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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Statism vs. Freedom

By Tom Rhodes 8/22/2011

Right now the US is polarized. The political and economic direction that the people in Washington and press are talking about they have not correctly identified. They people in DC, statists, have the press in their pocket and are not addressing the actual sentiment of the American people and the direction the people want to move. They are coaching their responses in degrees of government control while the actual mood of the country is towards freedom not statism. These are the main positions and points of contention in the USA:

  • More Spending (control of resources by the state) vs. Cutting Spending (control of resources by individual people)

  • Obamacare (state control) vs. Vouchers and Free Market Medicine (controlled by individual people)

  • Energy Planning (State Control, heavy regulation) vs Industry/consumer determined energy policy

  • Targeted tax cuts (State favors) vs broad tax cuts (treat each individual equally)

  • Dodd-Frank (State Control, more bureaucracy) vs Free markets (individual control)

  • Higher levels of Regulation (state control) vs Lower levels of regulation (individual responsibility)

  • More agencies and departments (more State control) vs elimination of agencies and departments (less state control)

    The true divide we are seeing is those who want some ruling elite to make their choices for them and eliminate individual responsibility, over the freedom of individuals to make their own choices. Statists don’t want to allow individuals to have freedom, they want to concentrate more control into the hands of fewer people. They do so with the promise to individuals to be “free” from the responsibility and consequences of their choices, in exchange for obedience to the state.

    The non-violent way to settle this is with elections. We had such an election in 2010, statists got their but kicked. Freedom loving people declared the want less central planning and less state control. The ruling elite are not happy (nor are the lame stream press). Thinking that this was an anomaly, in Wisconsin the statists tried to retake control through recall elections. The elections were clear and they statists failed. The people want less not more state control. Any pundit or politician telling you otherwise is deluded or a liar. Statists are running scared.

    Our government is very scared that they cannot control elections as they have in the past. The explosion in communications makes it harder to control the news people see, and ideas they share. Because of this, and the heavy losses in the last election to people who are not loyal to the state, but are loyal to the people who elected them, Statists are demonizing not just the TEA Party, but any person who argues against more central planning and control. Proof of statist fear can be seen in the recent Homeland Security and FBI announcements to be on the lookout for Christian white males using cash to purchase hurricane and disaster preparedness supplies, self reliant people who do not trust the government as their protector, are potential terrorists. How exactly does the U.S. Department of Homeland Security view terrorists? You can see who the government fears in a new public service announcement that encourages Americans to report "suspicious" behavior to authorities. Watch Here.

    The funny thing is that in reality what the government tells us to fear and look out for is not the profile of actual terrorists. Checking the Bombathon 2011 Scorecard , the first 20 days of Ramadan there has been over 100 terror attacks around the world in the name of Islam, with over 450 associated deaths. In the same time period there have been zero attacks and zero deaths in the name of all other religions. Comparing reality to government flyers and video’s it is obvious that the only reasonable explanation is that the government fears the vote self reliant citizens who love freedom more than it fears the bombs and murder by blood thirsty Islamic zealots who favor statism and despise western freedom.

    This would explain why statists refer to the TEA Party as a terrorist organization, but won’t call Hamas or Hezbollah terrorist organizations. Statists accuse those congressmen who would vote as they promised their constituents terrorists, kidnappers, and worse for using their vote to enact change; change that they hope will move the country away from state control and towards liberty. Statists equate a legal vote to limit the government with real bombs killing innocent people.

    None of the polls indicate that more state control is popular, congress is polling at an all time low and the chief statist, Pres. Obama, is bombing out. This is not party specific; the people are rightly blaming, centralized control, and not the Democrats or Republicans directly. Note the massive increase in independent and third party voter registration. We in the Libertarian Party are seeing massive growth, new leadership, and more interest in libertarian ideas they ever in our history. It doesn’t take a genius to see that things like the DoED, with more centralized planning, and statist control of education has failed; if you point this out the statists will attack you as wanting to end education, when the reality is the people want to end central planning of education.

