stat counnnter

Friday, November 08, 2019

Stopping the growth of communism

The Detroit News of Nov 7th editorial page carried an oped by Marion Smith, the executive director of the congressionally authorized Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The oped title is "How to stop the communist comeback." He writes:
"Confronted with communist aggression, moral clarity is precisely what's needed. This is where Michigan can step up."
I couldn't agree more. About his organization he writes:
"Our organization is urging state lawmakers and city leaders to designate an annual day of commemoration on Nov.7. Three states have already established a Victims of Communism Memorial Day. As we mark this anniversary (of the fall of the Berlin wall), we should recognize the 100 million people killed by communism, and the 1.5 billion people who still live it its thrall."
I support this goal especially since our schools and universities have failed miserably in their responsibility to teach students about the horrors and evils of communism. He concludes with:
"The Berlin Wall fell, but communism didn't. The sooner we acknowledge this, the sooner we can stop this evil ideology from capturing more American hearts."
Again, I agree completely. But we need to look further into why so many people still think communism is an ideal even in light of its horrendous history of human slaughter and starvation. First, we have to see that Communism as a political system is just the most consistent form of collectivism. Whether it's socialism, democratic or otherwise, fascism or a mixture of them, all are forms of collectivism.

As a social philosophy, collectivism says that the sovereign power resides in the collective which means the group, the society, the public, and so on. It says the individual has no rights and can be sacrificed to the collective whenever it thinks such is in its interest.

 It is opposite of the philosophy of individualism upon which the founders tried to erect a free society where the sovereign power resides in the individual and the state exists to protect him by recognizing his rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of his happiness. Its moral code is one of rational self interest, not sacrifice.

However all political systems are founded on some moral code. Up to and including the Enlightenment most societies were built on the morality of sacrifice and there is a lot of confusion today of what that concept means.

Most people today think that sacrifice is giving up something of value to get something else. But that is a trade not a sacrifice.

In her essay "Racism" in her book "The Virtue of Selfishness" she wrote:
"Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group...and the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement such a doctrine is by means of brute force--and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism."

And this means the only sure way to stop the comeback of communism is to challenge its morality of sacrifice. All other efforts will only slow down its growth but not stop it.

Monday, September 16, 2019

I'm back, finally.with a new post on Capitalism

Apologies to my readers for not posting since May. I've been real busy helping family members and some friends who came on hard times and keeping my own house up. But that is easing off now so here is my next post.

 The Detroit Free Press of Aug 25th had an oped by guest columnist Ted Kaufman a former US Senator from Delaware. The headline is "Corporations suddenly say they care about you, be wary."

Lets look at that headline a little closer. Now I know that headlines are often written by editors so I'm not criticizing Mr Kaufman for that. But most businesses do indeed care about the happiness of their customers. They have to care or lose them as customers.

The word 'suddenly' here is a smear word. It implies that businesses usually don't care about you but if they say they do then  it has to be a  'sudden' departure from their normal heartless practices.

This tells me that the article is probably going to be anti-business or anti-profits or leaning that way. First though I want to say that I don't know of any corporations that "suddenly" decide to care about their customers. It's been my experience they're eager to show how much they value their customers from day one.

(As a side note I would say that 'be wary' headline warning is much more appropriate when applied to those in Mr Kaufman's chosen profession: politicians. But I digress.)

What Mr Kaufman wants us to be wary about is:
"A few day ago, the Business Roundtable, the very prestigious organization that consists of the CEOs of nearly 200 major U.S. Corporations, announced their members had agreed on a new definition of "the purpose of a corporation."
He then says cynically:

"It was enough to melt your heart. The CEOs of corporations like Walmart, Amazon and Goldman Sachs had decided their companies should be:" (My comments in brackets MN]
#'Investing is our employees.' [They do that with paychecks and benefits MN]
          #'Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers.' [They do that to stay in business   MN]
#'Supporting the communities in which we work." [They do that by opening their doors and hiring workers MN]
#'Generating long-term value for shareholders.' [They do that by focusing on maximizing profits-which Mr Kaufman disdains. MN]"
'Each of our stakeholders is essential,' the statement said.'We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, communities and our country."
 Sheesh! Sounds like a moral pledge of allegiance is being offered here. But why? Isn't a company opening its doors to provide a community with goods and/or services that will make their lives better, hiring locals to work there, and paying taxes to support the local government, enough of a benefit to the community? Evidently not for Ted Kaufman. His attack is on profit seeking as such.

