“We can’t let just anyone on the ballot, otherwise it would be cluttered with too many choices and lead to voter confusion,” is often said by those who advocate for laws that burden minor party and independent candidates. However, in many cases anyone wishing to run for office as a Republican or Democrat can obtain a spot on the ballot with a minimal filing fee or turning in a very small number of petitions. Many advocates for controlling who gets on the ballot will say, “but they still have to win their primary.” Which in a lot of cases is simply a formality.
In New Hampshire where candidate filing for both the party primaries and general election closed last week, despite only requiring a filing fee of $2 to run as a major party candidate for State Representative, there was a dearth of candidates with 21 seats not having any candidates at all. In total, less than 8% of Republicans and less than 6% of Democrats for State Representative in New Hampshire will face opposition in their primary. In the general election, a staggering 58% of candidates for State Representative will not face any major party opposition. Of course, this does not take into consideration so-called safe districts with only token opposition from a major party opponent.
However, the lack of competition in the New Hampshire legislative election seems to be the norm, not the exception. According to Ballotpedia, approximately 83% of incumbents are running for re-election and “only 21.4% of [incumbents] will face a primary challenger.” Adding, “[t]here is only one major party candidate in” 41.5% of the seats up for grabs this year.
With so little opposition to those in office, it’s no wonder so many people get re-elected. Yet, people still wonder why nothing ever changes. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” However it’s not always easy, especially when those who are in the legislature get to set the rules for who can seek to be in the legislature. And it’s not always easy to ask people to allow you to compete against them. But as with all things, persistence is key.
In many states legislation must be filed before the beginning of the legislative session, which means now is actually the best time to talk to your supposed representatives about issues of import such as ballot access reform and repealing laws creating victimless crimes. And when the legislative session begins, phone calls and letters are nice but it’s equally important, if not more so, that people actually show up to the legislative committee hearings. If you’re unable to get on the ballot or get elected, you can still be a voice for liberty in your statehouse by showing up and speaking truth to power. If you’re unable to attend the legislative hearings yourself but have some extra money laying around, you can contribute to Liberty Lobby LLC, a new lobbying firm based in Keene, NH that is lobbying for minimal government and maximum freedom.
In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry
The Libertarian Party opposes the No Fly No Buy bill and other restrictions without due process
The Libertarian Party opposes the No Fly List, “no buy” lists, and other such lists where the government infringes on a person’s rights without due process of law.
In recent years, the federal government has used "the war on terror" as an excuse to
encroach on our most fundamental human rights.
Warrant-less wiretapping, detaining prisoners for years without trials in Guantanamo
Bay, "no fly" lists that are compiled secretly and without due process, and similar "no
buy" lists all violate the human rights of Americans and non-Americans alike.
Our founders would be horrified and every American should be too.
Our country claims to stand as a beacon for "liberty and justice for all" and yet there is
no liberty and no justice in these breaches of our rights.
The presumptive Republican and Democratic Presidential nominees have stated their
support for many of these programs.
In contrast, Libertarian National Committee chair, Nicholas Sarwark, says, "There
shouldn't be a no-fly list, terrorist watch list, or any other secret government list you can
be put on without due process of law." Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for
In recent days, Congress has been debating a "No Fly No Buy" bill which would prevent
people listed on the No Fly list from buying firearms.
The Libertarian Party urges Congress to vote down any bill, such as this one, that
infringes upon rights without due process. Due process is one of the most critical
elements of our justice system, designed to protect our rights. It must be respected
and upheld, no matter the circumstances.
Currently, the No Fly List is so casual that Americans are at risk of being denied access
to commercial travel because of clerical errors. This is a terrible injustice. The idea of
using such a flawed No Fly List as a guide for restricting other rights, such as gun
ownership, is appalling.
If the government has evidence egregious enough that a person should be prevented from
boarding a plane, the government needs to take this evidence to court and have a fair and
open hearing to determine whether the person in question should have his/her rights
denied. If someone is found to be plotting violence, they should be arrested immediately
The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America devoted to protecting all
rights, of all human beings, all the time. The Libertarian Party also strongly condemns
the use of force except in self defense.
I see that the popular singer Cliff Richard has been told by the police there will be no further investigation into the claims made against him of sexual abuse of boys. Since this is an issue that invites misunderstanding and even smears, I will, for the avoidance of doubt, say that people who commit sexual assaults on persons under the age of consent should be punished, and the severity of punishment should be related to the victim’s age. This being said, Mr Richard has been accused of “historic sex abuse,” and this should be seen as different from ordinary cases of abuse.
According to the BBC report, Mr Richard was accused of assaulting four males between 1958 and 1983. These dates alone would, in most times and places, raise suspicion. Let us suppose the man allegedly assaulted in 1958 was sixteen at the time. He would now be 74. Let us also assume that the male allegedly assaulted in 1983 was sixteen at the time. He would now be 49. Or let us assume what is unlikely, that both were six at the time of the alleged assaults. The elder would still be in his sixties, and the younger pushing 40.
What were these men doing in all the time since the alleged assaults? Why did they not complain at the time? If perhaps they were terrorised into silence, what has changed now to stop them from being afraid? Were they not concerned that others might be in danger? I suggest that they are inherently unreliable complainants. What is more likely – that they have been brooding for decades, and in at least one case since before I was born – on a series of horrific rapes that the passing of time cannot efface, or that they are of unsound mind, or are guided by motives that may not involve a strict regard for justice?
I have followed a number of similar cases to this one. In all of them, I regard the evidence as unsatisfactory. In some cases, it has fallen apart in the witness box. In others, it has been accepted for reasons that I find incomprehensible.
I note also Mr Richard’s naming by the police before any charges were laid. The BBC report justifies this as follows:
The concern is that if they hadn’t been named in the media at an early stage, thereby emboldening other victims to come forward, some recently convicted celebrities would have got away with it.
In effect, the authorities should be at liberty to publish the name of anyone they dislike, and wait for complainants to come forward with allegations of whatever quality. This is an obvious abuse of the criminal law. Certainly, it shows a police force out of control. Two years ago, the police searched Mr Richard’s house. They searched it 31 years after the last alleged offence. The house they searched was not his at the time of the last alleged offence. They knew that he was out of the country when they carried out the search. They told the BBC about the search, and the BBC filmed the search from a helicopter. Nothing was found. Would you like this done to you? Are you happy that the police, with full media collaboration, can do it to someone else – no matter how infamous the alleged offence may have been?
For the avoidance of doubt, I repeat that there should be laws against having sex with persons under the age of consent. These should be strictly enforced. But there should be a reasonable time after which complaints based only on oral testimony will not be accepted. I suggest three years from the date of the alleged offence, or one year after a complainant reaches the age of eighteen, whichever is longer. I am open here to counter-suggestions. There may have been cases where politicians and other powerful men were able to stop complaints from being made or investigated until many years after my proposed limitation. It may be necessary to take this into account. At the same time, the system we presently have is unjust in itself, and tends to bring the criminal law into disrepute.
Having sex with persons under the age of consent is a wicked crime – but, however wicked, it is a crime; and the prosecution of crime should be subject to reasonable limitations. To say otherwise is to degrade the criminal law into an inquisition, dangerous to those it attacks, and a standing danger to all of us. What are we to have next? Reversing the burden of proof? Compelled self-incrimination? Special juries of “child abuse experts”? And why stop with child abuse cases? Why not rape, or terrorism? Special exceptions have a tendency to become a new general rule.
Cliff Richard is obviously innocent: the faintest show of plausibility in the complaints would have led to a prosecution. William Roache was obviously innocent. The complaints against Harvey Proctor collapsed in ridicule. I am disturbed by most of the convictions I have seen. How many more of these cases before even the authorities grow ashamed?
This weekend, we celebrate the audacity of Americans more than two-hundred years ago, as they stood up to the bully in their lives – the King of England.
Today, we are arguably less free than our nation’s founders were under the thumb of the King of England. We have different bullies to deal with but many of the same problems, plus some worse ones.
What would George Washington say about the NSA spying on Americans?
Or civil asset forfeiture?
Or decades of foreign wars?
Or limiting the rights of Americans without due process?
Or imprisoning millions of non-violent Americans?
Liberty is a perennial pursuit. We can never win it outright. It is never permanent. It is constantly being degraded, sometimes gradually, sometimes rapidly.
Each generation must pursue Liberty…must maintain and advance it in whatever ways they can. And we must be just as audacious as our founders in our efforts.
Liberty is sacred. It is so easy for that to be forgotten, with out the vigilance of dedicated advocates such as you and me.
What we do is ever important. And it is truly revolutionary today just as it was over two-hundred years ago.
Here in the Libertarian Party, we make it our everyday business to throw off the shackles of power…big and small.
Right now we are working tirelessly to make sure that Govs. Johnson and Weld are on EVERY BALLOT IN AMERICA in November.
Libertarian candidates on every ballot in America: is this not audacious and revolutionary?
Now, this is no small task, as those in power try so hard to keep non-Republican and non-Democratic candidates off ballots. But we are winning. We aren’t there yet, but we are making steady progress, day after day.
Your support of the Libertarian Party makes this critical work possible. You are helping put Libertarians on ballots nationwide and giving Liberty-loving Americans the opportunity to vote for them.
It’s campaign season and that means people around the state will be focused on who they want to represent them in the next few years in Tallahassee and beyond. It’s a busy time for activists around the state.
The Liberty First Network does not stop during campaign season either. We are busy writing legislation and educating groups around the state on the legislative process and how to be effective in lobbying your legislators.
We expect the next session to be busy for our lobbyists as we take on education reform, continue the fight against red light cameras, work to make large reforms in campaign finance and work to end crony spending in our ever bloated state budget.
Our goal is to raise $25,000 to be prepared for the fights coming our way after the election is over in just a few short months.
We need your help to ensure that we can meet our goal and be in Tallahassee full time in the next session to continue to advocate for the people as your liberty lobbyists.
Can you help with a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more to get us to our goal?
Liberty needs a voice and we need you to help us continue to bring that voice to Tallahassee.
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.
Withur We is written in a story format that walks through the steps of how to handle an overbearing government. Including all the trials and tribulations that occur as well as all the steps necessary to set up a Libertarian World, it answers all the naysayer’s questions.
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.
If it does not scare you – it should – if many states follow Hawaii’s lead who knows where this will end up – will it create an underground economy for guns and make criminals out of law abiding citizens?
Hawaii’s governor signed a bill making it the first state to place its residents who own firearms in a federal criminal record database and monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country, his office said.
The move by gun control proponents in the liberal state represents an effort to institute some limits on firearms in the face of a bitter national debate over guns that this week saw Democratic lawmakers stage a sit-in at the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hawaii Governor David Ige, a Democrat, on Thursday signed into law a bill to have police in the state enroll people into an FBI criminal monitoring service after they register their firearms as already required, his office said in a statement.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation database called “Rap Back” will allow Hawaii police to be notified when a firearm owner from the state is arrested anywhere in the United States.
Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to place firearm owners on the FBI’s Rap Back, which until now was used to monitor criminal activities by individuals under investigation or people in positions of trust such as school teachers and daycare workers
“As you can imagine, the NRA finds this one of the most extreme bills we’ve ever seen,” said Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association’s institute for legislative action.
The law could affect gun owners outside Hawaii, because the state requires visitors carrying guns to register, Hunter said.
As a result, they could be added to “Rap Back” because they arrived in the state with a gun, she said. The Hawaii attorney general’s office said a weapon-carrying visitor should be able to petition for removal from the national database after leaving the state.
Hawaii state Senator Will Espero, a Democrat who co-authored the law and owns a gun, called it “common sense legislation that does not hurt anyone.”
The law, which takes effect immediately, allows police in Hawaii to evaluate whether a firearm owner should continue to possess a gun after being arrested.
“It just means local police will be notified,” Espero said in a phone interview.
Ige’s office said he also signed into law two other firearms bills. One makes convictions for stalking and sexual assault among the criminal offenses disqualifying a person from gun ownership. The other requires firearm owners to surrender their weapons if diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder.
Statists care a great deal – just not about you, necessarily.Retweet
Quote of the Day: When reformers create murder and mayhem, they justify it by saying, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” But it’s always someone else’s eggs that get broken. And the omelet never materializes. — Harry Browne Statists care!
Or at least they constantly tell you they do. But is it really true? For instance…
Statists claim that the benefits of their schemes outweigh the harm done. But does it? What would it really take to conduct such a cost-benefit study? Check out the 150-word answer we provide in our latest Mental Lever…
False charges, financial damages, property destroyed. No recourse! Or is there?Retweet
NOTE: This message is being sent out by DownsizeDC.org, Inc., on behalf of our partner the Downsize DC Foundation.
We want to file a Supreme Court amicus brief in the case Manuel v. City of Joliet. Here’s what’s at stake…
If police conduct an unlawful search and seizure leading to a false arrest based on lies and fabricated police reports, including falsified testimony before a Grand Jury, and…
If that false arrest expands to become an unlawful detention that lasts for seven weeks, resulting in lost income, ruined credit, and other costs to the victim…
Can that victim sue the police for a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights?
State courts have denied any remedy to Manuel because of a statute of limitations defense. So Manuel filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging violation of the Fourth Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that it wants to review this issue. We want to help this man — but more importantly, defend the principle that states cannot make everything better just by dropping charges that should have never been brought.
Imagine how you would feel if this happened to you…
Two Joliet cops stopped a car for turning without signaling in the early hours of March 18, 2011. The car’s owner, Elijah Manuel, was in the passenger seat. One of the cops pulled him out of the car and forced him to the ground, shouting “You remember me: I got you now you fucking nigger.”
Four more cops arrived. They searched the car, ripping up the floor mats and slashing the steering wheel. Manuel was also searched and cuffed. They found a bottle of vitamins and field tested them. They were not drugs.
The cops lied about the results, saying the pills tested positive for ecstasy. They arrested Manuel. The vitamins failed another drug test at the station. Instead of releasing Manuel, the police further falsified their report. They also claimed Manuel made furtive moves and smelled like “burnt cannabis.”
An independent lab ruled that the pills were not drugs on April 1, 2011, but the police continued to hold Manuel. He wasn’t arraigned until April 8, and was only released, with the charges dismissed, on May 4, 2011. Meanwhile…
Manuel couldn’t work or attend college. He was forced to drop his classes, for which he still had to pay. He defaulted on bills, ruining his credit rating.
Manuel sought damages from the city on April 10, 2013. His claims were futile because of a short state statute of limitations. But Manuel also filed a malicious prosecution claim in federal court based on a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which was still timely because the claim did not arise until he was released on May 4, 2011. But the court ruled that it was bound by Seventh Circuit precedent to find that…
“Federal claims of malicious prosecution are founded on the right to due process, not the Fourth Amendment, and thus there is no malicious prosecution claim under federal law if, as here, state law provides a similar cause of action.”
In other words, since Manuel’s prosecution was never completed, he cannot claim malicious prosecution.
Is this a winnable case?
As Manuel points out in his petition for Supreme Court review, only the Seventh Circuit views things this way. All other Circuits who have ruled on the matter have determined that the Constitution protects against pretrial detention without probable cause for the period up to dismissal of the charges.
Detentions require probable cause, just as much as arrests. There was no probable cause justification to hold Manuel for seven weeks.
The Fourth Amendment places great emphasis on self-ownership. The police violated Manuel’s self-ownership. There was no privacy issue involved, so this gives us a great opportunity to expand on our previous victory in the Jones case, where we re-established the property rights basis of the 4th Amendment. Remember, we are the primary group that has advocated in the Supreme Court every person has a property right in his own person.
We want to file an amicus brief on Manuel’s behalf. The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted his case for review. Can you help us fund this work?
It’s been 45 years since Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” TheDrug Policy Alliance reports, “He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in [Schedule I], the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.”
The Shafer Commission “unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.” And to this day cannabis (the scientific name of marijuana) remains a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that despite 42 states, DC & Guam allowing cannabis to be used for therapeutic usage or in “medical reasons in limited situations” the federal government claims that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
Meanwhile cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone (OxyContin) & fentanyl are classified as Schedule II substances with some recognized medical use. In New Hampshire, the legislature recently approved a $1.5 million piece of legislation to expand the drug war, supposedly in the name of fighting the opioid crisis. However an amendment to have the bill use some of the funds “on treatment instead of handcuffs” was ruled non-germane. While some legislators are hoping to alleviate the crisis by seeking to allow people to get treated for their medical problem – and addiction IS a medical problem – other would be lawmakers are doubling down. Republican gubernatorial candidate and Manchester, NH mayor Ted Gatsas proposed: “If you are caught dealing fentanyl, the charge is attempted murder. If you can be linked to an overdose death the charge is murder without the possibility of parole.”
State Representative Amanda Bouldin posted on facebook, “Legislator got up just now to challenge why my amendment was declared non-germane. Asked Speaker, how is treatment unrelated to opioid crisis? Speaker replies that #GraniteHammer is not about the opioid crisis.” Bouldin added, “So the conclusion of the vote is that the legislature voted not to consider ‘non-germane’ amendments. BECAUSE FUNDING FOR TREATMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC.”
What if there was another option that did not involve legislators voting to spend money on handcuffs or treatment? Could an expansion of therapeutic cannabis help solve the opioid crisis? Dr. Kevin Hill, an addiction psychiatrist, says there is “definitely a possibility” that therapeutic cannabis may reduce the need to use opioids for chronic pain. A recent University of Michigan study showed therapeutic cannabis patients, seeking to control chronic pain, saw a 64 percent drop in use of opioids. Patients “also reported fewer side effects from their medications and a 45-percent improvement in quality of life since using cannabis to manage pain.” The UM researchers also “said population level research has shown a reduction in opioid use in states where medical cannabis is legal.”
Hopefully the doctors with the ability to write such prescriptions will also soon heed the advice of national health leaders and “cut back on prescribing drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin,” and instead suggest their patients look into using cannabis, which does not need to be smoked to be consumed. Those with the power to make laws, need to realize the real solution to the opiod crisis does not involve handcuffs, Granite Hammers or tax-payer dollars. The real solution to the opiod crisis is to allow people to have access to cannabis without fear of arrest. The real solution to the opiod crisis is to end the failed war on drugs!
In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry
I’m tempted to say that the Orlando tragedy finally puts an end to the debate about whether guns should be easier or harder to get. In the words of Fat Al, a logical mind coupled with a spirit of goodwill would declare unequivocally that “the debate is over.”
But given the shortage of both logical minds and goodwill, I’m not naïve enough to believe it is. Experience tells me that the people who want only murderers to have guns will never give up.
A newly arrived, rational humanoid from another galaxy, upon learning the facts in the gun-control debate, would likely ask, “Who in the world are these strange creatures who want to prevent people from defending themselves?” The answer is that they fall into two groups.
The first group resides in Watters’ World and muddles through life in a kneejerk fashion, its members basing their opinions on emotion and thus providing a target-rich environment for sloganeers. You know, drivel like “That’s not who we are as a people,” “equal pay for equal work,” and “income inequality is our biggest problem.”
Those in the second group have a political agenda and are, at best, amoral. At worst, they are out-and-out immoral. Which means neither human rights nor human lives are of any particular significance to them. They prey upon the useful idiots who stumble through life in the first group and promote nonstop hatred against those to whom human rights and human life are sacrosanct.
The Second Amendment is not subject to the whims of criminal politicians and their civilian cheerleaders. On the contrary, the Second Amendment is a fact of life in what is supposed to be a free country, a country where politicians and bureaucrats are supposed to be servants of the people.
While the Framers made it clear that the main purpose of the right to bear arms was to protect oneself and one’s family from the government, they also realized that people needed the ability to protect themselves from (non-government) criminals. Over and over again, we see defenseless human beings being gunned down like fish in a barrel by lunatics who are intent on taking human lives.
The reason they harbor such a psychopathic intent is irrelevant. Right now, of course, a disproportionate number of such lunatics refer to themselves as Muslims. Repeat: They refer to themselves as Muslims. That’s not an opinion; it’s an indisputable fact.
But, as I said, it doesn’t matter what a murderer’s motivation is. What matters is stopping him from killing, and that can only happen if we make some major changes in the generally accepted beliefs of millions of Americans.
I’ve always admitted that if only one or two people were armed in a mass-murder scenario, things unfold so fast that they would probably be dead before they could even get their guns out. In other words, it’s a numbers game.
In the Orlando slayings, for example, imagine if just 50 percent of the people in that nightclub had been armed. That’s about 150 armed folks against a single gunman! Common sense tells you that many of those armed people would have had time to pull out their weapons and start firing at the shooter.
It’s a pretty good bet that he would have been lucky to kill ten or twenty people before he himself was gunned down, which means that thirty or forty innocent people would still be alive today. Having to wait for the police to come and take down the gunman or gunmen is nothing short of suicidal.
Nevertheless, the agenda-driven presidential pretender has already pivoted into his gun-control mode. Why? Because his every action (and inaction) is agenda driven, and his agenda is to destroy the United States of America and silence those who oppose his efforts.
Those in the gun-control brigade care nothing about human rights or human lives. So the drumbeat for gun control continues to grow even while defenseless people are being murdered by maniacs who know they will encounter no resistance when they attack a soft target.
The fact is that we need more guns in more hands, not less. As Armageddon continues to unfold before our very eyes, Americans need to be armed to the teeth. Background checks are fine if used only as a weapon to weed out criminals (who, unfortunately, are going to find a way to get their hands on guns anyway), but as to the rest of us, the government has no right to restrict either open or concealed carry of weapons in public.
You and I already have the right, as supposedly free people, to carry a weapon with us at any and all times. The government, on the other hand, has no right to interfere with our God-given and constitutional rights.
Speaking for myself, I would feel much safer if I knew, before I entered a store, restaurant, or movie theater, that a majority of the people inside were armed. Did you ever hear of an ordinary citizen, carrying a concealed weapon, suddenly pulling it out and killing someone? It simply doesn’t happen.
To help the antigun freaks understand more easily, I’ll offer an analogy. There are tens of millions of cars on the road, but how many times do drivers purposely run down pedestrians or smash into another car head on? It happens, but very rarely.
The reality that the anti-gun lobby doesn’t seem to get, or doesn’t want to get, is that O.J. did just fine without a gun or a car, and endless other murderers have achieved their goal of snuffing out one or more lives by using a pillow, a crowbar, or a poison pill.
None of these killing tools have free will, thus they don’t have the capacity to kill anyone. The will to murder resides only in the mind of a human being. That said, the debate should be over, but, unfortunately, it’s not.
I was wrong about the European Referendum, and my colleague Keir Martland was right. I said it would be lost. I said it would be badly lost. Instead, England voted to leave, and many parts of England voted crushingly to leave.
I assumed many things. I assumed that Mr Cameron had a card up his sleeve – that he would come back near the date with real concessions from Brussels. I assumed that the awfulness of the official Leave campaign would keep people at home. Above all, I assumed that the English people were no longer up to wanting to live in an independent country. I was wrong. I am not complaining. I am not disappointed. But I was wrong.
This being said, we need to accept that virtually all the problems we face as a nation are only incidentally connected with membership of the European Union. During the past forty years, almost everything bad done to us has come from our domestic rulers. All the European Union has ever really wanted is our money.
But I have rehearsed all this at great length elsewhere. What matters at the moment is that we may find ourselves once again in a position where we have no doubt who is ruling us, and who is responsible when things go wrong. The next time, they mess up a foot and mouth epidemic, or allow the rivers to silt up, or if they try to metricate the road signs, our own politicians will not be able to shift the blame to the European Union. There is a danger – and I repeat that I have written about this at length – that these people will run mad, now they no longer need to agree their oppressions with another 27 ruling classes. But leaving the European Union simplifies the dynamics of power. We know who our masters are, and they know that we are watching them, and that we may be inclined to sack them.
Winning the Referendum is not the end of the war. We need to make sure that we do indeed leave. Above all, we need to make sure that, once we have secured it, we can live up to the measure of our ancestors in deserving our independence.
But the Referendum is won, and those of us who feel inclined can give praise to God for that. It may be that He has not deserted us after all.
Congress has been debating the merits of adding women into Selective Service to be drafted with men during times of national emergency.
Sen. Rand Paul has suggested that it would be better to end the draft.
The Libertarian Party agrees.
“The draft is simply slavery by another name. Drafting people to go abroad and kill or be killed is barbaric and a discredit to our military and country,” says Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
If a national emergency is so severe to merit mobilizing extra troops, Americans from all backgrounds, ages, and genders will pitch in to do what is needed.
The Libertarian Party urges elected leaders to end the draft and also to pursue foreign policy which is less dependent on military might.
The United States has many tools of foreign policy at our disposal that do not require force. Military force should always be a last resort and only in defense.
The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America devoted to protecting all rights, of all human beings, all the time. The Libertarian Party also strongly condemns the use of force except in self defense.
Paid for by the Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
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Content not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
I want my House Rep to co-sponsor HR 4523 and my Senators to co-sponsor S. 3041. These bills would repeal draft registration.
Please copy or edit the following sample letter to send your personal instructions to your reps…
It’s good that Mike Coffman (R – Colorado) for introducing the House bill, along with the other six members of BOTH parties who have so far co-sponsored it. I’m also pleased to see a Senate bill from Rand Paul (R- Kentucky).
This legislation would save more than $26 million that is wasted each year on draft registration. It would also eliminate local civilian draft boards, civilian appeal boards, and similar local agencies of the Selective Service System.
The voluntary military has given the U.S. the most elite force in the history of the world. It flat out works, both in peace and war. There is no need for draft registration because there is no need for a draft.
