Too stupid to know we’re being stupid?

Socialism

I’m pretty sure that my wisest, most clear-headed moments have been when I fully, accountably realized that I was being an idiot.

And I think the wisest of those moments resulted from somebody else pointing out to me that I was being an idiot…and I listened.

There is that saying, “A wise man learns more from a fool than a fool learns from a wise man.

OK, so I hope the preceding was a sufficiently humble preface, since I’m about to call hundreds of millions of people idiots.

You see, having been to innumerable political forums where politicians outnumber regular folk; having participated in scores of public debates; having authored hundreds of articles published in major media and reading the angry retorts; having stood at the center of hundreds of protesters with a megaphone in my hand; having been to hundreds of public meetings where policy is purchased; being fairly well-acquainted with the best political minds in at least Indiana; and having warned everybody I know about our current national predicament when there was still time to fix it; I feel unusually well-qualified to make the following statement:

We The People, that arbitrary, abstract and problematic mob called a “nation,” in the Year of Our Lord 2017, are at least acting like idiots.

Unite the Right rally violence

I’ll support that statement in four ways:

Number 1. Our society’s deceptive use of language, and level of conversation, has plummeted to embarrassing depths.Pride

Here is a small excerpt from the “Federalist Papers” number 10, written by James Madison and published November 29, 1787:

A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for preeminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.  

…The inference to which we are brought is, that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS.”

Now, who in public life today thinks and talks like that?

Here, by way of comparison, is some of our current President’s writing (unedited and in full):

Written by Donald Trump on May 8 2013: “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault

And another, perhaps more famous writing by the same person 31 May, 2017 said, in its entirety and verbatim, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe

 

Number 2. We know everything about stupid stuff, and nothing about important stuff.

Allen IversonHow much do I need to elaborate here? How many men can quote baseball stats back to ‘ought-five, yet can’t name our Vice President? How many women read thousand-page romance novels hours on end, and say they “don’t have time” to read the US Constitution (it takes about an hour)? Our kids lack basic life skills even after spending a quarter of their lifespan in classrooms.

 

Number 3. We’d never hire anybody else the way we hire politicians.

Let’s say you need to hire a janitor. But instead of reading applications, calling people in for interviews and checking references, you just sit back and see who puts up the best yard signs, billboards and TV ads. You’re not looking for qualifications in the conventional sense. No; you’re looking for the best odd$; you’re looking for who’$ got $upport.KeatingFive

“Give me the keys to your building and relax,” says one candidate, “I’m the Janitor You Can Trust!” Another candidate has run a great ground game, handing out literature and freebies to your other employees, with the slogan “Make Janitorial Services Great Again!”

There are lots of other candidates, of course; but all your interest goes to only the two Major Janitorial Candidates. The media tell you that you’d be a fool to waste your choice on other candidates, no matter their superior qualities and actual qualifications, because the Major Janitorial Candidates are…well…they’re Major.  (oh, and they also contribute a large percentage of the media’s ad revenue)

When everything else these days can be “nonbinary,” only your choice of candidates must be from only the two given to you by who exactly?

Interestingly, you never ask where all the money comes from for the expensive campaign materials and professional managers. If you exercised any curiosity at all, you’d realize that the people spending millions of dollars to get a job that pays a salary pittance have other reasons to get access to your building and all that’s inside.

We don’t think about anything else the way we think about politics. I only wish I had as much faith in my “religion” as people have in their political idols. I only wish I could be so lackadaisical in my daily life as we are with the power of money, police, prisons, spies and war.

 

Number 4. We have collectively and intentionally rejected that functional system of moral civil behaviors called “culture.”

CultureNo, what we call “multiculturalism” isn’t a culture – it’s divisiveness in the pretense of enlightenment. A functional culture doesn’t require an official, uniform religion, style of speech, dress, food or customs. But it does require some basic commonality and uniformity in rules of behavior, consequences, methods of conflict resolution, and, most importantly, letting people pass on the left instead of parking your big fat black Cadillac Escalade with Hillary bumper stickers in the left lane matching speed with the blue Prius in the right lane going east on Hwy 46 toward Bloomington …for example.

Now, I’ve for decades fought our corrupt political scheme; which is based entirely upon Special Deals for Special People. But that corruption is just a reflection of our corrupt civilian culture.

Instead of looking for common ground, we’ve obsessively divided ourselves into opposing factions of LGBT versus straight, socialist versus fascist (as if either’s any !@#$ good at all), male versus female, poor versus middle class, and…more than at any time since I was just a kid…black versus white.

Antifa Portland
Why?

Do we not all want peace, prosperity, freedom and maybe a little love? Do we really LIKE the violent, hateful posture we’ve instead chosen?

Maybe we do prefer hate. I was recently told that because I’m a white Protestant male (a “WASP;” the West’s most reviled, and even self-loathing, minority), I should not even be allowed to speak. Seriously.

 

So, you may think I’m about to propose a solution. Sadly, no. There is no solution to idiocy other than humility, and its beloved companion, accountability. But that is a rare and precious thing. It hardly ever happens in significant numbers.

America, as a culture, needs to realize that it’s being an idiot, and snap out of it.

But what are the odds of that actually happening?

I of course hope We The People will have a collective epiphany, and back away from the self-obsessed, hateful, prideful, self-destructive madness we’ve chosen, and plot a new course that in some way incorporates at least a little peace, prosperity, and (is it too much to ask?) freedom.

