Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Friday, April 24, 2015

Inequality??

By Tom Rhodes, 4/24/2015

When you were in school, if you got an A for a class did that mean somebody else was only allowed to get an F? Is the fact you were given a D in Algebra predicated on the fact that others were given higher grades and there were only so many A’s, B’s and C’s available for the teacher to give, so you were stuck with what was left?

Imagine you’re in a class of 20 students, and the teacher is given a pile of 20 grades to give out, she has 1 A’s, 3 B’s, 12 C’s, 3 D’s, and 1 F. Because that is the total of the grades she has, the entire pie so to speak, she can only give out those grades. How do you think that would affect the work habits of those students who knew they weren’t as smart as some of the others. Let’s say the worked hard and studied and mastered the material and did all the work so had an average of 85% on all the assignments and tests. But there were 6 really smart kids in the class who didn’t have to work at all and they all averaged over 95%. Yes you could kick those kids ass on the football field, but in Algebra not so much. Is it fair you couldn’t get a B and only one of those smart kids could get an A because there were only so many good grades to go around?

If that were the case, then obviously doing your best is not worth the effort you can do minimal and probably get the same C, no amount of effort you put in would get you a B, much less an A. The few class clowns who don’t care and don’t do anything will get the D’s and F, so why should you do your best? If you believe that’s how grades work, only a few with unfair advantage of very high IQ get the good grades, and the rest are stuck with what’s left. The teacher has no control over how many of what grade they can give because the pie is cut and there are only so many pieces to give out, and only one of them is an A.

Would you consider that a “fair” system. Of course not. Is that the way grades are awarded? Of course not. Grades are not given on a strict bell curve. Grades are not given at all. Standards are set and those who reach those standards through hard work or natural ability earn the appropriate grade. That is fair. In the above example that student who worked hard and averaged 85% would get a B, regardless of what any other student did. Those 6 smart kids who got 95% would all get an A, their earning an A doesn’t affect any of the grades of the other students. In fact it is not uncommon for in a class of Algebra students that nobody gets a D or F. Nobody has to be given a bad grade because there are not enough high grades to go around. Grades are earned, not given.

The same applies to money. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a gazillionaire, he didn’t get that way by taking away from what any other person could earn, he created that wealth by earning it. Nobody is poor because Zuckerman took too much of the income pie. He simply baked his own pie. If wealth is a fixed size pie, and Zuckerberg in less than a decade became worth $34 billion dollars, that would mean he took $34,000,000,000 from other people, Sorry but he didn’t, in fact most people use his product, Facebook, for free. Nobody’s pay got cut or lost their job so that Zuckerberg could get more money. Just like grades, him getting an A+ in social media didn’t come at the expense of somebody else losing anything.

The whole “income inequality” mantra, is based on a lie. Income is just like grades, you get what you earn. You can earn more if you put in more work and have more natural ability than others. As long as people are different, have different goals, different abilities, different skills, there will be different incomes. Not all work is valued the same. The fact is the 80 IQ guy doesn’t have the ability or skills the 140 IQ guy has, and probably doesn’t earn as much. But the High IQ engineer doesn’t take anything from the low IQ landscaper, he’s paid more because he has more responsibility and fewer people can do engineering. If the low IQ landscaper makes a mistake, grass dies or a yard looks ugly, if the high IQ engineer makes a mistake in designing a bridge, people die.

Just because a skill or ability is difficult and rare doesn’t make it valuable. Not many people can swallow a sword while riding a unicycle juggling bowling pins, wearing a pink too-too with a Chihuahua dancing on their forehead. It’s a cool skill, I’ve seen a street entertainer do that, I doubt there are very many others who can do that. As an entertainer I’m sure Samuel Jackson earns more just standing, looking cool, and growling. Why such income inequality. Because you are willing to voluntarily give up more of their money for one than the other. Nobody is forcing you to pay more for a movie ticket to Jackson wear an eye patch on the big screen, then you are willing to throw into the street entertainers hat. One is more valuable to you than the other. That voluntary, not forced, difference is the cause of income inequality, not the people earning more taking an unfair part of the pie. Income inequality is no more unfair than some kids getting A’s and some getting C’s in algebra class. Income inequality is nothing more than a reflection of the differences that exist in individual’s ability, skill, drive, goals, and life choices.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Moral Decay

By Tom Rhodes, 4/23/2015

America is suffering a moral collapse. This realization is leading more people to realize they are in fact Libertarians in their beliefs. Resent research shows more Americans describe themselves as libertarian than conservative or republican. It’s a moral not an ethical situation. But it’s too little too late.

Ever hear of situational morals? No you haven’t. You have undoubtedly heard of situational ethics. The reason is that morals ? ethics. Ethics are rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture. Whereas Morals are the distinction between right and wrong. Ethics are governed by professional and legal guidelines within a particular time and place Morality transcends cultural norms and time. There are moral truths, such as it is wrong to murder, it is wrong to steal from another, etc.

