Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How Informed a Voter Are You?

I have always prided myself on being an informed voter. I watch the primaries before and after voting has already taken place in my own state. It has always amazed me how a station can project a winner minutes after the polls have closed and with a few exceptions are correct.

I was watching the results of the Indiana and North Carolina elections last night and the victory speeches of both candidates. I have watched the pundits for what seems like years now saying it is impossible for Hillary to overtake Obama and asking why she keeps staying in. Neither one can win enough delegates to win the nomination so it is going to come down to the "super delegates". First of all, this is a totally ridiculous system to my thinking. I think the electoral college itself is a joke. Anyway, the Fox Channel is interviewing Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina who is an uncomfirmed super delegate asking him if he has decided. He says that he hasn't because he is going over the data from the precincts and counties in his state before he reaches a decision. At the time, Obama has already been declared the winner and is leading by over 25 points. He wound up winning by 14. Does anyone else look at Rep. Miller and question I wonder why our government doesn't work?

Another thing that made me go hmmm was watching the exit poll questions and percentages. Over 60% of both Indiana and North Carolina voters thought both Obama and Clinton were honest. I must have missed something somewhere. Less than a month ago, Hillary stated she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire which was proven visually that was wrong. Obama sat in the pew of his church listening to a minister spew hate rhetoric but never heard it. Yet, over 60% of the voters in these 2 states think they are honest. I realize none of us are perfect but how can any reasonably intelligent, rational, logical person think they are honest? Are they saying they are honest most of the time? I don't understand that premise.

I think it is great that record numbers of people are registering and subsequently voting in the primaries, but I wonder and yes question how truly informed they are. Are they making their choice based on a campaign worker knocking on their door giving them some signs and pins and driving them to the registration place? Based on the answers given in exit polls it sure does seem that way

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Why Socialism Cannot Succeed

Does Socialism work? To find out the answer to this question, all we have to do is visit the nearest Native American reservation. While it is fashionable to blame high unemployment rates, economic stagnation and ill-health on the effects of being a conquered peoples, I maintain that it is due to Native peoples adherence to the socialistic tribal structure, both culturally and economically.

I am always amazed with people who advocate socialism as a solution to the problems facing us. I would venture to say that those individuals have never lived or worked in a socialistic society. If they had, they would see that socialism only can work on a very limited and small scale.

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand tells a story about a motor company in which the credo, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need", was applied. In this story, it shows how the company deteriorates because people soon learn that the get what they want, they have to prove how needy they are. Each person has to show that "their" need is greater than another's, and those with ability end up working more and more to provide for the "needs" of others. In other words, they were slaves to the "collective".

Aguste Comte, in his Catechisme Positiviste, said that "[the] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service.... This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, who we are entirely."

"The social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights." This sentence needs to be burned into our souls.

Altruism also has been defined as, "serving others through placing their interests above one's own."

When the state decides to put altruism into practice the method used is socialism.

I was raised in what Indian's call the "dominant" society of the 1950's and 1960's in a small logging town in Oregon. At one time I asked my father why we did not live by the old reservation around other Indian's and he replied, "I didn't want you kids raised with the belief that somebody owed you something". He also was adamant that we work for whatever luxuries we wanted. At the time, I thought he was just mean and cheap.

The last 16 years I have lived on our small reservation. I have also visited and studied many other reservations in America. Most of them have attempted to use socialism as their economic remedy. If you want to see how socialism works all you have to do is look at Native American reservation's. They still have the highest un-employment. The poorest health, lowest standard of living and highest death rate pro rated.

What I have observed is people are grateful when some of their needs are being met via a socialistic entity; then people start expecting their needs too be met; and then they start demanding their needs be met. They not only expect what was already given, but demand even more benefits.

Intellectually, socialism sounds wonderful. In reality it creates slaves. Some individuals are slaves by providing the benefits to and for others, and some are slaves to their neediness.

Here is a quote by Frederic Bastiat...... (This was written in the 1840's, about 100 years before FDR. Since the 1940's, most of the problems Mr. Bastiat foresaw have occurred in the U.S.)

"[The socialists declare] that the state owes subsistence, well-being, and education to all its citizens; that it should be generous, charitable, involved in everything, devoted to everybody;...that it should intervene directly to relieve all suffering, satisfy and anticipate all wants, furnish capital to all enterprises, enlightenment to all minds, balm for all wounds, asylums for all the unfortunate, and even aid to the point of shedding French blood, for all oppressed people on the face of the earth.

Who would not like to see all these benefits flow forth upon the world from the law, as from an inexhaustible source? ...But is it possible? ...Whence does [the state] draw those resources that it is urged to dispense by way of benefits to individuals? Is it not from the individuals themselves? How, then, can these resources be increased by passing through the hands of a parasitical and voracious intermediary?...

Finally...we shall see the entire people transformed into petitioners. Landed property, agriculture, industry, commerce, shipping, industrial companies, all will bestir themselves to claim favors from the state. The public treasury will be literally pillaged.

Everyone will have good reasons to prove that legal fraternity should be interpreted in this sense: "Let me have the benefits, and let others pay the costs."

Everyone's effort will be directed toward snatching a scrap of fraternal privilege from the legislature. The suffering classes, although having the greatest claim, will not always have the greatest success." from Journal des Economistes

I have witnessed the harm done by socialism. I have seen it sap the integrity, motivation, honesty, and dreams of individuals. I have seen it create slaves. I have seen its seductive promises induce people to betray family members and friends.

I have seen socialism create the entitlement mentality. I have watched my sons accept the false premises that we are put on this earth to expend our lives, talents and ability to the "collective".

I have attempted to talk with them. I have tried to explain why they should not accept the fact that they will work over one half of their lives for the benefit of politicians and the government. However, as many of you know who have children, parents do not know much.

It saddens me. I told my oldest son that one of the reasons I sobered up 30 years ago, was because I was not going to be a bum on society or my family. I am not going to sit idly by and let our government institute programs and policies so my children will be slaves to me even "after" I am dead.

This issue is "not" just an interesting debate or intellectual exercise. Socialism kills, not just individuals but all the things that make an individuals life on this earth worthwhile.

Don't believe me?

As I suggested, just do a little research on the conditions on most reservations in this country.

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