Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Mises View: "What is Economic Growth?"

Obamacare and Americans Have Something in Common

H/T:  Muskegon Pundit

Celebrate Evacuation Day!

Tomorrow is Evacuation Day.  November 25, 1783 was the day American patriots reclaimed New York City from the British troops and their loyalist occupiers.  General George Washington marched his troops through the streets of Manhattan.  He was astonished at what he saw. 

The Americans stopped at the Blue Bell Tavern, at what is now 181st St. and Broadway, once a hotbed of patriotic sentiment, where the head of King George III’s statue was stuck on a post in the first days of liberty. They marched through McGowan’s Pass, along what is now Central Park’s East Drive at about 102nd St., then made their way down the Bowery to Pearl St., and turning west on Wall St. — following much of the same route along which they fled in a desperate retreat from British troops seven years before.

The landscape about them was unrecognizable, “the island . . . totally stripped of trees,” an astonished Washington reported. Most of the villages of upper Manhattan had been burned and looted. It was, one observer said, “one general scene of ravage and desolation.”

Those who remained loyal to the crown sailed back to England or moved to Canada.  Here is a picture of a statue in Hamilton, Ontario lamenting the fate of British refugees.

This Monument is Dedicated to the Lasting Memory of The United Empire Loyalists who, after the Declaration of Independence, came into British America from the seceded American Colonies and who, with faith and fortitude, and under great pioneering difficulties, largely laid the foundations of this Canadian nation as an integral part of the British Empire.

Neither confiscation of their property, the pitiless persecution of their kinsmen in revolt, nor the galling chains of imprisonment could break their spirits, or divorce them from a loyalty almost without parallel.

“No country ever had such founders — no country in the world — no, not since the days of Abraham.” — Lady Tennyson

I can’t wait for the day when patriotic Americans once again liberate this country from the current occupiers that infest this country.

Democrats Utilize Nuclear Option; Dismiss Senate Rules

We have witnessed time and time again, Democrats disregarding the very rules and laws that they have implemented for short term political expediency.  This time they utilized the nuclear option.  According to Senate parliamentary procedures, a 2/3 vote is required to change senate rules.  That means 67 members must vote in the affirmative.  Senator Harry Reid and his confederates ignored this, even though he warned of the consequences in his book.

Everyone knows what this is about.  They want to pack the D.C. Circuit Court in order to buttress their runaway Administrative State and rule us without going through the legislative process.

You Democrats are fooling no one.

H/T:  NCRenegade

The Affordable Veterinary Care Act

If you like your balls, you can keep your balls.

H/T:  I Own the World


Your Health Care the Local Way

H/T:  NCRenegade

Obama Failures in One Picture

This is a little dated.  It's worse than that.

H/T:  Weasel Zippers

Democrats Road Map to Tyranny: Ignorance and Vice

Earlier this week, the nation celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  President Barack Obama, of course, had to place himself center stage by omitting “Under God” in his recitation of that famous speech.  His irreverence should be no surprise to anyone who pays attention.  He and his minions attack Christians and their religion every chance they get.


Progressives have been successful at rewriting history.  Their god, FDR, is a poignant example of that.  So far, they have also been successful at expunging God and Christ from our schools and the public square; even to the point of denying that our founding fathers were Christians and that they envisioned the United States as a Christian nation.

Progressives can deny this all they want, but we have the documents to prove it.  The first Continental Congress unanimously voted for the Suffolk Resolves.  One of those provisions claimed they were Protestant Christians:

10. That the late act of parliament for establishing the Roman Catholic religion and the French laws in that extensive country, now called Canada, is dangerous in an extreme degree to the Protestant religion and to the civil rights and liberties of all America; and, therefore, as men and Protestant Christians, we are indispensubly obliged to take all proper measures for our security.

Samuel Adams, widely considered the Father of the Revolution, wrote that Americans have a religious duty to defend their liberties.  Here is an excerpt that was published in the Boston Gazette on October 5, 1772:

Is it not High Time for the People of this Country explicitly to declare, whether they will be Freemen or Slaves?  It is an important Question which ought to be decided.  It concerns us more than any Thing in this Life.  The Salvation of our Souls is interested in the Event:  For wherever Tyranny is establish’d, Immorality of every Kind comes in like a Torrent.  It is in the interest of Tyrants to reduce the people to Ignorance and Vice.  For they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together.  For this Reason, it is always observable, that those who are combined to destroy the People’s Liberties, practice every Art to poison their Morals.  How greatly then does it concern us, at all Events, to put a Stop to the Progress of Tyranny.

