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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Question on/about Rights and Liberty

By Tom Rhodes, 8/31/2013

Question: What Rights does the Constitution of the United States Grant to you?

It’s a trick question, the Constitution doesn’t grant you any rights, it limits the government from infringing upon our God-given rights. We are all endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. The meaning is clear, our forefathers recognized the fact that our rights are natural pre-existing our government. Our government was created to secure our natural rights not grant them.

The key component of a right is that any of your rights are not dependent upon the action of another, nor does a right obligate any other person to take action. The right for you to pursue happiness does not obligate any other person to make you happy. So if having good shelter, food, and clothing make you happy, you have the right to pursue those things. Nobody else is obligated to supply you with them.

Look at the Bill of rights and it’s clear, the Constitution is not the granter of the right to free speech, religion, assembly and so forth. The first Amendment starts with the words “Congress shall make no law.” That statement makes it crystal clear that government has no rightful authority over those things and is blocked from infringing upon them.

Some are trying to claim that by virtue of being a living person you have the right to foot, shelter, water, healthcare, education, etc. saying that others have a obligation to provide you with such services; saying that social justice demands positive rights. As noted economist Walter Williams asks, “What's just has been debated for centuries, but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well, then, tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?”

Today our feminized society demands that everybody trade their liberty and natural rights for security. The problem is that a large significant part of the population is clear, agree with, and believe the immortal words of Patrick Henry, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Rather than ask “What Rights does the Constitution of the United States Grant to you?” the question is; How long and to what extent will we suffer the evil governments usurpation of our natural, than to right ourselves by abolishing the forms to which we are accustomed?

Will Obama’s declaration of war on Syria without congressional approval be the straw that demonstrates the USA is no longer the president of a Republic, but a despot? Do the recent and current actions of our government now constitute a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evincing a design to reduce our Republic to absolute Despotism? If so not only is it our right, but our duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for our future security.

Ask yourself; has the Course of human events, made it necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

All Men are Created Equal – Not All Cultures

by Tom Rhodes, 8/28/2013

The values and culture of Western Civilization did not pop up from nowhere. It took centuries; more than 500 years after the Magna Carta we wrote our Declaration of Independence, the basis for the founding of our country. It took another century to end slavery in the USA and another century to end segregation, etc. The Declaration of Independence is highlighted by the idea expressed in these words, “All men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” The implication isn’t to ignore the obvious fact that not all people are equally strong, or equally tall, or equally fast, or equally smart, rather it demands the equal application of the “Rule of Law”; meaning that the law should apply to every person equally with no special protections, punishments, nor privileges to anyone for any reason. The culture that developed under this auspice, “Western Civilization,” produced a set of values based on the concept of individual rights and the idea that government existed to protect these rights not to dictate how individuals should live.

The concept of individual rights, flies in the face of and defies the vast majority of human history. Even today it only applies to a minority of the world’s people. The reality is that through all of human history the plight of man is for the vast majority to live in privation, while a relative few live in relative luxury by controlling the masses through the use of force. Most cultures now and through history work on the premise of some ruling elite controlling the masses. Other cultures are jealous of the prosperity Western Culture brought but are unwilling to embrace the idea’s that made it possible, like liberty and freedom.

Contrary to what egghead academics try to promote and claim, all cultures are not equal. Western culture based on the idea of individual rights and application of the rule of law is demonstrably superior to all other cultures. Western values, not necessarily western people, as people from all over the world, Japanese, Chinese, African, Arab, etc. can and do share western values. The objective, observable, output that the application of reason and individual rights (a Western value) has produced unprecedented quality of life, including; longer life, better health and more wealth for the ordinary person than any culture in the history of man; a culture where a obesity is a more pressing problem for the poor than starvation.

Multiculturalists egghead academics want us to ignore all semblance of logic and reason and not only grant moral equivalency but celebrate all cultures as equal. They even label and attempt to shame those who don’t accept the lie of multiculturalism as bigots. Consider the following mores of other cultures; In around 30 African and Middle East cultures they practice forced female genital mutilation; In most of the middle east there are severe limits on women’s rights to drive, work, walk without male escort, vote and receive an education; Niger still practices slavery; Some pockets of South American still practice cannibalism; Sudan still practices slavery; some Islamic countries stone women for adultery; and in many Islamic countries professing to be a Christian results in a death sentence. How exactly are the mores of these cultures in any way equivalent to the fundamental values of Western Civilization?

