Flag day on Sunday may be too much…

Flag Day, like Independence Day and Constitution Day, has become, for me, anyway, a predicament.

MAGAI want very much to enjoy the feelings of pride and mystic oneness with untarnished heroes of yesteryear.  I’d like to sing our anthem with joy.  I’d be delighted if I could feel that nationalism was about righteous unity and a shared experience of liberty and justice for all with my fellow citizens.  I wish I could hoist a flag and feel I’m expressing equality under constitutional rule of law, with truth, transparency, peace and prosperity now and forevermore.Support

But, dang it…

The flag is a symbol that, to me, and very sadly, has become an emblem of corruption and self-deception.  Our Pledge to obey it (written by an apostate socialist, BTW) was considered idolatry by Christians a hundred years ago.  Adding “under God” to it in 1953 changed what, exactly?

Bellamy2

Do we stand in church with our hands on our hearts and solemnly pledge to obey God?  I’ve not seen that happen.

Besides, how CAN we obey a flag?  Are there any rules?  Who decides what the flag is telling us what to do, and how far we’re to go in obedience?

Do we mean what we’re actually saying?

Our Anthem is a similar self-deception.  Do we still believe we’re “the land of the free and the home of the brave” when… aren’t we struggling against liberties lost to fear of everything from impoverished Arabs, to marijuana and viruses?

IdolatryOur nation is a corporate abstraction not so different from other corporate identities, tribes, corporations, clubs or clans.  We should be acutely aware that the difference between crime rings and nations is often more matter of scale than culture or law.  When Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel beat the Mexican government in a straight-up military engagement, wasn’t there at least a little confusion about who’s really running the country?

Governing is always by force.  But very, very rarely, a government rules by some authority higher than just brute force.  The USA’s national government was created, authorized and very literally delimited by constitutions, state and federal…that, unfortunately today, nobody reads, and most dismiss as outdated.

Yet it’s to constitutions that soldiers, police, politicians and new citizens are to pledge their support and defense against all enemies both foreign…and domestic.

And it’s to those constitutions that we all turn at some point when we want at least the parts we like (maybe a few of the Bill of Rights) when we feel we need defense from…our own government. Thugs

Yes, our government.  You know…the people with the flags on their uniforms, “Under God” on their money, and big bald eagles topping flagpoles guarded by soldiers.

You know…the people a lot of us are protesting against today for their injustice, lawlessness, corruption and brutality.

I get that flags are powerful.  Anthems are powerful.  Slogans are powerful.

But carried through generations, they become a religion unto themselves.  Tribal/corporate membership identity is powerful right down to our DNA.  We crave the feeling of belonging to a pack…often most when opposed to some other clique, clan, club or country.  Historically, and today, that tribal fervor becomes violent at the whisper of a rumor.

We actually tend to WANT us versus them, with all the emotions, symbology and triumphant, martyr-making images that go with that scenario.

My dad was a decorated WWII pilot and POW.  He weighed just over 90lbs when freed, and I believe all of his kids were deeply affected by his unspoken trauma.  The triangle of flag presented after his death means a lot to me.  But that particular flag is about my dad and not about our imperiled nation.distress

A lot of people see the flying flag more like a disgraced celebrity than a proud aspiration.  Others have good reason to see it as a symbol of class struggle and injustice.  Those who see it as a physical embodiment of virtue are history-whitewashing romantics…which must be pleasant – but is ultimately a destructive self-delusion.

But it may also be a dangerous red-herring bait-and-switch.  “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” *

I have a suggestion.

I believe we should drop the abstract, arbitrary symbols associated with our ungoverned, corrupt and dangerous government, and make this really, really simple.

We should make sure that what we espouse and pledge to support is written in black and white constitutions that we’ve read and actually do support, and not to feelings inferred from symbols no longer related to those words.

We need to be, in my opinion, razor-sharp in focus, and completely serious in our dedication to truth, justice, and …something better than what is now the American Way:

I propose we pledge our allegiance not to a bit of cloth made in China, but to constitutional rule of law under our existing state and federal constitutions as written and amended, full stop.

