Alright.... Here is an update as of 5/21/20. The original rant when they first passed the CARES act is either below or at https://brasscannonbrewing.com/taking-our-rights also, if you are up for a Deep Dive on C19 try https://brasscannonbrewing.com/c19-deep-dive
So is everyone SHOCKED that there has been waste fraud and abuse when the government decides to make $Trillions with a T “available” “because its an emergency”??? Has all of it gone to help those for whom we were told it was designed to help or do you know salt of the earth folks struggling? Have you had enough stories of those for whom it was not intended to help (ostensibly), receiving pay days? You can find them as easy as I so I’ll move on!
That is part of why the companies that I am involved with didn't and won't participate in any of it. Its was always intended to be and obviously is a huge redistribution as seen through the eyes of those who caused the problem. The imperative was simply to move the cash around to assuage the damage or the guilt and thereby retain power.
It really is easy to talk about big bucks when it doesn’t come from your own back pocket!
And it was obvious that since the redistribution was literally money that we didn’t have, that there would be paperwork churning mills established to skim some cream. When you are talking 12 zeros, you only need a small skim to make it real after all!! Literally, a billion here or there becomes a rounding error and tens or hundreds of millions can fall off the table and not be worth chasing! And that is exactly was has and is happening and just like ANY BIG program run by government.
Each year, Medicare is defrauded out of more than $50 Billion, and Social Security is defrauded out of $100 Billion (approximately) and then there is the fraud in the Department of Defense and Department of Education. Reading the various reports it is reasonable to conclude that perhaps 10% of total Federal Expenditures EACH YEAR are “improper” payments. So that is about $400 Billion or the equivalent of the National Deficit each year. Eliminate fraud and we have a near balanced budget!
But we can’t. We’ve tried. We spend $ Billions each year on various "task forces to route out waste fraud and abuse”, but its all too big to manage or control efficiently with any centralized system and too complex and intertwined to be able to squeeze out or even find much of the fraud. Don’t believe me? Go here for the Medicare example: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/693156.pdf And the rest is also easy to find.
Its like “The War on Poverty” which was declared by President Johnson in the 1964. Over the next 50 years, up to 2014, it is estimated that the American Taxpayer has spent $22 Trillion to fight that war with the goal to eradicate poverty in America. According to the Heritage Foundation, that $22 Trillion is adjusted for inflation but does not include spending on Medicare or Social Security and amounts to more than 3X the spending on ALL the wars America has fought since the Revolution. So have we been victorious? Well the poverty rate was about 19% in 1964 and it was about 15% as of 2014. We had about 36 million people in poverty in 1964 and about 48 million in poverty in 2015. Go find this for the official gov statistics: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/154286/50YearTrends.pdf. So how has that $22 Trillion above and beyond Medicare and Social Security spending worked out?
So when the Government shoves through “emergency” spending of $ Trillions, above and beyond the regular budget of $ Trillions… grab your wallet! That money is sucked out of the bus boys or waitresses or construction workers or anyone else getting a paycheck, or, taxed out of the businesses that employ them, or imputed into the increase in national debt, which means sucked out of future generations!
And with fraud rampant in every other government program do you really think the CARES Acts 1, 2, 3, 3.5 and whatever is next, isn’t a ripe sweet hanging fruit for the fraudsters? We will create millionaires, unintended millionaires, but millionaires none-the-less, on the backs of those scrambling to pay their electric bill!
They screwed up by closing our businesses and activities down. Then they panic about what they had done because they hadn't thought through what the actual consequences might be. Since those making decisions can actually be at home for a month or more and still collect their paycheck (from us BTW), they don’t see what all the fuss is about. But now, they see the coffers drying up and effects starting to hit the States but they can't figure out how to open it all back up again while adhering to their original story so they don't look like fools.
At the risk of being controversial, an economy with billions of moving parts doesn't work like a machine with a switch. These are billions of independent decisions made by billions of people around the world. It is not just an Ameri-centric problem. This is Adam Smith’s invisible hand at work globally and now gone spastic. So, they try to cover it over by saying those whose fault it was not should not suffer so "we" are going to make everyone whole by sending everyone money. "We" are going to make you feel better about us causing you to lose your job, perhaps permanently, by bribing you, for at least long enough for you to forget who caused the problem. But there is no we that includes them, there is just you and me, so "they" are spending money you and I have yet to earn to make everyone feel better, and mostly to ensure they stay in power and don't get blamed.
