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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Facts of the Obama Presidency and Your Choices

By Tom Rhodes, 10/29/2012

The Obama Presidency is by measurable standards a failure.
  • When he took office there were 2.7 million long-term unemployed; the number of long-term unemployed is now over 5 million.
  • Income for the middle class has dropped nearly 10% from $54,962 to $51,002.
  • Gas prices more than doubled, it cost about $1.85 a gallon and is now at around $3.85.
  • Wars expanded in Middle East
  • Gitmo still open
  • US Citizens executed without arrest or trial

    You want more total people unemployed then vote for Obama.

    You want less income for the middle class then vote for Obama.

    You want higher gas prices (as he clearly stated he wanted) then vote for Obama.

    You want more undeclared War then vote for Obama.

    You want less civil liberties then Vote for Obama.

    Look at your grocery bill (or at the sizes of packaging). To keep from having to increase benefits to senior citizens, which are tied to inflation, the government has removed food and fuel from its cost of living calculations. Unless your blind if you buy groceries you know inflation is here, and your dollar is worth less. So we don't make as much in absolute dollars, and each dollar we have buys less than before. Kennedy made huge economic improvements in the short time he was in office. Reagan made dramatic improvements in the double digit inflation and huge interest rates and massive unemployment in his first 4 years. Obama can no longer blame the previous administration for our current conditions.

    Help Obama Keep his word and be a one term presidency if the economy hasn't improved, don't vote for him.

    That should not be read as an endorsement for Romney, it isn't. Romney on economic matters differs minimally from Obama. Romney is a Liberal New England Blue Blood, whose sole purpose is to protect old money (banks).

    None of the actions of Romney while governor would lead a reasonable person to believe that he would stand up for civil liberties any more than Obama has. None of the actions of Romney would lead a reasonable person to believe that we would get out of war any more than Obama.

    If you vote the issues then you won't vote for either Obama and Romney. Do the research yourself and look at more than just the Goldman Sachs approved choices of the Republicans and Democrats. On the issues compare Gary Johnson to the other guys. If you agree with more of Johnson's positions than Romney's or Obama's then vote for him. Don't worry, as no single vote can sway an election, you'll be better off if you vote your heart, you'll be able to live with yourself and your single vote compared to the 100 million or so other votes won't make a difference. But your single vote for the only candidate who doesn't support more war, who is for fiscal responsibility, and promotes civil liberty will make you feel better and send a small message to the Washington-Wall Street Cabal, that you are not happy with the current choices offered by the Goldman Sachs approved Republocrats and Demicans.
  • Saturday, October 20, 2012

    The Cross is Offensive

    By Tom Rhodes 10/20/2012

    Like no other religious symbol the world finds the cross offensive. In Galatians 5:11 Paul wrote, "Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished." Paul was under attack when he wrote those words because he was making it very clear that there is only one way to salvation. Preaching that we can only be saved through the cross of Christ is a message that the world finds offensive.

    Proof that Paul was right can be seen today in the actions of Louisiana State University who purposefully edited out the cross in this image.

    This is a group of students called “The Painted Posse,” who paint their bodies with LSU school colors and small crosses for every home game.

    What LSU published was this:

    LSU officials reasoning was they didn’t want to offend non Christians.

    The question is why does the world expect Christians to be tolerant of all other beliefs, but is totally intolerant of Christianity? The fact is the bible is the source of libertarian beliefs, it is Christians who eventually ended acceptance of slavery in the western world, it is Christians that pushed for equal rights and tolerance of other beliefs. Other religions don’t share such beliefs and are not willing to fight for others regardless of beliefs as Christians are. The example of the cross and what it means, shames others to such a degree as they find the Cross offensive. Over 100 years ago C.H. Spurgeon preached on the subject, and it has been a theme in seminaries and sermons for as long as there has been a Church.

    The rule of law, rather than rule of dictates by Imams, dictators, kings, etc. is based on Christian principles. In The Christian foundations of the rule of law in the West: a legacy of liberty and resistance against tyranny, Augusto Zimmermann clearly shows how the rule of law as an effective check on tyranny has its roots in Christianity.
    “The rule of law is therefore far more than the mere existence of positive laws, as it also requires the state to act in accordance with principles of a ‘higher law’. The search for such ‘higher law’ implies, however, a moral discussion on what laws ought to be. If so, the rule of law becomes an impracticable and even undesirable achievement for societies not subject to certain patterns of cultural and religious behaviour. On the other hand, any radical change in such patterns can certainly produce undesirable consequences for the realization of the rule of law.”

    Consider Islam; Islamists find the Cross offensive because it points out that unlike Christianity, Islam condones unequal treatment of believers and non-believers, it condones lying to unbelievers, it condones murder of unbelievers. The standard Christ set is impossible and the only means of salvation is through him, thus those who reject the cross cannot tolerate and find offensive the standard the cross represents because it clearly shows that they fall short.

    LSU is well within its right to censor the image, they have freedom of speech. The fact that they recognize that the cross is offensive is further testimony to the Truth, that is Jesus Christ.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Taxes Used to Violate Rights

    By Tom Rhodes, 10/8/2012

    Last Sunday was Pulpit Freedom Sunday. As Libertarians we should celebrate the bravery of the hundreds of pastors who thumbed their nose at the IRS and preached about politicians and politics in defiance to the government. The idea that the first amendment allows the state to regulate the speech of the church is absurd. The entire Bill of Rights it is a limit on the government not the people or any organization which they form and belong. Pastors not the government should determine what is said from the pulpit.

    Statist arguments from those who say to pastors, "If you want to exercise your right to free speech, just give up your tax-exempt status" are illogical and absurd on their face. It would be the same as telling everyone that in order to deduct your homes mortgage interest from your taxes you must give up your right to be free from warrantless searches of your home. The idea is that because the government is in essence paying for your house with a tax deduction it has the right to search your house any time for any reason or for no reason at all. That idea is invalid on many fronts.

    It makes as much sense as saying, "if you want to maintain your right to a jury trial, just give up your tax-exempt status." Just like a jury trial, and the right to keep and bear arms, and the right not to testify against yourself, are all rights not privileges grated by the government which can be taken away based on an arbitrary tax classification, the right to free speech and religion is just that, constitutionally protected rights, not privileges that can be revoked by dangling the tax-exempt status of a pastor's church over his head. The IRS rule against free speech for pastors should be declared unconstitutional.

    Tax cuts or exemptions do not "subsidize" religion or anything else. An IRS tax-exempt status to a church is not a subsidy unless all money belongs to the government. Last year the US Supreme Court rejected that idea. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. "Like contributions that lead to charitable tax deductions, contributions yielding STO tax credits are not owed to the State and, in fact, pass directly from taxpayers to private organizations. Respondents' contrary position assumes that income should be treated as if it were government property even if it has not come into the tax collector's hands. That premise finds no basis in standing jurisprudence. Private bank accounts cannot be equated with the Arizona State Treasury." It is clear that the government has no automatic right to a church's money because a pastor doesn't give up his right to free speech. There is no right for the government to be free from the church or from the beliefs of the citizens; rather the government is restricted from restricting free speech and the free exercise of religion. Our constitution doesn't restrict churches or pastors or the people, it restricts the government.

    Whether a group is formed to promote model aviation (the AMA) or promote doctors (the AMA) or promote motorcycle racing (the AMA), or promote management training (the AMA), or to market marketing (the AMA), or to give music awards (the AMA), or promote a religion, or promote a group of workers, they should all have the same rules applied equally, and all have their rights respected equally. Any other position is unjust. Charities are non-profits and have been outside the legitimate tax base since the founding of our nation. Our government has no more right to a church's money because its pastor won't give up his constitutionally protected right to free speech, than it has the right to curb the speech of any other non-profit, like the AMA, ACLU, PETA, VFW, or AFL-CIO.

    If you think that because an individual receives a tax deduction for contributions to a church as being a benefit that justifies restricting the freedom of speech from the pulpit, why isn't that claim as true for any other organization that you can receive a tax deduction when you make a donation. Should the United Way have its free speech squelched? Why should churches be treated any differently?

    Union dues are tax deductable and unions are tax exempt, if churches can't promote or endorse a candidate without losing their tax exempt status why can unions? I know the IRS classifies churches as 501(C)3 organizations and Unions as 501(C)5 organizations, but it is illogical, absurd, and reprehensible to limit the speech rights of a group of people for some arbitrary classification by the government; especially when it is the government and not the people or any assembly of people that is constitutionally limited.

    If you support the idea that pastors should not be allowed to endorse or financially support candidates then you must support the idea unions should not be allowed to endorse candidates. As libertarians we can and do support all forms of free speech, even that of pastors to endorse and criticize candidates from the pulpit. Last Sunday 1600 pastors were brave enough to stand up to statism, we salute all of you who took up the challenge. Our current tax system is now being used to control and restrict our constitutionally protected freedoms, it is time to scrap the entire thing and start over.