Who are the true patriots?

Young Ron Paul

“Complacency and fear drive our legislation without any serious objection by our elected leaders.  Sadly though, those few who do object to the self-evident trend away from personal liberty and empire building overseas are portrayed as unpatriotic and uncaring.

Though welfare and socialism always fail, opponents of them are said to lack compassion.  Though opposition to totally unnecessary war should be the only moral position, the rhetoric is twisted to claim that patriots who oppose the war are not supporting the troops.  The cliche ‘support the troops’ is incessantly used as a substitute for the unacceptable notion of supporting the policy no matter how flawed it may be.  Unsound policy can never help the troops.  Keeping the troops out of harm’s way and out of wars unrelated to our national security is the only real way of protecting the troops.  With this understanding, just who can claim the title of patriot?  Before the war in the Middle East spreads and becomes a world conflict for which we will be held responsible, before the liberties of all Americans become so suppressed we can no longer resist, much has to be done.

I am assured that our course of action should be clear.  Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is required.  Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes.  But let it not be said that we did nothing.  Let not those who love the power of the welfare-warfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as un-patriotic or uncaring.  Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security.  Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.” – Ronald E. Paul, M.D.

Patriotism is not blind nationalism.  In my view, there is none more foolish than the man who pledges his whole life to a government, only because it currently rules the accidental location of his birth.  True patriots are not loyal to a land mass, a government, a person, or group of people; they are loyal to ideas–the ideas that nature and history prove righteous to their own reflection, such as self-government and individual liberty.  It is not only the flag to which true patriots pledge allegiance, but also the republic for which it stands: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  Sadly, these simple lines, which we have recited for as long as we can remember, have nearly lost their meaning for most Americans.

Perhaps we are so long removed from the origination of a free society that we have forgotten its price.  Perhaps we have forgotten what freedom is: the absence of government coercion.  Perhaps we have forgotten that truly beneficial policies almost always stand on their own merit, without the aid of massive government enforcement agencies.  Perhaps we have begun to take liberty for granted, so we allow it to be chiseled away each year by just a few more taxes, just a few more regulations, just a few more unconstitutional spending programs, just a few more harmless potheads turned into untouchable felons, just a few more unwarranted surveillance operations, just a few more troops on our streets to suppress the political dissenters, just a few more unfounded arrests and detainments, just a few more unnecessary casualties in the never-ending war for universal authority, just a few more computerized balloting systems, and just a little bit more government control.  After all, most of us feel we can still go about our business uninterrupted by these controls and live adequately, if not freely.  I fear now that by the time we realize that this is no longer true, by the time our old friends and fellow citizens–educated, hard-working, freedom-loving people of integrity–are declared dangerous enemies of the state, it will be too late to change the authoritarian direction of our nation, and it will be easier for us to act nationalistic and tolerated, silent and unencumbered, compliant and alive, than to be honest and endangered, righteous and imprisoned, patriotic and dead.  The false patriots will have won, successfully driving freedom out of the only safe harbor it has ever known.  American freedom, having long treaded in tempestuous weather, is drowning in the vast seas of prosperity and contentment it produced.  Its only lifeline is We the People.

Open bailout opposition letter to Congress

Stolen from you by U.S.

“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” – Thomas Jefferson

There is a lot of hype in Washington this week, a lot of short-term thinking, but very little honest reflection and philosophically sound governance based on the long term prospects of the American economy.  Jefferson was right: our financial markets have fallen into a cycle of government dependence and therefore no longer discipline themselves.  The American economy has lived beyond its means; to deny this is to declare yourself ignorant and unfit to govern.  We have floated on a cloud of credit, and believed ourselves to be in heaven, and though we have ventured far from earth, the latest liquidity squeeze has allowed us to see just how far we must fall when our economy’s bill comes due.  Though the $700,000,000,000 proposal before you may indeed postpone the payment date, the American people will eventually have to pay dearly for living on money that has been given value–not by production–but by irrational faith, and you can be certain that every postponement will make that future payment more painful than it would be today.  Do not be convinced that there are no free market solutions to this crisis.  The unspeakable ideal of economic freedom will pump more liquid capital into our financial markets than the government ever could, and more importantly, the money generated by such a system would be sound and valuable.  The chronic risks of moral hazard and inflation this bailout poses far outweigh the risks of a brief credit crisis caused by market-liquidated debt.

