A House Divided... not so much

Abraham Lincoln famously said that "a house divided against itself can not stand", the civil war and the modern divorce rate proves him right.  Of course he was just quoting Jesus so he was on pretty solid footing for his assertion.

I have given quite a bit of thought lately to what really divides the United States these days and have reached the conclusion that we truly are not nearly as divided as it appears.  I'll get into that in a bit but first it must be recognized that political divisions are not necessarily bad, in fact in many ways they are good.  For one thing differing political philosophies actually define choices for the body politic and in the political realm citizens with choices are as a general rule a good thing. What a democracy does is institute these choices into a policy framework for governing, what a republican form of government does is protect the minority view against the "tyranny of the majority," or as Lord Acton put it:
The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
Lord Acton by the way was the one who more famously observed that:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
The problem it seems to me is that in America today we have parties which are not truly defined by their beliefs but rather fraudulent representations of their beliefs. Examples would be that while the Republican Party ostensibly stand for "small government" when in power they actually expand government, IE the Bush years.  Conversely the  Democratic Party which ostensibly stands for the "little guy" instead has become the party of special interest, IE green energy, teacher unions, etc. Both parties talk a good game, but less and less represent We the People.

They get away with this by creating false narratives about issues which misrepresent the reality of the public's actual stance on issues.  Both parties do this but the Democratic Party are the masters of it.  I will take just one important political issue and show how on this issue America is not divided.  Yet a party, in this case the Democrats,  gins up division to maintain a political "edge" by totally misrepresenting the issue.

The issue is voter ID laws.  For years public opinion polls have shown the American public across all political ideologies have supported not only voter ID laws but photo ID's.  Last year just before the presidential election, in a nationwide Washington Post poll they asked this rather unambiguous straight forward question:

Q: In your view, should voters in the United States be required to show official, government-issued photo identification -- such as a driver’s license -- when they cast ballots on Election Day, or shouldn't they have to do this?

By any account an overwhelming number of American's support voter ID laws, in this poll 74% or three quarters of Americans said yes you should have to show a photo ID  to vote.

The Democratic Party whose own voters support this measure, in this poll by a 60-37 percent margin, consistently and as a matter of party policy fight against  voter ID laws. Their reason for opposing the laws is the loosely defined, never proven but divisive claims of voter suppression on the part of Republicans.

One of the ways they do this is by bringing national attention to changes to voter ID laws in Southern states, making it seem as if the sole purpose of these laws is to suppress the black vote.  Besides being a slanderous assertion towards the South in general, they do this despite the fact that a large majority of African Americans actually support photo ID's to vote! In the WAPO poll 65 % of blacks support photo ID. The Democratic Party as a matter of policy ignore the fact that these laws exist nationwide and the first state to enact a strict photo ID was Indiana, not known as a hotbed of segregation.

What the Democratic Party is actually attempting and largely succeeding in doing is equating photo ID's with racism and then pinning the Republican Party as being the racist. Of course this is an absurd and malicious proposition because to be true it would mean that 74% of Americans including 65% of blacks are racist against African Americans.

Just to drive the point home here are a few facts about the voter ID situation in the United States today.  Only 12 states currently require a photo ID to vote with six more states,  having new laws on the books which will require photo id in future elections.  Two of these state's  laws, Mississippi and North Carolina, are being challenged by the US Justice Department.  In addition two other states, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, also have enacted photo ID laws which are being challenged and appealed in state courts. Rhode Island and Alabama have photo ID laws which will go into affect this year.This means that 18 states have passed some form of photo ID laws. These states are as diverse as Georgia and Hawaii and New Hampshire and Texas. These 18 states represent over 40 % of the United States population.

But that is not the complete story.  Currently 30 states require a citizen to provide some form of ID when they vote.  This represents 61% of the population, when the North Carolina, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin cases are upheld, which they will be, just as Indiana's stricter law was, then 71% of Americans will have to show some form of ID to vote.

Interesting isn't it that Alabama which is rated by Gallup as being the most conservative state and Rhode Island rated as one of the most liberal states are both enacting voter photo ID this year.  This, like every other fact,  flies in the face of the Democratic Party's narrative of why voter ID is important.  If some form of voter suppression was the motive, then the vast majority of states are attempting voter suppression against their citizens. States controlled by both Democrats and Republicans.

