A Difference in Philosophy… Ronald Reagan

40_reaganWe are all here because we want to talk about politics. And we do. The other night some of you witnessed the exchange between myself and a commenter who espoused the glory of socialism. He was quick to point out that every President has taken socialistic stances in one way or another. And for the most part I agree. It has been a long time since we had a President that was down the line Constitutionally sound. But there have certainly been varying degrees to which we can apply the statement “all who came before have done so”. As a basic tenant of my belief system, I think government needs some massive reduction in size….

And I want to share with you one of the things that early on shaped my vision of politics and government. I want to share it not only so that you understand my beliefs better, but that you may perhaps draw some inspiration from it yourself. Some of you will remember it as I do. Others will have heard parts of it in sound bites in the years since. I want to share it most of all, because if you read this speech today, you will find it very relevant to our current national situation. 

See, in the late 1970′s we saw inflation and unemployment rising quickly. The nation faced economic crisis. Jimmy Carter, believing many of the same fundamental beliefs and riding the same national fervor to victory in 1976 that President Obama rode in 2008, had implemented increases in government and social welfare that was hurting the country. Those who remember Carter’s campaign remember that it was similar to Obama’s in many ways. But by the end of his Presidency he had created massive debt, massive unemployment, and had driven the country to a recession that in the early 1980′s was worse than what we are now experiencing. 

And amid a very similar crisis to what President Obama “inherited” on January 20, 2009, the country elected a Hollywood Governor to the White House in the hopes of change. I highlighted the parts that struck me hardest. Facing a worse economic crisis than the one seen today, Ronald Reagan strode to the podium for his inaugural address on January 20, 1981:

 

Senator Hatfield, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale, Senator Baker, Speaker O’Neill, Reverend Moomaw, and my fellow citizens.

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

ronaldreaganfirstinauguralMr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our republic. The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we’re not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding: We are going to begin to act, beginning today.

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we’ve had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

reagan-with-flagsWe hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we’re sick–professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, “we the people,” this breed called Americans.

Well, this administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this “new beginning,” and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America, at peace with itself and the world.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work–work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price.

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we’re too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We’re not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter, and they’re on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They’re individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

Now, I have used the words “they” and “their” in speaking of these heroes. I could say “you” and “your,” because I’m addressing the heroes of whom I speak–you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.

We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen; and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they’re sick, and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?

Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic “yes.” To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I’ve just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world’s strongest economy.

In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government. Progress may be slow, measured in inches and feet, not miles, but we will progress. It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles there will be no compromise.

On the eve of our struggle for independence a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, president of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of . . . On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.” Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.

1986-reagan-pointingTo those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale. As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever.

Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength. Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors. I’m told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I’m deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inaugural Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.

This is the first time in our history that this ceremony has been held, as you’ve been told, on the West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on the city’s special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man, George Washington, father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led Americans out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence. And then, beyond the Reflecting Pool, the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses of Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom. Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, the Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

Under one such marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

We’re told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading “My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.

God bless you, and thank you.

 

And my version of what government should be was born. Smaller government that gets out of the way of the people. Government where the rich are not penalized for being successful, where the poor are helped up and allowed to do for themselves rather than having government do for them. 

Compare these words to the words of President Obama, and you will see why I reject his ideals and his “better way forward”:

 

  • “a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.” From inaugural speech 1/20/09
  • “only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe,” From a speech at George Mason University January 7th

 

It is this belief that only government can save us that is at the heart of the Obama rhetoric. I despise that rhetoric because for so long I have believed what Reagan told me: Government is not the solution, government is the problem. 

Reagan wasn’t a God. And he wasn’t perfect. But he was a great President. And he was so because he espoused the ideals of what America is supposed to be. He believed in its people more than he believed in the ability of government to solve our problems. He didn’t get us to where he wanted to get us, but he started us on the path. We then became complacent with prosperity and now we again stand on the precipice of choice. Now the Democrats are taking us in the polar opposite direction of the recovery plan that worked under Reagan. And the Republicans have become that dog that rolls over and shows its belly the second someone raises their voice. 

The pundits can laugh at my “revolution” if they want to. I am sure England laughed at the Declaration of Independence when they heard about it too. Change is coming, and not that bullshit change that the messiah spoke about. I am one giant fracking alarm clock… and it is time for me to do what I do best. Wake the Frack up America…..

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Comments

  1. The fact that government is the problem is something I do not believe the current administration can get their head around, or worse fundamentally does not believe. It was proven during the Reagan administration that cutting tax rates work…beyond a shadow of doubt. I cannot for the life of me understand why EVERYONE can’t see this. I read comments from people who say that tax reductions have never proved to work…amazing the recent history says different. Those same people say there is no evidence that deficit spending hurts the economy…again recent history says different. Perhaps I am simply too narrow minded, but for me it is painfully obvious.

    During this past presidential election, I witnessed the citizens so in favor of the liberal ideas, that I began to doubt myself. I tried to look at the political process from a different perspective…the liberal perspective…I could not with good concience believe in what they stand for…governmental control…tax the bejesus out of the rich and industry…redistribute the wealth…What Reagan says in his speech “All must share in the productive work of this “new beginning,” and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy.” epitomizes what I believe. To me this means do not penalize the few for the advantage of others and in the end all will be better for it.

  2. Black Flag says:

    USWep

    Before you get all teary-eyed over Reagan, let’s correct some of your assumptions.

    I believe your commenter was essentially correct – that every President since Garfield has been socialist, though I would certainly dispute the glory of such a corrupt economic system as socialism.

    As a basic tenant of my belief system, I think government needs some massive reduction in size….

    This is impossible. Government needs to ‘do something’ to prove its legitimacy – which means more laws, which means more programs, which means more people working for government, which means more taxes, which means it has to ‘do something’ to justify the taxes which means….

    See, in the late 1970’s we saw inflation and unemployment rising quickly. The nation faced economic crisis. Jimmy Carter, believing many of the same fundamental beliefs and riding the same national fervor to victory in 1976 that President Obama rode in 2008, had implemented increases in government and social welfare that was hurting the country.

    It is very important to truly understand what happened, USWep, for it portends directly to what is going on now.

    Learn from this recent past and you will understand what will happen in the near future.

    Carter took after Ford/Nixon.

    The Vietnam war just ended – 10 years of a crippling war economically and psychologically.

    Nixon lost control of the economy – France (as did West Germany and other countries – but the last straw was France) demanded redemption of its US Dollars into gold, and this threatened the entire exhaustion of the gold reserves of the USA. The US had borrowed heavily to finance its war, and the bill came due.

    To stop the French from redeeming its dollars into gold, Nixon closed the gold window (literally, a window in the Fed Reserve where you used to go and hand in your Fed Notes and get gold back)…
    ….August 15, 1971, Nixon unilaterally imposed 90-day wage and price controls, a 10% import surcharge, and most importantly “closed the gold window,” making the dollar inconvertible to gold directly, except on the open market…..

