Maven Commentary

Ron Paul farewell, Liberty Maven goodbye

November 16th, 2012 12:18 am  |  by  |  Published in Liberty, Maven Commentary, Ron Paul  |  14 Responses

By now many of you have either watched or read Ron Paul’s farewell speech he gave the other day in Congress. History is going to be kind to Ron Paul. With Ron Paul’s farewell speech it is also time to say farewell to Liberty Maven. We have been inactive for several months and will keep the site up and running; however, there will be no more new posts unless someone else wants to come along and keep it alive and kicking. It is only fitting that the last post here be the full text of Ron Paul’s farewell speech. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. The liberty fire comes from within each of us. If you’ve lost it, find it. If you let it go out, light it back up. Keep it burning brightly for yourself, your family, friends, and the rest of us freedom-lovers. We are individuals and we are the hope for the future.

If you ever find yourself wanting/needing to purchase ammo then check out our other endeavor that is still going strong: AmmoSeek.com. It may come in handy someday…  THANK YOU ALL and finally… this so-called “Paultard” offers you…  liberty’s greatest champion, Ron Paul.

————————-

This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36-year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.

It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.


The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.

 

How Much Did I Accomplish?

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways – thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.


Authoritarianism vs. Liberty

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.

During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.

I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.

Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.

They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.


The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

 

The Age of Redistribution

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

 

We Need an Intellectual Awakening

Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely – that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.


If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

 

No More ‘isms’

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

Just this recognition – especially if we move in this direction – increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.

It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.

After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.

 

Dependency on Government Largesse

Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:

  • Undeclared wars are commonplace.
  • Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
  • The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
  • Debt is growing exponentially.
  • The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
  • Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
  • The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
  • It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
  • Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
  • Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
  • Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
  • Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
  • Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.


Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:

Questions

  • Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
  • Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
  • Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
  • Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
  • Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
  • Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
  • Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
  • Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
  • Why should there be mandatory sentences – even up to life for crimes without victims – as our drug laws require?
  • Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
  • Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
  • Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
  • Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
  • Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
  • Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
  • Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
  • Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
  • Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
  • Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
  • Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
  • Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
  • Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
  • Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
  • Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
  • Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
  • Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
  • Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
  • Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
  • Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
  • Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
  • Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
  • Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.


Trust Yourself, Not the Government

Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.

We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.

Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.

It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.

 

Economic Ignorance

Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.

Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.

Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.

The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned – or especially when well-intentioned – the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.


It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.

Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.

 

No Government Monopoly over Initiating Violence

Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

 

The Proliferation of Federal Crimes

The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books – they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system – especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.

 

Achieving Liberty

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

Two choices are available.

  1. A government designed to protect liberty – a natural right – as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
  2. A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously – though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”

Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

 

The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.

 

A Culture of Violence

American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people – practically at will.

Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase – as are already occurring – violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.

When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.

When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.

Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.

To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

 

Limiting Government Excesses vs. a Virtuous Moral People

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.

Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.

If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.

It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.

But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.

Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.

The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.

Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.

I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.

Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.

If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.

 

Conclusion

What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.

What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.

What could be more utopian than that myth – considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.

No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.

What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.

The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them. Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.

Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams concurred: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.

A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.

The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.

The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.

It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.

Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.

The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.

To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgemental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.

The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.” The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.

 

The Ron Paul and Gary Johnson Factor

January 5th, 2012 9:13 pm  |  by  |  Published in Election, Gary Johnson, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Polling, Ron Paul, War  |  37 Responses

With Ron Paul still pushing for the GOP nomination and Gary Johnson running as a Libertarian it begs a question. I’ve written at length about how I firmly believe that Ron Paul would beat Obama in a general election; however, what about Gary Johnson? No, I don’t think he’d win, but there are likely many Ron Paul supporters who would vote for Johnson over Obama or the GOP nominee. So if that is true it suggests another reason why, if you want nothing more than to defeat Obama, Ron Paul should be your choice for the GOP nomination.

