To subscribe to email updates (you will only receive emails of new posts, nothing else and no spam), enter your email address in the Subscribe box to the right. ------>
I started working at the age of 13. For free. I volunteered one day a week at the local computer repair shop (Computer Renaissance). I had a little help from my parents in setting up the deal, but in the end I was dropped off at 8:00 am on Saturday mornings and would work in the back with one of the staff technicians until noon or so doing whatever was on the plate for the day. I learned more than I ever thought I would and to this day am still amazed that customers would routinely fork over $79 in labor charges to install memory upgrades, swap out a video card or hard disk, or troubleshoot a simple virus. It was all so simple - and yet, there was demand for this simple service because most people are terrified to pull back the cover on the device they just paid $2,000 to purchase. This seems like an irrational fear to me, but hey, there's a market for technological fear.
My motivation for the probably hundreds of hours I volunteered was to gain knowledge in an area that interested me and to develop skills most people didn't have.
With the experience and knowledge I gained working at Computer Renaissance, I built my first computer from parts at the age of 13, as well. It was a Intel 486DX, 33 MHz with a math co-processor and 256 MB of memory. It wasn't fast or flashy, but it beat the hell out of the discarded old Apple IIe that I dragged home from the neighbor's garbage pile at ten years old, plugged in, and promptly tripped the house circuit breaker.
As I continued growing up and figuring out how to survive the summer jobs, balance work with pleasure, and generally stumble through the teenage years we are all plagued with before we struggle off the choke hold of adolescence and gain the promised enlightenment of adulthood, I spent two summers pushing carts. I bagged groceries, too, but pushing carts was the highlight of the job, especially since it was the one hour of the shift that was outdoors, rain or shine, which I loved.
Pushing carts provided most of my income at the ages of 16 and 17, and I was thrilled to earn $5.37 an hour for my labor, which I recall being exactly two cents above minimum wage. It wasn't much, but it provided me the opportunity to meet people, learn to work in a service job, and decide that I had no interest in dedicating my life to the grocery bagging pleasure of others.
In college, I worked as a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) for the University of Colorado Police Department. That was an interesting experience and was harder work than you might think. I have never met as many people who couldn't be bothered to put a dollar in the parking meter. Seriously - there were a few people who routinely had their cars towed and credit damaged rather than paying the $60 or so a month it cost to obtain a parking permit. I never understood how this level of abject stupidity could exist on a college campus until I met the lacrosse team.
If you've never met a bunch of dirtbag people trying to out-thug each other, these were the poster children. They would practice at the field next to my dorm room and park in the line of meters right next to the field. Each practice a different player was designated to be the "meter watcher" and was in charge of keeping an eye out for the entire team's string of meters and running down the line dropping a quarter into each one when they saw the PEO approaching.
This worked for a while, but if you've ever met my grandfather you can guess exactly how long this nonsense lasted.
My boss at the time informed me that it was a judgment call whether or not we allowed a vehicle to leave once the expired meter had been observed and that simply plopping a quarter in to get me to go away was essentially constructive violation of campus parking regulations. Since I couldn't walk down the line and observe each and every meter before the "meter watcher" ran down with a bag of quarters (and the entire team stopped and derided me as a "meter maid"), I upped the ante and out-thugged them.
After the sun went down and practice ended, I set out on a recon mission. I cased the field, the string of meters (about 15 of them in the row), and the various observation points to determine which was best to see the meters clearly from a distance. It turned out that I could approach from an alley between dorm rooms and keep out of sight long enough to observe the meter violations with a pair of binoculars from about 25 yards and record which vehicles were expired. Then, I could simply walk down the row and write tickets based on the recorded list while the "meter watcher" ran down the row with his bag of shame.
This did not go over well with the lacrosse team.
So, as they eventually wised up to the new game (which took longer than it should have), I began simply standing behind the vehicle while the players started them up and continued writing the ticket. When the ticket was printed, I placed it in an envelope, stepped out of the way, and slipped it under the windshield wiper while the car backed out of the space. I never once had a problem with being hit by a vehicle while doing this - I simply reminded the driver that my radio was faster than their vehicle and that I could summon the Police in under a minute from virtually anywhere on campus (and it worked out to be almost exactly 45 seconds the time a "me futboll play" dumb shit decided to pull this sort of crap).
I wasn't a complete ass - actually, quite the contrary. I routinely let people slide who honestly had missed dropping another quarter in the meter, no problem. Yes, it helped if you were an attractive young lady (I was still a man), but more so if you were kind and seemed honestly mistaken. The bitchy entitled ones got tickets every single time, even if I had to stand there with them yelling at me or setting off their car alarm to try to scare me off.
