Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guam to Tip Over

Military mismanagement has put so many people on Guam that the island is going to tip over. It's going to tip over I tell you!!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ridicule v. Humor

It's amazing how many of the modern world's ills can be traced to the fallacy of projection.

I was sad to see the following tweet by ConservativeGal:

Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.~Saul Alinsky Time to learn the rules of the game folks.

Yes, progressives have institutionalized the ridicule of all opposition. I reject the idea that those supporting freedom should resort to the same tactics.

ConservativeGal's post got me thinking about the difference between ridicule and good natured humor.

The difference is that ridicule is an act designed to project a negative image onto one's opponents. Good natured humor is about human foibles.

As ridicule tends to project false images, it is deceitful and tends to undermine discourse. In contrasts, good natured humor points out foibles and logical inconsistencies and helps people pursue a path of truth.

I suspect a large number of good things in this world started out as jokes, and with people finding a better path by easing up.

Conversely, I suspect that many of the bad things started from fear of ridicule, or are protected by rogues who use ridicule to protect their wrong doings.

If one wanted to develop a political strategy involving humor, I would suggest the following: One should use ridicule when one's opponents have a stronger set of policies. When one has a strong set of policies, one is better off resorting to good natured humor.

The Left has a collection of paradoxical and oppressive ideas. As such, the projection of false images through ridicule is the desired strategy.

Conservatives have a better set of logically consistent principles. As such, they do better engaging in good natured humor.

Humor makes life fun. It can draw people into discourse and create a welcoming environment where people feel open about thinking and exploring ideas. As humor encourages thinking, humor can lead to truth.

Ridicule, aimed at achieving political goals, is a base activity that closes minds and undermines discourse.

The Rationality of Others

There are two important sides of rationality:

The first is for one to learn to understand and define one's own actions.

The second is to learn to appreciate the rationality of others.

Because each of us has our own unique minds filled with slightly different understanding of definitions and premises, there will always be misunderstandings and logical inconsistencies in discourse.

As such, I believe that one of the greatest acts of love and kindness is to openly appreciate the rationality of others.

One of the most base acts of hostility is to deny the rationality of others with hostile labels such as "wingnut."

Projection of Irrationality is Irrational

One of the games in propaganda is for the propagandist to project rationality onto his opponents and reason onto his followers.

This projection false images is, itself, a rather base and vile fallacy. Although the propagandist invests a great deal of effort into sculpting a self image of a rational creation, the propagandist engaged in projection is engaged in an irrational activity.

Anyway, I just watched a Book TV interview in which a wingnut named John Avlon projected the label "wingnut" on the people he dislikes.

His notion is that the body politic is being ripped assunder by the radicals on the extreme, failing to realize that people who play the middle against the end can be as bad as those who play the middle against the end.

I've repeated multiple times that the left/right dichtomy is a an artificial contrivance. Just as the conflict is a contrivance, the center is also a piece of fiction. Many of the most manipulative and dangerous people are those who stake their position in this mythical center and engage in the act of manipulating the ends by projecting false images.

I have little interest in reading a book by a wingnut who seeks influence by projecting the negative label of "wingnut" on people he dislikes. I tossed in an Amazon link on this post as Google added a fun amazon link generation thingy to blogspot.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The United States is a Liberal Nation

The United States is a liberal nation. The founders of this country fought and died for freedom. The founders were unified in a struggle for liberty. They were liberals at their finest.

Today, liberalism often has a negative tone. The reason is that there is a big difference between the liberalism of the founders and liberalism today.

The Founders had a refined classical education that esteemed logic and science. They applied classical logic to the concept of liberty and came up with a rather unique philosophy that I like to call "classical liberalism."

The French Revolution followed the US Revolution. This revolution was driven by a demand for social change. This revolution had a split between left and right, with the left supporting social change and right resisting it. The revolution broke down into genocide and ended with the rise of a totalitarian empire run by Napoleon.

The French Revolution is the source of the current left/right split that dominates American politics.

The destruction of Napoleon made a new alliance between England and Germany supreme.

With thoughts of social change in the air, German Intellectuals created a new logic of social change through the writings of Kant, Hegel and Marx. The ideologies from Kant forward are often called "Modernism."

