Category Archives: Blogs

The Socialist Establishment Threat

The Establishment and its supporters are not at all happy with current events in Washington DC. The discontent is not a partisan issue, since the Capitol is populated mostly by Establishment folk regardless of party affiliation.

Establishment folk like their constituents to be taken care of, be free of risk, remain docile and unquestioning. Any questioning would place front and center the unsustainable national debt, fiat currency, endless wars, gargantuan bureaucracy, and a populace dependent on public assistance and/or public services. Questioning might bring to mind the list of societies that disintegrated under the weight of those same events – from the Roman Empire to Venezuela.

So what appears to be different lately? The difference could be summarized by a couple of memes. One meme implies that government holds the responsibility for an individual’s well being; that government’s job is to do whatever it takes to provide all manner of services, since all services are rights. The other meme implies that government exists only to protect everyone’s life, liberty and property; everything else is each individual’s responsibility.

Border Wall 3

To be sure, today’s Washington DC is a very long way from returning to the nation the Founding Fathers intended. The military-crony capitalism-welfare state is still here. The national debt is still a distant blur in Congress’ collective mind. The Establishment folk are still sucking up gobs of tax money in salaries and benefits while they prance around “resisting.” It remains to be seen whether the corporation tax cut will result in more jobs or more bonuses. It remains to be seen if the economy grows sufficiently to make up for the tax cuts.

But progress can be seen in the slow shrinkage of the bureaucracy through attrition, efforts to awaken the nation’s dormant manufacturing, and promises in speeches of jobs not public-assistance.  Let’s hope it is not too late for this nation to escape the fate of Rome.  Let’s hope we are are able to fix what we broke, and not make debt and dependency our legacy to our grandchildren.

Update: Judge Dismisses Case Against the Bundys

In Nevada, on January 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed felony charges against Cliven Bundy and his sons arising from the 2014 Bundy Ranch Standoff. In dismissing the case, Judge Navarro issued strong statements against federal prosecutors for their “reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations,” in withholding evidence from the defense, and violating “the universal sense of justice.”

Cliven Bundy and his sons once again exercised their Constitutional right to challenge government actions they deemed unconstitutional. Outside the courthouse after the dismissal, the elder Bundy said,

“My defense is a 15-second defense: I graze my cattle only on Clark County, Nev., land and I have no contract with the federal government.” … “This court has no jurisdiction or authority over this matter.”

Although federal jurisdiction over public land and over “trespassing” in public land might be a good case for another trial, the Bundys in this trial once again affirmed what our Founding Fathers intended – it is the duty of the People to ensure that when government ceases to be the People’s servant and protector of the People’s liberties, it is challenged by the People.

Background of this case is in Just Vote No article, “Whose Land is This Land, Anyway?” The L.A. Times has a good article on the trial’s dismissal.

Recommended site: The Atlas Society

AynRandHere is a website worth mentioning, The Atlas Society. The “Atlas” part refers to Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged. The website features lessons in Objectivism, readers’ tools to assist in the understanding of Rand’s books, commentary on a variety of subjects relating to the objectivist view, and events. Students and educators in conventional schools, as well as homeschoolers, could benefit from such information.

Objectivism, as presented by writer Ayn Rand, is not a household word these days, but should be at least understood. The Atlas Society describes objectivism as follows,

Objectivism is the philosophy of rational individualism founded by Ayn Rand (1905-1982). In novels such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Rand dramatized her ideal individual, the producer who lives by his own effort and does not give or receive the undeserved, who honors achievement and rejects envy. Rand laid out the details of her world-view in nonfiction books such as The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

Today, politicians and advocates for a plethora of special interests continually call for greater taxation to support social programs and projects that for the most part discourage the practice of objectivism. Words like “equity,” “social justice,” and “inclusivity,” so prevalent in today’s vocabulary, would leave individualists like John Stuart Mill or Thomas Jefferson befuddled. Adam Smith, the father of free-market capitalism, would be equally perplexed with the terms “crony capitalism” or “corporate welfare.” Ayn Rand, were she alive today, would probably simply admonish us all with an “I told you so.”

However, just as big-government people worked to main stream their ideas, so can small-government, objectivist-leaning individualists work at spreading theirs. Returning the nation towards a path that encourages the self-directed true producer, not coddles the unhappy dependent, could easily start with just voting NO on proposals that “feed the beast” with workers’ hard-earned cash.

The Culture of Victimhood

Sometimes a post on Facebook resonates. People get it. This was the case with a post, shared on the Just Vote No Facebook Page, showing a video of a young man (Brandon Tatum) saying he voted for Barack Obama for U.S. President, but came to regret it. The young man’s message is that Democrats have harmed Black people by casting them as victims.

