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On last month's Fix;
the answer to last month's Fix,
The recent shootings in Colorado demonstrate the dubious
effectiveness of the severe gun control laws in that state;
Students in Kent WA were suspended for having drawings of
Our President begs the nation's children to solve differences
with words not weapons (while he bombs Serbia);
How would you explain US actions to a visitor who has
read the US Constitution?"
The answer friends is quite simple. The bulk of the laws in this country are unConstitutional and illegal. See. That wasn't too hard.
The President is doing what you would expect any good Dem. to do. He's calling for tighter gun control laws. "Kids should not be able to buy guns until they are 21. They should not be able to own semi-automatic assault (Ed: this is an oxymoron) weapons. They should not be able to carry guns in school."
Pssst. Mr. President. Most of those laws are already on the books - and I'm pretty sure that school principals frown on packing heat in school lockers. Fat lot of good that did.
But of course long time readers of this rag know that this land was settled by religious wackos with guns (today, we call them Pilgrims). Furthermore, the nation was born in a civil war with our parent country - England. Because of that experience we have this thing called the Bill of Rights which curiously enough lists the right to bear arms right after the right to criticize the govt. President Clinton may have had that part confused when he said legitimate sportsmen have no need for weapons of the type used in Colorado. Somehow, I doubt that the guys writing the Constitution, and who had just fought a war, were thinking about using guns for duck hunting.
My wife has a friend whose husband Ron, through a curious string of circumstances, now finds himself the host of an hour long radio talk show in Seattle. Ron makes Howard Stern sound like Martha Stewart. In the April 18 show's monologue he trashed Charlton Heston and Tom Selleck (both are NRA members) for daring to suggest that had the school in Colorado had an armed guard or two, this tragedy would not have happened. In true liberal style and grace, Ron said of the two of them, "... turning this into an excuse for making a pro-gun political statement shows just what opportunistic assholes these guys really are. They are urine filled boils on the anus of society. If they had any real balls, they'd go into a room filled with the armed parents of those dead kids, but they won't because they are cowards." Of course, Ron said all this while bravely hiding behind his radio pseudonym, and went on for the next hour to exclaim how this incident proves the need for gun control - and somehow that was not crass political opportunism. Furthermore, the use of numerous bombs in the Colorado school was not in any way allowed to dissuade him from his gun hatred.
Ron did say one thing though that while not accurate in itself, pointed the way to what the problem is. He said, "Guns turn rage into fatalities." Catchy, but wrong. Undisciplined rage leads to violence and fatalities. And he himself provided ample evidence of uncontrolled, irrational, frothing at the mouth - rage.
Go ahead. Ban guns. That will work with the same efficacy as the war on drugs and Prohibition. Since I don't want to get in trouble for causing more death and mayhem, let me just say this, someone with basic cleaning chemicals and access to an air conditioning intake could kill dozens in an enclosed building. Perhaps we should have a seven day waiting period and perform background checks on those wishing to possess sharpened sticks?
The problem cannot be fixed by banning guns. Guns are just a manifestation of science. Unless you are willing to ban books, knowledge and thinking, people will find ways to kill each other. Of course we had a period where the search for knowledge was banned. Historians call it the Dark Ages. I am afraid that a public that wants Daddy govt. to take care of them, is willing to embrace the thought police once again.
Most of you reading this are in the neighborhood of my age, and probably come from the Great Lake states. Many of us grew up with guns, knives, chain saws, etc. Somehow, we didn't kill too many people. Why is that? Well, I'm not a very religious person and do not believe that one has to appeal to an Almighty to appreciate the common sense of the Golden Rule. But the point is, we had limits, we respected others rights. Some things were wrong. Stealing, lying, adultery, rape, assault, murder.
And don't tell me that judging behavior of others makes me a right wing Christian moralist. To the extent that the "sins" listed above deprive me of my personal property, liberty, or cause measurable harm, this philosophy is consistent with Libertarianism. To be a Libertarian does not mean that one does whatever one wants and to hell with the consequences. That is simple anarchy. A Libertarian works for what he owns, thus the property has personal value. Hopefully, the concept of value is generalized. Hence, the Libertarian respects the sovereignty of himself, as well others and nations.
