Sunday, November 30, 2008

"One Nation Under God"

George M. Docherty, credited with helping to push Congress to insert the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance, has died at 97.

The phrase "under God" goes back in American history much further than the 1950's.

Recent efforts to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance are hypocritical, deceitful, or ignorant -- and therefore typical of secularist action under the myth of "the separation of church and state." The U.S. Supreme Court ruled back in 1943 that children don't have to say a single word of the Pledge if they don't want to. The presence of the phrase "under God" tramples on nobody's rights, just as the presence of religious language in the Declaration of Independence tramples on nobody's rights. West Virginia State Board of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

Some have criticized the Pledge itself as being written written by a socialist.

LewRockwell.com Blog: Can we take it out now?

LewRockwell.com Blog: More on the state's oath of obedience

BLOG and MABLOG

Ultimately, a "nation" can never be "under God," any more than the mafia can, if "nation" is defined as "the State," the institutionalization of violence.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Give Thanks for Our Christian Theocracy

We enjoy the highest standard of living in human history because for three centuries (roughly 1600-1900) America was a Christian Theocracy.

The word "Theocracy" comes from two Greek words meaning "God rules."

A nation "under God" is, by definition, a "Theocracy."

A nation that acknowledges it has a "duty" to God is a Theocracy, as is a nation that confesses that God is "the great Lord and Ruler of Nations" and seeks "To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion." All of these Theocratic ideas were asserted by George Washington, October 3, 1789.

The Ten Commandments prohibit

1. Idolatry
2. False Religion
3. Swearing a false oath
4. Refusal to work
5. Disrespecting parents and other authorities
6. Murder
7. Cheating on your Wife
8. Theft
9. Slander
10. Covetousness

For more than 300 years, "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" -- that is, the Bible -- permeated America's schools and American culture. These laws are the foundation of civilization. Industry, commerce, social harmony, charity, and education are impossible without them. More than a billion people on earth live in poverty and ignorance because their culture is rooted in magic and envy rather than true religion. By creating a Christian Theocracy, America's Founding Fathers laid the foundation for ordered liberty, economic prosperity, and peaceful, dependable social relations.

We should be thankful we still feel the benevolent effects of America's Christian Theocracy.

America's Founders spoke of America as "an experiment in liberty." Their "experiment" succeeded in making America the most prosperous -- and most admired -- nation in human history.

In the 20th century the "Eastern Liberal Establishment" -- of which Barack Obama is the latest incarnation -- attempted a new experiment: an experiment in government central planning. The "establishment" and its think-tanks (like the Council on Foreign Relations) exported this experiment to nations like Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union. Everywhere this experiment has been tried, the results have been poverty and mass death. In the 21st century, the United States is now becoming an atheistic petri dish for these mad scientists.

As long as we give thanks to any one but God for the prosperity we enjoy, we will be part of a brainwashed religious cult: the cult of the omnipotent State.

As long as we fear the word "Theocracy" we will be slaves in an atheistic theocracy where every man thinks he is his own god, yet the State wields total, crushing power, and all but the elite live in poverty. Three centuries of Christian Theocracy and one century of "the separation of church and state" teach us no clearer lesson than this.

This Thanksgiving, don't just give a little thanks to God. Thank Him like an extremist. Jesus said,

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."
Revelation 3:15-16

Barack Obama is an extremist. He has worked hard to get where he is today, and where he will be on January 20th, 2009, becoming the most powerful dictator in human history, inheriting the office of "unitary executive" created for him by George W. Bush.

A quarter of a million wannabe extremists have applied for positions in the Obama Nomenklatura. They will direct an army of millions of government employees who will just be "following orders" when they begin ruling over the lukewarm.

Jesus has more respect for Barack Obama and Vladamir Putin than He does for millions of lukewarm Christians who are embarrassed to defend Christocracy.

Thanksgiving Reading List

Last Year's Thanksgiving Post

Last Year's "Ozarks Virtual Town Hall" - Thanksgiving Day - November 24, 2007

Government-Sponsored Prayer and Thanksgiving to God

Chuck Colson : "God's Instrument" The story of Squanto

How Relevant are the Pilgrims? - Acton Institute PowerBlog

What Every Child Should Know About Thanksgiving - Newt Gingrich

Our First Thanksgiving - The Foundation for Economic Education

Property and the First Thanksgiving - Gary Galles - Mises Institute

Give Thanks for What You Have, While You Still Have It.

The Pilgrims’ Real Thanksgiving Lesson - The Independent Institute

Why Is It That the More We Have, the Less Thankful We Are?

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving: The Triumph of Capitalism over Collectivism

What Do You Possess Today Which, If You Did Not Possess It Next Year, You Would Appreciate Most?

Things to be Thankful For: 2008 vs. 1808

More Gratitude for 2008 vs. 1808

Holiday Meals Rife with (Safe) Carcinogens!

The true focus of Thanksgiving

Kindergarten Pilgrim, Indian costumes banned

Celebrating Thanksgiving in America

The tradition introduced by European Americans of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and His blessings dates back well over four centuries in America. For example, such thanksgivings occurred in 1541 at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas with Coronado and 1,500 of his men; 1 in 1564 at St. Augustine, Florida with French Huguenot (Protestant) colonists; 2 in 1598 at El Paso, Texas with Juan de Oñate and his expedition; 3 in 1607 at Cape Henry, Virginia with the landing of the Jamestown settlers; 4 in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia; 5 (and many other such celebrations). But it is primarily from the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving celebration of 1621 that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving Day.

The Pilgrims set sail for America on September 6, 1620, and for two months braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. Upon disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they held a prayer service and then hastily began building shelters; however, unprepared for such a harsh New England winter, nearly half of them died before spring. 6 Emerging from that grueling winter, the Pilgrims were surprised when an Indian named Samoset approached them and greeted them in their own language, explaining to them that he had learned English from fishermen and traders. A week later, Samoset returned with a friend named Squanto, who lived with the Pilgrims and accepted their Christian faith. Squanto taught the Pilgrims much about how to live in the New World, and he and Samoset helped forge a long-lasting peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. Pilgrim Governor William Bradford described Squanto as “a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . and never left [us] till he died.” 7

That summer, the Pilgrims, still persevering in prayer and assisted by helpful Indians, 8 reaped a bountiful harvest. 9 As Pilgrim Edward Winslow (later to become the Governor) affirmed, “God be praised, we had a good increase of corn”; “by the goodness of God, we are far from want.” 10 The grateful Pilgrims therefore declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends 11 – America’s first Thanksgiving Festival. Ninety Wampanoag Indians joined the fifty Pilgrims for three days of feasting (which included shellfish, lobsters, turkey, corn bread, berries, deer, and other foods), of play (the young Pilgrim and Wampanoag men engaged in races, wrestling matches, and athletic events), and of prayer. This celebration and its accompanying activities were the origin of the holiday that Americans now celebrate each November.

However, while the Pilgrims enjoyed times of prosperity for which they thanked God, they also suffered extreme hardships. In fact, in 1623 they experienced an extended and prolonged drought. Knowing that without a change in the weather there would be no harvest and the winter would be filled with death and starvation, Governor Bradford called the Pilgrims to a time of prayer and fasting to seek God’s direct intervention. Significantly, shortly after that time of prayer – and to the great amazement of the Indian who witnessed the scene – clouds appeared in the sky and a gentle and steady rain began to fall. As Governor Bradford explained:

It came without either wind or thunder or any violence, and by degrees in abundance, as that ye earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith, which did so apparently revive and quicken ye decayed corn and other fruits as was wonderful to see, and made ye Indians astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. 12

The drought had been broken; the fall therefore produced an abundant harvest; there was cause for another thanksgiving. The Pilgrim practice of designating an official time of Thanksgiving spread into neighboring colonies and became an annual tradition. 13 And just as those neighboring colonies followed the Pilgrims’ example of calling for days of thanksgiving, so, too, did they adopt their practice of calling for a time of prayer and fasting. The New England Colonies therefore developed a practice of calling for a day of prayer and fasting in the spring, and a day of prayer and thanksgiving in the fall.

The Thanksgiving celebrations so common throughout New England did not begin to spread southward until the American Revolution, when Congress issued eight separate national Thanksgiving Proclamations. (Congress also issued seven separate proclamations for times of fasting and prayer, for a total of 15 official prayer proclamations during the American Revolution. 14)

America’s first national Thanksgiving occurred in 1789 with the commencement of the federal government. According to the Congressional Record for September 25 of that year, the first act after the Framers completed the framing of the Bill of Rights was that:

Mr. [Elias] Boudinot said he could not think of letting the session pass without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution:
Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer. . . .
Mr. Roger Sherman justified the practice of thanksgiving on any single event not only as a laudable one in itself but also as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ. . . . This example he thought worthy of a Christian imitation on the present occasion. 15

That congressional resolution was delivered to President George Washington, who heartily concurred with the request and issued the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation, declaring in part:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection. 16

That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church (of which President Washington was a member) announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, “unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities.” 17 Following President Washington’s initial proclamation, national Thanksgiving Proclamations occurred only sporadically (another by President Washington in 1795, one by John Adams in 1799, one by James Madison in 1814 and again in 1815, etc.); 18 most official Thanksgiving observances occurred at the state level. In fact, by 1815, the various state governments had issued at least 1,400 official prayer proclamations, almost half for times of thanksgiving and prayer and the other half for times of fasting and prayer. 19

Much of the credit for the adoption of Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular lady’s books containing poetry, art work, and articles by America’s leading authors. For nearly three decades, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, 20 contacting president after president until Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of that November. The Thanksgiving proclamation issued by Lincoln was remarkable not only for its strong religious content but also for its timing, for it was delivered in the midst of the darkest days of the Civil War, with the Union having lost battle after battle throughout the first three years of that conflict. Yet, despite those dark circumstances, Lincoln nevertheless called Americans to prayer with an air of positive optimism and genuine thankfulness, noting that:

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. . . . No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, Who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 21

That remarkable Thanksgiving Proclamation came at a pivotal point in Lincoln’s spiritual life. Three months earlier, the Battle of Gettysburg had occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. It had been while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he first committed his life to Christ. As he later explained to a clergyman:

When I left Springfield [Illinois, to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. 22

The dramatic spiritual impact resulting from that experience was not only visible in Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation (and also his 1864 call for a day of prayer and fasting) but especially in his 1865 Second Inaugural Address.

Over the seventy-five years following Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, presidents faithfully followed Lincoln’s precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day (but the date of the celebrations varied widely from proclamation to proclamation). In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began celebrating Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each November, and in 1941, Congress permanently established that day as the national Thanksgiving holiday. 23

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember to retain the original gratefulness to God that has always been the spirit of this – the oldest of all American holidays. (Below are representative examples of the scores of Thanksgiving proclamations penned by various Founding Fathers.)

[Congress] recommended [a day of] . . . thanksgiving and praise [so] that “the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join . . . their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive [our sins] and . . . to enlarge [His] kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” 24 Continental Congress, 1777 – written by SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION SAMUEL ADAMS AND RICHARD HENRY LEE

[I] appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God . . . to [ask] Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue. 25 GOVERNOR THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1779

[I] appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . [by giving to] us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications...that He would forgive our manifold sins and . . . cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth. 26 GOVERNOR JOHN HANCOCK, 1790






Endnotes

1. Library of Congress, “Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541-2001” (at: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/learn/features/thanksgiving/timeline/1541.html).(Return)

2. Library of Congress, “Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541-2001” (at http://www.blogger.com/“http://lcweb2.loc.gov/learn/features/thanksgiving/timeline/1541.html”).(Return)

3. Texas Almanac, “The First Thanksgiving?” (at http://www.texasalmanac.com/history/highlights/thanksgiving/).(Return)

4. Benson Lossing, Our Country. A Household History of the United States (New York: James A. Bailey, 1895), Vol. 1, pp. 181-182; see also National Park Service, “Robert Hunt: Jamestown’s First Chaplain” (at http://www.nps.gov/archive/colo/Jthanout/RHunt.html).(Return)

5. “Berkeley Plantation,” Berkeley Plantation.Com, (at: http://www.berkleyplantation.com/history_discovered.html). (accessed November 17, 2008).(Return)

6. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), pp. 74, 78, 80, 91.(Return)

7. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 95.(Return)

8. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 100.(Return)

9. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 105.(Return)

10. William S. Russell, Guide to Plymouth and Recollections of the Pilgrims (Boston: George Coolidge, 1846), p. 95, quoting from a letter of Pilgrim Edward Winslow to George Morton of London, written on December 21, 1621.(Return)

11. Ashbel Steele, Chief of the Pilgrims: Or the Life and Time of William Brewster (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1857), pp. 269-270.(Return)

12. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 142.(Return)

13. DeLoss Love, Jr, The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England (Boston: Houghton,, Mifflin & Co, 1895), pp. 87-90.(Return)

14. See the Journals of the Continental Congress (1905) for June 12, 1775; March 16, 1776; December 11, 1776; November 1, 1777; March 7, 1778; November 17, 1778; March 20, 1779; October 20, 1779; March 11, 1780; October 18, 1780; March 20, 1781; October 26, 1781; March 19, 1782; October 11, 1782; October 18, 1783.(Return)

15. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, pp. 949-950.(Return)

16. George Washington, Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor ((Boston: Russell, Odiorne and Metcalf, 1838), Vol. XII, p. 119, Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving on October 3, 1789.(Return)

17. The American Cyclopaedia, A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge, George Ripley and Charles A. Dana, editors (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1883), Vol. XV, p. 684, s.v., “Thanksgiving Day.”(Return)

18. See, for example, H. S. J. Sickel, Thanksgiving: Its Source, Philosophy and History With All National Proclamations (Philadelphia: International Printing Co, 1940), pp. 154-155, “Thanksgiving Day- 1795” by George Washington, pp. 156-157, “Thanksgiving Day – 1798” by John Adams, pp. 158-159, “Thanksgiving Day – 1799” by John Adams, p. 160, “Thanksgiving Day – 1814” by James Madison, p. 161, “Thanksgiving Day – 1815” by James Madison, etc.(Return)

19. Deloss Love, in his work The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England, lists some 1,735 proclamations issued between 1620 and 1820, in a non-exclusive list. Of those, 284 were issued by churches and 1,451 by civil authorities. Of the civil proclamations, 1,028 were issued prior to July 4, 1776, and 413 from July 4, 1776 to 1820. Of the church issued proclamations, 278 were issued before July 4, 1776, and six afterwards. These, however, are only a portion of what were issued; for example, the author personally owns hundreds of additional proclamations not listed in Love’s work. While the exact number of government-issued prayer proclamations is unknown, it is certain that they certainly number in the thousands.(Return)

20. Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, James Grant Wilson & John Fiske, editors (New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1888), Vol. III, p. 35.(Return)

21. Abraham Lincoln, The Works of Abraham Lincoln, John H. Clifford & Marion M. Miller, editors (New York: University Society Inc, 1908), Vol. VI, pp. 160-161, Proclamation for Thanksgiving, October 3, 1863. See also, The American Presidency Project, “Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation – Thanksgiving Day, 1863” (at: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=69900&st=&st1=).(Return)

22. Abraham Lincoln, The Lincoln Memorial: Album-Immortelles. Osborn H. Oldroyd, editor (New York: G.W. Carleton & Co, 1882) p. 366, Reply to an Illinois Clergyman.(Return)

23. The National Archives, “Congress Establishes Thanksgiving” (at: http://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/thanksgiving/); see also Pilgrim Hall Museum, “Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations 1940-1949: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman” (at: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ThanxProc1940.htm), Proclamation 2571: Days of Prayer: Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day, November 11, 1942, referring to a “joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day.”(Return)

24. Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), Vol. IX, p. 855, November 1, 1777.(Return)

25. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Julian P. Boyd, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), Vol. 3, p. 178, Proclamation Appointing a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, November 11, 1779.(Return)

26. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving (Boston, 1790), from an original broadside in possession of the author.(Return)

Give Thanks to Our Redeemer - George Washington

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, Library of Congress

Head Quarters, Moore's House, Saturday, November 27, 1779.

Parole Landaft. Countersigns Lexington, Leeds.

The Honorable the Congress has been pleased to pass the following proclamation.

Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our fore-fathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore,

RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labours of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Insiders' Crusade

Millions of Americans voted for Obama because "he's one of us," and he'll take from the rich and fill our gas tanks and pay our mortgages.

But Obama is not really one of "them," he just crooned "them" into voting for him.

And his "insider" friends.

In his Nov. 21 New York Times column, titled "The Insider's Crusade" (note the slight but important difference in the title of this blog post), David Brooks sounds like John Birch Society Kingpin John F. McManus:

Jan. 20, 2009, will be a historic day. Barack Obama (Columbia, Harvard Law) will take the oath of office as his wife, Michelle (Princeton, Harvard Law), looks on proudly. Nearby, his foreign policy advisers will stand beaming, including perhaps Hillary Clinton (Wellesley, Yale Law), Jim Steinberg (Harvard, Yale Law) and Susan Rice (Stanford, Oxford D. Phil.).

The domestic policy team will be there, too, including Jason Furman (Harvard, Harvard Ph.D.), Austan Goolsbee (Yale, M.I.T. Ph.D.), Blair Levin (Yale, Yale Law), Peter Orszag (Princeton, London School of Economics Ph.D.) and, of course, the White House Counsel Greg Craig (Harvard, Yale Law).

This truly will be an administration that looks like America, or at least that slice of America that got double 800s on their SATs. Even more than past administrations, this will be a valedictocracy — rule by those who graduate first in their high school classes. If a foreign enemy attacks the United States during the Harvard-Yale game any time over the next four years, we’re screwed.

Already the culture of the Obama administration is coming into focus. Its members are twice as smart as the poor reporters who have to cover them, three times if you include the columnists. They typically served in the Clinton administration and then, like Cincinnatus, retreated to the comforts of private life — that is, if Cincinnatus had worked at Goldman Sachs, Williams & Connolly or the Brookings Institution. So many of them send their kids to Georgetown Day School, the posh leftish private school in D.C., that they’ll be able to hold White House staff meetings in the carpool line.

Of course, as can be seen in the rest of the column, this is praise by faint damnation. Brooks believes in the Messianic powers of The Establishment.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The U.S. vs. The Free Market

In the President's Radio Address this morning, President Bush says he is "in Lima, Peru, meeting with leaders from nations in the Asia Pacific region at our annual summit."

Last week the leaders of other nations came to Washington D.C., where they collectively deliberated on how to run America's economy. Bush called them our "partners."

Did you vote those foreign leaders into the office of "parter?"

"Together," Bush says, "our nations must focus our efforts on three great forces that drive this growth -- free markets, free trade, and free people."

"Our nations?" Which nation is your nation other than America?

What can "our nations" do to promote "free markets, free trade, and free people" other than by not doing anything? Did "our nations" and our "partners" "focus" on abolishing the laws, regulations, and confiscations which stand in the way of "free markets, free trade, and free people?"

Bush also supports giving your money to Detroit. Presumably, if you supported giving your money to Detroit, you already would have. Obviously, Americans don't want to give their money to Detroit, or they already would have. Just as clearly, the Bush-Obama regime disagrees with what you want.

We'll be discussing the President's Saturday Morning Address in a live webinar, "The Ozarks Virtual Town Hall" at 10:30 am Central time this morning. Join in over the phone or over your computer.

"The Ozarks Virtual Town Hall" meets every Saturday morning to review the President's Saturday Morning Radio Address from the perspective of "Liberty Under God."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No Detroit Bailout!

Detroit Three — Thanks for the Memories
Lori Stillwagon Roman
President, RegularFolksUnited.com

         Four generations of my family worked in General Motors Plants. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, brothers and I all worked for Buick Motor Division in Flint, Michigan.  After working my way through college at the Buick Engine Plant, I became an economic analyst and then a supervisor at another GM plant. My family was so loyal to General Motors that we considered a Ford a foreign car. This is why it makes it particularly painful for me to say that there should not be a bailout.

         I have agonized over this at length.  If my brother sees this editorial there won’t be presents exchanged this Christmas. Let me lead you, and my brother, through my torturous thinking process.

         First, I believe that sending the government to bail out the auto industry or an industry at this time is like sending an arsonist to put out a fire. The government is partially to blame for the problem with the auto industry.

         The government created the credit crisis by forcing lenders to make bad loans and the resulting credit crunch made it difficult to sell cars. Democrats in Congress (even some from Michigan) are responsible for blocking domestic oil production in the United States which has driven up gas prices and sent our wealth and potential American jobs to the “bad guys”.

         One would think that since the government created the crisis, they should fix it, right? No. They should STOP messing with the markets, not mess with them more! They should let lenders make prudent loans and let energy producers produce energy and they should let the automakers get out of this mess without government help or interference. They should not send folks with gasoline to put out a fire. Congress doesn’t just want to “bail out” the Detroit Three, they want to add on their own restrictions to make Detroit “green”.

         Second, as a former supervisor of UAW workers at a GM facility, I will say that poor management and union malpractice made the Detroit Three uncompetitive long before the government sent in their arsonists.

    To put it bluntly, the UAW takes the hard earned money of the best workers and spends it defending the very worst workers while tying up the industry with thousands of pages of work rules that make it impossible to be competitive. And the spineless management often makes short sighted decisions to satisfy the union and maximize immediate benefits over long term sustainability.