Having a logic of social change opens the hope that an intelligentsia could influence and guide social change. This new ideology has social change taking place though a system of thesis/anti-thesis conflicts that resolve in a catharsis. The catharsis is often a revolution or war. Progressives adopted this modern philosophy but seek evolutionary change in lieu of revolutionary change.

The paradigm of modern America is that progressives believe that they can engineer change through conflict. One simply manipulates the conflict and rises to power.

The intelligentsia positions American politics as a simple conflict between left and right…with open-minded liberals on the left, and evil closed-minded conservatives on the right.

This system ruled by a single partisan conflict is a fantasy. In reality, we have an extremely complex system with ideas operating on multiple levels.

The intelligentsia (which often calls itself progressive) has operatives in both the Liberal and Conservative camps. This group flames the contrived conflicts and rises to power. The result is that we find our liberties diminished under both groups.

The artificial conflict between left and right is a greater threat to liberty than either of the two political camps created by the division, as the false dichotomy allows the enemies of freedom to create a structure that progressively restricts individual rights.

The Constitution put enough roadblocks to temper bad legislation that we were able to get by with partisan politics and still remain free. Unfortunately, we've reached a point in the erosion of Constitutional protections that people will have to get over the contrived division between Conservative and Liberal if we wish to retain the classical liberal tradition that made the United States a great nation.

The United States is a liberal nation. To preserve our liberal heritage, we need the lovers of freedom in both the "Conservative" and "Liberal" camps to unite against the intelligentsia (progressives) who are manipulating definitions and eroding our freedoms by deceit.

There are defenders and enemies of freedom in both political camps. Only through a dual commitment to quality reasoning and freedom can we root out the problem.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ending the Agitation Cycle

ObamaCare was a bad bill passed through a poisonous process.

It is nigh impossible to properly develop a positive idea in such a poisonous climate. As there was some hope that Congress would consume itself before passing the bill, I put off writing The Medical Savings and Loan aside and concentrated on the ugly process of agitation against the bill.

Proponents of liberty have a big problem and a small opportunity.

ObamaCare is such a bad bill and people are so upset that it might be possible to repeal the monstrosity.

Repealing the bill will take more than base agitation. Repealing the bill will require developing a better solution to health care than ObamaCare and the corrupt system of employer based solution.

The patient-centric Medical Savings and Loan is just such a reform. The medical savings and loan builds the health system around the individual. The program encourages people to engage in better financial planning. As such, the program has the potential to become a positive economic force.

Anyway, I will do some rewriting on the proposal. Of course, to really get the program rolling, I need a little bit of help from somewhere.

What I am developing would be a very strong tool for any group wishing to restore health care freedom in America. Please contact me if your group is interested in such an effort.

Compromise and Statesmanship

The Republican tradition is driven by the concept of the elected official as statesman. The statesman faces the challenges of the state with principle, character and compromise.

The early American founders were not keen on the role that ideology played in the French Revolution. They were proud in their ability to take the diversity of ideas from the thirteen colonies and develop working compromises that balanced legitimate concerns.

This ability to reach compromise strengthened our nation. There is, however, one unfortunate weakness to the strategy. Once people know that statesmen are actively engaged in the process of compromise, rogues will generate artificial conflicts with the hope of molding compromises that suited their end.

To an extent, progressivism is a strategy for manipulating the statesman's desire to find working compromise.

The modern progressives seek to evolve our nation into a socialist state through a progression of baby steps. The process is remarkably easy. One agitates against the status quo, laying blame for all societal ills on the free market.

The statesman legislator, anxious to employ diplomatic skills, will reach a compromise that restricts that restricts compromise. A good statesman will then argue for the compromise. In the economic debate, a statesman will highlight whatever free market provisions are in the bill.

Rather than defending the compromise, progressives will use the speech of the statesman to frame the new status quo as the free market. They will then start a new agitation campaign against all of the ills of the compromise.

A great example of this is employer based insurance. Employer based insurance was touted a generation ago as the answer to all of the ills of the free market. It was the creation of progressives of yesteryear. The statesmen of yesteryear compromised with the progressives and made employer based insurance the norm.

