Tag Archives: Liberals

Loss of Liberty and Who is to Blame

Here is an article worth reading:

The State of the Union: These Are Dangerous Times, and the Government Is To Blame, by John W. Whitehead, published on the Rutherford Institute website on February 4, 2019.

The article is worth reading, especially if you still believe all is well with our nation. Sure, the economy looks good at present, we can still vote for candidates and laws of our choice, we still move relatively freely within our nation and in and out of our nation. However, there are areas of concern. The article in question lists a few of these concerns, such as,

* The tendency to consider all citizens suspect – guilty until proven innocent.

* Invasive strip searches, forceful drawing of blood, intimate probes.

* Militarization of our city police.

* A constitutional right to bear arms that applies to government officials only.

* Spying by government and commerce into private lives of citizens.

* Courts more interested in advancing government’s agenda than seeking justice.

The concerns are serious and the events listed above real. However, is the government to blame, as the title of the article indicates? The subtitle of the website on which the article appears is “It’s our job to make the government play by the rules of the constitution.”

That indeed is the job not only of The Rutherford Institute but of every voter and resident of this nation. If we the people choose to vote for candidates and laws that place security above liberty, we are to blame. If we obediently submit to walking without our shoes on airport floors, we are to blame. If we aid the surveillance state by choosing all manner of “smart” gadgets, we are to blame.

The list of sins we commit against ourselves by far outweigh those committed by government against us.  Government robs our liberties by our own consent.

Democracy - CopyAlexis de Tocqueville signaled how a nation descends into soft despotism in his book Democracy in America.  At the end of the devolution are a childlike populace and a “tutelary” government.

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild …

Alexis de Tocqueville 1805-1859, Democracy in America

A Government by Tweets and Marches

We have a government by Tweets and marches; which is fine, since the right to Tweet and march is absolutely guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It says right there in Amendment I,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Marches have brought about profound changes to our nation. Suffragette marches forced in 1920 the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. The Vietnam War protests were instrumental in ending in 1975 the U.S. “quagmire.” Tweets are a principal arena in which the political and cultural battles for the heart and soul of voters take place – the Tweet platform is free, accessible, and effective.

Just Vote No is wondering if any such profound changes will result from this year’s (2019) Tweets and marches. Let’s arbitrarily look at one particular march coming up this month, the Blexit Rally in Los Angeles on January 20.

Change vs. Profound Change

Candace Owens

The leader of the Blexit Rally is Candace Owens, originally a liberal, who morphed into a conservative in 2017. She is currently Communications Director of Turning Point, a student organization established in 2012 to “promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.”

The Blexit announcement says that, “The black community will no longer be patronized; there is no virtue in victimhood and we should no longer buy into the myth that we are somehow separate from the American Dream.”

Blexit, as well as Owens’ current mission, can be viewed on two levels: level 1 – bring voters into the Republican Party, and level 2 – encourage Black Americans to look forwards, not backwards. Level 1 is the kind of party-growing effort practiced by every political party. But level 2 could eventually fall into the category of profound change, change that could lead people to abandon what Owens calls “the plantation.” The plantation is a state of mind, not a physical place.

One important caveat, though, is that the point Just Vote No is making with this article is not Republicans good/Democrats bad. The point is to emphasize the harmful results of any, repeat any, politically-created mantra that aims to indoctrinate rather than enlighten, that aims to restrict thought rather than encourage open discussion, and that aims to keep people trapped in dependence.

The Owens Message

There are many articles on the Internet about Candace Owens. However, the best way to understand her message is to listen to what she has to say first hand. Here are a couple of YouTube links:

In her video blog How to Escape the Democrat Plantation, Owens provided some background information on who were the Klansmen, the segregationists, the ones that set the dogs on the civil rights marchers – their political identities forgotten in favor of remembering forever Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society.

