The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

02 April 2011

Rand Paul messin' with Harry Reid, shuts down senate vote

Holding the feet of the Senate to the fire of the Constitution:

uses Obama's language against him

Rand Paul Brings Senate to a Standstill

This guy is going to be good.

Here's National Review with
the report:

Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), a Tea Party favorite, has boxed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) into a corner. After a quiet day of quorum calls and speeches, Reid abruptly adjourned the upper chamber Thursday and postponed votes until Monday. According to numerous Hill staffers, Paul deserves some credit for the impasse.

Here’s the back story: On Wednesday, Paul, with little notice, attached an amendment to the small-business re-authorization bill. The amendment, which chastises President Obama for his actions in Libya, urges members to adopt the president’s own words as “the sense of the Senate.”

To make his point, Paul quoted, in the legislative language, from Obama’s 2007 remarks on the subject: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” According to Paul’s office, “the measure aims to put the Senate on record affirming Congress as the body with constitutional authority on matters of war.”


Quote of the Day 4/2

"The things that will destroy us are:
politics without principle;
pleasure without conscience;
wealth without work;
knowledge without character;
business without morality;
science without humanity;
and worship without sacrifice."


31 March 2011

Inflation calculator: How much have you lost, thanks to the Fed?

Put in what your gross salary was in 2000, or 2002 vs. the latest year you can enter, and see what your money was worth then vs. now.

Prepare to be upset, as I was, especially if you haven't seen a raise, or even got a cut in salary since the earlier date.

Your paycheck will buy a whole lot less at Wal-Mart come June

"To those who think that buying food in the corner deli is becoming a luxury, we have five words: you ain't seen nuthin' yet. U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday talking to USA Today. And if Wal-Mart which is at the very bottom of commoditized consumer retail, and at the very peak of avoiding reexporting of US inflation by way of China is concerned, it may be time to panic, or at least cancel those plane tickets to Zimbabwe, which is soon coming to us.

The world's largest retailer is working with suppliers to minimize the effect of cost increases and believes its low-cost business model will position it better than its competitors.

Still, inflation is "going to be serious," Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board. "We're seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate."

Along with steep increases in raw material costs, John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, says labor costs in China and fuel costs for transportation are weighing heavily on retailers. He predicts prices will start increasing at all retailers in June.

via and

Quote of the Day 3/31

Inflation is the theme of the day today:

It is the paper money created out of thin air that creates the unfair distribution of wealth that is making the middle class fall more behind and the poor more poor. 

Newly created money and credit in a paper money system benefits those that can access the money first and buy capital goods and real property at one price before the new money circulates and makes all prices go up

Wages also do not keep up with inflation and that creates another squeeze on the middle class.

--Kenneth Gerbino

(emphasis added)

30 March 2011

Comedy relief: Bronx Zoo Cobra


--Dear @CharlieSheen, know what's better than tiger's blood? Cobra venom. #winning #snakeonthetown Also I'm 20 inches long. Just sayin'.

--Leaving Wall Street. These guys make my skin crawl. #snakeonthetown

--Forgot DWTS is tonight! Someone DVR it for me. Want to watch Ralph Macchio go down for what he did to Cobra Kai Dojo. #snakeonthetown

--I agree with Brett Favre. Snakes should be set free!

--Enjoying a cupcake @magnoliabakery. This is going straight to my hips. Oh, wait. I don't have hips. Yesss! #snakeonthetown

--@peternbcnews Don't turn around. I'm right behind you. Just kidding! lol!    

Avoid taxes by paying for anything in gold and silver in Utah

The power of the Tenth Amendment and State's Rights in action:
Earlier this month, we reported on the sound money bill which the Utah legislature passed. Last Friday, Governor Herbert signed this bill into law.
The core component of this new law is the legalized recognition of gold and silver coins (issued by the federal government) as legal currency within the state. They may be used voluntarily by consenting parties, and rather than recognizing the face value of the coin (a horribly distorted metric of the coin’s worth), the market price of the gold or silver content is recognized as its value.
Further, the law provides for relief from certain taxes, including sales tax and capital gains tax. As gold and silver are rightly considered a currency and not a commodity, when in coin form, it is ludicrous to consider the exchange of dollars for gold a “purchase” subject to a sales tax. One does not pay sales tax when going to the bank to exchange a dollar for a peso, yuan, or other fiat note. It follows, then, that the exchange of currency between a dollar and gold or silver should likewise be exempt. This new law provides for that common sense tax exemption.

Cool. Relief from capital gains and sales tax, while being allowed legally to avoid the devaluing paper. Sound money for a change. 
Economic knowledge should dictate your politics.
Read the rest at the Tenth Amendment Center Blog.

Small window into Democrat's backroom...Schumer overheard

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Democratic Senate leadership, got on a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning without realizing the reporters were already listening in. Schumer thought he was on a private line with four Democratic senators who were to talk with reporters about the current budget stalemate.
Schumer instructed the group, made up of Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate.
He told the group to make sure they label the GOP spending cuts as "extreme."
"I always use extreme, Schumer said. "That is what the caucus instructed me to use."

