As this is a busy week with many family commitments, and as this is an election year, today I will present a rerun of my 2016 Presidential campaign speech. As always, if anyone is offended by any of the statements in this hypothetical speech, too damn bad.
Ladies and Gentlemen – friends – Americans – citizens.
I stand before you on this two hundred and twenty-eighth year of our Republic. I stand before you to announce my intention to seek the Presidency of our Republic. Most important of all, I stand before you to tell you why I intend to seek this thankless, stressful job, and what I intend to do with it.
Liberty means you are free to do as you please, so long as you cause no harm, physical or financial, to anyone else.
As Thomas Jefferson said, “If it neither picks my pocket nor break my arm, it’s not my concern.” This is a coin with two sides: Nobody gets to tell you what to do, but neither do you get to tell anyone else what to do. Marry who you like. Work where and how you like. Start businesses and create new products and services are you like. It’s nobody else’s business – and it sure as hell isn’t the government’s business – until you hurt someone else. We currently live in a nation where you are required to obtain permission from a government bureaucrat to cut hair, to paint fingernails, to sell lemonade. I call bullshit. This has to stop.
That means the following: The fruits of your labors are yours. They do not belong to some government bureaucrat, nor to some shouting agitator, nor to some ivory tower academic. They are yours. Government, to be effective at the few things they are required – absolutely required – to do, must tax you for some small amount of the fruits of your labors, but that taxation must be strictly limited, strictly fair, simply defined, and some must be collected from every single citizen. Everybody contributes. Nobody skates. There are too many in the nation who have no skin in the game, and our elections have become auctions, with candidates falling over each other promising voters more of other peoples’ property. I call bullshit. This has to stop.
Government, at all levels, serves you. You do not serve the government. I stand here today not as someone seeking to be your master, but as someone applying for a job – and you will be my employers. I am applying for the job of CEO of the world’s largest Republic, and you, the citizens of the Republic, are the world’s largest Board of Directors. I answer to you, not the other way around. Every single government employee, from the President to the third assistant dogcatcher in Leaf Springs, Arkansas, answers to you. And so as one of my first acts in office I will personally visit every office, every facility, and every installation that falls under the control of the Executive Branch. I will personally speak with the Federal employees at those offices, facilities and installations. Any employee that cannot satisfactorily answer two questions: “What is your purpose? What are you doing right now?” will be fired on the spot. Any Executive Branch employee at any level who breaks the law, any law, will be fired and prosecuted. Government employees have, for too long, been held to different standards than the electorate. I call bullshit. This has to stop.
The Federal government has become a bloated Colossus. Washington is littered with extra-constitutional agencies, the purpose of which is to regulate, to dictate, to interfere with the free citizenry. There is no constitutional justification for many of them, and many of them actually work at cross purposes. The result is that every single business enterprise in the nation has to have an army of accountants and attorneys to help them navigate the twisted pathways of regulation and taxation; that every citizen has to puzzle through pages upon pages of Federal guidance in so prosaic an action as filing their annual tax return. The Federal government has only a few, a very few, legitimate roles: To protect private property, to ensure liberty, to protect the citizens from foreign interference. That’s all. But not today; no, not today. The Federal government has indeed become a bloated Colossus, but I intend to cut it down to size. As one of my first acts in office I will call upon Congress to eliminate the Federal Departments of Commerce, of Energy, of Education, and any others that I deem to be extra-constitutional and that add no value to the proper roles of government. Our government is too big. I call bullshit. This has to stop.
Disclaimer: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have absolutely no intention of ever running for any elected office. I’d sooner shovel shit – the odor is better and at least shoveling shit is honest work. But if I were to seek office, this would pretty much sum up my platform, with one addition: If I sought and won the top spot, within my first 100 days as President I would submit a budget to Congress that consisted of four words: “Fuck you, cut spending.”
Well, now this is a bit overdue. Better late than never, I suppose. Excerpt:
The Trump administration announced Tuesday it was withdrawing the U.S. from the United Nations Human Rights Council, with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley calling the 47-member council “a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.”
Haley noted the move came after a year where “we did not see any progress.”