To be a Liberal, on the other hand, is to define deviancy down and extoll the virtues of dependancy. Abortion, even if the head is emerging, is not murder. Three way bisexual marriages - just another lifestyle choice. Single parent families with latch key kids? Hey, the husband was a dead beat. Sixty percent illegitimacy? Normal. A traitorous adulterer in the White House? My kind of guy. Meanwhile, if I'm a poor, starving and illiterate mother of six illegitimate kids you rich people owe me.
Eco-liberals talk about sustainable life-styles. They should look at what they defend.
Maybe Ron was right. Maybe cowardice is at the root of this
disease. But the cowards are not Heston and Selleck. They are those
of us that avoid confrontation when faced with behavior that is
clearly wrong - be we parents trying to be our kids best friends - or
at work when faced with bigotry, immorality and worse. We are cowards
when we tolerate bullies, rudeness, and accept the reasoning of those
who would trade essential liberty for temporary safety - and
ultimately lose both.
On the Sham Budget Surplus;
Recall the State of the Union Address in January? Well, maybe you don't, but I do. Clinton said that under his leadership. we have attained the first balanced budget since the 60's. Well, to get that "balance", Clinton ordered his accountants to do something that no other President has ever done. He counted the Social Security trust-fund towards the budget. However, the trick has been revealed because we now have this war thingy in Kosovo. To continue to pay for it, Clinton wanted to take $4 Billion from the trust-fund. Well, it seems some retired folk have heard about that and raised the awareness of the press. Word now is, taxes will be raised. Enjoy your virtual tax refund.
It occurs to me that it has been awhile since I've listed Langer's Laws. Some are original, some are not.
1. Never naively trust someone who stands to lose from
telling the truth.
2. To understand individual or group motivations, follow the money.
3. Liberals define fairness as having the deck stacked in their favor.
4. Government is built on legalized extortion.
5. Liberals are very generous with other people's time and money.
Corollary to this and last point: liberals
outnumber conservatives in govt. positions.
6. The person who cares least about, and may be willing to destroy a thing, controls it.
7. Nobody has ever gone broke underestimating the gullibility of people.
Corollary: Slick marketing beats technical
8. The trick to advancement is to make your competitors feel friendly and safe as you climb over their backs up the ladder.
9. Followers look for external validation. Leaders find strength within.
10. You know you are becoming mature when you no longer do things that you have to make
excuses for, and refrain from making excuses for the things you have to do.
11. You are only obligated to be honorable with those who are so with you.
And since this is Tax month, I thought the following review might
On the Tax Code;
by Steve Langer , April 1995
What is the purpose of the tax code? Is it to raise revenue to
govt., or is it a tool of social engineering to smooth out the injustices of
life? Or, is the purpose of the tax code to guide our spending habits in our
allegedly free market?
Well, I think the Founders had this crazy idea that taxes were to
the common defense and a judicial system. Of course today we have sin taxes,
energy taxes, pollution taxes, gift taxes, heredity taxes, interest/capital-gains taxes and income taxes.
The purpose of the first three is to compel us to spend money in a
the govt. defines as "good." The purpose of the next two is to act as a
transfer payment from those who have to those who don't (did you know that
at your death, 75% of your estate beyond the first $600K goes straight to
the Federal govt.) The purpose of the last two is to act as a transfer
payment from those who produce to those who consume. As Walter Williams said
in the March 29 Detroit Free Press_,
"If sin taxes punish sin and pollution taxes punish
do income taxes punish?"
But what could be more fair than the "progressive income tax?"
explain to me why it is fair to tax someone who makes $30k/year at 28% and a
millionaire at 48%? Is it because the millionaire doesn't experience as much
hardship when buying a new car because the car is a smaller fraction of
their worth? Yet is it not true that by buying more than the rest of us, the
wealthy provide more jobs which produce additional income tax?
