"Sound Stage Live at Chicago: Whole Concert" (opens in separate window)

the democracy myth

friday, december 21st, 2018

would you prefer to live in a country that has a high degree of individual liberty but is not a democracy, or live in a democracy where individual liberties are curtailed?

A major reason for the Brexit move by the U.K. was the feeling among many British that they had lost much of their democracy and liberty to European Union (EU) bureaucrats. In the United States, many are demanding more voter enfranchisement, mainly because of the Electoral College, which is not based on an equal weighting per person among the states.


Before the British handed over Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997 (albeit with a 50-year treaty specifying two political systems – one for Hong Kong and one for China), the residents of Hong Kong enjoyed much individual freedom and basic civil liberties, strong protections for private property, the rule of law and a competent and honest civil service. What they did not have was democracy because they were British subjects ruled (ever so lightly) from London. Under British management, Hong Kong went from a poor place to a rich one – and few objected to the governing system (which was in effect a very benign dictatorship).

In recent years, the Chinese have reneged on some of their promises in the transfer treaty and have interfered with some of the basic liberties enjoyed by those who live in Hong Kong. This is fueling demands by residents of Hong Kong for democracy. In the absence of a benevolent king, democracy with all its imperfections seems to be the best that mankind can come up with. Or as Winston Churchill put it: “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Most people don't have trouble seeing what's right and what's wrong; doing it is sometimes complicated, but knowing what's right usually isn't so hard.

Governments are created to protect person and property, and to ensure liberty. Democracy is a partial means to that end, not the end in itself. Simple majoritarian democracies have a record of running over rights of minorities, including economic minorities. From the time of the ancient Greek city-states, democracies have been established from time to time, but have never lasted. Those longer-lived modern democracies have all restricted the voter franchise in one way or another until recent years. In the United States, originally, the voting franchise was limited to male property owners. Finland was the first country to give women the right to vote back in 1906, and those very democratic Swiss did not give the women the right to vote until 1971.

Under unrestrained democracy, majorities can tax or regulate minorities almost out of existence, or vote for people who destroy the democracy – as did the Germans in voting for Hitler, and the Venezuelans in voting for Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The American Founding Fathers were well aware of the failures of previous attempts to create democracies, which is why they established the United States as a constitutional federal republic rather than a direct democracy.

Political jurisdictions most often lose their democratic independence because of the unsustainable spending and debt. Countries such as Argentina and Greece have given up part of their fiscal sovereignty to the IMF and to both foreign government and private creditors. In the United States, judges have taken power away from elected officials when local governments have gone bankrupt. Some states, such as Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut, are facing a fiscal crises largely because of too generous and underfunded government employee pensions, so it probably is only a matter of time before judges, rather than elected officials, are running these states.

If a liberal-demokkkRAT idiot fell into a pond, and hopefully drowned, they'd be skimming stupid off the surface for a week.

Successful democracies require informed and engaged electorates who have a reasonable grasp of the issues and access to their representatives. The United States and the EU have grown so large that most citizens no longer have access to the politicians at the national level who rule much of their lives — hence, the growing discontent with their governments.

Democracies seem to work best in smaller political entities like the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland, where access and influence is still possible by ordinary citizens. The U.S. and other large democracies should engage in a massive devolution of power to the smaller units of governments (i.e. states and towns) to regain legitimacy in the minds of many voters.

Many Swiss are sufficiently alarmed about the loss of their sovereignty that they voted on a referendum this past Sunday that would have required Swiss law to take precedence over international law and treaties. The proposal went down to defeat because many thought it was too far-reaching, but even so, about a third of the Swiss population voted for it. (Note: the Swiss Constitution, passed in 1848 and somewhat modeled after the U.S. Constitution, requires referendums on all major questions – with the requirement that not only a majority of the people vote for the proposal but also that a majority of the cantons {states} also vote “yes” – which provides an additional bulwark against irresponsibility).

Both too much and too little democracy contain the seeds of its own destruction. Finding the proper balance is an enduring task.

© November 26, 2018 The Washington Times, LLC Richard W. Rahn.