Did "we" "they" or "you and me" really think any of this came without strings or consequences???
They take our freedoms, they take, or at least prevent us from the use of, our property. They stop us out of our very livelihoods, and we let them without much of a whimper! Do you see how fragile our freedoms really are? Poof and they are gone! Constitution? Inalienable Rights? They have no meaning when they are busy scaring us with an unseen virus and you'll do anything to be protected! No!
But we did let them. And along the way they bribe us with our own cash, our own production, our own wealth and value, future value, value we have yet to earn and only God knows how we will pay back!? Well, "we" won't pay anything back but those yet to be born??? We have saddled future generations!! So that we can feel better, safer, make our rent... what has happened to "us"?
We should have simply said "no"! And then did what we thought was responsible given our own situations, POVs, and sense of interdependent responsibility. Period. Do we really need someone to tell what that is? It’s like needing a Priest to mediate your relationship with God. That is the last thing you or God needs! The relationship with omnipotent omniscient is a personal relationship. One on one. How could it be otherwise? And the power the Governor's have is only that power that we grant them by "the consent of the governed".
But not any more… now we wait to hear from the Neo-Royals to spout what we might be allowed to do with our own property and our own lives, once they determine arbitrarily what is "safe" and when. Safe by whose standards? And when is the power withdrawn?
And being a scientist, I hate the elevation of "Scientists" with a capital S, to that of some kind of God like stature, or at least Shaman! "We have to listen to the Science" as if "science" is infallible! Its not! We have created generations of people who can't understand even basic science and therefore view science as magic, which is how you can con so many under the guise of science. But science is as fallible as those that practice it!
Scientists are as flawed as any other human being. Science flourishes only when it wears a transparent veil of validation and verification. Say what you think then test it. And everyone gets to test it. Everyone. Science should have no ideology or politics. You can't hide or manipulate the data and you must state clearly exactly how it was gathered. You can then draw conclusion but only those supported by data.
No one could conceive that what Einstein was saying after the turn of the twentieth century was true! It was too strange, too weird, only problem was that it explained a lot and every time it was tested, every time, every single time, it was found to be true, openly, transparently. THAT is science, And that leads to principals, or a law you can count on. Or maybe even a policy you can count on. What kind of science is being pumped through "models" that are so consistently wrong??!! That is their real claim to fame... that they are mostly, dreadfully, amazingly, wildly… wrong!
And REAL scientists will know that and try to refine and get closer to right and explain it all, BEFORE dragging the world into a morass of policies with no basis except fear.
Get a bunch of scientists in a room who profess a concensus and you don't have anything of any value except a chance to have cocktails and perhaps exchange ideas. Concensus is NOT part of the scientific method! Might as well be gossiping about the neighbors. But lay out a theory and then test it and release all the details… the good the bad and the ugly... and then you might have science. And therefore, folks…. I have bad news, science can't cure everything or provide an answer for everything, right when you want it! You cannot plan in a scientific break through!
Remember, they jailed (and were going to kill) Galileo. He was a heretic during his time because of his science. The powers listened to the "concensus of the time"... those professing an earth-centric self-centric view of the solar system, and the universe itself, meaning Galileo must die, or at least be incarcerated for the rest of his life!
They went "provincial" which can be appealing! ALL of this for us and because of us. What a waste of time and space! What an ego!!
But the they then was as wrong as the they now! Those embroiled in this virus have been wrong, over and over again. Where was the vigorous debate and the presentations of more than one POV? Why no discussion of "options"? No... there were just edicts by the Neo-Royals based on concensus from the new God-Scientists that we all had to follow lest we imperil others!! For that is what they threatened us with. Failure to act would be killing others. Do it for the others if not yourself…. which also gives the others power to accuse you which we are now seeing. The Brown Shirts and Blue Caps live just below the surface even of an ostensibly free society!
But what about our Rights? Liberty for Safety... the devils trade, readily made, and always always always difficult to unwind.
We will survive, maybe not all of us, but most will. In fact, the actual numbers, once settled post panic, will show a lethality rate well below 1% and possible below 0.1%. The initial "scare the pants off you" figures were and are simply wrong. Look... there is no doubt for those families touched by death, however touched, it has been, is, and will be a tragedy. I do get that. But I choose to live with risk just like I choose to get in my car and drive, or eat eggs!
There have been plagues upon us and there will be more. That is a fact of life. But if you really believe that rights are granted by either the divine or by the nature of our humanness, and those rights cannot be taken (or paused) by any other humans or groups of humans, then you must ask... what have we allowed?
No school for another year? Really? There are real people thinking that? Well... that is one way to make a compliant populace... keep them ignorant. Socrates is credited with saying: “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” Are we choosing ignorance?
Where is the active in-depth conversation about it?? Where are the numbers and where in God's name.... is the SCIENCE... in place of the fear mongering claiming to be science??
We must not grant that power. We have a right to live how we see fit. That includes risk. Those who think they do not want the risk are welcome to stay locked down.... good luck!
Matt Webb - CEO Brass Cannon Brewing
From late April 2020:
Brass Cannon's Stance On Gov't Taking our Freedoms of Movement, Assembly, Property Rights and Trying to Buy Us Off With Our Own Money:
We will have none of it.
We are applying for no loans meant to be "forgiven"... meaning, free money... for we are certain there is no such thing! Nor are we seeking any other form of Government redress as everything from Government comes with strings and consequences. Remember the Government produces nothing! Anything they have or spend was provided by us, The People. One way or the other. There are no “Obama Phones” there are only phones provided by some other taxpayer or producer of things. All we want is our freedom. Freedom to operate and for people to be able to choose what they do and how and where they do it and with whom. Advise and recommend… fine, that is a valid role of Government. Assemble the best information and tell it to us straight. Then let The People decide. Don’t compel by force of law! We are not stupid. We will act with rational best interest and we will accept our own risk. And it would be better to tolerate some bad actors amongst The People, and to accept certain risk of that, then to sacrifice the Freedoms and Liberties of the entire population that generations have laid down their lives to provide for us. If we have to lay off or furlough staff we will. If we have to close, we will. But under these circumstances, if we close, it will only be because the Gov't has forbidden us, under pain of prosecution, from operating and have thereby removed our property rights and our patron's rights to move freely, assemble or choose for themselves. Of course, there is the carrot hanging before us, a promise to pay us for compliance (aka a bribe), but make no mistake, we have been harnessed and the prodding voice saying “good job”, holds a whip! They have imprisoned us in our homes under false pretenses while contradictorily encouraging us to visit virus concentration points aka groceries and the like. They allow us to park in parking lots and congregate to feed our bodies, but not to feed our souls. They decide these things based upon what?!? They are shutting us down according to their whim, while the only people ensured of receiving their checks are those taking ours from us and then sending us the bill! There is no doubt about who is actually going to pay for all the "free money". It is us! They have mis-represented the threat scenario either by incompetence, failure to ask the hard questions, or inability to understand reality, in what appears to be a rush to exercise their Executive Powers and take “bold action”. And they do so while having almost no real downside personal risk! Keep your money and your false protections, and get off our backs! We will survive, or not, by our own means and wits, in our own way, and to the extent possible. And if we don't survive we won't go down begging for Government to help us. Protect the Borders, Provide for the Common Defense, Negotiate International Trade and Treaties, Ensure Commerce Between the States, Protect the Constitution From All Enemies Foreign and Domestic, and then PLEASE, stop helping us!! Your remedies are killing us! Life is a fight, chaotic and full of random pain and suffering, which must be endured in order experience the highest values humans can achieve: Honor, Honesty, Love, Family, Freedom, Sacrifice and Charity (by choice not force), Loyalty, Productive Work. And which can lead to spiritual transcendence, whatever your particular version might be, though you must be free to pursue it! The mountain tops are reached only after climbing out of the valleys, and glory goes to "The Man In The Arena", succeed or fail. But we are attempting to remove risk from life. It is not possible, can only be a facade, and can only be paid for by giving up Liberty! Which is exactly what is happening.
Matt Webb - CEO Brass Cannon Brewing