         The strength of the union and the weakness of management made it impossible to conduct business properly at any level. For instance, I had an employee who punched in his time card and then disappeared. The rules were such that I had to spend hours documenting that this man was not in his three foot by three foot work area. I needed witnesses, timed reports, calls over the intercom and a plant wide search all documented in detail. After this absurdity I decided to go my own route; I called the corner bar and paged him and he came to the phone. I gave him a 30 day unpaid disciplinary lay off because he was a “repeat offender”. When he returned he thanked me for the PAID vacation. I scoffed, until he explained: (1) He had tried to get the lay off because it was fishing season; (2) The UAW negotiated with GM Labor Relations Department to give him the time WITH PAY.

         I supervised a loading dock and 21 UAW workers who worked approximately five hours per day for eight hours pay. They could easily load one third more rail cars and still maintain their union negotiated break times, but when I tried to make them increase production ever so slightly they sabotaged my ability to make even the current production levels by hiding stock, calling in sick, feigning equipment problems, and even once, as a show of force, used a fork lift truck and pallets and racks to create a car part prison where they trapped me while I was conducting inventory. The reaction of upper management to my request to boost production was that I should “not be naïve”.

         One afternoon I was helping oversee the plant while upper management was off site.  The workers brought an RV into the loading yard with a female “entertainer” who danced for them and then “entertained” them in the RV. With no other management around, I went to Labor Relations for assistance. As a twenty five year old woman, I was not about to try to break up a crowd of fifty rowdy men. The Labor Relations Rep pulled out the work rules and asked me which of the rules the men were breaking. I read through the rules and none applied directly of course. Who wrote work rules to cover prostitutes at lunch? The only “legal” cause I had was an unauthorized vehicle and person and that blame did not fall on the union workers who were being “entertained” but on the security guards at the gate. Not one person suffered any consequence.

         Another employee in the plant urinated on the feet of his supervisor as a protest to discipline. He was, of course, fired…that is until the union negotiated and got his job back.

         Eventually I was promoted to a management position where I supervised salaried employees at HQ. As I left the plant I gave management a blunt message. I told them that I expected the union to act like the union, but I was disappointed that management didn’t act like management. 

         This is why, with deep regret and sympathy for the many fine folks who work in the auto industry, I think it is time for consequences. Let them file Chapter 11 and reorganize. Let management act like management and the union stop destroying our competitiveness. And let the government get out of the business of business.



-----=====******O******=====-----

Action Alert

After the Paulson $700 billion bailout package passed in early October, we knew it was only a matter of time before Congress moved to use your money yet again to bail out a struggling industry.

Now, a vote to give funds to the "Big 3" auto manufactures, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, is likely to come up in the Senate tomorrow.

Call your Senators today and ask them to oppose bailing out the auto industry, whether with funds from TARP, revisions of previous loans, or any new grants. To find the information for your Senators, click on our "States" page and look for your state. Phone numbers and links to contact forms can be found near the bottom of each state's page. We have included recommended letters at the end of this email to send your Senator.

The ultimate fate of the auto industry bailout remains uncertain, and it is crucial that we contact our Senators today and urge them to stick to the Constitution and free market principles.

Please also consider making a donation to Campaign for Liberty today to aid us in our efforts to fight big government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Together, we will achieve our goals of reclaiming our Republic and restoring our Constitution.


In Liberty,

John Tate

President
Campaign for Liberty


**********************

Letter #1

Dear Senator (Name),

I urge you to oppose any bailout of the auto industry, whether by taking existing funds from TARP, revising any previous loans, or making new grants.

The auto industry is lobbying hard for taxpayer money when they should be entirely focused on restructuring their companies and recouping their losses. There is no guarantee that a government handout will have any positive effect, and that GM, Ford, and Chrysler will not be back in a few months asking for additional billions.

Since a bailout will only delay the economic consequences of the Big 3's current predicaments, Congress should allow the market to work so that the fallout can be dealt with and overcome as quickly as possible.

Instead of handing out more of the taxpayers' money and moving further away from the free market ideas that made America great, I ask you to:

1.) Curb regulation: The auto industry is already one of the most heavily-regulated industries, and a bailout will bring more government regulation and additional costs. Alleviating even a little of the red tape would free up resources for them to address their financial situations, save jobs, and produce quality products to jump-start sales.

2.) Cut taxes: Cutting corporate and capital gains taxes would give these companies immediate funds to put toward their problems. Cutting individual income taxes would return much needed money to workers and consumers, strengthening their financial positions and purchasing power during these turbulent times.

Taking just these two steps will save the industry far more in the long run than the numbers currently being proposed for the bailout.

Additionally, because the Paulson TARP plan has abandoned its originally stated purpose of buying toxic assets, is not holding up its promises to be transparent, and has not been properly accountable to Congress, no further expenditures should be authorized until the Treasury Department presents a full accounting to Congress of how it has already dispersed TARP funds.

Since the election, Republicans have talked of returning to their limited government message. This is a chance for you to prove your commitment to free market capitalism and the freedom philosophy by demonstrating that the Republican Party will be worthy of our trust in the next Congress. A vote for another bailout will send the signal that, despite any lip-service paid to limited government principles, Republican talking points of defending them are cheap and little more than campaign rhetoric.

The answers to our economic problems cannot be found in further government intervention. As your constituent, I urge you not to put my tax dollars on the line and to vote "no" on the auto industry bailout.

Sincerely,


**********************

Letter #2

Dear Senator (Name),

I urge you to oppose any bailout of the auto industry, whether by taking existing funds from TARP, revising any previous loans, or making new grants.

The auto industry is lobbying hard for taxpayer money when they should be entirely focused on restructuring their companies and recouping their losses. There is no guarantee that a government handout will have any positive effect, and that GM, Ford, and Chrysler will not be back in a few months asking for additional billions.

Since a bailout will only delay the economic consequences of the Big 3's current predicaments, Congress should allow the market to work so that the fallout can be dealt with and overcome as quickly as possible.

Instead of handing out more of the taxpayers' money and moving further away from the free market ideas that made America great, I ask you to:

1.) Curb regulation: The auto industry is already one of the most heavily-regulated industries, and a bailout will bring more government regulation and additional costs. Alleviating even a little of the red tape would free up resources for them to address their financial situations, save jobs, and produce quality products to jumpstart sales.

2.) Cut taxes: Cutting corporate and capital gains taxes would give these companies immediate funds to put toward their problems. Cutting individual income taxes would return much needed money to workers and consumers, strengthening their financial positions and purchasing power during these turbulent times.

Taking just these two steps will save the industry far more in the long run than the numbers currently being proposed for the bailout.

Additionally, because the Paulson TARP plan has abandoned its originally stated purpose of buying toxic assets, is not holding up its promises to be transparent, and has not been properly accountable to Congress, no further expenditures should be authorized until the Treasury Department presents a full accounting to Congress of how it has already dispersed TARP funds.

The answers to our economic problems cannot be found in further government intervention. As your constituent, I urge you not to put my tax dollars on the line and to vote "no" on the auto industry bailout.


Sincerely,


-----=====******O******=====-----

From the Heritage Foundation:

The Detroit Bailout: Unsafe at Any Cost

The Automaker Bailout: Questions Congress Must Ask the Automakers

Auto Bailout Ignores Excessive Labor Costs

Automakers Need Bankruptcy, Not Bailout

Why did this take the mainstream media by surprise?

General Motors and the Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Wall Street | Karen De Coster and Eric Englund

General Motors Runs Over the Experts | Gary North, May 7, 2005

GM's negative net worth nicely parallel's Washington D.C.'s. Someday the mainstream media will figure out that one too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Non-Denominational Theocracy

In a previous post I rebutted the claim that America has A Secular Constitution.

I recently found a statement which buttresses this rebuttal. It comes from Charles B. Galloway's book Christianity and the American Commonwealth (1898). He says:

To the study of this subject I have been impelled by the evident tendency of some modern historians to minify, if not almost entirely eliminate, religion from the formative forces of our American institutions. Books on the making of our nation have been written, and are the texts in our colleges, in which the Christian religion, as a social and civil factor, has only scant or apologetic mention. This is either a fatal oversight or a deliberate purpose, and both alike are to be deplored and condemned. A nation ashamed of its ancestry will be despised by its posterity. Whatever use or misuse we may make of our inheritance, it is well to be reminded from whence it came. We ought to know the genesis of our institutions, though we may have to lament their exodus. With the growth of a subtle materialistic spirit which invades every department of life, however sacred and secret, we are threatened with an undervaluing or ignoring of the great moral and spiritual forces that constructed the massive framework of this mighty nation. Climatic, economic, racial, and purely political forces are analyzed and properly classified; but the religious factor, which more than either or all of them determined the character of our civilization and the form of our government, has received very indifferent, if not malevolent, consideration. All of which confirms the judgment of a distinguished writer who has recently observed that “the place of religion in human history is too often the subject merely of ecclesiastical or antiecclesiastical declamation, or else, through fear of giving offense, it is left severely alone.”

History books 150 years ago were often written by those trained by and loyal to ecclesiastical institutions. Their histories might have Presbyterian slant, or a Catholic slant, or an anti-Catholic slant. Anyone writing from a non-denominational perspective could expect negative reviews from the various denominations, who felt that their denomination's contributions had been slighted, or the dangerous errors of the opposing denomination ignored. Galloway is saying that as secularism was rising, generically Christian studies were vanishing. Nobody wanted to upset the ecclesiastical powers.

This is why there was no explicitly Christian preamble or other wording in the federal Constitution (unlike several state constitutions). Any proposal by a Presbyterian for such Christian language in the Constitution would have been opposed by the Baptists, who suspected some kind of state establishment of Presbyterianism would have resulted.

It was ecclesiastically-connected delegates -- Christians -- who opposed Christian language in the Constitution. There is not a shred of evidence that they wanted a "Godless constitution" and a "secular" (atheistic) government. They just didn't want to disrupt the consensus by offending ecclesiastical parties and officials.

Now, with the hope of contributing somewhat to the arrest of that tendency, and of aiding the students of this honored institution to a broader study of the earlier history of this American commonwealth, I have timidly ventured upon the theme of these lectures. My purpose shall be, if possible, to demonstrate that Protestant Christianity has been the dominant influence in our nation’s construction and continuation. For I hesitate not to affirm that the temple at Jerusalem was built by a no more sacred patriotism or under the benedictions of a no more favoring Providence than were the colonial governments of this New World.

Christian teachings were the seed-thoughts of our political constitutions, and Christian evangelism was the inspiration of American colonization. If we eliminate from our national history the direct and all-powerful influence of the Christian religion, we have nothing left but a set of disjointed facts without significance, dry and dreary annals without parentage or posterity. But, on the other hand, a right apprehension of all the formative forces in our national life will vindicate the matured judgment of Emerson, that “our whole history appears like a last effort of Divine Providence in behalf of the human race.”

After surveying the various charters of government, federal and state, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1892 -- motivated by the same anti-secular concerns of Galloway -- declared that America is a Christian nation:

There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak the voice of the entire people. While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. Comm., 11 Serg. & R. 394, 400, it was decided that, "Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania; * * * not Christianity with an established church and tithes and spiritual courts, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men."

Nobody ever thought about challenging the idea that America was a Christian nation, which is why there were few court precedents to be cited in the 1892 decision. But according to the U.S. Supreme Court, America was officially and legally -- "organically" -- a Christian nation.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keeping Promises

Let's divide what you earned last year into thirds:

If you paid a single dime in personal income taxes, you paid about one-third of your income in direct taxes:

(This includes Social Security "contributions," which the Court has ruled are just another tax, and the Congress has no duty to give any of it back to you when you retire -- and are matched by more money taken out of your paycheck by your employer, who is required to match your "contribution.")

If you bought a new car for $25,000, you paid anywhere from $10,000 to $13,000 in corporate income taxes, which were levied on all the big, bad businesses which created the various parts of your car, and were passed on to you (because businesses have no income to pay corporate income taxes other than what they get in the price tag paid by consumers). YOU pay all corporate income taxes. About one-half of the price you pay for everything you buy reflects taxes and other government regulatory fees passed on to you by businesses which are attacked by government.

This means that the piece of the pie you get to keep for yourself is the one-third slice, while the government takes two-thirds.

Now consider another fact: For every dollar the government takes to "help the poor," about 50 cents remains in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, while only one-half gets to the poor. This is the average for government "services" after "administrative overhead" is taken out. Some bureaucracies are more wasteful, some are less wasteful, but no government agency is as efficient as a competitive business or voluntary charity in the free market providing similar goods or services.

So, the government takes 2/3 of everything you earn.

The government wastes half of everything it takes.

This means that if all government programs were abolished, and all taxes were cut, your disposable income would be 3 times larger than it is today. You could donate 1/3 of your income (only one-half of what the government currently taxes from you) to charities -- who would do a better job of helping the needy -- or you could buy government services on the Free Market for half the price the government now charges.

That would mean your disposable income would be twice as large as it is today, and your society would be better off: the poor would be better cared for, the roads would be better maintained, the next generation would be better educated.

Now consider this hypothetical:
If you could check a box on your IRS 1040 tax return that would refund every penny you paid in taxes (whether direct or indirect), on the condition that you promise to donate one-half of the refund to charities and organizations that benefit the public, would you check that box?

If you checked that box, would you keep your promise and donate one-half of the rebate to worthwhile public benefit projects -- or would you spend the money on middle-class bling? (HDTV, SUV's, RV, boat, cruise, etc.)

If other Americans were given the opportunity to check the box, would you trust them to keep their promise?

If the answer to those two questions is "no," then you live in a nation of slaves, not the "land of the free." You live in a nation of selfish people who cannot be trusted to keep their promises. You live in a nation whose people will not do good things unless threatened with violence by the government.

Will the government make us a free people?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Abolish the Federal Reserve System

I will be interviewed tonight on the Libertarian Dime at 8:30pm Central Time. The subject will be the Federal Reserve System and why we should abolish it. I think you can hear it here [mp3].

I was hoping to update this webpage before the broadcast, but I may not have time.

Update: The show was not broadcast live.

URL:
http://m.podshow.com/media/17755/episodes/133027/thelibertariandime-133027-11-16-2008.mp3

Description:
http://www.mevio.com/shows/?sId=17755&mId=5645437

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sacred Civil Institutions

A blogger at Positive Liberty has complained about California's Proposition 8 (which defined the sacred civil institution of marriage according to God's definition), arguing that nothing is sacred in the world of the civil.

A history lesson to correct this misunderstanding is here.

More on the myth of the "separation of church and state" is here.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The Death of Conservatism

We Blew It A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered.
by P.J. O'Rourke

Tangential excerpt:

It's not hard to move a voting bloc. And it should be especially easy to move voters to the right. Sensible adults are conservative in most aspects of their private lives. If this weren't so, imagine driving on I-95: The majority of drivers are drunk, stoned, making out, or watching TV, while the rest are trying to calculate the size of their carbon footprints on the backs of Whole Foods receipts while negotiating lane changes.

People are even more conservative if they have children. Nobody with kids is a liberal, except maybe one pothead in Marin County. Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns. (The last is optional and includes, but is not limited to, me, my friends in New Hampshire, and Sarah Palin.)

And 99% of all parents ("parents" being defined as heterosexual couples who are still keeping their marital vows -- the percentage might be somewhat lower among other demographic groups identified as "parents") want their children to:

• not steal
• not kill
• wait till they get married
• not get an STD
• not get pregnant out of wedlock
• not get an abortion
• not be homosexual
• not be a prostitute
• not be a drug addict
• not be a gambling addict
• not be dependent on government welfare

This is a huge voting bloc.

The easy way to win their votes is to explain to them why abolishing government programs makes it less likely that their children will become any of these things.

We can even win many of the votes of those parents who actually want their children to become these things, by explaining to them that we do not want to lock their children up in a federal prison cell with a psychopath if they do any of these things.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Will the GOP Learn from This?

Will the GOP Learn from This?, by Michael D. Tanner of the Cato Institute.

This article appeared in the Orange County Register on November 4, 2008.

A similar article could be written about Libertarians. Most people can't give a coherent explanation of what the Republican Party or the Libertarian Party stands for. That's probably because the two parties don't promote a coherent program.

The Republican Party is criticized for not empowering government, but it actually expands government power when in office.

Libertarians are supposed to be for smaller government, but one poll suggests they support Obama:

http://tinyurl.com/lp-support-obama

compare this 2000 poll:

http://www.theadvocates.org/library/poll-results.html

Bob Barr did not get the support of a large number of libertarian voters, who didn't feel Barr was truly libertarian.

Notice in the first poll that the largest demographic is "socially conservative and fiscally conservative." I guess that's the Constitution Party.

The problem is, a person can be "socially conservative" but politically liberal, that is, homosexuality may be wrong, but should't be the government's business. ("Socially liberal" would say homosexuality is good.)

The answer is to convince that large socially conservative bloc that government promotes social liberalism (homosexuality, abortion, drugs, etc) by its policies, and that abolishing government programs will make it harder for homosexuality, abortion, drugs, etc., to gain a foothold in society.

(As a libertarian candidate, I'm trying to learn something from these polls and election results. I don't think the GOP is going to learn anything, and I don't particularly care if they do.)

UPDATE

Richard Winger points out,

The Libertarian Party polled over 1,000,000 votes for its candidates for US House, for the 4th time, in 2008. Breaking the 1,000,000 vote for US House candidates is something that no other party (other than the Dems & Reps) has done since 1914. This was achieved in 2008 despite the fact that we had candidates in only 126 districts.

The Libertarian Party is now ballot-qualified in over half the states. No other parties, except the Dems & Reps, can say that. Our presidential total has gone up 3 elections in a row, something that was never true before, except in the series 1972-1976-1980. Barr’s vote has topped 500,000; no other Libertarian running for president except Ed Clark did that.

Where's MY Bailout?

"Because ALL Americans should be protected from their own stupidity."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The End of the Religious Right

In his latest column, Constitution Party Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin argues that "For all intents and purposes, [the Religious Right] -- as a national movement -- is completely and thoroughly dead. Barack Obama did not destroy it, however. It was George W. Bush and John McCain who destroyed [the Religious Right] in America."

I substituted "Religious Right" for "conservatives," because it is Christian conservatives who have been exposed as cheerleaders for the Republican Party, rather than defenders of Christian principles.

But the worst calamity of this election was the way conservatives -- especially Christian conservatives -- surrendered their principles for the sake of political partisanship. The James Dobsons of this country should hang their heads in shame! Not only did they lose an election, they lost their integrity!

In South Carolina, for example, pro-life Christians and conservatives had an opportunity to vote for a principled conservative-constitutionalist for the U.S. Senate. He is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-traditional marriage. He believes in securing our borders against illegal immigration. He is against the bailout for the Wall Street banksters. His conservative credentials are unassailable. But the vast majority of Christian conservatives (including those at Bob Jones University) voted for his liberal opponent instead.

The man that the vast majority of Christian conservatives voted for in South Carolina is a Big-Government neocon. He supported the bailout of the Wall Street banksters. He is a rabid supporter of granting amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. In fact, this man has a conservative rating of only 29% in the current Freedom Index of the New American Magazine.

Why did Christian conservatives support the liberal neocon and not the solid pro-life conservative? Because the conservative ran as a Democrat and the neocon is a Republican. I'm talking about the race between Bob Conley and Lindsey Graham, of course.

Had South Carolina's pastors, Christians, evangelicals, and pro-life conservatives voted for Bob Conley, he would be the new senator-elect from that state. In fact, Bob was so conservative that the Democratic leadership in South Carolina endorsed the Republican, Lindsey Graham!

This roughly parallels Newt Gingrich and Republican leaders supporting Democrats rather than Ron Paul. Sean Hannity could have used his media power to help secure the Republican nomination for Ron Paul. Then there would have been a genuine choice in November, as well as a discussion of principles. Instead, Hannity supported arch-conservative Christian fundamentalist Rudy Giuliani and ridiculed Ron Paul. Why Dobson could reject Giuliani and vote for McCain is purely partisan pragamtism, not Christian principle.

No matter. A majority of evangelical Christians in South Carolina stupidly rejected Bob Conley and voted for Graham.

Across the country, rather than stand on principle, hundreds of thousands of pastors, Christians, and pro-life conservatives capitulated and groveled before John McCain's neocon agenda. In doing so, they forfeited any claim to truth, and they abandoned any and all fidelity to constitutional government. They should rip the stories of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of their Bibles. They should never again tell their children, parishioners, and radio audiences the importance of standing for truth and principle. They have made a mockery of Christian virtue. No wonder a majority of the voting electorate laughs at us Christians. No wonder the GOP crashed and burned last Tuesday.

Again, it wasn't Barack Obama who destroyed conservatism; it was George W. Bush, John McCain, and the millions of evangelical Christians who supported them. And until conservatives find their backbone and their convictions, they deserve to remain a burnt-out, has-been political force. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Baldwin is right about the Religious Right. How the Christian Chuck Baldwin finds instructions for immigrant-bashing in the Bible is beyond me.

"Christian Right" is a contradiction in terms. (Deuteronomy 5:32; 17:11; 17:20; 28:14; Joshua 1:7; 23:6; Psalm 125:5; Proverbs 4:27.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations, Travis Maddox

Travis Maddox ran a better campaign than I did, and I'm genuinely surprised that he didn't get more votes than I did. He made a lot of personal sacrifices -- including his job -- made more personal appearances, invested more money, and probably made more new converts to liberty than I did.

And yet voters in southwest Missouri chose not to vote for Maddox, but to give more votes than they did in 2004 and 2006 -- and a higher percentage of their votes than in 2006 -- to the House Republican king-of-the-bailouts.

Unbelievable.

I have to admit I was hoping to break the 10,000-vote barrier, and I suspect Travis kept me from that goal. But Travis probably fits the Libertarian Party better than the Constitution Party, and together we topped 13,000 votes, so I'm willing to claim that the 7th Congressional District has more liberty-minded voters than any other district in Missouri. And I have no doubt that Travis Maddox inspired many of them to boldly break out of the 2-party prison.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Better than Voting

Of course I'd like you to vote for me. But here's what I would accept instead:

Make a promise to communicate with a government official at least once a month during the next 2 years.

Any government official, not necessarily the same one.

I've heard that politicians view a letter as having the same weight as six votes. That is, for every person who takes the time to write a letter, there are six others who didn't.

The message we should be communicating to government officials is this:

If you are not working to reduce the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and actively opposing any increase in the size, scope or power of government at any level or for any purpose, then you are a force for evil.

We all admit that the government does some evil things. What we need to understand is Everything the government does is evil. This is true for two reasons. Even if the government is engaged in an ethically non-evil act, such as giving money to the poor, or delivering Christmas cards through the USPS,

• the government engages in evil to prevent competition, and/or
• the government funds its acts by acts of evil.

The government will place your Christmas card in your friend's mailbox for a small fee. Nothing wrong with that. But the government will threaten you with violence if you attempt to put a Christmas card for your friend in your friend's mailbox without a government stamp on it. It's your card, it's your friend's mailbox, the card is intended for your friend, but you will be threatened with violence if you place your friend's Christmas card in your friend's mailbox without a government stamp on it. The government is indistinguishable from the mafia on this issue. (I've been told that legally/technically the mailbox "belongs" to the government, even if your friend bought it at Home Depot. So surely you can see why YOU are the evil doer if you place a Christmas card for your friend in a mailbox your friend bought at Home Depot: you're trespassing on government property.)

A needy person receives a check from the government, and everyone thinks that's a good thing, but the money was stolen. The government did not plant, grow, and harvest wheat and sell it, and give the proceeds to the needy person. The government threatened to lock you in its basement with a psychopath unless you forked over some money. The government kept half and gave the other half to a needy person.

This is evil, not good.

Or (since taxes are unpopular) the government quietly stole purchasing power from your retirement funds, using the Federal Reserve to redistribute purchasing power. (You have the same number of dollars, but each dollar will buy less: what the needy person bought with the money printed up by the government came out of your retirement funds.)

So everything the government does depends on the violent enforcement of a monopoly, or the violent extortion of funds, or the fraudulent embezzlement of purchasing power.

If you vote for a candidate who promises to perpetuate these evil acts, well, it would seem you share some of the guilt.

An ethical person can only vote for a candidate who starts off by saying, "All extortion ("taxation") is immoral, and I will never authorize of any of it."

You are under no obligation, legally or morally, to vote. If you vote for Candidate A who promises to steal less than Candidate B, you are voting for a candidate who promises to steal. You are an accessory. You have given your approval to immorality and acts of violence.

We need to persuade politicians to resign, and destroy their position of power on the way out. We need to convince them that good people do not respect them for engaging in evil political acts. This is how we begin shunning government down.

Of course, that requires some reality to be effective; we need to convince good people that government is a bad idea.

In the meantime, we can still communicate with politicians, and while we can, we should. DownsizeDC.org is a great way to do this.

-----=====******O******=====-----


Should You Vote?

The Only Choice on November 4th | Don't vote! Article by Lew Rockwell.
Don't Vote | You're wrecking the world, says Dave Thompson.
Dross and Debt | A Christian perspective on elections, from Jim Fedako.
The Ballad of Two Hunks | And the battle a-comin' on Tuesday. Article by Mike Rogers.
Don't Forget to Vtoe | Mike Rogers misspells that on purpose.
Voting Is Immoral | Rick Dunaway explains his religious objections.
Why I Don't Vote | A classic from Butler Shaffer.
A Rational Choice for Election Day | Indeed, the only rational choice. Article by Butler Shaffer.
Socialist or National Socialist | Take your pick. Article by Tom DiLorenzo.
Confessions of a Former Voter | Phil Hensley on his rehabilitation.

I Don't Mind If You Keep Voting, But Do You Mind If I Keep Laughing While You Do? |
“McBama vs. America” | by Craig Biddle
The Value of Voting |
I Won't Vote! | Donald J. Boudreaux
Why your vote doesn't matter |
Strike-the-Root.com Non-Voting Archive |
Two Choices for President | by Mark Thornton
Why I Don’t Vote | by Mark Reynolds
The Myth of the Wasted Vote | by Charles L. Hooper
The Voting Ritual | by Butler Shaffer
Stop Voting! | by Russell D. Longcore
Don't Vote | by David Ker Thomson
Why I Do Not Vote | Michael S. Rozeff

Gene Callahan:
Your Right Not To Vote | Exercise it while you still can.
Rock the Non-Vote, Part 1 |
Rock the Non-Vote, Part 2 | Not voting is a blow to the state and the establishment.

Wally Conger:
Forget Voting | But whom will you root for?
Don't Vote | Wally Conger's anti-electorate manifesto.

Thomas DiLorenzo:
Don't Vote | It's the patriotic thing to do.

Brian Dunaway:
Voting Is Immoral
Don't Vote | You'll only help legitimize the criminal gang running the country.
The Voting Blues | Brian Dunaway on the trouble with democracy.

Brad Edmonds:
Voting Is Evil | Abstaining is good.

Anthony Gregory:
Go Ahead, Cancel the Election | There would be silver linings to such a usurpation.
Voting for the Lesser of Two Police States | Anthony Gregory on the election.

Paul Hein:
Don't Do It! | Vote, that is.

J. H. Huebert:
Every Vote is Wasted

Ira Katz:
A Vote for Not Voting | We need voter de-registration drives, says Ira Katz.

Robert Klassen:
Your Vote Counts | But only in the marketplace.
Vote for the Leader of the Gang? | No thanks, says Robert Klassen.
Turn Your Back | On the 2004 elections.
Don't Vote | It makes you culpable.

Al Lowi:
The Vanishing Voter | Al Lowi says, Hurray.

Benjamin Marks:
Americans Are Free Not To Vote | We in Australia are not, says Benjamin Marks.

Wendy McElroy:
Be Responsible: Don't Vote | Don't be a conformist.

Bob Murphy:
Hey, Voters | Don't.
Still Don't Vote | Bob Murphy responds to his critics.
Picking Neither of Two Evils |
Picking Neither of Two Evils, Part II | Bob Murphy on the irrationality of voting.
Don't Cancel the Election! | It would be a nightmare, despite the trouble with mass democracy.
Don't Let the Feds Postpone the Election | Unless you want Occupied America.

Michael Peirce:
Heads They Win, Tails You Lose | Michael Peirce on the election.

