I would rather risk the occasional misstep treading the daily path of truth and knowledge than languish in the safe illusion of self-inflicted ignorance.

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Stop reciting the pledge of allegiance

Sounds anti-American, doesn’t it? How could I possibly advocate to stop saying one of the most patriotic cornerstones of American culture? The reason this sounds counter-intuitive is because the pledge was designed and worded very carefully to invoke feelings of extreme patriotism while seducing you into blind obedience and subservience to the state. It is astounding just how well this worked because your head is about to explode while screaming “Blasphemy!” right about now, isn’t it? Before you lose your mind let me start by asking you some questions.

Do you actually know the history of the pledge of allegiance?

Do you know the actual intent of the pledge of allegiance?

Do you believe in the United States as the founding fathers created it or do you believe in the current version of it?

Do you believe that socialism was what the founding fathers intended when they created the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and founding the United States?

What is it exactly that you are celebrating every year on July 4th?

 

Would it surprise you to know that it was a socialist who wrote the pledge of allegiance? His name was Francis Bellamy. He did so because he detested the Jeffersonian ideas of limited government ensconced in our founding principles. His reasons for writing the pledge were based on incorrect assumptions on the notion that the founding fathers created “one nation indivisible”. His incorrect assumption was further reinforced by the writings and actions of Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster who Bellamy was influenced by, both of whom got it wrong as well.

Bellamy was a Christian Socialist who preached for the socialist idea of equal distribution of economic resources and against the evils of capitalism from his Boston church pulpit. In 1891 he was forced from that church for doing this. Bellamy worked his entire life to further the socialist agenda in America. He led at least three movement groups with strong socialist leanings or outright socialist agendas. He was the founding vice president of The Society of Christian Socialists and wrote for their newspaper, the Dawn, regularly.That newspaper was run by Edward Bellamy and Frances Willard. Edward Bellamy was Francis’ cousin and the most famous socialist of the time. On top of all that Francis Bellamy was an elitist and a racist. Here are his own words on immigration and universal suffrage:

“A democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth.”

And further:

“Where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another every alien immigrant of inferior race may bring corruption to the stock. There are races more or less akin to our own whom we may admit freely and get nothing but advantage by the infusion of their wholesome blood. But there are other races, which we cannot assimilate without lowering our racial standard, which we should be as sacred to us as the sanctity of our homes.”

Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1892. It is a testament to just how well Lincoln destroyed the principles laid down by the founding fathers when in 1942 Congress adopted the pledge, without any consideration as to how anti-American the pledge really is. The original salute to the flag while reciting the pledge should give you a good idea as to the blind loyalty to the state that Bellamy hoped to inspire in the people. That salute was exactly the same as the Nazi salute. (See the pictures) The fact that the majority of Americans today, cannot conceive of NOT saying the pledge, shows just how well Bellamy’s movement to indoctrinate the American populace worked.

 

 

The founding fathers wrote a “federal” constitution at the Philadelphia convention, not a “national” constitution. They designed the United States to be a federated Union of Sovereign States; where the states and the people are sovereign over the federal government except for the few defined powers enumerated in the constitution. They did not design the United States to be “one nation indivisible”. It is well documented by the founding fathers in numerous letters and writings that the American Union was voluntary. Any state had the right to leave when they felt it was in their best interest. That is the complete opposite of indivisible.

To further understand the distinction I am making here consider the following. When the United States won its independence and was recognized on the world stage, King George did not recognize the United States as “one nation” but as thirteen sovereign nations in a union. Here is the excerpt defining this from article one of The Definitive Treaty of Peace 1783:

“His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states…” (Emphasis at the end is mine)

The founding fathers believed in a separation of powers between the States and the “general” government. Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, that “when government became destructive of” the ends for which it created it was the right of the people to “alter”, “abolish” of “throw off” that government. In other words to “divide” from it. He said this in his first inaugural address.

Had the constitution been proposed to the States on the premise that it created “one nation” that was “indivisible”, not a single State would have ratified it. The entire constitution was premised on the fact that the States retained ultimate sovereignty, that they were the final arbiters of constitutionality, and that they retained the right to “resume all delegated powers” should the new government “become perverted to their injury or oppression”.

The United States was founded on the principles of self-determination, the right to secede from any government that is detrimental to that self-determination, and the freedom and liberty of the people in the individual states to govern themselves as they see fit. The federal government that the founding fathers established was meant to secure and maintain those freedoms and liberties and nothing more. The United States was not founded on the principles of socialism where the state was the final arbiter of all things over the individual. It was founded on principles completely opposite of socialism, that the people are the final arbiter of all things over the government.

We obviously did not fight the cold war and in Vietnam and Korea to further socialism. Do you honestly believe that we send our men and women into harm’s way to fight for socialistic values and principles?

To any Veterans or active duty military reading this. Did you serve, or are you serving, to fight for and defend the values and principles of socialism or the values and principles of The United States that the founding fathers created?

Bellamy’s pledge of allegiance rejects every principle upon which Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Pinckney, Butler, Davie, Iredell, and every other proponent of the constitution sold the new government to the States. Bellamy’s pledge rejects every principle that the United States was founded on. Bellamy was a socialist. His pledge was written from a Socialist view that believes “allegiance” to a central State is “patriotic”. This view is the exact antithesis of the most basic American philosophy of free government and the people and states being sovereign over the federal government. There is nothing “patriotic” about it.

So why do you willingly recite a socialist pledge written and designed to indoctrinate you into believing that the government holds all power over you?

Why do you willingly recite a pledge specifically designed to push socialism onto Americans under the guise of “Patriotism”?

Why are you helping Francis Bellamy achieve his goal of usurping American principles and replacing them with socialist principles?

If you are a true liberty loving and patriotic American, who believes in the United States that the founding fathers created, then you should reject the pledge of allegiance for the anti-American propaganda that it is. Now that you know the origin of, and Bellamy’s intention for, the pledge of allegiance, the most patriotic thing you can do is to stop saying it and encourage others to do the same. If you truly want to “Take back America” or “Restore America” or even “Make America great again”, then I can think of no better place to start then by rejecting the pledge of allegiance for the socialist propaganda that it is.

However, I can understand wanting to pledge to the founding ideals. This is what most people think they are pledging to when they recite the pledge of allegiance. I understand the lure of wanting to be a patriotic American. With that in mind, I have taken the liberty of re-writing the pledge of allegiance to reflect the ideals the founding fathers put forth for all Americans. Specifically, those ideals found in the Declaration of Independence. I call this “The American Pledge”.

“I pledge allegiance to the American ideal of self-determination, and to the inalienable rights for which it stands, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, with opportunity and freedom for all.”

Think about it.

 

Don’t just take my word for it, here are some links to other material on this very thing. Three great articles, one by Gene Healy at the Cato Institute, one by A.J.Ellis, and one by James Rutledge Roesch at the Abbeville Institute. There is also a six-minute YouTube video.

 

“Why I Don’t Say the Pledge of Allegiance” by A.J.Ellis

https://www.ajellis.network/2016/03/26/why-i-dont-say-the-pledge-of-allegiance/?preview=true

“What’s Conservative about the Pledge of Allegiance?” by Gene Healy at the Cato Institute.

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/whats-conservative-about-pledge-allegiance

“Bellamy’s Pledge” by James Rutledge Roesch at the Abbeville Institute.

http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/bellamys-pledge/

 

 

The most precious commodities in the world

There are two commodities in the world that are more valuable than any other. These two commodities almost always go together; you can’t have one without the other. They cannot be stolen, at least not by force. The mere act of forcing them from their creator turns them into a vapor that escapes on the wind. They have to be paid for. You can buy them yourself or you can transfer your purchase power to others so that they can acquire them for you. However, transferring your purchase power of these two commodities is an extremely risky transaction. You give over your purchase power to someone else in the hopes that they make the transaction in good faith. This almost never works out for you, because history proves with an almost near-perfect statistical probability that with these two commodities, they will add your power to theirs and leave you with nothing. They accumulate these two commodities for themselves and leave you holding the bag. This is because nearly everyone in the world does not truly understand who creates these commodities and how they do it. No, I am not talking about gold and silver.

You see, freedom and liberty are the most precious commodities in the world. They are far more precious than gold, silver, diamonds or any other precious commodity in this world. They are so precious and rare because the more of freedom and liberty there is in the world, the greater mankind can become. It is only through the freedom and liberty to act that innovation, invention, and creativity can survive and thrive. It was only because of great amounts of freedom and liberty that mankind has been able to leap ahead in technological, scientific, and medical breakthroughs, and in the arts.

Second, only to our very lives, freedom and liberty are the most precious and costly gifts we will ever have the great fortune to possess. Something this valuable requires continuous hard work and sacrifice, because freedom has never been free. If you truly want them, you have to work hard for them.

It is impossible to counterfeit them. It is impossible to steal them into creation. Freedom and liberty are produced solely through the hard work, effort, and sacrifice of individuals. Those individuals create freedom and liberty through a great deal of personal responsibility, a lifelong commitment to self-education, a copious amount of critical thinking, and a willingness to participate far more in the sociopolitical/economic process than just voting. And at times, some of them even sacrifice their very lives to create it.

The creation of all wealth originates with the individual. The individual has all rights to what they create. They have the right to voluntarily exchange what they create with other people for things that they want. Both parties benefit this way.

The same goes for the commodities of freedom and liberty. The individual has the right to exchange the freedom they worked for if someone wishes to purchase it. While these have been energetically traded commodities for all of mankind’s history, they have always been traded unfairly. Those creating them have never been paid what they are truly worth. They have always been ripped off by those buying them. It is an extremely one sided exchange that has more in common with theft than an equal and voluntary trade.

When something so valuable is exchanged at such a ridiculously low price, the buyer has absolutely no concept of the true value of what they just bought. Therefore the buyers will throw away or will give away something that they consider cheap and easily accessible. We are all guilty of this. Something that costs us very little to buy has very little value to us and is easily tossed aside as worthless. The tragedy with this is that even those who create freedom and liberty do not have a complete understanding of what they are creating, its true value and worth, and what it takes to maintain their existence. Because they do not completely understand this they undersell their creation by orders of magnitude.

The true cost of freedom and liberty is astronomically higher than what most people actually pay for it. When this completely lopsided transaction takes place, there still remains an unpaid balance. This unpaid balance can be handled in one of two ways. Almost no one reads the fine print when they make this transaction to find out what those two ways are. They do not realize that they either make daily maintenance payments or pay an overwhelming balloon payment at a later date. Almost no one makes the daily payments and defers the unpaid balance for later. Why work to make daily payments when you can put them off until later?

The more that freedom and liberty are traded without payment toward the remaining balance, the higher the unpaid balance becomes. Just like fiat currency deficit spending; deficit spending freedom and liberty can only be done for so long before the mathematical equation must be balanced. Fiat currencies always hyperinflate to absolute zero because of the purposeful devaluing of a countries currency, I.E. inflation.

