Sunday, January 1, 2012

Issues, Part 4: Border Security and Immigration

Immigration and border security go hand-in-hand.

First, we need to address border security. Immigration laws are meaningless if they are easily circumvented by crossing the border illegally.

The southern border needs to be secured. People are crossing the border illegaly not just to find work, but organized crime cartels are moving drugs and other contraband across the border. Mexico is in a state of civil war, though no one wants to call it that, and that civil war will increasingly spill across our border unless we take decisive action. Another grave concern is that Mexican government authorities, including the Mexican Army, are being targeted by the cartels for subversion. One result is that significant groups of corrupted Mexican military personnel have been observed escorting drug shipments on the US side of the border. If it were a potentially hostile country, like Iran, doing this, there would be a temptation in some circles to declare war and deal with the situation decisively. In Mexico's case, however, it is very obvious that, while there is corruption in the Mexican government, it is not a deliberate policy on the part of anyone in Mexico, except for the cartels and their allies, to violate US territory in order to do harm to the United States. (In fact, despite the problems down there, Mexico is a good friend of the United States, perhaps a better friend to us than we are to Mexico.) However, the illegal activities along our southern border are out of control, and are disrupting American communities not just near the border, but across the country.

Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution very clearly spells out that it is the purview of the federal government to punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and to call forth the militia to enforce federal law, suppress insurrection and repel invasion. Narcotics trafficking touches on all of these responsibilities. A 500-kg package of cocaine dropped in one of our communities probably does more damage to America than a 500-kg bomb dropped in the same place. In the process of smuggling narcotics and other contraband into our country, foreign powers (the cartels) commit piracy and felonies on the high seas, they cross our border illegally, they damage American communities and kill Americans. As these foreign forces cross our border, this is an invasion, and as they establish allies within the United States who break our laws and defy just and proper government authority that is legally established and exercised, this will eventually develop into an insurrection, just like it has happened in Mexico. Furthermore, it is too easy for terrorists to mix in with the flow of those who cross our frontier illegally, and if tons of drugs can be brought in, what is preventing nuclear and other very powerful weapons from being brought in? The federal government must act to deal with this, or the federal government will be in such obvious violation of its Constitutional mandates as to render itself irrelevant and replaceable according to the standards established in our Declaration of Independence.

Let me state that more clearly. Either the federal government does its job, or we have a duty as established in our Declaration of Independence to overthrow government authority by any means necessary (peaceful, legal means preferably, via lawsuits, political action, and elections) and replace certain government officials with people who know what the Constitution requires them to do and who will do it. Those who cynically foment the unrest leaking up from Mexico need to understand that as this unrest spreads from Mexico across the border and destroys our communities, there will inevitably come a time when it will not be just innocent, law-abiding Americans who will suffer.

We need to immediately deploy military forces along the southern border and in contiguous waters near our coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico to deal with what has become a clear and present danger to national security.

This will have the inevitable effect of causing smugglers to move contraband and illegal immigrants into our country crossing our coastlines, via our ports and airports, and across our northern border. We need to immediately begin moving in the direction of more adequately protecting these areas, and more thoroughly inspecting cargo, freight and passengers that enter US territory in places other than along our southern border.

If our government were doing what it is supposed to be doing under our Constitution, we would not have such a big bureaucracy dealing with social services, education, health care, and so on, at the national level. If our economy were functioning the way it should, we could easily get by with a smaller bureaucracy working tax issues.

It would be wrong to simply downsize the government and throw all these people, who have invested years as public servants in government service, out in the street, especially when we do not have adequate numbers of people monitoring immigration, customs and our borders and ports. As we downsize some federal agencies and departments, we should offer the affected employees an opportunity to transfer into expanded immigration, customs and border patrol functions. Not all of these jobs are badge-and-gun-carrying enforcement jobs; there needs to be improved office and clerical support to keep track of immigrants who are in the country legally, and other such functions, so there is room for some of our people to be more effectively utilized in jobs not unlike ones they now have. In the long run, control of our border should be a civilian function, so ultimately, the military would need to be withdrawn and the baton passed to better-manned and -equipped civilian agencies that can do this job.

Another approach that needs to be taken simultaneously is to decentralize the decision regarding legality of some substances to the states and their political subdivisions, in accordance with the Tenth Amendment. If a state wants to use certain substances, such a marijuana, for medical purposes, the matter should not be a federal issue. Movement of those substances across state lines becomes a federal issue, and it is appropriate for federal resources to be made available to states that are having difficulties enforcing state laws. However, I can make an argument that a decision to use some drugs is a Ninth Amendment issue, I can make an argument that the decision to legalize or prohibit use of some drugs is a Tenth Amendment issue.

