on stimulus end up with increases in GDP? 

Is the Earth warming?

What is settled science?

Should we bail out bad investors? That was the issue in the late 19th century. In my reading of American history, the reason why these movements faltered was based on the divergence of the American experience from the European experience. It wasn't enough that intellectuals offered someone undergoing the effects of economic contraction a potential tort. Tortious claims can be made under certain circumstances. A tort claim is different from most claims, since it is alleged in tort claims that the result of any action that affects an individual is the responsibility of someone else.

I don't work. I have no claim on anyone else. 

I don't work because I'm purple. I have a claim if I can show that employers don't like me because I'm purple. That I painted myself purple is not an effective claim, since what I'm attempting to show the court is that my mere purpleness has been used as a block against my employment, ergo, I have a tortuous claim against an employer, under the Americans Disabilities Act. 

No fault of the employer--or potential employer--is necessary to be found. Under current law, the ADA, a claim can be filed against any employer who fails to hire Purple Boy if it can be shown that his Purplehood is the cause of his failure to be hired. 

Tortious litigation is the font of Leftism. It is the source of the cultural war between the Left and Right. And, remember, none of this litigation could be possible without the intervention of legislatures, whether state or national, that advance notions of liabilities that heretofore have been unimaginable. Nothing of criticism is offered when a state acts through legislation. Is is dry outside? Is it raining? Did Purple Boy colour himself purple? 

If you study, or have studied law, there is a love of reading, or listening, and understanding of words that I think is necessary to be an effective lawyer. One of the things I enjoyed in studying law was the simple task of reading law; the judgements of the courts. When studying law, the term "Judeo-Hebraic," "Judeo-Christian" or "Christian-Hebraic" takes on a significant, important, defining meaning. That the decisions, or in the tradition of Jews, the Talmudic tradition is, we don't need to re-visit the same question twice. If you're not familiar with the Bible, read the last verse of Judges, "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

You can get all evolutionary and stuff on me, and I'll attempt to remind you that there has been no major shift in how, or how we arrive at, our discoveries of the world around us. I'm just as comfortable reading Augustus or Plato as I am Locke, or even Thoreau. The nature of man hasn't changed in the thousands of years that we've been able to record or retrieve information from those earlier eras. We won't be different in ten years or an hundred years, nor a thousand years from now. We are as truly genetically encoded with how we percieve the world around us as were our forebears thousands of years earlier. What we have been able to accomplish in terms of making the world our domain has been enhanced by our ability to use the technologies we've developed. But who we are, how we feel, how we can become frustrated, how we become angered, all these things remain, as much as I can tell, the same, from generation to generation. What we're currently losing is the ability to disagree, amiably. 

A great deal of this I merit to the rise of the tortuous claim; finding fault in others that the individual resists finding in himself. The meme that "I as an individual am innocent, and that any harm that comes my way is the result of outside forces that should have been restrained." 

I taught my sons early that the first thing that they should find is somebody else to blame. And that seems to be the world is unfolding. Personal responsibility is foolish. Chances are, you're a victim. You just haven't found the appropriate victim class you belong to. (Or, to which you belong.)

Under the screed that you've plowed through is a video I want you to watch. It has to do with the subjects in this post, but most importantly, with some ideas that don't gain access to the public debate, since the subject of this video has to do with God. Not the God of Jews. Not the God of Catholics. Not the God of Muslims. Simply, God. You may not view this video the same way I do, but I think it's an important statement about freedom. When you watch, ask yourself when and how you disagree with the video, and then!

Ask yourself, where did the power to criticize arise? If you find fault in any position regarding truth, where did your critical power find itself, where does your denial or acceptance pin itself? Do you have a bullshit button? What is the source of your BS button? Was it self-developed? Did somebody drive by your house one day and say, "Here's your skepticism. Use it."

When you hear "the science is settled," do you wonder how such a broad statement could be uttered? Does it take the smartest man in the world to say, "the science is settled," or the world's dumbest man? 