The question people should be asking is not are we a seriously divided nation, we are.  The more important question is why are we divided and even more important who is dividing us and for what purpose?

There are in fact very few issues where the American people are actually seriously divided.  Or at the very least it can be said that the divisions are not as clear cut as some, for their own political purposes, make them out to be. In other words the problem is not with We The People, the problem is with political entities which stir up division for their own power. Until we recognize this and begin to end it by voting for what we actually believe in rather than what party we belong to, we will continue to be a house divided.


MY Seal of approval

One of the main reasons I was never really opposed to the Iraq War, especially as it evolved was that we ended up fighting terrorist from all over the world in a foreign nation (not here in the USA) with our military, rather than having those terrorist coming here to kill civilians. It seemed to me then and still seems to me now that this was a win, win for America.

The only counter argument is that our being there actually created the terrorist. This argument is foolish on its face, since the vast majority of terrorist who came to Iraq to fight us were not Iraqis but came from other nations. So the argument seems to be that Libyans, Jordanians, Saudis, etc suddenly became terrorist because we went in and ousted Saddam Husein, whom they hated. The primary leader (until we killed him) was a Jordanian born terrorist who was killing innocent people long before we invaded Iraq. The truth is that the terrorist we fought in Iraq were terrorist before we invaded and the ones that lived mostly still are. America is not responsible for radical Islamic terrorism, or their hatred for America, radical Islam is.

So all these terrorist from all over the world flood into Iraq and we kill them with the military we have precisely to protect us from such threats and this is somehow a bad thing? The reason I bring this up is that almost every night I watch some story on FOX news about how thousand of Islamic terrorist are flooding into Syria from all over the world, including European nations. These terrorist are being identified by US and other western intelligence agencies and the reports all make this out to be a bad thing.

Granted it is a terrible thing for the Syrians whose nation is not only in the midst of a terrible civil war, but their nation is being infested with terrorist but even the left would have a hard time blaming that on the United States. It is the result of having a tyrannical dictator not wanting to give up control and willing to do anything to keep it. It is indeed very sad for the Syrian people, not unlike the Iraqi people especially the Kurds who lived under a tyrannical dictator for years who was willing to do anything to keep power including the genocide of large segments of his own population.  As an aside here, the Kurds and for that matter the Kuwaitis were not really too upset at us invading Iraq and getting rid of a mass murderer, but that is not the main point here.

The point is that thousands of terrorist who, if not otherwise engaged in Syria, would be looking to kill Americans are not only being identified, they are being killed fighting another terrible dictator, and this is a bad thing? Terrorist at war with dictators in foreign nations sounds like a bigger win, win for us than the American military fighting terrorist over there. Not only this we are identifying these terrorist from other nations so we know where they are.

I have a suggestion for our government, close down the NSA and assign each of these terrorist a Navy Seal.


Indivisible, not

One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. 

 Inseparable only applies so long as the ties that bind you are stronger than those that separate you. Once those ties are loosened through diverging philosophies then the ties are no more than chains used by one side to imprison the other. The ties that bound the divergent factions of the the Founders of our nation was the profound and unshakable belief in the liberty of men and that this liberty was not inferred on them by governments but was in fact the natural order of the universe.  Two of our founders whom held the most divergent views on the role of the "national" government in public life were Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson but on the first principle of our founding they agreed;

The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings, is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice. Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society. It is not a thing, in its own nature, precarious and dependent on human will and caprice; but it is conformable to the constitution of man, as well as necessary to the well-being of society.
-Alexander Hamilton 1775

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."
-Thomas Jefferson 1774

So what actually tied these various slightly differing governing philosophies together was an overriding singular belief in the inherent liberty of man. But a mechanism needed to be found to not only explain this overriding principle of man's liberty but to establish the governing principles to protect them. Thus the Constitution, which while not perfect left open the pathway to amending to correct and to adapt to changing times.  But most important of all it established a governing structure which was intended to protect the liberties of man which was the "tie that bound" us together and tied the Founders together..

Today it is again sophistry of the highest degree to claim that you can ignore this most basic of all ties, personal liberty, for the sake of some sort of communal governance. When the twentieth century progressive movement began to describe these protected rights as negative liberties "what government could not do to you, rather than what government could do for you" they unbound the ties which bind us. Because as an objective view of 20th century American history clearly shows we are "progressing" away from man's inalienable rights towards government's power to impose.  This imposition of government power on the citizen is a fundamental principle of Progressive political ideology.

Because government does what all governments do as they grow, while claiming to do "for" the people they are in fact doing "to" the people. And what they are doing "to" the people is imposing on them laws and regulations that increasingly imprison them to the dictates of a less and less responsive government. This is why a growing Federal Government fits right into the progressive philosophy and is contrary to our Founder's philosophy.
 We are less and less a representative democracy and more and more a fascist state, where connections and influence to the governing elite and its bloated bureaucratic institutions is what determines the" public " policy.  Rather than WE THE PEOPLE which are supposed to be the beneficiary of and the rulers of the governing structure, the governing structure instead rules the people,  "as government grows, liberty shrinks."

Those "special interest" connections are only possible because the Federal Government controls and influences more and more of public life and in a centralized location. If you want to influence policy for your own interest, go to Washington. This is why the DC area is now the richest region in the nation, it is where the money and the power is. We have gone from a nation where merit and industry is the backbone of our existence to one where political influence determines destiny.

To say that this has happened or is happening for the "public good" is naivety of the highest order. To say that the progressive philosophy is not primarily responsible for this is simply willful ignorance. But to say that this philosophical divergence from our founding principles is somehow an American principle is to stick a knife in our Founders and Framers back.

Progressivism was never intended to progress the ideals of democracy as envisioned by our Founders, but rather from its founding was intended to progress us away from our founding principles towards a more "enlightened" Utopian vision, based more on Marxism.  To show how far removed Progressive thought is from founding principles it is only neccessary to quote their founding icons.

One of Progressive's founding members considered to be one of its great thinkers, the educator John Dewey who said:
"Natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological social zoology."
What would Hamilton and Jefferson think of that?  Is that a philosophy that binds us to our founding principles?

 Then there is another leader of the early progressive movement Margaret Sanger the founder of the cherished progressive institution Planned Parenthood:

[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

That just shouts, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness doesn't it? As does this from Ms Sanger's "Plan for Peace":

Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.
Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit…
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.

A fundamental tenant of progressive ideology IS that the American principle of individual liberty is flawed at its core.

 Perhaps nobody consistently made this point clearer than the 26th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson an avowed progressive who said of the Declaration of Independence

“the rhetorical introduction of the Declaration of Independence is the least part of it…. If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.”

“the rhetorical introduction" of course is all that meaningless verbiage about  holding  truths to be self evident, men are created equal endowed by their Creator with rights..blah, blah, blah.  Wilson argued that this was just so much nonsense.

So when the progressive left or right for that matter tries to claim that they are part of the American fabric, they are right in one sense.  They are the loose thread which is attempting to pull apart the fabric of the American union. Because if that union is not built on the founding principle of individual liberty there really is no union at all.

Are we indivisible? No we are very much divided not by the people who believe in our founding principle but by those who through sophistry attempt to destroy it. Because if you do not believe in individual liberty, you really don't believe in America at all.


The Difference

When the Census Bureau releases its latest population estimates on Monday, demographers expect that Florida and New York will be narrowly separated — perhaps by as little as a few thousand people — and that if Florida does not pass New York this time, it almost certainly will do so in 2014. 
NY Times Dec. 26, 2013

When this news came out recently it did not immediately hit me with the potential significant opportunity it presented, but it has now, I'll explain in a bit.

Have you ever watched a commercial that just irritated you?  I'm sure you have most people watch  commercials that rub you wrong way.  For the past few months there has been a commercial playing regularly here in Florida, I do not know if it is national or not I suspect it is, put out by the State of New York.

The commercial is part of Governor Cuomo's  Start-Up NY  campaign to entice businesses to move to New York.  They are doing this by creating "tax free zones" for  businesses in special "zones" in the state for ten years.  So if you are a business, the idea is that you will move to a "zone" of New York in order to enjoy 10 years without any state  taxes.

There are a lot of strings attached and regulatory obligations involved in the much touted program, which is spending millions of tax payer's money on the add campaign which will be a total boondoggle.

There is a reason people and businesses move out of their home states such as New York to states like Florida and it is not just the weather, it has to do with the old adage that "capital goes where it is wanted."  People move their money and themselves where it is protected.

But what irritates me about the StartUp NY commercials is not that I know the whole enterprise is doomed to fail, it is the hypocrisy.  There is no bluer" state than New York, they just elected a socialist mayor of New York for goodness sake!  Andrew Cuomo despite any electioneering spin to the contrary is a dyed in the wool old fashioned tax and spend liberal who fervently believes in big government. So what does this bluest of blue states, run by the bluest of blue politicians do to try to attract businesses back into their lair?  They cut taxes for evil businesses.

This is why the fact that these two states Florida and New York having virtually identical populations is such an opportunity, a very liberal blue state compared to a conservative red state. Every statewide elected official in New York is a Democrat while every state wide elected official except one in Florida is a Republican. New York's congressional delegation is 21-6 Democrat over Republican while Florida's delegation is 17-10 Republican over Democrat.  The governor and both houses of the legislature in New York is Democrat, the Governor and both house of the legislature in Florida is Republican.

So let's compare two states with the same population but with opposing political philosophies.

 Florida has a corporate tax rate of  between 0 and 5%.  New York has a corporate rate of 0 to 7.1%.

Florida has no state income taxes at all-for anyone, New York's state income tax rate starts at 4% for an individual making over $7500 and a couple making $15,000 and rises to a maximum of 8.82% for individuals making $1,029,250 or couples making $2,058,550.

Florida has a state sales tax of 6%,  New York has a sales tax is 4%.

The average Florida homeowner pays 3.31 % of their income in property taxes 18th highest in the nation. The average New York home owner pays 5.02% of their income in property taxes the 6th highest in the nation.

The median house price in Florida is $182,400 -23rd highest in the nation. The median house price in New York is $306,000-4th highest in the nation.

The 2011-2012 two year average median household income in Florida is $46,059 down from 47,566 in the 2009-2010 average a 3.2% decrease. The 2011-2012 two year average median household income in New York is $$49,687 down from $53,062 in the 2009-2010 average, a decrease 6.4 %.

As of December 2013, Florida had an unemployment rate of 6.2% tied with three other states for 22nd highest (below the national average). New York had an unemployment rate of 7.1% which was 36th highest in the nation(above the national average).

Here is where we really see the differences in political philosophy.  Remember these two states now have virtually the same population

2013 State Budget

Florida 69.9 Billion,  New York 132.6 billion

State Debt

Florida- $134,900,802,000 / Each citizen's share $7,078.60.-

New York -$305,308,390,000/ Each citizen's share $15,415.52

The final category is the one the liberals love to point out without ever putting it in context and that is federal aid to the states. Liberals love to point to studies which show that "red" states depend on Federal Aid far more than "Blue" states.  However the data they use is based on the percentage of a states general revenue budget which is made up of federal aid. So the higher your budget is (the bigger the government is), the less the percetage will be

Consider that as you realize that Florida's budget is 69.9 billion while New York's budget is 132.6 billion.  Even if both states got the exact same amount in federal aid the percentage Florida receives would be far more than New York receives. But even using that deceptive way of calculating federal aid Florida receives 36.9% of its budget from federal aide which is the 23rd most of any state while New York receives 40.4% of its much more massive budget from federal aide which is 10th highest of any state!

If, however, you calculate federal aid on a per capita basis which is a much more objective way of looking at the issue, it is even more dramatic.  Florida's per capita federal aid  is $901.87 per citizen which ranks 48th in the nation.  New York which remember is exactly the same size as Florida receives  $2301.14 per citizen in federal aid which is 4th most in the nation, following Alaska (3), Vermont (2), and The District of Columbia (1).

Florida does not mooch off the rest of the nation, New York certainly does.

If the federal government ever makes one "fair" change to the tax code the migration from blue to red states will be a flood.  If they ever eliminate the federal deduction on state taxes, blue states will either turn red or they will lose half their citizens, the half who are not on state or federal aid.

This in a rather large nutshell is a major reason why there is such political polarization in America today, two diametrically opposed views on how to govern. Tax and spend versus let people keep their own money,  One grows an economy, one stagnates it. But more important one frees people while the other puts people in bonds to government.

It is really rather simple though if New Yorkers thought they were getting their monies worth out of big government they would not be leaving and moving to Florida and other less restrictive states . It's not the weather,  its the freedom.

StartUp NY is really nothing more than liberal foolishness trying to avoid ShutDown NY.


The executioners of modern society

If abortion is about a woman's right over her own body, then why should the father have to support the child? If what is to be "disposed" of is the woman's, why then when not "disposed" of does it become in any way the man's responsibility?

The answer of course is that the "choice" the woman is making is not about her body but about another human being, with different and uniquely distinct DNA. A human being who if given a "choice" would grow up to have a separate and totally independent life from the woman who is demanding to choose, to control the destiny of that other life.

The "choice" the woman demands is death to the innocent.

The "choice" the woman makes is not a "health" issue at all, it is an execution issue.  Does a woman have the right to execute another human being? Too harsh? I will tell you what is harsh, harsh is "choosing" in the modern day to have unprotected sex then demanding to play executioner as the result of that "choice."

The abortionist, the executioners, and by that I mean the entire ideology that has grown around the issue have very convincingly redefined the time frame of  the "choice."   The real "choice" the one that really matters but which is ignored is the "choice" women make to not protect their body, their "health" if you will when they engaged in unprotected sex.  In the modern day when contraception is not only readily available but heralded by these champions of "women's health" as a right, this truly is the "choice" that the woman has made.

When a man makes a "mistake" and the result is a child, society holds him accountable, as it should.  While his partner in the "mistake" demands absolution for her mistake through the "right" to choose death to the innocent.  The truth that is being distorted or ignored is that unintended pregnancies are not a mistake at all, they are and always have been, a "choice."

 The thin veil of "unwanted" pregnancies has been totally ripped to shreds by the long ago accepted use of contraceptives in society.  Although there are religious people and faiths that oppose contraception, no woman or man for that matter is "shunned" for using contraceptives  In fact it is heralded as the responsible thing to do in modern society.  This societal acceptance of and the easy access to contraceptives is what makes the "choice" argument so abhorrently wrong .  

Perhaps an even sadder aspect of the entire "choice" argument is that its genesis is born out of the very real and necessary desire by women to be treated as equals in society.  However by demanding the "choice" not to be held accountable for their own actions, their own choices, they are in fact not asking for equality but rather to be treated as children, who should not be be held accountable for their own actions.

It is indeed true irony that in their desire to be equal to men, women of the "choice" movement instead prove themselves to be less responsible than men.  A man's place in this situation is little changed from what it has always been, if he either marries the mother of his child or takes responsibility for the child he is generally considered to have done "the right thing."  A man that "lives up to his responsibility" is far more mature and deserving of respect than the woman who kills an innocent child then demands sympathy for what in truth was her poor choice to begin with.

Obviously if a man abandons his responsibility to the child and the woman he is ridiculed and is generally not respected by society particularly by mature responsible men who know that taking care of their offspring is their responsibility.  But which is worse, to abandon the child or to murder the child as a means of escaping responsibility for your choices?  The abortionist movement has so twisted the discussion that they make it seem that it is in a child's best interest that it be destroyed rather than live where "it is not wanted."

The perverted selfishness of such thinking which is now widely accepted in society is the same as saying that death is preferable to life, without ever giving life a choice in the matter. There have of course been many "unwanted pregnancies" that have lived wonderful lives and whose fruit have born generations of wonderful lives.  In fact many of the women making the choice to end life are products of "unwanted pregnancies" themselves.  What generations of human beings have been afforded, regardless of the circumstances, life itself, this generation of "choice" advocates would deprive those who have no choice at all.

The "choice" to kill after having failed to make the "choice" to prevent is not something that womankind should herald, it is one that they should condemn. Just as mature men condemn men who do not live up to their responibilities mature women ought to condemn the childishness of women who will not take responsibility for theirs. The irresponsible father is a deadbeat, the modern woman of "choice" is not only not a mother, she is the executioner of modern society and modern society is paying the price for her "choices."