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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bob Barr on the Bailout - Where is the DOJ?

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."
--John Quincy Adams

"Reject the systemic idiocy perpetuated by the two-party duopoly."
-- BlueCarp

I'll be at the Longmont Times-Call election forum tomorrow

I'll be speaking in favor of Bob Barr.


Election Forum
The Times-Call is hosting an election forum on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008, in the Longmont High School Auditorium, 1040 Sunset St. Doors open to the public at 5 p.m. The forum begins at 6 p.m. Channel 3 will broadcast the forum live.

More info on their website.

Liberals using kids as props - Shameless

The only good thing coming out of this is the hope that these kids will rebel against their parents and read some economics books when they become teenagers.

Someone posted the same video with a different soundtrack: Instead of the kids' song, someone has inserted Iron Maiden's song "Children of the Damned" over the video. I am amused.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The House got it right: No Socialization of Failed Businesses

At least for today.

Congratulations to the House for killing the bailout.

This article is telling. It shows some of the wrong-headed ideas behind the bailout in the first place.

To wit:
"Clearly something needs to be done, and the market dropping 400 points in
10 minutes is telling you that," said Chris Johnson president of Johnson
Research Group.

Yes, Mr. Johnson, something needs to be done. That something is the unemployment of the bankers that made bad loans. While we are at it, the worthless loans can be written off and any salvageable loans can be sold at market value. It's quite simple.

The value of the failed private businesses - and thus the stock market - has been artificially propped up by government regulation (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were government creations designed to issue sub-prime loans the market would not provide) and bad business judgment. Perhaps if Mr. Johnson's research group had been a little better at its job, he could have seen this coming and done something before running to Congress asking for taxpayer money to prop up worthless assets.

William Kaye, managing partner of the Great Asia Hedge Fund in Hong Kong, has it right.

He asked

"Why not let them go broke?" he said. "People who do stupid things should get
punished." He said the Paulson bailout reminds him of the piecemeal way Japan
let a banking crisis drag on throughout the 1990s by periodically rescuing banks
instead of allowing them to go out of business.

Artificially propping up the credit market will only prolong the agony. The market has to adjust. Short term pain is preferable to long term systemic failure.

Thankfully the House understands that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Economic Knowledge from March 2005

Paul Cleveland, of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, wrote this article in March of 2005. A highlight from the article:

. . . many think that the U.S. government would prevent Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from failing financially if changes in the market worked against their portfolio values. Whether this assumption is correct or not is unclear. However, what is clear is that U.S. taxpayers are on the hook to bail out these institutions at least up to the line of credit and potentially could be called on to pay much more if they failed. In fact, rightly or wrongly, investors generally believe that this is the case given the low risk profile the companies enjoy.

Looks like those investors were right.

To hear economic illiterates say that the current financial "crisis" is a failure of the free market would be laughable if it were not so sad.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are creatures of government interference in the free market. And they have failed, with disastrous results.

BlueCarp recommends everyone read the articles at Mises.org. This is a good place to start.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

LPCO Recommendations on the 2008 Ballot Initiatives

The Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Colorado sets forth the following recommendations on the 18 COLORADO INITIATIVES currently on the ballot for this November, 2008.






Referendum L

Candidate age limits

If passed, this would lower the age of a candidate for the Colorado House and Senate from 25 to 21.


If you can get the votes, age is irrelevant.

Referendum M

Obsolete constitutional provisions

If passed, this would eliminate obsolete provisions in the state constitution about land value increases.


Nothing substantive changed by eliminating these obsolete provisions.

Referendum N

Obsolete constitutional provisions

If passed, this would eliminate obsolete provisions in the constitution about intoxicating liquor.


Nothing substantive changed by eliminating these obsolete provisions.

Referendum O

Initiative process

If passed, this would make it harder for citizens to place constitutional amendments on the ballot for voter approval, but make it easier for citizens to place state statutes on the ballot. It also provides protection against the state legislature from amending statutes passed through the initiative process.


The LPCO fully supports the citizen initiative process. Since this Referendum makes it harder for citizens to place Constitutional Amendments on the ballot we oppose it.

Amendment 46

Affirmative action

If passed, this would prohibit the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.


The government should not give preferential treatment to any group.

Amendment 47

Right to work

If passed, this would prohibit unions and employers from negotiating "union shop" contracts under which employees would be required to pay union membership or "agency" fees as a condition of continued employment.


The LPCO supports the right to work.