My hopes have alway exceeded my expectations.

Sigh…

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Droning Muslims, and the Golden Rule

If all humans lived by the Golden Rule, there’d be nothing like what we call, “civil government.”  …Right?

We have kings and bureaucrats and jails and armies for two main reasons:

1. Because some percentage of us behave badly.

2. Because we think that politics will somehow fix that.

GunOf course, there is not now, nor was there ever, a government that operated on the Golden Rule.  Governments are always, to some degree, corrupt. And that is because people (including politicians, of course) misbehave, all power is inherently for sale, and government is nothing but delegated violence.  It’s force.  It’s the threat and use of violence, imprisonment, fines and death. That’s why a small corrupt government is much, much better than a big corrupt government.

You’d think that since human governments have a 100% failure rate, we’d learn something. But we humans are a dumb species. We tend to self-destruct in ways that make great movies, but bad reality.

And so, let’s consider our current situation with the Islam that we long ago militarized for our own purposesmonetized for our own purposes, gave good cause to unite where before it kept itself divided against itself, and now consider our enemy.

Oh… wait… Before that… let me interject one more line of thought:

The only people who ever threatened to kill me were USA Americans (no, not Mexicans, not even Canadians). One was a black man who claimed I shouldn’t live in a black neighborhood. But several were red-blooded Tea Party folk who said I should burn in hell for running against their Republican Savior.

The only people who tell me what I can do, can’t do and must do are USA Americans. It’s my fellows who take away my dwindling freedoms, take my money, tell me what I can do with what little I can keep, and make sure that I know that whatever it is I think I own (including my life), will be taken away if I don’t follow their rules. It’s my fellow Americans who divide us into three classes for the purposes of rights, privileges, electoral access, and in courts: 1. Rich People, 2. Democrat/Republicans and their cronies, 3. All the rest of us poor suckers who believe their promises and keep reelecting the people of classes 1 and 2. And it’s been only my fellow Americans who’ve lied and lied and lied to me about why we’ve been at war forever.

With_Lawrence_in_ArabiaOK, so, back to Muslims, the North Koreans, Russians, or whoever our rabid Fear-Aggression Syndrome makes us see as the enemy du jour:

They think they’re right, too. They’re convinced that their corrupt, self-destructing political scheme is right, and we’re the bad guys. And they’re not living by the Golden Rule any better than we are.

Are they our enemy?

Sure they are.

Who isn’t?

Just as hammer sees everything as a nail, a government, or by extension to the root…a human, sees everything outside its limits of power as a threat.

Even within our borders we make enemies of white men, Jews, gays, Democrats, Republicans…or people who aren’t gay Jewish white Democrats or Republicans. We’ve been dividing and subdividing against ourselves for so long that we feel we must tighten the cliques in order to defend them against all outsiders.
Right?

But this is why we suffer discord, fear, and violence.

We have politics because of our discord, fear and violence; and governments thrive and depend upon discord, fear and violence. Governments tend to stimulate and amplify that discord, fear and violence because that means more power and money for the individual politicians and cronies who comprise governments…

But hasn’t our own government, our own society, become a vastly greater threat to our personal freedom, health, security and prosperity? Shouldn’t we address this before we go picking fights with others?

Here’s what I recommend:

The Golden Rule.

Exemplify the peace, freedom, prosperity and security that’d flow from better behavior – both personally, and then reflected in our governance.

To whatever degree we do that, our debts, intrusions, deceits and aggressions would diminish, and everything else would get…better. Other people would see that what we’re doing is working, and maybe try to emulate that to some degree.

Would that be so bad?

I’m not saying that we don’t have to go blow up half the world. Maybe we do. Maybe we’ve been equipping, funding, training and motivating enemies so well and for so long that now we really do have to unleash all the hell we’ve been summoning before it eats us up first.

Maybe.

But how about we try to do at least a little of what we say we’re all about, first?

Money, Politics, and Central Banks

Politicians have robbed us for generations

Freedom, IN – I have proposed a three-step plan to fix most of our worst problems by federal legislation. In many previous releases I detailed plans for fixing the corruption we call “the Two Party System.” That was Step #1.

Step #2 is to fix our twisted-hybrid political/private financial system.

Money itself, as a fiduciary currency/unit of trade, can be a wonderful thing. When scrupulously maintained as trustworthy, it facilitates honest trade, and practically guarantees peace.

Unfortunately, we’ve not had such money since 1913, though it’s still required by our state and federal constitutions.

Why? Because the most effective way to hide the true costs of war, tax the public without their knowledge, enrich elites, and covertly monetize the massive debts incurred by impossible political promises and a military empire and industry, is to replace naturally limited money with cheap currency*, and then devalue it by making gobs of it.

There’s a long, repetitious history of this. In every case, from ancient Egypt to today’s Venezuela, devaluing currency represents a slide to catastrophe.

There are no exceptions; “fiat currency” always fails. And it’s always by the same stupid pattern.

Politicians spend money they expect future generations to pay, so they have to find a way to devalue/inflate the supply of currency, and then point fingers of blame everywhere but at themselves when it all collapses.

The United States of America has occupied the catbird seat of fiat currencies since WWII, with 2/3rds of the global reserve currency. But that is ending shortly, as our dollar is based purely on trust, and violence; and the world is both losing trust in us, and sick of our endless Petrodollar Wars. We have been deceived right up to the brink of collapse, and we’re past due for some radical action. So:

  1. Audit the Fed. We are bankrupt, and it’s time to go through an orderly and just restructuring of debts, nullifications, and dismantlings.
  2. Replace the current Federal Reserve System with a truly private banking system that is not only subject to audits, reporting and SOP as with other incorporated institutions, but also has NO power to monetize political debts or create currency.
  3. All money/currency authority and accountability shall be in the US Congress as per Article I Section 8:5 of the Constitution for the United States of America, so that politicians will be held accountable for greed, shortsightedness, and trans-generational theft.
  4. However, people must be free to use whatever form of money or currency suits their needs. “Cryptocurrency,” foreign coins, even conch shells or knotted strings are not the government’s business. Our government’s only legitimate role in interpersonal transactions is when there is force or fraud involved.

In other words, I propose we stop lying, stealing, making promises we can’t keep, and clean our accounts for the promotion of peace, prosperity, security …and freedom.

Liberty or Bust!

Andrew Horning

 

*One could debate the meaning of the words and concepts “money” and “currency” forever.  But for the purposes here, currency is an “official” (mandated or agreed upon) trade instrument that has no intrinsic value.  Money is a pretty abstract concept, since value is still applied by humans, but it’s generally a scarce/limited/difficult-to-reproduce thing that therefore has by itself been granted some relative value (gold, silver, rare shells, libertarians).

STOP stealing our wealth, opportunity and security!

The Orwellian “Bank Secrecy Act” of 1970 forces banks to report large financial transactions to federal agents. As with all “federal” laws, since its passage, requirements have gotten tougher, more expansive, and secretive. For example, the “Suspicious Activity Report” invokes a gag order, and nullifies the already-lowered dollar limit such that any financial activity at all may be secretly monitored by federal agents.
Some might think increasing secrecy, power and spying is good; that it keeps us safe.

But voters make decisions on information that is increasingly missing or proven false. It’s foolish to believe that politicians we claim we don’t trust are honest with us when it comes to programs that actually fund their cronyism; like “civil asset forfeiture” programs.

While few know it, police forces now take more money and property from USA citizens by “civil asset forfeiture” (as opposed to “criminal asset forfeiture,” which requires a conviction) than do all other criminals, combined.

This “forfeiture” at gun point doesn’t require charges of any crime, or any warrant. Increasingly, this is done with foreknowledge of money movement, and taken with devices like the “Electronic Recovery and Access to Data” or ERAD (as in eradicate?) machine.

While all this was initially intended to fight drug trade and terrorism, it is in practice irrelevant to either, and is encouraged to fund police departments.

It is literally armed highway robbery. This “policing for profit” must be stopped, not expanded.

But just last week, US House Rep. Larry Bucshon touted his support of, among other anti-constitutional bills, H.R. 5607, the Enhancing Treasury’s Anti-Terror Tools Act.

ETATTA did not go through regular order, and was rushed to the floor under suspension of the rules. No amendments were considered, debate was limited, and, as usual, few representatives actually read the bill before voting on it.

This carelessness is apparent in the practical force of the law proposed – that in violation of the USA Constitution’s Article I Section I, Article II Section I, Article III Section I, and Amendment IV, bureaucrats in executive agencies are granted even more power to write rules, judge their efficacy and infractions, and at least recommend, and ultimately execute, new actions as already imposed upon Americans as by “civil asset forfeiture,” without warrant, probably cause, or conviction of any crime. Furthermore, ETATTA expands the role of the Treasury’s power of spying and enforcement to non-monetary assets – essentially encompassing all property.

Politicians have blurred the lines between good-guy and bad-guy, dividing us by class and race, imprisoning a higher percentage of citizens than any other nation, and making us less secure and prosperous to boot.

In other words, our government has become what it’s supposed to protect us from.

I have a plan to restore respect for the badge and restore faith in all our important institutions. It’s an already well-respected plan to not only police the police and govern government, but also to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

 

Liberty or Bust!

Andrew Horning

Libertarian for 8th District US House of Representatives

How We Fix This Mess

I like talking ideology. But right now, talking about Demorepublicrats, or socialism versus fascism versus libertarianism is like discussing paint colors while your house is on fire.

coming-money-trustForget ideology; that’s not the problem.

CORRUPTION!

Corruption is the problem. Almost everything else is just a symptom of that.

Let’s be clear about what our nation’s “corruption” really is. We have an unconstitutional (illegal) ruling class that’s intentionally violating our most fundamental laws (legal, moral, economic) to fill their pockets though it harms the rest of us.

That’s called crime when any of the rest of us do it.  When it’s done abusing power in violation of oaths of office and causing economic distress and pointless death it really ought to be called treason.

We can’t determine to what degree and in what ways we’re being harmed because so many  of our rulers systematically and habitually lie to us about everything. So it may not be off the table to include mass murder in the list of crimes.

The unregulated militarized monster we only call “government” is really a crime ring that’s “too big to fail.”

So let’s fix it.

Here’s how:

liberty

1. Stop voting for it! And by “it,” I of course mean the global crony network whose puppets we call The Two Party System. Don’t give this monstrous mob your approval on Election Day. And do NOT, by default, grant its wishes by staying home on Election Day. Anybody left alone and unchallenged with unchecked power for too long becomes corrupt, and almost all of us have been blowing electoral kisses to the same Powers That Be for over a hundred years nonstop. STOP THAT!!
2. Vote against it. Yes, we’re supposed to vote against people. Remember, this is revolt with your vote! When your house is on fire, you need to kill the fire, not swap it for another. So first, fire the crooks! Vote Libertarian, independent, Green…anything or anybody but the Democratic and Republican party puppet show you know to be corrupt!

rememberRemember, even the very best Ds and Rs (and there are some great people in those parties – like Thomas Massie, or Justin Amash, for example) are powerless against this mess.  They cannot fix their party, or the people who control it; and a vote for even these people, is a vote for the crony system they chose to represent.  YOU must vote against all of that!

NoGunOur nation’s founders understood that elections are messy, corrupt and problematic in themselves; so elections’ purpose is very focused – they’re for peaceful revolution. That’s why we vote; so we don’t have to shoot politicians the way our founders did.
YOU!3. Use your vote as a weapon, or somebody else might. Seriously. It actually happens that people who don’t vote often show up voting…even after they’re dead. If you think staying home is a protest, you don’t understand how bad things have gotten.

4. Then, and only then, is a discussion of ideology and ‘isms something better than a time and energy wasting distraction.

In summary: Vote against the Two Party System as though it’s war! Because, of course, it is.

 

…Gun control? Who’re we kidding?

During the slippery slope SCOTUS case, VOISINE ET AL. v. UNITED STATES, Clarence Thomas shocked everyone by asking his first question from bench in ten years:

“Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor suspends a constitutional right?”

He was talking about the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, of course.

Thomas was right to raise the question, since even though all of our rights have been demoted to conditional privileges, the 2nd Amendment is under special attack these days.

And despite Thomas, our Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot-leaning SCOTUS ultimately decided that, of course a misdemeanor is sufficient to suspend a constitutional right. What isn’t?

I’m not a “gun nut” by any stretch. I love almost every other kind of gadget, device, machine or app. But I’m not a fan of guns. I’m not fond of what they do.

NoGunBut the 2nd Amendment isn’t about guns. It’s about violence, and trust. I hate violence, and I definitely don’t trust politicians with a monopoly on it.  It’s THEIR guns that most need restraint.

But humans, particularly in groups, are very emotional creatures. Where there’s a conflict between fact and feelings, feelings almost always win.

That’s why demagoguery works. That is why nearly all of human history is about oppression, slavery, genocide and war; and why peace, freedom and prosperity are very, very rare, but precious, blips.

…Because it’s not the emotions of love and loyalty and empathy that drive humankind’s political governments.

No, it’s fear, and greed and envy and sloth and…all the evil stuff.

So let’s be real clear on who oppresses, enslaves, commits genocide and war:

Our politicians, under that abstract incantation we call “government.”

It’s politicians – specifically our own politicians, invoking and blaspheming the common good while fanning the flames of all our worst emotions – that take away the freedom that’d be ours if left alone.

This is why human governments have a 100% failure rate. Aside from the obvious violence, they devalue currency, steal across generations, and generally self-destruct.

And it’s why people even consider the catchy but crazy “no fly, no buy” talk in the US Congress.

Yes, The Home of the Brave is terrified; so much so that The Land of The Free is surrendering even more of its tattered freedoms to promises of security from our entrenched, corrupt, arrogant, lying, thieving, heavily armed and violent ruling class.

While there can be some reasonable debate whether more guns mean less crime, or what the 2nd Amendment is really all about, there’s really no denying that gun control laws don’t work as politicians claim they do.

As the gun control debate has been going on for centuries now, there’s plenty of objective evidence demonstrating that, considering that some cultures are just more violent than others, gun control laws are, at best, ineffective. The pro-gun control arguments I’ve ever read or heard so far rely on either post hoc ergo propter hoc or false-choice logical fallacies, or disgorged-from-the-gut emotion. And only the purely emotional arguments for gun control suggest that gun laws would actually work.

No Fly, No Buy is No Different in terms of any promised effects.

I’m not objecting to the No Fly, No Buy marketing campaign just because of that; or because our increasingly militarized empire is pushing for a political monopoly on weapons, or because it’s another example of bureaucrats with too much power. And it’s not just that we beleaguered taxpayers are expected to arm everybody on the planet except ourselves.

I’m more concerned with how our political emotions work on the fundamental, psychological and even religious level.

We excuse the deceit, transgenerational theft, corruption and destruction inherent in politics because our fear, hatred and envy lead us pray to the false gods of politics for protection and vengeance. Wise people knew this to be unwise, so we’ve got some very excellent constitutions, state and federal, to keep a leash on our tendency to, for example, sacrifice our children to the whims of state.

But that wisdom has been discarded, and our government is now completely ungoverned. The regulators are unregulated, and the police are unpoliced.

The No-Fly, No-Buy canard isn’t just the abrogation of the enumerated rights to arms and due process; it stomps on the whole point of constitutional rule of law –

That it’s our politicians who need to be restrained…not us!

Our government has always kept secret lists of people, and there’ve been secret, but less-formal no fly lists for decades, enough has been said about the No Fly list as it exists today. The FBI and TSA denied it existed for the first 2.5 years of its now-acknowledged existence, which is plenty to lead us to suspicion about this embarrassment.

But the fear and loathing represented by this list are not only our nation’s recurrent gestalt, it’s what’s been, through the past one hundred years nurturing, fomenting, exacerbating and elevating to godhood a costly military industrial complex and thieving, murderous racket.

