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



Interesting Times To Be A Democrat

It must be interesting times to be a Democrat.

From discussions with several of my left leaning friends they are all but convinced that Democrats will come back in a big way in the 2016 elections.  What's interesting is they feel this way regardless of whether they are supporting Hillary or Bernie as we all know, either side will end up voting for the winner of the primary simply because they have a D next to their name and the alternative would just be too terrible to consider.

But take a step back a minute and look at the reality Democrats are currently living in.

After years of crying out that Reagan was too old to be president and candidates like McCain, Dole, or even Ron Paul were too old, Democrats are now looking at their front runner Hillary Clinton.  Yet she is just a few months different in age from Reagan when he was president.  And Bernie Sanders is six years older then she is, which would make him the oldest president ever should he somehow get elected.

In the case of Hillary, she openly supported the wars in the middle east that the Democrats railed against back in the mid 2000s leading to their taking control of all three branches of government starting in 2006 and climaxing with the 2008 election of Obama.  Of course we are now seeing ground troops going back into Iraq and are hearing plans for escalations due to the deterioration under Democratic leadership.  So she can no longer play the anti war card.

The majority of Americans view Hillary as untrustworthy.  According to a poll released by Quinnipiac University poll, 54% of Americans see her as untrustworthy with only 38% feeling she could be trusted.  And even in her defense, after it was proven in the most recent Benghazi hearing that she knowingly lied to the American people, blaming the attack on a video (which lead to the arrest of an innocent film maker) when she know and was confiding in others including her daughter that the attack was a terrorist attack, Democrats simply argue that this is no big deal.

Both Hillary and Bernie are pushing for Billions in new spending.

And the best attacks they have right now against Republicans are that their party is internally fighting because some Republicans are acting like Democrats and caving in on all the out of control spending our current Democratic president wants.

This is a winning ticket?

If they do fall back on Sanders over Hillary, here you have an admitted Socialist who is pushing for more spending then we've ever seen, wants to tax religions, and openly admits to wanting to ban guns and limit the 2nd amendment.

But yet the "fringe" Republicans who actually do support less spending, less government, seek to balance the budget and defend our constitutional rights are the ones who are somehow viewed as extreme?  And it's the Republicans who should be worried leading into the 2016 elections?


Who Spends The Most (2015 Edition)

Politicians love to play numbers games with spending.  They all want to paint themselves and their party as fiscally responsible while showing the other side as the side most out of control with your money.

They'll play games showing percent of deficit spending, ignoring total budget because somehow if you tax people for every last penny of their paycheck and reduce how much deficit spending you are doing its somehow ok to spend away.

When it comes to federal spending, it's just as important to look at the total being spent as it is the amount of deficit spending.  And while most people can't look past the president, the party controlling the house and senate are just as important since they control the purse strings.

Let's dive deeper into the past several years of federal spending so we can see what's really been going on.

(Dollar amounts in trillions)

Total Budget Total Deficit
2015 Obama Republican Republican $3.7586(estimate) $.583 (estimate)
2014 Obama Democrat Republican $3.5061 $.483
2013 Obama Democrat Republican $3.4547 $.680
2012 Obama Democrat Republican $3.5370 $1.087
2011 Obama Democrat Republican $3.6031 $1.300
2010 Obama Democrat Democrat $3.4571 $1.294
2009 Obama Democrat Democrat $3.5177 $1.413
2008 Bush II
Democrat Democrat $2.9825 $.458
2007 Bush II Democrat Democrat $2.7287 $.161
2006 Bush II Republican Republican $2.6551 $.248
2005 Bush II Republican Republican $2.4720 $.318
2004 Bush II Republican Republican $2.2928 $.413
2003 Bush II Republican Republican $2.1599 $.378
2002 Bush II Democrat Republican $2.0109 $.158
2001 Bush II
Democrat Republican $1.8629 $-.128
2000 Clinton Republican Republican $1.7890 $-.236
1999 Clinton Republican Republican $1.7018 $-.126
1998 Clinton Republican Republican $1.6525 $-.069
1997 Clinton Republican Republican $1.6011 $.023
1996 Clinton Republican Republican $1.5605 $.107
1995 Clinton Republican Republican $1.5157 $.164
1994 Clinton Democrat Democrat $1.4618 $.203
1993 Clinton Democrat Democrat $1.4094 $.255
1992 Bush I Democrat Democrat $1.3815 $.290
1991 Bush I Democrat Democrat $1.3242 $.269
1990 Bush I Democrat Democrat $1.2530 $.221
1989 Bush I
Democrat Democrat $1.1437 $.153
1988 Reagan Democrat Democrat $1.0644 $.155
1987 Reagan Democrat Democrat $1.004 $.150
1986 Reagan Republican Democrat $.9904 $.221
1985 Reagan Republican Democrat $.9463 $.212
1984 Reagan Republican Democrat $.8518 $.185
1983 Reagan Republican Democrat $.8084 $.208
1982 Reagan Republican Democrat $.7457 $.128
1981 Reagan Republican Democrat $.6782 $.079
1980 Carter Democrat Democrat $.5909 $.074
1979 Carter Democrat Democrat $.5040 $.041
1978 Carter Democrat Democrat $.4587 $.059
1977 Carter Democrat Democrat $.4092 $.054
1976 Ford Democrat Democrat $.3718 $.074


One thing to keep in mind when viewing the above chart is that the budget should be credited to the row prior since they craft the budget the year before.

I'll leave it to you, the readers, to look at the above data and make of it what you will.


Short Quiz About The News

I have a short quiz for to think about which I hope will get you to all think about priorities and media fueled outrages.  I will supply the answers at the bottom of this article.

Question 1) What is the name of the lion that was killed by the dentist that has everyone upset?

Fairly easy one right?  After all there have been stories covering this lion and the protesting about it nearly non stop for the past couple days.


Question 2) Name any of the five military men who were killed in the attacks in Tennessee?

How about just a first name?  Not as easy right?  The shooter's name was Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, any help?  Four of them were marines and one was a sailor.


Question 3) Name either of the two victims of the Lafeyette, Louisiana movie theater shooting?

Hint, they were both women.  Shooter's name was Rusty Houser.


Take a few minutes to really think the answers over before reading on.




I'm sure nearly everyone reading this got the answer to the first question.  It was Cecil the lion killed by the dentist Walter Palmer.

The five men killed in the Tennessee shooting were Randall Smith, Thomas Sullivan, Squire (Skip) Wells, David Wyatt, and Carson Holmquist.

The victims of the Louisiana movie shooting were Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux.


Why is it that we as a society are spending more time and energy discussing a lion then the death of innocent people?

Have we become that desensitized about the loss of human life that it no longer matters?

We've seen more coverage on ABC news of Cecil the lion then any of the coverage of the Planned Parenthood videos discussing the dismembering of human babies.  Since the first video was released on July 14th, ABC spend a total of 46 seconds on it.  Compare that to the 12 minutes and 14 seconds covering the lion.  And there has been no coverage at all about the 2nd, 3rd or 4th videos released.

In total, NBC, CBS and ABC covered the story on Cecil more in the first day alone then they had spent in two weeks covering the Planned Parenthood story.

Don't get me wrong, I felt upset hearing the story about the lion but our outrage as a country has gone way beyond it's appropriate level when compared to other major stories in the news.  In a matter of days the dentist has become the most hated person in America.  He's a chump who paid out a huge chunk of money, more then many in American make in a year, to shoot a wild animal.  From what I've read and seen in the massive amount of coverage this story has had, he doesn't sound like the best person in the world but it also sounds like he was mislead by the guides he hired to point him in the direction of the animal to kill.

He now has people protesting outside his office calling for him to be hanged even.

On the other hand we have four videos of members of Planned Parenthood discussing ripping apart the small bodies of aborted babies, even discussing the most optimal ways to kill them so to preserve their organs.  In one video they even calously say "It's another boy" as they sort through the peices of the dead baby.

Since the release of the first Center for Medical Progress video on July 14, ABC covered the story in a mere 46 seconds. In contrast, ABC spent 12 minutes and 14 seconds on the story of Cecil, a famed African lion shot by an American dentist. - See more at:

In that last video, the child parts they are sifting through is that of an 11 week old.  You can click HERE to read about how the baby has grown at that point.  At 11 weeks, the child has fingers (which you can see in the parts they are sifting through) and even teeth begin to form.  And after week 8 the baby can feel pain.

So as you sit at your dinner table with your family and the fist pounding on the table begins for the loss of Cecil the lion think about where our outrage is as a country.  Think about the stories important enough to us to even remember the names of those killed.

Since the release of the first Center for Medical Progress video on July 14, ABC covered the story in a mere 46 seconds. In contrast, ABC spent 12 minutes and 14 seconds on the story of Cecil, a famed African lion shot by an American dentist. - See more at:
Since the release of the first Center for Medical Progress video on July 14, ABC covered the story in a mere 46 seconds. In contrast, ABC spent 12 minutes and 14 seconds on the story of Cecil, a famed African lion shot by an American dentist. - See more at:

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.



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.