Unfortunately, we get exactly what we want…

Update:  Here’s a much more civilized version of what’s written below: http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100407/EDITORIAL/4070332 

Well, I got all agitated over a very bad idea from some very good folks, and sent a response to several people.  So I might as well air it out here.  In case you don’t know, Indiana HB 1065 acknowledges anti-constitutional “federal” and state firearms restrictions as law as it attempts to legalize what’s already legal by the clear wording of both state and federal constitutions.  It also, not incidentally, pushes aside property owners’ rights. 

It’s of course intended to be a positive step toward individual gun rights, but it’s yet another “incremental,” and “pragmatic” step backwards.  It is, in other words, why the good guys are losing, and why we’re quickly reverting to our ancient, crude and ruthless authoritarian default state.  Anyway, here’s pretty-much what I wrote a few days ago:

Indiana’s HB 1065 is a good example of everything bad…with us.

If we would only insist upon the constitutions, as written, then why in the world would we allow such a thing as HB 1065 to weaken the constitutional mandate? Have a look at Article I, Section 32 of our state constitution (https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/indiana-constitution-book.pdf).

It is crystal clear:

The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.”

Why water that down? Why not insist upon it?
We vote for friendly demisocialists like Mitch Daniels because we’re idiots (today’s note: I have nothing against Mitch; it’s the people who voted for him that bother me). We rally around anti-constitutional bills as though they’re our friends because we’re idiots. We cast aside those who’ve been right for those who’ve always been wrong, and we throw away the best laws ever written for blithering nonsense that’s never worked.
Do we really think that new laws are better because they’re new? Why do we think future politicians will pay any more attention to them than to the foundational law that is the very basis of the lawmaking process…and to which they already swore an oath of support?
There are no shortcuts. Either we return to the constitutions as written (even if we have to write new ones), or we’re done…as a nation and as a free people.
Words must mean what they say. We must mean what we say.

We must know what we want, and say what that is…
People who promise to obey a flag and then step on the constitutions are not just stupid idolaters; they’re marauding oppressors.
I’ve personally seen an angry mob fire a mayor and city council.  I’ve seen angry letter/email/phone call-wielding people pass bills, defeat bills, and even overturn laws.  Having twice had 2.5 million people tell me to buzz off and take my constitutions with me, I know where the real power lies.

I’ve met the enemy, and it’s us.   …Not our ideological foes…us.

We who claim to love liberty need no other enemies as long as we oppose what’s already been done on our behalf.
We can fix our problems anytime we want to. But we apparently don’t want to.
We rally around half-@$$ self-destructive nonsense and refuse to unite over what we really want.
Sigh… I tried.

But it’s not up to me.
I can only watch as otherwise intelligent people do the same dumb things over and over and say that it’s the only way to go. As we plunge headlong into failure and oppression, the rallying cry is “that’s just the way it is!
Sigh…

The law is already written that would make you free.  If you compromise, you can only lose.

A Short History of Health Care: Let Doctors Be Doctors

I just ran across this on another website.  It’s a column I wrote for Indiana Policy Review a couple of years ago that seems more appropriate than ever now.

A Short History of Health Care: Let Doctors Be Doctors
By Andrew Horning

Healthcare is an odd business in that it has always been both expensive and unpleasant. Until the 1920s, the average doctor couldn’t even help with the average ailment. While medicine then included a range of arts like phrenology, acupuncture, homeopathy and allopathy it really was a coin-toss whether you’d be saved or killed by a doctor’s work.

Then the 20’s brought insulin, sulfa, other “miracle” drugs and sterile fields that meant, for the first time, that healthcare actually worked more often than not. From there, doctors, scientists and medical engineers really took off; rapid advancements increased life expectancies and decreased suffering. And because of increasing effectiveness and supply, healthcare was even becoming cheaper in real cost-benefit terms.

However, politicians had nothing at all to do with this, and that was apparently a problem. Teddy Roosevelt proposed a German-style, cradle-to-grave “socialized” healthcare system, but it was assailed as “the Prussian Menace” in those anti-German years before WWI, and Teddy’s scheme died. Even so, politicians wanting to seem compassionate started promoting socialized healthcare. The July 1919 issue of the Insurance Monitor made this prescient assertion: “The opportunities for fraud upset all statistical calculations. . . . Health and sickness are vague terms open to endless construction. Death is clearly defined, but to say what shall constitute such loss of health as will justify insurance compensation is no easy task.”

