Two to watch for in 2010 Senate race

 Schiff

The U.S. government’s dramatic, corporate welfare response to the economic crisis has brought many Americans to the following conclusion: my Senator (regardless of party) is a big-government, special-interest-controlled goon who does not give a damn about me.  In an America spiraling further and further into the hellish abyss of corporate fascism, there are a couple of freedom-loving luminaries expected to run for Senate in 2010: Dr. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Peter Schiff of Connecticut.

Paul is a surgeon who brings a unique and insightful perspective to healthcare reform. His seat is particularly important to the cause of liberty, because the man he would replace is among the Senate’s staunchest supporters of free markets, Republican and baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning.  Bunning voted against all of the debt-propelling bills designed to fix the economy, which remains broken.  If either a Democrat or Paul’s Republican opposition, Harvard alum Trey Grayson, were to fill Bunning’s seat, the reliable vote against federal government interference in our personal lives will assuredly be lost.

Paul is expected to announce that he will seek the open seat on August 20th.  On that day, which is a planned “money-bomb,” I expect him to raise somewhere in the range of $250,000.  His total for the month of August will likely be somewhere in the range of $300,000, which despite national efforts, will leave his total far behind that of his Ivy League manufactured primary opponent, who has already raised more than $600,000, and boasts the support of the much maligned GOP leadership.

Peter Schiff hopes to replace Democrat Chris Dodd of Connecticut in 2010.  Senator Dodd has seen much face time in the media lately for three reasons: he chairs the Senate Banking Committee, which is overactive during economic downturns such as the present one; he was recently diagnosed with early and non-life-threatening prostate cancer; and he is strongly suspected of benefiting from improper mortgage practices–perhaps a political bribe.

Schiff is best-known for his remarkably accurate economic forecasts.  Several youtube videos, entitled “Peter Schiff Was Right”, have gone viral across the Internet, and have shown Schiff to be an economic genius.  On the other hand, Dodd has been an economic dunce over the past decade, defending policies and entities that economists across the political spectrum agree invited the economic crisis.  From an economic standpoint, the choice is a no-brainer: Schiff wins.  But in politics, being right does not guarantee victory, and Schiff knows he has a very tough fight ahead of him.

Like Dr. Paul, Schiff is expected to have a big fundraising day.  His is on August 7th, on which he hopes to raise $1 million.  In my opinion, that’s a pipe dream.  He will be lucky to raise half of that.

Despite fundraising concerns, both Paul and Schiff are forces to be reckoned with in the 2010 Senatorial elections for one reason: their message of limited government, free people, and free markets resonates with an American citizenry that is fed up with the federal government’s never-ending interventions into a society that never seemed very broken to begin with.

For further information or to lend your support to their campaigns, Paul’s and Schiff’s websites are: http://www.randpaul2010.com/ and http://www.schiffforsenate.com/ 

If we the people leave, do they the rulers win?

We have owners.  They own us.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” – Ron Paul

The long-term economic outlook for this country is so grim–and this is well-researched and almost universally accepted–that I can hardly see myself sticking around to endure it. A free and great industrial republic has become a credit-addicted empire, propped up today not by human productivity and ingenuity, but by the artistic renderings of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving–a small bandage placed fruitlessly on a fatal systemic illness.

Americans, as a whole, are either unaware of their collective fate, or unwilling to alter it. Toss charges in whatever direction you wish; the real culprit is in the mirror. But no matter where we place the blame for our government’s fiscal mess, we would be wise to understand that economic laws cannot be ignored forever, that justice is a force of nature not to be denied, and that reality will set in–as soon as we accept this diagnosis, we can begin to treat the disease. Every American born today enters a society of bondage, accompanied by a $75,000 liability to a government that child did not elect. I am twenty-four years old, and I hope that in the future, American children will be born free. I am, however, reluctant to believe this will happen in my lifetime.

