Optimistic Or Pessimistic?

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about 2015?

If you’ve been reading the many forecasts for 2015, you can’t help but wonder why so many prognosticators are pessimistic — real estate is going to collapse; the stock market will bomb; gold, silver and commodities will plummet! How is it that in our lifetime and our parents’ we see nothing but improvements behind us, and nothing good ahead of us?

Today’s pessimists point to the terrorist attacks in Paris, our national debt out of control, income inequality, immigrants overtaking the country, and global warming destroying the Earth. Moreover, if you think this universe is bad, you should see some of the others.

A couple worried that their 5-year-old twins were developing extreme personalities — one a congenital pessimist, the other an incurable optimist — took the boys to a psychiatrist. Trying to assuage the pessimist, the psychiatrist showed him a room piled high with new toys. Instead of jumping for joy, he cried, saying if he played with the toys, he would only break them. Next, the psychiatrist tried dampening the optimist by showing him a room filled with horse manure. Instead of groaning in disgust, the little boy jumped into the middle of the pile, flaying about and digging. “What are you doing?’ asked the psychiatrist. “You can’t fool me with all this manure,” the child replied excitedly. “There must be a pony here somewhere.”

In 1980, the extreme pessimist Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University professor and author of “The Population Bomb,” was willing to wager that England will not exist in the year 2000, and hundreds of millions of people will die as the world runs out of food and commodities. Economist Julian Simon, an optimist, said that’s stupid and countered with a $1,000 bet that the cost of raw materials will not rise in the next 10 years. Pick five commodities, he said, and all will be cheaper and more plentiful in 10 years. After the time passed, Simon won the bet, but pessimists at the time said it was like the man who jumped off the Empire State Building and on passing the 10th floor exclaimed, “Everything OK so far.”

The fact is more people are living better, healthier and longer with most things cheaper all across the planet. This explains how the world population has grown from 1 billion in 1804 to nearly 7.3 billion today.

If people were not living healthier and longer with infant mortality plummeting, it would be impossible. The United Nations notes that poverty has declined more in the last 50 years than in the previous 500.

So if everything is getting better for our kids and us, why are there so many pessimists? Why the negativity?

For the simple reason we are inundated daily with bad news, “If it bleeds, it leads.” The 100,000 airplane flights that land safely each day are not news — but one crash is. As you might imagine, optimists build airplanes and pessimists the parachutes.

My mother once told me she thought the world was coming to an end with all the reports of earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, seemingly every day. I told her with modern technology a lot of similar bad news is just compressed into one news cycle and is no worse than before.  For instance, when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815, it took months for the news to reach across America by ship and stage coach. Later, the news traveled in days or hours by transatlantic cable and telegraph when Krakatoa erupted in 1883; explaining the ash blackened sky all around the entire globe. With recent eruptions, we were able to see volcanologists killed by pyroclastic blasts as they happened.

When we are constantly bombarded during a 24-hour news cycle about murders, fires and terrorists, we deceive ourselves into believing such rare tragedies are on the rise. Particularly when we hear about them not as rare once-a-year events in one city, but compressed into our TV sets from hundreds of cities, it gives the impression of pervasive catastrophes and epidemics. The Ebola scare, for example, ran for weeks with only three victims and one death in the United States.

The fact is, things in general have never been better. Most people alive today have the highest standard of living in history. Housing, food, clothing, health care, sanitation, leisure time, are of higher quality and often cheaper than just a generation ago.

While the rich may be getting richer, so is everyone else. Think about air travel, like my first trip to Las Vegas in 1960 in a propeller plane versus a jet today, or your iPhone with over 1 million apps versus the rotary phone of my parents or the hand crank phone of my grandparents.

Think of the automobile you drive. Automobiles are the safest and most dependable ever, with over 17 million sold annually in the United States alone, with record sales in January, cheaper relative to income than ever before.

Think positive, be optimistic! Over the next 10 years you will be astounded by real estate prices doubling, stock market record highs, gold and silver prices exploding, and all of you will be living in million-dollar homes without ever having to move.
Schnaubelt, president of Citizens for Private Property Right

The Greedy Hand Of Government

The new capital gains tax and ‘the greedy hand of government’

“If you take a $1 bill and double it each year, after 20 years, it will compound to a total of $1 million dollars. But if you take the same $1 bill, double it each year and then subtract 35 percent in taxes, after 20 years it will have generated only about $24,000.” — Malcolm Forbes

In 1913 Uncle Sam collected only about $13 million in income taxes. That’s why they were call the “good old days.” Taxes, of course, have gone up considerably since 1913, and every April 15 is now known as the day the government says, “Stick ’em up.”

President Obama said in his State of Union Message that he wants to raise taxes, particularly capital gains taxes, through what Thomas Paine called “the greedy hand of government.”

In an interview with Charlie Gibson, President Obama said, “I look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.” Gibson pointed out that when the capital gains tax was reduced under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the government took in more money from the tax. Nonetheless, the president maintains it not fair to have a lower tax rate for some, and proposed to raise it to nearly double the rate when he entered office.