Despite the anti-market nature of employer based insurance, the current generation has forgotten the origins of insurance allowing progressives to frame insurance as the free market and that more government control is needed to overcome the flaws of the free market.

This process takes place on a generational level. People simply do not have a memory that spans longer than their life time. If one can control the education system, then the game works.

Progressivism is a strategy designed to manipulate the compromise process. The fact that the left has chosen to use the strategy of progressivism to advance socialism has placed our nation in a terrible position. The spirit of compromise cannot work unless all of the parties involved in the compromise are committed to the compromise.

Don't you see the problem? By definition, progressives will not commit to a compromise. Each compromise is a step in a progression, undermining the ability to mediate with compromise.

Those seeking to preserve liberty must find a different approach than compromise. Unfortunately, other approaches create too much division.

The best approach I can imagine demands that lovers of liberty spend a lot of time studying history to help lengthen our collective memory and to engage in a discourse that points out the inherent duplicity and underhanded nature of progressivism.

When a person declares their allegiance to the strategy of progressivism, they are declaring themselves opposed to the tradition of statesmanship and spirit of compromise that was foundational to this nature.

The current state of things poses great challenge to leaders dedicated to statesmanship. Times of poisoned process require a greater dedication to truth and principles than to process.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Network of Legislatures

I just dropped a comment on André Bauer's call for a Constitutional Convention.

The problem isn't simply ObamaCare, but the desire of political groups to steal power from other political groups.

Prior to ObamaCare, the 50 states regulated health care. ObamaCare simply grabbed this authority from the state's without even token acknowledgement of the state's existence. This type of power grab is not healthy. The unfunded mandates of Bush's No Child Left Behind Act was the same thing.

The problem is not with one party. It is with the current structure of things.

The Founders of the United States were not seeking to create legislatures that worked in isolation against each other.

They sought to create a network of legislatures that balanced and enhanced each other.

For this reason, the Founders of the United States had the Senate elected by the state legislature.

Yes, this structure created corruption. In seeking to reduce the corruption, the 17 Amendment broke the network, and eliminated the ability of atates to defend their rights and the rights of their citizens as written in the 10th Amendment.

The Founders did not have advanced communication technology.

Communication technology opens the opportunity of creating a direct network of legislatures.

Imagine a network of terminals in each state capitol allowing formalized communication between the state and federal government. This network would allow the states to influence Congress. As communication is two way, the Federal Government would be better equipped to coordinate legislation with the states.

A Constitutional Amendment aimed at creating a network of legislatures would profoundly improve the quality of legislation in our republic. (See An Unconventional Convention for my first post on this topic.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On the Smart Grid

In the early days of our electronic age, there was a large number of independently owned energy providers that produced energy from a variety of sources. This was especially true in rural areas.

The monolithic utility system that currently dominates the United States was the creation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The utility monopolies were created to regulate energy. The term regulate means "to make regular."

Regulation means driving all the irregular sources of alternative energy out of business ... which is precisely what FDR did.

Don't you see it? The reason America is dependent on one source of energy is the efforts of progressives-past to regulate energy.

America would already have a smart grid if independent energy producers were not locked out of the market by progressives.

Just as progressives created our horrible employer based insurance system. Pogressives created the public utility industry that dominates the energy market.

The stated goal of the smart grid is to create mechanisms to allow alternative fuel industries access to the grid so they can sell to consumers. It is supposed to help smarter energy usage by charging different rates for peak hour usage.

The political reality is the Democrats want to use the legislation to install political operatives in the market and to engage in the Machiavellian act of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.

Despite the fact that politics is politics, Conservatives would be wise to actively support the smart grid effort and to promote any free market aspects of the bill.

Unlike health care reform, which was an open attempt to reduce freedom, the smart grid legislation is overcoming one of the worst legacies of the FDR era ... the monopoly of public utilities.