A Day In The Life.

Awake and up at 7:30a on Friday, I made coffee, had a smoke in the garage while the coffee drip-brewed, and opened-up the condo. It was a balmy 37°F with extremely dense fog. Visibility was about 100ft. I listened to the "Chris Plante Show", as usual, checked my file for my 2p app't the surgeon at PSU-Hershey to make sure I had all the Wellspan Health System paperwork he might need, in addition to all the recent PSU-Hershey Medical Center tests, ops and procedures, which he'd have access to in the Penn State Health System records.

You do know that recycling is a scam, don't you? Most doesn't make it to a recycling center; most goes to an incinerator, with all the other garbage.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Becky and I left for PSU-Hershey at 12noon, and headed north on I-83, then east on PA-322, to the massive complex, for the 2:15p app't. After an enlightening 45min mtg, we left in the heavy, dense fog and rain, just in the middle of rush hour. There's a 50/50 chance I'm going to have my Gall Bladder out, now. I'll know more at the Anesthesia Clinic, in mid-February, when my GI Dr and Minimally-Invasive Surgeon confer w/ me. I just couldn't survive another Pancreatitis Attack again.

The rain continued. I heated-up Chinese food for Becky and me, and after talking about the day's medical information, she left for home. I did some paperwork, watched "Gold Rush" on Discovery Channel and "Ancient Aliens" on History Channel, until 11:30p, took my Rx pills, and went to La-La Land.

This new offering from History Channel – "Project Blue Book" – is going to be a good one.

Merry Christmas!

I slept-in until 8:15a on Saturday, turned-up the heat, made coffee and checked the weather and news. 43°F and still raining, and had been throughout the nite. 2" and counting, but at least it's If you've got nothing to do, find something to do. If it's not important, make it important. not snow or ice. I went to the cleaners to p/u shirts, Weis Market to get fruit, and stopped at Spartan Computer to see if they could take my other HP commercial/industrial desktop – identical to the one I'm on now – and download all the MS updates, patches etc, before MS Extended Support ends in January 2020. I watched a whole evening's "Ancient Aliens" episodes on History Channel until 11p, took my evening's Rx pills, and headed upstairs to sleep, as the rain came down harder. That's 25hrs, 2¾" so far.

Up at 7:30a on Sunday, it was still raining and 40°F; one of these rainy nights, temps are going to drop below 32°F and we'll all wake-up to a snowy wonderland nightmare of 2-3ft of snow and ice. I bumped-up the heat to 76°F;, made much-needed drip coffee, had oatmeal with fresh red raspberries and blueberries, and checked the weather and news. The usual routine. I went up to take a shower, and the Rheem® Tankless Water Heater, installed in 2009, clicked-off, went from 116°F to 0°F and I got ice water after 6-7mins. Just like Scout Camp in the 50s. I dried-off, went down to the basement, reset the power switch on the temperature controller, and went back up to finish my shower. It happened again – twice more, sonofabitch!! – and I finally got rinsed-off, dried-off, dressed, put in a load of laundry, and went down to call a local Rheem® Dealer, whom I talked to about the problem back in August, and who was on-call today. He'll set-up an on-site service tomorrow. The rain continued. 3¼" in the garden's rain gauge.

No errands for the day, so I stayed-in and got a bunch of condo chores done. I'll be working in the basement tomorrow, with Karen, one of my cleaning ladies, to tidy-up all the boxes, piles and stacks Every day which goes by, I now miss a beloved person or a favorite pet, who has died, either prematurely or of old age, and is now gone forever from my Life on this earthly place. I mourn their passing, but rejoice in the fact that we once crossed paths and shared Life, Love and Companionship, together. of "stuff", from the condo rehab. I had an egg salad on toast sandwich for lunch, and heated-up Chinese steamed pork dumplings and shrimp toast for an afternoon snack. Finally, the rain stopped, and the week ahead will be in the 40s, with nighttime temps in the upper-20s. "American Pickers" was on all-day with some old and new episodes I somehow hadn't seen, so at 6p, I fired-up the 82" Samsung, and watched until 11:30p, then closed down. Time for sleep.

Awake and up at 8a on Monday, I made coffee, skipped breakfast. Becky showed-up at 9 w/ meatloaf and asparagus, Karen arrived at 10a to help me in the basement, Mike (HVAC Co) arrived at 11a to flush-out and replace some parts on my 10–yr old Rheem® Tankless Water Heater – which probably has 1-2yrs to go (installed 6/18/08), and needs replacing – and UPS was delivering packages all day long. Karen and I got about 90% of the basement done, and she'll be back Friday after her real job, to help me finish. By 6p, I was tired and had to stop for the day. The 6 freezer baskets arrived, and I quickly ordered 6 more on Amazon Prime, for delivery Wednesday, so when Lee's here on Thursday, we'll have enough to get the garage's Kenmore® 15 cu. ft. Chest Freezer cleaned out and reorganized.

I had some warmed-up Chinese food for dinner, backed-up my computer and 2 external drives in the Norton 365 Cloud, watched "American Pickers" and "Curse of Oak Island" on History Channel, took my evening Rx pills at 11p, and called it a day.

Up at 8a on Tuesday, I made coffee, had a few containers of Ensure® MAX Protein Shake, fired-up the furnace, and checked the weather and news. It was a sunny day, for a change, but still in the mid-30s. I didn't feel well, and had no appetite, so I just had the protein shakes. Several people called to have breakfast, but I politely declined, and laid back down on the couch, while listening to the "Chris Plante Show" on WMAL/DC. I needed to get out, walk and get some fresh air, but was too tired. Maybe later.

I did get-up, went out, swept the oak leaves off the front porch, walk and driveway, helped a UPS driver find a corner condo unit w/ no visible numbers on it, and walked around the Complex in the brisk, cold air. I also fueled-up the Jeep, with 20gals of regular gas at $2.09/gal. That helped a little. I had another Protein Shake, just to get something in my stomach. But I still had no food appetite, and felt bummed-out, for some reason. I guess I'm just missing Mom & Dad, this Holiday Season.

By 3p, I was hungry and heated-up some Chicken Lo Mein Soup, which led to Shrimp Toast and Steamed Pork Dumplings. Satiated, I went out for a short walk, got the mail and drove to the massive USPS Facility, just down the road to mail some bills. Traffic was extra heavy and will get a whole lot worse in the coming days before Christmas. I've been thru the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping traffic nightmares, and know what's just ahead. I watched the new episodes of "Curse of Oak Island" on History Channel, took my 5 evening Rx pills at 11:45p, and called it just another day.

I have seen things, few people would believe – a young mother cat suckling her newborn kittens, violent tornadoes & hurricanes up-close and personal, whole hummingbird families in their tiny nests, Spring grass blades poking through a fresh "onion snow", active volcanoes on Hawaii, a Space Shuttle launch which exploded on take-off, and thousands more things – all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain, when I die.

Up at 7a on Wednesday, I fired-up the furnace to 76°, and with a cold 24° outside, the condo's temp had dropped to 69° (I set it down to 65° at night. I made coffee, took my 16 morning Rx pills, skipped breakfast again, and had several Ensure® MAX Protein Shakes while I scanned the Net news and weather. After a real nice, hot shower, I did some condo chores, listened to WMAL's "Chris Plante Show" on 630 AM/ 105.9 FM, and updated the day's to-do list.

Merry Christmas!

The additional 6 freezer baskets arrived, and I got all the other tools – heavy, lined leather gloves, hammer, flat screwdriver – I'd need to attack the "bottom shit" in that 90's garage Kenmore® 15 cu. ft. Chest Freezer. More stuff had arrived via UPS and FedEx, and the front porch was loaded. One-by-one, I opened all those boxes and shipping bags, and put the stuff where it needed to be, after I got back from some errands. Traffic is very heavy, and tomorrow Friday, it's to be 75% heavier. So I'll be staying home.

