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The REAL Reason the Democrats attacked Brett Kavanaugh: The Fraud-eral Reserve

The REAL Reason the Democrats attacked Brett Kavanaugh: The Fraud-eral Reserve

By Branehart

Recently the Senate Democrats tried to all-out kill the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court by falsely, viciously and relentlessly accusing him of several sexual assaults that occurred between thirty and forty years ago. There was little doubt these accusations had no merit because under scrutiny the allegations fell apart quickly. One accuser couldn’t remember which house she was at, who was there, or the date when the alleged assault happened. She also never reported the incident to the police – when there’s no statue of limitations for that kind of offense in the state where it supposedly occurred. The witnesses she identified denied the incident ever happened. Other accusers had similar credibility problems.

Republicans went for the low hanging fruit in concluding why the Democrats did what they did: they were concerned Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade; that the Democrats wanted their power back after losing the 2016 election; etc.

The real reason, however, is probably something else: the Democrats will lose their leverage over President Trump.

According to MarketWatch, Brett Kavanaugh believes that prohibiting the President from firing the Chairman of the Federal Reserve at will is probably unconstitutional. According to the law as it has been followed since the Supreme Court ruled on the issue in the 1930’s, the President can only fire the Federal Reserve chairman for cause, not at will. Further, disagreements over the policy of raising interest rates is not considered to be something that can give rise to a dismissal for cause.

Now, why is this relevant to the Kavanaugh conflagration? Easy: by raising interest rates the Federal Reserve can destroy the economy, undoing all the good work President Trump has done to make it great again. This could cause low information voters, who don’t know why the economy is sagging, to blame the President and Republicans rather than the Federal Reserve and vote him and the Republicans out and the Democrats back in.

But what does this mean, raising interest rates? What is it the Federal Reserve actually does? And what is the Federal Reserve, anyway?

The Federal Reserve is sort of like a national bank, which takes money printed and minted by the U.S. Mints and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and puts it into circulation. It puts it into circulation by lending it to private banks. When it lends the money to them it charges them an interest rate which the banks pay as a fee or tax to the Federal Reserve. The private banks then lend this money to their borrowers, including businesses of all sizes and types.

The interest rate the Federal Reserve charges banks to borrow money has an enormous effect on the economy. For banks that borrow from the Federal Reserve to be profitable, they must charge their borrowers interest rates higher than the rate they’re being charged by the Fed. For example, if the Fed charges banks 2%, banks have to charge their borrowers at least 2.5% – 3% or more to cover their costs and be profitable. If the rate is too high, businesses won’t be able to afford to borrow money for lines of credit to expand or even keep operating. The result is a slower economy, possibly much slower depending on how high the Fed raises rates.

But why should the Federal Reserve even charge interest to banks for the money it gives them? The answer: it shouldn’t. It doesn’t need to.

The Federal Reserve is not a true bank. A real bank gets money from depositors, invests it by lending it, and makes a profit or loss based on the quality of its investments. The Federal Reserve doesn’t do this. What it really is is a government agency that can get money by force through taxes and won’t go out of business. As a government agency it has no business trying to make profits because it is owned by the taxpayers, who should have given back to them any surplus revenue it takes in. As such all it should be doing is charging banks a small fee for the money it gives them to cover its operating expenses. That fee would be no doubt far smaller than the huge amounts it takes in by charging the interest it does.

The Fed tries to justify charging, and changing, interest rates because it says it has a role in “managing the economy”. More specifically, it says it needs to do what it does to “keep inflation in check”. The reasoning goes like this: if the Fed keeps rates low, banks will charge low rates, the economy will boom, people will make more money, and will be able to afford to pay higher prices for goods and services. Businesses will take advantage of this situation by raising their prices, which according to the Fed is “inflation”.

But this isn’t true.

Inflation does not mean rising prices. Rising prices are a symptom of inflation, but not synonymous with it.

Real inflation means the government inflating the money supply without a corresponding increase in the amount of wealth produced which gives that money its value. Money is not synonymous with wealth; it’s just something that gets you wealth. The real wealth is the stuff you can buy with money. You can have all the money in the world but if there is nothing to buy with it, that money is worthless. That’s why people tend to want dollars, euros, pounds or yen rather than Cuban pesos; in comparison with North America, Europe and Japan, Cuba doesn’t produce anything except maybe a few good cigars here and there that you can buy with its money.

Prices rise when governments print and mint up more money but people don’t produce more stuff to buy with that money. For example, assume all that exists in the world are two tacos and two dollars. How much does each taco cost? Obviously, one dollar. Then, assume the government prints up two more dollars, but nobody makes any more tacos. How much does each taco cost now? Obviously, two dollars each. The price just doubled. More dollars and the same amount of things to buy with them means the price of each thing has just increased.

Real inflation is a bad thing because, unless you’re politically connected enough to get some of that newly printed and minted money as a government handout, you’ll be paid the same amount in your job but pay higher prices for what you buy. And you’ll be that much poorer.

Now, when the economy booms, prices go up also. The Fed is right about that. But they go up for a radically different reason: not because there are more dollars backed by the same amount of wealth, but because people can afford to pay them so businesses can afford to charge them. People can afford to pay them because the booming economy has made them wealthier. It made them wealthier because in a burgeoning economy people are producing more wealth. More homes, cars, appliances, haircuts, suits, clothes, airline flights, loans, consultations and other services, etc. More wealth means more revenue, more profits, more money in everyone’s pocket – and the ability to bid higher for the things one wants. This is why a cup of coffee costs $4 in Japan; they can charge it because people are productive enough to pay it.

What the Federal Reserve is doing, then, is package-dealing rising prices due to economic prosperity with rising prices resulting from governments inflating the currency. This is dishonest and the Fed does it because they can get away with it, since very few people know monetary policy well enough to catch on.

So, if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, the natural thing to do is have the President fire the Fed chairman and replace him with someone who won’t do it. But not so fast, the Democrats say; the Fed needs to be “independent” of “politics” in making its decisions to “keep the economy on track and inflation in check” – so the President can’t fire him.

Unless, of course, he does so – and the Supreme Court says he can. With Brett Kavanaugh, the Court is that much closer to giving President Trump that power.


Rethinking Free Trade and Philosophic Malpractice: a blog by Branehart


Rethinking Free Trade and Philosophic Malpractice

By Branehart

Even I make some errors every now and then; I mean, nobody knows everything. So without further ado, upon a greater understanding than I had previously, I would like to correct two issues in prior posts.

In my post “Free Trade with Dictatorships: Could Donald Trump be Right?”, I stand by everything I said except for one point: that governments of free countries should put surcharges on underpriced goods coming from dictatorships. Instead, I believe that free trade should truly be completely free except for matters of national security (such as military secrets, etc.). This does not, however, mean that I think it is moral to trade with dictatorships, for all the reasons I gave in my post. I agree with Dr. Harry Binswanger, a professional philosopher, who in his article “Buy American is Un-American” says that a rational person would not trade with a dictatorship. The truth is, though, that American companies trade all the time with dictatorships, particularly China. So, if tariffs surcharges and other trade barriers are off limits, what’s to stop Americans from engaging in immoral trading practices?

