LittleMargaretNan

From another angle . . .

NOVEMBER by Robert Frost

Photo by LMN

We saw leaves go to glory,

Then almost migratory

Go part way down the lane,

And then to end the story

Get beaten down and pasted

In one wild day of rain.

We heard “‘Tis over” roaring.

A year of leaves was wasted.

Oh, we made a boast of storing,

Of saving and of keeping,

But only by ignoring

The waste of moments sleeping,

The waste of pleasure weeping,

By denying and ignoring

The waste of nations warring.

(From A Witness Tree, 1942)

Let’s celebrate the ordinary, for a change

Here’s another unpublished essay pulled from the old backup files . . . posting it as found. -LMN/GM

No way to be a genius

There’s no way I can be a genius, so why even bother? I mean, it’s no fun being ordinary in a world full of genius. On the other hand, it’s all I’ve got, so I’ll try to make the best of it. What seems so easy to others is a struggle for me, though I’m sure I do a few things that some might find a struggle for them. Yet, I see before me, over and over again, so many talented, accomplished, hard-driving persons that I feel overwhelmed by my lack of ability. I’m trying my best, but my best can never compete with what they can do. There must be many others who feel as I do. The thing is: what is our purpose in being here? If it is just to exist as ourselves, is that not good enough? Is it not then sufficient to try our best and be accepting that our best is ordinary, at best, and mediocre or less than mediocre, at worst?

Are there others out there who keep hoping in vain to find some special talent within them that will make all their other failures acceptable? Surely there are. But, perhaps, the sooner we recognize those talents are not likely to materialize, the sooner we can get on with doing what we have to do to survive and with trying to find time to do what we would like to do, because we like to do it. Maybe it is a relief to let go of the idea that we are special beings, beyond, we hope, to our husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, children, and maybe, if we are lucky, our siblings and friends – and, if we believe, to God. Maybe it is truly enough to keep trying to be a good person every day and to accept that we’ll never learn seven languages, or ice skate like Michelle Kwan, dance like Mikhail Baryshnikov, or write like Mark Twain.

It’s hard to maintain a sense of self-respect and value in a world full of high achievers, but it may be possible. Those who aren’t so accomplished in the world of sports, or linguistics, or the arts are often, if they are truly special, adept at the art of making money. They accomplish a certain lifestyle and level of comfort from sheer grit. They hustle to find a sense of superiority over others, though they are not likely to admit to it, in their accumulation of capital. They pretend they are just like you and me, but in their heart of hearts they know they are not, that they are different, and they are quite glad of it. I say: good for them, if they are happy; just quit trying to blend in by pretending you have to clip coupons and buy things at yard sales; it doesn’t work; we aren’t fooled.

Let’s celebrate the ordinary, for a change: worn looking cars with 250,000 miles and counting; sloppy handwriting and below grade level performance in math; apartment living; clothes purchased from Goodwill in the last Sunday of the month sale; a house full of used furniture most of which cost no more than $50; un-manicured fingernails and un-pedicured toenails; calloused hands; old sneakers; Carlo Rossi jug wine; Taco Bell; Eight O’Clock coffee; the laughter of children; and just trying to be as loving and good and kind as we can be. The world needs plain old love and goodness and kindness, at least as much as it needs genius.

October 27, 2006

I am not a fish; I am a free woman

Digging around in our old backup files I found several essays I wrote but never published. It appears I wrote this one for submission to a magazine focused on home education; it’s dated 2006. For better or worse, I have decided to post it as I found it, with only a couple of small edits. -LMN/GM

Row, Row, Row Your Boat . . .

Some of my family and friends think I’m in denial. But what else is new? After all, I’ve been a homeschooling (to put it in the most recognizable term) parent on-and-off since 1988. One would think that’s enough unconventionality to last a life time. Yet, apparently, for me, it isn’t. Without intending to, I find myself swimming upstream in many areas of my life, and I suspect this something I share in common with most readers of this magazine; the article, “A Cheerful Rebel” comes to mind.

This morning, I’m wondering what it means when we say we are “swimming upstream”? Salmon do it when they go to spawn, and then they die. Is this what’s in store for us unconventional-types (an oxymoron, right?)? A long struggle, after which we make it possible for our heirs to continue the struggle and then depart, sounds like an analogy for what it means to be human. Ironically, I’m living my life, to use another cliché metaphor, “outside the mainstream.” So am I simply struggling upstream in a different stream? But if I am in a different stream, then what current am I struggling against? By being in the waters of a different stream, am I not then entitled to go with the flow? In trying to analyze these metaphors, I’ve caught my mind in an eddy, spinning in slow circles.

Let me see whether I can swim far enough sideways to break the eddy’s hold and make some sense of this. Perhaps I need to start with young hatchling salmon. They do indeed go with the flow, out to the ocean to live until it’s time for the ultimate upstream struggle. As one of those salmon, to be outside the mainstream would be to refuse to go to the ocean and be eaten by a bear sooner rather than later; probably before spawning; if one could spawn at all, under the circumstances. Or being outside the mainstream could mean going to the ocean, but refusing to go back upstream for the struggle; or it could simply mean choosing a different stream to struggle up; or to decide to spawn at the base of the stream or some other new spot. But wait a minute; I’m not a salmon, not even a fish. I don’t live in streams; I don’t spawn. I’ll bet you were wondering when I was going to figure that out.

But hold it. I can’t leave this alone yet. I think what these particular family and friends are really afraid of is that I, we, my husband, children, and I, will be eaten by a bear, sooner rather than later. They see going with the flow as a way of having some control over a chaotic world. They are approved of by their fellow fish; they know their places and though they might yearn to take a different course, they prefer the reassurance. They see themselves as accepting their destiny; they believe I am simply denying mine, to my own detriment.

Perhaps they are right. I’d say, most assuredly, they are, except, I’ll say again, I, we, are not salmon, nor fish. What distinguishes us, as humans, is that we have more opportunity to assert our wills than any other animal, for better or worse. Deference is given with regard to asserting the will to the young and to those with financial means. But because I am growing older, have little money at the moment, and have chosen to keep my youngest child at home rather than send him to school while I work full-time, they are sure I am setting up myself and my family to be eaten by a bear. To add insult to injury, I have made the mistake of announcing I intend to earn my living, eventually, as a writer, giving them, as they see it, even more evidence that I’ll soon be nothing but a tasty morsel for Ursa Major. They genuinely fear for us, I think. And I appreciate their care, however much it rubs my scales the wrong way, but I do wish they’d have a little more faith that things might turn out well.

The greatest irony is, while they believe I am denying reality, for me the opposite is true. Despite the strong current always tugging at me, I still want to be just where I am. It is the only place that feels right, all the way down to my bones. I did not choose this way of life out of a need to be contrary for contrary’s sake or stubbornly hold to something I started long ago. If, knowing what I know about myself, I jumped into their current and was swept away, for me that would be the ultimate denial. I would be refusing to acknowledge what my husband and I deeply believe is right. I would be refusing to try to acknowledge what holds the most meaning for me in life. I would be refusing to use the power of my own mind. After all, I am not a fish; I am a free woman.

2006

Ebola: what op is being planned for Western nations?

Originally posted on Jon Rappoport's Blog:

Ebola: what op is being planned for Western nations?

by Jon Rappoport

September 26, 2014

NoMoreFakeNews.com

In this article, I’m not going to try to recapitulate everything I’ve written about Ebola so far.

I’ll outline two possible scenarios for the near future in Western nations. Scenario 1 and Modified Scenario 1. Both would be planned ops.

#1: Announcement: a vaccine is available. Authorities will declare who should take it. In an extreme situation, people in certain sectors will be commanded to take it. And if they don’t, they will be quarantined, regardless of their health status.

Quarantines in selected areas would be enforced by police and troops stationed on streets, taking people to their homes, ordering them to stay in their homes. In those areas, businesses would be ordered to close.

Flights in and out of selected areas would be shut down.

The vaccine would be called safe, “according to…

View original 867 more words

The Dog

The dog had strayed into her life and despite attempts to find its owner and after learning animal control considered him (the dog) armed and dangerous, a fugitive from canine justice, possibly headed for death row should he be caught and detained, she let him stay.

The woman (as she would discover) had opened her home to a real dog, a dog who, in these days of mass confinement of canines, felines, and humans alike, had managed to escape attempts to control him and created a wide territorial loop for himself through the wooded regions bordering the ubiquitous subdivisions.