Amendment 48

Definition of “person” and abortion

If passed, this would change the definition of 'person' in the Colorado Constitution to include any fertilized egg, embryo or fetus.


While the LPCO takes no official position on abortion, this proposed constitutional amendment would have far reaching implications and unintended consequences throughout the entire state constitution.

Amendment 49

Public payroll deductions

If passed, this would bar automatic dues deductions for private enterprises, including unions, from public employee payrolls.


The government (at taxpayer expense) should not act as collector, bundler and distributor of dues for any private organization.

Amendment 50

Casino gambling

If passed, this would allow the general assembly or voters in the cities that permit limited gaming to extend the hours of limited gaming operations; to add roulette, craps, or both to the allowed games; and to increase the maximum bet up to $100.


The government has no business telling people what they can do with their own money. If people want to gamble, it is not the government’s business.

Amendment 51

Sales tax for the developmentally disabled

If passed, this would increase the sales tax, in July 2009 and again in July 2010, to fund services for the developmentally disabled.


While this is an admirable cause, it is best addressed via private charity and not taxation.

Amendment 52

Severance tax and transportation

If passed, this would create the Colorado Transportation Trust Fund, to be funded by that portion of the severance tax that exceeds the amount deposited to the state severance tax fund in the previous year, adjusted for inflation via the Consumer Price Index


Since this amendment does not raise taxes, it only changes how existing taxes are spent, the LPCO takes no position.

Amendment 53

Criminal liability for business executives

If passed, this would increase the conduct for which criminal liability attaches for conduct of business executives.


This amendment makes executive conduct that is currently subject to civil liability and makes it criminal. Further, fraud is already illegal.

Amendment 54

Government contracting reform

If passed, this would prohibit those benefitting from no-bid government contracts valued at more than $100,000 a year from contributing to political causes for the duration of the contract plus two years.


There was disagreement among the BOD concerning the best way to address this issue.

Amendment 55

Employee relations, “employment at will” doctrine

If passed, this would end the “employment at will” doctrine in the state. Employers would have to document “just cause” for firing an employee.


This amendment would unnecessarily open additional litigation avenues, be of limited benefit to employees, and make the cost of doing business unnecessarily expensive in the state.

Amendment 56

Employee relations, health insurance

If passed, this would require employers of more than 20 people to pay for health insurance for their employees and families; also would establish a government program to administer the program.


This amendment would make the cost of doing business in this state prohibitive and drive jobs out of the state.

Amendment 57

Employee relations, workplace conditions

If passed, this would allow employees to sue employers for work injuries outside of the workers’ compensation system.


This amendment would make the cost of doing business in this state prohibitive and drive jobs out of the state.

Amendment 58


If passed, this would eliminate a tax credit for property taxes paid for payers of the severance tax, using the revenue primarily to fund college scholarships.


This amendment unnecessarily raises taxes for a cause better suited for private charitable contributions.

Amendment 59

Education funding

If passed, this would create a state education fund savings account within the state education fund, to be funded from 10% of the monies deposited into the state education fund, including revenue that would otherwise be rebated under the TABOR rules, would also require that state educational spending increase by rate of inflation plus 1% through fiscal year 2010-2011; and restricts spending of the state education fund to specific education expenses


This amendment would eviscerate TABOR.

Bob Barr on CNN's "American Morning."

Remember, regulation is done by the same government that runs the DMV and FEMA and veteran's hospitals. I have no doubt that these people would do at least as well as regulators of the economy.

Congressman Ron Paul Schools Bernanke on the Bailout Plan

More wisdom on why failed investments must be allowed to fail without the socialization of the loss.

Ron Paul on Fox Business News

Listen to the good doctor and grow wise.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why did Ron Paul endorse Chuck Baldwin?

Ron Paul has done more for the cause of limited government and personal liberty than any politician since Barry Goldwater.

That’s why his presidential endorsement of Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin is puzzling.

He announced his endorsement via his Campaign for Liberty site.

Before making the announcement, he discussed his “Unity Press Conference,” which was attended by Baldwin, Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney – but not Bob Barr:

Obviously the press conference could have been even more successful without the last-minute change of heart by the Libertarian Party candidate by not participating. He stated that his support for the four points remains firm. His real reason for not coming, nor letting me know until forty minutes before the press conference started, is unknown to me. To say the least, I was shocked and disappointed.