We cannot become wiser before we admit that we have been foolish in the past.  Market interference was, in most instances, foolish.  The Community Re-Investment Act was foolish.  Taxing capital gains was foolish.  Turning over Congress’ constitutional money-coining responsibility to a private, secretive organization was foolish.  Encouraging irresponsible lending through never-ending taxpayer bailouts was foolish.  Artificially low interest rates were foolish.  Price manipulation was foolish.  Giving up on sound money was foolish.  Losing faith in freedom was foolish.  Ours, however, is not a fated existence.  Nowhere is it written in stone that we must remain foolish, or that we cannot obey Constitutional principles.  If, as Senator John McCain likes to say, you “came to Washington to change Washington,” now is your chance to realize your lofty dreams.  Crisis is the proper time for reform.  Now is the time to embrace real capitalism.  The American people should not be told to fear freedom, as they are being told now, but to embrace it.  The time has come for Americans to be rewarded for their own successes, and held accountable for their own mistakes.  The time has come for the ambitious legislators in Washington to stop fiscally abusing the children of this nation.

1994, 2000: Remembering the words of Goldwater and Reagan, American median voters want smaller government and balanced budgets, so they elect Republicans; in return, they receive the most rampant growth in government (and public debt) this continent has ever known.  2006: the median American voters want out of a conflict that is unrelated to their security or welfare, so they elect Democrats; in return, the war’s funding is not cut off but greatly increased.  2008: the American people want no taxpayer bailouts, they want to end the bubble-blowing policies of the Federal Reserve, and they want to stop the growing cycle of debt that has ruined a once free economy; in return, they are presented with the largest taxpayer bailout ever, a more powerful and secretive central bank, the largest economic bubble-blowing scheme ever contrived, and more debt than they can ever afford to pay off.

The blindfold has been removed from the American people.  They are awakening to a pattern that reveals self-government as a myth.  The extraordinary actions of the federal government are only serving to remove its mask, revealing its nationalist, socialist, imperialist, authoritarian, unresponsive, evil face.  We can accurately predict that, on matters of true importance, when a particular course of action is supported by more than 70% of the American people, their government will pursue the opposite course, pretending the people are a force of no consequence–an attitude to be expected of King Louis’ court, but not of a republic’s elected leaders.  I need not remind you of the French response to that attitude.  The United States government has lost so much legitimacy that it may not survive the latest proposal, should it pass.  The American people are well-aware of the truly criminal nature of any financial bailout; a huge one will both injure and offend them.  Moreover, it will not come without consequence; their lanterns are burning, their pitchforks are raised, and they are prepared to halt the criminal acts of this government, should it become necessary for them to do so.

The skeleton shelf: how the media chooses who loses

Amen.

We the people are under fire from corporate media. Their intent is uncertain, but whether for indiscriminate profit or intentional distraction, media sources are bombarding us with smoke bombs of emotion, which steadily stupefy the American voter.

Take Jeremiah Wright, for example. We are asked to listen to a prominent preacher shout obscenities about our country, and we experience a sense of shock, which naturally turns to curiosity. It is democratic, as well as human, to desire an explantion for any loud display of emotion. The news and pundits, however, never satisfy the public’s curiosity. Network presents clip A to evoke audience emotion B, and network stifles curiosity C by jack-hammering emotion B endlessly into the skulls of audience, until curiosity C disappears, and portions of democratic process and human reason disappear with it. Giving a reasoned explanation of events might diminish dramatic effect and bore the audience, or even cause them to commiserate, where it was intended they should repugn. Whether or not Wright had good reason to shout, his brief exclamations should not have been tossed out nakedly. Corporate news websites provide links to the audio or video of the incendiary bits, but even with their unrestricted format, they rarely (if ever) offer full text of Reverend Wright’s sermons, even though the whole speech is, by definition, a better reflection of character than any one part.

With Wright’s clippings and others like them, corporate media control voters. Wright is just one example of many, in which the media manipulates the voting public using emotional reactions, in this case disenfranchising Barack Obama voters. In truth, every candidate has a pastor Wright–an unseemly, destructive skeleton, of which the media is well aware. There is little doubt that networks could fill entire shelves with “guilt-by-association” files of the remaining three candidates but, thus far, they have chosen to explore only one at any length whatsoever.

We have heard the names “Jeremiah Wright” and “Bill Ayres” over and over again in recent weeks. These two toxic Obama associations are invoked day and evening on network and cable news, and talk radio. Corporate media chooses who will be our president–or rather, who will not be our President–and something about Obama does not sit well with them. It is difficult to identify Obama’s fatal flaw: it could be that he does not properly fear the corporate sponsors; it could be that his thoughts are too independent and unpredictable; it could be that another candidate would bring better profit margins to the right corporations–there is one thing that absolutely is not the reason for Barack Obama’s downfall: his pastor is too outspokenly “anti.”

For those who believe some candidate has no associations like Obama’s, let facts be revealed to a candid world:

Charles H. Keating, Jr. – responsible for fraud and bailouts that cost taxpayers and savers billions in the late 1980s, and John McCain derailed investigation proceedings because Keating had donated a substantial sum to McCain’s campaign. Keating was eventually convicted of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. The mainstream press has not harped on this story. Why?

Rod Parsley – John McCain calls this man his “spiritual guide,” which sounds familiar to anyone who has heard prevailing Reverend Wright rhetoric. He is a critic of Islam, stating he does “not believe that our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed.” While Obama’s preacher is held under the fire, McCain’s preacher seems to be getting a pass. Curious, no?

Bill Clinton – Hillary Clinton calls this man “my husband.” How have the darker sides of the Billary saga escaped notice throughout the campaign?

I heard almost two years back that “the fix is in for Hillary,” and I did not believe it at the time, but now I am starting to reconsider.  It is probably true that, had the media spent the last three weeks talking about Bill Clinton’s escapades instead of Barack Obama’s preacher, the Democrat Party’s primary would already be over.  If “the fix is in for Hillary,” then I imagine the Keating Five will become a huge story this autumn–the contrived amnesia of corporate media will suddenly subside, revealing fraudulent bailouts and stalled investigations, and all of McCain’s dirty little secrets.  It will be worn out week after week until you simply can’t consider voting for the man.

If there is a “fix,” who does the fixing?  Who decides what dirt makes the news once, and what dirt is reported over and over and over again?  It’s not the shows’ hosts, or even directors or producers–they’re all worried about making the show seem professional yet unrehearsed–so who?  Here’s a clue: follow the money–follow it all the way back to General Electric, Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom, etc.  We should all have learned from the false premises of the Iraq War, that profit margins are the root causes of almost every big decision made in the United States today, and that a lie that helps stockholders is easily forgiven.

Regardless of which candidate is on the receiving end of tireless mudslinging, the democratic process is always the real loser, because voters stop basing their votes on policy positions. Of course, this miserable result matches corporate media’s miserable intent. If Americans voted based on policy positions, politicians might stop supporting these corporations’ monopolistic advantages in the U.S. market, which is plainly bad for business.

A democracy’s success depends on the rational and informed voting decisions of its citizens, but our contemporary media’s most notable gifts to society are misinformation and irrationality.  Essentially, our media and our democratic republic are fundamentally at odds with one another, and one of them will have to adapt in order to survive. For the sake of my country I hope–though with limited faith–that the media will do the changing, and the republic will survive.

A frightening parallel: European Jews and the FLDS sect

“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.” – Martin Niemoller, on the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power.

It seems appropriate that this post should come on Passover, the day that Jews all over the world celebrate the exodus from enslavement in Egypt, because for Jews like myself, today is a day to be thankful (and vigilant) for religious freedom. Today is also a day to remember the way a group of humans in Europe mistreated (and eventually began exterminating) other groups of humans, simply because they did not live in a manner deemed proper by mainstream culture. Today we remember the Nazis, and their ideas of a perfect society and a final solution. Today we watch the news, and we hear about a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) accused of–at the very least–child abuse and gender discrimination. We rush to judgment, which we base on what is considered mainstream, proper, or even perfect, about our own society.  If we are to learn anything from history, we must constantly compare our society to the facts of the past, and we must continue to utter, to declare, to yell and scream and burn into the hearts and souls of anyone who will listen, “NEVER AGAIN!”