I hope Conservatives actively engage in and promote all free market eliments of the bill while openly challenging the corruption that seeks to feed energy contracts into the pockets of the Democratic billionaires who seek to create a corrupted smart grid.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Insured Trading

As I understand, a major overhaul of financial regulation is one of the next items on Obama's social agenda. The theme of the reforms is that greedy investors took unnecessary risks and that we need the oppressive weight of big government on business to prevent risk taking.

The actual history of business is that risk taking leads to innovation which leads to better products and a higher quality of life.

I reject the partisan theme that risk taking is the problem. The question is the form of the risk taking.

A little known fact is that, for the last decade, the financial markets have been influenced by a little known 10,000 page piece of legislation passed in the lame duck session of the Clinton Administration called "The Securities Modernization Act of 2000."

This 10,000 page regulation is often called "deregulation." The regulation creates a slew of derivatives dreamed up in the University that were supposed to help banks and hedge funds control their risks.

The goal of these derivatives was to create a paradigm in which large banks and hedge funds could hedge their investments and essentially insure their trading.

Many of the mathematical formulas for trading came directly from the insurance industry as people hoped to manage investment risks in the same way that they managed physical risks.

The new dergulation-regulations essentially created an environment where investors thought they could insure there lending and trades.

Please note, the mathetical formulas and regulations designed to let large investors hedge against market forces are inherently anti-market.


What happened in reality is that the investors created a great deal of financial fluff and hot air as they traded abstractions like credit default swaps.

As there was no real physical backing to the securities, the market went up in a puff of smoke.

The sad legacy of the 10,000 page regulation marketed to the financial communinity as "deregulation" is that pundits are able to project the failure of a set of inherenly anti-market regulations onto the free market.

On Insurance Profits

There appears to be a large number of political pundits who haven't a clue about how insurance profits work.

Insurance companies pass costs through to the consumer. They take their cut off the top. Let's say costs are $20M and expeect profit margin 5% . 5% of $20M is $1M. They would charge $21M for their service and get $1M profit.

If the costs doubled to $40M, the insurance company would then get $2M in profits. Insurance company profits go up as costs go up.

As insurance companies get a cut of the pie, they want prices to go up.

The politicians seem to know this. They will collect political donations from insurance companies, then engage in populist rants against the insurance companies. These rants will end in sweetheart legislation that raises costs and increases insurance profris.

Pundits willingingly repeat the rants thinking they will ream it to the insurance companies. I think many of the pundits are sincere in their hatred of insurance, but fail to realize they are playing the role of useful idiot who is playing into the hands of big insurance and big business.

Obamacare had a littany of rants against insurance companies that ended with legislation that makes insurance mandatory. It not only makes insurance mandatory, Obama created an army of 16,500 IRS agents who force every member of the middle class to buy insurance ... a cost insurance companies would not want to bare.

This game of using attacks against insurance companies in legislation that ultimately increases the profits of said firms has been going on for nearly a century (why do you think medical costs are so high)?

People catching onto the game might be able to reverse the problem.

If insurance is the problem; Making insurance mandatory is not the solution. The solution is an alternative to insurance.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An Unconventional Convention

Since the beginning of the Internet, people have wondered how we could use our new communication technology to enhance our Democracy.

One interesting application would be to create a system that connected the legislatures of the fifty states so that the states could respond to national and world events that affect the states and states' rights.

State rights have been under assault in recent decades. Both the Bush and Obama administration have passed legislation that mandated spending of the states. The health care reform act of the Obama administration and the No Child Left Behind Act of the Bush Administration created regulations and mandated spending in areas once controlled by the states.

States need a way to push back.

Article V of the Constitution allows states to amend the Constitution by holding a Constitutional Convention. States have never exercised this article as there would be little control on the convention once called.

Imagine each state sending delegates to a convention in Vegas, then having the delegates go wild.

Communication technology might ease fears of a convention by allowing the states to hold a convention online.

Imagine a convention where delegates in each state capitol logged into a convention held online. The convention would then be under the direct supervision of the state governors and legislatures. This format makes it easier to impose and enforce constraints on the Convention.

My proposal, in the wake of the unfunded Federal mandates of NCLB and HCR, would be to have an electronic convention. The goal of the convention would be to create a mechanism that would allow states to directly challenge and strike down Federal legislation that infringed on state rights.

The states should use the convention to give themselves veto power over any laws passed by Congress.

Such an amendment is in keeping with the design of the Constitution. The framers of the the Constitution had the Senate elected by state legislatures. Having the Senate answer to the state legislatures put a stop on laws that infringed on states' rights.

Unfortunately, this structure was corrupt. I imagine that many of Senate elections were like the shenanigans that went one when Governor Blagojevich appeared to be selling the sensate seat of Barack Obama.

The 17th amendment in 1913 made the Senators elected directly by the people. I believe the 17th Amendment was a good move, but it broke the only real mechanism that states had to assert their rights.

A new amendment that gave the state legislatures the ability to strike down any bill that infringed on state's rights would help restore the balance of power between states and the Federal Government.

The goal of the Amendment would not be to strike down the current health care bill. The goal of the amendment would be to create a mechanism that allowed states to isolate and veto any laws or parts of law that infringe on state's rights.

Once in place, states would be able to challenge Federal laws which they have found problematic.

We are at a crosspoint in history where States must take an affirmative stand to assert their rights. Exercising the right to hold a constitutional convention is the right course of action.

Holding the Convention online would give the states the ability to hold the convention without the risk of the convention moving beyond the direct task of writing a state's rights amendment.

(Added 3/26: communication technology would allow the states to create a network of legislatures.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thief Quote

This youtube clip has a nice quote about Congressmen as thieves:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Early Spring Mulching

Early Spring is the most productive time for the mulch pile in the Mountain West; So, I was out turning it today.

The biggest challenge of living in a desert is that the mulch pile will dry out before it finishes breaking down the biomass.

Things are looking pretty good this year.

This is probably just silliness, but I like to buy fresh imported pineapple this time of year and mix the discarded rind and core in the mulch pile. Just as the enzymes in pineapple help break down tough meat in stews, I think a little pineapple helps in that final stretch as mulch turns into soil.

Of course, I really am just giving myself an excuse to buy and eat a fresh pineapple.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ides of March Bill

In ancient, the "Ides of March" is notorious as the day that the Roman Senate turned on Julius Caesar. In the United States, Congress is turning on the U.S. constitution and stabbing the people.

I downloaded the text of the current 2307 page healthcare monstrosity. As Congress is using reconciliation to pass the bill, there is likely to be a follow up bill with thousands of pages of amendments and earmarks agreed on in the last minute arm twisting campaign to pass the legislation.

I don't have the time (nor the antacids on hand) needed to read this bill.

The very fact that the health care bill is now called "Reconciliation Act of 2010" should make Americans sick.

For those who recall, the December vote on healh care was simply to bring the bill before Congress for consideration. The airwaves were full of pundits talking about how the vote was about opening the debate.

During the debate it became clear that the health care reform bill was a bad piece of legislation.

The people clearly showed their displeasure in this bill when a special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat went to the opposition despite the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Massachusetts.

The fact that health care reform lost as much support as it did during the debate shows that the bill is bad legislation.

Reconciliation makes a backwards legislative process where it takes more votes to bring up a bill for consideration than it does to pass the bill into law.

This current effort of the Obama Administration to pass a bad law through reconciliation is as dark a day for the American Experiment in Democracy as the Ides of March was for the ancient Romans.

The First Article and 10th Amendment of the Constitution indicate that the Founders of this nation wanted a limited Federal government with power over issues like health care left to the states or to the.

If the current administration passes a bill that is in violation of the traditional understanding of the Constitution through means that fall outside of the Constitution, then the "Reconciliation Act of 2010" will go down as one of the lowest moments in American history.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

States Fighting Back

The power to regulate of health care is not enumerated in the Constitution. Those powers not enumerated in the Constitution are reserved to the state.

Barack Obama's decision to use Unconstitutional means (reconciliation) to pass an unconstitutional law will throw our nation into a state of turmoil and conflict.

The states currently regulate health care. Despite the fact that all fifty states have massive regulatory systems, the very existence of this regulatory regime has been completely absent from the debate on health care.

According to The Tenth Amendment Center Missouri Passed a Health Care Freedom Act.

Passing this massive, unpopular, unconstitutional law through unconstitutional means will cause a massive backlash from the states.

The party caucuses are coming up. Caucuses are the events in the scheduled political process that allows the voice of the people to be heard.

It is the one chance to put an end to the madness of Federally dictated health care. Any good idea from the health care debate can be implemented at the state level. Having different states experiment with different formulations will help us find the best mechanism for regulating care. This method of experimentation an analysis is called science.

Federally run universal care, on the other hand, is a system of totalitarian dictates. "Universal" is simply a euphemism for "totalitarian"

The Source of Partisanship

Progressives seem to be engage in an effort to project the hyper-partisanship of the day onto their opposition. The party line is that progressives have transcended partisanship; therefore, it is the reactionaries and free-marketeers who are the source of the shrill partisanship.

This idea is patently absurd.

Progressives are people who seek solutions in government. The opposition is largely people who seek solutions in the market and want limited government.

By nature, people who are seeking solutions through politics are more prone to adhere to a political party.

The "Tea Party" was named after a historical event. The tea parties are uniting independents who are usually less active in partisan politics.

It is true that right wing partisans love seeing independents railing against the left wing partisans. This fact does not mean that all of the opposition to the massive power grab by the Obama administration is partisan.

Anyway, the efforts of progressives to project partisanship on those seeking to preserve the American Constitution is an absurd political lie.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Left Right Dictomy

The problem is not "liberalism." The solution is not "conservatism."

The left/right partisan split (which has dominated American politics for the last two centuries) was not a designed part of the American Constitution. Judging from the Constitution and Federalist papers, I believe the founders hoped to create a republic with Senators representing States, and house members representing the people.

The founders would be appalled at our current government where politicians represent parties and not the people.

The left/right partisan split came from the French Revolution (you know, the revolution where they beheaded thousands). This partisan dichotomy was not entrenched in US politics until Andrew Jackson who was dead set on preserving slavery. Here at home, the left/right split led directly to a horrid Civil War.

Political manipulation is not new. It stretches through the century.

The modern version of left/right partisanship became entrenched at the foundational level with the philosophies of Hegel and Marx. (Note, Hegel loved presenting paradoxical arguments that framed freedom as slavery and slavery freedom).

I call the process of injecting conflict and paradox into the foundation of reason Foundational Dialectics.

In Foundational Dialectics, the intelligentsia chooses a conflict, and then uses shrill Sean-Hannity-style non-discourse to position the conflict as a foundational rift. Using the tools of partisanship, the rogues create a climate of action and reaction and slowly climb the rungs of discord into power.

The Hegelian notion is that intellectuals can scientifically control the evolution of society by forcing humanity through a series of thesis/antithesis conflicts. Each conflict results in a catharsis which sets up the next conflict.

Foundational Dialectics is the choice methodology of progressives. Progressivism is a system where intellectuals herd the body politic toward the goal of centralized big government and big business. The ideology is built on the paradoxical belief that a highly centralized economy will someone be more fair than a decentralized economy.

The paradox is an illusion. The centralization of the economy leads directly to a society of wealthy insiders and impoverished outsiders. Progressives simply project the results of their manipulations onto the manipulated. Progressives promote centralized exchanges and centralized banks, then project the growing gap between rich and poor on the free market.

We see this process in the current health care debate. Employer based insurance was the creation of progressives. The goal of insurance is to regulate unpredictable medical expenses by having people pay regular amounts into a pool, then fund care from the pool. Despite the fact that insurance is an anti-market scheme to regulate costs, progressives blame the failures of insurance on the free market and deregulation!!!!!

The idea of progressivism is to use contrived conflicts to herd people toward a socialist state. Each crisis in the progression demands greater state control. Each crisis constricts personal freedom.

Progressivism is not a straight forward argument for the supremacy of the state. It is an underhanded methodology for consolidating power. Instead of arguing the merits of bigger government and reduced freedoms, the Progressives seek to define the debate and control both the action and reaction.

George Lakoff provides a great example. George Lakoff popularized the term "framing." In a display of native cunning, Lakoff taught progressives to project the term "framing" onto the reactionaries.

Followers of Lakoff are taught to repeat the political theme that it is the people on the outskirts of the debate who define the debate. So newspapers, schools and social institutions, which are the primary source for defining political themes, play the game that they are transcendent and project the definitions onto others.

NOTE: Lakoff hawks a thesis/anti-thesis conflict in which nurturing parents (progressives) are in a struggle against disciplinary parents (conservatives).

Historically, foundational dialectics comes from the left. The reactionaries drawn into arguing the anti-thesis become as much of the process as the progressives using the conflict to rise to power. For that matter, reactionaries who build their power base on the thesis/anti-thesis conflict become as dedicated to the conflict as the progressives who framed the conflict.

So, back to the point of this post: The problem is not "liberalism." The solution is not "conservatism."

The problem is the underlying structure of the debate.

Our problem is that we have a ruling class (on both the left and right) who use a negative style of discourse based on conflicts to rise to power--Foundational dialectics.

We know that our problems rise from the structure of the debate and not the ideas themselves because the structure of the debate is absurd.

In the Conservative/Liberal conflict we find conservatives arguing for limited government and personal freedom (liberty), while the liberals argue for bigger government and restrictions on liberty.

Conservatives and liberals routinely flip flop on issues. Not long ago, the Republicans were the ones associated with conservation and civil rights. The intelligentsia captured the issue by projecting the traditional position of the Democratic Party onto the Republicans and taking an absurdly unbalanced position on both issues. We associate Democrats with the two movements.

During the Bush Administration, Republicans foolishly flip flopped on fiscal conservatism, leading many to associate the Democratic Party with fiscal restraint and Republicans with uncontrolled government spending and deficits.

The partisan left/right dichotomy has two groups of rogues who use contrived conflicts to rise to power and influence. The nature of dialectics creates a mechanism where both sides resort to the same style of underhanded manipulations to gain power. The left/right dichotomy has on a path of diminished freedoms and greater government controls.

To get out of the rut of excessive partisanship, Americans needs to rediscover the affirmative rationality of our nation's founders. The founders of this nation operated with a well balance approach to rationality that allowed people of diverse backgrounds to communicate and build the foundations of a liberal society without the rancor that dominates politics today.

I like to call the philosophy of the Founders "Classical Liberalism" as it is philosophy of freedom based on the solid tradition of classical logic.

Until Americans make the effort to restore affirmative rationality, we will continue down the road of shrill liberty-centric rhetoric accompanied by decreased freedoms. The dialectical thinking of left/right conflict (Hannity v. Stewart) will not take us where we want to be as a nation.

"Liberalism" isn't the problem and "conservatism" isn't the solution because the two sides of this false dichotomy preserve the dialectical foundations of the false dichotomy.

Insurance Exchanges

The purpose of the Exchange in Obamacare is to create a centralized place where people can shop and compare insurance offers. The market already provides a large number of such services. On the internet one finds companies like NetQuotes or

Of course, any independent insurance agent is more than happy to help you shop insurance options.

Insurance, by its nature, is an extremely complex product. The basic idea of insurance is that consumers would have one financial transaction that would essentially handle all of the complex transactions related to maintaining one's. With this one transaction handling the most important aspects of one's life -- their health -- the insurance market evolved the insurance agent paradigm.

As insurance is a complex transaction that involves a great deal of personalized knowledge, the system of independent insurance agencies is the best mechanism for seling the product.

Insurance agencies are open to the public. Personally, I have never seen an insurance agency that refuses to give quotes to potential customers. For complex quotes, they might charge a fee. Often the quotes are above what a customer wants to pay for a given risk.

As the network of independent insurance agencies already form an insurance exchange, the bizarre centralized insurance exchange in Obamacare is reinvention of the wheel. The new exchange adds greater centralization to a sector of the economy that is already too centralized without solving any real problems.

Having read HR3200 and parts of the other insurance bills, it appears that that the centralized exchanges will place non-elected political operatives in the process. These operatives have the goal of redistributing wealth according to current political thinking. Such political operatives are unlikely to streamline the process, reduce real health care costs or provide more health care.