If this is the land of the free and home of the brave, then it should never need nor use slaves to defend itself. Please take immediate action to sponsor or introduce this legislation.
Nominations are being accepted for LPF Vice Chair and Director-at-Large 3 to complete vacated terms ending at the conclusion of the 2017 LPF Annual Business Meeting. If you are interested in filling the position, or know someone who would be a good choice for the position, please fill out this online form here: https://docs.lpf.org/office-vacancies/
Nominations will close Sunday, July 5 at 7:30 pm edt to allow time to validate all nominated people as eligible to hold the office. Any nominations received after that time will not be considered. Only nominations emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org using the online form at the link above will be considered. Please make certain that your nominee is willing to take the position before you submit a nomination. In order to qualify, nominees shall be current LPF members and currently registered LPF voters.
Nominees who are determined to be qualified for the stated position, and who email completed nominations timely to the chair, may address the LPF Executive Committee for up to 2 minutes during a conference call on July 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm edt. The conference call may be accessed at 641-715-3580, access code 624-387#.
Duties of the Vice-Chair: Shall serve as presiding officer in the absence of the Chair; shall be responsible for the committee work of the LPF; shall represent the committees at executive sessions; and shall serve as ex officio member of all committees. There is no language in the by-laws describing the duties of the At-Large Directors.
The 2017 Annual Convention and Business Meeting of the LPF will be May 5-7 in Cocoa Beach at the International Palms Resort.
Register to Vote Libertarian by July 31st
A Libertarian Primary in the entire state of Florida is shaping up between two registered Libertarian U.S. Senate candidates. Ensure you are registered to vote Libertarian by July 31st to participate in this primary election.
The New York Times launched a sneak attack on conservatives last October. A prominently featured piece proclaimed “Just 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money for efforts to capture the White House.” It commences:
They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.”
This attack predictably is being picked up and amplified by the Left, which has its own generous benefactors, by painting the benefactors of the right as “oligarchs.” What’s really going on?
Crying “oligarchy” is a fiendishly clever rhetorical device. Don’t fall for it. It’s a naked power grab by the Left.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines an oligarchy as “a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.” Oligarch implies someone of great wealth with disproportionate political influence.
Oligarch carries a connotation of opposition to republican principles and carries an innuendo of illegitimacy. The Progressives’ goal is to overturn Citizens United to enhance their own political power and disadvantage the right. Nothing more. Nothing less.
In crying “Oligarchy!” the Left simply is trying to seize power for itself. It’s nonsense. And pernicious nonsense. The left, in George Soros, Tim Gill, and Tom Steyer, for starters, plus Big Labor, has more than the equivalent throw weight of the Koch brothers.
I’m no shill for oligarchy. That said, in a struggle between the wealthy and absolutist government the wealthy are the lesser evil.Consider, for example, the Magna Carta. It is one of the iconic documents of human rights and classical liberalism.
The Great Charter of the Liberties, whatever its limitations and defects, was negotiated by the Barons — the British oligarchs of the day — to reduce the absolute power of the King. While the Barons were looking out only for their own interests they set a powerful precedent. Liberties expanded, over time, to the rest of us.
Progressives are the modern day equivalent of royalists, aligning themselves with the central power. They use all means at their disposal (as King John would turn to Pope Innocent III to annul the Magna Carta) to tip the balance of power toward absolutism.
>snip<The power of the donors is greatly over-rated. >snip<
“People are upset about the Citizens United decision; people are upset about all this money flowing into politics, but at the end of the day it has no impact,” said New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, who was a national finance co-chair for Scott Walker’s presidential campaign before moving to raise funds for Bush when Walker quit the race.
John Jordan, a California winery owner who is running a super-PAC to support Marco Rubio’s bid, agrees.
“Despite all the talk about money in politics, we are entering an era where big money is less and less important,” said Jordan, who nonetheless spends millions on politics, largely through his own super-PACs.
The cautionary tale cited by nearly every donor or fundraiser interviewed on or off the record has been Bush. He has fallen in polls despite the more than $50 million already spent on his behalf by the group Right to Rise, which far outraised every other super-PAC with its mid-year haul of $103 million.
“I think the whole idea of super-PACs has been overrated,” said Fred Malek, finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
>snip<In addition to the sinister totalitarian cast of those attempting to smear conservative benefactors as oligarchs there is an additional, rich, irony. The “reformers” are very much the source of the corruption of government that they protest.
The realist mission is … in the contest between professionalism and amateurism, to move law, rules, and public opinion closer to neutrality, thereby giving the professionals more space to do what they need to do. …
Beware these self-styled reformers. As former Federal Reserve Governor Henry Wallich once said, “Experience is the name we give to our past mistakes, reform that which we give to future ones.”
Smearing conservative benefactors as oligarchs is part of a naked power grab by the Left. Don’t fall for it. Plus, the evidence is compelling that Progressive efforts to regulate political speech is a major contributor to the very corruption the Left indicts.
The rich by far are the lesser evil than the Progressive Utopian Dream of Even Bigger Government. When high-sounding campaign finance reforms are proposed see them for what they are, a pure power grab.
Repeal, rather than double down on, campaign finance law restrictions. Government, for all of us, is much more likely to get much better. Read Rauch.
Will the 9/11 attacks finally turn into a major scandal? #SaudigateRetweet
Prediction: Saudi Arabia’s connection to the 9/11 attacks is going to turn into a major scandal. In fact, the emerging evidence is so bad that we’re ready to coin a new word, and promote a powerful question…
The New word is “Saudigate”
The question we want to promote is “What did George W. Bush know, and when did he know it?”
Those of a certain age will remember that Watergate was the scandal that toppled Richard Nixon. Almost every scandal since then has been called something-gate. Some of you may also remember the question that was asked during the Watergate scandal — “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”
Well, it’s too late for us to topple George W. Bush as president. But we may yet be able to topple something more important… Our so-called government’s current pro-terror foreign policy. You’ll see why when you read today’s sample letter to Congress.
Please again ask Congress to declassify the 28 pages about Saudi Arabia. Please do this even if you sent a recent message. The hardwired message for this campaign reads…
I want my two Senators to co-sponsor S.1471. I want my Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 14 in the House. You can copy or edit the following sample letter to create your personal comments to Congress…
I want the “28 pages” about Saudi Arabia declassified immediately. The following summary of an article by investigative report Paul Sperry will help you understand why – http://nyp.st/23IGmf9
Sperry claims that Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks was covered up at the highest levels.
There’s more involved than the still-secret 28 pages. Apparently, the Bush administration actively blocked investigations and protected co-conspirators.
FBI agents and police officers report that nearly every lead in the 9/11 investigation connected back to either the Saudi embassy in DC or the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.
Sources claim that the CIA and FBI both developed incontrovertible evidence that at least two 9/11 terrorists had official Saudi assistance.
There were multiple phone calls between the handler of one of the hijackers in San Diego and the Saudi Embassy.
Worse, the Saudi Ambassador, Prince Bandar, who is a close friend of President Bush’s, may have been directly involved in the conspiracy. There’s evidence of $130,000 being transferred from the Bandar family account to one of the hijacker’s handlers in San Diego.
Instead of investigating Bandar, the State Department provided him with security, both at work and home. And George W. Bush smoked a cigar with him at the White House two days after 9/11.
The 9/11 Task Force wanted to jail several Saudi Embassy employees, but were blocked. The employees instead left the country.
This direct quote from Paul Sperry’s article is especially telling…
“Former FBI agent John Guandolo, who worked 9/11 and related al Qaeda cases out of the bureau’s Washington field office, says Bandar should have been a key suspect in the 9/11 probe.
“‘The Saudi ambassador funded two of the 9/11 hijackers through a third party,’ Guandolo said. ‘He should be treated as a terrorist suspect, as should other members of the Saudi elite class who the US government knows are currently funding the global jihad.’”
The Bush administration evacuated multiple Saudis from the country, including one member of the Bin Laden family who was on the terrorist watch list.
FBI agents were prohibited from pursuing Saudi leads.
Anwar al-Awlaki, the hijackers’ spiritual adviser, was actually captured at the JFK airport, and then released to the Saudis.
I want you to do two things as my representative.
1. Arrange to read the 28-pages, and
2. Cosponsor the bill to declassify the 28-pages.
I am paying close attention to this issue and will make note of how you handle it. –END OF SAMPLE LETTER–
There is more to life than politics. So here is a review article on one of the best and most influential fantasy novels of all time. If you like it, please consider sharing. The original source is here.
The Sherd of Amenartas
Review of H. Rider Haggard’s She: A History of Adventure (1887)
Published in 1887, after being serialised in The Graphic, She: A History of Adventure stands at the beginning of modern fantasy literature. This was the decade in which the expansion of historic time required by Darwin and the geologists was established in the public mind. The space had opened for thoughts of civilisations before our own, and even before the previously unknown or dimly-known civilisations now being revealed by the archaeologists. I will not say that She was the first book to fill this space. But it was the most notably triumphant. It is a classic that has never gone out of print. It is said to have sold almost a hundred million copies, and has been translated into dozens of languages. Its influence remains pervasive within the various genres and sub-genres to which it gave birth.
In writing this review, I am not seeking to produce an academic analysis, or to look at Rider Haggard’s other fiction. My intention is to give a personal response to the work from someone who is himself a professional writer, and who has always been in some degree under its influence. For those lucky enough not yet to have read it, I will begin with a brief description of the story.
After the pretence of an Editor’s Introduction to an original memoir, the plot moves swiftly. It begins one night in the 1860s, when Ludwig Horace Holly is preparing for his fellowship examination at Cambridge. He is interrupted by his only friend in the college, an older man called Vincey. Though carrying an iron box, he assures Holly he is dying and asks a favour.
He explains that he is from a family able to trace its decent to a Hellenistic Greek called Kallikrates and Amenartas, an Egyptian princess. He says that all necessary evidence is in the iron box. The favour he wants is that Holly will take care of his son Leo, who is now five, and that they will together open the box when the boy is twenty five. In return, Vincey will leave him all his money. Holly thinks his friend is mad, but agrees.
The following morning, Vincey is found dead. A while later, a solicitor’s letter arrives with the details of what has been agreed, and Holly becomes ward and teacher to Leo Vincey.
Twenty years later, Leo has grown into a young man of astonishing beauty. It is time to open the box. This contains a large potsherd inscribed in Greek. It tells the story of how Kallikrates, having broken his vows as a priest of Isis, flees Egypt with Amenartas, his lover. They sail south from the Red Sea, eventually putting in at a river mouth somewhere on the coast of East Africa. After much wandering, they come to a hollow mountain overspread by the ruins of an ancient city. This is ruled by a white queen of great magical power. The queen falls in love with Kallikrates, and takes him and Amenartas deep into the endless caves and rock tombs beneath the city. There she shows him a roaring pillar of fire, and promises him eternal life if he will only kill Amenartas and enter the fire. Kallikrates refuses, and is killed by the queen in an attack of jealousy. Religious scruples prevent her from killing Amenartas, who manages to escape. Heavily pregnant, Amenartas makes her way to Athens. At last, dying, she writes her account of the voyage for her son Tisisthenes, instructing him or his posterity to seek out the white queen and take revenge for the death of Kallikrates.
The potsherd is accompanied by other writings in Greek and Latin and English, proving its unbroken descent through the family. Leo decides at once he will go in search of the hollow mountain. Holly tries to persuade him out of the idea. He believes nothing of the wonderful story, and says Amenartas was mad. He adds that, after so many thousands of years, there can be nothing left to find. But Leo is inflexible. He says he will go alone if necessary. So Holly gives in. Together, they set out for East Africa.
Their ship is wrecked in a storm, and they are washed up on a desolate shore, still unexplored and unmapped. Behind them is the sea, before them a river passing through an apparently endless expanse of jungle swamp. But the river mouth bears a strong resemblance to the place described by Amenartas.
There is more.
“This place has been a wharf,” said Leo, dogmatically.
“Nonsense,” I answered. “Who would be stupid enough to build a wharf in the middle of these dreadful marshes in a country inhabited by savages – that is, if it is inhabited at all?”
Leo insists on his point.
“Is not that stonework? If not, it is very like it.”
“Nonsense,” I said again, but we clambered down to the spot, and got between the upturned roots and the bank.
“Well?” he said.
But I did not answer this time. I only whistled. For there, laid bare by the removal of the earth, was an undoubted facing of solid stone laid in large blocks and bound together with brown cement, so hard that I could make no impression on it with the file in my shooting-knife. Nor was this all; seeing something projecting through the soil at the bottom of the bared patch of walling, I removed the loose earth with my hands, and revealed a huge stone ring, a foot or more in diameter, and about three inches thick. This fairly staggered me. [Chapter 5]
From here, the narrative moves even faster. We go upriver. We arrive at the ruined city. We meet the terrible and ageless She-who-must-be-obeyed. We go with her into the caves of Kör. We stand at the climax to end all climaxes beside the Pillar of Life….
I first encountered She when I was ten and I found a copy at a jumble sale. I was put off by the small font and by the slabs of Greek and Latin in chapter three. But the line drawings looked interesting, so I handed over 6d and took it home. I read it about a week later. I started in the late afternoon, but read it in one sitting. It blew my mind. As soon as I had finished it, I read it again. I read it again and again, until the book fell apart. I spoke of nothing else for weeks. Night after night, I would wake from dreams of those horrifying vistas of space and time and the mournful grandeur of the ruined city. Nothing else I hunted out by Rider Haggard was in the same league.
Later, I read Lovecraft. He was poor stuff by comparison. Colin Wilson had his moments, but was nothing overall. Cities of the Red Night came close to recapturing the spirit. But William S. Burroughs had artistic theories that spoiled his narrative. The closest I know to the spirit of She is the Hammer film version of Quatermass and the Pit. I date my political outlook from the week after my thirteenth birthday, when I read The Scarlet Pimpernel and Nineteen Eighty-Four. I date my awakening to the power of great fiction from that first and feverish reading of She.
I am no longer ten. Does the book still work for me? I read and much enjoyed Enid Blyton when I was a boy. She does little for me now. It’s the same with The Wind in the Willows and the collected mass of The Pan Horror Stories. On the other hand, much else that I read still does work. I have just finished another reading of She. It is decidedly in the class of things that still work.
What I most see nowadays is the book’s organic narrative. If I was only ten at the time, everything on first reading came as a surprise, and even as a shock. Reading it again now, I can see that the end is inevitable from the beginning. There are persistent echoes of Greek tragedy, in which the characters believe they are choosing, but are in fact working to a scheme laid down a very long time before. I try for the same effect in my own fiction. The critics say I achieve it, and I am glad. But I achieve it only by rewriting as the plot emerges. Rider Haggard worked without a word processor, and wrote in the first instance for serial publication.
Beyond this, part of the book’s genius lies in its careful juxtapositions. We begin with the England of railway timetables and sensible clothes. When Holly is disturbed by his late night caller, we might be starting an adventure that takes us through the industrial slums, or a thriller shaped by the terms of a great-uncle’s will. Instead, we have Vincey and the wild story of his ancestry. But we can put this aside. Holly does. And why not? Vincey is plainly of unsound mind. We return to the staid routines of Cambridge.
Then we have the reading of the Sherd of Amenartas. This forces us to accept that something very queer is going on. But there is reassurance in the pedantry of giving us the original in unspaced uncial Greek, and its transcription into the modern script, and its translation into Latin. From here, we pass into the world of Treasure Island and The Coral Island, and feel the conventions forming about us of Victorian adventure fiction. All this time, though, we feel the magnetic pull of the story told on the Sherd of Amenartas. One after the other, every sceptical doubt is set aside, till we share Holly’s realisation that something vast and inexplicable has been lurking outside the orbit of our civilisation – something that could, if released, turn England and all the world upside down. The gradual pulling aside of the curtain that separates our everyday matter of fact from the true reality is masterful. That alone raises it to greatness.
Another part of the book’s genius is its verisimilitude. This may seem odd praise for a work of outright fantasy. But fantasy often works best when given a background and attendant details that can be clearly imagined. Take the English version of the Sherd of Amenartas. Rider Haggard probably wrote this first, then translated the Greek from it. But its unusual word order suggests an unrevised translation from Greek. Or take the Latin translation. This contains blunders that I suspect are deliberate – for example, “quam dei fovent demonia attendunt” should be “quam dei fovent et demonia attendunt.”
Or take the difficulty Holly and Leo have to show Ayesha the Houses of Parliament. She has a pool of water on which can be projected images from a person’s mind. But her power is limited only to what is actually in a person’s mind. For the buildings in London she wishes to be shown,
the result was most imperfect; for, of course, though we had a good general idea of their appearance, we were unable to recall the architectural details, and therefore the minutiae necessary to a perfect reflection were wanting. [Chapter 19]
Or take the wearing away of granite steps that only Ayesha has ever used, or the collapsing mound of skulls, or Holly’s despair when he realises that the top of his head is pressed against the bottom of the stony bridge, when his attempt at jumping across its gap falls short. There is touch after touch of realism. At all times, no matter what improbabilities are being described, you feel that you are there.
Modern critics, particularly American, or those who have exposed themselves to university degree in English, tend to be hostile to She. All they appear able to see is a glorification of Victorian imperialism and manliness. Since I am, to put it mildly, old-fashioned in my own views, I do not find these things offensive. However, something the critics seem to have missed is the often frank sexuality of the book. Leo obviously sleeps with his black lover, Ustane. Ayesha later warns him that they cannot “mate” until he too has stood within the Pillar of Life. She strips naked before Holly to mock him, and again to seduce Leo. There are at least two hints of necrophilia.
Nor do the critics appear to have seen the book’s moral relativism. Holly writes as a more or less traditional Christian. In his memoir, he condemns the dreadful things that Ayesha does, and her cynical justifications. But his condemnations are undercut by editorial notes that lay stress on her age and unusual powers, and suggest that the normal rules do not apply to her. She is no longer fully human, and she is beyond good and evil. She does what she does, and she has her reasons. The Victorians are often accused of sentimental moralising and of sexual repression. Looking only at what they put into the hands of their children, I am not so sure of this.
When I was a boy, I wanted to write another She. I scribbled for weeks in an exercise book until it was filled up with random fragments of a narrative. I no longer have this, and am probably glad that I shall never have to cringe over it. The teenage fiction I have not destroyed is bad enough. But I did eventually pay full homage to Rider Haggard, though it was by accident.
I am normally a chaotic writer of fiction. I start a book with no idea of its plot. This is something that emerges as I write. I used to feel slightly ashamed of what I saw as a lack of mental discipline that I have never allowed in my non-fiction. And so, for the third of my Byzantine novels, Blood of Alexandria, I began with a five page synopsis. My hero, Aelric of England, would turn up in Alexandria in 612AD, to carry through a scheme of land reform that would reconcile Egypt to rule from Constantinople at a time of great external danger. The plot would be driven by resistance to this plan by the usual vested interests and by a native insurgency. There would be a sub-plot of shady financial deals.
I began well enough. Then, after a few chapters, I found myself deviating from the synopsis. I introduced a sinister native called Macarius, and had him sending telepathic messages. On a whim, I brought back one of the villains from my previous Terror of Constantinople. I made him much more effective, and put him in search of a holy relic of great enough power to turn the balance in the Empire’s war with Persia. The incident in the native district was supposed to provide an alibi for the main suspect in a murder. It became a supernatural encounter. The murdered man was supposed to be a go-between for two branches of the resistance to land reform. He was that. Without at first realising, I also made him a dabbler in forces beyond his full comprehension.
I made formal surrender to my unconscious about a third into the novel. I had dumped my hero and his secretary in the middle of the vast desert that stretches beyond the strip of Egypt that is watered by the Nile. I had no idea how to get them out. I began a chapter in what I thought the sure and certain knowledge that I was about to crash into a wall. From one sentence to the next, I walked straight through it. Without at first understanding what I had done, I introduced the great She-who-must-be-obeyed, on a journey from the Caves of Kör to do some shopping in Alexandria. From here, every apparently unconnected plot line in the novel becomes a single thread. It moves seamlessly to its climax in the fathomless caverns beneath the ruins of Soteropolis.
What I still find odd is that I needed to make almost no changes to what I had already written. It was if I had known all along where things were going. Almost as odd, though I did not reread She while using it in Blood of Alexandria, I now see that I echo it all over the place. It is as if I had a copy open before me. Since then, I have given up on synopses and all the other advice given in the novel-writing guides. Instead, I begin each chapter of what I am writing without knowledge of what will happen, but in reasonable confidence that it will happen.
But my method of doing so is less important than the fact of paying homage. In any moderately successful life, middle age is a time for ticking off items on a list written in childhood. When I was ten She hit me with overpowering force. I wanted to write a sequel. I wanted to write a sequel better than the three that Rider Haggard wrote. Well, I did write a kind of sequel. And, if I would never match myself against the original, and if the first sequel, Ayesha: The Return of She, has moments of great power, I have probably outclassed She and Allan and Wisdom’s Daughter.
In closing, I will only add that if you have a ten year-old child, of reasonable intelligence and imagination, here is an obvious birthday or Christmas present. At the least, you will be giving hours of first rate diversion. At best, you will be creating a debt that can never be paid off.
Richard Blake is the author of eleven historical novels. His post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, The Break, comes out on the 28th April 2016
Supply-side economics transformed America and the world into a vastly more prosperous place. Championed by Jack Kemp, put into effect by Ronald Reagan, and then extended by Bill Clinton, supply-side economics has propelled America, and the world, to unprecedented heights of prosperity.
But now there’s a problem.
America has struggled, now, through 15 years of terrible economic growth, averaging less than 2% per year—what I have called a “Little Dark Age.” This is well below the long-term trend of 3.3% and dramatically below both the 4% levels enjoyed by Reagan, after wringing inflation from the system, and Clinton. >snip<We do not have stagflation. We are confronting, rather, stagnation. Different problems may require different approaches. So let’s consider updating our policies to fine tune them for the problem we now are experiencing. The supply-side revolution (as it was termed by one of its leading figures, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts) has been a victim of its own success.
With no disrespect for supply-side economics (whose principles were and are sound and among whose undaunted advocates I was, and am, counted), let’s stop tackling our current economic challenge with tools designed in the 1970s to solve the problems of the 1970s. That was 40 years ago.
Our job is to solve the stagnation besetting us in the 21st century. The lack of job creation and economic mobility is a challenge that at least correlates with, and may be rooted in, the collapse of productivity and the failure of productivity increases to inure to workers. (Here’s a good look at the productivity bust. And another at how productivity increases are not inuring to workers.) Stagnation and especially lack of productivity gains are our presenting challenge.
The Solution: Human Capitalism
What to do? Put to work the work of the late Gary Becker, awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992 for his study of human capital. The late Ted Schultz, also a Nobel Prize winner, did important work in this area as well.
Becker was a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago and the Booth School of Business. Wikipedia notes:
The best-known application of the idea of “human capital” in economics is that of Mincer andGary Beckerof the“Chicago School” of economics. Becker’s book entitled Human Capital, published in 1964, became a standard reference for many years. In this view, human capital is similar to “physical means of production“, e.g., factories and machines: one can invest in human capital (via education, training, medical treatment) and one’s outputs depend partly on therate of returnon the human capital one owns.
Human Capitalism is For Workers and Voters
Human capitalism is not some “egghead” policy idea. It is a treasure trove that has not yet been widely explored by political elites. And it is key to developing policies that will directly benefit, and be intuitive to, both workers and voters.
I described it briefly in one of my recent Forbes.com columns:
Becker’s work, call it Human Capitalism, would enlarge a supply side canon which, while valid, has grown somewhat stale. Becker:
“To most people, capital means a bank account, a hundred shares of IBM stock, assembly lines, or steel plants in the Chicago area. These are all forms of capital in the sense that they are assets that yield income and other useful outputs over long periods of time.But such tangible forms of capital are not the only type of capital. Schooling, a computer training course, expenditures on medical care, and lectures on the virtues of punctuality and honesty are also capital. That is because they raise earnings, improve health, or add to a person’s good habits over much of his lifetime.…Education, training, and health are the most important investments in human capital.”
(To which one might add having and raising children who, arguably, are the gold standard of human capital.)
Human Capitalism is a new and powerful framework. It does not carry a rote formula of talking points. Indeed, it raises a lot of questions. Focusing on the optimal policies for human capitalism would provoke very fruitful arguments for political officials and the policy minded. Let’s have a profitable free-for-all between Heritage, Cato, AEI, Brookings, the Center for American Progress, and the Center for Popular Democracy.
There are arguments worth having. Arguments about Human Capitalism are exactly what we need to move forward.
Human Capitalism has the power to reframe and advance economic policy to restore the American Dream of earned affluence through hard work.
Human Capitalism would restore free market advocates to the moral high ground which progressives now, well, Occupy. Premier focus on the struggle of workers and median income families to get ahead is correct both morally and politically. Progressives (not to speak of socialists), however good their hearts and however shrewd their diagnosis, undermine their legitimacy with dubious and defective solutions.
Human Capitalism, on the other hand, both talks the talk and walks the walk.
Thrusting Human Capitalism into the political discourse has the potential of elevating some ambitious young statesmen as the acknowledged leaders of a movement. That dynamic, with supply-side economics, greatly rewarded Jack Kemp and Bill Bradley. Both were catapulted to national stature. Human Capitalism even has the potential to become, as supply-side did in its day, a bipartisan Irresistible Force.
Time to restore and then build on the supply-side foundation and, using Human Capitalism, get America moving in the right direction. Human Capitalism uniquely offers to get America, the American Dream, and world prosperity right back on track.
Ralph Benko is Senior Advisor, Economics, American Principles Project.