Category Archives: Liberty

Tyrant

I’m afraid.  Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord walking away from a commitment that we made with virtually every nation on earth.

The science of climate change – global warming – has been debated here and else where for years now.  I don’t wanna get into that now except to say that for the purpose of this post, I have settled that we are not in danger of catastrophic warming.  Because of that, I am fine with the reasons for rejecting Paris.

But before we rejected Paris, we agreed to it.  And that should mean something.

Now, as for the world without American leadership?  Screw ’em.  I am less and less inclined to care what a Parisan sipping coffee at 2.00 pm thinks of America while the rest of the world refuses to act in most cases.  We’re a handful of days away from the anniversary of America’s leadership.

No.  What scares me is that without Obama we don’t have Trump.  But we had Obama, and now we have Trump.

Barack ruled with his phone and his pen.  Paris was illegal.  GM’s bankruptcy was illegal.   His immigration policies were illegal.  Libya?  Illegal.  And the list goes on and on.  So, mostly, as Trump undoes Obama’s work with equal executive orders, I am conflicted.  We are removing oddles and oodles of illegal and wrong minded policy.

But I don’t believe that Trump is going to stop.  He’s going to get used to ruling, aka Barack, and will simply, and horrifically, continue on the trajectory.

The President never should have pulled out of Paris.  But the President never should have entered Paris.  Without the first, we never have the second.

Pino’s Response to the NCAA Ban on North Carolina

If I were in position to craft state law here in Raleigh, my response to the NCAA and their ban on NC* would be this:

Simply restrict restroom and locker room access in the exact same manner as the NCAA restricts access to sporting teams in their leagues:

The following policies clarify participation of transgender student-athletes undergoing hormonal treatment for gender transition:

1. A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for diagnosed Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for purposes of NCAA competition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.

2. A trans female (MTF) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for the purposes of NCAA competition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.

Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.

  • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.

  • A trans female (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.

The NCAA itself discriminates based on gender.  FURTHER, the organization differentiates between MTF and FTM.

Opposition to HB2 indeed.

South American Dictator

 

Look, Trump is no shiny nickel.  As they say, ‘Elect a clown.  Expect a circus.”

But at least we don’t have to be subjected to boilerplate South American Dictator skreed.  It’s a Netflix show – I get it.  But I was struck by the fact that it could very well have been Obama on that stage.

On Immigration, Bans and Executive Power – Part One

 

A conversation:

Hebes:

My brother lost his job last week.  They moved the work to a contracting house staffed with laborers accepting lower wages.  I think  we need to seriously consider our immigration policy to limit foreign workers to our country.

They are stealing our jobs.

Callidus:

Consider the shop your brother was working in – the cabinet maker’s shop.  Do you believe that the workers in that shop were offered more money to work down the street but turned that wage down to work there?

Hebes

Why, Callidus, that would be madness!  Why would a craftsman turn down a stronger wage only to work for less?

Callidus

Exactly my point.  A man is entitled to negotiate the terms of employment to the best of his ability and expertise.

Let me ask you, when the cabinet builder takes his lunch, is he obligated to pass the sandwich shop offering a  higher quality meal to instead walk to the more expensive stand?

Hebes:

Of course not!  A man would be a fool to buy the more expensive lunch of equal or lower quality.  What does this have to do with my brother?

Callidus:

What, Hebes, should he not consider the character of the sandwich shop owner?  What if the man’s brother had just lost his leg?  Should that not play into his decision to buy the more expensive sandwich?

Hebes:

Callidus, what OF the man’s brother.  If he requires charity, so let it be.  But a man ought buy a sandwich without such concerns.

Callidus:

What if the foolish sandwich shop bought meat from a vendor who charged more – so he in turn could care for his mother?

Hebes:

Callidus, stop with this man’s brother, this man’s mother.  If the shop keeper is foolish and purchases meat at too high a price, he should not expect me to make him whole in the price of the sandwich.  If he is charitable, then he may enjoy his charity!  But that he might force the burden  on me?  No way.

Callidus:

So you would agree that a man may negotiate terms of his wage?

Hebes:

Yes.

Callidus:

And the terms of his purchase of goods?

Hebes:

Yes.

Callidus:

And the nature of his charity?  But not that of yours?

Hebes:

Most certainly yes!

Callidus:

Then why do you hate the furniture shop keeper?

Hebes:

Callidus!  Why would you say such a thing?