(Emphasis added)

Read the rest at Washington Examiner 

I find it interesting that someone as "senior" as Schumer would acknowledge and speak in terms of being "instructed" by a collective, in this case a Senatorial Democratic caucus.

29 March 2011

How to govern the American people: Just like holding Jell-O

You've heard of the boiling frog phenomenon:  drop a frog in boiling water, it will jump out.  Put the frog in tepid water, and apply heat slowly, and the frog will sit complacent until it succumbs to the heat.  Another analogy is that the single drop of water on a stone makes no impact, but over time, the effect of the dripping water can bore a hole through the stone.

Such has been our slow march to tyranny in this country. Dribs and drabs of increasing laws and regulations, a few sudden moves, add a few generations, and you go from free and prosperous to teetering on the overt police state we who came of age before the fall of the Berlin wall were raised to fear and hate.  

Oh, and combine all that with decreasing the purchasing power of each American's dollar:

More and more Americans have discovered the plight of the increasing heat under their pot, or the dripping water on their heads.  

Its the degree of recognition of the problem that varies widely.

There are those of us who are perhaps hyper-aware or hypersensitive to the threats in this country to personal freedom: 

There are the sheeple, just waiting for good old government to save them, and are fine as long as their Tivo works: 

There are the leftists, cringing from recent proposals for government austerity, who only know they must now fight to maintain the flow of other people's money to their pockets:

There are a lot of regular folks waiting for a clear message that makes sense to them, and they are amenable to change political direction.  

There are the folks that punish the party in power for whatever has gone wrong every 4 years (frequently misinterpreted and spun by the media pundits as embracing whatever variety of "change" the just-elected party was selling). You know, the people that swing elections from one party to another in a way that never helps the situation:

So many Americans are sick of how nothing changes. So many Americans see that government sucks and the economy sucks but aren't sure why.  

The American people are not putty in the hands of government. 

They are Jell-O...and governing the American people is like holding Jell-O in your hands:

(We all know lots of Americans are soft and flabby; that's not what I mean in this context...;-))

The looser the hold on the people's freedom and earnings by the government, the more people the government can hold in thrall.  

The tighter the hold by the government on the people's personal freedoms and earnings , the fewer people will accept continued control by that government.

Tighten the squeeze of government, the more people will squish under the squeezing hand, and squeeze in between tightening fingers, and squirm from the pressure applied. 

The first movement under such pressure is mental and psychological.  Over time, and with decreasing prosperity, increasing laws, regulations, and decreasing freedom, the oppression of the squeezing government "hand" on the people will produce a physical effect.  

Squeeze too tight, and the government will lose what they had held:

The current governmental system utilizes earmarks, pet project money, and things like Obamacare "waivers" as signs of relaxing their "squeeze" on certain target constituencies.  All this does is waste more and more tax money, making one part of the country relax while another part seethes.  The left hand squeezes the Jell-O, and the Jell-O shifts to the right, and vice versa every two or four years.

On the other hand, certain precipitating events, like Katrina or 9/11 come along, and the hands of government squeeze tight in a spasmodic reflex.  After all, they are government...if they don't "do something, anything" they have no reason to exist.  

Government restrictions on personal liberty and the current loss of economic vitality have created a tighter grip on the people of the United States. But the sum total of this pressure, if you look around, isn't nearly bad enough to cause the people to slip out of government control.  Seems like a way to go to me.

Who knows when the next economic contraction, spurt of unexpected inflation of the price of cotton, gas, or Taco Bell , or passage of the next big government power grab bill will start Americans writhing?

So this analysis of the American mindset begs a question:  does the Constitutional conservative movement need to help things along by proactively precipitating events, causing the people to rise in revolt to the heavy hand of oppressive government, or should the constitutional conservatives be passive? 

Personally I think it is too early to "help things along".  Continued preparation for the various contingencies is warranted, for example:

The "other" gelatin: ballistics gel...



If eventually government could be altered and diminished in power and scope, I would love to see a vibrant much smaller but defense oriented military, a federal government limited to specific enumerated powers with a budget linked to a percent of GDP,  and a restoration of popular sovereignty and local governance. The markets should be free, with products and services bartered and exchanged for sound currency.  Caveat emptor would have to return to everyone's consciousness.

This small "r" republican/libertarian type government, as envisioned by the Jeffersonians, would be able to rule the most Americans with the least opposition by our ever "diversified" American people.  The people would be freer to keep what they earn, and would have to decide how to best take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Think of this "libertopian" government as two widely open hands holding a whole lot of Jell-O.

'Til then:

Quote of the Day 3/29

We demand entire freedom of action and then expect the government in some miraculous way to save us from the consequences of our own acts.... Self-government means self-reliance.--Calvin Coolidge

27 March 2011

Quote of the Day 3/27

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.