    The biggest boom to our economy, ever, was post WWII, when there was massive contraction of the government and centralized control and planning. Reducing central planning, eliminating state controls like rationing, and eliminating thousands of government employees and soldiers, resulted in the greatest economic expansion the world ever saw. If you compare real liberty, standards of living, and quality of life in countries with more vs. less state control, you will find that it is quite clear that the more economic freedom and protection of private property found in a country, the better off the people of that country are. We are seeing the US standard of living drop as we see more central planning; we see the standard of living increase where we see decrease in central planning and control in other countries. The problem is that with more central planning comes more power for statists, power they desire and won’t easily relinquish. Statists, regardless of party, firmly believe that it is better to have state control of the economy and politics at the expense of individual liberty. The simple fact is that less central planning results in more freedom.

    What do you support freedom, or statism?
  • Friday, August 19, 2011

    Uncivil Discourse? Bolderdash!

    By Tom Rhodes, 8/19/2011

    I hear and read cries of people being “tired” of all this partisanship. The president, the press, and pundits claiming that “Never Before has the house/senate been so partisan, so uncivil, yada yada yada.” This is unmitigated Bolderdash. Today’s politicians are virtual bastions of etiquette, following in the footsteps of Emily Post compared to the speech and actions in the History of US Legislative and presidential discourse.

    First consider the death of one of our most famous forefathers, Alexander Hamilton. Aaron Burr, the Al Gore of his day, lost the US presidential election in 1800 by a handful of votes. Thomas Jefferson was elected instead and made his defeated opponent Vice President. Burr blamed his defeat on Alexander Hamilton, one of the great figures of the American Revolution. Hamilton – a close friend of Washington, co-framer of the constitution and a former head of the army – had successfully persuaded a tied electoral college to swing behind Jefferson. so when Vice President Burr discovered a few years later that Hamilton had bad-mouthed him in a later, he issued an instant challenge. Hamilton – by then retired from politics – was opposed to dueling on moral and religious grounds, but the duty of honor was greater and so, on July 11, 1804, both men crossed the River Hudson with their seconds to what is now New Jersey. Burr was determined to shot his rival dead, which he did. Hamilton, as he was shot, discharged his own pistol into the ground. There was huge public revulsion at the death of such a popular figure and the Vice President found himself on the receiving end of some seriously bad headlines. He was deprived of his New York citizenship and forced in to hiding. In later years, he was shunned by society and died destitute n Staten Island in 1836.

    Although he is ranting and raving a lot, I don’t see Al Gore challenging Dick Chaney or anybody else to a duel, much less killing those who words caused him political harm.

    Now let’s consider the legislature, specifically that noble and dignified body the US Senate. On May 19, 1856, Republican Senator Charles Sumner gave his famous "Crime Against Kansas" speech in the well of the Senate. In his over three hour oration, Sumner attack Senators Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina, both pro-slavery. His attack on Butler was especially harsh and made fun of the Senator's speech defect.

    Two days later, fellow senator, Democrat Preston Brooks, nephew of Congressman Butler, approached Sumner while the latter was writing at his desk in the Senate chamber. The room was nearly empty, but there were enough people present that an accurate account of what happened could later be assembled. Brooks approached the sitting Senator and said "Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine." With that, he began beating Sumner on the head with his heavy cane, which was topped with a gold head. Sumner could not rise up as his desk was bolted to the floor. Brooks continued to beat him until Sumner tore the desk from the floor and staggered up the aisle away from his attacker, blinded by his own blood. He collapsed in the middle of the aisle, at which time Brooks continued his attack until his cane broke in two. Several senators tried to intercede on Sumner's behalf, but Congressman Laurence Keitt of South Carolina, an ally of Brooks, stood by the men with a pistol drawn and shouted "Let them be!"

    Senator Sumner took three years to recover from his wounds. The Massachusetts General Court reelected him in November 1856 anyway, believing that his vacant chair in the Senate chamber served as a powerful symbol of free speech and resistance to slavery. Congressman Brooks became sort of a hero in the South, a symbol of that area's resistance to perceived bullying from the North. Northerners were outraged. Senator Sumner, elected to his seat as a Republican, became a symbol for anti-slavery forces. Congressman Brooks was subject to an expulsion vote in the House of Representatives that did not pass, but nonetheless gave up his seat for the rest of his term. The people of South Caroline promptly re-elected him at the next election. In honor of Brooks, Pierceville, a small Florida town located near the site of Ft. Desoto, changed it's name to Brooksville. Both men remained in their offices for the rest of their lives.

