Our ancient habit of failure

I am running for the constitutional office of Indiana Governor.  That job is all about governing government, not governing you. 

The good news is that I am running for that office unopposed. 

The bad news, however, is that the overwhelming majority of voters don’t care about constitutions, and will almost certainly choose a “Governor” who’s job and powers are unrestrained by any laws, or even customs.  I don’t blame the candidates for that.  No, I grieve for what it says about just who Americans have become.

Despite Obama’s lofty rhetoric about “the American spirit,” modern Americans are no longer the self-governed patriots who kept their politicians on a leash, and who placed their trust in God instead.

Nope; just as foolish, barbaric people have done for thousands of years, we have once again bowed low to the Golden Calf of State.  We are not the Land of the Free or the Home of the Brave.  We are the Land of the Fearful, and the Home of the Dependent.

In other words, we vote for, and bow to, human kings.  Minor kings, major kings…their power is limited only by the king(s) above and the tolerance of oppression below.  Our tolerance is nearly unlimited, and their kingly power reaches into every aspect of our lives in a most destructive way.

They tell us what we can and cannot eat; who and how we marry, hire, live and die.  They take our money because we think they know best what to do with it, and they decide who works, how we work, and how much our wages are worth. 

Of course with that power comes a lot of greed, deceit and supplication. 

This is where the Golden Calf thing becomes truly grim – because such a political faith/ religion requires priests that today we call “lobbyists.”

As with the ancients, it’s all about robbing Peter to pay Paul, once again.  And your job in this Brave New World is to do whatever you can to be more Paul than Peter.  You join or form a special interest group in order to collectivize your power under a lobbyist to get a piece of the pie.  But as more special interest groups are formed and start their battle for the best priests and the best parts of the pie, the Golden Calf itself and the priests who serve it take a bigger and bigger cut.  The pie itself gets smaller through corruption, your piece of it becomes a smaller percentage; so you work harder and harder for less and less until, ultimately, the bread and circuses don’t work anymore, and the whole thing topples.

I’m afraid that our triune Golden Calf god (comprised of Democrat, Republican and Federal Reserve Bank) has won another, perhaps final victory over us.  Obama has turned away fears of his arrogance and terrorism ties with a really good speech (is a teleprompter another sort of god?  Hmmm.); and McCain has brushed aside conservatives’ righteous disgust with a pandering pick for Veep. 

(She’s a fine woman, and if she were the GOP’s pick for President, I’d think a lot differently about this election.  But they’re suckering you in knowing you’ll hope McCain dies or something.  Don’t fall for it.) 

You’re not even voting for President these days, you know…you’re now voting for his funding mechanism, his entrenched party’s leaders, and a system gone terribly, tragically wrong.

So I’m guessing that once again, we’ll vote the way we’ve been voting, and the Golden Calf will grow bigger, fatter, hungrier and more oppressively intrusive until, maybe 18 months from now, you’ll see just what the Federal Reserve and all our new debt instruments (credit cards, 40 year mortgages, etc.) have really wrought.

Disaster.

Please turn us away from this ancient pattern of destruction.  Demand Rule of Law under the state and federal constitutions which are already law and have been proven to work better than anything else ever tried.

Don’t let us fall back to ancient failures older than Hammurabi.  Don’t let them tell you that their schemes of shifting more power into fewer hands is “modern” or “a fresh start,” when it’s as old as the fall of Adam.

Do you want change?  Well, you’re headed for it one way or another.  You can choose change that goes the way of all fools, or you can do better.

Choose wisely.

 

Thoughts on the Presidential Election

Enough with the strategizing, poll-watching and fears of “the wasted vote.”  Here’s what each Presidential Election vote really means:

A vote for Obama:  Nothing.  Everybody hates George Bush.  If you think that your vote is finally putting racism behind us, you’re wrong.  Very wrong.

A vote for McCain:  This vote shows that you are a battered-spouse Republican.  The GOP can do anything to you and you’ll come back begging for more.  You are more than masochistic, however; you’re damaging yourself, your party, and all of your neighbors.  Stop.  Take a deep breath.  Seek help at once.  On the other hand, if you’re a Democrat voting for McCain, I have to say that you’re pretty clever.  …Kill the enemy from within, and all that.

A vote for Nader:  You’re an ardent socialist/collectivist of course.  You are aware that the major party machines are bad, and that “special interests” are problematic, but you don’t really understand why that is, because you flock to special interests yourself.  You may even want to shoot gun rights activists.  You’re a little confused, but you’re not really hurting anybody with your vote.  It may do some good, in fact.