Of course the pinnacle of fairness is defined by pure democracy
exemplified in a stockholder's election. One vote per share. Those with a
bigger stake get a bigger say, a linear weighting function as it were. I say
we sell stock in the US, and you get as many votes as you own shares. Now
that would be progressive.
1. David Gay writes;Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 10:24:06 -0500
From: "David H. Gay" <email@example.com>
To: LANGER STEVEN C <sglanger@Oakland.edu>
Subject: Re: local_check_header
> "Given that:
> The recent shootings in Colorado demonstrate the dubious
> effectiveness of the severe gun control laws in that state;
> Students in Kent WA were suspended for having drawings of
> bomb designs;
> Our President begs the nation's children to solve differences
> with words not weapons (while he bombs Serbia);
> How would you explain US actions to a visitor who has
> read the US COnstitution?"
This is simple. We have a self-serving deluded President that
failed to get remove from office because of respect for the office
of President not the person occupying the office. Mr. Clinton is
trying to create a legacy for himself, prove that he isn't a
coward for evading the draft for an "immoral war". Therefore he
allowed a Secretary of State with a pathological hatred for
Serbians start a war against the Serbians. For some reason the
normal checks and balances have failed.
Of course this type of behavior by anybody else is not to be tolerated.
"Half of the harm that is done in the world is due to people who
--T.S. Eliot, 'The Cocktail Party' (Harcourt Brace)
"We must teach our nation's youth to settle disputes with words, not weapons."
-- President Clinton's remarks in the aftermath of the Colorado
School shootings. [He neglected to amplify his remarks with
respect to the ongoing war he has waged in Kosovo.]
"Construct an exit strategy for Kosovo where everyone saves face and Clinton wins the Noble Peace prize."
1. Pudget Sound, 20 April: For the past three weeks, the Sound has played host to over two dozen gray whales who are passing through on their way from the Baja calving grounds back to the Arctic summer retreat. Makes the Ferry rides even more exciting.
2. Kent, 22 April: A High School sophomore was suspended from
school for having drawings of how to make bombs on his person. The
school Principal said he was responding to the public outcry that not
enough was done to predict and prevent the massacre in Littleton
1. Littleton, April 20: Fifteen people were killed and another
twenty wounded, when two heavily armed high school students went on a
five hour killing rampage in their high school with guns and home
made explosives. The two were found dead themselves, apparently of
self-inflicted wounds. Police are investigating if other people were
involved as it seems incredible that the two by themselves could have
planted the number (over 30) and sizes (25 pound propane tanks) of
bombs that were found.
1. April 28: Well, the declassified report on the Chinese post doc who smuggled weapons secrets out of Los Alamos National Labs came out this week. And get this, his smuggling has been known about since 1995, yet he continued to smuggle and was only fired last fall. The FBI says they "might" arrest him - in a week or two. Funny thing, in the fifties a married couple, the Rosenbergs, were executed for less. But of course that was before our current progressive attitudes.
Last month I alluded to this incident when I suggested the timing of the Kosovo bombing may be to cover it. But neither I nor Hollywood (ala "Wag the Dog" or "Canadian Bacon") could have envisioned that a couple of students in Colorado would have given the President such a brilliant diversion from this news. Hmmmm.
Curious how Clinton will use Colorado as a spring board for more gun control rhetoric, while we hand over the biggest weapons on Earth to the largest remaining Communist power.
1. John Johnson sends the following;
POLL: VOTERS WANT CELEBRITIES IN OFFICE
More and more it seems like national policy is being driven by polls:
"Poll shows Support builds for ground troops."
"Majority of Americans Against Impeachment, Says New Poll."
But just who is being polled? And what do they really think
swirling in their brains?
Veteran Democratic pollster Rob Schroth on Thursday unveiled a
survey that suggests that likely voters in the U.S. would prefer at least three entertainment or business figures to the current roster of presidential candidates!
Among the highlights of survey:
As an independent candidate for the presidency in 2000, Donald
narrowly leads Al Gore among likely voters -- and is within striking distance of front-runner George W. Bush.
Clint Eastwood also leads Al Gore among likely voters -- and is
within striking distance of front-runner George W. Bush.
If she entered the presidential race as an independent candidate,
Winfrey would be very competitive with both Al Gore and Elizabeth Dole.
Ø Robert Redford is viewed more favorably (63%) and is
(86%) than two-time presidential candidate Lamar Alexander (27% favorable/43% name recognition).
Ø Clint Eastwood is viewed more favorably (72%) and is
(93%) than U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John McCain (26% favorable/36% name recognition).
Ø Former Chicago Bull forward Michael Jordan is viewed more
(77%) and is better known (94%) than former New York Knick, former U.S. Senator, and current presidential candidate Bill Bradley (42% favorable/56% name recognition).
Ø Oprah Winfrey is viewed more favorably (76%) and is
better known (96%)
than former cabinet member and current presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole (63% favorable/92% total name recognition).
Ø Over one-third of likely voters are prepared to vote for an un-named, generic "successful businessperson who's never run for office before," which would place he or she ahead of Gore and only one percentage point behind Bush:
[The poll was conducted from April 5-9 among a random
selection of 800
registered voters who self described themselves as likely to vote in the November, 2000 general election for president. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.5%.]
George Lucas for NATO Supreme Commander!
2. And Matt B sends this.
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 12:33:22 -0700 (MST)
From: Matt Birkholz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Dr. Steve Langer <email@example.com>
Subject: Cool if you are Libertarian :-)
This is short and made my heart sing. Gene hit many
voluntary cooperation, goofy zero-sum world-view, etc.
If "Save Social Security" did not sound hollow before, this should help.
> From: Gene Woltz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 13:45:39 -0700
> Arizona Libertarian Party Announcements -
Gang Of Phascists
> Part 1
> Typical of socialists, who protect the state regardless of
> costs or consequences, the major parties are increasing the
> utilization of force (taxation, regulation,
> criminalization, monopolization) to maintain a
> dysfunctional and unworkable welfare state.
> The most obivous example of this effort to "protect the
> state" is the effort to "save" social security; a program
> that harms everyone but government. An effort not supported
> by a strong majority of the public, only by politicans
> scheming to PROTECT THE PROGRAM (who would want to lose a
> 400-500 billion yearly cash flow?).
> Their aims are evident in their rhetoric. They want to
> "save social security", not take steps to insure retirees
> the maximum possible retirement benefit. They want to
> restore public education, not take steps to insure children
> the highest possible quality education.
> They won't because retirement benefits above the
> subsistence level and high quality education do not involve
> government; something neither major party will tolerate.
> Only in the fantasy world of government is life a zero sum
> game, "if government doesn't do it it won't get done" is
> just self serving rethoric. In the real world "if
> government doesn't do it it" means that it will get done
> sooner, cheaper, better, and voluntarily.
> They will continue to deliver this caricature of capitalism
> and constutitional government as long as voters continue to
> validate it. What they fear most is that voters will stop
> wasting their vote on them and will start voting for the
> real American vision, not the caricature. It wont take much
> of what they fear most to envoke change.
> Don't take the fast or slow track to total government,
> secure the benefits of liberity, vote Libertarian.
> --- End Commentary / Start of Document ---
> Cato: Today's Commentary
> March 29, 1999
> The Grand Old Spending Party
> by Stephen Moore and James Carter
> Stephen Moore is a director of fiscal policy studies at the
> Cato Institute. James Carter is a fiscal analyst working in
> Congressional budget resolutions are all too often like New
> Year's resolutions. We all pledge at the start of the year
> to watch less TV, lose weight or exercise daily, but the
> promises are violated early and often--then soon
> conveniently forgotten.
> This year's budget plan, crafted ably by Rep. John Kasich
> of Ohio, has many positive features. By taking Social
> Security off-budget, the plan deftly avoids the "save
> Social Security first" trap set by the White House. By
> adhering to the spending ceilings from the 1997 budget
> deal, the plan would, in theory at least, prevent another
> ugly $20 billion election-eve spending spree like the one
> we saw at the end of 1998. Perhaps best of all, it would
> effectively repeal the "pay-go" budget rules that have
> prevented savings from budget cuts from being turned into
> tax cuts.
> But the plan still has gaping defects. First, the GOP's
> budgets are still too big. The $1.74 trillion Uncle Sam
> would spend next year is more than $50,000 per second. In
> the five-year budget now being pasted together in Congress,
> the federal government will spend just a shade under $10
> trillion--of which about 90 percent will replenish nanny
> state social programs.
> Second, the budget resolution fails to mention by name even
> a single government program that should be extinguished.
> Can it be that the party that seized a majority in the
> House and Senate five years ago with a Reaganite message of
> smaller and smarter government can no longer identify
> programs that should be smaller and smarter? Surely a
> budget that called for the elimination of oinkers like
> bilingual education, corporate welfare grants to market
> Ralston Purina cat food, 1970s-style population control
> programs around the world and honey bee subsidies would
> elicit thunderous approval from a public that increasingly
> questions whether it gets anything close to its money's
> worth from Uncle Sam.
> Many domestic programs that were once slated for
> elimination are now better fed than they were when the
> Democrats ran Capitol Hill. The odious Goals 2000 program's
> budget has doubled from $231 million in 1995 to $507
> million in 1999. The Economic Development Administration, a
> pork-barrel agency that the Reagan White House long ago
> identified as a weed patch in the federal budget, has seen
> its budget catapult from $350 million to $438 million. The
> accompanying table shows how programs once slated for
> termination have grown in recent years.
> The Return of the Living Dead
> Cabinet Agencies 1995 1999
> (times 1 million)
> Department of Commerce $3,410 $4,767
> Department of Education Programs 31,322 35,000
> Goals 2000 231 507
> Manufacturing Extension Prg. 40 128
> Economic Development Admin. 350 438
> Star Schools 25 45
> Americorps 426 456
> Bilingual Education 225 351
> Trade Adjustment Assistance 268 325
> Adult Education 299 400
> Source: Internal Revenue Service
> Our strong suspicion is that, by year's end, this year's
> budget resolution may not be worth the paper it's written
> on. One reason to be skeptical is that so far this year
> when actual spending plans have come to a vote, fiscal
> conservatives have been routed. Earlier this month House
> Republicans approved a 50 percent four-year increase in the
> Great Society era Peace Corps program. "I'm surprised that
> anyone who says they are for smaller government would have
> supported this bill," moaned Rep. David McIntosh (R-Ind.)
> after the 326-90 vote.
> This seems to be the continuation of a pro-spending trend.
> Last year the inflation-adjusted increase in domestic
> discretionary spending was the second largest in 21 years.
> Republicans in Congress have outspent Clinton's budget in
> two of the past three years.
> In some cases, the GOP is even now openly boasting of
> outspending the White House. The budget resolution trumpets
> "an overall Department of Education net increase of $2.4
> billion in 2000, double the president's budget, and an
> increase of $31 billion over the next five years, five
> times the president's request." Such pro-spending rhetoric
> sends to voters precisely the mixed messages that are
> causing the GOP heartburn in the polls.
> On fiscal matters Republicans need to learn from Reagan's
> political success in battling the pro-spending Democrats
> for eight years. That success emanated from Reagan's
> unwavering commitment to a few core ideas: strong defense,
> less government interference in our lives, lower taxes.
> Even when Reagan lost the short-term policy battles, he
> drew public support by sticking to those bedrock principles
> of freedom. When the Reagan White House caved in to
> congressional spending demands, it didn't crow about it.
> This year's budget resolution is fine. But actions speak
> louder than words. Will Republicans actually cast the tough
> votes to cut spending? Rep. Mark Sanford, the third-term
> South Carolina Republican recently despaired: "I would hate
> to have to say that we've spent five years at this job, and
> at the end of it, government was bigger and taxing more
> than when we came, but that's where we are." That's also
> the best way to get run out of town in November 2000.