Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Archive for 2015|Yearly archive page

Put Her in Jail! Ok, and Then What?

In Opinion on March 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 11.57.04 AMHillary Clinton is their role model. Don’t you get it? There will be no matricide

All the chatter is about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conceal store, 100% of her electronic communications, including while serving as US Secretary of State.

“Every one does it” is not only impertinent, it’s true and banal. The more interesting point is that “everyone does it” IS both the indictment and proof, not of Hillary’s culpability, but proof of a fact very few will comprehend or acknowledge.

“Public servants” do not exist. There is no line between an office holder’s personal interest and her public life. Private interests and public duties are, naturally and invariably, not susceptible of being disentangled. That most people are fooled by the disingenuous line “I’m here to serve my constituents” makes them, well, fools. Oh, compliant subjects too.

The unique issue with Mr and M[r]s [Rodham] Clinton is this. Neither of them has EVER done a single productive thing. Both of them are fabulously wealthy for the simple reason that they’ve held and aspire once again to hold the levers of the power of public office. And with that power comes the ability to dole out enormous favors bought with $4,000,000,000,000 per year of money confiscated from you by your public servants to serve their constituent’s best friends’ interests.

A wink here, a nudge there, a little fix in the language of a regulation issued on next Tuesday . . . they all benefit someone. Those someones don’t pay Mrs. Clinton hundreds of thousands of dollars to hear what she has to say in a 30 minute speech – if so, why did she sell so few $29.99 books? No one pays to hear what she thinks, they pay her for access to the government trough. It’s her blatant abuses of the powers and privileges of office that make us wince when we discover that she has concluded that her everyday dealings at the Dept of State can not withstand the light of day and that she has gone to great lengths to conceal her so-called ‘public’ communications from public view.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8

That clause was not about TITLES per se. It is about the privileges, the emoluments that were once inextricably attached to titles. Your government is chock-full of Hillary Clintons. Sure, singling her and Bubba out for special punishment may be warranted, because they are especially good at being devious. But remember this: The Clintons are the most “successful” politicians ever. They represent the prototype and the pinnacle of political savvy and ambition. They are to this day the envy of the entire political class, the very class that makes the rules about YOUR life, and that class has no intention of doing something to stop her now.

Throw Hillary under the jail. Put Bill there with her, too. Won’t change a damned thing.

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Break the Glass

In Opinion on February 20, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 4.53.54 PMWe can only keep the promise by breaking it.

A good friend had a moment of brilliance a couple days ago. Terminate Medicare and Social Security. No cuts. No new formulae. No delayed increases. End them, PERIOD.

For a moment, forget the political feasibility. Think about it.

The country has incurred debts it can’t repay.  Our balance sheet, as it were, can’t be fixed short of a tectonic shift in our thinking. The estimated net worth of all of the households and businesses in America is estimated at between $60 and $75 trillion. Our total unfunded liabilities (i.e. the future cost of all promises made by the US Government under Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) is approximated at $114 trillion.  TILT!

Now, go back now to political feasibility: what’s the likelihood that the men and women of this country will stand by and let our government TAKE all of our wealth and give it to itself to pay for those promises? Not bloody likely, eh?! But that’s what we’re letting them do, all day and every day.

Social Security and Meidcare are inaccurately described as an insurance program – funds we pay into in exchange for a promise of future payments to support us in retirement. They are more accurately described as a Ponzi Schemes. You pay retirees’ benefits now, future workers will pay for yours later. Only the math doesn’t work.

So, eliminate the programs and, drum roll . . . the resultant creation of wealth will fulfill the promises. The stock market will soar. Commodities’ prices will decline. The US Dollar will rise in value against all other currencies.  The wealth produced will dwarf the liability of the ‘broken promises’ because we will have freed ourselves to keep those promises.

See, we owe all that money to ourselves, right? Asked that way, the question sounds a little different. We made those promises to ourselves. This approach suggests that we let ourselves pay ourselves back instead of relying on the anti-productive government machine to do so. We’re the unsecured creditors in the US Government bankruptcy. But we’re also the shareholders (to stretch the metaphor) – we own the place (the country, not the government) AND we are the assets that have been pledged to fulfill the promises. Let’s foreclose and take the assets back.  Let’s let ourselves off the government hook so we can go back to producing wealth.

It will cause some dislocation and serious discontent, of course. But those are manageable and safety-nets raised by newly-freed men and women of America will care for the elderly and the sick who are temporarily displaced – we always have. On the other hand, the inevitable catastrophe we face  as a result of politicians’ constant tinkering with the cancer, repeatedly moving the tumor from one part of the corpus to the other, is not manageable. It’s deadly.

Let’s keep the promise. There is no choice.

Whores and Their Pimps; I mean Politicians

In Opinion on January 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Yesterday I met a recent college graduate and learned that he is pursuing a political career. He also shared that he was unlikely ever to be a candidate for office himself. He averred that modern politics involves a level of personal disclosure that he would never want to experience. He does not want his life ruined by the intense examination a candidate must suffer, nor does he wish for his family to be tormented by constant scrutiny and innuendo.

At first, I concurred with his decision and expressed my empathy. Then, upon reflection, I spotted my error, so I challenged him with this question:  Why will you pursue a ‘profession’ that requires you to do unto others exactly what you will not allow them to do unto you? (In other words, you’ll be a pimp but draw the line at gigolo?)

He’s a liberal, like virtually all modern career politicos, in that he believes a strong, beneficent government can, nay, MUST do good things for the people – particularly if that gets more votes. He assured me that he could, or at least hoped he would, avoid being part of any destructive campaigns. I smiled and said something like “bull shit” and he acted like I had insulted him and his chosen profession. Well, the truth hurts. He ought to pursue a real life, do something worthy of respect and dignity – dig ditches, drain sewers, doodle – anything that adds value to the world, anything but politics. (I didn’t actually say that last part; I was in a room full of passionate liberals at a ‘marriage equality’ revival, I mean fund-raising event, and I’m no fool.)

Our body politic and our governmental bodies have been ruined by the professional political class, both the Republicans and the Democrats. They wallow and wrestle in the mud in order to accumulate power over other men – a.k.a., you and I. The least principled, least ethical, most arrogant and narcissistic participants aspire to be the candidates. The rest of them, only marginally more principled and ethical, barely less arrogant and narcissistic, like my acquaintance from last night, can stand eating dog poop as long as they can minimize how much of it gets on their tailored suit and Hermes tie.

We need a better class of citizens, call them amateurs, to take over the political system and rid it of the parasites who control it today. That is, unless it’s too late, in which case I hope we hit the bottom immediately (if not sooner!) so we can rebound and take our lives away from the crowd that works 24/7 to control how we pursue happiness. I know that I’m technically ‘free’ to ignore their rules and regulations, but, like most men, I stay in line due to the threat of jail. I would prefer to honor and respect the laws under which I live and the men who make them, not fear and loathe them; wouldn’t you?

Let’s vote the whores AND THEIR PIMPS out of office.

I’ll personally pay back the National Debt

In Financial, Opinion on January 26, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 6.37.57 PMWith patriotic hearts, a friend and I have a deal for America. We are going out on a limb – we’re going to offer a solution to the country’s national debt problem, a problem estimated at approximately $18 trillion. We are going to deliver personal checks to the US Treasury in amounts that will total $18 trillion (we’re still negotiating the allocation between the two of us).

First: You’re welcome – glad we could help.

Second: We know what you’re thinking; “Guys, no way you have 18 trillion dollars. Maybe 2 or 3 trillion, but 18!?!?  Get real.” Well, we know that, and we also know that neither does the US Government have 14 trillion dollars. That’s why they OWE it, that’s why the nation is in debt by that amount. It’s not there, their check would bounce, just like ours would; so what’s the difference between the government’s check and ours?

Just one thing . . .  see, we’re math guys, and mathematically we have a chance of making our check good; the government . . . well, read on.

So let’s do a little math; it’s a little complicated, so read slowly. The two of us think we can create, say, $5.0 million of wealth every year, and we will commit all of that wealth to reduction of the national debt – that’s a 100% tax rate on our income, and we won’t even ask for any interest. In about 4.7 million years, give or take a few millennia, we’ll be old and tired, but we’ll have it paid off.