This dog valued freedom equally with human affection. Smart, persistent, and energetic, a canine Houdini, his skill at escaping collars, tethers, fences, latched doors, animal control officers, and even humans he knew and loved, in a sensible world would have earned him respect but instead just caused him trouble; yet his will to be free persisted.

Thus, despite the excellent food and other creature comforts smitten humans, such as the woman was, provide, he still wanted, when a deer passed through the yard, seeming to taunt him in his confinement, or when a feral cat tried in vain to pass unnoticed across the well-kept lawn that joined one section of wood to another, he wanted, he was compelled . . . to hurl himself at the storm door and hope the latch would give way or to run to the edge of the fenced yard and spring into the air catching his front paws over the top of the wire, using his rear legs as pistons. . . to launch himself into the wild again.

Once free, in the realm of the canine spirits, no human command or plea could stop him until miles of running broke the fever. True, he’d been successfully distracted once by fellow canine scents and scooped up like a puppy, ripped from his reverie, and scolded. Another time he’d been slowed by a skunk he was carrying, the one he’d killed the night before, getting heavily doused in the process with a perfume so thick four baths of baking soda and peroxide could merely dilute it, a skunk the woman had set aside to bury but that had proved so enticing to the dog he’d no sooner been let out the door than he scaled the fence to retrieve it. Thus, freighted with the skunk and perhaps feeling too pleased with himself, the dog was thwarted by a promise of affection from an observant and friendly neighbor, giving the woman time to slip a leash around his neck and take him back.

Despite the woman’s increasingly sophisticated attempts to prevent the dog’s escapes he succeeded now and again, often being discovered soon enough for the woman to run after him until he reached the woods and disappeared. The first few times he had escaped, not realizing the pattern to his wanderings, she walked the neighborhood frantically calling or got in her car and drove anxiously through the adjoining streets, hoping he might appear. But after a few times, the woman saw that he made a loop through the long woods, passing through the neighborhood before beginning it a second time, then tiring by the end of the second and willingly returning home.

With that knowledge, the woman stopped the anxious pursuits, saw no sense in it and saw it could cause more trouble if she wasn’t home to greet the dog, and so she waited to try to catch him after the first loop or at least to bring him in after the second, an exhausted, stinking, briar-scratched, grinning-with-his-whole-body, panting canine, then scold him and put him in the laundry room with a bowl of water, to do his penance.

After one break-out, the woman ended her pursuit at the woods’ edge and headed back to her house, apparently, she later learned, having been observed, tried, and convicted by a neighbor. When the woman went back outside after about half an hour, to try to catch the dog on the pass-through, the neighbor, lying in wait, raised her voice to the woman, adjusting its tone to contain equal parts contempt, malice, and condescension, and called out, “Don’t you even try to catch your dog?” The woman, surprised, pained, tried to explain. Later, she would learn that nothing she could say would matter; predators do not show mercy, especially ones who care a lot.

Another time, the woman, failing to notice a deer lurking in the dark just beyond the fence, let the dog out for his late-night eliminations and turned her back just long enough. A nasal call pierced the still air, then a low growl and rattling wire; another runabout commenced; the dog disappeared into the night. But the woman, knowing what she knew and realizing the utter futility and possibly dangerous nature of wandering through yards and woods in the dark to look for him, went back inside to wait.

The neighbor’s determined knock came soon after, followed by a blustering judgment which smacked the woman’s face as she opened the door, “Your dog is loose! Aren’t you even going to look for him?” Never mind that it was near midnight. Never mind that it was very dark. Never mind what the woman knew. Never mind anything she could say to explain. It wouldn’t matter, though she said it anyway; she made a useless but heartfelt appeal for understanding, a good faith attempt to break through, this time, for the dog’s sake.

He returned on schedule. And this dog, claimed by the neighbor to be a cat-killer but never verified or believed by the woman (a cat-chaser, yes, but cat-killer?) but known by the woman to be a skunk killer (a skunk violating the dog’s territory? any self-respecting dog would have killed it), now this dog, this killer, bore in his mouth a precious cargo indicating he’d crossed paths in the night with a feral cat moving her kittens.

The mother cat would have sacrificed one to save the others, dropping it from her mouth onto the forest floor and leading her pursuer on a wild chase away from the nest. Whether the dog chased the mother cat then went back for the sacrificed one, or whether he stopped then and there, the woman could never know, but she did know the dog had not shaken the kitten to death or left her to fend for herself, desperately pining for her mother; instead, he, the dog, this cat-killer dog, had brought her home, likely a result of his bird-dog instinct, finally releasing the tiny feline from the surprisingly tender grip of his canine jaws into human hands. And the woman knew that now the dog considered this mewling little bundle, her eyes barely open, one of his own, and now their own. The woman knew.

But what she knew and what we all know that should matter most of all, the deep knowledge that smacks of the reason for living, that reeks with the truth, that sings from the heart, that should explain everything to anyone, is so often cast aside in the name of caring. To use logic and reason, to remain calm in the face of difficulty, to trust in what you know, these are considered sins in this caring world.

To care you must confine at all times, and should confinement be escaped, panic accordingly, sufficiently that you are noticed, so that the magnitude of your discomfort can be used as the inverse measure of your transgression, to thus determine whether your lapse in judgment or vigilance can be forgiven or should instead be reviled and used to undermine your reputation as a carer, forever discounting your credibility.

About the woman, some of the more caring neighbors liked to say, “She doesn’t even look for her dog.”

Written by GNM/LMN – September 2014

Metal Scrap, Ash, and Vapor

Fire, carefully used and contained, is cleansing and satisfying. We have the good fortune of living in an area where one won’t yet be arrested for having a little fire pit in the backyard and, when conditions are right, not too dry, not too windy, burning whatever it is that ails that will not produce toxic fumes and ash.

Regarding the toxic-fume family of discards, we must make-do with the recycling center or landfill, which get the job done but without that full sense of closure. There is always the thought that something sent to either of these places might blow from the truck and end up on the roadside or resurface two hundred years later to be studied by some archeologist. Imagine the text on the museum display placard: “Early twenty-first century one gallon milk jug with screw-type lid.”

But last night, watching that crappy, particle board end table, the one held together by thin staples, the one that broke apart as I was about to carry it into Goodwill, be consumed and disappear forever deeply satisfied that part of me that yearns for quality of workmanship and aesthetics, that part of me that knows it is far better to possess no table at all than to carry on a relationship with one such as that.

At the moment, my dining area is overflowing with papers accumulated over many years of chaotic, hectic living. Every piece of paper that might possibly be useful at some future time was layered in boxes or stuffed higgeldy-piggeldy into file drawers. Now I’m yearning to consign this whole mess to the flames but, having had the chance twice now since pulling it all out, I’ve not done it.

My daring side knows I could hurl in the lot without looking and never miss a thing; it takes considerable will to resist this impulse, especially when there is a nice hot bed of coals just waiting. Alas, the conservative side of me insists on hours of sorting and strictly limited hurling. But Ms. Tame, as opposed to Ms. Wild, is likely correct that there will be a few tidbits amongst these piles worthy of the time it takes to identify them, so she wins the debate.

As I continue to get things in order around here there will be less and less for the flames, mostly just garden debris, which is also satisfying to burn, you know, the stuff that doesn’t compost quickly or that might cause trouble later even if it is composted. And the ash goes into the compost to enrich it. But if I achieve my goal of maintaining orderly files, this entails periodic purging likely yielding plenty of lovely fodder for the flames.

Of course, burning old bills and bank statements does not offer the same level of satisfaction as burning an ugly, poorly constructed hunk of junk, but if I achieve another of my goals, I will never own any more of those than I already have, which, thankfully, is not too many. So I shall have to savor last night’s image of the flames mercifully lapping until the thing was only so much metal scrap, ash, and vapor.

- LMN

[Image Credit to: khrawlings – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/%5D

A letter from Freeman DeFacto on freedom and the law

Dear Friend,

Sixty some years ago when I was a 20-something and a staunch “conservative,” I too believed in the death penalty administered by the state.

I advocated that it should be administered ONLY when it could be proven BEYOND ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER that the defendant had committed knowing, premeditated, willful MURDER in the first degree. This seemed only “reasonable.”