The answer should be no surprise, because after all this is Branehart talking; teaching people how to think in the abstract properly. That would solve the problem by enabling them to figure out the consequences of trading with countries like China. They would then realize when considering the totality of what they’re doing in the grand scheme of things, Chinese trade isn’t the bargain they think it is and they’d refrain from doing it.

When people don’t know how to think in the abstract about something all they can do is deal with concrete issues in front of their noses along with a few easy abstract issues that aren’t too far removed from the concretes. Anything less obvious than that, forget it. For example regarding Chinese trade, all they can work with is what’s plain as day; the low prices of Chinese goods. They see these prices and think, wow! Our profit margins will be great selling this stuff. They can’t deal with abstract issues like the wage slavery of Chinese workers by an oppressive government, or the threat that enriching that government through trade poses to American security, or the American companies that would be driven out of business by underpriced goods.

Upon realizing what they are doing in context, however, many American businessmen I believe, would reconsider dealing with China. But teaching them how to figure this out is a job ultimately for our intellectuals, not bureaucrats. It isn’t the government’s job to protect us from ourselves – just to protect us from others out to violate our rights.

As for my comments, holding intellectuals legally accountable for spreading dangerous philosophical ideas such as Kant’s at the end of my post “The History of Thinking in Western History”, I’m torn. I believe that professors who espouse ideas that are destructive- are committing malpractice. I also believe I may have been proposing less than the best way of dealing with the issue.

Suing people merely for what they say is problematic on two counts: first, there is the old sticks and stones saying about words, and the corollary of it in the doctrine of freedom of speech. (Having said that, though, I admit that if a professor has accepted tuition or fees from someone and then said something destructive, the idea of getting a refund is tempting.) Second, reacting by suing shows fear of what the professor is doing, as if it were a threat – something of far greater significance than bad ideas without action deserve. If anything, bad ideas without action should be laughed at, not cowered from.

Given this maybe what should be done is to critique bad professors’ ideas and expose them for being as destructive as they are. Any intellectual who says in so many words that the mind is impotent to understand reality, as did Kant, Plotinus or Augustine is nothing but a misery monger and no champion of happiness. As such, he has nothing of value to tell anyone; after all, even if something he says is true and valuable, can you trust him? Such people are nihilists out to destroy happiness because it takes the mind’s understanding of reality to produce values for happiness. By declaring the mind impotent, then, they are thereby declaring all that comes from it impossible.

There is something moot about this whole issue, however, because the vast majority of intellectuals today are firmly in the Kant camp and would never give intellectual support to someone trying to sue their colleagues for malpractice for preaching what they agree with. The trick then is to train a new generation of intellectuals who support ideas that will lead to happiness rather than misery. If those intellectuals end up taking over academia, the issue will take care of itself.

What makes America Better: a blog by Branehart

What makes America Better

By Branehart


Universities, governments, and media all over the world love to attack the United States.  America is too greedy, selfish, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, intolerant, consumes too much of the world’s resources and pollutes too much;  and we torture when we water-board terrorists. America must be cut down to size and be made more like the rest of the world.

This is so ridiculous I’m embarrassed to have to explain it.  Greedy – the USA is the world’s most generous military defender and aid donor.  Selfish, yes – in a good sense: the pursuit of happiness – but not in the bad sense: hedonism, in the form of mindless dictatorship or anarchy. Misogynistic – when no one levels the charge at Muslim countries?  Racist – when we have a black president and fought a war to end race-based slavery?  Homophobic – again, when no one levels the charge at Muslim countries? Intolerant – when our justice system is consistently based on freedom of speech and innocence until guilt is proven?  Consumes too many resources – when we create more value with those resources than any other country?  Pollute – far less than China or India, but nobody complains about them or anyone else doing it.  Torture?…  Waterboarding? … When other countries ruthlessly beat political prisoners to within inches of their lives and often actually murder them?

It’s true the world’s intellectual community hates America and wants to destroy it.  But, as the fore-going demonstrates they don’t hate us because of our guilt, they actually hate us out of envy because of our virtue.  They hate us because we are better;  and we really are better.

We’re better because we are a society based on the pursuit of happiness, which is the most fundamental of individual rights.

In other countries, with possibly the exceptions of Canada, Australia, Israel, New Zealand and many in Western Europe, a person has the opportunities that the clique in power – which is a combination of government officials plus those politically connected business interests who fund them – lets him have.  If he does anything to offend the clique in any way, he is blacklisted and can find himself starving in a cardboard shack with no money and no job prospects.

In the United States it is different.  You can choose the values you want to pursue and then pursue them by right.  Instead of being the enforcement arm of a clique that tries to restrict opportunities to only those it favors, the federal and state governments in the United States are restricted on principle to protecting everyone’s individual rights to life, liberty and property, so that everyone can have a shot at the pursuit of happiness.

It is this emphasis on allowing people to pursue their happiness so long as they don’t violate anyone else’s rights to life, liberty or property that allowed the united states to go from a poor, agrarian society in the eighteenth century to the world’s cultural and economic leader by the twentieth. We’ve gotten away from this and have been drifting, particularly under Democratic administrations, towards a clique-based, it’s not what you know but who you know kind of a society.