At an American Experiment meeging in Minnesota, Owens discussed the breakup of the American family encouraged by the Great Society and the poor results such event entailed, she mentioned that politics flows from culture not the other way around, and she talked about informed individualism as defense against being trapped into a controlled group or being imbued with a culture of victimhood.

The Liberal Culture

Today, especially in progressive enclaves, culture is dominated by supporters of a Great Society type of world. It all starts with indoctrination in government schools, it continues with the profitable divide-and-conquer drumbeat emanating from the media, and it is perpetrated by legislators at all levels of government who pass laws that curb personal initiative in the name of helping an underclass (the poor) that they themselves helped create.

If Candace Owens succeeds in helping the nation to move away from such a culture, we will all benefit.  However, crucial benefit will come to those who at present find themselves trapped in a politically-created plantation.

Loving The Border Wall – In Spite of Frost

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall”

Mending Wall by Robert Frost is often quoted in disapproval of walls that separate people. It would not be surprising if that poem helped topple the Berlin Wall and end the Cold War.

“The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made”

We build walls when we want to keep entities out or keep them in – even when we know walls on their own do not work for such purposes. Walls slow unwanted entry or egress, provide places for “checkpoints,” and act as powerful symbols of regime sovereignty. It is possible to abhor force – sometimes deadly force – inherent at checkpoints, while insisting on preserving regime sovereignty.  It is possible to dislike regime sovereignty while needing to protest against some aspect of the status quo.

Thus, according to the GoFundMe website, as of Thursday, December 20, 2018, 5:47 pm,  151,413 individuals have donated $9,189,073 to a GoFundMe campaign that started 3 days ago by a triple-amputee war veteran to fund a U.S./Mexico border wall with private donations.

“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out”

There are no doubt an infinite number of reasons why 151,413 individuals would donate nearly $10 million dollars to build a border wall. Among those reasons might be the following:

* The rise of regional “governments” at various levels of jurisdictions, led by unelected officials perceived as responding more readily to the United Nations than to residents – witness the current Yellow Vest protests in France – is not universally welcomed. A border wall is a symbol of sovereignty. Donating to build a border wall might be an expression of support for that symbol.

* Calls for open borders that do not take into account economic consequences, inefficient rules regarding asylum seekers, and refusal of legislators to craft workable bipartisan immigration rules are situations displeasing to some. The “Cliftivism” offered by this GoFundMe campaign is a relatively painless call attention to these situations.

* Populous left-leaning states like California and New York have succeeded in establishing a national narrative that Donald Trump is an unwanted President insisting on an unwanted border wall. A substantial volume of voluntary donations to build such a wall would place that narrative in question.

“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” – Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No

Trump Wall Go Fund Me 2

If you are a Trump supporter, or if you are not a Trump supporter but fall into one or more of the categories listed above, you might want to consider the campaign.

Fund the Trump Wall GoFundMe Campaign.
https://www.gofundme.com/TheTrumpWall


Can a Republican win in San Francisco?

John Dennis, a Republican, is running for Supervisor in San Francisco’s Supervisorial District 2.  In case there is anyone out there who does not know that San Francisco is solid Democrat, and even leaning Republican is considered cause for alarm, we are here to remind them.  However, Dennis has not only the backing of the local Republican Party, but also that of Libertarian/libertarians.  As proof of Dennis liberty credentials, we note that members of the San Francisco Libertarian Party (Big L — a real political party) are campaigning for him.  More on Dennis

One Republican in a Sea of Democrats

Although the Just Vote No Blog is non-partisan, it is definitely political, and definitely liberty-leaning!

Thus the reason for this post on John Dennis, a Republican who is running for City Supervisor in a town without one single Republican elected official. The only Republican to hold elected office in San Francisco in the recent past was James Fang, who was unseated from his Bay Area Rapid Transit Board seat by Nick Josefowitz, a Democrat whose campaign made a point of suggesting that a Republican had no place in San Francisco.  Now Josefowitz is also running for Supervisor in the same district as John Dennis.

