All posts by William

I am a History student at The University of Tennessee and I have never regreted being an American citizen. I love God, guns and dogs, and if that makes me a redneck so be it.

Guns of Tennessee

I believe that it is a fundamental right of every American to own and carry firearms. So I was relieved to hear the decision of District of Colombia vs. Heller, which said that the states can not bar any law abiding citizen from owning a handgun, although they did state that cities/states may “reasonably regulate” the carrying and ownership of fire arms.

My joy was elevated to a new level when I read in the paper that Tennessee is considering 4 bills that would expand the places that legally licensed individuals can carry their guns.

HB0959

Handgun Permits – As introduced, makes information contained in handgun carry permit applications and renewals, information provided to agencies to investigate applicant, and records maintained relative to the permit application confidential and creates Class A fine only misdemeanor of unauthorized publication of permit information or records. – Amends TCA Section 10-7-504 and Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

HB0960:

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, authorizes person with handgun carry permit to possess firearm in local, state, or federal parks. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 70.

HB0961

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, authorizes person with handgun carry permit to possess firearm in a refuge, public hunting area, wildlife management area, or on national forest land. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 70.

HB0962

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, allows person with handgun carry permit to carry in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages as long as such person is not consuming alcoholic beverages and such restaurant is not an age-restricted venue. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17.

My opinion on each bill is as follows:

HB0959

I like the fact that they are trying to look out for the privacy of gun owners, I don’t believe that it needs to be public knowledge as to who owns a gun. I would have liked to see them set a minimum fine however, nothing less than $1000.

HB0960 & HB0961

(The committee vote of 960 has been pushed back to Wednesday or so of this week.) I think that the attempt to pass this bill recognizes that not all dangers occur in our homes or neighborhood. If someone is hiking in the woods and they get attacked by a rabid animal, a bear, or one of the marijuana growers that operates in the the back country where very few people go, then the carrier of the gun has the ability to protect him/herself . There is also the fact that a gun fired three times into the air is a universal symbol of distress. How, I ask, is somebody supposed to signal this distress if they are not allowed to carry a gun in these areas?

HB0962

The first few times I read this bill I didn’t quite get the “and such restaurant is not an age-restricted venue.” clause. However after pondering on it I think I understand it. The way I see it is that they want to allow people with conceal carry permits to go into standard restaurants, like Ruby Tuesdays, Appleby’s or (if you’re in East Tennessee) Copper Celler and Calhouns, normal resteraunts that serve alchohol, as long as the carrier doesn’t drink. Age restricted places in Tennessee are considerd “clubs” in Tennessee and I guess the thought is that if you’re going to a club then you are probably going to be drinking, or mixing with a high number of people who have been drinking, and guns and alchol, or people who’ve been drinking don’t mix with happy results.

I hope that these bills pass, and I hope that people realize that the people who follow the laws and are legally licensed to carry guns are less likely to commit gun crimes than anyone else.

Long Time Coming.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything so I have some stuff to get off my chest, this could be a long one.

Obama Inauguration

Concerning the Elections

In the week or so preceding the inauguration I made up my mind not to complain until Obama did the inevitable, the thing that all politicians do, screw-up. All politicians do it, heck Bushes biggest screw-up in my opinion was the gall darned bailout, so if I’m a cynic for believing that Obama will screw-up, I’ve been called worse.

Despite my promise, the constant gloating of liberals has worn on my already short temper, look you fools, I didn’t gloat when Bush won his second term, even though I voted for him, and still stand by my vote. I would like to receive the same consideration that I extended to you.

Also, while I may not complain, I also think that Obama shouldn’t be hailed as the savior of the world till he actually does something.

From Least I Could Do storyline "The Strike"

Concerning Unions

With the economic woes that we are experiencing and hearing about the bailout of the American Auto Industry then we hear that the American Auto Workers Union wasn’t willing to take a pay cut. I don’t think they get paid as much as people have said, I don’t know how much they make, but I’m pretty sure that they could afford to take a small pay cut to at least help prevent layoffs. Instead we hear that the union has refused to allow a pay cut. Don’t these people realize that they are risking major layoffs so as to save money? Makes me understand why a lot of new factories are being built in Tennessee, and other states that don’t make joining a union mandatory.