    Simply put, politician’s calls for more civility are just political drama, used to avoid having to answer tough questions. What today is called uncivil discourse is milquetoast compared to our history. What we need are not politicians who won't say what they think, and provide us safe middle of the road platitudes. We need bold politicians who are not affraid to say what they believe, stand up to those whom they don't agree, and let the votes fall where they will. We have a man who running for president right now who has remained stedfast in his beliefs, and not affraid to tell not only the other party but his own party what he believes. That's Ron Paul.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Reading between the party lines in the Iowa straw poll

    By Tom Rhodes, 8/15/2011
    The Iowa GOP straw poll and the media response clearly demonstrate that the statist parties do not want nor respect the actual desires of the people.
    Minnesota congresswoman and Iowa native, Michelle Bachmann, spent millions and won the Iowa straw poll. As a local and “favorite son” of Iowa, one would expect that the citizens of the great state of Iowa support one of their own. However, history has shown that nobody who has won the GOP Iowa straw poll (unless unopposed) has ultimately won, EVER! Although an entertaining candidate who sends liberals frothing at the mouth, which is always fun to watch, she will not win the GOP nomination much less the Presidency, and will be defeated fairly early in the primaries, the press and GOP leadership will see to that.

    The results of the Iowa Republican straw poll of August 13, had Bachmann, edged out Ron Paul with a 4,823 to 4,671 victory. Ron Paul, despite what the main stream press says, won the debate last Thursday, and clearly has more popular support than the press or leadership in the GOP wants to recognize. Excluding Bachmann, Paul had more than double the votes of any other candidate, and the poll indicates that the rest of the GOP field does not have much popular support. The results of others were: (3) Tim Pawlenty 2,293; (4) Rick Santorum 1,657; (5) Herman Cain 1,456; (6) Rick Perry 718 (write-in); (7) Mitt Romney 567; (8) Newt Gingrich 385; (9) Jon Huntsman 69; (10) Thad McCotter 35.
    It is clear that even with their national recognition Santorum, Cain, and Gingrich are in it so that they can hopefully set the direction the GOP want the nomination to go and have a voice in the primaries, not to actually win. The GOP and Press do not really want to recognize or accept the actual direction the people indicate they want the party to move. Romney finished 7th, he is not conservative, does not believe small-government principles, and does not have popular support, and the albatross of Romneycare makes him unelectable; Yet according to the media, he is the front runner for the Republican nomination. Some in the press have declared that it is a race between Romney and Perry, the statists want the people to choose the candidate they prefer, not the candidate who voices the ideas the people actually want.

    Romney is leading in corporate donations; Perry will be another large corporate beneficiary (big oil). The GOP elites in Washington do not want some outsider nominated. The current GOP nomination campaign will clearly demonstrate whether statist corporate cronyism or the people determine the course of the Republican Party. Last November the GOP elite and corporate cronies got caught with their pants down. The people through the TEA Party actually upset their apple cart, and the elected a good number of republicans who actually did as they promised, and voted to keep government spending down. They are being vilified by the press, the Democrats, and GOP leadership. Note the double standard in how the members of the TEA Party faction were treated for not voting to extend the debt ceiling, compared to the Democrats who also refused to vote for the plan.

    I predict that the GOP elite and corporate cronies will do all they can to insure that they do not let the Republican nomination go to somebody who isn’t firmly in their pocket. I believe they would rather lose the presidency, then allow a person who they don’t firmly control, and who won’t continue to support the expansion of government, get nominated. The very idea of a GOP candidate who doesn’t support corporate supremacy, and the continued control of the economy and people through government largess frighten them. The Republicans and Democrats are both statists, their only difference is the means of state control they support. The Democrats want state control by controlling the people, the GOP wants state control through corporations, and neither promotes individual liberty and freedom.

    The idea that somebody with true libertarian ideas who has popular support, like Ron Paul, wins the GOP nomination is not something the statists will tolerate. They do not want the people to have the chance to choose a candidate who supports small government. Expect the press to ignore or denigrate any success of candidates with libertarian ideas. Expect the leaders from both statist parties, the Republicans and Democrats, to work together to kill any libertarian candidate. Expect them to do all they can to down play the significance of the TEA Party changing the election in 2010, and the TEA Party faction actually voting in congress the way they promised. Expect the Democrats to attack and make the TEA party look smaller than it is, and the GOP to try and co-opt the TEA Party, and move it to corporate cronyism.

    There is a faction of the GOP, the Republican Liberty Caucus, which espouses and supports libertarian ideas. They support Ron Paul and other libertarian minded candidates. The RLC claims to be the small government, liberty-defending wing of the Republican Party. The current GOP nomination campaign will clearly be a test of whether corporate or RLC determine the course of the Republican Party.