The tool to be used against the corporations is the concept "stakeholder" an invalid concept designed to smuggle into boardrooms an unearned guilt for the crime of successful production. Mr Kaufman continues:
" Back in 2015, I wrote a column in this newspaper that quoted a 2009 Business Roundtable report called "Company Stakeholder Responsibility." It called for more involvement with what it defined as a corporation's "major stakeholders, a group that went well beyond owners of its stock."
"This is not Milton Friedman's argument that the only social responsibility is to increase profits," the report said, "but rather it is a practical matter--giving money to the opera doesn't make up (in any moral sense) for short-changing customers or communities. How does this company make customers, suppliers, communities, employees, and financiers better off?" [I have already answered this above]

A stakeholder is anyone that has an interest in the business but does not own shares. I have an interest in a lot of business close to my house. Does that qualify me for some of the company's profits? I don't see where. I buy from them because doing so is in my self interest. They take my money because that is their interest. It is a win-win deal. But that is not what Mr Kaufman wants.

He adds:
"The report continues: "Capitalism is a system of social cooperation--a system of working together to create value for each other, value which none of us could create on our own. In this sense, business is already an enterprise with moral ramifications."

It must be noted that this is not Mr Kaufman speaking but rather the CEOs of 200 major corporations who have been cowered into spiting in their own face for the sin of producing values that people are willing to pay for because those values make their lives better in some way.

To compare this practice of mutual trade for mutual benefit to "short-changing customers and communities" is a moral disgrace especially when it's the businessmen agreeing to disgrace themselves. But what idea could have the power to make men take the whip out of the hands of their destroyers and whip themselves?

This is what an unearned guilt will do to anyone naive or cowardly enough to accept it. That is what altruism--other-ism--is all about. Selling guilt then sitting back and collecting penitence.

Truth is, most politicians don't want the penitence for themselves. They want to guilt companies into surrendering more of their profits to the community so they can stand in front of that community and declare "Look what I've done for you, now reelect me (or my party)"

It is almost futile to tell these CEOs to stand up for their right to exist without having to pay ransom money to so-called 'stakeholders' who want more than a fair and free trade. It is futile because the Ted Kaufmans of the world will not give the businessmen any moral credit for their charity to the community.

Aside from the snide remark that the report  "...was enough to melt your heart." He also says:
"How often have you read a story about a major corporation choosing its commitment to the community in which it operates over maximizing profits?"
He later says "To put it bluntly, talk is cheap." I will only add, so is his.
The only commitment a corporation needs to make to its community is to provide a product or service that the people are willing to pay for, which means a mutual trade for mutual benefit.

 I can however, testify to the fact that the corporations Mr Kaufman cites routinely donate a lot of their products and even money to local charities. I've seen such corporations donate hundreds of say hot dogs, burgers, buns, pop and water, bags of potato chips, bags of ice picnics and fund raisers of local charities. It is common practice.

But Mr Kaufman's oped makes no mention of such investments made by corporations in their respective communities. If fact, to read this oped one could easily believe corporations don't do such investing, a serious evasion of the facts and evidence that Mr Kaufman doesn't care how much charity they give. His hatred of profits is all that matters.

To further prove my claim that Mr Kaufman is not a supporter of free trade despite his claims to the contrary , I cite his closing paragraph:
"I'd be hopeful only when we get serious about the "enforcement tools" needed for corporations to really believe they have stakeholders beyond their shareholders. (He was quoting Larry Summers in the Financial Times who also called for "enforcement tools.")

Of course those "enforcement tools" always turn out to be guns, the legalized guns of regulators. So we can see that Mr Kaufman, and Mr Summers, seek forced charity as a government policy. But that is a contradiction in terms. Charity to be moral at all must be volitional, by choice. As Ayn Rand pointed out, the moral is the chosen, not the forced. Forcing charity is what thieves do.

Most troubling for me is the spectacle of capitalism's heroes failing to defend the most moral political system ever devised, free market capitalism. The word sacrifice wasn't mentioned in the oped. But sacrifice, its real meaning: the surrender of values for lesser values or nothing in return, is what his oped is all about. (For more on this see Rand's book 'Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal' still in print.

When businessmen refuse to defend their moral code of rational self interest, when they agree to sacrifice some more of their profits in order to feel moral, Then the game is over. The haters of individual rights have one.

It's only a matter of time till you hear something like "you haven't sacrificed enough. We, in government, who care, must nationalize your business and in that way provide real sustainable social justice." Except it won't.

When capitalism's most productive heroes agree that free trade for mutual benefit is akin to 'short-changing customers and communities, capitalism doesn't need any enemies. It's committing suicide.

I highly recommend Rand's essay "The Obliteration of Capitalism" in her book "Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal"

I've been unable to find a link to Mr Kaufman's oped.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Demons in Guns.

The May 12 print edition of the Macomb Daily (a suburban county of Detroit) carried an oped attack on gun ownership by Miami Herald writer Leonard Pitts Jr. He starts out by reporting on an 18 year old student who died rushing a gunman in his school and goes on to list a few other heroes who met the same fate.

He then declares:

     ""Don't blame the guns."
     That's what gun-rights advocates always say in moments like this. And OK, fair enough. Lets not blame the gun"

From there he proceeds to blame the gun but not the gun itself just its existence in a free society. Like Ocasio-Cortez  claiming that billionaires are not immoral themselves, just their existence is.

     "But can we not blame this nation's insistence on easy and unfettered access to the gun? Might that not have the tiniest bit to do with the fact that gun violence is rampant here?
     Instead of dealing with that causality, gun people ask us to take gun violence as some immutable fact of life, some intrinsic component of freedom."

There are three  things wrong with those sentences. First, unfettered access to guns would mean me going to a gun shop, selecting a gun, paying for it and leaving. But that's not the reality we have. I had to apply for a permit, wait for a background check, take an 8 hour class in gun safety. Unfettered? Hardly.

( In a laissez faire economy it wouldn't be completely unfettered either. The above requirements would be demanded by insurance companies not the government. Any government involvement would be restricted to the framework of how best do we exercise our right to self defense while protecting the rights of others. For example, laws against brandishing in public, because such brandishing is an objective threat to the rights of others, would be a proper government concern.)

Second, "gun violence" is a cognitive package deal designed to deceive by packaging as a concept's defining characteristic two or more things that are not the same and thus don't belong together.

Gun violence can be used to assault and destroy life or it can be used to defend life. To package these two contexts--assault and defense--together in the concept of 'gun violence' and condemn both as equally evil is dishonest at worst or sloppy writing at best.

Third, someone needs to inform Mr Pitts that an individual's Constitutional right to life includes the right to defend that life and 'unalienable' means immutable and intrinsic. Notice too how he admits that he believes guns, inanimate matter, cause deaths when he uses the word 'causality.' But 'let's not blame the guns''?

Mr Pitts then tells us his view on why we citizens want to own guns in self defense:

     "People are dying for nothing. For some fantasy of rugged self-reliance.
For some shortcut to macho. For some terror of the Other standing at the bedroom window. For nothing."

So your right to defend yourself and family against attack is nothing more than an irrational fear of a boogey-man in the bedroom window? Or a shortcut to macho? This is nothing but a smear of American's right of self defense. What's wrong with self-reliance rugged or otherwise? To be against self-reliance is to be for dependence. That must be what he wants of citizens.

The image that Mr Pitts is projecting is an image of self-reliance, independence, individualism, and self-defense. This is to be denigrated as fantasy?

I would like to point out that if you don't have a right to defend your life, then in fact and in reality, you don't have a right to life. How can you have a right to something you are not allowed to defend and keep? You can't and you won't. And this is what the gun grabbers want, your right to life in their hands, not yours.

Our ancient primitive ancestors believed that spirits and demons inhabited everything, trees, rocks, air, water etc., that some had a magic power to bless us while others could destroy us. Mr Pitts, in believing guns have a power to urge their owners to run around killing fellow humans is trying to return us to the primitive. Let's not fall for that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The God of Moderation

Here is a comment I left at the website.

The God of Moderation
This is written as if it were an attempt to balance individualism with collectivism, food with poison, suffering with happiness and the goal or goals of this balance are to be achieved by moral efforts of the United Nations. It is a moral foundation designed to justify the New World Order's goal of balancing freedom with dictatorship because extremes of either are allegedly evil.

The authors have a hard time figuring cause and effect.

They say: "According to the study the key factor accounting for the rise in individualism was the increase in the level of economic development, though this relationship had some significant exceptions: “the fact that most of the countries that did not show an increase in individualist values were among the lowest in socioeconomic development over the time period examined is consistent with the observation that socioeconomic development drove the rise in individualism. China is an exception to this pattern, showing a decrease in individualist values even though the country has experienced economic growth.2”"  

Leaving the China point aside, this is backwards, it is political freedom that gives rise to economic development, not the other way around. To create an economic value a people need to be politically free to think and free to act on those thoughts. Without such freedom no economic development can happen. If the authors had read their first quoted author Ayn Rand further they would have learned: ""Another current catch-phrase is the complaint that the nations of the world are divided into 'haves' and the 'have-nots.' Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." ~ Ayn Rand

The authors openly admit, as they should, that individualism--individual freedom--is growing all over the world but they insist, it must be balanced. With what?

"In the end, a moral audit of the world economy suggests that part of the story of “global imbalances” that are blamed for the world’s economic ills may have to do with an excess of national self-interest over cooperative motives across countries, regions and global institutions. Rebalancing the world economy may necessitate a reassessment of values and a shift in gears to effect a transition to a new moral “steady-state."

When you hear someone claim the moral state as theirs, always ask "Moral? By what standard of value ?" Press them on this and you will find out theirs is the same standard used by every bloody thug and dictator in man's long history of butchery, human sacrifice. For centuries people have been told to sacrifice--give up--their money, property, freedom and even their lives but to whom?

The NWO concept screams for an answer to the question "Ordered by whom?" Obviously the rulers of the world and hopefully, in their minds, the UN. A world where sacrifices are offered by the ruled and collected by the rulers is the naked essence of their "new moral 'steady state.'"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

More governmental "bold action" coming against citizens.

The Detroit Free Press Sunday 2/10/19 AP article "'Leader of climate panel predicting 'bold action'" portends of more wrong headed legislation by those who see themselves as saviors of the world. For example, the first sentence reports that "Florida Rep Kathy Castor is confident that a special House committee on climate change will play a leading role on one of the most daunting challenges facing the planet."

First, let me say that today's politicians can't help thinking they are in charge of the whole world, that they can save not only America but the whole planet. Someone should remind Ms Castor that she represents just the US and not the world.

The next sentence is an example of obfuscation: "The Democratic caucus is unified under the belief we have to take bold action on the climate crises," she said.  What's being obfuscated is the concept 'bold action.'

It is an out of context phrase. It makes no distinction between  the private bold action of Henry Ford inventing the industrial production line or the Wright Bros discovering human flight, each action devoid of force, verses the government 'bold action' of FDR forcing the dollar off the gold standard by making it illegal to own gold.

The difference is the 'bold action' of free men voluntarily creating goods and services in a free market and the bold action of government force initiated in the absence of any rights violation. The gold standard didn't violate any one's rights. So owning gold should never have been a crime.

 In the context of government,  'bold action' can only mean government force initiated against citizens who have done nothing wrong. Since they have done no wrong, a crime has to be invented.  So, the goal is to make some human action a crime. Like FDR's gold, that crime must be owning and using fossil fuels.

The USA was founded on the principle of individual rights which means doing something wrong meant violating or threatening to violate someone's rights. But now the powers that be want us to believe that exhaling or otherwise creating carbon dioxide (CO2) is or should be a crime for which the government must initiate bold action against us.

This new crime found a quasi-justification when the US Supreme Court declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant. It is not of course. CO2 is a natural atmospheric gas which is actually plant food required by almost all living organisms.

There is an abundance of evidence against the pollutant designation. I recommend highly " Watts Up With That?" by @Anthony Watts for daily updates on the climate change scam. He has a blogroll of other climate critics I also like. And I recommend the book "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels" by @Alex Epstein @CIP, Center for Industrial Progress.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Hopeful Headlines.

 On most New Years I like to look at the passing year's main events and then ponder what headlines I want to see in 2019. There is an awakening going on but since people wake up to reality at different times and stages, these are in no particular order except the first one which I hold most important.

1. "Public Schools going Private" People are waking up to the fact that government controlled education is destroying education by replacing learning with socialization which always teaches obedience to government force.

2. "Gun Confiscation Legislation Defeated" Citizens are also waking up to the fact that if they don't have a right to defend their life, they in fact don't have a right to life, for how can you have a right to something you are not allowed to keep and defend?

3. "George Soros and Tom Stayer both told by their CFOs they are broke" It won't change much but it's a feel good headline.

4. "Michigan Governor Whitmer switches parties, becomes Republican, pushes privatization" I know that's a stretch but, well, I'm in a wishing mood.

5. "Trump orders more ports of legal entry placed in wall" President Trump offers migrants 4 year path to citizenship via a green card and no voting or entitlements for that time. Steals immigration issue from Dems.

6. "Fed raises rates, crashes economy, blames Trump" People can now get interest on savings. Since all productive investment comes from savings, market rises.

7. "Trump returns dollar to gold standard" President Trump declares dollar to be worth one 1200th of an ounce of gold, lets float from there, economy spasms then booms.

8. "Mass arrests of pols announced" Large numbers of past administration and current bureaucrats indicted for crimes ranging from fraud, obstruction of justice, sex crimes, and even treason.

9. "Trump declassifies documents" Many pols flee country. Mueller promises to end witch hunt. Trump doesn't accept.

10. "Trump, AG> ABA must revoke Mueller and Comey law licenses"

11. "Trump offers China zero tariffs" Today President Trump offered to reduce our tariffs to zero on their goods in return for zero tariffs on ours. Xi considering.

12. "Trump does fireside" The president begins a series of televised evening chats with people explaining the why behind his policies with heavy amounts of evidence.

13. "Airports cancel contracts with CNN, investors flee" CNN files for bankruptcy.

I'm keeping it at 13 because it's already a bit long. My readers are invited of course to add their own. Who knows, maybe these will be more pleasant than counting sheep. Have a happy new year and stay optimistic.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Reply to Robinson oped

In my last post I said I would respond to WAPO writer Eugene Robinson's editorial which appeared in my county paper the Macomb Daily on 12/6/18.

Mr Eugene Robinson was way over the top with his promotion of the ridiculous scaremongering reports from the G20 meetings and the Katowice, Poland meetings. He states:

"We don't have to wait for history to prove how utterly, stupidly wrong Trump is on this existential issue.
 "We have baked ourselves into an era of superlatives--the rainiest storms, worst    floods, deadliest fires, most punishing heat waves.
The hottest years on record.
The highest levels of atmospheric carbon in hundreds of centuries."

There is only one problem: There is no evidence to back up those claims. They are just that, baseless, arbitrary claims. And all those things he claims--storms, floods, fires, and heat waves, are weather, not climate. No, the "utterly, stupidly wrong" person is Mr Robinson, not Trump.

I recommend The Inconvenient Blog which has great reports the truth about the number of fires here and other articles contrary to Robinson's and the UN's claims.

To see what Robinson's future America might look like, see today's France

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Just Another Hobgoblin

My local county newspaper of 12/6/18 the Macomb Daily featured Progressive Washington Post oped writer Eugene Robinson dutifully championing the latest climate change scaremongering report from the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires.

And this on the heels of the United Nations conference in Katowice, Poland which recently issued the most threatening, dire, catastrophic, doomsday forecast ever for us humans. Ever, ever! I will critique Robinson's oped in a following post. For now I just want to focus on its aim.

This doomsday oped is just another of H.L. Mencken's hobgoblins which governments use to keep its citizens "frightened and thus clamoring to be led to safety." All said hobgoblins of course being imaginary.

When I graduated from High school in 1960 it was acid rain that was going to wipe out the human race unless we humans changed our evil ways and modified our industrial way of life.

That was followed by global cooling which would, yes, kill us all by freezing unless we gave up our evil industrial ways.

At about the same time another hobgoblin "population explosion" was introduced which would see us all die from starvation because we wouldn't be able to feed ourselves, unless of course, we gave up our industrial and technological ways.

Following that was global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions which would result in the  melting of the ice caps and drowning us all unless, again, we get serious about doing away with our industrial society.

Well that didn't come about so global warming had to be morphed into another hobgoblin: climate change. Now they've got us coming and going. Any change in earth's average temperature up or down automatically portends disaster. And, according to these scientists, only the government, an institution with a legal monopoly on the use of force, can save us. What a dream come true for power hungry politicians and money and fame hungry professors and scientists.

Do you see a constant pattern here? Give up our way of life. Relinquish our freedoms. Surrender our rights. Sacrifice.

The Progressives are in no hurry though. These hobgoblins were used to prod the populace into giving up just a little of their freedoms at a time with the creation of government regulatory agencies like the Dept of Energy and  the EPA just to name two. These have issued  myriad of regulations restricting our freedoms and rights.

Unfortunately, Congress has placed all of these regulatory agencies into the Executive branch which means they are not answerable to Congress. Sure, Congress can hold hearings and even hold individuals in Contempt of Congress. So what? Do those guilty of contempt go to jail? Not that I can see. There is no teeth behind such hearings.

This fact is revealed in the excellent book "Deep State"  by Jason Chaffetz former Congressman from Utah. In it Mr Chaffetz shows how the regulatory state pretty much ignores Congress, it's subpoenas, inquiries and even its threats to hold persons in Contempt of Congress.

New to me though is the brazen act of the State Dept requiring a State Dept plant to be present at every meeting between a Congressman and regulatory staff. His job was only to take notes of what was said and report back to the State Dept so they could put their own spin on it. Amazing!

So what does all this mean? To me it means Congress has by piecemeal legislating itself out of existence by abdicating its responsibility to write rights protecting laws in favor of an unelected bureaucracy writing rights violating laws which is what most regulations are.

It also means that all of the controllers that a totalitarian dictator would require to become the next fuhrer or chairman are in place now just waiting for him or her to arrive. It almost happened. Trump's election put a temporary hold on that. The question is, how temporary?

(I deleted a link that did not work)