It's not my job to show you where your God is. That's above my paygrade. All I can do is show you that whether it's poetry, literature, architecture, chemistry or physics, there is a lot that neither you nor I know. Not to take away that from which you do have knowledge. There are things I know. There are things I believe. I just hope, I don't confuse those things.

Mazal tov.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

American Spring

This is a great time for us to be Americans.

We've been tested by popularity contest rules, and found to be different. The popular boys, and the popular girls, all live in Europe. Or some other place. Just not here.

And, by not being the winners in terms of popularity, we're beginning to see that the fundamentals of being different are important. America has been, and always will be, different than other countries. When we talk about freedoms, they aren't constructs that have limits imposed by caste, creed or belief. If I want to believe that God looks like a spaghetti monster, I'm free to choose that belief. It isn't the beliefs you hold, it is the actions you take that make a difference. I'm free to yell "booga", and yet not free to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. Booga!

The courts of our country have been very careful in their decisions involving out freedoms, as outlined by the Constitution of the United States. Freedoms are discernible from rights. America lives as America, based upon our understanding of what makes us free. Freedom is the natural state of Man.

If you have a political opinion, and haven't read John Locke, here's your chance. This is a link to the Second Treatise of Civil Government.(You can get the First Treatise here, but the heavy work of Locke is in the 2nd.)

I think it does help to understand Locke if you have any type of religious belief. Not the twelve step kind of higher power, but some belief that allows you to diminish your own self when contemplating everything else. Sort of a Douglas Adams view, where we can't possibly know what the answer of the ultimate question is, since we don't know how to frame the question, itself.

Why is freedom so important? The question isn't trivial, in fact, I think that the argument against freedom is one of the major motivating factors for the re-birth of Americanism, known as the Tea Party. The argument against freedom is simple; we must control those who would harm others.

This is a pretty harsh judgement against humanity.

I think it is the constant thrumming of those on the left, however.

Let's take John, a young man, learning his craft in a business that works to help others achieve success. John works for a man who has years of experience helping businesses gain success, but John, a newbie, isn't sure about either his own skills, or the worthiness of the path he is beginning to undertake. Why should, or would, we, help a business gain success, when in the world of business, we have an undercurrent that at least states that, "corporations are evil."

The whole idea of the 99 is that there are "us," and there is that one-percent that isn't "us," that makes them separate from us, and different from us. The "us" is those of us who make less in annual earnings less than the one-percent of us who make earnings in the top one-percent of earnings.  For those who don't work or earn anything, I guess the bottom of this scale is nada, Nothing. Zip. Zero. Why is the One-Percent different from the bottom of the earnings scale? This should be easy. The Top One Percent is doing something. The bottom one percent is doing nothing.


I have pancake batter, an hot stove and a spatula.

I don't make pancakes.

What is the harm of not making pancakes?

Exactly. What is the harm of choosing to be unproductive? What is the harm of smoking marijuana? What is the harm of writing poetry that nobody reads? What is the harm of making ugly sculpture?

Choosing to be simply unproductive isn't a sin. Harry R. Truman remains a name in Northwestern lore based upon his decision to not take action. He was free. He made a decision. He is, and will remain iconic as a part of the lore of the Northwest, based upon his unwillingness to cede his personal ownership of that piece of land he lived upon, against the the warnings of those who advised him to leave. He was free. He lived free, and died free.

Freedom is the underlying theme of everything we do in America. I choose. You choose.

That's all. Choice.

There is no other country in the world where an individual's choice is so revered. And nothing is more revered than an individual's choice of his religious beliefs. We live in the one country on the face of the earth, where no one's individual choice of religious belief can ever be interfered with. As much as one may disagree with the original Mayflower inhabitants, the Plymouth Rock is important to our American heritage as the first step taken on this continent by humans wishing to express their own view of religion, without any constraint.

