Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

LttE - We're all hardworking people

Submitted to the Orange County Register on 2/12/2006:

Hector Preciado of the Greenlining Institute opposes a border fence and deportation of illegal immigrant felons. He says, "We're not terrorists, just hardworking people trying to make a living." So in his view it doesn't matter if one breaks the law, as long as you're a hardworking person trying to make a living.

I can guarantee that if a hardworking person who worked 80-hour weeks at two minimum wage jobs trying to make a living refused to pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes, the government would not let them skate on breaking that law. Thanks to the situation with the Piecemakers, it's been shown that government will come down on hardworking people trying to make a living who only skirt some of California’s myriad business regulations – much less commit a felony.

Given this simple reality, there's no reason why any level of government should let hardworking Mexican citizens trying to make a living continue to break the law by entering this country illegally – and that’s especially true for the felons among them, who, lest we forget, are the only focus of the new Costa Mesa policy.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wisdom and Liberty's Impetus Returns!

Longtime readers (are there any out there?) will remember that back in the early days of this humble, one-guy-in-his-free-time blog the topic of choice was more often than not Social Security reform. It's the topic of several of the letters I've sent newspapers as well as the subject of the commentary article the OC Register published almost exactly a year ago. Since Congress gave up and the debate was taken over by the promoters of the status quo and their horrendous logic, little has been said about it here, though my opinions haven't changed one bit.

Well, it's back! It's being widely reported that the Bush Administration actually put provisions establishing private accounts into its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year:
But this year, with no fanfare whatsoever, Bush stuck a big Social Security privatization plan in the federal budget proposal, which he sent to Congress on Monday.

His plan would let people set up private accounts starting in 2010 and would divert more than $700 billion of Social Security tax revenues to pay for them over the first seven years.
In the first year of private accounts, people would be allowed to divert up to 4 percent of their wages covered by Social Security into what Bush called "voluntary private accounts." The maximum contribution to such accounts would start at $1,100 annually and rise by $100 a year through 2016.

It's not clear how big a reduction in the basic benefit Social Security recipients would have to take in return for being able to set up these accounts, or precisely how the accounts would work.
One would hope that some other system is devised (you're keeping about 1/3 of the total being contributed to the glorified Ponzi scheme on your behalf, counting your 6.2% and your employer's 6.2%, so it would seem simple and logical to cut each hypothetical benefit check by 1/3), but I'm quite confident that I'm not the only person who would gladly give up 100% of my future Social Security benefits for the opportunity to keep any of my own tax money in my own hands. A bird in the hand, you know.

Monday, February 06, 2006

MacGyver is still The Man

For the best of yesterday's Super Bowl commercials, see below:

The best part is the little flashback at the end showing Mac buying ahead of time all the little knick-knacks he needed to pull off his daring escape!

Friday, February 03, 2006

LttE - Confused over states' rights

Submitted to the Orange County Register on 2/3/2006:

Letter-writer Bob Constantine makes a perfectly logical assertion when he says that our two illustrious senators represent the values and wishes of the majority of Californians. After all, we keep sending them back to Washington, don’t we? We’ll leave the statistical analysis of calling 7 million votes out of 22 million eligible voters a “vast majority” for another time.

With this logical leap behind him, I found his list of issues with the Bush administration amusing to no end. He rightly decries the federal propensity to trample states’ rights, but doesn’t notice how the rest of the items on his list conflict with that view. Allowing current workers under 50 to opt-out of Social Security (hardly the “dismantling” he fears) would return federal tax money to hard-working citizens to invest as they wish, at the same time freeing states to consider implementing their own state-funded pension plans if they wish. The much-touted “woman’s right to choose” comes from an edict handed down by the federal Supreme Court, handcuffing a state’s right to define for itself what constitutes murder and what is an allowable medical procedure. Federalized health care would make obsolete any programs necessary to individual states but useless to others, just as federal marriage regulations (defining who can marry who) would make obsolete any decisions states have made for themselves on that topic.

Notice that in each case, regardless of his stated concern for states’ rights, Mr. Constantine wants more federal intervention rather than less. Sounds like someone’s confused, and it ain’t the Register or “the kooky right wing of Orange County”.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Florida's got the right idea

For those of us familiar with the Cory Maye case in Mississippi, all is not lost, for there are still places and people in this great nation who see right and aren't in Imperial Awe of - cue the choirs of angels - The Police. A Florida man over two years ago shot a police officer who had invaded his property without permission or a warrant. The homeowner had been robbed twice previously, was in fear for the safety of his then-pregnant wife, and let's face it - when a flashlight is being shined into your eyes, in your own home at 12:40 in the morning, there's no way you'll be able to tell whether the guy holding it is a cop or criminal.

The good news in this case is, it only took 30 minutes for the jury to hand down its verdict completely exonerating him from wrongdoing in the case. The bad news is that through the cops lying about what the defendant did (they claimed he peeked out a window, saw they were cops, and fired anyway), he's lost his job, home, and two years of his life to house arrest while his son was born and is now 19 months old.

Now with the recent shooting, by nearby San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputies, of an unarmed USAF Airman who was only obeying the deputy's order to stand up (after being the passenger in a chase), and it's becoming ever clearer why people don't trust - cue dastardly music - The Police anymore.