As we the people request greater freedoms, they the government tighten our chains, and we are left with a choice: we may stay in America and struggle against our rulers for what we once called inalienable rights, or we may seek refuge in another land. If I, as an advocate for liberty, leave America, have I allowed the totalitarian forces in this country to win? Is liberty like a game, with winners and losers? If so, is there any chance the people can ever beat the government? Should I stay and fight for America’s true cause, or should I go and find prosperity elsewhere? My dilemma is not a new one. In Hitler’s Germany, were the liberty-minded citizens who fled the country better than the liberty-minded activists who stayed and were imprisoned or killed for their beliefs? As I wonder which option is better, I am reminded of a couple of quotes:

“I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” – Thomas Paine

If I could find a truly free country, I would move there, but it seems the increasingly oppressive governments of the world have rejected the enlightened principles that many countries once embraced, and most individuals still do embrace. What keeps me here is best expressed by the following utterance, which, though relevant, is probably too clever and wise to appear alongside my earnest musings:

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last, best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. Alexander Hamilton said, ‘a nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.’ And in that sentence, he told us the entire story: if we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to; this is the last stand on Earth.” – Ronald Reagan

Let freedom ring.

Hayek’s road of wisdom

Hayek

The Road to Serfdom is real. Americans travel its course with eyes shut. Some of us have opened our eyes, but at this point, we feel powerless to change the direction of the masses, who march confidently in the dark, behind their eyelids. If you do not yet know what is wrong with this country, you will have a hard time understanding what those who have awakened are feeling, but I will try to describe it:

Imagine you are in a crowd marching toward the edge of a cliff, perhaps one hundred yards ahead. All the people around you–your fellow citizens, acquaintances, neighbors, friends, and family–are in a hypnotic trance. The most regarded intellectuals are there, alongside the blue-collared laborers. Your children are at the front of the line, looking not entranced but bewildered; and being good children, they obey the adults who pressure them forward. The crowd approaches the cliff’s edge without even acknowledging its existence. You try to point out the folly ahead. You plead with them, yell at them, shake their shoulders, pound their chests, and slap them in the face, until you grow weary and mad. They do not heed your warnings, but tighten their ranks, and move forward, trapping you inside their throng. You cannot remove yourself from their movement. The coming fall is as much your fate as it is theirs, but they refuse to see it coming. They appear completely senseless. You notice that they are looking up at something–some irrelevant nonsense from which you cannot steal their focus for even a moment. It is the song of the sirens that will bring about their fall–your fall. They are about to push their children–as well as your own–off the edge of a very high promontory, and there is nothing you can do to stop them.

If you can imagine a situation like the one I have just described, you can imagine how those of us who have awakened to the injustices of our government must feel. Now, imagine that it’s real. The warnings were summarized extremely well by F.A. Hayek in 1944, in his famous reflection of warning, about the socialistic economic causes of German fascism, The Road to Serfdom, from which I quote to drive home truth and rationality:

“If in the long run we are the makers of our own fate, in the short run we are the captives of the ideas we have created. Only if we recognize the danger in time can we hope to avert it.”

“There are few signs yet that we have the intellectual courage to admit to ourselves that we may have been wrong. Few are ready to recognize that the rise of fascism and naziism was not a reaction against the socialist trends of the preceding period but a necessary outcome of those tendencies.”

“Many who think themselves infinitely superior to the aberrations of naziism, and sincerely hate all its manifestations, work at the same time for ideals whose realization would lead straight to the abhorred tyranny.”

“Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that, in our endeavor consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for?”

“How many features of Hitler’s system have not been recommended to us for imitation from the most unexpected quarters, unaware that they are an integral part of that system and incompatible with the free society we hope to preserve? The number of dangerous mistakes we have made before and since the outbreak of war because we do not understand the opponent with whom we are faced is appalling. It seems almost as if we did not want to understand the development which has produced totalitarianism because such an understanding might destroy some of the dearest illusions to which we are determined to cling.”

“The contention that only the peculiar wickedness of the Germans has produced the Nazi system is likely to become the excuse for forcing on us the very institutions which have produced that wickedness.”

“When the course of civilization takes an unexpected turn–when, instead of the continuous progress which we have come to expect, we find ourselves threatened by evils associated by us with past ages of barbarism–we naturally blame anything but ourselves.”

“That democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something utterly different that few of those who now wish it would be prepared to accept the consequences, many will not believe until the connection has been laid bare in all its aspects.”

“It must always be remembered that socialism is a species of collectivism and that therefore everything which is true of collectivism as such must also apply to socialism.”

“Anyone who has observed how aspiring monopolists regularly seek and frequently obtain the assistance of the power of the state to make their control effective can have little doubt that there is nothing inevitable about this development.”

“It is the very complexity of the division of labor under modern conditions which makes competition the only method by which such coordination can be adequately brought about.”

“The argument for freedom is precisely that we ought to leave room for the unforeseeable free growth.”

“While it is true, of course, that inventions have given us tremendous power, it is absurd to suggest that we must use this power to destroy our most precious inheritance: liberty. It does mean, however, that if we want to preserve it, we must guard it more jealously than ever and that we must be prepared to make sacrifices for it.”

“Although the state controls directly only the use of a large part of the available resources, the effects of its decisions on the remaining part of the economic system become so great that indirectly it controls almost everything.”

“The effect of the people’s agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go: with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all.”

“Agreement that planning is necessary, together with the inability of democratic assemblies to produce a plan, will evoke stronger and stronger demands that the government or some single individual should be given powers to act on their own responsibility. The belief is becoming more and more widespread that, if things are to get done, the responsible authorities must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure.”

“Hitler did not have to destroy democracy; he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done.”

“It is the price of democracy that the possibilities of conscious control are restricted to the fields where true agreement exists and that in some fields things must be left to chance.”

“When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself.”

“The fashionable concentration on democracy as the main value threatened is not without danger. It is largely responsible for the misleading and unfounded belief that, so long as the ultimate source of power is the will of the majority, the power cannot be arbitrary. The false assurance which many people derive from this belief is an important cause of the general unawareness of the dangers which we face.”

“The more the state ‘plans,’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.”

“If the law says that such a board or authority may do what it pleases, anything that board or authority does is legal–but its actions are certainly not subject to the rule of law. By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”

“Most planners who have seriously considered the practical aspects of their task have little doubt that a directed economy must be run on more or less dictatorial lines.”

“It is we who have to solve the economic problems of our lives.”

“Nothing makes conditions more unbearable than the knowledge that no effort of ours can change them; and even if we should never have the strength of mind to make the necessary sacrifice, the knowledge that we could escape if we only strove hard enough makes many otherwise intolerable positions bearable.”

“It is only because we have forgotten what unfreedom means that we often overlook the patent fact that in every real sense a badly paid unskilled worker in this country has more freedom to shape his life than many a small entrepreneur in Germany or a much better paid engineer in Russia.”

“Who will deny that a world in which the wealthy are powerful is still a better world than one in which only the already powerful can acquire wealth?”

“While absolute equality would clearly determine the planner’s task, the desire for greater equality is merely negative, no more than an expression of dislike of the present state of affairs; and so long as we are not prepared to say that every move in the direction toward complete equality is desirable, it answers scarcely any of the questions the planner will have to decide.”

“When security is understood in too absolute a sense, the general striving for it, far from increasing the chances of freedom, becomes the gravest threat to it.”

“Either both the choice and the risk rest with the individual or he is relieved of both.”

“Every restriction on the freedom of entry into a trade reduces the security of all those outside it.”

“There has never been a worse and more cruel exploitation of one class by another than that of the weaker or less fortunate members of a group of producers by the well-established which has been made possible by the ‘regulation’ of competition.”

“The younger generation of today has grown up in a world in which in school and press the spirit of commercial enterprise has been represented as disreputable and the making of profit as immoral, where to employ a hundred people is represented as exploitation but to command the same number as honorable.”

“The totalitarian dictator would soon have to choose between disregard for ordinary morals and failure. It is for this reason that the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism.”

“Socialism can be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove.”

“The belief in the community of aims and interests with fellow-men seems to presuppose a greater degree of similarity of outlook and thought than exists between men merely as human beings.”

“To act on behalf of a group seems to free people of many of the moral restraints which control their behavior as individuals within the group.”

“The separation of economic and political aims is an essential guaranty of individual freedom and it is consequently attacked by all collectivists.”

“What is called economic power, while it can be used as an instrument of coercion, is, in the hands of private individuals, never exclusive or complete power, never power over the whole life of a person. But centralized as an instrument of political power it creates a degree of dependence scarcely distinguishable from slavery.”

