Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Rights do You Have and Where do They Come From?

In our last installment we tried to make the case that in order to lay out the foundation for a truly liberal society we must first agree that each of us has full and complete ownership of ourselves. Not only do we own ourselves, but no one else may lay claim to our person-hood. Since we live in the complete time continuum of past, present and future represented by property, liberty and life no one may lay claim to these without our consent either.

From this basic premise flows the basis of all of our rights. First among these rights, after life and the free expression of that life in the form of liberty, is property. The mixing of natural resources, time and creative energy is what produces property and value to each individual. This property once justly acquired is ours to keep or dispose of as we see fit. This right to exchange our justly acquired property with others through mutual consent is the basis of contract law and the free enterprise system, and as long as neither party is engaging in force or fraud in this exchange then both parties are morally and legally, in most cases, subject to the contract.

If you have a right to your property then you also have a right to keep that property from the force or fraud of others up to and including deadly force if that is what it takes. From the earliest times societies have recognized that the right to self-defense is a fundamental right. In the Old Testament we find the following, "If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no blood guiltiness on his account”, (Ex 22:2, NASB). Cicero the great Roman scholar and writer on natural law put it this way

“There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.”

This right to self-defense can extend to groups who choose to band together for the common good to defend themselves against other groups who otherwise would take away their liberty, their property or even their life. You can even transfer this right to a government entity to act on your behalf to defend you and your possessions. The transference of rights will come up later in the discussion of what rights can and cannot be transferred.

You do not have the right, through the use of force or fraud, to acquire other people’s property, liberty, or their lives. To take someone else’s property in this manner is called theft. To take their liberty is called slavery and to take their life is called murder. Since you do not have these rights you may not transfer this behavior to others including the government. If it is morally wrong to kick in your neighbor’s door to plunder his property then it is still wrong to do so even if the plundering is done by government officials on your behalf.

Tyranny exists when governments ignore the natural rights of man and pass laws contrary to these rights. Our founding Fathers knew that government in and of itself was inherently evil and in order to protect the natural rights of man they felt that a government split into three equal parts supplied with checks and balances all overseen by a written Constitution that gives limited power to that government would be the best and safest way to start a new country. James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers 51 the following;

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

What Madison is saying here is that we might expect that a government run by virtuous people should be able to control itself, but that the primary control of the government should still come from the people. Unfortunately none of these has ever worked in the past and so to rectify this, our founders tried to come up with an iron clad document that would bind the hands of government and prevent them from passing tyrannical laws that abrogate the natural rights of man. And thus the need for a written constitution.

For many though these three levels of protection were not enough of a guarantee for them against the natural encroachment by the government upon our liberties. These hardy few demanded that with the first Congress ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, be added to ensure that laws could not be passed that would encroach on these basic rights. Now we have four levels of protection from government tyranny, and they have all failed us in less than 150 years. What does this say about the determination of evil men to take and hold power for themselves against the better interests of the people and the country at large?

Next week I plan to look at each of the provisions of the Bill of Rights and show how carefully it reflects the natural rights of man as spelled out by Cicero, and the basic premises of the Philosophy of Liberty. Until then keep this in mind. Any law that requires the government to do something on your behalf, that you by natural law or by the concept of self-ownership are prevented from doing, is morally wrong. It may be legal but is it moral?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lame Stream Media at it Again

While CNN and Fox News are busy trying to scare the pants off of the easily frightened and simple minded by creating a story of nuclear disaster where none exists, Japanese engineers and power plant workers are working around the clock to bring an unimaginable situation under control. After being hit with an incredibly powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was hit an hour later by a 30 foot tsunami. These two events comprise a one two disaster punch scenario that was never planned for, and that the site was not designed to withstand. It did anyway.

Here are the facts that seem to be so absent in the MSM. Within seconds of the start of the earthquake, the automatic systems in place began to insert control rods into the reactor core that effectively shut down the nuclear processes from 100% down to 7%, 7% being the lowest level that the core will run at due to normal decay processes in the fuel rods. Unfortunately this earthquake was so powerful that it knocked out external power to the plant coming in from the grid, and since the plant itself was not producing power the AC water pumps stopped. This is not a problem because at this point the backup diesel generators kicked in and provided the AC power necessary to run the pumps.

This is how the system was designed to work, and it worked flawlessly for about an hour. That is when the tsunami hit and destroyed the generators. At this point the backup backup plan kicked in, which was to run the pumps on battery power. This also worked as planned until the batteries ran out after eight hours. This is when the trouble started. Without the cooling pumps operating, the water in the reactors core began to boil. In order to prevent excessive pressure inside the containment facilities and possibly compromising the containment building itself, the engineers began to vent the excess steam into the atmosphere. This steam contained hydrogen gas which has a nasty habit of violently exploding when mixing with oxygen. This is exactly what happened when the reactor buildings exploded.

It was the reactor buildings that exploded and not the containment structures. These are all very much intact. The situation on Friday morning March 18th is still serious but stable. As of 17 March at 4:00PM the radiation levels at the edge of the power plant site was measured at .64 millisieverts per hour which means that you would have to stand there for about 15 hours to receive the same radiation levels that a typical airline crew receives flying the New York to Tokyo route in a year. The amount of Radiation released into the atmosphere and its potential effects are negligible at best.

Even if 100 people were to contract cancer and die from this event, it would be more people than have ever died in all nuclear power accidents combined including Chernobyl. Even still this does not compare to the thousands who are dead, hundreds of thousands who are without shelter, food and clean water. Heck this number pales in comparison to the 150,000 children that are estimated to have been aborted in Europe due to fears of radiation induced deformities from Chernobyl that never materialized.

Please remember that the job of the MSM is not to provide you with accurate news and information but is, instead, to sell advertising and make money. They do this best by selling fear and by all accounts they seem to be doing a great job. Let’s see here, by checking the headlines this morning I find that we have a stampede in China to get iodized salt for the iodine content which is ridiculous, retailers on the west coast of the U.S. are selling out of potassium iodide tablets along with gas masks and chemical suits, and panicked residents are fleeing Tokyo. Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up. Thank you MSM.

I have a suggestion. Instead of buying iodine tablets and salt and chemical suits why don’t we all send the money to the Japanese Red Cross who at this very moment are feverishly working to prevent a massive humanitarian crisis from getting worse. Here is a link to a Google Site that has all the info and here is a link to a guy that is selling t-shirts and donating the profits to the Japanese Red Cross. What could be better than helping out some hard hit folks who could really use our help and get a t-shirt to boot?

Liberty: Who Owns Me?

There is a great little video on YouTube called The Philosophy of Liberty that I would recommend to anyone who has not seen it yet. It is about as concise a primer on liberty that you will find anywhere. The very first premise that we must agree on in any discussion of liberty is who owns me. If I do not fully and completely own myself then I am accepting the premise that someone else has some claim on my life. If this is true then I am not completely free and to the extent that others have a claim on my life; I am in fact that much a slave to those others.

The problem with this acceptance of non-ownership of self is that whatever assertion is used to determine the legality of this non-ownership will always be subject to the whims of change by those who create the rules, and that change is almost always for the worse. One only has to take a random walk down the main street of history to appreciate that the normal state of our human existence is one of slavery and subjugation, all based on the premise that we do not in fact own ourselves. Therefore the basis for a truly free society has to be complete and sole ownership of the individual by themselves. Thus the first rule of the philosophy of liberty is, You Own Yourself.

While self-ownership may seem like a simple and self-evident concept, I believe that most Americans residing in the land of the free would become very uncomfortable when the full implications of self-ownership become evident. We know for example that many of our fellow Americans are Statists in one form or another and the premise of all Statists is that we are actually owned by the state and that all of our liberties and rights come from the state. They also believe that the product of our lives is first the property of the state and what the state chooses to give back to us then becomes ours.

The other group that completely rejects the concept of self-ownership is what I will call the moralists. Most of these people in the U.S. believe that they are Christian. In a country like Saudi Arabia they are Muslims. Either way they are convinced that whatever life choices that they have made for themselves is also good for their neighbors and seek to impose, through the force of government, that way of life on others. What I find so dangerous about these people is that they believe that their right to impose their morality on others comes not from a manmade philosophy, like Socialism or Fascism, but from God himself. Because of this aberrant belief, arguing with these folks takes on the equivalent, to them at least, of the appearance of arguing with God, and we all know only a fool would argue with God.

Regardless of what these two groups and others like them believe only the philosophy of self-ownership is consistent with a free and liberal society (since liberal means liberty and not statist, I believe it is time to take back the language of liberty). It is consummately American to believe in self-ownership. Our founding document, The Declaration of Independence, states that it is “self-evident”, that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights and that among them are, “Life, Liberty, and Property” (I know it says pursuit of happiness, but trust me they meant property).

By saying that these are self-evident truths these men were saying that these declarations stand on their own and need no further proof. At this point I might be inclined to say that our founding fathers hadn’t met the average American living here today, but that will have to be a subject for another day. Let’s just go with self-evident for now. If our founders were right then, not only do we have an unalienable right to life, but that life can only rightfully belong to us in its entirety and therefore implies 100% self-ownership, there cannot be any form of dual ownership here. Not only is this concept universal in my opinion, but fundamentally American according to the Declaration of Independence.