When I read the headlines, and watch the cable news clips of these people, I am reminded of my Jewish grandmother, whose Passover Seder I attended this evening. She is 86 years old, an immigrant from pre-World War II Poland. Her family lived in a small town that was separated from “mainstream” European culture. Everyone there was Jewish, and everyone spoke Yiddish–think “Fiddler on the Roof”, where arranged marriages, traditional clothing, and gender roles were simply a way of life. Families were generally happy there, as they are in any society, but their way of life was very different. Dotting the landscape of southeast Europe before World War II were hundreds of towns just like hers, where free and good people–Jewish people–lived in relative peace, away from the bustle of liberal European philosophy and culture, which was probably most advanced in Germany.  Despite its destruction, the world of my grandmother’s childhood was a unique but legitimate society, with mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, morals, customs, and respect for laws and tradition, where young boys played games and young girls exchanged meaningless secrets, and the individual lived, loved, smiled, laughed, cried, and felt the growing pains of youth, and the debilitating pains of age–a culture that lended to its subscribers a different but normal life. It was a self-sufficient bubble, soon to be burst by German tanks and train cars, eventually thrust behind the now infamous fences of concentration camps.

The Jews were just a little bit too indoctrinated, too oddly clad, too nostalgic, too stubborn in their matrimonial traditions to see the enlightenment of proper German culture, and so they had to be dealt with coercively. 

Could it happen here?  It is happening here.  It’s happening to a fundamentalist mormon sect in El Dorado, Texas.   That our own government imitates the beginnings of Nazi oppression is as shocking as it is true.  Although they seem trifling when reflecting on the state-sponsored kidnapping of several hundred children, the media’s headlines reveal the coldness of the collective American soul today, and do great harm to the reputation of our nation’s many good individuals.  Among the top stories in major metropolitan newspapers:

“Sect children will undergo genetic tests” (This headline is Holocaust Museum material.)

“Cult kids will remain in state custody” (It’s strange how the press only refers to their ranch as a “compound,” while the state is the entity actually keeping them locked up.

“Polygamist sect indoctrinated girls” (There is irony when commercial media accuses anyone of indoctrinating girls.)

“400 children saved from Mormon sect amid allegations of child abuse”

“Texas authorities must protect children” (From their parents? Are their parents Meth addicts?)

Taken at gunpoint without explanation, herded to a government facility, and detained endlessly without any presentation of evidence.  As it turns out, the phone call that led authorities to them now appears to be a hoax, and the abused teen girl, “Sarah,” may not even exist. 

Never again to the Jews, the FLDS, or any group.  Never again destroy a peaceful and free people.  Never again assume that people who live differently are living incorrectly.  Never again allow a government to forcefully shape the individual soul.  This is not America.  This is totalitarian hell.  Let these people go.  If you stand with the government on this one, you stand with Hitler.  Sit down.

“It is their right, it is their duty…”

The revolution is never over.

“…to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their security.” – Thomas Jefferson

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and when our framers ventured into the realm of a constitutional republic, they did so at great risk, seeking great reward.

The United States was founded on Jefferson’s philosophy, along with Thomas Paine’s.  “Every generation,” Jefferson wrote, “needs a new revolution,” because, as Paine noted, “when we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”

Just as virtue is not hereditary, neither is constitution.  “The American constitutions are to liberty, what a grammar is to language,” reflected Paine.  “They define its parts of speech, and practically construct them into syntax.”  Just as a proper sentence requires attention to grammar, a proper liberty requires attention to constitution.  The failure to attend to grammar is perhaps an insult to the educational system, but the neglect shown toward constitution today is an affront extending beyond the realm of man–an offense to the Author of the laws of nature, wretchedly declaring that the senseless mob of human majority can overrule the mandates of God.

Whose right and whose duty is it to throw off a government that ignores constitutional liberties?  The civilian military first and foremost, for they have taken an oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic (this would include the FBI, CIA, President, Congress, and federal courts, when these groups extend their powers beyond constitutional limits); but ultimately the right and duty lie where the expense must fall–with the people.  What is the expense?  How much are we willing to give up to cling to liberty?  I yield again to Paine, who wrote, “can we but leave posterity with a settled form of government, and independent constitution of its own, the purchase at any price will be cheap.”  The ends (constitution) justify the means, which I hope will be peaceful, but control is rarely so yielded.