To top it off we hear that there maybe legislation coming about that essentially forces unionization. WHY?

For anybody curious about how mandatory unionization works look at Canada. The following is from the forum of a web comic, it is written by the writer of the comic who also writes for a Canadian TV series:

http://forums.leasticoulddo.com/index.php?act=ST&f=2&t=28456

As much as I personally oppose what ‘unions’ have become in today’s day and age, late last year I was pushed to join the Writer’s Guild of Canada. I had no choice, you see, as if I did not, Canadian law dictates that I Would be ineligible to write episodes of the LICD animated series, or the Looking for Group feature film.
Seeing as how I wanted very much to do both those things, I signed up. In exchange for a percentage of my earnings and a registration free, I received a membership card, laminated at Kinko’s apparently, and a pencil (it’s true. They actually sent me a pencil). Oh, and did I mention the health insurance package that I am unable to opt out of, despite the fact that I’m already insured through Blind Ferret?
Since then, I’ve done my best to ignore the WGC, and in turn, I’m thinking the feeling has been fairly mutual. There have been get-togethers, I haven’t gone. Plenty of meetings, I’ve had shows to watch. Votes taking place, I’ve had to stay home and do my hair. You get the idea.
Still, my e-mail (along with the other 1,600 members) is in their database thus I get plenty of updates from our president. The majority (read: all) of them somehow end up in my trash bin (no idea how that happens, really). And yet, an e-mail that came in yesterday caught my attention.
In a nutshell, my guild is appearing before the CRTC on February 17th, urging them to start regulating the internet in Canada, specifically feared towards video content. Their belief is that the ISPs should be paying any creator who creates content for the web. In addition, they have come to the conclusion that Canadian internet users really only want to see Canadian content, therefore we should be restricted on what we can view online.
Essentially, the WGC wants to see New Media function in exactly the same way as traditional media.
As someone who’s been struggling with the television system for the last 3 years, I can tell you very explicitly: it simply doesn’t work. It hampers talent, overpays ‘producers’ while taking money out of the real talent budget and you inevitably end up with a watered down excuse for entertainment.
Why anyone would want to re-create the television industry is beyond me. That makes about as much sense as publishing a new newspaper these days, or putting together a new terrestrial radio station.

Say what you will about the web, and there is much to be said, it breeds innovation. The reason for that is because it’s non-regulated, because an ass like me can produce whatever he likes, however he likes in an effort to entertain others. The majority of the things we try don’t/won’t/shouldn’t work, but if 1 out of every 100 projects works, that’s a success.
You simply can’t do that in the traditional media system. It won’t let you.
So, congratulations to the WGC. Through your ignorance and short sightedness, you’ve managed to actually make me want to involve myself in a union.
Joy.

It makes me sick to think that MY country might go that way.

From Across the Pond

I recently received and email purporting to contain an editorial from the London Daily Mail that takes a look at the Obama victory from the point of view of a British Conservative (I thinks that’s the term I want, if anyone knows a better one let me know) the e-mail is as follows:

The following is a view from England, a country that sees the U.S. more clearly than we can see ourselves. In this instance, the writer of the editorial in the London Daily Mail is looking back down a road England and other European countries have already traveled, and see the Obamaites pushing us down the same route.

An editorial from the London Daily Mail
Obama’s Victory was A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups. A victory for Obama-worshippers every where. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality. A victory for Hollywood , the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group thinking and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion. Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition. A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers’ unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity.
A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.
Congratulations America!

 

I have been unable to verify that this did or did not come from that newspaper, however while perusing their site I did stumble across a couple of editorials that show what some British Conservatives think, I’m not going to repost them but I would recommend reading them as they are very interesting.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1123922/MELANIE-PHILLIPS-Sorry-party-pooper-I-share-swooning-Obama-hysteria.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1117462/MARY-ELLEN-SYNON-Obama-destroy-America-debt–Im-finding-hard-sense-humour.html

http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2009/01/obama-dont-push.html

Celtic Tiger

As a History major in college I had the opportunity to take a class entitled “The History of Modern Ireland” (modern in this sense meant form about 1300 forward with about 2 weeks of back story) as part of the last few weeks of that class we read an article called the “Celtic Tiger” about the incredible growth of the Irish economy during the mid to late 90s, primarily due to its heavy investment in technology and pharmaceuticals, and due to this boom for the first time in the past 300 years Ireland was experiencing and influx of workers, instead of a diaspora, an it was projected to grow more. So it came as a shock to me when I read the following article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1126636/MARY-ELLEN-SYNON-There-IS-country-worse–Ireland-destroyed-obscene-greed–Euro.html and saw that Irelands economy had tanked ,here it is attributed to Ireland’s adoption of the Euro, and to me, the non-economist, the evidence looks compelling.

This is what happens when politicians give away the right to control their own country. This is what the UN wants for the whole world, the UN which is run by a number of nobodies, trying to force their views on the rest of the world.

Michael Steele

On Steele

When I head the other day that the RNC had elected Michael Steele as its chairman I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I was afraid that they had chosen Mr. Steele to be a liberalizing factor, and to say that “Hey look Republicans aren’t racist.” However after scanning his blueprint for the Republican Party I have to say that I am impressed.

He seems to stand for traditional conservative values and stands against liberalizing the GOP as well for more accountability from its Politicians. He also calls for additional grassroots movements, as well as increased technological measures to spread the message.

The technological measures seem extremely important to me since in the last election Barak Obama came across as very techsavy with his Blackberry and all the talk of texting with the Hollywood celebrities, this makes him seem more modern and more connected to the modern world.  However most impressive is the use by Obama’s campaign of the electronic social mediums, FaceBook and MySpace. He used these very effectively to reach the younger age group of voters, and people who will be able to vote in the next election.

If the Republican Party and Mr. Steele can make up some of this gap I think we will be in a good position in 4 years.

So congratulations Republicans, you’re not just being copycats.

Patton

Stand Up!

Ladies and Gentlemen, standup! Standup and be proud!

While we may not like who is in the White House or what his goals are, remember that you are Americans.

Remember that you still live in the freest country in the world. Remember that.

Whether or not you agree with what your country is doing and saying, never let anyone convince you that it is not great to be an American. Standup and be proud of that. Standup and be Proud that you are an AMERICAN!

Anne Wortham (Center)

Final Thought

As a final thought I just wanted to close with this article that I got in an email, written by a profession that I never thought that I would agree with, a Sociologist.  I took one Sociology class in college and hated it, yet here I am agreeing, more or less with one:

ANNE WORTHAM

Anne Wortham is Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois State  University and continuing Visiting Scholar at Stanford University ‘s Hoover  Institution. She is a member of the American Sociological Association and the American Philosophical Association.

Dr. Wortham is author of “The Other Side of Racism: A Philosophical Study of Black Race Consciousness” which analyzes how race consciousness is transformed into political strategies and policy issues.

Fellow Americans,
Please know: I am black; I grew up in the segregated South. I did not vote  for Barack Obama; I wrote in Ron Paul’s name as my choice for president.  Most importantly, I am not race conscious. I do not require a black president to know that I am a person of worth, and that life is worth living. I do not require a black president to love the ideal of America .

I cannot join you in your celebration. I feel no elation. There is no smile on my face. I am not jumping with joy. There are no tears of triumph in my eyes. For such emotions and behavior to come from me, I would have to deny all that I know about the requirements of human flourishing and survival – all that I know about the history of the United States of America , all that I know about American race relations, and all that I know about Barack Obama as a politician. I would have to deny the nature of the “change” that Obama asserts has come to America.

Most importantly, I would have to abnegate my certain understanding that you have chosen to sprint do wn the road to serfdom that we have been on for over a century. I would have to pretend that individual liberty has no value for the success of a human life. I would have to evade your rejection of the slender reed of capitalism on which your success and mine depend. I would have to think it somehow rational that 94 percent of the 12 million blacks in this country voted for a man because he looks like> > them (that blacks are permitted to play the race card), and that they were  joined by self-declared “progressive” whites who voted for him because he doesn’t look like them.I would have to wipe my mind clean of all that I know about the kind of people who have advised and taught Barack Obama and will fill posts in his administration – political intellectuals like my former colleagues at the Harvard University ‘s Kennedy School of Government.

I would have to believe that “fairness” is equivalent of justice. I would have to believe that man who asks me to “go forward in a new spirit of service, in a new service of sacrifice” is speaking in my interest. I would have to accept the premise of a man that economic prosperity comes from the “bottom up,” and who arrogantly believes that he can will it into existence by the use of government force. I would have to admire a man who thinks the standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most productive and the generators of wealth.
Finally, Americans, I would have to erase from my consciousness the scene of 125,000 screaming, crying, cheering people in Grant Park, Chicago irrationally chanting “Yes We Can!” Finally, I would have to wipe all memory of all the times I have heard politicians, pundits, journalists, editorialists, bloggers and intellectuals declare that capitalism is dead – and no one, including especially Alan Greenspan, objected to their assumption that the particular version of the anti-capitalistic mentality that they want to replace with their own version of anti-capitalism is anything remotely equivalent to capitalism.

So you have made history, Americans. You and your children have elected a black man to the office of the pr esident of the United States , the wounded giant of the world. The battle between Jo hn Wayne and Jane Fonda is over – and that Fonda won. Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern must be very happy men. Jimmie Carter, too. And the Kennedys have at last gotten their Kennedy look-a-like. The self-righteous welfare statists in the suburbs can feel warm moments of satisfaction for having elected a black person.
So, toast yourselves: 60s countercultural radicals, 80s yuppies and 90s bourgeois bohemians. Toast yourselves, Black America. Shout your glee Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Duke, Stanford, and Berkeley . You have elected not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black man who, like the pragmatist Franklin Roosevelt, promises to – Do Something! You now have someone who has picked up the baton of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. But you have also foolishly traded your freedom and mine – what little there is left – for the chance to feel good.
There is nothing in me that can share your happy obliviousness.

Wow!

 

Cycle of Democracy?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been about 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-­1813)

We are at 221 years now…and on to selfishness, with apathy and dependence already showing themselves.

After doing a little internet research it seems that there is no definitive answer as to who wrote this quote. It has been attributed to a number of people over the years and is likely several different quotes stuck together, see http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html for a good essay on the quote.

The fact that the origin of this quote is not known does not detract from the implied ideas behind it, which are fundamentally sound, if not slightly skewed. We are seeing the effect of the realization that people can vote themselves money by voting for someone who promises the most benefits from the treasury. Obama’s idea of the redistribution of wealth is nothing new, however the fact that 56-58% of the US population voted for him indicates that people are less willing to work for what they want/need and want it given to them.

As for the times given for the life of Democracies, it varies more than the 200 year mark, some have said that this is the time frame of the Athenian Democracy, but the Athenian Democracy was not a continuous period, rather it was interrupted on several occasions by the rise of tyrants, who often initially had popular backing. So really it might be best to disregard the time frame.

However it is easy to see that we are working our way through the cycle, and that if we are not careful we will go on to become a nation bound up by our government, and dependent on them for the littlest things.

However let us not forget that:

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

Sir Winston Churchill


So I don’t really have any answers but I have seen the symptoms, and they frighten me.

Fast Food Police

Quick Rant

I happened to see a news article online the other day, talking about how Los Angeles, held firmly in the sway of granola munching liberals, was/is going to ban fast food restaurants from low-income areas. This is all done in the name of benevolence. They think that by removing these grease-traps from the landscape then it will lead to a healthier population.

It might do just that.

That doesn’t make it any less wrong. The idea that somebody from the government is going to tell you what you can and can’t eat. Does anybody remember when Ronald Reagan said: “ The 9 scariest words in the English language are ‘I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.'”

The fact that the government feels the need to tell us what to eat, how long can it be before they tell us what to wear, or drive … WAIT, they are already trying to tell us what to drive, what will be next?

If the people in the low-income areas want to eat fast food, let them. If they get fat it’s their own dang fault, they made the choice to eat there. If more people decided to eat healthy then the BK’s and McD’s of the world would find themselves forced to change by market pressures.

I am an overweight American. I am 6ft tall and my weight is currently around 237 down from 248 since last May, I think, (sometimes I go for a while without checking my weight).  I, however, don’t blame the fast food places … after all I chose to eat there. I need to have self-control and discipline in my diet.  I have completely cut out cola’s and I have greatly increased my intake of water.  I very seldom go to fast food restaurants any more … by my own choice.  No one told me I needed to do this … I had to do this.  No one shut down the fast food restaurants in my area.  In fact they still do pretty good business.

I guess what I’m getting at is that if people are unhappy with their weight they need to do some thing about it, and not wait for Uncle Sam to tell them what to do.

Apathy, Democracy and The Way Government Should Be

This is a collection of things that are just kind of ever present in my mind and bother me.

Apathy = Idiocy

Idiōtēs the ancient Athenians came up with this word to describe some one who was uninformed or didn’t care about the political proceedings of Polis. In recent months I have seen more and more Apathy ’08 bumper stickers on cars, including belonging to my own family. I sort of understand their reasoning but I have to disagree with it. They seem to think that since the candidate of their choice is no longer in the race then electing one of the remaining people will amount to choosing the lesser of the evils, and they believe there is something wrong with this. However I believe that you should intentionally choose the lesser because it is less likely to long-term major damage to the country. I feel that if you don’t vote, or vote for a candidate that has no chance in hell of winning then you should not be able to complain about what the eventual winner does. Of course both of my family members were probably Paulites, so if that’s the case than even in the primary they wasted their votes.

Democracy

It is interesting to me how people always seem to think that America is a democracy. Then again I also tend to believe that many people are uninformed idiots who believe anything that people will tell him. We are a Republic, we elect people to speak for us and we vote for them based on how we think they will stand on issues. If we don’t like how they did then we should vote them out of office. However even with Congress’ low approval rating there will probably be little turnover. Democrats being the majority party should suffer most but they will try to find a way to shift blame to the Republicans.

The Role of Government

This is one of those things that kind of irritates me. People like to say that the government should do this or that for them, the government should pay for their kids to go to school, or should pay so that their kids can have food. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me break it to you this way the only jobs that the government should do is to provide for the national defense, aka the Military, run a court system, and conduct foreign policy. There are several rights that should extend to everybody except felons. What are these right you might ask, well let me explain them to you.
1) The right to defend yourself, this means you should be able to own and carry a gun, knife or sword with no need for licensing, because an armed society is a polite society, and in a truly free society you should be able to defend yourself without worrying about what the court will say.
2) Freedom of religion, this means that you have the freedom to choose any religion you want and should be able to practice it anywhere you want and if someone is offended then they should GTH.
3) Freedom of speech, this means that the GOVERNMENT can not tell you what to say and what not to say, instead you are free to say whatever you want, however people are still free to take exception to what you say and sue you for libel and slander.
4) You have the right to find a job and work. You work or you starve. I think that pretty much explains it, I mean you could get charity from individuals or private charities but you should expect nothing from the state. It is not the job of the people who are actually out earning money to support you in your laziness.
5)The State can not agree to any treaties that will violate the basic rights of its citizens. So none of this crap about the UN outlawing guns, or mandating certain things that the US has to do, NONE OF THAT.

However that is just my ideal version of government I am to much of a realist to believe that it will ever work.

Democrats = Appeasers

So Democrats are bashing President Bush for his comments about negotiating with terrorists and radicals. They have a right to say what they believe, and it makes things simple for people like me because they sound like idiots. I was told growing up that “You got 2 ears and one mouth, so listen more than you talk.” However it seems that the Democrats never learned this.

In a speech to the Israeli Parliament President Bush included the following lines, which have drawn fire from Democrats, and their pet reporters;

“”Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Ok so Obama says that he is not saying that he will negotiate with terrorists, that’s all well and good, but he says nothing about the radicals, of which Iran is one, in fact he supports sitting down at the table with Iran, because if we discuss this like rational people Iran might decide that destroying Israel and The U.S.A. is not a good thing. What a load of crap. I have never considered Iran rational, and since they have espoused the idea that they should destroy Israel so many times I’m not exactly sure what, or even if, Obama is thinking.

Then there is the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton says something along the lines of “comparing any Democrat to Nazi appeasers is wrong.” Ok, so we are not allowed to call Democrats what they truly are, appeasers, so shall we call them spineless cowards, who have never studied history. The fact that people still believe that you can negotiate with people who have so clearly expressed their contempt as Iran has done for Israel and others, yet Democrats still want to negotiate with them. Of course Neville Chamberlin believed he could negotiate with Hitler after several overt acts of aggression including the annexation of the Sudetenland and the events of Kristallnacht. So to me it is still a viable comparison, calling Democrats appeasers, or spineless shortsighted fools, both work for me.

 

Science Fiction can Predict the Future!

This blog is something that I have been batting around in my head for a while now, and me sitting down to write it coincides perfectly with the conclusion of my term papers and Darren’s latest blog.

Cover of Falkenburgs Leigon

Sci-Fi writers can see the writing on the wall.

In the 1970’s Science Fiction writer Jerry Pournelle sat down and wrote a book entitled West of Honor and its sequel The Mercenary, which are combined into Falkenburg’s Leigon, these where the inaugural books in the popular CoDominium series, and where followed by Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell the Spartans, and Prince of Sparta the last two were written with S.M. Stirling, all of these are prequels to the best selling Mote in God’s Eye and The Gripping Hand.

These books where written during the Cold War and still make reference to the USSR. In this series the CoDominium is an alliance between the Soviets and America, in which the 2 countries essentially control the world. (Wikipedia has a good article on the back ground just search for CoDominium) My main concern with all of this is part of the internal structure of the USA at this point in time.

The stories start of in the 2040’s or 50’s and assume that humanity has colonized the stars. In the USA there are essentially 2 classes of Americans: Taxpayers and “Citizens.” The term “Citizen” as it is used here is a derogatory term, given to the class of people making up, what I guess to be, 60-80% of the population. I know that’s a wide range but he never gives any numbers that I can recall. The “Citizens” live in Welfare Islands where the government gives them money to live, they can get an education if they want and they can get a job, but once they get a job then they get kicked of the welfare rolls although they don’t necessarily have to pay taxes.

The Taxpayers, however, are the ones who reap all the major benefits. They usually have the largest share of power and get all kinds of perks from the government, because they float the system. This device is used in another prominent Sci-Fi series David Weber’s Honorverse, where this role is played by the Doles of the Peoples Republic of Haven.

It seems to me that this is unfortunately where America is headed. The more the upper class floats the government, and the more the government support the lower class, the less that the lower classes need to be involved in anything. If the government is going to give poor people who don’t work free money what do they care about who runs the government, as long as they get their share. Welfare creates a dangerous sense of entitlement and complacency when people believe they are owed something for doing NOTHING ! The very fiber of American society is coming undone. For America to be a land of equal opportunity it needs to be a land of equal contribution.

Now I realize that some people might say “But William, the poor can’t contribute as much as the rich!”

I understand that, and accept that. However equal does not always mean an equal amount. What if they just contributed the same percentage that everybody else did? What I’m talking about is a flat rate tax of 15-18%. I realize that some people dislike like paying taxes and think that it’s wrong and unconstitutional, but lets face it people … the government needs money to stay afloat or at least make an attempt at it.

Cover of Caliphate

Speaking of seeing the future

Author Tom Kratman has come out with a new book which has bumped it’s way to the top of my must read list. From what I can tell this book is set 100 or so years in the future when Europe, due to it’s declining birthrates, has become an Islamic territory. That’s about all I know, I did like his first book State of Disobedience and A Desert Called Peace, and Carnifex are on my list of books to read though it may be a while before I get to them. Kratman usually does a good job of writing books that make you think about government and I doubt these will be any different.