Just Vote No does not deal in partisan politics. A crook from one party looks the same as a crook from another party. So, let’s focus on what the young man is saying regardless of political party. When someone viewed as an authority figure (politician, police officer, teacher, social worker) acts as if you are different and in need of their assistance and discipline, you internalize that information, and neglect to review your own actions to see how they might change to improve your situation. The young man in the video calls this treatment the feeding of a false narrative – a narrative that does not help, and certainly hinders.

Thought of racism is for those who have time to think about it, or who promote it for their own benefit. The young man says he has no time to think of racism because he is too busy getting things done. Focusing on racism is victimhood. Focusing on getting things done is rejecting the false narrative and being on the way to success.

His recommendation? Same as ours. Believe in yourself and your ability to thrive. Look carefully at what you vote for. Don’t vote for crooks.

Brandon Tatum

Brandon Tatum speaks out against the feeding of false narratives.

A Star, a Star Shining in the Night

The Holidays:  The Winter Solstice, when winter desolation starts receding.  Hanukkah, remembering defending of culture and worship.  Christmas, and the birth in a cold manger of a baby who grew up to change the world.  These stories, and several others told and retold around this holy time of year, share the theme of common people not only prevailing but triumphing in defense of their peace and a better world for themselves.  Here is a suggestion as to how such victory can be accomplished:  the snowball effect of confidence and hope, like in this traditional song:

Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you hear what I hear?
High up in the sky little lamb, do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea, with a voice as big as the sea.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, do you see what I see?
High up In the sky shepherd boy, do you see what I see?
A star, a star, shining in the night
With a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, do you know what I know?
In your palace warm mighty king, do you know what I know?
A child, a child shivers in the cold,
Let us bring him silver and gold, let us bring him silver and gold.

Said the king to the people everywhere, listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere, listen to what I say
The child the child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light, He will bring us goodness and light.

May you prevail over all your winters.

Shepherds and Star

Rapidly “Decarbonize” or Perish!

City officials from around the U.S. and around the world on December 5, 2017, signed the Chicago Climate Charter at the Inaugural North American Climate Summit. The mainstream media puts the number of city mayors that signed the Charter at “dozens” and “more than 50.” A count of signatures on the Charter posted by the host Mayor Rahm Emanuel shows 64 signatures. The media says 36 of the signatories were U.S. mayors.

Sixty four out of 4,416 cities in the world is 1.45% (assuming “city” means jurisdictions housing 100,000 or more residents). That’s not much. However, 56% of U.S. signatories might be sufficient for what could be the Charter’s objective.

The Charter’s objective is for cities and regions to continue working on commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement, even though the U.S. withdrew from the Agreement. Just Vote No discussed why President Donald Trump did not renew U.S. participation.

Considering the fact that the U.S. is the only country at present not to be a participant in the Paris Climate Agreement, this Charter begs the question, why bother, if the other nations that do belong to the accord can carry on the work without the U.S. – or can they? Maybe it is not work that is needed but funding, otherwise called redistribution of resources from those according to their ability to those according to their need. Redistribution of wealth principally from the United States and the more affluent countries in the European Union to the poor countries was clearly spelled out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Principals behind the Chicago Climate Charter are not U.S. city mayors simply wanting to ensure clean air and clean water for their jurisdictions, but global players, or in the case of California Governor Jerry Brown and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, global wannabes:

* Michael Bloomberg :  Former mayor of New York City and now United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

* The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: An international alliance of cities and local governments with the objective of assisting jurisdictions to transition to low-emission societies.

* United States Conference of Mayors: Forum for city officials to discuss diverse challenges, but also founding member of the Global Parliament of Mayors.

* C40 Cities: Network of big cities committed to implementing measurable and sustainable action on climate change.

*Rahm Emanuel:  Mayor, City of Chicago, host of the 2017 North American Climate Summit, where the Chicago Climate Charter was signed.

* Jerry Brown: Governor of California and founder with Michael Bloomberg of America’s Pledge, an initiative to quantify actions of U.S. states, cities, and businesses to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

If these players are so determined to carry on the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and one prerequisite of the Paris Agreement is for more affluent countries to fund the climate change initiatives of the less affluent, they will surely find a way. For example, the Global Covenant of Mayors partnered with the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group,

Paris, France, 12 December 2017 – Today, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and World Bank Group, the world’s largest multilateral development bank, announced a new partnership to provide technical and financial assistance to 150 cities across the world undertaking aggressive climate action programs. The World Bank’s investment [loan] of $4.5 billion USD will ensure cities battling the increasing threats of climate change have the funding necessary to implement sustainable initiatives and climate resilience programs.