Haley threatened the pullout last year, citing longstanding U.S. complaints that the council showed a “chronic bias” against Israel. Calling it “an organization that is not worthy of its name,” Haley decried the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela — which also have been slammed for human-rights violations.
The announcement, though, also came just a day after the U.N. human rights chief denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.
“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments. On the contrary. We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said. “We did not make this decision lightly. When this administration began 17 months ago, we were well aware of the enormous flaws in the Human Rights Council. We could have withdrawn immediately. We did not do that. Instead, we made a good faith effort to resolve the problems.”
Members of the laughably-named Human Rights Council at present include such paragons of human rights and liberty as Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. What a fucking joke.
I’m buggered if I know why we don’t just withdraw from the UN altogether. Kick them the hell out of New York, let them bog off to Belgium or some other place, turn the UN building over to some private developer to build something useful, and think about forming some group of modern, pro-liberty states (if we can find any) that might actually promote the cause of human freedom.
Because the UN just doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about liberty.
Take a look at six ways the EPA is wasting taxpayer dollars. Excerpt:
Congress recently voted to raise the budget caps that limited the amount of money they can spend. While doing so, they claimed that the budget caps were so tight they were having devastating and lasting consequences for the government.
Could that possibly be true? Could the federal government’s real problem be that it doesn’t have enough money? We decided to check in on just one department, the Environmental Protection Agency. And here’s what we found:
Scott Pruitt’s Spending Spree: Scott Pruitt has been front and center for the past few months. In September, the Inspector General found that Pruitt’s office had plans to build a $25,000 soundproof booth. The New York Times reported shortly after that the booth was originally quoted for $10,000, but ended up costing $43,000. On top of that, Pruitt spent $9,000 sweeping the office for listening devices and installing fingerprint-activated locks. He also spent an astounding $2.7 million for 19 agents to provide around the clock security. What is perhaps most infuriating is the amount spent on first-class travel, including dalliances to Europe. A Politico report estimated that Pruitt had spent over $100,000 on first-class flights due to “specific ongoing threats.”
Fat Rats Breathing Truck Fumes: It was recently revealed that the EPA has been wasting millions of tax dollars on outdated and misleading air pollution tests on animals at its National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory. The facility—which has a $116 million budget and uses 20,000 rabbits, mice, and other animals each year in deadly tests—has been forcing animals to breathe diesel exhaust and force-feeding animals lard to make them obese and then exposing them to air pollution. As JunkScience.com’s editor remarked about the tests, “Mice are not little people when it comes to studying the potential health effects, like cancer, of low-level exposures to chemicals in the environment.”
Read the article for the entire list, but there’s one thing conveniently absent: The EPA wastes taxpayer money by simply existing. It’s one of a long list of Imperial agencies unauthorized by the Constitution, and therefore forbidden by the Tenth Amendment. The several states can set up environmental standards, but the Imperial government cannot.
Were I to have my druthers, the Imperial Executive Branch would consist of three departments: Defense, State and Treasury. But I can’t have my druthers; instead, we are stuck with the ever-expanding Imperial colossus.
I appreciate the effort that went into this article and every example is well taken, but let’s be honest; we could eliminate all of these wasteful items and we’d still be spitting into a hurricane.
Thanks again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!
Speaking of good news: I love a happy ending. Excerpt:
An armed civilian took down a shooter after at least two people were shot Sunday night at a Washington state Walmart, police said.
Tumwater police said the civilian, described by officers as a good Samaritan, shot and killed the suspect at the scene.
The shooting happened just after 5:30 p.m. at the Walmart Supercenter in Tumwater, about 65 miles south of Seattle.
“I heard two bangs. It sounded like gunshots to me,” witness Robert Berwick said. “I looked down the aisle and saw a person running.”
That’s when Berwick ran, too. There was chaos in the parking lot, and he said the shooting suspect tried to carjack another man. That’s when the suspect was shot.
“I thanked him for saving my life,” Berwick said of the attempted carjacking victim who shot the suspect. “He didn’t look like he had any regrets. I hope he doesn’t have any.”
Another witness to the shooting, Megan Chadwick, said her husband saw the civilian take down the shooter.
