Monday, November 12, 2012

Santa Claus and the rented mule

Hierarchy of Needs
Public versus Private Troughs
The case of Santa Claus and the rented mule
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

             The night was too long.
            The expectation was mildly optimistic, but the outcome was painfully disappointing. The prognostications didn’t play out in any shape or form. I might as well have stayed home and eaten Brussels sprouts rather than cast a single vote. Based upon my contribution to winning columns, I scored only two victories.
. By 4:30 Wednesday morning, I was climbing the walls so I made coffee. I left and headed to the ranch. I found myself sitting on a trough in the ‘Thinkers’ position. I came to no good conclusion. I simply couldn’t find any common ground with half the people in my country.
Hierarchy of Needs
A good portion of college is something that I don’t look back upon with fondness. The image I have parallels the actions of the idiot played by Jerry Van Dyke in a John Wayne movie. That character had come home from college and he was demonstrating all the newest and greatest things in order to solidify his standing with the Duke’s unmarried daughter. While he was playing to an audience of girls and old women in the parlor, the men were out back smoking, drinking, and fighting. Of course, big John preferred the company of the crew out back kicking dirt.
If the year had been 1943 or later rather than the late 1800s of the movie setting, the idiot would have no doubt entered into a riveting discourse about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Only the learned college elite can possibly understand the implications of Maslow’s theory.
My first encounter with it went hand in hand with the bota bag groupies that today fill the ranks of those other Americans with whom I have little in common There we sat discussing it as if the subject was important. The long haired, wire rimmed scholars viewed it as pertinent to something. They were enchanted.
The theory was presented in that classic triangular presentation with the most basic requirements for life forming the base. It was in there the lowest level needs were listed. Food, water, some degree of personal security and even breathing were elements of that foundation. 
The next layer up included a higher level of security. One example would include security of employment. Other matters of security would add things like security of resources and family to the listing. Even morality could be considered a feature of this level.
In ascending layers above that point would, in order, include love and a sense of belonging, esteem, and finally self-actualization. In each of the higher levels, the debate grew more intense. It was there the parallel to the idiot in the John Wayne movie blossomed. Deep thinking and profound ambiguity erupted. Alas, we were elevated above the commons and our importance became solidified. Educated elitism was taking root. Only the most educated could possibly engage in the self-actualization discussions much less understand the implications.
“Heavy stuff, man!”
By the time I revisited this idea and had some real world knowledge to apply to the theorem, my view of it changed. At that point, the realization that each level was distinct and disconnected from the previous level became more interesting to me. It became my belief that once a level was successfully gained all previous importance attached to lesser levels was completely removed from motivational concerns. They were forgotten and didn’t impact personal actions at all. The only thing that was important from that point was the next level. The components of it seemed to be the only thing important.
In the worst case, the analogy is a drug abuser. Nothing is more important than the need to secure the next shot of the drug … the next level of the continuum of the hierarchy of needs.
Our country faces the same dilemma.
The Campaign is over … what comes next?
There was absolutely no rational justification for electing this president. There was less rationale for reelecting him.
Hope, Bill Clinton’s legacy, George Bush’s hatred, and a hugely corrupted press contributed to phenomenon we have witnessed. Those components, though, were simply contributory and manipulative forces of the outcome. The susceptibility displayed by the citizenry is the real concern.
This campaign is over. Surely this press cannot underwrite yet more campaigning as the sole feature of its support for what … hope? Hope relates to an inner human yearning not a national agenda.
Yes, a world tour can be planned. There could be a whirlwind of stops to read words, but at some point business needs to take place. Seemingly insurmountable issues remain when that adulation tour comes to an end.
The national debt exceeds the gross domestic product. There is no budget. There is no energy plan. There is no plan for countering infrastructure decadence.
There are plans for harsher energy regulations. There are plans for harsher EPA regulations. There are plans for permanently nixing the Keystone Pipeline. There are plans for increasing layers of regulations by land management agencies. There are plans for accelerating the salvation of the natural world while there is time … and money to accomplish such a nebulous task.
There is also the pending fiscal cliff that becomes stark reality starting January 1, 2013 when the combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts commence. Already one rating agency has threatened to downgrade yet again our national debt quality if actions are not taken to counter that pending debacle.
In 1970 entitlement spending (not including legislative promises inclusive of Social Security and Medicare) cost American taxpayers about $10 billion annually. This year that outflow of public wealth will reach $560 billion. With no budget, those who have come to fear tax day have no choice but to conclude the trend in redistribution of sweat and tears is not just linear … it is exponential.
Maslow extended and the mule truth about Santa Claus
The Maslow model is now more interesting to me than it should be. Maybe interesting is the wrong word. Perhaps frightening is more correct.
            Those of us who tend to believe in Santa Claus are much maligned by the segment of the population that places permanent claim on Progressivism. It is yet another realm of our existence that isn’t fashionable, but we do develop strong positions when the evidence becomes irrefutable.
For example, there is now conclusive evidence that 50% of the citizenry in our midst is elevated to some subsequent, perhaps undefined level of the theorem. We are left with no choice but to conclude they could care less about the cost to society. They care even less about who and where the national wealth comes from to finance their standing.  All they know is that the safety net has become reliable so it must be real and it must be permanent. And, we are the ones vilified by our insistence that Santa Claus is real!
Santa Claus is real only on the basis of reciprocal utility and the character of the actual benefactor. If he is treated like a rented mule, he is less likely to continue to play the part. In fact, he may revert to acting and demonstrating mule tendencies. No amount of legislation or regulatory demand will alter that natural trait. You can hit him. You can hurt him, but his mule traits will not budge if he is not a partner to the trade.
He also becomes dangerous. At some point, and at some time, he will get even.
This morning
Now, days after the fact, I don’t feel any better. My time at the trough in the ‘Thinkers’ position accomplished nothing. I am much better off just working.
If anything, I trust all news less. We haven’t even turned on the news since Tuesday night. The press has assured us of continued impasse.
We are saddled with a loosely identifiable president with no historical tracks. We have party leadership that has demonstrated they cannot conceptualize any plan much less implement a realistic one. And, we have an electorate that clearly prefers the public trough over independence.
There is the point! At least my trough remains private … for the moment.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “There is no logic in this continuing nightmare, and, worse yet … there is no fix.”


