Archive for politicians

Budget Deals, the Debt Ceiling and other Washington D.C. Nonsense

Posted in Economics, Government, In the News, Libertarianism, Philosophy, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2013 by Xajow

With some dismay I have watched the politicians in Washington bicker over the past several weeks. The Republican leadership wastes every opportunity to criticize the President and the Democrats. The President, the Democrats, and their apologists continue to say perfectly idiotic things. And all the while, all of them act amazed that anyone would dare find reason to criticize. Poll after poll shows dissatisfaction and lack of confidence in the POTUS and in Congress. Well, here is a clue folks: this is what you get for voting the “practical” politicians into office. Continue reading

Answering Some Questions – Prejudice

Posted in Libertarianism, Questions Answered with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2012 by Xajow

Day 4 of answering questions posed by Diane Owens.

Question #4
Honestly, are you prejudice in any way? Would you be willing to explain?

Hm. Prejudice. I am going to guess that she means to use the negative connotation of the word prejudice.

I suppose I do have some prejudices after a fashion. I tend to not trust politicians. Politicians lie. There is another, similar one I could mention, but I would get in too much trouble if I did.

No, I have no prejudice against people whose skin color or gender or sexual orientation or place of birth is different from mine.

I am prejudiced against independently made Christian films. I have seen a number of crappy and usually trite Christian films, and I have built up a prejudice over the years. And I have stopped watching them. Even when people say to me, “but this one is actually good,” I do not watch them. I also tend to avoid message movies for about the same reasons.

I am prejudiced against Nazis. Which seems like an easy one, I know. But perhaps better said is that I am prejudiced against totalitarianism. I do not really care what reasons someone might have for promoting totalitarianism; I am against it.

But one can also be prejudiced in favor of something.

I am prejudiced in favor of just about anything involving bacon. Including bacon and chocolate. Yum.

I am prejudiced in favor of libertarian writers and speakers. If I know someone is libertarian, I am more inclined to read or listen to what he has to say. 

I am prejudiced in favor of… a certain person. I think she is wonderful. I favor her above all others. She makes finding another difficult because I can find no one else to match her.

That is about all the prejudices I can think of for the moment.

Don’t Encourage Them

Posted in Government, Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Running for President with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by Xajow

I am starting to see and hear the “don’t vote for _____ because you’ll just help _____ win” nonsense once again. This happens every election cycle. Do not fall for this reasoning.

If you vote, then vote for the person you believe will be the best person for the job.

There is an argument to be made against voting. It is often summed up by a old joke about a woman who was asked if she voted, and she replied “No. It just encourages them.” Oh I know, arguing against voting is supposed to be horrible. “If you don’t vote,” I have been told, “then you have no right to complain.” That is hogwash. Wait, let me explain.

People who vote for this or that candidate because they do not want this or that candidate to win are the folks who have no right to complain. The people who vote for this or that candidate because so-and-so cannot win are the folks who have no right to complain. What do I mean? I mean that supporting the status quo that has gotten us into this mess means you’re part of the problem not part of the solution. The people trying to find a better way, the people who want to vote for the candidate who will change things, the people who believe that voting is just giving support to a broken system, those are the people with a right to complain.

I will never tell anyone to not vote. I say you have to decide for yourself. If the candidate you like is not the Repocrat or Demublican nominee, you are not wasting a vote to vote for the candidate you prefer. If all the people who say “I really like this guy, but he can’t win” would vote for the person they really like anyway, it would change the political landscape.

Some people tell me I am supposed to choose between the lesser of two evils. As has been pointed out many times, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Why would I want to vote for that? Why should I sacrifice my convictions and my morals to support something evil merely because someone else deems it a lesser evil? No. I refuse. To put this another way, if the person who takes the office is little different from the person who is voted out, nothing has truly changed. And that would mean I had wasted my vote.

So while I say “do not encourage them,” I am not saying do not vote. I am saying if you vote, do not pick an “evil” candidate. If you vote, then vote like you care about who your leader is, not just about getting/keeping that other guy out of office. I am saying if you vote, then vote as if your morals and your principles actually matter to you. If you do that, then you will never waste your vote. The people who tell you otherwise are generally the same people who voted over and over for the schmucks politicians who got us into this mess, so you probably should not be taking their political advice in the first place.

And while I am talking about elections, I want to say something about voting for Obama. If you genuinely believe he is the best candidate for the job, then vote for him. Please do not vote for him because of his skin color. If anything should ever be done without regard to the color of a person’s skin, voting for who holds public office is it. One of the things that made me nearly ill in 2008 was the notion that people were supposed to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin. Over and over I heard people talk about they had an obligation to vote for Obama because he would be the first black President. That was and is so very wrong.

Please, please, please, do not misunderstand me. I do not care what color a candidate’s skin might be. It could be indigo or plaid or lavender blue dilly dilly for all I care. Please, no matter what color your skin may be, and no matter what you may hear about voting for a black man, remember that the candidate’s skin is not the part of him (or her) making the decisions. What is in the candidate’s brain is what matters. The character and the philosophy and the ideas of the candidate are what matters. And that should be why you vote or not for a candidate.

And for the record, yes, I do vote.

Politicians in Paternalistic Fit over Eduardo Saverin

Posted in Fairness, Government, In the News, Politics, Taxes with tags , , , , , , , on May 17, 2012 by Xajow

As best I can tell, the story goes something like this: Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of that Facebook thingie everyone is always talking about, moved to the Republic of Singapore sometime in A.D. 2009. And then in January 2011, Eduardo Saverin filled out and sent in the paperwork for renouncing his U.S. citizenship. And then sometime in September of 2011, Eduardo Saverin’s official request was granted. And now that, in the May of A.D. 2012, the Facebook thing is about to get its initial public offering (IPO) of stock, which could make for Mr. Saverin several truckloads of dollars, some people have decided to throw a hissy fit.

ABC News Blog The Note:

“This guy just thinks he can rip us off by engaging in this scheme,” [Senator Bob] Casey, D-Pa., said at a Capitol Hill news conference this morning. “We’ve got troops overseas that are sacrificing on our behalf every day, all the values that we hold dear. And Mr. Saverin spits in their eye, he spits in the eye of the American people. It’s an insult. He should be held accountable.”

Saverin, 30, relinquished his U.S. citizenship in September 2011 before the company announced its planned initial public offering of stock, which will debut this week. The move was likely a financial one because he owns an estimated 4 percent of Facebook and stands to make $4 billion when the company goes public.

“Saverin has turned his back on the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire,” [Senator Chuck] Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “This is a great American success story gone horribly wrong.”

[…]

But Schumer was unrelenting this morning.  “It just so happens the country where he has chosen to reside, Singapore, has no capital gains tax,” Schumer added. “This tax-avoidance scheme is outrageous. Eduardo Saverin wants to ‘defriend’ the United States of America just to avoid taxes we aren’t going to let him get away with it.”

So to stop Saverin, and others who have relinquished their citizenship for tax avoidance, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., unveiled the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act today.

The act is intended to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they call a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The plan would re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country.

If the Internal Revenue Service determines that people renounce their citizenship to avoid taxes, according to the proposal, they would then be subject to a 30 percent capital gains tax on future investment gains in the United States, regardless of where they live.

But most notably, the plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever re-entering the United States again.

I was unaware that Senators Schumer and Casey were six years old. Which is my sarcastic way of saying they are being childish.

Which is odd, because while they are whining like little children they are also being paternalistic. They are almost acting like abusive parents. They complain that Mr. Saverin spits in the eye of the U.S. troops, and “he spits in the eye of the American people” and he “has turned his back on the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire.” Whine, whine, whine. And indignantly they proclaim they “aren’t going to let him get away with it.” How? By punishing him with more taxes than he will already be paying (yes, expatriates still get taxed by the U.S. government) and by barring him from ever returning to the United States.

“You wanna leave?” I can almost hear them shouting. “You wanna leave? We’ll show you what we do to ungrateful brats!”

Senators Schumer and Casey are trying to control people. They are reacting like angry, abusive parents in public because they think they can get away with it. And they probably will, sadly. I am sure the “punish Eduardo Saverin” bandwagon is already loading up.

Mr. Saverin has not done anything wrong. He should not be punished so that a couple of Senators can score political points. If anyone should be punished in this, it is the senators. They are acting like a couple of immature and abusive parents and should be reprimanded for their bad public behavior.

(And yes, I used “A.D.” And yes, the “A.D.” goes before the year number. Not after.)