What did I learn through all of this? That opportunity is hard work and that I didn't want to write parking tickets my entire life. It also taught me to develop a hard exterior and not put up with any crap from other people.
After college, I lived at home for several months in my old room and was hired to work at a small startup company my father co-founded. I wasn't particularly well matched for the industrial parts of the job at the time but I had quite a bit of knowledge in the specific project I was assigned to. In the end, I didn't much enjoy the experience but it was indeed valuable. Using the skills and knowledge gained from nine months of work in industry at my father's company, I helped co-author the grant that paid for my graduate education and am still today the world expert on the use of thin metal oxide films as electron tunnel junctions for use as surge suppressors.
I was the lead author on two academic papers which were published in major Physics journals, one of which comprised several pages of detail regarding the physics and electrical behavior of these devices at various stages of operation and which presented a cohesive theoretical philosophy of operation that mimicked the groundbreaking paper describing the operation of metal oxide varistors (MOVs, which are in virtually every surge protector strip in existence) from the 1970s.
I also, with help from co-authors, nearly had a paper published in Science, perhaps the largest and most competitive scientific journal in the world - the New England Journal of Medicine of the hard sciences. Simply getting the manuscript through the editor review was a miracle and blessing all by itself (the rejection rate is at least 90%) and as I recall, two of the three peer reviewers had constructive comments on the paper. The third peer reviewer was rather negative and could not be convinced of the importance of the manuscript and it was ultimately rejected. This paper was later also nearly published in Nature, the second largest scientific journal in the world, but was rejected along similar lines.
Looking back, the failure at these two journals wound up producing an even better paper eventually published in the Journal of Applied Physics that presented a much more comprehensive and technically complete philosophy that to this day I am extremely proud to have my name on - it's my dent in the physics world. It's routine for graduate students to publish papers, but our lab was publishing ground breaking papers thanks to the hard work of the Professor who ran the lab (my father) and the dedication of the students. We were doing things nobody else had ever achieved (and in many cases still haven't).
What did I learn? Late nights in the lab when everybody else was sleeping were some of the best times to get ahead and make a mark on the world. Crank up the Van Halen and bust out the pulse generator. Good times.
Today, I'm working towards earning a formal promotion to lead electrical engineer and technical specialist in a departmental niche that I helped to build up from scratch over the past three years which is helping my employer diversify their footprint and increase company stability in a quickly changing world. I am also finishing a complete rebuild of an old Ford truck and working on finishing the bulk of construction on a micro-cabin back in the mountains on some family property which my wife and I are building completely by hand - hand milled logs, flooring, and rafters with pine from our own land. Anyone can go to Lowe's and have wood flooring installed in a house built by someone else (and there's nothing wrong with this - we all have different talents), but not everyone can have a pine floor with a very unique and beautiful blue-stained grain that comes from the hand-milled pine tree killed by mountain pine beetles 50 feet from the ridge on which the cabin is perched.
Hard work pays off and leaves you with something nobody else has. That tiny cabin will be standing a hundred years from now, sun worn and wind whipped, and our initials will still be in the mortar holding up that southern corner.
My motivation to do all of these things is thanks in large part to my upbringing - my parents believe strongly in hard work. So do I, and because of this I'm destined to always have three or four long term projects in various stages of completion strewn around the basement and garage. (I also have a beautiful, intelligent, and very understanding wife who somehow both understands and appreciates all of this.)
All of this may read to some as a sort of self-important screed designed to pat my own back, but it shouldn't because anyone can do these things if they only choose to apply themselves. Perhaps not building cabins and writing physics papers for some obscure electrical device that nobody cares about, but you can choose to excel in whatever areas God has chosen to gift you.
After my rather minimal three decades of learning and laboring, even I am shocked that the message of hard work, self reliance, and opportunity is being lost to the younger generations and is being replaced with a charge of dependence and collective responsibility, all disguised as "freedom" that the masses eagerly lap up.
This is the reason that thousands of fast food workers walked out on the job today , demanding an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15.00 per hour without a commensurate increase in the actual value of their labor to their employer. Every single one of these people would also be on television the very next day to complain of unfairness after the wages were doubled and half the workforce fired.
All of economics operates as a balance sheet - an increase in wages in one place requires a similar balance somewhere else. Mathematics does not lie and any political belief that relies on such a lie should be immediately abandoned and ridiculed.