What is not fair is any capital gains tax. It should be zero, as many economists advocate. Several countries have no capital gains tax, including Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and Turkey. More than a dozen additional countries do not tax gains on stocks.

What’s truly not fair is the top 3 percent of income earners pay more personal income tax than the other 97 percent, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

From the founding of the country until 1921, the United States did not tax capital, with a brief exception during the Civil War. In Gray v. Darlington, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital gains are not income, as did several subsequent rulings up until 1921.

Taxing both the income stream from a capital asset, and the value of the underlying asset, is taxing the same income twice. With the adoption of the 16th Amendment in 1913, “the greedy hand of government” defined capital gains as income. In 1921, in Merchants Loan and Trust v. Smietanka, the court agreed.

The eminent economist Ludwig von Mises said, “There are no means by which the general standard of living can be raised other than by accelerating the increase of capital as compared with population.”

It seems self-evident: Workers earn more when there is more capital (profits invested), which should be common sense. Workers with lots of machines, technology and equipment will produce more per hour than workers who don’t have access to capital.

Obviously, a man with a D8 tractor is more productive than a dozen men with shovels, a chainsaw than a handsaw, a spray gun than a paintbrush (all tools provided via profits, savings or investments).

My corporation bought a rental house 30 years ago for $135,000. It’s now worth $635,000, for a $500,000 capital gain. However, unless I can buy another similar house for $135,000, there is no gain, only a phantom profit.

If I sell and pay the capital gains tax of $140,000, it is a $140,000 tax on government-created inflation, inflation created through the Federal Reserve. If I sell, I’m worse off because I cannot buy a similar replacement rental house. My primary “benefit” is not profit, but the forced savings by owning the house for 30 years (while paying an income tax yearly on the rental income plus a property tax).

Multiply this by millions of taxpayers locked in and acknowledge the economy is stunted when there is less “capital compared with population” to invest in machines, technology, tools, factories and equipment (new or replacement), resulting in fewer jobs and lower wages than if there were no capital gains tax.

Government is not a “necessary evil,” as claimed by Thomas Paine. Government is indispensable for protection against foreign and domestic predators, protection of private property and to invoke a common system of justice — when government is properly limited in its ability to tax and regulate.

Capital gains taxes should be abolished if you want to raise real wages and grow the economy. If you want to cut off your nose to spite your face, redistribute wealth, stagnate the economy and have everyone poorer “in fairness,”  then you have the makings of a politician motivated by begrudgery, greed, revenge, envy and covetousness.

Ukraine, Russia and Putin An alternative View

Ukraine, Russia and Putin An alternative View by Fred Schnaubelt and Irina Nekolaevna Antonova SchnaubeltHelmut Kohl                                       Soviet Union agrees to a unified Germany if NATO limited

Imagine if China convinced Canada to form an economic and military pact with Mexico and moved troops along our borders and built a new naval base in Cuba?  How would we react? How did we respond in Grenada in 1983 where the U.S. claimed Cuba and the Soviet Union were building a military air base?  President Reagan sent in 7,000 troops.

The present Ukraine crisis is being blamed on Russian President Vladimir Putin invading Crimea in an attempt to restore the former Soviet empire. Speculation is Putin may not stop there but invade the rest of Ukraine, and then conduct a blitzkrieg through other eastern European countries.  The ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year (February 2014) was simply a pretext for Putin to snatch the Crimea from Ukraine.

What’s wrong with this picture? What’s wrong is the United States and NATO are primarily responsible for what is happening in Ukraine.

John Mearsheimer in the current issue of Foreign Affairs writes, The genesis of the trouble is “NATO enlargement, the central part of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit. At the same time, the EU (European Union) is expanding eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine.” (Overlooked is Kiev, Ukraine is the Jamestown of Russia– where its empire began). Soviet and Russians leaders have repeatedly and vociferously opposed NATO enlargement.  For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president — was the final straw. He responded by capturing Crimea on the Black Sea fearing it might become a NATO naval base on Russia’s border.

Russia Today article (November 2013) sets the stage for the Russian perspective, “The US is using NATO as a Trojan horse in order to take over militarily and politically the whole of Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and this is an open provocation vis-à-vis Russia.”

NATO, originally comprised of 12 nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at the end of WWII.  Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall,  NATO expanded to include the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland then expanding further to include a total of 28 countries encircling western Russia.  Russia was too weak at the time to thwart NATO’s eastward movement.

During the Cold War, the West did not trust the Soviets, at best “Trust but Verify,” and the Soviets and later Russians have not trusted the U.S. and its NATO allies.   According to a 1990 German record of a conversation, which was only recently declassified, West German foreign minister Hans Genscher said: “We are aware that NATO membership for a unified Germany raises complicated questions. For us, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.” And because the conversion revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: “As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general.” 