The lending will occur over the next three years under the umbrella of the World Bank’s City Resilience Program (CRP), and will draw on resources from IFC [International Finance Corporation] and MIGA [Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency] to provide financial and technical assistance to 150 cities, including current and future Global Covenant cities, to drive climate ambitions forward and upwards and build greater resilience to climate and disaster risks.

Let’s focus for a moment on the phrase “climate and disaster risks.” Governor Jerry Brown’s website mentions the Governor’s keynote speech on December 12, at the Two-Year Anniversary of the Paris Agreement:

Pointing to the state’s nearly year-round fire season – and the blazes still raging in Southern California – the Governor also sounded the alarm on the costly and destructive global impacts ahead unless we rapidly decarbonize.

CA wildfire nbcnews 2More effective action would be for Californians either not to build homes right next to wild areas that have regularly gone up in flames for as long as history exists, or for conservation rules to allow for cutting down vegetation where Californians want to build houses. This NBC News image shows how close this beautiful home is to the dense vegetation in the background.

 

Houston-flood-mapThe same can be said for building in floodplains. Floodplains will not move or disappear when we all “decarbonize.” They will stay where they are and keep flooding. And folks will keep building homes in them.  This map shows the blue areas of flood risk, all populated.

 

Weather.com makes an interesting observation regarding the flood zones, “Politicians appear to be supportive of this new development despite the inherent risks of building on a floodplain.” Intriguing. Cui bono – who benefits?

We should always keep in mind that government’s only source of funds is the taxpayer. Any redistribution of funds is redistribution from a taxpayer’s pocket to someone else’s pocket. Therefore, if you feel “climate crisis” is the cause of lives and property tragically lost in California’s fires or Houston’s floods, we are certain you will gladly pay any additional taxes that result from efforts to “rapidly decarbonize.” Otherwise, you can Just Vote No on “decarbonization” funding.

Whose Land is This Land, Anyway?

Background of the Bundy Ranch Standoff

The trial of the 2014 Bundy Ranch Standoff might indeed be the “Trial of the Century.” That is, if the trial ever occurs, pertinent evidence and discoveries are properly and timely presented by the prosecution, and the judge sticks to procedure not politics. So, let’s see what happens on December 20, when the trial is supposed to resume.

Obviously, the judge needs to focus on the Bureau of Land Management and the FBI charges against Cliven Bundy – more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees, cattle still grazing for free, and an armed standoff when the BLM and FBI came to remove the cattle from land under federal administration.

However, what is really at stake is not whether Cliven Bundy owes the money; or whether he, his sons and their allies are “domestic terrorists;” or whether ranchers need to remove their cattle from grazing land so no desert tortoise will be cramped for space. What is at stake are bigger issues: Who has rights to the land? By what right does the federal government still own 47% of the West and most of Nevada? Was it lawful for the federal government to repeal the Homestead Act? Or is it lawful for the federal government to ignore the traditional concept of “beneficial use?”

Side Issues of Interest

What is a racist, a Fascist, a supremacist, or a domestic terrorist these days? It’s whatever willing fools say it is. Perhaps we should view with a jaundice eye claims that Clive Bundy, his family and his allies are anti-government.

To liberty-minded people, government means what the Founding Fathers created, a system whereby states have all the powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

So, who is anti-government in the Bundy Ranch Standoff case? Who is upholding the 10th Amendment of the Constitution?

Ryan Bundy States His Case

Ryan Bundy, a defendant in the case acting on his own defense, stated his view in his opening statement on November 15, 2017. It is important that all liberty-leaning people read Ryan Bundy’s statement and understand the concept of sovereignty. Here is a highlight.  You can read the entire statements on several websites.  We recommend The Oathkeepers website.

“To have rights you must claim, use and defend… man only has rights he is willing to claim, use and defend. There is a difference between rights and privileges. Rights you own. Privilege is afforded. Like renting or owning a house. Government asserts there are no rights, only privileges and unless we pay, we can’t be there. The State of Nevada says differently. These are my father’s rights. Everything we have comes from the land. That is wealth, not the dollar bill. The things we use all come from the land. Who controls the land, controls the wealth?

We create government to preserve and serve us. These are some of the beliefs of my family. That we have said we will do whatever it takes to defend is not a threat, it is a statement. Being right here before you today is part of doing whatever it takes. The Founding Fathers pledged whatever it would take… their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, to defend rights.”

Bundy Ranch allies
Anti-government? Hardly!