Callidus:

Well, you tell me a man is free to negotiate his wage yet you deny the same liberty of the wage payer.  In the next breath, you condemn the sandwich monger as foolish for paying too much for his commodities.  Even then you blame him for high prices to support his brother.  Or that man’s mother.  Yet you praise the worker looking for a fairly priced meal.

Why do you hate the furniture maker for paying less for his workers?  Certainly the wife of the sandwich man might enjoy less expensive cabinets?

Hebes:

Ahh Callidus, you are clever!  I will console my brother, cook him a meal and help him find another job.

You have changed my mind.  We should let every man of any country into our own!  We might all enjoy less expensive meals with even less expensive cabinets!

Callidus:

Hebes, you do not listen to any of my words.

Muslim Registration

 

It would appear it is upon on – a Trump presidency is mere weeks away.  And with it the specter of a registration based on religion.

Truly a heinous idea.  And dangerous.  And horribly unAmerican.

I am, of course, against any such registration.  First because it’s chilling and second, the constitution protects religion.

 

But for those of you on the left that agree with me I ask you to justify your position in light of your likely support of the registration of people exercising their 2nd amendment rights – owning a gun.

Put another way – why is it okay to restrict firearm ownership or speech but not the practice of religion?

Immigration – Assimilate

immigration

I have in-laws in Brooklyn.  I love going to visit.  In my travels I have met a friend of the family there on the street.  She’s great.  Yet every time I see her, every time, she wistfully asks me if the cost of living in North Carolina is as low as she hears it to be.

I always say yes.

Finally, one time I just couldn’t control myself.  See, the friend is a full on democrat.  So, as I answered in the affirmative, I added on.  I said, “The reason we enjoy such quality of life is that we don’t vote democrat.  We don’t impose expensive taxes and regulations, fees and zoning laws.  We are freer than you are.”

Enter Gloria Alverez:

Standing Rock Sioux v DAPL – Pino’s Solution

standing-rock-sioux

There is a protest in North Dakota.

For all that’s been said, it follows the general political story:

  1. The liberals* have correctly identified a wrong
  2. They have zero clue how to implement a solution

The Indian’s greatest mistake, being susceptible to disease is not a mistake, is to trust the United States Federal government.  After centuries of being absolutely abused, I am continually astonished that they are astonished the government would screw ’em at the first opportunity.

Here is my very simple two step process to solve the situation.

  1. End the notion that there exists, in any legal manner, the concept of a Sovereign Nation.  There is none.Zero sovereign nations outside the 50 great states of these United States exists.

    Period

  2. Stop with this reservation bullshit.  Deed the land to each member of the tribe so that each member/family has their own equal and private ownership of said reservation land.Now each individual can contract that land as their individual circumstance would dictate.  Wanna sell it?  Sell it.  Wanna lease it?  Lease it.

    Wanna tell DAPL to shove it – do that too.

End of story.

  • There is no small irony that the same group of people that mock me for the belief in a “White Haired Gandolph sitting on a throne” myth would get so “offended at the thought” of a sacred site of long dead and dust ancestors.I, of course, understand.  But I acknowledge the existence of Deity, of the after life, of sacredness and all that comes with it.  I just for one blessed minute would like to be spared the indignation of sacrilege while praising such things as “The Piss Christ”.

    By the way, just 3 years ago a ‘sacred burial ground of MY people’ was dug up and moved to make way for a housing complex.  Not an exact parallel but jeepers.  Compensation was offered, negotiated and accepted.  Honoring of the dead ancestors was preserved and protests = 0.

    Just sayin’.

Protesting The Protester

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick.  You’d have to have been in a coma the last week to not have heard his name.  Mr. Kaepernick is the NFL football player that decided he would protest “oppressed people” by sitting during the National Anthem.

Never minding what he considers ‘oppressed’, how he measures it, how he thinks his sitting during pre-game will be different than his sitting DURING game or how he thinks his protest will affect change – the pop-culture conversation has been all about Kaepernick and his decision to sit.  And for how long.

I’ve mostly stayed quiet on this one save for a few face-to-face personal conversations with friends and neighbors.  The usual eye-roll* is quickly followed with ‘pass the beer nuts’ and we move on.  It’s the same thing.  Cause de jour is being highlighted and is amplified by the media in an obvious method to stoke agita.  I mean serious; who could care less about what Colin Kaepernick thinks about anything?

So whatever.