This confirms what the US secretary of state James Baker said on Feb. 9, 1990 in the magnificent St. Catherine’s Hall at the Kremlin is beyond dispute, as reported in Der Spiegel. There would be, in Baker’s words,“no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east,” provided the Soviets agreed to the NATO membership of a unified Germany. Moscow would think about it,” Gorbachev said, but added:“any extension of the zone of NATO is unacceptable.”

The USSR contended it agreed to pull troops out of East Germany in exchange for a promise that NATO, its mortal enemy, would not expand. Additionally, the Soviets would have four years to relocate their troops and West Germany would contribute 12 billion Deutsch Marks for housing for Soviet Troops returning home. The U.S. holds a different interpretation of this agreement. NATO, in 2008, began talking about admitting Georgia and Ukraine. France and Germany opposed the move for fear it would unduly antagonize Russia. In 2008, Georgia signaled it intended to join NATO.  Subsequently Putin sent 9,000 troops into Georgia declaring that admitting Georgia and Ukraine to NATO would represent a clear and present danger to Russia.

The EUROPEAN UNION, too, had been moving eastward. In May 2008, it unveiled its Eastern Partnership initiative, to forge closer ties with six countries including Ukraine into the EU economy. Not surprisingly, Russian leaders viewed the encroachment a hostile act. John Mearsheimer in Foreign Affairs“The West’s final tool for peeling Kiev away from Moscow has been its efforts to spread Western values and promote democracy in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, a plan that often entails funding pro-Western individuals and organizations. Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state, estimated in December 2013 that the United States had invested more than $5 billion since 1991 to help Ukraine achieve “the future it deserves.”

The West’s triple threats – NATO enlargement, EU expansion, and democracy promotion – added fuel to the kindling. The spark came in November 2013, when Yanukovych rejected a major economic deal he had been negotiating with the EU and decided to accept a $15 billion Russian counteroffer instead, setting off demonstrations with western fingerprints. Shortly after the February 22nd coup overthrowing Yanukovych, Putin deciding the time to act against Ukraine and the West had arrived ordered Russian forces to take the autonomous republic of Crimea from Ukraine, and soon after that, merged it into Russia.  A majority of the population, who are ethnic Russians, voted to go with Russia. Russia also had the enormous advantage of having thousands of “boots on the ground” stationed at its naval base at Sevastopol.

Putin’s actions should have been easy to predict. Ukraine is a  huge expanse of flat land that Napoleonic France, imperial Germany, and Nazi Germany all crossed to strike at the heart of Russia.  Ukraine serves as a buffer state of enormous strategic importance to Russia, real or imagined, makes no difference. No Russian leader could survive politically while letting the West set up a puppet government determined to integrate Ukraine into the West. A befuddled Secretary of State John Kerry’s commented,  “You just don’t in the twenty-first century behave in nineteenth-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.” Kerry’s argument falls short when examined as Mearsheimer notes. “If Putin were committed to creating a greater Russia, signs of his intentions would almost certainly have arisen before the overthrow of Yanukovych on February 22nd. But there is virtually no evidence that he was bent on taking Crimea, much less any other territory in Ukraine, before that date. Even Western leaders who supported NATO expansion were not doing so out of a fear that Russia was about to use military force. Putin’s actions in Crimea took them by complete surprise and appear to have been a spontaneous reaction to Yanukovych’s ouster.”  Liberals recently have developed an almost utopian view of geopolitics, the can’t we all get along approach. Russia still holds the more traditional view of power, countries have neither permanent friends nor permanent enemies but permanent self-interests.

“War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.”  The misunderstandings over Ukraine can be tamped down. The United States and its allies should give up trying to convert Ukraine.  Instead, they should try to make it a neutral nation, between NATO and Russia. It should recognized that Ukraine is of critical importance to Russia, which can’t accept an anti-Russian regime there.  The Ukraine need not be pro-Russian or anti-NATO. On the contrary, the objective should be a neutral Ukraine, neither in the Russian nor the Western camp. NATO expanded in the past because it assumed it would never have to defend new members, but Russia’s recent flexing of muscles shows this to be a dangerous game that put Russia and the West on a irreconcilable collision course. On the other hand, writes Mearsheimer, “a neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow would be an approach where all sides would win.”

Fred Schnaubelt, former San Diego councilman. Dr. Irina Schnaubelt, retired Soviet & U.S. microbiologist lived in Russia for 36 years.  They were married in Moscow in 1987.

Los Angeles weighs cash incentive in bid to boost voter turnout

FYI:  Do You Know?

