SaveTheGOP.com on the $100 Gas Rebates

April 29, 2006

http://www.savethegop.com/archives/2006/04/28/100-gas-rebates/

I’m not even sure what to say about this because it goes so far beyond absurdity it would actually be quite humorous if it wasn’t sadly so real. Can we officially say the Republican Party is now the “I’m not quite as Socialist as the other guy” party? What is wrong with our government when educated, elected officials come up with an idea so blatantly stupid and think it’s the cat’s meow of the day?

Here is an idea. Lower the friggin gas tax!! Yeah, right. That’s not going to happen. Once the price crunch is over the Republicans don’t want to have to be the ones to say, “Ok, time to raise it back up again.”

Most American taxpayers would get $100 rebate checks to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote soon………

……. “Our plan would give taxpayers a hundred dollar gas tax holiday rebate check to help ease the pain that they’re feeling at the pump,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced Thursday.

Frist is such an ass. There is no way I am supporting this guy for President in ‘08. This whole move is nothing but pure cowardess.

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Thomas Paine’s "Common Sense": Part 1

April 28, 2006

This is the First Part of a Four Part analysis of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. I hope this motivates the reader to read the actual work themselves

Part One will focus on Paine’s Opinion of Government.

“Society is produced by our wants; and government by our wickedness.”

When Thomas Paine opens Common Sense with these words, we can see clearly that the intellectual inspiration for the American Revolution was ingrained with a hatred that government itself exists.

Some will and have argued that this is merely a hatred of King George’s British government. This claim is patently refuted by the next paragraph –

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state and intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we might furnish the means by which we suffer.”

The essence of this statement is that yes, King George’s government is a far worse state to live under than if there were no government at all; but furthermore, all government is but a necessary evil. He does not distinguish that one form of government is evil and the other virtuous; but that all government has only varying degrees of evil inherent to its very existence.

Even with this, Paine does not characterize King George’s as even the most evil in the world –

“Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice, in favor of modes and forms, the plain truth is, that it is wholly owing to the constitution of the people, and not to the constitution of the government that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey.”

This statement is very insightful as not only does it corresponds with modern times with we transpose ‘Turkey’ for the Middle East in general; it also sets the tone for what later will become the concept of Self-Determination. The phrase “wholly owing to the constitution of the people” can only mean that Paine believes that the only reason ‘the people’ are ever oppressed is not because the government has made that it’s policy; rather it is because ‘the people’s constitution’ allows them to be oppressed.

What does Paine attribute oppression itself to? When he speaks ‘Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession’ he sets it out plainly –

“Oppression is often the CONSEQUENCE, but seldom or never the MEANS of riches.”

A century after Common Sense was written, the world would refer to this as ‘Marxist Rhetoric.’ Rightfully so, but it gives more motivation into the fact that Class Hatreds have fueled every Revolution, including our own.

Paine also goes into the history of the government. He describes how his contemporary Holland had been without a King for over a century and was doing fine.

“Antiquity favors the same remark; for the quiet and rural lives of the first patriarchs hath a happy something in them, which vanishes away when we come to the history of Jewish royalty.

Government by Kings was first introduced into the world by the Heavens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set foot for the promotion of idolatry.”

Here Paine goes beyond the belief that government is inherently evil, to outright saying that government is a tool and invention of the Devil. The words are so blunt so that the reader knows that there are no vagaries as to what he is saying. He further examines the scripture of the Bible from which governments have always taken their divine power –

“ ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’ is the scripture doctrine of the courts, yet it is no support of monarchial government, for the Jews at that time were without a King, and in a state of vassalage to the Romans.”

There is a change in these words as Paine now does differentiate by use of the ‘monarchical’ qualifier before ‘government.’ What prompts this linguistic change is unclear, but it is the first time that the qualifier is used.

Part Two will focus on Paine’s views of Revolution – both in theoretical terms as well as directly to the American Revolution that was underway at the time he wrote Common Sense.


Keeping Talented Youth In North Dakota

April 21, 2006

Bismarck Tribune – April 21st, 2006

In response to the editorial of April 18 concerning the cost of college tuition, I would like to add some perspective from a recent graduate.

The rate at which tuition is increasing will soon price North Dakota out of the education market. Currently, our tax-subsidized system has a focus on importing students from out of state as its means of creating growth.

An economics professor here in North Dakota told me, “We need to attract talent to compensate for the talent that wants to leave the state. If people want to leave, they will. We cannot force them to stay. We should encourage people to come to North Dakota, not force people to stay.”

I firmly believe that this is the attitude that drives the official policy makers. At some point, the goal went from keeping our young people here to “forget our own young people, let’s just bring other people into the state.”

As a young person who would like to be able to stay in North Dakota and make a living, this policy can only be considered folly, and it is certainly counter-productive to the economic development goals of this state.

With the cost of tuition sky-rocketing so much that the state of North Dakota was forced to limit tuition increases to 9.9 percent annually, there must be a corresponding incentive to encourage students to stay in-state for education. Surely, if there are tax incentives for corporations to come and stay in North Dakota, it is only wise and fair that the same should hold for individual residents.

Some things that would be a good start would be:

– 100 percent tax exempt status of tuition, books and other supplies directly related to the student’s educational program.

– An extension of the student loan repayment grace period to one year.

– A 10 percent-a-year early repayment discount on principal for those graduates who choose to stay in North Dakota after graduation and contribute to the economic future of the state, rather than leaving North Dakota for higher income opportunities.

3 0 percent interest for up to five years for graduates who remain within the state for that time period.

This should be referred to as the “Karvo Plan,” as it is the suggestion that Ian Karvo made in his pre-convention effort to obtain the GOP nomination for Congress. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I was involved in that effort and the creation of this policy suggestion.

I am not suggesting that this will be a total solution for the outmigration issue. But the talent we lose as a state by the outgoing of educated youth is detrimental to the overall success of the state. This “brain drain” is bleeding North Dakota dry and can only be stopped by how we deal with the current structure of the education system within the state.

Something needs to be done — maybe not my suggestions, but at the very least a discussion needs to begin, and quite possibly a complete change in attitude.


Oil Price Spike Retaliatory?

April 20, 2006

Oil Price Spike Retaliatory?

The possibility exists that the recent and rapid jump in oil prices is directly connected to the failed Dubai Ports deal that the Bush Administration supported.  

Current speculation points toward the failed deal as the trigger for the current run-up of oil prices.  If this speculation is true, it may vindicate the concerns those opposed to the deal expressed at the time.

Assuming this speculation is credible, then it is safe to say that these are not the type of people from a character standpoint that we should, as a nation, deal with.  

We should not be dealing with people, who at the first hint of not having things go their way, turn on us in a very ugly way.  

If this speculation is to be believed, the nations of OPEC have declared economic war on America.  Furthermore, if this is the case, we must scale back relations and commerce with these nations.  


To the Editor

April 19, 2006

To the Editor,

In response, and in addition to the Editorial on April 18th concerning the cost of college tuition, I would like to add some perspective from a recent graduate.  

The rate at which tuition is increasing will soon price North Dakota out of the education market.  Currently, our tax-subsidized system has a focus on importing students from out-of-state as its means of creating growth.  

An Economics professor here in North Dakota told me: “We need to attract talent to compensate for the talent that wants to leave the state…If people want to leave, they will.  We can not force them to stay…We should encourage people to come to North Dakota, not force people to stay.”

I firmly believe that this is this attitude is what drives the official policy makers.  At some point, the goal went from “keeping our young people here” to “forget our own young people, let’s just bring other people into the state.”  

As a young person who would like to be able to stay in North Dakota and make a living, this policy can only be considered folly – and it is certainly counter productive to the economic development goals of this state.  
With the cost of tuition sky-rocketing so much that the State of North Dakota was forced to limit tuition increases to 9.9% annually; there must be a corresponding incentive to continue to encourage students to stay in-state for education.  Surely, if there are tax incentives for corporations to come and stay in North Dakota, it is only wise and fair that the same should hold for individual residents.  
Some things that would be a good start would be:

  • 100% tax exempt status of tuition, books, and other supplies directly related to the student’s educational program.
  • An extension of the student loan repayment grace period to one year.
  • A 10% per year ‘early repayment discount on principle’ for those graduates who choose to stay in North Dakota after graduation and contribute to the economic future of the state, rather than leaving North Dakota for higher income opportunities. 
  • 0% interest for up to 5 years for graduates who remain within the state for that time period.

This should be referred to as the “Karvo Plan,” as it is the suggestion that Ian Karvo made in his pre-Convention effort to obtain the GOP nomination for Congress; and in the name of full disclosure, I was involved in that effort and the creation of this policy suggestion.
I am not suggesting that this will be a total solution for the Out Migration issue.  But the talent we lose as a state by the outpouring of educated youth is detrimental to the overall success of the state.  This ‘brain-drain’ is bleeding North Dakota dry and can only be stopped by how we deal with the current structure of the education system within the state.
Something needs to be done.  Maybe not my suggestions, but at the very least a discussion needs to begin; and quite possibly a complete change in attitude.


This day

April 18, 2006

Today:

Oil hit $71.85
Wholesale Unleaded hit $2.22

And Bush refused to dispel the idea that America’s Nuclear First Strike policy will be altered.

But there’s no crisis!


Yet Another Bush Admin Controversy Coming Up

April 17, 2006

U.S. Plan For Flu Pandemic Revealed

Particularly disturbing is this:

The Treasury Department is poised to sign agreements with other nations to produce currency if U.S. mints cannot operate.

Will these ‘other nations’ have the plates to print our money before the flu hits?

Why will these ‘other countries’ have the man-power to print our money and if we don’t?

How will we control our money supply if printing capabilities are stolen at some point?