“The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule; there is literally nothing which the consistent collectivists must not be prepared to do if it serves ‘the good of the whole,’ because the ‘good of the whole’ is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.”

“From the collectivist standpoint intolerance and brutal suppression of dissent, the complete disregard of the life and happiness of the individual, are essential and unavoidable consequences of this basic premise, and the collectivist can admit this and at the same time claim that his system is superior to one in which the ‘selfish’ interests of the individual are allowed to obstruct the full realization of the ends the community pursues.”

“Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regimes are expressed. The worst sufferer in this respect is, of course, the word ‘liberty.'”

“It is not difficult to deprive the great majority of independent thought. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticize must also be silenced.”

“Probably it is true enough that the great majority are rarely capable of thinking independently, that on most questions they accept views which they find ready-made, and that they will be equally content if born or coaxed into one set of beliefs or another. In any society freedom of thought will probably be of direct significance only for a small minority.”

“The very magnitude of the outrages committed by the totalitarian governments, instead of increasing the fear that such a system might one day arise in more enlightened countries, has rather strengthened the assurance that it cannot happen here.”

“We should never forget that the anti-Semitism of Hitler has driven from his country, or turned into his enemies, many people who in every respect are confirmed totalitarians of the German type.”

“Very frequently even measures against the monopolists in fact serve to strengthen the power of monopoly. Every raid on the gains of monopoly, be it in the interest of particular groups or of the state as a whole, tends to create new vested interests which will help to bolster up monopoly. A system in which large privileged groups profit from the gains of monopoly may be politically much more dangerous, and monopoly in such a system certainly much more powerful, than in one where the profits go to a limited few.”

“Private monopoly is scarcely ever complete and even more rarely of long duration or able to disregard potential competition. But state monopoly is always state-protected monopoly–protected against both potential competition and effective criticism. It means in most instances that a temporary monopoly is given the power to secure its position for all time–a power almost certain to be used.”

“There is no other possibility than either the order governed by the impersonal discipline of the market or that directed by the will of a few individuals; and those who are out to destroy the first are wittingly or unwittingly helping to create the second.”

“In their political beliefs and aspirations men are today more than ever before governed by economic doctrines, by the carefully fostered belief in the irrationality of our economic system, by the false assertions about “potential plenty,” pseudo-theories about the inevitable trend toward monopoly, and the impression created by certain much advertised occurrences such as the destruction of stocks of raw materials or the suppression of inventions, for which competition is blamed, though they are precisely the sort of thing which could not happen under competition and which are possible only by monopoly and usually by government-aided monopoly.”

“The mere preservation of what we have so far achieved depends on the coordination of individual efforts by impersonal forces.”

“It is sensible temporarily to sacrifice freedom in order to make it more secure in the future; but the same cannot be said for a system proposed as a permanent arrangement.”

“To aim always at the maximum of employment achievable by monetary means is a policy which is certain in the end to defeat its own purposes. It tends to lower the productivity of labor and thereby constantly increases the proportion of the working population which can be kept employed at present wages only by artificial means.”

“Only where we ourselves are responsible for our own interests and are free to sacrifice them has our decision moral value. We are neither entitled to be unselfish at someone else’s expense nor is there any merit in being unselfish if we have no choice. The members of a society who in all respects are made to do the good thing have no title to praise.”

“It is true that the virtues which are less practiced now–independence, self-reliance, and the willingness to bear risks, the readiness to back one’s own conviction against a majority, and the willingness to voluntary cooperation with one’s neighbors–are essentially those on which the working of an individualist society rests.”

“It is one of the most disheartening spectacles of our time to see to what extent some of the most precious things which England, for example, has given to the world are now held in contempt by England herself.”

“Neither good intentions nor efficiency of organization can preserve decency in a system in which personal freedom and individual responsibility are destroyed.”

“If we are to succeed in the war of ideologies and to win over the decent elements in the enemy countries, we must, first of all, regain the belief in the traditional values for which we have stood in the past and must have the moral courage to stoutly defend the ideals which our enemies attack.”

“To undertake the direction of the economic life of people with widely divergent ideals and values is to assume responsibilities which commit one to the use of force; it is to assume a position where the best intentions cannot prevent one from being forced to act in a way which to some of those affected must appear highly immoral.”

