No voter fraud?

There is something fundamental to ask regarding the individual action of  voting within our republic. Is the act of voting somehow inoculated from the fraud which infiltrates many other government sponsored endeavors?  Has the human condition elevated to the point that the acts of lying and cheating have been left out of our highly evolved DNA?

There is currently an uproar among the left and some on the right over the fidelity of our nation’s election system. This non-issue or controversy, depending on how you see it, has been covered by the MSM and many alternatives news sources. The defending or questioning of election results by either political side has significant consequences to the support or lack of support of our elected officials.

Suffrage is a state ‘supervised’ activity back by the US Constitution (the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amedments) as well as additional federal back-up supplied by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 but is the act of voting and the tally of results in today’s America above reproach?

The questions being currently raised by both sides in this controversy leads to questions as to:

  1. Is the act of voting somehow different than other actions and interfaces between the individual and the state (general term for government)?
  2. Does the human condition of seeking its self-interests not apply to the act of voting?
  3. Are the individual states’ voting systems (casting and counting) fool-proof such that fraud is impossible?

As a libertarian, I like those on the left and right view voting as essential to our republic’s continuance. Notwithstanding, the state  has a very poor record when it comes to being a victim of fraud perpetrated by individuals and organizations seeking to further their self-interests.

To examine the track record of the state in resisting fraud, listed below are a few examples of actual payment fraud being perpetrated upon the state as reported by the Federal government.  Billions of dollars are being taken by fraud from the state.

A warning, this list is not even close to complete in describing the state’s unwilling being duped. There is no inclusion of fraud by Wall Street, DoD contractors and suppliers, special interest groups, corporate entities, individual taxpayers, military commanders, academic researchers, etc.. These and other offenders are not on the list below but their actions are well known to add support to the need to answer the question below.

Could there also be problems with suffrage in America?

fraud

Table from https://paymentaccuracy.gov/high-priority-programs/

 

 

Conversation with a statist

A few days ago, I was involved in a conversation with a leftist supporter of the Federal government’s venerable Social Security program. My position was the program is a Ponzi scheme and for all intents and purposes, it is insolvent.

The person I was speaking to, an ill-informed statist, was aghast that someone would question our Federal Government!

To be more specific about my concern, I went to paraphrase the Social Security Trustee report stating that even its caretakers know the program is failing as evidenced below.

“Social Security’s total income is projected to exceed its total cost through 2019, as it has since 1982. The 2015 surplus of total income relative to cost was $23 billion. However, when interest income is excluded, Social Security’s cost is projected to exceed its non-interest income throughout the projection period, as it has since 2010. The Trustees project that this annual non-interest deficit will average about $69 billion between 2016 and 2019. It will then rise steeply as income growth slows to its sustainable trend rate as the economic recovery is complete while the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.

After 2019, interest income and redemption of trust fund asset reserves from the General Fund of the Treasury will provide the resources needed to offset Social Security’s annual deficits until 2034, when the reserves will be depleted. Thereafter, scheduled tax income is projected to be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through the end of the projection period in 2090. The ratio of reserves to one year’s projected cost (the combined trust fund ratio) peaked in 2008, declined through 2015, and is expected to decline steadily until the trust funds are depleted in 2034″.1

To close my conversation, I put the statist on the spot by promoting privatization and further pondering just how much worse could we, as individual citizens, do in planning for our own retirement than is currently being done by the Federal Government?

As no surprise, the statist could not respond.

  1. A SUMMARY OF THE 2016 ANNUAL REPORTS. Rep. Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, 22 June 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2017.

I am in awe

While reading quotes of our nation’s founders, I am in complete awe of their wisdom prescience. Let me highlight a few I like.

The source is: http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/quotes/govt.html

My comment: This quote could speak to the last few people occupying the Oval Office

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”
–H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

My Comment: Madison is foretelling the welfare state which has been a destructive force in America since the days of FDR.

“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
— James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794

My Comment: Jefferson is spot on regarding the current situation. 

“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
— Thomas Jefferson

My Comment: Jefferson is predicting the problem of Judicial Activism.

“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
— Thomas Jefferson

My Comment: Franklin told us about the Welfare State years ago and yet, here we are today with millions on the public dole.

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
— Benjamin Franklin

My Comment: Webster highlights the need for the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.” .”
— Noah Webster

My Comment: Madison warns of the creeping behemoth of the Federal Government.

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
— James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788

My Comment: A prediction of the power grab (production of others) to fund the elites’ power.

“We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”
— Thomas Paine

Is the 5th Amendment no longer valid?

In reading this article, one can see the state taking a very casual view of the rights guaranteed by the 5th and 7th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Under the guise of system efficiency, the statists have usurped peoples’ rights to due process and trial by jury.  This circumstance of power grab by the administrative law judges (ALJs) distills down to Lord Acton’s Power Corrupts adage.

Please read, How Government Agencies Usurp Our Rights — The federal bureaucracy increasingly acts as prosecutor, judge, and jury by Philip Hamburger and tell me if I am wrong.

Find the piece at: How Government Agencies Usurp Our Rights – The federal bureaucracy increasingly acts as prosecutor, judge, and jury.

 

2nd law of thermodynamics

In the study of physics and thermodynamics, one is exposed to various laws.   The second law of thermodynamics comes to mind when looking at today’s political situation.

The law itself is complex however, it can simplify to:

Heat always flows spontaneously from hotter to colder bodies, and never the reverse, unless external work is performed on the system.1

or politically stated, the second law of thermodynamics can simplify to:

Angst within the American political system caused by Obama’s statist failures generated a great deal of heat. This heat or dissatisfaction within our nation flows spontaneously from its source, the statists, to colder bodies, defined as anyone coming out against the statist status quo. Today, that colder body is represented by president Donald Trump.

The colossal failure of the last administration generated the heat within our nation and now that heat or dissatisfaction of our current system is flowing to president Trump. According to Gallup, team Obama’s average popularity was lower than that of Richard Nixon.2  Looking back to president Nixon’s time, there was a great deal of heat or angst within the system but today, Obama’s failures have caused even more heat and danger to our system.

Finishing this metaphor shows the second law of thermodynamics states that this heat will flow to a colder object within the American system unless external work is performed on the system.  This work would have to be significant and take the system to either a totalitarian state or to liberty as envisioned by our nation’s founders. I personally hope it is the later.

  1. “Second Law of Thermodynamics.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.
  2. Jones, Jeffery M. “Obama Averages 47.9% Job Approval as President.” Gallup.com. N.p., 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

Rights being eroded

Our Natural Rights, that no government can take away, are described by John Locke below. Basically, this brilliant treatise can be amalgamated simply to the following:

Leave me and my stuff alone and I’ll do likewise to you.

“The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions… (and) when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another”. John Locke 1689

Today, the state is doing harm to our health with its constant wars and state dominated health care system.  In recent years, our liberty is being taken away in the erosion of our first Amendment rights. And, our possessions continue to be taken via a corrupt taxing system.

Does anyone but me feel similar to me that our natural rights are in very grave danger?  Please let me know your thoughts.