“He said he watched him (the shooter) take his last breath,” Chadwick said. “There were three civilians going after him (the shooter) to shoot him and two of them had their guns up — and then the third guy shot him through the window of the car.”
Chadwick said her husband was armed as well.
Note that the linked story goes to a local news station. You won’t hear much about this from the legacy media; it doesn’t fit The Narrative. In the aftermath of recent mass shootings where the perp was made into an instant celebrity, you hear would-be gun-grabbers whining that “good guys with guns never stop crimes.”
Well, here’s a good guy with a gun – one of four on the scene, it seems – who stopped a crime. What’s more, due to his good marksmanship, the taxpayers are spared the expense of a trial.
I’d call that a good outcome.
Thanks once again to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!
Some of you True Believers probably ingested some ethanol over the weekend just past, in various forms – I know I did. The problem is, your car or truck is ingesting it too, and unlike your consumption, your vehicle’s ethanol is heavily subsidized by the Imperial government. We could save folks a lot of money by getting rid of the whole ethanol scam. Excerpt:
The Scientific American reports that roughly 40% of America’s corn crop goes to manufacture ethanol added to gasoline. That is more than the second largest use of corn — as feed for cattle, pigs and chickens — which consumes 36% of the annual corn crop. Is it wise to burn food for fuel, more than for feeding a hungry world?
Using so much of the corn crop for fuel has already caused world corn prices to rise sharply. That is not noticed in rich countries, but it has caused food riots in poor, Third World countries, where poor families consequently suffer hunger.
This is particularly outdated in a world flooded by oil and natural gas, due to the effects of modern fracking. That flood has already caused world prices of oil and gas to sink.
Contributing to these perverse effects is the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). That policy requires all transportation fuels sold in the U.S. to contain a minimum level of renewable fuels, such as ethanol.
Ethanol lobbyists say the RFS promotes economic growth. But the RFS is more like a tax increase than economic growth. The free market will always choose the least costly fuel alternative, without the need for any regulatory mandate. The ethanol mandate just raises costs above whatever the least costly alternative is.
The ethanol subsidy is, of course, heavily lobbied for in the farm states; a candidate cannot be elected dogcatcher in places like my own home state of Iowa if they don’t support various agricultural subsidies, including the ethanol horseshit. And also, in those same places, you’ll hear a lot of rhetoric from pols about protecting the “family farm.”
But a farm – full disclosure, I come from a long line of farmers on both sides of my family – is not a holy calling. It’s just a business, like any other. And business models change. Big corporate farms produce goods for consumers at lower cost than family farms, and subsidies in agricultural goods, like with any other goods, just screw up the self-regulating nature of markets and are always, in the end, inflationary.
Markets, not governments, should pick winners and losers. That applies to fuels, foods, and everything else.
Hucksters of every sort have almost certainly been around since the beginning of spoken language, but it takes a special sort of asshole to claim he needs a $54 million dollar jet to spread God’s word. Excerpt:
The most frightening thing about Jesse Duplantis is that I think he truly believes what he’s saying.
I mean, at some deep, deep level, even a guy who wears a yellow plaid shirt under a navy blue blazer is woke enough to realize that having a conversation with God—and, by the way, God needs to improve His syntax—having a conversation with God about how Jesse needs a $54 million jet to spread the Gospel is, among other things, insane.
(Quick digression: As recently as the ’50s, anyone claiming to get messages from God was immediately booked into the Rusk State Hospital for the Feeble-Minded. Today these guys get international TV shows.)
By this time you’ve probably heard about Jesse’s appeal for help in granting God’s wish that he start using a Falcon 7X corporate jet for church business. His three previous multimillion-dollar jets have proved inadequate for the spreading of the Prosperity Gospel because their range requires Jesse to stop and refuel, thereby wasting God’s valuable time. Jesse’s video went viral and attracted all kinds of attention from the secular press.
But why do these guys need jets? They all have them. In fact, it’s not uncommon for their churches to be built next door to a private airstrip.
They need jets for the same reason they need isolated locations for their churches, which are really elaborate television studios. Jesse Duplantis’ “church” is in Destrehan, an upscale suburb of New Orleans, where he lives in a church-funded mansion. Kenneth Copeland’s “church” is in Newark, Texas, a lakeside exurb of Fort Worth.