I got an email from Becky that another of our cousins, Charles Eckhard in NJ, died from Congestive Heart Failure, this morning. RIP, Charles.

I watched "American Sniper" (2014), "Law Abiding Citizen" (2009) – one of the most amazing, hair-raising movies I've ever seen! – and "London Has Fallen" on TNT, and wrapped it all up at 10p. Busy day tomorrow.

Up at 6a on Thursday, I fired-up the furnace, made coffee, took my morning regimen of Rx pills, and scanned the weather and news, as usual. I downloaded 167 emails, 100 of which I'd previously tagged as "junk", and they obediently went into that folder, and answered those in inbox needing a quick reply. I'll get to the rest later today, after Lee and I get the garage freezer emptied, reorganized into the baskets, and the rest/old stuff thrown out.

Sing, liberal dumbf•cks

I got all the other garbage bags, recyclables etc ready at the garage door, Lee showed-up at 10, and within 1½ hours, we had the freezer emptied, categorized into 11-of-12 baskets, all ice chipped and scooped-out from inside the chest freezer, and all 11-of-12 baskets restacked. Wow; ancient frozen stuff thrown out, going back to 2008-09. Much better without it. Yuk.

Law is in the court room; justice in the alley.

Temps have remained in the mid-30s, since this morning, and by 12noon, it started raining. ***FLOOD ALERT*** were all over the Net, CATV and radio. I listened to Rush from 12-3p, but missed the "Chris Plante Show" from 9-12, and will get his podcast, later this afternoon. Rain is forecasted to run thru Friday night/Saturday morning, and have a nice weekend in the low-50s. Just downright balmy, and weird weather patterns. Must be why these leftist-liberal dumbf•cks are singing "Climate Change Carols", and idiotically rewriting our language on a "Weather Rock". Heh.

I had a Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup for a late lunch. The rain started around 1p, and continued heavily into the evening. Temps started dropping through the upper-to-mid 30s, and it "smelled like snow", outside. Sherry stopped by with a Christmas Card for me, and gave me a "Holiday Hug". (That's what we call it.)

Can liberals be preppers? Not really; it's funny, go ahead and watch it.

Merry Christmas to you, and yours.

Crop Crapping

E. Coli Bacteria

Lettuce, cauliflower recalled from California farm linked to romaine E. coli outbreak.

The strain of E. coli causing the current outbreak in romaine lettuce has been found in a reservoir on a farm in Santa Barbara County, California, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

The agencies are continuing to investigate other possible sources, and the CDC still advises consumers not to eat romaine lettuce grown in California's Monterey, San Benito and Santa Barbara counties until investigations are complete.

“We cannot say how many cases are linked to this specific farm at this time,” said Ian Williams, chief of the CDC’s outbreak response and prevention branch. “We have to do additional work at this farm and other farms that are being identified from our investigation.”

Properly labeled romaine grown outside those three counties and harvested after November 23, as well as romaine grown in greenhouses or hydroponically, should all be safe from contamination, the CDC said. The earlier warning against eating romaine from California’s San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties has been lifted.

Almost Killed Chipotle Chain

The agency stressed that consumers should continue to avoid any romaine lettuce not labeled with the harvest date and location.

The CDC has identified another seven illnesses since its update December 6, bringing the total people infected with E. coli to 59 across 15 states and the District of Columbia. The last reported illness was November 16. There have been 23 hospitalizations and two cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

While calling it “premature” to call the outbreak over, Williams said it was a good sign that the most recently identified cases were in the same time period as the main outbreak.

“We’re hopeful that it’s moving in the right direction,” he said. “It’s still too early to tell.”

The first cases in this outbreak were identified in October. Cases have been reported in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

More potential sources

Water and sediment at the irrigation reservoir on the property of Adam Bros. Family Farms in Santa Maria tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 that was a nearly identical genetic match to the strain found in people who have fallen ill, Williams said.

But the contaminated water at that farm does not fully explain all of the illnesses, nor do the agencies know how the reservoir became contaminated with the bacteria.