 

 

*Some say Sinclair Lewis said or wrote this.  But this has been pretty-well debunked.  Others ironically claim that Huey Long said it.  But that’s even less-likely.
But it doesn’t much matter who said it, because it’s turning out to be embarrassingly, damnably correct.

The TRUTH about Excelsior…on Amazon

My brother Greg published a book about three years ago.  I don’t think of myself as particularly competitive, but doggone it, I couldn’t let him beat me!  So I wrote one too.

He also has a website for both his book, and a bunch of stories from my mom (she wrote and illustrated some hilarious stuff).

…Anyway, The Truth about Excelsior is now available in paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0849X45LQ?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860.

I don’t like the way it looks as an eBook, but I’ll likely publish that, too, in a couple of weeks or so.  It’ll be cheaper, of course.

Coversmall

But since some stuff gets lost in the eBook version, I’m resisting it as long as I can.

The blurb is, “Far more than the usual fanciful tale of precocious children, fire-breathing dragons, disastrous monetary policy and World War, “The Truth about Excelsior” offers a unique perspective on today’s cultural madness, and a glimpse into a world of peace, prosperity and …freedom.

I mean it to be fun, but you know me…I had to insert some serious stuff in there, too.

Anyway, let me know what you think of it…and if you like it, tell everybody, and leave a review!

Tribalism Sucks

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Unless you wear a MAGA hat to bed, you know our government is headed in the wrong direction.  Unless you’re crazy, you know our government is corrupt.  Unless you’re a genuinely rotten person, you want much, much more peace, prosperity, security, and doggone it…freedom, for both yourself, and all your fellow citizens.

But unless you’re in the less-than-10% (typically more like 3-4%) who ever vote for third party or independent candidates, you chose this complicated, legalistic/ rule-fraught, unfair, dysfunctional and globally violent corruption. All of it.

I don’t mean to be an insulting knowitall, but this is very simple in a nation with elections:

Bernie

Either you use your power of peaceful revolution to oppose what’s not working and replace it with new guards for our future security, or you’re actually supporting the bad guys. If you’re not actively firing the bad guys with your vote, you’re as much as hiring them; either by direct choice, or in vapid inaction.

Now you may not disagree with that last paragraph. That may be while you’re still reading.

But there’s also simple logic in determining just who the bad guys really are.

And that is likely where 90% of voters will disagree.

Our constitutions were written in large part to prevent politicians from granting “to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” (Indiana Constitution Article I Section 23)

This applies to everything political; from fair trade, housing and corporate laws to …ballot access.

Yet everyone with a living brain cell knows that our political scheme is all about special deals for special people.  Politically favored corporations get special rules that ensure protected profits without fear of competition.  Politically favored people get special legal/tax exemptions, or Get Out Of Jail Free cards.cropped-liberty

I contend that a fundamental part of the problem is the recent, self-appointed, tribal, monopolistic and genuinely stupid “Two Party System.”

Since WWII, and mostly since the 1970s, and varying state-to-state …ONLY Democrats and Republicans can be on election-related commissions, and have special election status that grants them more money, more ballot access, and more power in government.

Not only have these private clubs granted themselves special powers, but they have also imposed special hurdles and handicaps on any group or individual who’d challenge them.

Most of us understand that if there was by law only one manufacturer of coffee, or shoes, or cars, that costs and quality would be horrendous.  Most of us could imagine that even with two options, there’d soon be so much collusion and price-fixing to squeeze out any other competition that, in effect, there’d really be only one option with two faces.  Many of us disdain the rapidly clotting mergers of media, pharmaceutical and healthcare empires just the way many thought it right to bust up the old monopolies in telephone and power service.

And all of us benefit from the profusion of choices in food, clothing, electronics and other, relatively lightly-regulated industries.

So what’s up with the “Two Party System?”

Not only is it not ordained by constitutions, the Bible or physics, it’s actually anti-constitutional, by both state and federal constitutions.

You’ve got to be blind and deaf to miss the collusion and corruption of this monstrosity. You’d have to be either part of their crony crime ring, or crazy, to actually like this almost-universally-detested tribal ruling class.

TheEnemyBut you’d be a rare and precious person to actually vote against it.

I’ll just say it. If you vote for any part, any candidate of the Two Party System, you’re at least sustaining the problem.  Even the best (D) and (R) candidates represent the false hope of fixing a tribal system that doesn’t want to be fixed, and is well-organized against anybody who’d try.

More to the point – if you never vote for any alternatives to the status quo power structure, you ARE the problem. 

All the issues of incumbency – entrenchment of power and money, influence of monied connections, corruption – that goes double for political parties.  While politicians eventually die, their power structures too-often live on…and on…and on.

It’d be simple and easy to fix it all.  But you’d have to:

1. Understand the problem, and

2. Change your choices.  YOUR choices.

Come one, my fellows and friends. We’ve all but ended institutional slavery. We’ve extended the vote to every citizen (both living and dead, along with non-citizens, too…but that’s another story).

Nearly everybody says, “I don’t vote for the party, I vote for the candidate,” and up to now, they’ve mostly been lying.

Nearly everybody says, “Yeah, but look at the choices they give us…” as if we have no choice in that.lucy-charlie-brown-football

Well-over 90% of us keep doing the same stupid thing and never see the connection between bad choices and bad outcomes.

What’s really sad is that there are just as many great people as ever.  Many could be Founding Fathers (and founding mothers and/or non-binary whatevers) of a new and better age; learning lessons of the past and creating a better future.   

It’s just that now such people are pushed aside in favor of body-painted tribal savages and criminal clowns.  Too few ever throw their own hat into the ring, and yet love to complain.

So let’s snap out of that and finally use our votes as intended…as weapons of peaceful, orderly revolution, and end the rule of clans and tribes and gangs at last.

 

Yeah, he was a socialist.

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

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

First of all, they called themselves socialists!  The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiters Partei, NSDAP or National Socialist German Workers’ Party claimed to be an anti-capitalist, socialist party, and its party platform certainly reflected that.  But I’ve been told many times that what they called themselves and how they acted and what they said was not real socialism, so…

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

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

  1. National Socialism relied on geography and race to avoid the needlessly divisive self-destructive civil war as the Russians had suffered. Hitler felt that Germans shouldn’t fight Germans (like the way USA citizens are increasingly divided and opposed), so he elevated race above pure socialist dogma in an effort to unite more to his general cause. In Hitler’s words, “…find and travel the road from individualism to socialism without revolution.
  2. Recognizing private property rights is necessary to economic success and social unity. In Hitler’s own words (not from the article), “Socialism is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. …Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.”  So Hitler socialists, like today’s Prius-driving, iPhone-toting, mocha Frappuccino-sipping Democratic Socialists, can have cool stuff.

I can understand some confusion, as Hitler had over the years said many things that could, in isolation, fuel the notion that he was anti-Marx; certainly he was anti- “Jewish Marxism.”  But I believe that’s only when viewing Hitler through a partisan lens. Because he made it abundantly clear in his own words that he was a socialist with rhetoric that should seem very familiar today.

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

So let me be clear on this…  Mussolini was the fascist.  Mussolini coined the term and defined it exhaustively.  Hitler disagreed with many key parts of fascism, and called himself a socialist.  

As of 1936, the German government dictated wages, prices, products, distribution channels…everything.  The “owners” of corporations were allowed to keep a percentage of profits as a motivator (a key reason their industries worked better than the soviets’), but, really, the “owners” were government employees.  …Just like everybody else.

The principle behind it all was that the “common good” (as defined by Hitler) was everything, and the individual was just a cog in the government machinery.  Or, as Spock said, ““The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Doesn’t that sound good to modern socialists’ ears?