The next step in the philosophy of liberty is the concept of owning your life in all three dimensions of time; past, present, and future. The tangible evidence of our past life is in the property that we accumulate. Our life in the present is represented by the liberty that we experience day in and day out. Our future is represented by the promise of life. All of these are representations of our life and self-ownership throughout the time continuum. Our founders understood this. It is why they chose to put life, liberty, and property in the Declaration of Independence.

One of the many manifestations of present day America’s wholesale rejection of the concept of self-ownership is the taxing of labor, or the income tax. Our founders understood that if we gave the government the ability to directly tax the people it would be the beginning of tyranny. They were right. It is interesting to note that the same people who forced the Federal Reserve and Prohibition on us are also the same ones who overturned the concept of no direct taxation and passed the 16th amendment. The taxing of labor is one of the most onerous things that a government can do because the underlying assertion here is that that government does have a claim on some portion of the fruit of your labor and therefore by extension your personhood. Once a people have ceded the argument that the government does have a claim to a portion of your life it is just up to the politicians to determine how much of your life they should be allowed to own and control.

Self-ownership is a concept that is so important and fundamental to the principles of liberty that unless it is considered sacrosanct by a society and protected at all costs by that society then they will never be able to enjoy true liberty. The history of humankind on this planet teaches us that once the foundations of liberty are breached in a once free society it is just a matter of time before the entire house is washed away. We know that the foundations of our own liberty here in America have already been breached. The question that we must ask ourselves today then is this: Have we lived so long as slaves to the state that our fate now is much like that of the ancient Israelites who God would not let pass into the Promised Land, because of their slave mindset? Have we become so utterly lost in the wilderness of dependence, that we may never find our way back to the Promised Land of liberty?

…Stay tuned my brothers and sisters.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke 2:1-20

Saturday, November 28, 2009

If you have been confused by the mindless spending by this Democrat Congress and the Obama administration the following article might help to clear things up.

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The Cloward/Piven Strategy of Economic Recovery
By Nancy Coppock


Using borrowed money for a band-aid bailout of the economy should seem backwards to most people. However, it likely is a planned strategy to promote radical change. Those naively believing that President Obama is simply rewarding his far-left base, and will then move to the political center, must wise up.

The assumption that Obama will need the nation to prosper in order to protect the 2010 mid-term election incorrectly assumes that he esteems free market capitalism. He does not. Rather than win through superior ideas and policies, the Democrat plan for success in the mid-term elections is to win by destroying political opposition.

Obama adheres to the Saul Alinksy Rules for Radicals method of politics, which teaches the dark art of destroying political adversaries. However, that text reveals only one front in the radical left's war against America. The Cloward/Piven Strategy is another method employed by the radical Left to create and manage crisis. This strategy explains Rahm Emanuel's ominous statement, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

The Cloward/Piven Strategy is named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Their goal is to overthrow capitalism by overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands. The created crisis provides the impetus to bring about radical political change.

According to Discover the Networks.org:


Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation... [Emphasis added.]

Making an already weak economy even worse is the intent of the Cloward/Piven Strategy. It is imperative that we view the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan's spending on items like food stamps, jobless benefits, and health care through this end goal. This strategy explains why the Democrat plan to "stimulate" the economy involves massive deficit spending projects. It includes billions for ACORN and its subgroups such as SHOP and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Expanding the S-Chip Program through deficit spending in a supposed effort to "save the children" only makes a faltering economy worse.

If Congress were to allow a robust economy, parents would be able to provide for their children themselves by earning and keeping more of their own money. Democrats, quick to not waste a crisis, would consider that a lost opportunity.

The Cato Institute reports that the plan will harm a faltering economy, intentionally causing increased job losses leading to increased demands for the aforementioned programs. Even the jobs to be created are set apart to render social justice, not economic revival. Robert Reich believes new infrastructure jobs should not go to white construction workers. Meanwhile, workers at Microsoft, IBM, Texas Instruments, and the retail market find themselves experiencing the life of the welfare poor.

If highly educated and trained workers continue to lose jobs and business falters as a whole, where will these jobless workers go? Could this be construed as revolutionary social reorganization that puts the underachiever above the achiever? Where is the future economic strength when jobless professionals collect welfare and unemployment while dreaming of a minimum wage job? For whites, there's not even the hope of a good paying construction job.

Because these programs are financed with deficit spending, the effect of the Cloward/Piven Strategy becomes doubly destructive. Talk about a perfect storm! The Democrat stimulus plan is a mechanism whose goal is the destruction of the traditional American way of life. It is bitter irony that the American taxpayer will actually fund the destruction of his own ability to live according to the values of our Founding Documents. It is not alarmist to identify this situation as a coup d'etat.

As the flow of money from the top of the economy dries up, job losses and mortgage busts will mount exponentially. The Democrat stimulus plan provides for welfare expansion but not for a robust economy that creates high paying jobs. Is this what Obama means when he warns, "It's going to get worse before it gets better?" If we are not bailing out corporate America so they can regain profitability, we must conclude Obama is working toward another end goal. Recognizing these attack methods reveals the only logical response -- an unwavering wall of "No!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fed Audit in Jeopardy

Below I have listed an entry from Mish's blog about the "Audit the Fed" bill in Congress. I have always said that if the Federal Reserve gets a fair and thorough audit they would not last another three years, after the American people find out what they have done. Well democrat Mel Watt from North Carolina has made sure that the fair audit will not happen. Did you really expect that the Fed was just going to roll over on this one. It is time to make some phone calls.



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This should come as no surprise but Ron Paul says Federal Reserve Policy Audit Legislation ‘Gutted’

Representative Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who has called for an end to the Federal Reserve, said legislation he introduced to audit monetary policy has been “gutted” while moving toward a possible vote in the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill, with 308 co-sponsors, has been stripped of provisions that would remove Fed exemptions from audits of transactions with foreign central banks, monetary policy deliberations, transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee and communications between the Board, the reserve banks and staff, Paul said today.

“There’s nothing left, it’s been gutted,” he said in a telephone interview. “This is not a partisan issue. People all over the country want to know what the Fed is up to, and this legislation was supposed to help them do that.”

Paul, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said Mel Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, has eliminated “just about everything” while preparing the legislation for formal consideration. Watt is chairman of the panel’s domestic monetary policy and technology subcommittee.

Keith Kelly, a spokesman for Watt, declined to comment and said Watt wasn’t immediately available for an interview. Watt’s district includes Charlotte, headquarters of Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. lender.

Call The Capital Switchboard

Conservative For Change has this advice in Ron Paul's Audit the Fed Bill Gutted.

It is time to get on the phone with everyone in Washington...Congressman and Senators and demand action against the illegal Federal Reserve. Call the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and speak with everyone you can!

Call Democratic Central Committee

On October 8, in Audit The Fed Revisited Jacob Dreizin offered this advice.

Without a flood of citizen lobbying, they will most likely water down H.R. 1207 into something meaningless, or else ignore it altogether.

The committee Democrats' central phone number is (202) 225–4247, and the fax is (202) 225-6952. Alternately, and perhaps more effectively, you can politely email some or all of the committee's most senior Democrat staff directly, as follows:

Committee staff director and chief counsel: Jeanne.Roslanowick@mail.house.gov

Committee deputy chief counsel: Lawranne.Stewart@mail.house.gov

Committee communications director: Steven.Adamske@mail.house.gov (or possibly Steve.Adamske@mail.house.gov)

Phone Your Own Representative

For a list of phone and fax numbers for Congress please see Speak Out - Audit the Fed, Then End It!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Boondoggling

Here is a related article to the one below. We taxpayers payed over $24000 per clunker according to Edmunds. The White House disputes their figures. Who do you trust?

So for every 4 clunkers we bought, for $24,000, we lost another job. Thanks democrats and Tom Perriello.

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Cash for Clunkers survey by Edmunds has White House peeved

A shocking report released by Edmunds Inc. stating the Cash for Clunkers program cost taxpayers 24,000 per vehicle has attracted the not so favorable attention of the White House. Earlier this week, Edmunds.com released their research that stated only 125,000 of the 690,000 total car sales figures should be counted in the national statistics. Their assumption is that the large remainder of new vehicles would have been purchased anyway, regardless of the Cash for Clunkers program.


Edmunds based their figures on the 3 billion dollars of government money spent on the program and divided it by their own estimate of 125,000 vehicles that should have qualified, equaling $24,000 per vehicle.


One day after the results were publicized, the official White House blog site disputed Edmunds figures and discredited their method for determining the controversial number. The blogger went on to state that Edmunds ignored the positive impact that Cash for Clunkers had on the economy by drawing large numbers of customers into dealerships, even if their cars didn’t qualify for the program. The blogger also takes issue with Edmunds for ignoring the possible creation of an estimated 70,000 automotive jobs in the second half of 2009, and attributes Cash for Clunkers for increased production by several major auto makers.


The battle of wits is likely to continue as the White House blogger asserts that Edmunds.com is more interested in grabbing headlines than offering factual information.


Edmunds Inc. publishes four web sites including Edmunds.com which they promote as being the premier online resource for automotive consumer information.