And that pretty much describes the strategy of the Democratic Party.

It is Healthier to be Uninsured than on Medicaid

As the American people are being stampeded from their "substandard" insurance policies into a more expensive and/or taxpayer subsidized one that doesn’t pertain to their needs, many are finding out that they can’t afford it.  Those unfortunates are being herded into the Medicaid system.

Talk to anyone who is on Medicaid.  You’ll find out there are too many people competing for too few services.  As a matter of fact, it is coming to light that it is more dangerous to your health to be on Medicaid than it is to be uninsured.  Here is an excerpt from Avik Roy’s broadside:  How Medicaid Fails the Poor.

There’s a massive fallacy at the heart of Medicaid, and therefore at the heart of Obamacare.  It’s the idea that health insurance equals health care.

It doesn’t take a PhD in health economics to appreciate that if you have a card that says you have health insurance, but that card doesn’t get you into the doctor’s office when you need help, you’re not going to get better health care.  But in case you were wondering, PhD’s – and MD’s – have looked at this problem.  In 2010, a group of surgeons at the University of Virginia asked this question:  Does the type of health insurance you have make a difference in the outcomes of the care you receive?

To answer it, they evaluated 893,658 major surgical operations from 2003 to 2007.  The results were jarring.  Patients on Medicare who were undergoing surgery were 45 percent more likely to die before leaving the hospital than those with private insurance; the uninsured were 74 percent more likely; and Medicaid patients were 93 percent more likely.  That is to say, despite the fact that we will soon spend more than $500 billion a year on Medicaid, Medicaid beneficiaries, on average, fared slightly worse than those with no insurance at all.

The advocates of Medicaid contend that this program helps the poor by providing preventive care.  Avik Roy’s pamphlet also torpedoes this assumption by referencing the Oregon study and others.  Of course, progressives come up with all sorts of excuses.  Mr. Roy refutes each one.  Watch this video.  At the 3:24 mark he describes that Medicaid reimburses doctors 30 cents for every dollar it collects.


Carolina Journal Radio: Amity Shlaes on Calvin Coolidge

RALEIGH — As Americans continue to struggle with a sluggish economy, policymakers could learn useful lessons from a president who served in office more than 80 years ago. That’s the view of Amity Shlaes, director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Center, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of three New York Times best-sellers, including a biography of the 30th American president, Calvin Coolidge. Shlaes outlined Coolidge’s successful record for a recent John Locke Foundation Headliner event. She also discussed Coolidge during an interview with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio. (Click here to find a station near you or to learn about the weekly CJ Radio podcast.) 

Kokai: Calvin Coolidge. Why devote an entire book to this president who a lot of people don’t even remember?

Shlaes: Well, today we wonder — we’re a little worried about the debt today, right? And today we wonder if a president could ever cut debt really, could cut the budget really — especially in peacetime. That seems incompatible with our politicians. It’s almost inconceivable. 

And here was a U.S. president who cut the budget during peacetime and prosperity. The astounding fact, Mitch, about Coolidge was he came into office in 1923. He left in March ’29, and when he left the White House, the federal budget was lower than when he came in. Actually lower, not just mess[ing] around with inflation — really, truly lower. Even as the economy expanded throughout the period, even as the population expanded, he managed to shrink the government. So how did he do that? That’s the subject of this book. 

Kokai: I imagine some people will hear that and say, “Oh, but those were different times. It was so long ago. It must have been easy to cut the federal government back then.” Your book details that even in the 1920s, it was hard to make these cuts. These weren’t simple, easy decisions. 

Shlaes: Well, yes. We always ask, “What direction is the country going in?” And if you ask President Obama what direction he was going in, it wouldn’t be that much different, on paper, than where a Republican might be going. In that period, they had the Progressive Party. It wasn’t shy about expansion of government. It wanted to nationalize the two most important industries at that time: the railroad and electric power. It wanted to nationalize the industries of the future. The Internet equivalent was utilities. It didn’t mind the idea of a bunch of reforms at the federal level, some of which we wouldn’t agree with, such as full national health like England. And this was the coming party. If you [asked], “What is the future of the U.S.?” you’d say, “It was the Progressive Party.”

And, indeed, in 1924, in the election in which Coolidge, as president, did compete, the Progressives got 17 percent. So they were saying the Republican Party is dying, the Progressives are going to take over, and America is going to shift left. 

So imagine as executive you’re competing with that. And instead of saying, “Yeah, I’ll do a little national health. Yeah, I’ll do a little for the veterans.” (The great entitlement group at that time was the veterans, the ones seeking entitlements. One-third were disabled from World War I. They were angry, and they had no pension.) Instead of saying, “Yeah, I’ll concede there,” Coolidge just said, “No.” So to sketch it as a job without challenges or without pressure from the left is to misrepresent history.

Kokai: The Progressives were a separate party eventually, but there were a lot of Progressives within the Republican Party, and Calvin Coolidge, we learn from your book, really had to come to grips with what he thought about that element of his own party and whether he would stand with Progressive Republicans or with another group that was more for limited government. How did he end up coming to the stance that he did?

Shlaes: One of the interesting things about the period is the Republican Party thinks it’s in crisis today; it was really in crisis then. There were many new immigrants. They weren’t necessarily going to vote for Republicans. They were in traditional Republican territory. The Progressive movement was growing. 

Coolidge was a professional politician. He spent his entire career in politics in a very interesting way, moving up the ladder from little mayor of Northampton or even the city solicitor, all the way to governor of Massachusetts and then to Washington, vice president, president. He had to figure out where he fit in this. And as a young man, a young Republican coming out of college in 1895, who is the star of his party in the first 10 years of his adulthood? Theodore Roosevelt, the great Progressive. 

And there’s an amusing section in the book. Coolidge’s honeymoon, he goes to Canada. And even in the Canadian papers, Theodore Roosevelt is it. Coolidge as a young man believed in Progressivism and passed Progressive laws, endorsed them, sponsored them as a lawmaker in the state of Massachusetts and Boston. He even had an antitrust law he wanted for theaters. So these Progressive concepts — help for workers, minimum wage, things like that — Coolidge, if you go look at the roster of the things he endorsed as a state politician, it’s there. He was a Progressive. 

But two things happened. Gradually he began to see that maybe Progressive ideas weren’t good for the economy. And especially with the panic in 1907, the Progressives wanted this and that with the railroad, basically to rip it apart, and then they wanted the railroad to rescue the economy after they had trashed the railroads and caused the crash. 

And Coolidge saw the hypocrisy in this. There was a lack of functionality. And he began to say, “Well, maybe I’m not so progressive.” And he was horrified at the disloyalty of Theodore Roosevelt, who ran off and founded his own party, the Bull Moose Party, and therefore gave the opposition power. Woodrow Wilson wouldn’t have won if the Republicans hadn’t split. 

So a third factor, though, is federalism. Coolidge believed in states. He was a state Progressive. But the idea that Washington, which he called the national government, should promulgate Progressive policy, well, he wasn’t so sure about that. So it’s both a shift in temperament — through experience and philosophy, as a man ages and comes to maturity — and also a shift in level of government. 

If Coolidge had always stayed Massachusetts’ governor, we could do a hypothetical and say he might have been for some Progressive laws for Massachusetts, even as an old man. But he didn’t. He went to Washington, to where he thought neither Progressive laws were a good idea nor, certainly, was it suitable for Washington to be promulgating them, to them come upon the states from Washington. 

Kokai: What should today’s politicians learn from Calvin Coolidge?

Shlaes: We think today that if a candidate is for cutting government, he’s going to lose. We also think, by the way, that cutting government doesn’t work. “Austerity,” the dreaded red letter A, right? No politician can be for it, whatever party. What Coolidge showed is that you could be for austerity and have a good result with the economy. They had 4 percent growth, like the name of my project at the Bush Center. Something to which we today can only aspire: 4 percent growth. They had very low unemployment with a policy of austerity. 

