PostHeaderIcon WMD versus WID – Death By The Penny Or Death By The Pound

In the ridiculous “debate” now going on between various factions in what passes for a government in this sad Republic (if I may be so bold as to still name it such), regarding our potential intervention in the civil war currently raging in Syria, much seems to hinge on the method by which the victims of that war are wounded or killed.

Indeed, and for some years now, it has been United States policy to cause all manner of international uproar over the fact that nations, other than our own, might have and –shudder– actually use a WMD – otherwise known as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

In the first place, there is one thing has never been defined to my understanding or satisfaction; that is, how large must a singular act of destruction be in order to qualify as “mass”?

In the second place, by what logic is it somehow worse for destruction to be caused by a singular act that meets the mysterious criteria of “mass” versus the same net amount of destruction being caused by repeated application of WID (Weapons of Incremental Destruction)? After all, did not our very Republic introduce the use of such WMD to end WWII in Asia under the theory that a couple of massive acts of destruction would, in the long run, result in less total damage than the continued application of WID? (Please note that I use the word destruction to describe the destruction of both people and objects.)
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PostHeaderIcon Reinstate Now

Saturday evening, we attended a presentation regarding a relatively new, grassroots effort to reinstate our Constitutional Republic using a bottoms-up approach. Details can be found at reinstatenow.org. I will share more regarding this as I learn more (a local group is holding weekly lectures to teach us how we can each participate.) In the meantime, please check out the website and offer your own opinions. From what I can tell so far, this group is focused on actions that can be taken now and by folk like us.

Note that this effort is being led by a number of people who have my respect, including Tom Woods (Nullification and others); G Edward Griffin (The Creature from Jekyll Island and others; “Sheriff” Richard Mack (founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and author of a number of books dealing with the role of the sheriff under our Constitution, gun control, and similar issues).

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #9

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 25th Amendment

The 25th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 25th amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 25th amendment was implemented to allow appointment of a Vice President, when such office shall become vacant, rather than rely on the order of succession originally established by our Constitution. The main impetus for the 25th Amendment was that the then Speaker of the House (Carl Albert) was totally unwilling to succeed to the Presidency.

The 25th Amendment has already given us an “appointed President” (Gerald Ford). It also gave us an “appointed Vice President” in the form of Nelson Rockefeller, a person who had repeatedly been rejected by the people in his own attempts to win his party’s nomination for President. Given the assassination attempt on President Ford, the Republic was very nearly subjected to a situation where a person repeatedly rejected by the people would, nevertheless, have gained the Presidency.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #8

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Honest Currency Amendment

Immediately following ratification of this amendment, the unconstitutional banking enterprise known as The Federal Reserve System will be eliminated and no such future enterprise will be allowed under this Constitution.

The issuance of paper currency and coinage will be controlled solely by the Congress of the United States using a formula, of their own creation, which will limit increases in the total amount of paper currency and coinage to such amount as is indicated by the growth of the Gross National Product (GNP) of the United States. All such paper currency and coinage shall be backed by, and redeemable in, precious metals, and the total amount of paper currency and coinage in circulation at any given time will not exceed the value of the precious metals held in reserve by the Government of the United States.

Within one year following ratification of this amendment, the Congress of the United States shall commission a full public accounting of the activities of the late The Federal Reserve System and shall demand a refund of any and all treasure wrongfully taken and/or disbursed from the treasury of the United States for any private or personal gain by those attached to the late The Federal Reserve System. All participants in the wrongful taking or disbursement of the treasure of the United States, who are still living, will then be processed through the criminal justice system as appropriate.

The rates of interest charged on debt in the United States shall be determined by the free marketplace.

Since its inception in 1913, the The Federal Reserve System (FED) has operated for the profit of foreign and domestic bankers and other members of what amounts to a “financial cartel” and to the detriment of the people of the United States and to its government. During this time, the value of the United States dollar and been decreased by something between 95 and 97% of its value at the inception of the FED. In other words, between 95 and 97% of the private wealth of the people of the United States has been, for all intents and purposes, stolen. The FED has been a criminal enterprise by any means by which such can be judged. Elimination of the FED and its machinations will hasten the return of a true free-market system in the United States for the benefit of all of its citizens.

Returning the nation to a precious metals based currency will end the evil system by which fiat money is created, based on ever increasing debt, and of benefit only to the banking system which, by this very process, has become evil in nature and practice.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #7

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Congressional Constraint Amendment

Starting the year following ratification of this amendment, no member of the United States Congress may serve more than 12 years in office. This total will include time served in either the House of Representatives, the Senate, or both.

Starting the year following ratification of this amendment, the existing congressional pension plan will be discontinued. In its place, each member of Congress shall be awarded credits under the Civil Service Retirement Act for each year served. Such credits will be aggregated with similar credits earned through other federal employment, per the terms and conditions of the Civil Service Retirement Act . Any such other benefits provided to members of Congress will also be in accordance with the Civil Service Retirement Act . Likewise, any medical and/or health-care benefits provided to members of Congress will be the same as those provided to other federal employee.

I think this amendment hardly needs explanation or justification. Note that this is similar to, but not exactly the same, as that proposed by Mark Levin in The Liberty Amendments

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #6

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Spending Constraint Amendment

Starting the year following ratification of this amendment, the Federal Government of the United States of America must operate by an established budget in which total budgeted spending does not exceed the total revenues collected by that government in the previous year.

Said annual budget must also contain a line item amounting to 10% of the total budget which will be used exclusively for retiring a portion of the public debt.

At the end of any budget year, should there remain any surplus revenue beyond that required to satisfy that year’s budget, such surplus will be used exclusively for retiring a portion of the public debt.

Under no circumstance is the public debt to be increased excepting for defending the Republic against a direct attack by a foreign power and in consequence of a Declaration of War, by the Congress of the United States of America, in accordance with Article I. of the United States Constitution.

I think this amendment hardly needs explanation or justification.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #5

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 26th Amendment

The 26th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 26th amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 26th amendment was implemented to give extend the voting franchise to people 18 years of age on the apparent assumption that people of such age have accrued a maturity level consistent with electing people to public office in the United States. All experience suggests just the opposite – that, in fact, the age of maturity and adult responsibility is generally being delayed into later years.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #4

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 23rd Amendment

The 23rd amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 23rd amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 23rd amendment was implemented to give residents of the District of Columbia, the seat of our Federal Government, much of the level of participation in the Federal Government that is given to citizens of the several States.

The District of Columbia is, in obvious fact, NOT a sovereign State and attempts to treat it as such work to the detriment of the legitimate States. For the purposes intended by the original amendment, after ratification of this amendment, the District of Columbia will be considered to be part of the sovereign State of Maryland, as was originally the case.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #3

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 14th Amendment

The 14th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 14th amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 14th amendment was implemented to address the treatment of newly freed slaves and well as those persons held to have been engaged in insurrection against the United States (that is, those who fought on the side of the late Confederacy).

The conditions intended to be addressed by the 14th amendment have long ceased to exist yet some of its provisions are used to this day to the disadvantage of the Republic and contrary to its original intent.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 17th Amendment

The 17th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. Future election of Senators will be made by the Legislatures of the several States as prescribed by the original Constitution. Senators serving at the time this amendment is ratified may complete the current terms to which they were elected.

Any Senate seats vacated by resignation, recall, death or other means will be filled by an election of the applicable State Legislature, or, by the Chief Executive of the applicable State should the State Legislature not be in session.

The Framers intended the Senate to be representative of the governments of the several States. This amendment reinstates that original intent.

This is also one of the amendments suggested by Mark Levin in The Liberty Amendments

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #1

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Equal Protection Amendment

All Laws, Rules or Regulations promulgated by the Federal Government of the United States of America, or by any agency or branch thereof, shall apply equally to all Citizens of the United States of America, including all members of government whether elected, appointed or employed to whatever position they may occupy.

I sincerely believe that this is the most important amendment needed to our Constitution. While apparently simple at first reading, it would serve to stop much of the misuse and misapplication of power that currently plagues our Republic. Not only would it block government intrusion into may areas where the federal government has no business intruding, it would also stop any and all use of laws and regulations to pander, cater or otherwise favor one person or group of persons over another.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Full Liberty is Anarchy

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.”

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PostHeaderIcon Text View

For we news and politics junkies, much of our web surfing is in pursuit of interesting articles to read. We are interested in the text itself, not all the distracting animated graphics, advertisements, photo albums, and other inducements to keep one clicking up advertising revenue for the site. I do have sympathy for their motive, and understand why they tend to break up longer articles into several page views; but I just don’t have time for game.

One of the reasons I came to prefer my iPad for news and commentary surfing, was the availability of popular apps that allowed one to create a reading list for later viewing offline, and a ‘text’ mode, which combined multiple page articles into just one continuous single column text file, without any extraneous graphics (although some can be configured to include inline pictures, graphs, and videos that were part of the article itself). The colors, font type and size, the margins to establish column width, and day/night mode, etc. are configurable. I couldn’t live without them.

The two most popular were ‘Read-It-Later’ (now called ‘Pocket’) and ‘Instapaper.’ I have both; but generally settled on Pocket, because it had a add-in for Firefox on my Windows machines, which is kept in sync with my iPad by their server. I can trash the article after reading it, or save it in my archives. These utilities are so popular, that a native reading list and text view are now part of mobile Safari and some other iPad browser apps.

When on the first page of an article, all one need do is tap the ‘text’ button, and the rest of the site disappears, leaving only the complete text of the article in an easily scanned, newspaper-like, column down the middle. This, of course, could be zoomed to full screen width for tired old eyes, by simply double tapping on it. Marvelous! For those articles I wanted to read right away, and doubted that I would wish to archive, this became my standard procedure. I have been spoiled by Safari having it, and wish Firefox did too.
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PostHeaderIcon Natural Born Citizen

Note that I would have submitted this as a comment to Dave’s article on Tspeak.us but, for reasons that are beyond my understanding, that site does not seem to accept comments from me (perhaps this is a case of technological wisdom in action?).

Our Constitution uses the term Natural Born Citizen in regard to presidential qualifications but neglects to clearly define the term – one of the few cases where that nearly perfect document falls short. A bit of research on the Web did turn up some guidance though.

At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_born_citizen_of_the_United_States I find this:

The Constitution does not define the phrase natural-born citizen, and various opinions have been offered over time regarding its precise meaning. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report stated that:
The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. Citizen.

This definition would seem to grant presidential qualification to all but naturalized citizens.
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PostHeaderIcon The Wisdom Of A Constitutional Convention

NOTE: Much of what I have to say here was inspired by Mark Levin’s latest book: The Liberty Amendments which I highly recommend (along with everything he has previously written).

Article V of our Constitution provides two official ways by which it may be modified. To that end, here is Article V in its entirety (with emphasis added by me):

Article. V.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

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PostHeaderIcon Thinking in Gold

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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PostHeaderIcon When Are We “Officially” A Dictatorship?

It seems that the evidence of our essential rights being trampled by our own government is turning from a trickle to a flood. Please read this article as a for-instance: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/09/lavabit-shutdown-snowden-silicon-valley?utm_content=buffer9e6b5&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

Clearly, our beloved Constitution is now nothing more than a historical document – a fragment describing what once was but which is no more.

And, as if it could not get any worse, we now see the lame-stream media already starting a campaign to ensure Hillary Clinton becomes our next president, assuming the Obamanation actually steps down at the end of his current term, an event I am by no means certain will occur.

Imagine this… our once free press already clamoring for the “election” of a person who long since should have been executed for her manifold crimes against the American people!
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PostHeaderIcon Reason Cruise

I want to remind you all that the next Reason Cruise — sponsored by the Reason Foundation and the staff of Reason Magazine — will depart Ft. Lauderdale on February 9, 2014 for a week in the western Caribbean. Jeannine and I have attended both previous cruises and found them to be a real treat as the time at sea is taken up with very interesting seminars as well as the group (including the Reason folk) dining together each evening and usually adjourning together to a nook in a shipboard bar for further discussion and imbibing.

Should any of you decide to participate (and I sincerely hope you will), please mention my name when you make your reservations which will gain me a shipboard credit which I will share with you at the bar. Among other advantages, your participation will allow you to meet Jeannine and I. That alone should be incentive enough.

Details at: www.reasoncruise.com

Troy

PostHeaderIcon Rethinking Anarchy

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►

 

PostHeaderIcon Is History Repeating Itself (Again)?

As I have opined in other articles, I take a dim view of altruism – the notion that one should do for others with no thought toward one’s own needs, and with no thought of a reward for one’s altruistic actions. In a word, none of us is truly our brother’s keeper.

However, this does not mean that it is wise for one person to live their life without any regard for their fellows, for often, concern for others is actually very much in our own self interest. In a word, each of us is truly our brother’s brother and we would do well to remember that.

To this end, I submit two quotes from the recent past that should help illustrate this point…

First, a quote that, to some degree, helps us understand how the Nazis were able to dominate an otherwise enlightened culture…

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

And this from Ayn Rand, reminding us of the supremacy of the individual (versus any form of collective)…

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

Why am I bringing this up? Because history seems to be repeating itself (again).
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