Howard Berman has been in Congress for nearly three decades. Despite this monumental tenure, he is a relative unknown. But just because the average American doesn’t know him doesn’t mean he’s short on contributors. He is among the top 15% of contributions received in the House.
He votes the Democrat party line 99% of the time! Even moreso than Brad Sherman, he’s nary seen an expansion of government he didn’t like; his own list of legislative “accomplishments” reads like my repeal list. That is not exagerration, lovers of liberty will likely be against every legislation he lists. He voted for ObamaCare, TARP, bailouts, cash-for-clunkers, cap and tax, etc. And he doesn’t just want to take your money and tell you what to do; he also likes to meddle in the affairs of foreign countries.
Isn’t it a queer business? The government has no money of its own, and all it spends it gets from the citizens. And much of the year, these citizens spend most of their time gathering together in small groups, complaining about the proliferation of civil servants, how little work they do and how much they are paid, and how high is income tax and how it is dampening their incentive to work and so on. But about twice a year these same citizens go along to a public meeting of some kind, perhaps a political meeting, and then they spend almost all their time complaining about the lack of vision and the absolute stinginess of the government because it won’t give more of their money away to someone else.
“To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.”—
This evening, there was a Candidates’ Forum in Burbank for the 27th and 29th United States Congressional Districts and the 43rd California State Assembly District. The event was to begin at 7pm. I arrived at 5:15pm to secure a seat. Indeed, the seats were already over 2/3 occupied by humans while the rest were politely taken up by purses and coats. I did find one seat near the entrance and sat. And waited.
Unfortunately, the seat I was sitting on was not bolted to the floor, which meant I had to go too. There was screaming and death threats and chaos. And although I was unable to stay for the event, I was there long enough to witness the chorus of boos that fell upon Brad Sherman when he walked in. Hopefully, this is indicative of next week’s outcome.
Anyway, this was my prepared question for Brad Sherman, which I was unfortunately unable to ask:
James Madison, principal author of the U.S. Constitution, wrote the following in Federalist 45: “The powers delegated … to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
And of course, where would a Democrat be without the support of lawyers? Democrats love government, and thus pass lots of laws. The more laws on the books - and the lengthier and less decipherable those laws - the more work for lawyers. Lawyers thank their Democrat friends by giving to them over Republicans in the ballpark of 3 to 1. Lawyers/Law firms account for the #2 industry supporting Brad Sherman, having contributed over half a million dollars. In the hundreds of pieces of legislation that he has voted on in his 14 years in Congress.
Allow me to reiterate in no uncertain terms: Brad Sherman must be tossed from office. He loves to spend your money and tell you what to do. What he considers personal legislative accomplishments are in reality milestones that each mark a step in the Road to Serfdom.
Unfortunately there are no libertarians running in the district, but Mark Reed (warning: website amateurishly plays a video automatically upon loading), the Republican running for Congress in CA-27, seems to get some things right. He wants to lower taxes, stop wasteful spending, and get government out of the way of the economy. He wants to bring some “fiscal sanity” to Washington. He strongly supports the Second Amendment. He wants to abolish the Department of Education and “return control to the states and local communities.” He wants to abolish the Department of Energy. He is “opposed to the recent health care bill that was recently signed into law.”
However, not everything comes up roses. While he says he is against ObamaCare, he seems to imply that there is a role a government could play in providing or guaranteeing health care. If he wants to “strengthen the existing private market system,” he needs to realize that the existing system - even before ObamaCare - is hardly “private market.” The best reform is to get government out of the way completely, so as to lower costs and increase liberty and access. Confusingly, he links to a WSJ story that explains the ClimateGate hoax… but also seems to buy into global warming when he claims that “if we do not act now, future generations will have to clean up the mess we are creating.” Even if climate change were a real concern, government is, again, not the answer. I suppose this could be a calculated obfuscation since most of the sheeple in his potential district buy into said global warming nonsense. Hopefully I’m just misunderstanding his position; government intervention in the economy as a result of make-believe science is the wrong position to take. His immigration solution seems relatively sensible but it is flawed because he doesn’t get to the core of the immigration problem. It’s good that he respects the jurisdiction of the State in the marriage matter, but the answer is getting government out of the marriage business altogether, not having it defined democratically.
I did contribute to Reed’s campaign, but I’d give the same to a turd sandwich if it was running against the likes of Sherman, Boxer, Pelosi, etc. And, thankfully, Reed is measurably better than a turd sandwich (how’s that for an endorsement?). Kidding aside, Reed seems like a serious candidate with the potential to undo some of Sherman’s damage.
So, residents of CA-27, please vote to boot Brad Sherman. I understand the impulse of some libertarians and anarchists to opt out of voting in order to avoid implicitly consenting to be governed, but that won’t do a lick of good in getting rid of the D.C. crooks who want to lord over us. If you can, vote Mark Reed, or at the very least vote for a write-in to dilute the results (might I recommend Samuel Adams or Thomas Paine?).
Note: the League of Women Voters is hosting a Candidates Forum on Wednesday Oct. 27 in Burbank. Both Reed and Sherman will be there. If you can make it, it could be a good opportunity to vet Mark Reed and maybe explain to Brad Sherman the many ways in which he’s wrong.
“Whenever two parties make a free will trade; Spices for wool or grain for fire wood or even three dollars and fifty cents for a happy meal, both sides benefit. Because the customer would rather have the hamburger and McDonalds would rather have the three fifty. You’re welcome to disagree with me of course, you can email me a comment on why you hate businesses and corporations using your Apple computer while you sit at Starbucks and send messages down AT&T phone lines to Youtube servers running Hitachi hard drives all of which is powered by something like Consolidated Edison most likely generating electricity by burning oil provided by Exxon Mobile. Now if you want to hand deliver a message scratched on a tree bark using a sharp stick while wearing a grass skirt I will be much much more impressed with your moral outrage.”—Bill Whittle, What We Believe Part 3: Wealth Creation (via evilteabagger)
In the world of government “public safety” work, it’s all about protecting the safety of the officials. A hero is someone who risks his life to save others. I understand the desire to minimize risks and especially unnecessary risks for firefighters and police, but the whole point of these jobs – as we’re told endlessly by public safety unions and politicians that court them – is that they are first responders who are supposed to endure some risk. Why else do we have them? Why do we pay them such high salaries?
[I]t’s worth remembering that cannabis has been banned for less than a century. It was legal throughout the world for almost all of human history and until 1937 in the United States. Historically, it is prohibition that’s anomalous.
If congressmen, judges, the president and other government officials were merely ignorant of our Constitution, there’d be hope — ignorance is curable through education. These people in Washington see themselves as our betters and rulers. They have contempt for the limits our Constitution places on the federal government envisioned by James Madison, the father of our Constitution, who explained in the Federalist Paper 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
[T]hese ideas are almost exclusively about how other people should live their lives. These are ideas about how one group of people (the politically successful) should engineer everyone else’s contracts, social relations, diets, habits, and even moral sentiments.
Put differently, modern “liberalism’s” ideas are about replacing an unimaginably large multitude of diverse and competing ideas – each one individually chosen, practiced, assessed, and modified in light of what F.A. Hayek called “the particular circumstances of time and place” – with a relatively paltry set of ‘Big Ideas’ that are politically selected, centrally imposed, and enforced not by the natural give, take, and compromise of the everyday interactions of millions of people but, rather, by guns wielded by those whose overriding ‘idea’ is among the most simple-minded and antediluvian notions in history, namely, that those with the power of the sword are anointed to lord it over the rest of us.
“The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that - however bloody - can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.”—Lysander Spooner
Socialist or otherwise, all states finally rest on force: You decline to [comply] long enough, they send a guy to your house with a gun to seize your stuff or haul you off to jail; resist and there will be violence.
“The idea that political freedom can be preserved in the absence of economic freedom, and vice versa, is an illusion. Political freedom is the corollary of economic freedom. It is no accident that the age of capitalism became also the age of government by the people.”—Ludwig Von Mises
Paul Krugman versus Robert Murphy, make it happen.
Basically how this works is very simple. You pledge X amount of money to the cause, and the money is used ONLY if the debate happens. Five percent of the money goes to the point, and the rest goes to a New York food bank.
Lets be honest, who doesn’t want to see Krugman get whooped by Murphy? More so even if he doesn’t accept the debate we can watch him squirm under the pressure of not donating to hungry children in New York.
I urge all libertarians to reblog this message or make your own promoting the debate.
When Hitler, Stalin and Mao were campaigning for political power, you can bet they didn’t campaign on the promise to murder millions of their own people, and probably the thought of doing so never crossed their minds. Those horrors were simply the end result of long evolution of ideas leading to consolidation of power in central government in the quest for “social justice.” It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans, Russians and Chinese, like many of today’s Americans, who would have cringed at the thought of genocide, who built the Trojan horse for a Hitler, a Stalin or Mao to take over. But as Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
As of this writing, France is paralyzed. By the time you read this, it might be in flames.
In Britain, where politics is more polite but the problems are perhaps just as dire, the government is proposing budget cuts on a scale not seen for nearly a century.
In Greece, well, the less said about Greece the better.
All of these countries — and many more — are going through painful retrenchments because they spent too much money, made too many promises and expected too little from their own citizens. The era of European austerity is upon us, because the Europeans — or at least those in charge — understand the mess they’ve made of their economies.
This should present a real problem for Barack Obama and the vast (though shrinking) chorus of experts, editorialists and activists who support his agenda. In broad terms, all of the policies Obama and the Democrats have pushed are the sorts of policies the British, the French and other Europeans had for years, even decades.
“…in every human breast God has implanted a principle, which we call love of Freedom - it is impatient of oppression, and pants for deliverance; and by the leave of our modern Egyptians I will assert, that the same principle lives in us.”—Phillis Wheatley
Correction: It has come to my attention that Thomas Jefferson may not have said the above quote. I apologize for passing along the possible mis-attribution. Still, the quote makes a bunch of sense and whoever did indeed say it was brilliant (upon further consideration, it seems more consistent with Benjamin Franklin, who often warned of the tyranny of the majority). I have edited my original post to reflect this correction.
As an aside, I find it quite funny that the lefties clamored to protect Jefferson’s sacred honor here while they spend their lives defecating on nearly everything he stood for.