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.

June 13

my new form of activism

so I had a long, boring drive from the ATL to the RIC ahead of me today, so to spice it up I decided to get a bit, uh, controversial, I guess. so I painted this onto my back window:

stop the welfare
stop the wars
stop big brother
go libertarian
or Atlas Shrugs

my main goal was to spur my fellow roadsmen on their respective journeys to give a little extra thought towards the state of things, and maybe incite some discussion amongst their passengers. after all, I believe debate is one of the greatest factors towards intellectual revolution. I expected a couple nasty looks, but to my surprise I didn’t get any. I think most people that would be put off by one of the sentiments tend to agree with the others, so it’s a bit perplexing. I did get a “two thumbs up” and smiles from one couple, though. only one, but that’s better than zero. I saw a few people taking pictures too, which was funny.

anyways, I think this might by my new form of activism. I might try to use a different phrase every week or something, and report here about the feedback I get. hopefully it won’t attract too many cops to check me out, since my tags have been expired for a year and my license is expired and according to the State I’m a “terrorist” anyways. eh, somehow I was able to avoid the 5-0 all the way home today, and it’s not like I wasn’t speeding. must have been that invisible cloak I bought recently…

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January 30

HOPE

I wrote this post on HOPE for my friend Danny at Waking Ideas.

So, a little over one year into the Obama presidency, and here we stand. The depression has deepened, the homeless and jobless rate is skyscraping, but The Administration insists the worst is over. The war is expanding into new territories, even though we stretched our military too thin years ago. Civil liberties are being taken at a record pace, for any reason our rulers can find to take them. We’re spending money we don’t have like it’s going out of style, to the point where other countries are refusing to lend to us anymore, and for good reason. Picking up in almost every way where the Bush administration left off, Obama’s approval rating is below 50% and dropping fast, and America’s praise for his colleagues on the Hill is barely half that high.

And therein lies the hope.

Recently the people of Massachusetts, the most liberal state in the nation, rattled the Democrats’ cage when they elected a Republican senator, a clear and outright rejection of the anti-capitalist, anti-free-market, anti-freedom policies of Obama and his party. Because of popular outcry, the government healthcare takeover bill has been severely weakened and even has a good chance of failing, forcing Congress to go back and take a fundamental look at what they are trying to accomplish and work towards it slowly instead of ramming something through. Ron Paul’s initiative to, for the first time ever, audit the Federal Reserve, the keeper of America’s fiscal policy, is growing wings. The man himself can be seen on news programs almost daily, a surprise but yet an encouragement to people like myself who support his platform.

Even if it is, for now, a bit overshadowed by the faux/pseudo-libertarian neocon movement, the true libertarian party is growing, its ideology spreading. Americans are starting to reject the Republicans and the Democrats, realizing they are just two wings of the same party. An intellectual the likes of Peter Schiff who, four years ago, was being laughed at for his economic outlook, is now running for Senate with a great shot at winning, and there we can take hope in the gradual restoration of sound money policies and Constitutional values. The libertarian ideology’s threatening effects to the establishment can be seen in the removal of people like John Stossel and Lou Dobbs from the airwaves. Andrew Napolitano will probably be next. But we must take hope that it’s too late to chill a movement that’s already taken hold.

It has become clear that Obama, his administration, and much of the Congress have lost touch with the American people. But there is hope. When the banks and corporations are bailed out before the people, they start to call Obama’s false populist promises for what they are: lies. Civil disobedience against the State is making a comeback, in a way that would make Thoreau proud. The number of thought insurgents is growing every day. Baby roots of iconoclasm are growing in our culture. The paradigm is shifting. The curtain is being torn, and the man behind it may finally have to show his face soon.

People are waking up. The insurgency is alive.

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October 13

thoughts on a conservative education

so, it’s Columbus Day, which means I have the day off. I wanted to spend today doing something “fun” or “useful” – but instead, I’m convicted and compelled to write a political commentary. please hear me out.

I grew up in a strongly Republican household. even though I considered myself very independent and free-thinking before college, it wasn’t until I went off to Virginia Tech that my views were really challenged. I saw things, and they changed me. there’s a laundry list of issues on which my stance differs from the “traditional” Republican view: gay rights, drug legalization, stem cell research (as long as abortion is legal, which it probably will always be), drinking age, censorship… to name a few. I think Pakistan was justified in shooting at U.S. troops when we conducted raids across their borders without their permission. I have even been pondering the idea that Iran should be allowed to have nuclear technology for energy use (preemption is a toughie – see Minority Report!). these are two sovereign countries, with borders and rights.

basically, I have a universal belief in universal freedom. this puts me squarely in the political realm of libertarianism – fiscal conservative and social liberal (to an extent). but, this post is not about libertarianism – sadly, my boy Ron Paul has dropped out of the running, Bob Barr doesn’t have a realistic chance at winning, and so as to not waste our vote, we are once again left with two choices – red and blue.

most of my friends say they will be voting for Obama in three weeks. to that, my first response is “I’m glad you’re voting! And I’m glad America is finally getting involved in politics!”. my second response is “Why?”.

for many of them, the answer is simple: “Because we don’t need another George Bush in the White House.” fair enough. you’re voting against someone you disagree with. I disagree with both Bush and McCain on some key issues. by now we have all heard the opposition to the alternative. have we actually listened? why do these things not bother us?

Barack Obama is a smart, well-spoken man. I am proud of my country for finally choosing a black man (and a white woman, for that matter) to run for our nation’s highest offices. I am ashamed of all those who have made an issue out of his middle name, to the point where he refuses to use it himself. the same goes for those who have called him a “Muslim” when he in fact calls himself a Christian. even worse, I find it appalling that he has been called a terrorist – he is none of these things, and these opinions don’t represent the majority of the Republican party, and I hope the few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch. still, there are a number of problems with Obama which, for some reason, are non-issues to many of us.

Obama is friends with a known terrorist. he had his political coming-out party at Ayers’ house. Obama has done what he can to distance himself from this fact, but the point remains. this is not fearmongering, this is the truth.

Obama’s preacher of 20 years is a self-proclaimed hater of America. this is a man who thinks the 9/11 attacks against 3,000 of our own men, women, and children were justified, and Obama passively endorsed this kind of rhetoric for 20 years. Obama has done what he can to distance himself from this fact, but the point remains. this is not fearmongering, this is the truth.

Obama has almost no political experience. he is in many ways less experienced even than the VP candidate from the opposing party. he’s a name. and yet, we are in the midst of voting this man into the White House, on his promises of “change”, and does anyone even know what he’s about? I guess he really is a magician. here is my response:

it’s like those SGA elections in middle school, where the candidates always said they would get new vending machines, and make breaks and lunch twice as long, and all the nerds would be able to hook up with the hot chicks now. that was change, too!

Obama wants to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Utopia is nice in theory, but not in practice. just today, I saw this clip: Obama Tells Tax-Burdened Plumber the Plan is to ‘Spread the Wealth Around’. here is my response:

would any Obama supporters care to either
a) defend the idea that he is not a full-blown socialist, or
b) go ahead and admit he’s a full-blown socialist, and explain why you think socialism will suddenly work after thousands of years of proof that it won’t?

I realize we already practice some socialist ideals as a country, but when you admit that you want to be a modern-day Robin Hood, you have to call a spade a spade. it might work in Disney movies but not in the real world.

right now 30% don’t pay taxes, and under his plan will get money back anyways. when that number gets to 51%, we’re in big trouble.

my confidence in either candidate to fix our nation’s problems is close to zero. my hope is that, by the next election, America will take the blinders off and think outside the box for a minute, and realize that neither Republicans or Democrats are changing anything for the better. we must decide for ourselves whether we want to be more like Cuba, or more like the United States of America that the Constitution was drafted to govern, the visions of our founding fathers. until then, here is where McCain and Obama stand on the issues, straight from the horses’ mouths.

I’ll leave you with a quote that will sadly remain my greatest consolation if Obama is elected, in the hopes that our Congress would continue to flounder, as it has done so well for many years:

“An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.” – Eugene J. McCarthy

comments welcome. my mind is open.

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