Friday, July 06, 2007

Resign, Sir!




A belated Fourth of July post from me, courtesy of Crooks and Liars, via digg. Keith Olbermann delivers arguably his most pointed and most powerful Special Comment yet on the ramifications of Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence. The video is also on YouTube and is embedded above, but C&L has a transcript.

We enveloped “our” President in 2001.

And those who did not believe he should have been elected — indeed, those who did not believe he had been elected — willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and sharpened it to a razor-sharp point, and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.

Did so even before the appeals process was complete…

Did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice…

Did so despite what James Madison –at the Constitutional Convention — said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes “advised by” that president…

Did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder:

To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish — the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental compact between yourself and the majority of this nation’s citizens — the ones who did not cast votes for you.

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States.


The Comments on Digg, C&L and YouTube are worth reading. Even the Usual Idiots seem to have lost heart for their mindless apologeas, with a few "dead ender" exceptions. There is a literal flood of video responses on YouTube, too. The following is from a Ron Paul fan - a truly devastating bit of Bush-Bashing.

I took the time to include a response to one such dead ender, by the name of asknotaxe , who's comment was so astonishing that it demanded a reply beyond the limits imposed by YouTube.

Keith Olberman seemingly has forgotten the 211 presidential pardons Clinton granted in the last 9 weeks in office, and thew 121 on his final day of office? Olberman is a windbag. Listening to him wax philosophic about democracy and war makes me puke. I am a US soldier, and don't need some liberal toad eulogizing my service....we are volunteers. So just shut the fuck up and sleep quietly under the blanket of freedom and security provided by better men than yourselves, non serving liberals.


What makes you think "people here" approve of those pardons? I don't recall the details of all of them, but a few - even several - stuck in my craw.

But as I recall, none were pardons of people that had been convicted of crimes committed directly on Clinton's behalf.

Meanwhile, Sir, your unwillingness to consider the evidence; your mockery and contempt for those who do, your self-definition as being "better than" those who do not blindly follow the Leader does not ring freedom's bells in MY ear.

No, Sir, what I hear is the tramp of jackboots and knocks on the door at midnight.

You, Sir, have managed to capture the sheer arrogance of the Redcoat, the unthinking tone of superiority of - not then Nazis, but of an Italian fascist soldier.

Worse yet for you, you sound something like a cross between an Italian Fascist and a Vietnam-Era Helicopter General.

Where, sir, is my Habius Corpus? Where, Sir, is my guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure, or a fair and speedy trial by a jury of my peers? Where, Sir, does the Constitution define "Free Speech Zones?" What happened to the Posse Comatatus act - and for what reason?

And for what reason did Haliburton get a no-bid contract to build internment camps? Should I believe they are really intended just for uppity brown people, or as "relocation camps" in case of emergency?

The guard towers and razor wire argue against that "explanation," Sir.

So, you see, us "liberals" - that is to say, those of us with various political views who have not been seduced by the warming tickle of smoke being blown up our asses - do not find the "blanket" you refer to as being either warm, comfortable, or having anything whatsoever to do with "freedom."

When an armed and enthusiastic thug tells me to "shut the fuck up" and be quiet in the NAME of freedom, something is terribly wrong.

But I rather think that when you get your marching orders to try and impose martial law upon us "spineless liberals" who "never had the guts to serve," you may find yourself in for a bit of a surprise.

First, I think you may be astonished at how many of us are armed and who take defending the Constitution very seriously indeed, despite a very realistic view of the outcome for us in a personal sense. Second, I believe you will be stunned at how many of us ARE veterans, unlike myself and Third, the embarrassing holes in your own ranks as many take the higher path of honor blazed by Gen. Robert E. Lee.

An interesting further question - one of some professional concern for those such as yourself, I should imagine - is what cause will appeal to all the competent military leaders who's careers foundered upon the rocks of unwelcome candor? Come the day you are led into battle against the American People - as you may well be, given the history and nature of this viciously stupid administration - are you entirely sanguine about the competence of your chain of command and it's ability to anticipate emerging threats and respond effectively? Given it's track record in the "Cakewalk," I mean.

Nah, I suspect you to be just another Redcoat who doesn't believe that a bunch of rag-tag ruffians can achieve anything against the might of the Empire, a fetishist drone of the National Security State, and until the last moment, I suspect you will be unable to comprehend the fact that the individual Citizen - not the CINC - is the intended sovereign agency in this nation. Those of us who understand that - well, you've probably bunked with a lot of them.

So, if you do not respect MY potential ability to fuck you up at range - respect theirs.

Redcoats learned to fear "The Widowmaker," the deadly accurate Pennsylvania rifle. capable of reliably putting a 50 caliber slug into a man's head at 200 yards.

Well, sir, it's descendants are here, and rather a lot of them are in the hands of Citizens. And for those of us who cannot scrape up the ten grand needed for weapon and optics - well, there's always Home Depot, sporting goods stores, and various things dismissed as "wacky" by those who've not considered the immutable laws of physics, such as spud guns. Anything that can shoot a potato 1000 yards and crack the sound barrier in the process has some potential for elemental mischief.

The bottom line is this: George Bush will not be able to steal this nation from it's Citizens. He may be able to screw it up, fragment it, balkanize it, kill thousands upon thousands of us, but ultimately, you cannot enslave free citizens. Killing us is your only option - and we have you outnumbered.

I certainly do not advocate civil war. I'm horrified at the prospect. But the ultimate outcome, given the forces at the command of Bush,, even assuming only "scattered resistance" and complete willingness to bear arms against the citizens of this nation, the outcome will come down to the numbers. And that's a damn graphic truth.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Your People will never be my people, your God will never be my God.

Via Pharyngula: God deigned to instruct his creation

The Voice In His Head, Alleged to be God, Spake, and, Lo! He fell for it!

New Kensington resident Joey Salvati, 39, a father of two, was in the shower about a month ago when he first heard God speak to him about the matter. Whether it was an external or internal voice, he wasn't sure. He tried to ignore it, but it kept coming back, day after day, until he realized he had to do something about it. The message was for Salvati to make wooden paddles for corporal punishment and give them to parents who need help disciplining their children.

Now, far be it from me to denegrate those who hear voices in their heads. I'm a Mulitiple Personality and I know what seems to be more than my share of schizophrenics, shamen and mystics. One common insight to each of us is the realization that most such "voices" ain't God. Or even necessarily wrapped any tighter than any other being, corporate, discorporate or other-dimensional.

In other words, "voices in your head" are exactly as credible as "voices on the net." If what they say doesn't match with what they do, Be Skeptical. Be Very, Very Skeptical. And if others around you are skeptical, maybe you should accept that as a reality check.

"I'm just going all by my heart," he said this week while sitting at his kitchen table. In the next room his mother watched TV in complete disagreement with everything he was doing, certain he would go to jail because of it. Upstairs his son worried that his friends at school would label his father a loon.

Son - I'm afraid that if they do, they will be correct. That is the common way of speaking about people who listen to the voices in their heads that tell them to harm other people. Your father needs a serious reality-check about this "word of wisdom" that has been "placed upon his heart."

Salvati, on the other hand, did not have those concerns. His objective was to obey the message. "I believe it was given to me, and I'm sure I'll be buying a lot of timber," he said confident that many parents will agree with what he's doing. Many people disagree, however, including authorities on child discipline. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Spanking has negative consequences and is no more effective than other forms of discipline. In fact, there's often a gray area between when spanking ends and child abuse begins."

Indeed. And it could be especially difficult with this "implement of affection."
New Kensington resident Joey Salvati has made 85 wooden paddles intended only for disciplining children and is giving them away. The paddles, which weigh about 13 ounces and are about 2 ½ feet long, can be ordered Online at www.Spare-Rods.com at a cost of $5.75 for shipping. Information about using the paddles is included in the Web site. Salvati also has been giving the paddles away in the former Burger King parking lot along Tarentum Bridge Road. He has no plans to ever sell the paddles.

But here's the creepiest part, the part that heaps emotional abuse on top of the physical punishment.

APPOINTMENT
Child's Name:
Behavior:
Punishment:
Date: Time:


And here's the "why."

We have all seen, or perhaps even done it ourselves, a parent grabbing their child in the process of doing something wrong and spanking them in anger. Stopping the behavior is of course the important thing to do. Punishing them immediately is not as important as making them understand what they did wrong. Fair punishment at a later time helps them understand how important it is to you that they change that behavior and allows them time to think about it.

To help your child understand that you love them and that the spanking is because of their behavior, have the child fill out an appointment form such as the one on the left. It is important that the child writes down the behavior that needs to be changed. [Emphasis Mine]

Click here to print a page of appointment slips.


There's only one good thing about this approach to "disciplining" your kids. Documentary evidence of premeditated intent.

The fact is - and these are facts, not bleeding-heart "lefty-lib" speculation - is that such authoritarian abuse cripples children in many ways, the MOST critical being that it trains them to reflexively submit to any authority willing to use violence against them. It doesn't matter if it's "for their own good." A true patriot and citizen of these here United states, when confronted by potentially violent Authority is councelled by constitution and honor to politely request the basis for the command and the color of authority under which it's given.

"Because if you don't comply, I will hit you" deserves only the contempt of any free being of conscience - matched with what sort of visible or invisible resistance that seems prudent and possible.

This idea that one can "lovingly" break the will of a child by violence and other forms of abuse comes from no God I respect or would even consider obeying.

I should also state that I'm quite confident in my own spiritual understandings, including the understanding that there is no such God. But there are many who wish there was, and more than a few "voices" willing to take advantage of their disappointment.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Police On Patrol Again




Please click on this to go and view an awesome banner where you can watch The Police's videos, listen to tracks from The Police's new 2 cd hits collection, enter to win a trip to NYC to see The Police in concert and even view details about their current world tour.

Well, as it happens, The Police ARE one of my favorite groups. A number of their songs are in my personal wetware jukebox, playing on their own when the mood is appropriate. So once I had the above banner in place and linked, I went to check out this "awesome banner" I was asked to yak on about.

Well, I have to say that I'm impressed - to the point of sheer envy.

It has a jukebox with a nice sample of my favorite songs, such as Roxanne, it's got several classic videos, ringtones - and it's got a "forward to friends" capability. I won't be using that, but I WILL hit my "stumble" button. For free.

I might even Digg it. Because, well, I do!

It also talks about their current tour and you can enter their contest to go and see them live in New York City. Don't worry, I have not diluted your chances by entering! Rock concerts and venues are not Aspie Friendly.

All of this hooplah is to publicize the June Fifth release of a 2 disc Police Cd compilation of their greatest hits and their ongoing, highly celebrated reunion tour.

DALLAS, TX

"The influential band, performing its first Dallas gig in 23 years and the first half of a two-night stand, launched into 'Message in a Bottle', drawing enthusiastic cheers and the assistance of 20,000 backup singers."
- The Star Telegram

"The Police aren't content to crank out their classics note for note. They want to reinvent them... 'Walking in Your Footsteps' sped into a brilliant ska-tempo rocker While 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' slowed to a stunning psychedelic dub. 'Roxanne' (still the best song ever written about a prostitute) slowly twisted and turned into an act of high drama."
- Dallas Morning News

LOS ANGELES, CA - DODGER STADIUM

"The Police have always been a band that thrived on energy, whether from within its fractious framework or from the sing-along call of hordes of fans. Here, they seemed to feed on both... It was a near-perfect way to end this once-unthinkable series of Police shows - soaring on high notes and human electricity."
- The Orange County Register

"This was no ordinary greatest-hits show. The trio kept themselves off the nostalgia bandwagon and exercised their might as musicians by tweaking some of the more familiar numbers, making them soar to newer and greater heights."
- LA Weekly

ANAHEIM, CA

"At the Honda Center, from the first notes of opener 'Message in a Bottle', through the rattling timbre of 'Synchronicity II' and into the bubbling bounce of 'Walking on the Moon', frontman/bassist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer/percussionist Stewart Copeland were firing on all cylinders. The songs sounded fresh and the delivery was honest, two of the hardest things to attain on a reunion of this stature."
- Live Daily

But the thing about The Police that made them an instant favorite of mine, lo, these many moons ago, was their effortless musicianship and their willingness to say things with their songs at the risk of pissing off radio executives. At a time when most music was best described as "marketable," The Police were too good, too danceable and so damn unfairly man-pretty that The Powers that Were And Still Be simply had to choke down the message and pretend that they liked the taste.

The critics are saying they have only gotten better, so as much as I want this album for my collection - what I really want to hear is the concert CD that comes out of this tour.

If I'm truly blessed, they will do a cover of Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan" in New York City. There aren't many groups that can do that song justice, but it could have been written for the Police - a growling, soaring, defiant anthem with a timeless, yet urgent message.

Or even better yet - something new in that line from The Police themselves. There's a hell of a lot that needs to be said these days...

To tie this entry back into my blog's usual topics of libertarian constitutional outrage and cultural warfare against the banal mediocrity of the leadership of this wounded, bleeding and rotting nation, we need all the freakin' anthems we can get.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Ron Paul encourages distrust of political power.

Here's some back-catalog wisdom from Ron Paul, via his article archive on Lou Rockwell which serves to explain something I'd wondered - what his idea of government (and governing) might look like.

Political Power and the Rule of Law by Ron Paul Annotated

[P]oliticians are not supposed to have power over us – we're supposed to be free. We seem to have forgotten that freedom means the absence of government coercion. So when politicians and the media celebrate political power, they really are celebrating the power of certain individuals to use coercive state force.

Remember that one's relationship with the state is never voluntary. Every government edict, policy, regulation, court decision, and law ultimately is backed up by force, in the form of police, guns, and jails. That is why political power must be fiercely constrained by the American people.

The desire for power over other human beings is not something to celebrate, but something to condemn! The 20th century's worst tyrants were political figures, men who fanatically sought power over others through the apparatus of the state. They wielded that power absolutely, without regard for the rule of law.

...

Aside from the lack of ethical self-interest shown by voting for a candidate based on their "strength" and perceived "toughness," we should all realize that in choosing that path we are abandoning our own duty to participate in, comment upon and know about the issues of the day. It also displays an appalling ignorance regarding the Constitution and our rather unique political system.

I very much understand the seductive vision of a Government that Does Good things, but the trouble with that is that in order to do Good Things, we empower them to do Bad Things as well, at least, unless we are very vigilant and careful in crafting limits on that power. The power we delegate is attractive to the very people who will be tempted to do Bad and Stupid things to us, often For Our Own Good.

Those who hold political power, however, would lose their status in a society with truly limited government. It simply would not matter much who occupied various political posts, since their ability to tax, spend, and regulate would be severely curtailed. This is why champions of political power promote an activist government that involves itself in every area of our lives from cradle to grave. They gain popular support by promising voters that government will take care of everyone, while the media shower them with praise for their bold vision.

My personal view of the role of government as a useful tool is probably somewhat broader than Dr. Paul's, but we have had so few spokespersons coming from a position of Constitutional fundamentalism that I'm loathe to ignore his observations and insistence upon the fundamentals.

And therefore, let me state that I see the government as a tool, belonging to every citizen, legal resident, tourist and even every illegal alien that exists solely to protect individual rights and liberties that our Constitution recognizes to be inherent in each person, regardless of status, position, citizenship, sexual orientation, race or creed. To that end, and to that end alone, it is empowered to guard our liberties.

But I'm also a realist. If government exists only to say no and does not somehow facilitate the correction things that trouble, inconvenience or anger a majority of the American people, it's not unreasonable for it to be discarded as rusty and useless.

And I observe that while government has become a dire threat to the freedom and legitimate private choices of all Americans, it's due largely because Government has ceased to consider the rights of individuals, instead heeding only the voices of corporate bodies, such as military contractors, trade organizations, big pharma and religious pressure groups.

These various corporate interests hold power in their own right that rivals that of state and even many national governments. Many of them (Haliburton leaps to mind) are quite literally above the law - and others seek to write law regardless of it's impact upon the liberty of citizens. Indeed, many of them have effectively limited my liberty in some of the most basic ways, through economic coercion. This is particularly noticeable in our food supplies and consumer goods; a handful of corporations determine what we will be able to buy and where we will buy it. Bluntly, they have stolen the commons - save, of course, in the areas where other giant corporations (such as eBay) find a profit in enlarging it.

But as much as I value such free-enterprise solutions to such problems, it's my guess that had others seen it coming, they would have stomped all over Ebay. Nor can we ask corporations, structured as they are under the laws that apply, to put the interests of the consumers and their workforce even on a par with that of the shareholders. This is simply a fact - and those facts must change if we are to change that reality.

You may be tempted to view that as "anti-capitalism" and "anti-free market," but on the contrary - I wish to see a regulatory climate that actually favors individual enterprise and rewards the risk of capital. I wish to see a lowering of regulatory barriers to the markets that are rigged to favor big corporate interests. And ultimately, I see this as a vital component in a truly viable and affordable national security policy.

The real key to national security in this day and age is an infrastructure that cannot be easily disrupted by a few sticks of dynamite, so we need to look at, for instance, encouraging widely redundant, small scale energy production using local resources. This is quite aside from "green" fuel initiatives, but that's where the technology is.

We need to have our essential defense forces, our first-responders here, instead of "over there," with a broader base in our social fabric. Most importantly, we need to cultivate a culture of participation and tolerance.

So, we don't need a Department of Education. We DO need a national standard minimum curriculum which is the basis of our citizenship. That minimum common basis of understanding is vital - but beyond the requirement that it be successfully taught, we really do not care how, where or by whom, do we?

Universal access to health care is vital, both politically and personally, when unexpected health care costs have become the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. HOW we go about that - what choice of mechanism, what happens between need and delivery need not have a single answer - but it must become straightforward, simple and accessible to every citizen. It is a common interest regardless of wealth or poverty, class or station. When you are sick or injured, that is not the time to be hassled with paperwork or worrying about the ability to pay.

We also need to look at the ethics involved - it's frankly improper to require doctors or hospitals to consider the necessity of rationing health care in order to make a profit. Doctors, nurses and hospital staff need to make a living - a good one, commensurate to their responsibilities and demand for their skills. But hospitals should be local, with oversight from those who depend upon them.

It may well be that the least intrusive, best performing system would be "socialist" in appearance, at the bottom tier, at least. If everyone needs a thing, and everyone is able to pay their share of that thing, than that is what it will look like. The difference, of course, is whether it's mandatory or optional. A good system of universal health care needn't be mandatory - simply competitive as all hell.

But this end could also be accomplished in part by regulatory means; for instance, requiring that insurance companies divest themselves of hospitals and requiring hospitals return to a "not for profit" standard. And certainly, it would be simple and elegant for people to be able to choose to participate in an insurance pool funded by an opt-in withholding program.

Why? Because that system exists and the expertise exists. If we decide to revise the tax code - as we really should - it would be silly to toss away all that expertise infrastructure and equipment only to have to re-invent the wheel.

At it's base, it should be not-for-profit with an emphasis on prevention and health, but it should be possible for people to buy additional coverage for things such as private rooms, etc. Perhaps we need to return to the idea of "not for profit" insurance, such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be, but with the possibility of private, for profit institutions that accept "plus" coverage, cosmetic services or "a superior recovery experience."

And of course, the simplest thing of all would be to require all government and private insurance to use the same database format and the same minimum criteria so that overhead costs for health care providers would be lowered and consumers could compare apples to apples. Of course, this should be encrypted to the same standard as critical defense secrets, but what's an NSA for, humn?

And finally, we need to take a serious look at creating a universal social safety net, one accomplished as much or more by regulatory change as by spending. Changes in zoning laws and landlord-tenant laws would do a great deal to alleviate homelessness, joblessness and many other ills that simply throwing money at people will not solve.

Changes in legislation that would help natural and voluntary families care for one another without interference would go a good ways to creating such a safety net too. But what we must stop relying on is military service, government service and prisons. From the viewpoint of our culture and civilization, sending everyone a check would be far cheaper.

But we cannot tolerate Constitutional compromise. Further, it's a sign of sloppy thinking and lazy legislation. If a desired goal cannot be constitutionally attained, then it probably should not be. If it really must be attained, then there is an amendment process that ensures that all objections are heard.

Finally, I think that Government must be reminded that it should be worth the price people are asked to pay, and that a good government is like any other enterprise - competent, effective and considerate of it's clients. Right now, that standard has not been met on the federal level in living memory and I rather expect the same could be said of most state and local governments.

Edit: I came back to fix a few misspellings and a grammatical error or two and realized there was a glaring point I'd failed to meet head-on. Coercion is coercion is coercion. It matters little to me or thee if force is applied by government to force me this way instead of that, or if it's economic force applied to me by a corporation. If the government does not protect me and the markets my liberty depends on, it matters very little who benefits from my compliance.

And likewise - a "tax" is anything you must pay or any standard you must comply with (at your own expense, risk or inconvenience) in order to do what you have to do. My doctor pays a "tax" amounting to the full salaries of two people and the partial salary of a third simply to comply with paperwork related to insurance forms. He passes this cost on to the insurers of course - who stick me with a "deductible" which is, in fact, a tax on MY access to health care, and since I have no choice about that - due to where the insurance comes from - it's a tax, and a damned steep one at that.


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A Belated Sense of Duty

It's ironic that it takes this sort of provocation to issue a "Contempt of Congress" citation. That contempt has been made manifest with every stonewall, every executive order, every dismissive remark by our Misleader.

Perhaps it's come to the point that Congress realizes that so many of them HAVE been blackmailed and pressured (I speculate, of course) via illegal means that people will tend to overlook the smaller sins due to outrage at the greater.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the Supremes stonewall this. Perhaps impeachment for the last two appointments? Or perhaps Alitio will convert to Constitutionalism, after re-reading the Federalist papers and checking the wind.

The gravity of this issue is impossible to overestimate. Deliberately provoking a Constitutional crisis in the name of upholding the principle of the "Unitary Executive" with an undercurrent of "I have the guns and you don't" is a good way to provoke Civil War.

It will be interesting to see if Bush tries to have Congress intimidated with tanks and artillery. Interesting in the Chinese sense. And it will be interesting to see if Rumsfield and his successor have managed to "restrutcture" the military to the degree that it will willingly fire on American Citizens.

clipped from www.thenation.com

No one was all that surprised when the Bush administration announced Thursday that it would not cooperate with congressional demands for documents and testimony

The best way to enforce the rule of law is by issuing a Contempt of Congress citation

The issuance of a Contempt of Congress citation would provoke the sort of Constitutional showdown that it now appears will be required if this administration is to be held to account for its abuses of power. In such a showdown between the legislative and executive branches, the third branch of the federal government, the judiciary, would be asked to decide whether the White House has a right to assert, as White House counsel Fred Fielding did in a letter telling the committee chairs that their demands would not be met.


"Increasingly," says Leahy, "the president and vice president feel they are above the law -- in America no one is above law."


blog it


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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Yelling for Ron Paul - an authentic Bipartisan Nightmre

Gee, it isn't just "the internets," is it?

This is becoming an authentic cultural, ethical and political uprising, and it probably surprises "Dr. No" as much as anyone.



Boy, I can just hear the sphincters clenching inside the beltway, from K Street to Congress. At the very least, Ron Paul is kinda like having Ross Perot AND Ralph Nader in the race.

Muahahaahaa!

Send Ron money and feel the squeals of pain!

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TAANSTAFFL & The Number of the Beast...


The older I get, the more I realize that all I, or anyone else needs to know about work, ethics, economics, wealth and money (not at all the same thing) can be found in the works of Robert A. Heinlein.

But at the same time, I grew up enjoying the fruits of the New Deal - and many of those fruits were good, even if the tree was founded in less than stable soil. I'm still of the persuasion that Something, Anything needed to be done - FDR managed to stave off a popular Socialist uprising - and just barely.

But in doing so, he created a powerful, centralized government, further empowered the Federal Reserve and made the ownership of gold illegal, while changing the currency from silver to pure fiat currency. And as more and more people are starting to belatedly realize, there are problems with that. Because the US dollar in your pocket is not representative of a positive value - rather, it's a promissory note against the federal debt - and that's a debt that, thanks to George Bush, may never, ever be repaid.

Of course many things are made possible when you have an unlimited expense account - and that's exactly what the Federal Reserve is. It literally creates money out of thin air, to be used for all kinds of things, good, bad, useless and useful. It is founded on the promise that our economy will easily support such a debt, with interest. But, thanks to George Bush (and a congress that was more than willing to conspire with him, lobbyists and corporations) - that is no longer a safe bet.

No Short Supply of Freaking Doom! - Free Market News Network

    It all comes down to what Andy Sutton of My2CentsOnline.com was talking about when he wrote about the "disconnect in understanding between money and purchasing power." To remedy that, he gives us an example: "Say a man in 1933 stuffed twenty dollars under his bed. In 1933, the price of a gallon of gas was around 10 cents. So the twenty dollars was worth 200 gallons of gas."

    Now contrast 200 gallons of gas in 1933 with, "In 1970, gas sold on average for 34 cents/gallon. The twenty dollars was now only worth 59 gallons of gas."

    Now contrast both of those with, "Today, I paid $2.89/ gallon. The twenty dollars would buy only 6.92 gallons of gas. To recap, the twenty dollar bill that in 1933 bought 200 gallons of gas today only buys 6.92 gallons."

    Thus we see in precious gallons the ravages of inflation in prices thanks to the damned Federal Reserve.

    TheStreet.com reports that "[Ron] Paul (R., Texas) is so disgusted with the Fed and its role in failing to stem inflation that he wants to eliminate the entire institution, including its army of economics Ph.D.s and other money wizards", which refers to a bill that he filed in Congress, HR2755, that would do just that.

    As Junior Mogambo Ranger H.H.H. puts it, this shows that "Ron Paul will go to his grave with his honor and dignity intact, which is far more than I can say for most members of our government."

    Why does Rep. Paul want to eliminate the Fed? Well, according to me at my loudmouth, know-it-all, arrogant best, it is because the Federal Reserve has been a complete, dismal failure in every freaking respect, and especially in their duty to protect the value of the dollar.

    Well, nobody ever wants to hear what I think, and so I am happy that the question is admirably answered by the epic truth revealed by Antony Mueller at Mises.org and handily posted at Agora Financial's 5-Minute Forecast. "Central bankers," he writes, "sometimes describe their activity as 'more art than science', which is implicit recognition of their ignorance. The 'art of central banking' is the art of pretending to know what one does not know. Not only is it not a science; it is not even an art. At best, it is alchemy; at worst, it is a gigantic cheat."

    Or as the Law of Logical Argument puts it, "Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about".

    This leads to the Law of Lying and Statistical Manipulation, which I just made up, which is, "If you have a willing, co-conspirator like Congress, then the Federal Reserve can do and say anything it wants, whether it knows what it is talking about or not, and nobody will try to stop them, and the Fed will create so much money and credit that price inflation will destroy us all, which it will, and we are freaking doomed, doomed, doomed as a result."

So, essentially, our currency is built on false promises, delusional confidence and unsupported, doctrinal guesswork-for-profit. Kinda like the Bush Administration and the NeoConMen.

But you can simply opt out. Believe it or not, there is no law that says that a US citizen has to transact business in US currency, nor is there any particular barrier these days to banking your money in any currency you care to name. But most currencies are fiat currency these days, administered by central banks no more honest or competent than the Federal Reserve.

But there is the option of using real money. The oldest form of money is coinage, made of silver and gold, and certificates representing actual gold reserves.

And, while the existance of these certificates, and the possiblity of them starting to become serious competition for Federal Reserve Notes, the Liberty Dollar is exactly that.

In fact, it's such a serious threat that dispite it being as real as rain and legal as breathing, the US Mint has been issuing "advisories" that suggest it is not. Details below the cut, presented to you as a PSA, direct from the site itself, with a "golden opportunity" to help in this most essential struggle - and gain a seriously valuable collectible in the bargain.

There's more...


Legal Issues


US Mint Warning

Legal Defense Fund

Lawsuit

Legal Opinion

Background

Updates

Make Online Donation to Legal Defense Fund

Legal Defense Fund
Your right to use Gold & Silver is at risk.


HISTORIC NOTE: If you are visiting this page to support our Legal Defense
Fund and are familiar with the US Mint warning, please skip this Historic Note. On September 13. 2006 the US Mint issued a "Warning" that it was illegal to use the Liberty Dollar. Then on Tuesday, March 20. 2007 Liberty Services, the organization that promotes and distributes the Liberty Dollar, has filed suit against the U.S. Mint in U.S. District Court in Evansville Indiana to enjoin the government from claiming that the use of Liberty Dollar is a 'federal crime'. It is not a "federal crime" to voluntarily use a piece of silver between two consenting adults. For more background info please click HERE. To read Bernard's Second Law of Money, please click HERE.

Please let me be blunt, honest and to the point: We need your help, please.

We have never asked for a donation in over eight years. In fact we have refused to accept any donations. But now the time is different. Now the Liberty Dollar is under attack and we need your help. The very idea of a free market is at risk due to the US government's assault on our right to use anything of choice in the market place.

The US Mint would have us believe that it is illegal for Americans to exchange gold and silver (such as the Gold and Silver Eagles minted by the US Mint or any other gold and silver for that matter) on a voluntary basis between consenting adults. Just imagine that at a time when "consenting adults" can legally exchange "fluids" between themselves, the US Mint would have us believe that you and I can not trade gold and silver between ourselves. This is ridiculous and an assault on the concept of a free market.

Of course the US Mint allegation is not the law, in fact, it is a lie. For that reason, the Liberty Dollar has filed a federal lawsuit: Liberty Dollar v Henry M. Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury, Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, Edmond C. Moy, Director, US Mint for a declaratory judgment.

Since the US Mint posted their warning, over six months ago, no further action has been taken. No arrests. No indictments. No investigation. Nothing. The warning has been purely a scare tactic. Unfortunately it has been very successful, until now. You will not be arrested for having, using, or helping the Liberty Dollar at this hour of need. Nobody is going to chase you down for a $20 Silver Liberty.

Trust me, this lawsuit is no small matter. Nor is the cost. Initially estimated at $100,000 - we simply have no idea what the actual total cost will be. But it is not cheap to sue the US government that makes their money out of thin air and pays their attorneys with your income tax dollars. You want to change things? Then help us change the money.

We estimate that over 100,000 people know and use the Liberty Dollar, so if everybody just donated a dollar, we would have a chance to pay for the lawsuit. But not everybody will send in even a dollar. Trust me, people are not very responsive. Most will not even read this far or have any idea as to what is happening to their money or liberties. We hope you are different. So I am asking you to please send $10 because I bet only 10% of the people will respond... if that many. Now accepting US dollars and Liberty Dollars in metal, paper or digital form. Please note links below for your donation.

And for you very few special dedicated people who are really concerned and send in a whopping $20, I promise to send you a very special commemorative Defense Fund Liberty of intrinsic value. In fact, I will send one of these special minted Defense Dollars for every $20 you send... after we win. This Defense Fund Liberty is only available to those who respond to this Legal Defense Fund request with a donation of $20 or more. This special Defense Fund Liberty will not be "sold". If you don't donate... you will not be able to get one. I really need your support, please.

Wait there is more. OK, so you are opposed to the Federal Reserve theft of your purchasing power... but you are equally opposed to donating... and you would rather buy something to help the cause. Great! Please click HERE to order a specially hallmarked one ounce $20 Silver Liberty for only $25 each plus S&H (while silver is under $15 spot). Each Defense Silver Liberty will feature two special hand stamped hallmarks with the "Scales of Justice" and my personal Mintmark. This issue is strictly limited to only those Defense Silver Libertys issued during this fund-raiser. They will not be available after we win... God help us all if we lose.


Click for Larger Image

What about a Gold Defense Liberty? Well as it is really expensive to battle the almighty US government and all this still may not be enough to fund this Herculean effort and win, one of our best supporters has loaned 100 one ounce Gold Libertys to be specially hallmarked and auctioned on eBay. Yes I have to pay him back the 100 ounces of gold but anything over the spot price will be donated to the Legal Defense Fund. The first 20 have already been allocated and Number 021 has been placed on eBay. One specially hallmarked Gold Defense Liberty will be auction per week until we win or run out of Gold Defense Libertys. If you want to contribute and like gold, please bid on one of these most unique Gold Defense Libertys. Each one will be individually hand numbered 001 thru 100 and feature the same hallmarks with the Scales of Justice and my personal Mintmark as on the Silver Defense Liberty.


Click for Larger Image

The Liberty Dollar v US government is an important case. The US Mint warning has had a chilling effect on the market. So we had no choice. We must win and establish our right to use gold and silver as we see fit confirmed by a Declaratory Judgment otherwise the government could move to outlaw gold and silver in other ways.

As Alan Greenspan said in 1966: "In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the "hidden" confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process." [Emphasis Mine - BK]

Donations are accepted in Liberty Dollars: metal, paper or digital, even those dreaded Federal Reserve Notes that pass themselves off as US dollars are accepted, and credit cards. Please send in your good wishes, prayers, checks and US dollars or Liberty Dollars to: Liberty Dollar, 225 N. Stockwell Road, Evansville, Indiana, 47715. To donate or place your order for Silver Defense Libertys over the phone simply call: 888.LIB.DOLLAR (888.421.6181) with your bankcard.

Please click here to order the Silver Defense Liberty on line.

Please click here to donate on line using a bankcard.


Donate digital Liberty Dollars Enter Amount to Donate:

Please click here for the current eBay auction.

Make no doubt about it. This is the decisive moment that will define your right to use gold and silver as you so chose or continue to be slaves to a monetary/tax system that will ultimately be the ruin of our country and the ideals for which it stands.

The free marketplace should decide what is money - not the government. Remember the government is the servant of the people. We are not servants of the government.

A free marketplace should have a free currency.

Thank you most sincerely for your support.

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect
March 2007.

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Theocracy; The worst of Socialism and Facism with none of the freedoms.

When Jesus said "feed my sheep," it was within a culture quite used to tripping over the damn things. Sheep are harmless unless they fall on you, inoffensive and have an amazing capacity for innocently wandering into death traps, stepping on feet and crapping indiscriminately. Furthermore, if not taken to where they are literally up to their ankles in food, they will helplessly starve while bleating pathetically. Jesus was a realist, and he was not complementing the flock, nor conveying power with out duty.

"Feeding the sheep" is a chore. A duty. An obligation of those capable of recognizing that for one reason or another, praise Goddess, they are NOT sheep.

I use the word Goddess to underline the fact that the duty is inescapable by simply choosing to become something other than Christian. Indeed, from my perspective, the ethics of the matter are clear enough that I'd be saying the same thing as an atheist.




Government is wholesale. Religion - and it's secular equivalents - are retail. By seeking to become major secular powers, influencing governments and dictating to people in wholesale lots, the various churches have both currently and historically become whores TO government, or become governments themselves.

But the shepherd does not get to choose which sheep they have a duty toward - they run after any sheep in trouble . The dogs may attend to the flock as a whole. And yes, we may indeed use that as a metaphor for Law.

The law is implacable, and for that reason alone it must be as minimal a restriction on individual liberty as possible, so that it does not interfere with our individual rights and responsibilities.

For instance, while it's Unconstitutional (a fact, though it's an often inconvenient fact in the face of the utter failure of our churches to do their rightful tasks) to forcibly take money from Peter to feed Paul, I see no constitutional impediment to it establishing mechanisms whereby Paul can choose to feed Peter.

It would certainly be Constitutional for it to invest in a universal insurance scheme that did not depend on borrowing from the future. Better yet, it could simply serve as a conduit for such schemes, to amortize risk, minimize overhead and serve to ensure that such services did not become schemes for profit or power.

No government - nor for that matter, religion - is truly wise and all-seeing enough to truly know what any of us need to meet our responsibilities, or even directly determine what our needs are and meet them. Were it possible to know, such knowledge would be so totally invasive as to completely strip us of all human dignity.

Therefore, state and church exist in separate, immiscible capacities to advise, and with our consent, provide information, resources and human contacts to help with those most personal and non-transferable duties. Nor may any entity, person, religion, corporation or government claim to be wise enough to know for certain that in the face of a poor outcome, their choices would have been better on behalf of any particular individual.

First attempt define what "better" would be for every single affected person with inarguable accuracy first, with absolute reliability from the viewpoint of those in need and you will see my point. Even the most obvious-seeming judgments rely on assumptions based on your informed guess as to what would be best for most people, with "most" being ultimately defined as "people you know."

Therefore, "judge not, lest you be judged also." It's not a prediction of future consequence, it's an observation of very immediate human reaction. The moment you make assumptions about individuals based on your assumptions about what people "should" do or be able to do, you reveal your own personal inability to accept realities and people outside of your understanding.

To you Christians out there who nonetheless refuse to feed Paul for various transparently false rationalizations - the Bible says that if someone comes to your town and is hungry, and he is not fed, clothed and given refuge, then they may take what he needs from the altar of the Temple. As I recall, it would ordinarily be a lesser offense under the Levitical Code you are all so fond of for them to steal from you.

The Constitution will not force you to act morally, ethically or even responsibly. It does not demand that you "hold up your end," nor will it force others to compensate for your lack. It will not protect you from the consequences of pretending you are when you are not. Nor is there any legitimate religion, system of ethics or morality that will pretend otherwise. Not even Satanism. What the Constitution does is to attempt to limit Government from interfering with your rights - and empowering it to protect your individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the encroachment of others.

If you are genuinely unable by temperament, mental state, or circumstances to act responsibly in all things, then it is your responsibility to seek out help, just as it is your duty to help when called on by those in genuine need. There is a reciprocal responsibility to be helpful, and where government can legitimately make help from over here available over there it must - as our designated agent and adviser.

It's just that simple, and no, you really don't get to pick and choose between the "deserving and undeserving;" not as a Christian, and certainly not as a Deist, a Humanist or indeed, an irreligious, self-centered couch-potato. Refusing to recognize an ethical necessity does not make it go away.

As I study the Constitution, I realize more and more that it deliberately denies the People the comfortable apathy of a state that exists to "take care" of them. Even the sheep have the the minimum responsibility of finding a trustworthy shepherd. Those of you claiming to be shepherds, but who are but shills for the slaughterhouse - well, sooner or later the smell of blood will betray you.

Aint' that right, Messers. Bush and Haggard?

With such examples of "Christianity" in positions of power, it is deeply and damnably ironic to hear comparable asshats intone that "This Is A Christian Nation."

Note: This is a slightly edited excerpt from an earlier post. When I saw the Blog Against Theocracy alert, I realize that this chunk could stand on it's own, even though it's part of a larger post about our personal responsibility to act ethically toward others with the unique skills, talents and insights that we actually have - and that responsibility is something government cannot really absolve us of, nor can religion limit for the sake of our personal comfort.

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