Archive for the ‘Liberty’ Category
As usual, Bill Whittle nails it:
…he is right that she really shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it… but; I suspect she will. ◄Dave►
If we are lucky enough for the Obamanation to actually leave office at the end of his current term, the Lame-Stream-Media are determined to replace him with fellow pathological liar Hillary Clinton.
I listened to part of her lie fest yesterday and the reasons she gave for her illegal actions regarding her official email would have been comical if coming from someone less likely to become “leader” of the somewhat free world.
For instance, she used a single email account for both personal and official communications because she did not want to deal with multiple devices. As if a given computing device is tied to one, and only one, email account. Not even a clever lie.
She admits to deleting over 30,000 emails from her account. These included some unknown number concerning yoga routines. Is she insane enough to think anyone believes that this old hag with a butt the size of Texas does yoga? An even less clever lie.
She claims to have complied with the rules by turning over some 55,000 printed pages of emails. How transparent. Not only are all the routing signatures not available on printed copies, these emails cannot be processed by electronic means without re-digitizing them – something that will take weeks or months to accomplish with some unknown introduction of translation errors. This was indeed, clever. If your have something to hide.
Then there is the apparent gap in the emails around the time of the Benghazi fiasco. How convenient.
In a no doubt associated matter, there are those huge monetary contributions to the Clinton Foundation from foreign people and governments which have no business “buying” influence with a cabinet officer who may well become POTUS. But, what should we expect from the wife of an ex president who sold US military secrets to the Chinese. Have you seen photos of their stealth aircraft? Clearly built directly from US plans and specifications.
It is obvious that the Clintons are part of a ruling class in this nation who are above the law. Witness the crimes committed by Bill which, besides the treason with the Chinese, included confessed-to perjury, and probable multiple rapes.
Any nation whose people not only put up with such behavior but encourage it by electing and re-electing the perpetrators deserve the inevitable outcome.
Citizens of an honest nation would be taking to the streets to demand justice. Instead, we allow the criminals and traitors to become rich and treat them like celebrities.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Worth watching and pondering:
If you don’t know Trevor Loudon, you should:
We tend to be myopically focused on Islam these days; but I reckon it is a mistake to ignore this message. When one thinks about it, whether the Obamessiah is or is not a Muslim, the evidence from reading his own autobiographies overwhelmingly suggests he is a committed Marxist. As Loudon points out, he could not get a security clearance to clean the toilets on an American military base! Joe McCarthy must be spinning in his grave… ◄Dave►
I can’t think of anything that needs to be added to this indictment:
…but I sure wish college students could be required to watch and absorb it. ◄Dave►
…he might look a bit like 12-year-old C. J. Pearson:
…but, then, looks can sometimes be deceiving.
Thanks, C. J., for giving an old man a glimmer of hope for the future of America. ◄Dave►
Troy has suggested we engage in a discussion of Islam. To set the tone, I suggest we take the lead from our old friend Pat Condell:
It doesn’t get much straighter, fearless, & frank than that… ◄Dave►
Try as I might, I just cannot permanently stay quiet. Its like a pressure builds up in me such that I have to give it vent by speaking (or, in this case, writing) out. Sorry about that.
There is currently much yapping going on the media regarding the Obamanation’s refusal to use such terms as “radical Islam” in conjunction with the ongoing terrorist activities that are spreading like wildfire. The administration would evidently have us believe that a relatively few really bad guys commit these atrocities while falsely claiming to be Muslim, when, in fact, they have nothing whatever to do with the “religion of peace”. A lie so blatant as to be funny, were the consequences not so grave.
Yet, this is not the misnaming I wish to highlight. Instead, I feel that someone MUST bring the obvious into the cold light of truth.
Allow me to begin by offering two definitions, both taken from Yahoo Dictionary:
1. One who betrays one’s country, a cause, especially one who commits treason. (emphasis added by me.)
1. The betrayal of allegiance toward one’s own country, especially by committing hostile acts against it or aiding its enemies in committing such acts. (emphasis added by me.)
