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Do we want to be wealthy, or hate the wealthy?

I am not happy with either of my choices for president. Obama and Romney are not all that different, and they both believe government is the solution to our problems. I can understand not wanting to vote for either, but one of the two is going to win. If you absolutely refuse to vote for either, I would suggest voting for a third-party candidate, so the two political parties are aware of your vote. However, I like many have made a choice.

Most of the differences between Obama and Romney stem from party affiliations. Foreign policy? They have very little disagreement, Romney asserts he will have a firmer tone, but we still use Gitmo and we still have troops in Afghanistan. Obama with his drones and execution of American citizens might have the most blood-lust of the two. People want to make a big fuss over the abortion and woman’s rights aspects, but what is the real difference? Obama supports abortion, and Romney used to support abortion. Now, Romney says he is against it (with exceptions in the cases of rape, health of the mother, etc..) but that it’s not part of his legislative agenda. Obama has Obamacare, Romney has Romneycare. Obama “evolves”, Romney “flip-flops”. Obama went to Reverend Wright’s church, Romney is a Mormon. Both have been executives at the government level for an even number of years. These are two politicians that are trying to convince us that they are so different but they are both Ivy League millionaires. People mock the excesses of Romney, but Obama goes on million dollar dates, had 1.4 billion spent on him, and his office last year, and has a full time dog watcher (on the taxpayer’s dime of course).

There is one aspect that I do see a stark contrast in, and that is economics. Obama has, for a while now been demonizing wealth. He’s been saying how the rich should “pay their fair share” and how we should “spread the wealth around”. He’s acted as though we can tax our way out of the problems we have. We can’t, and let me be clear. The rich already pay far more income taxes than the rest of us. They not only pay a higher percentage, but they also pay a far larger amount than most of us do. A large percentage of the population pays no income tax, while a small percentage of the top earners pay most of the taxes. There is no tax rate that can make them shoulder the excesses of our government. Increasing rates will only serve to discourage them from participating. For example, George Lucas sold almost everything he owned before higher tax rates could kick in. He’s now on the sidelines. You might consider that a good thing but there are many like him who would simply opt out of participating in an economy with higher taxes. The problem is that Obama has almost no free market experience. His administration is not full of experts on business, it is full of academics.

The last unemployment numbers showed a rise to 7.9%. Obama would have us believe that the economy is on the right track, just moving there slowly. Unemployment doesn’t go up when things are headed in the right direction. To give an analogy, the economy broke its leg (I would argue due in large part to government policy and backing of bad loans). This happened while Obama was in a Democratic majority congress by the way. A broken leg will heal, eventually. The question is how it heals. If you don’t have a doctor, you might end up with a horrible, disfiguring limp. That’s what this looks like to me. Obama is not a doctor, and our economy is not healing well.

Romney on the other hand has a lengthy track record. There is a reason non-Republican businessmen like Lee Iaccoca, and Ross Perot endorsed him. He found success in private business, he managed a state well financially, and he even did a great job of running the Olympics. Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, but instead we have a larger deficit. I can’t blame Obama, he just doesn’t know economics, he doesn’t know budgets. Romney clearly does. He knows how to generate wealth, he knows how to manage finances, and he has an understanding that Obama lacks. This is one reason Romney is not demonizing the wealthy. He understands how wealth in our economy is created.

We have fiat dollars. This means that we can print them, but they have no inherent value. Thus far, Obama’s main economic solution has been to print more money. Most people view wealth as they would a bar of gold. As though we are just making more gold, and all we really have to do is take a piece of someone’s gold and we suddenly have a portion of their wealth. That’s now how it works, since our money has no real value, it only holds value as long as there is something behind it. It is our productivity that lends value to our money. The strength of our economy lends strength to our money and in turn that is what gives us our wealth. We can create wealth, but we can destroy it as well.

