"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I've seen the light

I have finally seen the light and it is truly life changing; you might even call it an epiphany. It’s transformational. I get it; I mean I really get it. I finally understand what the board of health is trying to accomplish with this smoking ban and why their work is so important. I understand the mission now. They’re just trying to protect us from ourselves. We need their help. The community’s very health is at stake.

I feel so foolish for letting issues like liberty and personal property rights to cloud my vision and make me so blind to the truth. The scales have fallen of my eyes. I’m so glad we have the board of health to watch over us. I know some of you are thinking, what about freedom? Well, sometimes you have to look at the big picture. Even a surgeon has to cut things off now and then to bring about healing. Just consider this a little amputation of liberty for the greater good.

Think about it. There are more of us non-smokers so we are the majority, and it’s only a small infringement on the business owner’s property rights anyways. Yes, we could choose to go somewhere else but that is very inconvenient. Besides, they’ll be healthier in the end too and we’ll all have cleaner lungs. Now don’t start with that ‘does the end justify the means’ stuff. The business owners will probably secretly thank the board of health when all is said and done.

I know the number of smokers in the country has steadily declined over the past 40 years, probably due to education on the subject, but it’s just not happening fast enough. Sometimes you have to use some extraordinary methods to get where you want to go and if we lose a business or two along the way, it’s a small price to pay for a healthier Hopkins County.

Like it or not, you’ve got a friend in the Hopkins County Board of Health. They’ll do what ever it takes to make sure you’re healthy. They’re here to help you make those hard decisions and they’re very, very smart. They know what’s best for you. They've got your back. I don’t know about you but I’ll sleep more soundly tonight.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smoke em if You got em

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
--Thomas Jefferson

Make no mistake, if Ms. Miller and her fellow health Nazis thought there was a way that they could force you to quit smoking altogether then they would. After all, it’s for your own good; they only have your best interest at heart, right? Well, it seems our community’s good health is their quest even if they have to surgically remove our freedom and liberty to accomplish it.

Already, they are intensifying their efforts and tightening the language of the initial ban (surprise!) with no regard for the investments made by private businesses trying to comply with the regulation. Now that business owners have spent hard earned money to have separately ventilated smoking areas for people 21 and older, these “educated” people have decided that the current regulation doesn’t protect everyone.

Well guess what guys, some of us don’t want you to “protect” us, and in fact some of us think we need protecting from you. It’s only been a little over 60 days since the board of health implemented their little smoking ban and now they want to change it. How fickle! It’s no great shocker that this unelected body with no accountability to the people is so arbitrary and unreasonable in their decisions.

Don’t think for a minute that this new proposal is anything but an incremental strategy. They got their foot in the door with the initial ban and now they can modify it. According to The Messenger, Dr. Tristan Lineberry, chairman of the board’s smoke-free committee, said earlier this week that the proposal came about because Judge Brantley said the courts “uphold Board of Health regulations enacted for the purpose of protecting the public’s health.” So, the board was emboldened by the judge’s decision and decided to step up their time frame. There’s no time like the present for tyranny, right?

I also find Brantley’s litmus test frightening, he said the courts upheld “regulations enacted for the purpose of protecting the public’s health.” That’s a pretty big window, it’s very vague. So if the board declares something in the interest of public health, they can regulate and the court is going to back that up? Get out of town!?! Is there a fourth branch of government I wasn’t taught about?

I’ve never smoked a day in my life, but this unconstitutional usurping of power makes me want to smoke a carton of cigarettes. I’m soooo tired of this governmental arrogance, this elitist-I’m smarter than you and know what’s good for you crap. I guess the board of health needs a history lesson about prohibition. Enough talk already. Smoke em if you got em.

Catching Wild Pigs

There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class.

One day, while the class was in the lab, the Prof. noticed one of the exchange students who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what the matter was. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?' The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.

'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.

They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, then you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. 'Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.'

The young man then told the professor that was exactly what he seeing happening in America 'The government keeps pushing the people toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine , drugs, etc, etc, etc. while the people continue to lose their freedom - just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free Lunch ! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.' So, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America , you might want to take some action, tell your friends and family, exercise your right to vote, etc.

If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then do nothing and may God help you when the gates slam shut!