A vote for Baldwin: You are a fine person, and I would like to know you.  You really want the constitutions/ Rule of Law, and are willing to write in a vote that may not even get counted (yes, our elections are rigged to a degree).  You have my respect.  I know I’m running as a Libertarian but I confess I’m conflicted.  I really like this man a lot.

A vote for Barr:  You’re sick of the entrenched and corrupt major parties, and are making a stand for the constitutions/ Rule of Law.  This vote will be counted, and the major parties will be watching with sweaty palms.  Good for you.  There’s lately been a very unfortunate, mishandled misunderstanding and miscommunication between the Ron Paul/Chuck Baldwin  and Bob Barr camps, and that has me even more confliced.  Haven’t we conservatives divided and conquered ourselves quite enough? 

<Sigh>

 

No more fooling.

The saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Well, after a hundred years of continuous betrayal, I think that anybody even contemplating any vote for the fancypants, entrenched power parties has got some ‘splainin’ to do!

It’s as simple as this:

We’ve left the major parties alone with power for too long.  They’ve felt unaccountable because they’ve been unthreatened.  And just as “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom” (Prov. 1:7), fear of its citizens is all that keeps a government from becoming the oppressive, enslaving, genocidal monster that is its natural, default state.

Here is, I think, a good summary on the nature of power in politics (brilliant, in fact).  But the bottom line is that it is time to show some tough love; or, if that doesn’t work, some hard-nosed determination to put a leash back onto our junkyard-dog government.  It’s time to make politicians obey written laws as written, or it is time for us to go the way of all foolish nations.

We must choose which it’s going to be.

Don’t give me that “incremental improvement” stuff.  It’s not working.  Don’t ask for Term Limits when we vote for incumbents 98% of the time.  Don’t whine about “the effect of money in politics” when we vote for it almost all the time, and call people like me “underfunded.”

There are no shortcuts.  No easy ways out.  There is no strategy, there are no tricks.

Choose.

 

 

 

Brutish Simplicity, Dumbed-Down

Alright alright alright.  I get the message.  Nobody wants to read the constitutions.  I need to resolve what I’m about down to three points and they’d better be simple.  OK, I get it.  So here’s as simple as I can make it in just three points:

  1. I would cut stuff from government.  A lot.  I’ll cut something you think we need.  I’m asking you to trust that we don’t really need it.
  2. So all taxes will go waaaaaay down.  You will like that. 
  3. It’s all written down here.

If you have questions, ask them. 

 

 

Cry me a river, John

John McCain says the media isn’t giving him a fair shake.  He has no idea what it’s like to run as a Libertarian.  But he also has no idea what it’s like to apply for a real job with a real interview.

What sort of press does any candidate (even Obama) get these days?  When will we hear answers to the most basic, important questions that should be asked of every politician:

Are there any laws that politicians must obey without exceptions?  Are there any rights that cannot be violated?  Is there any property that cannot be seized?  How much taxation is enough?  What is the value of a human life, and who decides?  What is the valid role of government?  What is none of politicians’ business?  And are your answers in writing somewhere?

How about we just stop that silly “two party system” fiction and start asking these critical questions?  You know we need to. 

Right now.

In the 2008 gubernatorial race, there is only one candidate even running for the constitutional office of Indiana Governor.  This man has already proposed overhauling state government.  He has already proposed standing up to D.C. to demand federalism.  Of course he’s proposed eliminating personal property tax.  He has also already proposed eliminating CPS/DCS, phasing out public schools in favor of Common Schools (as is constitutionally required), stopping I-69, and in general, restoring what works and rejecting what’s failing in Indiana.  And he also did this when he ran for Governor in 2000. 

He was right on the facts and issues then, and he’s right on the facts and issues now.

Voters have heard none of this from their eyes and ears in the democratic process, the media.  Voters rely on the media’s imprimatur of legitimacy, and yet all they hear about is Mitch Daniels’ money and incumbency, Jill Long Thompson’s “Green Jobs,” and that nebulous charge of “negative campaigning” that marks every race.

…The poor voters don’t know what they’re missing. 

…Or what the choices actually are in November. 

That’s just not right. 

Let’s all do better this time.

Another “I told you so”

I know.  Nobody likes to hear “I told you so.”  But I’m a candidate for public office, and I’m supposed to toot my horn about such things as, well, being right.

The price of gas is more in the news now than it was four years ago when I wrote this press release (that never made the news, of course):

Price Gouging, or Bad Planning?

It wasn’t so long ago that Democrats wanted European-like prices for gasoline.  They reasoned that if gasoline were more expensive, then more people would ride bicycles, walk, or use public transportation and, in general, conserve this energy resource as if it were finite.  Expensive gas would promote the development of alternative fuels and energy sources, and probably fuel a new wave of technological breakthroughs.  While we may not like the idea of expensive gas, the long-term reasoning is actually pretty sound.

Sadly, Democratic politicians abandoned this reasoning when they lifted gasoline taxes before an election (the late Governor O’Bannon in 2000), suggested that we tap into our Strategic Oil Reserves (several Democrats on state and federal levels), or (as Rep. Julia Carson had done this past June) call for an investigation of the oil industry at the first hint of rising gasoline prices.

Ms. Carson has voted for federal price controls, though this policy has proven disastrous every time, and in every country, and every market that it has been tried.  Ironically, she’s also voted against fuel alternative incentives and raising CAFE standards, two common liberal rallying points.

Ms. Carson isn’t a policy wonk, to be sure.  But her ideas on energy consumption are inconsistent, illogical and counterproductive.  Without better representation in this key policy area, and soon, our future looks grim.

There hasn’t been a new oil refinery built in the USA since 1976.  So instead of doing the math of supply and demand with our own resources, we turned to global markets that have their own agenda in global politics.   This has made us dependent upon foreign intervention as an energy policy, and raises the possibility that third-world nations may soon pass us in terms of energy efficiency and robust delivery/point of use generation…and this could mean even further erosion of USA industry and technological prowess.

We’ve built our cities for cars and cheap gas; so we have seas of parking lots and miles and miles of ugly boxes we call buildings.  Such unsightly, inefficient building lowers our quality of life, steals our leisure time, and makes us a nation of red-faced road-ragers.  Oh, and of course, like most federal policies of the last forty years, this lack of clear-sighted policy has cost us tens of thousands of jobs.

We must do better.  We’re past-due for some forward-thinking in energy and transportation policy, and I will make free-market investment, innovation and infrastructure development a high priority on day one.

###

The Choice is Clear

FREEDOM, IN –

I’ve actually been asked questions like, “Why don’t you raise 10 million dollars so that…” or “Why don’t you get in all the newscasts and newspapers so that…” 

Stop it.

For too long we’ve pretended that elections are about candidates and their financiers, when that has never been true.  Elections are now and have always been about voters.  That’s the whole point of a democratic process, isn’t it?  In this democratic republic the politicians we choose reflect us.  All of our problems are of our choosing.  …Repeatedly.  We really should stop denying our role in government – and of course quit all the whining about term limits and “the influence of money in politics” when only we are responsible for a 98% incumbent reelection rate and multimilliondollar campaigns… 

So furthering this spirit of blunt truth, I’ll confess that while I am the only constitutional, liberty and justice candidate on the 2008 gubernatorial ballot, I know I may not reflect who Americans are these days.  We’re certainly not the self-disciplined and self-reliant Americans we used to be.

In fact many of us say we want a Real Leader, that is, someone who’ll authoritatively rule our lives, liberties and property.  If you are such a person, I suggest you vote for Mitch Daniels.  He really is the best leader Indiana has had in quite a while.  Without any perceptible ideology or partisan loyalty, and certainly without any constitutional restraints, he very effectively does what he thinks is best with your rights, money and property. 

If I were elected, I would govern government, not citizens; as that is what our constitutions and traditions demand. 

So if you need to be governed, I recommend you vote for Governor Daniels, not me.  I would stick rigidly to the constitutions of Indiana and the USA, which limit politicians, not you.  That’s just who I am and what I’d do.  If that’s not what you want, vote for somebody else.

If you identify yourself as a Democrat, and want to be told what to do by a Democrat, then Jill Long Thompson is an intelligent, personable, qualified choice.  She’s far more fixed to an ideology than is Daniels, and far more likely to employ partisan Democrat politics and policy.  But we voters have chosen partisan politics for the last hundred years.  So if you’re a team-jacket-wearing Democat, you really should vote for her, not me. 

Of course, in 2008 there will likely be two “independent candidates;” one who voted with Governor Daniels on most things, and another one with whom I actually agree on many things.  If you dislike the entrenched political parties as much as I do, but still need a politician to direct your money, morality, environmental concerns and so on, then one of these fine men (and I mean that) should get your vote.

If you are an adult who wants to run your own life, however, and want politicians on a leash at last, I am demonstrably the only choice.  If you want liberties under law, I’m it in 2008.  If you want businesses (not politicians) to do business; if you want doctors (not politicians) to do medicine; if you want the feds to stay on their side of the fence; if you want, in short, what made this nation the greatest for generations, then I am the only reasonable choice.

 

Let’s not fool ourselves any longer about our collective role in government.  We really do get exactly what we vote for.  So make sure you’re saying what you want to say with your vote.  Don’t assume this freedom will last forever…

Important Distinction for a Pivotal Time

Here’s another old column that I think bears repeating:

As American wealth, liberty and opportunity bleed away, perhaps it’s time to consider the fact that government is an exacting science. There’s no scarcity of history, current events, verifiable facts and numbers to show simply and reproducibly what works in human governance, and what doesn’t.
For example, socialism sounds compassionate and progressive, but Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin (among many others) demonstrate how it really works.
And maybe Free Market economy has become outré, but look for an explosion of wealth anywhere at any time, and you’ll be seeing the positive side of human self-interest.
Sadly, few of us discuss government. Instead we read, listen, ingest, pay and vote for politics. That’s why we’re in trouble now.
Elections are coming up. Please discriminate between the personal pursuit of power (politics), and the noble art and science of getting along as a civil society (government).
Politics means yard signs, polls, endorsements, “name ID” and money galore. Government involves policy, laws, and the use and restraint of dangerous force.
Do you really want to hear more poll numbers? Don’t you want to know what a candidate thinks that government should do to you, your liberties and property? Shouldn’t you hear what candidates think about rights, prohibitions and the use of armed force? Wouldn’t you rather save the billions it costs to propel sound bites through TV screens and billboards, and instead vote from objective fact?
Then please do us all a favor; ignore the stuff shoved down your throat at great expense, and demand that our media and candidates replace the game of politics with the reality of government. Your children will thank you.

NewSpeak

I wrote this column about 5-6 years ago.  But I think it’s still relevant:

The word “egregious” comes from a Latin root that means “outside the flock.” Originally, and for quite some time, “egregious” meant “illustrious,” or exceptionally good. But ours being a brave new world, “egregious” now means exceptionally bad.
The word never meant “average” or “centrist;” not even briefly. It just flipped from one extreme to another with no stops in between – just like quantum physics. This phenomenon is odd, but harmless in common speech.
Quantum political speech, however, is another matter. In politics the stakes are wealth and poverty, life and death, peace and war. And in politics, words are law.
“Federal” used to mean a limited, distributed trust between sovereign states. What we call federal government now is actually its opposite; an all-powerful central force that should be called “unitary.”
“Liberal” used to describe our libertarian founders view of limited government; now the word means its exact opposite, socialism. “Conservative” meant a desire to keep status quo. But modern conservatives spend more money, and increase the size and scope of government to a degree and speed that “liberals” must surely envy.
JFK gave the rich their biggest tax cut ever. In 1932, FDR called Hoover a socialist and campaigned for fiscal restraint. The anti-communist Nixon was more socialist than Bill Clinton. Republican Teddy Roosevelt was a tree hugger. And Democratic Senator Byrd of West Virginia is called “Sheets.” …You know why.
Every label, every stereotype, every concept of party we apply to American politics has flip-flopped in the most egregious manner.
So with all the talk about “Democracy” in Iraq, I’d like us to pause, take a cleansing breath, and think before we leap into yet another brave new meaning.
Alexander Hamilton wrote of the early USA, “We are now forming a republican form of government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy.”
Benjamin Franklin was more to the point, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
I hope you know that we don’t live in a democracy. Democratic elections are merely the method by which we select our proxies in a Republic. And as any minority should know; real democracy, or majority rule, can mean slavery, Jim Crow, and that the angry mob gets its way.
After the democratic rise of Hitler, Mussolini, and a gaggle of tin-pot dictators around the globe, we really should ask ourselves which we’d rather have; democracy or liberty, because you can’t have both. We should ask if it’ll be democracy, or rule of law, because you can’t have both.
And as we speak the word “democracy” in reverential tones, let’s remember that less than half of our eligible citizens vote. So we may claim great wonders from our democratic process, but it’s only in ignorance of the real blessings of citizen freedom and might, and of all the wealth and opportunity made possible by a “liberal” form of government kept on a constitutional leash.
We need to restore the proper meaning of “liberty,” because even to the imperfect degree that we’d ever achieved it, liberty is what made the USA strong, prosperous, and egregious, in the best sense of that word.

What about the GOP? What about Odds? Don’t you want to WIN?

Through the upcoming campaign I’ll frequently be asked such questions.  My inclination will be to throw rotten eggs at whoever asks.  But since I do not wish to carry rotten eggs wherever I go, and since I really do understand how we have collectively fallen into a game-show/Las Vegas political stupor and helplessness, I must swallow my disgust, and answer:

 

  1. Loyalty to entrenched, powerful political parties is not admirable.  It is destructive.  Be loyal to principles instead; particularly the ones proven to work (Rule of Law, Free Market economics, property ownership).
  2. Elections are about voters’ choices, not about the candidates or their parties.  Let’s talk about what the choices are, not just about the candidates’ strategies, money pots and yard signs.
  3. We’re facing dark, dangerous times.  Let’s be serious in the voting booth, OK?

 

And then let’s focus on just the GOP for a moment.  The party never was what most people think it was.  It is, of course, the original “tree hugging liberal” party. 

The National Park system was started by Teddy Roosevelt, and the EPA was created by Nixon.  TR also gave us anti-corporate “trust busting” and income tax while setting us up for the Federal Reserve Bank, while Nixon gave us wage/price controls.  Much of the New Deal was actually started by Hoover, who FDR called a socialist; and Eisenhower spent more money after WWII than during its peak.  And let’s not even talk about George Bush.

The GOP never was as conservative as the “solid south” or “men in sheets” Democratic Party.  “Real Republicans” like Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater and of course Ron Paul have always been marginalized by the “Mainstream Republicans” like Gerald Ford and George Bush Sr.  

 

In Indiana we have a smart, relatively conservative and well-intended Republican Governor who has given us more taxation and spending (expanding entitlements to even new healthcare and college subsidies) than did any preceding Democrats.  And I think he’s one of the best Republican politicians!

 

Ambassador, candidate and pundit Alan Keyes recently said that the “Republican Party has come to a dark and confused place.”  So he quit the GOP and joined the Constitution Party (which is not on the ballot in Indiana).  Former Georgia congressman Bob Barr left the Republican Party for the Libertarian Party (which does have ballot access all across the country).  Many celebrities, even major media journalists, have left their former fancy party allegiances behind for a new dedication to principle…and what actually works.

 

This is good news.  And not a minute too soon. 

The bad news is that, I fear, most Republicans, even as disgusted as they are with their own party, will nevertheless remain loyal to it and thus do harm to us all.

 

Oh, don’t blather on about fixing what’s broken in that party.  I tried the “change from within” thing, and found it to be a baseless, mad illusion.  No change ever happens from within.  Especially from within such a corrupt deceit as the GOP.

 

Don’t misunderstand.  I know and love many Republicans.  I greatly admire what Ron Paul is attempting to do within the GOP.  I sent him money (I almost never do that) and I will of course vote for him in the primary. 

 

That is, after all, the only primary election vote that could accomplish anything useful. 

 

Dr. Paul’s delegates and supporters can at least attempt to reshape the GOP into something better.  I do support that cause.  But I do not fool myself about the likelihood of success.

 

People may think I’m a dreamer to run as a Libertarian.  But who’s really the dreamer? 

 

I know that all change comes from the Davids who fight Goliath (see my article here; requires a free signup); not from some change of heart in Goliath himself.  And history demonstrates well that those who vote for the entrenched powers hurt themselves.  …Fatally.

 

My dear Republican/Democrat friends, you have been betrayed over and over again.  At what point will you quit dreaming and do what needs to be done?

 

I no longer need to explain why I’m running outside the corrupt, entrenched powers.  The real question is: how can you excuse voting for those corrupt, entrenched powers again?  The question isn’t, “Horning, what are you doing?”  The question is, just what are you doing to set things right?

 

There is reason to hope.  I’ve seen it in the Paul campaign, and I’ve seen it in the faces of those disgusted and enraged into action.  I’ve seen it in last summer’s tax protests, and, ironically, I see it in the trouble that’s about to be heaped upon taxpayers this coming summer.

 

My fellow Hoosiers, Americans and human beings, we have been bestowed with many wonderful advantages.  Chief among these in this nation must be the laws that protect us from our politicians.  It’s time we dust them off and insist, without equivocation, that it’s time they are obeyed, as written.

 

Don’t apply party labels to this.  Don’t attach any flag motifs.  Don’t make this an abstraction. 

Make it a demand and make it now.

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