Greater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group
The new Congress has a chance at giving us a tax reform that would save us taxpayers something less than, but approaching, $168 billion dollars a year. A significant amount of taxpayer savings could be realized by streamlining the tax collection process. It can be done without the political booby traps lurking inside last year’s proposals to reform the tax code.
Let us hope the House Ways and Means Committee’s new chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi) will take a serious look at this possibility. The House GOP stumbled, loyally, in tax reform in the last Congress. The reformers were following a model (“close loopholes to lower the rates”) coined in another political era. It copied a crusade in which I was, as a Kemp acolyte and the founder of the Prosperity Caucus, and remain, deeply engaged: “Supply Side” economics. The crusade continues but the tactics must adapt.
>snip<Bring tax collection into the 21st century, in the process saving taxpayers the equivalent of maybe $100B (approaching 10% of income tax receipts) — saving us billions of onerous hours of tedious uncompensated work.
While at it, modernize and streamline the IRS — and insulate it from vulnerability to abuse by political authorities. As myself a former federal career civil servant there is no reasonable doubt in my mind that the career civil servants at the IRS would appreciate insulation from political tampering even more than would the members of the Tea Party Patriots (among whom I am counted).
Modernizing, streamlining, and instituting a benevolent division of labor can be done with no ox gored in the process. How?
According to the 2012 Report by the IRS’s own Taxpayer Advocate Service:
Dramatically modernize and streamline the IRS. Call it “abolish” if you wish to score some points with the dwindling, but still vocal, Tea Party, Sen. Cruz; call it “reorganize” if you wish to score points with the tiny group of media darlings who are self-styled “Reform Conservatives,” Gov. Bush.
Or call it what it is: bringing tax administration into the 21st century through the miracle of “middleware.” Almost every major corporation uses middleware — software invisible to consumers — to make complicated transactions user friendly. So can Uncle Sam.
What might this look like?
1. Place the authority for tax collection from corporations and other entities that already keep books (for whom reporting already is a routine cost of doing business) into a new, teched up, Treasury Department agency which also will collect the information returns, as currently.
2. Create a “tax prep” agency, perhaps within the Department of Labor. Give it jurisdiction over employees (the vast majority of us) to, in the discretion of the taxpayer (who can opt in or out with a click) take information returns from all sources and calculate our tax liability. Most of the relevant information currently is collected and automatically reconciled with returns. The tax collection agency does not perform the attendant calculations. It could, and easily.
Taxpayers then would submit, online, deductions not automatically provided to the IRS and report, as now, otherwise unreported income. The “tax prep agency” instantaneously, online, then would recalculate the tax liability … and refund amount or additional payment due. This can be a simple, nonintrusive, process.
The taxpayer would have the right to “audit the tax collector” if he or she disputes its finding. The tax agency itself would no longer have the power to audit the individual taxpayer. (Good government dictates that that function belongs elsewhere.)
3. The authority to audit an individual taxpayer, based on probable cause with a presumption of innocence (respectful of Fourth Amendment protections) would be placed within another agency, maybe the Justice Department. This provides an additional check and balance by requiring that a case would have to be made to a third party. This would restore a measure of due process and an intuitive sense of fairness.
4. Create, pursuant to Article III section I of the Constitution, a “Small Claims Tax Court” to resolve smaller disputes (perhaps those under $10,000, indexed for inflation) in every local federal building. Like state small claims courts the taxpayer may, but shall not be required to, use lawyers (or accountants).
5. Automate the application for tax-exempt status on the part of nonprofit organizations into an instantaneous online process. Recognition would be subject to revocation for fraud, misrepresentation, and simple error. The risk of political abuse thereby greatly would be diminished.
Transforming the tax collection process would eliminate many onerous requirements. It would save taxpayers many billions of dollars — or billions of hours of tedious effort. It would restore Constitutional rights that have been eroded. It dramatically would reduce the risk of political abuse of (and by) the tax collection agency. It would bring the tax collections process into the 21st century. It could save taxpayers perhaps $100 billion or its equivalent. It would restore the sense of justice that is critical to the integrity of the tax collection process.
Someone could ride a $100 billion tax cut right into the White House.