Fred Reed:
The Con Game Called Democracy | Voting is a public display of weak character and low intelligence. (And see Hoppe.)

Mark Reynolds:
Why I Don't Vote | Mark Reynolds on a waste of time for you that pleases the government.

Jeremy Sapienza:
Vote? | Are you kidding?

Bretigne Shaffer:
Don't Vote | Indeed, don't participate in politics at all.

Butler Shaffer:
Bush or Kerry? | Butler Shaffer on how to decide.
Elect a Donkey | No, no. A real one.
Why I Do Not Vote | Politics is evil.

John Seiler:
Alien vs. Predator | John Seiler on election 2004.

Russ Stein:
Ignore the Campaign Too | Not voting is only the first step.

Mark Thornton:
Don't Vote, or Vote 3rd Party | Both are right.

Mark Westcott:
Stay Home on November 2 | Mark Westcott goes over a few of the reasons.

Austro-Athenian Empire » In Defense of Voting (sort of), Pt 2


The Wandering Heretic » Should Christians Vote?


The Wandering Heretic » My Paradigm for Christians Voting
Does Your Vote Really Count? The New American


A Non-Voting BibliographyCompiled by Wilton Alston


For general theory on non-voting and political party involvement, see:


the late Samuel Edward Konkin III, so-called agorist, founder of The Movement of the Libertarian Left, author of The New Libertarian Manifesto (PDF), editor of the magazine New Libertarian, coiner (in 1971) of the term “minarchy.”
the late Robert LeFevre, founder of the Freedom School and Rampart College .
Ronald N. Neff, editor of the (currently exclusively online) magazine The Last Ditch.
George H. Smith, Carl Watner, and Wendy McElroy (her website), the three founders of the magazine The Voluntaryist (old web site), currently edited by Watner.

For specific articles on non-voting (with some pro-con debate), see:

Wilton D. Alston, “Legitimizing Voting: A Modest Proposal”, Strike-the-Root.com.
Anonymous, “Why I Refuse to Register (to Vote or Pay Taxes)”, The Voluntaryist, no. 100 (October 1999). (Also available here.)
Raymond William [“Bill”] Bradford, “Voting Is No Sin”, Liberty, November 1996. (A response to McElroy’s “Why I Would Not Vote…Even Against Hitler”)
Richard O. Hammer, “Is it Wise to Vote? Getting My Head Ready for Freedom
Jacob G. Hornberger, “Five Questions to Ronald N. Neff”, With Mr. Ronald N. Neff’s reply, “Ron Neff replies.” The Last Ditch, February 3, 2002 .
Samuel Edward Konkin III, “The Damnation of Bill Bradford”, New Libertarian. (A response to Bradford ’s “Voting Is No Sin”)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part I: Can We? Should We?”, Formulations, vol. 2, no. 4 (Issue no. 8) (Summer 1995). (Also available here.)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part II: The Process of Reform”, Formulations, vol. 3, no. 1 (Issue no. 9) (Autumn 1995). (Also available here.)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part III: Is Libertarian Political Action Self-Defeating?”, Formulations, vol. 3, no. 2 (Issue no. 10) (Winter 1995–1996). (Also available here.)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part IV: The Sons of Brutus.Formulations, vol. 3, no. 3 (Issue no. 11) (Spring 1996). (Also available here.)
Wendy McElroy, “Neither Bullets nor Ballots”, The Voluntaryist, no. 1 (October 1982). (Also available here.) Reprinted (“in slightly alterered form”) as Introduction to Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy & George H. Smith, Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism (Voluntaryists, 1983). (Also available here.)
Wendy McElroy, “Climbing Off the Bandwagon”, The Voluntaryist, no. 3 (February 1983). (Also available here and here.)
Wendy McElroy, “Why I Would Not Vote…Even Against Hitler”, Liberty, May 1996. Reprinted in The Voluntaryist, no. 85 (April 1997). (Reprint version also available here and here.)
Stefan Molyneux, “My Son: Klan Reformer”, Strike-the-Root.com. (This is a personal favorite of mine.)
Ronald N. Neff, “Oh, sure . . . your vote matters!The Last Ditch, November 8, 2000 .
Ronald N. Neff, “Why I am not a Libertarian”, The Last Ditch, November 28, 2000 .
Ronald N. Neff, “Ron Paul’s Gift”, The Last Ditch, September 19, 2001 .
Ronald N. Neff, “Fifty Ron Pauls and the Government with Only One Law”, The Last Ditch, September 19, 2001 . Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
Hans Sherrer, “Non-Voting as an Act of Secession”, The Voluntaryist, no. 114 (3rd Quarter 2002). (Also available here.)
George H. Smith, “The Ethics of Voting — Part I”, The Voluntaryist, no. 1 (October 1982). (Also avaliable here.)
George H. Smith, “The Ethics of Voting — Part II”, The Voluntaryist, no. 2 (December 1982). (Also available here.)
George H. Smith, “The Ethics of Voting — Part III”, The Voluntaryist, no. 4 (April 1983). (Also available here.)
George H. Smith, “Party Dialogue”, New Libertarian, vol. IV, no. 8 (December 1980–February 1981). Reprinted in Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy & George H. Smith, Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism (Voluntaryists, 1983).
Joe Sobran. “How to Vote for Liberty”, Sobran’s: The Real News of the Month,
October 26, 2004 . Reprinted in The Voluntaryist, no. 126 (3rd quarter 2005). (Reprint version also available here.)
Geoff Turecek. “An Open Letter to Voters: Please Don't”, Strike-the-Root.com.
Carl Watner. “Cultivate Your Own Garden: No Truck with Politics”, The Voluntaryist, no. 40 (October 1989). (Also available here.)
Carl Watner. “Harry Browne — Have You Forgotten?: "The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil"”, The Voluntaryist, no. 85 (April 1997). (Also available here.)
Carl Watner. “Is Voting an Act of Violence?The Voluntaryist, no. 103 (April 2000). (Also available here.) Even more articles may be reached via online repositories:
The Against Politics Web page “The Calculus of Voting
The LewRockwell.com Non-Voting Archive. (Butler Shaffer, among others, has some great stuff in this archive!)
The No Treason Voting Archive.
The Strike The Root Non-Voting Archive. (Several, but not all, of the articles noted here can be found in this archive!)
The Voluntaryist’s list of “Additional essays related to non-voting and The Dissenting Electorate.”
Books on non-voting include:
Sy Leon. None of the Above: The Lesser of Two Evils . . . Is Evil. (With an Introduction by Harry Browne.) Fabian Publishing Co., 1976.
Sy Leon. None of the Above: Why Non-Voters Are America’s Political Majority. 2nd ed., rev. ed. (re-titled) with a new Introduction by John Pugsley. Fox & Wilkes, 1996.
Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy & George H. Smith. Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism. Voluntaryists, 1983. (See also, The Voluntaryist bibliography.)
Carl Watner, ed. I Must Speak Out: The Best of The Voluntaryist 1982–1999 (PDF). San Francisco, California: Fox & Wilkes, 1999. Table of Contents and Other Material.
Carl Watner with Wendy McElroy, eds. Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition (Introduction Only) (Also available here.) McFarland & Company, 2000. Table of Contents, along with some other material, available here.