And the second thing is that austerity can win. People wondered whether Coolidge, when he did run for president in 1924 — he had come [into office in 1923] after the death of a president — would he win? Would he make it? And the outstanding fact of the ’24 election is that Coolidge, as a Republican, even with a third party taking 17 percent, prevailed. He had an absolute majority, not just a plurality, beating Democrats and Progressives combined. He was enormously popular. When he didn’t run in ’28 the Republican Party, neurotic [then] as now, had a nervous breakdown. So you can win politically and economically with a policy of government austerity. That’s Coolidge’s message

Democrats Scheme to Advance Administrative State

Senate Democrats pulled the nuclear option earlier this week.  They are fully aware that the American people have caught onto their shenanigans.  Barack Obama is officially a lame duck and the Republicans have a chance to win the Senate.  The Democrats need a failsafe plan that will further their socialist ideology without having to go through the legislative process.  They need the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to rubber stamp Obama’s administrative state.

The progressives for over a hundred years schemed to circumvent the U.S. Constitution.  They needed a way to bypass Congress.  They needed federal bureaucracies that can act independent of the legislative process.  They need an administrative state.  President Woodrow Wilson gave them a vision even he admitted is alien to the American people:

But where has this science grown up? Surely not on this side of the sea….American writers have hitherto taken no very important part in the advancement of this science. It has found its doctors in Europe. It is not of our making; it is a foreign science, speaking very little of the language of English or American principles….It has been developed by French and German professors.

Many are asking what law allowed the executive branch to accumulate all this power while abrogating Congress’s constitutional responsibilities.  It is called the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946.

This law gave federal agencies a free hand in writing, implementing and enforcing rules and regulations.  They can do this with little input from the general public or our representatives.

In 1947, the department of justice issued the Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act. This document provides insight regarding the application of the act and remains valuable as a research tool to this day. Some of the information contained in this manual provides analysis that the courts have not yet considered.

The purpose of the APA is to provide minimum procedural standards that federal administrative agencies must follow. It distinguishes between two major forms of administrative functions: agency rulemaking and agency adjudication. Administrative rulemaking is analogous to the legislative acts, while an administrative adjudication is analogous to a judicial decision. This distinction contained in the APA has long been the subject of scholarly debate. Some argue that such a dichotomy is unnecessarily rigid and that it might not always allow for the most appropriate procedures for a particular agency. Supporters of the distinction between rulemaking and adjudication contained in the APA note that this distinction best represents the basic functions of administrative agencies.

The rulemaking provisions of the APA are more detailed than those governing adjudications. Most agencies engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking, which is required as the minimum rulemaking procedure under the APA. Under notice-and-comment rulemaking, agencies are required to give the public advance notice of the contents of proposed rule and to offer the public an opportunity to express their views of the proposed rule before the agency. Some agencies are required by the statutes that created them to follow more stringent standards, whereby all of the agency's actions during rulemaking are conducted "on the record." This latter type of rulemaking is known as formal rulemaking.

The APA defines and governs only those types of adjudications that are required by statute to be conducted "on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing." If an agency is required to conduct such a formal adjudication under the APA, it must engage in a proceeding resembling a trial. However, if the agency is not required to conduct such a hearing, the APA remains silent. Accordingly, an agency may adopt its own procedure for an informal adjudication, so long as the agency otherwise does not violate the U.S. Constitution or other law.

I contend that the Administrative Procedures Act is unconstitutional.  It violates Article One, Section One, and our constitutional concept of separation of powers.  But as we’ve seen, the progressives only need a compliant judge to implement their vision of the United States even if it’s against the will of the people.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Entitlement Mentality of Millennials

H/T:  Moonbattery

Senator Kay Hagan: Exempt Me Too

Project Veritas:Obamacare Navigators Caught on Tape

Geezer's Quest for Obamacare

H/T:  Muskegon Pundit

Hillary Clinton 2007: If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It

And this is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.  How many times will the American people put up with their lies?

Sen. John Barrasso Predicted Obamacare Fiasco

Republicans have been warning the American people about this Obamacare fiasco for the past 4 years.  Now we are seeing this prophecy come into fruition.

Naysayers want the republican solution for health care.  Senator John Barrasso gave it to us in less than 4 minutes in a Fox interview.  Watch this video to the very end.

MSNBC's Toure: Red State Senators in 'Gerrymandered Districts'

This sums up the intellect of the Democratic Party.

Piers Morgan Tweet: Time to Panic Mr. President

King Obama Serves Up Another Health Care Turkey

Today, King Obama came before the American people, flicked his imperial scepter and extended all those substandard insurance policies for one year.  At that time the fairy dust will have worn off, and you’ll be forced to trade in your pumpkin policy for an Obamacare turkey.  Welcome to the banana republic of Santa Claus.

 I wonder if King Obama has the power to extend the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Obviously, he is omnipotent.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Americans Registered for More Gun Licenses Than Obamacare

H/T:  Muskegon Pundit

The Mises View: "Government Shutdown, Spending Cuts, and Other Fables

Keep this in mind when round 2 comes next year.

Jim Rogers: Central Banks Are Making a Terrible Mistake

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) Tries to Hide His Obamacare Lie

Another Democrat lying to his constituents.  The miracle of the internet.


Ed Schultz in Panic Over Obamacare Failures

It's amusing watching these clowns fall over themselves trying to justify this national and societal failure.

Senator Kay Hagan's Approval Rating Plummets

Senator Kay Hagan has taken a huge hit in the polls for her participation in perpetrating this fraud known as Obamacare.  Even the liberal Public Policy Polls is having a hard time covering her ass.

That’s a huge difference from PPP’s September poll, which gave Hagan leads of anywhere from 12 points to 17 points against all possible GOP challengers.

 Hagan’s approval ratings are underwater in the poll: 49 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job she’s doing, compared with 44 percent who approve.

 The poll also suggests she could be suffering from the implementation of Obamacare: 69 percent of those surveyed said the law’s rollout has been unsuccessful so far, compared with 25 percent who say it’s been a success.

 Public Policy Polls has been accused more than once of skewing their results in favor of liberal policies.  One must wonder if Hagan’s numbers are worse than what is being reported.

Senator Kay Hagan Owes North Carolinians an Explanation

Senator Kay Hagan: Broken Healthcare Promises

American Crossroads: Senator Kay Hagan Lied

Senator Kay Hagan is an Embarrassment to North Carolina

Does anyone remember all the editorials, local and national, that mocked and impugned North Carolina’s General Assembly this past year?  All the Observers that infest this state gleefully called our governor and republican legislators “a national embarrassment.”  Well, Obamacare is a real national embarrassment, along with an NC senator who blindly voted for this monstrosity.  Senator Kay Hagan probably wished she had stayed home instead of holding a press conference.  Here is an excerpt from a Dana Milbank article:  

Hagan hosted a conference call for reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the problems with the health-care law’s rollout, and the Q&A session was so painful that the senator should qualify for trauma coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
 Fox News’s Jim Angle asked what she thought about the reports showing that only 50,000 Americans had enrolled in the health-care exchanges on
 “You know,” she replied. “I know the — I believe this coming Friday, those numbers are going to be published and uh, you know, as soon as I see them, you know, obviously it’s, it’s m-much fewer than the administration expected.”
 A reporter from the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record asked why Hagan, like President Obama, had told people that if they liked their health plans they’d be able to keep their health plans.
 There was a long pause before Hagan responded, then a deep intake of breath. “You know, Doug,” she responded, “the, um” — here she exhaled and paused again — “the way these, the — the regulations and the law, uh” — pause — “came forward recently, I think people were surprised that the, uh, the — the actual original plans would be, um, would be canceled.”
 Another North Carolina reporter asked Hagan what she is telling constituents whose premiums have doubled or whose plans have been canceled.
 Deep inhalation. “Well, a lot of people, I, I am encouraging everybody to go on the site, uh, uh, I — look through it, find out what the benefits are,” she began. She also said constituents could call her office, “and we will certainly, uh, do what we can to help those individuals and put them in contact, uh, with the right — with the right person, and, and, and help them.”
 And North Carolina’s General Assembly and governor is an embarrassment?  Think again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Tow Charge for Cursing?

This is an arbitrary charge that should be illegal.

H/T:  I Own the World

Sarah Palin on "The Church of Big Government"

Are Democrats Following the Venezuelan Health Care Model?

So the Democrats want a universal health care system.  I bet they have no clue as to what that entails.  They are following in the footsteps of a Third-World country like Venezuela.  Here is a quote from an Associated Press article:

Gonzalez is on a list of 31 breast cancer patients waiting to have tumors removed at one of Venezuela's biggest medical facilities, Maracay's Central Hospital. But like legions of the sick across the country, she's been neglected by a health care system doctors say is collapsing after years of deterioration.

Doctors at the hospital sent home 300 cancer patients last month when supply shortages and overtaxed equipment made it impossible for them to perform non-emergency surgeries.

Driving the crisis in health care are the same forces that have left Venezuelans scrambling to find toilet paper, milk and automobile parts. Economists blame government mismanagement and currency controls set by the late President Hugo Chavez for inflation pushing 50 percent annually. The government controls the dollars needed to buy medical supplies and has simply not made enough available.

The federal government is already monetizing our debt.  Obamacare overtaxed medical equipment which could lead to the same problems as Venezuela.  And now there are discussions of cost/price controls.  Some Democrats have stated they want to turn doctors into serfs.  That would lead to a shortage of medical experts, which means we have to import Third-Worlders whose culture is hostile to Western Civilization.  Hell, Venezuela had to hire Cubans.

 The country's 1999 constitution guarantees free universal health care to Venezuelans, who sit on the world's largest proven oil reserves. President Nicolas Maduro's government insists it's complying. Yet of the country's 100 fully functioning public hospitals, nine in 10 have just 7 percent of the supplies they need, Natera said.

The other nearly 200 public hospitals that existed when Chavez took office were largely replaced by a system of walk-in clinics run by Cuban doctors that have won praise for delivering preventative care to the neediest but do not treat serious illnesses.

Wasn’t one of the mandates for Obamacare preventive care?  Yeah, I thought so.


David Horowitz: Single Payer Health Care is Communism

Venezuelan President Threatens to Jail Business Owners

I read the following article, and it reminds of the same kind of rhetoric coming from the Democratic Party.  They haven’t threatened to throw business owners in jail, yet.  But we’ve heard their desires to confiscate their property and takeover whole industries. 

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is extending price controls and will place limits on profits as he extends attempts to curb the galloping inflation that is eroding support for his rule.

Maduro made the announcement in a late-night television address Sunday in which he also vowed to step up inspections of businesses selling shoes, clothing, automobiles and other goods to make sure they aren't gouging consumers.

"We can't just close the businesses; the owners have to go to jail," Maduro said in an impassioned speech in which he cited Jewish, Muslim and Christian texts to harangue businessmen he accuses of usury. "We can't allow our hard currency to be used to rob people through the sale of these goods."

Huge crowds of government loyalists and opponents formed outside appliance stores over the weekend after Maduro ordered the military to occupy the Daka chain of electronic stores and slash by more than half prices for washing machines, televisions and other white goods.

While soldiers with assault rifles were deployed to keep bargain hunters in check, at least one Daka store, in the country's third largest city of Valencia, was looted by unruly crowds, according to photos and videos posted online.

Maduro Sunday night urged Venezuelans to remain calm, saying that he won't allow the "parasitic bourgeoisie" to overcharge consumers ever again.

To that end, he vowed to place percentage limits on profit margins if congress approves a bill granting him special powers.

All tyrants want special powers.

White Guy Wins After Leading Voters to Believe He's Black

Central Planners Want Health Care Cost Controls


Last week, I listened to a couple of central planners on NPR discuss Obamacare.  I can’t remember their names.  It really doesn’t matter.  All of us have heard their excuses before about the failures of the website, not to mention how stupid and unappreciative us plebeians are for losing our “substandard” policies in lieu of their mandated “superior” insurance that we can’t afford, or the provisions which we’ll never use.

What made these commentators different than the rest is their advocacy for government “ price and cost controls.”  Now, anyone with a small degree of knowledge of the not too distant past can attest to the failures of this policy.  Hell, all we have to do is look to Venezuela.  Their president seized a chain store declaring confiscatory prices:

The president, who took over from Hugo Chávez in April 2013, appeared on state television Friday calling for the "occupation" of the chain, which employs some 500 staff.

"This is for the good of the nation," Maduro said. "Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses … Let nothing remain in stock!"

The president was accompanied on television by images of officials checking prices of 32-inch plasma televisions.

Daka's store managers, according to Maduro, have been arrested and are being held by the country's security services. Neither Daka nor the government responded to requests for comment.

Maduro has long blamed the opposition for waging an economic war on the country though critics are adamant that government price controls, enacted by Chávez a decade ago, are the real cause for the dire state of the economy.

With such a shortage of hard currency for importers and regular citizens, dollars sell on the black market for nine times their official, government-set value. Prices, at shops such as Daka, are set according to this black market, hence the government's crackdown.

Chávez often theatrically expropriated or seized assets from more than 1,000 companies during his 14-year tenure. This, among other difficulties for foreign firms, led to a severe lack of foreign investment in the country which, according to OPEC, has the world's largest oil reserves.

"This is more like government-sanctioned looting," said 42-year-old Caracas-based engineer Carlos Rivero. "What stops them going into pharmacies, supermarkets and shopping malls?

Do we really want to become Venezuela?  Many Americans apparently do.

U.S. Senators Cannot Serve Two Masters

When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, it was understood that the Senate was to represent the interest of the States.  This arrangement was designed as a safeguard against rampant populism and a check upon the ambitions of the federal government.  Then the 17th Amendment was passed.  Now, the States are being turned into vassalages and the citizenry enslaved by ambitious politicians and unchecked bureaucrats.  I’m here to say that the U.S. Senate cannot serve two masters.  Either they represent the interest of their state, or that of the federal government.  So far, it has been the latter.

Many believe that it’s impossible to repeal the 17th Amendment.  The argument is made that the individual voter would rather have a say as to who shall represent them in the Senate rather than allowing their state’s legislature to make that choice.  What we are seeing in many states is the interest of urban areas dominating that of rural or less populated districts.  Sometimes these senators don’t vote in the interest of either.  Before the 17th Amendment the states had the ability to recall rogue senators.  Now we have to wait 6 years for these super-legislators to come to the polls. 

Something has to be done about the U.S. Senate.  If we can’t repeal the 17th Amendment then we must find other means to make them more accountable.  One way is to shorten their terms.  The other is to repeal Article 1 Section 6 [1] of the U.S. Constitution:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.

We shall continue to pay the Representatives out of the U.S Treasury, but Senators will have their salaries ascertained and paid by their state’s legislature.  That is how we can ensure they vote in the interest of their state.  There is a precedent.  The following excerpt from The Five Royal Governors of North Carolina 1729 – 1775 demonstrates what happens to those who serve one master at the expense of the citizenry:

The most ever-present problem of his entire administration – and that of the other royal governors – was the problem of his salary.  As has been noted already, the governor was a royal agent, a servant of the King and his lieutenant in the colony.  As such he was not really responsible to the assembly or the people.  And yet he was dependent upon the colonial assembly for his salary.  It is easy to see what an effective weapon this could be:  either the governor signed assembly’s bills into law, however much they displeased him, or they withheld his salary.

Withhold a senator’s salary and we’ll see a change in attitude from these super-legislators.

Aesop Fable: The Democrat and the Lamb

It’s time to recognize the Democratic Party for what it is: a pack of wolves.  These tyrants prey upon the weak and vulnerable.  And for those who refuse to accept their policies, they dub as stupid and incompetent, and then they force their will upon us.  Little by little the Democrats devour our liberties.  Here is an Aesop fable that pertains to their ambitions.

 A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, decided not to attack the lamb, but to find some reason to justify to the Lamb why the Wolf had the right to eat him. So the Wolf said:

“Sir Lamb, last year you greatly insulted me.”

“But,” bleated the Lamb mournfully, “I was not born last year!”

Then the Wolf said, “You feed in my pasture.”

“No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have not yet tasted grass.”

Again the Wolf said, “You drink water from my well.”

“No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.”

Upon which the Wolf seized the Lamb and ate him up, saying, “Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my accusations.”

Moral: The tyrant will always find a reason for his tyranny.