Thursday, February 22, 2018

An Open Letter to Gun Grabbers

Dear Democrats, Progressives, Socialists, and Gun Grabbers of all flavors:

I'd like to know, what about “the RIGHT of THE PEOPLE...SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED “ in the 2nd Amendment you are missing.

Look, nobody wants the kind of shooting we just had in Parkland, FL...NOBODY...not even the hated NRA. If you think, however, that more gun laws will help avoid future Parkland-like incidents, think about Chicago. They have the most restrictive gun laws in the country and on any given weekend there can be as many shot and murdered as there were in Parkland...month after month.  This is a cultural problem that will not be solved by gun bans.  Your proscriptions will only infringe the rights of law abiding citizens and provide no real solutions.

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution does not confer the right to keep and bear acknowledges this preexisting right and denies the central government the ability to infringe upon it.  The amendment is not meant for hunters or sportsmen...this would have been an absolute ludicrous concept for the signers.  Just about everyone at the time of it's adoption either hunted or relied on hunting for some of their food source.  It is not even about individual right to defend oneself, though this is also a foregone assumption and a preexisting right.  Rather, the 2nd Amendment, the very next statement in the Bill of Rights after the freedom speech and religion, was meant to allow The People (corporate) to defend themselves..."a well regulated militia."  And, by the way, for a militia, an AR-15 is exactly the kind of weapon you would want. Who do you think was on the minds of the ratifiers of this amendment?  Well, the tyrannical central government they had just spent their blood and sacred  honor to free themselves of.
The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution does not confer the right to keep and bear acknowledges this preexisting right and denies the central government the ability to infringe upon it.
I know most of you don't want to be bothered with facts and statistics. I know for many of you, how you feel about it is all the proof you need. I also know that for some of you...those behind the scenes...those who have transformed our culture over the last 50+ years so that we have no respect for life, so many of our teens are on anti-depressants, so there is nothing (except guns, being a Christian or a white male) that is taboo...I know that for you, this is about disarming the sheeple. You are the enemy that we need militias to guard against. You are the “enemies, foreign and domestic” that our officials...and our military men and women...swear to protect us from.

I hear you saying, “Oh, that's just a lot of paranoid fantasy brought on from watching too many movies.” But I say, the whole history of the world proves you wrong. Large, centralized states move toward control and tyranny more often than not. But, in your magnanimity, you say, “Okay, even if that were true,”patting me on the head, “what do you think a bunch of rednecks with guns can do against the might of a modern military power? You would have no chance anyway, so give up your guns...for the children.” To which I would have to point you to the cave-dwelling Afghani civilians who thwarted the two most powerful empires of modern times, the USSR and the USA.

The United States of America was founded on the Rule of Law, and the bedrock of Federal Law is the Constitution.  This document is a list of limited and specific powers given to the central government, and to make sure this was understood, we have the 10th Amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
 You see, it doesn't matter how you feel about guns.  The RIGHT to keep and bear arms is a preexisting right that has been acknowledged and codified in the bedrock Law of the Land.  You don't get to change it through social media, through protests, through crying on TV.  We all want to avoid another Parkland.  But let's look for real solutions.  I know, I know...that's too hard.  Blaming the guns is just easy, and convenient.  But if you really care, like you say you do, let's ask the important questions, like:  Why are all the mass shooters on psychiatric drugs?  Why are so many gun deaths involved with the prohibition of recreational drugs?  Why has our culture become so narcissistic that we would rather discard life than be inconvenienced?    The answer to these questions, and many more about our culture, will go much farther toward protecting our children than taking guns from law abiding citizens.

And, one more thing...If the government can deny my long-held right to arms, it can deny your right to free speech, or assembly, or the right to be protected from unlawful searches.  If they are allowed to do it to me...they can do it to you.  The Left used to understand this.
 “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” ~  John Adams, 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

THE Energy Solution - Thorium

Thorium as an energy source seems to be the correct answer to everyone's energy requirements.  It provides clean, abundant energy without any CO2 production.  It is a steady source of power unlike solar and wind.  It is a byproduct of other, desirable activity.  Thorium energy production should appeal to the most ardent environmentalist as well as the staunchest capitalist.  It is a boon for consumers, the poor and the rich alike.  This seems to be a win-win-win-win solution...unless you are invested in other power technologies or the military-industrial complex.

I'm not a physicist, and I don't play one on TV, but I have known about the benefits of Thoruim-based power plants for a few years now through research I've done on-line.  This obviously does not make me an expert, but I have attempted to pull together some resources for your own research.

Here are some highlights of the issues:

Thorium is a chemical element with symbol Th and atomic number 90. A radioactiveactinide metal, thorium is one of only two significantly radioactive elements that still occur naturally in large quantities as a primordial element (the other being uranium).
  • Thorium is very abundant, "In every cubic meter of soil, you have one gram of thorium." Salim Zwein.  
  • Thorium is four times more abundant than uranium.
  • Thorium is hundreds of times more energy dense than uranium.
  • Thorium is six million times more energy dense than coal.
Thorium is extremely safe.  "You can walk around with it in your pocket."
"There are so many things in our economy, that we deal with every day, that are measurably a hundred, a thousand, even a million times more dangerous." ~ John Kutch.
Thorium reactors are known as "walk-away" safe.  This means that if, in the event of a failure of the reactor system, a natural disaster such as what happened in Fukushima Japan with the tsunami,or for any other reason, the reactor can just shut down and everyone can walk away safely, without fear of fallout.
"It can't blow up.  It's not under pressure.  It burns 99% of it's fuel.  It can reduce existing nuclear waste. Normal operation range is between seven and eight hundred C.  This is where you can create miracles." ~ Jim Kennedy
"Wait," I can hear you saying,  "This can't be true.  If this thorium thing was this good," you say,  "we would certainly be using it.  Right?"  Well, as with many other potentially good things in this world, our government bureaucrats, crony-capitalists, and ne'er-do-wells of all sorts have, conspired, bungled, and botched their way into setting aside this technology and burying it for fifty years.

Is this science fiction, fantasy, unproven theory?  None of the above.
"We want people to know this is real, and that our government has done this...They ran it for 22,000 hours.  That's five years." ~ Jim Kennedy.
  In fact, a liquid fluoride thorium reactor was built in 1964 and became operational between '65 to '69 at the Oakridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The director of the laboratory, Alvin Weinberg, was fired for his advocacy of this safer alternative to the type of light-water reactors that he had designed and patented.  Why would they do this?  You see, thorium reactors do not produce plutonium as a byproduct, and as Jim Kennedy explains, "The government wanted reactors that would create both energy and materials for weapon production."  Kennedy further explains that:
"The Department of Energy...60% of their budget is dedicated to creating, maintaining, and doing research on nuclear weapons.  They're not trying to figure out how to get oil from sands.  That's not their primary business."
 So, the Military-Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in his 1961 farewell speech, rears it's ugly head once more.  Why would we ever allow these people to be in charge of our domestic energy policies...and in-turn have such a huge influence on our economy?

Another benefit of using thorium would be to reestablish a domestic rare earth mining industry.  In the infinite wisdom of government bureaucracy (oxymoron intended), rare earth production in the United States has been regulated nearly out of existence.  Rare earth materials are a vital ingredients in nearly all high-technology products made today.  But, since thorium is a low-grade radioactive element, and is a byproduct of mining the rare earth deposits, we have allowed China to corner a market that the United States once dominated, and, there by, made ourselves reliant on China for the elements and much of the manufacturing of products like cell phones and other high-tech components.

China has also made the development of thorium power a goal so that they can own the intellectual property (IP) rights  (patents).  This would mean that if we did begin building thorium reactors, we would have to pay licensing fees to China for technology that we developed 50 years ago.

For these reasons, and others, we should demand that our government removes the barriers to the development of this technology.  I have provided links to interesting videos on the subject below.  At least take a look at the first one.  it gives a basic overview.  I have also provided additional links to other resources.

Thorium Energy Alliance
Energy from Thorium

Thorium fuel cycle — Potential benefits and challenges ( IAEA-TECDOC-1450; pdf)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Battle of World Views

In a February 2015 article in The Times of Israel, blogger Hussein Aboubakr, a Muslim, writes about the truth of the "Moderate Muslim."  He states that, "In my childhood I was told that every day that passes on the Islamic nation without a caliphate is a sin. That the failures and miseries of the Muslim world started the moment we gave up conquests and wars against the infidels. That our prosperity depends on conquering new lands, converting new believers, looting new resources and enslaving more women. I was taught that a Jew is essentially a demon in flesh and that it is our destiny as good Muslims to kill them all. I was regularly fueled by battle stories and stories of lethal feuds of seventh century Arabia. It was not just me, a small child in Cairo, who was raised with these great apocalyptic prophecies, it was also so many people from all around the globe."

The article covers the issue of the so-called "Moderate Muslim" in much more detail.  but his key point is:
"My argument is, we are using the label “moderate” for everyone who is not trying to kill us regardless of that person’s actual views. We are in a very bad situation to the extent that we have confused moderation with self-interest. The majority of the Muslim world may not be moderate, but rather acting in its daily life from a purely self-interested point of view. This is a very good thing. We should encourage all Muslims to act and preserve their self-interests. But we should not lie to them about the nature of their religious ideas."
Facts are facts.  This is a contest between world views. The question is, how do you combat a world view?

The West has continued to meddle, since the 1950s (see The History of Folly), in the affairs of Muslim countries by propping up monster dictators and most recently bombing many innocent civilians, we take what were for many, many years, self-interested, if bigoted, Muslims and radicalize them to fight against us by sacrificing their own lives. Most people in the Middle East personally know people who have been killed by western weapons.

And, the dirty secret is, groups like ISIS, know this. They know that if they pull off a Paris type attack, it is likely that the west will retaliate by massive bombing attacks and other military actions that will kill more innocents and, therefore create more and more recruits for ISIS. It's the exact opposite from what we would think.

The definition of insanity is to continuing doing what you have always done and expect different results. I don't know the whole answer, but what we have been doing isn't working...has never worked in the Middle East. If you're old enough, and have a memory longer than the average American, you can remember the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. There was a lot of discussion then that the USSR was crazy if they thought they could really win in a country of zealots who fight a guerrilla war. That these people had been attacked for centuries and never truly conquered.

Why, then, do we believe we can transform these zealots to western democracy by bombing them back to the stone age? It doesn't work. We need to consider new ideas...we need to consider that the same morons who brought us Obamacare are the same people who run our international policy. Why do we trust them at all?

We need to get a longer view of honest about that history...and as free people, need always to question the motivations and actions of our elected (and non-elected) representatives.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cult of the State

I was just accused of being a cultist on a social media thread because I stated that I did not believe Jesus advocated the taking of people's money, by threat of force, and giving it to others as a proxy for the individuals taking care of the poor themselves.  Yes.  This is what we have come to.  People truly believing that the nameless, faceless, feckless mass of government bureaucrats are God's instruments on earth and without them, we would certainly all die.   And I am a cultist?

No, the true cultists are those who look to the State for their sustenance, comfort, and security.  Those who believe that without the all-mighty State, all forms of modern life are impossible.  Who excuse the State's misdeeds and criminal activity as necessary for our safety.  These cultists are so blind that they believe that the ever-broadening violations of our God-given and Constitutionally-codified rights actually somehow secure our liberty.  And the funny thing is, these same Statists would certainly look down their noses in disdain or pity at the citizens of countries like North Korea for believing that their leader is a god.

Look, don't many religious cults start with a twisting of the basic tenets of their religion?  Then, they build up individuals and groups of people as divine representatives.  Their leaders or dogma must not be questioned.  There is no thought or debate over these things, only calls of "heretic" for those who dare oppose the divine order.

How are these rabid Statists any different?  They have allowed the basic tenets of our republic, the Constitution and founding documents, to be twisted and tortured in ways that defy logic to accrue more and more power to the deified State.  While they may grumble about certain government representatives or individual agencies, they may never question the over-all necessity for government to sustain our "way of life."  I have yet to see one of these people answer objections with thoughtful, objective apologetics for their view.  You are only met with name calling...kook, racist, idiot, cultist...or changing of the subject. Many times I have prompted them to speak to just one specific point in my argument and tell me how I am wrong...They never do.

Then, to make the deification of the State complete, the true believers co-opt religion to justify their worship and eradicate any last resistance of the sheeple.  They twist sacred scriptures to make you believe that it is unrighteous to question the truth of their dogma.

In particular, Statists use the Bible to attempt to justify the theft by government of more-and-more of your wealth.  They say Jesus advocated taking care of the poor, the sick and the orphans...and indeed he did.  Since they have been so indoctrinated in the Cult of State, though, they can't imagine how this can mean anything other than forced redistribution of wealth.  In his book Biblical Economics, theologian R. C. Sproul, probably a cultist himself, I guess, begs to differ with the Statists:
"I am convinced that political and economic policies involving the forced redistribution of wealth via government intervention are neither right nor safe. Such policies are both unethical and ineffective…. On the surface it would seem that socialists are on God's side. Unfortunately, their programs and their means foster greater poverty even though their hearts remain loyal to eliminating poverty. The tragic fallacy that invades socialist thinking is that there is a necessary, causal connection between the wealth of the wealthy and the poverty of the poor. Socialists assume that one man's wealth is based on another man's poverty; therefore, to stop poverty and help the poor man, we must have socialism."
The evidence is overwhelming that the government is a failure at caring for the poor.  Trillions of dollars spent on the so-called "War on Poverty" and we have millions and millions of people who are  generationally dependent government hand-outs.  I am convinced that it is counter-productive and irresponsible to trust government with caring for the poor.  In his book Rollback, Dr. Thomas E.  Woods points this out about our so-called Welfare system:
"Another way to approach it is to recall that at least two-thirds of the money assigned to government welfare budgets is eaten up by bureaucracy. Taken by itself, this would mean it would take three dollars in taxes for one dollar to reach the poor. But we must add to this the well-founded estimate of James Payne that the combined public and private costs of taxation amount to 65 cents of every dollar taxed. When we include this factor, we find the cost of government delivery of one dollar to the poor to be five dollars."
Is this good stewardship of the wealth with which we have been blessed?  How would the master of the Parable of the Talents view this?  Even the foolish servant only buried the talents.  He did not waste them on some crooked scheme that had a long and continuous history of waste and failure.  Especially in view of the fact that the government has no money.  It continues to amass huge, crushing debts that will be pushed off to future generations not yet born to pay for its wonderful largess to the poor.

In his article Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist,  Lawrence W. Reed provides this summary after an exhaustive study of the Bible:
In Jesus's teachings and in many other parts of the New Testament, Christians — indeed, all people — are advised to be of "generous spirit," to care for one's family, to help the poor, to assist widows and orphans, to exhibit kindness and to maintain the highest character. How all that gets translated into the dirty business of coercive, vote-buying, politically driven redistribution schemes is a problem for prevaricators with agendas. It's not a problem for scholars of what the Bible actually says and doesn't say. 
Search your conscience. Consider the evidence. Be mindful of facts. Ask yourself: When it comes to helping the poor, would Jesus prefer that you give your money freely to the Salvation Army or at gunpoint to the welfare department? 
Jesus was no dummy. He was not interested in the public professions of charitableness in which the legalistic and hypocritical Pharisees were fond of engaging. He dismissed their self-serving, cheap talk. He knew it was often insincere, rarely indicative of how they conducted their personal affairs, and always a dead end with plenty of snares and delusions along the way. It would hardly make sense for him to champion the poor by supporting policies that undermine the process of wealth creation necessary to help them. In the final analysis, he would never endorse a scheme that doesn't work and is rooted in envy or theft. In spite of the attempts of many modern-day progressives to make him into a welfare-state redistributionist, Jesus was nothing of the sort.

I am all for helping the truly needy.  I am all for defending the defenseless.  I just don't think Jesus will credit it as righteousness to steal your neighbor's wealth, through government force, to give it to the poor.  And, if we are going to look to the Bible, let's look at the whole of scripture:

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." - 2 Thessalonians 3:10

"Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8

They never want to talk about these passages.

Related Links:
The Ten Commandments of the Federal Government
Godless Socialists
The Sin of Redistribution

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Consider the Humble Pencil

In 1958, Leonard E. Read published an article titled,
I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.  This short story very succinctly describes what Read calls the "miracle of ...millions of tiny know-hows" that go into producing something as simple as a pencil. It has become a classic amongst proponents of free markets.  The actual article can be read here.

What is this miraculous process?  There is the harvesting of the cedar wood used to make the body of the pencil and all of the tools, transportation, housing and food for workers, etc. that are required for this seemingly simple task.  The graphite that is mined in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), mixed with clay from Mississippi, acid, tallow and other ingredients to make the "lead" of the pencil, with all of the background tools processes, and requirements. Not to mention the rubber for the eraser, the metal for the ferrule, and the lacquer to paint the wood.

All-in-all, millions of people, all with their own skills and knowledge, their know-hows, are involved in the production of something as mundane as a pencil.  
"I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that's too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple."
How can a pencil represent such an important concept as to be important to our very liberty?  It is in understanding the concept that the process of making something so simple takes so many millions of voluntary interactions between people spread across the world.  That all of these processes could never be planned, let alone controlled by one person, group or even government...and this one of the simplest of items.  How then can the central planners of government think they can control whole industries?  Economies?  The climate?  They cannot.
"Once government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn't know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognizes that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation's mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of faith in free people—in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity—the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental 'master-minding.'"
But, since 1958, it has been more than proven that the government is grossly inept at delivering the mail.  Companies like FedEx, UPS and others have proven that private firms can bring innovation and efficiencies to the process and allows them to turn a tidy profit.  The US Postal Service would have been defunct years ago if it weren't subsidized by taxpayers.  And this is just one of thousands of areas where government is completely inept.  Yet we continue to believe that they know best.  We continue to allow them to control us.  And this, more than anything else, threatens our liberty.

The video below is a great six minute coverage of all of the concepts from the article...with great graphics in living color.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Nature of Meddling

Just a personal observation:

Too many "conservatives" are quick to decry government meddling in domestic economy and affairs, while backing meddling in foreign affairs.
Too many "liberals" are quick to decry government meddling in foreign affairs, while backing meddling in domestic economics and affairs.
We must realize that it is two sides of the same coin.  The issue is too much power in the hands of too few, corruptible people...people who think they know better than all of the masses of the world.  People driven by the power motive.  You cannot have a powerful government in one form of meddling and not in the other.  The answer is less government!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Can you handle the truth?

"History is written by victors." 
~ Winston Churchill

Too many of us believe that the history we have been taught in school or through other outlets of our culture is a collection of facts.  We think of it as more science than art.  Sure, there may be facts we haven't uncovered yet, just as there may be unknown sub-atomic elements that science has not discovered, but when we do, it will just be another addition to the table of known facts we already have.

This may be stated a little too strongly, but I don't think it is too far from true.  This belief, however, is very naive and does not take simple human prejudices into account.  It only takes a very simple thought exercise to realize how this works in practicality.   Think for example of how the people of Japan may think of the dropping of the atomic bomb compared to how Americans view it.  Or how the people of the southern states may have viewed the war between the states as compared to those from the north.  Even now as you think of these examples, you can't help but think that you know the truth about these events.  But do you?  Could it possibly be that you may be a victim of your own prejudices?

And what of Churchill's assertion that victors are the ones who write the history?  Do you find it hard to believe that in the former Soviet Union, or perhaps Mao's China, the official history of those countries and the greatness of their leaders might have been a bit...skewed?  I remember in the cold war years of my childhood the jokes on television where a stereotypical Russian character would say of some wonderful, obviously American invention, "We had it first.  Russia invented that." This was a comedic acknowledgement that in the USSR, people were propagandized that Mother Russia was the most wonderful, advanced nation on earth.  I recently heard the story of how, in an attempt to further show their supremacy over the West, Soviet leaders allowed the movie The Grapes of Wrath to be shown in theaters.  They sought to show their people how bad things were in American in this depiction of Depression-era migrant workers.  The plan backfired, however, when Russian audiences were amazed that even poor Americans had automobiles.

But what about in America?  Are we immune to such biases and purposeful manipulations?  Well, almost from the beginning of our country, people have, let's say sought to direct the narrative to their own benefit.  Our second president, John Adams complained bitterly after his retirement that the Republican supporters of Thomas Jefferson were guilty of spreading a revisionist account of the founding and elevating Jefferson's role above that of himself.  Joseph J. Ellis, in his book Founding Brothers relates that,
"Despite his brave posturings of nonchalance and indifference, Adams was, in fact, obsessed with Jefferson's growing reputation as one of the major figures of the age.  As Adams remembered it, Jefferson had played a decidedly minor role in the Continental Congress.  While he, John Adams, was delivering fiery speeches that eventually moved their reluctant colleagues to make the decisive break with England, Jefferson lingered in the background like a shy schoolboy... Now, however, because of the annual celebration on July 4, the symbolic significance of the Declaration of Independence was looming larger in the public memory, blotting out the messier, but more historically correct version of the story, transforming Jefferson from a secondary character to a star player in the drama."   
We know, for example, that Abraham Lincoln used iron-fisted tactics to suppress any dissenting opinions in the press of the time.  We know that our government used Hollywood and the press as full blown propaganda ministries to support the correct public perception of the World Wars and Korea.  And the examples go on and on.

Why does it matter?  Well, history should indeed be a collection of facts.  But when, through either bias or cynical, deliberate manipulation, the truth of the facts are distorted, they can be used to garner support for everything from ill-conceived domestic policies to immoral and illegal wars.  The truth matters and we cannot leave the telling of the truth to politicians and bureaucrats.
The truth matters and we cannot leave the telling of the truth to politicians and bureaucrats.
In 1850, Frederic Bastiat wrote,  "This is the way an opinion gains acceptance in France. Fifty ignoramuses repeat in chorus some absurd libel that has been thought up by an even bigger ignoramus; and, if only it happens to coincide to some slight degree with prevailing attitudes and passions, it becomes a self-evident truth."  This is as true today in America, with our 24/7 news cycles and social media, as it was in Bastiat's time...maybe more so.

We must be willing to challenge our long-held and inherited beliefs about history.  We need to face the possibility that what we have always known might not be the whole truth, but only what the victors want us to know.  In this modern age, though, the truth is out there to be discovered and acted upon.  You just have to care enough to find it.  But, as Jeff Riggenbach of the Mises Institute says, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. The horse has to want a drink. The American electorate has to want the truth about American history. Too many Americans don't want the truth...any truth. What they want is mythology that will confirm their prejudices."

What about you?  Can you handle the truth?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Myths You Probably Believe

"It aint what people know that causes's what they know that ain't so."
It is an interesting phenomenon to me how people can hold so tightly, fiercely even, to beliefs for which they have no basis for belief to which they can point, other than they have just always believed them, or it's what they have been told, or in many cases, they just want to believe them.  Wanting something to be true, however, does not make it true.  Being told they are true also does not make them true...and when it comes to truth, unfortunately, there is no safety in numbers.  Just because "everybody knows" something to be true, also does not automatically make it so.  It has been proven over and over that "the masses" can easily be fooled.

Belief in some myths are harmless and even a little bit fun.  Believing in Bigfoot or a nocturnal, molar-collecting sprite is harmless.  But particularly disturbing to me are the myths people cling to about government...many of which I have believed myself in the past.  These myths are troubling because they are created and perpetuated by the very government system that are the topics of the myths.  The very people who wish to wield power and control over our lives have, through government controlled schools, a sycophantic press, and bold face lies spread falsehoods about their own effectiveness, good intentions and indispensability, all in an effort to create a compliant citizenry who will never question their power or actions.

My path to recovering the truth, I am a recovering Neo-Con, began with simply being open to question my own beliefs and through reading history.  I began to see that much of what I thought I knew was, in fact, distortions at best and in many cases, complete fabrications.  I saw that it is not a matter of party, Republican or Democrat, since they were just two sides of the same coin.  Both parties, on the whole, are populated by statist, central-planning power mongers.  It was not even a matter of Right and Left, for many things I once believed as a rightist neo-con, I now reject.  It is, rather, a matter of truth and fact vs. myth and lies.  It is a struggle between liberty and tyranny.

In the video below from a 1977 lecture, Milton Friedman lays out five widely believed, and never-the-less false myths about government.  Are you open to truth?  Can you get past your own closely held myths and truly consider the logic and history of his arguments?  Friedman says early in the video that "Somebody once wrote...a myth is like an air mattress.  There's nothing in it, but it's wonderfully comfortable, and deflation causes an uncomfortable jolt."  Get ready for a needed jolt concerning these five Myths That Conceal Reality:
  1. The Robber Baron Myth
  2. The Great Depression Myth
  3. The Demand for Government Service Myth 
  4. The Free Lunch Myth
  5. The Robin Hood Myth.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Selfish People Suck!

I am personally sick-and-tired of all the selfishness in the United States.  So many today care only about their own comfort and desires, with no concern whatsoever about those around them or their community at large.

Who are these selfish people of whom I speak?  All those who believe that just by the fact of their existence, somebody owes them.  Those who think that just because they live, they have the right to make claims against the fruits of my labor; who have no qualms about having others confiscate what I have earned for my family and my future by threat of force and violence.

People who have not done what I have had to do to get where I am...who haven't gone in debt to get the education they need to find a good paying job...who didn't walk over a mile to where they could hitch a ride to school for this training...those who haven't been careful to make decisions along the way to get the experience they need to advance...who still think they have a right to my labor so that they can have cable TV, a cell phone, cigarettes and beer...these are some of the selfish people of whom I speak. These are the members of the entitlement class.

The other selfish group are those who care only about their own power and position...the ruling class elites.  This group wields the weapons of force to confiscate the fruits of my labor to buy the votes of the entitlement class.  They care little for either the producer or the entitled.  They will do whatever they must to accrue more and more power unto themselves...even to the point of paying for their lust on the backs of generations yet unborn.  They don't care if their policies of ever increasing and irresponsible spending cause future calamity for society, as long as they get the control they crave now.

It is not the producer, who works to provide for himself and his family, who asks nothing of anyone else, who is selfish.  It is not selfish to want to keep hold of what you have worked for...this is a foundational principle upon which our country was based.  The producer does not mind chipping in for basic services that make modern life possible, but they should not be expected to pay for a hugely bloated bureaucracy that seems geared toward squeezing more and more of the juice from the fruits of his labor every year.  He should not be forced to pay for those too short-sighted...or just plain lazy to take care of themselves and their own families.

Whatever the producers pay seems never to be enough for the entitled and the elite.  We are supposed to be happy to endure another tax, or fee hike, "It's for the common good," they say.  And after all, "it's only a few more dollars, what's the big deal?"  But, it's the cumulative effect of a few dollars for this tax, and that tax and the other fee, year after year that has brought the burden on the producer to be more than 50% of most people's income...and still it is not enough.  We are told that we shouldn't be so selfish.  The hubris! The unmitigated gall! No, it is not we, the productive class, who are selfish.  It is the entitled and elite.  Without the producers the whole system collapses under it's own weight...and there are less and less producers and more and more...parasites every year.

This is what I mean about being sick-and-tired...this is who I mean when I say,
Selfish People Suck!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What is Patriotism?

"The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain."
George McGovern
I do not believe the definition of patriotism is the unquestioning loyalty and submission to government.  In fact, this may be the opposite of patriotism.  The founding generation were loyal to the people of the colonies and risked their lives to oppose an unjust and tyrannical government structure.  Power truly does corrupt as Lord Acton rightly stated, and the patriotism of the colonists rebelled against corruption of the imperial power that had ruled the affairs of men for hundreds of years.
“The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison; Federalist No. 47
The founders understood the true nature of patriotism.  They risked their lives, treasure and sacred honor in service to it.  But this patriotism did not seek to replace one ruling class with another.  They saw government only as a necessary evil, as James Madison said, "if men were angels, no government would be necessary."  They purposefully designed a limited and decentralized structure of government to avoid the the tyranny that too much power can bring.  They knew that the people who would seek office themselves would not be angels.  Indeed, Thomas Jefferson stated that,  "The way to have a safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the function he is competent to [perform best]. Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with civil rights, laws, police and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with local concerns of the counties, and each ward [township] direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics, from the great national one down through all of its subordinates, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best."
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
George Washington
Many who seek power, though, often attempt to pervert patriotism by arousing strong emotional allegiances to a cause for which they claim leadership.  This can be a movement such as Communism with their call for "Workers of the World, Unite," or nationalism that calls every citizen to rally to the flag.  Nationalistic fervor has undoubtedly caused more death and destruction than any other force in the history of man, especially in the 20th century where millions of patriotic soldiers marched under the flags of Nazi Germany, The Soviet Union, Red China, Fascist Italy, or Imperial Japan...all killing and dying to prop up corrupt and evil central rulers and regimes while being told it was for the Father Land, Mother Land, their country or their honor.  Patriotism, when corrupted to such causes can be a powerful source of evil.  

Even in the United States of America, government often seeks to control us with appeals to patriotism.  We are to march unquestioning to war because the President declares it is in our national interest to do so.  We have been told that fighting in the frozen mountains of Korea or the rain soaked jungles of Viet Nam were somehow protecting our freedom and American way of life here at home.  If you question this logic or the motives of the government, you are labeled a traitor, a radical, or worse.  We are not to question the actions of our wise leaders, and they can just claim national security concerns to avoid any uncomfortable queries.

Even in politics, the parties seek to wrap themselves in the flag through their rhetoric, photo-ops, and sound-bites hoping to prove that they are more patriotic in their policies and power grabs than the other guys.  Seldom do they appeal to the foundational principals of freedom, truth or justice, but instead attempt to whip up populist passions with partisan attacks that only seek to consolidate and solidify their own power base.  Sadly, far too many of our fellow citizens fall for this tactic believing that only a Republican...or a Democrat...or even an Independent can be a "true American."  The citizen feels better in their self-righteous alignment with the right party, but their blind faith only further enslaves them to a ruling class who cynically manipulates them for its own purposes. 
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." 
James Madison  
No, I do not pledge allegiance to a flag as a symbol of nationalism, a corrupt system of bureaucratic inefficiency and waste, or a centralized ruling allegiance is to the true principles of liberty on which our country was founded and to my countrymen.  I believe that patriotism...true patriotism...protects and defends its fellow citizens from threats from enemies, foreign and domestic.  It should be based not on slogans, symbols or propaganda, but on principles and deep, abiding truth.  It does not elevate any one person, or group above all others, but sees all men as created equal.  And, above all, knowing of the ever present danger of corruption, it is ever suspicious of power and vigilant against abuses.  Patriotism stands against power when that power stands against the welfare of the people.

Our government, as any other government in the world, is not made up of angels.  It has become corrupt and abusive.  We have failed to protect our liberty against the usurpers and do-gooders alike.  It is time to revive our true patriotism to set this right by demanding a return to our founding principles of limited and decentralized government.  Only then can our future be secured and freedom be assured.  Do not be swayed by false appeals to patriotism which props up the establishment ruling elite, but stand firm on the true principles.  This is my definition of patriotism.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
The Declaration of Independence