Political Manifesto for the 21st Century

January 7, 2010 by

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — 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. (Declaration of Independence, 1776)

We affirm these self-evident truths, and declare that it is time to abolish our form of government, not by armed revolution, but by the election of representatives who will change it.

The Constitution of the United States allows for the people to elect their representatives every two years, and to elect every senator every six, and to elect the president every four. Each state constitution allows the citizens of that state a similar power to choose their government. Through electing representatives that represent our desire to preserve our government solely to protect the individual rights of everyone, we propose the following changes be made.

  1. Limited government. Our governments are limited by the constitutions that form them. We need to enact a common understanding among the people of what those limits are and impose them on our governments. We need also to strengthen the already existing limits, overturning bad interpretations by our courts, legislators, and executives, and impose new and stronger limits on our governments which will forever ensure our individual liberty.
  2. Dramatic cuts to spending. Our governments should spend our money procuring only those goods and services that will protect our rights.
  3. An end to government charity. It is the role of our churches and the individual to supply charity to the poor, not the state. If the individual and churches cannot supply the charity, government could only do worse. Having government provide charity absolved the conscience and duty of the people from their proper role to love their neighbor.
  4. An end to unfunded legislation. Any program that congress enacts must be completely and fully funded at the time of its creation. We will not enslave future generations to programs that we create but do not fully fund. Existing programs that are unfunded should be canceled or modified until they can be funded.
  5. Dramatic cuts to taxation. Our governments should collect far less taxes than the people can bear. The people should be free to pursue whatever economic matter they wish without burden or undue influence due to taxes. Taxes should not be used to punish the rich or to mold society’s behavior. They should only be used to raise the necessary money to meet the spending requirements of a government that protects the rights of the individual. Any surpluses should be immediately refunded to the people in proportion to taxes paid, or used to pay off debts. Taxes should never be raised to meet spending; rather, spending should be cut to meet tax revenue.
  6. An end to government debt. Our people have become more prosperous than any other people in the world. We do not need to borrow money anymore to provide for the needs of government. Paying interest on our government debts is slavery, not freedom. We are not free until we have paid off all of our debts. Any debt that we must incur should be paid off within a very short time frame, so that our debts are not repaid by our children.
  7. An end to bureaucratic regulation. Any kind of regulation must be debated and passed by the legislatures of our governments, and no other way. No public official should be allowed to set policy that governs the life of anyone but their own employees. No court should dictate legislation. No executive should issue orders except to his troops and employees. Anyone exceeding these limits should immediately be removed from office by impeachment because they are a threat to our liberty.
  8. An end to over-litigation. The laws of our country are unjust, in that they are used to punish those who have done no wrong with tort laws and allow the criminal to go free. Let our laws be simple and just so that we no longer have need of lawyers. Do not allow our constitution to be interpreted as giving shelter to the guilty or limiting the freedoms of the individual.

We boldly declare that freedom and liberty are dramatically different than tyranny and slavery. In a free society, government works differently than in an enslaved society. Our governments should be eternally fearful of the will of the people, forever locked in by the limits of the constitution which creates them, and ever subservient to the people, both the individual and as a whole.

We emphatically reject the tenets of communism, socialism, fascism, totalitarianism, colonialism, and every other form of government or political idea that sets one person above another, that limits the freedom of the individual for the “greater good”, or attempts to convince any individual that they have no rights or fewer rights than the rights man is endowed with by their Creator.

We boldly declare that in our society, the checks and balances in our government includes the individual, private organizations such as businesses or churches or political groups, and federated governments such as the local, state, and federal governments. By distributing the power to govern among these people, organizations, and governments, no one person or group of people is able to obtain much power over the rest.

We also declare that there is enough in this world, and to spare, if the individual is freed from the constraints of government to seek his own fortune in life. We also declare that the man who has obtained wealth is capable of providing charity to the poor, jobs to those who want them, and also to pursue the critical role of participating in politics to keep government constrained. We encourage all men, everywhere, to embrace their freedom, seek their own fortunes, and once having obtained it, spend their time and resources as they see fit in service to their fellowman, without the entanglement of government.

