Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Issue At A Time!

From the inbox, and something worth supporting. - LJ


Congress routinely passes unpopular laws by combining them with completely unrelated bills that have majority support. For example:

The REAL ID Act, which was designed to create a national ID card, had so little support in the Senate that it couldn't even be brought to a vote. A national ID card was opposed by a majority of the Senate, and historically, by the vast majority of the American people, but now it is the law of the land.

How did this happen?

It happened because House and Senate leaders attached the REAL ID Act to legislation the Senate was afraid to oppose, the "Emergency, Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief." (May 2005)

Senators didn't want to vote against a defense appropriation, or Tsunami relief, so the REAL ID Act became the law of the land.

Sadly, this is far from the only example. Here's another one . . .

When a few moral busybodies in Congress wanted to stop online gambling, but lacked the votes to get their way, they attached their unwanted legislation to a bill on Port Security. Few in Congress were likely to vote against a measure to strengthen security at our nation's ports, and so the completely unrelated online gambling law was passed too.'s "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA) is designed to prevent outrages such as these by requiring that each bill that comes to a vote be about one subject, and one subject only. Any legislation passed in violation of this requirement will be considered null-and-void before the nation's courts. But that's not all . . .

Most bills passed by Congress try to hide what their subject is by resorting to propagandistic titles such as the "No Child Left Behind Act," or the "PATRIOT Act," or the "Protect America Act." No one wants to be accused of voting to leave children behind, or against patriotism, or against protecting America, but none of these bill titles actually describe the subjects of these bills. So . . .

The "One Subject at a Time Act" requires that all legislation begiven titles that describe what the bills would actually do, so thatmembers of Congress and the public can know what the "one subject" ofthe bill actually is. Good examples of proper titles would be the"Read the Bills Act," or the "Write the Laws Act," or for that matter, the "One Subject at a Time Act."

Passage of the "One Subject at a Time Act" would be a major step toward restoring responsible representative government. Please ask your elected representatives to introduce Downsize DC's "One Subject at a Time Act." <You can do so here.>

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #93

The new Carnival has been posted, and includes a contribution from Yours Truly. Check it out.

End the Income Tax!

Well, it looks like Massachusetts is going to have a ballot referendum to decide on whether to completely abolish that state’s income tax.
Michael Cloud of the Committee for Small Government said his group collected about 100,000 signatures for the income tax repeal, "enough of a cushion to blow back any challenge." When it last appeared on the ballot in 2002, the initiative received more than 45 percent of the vote. Cloud predicted it would pass next year, adding that the group plans to spend $500,000 on ads for the initiative campaign, compared with just $90,000 five years ago.

The initiative would decimate the state budget, chopping it from about $28 billion to $17 billion, which was about the size of the state's 1995 budget, according to Cloud. He said the average household's savings would be about $3,600 a year.

"If the legislators feel like they need more money, they can make their case to the people," he said.

My thoughts…I wonder what Massuchusetts voters, who are not known to be raging "from my cold dead hands" conservatives, and almost passed this initiative back in 2002, getting a very astonishing 45% of the vote (at the time, it was predicting the initiative might – MIGHT! – get 30% support), will do. Hell, I’m even thinking that there may be a really good chance that the iniative will pass in Massachusetts this time around, what with the "it’s nice, but it’ll never happen" factor no longer in play. The first time it was on the ballot, it wasn’t taken all that seriously by media and political elites – indeed, even the Republican Party campaigned against eliminating the tax – so it would make sense that many people didn’t give it much thought, or were persuaded to not vote for it. But this time, they see that this initiative has some real support. Might more people feel that its safer to endorse such a radical plan?

And you know what else? I wonder would happen if the same thing were to be tried here in Ohio? Ohio is much more conservative, demographically speaking. Of course, we did elect Bob Taft twice. But think about it... What if there were no state income tax?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Marriage

For all those cranky, whiny conservatives who worry that things like "gay marriage" will undermine the "sanctity" of marriage, I'd like to say that it was lost LONG ago, when the State moved in on what was previously a strictly private, and then religious matter. Of course, most Conservatives today will argue that separate of church and State is a "false" doctrine. The State IS the Church, and marriage, being a sacrament before God, MUST be endorsed by the State. Any suggestion that the battle over what "marriage" is was lost the moment they ceded authority for this institution to the State is lost entirely upon them, as they lack the imagination to see what life is like without the presence of the State involved in every aspect of their lives.

Here is a fabulous article on marriage, which raises some core issues about marriage, the origins of State involvement, and its true purpose in modern times. Contrary to what social conservatives may assert, marriage is not a sacred institution deemed by society to be essential to its continuation, but rather, it has been made into a unique political status, created by politicians to control citizens by classifying them into various categories to be rewarded (and punished) according to the political dictates of the day. The argument over "gay marriage" is simply an argument over who shall be allowed to claim the goodies that come with this priveleged status and the special rights granted by it. Social conservatives are getting theirs, but object to a certain classification of individuals to receive the same. Social conservatives are, in essence, fighting to preserve their special priveleges, just as all priveleged groups do. Equality before the law is abhorrent to these types.

And many of us forget, the origins of marriage "licenses" were specifically racist in orgin:
By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. Twelve states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, an addict or a “mental defect.” Eighteen states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.

In the mid-20th century, governments began to get out of the business of deciding which couples were “fit” to marry. Courts invalidated laws against interracial marriage, struck down other barriers and even extended marriage rights to prisoners.

But governments began relying on marriage licenses for a new purpose: as a way of distributing resources to dependents. The Social Security Act provided survivors’ benefits with proof of marriage. Employers used marital status to determine whether they would provide health insurance or pension benefits to employees’ dependents. Courts and hospitals required a marriage license before granting couples the privilege of inheriting from each other or receiving medical information.

Ron Paul Unites Buckeyes And Wolverines

Yes.... It's true!

Now, THAT'S what I call Bi-Partisan support!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Play the Candidate Match Game

I found this interesting little quiz.

Not surprisingly, Ron Paul was my match, although some of the answers were a bit simplistic for my actual response. Check it out. You may be surprised.

Fred Thompson Offers Band Aid Approach

Now here’s an interesting plan.

Thompson plan gives taxpayers two options

Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson proposed an income tax plan Sunday that would allow Americans to choose a simplified system with only two rates: 10% and 25%.

Simplifying the tax code is always an admirable goal. It's far too complex and intrusive as it stands now. But as I’ve said before, specifically in reference to the “Fair Tax”, but the same principle applies here: Forget tax reform, what are we doing about spending? What are we doing to rein in big government?

What is the federal budget - two, three trillion dollars? If the federal government was half the size it is today, would it really matter how we paid for it?

I understand the desire for tax simplification, but it overlooks the core issue. Instead of looking for better ways to finance big government, let’s work on eliminating big government. As long as we ask government to do $3 trillion worth of governing, that’s $3 trillion that needs to be diverted from the productive sector. If they cut income taxes, then they can just finance their growing budget through other forms of taxation, borrowing or inflation - all of which serves as a drag on the economy, and endangers human liberty.

Let’s focus on the prize, here, people! Cutting the real size, scope, and power of government is the best tax cut of all.

Ron Paul On Money

Its nice to see what would otherwise be an issue considered "academic" getting popularized. We need monetary reform if we are going to escape utter ruin.

The Surveillance Society Continues

And now, our firefighters are being asked to spy on Americans.

That’s right. Now, when you call the fire department because your house is on fire, they aren’t going to focus on saving you and your loved ones, and protecting your property from total destruction. Nope! They are going to snoop to see if you might be a disloyal subject of the Empire.

I guess, if there is any consolation, if you do have some "unAmerican" materials in your home (stored, of course, right next to those blueprints of the building you are planning to bomb), they’d most likely get destroyed in the fire that is consuming your home.

But all kidding aside…what sort of things might be deemed "suspicious"? What if someone has some politically incorrect books or magazines on their shelves? What if someone has some pornographic items, or perhaps a water bong lying around? Or…what if someone has just a few too many guns stocked up in their basement?

Oh wait, those ARE the things they are looking for!
When going to private residences, for example, they are told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes; surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles; maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress.

So if you object to having your home intruded upon, you are now a terrorist suspect. If you have politically incorrect views about politics, you are now a terrorist suspect. If you are not familiar with the proper place to store "unusual chemicals" (whatever that means), you are now a terrorist suspect. If you are a gun collector, or enjoy cool "spy gadgets" that you can purchase at any Radio Shack, or maybe you are an avid outdoors "survivalist" type, you are now a terrorist suspect. Or, if you are just flat out poor, you are now a terrorist suspect.

(I won’t even comment on the fact that I have a couple that live in the apartment beneath me who are from some mid-east country – my guess India – who, for at least two months had absolutely no furniture in their home. My guess is that they were new to America, came here with nothing, and now, having been working for a couple of months, have started accumulating enough resources to buy various things…like a couch and a TV set. So… should we suspect they are terrorists?)

Sure, fighting terrorism may be the cover for such information gathering, but the question needs to be asked: How is this information really going to be used?

In Communist East Germany, the secret police had hundreds of thousands of informants on its payroll. It was a society based on suspicion. You never knew who you could trust, or who would turn you into the authorities based on their suspicion that you were a threat. This is the society modern Conservatives, and the Bush administration are attempting to recreate. I hear it all the time on shows like Sean "Conservatives Believe in A Welfare State" Hannity. We should all be on the lookout! Report anyone who gives you the creeps to the cops, so that they can go hound and harass them. The object of it all is to keep everyone alarmed and on guard, and yes, to look to the State for safety. It's the perfect breeding ground for totalitarianism.

Brings to mind a quote from H.L Mencken:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

"Values Voters": Big Government Liberals

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute published an article last week
"What if Economic Conservatives Stay Home on Election Day?" and discusses "economic conservatives" abandonment of the Republican party…or rather, the Republican Party’s abandonment of economic conservatism. Religious conservatives, on the other hand, will maintain their support of Republicans with a level of faith rivaling that in Jesus.

He says:
There is no doubt that religious conservatives are an important part of the Republican coalition. Yet the media, and more importantly, the candidates, seem curiously unconcerned with another discontented part of that coalition: economic, small-government conservatives.

Yet it was the Republicans' big-spending, big-government ways that helped ensure their defeat in the 2006 midterm elections. It wasn't evangelical Christians or so-called "values voters" who deserted Republicans. Roughly 70 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians voted Republican in 2006, just a fraction less than in 2004.

It was suburbanites, independents, and others who were fed up not just with the war and corruption, but also with the Republican drift toward big-government who stayed home, or even voted Democratic, on election day 2006. That night, more than 65 percent of voters told a pollster they believed that "The Republicans used to be the party of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and limited government, but in recent years, too many Republicans in Washington have become just like the big spenders they used to oppose."
I think this statement is largely true. I know a few die-hard, truly fundamentalist Christians who are equally (if not more so) devout believers in the Republican Party. In my opinion, if Jesus Christ himself came back and ran as a Democrat, they would vote against him.

I ran this quote by one of my acquaintances and asked him for his opinion. I asked him, doesn’t this imply some very frightful things about "values voters"? Does it suggest that they have no problem with war, torture, destruction of the economy, abandonment of our Constitutional order…just so long as we keep "the gays" down.

Granted, I’m not a particularly religious man. I try to maintain a neutral perspective to other people’s religious beliefs, despite mountains of personal experience that religious people tend not to be the most virtuous of character types. But I have to worry when I look around me and see a correlation between the level of religiousness of a person, and their willingness to dismiss everything the Bush administration does, no matter how unconscionable.

One other thing…
Mike Huckabee? As governor, he never saw a tax increase he didn't love. He presided over a massive increase in state spending, including an expansion of Medicaid, and approved increases in the sales, income, and cigarette taxes. On its annual governor's report card, Cato gave him an "F" for fiscal policy. Most Democratic governors received higher grades.

For those of you who live here in Ohio…Bob Taft always got grades of F from Cato. Think about that when you are voting.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Mexican Hero

Well, the anti-immigrant crowd isn’t going to like this story:

Illegal Immigrant Is Boy's Guardian Angel
A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed their van in the southern Arizona desert was rescued by a man entering the U.S. illegally, who stayed with him until help arrived the next day, an official said.
As much as they like to dehumanize these dark-skinned, non-english speakers as being a horde of violent criminals invading our country, a story like this reminds us that they are indeed compassionate human beings who are simply trying to make a better life for themselves and the people they care about.

My only question is…did the guy get deported back to Mexico?

Of course, no good deed ever goes unpunished, so I’m sure he was.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ohio: Improving in Relative Friendliness to Small Business

The 2007 edition of the Small Business Survival Index is out. This is an annual study published by the Small Business and Entreprenuership Council and it gauges the relative friendliness of all 50 states to the small business community, and in a larger sense, the health of the overall public policy climate to promote economic growth and prosperity.

And, holy cow! What do you know? After languishing the last couple of years in the high 30s and low 40s, Ohio has jumped up to #29 on the list. Ohio is now the 29th most favorable state for small businesses. I have to say, this is a very encouraging sign. Of course, some of our neighbors are still cleaning our clocks. Indiana is #14 (slightly lower than previous years), Michigan is #6 (yeah, but their football team isn’t even ranked), Kentucky is #22, and Pensylvannia is #24. Even still, the fact that we’ve jumped up in relative terms is a good thing.

A few things were interesting to note: despite the Ohio Supreme Court issuing a ruling in favor of private property rights against eminent domain abuse, this study still gives Ohio a very poor grade on Eminent Domain abuse. This should be a reminder that we need more reform in that area. Also, given that 4 of the top 25 most dangerous cities are in Ohio, it was no surprise that our crime ranking was rather low. And the fact that we wrote a perpetual increase in the minimum wage into our Constitution, that's going to slow things down for Ohio.

I’ve said it before, small business is the lifeblood of a free market economy. That is where all the innovativeness and dynamism lies. Small businesses can adjust more quickly to changing market conditions, fill the gaps in the economy that big players can’t often do efficiently. 70% of all job creation comes from small businesses. A state that is inhospital to small business is not going to grow very quickly, if at all.

Take a look at the report. There are lots of little tidbits to be gleaned from these rankings. One can debate the particular reasons why… Or, maybe things are worse, but just everywhere else has gotten worse by a larger degree than Ohio…. Who knows?

Mitt Romney: Health Care At Gun Point

I can’t believe anyone would listen to Mitt Romney and consider him a real alternative for President to…well…anyone other than Ron Paul. Republicans like to blast Hillary Clinton for many things, among those is the spectre of a socialized health care system. Yet Romney himself is responsible for one of the most sweeping government intrusions into health care we’ve seen to date, with Massachusetts forced insurance coverage law.

And now he’s proposing to inflict Romney care on all Americans within four years.

What’s even worse is that Romney thinks using government to force people into a health care system they wouldn’t freely choose is a demonstration of his commitment to free market principles. Speaking of Hillary:
"My approach is based on the free enterprise system and personal responsibility — hers is based on government," Romney said.
Um, no, Mitt. Your approach is based on government. That’s why you want to pass a law to get the job done. Its not based on personal responsibility, because you are proposing to make government responsible for making these decisions for people.

Furthermore, how can this be seen as anything other than a tax increase on the poor and middle class? If you, or your employer, are forced to spend your money to buy something, isn't that the same thing as a tax? Of course, it'll be a huge windfall for big insurance companies, which I'm sure will be ecstatic to have Romney care.

Fat Farmers Feasting at Federal Trough

So the market of price of corn is sky high (just like other comodities, like gold and oil), yet the Federal Government still doles out billions in subsidies to farmers. Why? It’s a "safety net".

Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas (a big farming state) defends these subsidies:

Asked how he can justify millions of dollars in taxpayer money going to corn farmers who are doing very well right now, Brownback says, "Because they were doing very poorly two years ago and next year they could do very poorly."
First of all…farms are like any other businesses, and all businesses face various levels of risk. Furthermore, there are always ways to manage risk, via insurance companies or futures markets. To pretend we can legislate risk out of existence is absurd and, by overriding existing incentives of the marketplace, subsidies and such create perverse and unintended consequences.

Secondly, Brownback is not telling the truth. The real reason he’s for the subsidies is because his job depends on his ability to bring home the bacon. His constituents depend on his ability to loot the taxpayers. If he actually stood up for a sound economic policy in such matters, he would be bounced out on his ear.

Even Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson knows this. With the Iowa caucuses coming up, he’s switched his position on Welfare for Rich Farmers.

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

Hat tip to Daily Bellweather

Rick Flair endorses Mike Huckabee

Yeah… But Val Venis has endorsed Ron Paul

So…would anyone like to surmise what would happen if Paul and Huckabee were to square off in the ring?

Obama Bomb Bombs

First, Huckabee tried to copy Ron Paul, and now Obama tried to do that same thing, only to be met with a more spectacular failure.

Word has it that another Ron Paul "Money Bomb" is being planned for December 16th, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. I can't wait to see what happens. My prediction? It will be big, but not as big as the first one, as many supporters get tapped out financially and either don't donate, or just donate less than they did the first time. But who knows? I could be wrong. His popularity is rising, so he could be drawing more and more supporters. Let's wait and see.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is the day many of us will gather with our loved ones to share a meal and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. It is usually a time for reflection on the things that make our lives propserous and joyful. We also recount the tales of the first thanksgiving feast and the pilgrims who came to this continent seeking freedom to live their lives as they saw fit. Often lost in these stories are some of the real lessons we should endeavor to (re)learn today. For today's offering, I'm posting an account of the historical record which has its own moral of the story. In the meantime, I hope each and everyone of you has a wonderful day. - LJ


The Great Thanksgiving Hoax
By Richard J. Maybury

Each year at this time school children all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.

It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving's real meaning.

The official story has the pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620-21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The Pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.

The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.

The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

In his 'History of Plymouth Plantation,' the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, "all had their hungry bellies filled," but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first "Thanksgiving" was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.

But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called "The Starving Time," the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.

Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was "plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure." He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, "we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now."

Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that the annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

Thus the real reason for Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.

* * * * * Mr. Maybury writes on investments.

This article originally appeared in The Free Market, November 1985.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Carnival of Ohio Politics #92

The Carnival has been posted. Check it out.

More Guns = Less Crime

Uh oh. Looks like 4 of the top 25 most dangerous cities are in Ohio. My own city, Dayton, is #19.

This is especially pertinent since the Supreme Court has decided it will take up a case about the constitutionality of gun control. It’s a damn near proven fact that where gun control is the strictest, violent crime rates soar.

And in a non-related, but related story, I have to give some kudos to the politicians in Pennsylvania for shooting down a gun control bill that would have turned that state into one of the most restrictive states in the nation. And they are Democrats, no less! Will wonders never cease?

Remember, there are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of crimes averted each year because the would be victim has access to a gun for self-defense. They don't call it Victim Disarmament for nothing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Couple of Ron Paul Items

Look up in the sky? Is it a bird? A plane?

No, it’s a Ron Paul Blimp!

Wow. Where do people come up with these ideas?

And would you believe Huckabee is trying to copy Ron Paul’s amazing November 5th fundraising feast, doing his own “money bomb”? Unfortunately, not only is it turning out to be a HUGE failure, but once Ron Paul’s supporters caught wind of it, they started their own money bomb, and within 5 hours surpassed Huckabee’s measly earnings for the day. You can see a graph of it here.

I mean, has anyone ever heard of Huckabee? I don't know a single person that does know who he is, let alone supports him. Hell, he couldn't beat him in a BLIND poll!

Why Are The Warmongers Ignoring the Vets?

Hat Tip to The Daily Bellweather

VetVoice is a new blog from, an organization aimed at getting the voices of the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan heard in this next election cycle. It kicked off today, and one of the things the site hopes to have is participation from all of the presidential candidates, as they post regular messages to the community the site is intended to serve. You can see the schedule here.

So, which candidates have responded to the request? 6 Democrats, and Ron Paul.

Tell me… Does anyone find it odd that the most rabid pro-war candidates – Mitt, Rudy, Thompson, Huckabee, and company – are basically ignoring the chance to speak to former soldiers and their families on the issues that matter to them? After all, aren’t these the people who always want to “support our troops”?

Frankly, I’m not surprised at all. War is just a game to these people. They like to thump their chest and act all manly, while accusing their opponents of being soft or cowardly. It’s all show business to them. They care not one wit for the people who do the actual bleeding.

In some ways, it’s smart politics though. If there is one group of people who could potentially bust a giant hole in their plans for relentless, world-wide war, it would be excessive criticism from people who have been on the front lines of the Empire’s latest conflicts. Most veterans know that all this warmongering is just pure bullshit. Romney and Giuliani are draft-dodging chickenhawks. What they possibly say to a would-be critic who has actually picked up a gun and put himself in harm’s way?

War making is a losing issue for Republicans. And one of the lessons you learn in Politics 101 is to avoid unnecessary conflict or criticism. (Anyone who takes issue with the recent charges against the Clinton campaign for putting "plants" in the audience, is plainly naive about how politics works. The whole M.O of the current system is to have a tightly controlled, perfectly scripted process designed to enthrall the masses...but I digress.) Needless to say, a pro-life candidate would not waste his time giving a speech at a NARAL convention. An anti-gun rights candidate will not be spending too much time at NRA meetings. So it makes sense that war-loving Republicans are going to avoid veterans groups, unless absolutely forced, and only if its been thoroughly vetted (no pun intended.) It’s best not to expose oneself unnecessarily to attack.

In any event, take a read. See what the candidates are saying. The opening page has the first contributions from all the candidates who responded.

Oh…I would be remiss if I didn’t plug Ron Paul’s contribution.

Marion/Morrow County Libertarians Prepare to Fight A Backdoor Tax Increase

I got this one in my inbox. Ed Schambs is the local coordinator for the Libertarian Party in Morrow County. Of course, it makes sense that when the politicians can't get their tax increases, they would resort to backdoor tricks like the ones Ed describes below.

If anyone lives in or near these areas and wants to help out, I would encourage you to attend thier next meeting. I've included his email at the end. -LJ


Good evening,

We were successful in helping efforts to vote down two of the three area school levies that appeared on the ballot this month. We barely had a chance to pat ourselves on the back when we began receiving our new tax assessments this week. The Marion County auditor, who is a former school teacher, dished out her own version of "blowback" by increasing my property assessment by nearly $30,000. Several people I've been in contact with from the local grassroots tax protesters have seen their property assessments increase by 400% to as high as 700%. People around here are getting mad as hell. The only good thing I can say is people aren't apathetic anymore and don't intend on taking this lying down. Anyone with any sense at all can see the obvious collusion between the school districts and our county auditor.

I'm looking forward to our Marion/Morrow County meeting next Monday. I want to put the everyone on notice--that we may be calling all of you for HELP WITH ACTIVISM within the next couple of months.

Marion / Morrow County Libertarian Party Meeting
Sumo's Bar and Grill
306 South Marion Street
Waldo, Ohio
Monday, November 26th, between 7 and 9 pm.

In liberty,

Monday, November 19, 2007

THINKFuture and Ron Paul

I can’t stand TV. I barely tolerate the radio. I get most of my news from the internet. And I also love listening to podcasts. Since I got a highspeed connection about a year and a half ago, downloading is so much more efficient.

So I’m always looking for new podcast series to subscribe to. I have iTunes and there are tons of feeds that are offered for free. Among my favorite podcasts are the Mises Institute, Freedomain Radio, and Every now and then I will do some random searches to find what else is being offered out there, and subscribe for a while to try them out.

When I do that, I find some good ones, some mediocre ones, and some boring ones. I usually will listen to a series for a week or two, and if it doesn’t wow me with new, inspiring, or educational thoughts, I will unsubscribe. I’m about to do that with one series called “THINKFuture”, hosted by a guy named Chris Future who claims to be libertarian. In reality, he’s more like a moderate neocon (if there is such a thing) with definite populist leanings, who self-identifies as a libertarian because…well…let’s face it: the word libertarian is cool. I mean a guy who markets his podcast series to people who would love Hannity, Limbaugh, and Savage obviously has no real understanding of libertarian philosophy, and listening to some of his ideas, one can pick that up immediately. Moreover, he's really not all that original, and not all that different from whatever you'll hear on "regular" radio.

Having said that, I was much surprised to hear him speak highly of Ron Paul in a recent podcast. After playing a truly inspiring clip of Ron Paul explaining his position to an interviewer, Future notes that he’s “drinking the kool-aid” (note the Hannityism), and beginning to warm up to Ron Paul's message of liberty, peace, limited government, and free markets.

I applaud Future for giving Paul’s ideas a fair shake. They are, after all, the only rational and consistent ones out there. On top of that, they are the only ones that will, on the whole, lead to the preservation of liberty and greater prosperity for America. Sure, Paul isn’t perfect. I’ve got some serious issues with some of his positions. But on the whole, he is light-years closer to me than anyone else, who, I would dare say, I cannot find a single thing to agree with. So, for me, its either vote for Paul or not vote at all. Voting for an establishment guy just for the sake of voting is not only foolish, but counterproductive. And if Future truly wants freedom, he's needs to stop giving Rudy, Mitt, or Hillary any kind of respect.

Blackwell Promotes Warmongers As Exemplars of Christian Values

After Ken Blackwell was spanked like a red-headed stepchild in last year’s governor’s race, he has taken up a position as a scholar at Ohio’s Holding Tank for Failed Politicos, The Buckeye Institute. From there, he issues commentary on various issues of the day.

In a recent article, he mentions how social conservatives are still impacting the race for the GOP nomination. In predictable fashion, he runs down the list of presidential wannabes and cites their endorsements by various religious groups and other socially conservative special interest groups.

Actually, he mentions all the candidates but one. Ron Paul. Coincidence? Or just continuing his usual intellectual dishonesty, laziness, and/or complete absence of integrity?

Ron Paul is probably more conservative than all of the other GOP candidates combined. He’s a Christian. He’s been married to the same woman for like 50 years. He’s about as “strict constructionist” as they get. And he consistently ranks at the top of many indicies gauging conservative policymaking. Like here and here. Do any other searches on such criteria, and you are likely to find Paul in the high 90s, if not 100%, of Conservative rankings. Endorsements from conservative religious leaders? Pastor Chuck Baldwin says there is only one choice for President. And there is an entire website devoted to Christians who support his candidacy.

So why does Ken overlook this?

I think because Paul is identified as a libertarian in many circles. He was the LPs candidate for president in 1988, and he is much admired by libertarians everywhere.

Ken Blackwell, as we all know, hates libertarians. He hates them so much, he made it his mission as Secretary of State to keep the Libertarian Party of Ohio from gaining ballot access. When we were off starting a war in Iraq for, rhetorically, the purpose of “spreading democracy”, Blackwell was working actively to suppress it here at home.

So now that he is no longer in government, he is using his platform as a “public intellectual” to give a boost to the field of warmongers that want to become the next American Emporer. Sure, he’s free to say and do whatever he’d like, and he’s certainly can ignore Ron Paul if he likes.

But the rest of us know the truth. Blackwell doesn’t have 1/100th of the ideological integrity that Paul has.

Abandon Ship?

Hat tip to the blog

Jim Rogers Urges People to Sell U.S. Dollar Holdings
Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Investor Jim Rogers urged people to get out of the dollar and says he expects to be rid of all his U.S. currency assets by summer next year.

"If you have dollars, I urge you to get out,'' Rogers said in an interview from Singapore. He is chairman of New York-based Rogers Holdings, formerly known as Beeland Interests Inc. "That's not a currency to own.''

The dollar fell 9.5 percent this year against a basket of six major currencies as a housing slump slowed the economy and losses stemming from subprime mortgage defaults spread among U.S. banks. Rogers, who said last month he was shifting out of all his dollar assets, plans to buy commodities, Japan's yen, the Chinese yuan and the Swiss franc.
The dollar’s woe continue. And who agrees with Rogers?

Saudi Arabia who could start selling oil denominated in other currencies.

Iran who would also like to see oil markets base sales in non-dollar prices.

The United Arab Emirates as they severe their tie to the dollar.



The bottom line is that we need to return to a sound money system. We need to re-establish the gold standard, and de-socialize our monetary system. We need to strip the Federal Reserve of its ability to systematically destroy the integrity of the dollar, as it has done since its inception through its inflationary tactics.

Great Quote

"Necessity is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves." ~ William Pitt, 1783

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Libertarian Party of Ohio Pushes for Ballot Access Reform

From the inbox. LPO State Chair Kevin Knedler is asking all libertarians (party members and sympathizers) to write their State House Representatives and State Senators and ask them to consider taking action to reform Ohio's highly restrictive ballot access laws. These laws have the effect of squashing competition to the established two parties and shutting out new ideas from being interjected into public policy debates. Whether you are a libertarian, or a supporter of some other "3rd party", or just plain believe in an open and democratic political system, I encourage you to use the following letter as a guideline. You can go here to contact your representatives via the internet. - LJ


Dear Ohio Rep./Senator X,

As a citizen and Ohio voter, I would like to express my concern with the issue of ballot access for parties other than the Republicans and Democrats. When I say "ballot access", I refer to listing a party's candidates on the ballot with the party affiliation, as the Democrats and Republicans already have.Currently, the specific law which establishes guidelines for parties to petition for ballot access is not complete (ORC 3517.01). It was struck down by the 6th circuit Court in September 2006. The Ohio Secretary of State has addressed this topic through decree and set a number at 20,125 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters. To obtain that many valid signatures, we must collect at least 35,000 raw signatures to be able to meet the existing requirements.

The sheer size of the existing requirements is staggering and causes undue burden upon parties such as ours to get candidates on the ballot with a party affiliation. At a time when citizens are staying away from the voting booth, and polls indicate a general frustration with our elected representatives and government, we offer another opportunity to bring them back into the democratic process. This could also help the state with an increased number of poll workers. Can the elected representatives of Ohio take the high road and put the voter and democracy first?

Also note that there was a similar situation in the states of Arkansas and Illinois. In 2006 they also had their laws struck down as unconstitutional. In 2007 they addressed and fixed the situation through their legislatures. We are asking Ohio to do the same.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio has several forward-thinking ideas we would like to see enacted which will enable our party to get our candidates on the ballot throughout Ohio with the Libertarian party affiliation. Either Kevin Knedler, the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, or Ed Schambs, the Secretary of the Party, would like to meet with you to present an alternative to the present situation. Feel free to contact us at 877-868-3576 or go to our web site at Thank you.

Name (optional phone)

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Security Theatre"

The Unfriendly Skies

Ever since Sept. 11, we’ve spent billions of dollars on securing airplanes, sifting through the belongings of 2 million people per day and curtailing Americans’ civil liberties in the name of freedom. But do all of the extra checkpoints, pat-downs and searches make us any safer?

Security experts such as Bruce Schneier don’t think so. Schneier is chief technology officer for BT Counterpane, a network security company, and the author of Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World. He applauds measures such as reinforcing and locking cockpit doors, using air marshals and instructing passengers to fight back, making it impossible for planes to be used as weapons ever again. But he calls most of the other restrictions "security theater," because, he says, they make us feel safer even though they don’t actually do much good.
Ya think??

The State can’t gurantee our security any more than monkeys will fly out of Dick Cheney’s butt. The key is to keep up all appearances that they are "doing something", while priming people to become used to the constant infringement on their rights.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Federal Thugs Enforce Currency Racket

(I tell you, it must be monetary economics day here at YTBF....)

Hat tip to Steve Gordon

Government Monopoly Imposed at Gunpoint: Liberty Dollar Raided by Feds

Given the recent plummet of the dollar, its no wonder that the market is turning to other monetary sources, like Euros, or Yen. The "Liberty Dollar" is one such instrument. It has been growing in popularity, with a whole network of merchants springing up to accept this currency in exchange for goods and services. The difference here, though, is the Liberty Dollar doesn’t have a State apparatus behind it to employ violent force to perpetuate its use. It is only used by people who voluntarily choose to use it in their dealings, either as a buyer or a seller.

So now our government wants to shut down this competition to its failing currency. People must be forced to accept an increasingly worthless piece of paper as payment for goods and services.

Ron Paul and the Gold Standard

Ron Paul Attracts Passionate Fans

As an economics geek/part-time college professor, I have to admit that I am often alone in my enthusiasm when I talk to people about the possibility of returning to a gold standard, should the unlikely event of a Ron Paul presidency occur. Few people understand monetary economics, and of those who do, most think that we need to the Fed to "manage" how much our currency will erode each year.

It was interesting to see this exerpt:
Paul is Congress' most prominent advocate of returning to the gold standard, which the country abandoned in the 1930s. In its purest form it would mean that all paper currency in circulation could be redeemed for gold.

Supporters say the gold standard would curb inflation and boost confidence in the economy. But others say it would trigger severe recessions because the Federal Reserve could no longer manage the money supply in times of economic weakness.

For that matter, Paul would eliminate the Fed altogether as an impediment to free markets.

This makes me laugh. Limiting the Fed’s ability to manage the money supply will cause deep recessions? Ha! The Fed’s activities are what CAUSE economic chaos. Has anyone been paying attention to the sub-prime mortgage market these days?

The worst that can be said about returning to a gold standard would be that we might – might – experience some short term pains from the adjustment to a regime of sound money. But in the long run, sound money is the surest way to stable economic progress and prosperity.

One last thing:
Paul breezily talks of eliminating the personal income tax, saying it provides about 40 percent of federal revenues, which spending cuts could absorb. The government's funding level would approximate that of 2000, he says, although government statistics put the figure closer to 1995.
My question… Does anyone here think that government was too SMALL in 1995?

Another Democratic Presidential Candidate for the Nobel?

Well, Al Gore won his Nobel Peace prize (for something totally unrelated to peace). But how many people are aware that there is another Democratic Wannabe-Presidential Candidate who has been nominated not once, but (now) five times, for the Nobel Prize?'

Bill Richardson Nominated For Nobel Prize

It’s too bad that Richardson is really on the margins in his party. We need more anti-war candidates these days. Hell, we need a whole anti-war party.

Well, I wish Richardson luck. Granted, the Nobel peace prize is essentially a joke, but its a nice paper weight. Maybe if he had more "global warming" credentials, or helped to start wars, he could have a shot to win it.

Veteran Suicides On The Increase, Bush's Wars Continue

Here is a frightening statistic...

120 US war veteran suicides a week

My question is… Do you think the War Party is factoring this into the total number of casualties? Or do you think they treat these like they do of Iraqi civilians deaths – not even worth keeping track of?
While the suicide rate among the general population was 8.9 per 100,000, the level among veterans was between 18.7 and 20.8 per 100,000.

That figure rose to 22.9 to 31.9 suicides per 100,000 among veterans aged 20 to 24 - almost four times the non-veteran average for the age group.

I didn’t find any formal response from the War Party, but I imagine it would be some sort of canned answers about the utility of war. I guess you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Yeah, 120 eggs a week.

It's The Fed, Stupid!

Found this article today on MSN....

Who’s To Blame for This Mortgage Mess

Well, I will say, it’s nice to see that Greenspan and the Federal Reserve are getting the blame for the fallout from the real estate bubble. Greenspan was like a ostrich with his head in the sand, denying the bubble even existed.

But on the flip note, I find it funny that the author attributes Greenspan’s actions to his "naive brand of Ayn Rand libertarianism". I’m not sure if the author means libertarianism is naïve, Ayn Rand’s version of libertarianism is naïve, or Greenspan’s interpretation of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is naïve. While I can’t speak for the latter two, the first charge would be highly erroneous. It would be just as erroneous as blaming "capitalism" or "the free market" for this mess.

The Federal Reserve represents, essentially, a socialized monetary system. It is an institution of central planning, charged with manipulating a core and fundamental aspect of the economic system – the money supply. When the Fed tinkers with rates, alternately loosening and restricting the rate of money creation, it impacts and distorts the natural entire economy in a myriad of ways. The U.S. dollar is fiat currency, backed by nothing, and able to be manipulated at the will of the central planners on the board of governors. As a result, inflation and recessions are a permanent feature of our economic landcape, as the dollar continually erodes into worthless scraps of paper.

The article goes on to point the finger at other players in the sub-prime mortgage market. Most of them are prominent businessmen and such. Whether there was a bona-fide conspiracyor not is a matter of debate, but one thing is certain. None of the actions of companies like Merrill Lynch, etc. would have possible but for the actions of the Fed. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that it was inevitable that these companies would have pursued the policies they did with a determined Greenspan intent on weilding the carrot and stick to induce said economic activity. And the author’s complaint that Greenspan rebuffed "more oversight" of the mortgage industry misses the point. It’s the Fed that’s the cause here. How does more control over industry solve the problems created by the people with the power to manipulate the entire economy?

The bottom line is, central planning does not work. Assumption of such power by a few individuals is bound to lead to disaster. This was THE lesson of the 20th Century and its various experiments with socialism. Its time we learn the lessons of the past, and reform our monetary system accordingly. We need to get back to a regime of sound money.

Oh look, Ron Paul advocates a return to sound money.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Full Page Ron Paul Ad in USAToday

Word has it that there be a full page advertisement for Ron Paul in today's issue of USAToday. You can see a draft of it here. It looks pretty good, I must say.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

American Legion to Boston PD: Stomp Out Dissent!

Its nice to see people who have actually had to endure the traumas of warfare attempting to speak out against the tragedy of the current War du jour.

I wonder if the police officer in the picture above, arresting this Old Timer for the "crime" of speaking, feels any sense of remorse or shame for "just doing his job". I wonder if he goes home at night and tells his children, "well son, today I arrested someone who had something incorrect to say."

18 US Veterans Arrested in Protest

Its ironic that talking heads everywhere like to fall all over themselves about how noble and heroic our soldiers are, but ONLY when those troops are off killing and dying in a foreign land. Soldiers who actually speak out against war are never given the same respect.

Borrow, Inflate, Spend, Bomb, Repeat.

Iraq, Afghan war costs are $1.6 trillion

Damn, this is getting expensive. And with the dollar plummeting in value and national debt going through the roof, our wonderful President is surrounded by people who are just itching to start a new war with Iran. All the major GOP candidates for President all want to continue and expand the war to “protect America”.

Tell me…who is going to protect us from our protectors? When America collapses – as every Empire eventually does – under the strain of all the war, debt, inflation, and every other social ill that comes from decadent government policy, how “safe” will we be?

The irony is that these warmongers are pursuing policies which will ensure America's destruction.

Monday, November 12, 2007

HR 3664: Tax Free Tips!

Hat tip to Without Laws or Compulsion

I just caught wind that there is a bill that has been introduced in Congress that would make tips tax-exempt. This would be an excellent reform that would help many young people who hold down waitressing or bartending jobs to put themselves through college, or just support themselves on a whatever basis that they can manage.

And just who introduced this bill, known as H.R. 3664?

Yep, you guessed it…Ron Paul.

Go here and write your Congressman. Ask them to support this bill.

Hornberger Endorses Paul

This morning, Jacob Hornberger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation , published an article on Lew about why he is so ecstatic about the Ron Paul campaign for President. At first, I was a bit surprised, but then again, not surprised. I wasn’t surprised, because many libertarians all across the country are excited to see someone they view as one of their own is raising a ruckus. However, I was surprised to see Hornberger in particular, because he and his organization are very passionate in their support for free immigration, whereas Paul is not only in favor of closed-borders, but proposes to round up 10-20 million "illegals" for a forced relocation back to where they came from. My thought was that if there ever was a dividing line, these two surely would represent polar opposites in libertarian thought. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Hornberger anticipates this question:

Some libertarians might ask, "But Jacob, how can you support Ron Paul when you all disagree on the immigration issue?"

My answer: For the same reason that I assume Ron awarded The Future of Freedom Foundation his Liberty in Media Award for Outstanding Freedom Website – and for the same reason that libertarian think tanks and educational foundations support each other despite disagreements on particular libertarian issues: We know that we’re a small band of people who are committed to the same overall goal – the restoration of a free society – and we’re not going to let differences over particular libertarian positions split us apart and interfere with attaining our overall objective.
It’s nice to see that even the most hard-core libertarians can still be reasonable enough. So often, I’ve seen all too many libertarians take the line that if a person even deviates from libertarian principle by even a fraction of the width of a strand of hair, he is then a State-Worshipping socialist. I’m not saying Hornberger is, or ever was, one of this breed. But given Hornberger’s no-holds barred approach to criticizing today’s moral and political landscape – on top of being one of the most passionate spokesmen for open immigration – one might be tempted to think that Ron Paul’s radical position on immigration would be a deal-breaker.

Hornberger continues:

Does that mean that I would vote for any self-described libertarian, either within the Libertarian Party or without? No. Like many other libertarians I have my own particular litmus test as to which libertarians I’ll vote for and which ones I won’t vote for. If a self-described libertarian favors either the drug war or the war of aggression on Iraq, I will not vote for him and, in fact, I don’t even consider him a libertarian. But if I’m convinced that a candidate is libertarian in spirit and commitment, I will vote for him even if he calls for Social Security reform, Medicare reform, welfare reform, school vouchers, immigration controls, a national sales tax, or any other compromise of libertarian principles.

I would agree with this paragraph, as this is precisely my own thinking. I have my own "litmus tests" to which I would apply to any prospective candidate. I don’t insist that a candidate be 100% "pure" in my view in order for me to give him my support. There is room for disagreements. It’s just a matter of looking at the big picture. I often tell people who are what I call "except for" libertarians – people who would be a libertarian, except for one or two issues on which they seem to disagree – that we should all work together on the issues we agree with, and set aside our differences to resolve them at a later date. We have too much at stake to let one or two issues divide us.

But what strikes me about Hornberger’s position as a bit curious is that given his ardent, pro-immigration position – indeed, its probably one of the most common topics he writes on – why does he overlook the disagreement on this issue, while saying that the drug war or Iraq war would be deal-breakers? What if Paul was in 100% agreement with him on immigration, but instead was even mildly pro-drug war? I can’t help but feel that Hornberger’s willingness to compromise on one of his most central issues, calls into doubt his sincerity on the issue. If he has a litmus test for libertarians, as he claims, then it would seem that it should be his most passionate issues which get priority in evaluating the feasibility of a candidate. Perhaps Hornberger has reasoned about this in a way that has allowed him to come to terms with this type of compromise. If so, it's not immediately clear to me. Furthermore, I worry that Hornberger is overlooking this deviation from principle simply because it is Ron Paul, and the possibility for political success is providing the temptation to sacrifice a principle.

One other thing was brought up in Hornberger’s article relates to a point I’ve made in the past: The Ron Paul campaign will spell complete irrelevance for the Libertarian Party in 2008, especially now that Paul is really making waves. I’m not particularly bothered by this – afterall, my first and foremost desire is for liberty, and the party implementing it is irrelevant – but I simply say that as an observation. The LP will be an "also ran" after the Paul campaign fizzles. If anyone doubts this, ask yourself, let’s say Paul actually wins the GOP nomination. Would the LP run a presidential candidate? Will serious LP activists really get out there and campaign for someone else who is not Paul? Most LP activists are firmly on board with this Republican party candidate. If Paul is actually successful, those people who are working to advance the political organization of the LP won’t be around. The LP, in effect, will become just a subset of the Republican party for that election cycle.

A person at a Libertarian Party convention once said to me, "The worst thing that could ever happen is if the Republican Party were to adopt libertarian principles." Intrigued, I responded, "Oh, and why is that?" He said, "Because it would really damage the Libertarian Party."

The guy was obviously missing the forest for the trees. The greatest thing that could ever happen to our country is if both of the major parties – Republican and Democrat – were to re-embrace libertarian principles, because the only way we are going to restore freedom to our land is through the repeal of the wrongful, oppressive, and tyrannical laws and policies that emanate from the federal government.

Hornberger is absolutely correct on this point. Furthermore, the entire history of minor parties in this country has been to agitate and harness support for new political ideas – abolition, women’s suffrage, prohibition, socialism, etc. all started out as the centerpiece of minor parties. When these ideas got enough support that they actually threatened to take power away from the establishment parties, the Big Two simply co-opted the ideas and made them their own. If there is a political solution to re-establishing liberty, it will most likely happen the same way. The Ron Paul candidacy, in my view, could be the beginning of this co-opting of libertarian ideas, albeit in a limited sort of way.

My support for Ron Paul is still tentative. There are many aspects of the guy that I like, as well as some troubling points. His anti-war stance, and his support for returning to a "sound money" monetary system are very appealiing to me. The immigration thing is, admittedly, very troubling. 10-20 million people is a LOT of people to try and forcibly relocate. Not all of them are going to go quietly. Not to mention its just flat out immoral to tell someone where they can live and work, and who they can and cannot associate with. It is this issue, on top of the fact that, by all accounts, the immigration issue is a hot button issue (and not in a good way). I worry that Paul’s campaign is tapping into that anti-immigrant sentiment, and that the larger picture is that Paul’s campaign is only fueled by that and not a real desire for liberty among the general public.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Defending the Tax Preparer (Again)

I got another crack shot at me from a State Worshipper about my recent decision to take a tax preparation course in the hopes of landing a part time gig in the spring doing returns. According to this Socialist (self-described!), my point that I’m not working for the government, but instead working on the side of private individuals to help them get back as much of their property as they can from the thieving hands of the State, was met with a sarcastic, "way to justify it!"

Sometimes, tolerating the stunted capacity for logical thought by Statists can be fatiguing.

Let’s look at this way. What if there was a rash of muggings, rapes, and robberies in your neighborhood, to which you protest and take the position that mugging, raping and robbery are moral evils and need to stop. If you decided to take a martial arts class, with the hope that your newly learned skills could be used to help protect people from these predators, could you then be accused of profiting from the violence, and therefore, losing credibility when you complain about it? To the Statist, the proper moral position for someone who opposes violence is to not do something about it, but to stand by and let people get victimized. In that case, they are "pure" and above the fray. (Meanwhile, the predators find it easier to ply their barbaric trade.)

In the mind of a Statist, if you profit from something you oppose, you have no right to oppose it.

Say that a few times. Try to take in the logic. If you can figure it out, please try and help me, because I sure as hell don’t.

I have to ask, what about someone who supports a program from which they personally profit? We can all see that someone’s support is so obviously tied to their own self-interest. For example, had I said to my friend (who supports government provided education)…well of course YOU support the welfare program of State schools, because YOU personally benefit. Without State funded schools, this person would have to foot the bill themselves for fulfilling their parental responsibility to their children. Yet, here I am, advocating a position that is against my own financial interests. And to the Statist, that does not show moral integrity? It’d be one thing if I said, "I support a complicated income tax code, because I make money from you being forced to navigate it." No, there would be no moral difficulty there. But somehow, it’s hypocritical to advocate for something that’s counter to your own (monetary) self-interest for the sake of higher moral principles.

To the Statist, money is the most important value, and monetary considerations silence all debate. The Statist’s position is that morality can be bought. And if you accept one dollar that is remotely scented with their touch, you have sold your soul to them. In this, "have your cake and eat it too" scenario, the Statist is able to apply contradictory principles to support their ideas, alternating between arguments as the situation warrants. How lucky for them!

So apparently, the credibility of my opposition to the income tax is nullified because I choose to apply my time, talent, and energy to helping people navigate the red tape that has been foisted upon them by Wannabe Social Engineers in Washington, DC. How wonderful.

Big And Scary!

Remember...the only people that can take away our freedoms are our own elected politicians.

The Dollar Crisis

Attention economics students!

With the recent trend of the US dollar sliding in strength, it was very timely to see Lew Rockwell write an article today in which he compiles a short reading list of books for the study of monetary economics. These books offer a solid foundation for learning about the virtues of returning to a "sound money" regime.

Read The Dollar Crises.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fair Tax Boortz to Give Paul A Fair Chance

Its been a while since I’ve given any serious attention to "libertarian" radio talk show host Neal Boortz. Despite his claim that he’s a libertarian, he has a number of very troubling views on things that I find to not paint libertarianism in an accurate, let alone good, light. In fact, many of his views are plainly not libertarian. The biggest among these is that he a foaming-at-the-mouth warmonger. Despite the core principle of libertarianism being the rejection of the initiation of force, he has no problem advocating the use of military might to hunt down and kill people he suspects might someday do someone harm. This "pre-emptive strike" philosophy has far reaching and disturbing implications.

I was reading his "Neal’s Nuze" page from yesterday – basically, his show notes for the things he will be talking about on the air that day. Not suprisingly, Neal has not been on the Ron Paul bandwagon for, also not surprisingly, Paul’s anti-war position. For Boortz, Paul’s dedication to reducing the size, scope, and power of the federal government, to cutting spending, to passing the Fair Tax, to promoting school choice, to liberalizing gun laws, to ending the failed War on Drugs, and on and on… all libertarian positions, all positions that Boortz himself are in agreement with, gets thrown out the window because of Paul’s lack of willingness to bomb the shit out of dark-skinned non-Christians.

Here is how Boortz explains it:

Sometimes you have to make a difficult decision not on the basis of what's the worse that could happen if you DO act, but on what the worst possible scenario would be if you DIDN'T.

This statement alone is frightening in its implications. After Boortz details all of his beliefs about free markets in health care, education, ending the war on drugs, etc. He makes this statement of principle. But this begs one question: why does this "pre-emptive action" principle only apply to killing Muslims? Why couldn’t it apply to drug users? Or gun owners? For example, why is it not justified for the government to actively pursue and eliminate illegal drugs, or completely abolish private ownership of guns, since, in either of these cases, the worst possible scenario of NON-action could be people getting killed in a spectacular fashion. Why should my neighbor be allowed to own a gun, since he may use it incorrectly, or irresponsibly, and kill me or my child? Why not make the speed limit 5 miles an hour since "allowing" people to drive faster could lead to many, many deaths. Under Boortz’s philosophy, its hard to make out a case that ANYTHING that is otherwise non-violent should be legal, because one can always imagine possibilities that lead to the need for pre-emptive action, thus making non-action a grave moral failing. In short, Boortz’ philosophy is contradictory and nonsensical.

It’s tragic to see Boortz sacrificing the opportunity to advance liberty in the political realm on a lot of fronts because of one issue. I understand that many people have their hot-button, deal breaker issues. Hell, I have them myself. But his rabid insistance on this one issue position makes me wonder… if Ron Paul got the nomination, and was up against Hillary Clinton, whose credentials as a bloodthirsty warmonger are well established, would he vote for her?

The irony here is that Boortz likes to charge libertarians (party types, anyway) of being intolerant of those who do not hoe the ideological line. Yet, Boortz himself is will to throw aside supporting a candidate that he agrees with on about 97% of all other issues – including his beloved "Fair Tax" – for the sake of one issue. Who’s intolerant, Neal?

Well, at least he’s willing now to give Paul a fair shot, instead of dismissing him out of hand, which is nice to see.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Libertarians Win 17% Of Their Races; McAlister Returns to Office

As the final results are rolling in, it seems that Libertarian Party candidates across the nation were winning races for local government positions. Historically, this is where Libertarians win the most, probably because there is less emphasis on party affiliation, which, in the world of politics is akin to religious identity.

Here in Ohio, we had Gahanna City Councilman John McAlister get re-elected to another term. John has been on the city council for about 6 years now, and has been a solid advocate for individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited, non-wasteful government. Its nice to see him get returned to office. Congratulations John!

Other race results for Ohio can be found here.

Denver Voters Say Search for the Real Criminals

Denver’s voters have decided that continuing to waste scarce government resources on waging the failed War on Drugs is pointless, and have passed a measure telling their law enforcement personnel to spend their time chasing real criminals.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether local law enforcement demonstrates any respect for the will of the voters.

That appeared at least partly aimed at Sgt. Ernie Martinez of the Denver Police Department, who told The New York Times recently that he "cannot envision ordering his officers to stop arresting people for marijuana."
So Martinez’ boss – the people of Denver – gives him an order, and he doesn’t feel obliged to pay attention to it? How lovely.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Conservative Begs Democratic Congress For Help

Hat tip to Sparks From the Anvil

John Campbell at the blog whines:
So far, the House of Representatives this year has taken over 1,000 separate votes which has surpassed the most recorded votes ever in the history of Congress. We also have been "in session" voting for 146 days so far, which is also headed to a record number of days in Washington, DC. So, that's the input.

But what about the output? So far, only 107 bills have been signed into law. Over half of these were either naming something (like a post office) or extending an existing law that was scheduled to expire. several more were simple land transfers from government to government. National Review has suggested that has been only one piece of legislation of any significance that has passed and been signed into law which was the increase in the minimum wage. This Congress is on track to pass the fewest bills since electronic records have been kept. Furthermore, Congress has failed to send a single appropriations (budget/spending) bill to the President after a full month into the fiscal year. The is the first time Congress has failed to do so since 1987.

So, arguably, this Congress has been the least productive Congress ever.
And this is a serious problem because…well, um…how is this a problem?

The real problem is with modern Conservatives, and Statists in general. They gauge the job performance of politicians by the volume of laws and regulations that are passed.

More new laws = Better Government. Fewer new laws = Bad government.

I think there are some serious questions we need to ask: Haven’t they done enough already? What more do we want government to do? Why is it that we look to government to "lead" us, solve our problems, and create a better society?

In my opinion, if Congress were to take the next year (or two, or three, or ten...) off, you would hear NO complaints here. The last thing we need is a bunch of busybody politicians running around trying to "fix" societies problems – real or imaginary. They always screw things up, create new problems, or make old problems worse. Political solutions always fail to deliver what they promise.

Oh, and how lucky we are to have Conservatives clamoring for government to do more.

No More Lap Dances, The Strippers Are Cryin

So, as most of us already know, lap dances are now illegal in Ohio, and the proposed remedy – an initiative that was supposed to be on today’s ballot – was rejected by the Secretary of State last week.

I’ve been reviewing this issue lately. Has anyone actually read the law? Here is a summary of the bill.

What do I find most disturbing? The clause of the bill that states:

· Prohibits a patron of a sexually oriented business who is not a member of the employee's immediate family to knowingly touch any employee of the business while that employee is nude or seminude or touch the clothing of any employee while that employee is nude or seminude.
Yikes! I can only touch the stripper if I am related to her? Where the hell are we, Kentucky?

Now, as it turns out, the guy who’s behind all these kind of laws – Phil Burress – is an admitted porn addict, who’s been "reformed". What is that old saying? The hardest people on smoking are former smokers? It would seem that the same holds true for sexual dysfunction.

You gotta feel sorry for Ol’ Phil, though. The guy is obviously so fundamentally twisted and unable to manage his own anxieties, that he feels a burning passion to project his own nuerotic longings onto others. He can’t deal with his issues, so he’ll use the legislative process – infringing upon your liberties – to manage his feelings.

And what strikes me as even more perverse is that, while he can’t stomach the idea of two consenting adults from getting too close to each other, he and his group thinks that touching the stripper is perfectly OK if that stripper is your mom. Phil has no problem with people engaging in sexually suggestive activities with blood relations.

Hello?! Can anyone say Oedipus Complex??

I think Phil needs more time in therapy.

Who Says Supermodels Are Dumb?

I mean, how bad is it when a supermodel and Warren Buffet are sniffing out the same things?

Supermodel 'rejects dollar pay'

So, do you think that maybe our monetary czars in the Federal Reserve should take a few modeling lessons? Maybe they’ll wake up to the systematic destruction of the dollar they are responsible for with their inflationary, fiat monetary regime.

Given that the dollar has been collapsing – hell, the Canadian Dollar was recently worth MORE than U.S Dollar – Bundchen is pretty damn smart to take her payment in foreign currencies.

By the is a pretty useful currency calculator.


Just, wow.

According to the Ron Paul campaign, yesterday they raised $3.8 million dollars, from approximately 35,000 people.

That is a lot of money.

That is a lot of support.

Would Giuliani or Romney be able to do something like that? How about Hillary?

Of course not. These candidates aren't grassroots oriented campaigns. They are driven by big-money elitists.

I'm just dying to know what Sean "Conservatives Support Welfare (and relentless warfare)" Hannity thinks of this. He HATES Paul with a passion.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Glass House Hillary Throws Stones

Clinton: Bush Shares Blame for Pakistani Emergency

Of course, the irony here is that Musharraf staged his military coup while her husband was President. Clinton (Bill, that is) did nothing at the time to pressure Musharraf to return control to the civilian government. And what do you think will happen when popular will is thwarted?

This emergency in Pakistan is a direct result of Musharraf’s revolutionary tactics, which went all but ignored by the Clinton Presidency. Sure, the Bush Regime hasn’t done anything to correct the situation, but to hear Clinton (Hillary, that is) protest about this strikes me a bit hypocritical.

Remember, Remember! The 5th of November

Ron Paul’s campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination is really kicking up some dust. The campaign has designated today to be a day when they want to raise an absurd amount of money in a short period of time. And they appear to be doing it. Since midnight, he has almost raised $1 million…(and it’s only about 9:30 am, EST).

Here is a graph you can watch the progress of today’s donations

Contrary to the rumors of "bot nets" and overzealous spammers, Ron Paul has widespread support from ordinary people, unlike others who only find their support from moneyed elite. If Paul can raise a couple million today, that is going to have a lot of people sweating about the meaning of Paul’s candidacy.

I know I'm curious to see what he does today.

Dictatorship in Pakistan Continues

Bush’s buddy in the War on "Terror" is providing wonderful evidence of the types we like to consort with when its suitable.

Musharraf's "Second Coup" In Pakistan

This is the guy that came into power a few years back by virtue of a military coup, overthrowing a democratically elected government (making him an ideal partner in Bush’s crusade to bring democracy to the middle east!). The other day, he suspended the Constitution, fired the Supreme Court and declared martial law. Now it turns out, as the Courts were finally about to weigh in on the legitimacy of his presidency, he yells "Islamic extremism", and then then brings the hammer down.

He’s squashed the media and arrested political opponents. Then, he quotes Lincoln.

At least we can say Musharraf knows his American history better than most Americans do.

I wonder, does anyone worry that this could happen here in America?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

How to Get Your Ass Kicked

Ok... This has nothing to do with politics, economics, philosophy, freedom, libertarianism, or anything remotely related to anything you'd normally find me talking about here.

But it's funny as hell.

Strap in, shut up and hold on. We're going back.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Tax Protest in Elyria, Ohio

I just caught wind of this...

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 3 at noon, there will be an anti-sales tax rally at Ely Park in downtown Elyria.

Here is a map of directions from Cleveland.

Pass it on.

Mitt Romney: Working to Sovietize America

Hat tip to Plunderbund

Presidential candidate looks to link financial aid to occupation

Back in the Soviet Union, the central planning boards vested with authority to plan the economy had the responsibility to determine to which professions people would be assigned. At young ages, children would be selected for the educational paths they would be allowed to pursue. The economic planners, being charged with commanding and controlling all economic resources in society, wielded the power to make even the most basic life choices for individuals.

We have this here in America already, albeit to a lesser degree. Remember all those "standardized tests" you took in elementary school? What do you think they were designed for? They were meant to separate the "smart" kids from the "dumb" ones – so that the central planners of our socialized educational system could assess which students were worthy of expending greater resources on, and which ones would be shuffled off to some vocational program like woodshop, or home-economics. Afterall, we can't waste that spot in AP Physics class on some kid who would be better off weilding a wrench and performing oil changes, right? Best to find out early who can't hack it, and assign them to their station in life.

And now, one of the leading GOP Presidential contenders proposes using a State-provided carrot-and-stick to exert more control over the educational choices - and by extension, career choices - of individuals. Financial aid is not to be just a "helping hand" anymore (if, indeed, it ever was), but it shall now be a tool for radical and expansive social engineering. Under Romney, the State will decide how many engineers, scientists, historians, accountants, MBAs, philosophers, economists, doctors, teachers, sociologists, etc. that America will have. Want to become a lawyer? Need some help from government? Too bad, kid… We have too many already… here’s some money to study basketweaving.

And under such a plan, the State will have to set quotas on various professions. Supply and demand affects labor, just as much as any other commodity. If we have one million rocket scientists, and 14 lawyers, then "lawyering" will be a much more valuable commodity. The State would then have to actively discourage the study of rocket science, and encourage lawyering.

Of course, this development shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. There is a timeless truth coming into view here. What the State pays for, the State controls. Just as government money always comes with strings attached, its not surprising that this proposal is being offered. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Oh, and one last thing: "School Choice" proponents take heed. You think the State issuing vouchers to parents to use at the schools they choose won’t lead to State control, regulation, and ultimately the transformation of these schools into clones of the failed public school system we enjoy today?

Have I said it lately? It’s time to separate school and state!

Trick or Treat!

Oh, our choices are just SO lovely, aren't they?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Should Congress Read the Laws They Pass?

If you notice off to the left hand side of this blog, there is a new button posted. I am now a member of the "read the bills" coalition.

What is the "read the bills coalition"? Well, the sad fact is, many bills that congress passes these day are passed without having been read by the members of Congress that vote for them. The Downsize DC foundation is working on advancing a bill which would make it the law requiring that before any bill could be passed, a public reading of the entire bill must be performed, and that before voting on it, each member of congress must sign a sworn affidavit affirming – under penalty of perjury – that they have read, or heard read, the bill to be voted on.

Is this unreasonable? Is it too much to ask that our representatives actually know the content of the laws that they pass? Or is it ok that our elected representatives engage in careless and irresponsible law-making?

Demanding that the members of Congress take the time to know exactly what they are doing is NOT, in my opinion, a very outlandish or absurd request. It is a position that I think people of all political views can get behind. After all, who among us actually desires irresponsible government?

I would encourage everyone to check out the plan, and give your support in some fashion – whether it be to help spread the word, write a letter to you representative, monetary donation, or some other way.