>snip<Fighting trench warfare against deductions to drop the top federal tax rate by a few points is a recipe for political misery and not much growth. Something like a $100 billion tax cut awaits someone in authority to move America out of Antiquated Tax Collection Hell. The debacle of HealthCare.gov suggests that the process ought not be undertaken lightly. Yet, with the right political champion taking ownership, bringing the collections process into the 21st century could both provide and pay for a whopping tax cut while making our liberty more secure.
How horrifying to discover the (formerly) reliably left-wing Jonathan Chait, in the January 26th issue of the (formerly) reliably Limousine Liberal New York Magazine, going to bat for liberty. I collapsed onto my fainting couch.
Mr. Chait, in an article comfortingly entitled Not A Very P.C. Thing To Say – immediately undermining my comfort with the subheadline, “how the language police are perverting liberalism” – writes:
Shocking that some liberals bitterly cling to the failed concept of individual rights, freedom of expression, and a kind of free political marketplace. After recounting the perfectly persuasive Marxian justification for suppressing free speech Chait enumerates many heartwarming instances of suppression, especially in academe. And then goes on to say:
These are extreme ideas, but they are neither isolated nor marginal. A widely cited column by a Harvard Crimson editorial writer last year demanded an end to academic freedom if freedom extended to objectionable ideas. “If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism,” asked the author, “why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?”
And penultimately observes:
Well! People who are presumptively — and truly — guilty of Thoughtcrimes should be scared to speak. Right now and forever!
For his own Thoughtcrime in advocating liberty and for criticizing — by name, the blackguard! — my comrades for noble work in coercing Thoughtcriminals into silence today I place Jonathan Chait on my own personal Enemies of the State List.
See that you put him on yours as well!
Je t’adore (not you, Mr. Chait),
This article was written by Mike Badnarik and published here: http://www.constitutionpreservation.org/articles/april-7-2010/continental-congress-remembered
Eighteenth century life in the British colonies was good – until King George III started raising taxes and making onerous laws that chaffed almost everyone’s backside. Countless petitions were written, and most of them were hand delivered to London – to little or no avail. Every attempt to negotiate with the King to establish better living conditions was ignored or rebuffed. It was enough to make you want to throw tea into Boston Harbor.
(This article will be published in Issue 19 of REPUBLIC MAGAZINE. Please visit RepublicMagazine.com to subscribe, or to purchase bulk orders for distribution.)
What should civilized people do when the situation is spiraling out of control, and all previous efforts have proven ineffective? Why not gather the wisest and most influential members of society in Philadelphia so they can analyze the situation, and recommend a course of action? In the fall of 1774, delegates from all thirteen colonies gathered to share ideas. In the spring of 1775, blood is shed at Lexington and Concord which makes the situation even more disturbing. At long last, in the summer of 1776, the delegates of the Continental Congress finally find a solution – declaring their independence from the Crown.
Fast forward to the twentieth century. Inflation is given an aura of respectability with the (unconstitutional) passage of the Federal Reserve Act. In the same year, the Sixteenth Amendment and the Internal Revenue Service legitimize government theft, while the Seventeenth Amendment changes our republic into a democracy, previously recognized as a “tyranny of the majority”.
Eventually, socialist programs are instituted to distribute wealth from the “haves” to the “have nots”. (After several decades, the flow of wealth now moves in the other direction.) Instead of being reviled as inconsistent with individual rights and private property, these programs are hailed as “The New Deal”. The Great Depression, made possible by the institutionalized counterfeiting of our money less than twenty years before, is still not enough to wake the general public from its political coma.
Along comes a simple, honest man named Bob Schulz who begins to ask questions of his contemporary, three-branches-of-government “king”. A gathering of intellectuals is scheduled to resolve a decades-long dispute between the government, and citizens demanding that the government “show me the law”. That meeting is never held because of a violent tragedy that strikes New York and the heart of every red-blooded American.
What should civilized people do when the situation is spiraling out of control, and all previous efforts have proven ineffective? Why not gather the wisest and most influential members of society in St. Charles, Illinois so they can analyze the situation, and recommend a course (or courses) of action? You have just described Continental Congress 2009 (a.k.a. CC2009).
In January of 2009 I received a dozen eMail messages pleading with me to nominate myself as a Texas Delegate to CC2009. All I knew at the time was that people familiar with the Constitution were planning to share their ideas about the mounting problems in this country. I immediately became one of those attempting to locate and select three delegates from every state. The criteria were described simply as, “someone who might be considered a modern day founding father or mother.” Although many people were enthusiastic about the idea, overall support was lackluster.