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Time to file “Declaration of Intent to Home School”

September 5, 2018 by

As the Tacoma school district teachers voted to strike, let’s recall that the best education is free: home school. File your declaration of intent to home school by printing this form and sending it in annually: https://www.tacomaschools.org/enroll/Documents/Declaration%20of%20Intent%20to%20Homeschool.pdf

Christianity and English Common Law

August 23, 2018 by

One of the greatest lies perpetuated upon my generation is that there is no secular reason to post the Ten Commandments in a courthouse in the United States. This is such an outrageous lie that it’s hard even to refute it.

The origin of our law, here in the United States, is English Common Law. This is an indisputable fact. Anyone who has ever studied American law knows this, because the people who started this country adopted English Common Law as the foundation for everything we do. Even today, much of your behavior is governed by English Common Law, and judges and lawyers will refer back to it. Unless the matter is relevant to one of the many laws in the books or the constitutions of the state or the nation, then it is a matter of English Common Law. And even then, the laws and constitutions are interpreted according to an understanding of English Common Law.

Where did English Common Law come from? Unfortunately, English Common Law was not invented by one person at a moment in time. It wasn’t intentionally created like our constitution or our laws were. It evolved as judges and lawyers and people and juries figured things out on their own.

If an atheist can claim that Christianity had no, or just a little, influence on English Common Law, then they can claim that Christianity has little or nothing to do with our nation’s laws. That is, they can claim that we can have a secular legal environment without Christianity at all.

On the surface, such an argument is absurd. The people who were living in England at the time English Common Law was being developed were devoutly Christian. Christianity was to those people what water is to fish. It was not only the very essence of existence, but the reason for it. Not to mention the enormous influence the church had at the time upon secular affairs! Surely a judge, jury, or even lawyers were influenced by their religious beliefs, at this time more than any other in our history.

But you don’t have to look very far for how concordant English Common Law is with the Bible. Indeed, if you want to understand English Common Law, you can begin with understanding the Ten Commandments. In the Mosaic Law, we see a system of justice where individuals are held accountable for their own crimes, where property rights are respected, where sexual relations are to be kept only within marriage, and where murder is strictly forbidden, the punishment for which is death, but people are allowed to defend their lives and property. Indeed, when I read the pentateuch, I see what is clearly the earliest proto-English Common Law, in very basic form. It’s almost obvious how you can go from there to here.

I found this interesting address given in 1910 called “The Influence of Biblical Texts Upon English Law” (https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7211&context=penn_law_review) I’ve uploaded a copy here: The Influence of Biblical Texts upon English Law

Here are some key passages:

Sir Francis Bacon long ago said, “The law of England is not taken out of Amadis de Gaul, nor the Book of Palmerin, but out of the Scripture, out of the laws of the Romans and Grecians.” And again he said, “Our laws are as mixed as our language.”

In other words, to try and claim that something is or is not part of the ancestry of the English Common Law is not a simple thing. However, we know what those parts are:

  • The Bible
  • The Romans
  • The Greeks

It’s clear why the Bible is part of the origin. That was the prevailing religion at the time.

The Roman and Greek influence might not be so clear unless you know the history of England. Romans built a civilization there, which the Anglo-Saxons and other conquering tribes adopted as their own. London is the ancient city of Londinium in the Roman Empire. Greek was the first written language there, and nobles and scholars were expected to read and write Greek. The Romans looked up to the Greeks, and indeed, Greek was the language of the Roman elite. Indeed, Roman and Greek law influenced all of Europe during the Middle Ages. The Renaissance marks, for the first time, when Europeans were ready to explore beyond what the Romans and Greeks had already done.

What I am to say, therefore, about a certain connection between the law and the Bible is theoretically supposed to be entirely familiar to you, and indeed to say that the Bible in many ways has exerted a mighty influence on our law is a platitude so profound that I can scarcely hope to be excused for having uttered it.

Some of these words may be unfamiliar to you. A “platitude” is a remark that is completely obvious. You should feel stupid for having it said, or having it said to you. “Water is wet” is a platitude. “Profound” means that it is important and has a deep philosophical meaning.

