October 10

the Parties of War- and Welfare

Over the past decade the two main political parties in DC, the Republicans and Democrats, have overwhelmingly voted for Warfare and Welfare in one fashion or another.

the Warfare Party

This party votes for:

  • endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and other areas with no specifically defined objectives
  • the PATRIOT Act, a war on US citizens and their civil liberties
  • the TSA and its parent DHS, following closely behind in the spirit of the PATRIOT Act
  • assassination of US citizens without due process
  • the largest hand-over of unchecked war authority from Congress to the executive branch in modern American history
  • the “War on Drugs”, which is really a war on peaceful American citizens that simply wish to be left alone

the Welfare Party

This party votes for:

  • government-run healthcare
  • expansion of Medicare
  • No Child Left Behind, one of the largest Department of Education expansions in history
  • socialized national property insurance
  • billions in “anti-recession” stimulus spending
  • billions in corporate welfare and subsidies

 

You think you know which party is which? Think again – it’s a trick question! That’s right – as a matter of fact, both parties have overwhelmingly supported these un-Constitutional, collectivist, anti-Liberty policies; and not only over the past 10 years, but much longer.

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September 24

interventionism

No, I’m not talking about the tv show. Interventionism (the policy or doctrine of intervening, especially government interference in the affairs of another state or in domestic economic affairs) is, of course, the opposite of non-interventionism (abstention by a nation from interference in the affairs of other nations or in those of its own political subdivisions). In what has become a much-admired-by-many House of Representatives floor speech in early 2009 – titled “What If?” – current Presidential candidate Ron Paul spoke the following words:

“What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is the predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others, and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?”

In my experience over the last few years, the immediate reaction upon absorbing this quote by many who call or think of themselves as “conservative” is that, well, countries like Iran refer to the US as “the Great Satan” and want to destroy the US’ greatest Middle Eastern ally, Israel. But let us consider history.

Did you know Iran hasn’t referred to the US as “the Great Satan” forever? In fact, the term was first used in 1979, only just over three decades ago. Why? Because about 60 years ago, the US government (and I use the term “the US government”, instead of “we” or “us”, carefully – I had no vote in and nothing to do with it) started meddling in Iran’s affairs. Look at Mosaddegh and the coup d’état in 1953. The US government overthrew and replaced him with the Shah. Then, 26 years later, the US government decided that its previous decision was no longer in its best interests, so the US government deposed the Shah. That’s only a fraction of US involvement.

Imagine if another country, 100x more militarily and economically stronger than ours, did the same thing to us for 60 years. If, say, China.. or the Soviets.. set up political and military coups, basically ran OUR country. We too would probably refer to them as “the Great Satan”. The CIA calls this “blowback“. And as I penned in my previous post of the same name: “America is exceptional, it is the most prosperous country in the history of the world, but it is not infallible – in fact, far from it.”

We have to apply history and perspective to our position here. The issue raised with regard to Iran (and other Arab nations) is in fact exactly what the “What If?” quote was referring to.

It is hardly the fault of the average US citizen not to have in-depth knowledge of these facts. We spend our lives slaving away for 8, 10, 12 hours a day (at least 3-4 of those hours of every day go directly to various governments in various ways). Then we come home and spend the rest of our night recuperating, trying to relax, and planning for the next day. We don’t have the time to become scholars on political history. Almost nobody in positions of power or influence ever talks about any of this important history; one has to really take the initiative and dig deep to find it. And that’s why I’ve become such an adamant supporter of Ron Paul. Personally, he brought me face-to-face with a lot of these issues I had never realized or heard about or dealt with before, and he’s the only one that will really address it when it counts (i.e. in the debates), even though it’s an unpopular subject. And studying these previously unknown histories for over 3 years has provided a completely new perspective on it all.

Of course, though, the question will remain: What about Israel? The answer is clear – in fact, Thomas Jefferson clued us in a few centuries ago. The US should be great friends with Israel, in trade and diplomacy. Israel should be free to defend itself without condemnation from the US. If it wants to make preemptive strikes, fine. It is a sovereign country with a superior military and can easily do so. But the US’ only moral action at this point is to apologize to Israel for the hostile environment the US has created in the Middle East, and then get out of it.

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.” – Thomas Jefferson

More foreign intervention is like more quantitative easing. We can print more and more money, but we are just building a bigger bubble. And when we finally stretch ourselves too thin militarily and economically because of our need to be the policeman of the world, the crash will be devastating.

Category: 9/11, economy, politics, war | Comments Off on interventionism
September 13

blowback

In tonight’s Republican debate, Ron Paul was challenged on his foreign policy stance – specifically, an article he wrote for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The article in question was called “Ask the Right Questions and Face the Truth“. In it, Dr Paul illuminates both the causes and effects of 9/11 – that is, both why it happened, and what it has done to the US. It goes all the way back to Iran in the 1950s with Mossadegh, and the middle eastern intervention continued right up through 2001. After the tragedy, we invaded an Iraq that even Bush himself admitted had nothing to do with 9/11. US militarism now extends to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya as well, and that’s just the “short list” of declared action. The endless wars have been accompanied by blatant disregard for and losses of civil liberties, many of which the populace begged for in its initial, frantic response to the events of that day.

Those that claim to (or want to) have an intellectual acumen will impartially read the whole of Dr Paul’s article and study the supporting evidence before coming to a conclusion. Anyone care to explain why he’s wrong?

Some in the crowd booed when he said “this whole idea that the WHOLE Muslim world is responsible for this and they’re attacking us because we’re free and prosperous, that is just not true”. So… the WHOLE Muslim world IS responsible for this? Of course that’s ridiculous. What’s left to boo? People don’t really still believe the myth that they attack us “because we’re free”, do they? That’s an obsolete catchphrase supported by absolutely zero fact. It is well-established at this point that “insurgents” (we called them Freedom Fighters during the Soviet-Afghan War) resist the US because we occupy their lands and are seen as imperialists. We’ve been intervening in middle eastern affairs for over 60 years now. The CIA itself recognizes that this creates what’s called “blowback”. This is NOT a matter of opinion.

Ironically, Ron Paul himself receives some blowback because he has the courage to tell the truth, even when it’s unpopular. Dr Paul was booed because he forces America to look in the mirror, and it doesn’t always like what it sees. Paradigms and worldviews are challenged, and many times, the truth hurts. But only by embracing that truth can we heal.

As a moral people, we need to recognize when good policies are good, and when bad policies are bad. America is exceptional, it is the most prosperous country in the history of the world, but it is not infallible – in fact, far from it. Ron Paul is the only candidate on that stage who’s not afraid to call a spade a spade, and we should be open to honest discussion about this issue from a brilliant man who has studied it in-depth – not dismissive and closed-minded, as some of the crowd members at the debate were tonight. There is a reason Ron Paul receives the greatest amount of military contributions – those who have been there, and seen it, know what is really going on. Not only is it patriotic to face reality and question with boldness… it is decidedly UN-patriotic NOT to.

August 28

Domestic War On Tyranny

Recently I had a chance to attend two of Florida-01 Congressman Jeff Miller’s town hall meetings. At the latter, he made some comments about the need for the US to start drone-bombing into Pakistan more and more, without Pakistan’s permission – which is an act of war against the country of Pakistan itself. I got a chance to address him on this, and the transcript of our somewhat heated back-and-forth is below.

My name is Calen Fretts, I have a few questions for you. First on Pakistan. You brought up how basically you think we need to be bombing into Pakistan, trying to get the Taliban. Pakistan is a sovereign country. At the same time that you’re saying this you’re talking about Libya, the Libya “kinetic action” (not war), being an “arbitrary war” and “how do you choose which country we bomb?”…

(Miller interrupts): Alright let me answer your question.
Fretts: Can I finish the question?
(Miller interrupts): No, let me answer your question.
Fretts: Can I finish please?
(Miller interrupts): NO, let me answer your question.

Miller: Your question is “why would I support sending a missile into Pakistan vs sending a missile into Libya”, correct? I think that’s what you asked.
Fretts: Not exactly. I didn’t get to finish.
Miller:  Well that’s “kinda” what you read. Alright, because the people in Pakistan are killing our men and women in uniform every single day.
Fretts: Can I finish the question?
Moderator: Go ahead, let him have his follow-up.

Fretts: It seems you’re being just as arbitrary as Obama is on this. And my question is, do you support the sovereignty of other countries, and why do you seem so eager to drag us into yet another never-ending war front in the middle east?

Miller: Okay, I appreciate your question that was designed to try to pull me off of something whereby I believe that if people are killing our American men and women and sending them home in body bags, sending them home maimed without arms and legs, the United States of America has every right to go and find these people and kill ’em. You don’t believe that, I do.

(And the crowd goes wild… it’s MILLER TIME! Moderator pulls mic away from me and tells me “That’s it, you’re through!” when I try to respond.)

Since I wasn’t given the opportunity to respond to Miller’s statement then, I’d like to do so now. By Miller’s logic, we ought to invade Libya, and if any American troops get killed or maimed, then the invasion would be justified. OR, you could use reasonable logic, and realize that if we withdrew our troops from the middle east, they would NOT be getting sent home in body bags, or getting killed and maimed, not to mention spending trillions of dollars of taxpayer money on wars that we just don’t need. So, Miller wants to start a new war on a new front. He doesn’t want to end any wars in the middle east, clearly. And he just wants to arbitrarily pick and choose which countries we invade. He doesn’t want to support Obama’s war, he just wants to support his war – whatever the Republicans choose. There you have it.

After seeing what the past decade of war has done to this country, I am now convinced that the only war we should be fighting is a Domestic War On Tyranny. That starts with kicking ALL the bums in DC out of office, including Jeff Miller.

Video: Congressman Jeff Miller town hall 2011-08-26 – War on Pakistan

Category: Florida, politics, war | Comments Off on Domestic War On Tyranny
June 10

cheatsheet for World’s Smallest Political Quiz

The short answer: “Agree” to all! Take the quiz, and post your results and comments below.

Government should not censor speech, press, media or Internet:

ANY government encroachment is always a slippery slope. The state has proven time and again that once they get their foot in the door, they will only open it wider. The First Amendment guarantees recognition of the right to absolute freedom of these mediums, period.

Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft:

Compulsory military service is an infringement of the individual’s right to freedom. Anything the government enforces involuntarily must be done either directly or indirectly at the point of a gun, with the threat of violence, which is not only immoral but against the spirit of liberty. Besides, anyone forced to do something against their will lacks motivation to perform – and if the people of a country lack the motivation to defend themselves from an impending attack, that country is destined to fail either way.

There should be no laws regarding sex between consenting adults:

There should be no laws regarding ANYTHING between consenting adults. Sex falls into that category. What people choose to do with their own bodies is up to them only – period.

Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs:

Possession and use of drugs harms nobody except possibly the user. As established previously, what people choose to do with their own bodies is their business only. Objectors will point out various crimes and hazards stemming from drug use – these issues only exist because of black markets and would be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether with decriminalization. Personally, I have never once used a single illegal drug, but I will defend anyone else’s right to do so of their own volition.

There should be no National ID card:

The powers that be want to put the means in place to eventually be able to track and control our every move – would never happen on my watch. If it were up to me, I would eliminate the Social Security card too, and go back to the original means of identification which worked just fine: by name.

End “corporate welfare”. No government handouts to business:

I would not give another corporation a single taxpayer dime if my life depended on it. Modern governments seems to be primarily run “by the corporations, for the corporations”. This is called fascism, or corporatism. Governments should not have a single finger in business; if a business is failing, the invisible hand of the market will do its work. A new business or entrepreneur will come in, buy up the assets, and restructure them in a more useful way. This holds true even for “critical” sectors, such as banking (though there are issues there with the FDIC, but that’s a whole new issue).

End government barriers to international free trade:

Absolutely. What products the government restricts in order to “save jobs” for businesses, it restricts the citizen (generally, the “little guy”) from obtaining at better prices. Protectionism helps only the corporations by allowing them to artificially inflate prices, creating monopolies. Market competition, even with other countries, is what equalizes costs and spurs innovation. If an entrepreneur can undercut a foreign industry at a profit, he will do so; otherwise, the citizens are obtaining the product at market price, and the entrepreneur’s attention is best suited elsewhere.

Let people control their own retirement: privatize Social Security:

Government control of the individual’s affairs in any way, including finances, should be called what it is: the Nanny State. Most people can manage their own retirement on a custom basis and much more efficiently than the state as a collective, and if they choose to let it sit in a bank, that is their own prerogative. Besides, Social Security is a complete failure and is nothing more than a tax-and-spend slush fund.

Replace government welfare with private charity:

The government has no business forcing one citizen to pay for another against his will. Objectors will claim that without government welfare, the needy will go unhelped; however, they fail to recognize that everything the government does, it is said to do with the will of the people. This means that if it is the will of the people to give to the needy, they will do so whether or not they are forced, and if it is not their will, the government should not be doing it in the first place.

Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more:

My ideal solution would be to cut government by 90% or more, but unfortunately this is probably impractical. I would like to go to a “Fair Tax” of 10% (if 10% is good enough for God, it’s good enough for me), end the wars and bring all troops around the world home, defund most executive departments/Cabinets, eliminate basically all unelected bureaucracies, repeal the majority of government regulations and legislation, and eventually privatize all welfare/charity. That is, return to Constitutional government – just for starters.