The Political Class goes Nuts! Charging you on your Savings Deposits and paying people to vote to get a smidgen of legitimacy.
European banks charging customers interest on their deposits.  ·  Europe’s Central Bank Now Charging Banks To Hold Deposits   http://www.ibtimes.com / europes-central-bank-now… - Jun 5, 2014 … The European Central Bank is now charging its customers, the world’s biggest banks, to hold their money rather than paying them interest,
Coming soon!  ·  Economist: U.S. Banks Preparing to Charge Customers For Deposits …  http://www.infowars.com / economist-u-s-banks-prep / - Jun 6, 2014 … In the week that the European Central Bank cut its deposit rate for … They may try to do so not by explicitly charging a negative interest rate, but …

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21578697-would-charging-banks-leave-funds-central-bank-help-or-hurt   Banks have too much money, to many people saving for their future

Los Angeles weighs cash incentive in bid to boost voter turnout
Published August 17, 2014
The Wall Street Journal  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/17/los-angeles-weighs-cash-incentive-in-bid-to-boost-voter-turnout/

Los Angeles Skyline.jpg

Los Angeles, California.AP

Near-perfect weather and an abundance of “I voted” stickers haven’t been enough to lure Los Angeles residents to the polls. Now some city officials are floating another idea: cash.

In a bid to boost turnout, Los Angeles’s Ethics Commission has voted to recommend that the city consider offering cash, which might include a prize as high as $50,000, after fewer than a quarter of registered voters showed up for recent municipal elections.

The three-person panel unanimously voted Thursday to have a committee overseen by City Council President Herb Wesson consider offering the financial incentives.

A mere 23 percent of registered voters showed up for the 2012 mayoral election, down from the 37 percent that turned out in 2001. Even fewer voted in the city-attorney and -controller elections, and turnout was a low as 15 percent for district elections, city officials said.

“I would say our turnout is abysmal, and it’s embarrassing,” Mr. Wesson said.

The idea to boost voter participation involves a “lottery-type structure where there could be prize winners of some sort,” said Mr. Wesson. The lottery would only be allowable in elections that don’t include candidates for federal offices or federal measures.  The proposal is still in its earliest stages, and it was unclear if it might come to fruition or even how the lottery system would be structured.

Photo of District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner11/6/12 31,585 (54.96%) votes of Registered (10/31/12)  115,950 or 27% (Before Redist.?)

District 1, Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner, Email: sherrilightner@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 6 Councilmember Lorie Zapf6/3/14  13,600  (53.02%)votes of Registered (7/1/14) 82,356 or 16.5%

District 2, Councilmember Lorie Zapf, Email: loriezapf@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria6/5/12 24,475 (100%) votes of Registered (10/31/12) 80,742 or 30.3% (Unopposed)

District 3, Council President Todd Gloria, Email: toddgloria@sandiego.gov

Photo of Myrtle Cole6/3/14 6,921 (57%) votes of Registered (7/1/14) 88,581 or 7.8%

District 4, Councilmember Myrtle Cole, Email: myrtlecole@sandiego.gov

Graphic of District 56/5/12 24,869 (100%) votes of Registered (10/31/12) 90,435 or 27.4% (Unopposed)

District 5, Councilmember Mark Kersey, Email: markkersey@sandiego.gov

District 6,  Cate v. Kim Primary 10,270 v 6,880 of about 71,296 or 14.4% and 9.6%


Photo of District 7 Councilmember Scott Sherman6/5/12 15,575  ( 50.17) votes of Registered (10/31/14) 77,839 or 20%

District 7, Councilmember Scott Sherman, Email: scottsherman@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 6 Councilmember David Alvarez6/3/14  6,720 (87.92) votes of Registered (10/31/14) 54,601 or 12.3%

District 8, Councilmember David Alvarez. Email: davidalvarez@sandiego.gov

Photo of District 9 Councilmember Marti Emerald6/5/12 10,107 (72.14%) votes of Registered (10/31/12) 57,104 or 17.6%

District 9, Councilmember Marti Emerald, Email: martiemerald@sandiego.gov

Photo of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer2/11/14 153,491 (52.89%) votes of Registered about 662,172 or 23% (Citywide)
Mayor Kevin Faulconer kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov
                                                                                               (Searched 7/31/14)
Coming soon!  ·  Economist: U.S. Banks Preparing to Charge Customers For Deposits …  http://www.infowars.com / economist-u-s-banks-prep / - Jun 6, 2014 … In the week that the European Central Bank cut its deposit rate for … They may try to do so not by explicitly charging a negative interest rate, but …

Unintended Consequences Of Humanitarianism With The Guillotine

“Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission,” writes founding libertarian Isabel Paterson. “The philanthropist, the politician, and the pimp are inevitably found in alliance because they have the same motives, they seek the same ends, to exist for, through, and by others.”

You can help the San Diego City Council with this Amazing Discovery:  When prices go up people demand less. When the price of the minimum “learning” wage goes up people demand less and teenage unemployment and idleness skyrockets.  See: Unemployment data by Dept. of Labor pages 42-43 at  http://www.amazon.com/Race-Economics-Discrimination-Institution-Publication/dp/0817912452  (crime concomitantly increases).


The law of unintended consequences, is acknowledged by Paterson in the Humanitarian with the Guillotine. http://mises.org/daily/2739 Chart above by Prof. Mark Perry, University of Michigan.


http://www.Romancingthevoters.com   Chart, Page 58


America – Imagining A World Without Her

Imagining a world without America

O my America! my new-found-land,

My kingdom, safeliest when with one man mann’d,

My Mine of precious stones, My Empirie,

How blest am I in this discovering thee!

