Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson

Email: lildog@comcast.net

Monday
Jul272015

Government Controlled Smells

Libertarians have a basic rule that your rights end where mine begin and vice versa.  That basic rule can be applied to government actions to determine if government is taking away your rights or protecting them from someone else.

For instance, if a person where to sit in their own home a smoke marijuana, they are doing nothing to harm anyone else around them so if government steps in and arrests them it is overstepping its bounds since this is what most people refer to as a victimless crime.

If a person on the other hand kicks in the door of their neighbor and beats them and takes their money, there is a person being directly harmed.

That brings us to the video found HERE.

In the video a city official is giving a homeowner a hard time because the smoke and smells from his cookout are leaving into his neighbors yard.

It doesn't say if the government official was called in by a neighbor or if they saw smoke as they were driving down the road.  If it's the later and no neighbors were bothered then this would be a clear cut case of government overstepping where it shouldn't but let's assume for sake of discussion that a neighbor did call in this case.

Because a cookout is something most people would consider a pleasant smell, the first question is whether the particular odor matters.  For instance, from the parking lot where I work I can sometimes catch a smell in the air of one of two things.  Some days I come out and smell the beer from the Merrimack Budweiser plant.  I consider that smell to be one of the most pleasant smells in the world.  Other days when I leave I can smell the local crematorium burning.  Smelling dead bodies burning is horrible to be kind.  So does the type of smell matter?

Second question that comes to mind is whether or not this is a normal expected smell of life.  People eat food, so on a nice summer day most families will cook and eat outside.  That's an expected smell.  Someone who chooses to pile gym socks outside in their yard however is not an expected smell.  And if it isn't expected as part of normal life, was it there when you moved in?  For instance, someone moving in next door to a pig farm should expect to smell pigs where as someone in the city shouldn't.

Last question is whether or not it can be controlled.  If you paint your house for instance, others may not like the smell of the paint but you can't be expected to contain a paint smell if you paint outside.

Over all I see very few cases where odor in the outdoors should be a concern for government intervention but I also don't think it's as cut and dry as some people would think.

Sound off below and let me know what you think.

 

Tuesday
Jul142015

80s Children Are Offensive People

I'm an offensive person.

I don't intend to be but after reading a couple recent articles about people who have been offended and shocked by things I thought were ok to own I've come to the conclusion that I must be a bad person.  In fact I've come to the conclusion that every single child who grew up in the 80s are now horrible offensive people.

Example A, growing up in the 80s I owned Dukes of Hazard toys with the southern flag on it.  I didn't see the harm in such a thing.  I also own some 80s and 90s video games that had Nazi Swastikas in them.  Games like Castle Wolfenstei.

Clearly such items are so offensive that police need to be involved as in the case found HERE.

Local police received a complaint when a shopper discovered Nazi and Confederate merchandise at a popular flea market last weekend, according to Chief William Wright.

...

“I was shaking and almost vomiting,” he said. “I had to run. My grandmother had numbers,” he said, referring to the Nazi system of tattooing numbers on prisoners.

Just having such items on a table in a flea market caused this poor man to shake and nearly vomit.

And even the Mayor and head of the local NAACP had to look into whether or not allowing such things to be sold in their town was even legal.

Jason Teal, president of the Meriden-Wallingford NAACP, said he was not familiar with the flea market and had not heard any complaints about the merchandise being sold there.

“It’s difficult because it’s on private property and it’s considered free speech,” Teal said.

The man also contacted Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., who immediately asked Wright to determine if any laws were broken.

“I had to check with the chief over what is actionable and what isn’t,” Dickinson said. “Unless something violates state or federal law, there’s no jurisdiction for government to do anything. We had to ask, is it something controlled by law?

Wow.  It's "considered" free speech so there's no jurisdiction but perhaps it can be "controlled by law" so poor easily offended people are not left shaking as they walk rows of tables of old happy meal toys or used VHS tapes.

But it doesn't end there. 

Example 2, young women aren't free from offense around me because I'm a huge Star Wars fan.  I have boxes of Star Wars toys including several of Princess Leia toys.  Some of those toys are of "slave Leia" representing her in a metal bikini and in chains as she was in Return of the Jedi.

Clearly that is equally offensive as pointed out in the story found HERE.

A trip down the toy aisle had a local dad doing a double-take. He's furious over a popular Star Wars action figure sold in stores in our area.  He says it's not appropriate for young children.

...

We caught up with Fred Hill and his daughters at the Target Store in Deptford shopping for their birthday gifts.

The single dad was shocked to see this on the toy aisle shelf. A Hasbro made Star Wars Black Series action figure of Princess Leia wearing what the box described as a slave outfit.

"That’s pretty inappropriate,” he said, "I got 2 daughters I don't need seeing that crap."

The toy features scantily clad version of Princess Leia complete with a chain around her neck.

I have a daughter and I not only have let her see "that crap" but I own it in my house.  And not only do I have the toys but I even own a Christmas ornament that I allow my daughter to hang on our tree every year.

I don't shelter my children from such horrible things.  So clearly I'm a bad person as is every other 80s parent who dared to allow their young children to watch such a filthy movie as Return of the Jedi.

What's next?  Will I find out that dressing up in punk rock clothing as I also did back in the 80s is also bad.... oh shoot, it is.

 

Thursday
Jun112015

Men Beating Up On Women

Men should not hit women.

That is a statement I think most people will agree with.  Men on average are physically stronger then women.  Men have different bone structures and muscle density.  This is not sexist, it's science.

It is for this reason women have an additional 30 minutes for their qualifying time for the Boston Marathon and the physical qualifications for jobs like firefighters or military are different for men and women.

In 1979 Andy Kaufman brought this to the center of debate with a westling match he had on Saturday Night Live in which he beat a woman and went on to claim he was the World Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion.  Andy's stunt brought front and center a heated debate about the sexes and equality.

Jump forward in time to today.  Now we have a person who was born a man, went through puberty as a man and later had surgery to alter their body to appear female.

Fallon Fox was born a man and later through surgery altered themselves to become a woman.  Fox is also an MMA fighter.

In their most recent fight Fox not only beat their opponent but gave her a concussion and a broken eye socket.

On Saturday, Fox defeated Tamikka Brents by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. In addition to the damaged orbital bone that required seven staples, Brents received a concussion.

...

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. ”

His “grip was different,” she added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against...females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.”

This is a professionally trained female fighter making these statements and pointing out how over powered she felt.  This isn't a stunt like what Andy Kaufman pulled, this is a professionally trained fighter.

Speaking to LifeSiteNews, military veteran Jeff Nader, who has fought for UFC competitor Bellator, said that “Fallon Fox has had the benefits of being a man for most of his life. [He has] bone density, muscle mass, and other physical benefits that one gets from being a man. You can't have that, and then make a minor adjustment -- basically, a cosmetic adjustment -- and suddenly claim to be a woman."

"Nothing can take away from the fact that you are physically a man. Mentally and emotionally, who knows -- but physically, he's a man.

There are so many questions rised by this I couldn't even begin to list them all.

For starters, since performance enhancing drugs are not allowed and in many sports athletes caught using them are locked out from halls of fame and have records they break questioned or marked with asterisk, so if an athlete who was formerly a man competes in women's sports and breaks their records how will the new record be treated?

If we open up professional sports to allow this form of body modifications, where do we draw the line?  Should swimmers be allowed to have webs grafted between their fingers for example? 

We want to pretend that if someone alters their body they instantly become the other gender they've altered themselves to look like but there is much more to being a man or women then what's between your legs.

To borrow the words of Austin Powers, "It's a man, baby!"

Wednesday
Jun102015

Use Of God In The Pledge

How many times have you heard Liberals bring up the fact that the words "under God" were not added to the pledge until 1954?

The pledge itself was written in 1892 but wasn't officially adopted by Congress until 1942.

The first occurrence of the pledge being used in a school was October 12, 1892 during a Columbus Day celebration.

Keeping in mind that the words under God were not added until 1954, a curious pledge was found on black board from 1917 that was found under the new black boards of an Oklahoma city school.  The blackboard contained the following version:

"I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation indivisible with justice for all."

Not only does this 1917 version of the pledge contain the reference to God but the pledges takers pledge their head, heart and life to God before country.

Something to think about.

 

Thursday
May282015

Bernie Sanders And Why We Have A Federal Deficit

One of the best ways to deceive or mislead people is by giving them selective truths.  People no longer think for themselves as evident by how many people base their opinions and views simply on short 30 second sound bytes.

Case in point, there is a quote from Bernie Sanders making rounds on the internet.

Want to better understand why we have a federal deficit?

In 1952, the corporate income tax accounted for 33 percent of all federal tax revenue.

Today, despite record-breaking profits, corporate taxes bring in less than 9 percent.

-Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Wow, shocking right?

Now what if I told you that the statement he made was 100% true as well?

Clearly it's time to get your pitch forks and torches out, those greedy capitalists want to bankrupt our fine country and keep all the money for themselves.

This is where it requires us to actually think and that's where most people stop.  They heard Bernie's statement and it's true, what more is there.

For starters take a closer look at what he's actually saying.  What's the first thing you notice about the numbers?  They are percents.  He fails to give actual dollar amounts or even qualify it against the percent of the GDP or anything relevant.  Instead he gives percent of the total revenue taken in by the government.

Why is that relevant?

If you go to lunch with 9 other co-workers and you each pitch in $10 for the total bill of $100, you've paid 10% of the total.  If you go to lunch with the same 9 co-workers but this time you go to a high scale sushi bar and 5 of those co-workers order a series of over priced drinks, the bill that previously came to $100 now comes to $1000.  The five who ordered the drinks offer to cover the majority of it so you put in $20 for your share.  You've paid more than you did the prior day but this time you only paid 2% of the total.

That is essentially what is happening here with corporate income taxes.

In 1952 the federal government collected $21.2 Billion in corporate income taxes.

In 2013 the federal government collected $274 Billion in corporate income taxes.

If you were to adjust the dollar amounts from 1952 into today's dollars it comes out to be $183.68 Billion so just as in my example, they are paying out more but because the government is taking in more revenue (read as higher taxes all across the board) the percentage is less.

According to Polifact, in the same article that validated Bernie's statement as true, the total revenue taken in by the federal government in 1952 was $65.3 Billion.  Here's how they broke it down:

1952 taxes

Individual income taxes

Corporate income taxes

Social insurance and retirement taxes

Excise taxes

Other taxes

Total tax revenue

$27.9 billion

$21.2 billion

$6.4 billion

$8.9 billion

$818 million

$65.3 billion

43 percent

33 percent

10 percent

14 percent

1 percent

100 percent

 

In 2013 the total revenue was $2.6 Trillion, again here's the breakdown:

2013 taxes

Individual income taxes

Corporate income taxes

Social insurance and retirement taxes

Excise taxes

Other taxes

Total tax revenue

$1.3 trillion

$274 billion

$948 billion

$84 billion

$19 billion

$2.6 trillion

50 percent

10 percent

36 percent

3 percent

1 percent

100 percent

 

All across the board the government takes more and more money every chance they get, so back to Bernie's original claim, if we want to understand why the federal government has a deficit problem, when you take into account that they take more of our money than ever before it isn't a revenue problem as he implies.  It's a spending problem.