Wednesday, November 24

What a big suprise!

This will be my last post for a few days, so I hope you all have a wonderful T-Day and enjoy this from the

U.S. House Elections: Rigged for Incumbents

In the 2004 elections, incumbents in the House of Representatives won an incredible 98-plus percent of their races -- a return rate reminiscent of the notorious no-choice "elections" of totalitarian states.

It wasn't a fluke. Incumbents won by that same percentage in the past four elections.

Further, they are winning by increasingly higher percentages of votes.

Indeed, incumbents are so entrenched that, in almost a third of House races this year, the incumbent either faced no opposition or faced only token, unfunded candidates.

Is all this because Americans have come to love the current crop of incumbent representatives? Hardly. It's largely because incumbents have passed laws that give themselves almost unbeatable advantages in elections.

A recent Cato Institute commentary, "Once Again, Incumbents Are the Big Winners" by Patrick Basham and John Samples, noted some of these advantages:

* The congressional franking privilege lets incumbents flood their districts with tax-funded "updates" that are barely disguised campaign literature.

* Representatives keep large tax-funded staffs in Washington and in district offices that boost their image and raise their profile.

* As the Cato commentary notes, "Incumbents also receive taxpayer-subsidized travel, easy access to the media and, most recently, Web sites to communicate with the electorate."

* Of course, incumbents hand out pork barrel goodies to key voting areas -- an ancient practice akin to bribery or vote-buying, and now carried out at astronomical expense to taxpayers.

* Redistricting by state political parties has divided much of the country into non-competitive Democratic or Republican House "safe districts" where the dominant party is almost unbeatable.

* Campaign finance laws, carefully crafted by the incumbents, make it extremely difficult for political challengers and newcomers to raise funds to run serious competitive campaigns.

As for third parties, they are faced with all of the above plus, in many states, severe ballot access laws that make it extremely difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, for a third party to even run candidates at all.

In Georgia, perhaps the worst such state, ballot requirements are so oppressive that not a single third party House candidate has ever been able to get on the ballot.

Cato authors Basham and Samples conclude:

"In the Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote that the House of Representatives was a "numerous and changeable body" that would most directly reflect the shifting popular will. These days, changes in the House are the rare exception rather than the democratic rule. Representative democracy works best when voters have choices and competition for office. Americans have too little of both now."

(Sources: Cato Institute: "Once Again, Incumbents Are the Big Winners"
by Patrick Basham and John Samples: )

Tuesday, November 23

Also from Ron Paul's column

“If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Just for old times sake!

In Rep. Ron Paul's (R TX) weekly column he once again looks at the Bush/Kerry race and what it means.

Here is a snippet for that column

* Both candidates supported the Iraq War and the continuation of it.

* Both supported the Patriot Act and its controversial attack on personal privacy.

* Both supported the UN and the internationalism of UNESCO, IMF, World Bank, and the WTO.

* Both candidates agreed that a president can initiate war without a declaration by Congress.

* Both supported foreign interventionism in general, foreign aid, and pursuing American interests
by maintaining a worldwide American empire.

* Both supported our current monetary system, which permits the Federal Reserve to accommodate
deficit spending by Congress through the dangerous process of debt monetization.

* Both supported expanding entitlements, including programs like the National Endowment for the
Arts, medical benefits, and federal housing programs.

* Both candidates supported deficit financing.

* Both candidates supported increased spending in almost all categories.

Read his entire column HERE

Monday, November 22

Colonial Libertarian Thought

Here is an eye opening history lesson on The Growth of Libertarian Thought in Colonial American

You may find this interesting

The FDA, Federal Drug Advocate

Over the last few days I have seen and heard a few of stories that well illustrate why we should dump the FDA, and get the Federal Government out of the healthcare business.

Now a good number of people will be screaming, "But who shall protect us from the evil drug companies?" in response to this, but my response to them will be "Who is protecting us now?".

First if you have not heard already, Dr. David Graham of the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, in a Senate hearing told it like it is.

And what he said was of no suprise to me. Dr Graham basically said that the FDA is an arm of the drug companies it is suppose to regulate.

It provides only protection for the drug companies, not from. If you want protection, be an informed comsumer and insist that your doctor does his homework!

I trust my doctor over anything the FDA says, but ask questions and if a doctor does not seem interested in talking to you about your concerns, find a new one that will. That is what I have done.

Read Dr. Graham's Dr. Graham's warning regarding the FDA

I also had a double revelation over the weekend, first from a program on NPR, then while verifying what they said with a doctor friend of mine.

Here it is. If a doctor wants to charge less to a Medicare/Medicaid patient for service, by law they cannot.

The patient cost of treatment for these patients is in the Federal law , which means if a doctor wants to lower the cost or fore go payment from the patient, they are not allowed to.

How is that for making healthcare more affordable?

I remember hearing an interview with a doctor awhile back, I believe he was from Maine, that had stopped seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients altogether.

One would first assume that he did this out of greed, but no it was out of compassion for his patients.

Without the costs of complying with the numerous Federal regulations, he was able to reduce his fees to levels not see since the 60's or 70's, and provide low income patients with affordable healthcare.

This doctor's office visit cost was $5 or $10! Tests where charged for at cost, but he does fewer expensive tests because he does something almost unheard of today. He sits down and talks to his patients.

How is that for reducing costs? How was he able to do this, simple. The savings he saw from not having to file reams of paperwork with the Fed were passed on to his patients. His costs were lower, and the savings where passed along to his patients.

This is how healthcare works in a free market environment.

If you research the causes of balloning healthcare costs you will find that it is tied to two major events.

The first is employer paid heathcare coverage, the second Federal healthcare programs.

Employer coverage caused people to think that healthcare was free, so at the first sign of a cold, which your doctor can do nothing about, they ran to the doctors office. They became bad consumers of the healthcare product, and continue to do so to this day.

The determental effect of the Federal Government becoming involved in providing healthcare was the paperwork associated with complying with their rules. Where there was once one person doing billing, there is now a complete billing department required to hand the ins and outs of getting the Feds to pay the bills. I have first hand experience regarding this, and it is a nightmare trying to comply with each and every little regulation on the books, and they change on an almost daily basis.

The answer to affordable, safe healthcare, get the government out of it!

Don't Bring Ayn Rand to a Gun Fight

Read Greg Perry's excellent essay HERE

I am sorry too say, this is getting to be great advice.