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We Hold These Truths (Newz-Board.com)
"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions."

James Madison (1792)

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."

Barry Goldwater

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force."

George Washington

" Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. ""

William Pitt (The Younger)

"Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions."

John Locke

"Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found."

Edmund Burke

"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

Thomas Paine

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."

Thomas Jefferson

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."

Patrick Henry

"The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression."

H. L. Mencken

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

Norman Thomas (American Communist)

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy."

John Marshall

"At a time when our entire country is banding together and facing down individualism, the {NE} Patriots set a wonderful example, showing us all what is possible when we work together, believe in each other, and sacrifice for the greater good."

Ted Kennedy (Socialist Senator)

"In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, 'make us your slaves, but feed us.'"

Dosteovsky's Grand Inquisitor (The Brothers Karamazov)

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

H. L. Mencken

"Ideology enables us to pass judgements on a variety of issues while lacking adequate information or analytical skill or commitment to discovering the truth."

Robert Grudin

"Liberty is precious - so precious that it must be rationed."

Vladimir Lenin

"Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase ..."

Janice Rogers Brown


    
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Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Sending In The Clones

President Bush and his administration are making a terrible mistake by trying to outlaw U.S. experiments in cloning and stem-cell research. They make a specious moral argument against the science but as we can see from Korea and other countries, there is no way to stop it. There are nations out there that see genetic research as a way to make a lot of money and increase their political clout and no one, not even the toothless UN will deter them.
If GW and company were really looking at the morality of the case they would see that only by encouraging unfettered cloning and stem-cell research in the U.S., so that we get it done first, is there ANY chance of keeping some sort of ethical or moral control. By abdicating that role through some misguided religious morality, the U.S. is courting genetic disaster while the rest of the world goes on its merry way into the future..

posted by Charles 4:28 PM

Living In A Fantasy World!
LINK "Acad?mie Solemnly Mans the Barricades Against Impure French - New York Times"
"Baisez-vous, vous les bâtards arrogants de grenouille!" Des "Poissons De Babel."

posted by Charles 3:02 PM

Here We Go!
LINK "FEC treads into sticky web of political blogs - Yahoo! News" This could be what I've been waiting for. A bunch of government bureaucrats trying to regulate something of which they are totally
ignorant. Bet the hackers and geeks are just rubbing their hands with glee.

posted by Charles 2:31 PM

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

OOPS!
LINK "French Gov't in Crisis After Voters Reject EU Constitution -- 05/31/2005" The French government is in crisis 24-7. This just adds to the fun. Ribbit!

posted by Charles 6:07 PM

Golly, Gee!
LINK "Newsday.com: AP Enterprise: Lawmakers, aides belatedly disclose trips" Crooked politicians, who'da thunk?

posted by Charles 5:04 PM


Galveston, Oy Galveston

By: Charles Stone, Jr.


Such kvetching and wailing about the Social Security System. The Democrats are insisting that the Bush plan is racist, sexist, ageist, fiscally irresponsible, and a repudiation of the great Leftist icon, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Republicans are sure they're not any of those things but they are so cowardly that they will not fight to make the changes.


There are all sorts of ephemeral reasons cited by the GOPers in defense of such things as partial privatization but there are few actual facts that seem to make the argument.
One of the greatest examples of how well a privatized system would work exists and would make powerful rhetoric in the argument but for some reason, nobody wants to talk about it.

Galveston County, Texas.


What I can't figure out is why the Republicans haven't been citing the Galveston experiment all along as a reason why privatization of Social Security could work. Even President Bush seemed to ignore Galveston until his sixty day S/S reform blitz in March and April of 2005. The opposition was allowed to make ridiculous charges about the evils of ANY private accounts and the GOP refused to use the powerful weapon of precedent in rebuttal..


In 1996, the National Center for Policy Analysis did a study of the retirement systems adopted by Galveston and a few other Texas counties (BA #215) to see what the results of privatization would be. The results are astounding.


An employee of 40 years, making $20,000 per year, would have a lump sum of over $380,000 in his retirement account. He might choose to take monthly payments of $2740 per month for life as opposed to $775 per month from Social Security.


An employee of 40 years, making $50,000 per year would have some $950,000 in his account or he could take monthly payments of $6843 per month compared to $1392 per month from Social Security.


The disability part of the plan would provide the injured worker 60 percent of his salary up to age 65, at which time he would switch to the retirement plan. Social Security provides a sum determined by the workers S/S earnings. Even at the $20,000 salary level, the amount would be about equal to the Social Security Disability stipend.


There is also a life insurance component to the Galveston plan which would provide from $50,000 to $150,000 compared to Social Security's $255 restricted death benefit.
If you would like to read about how the whole Galveston plan came to be, check out this article in "Liberty Haven" by: Ed Myers

A 1999 report by the General Accounting Office (a government agency under the Clinton Administration) said low paid employees would fare better under the current S/S system than they would under the Galveston county plan, while higher paid employees and employees without children would seem to do better with the alternate plans.


But Brazoria County Judge John Willy says, "That's just not true. In almost every case, county workers make double what they would make with Social Security."


In that study, he says, researchers used not the 6-1/2 percent average rate of return on investments that county workers have actually received since the programs began, but a 4-1/2 percent average rate of return. Further, says Judge Willy "A county judge or a county tax collector is going to make more because they are putting more in during their lifetime, but someone making a lower salary is getting the same high rate of return on their money,"


Makes sense to me..


Yet another judge, or rather a former judge, Ray Holbrook says:
"The Alternate Plan has been successful for the past 18 years with a return on retirement investments of about 6-1/2%. That is at least three times the return on a like investment in Social Security right now. Even though the return from a stock market investment would have significantly increased the actual return, there was much less risk potential in buying annuities with guaranteed returns."


And: "Alternative plans have worked. There are many happy employees and retirees from forward-thinking Texas counties that could attest to the benefits of embracing these alternatives.".


Of course, those opposed to the Galveston plan gleefully trumpet these flawed conclusions as reasons why the average American should fight against any change in the status quo. As in: Media Matters to America.


In may of 2000. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson on the floor of the Senate said, in response to criticism of the Galveston plan by Sen. Barbara Boxer:
"In her discussion," said Sen. Hutchinson, " she (Sen. Boxer) took on the issue of some of the Texas municipalities that had chosen to opt out of Social Security and attempted to show they were doing less well than anyone in the Social Security system today. I want to refute some of those remarks, especially the ones that referred to these counties in Texas, and give the other side of the story"... And: "Just in the last few minutes, I talked to the county judge of Galveston County, Judge Yarborough, who is a very good Democrat, a very good person, and is doing a good job in Galveston County. He says in the 5 1/2 years he has been county judge, he has never had one complaint from an employee in Galveston County and, in fact, has had many retirees come up to him and say how glad they are that they have their own retirement system rather than having been forced into the Social Security system back in the eighties when they were allowed to opt out."


This speech was made five years ago, yet the Bush administration and their supporters in Congress haven't made the Galveston plan the centerpiece of their attempt to enhance S/S with some form of privatization. Makes you wonder.


I don't have any real hope that the Social Security system will be changed in any meaningful way. I only wish the Republicans and the Bush Administration would have used the Galveston alternative, over the last four years, to get the word out to those who seem so susceptible to the blandishments of the Democrats and their minions in the AARP.

© 2005 Charles Stone, Jr.


posted by Charles 4:48 PM

"Canada Red Cross Guilty in Blood Scandal"
LINK "My Way News" Isn't this part of the same health care system so many Leftists think we should have in the US?

posted by Charles 4:35 PM


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