How can it be made so difficult to understand that the McDonald's fly-o-lator operator job only has a value of $7.25 per hour (or possibly less)? Literally anyone with one functional arm can do the job, which is why it is classified as "unskilled labor." There is no shame in unskilled labor, either, if that's the gift you have been given - shame is only deserved if you repeatedly fail to do the job as well as you are able and take it for granted.
Be the best at whatever you do and success will naturally follow.
How American society has managed to become so stupid as to believe that doubling the minimum wage or instituting a basic wage for all would somehow end poverty and still promote hard work is mind boggling as the fundamentals preventing such a result from ever occurring are patently self evident.
When flipping a burger straight out of high school becomes a $30,000 a year unionized job, you can find me up in the mountains, grumbling to myself about a lost society and looking back with favor upon the opportunities I've had to create for myself and the thing that got it all started.
Liberty or death,
The Bulletproof Patriot
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1
This is not a political blog.
F.A. Hayek may disagree, considering that he opens his masterpiece, The Road to Serfdom, arguably the definitive treatise on the virtues of individual liberty , with the phrase,
When a professional student of social affairs writes a political book, his first duty is plainly to say so. This is a political book.
This is not a political blog. This is a blog about being bulletproof.
In other words, wear the truth like armor.
I recently read a book at the suggestion of others called The Art of Being Unmistakable, by Srinivas Rao . The book, while not particularly well written or profoundly deep, is worth reading as it presents the very simple concept of being unmistakable as a sort of comprehensive social and political philosophy that a majority of us have never taken the time to consider. While brief at a mere 60 or so pages (and only available as an e-book), the underlying theme is both important and honest - be the no bullshit version of yourself.
I found this to be of interest as it matches up quite well with the purpose of The Bulletproof Patriot, where I post my own philosophical ponderings (and those of others like me) for the world to consider. As has probably become clear over the years and certainly to TBP's regular readers and subscribers, I don't write this blog for you. I write it for me. The ability of others to gain something from my labors is a nice fringe benefit and making my own dent in the universe certainly has its value.
I have often wondered how one finds himself in the position of such historical giants as the Madisons, Jeffersons, and Washingtons. Their ideas were not particularly flashy or daunting. After all, the idea of small, constrained government was nothing like the grand ideas tried in the past intended to structure human behavior into manageable boxes so that everyone could be forced to get along and coexist. Yet, the idea of letting man rule himself was breathtakingly refreshing as no previous nation had ever attempted a political framework quite like the American founders had.
Still, this concept remains new and refreshing even today - for millenia, people have devised methods to control their fellow citizens, permit certain behaviors and control others, and generally provide a society structured to produce the most harmonic social order possible - a social Utopia.
It wasn't until the 18th Century that a large group of people finally embraced natural law the way it was intended - free markets, limited government, and maximum rights of the individual to do whatever he pleases so long as he does not infringe on the rights of his neighbor.
Progressives love to refer to those of us espousing the virtues of maximized individual freedom as regressives, but the joke is on them. Few of us in human history have attempted to influence those around us to stop working to control their fellow man and help them to roam free, able to create for themselves. That is progress.
Therefore, I leave you with the following thoughts -
Be the no bullshit version of yourself.
Be your own Madison to those around you.
Live in the truth.
Liberty or death,
The Bulletproof Patriot
I would actually consider supporting mandatory health insurance if it was like car insurance, which covers catastrophes, not car washes, new tires, scratch repair, etc. In fact, health insurance would be far more affordable and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) wouldn't even have been a twinkle in our eyes because all but the very few would be able to afford it (just like car insurance). With car insurance, you can choose your coverages (such as comprehensive, uninsured motorist, etc., choose a higher deductible to keep your premium down, or vice versa, or for a small premium increase can add "extras" like windshield replacement, rental car coverage, or roadside assistance, or not choose any of those "extras" at all. Under the ACA, we are all forced to have the exact same coverage, we have to pay for coverage we don't want (or need), and all insurance companies are forced to insure every applicant, which raises everyone's premiums.
If health insurance was like car insurance, there would be a market for the "uninsurables"... think Titan Insurance ("Titan Up! We'll insure anyone!") Those folks whom State Farm wouldn't insure could go to Titan, who would be happy to accept their business. Yes, they'd have to pay a little more, but such a market for slightly more risky applicants naturally leads to more insurers similar to Titan popping up to compete for the customers in that market, which then reduces the price of insurance for the "uninsurables" on the whole. This is capitalism at work and it winds up benefiting those whom State Farm refused to insure.
What we have under the ACA, however, is nothing like car insurance.
Using car insurance as an analogy, the ACA mandates that State Farm and Titan, along with all other insurers, must insure anyone who applies for car insurance, no matter how high of a risk they are. They also must provide mandatory "minimum" coverages, regardless of the applicant's wants or needs. As a result, State Farm and Titan are now legally required to only issue policies that provide comprehensive coverage AND uninsured motorist coverage AND collision coverage AND property damage coverage all at the $1,000,000/$2,000,000 level.
Let's assume you have a typical driving record, say, a ticket or two over the last five years, but no accidents and no DUIs. This increased coverage that State Farm and Titan must sell to you and everyone else probably sounds great until State Farm sends you a notice that it is cancelling your current policy which provides $100,000/$250,000 in coverage, with a $500 deductible, for which you pay about $100/month. You liked this policy because it was more than enough coverage for your needs and State Farm gave you a great deal on your premium because of your good driving record.
After you get the notice that State Farm is cancelling your policy, both State Farm and Titan send you a notice that they are ready to sell you a new policy to insure you under the new "Affordable Car Insurance Act (ACIA)." Not only that, but they can't turn you down, either. (Double score!!)
However, your premium is now going to be $500/month for the new mandatory minimum coverages, but hey, you get $1,000,000/$2,000,000 in coverage plus "free" windshield replacement and "free" diesel glow plug coverage. (It doesn't matter that glow plugs are not present in modern gasoline vehicles and have not been used in diesel vehicles since the mid-1990s - the coverage is still required as a part of the mandatory minimum, much like the ACA-required coverage for maternity care for men or prostate exams for women.)
At first you're upset that your previous policy was cancelled because it didn't meet the new requirements under the ACIA, but you tell yourself that, hey, at least everyone will have car insurance and not just car insurance, but SUPER DELUXE car insurance, and everyone gets "free" windshield replacements even if they don't need a new windshield! I mean, with this new coverage, a person could total ten cars in a single accident and not even come close to reaching the $1,000,000/$2,000,000 coverage limit, and that's great, right?
Then you start writing a check to State Farm for $500 every month for your super awesome insurance coverage. You and your family start to feel it in the pocketbook, despite the President promising ad nauseum that "if you liked your old coverage, you can keep it" and "premiums will go down." You're just an average Joe, a member of the middle class, and your 2004 Honda Civic is probably only worth about $5,000 these days. But, you are required to have the "Cadillac" coverage because the politicians in DC (and those who voted for them) believe they know what's best for YOU and YOUR family, even if it costs you another $400/month. At least now anyone and everyone can get car insurance (and really, really "good" car insurance), right?
However, you start thinking that maybe keeping that extra $400 in your pocket each month is what you believe is best for your family. Before you had to get the new required insurance you could afford to pay the dues for your son's soccer club; you could get your daughter that new Girl Scout uniform; you and your partner were able to go out for a nice date night once a month to reconnect and strengthen your marriage. You know you were a responsible person before the ACIA and you had good car insurance that you liked and could afford, not to mention an extra few hundred dollars each month left in your pocket.
This is the situation the ACA is creating - it is Washington deciding what THEY think is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. If you're concerned about others not being able to afford healthcare, then maybe you could choose to give some of that $400 each month to a non-profit hospital or community health clinic. Or, you could volunteer to mentor a child at high risk of dropping out of school (and you would have time to do so because you wouldn't have to take a part-time job to make up for the extra $400/month you'll now have to pay towards health coverage you wouldn't have purchased before the ACA). Under the ACA, however, you now can't afford to give to the community health clinic and you don't have time to volunteer with high risk kids because you need those extra hours at work so you can earn enough overtime to cover your higher health insurance premium that Washington has mandated on your behalf.
I believe you know what's best for you and your family, not government. I believe in you and your ability to decide whether to buy health insurance and how much of it, or to decide to accept the risk of not buying health insurance at all. That is your choice, and I will continue to fight for it, which means I will continue to fight against measures like the ACA that seek to impose what someone else thinks your family or my family needs.
I will fight for your right to choose.
That's why I am against the ACA.
Stone Cold Marigold
Content Warning: I am unusually pissed off.
Well, well well... as the unintended (but completely predictable to anyone with a functioning brain stem) consequences of deepening government intervention in the health insurance industry, via a vis Obamacare, begin to explode in many places Progressives stupidly hadn't planned for (such as the 1 million individual policies being cancelled in California  or the 250,000 being cancelled in Colorado ), Congressional Democrats - including my own Senator Mark Udall - are scrambling to cover their own asses long enough to survive the 2014 midterm elections.
They're preparing a "fix" for these "unintended consequences" which fixes the problem for them, of course, and not for you.
Every single damn one of these "unintended consequences," including 1) individual policies being cancelled en masse, 2) prices for coverage rising beyond what 'subsidies' can cover, 3) reductions of the number of doctors and hospitals who are accepting Obamacare policies, 4) widespread apathy of the uninsured to purchase Obamacare policies (even if legally required to do so), and 5) worker hours being cut to less than 30 to avoid the mandates was absolutely, 100% predictable three fucking years ago.
The inability of Progressives in both parties to understand why this is happening is not surprising, but is nevertheless unforgivable; Congress is stuffed full of people who have zero appreciation for the operation and functioning of a free market which sets prices and benefits based upon costs, competition, and consumer demand. A Congress operating largely on the predication of "do-gooding" a broad social benefit, such as health insurance, by government mandate, will fail - every single time. The only question is 1) how long it will take to fail (i.e. Medicare and Social Security), and 2) how many unintended consequences it will create.
The problem with health care costs in this country is that Congress has actively bent over to special interests and created an industry in which prices and services are exempt from antitrust (monopoly) protections which would benefit the consumer. Both Democrats and Republicans have created this mess and should be made to understand (by being both chastised at town hall meetings and ultimately fired from their positions in Congress) that THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS WITH ZERO BUSINESS EXPERIENCE ATTEMPT TO CONTROL A FREE MARKET. Virtually ALL government "fixes" serve only to create MORE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, WHICH IS THE VERY REASON THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WERE INTENDED TO BE LIMITED TO ONLY THOSE ENUMERATED IN ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8 OF THE CONSTITUTION.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CENTRAL PLANNERS AND BUREAUCRATIC KNOW-NOTHINGS ARE PERMITTED TO EXERCISE BROAD LEGISLATIVE POWERS - IN THE END, YOU THE CONSUMER WIND UP BEING ABSOLUTELY FUCKED AND THERE IS JACK SHIT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT SHORT OF AN INTELLECTUAL OR VIOLENT REVOLUTION.
Today's latest story on this cluster is that the President (and my own Senator Mark Udall) are ready to concede to a TEMPORARY "delay" of the insurance minimum benefit requirements (to stop the mass cancellations of policies). A TEMPORARY DELAY? You mean a delay long enough to paper over the structural problems until, say, at least Wednesday November 5, 2014? How strange that a TEMPORARY fix is being proposed to save politicians' exposed asses rather than a REAL, PERMANENT FIX that saves yours.
The "fix," as the President explained on television earlier today, would allow insurance companies who are cancelling "substandard" (Obama's words) plans to continue offering them through 2014. Problem? Yes - the President has zero legislative authority to alter the law. Plus, I thought Ted Cruz and the House Republicans, who were SCREAMING ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THIS VERY PROBLEM JUST SIX WEEKS AGO were evil "extremists" and nutjobs for doing so who just wanted to starve kids, the elderly, and minorities?
Bottom Line: Democrats (and many Republicans) will pass legislation that saves their own ass while accomplishing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to repair the disaster from happening as soon as the "fix" expires. You'll avoid the pain tomorrow, Democrats and Republicans will be re-elected without being held accountable for their mess, and in the end YOU WILL BE 100% AS FUCKED AS YOU ARE TODAY.
To the Progressives who favored this legislation - sit in the pile of shit you created and like it, you bunch of pathetic, ignorant sons of bitches.
OWN IT, YOU MISERABLE SACKS OF SHIT.
Liberty or death,
The Bulletproof Patriot
As the left furiously polishes the Obamacare turd, working at breakneck pace to attempt to snatch even the tiniest dingleberry of success from the overwhelming jaws of predictably guaranteed failure, the rest of us are largely abandoned on the sidelines to fend for themselves among the strengthening undertow of yet another federal debacle created by central planning do-gooders who lack even the simplest substantive perspective on fundamental economics and the nature of business.
The most recent grasp at hope offered up for public praise is that while, sure, the healthcare.gov website has been an embarrassing example of federal incompetence, the end result will be super duper great once those millions who have lost (“transitioned”) their private health insurance plans discover that they are eligible for subsidies! As is typically the case, this assertion is total and complete nonsense since the application of a taxpayer-funded subsidy does not reduce the overall cost of the plan – it simply masks the true cost to the end user and shifts the responsibility for the balance to your neighbor. The overall cost of health insurance has not decreased, nor is any mechanism in place to do so, despite the President's loud cries to the contrary.
If anything, the problem of wildly inflated healthcare costs will only continue to worsen and this course is absolutely predictable when viewed through the lens of basic checkbook economics: reducing competition and increasing required services will never, ever, reduce prices. Indeed, since Obamacare now has further restricted the ability to sell insurance across county lines (previously it was state lines), a large part of the country (and more than 50% of counties) have only a SINGLE INSURER AVAILABLE IN THE EXCHANGES . Oh - and you're required to purchase health insurance whether you like it or not, so large amounts of business will be driven to that solitary insurer by federal mandate. So much for the President's promise of "competition." (And if you've ever needed supplied the last nail in the coffin of the lie that "Democrats are all about the little guy and hate big business," think about this last sentence while you pay your newly inflated insurance premium for services you don't need.)
The Progressive left seems to believe that paying lip service to Capitalism and private industry is enough to placate the masses while behind the scenes the federal government actively works to undermine common business sense. Simply increasing minimum health insurance requirements to include prescription drug coverage, maternity coverage (including for men, incredibly ), and "womens' health care," without addressing the actual cause of inflated prices will, in the long run, hurt everyone as common sense dictates it must.
What the left has accomplished with Obamacare is becoming more and more obvious by the day - they have created a pseudo-universal healthcare system by quietly co-opting private industry. Obamacare is a multi-payer universal healthcare system and just wait and see - when the "multi-payer" debacle reaches a fever pitch, as it will, the left will simply blame private industry (evil insurance companies) and attempt to sell the idea of going whole hog into a government-sponsored universal healthcare service. Mark my words - it's already beginning to happen.
To be sure, the idea of affordable and accessible health care for everyone is a fabulous idea, but it has never (and will never) be efficiently achieved by reducing competition or by making government the last resort payer. The solution to this problem is quite simple and involves little more than harnessing the nature of human beings to compete and succeed. Removing antitrust exemptions and outlawing the legalized extortion of consumers by a system of arbitrary pricing (where the cost of a procedure is frequently not available before the service is rendered) could reduce the cost of major and common health care services by 80% or more (go take a look at the Oklahoma Surgery Center's price list  if you don't believe me - a $150,000 spinal surgery with insurance is listed at a cash price of $16,500, well within the reach of the old 'catastrophic' plans). When healthcare providers are encouraged to destroy each other by competition (and the consumer is protected by appropriate laws prohibiting him being unfairly taken advantage of), the cheapest and widest available healthcare will rise to the surface. Everyone benefits and government needs to mandate nothing.
This is a problem for Progressives, however, since harnessing natural competition is virtually meaningless to them because it doesn't require anyone to control the masses (this goes for Progressives in both parties), and since controlling human behavior is a fundamental precept to socialism and its ugly siblings, true competition must be avoided and vilified.
Wake up America - the answer to all of this nonsense is right under your nose and it involves government doing less rather than more.
Liberty or death,
The Bulletproof Patriot
Some commentators are up in arms over the planned absence of the nation's first black President at the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address . For a man who has compared himself to Lincoln, albeit with little in the way of legitimate justification, this seems quite odd as "Lincoln's righteous successor" should want to carry on the message Lincoln himself gave that November day in 1863, demonstrating himself to be the example of what a nation united in liberty can accomplish, and rightfully so.
The reason for President Obama's planned absence from the commemoration appears to be to be quite clear - Lincoln believed what he said; a far cry from the mediocre window dressings offered by a President who believes in few of the same ideals as the 16th President of the United States. Few recent Presidents, if any, can match the sincerity and solitude of the remarks delivered by Abraham Lincoln to a nation in peril and at risk of losing its founding heritage and ideals.
Today, most of those ideals have disappeared. We are no longer a nation concerned with stepping aside and watching her citizens create their own dreams and opportunities as we once were. We are no longer a nation invested in liberty or in protecting the proposition that men are created equal and are equal under the law.
We are a nation interested in voting ourselves things which we have not earned, because we have bought into the lie that government can provide for us better than we can.
So, Mr. President, please stay home. Keep working on that website so that more of us can steal from the success of our neighbors, prevent competition in industry and prop up the failed dinosaurs of the past, and constrain individual liberty just a little bit more.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Liberty or death,
The Bulletproof Patriot