“It is fairly certain that in a planned international system the wealthier and therefore most powerful nations would to a very much greater degree than in a free economy become the object of hatred and envy of the poorer ones: and the latter, rightly or wrongly, would all be convinced that their position could be improved much more quickly if they were only free to do what they wished.”

“We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.”

“The young are right if they have little confidence in the ideas which rule most of their elders. But they are mistaken or misled when they believe that these are still the liberal ideas of the nineteenth century, which, in fact, the younger generation hardly knows.”

“If in the first attempt to create a world of free men we have failed, we must try again. The guiding principle that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy remains as true today as it was in the nineteenth century.”

The role of government, as taught in university

welcome to the dark ages

I like studying the arguments of those who disagree with me, mostly because of the proof that they provide, that the American educational system is worthless, even at its highest levels. In my earnest opinion (and I think most would agree), Americans should not spend a penny on anything that is worthless, and they certainly should not be forced to do so.

The modern “progressive” professors, perhaps in different words, are telling me the following consistently: not only is big government a reality, it is preferable to limited government, and it is the proper choice for people in this country–the people need big government. From a slightly related project that I felt worthy of posting here, I give you my response to a major university class on policymaking:

“I was disappointed to learn that the current expansive roles of government, many of which have been stolen from the unsuspecting individual, have become an assumption unworthy of discussion in America’s university setting. Expansive government is accepted among many so-called intellectuals as an unavoidable reality, like the presence of air, or the passage of time–theoretically, these realities can be removed, but there is a dependency in humankind that keeps us from beginning their removals, for fear of suffocation in the case of air, fear of boredom in the case of time, or in the case of removing government excess, fear of choices.

Dependency on government is not a creation of post-Enlightenment wisdom (boldly assuming that such a thing exists); it is ancient and awful, morally corruptive and mentally corrosive. Dependency has locked the door to a vast room called freedom (a room we loved for its superior rewards, despite its pitfalls), and allowed us only to enter a narrow space that seems comfortable to some at first, but is ultimately restrictive to everyone. This narrow space is a high-tech world of limited products, limited jobs, limited entertainment, limited incomes, limited choices, limited words, and even limited thoughts–all limited by the anti-competitive forces that shape this narrow reality, distract the rational human mind with cheap excuses for education, progress and entertainment, and keep locked the door to freedom. Most of government is unnecessary imposition, and its number one priority is to keep those imposed upon from realizing how sorely they are being screwed.

The belief that the role of government is limited to the protection of individual rights and private property is now seen in the “intellectual community” as a primitive ideal; it has been relegated to the rank in the U.S. that it served in numerous fascist and totalitarian regimes. Just as the philosophy that advocates individual liberty, classical liberalism, has been viciously (and correctly) called anti-slavery, anti-monarchy, anti-German, anti-English, anti-Soviet, and anti-Italian in the past, it is today earning the title “anti-American”, not because of its unwavering principles, but because of the disappearance of America’s principles. This is saddening when we realize classical liberalism is the ideal philosophy upon which the country was founded.

“But,” we are told, “democracy allows the people to vote for new roles of government–roles the people want government to assume.” It is as if we are supposed to believe a warped version of history in which, against all evidence to the contrary, the horrific decisions of the masses–from enslavement to inquisition to lynching–are absolved, and the perpetrators are proven wise. I am not buying it.

Progress should not be named for its conformity to public opinion; it comes only in the advancement of individual liberty for every individual party. An increase in market competition can be called progress, as can the emancipation of individuals from bondage, but something like the coercive confiscation of individual property (and by this I am referring to the taxing of an individual’s labor) should never by called progressive. A tax levied on an individual’s income is always restricting to individual progress, whether or not public opinion supports it. Even those who may appear to benefit from the redistribution of printed labor are restricted from production by the realized incentives of laziness. Moreover, the confiscation of individual property (your labor is your property) is precisely what America, in its foundation, was trying to escape and avoid forever.

Big government is old and unnecessary, and America proved it. For hundreds of years the people of England and France tolerated high taxes and endless international conflicts under the “protection” of their kings. Monarchy was popular. It was, in the opinions of the so-called intellectuals of that era, necessary and proper. It seemed good, but it never really was good, was it? People began to realize this, and they became “enlightened.” People will soon become enlightened again about the unnecessary impositions of yet another sour government. History points to a lengthy, violent and impoverishing end to the narrow confines in which Americans suddenly find themselves, as they realize the growing illegitimacy of U.S. democracy, and understand that their democratic choices are only illusions; I hope, however, with faith in the wisdom of good Americans (despite the coercions of their rulers), for a reasoned and rational end to the exponential growth of government, and if I did not believe that were possible, I would not be writing for it, because my pen would be an insufficient weapon for the battle.”

Unjust war: are passive Americans responsible?

Feeling guilty forever

“A policy of overthrowing or destabilizing every regime our government dislikes is no strategy at all, unless our goal is international chaos and domestic impoverishment.” – Ron Paul

I received a good question about a post in which I asserted, “those who henceforth perpetuate the lie that the surge is working are war criminals, and perpetrate crimes against humanity, by extending an illegal, unjust, and murderous war through known falsities.” Bold, I know. When I said it, I was thinking of government officials, but a layperson would also take it personally.

The thought-provoking question was essentially this: how can a person be called a war criminal if they have only claimed that “the surge is working”? The following is my attempt to answer that question.

You are not a war criminal in the legal sense, and should certainly not be held accountable as such. But there have certainly been what natural law would consider crimes perpetrated in the war with Iraq. Let us say, hypothetically, that time proves me correct in my belief that this war is unjust. I suggest that we do not have to be prosecuted for a crime to feel guilt for having aided in it. I also suggest that those who support the Iraq war (even passively), may in the future feel some guilt for having done so, assuming they have the capacity for honest reflection. Did passive German citizens not feel guilt after WWII, even though they accepted the Nazi claim that they were fighting to save Western civilization prior to the war’s end? Even some of the finest philosophers and scientists in the world fell for, and sometimes even contributed to, the aggrandizement of Nazi empire. The same could be said of British imperialism. Are not all empires (even unacknowledged ones–in our era no one calls oneself a fascist or imperialist) eventually humiliated, and forced by nature to admit their arrogances and poor judgments?

“We are fighting for freedom against a dangerous enemy”, “the surge is working”, “support our troops”, “let the generals decide”, “it’s a complex region”, “there would be chaos if we leave”, “we are winning”, “let the troops win”, “we are at war with Islamo-fascism”, “be patriotic”, “don’t blame America”–all are comforting phrases intended to stifle dissent against the Executive and destroy critical thinking in America, but when we research them, we find that few of them are backed by substance. Because the war is impossible to justify, the President has bombarded the people with mystery, nationalism, irrationality and fear, because reason cannot argue in favor of falsehood. The American people, starved for leaders and clarity, have been subjected to rulers and ambiguity. They deserve better than the empty slogans that lead this stanza, and, appallingly, no one in the media seems to be taking responsibility for providing them with the truth.

As far as my philosophy on this war is concerned, I agree with what Gandhi wrote: “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

I believe the threat posed to our security by Iraq was certainly overstated, if not fabricated. I am opposed to war without just cause. I consider the acceptance of aggressive war to be an assertion that murder and plunder are legal if a legitimate government commits them. The reality is, any government that engages in aggressive, unjust war becomes illegitimate in doing so. Moreover, I see our presence in the Middle East as only adding to the grievances that terrorists use against us to convince suicide bombers that their mission is worthy. Take away the U.S. presence in the Middle East, and terrorists would likely turn their efforts against the dictators that are the true cause of their wretchedness.

Red Light Cameras = Proof Evil Exists

Hey Dubya, here's your proof that evil exists.

“All agree that the legislature cannot bargain away the police power of a State. ‘Irrevocable grants of property and franchises may be made if they do not impair the supreme authority to make laws for the right government of the State; but [101 U.S. 814, 818] no legislature can curtail the power of its successors to make such laws as they may deem proper in matters of police.’ Metropolitan Board of Excise v. Barrie, 34 N. Y. 657; Boyd v. Alabama, 94 U.S. 645 . Many attempts have been made in this court and elsewhere to define the police power, but never with entire success. It is always easier to determine whether a particular case comes within the general scope of the power, than to give an abstract definition of the power itself which will be in all respects accurate. No one denies, however, that it extends to all matters affecting the public health or the public morals. Beer Company v. Massachusetts, 97 id. 25; Patterson v. Kentucky, id. 501. Neither can it be denied that lotteries are proper subjects for the exercise of this power.” – Chief Justice Waite