But then I have seen the trending or viral Facebook post on the topic authored by Jim Wright:

If Americans want this man to respect America, then first they must respect him.

If America wants the world’s respect, it must be worthy of respect.

Much more at the link  – but this was the part that got me.   Now, to be fair – I doubt that Mr. Wright expected his post to go viral.  That being said, the moving back and forth between America and Americans is misleading and confusing.  There are concepts that are unique to each – to America the Nation and then to Americans the Citizens.

The First Amendment chief and first among them.  For example, you have no First Amendment Right in my home, nor me in yours.  Don’t like my speech or religion?  Force me to leave; you can.

But AMERICA can’t do the same.

So when Mr Wright laments Americans who want Mr. Kaepernick to respect America by first demanding they respect him – he’s off.  His thesis has no logical continuity.  America the Nation is not interchangeable with Americans.  I am under no moral, or other, obligation to show respect to Kaepernick.  And his respect, or disrespect thereof, America being predicated on such is ridiculous.

Here I do agree with Mr Wright:

The United States isn’t a person, it’s a vast construct, a framework of law and order and civilization designed to protect the weak from the ruthless and after more than two centuries of revision and refinement it exists to provide in equal measure for all of us the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Yes.  More or less, the United States is that.  And if you don’t respect that, or feel that America is living UP to that, then sit.  Or stand.  Or clench a fist.  Or turn your back.  Or walk out.

Whatever you wanna do – do it.

And yes, THAT is what our veterans have fought and died for.  The right to protest your government for redress.  The privilege to offer speech, or not, free from lawful persecution.  The right to agree – or not.  To vote – or not.  To stand at attention, or burn, the flag that represents the very freedom you are exercising.

To protest free from tyranny.

But it DOESN’T mean that you get to protest in amnesty of MY right to protest.

So, if Mr. Kaepernick wants to sit his entitled ass on the bench where he will earn north of $100 million dollars while doing nothing to *change* the conditions he’s protesting, that’s his journey.  I haven’t seen anyone denying him that.  I haven’t seen calls for his arrest, or his detention, or his forceful demand to stand by threat of State sword or gun.  All I’ve seen is a massive and rather resounding protest of the protestor telling him that he’s a dumb ass.

America can’t tell Kaepernick to stand to, but Americans most certainly, and rightfully, can.

* This is in two parts:

  1.  What is it about people who demand change without active participation?
  2. Does Kaepernick comprehend that by relinquishing the change agent within his own self he is only buying into the power structure he claims to hate?

When the Other is a Hater

Persecuted

Someone can disagree with you and simultaneously not be a hater, a bigot, fearful of anything or anyone or be a racist and love the sound of a baby’s laughter, raise honeybees and dedicate his life to increasing the general goodness around her.

The Social Contract

Social Contract

Last week I posted on the concept of the Social Contract.  Specifically on the fact that a contracts binds folks into reciprocal obligations – a quid pro quo if you will.  But rare is the liberal democrat that will agree with this simple obvious fact.

At its very core, the concept of a give and take is the argument the democrat makes; from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  The idea that someone sits idly by while the rest of society labor for his largess SHOULD offend the liberal.

Alas, any debate that suggests those receiving ought to contribute as they can is met with labels of ‘hate’ and ‘bigot’.

As it stands, the US government spends north of $1 trillion annual on means tested welfare.  That’s a number even the most ardent Bernie supporter would find unbelievable – a massive transfer of wealth from those that have to those that have not.  In fact, if Bernie had been asked what his goal in such transfer programs were back in the 60’s, he would have been happy enough with that number to retire and call it a success.

Back to the contract.  What if we limited compliance of that contract not to those in need, caring for others and perhaps unable to care for themselves.  What if instead we went after those with no dependents and were fully capable of fending for themselves?

Poster BoyNotice: The poster child of this movement is neither female, a minority or destitute

Well, Maine did it – and it worked:

In response to the growth in food stamp dependence, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, recently established work requirements on recipients who are without dependents and able-bodied. In Maine, all able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service.

Job openings for lower-skill workers are abundant in Maine, and for those ABAWD recipients who cannot find immediate employment, Maine offers both training and community service slots. But despite vigorous outreach efforts by the government to encourage participation, most childless adult recipients in Maine refused to participate in training or even to perform community service for six hours per week. When ABAWD recipients refused to participate, their food stamp benefits ceased.

In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.

Now THAT is a win!