Free speech is sometimes hard to hear

The current firestorm raging over comments made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is in some way amusing, but on a deeper level very disturbing. It’s another example of how uncivil and mean American political discourse has become. Politicians and political agitators of all ideologies pervert every issue into a war, which destroys any chance for honest people with differing views to engage in meaningful discussion.

All Cathy said was that he personally believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. He didn’t say gay people should be denied equal rights under the law. He didn’t say gay marriage should be banned.

All he said was what he believed. He also said he was proud of still being married to his “first wife,”  a remark that could be taken as a criticism of divorced people if some person or group wanted to go to war over that issue.

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Audit the Fed bill close to vote

UPDATE: The bill passed, but is probably DOA in the Senate.

It’s not only the Department of Defense that keeps many of its activities highly secrets. Since its founding in 1913, the Federal Reserve has never been completely accountable to the American people, despite its policies helping to devalue our dollar and wreck our economy.

Current law even goes so far as to prohibit Congress from fully auditing the Fed. What other public of private agency has such protection? People scream about business and banks being unaccountable, yet we tolerate a massive federal agency’s secret manipulations which are destroying our economy.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex) has been on a quest to audit the Fed. His bill,  H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, could come up for a vote at any time! Audit the Fed bill would empower the people’s representatives to get the full story on what the Fed has been doing with our money.

The bill is being considered under a “suspension of the rules” process, which means it can’t be changed but will need a 2/3 majority to pass. That is a considerable obstacle.

Take action now. Click here to contact your representative and demand they vote yes to Audit the Fed.

Return to the Rule of Law

If the president acts above the rule of law and fights his own wars, and Congress Acts below it by letting him get away with it, what can we do about it, asks Judge Andrew Napolitano in an op ed “Rule of law provides equal protection.”

The answer is simple: Vote Libertarian. And if you can’t do that, write in a name (even though it won’t be counted) … or don’t vote at all.

“The rule of law is a three legged stool on which freedom sits,” Judge Napolitano  writes. The first leg requires laws be enacted publicly, by legitimate authority, in advance of the behavior they’re supposed to regulate, and must be designed to defend individual freedom.

The second leg holds that no one is above the law, and no one is beneath it.

The third leg requires that laws can only be enacted by fundamental structures that can’t be changed arbitrarily, capriciously, or quickly, even by an overwhelming majority.

Remove or weaken any of these legs, and the stool collapses. That appears to be what is happening today:

In our era, the violations of the rule of law have become most troublesome when the government breaks its own laws. Prosecute Roger Clemens for lying to Congress? What about all the lies Congress tells? Prosecute John Edwards for cheating? What about all the cheating in Congress when it enacts laws it hasn’t read? Bring the troops home from the Middle East? What about all the innocents killed secretly by the president using CIA drones? Can’t find a way to justify Obamacare under the Constitution? Why not call it what its proponents insisted it isn’t — a tax?

Read the full op ed.

Moon landing anniversary

When I was a kid, I was a great fan of the U.S. space program. I kept newspaper clippings of all the launches. I vividly recall watching the moon landing on TV from my living room at Kincheloe AFB in Michigan (Ok, I was coming off a night shift, so I missed the actual landing!!)

Today is the 43rd anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s famous stroll. I hope my grandchildren will be able to witness the first Mars landing, by a privately-funded venture, in their lifetime.

Watch the landing in Google Earth.

Another Congressional Re-Run

When I was growing up one of the things I enjoyed about summer was TV re-runs. I could catch up on missed episodes of my favorite programs, particular The Twilight Zone and Star Trek (the original) and watch the best episodes again.

TV doesn’t operate that way anymore. But the U.S. Congress does. In fact, it has re-runs all year round. Right now, we’ve witnessing the re-run of another economic “crisis” manufactured by the inability of the power parties to avoid the sequestration of Defense Department funds which will supposedly occur if they don’t reach an agreement over the extension of tax cuts.

“Some members of Congress are anxious to undo sequestration, ignoring the inconvenient fact that they created the process in the first place,” writes Christopher Preble in Cato@Liberty. “Instead of accepting responsibility, they are proposing legislation that would force the White House to outline the effects of the cuts. And people wonder why Congress’s approval rating is at an all-time low.”

Sen. Patty Murray says Democrats won’t agree to a deal that “throws the middle-class families under the bus.” They want the wealthy to pay their “fair share.”

Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell replies that Democrats are playing “a high-stakes game of chicken with the single-minded goal of taking more money from the people who earn it for the government to waste.”

It is disgrace that exchanges of fear-mongering clichés like this are what poses as political discourse in the Congress today. Both major parties ought to be ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately, they lack the underpinning of a moral belief system needed in order to feel shame.

For the record, I agree with Mr. Preble’s title: Let sequestration happen. It’s not the best way to cut the bloated defense budget, but it appears it’s the only way it can happen.

Independence Wasn’t Won on the Fourth

We’ll all celebrate July 4 as the day America gained our independence from Great Britain.

Except that this is not true.

The Continental Congress actually declared independence on July 2, which is why John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that from that day on “the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." 

We celebrate July 4 as Independence Day because that’s the day the Congress approved Thomas Jefferson’s master work, the Declaration of Independence.

But a document, no matter how lofty and inspiring the words, doesn’t make anything so. The truth is that it took more than six long years of bloody war for the United States to win independence.  Remember, the fighting actually began a year before the Declaration.

America actually won her independence on Oct. 19, 1781 when Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.

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Court Decison An Incredible Blow to Freedom and Liberty

The Supreme Court decision upholding the Constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act is disturbing, but not surprising. It’s disturbing to anyone who appreciates the original intent of those who wrote the U.S. Constitution.

But it’s not surprising to anyone who recognizes that presidents and congressmen of both major parties, and Supreme Court justices, long ago stopped respecting the idea of a limited federal government laid out in that document.

Both Republicans and Democrats favor big government in all things, including healthcare. It’s only a question of whether big government will be large or huge.

Republicans and conservatives are already clamoring that the only way to repeal “Obamacare” is to fire President Obama and replace him with Mitt Romney. That idea is ludicrous. Romney won’t undo “Obamacare,” he’ll just “fix it” and make it “better.”

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson called the court’s decision “an incredible blow to the bedrock principles of freedom and liberty.” I could not agree more.

The governor said, “Whether the Court chooses to call the individual mandate a tax or anything else, allowing it to stand is a truly disturbing decision. The idea that government can require an individual to buy something simply because that individual exists and breathes in America is an incredible blow to the bedrock principles of freedom and liberty. It must be repealed, and Congress needs to get about doing so today.”

I wholeheartedly endorse Gov. Johnson’s statement and pledge that if elected to Congress I will work to repeal The Affordable Health Care Act

America’s First ‘War of Choice’

As far as I know, there isn’t a book entitled “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the War of 1812.” There should be. This week marked the 200th anniversary of the beginning of that conflict, yet there has been barely a mention in the news media about it.

A cursory look at the background and history of the War of 1812 gives you a clue why. Despite being later billed as America’s Second War for Independence, it was no such thing. The War of 1812 was America’s first “war of choice,” notes Jefferson Morley. Richard Hofstadter, one of America’s most notable historians, called it a “a ludicrous and unnecessary war.”

It was instigated by the rabble-rousing of politicians and Congressman, who historians labeled “war hawks,” who wanted to conquer Canada and subjugate the Native American nations on the western border of the United States.

The alleged casus belli for war was the impressment of U.S. sailors by the British. Yet the British ended that policy five days after war the United States declared on June 18. And the first major American military action wasn’t at sea, but on land, an attempt to conquer Canada.

All three attempts on Canada were utter and complete failures, primarily due to the ineptness and incompetence of the American commanders, but also because many of the state militias, to their credit, refused to invade another country.

If someone were to write a politically incorrect guide to the War of 1812, it would include some of these points as well:

Impressment was a common practice of the Royal Navy, especially during wartime, and most men impressed were taken off British merchant ships. But the practice was also used by the Continental Navy during the American Revolution.

The Battle of New Orleans, the most famous battle of the war which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought after the peace treaty had been signed.

Both the French and the British harassed American shipping during the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, in the early 1800s, other war hawks were clamoring for war with France.

By European standards of war, the United States lost because the British burnt our capital.

The first attempt by a group of states to secede from the Union occurred during the war – in New England.

The treaty of peace did not mention impressment, the alleged cause of the war, or involve any territorial changes. It was basically a status quo ante bellum (return to the state of things before the war.)

The Guilford County Courthouse flag, popularly thought of as having flown at that Revolutionary War battle in North Carolina, actually was probably a state militia flag used during the War of 1812.

 

Further reading:

America’s First Neocon War
Happy Birthday, War of 1812
War of 1812 on History.com

Lee Wrights Message to Military Fathers

My good friend, brother and fellow veteran Lee Wrights, former candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination and current LP vice chair, sent this message to all military fathers:

You don’t know me, but I am one of the men who sought the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States. I lost that bid about a month ago. I am writing today to say how truly sorry I am you have to spend another Father’s Day away from your blessed children. It truly is to weep.

I ran for president so I could bring you home. It sorrows me that I will not be able to do that this time around. But I promise you; I will keep fighting to bring all of you home. I promise you that the Libertarian Party and its nominee Gary Johnson will not stop fighting to bring each of you home.

As a fellow veteran and father myself, you have my solemn pledge, president or not, my mantra will remain… Stop All War! Have a nice Father’s Day and know someone at home is trying to reunite you with your children. Keep your heads down.

To which I can alone add my fervent amen!