To enter in these bonds, is to be free;

Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.   — John Donne 1572-1631 (published posthumously 1654)

Since Columbus discovered America in the 15th century, America has been a dream — a dream of freedom — seducing people of all nations. Any immigrant from any country can become an American, but a native-born American can never become an Englishman, Russian, Greek or German. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American-Frenchman. America is an ideal, an aspiration, a beacon of freedom to people around the world.

Freedom: In the film “Braveheart” William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, about to be beheaded yells out the primal scream, FREEDOM! Freedom historically has meant freedom from government, from government abuses, excessive regulations and usurpations from when monarchs owned all land and the people within their realm. There were no property rights, freedom of religion, freedom to criticize the government.

We laugh at the notion of the “divine right of kings,” which fooled and enslaved people for centuries. America is unique in that it had the first written declaration that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” and government works for the people, not the other way around. This revolutionary idea defines American exceptionalism.

Americans have natural rights, e.g., rights that predate governments, rights that emanate from the Creator and not an aristocracy, the top 1 percent, or by majority vote. Our Declaration of Independence declared: “That these united colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States,” absolved from all allegiance to the British king.

Why should you see a movie about America and America’s founding? How does it relate to us — to me — today

My wife, Irina, graduated from Moscow State University in 1972. Typically, in the former Soviet Union the government dictated in which cities college graduates would live and work and what their salary would be in exchange for their education.

Large enterprises, factories and plants dictated their housing, whether one- or two-bedroom apartments, regardless of how many children, or if they would live with eight other people. They operated restaurants, provided clinics, medical facilities, rest homes, sanatoriums and hospitals.

Nearly all land was owned by the government. When the government owns the land you walk on, talk on, work on and sleep upon, it owns you. Russians were required to carry internal passports at all times and obtain police permits to visit other cities.

When I called Irina from America before we married — 27 years ago — a reservation had to be made three days in advance so the Soviet government could set up recording equipment. One time her phone rang and Irina heard an entire conversation played back by mistake. Very frightening!

A friend was imprisoned for seven years for possessing a samizdat (underground) copy of “Dr. Zhivago,” which the government considered subversive and critical of the regime. It was finally published in the USSR in 1989, the month he was released from prison.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned eight years for criticizing Joseph Stalin. The Soviet Union, of course, claimed it had free speech — it was only after the speech you might not be free. We laugh at the idea of people imprisoned for possessing a book or criticizing the government, but why is this relevant to us today?

First, we are told NSA keeps a record of every phone call we make. Second, last month 43 Senate Democrats supported a constitutional amendment (S.J. RES.19) that would limit free speech that criticizes incumbents, which may jeopardize their hold on political office.

Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, “America, Imagine a World Without Her,” explains why America evolved differently than other countries and reiterates many of the lessons high school students learned before the 1960s, which, judging by recent campus interviews, are no longer taught.

The movie opens with George Washington being killed in battle at the outset of the Revolutionary War and then imagining a world without the American Revolution.

What if Stalin or Hitler were first to get the atom bomb?

The issue of stealing America from the Indians is confronted (did American Indians, as Henry Kissinger purportedly said, own this land simply because they walked across it or gazed upon it from mountaintops?)

And from whom did the Indians steal it? Did we steal the Southwest from the Mexicans? If the Spanish conquest in 1519 stole Mexico from the Aztecs and dozens of other tribes before there were any Mexicans, a term first used in 1566, from whom did latter-day Mexicans steal the land, before we stole it from them?

In 1776, when our Declaration of Independence was adopted, slavery was a worldwide occurrence with people on every continent at one time or another enslaved. It occurred in both ancient Greece and Rome, and even in Egypt before Charlton Heston (as Moses) said, “Let my people go.”

Our Declaration of Independence established the principle — the ideal — that “All men are created equal.” Granted, it took nearly 100 years to perfect this ideal through the Emancipation Proclamation and we still aren’t finished improving it.

Since there was no massive slave rebellion to end slavery, and if today’s blacks are entitled to reparations, then why not, the movie asks, the descendants of the 600,000 Union soldiers who were wounded or died fighting to end slavery?

While indefensible, there is an intriguing thought about the cost of slavery, today’s workers and the marginal productivity of slaves, i.e., the profit confiscated over and above the cost of their food, clothing and care. Studies indicate the economic benefit to slave-owners ranged from 9.7 percent to about 50 percent, which is like a tax on labor. By comparison, today according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, “The effective tax rate currently on labor income (all taxes) is 40 percent.”

In answer to the liberal charge that America is bent on empire, conquest and perpetual war, D’Souza quotes Gen. Colin Powell’s memorable remark that the only ground America has sought abroad in the aftermath of war is sufficient ground to bury our dead.