No matter. Between The Revenue Act of 1939’s health-related tax breaks, and 1943, when the War Labor Board excluded employer-paid health insurance from its wage freeze, American politicians charged into health care on their favorite horse, income tax.

In a nutshell, here’s what happened: Tax breaks for employer-paid health insurance meant that health insurance became a part of employment, and insurance became an integral part of healthcare. This inserted middlemen, which of course made everything more expensive. But who cared? The tax-subsidized, payroll-deducted cost was invisible enough that Americans started using insurance to pay for routine visits, dental checkups, eyeglasses and even plastic surgery. Group insurance offered large corporations better plans than small companies could muster, giving large corporations even greater advantages in hiring and competition than corporate laws already gave them. This also meant that the poor, or worse, the self employed, were even further distanced from the rich and incorporated in a very serious way. Obviously this created problems, but politicians never admit error, do they?

Four days before Tax Day, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower established the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, giving government even more direct control over some of humanity’s most precious commodities. More political money and power meant more reasons for businesses to make campaign contributions and lobby. Of course, politicians at every level of government have used healthcare policy to reward their friends and punish their enemies. That’s their stock in trade.

Now tax money and policy is sifted and sorted through political appointees, immortal bureaucracies and defense-contract-style arrangements to feed a dwindling number of profit-starved insurance companies who then deny your claim. Doctors hire legions of workers to manage the regulatory, litigative, and insurance paperwork hassles; or leave private practice to become an employee within a clerically staffed healthcare corporation. So healthcare is still both expensive and unpleasant. But now it’s only because politicians, not doctors, are practicing medicine. Our healthcare injustices and vital statistics have decayed into an embarrassment at just the time when technology should make healthcare cheap, effective and available to all.

It is hard to imagine what politicians could have done to make our healthcare situation any worse. Yet, according to a July 2006 Harris Poll, Americans rate the issue of healthcare well-behind Iraq, the economy, immigration and even gas prices. Even more strangely, most people now think we must, to some degree and by some unspecified method, “socialize” healthcare just as Europe, Canada and other nations are now scrambling back toward free market reforms. What are we thinking?

Let politicians have their way with Iraq, the Colts and toll roads. Let them run lotteries and practice voodoo. But please, let doctors do healthcare at last; they’ve earned the right.

RELATED POSTS:
https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/can-politicians-even-define-health-care/
https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/health-insurance%E2%80%A6or-healthcare%E2%80%A6choose-one/

John Stossel is an American Hero.

I wish I could be a tenth as effective as a Free Market missionary as is John Stossel.  Here is a video that you should watch with your kids, neighbors and coworkers.  It’s excellent.  You can also watch this 20/20 piece, “the Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics” as a six-part YouTube video.

Just do it.

 

“Stoopid Politics” in Fort Wayne

Here’s the YouTube video of the positively brilliant (well, at least fun) “Stoopid Politics” taped in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 18, 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwR02XqM_G0  pt1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pjVgAfIivA  pt2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3IS5-bLv04  pt3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bu50DcWhNw pt4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiu152VZAkQ  pt5

 

 

 

 

Journalists for Medical Experiments?

In an 1873 speech Mark Twain called journalists ““…a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. In that same speech he also said, “There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.

 

Why do I mention this now?  Oh, I don’t know.  I just think Twain was a very interesting fellow, that’s all.  Certainly, I’d never say anything so rude about the big-corporation/conglomerate-owned, politically enmeshed, 49th percentile press of today.  Certainly not.

 

On a completely unrelated subject, certainly not connected in any way to the previous Twain quote, I had another press conference today.  No reporters showed up, though FOX did at least send a cameraman.  It seems to be the thing in this election season.  I had one press conference to which no media showed up, but WIBC later did a report on the subject.  That was the best coverage I’ve gotten so far from any major media outlet since our July 4 event, which was dismissed as a “small crowd of tax protesters.”

  

 

Not in many years have I felt so shut out of the democratic process by our media gatekeepers. 

 

Why?  Have we given up hope of a Cinderella-story or a come-from-behind victory?  Are we thinking we have too many choices in the voting booth this year?  Are voters just so terribly satisfied with the entrenched powers that be? 

 

Surely it must be something like that.

 

Because in very public places with lots of witnesses, I’ve proposed a moratorium on speed traps until our government gets some of its lawlessness under control.  I’ve proposed completely eliminating personal property tax.  I’ve proposed eliminating the CPS/DCS child-snatching bureaucracy and replacing it with Rule of Law (no child is taken from a parent without a criminal conviction by due process).  In fact, I’ve proposed leashing our government from top to bottom to the laws to which all policemen, politicians and even new citizens swear an oath of support.

 

I’ve proposed, in other words, a complete, stem-to-stern, Indiana to Washington, D.C. overhaul of government according to the proven principles and practices that once made this nation the most prosperous, free and secure nation of all time.

 

I’ve even called politicians criminals in violation of their oaths and the laws that protect us from them.

 

Does any other gubernatorial candidate have any proposal, statement or fact to trump that?

 

No reporter ever showed to any of my press conferences, but I’ve heard an awful lot about JLT’s “Green Jobs,” against “Our Man’s” supposed job creation record.  If Mitch says something, the media folk ask Jill what she thinks about it.  If Jill sneezes, they ask Mitch if he’ll say “gesundheit.”

 

There are only THREE candidates on the ballot.  Would it be so hard to throw in a mention of that guy with all the proposals and facts and such?

 

Apparently it is too hard for our understaffed, overworked journalists.  So every day I have to answer the question posed by voters, “So with all these proposals and facts and such, why haven’t I heard of you before?”  This puts me into a bit of a mood, I confess. 

 

I do have several friends even in the big-corporate media, and my heart goes out to them.  They’ve got it tough these days with all the buyouts and mergers and layoffs.  Certainly, their corporate bosses have an agenda, and they’ll get the boot if they run afoul of that robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul agenda.  You have to be an extraordinarily brave soul to risk losing your job for a mere trifle like the truth.  

 

Nevertheless, I sure wish y’all would write letters, make phone calls, or do whatever you can to make the media work for you instead of for the entrenched powers.  Remind journalists that you can either buy their product…or not.

 

On another unrelated subject, I’m reminded of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, who once wrote, “It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians. 

 

Ibsen was an interesting fellow.

 

 

So are you Peter, or Paul?

Imagine some smooth huckster ignites a salvo of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and Ponzi Schemes so extensive (and propagated at times with force) and that become so successful, that the originator is not reviled, but is in fact revered in history books. Over time, several other hucksters pick up the gambit, add to it’s complexity and breadth, and keep it going over generations until essentially the whole nation is suckered in up to our eyeballs. 

What if these schemes invoke so many moral hazards that they’ve changed the way we build cities, where we live, which businesses succeed (rarely) and which fail (ever more frequently), and how we care for people from birth to after death.  Imagine the scams have destroyed public transportation, education, healthcare and the family farm.  They’ve sapped our entrepreneurialism and individualism.

On the eve of the scheme’s collapse, some people learn what it’s all about.  What’s to be done, they wonder?  What should the government do?

Well, you know you don’t need to imagine.  The schemes are real, and we’re on the eve of their complete collapse.

Apparently, the government’s first thought is bailout.

I say it’s time we end the scams instead.  No more bailouts.  Freedom to succeed requires freedom to fail. 

And who’re we kidding; bailouts have always saved the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class.  That’s wrong.

Let risk-takers assume their own risks.  Let us keep what we earn, take risks as we see fit, and succeed or fail on our own merits, hard work, and prayers.

Let’s govern government.  Get it off our backs and out of our faces so that we can stand tall and be the Americans we once were.

As a newborn nation we whupped the global superpower not just once, but twice.  Unleash John Wayne.  Leash politicians.  That’s America.

Our ancient habit of failure

I am running for the constitutional office of Indiana Governor.  That job is all about governing government, not governing you. 

The good news is that I am running for that office unopposed. 

The bad news, however, is that the overwhelming majority of voters don’t care about constitutions, and will almost certainly choose a “Governor” who’s job and powers are unrestrained by any laws, or even customs.  I don’t blame the candidates for that.  No, I grieve for what it says about just who Americans have become.

Despite Obama’s lofty rhetoric about “the American spirit,” modern Americans are no longer the self-governed patriots who kept their politicians on a leash, and who placed their trust in God instead.

Nope; just as foolish, barbaric people have done for thousands of years, we have once again bowed low to the Golden Calf of State.  We are not the Land of the Free or the Home of the Brave.  We are the Land of the Fearful, and the Home of the Dependent.

In other words, we vote for, and bow to, human kings.  Minor kings, major kings…their power is limited only by the king(s) above and the tolerance of oppression below.  Our tolerance is nearly unlimited, and their kingly power reaches into every aspect of our lives in a most destructive way.

They tell us what we can and cannot eat; who and how we marry, hire, live and die.  They take our money because we think they know best what to do with it, and they decide who works, how we work, and how much our wages are worth. 

Of course with that power comes a lot of greed, deceit and supplication. 

This is where the Golden Calf thing becomes truly grim – because such a political faith/ religion requires priests that today we call “lobbyists.”

As with the ancients, it’s all about robbing Peter to pay Paul, once again.  And your job in this Brave New World is to do whatever you can to be more Paul than Peter.  You join or form a special interest group in order to collectivize your power under a lobbyist to get a piece of the pie.  But as more special interest groups are formed and start their battle for the best priests and the best parts of the pie, the Golden Calf itself and the priests who serve it take a bigger and bigger cut.  The pie itself gets smaller through corruption, your piece of it becomes a smaller percentage; so you work harder and harder for less and less until, ultimately, the bread and circuses don’t work anymore, and the whole thing topples.

I’m afraid that our triune Golden Calf god (comprised of Democrat, Republican and Federal Reserve Bank) has won another, perhaps final victory over us.  Obama has turned away fears of his arrogance and terrorism ties with a really good speech (is a teleprompter another sort of god?  Hmmm.); and McCain has brushed aside conservatives’ righteous disgust with a pandering pick for Veep. 

(She’s a fine woman, and if she were the GOP’s pick for President, I’d think a lot differently about this election.  But they’re suckering you in knowing you’ll hope McCain dies or something.  Don’t fall for it.) 

You’re not even voting for President these days, you know…you’re now voting for his funding mechanism, his entrenched party’s leaders, and a system gone terribly, tragically wrong.

So I’m guessing that once again, we’ll vote the way we’ve been voting, and the Golden Calf will grow bigger, fatter, hungrier and more oppressively intrusive until, maybe 18 months from now, you’ll see just what the Federal Reserve and all our new debt instruments (credit cards, 40 year mortgages, etc.) have really wrought.

Disaster.

Please turn us away from this ancient pattern of destruction.  Demand Rule of Law under the state and federal constitutions which are already law and have been proven to work better than anything else ever tried.

Don’t let us fall back to ancient failures older than Hammurabi.  Don’t let them tell you that their schemes of shifting more power into fewer hands is “modern” or “a fresh start,” when it’s as old as the fall of Adam.

Do you want change?  Well, you’re headed for it one way or another.  You can choose change that goes the way of all fools, or you can do better.

Choose wisely.

 

Thoughts on the Presidential Election

Enough with the strategizing, poll-watching and fears of “the wasted vote.”  Here’s what each Presidential Election vote really means:

A vote for Obama:  Nothing.  Everybody hates George Bush.  If you think that your vote is finally putting racism behind us, you’re wrong.  Very wrong.

A vote for McCain:  This vote shows that you are a battered-spouse Republican.  The GOP can do anything to you and you’ll come back begging for more.  You are more than masochistic, however; you’re damaging yourself, your party, and all of your neighbors.  Stop.  Take a deep breath.  Seek help at once.  On the other hand, if you’re a Democrat voting for McCain, I have to say that you’re pretty clever.  …Kill the enemy from within, and all that.

A vote for Nader:  You’re an ardent socialist/collectivist of course.  You are aware that the major party machines are bad, and that “special interests” are problematic, but you don’t really understand why that is, because you flock to special interests yourself.  You may even want to shoot gun rights activists.  You’re a little confused, but you’re not really hurting anybody with your vote.  It may do some good, in fact.