Of course, the Barr campaign has a different version of events. Bob Barr campaign manager Russ Verney, in an email to supporters, said:

After rumors were spread in advance of the news conference that Bob Barr was dropping from the race - just to hype the event - I became even more hesitant to attend. Those tactics were unacceptable and when asked about it, Ron Paul's staff simply smiled and said it would attract the press.

When I was provided a copy of Ron Paul's prepared remarks just hours before the start of the planned news conference it became clear to me that the message Ron Paul intended to deliver was essentially to scatter the votes for the liberty agenda to the four winds.

His remarks not only encouraged anyone listening to support any one of four candidates, he also applauded 'non-voters'. To me encouraging people not to vote is not principled leadership for the Liberty agenda.

Apparently there was a lack of communication between the two camps and some hurt feelings. But this is politics. There is no place for hurt feelings.

In his endorsement of Baldwin, Paul wrote:

Yet in the long run, this last-minute change in plans will prove to be of little importance. I’m convinced that problems like this always seem bigger at the moment, yet things usually work out in the end. Recovering from the mistakes and shortcomings of all that we do in this effort is not difficult if the message is right and our efforts are determined. And I’m convinced they are. That’s what will determine our long-term success, not the shortcomings of any one person.

Given the context of the entire announcement, it appears that the “shortcomings of any one person” is a thinly veiled jab at Barr. No problem. This is politics.

Paul continued:

The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

That is the general background leading up to Paul’s endorsement.

Most people outside the insulated world of third party politics probably have a question: “Who is Chuck Baldwin?”

Let’s look at the Constitution Party website for some answers.

Among other things, the CP wants to end American involvement in overseas wars, limit the federal government’s powers to those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and return power to those states by reviving the dormant Tenth Amendment.

So far, so good.

But let’s look at some of those “other things,” as well.

The CP website asks visitors to “Join the Constitution Party in its work to restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations.”

Biblical foundations? At best, that claim is historically questionable. Throughout its website, the CP picks quotes from John Adams and others that indicate a belief that Christianity is an important part of American government.

Of course, the CP ignores quotes from Thomas Jefferson and others that indicate a different belief.

For an organization that purports to support a stringent reading of the Constitution, it fails to address why the words “Jesus Christ,” “Christianity,” “bible,” or even “church” fail to appear in the document.

The CP has to look outside the document to support its position, which is exactly what liberal judicial activists do to support their arguments for expansion of federal power.

The entire CP platform is online.

It begins: “The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States.”

The CP therefore has no place for those that do not accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Ironically, this would keep Thomas Jefferson out of the CP. Jefferson denied that Christ was divine, and put together a little something called “The Jefferson Bible” to support that belief.

It is hard to imagine how a political party that rejects Jews, Muslims, atheists, Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics and Thomas Jefferson can be said to support either freedom or liberty.

In that regard, the CP platform sets forth its specific positions very clearly:

The CP is against homosexual rights.

The CP is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.

The CP supports the war on drugs.

The CP favors government regulation of the internet and the media in general because both contain sexually provocative images.

The CP is anti-free market in that it favors government restriction on the private use of personal money on gambling and prostitution.

The CP is anti-free trade.

The CP supports government’s power to kill criminals.

The CP would not allow women in combat.

The CP believes that education “cannot be separated from religious faith.”

The CP would eliminate all immigration into the country “except in extreme hardship cases or in other individual special circumstances.”

The CP would keep out immigrants based on whether or not the government found them a moral burden on the country or not.

The CP supports “all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”

There can be no doubt Ron Paul believes in individual liberty, freedom and limited government. But it is hard to see how Chuck Baldwin and the CP advance these beliefs.

It appears that Paul has taken a perceived slight from Bob Barr personally, and in a fit of pique, endorsed a religious zealot, intolerant of non-Christians and a believer in government authority to implement a Christian theocracy.

And that’s too bad

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's End the Republican Charade

Let's list some recent Republican accomplishments:

1. Nationalization of failed private lenders and insurers - AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac.

2. Substantial curtailment of the Fourth Amendment in the name of freedom - Patriot Act, FISA.

3. Creation of bigger government - Department of Homeland Security (instead of merging existing government departments like the FBI, DEA, ATF, ad nauseum, the Repubs created another layer of government).

4. Advocacy of more regulation - McCain's answer to the mortgage crisis.

Can we just end the charade? Republicans are more interested in retaining power than they are anything else. "Winning" has become paramount. Principles matter not.