The way people are redefining socialism and fascism along Democratic Party and Republican Party lines (or worse…”Right Wing” and “Left Wing.”  Both are on one bird, right?) is absurd.  Both of our entrenched, corrupt and anti-constitutional crony parties are increasingly authoritarian …and that should concern us all.

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

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

Yeah, well, OK…like today’s socialists, Hitler was also fine with changing the terms and rules as he went.  And like today’s socialists, and socialists everywhere forever, he also silenced opposition.

Fearing our own shadow

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

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

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

To everybody.

All the time.12362834_10153703528535280_3712867037536160998_o

Though China is rapidly becoming a contender, We The People are the most heavily-armed, most globally nannying and bullying, domestically intrusive, imprisoning and militarized nation of all time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  You sure don’t want to hire somebody who “doesn’t have a chance,” right?  Ideology, principles, and certainly truth don’t matter, it’s the Show that counts.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 abilities and references, 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,  importantly, letting a stack-up of cars pass on the left instead of plugging 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 at 8mph BELOW THE SPEED LIMIT …for example.

Anyway…

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 fearful, 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…

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.

An open letter to my fellow patriots

distressMy liberty-loving friends, we have lost.  We had our chance, and we muffed it.   By focusing on only our favorite part of our constitutions, we’ve thrown away the rest.  By demanding our rights while denying others theirs, we’ve lost them all.

Some claim that human rights transcend law…but that is neither what history or our nature demonstrates in every era around the world.

Without constitutions, you’ve got no rights to property, due process or even life, because without constitutions, there are no agreed-upon, legal, contractual or practical restraints upon political power.  And it’s the nature of political power to oppose individual rights, because it’s your neighbors’ nature to serve himself at your expense, by means of political power. 

Most of us have fought for one right while opposing another for decades.  Speech activists oppose the constitutions’ religious freedom, while gun rights activists typically oppose the constitutions in moral, drug and lifestyle issues.  We demand our unconstitutional claims on other people’s incomes (Social Security, Medicare…when we’re trillions in debt.  We’re stealing from our grand kids now, you know), and then whine that cops are driving tanks now.

We have stubbornly refused to unite over what it is that would serve us best (Rule of Law under our existing constitutions, as written), while our enemies represent no more than humanity’s ancient default state of oppression, slavery, genocide and war.  They win by our default in disunity.  We have torn ourselves apart and have nobody to blame but ourselves.  Our government is a global crime ring, and it’s by our collective free choice, dammit.

Sigh…

But let us not be bad sports.  Our side lost.  C’est ça.  Finito.  Now we must all Move On.

For years I have championed Rule of Law, but from now on, I want to be a Good Socialist.andolini

Look at the positive side.  Authoritarians have always had the best uniforms.  Most people look good in a trim little cap, a neat military outfit with red epaulets and brass buttons.  And those shiny black boots sound so fetching as you’re running down side streets on a cold, rainy night, chasing down someone who just won’t fit in.

Think of the imagery.  Who else gathers thousands of cheering idolaters under triumphant banners and bold emblems?  Who else goose-steps a half-million troops with tanks and jet formations right through the heart of the capital?  What thrills!  Authoritarians have chutzpah! 

OK, I do so hope we don’t get stuck with a bad-hair ruler like the North Koreans got.  And murderous thugs like Che too often lack any cultural polish at all.  

But I, like Hitler and Mussolini, do enjoy fine cars, art, and well-choreographed young people.  I adore the martial music and stylized posters depicting gloriously happy workers.  I am ready to raise my arm in salute to our great Obama nation!

Dear friends, we must become the Übermensch; perfection in body, mind and… well, not spirit.  Who needs spirit when you have the state!

We must reject our fetish with freedom, and replace it with devotion to global citizenship.  We must grow past and even spurn the apron strings and umbilicus of “traditional” family ties and norms, in favor of service to the state!

No sacrifice is too great for this dream.  You may be asked to give your life, but the promise is no more sickness, no more poverty, no more homelessness, no more injustice.  You may have to report your mother to the authorities, but you’ll be rewarded with at least a strong likelihood of a warm embrace from the global collective, very soon … from each according to ability, to each according to need … however the state defines that.

Forget the tear-filled past with its tiresome clinging to “right” and “wrong.”  Forget the laws and old ways that held you back.  Forget humility and restraint.  Forget the chains and cages of individualism and family, and embrace the Power of Pride!

We are now building a human bridge over the troubled waters of humanity’s brutal past; to embark upon a wonderful voyage so buoyed by promises, that you’ll be jubilant and grateful to give your all, right up to your very last, bullet-riddled and tasered, choking gasp.

Join me, my friends.  Let us erase and even reverse the boundaries between nations and faiths and social morality, and march triumphantly toward the cliffs of a new day…

…In matching outfits!

Declaration of Independence revisited

Let us refresh our understanding of what Independence Day is all about, OK?  What follows is the Declaration of Independence, in black, with my comments in red.

 

When (Not ifWhen.  It is human nature to fail) in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands (The British Constitution was not written law; the bands were tradition and heredity.  And the British were breaking the traditions and violating the rights of colonists were of course subjects of The Crown) which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  (I think this is a very respectful introduction, given the circumstances)

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal (and there were many founders who believed that, in spite of slavery.  But this phrase has earned some negative associations with many); that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (this famous phrase is borrowed from John Locke and George Mason.  Mason was the first to pen a written constitution and a written Declaration of Rights); that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it (read the preceding words over again; this part says it all), and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed (It’s easy to see that we’re gradually enduring more corruption and  injustice.  When will we say, “ENOUGH!?”). But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security (It is our DUTY to throw off such counterproductive, destructive government.  Pay close attention to the itemized complaints that follow).  Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. (Hmmm.  Replace “present King of Great Britain” with your least-favorite politician, and cogitate.  Look at what they called tyranny then [not as bad or extreme as we might think], and compare it to our present situation.  To be fair, the average colonist was rich and privileged compared to most people around the world…including the “commoners” of the Crown.  Hmmm.)  To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. (Our “federal” government routinely overturns state and local laws.  For good or ill, this is unconstitutional.)

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. (Ditto the above.  And…come on…they’re complaining about this?  Who even cares about this today?  Aren’t we taught that we should concentrate all the power into the UN anyway?  Shouldn’t everything be centralized into one Global Government?  :\ )

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only. (King George refused to allow the colonies the authority to pass their own laws, but also denied them representation in parliament.  Think on this.  Do you feel represented in the halls of power, or is the system corrupt and rigged?)

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. (Does this sound like the secret, remote meetings that end up costing us our homes and jobs with eminent domain and unjust taxation?)

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people. (In our case, the “feds” don’t dissolve congresses, they are either denied proper jurisdiction, or completely overturned or bought out…which I think is much worse.  And most “laws” are now written and passed, judged and enforced, by unelected bureaucrats anyway.  Satan tuned his tactics with our politicians)

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within. (Not that I’m anti-illegal alien, but more Americans are killed each year by illegal aliens than the total killed in Iraq so far.  But then, according to USDOJ reckoning, 500 innocent people are killed by our police every year; 5,000 since 9/11.  That’s more than the number of US soldiers sacrificed to Iraq.  And state and local governments who try to do something with their own constitutional authority over this are overruled.  Police, it has been ruled, have no duty to protect you or your property…and too often, they do not!)

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.  (OK, well…I wonder what Native Americans think of this particular point.  I wonder how we’d feel about people certain Muslim people wanting to call this home.  There is fodder for lots of struggles here.)

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. (Our US Congress has the authority to impeach justices, deny jurisdiction and even dissolve courts; but never uses it.  Judges have become their own self-sustaining power by delegation, neglect, corruption and ignorance.)

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.  (Oh my…the colonists had no idea how bad things would get in this regard.  We now have the biggest, costliest bureaucracy of all time anywhere ever in the universe…and we’re squillions in debt with a monetary system that’s inflated a bubble so huge that the Big Bang will shrink in envy.)

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.  (Our constitutions were never amended to allow the standing armies and continual, undeclared wars we’ve suffered.  In 1903 our state militias were formally dissolved into a “National Guard” without any legal or moral basis)

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power. (Of course.  This always happens.  And in our case, our “civil” police and other armed forces have become pretty much a unitary force under the same command against us when desired by the powers that be.  Their increasing militarization and adversarial role will soon reach a critical turning point.  Our Rubicon has been crossed.)

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation: (Think UN, NAFTA, etc.  But there’s actually a lot more to discuss with this that won’t fit here.  Keep in mind this was years before the USA Constitution…and the word here is more of a moral/cultural, than literal sense.)

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;  (We have so much more force hidden from view in both internally-focused spies and armed force, than our government would advertise.  The British didn’t hide their guys.  Our black-clad storm troopers and their armored vehicles appear from seemingly nowhere.)

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;  (Seriously…consider today’s state of “internal investigations” by police)

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world; (We shouldn’t complain about this one, really…the innumerable regulations, restrictions, prohibitions and unfair subsidy/immunity by political favor are by our electoral consent and continuously re-elected corruption)

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;  (Alright, we have no excuses for today’s dismal, complicated, corrupt condition.  Our reelection votes are our consent)

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury; (This happens all the time)

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses; (I think we’re OK on this one)

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;  (Without going into the history regarding this, it’s not so dissimilar to what we did with Hawaii before statehood, or what we do to Puerto Rico now…they get our handicaps and were/are denied many of the advantages of DC rule)

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments; (Wow…don’t get me started on the perversion, inversion and destruction of constitutional rule of law.  Or, buy me a beer and stand back)

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. (Ditto the previous.  But instead of suspending legislatures…they’re all sold out now.  State legislatures are cheap to buy with “federal” money)

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.  (Interesting.  They claimed that by violating the rules that protect us from him, he surrenders the laws that bind us to him…or protect him from us.  This is a VERY BIG THING.  Think on this a bit…)

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.  (Because we stupidly disconnect our government from racism, we dismiss things like Wounded Knee Massacre or the bombing of Black Wall Street as vaguely unrepeatable events that just don’t count. We make up reasons for excusing the Waco seige. We’ll ignore the next one, no doubt, as long as we’re not personally affected…right?)

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.  (Because of our historically typical tribalism and idolatry, I won’t try to convince flag-waving, Thin Blue-Line adoring and Soldier-glamorizing people that, globally and domestically, we’ve become the arrogant, destructive Military Industrial Complex thugs our founders warned us about.  Nobody wants to believe that we’re the Bad Guys)

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands. (I will not pretend that we are conscripted into foreign wars against our will.  No, because we’re easily convinced that it’s morally right and practically reasonable to blow up other people in their own homes in faraway places.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not impugning soldiers at all…many are wonderful people thinking they’re doing the right thing for their fellow Americans.  But our worship of soldiers has blinded us to what we’re really doing to them and with them)

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.  (Yeah, well, there is this.  My point in all my comments here is that our founders weren’t innocent victims, really…and their suffering was in many significant ways not nearly as bad as the lawless lawmaking, unpoliced police and ungoverned government of today.  Technology has given us many comforts and tremendous wealth that clouds our vision of what we have become)

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Read all the foundational documents you can; particularly those written by the so-called “anti-federalists” (they called themselves Republicans, while the so-called “federalists” were actually royalists and nationalists).  You’ll see an entirely different picture of state and individual sovereignty than you’re taught in government schools.

States are legally sovereign, and the truly federal government has very little authority.  The law is far different from the practice.  Please read the laws.  Know your rights as written.  There is no shortcut.  There is no other way (except as God could provide a miracle).

We are headed toward last-chapter history and our politicians will not save us from it. 

Choose wisely.