Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Looting What's Left of Individual Rights

Yesterday, President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a landmark healthcare reform bill. This piece of legislations marks the culmination of nearly a century of lobbying by liberals, driven by the premise that healthcare is a fundamental human right. Legislators and lobbyist in favor of comprehensive healthcare reform have also argued that this legislation was necessary to curb the financial burden that the uninsured place on an economy mired with budget deficits and stagnant job growth.

While I sympathize with my fellow citizens who are finding it increasingly difficult to afford their prescription medication, pay mounting hospital bills, and have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, I can not do so at the expense of the individual rights of our citizens in this generation and of our posterity.

By 2014, most citizens will be federally mandated to have a minimum level of insurance or be penalized. In 2014, $95 a year or 1 percent household’s income; in 2015, $325 or 2 percent of income; in 2016, $695 or 2.5 percent of income (with a maximum of $2,085 for a family).

This is an eggregious usurpation of state's rights under the constitution and, of the greatest importance, individual property rights, which are the fundamental basic common denominators of freedom in any country that calls itself a republic.

In addition, this piece of legislation further entrenches the paternalistic conceptualization of the state as the primary caretaker of the citizenry. It has been proven throughout history that a welfare state, where private citizens are abdicated of the responsibility of earning their daily bread, is never far from implosion.

Keep in mind that when the founders of this country wrote the Constitution it was with the intention of protecting the citizens from potential abuses by the government and not as a tapestry extolling the privileges that the government may extract from the citizenry. Also note that there are two basic functions of the federal government (and rightly so) - to protect the homeland from foreign invasion(which past and present administrations have manipulated psychologically with the use of propaganda and in actuality with the initiation of force against foreign countries to their gain) and to protect citizens from the unwarranted initiation of force by other citizens (which includes the arbitration and enforcement of contracts).

It matters not whether the culprits call themselves socialists or communists, feudalists or czars, democrats or republicans, where an altruist-collectivist philosophy exists in which the strong amongst the citizenry (the industrialists, creators, producers, doers, etc.) are forced by law (or by threat of social ostracization) to sacrifice their profits to the weaker elements of society (the beggars, lazy, menatlly unfit, public servants) with the government as the middleman, the weight of the ever multiplying bureaucracies coupled with the decreased production of the affluent (by choice or because there is nothing left to take) will undoubtedly collapse the entire apparatus in on itself.

I am not of the opinion that the weak amongst us should not be supported by the stronger. If any society wishes to prosper, a network of mutual support must exist. I am of the opinion that this network must be the product of private citizens working of their own free will and accord and in a manner that does not demand of them the gain of another at their loss and detriment. When asked whether or not you are your brother's keeper, your answer should be no, I am my brother's example.
This healthcare legislation is asking (once again) the strong amongst us to subsidize the weaker at the cost of their inevitable destruction.

This should come as no surprise to the objectivist because, as he knows, the basic premise of the altruist-collectivist doctrine is for the perpetrators of this philosophy (the looters, middlemen, appropriators, advocates of selfless and public service, etc.) use the energy and resources of kind hearted people pleasers first(because their sacrifices can be obtained without the initiation of force, usually by the promise of unwarranted praise and accolades or the use of guilt tactics) and secondly by skimming the cream from the profits of the producers (the initiation of force is necessary in these cases because the producers amongst us typically have stronger will and resolve that is the byproduct of a self-sufficient attitude and self esteem grounded in a belief in cause and effect and virtue derived from obtaining only what one rightly deserves and by one's own standards).

It will be interesting to see what new pieces of legislation follow this paramount expansion of government. I am certain that they will entail further expansions of government into the private lives of the citizenry. The looters realize that the time is ripe for their pillaging - our country is mired in two questionable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is record job loss with little prospects for job growth, and the rhetoric coming from our elected officials is becoming increasingly worrisome.

The question is whether the citizenry will wake up from their apathetic, agnostic malaise to reclaim the rights that are theirs, not by virtue of God or some other non-rational theory, but by virtue of being a woman/man endowed with the faculty of rational thought and the potential for industrious production. That is the divine right of which the human race is the sole heir.

If you placed your trust and hopes in the hands of government and expected to now make a withdrawal of funds, it should be exceedingly evident that your faith and hope would have been safer in your own hands - where it should've been all along. The government bank account is coming up Insufficient Funds.

This is your wake-up call folks. If you continue to tread the same path blindly, expecting to reach a different destination by faith, then you are most deserving of the bottomless abyss that awaits you, carpeted along the way by the velvet words of the practitioners that want nothing more than to assure your mutual destruction.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Company You Keep...

It Is Better To Be Alone, Than In The Wrong Company.
Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are.
If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl.
But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.
The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate for the good and the bad.
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.

Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.
An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.

As you grow, your associates will change.
Some of your friends will not want you to go on.
They will want you to stay where they are.
Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl.
Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dreams.
Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider This:
Never receive counsel from unproductive people.
Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always teh first to tell you how.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Response to Tribune Article on Former DePaul Men's Basketball Coach Jerry Wainwright,0,654152.column

Before I attended and graduated from DePaul in 2006 I had the opportunity to attend a summer camp for two years at DePaul when I was 8-9 years old. We had our sports activities inside of Aumni Hall. I met Ray Meyer and some of the players. I decided that I was going to attend DePaul at that moment. When I arrived on campus the last bricks of Alumni Hall were giving way to a new (and much needed) student center. I'm sure that the university could've found land for a new arena in lieu of loft apartments that aren't even connected with the school. I would contribute as much monetarily as I'm able to if DePaul makes a commitment to bring men's basketball back on campus.

I disagree that Chicago is no longer a college basketball town. UIC, Loyola, and Northwestern all get great support from their students, alumni, and local residents. What do they all have in common?

I also disagree that DePaul made a mistake leaving Conference USA for the Big East. There is more media coverage because of the east coast market and thus more media dollars. it's up to Jean Lenti Ponsetto to invest those dollars back into the programs that generate them. I'm sure the Environmental Sciences and Chemistry faculty can do without another new building for a while.

Milton Bradley Talks About His Time on the Northside

In this interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez, former Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley talks about receiving hate mail in the Cubs clubhouse, feeling like a prisoner in his own home, and fearing for the safety of his family.

Bradley, who signed a 3 year - $30 million contract with the Cubs last season, was traded to the Seattle Mariners this off-season after a year in which he posted career low statistics, seemingly alienated himself from teammates and fans, and was finally suspended for the remainder of the regular season for making disparaging remarks about the Cubs team and management.

I don't doubt that Milton experienced racism in much the same vein as previous African-American athletes and managers such as Jacque Jones, LaTroy Hawkins, and Dusty Baker that donned the Cubby blue. I read a significant amount of the hate mail that Dusty Baker received during the 2003 season. There are a diverse group of people that come through the turnstyles at The Friendly Confines and practically anyone can mail in or drop a letter off at 1060 W. Addison. I'm sure that some of those people harbor racist attitudes and use the forum of competitive sports to express those beliefs.

However, Milton Bradley needs to realize that because of his race, the coveted position that he holds as a major league baseball player, and the large sums of money that he receives to play a game, the spot light will be that much brighter and hotter and he will be expected to perform his craft at a high level. When he doesn't perform at a high level, he'll be expected to own up to his deficiencies like the man that he says he wants to be treated like.

Bradley is an outspoken person that wears his emotions (and his tongue) on his sleeves. So is White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie is a beloved figure in Chicago and around baseball because he is brutally honest about his performance and the performance of the team whether they are world champions or cellar dwellers.

Derrek Lee, another African-American athlete that plays for the Cubs, had a down year two seasons ago and missed several games last season due to neck spasms. Lee was the first to admit that he was having a sub par year and needed to be in the line-up in order to help his team win. He responded in the only way that a player should - .306, 35 HRS, 111 RBI's - and he is a favorite of Cubs fans all around baseball.

There's no place in professional sports for hate mail and racial epithets. No professional athlete should fear for their own safety or that of their loved ones based on their performance on the field of play. What Milton Bradley needs to realize is that fans live and die with their favorite team. Fans dole out hefty sums of money for tickets, merchandise, and concessions. When they come to the ballpark, fans want to see the players give their best effort and, inevitably when they fail, own up to their shortcomings and make a more concerted effort the next day. Blame and excuses don't douse the flames of contention, they accelerate them.

Fans need to realize that baseball is a game, not life or death. Players are human beings too with friends, families, spouses, and loved ones. They have sacrificed their bodies and their time to reach the pinnacle of their profession in much the same way that many of us have made sacrifices to bulster our careers. Athletes make a lot of money, not necessarily because their talents and skills warrant it, but because they have agents, unions, and lawyers to lobby on their behalf and because we have expressed a desire to watch their skills on television, which provide lucrative media and marketing contracts to professional leagues and teams. If there was a market for televised auditing by accountants or Podcasting sweeping by janitors, those professions would be lucrative as well. There isn't - but I'm sure E! or MTV has a pilot in the works.

The morals of this story are - know how deep the water is before jumping in head first, give your best effort, when you fail admit your failure, and don't take things that mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things so seriously. In a nut shell, treat others the way that you would want to be treated unless you like being treated like shit; in that case, treat people better than you like to be treated.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just in case you missed it...

The typically tight belt of the McCaskey family was loosened quite a bit on Friday when the Chicago Bears signed premiere free agent defensive end Julius Peppers away from the Carolina Panthers. The price tag is reported to be 6 years at $91.5 million with a league record $42 million of that in guaranteed money. How did Peppers celebrate his new found wealth? By taking in the Bulls/Mavericks game at the United Center before buying everyone in attendance at local hotspot Crescendo a bottle of champagne including 3 bottles of Ace of Spades Rose for himself and his guests. Total price for this celebratory night out - about $18,000. Let's just hope that Julius is as liberal with his quarterback sacks as he is with his wealth.

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards took place last night at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, CA. Nothing like a bunch of rich, famous, self-righteous stars engaging in self-congratulatory praise after another year of pimping out the masses. I watched a grand total of 2 minutes and 15 seconds of this pretentious charade.

I viewed Alice in Wonderland in beautiful, breathtaking IMAX 3-D at Navy Pier. Before I even saw the movie I had a run in with the Jabbawocke in the person of a neurotic prick from some local Chicagoland suburb who insisted that I was staring at him and hitting on his girlfriend. After both I and his girlfriend assured Mel Gibson's cousin that nothing of the sort was taking place, I descended upon the spacious theater and was summarily underwhelmed - by the movie because that dude's girlfriend was extremely hot and way too good for him.

I'm a huge fan of both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass but I can't help but to feel that more time was spent on the special effects (which weren't all that fabulous) than on melding the plots together. I did emerge from the movie with a greater appreciation for the plight of strong women who venture into traditionally male professions as personified by the character of Alice. I also came out of the viewing with a slightly unhealthy erotic fetish for The Red Queen. The ruthless expression of her authority coupled with the Tourettes-like use of the famous expression "Off with their heads!" elicited several boners throughout the entire production. I hope to meet, but never cross, a woman like The Red Queen in the near future. The White Queen, although very pretty and a tremendous caricature of the virtue of morality in teh face of imposing odds, turned me off with her vows to never hurt a living creature and such. Certain types of pain can be invigorating.

Funny Quote of the Day

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Random Thoughts...

Blackhawks great and current Chicago Wolves star Chris Chelios signed with the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday. Bartenders in the greater Atlanta area filled the streets in jubilant celebration.

Reports out of Philadelphia suggest that the Eagles are interested in picking up the $1.5 million roster bonus on quarterback Michael Vick and are actively shopping Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb. This comes a week after the Eagles cut ties with Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook. It may always be sunny in Philadelphia but the Eagles' front office apparently isn't too bright.

Robert Pattison of Twilight Saga and (the upcoming "blockbuster") Remember Me fame appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night. When asked how he feels having to fight through throngs of fans just to patronize a restaurant, Pattison replied "You learn to ignore it. It's like background noise." That's how I feel about all of your movies Pattison.

Kentuckey senator and former Philadelphia Phillies great Jim Bunning dropped his objection to a Senate bill that would provide an additional $900 million to state unemployment benefits. It was reported that Bunning's colleagues on both sides of the aisle worked out a deal whereby Bunning will be allowed to introduce an amendment that will dictate how the increase in jobless benefits will be paid for in the immediate future. The amendment was reportedly written in Mandarin.

The Chicago Blackhawks returned from the Winter Olympic break lastnight, losing to the New York Islanders 5-3. In other news, 90% of Americans care more about the tightly coiled brown packages that their dogs leave on their neighbor's lawn than they do for NHL hockey.

The DePaul men's basketball team fell to 1-16 in the Big East with a 63-59 loss to South Florida Tuesday night. With Michele Obama's brother Craig Robinson signing a 2-year contract extension with Oregon State on Tuesday, it doesn't look like my beloved Blue Demons will be receiving a stay of execution anytime soon.

Jay Leno is still not funny.

Florida State safety and 2009 Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58seconds at the 2010 NFL scouting combine proving once and for all that being a gangbanger or a crack addict are not the only characteristics that a black guy needs to run fast. If the Bears don't draft this guy with their 3rd round pick...they'll be who we thought they were (it starts with a 'RE" and ends with a 'TARDED').

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron James filed paperwork with NBA league offices to change his jersey number from 23 to 6 for next season. James is also leading a push to have his childhood idol Michael Jordan's iconic number retired around the league (Jordan's number is already retired by the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat). James' decision to change his number have fueled rumors about his plans for the impending NBA free agency period that begins July 1st. Here is one reason to believe that LBJ aka King James aka The Akron Hammer will remain in Cleveland and several totally irrational reasons why James will end up donning the red and black that his boyhood idol made famous in Chicago.

Why Lebron is staying in Cleveland

If LBJ was going to leave Cleveland he would not have to file paperwork with the league offices to change his number.

Why Lebron is bringing his cape to Da Windy City

1. Lebron plans to don the number 6 next season. 2*3=6
2. Michael Jordan wore number 9 for the U.S. Olympic team. What is 9 inverted? You got it - 6!
3. How many championships did His Airness win with Da Bulls? Yup - 6!
4. How many league MVPs did MJ win in his career? Right again - 6!
5. How old was Lebron when he first dunked a basketball? 6 years old!
6. How many reasons are listed on my blog for why King James is playing for the Bulls next season? Enough said!