On the other hand, there is this from the 10th Amendment Center:

Never Give Up, Hold That Line!

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution submitted by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.
“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
They drew a line in the sand.
Two days later, the Congress would approve the Declaration of Independence, and on Aug. 2, 1776, 56 delegates signed the document.
Looking back across more than 230 years of history, most Americans probably don’t grasp the magnitude of what the colonists did on that July day. By drawing a firm line in the sand and declaring independence, the Americans stood up and directly challenged the most powerful nation in the world.
They had to know it meant war.
They must have felt fear.
I wonder if their hands trembled ever so slightly as they grasped the quill and inked their name permanently on the parchment.
Drawing lines in the sand is not for the faint of heart.
The Declaration of Independence wasn’t the end of the story. It was the opening verse. America would endure eight years of war before she won her hard-fought independence and made the Declaration a reality.
Richard Stockton of New Jersey signed the Declaration of Independence. In November of 1776, loyalists drug him from his bed and turned him over to the British. He refused pledge obedience to King George the III and earn a pardon. He was shackled and treated as a common criminal.
George Walton of Georgia signed the Declaration of Independence. He suffered wounds during the Battle of Savannah in 1778, and the British took him prisoner.
John Witherspoon of New Jersey signed the Declaration of Independence. His eldest son, James Witherspoon, died in the Battle of Germantown in 1777.
The British captured three of the four signers from South Carolina during the siege of Charleston and forced them to endure terrible conditions as POWs. Many signers saw their homes burned down, their possessions confiscated,  their friends and family members killed.
They held that line in the sand at great cost.
On Nov. 6, 2012, voters in six states drew a line in the sand.
The citizens of Alabama, Montana and Wyoming told Washington D.C. that they refuse to acknowledge federal “authority” to mandate the purchase of health insurance, or force them into a national health care plan. Voters in Massachusetts told the feds that they don’t accept federal drug prohibitions and declared that they would make marijuana available for medical use, despite what some federal judges may think about it. And the people of Colorado and Washington took it a step further, decriminalizing pot and telling the feds to take their unconstitutional drug war someplace else.
Lines  in the sand.
Now the question becomes: will they hold those lines?
It won’t be easy.
The feds will crack down on pot smokers in Colorado and Washington. Will the states actively protect their citizens? Or will they just slither off in fear? Will they cave to some federal judge? Or will they back the will of the people?
The feds will try to set up their health care system in Alabama, Montana and Wyoming. Will state officials refuse to comply and work to stop them? Or will they bow down in obedience when the DC’vers threaten to withhold funding, or when the taxman comes a-callin’?
Lines in the sand aren’t for the faint of heart. Holding the line means confrontation. Stopping the encroachment of unconstitutional federal power will require states to exert their own power. Force must meet force, and that could mean fireworks. A vote means nothing unless the state officials back it up – and ultimately that means the people demanding action, even in the face of federal pushback.
Because the DC’vers WILL try to cross that line.
The Americans knew they couldn’t live long-term under the thumb of Great Britain. They also knew drawing a line in the sand meant sacrifice and even the possibility of failure. But they counted the cost and deemed liberty worth every penny. The refused to shrink back in fear and faced down the overwhelming power of Great Britain – and won.
If Americans don’t stand up and stop the encroachment of federal power now, the United States will ultimately collapse under the staggering weight of trillions of dollars of debt. The feds will continue to erode away the most basic civil liberties. The politicians will continue to wage war around the world.
It must stop.
The people of the states have the moral and constitutional authority to stop unconstitutional acts. They have the right as the sovereign in the system to say, “No!” The people of Alabama, Montana, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington did just that.
We’ve drawn some lines in the sand.
It’s time to count the cost and hold those lines.
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams
Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of '98 - Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He also maintains the blog, Tenther Gleanings.


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