The illegal movement of marijuana or cocaine across our borders into our communities is a federal issue that must be addressed decisively for reasons previously outlined, but a stricter reading of the Constitution would mean states would have more authority to decide if buying, selling or consuming such drugs within the state is a crime, and as some states decide that it will not be a crime, that will greatly ease the burden of federal enforcement regarding illegal trafficking. Some states will become havens for legal drug use, and others will be more drug-free. This is how our federal system was intended to function. People can vote with their feet, and move to a state that suits their needs and desires.

Regarding immigration, immigration laws should be revised.

People who seek to enter the country legally should have more attention paid to their cases and situations, so as to ensure that we are letting the right people in, and to ensure prompt attention is given to applications for visas, renewals, citizenship, and so on, and to ensure prompt attention is given to people whose permission to be in our country is expiring. This is not a coded message for a heavy-handed "round 'em up and kick 'em out" approach. Some immigrants have tried to do the right thing the right way, and get caught up in the bureaucracy. They should be dealt with using common sense and compassion. However, there are also people here in this country legally, but with nefarious purposes. Their activities and files should be monitored adequately, in a manner prescribed by law.

People who have entered the country illegally deserve no amnesty. Rather, I would propose that US consulates in foreign countries - especially in Mexico - be adequately staffed to deal with applications from people who seek to enter the country to work. Such applications should cost a minimal amount, and if the applicants meet certain basic criteria, they should be allowed in the country. While here, they need to keep authorities apprised of their location and activities. If they work, they will pay the same taxes as US citizens, but they will not be eligible to collect Social Security, unemployement insurance, or certain other "entitlements", and they must stay out of trouble and obey our laws. If they get into minor trouble, their permission to be in our country can be revoked, and if they are found in the country without permission, they should be penalized by imprisonment in a minimum security facility for a period of time, and then transported, at their expense, to the country of their citizenship and denied the opportunity to apply for re-entry into the United States for a period of time.

Thus, I would propose that an announcement be made that, effective on a certain date, applications will be accepted at consulates in foreign countries. The illegal immigrants must leave the country and apply at a consulate in a foreign country for permission to be in the US legally. After that certain date, anyone found in the country who has entered the country illegally will be handled as outlined in the paragraph immediately above. From the time the announcement is made until the given date, there should be stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws to encourage people who entered illegally to leave immediately, though care should be taken not to obstruct their departure with this stepped-up enforcement.

If the economy is handled as I suggest in a previous post, America will be booming, and there will be plenty of work for US citizens, and people who seek to enter our country legally, obey our laws, and work productively for a period of time will have jobs available to them as well. Also, they will be contributing tax dollars, but will not be a burden on some of our entitlement programs. Currently, illegal aliens are often driven into an underground economy, and become a burden on some of our entitlement programs, without contributing to our tax base, because their earnings are illegal and thus not taxed; my suggestion would help reverse that.

Furthermore, by allowing a streamlined process for people to enter the country and work here legally, we will ease the pressure exerted by the hordes who seek to enter the country illegally, making our border security job easier.

Regarding who is allowed into our country, we need to recognize Islamic law for what it is - a political agenda that is in sharp conflict with our Constitution - and limit immigration of people who advocate this political agenda. However, we should consider easing restrictions on people who face religious persecution in countries subject to Islamic law. Political Islam is very much akin to Nazism or communism, and we should not allow it to destroy our country amid cries of religious freedom. Our Constitution is not a suicide pact. There will be difficulties discerning which Muslims are peaceful and could constructively add to American society, and separating them from those who seek to destroy our country and make it a part of some caliphate. It is the fault of Muslims, not the fault of America, that there exists a tenet of Islam known as taqiyya, making it acceptable to deceive infidels as to the true nature of their intentions. To be sure, not all Muslims practice taqiyya, but how can we know which ones intend us no harm, and which ones merely say they intend us no harm in order to get inside our gates? We need to err on the side of caution and on the side of preservation of our Republic, and that means erring on the side of keeping people that we have doubts about outside our borders.

In this same context, we should consider which people we allow in from countries that are experiencing an influx of Muslim immigrants who seek to take over rather than assimilate into their host country. For example, many European countries are getting quite intolerable for decent, law-abiding, non-Muslim people. Increasingly, non-Muslims are discriminated against, targeted by violent crime, and persecuted by government authorities if they decry what is being done to them and their countries. Non-Muslims who seek to escape what many European and certain other countries are becoming should be accepted eagerly, but regarding Muslims, again, it is the fault of Islam, with its tenets of jihad and taqiyya, that we should be cautious about them.

I will undoubtedly be called racist for my concerns about Islam.

