Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why we need to hold out against the bailout

From an e-mail Rep. Dennis Kucinich has sent to his mailing list:

"To be sure, there are many different reasons why people voted against the bailout. The legislation did not regard in any meaningful way the plight of millions of Americans who are about to lose their homes. It did nothing to strengthen existing regulatory structures or impose new ones at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve in order to protect investors. There were no direct protections for bank depositors. There was nothing to stop further speculation, which is what brought us into this mess in the first place.

"This was a bailout for some firms (and investors) on Wall Street, with the idea that in doing so there would be certain, unspecified, general benefits to the economy...

"Here is a very quick explanation of the $700 billion bailout within the context of the mechanics of our monetary and banking system:

"The taxpayers loan money to the banks. But the taxpayers do not have the money. So we have to borrow it from the banks to give it back to the banks. But the banks do not have the money to loan to the government. So they create it into existence (through a mechanism called fractional reserve) and then loan it to us, at interest, so we can then give it back to them.


"This is the system. This is the standard mechanism used to expand the money supply on a daily basis not a special one designed only for the '$700 billion' transaction. People will explain this to you in many different ways, but this is what it comes down to.

"The banks needed Congress' approval. Of course in this topsy turvy world, it is the banks which set the terms of the money they are borrowing from the taxpayers. And what do we get for this transaction? Long term debt enslavement of our country. We get to pay back to the banks trillions of dollars ($700 billion with compounded interest) and the banks give us their bad debt which they cull from everywhere in the world.

"Who could turn down a deal like this? I did.

"The globalization of the debt puts the United States in the position that in order to repay the money that we borrow from the banks (for the banks) we could be forced to accept International Monetary Fund dictates which involve cutting health, social security benefits and all other social spending in addition to reducing wages and exploiting our natural resources. This inevitably leads to a loss of economic, social and political freedom.

"Under the failed $700 billion bailout plan, Wall Street's profits are Wall Street's profits and Wall Street's losses are the taxpayers' losses. Profits are capitalized. Losses are socialized. We are at a teachable moment on matters of money and finance..."

He voted it down, and he was right, along with nine other Ohio Congressmen (seven of whom were Republican!)

What is the lesson of this "teachable moment"? That the only sure promise of long-term economic stability is to reintroduce a 100% reserve requirement in silver (and/or gold). This will force banks to adopt sound lending practices, because their survival will be on the line. It will result in a dollar that retains (if not increases) its value over time. Wages may remain steady, but productivity gains will benefit all of us. The precious metal naturally regulates the amount of money in circulation.

As Matt Cember wrote in March in this space:

"The way 'out' of this is not to increase bureaucracy, add government regulation, and give even more power to the Fed. The way 'out' of this is 'through' it: let it happen, learn from it, and pick up the pieces."

There is a great deal of pressure being placed on the Congress to act quickly. While there may be serious dislocations, it is much more important to the American people (and for that matter, to the people of the world!) that we get it right this time.

More from The Ohio Republic on the Federal Reserve Bank.

Ralph Osborn: defender of Ohio's rights

On Friday, I mentioned that Ohio had a tradition of resisting central banks. The best known instance of that resistance was the action of Ohio Auditor Ralph Osborn in 1819, when he seized $100,000 from the two branches of the Bank of the United States in Ohio in collection of taxes owed to the State.

While his action was overturned by the Supreme Court case of Osborn v. Bank of the United States, Auditor Osborn displayed a courage against Federal intrusion that has rarely been equaled in Ohio history.

Couldn't have said it better myself

Charles Higginbotham in Gahanna wrote a letter to the editor of the Columbus Dispatch that echoes The Ohio Republic as to why secession is becoming a more attractive option:

"President Bush said Thursday that the financial bailout had a gigantic hurdle to overcome: trust. With everything he said, I thought, 'Can I ever trust government again?'

"This issue is just one of the many failures of government in recent years that are causing undue sacrifice on citizens and destroying the fabric of the United States. How do I know what these bureaucrats and politicians are telling us is the truth?

"How can any American agree to underwrite $700 billion of debt, given the track record of Congress, the administration and the financial apparatus? We have witnessed the greed and complained, all to no avail, and now we are expected to bail out the failures. A good deal of Bush's speech involved scaring the manure out of America. We won't be able to borrow, send our kids to college, make our house payments, our local banks might fail, on and on, unless we knuckle under and mortgage our own lives to save the guilty. Bush displayed absolutely no emotion in condemning the unscrupulous 'money changers' that have Washington wringing its hands. There is so much dirt in Congress tied to this fiasco and yet, the fox is allowed to keep the combination of the hen-house door.

"Leaders in Congress were aware of what has been going on; many of them have been on the take from the failed financial operations. They want America to reward them with a $700 billion loan almost overnight. Unbelievable.

"Someone must pull on the reins. We have men and women giving their lives every day in Iraq and Afghanistan while disgusting legislators, bureaucrats, and corporate executives are bleeding the integrity, honor and reputation from our nation."

Two words for the Ohio Congressmen who voted against the bailout yesterday

For Reps. Tiberi (R), Turner (R), LaTourette (R), Chabot (R), Schmidt (R), Latta (R), Jordan (R), Kaptur (D), Kucinich (D), and Sutton (D):

Thank you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The shape of things to come?

Ever wonder what North America would be like after the Empire collapses? Pete Edler obviously has given this some thought. Drawing historical lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union, he envisions a time that will be exciting, creative, and dangerous -- a time when our actions will have greater meaning, but when we will have to be awake to the changes that are taking place.

Or, as Benjamin Franklin said to the woman who asked him what the Constitutional Convention made, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

Virtual buckeye to Vermont Commons.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ohioans lead the charge against bailout

Throughout American history, Ohioans have provided leading voices for common sense, and against central banks and financial foolishness. It is good to see that this tradition continues today:

I have previously noted the voice of the always-outspoken Rep. Dennis Kucinich who is working to protect Main Street from Wall Street (though some of his prescriptions, such as single-payer national health care, strike me as impractical or socialistic).

Today's Columbus Dispatch notes the role of Rep. John Boehner in resisting the $700 billion bailout proposal. Far from being a maverick, the Dispatch reports that he is representing several Congressmen who represent conservative districts in Ohio. Rep. Boehner is at the table representing the House Republican Conference.

In the Senate, Sen. Sherrod Brown has urged Congress not to let the President and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stampede it into a hasty approval of a potentially disastrous package. "We need to do something (but) people don't want us to pass something that is way more interested in helping Wall Street with their eight-figure bonuses than helping Main Street," Brown, a member of the Banking Committee, told Ohio reporters. The important thing, he says, is to get it right.

Go to the end of this link, and make it clear to your Congressman and Senators that they will be held accountable for any decision that gives Wall Street a free ride.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Halloween in D.C. (and everywhere else) - III

If the economy isn't enough to scare you into secession, maybe this will -- a graphic from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1990 that identifies no less than 42 potential nuclear targets within our State (source). And this doesn't include the risk of downwind radiation from nuclear attacks on the missile silos further west.

Here's why secession will reduce the risk of war for us.

Virtual buckeye to Carol Moore.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two new items in the documentation site

In 1995, I wrote a piece on the case for Ohio independence. Having recently reviewed it, it appears to have (mostly) passed the test of time.

I have also posted a chapter of Frederick Grimke's book Considerations upon the Nature and Tendency of Free Institutions dealing with secession. It's not the easiest read, but shows the work of an Ohioan who was one of America's greatest political thinkers.

Take from the poor and give to the rich

We all know that taxes are a form of legalized extortion; but this proposed bailout (does anyone really think that it will stop at $700 billion?) makes Secretary Paulson a reverse Robin Hood. I haven't had much time to digest this myself -- fortunately, others have...

We begin with Ohio's BizzyBlog, whose writer detests being stampeded into something. While he is willing to set aside the $700 billion, he has a few strings attached: He would demand proof of loss and a full explanation of why the loss occurred for each bad loan involved on a case by case basis, attested to by a CPA firm other than the one AIG, Fannie, or Freddie currently uses. Any money advanced ahead of that to keep the markets functioning would be treated as loans, not gifts, until such proof is provided.

Rebellion is giving out the call to contact Congressmen and Senators by phone and fax to oppose the bailout. In their post, they quote financial expert Ric Edelman:

''The insurers got rich selling policies with fat premiums, brokerages got rich selling new securities, lenders got rich selling more loans than ever, builders, real estate agents, title settlement companies, appraisers, inspectors - everyone got rich from the ensuing real estate boom."

Mr. Tuggle then dryly adds, "He could have included the politicians who enabled the irresponsible lending of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they knew these ''government-sponsored enterprises'' - since bailed out by the government at a potential cost of $200 billion to taxpayers - would line their campaign coffers."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) has already developed a comprehensive program to attack the problem. While some of it reads a bit too much like paleoliberalism, I will give him credit for at least making the effort to define a public interest. Some of his ideas include:

  • * Reinstatement of the provisions of Glass-Steagall, which forbade speculation

  • * Re-regulation of the finance, insurance, and real estate industries

  • * Accountability on the part of those who took the companies down; including: resignations of management, givebacks of executive compensation packages, and (this is where the paleoliberalism comes in) limitations on executive compensation.

  • * (This one is interesting:) An equity position for the taxpayers; including some form of ownership of assets using a credible formula for evaluating the price of the assets that the government is buying; AND

  • * Full public disclosure by members of Congress of assets held, with possible conflicts put in blind trust, a ban on political campaign contributions from officers of corporations receiving bailouts, and a requirement that 2008 cycle candidates return political contributions to officers and representatives of corporations receiving bailouts.

Rep. Kucinich is also demanding some mechanism for direct assistance to homeowners saddled with unreasonable or unmanageable mortgages, as well as protection for renters who have lived up to their obligation but fall victim to financial tragedy when the property they live in undergoes foreclosure.

Some observers have ominously called this bailout proposal "the economic USA PATRIOT Act". Clearly, we need to exercise our vigilance now or risk losing our liberty later. Write your Congressman or our U.S. Senators and urge them (1) not to act in haste, (2) not to rubber-stamp Secretary Paulson's plan, and (3) to consider the public interest. If you're feeling gutsy, I suggest you throw in a recommendation to throw out the Federal Reserve Bank and replace it with silver-backed currency. Most of the follies we have recently experienced could not have happened if money creation had been regulated by silver or gold.

Ohio’s Senators may be reached by e-mail at:

George Voinovich:http://voinovich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Sherrod Brown:http://brown.senate.gov/contact/

Your Congressman (links to home page -- each one has an e-mail link)
(If you do not know who your Representative is, use the handy tool at the top of this page.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Pessimistic Scenario

The shock from yesterday's news is beginning to subside but the disappointment - and terrible sense of urgency - is not. The other students at my school have no idea what is going on, why it is important, or how it will affect them. Fortunately I am friends with many of the instructors there who I have found understand these events all too well.

The Department of the Treasury is selling bonds to (mostly foreign) investors to raise money for the Federal Reserve, not the other way around. They are proposing the release of over $600 billion dollars into the monetary supply to "help" the situation. The candidates of both of the Empire's corrupt political parties are calling for more of the legislative regulation and fiduciary prestidigitation that got us here rather than switching back to a specie currency economy that would make this fraud impossible. And the Americans are actually cheering their leadership and foresight!

Those who do understand will sadly recognize that Mr. Griffin's "Pessimistic Scenario" is unfolding before us. Now the Government is the owner of most of the financial systems debt obligations, including the mortgages of homeowners responsible and irresponsible alike. And the central banks of the international community are "coming to the rescue" with loans of their own - issued on their terms. Economic policy for the American Empire will now be set in places like Berlin and Beijing.

King George II has stated that "he will be continuing to monitor the situation and conferring with his economic advisers". Roughly translated, this means that he will continue to stare open-mouthed at his television set and wait for someone to tell him what to think about it.

Now is the critical time for loyal citizens of the Republic of Ohio to become their own economic advisers. Please let me again point to The Creature from Jeckyll Island by G. Edward Griffin as a book which no one should be without. (In the future days of the Ohio Republic I shall recommend that this book be required reading for high school students!!!) There is not much time left before the accumulated consequences of these trends become apparent in homes, businesses, and grocery stores everywhere....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More on the constitutionality of secession

As further evidence of the Constitutionality of secession, I submit an opinion that a Georgia Supreme Court judge wrote in 1868 [Judge Harris's dissent in Chancely v. Bailey and Cleveland, 37 Georgia Reports 532]:

“If any prominent advocate of the Federal Constitution had … intimated an opinion, that by ratification of the Federal Constitution, the states surrendered their separate individuality and sovereignty as States, such was the extreme jealousy for the maintenance of State sovereignty, [that] such an opinion… would have led to the prompt and overwhelming rejection of that instrument.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Madison's reply to Lincoln

Today is Constitution Day, the 221st anniversary of its signing by men from thirteen very diverse states, who determined that a written Constitution provided the best guarantee of liberty and safety for the new United States.

The Ohio Republic frequently refers to the Constitution of the United States. Some may object that we have made an idol out of a "scrap of paper." If you have not read the Constitution lately, I strongly urge you to do so. It is not a lengthy document, and can be read in about an hour. Take particular note of the defined powers and limitations imposed on the Federal Government by Article I, Sections 8 and 9; and of the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10). Reflect on what the Founders defined, and how far we have strayed from their vision.

I would like to celebrate the day with some excerpts from Federalist #39, written by James Madison, which refutes a commonly-held view, popularized by Abraham Lincoln, that the Constitution was a contract between the people and the Federal Government alone; and not also one between the States and the Federal Government [Emphasis in italics Madison's, in underline mine]:

"...[I]t appears, on one hand, that the constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification of the people of America, given by deputies elected for the special purpose; but, on the other, that this assent and ratification is to be given by the people, not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the DISTINCT and INDEPENDENT States to which they respectively belong. It is to be the the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each state--the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution will not be a national but a federal act...

"Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered to be a sovereign body independent of all others, and is only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a federal and not a national constitution...

"..[T]he proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects..."

If, therefore, the states are viewed as distinct and independent, and are, by their ratification of the Consitution bound by their own voluntary act, it logically follows that such states can lawfully terminate that union by secession. Otherwise, the States are not independent, and the act that was voluntary for one generation would bind all future ones, therefore becoming involuntary for the succeeding generations.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How we got here

Fellow Ohio blogger De Magno Opere gives a nice summary of the problems we are facing in this country (in 250 words or less!). I have no quarrel with his analysis; but he appears to be under the illusion that electing Barack Obama will solve some of them.

Until we realize that the kleptocracy will rule regardless of which major party controls the Presidency and Congress; any changes to be made will be for the worse.

Given this reality, there are only two ways out:
  • Form a effective and Constitutional third party (preferably by merging a lot of the little groups: Libertarians, Greens, Constitution Party, Reform Party, etc., into a party to be reckoned with), or
  • Bring government down to a more human scale by removing Ohio from the union.

You know which way I lean. Attempts at third-party movements have consistently failed for over 150 years -- the Republican/Democratic duopoly will ensure that they will continue to fail.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fannie and Freddie

Now, it's the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae, a public entity) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac, a "privately owned and sponsored government enterprise" -- like the Federal Reserve!), have gone under; and like Bear Stearns and (probably) Lehman Brothers, they have gone to the Feds for a bailout to save the Wall Street barons that ran them into the ground. It is not in the public interest because most of the holders of those mortgages have already been refinanced or foreclosed.

I cannot improve on BizzyBlog's analysis of the situation, and I won't even try. I will note, as he did, that the potential liability to the taxpayers could be as much as $200 billion (which we add to the $53 trillion of unfunded liabilities that Uncle Scofflaw currently owes).

In the mid 1990s, in the process of balancing the budget, President Clinton and the Congress went on an ambitious and mostly successful program of welfare reform, which ended keeping most able-bodied people on the dole without preparing them for useful employment.

Isn't it about time we did the same to Wall Street? The same psychology applies -- why should investment bankers and mortgage lenders be prudent and careful at a risk to their bottom line when the taxpayers are sure to bail them out? BizzyBlog calls it fraud. I think he has a point.


As you can see from our masthead, today marks the first anniversary of The Ohio Republic. When I started, I hoped I could write three posts a week and gain the attention of a few hundred readers. The response has greatly exceeded my expectations. In all honesty, the fact that I started the day after the anniversary of 9-11 had not occurred to me until I had written this blog for several months.

This is our 188th post, so we are writing a post every other day; and from October 11, 2007 to Thursday midnight, we have had 3,008 visits and 5,665 page views. Normally, about half of those visits are from Ohio; with the other half from the rest of the world. Many of the non-Ohio viewers are our secessionist colleagues in Alaska, Vermont, and the South. We are pleased to be included in The Carnival of Ohio Politics, and linked to many blogs, both in Ohio and elsewhere. With a thankful heart, I have noticed that The Ohio Republic frequently has excellent placement in Google searches.

There is no question that The Ohio Republic has begun to raise the consciousness of Ohioans to the possiblity, even desirability of independence of the United States; and for that reason, I feel that our early efforts have been successful.

I pledge to you that The Ohio Republic will continue to offer news and opinion from a secessionist and Constitutionalist perspective as long as the Feds don't come after me; or until a happy day when the Founders' vision will again grace this land.

If I lack faith that such a happy day will appear, please be assured that I have very great faith in the common sense of the people of this State; that when properly aroused, they will come to the defense of government that will act in their own interest and will, if necessary exercise their Constitutional right to alter or abolish the government to which they had become accustomed.*

* Ohio Constitution, Article I, Section 2.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Seven years, as one writer suggested recently, is long enough for the immediate shock and pain to wear off, but not long enough to recede into history.

It is a tragedy whose aftermath continues to gnaw at us. Some people believe that 9-11 was a conspiracy internal to the United States, used to create a hysteria that would provide the pretext for abridging our Constitutional liberties and paving the way for a police state. They base that belief on anomalies in the official explanation for the event (for example, the slow military response to the hijacked airliners).

Whether or not the conspiracy theories are true, it is evident that 9-11 has been used by the United States government to create a "war on terror" that is being used to support an unjustifiable war in Iraq (while only belatedly acknowledging our neglect of a totally justified war in Afghanistan), increase Federal surveillance over the American people, and using our collective fear as an excuse for ignoring the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

One question that I frequently receive as a secessionist is, how can I justify secession when terrorism is still a threat to America? After all, doesn't the terrorist rhetoric call for conversion of the entire world to Islam by force? Isn't al-Qaeda still well-funded and well-organized?

Yes, I have heard the terrorist rhetoric about forcing Islam on the world, and yes, evidence suggests that al-Qaeda is still well-funded and well-organized; and has successfully resisted attempts to smoke them out in the ungovernable tribal regions of Pakistan.

However, I have no doubt that terrorism is not a threat to a Republic of Ohio that peacefully pursues its own interests in the world. How can that be, you ask? Look at it, not fearfully, but rationally. Al-Qaeda's goal is to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate that existed until 1924. No country, no organization has unlimited resources. Those that are successful in achieving their goals must focus their time, their money, and their people toward achieving them. The United States found themselves in the crosshairs of al-Qaeda, because the American military presence in Saudi Arabia following Desert Storm was religiously offensive to them. With the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the United States government dedicated itself to frustrating the ambitions of al-Qaeda. Assuming that the conspiracy theories are false (and I am not taking a position either way), this is the reason 9-11 occurred. Removing Ohio's troops from the Middle East following independence would remove any motivation for al-Qaeda to commit terrorist acts against Ohio. The same could be said of any other state or country that did the same.

To some, this might sound cowardly; but I suggest that it takes great courage to admit that we poked around where we had no real business -- except that of protecting our sources of oil, which are peaking in production capacity, and from which we should be weaning ourselves. In other words, to admit that we were wrong to take this course of action, which can be justified only in terms of imperialism and aggression. I have no doubt that George Washington and most of the Founding Fathers would have sternly disapproved of this action; and am confident that a President as recent as Dwight Eisenhower would have felt the same way.

True national security comes from having a strong national defense that focuses only on defense, from effective border controls; and from a citizenry that, while ever vigilant to threats on their liberty, remains satisfied that their government consistently acts in their interest as opposed to the selfish interests of an élite, or those of a foreign power. Firm in this belief, I remain confident that the Republic of Ohio would have little to fear from Islamic terrorism; but might have to cast more a wary eye on a District of Coercion that uses pretexts like 9-11 to advance its own agenda.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gov. Palin's candidacy attracts mainstream media interest in secessionism

Christopher Ketcham wrote an interesting piece on secessionism for the Los Angeles Times. The amazing part is that the Times printed it (also, take a look at the comments, which show us just how shallow the thinking is among knee-jerk unionists). While I doubt that Gov. Palin is really a secessionist, her husband's membership in the Alaska Independence Party and her own address to it have proven to be a publicity coup for the American secessionist movement.

Mr. Ketcham concludes with this interesting observation:

"Secession worries the staid opinion gatekeepers of the major media. Sarah Palin's 'flirtation' with the AIP should make us 'uneasy,' as Rosa Brooks warned in these pages. Palin's secessionist ties raise 'serious questions,' averred the New York Times. A more honest assessment is that the separatism of the Alaskan Independence Party is not so weird or wacky -- or out of keeping with what appears to be a sentiment rooted in that loveliest of American predilections, our crotchety contrarianism."

Virtual buckeye to Carol Moore.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The need to dream and to hope

Sean Penn is not my favorite actor, and by his own admission is not a professional journalist; but his analysis of the current political situation in America is spot on. In his speech before the Open the Debates Super Rally, he reviews terrorism in this country going back to Tim McVey's bombing at Oklahoma City. He then asks, what part do we play as a society that enables these acts to occur. The answer Mr. Penn offers is very interesting indeed:

"This should lead us to demand in ourselves, to remember and to honor the wondrous foundation of security and freedom that is born from our United States Constitution. Citizens rights, human rights, rights to a quality of life and the fulfillment of the human need-the NEED not luxury–to dream.

"To believe in the possibility of change built on reason, the possibility for peace, and our responsible stewardship of the Constitution. When do such acts as those in Oklahoma City or those in Santa Cruz become pervasive? Again, we are excusing no one their violence, but they become pervasive every time we devolve our Constitution. Each generation’s responsibility is to be more complete than the last in its commitment to Constitutional principals [sic].

"The major parties are both running candidates who not only approved the un-Constitutional misuse of FISA warrants, but also supported retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies who violated the public trust, who violated the rule of law, and who violated our Constitution hand-in-hand with the current administration’s unlawful and un-American wiretaps.

"We are in fact, their employers. And the Democratic and Republican candidates who seek our employment as our next president, are both on record as participants in devolving our Constitution...

I have heard our politics described as narcissistic and adolescent, but Mr. Penn lays it out quite bluntly:

"Let’s demand to hear all the voices for change that represent the needs of all Americans. We must demand it in our media. We must demand it of John McCain. We must demand it from Barack Obama. I’m sick of this High school, with suits on, called the Democratic and Republican parties. I’m telling you, you go around and you’ve heard it. They brandish their party credentials by snickering away open debate like a clique of wormy snobs. We saw our republican brothers and sisters punked out by spin and marginalization which was brought to them by their pundits and public servants. They even allowed it to co-op their own thought. But the Republican Americans are anything but our enemy. They are just as important to the fabric of this country as any of us.

"But we watched as they were suckered into serving interests which betrayed their own countries and their own people. As they confidently presented the official line, it was really an exploitation of them by their leaders. And we are no better. It can
happen to us, and to many it already has.

"So, the question is, are we going to fight for the public discourse of facts? Or will we be shamed into hiding? Not only by the O’Reilly’s and the Limbaugh’s and the Hannitys, but also by the confident disparaging of thought handed down by the James Carvilles of the mainstream media.

"Hope is never arrived at through staunch pragmatism, and it’s for that reason that I am still considering my own decision as to whom I will vote for. But in fairness to Ralph Nader, the American hero in this building with us tonight; to the Bob Barrs, the Ron Pauls, Cynthia McKinneys and the independent spirit of Dennis Kucinich: When we are told not to vote for someone because he or she is a spoiler, let’s remember that Barack Obama himself is considered the greatest spoiler of all– by a narcissistic branch of democrats who simply have forgotten their manners, a slip of hubris which most certainly has Dr. King clawing at his casket...

"In whatever decision we make, it’s imperative that we address the future. That’s what this is all about. Quality of life is the singular global issue, and it’s upon all of us to seek it for all the rest. Our hopes for our children are the clearest path to that end, and I would like to sum up in this way...

"The defining moment really, is that whoever you vote for, you better hold his ass to the fire. Putting on pressure district by district, media outlet by media outlet–that as it is our job, it is theirs to serve this country’s great Constitution. The next time somebody says the words, 'How dare Ralph Nader run,' you ask them what they did for their country today. We should demand, by any means, that his voice–so truly representative of so many of ours–is heard.

"We have got to stop telling people not to think and speak."

We simply must stop this business of "political correctness," because it is used to suppress the truth. The problems that face the Empire cannot be resolved peacefully or effectively until those issues are squarely faced and openly debated.

Thank you, Sean Penn, for stating so clearly what so many of us have been thinking.

Virtual buckeye to The Liberty Voice.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rushing to a conclusion

For me, Rush Limbaugh is a mixed [wind]bag, but he has his moments; such as in this transcript, where he tells a caller not to be too upset about Todd Palin's membership in the Alaskan Independence Party, because Sens. Obama and Biden supported a bill that could lead to the secession of Hawai'i! *

* As did Sen. McCain!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Welcome to the police state

Several recent reports point to an accelerating trend toward turning the US of A into a police state, just like the big bad dictators used to have.

The most egregious is the treatment of Ron Paul delegates at the Republican National Convention, as reported by Daily Newscenter and confirmed by the Ron Paul organization. (The night I wrote this, I attempted to use the Daily Newscenter link, and got a 403 Forbidden error; but this apparently has been corrected).

Following is the Ron Paul campaign's summary of the story:

"Ron Paul delegates report that they have been shadowed by [what they assumed to be] Secret Service since the beginning of the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Center, following the confiscation of their political materials they are now being surveilled openly with an agent assigned to each delegate. When one of the delegates asked if they could retrieve their property after the convention they were told, “No.” not satisfied with that answer the delegate tried to follow the agent to make additional inquiries, he was told this action was causing a disturbance and a security agent was told to stay with him for the rest of the evening. For their safety the Ron Paul delegation have decided to stick together as a group while approaching the media with their story."

I'm not a Ron Paul follower myself, but this kind of thuggery is not only an egregious violation of the Fourth Amendment (guess it wasn't convenient to obey it just then); but a gross abuse of the rights of lawfully elected delegates to the Republican National Convention.

In addition, the Washington Post reported Aug. 15 that the Justice Department is proposing new rules to simplify domestic snoopervision intelligence-gathering activities by the FBI and state and local police agencies. Supporters say that "the measures preserve civil liberties and are subject to internal oversight," backed by Bush Administration spokesman Tony Fratto's statement that "the administration agrees that it needs to do everything possible to prevent unwarranted encroachments on civil liberties, adding that it succeeds the overwhelming majority of the time."

Uh huh.

Maybe this is what the President had in mind when he looked ex-KGB chief Vladimir Putin in the eye and got a sense of his soul.

Another virtual buckeye to Rebellion.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why I am no longer a Republican...

I registered to vote in the 1971 primary, and have consistently voted in Republican primaries ever since (but have split my ticket in most elections over the years). Why? Because I believe in limited government and social freedom.

My beliefs have changed little since then, but the Republican Party has reversed direction. I'm not a Ron Paul follower, but his critique of the GOP (as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle) is direct and to the point.

Republicans, if you want me back, you will have to make some radical changes...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gov. Palin and the Alaska Independence Party


Sen. McCain has named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential nominee, and immediately showed just how carelessly he vetted his running mate. The news that has come out over the weekend has made it clear that his staffers were less than thorough in checking out potential problems in Gov. Palin's candidacy*. Otherwise, the McCain campaign would have been much better prepared to react (or even better, be proactive) to what we now find to be news. Quite aside from her daughter's pregnancy (which I agree is nobody's business), we now have a flap over her remarks to the 2008 convention of the Alaskan Independence Party.

Careful listening tells me that she did not really show strong agreement with the AIP -- instead, she stressed the value of party competition and agreement with their Constitutional values. Her position therefore is not peculiar to the Alaskan Independence Party, but is shared by all who value the Constitution and the freedom it protects.

However, it leaves me scratching my head. If Gov. Palin is sympathetic to the Alaskan Independence Party's platform, why is she running for Vice President of the United States? Shouldn't she be using the bully pulpit to rally Alaskans to a defense of their own interests, and representing those interests outside Alaska? Or is she just one more opportunist on the national political stage?

If she proves to be nothing but an opportunist, she will embarrass both Sen. McCain and the Alaskan Independence Party.

Gov. Palin has some explaining to do.

* Despite claims to the contrary.

Virtual buckeyes to Plunderbund and Rebellion.