People must want to be free

“Man loves liberty, even if he does not know that he loves it. He is driven by it and flees from where it does not exist.” – Jose Marti

BURNET, Texas (Dec. 10) – Politicians are very adept about making excuses for their failures. The greater the failure, the bigger, more absurd the excuse. Shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, while Americans were still reeling from shock, our political leaders very quickly conjured up a canard to cover up their failure to predict, deter, or avoid the attack. Rather than accept any responsibility at all for the tragedy, or even to acknowledge that American foreign policy was at least partly to blame, the ruling elites resorted to the mantra: “They hate us because of our freedom.”

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Lee Wrights video op eds

BURNET, Texas (Dec. 1) – R. Lee Wrights has produced the first in a series of video op-eds highlighting the main issues of his campaign for the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2012. The first video op-ed is “Groups Rights A Dangerous Delusion.”

Shane Killian, a Stanley, N.C. videographer, is producing the video op-eds. The video op-eds and other video of the Wrights campaign can be viewed on the Wrights for President YouTube channel.

The campaign will also be producing video commercials that will be made available to Libertarian candidates and affiliates to help them spread the libertarian message in the 2012 election. Each spot will include a 10-second segment where candidates and affiliates can include their own name and message. They will be available free of charge. Each commercial will focus on a single topic but all the spots will emphasize a principled libertarian position.

Wrights, 53, a libertarian writer and political activist, is seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.

Wrights is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.

Presidential candidates should read the job description

BURNET, Texas (Nov. 5) – One of the first things you do when you’re applying for a job is to read the job description to find out the qualifications, duties and responsibilities of the office. After listening to years of presidential campaign speeches and debates, it seems to me that most candidates for the office simply haven’t read the job description for President of the United States. The Founding Fathers wrote it some 200 years ago, and despite some wear and tear, it is still perhaps one of the finest job descriptions ever written for the leader of a free republic.

The presidential job description was drafted, refined and honed during the months of the Constitutional Convention held in 1787. The duties of the President of the United States are outlined in Article II. The placement is deliberate. The first article of the Constitution establishes the Congress, the legislative branch, because the Founders believed the legislative was the most important function of government. As if to emphasize that point, the first mention of the President of the United States in the Constitution is in Article I, Section 7. This section says he must sign a bill passed by Congress before it becomes law. If he does not sign it, or he vetoes it, it can only become law if two-thirds of each House vote to approve it.

So what does the presidential job description say? First, there are three simple qualifications: you must be a natural-born citizen, 35 years old, and a United States resident for 14 years. I am all three. The “selection committee” for the job is technically the Electoral College, composed of people chosen by the states.” But in reality, it is the people of the United States who hire the president. The length of service is four years.

The first thing a new president does is to take an oath. It is a plain and simple oath, similar to the one I took many years ago when I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. The oath states: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” But in those few words lie some very powerful sentiments.

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U.S. appeals court upholds NC ballot access restrictions

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld North Carolina’s restrictive ballot access rules for unaffiliated Congressional candidates. In October, the court ruled in Bryan Greene v. Gary Bartlett that requiring unaffiliated candidates to collect signatures from four percent of the registered voters in the district was Constitutional. This equals about 20,000 signatures in the typical district.

Greene, who attempted to collect signatures to run for Congressional District 10 in 2008, argued that N.C. law severely burdens independent candidates and violates the rights guaranteed in both the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs in the case include Bryan E. Greene, his son Jordon M. Greene, Todd Meister, and intervenor Bradely D. Smith.

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The sun never sets on the U.S. military

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”– Plato

R. Lee Wrights

BURNET, Texas (Oct. 22) – Once again, President Obama has ordered U.S. soldiers into harm’s way unnecessarily. Last week, he quietly told the U.S. Congress that he had sent 100 U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers into Uganda to help governments in central Africa fight a rebel army that’s been rampaging through the region for more than 20 years. This is the way the Vietnam War started, with U.S. special forces sent to “assist” a barely democratic government cope with a guerrilla war and a president promising they would not be going into combat. Ten years later, with more than 58,000 American lives and untold hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese lives lost, we had learned a brutal lesson — war is too easily escalated by those who do not have to fight or die.

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War breeds war. Peace breeds prosperity.

“Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness.”– Thomas Jefferson

BURNET, Texas (Oct. 15) – War breeds war. That is all it can do. War does nothing but devour valuable resources and destroy precious lives for the sole purpose of perpetuating itself. As Randolph Bourne wrote, “War is the health of the State.” War is a mechanism used by the ruling elites of the State to coerce and control the people, so it becomes essential that whenever one war is complete, another is instigated elsewhere so that the mechanism keeps running.

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Republicans don’t support all the troops

BURNET, Texas (Oct. 7) – Despite all their patriotic proclamations of “support the troops,” the current crop of Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination really don’t support all of our troops, especially if the soldier doesn’t fit their moral configuration. During their last debate, a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq was booed, and not one of those on stage objected. Not one. They allowed the boos to go unanswered. Amazingly, not one even thanked the soldier for his service, a standard ploy for any politician at a public event.

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Greene: Suspending elections is no joking matter

Gov. Beverly Perdue’s comment about suspending elections was completely out of place and indefensible and she should apologize, said Jordon M. Green, an independent candidate for the state House district 87. “Whether or not she was joking or using a hyperbole matters little in this case,” he said. “To make such statements, even if in the context of a joke, which in itself is unlikely at best, is at the least unthinking.”

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No Child Left Behind is leaving all children behind

Q. Where, in the Constitution, is there mention of education?
A. There is none; education is a matter reserved for the States.
(U.S. National Archives website)

BURNET, Texas (Sept. 24) – The federal education program No Child Left Behind is leaving behind the very children it was supposedly designed to help. The law dictates that all elementary and secondary school children in government-run public schools be “proficient” in reading and math by 2014, according to standards set by politicians and federal bureaucrats. According to President Obama’s secretary of education, most of the nation’s schools are on the brink of getting a failing grade. Nearly 80 percent of schools are in danger of losing their federal funding, leaving the children in their classrooms behind for “failing” to meet bureaucratic standards.

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