Lying is a prime example of situation ethics. It is not considered unethical for law enforcement to lie, nor is there a legal constraint saying law enforcement officers can’t lie to you. However it is unethical and illegal for you to lie to a law enforcement officer. Morally lying is wrong. St. Augustine wrote the first extensive treatise on lying (De Mendacio). In it he cites the case of a holy bishop, Firmus of Thagasta, who wished to protect a man who had sought refuge with him. The bishop was so careful of the truth that, rather than lying to the imperial officers who pursued the fugitive, he told them frankly that he would not reveal the man’s location. Firmus maintained this resolve even under torture, with the result that he was eventually brought before the emperor himself. But the emperor was so impressed with the bishop’s virtue that he both praised the bishop and pardoned the fugitive. *

Augustine tells this story to provide a saintly witness for his argument that lying is always morally wrong, regardless of the circumstances, and to note that God is perfectly capable of extricating from trouble those who stand fast in the truth. His treatise has been widely cited ever since, and his viewpoint was endorsed by no less saintly a scholar than Thomas Aquinas. In the monumental Summa Theologiae, Thomas states the same position: "Therefore it is not lawful to tell a lie in order to deliver another from any danger whatever. Nevertheless it is lawful to hide the truth prudently, by keeping it back, as Augustine says"*

To put it in simple Redneck English and less philosophical, the Disney character Thumper sums it up, “If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

The Ethics of Lying has changed dramatically in US politics. Consider three famous Presidents caught lying in recent US history: Richard M. Nixon, lied, got impeached by the House, tried and found guilty by the Senate, held accountable for his abuses of power forced out of office ; William Clinton, lied, got impeached by the House, was not found guilty by the Senate, allowed to serve his term; Barrack Obama, lied (caught in several humongous woppers that make Nixon and Clinton look like saints), and was not held accountable for any of his lies and abuses of power. The ethics of lying while POTUS have clearly changed, as a society we no longer hold elected officials to the same ethical standards we once did. Our ethics have changed, the morality of lying has not.

Most libertarians have high moral standards. They believe that, as our forefathers stated, a person’s rights are unalienable. Meaning a person’s rights are not dependent on the government allowing them, but precede the government and by virtue of being a person without any dependence on any other, unalienable rights exist. These basic rights are life and liberty. No other person or group or state has the right to take your life or liberty unless your actions infringe upon the unalienable rights of another. These are moral truths not ethical rules. Your rights to life and liberty, grant you the freedom to maintain both as you see fit. Hence you are at liberty to gather food, shelter, clothing, etc. to maintain your life and other such property to make your life happier. Your liberty to do this does not grant you the right to force others to provide you with food, shelter, and what-not, to maintain your life, nor to take the justly acquired property of another. Your right to life and liberty does not obligate others to provide you with the necessities to maintain that life.

This idea is new and very short lived in human civilization. Implementing the idea that rights are granted by our Creator and unalienable, and that individuals instituted government for the sole purpose of protecting unalienable rights, resulted in the most prosperous society the world ever saw with the highest standard of living for more people in that society ever. That society embraced those ideas so thoroughly that it ended up fighting a civil war, killing off huge numbers of its own men, over the belief that “all men are created equal,” thus ending slavery in that society. Soon after that culture, the former USA, became the most powerful nation in the world.

Abandoning Morals and changing the Ethics of that society over time is bringing back the norm for human civilization. That norm being a few ruling elite live in luxury with different rules and “rights” to the common man, while the common man toils in relative privation. Feelings over situations have resulted in our culture dismissing moral truth and embracing situational ethics, as such we are returning to tyranny.

It is morally wrong to deprive a man of life, liberty, or property without due process. Today’s ethics ignore this: President Obama routinely orders the assassination of citizens without due process. Law enforcement routinely confiscates money and property without even charging the rightful owner with a crime. In Wisconsin, with the approval of district attorneys and judges, the police raided and took the property of people for merely expressing political opinions they didn’t like, they then threatened death and violence and destruction if those people dared talk about it. Even some libertarians are saying that people’s opinions and speech should be silenced because they are offended by it.

The idea that people expressing opinions that others find offensive should be illegal and those people should be silenced is now the acceptable ethic of the day. The moral imperative that all people have an unalienable right to the liberty of expressing whatever opinions they want is being abandoned. Quite recently, a significant number of people claiming to be libertarian, were up in arms and distraught over the arrest of a woman who was so incensed at others exercising their freedom of speech, by walking on an American flag, the took the flag and attempted to stop the expression by others. She aggressed against people exercising their unalienable right to freedom of speech and took their property and for that violation of other people’s rights she was rightly arrested. There are Libertarians saying she should not have been arrested, and that those expressing opinions they don’t like should have been silenced, claiming others walking on a flag they owned, and inviting others to do the same in some way violated their rights. This is a sick perversion of morals to situational ethics. The idea that it is ethical to deprive people of an unalienable right if their exercise that right doesn’t meet some group approval. Political Correctness is situational ethics and devoid of moral consistency.