“We don’t believe this is the only location involved in the outbreak,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, senior adviser to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. The investigation has identified 11 distributors, nine growers and eight farms as potential sources.

In the meantime, Adam Bros. is recalling all produce that may be contaminated. “They have committed to recalling products that may have come into contact with water from the water reservoir where the outbreak strain was found,” the FDA said Thursday.

On Friday, the company said in a statement that it is recalling red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested from November 27 through November 30 “out of an abundance of caution.”

Many of the affected individuals ate more than one meal of romaine across a number of restaurants, the CDC said, further complicating the trace-back investigation.

E. coli infection symptoms

E. coli are a diverse family of bacteria that can be found in the environment, in foods and in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains are harmless.

To avoid becoming infected with a harmful strain, the CDC recommends using proper hygiene; cooking meat at proper temperatures; avoiding raw milk and unpasteurized dairy products and juices; and not swallowing water when swimming.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which usually begin about three or four days after consuming the bacteria, can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC.

Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days, though the particular strain of E. coli in the California outbreak tends to cause more severe illness.

Subhuman Trannie Filth: Boys Can Have Periods Too.

School children will be taught that "all genders" can have periods in new sex education lessons, in a victory for transgender rights campaigners. (This article is from The Telegraph.)

The advice to teachers was approved by Brighton & Hove City Council as they try to tackle stigma around menstruation.

The new advice follows a council report which said: "Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods", adding that "menstruation must be inclusive of all genders".

Make Me F•cking Vomit.

Bins used for menstruation products will be provided in all toilets for children, according to the report.

It also calls for transgender students and pupils to be provided with additional support from a school nurse if needed.

The report recommends that "language and learning about periods is inclusive of all genders, cultures, faiths and sexual orientations. For example; ‘girls and women and others who have periods'".

Brighton & Hove City Council said in a statement: "By encouraging effective education on menstruation and puberty, we hope to reduce stigma and ensure no child or young person feels shame in asking for period products inside or outside of school if they need them.

"We believe that it’s important for all genders to be able to learn and talk about menstruation together… Our approach recognises the fact that some people who have periods are trans or non-binary."

The same council also recently released a "Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit" to help teachers treat gender identity sensitively.

It asks teachers to be respectful and inclusive of children who are questioning their gender, and tells them that purposefully not referring to children by their preferred pronoun or name can constitute harassment.

The toolkit also recommends schools adopt a non-gendered uniform so all children feel included, and to reduce bullying.

Tory MP David Davies told The Mail on Sunday that it was "insanity" for teachers to tell pupils that transgender boys can have periods.

He said: "Learning about periods is already a difficult subject for children that age, so to throw in the idea girls who believe they are boys also have periods will leave them completely confused."

However, leading doctors have previously recommended that primary school children are taught about LGBT issues.

Earlier this year, the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health (RCPCH) urged minister go further in their guidance on sex and relationship classes, which will become compulsory from 2020.

Draft Government recommendations say schools are free to determine how they address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, ensuring teaching is “sensitive and age-appropriate”.

The Royal College said: “There needs to be a clear statement that LGBT people and relationships are part of teaching about healthy relationships in primary school. This can be demonstrated in relation to families – but also it is helpful to children to learn the meaning of terms such as lesbian, gay and bisexual”.

Fake Liberal Media BS

The most insidious power of the corrupt, criminal liberal media, is the power to ignore the truth.

Here, have some fun. Something stinks within America's newsrooms. It's the stench of liberal bias permeating the so-called mainstream media. From lies and deceit to distortions and character assassinations, the liberal media dish out leftist BS to drive their radical agenda.

Chris Plante, host of The Chris Plante Show on WMAL (DC) from 9-12, weekdays, said, "The most insidious power the media has, if the power to ignore." Think about what that really means and you can readily see what an evil force the corrupt, criminal, liberal-demokkkRAT-controlled, butt-kissing, fawning circlefest media assholes, are.

Think you can detect it? Take some serious time and read/scan these articles and find out just how much BS the liberal media are dishing out. Wear your hip-waders; the bullshit is real deep!

Valid CSS!

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict