Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Death of the Libertarian Party

This article was originally posted in on May 27th, 2008

Over the Memorial Day weekend the Libertarian Party picked a candidate to run for president. In doing so, it managed to rid itself of any significance it had ever had. The presidential candidate it picked was a conservative named Bob Barr, a former Republican whose voting record on issues of personal freedom is horrendous. His running mate, one Mr. Wayne Allen Root, is an even worse choice when it comes to one who believes in the principles of liberty and non initiation of force. Of all the candidates running, the Libertarian Party managed to pick perhaps the least libertarian of all the candidates, and they managed to do so at a time when the American people are just starting to understand the true meaning of freedom and liberty and are starting to yearn for people of honesty and principle to lead them once again. Now it seems the Libertarian Party has sold itself out to a couple of power lusting politicians in the hopes of gaining a few new members and some more money. It has now taken a sharp right turn and disenfranchised all the honest, hard working people who made the party one embracing freedom for a few dollars more.

Now admittedly my involvement with the Libertarian Party is quite limited, but my interest in the party spans many years. Back in the mid eighties I was introduced to the Libertarian Party and the principles of liberty by a neighbor of mine. At first I thought their ideas were too radical, but then I began to realize that forcing people to conform to your beliefs as government has a tendency to do is not only wrong, it’s anti-American. I began to understand that this nation was set up in an effort to protect the principles of libertarianism, the principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, non-intervention, and non-initiation of force, so that these principles could grow and flourish. I realized that instead a sort of stealthy collectivism had been creeping into our society for decades, a “my side’s right and your side’s wrong” mentality had pervaded our culture and pitted one group against another. Libertarianism bridged gaps on both sides with its uncompromising philosophies of right and wrong. At that time the Libertarian Party encompassed and embraced those principles and fielded political candidates that did the same. They gave the voter someone and something he could vote for rather than someone he could vote against or something considered the lesser of two evils.

As the independent voter I have always been I give myself greater latitude to vote not for a candidate based on party loyalties and platforms, but one who has proven themselves to be honest and principled and who cares for the people they represent instead of the corporate entities and special interests that woo them with campaign contributions. It is of vital importance to me that a candidate understand that the United States Constitution recognizes individual rights and puts great emphasis on the state not infringing upon those rights, it does not recognize group rights and indeed our founding fathers seemed to realize that the superseding of group rights over individual rights would lead to a very dangerous tyranny, the tyranny of the majority. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats ever seemed to get that right, as they always wanted to tread on someone’s rights in one way or another. I would often look to the Libertarian Party to present me with a candidate I could vote for.

In the 1998 Illinois gubernatorial race that changed. As an Illinoisan I had the choice between the criminal George Ryan and the socialist Glenn Poshard, neither of which I wanted to vote for, or the Libertarian candidate. I had my mind made up long before the election who I was going to vote for, but just a few weeks before the election, if memory serves me, the Libertarian Party decided to pull its candidate for governor and endorsed Poshard. I was angry. As I recall, I actually took the time to write a letter to the party expressing my anger. I felt they had abandoned me and left me no one to vote for. I ended up voting for Lawrence Redmond, the Reform Party candidate who I knew little about, but I absolutely refused to vote for other of the two major party candidates who I knew were unprincipled. At that point the Libertarian Party was on life support for me, as I realized they had compromised their principles in an effort to play politics and gain power rather than remaining significant by maintaining its hold as the party that honored the principles that made this nation great.

During the 2000 presidential elections the Libertarian Party nominated Harry Browne and in 2004 they nominated Michael Badnarik. Both these men were principled admirable candidates who I voted for. Their candidacies made it possible for me to forgive the Libertarian Party for their earlier faux pas in Illinois. But now they have selected a ticket I cannot possibly support and I don’t see how any principled libertarian could. By doing so they have cast aside their own principles, the philosophies that gave them any significance whatsoever, in favor of accepting more unprincipled people into their fold in a lustful bid to gain more money and power. They have torn the heart out of their party, and nothing survives long without a heart.

The Libertarians could have nominated the likes of Mary Ruwart or Steve Kubby or any of a number of other candidates who embody the spirit of freedom better than Bob Barr or Wayne Allen Root. Bob Barr abandoned his own party rather than trying to change it from the inside as he should have, what makes anyone think he won’t abandon the Libertarian Party if things don’t go his way? The freedom movement has now lost a powerful ally. It would have been nice if there had been a true libertarian to vote for alongside of Republican candidate Ron Paul to give us a choice between the greater of two goods. Instead, it looks like the way things are shaping up for the 2008 presidential election we’re going to have to pick between the lesser of three evils, not just two. It looks like freedom lovers are going to have to go it on their own for now, but we always have and we remain resilient. We know better than anyone that in order to remain free one must fend for oneself. To me, at least, the Libertarian Party is dead. May it rest in peace.

The Presumptive Republican Nominee and That Other Guy.

This article was originally published in on May 28th, 2008

I’ve noticed lately that the media has taken to calling John McCain the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It’s a strange sort of twist considering that a couple months ago they seemed so certain that McCain was the Republican presidential nominee. It wasn’t so long ago that the media was crowing that all other Republican candidates had dropped out. Yet today we suddenly hear again and again that McCain is the presumptive nominee. Why the change of heart? Why is the language suddenly so blatantly changed? Why do we need to “presume” McCain is the nominee when supposedly no one else is running? Perhaps it is time for the media to stop presuming and to start reporting on the reality of the situation.

There is another guy running to become the Republican nominee for president. The mass media seems almost frightened to speak his name. It’s like, to them, the man is Voldemort. His name must not be spoken for fear of what might happen. And yet why be so frightened of a name? Why not report on this mystery candidate who makes it necessary for them to presume McCain to be the Republican candidate for president rather than know it as a certainty?

Perhaps we can glean an answer by looking at the way the mass media reports on the Democrats who are still running for president. I think it would be fair to say that Barack Obama could be called the presumptive Democrat Party nominee. He has nearly enough delegates to take the primary. Instead, they keep harping on the battle between him and Hillary Clinton. They praise her for her tenacity or chastise her for splitting the party. They report that Hillary made a gaff when she spoke about this or that someone Barack Obama knows is spouting hateful remarks. They speak about nothing of any substance. The issues have a tendency to be put into the background. Mostly they report on personality traits. They dwell on Obama’s “flowery rhetoric” or Clinton’s extensive experience, none of which matters as we march in lock step toward bigger government, socialism and a complete loss of freedom.

It seems to me that Hillary and Obama more or less want to implement the same policies. They are both in favor of socialized medicine. They both want to take the power of medical decisions out of your hands and put it in the hands of the state. They both want to regulate the decisions doctors can make on your behalf. This seems to be their main issue. Neither one seems to have real solutions to the financial crisis we are undergoing. They both seem to want to raise taxes, albeit only on the rich. They both are trying to buy the votes of the poor by promising to increase the welfare state and institute government sanctioned wealth redistribution schemes. Both seem to think that government solutions are the only solutions and that we common folk would be unable to straighten things out on our own and so they don’t want to give us the chance.

Both Democrats are supported by corporate lobbyists and special interests. That is where most of their money in the form of campaign contributions comes from. It seems to me that when one has to depend on someone for their political survival, one has a tendency to cater to that someone. The mass media reports on Obama’s commercialized claim that he represents change as if that’s fact. In his speeches he praises himself as a bringer of change and unification. Yet the only changes he advocates are those that are contrary to the principles of freedom and liberty that made our nation great and prosperous. The only unification he offers is that of thoughtless, virulent personality worship that could lead to the persecution of those who would disagree with his programs.

John McCain really isn’t too different from Hillary and Obama. Issue for issue Mr. McCain almost seems as much a Democrat as either of the two presidential candidates still running for that party. The only issue on which he really differs much is the war issue. On that issue, Mr. McCain has chosen the losing side. The American public has grown weary of spending our children’s lives and our nation’s treasure on a regrettable war that seems to have only benefited those with political clout. Combine that with his admitted lack of knowledge in economics and you have a recipe for disaster for the Republican Party in November.

Once again with McCain it seems the mass media is reporting more on his personality traits than on anything of any real substance. The bulk of his campaign contributions come mainly from special interest groups and corporate backers just like his rivals in the Democrat Party. Some of these same entities have major investments in the mass media. It seems as if the powers that be don’t want any serious discussion of real solutions to our nation’s problems taking place where the majority of the public has easiest access to them. It appears that they wish the presidential elections to be a popularity contest between two corporate bought and paid for candidates rather than a platform where ideologies can be discussed and ideas for how to better the circumstances of all Americans can be presented. And so they have picked McCain to be the presidential representative from the Republican Party and they continue to hide another Republican who is still in the race by refusing to even mention his name.

Who is this other candidate? Who is this man who causes McCain to be referred to as the presumptive Republican nominee? Who is this man whose ideas have proven in the past to be the path to prosperity? Who is this man who dares to speak of freedom and personal responsibility rather than of government regulations and entitlements? Who is this man of principle who has never given up on the idea of smaller federal government? Who is this candidate who wishes to do away with the income tax? Who is this candidate who wishes to give money back to the people by doing away with the Federal Reserve and thus the hidden inflation tax, or at least bring sensibility beck to our monetary system by allowing competing currencies to exist? In case you haven’t guessed, this man is Dr. Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas who never withdrew from the Republican Party’s presidential nomination process. His popularity continues to grow despite the mass media’s attempts to marginalize and ignore him. His popularity continues to grow despite that the media does not report he is a war hero, or a polished orator, or a politician with a great many years of experience. His popularity continues to grow even though the media continuously has painted him as an unelectable candidate. Why do you suppose that is? Perhaps there is more to Ron Paul than meets the eye. Or perhaps it’s his ideas that are popular. Perhaps the people of this country are growing tired of the same old same old and want to try something different for a change, something that hasn’t been tried in this country for decades. Or, as Dr. Ron Paul would say, perhaps it’s because freedom is popular. The time has come for the people of this nation to start electing people of substance to lead instead of personalities. The time has come for the people of this nation to start looking seriously at that other guy, the one the media does not want you to notice.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gay Marriage, Socialism and Freedom

This article was originally published at on May 18th, 2008

Recently California’s Supreme Court ruled that gay people could marry each other. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. Why do you need to ask permission from the government to live with someone in a manner you both see fit? I lived with the same woman for nineteen years without asking permission from the government, or from anyone else but her for that matter. We raised five children together, without the permission of the authorities. We even had *gasp* sex together without permission from the government control freaks. When we broke up it was quite amicable and once again we involved no government agencies and therefore avoided handing our power over to others. My situation is proof that two reasonable people can live together as a couple for many, many years and then split up without government involvement.

Just for the record, I couldn’t care less about gay marriage. To me it is a non-issue. If two men or two women want to shack up together, share expenses, hold and kiss each other and snuggle together, have sex with each other, and share the burdens and joys of day to day life together, that’s their business and nobody else’s. Even if they want to raise children together it shouldn’t matter to anyone else so long as they provide a loving, caring home. What difference does that make to anyone else? They are not hurting others. They are not forcing others to bend to their wills. They are not destroying or stealing someone else’s private property. There is no crime taking place and what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults should only concern those who are engaging in the activities. If two people, gay or otherwise, want to contract with each other in terms of living arrangements, that is up to them. If they want to do so with God or some other supernatural entity as their witness, that is up to them and their church. Government has no business getting involved in marriages or in people’s private lives in general.

I don’t believe all this hype about gay marriage ruining family values. People have been gay for millennia. Many gay people have said they were born that way and I’ve no reason to disbelieve them. The thought of kissing a man, of falling in love with him deeply and passionately as I would a woman, disgusts me. I can’t come to grips with the concept in my head. You see, I was born a heterosexual. I remember thinking about pretty girls in that manner when I was very young, long before I reached puberty. You could never have “taught” me to be gay. I helped keep my family together and raised my children because of the person I am, not because of my sexuality. I don’t see why the same couldn’t be true for someone who’s gay. No, it’s not gay marriage or gay anything that’s ruining family values in America. If anything, it’s government involvement in the institution of marriage and the politicians’ lust for control and power over people’s private lives that is.

I considered myself married for nineteen years. I was faithful to my wife and did everything a husband would be expected to do. I did so without a “license” from the state. I suppose I’m lucky I never got caught by the authorities, else I might have gotten a ticket for being married without a license. You might think I’m being sarcastic about that last statement. You might think the government would never ticket anyone for living with another without a license, but you never know what kind of silliness these legislators might come up with next. You never know what kind of laws they might come up with, what kind of fees and fines they might force upon an unsuspecting public just to keep their ship of state afloat.

It seems fitting that Massachusetts and California, two of the most socialist states in the Union, should be the first two to recognize gay marriage. That’s what socialism is about, control. They want you to have no choice in what you do, in either your private or business life. They want to make sure they get their cut no matter what the business is, where it takes place, or how the money is exchanged. Licensing is just another way for them to make money and they’ll happily grant one to anyone willing to jump through their hoops and pay their fees. And they hold a monopoly on granting licenses, so they can refuse to grant licenses to anyone they want for any reason they want. In any case, I never needed permission from the state to conduct my personal affairs. I needed no one to tell me who I could cohabitate or have children with. I just did what nature has meant for people to do since the dawn of time. That’s what free people do.

I always figured if anyone knew about tyranny, gay people did. I figured that if anyone had any idea of what freedom truly meant, it would be gay people, for they’ve had to endure social ostracism and the tyranny of the majority for thousands of years. Why they would suddenly start begging the state to give them permission to enter into personal agreements together is beyond me. Why they would cry to the state to “recognize” their unions instead of just living their lives as they see fit confounds me. If it’s so they can get their piece of the socialist pie and receive money that’s been stolen from others than they are just accessories to a crime and guilty of helping to give extortionists legitimacy. They are actually helping to perpetuate the same tyranny that has been oppressing them for ages. If you act like a slave, you will be treated like one. If you act like a child asking a parent for permission, then the government will happily act like the parent.

It’s time for all of us, gay or straight, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or Native peoples, male or female, to start acting like free individuals. Only then will we be treated like free individuals. Only then will government remove their fingers from our private lives and remove the mandates they have set before us. We need the government out of the marriage business. If you want licensing, then have churches, private doctors or psychiatrists handle them, not the cold, faceless bureaucracy that has a monopoly on it right now. Let the marketplace determine the demand for such services. Of course, free people will soon begin to understand that they need no one’s permission to live freely and so demand for such services might soon disappear. It’s no big deal. After all, people were engaging in sexual relationships long before the first government formed and will continue to engage in such relationships long after the last government folds.

Ron “Speed Racer” Paul

This article was originally published at on May 18th, 2008

When I was a child, my friends and I used to rush home from school to watch the next installment of the cartoon “Speed Racer.” It was my favorite cartoon. For whatever reason, I was always anxious to see how Speed would get out of the trouble he was in at the end of the last episode and what new problems awaited him. I remember these as happy times. I was spending time with my friends. After the program, we would often go outside and run around like kids do, but for that half hour we were totally engrossed with Speed Racer’s world. This is why I was both excited and apprehensive when I found out Hollywood was making a movie about Speed Racer. I was excited because of the childhood memories I had that I hoped the movie would live up to. I was apprehensive because I know Hollywood can often times take such childhood memories and create huge disappointments.

I’m about to discuss the plot of the movie “Speed Racer” and give away the ending, so if you plan on seeing it and you don’t wish to know these things yet, I suggest you stop reading now.

I took my kids to see the movie “Speed Racer” last weekend. I thought it was very well done. My kids, aged sixteen and fourteen, also liked it, telling me as we walked out of the theater that it was much better than they thought it was going to be. Of course, I guess they thought it was going to be some kind of hokey, lame, cartoonish movie with no substance. Admittedly, it could have been so, just some action movie about some race car driver trying to win races just for the glory of it. Surprisingly, it was the plot and depth of character which made this movie such a gem. I could relate to the principles the characters were trying to adhere to and the temptation presented to get them to forsake their principles.

As a child, speed falls in love with the sport of racing because his family is so involved with the sport. He sees it as an honorable competition where certain rules of conduct are adhered to and certain principles maintained. He grows up to become a talented racer, like his brother was. As such, a manufacturer of automobile parts tries to recruit him to his team. Having a winning racing team is good for business. Speed refuses explaining that he prefers to stay independent. It becomes obvious that he believes that racing is a sport where fair play still prevails. It is at this point he discovers that the sport of racing is phony, that a system was set up where all winners for years had been determined before the race was run. Speed returns home depressed and dejected, feeling helpless.

The rest of the movie details how Speed Racer battles the evil liars, cheaters and scum that have infiltrated the racing industry. He does this in a principled manner using only tricks that are defensive in nature and counteract the offensive, aggressive cheats the dirtier racers use. During the course of this movie, he even exposes the cheaters for all the world to see. He shows the world that it isn’t only winning that’s important, but that integrity, fairness and honesty are as important.

In the end, Speed Racer wins despite the odds stacked against him. He does so with an independent spirit and without compromising his principles. The audience cheers as the underdog takes the trophy. It leaves the viewer with a good feeling and believing that a man of principle, no matter how naive he may seem, can still come out on top without selling himself out. Perhaps this isn’t the easiest way to make it in today’s world, but it’s still quite possibly the best if at the end of the day you want to go to bed feeling good about yourself.

This movie reminded me of Ron Paul and his candidacy. The establishment seems to have done everything in their power to keep Ron Paul from winning. They have marginalized him to the best of their ability and still he continues to hang in and refuses to quit no matter the odds against him. There are a couple of obvious differences between Ron Paul and Speed Racer, however. Of course there is the fact that Speed Racer was destined to win his races because that’s how the writers wrote the script. Those who are writing the script in the presidential race did not plan on having Dr. Paul stick around for so long. They wanted their guy to have sealed the victory by now. They are now scrambling to rewrite the rules they have previously lived by to further assure their man’s ultimate victory. Those who are writing the script for the presidential race are the cheaters and they want the man who has sold himself out to the powers that be to win. In the movie Speed Racer, the media covering the races he was in were fair and impartial. They helped Speed Racer expose the corruption and cheating. In the presidential race, the media is on the side of those in power and seek to stifle and minimize any exposure of corruption and cheating that may surface. The odds are most certainly stacked against Ron Paul.

Americans certainly seem to love an underdog when it comes to the movies. They applaud and appreciate it when someone like Speed Racer beats the odds and wins. If only it could be like that in the presidential race. Here is a true to life underdog they can rally around. If only Americans would appreciate more the man of principle, integrity, honesty and honor. If only they would embrace the man who has proven himself to be the champion of the Constitution and a true advocate of smaller government. His supporters have done an excellent job of following his example, but they need support also. Perhaps there is a way something can be done to at least restore the integrity of the Republican Party, but even that seems unlikely. Still, it would be nice to see Ron Paul accomplish more than just becoming an also ran. It would be nice to see an underdog actually win something in real life, just like in the movies. If such a thing is to be accomplished, then his supporters must not give up. They must maintain that fighting spirit and remain faithful to the cause of freedom. Hopefully, there are still some surprises in store for us before this race comes to an end.

We Won the War, Time to Get Our People Home Revisited

This article was originally published at on May 17th, 2008

I heard John McCain say that if he was elected president he felt the war in Iraq could be won by the time his first term ended. He also made the claim that most of our troops would be out of Iraq by then. This from the man who not too long ago crowed that he felt fine about keeping our troops in Iraq for a hundred years. This from a man who was heard singing about bombing Iran. Now we’re supposed to believe that Mr. McCain has had a change of heart? I believe that John McCain has shown his support for war and would use any power he could to keep our troops in harms way for just as long as he felt he could get away with it. It seems to me that Mr. McCain is obsessed with winning. Perhaps I’m wrong, but if I’m not than perhaps Mr. McCain would show his concern for our soldiers and bring them home if he had a change in perception.

I’m tired of hearing that if we left Iraq now we’d lose the war in Iraq. We already won the war in Iraq. It’s just a matter of the politicians admitting it. We wiped out the Iraqi army in next to no time. We removed Saddam Hussein from power. He was tried for crimes against humanity and hung. His children were killed in a firefight. We found no weapons of mass destruction. Our people have been there for over five years and there’s still no sign of these alleged weapons. Democracy reigns in Iraq and elections have been held. All the goals that were given as reasons for going into Iraq have been met. The war is over. We were victorious. It’s now just a matter of getting our people home.

Whatever is going on in Iraq it is certainly not a war. I’d call it an occupation. Throughout history, occupations have always gone badly. Certainly empires who have occupied foreign lands for long periods of time have reveled in glory, but it has always been bloody glory. It seems the occupiers in such situations take an almost perverse, sadistic joy in subjugating a once proud, independent people. The occupiers enjoy an orgy of barbaric acts that would be unacceptable in civilized society and remain unaccountable for such actions. For the occupied, the brutality is unmerciful, and in many cases unforgivable. History as taught in schools, recorded for the most part by the victors, has a tendency to gloss over the brutal nature of such occupations and glorify the achievements and the “good” that has come out of empires. Yet even from ancient times stories of the evil that empires create against humanity lead out and remain in the human consciousness.

Take the Roman Empire, for instance. It’s the empire most of us are familiar with. For hundreds of years they occupied most of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and much of Western Europe. History teaches us that the Romans brought “civilization” to the multitudes. They created advances in roads, water supply, sanitation, record keeping, architecture, etc. But they were also vicious oppressors to those they ruled over. And who’s to say that these advances in technology wouldn’t have come along anyway, perhaps through trade and cooperation, if the Roman people had been more peaceful and friendly and less lustful for conquest and power over others? Who’s to say how many geniuses from other cultures the Romans killed that may have given mankind even better technologies? We will never know. Things happened as they did and we can never be certain of the what ifs. We can only know for certain what history records, and that is that the Roman Empire eventually fell. Despite its power, despite its dominion over so many, despite its technological superiority, despite its good intentions and its vastness, it fell to the hordes that it sought to subjugate and lost control of all the lands it sought to occupy. Such is the fate of all brutal empires.

Yet John McCain promises us he will continue a policy that has failed historically and will continue to fail. He promises to have only most American troops out of Iraq by the end of his first term, not all, and he promises to win something that is not winnable without the grotesque and morally objectionable genocide of the Iraqi people. This occupation has already lasted far too long. I ask, why is it that sixty three years ago we could win a war against two far more powerful enemies in less than four years? Why should it take so much longer, another four years at least if Mr. McCain is elected, to bring our troops home from a small desert country with such a weaker enemy? The answer could be that in World War II we were fighting against the occupiers. We had the peoples of occupied countries on our side, treating us as liberators. That was how it was to be for Iraq also, or so we were told. And perhaps in the beginning some in Iraq did treat the Americans as liberators, but it is different now. We have over stayed our welcome and it is time we left and let the Iraqis deal with their own affairs.

We won the Iraq war. It was a glorious, unequivocal victory. We squandered what could have been another great moment in United States history by attempting a heavy handed, oppressive occupation. At the end of World War II we were able to occupy our enemies’ lands because they accepted their defeat and were able to accept the hand of friendship that America offered to help them rebuild their countries and their lives. It is obvious the people of Iraq do not accept our presence in their country. They want us out. They will continue to kill our troops so long as we continue to maintain an occupation force inside their borders. They will continue to try to drive out the American troops even if it takes hundreds of years. We should leave willingly. We no longer need to play the role of occupier. We should let them build their future on their own. Hopefully as the years pass and we continue to trade and practice fair commerce with the people of Iraq, we will become fast friends and great trade partners. After all, America has a great history of diplomacy also. We should heed Thomas Jefferson’s advice and practice free trade with all nations, entangling alliances with none.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The True Cost of Debt

This article was originally posted at on May 12th, 2008

've heard that in 1913, before the Federal Reserve was created, eighty percent of homes owned by Americans were owned outright. Could you imagine that? Eighty percent of the families living in single family homes didn't have to pay a mortgage. They had all that extra money to spend on other things. They could save for retirement. They could afford to buy upgrades. They didn't have to worry about losing their homes if the economy turned sour. They were more or less assured that their families would at the very least always have a roof over their heads. They didn't have to worry about some bank or mortgage company foreclosing on their home and taking everything they'd worked so hard to build, leaving them destitute. I imagine that helped make the people back then quite independent and self reliant. I heard that today only three percent of families living in single family homes own their home outright. Quite a difference a century makes.

Now, I don't usually go throwing numbers around in the articles I write. There is good reason for this. First off, I really don't have the time to go double checking on all these statistics and making sure I'm being accurate. Second off, numbers and statistics often times lie, or at the very least they mislead. There is almost always some kind of agenda behind statistics, some individual or group or political entity trying to get you to believe something in order to gain money or power. Statistics can be manipulated in order to make a situation sound better or worse than it really is, and often times they are so manipulated and convoluted that it becomes hard to know what to believe. I find this particular statistic very interesting, however, not because of its accuracy or whether it's been manipulated, but because of what it says about how far we as a society have fallen. It shows just how much we've become dependent upon huge, cold, uncaring bureaucracies, and how we've lost our independent spirit that at one time defined what it meant to be American.

Even if the eighty percent and three percent figures aren't entirely accurate, even if its more like seventy five percent and five percent, or as low as sixty percent and as high as ten percent, it is still not hard to believe that a huge percentage more people owned their own homes before the creation of the Federal Reserve than do now. Back then, money was based on gold and silver, as provided for in the constitution, and there was hardly any inflation. One didn't have to worry so much about the value of the dollar falling, so it was much easier to save for a big purchase. Many people built their own homes, starting them out small and adding on as they needed. They didn't have to worry about the extra costs foisted upon them by government regulations. They made their own decisions about safety. Today, all you have to do is look around you. No one I know owns their house outright. Even my friends and family who I consider well to do don't own their homes. The banks more or less own just about everything, and they just let you live on their properties. To make matters worse, governments can come along and take any land they want for any reason. Even the Supreme Court has ruled recently that a local government could take a property and then give it over to a private entity, proving once again that they are not concerned with American ideals such as individual rights, property rights or the pursuit of happiness. Remember, the Supreme Court of the United States of America once ruled that a human being could be the property of another human being. The Supreme Court has shown historically that it cannot or will not protect individuals from the power of certain elite individuals, institutions or groups, let alone the power of the state.

So it is that in today's world we are hearing about the housing crisis. People took out loans based on possible future earnings and rosy economic forecasts that simply did not pan out. And yet wasn't this situation inevitable? At some point in time we have to face up to our responsibilities and pay the piper, so to speak. There are no guarantees in this world and none that growth could be maintained permanently. Like a balloon inflating, sooner or later the air has to be let out or the balloon will pop. So it is with the economy. The inevitable cannot be stopped, only postponed.

Yet this does not have to be how the world works. Consider that for millennia economies operated just fine without the help of central banks. People did business with each other in exchange for precious metals or other goods or services. When business is done in this manner, no one is indebted to anyone else. It is only when one borrows and another lends that one man can lay claim to another's labor or possessions. In modern society, going into default can lead to loss of possessions. But there's more to it than that. Our money, printed at will and based on debt, is losing value, but those who lend it out, those who print it, have nothing to worry about. It is only those on the bottom of the pyramid, those who support the system on their backs, who will pay the most.

Consider for a moment that in today's world, it would be nearly impossible for the vast majority of people to buy a house without a bank loan. And since there is little possibility of saving enough to buy a house outright and renting nets one nothing, taking out a loan seems to be the best alternative. As many of you may know, the true price of a house goes up quite a bit when a loan is used. By the time a thirty year mortgage has been paid off, the original selling price of the house has been covered three times or more. Even if the house was to have tripled in value when you sell it, you will only be making back the money you put into it, and that's not including any upgrades, repairs or additions you may have made to it. Where has all that money gone? It's gone from those at the base of the pyramid to those at the top.

And yet there's still more than just money involved here. The true cost of debt could very well be our real wealth. As more people lose their homes, more wealth is taken out of the hands of the general populace and put into the hands of the banking elite. As more people lose their wealth, less people will be able to afford to spend on the goods and services offered by others in this country. As this happens, businesses begin to shut down, more people lose their jobs, more people lose their wealth, and a downward spiral continues. Those at the top of the pyramid will likely horde the wealth and keep it out of circulation. In desperation, the populace will likely turn to the government for help, perhaps demanding that government force the elite to relinquish their hold on real wealth. The government, only too happy to help, will in this way make the populace dependent upon their ability to use force. This is where the true cost of debt becomes evident. Debt could well cost the masses their independence. For a few crusts of bread, many may sell out their freedoms.

I hope this situation can be avoided. I hope that those experts who claim we are well on the way to such a scenario are wrong, as I'm sure they do to. Yet I can't help thinking that all this could have been avoided by simply adhering to the dictates of the constitution and the advice of some of the founding fathers. Even if we do end up in such a hopeless situation as some suggest we will, we can help ease suffering by accepting currencies other than Federal Reserve notes, by accepting any kind of barter another may offer in a voluntary transaction. And even if we do somehow manage to save this floundering economy, even if we do right the ship and bail it out, one could wonder if we will continue to make the same mistakes. Those who can should do their best to become debt free. A debt free society makes for a more independent, wealthier society. And as the future unfolds and we begin to recognize the mistakes made and the fraudulent practices that have been allowed, we need to demand sounder currency based on something other than debt. In this way we can move forward with an eye to keeping our economy stable rather than trying to force it to grow. When this happens, perhaps debt will not be so costly.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ron Paul Is Not Done Yet

This article was originally published at on April 28th, 2008

Reports of Ron Paul´s early demise were greatly exaggerated. Above all else, he still survives. He is still in the running for the presidential nomination. Like a baseball team going into the bottom of the ninth down ten to nothing, there is still hope, though perhaps not as much hope as we would like. But then, anyone who has supported Ron Paul should have always known it would be an uphill battle. They should have realized that it would take more than unprecedented contribution numbers, unrivaled grassroots support and innovative campaigning to win. Ron Paul was and is up against more than just his fellow Republican candidates, he is up against an established elite that has built up a system of dual political hegemony and has created rules and laws to insure the failure of any challenge to that hegemony. He´s up against banking and other corporate interests, a military industrial complex. They certainly would not want the masses to be honestly informed. They wouldn´t want the message of freedom to get out. That would weaken their grip on the control they enjoy. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our fellow citizens remain fooled by the left right paradigm created to provide the illusion of choice, or at the very least they remain silent and complicit. The powers that be do not want a Ron Paul presidency. It is no wonder all the grassroots efforts undertaken so far seem so ineffective, and yet Ron Paul remains in the race, however tenuously.

This in and of itself is an amazing achievement, particularly considering that from the beginning of his candidacy we have been told by the mass media that Ron Paul is "unelectable." I wonder why the talking heads working for corporate television and political pundits writing for establishment newspapers and magazines would say such a thing. Just what is it that makes a candidate unelectable?

Could it be that Ron Paul is unelectable because he is too honest? I know I have often told people who have suggested that I run for office that I am too honest to be involved in politics. I guess that is because I am too honest to participate in election fraud or other such chicanery. If I knew what was going on I would report it regardless of who was engaging in such activities. I would not simply tell people that I didn´t want to know what was going on so I could maintain plausible deniability. I also would not take money from special interest groups who would expect me to vote for some law just to make them money or protect their business. Because of this, I´m fairly certain my name would not get out to the general public and not enough people would know my positions on issues to elect me. Goodness knows we can´t have an honest man in the highest political office, not in this country. The fact that someone as honest as Ron Paul has made it to the position he has is another great accomplishment and a feather in Ron Paul´s hat.

Could it be that it´s because Ron Paul is too principled? He does, after all, take seriously his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. His voting record proves this. In the debates he took part in, he often times referred to the constitution when talking about his positions on issues. He speaks of constitutional money. He speaks of the constitutional power of the congress (not the president) to declare war. He speaks of the unconstitutional nature or the "war on drugs." He references the Constitution so much that one would think he actually read it and understands it. How very unusual for a politician in his position. It would be nice to hear other politicians talk about the constitution with such reverence. It would be nice to see them voting against unconstitutional laws. It would be nice if more of our congressmen took seriously their oaths of office. But to be that principled just must not be what the citizens of the United States of America want to see in a president. It must be a fatal flaw that makes him unelectable.

Could it be that Ron Paul knows too much about the monetary system in this country? He often times speaks of the economy like he knows what he´s talking about. Perhaps that´s because he´s actually taken the time to study and get to know economics. He understands why we´re experiencing the economic travails we´ve been experiencing lately. He understands how the economy´s been manipulated and how to stop such manipulations. Heaven knows we wouldn´t want a leader who understands economics. Heaven knows we shouldn´t have competition in banking or sound constitutional money. Heaven knows we don´t want anyone in the highest office who would stand up to the Federal Reserve and has a history of doing so. Such a brave, intelligent individual is most certainly unelectable. The American people hardly deserve such a leader.

Could it be that Ron Paul has far too much integrity? He´s been married to the same woman for fifty years. He does not flip-flop on any issue, choosing instead to always vote no on any legislation that is not covered by the constitutional mandate. One knows where Ron Paul stands on a given issue and he will not change. He always sides with the idea of freedom. He always champions the constitution. Judging from his voting history, one knows he will keep any campaign promise he makes, if indeed he would make any promises. Of course, everyone knows that only flip-floppers and those who make promises they can´t possibly keep are the only electable candidates. Everyone knows that only candidates surrounded by controversy and scandal in their professional and personal lives are electable. Why would the people want otherwise?

Could it be that Ron Paul is unelectable because he´s against war? He´s not just against the Iraq war, he´s against all war. He wants to bring all our troops home and stop policing the world and maintaining a costly empire. He abides by the axiom that we should stay out of foreign entanglements, that we should have free trade with all and entangling alliances with none as Thomas Jefferson advised. Such an humanitarian stance could most certainly make one unelectable. After all, why would we want a world where the American military is not responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians in their own countries? Why would we want a world where civilizations much older than our own are allowed to run their own business? Why would we want to peacefully coexist with others? And most of all, why would we want to save all that money and spend it here at home on infrastructure and other public necessities? Anyone taking such a silly stance is certainly unelectable, even when considering that a majority of voters are against the Iraq war and would like to see our soldiers brought home.

Ron Paul is unelectable because the establishment says he is. If one believes that he is unelectable because of any of the reasons I gave above, then that person either believes the brainwashing talking heads and pundits in the mass media or perhaps they benefit from one of the situations that are antithetical to freedom and liberty. He is unelectable because many people fail to completely understand politics and vote strictly for the politician that the party tells them to vote for regardless of where that person stands on the issues. He is unelectable because somehow he has been painted as crazy or an extremist for believing in the principles that made this country great. When did believing in freedom become extreme? When did speaking about and supporting principles of liberty become a symptom of insanity? The collectivists have so thoroughly penetrated the government and brainwashed the public that they have forgotten the ideas of individual freedom and personal responsibility.

Ron Paul is unelectable because many people don´t want freedom. They want to be taken care of by the government. They want to be told what to do. They want to be told how to live their lives, what to put in their bodies, and they want the security blanket and protection that mommy government offers them. They are afraid to take responsibility for their own lives. They are frightened at the prospect of thinking for themselves and making their own decisions. They believe that somehow civil society will break down should the free market be allowed to operate without regulation. And these people want to use government to force me and other freedom lovers to give up the same cherished liberties that they have given up. After all, these are the people who have voted for establishment politicians who demand total control of everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Yet Ron Paul is likely one of the most electable candidates that this corrupted, unfair two party system has given us in a long time. With a little time, a little explaining, and a little thought many people would agree with the stances that Ron Paul has taken. If the Republican party were to present him to the public as their candidate, they would bring such a variety of new people into their fold that it would overwhelm the opposition. Democrats, third party people and folks who have given up hope on the political process and no longer vote would flock to the party once the message of freedom was given to them and hope for their future was restored to them. The Republican party may yet realize that they have a golden opportunity here to restore the republic. But this, of course, would mean that the establishment would have to relinquish much of its control to individuals, something they are most likely not willing to do. It is for this reason that some may think Ron Paul is crazy for hanging in there. Perhaps he is, but maybe he´s crazy like a fox.

Juries, Taxes, Wesley Snipes and American Injustice

This article was originally published on on April 28th, 2008

Recently, Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for not paying his taxes. He was acquitted of tax fraud and conspiracy charges, but convicted of three counts of the misdemeanor charge of failure to file tax returns. I´ve read and heard some stuff about this case that is rather disturbing to me, most of it having to do with the prosecutors´ conduct and the judge´s reasoning for being so harsh.

It seems that the prosecutors wanted the judge in this case to give Snipes a harsh sentence not because he was particularly malicious, or because he was a repeat offender, or because his crime with particularly heinous, but they wanted to send a message to other "tax protesters" that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated. The prosecutors wanted it to be known that the government will no longer tolerate people who exercise their god given right to question manmade law when it comes to the IRS collecting their tribute. They want to make certain it is known by all citizens that their gang will send armed men to your place of residence or work, kidnap you (at gunpoint if necessary) and throw you in a cold cell (perhaps even kill you if circumstances permit) if you have the audacity to question whether or not you actually owe these "taxes" to the extortionists that are demanding them. When passing sentence the judge said something to the effect of if one believes that one does not owe taxes, they should take it up with the IRS and not just simply refuse to pay one´s taxes. Yet it has been shown and documented more than once that if you ask the IRS to show you a law that says you must pay taxes, they will not. If one tries to work it through with the IRS and they do not cooperate, shouldn´t the next logical step be to take it to the court system? Ah, but Mr. Snipes may have forgotten that those in charge of the courts must realize that their livelihoods come from the very tax money he and others are protesting. They are very prejudiced against seeing things objectively. Why would they kill the goose laying the golden eggs?

It shouldn´t matter, really, whether there is a "law" requiring one to pay income taxes or not. To levy taxes against a man´s labor is stealing, pure and simple. The actions taken against Wesley Snipes and others prove that this is not a voluntary system of government, as it was meant to be. If one is forced to pay for protection under the threat of violence that is by definition extortion. If one has to ask permission from the government to work (as is required as evidenced by all the tax paperwork one needs to fill out before one can start a job) and one has to pay a portion of their salary to the "masters" who gave them permission to work, that is akin to slavery.

I may not know much about manmade laws, but I do know about common law. I know when I´m being ripped off. I know the difference between right and wrong. Natural law, or common sense, which is what our constitution was based upon, or at the very least should have been based upon, is obvious for all to see. Something is a crime if it hurts another or deprives them of something that they´ve rightfully earned, inherited or were given. That sounds more like what the IRS is doing than what Wesley Snipes did. Perhaps that is why a straight forward tax law has never been written, because it would be so obviously unconstitutional and blatantly illegal. Perhaps that´s why the tax code is so convoluted, because they know no one would pay into a legitimately voluntary system, especially since the federal government seems to screw up everything it touches. The problem seems to be that so many American citizens seem to think that government is the solution to the problems that government creates. We as a society, as the common people, need to learn to take personal responsibility for the laws we live under and to exercise our power as common men to decide whether or not a law should exist.

Juries have the power to do this. They have the power to judge the law. Those in the legal profession might not want you to know this, they certainly won´t tell you this and they may even lie to get you to believe otherwise, but juries have that power regardless. Juries can simply find a man not guilty regardless of the evidence against him. In fact, one juror who decides that principle is more important than an unjust law can hang a jury and make all the difference in the world. Juries are the reason the prohibition of liquor was done away with, not lawmakers. If the juries consisting of common folk had been convicting common folk of breaking the law back in the day when consuming alcohol was a crime, it would still be illegal to consume alcohol. If modern day juries consisting of common folk would stop convicting common folk of breaking the law when they decide not to pay their income taxes, it wouldn´t be long until the income tax would be done away with and the government would be forced to try to figure out a different way to steal from the common man.

I bet a great many Americans would think that Wesley Snipes was a rich man trying to not pay his "fair share" and that he got what he deserved. I beg to differ. One can only expect to receive as much freedom as he is willing to grant another. If it is wrong to tax the poor, then it is wrong to tax the rich. Remember, the income tax started as a tax on only "the rich" and left poorer folks be. Back when it started one was considered rich if he earned over $14000 per year. A person making that much in the modern world is most likely not making ends meet, if they´re not totally impoverished, and yet the government would think nothing of withholding a portion of his money for their tax schemes. The government doesn´t care about the common man, or more precisely those individuals with power working for the government don´t care about common folk. They only care about seeking more power, helping their friends, and punishing their enemies. If the income tax is to be abolished, it will be up to the common folk to break the bonds, for the politicians will try to maintain their grip on power like an alligator trying to maintain its hold on its prey.

Men with suits and robes sitting in legislative halls and behind benches wielding gavels have done more harm to our nation and its principles than any man refusing to pay taxes because the laws haven´t been adequately explained or simply because they want to keep the fruits of their labor. These men are not held accountable for their actions. These men are not being sent to prison for years for crimes against their fellow countrymen. These men continue to enforce manmade laws that enrich the elite and shackle the less fortunate. Until and unless the common man starts to wield the power of his god given rights and becomes truly free by ridding himself of the collectivist systems of wealth redistribution by taxation, these men will continue to take advantage of ignorance and unjustly imprison anyone who sees through the thin veneer of their legalized extortion schemes and dares to question their authority.

Two Years Later, Politeness and Respect are Still Relevant

This article was originally published at on April 21st, 2008

Two years ago today I was given an opportunity by and I decided to start writing and posting opinion articles. I made that decision while I was sitting with a friend at a local Chili´s. I did so because I didn´t like some of the trends I was seeing in society. Specifically, I didn´t like that we as a society seem to have built a system where, for the most part, dishonesty and corruption are rewarded and hard work and honesty are punished. We can see this when we exam the nature of those who are successful against those who struggle to get by day to day. Leaders of big business and big government are all corruptible and the mere fact that they´ve elevated themselves to such positions of power makes one wonder if they´ve managed such accomplishments using less than honest means. Time and again it has come out and been shown that these powerful individuals have, indeed, used questionable means to obtain their goals and enrich themselves. In my first article I posed the question, should I teach my child to be dishonest and corruptible so he can have a chance at success, or should I teach him to work hard and be honest and become a poor, wretched wage slave like his father? It seems to me that the honest businessman or worker hardly stands a chance anymore.

The article didn´t receive too many reads at first. It really hasn´t received too many reads since either. But it did do something. It started me on a quest. It started me down a road I didn´t think I´d ever travel. I found a movement in the world that I didn´t know existed. I found out there are still people in this world who care about the principles this country was founded upon, and that those principles are growing in strength and popularity. People are getting tired of finding themselves on the short end of the stick. People are getting weary of being stepped upon. They are slowly starting to awaken to the realization that something is not right in this land we call America, that fairness no longer exists and that freedom is being confiscated little by little. There is a movement afoot, a movement that will hopefully proceed and succeed in a peaceful manner.

There was another trend I noticed growing as well, a pervasive trend propagated by the mass media that seems to have seeped into certain aspects of our society. The trend I speak of is the waning use of meaningful reporting, commentary and dialog in the news media, particularly in political circles. These once thriving devices that had been used to keep our politicians a little more honest and somewhat in check have been eclipsed by talking heads who speak only in political talking points and sycophants who spew forth party propaganda. Especially telling are the names they call anyone who disagrees with their point of view and the abuse they heap upon those who would dare question their opinions. In my humble opinion this juvenile practice of calling people names, of bullying them when they disagree, of cutting them off before they can make their point, of not letting them fully explain their opinions and of misrepresenting their points of view turns many reasonable people off, cripples meaningful dialogue between those with divergent viewpoints, and causes United States society to be viewed as childlike in the eyes of the rest of the world. It creates rifts between people which will not easily be resolved and could become permanent, rifts which cause people to stop listening to or considering other points of view no matter how valid. It prevents us from exploring other avenues for fear of ridicule which may prevent us from discovering the truth in certain matters. It plants the seeds of secrecy and denial as the dogma of a given viewpoint takes hold and certain facts are withheld, misrepresented or under reported in order to maintain that dogma. Worst of all, it undermines the first amendment of the United States – which states (paraphrasing) that this government will respect the right of an individual to speak his own opinion no matter how vile the rest of us may find it – by allowing powerful dominant groups to create laws forbidding certain speech under the guise of fomenting hate. It is for these reasons that I try to keep my articles respectful of others, even when I strongly disagree.

In my journey of self discovery over the last two years I have found many things about the world that I might not have known had I not taken this path. I found a new community of people, a community that cares about the principles on which this nation was founded, the principles that made this a great nation, the principles of individual freedom and liberty. I have learned the true meaning of freedom and that one is not truly free until he is free from the extortion of government and free to determine for himself how to best run his life and his business without the forced interference of government and its mandates. I have learned that the constitution of this great nation, which was constructed by some of the most intelligent thinkers of their time and has relevance to this day despite what some pundits would have you believe, is being slowly degraded. This document, meant as a shield to protect the individual from the strength of government force, has been subverted to make it easier for an elite de facto aristocracy to control and prevent dissent.

I have learned of a man, Ron Paul, who not only speaks about supporting such views, but as a congressman has a voting record to prove his honesty about such things. I have seen this man and the people that support him ignored and sometimes even demonized by a mass media concerned only with selling us on concepts of collectivism. I now know where their loyalties lay, and they are not with the common man. I have championed this man as much as my meager abilities allow. I have seen the extent of his support and know it to be much more than the mass media would have one believe and know he would be more popular still if the mainstream media would simply report honestly on what is happening in politics. I have heard his name recently invoked by one Barack Obama, a Democrat with a record of voting for socialist ideals, in a vain attempt to win Ron Paul supporters over to his camp. As if Ron Paul had dropped out of the race. As if supporters of true individual freedom could ever convert to a collectivist mindset. The truth is being exposed and the ideas born in the forge of the American Revolution will not be buried.

I have learned of a monetary system sickened by the unlawful takeover of private interests, a monopoly endorsed by the federal government against all advice of the elder statesmen and against the constitution they pledged an oath to uphold. I have read and written about honest money representing the labor of humans rather than dishonest money representing nothing more than debt. These men who control money have mislead the masses and misrepresented their agenda. They now claim the work of the many is owed to them, the elite few, and that the wealth created by all is due to only them. I foresee that this inequity will have to be put straight by people doing business with other people in an honest manner and creating wealth the elite cannot claim by hook or crook, or ignoring the claims of the wealthy banking elite that they are owed the wealth they have tricked us into mortgaging over to them. To accomplish this, free men may have to free themselves from the trap of government wealth redistributing schemes and take personal responsibility for their own financial matters.

I have put into words my thoughts and feelings over the last two years in hopes to have some influence in this world. I do this not for money, I have yet to earn one dime from taking the time to write these articles, but in the hopes that someone else with more influence than I can hope to gain will be able to use some of these thoughts in a way that gets the pendulum of thought swinging back toward the goal of individual freedom in our lifetime. In this way individuals of all races and creeds will be able to fulfill their greatest potential, something that can hardly be done when the weight of government mandates, regulations and laws are dragging one down and holding them back. I believe that it is through individualism, not collectivism, that we shall achieve our finest days. I hope I will be able to continue to try to convince others that this is a worthy vision as the years pass, and I hope that someday someone of some importance will realize the value of my words. Thank you all for the kindness and interest in my work you´ve shown me over the last two years. May we all be blessed with freedom and prosperity

Freedom is Always Preferable

This article was originally posted at on April 7th, 2008.

I´ve noticed in life that people seem to have a tendency to believe that everyone thinks and acts as they do. If one is a thief, he will most likely believe that everyone is a thief, or at least would be if they could get away with it. Often a thief may accuse others of stealing. If one is a liar, he could very well think everyone lies. This is especially true with politicians. Nowhere else on earth will you find the pot calling the kettle black as much as you will in the halls of congress. Yet I´ve noticed that most people are good and honest. They, like me, just want the best for themselves and their families. They, like me, are willing to work hard to earn it. So why is it we tolerate such secrecy and deception coming from our government? Why have we allowed socialist doctrines to pervade our society? Perhaps we have been too nice, or perhaps we´re not as nice as we think.

Since most of us are well intentioned, we assume everyone else is well intentioned. Certainly if we see someone down on their luck, or if someone is in dire straights due to some circumstance beyond their control that has befallen them, most of us would be only too willing to lend a helping hand. Americans are extremely generous. I have heard it said that Americans are the most generous people on the planet. I have experienced this generosity first hand when my house burned down several years back and many people gave us money and support to help us get by. People who didn´t know us but were simply asked to help out a family in the community donated. These acts of kindness helped restore my faith in mankind. Because of this, because many of us humans are so kind and generous, many of us believe that is human nature, and this may make it easy to dupe us.

Many people believe that government is created to do good works, that government is created to protect the common man and bring justice and equity to the world. We should stop deluding ourselves. While in a perfect world this type of admirable government would exist, and while it can be argued that the United States government would be such a government if they followed and protected the constitution, the reality is much different. We do not live in a perfect world. Government no longer protects the common man nor even tries to bring equity or justice. They protect certain special interests who give them money – usually in the form of campaign contributions – to do so. They protect their own power base usually by passing laws that make it nearly impossible for independent and third party candidates to compete with the anointed ones. Ominously, they have been passing laws lately that will make it easier for them to arrest and control dissidents should common, ordinary citizens become angered enough to actually start trying to take their power back.

Government is force and coercion. Those are the principles on which it operates. You are forced to pay their taxes. You have no choice if you wish to stay out of trouble. Don´t pay, and they will arrest you and throw you in jail. Resist their police, and they will kill you. Government has monopolies on power, on ruling over you, on making laws, and on the instruments that make it possible to enforce the laws they make. Does this sound like good works? Does this sound just? Does it sound equitable? The government takes our money, then the bureaucrats decide where it goes, which people get it and which people don´t, and who gets protected and who doesn´t. When the mob was taking money from business men for protection, it was called extortion. When the government does it it´s called taxes. This is not freedom. In a free society we can choose where the money we earn is spent. In a free society we can choose which charities we want to donate to. In a free society we decide who to voluntarily associate with. Yes there will be problems in a free society, no society is perfect and it is doubtful one ever will be, but freedom is preferable to wealth redistribution forced upon us by a group of people that couldn´t care less about you. Freedom is preferable to legalized theft.

Yet perhaps we have no one but ourselves to blame. Perhaps we as a free society were betrayed by our own greed. I´ve heard it said that democracy fails when people realize they can vote themselves money. The silver tongued politicians have been making promises, but failing to explain the cost of keeping such promises. Many have voted for the establishment of social programs, but what are the true costs of such programs? They´ve done so for the best intentions of helping the poor, but is it right to steal from one group to help another? Certainly there must be other solutions, better more voluntary solutions, but these solutions aren´t so easy. And then there´s the programs set up to help everyone, programs like the tax rebate program coming in May. But has anyone thought of where this money will come from? We´ve been borrowing money and printing it by the trillions. This money is from private organizations that don´t care about you or me or even the government, they only care about their profits. They only care about collecting the interest on what we owe. We should be paying down our debt, paying off the principle, trimming our expenses and shedding ourselves of non essential government programs before the debt gets to be too much of a burden to bear. The only way to be truly free is to rid ourselves of all debt so that we owe no one, else we are just working for those we are indebted to and we are all debt slaves. Freedom is preferable to the chains of socialism. Freedom is preferable to the prison of indebtedness.

I still believe that deep down the vast majority of people are honest, hard working people who just want to be left to their own devices so that they can make their way in the world and provide for themselves and their families. I wish I could say the same for those who seek power. The vast majority of those in politics seem to be control freaks. They want to tell everyone how to live. They want to stick their noses in everyone´s business and demand money for doing so. They want to mold and force everyone into their vision of how the world should be. They want to achieve more and more power to help themselves and their friends, rather than just letting the marketplace run on its own and helping on the limited scale put forth in the constitution. This is how government grows. At least, that´s how it seems to me. Freedom is preferable to big government.

The power structure of this nation keeps becoming more and more centralized. Many of the powers meant to keep one power or the other in check seem to have failed and the executive is coming out on top. This trend needs to reverse itself. Congress should demand the executive account for its arrogance. Judicial should demand strict adherence to constitutional mandates. States should demand that federal stop making laws that the constitution has granted as state jurisdiction. We need to decentralize, not keep granting more power to fewer and fewer people. With less centralization comes more freedom. This freedom will enable the masses. It will give people the opportunity to invent, to be innovative, and to create. This freedom, whether in the marketplace or in personal lives, will enable people to associate with and get to know more people inside and outside their communities. It will enable the common man to help himself rather than depend on others. It will enable everyone to see problems forming and will increase the possibilities that a solution will be found, one that is likely more clever than a forced government mandate. Freedom is the preferable concept. It is the foundation of this nation. Somewhere along the way we as a society forgot this and lost our way. This is the principle we should get back to.

Dissenters Under Attack Worldwide

This article was originally posted at on April 5th, 2008

Last year in Burma there was great unrest. Buddhist monks began to protest perceived injustices brought about by the heavy hand of too much government. Like people all over the world, these monks wanted more freedoms to run their own lives. Now, Buddhist monks are perhaps some of the most peaceful people in the world. They have a religious doctrine against harming others and, unlike some religions we in this country are more familiar with, they adhere to their tenets. Their protests were met with severe persecution and the type of violence that only the state could bring to bear on such peaceful individuals. People of conscience would not have been able to inflict such violence and torment on these monks, and yet soldiers are able to do so because the state orders them to, which absolves them of personal responsibility for their actions. Whether the state accomplishes this through training, brainwashing, or fear, or whether the individual soldier enjoys inflicting such violence on others hardly matters, that they are able and willing to conduct themselves in such a manner is what gives the state such awesome power.

Now Buddhist monks are again protesting, this time for Tibet’s freedom. Many expatriated Tibetans are protesting Chinese rule in their country and the Chinese government has cracked down on them hard. Again, much violence is reported. People have died trying to exercise their freedom to express their concerns. Whether you side with the Tibetans or the Chinese in the matter of Tibetan autonomy is inconsequential, people should be able to peacefully express their opinion without fear of reprisal no matter what that opinion is and no matter how many people disagree. If I believe black is white and white is black and every other person in the world knows otherwise, it is my right to be able to speak my mind and I should be able to do so without fear of government personnel macing, pepper spraying, beating, jailing, or otherwise trying to silence me so long as I am harming no one.

There are many peoples in this world who feel oppressed and are unable to speak out about it for fear of reprisal. Those who become brave enough to rise up and peacefully protest are usually quickly and brutally repressed. Governments worldwide have become well versed in making it appear as if these protesters became violent before they were attacked. They have been known to insert agent provocateurs into a crowd of protesters and use their actions to justify brutal crackdowns and massive arrests. Often the media seems only too happy to regurgitate the government’s point of view and propaganda without properly investigating incidents or reporting alternative points of view. It seems as if at times the media is in league with government to try to keep the larger portion of the populace complacent. As long as dissenters can be made to seem other than normal, common human beings, most “respectables” will do nothing and may wish to maintain the status quo.

At one time there was a place people could go to escape this kind of tyranny. That place was called America. This isn’t so true anymore. I see evidence everywhere that we’re already living in a police state. The FBI can now legally break into someone’s home and without their knowledge search through their personal effects. Our representatives in Washington DC are constantly bickering over the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps. As if this should even be a topic of conversation in the United States. As if our policing agencies should take their place in history beside the Russian KGB and the East German Stasi as state apparatuses to keep the people in their proper place. I see the films of protestors being beaten, pepper sprayed and even shot with rubber bullets by the very police who are supposed to protect them right here in this country, in this nation where the right to speak one’s mind is supposed to be sanctioned and respected above just about all else by those representing government. Then I see these same police sanctimoniously laughing about their deeds without fear of being held accountable for them. Then I see films of them beating and harassing our youth doing nothing more than skateboarding. Skinny kids that are harming no one are subject to ridicule and abuse by men much larger and older who should know better. These police state tactics are used on a daily basis and the mass media hardly mentions it. Anyone who doesn’t access the web for their news would hardly know this was going on. Yet the Average Joe knows something is wrong, he can smell something amiss, but he can’t quite put his finger on what it is.

The right to dissent and disagree with another is a God given right. People, and therefore governments, can choose to handle this right of others in several different ways. They can accept that people have differing views, respect their right to express them, take these points of view into consideration and try to come to an acceptable solution or at the very least agree to disagree. This is what the Constitution of this great nation guarantees its citizens, a guarantee that is not currently being honored by many who have sworn an oath to do so. They can choose to ignore those who have decided to exercise their right to speak out against injustices, a decision the mass media seems to have made. Or they can choose to use force, threats, coercion and intimidation to silence those who would otherwise feel free to speak their minds, a course our government seems to have taken. This course may well be working for them as an increasingly worried populace continues to sit down and remain silent while hoping against hope that the very same people who got us into this mess, those who desire power over others and seem to relish exercising said power, will somehow change their tune and begin to respect our rights once again.

Dissent has been brutally quashed in other nations and in this nation of free men may soon be forced underground in the name of national security, the same excuse used by the Russian government, the Chinese government, and by kings, dictators and other authoritarian regimes throughout history. The United States of America was a country set up to create a multitude of sovereigns, not an aristocracy which would rule over the masses. If we are to regain our sovereignty from those who are trying to steal not only our freedoms, but our wealth and our future, we need to stand up and be strong in our demands. We have already been shown by great men that peaceful acts of civil disobedience can work wonders. Perhaps the time has come for such acts to take place en mass. It is time to speak out. It is time demand a return of our rights and to put this country back on the right track. It is time for our government to lift its attack on dissent and to take seriously the dissenters’ points of view, otherwise I shudder to think of the direction this country will take.