The delegate selection process of voting by affidavit was made more improbable by the creation of a hand-counted paper ballot procedure. Eventually both methods were deemed acceptable, and – much to my surprise – 120 delegates from 48 states accepted the responsibility for meeting at the Pheasant Run resort, approximately 30 miles west of Chicago from November 11th to 22nd.
Imagine what it might have been like to attend the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia. George Washington was universally loved and trusted, and he gave the proceedings an aura of respectability. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Patrick Henry were joined by other less recognized, but equally passionate supporters of Liberty. Many times since my childhood I had wished that I could quietly eavesdrop during those heated debates that led to the formation of a new nation.
Last year I got my wish. The Pheasant Run resort became the “Independence Hall” of the twenty-first century, as brilliant and passionate minds from across the country gathered to find a solution to the Gordian Knot that is our current political dilemma. What’s more… I was elected president of this august body, and many have said I gave the proceedings an aura of respectability. Could people really view me as a modern-day George Washington?! I had hoped to be viewed as a modern-day Patrick Henry because of my fiery speeches, but… that was not to be.
I am proud to report that my fellow delegates would have been able to hold their own in debates with the founding fathers. Each delegate who approached the microphone demonstrated more than a casual understanding of the principles of Liberty, and the discussions were just as passionate (and contentious) as those that occurred prior to the Declaration of Independence.
So what do patriots of this caliber discuss when they enter a room with over one hundred spirited peers? Answer: just about everything. Had it not been for a predetermined adjournment, I have little doubt that some would STILL be there arguing the finer points. Here are some of the issues they focused on.
Sovereignty: The indisputable (and no longer self-evident) fact that We the People have rights, and that we give limited powers to the government. It was formally documented that “all political power is inherent in the people” and that “any government that becomes destructive of these rights has forfeited its authority”. Consider this section a restatement of the truths outlined in the Declaration of Independence.
The First Amendment: This section highlights our right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. Simply put, the government has no authority to limit or violate our rights, and when they do, we have the right to correct the situation, and to punish government officials who have violated their oath of office.
The Second Amendment: I have publicly stated many times that “twenty-three thousand gun laws are unconstitutional.” The delegates concurred by stating “a multitude of federal statutes constitute de facto infringement” of our right to keep and bear arms. The delegates continue by instructing Congress to “Repeal all federal statutes regulating the ownership, use and transfer of firearms and ammunition;” as well as “Repeal any federal statutes which provide for the taxation or registration of firearms and ammunition;” I couldn’t have said it better myself – which is fortunate, because as the president of the body, I wasn’t allowed to vote or express an opinion.
The Fourth Amendment: By this time, delegates had overcome their “shyness” and were now if full tirade mode. This section demands that Congress: repeal the Patriot Act; stop the collection, storing, and dissemination of private information of a non-criminal nature; repeal the NAIS (National Animal Identification System); cease the implementation of the REAL ID Act; make no future attempts at implementing a national ID card; and repeal all laws that collect fingerprints, blood, or DNA upon birth. Much like the original founding fathers, delegates to this congress did not mince words when protecting their privacy.
Remaining topics included private property, citizen grand juries, common law, the income tax, foreign policy, general welfare, money (and fiat federal reserve notes), the public debt, war powers, and illegal immigration.
How did the delegates discuss so many important topics in only eleven days? Simple. Division of labor. By the second day of the convention it was abundantly clear that there was too much work to accomplish if delegates were given an opportunity to debate every subject. Subcommittees were formed to address each topic, and I personally witnessed these groups working until 2:00 or 3:00am to finish their work. They also reconvened promptly at 8:00am to listen to presentations on the next topic that required our attention. Eventually each subcommittee generated a report to the congress for overall approval. Needless to say, these reports were not rubber stamped without debate. That’s when my job as president became “less ceremonial”.
Although every delegate was motivated to participate in the Congress because they believe our government is out of control, there were widely differing views on exactly what should be done about it. Some delegates thought that aggressive language should be used to convey the depth of our convictions. Others insisted that we be extremely cautious not to use inflammatory language that would cause the government to view delegates as “radical extremists” and the Congress itself as a “terrorist organization”.
This same argument caused of much of the discord experienced by the delegates to the first Continental Congress. Samuel Adams was known for his strong desire for independence even before the Declaration was signed. He was one of the first who advocated armed resistance to the British throne. In stark contrast, Benjamin Franklin was a highly successful negotiator who persisted in the belief that a peaceful resolution with the King could be brokered through compromise. Eventually, even Franklin came to realize that more forceful methods would be required.
The concern about “radical extremism” spawned a controversy over whether or not the audio portion should be included in the daily webcast of the Congress. When delegates arrived, most were strangers to each other. Some worried that delegates could make comments that would reflect negatively on the entire Congress. Delegates voted to allow laptop computers in the room, but only if delegates promised not to transmit the proceeding via the Internet. Once again, this same concern was discussed during the first Continental Congress. Delegates from the thirteen colonies understood that their deliberations could be construed as treason to the King, placing everyone attending at risk. The founding fathers met behind closed doors without air conditioning in order to keep their deliberations a secret. They wanted to be able to express their true feelings without fear of government reprisal. Unlike the founders, delegates to this Congress changed their position, and voted to let the entire world watch the proceedings as they happened.
Another issue that philosophically divided the Congress was whether or not God should be referenced in the Articles of Freedom, and if so – to what degree. Not surprisingly, many of the delegates are devout Christians who insisted that divine providence was the primary factor in the Constitution, and therefore the Articles of Freedom would be incomplete without similar references. Each morning the Congress would begin its work with a reading of a prayer asking for guidance. There wasn’t widespread opposition to the prayer, however delegates of other religions expressed a desire to keep these expressions of faith non-denominational.
Parliamentary procedure isn’t taught in schools, but I think that it should be. Several delegates expressed frustration when I ruled them “out of order”. They didn’t understand that I wasn’t preventing them from expressing their opinion. I was simply informing them that it wasn’t the appropriate time for them to do so. Trying to learn parliamentary procedure on the fly made a difficult job even tougher for many of the delegates. Delegates were instructed to make their motions available to the secretary in electronic format so the motion could be enlarged and displayed at the front of the room. This may have been one of the best suggestions made during the eleven days of deliberation.
As the days wore on, motions were made… amendments were approved… questions were called… and at long last, each subcommittee report was eventually given our collective stamp of approval. Fifteen reports were merged together into a single document called The Articles of Freedom.
I am very proud to have been a part of this historic gathering, but I am very conscious of the fact that the Continental Congress enjoys no legislative or legal authority of its own. The truth is that a relatively small number of Liberty-minded patriots gathered together to document government abuses. Unless the Articles of Freedom can generate widespread public support, there will be no change in the political status-quo.
If you truly believe in Liberty, and you are seeking peaceful changes in the way our government treats the people living in the United States, then I strongly recommend that you do your best to advertise the Articles of Freedom, and encourage everyone you know to support the ideals contained in that document. Just like the Constitution itself, without your dedicated support, it is just another piece of paper.
This article was written by Mike Badnarik and published here: http://www.constitutionpreservation.org/articles/april-7-2010/continental-congress-remembered
I’m very pleased and excited to announce that our quest for liberty in Florida continues to gain serious momentum.
Our candidates received record-breaking vote totals in 2014. Many of our platform policies are gaining popular support, evidenced by the 58% of Floridians who voted for medical cannabis. Our legislative initiatives are being taken seriously, and LPF-supported bills are moving through Tallahassee as we speak. Some, such as the 2013 Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, have already become law.
All of the sacrifices we have made together, and all of your hard work and dedication, are beginning to truly change the political landscape in Florida. But there is one small thing that I need you to do that will make a VERY big difference.
Though the number of registered Libertarians has grown dramatically in recent years, the Libertarian Party of Florida is still classified by state law as a “Minor Political Party.” Since the laws regarding minor parties in Florida are written by Republicans and Democrats, it’s easy to understand why this puts the LPF at a major competitive disadvantage.
What if the rules for a baseball game were written by one of the teams? What if two candidates in a debate could write the rules to exclude the third? You get the idea. That’s exactly how politics currently work in our state.
But you can help change that. If the number of registered Libertarian voters reaches 5% of the total voters in Florida, then the LPF will be classified by law as a “Major Political Party.” Major party status will truly level the playing field, and give us a real opportunity to achieve economic freedom and individual liberty in our lifetimes.
Imagine living in a state that has a true balance of power, where your voice is just as loud as those of Republicans and Democrats. Imagine our candidates never being excluded from media coverage and debates again. Imagine elected Libertarians casting votes of sanity and principle in legislative bodies across the state and in the capitol.
It can happen. But I need you to do one simple thing to help make this a reality: Register to vote as a Libertarian.
If you’ve already changed your voter registration, then I thank you.
Once you’ve changed your voter registration, or if you’ve already registered, please spread the word in person and on social media. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors to join you in switching their voter registration to Libertarian.
With your help, we can achieve our goal, and make the Sunshine State shine with the light of Freedom.
Libertarian Party of Florida
Because of your phone calls yesterday on our ACTION ALERT regarding SB 484 to demand the $2.5 million appropriation be taken out of the bill, Senator Hukill has filed amendments to do just that. Now we need phone calls to the committee members to add an amendment today to allow Counties to opt-out of Regional Planning Councils. Your phone calls are working, lets take this one more step to actually make this a good bill.
Please call the Senators that sit on this committee again and tell them to do two things:
1. Support Senator Hukill’s amendments to remove the $2.5 million appropriation and to authorize the Governor to review and update the district boundaries of the Regional Planning Councils.
2. File an amendment today to add an opt-clause to allow Counties to opt-out of Regional Planning Councils. Under Florida law, all Florida Counties must be a member of a Regional Planning Council and are required to pay dues that come out of your taxes. This opt-out clause will allow Counties to make the decision if they feel they are receiving appropriate benefits to justify the money they must pay. This will restore local “home rule” control.
You can also email all of the Senators of this committee by using the link below.
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Boehner’s problem with the militant right is not that he isn’t a conservative — he is — but that he is suave rather than confrontational. >snip<
Boehner may well be the worst thing to happen to progressives since December 26, 1991… when Gorbachev dissolved the USSR. The left understands this better than does the right.
Boehner’s problem with conservative firebrands seems to derive from the fact that he is all action, no talk. >snip<
My torch-and-pitchfork wielding colleagues aren’t getting how deeply conservative is John Boehner. They are looking for Genghis John while what’s in front of them is Baby Face Boehner. Lethal to liberals, just not showy.
It is time to see Boehner as the conservative he is.
For instance, let’s look at an the conservatives’ favorite warhorse: profligate federal spending. The federal budget deficit for 2014 was the lowest in 5 years:
From CBC News:
The CRomnibus will ease but not end the squeeze on spending. Meanwhile it modulates the defense cuts that most conservatives oppose.
The tight Murray-Ryan budget represented a softening but not a killing of the sequester >snip<
Politico reports, of the CRomnibus:
A year ago, the reliably progressive (and consistently astute) Michael Tomasky, in the New York Review of Books, in Can Obama Reverse the Republican Surge, noted (well before the drubbing the Democrats received in the most recent election) soberly:
Boehner consistently has outclassed, outworked, and outmaneuvered his adversaries . Two years ago I wrote, in How President Obama Lost His Shirt to John Boehner,
Boehner has no vendetta against the Tea Party. It is high time for us to drop ours against him.
The New York Herald, on September 18, 1863, reported a story about President Lincoln with some of his advisors who were seeking the removal of General Grant.
Rather than calling for Boehner’s replacement true conservatives would be better off ascertaining where Boehner buys his Merlot … and sending a barrel of it to every Republican in the Congress.
Boehner won many victories for conservatives based on a shrewd calculus and steely nerves. There’s a lot of big political talkers telling us what we want to hear. Boehner, rather than grandstanding, steadily moved America right under impossibly adverse circumstances and assuredly will continue to do so. John Boehner, by deed, is the progressives’ public enemy number one. Re-elect him Speaker of the House.
To read the full column, click here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2015/01/05/re-elect-progressive-scourge-john-boehner-speaker-of-the-house/
A recent news report warmed the cockles of my heart and surely will warm yours! Americans really do value Security more than Liberty! Far more do, as well they should.
Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large of InfoWars, interviewed 10 people in San Diego. On the premise that President Obama (or the Democrats and Republicans) had decided to repeal the Bill of Rights, 8 great Americans agreed they would support repeal! (One not so great American waffled and one had the cheek to oppose this sound idea! Round her up!)
From the accompanying article:
[One] man unflinchingly expressed his view that it would be “best for the country” to repeal the Bill of Rights and “modernize” the new world order. “That sounds great to me,” he exclaims.
“Whatever he wants to do it’s probably best for the country,” agrees another woman before adding, “Go Obama!”
Oh my dear poppets! How wonderful to know that a Supermajority of Americans have come around to recognizing the dangers that lurk … buried, like landmines, right in the Constitution! Repeal!
Still, isn’t it sad that the out-of-touch politicians like President Obama (otherwise admirable for sponsoring the government takeover of our medical system!) and those clueless Republicans and Democrats aren’t picking up more directly on this wave of popular sentiment to get the Bill of Rights repealed, and are just chipping slyly away at it? Let’s pull out the problem by its roots. Repeal!
Make your Voice heard! Call your Congressperson today! Tell her (or him) that you, as a Great American, demand wholesale repeal of the Bill of Rights and pronto!
Your security is isn’t the main thing.
It’s the only thing.
Ever wonder what a Libertarian World would look like?
Ever wonder how to answer objections to creating a Libertarian World?
Ever wonder if a Libertarian World could truly exist?
Here’s the thing: creating a Libertarian World is hard.
It was a lot easier centuries ago. People used to think back then AND they acted on their thoughts. Now-a-days, that does not happen not so much. For lack of a better term, people are lazy.
I used to recommend that folks stand up to their government. However, most people now are under the impression you cannot fight city hall. So, a tyrannical government rises from being the servant to be being the master.
This, of course, is due to a lack of education on what government really needs to be if it exists. Government does NOT want its people educated enough to realize that the citizens are slaves. They want to hide the sheep by allowing them to think they are the wolf because so long as people live in ignorance, they are living in bliss and will not stop someone else from controlling their life.
As I now see it, the problem is that there are thousands, if not million, of people kowtow under peer pressure instead of thinking on their own.
And over the years, the constant lies and new laws forced upon us from via government and its propaganda makes it harder, and harder, and harder, to live as a free person.
The big boys of business and government collude to hide the Master/Slave relationships they’ve developed over years in our society. They hide it all under the guise of “helping” the people and “making a better society”. When, in fact, they are manipulating and controlling the citizenry through deceit.
Learning to recognize the truth on your own, through trial and error, takes LONG time to see and understand. Most books only give you theory. Most of that theory is twisted with arguments. Simple truths are turned on their head and no longer give you a clear image of right and wrong.
If you are just getting into libertarianism, you will want to learn what it is all about fast. You will not want to wait until you are at some meeting somewhere to begin learning and understanding. Clearly, googling things will not suffice because you don’t know what you are really looking for. You want to see practical application NOW in order to make sense of the arguments that will surely come your way.
If that’s the case, you are going to love this:
I have found ONE book, to date, that makes that happen fast for beginners.
It’s Withur We written by Matthew Alexander.
Withur We is written so well that it makes it easy to understand Libertarianism and the problems presented in today’s society.
Matthew Alexander presents the world of Alistair Ashley 3nn in a fashion comparable to Ayn Rand’s John Galt. His work is destined to become a classic among freedom loving individuals like Atlas Shrugged did among business people.
See how Alistair’s world resembles our own. Learn what he does to solve the problems. Understand the frustrations and witness the resolve. Transform your life by living the same principles and stop living as a “slave”.
Withur We is a great Libertarian story that covers the facets of creating a Libertarian society. It is far greater than the single topic visions of authors like L Neil Smith. In the book Alexander’s prose is carefully constructed to lead the reader from one point to the next. Considering that he is a first time author I was amazed at the fluidity of the story and look forward to reading his next book.
Clearly, Alexander took the thinking man’s approach to his story. He starts with the introduction of a Libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) society with a Rothbardian flavor. The story surely is fairer in its presentation than the dialects of “one way only” Libertarian books that exist thus far. There is no utopian world, not everything works out as being perfect as some Libertarians like to present.
As a Libertarian myself, I might wish to see happier results with the situations presented. However, Alexander is showing a world of reality. Not everything is perfect in the world, not even our current societies. He uses those realities to present his theme of market driven economies along with the meaning and inner workings of the non-aggression principle.
I have been waiting a long time for someone to put together a book of this caliber. The wait is over. Now everyone can enjoy a good story that shows both the advantages of a Libertarian society as well as the problems surrounding us in order to create one. It is not a utopia where everyone sings kumbaya to each other. Here, the story revolves around how people interact with each other during times of peace and violence. The contrast between the two is illustrated perfectly with everyday situations that we can recognize in our own society. The conclusion that peace is the better is not shoved in your face by some zealot but is smoothly presented through what can be viewed as real life experiences.
Matthew Alexander did a masterful job of creating the world in terms that everyone can relate too. Now it is your turn to do your part and learn from his efforts. See how a single individual can make a difference. Witness how Libertarianism in action can bring about a whole new concept on life. Learn how to be free.
This article was written by Mike Badnarik and originally appeared here: http://www.constitutionpreservation.org/articles/march-2-2010/right-secession
Over the years I have developed a reputation for being a “constitutional expert”. (Refering to myself as “The Stepfather of the Constitution” admittedly may have something to do with that.) Two of the questions that I am asked quite often are: “Didn’t the outcome of the “Civil War” prove secession is not an option for any State?” and “Doesn’t the Texas Constitution reserve the right of Texas to secede?” I’m not sure why these misconceptions persist, but allow me to attempt to shatter these myths once again.
The Declaration of Independence is a excellent summary about why any government is created in the first place. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Let’s analyze the flow of political power described here. “Governments are instituted among Men…” We the People created Congress (and the rest of the federal government) when the Constitution was ratified. It has been a maxim of law predating the Magna Carta (signed in 1215) that, “the creator is always more powerful than the created”. Bill Cosby jokes about threatening his children with, “I brought you into this world… I can take you out!” Although Mr. Cosby’s threat was an idle one, We the People can literally dissolve any level of government if we have the political will do to so. That’s what the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”
When a state joins the United States, we must assume that both the new and existing states feel that it would benefit and strengthen the “free country” we claim to be. Freedom includes the right to make decisions that do not adversely affect others. People get married “until death do us part”, however divorce is far more acceptable than murdering your spouse. Where does the idea originate that “once a state, always a state”? Would the United States government really send troops to forcibly reunite geographic and political areas that tried to separate?
It already has! We erroneously refer to that travesty of justice as “The Civil War”. By definition, a civil war is one that occurs within the borders of a given nation. Without question, the southern states peacefully seceded, creating the Confederate States of America. The northern states simulatanously argue that the south never left the union – AND that the southern states were reunited with the union under the Reconstruction Act. (If they never left, there would be no requirement for them to be reunited!)
The argument that “states are not allowed to secede” can be quickly eliminated by pointing out that our Declaration of Independence is a secession document. The only difference between the Revolutionary War and the “War of Northern Agression” is that “our side” won the first conflict, and lost the second. I’m very pleased to have found a concurring explanation on the Internet at TexasSecede.com Please take a few moments to read the first two FAQs. (I didn’t want to reproduce them here without copyright permission.) You may also wish to join current efforts for Texas to once again become an independent republic. That website is TexasNationalist.com.\
This article was written by Mike Badnarik and originally appeared here: http://www.constitutionpreservation.org/articles/march-2-2010/right-secession
Greater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group
Thursday, April 2, 2015
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We discuss current events and plans for the future and make new friends, in a convivial and welcoming setting.
To read the full column click here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2014/12/29/the-unsung-x-factor-that-could-upend-the-next-presidential-election/
One, and only one, candidate, Barack Obama, caught the X-factor and improbably got himself nominated and elected, and re-elected, president. Another improbable candidate could catch it again.
What is that X-factor? How does it upend things?
Peace and personal security continued to flourish in 2014 and are likely to continue into 2015 and beyond. This is important news. It also is news the news media can ill afford to report. But voters sense it.
Two of our greatest public intellectuals, Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack, provide a defining “state of the world” summation in Slate.com in The World Is Not Falling Apart. The evidence of peace is compelling.
Why is this not more widely reported? No sinister conspiracy of the Illuminati is afoot. No media cabal seeks to keep us in the dark or suppress the implications of this New World Order. Peace and harmony, supremely important for everything from politics to economics to the social order, simply proves supremely uninteresting to readers.
There is no drama in peace. Readers tune out.
The famous adage “the customer is always right” prevails. So peace largely is absent from the press. We pixel-stained scriveners live to serve.
Still, tune in now if only for a moment. The future, after all, is at stake.
Pinker, Johnstone Family professor of psychology and Harvard and author of Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Mack, fellow at the One Earth Future Foundation and director of the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University, bent the rules and, again, braved reader apathy, to considerable note:
The consistent trend of the efflorescence of peace and personal security makes for boring journalism. Yet it provides a potent electoral opportunity. An empirically safer, more democratic, world is one in which America may safely — and even beneficially for national and world security, as well as for equitable prosperity — stand down from hyperpower to superpower status.
Barack Obama won his party’s 2008 presidential nomination from a much more experienced, much better known, better financed, but more hawkish, opponent. He then won election and reelection against more substantial, but more hawkish, Republican nominees. Obama won on a promise, largely (if sloppily) fulfilled, of returning America’s troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and moving America toward a peacetime footing.
Obama misread his mandate to extend to his cherished progressive desiderata (on which he did not materially campaign) thereby greatly diminishing his popularity and staining his legacy. Yet he promised, and proved, to be a peace president. Obama will go down in history, above all, for peace, not for his clumsy efforts to expand social democracy.
Presidential aspirants have an opportunity to campaign on the implications of the emerging trend of peace, personal security, representative democracy, increasing world prosperity (world GDP having, nominally, quintupled over the past two generations, bringing over a billion souls out of abject poverty), and human dignity.
The new reality remains a political orphan. Yet the electorate senses this transformation. Peace offers a winning political narrative.
Reporting good news makes for terrible journalism. Yet an electoral crusade founded on the promise to help secure a golden age of world peace, equitable prosperity, and human dignity is that for which voters yearn. The political consequences of the peace, if any presidential candidate firmly grasps the opportunity to confront the attendant opportunities, dramatically could upend the 2016 presidential contest. The X-Factor is peace.
To read the full column click here:
In New York City there lives, I have learned, a subversive private citizen named Adam Tendler. I have proof that he harbors seditious thoughts about the near Martial Law I looked upon with such pleasure during the NYC Blizzard That Wasn’t.
I simply must name and shame this … hooligan!
My agents (not naming names but thank you to all those great people at the NSA) intercepted an (ostensibly private) email from him in which he shamelessly wrote about the Blizzard That Wasn’t:
Absurd? Adam! Please! Calling “absurd” my devoted efforts to keep you safe from any possible harm hurts my feelings. Do you have any idea of the risks to you (and Francesco) were incurring from “walking in the park during the nighttime snow”?
Why you could catch a chill! Or even slip and fall and get a bruise! Or worse!
Indeed we have evolved from 1914 when we were not civilized enough to dispatch police to patrol the park “looking for citizens to cast out during a snowstorm.”
This is Progress. You, according to my Spies, are a wonderful pianist and as such presumptively are a Progressive. Embrace it!
Yes, rush to my embrace.
PS … Auntie Sam Wants You to … forward this to some of your closest friends (and, why not?, your worst enemies!) to invite them to subscribe, free, to my regular Sam-o-Grams … to learn more about my devoted efforts to extinguish (>shudder<) liberty wherever it bitterly clings … and replace it with Total Security!
Tell your friends just to click HERE … and follow the breadcrumb trail!
Do what Auntie tells you!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Secrecy is the health of the national security state–the more revelations, the weaker it’s likely to become.” – Gary Chartier
You may borrow from or edit this letter…
We should THANK Edward Snowden for exposing the NSA’s unconstitutional and immoral bulk collection of our Internet activities and phone data.
Instead, he faces possibly decades in prison if he returns to America.
In contrast, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress about the NSA’s data-mining program. That’s a felony, but he was never even investigated or fired.
If Clapper can get away with lying, what does that tell us? Is there a ”secret government” that Congress is subservient to?
Is the Republic dead?
Pardoning Snowden would be one way of restoring accountability. But the President won’t pardon Snowden unless it’s politically expedient.
That’s why YOU must take action.
* Pass a resolution telling the President that Edward Snowden should be pardoned.
* Pass a bill that prohibits funding for Snowden’s prosecution.
* Pass a bill that reinstates Snowden’s U.S. passport.
I’ll be watching what you do.
–END OF LETTER–
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