26 March 2012

Return from a year of "other" endeavors

It has been nearly a year since my last blog posting, during which time I thought I had found the appropriate group of like-minded individuals to committ my time to. It was time well spent as I learned numerous items, but did not find myself in agreement with the methods that they were pursuing, hence I struck out on my own yet again.
In my wanderings and readings I have discovered a method that appears to be something I can agree with whole-heartedly. That method is "voluntaryism". A couple of years ago, I had read Auberon Herbert's "Voluntaryist Creed" and found it to be quite compelling. Little did I realize that I was still shaking off the programming of my past. Discovery of Carl Watner's Voluntaryist website has reaffirmed my conviction that the only way out of the quagmire that we find ourselves in is one mind at a time. That will be the direction of this blog going forward.
If I can wake up one or two minds a year, I will be doing well. My stretch goal will be one mind a month.
The next post will include a reading list that I believe to be essential to awakening minds from the slumber that they have been placed into by the indoctrination system (for the uninitiated, I mean the education system) and the media that blasts us with their version of the "accepted" truth.
The one challenge that I pose to any reader is to evaluate the content presented here critically. If you find what you believe to be an erroneous statement, please point it out and we can debate it to a logical conclusion. I recognize challenges to be opportunities to expand my knowledge and/or solidify my position.

20 May 2011

I want a refund - repost from Feb 2010

A kind of multi-faceted posting this week with the common theme of money. Not just arbitrary money, but the money that we all earn going to work every day.

I would like to have all of my Medicare and Social Security contributions returned to me in one lump sum. Just the 6.25% that I see come out every payday, then the 6.25% that my employer must put in can be held for funding existing commitments. Not only do I want a refund of monies paid to date, I do not want any future withholding from my pay. I will use that money as I deem to be most appropriate for my particular situation; save, invest, or spend, it's my choice. In return, I will not collect Social Security when I turn 65 and be a burden to future generations when I get older. I will plan for my own retirement and if I do not have enough money saved to live comfortably, I will keep working. I will not apply for Medicare either as I will be negotiating with one of the "evil" insurance companies for catastrophic care coverage that will extend until I kick the bucket. It is not the government's role to plan for my retirement, it is my responsibility. For the current generation of Social Security collectors, I apologize, but you were duped into thinking that the system was set up as a type of savings account, but it wasn't. As the baby boomers have started retiring, the system is paying out more money than it is taking in and the government has been dipping in to the kitty for decades. A significant portion of the national debt is "owed" to Social Security and since the debt keeps climbing, the system is broken.

While I am at it, I would like to see a place on my Federal Income Tax Return where I get to decide where my money goes. I would like to have the ability to decide how much covers defense, how much covers entitlements, how much goes to foreign governments, and how much goes to paying down the debt. If this were to happen, it could be used as a referendum for Congress to determine what should receive funding in the Federal Budget. I think most people in the United States are convinced that money goes to undeserving line items and this would be their opportunity to state their preferences clearly. Keep in mind that this means that the more taxes an individual pays, the more their opinion matters. The referendum needs to be a weighted average. Those who don't pay any taxes do not get to decide where the money goes.

I am sick and tired of the nanny state politicians thinking that they know what is best for the country and that spending money that doesn't exist will solve all of the problems. Anybody who has to manage their own lives understands that you can not continually spend more money than you take in. Some day the bills come due, yet the Congress does not seem to get it.

When the Congress and the President acknowledge that printing money only causes inflation (more dollars chasing the same amount of goods) and that the best way to stimulate the economy is to quit proposing more regulation and taxes, this country will be on the road to recovery. If they choose to maintain the trajectory that they are taking us on, we are in for a depression of historic magnitude. Inflation will skyrocket and all of the "green jobs" on the planet will not save us.

As Thomas Paine wrote; "These are the times that try men's souls." We are heading into the most trying time endured by most Americans alive today and our government is taking us their. Paine, in the same essay, also wrote "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered: yet we have the consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph". It is time to take our country back from the egalitarians who have decided that they have all of the answers and know where our money, not theirs, should be spent.

27 February 2011

Are you ready to be free?

A large number of people claim to want to be free, yet most do not understand what that freedom entails. Let’s explore it in some detail.

Personal freedom is based on the right of self-ownership. Each individual is the rightful owner, the only rightful owner, of his or her body (life) and mind (liberty). Actions of the mind in conjunction with the body create property. This is the underlying premise in the Declaration of Independence claim for Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

It is very easy for an individual to accept their own right of self-ownership, but freedom in a civil society means that they have to recognize every other individual’s right to the same. This is where I would contend that there are a large number of individuals who are not ready to be free. They are not willing to accept that other people should be allowed to live their own lives as they see fit as long as it does not interfere with another’s right to do the same.

Freedom of Contract is key to the operation of a civil society and is a derivative of the right of self-ownership. Any two individuals, or groups of individuals, are free to engage in a contract of mutually agreed upon terms for mutual benefit. Force and/or fraud in the negotiation of the contract will make it null and void. All lawful interactions between individuals are contractual, either explicitly of implicitly. The simplest contract is the labor contract; an individual that needs some function performed contracts with another individual to perform that function. As long as the negotiation does not involve force or fraud, it is a viable and lawful contract. Think about this for a few minutes and you will realize that there are a number of social “hot-button” issues that fall into this category.

When an individual violates the rights of another, through either force or fraud, it is a crime. The phrase “victimless crime” is an oxymoron as, by lawful definition, a crime requires either physical or pecuniary damage. Therefore, there is also no basis for “crimes against society” since society, per se, is nothing more than a group of individuals voluntarily associating with each other. At such point as an individual engages in commission of a crime, they are forfeiting their rights by violating the rights of another. Through a lawful jury trial, the criminal is subject to punishment and restitution that they will claim is a violation of their rights, but it is important to recognize that the claimed rights have been forfeited.

Being free requires work; it requires conscious activity each and every minute of every day. It requires that you make your own decisions and live with the results of those decisions. If you choose to conduct yourself on the basis of someone else’s decisions, you do so at your own risk. Freedom to live your own life means that you accept the responsibility of the ramifications of your choices, good or bad. You do not get to lay claim, without a contract, to the fruits of someone else’s labor for any purpose. This means that you are free to help any category of destitute individual that you wish, but you are not allowed to force anyone else to do the same. Some of the most heinous offenses against the right of self-ownership are done in the name of philanthropy.

Let’s take a little true or false quiz and we will explore what the appropriate answers are for a civil society based on the right of self-ownership.
  1. Prostitution is a crime.
  2. Marriage should be legally defined as the union between a man and a woman.
  3. There can be a death penalty for premeditated murder.
  4. There should be laws governing illicit drug use.
  5. Everyone has a right to health care if they are sick.

Now let’s go through the answers when the right of self-ownership is consistently applied.
  1. False – prostitution is a contractual agreement between two individuals for sexual activity in exchange for money or goods. As long as there is no force or fraud involved, there is no crime.
  2. False – marriage is also a contractual agreement. This is one of the most difficult ones to come to terms with for a lot of people, but there is no basis for the declaration of what this contract must entail. This is a private choice between individuals. If someone chooses to engage in monogamous, bigamous, polygamous, or even homosexual unions, the only parties who are allowed to have input are the ones involved.
  3. True – once an individual has committed premeditated murder, they have forfeited their rights by violating another’s. Keep in mind that this determination must be made by a unanimous jury with habeas corpus recognized.
  4. False – what one person chooses to put into their body is their own business. However, they do not have the right to expect other members of society to assume the risk for their actions.
  5. False – everyone has the right to access health care if they are sick. Health care is a service provided by someone else and becomes a contractual agreement.

Being free is not quite as easy as you thought, is it? Take the time to explore your heart and mind and realize that you have been programmed throughout the course of your life to believe things that are not consistent with true freedom. Keep in mind that you are always free to determine whom you associate with either personally or professionally.

24 October 2010

Government "created" jobs

The fallacy that I will attempt to detonate is the myth of government created jobs. The government does provide jobs, but it does not create them. It takes from the private sector (which does create) to fund its activities. In a simple form, in a proper role of government, let's take the example of the police officer.
While police, when enforcing laws protecting individual liberty, are a necessary and proper role of government, the costs associated with the officer's duties are paid through confiscation of money by taxation. As a result, not only is the officer not available for the labor pool in private industry, the money that would provide his sustenance in his role has been taken from the economy. This is the best possible case and results in no net change as the money that has been removed from the private sector has been compensated by a reduction in the labor pool. The role of the police officer is clearly beneficial to civil society and justifiable but is, nonetheless, a drain on the private sector.
Let's expand to the overgrown administrative nightmare that is today's government agencies. Not only is every individual employed in these functions removed from private industry, their function within the government does not add to civil society. We are effectively removing two or more jobs from the private sector with each and every additional government bureaucrat.
There will be a number of people that would argue about the necessity and usefulness of the aforementioned bureaucrats but the bottom line is that government, by definition, is parasitic on society. All government activity is funded by usurpation of funds from the private sector. The larger the parasite becomes, the less healthy the host is.

14 October 2010

New series to open eyes and minds

Today initiates a new series of postings designed at opening the eyes, and more importantly minds, of anyone who reads it. Through a similar strategy to what Andrew Wilkow uses on his radio show, I am going to take popular progressive liberal strategies to their logical conclusion. Many thanks and much appreciation to Andrew for what he does.
Let's start with redistribution of income; notice that the word of choice is income and not wealth, I will get back to that shortly. The justification for income redistribution is the classic "who will help the children, widows, helpless, etc." strategy for guilting individuals for being "greedy". This is backwards and counterproductive to society at large. The needy will be assisted by charity which people give to voluntarily and yes, some will not get assistance due to refusal of assistance from either party (by the way, the recipient who would refuse voluntary charity typically will not go to the government for assistance either). The charity organization can rightfully place conditions on receipt of assistance, attending a church service, assisting other families, whatever they believe is required to insure that the assistance is a hand up and not a hand out.
The current target for the government redistribution group are those that make over $250,000 per year. Regardless of what those particular individuals do, like create jobs by starting businesses, what is the likely outcome? People will quit striving to increase their income beyond that threshold. As individuals realize that they will get screwed out of their money beyond a certain point, they will quit exceeding it. This will force the government to lower the threshold, which results in more individuals stopping short of the new bar. Eventually, the most productive members of society quit producing as they know that they will be punished for their productivity.
I said that I would get back to income versus wealth, notice that the target is the individuals who are productive (income is money received for work). Redistributing wealth would expose what people refer to as "limousine liberals" to their own ideals. Wealth is "an abundance of valuable possessions or money" which is very different from income. If we move into the realm of redistributing wealth instead of income, now your retirement investments are at risk of being given to someone "in need", your savings account is now fair game, the second car, a second home, all of it is now targeted for confiscation at the point of a gun.
It is not your "duty" as a citizen of the United States of America to work every day for the benefit of others. Your duties are first to yourself and your family both near and long term (investing for the future). If you have income left after that to assist others of your choosing, then you are free to do so. Government confiscation of your income is a violation of the Constitution; the Bill of Attainder clause in Article 1 Section 9 as well as the involuntary servitude clause in the 13th Amendment. Unless, of course, productivity and the right to the fruits of one's own labor is deemed to be criminal.

07 October 2010

Education or Indoctrination

With the federal government now discussing the possibility of getting involved in the credential process for post secondary education, it is time to discuss the reality of the current situation and the likely motive for this latest round of "hope and change". The education system in this country used to be second to none and, while the post secondary system is still top tier, as evidenced by the number of foreign born students, it won't be for long if the Department of Education gets entrenched.
Currently, post secondary schools in this country are indirectly controlled by the US government, through availability of financial aid for students. Their curricula have to meet certain requirements which are indirectly "blessed" through the accreditation systems. Currently, the biggest threat to a college or university is the loss of funding if they are pushing curriculum options that are considered politically incorrect.
Now let's add to this the ability for the federal leviathan to directly control the accreditation system and have all components of the curriculum subjected to the whim of some unelected bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur. We will end up doing to the post secondary system what has been systematically done to the K-12 system in this country. We will no longer have a system of education, it will purely a system of indoctrination into the progressive leviathan mind-set. It would be impossible to get a degree in anything without at least outwardly ascribing to the wonders of collectivism and everything that goes with it.
The post secondary education system in this country is already polluted with a bevy of progressive elitists who pummel the impressionable minds of our children with one-sided orthodoxy. Philosophy curriculum do not include studies of Aristotle's work, science curriculum involves memorization of random facts instead of leading students to their own discovery and understanding. The post secondary system, particularly state schools, is already rotting from within and does not need any assistance from the establishment bureaucrats.
The K-12 system in this country has achieved the status of truly pathetic in a number of locales. Abstract concepts are taught long before the basic facts are taught. Add to that the drive for social indoctrination, kindergarteners being "taught" about homosexuality and environmentalism, and you now have a recipe for crippling the minds of our children. If you are part of the establishment elite, this works out beautifully, since you don't want a general public capable of thinking for itself.
If you would like an indication of where this all leads, read Orwell's 1984 and Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron". This will give you a nice insight into the dystopian future that we have in store.

07 September 2010

Class warfare?

The popular media, statists, intelligentsia, and all other people with a collectivist mentality will push that there is a class warfare in this country. They are correct that there is class warfare in full swing today, but their definition of the antagonists is absolutely incorrect.
Through the indoctrination of children in the public education system, college students in the public universities, and dishonest reporting in the media, we have all been led to believe that the "class war" is all about the wealthy versus the poor. When the entire world was agriculturally based and wealth was a fixed quantity, this may have been true. The owners of the land had a distinct advantage. With the onset of the industrialized world where wealth continues to be created, as opposed to being acquired, this is no longer true. Any individual, in a free society that guarantees individual liberty, has the ability the create wealth through ingenuity and sweat. Thomas Edison, one of the most prolific creators of wealth in history, once said "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration". This man, along with many others throughout history have shown that wealth can be created and is not a static quantity. Therefore, as long as there is a level playing field, equality of opportunity, any individual can elevate their own financial status.
The class war in which we are currently engaged is the political elite versus everyone else. The American people have finally started to awaken to this phenomenon that started one hundred years ago. The collectivists have been slowly usurping this country and establishing their positions of power since Woodrow Wilson was president. While the collectivist elite (more commonly referred to as career politicians) has been slowly acquiring power, the rest of us have been trying to live the American Dream and provide for ourselves and our family. In the 30's and again in the 60's, the collectivist elites made huge strides in establishing themselves as the ruling class by creating large numbers of people fully dependent on the government. A large portion of them originally understood that this is not the promise that America holds, but you can't bite the hand that feeds you.
The elitist class now openly states that we are essentially not smart enough to understand what is good for us. The media keeps us distracted with stories about celebrities behaving badly, and the legal system has devolved into judgement of popular will as opposed to Rule of Law. Most people don't even understand what Rule of Law entails or even the difference between natural rights and government handouts. But there is a growing number of us who do and are speaking up.
Throughout the history of the world, liberty has been secured for the many by the few. It is now time that the few do it again. This country has been usurped by would-be monarchs that promise equality of results instead of equality of opportunity. Those of us that are standing up for individual sovereignty are not racists or any other vilifying term that the "ruling class" or media choose to pin on us. We are Americans who still understand that this is the land of opportunity and all we want government to do is to protect our individual liberty and leave us alone to live our own lives. We all need to be allowed to succeed or fail on our own merits. Liberty must be secured in this generation or there will be none for future generations.