Listen closely to what the politicians are promising you - just maybe you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."-- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Modern Parable

Here's an email I read today, thought it was insightful and needed to be shared:

A Modern Parable.

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all t! he paddl es, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US The last quarter's results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Governor Steve Beshear violates the privacy of my home

This is a letter I submitted on 12-8-08 to the Madisonville Messenger in reference to the blocking of gambling websites in Kentucky. As of 12-17-08 they have not printed it.


"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against everyform of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson

Just like the fictional character, Howard Beale, in the 1976 movie Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” I am outraged. Why? I’ll tell you why. I sat down at MY computer the other night, in the privacy of MY own home to play some online poker, a little Texas holdem to be exact. I had received an email about a special promotion and I wanted to check it out. This is the message I received when I attempted to access that website:

Thanks for visiting AbsolutePoker.com.Unfortunately, this website can no longer be accessed from within the state boundaries of Kentucky.If you are not trying to access this site from within Kentucky, or if you feel you have received this message in error, please contact support@absolutepoker.com.

What? So I went to the other website that was running a similar promotion and this is what I saw:

Thanks for visiting UltimateBet.com.Unfortunately, this website can no longer be accessed from within the state boundaries of Kentucky.If you are not trying to access this site from within Kentucky, or if you feel you have received this message in error, please contact support@ultimatebet.com

Alright, this is completely nuts. I knew the governor wanted control of 140 plus domain names so he could keep the money in Kentucky. Yes, that’s his argument. In fact I wrote a letter to the editor about it back in October, but I had hoped that that lunacy would not become reality. Well guess what? Little Stevie Beshear from Dawson Springs got his way. He got the court to go along with his madness and rule that these gaming sites either block the residents of Kentucky or surrender their domain names to the state. Hey Stevie, that’s called extortion and it’s not the way to win friends and influence people.

What’s next? Are you going to block Amazon.com or maybe eBay because the money’s going out of Kentucky? Why don’t you just block the road to Evansville or Nashville to prevent shopping there or at least erect a toll booth to charge these unfaithful consumers who are spending money outside the state? How dare they! Uh oh, I have to stop myself, I certainly don’t want to give little Stevie any ideas.

C’mon, is THIS the pride of Dawson Springs and Hopkins County? Is THIS the future of Kentucky? Isn’t this America, the land of the free or do we even know or care what it means to be free anymore? This thug violated the privacy of my HOME, using the power of the state, to dictate to me what I could and could not do in my leisure time with MY money; but it’s ok if I go to the race track or one of the other “state sanctioned” facilities or websites like twinspires.com. What hypocrisy!

I challenge any liberal democrat that voted for this tyrant to defend his actions. Please, please try and justify him. Show us all how you think. Tell us that you think it’s ok in the United States of America to come into a man’s home and criminalize his behavior when he is harming no one. Tell us that little Stevie has our best interest at heart and is doing this to protect Kentucky. I dare you. While you’re at it, how about telling YOUR governor, your home town boy, to spend his time policing a real internet crime, like catching child pornographers and leave the poker players alone. Oh and someone needs to share a history lesson or two with little Stevie and remind him that he was elected governor not King.

Out of control government

This letter was printed in early November in the Madisonville Messenger

“It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.” – Thomas Jefferson

I’m writing this letter for the benefit of Dorothy Putty and those like her who seem to have missed the whole point in reference to the smoking ban in Hopkins County. My opposition to the smoking ban has never been about smoking itself or the arguments about second hand smoke, but about over reaching out of control government, specifically the actions of our board of health.

I am and have always been a NON-smoker and if Ms. Putty had actually read my letter about my children she would know this. I grew up with a smoking father and I probably have a slight allergy to smoke. I think smoking is a stinky habit and I don’t enjoy eating with smoke in my face any more than the next person, but I don’t think we need more government regulation of the private business owner. Instead, I choose to trust the American free enterprise system and the profit motive of the merchant. I know he or she wants me to have a good experience in their establishment so they can extract some of my money and hopefully I’ll come back and bring some friends too. If I have a negative experience that cannot be resolved I simply take my hard earned money and walk. If the business owner suffers enough loss, they’ll change their behavior or go out of business. That’s the free market at work.