Ethical relativity, as expressed by refusing to accept Moral truth, has and is leading to the destruction of our culture. If a culture accepts idea that all morals are mere subjective opinions and all cultural ethics are equally valid, such a culture will have no willingness to fight for any value. If all cultural ethics are equal then the ethos that says all dissenting speech should be silenced is just as valid as the ethos that all speech should be protected. If we teach that Morals are not truths, and only the Ethics (or rules) accepted by a society are valid, then beheading a person for not being a Muslim is just as valid as protecting the right of people to believe as they wish. A culture that treats moral truth as mere opinion will rot and fail. I wish I could do more than stand back and watch, but when even in the LP we have people willing to abandon unalienable rights it’s clear there is little hope for modern Western Civilization.

What Moral Truths are you willing to fight for, I don’t mean what Morals are you willing to write a letter and complain about, or what Morals you are willing to donate money to a cause. What Moral Truths are you willing to physically battle others to protect, even if it means you might die. Is there a “value” you think protecting is worth more than your reputation, livelihood, or life? There are others today willing to fight to the death, and die, in order to instill their moral values on you and the rest of the world. If you’re not willing to die protecting your moral values, you’ve already lost. We changed our culture to now commonly teache that morals are not truth only opinion, and that our morals are no different or better than any others. Do you expect people raised and taught to believe the morals of all cultures are equally valid to fight and die to protect their way of life? What tyranny would you consider taking up arms?

If you can’t image yourself taking up arms to protect you way of life, then you believe that your way of life is not worth protecting. ISIS and the Muslim world believes that you have no moral character and there is nothing you would be willing to fight for, that’s why they believe they will win. The statists in charge, call them Democrats or Republicans, believe that they have successfully neutered the moral character of the country so that they can do almost anything and there is nothing the people are willing to fight for. The Bundy Ranch standoff, shows the country is not yet totally neutered. How much more are you disposed to suffer, than to right yourself by abolishing the forms of tyranny to which you are accustomed? Do you believe in any Moral Truths?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

43% of FL GOP Senators are Against
The 2nd Amendment

By Tom Rhodes, 4/22/2015

If you are a supporter of the 2nd Amendment you must seriously consider switching to the Libertarian Party. The fact is clear that as much as 43% of the Florida Senate Republicans are firmly against the 2nd Amendment and your gun rights.

There are two pro 2nd Amendment bills in the 2015 legislative session. Neither will be passed because the senate committees won’t pass them. Those bills are SB176 and SB180.

SB180 died in the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee. This Committee is chaired by Republican John Legg, and is made of 7 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Do the math, and it is clear the Republicans are against SB180 and the Second Amendment.

SB176 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This Committee is chaired by Republican Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, and is made of 7 Republicans and 3 Democrats. Do the math, and it is clear the Republicans are also against SB176 and the Second Amendment.

If all the Democrats supported ST176 and SB180 43% of the Republicans were against the 2nd Amendment. Even it the more likely event is that all the Democrats voted against those bills, 29% of the Florida Senate Republicans are against the Second Amendment. Voting Republican is not voting for a group that will protect your rights.

If you don’t know what Senate Bills 176 and 180 are, go to google and search “FL SB176” and “FL SB180”. As an informed citizen it is your responsibility to know what your elected representatives are doing. If your reading this you have internet access. Your Florida representative lets you know what’s going on at www.myfloridahouse.gov and your Florida senator lets you know what’s going on at www.myflsenate.gov . If you can’t be bothered, you’re part of the problem not the solution.

If the 2nd Amendment is important to you, you obviously have a problem. Electing Democrats is a fast way to losing your rights, and electing Republicans is slower way to losing your rights, certainly not a way to restore them. There is another choice for those who support liberty and freedom, including the 2nd Amendment. Look at the Libertarian Party

Monday, April 20, 2015

Not Stealing = Giving

By Tom Rhodes, 4/20/2015

Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham of the Washington post lament your tax dollars being given to the rich. They claim the rich get handouts just like the poor and list 10 of them. They are sick people. The entire premise is that all of the money anybody earns or saves is the governments, and we should be grateful for that portion of what you earn that you are allowed to keep, people keeping what they earn is the same as the government giving it to them.

Does the list of handouts to the rich include direct subsidies for ethanol? Does the list of handouts to the rich include direct subsidies for “geen” energy? Does the list of handouts to the rich include direct subsidies for training your employees? Does the list of handouts to the rich include direct subsidies for agribusiness? Does the list of handouts to the Wall Street Fat Cats include TARP bailouts? The answer is no, no, no, no, no, and no.

The list from the Washington post doesn’t include a single subsidy, or payment of the government to the rich. There are a gazillion examples of the government giving your money to the rich, but none of these examples show up on Badger and Ingraham’s list of where the riche “receive benefits from government.” Their list exclusively includes people being allowed to keep their own money. Let’s examine their list:

1. The mortgage interest deduction for big houses and second homes. - Just like your home or condo, any place you can live that you have mortgaged, the interest is tax deductable. The rich have bigger mortgages and thus pay more interest and have bigger deductions, but no different than anybody else. The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as SNAP benefits to the poor.

2. The yacht tax deduction. - not really a deduction for the yacht, if the yacht is big enough to live on, and is mortgaged, the interest from the mortgage like any other living space is tax deductible. The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as WIC benefits to the poor.

3. Rental property. - How is allowing the deduction the costs associated with maintaining some rental property; repairs, mortgage, HOA fees, advertising to get renters, property taxes etc. and only being taxed on the net profits you earn from renting out your property the same as the government giving you a direct cash benefit? The Washing Post’s opinion is that if you get money from a rental, all that money, regardless of the associated expenses associated should be subject to confiscation. The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as any benefits to the poor.

4. Fancy business meals. - Take a potential client to dinner and you get to deduct half the cost from your taxable income, doesn’t matter if it’s McDonalds or Burn’s Steakhouse. The fact is it’s a business expense. The government doesn’t pay a single business to take clients or employees out for a meal and discuss business. Somehow not taxing half of those expenses they are calling a handout. Nobody’s tax dollars were sent to any business to wine and dine others. The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as any benefits to the poor.

5. The capital gains tax rate. - basically the Post is saying, not paying double taxes is considered a handout. The “preferential” rate in the current system for capital gains is more accurately saying the second tax on your money is less than the rate it was originally taxed at. Even if you believe that savings and investments should be double taxed, it is still not a government handout. The government doesn’t give, the person whose savings earned some additional amount, any money. Clearly this is not the same as any benefits to the poor.

6. The estate tax. - Mom and Dad save and invest, paying all appropriate taxes as they do so, any excess that is in their property or savings has already been taxed, sometimes two or three times. Somehow Badger and Ingraham are saying that not taking more of Mom and Dad’s property after they die is the same as the government LIHEAP program, directly paying for a poor persons heating bill. This is not a handout to the rich, the money’s been taxed already excessively and the government isn’t actually giving the inheritors a dime. The government is just not taking as much of it as the Post thinks they should. Clearly the Estate Tax is not the same as any benefits to the poor.

7. Gambling loss deductions. - This one is really stupid, the government taxes you total winnings from gambling just like any other income. Unlike other ways of earning money, if you gamble and you lose more than you win, you cannot deduct your losses from your income. For some reason the Washington Post’s opinion is that if you gamble, all you winnings should be taxed, even if you are a loser overall, not just the amount you won over the amount you lost. Again they think the expenses associated with any gross earnings, rental, gambling, business expenses, should not be deductable. But . . . even if you think all winnings should be taxed, too bad for you if you lose, not taking money from someone (taxing) is not the same as taking money from somebody else and giving it to that someone. The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as any benefits to the poor.

8. The Social Security earnings limit. - Social Security was sold and is still sold to the American people as a retirement insurance package with top limits on what it will pay out. Because it is limited as to what it will pay out, it also limits what you must pay in. Again the idea is that not taking money in excess of what is due is somehow equal to the government giving a handout. The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as any benefits to the poor.

9. Retirement plans. - Badger and Ingraham’s claim that not taxing money saved for retirement until it is actually used is a subsidy is absurd. IRA’s 401K’s etc. are incentives to get people to save, so that they are less of a burden on society in their old age. The money is taxed, just at a later date. They are lamenting the fact that responsible people are not taxed twice. All these retirement programs do is delay when the government extracts its pound of flesh. Somehow they equate the fact that the rich save more for retirement than the poor as a subsidy. How is not taking the savings of people who responsibly plan for their old age the same as giving them a handout? Again the government isn’t giving the rich a dime, just delaying when they take the money. Clearly not the same as any direct benefit to the poor

10. Tax prep. - I don’t get this one, the government understands that they have made doing your own taxes so convoluted that without a professional it’s nearly impossible for the average person to do their own taxes. Thus they rightly allow you to deduct the costs associated with doing your taxes from your gross income, an expense to business and individual alike the government has created. So the income wasted on a government required expense is not taxable. The idea is that not paying taxes on the money spent doing taxes is a handout. Because the rich spend more on tax prep the Washington Post believes that it’s the equal to SSI (direct subsidies to the blind and disabled). The government isn't giving money, just not taking it, clearly not the same as any benefits to the poor.

In summary the idea is that the government has the right to all the money everybody earns, rich or poor, and that the state allows people to keep a portion of what they earn, and redistributes the rest as the state determines it is best used. The Washington Post equates the state allowing people to keep what they earn the same as the state giving money to others. Somehow the government not taking earnings as the same as giving a special handout. The idea is that the state, not the laborer, investor, worker, retiree, has the right to all wealth, even savings, and the state not the individual determines who receives that wealth. Like I said, this is a sick idea, the idea that the Government not stealing your money is the same as the government giving you money.

A burglar comes into your home, and at the point of a gun, takes your TV, stereo, cash on hand, and other valuables. You file some paperwork with the burglar complaining that he took too much. After a few months he returns your TV. According to the Newspeak out of the Washington Post, this is the same as giving you a handout. Newspeak definiton, Not Stealing = Giving.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reality is Meaningless

Reality is Meaningless
By Tom Rhodes, 4/16/2015

The sad fact is all the objective truth, scientific data, observable facts are meaningless. Reality has no meaning. Only how people feel and how they can use those feelings to gather power to a few ruling elite have any meaning in American Politics. What’s going to happen when everybody starts playing by the rules of reality used by the left?

Take the fact quoted by leftists and feminists that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college. Just because Eric Holder’s Justice department released a study of nearly the past decade of crime statistics, finding that 0.61 percent of college students are victims of sexual assault. Do some simple math and reality is that 3 in 500 not 1 in 5 is the truth. But as the NYTimes noted, even though the frat boys didn’t actually rape the girl, here mere accusation is proof of a rape culture. The reality doesn’t matter.

How about another the fact quoted by leftists and feminists, that women earn 23% less than men for the same work. Obama’s Department of Labor in 2009, concluded that “The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.” Obama’s Department of Labor in 2009 also carefully based on reality and objective truth recommended that “the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action.” The truth, in fact reality, is meaningless; women must be given preferential treatment based on the perceived bias, the reality is meaningless.

Age is meaningless, with Viagra, plastic surgery, etc. you can look and pretend you’re in your 20’s long past your prime. Reality is meaningless.

Reality and climate change don’t matter. In the past century average temperatures climbed until the 1930’s, dropped until the late 70’s, climbed again until the late 90’s, and have been stead for about the two decades. All that time CO2 and other greenhouse gasses have steadily increased. The real measurable truth is that regardless of the CO2 produced by man the climate has changed. None of the computer models saying man has caused climate changed have been correct. But the measurable, observable, truth is meaningless. Man is causing climate change reality is meaningless.

Tax season so the news if full of tax data. The WSJ had an article titled, "Top 20 Percent of Earners Pay 84 Percent of Income Tax." The author, Laura Saunders provides a different perspective than we are used to hearing regarding who pays what income taxes, noting, "The three million people in the top 1 percent of earners pay nearly half the income tax." The reality is our system is far more progressive than leftists would have you believe. The reality that the rich pay more than their fair share is meaningless, just ask President Obama.

Let’s talk about sex. The testable , observable, fact, reality, is that people are born either male or female, you either have to X’s or and XY. That however is meaningless, how you feel about your sex takes precedence over reality. Reality is meaningless. In fact if a man “feels” like a woman he’s entitled to use the woman’s showers, restrooms, etc. Even have his driver’s license labeled as female. Reality is meaningless.

OK – if we are a nation of laws, and treat everybody equally than how anybody feels is more important than reality. What if non-leftists decided to play by these rules instead of reality?

I’m a married middle aged white male, so vanilla it’s scary. What if I choose to play by the new rules and throw reality out the window. Since testable, observable truth is meaningless, I may as well take advantage of the new rules. I truly “feel” like I’m a poor black woman with 5 kids, in as much as that’s how I feel, and reality is meaningless, I’m eligible and should be allowed to supplement my income with welfare, and get preferential hiring for a government job. If our leaders and government can and do routinely ignore reality when it suits them, why can’t I. I “feel” as though I have 25 dependents, why can’t I claim them on my taxes, reality doesn’t matter, how I “feel” does.

Why can’t I take advantage of loans, programs, and benefits that minorities and women get, if feel like a minority woman? The left made the rules that say reality doesn’t matter, I “feel” like an oppressed minority woman, that’s what matters. From now on, any government paperwork that asks and/or requires I enter my sex and race, I’m picking female and black; and why not those are the same rules the government uses when telling me about people paying their fair share of taxes, or who can use what bathrooms, or crime statistics, or science. What the government wants, or “feels,” the answer should be is what they tell me, reality is meaningless.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Even Conservative Press Promotes Statism

By Tom Rhodes, 4/13/2015

John Nantz did an article at Townhall.com today trying to say that the killing of Scott by officer Slager was not racist. The entire thing reads like a pro-tyranny you should just obey the government and you won’t get hurt diatribe. Oh he attempts to say cops aren’t racist, but that’s a red herring. The summary is that if you just obeyed you have nothing to fear.

Nantz bases his article on an assertion that is a provable lie, or at minimum purposefully obtuse. Writing, "Cops rarely, if ever, employ force except in circumstances created by the criminal." Every year hundreds and hundreds of videos are posted that show cops using force against people whose only “criminal” activity is to refuse to answer questions and/or refuse to consent to searches. Merely exercising their 4th and 5th Amendment rights.

Couple that with the millions of collars confiscated every year by cops by force or under threat of force without ever even charging anybody with a crime much less due process, it is clear that the police commonly employ force based on circumstances they create. Circumstances like “check points” or “stop and frisk” or hundreds of minor infractions based on overcriminalized society. Hell they don’t even have to know the law, the courts have recently ruled if cops believe something is illegal, even if it isn’t, they can use force against a law abiding citizen, and the citizen has no recourse. Simply consider that it is legal for a cop to lie to people to entrap them, but illegal to lie to a cop.

In as much as the basis for the editorial is demonstrably false, the other assertions he makes are also false. In his description of the video, you will note he conveniently fails to mention the video shows the office in question planting evidence and arranging it to justify his killing of Mr. Scott. In other news this week confessions of cops has demonstrated that planting evidence to insure conviction or to justify killing is common not rare. Nantz’s article is obvious propaganda to justify ever increasing tyranny of the government.

Consider the fact running around that notes the cops have killed more people in the USA this year than England’s did in the last century, and we have an obvious problem that the press and our government don’t want the people to address or acknowledge. Our police act more like enforcer for our royal rulers than protectors of individual rights.

Nantz’s editorial from supposedly conservative Townhall.com, is using a false narrative to attempt to have America ignore the rise in government tyranny that is plainly obvious. The press with rare exception, even the “conservative” press, is promoting the pro-statism line. Look at the results of electing majority GOP to both the house and senate. Cronyism and pro-state legislation has not changed one iota since the Democrats controlled the senate, nor from when they controlled the congress and senate. The fix is in the press and ruling elite are working together to mollify the people to accepting statism as the righteous rule.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Fall of America was Predicted in 1799

By Tom Rhodes, 4/6/2015

There is no question we are losing our liberty to a more tyrannical centralized government. We have more laws and regulations restricting us than any person can possibly know, much less observe. The sad fact is that this loss of liberty and freedom was observed in the past and predicted in the future. America was a Christian nation, the successful removal of our Christian roots from our culture has resulted as foretold in our loss of liberty and decline of our formerly great nation.

In 1799, Jedidiah Morse, most noted for inventing Morse Code and making the technology of the telegraph rampant, gave an “election sermon.” In that he clearly pointed out where we owed our civil freedom and how it could be lost, saying; “To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience … If so, it follows, that all efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”

It is clear that today as we see overt attacks on the pillars of Christianity, we are also seeing the blessings of our freedoms fall. There is an overt war on Christianity and the result is exactly as predicted by Morse. Actually exercising religious freedom is now a crime, the government wants to force people to act and do business against their faith. It’s taken over half a century but the sad fact is the war on Christianity has succeeded in destroying the very culture that made Liberty and Freedom a viable form of government and way to live. The overt attacks on the institutions and behavior have succeeded in destroying the fabric of society. Our society and culture was once faithful, civil, and virtuous society that made freedom and liberty possible. The traditional family is now a rarity. Consider 43% of our children are now born to unwed mothers, a mere %5 of our children were bastards just a half century ago. Worse yet we’ve murdered 56 million babies through abortion.

George Washington in his famous farewell address echoed Jedidiah Morse warning a burgeoning new nation, that religion and morality are “indispensible” to “political prosperity” and he cautioned against “the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”

“Freedom of Religion” is not “Freedom from Religion.” Christianity is unique in it is based on a voluntary acceptance of a gift from God. Our Bill of Rights is based on solid Christian principles, including the right to reject God if you desire. God is clear, you are free to reject Christ, but you will be allowed suffer the consequences of that choice. As a nation we are rejecting Christ, as we do so we are watching a great nation suffer the consequences, foremost is the loss of life, liberty, and ability to pursue happiness that accompanied a culture rooted in Christianity.

Our forefathers knew what would happen, and it is happening exactly as they predicted. The Facebook meme is rooted in truth. “Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do study history are doomed to standby helplessly while everyone else repeats it.”



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Is This Legit?

By Pete Blome, 4/5/2015

As a citizen, a veteran, and someone who has been interested in how our Republic is governed for my whole life, I have to ask a hard question. Is government, in general, losing its legitimacy in the USA?

Legitimacy is about trust. As a people, we trust that, overall, the government is acting in our best interest. Trust is hard to win and easy to lose.

Responsible leaders know the importance of maintaining legitimacy. Government by its nature is force, and when people see force at work in all its ugliness they need to know, at a gut level, that it is being used for good things. If it is used for bad things it gets very hard for the average, decent person to tolerate government. People refuse. Taxes don’t get paid. Sacred cows get gored. Responsible leaders are supposed to speak up when going-along to-get-along goes too far and leads to a lack of trust.

But are they? The key to legitimate government in America should still be about protecting individual rights, free markets and a limited government. It’s these qualities that made America worth living in. This country grew into an economic and military giant because they lead to prosperity. If legitimacy is now based on government buying people off, as the cynical would say, we are certainly headed for a crash. “You can’t buy permanent friends with free candy.”

Individual rights are now considered secondary to other needs. Consider the Federal level alone. Instead of free speech, we have “free speech zones.” Political competition is restricted by laws that embed only two political parties in power. Congress wrote a law that forces everyone to buy medical insurance. President Bush actually advocated eliminating Habeas Corpus. President Obama proposed eliminating ammunition for the most popular type of rifle in private hands. The SCOTUS ruled way back in 1942 that the Federal government can control what a person legally makes, mines, or grows on his own property for his own use, even if no one else is involved. In order to use commercial travel, a person must get permission from the DHS first or they will not be allowed to go, no judge, jury or public evidence involved. The TSA routinely ignores the Fourth Amendment. Intelligence agencies are spying on us, and they have publicly apologized to lying about that in sworn testimony to Congress. Police departments can legally use civil confiscation to take property without charges or even evidence of guilt. When did we become a country where our rights are protected by the Constitution, but only if we don’t actually want to use them?

America is the land of the managed market. A free market is based on voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. The tax code, the creation of our dollars, Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the minimum wage, bank and corporate bailouts, business regulation, government control of education, utility and infrastructure monopolies, licenses, permits, zoning, affirmative action, agricultural subsidies, and the massive government bureaucracy all depend on the idea some citizens should have privileges over other citizens in the law. Besides being unjust, this idea makes for higher costs, less choice and poorer quality. Today, the invisible hand of the free market has been replaced by a very visible thumb on the market scales. As the Roman Senator Tacitus said, “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state.”

Finally, it is hard to claim our government is limited in its power when both Presidents Bush and Obama have assassinated U.S. citizens abroad without a trial or even presentation of evidence. Our government actually authorized torture. This is such nonsense since they can no more authorize torture than they can authorize rape or slavery. No higher functionary in government, no matter how guilty, is going to jail.

These are more than ugly trends. They are a bad way to govern. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, they make people think “Why should I put up with this?”

When they finally answer that they won’t, that is when the real problems begin.

Pete Blome is a retired military officer, Chair of the Northwest Florida Libertarian Party, and At-Large Representative of the Libertarian Party of Florida

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Scientists and Trust

By Tom Rhodes, 3/10/2015

I’m a scientist, I get geeky electronic magazines like, Laboratory Equipment. Today in that magazine is an article titled, Science is Not Just About Facts, which discusses the Pew Study noting scientists and the public don’t agree. Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief says “That last number astonishes me more than anything else—the fact that the general public is essentially showing a lack of confidence that scientists know how to do their jobs. This signals that bridging the gap between the public and scientists is not about scientific facts or knowledge, it’s about the public’s belief system.” This is propaganda from “scientists” trying to get people to trust them and what they say is fact. It is exactly why the FCC want’s control of the Internet. The Public has the ability to actually verify and confirm what government controlled “scientists” say is fact vs actual observable fact.

Scientists are experts at lying with bad science. They quickly resort to saying that anyone who doesn't believe their fabricated data must also believe the Earth is flat. The government funds and controls most “science” and research in the world, and expect you to believe that if the research was funded by a company it’s suspect, but if funded by government it’s good. They expect you to trust the government doesn’t or wouldn’t lie to the people about science. Except the government has been caught lying over and over again, especially about science. From lying about using people as human guinea pigs, to global warming, to our food. They continually get caught lying, falsifying data, changing the figures, etc.

Citrus County Florida now has blueberry patches not citrus groves because it’s too cold to grow citrus in Citrus County FL. All the citrus groves there froze out, and it’s still too far north to effectively grow citrus trees, but we are supposed to believe global warming is a problem based on science. 48% (roughly ½) of all meteorologists don’t believe man is causing global warming, but we are supposed to ignore our observations and believe an overwhelming consensus of “scientists” that say we a global warming problem.

The problem is the internet. It has things like the Wayback Machine, which allows people to go look up stuff that used to be on the internet, and the zillion of links to original unedited source material. Consider something as simple as temperature. Several scientists have noted, and NASA has been forced to admit, that the historic temperature data has been modified to make it match computer models rather than admit the models are wrong. Specifically right after 2000, NASA and NOAA changed the historic temperature records to make the past colder and the present warmer. This GIF image shows the data before and after government scientists changed it to fit the desired result not reality.



The government can and does lie to you. Those same scientists employed by the government that are trying to tell you burning carbon fuels is causing runaway global warming are the same guys telling you that mercury in vaccines is safe to inject into our children; toxins in GMOs are safe to eat. These “scientists” have the same employer, the government. It's the same government that lied about running inhumane medical experiments on prisoners via the National Institutes of Health, then got caught and had to apologize decades later.

This is the same government that claims preppers are conspiracy theorists, while building semi-secret networks of underground bunkers and caves, while purchasing hundreds of millions of hollow point ammunition (that cannot be used in wars). The problem is getting caught, with the internet the government is getting caught sooner not decades later.

There is a charade about why the government, through the FCC, is trying to gain strict controls on the internet. Political speech and trying to keep evil big corporations from buying elections is just a red herring. The government wants to limit the information available to the common man. The internet has destroyed the ability to control the public narrative, and they want that control back. Controlling three networks and a few newspaper conglomerates was easy. Today, Snowden, you, me, and the tinfoil-hat chemtrail geek down the street, at little or no cost can report on whatever interests them. Almost everyone has a video camera in their pocket and can capture and report on government misdeeds. Just YouTube police abuse for a gazillion and 23 examples. There is not “gatekeeper” on the news. The government hates the fact that you can quickly and easily go back and find out where they are lying to you, and report on their misdeeds without any “gatekeeper” to what is and isn’t news. They miss the days when they had control so the press didn’t report President Kennedy indiscretions. Today because of Drudge and the internet, we all know about the blue dress, and the name “Monica” is a punchline for a sleazy president jokes.

The same government trying to force vaccines on everybody is the same government that purposefully injected thousands of innocent people with STD’s to do experiments and the same government that injected others with plutonium. Our government is not to be trusted. One man’s name now clearly demonstrates the depths our government will go to lie and control the masses: Snowden. Obama promised to stop spying on Americans. The truth came out and the internet combined with our constitutional rights is proving to make it very difficult for the government. Political speech is the red herring the government is using to get “net neutrality” the fact is they want control of the information you are allowed to receive and from whom. They want a gatekeeper to the internet.

So called “scientists”, and “net neutrality” are just the excuse. If the government pays for it don’t trust it. The government has routinely, over and over, proven to get things wrong, like eggs being bad for you, and margarine being more healthy than butter, but worse than often just being wrong, the government has proven repeatedly to lie to gain more power and control. If the scientific conclusion on any subject is we need more government control, regulation, limits to something, the science should be doubted. Would you trust the results of a pharmaceutical company funded tests saying drug X was safe if there was no independent tests to confirm it? Why trust government funded results that say you need to give the government more power and control without independent confirmation, especially when they get caught censoring scientists who don’t promote the government line?

Scientists have been caught routinely lying, and now lament the fact the public doesn’t agree with them. They are now campaigning to change the public’s “belief system”, not based on facts, but on “we’re the scientists, you should trust us.” The government hates the fact that today, unlike the past, we can verify. Regan’s famous “Trust by Verify” quote has new meaning, when repeatedly the government has proven that what they say cannot be verified to be true. But then you did get to keep your doctor and insurance didn’t you?

The Trial of Adrian Wyllie

by Pete Blome, 3/10/2015

On March the 2nd, 2015, in a sparsely filled Collier County Florida Courtroom, Adrian Wyllie, the recent Libertarian candidate for Florida Governor, stood at the defense podium. He had no entourage or throng of supporters. This was his third appearance before judges on the matter of driving without a license. He refused to succumb to the invasive questioning required by the Real ID Act and have his personal information added to a national database without a warrant simply to get the privilege of a state issued driver’s license.

The details of Adrian’s civil disobedience did not impress the judge. He quickly cut short the defense presentation. The court would not listen to the violations of the U.S. and Florida Constitutions that inspired Adrian to stand alone, nor would it record the finely worded arguments of his lawyer. No one in the court would hear how the law robbed them of privacy or how the tentacles of surveillance were spreading throughout their lives. The recent years of sweat, worry, and sacrifice would come down to a few perfunctory words from a county judge.

He found him guilty. The judge said he applauded the defendant for his principles, and levied a $150 fine. Whether the judge was genuinely trying to enforce the law, victimize him, condescend to him, or simply following the path of legal least resistance, is anyone’s guess. It could have been worse. As a three time loser Adrian could easily have gone to jail.

A small matter in a small court about small people. It never would have happened at all except for Adrian’s persistent love of liberty. He thinks liberty is what makes living in the USA worthwhile. He wants others to feel as he does.

Unlike most of us, the cost of that love has been very real for him. Not having a driver’s license has limited his life in ways most of us do not even think about. He has court costs that he must pay out of pocket.
His business suffers. A simple trip to the bank becomes a convoluted task of proving one’s identity. Renting a vehicle becomes impossible.
Every drive to the store could result in trading in a comfortable night
at home for a cold cell in the county jail. Worry became a part of
his, and his family’s, way of life. He was jabbed by society in general in a dozen unseen ways every day for not having his papers. Still, he stuck to it.

To some, that was a foolish thing to do. Why suffer over this? Is defying the Real ID Act worth it? Since Adrian was active politically wouldn’t he do better moving as a free man than hobbled by self-imposed restrictions? The comfortable would say there are better ways of getting the point across without sacrifice. For them, we can live our lives, and can go home feeling secure in the knowledge we are free and have value. However, the contrast between the national myth and the reality is getting greater. What Adrian Wyllie shows is that we have the protection of the Bill of Rights, it seems, until we actually want to use them.

He still faces an uncertain future with real consequences. The legal penalties for defying the law will only become greater from this point on, and he has to decide what his next step will be. For every “Patrick Henry” that actually affects change there are dozens of unknown names that stood alone in courtrooms, like Collier County, and were consumed by the legal system no matter what protections citizens are supposed to have. Do the comfortable really know, or care, what happens to these people? Probably not. It’s not right, but that is just the way it is.

Good on you, Adrian, for going through all of this for the sake of
liberty. As Churchill once said, success is never final, and failure
never fatal, it is courage that counts.


Pete Blome is Chair of the Northwest Florida Libertarian Party and attended the trial of Adrian Wyllie 2 March.