The Settlers: by Charles Robertson

The Settlers
By: Charles Robertson
The Direct TV commercial became an instant classic.  It opens with the family at the Dining Room table where the children ask their parents why they settle for cable TV?  The ensuing dialog is hilarious and was such a hit that it spawned more versions.  I’d like to offer one myself, the storyline opens with the parents emerging from a voting booth, the children rush to them asking who they voted for, the parents respond in unison, “Donald Trump, we’re settlers, we settle.”  And so too have millions of Americans; I’m afraid I might be one of them.  It’s not like we conservatives aren’t used to settling, think McCain & Romney.  It’s just that this time we’re being asked to swallow harder and dip further into the bottom of the barrel.   
So strong is my distaste for Trump that I can only consider a vote for him as a vote against Hillary, who I see as far worse.  If you don’t want Hillary, the only option to keep her from the White House is a vote for Trump.  There’s no other option, case closed.  I’ve heard the argument about voting your conscience, but my conscience also has a practical side that considers the bigger picture.  But unlike the more obnoxious Trump supporters, I won’t denounce any conservative who’s in the #NeverTrump camp; I’m with them emotionally.  There are valid reasons to dislike the Donald, I just think that the time to stop Trump was early in the primary, but now that he’s the GOP choice, it gets simpler.
My wife came up with a great analogy: consider that you only have a choice of 2 schools for your child, neither one is good but one is somewhat better than the other.  So, what do you do, you pick the better school of course.  Now some will say that you have to send your child to school but you don’t have to vote.  To that I’d say, that a non-vote (or a vote for a 3rd party candidate with no chance of competing) favors someone.  If you’re a conservative that typically casts a vote for the conservative and you pull your vote, that’s indirectly supporting the liberal candidate.  If millions of conservatives react that way, hand it to Hillary.  I’d consider a vote for Donald a half measure towards a true conservative, which hopefully will arise in 2020.  Just because you reluctantly sent your child to the better of the bad schools doesn’t mean you’re not working to improve the school or working to find better future options.
One of the reasons I can swallow hard and vote for Trump is the big unknown.  If elected, no one knows how he would actually govern.  Conservatives speculate he’s a liberal in disguise but that’s speculation, it’s hard to say how conservative he might be. If he accomplishes half of his campaign promises, particularly those on immigration, he could prove us wrong and be quite successful.  With Hillary there’s no speculation, we could count on 4 more years of Obama and a liberal takeover of the Supreme Court. 
The Democratic Party has a diverse collection of special interests that should be at odds with their own party’s agenda; they’re the classic settlers.  The Democratic objectives of banning God from the public square to install a secular society, homosexual marriage, and late-term abortions, goes against traditional black values.  Liberal feminists who are quick to cry misogyny will be just as quick to ignore verbal insults and slurs leveled at the likes of conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Condoleezza Rice.  Liberal settlers will overlook a multitude of ideological differences as long as their special interest is supported.  Conservatives on the other hand tend to be more principled, often pulling support based on single issues.  The bottom line here is that far fewer liberals break rank which is why they win elections. 
Statistics show that 93 million eligible voters didn’t vote in the 2012 election.  White-voter turnout rates were down much more than voter turnout among other racial groups.  The concern in the Trump campaign is how many #NeverTrump conservatives will emerge to either not vote or vote independent.  Ironically, conservative anti-Trumpster’s are also anti-GOP establishment and no one has done more to shake up the GOP than Trump.  The message of this primary was that Republicans and many Conservatives (not to be confused with each other) are fed up with GOP political impotence.  That message will fall short if Trump himself falls short of winning.
My primary objection to Trump is based on his character (see prior blog – Character Counts) and judging on only that quality, I’d still hold him above Hillary.  My analogy is that I see Trump as a massive dose of government chemotherapy.  The treatment itself is a type of poison with harmful side effects, just like Trump.  At this point however, it offers the best chance of killing the cancer, the cancer being illegal immigration, special interests, fiscal irresponsibility, and foreign policy weakness among others.  The side effects of Trump would likely be inaction on conservative social issues and a leadership style that would become a rallying point for liberals.  If elected, I wouldn’t expect a Trump second term, and that’s where a conservative candidate could finish the work begun by Trump.  Yes, I’m a settler, but my eye is on 2020.

Paul Ryan Doesn’t Know What Racism Is: A Blog By Branehart

Paul Ryan Doesn’t Know What Racism Is
By Branehart
In a statement that reeked of crony capitalistic go along to get along with, the powers that be-ism, House Speaker Paul Ryan essentially called Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump a racist when he said Trump’s comments about Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel were a “textbook example of racism”.
No, Mr. Speaker, they weren’t.
Racism is the belief that someone is physically less intelligent or less moral because they are of a certain race; this is not what Trump said.  What he said was, “he’s Mexican, and I want to build a wall [on the Mexican border].”  In conjunction with this comment Trump also said repeatedly that Judge Curiel issued rulings that did not go along with the weight of the evidence in the Trump University case, and there’s a credible argument the case should’ve been dismissed on summary judgment.  Trump also pointed out Curiel’s connections to La Raza and the Clintons, making a credible argument that Curiel is keeping the case alive to embarrass Trump in the presidential election campaign.
When taken in context, Trump’s comment about Curiel’s ethnicity was not meant to say that Curiel is stupid, incompetent, or hopelessly corrupt because he’s Hispanic, but rather to say that he has the appearance of impropriety when ruling on this particular case.  As further evidence in Trump’s favor on this point, it is widely known that Judge Curiel is very supportive of non-violent illegal aliens from Mexico receiving asylum in the United States along with the full range of benefits from the welfare state – positions Trump is adamantly opposed to.
I seriously doubt Donald Trump would  say “he’s Mexican and I want to build a wall” about a Hispanic judge who was not a member of La Raza, and who did not want to give all illegal immigrants citizenship to boost the Democratic Party’s membership rolls.
As an aside, I’m getting sick of the race baiting and intimidation by Democrats of anyone they don’t agree with by threatening to call them racists.  Anyone who calls people racists when it isn’t true should be sued for defamation, and the law should be changed to allow a rebuttable presumption of actual malice for a racism accusation (this would help famous private sector people – the so-called ‘public figures’ – to win defamation suits and keep their reputations intact).

Democrats, knock it off.  And Speaker Ryan, shame on you.  I generally admire you and believe you’re one of the most intelligent people in Washington, but as a Republican you know what it feels like when they unjustly pile on you, so you should know better than to pile on yourself- particularly against someone on your side.

Free Trade with Dictatorships: Could Donald Trump Be Right? By Branehart

Free Trade with Dictatorships: Could Donald Trump Be Right?

By Branehart


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is talking about penalizing companies or countries that don’t engage in what he calls ‘fair trade’.  In particular he has a get-tough policy for China, a dictatorship which regularly devalues its currency to make it more difficult for its people to buy imported goods, and which also engages in dumping goods in other countries at below-market prices. I generally am a believer in free trade and like many conservatives I am concerned about his ideas.  However, I see that what China is doing can cause serious economic damage to the United States, and am coming around to the more general notion that free trade only works to improve people’s lives when it’s done between people in free countries.

The virtues of free trade at lifting living standards were discovered during the Enlightenment in Europe, a period lasting roughly from 1550 until 1800.  Political freedom and limited government were popular during the Enlightenment as exemplified by the ideas of that era’s two greatest thinkers, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Hobbes believed in an absolute monarchy whose purpose was to enforce a social compact among its subjects to prevent them from initiating force or fraud against each other.  Locke believed that the purpose of this social compact was to protect the individual rights of everyone to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

It was against this backdrop of limited government freedom at the end of the Enlightenment when Adam Smith and David Ricardo, two of the most influential advocates of free trade, wrote about its benefits at helping raise standards of living internationally and influenced the opinions of generations of free market advocates.

The Enlightenment ended around 1800. What replaced the ideas of political freedom was a tyrannical philosophy in academia throughout Europe and the United States. The leader of this trend, German philosopher Immanuel Kant, believed that people could not think for themselves and needed to be told by an authority what values to pursue, and they had to obey under penalty of law regardless of their personal desires to the contrary.  Kant’s protégés, in particular Georg Hegel and Karl Marx, picked up where Kant left off, eventually causing the development of both variants of socialism: fascism and communism.  The result was a string of murderous dictatorships during the twentieth century including Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union – and the People’s Republic of China.

Because free trade advocates like Smith and Ricardo lived before the advent of the Kantian dictatorship, they could not evaluate such a system or whether it would be beneficial for free countries to trade with it. Therefore the principle accepted by free market thinkers that free trade between nations is always beneficial may not be correct.

