Yeah, he was a socialist.

cropped-libertyI give up trying to convince people that most of the various -isms are divisive bunk, and that, really, the spectrum of -isms from authoritarianism to libertarianism  boil down to a very simple principle: primacy of the state, versus primacy of the individual.

But let us at the very least put to rest the idea that Nazis weren’t socialists.

Here is a ten-year-old article, which is, I think, just about the correct distance from the present to be more clearly separated from today’s tribal hysteria and concomitant “Democratic Socialism” blindness.

The core argument is that Hitler called himself a socialist of a sort derived from Marx, and that his deviation from the USSR’s variety of socialism (“Jewish Marxism” in Hitler’s words) was in two key forks that made it, in Hitler’s opinion (as well as that of Mussolini, who wrote much on the subject) more workable.

  1. National Socialism relied on geography and race to avoid the needlessly divisive self-destructive civil war as the Russians had suffered. Hitler felt that Germans shouldn’t fight Germans, so he elevated race above pure socialist dogma in an effort to unite more to his general cause. In Hitler’s words, “…find and travel the road from individualism to socialism without revolution.
  2. Recognizing private property rights is necessary to economic success and social unity. In Hitler’s own words (not from the article), “Socialism is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. …Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.

I can understand some confusion, as Hitler had over the years said many things that could, in isolation, fuel the notion that he was anti-Marx; certainly he was anti- “Jewish Marxism.”

But I believe that’s only when viewing Hitler through a partisan lens. Because he made it abundantly clear in his own words that he was a socialist.

In a critique of Mussolini’s newly-coined “fascism,” Hitler wrote of his own economic plan, “Point No. 13 in that program demands the nationalization of all public companies, in other words socialization, or what is known here as socialism.”

To more or less summarize my argument, as well as that in the article and referenced book, I’ll end with Hitler’s own words, and let you think on where we are today, and why so many Americans admired the man back in the day:

The Germany of today is a National Socialist State.  The ideology that dominates us is in diametrical contradiction to that of Soviet Russia.  National Socialism is a doctrine that has reference exclusively to the German people.  Bolshevism lays stress on international mission.  We National Socialists believe a man can, in the long run, be happy only among his own people.  We are convinced the happiness and achievements of Europe are indissolubly tied up with the continuation of the system of independent and free national States. Bolshevism preaches the establishment of a world empire…

 

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A “hearing” without ears

Post mortem on the Pro Tempore hearing

OK, so “hearing” is the wrong word, because they voted to not hear me at all.

I gave them written copies of the 10-point argument below, but they were handed back, saying it would be “inappropriate” for them to read it.  Of course, the State’s attorney did hand me nine-thousand pages of their arguments*…about why I should shut up and go away, as it turned out.

After spending ten minutes going over the rules (including how I’d get ten minutes to make my case) and other niceties of procedure, the State moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that whatever I’d have to say should’ve been said in July, and they’re sure that what I’d say would be the same as what was already said anyway…AndyTriesAgain

…Even though I wasn’t there in July, and it wasn’t the same argument.  And I was there to represent another person’s CAN-1 challenge (Ben Tackitt) who couldn’t make it to this hearing.

You see, the state arranges these meetings at inconvenient times in places with exotically expensive parking for a reason

And so, the State (everyone of authority in the hearing was paid as an administrative judge working as an agent/employee of Connie Lawson with a built-in and unconstitutional conflict of interest…whatta surprise) voted to reject CAUSE NUMBER 2018-124.  They wouldn’t give me even my ten minutes.  Not even two.

Even as they tried to shush me, I asked, “Does this exhaust my administrative remedy?

If they answered no, then I should’ve been allowed to speak.  If they answered yes, then it’d be clear that I’ve got a court case with no administrative remedy (helping me ascend to that diaphanous, magical and nearly unattainable quality of “standing” before the court).

So attorney Brad King told them not to answer me.

I was railroaded.  Again.

I really didn’t expect better.  I mean, how weird would be for the state’s cronies to vote against themselves?

HeroIt’s voters who’re supposed to vote against such corruption and entrenchment of power.  If I’ve done anything at all with my efforts over the decades, I have proven (over and over and over and…) that I can’t fly onto the scene with my ray-gun and save the day, dang it.

I’d like to, of course.  But I can’t.  It takes numbers.

My hope all along was that ordinary folks would hear about this case, and DO SOMETHING about it!

PoliticsMonsterThat’s my hope (not my expectation…but I do hope).

This cause was only one example of the continuous expansion of political powers and reduction of citizen powers and rights by unconstitutional legislation, and evermore-damaging constitutional amendments, which have spawned a culture of political cronyism that foils the purpose of term limits, democratic elections, and constitutional rule of law. 

cropped-youSo I’m posting this for you, in the hopes that you’ll read it, agree that injustice is being done, and tell others about it.

Of course I hope you’ll do even more than that (write letters to the editor, call-in to radio shows, start a lawsuit, organize protest marches, foment revolution…).  But even if telling others is all you do, I’d be delighted, and grateful.

Anyway, here’s pretty much what I would’ve said today, if given the chance; it’s what I tried to hand them on paper at the hearing.  But none of this was heard, or read:

  1. Article I, Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution makes plain that there is no legal state authority except by specific provision in the constitution. Indiana Code does not create authority; all legal authority rests only upon the Indiana Constitution. All officeholders are required by oath of office to uphold this fundamental rule of law.  The state’s case rests entirely upon Indiana Code which contradicts and violates the state constitution.

  2. As of today, there are only two constitutionally clear ways to empower a Secretary of State; election by the voters of the state (Article 6, Section 1), and by gubernatorial appointment (Article 5 Section 18).

  3. Constitutional provisions in Article 5, Section 18 and Article 15, Section 3 ensure that no Indiana office is left vacated, yet make no special or extra-ordinary definition of pro tempore.  The specific constitutional authority to issue writs of election was repealed in 1984 (Article 5, Section 19), making it less constitutionally clear when, how, and by whom, special elections are to be called.  But the definition of pro tempore has always been known to be transitory and provisional.

  4. The original 1851 Article 6, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution mandated: “There shall be elected, by the voters of the State, a Secretary, and Auditor and a Treasurer of State, who shall, severally, hold their offices for two years. They shall perform such duties as may be enjoined by law; and no person shall be eligible to either (sic) of said offices, more than four years in any period of six years.”  The original wording makes evident the erosion of constitutional protections as demonstrated by the doubling of term limits in 1970.  Article 2 Section 11, unchanged from 1851, made more sense in the context of short term limits: “… an appointment pro tempore shall not be reckoned a part of that term.”  Lawson’s first term as SOS was longer than the 1851 full term of elected office, and was over half the entire 1851 term limit.

  5. On February 4, 2012, former Secretary of State Charlie White was removed from office, and Jerold A. Bonnet was made the temporary, interim, pro tempore Secretary of State of Indiana.  This appointment was unquestionably pro tempore because there was a legal challenge to White’s 2010 ballot eligibility, throwing into question how the SOS office would be filled, though by original constitutional design and one judge’s ruling, either Democrat Vop Osili should have confirmed, or been a special election should have been called.

  6. On March 16, 2012, Mitch Daniels named Connie Lawson the new Secretary of State. There was no contingency or compromise to this appointment. Connie Lawson’s unconditional replacement of Charlie White and Jerold Bonnet was not pro tempore by any definition of pro tempore (proxy, locum tenens or conditional officeholder – e.g., the President pro tempore of the Senate, who stands-in for the Lt. Governor’s role as President of the Senate, or Judge Pro Tem who stands in for another judge). Jerold A. Bonnet was unquestionably the only pro tempore Secretary of State.

  7. The intent of the term limitation, even as of 1970, was to limit the power and electoral advantage of incumbency, limit the entrenchment of factions, and inhibit politics as a lifetime career.

  8. The purpose of democratic elections is to both thwart crony entrenchment, and to give equal opportunity for all people, without any special classes of citizen powers, privileges or immunities, an equal chance to serve their society.

  9. Precedent” is not law.  Only legislators can make law.  While this is most plainly stated in the federal constitution, the state constitution follows the same form of separation of powers.  And Article I, Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution does indeed forbid law by precedent, as it is rule-making without constitutional provision, process or authority.

  10. SUMMARY: Connie Lawson’s first term of office was not pro tempore.  And as per arguments previously submitted for Indiana Election Commission CAUSE NUMBER 2018-12, she is not eligible for election to a term of office she cannot lawfully complete.  At best, Lawson’s candidacy strains electoral propriety, and taints the credibility of Indiana’s chief election officer.  But more seriously, to allow this candidacy to go forward presents an abuse of public trust, as well as an egregious violation of Indiana’s governing authority – the Indiana Constitution.

###

So, what comes next?

Plan B

Will the GOP get away with this obvious scheme to simply appoint cronies who can then run in the next election with all the advantages of incumbency?  Are they going to kick out Curtis Hill so they can appoint a more insider-friendly replacement?  Is this whole democratic process and term-limits thing kaput?

Well, that’s up to you.

 

 

 

 

*Lawyers like to intimidate people with piles of paper and ink.  In fact it came up in the hearing how much time and money in billable hours were wasted on my futile attempts at justice.

We were railroaded.

Indiana Election Board CAUSE NUMBER: 2018-12 was dismissed on the grounds that Connie Lawson’s appointed term of office as Secretary of State was pro tempore.

But the state and anyone who follows such things would know that’s not true at all.

Because there was an actual pro tempore appointment before Connie Lawson.

Jerold A. Bonnet

While Wikipedia is not a final authority on such matters, this is a good summary of the case: “A lawyer by profession, Bonnet was the deputy Secretary when his superior Charlie White lost his position after being convicted of voter fraud, leading Governor Mitch Daniels on February 4, 2012, to appoint Bonnet until a permanent successor could be chosen. Holding the office for an uneventful term of over a month, Bonnet was succeeded by Connie Lawson on March 16. Currently, Bonnet serves as the chief legal counsel in Lawson’s administration.”

Note the wording, “…appoint Bonnet until,” and “until a permanent successor could be chosen.”  That is how pro tempore works.

tenorOf course Lawson’s defenders also cited case law to weaponize their attack on The People, constitutional rule of law, decency, truth, honor and all that’s good and wholesome.  But as I’m sure YOU know, case law cannot be law!

Now, as an ordinary citizen who doesn’t have the mean$ to fight this, and without any apparent public interest in the matter, I am forced to just walk away from this example of ungoverned government.

But for anyone paying attention, you’ve been railroaded too.

It’s up to US to drain the swamp!

If there are flaws in our state and federal constitutions, they are these:

  1. There are no specified remedies for violating them. Our founders assumed we’d know (i.e., nullification, impeachment, and …quit reelecting them!), but we clearly do not know!  Not surprising, after a couple hundred years of politicians’ lies.

  2. Seemingly equivocal prohibitions against the “whispering down the lane” or “telephone game” judicial/ legislative/bureaucratic corruption of our constitutions by incrementally perverted interpretation.  While the constitutions do clearly say what they say, it’s obvious that with every new case, every new law, every legal argument, there are new divergences from core principles and fundamental laws.  It’s gotten so bad through the past century that instead of consulting the actual words of our constitutions, we now consider previous court decrees as the authoritative law.

So now, politicians assert in court and in practice, that whatever’s not specifically prohibited from politicians, is within their authority.BWLadyLib

That is of course opposite of the whole point of constitutions.

Constitutions are to restrain politicians, not citizens.

Despots have for millennia gained power without elections, and made their own rules as they wished.  The USA was supposed to be better than that.

hand-coming-up-from-the-swamp-554x350

Instead, we’re drowning in corruption.  It’s been too long since there’s been any organized attempt to legitimize and govern our government by the actual words of our federal and state constitutions.

So, about now, the Indiana Election Division should receive the CAN-I candidate filing challenge I signed on July 10.

Besides the fact that it’s an obvious trick to appoint a GOP-insider/swamp incumbent for the next SOS race, there’s a legal problem with the candidacy of incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson.  Please note, it has nothing to do with her, personally, and everything to do with corruption of our constitutional Rule of Law:

Article 6, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution specifies that, “There shall be elected, by the voters of the state, a Secretary, an Auditor and a Treasurer of State, who shall, severally, hold their offices for four years. They shall perform such duties as may be enjoined by law; and no person shall be eligible to either (sic) of said offices, more than eight years in any period of twelve years.” – (As Amended November 3, 1970)

Now, legislators can and do make mistakes.  Frequently.  The word “either” is, for example, a mistake.  But please note these key words and phrases:

“There shall be elected… who shallhold their offices for four years.”

“…and no person shall be eligible to …said offices, more than eight years in any period of twelve years.”

“Shall” is a strong imperative.  It is not “may hold” or “can, if the law doesn’t prohibit it, hold.”

No, it’s SHALL, as if written in stone tablets.

The word “shall” is in all the key places of “elected,” “hold,” “perform,” and “eligible.”

So, very clearly by the letter and intent of this constitutional term limit, no person shall be eligible for election to a public role they are constitutionally forbidden from performing as mandated in the letter and intent of the law.