Schnaubelt, president of Citizens for Private Property Rights, has been a commercial real estate broker for 45 years and was a San Diego city councilman from 1977 to 1981, Author: Romancing The Voters Published July 4, 2013. http://www.Romancingthevoters.com

What do you think defines American Exceptionalism?

A nation, or an individual, cannot function unless the truth is available.

“A cause of many of our mistakes and problems is ignorance—an overwhelming national ignorance of the facts about the rest of the world. A nation, or an individual, cannot function unless the truth is available and understood; no amount of good on the part of the leaders or the media will offset ignorance and apathy in the common citizen.”  Admiral H. G. Rickover, Rotary, San Diego, California February 10, 1977


What’s happening in Iraq in a nutshell


By Fred Schnaubelt, (& Col. Chris Schnaubelt, Ret.), Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Iraq is in turmoil, ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) insurgents are on the march toward Bagdad with reports of mass killings — 1,700 in one incident — and videos showing beheadings, including one claiming the head of a police captain was their World Cup soccer ball. Yes, you can see the video on the Internet.


Some of you may recall the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Pearl’s beheading on TV. It is incomprehensible to me how someone can behead another human being. To win headlines, terrorists formerly hijacked airliners, then went for car bombings, perfected suicide bombings and now beheadings as their a form of “shock and awe.”


Confused by the reports, I asked for the opinions of two Iraqi neighbors and my son, retired Col. Chris Schnaubelt, who served two tours in Iraq alongside Gen. David Petraeus, and was awarded a Bronze Star. He also served in Afghanistan as an adviser to Ambassador Ryan Crocker.


My next-door neighbor Nihad, a Chaldean from Baghdad, says the insurgents are not Iraqis but mercenaries from neighboring countries who speak a different dialect.


He prays Iraq will hold together, but it is essentially already three different countries, with the Kurdish part almost autonomous. Except in Baghdad, the Sunnis and Shiites live pretty much apart. However, in cosmopolitan Baghdad it’s hard to tell them apart.


Under the former dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, who ruled with an iron fist, there was far less strife. Nihad told me of a female carpenter whose tool belt scratched a wall poster of Saddam Hussein. Two men reported it and an hour later, the woman disappeared. Anyone who asked about her also disappeared.


Another Iraqi neighbor, Wallid, said his cousin was playing cards in a card room and casually mentioned when you’ve seen one dictator you seen them all, referring to Hussein. A couple hours later, he was arrested and his uncle found him nearly beaten to death in an alley. The family hid him in a hospital for two months until he recovered.


Speaking truth to power under Sunnis: Hussein, a Sunni, would wipe out entire families because of one outspoken dissident, and was known to have his enemies publicly decapitated. He was responsible for gassing 30,000 Kurds in 60 villages after he came to power. This is one way to maintain order in a dysfunctional society. Hussein was executed seven years ago for war crimes.


Speaking truth to power under Shiites: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, was democratically elected by the majority Shiite population. Of 13 countries in the region, only Iran, Bahrain and Iraq have Shiite majority populations: 89 percent, 70 percent and 65 percent respectively.


My son points out, that after President Barack Obama pulled out our troops, perhaps as a response to years of minority Sunni rule, al-Maliki removed many competent Sunni military officers, police and bureaucrats from the previous Sunni regime. He has divided the country rather than uniting the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish factions.

Al-Maliki crippled the Iraqi Security Forces by appointing senior officers on the basis of sectarian and political cronyism rather than competence, thereby losing the support of many who would have fought for love of country against the ISIL invaders. He has been unable to build a majority coalition since his election.


With Sunnis funded by Saudi Arabia and Shiites by Iran, it would be surprising if Baghdad were to fall as al-Maliki has been creating an Iranian client state in Iraq. Baghdad is not Tikrit.


Chris believes the recent deployment of the Aircraft Carrier George H. Bush to the Persian Gulf most likely is to evacuate Americans if the $1 billion U.S. Embassy, the largest in the world, is overrun.

Petraeus commented last week that America can’t serve as an air force for a Shiite militia, which in effect would inadvertently be supporting Iran.


You may have heard that Iraqi soldiers are stripping their uniforms and running away. If Iraqis won’t fight against foreign insurgents, to save their country, why should we?

Fred Schnaubelt, president of Citizens for Private Property Rights, has been a commercial real estate broker for 45 years and was a San Diego city councilman from 1977 to 1981.

Election results vs Soviet Union determine food, rents, home, clothing, health, gas prices & taxes



San Diego Registrar of Voters PRIMARY Election Results Final (not certified) as of 6/13/14


We were often told that only 5% of the people (the Communists) in the Soviet Union controlled the population.

Elections are important!

Results are similar across the country and in nearly all jurisdictions. Interesting how few votes determine elections in San Diego.