If someone trades with a dictatorship, it won’t necessarily improve the lives of people there or abroad and may even make them worse.

When people in free countries where individual rights are respected trade with each other the benefits from doing so go to the private sector participants in the trade, allowing them to improve their businesses and livelihoods. If one of these participants truly builds a better mousetrap or other product for less money, it helps elevate the standard of living of everyone he trades with. There is therefore no reason to penalize him in any way, with tariffs, import quotas or any other protectionist measures. Rather, it is up to the people in other countries to stay competitive with him or suffer from failing to do so.

In contrast, when anyone trades with a dictatorship the benefits from doing so do not necessarily go to the private sector participants in the trade, but rather to the dictator and his hand-picked cronies. That’s because whenever anyone deals with a dictatorship they do it on the dictator’s terms – and whatever the dictator wants, that’s what happens.

If a government crony does not build a better mousetrap for less money, but can still undercut market prices when he sells it abroad because the dictator gives him a subsidy or allows him to use what is essentially slave labor, then his sale of such a product will be detrimental everywhere. Abroad, the availability of the product at below market prices can drive out of business producers who don’t receive subsidies from their own governments and have to pay their labor market wages. Meanwhile domestically the sales proceeds could prop up the dictator fiscally and perpetuate human rights abuses when otherwise the dictatorship could’ve bankrupted itself and collapsed.

There are other problems.  As alluded to above, dictatorships do bankrupt themselves – and sometimes in response start wars with other countries to seize their economic assets to fiscally prop themselves up. If a country trades new technology with a dictatorship it could increase the likelihood of such wars by making the dictator more powerful militarily.  Nuclear technology is the best example.

In light of the fore-going, what would be sensible?  It should certainly not be penalizing free countries engaging in fair trade such as Portugal, Israel, Estonia or the United Kingdom; but China is the opposite end of the spectrum. For dictatorships like China I might favor a surcharge, like a tariff, against Chinese imports to bring them up to the market price – and no higher  that they can be produced and sold for in a free country.

If a dictatorship wants the surcharge lifted, it needs to do two things: first, it needs to improve its trade policy by ending protectionist measures like dumping or currency manipulation. Second, it must improve its human rights policy to respect individual rights. This means no perpetual sweatshop slave labor; instead, companies must be allowed to accumulate their profits so they can reinvest them in their businesses and improve working conditions, and labor must be allowed to price its services at market rates. This will allow wages to eventually rise, greatly reducing the dictator’s ability to undercut production costs in free countries and allowing a more level playing field.

Free trade – with free countries, only.

Which Bathroom Should I use? By Branehart, Esq., blogger, and lifelong men’s room user

Which Bathroom Should I use?

By Branehart, Esq., blogger, and lifelong men’s room user


There’s a law in Charlotte, NC that says people can use the restroom for the gender they “identify with”, regardless of whether they were born that way or actually have “the junk”, so to speak, of that particular gender.  Then the State of North Carolina moved to pass a bill blocking local governments from enacting laws like this one – and, as expected, the Democrats went nuts calling the State homophobic and bigoted, and a bunch of celebrities including Bruce The Boss and companies like PayPal decided to boycott the State.  Hey, I always thought Springsteen was and is a darn good songwriter but he couldn’t tell the difference between Julianne Phillips and Patty Scialfa, I mean I know they look alike but… that wasn’t too bright.  And PayPal – don’t they do business in countries where homosexuals are brutally killed by law for being gay?  PayPal’s just a bunch of liberal America bashers.  Maybe some university in love with Immanuel Kant’s anti-thinking ideas is paying them to be; anyway, it is hypocritical to the max.

I’m not gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that – a little Jerry Seinfeld lingo there), but it does cause a problem for me in analyzing this issue.  Lots of African Americans tell whites that whites can’t know the “black experience”.  Well, I as a life-long heterosexual feel I don’t know the “gay experience” – more specifically, exactly what homosexuality really is. Is it voluntary?  Or involuntary?  Genetic?  Or a result of environmental factors after birth?  No way for me to know directly. I don’t want to “discriminate” – okay, let’s use a more precise term, be unjust – to someone who is the way he is through no fault of his own, so I’ll reserve judgment on homosexuality for the moment.

However, I think I have a real problem with this “transgendered” stuff. I’m not sure what that is either but, I get a bad feeling about it.  What it sounds like to me is: I’m one gender but I want to be, or “identify with”, another – so I’m going to say I’m the other even though I’m the one.

This gives me trouble because as the Rolling Stones – good liberals they are! Once sang, “you can’t always get what you want”.  As I (very seriously) said in my blog “So What are Values, Anyway?” (August 2015), values have to be real – and they have to be real because reality is always there, always setting the terms of our lives whether we like it or not.  To go with reality, therefore, is to exercise proper humility in accordance with the requirements of our survival. To love life means to respect reality. Of course you can change reality, but only by acknowledging it first. Or, as Ayn Rand once said, “reality to be commanded, must be obeyed”.

The “transgendered” folks, however, and correct me if I’m wrong on this, don’t like that reality is an absolute.  They want to control reality and spit in the face of it –if they feel like it.  And, they want to go along with it – if they feel like it.  Either way, it’s their feelings, not the facts, that are supreme (just as they are with the jerks in or a bunch of namby-pamby cupcake nation Ivy League or University of Missouri students on the lookout to rail against the next micro-aggression from someone with white privilege).

What’s wrong with this, aside from everything?  To live, we must achieve values that will allow us to do so – and to achieve them, as I said in my post “How we get our Values: The Thinking Process” (October 2015), we have to think to get them.  Not feel, but think.  And as I went on to say in that post, the thinking process begins with observing and acknowledging not our feelings but the facts of reality.  Start with your feelings rather than the facts and you’re not thinking; you’re speculating or fantasizing, which leads to disaster.  See the discussion of Plotinus’ philosophy regarding emotions in my post “The History of Thinking in Western History” (November 2015).

I went on to say, in my post “Why Liberals are such, uh, JERKS (and what to do about them)” (November 2015), that people often don’t learn how to think because they don’t learn how to handle abstract concepts properly.  When they don’t learn how to handle abstractions, they feel cut off from values that can only be achieved by understanding abstractions, and from the happiness that results from achieving these values.  They therefore turn against values and happiness and become the monsters they are.  Rather than restate what I said about the need to reduce abstract concepts to concrete ones, I’ll just let the reader check out those three posts.  What I want to say here, however, is that, and like I said I don’t really know what “transgender” is so maybe I’m wrong, it seems “transgenderism” is really hatred of thinking, values and happiness by people who don’t know how to think, disguised as some kind of uncontrollable physical condition like possibly homosexuality.

If I’m right about transgenderism then no, I don’t want people using any bathroom open to the public based on what gender they want to be; I want them using the bathroom for the gender they really are.