They need out-of-the-way locations for their church services, and they need private jets for their travel, because they can’t stand to be close to the starving, desperate people they take money from.
But this particular asshole isn’t alone. There are dozens of these sorts of hucksters on television and radio, fleecing the rubes who mostly can’t afford to be fleeced, and living high on the hog. Occasionally one of them is busted and goes to jail, but not nearly often enough.
Back in the early 1980s, when I was married to my first wife, her grandfather – as kind and thoughtful a man as ever lived – used to send money to the detestable Jim Bakker. I used to try to talk him out of it. “But he needs the money,” Grandpa would reply. “He does good work.”
“What good work?” I asked him. My ex’s Grandpa was usually unable to name specifics.
He didn’t live to see Bakker thrown in the pokey, where he richly deserved to be. I was glad of that much; Grandpa M. would have been hurt and disappointed, and he was at least spared that.
But there is something especially detestable about liars ripping people off in the name of religion – and bear in mind, I’m an atheist saying this. This fucking conman Duplantis belongs in a jail cell, not in a private jet.
Chicago gun-banners were just handed a setback. Excerpt:
On June 13, the anti-gun ordinance passed by the Chicago suburb would have gone into effect. It was essentially a gun ban, and there were no exceptions. It’s either you turn them over, move, or risk facing a $250-$1,000/ day noncompliance fee. Yeah, the AR-15 and other rifles the anti-gun Left finds scary were banned, but it also included scores of handguns. Magazines holding 15 rounds are not uncommon. Luckily, a circuit court judge blocked this law 24 hours from going into effect. And yes, legal challenges were filed against this grossly unconstitutional law (via Vice News):
A judge blocked a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines in the small town of Deerfield, Illinois, less than 24 hours before it was meant to go into effect.
The decision, handed down Tuesday evening in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County, Illinois, is a small victory for gun rights groups, who sued the Chicago suburb in April after it became the first municipality to ban assault weapons following the Parkland high school shooting. The Deerfield ordinance was passed unanimously by all six board members on April 2.
Gun groups, including the National Rifle Association of Illinois, requested a temporary restraining order against the ban while the lawsuit proceeded.
Here in Colorado the People’s Republic of Boulder passed a similar ban, seemingly defying our state’s pre-emption law. Oregon has a similar ‘turn ’em in’ law proposed as a ballot initiative. Thus the trend of blaming the sword for the hand that wields it continues.
At least one judge saw reason. Here in Colorado, there’s already a lawsuit against the Boulder ban; we’ll see how that goes.
For decades the Left used the courts to jam through agenda items they couldn’t get through various legislatures. It’s high time the Right tried fighting fire with fire.
Thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!
Moving on: Now this is interesting. Excerpt:
Clasping hands and forecasting future peace, President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un committed Tuesday to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula during the first meeting in history between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. Yet as Trump toasted the summit’s results, he faced mounting questions about whether he got too little and gave away too much — including an agreement to halt U.S. military exercises with treaty ally South Korea.
Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim came together for a summit that seemed unthinkable months ago when the two nations traded nuclear threats. The gathering of the two unpredictable leaders marked a striking gamble by the American president to grant Kim long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North’s nuclear program.
Both leaders expressed optimism throughout roughly five hours of talks, with Trump thanking Kim afterward “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.” Kim, for his part, said the leaders had “decided to leave the past behind” and promised: “The world will see a major change.”
Yeah, major change indeed – if that stunted little gargoyle with bad hair that currently runs the NorKs is being straight-up with the U.S., which I doubt.
Here’s what I wonder about this agreement: The batshit-crazy NorKs have agreed, under pressure of American sanctions, to completely denuclearize. Presumably, in case they follow their past history and are lying to us (rather likely, in my estimation) there is an “or else” involved.
One would guess that the “or else” is a military option or, at least, re-imposition of harsh sanctions. President Trump is more than likely to impose the “or else.” But what about the next President? Or the one after that?
The NorKs have a long history of lying and cheating. I doubt they’ll stop now.