Let me give an example based on what has happened in some countries. If a wealthy man has a productive farm, we decide this is not fair, and we give half of his farm to others, what might happen? Well, for one he might say to hell with it, and stop farming. As to the other half of his farm, it is highly unlikely that it would be farmed as productively. The logic is simple, they are not going to give the other half to wealthy farmers, so they will give them to poor farmers (if they are actually farmers at all). The productivity of the farm drops, and in other countries this practice has caused famine and destruction of a their currency. A wealthy person is wealthy because somewhere along the line there was productivity (hypothetically, there are people who came by their wealth through government and the like) and they by the merit of their wealth have proven to be good stewards of their wealth. A poor person, is by definition a poor steward of wealth. If they come by money, not through the fruit of their efforts, but the theft of property it is not likely they will be nearly as productive with it as the person from whom it was taken. There is ample evidence of this playing out. Another example would be a car. I understand why we might all want a piece of a Rolls Royce, but each strip part of it, all we have is parts. No one has a running vehicle.

Our wealth can be produced or destroyed. We are wealthy, even our poor have what would be considered above average wealth in Europe. We, as an American people are the 1% of the world. The reason for this is that we have been better stewards of what we have. We produced, we invented, and it gave us wealth. While relatively speaking we might still be unhappy, there is no mistaking how entitled we are. Our “poor” people expect to have cell phones, cable TV, air conditioning, and video games. These are luxuries to most parts of the world. This can be destroyed if we erode what powers our wealth, if we strike out against business and the wealthy there will be negative repercussions.

I say this not as a member of the 1%. I am a high school drop out, I know what it’s like to be destitute. My parents died and left me no inheritance, I’ve gone without food, I’ve feared for how I was going to pay rent, or where I was going to live. However, I learned. My house is paid for, my cars are paid for. I am not wealthy, and I might never be, but I understand what it means to be responsible. I was poor, I had the cards stacked against me, but I knew that I was not going to climb out of my hole by stealing. I never once took a government handout. I have been a good steward of what I have, but I would not have been if not for the fact that I knew exactly what effort brought it forth.

Now that I have something, the thought of it being taken from me is a great concern. I have a house that’s over 2000 square feet. There are only two of us living here. Surely we don’t need all that space? We rented one bedroom for years as we saved up. We pinched our pennies, and no one else is entitled to our house. I am sure this his how wealthy businessmen feel about their wealth, and they have more capacity to act on that feeling. They can fire people if we force their hands, they can retire, they can move to other countries. We can not simply bleed them, and make them pay for their success as a means to overcome our own shortcomings.

I could go on, but we are at a crossroad here. Do we hate the rich? Do we want to punish them, do we want to destroy wealth? Or, do we want to be rich? Do we want a country in which all of us can succeed if we make the right choices? That is the choice as I see it. Obama tells me I should hate the rich, his words are dripping with class warfare. Romney knows what it takes to become wealthy. I’d rather strive to be wealthy, than hate wealth.

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Pakistan bans twitter because of Draw Muhammad Day. Has history of censoring other sites


The BBC reports Pakistan blocked Twitter because of Draw Muhammad Day. Twitter was banned today after one Pakistani government minister said it would not block Twitter because it would take Pakistan back to the “stone age”. But then they blocked it.

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GeiSt and KrAzY3 talk Prophets and more with HC2

GeiSt and I just did an interview with horrorcore2.com. You can read it here: The Return of GeiSt and ‘Prophets’ Revealed!
It’s a pretty good piece that covers the project a bit and why the both of us are back.

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Prophets – GeiSt, Crossworm, and KrAzY join forces for hiphop compilation.

I haven’t been involved in anything music related for quite a while. GeiSt and I briefly teamed up a few years ago to release some older material, but that was more to signify the end of an era than anything else. Rydas Records was something I enjoyed, but I left it behind when I believed it had run it’s course. That doesn’t mean everyone else stopped. T.O.N.E-z received an Emmy nomination, Claas and Jason Porter appeared on a billboard charting album, and GeiSt released stunning visuals.

I left the scene entirely. Not much drew me back. I was proud of the accomplishments of people I supported and had been associated with, but I was fine with not being a part. I had my moments in the past; hung out with rock stars, offered a job for Psychopathic Records, all expenses paid trip complete with limo, website mentioned in billboard charting albums, website officially banned by the government of Pakistan, etc… I knew what it was like to have hundreds of emails on a daily basis (I almost overlooked Jason Porter’s demo in fact), and while happy to see how well everyone progressed, only GeiSt’s videos made me wish I was still a part of the scene.

