Saturday, July 4, 2009
July 4th In Bizarro World by Manuel Lora From colorful hot dog stands and front-porch grilling to car dealerships and fireworks – once again the people celebrate July 4th. The media will join the festivities and will air documentaries about the founding of the country, its struggles during the revolutionary war, the adoption of the Constitution and the various leaders that inspired a country to fight for its freedom. Journalists and pundits shall hold hands and sing their praises to the gods state. The mainstream, hailing from its intellectually void ivory tower will no doubt offer hosannas to our overlords. In the meantime, the message of freedom is nowhere to be seen. Indeed, quite the opposite tends to happen. What follows are just a few of the July 4th lies and errors that we are supposed to blindly accept: The military is glorious, its heroes heroic, and our support is patriotic Freedom is about authority The police keep us safe and have a duty to protect us We are better off now than when the war on drugs started decades ago Continually increasing prices is a product of the market and thus the central bank must control credit and the money supply With proper reform, government can become efficient, especially if we elect the right leaders The Constitution gives people rights The government has been formed by the consent of the governed Without the state regulating/subsidizing/taxing/prohibiting activity or industry X, said industry or activity would be produced in quantities and/or qualities that are too high or too low; or would run rampant, cartelize and monopolize the market; or would not survive in a predatory competitive environment The more politically democratic things are, the better for everyone No matter what the cost to the public, protecting the children/our veterans/our senior citizens/our teachers is always the number one priority The free movement of goods and people destroys jobs and threatens our standard of living Businesses have no incentives to keep their customers safe; licenses ensure fair practices The law may occasionally be wrong, but it should nonetheless be followed always We must forever give up essential liberties to guarantee safety: it’s for your own good The list can go on forever but you get the clue. What’s really telling about the so-called Independence Day is that most the reminders about July 4th are related to the state! You will see, almost without fail, photos of past tyrants, video of the various monuments magnanimously erected in their memory, and audio of their speeches. News segments and even commercials that use the Fourth of July as a theme will invariable feature the military, the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Washington monument or a close-up of the Constitution – usually the part that says "We the People." If July 4th is really about freedom, why is the District of Criminals the center of attention? You see, we live in a bizarro world where might makes right and government aggression is the apotheosis of liberty. Our rights are relative and whatever freedoms we have left are a vote and a signature away from being eradicated. I ask: What rights? What freedoms? Today we celebrate nothing. Get over your patriotism-inspired nationalistic jingoism already. Instead, celebrate the market, not the politicians and their bureaucratic-regulatory army of destruction. July 4, 2008 Manuel Lora [send him mail] works at Cornell University as a TV and multimedia producer.
Friday, July 3, 2009 by Jacob G. Hornberger The true revolutionary aspect of the Fourth of July was not the military battles that the English colonists waged against the British Empire. Instead, it was the notion that was expressed in the Declaration of Independence: man’s rights do not come from government but rather from nature and God. Throughout history, people have been taught to believe that their government is the source of their rights. The consequence of that mindset is logical — people express gratitude to their public officials for their freedom. Along came the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence, and that notion of people’s rights was upended by a truth that would forever send shivers of fear through every statist official throughout the world. Since man’s rights are inherent, fundamental, natural, and God-given, there’s no need for people to ever be grateful to public officials for such rights. More important, since such rights are God-given and natural, public officials have no business interfering with them, manipulating them, and infringing upon them. In fact, as the Declaration of Independence indicates, people call government into existence to protect the exercise of such rights, not to regulate or interfere with them. Contrary to popular misconception, the American Revolution was not fought by Americans against some foreign government. Instead, it was fought by Englishmen against their own government. The signers of the Declaration were as much English citizens as you and I are American citizens. Those Englishmen understood an important point, one that all too many modern-day Americans unfortunately have forgotten: that the biggest threat to the freedom and well-being of a citizenry lie not with foreign regimes or foreign citizens (including terrorists). Instead, it lies with one’s very own government. As the Declaration of Independence points out, whenever any government becomes destructive of the rights and liberties of the people, it is the right of the people to alter and abolish such government and to institute new government that is limited to its proper role of protecting, not destroying, the rights of the people. That’s in fact what the Constitution is all about, which must be construed in the context of the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution called into existence a new government whose powers would be expressly limited to those enumerated in the document itself. But even that wasn’t sufficient for our American ancestors, who held grave reservations about calling into existence a federal government, again because of the threat it posed to their fundamental rights and freedoms. That’s why they insisted on the Bill of Rights as a condition for approving the Constitution. The First Amendment expressly acknowledges that the biggest threat to such fundamental rights as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and peaceable assembly is the U.S. Congress and, by implication, the rest of the federal government. One of the primary purposes of the First Amendment is to ensure that the citizenry can bring peaceful change in government policies through the exposition of truth and the dissemination of ideas. When people are free to criticize government actions, then there is the potential for change in a positive direction. Even totalitarian regimes — those with total power and all the guns — understand this principle well, given their propensity to shut down articles, speeches, and peaceful demonstrations. Obviously the First Amendment is insufficient if the government has the power to seize people, lock them up without a trial, and torture them into falsely confessing their guilt to bogus crimes. That’s what the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments are all about. Again, those amendments were an express acknowledgement by our American ancestors that Americans faced a constant threat on the part of their own government to do these types of things to the citizenry. And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Second Amendment, which actually should have been made the First Amendment, given its supreme importance. For when the citizens are free to keep and bear arms, would-be tyrants, for obvious reasons, think twice about depriving well-armed citizens of their fundamental, God-given rights. On the Fourth of July, let us celebrate the courage and wisdom of our American ancestors, who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in the defense of the most radical exposition of rights and liberties in history. Let us also pledge to do all we can to build on what they began, with the aim of taking America to the highest reaches of freedom ever seen by mankind. Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Swiss Banks Shun Americans as U.S. Compels Disclosure: UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, the country's biggest banks, have told Americans to move their money into specially created units registered in the U.S., or lose their accounts. Smaller private banks such as Geneva-based Mirabaud & Cie. are closing all accounts held by U.S. taxpayers. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a_8VwpO5m0WQ
THESE FOLKS HAVE NEVER BEEN WRONG YET The U.S. and the U.K. Will Both Default on Their Debt by the End of Summer 2009? : This evolution is likely to catch large numbers of economic and financial players on the wrong foot who decided to believe in today's mainstream media operation of "euphorisation". http://snipurl.com/l7b3w
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Deadly Reasons to Oust Incumbents in 2010 By Ed Ciaccio All those of us who claim to care about others both here and abroad, about justice, and about peace, must become relentless in our efforts to fundamentally change the current pro-corporate, anti-human system of our country, starting with the current members of Congress. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22913.htm
"The government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes -- would bring terrible retribution": Justice Louis D. Brandeis
"19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society": Rocco Galati