Despite the good intentions of public officials, in its “Request for Proposals for Automated Red Light Enforcement System,” the City of Knoxville’s legislature affects to “bargain away the police power,” which is forbidden by the United States Supreme Court in the decision above (Stone vs. Mississippi, 1879). The restriction invoked hinges on the debatable definition of “police power,” which is generally accepted as “the capacity of a government to regulate behavior and enforce order within its territory.”

Beyond the obvious illegality of camera systems, there are other noteworthy aspects of original intent that pertain to automated enforcement systems like the red light cameras in Knoxville. When we consider the constitutional framework of our government, the implementation of automated enforcement is offensive to the liberty intended. In opposition the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it assumes, searches for, and punishes the trivial moral shortcomings of free and good people-without probable cause.

The aforementioned “Request for Proposals” leaves the responsibility of policing public intersections to a private entity. This private entity is not a local company, and moreover has no responsibility to the electorate.  If the citizens do not like the way the firm operates, they cannot elect a new firm; it remains unfettered by political dissent.  Whereas the public police force has a primary objective of protecting and serving the people, the private firm’s primary objective is to earn a profit, even if at a cost to the rights, safety and happiness of citizens (as has been proven in Chattanooga’s case, among others).  With the “Request for Proposals”, the enforcement of a traffic signal is no longer for the benefit of the public, but for the benefit of a private firm.

There is a psychological change that takes place in drivers as a result of traffic light enforcement, which existed before automated camera systems, but is exacerbated by their introduction. When the rules of the road originated, it was not necessary to enforce their use. With rare and extremely unusual exception, people followed the signals out of an interest in their own safety. It is now unusual for drivers to follow signals for this reason; the reason now is to follow a law, without regard to safety. While people know the signals are there to keep them safe, they do not follow them for their personal safety. Because of traffic law enforcement, the objective of an automobile’s operator has been fundamentally altered. The driver’s original purpose, “to arrive at a destination as quickly as is safely possible,” has been replaced by a new one, “to arrive at a destination as quickly as is legally possible.” This psychological change, which can only be attributed to unnecessary and costly enforcement, has made American roads much less safe, because individuals are more apt to act for their own benefit than for the pleasure of authority.

It is unfortunate for lazy enterprises that good government practices rarely grant profitable contracts, and it is the policy of bad governments, as well as bad businesses, to reward mere association and sloth. Proper engineering and timing of signals will do much more for reducing accidents than any enforcement firms ever could, but these will require natural law and common sense to be used in place of coercion and lucrative contracts, an occasion rarely seen in our time. 

Automated enforcement contracts are a dangerous sign that we are but a step from the sort of fascism Mussolini called “corporatism,” and defined as “a merger of state and corporate power.”

Request for Proposals for Red Light Automated Enforcement:
http://www.cityofknoxville.org/purchasing/bids/0513_redlight.pdf

Stone vs. Mississippi (1879):
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=101&invol=814

Fourth Amendment text:
“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.”

Republican Nationalism + Democrat Socialism = U.S. Nazism

National Socialism, better known as Nazism, is Clintobamonomics  combined with Bush-McCain Diplomacy and Secrecy.  When the Democrats and the Republicans do agree to terms, they usually both get what they want.  Democrats get more social planning boards and funds, and Republicans get more spy-on-the-citizens powers and nifty 007 gadgets (which will be sold to overseas dictators as well).  The two parties are hardly distinguishable at this juncture.  American Nazism is nearly upon us.  We are one terrorist attack, or one economic collapse away from martial law.  And we might bomb Iran because they are “proof that evil exists.”  I can’t even intelligently criticize such filth.

Dear Bush,

We have a saying in Tennessee.  It’s “fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  I think there’s one in Texas too, but it’s said very uncertainly, and doesn’t make as much sense.  Will the American people (or their Congress) be fooled twice?  I am not sure the Americans are that stupid, but clearly you think they are.

Sincerely, me.  P.S.: you can fly.  Jump out the window.  Trust me, it’s true.