Thursday, June 22, 2017

RAMZPAUL: Work is bullsh*t.

Gavin provided the basic conservative arguments against welfare. Welfare makes people lazy. People that are on welfare are fat and should get jobs. And so on. He also cited that approximately 20% of the populace is on some type of welfare.

The problem is that his definition of “welfare” is somewhat narrow.  According to the data, 21,995,000 in 2015 were directly employed by the government. Per the chart below, that are almost twice as many people in government as there are in manufacturing. The government is a HUGE jobs provider. And it is the government’s stated goal to give preference to women and “people of color.”

The question is how many of these governments jobs are actually productive?  And in a real sense you could consider these people to be on “welfare.”

But the scope of government welfare jobs also is found in private industry. Many such jobs are directly tied to government contracts. And many private jobs are due to the result of government mandates.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Do you support a North Korea travel ban?

There is no doubt that North Korea is a brutal communist dictatorship. The stories of atrocities are legendary. In a UN report concerning the North Korean legal system, the report highlighted a case in which a cleaning woman was sent to a concentration camp for accidently breaking a picture of Dear Leader. In another episode, a man was sent to prison for using a newspaper to clean up a drink spill. It seems the newspaper used to clean the spill had an image of Dear Leader.  And this sort of heresy cannot go unpunished in North Korea.

Based on the legal history of North Korea, it is obvious Otto was not persecuted for being an American. Any North Korean citizen would have received the same fate for stealing a propaganda poster.

However, most Americans who visit North Korea understand the rules and are careful not to run into legal problems. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 American citizens visit North Korea every year. And in the past ten years, only 16 Americans have been detained out of the approximately 10,000 who have visited - less than 1%. Not bad odds.

Travel to such oppressive countries does have some strategic upsides. A prison state runs into long term problems when it allows its citizens have contacts with outsiders. Yes, even when the tourists are carefully monitored, ideas slowly seep out to the populace. Ideas that maybe, just maybe, Americans are not all the evil devils as they have been taught since childhood.

I am a firm supporter of strong borders. But I am also an advocate of tourism and interacting with people of other cultures. While visiting North Korea has some risk, the benefits are worth it. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

“Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!”

Rebekah Suzanne

When reading the news it sometimes feels like I am re-living the scene from the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow are all walking through the woods listening to unfamiliar sounds. Dorothy wonders aloud if there could be wild animals in the woods. Calmly the Tin Man tells them there are only lions, tigers and bears. That revelation leads them to repeat in more rapid and frantic succession the phrase that every American knows by heart:
“Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!”
US headlines are getting progressively more fearful regarding our strained relations with Putin’s Russia. The news only seems to get darker and more frightening; each story building on the next. What started with the Cold War has turned into an excuse to create a scapegoat, for every American failure, in the Kremlin. Instead of “Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!” it has turned to “Putin and Russia and ISIS! Oh my!”
In reading and re-reading US news articles, AP wire stories, US government press releases, British articles, Russian articles I came across a gem of an article that turns the Russian scapegoating on it’s ear.  It is an opinion piece from The Moscow Times written by Mark Galeotti .  
This article is a shining light of what news should be-especially in its opinion pieces-a rational look at multiple sides of an issue. Instead of running from imaginary beasts-the lions and tigers and bears-we are accountable as citizens to be well informed, to put our ever changing emotions to the side and divide wild accusation from fact. Fact alone is what is grounded in reality. My dad had a friend who passed away several years ago who was known for saying over and over that we must judge by “Results: often harsh but, always fair.”  As humans, fear will always be there to taunt us. Left unchecked, fear will only grow into more and more wild imaginations grounded less and less in reality.

If we want to create a great nation then we must be able to look evil in the face and call it evil. For too long Americans have called good evil and evil good. We have rewarded and coddled liars, thieves and cowards. As a nation based on Western government and ideology and people these actions grate against the core of who we are. A people who live in fear are already conquered. We are not the children of the conquered. We are the offspring of noble men, of heroes and legends. It is our destiny to make America great once more. It is our destiny to face the scary woods with strange noises and uncover that those who oppose us are nothing more than cowardly lions.