Muslims will be the first to tell you that a fellow Muslim is a fellow Muslim. Only infidels are categorized as Serbs, Croats, Russians, Germans, Chinese, Thai, or whatever. But submission to Allah is open to anyone who honestly recites the shahada in Arabic (this act is known as the kalima). Consequently, Islam is not a race nor is it, theoretically, racist; Muslims claim it is a religion, and for many it is, but for many, Islam is and has always been a political agenda as well. It is precisely those Muslims who seek to impose this political agenda on us, and replace our Constitution with the Quran, who will call me racist. Fortunately, though, the term racist has been so misused and abused that it has lost its impact. (In a way, though, this is sad, too, because racism still exists in the world.) For the record, I am a Republican, and anyone who knows anything about our Grand Old Party knows that the Party of Lincoln has been at the forefront of fighting against racism ever since the GOP was founded.

Many other immigration concerns center around China. China has a very large and very active espionage network targeting America, and various businesspeople and students form key parts of this network. To be sure, a big part of the reason why the network is successful is because so many of its operatives are innocent of any crime, and unaware they are being used by Chinese intelligence. They take papers and reports that are available to the public, perhaps not realizing that this information becomes pieces of a puzzle being assembled by Communist Chinese intelligence services. While I have a great deal of admiration for China, and I think, in the long run, it is good for both America and China to be on friendly terms with each other, I also believe we should prudently and carefully consider the pros and cons of our interactions with China under the communist government that is in power there.

None of the immigration and border security plans will be able to address our problems if we do not deal effectively with corruption in Washington, DC. Officials, both elected and appointed, on both sides of the aisle, are selling us out to the highest bidder. The high bidders include foreign powers, such as potentially hostile governments and foreign-based and -controlled criminal cartels, which, in turn, are associated with terrorist organizations. This is at the heart of the OKBOMB, it is at the heart of 9/11 and the Sibel Edmonds case, it is at the heart of the scandal surrounding the outing of Valerie Plame, and it is at the heart of the current Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal. (These cases all need to be honestly investigated, by the way, with no obstruction of justice from higher-ups.) Furthermore, many officials are in the habit of doing favors for domestic businesses while on the government payroll, in the expectation that when they leave government service, those businesses will take care of them.

Government officials ask if certain elements of the American people are a threat to the government. Christians and veterans of military service are inevitably among the groups that concern our public servants.

America was founded on the principle that it is government that threatens the law-abiding people, not the other way around. Our Declaration of Independence addressed this matter, and our Constitution was written with this fact in mind.

Our "President" pals around with convicted terrorists and with religious leaders who call for our Creator to damn and destroy our great nation. Other officials peddle influence to and take bribes from foreign criminal cartels which do business with terrorist groups. Yet, hypocritically and cynically, it is they who accuse us of being a threat to America, and of being terrorists.

Our public servants violate their Constitutional oaths of office, they commit treason against our country, and even now they scheme to take our freedoms away and destroy our Republic.

So, are we a threat to our government? Yes, absolutely. Our desire to uphold the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, makes us a threat to a government significantly populated and controlled by those who seek to destroy our Constitution.

The American people will get better government, and we will get it out of a box. Hopefully, better government will come out of a mail box, or a ballot box, or possibly a jury box, but if necessary, we will get better government out of a cartidge box.

In the Book of Esther, we hear of Haman's hatred for the Jews, and how Haman had a gallows built to hang Mordecai on. In fact, though, Mordecai had served the king more honorably than had Haman. Ultimately, Haman's plot backfired, and in his righteous anger, the king ordered that Haman be hanged on the gallows which Haman had constructed to hang Mordecai.

Similarly, we hear stories of FEMA camps and of preparations by our government to imprison honest, law-abiding citizens, because those citizens threaten the schemes of the corrupt government officials who treasonously sabotage our nation.

I hope these stories are true, because our Creator, Who knows what is in our hearts and minds, will deliver the victory to the real, honest, decent Americans, and when He does, we will need a place to keep all the crooks. Like Haman's gallows, such FEMA camps might come in useful, but perhaps not useful for the purpose for which they were intended. ;)

Issues, Part 3: America's Economy

The US economy is currently little better than stagnating, with "growth" of approximately 3% or less per year, depending on which statistics one considers. Historically, in the 1890's the US economy became the world's largest economic entity except for colonial empires (the British empire was the largest economic entity until 1941). From 1941 to 2004, the US economy was the world's largest economic entity; in 2004, it was surpassed by the European Union, though the US economy is still much bigger than that of individual European countries.

In contrast to that, the People's Republic of China has been striving for 10% growth per year. Typically, the PRC falls short, but growth of 5% or more per year is common.