As changing insurance is a rare activity that involves a great deal of personal care, a nexus of independent insurance agents is the best form for an exchange. The centralized exchange is more likely to create a market where insurance companies trade people than a market where people buy insurance.

The history of centralized exchanges has not been good. Notably, the NASDAQ (as designed by Bernard Madoff) includes a number of hooks that allow insiders to send false signals to the market. The monetary markets, designed by the likes of Sorros, seem to open currencies to manipulation.

Politically controlled centralized exchanges are not in the best interest of individuals seeking ways to fund their health. If a centralized exchange was the best way to pay your doctor bill, the market would have evolved such a creation.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Change in Structure

My original idea for the Medical Savings and Loan had one company that held both the savings and lending accounts for customers. When people had medical expenses, the expenses would be made through bank accounts held by the Medical Savings and Loan company.

While I was paying my bills and shuffling money about in my bank account, I decided that customers would be better served if the lending accounts and savings accounts were actually held by different institutions.

To further the metaphor that people are self-funding care, I decided to structure the system so that all medical payments would be made through the customer's bank account.

If a customer needs to borrow money, the money would be approved by the medical lending authority. Deposited into the customer's account, then spent.

The Medical Savings and loan should be devised so that the lending authorities work with any numerous banks.

The advantage of involving multiple institutions is it makes it much more difficult for the bureaucracy to flank and role up the accounts back into a centralized health scheme.

Having decided to pare off the savings account into banks, I realized that I should change my entire strategy on the Medical Savings and Loan project. I am no longer thinking in terms of a business model for one company but development a nexus of small businesses that work together to help people with financial planning.

Hopefully I will the time and resources to pursue this project.

In the eyes of the COBRA

Insurance is a scheme for regulating health care. People pay regular premiums into a pool, then receive money for irregular medical expenses.

The assumption behind this scheme is that people will somehow have regular incomes. This assumption is totally whack!

Just as medical expenses vary, incomes vary.

Because insurance is built on false assumptions, really bad things happen to people. The most obvious thing is that people lose their insurance when they lose their job.

In an attempt to overcome the obvious faults of insurance, congress enacted a stop gap measure called COBRA that allows workers to buy their employer's insurance. This stop gap measure has always been problematic as only employees who intended to use the coverage buy it ... making cobra cost as much as the care itself.

From a business perspective, COBRA is one of those absurd creations guaranteed to prolong recessions. So, when a recession hits, COBRA shoots up the premiums businesses have to pay for employees ... making it extremely costly to hire new workers.

COBRA was a bad idea that attempts to cover up an obvious gap in a flawed regulatory regime.

A better approach to health care starts with the understanding that income is not regular. Income is likely to decrease in times of ill health. Hence you want a system where people save in times of plenty and spend in times of need.

In the Medical Savings and Loan people place money into savings accounts when they have a job. When the job goes south ... they have their savings!

There is also a lending component. Repayment of these loans is based on income. A person with outstanding loans would not be expected to pay back the loans during the unemployed period. As repayment is weighted, they are likely to have some savings and will still have limited access to loans to help cover medical expenses during their employment gap.

Healthy workers would have their savings. They would also have access to loans that would be repaid with future income.

Inclusion, insurance is a scheme to regulate medical expenses based on the false assumption that people have continuous employment with regular income. The Medical Savings and Loan is a system to help workers with financial planning tools that will help them match irregular income to irregular medical expense.

A system that is based on human nature is more likely to succeed than one based on false assumptions.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Grubbing for Cash

To get anywhere with the Medical Savings and Loan, I need cash. Here are links to a few fav affiliate programs. Commissions on sales will help me complete project:

  • MicheBags offers a fun purse with a changeable shell, allowing you to customize your purse to the occasion.
  • Campus Book Rentals rents textbooks. It is a better deal than buying and reselling books and ebooks.
  • Vanns is a quality electronic store from Missoula.
  • Top Sleeping bags has great deals on quality sleeping bags and tents.
  • The Teaching Company publishes DVDs and CDs from top professors in a variety of fields.
  • Tired of banks? Lending Club is a social lending club that lets you borrow and lend money direct from others in the network.