Now as far as the soda pop illustration in my last letter, it was certainly not a comparison between smoking and soda. It was satire. I was demonstrating the absurd by being absurd. I find it absolutely absurd that in the United States of America, we would allow an unelected group of people to make law and I was speculating about how far reaching that action could be. I opened that particular letter with a totally fictitious quote from Robin the Boy Wonder; now one would think that should have been a pretty good clue of what was in store further in the letter. Maybe Ms. Putty also thinks Robin really said “these Health Department goons really believe they have the right to make law” since she obviously doesn’t get it. The point of everything I’ve written about the smoking ban was and has been about ever expanding government control. In this case, our board of health, an unelected body, is operating outside the constitution.

Ms. Putty says we need to “put up our crazy arguments”, but I don’t think it’s crazy to argue for our liberty. I think America needs a good healthy common sense debate about the role of government in our lives. I can argue all day long for freedom’s sake, it is only ink I’m spilling, some men and women have spilled their blood. How can I in good conscience remain silent when some seem so willing to throw away our freedom over an issue of convenience? It’s just smoke. If you are uncomfortable then say something to the manager/owner, move to another table or take your money and leave but don’t trade something that people died to obtain. Stop asking the government to solve every problem for you. When you do you surrender your power.

Putty continues with “just have enough common decency to consider other people.” Is it common decency to trample on private citizens property rights? Have you considered the impact of this smoking ban on private business owners? Or is that a price you’re willing to pay to serve your convenience? Is it common decency for the Board of Health, a body that has no accountability to voters, to enact law which does not reflect the will of the people?

Finally, if my arguments are as Ms. Putty says, “along the lines of ignorance”, I consider it a privilege to be counted with men such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and our other founding fathers who believed in a loose limited government also. I'll walk in their shadow any day, and if that’s ignorance, so be it.

Holy Smokes! Another letter to the editor

I sent this letter to the editor on October 25th

Holy smokes Batman, these Health Department goons really believe they have the right to make law. Don’t they know that their job is to educate not legislate? -- Robin, the Boy Wonder

What clarity! I have to agree with Batman’s faithful sidekick, this issue is so simple that even a child gets it. The Hopkins County Board of Health on the other hand, seems to lack such wisdom. In their zeal to protect our health, they forgot that any power not specifically given them is reserved to the people.

Maybe next they decide that something needs to be done about the consumption of soda pop. We all know it’s not good for you, its liquid sugar! Soda is probably one of the leading causes of onset Diabetes in this country. So “to protect and improve the health of the people”, the Health Department bans the drinking of soda at restaurants. Sound crazy and far fetched? That’s the road we are placing ourselves on if we let this smoking ban stand. I don’t know about you, but I want off the bus NOW!

Smoking Ban in Madisonville KY

This letter was printed in early October in the Madisonville Messenger in reference to the board of health's implementng a smoking ban in the county.

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal well meaning but without understanding.
-- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

This citizen of Madisonville and 25 year resident of Hopkins County is more than a little concerned at the state of affairs in our county government. As a non smoker, I gladly signed the recent petition to stop the smoking ban that the board of health seeks to implement. Why? Why would a non smoking father of five beautiful children oppose a smoking ban? It’s simple; I believe there is a much greater risk to my children than second hand smoke.

What concerns me for my children is elected officials who have the obligation and duty to cast an up or down vote but choose instead to pass the buck so they can’t be held accountable by voters. This is typical political maneuvering and this dereliction of duty should be swiftly rewarded next election. What concerns me, no frightens me for my children is unelected groups of people who believe they can arbitrarily make a law and then have it enforced. They think they’re smarter than the free market, smarter than Hopkins county residents, smarter than private business owners; they think we need them to make our decisions for us. They show a complete disregard for private property rights because they’re doing “what’s best for us.” They justify their means with a supposedly beneficial end.

You see, I have greater concerns for my children than second hand smoke and its effects. I’m concerned with the erosion of liberty and the rule of law. I’m concerned that this great republic called America is incrementally being transformed into something quite different, something our fathers and grandfathers would not recognize, a place where my children will no longer be free. What good are clean lungs if you are not free?

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