In other words, Communist China's economy is growing at least twice as fast as America's, and, at times, it is growing three or even four times as fast.

Growing faster, China's economy will surpass America's. It is possible this has already happened, and it is possible this is happening now; otherwise, it will happen in the future, more likely sooner than later.

This should be of grave concern to Americans, as economic power is the foundation of military and political power. When the US economy outgrew Great Britain's, and later that of the British Empire, America stepped out in front of Great Britain as a world power. In fact, within a decade of surpassing the economic power of the British Empire, the United States was one of two superpowers in the world and, as the Soviet Union collapsed, America was left as the only superpower.

The European Union is nowhere near as united as it could be, and, in any case, the United States is on generally friendly terms with most European Union member nations; in fact, we are in a military alliance with many of them. Consequently, the EU surpassing the US in economic power is not a matter for immediate, grave concern.

However, if China surpasses the US in economic power, this is a matter of very serious concern.

China has a very different view of government power and what rights people have than what America has traditionally had. For example, in an effort to control the growth of China's population, China has implemented a policy of one child per family. A family that has a second child finds the second child being killed by the government (via an injection of alcohol or iodine into the soft part of the baby's head) in order to comply with China's population growth policy. Such post-birth "abortion" is murder, and it is evil; there are no arguments one could make to redeem this policy, but rather, any attempt to do so would call into question the humanity and the sanity of the person trying.

For other examples of Communist China's attitude towards people, one merely has to consider the Tiannanmen Square Massacre of 1989, where Chinese tanks crushed peaceful protestors under their tracks, or China's ongoing oppression of all manner of peaceful dissidents, such the house arrest of Chen Guangcheng - this latter man had attention called to his plight by Batman star Christian Bale, who was roughed up by Chinese security men when he tried to visit Chen recently.

If China's heavy boot ever has the military power to come down on America, it is safe to bet that Chinese authorities will not be as pleasant to Americans as they are to their own people. Assuming China's economy is surpassing that of the United States right now, it will be, in my opinion, at least a decade before China will have the military power to challenge America beyond China and the immediate vicinity of its borders. However, on the trajectory we are now on, our children, who are in school now, will be middle-aged in a world where China controls our debt, dominates us economically, and has the military power to impose its will not only on America, but on a coalition of America plus several nations which are today our key allies.

Our lackluster economic performance presents a danger to our national security.

The danger to our national security goes far beyond our relative economic stagnation.

Our military industrial complex no longer feels that it can survive by selling state-of-the-art weapons to the United States, or even to the US and our closest allies. The MIC lobbies to sell weapons to countries which are frankly one coup or election away from being hostile to our interests. Often times, these countries don't have the money to buy our weapons, so we have to give them special deals so they buy from us, and not from Russia or China or someone else. These deals include financial support in the form of military aid. Often, this still does not sweeten the pot enough for them. So, another aspect of the deal is giving the foreign power the right to produce at least parts of the weapon in their own country. Often, the entire weapon system is produced in that country. These deals offset the cost of the weapon system, allowing the foreign power to "buy American".

After such offsets, though, the reality is that the foriegn power is using US taxpayer money to buy a license from a US corporation. The foreign power gets the technology and the industrial infrastructure to build the weapon system, and the foreign power's people get the jobs to make it. What the American people get is the bill.

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States had the industrial infrastructure to make the tanks, planes, ships, trucks, and so on, needed to go across the oceans and defeat some really tough enemies. Today, however, we would either have to build the infrastructure, or fight our way overseas and seize it, not to mention the raw materials and other resources needed for the production of military hardware.

As alarming as all this is, we are really only scratching the surface of US vulnerability to foreign powers. At my blog, I have done posts on Communist Chinese espionage, and Beijing's activity stealing US computer technology. I have not addressed other Chinese espionage activity, wherein key US government and academic officials are on the payroll of China's People's Liberation Army intelligence services. The impact of this activity is far more alarming. The Clinton Administration sold critical US military technology to Communist China. In return, China illegally laundered money into the campaign chests of the Democrats during the 1996 election year. Furthermore, as of the late 1990's, Congressional investigations revealed that China had stolen classified information on every thermonuclear warhead design then in the US arsenal. China is known to share nuclear secrets with Pakistan, whose ISI has close ties to Al Qaeda. Nuclear weapons information from China has been found as far afield as Africa.

So, we have an economic situation here that is a clear and present danger to US national security, and, indeed, to the security of our friends and allies.

There are several factors touched on so far in this post, and some of them I will go into in more detail here at the blog. However, for now, let me refocus on factors that are more economic in nature.