But is it true? What percentage could Gary Johnson receive should Paul not get the GOP nomination and would it be enough to help re-elect Barack Obama? I suspect it is. To add more fuel to this fire Obama is starting to campaign as an anti-war president to difference himself from the GOP field of likely nominees. This “Campaigner-In-Chief” move could be completely stymied by Republicans making Ron Paul their nominee. Who would be the real anti-war candidate if it were a Ron “non-interventionist” Paul vs Barack “drone bomber” Obama contest? This is yet another reason to make Paul the nominee.

Let’s see what you think about the Ron Paul and Gary Johnson factor.

If Ron Paul does not get the GOP nomination, but Gary Johnson gets the Libertarian Party nomination, who will get your vote in the general election?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

If you want to beat Obama, Ron Paul is your choice

January 2nd, 2012 12:52 am  |  by  |  Published in Caucus, Election, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Obama, Politics, Polling, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

The final Public Policy Polling Iowa Caucus poll has just come out. The final tally is: Ron Paul 20%, Mitt Romney 19%, Rick Santorum 18%, and the rest further back. Even after being attacked incessantly for over a week about his newsletters, Ron Paul is still in the lead though the attacks seemed to have had an affect. His overall poll numbers are down 4%.  This poll is likely the most accurate because it doesn’t exclude itself to Republicans. In Iowa, no matter your party you can show up and register as a Republican then vote/caucus for the candidate of your choice.

It seems to me that this process is more open and most like a general election. To win the general you need independents and party-switchers. This is why Ron Paul is in the best position to beat Obama. He wins in those segments in poll after poll. Something that should negate any question of “electability”.

Following the results, something the PPP folks noted on Twitter was the following:

Young voters and indys unusual winning formula for GOP caucus but if Paul really gets them out he can win.

This comment is specific to Iowa, but Iowa is probably the best microcosm we have at this time of a general election. Paul is rather notorious for getting supporters out to vote for him. He wins or places in just about every straw poll in the country, including a very close 2nd in this summer’s Iowa Ames Straw Poll. So that is truly the bottom line, if Paul’s unusual strategy works then he can win Iowa. And that unusual strategy happens to be the exact strategy to take votes away from Obama in the general election.

Some of Paul’s detractors make the claim he’d be “dangerous for America”. Well, okay, that depends upon how you define America. If by America you mean the statist-status-quo in Washington DC and Obama’s re-election chances then yes, he’s extremely dangerous for America.

If by America you mean the country of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none” and if by America you mean a country that places individual liberty as its highest value then Ron Paul would be the best friend America ever had.

So yes, if you want to beat Obama, Ron Paul is your choice, but he’s also so much more than that.

Indecent American For Ron Paul

December 28th, 2011 4:52 pm  |  by  |  Published in Election, Maven Commentary, Ron Paul  |  4 Responses

Newt Gingrich is right. There are no decent Americans that could possibly support Ron Paul. I am one example of a person that Gingrich calls indecent. I support Ron Paul. Since Gingrich has decided to make it personal. I will too. I’m 40 years old. I have 3 young children. I work long hours for decent pay. I’ve been married for nearly 12 years to the same woman. I’ve never been divorced. I never committed adultery with younger women while my wife was seriously ill two times. I’ve not even done it one time. I never will.  I’ve never been accused of saying the following about my wife, “She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.“  I will never take 1.6 million dollars as a “consultant” to a tax-funded government sponsored enterprise like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. I never had 84 ethics sanctions brought against me by my peers.

Yeah, Newt… we who support Ron Paul are the indecent ones. You figured us out. Congrats.

Ron Paul, and why reality is immune to human fantasy

December 21st, 2011 2:51 am  |  by  |  Published in Constitution, Election, government spending, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul, Taxes  |  21 Responses

Conservative/Libertarian radio talk show host (in Baltimore) Ron Smith passed away this week from pancreatic cancer. He was an outspoken supporter of Ron Paul. The article announcing his death included some audio excerpts, including one on the 4 year anniversary of 9-11. In it he quotes Vernon Howard:

Reality is immune to human fantasy

This truism is no more prevalent than now as we witness Ron Paul’s rise in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire to front runner status. All of the usual pundits in the usual media outlets are attempting to discredit a potential Paul victory in Iowa by calling it meaningless. This is irritating and predictable; however, it gets worse. The governor of Iowa has now joined in on this fantasy. From Politico:

Leading Republicans, looking to put the best possible frame on a Paul victory, are already testing out a message for what they’ll say if the 76-year-old Texas congressman is triumphant.

The short version: Ignore him.

“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Gov. Terry Branstad. “If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”

What country do we live in again? This ain’t America…. not even the America I was taught about in public school. Discrediting an election (caucus) merely because you disagree with the results is something Hugo Chavez does. It is not something we do in America. At least I thought we didn’t. Do these Ron Paul detractors really believe this behavior is acceptable? If the majority (or plurality) of people in your state vote for someone you don’t like how can you say it doesn’t count?

This effort at undermining their own process by making these comments has more danger of discrediting the election than Ron Paul winning. Hopefully Iowans and others see through this poppycock and vote without its influence.

The reality of Ron Paul should be no match for those naysayers living in fantasy land calling him an anti-semite, racist, and worse. It seems to me that once your foes start calling you names rather than debate you on your positions then you’ve already won.

During Paul’s 2008 campaign I wrote that I didn’t think America was quite ready for Ron Paul. Here in 2012, America just might be ready for him and the harsh reality he brings. We are going broke. We need to cut spending. We need to cut taxes. We need to bring our troops home from overseas to defend this country. We need to end all foreign aid. Yes, including Israel. Give them back their sovereignty.

If you fear a Ron Paul presidency just take a deep breath, calm down, and read the Constitution. That’s his platform. If you still think he’s too extreme then realize that there are 2 other branches of government that will be operating to limit his extremism. That’s a major reason we have the judiciary and legislature, checks and balances. If any other candidate wins, nothing will change. We’ll keep going down the spending death-spiral to our own demise. I’m not a big fan of demise. I’m voting for Ron Paul. Are you?

RIP Ron Smith.

 

Ron Paul: The Tonight Show or Campaign Rally?

December 17th, 2011 2:19 am  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Drugs, Election, Environment, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul, states rights, Taxes  |  33 Responses

Last night Ron Paul appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a big Ron Paul supporter it was surreal. Leno kept him on for 3 interview segments. Almost every single thing Ron Paul said was met with loud cheers. Comedian/Fear Factor Host/Podcaster Joe Rogan was Leno’s next guest. He came out wearing a Ron Paul shirt. Leno asked Joe, “What part of his [Ron Paul's] platform do you like?” Rogan replied, “Every single thing that comes out of his mouth. I go yeah, YEAH, FINALLY!”

This was not just an appearance on a late night talk show. This was a Ron Paul campaign rally.

During the final interview segment with Paul, Leno asked him his thoughts on the other candidates and went down the list by name. When he got to Bachmann, Ron Paul replied, “She doesn’t like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She wants to go get them.” This probably didn’t win him any neo-conservative supporters. Then he doubled down on this when he replied similarly about Santorum saying he doesn’t like “gay people and Muslims.”  Wow. I can’t imagine that Santorum and Bachmann won’t issue a counter-attack soon.

This just further cements my point in previous articles. Ron Paul can and would beat Obama in the general election. His more difficult win is in the GOP primary.

During the appearance Twitter was about 99% positive about Ron Paul, including many tweets saying things like, “I wasn’t sure before, but now I’m definitely voting for Ron Paul.”

Now we can sit back and monitor how the pundits and other candidates react, if they react at all.

See the entire appearance below in 4 parts.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

 

Ron Paul’s debate moments and Bachmann lies

December 16th, 2011 3:16 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Blowback, Constitution, Debate, Election, Foreign Policy, History, Maven Commentary, Ron Paul  |  4 Responses

In one of the more interesting exchanges in last night’s GOP Debate on FOX News, Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann found some time to disagree with each other. Without checking on the facts of what each said, one could walk away believing something that was just not true. Which candidate lied? Here is your answer from “FACT CHECK” via the AP:

MICHELE BACHMANN: “We have an IAEA report that just recently came out that said literally Iran is within just months of being able to obtain that (a nuclear) weapon.”
RON PAUL: “There is no U.N. report that said that. It’s totally wrong, what you just said.”
Bachmann: “It’s the IAEA report.”
THE FACTS: As Paul said, the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency does not state that Iran is within months of having nuclear arms. The U.N. agency report does suggest that Iran conducted secret experiments whose sole purpose is the development of nuclear weapons but did not put a time frame on when Iran might succeed in building a bomb, and it made no final conclusion on Tehran’s intent.
Bachmann also erred by arguing that Iran has “stated they will use it (a nuclear weapon) against the United States.”
Iran vehemently rejects that it is developing a nuclear bomb, let alone that it plans to drop one on the U.S.

Yes, unsurprisingly it was Michelle Bachmann who lied or I guess if you are a supporter of hers, “stretched the truth”. Bachmann also appears to have lied about what is in the Iranian Constitution, claiming it “states unequivocally” to stretch “jihad across the world”. Well, unless the Wikipedia interpretation of the Iranian Constitution is wrong I see no mention of “jihad” or “caliphate”. In fact, it directly mentions foreign policy in section X, saying in part:

Article 152 The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based upon the rejection of all forms of domination, both the exertion of it and submission to it, the preservation of the independence of the country in all respects and its territorial integrity, the defence of the rights of all Muslims, non-alignment with respect to the hegemonic superpowers, and the maintenance of mutually peaceful relations with all non-belligerent States.

There is certainly no “unequivocal” mention of jihad against the world. Hopefully voters will see through Bachmann’s and Santorum’s melodramatic horse-hockey.

Here are all of Ron Paul’s moments in the debate, totaling over 18 minutes:

DONATE TODAY! It’s Tea Party ’11 Money Bomb Time.

I fought the Ron Paul, but the Ron Paul won

December 15th, 2011 1:09 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Blowback, Election, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Media, Politics, Ron Paul  |  19 Responses

It is so predictable. Now that Ron Paul is a real threat to win Iowa it is no surprise that the pea-brained pundits have begun to throw stones. First up, Chris Wallace, who stated that a Ron Paul victory would mean that “Iowa won’t count”. His reasoning was because most establishment GOP insiders don’t think Ron Paul will get the nomination. The typical Ron Paul supporter is used to this, but to me this comment should make Iowans more angry than anyone. Wallace will host tonight’s debate in Iowa on Fox News channel. Should be interesting.

 

 

Next up are two familiar tools of status-quo politics discussing Ron Paul’s recent poll numbers in Iowa. Of course, I’m talking about Bill O’Reilly and Dick Morris. Dick Morris actually appears to shudder when he considers (and then immediately dismisses) the possibility of Ron Paul being the GOP nominee. What Morris doesn’t realize is that when he speaks later in the segment about his “cockroach theory” (whatever that means) he’s actually describing the very reason Ron Paul would win against Obama and not one of his choices of Romney or Gingrich.

 

 

This just, once again, proves what a monumental task Ron Paul is up against in his quest to spread liberty by leading by example rather than leading by a leash. The pundits are coming out in droves to discredit Paul’s candidacy because they don’t want to be forced to vote for him if he should get the nomination. I’d love for one of these tools to answer the question, “If Ron Paul gets the nomination would you support him?” They’d likely dismiss the question as “impossible” rather than admit they’d support him, eventually.

Paul has a long road ahead of him. Not only must he actually win enough votes in each state, but he must also win over the pundits and their despicable preliminary coronations of other candidates. Doing enough of the former will help with the latter. One thing is for sure, Ron Paul’s campaign this time around is not an educational effort like it was in 2008. He’s all in and if Ron Paul wins, America wins.

————–
Don’t forget to pledge and donate this Friday for the Tea Party 2011 Money Bomb. It’s one way that we can punch back at the Dick Morris types.

Ron Paul is rubber, his opponents are glue

December 14th, 2011 7:45 am  |  by  |  Published in Election, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Polling, Ron Paul  |  12 Responses

Ron Paul has demonstrated how easy it is to attack Gingrich on the myriad of inconsistencies on his record. If Ron Paul is having so much success attacking Gingrich imagine what the Obama campaign machine would do to Gingrich? Gingrich is a glue for attacks. Attacking Ron Paul just isn’t fashionable anymore. Everyone has heard it all before. Most attacks on Paul bounce off of him. His years of consistency make him a difficult attack target. Some are still trying though with varying degrees of success.

I think I have a pretty good idea what getting water-boarded feels like. I’m not sure why I do this to myself, but I sometimes find myself reading the comments on Ron Paul articles appearing on various mainstream and semi-mainstream news sites. It is akin to torture. One of the more common things I keep seeing from anti-Ron Paul people is the charge of isolationism. I thought this was an old argument that most people already understood. Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like yelling fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Ron Paul supporters invariably reply to set things straight. I know because I’ve done it before, too many times to count.

Today, in the billionth thread about Ron Paul’s so-called isolationism someone posted something that truly demonstrates a lack of understanding. This person said the following:

“If Ron Paul brings home our troops from other countries who’ll be there to protect freedom?”

Uh-huh. And Ron Paul is the crazy one. “Hey you, Start being free or I’ll shoot!” Let freedom ring!

Yesterday’s poll numbers from Public Policy Polling show that Ron Paul is gaining serious steam in Iowa, only a single percentage point behind Newt Gingrich. I head over to Twitter to see the reactions and I see a post from a popular “conservative” blog entitled, “No, Ron Paul is not a threat to win the Iowa Caucuses”. The article itself is full of wishful thinking analysis and struck me as a bunch of flapdoodle. Yeah, I said it: flapdoodle!

Read More »

Ron Paul: The Elephant in the GOP Room

December 12th, 2011 10:10 pm  |  by  |  Published in Constitution, Election, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul  |  28 Responses

The GOP is commonly represented as an elephant. This is a rather appropriate symbol for a political party that attempts to ignore one of it’s own members. A member who actually represents what the rest of them have abandoned any hope of becoming long ago: an actual tried and true limited government conservative with a long track record of integrity and consistency. Of course, I’m talking about Ron Paul, the elephant in the GOP room.

That elephant might as well be a lion right now. Ron Paul is in the top tier of candidates for the GOP nomination. This is not wishful thinking or libertarian fantasy. Following his strong debate showing over the weekend he has the pundits wondering out loud, “Can Ron Paul win?”

If you fancy yourself a Republican, conservative, or independent and you want nothing more than Barack Obama to lose in 2012 then your only choice can be Ron Paul, even if you vehemently disagree with him on foreign policy or think he’s a nut job. I’ve said this before, but if any other GOP candidate gets the nomination, we’ll see a second term for Obama. And this won’t be due to Ron Paul running as a non-Republican as many in the GOP fear. It will be because the rest of the Republican candidates are weak where it matters to most Americans these days: honesty, integrity, and consistency.

Obama isn’t exactly stellar on those attributes either; however, he’s already in the White House. He’s the incumbent with charisma and those are kryptonite to the likes of Newt Romney. If you want to make him uncomfortable force him to attack from the Right. Imagine Obama debating Ron Paul on foreign policy. Who will his anti-war supporters support? The ones that don’t end up thoroughly confused will logically vote for Paul and his strong and consistent anti-war position. Paul will already have the support of the Republican base, some of which, may hold their noses and vote for him. He’s already proven in the polls how popular he is with independents. Those same independents went largely in favor of Obama in 2008.

This all adds up to a victory for Paul over Obama, if only he could secure the nomination. In fact, getting the GOP nomination is a tougher road for Paul than winning in the general. Another reason why the general election would be easier is that his experience in the GOP primary will prepare him for nearly everything he’s likely to face during the general.

A recent interview had Paul answering the “will you run 3rd party” question yet again. Then the ever-present followup question asking him if he’d support the GOP nominee assuming it wasn’t himself. Just once I’d like to see one of his opponents get asked those questions. It would probably go something like this:

Read More »