Friday, February 27, 2015

Part II – You Cannot Fight an Enemy You Refuse to Define

On Sunday, February 22nd we discussed a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal by Secretary of State John Kerry wherein Mr. Kerry discussed vague claims to prevent and counter violent extremism.  As we dive further in to this article we continue to read about the Secretary’s statement on approach as follows:

We’ve combated violent extremism before. We know there are tools that work. We also know the power of the international community to make positive progress when we’ve come together to combat other challenges, such as when we combined our efforts most recently to fight Ebola.

Kerry only offers a statement on “violent extremism” that he purports as both fact and conclusion.  However, his example of Ebola where the world has worked together to “combat other challenges” is appropriate – though not for the argument Kerry is trying to make.  In fact, Ebola is a perfect example of the prospective failure of Kerry’s policy; i.e. to eliminate a disease it must be clearly identified. 
Suppose we substitute for the name Ebola the phrase “violent disease” so as to be polite and not offend.  How would we eradicate such a vague disease?  To “degrade and ultimately destroy” a parasitic disease requires its isolation and intimate knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses.  To know what it is and classify its components in detail is critical to its extinction.

There is no difference in a deadly disease and deadly behavior that threatens civil society.  Both can cross borders and both kill innocents. Eradication can only be achieved from knowing the disease you are fighting.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

You Can’t Fight an Enemy That You Refuse to Define

In the Wall Street Journal on February 18th, John Kerry wrote on a summit where the “White House and State Department will expand the global conversation and, more important, adopt an action agenda that identifies, shares and utilizes best practices in preventing and countering violent extremism.”  Well, isn’t this lovely!  The trouble though is that Mr. Kerry refuses to clearly identify the enemy that he labels as terrorists and does not provide a clear plan of action.

Kerry has no enemy other than a concept of violent extremism and no plan other than to work together.  Kerry and the President seem unwilling or unable to engage Islam into the discussion or to have a serious dialogue.

Kerry says “Eliminating the terrorists of today with force will not guarantee protection from the terrorists of tomorrow.”  Maybe so, but it’s a good start!  Then he proclaims that “We have to devote ourselves not just to combating violent extremism, but to preventing it.”  So who are the collective “we”?  It sure would be nice to have names rather than vagaries.  Then Kerry pontificates with grand sounding themes like the encouraging the “rule of law”, stopping “corruption”, and giving people “dignity” by having the government take care of their “necessities.”

The Secretary of State and the President fail to find either an identifiable enemy or a coherent approach to its eradication.  It all sounds like they are launching a large government entitlement program in-line with combating global warming, income inequality or net neutrality. 

Kerry does purport “good governance” as a preventive measure that may include training people for jobs but what jobs exactly are we training people for? How will this combat terrorism? And how will this be implemented; i.e. how much more money will the government take from the taxpayer to fulfill their ego and delusion that they are doing a public good? 

No plan can work against an enemy that is not defined: we are perpetually stuck at square one.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Knowing the Constitution vs Knowing of the Constitution

When were you last asked to read to Constitution? Better yet, do you remember a time in your schooling that you were required to read this important document?  Most would answer that they could not pin-point the exact time, but are sure that they must have been at some point.  Are we so far removed as a nation that something as integral in our lives as our country’s founding document is not continually revisited in our education?  If not to broaden our minds and inform ourselves of our nation’s history, then to become good citizens and know what the Constitution protects against.

Many people mistake their general understanding of the Constitution as a knowledgeable platform to have an intelligent conversation about policy and government proceedings; this is simply not true.  To have a productive political discussion it is necessary to not only have read the Constitution in its entirety, but to have understood it as well.  This understanding is crucial for our nation’s prosperity and continuance.   We will be misled and preyed upon by politicians if knowledge of our nation’s founding and the Constitution is not attained.

Become vigilant.  Stay vigilant. Let the discussion continue.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The President of Everything

President Obama has put himself forth as the savor of everything.  He will save the climate, social justice, net neutrality, the Middle East, healthcare, education and the middle class.  But to save everything the President needs to centrally control everything – and herein lies the problem and the great threat to our liberty and the American Dream.  As to control everything means to take away everyone’s freedom of choice because people can act selfishly, irrationally or simply are not smart enough to make the “right” choices.  So the President, who has been morally and intellectually perfected, must make the choices that regular people cannot.  This is the essence of the Obama’s policies. 

However, even if Obama is better than us the problem is that government programs get corrupted, it is a condition of man that cannot be denied.  As we write in Vigilance The Price of Liberty “Acts, no matter how noble, good, or charitable by a centralized government inevitably fall to political corruption and turn evil.”  All the well intentioned acts of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, welfare and thousands of other programs have driven the nation to financial ruin.  We have over $18 trillion of debt, the highest debt of any nation in the world, and a debt per capita nearly three times higher than dysfunctional Greece.  We have over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities from Medicare and Social Security.  For the $15 trillion spent on welfare the rate of poverty today is about the same as it was in 1965 when the “war” on poverty started.  And despite the efforts of the Education Department, SAT reading scores in 2012 had fallen to their lowest point in four decades.  As the Nobel economist Milton Freidman said “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies by their intentions rather than their results”.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Link in the Dependency Chain

You are just not smart enough.  At least that is how the government views the American public.  You are not smart enough to save your money for retirement. You are not smart enough to choose your healthcare plan.  But, of course you are capable to handle your money and make decisions, the real problem is that we are not vigilant enough to realize that the government should not be doing any of these things for us.  It is both unconstitutional and unsustainable.

For far too many, vigilance has been substituted with dependency.  If you ask an individual if they are in need of the government to handle their money for retirement or healthcare, the majority will answer that they do not.  But in the same breath they will say that everyone else needs the government’s help to manage their lives. 

The delusion that government is needed to care for us has been proven throughout recorded history to simply fail.  Political corruption is inevitable as men in power will become corrupt themselves – it is the human condition.  But by knowing the human condition, the many should be vigilant of the few in government so that the many can thrive.  Thinking of government beyond its constitutional bounds as a solution, has created one link in a long chain of dependency.  What do you think? 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Do You Come to Work?

Do you go to work or do you come to work? This is not a difference without distinction; it is a fundamental attitude of dependency versus self-sufficiency as being on the dole versus earning a living.  In the first case, when you go to work, work is a noun - that is a place.  In the second, when you come to work, work is a verb - something that you do to produce an outcome. 

As a society, we are shifting from work as a verb to viewing it as a noun, as the entrepreneurial spirit that lifted this great nation is dwindling.  It is a discussion of "takers versus makers"; takers being those that go to work, and makers being those that come to work.  When the takers out numbering the makers, society will collapse.  This idea of takers versus makers can find its basis in the "dependency" attitude of the youth today.  This nation must breed more makers to offset the takers for us to ensure prosperity for generations to come.

Let the discussion continue.