    The consequence of all of this thrust the world into a massive depression/inflationary spiral. As the US$ began to devalue (via massive inflation), the oil producing countries – whose oil was fixed rated to the US$ – suddenly saw the value of their oil collapse – and took steps to prevent that – forming OPEC and wrestling control of the price of oil out of the hands of the US$.

    With the economy reeling, export prices skyrocketing (as US$ devalued, though the prices of the goods in their native countries didn’t change, the exchange rate to the US$ did) – wage controls – causing massive gluts in jobs of high value – and massive unemployment in jobs of low value (since wages were locked, employers with jobs that were high paid got to hold down the salary, they didn’t have to pay the high wages – so high valued people chose not to work (that is, they refused sell their services cheap) – where as low value jobs got filled quickly by desperate people, leaving lots of people looking for cheap work where there was none to be had) – huge shortages (as the price of the components to make goods went up, but the price to sell the made goods was fixed by price controls, companies chose not to make goods at a loss, and thus created shortages – which, by the way, was the start to move to outsourcing the production ability of the US and avoid price controls…now you know where this started…)

    With the economy in shambles, the governmental reigns were handed over from Nixon/Ford to Carter with a handshake and a “good luck, sucker!”

    This is very much similar to today – bad wars exhausting the psychology and treasury – economic collapse and massive (risk of) inflation – and a handshake and “good luck, sucker!” to Obama from Bush.

    So your claim that “But by the end of his Presidency he had created massive debt, massive unemployment, and had driven the country to a recession that in the early 1980’s was worse than what we are now experiencing. “ has a incorrect cause and effect – the cause was Nixon, not Carter.

    Further, today, it is far, far worse than in the late 70′s and early 80′s. This economic disaster will make those days look like a party.

    And what did Carter do? He actually laid the foundations of recovery for Reagan to claim.

    Foreign oil imports were reduced by 50% from 1977 to 1982.

    In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties and the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II).

    …he negotiated a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979.

    His return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama was seen as a major concession of U.S. influence in Latin America”

    With the contraction of American Hegemony, American dictators abroad came under threat – and some, as in Iran, collapsed.

    The Soviets attempted to expand their sphere of influence into the vacuum and got bludgeoned to death in the invasion of Afghanistan.

    The situation that Carter faced was not his doing – much like Obama.

    We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

    Too bad Americans have such short memories, and are unable to figure out what causes inflation.

    Americans are going to get what they deserve for their arrogance and ignorance – and its coming good and hard.

    Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

    Tax must take from those that produce and give to those that consume. Therefore, there is no such thing as a “fair” or “good” tax. All taxes destroys economic ability.

    To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

    How quickly the “government of the people, for the people” bankrupted themselves by voting themselves rich.

    Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we’re not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.

    Ah, a fallacy.

    The government is by no measure the same as an individual.

    Unlike an individual, it can legally steal, make money out of air, and refuse to pay its debts.

    Thus, it is not bound by the same limitations placed on the individual.

    That is also why government is evil.

    And let there be no misunderstanding: We are going to begin to act, beginning today.

    And, the seeds of even a greater economic and social disaster was laid, right there at that point….

    …government, in an attempt to appear to fix the problems itself created, is going to do more of the same that created the problem…..

    “Act, must do something!” <- the mantra of the Statist and of course, our good host, USWep.

    Of course, when acting is always a disaster, there is no thinking that, maybe, perhaps, not acting is the better choice?

    The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away.

    They cannot as long as the methods that created the problem continue – hence, the bigger disaster of today.

    Thanks, Ron, for ‘helping’!

    In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

    Therefore, let’s get government doing something! We need more problems….!

    Well, this administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination.

    An economy that is forced is not free – whether it is forced to sell to anyone or forced to buy from someone.

    Yeah, racism stinks – but slavery is worse.

    If someone cannot refuse to buy/sell for reasons that are his own, he is a slave.

    Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs.

    Remove the ability of government to manufacture money, and inflation will disappear the next day.

    Our government has no power except that granted it by the people.

    The Great Lie.

    You cannot grant what you do not have as a right.

    No individual has the right to initiate violence.

    Therefore, where did government seize such a right for itself?

    Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government.

    No, of course not! It made you, Ron!

    No politician will willingly slit the throat of the beast that made the politician powerful.

    Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

    Asking government for what it cannot do only ensures that it will do what it always does – smother and stifle and kill.

    Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

    Ah, the Great Truth of America!

    The great dictator, destroyer of “These United States of America” and creator of “The United States”!

    This is, truly, the country of his dream.

    Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, the Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam…..Martin Treptow….

    A nation that sees its hero’s in the killing and destruction of others – and has few remembered (and actively insults and disparages) those that made peace and dire warning against war – will find itself in a war without end – which will end on the nation’s own self-destruction.

    Government where the rich are not penalized for being successful, where the poor are helped up and allowed to do for themselves rather than having government do for them.

    How can a government ‘help’ the poor, without making as a consequence more poor?

    How can a government ‘help the poor, without taking money away from the rich?

    Compare these words to the words of President Obama, and you will see why I reject his ideals and his “better way forward”:

    Reject the ideals because they are from government – no matter who stands there.

    It is this belief that only government can save us that is at the heart of the Obama rhetoric.

    But is not that exactly the same thing you are saying, USWep?

    …You believe government can save us too – you simply want to use government ‘differently’ then Obama or anyone else…right?

    Government is not the solution, government is the problem.

    Yep, so the first choice you reach for to fix the problem of government is —- (ta da!) — government!
    :(

    But he was a great President.

    Yep, he is the epitome of a great President and politician – I agree, absolutely!

    He promised smaller government – it actually increased to a size larger than ever before in history!

    He promised smaller debt and deficits – they both got larger than any time before in history!

    He promised peace and friendship – and invaded non-threatening countries, and gave arms to insurgents and death squads!

    Yep, every promise he made, made the problem bigger!

    The epitome of a Great President!

    I am sure England laughed at the Declaration of Independence when they heard about it too.

    No, actually, they were absolutely livid and furious. No one was laughing at all.

    Change is coming, and not that bullshit change that the messiah spoke about.

    …and it will not be coming from the hands of government…

  3. Black Flag says:
  4. Well US, you know you hit a home run with this one. Flag had to write a book to properly respond. It just hit me, the office cat lays around all day, complains until someone feeds or pets her. I think she may be a Democrat.

    I think Madmom asked about other countries we might consider moving to, which I checked and found Ireland, then Switzerland to be #’s ! & 2. So a little off subject, here is a link describing how Ireland turned their socialist economy into the number two European economy.

    http:blog.goooh.com/

    And I agree with your version of government, that it should be smaller and be gotten out of the way. Joe Biden really tanked a question from a small business owner who asked what the stimulus plan would do for small business. He said that if there was a bridge you crossed going to that business, that it would be maintained—–

  5. Black Flag says:

    Life of Illusion said

    Flag had to write a book to properly respond.

    That’s right, LOI.

    Pronouncements of simply jingoism’s requires no more than 5 or 6 words –

    “America – Love or Leave it”
    “Home of the Brave”
    ..etc.

    …devoid of meaning and all full of sentiment and emotion.

    Reasoning takes time – thought, logic, learning, understanding, and questioning – lots and lots of questioning – and this takes time and lots of ink on paper (or typing)

    Whereas you accept jingoism’s easily because you accept the thoughtless emotion, you will not accept thoughtful concepts the same way.

    With thoughtful concepts, you have to think – and that does seem hard for many people.

  6. Black Flag says:

    LOI

    You were talking about this socialist Ireland, right? You thought they ‘turned it around’ from being socialist?

    Hmm….

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/02/21/ireland.economy/index.html

    Protest in Ireland of government handling of economy

    Ireland’s government responded to the ICTU’s plan, saying it was “entirely consistent” with that of its own proposal.

    “In particular, it reflects the Government’s view that an integrated national response to the current crisis is not only desirable but essential if there is to be a sufficient impetus and coherence of approach to meet the scale of the challenge,” the government statement said.

  7. Texas Tirrell says:

    All I can say is WOW!

    This one is over my head, but I can the reasoning from both sides, and agee with both at the same time.

    Hmm, must get head out of sand and think about this one. lol

  8. Flag, you have me figured out, thinking makes my head hurt, so I lead a thoughtless life. Wife seems OK with this, feed and water me like the dog.
    The Ireland protest is interesting, and thank you for sharing. But does that change anything? The world economy is suffering. How should governments address this? I feel the Austrian/Regan approach has proven itself historically whereas the Keynesian/socialist/Obamanist/etc., is apt to fail, again. And if Ireland turned their economy around in the 1990′s by following the Regan strategy, and then run it into the ground today by following Obama, that only proves that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.
    And do you have any thoughts on GOOOH?

  9. I have been reading this site for about a week now and like to read USWeapon’s blogs and I also like to read Black Flag’s responses. Both make me think and question, which is good.

    My question is for Black Flag. After reading you’r reply I concluded that your recommendation is for Goverment to do nothing. Is that correct? Just curious because I have heard several statements simular to that on the radio.

    mb2

    PS Not flaming or challenging. Just trying to understand/educate myself.

    • USWeapon says:

      mb2

      No need for disclaimers here. We all challenge each other just about every day on here. What you are talking about is the exact intent of this site, and the reason that while I don’t often agree with BF, I value his input, even the books sometimes. The idea here is to read, discuss, and learn. The key to getting our country to better place is to find a new way forward.

  10. BF: It appears to me that your laying the economic/social situation at the end of the 70′s on Nixon/Ford does not match up with your primary position as represented in all of your arguments. To be completely honest we need to keep tracking the wolf until we find its den. Alas, Nixon from Johnson from JFK from Eisenhower from Truman from FDR etc etc etc. I’m guessing you would go to 1776 when we threw off the King and replaced it with a continental congress (and even state govts), instead of no govt at all (we are talking about the USA here, not the history of govt). It is my opinion that many of our Founders agreed with your animosity towards gov’t but obviously felt some form was needed. Thus a new concept was developed that tried (I emphasize tried) to contain the beast in a cage guarded by the citizens. Perhaps they were a little to pragmatic and not purely idealistic for you, but I think they set the standard, in concept, of a workable federal gov’t of a free people. The federal govt we had immediately after 1788 was as close as we have ever been to that standard, as it didn’t take long for the beast to break loose. You belief the beast can not be contained and therfore we should never build the cage. I and most of us here believe we need a stronger cage. But first we have to get the beast back inside.

    I am not sure we can ever return to that point without passing through chaos. Primarily because so many have become addicted to govt handouts (power and money)and protection. The current path is unacceptable and I would like to prevent the chaos if possible. So call me delusional or naive but I intend to find a way to turn us back and begin taking steps, one at a time, towards the standard set for us by those gentlemen of the colonies.

    As for Mr. Reagan, he articulated a vision that embraced our founders principles during a time when they had been pretty much forgotten. It was in fact an attempt to stop and turn back. The bottom line is he failed. The reason is as you have alluded, govt takes on its own life because it feeds power to the people within it. Reagan actually got this and tried hard to clean it out. I was in gov’t at the time and saw first hand how they tried to cut into the career bureaucrats. Unfortunately, it is to big for one administration to kill without help of Congress and the people. As you have argued, therein lies the crux of the situation. In the past many decades we have never had all three components on the same page, except where crisis has driven them all towards stronger statism. Thus our long struggle is best described as 3 steps toward statism, one step back.

    I know you disagree with my underlying premise about the need for govt and I understand your arguments. What I don’t understand is why you continue to engage others who are looking for solutions that assume the need for some form of gov’t. Is your goal to pursuade them to stop pursuing such solutions because statism is inevitable unless they adopt your position?

    If that is the case then allow me to make a suggestion. Change your tone from arrogant and condescending to one of educator and mentor. People who are struggling to figure out why their world is crumbling around them won’t listen to someone who talks down to them. Some actually get angry. In either case they aren’t going to get anything out of the exchange except anxiety. I have met alot of brilliant people in my time and almost all of them were able to change their approach and language when needed to help us lower IQ folks understand what they were trying to say.

    I am guessing here but think that if you stopped nitpicking individual sentences or words within sentences and addressed the underlying thought, which I am sure you understand, folks here might get alot more from your intelligence and philosophy. When we hunt grouse and turkey here we take a rifle. That is because we get as many birds with alot more useable meat, with a well placed shot to the head, than we would by firing off a shotgun as fast as we can.

    Have a nice day.
    JAC

    • USWeapon says:

      Well stated JAC, and thank you for respectfully addressing your concerns instead of devolving into name calling and personal attacking. There is the reason I like this site…. the guy who created it must absolutely rock! LOL

  11. Black Flag says:

    Life of Illusionm

    thinking makes my head hurt

    Makes mine hurt too, but I’m a masochistic… ;)

    But does that change anything? The world economy is suffering. How should governments address this?

    Since it was government policy, governments should, literally, do nothing.

    Unfortunately, suffering is the cure. There is no other cure. Attempting to avoid the cure will only cause more and worse suffering.

    The current economy was built on gorging of debt and inflationary policies.

    Because this was not built on ‘real’ capital, the debt/inflationary economy created business and industries whose existance required a continuation of debt and infaltion.

    When this type of economy ends, resources committed to these industries need to realign back into real production and wealth creation.

    These means people will lose their jobs, so to find new ones.

    These means those invested in debt/inflationary companies must divest themselves and/or lose their investement.

    Bad companies need to die, and the resources they consumed transferred to those companies that actually do something.

    This takes time, upheaval and suffering.

    Sorry, I know that sucks, but that is what is needed.

    Any – and I mean any – government interference will prolong the suffering and pain.

    Government acts in political – not economic – rational. Therefore, they will disrupt the economic situation for mere political gain.

    They will transfer the suffering from those that must, on to those that, by their effort (or fate) avoided the economic disaster – thus, on to those whose foresight protected them – and are the only ones able to lift the economy up.

    By destroying those with capability for the political favors of those who have shown little economic sense will continue to devastate all economy.

    mb2

    I have been reading this site for about a week now and like to read USWeapon’s blogs and I also like to read Black Flag’s responses. Both make me think and question, which is good.

    Maybe I should be demanding branding rights of this site – like “Siskel & Ebert @ the Movies”

    can you see… “USWeapon and Black Flag @ the Blog”… lol :)

    My question is for Black Flag. After reading you’r reply I concluded that your recommendation is for Goverment to do nothing. Is that correct?

    Bingo.

    Just A Citizen

    To be completely honest we need to keep tracking the wolf until we find its den. Alas, Nixon from Johnson from JFK from Eisenhower from Truman from FDR etc etc etc.

    So true – I went back only one step, but you’re right – Nixon got it from Johnson who made it worse from JFK….

    …Eisenhower, he didn’t do much – which is why he was so good….

    I’m guessing you would go to 1776 when we threw off the King and replaced it with a continental congress (and even state govts),

    Actually, as in a previous post with USWep a while ago, I suggest it all started on September 17, 1787, and it has been building since then.

    It is my opinion that many of our Founders agreed with your animosity towards gov’t but obviously felt some form was needed.

    They were at the cusp stage. Thoreau, Jefferson, et al of their ilk all recognized that “the best government is one that governs the least, the best of all is no government at all”

    But, as we see here on the blog, even 300 years later, many, many people feel naked in freedom.

    Mencken: “…He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. He longs for the warm, reassuring smell of the herd, and is willing to take the herdsman with it.”

    A ‘limited government’ had never been tested – it was worth a shot, I guess.

    It lasted 11 years….

    blockquote cite=””> You belief the beast can not be contained and therfore we should never build the cage. I and most of us here believe we need a stronger cage. But first we have to get the beast back inside.

    The beast cannot be contained. It is raw power – the power to use violence on a whim.

    You can try to chain it, but it will alway – always – break out into tyranny.

    As Black articulated in his essays, and it is perfectly true (paraphrased):

    “To contain government, you need to give it rules – however, the arbitrator of what those rules should be is the government.”

    I intend to find a way to turn us back and begin taking steps, one at a time, towards the standard set for us by those gentlemen of the colonies.

    “Thinking about what you can’t control only wastes energy and creates its own enemy.”

    The only way you can do so is by violent revolution – and I cannot condone that.

    Replacing one beast of violence with different beast of violence is pointless.

    What I don’t understand is why you continue to engage others who are looking for solutions that assume the need for some form of gov’t. Is your goal to pursuade them to stop pursuing such solutions because statism is inevitable unless they adopt your position?

    In fact, no.

    It is not my right to chose for you what principle you wish to live your life. That is my right only for me.

    However, I do know that if what you believe as your core as a human being is different then the consequences of your thinking or of your action, you are living a contradiction – and as contradictions cannot exist in the universe, the result of contradictions in human beings is the creation of evil.

    And I’m against evil.

    So, claiming “I do not attack non-violent people” and then supporting laws that attack non-violent people is an act of evil, etc. Evil always searches for raw power for the sake of power, even if such a reach kills itself (See parable of “Frog and Scorpion” – because that is what scorpions do….)

    If you want an organization that creates peaceful order, which I believe is your purpose, then create such an organization that is consistent with your core belief – not contradicting it.

    Yes, that might mean you do not have all the answers to all human problems today – but at least you have a platform that can only grow solutions of peace and order to the best you can do today. You can leave this platform to your grandkids to continue to work on the rest of the unsolvable problems of mankind, and know it will always offer answers with peace and order.

    Change your tone from arrogant and condescending to one of educator and mentor.

    I honestly appreciate your critique. It is the same ‘beating’ I get from my wife, too.

    I am not meaning to be harsh – however, I do not suffer fools and at times impatient. It is a fault in my character that I do try to tame.

    Have a nice day.
    JAC

    And you too, sir.

  12. Strong points and counterpoints. Even if we elected a POTUS that desired limited government, and a legislature that concurred, and the judiciary did not allow the teeming lawsuits that would ensue to stop it from happening, what would become of the tremendous burden of debt accrued over the past 230 odd years of foible? Its hard to fault Reagan too much, he was the only POTUS that even came close to even realizing that our bloated federal system is choking the life out of its citizenry.

  13. BF: Re your statement, “However, I do know that if what you believe as your core as a human being is different then the consequences of your thinking or of your action, you are living a contradiction – and as contradictions cannot exist in the universe, the result of contradictions in human beings is the creation of evil.”

    Before I can accept your hypothesis that contradictions in humans leads to evil I need to know, what is your definition of evil.

    I agree that if you act differently than your core beliefs, philosophy if you will, then you are living the worst type of contradiction, you are a hypocrite. I do not see the inevitable evolution to evil.

    Is it not the other contradiction that we are debating here, at least most of the time. That is when our underlying philosophy is inconsistent with reality. This contradiction I would say does not necessarily lead to evil either, but to the destruction of the individual. This could be my future it you are right and I am wrong.

    It seems to me the greatest evil comes from evil philosophy put into action via unrestricted physical force against others.

    While I am inclinded to agree that contradictions may not exist in the universe, I don’t think any of us can be so definitive at this point, given the amount we don’t know about the universe. I always keep a little spot of my mind open for the unknown, even if highly improbable and illogical, given our current understanding.

    Your thoughts?

  14. US-W: Your welcome! I don’t know if the character rocks or not but it starting to look like he is at least $5.00 richer. Never saw the hockey player coming. Nothing like a strong cross wind to blow things off track.

  15. Kristian says:

    Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve posted but I have been watching and reading what everyone has to say. I know that we need a smaller government, but have no idea on how to get it. US, thank you for such a great site, keep up the good work. BF, you are as articulate as ever, thanks for keeping it interesting. JAC, you raised a lot of good points, but I still don’t know whether to wind my butt or scratch my watch. I’m confused and scared to death about where this country is going. At the rate that our current POTUS is spending, my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be paying for it. I don’t believe that we will see this corrected in our lifetime. This is going to be the future that our children inherit from us because so many in our country were led astray by obummer. How are we going to answer them when they ask us why?

  16. Since my views are rather similar to Black Flag’s views, I will give you my definition of evil. He can give you his later if he so desires. In my personal morality, “evil” actions are those which harm people who do not, at this moment, deserve to be harmed.

    Black Flag and I have different approaches toward the same goal; the goal of showing that government is an “UNnecessary evil”. On complicated issues, BF attempts to show, point by point, where the foundational thinking behind government is evil, or at least, mistaken. I tend to boil it all down to a couple of key points. Both approaches are needed to get the point across, if the reader is ready to accept the premise.

  17. Black Flag says:

    Kent,

    Your phraseology is poignant as usual.

    If others didn’t know our strategy – it’s good cop/bad cop. Kent plays good cop….
    ;)

  18. Black Flag says:

    JAC

    Kent’s definition is completely contained within my definition.

    What I would say is that the expression of evil comes out as inflicting harm upon innocent people (as Kent defines, those that do not deserve harm, at that time).

    The Universe, if there is but one description of it, is consistent.

    Over time and over space, the laws of the Universe do not change.

    This philosophy is the single core that allows us “Science”.

    If we discover some ‘inconsistency’ in how we see the Universe work, we know it is not the Universe that is inconsistent, but that u humans misunderstood the laws of nature. We correct our own understanding of the universe and do not claim the universe, somehow changed its mind at that point.

    Therefore, contradictions – expressed as inconsistency – cannot exist in the universe.

    Humans, however, have (as far as we know) the unique ability to conceive of two, simultaneous thoughts and concepts that are inconsistent or in contradiction.

    If we act upon such contradictions, we are completely inconsistent with the Universe.

    If we hold that the nature of the Universe is the ultimate judge of itself – that is, it never contradicts itself – if we as humans act against the nature of the Universe (consistency), that is my definition of evil.

    Thus, my definition of good or evil is not based on my perception of your actions against my own principles!

    In other words, I cannot judge you based on my principles.

    I have no right or proof that my principles are ‘right’ and yours are ‘wrong’! I could be insane, and be ‘wrong’! How would I know?

    So, on what basis can I judge your principles against that is neutral and not dependent on my own perceptions?

    Only the same judge the universe uses for itself – that is, consistency

    So, I do not and will not judge you on your core, root, principle of your life and existence. (Which is why I challenge USWep and other brilliant posters to work down to discover that core – it allows me to really understand their personal Point of View – and Thanks, Jon Smith, for showing the way!).

    I will, most absolutely challenge you if you contradict your core principle (or for some, what I believe is your core principle based on comments made…)!

    I have found that the vast and great most number of people have very powerful and great moral principles – but they haven’t articulated them properly, or have allowed themselves to be dragged into contradicting themselves as a survival mechanism.

    So, I am ruthless in my charge against anyone where I see such contradiction expressing in their belief. And hats off to USWep – he, by far, is my target far most of time (I guess, because this is his blog and not mine :) ) and he takes his bruises very well (and gives quite a few back of his own).

    I hope I’m not too esoteric and airy in my theory of evil.

  19. Everybody knows the old maxim,”power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The problem as I see it is that you may get a Ronald Reagan, who has tremendous personal charm and easily gets elected to two terms and is then fondly thought of. President Reagan was the exception, not the rule. One like that only comes along every hundred years.

    Reagan was however held in check by two things. A congress, not of his choosing and the “evil” empire. Sorry Flag, if you are of eastern European, even Russian extraction, there ain’t no way around it, that was an evil empire. As I see it, he did the best he could with what he had. Unfortunately he didn’t have long enough to bring his vision forth. I may be nuts here but I believe in his words he was calling for a true partnership with Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed. A new way of looking at the world. I remember the Star Wars (SDI) speech when he offered to share the technology with Russia and the world. Almost no one else remembers that. Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2 had no interest in partnering up with Russia, hence the Bear is starting to threaten us again and we caused it! Worse, this time they have the money.

    Want a prediction? After we are bounced by Kyrigistan, it will become the new Cambodia. The Russians have been waiting for years to do unto us what we did unto them in Afganistan. Wonder how those Ospreys will hold up to shoulder fired missiles?

    Anyway I digress, Bush 2 had congress, and both were able to demonstrate just how bad petty thinkers can be and how easily corrupted they become. That especially includes rocket scientists like Tom Delay.

    I don’t know the answer to this dilemma. It would seem to me that we need men and women in government who would look beyond an election cycle. People who were capable of planning how their moves would play out in a dozen years as well as working hard to groom their own successors. Needless to say, they would also have to have a very firm grounding in the principles of this Republic. Most of all they would need an electorate who actually knew something.

    When this whole ball of wax finally melts down I hope that in 10, 100 or 1,000 years, when the next attempt at representative democracy rolls around, those founders will be smart enough to restrict the franchise to those who have something actually invested in it. Make them work for it.

  20. BF: It has been a long hard couple of days and my brain is not working very well right now. So I will meet you back here tomorrow. Except, I would like to leave you with a couple of thoughts.

    If there can not be any contradictions in the Universe, and we exist in the universe, and our nature is part of the nature of the Universe, then how can we ever act in contradiction with that same nature?

    When you indicated humans are capable of conceiving of two simultaneous thoughts and concepts that are contradictory, did you be conceiving simultaneously or simply holding/having? Iam not beign a picker of nits here, just curious if your onto something I have never considered, simultaneous thought of two separate things ie. concepts. I told you I was tired.

    Also, for now I can accept Kent’s definition of evil but am still struggling with yours, maybe I’ll see it more clearly tomorrow. Until Then, Have a great evening. JAC

  21. SK: Per your very last statement, does this mean you believe the founders were correct in limiting the right to vote to property owners? In todays situation perhaps limiting to at least those who pay taxes as opposed to those who don’t?
    See you tomorrow
    JAC

  22. Black Flag says:

    JAC

    Thanks for the response, I respect that it comes from a tired soul – mine as well – uprooted the family to a two-step lower life style – better to chose voluntarily than forced …economically. I do live what I preach.

    I will review your post, and respond appropriately.

  23. Black Flag says:

    Sorry Flag, if you are of eastern European, even Russian extraction, there ain’t no way around it, that was an evil empire.

    I know the pain exactly.

    My great-grandparents, mother’s side, were slaughtered completely by the Reds in the Ukraine – they are among the 30 million dead.

    My grandfather saved himself and two brothers – that’s all. Lost 2 brothers, 3 sisters and all of the rest of the extended family….

    It was sobering when my mother said she did not ever know her grandparents or many of her uncles or aunts…. I didn’t know that that really meant until I was an adult and learned of the silent holocaust in the Ukraine.

  24. Citizen,

    I wrestled with this one since I was a teen. I can’t see another way. You have to have a stake in the society, Property ownership, maybe? Voluntary service of some kind?

    The only thing is there should be nothing in your way to prevent you from earning the franchise. No Huxley’s Alpha’s and Epsilon’s.

    Looking back at my own family’s history, a lot of us would never have had the right to vote, certainly not many of the original immigrants. Most of the second generation would have earned it and probably used it (greatest generation types). Most of the current third and fourth probably wouldn’t have cared.

    I really think, this last time out, that they have finally figured it out. You can vote yourself a free lunch, for a while anyway.

  25. SK: I do agree with you in principle. We need to think out the details however. Especially in regards to our modern society’s view of suffrage. One legal scholar I know has suggested limiting state and local elections regarding property tax to land owners only.

    If we could get rid of the ability of the federal govt to vote money to the constituents then we wouldn’t need to worry about who votes at this level. That would leave dealing with the issue at the state and local level.

    Which is easier? Eliminating govts ability to set up the protection game or eliminating the right to vote among certain citizens. I think right now it is the former.