At least some Republicans used to stand for limited government and additional personal freedom. See Goldwater, Barry and Reagan, Ronald. No longer.

The one sitting Congressional Republican that actually fights for limited government and personal freedom, Ron Paul, is treated like a leper by the Republican establishment.

Let's end the charade. Reject the Republican poseurs.

Join the Libertarian Party.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama = change? LOL

Obama equals change?

More like the same old b.s. from the two party duopoly.

Newsweek documents Obama's distortions and misrepresentations in his bid for power.

Reject the systemic mediocrity inherent in the two-party duopoly.

Vote third party. I'm voting for Bob Barr. I encourage you to register as a member of the Libertarian Party.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Plan for Change" translated

Despite a few cheap shots, this is amusing. The sad part is, McCain is hardly any better than Obama. Vote for Barr.

Reagan - A Time For Choosing

Excerpt from Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech in support of Barry Goldwater.

McCain Slams Wall Street, Bush

Greed must be made illegal! Mismanagement is a crime! We need MORE regulation! Let the politicians manage the economy from Capitol Hill! Free soup for the people! Free Free Free! Worship at the altar of the State!

"Yes on 49 "

The Rocky supports

Amendment 49 - just as we previously supported various versions of this policy at the local level. It would block state and local government agencies from deducting dues or fees from employee paychecks for unions or other membership groups.

Why this is an issue at all is a mystery. There is no reason for the government - at tax-payer expense - to serve as dues collector, accountant and money bundler for any private organization.

Of course, unions are against it. They currently get a free ride that other private organizations, like the NRA and AARP, do not get. If Amendment 49 passes, unions will have to get money like every other private organization: By asking their members.

As the Rocky notes: "In other words, government provides a free dues collection service for major lobbyists. . . The free deduction and collection of dues is a special benefit denied to most other worthy civic organizations."

Email from the Barr Campaign regarding the Texas lawsuit

Shane Corry, deputy campaign manager for the Barr campaign, explains what is going on in Texas.

Bob Barr rides again in Texas

Dear David,

Just moments ago, Bob Barr and our campaign manager, Russ Verney, stood on the steps of the Supreme Court of Texas to rally a crowd of supporters and answer questions from the media.

Today, we filed an emergency stay to prevent the Texas Secretary of State from printing ballots until after our case was decided.

For a quick recap, earlier this week we filed a lawsuit to remove both John McCain and Barack Obama from the Texas ballot. Texas election code §192.031 requires that the "written certification" of the "party's nominees" be delivered "before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before election day" and both candidates missed that deadline.

When this story first broke, the New York Times , took a jab at us saying that if our campaign prevailed in Texas, the action may, "thoroughly alarm foreign investors."

This morning, political pundits beholden to the status quo got a bit more serious. In a scathing hit piece published by CQ Politics, Craig Crawford wrote that Bob is in Texas "promoting a bogus claim that John McCain and Barack Obama should not be on the state ballot in November."

Sorry, Craig, but you might want to do your homework the next time before you put pen to paper.

When we missed our deadline in West Virginia (a month before Republicans and Democrats were required to file I might add), we were forced off of the ballot. The law is clear and belonging to the Republican or Democrat party does not exempt you from its rule.

Politically biased members of the media are going to move into position and recite talking points that read "BOGUS" each time they are given the opportunity to do so. They'll also be sure to throw in a few other stretches of the imagination or bits of misinformation to smear our candidate and our Libertarian Party.

At this time, we need to simply acknowledge that the attacks will continue. They will be designed to discredit our efforts and demoralize our base.

If you're reading this right now, I doubt you're feeling demoralized. If you're like me, you're ready to do all that you can to fight a clearly corrupt system.

Today our fight is in the Texas legal system.

The first thing that we need is funds to fight this battle We've already incurred tens of thousands of dollars on this effort and we expect the costs to climb.

Please make a donation today and give us BOTH a financial and morale boost we so need.

Thank you for all that you do.

In Liberty,

Shane Cory
Deputy Campaign Manager
Bob Barr for President

P.S. I just got off of the phone with Russ Verney. They had a great turnout of supporters in Austin and "all of the right reporters showed up" to cover the event. Once I get my hands on photos or a video, I'll upload it to our site. In the meantime, please help us with a contribution today.

