Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rejecting Victim-hood

 There seems to be a perception in society today that you must be damaged – you must be a victim in some way - otherwise you are an oppressor.  It is almost looked down upon to be a child who is part of a conventional family, raised by a loving mother and father who are still married, and has been fortunate to receive a good education and opportunities.

In the 1950’s people strove to achieve the American dream, which many perceived to encompass getting married, starting a family, buying a home and having a steady job.  People who took risks and achieved success where held in esteem.  Happiness was left to each individual’s choice, be it truck driver, doctor, entrepreneur or engineer.

The 1950’s version of the American dream is now depicted by some as that of racist white privilege that should be replaced by victim-hood.  Pity transcends pride and retribution for the past wrongs replaces individual achievement.

Why is it that when you achieve success that had its roots from love, family and opportunity that you should be discontent?  That somehow your success was only made possible on the backs of the oppressed.

Despite much political rhetoric to the contrary, America is still the most open, tolerant, fair, free and prosperous nation on the planet and in all of recorded history.  Let us reject the voices that declare victory for victim-hood and rejoice that, today, we still can dream our tomorrow and make it a reality.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Monopolies Are Bad

There is a consensus that monopolies are bad, but why?  Because it limits choice, inflates prices, depresses wages and, most important, it operates against the foundation of a free society: you get only that which the monopoly decides to give you.  Ergo, we have anti-trust laws that are intended to limit the consolidation in an industry so that there is sufficient competition to assure free and healthy markets. So if monopolies are “bad” then why does government create or support monopolies?

The fact is, the government neither likes nor understands free markets or competition because the government is itself a monopoly.  It is far more difficult for government to regulate a myriad of free market competing companies than one or a few dominant companies.

Let’s look at two examples of industries targeted by the government.  First, the financial sector.  Prior to the 2008 recession, the five largest banks had assets equal to 43% of the GDP, but five years later these banks assets grew to 56% (source: Bloomberg).  This despite the declaration by President Obama to eliminate the danger posed by financial institutions that are “too big to fail.”  Government forced consolidations and expanded regulations so that the largest banks grew larger and, with it, consumers have seen less choice and access to credit.

Next, the healthcare market.  The government today controls the healthcare payer and provider markets as it accounts for some 50% of the entire industry.  Therefore, government either directly or indirectly controls healthcare.  Under the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare) healthcare premiums have risen by double digits, consumers have limited doctor networks and many consumers are being forced into health insurance they neither want nor can afford.  The monopoly concept of one-size-fits-all is in plain sight with government mandates for maternity coverage – even if you are an 88 year old women.  Or consider the VA, which at one time President Obama touted as the model for universal healthcare.  Here veterans are literally dying while waiting to see a physician.

Government has vital a role to play in free-markets, but when government takes too large a role then we get what we have had for the past six years – slow growth and high unemployment and under-employment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

3 Reasons Why You Won't Have a Job When You Graduate

1. Paid Internships

This has kept you from internships since some States now require companies to pay their interns which discourages taking on interns – when in reality you just want the experience

2. ObamaCare

The new work week is 30 hours – there are no full time jobs

3. Your Degree

Let’s be real, you wanted to party – but hey, memories are priceless

But if you are lucky enough to get a job, guess what? You’re living at home thanks to crushing debt – you can thank government Intervention on Student Loans

You did the responsible thing and took out student loans to go to college, but did you realize how high your interest rate was?  Government intervention on student loans has driven up interest rates and you are now left trying to find a job that will at least cover your monthly payment, but jokes on you because the salary you need isn’t attainable at that entry level position you are most likely to get since you couldn’t get the work experience during college.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Is A Hero?

Donald Trump launched one of his grenades this weekend when he said that Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) was not a war hero.  That got us thinking as to what is the definition of a hero?  My father, who is of the Baby-Boomer generation, saw a hero as someone who goes beyond the normal course of duty to do something exceptional.  I, of the Millennial generation, perceive a hero as someone who when confronted in an extraordinary situation controls his fears and responds.

Is McCain a hero because served his country or survived being a POW?  What do you think a hero is?  Let’s have a discussion… 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Stages of Reaction to Donald Trump's Presidential Run Thus Far

1. When you hear another candidate has entered the Republican Presidential race

2. When you find out that the new candidate is Donald Trump

3. When you realize that this is actually NOT a joke

4. When you decide to just accept Trump's Presidential bid

Oh, and did you know Bernie Sanders is running against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat bid?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Start The Conversation

This Sunday’s blog comes with a special feature from our YouTube channel MyGeneration where host, Megan Zwerling, sits with a friend, Blake Myers, to discuss politics.  Blake is a student at UCLA majoring in political science and part of NROTC.  His views are interesting and the talks reflect sentiments of many Millennials, of which are poised to potentially have a large impact on the 2016 presidential election. 

Political dialogue is best when differing perspectives engage in honest conversation and both sides listen.  Take a look at Episode 3 of MyGeneration and comment below or on our YouTube channel about your positions on the various questions we explored.

Be Vigilant . . . Be Free!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Government Grants You No Rights

Most Americans think the government grants rights to the people.  In our book Vigilance The Price of Liberty our survey asked what rights are granted by the Constitution?  Responses included the right of speech and religion.  But the Constitution grants no rights.  Surprised?  For example the often misquoted 1st Amendment is referred to as the right of freedom of speech but this Amendment actually reads “Congress shall pass no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech”.  Notice it grants no right to speech but protects the right of speech from . . . the government taking such right from the people.

As we further explain in our book “Our American government is based on the people granting power to the government…The Constitution perfectly specifies that only the people can expand the power of government.” As such, the Constitution is the “rule book” for our process of government, and to secure our liberties we must know the rules or we will be deposed of our liberties.

The Constitution is a simple document and, in essence, there are 18 sentences that define the power of government.  The problem is that we have not read the Constitution so politicians take all they can get away with.  This has led to the unchecked expansion of government and the unsustainable accumulation of debt and liabilities.

Vigilance The Price of Liberty provides a working knowledge of the Constitution and you can find links to the Constitution as well as other important documents on our website as well as buy our book and join the march to “Be Vigilant Be Free”.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Declaration of Independence

In celebration of this Independence Day, July 4, 2015, we thought it well to share the original text of the Declaration of Independence to remind us of what we fought for and the 56 men who staked “our Lives, our Fortunes and sacred Honor.”

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.




New Hampshire   

Rhode Island   

New York   



North Carolina   

South Carolina   

New Jersey   



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Confronting Reality

With humor we can make people laugh.  With humor we can uplift spirits.  With humor we can also make people think; think about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Setting aside the constitutionality of Social Security and political ideology, let us draw our attention to the fact that under the law of Social Security the federal government has no legal authority to pay any Social Security benefits if it cannot afford to do so.  Let me rephrase: when, not if, the federal government can no longer pay Social Security benefits, then those who have been forced to pay into the system for their working life will not receive their money back.  In our book, Vigilance The Price of Liberty, we explain this issue of the unsustainability of government entitlement programs in an effort to promote honest and non-partisan debate of the issue.