  26. SK: P.S.: Please explain “No Huxley’s Alpha’s and Epsilon’s”. I don’t know what these terms represent.
    JAC

  27. USWeapon says:

    BlackFlag,

    As for your first post up there at the top, congratulations, you have crossed over and went point by point debating a dead man. I provided the speech as an alternative view of how someone in the past addressed a similar issue to what we face. That speech was a moment in history for me that provided insight to what I believe. It was not meant to be taken verbatim and dissected as though I wanted to implement the Reagan plan today. That was silly.

    And I don’t get teary eyed over Reagan, but I do believe he was a great American who wanted to get America where it needed to be. In the end he was unable to do so.

  28. USWeapon says:

    “USWeapon and Black Flag @ the Blog”… lol

    I had to chuckle at that. I see the debates as healthy. Questioning and disagreeing is the only way we learn. I don’t learn much from those who simply agree with everything that I already think. If there were any profits to declare from this site, perhaps you would deem it necessary to go after those, lol. Unfortunately there are none. Hours of my days spent doing this with no revenue to justify it. But I do believe that all the debates and discussions are valuable and will pay off for me in the future when I go after a local elected position.

    As a side note, I am considering a book. I have been thinking about writing one for a long time that would lay out a better way forward for America. As I finish up my latest degree in 4 weeks I will have a bit more time and may get started on that.

  29. USWeapon says:

    JAC and SK,

    I see the debate on deciding who votes. At this point I am inclined to say that if someone is going to be affected by the results of the vote, they get to have a say. No one in this country is immune to the ever expanding reach of government, so I would be inclined to say that everyone gets a vote. There are changes that need to be made. I often am disappointed with the level of understanding of voters in this country. I have debated in my mind how to deal with that issue. I think education is the key, but want to find the best way to do that. For now I think it starts with a movement in this country to remove the taboo status of political discussion. It is the most important thing affecting us and we are not supposed to talk about it. A perfect plan for the politicians, as it keeps America dumb.

    What about the idea of a license to vote? I am just thinking out loud at this point. You have to take a course that teaches you the realities of the political spectrum. It would lay out the arguments of each side with factual information rather than the rhetoric of the politicians. Difficult to implement or make fair though.

    Overall I cannot see restricting the right to vote at all so long as everyone is affected by the outcome.

  30. Independent migrants, often called “illegal immigrants” are also affected by the results of the vote, yet few people want them to be allowed to vote. I think the only reasonable way to eliminate all the problems inherent in voting is to stop voting. My rights and your rights are not dependent upon the will of the majority nor the whim of those in “power”. To think otherwise is a big part of the problem.

    • USWeapon says:

      Kent,

      I see your point. Unfortunately the ones in power aren’t going to go away any time soon. I wish the country were ready for that but I don’t think they are. I understand the principles behind choosing not to vote, but right now you are only eliminating your voice from the debate by doing so. So long as the government that you oppose is going to continue to flex its power, I submit that we have to do our level best to flex ours. I just don’t think that the people choosing to abstain from the process will accomplish anything. It won’t take them out of power, it will merely make us more like a monarchy. For now we are going to be ruled, whether we like it or not. We might as well use whatever voice is given to us, regardless of how small. But I do believe that if we can rally people together that voice can become more powerful. Perhaps once we get there, the opportunity will present itself to eliminate the ruler altogether.

  31. USWeapon says:

    BF,

    Your bit about evil is interesting. I don’t believe that contradiction equals evil, but I see your point. The problem is that we cannot expect ordinary folks to see things at the level that you are seeing them. Ma and Pa just want to see bread on the table. The ways of the universe don’t much matter to them.

    As a side note, I think that if you look at a lot of my articles or thoughts a second time, you will find that I am not as contradictory as you might first think. I think that often you play my words either a bit too literally or a bit off center and the debate devolves from there. I am not an evil person. I am not someone who wants to go against logic, and I rarely will if someone can show it to me. I get your beliefs about government being a futile endeavor, I really do. But I just don’t think the world is ready for what you are saying. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe no matter what I do, this is all going to implode suddenly and violently as you say, but I won’t wait to watch. If someone is on the ledge, I am going to do my best to talk them off rather than simply sitting back and waiting for the inevitable jump. If that makes me a statist, so be it. If that makes me a person who fits your common statement of “the mantra of the statist, we have to do something”, I can live with that. Because I think it is in human nature to do something. We don’t sit by and wait for the bad to happen, we try to fix what isn’t working and perhaps make it a better place. We love the movie analogies, and when that big asteroid is heading towards Earth, we never just accept destruction, we send Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck to stop it. We have to try.

    As I have always maintained, I don’t think you are a bad person and I will give you the benefit of the doubt almost every time in terms of your values and principles. And I will usually accept that the figures or facts you present are honest to the best of your knowledge. I struggle with many different areas and ideas, because I am flawed and often haven’t looked at EVERY angle yet. But I get to where I go through discussion and debate. I appreciate that from you. I do understand that you have reached a point where you feel you have a solid core of belief that guides you. Perhaps I haven’t yet. Who knows? But I would say that when you reach that level of condescending tone, many turn off, sometimes including me. And it gets in the way of the learning that can occur. I weigh heavily your thoughts and points of view, as I do everyone who comments on my mad ramblings. Don’t make it harder than it has to be, lol.

  32. US: I heard someone suggest that if you can’t read the ballot (braille included) and you can not fill out the correct bubble with a No 2 pencil you don’t get to vote.

  33. “We love the movie analogies, and when that big asteroid is heading towards Earth, we never just accept destruction, we send Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck to stop it. We have to try.”

    The problem arises when the “solution” causes more damage than “doing nothing” would. It’s like blowing up an asteroid. It doesn’t just go away, but becomes a huge swarm of smaller meteors that will actually cause greater damage over a much larger area of the earth’s surface. It is sometimes hard to accept that “doing nothing” may be the best course available. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come at the problem perpendicularly to try to find a real solution. That is what I see anarchists doing.

  34. The government may kidnap me, it may kill me, but it doesn’t rule me. No one can rule you without your consent AND your help.

    • USWeapon says:

      Kent,

      They may do those things and while you may in your mind decide that the government cannot rule you, that is wishful thinking. They most certainly can and they are regardless of whether you give your consent or not. I think this is a dangerous fallacy. Dictators rule over their people without consent. It doesn’t really matter if you choose to believe you are ruled or not. It is happening. But you lose the one thing that makes America different by refusing to participate. Our vote may count for far less than it used to, but it still counts and can count for more again if we get organized.

  35. Citizen,

    “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. Future society, designer creche babies, some are cultivated to be the intellectual elite and rule, others are of limited intelligence (planned) and just labor. Companion piece to Orwell’s “1984″.

    Note, in my original post, I was talking about the future. Short of a revolution in this country there is no way to limit the existing franchise. Only a new society, from the ground up could impose restrictions. It is too late to go back. the downside of property ownership is the whole inheritance issue. The Kennedy’s would still have the vote even though none of them, that I know of, have ever worked a day in their lives.

    Seminal reading material, Citizen and US, Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers”. A great yarn but even better a fully fleshed out society, after all existing governments collapsed. Under no circumstances to be confused with the atrocity of a movie by the same name. Flag has read it, he quotes it.

    • USWeapon says:

      But the movie had coed showers and hot girls in there. There has to be some redeeming value in that. I am looking forward to reading the book. I didn’t realize that it had nothing to do with the movie. I just figured the movie was a hollywood version of a good book.

  36. Unfortunately US, the showers and hot girls were not in the book. But there is a society and in the society there is a required civics class that all must take for no credit. Anymore and I will ruin it. The book was done in one night by one of my drill sergeants when he was on CQ. His comment, where do we sign up?

  37. If I vote for a politician and he passes a “law” that harms innocent people (remember “evil”?), I am partially to blame for that “law” by helping put him into power. Now, what is more likely, that a politician I vote for will prevent evil from happening, or be a part of implementing it? Judging from history, even concerning those people I thought sounded great before they were elected, I know which is more realistic.

    How does government rule me? There are other criminal gangs in the area; do they rule me, too? I attempt to avoid both gangs, but I don’t live my life for, or owe anything to, either one.

    • USWeapon says:

      Because you can avoid the gang of government, but you still have to live under their rules. You can break some of the rules and avoid some others, but in the end they still make the rules and for the most part you have to comply. This is different than government owning you. I agree they don’t own you and perhaps own you far less than many others, but they do rule us all unfortunately.

    • USWeapon says:

      And we need to put better people in office who are less interested in ruling you. That is what I want. The current cronies are only interested in ruling you. I want more people interested in serving you. I think that my version is preferable to no government at all in today’s current climate. I love the debate but I have to step away from the computer for a bit.

  38. Complying with some of their rules, in my mind, does not equal them ruling me. The other gangs also have rules I probably obey, too. I do what I need to do to avoid being killed or kidnapped by them. A lot of their rules are irrelevent since they are simply what I choose to do whether they mandate it or not. I’m not going to steal, murder, rape, kidnap or otherwise attack an innocent person. I was wearing my seatbelt long before there were any “laws” demanding I do so. I drive on the right side of the road because of common courtesy and self-interest. I’m not going to list the rules I ignore, but if it doesn’t violate the ZAP, and is important to me, I probably have done it.

  39. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said

    As for your first post up there at the top, congratulations, you have crossed over and went point by point debating a dead man.

    But as you have more than amply demonstrated, the man’s thoughts and beliefs have a life of their own – and thus are debatable.

    ..but I do believe he was a great American who wanted to get America where it needed to be. In the end he was unable to do so.

    If you wanted ever more proof of what I have said in the past to you, read that line again – typed your own hand.

    Changing government is futile

    Your bit about evil is interesting. I don’t believe that contradiction equals evil, but I see your point.

    Clarity is the root of truth.

    I did not say contradictions equal evil.

    I said the result of contradictions in humans creates evil.

    Contradiction does not exist in the universe – which is why the universe cannot be judged by good or evil – it just is. It cannot do evil, because there cannot exist a contradiction. Without the ability to do evil, there is no measure to judge good. So when an asteroid strikes a living planet and wipes out all life, that might be ‘bad’ (as in not desirable) but we do not say the asteroid is ‘evil’. It is perfectly consistent will the laws of the universe.

    However, humans, with intellect, can support contradictions in our thinking. I can think “Black equals White, Freedom is Slavery, 2+2=5, Government helps (;))” – there, I just did!

    Since thinking precedes action, if I hold a contradiction and I act upon it, evil will be created.

    For general example, I believe 2+2=5 and I act upon it. You buy 2 oranges and 2 apples, a dollar each. I add 2+2 and demand $5. You say, no, and give me $4 – I call you a thief and a cheat and demand another dollar – and as you refuse, I claim justification to stop a thief and attack you.

    My example attempts to highlight two things: creation of evil, and that for most people, it is innocently done.

    No doubt in my example I firmly believed I was right to attack you – by my calculation, you are a thief!

    The fault, of course, is the contradiction – and if I hold it strongly, you will find a hard battle to correct it. Yet, once it is shown to be faulty, I must shed it – for it is a contradiction. Then my attack and claim you are a thief also must evaporate.

    Ma and Pa just want to see bread on the table. The ways of the universe don’t much matter to them.

    The more aligned you are to the ways of the universe, the more successful you become.

    Most people are accidentally evil – they aren’t trying to be – they learn the lessons as it is taught to them and that’s it.

    Evil lives very easily in good people learning wrong lessons.

    I am not an evil person.

    I know. If you were, I wouldn’t be here.

    . But I just don’t think the world is ready for what you are saying.

    That may be true – the world wasn’t ready for a people without a Pope – from Luther’s 1521 Papal Bull, it took 250 years for someone to declare a right of freedom of religion. But today, we are aghast at the horrors delivered onto people for not believing in a Pope.

    Therefore, I believe working for government sets the day further away from being free from government.

    .If someone is on the ledge, I am going to do my best to talk them off rather than simply sitting back and waiting for the inevitable jump.

    I as well – however, to build on your analogy, I would not suggest to them that the ledge is a nice place to setup a homestead!

    .. we have to do something”, I can live with that.

    Yes, do something! Like do your job well – create wealth and service people’s needs! That is do something of real value

    Doing something with government destroys real value – so the if the dichotomy of choice is between doing something with government or not – chose the “not”!!

    There are infinitely more choices beyond choosing government action – and every last single one of them is better than choosing government!

    SK Trynosky Sr

    .Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers”. A great yarn but even better a fully fleshed out society, after all existing governments collapsed. Under no circumstances to be confused with the atrocity of a movie by the same name. Flag has read it, he quotes it.

    Hear, hear to Heinlein!

    Answer to USWep on chat with Kent (and an answer Kent has offered before)…
    “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

    Now, look what happened – I’m in the mood for the master science fiction writer ….
    his books started the entire modern genre of science fiction – and he remains, IMHO, the best!


    Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws–always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of the trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: “Please pass this so that I won’t be able to do something I know I should stop.” Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them “for their own good”–not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.”

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

    “No intelligent man has any respect for an unjust law. He simply follows the eleventh commandment.”

    “Rarest of all is the man who can and does reason at all times, quickly, accurately, inclusively, despite hope or fear or bodily distress, without egocentric bias or thalmic disturbance, with correct memory, with clear distinction between fact, assumption, and non-fact.”

    “For explanations of a universe that confuses him, he seizes onto numerology, astrology, hysterical religions, and other fancy ways to go crazy. Having accepted such glorified nonsense, facts make no impression on him, even if at the cost of his own life. (One) of the hardest things to believe is the abysmal depth of human stupidity.

    (and my favorite)
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

    Quotes of Robert A. Heinlein

  40. Flag,

    Yep, that’s my favorite quote too. maybe we can start something here. After troopers do we get them to read “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” or “Methusala’s Children” immediately followed by “Time Enough for Love”

    “Shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young”

  41. esomgazette says:

    Ronald Reagan was the Last Great President we have had. And if Obama has his way, Ron may indeed be the LAST!!! We may have to raise our hands and (enthusiasticaly) shout SIEG HEIL!!! from now on. And yes BF, he wasn’t perfect. But he was a damn sight better than most of the others and way better than all those since.

  42. Black Flag says:

    And yes BF, he wasn’t perfect. But he was a damn sight better than most of the others and way better than all those since

    How so?

    By what are you measuring him to make this statement?

    By what he said or by what he did?

  43. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    BF,
    I enjoy reading your comments but in NO way do I think I could argue with you on your points. I jus’ ain’t that smart! My comparison of Ron was to Jimmy, Georga H., Slick Willy, George W., And last but not least Obama H.. Maybe even FDR, and John F.. Ron said what he meant and meant what he said. I also think John Wayne would have made a good President, but I digress.
    We did better as a country when Ron was President than we have done at any time since. And considering the shape we were in after Jimmy got done with us, that’s saying a good bit. Ol’ Jimmy “Bend Over and Spread your Cheeks” Carter, was the WORST President we have ever had. Except the jury is still out on our current one since he hasn’t been there long enough. Ron did a lot to reduce the Socialism from just 4 years of Jimbob. If it wasn’t enough well, he only had 8 years….

  44. Calf Roper says:

    Black Flag,

    I have read the postings and you’re starting to make a lot of sense, which is a bit scary. My question to you is what should I do? I just want to be left alone to chase to my own dreams, earn my own living, provide for my family, and protect my family. However, the decisions of everyone around me affect me every day. A large part of my earnings is taken from me and given to others, whether they deserve it or not. People around the world want to take away the life of not only me, but my fellow American citizens. Each time I barter or purchase something from another person, a portion is taken away for the common good. If someone breaks into my home and I kill them, I can be taken away and put in prison or worse yet be killed myself. In reality, I have no freedom right now to do anything. So what do I do?

    You say no to armed revolt. Okay, what else is there to do? If I do nothing, my freedom is still gone. If I don’t pay to the common good and/or don’t abide by the common good’s laws, then the common good will punish me. So what is a peaceful American citizen who just wants to be left alone to do?

    Engaging in politics seems to be the only peaceful answer. I agree that government is the worst form of evil; however, in reality it is what we are stuck with. Why not try to make it as painless as possible?

    By the way, sorry I called you a “liberal hack” before. Later.

  45. Black Flag says:

    Calf Roper said

    …which is a bit scary.

    Thanks, CR – and, by the way, I sometimes scare me too!

    Actually, that is the truth – a while back when I was working a lot of these thoughts out, I found that a lot of my beliefs were ‘evil’ – and it is hard to look at one’s self as an agent of evil!

    So I worked hard to realign my ‘self’ to my truth – and I try hard every day to do better in that way.

    My question to you is what should I do?

    Your very best, everyday! – seriously, what else can you do?

    I can only point to myself for what I do/did.

    I have actively worked to minimize my interactions with government.

    I re-organized by business, residency and life style to eliminate/avoid government.

    It is hard, difficult work, but interestingly, if you want to do the hard work, government actually tells you how to avoid its claws.

    However, these choices are tough and poignant – much of what we believe in ourselves becomes undone – family sometimes needs be left behind – roots ripped up – generations of roots ripped up – the emotional ties to the family, community, country are stressed, crushed or destroyed.

    Most people cannot bare the level of emotional conflict that this causes. I don’t blame them at all – it does hurt.

    The life style change was the hardest – when you chose to free yourself from the yoke, you also lose the ability for you to eat at the trough. And any illusion of a ‘safety net’ is thoroughly crushed too.

    I gave up consulting for any government – I refuse their contracts – to the determent of my life style.

    We home-school, so only one income family – and we pay 100% of her schooling; no government subsidy or grant or service – I’d take it if they gave it (less ‘they’ have the better), but they always give with it with chains attached – so no thanks.

    Once you start getting comfortable after all of this, (because one day, it does become your life and you ‘get used to it’) – you can start having a lot of fun! You can start to confound the government!

    I drive, so at times I get ‘tickets’ – because I know I am smarter than a stupid sign, I drive safely within my limits, not theirs. I take everyone of them to ‘their’ court, and make them squirm. Ok, so I’m a little twisted – but you knew that already ;)

    When they want documents I either ignore them, or flood them – and if I flood them, I demand immediate responses, harass them to their point of futile frustration until they surrender – just to stop my constant badgering.

    But, it really is one small step at a time. Pick your battles – don’t be a martyr! … and one day, you wake up, and you will feel a sense of real freedom – and after that, the world will never be the same.

    As a remarkable example of the power of one free man against an Empire, a short story about Gandhi…

    Gandhi blithely informed the astonished British Viceroy that in nine days resistance to the Salt Tax would begin.

    (Bit of background, the British made it against the law for anyone, except government, to sell or manufacture salt – an essential requirement for human life – you will die in 4 minutes without oxygen – you will die in a day without salt, so Gandhi challenged the government their ‘right’ to tax ‘life’)

    Said Gandhi of his fellow Indians to the Viceroy in language relevant to today’s Americans: “But the British system seems to be designed to crush the very life out of him. Even the salt he must use to live is so taxed as to make the burden fall heaviest on him.” The Viceroy in an uncanny imitation of the Obama “I won” style of governing, simply ignored Gandhi.

    He didn’t even bother to reply.

    So as promised, in nine days, Gandhi and 78 others began what history calls his Salt March or March to Dandi, Dandi being a small coastal village along the Indian Ocean. The march, over some 240 miles, riveted not only the country but the world.

    By the time he arrived in Dandi Gandhi’s march had thousands of participants who had in turn been hailed by roadside crowds of as many as a hundred thousand in one village and fifty thousand in another and so on.

    With cameras rolling, Gandhi approached the Indian Ocean shoreline, dropped to his knees and scooped up a clump of salty mud. “With this,” he said, “I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”

    Then he boiled a pan of seawater — thus making illegal salt. A nation of oppressed Indians went wild. Villagers up and down India’s seacoast began making their own salt by imitating Gandhi. Businessmen made salt. Politicians made salt. Teachers made salt. Students made salt. So many Indians of all kinds were making salt the police were forced to make mass arrests of the rich and poor alike. Historians say that between 60,000 and 80,000 Indians were sent to jail for the “crime” of making salt.

    And just as Gandhi predicted, the grasp of Great Britain on its Indian colony began to slip.

  46. Eichard Harsha says:

    Long winded and full of hot air,
    The blame game can be played by everyone. If looking back could add to one day of my life, I would spend the rest of it doing so. What I see know, is my 401 down to a 202. I will not cry about that fact but simply take personnel responsibility to sore up my own house. You see like most Americans, I understand what our dream is all about. I don’t look to others to make it right. Leaders come and go and life goes on. Most of this out of control spending will end when China stops loaning this government money. In the mean time I will watch my checkbook and move on. I believe millions of Americans feel the same way. The far right and far left have a place in our history, they keep the middle grounded.

  47. Black Flag says:

    Eichard Harsha

    I believe you are part of the last half of the Remnant – not a leader, not a follower, but steady and pace-full – won’t change the world, but your kids will grow up to be good people.

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