Congressional incumbents June 3, 2014 Primary Election Final count (not certified)  http://www.sdvote.com/voters/results/election.xml


50th Hunter: 18% of the Registered Vote           13.5% of Estimated Eligible Vote (VEP)

49th Issa :    15%                                             12.2 %

52nd Peters:  13%                                              9.7%

53rd Davis:    13%                                              9.7%

51st Vargas:  12%                                              9%


Assembly Speaker Atkins
17.5%                                           13%

Governor Brown San Diego County only

12.3%                                            8.9% per http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ror/ror-pages/15day-primary-2014/county.pdf


People who don’t vote defer to these incumbents a share of the power to determine (Maslow’s hierarchy) your food prices, water prices, clothing prices, home prices, apartment rents, interest rates on savings, automobile prices, gasoline prices, medical care, taxes which all inexorably go up and collectively and indirectly have the power to put you in jail or execute you.

These results supposedly justify politicians imposing their visions, rules,  regulations and laws upon us.

Minimum Wage Unions vs. Romancing The Voters Talking Points

  • ·        Fred Schnaubelt says, Unintentionally the supporters of raising the minimum wage are making the minimum wage zero as McDonald’s and others install robotics, self-checkout registers (Home Depot, Wal-Mart), and self-ordering devices to eliminate the counter trainees earning the “learning” wage. Purportedly, at some McDonald’s Drive-ups the order is first taken in India, relayed and electronically placed at the kitchen while you wait in-line.  Cash registers have pictures on them for  high school dropouts. We know how the “Minimum Wage” eliminated millions of jobs for elevator operators, gas station attendants, and newspaper boys.  Labor Unions surreptitiously love eliminating low paying jobs which reduce competition and many labor contracts require pay increases whenever the minimum wage is increased. They then pretend they are great humanitarians by advocating no job is better than a low-paying job, so long as they keep their own jobs. Go figure!
  • ·        A few letter writers imagine they have heart when advocating a raise in the minimum wage and rail against “sweat shops.” First, in California only 1.4% of full time workers receive the minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and most workers receive the minimum “learning” wage for less than a year.  Once they  prove they can get to work on time, perform  basic  skills,  and show  up the day after getting a pay check they get a raise.
    • ·          Second, Milton Friedman said, “Thank God for Sweatshops.”  If it wasn’t for sweatshops his mother may not have survived coming from a foreign country with no skills and unable to speak English. At first she and Friedman’s father struggled until able to save enough money to send Milton to a university where he won the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics. Uninformed, misinformed and disinformed people seem to think that when children, teenagers, and young adults cannot get a job due to government paternalism and labor union opposition  they skip home to read Shakespeare and listen to Beethoven.  The alternative to a low-paying job in much of the world often is starvation and death. Consigning people to starvation does not show heart.
Union Propaganda


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=766248420076308&set=a.190167221017767.44131.186219261412563&type=1&theater Back to Album · US Uncut’s Photos · US Uncut’s Page


  • ·        A few letter writers imagine they have heart when advocating a raise in the minimum wage and rail against “sweat shops.” First, in California only 1.4% of full time workers receive the minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and most workers receive the minimum “learning” wage for less than a year.  Once they  prove they can get to work on time, perform  basic  skills,  and show  up the day after getting a pay check they get a raise. 
  • ·          Second, Milton Friedman said, “Thank God for Sweatshops.”  If it wasn’t for sweatshops his mother may not have survived coming from a foreign country with no skills and unable to speak English. At first she and Friedman’s father struggled until able to save enough money to send Milton to a university where he won the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics. Uninformed, misinformed and disinformed people seem to think that when children, teenagers, and young adults cannot get a job due to government paternalism and labor union opposition  they skip home to read Shakespeare and listen to Beethoven.  The alternative to a low-paying job in much of the world often is starvation and death. Consigning people to starvation does not show heart.

For more counterpoint talking points see: http://www.romancingthevoters.com/ $12.99


