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Friday, December 30, 2011

Indentured Servitude

There will be, in the coming months, the opportunity for the Supreme Court to look out upon the landscape of America and decide whether or not the government has obsolute power over the individual. The Court will rule on the individual mandate required of the healthcare law derisively called Obamacare.

What are the chances that the Court will decide in the people's favor? The Court does not see us as individuals capable of exerting any political pressure at all. They are comfortable in their roles as some form of extra-governmental majesties. Theirs is a world where their decisions are final and complete. There is no means of reversal, or appeal. Their word, more than any other governing body, is law.

Ask yourself if they really want to start undoing that fact. What could possibly induce them to recognize the power of the individual over the state? They are as much the federal government as any bureaucrat, and yes, there are a few of the Constitutional persuasion among them, we know their names, but the others are not. The key is Justice Kennedy, a moderate and a big government type who understands his place as the moderator, the decision-maker among decision makers. It is his and really his alone to make this judgment.

And so, after a few hundred years, we are really no further removed from King George III than were our forefathers. We, despite all of our efforts to undo this abomination of congress through political means, are at the mercy of one man's discretion. A single yeah or nay seals the fate of generations to come. It actually serves to make slaves of us all, for if the government can today demand that we all purchase health care insurance, how long before it is in the interest of the United States to purchase Government Motors cars? It would return the money given to GM to the treasury and it wouldn't be such a great imposition to demand that we buy a GM vehicle if a new vehicle is what we want, right? How long before we are forced to purchase electric vehicles because that is just good for the environment, right? How long before we are forced to purchase a Mac computer, or a veggie burger?

There is no end to what the government can force us to purchase, because any purchase is commerce and the commerce clause gives the right to the government, in this instance, to demand that commerce take place. There would never be another recession, because the government could, at will, demand that purchases take place to keep the economy from going into recession. The GDP slips a little, well, the government just has to come up with purchase orders and we will be forced to spend enough money to increase the GDP for that quarter.

In truth there truly is no difference between forced labor and forced purchases. There is no difference between forced labor and indentured servitude.  

Ask yourself: Who is this man? Who is Justice Kennedy?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Give Me Liberty

I read a lot of different blogs and websites. Most of the time I just read the headlines and maybe a few paragraphs until I get the gist of the liberty-sucking actions being taken by the government this time. It has lately lost its ability to cause outrage. E-mail campaigns, phone calls to legislators, etc are fine, do it, make them feel the heat for their actions, but don't expect a reversal, or an admission of error. They don't do that.

I saw the passage of Obamacare as the ultimate governmental betrayal on so many levels that it sticks out as the single moment when I became radicalized. Until then I was concerned, outraged, disbelieving and even thunderstruck on occasion. The audacity, the arrogance could still raise my pulse and bring the color to my face.

The difference between then and now is simply that I recognize that our Republican friends are as guilty of coercion as any other. I recognize now that it is not only the Democratic members of congress who are daily engaged in betrayal of the American system, but so-called conservatives as well. The long list of Tea Party candidates sent to congress in 2010 have done nothing to stop the abuses. Perhaps they have not taken part (though some have), still they have stood by and watched obviously un-Constitutional actions take place on their watch. But, what could they have done? Really? Aren't they just our representatives in congress with no more power than any of the other 434 members of congress?

Let me quote from someone in their position at a time much like now:

St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

I think that about says it all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Propertarial Liberty

There are those who do not understand the purpose of liberty. They see liberty now as it has been described by those who see no value in it for the common man. It is a word to them to motivate the masses to accept what? To accept the yoke. Liberty is the excuse they have for their tyranny. Why liberty would mean chaos, right? People doing whatever they want: disobeying traffic signs; failing to pay taxes; wandering aimless across the plains of America; corporations dumping waste into rivers and streams; etc, because to them, liberty is dangerous and fraught with consequences to others. This is not liberty. Liberty is the freedom of movement without hindering the liberty of others. It is fraught not with consequences, but with responsibility.