The multicultural egghead academic elite on our university campuses across America today want to end individual rights and liberty. They seek to trade liberty and the risks it entails for government control and the security it promises (but fails to deliver). Rather than equality before the law, they want “entitlement.” The multicultural “diversity” agenda is to revert Western Civilization, to the norm for mankind, with a few ruling elite dictating how the masses should live. They believe the ruling elite know better where people should live, what they should eat, what they should learn, what they should drive, what risks they can take, etc. regardless of individual wants, desires, effort, and ability. Like the ruling elite throughout history they claim if only people would live as we dictate there would be utopia.

If it were just multicultural egghead academic elites on our universities, the attacks on Western Civilization might be ignored. But the regression from the rule of law to rule by elite dictates is manifest in our government. The height of the attack on Western Civilization is reflected in new laws which grant certain corporations exemption from prosecution, or exemption from competition, or exclusive rights that other companies and especially individuals don’t have. The idea that a corporation or any group has rights and privileges that don’t apply to every other individual is reprehensible. Image a law that identified John Doe, the mechanic, immune from any law suit for damages due to his faulty break repairs. H.R. 933, AKA the Monsanto Protection Act, is just such a law. The laws in the USA and their disparate enforcement looks more like feudalism of a millennium ago than modern Western Civilization. Oh the feudal lords of today don’t claim a Divine right through heredity or combat, but the day of the citizen representative to our government is dead. The choices offered to the people for elections are as carefully cultivated and controlled by the ruling elite today as the appointment of barons and dukes was in feudal times.

The values that were adopted and created modern Western Civilization can be summed up in one word: Libertarian. Any call for the elimination or restriction on individual rights and special laws that grant some people rights, protections, punishments, or privileges that don’t apply to others is an attack on Western Civilization and the idea that “All men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”

All cultures are not equal and should not be celebrated. By embracing the two party system with its limited statist choices you are embracing neo-feudalism. If you embrace any culture that doesn’t support equality under the law for everybody, you are embracing tyrannical rule by some despotic elite rather than a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Monday, August 26, 2013

USA – Now a Statist Nation

By Tom Rhodes, 8/26/2013

Question: What does a modern technological tyrannical police state look like?
Answer: USA circa 2013

Does that answer seem extreme? Hardly, when you consider the facts. The overflow of news about government abuse of individual rights and privacy is so great it cannot be contained. Among the news that the government wished remained secret is the fact that secret courts found the NSA in clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Judge John Bates wrote in his Oct. 3, 2011, opinion, “For the first time, the government has now advised the court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe.” The fact is that NSA collects email not just of foreign correspondence but of domestic nature as well.

There were zero arrests, and zero accountability of the NSA. It took a FISA (freedom of information act) request and over a year of litigation to release the heavily redacted 2011 secret court ruling. The WSJ reports that NSA captures and has access to 75% or more of all internet traffic in the USA. Like it or not the 4th amendment is dead.

Some say that the government is only looking for terrorists, and won’t/doesn’t abuse the information they collect. If you say that then you missed the August 1, 2013 story where in the kitchen a woman was looking up pressure cookers and recipes while in the other room her husband was looking up backpacks for the kids, the police show up wanting to search the place to make sure they weren’t making bombs. Finding no evidence they left after a 45 min search they left. The agents reportedly told the husband "that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing."

Your internet searches, and browsing history, are known by the government - Period. Ignoring the constitution they monitor everybody. You can use things like DuckDuckGo.com or StartPage.com which don’t store the ISP or other information on people doing searches, you can use TOR, and you can use encrypted mail, pay for your purchases with cash, avoid giving your name to retailers, etc. But ..... if you do these things the government assumes probable cause that you are doing something illegal.

Do you understand that??? If you take steps to protect your Fourth Amendment Right to be secure in you person, property, and effects (especially electronic effects), then you have given the government probable cause to search your person, property, and effects. Talk about circular reasoning.

Today, in the USA, the government can and will show up at your door with guns based on your use of the internet. Without probable cause or even reasonable suspension of any particular crime or item or communication they are searching your effects. The secret court to protect your rights is toothless, and even when it finds the government violating constitutional rights holds nobody responsible.