I’d recently written about our Middle East Madness; and by now we all know that our own government creates, trains, arms and funds our enemies such that we end up in war against ourselves all over the world.

I’ll wrap this up with some context:
Our militarized police anti-constitutionally/criminally take more property than do all other criminals combined; and you’re 58 times more likely to be killed by cops than by terrorists. But it’s politicians who’ve increasingly put police into their ever-more adversarial role. And as already mentioned above, our politicians lie about pretty much everything all the time. They’ve destroyed their moral authority to issue speeding tickets; they hardly deserve any trust with a secretive, heavily armed, and globally aggressive crony network with control of nuclear weapons and our sources of information, education, food and water.

They created the situation that we feel we must respond to with laws that increase their power, secrecy and unaccountability…at our expense.

I say we run, not walk, in the opposite direction.

Over two thousand years ago Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “The more laws, the less justice.” We know that the “War on Terror” has dramatically increased terrorism. I think facts support the notion that the less politics we tolerate, the more security, prosperity and of course, freedom, we’ll enjoy. So I suggest that instead of more laws, we nullify our way out of this corrupt and complex tangle we’ve made of our nation, and try, at long last, what our wisest founders hoped we’d actually become; a nation where all are equal under law, and where prosperity and security come from liberty, and justice, for all.

Nullification – It already happens, all the time

I want two things from every level of politics:

1. A federal 10th Amendment / Indiana Article I Section 25 view of our constitutions.

2. Nullification of everything else from politics.

Our constitutions have already been effectively nullified by the endless stream of political prohibitions and mandates, subsidies and taxes, regulations and corruption.  I want our constitutions, state and federal, reinstated, by nullifying everything that violates them.
NullifyAndyI’ll explain.

“Nullification” as a legal doctrine, is very simply, invalidating a law by ignoring it, ruling against it, or refusing to enforce or obey it.  When states nullify a federal law, it’s often called “interposition,” but that’s just fancy talk.

Among the few who understand their meaning, the words “nullification” and “interposition” have somehow acquired a simultaneously religious, conspiratorial and rebellious meaning.  That is weird, because nullification and interposition happen every day, everywhere in the USA.

If you look up the terms on a legal site or Wikipedia, you will likely read that the practice has never been upheld in court. But that’s bunk-in-action.

Practically all legislation, Executive Orders, bureaucratic rules; practically every high court case and government action at every level nullifies some part of our constitutions, our laws and culture.  Courts nullify legislation all the time…it actually is part of their job.  And it’s absolutely the job of Executives (Governors, the POTUS) to nullify, by denying execution, of unconstitutional laws, agencies, expenditures and actions.

Sometimes the nullification is subtle and by parts; such as laws restricting the right to weapons, or nationalizing our state militias, which increasingly nullify the Second Amendment and our whole constitutional and social design for peace, sane foreign policy, and self-defense.

Sometimes it’s overt; such as when President Obama and the DOJ nullified the Defense Of Marriage Act in 2011; or when Obama essentially nullified the 2006 Secure Fence Act (I’m not saying it was wrong to do so in either case).  Or when the FCC started regulating the internet in violation of a federal court order (that was wrong). …Or when Kim Davis attempted to nullify both a Judge’s and Governor’s nullification of an Amendent of the Kentucky Constitution which nullified the federal constitution (that was a lot of nullification, and I am saying that Davis was wrong to do it).

Sometimes the nullification is from ignorance.  Who’s read the state constitution, for instance…so how would anybody know when politicians violate it?

Sometimes it is by brute force when a cop or soldier nullifies rights literally to death.

Rarely, some smart-Alec citizen invokes a jury’s right to nullify bad laws or bad application of law.  (Juries have tremendous power; though judges never tell jurors that anymore).

However you look at it, and from every level of government, from the citizen on up, nullification happens every single day.

Every Single Day.BWLadyLib

Let that sink in a minute.

 

Every day.

It happens.

All the time.

Everywhere.

Up to now, there’s been a direction to that nullification.

To make governments, bureaucracies, corporations and programs bigger, costlier, more heavily armed and aggressive, more intrusive, more secretive and even more corrupt (though that last part is getting very hard to do), constitutions at both state and federal levels, had to be nullified.

Not all nullification has been bad.  Courts have nullified what used to be the “settled law” of past generations in some good ways.  Slavery exists now mostly in other countries, and the Jim Crow laws are gone, thank God.  But the power the federal government gobbled up in the meantime has been used to heap entirely different evils upon us, such that now, our trans-generational debt/theft machines and their incessant wars are about to cause us horrible grief.

My vote is mine.  I won’t waste it anymore on the status quo mess.  I mean to use my power of peaceful revolution as intended.

So here’s all that I will vote for:

1. A federal 10th Amendment / Indiana Article I Section 25 view of our constitutions.

2. Nullification of everything else from politics!

In other words, I want government to do exactly and only what it’s supposed to do, and otherwise leave us and everybody else alone.  I want politicians out of our lives and wallets and rights as much as humanly possible.  I want a lot LESS from politicians, in summary.

And I won’t vote for any less than that.

 

*Well…OK, the candidate can’t be a Democrat/Republican, but that’s a different story...

 

Technology versus Politics

Technology is marvelous. It tends to make things better, cheaper, more available. It tends to make people happy.

Politics, on the contrary, is the opposite of all the above.  The most exciting, promising technology turns divisive, corrupt, costly and deadly once politicians get their mitts on it.

We should never have let them monkey with our healthcare.  I’ve said so many times in the past (see links below), and I’ll keep saying so until we snap out of our stupor …or it comes crashing down around us (at which point I will say I Told You So).

So, let me offer just one, seemingly minor, even merely clerical reason, why your healthcare sucks.

It’s called ICD-10.

First of all, in my business of healthcare information/image technology, compliance with ICD-10 has been an enormous (i.e. expen$ive) undertaking. There are seven squillion, nine hundred and ninety three fillion codes (give or take) to correlate to software hooks and data. It has made the inherently complex business of making products for patient care even more complex.

The mass of codes and interrelations is certainly a hassle for the engineers making stuff to sell to doctors – presumably to make healthcare providers’ jobs easier (at increa$ed co$t, of cour$e).

But what does ICD-10 mean to doctors, patients and the tangle of insurance companies and taxpayers who ultimately pay for all this complexity?

Well, as of October 1, the wrong code can lead to not only a denied claim and/or months/years of costly hassle, but perhaps significant punishment (on basis of “Medicare Fraud” among other things too legally frightening to mention) for the doctor/institution as well.

Good, you say?

You want fewer mistakes in medicine.

Yes of course.  We all do.

Doctors must do better, certainly.  Prescription drugs, correctly taken, kill more people by far than do “illegal” drugs.  And hospital stays in general (with iatrogenic infections, drugs, mistakes, etc.) kill more Americans than everything but cancer and heart disease.

But what does “do better” mean?  And how do we help make that happen?

And how much arm-twisting, lawsuit-hurling, defrocking, fining and imprisoning force does it take to be helpful??

Let’s see how ICD-10 “helps.”

Let’s say a Farmer Andy comes to the Family Practice clinic with an infected wound that he’s not so sure he can explain. Stuff happens to farmers all the time, and he just can’t remember what this wound was from, initially. He’s always getting bangs and scrapes and cuts, after all.

(And let us be truthful. Andy is a terrible farmer. He’s mostly into quixotic politics)

So, what was the injury initiating this visit?

It’s legally critical we get this right!

Was it ICD-10 code W55.21, “Bitten by a cow,” or W61.33, “Pecked by a chicken?”

Was it when he became a V00.01 “Pedestrian on foot injured in a collision with roller skater?”
Come to think of it, he had been visiting his nephew in prison when that happened, which could add a Y92.147,“Courtyard of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause.”

Does that qualify as a Z63.1, “Problems in relationship with in-laws?”

Anyway, the doctor knows it wasn’t Y92.253, “Hurt at the Opera,” since Farmer Andy hasn’t gone there since the last episode…(we mustn’t discuss it here.  That would be a violation of HIPAA rules which could lead to a revoked license and even prison).

Farmer Andy did mention (under his breath, seemingly ashamed) that it could have been an “Accident while knitting or crocheting,” which would be a Y93.D1.

The doctor hated to ask, but since he knew Andy and his family had been to Sea World, could Andy have been “Struck by Orca, initial encounter,” which would be a W56.22?

No, said Andy.  It certainly wouldn’t have been a Killer Whale, nor was it a strike.

There was perhaps that bite from a Sea Lion, Andy recalled.  Though it wasn’t the first time, or even the second time that had happened.

So that would be a W56.11XS “Sequela…Bitten by Sea Lion.”

Hmmm, the doctor thought. That would have a very specific look to it.  No; it must be something else.

The wound wouldn’t look like this if it were a V91.07 “Burn due to water-skis on fire,” certainly.  He’d seen plenty of those before.

And the doctor could tell just by looking at him that Farmer Andy hadn’t been “Sucked into jet engine,” or X52.

Or was he getting the codes wrong?

Damn!

Wait…X52 is actually “Prolonged stay in weightless environment.”

Was it V95.40? No…that one is the rather vague, “Unspecified spacecraft accident injuring occupant.”

How about Y37.54?  (Doctor types in code and waits…it’s a big database)

When the doctor worked in the hospital, there was an entire department of people whose only job is to “do coding.”  Here in the clinic, they’ve got a part-time/outside IT department, and sometimes their network bogs down, and…
Oh, here it comes…

Oh heck no!  Y37.54 is “Military operation involving nuclear radiation effects of nuclear weapon.”  SMH, he thought.  He should’ve remembered this one from last week’s incident.

Ah, there it is…V97.33 is the sucked-into-jet-engine code.

Dang it, he has to remember that.  The CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) “ICD-10 Ombudsman” was fairly lenient last time.

He can’t afford to make that mistake again!

OK, I have a question for you.  Does the preceding strike you as the best way to improve healthcare delivery?

No?

Now, codifying data is a great idea.  In the right hands and in the right way, when we’re ready (this is a key part), then having convenient, appropriate labels for all our data makes it easier to store, find, and use in a meaningful way.  And I’m even all in favor of people using ICD-10 exactly as it is…if they choose to.

Let me restate that.

If people trained in the care of patients, in their situation (hospital, clinic, private practice) find that using ICD-10 codes helps them treat patients, then great.  Excellent, even!

But that’s not how our $y$tem work$, is it?  It’s not up to the healthcare professional how things are billed and paid anymore.  It hasn’t been for many years now.  In the most practical $en$e, politicians are more involved in healthcare decisions than doctors are.  Doctors can bill for only what they can get paid for by people other than patients; and that is determined by politicians.  In this case, technology becomes more of a parasite than an aid.

As a true-free-market technology guy, that breaks my heart.

Just imagine you’re trying to sell something; a product you make, your old car, cookies at a bake sale…but bickering politicians, lawyers and lobbyists determined what you could charge for it.  Imagine they demand you buy some things, and don’t let you buy others…and that every political intervention not only directly affects your job…it substantially changes your job.

How would that work out in the real world?

And the way “meaningful use” and other “federal” requirements are being FORCED on healthcare providers is, at this state in our knowledge and technology, madness on top of even more madness (do I even need to mention Obamacare?).

To make matters worse, healthcare has been a union shop/monopoly for over a hundred years.  There can be no serious competition with what politicians and lobbyists call healthcare.

If the rest of our technology worked like this, we’d all be clacking away on Windows 3.1, at best.

There were smart people involved in the development of ICD codes.  Lots of them.  But their seemingly dedicated work was performed in disconnection from monetary, human and practical technology concerns.  It’s another good example, in fact, of such obsessive bureaucratic “paperwork” (albeit mostly without paper), that the recording and processing of all this data can and often does compromise patient care in ways analogous to the Observer Effect.

OK, so I have another question for you.

Should we let doctors, who go to school for many years and spend a lot of time in residency and continuous training, actually do the jobs they were trained to do, or should we continue to vote for ever-more intrusion into that profession by politicians, who don’t need any education or even interest in healthcare at all?

Well, please think on it.

It’s your money, your rights, your life and health at stake here, you know.

https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/can-politicians-even-define-health-care/

https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/health-insurance…or-healthcare…choose-one/

https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/a-short-history-of-health-care-let-doctors-be-doctors/

Euphemysticism, and other Almighty Powers

I am, and have been for quite a while now, truth be known, a progressive liberal.

No, I am not a “classical liberal,” since that implies something has changed since the words’ first invocation.  Nothing has changed.  Wicked people are still twisting language; and idiots are still falling for it.

Let others defend their moniker or change it – I am a Progressive Liberal.

“Progressive” as in “progress,” from the Latin progressus – to move forward as opposed to backward; and “liberal” from the Latin liberalis – liberty, bountiful, befitting a free man.

People like John Locke described “Liberalism,” like “libertarian” and “liberation,” as freedom from political oppression, and as the right to life and property; as opposed to the Divine Right of Kings.  To liberals of even as recently as a century ago, liberalism was advanced through the Rule of Law, which meant that nobody, including the King, was above a uniform, equal application of law.  All (meaning all humans) were to be treated as equals under law.  No special categories or classes whatsoever.

We still use liberal that way when speaking of other nations.  For instance, when China liberalized trade, that meant their government relaxed its iron grip on it.  When the former Soviet-socialist nations liberalized, they adopted free market and personal rights reforms.

That is liberalism, by history, etymology, and all but the most silly, recent, and USA-only use.  By any meaningful meaning, liberal is the opposite of authoritarian socialism.

People like Immanuel Kant invoked “Progressivism” as movement away from barbaric authoritarianism, and toward peace and technological progress.  Moving forward meant moving away from almighty government and its tribal-drum-beating conformists.  Experimentation and progress requires freedom, you know.  So “Progressive” and “Liberal” really go together very well in their proper use.

Sadly, today, almost all Americans apply the words “liberal” and “progressive” to the murderous, impoverishing ideology of Pol Pot, Mao and Stalin.

On the other hand, actual “conservatives” had always rejected notions of classless individualism and egalitarianism, and promoted hierarchy under a distinct ruling class; and often hereditary at that.  Such caste-based kings, rulers, Poobahs and Caesars have been the human societal default, after all.  Conservatives defended such elitist schemes against the common rabble.

So, where are we today?  We have hereditary rulers, practically speaking.  We definitely have a ruling class we’ve empowered over almost every physical aspect of our lives; even allowing them to determine the value of our currency.  You and I have no “rights” they cannot seize for any number of political whims.  “The Patriot Act,” and other similar euphemysticism, is all about gutting the rule of law and everything our founders, as well as thinkers like Locke and Kant were all about.  With something cynically deemed “historic” every day now (literally historic, as in regressing to pre-Hammurabic barbarism), we’ve become lock-stepping, militarized, silence-the-opposition, book-burning fascists.

I do not use that word “fascist” lightly or without cause.  Look up how Mussolini defined his corporatist variation of socialism, and you’ll see that the USA is and has been for some time, fascist.  Mussolini himself declared FDR a fine fascist.

I wish I were making that up.

But even “fascist” is just a repackaging of humanity’s ancient default state of brutish-dumb, tribal, Obey-The-Alpha authoritarianism.  Probably the best term for the USA’s actual political ideology is Regressive Conservatism.  That’s what all humans fall back to when we stop fighting what’s most stupid in all of us…

Since Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt started a “Progressive Movement” in the USA, “Progressive Liberal” in modern parlance has become genuinely regressive conservatism.

In other words, our use of those labels has almost completely flipped.  I say “almost” because “conservatism” now means close to the same thing as it did before; which is to say it means the same thing as “progressive liberal” does to most people today.

In other-other words, what we now call “liberal,” “progressive,” “conservative,” “Democratic” or “Republican” all means the same thing: stone-age authoritarianism, self-aggrandizing tribalism, misguided technology, and perverted “science.”  The supposed opposition of the various incorporated factions are based upon false dichotomies that work very well to manipulate y’all (our language’s only distinct second-person personal pronoun) and distract you from the massive corruption that’s lining the rulers’ pockets and consolidating their power.

Words are important.  Words start and end wars.  Words are laws and contracts.  Words can bring tears of happiness, or pain.  How we use words can wound or heal or kill or repair.  Words can enslave, and words can set free.

I think it’s time we reclaim our language.  We must start using our ears to hear and our minds to discern (I should be able to say, “discriminate,” but that word has become a twisted and destructive invective of late).

And, dammit, we must speak truth to power.

I, for one, intend to use words properly.  I am a true Progressive Liberal.  And I’m hoping that all who see the corruption and violence we call “government” as a threat, and who seek peace (the kind without theft and explosions…you know, real peace), justice (real justice), equality (real equality) and freedom (yeah, real freedom), will also reclaim that once-honorable moniker.

And now for something that’s very “politically incorrect.”

We need to start shaming people.

It’s already happening from the other side, of course.  They try to shame us for believing truth, speaking truth, or being human.  More than shame us, they invoke the heavily armed might of armies, jails, cops and fines to force their politifaith upon us.

It’s time we shame them for their lies, their absurd, violent, thieving and self-destructive madness.  They nullify our laws, our history, our culture.  Let’s nullify their lawlessness, amoral fantasies and oppressive self-indulgence, and shame, shame on them for espousing the ideology that’s murdered hundreds of millions of good people in the past century; and is still starving and murdering people around the world today.

We have allowed too much intrusion on life, liberty, contracts and property.

So, shame on those who put their faith in politics as some benevolent god.  Shame, shame on those who still intend to vote for this monstrous “Two Party System” puppet show.  And shame on those whose Newspeak has made wrong right and right wrong, as nearly all of us goosestep to the precipice.

In one way or another (and I’m hoping we use the peaceful means our founders bequeathed us), what we need is another 1776 to move us forward from all this horrendous, death-spiralling, 1984.

Let’s Clean Up our Mess

In an OP-ED for Indiana Policy Review I lay out the steps to clean up our mess:

  1. End the duopoly.
  2. Drive away the moneychangers.
  3. Stand down the Empire.

Nearly all of what we call “issues” — the unraveling economy, a ridiculous healthcare system, rising prices, even militarized police and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — are just symptoms and side effects of a much worse problem.

It makes all our talk of ideology, libertarian versus authoritarian, or even “left” versus “right,” whatever those mean anymore, not just irrelevant but a costly distraction. The problem is corruption; we have a crony-network-crime-ring running the nation and much of the world. Here is what can be done about it in three steps:

First, take away the unconstitutional special powers and immunities seized by the private clubs called the Democratic and Republican parties. We shouldn’t have parties at all, really. Equality under law is fundamental justice, and mandated by Indiana Constitution’s Article I, Section 23. So let’s defrock these charlatans and thieves. Let independents and third parties have equal rights to election-related commissions and ballots. End primary elections, which implicitly provide more money, public attention, free advertising and media promotion to only Democrats and Republicans at the actual expense of all alternatives. End the special powers and immunities of precinct committeemen, which only Democratic and Republican parties are allowed. In case you think that having written special powers and privileges into Indiana Code make the self-appointed “major” political parties legit, Indiana Constitution’s Article I, Section 25 makes it clear that legislation cannot transgress the constitution. Read it; much like the U.S. Constitution’s Tenth Amendment, it’s the single most important sentence in Indiana Law.

YOU!This first step must be taken by voters, of course.  Current officeholders will not voluntarily step away from power – you must fire them.  Then we can move to step #2 after you hire people who actually want to move forward.

Second, kill central banking as it currently exists. Yes, audit the Federal Reserve Bank system, repudiate unconstitutional/illegal debts and otherwise clean up the mess. Andrew Jackson was right —  moneychangers are inherently “…a den of vipers and thieves…” and we must rout them out.  But moneychangers, as opposed to mere bankers, are never free-market enterprises; they require political authority to become monopolistic.  And our “Fed” was required long ago to primarily fund our government…not serve the needs of business.  Sound money is critical to freedom, so ending the accounting tricks and thieving traps of political/private hybrid central banks is the single most important step. That’s why it’s constitutionally mandated by the Indiana Constitution’s Article 11 Sections 3 and 7, as well as the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 8:5, and Article I Section 10. But it’s highly unlikely we’ll be able to address the bankers until we take away their two-party puppet show diversions. Look at the campaign donations from the financial sector and you’ll see why this is step two.

Third, stand down the Empire. Our fear-aggression syndrome isn’t just costly and destructive, it makes us less secure, less prosperous, and certainly less free. Not only have all our wars since WWII been unconstitutional but the actual design of our military has been unconstitutional since 1903 by the federal constitution’s Article I Sections 8 and 10, Article II Section 2, the Second and Fifth Amendments, as well as Indiana’s Article 2 Section 9, and Article 12 (the whole thing). This also should be done immediately, but it’s unlikely that most people will see just how bad it has become (and how right Dwight Eisenhower was about it) until we unmask this monster by taking away that crony-network-crime-ring. Also, look at the campaign donations from the military-industrialist sector. Look at how no state of sustained warfare can exist without debt-based fiat currency. You’ll see why this is step three.

Joe Biden, proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day, said: “Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It’s self-defense. It’s patriotism.” Very well, let’s make 2016 the year we do that right.