The state will of course claim that Lawson’s first term was pro tempore; and that it therefore doesn’t count as a term of office.  But Jerry Bonnet was the actual pro tempore SOS.  Lawson was a full replacement for the ousted Charlie White.  So, no…there is no constitutional excuse for this.

Incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson is constitutionally forbidden from performing the specified role in the terms clearly specified in the constitution.

She is an ineligible candidate.  And the GOP is using her situation to hoodwink us.

Again.

I say no.  I’m throwing a flag on this play.

FlagOnThePlay

By any name, it kills

First, here are the classical definitions of socialism:

  1. Government (not “communal”) control of property, and ownership of the means of production.
  2. Some definitions include the elimination of private property, but this overlaps with communism, and somewhat contradicts Marx’s definitions.
  3. In Marxist theory, an intermediary/transitional form of government between capitalism and communism distinguished by unequal distribution of property and income. “Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” – Karl Marx

Socialism

Now, the use and meaning of the word “socialism” has changed a LOT recently.  So I’ll contrast it to communism, as defined by Marx:

  1. The state is eliminated (true anarchy) and all property and means of production is owned equally by the people as a collective.
  2. No private property. “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” – Karl Marx
  3. Distribution of goods and services by: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” – Karl Marx

People can of course believe whatever they want.

If they want to call themselves socialist and then redefine socialism to be something they like better than the old definition…well, who am I to argue?

Words change all the time. The English language hardly resembles what it did before the Vikings and French and Shakespeare started messing with it.

But let’s not fool ourselves with our words, either.

Words are extremely powerful.  It’s by words, and the actions we apply to words, that we turn corporate abstractions like “tribe,” “gang,” “army” and “nation” into deadly forces of oppression, slavery, genocide and war.

I know a lot of decent, well-meaning, well-educated and very intelligent socialists. They all perform the same, subtle linguistic/mental alchemy:

They trans-substantiate politicians into “The People,” and are, really, advocating communism.Atheists

In other words, today’s socialists dismiss the inevitably violent and impoverishing despotism of an almighty government, and transmogrify the realities of authoritarianism into the dreams of a Marxian Kumbaya.

Now, to a degree and in a way, we all do that, and it’s not all bad.

All government is by consent of the governed. Politicians, elites and even the legions of bureaucrats all put-together, are vastly outnumbered by the people who in one way or another consent to be ruled. So even the most oppressive tyrants reflect The People’s willingness to submit, if nothing else.

We’re tribal, pack animals, and we tend to Follow The Alpha. But even the most well-armed and entrenched ruler can be thrown down when the actual human populace (and not an abstraction like “The People”) get mad enough to finally act.

So it’s true, though we act like it’s not: ALL government is by consent of the governed.  ALL government is a reflection of the people.  It is the collective’s avatar.

But socialists aren’t thinking of We The People as a republic with representative politicians. Even more strangely, when they’re asking politicians to take over every aspect of life, they’re imagining this will lead to freedom, not being subjugated by an authoritarian despot.

I really do understand this. It sounds great. In fact I used to do this mental trick on myself, and I fell for a good bit of Marx and Engel’s rhetoric:

If you’re unhappy with the way things are in general, or the way your life is working in specific, doesn’t this sound appealing? “We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. …Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and … the alteration of men on a mass scale is, necessary, … a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.” – Karl Marx

And how about this one: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!” – Karl Marx

And this one from Marx is absolutely true: “A nation cannot become free and at the same time continue to oppress other nations.

I’m not sure why “socialists” don’t just come out and say it; again, here’s Karl Marx: “It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.

But let’s consider the label “Democratic Socialist” (which is itself very Marxian: “Democracy is the road to socialism”).

A few hours ago I read a rose-colored “Democratic Socialism” article that said “Socialism can be defined as ‘a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control.’

OK, fine. But what the heck is “social control” if we don’t have it already?

What doesn’t our government control right now, today? Are socialists somehow saying that our government is not the social organization of our society?

You can argue all you want about the benefits of income redistribution and that mysterious ether “social justice.”

But if you’re using “social control” of property and income as the definition of socialism, then we’ve already got it, and socialists should be delighted.NoGun

But they’re not, are they?

So, what do they really want?

Well, actually, I think most want, in a broad sense, what I want.

  1. They may be angry at people, and even violent toward their political foes; but all the “socialists” I know say they want peace. World peace. As in, quit bombing people. That’s a fine wish. I’d be happy to work with them on this.
  2. They want prosperity, however they define it. I may strongly disagree with their ideas on economics, but our goals are the same. People should prosper.
  3. They know our current social order is corrupt, and want that to go away. Me too! Oh man do I agree with them on that.
  4. They want something like “fair.” OK, they do tend to categorize people and have special classes of rights and privileges for special people, and I hate that. But they still have a sense that things aren’t fair now, and that something has to be done. I’m cool with that.
  5. While I think they’re calling oppression down on their own heads, they think they’re working toward freedom…personal freedom. I’m totally for that goal.

So, my problem with socialists isn’t their goals; it’s their chosen plan to attain their goals. I don’t think they’re thinking straight about their “social control” versus authoritarian corruption, poverty and violence. I think they’re grabbing onto the same, ancient snake-oil political promises and imagining that they’re the newest Get Rich Quick scheme.

lucy-charlie-brown-footballWe’ve done this before. We’ve done it to death. We keep believing the promises of dreams and ending up with the nightmares of yet another despot.

I know the arguments about western intervention in socialist nations like North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other descendants of the Russian revolutions of 1917. They have some merit. Our Presidents T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson did tremendous damage to the world in making war into a grand adventure of Empire instead of self-defense only.

But the arguments that socialism quickly tears itself to bits are much stronger, in my opinion.

Strong enough, I think, that the real peace, freedom and prosperity lovers among us should keep offering a much, much better way for a better life, and try to convince our fellows that what didn’t ever work as advertised before…still won’t work.

Fearing our own shadow

The Land of The Free has been surrendering freedom hand-over-fist because the Home of The Brave is scared of its own shadow.  Almost literally, its own shadow.

wwii-rubbleWe’ve for generations been the arms dealer and political destabilizer to the world.  Our CIA and armed forces have interfered with elections and even violently taken down one dictator to prop up another for over seventy years.

Our government has lied about its wars, warmongering, entangling alliances and foreign interventions for much longer than that.  Our CIA and NSA have been spying on the whole world, including every person within our own borders, as well as prying into foreign elections (and our own) for long enough that it’s disingenuous to complain about foreign spies and foreign interference in elections…unless we claim we’re the only ones who’re supposed to do all that.  To everybody.  All the time.12362834_10153703528535280_3712867037536160998_o

We are the most heavily-armed, most globally nannying and bullying, domestically intrusive, imprisoning and militarized nation of all time.

It is our own shadows that both terrify and genuinely threaten us now, and, surprisingly, in the past, too.

You think our soldiers are fighting for freedom?  Which freedom?  How many freedoms must we lose to get that elusive freedom we’re fighting for?  At what financial/future security cost?  At what moral/social spiritual cost?

We have literally reordered and molded our society’s defense/military, monetary and legal and political structure to our collective trembling nerves.   Why?

While nobody ever says it exactly like this, the predominating justification for the USA’s violent, costly Fear-Aggression Syndrome is:

lucy-charlie-brown-footballOur past screw-ups necessitate today’s screw-ups.

Rational people can look at the USA’s past mistakes reasonably.  Our government made horrible, murderous, costly mistakes when it was far smaller, less powerful, less secretive, less snooping, and vastly less heavily-armed and militarized both globally, and domestically, than today.  But ironically, the closer we get to the present, the more wrong we call right, and the more we justify today’s wrong by yesterday’s wrong.

We all know that slavery and native genocide was bad.  Only the more educated among us know that the wars against Mexico and Spain were motivated by greed and desire for empire, and had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting American liberties and land.  But very few consider how Teddy Roosevelt stimulated the Empire of Japan and the USA helped create the Soviet Union, however, so we tend to think of WWII as a wholly Good War, where the USA wore white and saved the world for liberty and justice for all.

Bellamy2The point is that, the closer we get to the present, the more our views of USA government become disconnected from reality.
Even after we learned that the Vietnam War was justified on, at best, a screwup, we tend to think of USA government as a benevolent god of peace and love, incapable of wrongdoing (though we keep seeing new wrongdoing every day).

This is a freakishly weird phenomenon.  But it’s also the nature of tribalism and idolatry.  We love our team, and we hate the other guys.  We can’t see the wrong in our idols, teams, champions and leaders, but we know that the other peoples’ idols, teams, champions and leaders are pure evil.Testing football helmets, 1912

And it’s also just human: People of the past were THEM.  People of today are US.  We can easily admit that our ancestors did horrible, stupid things; but we sure don’t want to admit that, today, right now, WE are screwing up.  We’re blind to our own errors.

In other words, we see the past more clearly than the present.  And we see other sinners more clearly than we see ourselves.

So, as a result, we exemplify, even if unintentionally, the exact opposite of The Golden Rule.

This is self-immolation.  We have so many impending disasters of fiscal, social, monetary and military nature, that we desperately need an epiphany and revolution of heart and mind.

You can’t be the Land of The Free if you’re not the Home of The Brave.  But no nation can survive at all with this kind of stupid.

Realistically, we’re doomed.

All of the most self-defeating things I ever hear begin with something like, “Realistically…”

At least in a political context, whenever I hear words and phrases like “pragmatic,” “the way things are,” and, of course, “realistically,” I know what comes next is a lame rationalization of wrong.

Right?

Instead of saying, “That’s a great dream! Let’s make it happen,” the “realistic” person’s got to say, “realistically, you must choose the ‘lesser of two evils;’” or, “Whoa there; these things take time. Realistically, you’ve got to ‘take baby steps,’ ‘work within the system,’ and ‘you can’t fight city hall.’”

“Realistically,” they’ll say, “you don’t stand a chance.”  “You have to,” they tell me, “play the game.”

TheEnemyI am pretty certain this is why human civilizations have a 100% failure rate. There are too many unwitting servants of the status quo.

I am sure we have a sufficient number of dreamers; it’s just that the dream-squashing Powers-That-Be puppets outnumber us, parrot the talking points, run the media, and are currently in charge of pretty much everything on the planet.

This so unnecessary, so sad, so self-destructive.

To cave in to odds is to shuffle toward societal collapse. To accept even mediocrity, let alone “lesser evil,” is to voluntarily, actively, choose failure. (see aforementioned failure rate)

And that, is a denial of our very real power and accountability to do better.

I’ve spoken to more than a few voters. I see what they do every Election Day. Collectively, we really did choose exactly what we’ve got. We’ve chosen badly, and keep re-electing the badly-chosen.charlie-brown-and-lucy-with-football

We can’t blame anybody else for that. But we sure try to…the Electoral College, the “Two Party System,” corruption, lobbyists, and “there ought to be a law” all get blame.

But we chose it. All of it.charlie-brown-football

And it looks like we’ll do it again this November.

We do this over, and over, and over again.

We never learn.

My enduring hope (and I believe our culture’s only hope) is that we’ll snap out of our madness and choose better.

Now, I do understand the roadblocks.

  1. There’s a vast, nearly-diametrically-opposed difference between a good candidate, and a good politician. A good candidate1 must be a market phenomenon; sort of like a movie production with a cast of hundreds.  The very best candidates are usually much less impressive as individuals than they are as a puppet figurehead/mascot of a team. You rarely hear or see the politician as a person, actually. You see a managed message crafted by professional staff.  A good politician, on the other hand, must be an honest, scrupulous statesman; hardly the sort of performance artist who’d be a media hit in this climate…amiright?  The job of a candidate is to get elected and reelected.  The job of a statesman is to serve his fellow humans by holding a leash on that dangerous abstraction we call “politics.”  And that apparently doesn’t sell well today.
  2. The best candidates are bought. We all know it. But we never follow the money and come to the correct conclusions, do we? In fact, we do the opposite. We see our candidates in order of odds and money, not in order of principles and actions. We treat this more like pro sports, and less like real life with you as a key actor. And that’s at least partly because…
  3. All the major media are bought, and not just by the best candidates. The major media are wholly owned and operated by the same military industrialists, financial services moguls and kingmakers that own and operate all the best candidates. Look at how they cover campaigns. Look even at the order in which they list candidates in articles. It’s not alphabetical, is it? And try to look for what doesn’t even make it to your eyes and ears. Almost all of the very best statesmen are rendered invisible and voiceless by our incessant, loud and omnipresent media. Your senses are overloaded by their choices such that you may never get to hear what would be better choices. That leaves you too numb and worn-out to scour the fine print, rumors and internet for better choices.
  4. The rules we now call election and campaign finance “laws” were written by all the best candidates, so of course they’re unconstitutional, corrupt, and serve to stifle better options.
  5. We don’t want to admit that we’re responsible for our choices, and that our choices really do matter, and that we could change our choices, because that’d be the same as admitting that we’ve screwed up for years! I get it. I’ve been there, done that…and in ways I still don’t want to admit.

But now let me describe your opportunity.

  1. You get what you choose. If you choose better, you get better. If you decide to vote against evil entirely, what’s “lesser” or “greater” won’t matter. You really do get what you, personally, choose, because you are not as alone as you’ve told yourself. Not everybody else is an idiot. More people than you likely think, are thinking, and acting, just like you.
  2. It doesn’t take a majority to change things. In fact, it’s never worked that way. The passionate few have always determined the course of history. Always. The “masses” follow the leader. That’s how our species, and most others, work. You want to be among the passionate few? Then choose to be. It’s just another choice.
  3. Politicians hire themselves if you let them; we do NOT have elections to hire politicians. Our founders and prior generations bequeathed all of us (all races, all creeds, all genders…even the new ones) the hard-won right to vote not as a numb approval of the status quo, but as a weapon of peaceful revolution. You are SUPPOSED TO vote AGAINST some things (evil, entrenched incumbents, bad choices). You are SUPPOSED TO vote to FIRE the best candidates, and replace them with the best politicians.
  4. Picture this. On a single day in November, you upset the status quo. Instead of reelecting almost everybody (over 98% of House Reps were reelected last time, you know), you fire almost everybody, and replace them with people who’ve not sold you out. It’s a choice. Your choice. Imagine how bright the sun would shine on that next day when the gobsmacked media pundits realize that you figured it out, and won. Just picture it.

Would it be so scary to, just for once, use your vote more like a sword than a poker chip? Wouldn’t it be invigorating and wholesome to walk into a voting booth with the Spirit of ‘76?lucy-charlie-brown-football

Realistically, we’re all going to die, and our culture and nation will collapse.  It’s a certainty, actually.

But it’s still a choice.  We don’t have to keep doing the same things over and over again.   While history demonstrates very well that we humans keep screwing up over and over again, we personally don’t have to.

We can choose,.

Don’t we want to strive for a really great life in a great country?  I say let’s dream on that, and make it so.

1A candidate is a corporate abstraction consisting of a figurehead, several key executive members, and a bunch of supporting staff all dedicated to winning elections…often as a full-time job for many campaigns, year after year.   A politician is, when done right, an actual, moral, honest-to-goodness human being.

The Truth about $#!+holes, and the people thereof

We’ve got “immigration” all wrong

I’m not an “open borders” libertarian.  At least for some degree of control over communicable disease (we’ve been lucky so far), human trafficking, etc., we need to have some border security.  If you allow that you’ve got a political government, and other states/nations have theirs as well, there have to be borders and jurisdictional limits to politicians’ rules.  And I’m more about actual law and order than 99.999873% of the planet. 

So don’t get me wrong.

But our current problems aren’t with illegal aliens, immigrants, or any of the laws and policies thereof.

  1. We are luring foreigners here with free stuff. Free healthcare. Free education. Special rights, privileges and immunities unavailable to even legal citizens.  There are lots of reasons why we’re doing it…but I propose we stop doing this.
  2. We’ve made “legal” labor so expensive, complicated, legalistic and impractical that “illegal” labor is a very attractive option, or sometimes the only workable option.  I propose we reverse this.
  3. We’ve been tormenting and destroying other nations with our “War On Drugs”, CIA crime rings and coups, oppressive policies/embargoes and direct attacks, such that We The People have, both directly and indirectly, made some $#!+holes that don’t need to be $#!+holes.  In other words, we’ve made other people’s countries practically uninhabitable, driving them here for survival.  I propose we stop doing all this.
  4. Our ever-changing, unpredictable and absurd immigration laws and policies force illegal aliens to lay low, force employers to keep secrets and break laws, and generally force the realities of illegal aliens under the rug.  I propose we make our immigration laws and policies fair, consistent, and focused on our domestic security, health and interests…and then just enforce them!
  5. If you know you live in a $#!+hole, can’t make it better, and want a better life for you and your loved ones, you’d be a fool not to find a way here, where you’ll find life better than you’ve ever known. Right?  Wouldn’t you do the same?

The first three bullets above exist only in breach of the federal constitution.  In other words, the problems would be solved if all we did was affirm and enforce the Constitution for The United States of America against our government. 

In other words, if we’d just quit making “legal” labor so costly, quit giving away freebies to illegal aliens, and stop messing up other countries, we’d not likely even talk about a wall. 

In fact if we were to just DO the constitutions, state and federal, as written and amended, we’d not likely be constantly fiddling with our immigration laws, and we might even welcome people looking for a better life as our friends, coworkers and neighbors.

While The US of A is no longer the freest, wealthiest or healthiest nation on earth, we are among the most accommodating to foreigners.

Is that really a bad thing? We can discuss that.

Sure, there are the “Reconquistas,” the criminals, the terrorists. But their numbers are tiny compared to the home-grown murderers, rapists and thieves (even outside the DC beltway); and their numbers are tiny compared to the regular human beings trying to do better for themselves and their loved ones.

The discussion we’ve been having over illegal aliens in major media and political discussions is stupid. We play word games, divide ourselves against ourselves, and place blame and propose punishment for our screw-ups on people who’re doing the best they can to get by in a world gone mad.

Think of the people you know that annoy or plague you the most. Think of the worst people you can think of. Are they immigrants? Illegal aliens?

Probably not.  Illegal aliens actually comprise a much lower per-capita percentage of crimes and criminals than native-born citizens represent.  Most don’t want trouble.  Most just want a better life than they had, and they get it here. 

So, let’s try to think both in context of reality, but also think as if we’re all just humans trying to do our best. OK?

Liberty or Bust!

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Just Say No to war with Iran

Freedom, IN – It’s a quote attributed to pretty much everybody, that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The saying is more true and applicable to USA foreign policy than to anything else.

None of our foreign aggressions worked as promised, or even as we’ve been told. Yet we’ve had scarcely a year’s peace since the War to End All War.

And we’ve been getting worse, not better, at finagling foreigners into serving us and our Saudi allies. Does anyone doubt that our interventions in Libya and Syria have been disastrous? Have we really fixed anything in Somalia, Yemen or Pakistan? When will we be done with Iraq? Afghanistan is the USA’s longest war, ever…and we’re losing. What’s the plan? What’s the goal?

We’re sure not fighting for freedom.  Not anybody’s freedom.  And we’re sure not making friends when we blow up their children.

A leaked May 17 memo reveals that the USA government once again intends to replay the same failed script; this time against Iran (again).

The key directive sent to Rex Tillerson is “…that the U.S. should use human rights as a club against its adversaries, like Iran, China and North Korea, while giving a pass to repressive allies like the Philippines, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.”

Let’s think like a human, and not a politician, for a moment.

What actual human beings on the planet would not hate us for our arrogant, armed and deadly games and manipulations? Why wouldn’t we be creating more enemies than friends with such obvious duplicity? Does anybody on this planet think they’re the ones who’re wrong, and deserve death?

Is the Golden Rule really so bad?

I’m no pacifist. I believe in security through strength. And I understand the theory of “Humanitarian Intervention” (though that’s been irrelevant lately, and it certainly doesn’t work in practice!).

But we’re acting like stupid teenage “swatting” and “knockout game” thugs; not at all like rational adult humans. We’re acting as though we can use killing force against others with impunity, when in fact, we’ve been hurting ourselves as much as anybody else.

This is insanity. We’ve got seven “whack-a-mole” wars going on now, and we’re losing our wealth, security, and of course, freedom as a very direct result.

Our armies are protecting the petrodollar and drug trade, not anything We The People should value.

I propose we just say stop the madness, and give Peace, Prosperity, Security and Freedom a chance.

Liberty or Bust!

Andy Horning

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HorningTorch

Better Choices for 2018

Two of most illuminating, timely, wise and actionable statements ever made by humans are missattributed to Mark Twain:

No man’s life, liberty or property are safe when the legislature is in session.” – Gideon J. Tucker

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.” – Eça de Queirós

Whether we like to admit it or not, our government is us. It is the sum of our choices. It perfectly represents our tolerance, our knowledge, care, and, of course, our sins…especially fear, jealousy, and aggression.

That’s great! That means we can do something about our big, stinking mess.

CourtesyFlushAs a friend and fellow American, I’m telling you we’re past due for a “courtesy flush.”

It’s just a choice. Maybe even an opportunity.

We The People can choose turn from our Fear-Aggression Syndrome, heal our divisions, repudiate our faith in politicians, and live in Peace, Prosperity, Security and Freedom. It’s already the law, you know.

Life should be sweet. It can be for more of us.

This year, let’s make better choices. Let’s govern our government, and reign in our lawmakers. Let’s flush the ones who’ve been there too long, and flush their illegal laws and massive, costly and illegal bureaucracies with them.

It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. It’s not just the law, it’s the Golden Rule.

Liberty or Bust!

Andy Horning

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Published in: on January 1, 2018 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment