Monday, September 25, 2006

Killing innocent Iraqis spawns more terrorist

The mass media finally has got it right! According to the New York Times yesterday, a report from the classified National Intelligence Estimate states:
A stark assessment of terrorist trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sep. 11 attacks.
One intelligence official put it bluntly: "[T]he Iraq has made the overall terrorism problem worse." Now, the major news television reports the same thing from that document. That report will make President George W. Bush cringe with embarrassment.

However, someone who knows the libertarian philosophy well, and especially someone who reads articles by The Future of Freedom Foundation, knows the truth from the beginning. I know; I was there.

I first heard about libertarianism from FFF. As their mission states, the people at FFF offers an unyielding, uncompromising case for a free paradigm. Although I grew independent, I believe that I enjoy and read FFF the most, and read it every day. But in the end of March, 2002, I first read in the Midwest City Sun a column by Sheldon Richman titled, "Do Americans Really Want Freedom?". In this column, Richman shows a different point-of-view that I haven't seen before, but it is interesting. The paper refers to the website, and the website has every column since the beginning, and I began to read every one.

In December 2001, around 3-months after 9/11, there is a story by Jacob Hornberger (my favorite writer) titled, "A Foreign-Policy Primer for Children: The Fable of the Hornets". It is a make-believe children's story, but it forcasts the outcome of the wake of 9/11. And you know what? Hornberger predicts it on the money. And in 5 years after, the mass media finally sees it, too. In fact (except for the Tax Honesty Movement [.pdf], and the success of the Liberty Dollar and the movie, America: Freedom To Fascism), the people at FFF predict accurately many different things. Maybe if the media refers to Hornberger, or the rest of FFF, or intelligent libertarians in general to guide them, the future would be a whole lot brighter.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dawson College massacre

A week ago today, 25-year-old gunman Kimveer Gill walked into Dawson College and began shooting, killing Anastasia DeSousa, an 18-year-old student at the Montreal school, plus himself, and injuring 20 others. In the wake of the shooting, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to tighten the laws than before the massacre. "The current laws did not prevent this incident," said Harper, "and as a government we are seeking more effective laws for the future."

That was the wrong answer to the problem. Tougher gun laws won't make the killings like this any rarer. The correct answer is to repeal gun-control laws, and let peaceful, law-abiding people carry a weapon carte blanche.

We'll face the facts: criminals don't matter whether or not you have a relax or a stringent gun law on the books. They're criminals! They're outlaws, and outlaws mean they don't obey the law. What are the chances the criminal will say to himself, "I want to commit murder or rape with a gun, but since it's against the law to carry a gun, I can't do it." Answer: zero! Gun-laws laws only disarm the peaceful and law-abiding, that's it.

In John Lott's famous book, More Guns, Less Crime, he makes a convincing case that if gun-laws are relaxed, the crime goes down, and if the gun-laws are more strict, the crime goes up. For example, Vermont has the least-restrictive laws in the country (Vermont doesn't have a gun carry laws), and Vermont has the second-fewest violent crimes per capita in the states (only North Dakoda, a "gun-friendly" state, has fewer). On the other side, Washington D.C. has the most-restrictive laws in America (in Washington, you have to disassemble your weapon inside your home!), and DC has the highest violent crimes per capita in the states.

People carrying a concealed gun have the surprise over their attacker. For example, consider 56-year-old Margaret Johnson. She is a New York resident who was being robbed at her home, and she was on a wheelchair. She was able to defend herself with a concealed .357 Magnum which she used to shoot her surprised attacker.

Even if a killer wants to die, like Gill, an armed populace will grant his wishes before he shoots down 21 or so innocent bystanders.

The bottom line: gun-control laws only disarm the law-abiding, while it will do nothing for the law-breakers. Gun-control laws are a violent criminal's best friend. Repeal them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Give me life?

Donald Boudreaux wrote in his FFF September 19 blog:

Justifying greater government intrusion into our lives, Arnold Ahlert asserts that "the first and foremost 'right' is the right to live".

I'm thankful that Americans of the founding generation thought differently. These were people, remember, who were inspired by Patrick Henry's demand to "give me liberty or give me death!"

I agree totally with Boudreaux, and Henry!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day. Today, in 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day: to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.

219 years later, Jim Bovard ask what would be like if we celebrate Constitution Day, Dubya-style:

This is Constitution Day. The National Archives is holding a celebration in which children can stop by and sign a "faux Constitution". George [W.] Bush issued a statement earlier this week proclaiming:

America is grateful to those who have worked to defend the Constitution and promote its ideals. During this observance, we also recognize the profound impact our Constitution has on the every lives of our citizens [I am not a "citizen"; I prefer "sovereign"], and we call upon all Americans to help uphold its values of a free and just society.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2006, as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day [see above], and September 17 through September 23, 2006, as Constitution Week. I encourage Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that celebrate our Constitution and reaffirm our rights and responsibilities as citizens [see above; Dubya found it from the same trunk as he found the word "democracy"!] of our great Nation.

Bush is right (except for the "citizen" thing). The Constitution is vital. It is also vital for Americans to find important contemporary ways to celebrate its anniversary.

In the Age of Bush, here are a few ideas for properly commemorating the event:

1) Wiretap your neighbor. If he discovers it and complains, ask him whose side he is on and what does he have to hide. Send the tapes of all conversations to the local FBI.

2) Capture and torture an illegal immigrant. If he confesses, turn him in. If he doesn't confess, try new methods to extract the truth.

3) Notify your mortgage company that you appended a secret "signing statement" when you sign the mortgage. Thus, you are relieved of any duty to continue monthly payments.

What are other appropriate Bush-style ways to celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution this week?

Now, Bovard has been doing this "tongue-and-cheek". However, Jacob Hornberger posted a column two weeks ago tomorrow, and it ties perfectly with Constitution Day. It is titled, "Liberty, Power, and the Constitution". Hornberger teaches the Constitution (he is a lawyer), but from a different angle, and he ties the events of today with the Constitution. After you read the first few paragraphs, I can add to this not only does the First Amendment doesn't give people the freedom of speech, the entire Bill of Rights doesn't give people any rights at all. Read the column, and then you will know how important the Constitution is for the freedom and liberty against those who want to take our freedom and liberty away (like the 14th Amendment; i.e. "citizens"), especially our federal officials.

Friday, September 15, 2006

U.S. Mint claims use of Liberty Dollars as currency is a "federal crime"

Yesterday, the US Mint announced that using Liberty Dollars, private currency backed by gold and silver, as money is a federal crime. Despite comments over the years by the Treasury Department, the Secret Service, and the Federal Reserve claiming there is nothing wrong with minting Liberty Dollars, the Mint states:
Under 18 U.S.C. Section 486, it is a Federal crime to pass, or attempt to pass, any coins of gold and silver intended for use as current money except as authorized by law. According to the NORFED website, "Liberty merchants" are encouraged to accept NORFED "Liberty Dollars" medallions and offer them as change in sales transactions of merchandise or services.
It looks incriminating to me! Let's go to 18 USC 486. It sure looks the same as the US Mint. But looking at it closely, I see the words, "except as authorized by law". What did it mean when it used the term "law"? Does it mean the Constitution? The Constitution, in Article VI, Clause 2, is "the supreme Law of the Land". Let's start from there.

The US Mint says, "[U]nder the Constitution (Article I, section 8, clause 5), Congress has the exclusive power to coin money of the United States and to regulate its value." But, in looking at Article I, Section 8, Clause 5, there is no "exclusive" anywhere. If that word was there, the Federal Reserve (a private company) would be unconstitutional (the Federal Reserve IS unconstitutional, but not from this). It only says Congress has the power to coin money, but that anyone else can do it too.

But there is another part of the Constitution that has to do with money, which the US Mint doesn't refer. It is Article I, Section 10, Clause 1. It reads (in part):

No State shall...make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts
This means that any state can accept any currency they want, but they can't accept "legal tender" except gold and silver. The phrase "legal tender" is a legal term which means money that must be accepted by a creditor when offered by its debtor. The creditor may accept any money he wants, but he must accept legal tender when offered as payment, or the debt is wiped clean. In other words, to make Federal Reserve notes (FRN: fiat-paper money, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government; i.e., nothing) to be a "legal tender" (in the Constitution, only gold and silver can be legal tender) is unconstitutional. But we accept FRN as the preferred currency of the USA.

However, NORFED answered back:

We privately mint currency that is backed by gold and silver, not the United States Government. The designs and verbiage on our specie and certificate are original and are not copies of any US Mint currency.

The Liberty Dollar began in 1998 and has been in circulation throughout the US for eight years. We have over 2500 Liberty Associates, 75 Regional Currency Offices, and thousands of Liberty Merchants accepting the Liberty Dollar. We have never been notified nor had suit brought by the DOJ.

Claudia Dickens, spokeswoman for the US Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said,
"There's nothing illegal about this. As long as it doesn't say legal tender, there's nothing wrong with it"
Andrew Williams, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C., said,
"There is no law that says goods and services must be paid for with Federal Reserve notes. Parties entering into a transaction can establish any medium of exchange that is agreed upon."
Art Rolnick, Director of Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said,
"If these (NORFED) people want to issue their own money, so be it."

And there you have it. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win." According to the US Mint, there's three down, and one to go!

UPDATE: After careful reaserch, I was mistaken. "Legal tender" is not the same as "tender", as I once believe. The definition of "legal tender" is above. The definition of "tender" is money (or something of value) to satisfy a debt or obligation. In Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 (in question), that means states will only accept gold and silver to pay your debts. The federal government (not the state governments) will make money (i.e., ArticleI, Section 8, Clause 5), but the states will only accept gold and silver as tender. If you have obligations to the state government (e.g., taxes, tickets, fees, etc.), then states must fulfill your obligations only though gold and silver coins. Today, every state will only accept Federal Reserve notes in payment, so that makes them unconstitutional.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11; five years later

Amidst in all of the 5-year anniversary of 9/11, no U.S. officials (and hardly any mainstream commentators) are asking this critical question: what did the 9/11 victims die for? Most of the commentators will simply focus on the horrors of the attacks themselves and the tragedy of the deaths. Yet, as discomforting as the question is, it must be asked and answered if we are ever going to bring back a sense of normality to our nation.

The people who died on 9/11 died because of U.S. government policies in the Middle East. That's it. They didn't die for freedom. They didn't die as a result of a random act of violence. They died in terrorist attacks that were in relation for what U.S. government officials had done previously to people in the Middle East.

After all, don't forget that this wasn't the first attack on the World Trade Center. The terrorist previously attacked the WTC in 1993. Why? Again, in retaliation for U.S. policies in the Middle East.

What were those policies?

For one, there was the Persian Gulf intervention, where U.S. officials interfered in the dispute between Iraq and Kuwait, killing countless Iraqis in the process, after having supported Saddam Hussein's war against Iran by giving him those infamous WMD.

That was followed by the brutal sanctions against Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

The sanctions were accompanied by the callous attitudes of U.S. officials to the brutal sanctions, not only in terms of the mocking attitudes by which they enforced the sanctions but also in their indifference to the deaths of the Iraqi children, as reflected by UN Ambassador Albright's statement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were "worth it".

Their was the unconditional foreign aid provided to Israel as well as the corrupt Arab regimes in the Middle East.

And, most of all, there was the stationing of U.S. troops indefinitely in Islamic holy lands in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as well as the rest of the Middle East.

That's what the 1993 attack on the WTC was all about. It was what the terrorist attack on the USS Cole and the U.S embassies in Yemen and Tanzania were all about. It was what the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and on the Pentagon were all about.

The U.S. government's attitude is: "We've got the right to do whatever we want to with the people of the Middle East, and they must learn to accept this." But, as we have learned time and time again, not everyone in the Middle East agrees. That's why those people died on 9/11.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wikipedia covers A:FTF, but with a pro-tax paradigm

Wikipedia, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", made an entry about Aaron Russo's new movie, America: Freedom To Fascism. It's surrounded by websites that covered Russo's movie, like Ludwig von Mises Institute and Michael Rivero's Now, Mises got it exactly right. Mises says the film is focused on the Federal Reserve. WhatReallyHappened is focused on the income tax. Both gave A:FTF excellent reviews. Wikipedia, like WhatReallyHappened, is focused on the tax. However, since Wikipedia is pro-tax, pro-government, pro-welfare mentality mindset, Wikipedia is anti-A:FTF, and it shows.

Wikipedia, in covering this movie, uses only 5 different angles to see this movie, and the best angle is "neutral". In the first part (the best part), it gives the documentary a background. It states who wrote it, when the movie will screen at Cannes, when the movie will be showing in America, and what the movie is all about--a neutral background.

But after, the film became negative.

The second part, it shows what the federal income tax issues, as well as interviews in the film. The first thing in the film is the notorious "tax protester argument". The Wikipedia "TPA" page, it states, "Tax protester arguments are a number of 'heterodox' theories that deny that a person has a legal obligation to pay a tax for which the government has determined that person is liable." This is true, if the law itself is a "heterodox theory".

And the first interview is Irwin Schiff. Wikipedia says about Schiff, "Irwin Schiff is a prominent member of the group which refers to itself as the 'tax honesty movement', and which had been referred to by the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies as the tax protester movement." From the quotation marks around "tax honesty movement", Wikipedia implies that "honesty" is a joke. Besides, if you link on "tax honesty movement" from Wikipedia's "Irwin Schiff" page, you will get the "tax protester" page. However, when you type on the address bar Wikipedia's "tax honesty movement" from scratch, you will find Wikipedia's "Tax honesty movement" page, but that page is left blank.

Dave Champion posted the "Tax Honesty Movement" page on Wikipedia at the beginning of this year, but later, BD Abramson (?) wants to take that page off. 3 weeks later, it is off. You can listen to Champion's radio show if you want (it's the beginning to around 6:30). Champion's entry is 5 sentences long (less than a page) with references to "tax protester" twice, and it talks about Original Intent and American Radio (his businesses), but it doesn't talk about his other business Why is that? The Tax Honesty Movement's message is this: after searching the Constitution, statutes, regulations, court decisions--in other words, the law, for many months or years, there is no doubt that there is no law that requires a person like me to file a tax form and pay taxes. If one does, then show the law. Champion thinks that the "pro-tax protester" group was behind the "Tax Honesty" page taken down. I maybe wrong, but I think Wikipedia was the culprit. I really don't know. However, Dave Champion's entry to Wikipedia is one page, and the infamous "tax protester (argument)" is right behind the Tax Honesty Movement, twice. "Tax protester" has a link; "Tax Honesty" doesn't.

And finally, behind the IRS opinion, is what Russo believes this movie is all about. His biography said, "The film is an expose of the Internal Revenue Service, and proves conclusively there is no law requiring an American citizen to pay an unapportioned tax on their labor." But a foot note, it says, "See tax protester arguments about taxation of labor or income from labor." All rebuttal court cases except three came from the Tax Courts, and Tax Courts are not Criminal Courts. In White v. United States, they refer to Section 6702. If you don't file, you can't be charged with Section 6702. In United States v. Buras, all the court said that they reject the claim, and in Carter v. Commissioner, the court said the case per se was "frivolous"(I thought I was on defense?). And it drifted away from the core but simple and basic question. Question: is there a law or laws (i.e, 26 USC __) that requires the vast majority of Americans to file and pay taxes? A truthful answer: There is no law. In all that--case dismissed!

Sorry, Wikipedia.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Defining "freedom"

George W. Bush, when speaking about the "war on terror", says, "All these people who sacrificed their life or limbs sacrificed in the name of freedom." What does he really mean when he uses the word "freedom"? When I think of "freedom", I think freedom of people have sole dominion over their lives, living their lives in complete sovereignty over themselves and their justly acquired property. That's what I think about when I think about freedom.

However, I have two stipulations with true freedom. Number one: if you want freedom for yourself, you have to extend freedom to everyone else, even if that freedom makes you uncomfortable or uneasy. For example, if your neighbor owns pit-bulls, or rottweilers, and large, aggressive dogs make you nervous (they don't; in fact, I own both kinds of dogs, but hypothetically speaking), then only you can do is carry a gun. Your neighbor has the freedom to own whatever dogs he wants. If s/he owns or have a rental agreement which allows dogs, then you being nervous is irrelevant.

Which makes for number two: individual liberty and personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin. In other words, if you want freedom, you have to be responsible, and vise versa. If you neighbor has large dogs, then s/he has to be responsible to put up a fence, tie the dogs up, or whatever your neighbor can do to keep the dogs inside of the property. If your neighbor's dog jumps the fence, or crawled underneath to your property, you will have carte blanch on what to do. You can shoot the dog immediately, shoot the dog if or when it attacked you, hide inside and call the dogcatcher, or do nothing (i.e., pet the dog, fetch the stick, or other playful thing with the neighbor's dog). If it was a truly free society, each individual properties would be sacrosanct.

But the elected officials perverted and skewed the meaning of freedom to mean the exact opposite. In Orwellien paradigm, they twist "freedom" to mean "slavery", and "slavery" to mean "freedom". Their favorite topic is to equate freedom with "democracy". They say democracy and freedom, freedom and democracy, on and on, without end, so before long the people see "freedom" and "democracy" to mean the exactly the same thing.

But our Founders loathe democracy. Democracy means simply "majority rule". To the Founders, it means "tyranny of the majority". Thomas Jefferson once said about democracy, "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49." Benjamin Franklin said it best: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." I will bet that democracy is not freedom to the lamb! The word "democracy" is nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, nor the Bill of Rights. But if you want to find the government the Founders wanted, look in Article IV, Section 4.

If our rulers mislead us about something as basic as freedom, we have to be very skeptical about anything they say. The Founders are geniuses when we wrote the three equal but separate branches of government, checks and balances, and adding a Bill of Rights before ratification. They knew so well that the underlying principle of the Constitution is the greatest threat to our liberty and prosperity lies within our own government.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Our federal daddy

For over 125 years, the American people elected a president. During that time, the powers of the president was extremely limited. The American people did not permit the passage, for example, of income taxation laws, drug laws, immigration laws, and welfare laws. They also refused to permit a large standing military force. And they did not allow their government to engage in foreign wars. Thus, when our ancestors went to the polls every four years, they knew that regardless of whoever was elected, the president would have extremely limited powers over their lives and fortunes.

But for the last several decades, Americans have elected much more than a president. They have, simultaneously, elected a daddy--a federal daddy. Thus, modern-day Americans have a larger stake in presidential elections. For a presidential daddy is a much more important position than simply that of a president.

Our ancestors believed that a person should be free to take actions what others considered were harmful toward himself. As long as a person's conduct did not entail violence, fraud, or some type of direct interference against someone else's life, liberty, or property, the job of the president (and other governmental officials) was to protect the exercise of the conduct. Sometimes the choices made were unpopular or despicable. But the American people believed that what mattered was the right to choose. Thus, they refused to permit the passage, for example, of drug, censorship, and gambling laws.

20th (and 21st) century Americans took an opposite view. They did not want freedom of choice because they did not trust themselves or their fellow citizens with it. Thus, Americans empowered their daddy (and other government officials) to punish other adult citizens for doing bad things to themselves. "Johnny--Bad! Bad! You know you're not supposed to be putting bad things into your mouth!" And Johnny is a 40-year-old CEO. "Billy--Bad! Bad! You know you're not supposed to be looking at naughty pictures!" And Billy is a 55-year-old lawyer. "Mary--Bad! Bad! You know you're not supposed to be losing your money at poker!" And Mary is a 60-year-old doctor.

The principle is the same with welfare laws. Our ancestors believed that a person should be free to do whatever he wants with his own money. Thus, past Americans rejected Social Security, Medicare, public schools, subsidies, and other laws which took money from some to give to others. The idea was that a grown-up would decide for himself how to dispose with his own money. Private charities would provide for someone in need.

Modern-day Americans moved in an opposite direction. They said, "We cannot be trusted with freedom because we might not make the right decisions. We need a daddy to take control of our money and to force us to be good and responsible."

Thus, the welfare state was adopted in the United States in the 1930s. It is a way of life in which our elected daddy has control over our earnings; kind of like our allowance set by our daddy.

Moreover, no longer do American grown-ups have responsibility for deciding what to do with their incomes. For our daddy has been given control over these decisions. For example, American adults might not take care of the disadvantaged, so our daddy gives a portion of our allowances to the poor and needy. And if we are caught lying to our daddy about how much money we make each year, he said to us, "Bad! Bad! Go to your room for a few years!"

Our daddy also relieved us of the responsibility of choosing our friends. For he tells us whom to like and whom to dislike. For example, daddy tells us we should dislike Fidel Castro. Of course, we have a difficult time understanding why we should dislike him. After all, Fidel's policies are the same as daddy's: public housing and medial care for the poor and elderly, public schooling for everyone, forced retirement for everyone, and high taxation (Now, Cuba is more communistic than the USA, but that is measured in degrees--however, the policies are the same). But daddy says we should dislike Fidel, and that's good enough for us. Daddy knows best.

Of course, we are still wondering about Saddam Hussein. In the 80s, daddy gave lots of our allowance money to Saddam to help him out, and to furnish him with WMDs. Some of us wondered about supporting a man who had engaged in terribly bad conduct towards others. But we don't question daddy. Daddy knows best.

One day, daddy got upset at Saddam. And he said to us, "Saddam and I are no longer friends. I hate him. He's an 'Adolf Hitler' (never a 'Joseph Stalin'; although Stalin killed 4 times as many innocent victims as Hitler, 'Uncle Joe' was a close friend of America's first presidential daddy, Franklin D. Roosevelt). We cannot survive if Saddam continues to be president of Iraq."

So, we lost another friend. We immediately began hating Saddam. Saddam had to go. Our survival depended on it, as daddy said. Daddy knows best.

But Saddam didn't go! He stayed for over 10 years. We killed 200,000 of his citizens (what better way to punish a ruler than to kill some of his taxpayers). But Saddam stayed. And what does our daddy say about this? Well, it turns out that we can live with Saddam after all. Apparently, our survival does not depend on ousting him from office. Daddy knows best.

10 years later, daddy announced, "We will invade Iraq!" Iraq never attacked the USA, and even threatened to attack. That makes America the aggressor. Daddy said Saddam had WMD (from the USA), but there is no weapons found. Daddy said there is a link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, but there is no link found (by the way, where is Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda anyway?; our daddy doesn't care about the only REAL threat against our country). And 9 months later, we captured Saddam! But, the war keeps going. And we keep on fighting, and dying--for nothing. We do it only because daddy wants us to. Daddy knows best.

The United States is a nation of children. American grown-ups view themselves and their relationship to their government in the same way they viewed their lives in public schools: they are little kids who depend on the principal to guide them, make their decisions for them, make them good, punish then when they are bad, and follow instructions. They are expected to do as they are told and never question the principal.

And we are a nation of people who now have been on the welfare-state dole for 7 decades (2-3 generations). The weakness of the American child-adult is best exemplified by the reaction to the idea of dismantling our welfare: "how would be survive without our dole--our welfare, Social Security, subsidies, public schools, SBA loans, and protect us from overseas competition?"

The same attitude holds true in foreign affairs. "How would we survive without our warfare empire? We need our daddy to protect our overseas interests and to decide who our foreign friends should be. You don't expect us to do it alone, do you?"

Modern-day Americans have exchanged the liberty won by our ancestors for the apparent security of America's welfare-warfare empire. But security does not come from empire, and empires ultimately crumble. A nation of weak, childlike grown-ups is a nation headed toward suicide. And talk of "getting tough overseas" and maintaining "military superiority" is false bravado. The crushing taxation, regulation, and control that comes with empires--and a lack of will to fight by weak, infantile adults--ultimately makes empires ripe for the plucking.

What would be the results if we ended America's welfare-warfare empire? The same results freedom brought to America for over 125 years. First, a nation of strong, responsible, and caring adults. Second, a strong and prosperous economic base that would provide the long-term security defense needed for military defense. Third, freedom would bring fierce fighters--citizen-soldiers, men and women alike--who would have the incentive, on a moment's notice, to take up arms to protect their own freedom, as well as that of their families and friends.

The solution for America is to retake the paradigm of freedom and limited government of our ancestors. We need once again to elect a president--not a daddy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Federal Reserve rebellion

In yesterday's post, I asked what if the current President Bush was assassinated. Today, I ask what if Venezuela only took silver instead of Federal Reserve notes for its oil. David Bond asks that question. Between you and me, the latter would be way more disastrous for the United States than the first.

Now, the first sentence reads, "The following is a true story. It all started happening day after tomorrow:" Now, the two sentences together are a contradiction in terms. If that story started (at the time when he wrote it) in the future, how can it be proven to be true? And that article's date was August 28, exactly one week ago today, and thus, the story started last Wednesday. On Thursday, Free Market News Network ran a 12-minute eRadio program with the same guest about the same topic. But the host started with the phrase "what would happen...?". Today, the financial indicators look normal. So, the supposedly "true story" is really a hypothetical fiction.

But what if the hypothesis were true. This is a real possibility, and the US economy would be in a shockwave. When Venezuela doesn't accept FRN, what if Iran follows suit? And/or Iraq? And/or Mexico? Bond predicts, if only Venezuela does it, silver will rocket to $20/Toz and oil would rise to $100/bbl. Bond wouldn't say about gold, but since gold and silver rise about the same rate, gold would be around $1000/Toz. And all prices would rise accordingly.

But, I will say it again: this is a REAL possibility! And it don't look good for the future of America. The Federal Reserve is pure evil, and it's its fiat paper money which started this mess in the first place. If we don't switch from an inflationary, worthless money, the federal government will be headed for a fall, whether or not Bond's hypothesis will be true. All that matters is the time. If you want to be pro-active, be like Aaron Russo and squash the Federal Reserve . I also want to abolish all "legal tender" laws, and let the free market decide what money do the people want. The government plays no role in money creation and the economy in general.

If what I am proposing came true, the money would be a sound, stable, inflation-proof money, backed in full by precious metal.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Death of a President

The movie, Death of a President, written and directed by Gabriel Range, shows President Bush being assassinated, and the whirlwind of a response after. The article also shows the American people's reaction to this movie and and especially the people's reaction to the assassination of a sitting President, even when the reaction is "make-believe".

Now, I didn't see the movie. The movie will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival later in September before being shown on Channel 4's satellite channel More4 in October. More4 is (maybe) a British cable and/or satellite channel that (definitely) I don't have, so I could be inaccurate about this film. But I have based my opinion on many reviews and opinions, both in print, on radio, and on TV.

But what would be like if Bush was gunned down during his presidency? The film predicts Muslims are targeted as guilty even though there is no evidence to back the claim. The first one who the police are leading towards is a man who is born in Syria.

However, the reaction to the film is the focal point. This article is from London, but it is the same reaction in America. The boisterous commentators are the Republicans. Whether it's Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bill O' name it: they all have an opinion about degrading this movie. Democrats are not so vocal, but Democrats and Republicans agree about the film.

When the left and the right agree on something, it is nearly always omnipotent government statists, and the self-government libertarians are left out in the dust. Death of a President agrees with the norm. A libertarian always sides with the Constitution, and Amendment 1 says, in part, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". That doesn't mean a few laws on speech. That doesn't mean no laws on speech, except speech made by "terrorist", "Islamic fascists", or "really bad people in general". That means NO LAWS ON SPEECH, PERIOD! Michael Badnarik agrees with me when he jokes he wish the Framer's put a period after the first five words in the First Amendment..nothing more. It would make him happy (and me, too!).

But Death of a President is nothing but a movie, and a movie is mass-communication (i.e., mass-speech), whether or not that communication is disturbing (if you think Death of a President is disturbing, wait until you get a load of watching America: Freedom to Fascism!). Unlike liberals and conservatives, libertarian believe in the intelligence and wisdom of the American people, and the actor who plays the President is alive today. We see murder on the movies and TV all the time. Do you copy the murders? I saw a movie that showed a bank being robbed, but I didn't copy the robbery. In an unlikely chance that the person was so inspired (and so deranged) by this movie, he will be waiting to finish off the president like the film said, the Secret Service will arrest that person, charge him, and if the jury finds him guilty, lock him away for a long, long time. But don't blame the action on the film. This film--any film--is about freedom of expression, and that expression is protected by the First Amendment. The Framers had it right on living in a truly free society, including watching any movie that the people want.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Vigilante justice, or just justice

Jonathon Edington, when hearing from his wife that his 2-year-old daughter was molested by Barry James, climbed through his window and stabbed him in the chest nearly a dozen times. Edington was charged with murder and burglary and was released on $1 million bail.

I read the article, and from what I read, Edington, age 29, was a fine, outstanding young person. He was a computer geek, but harmless. He has no criminal record, just a husband who loves his daughter.

James, age 58, however, was a psycho. Police spoke to Edington, complaining that he can see James through the window. Police captain Gary MacNamara said, "Either [James] was partly clothed or revealed parts of his anatomy that were inappropriate."

James served two days in jail for drunk driving charge, and he is trouble with the other neighbors. When Edington found out about his daughter, he snapped.

I still believe that the trial in front of an impartial jury is the best form of justice known to mankind. Now, I don't have all the evidence to find Edington guilty or not guilty, but the jury has all the evidence for sure. If I was a part of Edington's jury (or anyone else's jury), I would be a Fully Informed and Educated Juror, who understands the jury's power to judge the facts, the law, the moral intent of the defendant, and the justice of the law; rather than only judge the facts alone, and the judge judges the rest, in spite of what the judge says. In Lysander Spooner's famous book, "An Essay on the Trial by Jury" , he will show "what the Common Law trial by jury really is." This book, written in the 1800s, is as vital and significant as when he wrote it--and perhaps more important to today's reader because of changes made within the court system (but not the legal system) in the past century. This is a very short book, but it covers a very important and neglected part of the limitation of government power: the trial by jury.

In the book's first three paragraphs, Spooner said it best:

For more than six hundred years [make it eight hundred years]--that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215--there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the fact, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; BUT THAT IT IS ALSO THEIR RIGHT, AND THEIR PRIMARY AND PARAMOUNT DUTY, TO JUDGE OF THE JUSTICE OF THE LAW, AND TO HOLD ALL LAWS INVALID, THAT ARE, IN THEIR OPINION, UNJUST OR OPPRESSIVE, AND ALL PERSONS GUILTLESS IN VIOLATING, OR RESISTING THE EXECUTION OF, SUCH LAWS.

Unless such be the right and duty of jurors, it is plain that, instead of juries being a "palladium of liberty"--a barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government--they are really mere tools in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression it may desire to have executed.

But for their right to judge of the law, AND THE JUSTICE OF THE LAW, juries would be no protection to an accused person, EVEN AS TO MATTERS OF FACT; for, if the government can dictate to a jury any law whatever, in a criminal case, it can dictate to them the laws of evidence. That is, it can dictate what evidence is admissible, and what inadmissible, AND ALSO WHAT FORCE OR WEIGHT IS TO BE GIVEN TO THE EVIDENCE ADMITTED. And if the government can thus dictate to a jury the laws of evidence, it can not only make it necessary for them to convict on a partial exhibition of the evidence rightfully pertaining to the case, but it can even require them to convict on any evidence whatever that it pleases to offer them.

Enough said! Now, I will say it again: the facts in this case are not presented, and I will have an open mind until the case is closed. But if I was Edington's juror, and the evidence was presented to me as I have read them; even if the state proves Edington did it beyond a reasonable doubt, my verdict would be "not guilty", and worse, if all other jurors found him guilty, there would be a mistrial; and best, Edington would walk a free man. That is the power of one educated and informed juror.