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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Waste and fraud pervade wartime contracting

“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.

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Ten years of fear is enough

“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.

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U.S. Constitution Day resolution

“Every word of a constitution is the difference between power and freedom.” – James Madison

BURNET, Texas (Aug. 29) – Taking a break from the campaign, let me offer an idea for consideration by local Libertarian Party affiliates. I offer this not as a Wrights 2012 campaign initiative, but simply as something that has been successfully used by Libertarian Party groups for promoting libertarian ideals. Not all Libertarian Party activism needs to be political actions or campaign activities. Often we can more easily and more effectively promote the libertarian message of individual liberty and personal responsibility by simply being good citizens and participating in civic action.

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The most destructive war in American history

“The drug war has arguably been the single most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery.”- Norm Stamper, retired Seattle Chief of Police

BURNET, Texas (Aug. 14) – The most destructive and devastating war in American history was not the Vietnam War, not World War II, not even the Civil War. The most destructive and devastating war in American history is the 40-year War on Drugs. It is a war in which thousands die each year, which wastes billions of dollars, and which has put more people in jail than any other nation in the world. It has come to the point where the War on Drugs is deadlier and more destructive than all the dreaded drugs scattered upon its battlefields.

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Voting for the lesser of two evils

“If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.” – Thomas Jefferson

BURNET, Texas (Aug. 3) – It never ceases to amaze me how many citizens can vote for a candidate who doesn’t represent their views merely because he’s not as bad as the other guy, and then complain about the results. This phenomenon reminds me of a joke that circulated after the 1964 presidential election. That campaign was particularly vicious and decisive, especially the debate over the increasing American involvement in a far-off country called Vietnam and the fight against the “Communist Menace.” While President Lyndon Johnson pledged, “We are not going to send American boys nine or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves,” Sen. Barry Goldwater countered by saying he’d make “a damned swamp out of North Vietnam” if they didn’t quit their aggression.

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The manufacture and manipulation of fear

“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. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
– Gen. Douglas MacArthur

BURNET, Texas (July 23) – Fear is a very powerful emotion. Fear can paralyze you into inaction, or stampede you into doing things you would not ordinarily do. In certain situations fear can be beneficial; it can heighten your senses when you’re facing danger, stimulating the adrenalin necessary to survive or the sense to avoid the situation altogether. But more often than not fear simply overwhelms principle, reason, logic and common sense and drives you into a state of paralysis or panic that may ultimately destroy you.

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The Wasted Vote Lie

“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.”

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Wrights joins Americans calling for an end to U.S. militarism

BURNET, Texas (July 6) – Lee Wrights has joined with a group of eminent Americans from across the political spectrum who have put aside political differences on other issues to send a letter to President Obama and Congress urging an end to U.S. militarism. The letter, spearheaded by Come Home America, cites a combination of events that present a “historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility.”

“I’m proud to join such distinguished company as Daniel Ellsberg, David Cobb and Michael Badnarik and add my voice to theirs in calling President Obama and Congress to stop all wars,” Wrights said. “That is exactly what my campaign for the Libertarian presidential nomination is all about.”

The letter urges a “fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy away from domination of others through military strength and damaging sanctions.” It calls for the end to “these unconstitutional wars (which) have been justified on false premises … fueling hatred abroad for Americans and undermining the rule of law.”

“I urge everyone to go to ComeHomeAmerica.us and add their name to the list of signers,” Wrights said. “Just as our Founding Fathers pledge their ‘lives, fortune and sacred honor’ to defend liberty 235 years ago, Americans today must pledge today to demand our elected leaders stop all the immoral, unconstitutional and unnecessary wars which threaten our liberty and freedom.”

Go here to read the full letter and add your name to the list of signers.

Wrights 2012 press release

Don’t raise debt ceiling, stop the spending

BURNET, Texas (June 26) – There are several times in my life, more than I care to remember, that I have gone into debt. Who hasn’t? Sometimes I just made bad decisions. But every time I went into debt I alone was responsible for getting myself out of the hole. If you find yourself in a hole that is already too deep and you want to get out, the first thing any sane person does is stop digging. If you’re deep in debt, the first thing to do is — stop spending. That’s what responsible people do.

Apparently however, when someone is elected to office they forget or disregard this simple fact of life. They don’t remember what it’s like to live within their means and to balance a budget. They forget that the simplest, surest and only real way to get out of debt is to stop spending. The spectacle of the Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington D.C. purportedly struggling over the seemingly monumental issue of raising the debt ceiling illustrates just how far out of touch the president and Congressional leaders are with the basic economic realities faced by average Americans every day.

Even the name they use to identify the issue, “debt ceiling,” is an example of the way politicians manipulate words to mask reality. The debt ceiling is merely an artificial cap set by Congress on the amount of money the federal government can legally borrow. It was first set in 1917, but has been raised more than 100 times since then, proving that it’s really not a ceiling at all, not even a glass ceiling, but actually as “high as the sky.”

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