Alternatively (and now we need you to really concentrate – this will sound foreign at first) we can let the government pay it off, no help from us; we’ll keep our trillions. At its current rate of wealth creation, the US Government will pay back this debt in – more math, divide by n+1, carry the 3, and we get . . . .  NEVER. They’ll never pay it back, not one red Lincoln penny of it.

You see, your government – including the Congress, the White House, all of the executive agencies – creates exactly $0 in wealth each and every year. Government consumes money and it has the power to pay bills only by TAKING wealth from its citizens, the free men and women who create it.

That brings us to our more serious point, which we think is made clearer by the hypothetical offer above.

Unless paired with less spending, there is no such thing as a tax cut; there are only tax-deferrals. Every dollar of spending represents a tax and OUR COUNTRY IS taxed each year the amount which the government spends. How much we’ll pay now and how much we’ll pay later is decided by a government that arbitrarily sets tax rates and writes convoluted rules that sound “fair.” Every dollar the government spends must be matched by a dollar of taxation – either today or tomorrow or in 30 years, when our children should instead be toiling and sweating to pay for their own current consumption rather than paying back our debts. Any “tax-cut” for the middle class, for the billionaires, and for small business owners was no such thing. It is a deferred tax increase for you and your children.

Cutting spending – entitlements, discrerionary – all of it, is the only answer. Let free men and women dispose of their money without government incentives and direction.  536 people in Washington, DC are not smarter than 320 million Americans.

Government as Benefactor

In Opinion on January 26, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.09.31 PM“There will always be ideological disagreements about tax rates and regulations and the role of unions and the structure of health insurance and blah blah blah. But as we keep fighting those interminable fights, the economic resurgence we’re experiencing right now is a moment we shouldn’t waste. If local, state and national politicians can get together to make progress on basic infrastructure, and soon — which ought to be the most nonpartisan thing imaginable — the confident, ambitious, creative people of this country will do the rest. Let ’em loose.”

— Rachel Maddow, Washington Post, January 26, 2015

That’s her formula for economic prosperity. She espouses the-government-is-here-to-help approach to planning, monitoring and regulating your life. Build more infrastructure and, voila, the rest takes care of itself! All Thank You notes should be addressed to Big Brother, ℅ Mr. Public Servant.

What does she – and the left – think ‘infrastructure’ is, a magic potion that renders a category of spending money immune from economic reality because the state ordered it done? “If WE build it, they will succeed” seemingly is the extent of their analysis.

No. Infrastructure IS economic progress, not its precursor. Every thing is the product of the “confident, ambitious, creative people” whom she instead chooses to relegate to mere users, even takers of government beneficence. Sounds a lot like “You didn’t build that!”

Infrastructure, Rachel, is NOT government’s gift to free men and women. It is the product of free men that enables the next acts of free men. In other words, pencils, port-a-potties, insulated socks, stethoscopes, Chevrolet Impalas and styrofoam coffee cups are as much ‘infrastructure’ as are the Golden Gate or the Brooklyn Bridge and Dulles International Airport.

The underlying, unspoken theme of Ms. Maddow’s piece is the fairness, nay necessity of increasing taxes “on the rich” in order to pay for an even bigger, infrastructure-building government. Sounds innocuous, no? However, she and her ilk explicitly link individual success with its achievers’ imaginary and inescapable debt to society – “YOU’RE rich cuz WE let you get there, so [hands up and] give back!” is their rallying cry against the men and women who make their very lives possible, who make it feasible for them to never once muddy the lace on their pantaloons and yet live a life of luxury unimaginable to their grandfathers. Federal Express, MicroSoft and Koch Industries are mere money-making machines that are taken as givens in their minds, seemingly and inevitably conjured out of thin air, the owners and creators of which deemed lucky lottery winners..

In ignorance of what makes their life bearably comfortable, they have concluded that only an enormous government can pull off something like the space station or the fire department, failing to see the enormity of the givens (see above) that make those things possible or necessary in the first place. They ignore that NOTHING happens without the efforts of every individual participant in the process, each of whom acts in accordance with his own self interest, which is without exception the desire to put food on the table, clothes on his back and shelter over his head, not so that some future driver might avail himself of the privilege of driving over a well-constructed bridge. We drive over the bridges to get to SOMETHING on the other side, not for the view. Our desire and intent to do so necessitates the bridge. The bridge or road or airport are not precursors; they, like the pencil and coffee cups, are of the essence of economic activity.

In short, the government is not your sugar daddy, even if Rachel thinks it is.

Barack Obama Declares Victory, Paul Ryan Concedes for the GOP

In Opinion on January 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.52.21 AMCongressman Paul Ryan’s response to State of the Union address should frighten you.

He said the president’s address was “a liberal speech by a liberal president . . . A repeat of the greatest hits of the Obama administration” but “his tone and tenor were less partisan and less divisive than we were led to believe.” And “there are a lot of things we can work with him on to get this country moving again.”

OH Really. Let’s be clear; That’s a surrender. Paraphrased he said, ‘well, his substance has not changed, but at least he wasn’t mean to us, so now we’ll play nice.’

Don’t we all feel better now!?

First, let’s review the record on a few matters.

1. Calling George W Bush an idiot who got “dragged into a land war in the Middle East” due to a lack of “smart leadership” isn’t partisan? (ok, he didn’t use the word idiot or mention GWB by name, but who can’t read between the lines?)

2. “I’ll veto everything you send me” isn’t partisan?

3. “I want to help the middle class” unlike those one-percent-loving Republicans isn’t partisan?.

4. “I want [_________] to be free“and those haters don’t isn’t partisan?

5. And of course, the snarky, snarly and snide “I know, I won two of them [elections]” was just a fun poke in the GOP ribs, not a claim of superiority and power over your life and mine. NO WAY he actually meant “I’m the President of the United States, dammit, and you’ll do as I say!” But that’s truly not partisan, because he directed those words to ALL of us, left or right, black or white, rich or poor.

Second, look out. The GOP is in Barack Obama’s pocket. They can’t stand any longer being blamed for the curse of gridlock. Indeed, they hate “gridlock” because it renders them, all of them, powerless. They have convinced themselves and most of America that government inaction in the face of every modern [government manufactured] crisis is ruinously evil. So, if they must ‘compromise’ with BHO in order to experience yet again that craving of theirs, that sweet adrenaline rush that comes with the power of passing laws and changing lives – in effect owning yours – then that’s what they will do . . . and relish it, wallow in it and send you the bill for their celebration, meaning the very large bill for their very lives and sustenance.

And then they’ll plead for your vote, their reward for having ended what they self-aggrandizingly claim will ruin the nation – a dysfunctional, do-nothing government that can’t get things done for the American people. And most of you will say “thank you, may I have another.”

You asked for it by giving them your sanction. Take back your life.

I Hate Poverty, Not Its Victims. Or, Let Capitalism Win

In Opinion on January 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Of late, I’ve heard a lot of commentary about entitlements and the dependency it engenders. There is also a rising level of resentment among the benefactors, a.k.a. tax-payers, a.k.a. the rich who are not ‘paying their fair share.’ Some of those free-loading tax-payers are expressing their resentment vocally and with vitriol – STOP TAKING MY HARD-EARNED MONEY AND GIVING IT TO A BUNCH OF DEADBEATS.  I WANT TO PAY LESS TAXES!!!!

This way of stating a public policy position insinuates that the payers hate the beneficiaries of government largesse. Then the ‘other side’ spreads that misconstrued message, spreads that lie, so the payers get dismissed from the discussion as greedy bastards or some other lowly, evil being like a TeaBagger or a Fox News fan. That leaves the beneficent government takers in a monologue version of campaigning, and with their monopoly over the message and policy making, they buy votes with handouts we hate, paid for with the tax money they confiscate.

Clearly, we’re losing the debate; free Americans need to rethink our approach. Free Americans don’t hate the poor; we hate poverty and it’s effects, direct and consequential, on life and lives.  Further, we know that the direction the governing elite is taking us invariably results in more poverty, so we’re pissed. (Oh, and being pissed looks horrible on TV, so then we’re really, really the fat-cats who don’t deserve a voice, because we are the idiots who caused the mess in the first place with the bonuses and the private jets and the stock options and the derivatives and the vulture capital firms and and and. “THEY GOT THE BAIL-OUTS, NOW IT’S OUR TURN!! TAX THE RICH!”)

The people who are paying for the entitlement programs are not devoid of compassion, they just don’t want Harry Reid and John Boehner deciding what is or isn’t a good way to dispose of their goodwill. Free men and women love life. They do not seek to create more poverty, while yearning for the day when they’ve bested an ever-increasing number of downtrodden souls, standing astride a pile of corpses declaring “At last, no more poor people to bother me.” Free men and women want the poor to be lifted out of poverty, just not by way of a government hand-out.  They want them to thrive, to live, to produce.

That desire to improve lives is not driven by compassion alone. It is also driven by an abiding, innate and profound love of LIFE and what those productive LIVERs can do. We love what they can do for themselves and, in turn, for US. I realized recently that everyone else’s freedom and success are at least as important to me as my own (see also Frederick HayekThe Constitution of Liberty). I would never have thought to create FedEx, cheeseburgers or the iPad. I’m very glad other free men did, since no government bureaucrat would have thought to requisition any of those miracles into existence.  (See also Post Office.)

I think there’s a better way to conduct this discussion. Let’s try. It’s only a fight if two sides are fighting, and there are few Americans I want to beat and not a one that I will hate, ever. I won’t agree with, say, Barack Obama, because then we’d both be wrong, but I can win without there ever being a loser or someone to pity.

We can win with the truth. We win by assuming victory and living our lives accordingly – without subsidizing theirs. We will shun the collectivists, socialists and progressives. If they choose to organize their lives around those -isms, then they will either starve or soon join us, our welcoming arms open, since they will have learned the evil, inhumane, destructive nature of their philosophies. Eventually they join us because the only men who ever voluntarily gave their lives for a cause, died for freedom or for the love of someone without whom they could not bear to live. No one ever fought or died for a lie.

The solution is not a political one, it’s this: Let Capitalism Save Capitalism.

Who Owns You? or The Thrills of Living in a Democracy

In Opinion on January 14, 2015 at 8:34 am

“And while it is one of the indispensable principles of a free society that we value people differently according to the morality of their manifest conduct, irrespective of the, never fully known, reasons of their failures, egalitarianism preaches that nobody is better than anybody else.  The argument is that it is nobody’s fault that he is as he is, but that all is the responsibility of ‘society’.  It is by the slogan ‘it is not your fault’ that the demagoguery of unlimited democracy, assisted by a scientific psychology, has come to the support of those who claim a share of the wealth of our society without submitting to the discipline to which it is due.”

 — Friedrich Hayek

taxman

 

Even IF one concludes that, for example, an income tax is acceptable (some, not I, might use the oxymoron ‘a necessary evil’ to describe it) by what definition of justice is it just or right for a majority (people who make less than $X/year) to impose upon a minority (those with an income greater than $X/year) a set of laws (a tax rate of Y% on income above $X) from which the majority exempts themselves?

Granting the state the power to take property from another man (even under the guise of an ‘income’ tax) can not be justified by the fig leaf of the democratic process, by citing the will of the majority. Once granted, that power invariably will be abused in favor of the class holding the levers of power, and inevitably follows the battle to control those levers. Hence the NON-STOP political campaigns for the right to control, er, serve the public.

And look at the ugliness of it. Otherwise decent men (Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney) prostrating themselves before donors to convince those other people to fund their lust for the power to take more (or less) of certain other people’s money and deploy the spoils (> $3.5 trillion per year) in accordance with a scheme devised by a dozen or so democratically elected men/women meeting behind closed doors in the US Capitol while living a life of privilege, having never produced any of the wealth put at their disposal by the unappealable power of the very laws they write for themselves.

Which part of that do you influence with your precious vote?

Killer Muslims?

In Opinion on January 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”  — Voltaire

Is Islam a religion of peace or a religion of submission?

It does not matter. No sects, cultures, ideologies or religions ACTOnly individuals act and of their own free will. To attribute blame to a religion or some independent, disembodied, ethereal force is to, at least to a degree, absolve the killer.

Now, of course the recent bout of violence in Paris is about religion in that the perpetrators declared their inspiration and motives before and after they pulled the triggers. More to the point, their motives were based upon a set of beliefs, and whether one refers to those beliefs as moderate or radical Islam, nihilism or extra-religious fanaticism is neither germane nor probative. The essence of Islam, and every religion, is the rejection of reason in favor of a mystical faith in some unknowable, not disprovable set of what are referred to as beliefs, a la how you once imagined Santa and the Tooth Fairy. When one rejects reason as the basis of one’s ethical decisions, when one mistakes mysticism for a moral code, there is no limit to the fanatical results that will ensue.

Religions, all of them, are about living by the light of beliefs or faith, devoid of reason. Religion, then, is an affront to humanity, because it rejects man’s sine qua non, the conclusions of his rational mind. Our life, our existence is axiomatic. It is, indeed, inexplicable, but it is not some baffling mystery to be pondered endlessly. It IS, and it’s self-evident, but only to each living, breathing, thinking, sovereign individual. It follows that the sustanence and preservation of each human life is the primary moral good, and that end is accomplished only as a result of each individual’s acts when guided by rational thought, not set in sensibilities and wishful thinking, not driven by empathy or antipathy.

The killings were not an attack on satirists’ cartoons or even the freedom of the press, notwithstanding the earnest pronouncements of self-important journalists. The gunmen did not take away their victims’ colored pencils and paper. No, they took their very lives, and had none of the 12 dead ever drawn a single cartoon, other bodies would be in the morgue. A Muslim police officer was shot in the head at point-blank range. An unknown, likely even unpublished janitor was assassinated. Had he blasphemed Muhammed or threatened a single Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Christian? No. Once he lived and now he doesn’t, solely because other men concluded he must die, because he was near people offensive to the killers’ religious sensitivities.

Freedom of religion, indeed. Take your pick:

“Convert or die.” 

Muslim Beheading

“Covert or burn in hell.”

lake-of-fire-sulfur

To the unconverted, the victim, seems to me that the only difference is timing.

So, isn’t it really freedom or religion. Think for yourself. We’ve all heard “guns don’t kill people, . . .” Moreover, neither do religions, ideas, cults, or groups. The unhinged and irrational kill, after they have abandoned reason as their moral compass. And the terror will continue until it is met with overwhelming force, instead of more prayers, security measures and NSA breaches into your email and cell phone accounts. Forcible self defense is the only rational, reasonable response to deadly force whether the gunman dons a turban, a mitre, a yarmulke, a hoodie or a baseball cap.

Pretty simple: If life is worth fighting for, let’s. If not, they win and let’s hand out the white flags and prayer rugs.

A Religion of Peace . . . Backed by Fire Power

In Opinion on January 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 11.21.00 AM

It is reported that this morning in the office of a newspaper in Paris an attack was perpetrated by a couple of those seldom-seen but oft-cited illiberal, non-Islam-following, self-described orthodox Muslims. In response, French and US officials are working assiduously to determine whether the gunmen might be affiliated with ISIL or al Qaeda, because tax the rich . . . er, I mean Islam is a religion of peace, bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.

In other news, there are in a Paris morgue the bodies of 12 Frenchmen whose last moments were polluted with shouts of “Allah Akbar.” Also, Khalid Sheikh Muhammed has yet to issue a press release, President Obama posted a solid 11-over-par 83 on Saturday, and Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly said “Liberté, égalité, fraternité. C’est la vie.”

In the interest of fairness, I have begun a study of the Koran. I intend to find the chapter or verse about individual liberty and justice. That way, I will know how the prophet Muhammed said Allah expects us to treat Muslims who study the Koran and later act on the literal meaning of its words. While I’m at it, I want also to find the passage that says something like “I’m just kidding about the ‘kill the infidel’ part. Peace out.” Does anyone know where those sections or verses can be found?