Regardless of the nature of the struggle, I will always stand on the side of constitutional individual liberty.  The natural moral code, given to us by God, requires that we disobey unjust laws, which now emanate from Washington DC with alarming regularity.  If this reads as a threat to the federal government’s usurpation of power, I have written with clarity.  In Jefferson’s words: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.  When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  All Americans, an overwhelming majority of whom have expressed their malcontent for Congress and the President, should together declare war against the current tyrants, who have unwisely declared war on our cherished Constitution of liberty.  Their supposed guards, if they find in themselves a single ounce of civic virtue, or a hint of concern for their fellow person, will certainly be leading the charge.  The others, who will read this and call it sedition, are the Redcoats of the new revolution, and should be pitied for their lack of faith in humankind.

Wealth, Economics and Foreign Policy

Earthly residence of the devil

A real financial tip: Don’t buy anything you can’t afford, and hold onto whatever property you have through this depression. This is not a sale on financial stocks, nor is it a time to be jumping into shallow pools of capital. This is the beginning of something unprecedented and horrible for this country, and the media is making light of it. The Federal Reserve is knee-deep right now, and it’s only going to get worse over the next two years. If you look at the economic indicators, there is no avoiding rough times ahead, and the people may end up burning down the Fed’s doors by the time everything they have done comes to light. When bond and interest rates start skyrocketing, all hell will break loose, and there will be two choices: massive unemployment or hyperinflation (likely a combination of the two).

The worst thing that could happen: war with Iran. I believe China is trying to bait the U.S. into war with Iran, so that they may become allies with Iran and turn against Europe and the United States. Part of Iran’s political confidence has to stem from some assurance from the Chinese. After China backs Iran in the U.S. invasion, they will then call all of their U.S. Treasury securities, sell U.S. stocks, and leave our economy completely destroyed, which would allow them to realize their long-awaited goal of becoming the world’s top superpower. Our military and economic interests would find themselves penniless and cornered in the Middle East and Asia, and if cool heads do not prevail, we might quickly assume the identity of a nationalist and socialist country, eager to blame anyone but ourselves.

Going forward from the depths of what is sure to come within a score (hyperstagflation and confiscatory tax rates while paying the boomer generation’s debts and entitlements), the important thing to realize is that we already know how to build a solid foundation of self-security.  We did it over two hundred years ago, and we need to follow the Constitution back to prosperity. We must learn from history, practice sound economic and monetary policies, and stop repeating our mistakes.  For now, the writing is on the wall, and I am eager to wash it off as quickly as possible.  The Fed needs to let the market correct itself, and stop prolonging its own demise.

Where is the “Promised Land?”

Jews who understand the concept of a holy land
 

“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

The American principles of freedom disdain the notion of a religious state. Has it not always been the duty of Americans to guarantee, as well as possess, the right of religious choice, so that every individual feels equal under law, regardless of religion? I imagine that the Jews of the United States would be among the first to protest if America wished to be called a “Christian State,” and replace the fifty stars of the flag with fifty crosses. It seems ironically unconscionable that the most state-persecuted religious group ever, the Jews, should want for themselves the sort of government that claims an official religion, being all too aware of the coercive dangers inherent to religious states.

Israel plays the lamb too often in American foreign policy. It takes two to tango, and while Israel can reasonably argue their aggressions are warranted, it can also be reasonably argued that their aggressions only fan the flames of Palestinian sentiment. The Israeli government cannot persist forever without assuring freedom and equality to all of the people of Israel. The government itself is in need of fundamental change, and the Jewish heritage of Israel should be considered only heritage. A compromise is necessary between the Jews and Muslims of Israel, and as long as it is a Jewish State in official capacity, it is hard to see that happening.

It is difficult for me, as an American Jew, to understand why the United States has stood so steadfastly in favor of the Jewish State of Israel. I believe Israel should exist, but not as a “Jewish State.” The American position on Israel, if it must have one, should be this: “Jews may live there. Muslims may live there. Anyone may live there. They should be treated equally, just as various people are treated in the United States.” However, it seems more reasonable for the United States to let the inhabitants of an area sort out their problems without intervention, and serve as a refuge for those wishing only to work and live freely and peacefully.

History and reason tell us that the Jewish Homeland, the “Promised Land,” or Eretz Yisrael, will always be the freest nation in the world, wherever that may be. It was always promised as a place away from all servitude, external political forces and armies, so the region contemporarily called “Israel” seems anything but the “Promised Land” today. The land that once was free and peaceful has faced about over the centuries, and has therefore lost its title. Eretz Yisrael’s location is not static. Thousands of years ago, it was the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, it seems to be the United States. Tomorrow, who knows?