A vote for Baldwin: You are a fine person, and I would like to know you.  You really want the constitutions/ Rule of Law, and are willing to write in a vote that may not even get counted (yes, our elections are rigged to a degree).  You have my respect.  I know I’m running as a Libertarian but I confess I’m conflicted.  I really like this man a lot.

A vote for Barr:  You’re sick of the entrenched and corrupt major parties, and are making a stand for the constitutions/ Rule of Law.  This vote will be counted, and the major parties will be watching with sweaty palms.  Good for you.  There’s lately been a very unfortunate, mishandled misunderstanding and miscommunication between the Ron Paul/Chuck Baldwin  and Bob Barr camps, and that has me even more confliced.  Haven’t we conservatives divided and conquered ourselves quite enough? 

<Sigh>

 

Brutish Simplicity, Dumbed-Down

Alright alright alright.  I get the message.  Nobody wants to read the constitutions.  I need to resolve what I’m about down to three points and they’d better be simple.  OK, I get it.  So here’s as simple as I can make it in just three points:

  1. I would cut stuff from government.  A lot.  I’ll cut something you think we need.  I’m asking you to trust that we don’t really need it.
  2. So all taxes will go waaaaaay down.  You will like that. 
  3. It’s all written down here.

If you have questions, ask them. 

 

 

What’s the choice here?

A good part of any “major” party (meaning “entrenched and corrupt”) campaign is hurling and repulsing the attack that “corporate money” or “out of state contributors” have bought off the candidate.  Fair enough; we all know the problem of money in politics.  Yet politicians know that’s what we vote for, so they take the money and run anyway.  And sure enough, we vote for them anyway.

OK, that’s what we want, apparently.  We do vote for it over and over and over and over….

But especially irritating to me personally, is when journalists hurl the “not enough money to be competitive” grenade.  So a good part of any “third party” campaign is wasted trying to gain the imprimatur of legitimacy offered by all that we hate about politics. 

We try to tell voters we “mean to win” when elections aren’t even about candidates; they’re about voters.  We try to raise money in order to get the “free media” exposure obtained by attaching corrupting strings to the candidate.  We try to become, in other words, just like the fancy pants parties so that we’ll be treated to the same respect and electoral success as those evil monstrosities.

What in the world is that all about?  Are we to feign upset about the obscene, corrupting money in campaigns, and then wallow in it, and point to the pathetic challengers who “can’t raise enough money?”  Are we to demand a truly level playing field …in which all campaigns are corrupt from the start?

Or, could we perhaps undergo the long-due epiphany that the playing field is not at all level, and that the candidates who should enjoy the greatest advantage are those without strings attached, who stand for something, and who are actually candidates for public service, not Caesars in waiting.

Remember, the corporate giants who contribute to Big Party campaigns expect, and get, special deals for their investments.  Ordinary folks who contribute to Big Party campaigns probably don’t know how much of their tax money already goes to these parties, and have believed what they’ve been told about “reality,” “pragmatism” and their “wasted vote.”

Who, on the other hand, is willing to pay for a level playing field?  Who will reach into their own wallets and/or time to do what is right, as opposed to “playing the game?”

In all the years I’ve been watching, I’ve seen only one candidate who is worth more than a puddle of spit raise “enough money to be competitive,” and that is Ron Paul.  In my lifetime (50 years and counting), he’s the first guy to actually stand for something and raise huge stacks of cash.

It could be that others, like me, are just lousy at fundraising.  OK, that’s a distinct possibility.

But if people who stand for constitutions possess an unfortunate, perhaps genetic inability to raise money, what would you rather have?  An evil dictator who knows how to campaign, or a great public servant who just can’t put on a show like that?  Would you prefer a great politician/ bad candidate, or a great candidate/ deadly politician? 

Well, think about an analog in any other area of life.  If you need a delicate, life-saving surgery, would you prefer a skilled surgeon who may have a speech impediment, but has a brilliant surgucal success record; or would you choose a handsome actor who can’t hold a scalpel, but delivers inspiring lines with poise and pathos?

Is this really that hard?

Once again, the choice is yours.