The purposeful devaluing of freedom and liberty happens because there are those who desire to steal it from their creators. They work hard every single day at stealing them. This is why freedom and liberty requires a daily maintenance payment because it is being stolen every single day. They steal it and then devalue it by spreading little bits of it around to the masses at no cost as enticement and appeasement and exclaim, “Look at what I have done for you. You are free because of me.” The masses get to enjoy a small amount of freedom and liberty with no concept that their creator was robbed to provide it for them, no idea of their true value and worth, and not a clue about the destructive consequences for not making daily maintenance payments.

When a fiat currency’s deficit balance is due, the cost in economic terms is astronomical. When the balloon payment on freedom and liberty is due, the payment is catastrophic beyond measure because the price needed to pay for freedom and liberty at this point is in blood.

The only way to correct this is for those who create freedom and liberty to stop selling it so cheaply. Full payment should be rendered at the time of the transaction, and the maintenance payments made daily thereafter. This is the only way to stop the violence and bloodshed that a deferred balloon payment demands later down the road.

Less than 3% of mankind chooses to produce freedom and liberty. This is what makes them such rare and valuable commodities and in such high demand. It is the daily labor of those individuals who make the personal choice to produce it. Freedom and liberty are so difficult to produce that only a small amount is created on any given day. Because it takes so much hard work and sacrifice to create such small amounts, the pressure that results from not making daily payments transforms the unpaid balance into a catastrophic balloon payment in human capital.

Because freedom and liberty are such rare and valuable commodities, it requires a level of personal responsibility that most of humanity is either not aware of, or is not capable of. The flip side of the freedom and liberty coin is personal responsibility. It is a side that almost no one ever looks at. That’s because it is dirty, dingy and covered in sweat and blood from all the hard work and sacrifice required, compared to the shiny promise of hope and happiness radiating from the freedom and liberty side.

My wife gets distracted with the “Sparkly” diamond I gave her. Most people also get distracted by the sparkly side of the freedom coin and forget to flip it over and see its true value and worth. It is a criminal negligence and ignorance that has perilous and tragic repercussions. This is the primary reason that mankind has always, and will continue to, chase its tail around and around the Tytler Cycle forever. It is why history repeats itself. It is why in a general sense that some people (those who take the time to look) can foretell the future.

Please, do yourself and everyone else a favor. Flip over that shiny coin and take a long hard look at the dirty side.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Rights Right

The following was written by my friend and mentor Scott Strzelczyk and is hands down the best explanation of rights that I have ever read. I have recommended this article many times to others. Scott published this on his blog on January 23, 2014, and is re-posted here with his permission. He has various writings on the economy, the constitution, philosophy, public policy, etc. You can read his stuff here.

Getting Rights Right

The term “rights” creates misconceptions resulting in innumerable conclusions that are inaccurate, deceptive, and nonsensical.  Rights can mean anything, everything, and nothing.  Rights can be real and tangible or abstract and ill-defined.  Rights can be manipulated and twisted into political and economic terms used by the ruling class to advance ideology and embed into minds the very idea that government is the source of rights, defines rights, and adjudicates rights.

Here is a reasonably complete list of rights as they are used today:  Unalienable rights, negative rights, positive rights, natural rights, human rights, constitutional rights, contractual rights, political rights, voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights, property rights (real, personal, and intellectual), states’ rights, legal rights, economic rights, parental rights, children’s rights, LGBT rights, prisoner’s rights, immigrant’s rights, etc.

A significant problem with the term rights is the meaning and definition.  Any discussion or debate over rights must be predicated upon an agreed upon definition.  To do so, let’s start at the beginning.

A self-evident fact is that mankind is antecedent to government.  Government is a creation of man and did not precede mankind.  Regardless if you believe in a Creator or the origin of life is something other than a Creator we can all agree man existed before government and mankind created governments.

Prior to establishing government mankind lived in a state of nature.  There were no constitutions, statutory laws, rules, or regulations that governed people.  From the list of aforementioned rights, there are essentially two that apply to mankind in a state of nature; unalienable rights and natural rights.  These are different terms for the same rights.  All mankind possess these rights and these rights are antecedent to government.  Mankind possesses these rights because of their humanity whether endowed by a Creator or not.  In all cases, these rights are considered negative rights.  And, negative rights don’t denote something bad or evil.

Negative rights are those rights requiring no positive act by another except the recognition that we all possess the same rights.  For instance, the right to life, the right to what you produce (property), the right of conscience, the right of association, the right of speech, the right of self-defense, the right to contract with others, etc.  I have a right to my life that requires no positive act by anyone else.  I have a right to preserve my life by using my physical and intellectual abilities to sustain myself.  What I produce as a result of my effort is my property.  I have a right to associate with whomever I choose.  None of these rights require any positive act from anyone else.

For purposes of this discussion, I’ll use the term natural rights when talking about unalienable, natural, or negative rights.

The Declaration of Independence explicitly recognizes that all men have certain rights antecedent to government.  The Declaration elucidates five self-evident truths and the first three describe those natural rights inherent to our humanity.  However, in a state of nature, these rights are not necessarily secure.  Another person or group of people may steal your property, take your life, or violate your natural rights in some other manner.  Your recourse is to adjudicate the violation in a manner that is sufficient to your judgment.  Thomas Jefferson used the term rightful liberty to describe the exercise of natural rights.  Rightful liberty is the unobstructed action according to your will within limits drawn around the equal rights of others.

The 4th and 5th self-evident truths describe why people leave a state of nature and form a government.  The 4th truth says, “That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  Jefferson describes implicitly that the only legitimate form of government is that which if founded by the people and which does only what the people have authorized it to do (just powers).  Fundamentally, the very idea is that by establishing government mans’ natural rights can be better secured relative to their security in a state of nature.

Arguably, the 5th self-evident truth is the most shunned and ignored today.  The 5th truth says, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”  Jefferson is explicit in the very premise and conditions under which man is willing to form a government.  That is, if the government is violating or destroying the very premise under which it was established – to better secure mans’ natural rights — then the people may always alter it or abolish it altogether.

The 4th and 5th self-evident truths are the right of self-determination and self-governance.

This leaves the remainder of the initial list of rights such as political rights, civil rights, contractual rights, positive rights, etc.  The second category we can place rights into is one called contractual rights.  Contractual rights are two or more people exercising their natural right of association and right to contract to voluntarily enter into an economic transaction for their mutual benefit.  Contractual rights may be formal or informal, written or oral.   Contractual rights require a positive action by two or more people.  I may ask you to trade me your hat for my gloves.  If the exchange occurs we initiated a verbal contract and the terms were mutually agreed upon.  The contract was executed after the trade was complete.

More formally, we may enter into a contract with an automobile company to purchase a vehicle and at the same time with a lender to lend us the funds to procure the vehicle.  When we sign a contract to borrow $30,000 at a certain interest rate to be repaid over a certain period of time with payments made on a scheduled basis we’ve entered into a contract.  The automobile dealer executed their part of the contract by delivering the vehicle to us and the lender and the borrower remain under a contractual obligation until the terms of the contract are met.  This is an executory contract.  Once the loan is repaid in full the contract is no longer an executory contract but changes to an executed contract.

Health insurance is another example of a contractual right.  A person agrees to purchase a health insurance policy that stipulates coverage, co-pays, deductibles, and premium payments and in exchange, a company assumes certain risks on your behalf and they collect a premium for assuming that risk.  After deductibles are met, the company pays all or most of your health care expenses.

A positive obligation has been established by both parties.  This was entered into voluntarily and without duress, force, or coercion.  Contracts generally require positive acts from the parties involved.  In the preceding examples, the parties could not force another party into the contract.  Each had to act voluntarily and willingly.  However, by establishing the contract it imparts specific obligations on each party.  When people interact in such a manner it is an extension of their natural rights and a positive act is established – voluntarily.  Under no circumstances could a person obligate a lender to provide them with $30,000 to purchase an automobile and believe they were not obliged to repay the loan.  In other words, to expect a lender or another person to give you $30,000 for free to purchase an automobile would be a ludicrous expectation.  Under no circumstances could a person obligate another person to pay for their health care or health care insurance.

The latter scenario is what Jefferson would call wrongful liberty.  As contradistinguished from rightful liberty, wrongful liberty is obstructed against your will within limits drawn around the superior rights of others.  To force or coerce someone to lend you $30,000 against their will violates their natural rights.  To force or coerce someone to pay for your health care or health insurance violates their natural rights.  Therefore, contractual rights are positive acts by two or more people entered into voluntarily without force or coercion.

To summarize natural rights are those rights inherent to our humanity that everyone possesses and requires no positive act by another for us to possess them.  A simple example is the so-called “right to health care”.  Every person has a right to seek health care because we have a right to associate and to contract with others for a good or service.  We have contractual rights when we ask a doctor to perform some service in exchange for a certain payment.  The doctor performs the service and we pay the doctor for the service.  A contract is executed.

The third category of rights is positive rights.

Positive rights are those rights that impose duties or obligations on another person to provide a good or a service.  Positive rights are the antithesis of natural or contractual rights because the former requires force and coercion while the latter is voluntary.  Within the framework of natural rights and contractual rights force and coercion would never play a role in peoples’ lives or the exercise of their personal and economic liberty.  As mankind establishes government to better secure our natural rights a new actor is now on stage.  When government establishes a program or policy that does what cannot be done voluntarily with natural or contractual rights government becomes the facilitator of wrongful liberty.

In, The Law, by Frederic Bastiat he calls positive rights instituted by government legal plunder.  Whenever one person, group, company, industry, special interest, etc. uses the power of government through law, rule, regulation, or fiat to take property or income from another under the guise of a positive right is legal plunder.  To use the coercive force of government to justify the legality of an act that would otherwise be unlawful had a person done it on their own.

The ends for which government was established are manifestly endangered and perverted by the government’s own acts when it violates our natural rights.  The only purpose, the only reason to establish government is to better secure our natural rights.  Under the color of law, government commits crimes against us and crimes against some citizens to benefit others.

This behavior is the antithesis of a free society and free people.  The founders emphasized freedom and liberty above all else.  A recent article titled, “Two Treaties on the Acquisition and Use of Power” by Jude P. Dougherty captured the essence of freedom and liberty conceived and understood by the founding generation contrasted with today’s conception of positive rights. Dougherty wrote:

Traditionally it meant that a man could not be compelled to do anything contrary to reason and conscience [under natural rights and contractual rights]. Under the influence of positivism, “freedom” came to mean that a man could not be compelled to do anything except by law enacted in accordance with some prescribed procedure with sufficient force behind it to compel obedience. From the positivist’s viewpoint what the liberal calls “rights” are merely concessions granted by the state or society. Hallowell concludes that if rights are the product of law, they are not properly rights at all; they are mere concessions to claims that the individual makes and the state recognizes. As such they can be withdrawn if the state deems such withdrawal in the interest of the general welfare.  [My words added to original quote.]

Hallowell insists:

There is a great difference between freedom from unjust compulsion and freedom from illegal compulsion. Moreover, when the test of legality is ultimately conceived as the force behind law, freedom from illegal compulsion amounts to no more than freedom to do whatever the state does not forbid. This is a conception of freedom much more congenial to tyranny than to the preservation of the inalienable rights of man.”

Viewed from the perspective of positivism, the rights of man are no longer to be called “natural rights”; they are mere “legal rights.”

The distinction between natural rights and positive rights illustrates how many people view government’s role today.  Let’s return to the earlier examples of a person buying an automobile and a person seeking health care or buying health insurance.  If government is empowered to determine property rights they have usurped our natural rights and supplanted them with government bestowed legal rights.  Suppose government enacts a law that requires some people to pay for the automobiles of others.  Suppose government enacts a law that requires some people to pay for the health care or the health insurance of others.  What has transpired is government used force and coercion, under the color of law, to decide from whom it will take and to whom it will provide.  Societal outcomes become the purpose of government instead of better securing our natural rights.  Undoubtedly, when the masses believe the purpose of government is to manage society and the economy all of humanity loses their natural rights to government.   All administered by a massive government bureaucracy predicated upon force and coercion.  F.A. Hayek captured the essence of this social and political conflict when he wrote, “Whether a man should give away freedom, private initiative, and individual responsibility and surrender to the guardianship of a gigantic apparatus of compulsion and coercion, the socialist state.”

Furthermore, government abridges or denies our natural rights by limiting choices.  In free markets, there may be ten choices of light bulbs to choose.  If government enacts laws or regulations and limits our choices to two types of light bulbs they have violated our natural rights to contract and to associate.  Government allows us to choose from two types of light bulbs but in the process they have forbidden us from choosing from eight others.  Government-centric preferences drive policy rather than leaving individuals to pursue their own economic liberty and exercise their own discretion.  No government, department, agency, bureaucracy, or person can better decide these things than the individual himself.  Moreover, if private businesses behaved similarly it would be collusion or interference with markets.  Monopolies are generally considered detrimental to free markets, however, when government monopolizes a market it is deemed acceptable.  In the case of health insurance a voluntary, semi-private market was supplanted with a coercive, government directed market.  In the context of natural and contractual rights government is using the force of law to violate our rights to extend positive rights to those that otherwise decided not to purchase health insurance or couldn’t afford to purchase health insurance on their own.  Government destroys competition, causes malinvestment, destroys liberty, and violates natural and contractual rights.

The term constitutional rights is a colloquialism.  The term conveys a sense that the Constitution grants rights to people.  That belief is inaccurate and dangerous.  Governments do not grant rights.  The Bill of Rights imposes restrictions on the federal government.  States’ Bills or Declarations of Rights are restrictions on state governments.  The danger is conceding the fact that government grants certain rights – natural rights – to mankind.  The first and second amendments deal primarily, but not exclusively, with natural rights.  The fourth through eight amendments deal primarily with privileges and immunities or what most call civil rights today.  The ninth amendment is a catch-all amendment that says there are many other rights not enumerated in the Bill of Rights and those rights are reserved by the people.  Those reserved rights are OFF LIMITS to the federal government.  That includes the adjudication of those rights.  It is also different from the prior eight amendments because it, like the tenth amendment, is an amendment of construction.  Lastly, the tenth amendment addresses powers delegated to the federal government under the constitution or those prohibited to the states under the constitution are reserved to the states or the people.  The term states rights is also a colloquialism.  States do not have rights they have powers.  However, we are accustomed to referring to states’ powers as rights.

The founders and framers delineated between rights – natural rights – and what we call civil rights today.  Much of the Bill of Rights has nothing to do with natural rights; instead, they are privileges and immunities.  The terms privileges and immunities are the terms the founders and framers used for positive acts of government, typically instituted through common law and some through statutory/civil law.  For instance, a right to a jury trial is not a natural right it is a privilege using their terms and was a result of common law.  Today, that is referred to as a civil right.  The right to a trial by jury is a creation of man for interpersonal adjudication.  A jury trial doesn’t exist in a state of nature.

Many so-called rights today are simply those defined by law.  Political rights and voting rights are for all intents and purposes the same thing.  These are rights defined by the government in a representative form of government.  Rights confined to specific groups of people are merely distractions from the larger understanding of rights.

Hopefully, when you discuss rights with a family member, a friend, or a neighbor you should understand how the term rights is manipulated to mean anything, everything, and nothing.  Remember to define the term if you discuss or debate the issue with others.  Remember to distinguish between negative rights (natural, unalienable, etc.) which people possess because of their humanity and positive rights which result from government acts.  Remember property rights are a direct extension of each person’s natural right to life and what they produce as a result of their labor to preserve their own life, and that no one else has a rightful claim to your property including the government.  Remember government violates your property rights and your right to life whenever they take from you and redistribute your property to someone that has no rightful claim to your property.  Remember that the constitution grants no rights but restricts the federal government from violating your natural rights.  Remember that contractual rights are based on the free and voluntary acts of two or more people that agree to certain positive acts for their mutual benefit.  Remember that the founders and framers used the term privileges and immunities to describe most civil rights and the term civil rights can mean just about anything today.  Remember that political rights are a result of the formation of representative government and accordingly, are the result of our acts to create government.

Therefore, the power to create, alter, or abolish government is the right of self-determination that we have as, we the people, possess all political power.  Let’s get our Rights right.

Short Story Decision-Making

“The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.” ~ Winston Churchill House of Commons May 17th, 1916.

There is something that most Americans suffer from called “Decision Making Under Ignorance”. I could easily expand this to all of humanity, but for the purposes of this article, I am restricting it to just Americans. This problem is self-inflicted. It is 100% voluntary, yet has profound implications by not correcting it. One of the most frustrating problems with this issue is that most Americans don’t even know they are contributing to it. Most Americans can function normally without any knowledge of this issue. However, they are also completely clueless as to the damage their ignorance is causing their fellow Americans and our country’s course through history.

While others before me have figured this out and call it by other names such as “Decision Making Under Ignorance”, I reached the same conclusion on my own and call it “Short Story Decision-Making”. People read the short abbreviated version and not the whole book. Yet they make decisions based on just the short story and not the whole book. This has profound implications because usually information later in the book changes your perspective from what you read in the beginning.

Call it what you like. I have created an analogy that I hope best explains this phenomenon and how it has serious consequences for not only those who practice it but for those around them as well.

 

“Imagine you and I are on a boat on the ocean. We can only see what is above the water. We base our reality, our perspective, our opinions, and our decisions on what we see above the surface of the water. We were storm blown into unknown waters. The surface of the ocean is a desert, there is no water for us to drink and no food for us to eat. We must get our boat to a place where we can at least feed ourselves, there is plenty of fishing gear on the boat. We must also find a safe harbor for fresh water or we will perish. The only thing we do know is there are land and harbors to the west. But that land is where our enemies live and is not a place we would normally want to go. We know that if we make it there they will most certainly either kill or imprison us. It is also a very long way and the chances of us both surviving the trip are slim. But we have no other choice; there are no other destinations near enough. We will perish on the ocean if we do not head west to our enemies land. So we decide to head west since that appears to be the best course given the information we have gleaned from the surface of the ocean.

Now, you happen to find a box on the boat that contains tools and equipment to allow you to view the world under the surface of the ocean. You have sonar, a depth finder/fish finder, you have swim goggles and scuba masks to look underwater, and you have an underwater camera attached to a tether so you can lower it under and see below. You point this stuff out to me and offer to share them so we can look under the ocean surface together. I decide that looking under the ocean surface is too much work and will not benefit us and is a waste of my time, so I decline your offer.

You, however, decide to take a look. What you discover completely changes your perspective of the environment we are in. You can see fish right below us. You can see ridges and valleys on the ocean floor. You can see coral reefs and plant life growing there. You can see that these things are to the east of us. You can see in that direction the ocean floor is rising up, an indication that land and the possibility of a safe harbor is just over the horizon. You see that most of the fish and plants and reefs are toward the east. In fact, the wildlife is so abundant in that direction there is no doubt in your mind that we could feed ourselves with such plenty. However, toward the west the ocean is getting deeper and deeper, an indication we are heading out into the deep ocean devoid of any life or a safe harbor for a very long way. The wildlife is thinning rapidly and you can almost see a line where it all stops and there is nothing but rock and mud beyond.

Now that your perspective has changed and your concept of the truth of our environment has been drastically altered, you realize we are headed in the wrong direction. We can catch fish and harvest ocean plants to feed ourselves, but only if we go east, not west. You realize that the safe harbor we need to make for is to the east, not the west. You realize that the decision we made to head west to relative safety is now wrong. You now realize that we based that decision on incomplete information.

This shift in your perspective is irrevocable. You will never be able to un-see what you have seen nor narrow your perspective of our environment you now possess. There is no taking it back. Truth has a no return policy that is ironclad. The truth is like Pandora, once it is out of the box there is no putting it back.

Even if all the tools and equipment that you used to view under the surface of the ocean were taken from you, never to be returned, you will forever know that there is an entire world right below the bottom of the boat. You will forever know that in relation to our current location on the ocean, that safety is to the east, not the west.

Now, armed with your new perspective, knowing that you now possess a much greater truth concerning our situation, you try to convince me that we made a faulty decision and that we need to go east, not west. You implore me to use the tools and equipment so that I can see for myself a greater perspective and learn the actual truth of our situation as you have. You beg and plead with me and argue with me because this is life or death.

But to no avail. I will not budge. I cannot be bothered with the effort and time needed to see what you have seen. I don’t feel like it, that’s too much work. I feel that I have all the information I need to make the correct decision and head our boat toward safety. I do not need to waste my time with what you want me to do since I can move our boat to safety armed with the knowledge and perspective that I already have.

And I would be right, to a point. I know that there is a destination to the west. I know it will take a very long time to reach it. I also know that when we do reach it we will be either killed or put in prison upon arrival. But that is the best chance we have under the circumstances. I do not need to learn anymore since what I already know is the truth. It is the truth as I can see it in the perspective I have allowed myself. It’s just not the complete truth, as you have now discovered.

Now, since it is just the two of us you could take control of the boat and simply head us east and show me. Or you could throw me overboard since I refuse to see the truth and are endangering both of us because of stubbornly hanging onto my incomplete perspective. You are just as stubborn since now you know the truth, the complete truth, and will not be dissuaded by my ignorant arguments to the contrary. If it was just the two of us we would be deadlocked with regard to controlling the boats direction.

Now let’s add more people. You have two other friends who have seen underwater with you. You all know the truth and are trying to convince me and my group. I have one hundred people who all agree with me and that we need to go west and risk landing on our enemy’s shore. The three of you are not enough to control my group of one hundred and we take the boat to the west. Your only option is to convince us to use the tools and equipment and look under the water for ourselves. We refuse and continue heading west based on incomplete information. You have no choice but go along for the ride and a questionable fate at the end of the journey.

How frustrated would you be, knowing that almost certain death or imprisonment awaits us all at the end of the trip west, especially since in my ignorance I refuse to see the truth and correct our course? The tools and equipment to see the truth are lying right there at my feet, yet I refuse to use them. You know we are doomed if we continue west but you are powerless to convince me and my one hundred friends otherwise. You are powerless to convince me and my friends that we are basing our decisions on a tiny sliver of information that does not represent the entire truth.

Explained this way, most normal people would be screaming at me for being the idiot I am for not using the tools and equipment to see under the water. It is such a simple thing, is it not? If I just do my due diligence and take the time to look a little further I can save all of us in the boat with the right decision.

Bah, I cannot be bothered with wasting my time with that. I know the truth. I know enough to get us to dry land, I don’t need or want to hear any more out of you. I’m going to be ignorant and lazy and drive us all to our doom.”

 

And that ladies and gentlemen is my analogy describing short story decision-making.

This is what Americans are doing every day. This is why America is in the situation we now find ourselves in. This is why the vast majority of Americans simply refuse to look beyond that most basic introduction to our history, economics, social studies and civics they got in school; because they think they know enough of the truth.

The vast majority of Americans are driving us all to our doom by not educating themselves further and understanding a much broader perspective. It is a change in perspective that has profound and life altering implications. Most Americans are basing their opinions and decisions about how we are governed, and voting, by being lazy and using short story decision-making.

And yet when the few who have a much broader perspective try to show them they are heading America in the wrong direction because they are basing their voting decisions on incomplete information, they are usually shouted down. They are told to shut up and sit down by the majority of clueless Americans. They are ridiculed and ignored.

All the while, the majority of Americans are scratching their heads wondering how we got into the mess we are now in. The only thing they can see to fix the problems is to just vote, hope then cope harder, like we keep doing over and over, again and again expecting a different result this time…

Meanwhile, those few who have seen a far more complete picture of the truth are left frustrated that they cannot encourage the rest to open their eyes. Now they must be carried along to the doom that awaits everyone on the same train as it hurtles uncontrollably toward the gorge where the bridge is out. All because more Americans refuse to educate themselves further and switch the train to another track before they reach the gorge.

It is the most insidious of traps. The one where you can actually see the cage. The one where you can see that the cage door is not locked. The door is heavy so it will take all of you to move the door.Yet you cannot convince your cell mates to simply push open the door with you and walk out.

Please, I beg you, never stop educating yourself. Education is a life-long journey, not a final destination at the end of school. Don’t just settle for learning only the things that reinforce your current point of view. Look at opposing viewpoints as well. Never stop questioning, especially the views and opinions you are most comfortable with, you never know what you may find hidden there. There are always two sides to every coin. You do yourself, and all of us, a great disservice by looking at only one side of the coin. As the saying goes, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Truth in the middle

 

True freedom and liberty require a great deal of personal responsibility, a lifelong commitment to self-education, a copious amount of critical thinking, and a willingness to participate far more in the sociopolitical/economic process than just voting.

The greater the freedom and liberty, the greater mankind can become. It is only through the freedom and liberty to act that innovation, invention, and creativity can survive and thrive.

Second, only to our very lives, freedom and liberty is the most precious and costly gift we will ever have the great fortune to possess.

Something this valuable requires continuous hard work and sacrifice, because freedom has never been free. If you truly want it, you have to work hard for it.

Every. Single. Day.

 

Greggery Kunkle

 

 

 

 

 

The things that make me say… “What the hell were you thinking?”

(An open letter to self-proclaimed social justice warriors)

There is an impulse that overtakes some of you self-proclaimed social justice warriors that I don’t think I will ever understand.

There is a basic universal law of nature that any normal and sane human being completely understands. You don’t go poke at a bear to try and get a reaction out of it do you? The resulting mauling you would receive would be completely your own fault. No one is going to blame the bear for you being spectacularly stupid. If you managed to live through such a stupendously ignorant decision I would ask you, “what the hell were you thinking?”

So what drives you social justice warriors to break bad with someone actively serving in the military or a Veteran, all because you greatly disagree with our government’s horrible foreign policy? You think you’re all big and bad and brave and making a difference in the world by waiting for the occasional unfortunate Veteran or active duty military member to happen into your view. No, actually you’re not. You’re just being dangerously stupid and lazy.

Regardless of how you may feel about the military, you obviously have not thought your actions all the way through. You most certainly have the right to have your own opinion and to even express that opinion. However, I don’t think that you’re practicing critical thinking skills when expressing that opinion to a member of the armed forces or a Veteran.

I am going to use the Marines as my example because of the flak and grief they seem to take over and above the other branches. I am not writing this to debate the validity of your allegations of baby killing and other atrocities you think the Marines have committed. I’m writing this solely to address the completely illogical choice you make when you happen upon a Marine and your ego suddenly outgrew your common sense and you’re about three seconds from possibly receiving some serious pain. I’m trying to save you from that pain.

It is blatantly obvious that you social justice warriors do not understand what the military’s primary mission is. The military has one job. It does that job so extremely well it is terrifying. The military’s job is to be the force behind the will of a nation. Now regardless of how you may feel about that mission, there is no denying that our military is one of the best at that job that the world has ever known. Now think of that historic military force as a spear. The Marines are the sharp point of that spear and they are the very first thing our enemies encounter when hostilities commence.

There is a very good reason for this.

The Marines are the only branch of our military where every single Marine is a rifleman first, and whatever specialty jobs they are to do, second. None of the other branches do this. This is a critically significant distinction so let me repeat this so that you are completely clear as to what I am trying to get you to understand. It is the very point of this entire letter.

Every single Marine, bar none, is trained to be a skilled rifleman first and foremost above all other things. They are trained how to subdue, disable, cripple, or kill and destroy any person or target they are pointed at. It is because of this that the Marines are one of the most feared and lethal fighting forces in the history of mankind.

Now that you hopefully have wrapped your head around the military’s mission and the Marine Corps specifically, I have to ask you this. When you happen to come across a Marine, why is the most intelligent thing you can come up with is intentionally antagonizing and pissing off one of the most highly trained and lethal warriors in the history of mankind? You’re not too bright, are you? This is the point where I would ask, “What the hell were you thinking?” The resulting mauling you are about to receive from that Marine is completely your own fault. Most normal people are not going to blame the Marine for your complete lack of common sense.

On top of that, do you self-proclaimed social justice warriors not stop and seriously consider that the Marine, or other active duty military member or Veteran you decided to break bad with, might have a bad case of PTSD? Do you not consider the possibility that your petulant inability to keep your opinion to yourself, and lack of basic common respect for your fellow human beings, might actually be the one thing that sets the guy, or gals, PTSD off?

It would be a terrible waste of life if the unfortunate Marine snapped because of being cornered by you, armed with your amazing lack of common sense and lack of common decency and you end up being killed. This, of course, would be a tragedy to you and your family. But also for the Marine and his family as well since he would most likely go to prison for murder, a murder that you in your ignorance provoked him into. All because you never learned to keep your mouth shut at the right time with the wrong person.

There is a time and a place to air your grievances with the government of the United States about their horrible foreign policy. Picking on the individual Marine or other active military member or Veteran, is not it. Stop being such a spectacular ass to someone who has absolutely no say in our countries horrific foreign policies. That time and place is at your elected representative’s local office. Go yell and scream at them and call them baby killers and murderers and bust their balls. They are the ones who decided to go to war for the most juvenile of reasons and are the ones who send our loved ones to hell all in the name of greed and power.

It is a testament to the discipline, restraint and the love for their fellow countrymen (even when those countrymen are being blindingly stupid) that military members and the Marines, in particular, have in this kind of scenario. It is because of this discipline, restraint, and ability to rise above the stupendously ignorant, that cases of assault, battery, and even murder by members of the armed forces as I am insinuating above are so rare.

No malice intended toward anyone. Well, maybe just a little well-deserved ridicule, but no malice. I hope for the safety and well-being of all involved, that you self-proclaimed social justice warriors heed my words of warning and advice. Please, pause for a moment and think it through before you erroneously decide that you are that one exception to the rule and think you can get away with poking a bear without getting mauled. You may be unlucky enough to come across the one Marine who is going to reduce your overblown ego back down to where it belongs in a way that might be the most painful experience of your life. I am trying to save you from some possible future pain, or even worse.

Think about it.

Greggery Kunkle

U.S. Navy Veteran

The personal cost of true Freedom and Liberty

True freedom and liberty require a great deal of personal responsibility, a lifelong commitment to self-education, a copious amount of critical thinking, and a willingness to participate far more in the sociopolitical/economic process than just voting.

The greater the freedom and liberty, the greater mankind can become. It is only through the freedom and liberty to act that innovation, invention, and creativity can survive and thrive.

Second, only to our very lives, freedom and liberty is the most precious and costly gift we will ever have the great fortune to possess.

Something this valuable requires continuous hard work and sacrifice, because freedom has never been free. If you truly want it, you have to work hard for it. Every single day.

Greggery Kunkle

Fake Bestsellers, Concern Trolls, and Hidden Agendas

I am re-blogging this so that I can keep the information in the article. Good read for those wishing to self publish.

David Gaughran

boomLast Friday we were treated to a story from the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, where Tony Horwitz claimed “I Was A Digital Bestseller” then complained about how little money this made him, and how he would now stick with traditional, print publishers as a result.

Then this Op-Ed was held up – in outlets like Gawker – as another example of how writers have it so tough in this scary new digital world which is going to lead us all into penury.

Just like the story I wrote in January – Fake Controversy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Digital Bestseller – the key “fact” in Horwitz’s tale of woe doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Can you guess what it is?

Tracker2

Tracker1Boomwas published on January 29 this year. According to KND’s Tracker, before the Op-Ed, the highest rank it achieved in the…

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Living and Loving as an Introvert

Here is a great article on being an introvert. This describes me to a tee.

dorkymum

good advice

*stands up*

*shuffles nervously*

*clears throat*

Hello. My name’s Ruth and I am an introvert.

Would you believe that it has taken me 31 years to say that?

Most of those years have been taken up with saying other things. No, I’m not anti-social. No, I’m not shy. No, it’s not that I hate people, or that I hate you, or that I’m a badly brought up Awkward Annie.

I’m just an introvert.

View original post 1,490 more words