Tyranny in the USA is here, it’s happened incrementally like boiling the proverbial frog. Little by little statism has overtaken our formerly free nation. It is becoming evident that the two factions of the Statist Federal Government, Republican and Democrat Parties, are not and will not defend the constitution, and ever seek more power for an ever increasing statist government. After the Snowden leaks, the politicians who said they would do something, investigate, etc. from both sides of the aisle have grown silent, and are actually doing nothing to protect your Constitutional Rights.

Obama as a senator, often made bold statements condemning the violation of individual rights, yet after attaining the White House has continued, extended and increased such violations. His actions have been no different than Bush’s. Of course as a senator there was much he didn’t know that after becoming President he learned that affected his positions. That or his change proves the axiom that “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It matters not; Protecting the safety of the people has long been the excuse tyrants use to curb individual liberty and increase the power of the state.

There cannot be both absolute safety and absolute liberty. Our statist government is choosing safety over liberty. It is not giving the people a choice. The government not works under the assumption that it’s compelling interest supersedes individual liberty, and the constitutional limits placed on the government must be discarded.

Statism is defined as the theory or practice of concentrating economic and political power in the state, resulting in a weak position for the individual or community with respect to the government. So the answer to the question, “What does a modern technological tyrannical police state look like?” is Statist. The results of both the Democrats and Republicans actions is clear, they are bringing the USA to become a totalitarian statist nation; where the individual is servant to the state not the other way around.

If you want liberty, what are you doing to take it back, as you no longer have it? The question is do you want security of liberty?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Large and Sophisticated Banana Republic

Or Why Do We Even Have a Congress Anymore?
By Tom Rhodes, 8/20/2013

The constitution is dead, our government willfully ignores it and openly defies the clear separation of powers and limits to the Federal Government. We live in a banana republic. The only difference between the USA and some third world despotic hellhole is that our banana republic is large and sophisticated mired in bureaucracy that has shadows of former lawfulness.

The wisdom of our forefathers was a result of viewing and analyzing history dialectically terminating in the idea that government is a necessary evil, and that because it is made of men, and men are corrupted by power, the power of government should be divided. Hence a system with checks and balances where those who created laws didn't have the power to enforce them nor judge them, those who enforced the law could not create the law nor judge the law, and those who judge have no authority to create nor enforce the law. When coupled with the idea and reality of the "rule of law" which implies and demands that those in power are not exempt from the law and must live by the laws they create, enforce and judge; he Separation of Powers and the Rule of Law produced the Checks and Balances which our government was famous. Key word WAS.

The Constitution is clear, only Congress, not the President, may create law (regulations are law). Why do we bother having a congress if the President can dictate through executive order or regulatory agency, laws. Why should any citizen have confidence in the law created by their duly elected representative? Congress debates, compromises with all representatives to create law that represents the desires of the electorate, then the president says "screw the law this is what we're doing." That undermines all law. When Obama declares "I'm not going to wait for Congress!" he is boldly claiming to be a dictator, and regardless of the will of the people will dictate the law.

This is a pattern of Che' Obama, who routinely ignores with impudence both Congress and the Judiciary. A very recent example is total disregard for the law, the Constitution, Congress, and the Judiciary happened July of this year when The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals joined the federal appeals courts in D.C. and Philadelphia in ruling President Obama's National Labor Relations Board recess appointments, who by law must be approved by Congress, were unconstitutional. Che' Obama has to date simply ignored the rulings his unlawfully appointed henchmen still run the NLRB.

Why have a body to create law, if the result can be twisted and ignored at a whim. What good will any law be created by congress if the president can unilaterally alter what he signs. To pass Obamacare, provisions were included that made government employees subject to the same rules and regulations mere citizens; on Aug. 14, 2013 Che' Obama dictated to his minions to delay the provision in ObamaCare to cap out-of-pocket health care costs, picking and choosing parts of the law to enforce, which is to exceed its authority; Thus negating the law with neither due process nor legislation, a clear violation of the Constitution's separation of powers.

The issue of the end of the Rule of Law, and the USA's decent into Banana Republic status has even been noticed by more main stream media. Investor's Business Daily published what they call "just a small sampling" of a "Lengthy Legacy of Lawlessness" by Che' Obama and the federal government including:

  • February 3, 2010: Judge Martin Feldman held the Obama administration in contempt for re-imposing an offshore drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • March 1, 2011: Attorney General Holder lied to Congress, saying "decisions made in the New Black Panther Party case were made by career attorneys in the department." Associate A.G. Thomas Perrelli, an Obama political appointee, overruled a unanimous recommendation for prosecution by DOJ attorneys.

  • May 3, 2011: When asked when he first heard of Operation Fast and Furious, Attorney General Eric Holder falsely testified, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." Head of the National Drug Intelligence Center Michael Walther told Holder about Fast and Furious in a July 2010 memo. Subsequent revelations showed he knew all along.

  • March 27, 2012: EPA issued final rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions on electric utilities that require power plants to use non-existing carbon capture-and-control technology to meet new emission standards, in defiance of the Congress' rejection of cap-and-trade legislation.

  • April 23, 2012: The administration postponed Medicare Advantage cuts by calling them a "demonstration project" and used funds not approved by Congress to delay effects of those cuts before the election.

  • June 15, 2012: The Obama administration announced it will stop deporting illegal immigrants under the age of 30 in a "deferred action" policy to circumvent immigration laws. This comes after Congress rejected a similar measure about a year ago. Since then, more than 500,000 illegals have received the deferment and only 20,000 have been rejected. As for the law-abiding applicants who have been waiting in line, well, that's Obama's idea of "lawfulness." The constitution is extremely clear and specifically grants Congress, not the president, the power "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization", Che' Obama has made it clear that not only is he usurping Congress's power but throwing out the idea of a "uniform Rule of Naturalization;

  • May 10, 2013: The IRS revealed it targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status beginning in March 2010, a direct targeting of political opponents through the tax laws. It's one of the crimes that led Congress to impeach President Nixon.

  • May 13, 2013: AP reported the DOJ secretly collected phone records of AP reporters and editors, a move completely outside the realm of law. Even the AP - which up until then had been pretty submissive to the Obama agenda - was appalled by the breach.

  • May 20, 2013: A Washington Post article revealed that Fox News reporter James Rosen was investigated by the DOJ, which subpoenaed his phone records and emails in direct contravention of the First Amendment under the pretense of a leak investigation.

  • June 25, 2013: The Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Eric Holder that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is "unconstitutional" and that "the formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdiction to preclearance." Instead of complying with the ruling, Holder filed suit to order Texas to submit to preclearance, in defiance of Congress' authority to legislate and the Supreme Court's authority to rule on the constitutionality of the law.

  • July 1, 2013: The Obama administration unilaterally decided to delay the employer mandate provision of ObamaCare for a year, which is to provide information to the feds about the extent of an applicant's insurance. Never mind that the law states the mandate must go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 - they are now relying on the "honor system" from applicants to determine if they are qualified for subsidies. drilling moratorium that was struck down by the courts.

    The noise and commotion of our congress is now irrelevant and unnecessary as the Che' Obama has thrown off even the suggestion that we actually live in a democratic republic. The evidence is clear, Che' Obama is the despotic ruler of the world's largest and most sophisticated banana republic.
  • Sunday, August 18, 2013

    US Court Orders Tyranny!

    By Tom Rhodes, 8/18/2013

    Federal Court orders confirm that you are a slave and we live in a totalitarian society. There is a difference between socialism and communism, but the totalitarian control of production and distribution of goods and services is the core of both, the USA is now a Totalitarian Republic. The US Government is saying that a company providing voluntary services to other people, of which there are many other voluntary providers, cannot go out of business. The company in question is Lavabit. It provides secure encrypted email services. Ladar Levison started Lavabit 10 years ago to capitalize on public concerns about the Patriot Act, offering paying customers encrypted email, that make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement agents to decipher.

    The government gave him a court order to provide the content of ALL email from ALL his customers to the government without letting his customers know. In as much as this totally compromised the reason he created the company rather than comply he shut the company down. In an NBC Article it is reported that “James Trump, a senior litigation counsel in the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., sent an email to Levison's lawyer last Thursday – the day Lavabit was shuttered -- stating that Levison may have "violated the court order," a statement that was interpreted as a possible threat to charge Levison with contempt of court.” NBC’s byline for the article is an appropriate “ from the either-you-help-us-spy-on-people-or-you're-a-criminal dept”

    If this happens it means that legally you can be required to work against your will. Isn’t that slavery? If not slavery it is clearly the actions of a totalitarian government that is not limited in any way as to what it can demand of common people.

    We live in a Constitutional Republic where the government has (had) limited and defined powers. Specifically the clearly stated Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Modern technology has changed wat papers and effect look like, but there is no reasonable way to say the government has the authority to search your every email. Rather than enable the government to violate the 4th, Lavabit choose to cease to provide services designed to protect individuals from government violation of their 4th amendment rights.

    The very idea that the government can force companies to violate the limits placed on government means that we no longer live in a free republic but in a totalitarian state. In as much as the two major parties are now simply different wings of the Statist Federal Government, and offer no real choice the only nominal power we have is our wallets, boycotting businesses and government agencies that don’t meet our wishes, and rewarding those that do is the only nominal power we have. This action of the government means they are now going after that power as well.

    Limits on government and the very Rule of Law in the USA is dead. We now live under a government that claims the power to force you to do business regardless of your need or wants, a literal and virtual tyrannical state. What do we do when the government declares you a criminal when you refuse to help the government violate the 4th Amendment and spy on your neighbors, customers, and fellow Americans?

    Hiatus

    You haven't seen a new article for a while, I've been on Vacation, didn't check email, read news, etc.

    I spent about 10 days riding my enduro through Colorado Mountain Passes

    Here's some Pix from the trip.

    tomr62262's Colorado 2Day 2013 album on Photobucket

    I'm Back

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    We the Serfs

    By Tom Rhodes, 8/5/2013

    When you think feudalism, with kings, dukes, princesses, etc., you think of royalty who live off the work of the toil of serfs. The federal government has just confirmed that the US consists now has a two-tiered system of justice and governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and the corporations, and another set for you and me.

    The ruling elite, ruling class, government oligarchy,whatever you want to call 'em, no longer is even trying to hide the fact that they don't want to live by and won't accept the same rules for them and their favorites as you and I. The Office of Personnel Management, under pressure from Capitol Hill and Obama, has said that they will issue a ruling that the government can keep making contributions to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides in clear violation of the law.

    If you weren't paying attention, a feature of Obamacare was put there by Sen. Chuck Grassley that said members of Congress and their aides MUST be covered by plans created by the law or offered through an exchange. You know that "We have to pass the law to see what's in it" bit? Well, it had a good bit of wording that made Congress and their staff subject to the exact same treatment as the rest of us.

    As Congress was "finding out what was in the bill", they learned that following the law would result in a massive increase in health insurance premiums for congressional staffers, IRS workers, etc. That meant the government had the same costs that we the common people have to experience. They didn't like it so exempted themselves from the pain and cost that you and I have to endure. They have loudly proclaimed that "We the People" are actually "You the Serfs" and will be forced to pay for Congress and their staff's "Cadillac health plans" and subsidies while hard-working taxpayer lose ours or face enormous premium hikes.

    The next example you will see is IRS being made magically exempt from the Obamacare Law without congress actually passing a new law. The rule of law is dead, and if you are a mere serf who if you are lucky enough to work at the big house in DC you too may receive favors by the ruling elite. IRS Chief, Daniel Werfel clearly declared that he wanted to keep his health care and didn't want any part of Obamacare. Those who collect the taxes for the rulers in DC want the same special treatment as Congress. I don't think he has to worry as Chief Potentate Obama will grant him and the IRS special dispensation.

    Has the hypocrisy of Washington pushed the American people to their breaking point? When did the Constitution get changed to grant the President dictatorial powers and create law by executive order if Congress doesn't write the laws he wants?

    I don't get it. Congress passes a law that specifically says members of Congress and their aides MUST be covered by plans created by the law or offered through an exchange, and some bureaucratic agency has the authority to issue a ruling negating the law. Would somebody please show me where the Constitution grants the power to the Office of Personnel Management to issue rulings that supersede laws enacted by Congress and signed by the President of the United States, or some Supreme Court ruling that grants the Office of Personnel Management more authority than Congress?

    The height of Roman Civilization was the Republic with the rule of law and a viable Senate. The fall came with moral decay, the rise of despotic powers, and the end of the rule of law. The fall of Roman civilization was followed by the Dark Ages. The height of western Civilization was NATO's crushing defeat of communism and the end of the cold war. I wonder what history will call the coming dark age, and who's going to write "The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization"?

    Tom Rhodes is Chairman of the Platform Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida