Hang onto your hats, folks…

We The People never actually did the constitutions as intended.  We never extended the freedoms we cherished to those we disliked (Injuns, Darkies, Micks, Wops, Chinks, Bohunks, Catholics, Jews, etc., etc., et cetera…), and so the whole point of constitutional rule of law was compromised from the start.

In empowering a government to degrade or oppress anybody, we created a baby monster.  That monster would grow up, of course.

Well, maybe not so much a baby monster.  I think for present purposes I’ll ignore our government’s first centuries of slavery, native genocide/oppression, what happened with Civil War and Jim Crow, and move on to what we think of as our more pleasant selves.

coming-money-trustFrom 1910-1912, we feared occasional interruptions to history’s greatest economic expansion, so we surrendered our successful monetary/financial system to central banking and fiat currency through a political system of monetized debt.  This was also, not so coincidentally, how we could “pay” off previous wars and prepare for “modern warfare” in the future… by robbing the future.

Not long after that, our fear of drunkenness led to the prohibition of “…the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.”  While this first prohibition of any sort of trade didn’t involve prohibiting consumption or purchase of anything, those additional prohibitions came as if by magic, along with rampant “civil asset forfeiture,” police and judicial corruption, and the presumption that government can prohibit other trade even after the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st.

From WWI to WWII, our fear of Germans, Arabs, Italians and Japanese temporarily distracted us from our hatred/fear of Native Americans, Negroes and Jews, so our government took away our gold, rationed and prohibited a bunch of stuff, raised taxes dramatically, started “socializing” the heck out of stuff, and imposed lots of laws against speech and movement and so on.  But we were pretty proud after kicking some @$$…though we did, of course, fear commies (our allies just moments earlier) after that.

So some more liberties had to be curtailed, naturally.  That’s war, you know. Sometimes past mistakes rationalize making more in the future.

But by the 60’s we no longer feared alcohol, because we now fear drugs.
So we got SWAT teams, Nixon’s “War on Drugs,” and a thriving black market in …drugs.  And all without amending the constitution this time!
Police forces grew exponentially in size, armament, and since the 1980’s…immunity.

By the 80’s we feared black markets and drug dealers so much that we got more sting operations, spying, unlimited “civil asset forfeiture” and no-knock raids.

From the 70’s, when we tied our money to Saudi oil trade, through the 90’s, when some uppity Muslims challenged our petrodollar system, we decided that the people we’d been relocating for a hundred years, then overthrowing and manipulating with the Saudis, were “terrorists,” and THEY became our biggest fear…for which we’ve had to sacrifice innumerable freedoms of travel, privacy and finance.
Then after 9/11…ho boy!

Now the NSA has replaced Santa Claus as the keeper of lists, and you really don’t have any constitutional freedoms at all anymore.  You’ve got only conditional privileges with ever-more conditions on ever-fewer privileges.

Strangely, instead of thanking our nation’s founders, constitution’s authors and civil rights heroes for the freedoms we’ve been throwing away, we thank soldiers fighting foreigners in foreigners’ own homes.  …Fighting wars that rationalize the loss of more freedoms.
(how can we make this make sense?)

HwDrYuSo now we’ve got this really bad case of cooties, and we’re snitching on each other like CoroNazis, and trying our best to shovel even more power onto the authoritarians when that’s now becoming a very hard thing to do.

CoronaVirusNot to minimize how deadly a pandemic can be, of course.  With my first political campaigns, I tried to make an issue of our lack of preparedness for just such things (my first real job in healthcare was an internship at the Indiana State Board of Health, after all).

If you really want to live scared, communicable disease actually is a worthy terror.

ChynaApparently that’s not enough fear, however, because we’ve lately replaced our fear of Russia with the fear of China.  In some ways, that makes sense.  China’s much more dangerous now that we’ve given them at least close equivalence in economic, industrial, entertainment, information/ education, engineering and of course military/espionage might.  They could danged-near build a human bridge across the Pacific and kick our @$$.

But what you really should fear is that, as China has to an effective degree emulated our industries and market economics, We The People have emulated Chinese brutality, deceit and authoritarianism.
We’ve thus thrown away our economy, and our freedom.

…Oh, and our security.

Sure, we’ve angered the whole world by putting our forces in half the world with the guns pointed at the other half.  Our wars never end…even after our President/General Eisenhower warned us about the danger of a military industry.

But worse, all the preceding has rationalized more enforcement, more force, an increasingly adversarial relationship between us and the police and our “National Guard” forces.

Bad laws drive away good cops and encourage bad cops.  Too many laws mean selective enforcement, which is a major foothold for corruption and racism/tribalism.  And corrupt, continuously re-elected and therefore arrogant and unaccountable politicians want thugs and the fear they spread…it’s what gives politicians power over us.

Our collective fear, ignorance, tribalism and hate is leading us to a very, very, historically, epically bad place.  Only politicians thrive on our division, hostility, fear and hatred.  They feed and grow more powerful on our discord the way a tick drinks blood.

Our nation’s founders would be ashamed at not only the destruction of their gifts to us, but also that we’ve not come up with any better vision by now.  They’d be horrified that we’re fighting each other instead of the forces that divide us against each other.

We could easily fix things at least to fundamental principles.  I’m not the only one who for decades has proposed simple ways to govern our government, regulate our regulators, police our police, and make our justice system just.

HeroBut it seems us Cassandra types have naught to do now but prepare for what’s now inevitable, and maybe prepare to help pick up the pieces… …If people become any more amenable to reason after catastrophe than they are now.TheEnemy

Sigh… We can’t be the Land of The Free if we’re not also the Home of The Brave.  I’m afraid we’ve become the Land of the Sheep and the Home of the Fraidy Pants.

As demonstrated every Election Day, including the next one, by all the evidence I see, We The People don’t seem to want any regulation of our government at all.  We want authoritarian rule and we want it good and hard.

SaveUs

Over 90% of us incessantly blow electoral kisses to the Powers That Be…and then whine about the consequences.

And those consequences have only just barely started to show…

Hang onto your hats.
They may be all that’s left after we’re done doing to ourselves what we have always feared from others.

The eBook is out…

The Truth about Excelsior is now available in both paperbackand Kindle eBook.
No, I’ve not yet heard about film rights, who might direct or star in the movie no doubt forthcoming.
CoversmallBut the significant news is that in both eBook and paperback, you can read “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.”

Let me know what you think of it.  If you like it, please leave a rating and review.

If you don’t like it, well, let me know what you think of it.

ExcelsiorNewspaper

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!

Constitutional rule of law is Intelligent Design.

Constitutional rule of law is not about procedures.  It’s Intelligent Design.

I wrote the following for the Indiana Policy Review.  It’s in their Summer Journal I’m posting it here partly because the gob-smacking ignorance on display for the upcoming Presidential election is so culturally, economically, physically and spiritually destructive that I fear we are doomed.  Here is my cry for help, and an offered solution.


Orwell was right.  “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”  So it’s natural that people today think our nation’s founders were not just slaveholders and sexists, but also idiots.

However, before we eliminate the Electoral College, grant illegal aliens the legal right to vote, lower the voting age again, try to push authoritarian socialism and global domination as good ideas, erase our history and censor any alternative views, let’s humbly consider that human societies have a 100 percent eventual failure rate.  And perhaps we should review what each of our increasingly intelligent and decreasingly wise generations have already dismissed from the founders’ intents before we flush the rest.

The whole point of the state and federal constitutions was to keep government local, and keep it on a leash.  Voters were supposed to have all the information necessary to make wise choices, and those choices were to be in plain sight and locally accountable.  No secrets, no off-menu selections. Our founders almost universally feared the mob-thinking of democratic processes, and the inevitable centralization and concentration of power that would ensue should citizens be denied information or choices by a ruling elite.

Voting was never about hiring politicians.  Rulers hire themselves if you let them.  Our elections were intended as a means of peaceful revolution, so that we didn’t have to have the other kind again.  A vote is a weapon of self-gundefense, not a poker chip in a game of odds

Similarly, the early militia system, as opposed to a permanent professional standing army, was not only seen as the most potent self-defense, but also a deterrent to foreign war, since every voter would have to personally participate in any violence our government desired.  Only congress was empowered to declare war, because we could vote away the House reps every two years.  Senators were supposed to be appointed by the state legislatures as safeguards on state authority, and states controlled the militia until and unless an actual declaration of war was enacted.

This is important.  The U.S. Constitution’s Article 2, § 2:1: “The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”  And the President was called into that service by only a congressional declaration of war. Until and unless that happened, Article 5, § 12 of the Indiana Constitution applied: “The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.”

So we were to have a republic comprised of sovereign states and empowered individuals, not an almighty central government restrained only by majority votes, because as John Adams pointed out, “. . . democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”

The Texas constitution’s Article I, § I says it well. “Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States.”

But we significantly lost that republic during and after the Civil War, when many state constitutions were amended or newly drafted to transform them into administrative sub- units of Washington, D.C., or even worse.

This is from the Nevada State Constitution: “But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court [my emphasis] of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. . . . and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.”

That’s not Patrick Henry talking there.

We formally lost the citizen militia in 1903 with the Dick Act, which “federalized” the militia. We lost the whole point of bicameral congress in 1913 with the 17th Amendment, when state governments lost their representatives in the federal government. By the 1930s, leaders as diverse as FDR, Prescott Bush, and W. E. B. DuBois heaped praise on the fascist despots of Italy and Germany, and made authoritarian National Socialism, “progressive.”

In 1947, the National Security Act created the Central Intelligence Agency, terminated constitutional declarations of war, and overturned most of the founders’ strongest protections against corruption and eternal warfare.

Also around that time and through the 1970s the rapid expansion of Primary Elections started legitimizing “Major Political Parties” as only two private clubs — the Democratic and Republican Parties.  All independent and so-called “Third Party” candidates faced increasingly difficult ballot access and election-related rules that didn’t apply to members of the favored clubs.

Until the 1936 presidential election, the name of each presidential elector candidate appeared on the Indiana ballot.  However, the Indiana Code now prohibits the names of the presidential elector candidates from even being listed, let alone being chosen by those who’ll have to live with the results of the electors’ decision.  Only political parties and candidate committees can choose Indiana’s eleven electors. 

And since each state’s number of electors is derived from census numbers, you can see why many want to not only let illegal aliens vote, but also count all non-citizens as citizens in the census for the purpose of both more power in the U.S. House of Representatives, and more electors; like the generally misunderstood “three-fifths” rule that gave southern states unfair representation in the early U.S.

Many defenders of the Electoral College believe that this is the key purpose of the college — to give each state fair standing in presidential elections.  

But the true purpose is much further from the current collective mindset than even that.  While under the banner of today’s “democracy,” the majority of votes or the greatest biomass of voters is seen as the equivalent of wisdom, presidential electors were intended to reduce the influence and unwise decisions of the most ultimately powerful, but fickle and uninformed body politic — average voters.

By definition, of course, half of us are below-average intelligence, wisdom and knowledge, with many others comprising the majority probably misinformed, and unlikely to make the best choices for the most powerful single person in U.S. government.

Ouch. That sounds pretty insulting to modern ears, no doubt. But judging by our debts, endless wars, increasingly hostile internecine and tribal divisions, and obviously destructive corruption and espionage, maybe the founders weren’t the idiots.

I’m pleased that our young have mostly stopped eating Tide Pods. We can learn.

I suggest we learn what earlier generations considered intelligent, and wise, and put those lessons to work.

The constitutions, state and federal, as imperfect as they may be, are not about procedural minutiae, or partisan games. They are the practical design for individual freedom, security and prosperity, proven to be better than anything any nation had signed into law before or since.  Our current events prove that our founders, however flawed as people, were far more prescient, intelligent and wise, than wrong.

 

 

Yeah, he was a socialist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

By any name, it kills

First, here are the classical definitions of socialism:

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

Socialism

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

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

People can of course believe whatever they want.  Marx was vague and contradictory in his use of terms (surprise?), but mostly, he proposed socialism as a violent takeover and transition to forcefully-imposed communism.  And generally it’s useful to consider communism an endpoint, since the theoretical social arrangement could be theoretically achieved by either libertarian or socialist means.  Opposite means to get to the same political-government-free, self-governing society.
Theoretically.

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

Words change all the time. The English language hardly resembles what it did before the Vikings and French and Shakespeare started messing with it.  Marx himself redefined what the earlier New Harmony socialists called socialism.

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

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

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

They trans-substantiate politicians/rulers into “The People,” the way Catholics turn wine into Christ’s blood.  And they are, in their clearer moments, advocating communism without the inevitable bloodshed.  They fail to understand, however, that the stateless dreams of felicity, equality and peace invariably come in the person of a despot. Atheists

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

Now, to a degree and in a way, we all do that.  We like to imagine a nice utopia and don’t care about how to actually get there.

That’s a problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not sure why “socialists” don’t just come out and openly announce what they really want.

Again, here’s Karl Marx: “It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.

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

Problem #1 – Democracy is majority rule.  Majority as opposed to any minority.   Another name for it could be “mob rule.”  Democracy is, as Benjamin Franklin asserted, “Two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”  In both form and effect, this is not at all what any “Democratic Socialist” I’ve heard of actually promotes.  They really don’t want democracy.  They couldn’t, and still claim any concern for minorities.

Problem #2 – We’ve already got what they want, and they’re still not happy.  We may not admit that we have what we vote for, but I can easily prove that we do.  We may whine a single-digit-approval rate of our congress, but those politicians enjoy a >90% reelection rate every Election Day.  Constitutions don’t matter, we have what we vote for, so we’re much more a democracy than a constitutional republic.

And about the “socialism” part…

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

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

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

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

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

But they’re not, are they?

So, what do they really want?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strong enough, I think, that the real peace, freedom and prosperity lovers among us should keep offering a much, much better way for a better life, and try to convince our fellows that what didn’t ever work as advertised before…still won’t work; and that the ideology responsible for the death of hundreds of millions, isn’t as good as it sounds.

ADDENDUM:
Since I wrote this just a couple of years ago, I’ve had to change my opinion of the average self-professed socialist.  I’m afraid our leftist indoctrination centers (K-12 and universities) have done their job well.

So now the silk glove has come off the iron fist, and socialism’s inherent violence is showing.  It’s not just AntiFa militarists who’re promoting (and using) violence as the means to their political aims.

There’s a whole generation of young people who’ve been raised in a militarized culture, weaned and jaded on violent games, movies and images, baptised in the faith and fealty to Caesar, and increasingly have less and fewer objection and qualms with beatdowns, silencing, using police to round up people of alternative views, and putting them in gulags and re-indoctrination programs.  …Feeling the Bern indeed.

This, more than our impending fiscal calamity, scares the +!#$ out of me.


I think we could fix this fairly quickly and easily
…if we wanted to.  But there’s the rub.  What people want, increasingly, is vastly worse than what we’ve already got.A society can pretty easily recover from financial meltdown.  But there’s only pain and suffering from a culture gone stupid.

We need a better vision for the future.  A much better vision.  Here’s mine.

Coversmall

 

Fearing our own shadow

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

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

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

To everybody.

All the time.12362834_10153703528535280_3712867037536160998_o

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just Say No to war with Iran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is the Golden Rule really so bad?

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

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

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

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

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

Liberty or Bust!

Andy Horning

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Quit mortgaging our future, dang it!

Freedom, IN – Of course we need to cut taxes.  I’d vote to end income tax entirely.

But we already know this game. Politicians say that “government is too big,” but then make it bigger. They trumpet the need to cut spending, but then spend more.

And, of course, they sometimes cut taxes (just a little) without fixing the first two things; which means that they’ll later raise taxes, and cut promised benefits.

Nobody likes to pay taxes.  But taxes are a symptom, not the disease itself.  The disease is ungoverned, unregulated, out-of-control politics and all the cost and violence that entails.

Every single one of the other 2018 primary election candidates for Indiana’s US Senate seat are promising more government. Every one of the others promise more fear-aggression-syndrome foreign policy, more domestic militarization, more intrusions into our privacy, trade and personal interactions.

I’m the only candidate promising less.

A lot less

I have a plan for Peace, prosperity, Security, Liberty and Justice for ALL, in eight steps.

But the summary is that I mean to cut the corruption, cost, intrusiveness, abusiveness and ineffectiveness of our central government by actually cutting powers, programs, agencies…and people, from that government. I propose establishing a truly federal (instead of our increasingly unitary) government as defined by the authorizing compact.

That is how this is supposed to work. That is still the law, as written and amended.

And I’m the only candidate who’s all about that.

Liberty or Bust!
Andy Horning
Freedom, Indiana

It’s time to talk about our spies

…It’s time to talk about our spies!!!

Freedom, IN – ♬♪ They see you when you’re sleeping, they know when you’re awake; they know when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! ♩♫

Our US Congress is trying to give its cronies a Christmas present – re-authorization and more funding for the unconstitutional mass surveillance programs we were once told didn’t exist.

I say it’s time for what some might call a “courtesy flush.” The corruption and destruction and stench of our lawless, secretive societal saboteurs has grown too great.

Thomas Jefferson wrote “…that knolege is power, and that ignorance is weakness.”

So let’s stop being ignorant about who’s got the real power here, and what they’re doing with it.

The FBI was, from its start in 1935, corrupt, snooping, deceitful, and deadly.  It took some brave thieves to reveal some of the agency’s crimes.  Truman regretted creating the CIA, and Kennedy said he would “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” (right before he was assassinated).  The CIA developed the first spying engine of the NSA; and we know that agency has been anti-constitutionally spying on all of us, and have repeatedly lied about it.

Now, just think about the power of unlimited, unregulated spying, lying, and political immunity, mixed with armed force and the ability to make opposing voices go silent.

Imagine you had the power to find out everything about people, convincingly make up what you don’t find, or make even powerful people, maybe even in our own country, die…without facing any consequences.

What government on the planet wouldn’t abuse that power? We have good reason to believe that a government that performed medical experiments on school kids, doesn’t even resist abusing it.

Could such knowledge and power actually control our elected politicians?
This is what people are talking about with the term, “deep state.”

So-called “federal” agencies’ famous rivalries, withholding of data, rejection of congressional oversight, their anti-constitutional actions against citizens, media and foreign governments, and their trampling of local law enforcement really do make them more enemy than friend.

I propose we abolish the FBI and CIA, and give their money back to the states and people. I would reinforce the constitution’s already clear ban on domestic spying, deception and subterfuge, and leave all domestic law enforcement to more local, appropriate units of government, and already-constitutionally authorized courts.

I propose that the US Congress directly manage our foreign spy operations under specific congressional warrants and limitations, including the Geneva Conventions.

“… we want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.” — Harry S. Truman

Liberty or Bust!

Andy Horning

Freedom, Indiana