We have been told that free trade is in our best interests. The theory is that if two countries each produce two different products, but with different degrees of efficiency for each product, then free trade would allow each country to focus on the one product it produces more efficiently, and trade this product for the other. In theory, both countries would become more wealthy, and have more goods at less cost.

The reality is that as we began to implement free trade policies, foreign products were cheaper, and initially Americans felt an increase in their buying power, as they were able to buy more goods at lower prices. However, this also resulted in jobs making these products going to places where production costs were cheaper. The low monetary price Americans paid for these products on a global market was quickly offset by the fact that the jobs went overseas, as well, leaving Americans increasingly moving from higher-paying manufacturing jobs to lower-paying service-oriented jobs.

American labor, with legal protections against hazardous working conditions (however imperfect those protections are), and with insurance against on-the-job injuries and against unemployment, and in a nation where environmental protection is factored into production costs, cannot compete with labor in many foreign countries, where the workers are essentially slaves and where the corporations and the government do not care about the environment.

Our tax laws hurt us much more. There is a general rule of thumb: what we tax, we tend to get less of, and what we subsidize, we tend to get more of. Currently, we tax work and subsidize unemployment. Politicians in the United States cynically manipulate America's economy for their own political gain. By fanning the flames of class warfare, they blame the rich and successful, and seek to tax them, using the money thereby derived as "walking around" money, giving it to less affluent voters. Those voters, in turn, vote for the politician that is giving them the money. The cynical politicians get exactly what they want.

This system is more sinister than it appears on the surface.

First, by taxing those who work and take risks, there is a disincentive for them to take further risks and work harder. The net result is that these businesspeople cannot hire as many workers as they otherwise would like to, nor can they pay the employees they have as much as they otherwise could. People who foolishly vote for the politician who is trying to buy their vote with government handouts do not realize that it is the fault of this politician that they do not have a job or that the job they do have is not more lucrative than it is.

Furthermore, these politicians write a tax law that is often hundreds of pages long. When implemented by the bureaucracies, the tax code is now thousands of pages long, and has the force of law. In all these pages, the politicians have loopholes that save plenty of money for their friends. If you are rich enough, you can buy access to a politician, and get loopholes put in for your business; or, you can afford to have accountants and lawyers find you existing loopholes.

But, the middle economic class can't afford all this, and so the middle class pays the full brunt of taxes directly, and pays for it indirectly through underemployment. The lower economic classes pay for this through underemployment and unemployment. The middle economic class blames the lower economic class for being leeches (and some of them are), but the reality is that both classes are being played off one against the other. The upper economic class has bought access to politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as to professional help to navigate the tax laws.

The economy in our country is really quite a mess, the impact of this mess is severe on the typical American, and will become more severe as time goes on.

And, we haven't even gotten to the Federal Reserve system and to Wall Street bailouts!

Key aspects of this problem can be solved quite simply.

First and foremost, we need to implement a low, flat income tax. The personal income tax should be 10%, and the corporate income tax should be 15%.

This tax is on all gross income. This process makes it easy for businesses to project their income, know what percent will be taken off the top and given to the federal government, and to then know that with the rest, they must pay their expenses and have some profits left over. Businesses will be able to focus their attention on producing goods and services, and on making money, rather than on how to keep the money they have away from the federal government.

If you make the tax on net income, then the debate begins about what are legitimate business expenses, and now you need lawyers to argue the matter and accountants to keep track of it all. This stifles small business, and leads us back to where we are now.

The tax should be on all income, not just income over a certain amount. In theory, a bum on the street and a multi-billionaire will each pay ten percent of personal earnings to the federal government. In reality, the bum may be hard to find in order to audit, and, in any case, the tax derived from his income does not justify the effort to find him and audit him.

This would eliminate mandatory personal income tax returns. Most people have jobs, and their income tax is automatically deducted from their paycheck. They would typically have no need to file a return. An exception would be, for example, a person who makes money fixing cars or doing odd jobs on the side. Legally, this person would be required to file a tax return and pay ten percent of the gross earnings that had not otherwise been taxed. In reality, like the bum, below a certain income threshhold, the tax dollars to be gained would not justify the expense of an inquisition by the IRS to go audit the typical household.

Furthermore, in my opinion, tax rates that differ based on income are unfair, and, regardless of how courts may have ruled, are specifically a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Just because one person earns more money than another, it is in principle wrong to take a greater percentage of that money. Additionally, it is foolish to do so, because this becomes a disincentive to greater productivity, at a time when America needs to produce wealth; by not penalizing increased profits, people and businesses are not discouraged from growing the economy, which will result in more jobs and better-paying jobs for Americans.

By the way... as the economy grows, there will be more tax dollars available to government entities.

Politicians seem to think that raising taxes gets them more money. Only marginally so is this the case. Beyond a certain point, people who are taxed more produce less. Since they get to keep less of what they make, why should they keep working? Ronald Reagan understood this well. When he was an actor, the marginal tax code for income over a certain threshhold was greater than 90%.


With such a confiscatory tax rate, why should someone be productive upon reaching that threshhold? The government did not get 90% of millions of dollars of income; instead, people worked up to that threshhold, and then took a vacation for the rest of the year. With the tax rate on all income low, more people will keep working and producing wealth, and tax dollars will keep flowing to the government. A lower tax rate of 10% or 15% results in more tax dollars in the long run.

In addition to a low, flat income tax, we need to revisit "free trade". It may make sense to have free trade with nations that have similar laws protecting workers and the environment, but "free trade" with nations that have no concern for their people or for the environment places Americans in an impossible situation. Tariffs on imports from such nations could help level the playing field.

Beyond that, we should consider the reality of our opportunity cost. Under ideal circumstances, people are fully employed producing goods and services that they produce more efficiently, and under these circumstances, the free trade theory makes sense. However, circumstances are far from ideal. Instead of full employment, we have significant unemployment, and we provide government subsidies funded by tax dollars for the unemployed. It may be cheaper to pay slave labor in a foreign country a dollar an hour to make shirts, rather than to pay an American ten dollars an hour to make them. But, is it cheaper to pay that same foreign worker a dollar an hour to make shirts, on top of paying the American ten dollars an hour as an unemployment subsidy? In the latter case, the real cost of the shirts produced to Americans is eleven dollars an hour, rather than one. This is only the case to Americans; other countries buying the same shirts may only be paying the dollar an hour for the shirts, not the eleven dollars an for the shirts plus the unemployment subsidy. Consequently, other countries see their standard of living rise relative to America's.

On top of this, we need to look hard at the impact of tax havens, and stop exporting our best high-tech, defense-related jobs (and our defense industry, for that matter). Technology matters in particular need to be addressed, and a significant part of the solution for this is investigating and prosecuting those officials in government and academia who commit treason by selling our intellectual property to the highest bidder.

We need to revisit government regulation in general, eliminating, for example, quotas based on race.

Also, the philosophy of "too big to fail" needs to be recognized for what it is: a cover story, allowing politicians to channel taxpayer dollars to their rich patrons, while oppressing the smaller businesses, which generate the most jobs, innovation, and often the most technological break-throughs. What "too big to fail" does is keep the biggest corporations on top by subsidizing them the moment they start to go under.

We are told stability is nice, but it really isn't for those who are on the bottom. Was stability a nice thing for the Pharoah's slaves who were building the pyramids? Was stability a nice thing for black slaves in the South two hundred years ago? Just as the instability of the Exodus resulted in Hebrew slaves establishing their own country in the Middle East long before anyone call that place "Palestine", and just as the instability of the Civil War resulted in slaves being freed, so would a little instability in the American business sector result in small, innovative businesses growing at the expense of businesses which have lost their competitive edge, and which have come to rely on government bailouts to stay afloat. The executives who run these businesses need to fail and be held accountable for their failure; they should not be getting a bonus to stash in an offshore bank account, funded by the very people whose economy they ruin. Some of them need to be investigated for financial crimes, because some of the "bad" decisions sure seem to go beyond stupidity.

When we implement this policy, America will have more than enough economic growth, as well as technological advancement, to stay competitive in the 21st century - a century otherwise projected to possibly be one where China eclipses America economically, politically and militarily.

Some aspects of this plan will be addressed in more detail or revisited in subsequent posts on issues related to those aspects. We will also consider this country's monetary system in a future post. ;)

Issues, Part 2: Size and Scope of Government

The Declaration of Independence spells out pretty clearly our belief that people have a Creator, and that our rights are given to us by our Creator, and not by any earthly power. Government is not the source of our rights, but rather, governments are instituted by the governed to protect those rights, which are intrinsic to our humanity. The main function of government is to keep us alive and free, protecting our rights, and those governments that seek to achieve more are precisely those governments most likely to achieve less.

Furthermore, it is our belief that we are all created equal. To be sure, the Declaration of Independence states "that all men are created equal"; the founders made no mention of women, and in the implementation, not all men were included in the category of those considered equal. My vision of the United States is a country in which all people are considered equal, but in what way? We are not all equally rich or talented, but we are all equally human, and thus endowed with equal rights. Again, our government is instituted to protect our equal rights before the law, and not to guarantee an equality of outcome. Each person has unique gifts and unique circumstances; different people have different motivations, different desires, different dreams, and put forth different levels of effort. A government that seeks to guarantee an equality of outcome is implicitly a government that seeks to stomp on our rights and deny us the humanity and individuality endowed upon us by our Creator; it is thus imperative to question the motives of those who tell us to celebrate diversity as they seek to impose upon us an agenda that destroys individuality.

Slavery, an abomination upon humanity, an abomination which is codified in Islamic law and one which still haunts us right here in America in the form of human trafficking for various purposes, was much more of a blight upon the people in America when this country was founded. People of African ancestry were forced to work as slaves, and this was legal in America at the time. For many years of American history, women did not have the right to vote, people of different ethnic groups were discriminated against in various ways... indeed, the promise of being equally human has been implemented in a manner that is far from perfect, and even today, we struggle with understanding how we are equal and how to legally define and protect our equality.

As decades passed, we struggled with these issues, and have made progress. Slavery is now outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment codifies that former slaves and people will not have their right to vote denied based on race, the Nineteenth Amendment guarantees that women will have the right to vote, and so on. We can see that there has been a process moving us generally in the direction of better laws to enforce our belief that all people are created equal. Indeed, when we consider the history of English-speaking people, the fight - well before the American Revolution - between the subjects of the British crown and the Kings of England over the rights of the people, the struggle in America for the rights of blacks and women from the time of our Revolution up until the present, and when we then further consider the struggle that our neighbors in Latin America had to wage to win their freedom from European colonial powers, and then consider the struggle worldwide and throughout the course of human history, we see that our American Revolution was part of an evolutionary (please don't take this word out of context) process for humanity to define and secure its God-given rights against those who would deny those rights from us, whether because they do not believe in God, as the communists officially do not, or whether they would deny us our humanity in the name of their god, as Islamic law even today seeks to do by codifying discrimination against women and non-Muslims in a political agenda known as sharia.

After a failed experiment with a weak confederation, our Constitution was written to give us a federal government that was strong, but which was very limited in scope. Certain powers were delegated to the federal government, and certain powers were prohibited from the states. Many of the founders of this country considered a Constitution delegating powers to the federal government to be inadequate, as it did not prohibit the federal government from infringing upon God-given rights of the people. Others argued that, since the federal government was not given these powers, it did not have them; what, therefore, was the problem? It was proposed that rights reserved by the people be enumerated so as to be specifically protected in a Bill of Rights. But then it was argued that our rights are too many to list (indeed, they are infinite), and that any attempt to list them would leave some out, and that future governments might attempt to infringe on those rights not listed; thus, the reasoning goes, it is better to not list rights, and not imply thereby that the government may infringe upon unlisted rights.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments resolved the dispute. The main body of the Constitution spells out what powers are delegated by the people - with whom ultimate earthly authority exists - to the federal government, and what powers are prohibited from the states in order to ensure a strong federal government. Then, the First through Eighth Amendments specifically listed those rights that our country's founders did not want infringed. The founding fathers based their choice of which rights to list on their recent experience, fighting what was arguably the most powerful nation of the day in a long and difficult war, a war that erupted due to infringement of the very rights now being enumerated. However, the key was in explicitly stating that there are rights reserved which are not going to be enumerated, and powers not delegated to the federal government which are similarly not going to be enumerated; this was done in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, respectively. The net result was that the people delegated certain powers to the federal government that were appropriate for a national government to exercise; the people prohibited certain powers from the states which, if exercised by the states, would weaken the nation; the people enumerated certain rights that they wanted the government to specifically and deliberately avoid infringing; and the people concluded by reserving all other rights not enumerated to themselves, and reserving all other powers neither delegated to the federal government nor prohibited from the states, as powers of the states, of their political subdivisions, and of the people themselves.

This is not widely understood in America today. Since it is not widely understood, we have deviated from the intended implementation of our form of government. And, this deviation has resulted in a wide variety of problems, not the least of which is a government that now threatens the very liberties it was intended to protect.

The Constitution is the supreme law of our land. It needs to be studied and understood. Laws that are not Constitutional should not be passed and, if passed, they should not be implemented or enforced and, if implemented or enforced, they should be challenged and struck down in our legal system. This, in a nutshell, is the role of Congress, the Executive, and the Judicial Branches, respectively.

However, political expediency in an atmosphere of popular ignorance has given opportunities to politicians that are perhaps well-meaning but unwise, perhaps incompetent, and perhaps subversive to our way of life.

For example, the Constitution, which is essentially a contract wherein the people delegate certain powers to a federal government, gives the federal government the right to employ some people - a President, Senators and Representatives, Justices.... Implicit is the right to employ others to execute the laws of the land and administer the government. The government may contract with people to work for it, and it is reasonable and proper to have stipulations regarding pensions for those who have made a career in public service. But, where in the Constitution do the people delegate to the federal government the authority to have a pension program mandatory for nearly all citizens? The answer, of course, is that the Constitution does not delegate such authority to the federal government. If such authority is proper for government to have, it is reserved to the states or to their political subdivisions; otherwise, it is reserved to the people. Similarly, where is the authority to have a federally-mandated healthcare program for the general population? Any such program is in complete violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

This brings me to a practical matter of immediate importance in our nation's history, a matter that is timely considering that I write this in the first hours of a Presidential election year: that matter is Obamacare.

President Obama has been portrayed to us as a scholar of our Constitution.

First, I will address this portrayal in a manner that is generous to President Obama.

Obama is a fraud and an idiot, and any portrayal of him as a Constitutional scholar is a lie. I write this because, if Obama is indeed a scholar of our Constitution, he is a completely incompetent one; his attempt to implement mandatory nationwide healthcare for the general population is a very clear violation of the Constitution of which he is supposed to be a scholar. The Constitution does not delegate such power to the federal government. Therefore, such power is reserved to the states or to the people; or else the power is a right not enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and no government entity has any authority at all to establish a mandatory healthcare program for the general population. In trying to implement Obamacare, Obama proves that he obviously knows nothing about our Constitution, and is thus an incompetent idiot and a fraud. And now we have to question the motives and intentions of our media for not calling attention to this.

An alternative explanation is far less flattering to President Obama.

Obama is every bit as smart and knowledgeable about the Constitution as one might expect him to be. In this case, he knows full well that a mandatory federal healthcare program is not Constitutional, and he implements it anyway. This is a violation of his oath of office. For what purpose does he violate his oath and subvert our Constitution? He is moving us down the slippery slope of a totalitarian government, which, by offering us everything we think we want, will succeed only in taking from us everything we have (hat tip to President Ford). Why does Obama wish to move America down the slippery slope toward totalitarianism?

Barack Hussein Obama, alleged to be our 44th President of the United States (I have questions about his eligibility, and thus about the validity of his Presidency), is either 1) an incompetent idiot and a fraud, who is in way over his head, and who was thus likely placed there by people who wish to control him and, through him, control this great nation, or else he is 2) a conman and a "wannabe" dictator. I see no other option here. And I would like to point out that proof that one of these options is true does not exclude the possibility that the other might also be true.

As we read our Constitution, logical questions arise regarding matters such as education and the environment, both of which should generally be matters addressed more by state and local governments than by the federal government. The Clinton-Gore team, which in the 1996 election stayed on message through a chant of "Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment", ran on a platform that was not Constitutional - and won re-election!

This brings me to another matter. We have two Democrat Presidencies, both of which were founded on platforms that were not Constitutional, and both of which were, by the way, known for their illegal conduct and for cozy relations with foreign powers hostile to this country. What does this say about the Democrats, at least at a national level, that Clinton, Gore and Obama would win their primary elections? What does this say about the American people, that both Clinton and Obama would go on to win the general election, with Clinton going so far as to win re-election?

Many issues brought up peripherally in this post will be addressed more in-depth in subsequent posts. Meanwhile, if you would like to review our Constitution, may I suggest some of the many links in the sidebar?

Issues, Part 1: Introduction

I posted this as my status on Facebook, which I here modified by adding the word "hostile": "As long as hostile foreign powers...":

For the record, I am not a conservative. I sympathize with ideology commonly described as "conservative", but I do not seek to "conserve" today's America; I seek to restore America to its path toward the ideals upons which this country was founded. In this respect, I am a radical and an extremist. I have absolutely no intention of negotiating with those who seek to destroy this country. Foreign powers that try to destroy this country need to be dealt with via the full range of options available to America. The goal should be their unconditional surrender. Domestic enemies who violate Constitutional laws need to be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law. As long as hostile foreign powers are not actually working to destroy America, and as long as domestic enemies exercise their Constitutional rights within the bounds of the law, then I seek to take peaceful, lawful political action against them, but I am not looking to reach across the aisle to any of these people.

This post prompted a discussion with one of my friends regarding what part of the conservative agenda I do not agree with. I asked him to be more specific in what he was asking about. He responded that he wanted to know about immigration.

Immigration cannot be viewed alone, as it is part of a larger picture, overlapping with other issues. Additionally, in my interactions at Facebook and in my posts here at the blog, I often point out problems, but seldom suggest solutions. Consequently, in this series, I am providing my own views regarding issues facing this country during this Presidential election year. First I will address those issues that provide necessary background, beginning with philosophy regarding the size and scope of federal government, and continuing with the economy. Then, I will address immigration and border security, and transition to other issues of importance.