The Uncharacteristic Candidate

A peculiarity of this Supervisorial campaign is that John Dennis is a peculiar Republican. One would not discern that from his current campaign website, since the office of San Francisco City Supervisor (what other towns might call council member) is non-partisan and nowadays pretty much focused of homelessness, the housing shortage, and dirty streets.

However, Dennis conducted three most lively campaigns, against totally entrenched Democrat Representative of Congressional District 12, Nancy Pelosi (2010, 2012, 2014). In those campaigns Dennis made news as an uncharacteristic Republican. As sample, here are excerpt from a 2014 Los Angeles Times article.

He differs with social conservatives on same-sex marriage, believing such wedlock is none of the federal government’s business, and also on legalized abortion, saying he is “not comfortable using the force of the state” to outlaw the procedure. He breaks with the chest-thumpers in the GOP who offer American exceptionalism as a rationale for an expansive and assertive foreign policy.

The L.A. Times article mentions U.S. Congressman, now retired, Ron Paul, the uncompromising supporter of individual liberty (readers can safely ignore the article’s reference to Paul’s “neo-isolationism,” since there is a difference between isolationism and imperialism). Paul ran for President three times, 1988, 2008, and 2012.

Paul, of course, came nowhere close to winning the GOP presidential nomination, due in no small part to his provocative neo-isolationism. He did, though, build a national following of like-minded Ayn Rand acolytes who shared his fiercely anti-Washington, small-government, keep-your-mitts-off-me-and-my-property philosophy. Dennis, 51, was one of them.

Could this Republican Win?

Does this Republican have a chance to win the Supervisor’s race in San Francisco’s District 2, when the town is solid Democrat?  He could!  The San Francisco Examiner carried a recent article stating that a random survey “placed Dennis second behind the incumbent, Supervisor Catherine Stefani.”  One might add the survey placed Dennis ahead of Nick Josephowitz, the aforementioned BART Board director, and Schuyler Hudak, a media startup founder also in the race.

Speaking of Ron Paul

Finally, speaking of Ron Paul, here is an old picture of Ron Paul and John Dennis that a lot of liberty-leaning folks still like to post.

RonPaulandJohnDennis

We Live in a Humpty Dumpty World

Humpty Dumpty -When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.‘  Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

We All Do It

We all manipulate words to explain, to persuade, to deceive, to modify the behavior of others. When a Mommy says “Yummmm….carrots” to her baby, she is doing all of the above. It is unlikely that she believes unseasoned mushed carrots are yummy, but she manipulates words and changes behavior in order that her child will eat. Mommy’s success is aided by her child’s innocence and gullibility.

The same principle holds true for politicians, be they benevolent or tyrant, wishing to perpetrate an agenda upon a gullible populace.

…the story is told from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals give Orwell a chance to sketch how situations of oppression arise not only from the motives and tactics of the oppressors but also from the naïveté of the oppressed, who are not necessarily in a position to be better educated or informed.  Animal Farm by George Orwell

So true, except for the part about the gullible not being in a position to be better educated or informed. Some of our nation’s most willing receivers and spreaders of manipulated speech reside in our universities.

The university is a vast public utility which turns out future workers in today’s vineyard, the military-industrial complex. They’ve got to be processed in the most efficient way to see to it that they have the fewest dissenting opinions, that they have just those characteristics which are wholly incompatible with being an intellectual. Mario Savio, founder of the Free Speech Movement at U.C. Berkeley.

Besides politicians and our supposed intellectual elite, special interests ranging from the nation’s war industry to compassionate advocates of all sorts are also receivers and spreaders of manipulated speech.  The manipulated speech becomes part of mainstream vocabulary.

* “Racist” has become a catch-all description of anyone who disagrees with any prevailing agenda. Don’t want to spend taxpayer money on removing statues from parks? You are a “racist.” Want your children’s school to focus on reading, writing and computing? You are a “racist.”

Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, argued in a fiery speech Thursday to 1,400 union members that school-choice programs such as vouchers and tuition tax credits are rooted in segregation and racism. The Washington Times, July 21, 2017.

* “Immigrant” now describes those who arrived in the U.S. via formal immigration or refugee channels and those who simply crossed borders.

Between May 7 and June 20, the Trump administration instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to place any adult immigrants who crossed the border illegally in federal custody.  Merriam-Webster, word example.

Fundraising efforts are going on around the country to support organizations that are working to protect immigrants and bring families back together.  Merriam-Webster, word example.

* “Abortion” has disappeared from public discourse, and has been replaced by the cryptic codes “A woman’s right to choose,” or “reproductive control.”

The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

(Perhaps the emphasis should be on the fact that men cannot develop preeclampsia or hemorrhage during pregnancy or childbirth.)

* “Liberal” has been replaced by “progressive.” Democrats no longer call themselves “liberal.” Maybe because the new focus is on changing the structure of society rather than on making what we have better.

It seems to me that traditional ‘liberals’ in our current parlance are those who focus on using taxpayer money to help better society. A ‘progressive’ are those who focus on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules.  David Sirota, Political Commentator

From Manipulating Words to Manipulating Events

It is only a short hop between manipulating words and manipulating events in order to achieve a desired outcome. California is particularly good at speaking eloquently of a multitude of crises that demand intervention, compassion, fortitude, resistance, and/or money. Climate change and sanctuary, along with housing and homelessness, are at the top of the state’s crisis list.

* California Greening

California takes pride in its draconian efforts to lower green house gas emissions by declaring vast areas of the state protected land where no development is allowed, passing legislation that requires cities and counties to build their “fair-share” of dense housing, and discouraging the use of private automobiles. California also has a “cap and trade” program, under which companies pay penalties if they exceed pollution limits, but can trade for pollution credits with companies that emit less pollutants.

Whether California’s Herculean efforts to reduce emissions arise primarily from environmental or economic concerns remains a secret locked in legislators’ minds. The fact remains that dense populations, where businesses and housing are clustered into tight spaces drive economic growth, and cap-and-trade-produces revenue for the state.

As an aside, California’s greening comes with costs that event manipulators don’t like to talk about. Density has caused construction and housing costs to skyrocket, the middle class to flee the state, and legislators to embark on a constant quest for funds to build subsidized housing. Cap and trade, touted as a way to help poorer communities disproportionately affected by pollution, has instead given the more polluting industries located in such communities the ability to pollute even more.

* Prisons and Private Profit

In a video op-ed that appeared on MSN.com on June 25, 2018, U.C. Berkeley Professor Robert Reich spoke, eloquently as always, of private contractors that run detention centers “profiting from family separation.” In the video, Reich condemns the “money, influence and cruelty” behind Donald Trump’s border policy that enriches these private contractors.

Nowhere in the video does Robert Reich mention that private contractors have been part of the U.S.’s detention system since the 1980s, profiting substantially from the U.S.’s vast native and immigrant prison population.

In response to the broader prison overcrowding that accompanied the rise of mass incarceration during the 1980s and 1990s, several states entered arrangements with private companies for their ability to build prisons quickly—and without the need for voter approval … The private prison industry has long considered immigration detention an opportunity for gain. In 1984, CoreCivic established its first privately owned detention facility in Houston to hold immigration detainees.  Migrationpolicy.org

The Imaginative Progressive Mind

Although manipulation of words and events is done by just about everyone, those who hold today’s progressive ideas of what government and society should look like seem to be infinitely more imaginative than conservatives.

The laundry list of words progressives have succeeded in embedding into the public conscience is impressive: equity, social justice, sustainable/unsustainable, capitalist greed, global warming/climate change, diversity, child-free, entitlements, renter’s rights, food security, body shaming, living Constitution, fair share, regional governments.

Along with words come world views of how things should be!