As I studied and learned about really true individual freedom and all the assumptions and ins-and-outs and downright corruption of statism I realized that the state should not have the power of life or death over anyone. I began my movement away from “conservatism” and statism toward sovereign individualism.

In a truly-free society, there would be no state. Each individual would govern her_or_himself as a sovereign individual.  Sovereign individuals would form associations for protection of their own life, limb, and property.  No one could be coerced to join an association or remain in one should he not wish to.

I study history mostly in a effort to learn, if possible, how the societal behavior  of mankind has “evolved.”

Upon reading of early English and European history of the times prior to establishment of towns and cities of any considerable size, I learned that before the “nobles and kings” took control of everything, communities administered their own justice. [The nobility later got into administering “justice” because they figured out how to make money from it.]

Justice at that time was defined by the common interpretations of “natural law” [the rules of the universe and its Creator.] Justice simply  meant that each person should get what she or he deserved. Everyone should “do the right thing;” do what’s fair and equitable. Do not be a party to injustice.

As an example: in the “old days,” a victim of maiming, manslaughter, etc. (if he survived) decided the fate of his assailant. Non-surviving victims, were represented by his immediate family, even his extended family, and if necessary, close friends and acquaintances. After a community “trial,” convicted criminals were subject to negotiating their fate with the victim or his representatives.

For murder, there was such a thing as “blood money” by which a “perp” could pay his debt to the victims. Such things were negotiated  with the entire community as witnesses and enforcers. Perps who did not comply with their “sentence” were subject to banishment, shunning, and being open-game for “killing on sight.”

Some perps who had no money or property were offered the opportunity to pay for their crimes by serving as “indentured servants” for designated periods of time.  Many murderers were sentenced to serve the rest of their lives as a “replacement” for their dead victim.

Less serious crimes were settled by restitution plus a fine for punishment. For after all, the aim of apprehending criminals is to right the wrongs done to their victims. Restitution is an absolute minimum.

The state rarely, if ever, these days even thinks about  restitution.  What good does it do the victim for his robber to be put in jail for six months? Restitution plus a compensating payment for time, trouble, and aggravation is much more appropriate.

I commend to you three outstanding books on the subject of a truly-free society and how it could operate.

1. The Ethics of Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard

2. Freedom and the Law by Bruno Leoni

3. The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State  by Bruce L. Benson

URL: http://mises.org/journals/jls/12_1/12_1_4.pdf

URL: http://library.mises.org/books/Bruno%20Leoni/Freedom%20and%20the%20Law.pdf

URL: http://library.mises.org/books/Murray%20N%20Rothbard/The%20Ethics%20of%20Liberty.pdf

You can download these PDFs at no charge from http://www.mises.org/.

If only we could help bring about a truly-free society.

Regards,

Freeman DeFacto

(nom de plume of David M. Myers)

The World According to One Cheshire Cat

Other than some fairly respectable local and human interest stories, today’s paper was the usual collection of half-truths and circular reasoning flowing from the blithe or willful acceptance of faulty premises and failure to identify the roots of problems, resulting in the usual failure to offer solutions that do more good than harm.

 

The worst offender featured today wrote an essay that perfectly illustrates the underhanded, manipulative tactics so often employed by those who favor political ideology and agenda over truth and over respecting the natural rights of human beings.

 

Self-assured that they have identified the most suitable means to achieve what they deem undeniably worthy ends, these commentators and policy-shapers, i.e., propagandists, advocate the employment of coercion and deceit to achieve them.

Adding insult to injury they refuse to acknowledge the havoc their policies so obviously wreak, all the while patting themselves on the back for their superior maturity and pragmatism.

 

Today’s worst offender referenced above is syndicated columnist, academic, and former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich. I found the same essay online, here.

 

Reich attempts to confound his readers from the start. The headline of his essay, “GOP setting a cynicism trap,” is in itself a cynicism trap.

 

Using today’s common definition of cynic, “a person who shows or expresses a bitterly or sneeringly cynical (distrusting or disparaging the motives of others) attitude,” one must conclude that Reich, by implying that the actions of the GOP are disingenuous simply by virtue of being GOP, is encouraging the very behavior he purports to decry.

 

And here is how the essay opens:

 

An old friend who has been active in politics for more than 30 years tells me he’s giving up. “I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington anymore,” he says. “The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.”

 

My friend is falling into exactly the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into — such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics. Then they’re free to take over everything.

 

It seems that Reich’s friend finally understands the truth about government and politics—that there truly are far better things to do with one’s life. But we must not allow too many to start believing that—heaven forfend! If that were to happen, Reich and a lot of his friends would lose power and wealth, and we can’t have that can we?

 

Reich dishonestly ignores the fact that problems in government and politics are also attributable to democrats and to the system itself; he also implies that participating in politics is a noble duty when abundant evidence supports the opposite conclusion, that politics is the preferred occupation of tyrants who are to be avoided and thwarted, insofar as possible.

 

Furthermore, Reich implies that participation in politics is the ONLY solution, when clearly this is also not true; people are constantly finding ways to work together and to help one another—it happens every day, without or even in spite of government interference. Look around you.

 

Reich assumes the reader wants what he wants; and he assumes the reader believes as he does that the GOP is monolithic, that it is extreme (which is meant to be derogatory), and that it is the enemy, no matter what, for reasons that are always implied and never explained. Like a peevish teenager ready to start a gang war, Reich says: ”Then they’re free to take over everything,” implying the results of such a take over would be devastating.

 

In the next passage, Reich reveals an underlying assumption that is constantly reinforced by those in power: “THEY (Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, etc.) decreed it therefore it MUST be so and you MUST submit.”

 

Republicans blame the shutdown of Washington and possible default on the nation’s debt on the president’s “unwillingness to negotiate” over the Affordable Care Act. But that law has already been negotiated. It passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president. It withstood a Supreme Court challenge.

 

Whether you agreed to the terms yourself, as an individual, is deemed irrelevant. Whether a particular act of government changes your life for the worse is also deemed irrelevant. Clearly, your view was never intended to matter, even though you must be made to believe that it does (democracy and all that).

 

Reich pulls a quadruple whammy invoking both houses of Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court. Zeus has spoken from Mt. Olympus and you walk away at your own peril. Why? Well, because he is Zeus and you are not.

 

Now we come to the “father knows best” section, in which Reich reminds his readers that while we children often balk at eating our vegetables, in the long run we are glad that we did. He also reminds us that the majority (the father in this case) gets to decide which vegetables to serve and the minority’s (the child’s) opinion will not be taken into consideration. Why? Because THEY said so.

 

The Affordable Care Act is hardly perfect, but neither was Social Security or Medicare when first enacted. The Constitution allows Congress to amend or delay laws that don’t work as well as they were intended, or even to repeal them. But to do any of this requires new legislation — including a majority of both houses of Congress and a president’s signature (or else a vote to override a president’s veto).

 

Our system does not allow one party to delay, amend or repeal a law of the land by shutting down the rest of the government until its demands are met. If that were the way our democracy worked, no law would ever be safe or settled. A disciplined majority in one house could always use the threat of a shutdown or default to gut any law it didn’t like.

 

Notice that Reich reinforces the Because-THEY-Said-So rule. He also further attempts to confuse his readers by referring to statutes as law-of-the-land and conveying the idea that only “safe and settled” law—by this he means “When WE pass it you cannot change it”—will enable people to feel safe and settled (in other words, comfortable), when the truth is that legislation that does not defend and protect individual human rights, among these liberty, should, by all means, be delayed, amended, or repealed.

 

Reich conveniently fails to mention that tyrants more often than not use the “law” (legislation, statutes) to do the worst of their dirty work and that they use statements such as Reich’s to convince people to submit, even when those people understand with their own minds that it is wrong to do so. Fear works wonders.

 

He is also dishonest in that he fails to mention that the federal government has not really stopped running, except selectively for political theater, and that if the government defaults it will not be caused by refusal to raise the debt ceiling but by massive entitlement obligations and by dollar creation by the Federal Reserve, neither of which can be sustained and both of which are favored by major players, republican and democrat, and by Obama and his administration.

 

In the next passage, Reich once again reveals that he is the real cynic (by the modern definition):

 

So the president cannot renegotiate the Affordable Care Act. And I don’t believe Tea Party Republicans expect him to.Their real goal is far more insidious. They want to sow even greater cynicism about the capacity of government to do much of anything.

 

The shutdown and possible default are only the most recent and most dramatic instances of terminal gridlock, designed to get people like my friend to give up.

 

Without evidence Reich invalidates the sincerity of Tea Party republicans. By using the word insidious he implies the Tea Party is a vicious enemy waiting for any opening to attack and hurt others. He implies that it is somehow inherently wrong to mistrust government or to wish to reduce its size and scope or be rid of it altogether, that such an attitude makes one necessarily stealthy, treacherous, and deceitful.

 

Furthermore, Reich implies that if people such as his friend “give up” on politics they will be allowing treacherous, government-shrinking Tea Partiers to have their way, which would, he also implies, be the most horrible horror possible. He presumes he doesn’t have to explain what exactly the horror would be and that the reader will envision the same. He also implies that it is okay for Reich and the Obama administration and its supporters to have their way but that it would never, never be okay for the dreaded Tea Partiers to have theirs.

 

In addition to failing to provide evidence to support his implications, Reich fails to mention the way that democrats deliberately and willfully ignored a widespread public outcry against the ACA and pushed it to be approved before being read and fully understood.

 

If pushing through poorly written and ill-conceived statutes that then become the law-of-the-land is what Reich envisions as a noble democracy, he has proved his friend right. Whose goals are insidious?

 

Reich goes on to assume his readers will agree that it is a good thing for the federal government to have ever-expanding “capacity to deal with domestic matters.” He also implies that if you don’t agree with him you rank among the insidious, you know: the stealthy, the treacherous, the deceitful.

 

And on this score, they’re winning. The approval rating for Congress was already at an all-time low before the shutdown, according to a poll released just hours before Washington went dark. The CNN/ORC poll showed that only 10 percent of Americans approved the job Congress was doing, while 87 percent disapproved. It was the all-time lowest approval rating for Congress in a CNN poll.

 

A recent Gallup survey found that only 42 percent of Americans — also a record low — have even a “fair” amount of confidence in the government’s capacity to deal with domestic matters.

 

And in a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 26 percent of Americans said they’re angry at the federal government, while 51 percent said they were frustrated. Only 17 percent said they are basically content with the government. The share expressing anger has risen seven points since January, equaling the record high reached in August 2011, just after the widely unpopular debt-ceiling agreement between the president and Congress.

 

An essential difference between Reich and others of the same mind and those who seek smaller or no government, is that those urging more government invariably seek to impose their policies by use of force. They do this in the name of the “common good,” through seizing property—forfeitures, fines, regulations, taxes, etc., or by putting resisters, even peaceful ones, behind bars, in cages, if necessary.

 

In contrast, those insidious Tea Partiers, the ones desiring to shrink government at least a bit, advocate at least some respect for the rights of humankind and in many cases prefer less coercion or force to more.

 

Moreover, Reich ignores an abundance of evidence that Americans are indeed angry with the federal government, not because of Tea Party rhetoric but because they are more and more aware that the federal government is a corrupt and malevolent leviathan. After all, its excesses are now so obvious they can no longer be ignored.

 

Reich will never admit that the Tea Party is one reasonable response to a serious and even dangerous problem and not the cause of it.

 

Next, Reich ironically says that people should ignore the Tea Party, which he claims is encouraging the citizenry to give up on government, and pay attention to government to prevent “moneyed interests” from getting what they want.

 

This is a deeply ironic statement because the Tea Party was born when people who had not been paying much attention to government began paying attention and speaking out, exactly what Reich advocates.

 

It’s a vicious cycle. As average Americans give up on government, they pay less attention to what government does or fails to do — thereby making it easier for the moneyed interests to get whatever they want: tax cuts for themselves and their businesses; regulatory changes that help them but harm employees, consumers and small investors; special subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare. And these skewed benefits only serve to confirm the public’s cynicism.

 

The same cynicism also makes it easier to convince the public that even when the government does act for the benefit of the vast majority, it’s not really doing so. So a law like the Affordable Care Act, which, for all its shortcomings, is still a step in the right direction relative to the costly mess of the nation’s health-care system, is transformed into a nightmarish “government takeover.”

 

Reich pretends he does not know that much of the Tea Party’s energy has been focused on resolving this very same grievance, “that moneyed interests” use government to arrange regulations to their own benefit—it is called corporate welfare, corporatism, crony-capitalism, crony-socialism, or, in its harshest form, fascism. The Obama administration is among the worst violators in history, pandering again and again to “moneyed interests,” yet Reich encourages people to support it and to revile the Tea Party.

 

This is obvious and utter nonsense, outright lying, yet it is allowed to stand unchallenged by most in the media and is swallowed by much of the public as the sensible, wise, adult view.

 

Furthermore, in the last part of the above passage, Reich fails to acknowledge the extent to which government interference—Medicare, Medicaid, tax benefits to employers who offered health insurance in lieu of higher salaries, regulations, and government grants—has for many years interfered with the free market for health care in ways that squelched alternatives and undermined charities.

 

The nation’s health-care system became a costly mess because government interference was excessive not because government interference was lacking.

 

The intrusiveness of the Affordable Care Act, the coercive nature of it, is indeed nightmarish to anyone who values privacy and freedom and this is no exaggeration, despite Reich’s attempt to downplay the consequences.

 

Apparently, he would have us step in what he deems “the right” direction even if we must violate our own moral sense to do it. If his attitude doesn’t fit the definition of bully, what would?

 

Reich must have grinned like a Cheshire Cat when he wrote the following:

 

So here’s what I told my friend who said he’s giving up on politics: Don’t. If you give in to bullies, their bullying only escalates. If you give in to cynicism about our democracy, our democracy steadily erodes.If you believe the fix is in and the game is rigged, and that a handful of billionaires and their Tea Party puppets are destroying our government, do something about it.

 

Rather than give up, get more involved. Become more active. Make a ruckus. It’s our government, and the most important thing you can do for yourself, your family, your community and the future is to make it work for all of us.

 

With almost unrivaled effrontery, Reich equates Tea Partiers with bullies, this flowing from the keyboard of one of the biggest bullies and supporter of fellow bullies one could hope to find. Let’s face it. Government is a tool to institutionalize and sanction bullying—through legislation and regulation. If you reject this premise, think again.

 

What happens to those who refuse to cooperate? (Here I am referring to peaceful individuals who have done no harm to others.) Yes, those who refuse are forced to cooperate—either with psychological force, physical force, or both. If they still refuse, further harm is inflicted. If the refusal continues the destruction continues. This is true about government. I challenge anyone to adequately refute it.

 

Yet this truth can be and is downplayed and ignored and twisted into a supposed virtue, over and over again.

 

Another truth is that whatever we need to do to “make it work for all of us,” we can do better by respecting the natural rights of individual human beings and not being willing to trample on them because some legislators wrote a statute or because the president signed an executive order or because the supreme court ruled it is so. Honest people will acknowledge this.

 

Finally, Reich calls Tea Partiers “puppets of billionaires,” knowing full well that the president and most of the rest of Congress are the real puppets of billionaires; Reich, himself, is one of them. Don’t let them or him fool you anymore.

 

Reich’s essay is nothing more than a blatant attempt to manipulate the reader into feeling a smug satisfaction, for being “smart” like he is. He ignores the facts; he lies; he obfuscates; he assumes the reader will not notice. He grins then his head disappears when you try to catch him. But the grin, the snarl, is really all there is and the joke is on all of us.

 

Freeman DeFacto “Fighting For a Lost Clause: The Case for the Sovereign Individual” – Revised

Freeman DeFacto has revised Fighting for a Lost Clause: The Case for the Sovereign Individual first posted January 27 of this year. If you’ve read it, it is worth your time to read it again, not just because he’s made some significant changes but also because it is good food for thought.

If you are seeking to understand how the government of the United States, supposedly created to defend and preserve individual liberty and property, became so enormous, manipulative, oppressive, and wasteful, you will find his article exceptionally enlightening.

You will also deepen your understanding of how government is used by various “actors” to achieve personal and institutional goals at a great cost to the individuals subject to their will; you will see that the terms “Democrat” and “Republican” are used by politicians not to represent principles but to manipulate people.

Moreover, if you are struggling to determine the best way to live as the free individual you were meant to be, without being destroyed by a system designed to keep you enslaved, you will want to consider his advice for creating a freer world.

I know that Freeman will be eager to read any comments or criticism you wish to share. If you post to the comments section of this entry, I’ll be sure he gets a copy.

My introduction to the earlier version of his article is included below.

And here are two related articles I came across this morning that are good follow-up reading:

http://www.freemansperspective.com/productive-class/

http://lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo260.html

Happy Independence Day!

-LMN

From January 27, 2013 . . .

Below you will find another guest-post from my friend Freeman DeFacto. I am so pleased he is allowing me to share his thinking and writing with you. He deserves a much wider audience than I have here at the moment.

Those not yet familiar with the actual history of the United States, as opposed to the propaganda so often taught in schools and purveyed by politicians and the media, may wish to read the next paragraph, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, as a prologue to Freeman’s work. I believe it will contribute greatly to your understanding. The full article is at the link.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo242.html

Jim Powell’s book, Greatest Emancipations: How the West Ended Slavery, provides chapter and verse of how real statesmen of the world, in sharp contrast to Lincoln, ended slavery without resorting to waging total war on their own citizens. Among the tactics employed by the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Danes, and others were slave rebellions, abolitionist campaigns to gain public support for emancipation, election of anti-slavery politicians, encouragement and assistance of runaway slaves, raising private funds to purchase the freedom of slaves, and the use of tax dollars to buy the freedom of slaves. There were some incidents of violence, but nothing remotely approaching the violence of a war that ended up killing 800,000 Americans.

It is important to recognize that when individuals are truly free, they are free to pursue any goals of their choosing, regardless of whether others deem these worthy or appropriate, as long as they use voluntary, individual cooperation (as opposed to governmental or other coercion, fraud, or physical force) to achieve them; any harm done to others or to their property in the pursuit of goals will not easily be done without appropriate consequences.

Government routinely “legalizes” illegitimate force and separates actions from appropriate consequences.

It is ironic that most people view government as the great protector against injustices such as slavery, yet “legal” slavery and segregation could never have existed without the approval and support of an overly-powerful government.

One of the many beauties of Liberty is that it works to the benefit of everyone.

Happy reading!

-LMN

Here is Freeman DeFacto . . .

Fighting for a Lost Clause: The Case for the Sovereign Individual

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” ― Thomas Paine, opening line of
American Crisis I, 23 DEC 1776

INTRODUCTION ― The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is the key that contains the framework for building the freest and greatest nation ever founded. It deserves to be read, thoroughly understood, and held sacred by advocates of individual freedom the world over. Here it is:

“WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness [originally Property] ― That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . .”

That clause, the Consent of the Governed, right in the middle of the paragraph, is crucial to the concept of individual liberty. We show below how it has been ignored, “lost,” over the years.

The remaining paragraphs in the Declaration go into great detail listing the innumerable, unreasonable oppressive measures that the British King and Parliament were trying to force upon the early American colonists.

HAMILTON’S CURSE  ― Alexander Hamilton is usually viewed as a hero and one of America’s “Founding Fathers.” He was very close to George Washington during the Revolution, serving as the general’s aide de camp. Later, President George Washington appointed him to be the very first Secretary of the Treasury and as such he created the first Bank of the United States. It’s purpose was the same as that of the Federal Reserve System today.

Historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo has documented that Hamilton was a monarchist and mercantilist who advocated a collectivist government modeled after the British system that had just been defeated in the Revolution. He even vigorously lobbied for George Washington to be king instead of president. Luckily for us, Washington refused.

DiLorenzo spells out all the details in his seminal book Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch-Enemy Betrayed the Revolution ― And What it Means to Americans Today. Please be sure to read DiLorenzo’s very short summary at URL: http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo136.html. Hamilton’s legacy is his establishment of the model for all the “Progressive” politicians who came along after him.

BIG CHANGE ― US Presidents from George Washington thru John Quincy Adams all adhered quite closely to the Constitution. However, the seventh, Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson (1829-1837) became the first to begin vigorously expanding his presidential powers.

Jackson “read law” and started as a country lawyer eking out a living with land-claim and assault-and-battery cases until he found his calling in politics. He then began to flourish; he attained an appointment as county prosecutor and rose quite quickly through the ranks from there.

When Tennessee became a state (1796) he was elected to Congress as a Representative and soon thereafter (1797) became US Senator. Shortly afterward (1798) he was appointed judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court and a colonel in the Tennessee militia. This lucrative employment allowed him to begin acquiring large acreages and as many as 150 slaves.

Jackson made his real mark on history as a soldier. He served in the American Revolution as a young courier. His rise to fame began in 1801 with his appointment as colonel and commander of the Tennessee militia. In 1802 he was elected major general.

During the War of 1812 he commanded the American forces that defeated the “Red Stick” Creek Indians in 1814. He became a national American hero on 8 January 1815 when, in the last major battle of the War of 1812, he defeated the British in their attempt to capture New Orleans and the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1828 Jackson won what has been called the “dirtiest presidential election in history.” His reign became a model for the “imperial presidency.” He dominated national politics in the 1820s and 30s as he became the “father of the modern Democrat Party.”

As president he vetoed charter-renewal for the Second Bank of the United States and introduced patronage (the “spoils system”) into the appointive political process.

He had a deep hatred of American Indians and accordingly reversed all previously-existing acculturation policies affecting the southeastern tribes (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole). Perhaps his most infamous act was the forcible resettlement of those tribes from their tribal lands in the southeastern states to Oklahoma―by way of the 1830 “Trail of Tears.

Jackson emphasized the powers of the central government by strongly opposing nullification and secession by states that were unhappy with federal legislation they deemed unconstitutional.

In contrast, however, those presidents between Jackson and Lincoln again adhered more closely to the Constitution.

ALTERING FEDERALISM ― From the very beginning of the union, the main theme of the prevailing Democrat-Republican Party led by the agrarian southern states was “free trade with no tariffs.” However, the northeastern manufacturing and financial interests (Hamilton-followers) along with the Whig and Free Soil Parties, opposed the Democrats. They greatly resented southern championing of free trade and waged a long fight for “protective tariffs against foreign competition.”

In 1854 anti-slavery activists initiated the formation of a new party, the Republicans (GOP). They were led by Hamiltonian northeastern “modernizers” who were joined by ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers. Their campaign slogan was: “Free labor, Free land, Free men.”

In the election of 1860 Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican Party president. Lincoln immediately began again vigorously expanding presidential functions. The American power elite, the ruling class, now led by the newly-formed GOP, began more assertively siphoning political power away from the no-longer-sovereign states.

Thus the center of national political power began shifting to Washington DC and the ever-growing central government. Lincoln’s defeat of the Confederate States of America enabled the GOP essentially to control the US political scene.

The GOP goal was to win control of a strong, centralized, national government so they could impose protective tariffs and thereby put the southern agrarians at an economic and political disadvantage. They aimed to diminish greatly the south’s economic and political power by destroying the system of slave labor on the plantations.

Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression [sometimes erroneously called the American Civil War*] (1861-1865) delivered a crushing defeat to the Anti-Federalist Confederate States of America. As a result the statist-minded GOP dominated the national political scene from 1860 unto 1928.

[*A civil war is defined as a battle between two or more factions each seeking to take control of the same central government. The so-called American Civil War was no such thing. The southern states merely wished to “opt-out,” to secede peacefully from the federation and form their own separate government called the Confederate States of America.]

In 1900 William McKinley ran for president and the vivacious Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt ran for vice-president. Teddy’s energetic advocacy of a GOP platform of high tariffs, the gold standard, world-imperialism, strong central-government, prosperity at home, and victory abroad greatly helped William McKinley win the presidency.

Upon McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Roosevelt became the youngest person ever to ascend to the US presidency. He immediately began trying to expand the powers of the centralized national government by advocating “trust-busting” and Federal controls on all businesses. In 1903 he established two new Cabinet Departments: Commerce and Labor, both aimed to introduce federal controls into our everyday lives.

In 1904 TR won re-election in a landslide with the slogan: “Square Deal,” implying that the average citizen would get his “fair share” and that the rich “would get theirs.”  In 1906 he pushed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act through congress. He also championed Federal control and takeover of wilderness areas through Federally-controlled “conservationism” of 230 million acres. He created the US Forest Service, five National Parks, and 150 National Forests.

In addition, he coined the phrase: “Speak softly but carry a big stick” while he vastly increased the US Navy. He then “showed the flag” by sending “The Great White Fleet” on a world tour, dispatching several warships to intimidate the government of Columbia into allowing Panamanians to secede peacefully. The Panamanians formed a new nation and sold him the isthmus so he could complete the Panama Canal. To top it all off, he negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) and became the very first sitting US president to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1906).

THE TAKEOVER ― Around 1891 a young GOP congressman from Wisconsin, Robert M. LaFollette Sr, formed and led a group of Republican political activists calling themselves “Progressives” or “The Insurgent Faction.” Their goal was to reform the GOP and to make government even more centralized, efficient, caring, and democratic (“responsive to the people”).

Teddy Roosevelt was the first Progressive president (1901-1909.) And although only several presidents have actually called themselves Progressives [Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), and Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969)] almost every president since TR has embraced at least some portions of the Progressive agenda.

WHAT IS PROGRESSIVISM?  ― Historian William Leuchtenburg summed up the Progressive agenda as follows:

“The Progressives believed in the Hamiltonian concept of positive government, of a national government directing the destinies of the nation at home and abroad. They had little but contempt for the strict construction of the Constitution by conservative judges, who would restrict the power of the national government to act against social evils and to extend the blessings of democracy to less favored lands. The real enemy was particularism, state rights, limited government.” 

The following table of Progressive agenda-items includes a long list of social causes, programs, and slogans:

Efficiency in business and government
Economic interventionism
Social justice
Environmental justice
Fair trade
Feminism & Women’s suffrage
LBGT rights
Labor rights
Social welfare
Square Deal
New Nationalism
New Freedom
New Deal
Second Bill of Rights
Fair Deal
New Frontier
Great Society
Compulsory “Voluntarism”
Direct primary elections
Direct election of senators (Amndmt XVII)
Commission form of local governments by expert Scientific Professionals
Government regulation of corporations
Government schools (John Dewey)
Trained professional social workers
Government regulation of monopolies
Collective bargaining and unions
Child labor laws
National parks and wildlife refuges
Prohibition of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco
Instant voting
Reclamation and inland waterways
Same-sex marriage
Popular-vote election of president
Affordable housing
Universal (single-payer) health care
Living wage & equal pay for women
Elimination of death penalty
Climate change/global warming
Immigration reform & amnesty
United Nations
Smart growth (planning & zoning)
One-World Government
New World Order/Agenda 21
Initiative, Referendum, and Recall ― Can be useful against EXIC governments, Ha Ha

THE PROGRESSIVE RESULT ― The Progressives and their allies have been very successful in maintaining control of the powerful political offices of the strong central government by gradually blurring and obscuring the vision of the Founders.

They found stealthy ways to abandon the principles of the Declaration and “morph” our representative republic (the original federation of individual sovereign states) into a strong, centralized, national, so-called democracy with its tyranny of the majority.

[A simple majority (50 percent of the votes plus one more) always produces a tyranny of the majority because the 50+ percent who win will be happy, while the 50- percent who lose will be unhappy and forced to act against their will. To more nearly approach a consensus with overwhelming general agreement, all votes should require a super-majority; seven-eights (87.5%) would be a nice number to start with.]

THE MASTER STROKE ―  Exactly one hundred years ago in 1913, the Progressive President Woodrow Wilson achieved a long-time major goal of the world-wide collectivist movement: passage of the Federal Reserve Act ― creating a new American central bank. This eventually eliminated every tie to gold, the only real-true money, as defined by the US Constitution.

Every advocate of individual freedom owes it to himself and his posterity to read and thoroughly understand the seminal book The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. It shows how Hamilton-followers created a new central bank of the US (the Federal Reserve System ― “The FED” and the resulting tragic consequences that we experience today. Please obtain a copy; devour and digest it.

Another of the signal accomplishments of the Progressives was the ratification on April 8, 1913 of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.  This amendment removed the last vestige of sovereignty that remained with the states. It changed the method of election for US Senators.

The Constitution originally specified that the legislature of each state shall choose its two senators. The XVIIth changed the procedure to the same method used to elect members of the House of Representatives: a simple majority of a popular vote of the people, a tyranny of the majority. This was the fatal step that turned electing Federal officials into a popularity contest. [Follow the money and to the winner goes the spoils.]

The ultimate result has been The Lost Clause.

THE LOST CLAUSE ― This clause, “The Consent of the Governed,” forms the very essence of individual liberty. Each person has the inherent, natural-born faculty of making his own choices, of choosing his own path in life.  When someone (or some group) uses force or threat of force to deny him his choices, he loses part of his natural-born freedoms. He becomes partially-enslaved.

With each new statute or regulation, with each time government uses force to compel a person to act against his will, he loses another part of his individual freedom. In the Declaration, the Founders emphasized the importance of The Consent of the Governed in keeping and maintaining a free society. Each person has the fundamental, inherent, inalienable right to “opt-out,” to withdraw his consent at any time from being governed by force from others.

LEGITIMACY OF GOVERNMENT ― Government’s actions are either legitimate or illegitimate. In a truly-free society, legitimate actions are those that maintain the dignity, freedom, integrity, and individuality of every person by applying the universal natural laws of justice. [Justice concisely stated is: “to each, that which he deserves.”]

Illegitimate actions are those that violate the dignity, freedom, integrity, and individuality of people by enforcing arbitrary, usually whimsical “positive” [man-made] laws, administrative regulations, rules, mandates, orders, statutes, and constitutions that have absolutely no provisions for “opting-out.”

SOVEREIGNTY ― The person (or group) who makes the final decisions as the head of government is called the sovereign. There is no one of higher authority. The sovereign is boss, independent of all others; he is sovereign as defined in the following:

“sovereign (sov’rin, sov’ễr-in, suv’rin), adj. [ME. soveraine, sovereyn, ; OFr. soverain, souverain; LL. *superanus, < L. super, above, over.] 1. above or superior to all others, chief; greatest; supreme. 2. supreme in power, rank, or authority. 3. of or holding the position of a ruler; royal; reigning. 4. independent of all others, as a sovereign state. 5. excellent; very effectual, as a cure or remedy.  n. 1. a person who possesses sovereign authority; monarch; ruler. 2.  a group of persons or a state that possesses sovereign authority. 3.  a British gold coin valued at 20 shillings or one pound sterling. Also sovran. Abbreviated sov.”

The sovereign stands highest in the community; above, supreme and separate from all others. He (or they) impose their powers from a position external to and apart from the governed populace; thus conventional government, as most people think of it, is an EXternally-Imposed, Coercive GOVernment [EXICGOV.]

[We shall show below that EXICGOV is not the only form of government available to mankind.]

The Declaration made it clear that the sole legitimate purpose for an EXICGOV is “. . to secure these Rights” [Life, Liberty, and Property]; that is, to keep the peace by thwarting crimes that individuals commit against each other.

[No individual can commit a “crime against society or humanity.” In actuality, there is no such thing. There are only crimes of one person (or group) against other individuals.]***

The Declaration further asserts “. . that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends [securing the Rights of Life, Liberty, and Property] it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government . .”

[This can properly be called “opting-out.”]

The Declaration enshrines individual liberty and private property; the Founders deemed them to be sacred. However, the Constitution is seriously flawed because it allows the ruling class, the power elite by simple-majority rule to ignore the requirement for The Consent of the Governed.

It is of over-riding importance to understand that individual liberty can exist only with The Consent of the Governed. EXICGOV without The Consent of the Governed is involuntary servitude.

[Ironically, Amendment XIII to the Constitution specifically prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude.]

John Adams brilliantly tied individual freedom to private property rights when he
said:

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
             –John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitution, 1787

But private property is not sacred when EXICGOV can use so-called “positive (man-made) law,” plain old every-day statutes, passed with a bare simple majority to “legally” steal it. EXICGOVs can take or tax anything they wish without The Consent of the Governed.

WHAT EXACTLY IS EXICGOV? ― The Founders envisioned the only legitimate function of their government to be: thwarting crimes perpetrated by individuals against each other. Otherwise every person would be free to conduct his life in the manner best suited to him.

However, the Old World ideas of strong centralized-governmental-control immediately and rapidly began to seep into the plans of those who had seized the reins of the new national government of the USA. [Give your thanks to Alexander Hamilton and his collectivist/monarchist ideas.]

They saw government as simply nothing more than highly-centralized control of human behavior. And they envisioned their job as supplying that control in a manner similar to that of Old-World Europeans, Africans, and Asians. Unfortunately, even today most people presently think of government as EXICGOV, which is best described as:

The legalized monopoly of a sovereign power to initiate violent physical coercive force or threat of force through so-called “positive (man-made) law” in order to bring about their specific desired behavior in the populace.

In other words: most people even now envision government. EXICGOV, as legally and rightfully using threats and actual force to bring about government-desired behavior in the populace. They understand the conventional rule to be: When government tells you to do something, you had better do it, OR ELSE ! NO OPTING-OUT!

Obey, or government will use the ultimate “persuasion”: a threat, or when necessary, the application of actual force. Coercion or force can take many different forms, such as: Asset-seizure, fines, hostage-holding, incarceration, intimidation, kidnapping, beatings, torture, maiming, and/or even death.

Recent examples of modern, technological “up-to-date” coercion have given us the “tazering” of feeble great-grandmothers and ten-year-old students with 50,000 volts of electrical energy in the hands of a trigger-happy psychopath. The present US Federal EXICGOV is seriously considering adding “drone-surveillance and -strikes” to
their arsenal of coercion.

EXICGOV VERSUS A TRULY-FREE SOCIETY ― The Founders took seriously the lost clause, The Consent of the Governed. They had enough of Parliament’s telling them what they could grow, manufacture, buy, sell, import, export and use their leisure time. They highly resented Parliament-imposed taxes and forced “quartering” of troops. They rebelled against orders to save the very best tall trees for the admiralty’s ships. In the wilderness, they exercised their natural rights to homestead as the “first possessor” of unclaimed lands.

In a truly-free society, EXICGOV has only one legitimate function or task: to keep the peace:  thwarting crime of one individual (or group) against another individual (or group.)

[There actually is no such thing as “a crime against humanity or society.”]

The following list pretty much sums up the entire category of actual natural crimes: (1) fraud; (2) theft, (3) extortion; and (4) unprovoked, violent, physical aggression.  As written into the ninth and tenth amendments to the US Constitution, EXICGOV ‘s role is severely-limited and specifically spelled out.

When an EXICGOV uses so-called “positive (man-made) law,” to collect taxes; establish schools; regulate individual behavior; establish businesses and services; regulate agriculture, commercial, and industrial activities; and create myriad governmental agencies, etc. it has violated it’s purpose.

All such functions other than “keeping the peace” belong to “the people,” the doers, the workers, the owners, the producers, the users, the consumers, etc. But it seems nowadays that no one in EXICGOV takes the lost clause seriously.

That’s why it has been lost. EXICGOV seems to inevitably fall into the Old World European, Asian, African mold: an all powerful sovereign with absolutely no restrictions and absolutely no provisions for “opting-out.”

THE LIBERTY ALTERNATIVE: SELF-GOVERNMENT ― By thinking “outside the box” of the conventional concept of EXICGOV we find that the process of governing also includes self-government: control of human behavior at the lowest possible level.

Libertarians and a few Republicans already advocate government at the lowest possible level. Of course, they usually have in mind an EXICGOV at state-, county-, municipal-, city-, town-, or district-level. They also glibly repeat the well-
known phrase: “That government is best that governs least.”

They usually have in mind neighborhood, town, municipality, or county EXICGOV using so-called “positive (man-made) law” and tyranny of the majority. Rarely, if ever, does the average person entertain the idea that the lowest possible level is that of the individual person.

WHO RIGHTFULLY CONTROLS INDIVIDUALS? ―  Individuals always control their own behavior. It is an organic natural law of human behavior that humans take conscious actions solely to improve their present condition. Dr. Ludwig von Mises in his monumental work Human Action goes into infinite detail why this is always true. Each time a person does something, he does it because he perceives his action will improve his immediate condition.

Even prisoners under tyrannical conditions can co-operate or refuse to co-operate. If they think it will make things better, they co-operate. If they think it will make things worse, they refuse to co-operate. They control their own behavior and suffer the consequences.

The overwhelming majority of people in the world pursue their daily lives without a policeman, a slave-driver, or a Progressive “Big Brother” peering over their shoulders to make sure they are under control. Were all governmental controls suddenly removed, it might take a little time for some people to learn to run their own lives, But every “normal” adult has the full faculties and latent capabilities to be completely self-governing. Unfortunately, not all people want the responsibility of running their own lives. They prefer  EXICGOV [and they vote for it!]

THE SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUAL ― The foundation key of individual liberty is self-ownership. In a truly-free society, individual property rights are sacred, inviolable by any individual and especially by any EXICGOV. Of course, the most important private property is each individual’s ownership of himself, body and soul. When an individual truly owns himself, he completely controls his own life.

Taken to its logical conclusion, a person who is totally responsible for all his own actions is a sovereign individual. There is no one of higher authority in his life. The questions of individual freedom ultimately come down to:

“Whose life is it anyhow?”

“Do I own my life, or not ?”

“Must I get permission from someone else before I can take an action?”

“Who, other than I, has total responsibility for all my actions?”

A TRULY-FREE SOCIETY ― A society can be truly-free, even if it has an EXICGOV, so long as it provides for individuals to “opt-out” without punishment or retribution of any kind. In a truly-free society, each (adult) person is a sovereign individual.

A sovereign individual has totally-free choice. He can “opt-in” (give his consent to be governed); OR, the truly-free individual can “opt-out” (withdraw his consent to be governed by an EXIC government without punishment or retribution.)

Only a truly-free person ALWAYS has the choice of peacefully “opting-out.” At the present time there may be only one known,  truly-free, society on earth, the Kapauku Papuans of Papua New Guinea. They can opt-out without retribution.

In a truly-free society, the sovereign individual is completely free to exercise his own will, to do anything he pleases so long as he does not violate the property rights of another person by committing any of the following crimes: (1) fraud; (2) extortion; (3) theft; and (4) unprovoked, violent, physical aggression.

[When a person commits a crime against another, he should fully expect to receive the appropriate wrath and vengeance of the victim, his extended family, friends, and justice-minded strangers.]

When a person chooses to opt-out he immediately becomes totally responsible for every aspect of his own life. He owes neither allegiance nor submission to any other person or group of persons.

The sovereign individual has no claims against others, nor any obligations to others, except those willingly and mutually agreed upon by contract, verbal or written. However, the sovereign individual is totally responsible for tort damages caused to others by his own negligence.

A sovereign individual stands on the same grounds as a “mini-state” or “micro-country”:

He has a sovereign ruler: himself.

He has a deliberative legislature to formulate necessary rules: in his own mind.

He has a self-defense force: himself, friends, neighbors, and contractors.

He asserts his sovereignty: by refusing to be dominated by any others.

He conducts trade and foreign relations: with sovereign individuals and
EXICGOVs.

He negotiates peaceful agreements: with sovereign individuals and
 EXICGOVs.

He settles disputes: by voluntary, contractual binding arbitration.

He forms alliances and confederations for co-operation, trade, and mutual
self-defense: with friendly sovereign individuals.

Freedom Strategy for Individuals Seeking Sovereignty

THE GOAL ― To establish a truly-free society in the shortest possible time. The ideal primary, overriding, ultimate goal is the establishment of the conditions of liberty for all who desire it.

OPT-OUT SOLUTION: RESISTANCE ― One good thing Alexander Hamilton did during the Revolution was to urge American colonists to: “Resist, resist, resist, until we hurl the demagogues and tyrants from their imaginary thrones.” This was part of his early advocacy for them to throw off the yoke of the British monarchy and parliament.

But just how should we resist?    By “opting-out!”

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” This famous exclamation from the movie Network sums up the attitude necessary to “opt-out.” We can disestablish EXICGOV piece-by-piece by exposing the errors, false assumptions, and injustices of present-day EXICGOV at every level.

STEP-BY-STEP TACTICS TO RE-ESTABLISH UNIVERSAL LIBERTY

A. Immerse yourself in the Philosophy of Liberty. Jonathan Gullible has a short video that very thoroughly shows the principles of individual freedom. The closer you live to these principles and apply them, the closer you will be to living a truly-free life. Stop and take nine minutes to watch it here:
URL:http://jonathangullible.com/mmedia/PhilosophyOfLiberty-English_music.swf

B. Recognize that “political actions” are controlled coercion that is guided almost exclusively by the emotions of those involved. Logic really doesn’t count for much. Fervent supporters will usually say anything and everything no matter how foolish or illogical just to support a position that has been generated from deep-seated, “gut-felt, first-impression” emotions.[Democrats, Progressives, and other demagogues already know this fact and use it ― How many times have you heard new legislation justified by: “We have to do it for the kids!”] ― CAUTION: NEVER under any circumstances should you  initiate unprovoked violent physical aggression. Violence should be used only  in cases of bona fide self-defense.

C. Identify a widely-detested specific offending regulation, rule, or practice that denies or restricts individual liberty for no good reason. (Obamacare comes to mind.) Try to identify the emotional “triggers” that will generate people’ssense of unfairness and opposition to the offending regulation, rule, or practice. Strong emotions reinforced by good logic will generate support from the public. “Don’t sell only the steak (logic); sell also the sizzle (emotion).”

D.  Start at the EXICGOV level at which you determine you can be most effective in bringing about change or repeal

1. Neighborhood, district, town, city, county, state

2. Federal (can’t be fought at local level)

E. Research the history of the offending rule and identify the alleged reasons for its existence

1. Explore the details of its creation, existence, and continuance

a. Authority to create (Question that authority)
b. Constitutionality (Research and debate)
c. Date drafted, date debated, and date enacted
d. Identify the Instigators, Champions, Constituency, &
Beneficiaries
e. Identify the Injured, Disadvantaged, Exploited, Plundered

2. Purpose

a. Question necessity
b. Question effectiveness of achieving purpose
c. Suggest alternatives

3. Budget

a. Revenue Sources (Taxpayers, grants, etc.)

b.  Expenditures (Vendors, bureaucratic staff, management,
PR)
c. Money Trail (Follow the Money — all of it)

i. Beneficiaries (Legal and illegal)
ii. Bribes, Payoffs, etc.

4. Administration and Application

a. Enforcement agency
b. Mechanism (fine, jail, torture, death. etc.)

5. Resulting Effect (how does it restrict liberty)

a. Opportunity costs
b. Benefited or Favored Parties
c. Damaged, Diminished, and Plundered Parties

6. Expected Results of repeal of offense to liberty

7. Restitution, Restoration, and Retribution

a. Can Injustices be corrected and compensated?
b. Did officials commit criminal acts?
c. Is punishment (retribution) justified?

F. Identify the focal point (target agency) in government at which to direct action

G. Carefully design and think-out at least one approach to solutions for
eliminating the offense to liberty.

1. Use your best logical, rational arguments and explanations to appeal to the “gut” emotions most likely to sway voters. Show how EXIC rules and regulations are grossly “unfair” and give the power elite, the ruling class unreasonable and unjust control over the lives of hardworking responsible citizens.

2. Review, refresh in your mind, and apply the Philosophy of Liberty ala Jonathan Gullible

URL: http://jonathangullible.com/mmedia/PhilosophyOfLiberty-english_music.swf

3. The first thoughts for a solution to a problem should be: What could or should have been done to solve this in a peaceful, non-coercive manner without government help or interference? Was the offense necessary in the first place? Was the intended goal just, reasonable, logical, and fair?

4. The second thoughts for a solution to a problem should be: What can I (we) do to solve this in a peaceful, non-coercive manner without government help or interference and prevent a future re-occurrence?  How can I appeal to the emotions stirred by the injustice of the offense?

H. Draft proposed plan and legislation (when necessary) to accomplish the change

I. Prepare and distribute press releases to support the effort

J. Personally (or your alternate) attend every meeting of the target agency

1. Obtain copy of meeting agenda ahead of time

2. Prepare incisive questions to ask agency members

3. Sign-up to speak and/or ask questions of the members

4. Make audio recording of proceedings

K. Plan and hold public meetings, seminars, and educational sessions to engender
support

1. Expand as fully as possible

L. Continue to repeat the above process-cycle until every offense to liberty has been repealed, withdrawn, or expunged.

***********************************************************************
FINAL WORDS
Tu ne cede malis sed contra audientor ito.
“Do not give in to evil, but proceed evermore boldly against it.”
Virgil, The Aeneid, VI, 95 ― Motto of Ludwig von Mises
Freeman DeFacto is the nom de plume of David Michael Myers

***********************************************************************

***Note from LMN: This is why the concept of group-rights, e.g., for Children, Blacks, Hispanics, LGBTs, Men, Women, etc., leads to harming other individuals and to the diminution of liberty in general rather than toward a society that supports individuality and defends individual, natural rights for all.***

P.S. Remember to check out these articles, also linked above:

http://www.freemansperspective.com/productive-class/

http://lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo260.html

CISPA Alert

As we all know, our privacy is already violated every day, in numerous ways . . . but it could get worse. Calling your representative in Congress takes only a moment. In this case, your call might make a difference, for just a little while . . . .

From EFF:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/04/amendment-wont-stop-data-going-nationa-security-agency

Posted on EFF’s Twitter timeline:

http://venturebeat.com/2013/04/17/cispa-us-companies/

This morning, from Campaign for Liberty:

On Saturday, I sent you an important email (“Cyber Spies”) regarding the U.S. House taking up the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

The House will vote TODAY on CISPA, so it’s critical the liberty movement makes its voices loudly heard right away.

If this bill becomes law, the personal information you store with your Internet Service Provider, social media, email providers, and more will not be secure from prying bureaucratic eyes.

In fact, it could very likely end up in the hands of the National Security Agency or another military or civilian “security” agency.

This vote could come down to the wire.

I’ve heard from sources on the Hill that bill sponsor Mike Rogers (R-MI) has been frantically twisting arms and holding closed-door briefings on the “cybersecurity threat,” all to whip up the final votes in his favor.

Bill sponsors even threw together a last minute amendment to send your information straight to the DHS rather than the NSA to garner support from Democrats.

Please contact your representative this morning and urge them to oppose CISPA!

And here’s the message sent last Saturday:

On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). If you hadn’t heard this news, it might be because the general public and media weren’t allowed to attend the hearing – even CSPAN’s cameras were ordered out of the hearing room.

This dangerous legislation is expected to hit the House floor this Thursday and could come up as soon as Wednesday, as part of the House’s “cyber week.”

Make no mistake, this bill poses a great threat to our online privacy.

Every privacy concern we’ve raised over this bill in the past was confirmed this past Wednesday, when the committee passed an amendment supposedly “addressing” them.

Of course, the amendment doesn’t do anything to prevent the government from spying on you.

In fact, it clearly states the government can use your personally identifiable information they’ve collected if federal bureaucrats deem it’s a matter of “national security.”

While the government raises the specter of “cyberterrorism” from China, Russia, and non-state actors like the well-known hacker collective Anonymous, it is the American people that will be caught in the crossfire if this legislation passes.

Information such as online chats, email content, browsing history, and bank records would all be vulnerable to collection by the government’s spy network.

You see, once the government gets this information from a corporation, it’s handed over to the National Security Agency and other military and civilian “security” agencies.

Under CISPA, corporations handing over information for alleged “cybersecurity purposes” don’t even have to make an attempt to remove personally identifiable information before sending your private info to government agents.

Even worse, CISPA lacks any meaningful “minimization procedures.” In other words, the government can store that information as long as they want – and use it for whatever purposes they want.

Now, some have suggested that just adopting minimization procedures alone would assuage privacy concerns.

Not so fast . . .

During debate over renewal of the egregious FISA Amendments Act, we learned that on at least one occasion, NSA surveillance was found “unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment” for violating their minimization procedures.

Why should we be so naïve as to think they wouldn’t act the same under CISPA?

So it’s critical the entire bill be rejected . . .

 . . . I shudder to think what the world would be like if we were all to live in fear that our online activities could be monitored by our own government.

As a matter of fact, so much of the governments’ argument for so-called “cybersecurity” legislation is based on classified briefings members of Congress receive.

Their argument seems to be: “Trust us, we need this legislation.”

And, “Trust us, we won’t abuse it.”

This is NOT the way it’s supposed to be.

The Constitution was intended to be a check on government power to protect the rights of its citizens.

When it comes to matters of “national security,” however, this government makes our rights play second fiddle to their schemes.

When this is the case, Americans must DEMAND their representative show why such extraordinary power is necessary.

The burden of proof lies with government.

And “classified information” only available to select members of Congress shouldn’t cut it.

I know there are a lot of battles to fight right now.

Between “gun control” schemes, National ID, the National Internet Tax Mandate, and numerous other Big Government plots, it seems Congress has seldom been this eager to steal our liberties and crush us under the heavy hand of the State . . .

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