Saturday, May 17, 2008
He is now officially announced for the nomination. I'm glad Mr. Barr is stepping into this contest. He has the opportunity to learn a lot about libertarians that he doesn't seem to understand yet. Being refused the nomination by the convention could do him good - if he is in this for the long run. I wish him well in his pursuit of a deeper understanding of what libertarians want. In four more years, he might be ready. Today, he doesn't get it. That's not harsh I think. Bob Barr may have come a long way from Langley but he still has long way to go - if he wants to make the effort.
For someone else's take see Tom Knapp's blog: http://knappster.blogspot.com/2008/05/barrs-line-in-sand.html
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Posted on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 10:13 PM EST
Local Organization -- The Path to Libertarian Victory
"I begin with the most fundamental issue
The Purpose of a Political Party is
* to Advance Its Agenda,
* to Run Candidates and Win Elections, and
* to Use Electoral Victory to Put Its Program into Effect.
Our objective is to create a Libertarian Party that achieves its purpose in our lifetimes. Our objective is to use democratic practices to put into practice our political agenda, the agenda of freedom, small government, low taxes, and the entire Bill of Rights. Our objective is to elect Libertarians who will put Libertarian policies into effect everywhere. Our objective is Libertarian control of town halls, statehouses, the Federal Congress, and executive branches across the Republic. Our objective is political victory."
I have selected the item not because it is anomalous. On the contrary, it's representative of a typical model for a political party in the United States. It is a model based upon certain assumptions about the legal context in which a political party is permitted to function. These assumptions are wrong.
Consider objective one: to Advance Its Agenda.
This seems almost self-evident or tautological. Advancing an agenda has many possible modes. The modes for "advancing" depend on the message crafted in the "agenda".
The modes for advancing the agenda are also dependent upon the social constraints which are accepted that limit communication. These constraints range from social and cultural mores to legalized and coercively enforced constraints.
Here my discussion will focus on the coercively enforced constraints.
The first restraint is economic in various forms for licensing and rationing communication. Campaign financing regulation and financial quotas serve to suppress competition by creating a political cartel structure. The communication of certain agendas is burdened by imposing opportunity costs through bureaucratic make work and worry work - forms, labor intensive "expertise", etc. The present scheme of censorship by campaign finance regulation was imposed in the last quarter of the 20th Century. It has functioned adequately to support a two-party political cartel by suppressing competition from 'new' parties.
In the 21st Century no new party or any party in existence since 1974 has demonstrated that it can overcome the campaign finance cartel and survive for more than two election cycles - except by staying below the threshold of electoral significance. In short, only 'Mom and Pop' political parties can exist under this regime because they cannot compete with the cartel.
Campaign finance censorship alone assures that the second objective: to Run Candidates and Win Elections, is so remote as to be 'academic'. Elections can be won, but only local elections that don't threaten cartel power. No state-wide or U.S. Congressional office can be won by a 'new' party - by a personality, yes, but not by a real party candidate.
This means that the intention defined in Objective One cannot be executed by means of Objective Two. The effective blocking of both these two objectives makes Objective Three illusory. The road block of campaign finance cannot be overcome without payment of an enormous tariff to begin effective communication. Such a tariff can be overcome only by billionaires - clients of the cartel itself.
Behind the campaign finance barriers are those electoral processes which have embedded in law since the 1890's.
These legalized barriers are mainly an intricately woven complex of election laws regarding candidate access to the ballot, voter registration censorship and suppression, gerrymandering, etc., and, as necessary, election fraud and false counting of ballots. The attempts to mandate a monopoly of electronic, pre-riggable voting machines is a further example of cartel distrust of a new party gaining favor with the voters.
More deeply embedded are the disregard of Constitutional safeguards against "factions" entrenching themselves in power. The prime example of this is the century long refusal of the cartel parties to enlarge the size of the U.S. House of Representatives so that a reasonable ratio of representation to the population is maintained. The size of the House of Representatives was frozen by law, not by constitutional provision, in the first two decades of the 20th Century by an accord between the Democratic and Republican parties to essentially "split the electorate" between them and reduce the opportunities for new party candidates to emerge and gain a balance of power between the two cartel parties.
This inter-party accord also skewed the Electoral College vote to further impede new party candidates for the Presidency. The Electoral College winner-take-all bias in favor of either of the cartel parties cannot be overcome - even if the states were to allow voters to have their Electoral College vote tallied and allocated by congressional district. The districts are too populous and too few.
There is much more to this, but suffice to say that most new parties while aware of elements of their legalized torture, typically focus on only one or two aspects and tout silver-bullet reforms which they can never hope to implement because they will never get elected to implement them. Furthermore, the new parties tend to couch their appeals to how the system is unfair to their parties. They seldom attempt to show the people how the system is unfair to the people generally.
No new party has formulated a comprehensive analysis and focused on electoral reform as central to the best interests of the American people. As a consequence, many new parties continue to fight among and within themselves over techniques and tactics and public relations and images. This suits the cartel parties just fine and when such superficialities recede into the background in a new party, new exploiters of the superficial can be encouraged to rev-up the same old zero-sum game whose message is: WE must being doing something wrong! The system ain't the real problem...is it? Well, is it?
Sadly, it is the electoral system. New parties can't win by the cartel rules unless and until they take their case directly to the people - both as 'candidates', even if their candidacies are deemed 'illegal', and, by non-election activities. The people of the United States already know their votes seldom do more than defer what the cartel wants. If the cartel wants war, the people will suffer. If the cartel wants monetary disaster, the people will suffer. The voters can complain enough to make the cartel alter its PR, but the people already know they really have no alternatives, but they do wish that they did.
New political parties really have lost over the last quarter-century by default. It's the election, stupid! It's RIGGED! If you won't tell the people the 'how and why' and show them solutions, then you will keep on losing and continue to serve as the 'Mom and Pop' example of how democracy still flourishes in the United States. The reason the people don't vote for new parties is because they can't! A new parties are tolerated as tokens by the cartel parties.
In time, events may get out of the cartel's control and they will experience "instability." At that time, the people will look first to a new party with an agenda that explains how they got screwed at the polling place for so long and how it can prevented in the future. If they can find such a party. If the people cannot find a channel of leadership in such a party, they will seek leaders elsewhere...in a charismatic revolutionary selling them redemption by blood and fire.
In which case, the new parties will share some of the responsibility which the cartel alone should bear.
Happy Mother's Day, may she forgive you.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Don't whine about democracy saving you. You have no candidates of your own and the elections are rigged against you having any candidate of your own. No constitution, no democracy.
Flee or fight. Either is honorable. Submission is never honorable. Get your travel papers in order and get out of the American Reich while you can.
Happy Tax and Death Day.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"The Oklahoma 3 were indicted based on allegations of felony misconduct stemming from a 2005 petition drive for the Oklahoma TABOR initiative, which would have placed a Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative on Oklahoma's November 2006 general election ballot.
Jacob, Johnson, and Carpenter were indicted on felony charges of "conspiracy to defraud the state." Carpenter was charged with a second felony, that of violating the state's petition act. According to an Associated Press report, "The indictment accuses the three of 'willfully, corruptly, deceitfully, fraudulently and feloniously' conspiring with each other to defraud the state through the collection of signatures on the TABOR petition."
The Oklahoma 3 each face up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Defense efforts immediately went into action, primarily through the FreePaulJacob.com web site. "
This indictment also effectively aborted a ballot access petition campaign in Oklahoma.
What is a 'petition for redress of grievances'?
It is a public declaration in specific terms setting forth to those in temporary authority that if certain "laws" are not repealed, then the people will assert their natural right of revolution.
The American war of secession from Great Britain was preceded by numerous such petitions and finally by the Declaration of Independence (or secession).
The right of secession is still accepted in international law. See support for the recent Kosovo secession endorsed even by G. W. Bush. (At least when expedient.)
The modern rebuttal to the right of secession rest on the presumption of democratic "due process", i.e., "fair and free" elections. If the people have access to such elections then, it is asserted, they cannot justify secession or the overthrow of "democratically chosen" authority. Apparently, no matter how oppressive that authority may be of individual human rights. In other words, if a majority votes in a "fair and free" election to accept slavery, then a majority overrules the right of secession. That's the sophistry presented.
How are elections evaluated as fair and free? By the pronouncement of selected officials of some other political regime deemed democratic. Thus, elections are given as an initiation ceremony into the international fraternity of legitimate governments who reserved the right to intervene anywhere to enforce 'legitimate democratic governments'. This fraternity is not a confederation of people in the various states. It is a coalition of ruling elites against the peoples of various states and the right of those people to revolution and secession whenever elections are a sham and fraud - as they are in all countries today. All governments impose barriers to open, fair and free elections. None can invoke the the "self-immunity clause" of democratic consent. Consent of the governed has disappeared world-wide. Therefore, all people have the right to petition for a redress of grievances and undertake revolution and secession.
This is what the prosecution of the Oklahoma 3 exemplifies. This is what the hijacking of the monetary relation and the imposition of the fiat money credit system exemplifies.
The circulation of a petition is a private, consensual activity between political equals. The circulation of money and voluntarily agreed money substitutes is a private, consensual activity between economic equals. Intervention against either of these processes is tyranny and sufficient grounds for secession. Prosecution of the Oklahoma 3 is a link in a chain that connects directly to Kosovo and the gold issue.
If people have the right to choose their own money, no government aspiring to authoritarian control can get a grip on the people's liberty.
Emigration has been an historic means of comparatively peaceful secession from a more oppressive regime to a less oppressive regime. The Americas have been overrun secessionists from Asia and then the entire globe. The recent U.S. influx of partial and complete secessionists from other countries is just normal. Get over it and adopt them as allies in a war of secession against an arbitrary and increasingly inherited quasi-nobility of fascists.
[The government has determined this communication is in violation of law and is terminated. You have been warned!]
NO! You, Sir, Have been warned!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The document cited above makes clear that Congress assumes 'penultimate' authority with the support of the U.S. Supreme Court for this claim of authority. For this discussion we will accept the Congressional claim of authority at face value. Therefore, we conclude that the U.S. Congress is also most responsible for the inequities of American elections.
The states do whatever they wish to do because the Congress implicitly condones whatever is done at the state level until or unless the Congress choses to preempt state action. Whatever goes unchallenged at the state level is presumptively upheld by the courts whenever the Congress has refused to act specifically on that issue. Over time ample precedent is built to sustain Congressional inaction.
The partisan coalition of the Congress assures that no state action will be questioned that serves to sustain that coalition from competitive threats unless it takes a form that is grossly embarrassing to the democratic facade.
Oklahoma is a state whose political coalition seems to pride themselves in skating as closely as possible to the grossly embarrassing with its ballot access law, for example. I would like to know if there is any correlation between political corruption (by the number of officeholders convicted) in a state and the restrictiveness of that state's ballot access law. Any political science students want to take on that project?
While the Oklahoma Legislature has a despicable record on this subject since David Boren was in the State House of Representatives, the U.S. Congress claims for itself the discredit of being the most contemptible of the two institutions. In these matters, the courts know what Congressional intent is: leave well enough alone.
The same analysis holds for mere vote counting between coalition members. Either party candidate is far preferable to outsider party candidate. Since losing or stealing votes from outsider candidates does change the final outcome of the election between a D or an R, it's just a technicality. Unless you can poll more than 33 1/3 of the vote, none of your votes really matter. But elections can also be corrupt even between the members of the coalition. One one wonders how the U.S. Supreme Court really decided the 2000 election. Did they just flip a coin in chambers? Letting the people decide is a mere formality. The penultimate authority – Congress – didn't want to touch the election even though it was their constitutional responsibility to do it. Why not left the SCOTUS flip a coin and declare their decision set no precedent?
What constitution? Never mind. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I don't know when the last free election was held in the United States. It won't be in 2008. It wasn't in 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, 1988, 1984, 1980, 1976, 1972, 1968, 1964. Those are the presidential elections I have been eligible to vote in my lifetime. I don't consider any of those elections as free and open contests. Hence, I conclude that the American people have lost all of those elections and they have already lost the 2008 election.
There is really nothing audacious about this claim. The purpose of elections in the U.S. is to restrain political power and sustain a constitutional regime. No living American has seen an election which met this standard.
All elections are flawed exercises, but some are grossly flawed. Elections in the U.S. Have become 'progressively' more grossly flawed since at least the first decade of the 20th Century. All elections since the War of Secession (Civil War) were flawed by racists barriers. That flaw has diminished, but other flaws have deepened to nullify the effectiveness of elections for every American.
Elections are irrelevant in effecting real political control in the U.S.
For scope let us consider the forthcoming 2008 pseudo-election. What is at risk in every American election? Lives and treasure – life, liberty and property. What has government done to preserve these private values? Nothing. It has operated against them.
Life is not sustained by government killing citizens. Liberty is not sustained by violations of individual rights by government. Property is not sustained by government regulations and monetary depredations.
In short-hand terms its all about war, criminal law, the destruction of private property values, and debasing money and credit.
What “leading candidates” has presented a program to reverse the politicization of criminal law, the politicization of property or money-credit? None. Ron Paul cannot reach the levers of power which would enable the people to control and restrain state power. They have lost the election of 2008.
The consequences will be further and increasingly severe losses of life, liberty and property.
Is there a fall-back strategy for the people? Do they have recourse to failed democracy? Of course, people always have choices and they always fall into two broad categories: violent resistance, revolt, revolution or picking up as many marbles as they can and deserting the regime. Historically, people always use both tactics as best they can in their own personal circumstances.
I think for many people desertion is the best tactic, or buy gold and leave the country. For other people the best tactic is to buy gold and clean their weapons and wait to strike.
The U.S. is now a porous concentration camp. Formal imprisonment is just a transfer from one building to another before you make it through the fences.
So, vote early and vote often, it doesn't matter. Then run!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Rising Gold Prices Signal Inflation Worries
Judging by the run-up in the price of gold, people’s confidence in the U.S. monetary system has waned since 2001, but especially over the past month. Investors worry that inflation and a resulting weakening dollar will inflict lasting damage on the U.S. economy. It is this fear—and the excessive monetary growth that drives price inflation—that has pushed the price of gold above $900 per once, according to Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Independent Institute’s Center on Global Prosperity.
“Unlike oil, whose rising demand has a direct connection to increasing economic production in places such as, the demand for gold is not tied to productive needs so much as to the psychological factor we usually call insecurity,” writes Vargas Llosa in his latest syndicated column for the Washington Post Writers Group.
“Gold, which used to be a symbol of the greed of empires, has ironically become a grass-roots revolt against the ‘imperial’ management of money by the state,” he continues. “In colonial times, gold was actually the creator of, rather than a safe haven from, inflation: by flooding the European market with bullion from the Americas, the Spanish empire caused a general distortion of prices. Today, the general distortion of prices—reflected in the credit and housing market crisis—has led people, through their investment fund managers, to rush toward gold in search of protection.”
Sunday, January 13, 2008
What the hell is a populist-libertarian or libertarian-populist?
In his book The Populist Persuasion Michael Kazin traces "two different but not exclusive strains of vision and protest" in the original US Populist movement: the revivalist "pietistic impulse issuing from the Protestant Reformation;" and the "secular faith of the Enlightenment, the belief that ordinary people could think and act rationally, more rationally, in fact, than their ancestral overlords." - Kazin, The Populist Persuasion, pp. 10-11.
- Producerism-the idea that the real Americans are hard-working people who create goods and wealth while fighting against parasites at the top and bottom of society who pick our pocket...sometimes promoting scapegoating and the blurring of issues of class and economic justice, and with a history of assuming proper citizenship is defined by White males;
- Anti-elitism-a suspicion of politicians, powerful people, the wealthy, and high culture...sometimes leading to conspiracist allegations about control of the world by secret elites, especially the scapegoating of Jews as sinister and powerful manipulators of the economy or media;
- Anti-intellectualism-a distrust of those pointy headed professors in their Ivory Towers...sometimes undercutting rational debate by discarding logic and factual evidence in favor of following the emotional appeals of demagogues;
- Majoritarianism-the notion that the will of the majority of people has absolute primacy in matters of governance...sacrificing rights for minorities, especially people of color;
- Moralism-evangelical-style campaigns rooted in Protestant revivalism... sometimes leading to authoritarian and theocratic attempts to impose orthodoxy, especially relating to gender.
- Americanism-a form of patriotic nationalism...often promoting ethnocentric, nativist, or xenophobic fears that immigrants bring alien ideas and customs that are toxic to our culture.
The resurgent right-wing forms of populism borrow from these traditions. (1)
These six characteristics above mark the establishment academic critique of populism as a proto-fascist movement.
I disagree. As I see it, the essential root of populism in the U.S. is debtor revolt against a creditor elite which has seized control of government to extract rents from the general population by debt and taxes. All the other characteristics cited by establishment academics are transitory contigenicies of historical circumstances. Secondary details, not irrelevant, but secondary consequentials.
Libertarian-populism is rooted in Austrian School economic analysis of money and credit. Populism is like an immune response to the parasitical effects of inflation and debt. The social immune response of populism can cause symptoms that are uncomfortable and even dangerous to an entire society of individuals. But criticizing those symptoms evades the core of disease. That core is best understood by Austrian/libertarian economic analysis.
In a nutshell, libertarian-populism is an accurate explanation of the sentiment for revolt held by the vast majority of people in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries against the Wall Street-Washington 'Axis of Evil'. It is a revolt against the elites' manipulation of money and credit.
Even more bluntly, it's all about the money, stupid!
1) This list is a compilation of points made previously by Canovan and Kazin, as well as John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism 1860-1925 (New York: Atheneum, 1972); Richard Hofstadter, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," in The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965); and David H. Bennett, The Party of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement, (New York: Vintage Books, revised 1995, (1988)).
Saturday, January 12, 2008
If we just burned 10% of our cash we couldn't spend it on imports. Is that saving? It would certainly reduce imports by 4 to 8 percent. The point is that putting money into a bank savings account or similar instrument is just a slow way to burn cash and it would reduce imports...somewhat. What's the incentive to defer consumption by "saving" with a slow burn or a sudden bonfire?
Americans don't save because it is irrational in this economic environment. Money spent on any gadget or service returns some benefit greater than just burning your cash.
Fortunately, there is a way to save even now, but 90% or more of the population is clueless about how to do it. The answer: Switch your savings out of the US Dollar into foreign currency - some usually burn slower than the US Dollar. How about a fireproof savings vehicle? Yeah, you know what's coming next.
Buy gold. It's a patriotic act in the sense that it lowers the US trade deficit. It's also patriotic because it undercuts the bankers' central banking cartel and money/credit expansion engine.
Gold is for savings because is the most non-depreciating commodity available. The only thing that might depreciate gold would be a sudden discover of a massive deposit of ore that could be cheaply mined. Not likely at all. It is far more expensive to recover gold than oil. Oil is consumed. Very little gold is 'consumed'. It merely changes forms from bullion to coins to jewelry to bullion. Most of what is used in industrial production is recovered. Gold is a very "sustainable" resource.
Who besides Ron Paul among the candidates is willing to give the game away? No one yet. It's so easy to blame the Chinese or anybody but the financial/banking/political elites. Wall Street-Washington: The Axis of Evil.