2. The betrayal of someones trust or confidence.
You may rightly be wondering by now, what can this fool be leading up to? Simply this. Our president is, by the above definitions, a traitor and guilty of treason. Among other treasonous acts, he has:
1. Released high-ranking enemy commanders, knowing they will likely return to the fight against us. The most spectacular of these acts was the release of 5 top Taliban commanders from the prison at Guantanamo in exchange for a soldier who almost certainly deserted his unit during wartime operations – another obvious act of treason.
2. Withdrawn our victorious military from Iraq at a time, and in such a fashion, as to guarantee the collapse of the government there.
3. Promised to do the same in Afghanistan.
4. Done everything in his power to avoid meaningful attacks on ISIS/ISIL, despite their obvious barbarity and their promise to make direct war on the United States.
5. Done everything in his power to ensure Iran successfully develops and deploys nuclear weapons.
6. Essentially ignored the growing threat to world peace posed by the Russian dictator.
7. Trampled the Constitution he swore to protect and defend.
In the above list, item 1 alone constitutes treason because there is no way to explain how such an act fails to give aid and comfort to the enemy. In a word, it is sufficient for Congress to demand severe punishment. Please remember that treason is the only crime defined in our Constitution.
Why then is there no outcry from the media (including Fox)? Why then is there no outcry from the Congress? Why then is there no outcry from any power base? Simple again. The whole useless lot of them either share the Obamanation’s guilt -or- they are so afraid of him that they are hardly more use than a bowl of quivering Jello. Mostly because any attempt to spotlight his crimes, whether treasonous or Constitutional violations, will open them to the deadly charge of racism. Better that the world’s greatest Republic be absolutely destroyed than that one of these precious idiots be labeled racist!
And, do not expect anything to change because the Republicans are back in control of the entire Congress. The only thing we can really look forward to from that quarter is that social legislation, particularly as affects anti-abortion and “family values” will get a new shot of energy.
The high point of my life is that I was privileged to live in these United States during our finest days. The low point is that I may well live long enough to see it all destroyed.
Where are the patriots that once made this Republic great? Why don’t they step forward and offer themselves for election? A believable patriot that could inspire our people could win the coming presidential election in history’s greatest landslide. If only.
Instead, we can look forward to a battle between liars and losers with it making very little difference which one prevails.
Worse yet, when the final collapse begins, most of us will wail that we had no idea such things were happening.
This nation was designed to be self-governing. That is to say, a nation governed by the combined will of its citizens. If we, the “self-governors” refuse to educate ourselves, refuse inform ourselves, refuse to be meaningfully involved in the governance of our nation, the current mess we are in seems an inevitable outcome.
For the moment, most of us seem to be (literally) fat, dumb and happy. However, not much further down the current road will find us starving, dumb and enslaved. Notice that “dumb” is the constant in this equation.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
As those of you who still bother to follow this blog well know, I was once one of the most active contributors. But, no more. Why? Is it because I have nothing more to say? Is it because there is nothing new to say? Is it because I am becoming too senile to express myself? Perhaps a little of these.
Mostly, I am pretty quiet these days because my level of disgust with my fellow citizens is becoming so great that I have trouble expressing myself in socially-acceptable language.
It is so very hard to sit by quietly while we literally fritter away the most prosperous, most individually free nation that the earth has ever known. And why? In the main because we have, as a people, become worthless. To the extent that it is increasingly hard to justify the space that we occupy and the resources we squander.
Does this seem a bit harsh? If you don’t bother to think, I’m sure it does. But, if you make just the slightest scratch upon the surface of our reality, it actually might seem a bit mild if not understated.
Just what am I talking about, some of you may be wondering by this point… what can have put this doddering old fool on such a rant? The answer is ever so simple – I simply pay attention to the world around me and actually try to process what I am seeing. And, what I see and understand disgusts me.
For instance, I regularly watch Bill O’Reilly on TV. At least weekly he has a segment called Watters’ World where a young reporter named Jesse Watters goes out and interviews “normal” individuals about the issues of the day. In almost all cases, the individuals in question are dumber than rocks. They don’t know anything! And worst yet, many of them are proud of their ignorance and laugh about it as well. So do most of the show’s audience.
Sorry but this sickens me. How can anyone find humor in the fact that so many of our people know nothing about our history, nothing about our government, nothing about our economy, nothing about world events… while these are the very people who are expected to go to the polls and select those who will lead us onto better paths. And we dare to wonder why so many sorry bums get elected and re-elected!
We are quickly approaching another election in which several national seats (for the Senate and the House) will be decided by voter fraud of various types (ballot box stuffing, illegal votes by the dead and by non-citizens, multiple votes, etc.). And there is NO national outcry! NO demand that those who won by fraud be made to give up their seats. NO demand that the guilty be sent off to prison. Indeed, our federal Justice Department actually fights against the few attempts at reform by some of the States!
Meanwhile, our president seems to be begging to be impeached through constant lying, blatant refusal to obey the constitution, the Congress or orders from the Courts, ruling by decree, making decision after decision that is harmful to the nation.
The conduct of foreign affairs is such that the administration – or, at least the president – might actually be convicted of high treason should our representatives and justices somehow magically develop some sense of honor, duty, loyalty and the backbone to assert them.
This last may seem especially harsh until one analyzes the totality of our foreign policy, especially as regards Islam and jihad. So many of the actions taken seem downright impossible to explain until one asks the simple question “what if they/he are/is on the other side”. Then things suddenly make perfect sense in the most frightening way. Yet again, there is no outcry, Even FOX, which is, otherwise somewhat more critical of the administration than the rest of the media, seem blind to this obvious possibility. And, well they should be if they want to continue broadcasting.
(One may well wonder how I think I can get by with such observations? It is simply because nobody cares what I have to say and there may be more value in letting folks like me make apparent fools of ourselves.)
In summary, our society, in general, has become so corrupt, so greedy, so stupid, so lazy and so individually self-focused that our continued existence is somewhat amazing.
So, I rave on foolishly while far to many of my peers sit there (very) fat, (very) dumb and (somewhat) happy while our once-great nation slowly fades away. Thankfully, none of us will live to see what history has to say about our folly. I somehow doubt it will “do us proud”.
Think about it,
Troy L Robinson
As should be clear to anyone paying even the slightest attention, our “reigning” president’s behavior seems to become ever more bizarre, irresponsible, unconstitutional, and detrimental to the nation, possibly to the entire world. Of course, there are various attempts in the media and in political circles to explain this behavior.
Among the explanations frequently offered, we hear that Obama is disengaged, that he is incompetent, that he is bored (being the head of the greatest nation in history is SO beneath his capabilities as the story goes), etc., ad nauseam.
Any and/or all of these may be true, at least so some extent. However, I sincerely doubt that they actually explain the motivation for Obama’s behavior.
On the one hand, I ask you to think back over all the cruel and ugly stereotypes blacks, especially black males, have had to endure in our nation– that they are lazy, shiftless, dishonest, unreliable and, worst of all, prone to operate outside established law. Now, consider Obama’s behavior in office. At various times, he seems to have gone out of his way to act in accordance with every one of these stereotypes. Why?
Add to this his continuing attempts to grab power that is constitutionally allotted to the other 2 branches of government. Why?
Then, not only does he grab power that rightly belongs to Congress, he goes out of his way to ridicule and humiliate members of Congress in the process. Why?
Obama seems never to pass up an opportunity to encourage political and ethnic disharmony among the people he presumes to lead. Why?
As we approach a mid-term election in which pollsters predict the opposition party will take control of the Senate, while keeping control of the House of Representatives, his behavior seems to become even more bizarre. Why?
Allow me to offer a possible answer to all these “Whys”. I suspect Obama and his cohorts are intentionally trying to provoke the American people into demanding action against him by the Congress – probably in the form of impeachment.
It is obvious that, so long as Harry Reid and the Democrats are able to control the Senate, no impeachment charge could possibly achieve a conviction, ergo the GOP leadership in the House know better than to embarrass themselves by trying. But, in early 2015, with GOP control of the entire Congress and with an increasing number of voters demanding that something be done, the GOP may well feel themselves compelled to risk an impeachment.
IMHO, that is exactly what Obama and company are hoping for. Why? This time the answer is very simple. Any serious attempt to remove Obama from office would almost assuredly trigger massive riots in most or our major cities. This, in turn, would present that long sought-after condition for a declaration of martial law nationwide. Once said declaration is in effect, we will have become a dictatorship, plain and simple. Most probably, some manner of civil war would soon follow – a civil war in which freedom-loving Americans would stand little chance of prevailing.
No doubt some of you who have agreed, to whatever extent, with my analysis so far will dispute this last assessment. My response is that your should never underestimate the corrupting power of the promise of power and wealth, even when that promise is actually false.
The only other possible outcome of ongoing events is that the Congress and the Courts simply continue to allow Obama’s power to grow, unchecked. In this case, he becomes dictator by default. Same outcome as above, only without the riots and the martial law.
You may further note that this analysis contains no suggestion of a response on our part. This is because I consider the situation too far gone for any effective action.
Consider that, despite several years of Obama acting as a pseudo dictator, with most of our international respect gone, with much of our military might intentionally forfeited, with our economy in shambles, nearly half of our citizens still approve of Obama’s job performance.
Can you spell “hopeless”?
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
Like most Americans, I get a daily dose of updates from the front lines in Ferguson, MO. Being me, I can’t help but offer a few comments of my own…
To begin with, let me clearly say that I have no idea what actually transpired between the dead youth and the police officer – and, I suspect we will never know for sure because most of the “witnesses” seem to have viewed the incident through lens distorted by their own personal prejudices, these slanting in all directions.
Next, I highly suspect that officer Wilson will see his reputation, if not his freedom, sacrificed in the name of Political Correctness and “community relations”, just as happened several years ago in the Rodney King case. I cite the King case based on my personal opinion that the opinion of the public (and the original jury that refused to convict the police) was very different based on whether they viewed the entire video tape of the incident or the carefully edited version shown by the major media. The point being that “evidence” can be manipulated to cause differing responses from those considering said evidence.
My next point concerns the notion that an “unarmed youth” was shot multiple times by an armed police officer. I contend that a 300+ pound 18 year-old human body, used in anger, can be a quite formidable weapon, particularly when launched against an older human of about ½ the body mass of the perpetrator.
Then there is the major paradox in the case: This involves the claim, probably often true, that many police are very prone to be especially suspicious of the criminal tenancies of young black males. Now, one can reasonably respond that crime statistics support this apparent attitude on the part of the police. One can also reasonably counter that, if police apprehend young black males in excess, that in itself will tend to generate those very statistics. But that is not the paradox. Instead it is this – in far too many cases like Ferguson, too many members of the black community “protest” their alleged over-criminalization by committing repeated criminal acts – looting, rioting, attacking police and innocent civilians – usually in public and often on camera. Can they not realize that such open and obvious behavior is seen by many fair-minded people as justifying the attitudes and actions of the police?
A second paradox is the climate of fear, caused by black outrage, encouraged by “professional racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, discourage the open and honest exchange of thoughts and feelings necessary to sort through and, hopefully, resolve this continuing national tragedy. This is (to me at least) especially distressing at a time when a number of the most powerful political offices, most distinguished scholastic positions, and most lucrative entertainment positions are held by members of the black community.
As I have opined multiple times in this space, the genetic differences between the ethnic groups in this nation are superficial to the degree of being meaningless, consisting almost entirely of environmental adaptations that will one day disappear. The meaningful differences are all cultural. While it may well be slowly changing (for the worse), the most successful cultural model in this nation is derived from that of Western Europe. That culture embodies such notions as education, ambition, perseverance, supportive/protective family units, honesty, integrity. Historically, members of all ethnic groups who embrace this culture succeed, to the extent that they usually achieve whatever they desire in their lives. Sadly, far too many members of the black community, especially in our inner cities, embrace an artificial, dysfunctional culture that knowingly rejects those cultural attributes that reliably lead to success. Sadder still, this phenomenon is encouraged by various political groups who profit from a downtrodden, dependent black community. Saddest of all, the worst offenders in this viscous process are themselves members of the black community. The power to change this lies totally in the hands of the blacks themselves – if they would only realize it.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
I am having blog-withdrawal problems and must contribute something – however, continuing to point out the myriad wrongdoings of the Obamanation and his administration is boring and repetitive. Add to that the fact that I have lost nearly all passion for things political and I am left with the nearly overwhelming need to say something despite having nothing very inteeresting to say.
Then, voila, last evening I found a subject – although nothing really earth shaking. Congressman Paul Ryan was commenting that after several decades and trillions of dollars spent, US government programs to help those in poverty had not worked. (Imagine that!)
Finally, something to dispute, and from a conservative mouth to boot!
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In political discussions, I generally identify myself as a small (el) libertarian, since it is too time consuming to explain what I mean, when I say I am an objectivist. There are, however, profound differences between some of the various schools of libertarianism, and the specific philosophy of Ayn Rand, which she named objectivism. This will serve as a succinct introduction to the subject, to which I can link in future discussions here and elsewhere.
The Ayn Rand Institute has some superb interactive online courses. They just added a short 15 minute introductory course on objectivism, narrated by Ayn Rand herself. It is very well done, and I highly recommend it. However, although it is free of charge, one must enroll in their online university to watch it. While safe and painless, few would probably bother to do so. Thus, the following is the transcript of Ayn Rand’s voice-over, without the visuals:
At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did, as follows:
1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism
If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:
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I am well aware that we are rapidly approaching the demise of America. If the last five years have not inspired the ruling class to do something to prevent the coming total crash of our economy and bankruptcy of the Federal government, nothing will. It is only a matter of (a short) time before we devolve into civil war/revolution (same thing) and the chances of holding it together until the mid-term election in ’14, much less the chance for a reset in ’16, are almost nil. Thus, wasting any time on anything other than preparing for the inevitable martial law looming on the horizon, is precisely that – a waste of time.
However, I am as prepared as I need to be at my age, so permit me to waste some time (as if we had a viable future), on a rather insignificant issue. On the other hand, if pondering it causes others, who may not be as psychologically prepared for what is coming as I am, to grasp the implications of Obama’s promised ‘civilian security force,’ then perhaps it is not such a waste of time, or so insignificant. I would like to suggest that we start a movement to totally defund and eliminate the National Park Service (NPS).
I am by no means the only one who has been outraged at these wanabe petty tyrants. The obvious relish with which they have been executing their egregious orders, to ‘make it hurt’ the taxpaying citizens, during the quasi-shutdown of the Federal government for the past couple of weeks, is truly disgusting. Somehow, they have lost sight of the fact that our national parks belong to the people, who are only paying them as caretakers and janitors to keep them tidy.
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After some fruitful discussion on my “Natural Rights Explained” essay, posted here and elsewhere, my blogging partner, Troy, posted his “Natural Rights Refuted” post, neatly dismissing the whole concept. This is my rebuttal to that.
We may be twisting ourselves into semantic knots here, Troy. Suggesting there is no “such thing,” comports with the understanding we had already developed, which suggested that natural rights are ideas, akin to opportunities, rather than things. Yet, as Chris pointed out, ideas are ‘things’ too.
I had been working on the notion that it was sovereignty itself, which was the primary, and the concept of natural rights were mere corollaries of that proposition. Then, the Enlightenment era treatise by Quesnay, suggested that it was the right to pursue one’s own pleasure, which was fundamental and gave rise to the notion of sovereignty, and the other so-called natural rights.
In any case, I entirely agree with your assessment of the intention of Jefferson, et al. That was precisely the point I was making in my original “Sovereign Rights” essay back in ’07, when I interpreted and restated his most famous line about self-evident truths, in the Declaration of Independence, thusly:
“We freeborn Americans are sovereign individuals, each on par with King George III himself, with the inalienable right to live our lives as freemen, pursuing our own happiness, subservient to no one.”
Do natural rights exist? As ideas, they most certainly do. The meaning, validity, and/or effect of those ideas can certainly be fairly challenged; but their existence cannot, and more importantly, probably should not. I think we need to back up and look at the big picture, to assess the whole point of this discussion.
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A typical comment directed at me elsewhere, inspired some cogitation resulting in the following explanation of ‘natural rights':
“What is the point of the constitutional phrase right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness if you can murder babies in the womb? We only have a right to life if we are already born? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
That phrase is found in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, and it was part of the sentence declaring the equality and natural rights of all ‘men,’ not babies, or children, and certainly not fetuses. In our Founder’s time, it probably did not even include women, and for an embarrassingly significant percentage of them, it excluded the entire negro race. Allow me to offer another way to look at this business of natural rights, which may help you make some sense of them.
When Enlightenment thinkers developed the philosophical concept of natural rights, it was in the context of individual sovereignty. The extant paradigm for Western civilization at that time, was that one was necessarily born into servitude, to the sovereign potentate claiming dominion over the territory in which one was born. There were different classes in society, enjoying differing levels of privileges; but all were born subjects of their king, whether serf or gentry. Supported by the clergy, the king had the divine right to rule over his subjects. He could order a subject’s head detached on a whim, and a serf was not permitted to relocate or change occupations without permission.
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I am involved in an interesting discussion on a conservative site frequented by Christian fundamentalists. This morning, a fellow named Rich made a comment suggesting that the Left is waging a “war against Christians,” and that political activism by the religious Right, is “most always” to counter that. It inspired me to share a unique perspective I have, as a non-combatant in the culture war raging across our land, who has communicated extensively with participants in both camps. I think it is worth sharing with a wider audience, so it follows:
The tragedy, Rich, is that most of those on the Left think they too, are playing defense. I spent a couple of years back in ’07 and ’08, frequenting freethinker forums, which were mostly populated with insufferable ACLU type atheist activists. There, I essentially played the opposite role that I have here. I referred to myself as a godless redneck heathen, and defended the traditional American culture extant in flyover country. I was as much an enigma there as I am here.
Here, my patriotism and more or less conservative political views, generally resonate; but my lack of faith, and unabashed willingness to challenge Christian dogma, is confusing and consternating to most. There, I passed their godless test; but my unabashed willingness to defend Judeo-Christian culture, and challenge their equally dogmatic Politically Correct ideology, drove them nuts. Thus, I can report with some authority, that they are irrationally afraid of the Piously Correct agenda.
While flawed in their support of government coercion, for the purposes of redistributing wealth for ‘social justice,’ they are fulsome in their support for civil rights for all mankind, and adamant in their insistence that government stay the hell out of their personal lives. In this, I was in full agreement, although I took pains to point out their inconsistencies, and insist that I wanted government to also stay out of my personal pocketbook.
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I may be missing something by never watching TV for entertainment. A truly profound observation:
“Anarchism . . . stands for liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from shackles and restraint of government. It stands for social order based on the free grouping of individuals.” The father’s voice returns: “The concept was pure, simple, true. It inspired me, lit a rebellious fire. But ultimately I learned the lesson that Goldman, Proudhon, and the others learned: that true freedom requires sacrifice and pain. Most human beings only think they want freedom. In truth, they yearn for the bondage of social order, rigid laws, materialism. The only freedom man really wants is the freedom to become comfortable.”
I have long thought about prices, wages, and values in terms of gold, as in my post on Money. Trying to track down an article Troy suggested we read in a comment, I stumbled across a useful website, pricedingold.com, which has various financial charts plotted in grams of gold, rather than U.S. Dollars. This takes the currency inflation and manipulative volatility out of the picture, allowing real long-term values to emerge. It is remarkable how relatively stable prices remain when measured in gold, instead of a depreciating fiat currency. The site is a very useful resource. If one thinks in ounces, instead of grams, just multiply oz. by 31, or vice versa, to convert.
It prodded me to think again about how it is only wages that have not kept pace with the deliberate inflation, which the oligarchs (bankers and lawyers/politicians) use to steadily steal our wealth. I have thought of a couple more examples to add to my part time job in high school, which I offered in the Money post. When I was discharged from the Army in 1966, my final pay scale as an E-5 over 2 years of service, was $246 per month, plus room and board, full medical and dental coverage with zero co-pay, cheap discounted prices in the PX, 30 days of paid leave a year, the GI Bill for post-secondary education (usually college, but I used mine for a pilot’s license), and a very lucrative fully funded pension plan, if one wished to make a 20 year investment in an Army career. I was in a critical MOS, so they offered me E-7 stripes and an $8K reenlistment bonus, if I would re-up. Since a brand new car averaged $2,400, and a gallon of gas averaged 32 cents, that was a lot of money; but I knew I could do better in a civilian job, and took a pass.
Now, let’s convert those numbers into gold. At $35 an oz. at the time, setting aside all of the valuable benefits, my paltry pay scale was almost precisely 7 oz. of gold a month. At the current price of gold ($1,340) that is the equivalent of a monthly salary today of $9,380. Yet, an E-5 with two years of active duty today, is only paid $2,304; ten time what I earned in dollars, but nowhere near what I earned in gold. The $8K reenlistment bonus, would have bought 228.5 oz. of gold at the time, which equates to $306,286 today. I wonder how much they are offering these days? Yet the car at 68.5 oz. of gold, is not that far off from what one would have to pay for a full-sized full-featured American car today, when converted back to $92K at the current price of gold. Similarly, a gallon of gas at 32 cents, equates to 109 gal. per oz. of gold, which at today’s gold price would be over $12 per gal. So, the cost of producing automobiles and gasoline has actually gone down. If wages were keeping up with inflation, and everyone was making at least a lowly sergeant’s pay of $9k+ a month, perhaps we could all notice that. Then, perhaps folks would be appreciative of ‘Big Oil,’ for their efficiencies at reducing prices on a necessary commodity.
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The longer I contemplate it, the more I find myself inclined to agree with much of the anarchist wing of libertarian thought. The notion that coercive government is a necessary evil for civilization to flourish simply isn't accurate, and the history of the world is replete with anecdotal evidence to the contrary. One such example, is our own history of the 'lawless' Frontier, as we settled the West. If one strips away the revisionist rhetoric, and particularly the sensationalized Hollywood characterizations, one finds a remarkably cooperative, productive, and yes relatively peaceful libertarian society of rugged individualists.
I just read an awesome essay on mises.org, which is very thought-provoking. Entitled, “The American West: A Heritage of Peace,” it is not short; but it is profound and well worth the read. I guarantee it will rearrange what you think you know about that period of our history, and the implications for libertarianism found in the unvarnished truth. Please do invest the time, it won't be wasted. ◄Dave►
This being the holiday when we (should) celebrate our national independence, it seems a reasonable time to reflect on the notion of Patriotism and of the Patriot. To some extent, this article is in response to the blog post at: http://www.thoughtsaloud.com/2013/06/11/does-the-truth-realy-make-us-free/ and to the many comments it prompted (and for which I thank all of you).
To start things off, I offer definitions of the two words, taken from Dictionary.com:
devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
While I do not argue with these definitions, I nevertheless find them lacking. For instance, “patriotism” is defined as being about one’s country and national loyalty. Fine, but exactly what does this mean? Is the “country” the physical land? Is it the citizenry? Is it the nation – and, by extension, the government? Common sense suggests to me that it is a combination of these. Again, fine, so far as it goes.
Next, when we consider the definition of “patriot”, we get another “spin” on things. Again is repeated the devotion to country, but, added is the notion that a “patriot” also defends the rights of the individual citizen against governmental interference. And, herein lies the rub.
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