The liberty to mine coal does not relieve the corporation involved in operating the mine of responsibilities to the health of the workers, or the vitality of the environment. To ensure this, the federal government has established laws that cannot be manipulated by corporate influence over the state and local governments. It has done this to respond to actual dangers in the past, but it, as always, assumed powers that it didn't have, exercised force where it was prohibited, instituted regulations it had no right to institute. In order to control the mining of coal, it destroyed the Constitution. Which is worse?

The very idea of liberty is to ensure that no one is FORCED into the mine. Now, I recognize socio-economic leverage that might drive a person into a mine against one's better judgment concerning their health, but is it better to allow the government to ultimately, having shed the restrictions of the governing document, assume the role of denying those willing, or even hesitant workers of the right to take that risk, to assume that burden if the result is an inability to feed one's family? Is it the government's role to deny the sacrifice one person might make to send others of his family to college and provide an example of a reason to better one's condition? Understand that allowing the federal government to become the dictator of one's future, either in a mine or out of it is the same thing. Denying one the opportunity to risk is exactly the same as demanding one take that risk.

The federal government has assumed the role of dictating where and when a refinery might be built or expanded. The result is that a new refinery has not been built in decades and the permitting process is so onerous that none are even scheduled. The lives that are damaged, the economic impact of importing refined gasoline, forcing those jobs overseas, does nothing other than increase the cost of living to those who do not have jobs and cannot now afford the gasoline to go to work, driving them into poverty.

It is this very understanding of liberty that goes unnoticed. The government cannot act without consequences any better than liberty can be pursued without consequences, the question is: Who gets to make the life and death decisions in the equation? Where that decision is made by the government there is tyranny and oppression, where that decision is made by an individual there is liberty.

How many families remain in poverty and unemployed due to the decision of the Obama Administration to put a halt to the Keystone pipeline? Consider that many of these pipeline construction workers have been unemployed and destitute because it now takes an act of congress and the consent of the President to put them to work. Were liberty to flourish there would be no recession. Roll back regulations and American workers would be employed, their children fed, their lives enriched. Energy would be abundant and available, taxes would be paid and received.

The forces of the environmental movement have done as much to starve and bankrupt this nation as any bankster or hedge fund operator. One might only listen to the ravings of Nancy Pelosi to see the true mind behind the economic disaster that awaits us all. In the idea that paying unemployment benefits is the same as putting people to work is as insipid as it gets. There is a huge difference between putting money into circulation via debt and putting money into circulation via production. It is the difference between buying something on credit and building a table and spending the profits. One is simply paper accounting and the other is an economic transaction.

When the government pays out a benefit, like unemployment, it has taken funds from the profits of a person who has built a table, who has less funds and must spend less before building another table. Too many benefits need to be paid and the person building tables can no longer afford to build them. The idea that the answer to the economic troubles we are in is to increase benefits to be paid is not only stupid, it is insane.

There is such a thing as propertarial liberty, the liberty afforded to one by virtue of their property, be it money, land or possessions. Governmental regulations drain propertarial liberty, restrict the movement of commerce and the individual. It drains the economy of the flow of blood and diverts it to those who do nothing, who produce nothing but breath. The greater the load on the first, the less there is available to the latter. At a tipping point such as we are, the blood has left the head and soon will leave the heart and the engine will stop.

My calls for liberty are not just to ensure that I am able to swing my fist all day long, but to ensure the propertarial liberty of the individual and therefore continue the economic flow of blood to all extremities.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Devolution of Society

What has the Tea Party accomplished? What has any form of political influence accomplished? Washington is a melting pot, it takes the efforts of all and melts them into a soup of policy which satisfies no one and accomplishes nothing.

Washington DC metes out a little to gain control of all and political threats as great as the Tea Party equal nothing other than a small disruption in the flow of power.

Our nation is broken. The arrogance of politicians and judges, who consider themselves greater, smarter and more sophisticated than the founders of this nation have ruined it. They have taken the vision, the beautiful view of liberty the founders glimpsed and have brought it down to the common level of beggars and thieves.

We have supervised it all. We are the power behind them. We can allow this all to continue, or we must put a stop to it. We can't do it alone, those of us involved in the quest for liberty, the readers of this blog. We need the assistance of as many as we can find. We need to bring others to the cause of liberty, to act upon that ancient ache.

The power of the United States has always been its industry, its innovation, its entrepreneurial spirit that is now being harnessed to accommodate the whims of communist bums occupying our streets and cities with claims on the earned wealth of this nation. The President of the United States has encouraged their efforts, used his influence to bide them time. It is a nation at war with all of its inner goodness and benefit. Without the engines of commerce those 1% represent, we are all paupers.

I see in North Dakota the power of that industry, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. It is alive and thriving and making millionaires of common shopkeepers and restaurateurs. The power unleashed by a cooperative state with the oil industry is an alliance that lifts all boats. Convenience store clerks are earning $15 per hour. Hundred thousand dollar per year jobs are there for the taking and people have come from all across the nation, from places where the states are more restrictive to the energy industry, to work there. This is the America we deserve. It is ours and lacks only the bravery to take it, to make it so everywhere across the country.

Yes, there are some drawbacks, some downsides to this vision of capitalist utopia, but they can be managed without the restrictive regulations used as weapons against capitalism. Make no mistake, it is the government's intent to blackmail these corporations to help fund their opposition. It is a sick joke of the liberal to take the power and money from the shareholders of these corporations and to use it against them.

The freedom to conduct commerce was one of the liberties the founders sought most. The ability to build and grow and provide a healthy economy for the community was something they understood. We are at a tipping point, we must save it. We must start to do more than just shake our heads as the Republicans sell us out to the liberal cause one more time. It is time to start doing something about it. We cannot let ourselves rule over the devolution of our society. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reveal Your Inner Virtue

In the long march toward liberty it is sometimes difficult to see how we get from where we are today, with everything we know regulated in some fashion by the federal government, to where we want to be. Over at Western Rifle Shooters Association, we find a plea for secessionist sentiment. Read the post and especially the comments. Where are you? These are the sorts of conversations that should be held at the Liberty Summit, it is the purpose for the Liberty Summit.

Either you are serious about this liberty thing, or you are not. You are either struggling with your conscience, or you are blowing smoke. I don't mean that anyone who has not made the decision to stand up for liberty is blowing smoke, I am suggesting that if you are at the point in your life where you realize that you need to make a stand, but are struggling with "how" to do that and what will work and where the line is drawn, then you have a long way to go to get to the "action" part of that equation.

Maybe you don't believe in any of this, that the parasite society has taken such hold that there is no avenue that offers the sort of liberty we once knew. Consider that a good 97% of those engaged in the Revolutionary War felt the same way. Are you then suggesting that those held under the iron hand of the Soviet Union were powerless? Are you suggesting that Mubarak had too tight of a grip on Egypt, or that Quadaffi had too tight of a grip on Libya? What are you saying by abstaining from the engagement of ideas?

Working in the oil field I see all manner of hemming and hawing about the environment, as if there is a way that an oil company is somehow going to "win over" the environmentalists. They would do better by appealing directly to the public and call bs on the caterwalling of the environmentalist group, point out what they are doing to protect their operations from affecting the environment adversely as a matter of duty to their fellow Americans, not as some lame attempt to keep the protesters from their corporate offices.

All around us are examples of inaction. We are the people who make the nation run. We are the workers, the middle-management, the lawyers, the business owners who daily create the weapons with which we are being clubbed about the head. We are, to some degree, either morons or cowards. No, no one wants to make some statement that could get them put into jail as an isolated conservative nut with ties to the Tea Party, or Mike Vanderboegh and his infamous book. That is the club they will use and because we have never done a dang thing about it, they use it often.

I don't know what will happen to me as a result of something said at the summit that will place me in some sort of conspiracy, or terrorist plot. I don't really care. I should, I have a daughter who is looking to go to college next year. I have debts that I still need to pay. I have a promising career that is just now getting going and will supply me with a great deal of money and time as things progress. And yes, I too struggle with how and when I make a move to secure liberty to myself and my posterity. Right now my daughter wants tuition more than liberty. Right now I want to give her tuition more than liberty, but the motion of the world does not turn on my convenience.

There is a time to stand up, to take the chance to come together and openly discuss that which must be discussed, debated and even vehemently argued over. Lately Mike Vanderboegh visited the Liberty Summit website and refused to have anything to do with it due to some attendees with which he takes exception. All right, I respect that, even if I don't agree with it.

It is the time for the true advocates of liberty to take that chance, risk that encounter, accept that some of those who attend will not feel the same way you do, or will go about it in a way that you don't condone. In Mike's case, he would rather keep his distance from people whom he considers to be less than honorable. Again, I do not agree with his assessment, but it is his assessment and I just wish he would put that aside and recognize that if liberty is to be attained, it will have to be fought for, sometimes at the shoulder of someone you don't trust.

Likewise, I will be inviting First Amendment advocates with whom most of us might disagree and the same for the Fourth Amendment advocates. The hope is that somewhere amid the hoped for engagements we recognize that none of us will achieve the liberty we seek without the aid of the others. That either liberty becomes a rallying cry for all of the injustices of the current police-state (and I use that term with caution, but what is your fear if you fail to comply? It is that they will first fine, you. When that fine is not paid, they will send the police around to either accept your fine or imprison you. What happens when you throw cardboard into the "used oil" bin at the local recycling center? It could mean jail as an ultimate outcome of failure to comply).

Let's have the conversations necessary to forge some cross-currents to our separate movements. Let them recoil in horror at your suggestion of action, but let them hear it. Is there a way? Is there some avenue that even if they disagree with one group's methods, would they not support the outcome? That is the tough one to come to grips with.

As for myself and some of you, it is difficult to know when to act and what to do as that action. Is it to decide to peacefully and politically "invade" a state and transform it into something that will accommodate our agenda toward liberty? Is it building on momentum already begun in this area and to throw our weight behind it? I have chosen the Liberty Summit as my first action toward that goal. It is not my first action intended to achieve liberty, but my first action in the determined struggle toward the goal with or without political support.

There was a moment in time when I believed that my goal could be accomplished politically. I no longer feel that is true. If liberty is to be attained it can only be attained through direct action of one sort or another. Steps must be taken, if for no other reason than to be ready for the crash that is inevitable. Or do you really believe that the European debt crisis can be solved by the US backed IMF to loan money borrowed from China to pay the debt of Greece, Italy and Spain? Really?

So what happens when that ecnomic crisis occurs? Will we be like the Arab Spring and rearrange our society to fit our desires, or will we let the collectivists and anti-capitalists step into that void? We know they are ready. They have support in every quarter of American society and bankrolled ironically by those wealthy who are being directly targeted. Oh, the elite have a plan to take that momentum directed at them and U-turn it onto us, I recognize that, but from the objective point of view it makes no sense, which is exactly why they will be able to do it.

All of this unless we act now to take the steps that bring us to that point, where we have consolidated sentiment toward liberty and away from the collectivists and anti-capitalists. What happens when we declare our opposition to the current system? What happens when we blame that on the true culprits, the regulators and adminsitrators of the bureaucracy. Will there be enough who in their gut know we are right and turn their sentiments to us? The history books are full of such opportunities and had the right thing taken place the horrible things would not have taken place.

I know it is an over-used quote, but here it goes: the only thing evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing. It is our virtue, our honor that could win out, but not if we keep it secret and hidden under the covers to protect it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

On Liberty

Much is made of liberty, of the idea of it, the loss of it and the consequences. But, it is also the worst-defined benefit of being human. It is a nebulous, mythical idea that does not seem to inspire the dedication and enthusiasm it deserves. The loss of liberty rarely causes death, or mourning and rarely does it inspire crusades to retain it, or retrieve it from where it goes.

The two extremes of liberty, or the loss of it are romping through the meadow unencumbered by anything other than the air that surrounds one and the utter imprisonment of the mind, body and soul. The average person finds somewhere in between to be comfortable and find enough in that condition to remain docile when chunks are pried away from the fringes. "At least I have my job, my house, my car, my toys, even if I am not allowed to use them as I would like..." A grand statement that is.

I say liberty is something more than a bargain and I take every restriction as a personal insult and damage to my being. That so much of society views liberty from such different perspectives leads us to the point where many are willing to go to the mats over it and others shrug.

So, let me put it this way: Liberty is the measure of humanity. Rather than restrictions of liberty as an indicator of the evolution of the society itself, there can be no society where humanity is not promoted and valued. Societal evolution is in effect a retrograde condition of humanity.

It is no coincidence that the early 20th Century in America was perhaps the most free and the most inventive and innovative the world has known. It was a moment in time when anything a person wanted to get a hold of was available to them. Dynamite was a commodity to be picked up at the hardware store and used to do whatever a person imagined might benefit them in some way, i.e. blow a stump out of the ground, or revitalize a water well. If one wanted to build a railroad they got investors and purchased the land, or made deals with the landowners for a share in the stock of the railroad and they built the damn thing. Try it today.

The cumulative lack of liberty has created a nation where very little can be accomplished without the profit being sucked out of it by permits, labor costs and endless hoops of regulations to be complied with. Today we are still coasting on the industrial liberty of those earlier times. Most of our infrastructure was built when building something didn't mean providing the incomes of forty or fifty people before the project even got started.

In the oil field today much of the profit is being denied to the workers and it is being diverted to satisfy the goals of environmentalists and government bureaucrats. Whole pipelines are being delayed and denied due to some environmentalist nonsense, sheer nonsense, but this is how they have invited themselves to the profits of others.

So, when I react the way I do to further regulations restricting the liberty of this industry or that, this section of the population, or that, I take it personally. It is not my personal liberty that might be endangered by the restrictions being placed on this or that, but the cumulative effect of keeping more people unemployed, more profits that could be used for expansion and revitalization going into some hole created by bureaucrats degrade society as a whole. It makes us weaker and our economy perpetually under served, making the inventions and innovations less likely to gain support and attract funds. It weighs on society like a wet blanket, killing it slowly, driving into a dull, lumbering oaf unable to respond to demand.

Europeans already experimented with this concept of robbing liberty to supply society with all sorts of niceties and it is coming to the end of that run. Everything we have been told by our rulers that would benefit us all has slowly damaged us all. The thirst of the federal machine which has appointed itself the master of society, pointing us all in the right direction, has consumed so much of the national product that it has drained the pool from which all of us were nourished.

So my call for a Liberty Summit was in response not only to the Constitutional crisis we suffer from in this nation where the federal government has largely discounted the Constitution in favor of federal, state and local control of the population, but it was in response to the stubborn and impossible grip the bureaucratic monster has on the inventive spirit.

While some might view the Liberty Summit as a time and place for Second Amendment advocates to strut their stuff it was not meant that way. It was a means of getting those who feel disenfranchised by the abuses to the Fourth and First Amendments together with those who feel the same about the Second Amendment and to find common ground in the concept that what hurts one of us hurts us all. My point being that if there are liberties to be valued there should be a liberty summit to make those cross connections to each other, to recognize that all of our supposed rights are being assaulted daily and on every plane and there does need to be a reckoning.

The fact is this: you are not an American if you do not enjoy the rights guaranteed to you under the very founding document of this nation. America is not America without fidelity to the principles of its founding and the most ironic part of it is that those who now enjoy power do so only by the very document they daily undermine. For a politician to even joke that the Constitution is anything they say it is, is confessing that they have no legal authority. While our rights are only secured by the Constitution, their authority is also only secured by the Constitution. Let them destroy it, but I would counsel them to be very careful as the destruction takes place lest they be sawing off the branch on which they sit.