President Obama’s Address to West Point

1.      If you saw President Obama’s Address to West Point now read Ayn Rand’s Address to the graduates. Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand EXCERPTS
Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point New York — March 6, 1974
Most men spend their days struggling to evade three questions, the answers to which underlie man’s every thought, feeling and action, whether h…e is consciously aware of it or not: Where am I? How do I know it? What should I do?
They have never discovered the fact that the trouble comes from the three unanswered questions — and that there is only one science that can answer them: philosophy.
The nature of your actions — and of your ambition — will be different, according to which set of answers you come to accept. These answers are the province of metaphysics — the study of existence as such or, in Aristotle’s words, of “being qua being” — the basic branch of philosophy. The extent of your self-confidence — and of your success — will be different, according to which set of answers you accept. These answers are the province of epistemology, the theory of knowledge, which studies man’s means of cognition.
These two branches are the theoretical foundation of philosophy. The third branch — ethics — may be regarded as its technology. Ethics does not apply to everything that exists, only to man, but it applies to every aspect of man’s life: his character, his actions, his values, his relationship to all of existence. Ethics, or morality, defines a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions — the choices and actions that determine the course of his life.
You might claim — as most people do — that you have never been influenced by philosophy. I will ask you to check that claim. Have you ever thought or said the following? “Don’t be so sure — nobody can be certain of anything.” You got that notion from David Hume (and many, many others), even though you might never have heard of him. Or: “This may be good in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice.” You got that from Plato. Or: “That was a rotten thing to do, but it’s only human, nobody is perfect in this world.” You got that from Augustine. Or: “It may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” You got it from William James. Or: “I couldn’t help it! Nobody can help anything he does.” You got it from Hegel. Or: “I can’t prove it, but I feel that it’s true.” You got it from Kant. Or: “It’s logical, but logic has nothing to do with reality.” You got it from Kant. Or: “It’s evil, because it’s selfish.” You got it from Kant. Have you heard the modern activists say: “Act first, think afterward”? They got it from John Dewey. Some people might answer: “Sure, I’ve said those things at different times, but I don’t have to believe that stuff all of the time. It may have been true yesterday, but it’s not true today.” They got it from Hegel. They might say: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” They got it from a very little mind, Emerson. They might say: “But can’t one compromise and borrow different ideas from different philosophies according to the expediency of the moment?” They got it from from William James.
Many people, particularly today, claim that man cannot live by logic alone, that there’s the emotional element of his nature to consider, and that they rely on the guidance of their emotions. The joke is on them: man’s values and emotions are determined by his fundamental view of life. The ultimate programmer of his subconscious is philosophy — the science which, according to the emotionalists, is impotent to affect or penetrate the murky mysteries of their feelings.
When men abandon reason, they find not only that their emotions cannot guide them, but that they can experience no emotions save one: terror. If you feel nothing but boredom when reading the virtually unintelligible theories of some philosophers, you have my deepest sympathy. But if you brush them aside, saying: “Why should I study that stuff when I know it’s nonsense?” — you are mistaken. It is nonsense, but you don’t know it — not so long as you go on accepting all their conclusions, all the vicious catch phrases generated by those philosophers. And not so long as you are unable to refute them.
Nothing is given to man automatically, neither knowledge, nor self-confidence, nor inner serenity, nor the right way to use his mind. Every value he needs or wants has to be discovered, learned and acquired — even the proper posture of his body. In this context, I want to say that I have always admired the posture of West Point graduates, a posture that projects man in proud, disciplined control of his body. Well, philosophical training gives man the proper intellectual posture — a proud, disciplined control of his mind. In your own profession, in military science, you know the importance of keeping track of the enemy’s weapons, strategy and tactics — and of being prepared to counter them. The same is true in philosophy: you have to understand the enemy’s ideas and be prepared to refute them, you have to know his basic arguments and be able to blast them.
There is a special reason why you, the future leaders of the United States Army, need to be philosophically armed today. You are the target of a special attack by the Kantian-Hegelian-collectivist establishment that dominates our cultural institutions at present. You are the army of the last semi-free country left on earth, yet you are accused of being a tool of imperialism — and “imperialism” is the name given to the foreign policy of this country, which has never engaged in military conquest and has never profited from the two world wars, which she did not initiate, but entered and won. (It was, incidentally, a foolishly overgenerous policy, which made this country waste her wealth on helping both her allies and her former enemies.) Something called “the military-industrial complex” — which is a myth or worse — is being blamed for all of this country’s troubles. Bloody college hoodlums scream demands that R.O.T.C. units be banned from college campuses. Our defense budget is being attacked, denounced and undercut by people who claim that financial priority should be given to ecological rose gardens and to classes in esthetic self-expression for the residents of the slums.
You are attacked, not for any errors or flaws, but for your virtues. You are denounced, not for any weaknesses, but for your strength and your competence. You are penalized for being the protectors of the United States. Why hatred? Because America is the living refutation of a Kantian universe.
Hatred of the good for being the good, is the hallmark of the twentieth century. This is the enemy you are facing.
A battle of this kind requires special weapons. It has to be fought with a full understanding of your cause, a full confidence in yourself, and the fullest certainty of the moral rightness of both. Only philosophy can provide you with these weapons.
In conclusion, I feel deeply honored by the opportunity to address you. I can say — not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots — that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world. There is a kind of quiet radiance associated in my mind with the name West Point — because you have preserved the spirit of those original founding principles and you are their symbol. I am speaking of your standards. You have preserved three qualities of character which were typical at the time of America’s birth, but are virtually nonexistent today: earnestness — dedication — a sense of honor. Honor is self-esteem made visible in action.
You have chosen to risk your lives for the defense of this country. In my morality, the defense of one’s country means that a man is personally unwilling to live as the conquered slave of any enemy, foreign or domestic. This is an enormous virtue.
West Point has given America a long line of heroes, known and unknown. You, this year’s graduates, have a glorious tradition to carry on — which I admire profoundly, not because it is a tradition, but because it is glorious. So, in the name of many people who think as I do, I want to say, to all the men of West Point, past, present and future: Thank you.
This excerpt from the text originally given as an address by Ayn Rand at West Point.. http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/library/pwni.html