Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Arab Spring...

The spring of 2011 saw the Arab world erupt with the desire for changes of governments. Egypt's president left office, and the violence in Libya is still ongoing. Here in the Western World, we have heard how Twitter and Facebook helped drive these uprisings, and helped synchronize the actions of protestors.

Personally, I'm much more hesitant (since I understand the networks involved) in attributing these things to social media, instead consider cells and text messaging a much more likely suspect.

That said, one kind of expects countries that base their entire regimes on personal power and the crushing of what we Americans consider natural rights, to periodically stop such things as cell service going to its populace. Especially if said populace is planning on some type of protest.

But, we, here in America, don't expect that to happen on American soil. After all, we have the concept of natural rights--which are by definition rights that we're born with, and not rights given to us by some obscure civil organization.  After all, we're a republic, our government is supposed to be OF THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE.

Sadly, as in too many things in this day and age, our government has failed in this task.

The BART system in San Fransisco (which is a government agency) decided that it too can be a dictatorship and deny the citizens of this country the ability to communicate.  They did this by disabling the network which allows cell service to make its way into the tunnels where the BART system runs. All because of the rumor that protests were planned for August 11th during the "busiest 15 minutes of the day."

Get that.

Government officials decided to deprive Americans of the ability to communicate--and likewise I would view it as impingement of First Amendment rights--because of the possibility of a protest that could possibly interrupt service.

Sure, the disruption of service was for only a few hours, but it's not the length of the outage that's at issue; rather its the sheer gall that the government would take steps to prevent American citizens from communicating with one another.

I have long held the belief that as more and more of the Liberal policies are enacted, that more and more of our natural rights are eroded. Consider, Liberals hate guns, thus they decide that we should not have the natural right to protect ourselves.  Consider, Liberals want to buy votes, thus they decide that it is okay to take money from my pockets and distribute it out to whom they deem worthy.   And now consider, a government agency has deemed a potential protest too disturbing, thus they deprive the citizenry of the ability to communicate.

This is a deep and harmful, slippery slop. Personally, I pray and hope that the BART gets ruled against, in a hefty fee-based lawsuit, and that this judgment comes down against them fast enough that no other government agency thinks that this is a good idea.

I wished, that the individuals responsible could also be held responsible (fiscally and legally) for this gross attack on our natural rights.   Sadly, personal responsibility is still a tad too much to ask for from our government (at least in most cases--Florida's gun laws look promising).

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Obama's Kills a Regulation or 500..

Well, I can't believe it, The Anointed One Obama has actually done something while in office with which I agree. 

The Chosen in Chief has announced plans to cut or roll back hundreds of federal regulations that affect businesses of all stripes.  The Administration said that these plans include 500 regulatory reforms, with more than 100 from the Department of Transportation and over 70 from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Obama's administration claims that the lessening of their stranglehold on American businesses will (and this is an estimate!) save those self-same businesses over $10 billion over the next five years.

And let's be honest and forthright for a moment, this is a good effort at clearing up the thousands of regulations and other things with which the government does its best to stifle small and medium sized businesses.

Now, if only it was considered a good START instead of an end-all, be-all which the Obama administration seems inclined to treat it as.  I mean, here after his 30-odd months in office of systematically hampering business growth, he dangles a carrot in front of the noses of those business owners in an effort to gain himself a second term.  A baby carrot, but a carrot none-the-less.

And what he hopes to purchase with this baby carrot is $10 billion in savings for those self-same businesses.

Which, from one point of view, is a whole lot of money.

At least until you consider the fact that since September, 2007, the Federal Debt has grown by roughly $3.7 billion per day.

Think about that.  Obama's latest efforts is a HOPED FOR* $10 billion savings over 5 years, while at the same time, the government will spend more than that every 4 days. 

To put that into a really nice perspective, at the current rate of growth for the Federal government, by the time that the business community has realized these estimated $10 billion in savings, the government will have spent $6,753 billion.

This is a nice racket. I mean, imagine me telling you, that if you'll give $3.70 a day, for the next 5 years, then at the end of those 5 years, I'll give you $10.  Do you think that that's a reasonable and equitable trade off? Do you think that's wise?**

But, this is The Chosen One's grand plan to help our economy recover. It's not enough to offer us a baby carrot, when you're stealing them from us by the ton.

Frankly, it's too little, too late.

*And that's even if these estimates are right! Frankly, I always have major doubts whenever the Federal government provides an estimate. In my mind, if it is something that's going to cost us (the American taxpayer) then I quadruple it as my base estimate when considering things.  If it's something that is supposed to save us money, then I quarter it.  It seems to be a good rule of thumb for these things.

**if you answered yes to this question, give me a quick email--and we'll also talk about some bridges I'd like to sell you).

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