This blog consists mostly of common sense responses to happenings (news articles, political events, etc) that just cry out for someone to say "WHOA! Hang on a second, here!" Too many people get away with just inventing their own facts as they bull-rush their way through an argument.

Unless you're dodging a taxicab or sidestepping a falling gargoyle, it's usually wise to take what time is available to evaluate and apply actual common sense. Good, old wisdom. It is, of course, my opinion, but I'll try to show why I think it's factual.
Thomas Paine said, "To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." ... but I argue with drunks, egomaniacs, anti-gun Statists, Socialist/Keynesians and climate-fraud peddlers, too.

**PLEASE share this around. I didn't research, consider, write and post this junk just to have it hidden.
And feel free to comment.**

CONTACT SophosArchaeus: eMail at sophosarchaeus@hushmail.com
NOTE: this page does not endorse violence, racism or threats, nor permit such abuse in any direction.
Though Americans are fully able to end a fight, that is a last-resort, defense-only option.
If you're here for such crap, get the hell off my page!]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Existentially blind: Focus on denial

In his Dec. 22nd letter to the S.B Sun, “Wrong focus” the writer, Scott Tudehope, lashes out at everything except lack of personal responsibility; the single greatest threat to our society.

Tudehope first ridicules the Corrections’ Dept crackdown on illegal cell phones in prison.  He can state no reason to allow this contraband in jails, but rather attacks the concern over their illicit presence.  He chooses to ignore the fact that communication with inmates has been restricted for centuries, in all cultures, for good reason.  As a way to arrange escapes, coordinate drug and weapon smuggling, target witnesses, attack criminal competitors and endanger rival gangs (not to mention prison staff), cell phones beat secret signals, coded letters and even personal contact at the fence.  Increases in all of these issues have been connected with the rise of cell phones. 

When Inland Newspapers responsibly supports the crackdown, Tudehope blames them too, asserting that “everyone else” is focusing on outdated facilities, food quality, prisoner health care and visitation policies. Clearly, some facilities are overcrowded or need repair, but except for outrage over wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on a few overly-cush prisons, HDTV, muscle-building equipment, law libraries, free elective surgeries and prisoners escaping during unsupervised visits and furloughs, I have never heard anyone mention such things.  I have also heard complaints about prisoners’ endless (and groundless) appeals as well as suing the government over prisoners’ “rights” to  particular brands of peanut butter on the taxpayers’ dime.

Tudehope moves on, whining about this brother’s point of view about his poor “prison experience”.   Seriously?  This is not fine dining, sir, this is jail.  It is INTENDED to be as safe as possible in a population of criminals, but not entertaining or pleasant; something to be avoided.  I suppose the brother might consider leaving no tip.

The writer summarizes incarceration: After booking, you realize that conviction has changed your life; correct (realizing this BEFORE the crime would prevent the whole issue).  Others now control of your life and freedom is limited; check (this is the definition of prison).  The routine is dull; um – duh (dealing with hundreds of people who couldn’t manage their own lives requires organization, but no activities director)!  There is increased segregation; yup (inconveniently, many of the inmates wish to KILL each other based on race).  The routine never changes; yes (see above).   Phone calls cost $1.50 per minute and not rioting only gets you 2 FREE calls per week; right (vandalism-resistant phones, random screenings and systems to screen out threats to victims and such cost money).  Lastly, “jobs” only pay $5 per day; (and the daily taxpayer cost of securing, feeding and housing each prisoner – given the high efficiency above – is over $60 per day, not counting police and court costs or the losses to victims).  Is there a complaint in there?

Tudehope blames his brother’s difficulties on, “Idaho’s wonderful ‘three strikes law’ and Judge [Deborah?]  Bail”.  So does he mean that, though less than 1% ever go to jail for anything, his brother just couldn’t help committing an ARMED robbery (“holding up a… store”)?  He also couldn’t avoid committing the TWO previous felonies on his record?  Clearly, it’s the law’s fault and the judge’s fault.  Now we can see why his brother would write a complaint letter about a ‘restriction of entertainment’ due to a justifiable safety regulation like ‘no unauthorized communication’, rather than on his self-destructive lifestyle or some genuine threat to his safety while in custody.

This is almost the same view, and just as absurd, as the notion that the U.S. taxpayer “owes” a free living to every citizen and (unlike every other nation in the world) every foreigner that sneaks in.  Let’s focus on reality.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This is what I say to those I meet this time of year.  It is the same greeting that my family and friends would get, so it applies to benign-looking strangers as well, meaning them nothing but good.  My Jewish and Islamic friends also get “Merry Christmas”.  Not surprising among reasonable people, they smile and return the blessing.  Likewise, when I notice (not being a theologian or scholar) that it is Ramadan or Al-Hijra, I will tell Muslims to have “a blessed” one and I post a hearty “שמח חנוכה!” when I see that Hanukkah is approaching.

The way I see it, if I would bestow the same wishes to my children, they should be pleased if I wish them well in the same way.  Likewise, if they are sincere and would give their loved ones the same greetings, then I am satisfied with their intent when I get a “شهر رمضان المبارك” (I admit I cannot even come close to pronouncing the Arabic).  I’m not worried about being diminished somehow or being tagged for eternal punishment.  I don’t believe that God, the only one that gets it right with a sea of imperfect humans underfoot, would do anything other than smile.

Don’t get me wrong, I am rock-solid in my faith and believe I have most of it right.  I know that I misunderstand some things, but, “behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If any man hears me and opens the door, I shall come in and eat with him”.  If I have Jeshue’s or Jehovah’s name wrong, or make some other error because of what I have been taught, He will come to me if I am sincere.  He makes up the difference.  That’s called “grace”.  If He will cover for me, why not any other human striving (according to his experience) to be Godly?

But this “happy holiday” business?   Holiday?  If they’re lumping in everything from October to January, that’s one thing.  If not, exactly which Holy Day are they celebrating (with their Christmas trees and presents) if not Christmas?  The Festival of Lights and Islamic New Year are over.  Kwanzaa (not a holy day, but a cultural event) isn’t until after Christmas.  This appears to be a rather vapid attempt to avoid being offensive by some and an attempt to deny the true nature of the celebration by others.  Some make it “winter solstice”, which is just the name of the shortest day of the year. 

This last group (atheists) insists that any mention of anything to do with God (they often make it “magical sky-god” to be as offensive as possible) is unconstitutional.  They demand that ancient city names be changed, historic memorials and other artifacts be hidden or destroyed, etc.  Real Taliban stuff.

The First Amendment says that the government will not set up a state religion, but otherwise, the free exercise of religion shall not be prohibited.  This is referred to as “freedom of religion”.  One is also free to opt out of participating in religion.  But it doesn’t even suggest that anyone can be free from seeing or hearing about it.  ‘Freedom from religion’ (protection from exposure) means staying home.  Interestingly, the phrase “separation of church and state” does not exist anywhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.  It is widely attributed to a 1947 SCotUS decision, referring to an 1802 letter from President Jefferson to a religious group.  Jefferson confirms a division between religious and government business, but goes on to wish them the blessings of the “Father and Creator”.

And a Happy New Year!  I was going to save pedestrian, D.C. news for future scribbling, but we have been given gifts too important to ignore.  The Democrats have been ignoring the will of the People and the Constitution as if November’s election never occurred.  They delayed responsible legislation (like a budget and the expiring tax cuts) all year to cram it all into this false-crisis “lame duck” session, along with tons of Socialist agenda items.  Instead of a “continuing resolution” (50 pages, simply continuing all programs at current levels until the new Congress in January), they (most Dems, a couple Republicans) came up with a gargantuan “omnibus spending bill”.  Yet another 1,900 page monster, crammed with hidden/confusing language, and at least 8,000 new, Progressive spending projects that would increase the deficit by another trillion dollars. 
They also tried again to force through their DREAM act (Democrats’ Registration Extravaganza by Amnesty measure?), which would give illegal alien “children” up to 35 years old immunity from deportation upon application, and eventual citizenship, in return for their “service” in accepting money, free food and free education for years, if they promise to accept the additional burden of more free cash and education.  And priority over Americans’ kids.   And ability to vouch-in their entire families.
Well, the conservatives did as we told them in November:  they largely held the breach against the blitz in favor of illegal aliens, massive debt and crippling tax increases.  They had to give up on “paying for” the extension of unemployment, so it wasn’t a great deal for the country. They wanted some cuts somewhere to offset that cost (most of the “$700 billion – no, $900 billion – no, $1 trillion, GIVEN to the rich”).  However, it seems that the Progressives’ much touted “pay as you go” resolution (and recent screaming about debt) was just an inconvenient truth for them to sidestep.

So, while we still have a lot repair work to do, we will be in much better condition than we feared (or they planned) in January.  We can breathe a bit easier and enjoy the more important truth.  The Good News that is the reality of this season.

False premise in “sacrifice”

In the Dec 19th Perspectives (Inland Newspapers), Garland Byrum’s and Daniel Jeffs’ letters are used to ‘debate’ whether it is “time for sacrifice”.  People have always sacrificed here.  Americans have long been the most charitable people on Earth, whether in support of our own citizens or responding to distant emergencies.  Our government typically gives more than any other (and most combined) to any given aid drive and our people freely donate more than our government.

Byrum is a lawyer with the American Institute for Progressive Democracy and 1st V.P. of the Democratic Club of Claremont (his ‘USAPAC” could be any one of several by that name ranging from “Conservative Leadership” to the “Communist Party, USA”).  He admits that our deficit (quintupled since Progressives took supermajority control of the government and equal to the first 42 presidents’ combined) is “unsustainable”.

From there he departs from reality, asserting that “common good cannot be sustained by cutting expenses alone” and if there is a government program that we individually benefit from, “adding taxes will require sacrifice”.   He then recites the Left’s class warfare mantra of looting “the rich”, using partial information about tax rates.

Byrum’s “common good” likely includes giving 47% of the population a complete pass on income taxes, while the top 2% pay about 70% of those taxes.  They also get “rebates” on the taxes they didn’t pay.  These are I.R.S. return numbers, not skewed statistics to be quoted with “but they use loopholes”.  The loophole asterisk belongs with his citation of Eisenhower’s “91%” tax rate: the 1950’s tax code was rife with loopholes and less than half of that rate was actually paid.  It has been proven over and over through history that overtaxing the rich just makes the rich go elsewhere to hire and invest, while “common good” free rides make the poor dependant on their welfare masters and run up the debt.  Socialist “rich” cry for higher taxes (and their loopholes) but somehow fail to donate to the government, while conservative “rich” donate far more to charity.

What made young America a superpower in only 150 years, and THE superpower in another 100 (despite Socialist waste, interference and sabotage), was maintaining a minimum level of centralized government and allowing the individual desire to prosper bring the entire economy up with it.  They let families and local charity or faith-based groups do their much better job of caring for the needy.  Then local or state approved government programs took care of the little that remained.

The correct ending for Byrum’s, “…if there is a government program…”, is not, “…adding taxes will require sacrifice.”  The correct ending is, “…it should be eliminated in favor of the better system.”  The Constitution does not provide for centralized welfare control among the enumerated powers.  It is the several states that created the United States, and they and their People actually hold most of the power.  Until the 1920’s Progressives, our debt and deficit rates were almost flat, because the system worked.  Certainly, we cannot just cut people off.  We must honor the contracts we made with the poor, the elderly and the sick.  But we can start the process of moving responsibility and control back out where it belongs; gradually move people into equal or better programs that are NOT going through the vast bureaucracy.   Better yet, help many of them out of indentured servitude and, over time, into self-sufficiency.  This means no welfare-imposed limits on prosperity for minorities and the poor.

The reason that too many politicians and lawyers don’t like this obvious answer is that power over the federal valves that control the flow of trillions of dollars is vast power.  Even a little “leakage” to individuals and their cronies is measured in billions of dollars.

Daniel Jeffs’ “Why give more?” doesn't appear to be written for this debate, but his points are all solid.  He has served the People at the local level for decades.  He does not appear to be one of the growing numbers of unionized “public servants” that double-dip and triple-dip to bring home more in retirement than they ever earned.   He, like most of us, is still willing to contribute what he can: his time and experience to help others.

When the people recognize (as 70% now do) that our system has been corrupted to favor centralized power over efficient use of charity and local control, they get frustrated by the continued waste and abuse they now see in the stunningly arrogant, “lame duck” session.  Only a month after a historic repudiation of the Left by voters, Progressives (even a few in the GOP) were cramming another TRILLION dollars of pork into bloated giveaway bills as if it was their right to do so.

Conservatives stopped most of the additional damage.  Repair will come, but slowly.  If government (especially the higher levels) would get out of the way, more people would have more money to contribute as well.