Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The History of Taxation - a series of lectures by Charles Adams

Elections have at least one redeeming feature; they tend to get people thinking about taxes. Charles Adams is perhaps the most informed person on the planet on the subject of taxes, and the Mises Institute offers a course of 10 hour long lectures. It's free; don't miss it.

Quotes and comments;

Lecture #1. Adams tells a story about Frederick the Great who asked an advisor where all the tax revenue was going (I guess as he didn't see much going to him? to the people?) and supposedly (to demonstrate what happens) the advisor had a page bring in an ice cube, and had it passed hand to hand from everyone in the room up to Frederick, and by the time it got there it had disappeared.

- So very, true; there's a million political parasites with their hands out... pretenders of compassion, and it's they who profit most from Socialism. (The working classes would be far better off without it.)

1. I think it was Freddie the great; I'm writing this up from memory.
2. Any taxation rate over 10 percent is a clear indication the people in that society consider God to be of less importance than mankind; that they consider Humanism more important than Christianity and Biblical Faith. (i.e. any taxation rate over 10 percent is idolatry.)
- it's my contention that people who believe in a government tax rate of over ten percent are incapable of true worship. (I've seen no evidence such a thing is possible, or has ever happened. Their god is not the Creator, but their own sad selves.)
- Socialism is at heart the worship of man. (In practice it's the political elite forcing the masses to worship their rulers.)
- taxes over 10 percent sends a simple message that Biblical faith is a delusion. (In reality there is no need for such parasitical rates. The welfare state isn't a necessity; but a tool whereby the political elite exploit the masses.)
3. I should add that I disagree with Adams on many things.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Looking through the flotsam and jetsam dealing with the current political scene I came across an interesting short story (or parable) on the subject.

On Stumping Our Way to the Future
- a short tale by Mr. North

It was election time among the people; of course it was almost always election time, but this was the Big election. Everybody was talking about the issues; what was good for me, what was bad for me, what was best for me, what was worst for me, what I liked, what I didn't like, what I wanted, what I didn't want, what I was afraid of, what I wasn't afraid of, how things would affect me, how things would hurt me, how things would help me, how I could get more out of the election than I would lose, how I could steal from others, how I could prevent others from stealing from me, etc. All the big issues of any campaign.

These were politically minded people and loved elections; especially Big elections, and so they talked about the issues all day long, and even in their dreams. They talked as the ate, they talked as the walked, as they scurried about on errands, as they looked after the little ones, as they collected food, as they went to the bathroom, as they combed their hair and their whiskers. As they moved through the day they talked about the upcoming election. It seemed as if this was what life was all about.

The leaders tried to rally people to vote one way or the other. They lied, they schemed, they deceived, they told stories, they invented mythologies, they bullied, they told stories to make people mad, to make them afraid, to make them jealous, to make them wild, to make them dream, to keep them confused and off balance, to get their heads spinning so as to prevent any possibility of rational thought. The leaders were very clever, good at using powerful words and images, good at lying with a straight face, good at pleading, good at scolding. (Good at everything but being useful cynics said.)

And like in most elections the leaders, and their talking minions, offered the people everything but gold to vote the correct way, to vote for the correct person. They auctioned off a plethora of goods and services too numerous to list here; everything but gold coins. The people loved these auctions; and drooled over the smorgasboard of goodies offered by the politicians. What a mountain of goods was offered; and all free. (All free. Just think of it.) It was like baiting traps with a thousand kinds of cheese. The smell of success was in the air; and the people became greedier and greedier with with every passing week, as they got closer to the Big Day.

And the people moved incessantly toward the big day; with no time now to rest, not even for a meal. They ate on the run, they drank on the run, as they were all swept toward the Big Day. Emotions ran high; with great hopes for success, and with dark fears of failure. Here and there among the thronging masses, small voices could be heard questioning the process and prophesying of danger up ahead. Their calls for reflection were dismissed, their fears were dismissed, their criticisms were mocked; they were called traitors, fear mongers, haters of progress, and the like. The Electioneers squashed them like bugs. "To doubt is to betray the people,'' they said to defend their actions.

Cries abounded about the need to engineer a new society. "We need to stop being spectators at a bad play,'' the cry went up. Slogans like, "The past is over, the future is here,'' filled the air. "All we have to fear is the fear of doing something,'' said some. "To do nothing is an evil thing,'' said others. "The past must be murdered to make way for the future,'' said the most fierce. People became so intoxicated by the fumes of these slogans that almost no one could see what lay just up ahead. Their eyes were watching the clouds, and fixated on the stars. They were blinded by the dreams of the auctioneers and so were blind to danger.

And so it was, that one fine fall day, with sunlight dancing on the leaves of all the trees, the people marched over the edge of a cliff no one had seen, and fell hundreds of feet to the rocks below. I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what happened to them, but we assume most died and were swept away to sea.


Notes; Oct/19/2008
1. Intense efforts on my part have led to the information the true author of this tale is M. D. Johnson. (In current anthologies the tale has been given the title 'The election of the Lemmings' but I've used the original title in this post.
2. Yes; I promise not to deceive the public again in this way. (But alas; politics has corrupted us all.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Looting the Responsible

There is no one more clueless about economics than seminary professors, and the university educated Christian. To try and help them out I'll give a link to some excellent audio clips on the subject. (I don't think they'll listen of course; as they seem to hate the idea there is such a thing as economic law.)

At Mises Institute media you can find a lot of material that deals with the current financial crisis in the U.S. - and a lot more besides. (If you don't know, they take what's popularly called the 'Austrian' approach to economics and business.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In honor of the federal election in Canada, I would suggest people listen to a series of lectures by Stacy Taylor called 'A Christian view of government and politics'

Quotes and comments;

Lecture #3. Pluratist democracy

- Taylor presents a model of a free society that depends on many independent realms or spheres in society; i.e. family, church, business, state, individual, education, etc.

- He quoted something by one of the popes (Pius 11)? to the effect ''it's wrong for a larger body to appropriate a task to itself that could be done (just as well?) by a smaller body...''

- In my opinion, this is the foundation of liberty. We are enslaved to the extent this happens; and free to the extent it does happen. In our day the larger body (the state) is taking over everything; including many things that could be done by smaller bodies. (eg. churches, families, associations, etc.)

My own view of the current political scene;

"So this is Christmas....'' (John Lennon's song always reminds me of politics; where the State is seen as Father Christmas giving out presents to a flock of children.)

- today is the big 'what goodies can I vote myself' day in Canada. At election time we see people at their worst; where egomania runs rampant, and people fall over themselves trying to steal from everyone. I loathe the whole process; from the lies and bully tactics of politicians, with toddler stupid ads, to the obscenity of signs covering every square foot of ground, to the repellent ads that try to persuade clueless teenagers to vote, to efforts to get the senile elderly out to vote, to get recent immigrants out to vote (despite the fact they have no idea what's going on) to the endless lies and deceit, to the dumbing down of every issue, to the total absence of intelligent discussion, to the power grubbing, to people selling out liberty for more socialism, to the triumph of the state over all other spheres of life, etc. I loathe the whole process.

Is this all that bothers me about elections and politics? Not by a long shot.

- I detest all the polling we see in elections. In my opinion polls should be banned, as there are no legitimate reasons for them to exist, and they're only used to manipulate voters.
- how about egomaniacs parading around pretending to care for people and for the country, when their only care is for themselves, about their lust for money and power.
- I'm sick of the 'media' telling us who is going to win before the election, and then afterwards criticizing people for not voting!
- I'm sick of being bombarded with election commercials up to a few minutes before the election. (Aren't people to even have a day to sift through all the lies they've been told? Aren't people supposed to take time to think about the issues? I guess not. The political hucksters keep harassing people until the last second, trying to drive them by emotions in the intended direction.)
- And finally; I'll vote today, but not because I have any meaningful choice. I'll vote to try and foil the plans of a particular party; a party whose former leader worked hard to solicit campaign funds from known terrorist groups. (And the media said nothing against him.) I wouldn't consider myself human if I didn't try in some slight way to defeat such an evil human being. (Who is still featured as the major spokesman for said party by the way, and is still trying to get his sad, sorry ass elected.)
- the worst part of this story is that no one (No one) in the party has ever condemned this social monster for what he did. (Nor have the tools of the Socialist media; said media owned by billionaire communists.)

1. I'm not saying I'm against one vote per person, only that it's both absurd and disingenuous to encourage the ignorant to vote. This is like getting a 'second opinion' on a proposed surgery from a brick layer, and then giving the opinions equal weight. (Let's face it, the only reason pols do this is because they think they can profit from it, not because they're concerned that people exercise their rights.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Christian view of politics and government

Since the federal elections here in Canada are tomorrow, I'll give a link to some good lectures on the subject of politics. Although recorded in 1972 (I believe) these lectures by Stacy Taylor are excellent. (I apologize for being late in this.)

A Christian view of politics and government - 5 lectures by Stacy Taylor

Quotes and comments;

1. Lecture #4. Taylor claims that the Christian position to crime and punishment is not retribution, but restitution.
- I agree with this.

2. Lecture #4. Taylor claims that punishment shouldn't be used as a deterrent.
- I agree; I think the biblical position is that 'punishment' is a debt the criminal owes; first to God, and then to man. (And the extent of the punishment should be determined by first, God; and then the victim.)

1. Stacy Taylor is the same person as the author E.L. Hebden Taylor. (Why the two names I don't know.)
2. A great spur to thinking on the subject of crime and punishment is the book 'Victim's Rights' by the controversial author Gary North. (Available online for free.)