When Rydas Records added T.O.N.E-z, I liked the ability to utilize videos in his promotion. He in the past had music videos on MTV and BET, and regularly shot videos to promote his music. The sub-genre in which we existed had always lagged behind visually. More effort was put into hiding what someone looked like than was put into visual promotion. I felt it was important to help introduce the use of visuals. What GeiSt did though, was raise the bar to a new level and the while videos and the like have become much more common, he still has set the bar for the scene.

Something nagged at me. Rydas Records left behind unfinished projects and I felt I owed the fans some music. That wasn’t all. I felt like almost every rap album coming out didn’t mean anything. The days of an album having a heart and soul seemed to be in the past. I wanted to do something, that actually meant something.

I approached GeiSt about my concept and his participation. I was only going to do it if it would have a GeiSt music video. I wanted this to have the best and if it couldn’t have the best visuals then it would fall short. GeiSt is an artist. He’s not a rapper trying to call attention to himself, he’s someone concerned about his craft. He’s recorded tracks with some of the biggest people in the scene, he’s worked with all kinds of industry professionals, and he has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a major label. One of his cohorts was on a top 5 UK album, and he’s worked with a lot of top notch UK Talent, but he’s not quick to discuss that sort of thing. He’s focused on his product and what he always has top notch quality.

With GeiSt, we moved forward on our project. The third addition to our team was Crossworm. He’s a rare talent in that he’s self-sufficient. He can do every step of the process short of pressing, and do it professionally. His accomplishments as a producer (producing for McNastee, Menacide, Intrinzik, Trips, Grewsum, etc…) alone make him noteworthy, add to that his work as musical director of Devilz Nite, his prowess as a rapper, and as a graphic artist and you have a unique talent. With the combined efforts of an American, Brit, and Canadian we’re ready to reveal what we are working on.

“Prophets” will be a hip-hop compilation slated to come out in December of this year. I will be executive producer, and doing it under my real name, Philip Shirley. That date is flexible but if not released, we will have much more to reveal at that point. The artist lineup is far from set, we will have to carefully craft this as we both want to convey something while retaining our standards of quality. We hope to have more to announce very soon, but for now we have a trailer and some websites. The trailer is not part of GeiSt’s music video or the album, but it sets the tone for what we are doing.

ProphetsRise.Com
Facebook.com/ProphetsRise
Twitter.com/Prophets_Rise
Youtube.com/ProphetsRise

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onyx – all we got iz us (evil streets)


onyx – evil streets

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9/11 Embassy Attacks.

There is a lot of politicizing going on over the 9/11 embassy attacks. Blame Obama, or blame Romney for blaming Obama. This isn’t a Republican or a Democrat problem. This is much bigger than that. I do believe it is a problem that the United States has made worse, but clearly Obama didn’t start this set of circumstance that we are dealing with. The roots of this problem goes back too far to accurately trace, but this issue ties to two events. One is the 9/11 attacks, and the other is the “cartoon Jihad” of 2005. On one hand, it is valid to ask why, on the anniversary of 9/11 did the US not have more security in at risk areas. It is also fair to say that violent radicals used a larger protest to mask themselves. In regard to the “cartoon jihad”, it is a freedom of speech issue. This should be open and shut. We need not apologize for freedom of speech. We respect freedom of religion, but part of that is respecting my right not to follow the beliefs of a religion. However, in practice the United States has taken an apologetic tone when radicals get stirred up on not only unflattering depictions of Islam, but any depiction of Mohammad. Rather than either ignore it, or assert the rights of freedom of speech, they tend to capitulate.

I wrote something immediately after news broke of the attacks on the Egyptian embassy. It was a personal communication, that was alluding to other things as well so I can only provide a few snippets. But, I think it is interesting to see my immediate reaction, prior to news of anyone being killed and contrast that with the approach to this issue the United States had:

“… here’s a quote (from someone tied to the Egyptian embassy attack):
“This movie must be banned immediately and an apology should be made”
This is what happens when you reward their zealotry. They really think they have a right to demand how our movies should be made.

… (US embassy tweet) “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others,”
Really, what the fuck does that mean? It sounds like capitulation.

I had a wife abusing, drug addict, drunk, felon living next to me… I had his father-in-law, someone he’s beaten up, someone whose daughter he choked until she was unconscious, actually tell me not to look him in the eye.

That’s exactly what this sounds like. Just don’t look them in the eye.”

Islamists have the idea in their head that they control freedom of speech in America. This is because they do! They were even able to censor shows like South Park. They were able to censor the American media as a whole. They have decided that the world should follow their interpretation of Islam. If they say you can’t do something, we can’t do it. The level of capitulation to their demands is astounding. Facebook has deleted pages, countries have apologized, news outlets usually willing to print anything have refused to depict Mohammed. What the radicals could not get via sheer intimidation, they achieved through violence and other means. Websites not taken down by their hosts, have been hacked. People have been attacked. What we must understand is that we are facing bullies! The only way to defend our rights and our freedoms is to stop apologizing and start standing up! How is it that a bully is able intimidate people who vastly outnumber him? He is able, because on an individual basis they capitulate. If they collectively stood up to him? He would be powerless.

We are empowering Islamists in regard to depriving us of our freedom of speech. If we take a stand, will it end violence over there? Of course it will not. But, it will uphold our rights, and it will take away one of their false pretenses for taking actions against the West.

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T.O.N.E-z – Sittin’ In My Room ft. Moksha


A well done music video from T.O.N.E-z. If you’re wonder who Moksha is, she’s from the group HuDost: “Raise Your Hands”

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali about SouthPark and Draw Mohammed Day – John Stossel Show

The apostate who Muslims force to protect herself with bodyguards, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, explains to John Stossel why “Draw Mohammed” Day was important.

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Alabama Has Too Many Trophies

I thought this was pretty damn funny. Only Alabama could laugh off breaking their championship trophy in football.

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Time to get mad as hell, and stay mad!

Constitution BurningI’m a high school drop out. My parents are both dead and left me no inheritance. Theoretically, the American dream should be well out of my reach. Yet, at 31 I have a house that is paid for. I came through the economic crisis with stable finances, good credit, and enough cash to take advantage of opportunity. This, despite the burdens that have been placed upon me. Despite the Fed artificially lowering the amount of interest my money generated while in savings. This despite the government monkeying with the housing market and trying to limit the drops in value (making it harder for me to purchase a home). The government has done very little of service to me in my life. I did not go to public schools. I have never received a government check for anything in my life. They did not pay for my education, food, or healthcare. The sad reality is that the government has been more of an obstruction in my life than actually aiding me. I am currently searching for a used car, and pondering the high prices on older used cars. I wonder if the government destroying over 500,000 working vehicles (with my money) had anything to do with that?

There are over 200 million working cars in America. But, to remove over half a million of the most affordable, and least desirable, yet running cars from the market has obvious implications! For someone with limited finances, let’s say in the lower 10% of the population financially, they are now dealing with a void in the vehicles that would be available. Over half a million cars, that would have been priced under $4,000 no longer exist! They had been needlessly destroyed (at considerable cost to the rest of us). I’m not sure which is worse, the destruction or making us pay for it. The key here is that the poorest people did not get new cars out of this, because they couldn’t afford a new car. Yet, they (in hard economic times) have to pay more for a used car. The results worked their way up, as the void in used cars drove prices up, contributing to 16 year highs in 2011 that continued going up in 2012.

Dear government, you have caused me to have less money, you have made my house more expensive, and you have made my next car purchase more expensive as well. I would see fit to thank you for the basic services you provide, but the taxes paid at every turn makes me feel as though I’m under-compensated in that regard as well. Yet, I love my country. Why do I love the country that if anything has been an obstruction to my efforts to better my life? I love my country because of the promise of what it can be. I love my country because of what it has been in the past. I love my country, that despite what the government has done to it, still affords me the opportunity and freedom that I do have.

I have lived in three states (Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee), and another country (Germany). Nothing has made me love my country more than to see other countries. To see the subtle differences, the freedoms we take for granted that are not available in other parts of the world. Our freedoms are eroding though! More and more people are becoming wards of the state, giving up their chance at freedom and prosperity in return for meager compensation. The government is continually overstepping their bounds. We have drones flying overhead, illegal immigrants who are entitled to more benefits than many of us are, and people who are in jail longer for possession of marijuana than for rape. We became so lost in the old fight for power between Republicans and Democrats that we lost sight of what was actually happening.

Under George W. Bush, we lost freedom, we lost grasp of our finances, and we saw government continue to grow. We did not see the actions of constitutional conservatives, or fiscal conservatives, we saw the political party in power simply seeking to increase the power it held. Law after law was passed without scrutiny or veto. Nominations were made without true consideration to their views of the constitution. The Republicans were not a principled party, they were simply politicians acting as politicians do. In their own interests, not ours.

The Obama reign has been predictably horrible. Our debt skyrocketed along with our unemployment. Welfare saw massive increases (may be those people had trouble buying a car and getting to work). America regressed financially, and many Americans became ensnared in the servitude of public dependence. What became worse under the Bush administration has become unbearable under the Obama administration. Nearly 50% of Americans are reliant on the other 50% to meet their needs. This obviously can not continue!

The logical check to this, the balance that should have been in place is the constitution and our individual rights. The problem is, that there was no one on the nationally political stage (save Ron Paul) that has been concerned with this. They sought power, and traded in favors, and we have lost. John Roberts is just another, of a long line of individuals who does not value our individual liberties. He values the rights of the illegal alien, who has no right to be here in the first place, but he does not value my rights.

I am tempted to drop my health care insurance. I am tempted to refuse to pay the “tax”. And then, when the government comes for my property? What then? Who will act in my defense? My only crime being refusal to purchase something, but who will come to my aid? We have gone well past the line. Our freedom is in the rear view mirror. Our rights are crumbling like a neglected monument.

It is not too late to act though. But, we must act with determination and with clear vision. I support the Republicans because they are far better than the alternative that the Democrats provide. However, we must push beyond that. We must espouse the teachings of people such as Ayn Rand, Thomas Jefferson, and Milton Friedman. We can support the Ron Paul Revolution, and the various tea parties without betraying our necessary allegiance with the Republican party.

We have to fight two wars. We have to fight to put Republicans in power, but then we have to fight an ideological war. We have to fight to keep another faux conservative President and Congress from leading us down this path again. We must fight on behalf of the Republicans, but if we win that war we must continue fighting. If Mitt Romney does not follow constitutional ideals, we must fight him in the primaries. If we see Republicans in power that do not act in the best interests of our country, we must fight to replace them. This battle must be fought. Having a Republican majority did us little good in the past. It only does us any good if it is populated with people that value our rights and our freedoms.

There is one issue that is of personal concern to me. College football (FBS) has now moved towards a playoff, much to the relief of many casual observers. What does that really mean, what does that really say? For over 140 years, college football existed without a playoff. For nearly 100 years they crowned national champions without need for a playoff. During this entire time, the focus was on excellence, on being #1. But, there has been controversy. Some schools did not like being left out. Orrin Hatch, the poster boy for Bush era Republicans, thought it was a matter for Congress to take up. Mr. Hatch, you should have been worried about not driving this country off of a cliff, not trying to earn browning points with the people back home. Orrin Hatch became part of the movement that our entire country has been a part of. A move away from excellence and towards inclusion. The playoff that college football will be getting has criteria for conference champions. The reason for that is simple, the conferences want to be included whether or not they actually deserve it.

I can not help but see this as all part of the same thing. The health care law is based on the notion that mediocre health care for all is better than excellent health care for most. The inclusion of the minority that has refused to, or otherwise been unable to avail themselves of health insurance is the basis of this monstrosity. The move towards a college football playoff is just a smaller version of that basic practice. Simply having the two most worthy teams play each other to determine the champion was not inclusive enough. We must expand it, and by expanding it we must also try to insure the broadest representation. We must, once again, choose inclusion over excellence. It is all part of the participation trophy mentality that we have fallen victim to.

We can fight this, but we must fight this as a thought. We can support Republicans, and we can support Libertarian ideals, but we must fight the toxic thought of decrying excellence. We have become scavengers, seeking to find things that are great around us and rip them to shreds, claiming tiny, broken fragments of what was once great. We can no longer tolerate seeing something beautiful if we can not benefit from it. We would rather see it destroyed and made worthless if it is of no obvious benefit to us. We have become the persecutors of John Galt. We have become the cultural revolution of China.

No more! I have limited means but I will try to use them. I have my words, and while I might use them poorly, and might be but a whisper in a sea of noise I will speak never the less. This is a fight that can not end. This is a vigilance that must remain. No majority, no election of officials will protect us. We should be able to see that now. Only a struggle that continues, in good times and in bad can preserve the nation that I love.

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