Radically Reasonable

Besides the complaints about jobs, money and immigration that now seem ubiquitous on this planet, the Brexit supporters complained about the “unelected bureaucrats” in Brussels who write laws for all of Europe. This ruling cabal of commissioners was called things like, “…overpaid and arrogant, but opaque and unaccountable…”

USA wonks nodded their smug comprehension, apparently thinking that at least we elect our lawmakers on this side of the pond. At least our lawmakers can be fired.

But we don’t fire them. Nor can we; because most of our laws aren’t written by people authorized to write laws. And we didn’t elect them.

And, no, I’m not even talking about the lobbyists who write most of what Congress makes law.

You see, while the “lawmakers” in the US Congress are of course overpaid, arrogant, and almost completely corrupt, they’re practically irrelevant now.

Unelected bureaucrats in innumerable federal agencies (DOE, FDA, FCC, USDA, IRS…) and even private organizations with governing powers like “The Federal Reserve System,” make thirty times as many regulations as does the US Congress, though Article I Section I of the Constitution for the USA restricts all legislative powers to only congress. Even if counting only those regulations that affect USA citizens directly, bureaucrats wrote sixteen times as many laws as did the US Congress.

Some say the rapidly growing regulatory burden amounts to around $15K per year for every USA household. Whatever the actual cost, unregulated regulation is literally criminal, and very destructive to our prosperity, independence, opportunity and of course, freedom.

What’s worse is that these agencies are also, quite unlike our US Congress, heavily armed against us.

They have been granted legislative, judicial, and executive powers (armed with SWAT teams and military gear…the USDA has machine guns! Even the federal DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is armed now!!!) without checks and balances, without an electoral accountability, and without any constitutional authority.

And this doesn’t even count the UN

liberty

The Two Party System has to go

So,

I propose we limit lawmaking to only lawmakers, as the constitution demands.

I propose a sunset rule or constitutional amendment – a 10-year expiration date for all non-constitutionally specified agencies, laws, powers and programs to gracefully remove, or at least review for reinstatement, everything that’s not specifically written into the constitution.

I propose a Rule of Law reboot, to affirm that politicians must obey laws too…at last.

I propose we stand down our global military “whack-a-mole” machine, and concentrate on defending our homeland instead of browbeating and manipulating the world.

I propose that our government issue only sound money as constitutionally required, and allow free market trade and monetary alternatives as our constitution also demands (Amendments 9 and 10 in particular).

All this is what we’re supposed to be doing anyway. It’s what many of us think is what’s happening now.

It’s unfortunate that this sane, legal, proven sensibility would be nothing less than a revolution.

What’s fortunate is that it already belongs to us. We need only to choose it on Election Day.

HorningCongress640

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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...

 

Updated Annotations to the US Constitution

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve edited this…

https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/the-united-states-constitution.pdf

Are our political abstractions killing us?

idolatry

Over the years I’ve increasingly thought it interesting that the first two of the Ten Commandments, in essence, warn against …idolatry.

Sure, murder is bad; but that’s way down at number six; before adultery, stealing, lying and coveting.

From a context of politics, anyway, the first two commandments, something like “In God We Trust,” warn against making abstractions (OK, other than God, if you’re an atheist) real.

I’ve come to think of this as brilliant.

Yes, the way the commandments are ordered, from first establishing proper relationships, to concomitant proper behavior, is eminently logical, proper and wise.

But I’m not writing this about wisdom, logic, morality or even sanity; I’m writing about politics. That damnable abstraction, is, as you should know by now, the opposite of all that is good and wholesome. It is delegated force reflecting and amplifying all our fears, jealousy, selfishness, violence…it’s our sins, heavily armed.  We’d have none of it if we could behave.  But the people in politics tend to behave even worse than the general population.

So, the secular corollary of In God We Trust is, after all, In Politics We Do Not.

So let’s get something straight – there are no such “things” as politics, political parties, nations, “Us” or “Them.” You can’t punch a corporation or tickle a union. You can’t feed an economy to starve a recession because they are abstractions. They exist, really, only in our collective, inherently tribal…and idolatrous, minds.

In real life, human society consists of individual humans and our individual actions.

We may try to delegate away our own part in decisions and actions by claiming some office or duty to a corporation, a government, a racial/societal class, or an army.  But in ultimately accountable fact, we, as individuals, choose and act as individuals.

This is the basis of “Austrian School” praxeology, or action axiom, besides being an important message of the Ten Commandments.

Properly understood, this concept of individual choice and rejection of idolatry (assigning judgment and action to abstractions, and/or pledging obedience to abstractions) fully dismisses as absurd such following rationalizations:

  1. We all must sacrifice some of our own comforts to save the economy.
  2. It’d be better if our President was (gay, Hispanic, atheist, a woman or whatever)
  3. Corporations are bad while unions are good; or visa versa.
  4. It took us a long time to screw up this bad; it’ll take us a long time to do better.
  5. It’s a cruel, complicated world; we need cruel and complicated laws.
  6. Those other guys are scary and violent; we need more missiles and soldiers and wars.

Sadly, most of us surrender to abstraction. We solemnly pledge to obey a flag, while complaining that the politics we’ve voted for over and over again, sucks. We know our chosen political tribe is messed up, but insist it’d be madness to vote for any alternative. We suspect our “nation” abstraction won’t be around much longer; but curiously, can’t even describe what that nation really is or how it works (Social Security? Cops in riot gear? Multi-class basketball?). Some of us even advocate a “revolution” to overthrow a government that, doggone it, we freely chose ourselves.

Even ideology can be an idol.  One of the oddest things, to me as a candidate (another abstraction, BTW), is how voters will ask me how my ideology differs from the other candidates when we should know by now that ideology has nothing to do with our current form of cronyism.  Lobbyists, powerbrokers and bankster/moneychangers rule; ideology has nothing to do with it.  That’s what we’ve chosen.

Our abstractions are so deeply ingrained and heartfelt that it’s in fact difficult to communicate without invoking these abstractions…especially in politics…whatever that is.

We could always choose better. But we very, very rarely do.

So, through all recorded history, humanity’s default state has been oppression, slavery, genocide and war.  It’s only very rarely that humans choose to live in peace, prosperity and that most rare and precious abstraction of all, freedom.

Yes, incremental decay seems historically inevitable. Rapid collapse happens very frequently. But real improvement in societal terms, when it happens at all (can count on the fingers of one hand) much more frequently happens fast; by radical epiphany and action. A single generation, a single war, a single election, can change everything politically important.

All I can do as a candidate is offer a choice that’s different, and I think better, than what we’ve chosen so far.  I’m offering fewer abstractions; a real and dramatic reduction in our reliance on collective abstracted actions that, it so happens, rely on violating much of the other Ten Commandments.  Because without abstractions, you know, taxation is theft and war is murder.  And those are not good things at all.

Looking for a few good voters

I plan to place a series of large-format ads in the Indianapolis Star and a few other key newspapers around the state (donations made out to Horning For Senate, if you’re so inclined).  It will be a simple ad, with a simple logo, maybe a picture of me, some contact information, and something like this:

Looking for a few good voters

If you think this nation can keep going the same direction we’re going, then, please, read no further and have a nice day.

If, however, you’re concerned about our future, then please, read on.  We may need you.

OK, the bad news is that we have nobody but ourselves to blame for the cronyism, the violence, the injustice and self-destruction of our culture.  We The People have exactly and only what We The People have chosen with our wallets, our actions, our voices (and/or silence) and our votes.  We certainly cannot blame the politicians and political abstractions we’ve chosen over and over again.  They’re just doing what comes natural, what they can get away with, and what we ask them to do.

The good news, however, is that We The People can have exactly and only what We The People choose.  We don’t have to turn to anybody else to fix our problems.  It is not too late to clean up our messes and choose the life we want to live.  It’s never too late; and there is currently no need for a “revolution” anywhere but in our own minds and voting arms.

Of course, the bad news with that is that we don’t get what we want, we get only what we choose…and we’ve felt as though there are no choices but that two-headed crony network we call the “two party system.”  We have been betrayed and deceived.  It’s understandable that your trust in any politician, even ones you’ve never given a chance, is very low.

Then again, the good news with that is that there never really has been a “two party system;” that’s just an abstraction of some pretty bad choices on our part. We can fix that with just a little information.

Alright, so the bad news is that most people can’t even imagine how this country could work better. Trained in government schools and suckled on government handouts, surrounded by government actions and always aware of our wars, nobody alive remembers how life worked before we had all the “programs,” taxation, regulation and litigation that are now sucking us dry. Nobody alive remembers how “national security” worked before we began endless games of international “whack a mole” with our children’s lives.  Nobody alive can remember how we could have schools, roads, jobs or healthcare without giving everything unto our new Caesars.  We are all caught in the monkey traps of Social Security, Medicare, “national security,” “education” and “welfare.”

Ahh, but there is more good news.  The good news that outweighs all the bad is that it’d take only a little more than a third of Hoosier voters to set this nation to a better direction, a proven direction.  It’d take only slightly more than a third to crack the cronies’ pedestals and govern our government by rules that are few enough that everyone can know them; simple enough that everyone can understand them; and important enough that every single one of them is to be obeyed by everyone (even the rich and mighty) equally, without exception, all the time.

And my fellow Hoosiers, those rules exist; they are proven to work better than anything else humans have ever tried; and they are already the Law of The Land. They can be ours again as soon as we choose them.

This is not fantasy.  The fantasy, though a very bad one, is what we’ve been doing.  The dreamers are those who think we even can preserve the authoritarian, lawless status quo.  The fools are those who keep voting for it.

We all make decisions every day that impact our families, our careers, our children’s future.  I’m asking only that you give more thought to your vote than you have ever dedicated to it before.  I’m asking that you read your state and federal constitutions to see what you have been missing, how you have been misled, and how you can fix it all on Election Day.

We can fix this country.  We can live in peace, prosperity, security and freedom if only we choose to. That choice will be at least in part represented as Andrew Horning (L) for US Senate.  But the choice is yours.

Who’s been bought off?

It makes news when some foreigner (like Henrique Capriles Radonski) challenges a foreign, long-entrenched murderous thug (like Hugo Chavez).  Such news makes headlines and waves all over the world.  In foreign politics, sports, and even in real life, we love a “come from behind” “Cinderella Story” of bravery challenging the odds.

But what do we hear about those who’d challenge the world’s longest-running and most-corrupt crony network operating here in the USA?  Do we admire the underdogs who’d offer an alternative to a machine of war, theft and deceit that’s been left alone with near-total power in the USA since 1913?

From personal experience, I must say, no.  In fact, we call them “fringe,” “lunatic,” or at best, when we don’t want to come out and say, “loser,” we call each of them a “wasted vote” with “no chance” in that entrenched, violent, stinking-rotten and generally disliked two-faced regime we’ve come to call (because we’ve been told to) “the Two Party System.”

Why is that?  Why do we voluntarily choose to live in a downward-spiraling, robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul cronyism, lawless and brutish debt bomb?

Well, I think it’s because we’ve been bought off with our own money, that’s why.

Who among us doesn’t at least at some point in the day feel a part of some arbitrary abstract “class” of citizen that has a “special interest” in our adversarial system of politics?  Whether it’s the struggle of men versus women, gay versus straight, black versus white, or something even more abstract like activated Reserve, beneficiary, incorporated businessman or taxpayer, we all seem forced to “take a side” in a system that is now entirely based upon taking something from somebody, and sometimes, giving it to somebody else.

Sometimes it’s just taking; and we hope to keep a little more than the next guy gets to keep.  Sometimes we’re on the receiving end (Medicare, Social Security are the biggest, broadest examples), and we have come up with all manner of justification for what we take from our neighbors.

Always, it seems, one half of the “two party system” is “on your side;” while the other half is “against you.”

It’s hard for me to imagine why we’ve not demanded at least a year’s military peace since the War to End All War, but we’ve been told that our whole system will crash down like dominoes unless we keep ferreting out and smacking down the hobgoblins and demons always lurking somewhere overseas.

Anyway, you have invested, and you feel stuck.  You’ve witnessed “rope a dope.”

That it is immoral in the extreme as well as very clearly illegal doesn’t matter.  It is, we’re always told, and so we always say, “The Way Things Are.”

Well, life is what you make it.  We The People have exactly and only what we choose.  It’s in your power to keep “The Way Things Are” the way things are; or change it to whatever you want.

I have a proposal.  I offer rules that apply to everybody equally – written rules that are few enough that everybody can know them; simple enough that everybody can understand them; and important/useful/critical enough that everybody must obey all of them without exception, all the time.  The rules are proven to work if obeyed, and they’ve been called brilliant and exemplary by people all over the world.  They are also the law, right now.

It’s all here, and here.

I’m not holding my breath that my quixotic campaign will do any better than ever before.  I’m not even saying that I’m a brave person to offer such a challenge to our corrupt status quo.  And please don’t call me Cinderella.

I’m just putting rule of law under existing state and federal constitutions on the ballot under the name Andrew Horning (L).

Whatever happens next isn’t my decision at all.

It’s all yours.  You’re the one who must decide if you want to keep doing what you’ve been doing, or something else for a change.  A real change.  It’s up to you, and the time to choose is just around the corner.

Do you really want to live like this?

According to our Declaration of Independence, governments derive “…their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  But as demonstrated in the Middle East today, all government powers, just or unjust, are by consent of the governed; and that consent can be withdrawn from even the most oppressive dictators.

So the problem with despotism is never really the despot.  The problem is that for every despot there is a majority of citizens who empowered that despot.  Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Caligula and countless others didn’t kill hundreds of millions by themselves, you know.   Do not fool yourself; people like Kim Jong Il, Charles Taylor, Hirohito, Mugabe, Quadhafi, Nebuchadnezzar II, Nero or even Vlad the Impaler are everywhere and always among us.  They are nobody special by themselves.

Here in the USA, we can conveniently, painlessly choose how we are to live.  Deny it or not, we have exactly what the majority of us have freely chosen.  We may say we want change, but we vote for mostly elites and incumbents. We may say we don’t like the corruption and money in politics, but less than 10% of us ever vote for anything else. Many dictators of the past century, including Benito Mussolini, were elected by people just like us.

So consider what we’ve chosen.  We’ve not had even a year’s peace since the War to End All Wars.  The Home of The Brave has sacrificed freedom for empty promises of security.  The Land of The Free has the world’s highest percentage of citizens in prison.  We really do tax people out of their homes to pay for homelessness programs; and we tax, regulate and litigate away businesses to stimulate the economy.  We guard borders everywhere in the world except at home.  For the first time ever, we’re working longer hours, taking fewer vacations, spending less time with our kids, and living more poorly than the previous generation.  The rules we must live by are unknowable and ever-changing – law has now become little more than incantations, as high priests of law in grand courts decree, apparently on whim, how things are to be.

Are you happy with this?  Is this how you want to live?

Humans can learn.  When we want something, we know all about our choices of color, flavor, engine size, craftsmanship, price or caliber.  We spend crazy amounts of time on sports, or romance novels.  I know people who can tell you the vertical jump height of their favorite basketball stars, or can detail Oprah’s diet ups and downs.

But by what I’ve personally seen in tens of thousands of average voters, We The People apparently don’t care about the injustice and madness we’ve chosen to make of our lives.  We know less about those we’ve chosen to lord over us than we know about movie stars.  We certainly don’t know anything about our state and federal constitutions.

Despite what we may say, our votes say that we want unaccountable people of status and money to tell us what to do.  Our behavior in the voting booth is beckoning a dictator.  I believe we’re going to get one soon.

May I make a request?  I’d like for you to read your state and federal constitutions and see what we’ve thrown away…and could have back anytime we choose.  They are still law, though we act otherwise.  They would still work better than anything else ever tried, if we’d only try them.

If you’ve taken the hour or so it takes to read the federal constitution, you already know that federal government should be invisible to almost all of us almost all the time.  The Indiana constitution is the contract most relevant to Hoosier life.  It’s a longer read, but still not terribly long or complicated.  Both comprise rules of life that are few enough to know, simple enough to understand, and important enough that everybody should obey them without exception, all the time.  The free life these contracts describe is simpler, safer, and in every way better than the politicized lives we’re living now.

You can read these constitutions (with my annotations)here:
https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/annotated-usa-constitution.pdf
https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/indiana-constitution-book.pdf

Please ask other people to read them too.  If you know somebody who wants to read them, and has no internet access, and you’re too cheap to print them out yourself, then contact me at thefreedomfarm@gmail.com, and I’ll get you copies.

Yes; it’s that important to me. I have to live here too…

Andy’s Annotated US Constitution

With all the disinformation and historical revisionism buzzing like flies on politics (even with the “Tea Party” as much as anywhere else), I just had to present what I believe to be the facts.

So here’s an annotated USA constitution again: https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/annotated-usa-constitution.pdf

Thanksgiving, by The Book

A shorter version of this went out through Indiana Policy Review this past week…

 

Given its place in American history, it’s embarrassing how we’ve perverted our Thanksgiving Day. Most Americans nurture a vague fiction involving buckled shoes and blunderbusses, in which Pilgrims and Native Americans joined in a sort of agricultural group-hug. Others, with just enough facts to be dangerous and a hard Democratic Party bias, claim that The Mayflower Compact created a successful government that we’d now call “communist.”

More correct, but still oversimplified into the GOP counterargument, is that this communism was so disastrous that the few survivors were forced into free market economics, which became The American Way (i.e., all that is just and wholesome).
William Bradford’s own words have been used to support this. In his first-hand account, “Of Plymouth Plantation,” Bradford detailed their commune’s declining initiative, morality and crop yield, then summed up the failure of communism as:

“…the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; and that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” (emphasis added for reason that follows)

It’s fine to say that what we now call “communism,” or its authoritarian cousin, “socialism,” is both ancient, and proven unworkable. But Thanksgiving was never about sound economics, filled bellies or kumbaya fellowship. The Thanksgiving of 1621 was neither America’s first; nor the beginning of our national November holiday.

Our national Thanksgiving Day holiday was established in the midst of our civil war as a penitent prayer and statement of political deference…to God. Lincoln’s proclamation, written by Secretary of State William Seward, acknowledged the surprising strength of the nation in the midst of war, and the unexpected foreign neutrality at the depths of our weakness, and said, “They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

Seward wrote the proclamation because just a few days before, Lincoln himself was not a Christian. “But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.”

Congress made the holiday permanent in the hot midst of WWII; perhaps the last US assembly with anything like, in the words of Seward, “…humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.”

Where are the politicians today who’d acknowledge their sin and turn praise away from their works and toward the Almighty? These days, even Christians erect a wall between their faith and their government; though the Bible deals very harshly with that Golden Calf we call politics.
Despite the modern, shallow interpretation of, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s,” the whole Bible says that everything belongs to God, including Caesar. That’s what made Christ’s reply to the Pharisees so piercing.
Psalm 33:12’s, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,” has an unfortunate corollary – Cursed is the nation whose god is politics.
Christians should have learned this already; if not from our Bibles, then from American history. And if not from our history, then from current events.
Have we forgotten that faith in the Republican’s “Contract with America” was followed by more unfounded faith in the Democrat’s “Hope and Change?” Now we’ve switched tribes and shamans again for the “Pledge to America;” but nothing has changed. We certainly don’t Pledge our Allegiance to God… Our national religion is still all about robbing Peter to pay Paul, where we pray to lawyers, lobbyists and politicians in a never-ending hope to be Paul, while somebody else, for at least a while, must be Peter.

This Thanksgiving why not choose a way of life that is simple, Biblical, constitutional and proven to work? Such a way exists, it’s already the law, and it could be yours for the asking…if you know Who to ask.

After all, politics is a junkyard dog, not an angel. “In God We Trust” means that In Politics We Must Never Trust. And Thanksgiving Day means, in the words of Seward, to “…fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation.”

Amen to that.

 

Deckchairs on the Titanic

In years past I’ve had personal reasons to dislike what happens on Election Day. But today my name wasn’t on any ballot and I’m more disgusted than ever. Why?

Well, because, in spite of all the blustery “Tea Party” rhetoric, we did it again. We swapped betwixt McCoy and Hatfield without changing a single thing of consequence.

The bankster/moneychangers who control both entrenched parties are still in charge. The impending constitutional amendment proves that we still have no idea what constitutions are for or what they say. Party leaders are still safely ensconced, and the ungoverned monster we call “government” is still all about robbing Peter to pay Paul; where lawyers, lobbyists, politicians and soldiers determine who must be Peter, and who, for a while anyway, gets to be Paul.

If I see a bright spot in our march into parched oblivion, it comes down to one question that, more often than ever, I’ve been asked in earnest: “What is a Libertarian?”

To me that’s easy. There are just two principles:

1. Only you are payable for your own actions. Nobody else gets credit, money or blame for your work, your plans, your mistakes, or your crimes.

2. Nonviolence. The only tolerable use of force is against force initiated directly against you.

Following these two principles to their natural conclusions would lead to all sorts of wonderful things. But so what?

All the preceding about political parties and labels amounts to allegiance to abstractions, or more accurately, idolatry.

It’s harmless to treat the San Francisco/New York Giants as some living thing that spans new owners, new players and new home states. It’s just a game. But where liberty and justice versus oppression, slavery, genocide and war is concerned, we should be wary and sober.

Despite the horse race rhetoric, politics is no game, and there are no winners. The end of nations is as certain as the end of our mortal lives. And the end almost always comes by making government an idol. Political party loyalty is, to my eyes, a body-painted tribal war dance around this idol. Some do enjoy the spectacle, the strategies and the apparent glamour; but it’s ultimately a major cause of large scale violence, needless suffering, theft and death.

It’s not harmless sport that we tax people out of homes to pay for homeless programs, destroy businesses to “stimulate the economy,” or wage endless, innumerable wars for peace.

I cannot believe we humans don’t share a vision for a better life than the taxation, litigation, regulation and war that always creates enemies and unjust winners. I can only conclude that we don’t promote or even talk about this shared vision because we don’t believe it’s possible to achieve. Perhaps the numbing realities we’ve created for ourselves make us believe that there’s no point in dreaming of better…even when we could simply vote for it.

Perhaps nobody alive has any memory of how American life worked when only churches and voluntary associations like Kiwanis and Scouts comprised the departments of health, education and welfare. Maybe we can’t imagine the actual process of looking out for our neighbors or caring for our own elderly because that involves something other than money. Perhaps some of us concentrate on foreign charities because that seems easier and safer than dealing with what you can see on your way to work. Maybe we so muddle the benefits of modern technology with the handicap of modern politics that we think that resurrecting constitutional Rule of Law means the surrender of flushing toilets.

Whatever the case, I wish we’d put down the tribal flags, cross the chasm between politics and reality, and talk plainly with each other about how we want to live our too-short lives.

Instead of “Tea Party” saber rattling, how about we calmly stroll toward la dolce vita, “the sweet life;” in which peace, prosperity, liberty and justice for all doesn’t mean ganging up on poor Peter?