    The RLC more closely rrepresents the actual values of the people, as indicated by the 4671 votes for Ron Paul over the media and GOP leadership preferred nominees. As a Libertarian, in many ways I hope the RLC is not successful in its goals of re-introducing the values that started the Republican Party back to the GOP. Today these values are called libertarian. The RLC Statement of Principles reads much like the LPF platform. For the sake of my party I would prefer the RLC to realize that the corporate powers that control the GOP will not allow their success, and the best chance for true success is to abandon the GOP and urge all liberty loving republicans to join the Libertarian Party. The good libertarian that I am, my true hope is more than the success of the LP but my hope is for actual smaller government and more liberty in my lifetime, so I will cheer the RLC if they are successful and Republican Ron Paul is nominated. If the RLC fails, it will be a clear indicator that the GOP is just a corporate shill promoting statism through corporate cronyism and that the two-party system has failed the people of the United States.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Damned if You Do, Damned . . .

    By Tom Rhodes

    We as citizens are now in the position that if we do as the government has asked us to do then we are to be considered terrorists. If you follow the recommendations provided by our government through FEMA and prepare for an emergency the FBI says you’re a terrorist.

    The government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, specifically advises citizens to collect stockpile and keep a "Kit" ready in case of emergencies.  The FEMA site recommends that we stock our disaster kits with such items as:

  • Food that does not require refrigeration and has a long shelf life (MRE’s)
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Portable, battery-operated radio or television and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Knife
  • Compass
  • Matcheas in a waterproof container
  • Waterproof storage containers
  • Maps
  • Cash and Coins

    Identity theft is a major problem, many government web pages urge people to guard their personal information. One of the best ways to protect your identity is not to give it out and to use cash whenever possible.  When somebody shows an interest or requirement to have your identity and know your business, common sense dictates that you should not provide that information. 

    The FBI has distributed a flyer to retailers, some of the purchases/activities that the FBI has requested they be on the lookout in a recently purchased flyer:
  • Waterproof Match Containers
  • Meals Ready to Eat
  • Night Flashlights
  • Paying with cash
  • Wanting to protect personal identity

  • This FBI produced flyer titled, “Communities Against Terrorism” states:

    Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts. 

    Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.

    Included in the flyers is a request by the FBI that among other actions retailers:
  • Require valid ID from all new customers.
  • Keep records or purchases.
  • Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.
    br />So if we are good citizens and do as our government asks by protect our identities and take personal responsibility to take care of ourselves in the event of a disaster by storing reserve food supplies, water, self defense armaments, cash and tradable goods, etc. then we have become “persons of interest” and domestic terrorism suspects.

    I often say we have “Too Much Government.” When the very act of doing what some parts of the government asks us to do is now considered an indicator of terrorist activity or intent, it is clear that saying we have “Too Much Government” may be the understatement of the century.

    This blatant example of Too Much Government had me worried and mad, then I remembered a quote by Thomas Jefferson that gives me hope. 

    "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." ~ Thomas Jefferson.

    Obviously a significant portion of the justly people fear the government. Just as obviously the government fears the people, especially people who are willing to take responsibility for their own security and wellbeing.  Maybe, just maybe, this irrational fear of the government has for the people is an indicator that liberty is not totally gone, but it is a warning to us all, that the government is not our friend or benefactor but a necessary evil which will take our liberty with the slimmest of excuses and we need to remain vigilant against the intrusion of government tyranny into our lives. 
  • Monday, August 1, 2011

    The next eco-panic: Galactic Warming!

    By VoxDay, 7/28/2011

    I see no other way to view this terrifying news from NASA:

    NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

    Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA's Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA's Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

    "The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show," Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. "There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."

    The governments and people of the world must act at once to end the threat to the environment of space. It is not just our future, or our children's future, but the future of the furry six-eyed children living on Xaraxifap VI that depends on our species ending the threat posed by our industrial lifestyle. Clearly, the only solution is to provide completely unaccountable power to a centralized institution of global government and pay for it with new hot space taxes.

    We cannot permit the Milky Way to become the Steamy, Frothy Way! End Galactic Warming now!

    Editor's Note, I was about to post a virtually identical commentary using the same data, but VoxDay did it faster and better, so I stole it and put it here.