As iconic as are many events in our nation's history may be, this singular step onto the shores of America remains one of the fundamental steps in the evolution of our nation's legal and cultural foundations. From The Mayflower, to William Penn, religion has been, and remains, one of our nation's highest cultural values. Tied to the value of religious freedom came the values of Protestantism. Which is, in my view, the understanding that a man's relationship with the Holy Father is a relationship best defined by the individual.

The individual.

Yes, it can be inferred that I don't believe that all religious sects, traditions, or movements accurately reflect the relationship that I have with my God. That doesn't make me right, and others wrong. It does reflect on the wisdom of our Founding Father's reluctance to establish a State Religion when they founded our Nation.

I was watching a commenter the other day--looked for a cite, it was Kudlow I watched, couldn't find it--on MSNBC. The conversation evolved around recent regulatory changes, from the EPA, to Dodd-Frank, and the issue was, when does regulation move from common sense to devolutionary extremism?

The question from the Left was, don't you want to be protected?

Well, do you, punk?


Again, we're coming back to the essence of what it is to be an American. What should we teach our young Johnnie about America, and the people who live and work in America?

In microeconomics, we teach the simplest transactions as examples of what are the rational characteristics of transactions. I have two apples, you have two carrots. I would like a carrot, and am willing to trade an apple for a carrot. If you're willing to trade a carrot for an apple, we have a transaction. Nobody was coerced. And, since I have something I wanted, and the one I traded with has something he wanted, we're both better off!

Imagine! Capitalism means traders are better off for trades!

Regulation would mean that someone outside of the trade would determine the "proper" trade. The regulator may not like carrots, and would impose a carrot tariff on apple trades. Only if one could get two carrots for an apple would the trade be approved by the regulatory agency. Are either of the two traders better off? Well, yes, the carrot trader.

But who should determine the value of any trade? Investment? Financial transaction?

Don't you want to be protected?

I don't. But that is the hiatus from freedom the Left is currently engaging us with. I can decide for myself what anything I want to purchase is worth, from banking services to shoes. Are you sure you want government regulation transactions? Do you want to be told you can't buy, or sell, a twenty-ounce soft drink?

Freedom is the natural state of Man. No matter how much you may want we to agree with you, if I don't there's not a thing, short of my death, than can divorce me from those ideas I hold as true. Just as the Apple man wishes to trade his apple for a carrot, the intervention of the regulator does nothing more, nor less, than distort the markets for apples and carrots. And the regulator gains no advantage, other than extorting markets to reflect the tastes of the regulator. Again, it's a matter of tastes and preferences, only now, it's the tastes and preferences of the regulators, rather than the market participants. And how, again, exactly, does the regulator have superiority when it comes to tastes and preferences? Did he wake up in the morning with superiour skills, insights and preferences?

Don't protect from the traders I do business with. If he's a liar or cheat, you and I will find that out. Hopefully, sooner than later. Where is it, that I need the protection of a regulator?

Er, well, perhaps. What is John Corazine doing today?

Oh, he's a Democrat.

Never mind.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

White House Explodes Secrets

Didja know?

Doya care?

Oh, you're a Leftist.


A LInk For T.D.

I've added an e-mail address to my profile.

Here's a link I wanted to forward to T.D., but find I don't have his address.

Take it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nature Abhors A Vacuum

Scratch a Leftie and you'll find out how deep are their leadership skills. As a group comfortable with sitting around in circles repeating the words of those speaking, their commitment to communetarianism is their most starkly defining feature, or, characteristic.

No individual rules. The group rules. Spend a few minutes with Lisa Fithian to learn how this process works.


See how that works? No one is asserting. It's consent based upon the lack of a dissent. And the Brownian motion of a movement proceeds. Without definition.

There's a reason why I don't smoke marijuana. When you're high, the reasoning being offered above "makes sense." When you come off your drug induced stupor, those really smart ideas? Aren't so smart. Not that you need be high to accede to this type of foolishness. Remember, this is a communitarian movement, and our public schools are putting droves of little communitarians out on our streets. Youngsters who worked in groups to achieve the tasks required of their teachers. (The funny thing is, and the kids know, it was usually one or two of the kids in the group who did all the heavy lifting. The rest of the group were rewarded for their association with the right kids. It's okay to be a minion!)

Group projects. It's not the individual, it's the group.

So, when a great political figure comes along who speaks the language of the communitarian, there is resonance. Teh Won. He promised you stuff. And all you have to do is, er, well...not block?

Here's where the obligatory Obama Money video would be inserted. But you've already seen that. The more disturbing video is here. You want stuff? Take it. Unless you're blocked, you're good!


The girls wanted money. They saw money. They took money. The process? Sheer elegance.An absolute disregard for them.  These two young women noticed a vacuum.

This last video is illustrative of the process that occurred behind the scenes as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was assembled. Let's call it Bobble Head Democracy. (Christina Aguilera describes the process in this video.)

Get it? You don't get it?

What do you call a bill assembled by a group of bobble heads, where everyone is equal and nobody leads?
A clusterfuck, you say?

And, it turns out, that is what the PPACA turns out to be. And worse, for this assemblage of bobble heads, there is one, ultimate controlling authority. And it isn't the Supreme Court. It is, the Constitution.

That Congress acted like a couple of dumb chicks stealing money from Girl Scouts shouldn't be surprising. It isn't surprising that members of Congress--think former Speaker--are out and about complaining that the Court will overturn Congress. They still don't get it. It isn't the Court that stands in the way. It's the Constitution. Lex supra legis.
You can't simply take the money because it's there. Even though, on first glance, there's nothing to stop you.

It's Constitutional protected behaviour to behave as if you are a bobble head. In America, it's okay to be dumb as dirt. Your dumb as dirtness is politically protected, just as my dumbness is politically protected. (See 1st Amendment.)

What you're not protected from is the consequences of your dumbness. Even if you didn't mean to have to deal with the consequences of your actions. The consequences occur outside your personal wish pool. Those two sweet girlies didn't have a clue to the consequences of their actions, even post. Good Lord, where are the parents of these two girlies?

Nature abhors a vacuum. Lefties love a vacuum. 

It was a vacuum in leadership that created the opportunity for Russian expansion into Afghanistan. What year was that? 1979? Who was our President that year?

It was our first taste of communitarian leadership. It wasn't, alas, our last.

Just as a lack of leadership from President Carter created the conditions--lack of leadership--for the Afghan invasion and the fall of the Shah, other movements around the world were also growing. It wasn't until the election of a leader, and the imposition of the Reagan Doctrine, that these movements were begun to be rolled back.The Left attempted to block.

Public schools, universities, Noam Chomskey all screamed over the return of a strong national leader for the United States. The return of national leadership signaled the return of America's international leadership. That is, America stepped up to fill the vacuum of leadership in regions across the globe; the Middle East, Asia, Central and Southern America. The Left continues to characterize this international leadership as Imperialism.

"When you talk all I hear is
"Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah
"Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah"

Imperialism. Wah, wah, wah. Not much of a blindingly brilliant international foreign policy, but to the bobble heads in Congress, or in the White House, blindingly brilliant seems frustratingly hard.

Nature abhors a vacuum. So, it no surprise that former President Bill Clinton has decided to step up, and begin to lead the nation.

You can watch the interview of Bill Clinton by CNBC's Maria Bartiromo here.

So while President Campaigner and Golfer in Chief continues to run around, increasing communitarianism, former President Clinton leads. Because, nature abhors a vacuum. And President Bill knows that leadership is simply stepping up and taking a position. Leading. Quite a contrast to our Chauncy Gardner president.  Nature abhors a vacuum.

In a Clinton/Obama proxy battle, the Clinton candidate won in New Jersey.  President Obama flew over Wisconsin. My friend at Lumberjacks takes note of the death of democracy.

The Left worships the vacuum. Lacking the vacuum means an end to vacuous demonstrations of vacuousness. Without the vacuum, we're relegated to relying upon our elected leaders to lead. Oh, the humanity. Wah, wah, wah.

How's that hope and change stuff working out? Finally figuring out that not leading isn't a form of leadership? The former President has it figured. All he needs to do is step up, and he's a more powerful leader than the elected Won.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Here's Stanford's code:

"Plagiarism and the Honor Code

"Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source. The term source includes not only books, periodicals and websites, but also lecture notes, drawings, films and other formats of information, such as computer programs, music and graphics. If you do not credit the author, you are committing theft.

"Be aware that plagiarism includes much more than just copying someone's work. Though it may be unintentional, quoting, paraphrasing or adapting material, and presenting someone else's idea, opinion, or theory as your own, are all examples of plagiarism.

"Remember that ethical scholarship demands that you acknowledge the original author.

"Honor Code

"At Stanford, all students are subject to the Honor Code regarding academic conduct. Adopted in 1921, the Honor Code shifts the responsibility to the students for not giving nor receiving unpermitted aid in any work that will be used by instructors as a basis for grading. Violation of the Honor Code results in serious penalties, so familiarize yourself with it.

"Interpretations of the Stanford Honor Code
underscores the intent of the Dual Submission Policy which prohibits submitting the same or substantially similar work in more than one class without the approval of the instructor."

Has Elizabeth Warren engaged in plagerism?

What have you heard?

In the Trenches In the Republican War Against Women

The frontlines.

While national news outlets are picking up the hue and cry of Republican efforts to keep women down, one needs to give an hat tip to our Democrat Governor, Teh Kitz. Susan Castillo has been over her head--drowning--since taking office. In a brilliant move, the Governor decided to create a non-Constitutional office to replace her.Chief Education Officer.

Imagine the Attorney General's response, if the Governor appointed a Real Guy In Charge of Law in some state position. Fortunately, he doesn't have to do this at State Forestry, since the current guy is Man Who Hugs Trees and Governor's Butt.

That the Governor hired a man to displace--without Constitutional authority--the state's chief education officer because she was a woman, puts him on my team in the Republican War Against Women. Now we don't have to worry about wage disparity. The Governor put the coyote on her. She's gone.

I remember Kitz' press release:

“'Dr. Crew is the right leader at the right time for Oregon,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “We’re at a critical moment, and Dr. Crew has the experience, the national reputation for innovation, and the courage for change to deliver better results for students.'

“'Oregon is well-positioned to boost achievement for ALL students,” said Dr. Crew. “But we must not shy away from the difficult work and change necessary to ensure children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and many more are graduating from high school and prepared for post-secondary education and training. I can’t wait to get started.'”

"The Chief Education Officer was created by legislation passed in 2011 as part of a package of education reforms meant to ensure that by 2025, all Oregon students will graduate from high school, 40 percent will get at least two years of post-secondary education or training and another 40 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. For the first time in Oregon, funding and governance is aligned for the entire continuum of public education, from pre-K to college and careers.'" (See here, .pdf.)

I loved getting the Superintendent's last e-mail, letting me know that she would be traveling, again. From her office's last press release:

"Week of May 7 – Superintendent Susan Castillo traveled back from Beijing, China. The Chinese Ministry of Education invited and hosted a small group of education leaders from the United States to participate in the 3rd Annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Beijing. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, the highest-ranking woman in the Chinese government, co-chaired this event purposed with engaging state education leaders with provincial education leaders in order to form new or strengthen existing partnerships in the areas of K12 education. This year’s education focus was on standards; quality, including teacher quality; and equity. While visiting Beijing, Susan met with high ranking officials from the Confucius Institute, also known as Hanban. The Oregon Department of Education has a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanban confirming a partnership to provide teacher training programs, educational materials, and support through various other resources. Susan also spoke on an education panel at the 2012 China Overseas Studies Forum that was hosted by the Tencent QQ – a social network based in China with approximately half a billion users.

"Week of May 14 – The Superintendent traveled to Pendleton to visit Washington Elementary School, a 2012 Celebrating Student Success Champion; met with local educators for a listening session and to share updates on education reform; and met with Les Minthorn, Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Susan also participated in the State Board of Education meeting.

"Week of May 21 – Susan will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for the Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession Conference with a team from Oregon consisting of: Hanna Vaandering and Lindsey Capps of OEA, Betsy Miller-Jones of OSBA and Chuck Bennett from COSA. This conference is focused on highlighting innovative approaches – at both the State and district levels – to improving student achievement by dramatically increasing the stature of the teaching profession and the number of highly effective teachers in our nation’s schools."

I'm glad she had a chance to travel. She was a total waste of time. I don't know if you ever knew Verne Duncan, and chances are, you heard--if you heard--things that may have alarmed you. Me? He was like a Jesuit priest. Teach. Demand learning. Make them think.  Your job, as a teacher, is to challenge your students, not to ease the way. Susan Castillo? Well, she worked in T.V. for a while, and she had an Hispanic surname. 


Oregon is doing fine, if you're asking. Just a travel tour of blind men, driving the State's Ferrari.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Upcoming Bump

When the Supreme Court announces its decision on Obamacare will result in a bump for our economy. The return to predictability will change the landscape in America, as business owners will no longer have to continue to create defensive positions for their enterprises. For those who live in states where there has been greater passivity in terms of working to meet the directives of those parts of Obamacare that directed the creation of state exchanges for health care insurance will see their health care costs decline. Those states that have aggresively pushed to meet those goals--like Oregon--will see their health care costs continue to increase. In the long run, those states that a freed from the economic and regulatory constraints imposed by Obamacare will see a quicker return to jobs creation and lowered market costs for the entire range of services and goods they consume.

Today's jobs report isn't surprising. What is going to be surprising is the revision that will occur within the next six weeks, when we find out the numbers reported today turn out to be worse that originally reported. This trend has been reported on. (Wall Street Journal)

Last August, a friend of mine who actively trades equities and I were talking about market levels. We agreed that the trading range for stocks on the Dow was 10950 to 11950. In recent weeks we've been trading above that level, but never more than one day's trading to 11950. At the moment, the Dow is trading at 12173.

The worst trading days were August 4, 2011; 513 points.

October 22, 2008; 514 points.

August 8, 2011; 634 points.

October 9, 2008; 679 points.

December 1, 2008; 680 points.

October 15, 2008; 733 points.

September 29, 2008; 778 points.

Now we're watching the Bataan Death March for the Euro, as Greece prepares for the re-introduction of the Drachma.

Ten-year yeilds are at historic lows, today dropping below 1.45%. Why are rates so low? This morning Rick Santilli asked, "what would be the price of Facebook, if 75% of Facebook stock was being held at Fort Knox for five years?" That is, taking so much off the market, how would you price the remaining stock? Well, that's what's happening in our money markets, as our government continues to issue bonds that they end up holding. Who is the biggest bond holder of U.S. debt in the world? (Rilly? You don't know? You rilly should find out.)

With the destruction of Obamacare, a gush of spending will stop immediately. Certainty for job creators returns. Insurance companies can drop their rates. Health care costs will drop.

Oregon, of course, is on a different path. Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations will continue to drive health care spending by the state, as Dr. Dogood pushes nanny-state solutions for "those with the greatest need." This in the face of declining federal funding, Oregon has committed itself to a path of increased costs as programs designed to help "those most at risk" receive increased costs to affect an improvement in health care delivery to Medicaid patients.

With the repeal of Obamacare, you'll see a bump across the nation. That bump will be muted in Oregon, since we've become one of the early adopters of Obamacare, and will continue down the path toward socialized medicine on our own. Of course, to sustain this path will require greater sacrifices from the productive class. The private sector. But when you have liberal masters, you come to expect no less from the munchkins in Salem. They're little people with grandiose dreams. And they'll keep pushing us toward the cliff. It's what they do.

Well, have a nice day. I've gotta get back to work. It's going to take around 90 days for the death of Europe to felt impacting the average American's life. I just want to make enough before then to weather the upcoming financial storm.