So what gender are you and which bathroom should you use?  Here’s a simple guide:

  1. If you have testicles and a penis, regardless of whether you look like Caitlin Jenner or one of the band members of Poison, it’s the men’s room for you.
  2. If you do not have a penis and testicles, and have a vagina, either from birth or from reconstructive sex change surgery, I don’t care if you look like Hulk Hogan or Barney Frank or anyone or anything else, go to the ladies room.

And, speaking of Caitlin Jenner, I have a theory.  There is something called a sexual fetish, which is a sexual arousal that results from observing some object that someone associates with sex.  Fetishes are probably genetic as they are much more common in men than women.  Some common fetishes include the shape of a woman’s legs; woman’s high boots; certain women’s hairstyles; blonde hair; lingerie; shiny satin fabric; the shape of women’s lips; high heeled pumps; etc. There was a movie, The Man who Loved Women starring Burt Reynolds, about a man who had a fetish with women’s legs.

I think Caitlin Jenner is an example of an extreme fetish.  Fetishes are normally very powerful, as Burt Reynolds demonstrates (spoiler alert) when he gets himself killed running after a pair of great legs, but nowhere near as powerful in the average person who has one as they were for Bruce Jenner.  He had to have the things he associated with sex – which, based on what he has done to his appearance, include just about every physical feature of a woman – or he’d go nuts.  (Note he didn’t want to actually be a woman, so genital sex change surgery wasn’t an issue; and he certainly isn’t gay.)

I’m not a therapist so I don’t know the proper way to treat a fetish.  But I would imagine that the Caitlin Jenner route isn’t the right one.  I believe that reality is real, one’s feelings are also real, but what gives rise to those feelings may not be correct.  It seems to be that, if someone always wants to observe things that get him or her sexually aroused, he should acknowledge that that’s not a proper way to go through life.  What is a proper way to go through life is to do that some of the time, but most of the time realize that you have to engage in thinking and productive activity and otherwise do what you have to-to achieve your values.

Now, if you have achieved your values (as I’m sure Bruce Jenner has – he’s one of the best athletes ever and probably has more money than God though not as much as Rush Limbaugh) and you can afford to parade around looking like Kim Kardashian, you should be free to – but don’t allow yourself to be used by crazed liberal anti-thinking Kantian professors who want you to start spouting that unthinking, emotionalistic hedonism is an okay way for everyone to live or be a poster child for the idea that reality is an unknowable chaos and that thinking is therefore useless. Oh, and uh Caitlin, you still have to use the men’s room.  Don’t worry if my kids (I know I don’t have any but if I did, hypothetically speaking) see you; I’ll explain it to them.

PayPal shame on you, and Bruce, as Laura Ingraham once said, just shut up and sing.

The Pit and the Purpose: A Blog by Branehart

The Pit and the Purpose

 By Branehart

I have talked at length in previous blog posts about how thinking is the most important value people have because it gives us all of our other values. The second most important value, having a purpose in life, is also vitally important and deserves its own post, so here I go.

A purpose is an overriding reason for choosing the values one pursues. As I said in my previous post “So What are Values, Anyway?” (August 2015), having a purpose is vital because it determines, out of a huge number of potential choices, which values someone should pursue. Unlike lower animals, we as humans do not act automatically in response to what we perceive so, unlike lower animals we actually have a choice as to how to act and what to go after. This gives us the benefit of being able to control our lives and achieve happiness in ways that are unattainable to other animals. The flip side of this though, is that unlike lower animals we have the chore of consciously figuring out what to go after because if we don’t we stagnate and die.

That’s where a purpose comes in. People need to choose a purpose because we have to plan which values we’ll pursue over the course of our entire lives; there is no point where we become like lower animals and start automatically regarding some things as values, the way a grizzly automatically goes after a salmon. For most people their purpose is their career with their career choice determining what is of value to them. If you want to be a doctor, for example, you have to have as values going to medical school and doing a residency. If you want to be a lawyer you have to go to law school, etc. Some people who are independently wealthy can make a hobby their purpose; either way, whether it’s a career or a hobby, everyone still needs a purpose. If someone doesn’t organize his values according to an overarching purpose, he drifts from one thing to another like a playboy who never really becomes very good at anything, never produces anything of significant value that he can make a decent living selling to anyone, and probably ends up poor and miserable.

A purpose has to be something that is in demand (e.g., you can be an automotive engineer, not a buggy whip engineer), something that you like enough to be all-in for and something you actually have an ability to do. For example, I think I can remember actually playing basketball once in my entire life and sucking at it. For me to want to be a professional basketball player in the NBA would therefore be ridiculous not only because of the infinitesimal odds of anyone actually making it on to a team, but also because I don’t play well to begin with. However, I had very good grades in high school and college and a strong interest in philosophy, political science and law. So becoming a lawyer or a writer might be a rational choice.

A major problem today is that young people are not taught how to choose a purpose. I’m reminded of Dr. Phil’s story on The Kelly File about Chris, a forty year old man who wanted to be a ‘rock star’ and went through the motions of being a musician while failing miserably, living in his parents’ house and causing them to squander their retirement savings taking care of him. Not only do I wonder if he has any real talent to be a musician, I also wonder if he knows whether he has any real talent to do it. He doesn’t seem to, but if he does, again I wonder if he is all-in enough for doing what it takes to actualize a career doing it. Again, it doesn’t seem like it. What it seems like is that he never knew how to take seriously the need to select a purpose, and with his back to the wall, is now just playing games.

Many young people today seem like Chris, maybe not as extreme but still drifting through life trying one thing or another until they ‘fall into something’ or ‘something clicks’, and never really happy with what happens to them. This is what happens to the Leonardo DiCaprio character in the movie Revolutionary Road, for whom the last thing he wanted was to spend his life working at Knox Machines the way his father did. Guess what? He ended up spending his life working at Knox Machines the way his father did.

Of the requirements for a fulfilling purpose, it seems the one that causes the most trouble for people is that it be something that someone likes enough to be all-in for. That may be because people are told to suppress their desires and ‘serve other people’. Again a movie comes to mind, this time Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. At the end of the segment on middle age, a waiter in his 50’s tells the viewers to come with him on a ridiculously long walk from inner London out into the countryside to the house where he grew up. Once there, he tells the viewers that the thing that stuck with him when growing up was his parents telling him to “make other people happy”; he says on the basis of this, he became a waiter. He then says that he knows it’s not much, but…and then suddenly he becomes upset and angry, telling the viewers, who followed him all the way out there, to just go away and get lost as he walks away towards the house disgusted.

This is actually a very sad and troubling scene in the movie because it exposes an erroneous conflation that has been ruining good people’s lives for perhaps millennia: that if you do what you want, you become a crazed hedonistic lunatic who will hurt other people and only by suppressing your desires will you be fit to live with and trade with other people.

The truth is the opposite: only by doing what you like enough to be all-in for will you be good enough at it to be successful at trading value for value with other people. It’s a non sequitur to say that just because you like doing something, it will be useless to or a danger to other people and producing value for others can only be done by doing something you don’t like. As I said in my post “So What are Values, Anyway?” there are very few limitations on what can be a value and what can’t. One of these is that something is not a value if it is obtained by force or fraud; so therefore, as far as selecting a purpose goes, you can’t be a criminal or a manipulator, or you can be a banker but not a bank robber. But as long as you’re not driven to be a criminal of some kind, feel free to choose what you like; or as INXS once sang in their song “Hear That Sound”: “So your time has come/children watch the fools/don’t let anyone tell you/what you must do/do you like what you see/or does it make you cry/use your imagination/to start a fire.”

Enough about failures to find a purpose, it is time for a story about someone successfully finding one and living happily ever after.

One day in a park, in a wooded mountainous area on the edge of a city, a little girl about seven years old was walking on a trail with her parents. They lived in a subdivision on a mountain just outside the park’s boundaries. The girl became giddy and silly so she started running away from her parents as a joke. She ran down the trail so far they lost sight of each other and she began to get nervous she would get lost, so she started running what she thought was back the way she came. What she really was doing, however, was continuing to run away from her parents and where she previously was… deeper into the woods.

She kept running deeper and deeper into the woods until alongside the trail up ahead she saw a pile of rocks and a fence. Her anxiety changed to curiosity and she decided she’d see what was there. When she got there, however, she screamed at what she saw behind the rocks and fence; a vertical cave shaft so deep she could not see the bottom. She became horrified and traumatized because she knew what would happen to her if she were ever to fall down it. She ran screaming and crying back down the trail to her parents. She had nightmares about the horrible pit for several days afterward.



But then, a couple of weeks later, an interesting thing happened; her terror was replaced by curiosity.  In her mind, several questions started coming up over and over again. Why was that pit there?  Was it natural or manmade?  Where does it go?  Did anyone ever fall down it?  Can people go down it safely and what’s at the bottom?  Are there other such pits in other places?

She remembered the location of the pit in the park and knew where the park was in relation to her house and school, so one day she decided on her way home after school to see the pit.  She went there and noticed the colors, shapes, striations and fractures in the rocks.  She looked over the edge from as close as she could safely get to it and saw the bottom far down with what looked like a pile of debris in it.  She saw birds and bats flying out of it, and lizards, snakes, chipmunks and squirrels at the top by the edge.  All of this made her even more curious, so every so often on her way home from school, she would visit the pit.  On one visit, as so often happens in that part of the country, a violent thunderstorm started.  Although soaking wet she was fascinated when she saw the rainwater cascading down the abyss. She wondered where the water went.  She saw the rocks over which the water fell seemed smooth and wondered if the water had something to do with forming the pit.

Then one day on one of her visits she became extremely lucky.  As she approached the pit she saw ropes tied around trees near the edge and people going down into and coming up out of the pit!  She ran over to talk to them.  “Don’t play here, little girl, it is dangerous!” they told her.  But she started to pepper them with the questions that had been on her mind for several months now.  They started to laugh a little nervously at her intelligence and intense curiosity, and wondered what was really going on.  Some of them started to give her satisfactory answers but they seemed too busy with other things to spend much time with her.  Then suddenly, an old man with gray hair, big muscles, and leathery skin wearing gloves and a tank top came up a rope over the top of the pit.  He seemed friendly, knowledgeable and older than the other people in the group and was obviously, the group’s leader.

He started telling her about how this was a cave that formed in a kind of rock called limestone, and it was vertical because water erodes limestone and when there’s a vertical crack between two large blocks of limestone, water will over a long period of time erode out a vertical space like this one.  He explained that the water goes down the pit to something called the water table, which is the level of groundwater underground, and that people sometimes drill wells to get their drinking water from the water table.  “But what if the rainwater’s polluted?” She asked him.  “Well that could be a serious problem,” he replied.  “If you’re this interested in caves, you should study geology.  It’s the science of rocks,” he told her as the group packed up and left.

All this conversation with the cavers made her even more curious.  She was stoked about following up on all the information she received!  She saw the equipment they used, learned about limestone, groundwater, and geology.  She became nuts about these things. When she went to high school she became part of a caving club and eventually rappelled down into the pit.  She also developed a fascination with science, particularly chemistry, acing the class with perfect grades. She went to college to study geology and learned all about all kinds of rocks: sedimentary (which included limestone), igneous and metamorphic.  She did extremely well in college, received her Bachelor’s degree in geology and went on to get her PhD in Sinkhole Mitigation in areas of karst topography.  She eventually married a man who was a civil engineer whose firm she worked for as a geological consultant.  She and her husband eventually moved to Orlando where they opened an office. She later became one of the best structural design consultants in Florida.  Finally, when she died at a very old age she left her family a decent-sized fortune from the family business.

All of this success because when she was seven, she was lost in the woods.  Now, that’s what a life with a purpose looks like.


The Democratic Party is the Party of the Mindless: Blog by Branehart

The Democratic Party is the Party of the Mindless

By Branehart




The media incessantly try to portray the Democratic Party as something it isn’t.  It has been described as the party of “compassion”, the party of “the poor”, or of “the working man” or “the little guy”.  It is thought of as the party that “cares about others”, that wants to “save the planet”, that believes in “other than just trying to make a profit”, that is “for the children”, that wants us to be “citizens of the world”, that wants “sustainability”, etc.  It is none of these things; in fact, these are just rationalizations to hide what it really is.  What it really is, is the party of the unthinking, or the party of the mindless.

I said in my post “How we get our Values: The Thinking Process” (October 2015) that thinking is how we live because it is how we get the values we need to live. Thinking, however, is not automatic. Much of thinking is self-evident for concrete concepts that can be understood perceptually like cars, food, clothes, etc.; consequently almost everyone can figure out how to take care of relatively simple matters such as what to wear or have for dinner. For understanding abstract concepts, however, like morality, individual rights, romantic love, or financial solvency, thinking is not self-evident and the technique of reducing abstractions to concretes must be learned. If it isn’t, people will not be able to understand abstract concepts correctly or be able to use them properly to achieve values that require an understanding of abstractions, like romantic love or successfully managing a business.

Non-thinkers are people who haven’t learned how to understand and use abstract concepts correctly, and thus are unable to achieve values that require an understanding of abstract concepts.  The inability of non-thinkers to think and achieve certain values leads them to have contempt for human nature overall. I mean, what kind of animal must we humans be when our means of survival isn’t learned automatically or self-evidently? (This is why they love lower animals so much and give them “rights”; according to non-thinkers lower animals, because they learn what they need to automatically to live, have it made compared with us humans.) They also end up in a constant terror of a reality they can’t understand, relate to or be productive in, in which they believe if left on their own they’ll starve to death. (This is why they holler about masses of “people dying in the streets” every time someone wants to cut some government welfare program.) They respond by wanting coercive control over people who do know how to think, to be able to seize and “redistribute” what the thinkers produce to themselves so they won’t starve.

The Democratic Party caters to (or should I say, panders to?) this constituency, exploiting it to augment its power. The Democrats’ platform consistently consists of measures to take control over productive people: higher taxes on people with greater incomes, and always more regulations on businesses. If you want a tax break or relief or an exemption from the myriad of rules they place in people’s way, you have to make a deal with them – in which you have to give them what they want.

But the Democrats don’t act with control as their only aim; they act out of contempt towards everyone…  even their own constituents.  The Democrats’ modus operandi is as follows: they use high taxes and regulations to extort wealth from those who can think well enough to produce it, and then use this booty to buy the votes of gullible, ignorant, poorly educated or just dumb constituents.  Then, once in power they screw their constituents. When the constituents complain the Democrats blame the constituents’ condition on the actions of the Democrats’ political opponents, projecting onto them the Democrats’ own contemptible characteristics.

The Democrats’ treatment of African Americans is an excellent example. Democrats tell them that America is too racist for them to succeed without the Democrats’ largess, which includes welfare payments from the proceeds of taxes ‘on the rich’, and a ‘leveling of the playing field’ with regulations that are allegedly in their favor.  So African Americans vote for Democrats in dizzying percentages.  The Democrats then implement policies that since 1932 have been destroying the African American community.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has been a major destroyer of black neighborhoods nationwide. Created by FDR in 1934 as part of the New Deal allegedly for the purpose of kick-starting housing construction during the Great Depression, the FHA insured private lenders’ mortgages on homes that met its underwriting criteria.  Part of the FHA’s criteria was that a home could not be in a neighborhood that had any black residents; it kept this policy for over thirty years until the mid 1960’s. The FHA would draw a red line around any neighborhood with one or more black residents, creating the dreaded practice “redlining”. This caused banks to stop making mortgages there because, without free FHA mortgage insurance, banks absorbed the risk of the borrower defaulting, while they could lend risk-free in all-white neighborhoods. [1]

The consequence of redlining was that, if people wanted to buy a house in a neighborhood that had any black residents, they couldn’t get a mortgage; they had to buy for all cash or with a very high down payment. This made homes in these neighborhoods virtually unmarketable and caused their owners, to avoid getting stuck with a worthless house on their hands, to flee to suburbs where restrictive covenants (which the FHA encouraged the use of) kept blacks from buying property (so-called “white flight”). Businesses followed and neighborhoods became ghettos, creating the rift between blacks and whites existing in the culture today.

Yet when blacks complain about the condition their neighborhoods are in, the Democrats don’t accept responsibility for creating the FHA or causing redlining; instead, they blame private banks – who may have hated redlining but still had to follow the FHA or bear an unnecessary risk of their borrowers defaulting – for discriminating against them. (And, if anyone dares to expose the real truth and explain it to anyone, according to Dr. Ben Carson they get smeared as an “Uncle Tom” sellout.)

The FHA is far from an isolated case.  Democrats have told blacks their neighborhoods will receive all sorts of new economic activity from Urban Renewal – which did nothing except tear down people’s homes and businesses, leaving them with nothing but vacant lots.  They told blacks they’ll receive good housing with public housing, which left them with housing that was often worse than that they left.  They slated black neighborhoods for interstate highways which displaced even more people.  And they left black neighborhoods with public school systems that are so awful at teaching children anything they would be an act of war had they been imposed by a foreign country.  And for these results Democrats have blamed real estate developers, Republicans, car companies, oil companies, ‘the rich’ – anyone other than the Democratic Party which supported all these measures. (And yet, despite this track record, if you try to address African Americans – by making a speech to a group such as the NAACP or at a black church – and you dare to criticize the Democratic Party, the conversation’s over.)

The Democratic Party has equivalents in other countries.  Often they are called the Labor Party, the Worker’s Union Party, the Socialist Worker’s Party, the People’s Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party or virtually anything else with a “power to the people” theme to it.  And these power to the people parties have the same modus operandi as our Democrats.

The “People’s” parties of communist countries like China, Cuba, the Soviet Union and East Germany are  excellent examples of other countries’ Democrats.  These parties all told the ignorant, gullible or poorly educated the same thing: with Communism, “the people” will own everything, not just rich businessmen, leaving the implication in their minds that “everybody” would own everything.  What the ignorant, gullible or poorly educated didn’t understand: that “the people” meant only the government as a “representative” of “everybody”, and not actually “everybody” – and that everyone, except a small party elite would have nothing, at least as far as any kind of indicia of ownership is concerned.  And when under Communism these countries’ governments became tyrannical and their economies collapsed, their governments were quick to blame who – the “rich”, the “bourgeoisie”,  the United States, etc. – everyone but the responsible party, the Communists.

So, in this 2016 election season, are you planning to vote Democratic?  If so, are you mindless??

[1] David Wilens, Bight Ideas: How Statism is Destroying America’s Cities (Oakland, Oregon: Elderberry Press, 2006), pp. 159-64.  Mark I. Gelfand, A Nation of Cities: The Federal Government and Urban America 1933-1965 (New York: Oxford University Press 1975), pp. 215-220.  Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (First Edition) (New York: Oxford University Press 1985), pp. 197-238.

How Washington Turns Conservatives into Liberals: By making Them “Bring Home the Bacon”: Branehart Blog

How Washington Turns Conservatives into Liberals: By making Them “Bring Home the Bacon”

By Branehart


In politics anger is now the word of the day.  Disillusioned conservative voters are furious at the so-called Republican establishment, which since Reagan has nominated a string of RINOs – H.W. Bush, Dole, W. Bush, McCain and Romney.  All of them lost the popular vote for President at least once (though W. Bush won the Electoral College thanks to the genius of Bill Clinton costing Al Gore Florida by deporting Elian Gonzalez to Cuba the summer before the 2000 election).  In response voters turned Congress overwhelmingly Republican in 2010 and 2014 and now are backing so-called non-establishment candidates for President, with little (in the case of Ted Cruz) or no political experience (like Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Donald Trump) in Washington.  And conservative activists forced Republican House Speaker John Boehner to resign because he wasn’t delivering the results they wanted.

As to why this is happening, Rush Limbaugh has said repeatedly that voters want conservatism but chronically aren’t being given what they’re asking for.  They’re repeatedly voting for Republicans who say they want to shrink the size of the government and cut spending and regulations, and then once they get to Washington… it doesn’t happen.  For years majorities of voters have screamed that they hate Obamacare and have been told by candidates that they will try to “repeal and replace” it, yet it never happens; health care continues to become less and less available while insurance premiums continue to skyrocket, and horribly people even die needlessly waiting for care (e.g., Linda Rolain of Las Vegas).  And voters want the deficit spending to end, but Republicans keep caving in to President Obama and approving budgets that spend ever greater amounts of money.

Clearly Washington D.C. is being insubordinate to its bosses, the taxpayers.  Yet why is this happening?  Why does our federal government, on both sides of the aisle and despite all the popular opposition, continue to govern against the will of those it governs?  Because once those elected get to D.C., they are taught that what they need to do to stay in power is to bring home the bacon.

Bringing home the bacon means doing what the elected officials’ largest political donors (known derisively as “special interests”, as opposed to the general interest of the public) want done, whether it’s passing regulations that will help them and/or hurt their competition, or securing funding for programs they want.  The money these donors provide is essential to the officials’ reelection efforts, so these donors always have their ear.  For example Nevada Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat, regularly ‘brings home the bacon’ for the casino industry there, making sure that the regulations the casinos want get passed and ones they don’t want don’t get passed.  Many legislators in West Virginia and Kentucky have similar relationships with the coal industry and many in Michigan have them with the auto industry.  The petroleum industry donates heavily to officials in Texas, Alaska, Louisiana and Oklahoma.  Etc.

To some extent this is unavoidable because political campaigns cost money.  And it’s also true that, when Washington doles out money, it’s our money it’s doling out – and we want it back.  So to get it back, as many of us as can afford to lobby Washington do so to get it back.  But when it comes back, it does so with the strings Washington wants attached to it.  To make sure we like those strings, we lobby for the strings also.  This leads to a war of anyone against everyone else to get control of the coercive power of the federal government to feather their own nests.

Bringing home the bacon for a particular elected official’s biggest donors very often involves deal-making with other elected officials, often with opposing agendas, to get them to vote for what he wants in exchange for voting for what they want.  Because of this, for both liberals and conservatives to ‘bring home the bacon’, their agendas get watered down as they go on record periodically supporting things that go against their beliefs and which are opposed vehemently by a large number of their constituents.

None of this is really new or troublesome in and of itself.  In fact, this is the way government has run the country virtually forever, and we’ve still survived and thrived as a nation.  What is extremely troublesome, though, is how in recent decades the process of ‘bringing home the bacon’ has been  commandeered by liberal intellectuals, who act covertly by calling themselves “consultants”.

The “consultants” are people in Washington who act as advisors to elected officials, particularly newly elected ones who don’t know yet how to obtain the support they need to get legislation passed.  Although they claim to be “non-partisan” and work for both parties, the “consultants” are actually overwhelmingly on the side of liberals.  Many of them are university professors and their cronies who hate America and want to see our freedom, prosperity and exceptionalism destroyed.  In my post “The History of Thinking in Western History” (November 2015) I explain how American academia is currently in a non-thinking trend following the anti-thinking philosophical ideas of German philosopher Immanuel Kant, and hates countries and cultures, including the United States, which are based on thinking.

According to Douglas Brunt, author of the political novel The Means, the partisan divide among Americans is strong outside of Washington but not in it. Inside the Beltway consultants on opposing sides regularly meet to plan strategies, compare notes – and talk out of two sides of their mouths.  A consultant can tell Democrats to stand firm and never back down, and to go on the offensive against Republicans who won’t support them in bringing their legislation up for a vote for being “divisive”, “extremist” and “obstructionist”.  The same consultant, can then turn around and tell Republicans to “compromise” and “work with the other side”, etc.  If the Republicans fail to do so, the consultants warn, they will not be able to get enough support –either from their own side or the Democrats- to pass their ‘bring home the bacon’ legislation. With no intellectual voices in Washington to listen to in opposition to this line of reasoning, Republicans become scared – and mentally feel they have no choice but to back down and cave in.

Lately the situation has become far worse.  Consultants regularly tell Republicans that they will bring home no bacon if they try to force President Obama to veto a bill repealing Obamacare, which is basically bacon brought home for the health insurance industry.  They tell them they will be called racists in their home states and districts – and that their donors might even be exposed and smeared – if they don’t agree to the President’s spending plans.

How do we fight back against this?

Term limits are a start; not a cure, but a start.  What term limits can do is stop officials from becoming entrenched in Washington as hired guns for special interests, the way Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi (for San Francisco food producers) and Jim Wright (for Texas automakers) have.  Term limits have helped keep presidents since FDR from becoming long-term imperial dictators; for members of Congress they may be able to do the same.

But more is needed… Conservatives need their own intellectual ‘consultant’ class who will counter the liberals’ control over the agenda.  Instead of allowing the Democrats to get away with saying to Republicans “you get nothing if you oppose Obamacare”, for example, we need Republicans to be able to tell Democrats that they get nothing if they don’t oppose it.  Or they get nothing if they don’t want to cut spending or lower taxes.

Yet, even this is not the ultimate goal.  The goal for the Republicans needs to be a new attitude towards bringing home the bacon.  That attitude must be that laws should be enforceable but regulations should not be.

In my post, “But Don’t Businesses Need to be “Regulated?” (May 2015), I explain the difference between proper laws, which are binding rules designed to protect individual rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness; and regulations, which are rules that have nothing to do with the protection of rights but rather are lobbied for by special interests to turn governments into their own hired guns to reward themselves and/or punish their competition.  Rules against theft, kidnapping, homicide and fraud – both civil and criminal – are proper laws that protect rights and that should be enforceable.  In contrast, rules compelling people or businesses to buy health insurance or auto insurance or contribute to funds for employee’s benefits, or pay a minimum wage or prohibiting breeding orcas in captivity or requiring the catering of a gay wedding or the hiring of a certain percentage of black or Hispanic or liberal employees in the name of ‘diversity’, or any other rule in the sickening myriad of regulations that burden everyone, are not proper laws.  (For the nature of individual rights and the proper role of government in protecting them, see my post “The Long Lost Doctrine of Individual Rights” (September 2015)).

Regulations are as problematic as they are because governments go on fishing expeditions to enforce them, using even the slightest violation as leverage for a rights-violating shakedown.  You don’t cater a gay wedding?  You’re fined $130,000 and are forced out of business.  Toilet paper in the restaurant’s restrooms a quarter-of-an-inch wider than regulations allow?  $500 fine per day the violation persists and up to five years’ imprisonment upon conviction… and on and on.

My solution to this: regulations should be unenforceable.  Refuse to cater a gay wedding and someone doesn’t like it?  They can complain all they like but they can’t prosecute, since no violations of rights have occurred… and the government can’t prosecute on its own, either.  If a business kills or kidnaps someone, steals his property or defrauds him, that’s one thing – but if it simply refuses to associate with him such as by refusing to cater his wedding, that’s definitely another. Refuse to buy health insurance?  The IRS should have no ability to do anything to you. Etc.

Of course, if someone could show that a particular regulation does protect rights to life, liberty, or property and he has suffered a violation of such a right, by all means he should be able to sue or press charges.  But this is not what is done with regulations; rather, they are for the aforementioned purpose of providing leverage to a government for shaking down politically incorrect individuals and businesses regardless of whether an actual violation of rights has occurred.

Making regulations unenforceable would take away the incentive of special interests to turn the officials they donate to into their own hired guns to force their will on everyone.  Elected officials would be free to do their proper job; pass laws that protect individual rights, then they won’t get sidetracked into ‘bringing home the bacon’.



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