“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.
“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” (James Madison)
BURNET, Texas (Sept. 17) – The final report of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, chartered by the U.S. Congress, has concluded that at least $31 billion, and possibly $60 billion, has been lost to contract waste and fraud. They also found that not only did contractors sometimes outnumber the military personnel they were supporting, often the contractors were doing things only federal employees could legally do and oversight of their work was frequently absent or ineffective. But these were not the most disturbing findings of the commission.
“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear, kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.” (Gen. Douglas MacArthur)
BURNET, Texas (Sept. 7) – As we approach the tenth anniversary of one of the most devastating events in American history, we will be inundated with a mind-numbing around-the-clock media coverage of the event. We will be flooded with a rehash of the events of that tragic day, hear countless stories about heroes, be subjected, once again, to endless analysis from “experts” about why this attack occurred, and listen to political leaders pontificate on the meaning of the tragedy in memorial services, newspapers and on radio and television. We will see the tragic events over and over again just as they were captured that day when people all over the world sat in front of their televisions and watched the horror as the twin towers came tumbling down.
The best outcome of the nonsensical display of “Debt Limit Theater” current running in Washington is for Republicans and Democrats to do noting and not raise the debt limit, according to the chair of the Libertarian Party.
“Everything I’ve heard from Washington politicians about the debt limit is nonsense,” said Mark Hinkle in a statement released July 27. “None of the deals would do anything to cut federal spending. Some reduce the rate of growth a little bit, but I’m afraid that doesn’t count. I propose the simplest option: Do nothing. Don’t raise the debt limit, period.”
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
– Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781
BURNET, Texas (July 12) – Every election Libertarians are invariably confronted with the charge that a vote for a Libertarian candidate is a wasted vote. The accuser claims that if you really wanted limited government you should vote for the candidate who has a chance of winning — the Republican. In some rare cases, the assertion may be that if you really wanted to protect civil liberties you’d vote for the candidate who has a chance of winning — the Democrat. And yet, our liberty goes unprotected as government grows unimpeded.
To my utter astonishment, this bogus argument invariably causes some genuine freedom-loving people to betray their stated beliefs. Why do they leap from the Ship of Principle into the stormy Sea of Compromise at the very moment their strength, courage and resolve are needed the most? Only one thing makes a person abandon everything they’ve ever believed in and fought for — desperation, the feeling that all is lost and the best one can do is choose the lesser of two evils. Even telling them that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil doesn’t seem to dissuade them from their decision.
Little do they realize that they have once again been duped by the Wasted Vote Lie. It is a deliberate, carefully crafted fable concocted and perpetrated by the Democratic and Republican duopoly to maintain their stranglehold on power. They cleverly employ the propaganda trick of tyrants throughout the ages; if you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough eventually people will believe it.
The worst thing about voting for the “lesser of two evils” is that it actually has the opposite effect of what it’s intended to do. Winning candidates don’t know, they don’t want to know — and frankly don’t care — why people vote for them. They certainly don’t know and don’t care how many of the votes they got were so-called protest votes. All they want is enough votes to win. They’ll consider all the votes they get as an endorsement of their campaign promises or past performance to claim a “mandate from the people.”
BURNET, Texas (May 3) – It will not be a popular thing to say, but the truth is the truth. I am deeply saddened by the death of Osama bin Laden. His demise is not cause for rejoicing, in my opinion. That is why I am perhaps even more troubled by the spectacle of Americans celebrating and dancing in the street to the chant of “U.S.A, U.S.A,” whipped up into a patriotic frenzy and oblivious to the reality that this was an illegal and immoral act which offends the very values which makes us who we are.
I must admit, this is one of the most troubling things I have experienced in my lifetime. The patriot in me wants to breathe a sigh of relief that the war is over and we can go back to life before Bin Laden. But reality ruins the moment as I realize what has happened, and know life will never be the same again. This military action ordered by the President of the United States not only violated every fundamental belief our nation’s founders cherished, it may have destroyed any hope that we will ever learn the truth about 9/11.
What happened to the foundation of jurisprudence in America — innocent until proven guilty? Where is the requirement to produce evidence in order to convict? What about the right to face your accusers and answer charges brought against you? What has happened to the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution? When was the power to convict and execute individuals transferred solely to the Executive branch?
Rather than using a trial to prove to the world that Bin Laden was guilty of the acts the United States accused him of, and that the U.S. was justified in the actions taken in retaliation, the president took upon himself the authority of judge, jury and executioner. He ordered U.S. military forces to kill Bin Laden — and then dump his body into the sea. No evidence was presented. No arguments were heard for and against. No jury deliberated. No judge ruled. The accused was not allowed to defend himself in any court. I can’t help but think that this is the way you act when you have no evidence to convict.
KNOXVILLE (May 2) – R. Lee Wrights told the Tennessee Libertarian State Convention that he’s not seeking the Libertarian nomination for president in order to tell people what they want to hear. “I am not interested in telling people what they want to hear. I am interested in telling them what needs to be heard,” he said.
He said that message is simple. The libertarian writer and political activist believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war.
Wrights begin his address with an emotional tribute to Fred Childress, a beloved friend and Tennessee libertarian activist killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2010.
“I would not be where I am, or doing what I am doing had it not been for Fred Childress,” Wrights said. “He was like me, he was a warrior. But the anomaly of Fred Childress was that he was also a peacemaker.”
BURNET, Texas (April 13) – Stopping all war is not just something we need to do in the Middle East. It is something we need just as badly here at home. When I say “stop all war,” I’m not just talking about the bombing and fighting overseas; I’m talking about the wars that the U.S. government wages against its very own citizens. I am talking about how bureaucrats kill Americans, not with guns and bombs, but with laws and regulations.
Perhaps the best example of this is the war against the terminally ill. Did you know that if you are dying and want to take a promising new drug that could save your life you can’t legally do it unless the Food and Drug Administration says you can? A coalition of cancer patients recently sued the FDA for permission to buy promising new drugs that had been tested for safety in people, but had not yet undergone the lengthy and rigorous effectiveness studies. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, so the lower court ruling of 2007 still stands. The ruling says that you have no constitutional right to buy a drug – even one that might save your life – without FDA approval.
This suit was spearheaded by the Abigail Alliance [http://www.abigail-alliance.org], founded by Frank Burroughs, Abigail’s father. Abigail and her family tried to get FDA permission to try the drug Erbitux, which was in human trials for her type of cancer and was eventually shown to be a breakthrough treatment for it. Time and time again federal bureaucrats refused to help her.
BURNET, Texas (April 12) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights donated $250 to the Arkansas Libertarian Party ballot access fund, fulfilling the promise he made when he first began his exploratory campaign. Wrights said that he was committed to insuring that the Libertarian message would be heard in all 50 states in 2012. He pledged to donate 10 percent of donations to state ballot access.
“There can’t be anything more important to any political party than ballot access,” Wrights told the party’s state convention Saturday. “Americans cannot vote for liberty and freedom if Libertarians are not on the ballot. Republicans and Democrats have proven to us they are not going to give that to us, in fact, they are going to take more from us at every opportunity.”
Thomas Hill, Wrights 2012 campaign manager, presented the donation to Rodger Paxton, the Arkansas LP state chair. “I’m very proud to be in this room with committed and dedicated Arkansas libertarians who are willing to do the hard work necessary so the residents of Arkansas can have the libertarian option come election day,” Hill said.
Hill told delegates that Arkansas is the first party to get an installment from the campaign and they were looking forward to helping other state parties.
Arkansas Libertarians have 90 days to collect at least 10,000 verified signatures from registered voters. They began the ballot access drive March 29. Arkansas is the only state where the Libertarian Party has never placed a candidate on the ballot for a partisan race other than president. State law only requires 1,000 verified signatures for a presidential candidate.
In order to retain ballot access and bypass the signature-gathering process for the 2014 election, the 2012 Libertarian candidate for president will have to get at least three percent of the vote.
Wrights 2012 press release
Americans hoping that the new Republican majority in Congress would offer real budget cuts just got sucker-punched by the Republicans, the Libertarian Party chair said yesterday.
“Americans hoping to get real about our national debt just got sucker-punched by Republican Paul Ryan,” said Mark Hinkle in a statement. “Republicans want to spend $40 trillion over ten years. That averages a staggering $4 trillion per year.”
As recently as 2000, federal spending was only about $1.8 trillion. Republicans also want to increase the federal debt from $15.0 trillion to $23.1 trillion.
“I hope our children and grandchildren enjoy paying interest on that extra $8.1 trillion.”
Barbara Howe, state Libertarian Party chair, said she was not surprised.
“When I read Mark’s (Hinkle) comment about being sucker-punched, my first thought was, ‘Yeah, again.’ Why are we surprised that the Republicans are so weak with budget cuts. After all, GOP stands for Good on Promises, Gutless on Performance,” Howe quipped.