To donate by mail:

Barr 2008 Presidential Committee
P.O. Box 725007
Atlanta, GA 31139

To donate by phone:

Call 1-800-Bob-Barr

Paid for by Barr 2008 Presidential Committee.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

"Business, labor need a truce"

Out of the numerous ballot initiatives on the Colorado ballot this November, several deal with labor issues.

Amendment 47, backed by business, would make closed union shops illegal in the state.

The unions back several initiatives. One would make business executives criminally liable for breaching corporate duties. Another would require all business with 25 or more employees to pay for health insurance for their employees and families. Another would abolish the employment at will doctrine in the state. Another would open employers to tort damages on top of workers' compensation.

If all of the union initiatives pass, business will leave Colorado faster than Usain Bolt in Beijing.

According to the Post, the unions will withdraw all four of its initiatives if the people behind Amendment 47 withdraw it. So far, its supporters have refused.

The Post says that "Colorado's existing Labor Peace Act already makes it all but impossible to compel workers to join unions or pay agency fees against their will."

Given that, the Post calls for both sides to withdraw their initiatives. Sounds like a decent compromise to me.

"A memoir of courage, poise"

Margaret Thatcher's daughter has published a book that discusses her mother's Alzheimer's disease.

The Post uses the opportunity to encourage people to take part in the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk national fundraiser.

Maybe the kids were noisy because they were talking with Osama bin Laden

Headline from the UK's Telegraph:

"Anti-terrorism laws used to spy on noisy children"

Subhead: "Councils are using anti-terrorism laws to spy on residents and tackle barking dogs and noisy children."

Well, certainly nothing like this would ever happen in America. After all, our surveillance statute is called the Patriot Act, so only Patriots will use it.

Anyone that complains about this is on the side of the terrorists.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

McCain: Big Government Republican

Matt Welch of Reason magazine chronicles McCain's belief in the government as the answer to America's problems. McCain does not believe in freedom and liberty, he believes in government programs.

The argument that McCain is better than Obama, and therefore should get my vote, is nonsense.

They both worship at the altar of the State. Just because one wants to take us in the direction of Statism, and away from personal liberty, at 100 mph and the other at 90 mph is no reason to favor one over the other.

It is like being asked to chose between death by hanging or death by firing squad: different methods with the same result.

If you prefer a less macabre simile, it is like being asked to chose chitlins or pigs feet for supper. Either way, you are gonna be eating some nasty dinner.

And those that chose the pigs feet because it ain't as bad as the chitlins? Guess what their choices will be tomorrow - exactly the same.

The only way to get new choices is to reject the ones offered or go to a different diner.

By accepting the two poor choices, one is perpetuating the system that gives us those choices.

Nothing is going to change unless we first want to make it change, and second do something about it.

I agree with Ron Paul that voting for any third party legally on your state's ballot is better than voting for the systemic mediocrity presented by the two-party duopoly. If you really want more government regulations and redistribution of wealth, vote for Nader or McKinney. If you really want freedom and liberty, vote for Bob Barr.

If you want something else, vote for it.

It is reasonable to see a time when either wing of the two-party duopoly consistently fails to garner even a plurality of legally cast votes. When that happens, the duopoly will be broken and real change and real choice will be available.

Start in 2008. Make your vote really count. Don't waste it on something you don't really believe in because you want to "win." What kind of victory is that? It's not even pyrrhic. It's not even a victory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ron Paul in 1987

Bob Barr wrote Dr. Paul recently asking him to join him on the Libertarian Presidential ticket. I don't think there is any chance of that happening, but Bob's letter raises lots of good points. You can read it here.

Barr quotes Dr. Paul from a 1987 letter:

I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on personal liberties and privacy.

After years of trying to work through the Republican Party both in and out of government, I have concluded that my efforts must be carried on outside the Republican Party


Of course, after running as the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 1987, Dr. Paul rejoined the Republican Party.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed since 1987. I take that back: things are much worse.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Colorado's Amendment 54 Critic is a Hypocrite

"Face The State" has the details right here.

In sum, Jess Knox is campaigning against Amendment 54 (and lobbying for and against other initiatives, as well).

Amendment 54 would limit the ability of no-bid contractors from paying off the politicians that give them money. Knox has claimed that the pro-business initiatives are using out-of-state money while implying that his Protect Colorado’s Future is full of “integrity” and isn’t using that flavor of money. "When you have these out-of-state, or narrow corporate interests trying to divide Coloradans, it's bad for all Colorado," said Jess Knox.

Here’s Jess Knox’s dirty little secret…

Looking at his Protect Colorado’s Future funders shows they receive more than 2/3 of their funding from out-of-state Big Labor:

  • Protect Colorado's Future has raised over $3.3 million dollars from donors.
  • Protect Colorado's Future has accepted more than $2.2 million in contributions from out-of-state donors. These out-of-state contributions account for more than 67% of Protect Colorado Future's funds raised.
  • Protect Colorado's Future has accepted more than $3.28 million from union donors. These union contributions account for more than 98% of Protect Colorado Future's funds raised.
  • The Service Employees' International Union (Washington, DC) has contributed over $630,000 to Protect Colorado's Future.
  • The following organizations have each contributed at least $100K to Protect Colorado's Future: California State Council of Service Employees $100K (Sacramento, CA), Laborer's International Union of North America $100K (Washington, DC), United Food & Commercial Workers International Union $100K (Washington, DC), Unite Here Political Checking Account $100K (New York, NY), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees $127K (Washington, DC), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $130K (Washington, DC), National Education Association Special Account $130K (Washington, DC), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Educational Committee $200K (Washington, DC).
  • Jess Knox is a carpetbagger. He's worked on campaigns in Maine for 10 years. He also worked for Gore in the 2000 New Hampshire primary. Furthermore, he worked for John Edwards for President until the campaign dissolved in January.
  • Previous June article at FTS on Protect Colorado's Future donors
There you go.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

"Head-in-sand metro cities"

The Rocky lists three options for FasTracks now that the cost of the project has grown far beyond the authorized tax increase.

They omit the simplest and best option:

Since RTD can not deliver on its end of the bargain, rescind the tax hike and cancel the project.

"McCain reaches to the middle"

The Post quotes liberally from McCain's acceptance speech, trying to show how he is casting himself as a catalyst of change, despite being entrenched in Congress for 26 years.

The Post concludes: "As McCain left the stage, he left a Republican party that was not only united behind his candidacy but suddenly thrilled by it."

United? Thrilled?

Hardly. I know lots of McCain supporters. Neither "united" nor "thrilled" describes their support.

Words like "resigned" and "melancholy" are more appropriate.

Bread and Circuses

Audio of Barry Goldwater's famous 1964 speech is excerpted below.

Everyone is familiar with his statement that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

Leading up to that big line, he says that "rather than moral leadership [the American people] have been given bread and circuses."

I knew that the "bread and circuses" line was a reference to something, but I did not know what.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I do now:

This phrase originates in Satire X of the Roman poet Juvenal of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries. In context, the Latin phrase panem et circenses (bread and circuses) is given as the only remaining cares of a Roman populace which has given up its birthright of political freedom:

... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now
restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses

It appears to me Goldwater misuses the line. In its original context, the author is not demeaning the rulers, he is demeaning the people.

Goldwater was disparaging his contemporary American leadership.

Juvenal's original use applied in 1964 and it absolutely applies to America in 2008.

It is not the the government's fault that we, as citizens, have given up our birthright of freedom. It is our fault for no longer caring.

We get what we want. What we want is mediocrity. Pandering. Empty promises. And someone else to pay for it.

What we get is Barack Obama and John McCain - two empty suits with the principles of weather vanes.

What can we do about it? How can we restore freedom? How can we get people to care?

We must be practical.

Nothing is going to change tomorrow. Or next month. Or next year. But it can change.

It will change one person at a time. Everyone of us that believes in freedom needs to spread the Gospel of Liberty by word, actions and example. Every convert adds to the momentum of our cause.

A short term goal must be to undermine the two party duopoly. Encourage ballot access for all third parties, no matter the ideology. Freedom lovers will win the battle when competing with socialists, communists, greens, fascists, theocrats or any other group that believes the State is the answer to society's problems.

We should welcome that battle. We can fight that one with vigor and we will win.

The problem is we, and others against the systemic mediocrity of the two-party duopoly, are not allowed on the battle field.

I can feel a widespread disenchantment with the current system. Freedom lovers can tap into that disenchantment. It matters not what the disenchanted currently believe: if we can get them into the fight against the status quo, and defeat it, Liberty and Freedom will be victorious.

The immediate goal is to gain converts against the current political machines that control ballot access and the debates. We do this one peson at a time.

The long term obective is freedom and liberty in the United States.

The short term strategy is bringing down the big-government Republican-Democratic duopoly.

We can do this by promising more than bread and circuses. We can promise freedom.