Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Democracy Needs a Dermatologist

Democracy’s Warts and Open Sores

©2012 Ross Williams

Headline: Pakistan Taliban Leader Killed in US Drone Strike

Article Synopsis:
Hakimullah Mehsud, who the US claimed to have killed almost two years ago, was also reportedly killed on January 12th in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Radio transmissions overheard consisted of Taliban operative discussing his death in the recent attack, and also scolds to not discuss such things on the radio. Taliban officials publically deny the rumor.

Lashing Out: Pakistan is the only nation to have recognized the Taliban’s sovereign authority in Afghanistan from the mid ‘90s until late ’01. The Taliban is a group of mostly non-Afghan religious zealots who descended upon Afghanistan in the power vacuum left by a retreating Soviet occupation force in order to create a Sunni Muslim theocracy.

The fact that they are just across the border from Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim theocracy is a fact not lost on Iran, or among those groups of muslims who use each other as target practice when a good old Western, American-Israeli target doesn’t present itself. Sunnis and Shi’ites have been killing each other since the Prophet Mohammed’s funeral ended, and have only briefly called a truce when they could scrape up a common enemy.

The Sunni Taliban has been bombing Shi’a mosques in Afghanistan, and has recently begun practicing on what is seemingly their only semi-friend in the world: the Pakistani government.

Conclusion: Time to withdraw from Afghanistan. When enemies and quasi-enemies start taking aim at each other, our involvement is not needed.

Headline: Al Qaida Captures Town Near Yemeni Capital

Article Synopsis:
Hooligans from the birthplace of Wahabi-sect Sunni yahoory have overrun army positions around the town of Radda, captured the town, and freed prison inmates – who later joined the al Qaida militia. The US withdrew support from Yemen’s president Saleh, and his anti-al Qaida campaign, late last summer after discovering that Saleh was an unelected tyrant. Saleh is scheduled to give up power this spring.

How Often can Our Face be Spited? Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia, in the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula, is where the fundamentalist group of Sunni islam, called Wahabi or, sometimes, Salafi, was invented in the late 18th century; Wahabi is considered rude for some reason. Wahabism views any non-literal interpretation of the Koran to be blasphemy, and views any government which concedes the equality of a non-muslim government to be blasphemous as well. Veneration of historical sites – such as the Kabalah – is considered idolatry.

Wahabi sect Sunnis famously collaborated with the Turkish rulers of the Ottoman empire until the early 20th century – as the Turks ruled a self-superior muslim empire – which put the Arab Wahabis at odds with the rest of the Arabs under Turkish rule ... who called the Wahabis “collaborators”. When the Saudi tribe was handed control of most of the Arabian peninsula by the British after the British-aided Arab uprising against Turkish rule in the 1920s, the Wahabi have had a love-hate relationship with the Saudi government: they hate the Saudi government when the Saudis do anything but what the Wahabis want; they love the Saudi government when it does such things as bulldoze the grave of Mohammed’s mother.

Wahabis seek a new Caliphate, a muslim theocratic rule of the known world. During the last Caliphate, the known world was considerably smaller; today it covers the entire planet. As a result, any government which does not have similar aspirations to muslim world dominance such as all governments besides Afghanistan from 1995 through 2001, Iran since 1979, Saudi Arabia when it’s bulldozing historical shrines, and lawless wastes like Somalia and, now, Egypt, are considered by the Wahabis to be part of the problem. And nations like Iran, which itself aspires to muslim theocratic domination of the world but is the wrong type of islam to be doing the dominating, doesn’t count.

Yemen’s president Saleh, in a rare bit of clarity after 9-11, decided that his personal bread was buttered on America’s side, and actively – if impolitely and inexpertly – assisted in the targeting of al Qaida hooligans. With the change of US administration, however, less emphasis was placed on achieved results and more on personal character of those we deal with, and Saleh’s despotism has become more important to the United States than what he does with it.

Conclusion: Since breaking Yemen off from US military assistance several months ago, al Qaida has wrested control of up to a third of the nation from Yemen’s reluctant army – many of whom are Wahabi themselves. Unless the strategy is to allow al Qaida an inhospitable haven for their theocratic despotry which can be easily surrounded and obliterated ... which I do not give the current US government credit enough to think up on its own ... this would seem to be another inept idealism masquerading as Obama’s Foreign Policy.

Headline: Egypt’s Transition to Democracy Grows Messier

Article Synopsis:
Egypt’s military imposed a “transitional government” upon the departure of US ally Hosni Mubarak. The original timetable for handing government control to an elected government was in the middle of 2012, but the military is showing signs that it is no longer willing to do so. Mohamed ElBaradie has shocked the nation by declaring that he will not seek Egypt’s presidency.

Democracy Yes, Elections No: The ineptly staggered parliamentary election between late November and early January resulted in the islamist group Muslim Brotherhood collecting nearly 50% of the seats, and the ultra-islamist Salafi party – Wahabi – al Qaida – collecting just over 20%.

Seventy percent of the Egyptian parliament, when it’s finally seated in a few months, will belong to those who have spent decades or longer actively attempting to bring down Middle Eastern governments that do not seek to bring down western civilization, ... and bringing down western civilization as well. The other 30% of parliament is divvied up among scads of disparate and likely divisive vaguely “liberal” or “leftist” parties.

The concern now is that the majority Brotherhood party, with or without its slightly more strident ally in the Salafi party, has cut a deal with the Egyptian military to leave it in control, put up a figurehead president to give the illusion of democratic validity, and reconstruct an effective dictatorship in Egypt ... but this time, a dictatorship which is not friendly to the West, to Israel, to tourism and Egypt’s economy, or to anyone else except muslim theocrats.

One of Egypt’s more prominent activists, Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, upon shaking the cobwebs of idealistic delusion from his head, remarked, “We feel that elections now are not the best framework toward democratic rule.” No shit, Shady. I could have told you that months ago and, in fact, did.

I hate being right all the time.

Conclusion: You don’t start a revolution without having, already in place, a system to replace the deposed government with. Toppling the throne and then hoping for the best is the best way of getting the worst. History is full of examples too numerous to recount, including the French Revolution and Watergate.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blowing Bubbles and Chances

Blowing Bubbles and Chances
©2012 Ross Williams

Headline: Fed Missed Housing Bust

Article Synopsis:
In March of 2006, incoming Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke saw no evidence that falling home prices would have any major consequence to the US economy, according to Federal Reserve meeting transcripts released by the Fed this week. Within three months, Bernanke was convinced there was a danger, though small. A young Fed official, Timothy Geithner, maintained until late in 2006 that there would be no “collateral damage” from the housing bubble, even if it did burst as Bernanke, by that time, considered possible. Mr Geithner is now Obama’s Treasury Secretary.

The One-Eyed Fed Chairman: In March of 2006, banks had long known the danger posed by continued compliance with one of the Frank-Dodd provisions that compelled mortgage lenders to ignore credit risk when making homes loans. Falling home prices was due, mainly, to the same force that created the sharp rise in home prices in the several years before: idiot government regulations on mortgage lending practices.

When banks were required to stop considering credit risk in the mortgage process, more people could buy houses – and houses that exceeded their ability to pay for. Home prices skyrocketed. When those with bad credit or exceeded credit started defaulting on their home loans, home prices started falling.

Home prices fall in only a few circumstances, none of which are desirable, and which are effectively limited to:
1] aerial bombardment;
2] apocalypse; and
3] economic collapse.

Since the influx of terrorists has refused to materialize despite DHS’s sober predictions, probably due to TSA protecting us from cupcake frosting [see below], there was no real or figurative military danger to our nation’s houses that would cause their values to plummet.

While a certain section of our population at any given moment believes the end is nigh, the housing bubble managed to inflate even over the millennium change, which saw the relatively large crowd of Millennialist chowderheads, Old-Time Religion and New Age Pansy versions, both, ducking for cover.

That leaves ... economic collapse.

For a group of bankers to dismiss the key sign of the most significant event of the generation in their world and ours, and to refuse to see the underlying cause of it, is like ... simile fails me.

Conclusion: Not to make too many political innuendos here, but ... it was the Bush appointee who thought that maybe there’d be problems; the dickweed who became the Obama appointee denied it the whole time, even as it was happening.

Headline: Aon to Move Corporate HQ to London

Article Synopsis:
The world’s largest insurance brokerage firm is moving its multi-national corporate headquarters from Chicago IL USA to London England; the headquarters for “Aon America” will remain in Chicago. Aon will reincorporate in England. The move is to “gain access to emerging markets”.

The Rat and the Sinking Ship: We have seen US government regulations create a financial meltdown in our country by requiring banks to do phenomenally stupid things that caused those banks to make bad loans and lose money. In the last few years, idiots in our government finally woke up enough to realize what the banks had known for over a decade: the regulations were phenomenally stupid. The government started throwing money hand over fist at the banks which had lost money, trying to cover its tracks. A number of those banks failed anyway.

Then that portion of the American voters which believes, against all known evidence, that government can do no wrong blamed the banks for doing what the government required them to do rather than the government for requiring it to be done in the first place, and the government saw an easy out: implicate the whole financial sector. It’s not government ineptitude and busy-bodying behind it; it’s purely the greed of large financial corporations.

Couple this Perfect Conspiracy with a state of Illinois that would rather raise corporate taxes by 50% than stop spending money, and a US Congress that created the world’s highest corporate tax rate while giving freebies out to “favored” industries, it doesn’t take an MBA to read the writing on the wall and realize that everyone in the now highly disfavored financial sector, which includes insurance and insurance brokerage, is going to get fleeced in America very very shortly.

Conclusion: When contrasted with a collapsing market, a flea market is “emerging”.

Headline: ‘Wicked’ Cupcake Flies High After TSA Seizure

Article Synopsis:
A “cupcake in a jar” was seized by a TSA agent in Las Vegas in December. The agent claimed the frosting was a gel, and more than 3 ounces of gels and liquids are prohibited. The cupcake uses a red velvet recipe and is baked into an 8 ounce jelly jar, and was named National Velvet; it is being remarketed as National (Security) Velvet, and internet sales have skyrocketed.

Wicked Defensive: The cupcake is made by a small bakery in Boston called Wicked Good Cupcakes, and their product had been taken to Las Vegas by a media and advertising consultant, and was being brought back to Boston along with a hummus sandwich and a bag of cherry tomatoes. The cupcake made it past security in Boston on the flight to Vegas, but on the return trip the frosting attracted the attention of the Trained Ape while the gooey hummus sandwich and cherry tomatoes did not.

Apparently hummus is not a gel or a liquid while frosting is. God only knows what, if anything, was passing through the Ape’s mind as he considered the tomatoes, which are both gel and liquid in a thin tomato skin, often with a fuse-like stem coming out the top.

TSA maintains their farcical position despite the inherent contradictions, stretches of truth, and misrepresentations of reality necessary to make it. ...what the rest of the world would call “lies”, but which passes, in these government circles, as “security”. TSA maintains this position with, presumably, a straight face, though they are undoubtedly furiously crossing their fingers each time they emerge onto their website to defensively reiterate it. Terrorists will use everyday items to bomb our planes, they exhort.

Frosting is made with sugar and butter, cream or milk, and whipped until it’s pasty, and this constitutes a ‘gel’ to a pinheaded Ape who can’t cook; hummus is made from smashed chick peas with olive oil and spices and whipped until it, too, is pasty, but this does not constitute a ‘gel’ to the same Ape who can’t cook.

Probably lost in all this is that hummus is a Middle Eastern food staple, but not terribly popular among that type of American likely to find employment with the TSA.

Conclusion: Drop the pretense; the Trained Ape was hungry.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Of Monkeys and Porches

Of Monkeys and Porches
©2012 Ross Williams

Chicago’s Cardinal George, sometime before Christmas, made a comment to the Chicago media reaffirming the Catholic church’s stance on homosexuality, and during the course of that reaffirmation the good Cardinal likened the gay community to the Ku Klux Klan. He was referring to their ability, like the Klan one time had, of intimidating others into acquiescence with their “agenda”.

But all many people heard is that gays, according to the Catholic church, were like the Klan; then they stopped listening.

Intellectually, I can understand why someone would stop listening – it’s an emotional knee-jerk to a rather foolish simile, and many people do not possess the brains to set aside their emotionalism. Not that the simile is necessarily incorrect. The Klan did indeed, and for decades, intimidate many people of otherwise good conscience into silence through fear of violence, though it should be noted that the Klan no longer has this ability; they have been rendered functionally irrelevant. They intimidate very few of us any longer. They are a wildcat declawed, hissing and spitting to no one but themselves.

One would have to be in serious denial to fail to see – and seriously dishonest to refuse to see ­– that some groups of people in America today are effectively above criticism of any kind. Would-be critics are cowed into silence through the imposition of social guilt. Among those groups are, yes, homosexuals. You criticize homosexuals, you are immoral, you are a homophobe.

Pat denunciation of critics, guilted into silence, has become a cottage industry among emotional knee jerks who feign enlightenment; its historical use had been limited to The Church. A significantly better analog to the manipulation of the social conscience in the name of one or more brands of civil rights would have been to claim that the gay community was, in fact, like the Catholic Church more than the Klan. The Klan intimidated with physical threat; the Church intimidated with guilt.

George was arguably correct. But seeing as he undoubtedly had a considerable amount of time at his prior disposal to formulate an explanation as to why the Catholic church maintains its doctrinal quibble with homosexuality, he has no excuse for failing to intellectually comprehend that a great many people hearing his Klan explanation would emotionally respond the way they did. It was utterly predictable.

True to form, Chicago’s gay community reacted with outrage and righteous indignation. And the same pointless and dull cycle of taking offense, demanding apology, and pouting all the while was reaffirmed at the same time as the church’s dinosauric doctrine.

As far as I’m concerned, the Chicago gay community missed a terrific opportunity to rid itself of their entrenched faux piety and take a step forward. You can’t prevent stupidity, but you can mock the stupid. And George was stupid even if he wasn’t altogether incorrect.

Non-violent change comes to institutions only when they are shown to be foolish – as happened with the Klan, not to mention several doctrinal follies of the Church – not when they are shown to be wrong. An institution can always rationalize why being wrong is actually right and the smart thing to do: witness TSA. But when they are shown to be foolish, when they are laughed at, when they are mocked and made irrelevant ... doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong. Institutions can withstand criticism; criticism often makes them stronger by creating an issue to steel themselves against. They crumble under mockery.

Chicago’s gays should have kept their prissy mouths shut about how ridiculously “offensive” it was to be likened to the Klan, and instead showed up to Catholic Mass wearing pink, yellow and rainbow colored bedsheets [plaid flannel for the lesbians] with cowl hoods – assless chaps optional. Here’s your Klan, god-boy; how ya likin’ it.

Cardinal George would have been rendered a laughing stock overnight, and Chicago’s gay community would have been celebrated for their inventive response to a stupid statement. But instead, we were treated to yet another tired rehash of mindless creed versus weepy self-pity. Boring! Boring, predictable and non-productive.

Also non-productive is hanging onto outdated outrage. A recent internet discussion I was late in attending had a goodly number of individuals all a-lather about someone who had come by to ask a question about children, which he referred to as porch monkeys.

Despite my fondness for being aware of idiomatic terms and phrases, I had never heard this combination of words before, and my initial reaction was, “What a fantastic way to describe the impish playfulness of children of a certain age.” It was clear that children were being referred to, and in a not obviously scandalous or offensive manner.

It wasn’t until later in the discussion – when some of the participants had gotten well on their way into a full-on froth – that I googled the term and learned that among its uses was [and I stress was] “a lazy black person”. The image that it evoked was one who sat idly on his porch and did nothing productive.

And ... well ... okay. I can see that, ... I guess. Though it takes quite a bit of imagination to be sure: the image conveyed by the “monkey” half of the porch monkey phrase tends to be a bit more active than “sitting idly” would seem to indicate. Monkeys bounce around and swing from branches; wouldn’t porch monkeys bounce around and swing from porch rails? Grease monkeys bounce around automobiles, don’t they?

But regardless, the context of the comment being criticized was clearly referring to children, and in no way that I, try as I might, could see any racial specificity. It was a once-racist idiom used non-racistly; it was racially neutered. This is the natural progression of language and an event that those of good conscience should rejoice in.

Yet the maker of the comment was called a racist and virulently so, and I became puzzled.

Context is critical. Our ability to discern context means the difference between our being brain damaged or not. A deliberate refusal to discern context , and for arguably the most idiotic of motivations, politics, marks the difference between an ideologue and a rational human being.

Even a dog, as the saying goes, knows the difference between being kicked and being tripped over. If a dog responded to being tripped over by biting the ankle of the klutz who tripped and anyone who came to his aid, wouldn’t we impound the dog and euthanize it? A lot of the time, yes we would. Dogs which cannot tell such crucial differences are dangerous.

So why don’t we do that for people who refuse to discern context? They’re just as dangerous. They propagate static notions that perhaps have not been relevant to society at large for decades, and which acts to prevent society from growing the hell up.

Nothing is static, and that is especially true with language. Meaning shifts over time, usually slowly but sometimes quite rapidly. It doesn’t matter what a word or phrase meant 30, 40 or 50 years ago. What matters more is what it means now, today. What matters most is what the speaker intends by using it.

Speaker intention is gauged by context. If the listener is incapable of gauging context, he is brain damaged; he’s not even got the wits of a dog. If the speaker refuses to gauge context and declares that the word or phrase itself is the only thing that matters, then he’s being a pig-headed asshole of a type that we would, frankly, be better off without. Pig-headed assholes were the ones who gave us presumptively rude terms for each other in the first place and it’s other pig-headed assholes who refuse to allow the language to absorb and repurpose the terms to something that is useful but not presumptively rude.

How many Welshmen get fighting mad at the phrase “welsh on a bet”? It was coined in the 19th century in the first place because the Welsh were considered thoroughly dishonest [by the English, who actually were themselves]. And while it may rankle a bit to know its etymological origin if one is, like I am, Welsh, it’s a useful term that has ceased having anything specific to do with the Welsh long before the year 1900.

How many Romanians or Balkan Egyptians start bleeding from their eyes when someone talks of being “gypped”? It was first used centuries ago to allude to the Gypsies’ supposed thievery. It has also stopped denoting Gypsies in any meaningful way.

How many people who use “welsh” or “gyp” today are accused of racism [technically, ethnicism] for using these terms? The short answer would be zero.

Unless you consider it fun like I do to look up the origins of words, you won’t even know how the word started. Even if you do know that “it refers to a group of people”, you don’t likely understand the purpose of using “welsh” to describe someone who skips out on his debts – the historical motivation is not linguistically relevant and is excluded from the etymology. You cannot be racist without knowing why the term means what it does – the racism is manifest in using the term for that reason only. Using it for any other reason is, by definition, NOT racist; it is, as most, careless and innocuous.

I continually hear people say that we need to get over certain events and circumstances from our past. And that is very true. But the ones saying this are invariably clueless how to accomplish it. They advise getting over the past by clinging to it and every term and artifact associated with it. They treat those unsavory aspects of the past as if it were a life raft giving purpose and validation to their individual politics.

Worse, they treat the past as if it were current, thrusting past motivation upon individuals who are ignorant of the motivation and may not have been – and likely weren’t – even born. They cast the past in stone and don’t allow its terms to migrate into the future ... or even, for that matter, the present.

You get over the past by getting over it: leave it in the past. Dwelling on it means that you are living at a dead stop at some point in the past, which is a personal problem not appropriate to impose on others either by threat of force as the Klan once did, or by imposition of social guilt which many self-involved false-enlighteneds use today. Dwelling on it is the embodiment of stupidity.

I cannot prevent stupidity, but I can mock the stupid. I actually enjoy doing so.

Let the porch monkeys swing. They’re having more fun in the present than some people are having in the past.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Left and Right

Left and Right
©2012 Ross Williams

Nearly everyone who insists on discussing politics has an extremely limited view of which politics even exist. As a result, whenever they discuss politics around me and I set them straight, they typically come away either very confused or adamant that I am their ideological opposite.

I’ve said this before: I’m a lower-case-l libertarian. My ideological opposite is a statist tyrant. Since we don’t have many of those in the United States and have an excess of Democrats and Republicans instead, my political disagreements with either will be based entirely on whether the Democrat or Republican is spouting about that portion of their political philosophy which is correct.

And again ... “correct” in the specific manner by which our nation was constructed to operate, not in any theoretically arguable manner. If you want to argue political theory I will be the first to admit that libertarianism has huge faults – almost as many as either liberalism or conservatism has, in fact.

When the subject is political practicum, however, our nation was constructed to be a libertarian nation, where the government had limited authorities to deal with a very few issues, and to leave people the hell alone the rest of the time. This means that people are free to succeed or to fail as they see fit and as their talents would dictate, and to live pretty much how they choose to. Living how you choose does not mean that you must like how others live; and it certainly doesn’t mean that if you don’t like how someone else lives you’re entitled to do more than complain about it. You are effectively powerless to prevent others from living as they choose, to include harnessing the power of the government to effect limitations on others’ lives and liberties.

Our nation is supposed to be guided by the Rule of Liberty.

And when I remind others of this, they nearly always recoil in shock. “No, no!! Rule of LAW! You meant to say we have Rule of LAW!!

No. I didn’t. And stop telling me what I meant. I will tell you what I meant and if you have any questions, ask them. Then listen to the answer and say “Okay, thank you; you’re right.”

Every tyrant on the face of the earth operates his tyranny under Rule of Law; Law is the first excuse for a despot conducting his despotism. “My hands are tied: the law requires us to do this...” Anyone who argues for Rule of Law separate from, or to the exclusion of, Rule of Liberty is justifying Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and the Emperor Caligula.

The distinction between our nation and every other is that our government was given very clear upper limits on what the State is allowed to make laws upon. The region beyond those upper limits is called “liberty”; the citizen’s ability to do as he pleases. Rule of Liberty requires Rule of Law, but it recognizes that there are many, many more areas that The Law is not allowed to touch than there are that it is.

It’s not really debatable. Read the Constitution. It’s fairly plain to see.

Democrats are correct about some things and very very wrong about others; Republicans are correct about some things and also very very wrong about others. And the government – because the nature of government is to collect power despite limitations placed on it – is wrong about almost everything; almost everything they do comes with another power-grab, however slight or well-intended.

Where Democrats and Republicans are both wrong is that they both believe – in their own philosophical ways – that the Constitution’s limits are not upper limits, but starting points. They both invert the Liberty Scale to read that a citizen is given the liberties which the government grants them at any particular time. The liberties the government grants are typically those which do not interfere with the government grasping more power for itself.

For example – and this is a recurrent discussion on the TSA website – the Constitution does not give the government the authority to interfere with citizens moving from place to place ... regardless how they might move. This, then, means that citizens have the right to move from place to place, by any means, without government interference – for any reason.

All this is to say that air travel is a citizen’s right. We have the right to fly that the government cannot unduly impede. Yet 9-11 occurred and many people became frightened of their own [and especially everyone else’s] shadows, and so the government established TSA to impede the flying public by making 100% of everyone at the airport undergo a warrantless [and therefore unreasonable] search in order to check for the 0.0000001% who intend harm to a flight. And they cover it all by declaring “flying is not a right ... you don’t see it in the Constitution, do you?”

Yes, actually, I do. The Ninth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment do not stutter.

Similarly, we also have the right to drive, contrary to the MADDists, and the cops and legislators they bought, who insist that “driving is not a right, it’s a privilege.” No, it’s not. The only privilege is for the government to govern at all as it requires, in our nation, the consent of those governed. And not the fleeting consent of a panicky population fretting about terrorists with box cutters, drunks, or child molesters, either, but the consent as defined by those who created the government in the first place. Until properly and legitimately amended, the consent of the governed is described as the upper limits of authority contained in the Constitution.

This is the long way around declaring that Democrats are generally correct about social liberalism. There is nothing in our Constitution which addresses what “marriage” is, what “life” is, or what proper sexual relations consist of; there’s no justification for the government to get involved except to enforce Equal Protection upon anyone who would seek to use the power of the state to limit how others want to marry, copulate or abort in ways the social conservatives find icky. It doesn’t matter what is icky; if the law allows one, it must allow all. That is the Rule of Liberty.

Likewise, it’s the long way around saying that the Republicans are more correct about matters involving money than Democrats are – they’re both wrong about a lot involving money, even most things, but Republicans are more right than Democrats; at least Republicans can be convinced periodically to stop spending money. Democrat? forget it. Fiscal liberalism – the tendency of the government, through law, to spend money on demographic-centered causes – is not authorized by the Constitution. Congress can only enact laws for those things the Constitution allows them to enact laws about; the allowances are in Article I, Section 8.

There is no “Old Age Pension” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Poverty Assistance” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Public Education” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Food Safety” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Transportation Safety” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Medical Overseer and Benefits” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Drunk Driving Remediation” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Environmental Watchdog” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

There is no “Consumer Advocacy” clause in A I, § 8 of the Constitution.

Et cetera.

Any laws Congress passes, any regulations the Administration imposes, to further these [and millions more] causes are essentially little more than bald attempts by the government to grab more power for itself over the lives of Americans, depriving them of liberty in the process, and buying the votes of those whose cause is furthered by the governmental compulsion of everyone else.

The government which obliterates property rights to impose nannying environmental regulations has bought the votes of those who want Mother Nature to have superior rights to the real people in whose name our government is supposed to operate.

The government which obliterates freedom from unreasonable search has bought the votes of those who fear the possibility that others’ freedom may be used in ways they find annoying or dangerous to the freedom’s user more often than to others.

Homosexuality makes a lot of people say, “Ewwwww!” And that’s fine. You don’t need to like it, and you can even be rude about saying so. But the government is supposed to be powerless to stop it. It’s supposed to be powerless to stop the rude denunciations of homosexuality, as well. It is further supposed to be obliged to ensure that, regardless of how anyone – even the majority – feels about it, homosexuals are treated identically under the law to everyone else. Also to be treated the same as everyone else under the law are those who denounce homosexuality and those who denounce homosexuality denouncers; they can both be rude to each other without incurring government involvement.

But this means that “gay marriage” is a non-issue; homosexuals are allowed to marry the person of their dreams the same as anyone else. The only way to properly prevent gays from marrying is to prevent anyone from marrying. ...or else amend the Constitution to declare that homosexuals are inferior citizens, which won’t happen. Too many Americans have learned that lesson.

Other “social conservative” pet beliefs get handled the same way.

And “fiscal liberalism” issues as well: unless you can point at a specific allowance for Congress to enact Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Social Security, any of the “welfare” programs, the FDA, the TSA, or even Sarbanes-Oxley, ADA or HIPAA, then they possess no legitimacy and are voidable. You can argue that the purposes behind the various laws are well-intended, but you cannot argue that the Constitution allows them to be enacted. The Constitution is not the government’s starting point; it is the government’s upper limit. The only way to allow the government to enact all of these expensive and expansive laws is to amend the Constitution to give Congress more authority which, for most of these individual examples, probably would not happen. The IRS is the last properly-made federal authority of note.

Instead, what the government is required to do is build post roads and maintain a post office, which it is doing everything in its power to not do. With a deficit of almost one and a half trillion dollars this year alone, we’re boo-hooing over a US Postal Service that is going to lose $80 billion? That’s pocket lint.

Run the post office – every day of the week. Shut down almost everything else. Repair the roads that the mailman uses to carry mail around – which is all of them except for the bridge to that uninhabited Alaskan Island – and leave everyone the hell alone.

We are free ... to succeed or to starve, both, and it’s none of the government’s business which, and it’s not the government’s duty or obligation to pick any of us up when we fail. It doesn’t matter if we fail while small and we want Welfare, or if we fail when large and we want corporate bailouts. It doesn’t matter if we fail in our health, or in our retirement planning. The government was not defined to be our Mommy, or our wealthy uncle, either one. It was put there to protect us from foreigners, to keep others from deliberately hurting us, and to otherwise let us be.

Democrats want us to be left alone when the subject is social. Gay marriage? abortion? sodomy? Leave us alone! Treat us like responsible adults! Ahh, but the tables are turned quite rapidly when the subject turns fiscal: health care? financial assistance? regulatory watchdogs of every stripe? Do NOT leave us alone! Baby us; change our diapers and powder our bottoms!

Republicans believe we’re old enough to take financial risks but need help in choosing a spouse, having babies and what sex is too kinky to enjoy.

If only there were some way to combine the best of the Left with the best of the Right into a viable political philosophy that would meet the requirements of our defined government...

Oh, I nearly forgot ... there is. Lower-case-l libertarianism. Give us the government we were promised and not an inch more; give us the freedom we were promised and not an ounce less.