The speaker here is saying, “Of course the Bible and English Common Law are related. Having to say it makes me feel dumb, because I’m calling you dumb. But it’s still important regardless.”

First, of course, there is the general influence of the Bible through the medium of the Christian religion upon the law. It has been often said, indeed, that Christianity is part of the common law of England, and this is due in great measure to the authority of Sir Matthew Hale (King v. Taylor, i Vent. 293, 3 Keble 507), Blackstone and other writers, while Lord Mansfield held (Chamberlain of London v. Evans, 1767) that the essential principles of revealed religion are part of the common law. The former proposition has some support also in the decisions of our own State, but in its broad and general sense is without adequate foundation, as has been frequently demonstrated. There can be, however, no doubt that the principles of the Christian religion have profoundly affected the law. Christianity supplied, as it were, the atmosphere of public opinion which surrounded the English people, the legislature and the courts, but its precise effect would be an almost impossible task to determine.

In addition to citing some references (I have not looked them up, please do and let me know), he says here that Christianity is to the Common Law what water is to fish. It is the very atmosphere within which the Common Law breathed into life.

Of course, the Ten Commandments will occur to every one as examples of Biblical laws which were adopted into our own. Disbelief in God, as well as disbelief in Christ, Blasphemy, Sabbath Desecration, Theft, Adultery, Homicide, Perjury, to mention the chief offences, were either punished by the spiritual or the civil courts, or by both. The history of heresy alone in England, with all that it involved, the hatreds, the persecutions, the judicial murders which it narrates, forms one of the saddest chapters in human history. With none of this are we concerned at present.

As evidence, they used to burn witches in England. That was part of the common law. Did Rome or Greece burn witches? No.

Then he connects the Church to the government at that time in England. We who live today find it unthinkable, but there was a time when the Church WAS the state. That is, you had no king unless the pope said so. What you may not know, and won’t know, until you read the Church law is that the Church law governed basically everything that anyone ever did. Also, if you were excommunicated by the church you basically were excommunicated by the state too. The Church advertised its laws to be the supreme law that governed all other law. That is, just like we treat the constitution today, that’s how they saw the Church law.

And where did the Church law come from? Why, from the Bible, obviously!

Note that at this time, all of the Bible was held as absolutely supreme. There was no interpretations or explanations or criticisms, only the text of the Bible and the will of the Pope.

Note that the ideas of the Greeks did enter into Church thinking, but that came by way of St. Thomas Aquinas. Read his writings to see how he reconciles Greek thought with Christianity (not the other way around.) So when you do see Greek influence in the Common Law, you have to realize that it was through the lens of Christianity that it entered.

As far as the Romans, Virgil was well respected because it was thought that Paul respected him. Cicero was respected as well, but simply because of his enormous influence and ability to explain the concepts of universal law clearly.

Moving on to looking at the law itself, the author establishes a few obvious instances, some that even survive today:

  • The husband and wife are one flesh in the Bible, and in English Common Law, they are one person.
  • Christ forbids divorce, except it seems for infidelity, and so does the Common Law.
  • The Church is called a single “body”, and in English Common Law people can form corporations that act as a single “body”.
  • Slavery was recognized by the Bible, with particular attributes that make it different than practiced everywhere else. Indeed, contained in the teachings on slavery is the idea that slaves are people too, and so in English Common Law we find concordance. This is a deeper and sensitive topic that needs further expansion. In short, even today “slavery” is tolerated — as long as it is punishment for a crime.
  • Usury is forbidden in the Bible, and so it is in the Common Law.
  • Witches are forbidden in the Bible, as well as in Common Law.
  • The obscure legal doctrine of deodand is that when a person is killed by an animal or an inanimate thing, it is to be given to the judge or king for punishment, is in the Bible as well. According to Exodus 21:28, if a person is killed by an ox, the ox must be killed and should not be eaten. Also, in Genesis 9:5 God demands that animals which kill humans be killed.
  • “Benefit of the Clergy” basically excludes the clergy from any form of prosecution by lower courts, which morphed into any educated person being able to escape one felony. In the Bible, the Lord teaches the people to leave his anointed and his prophets alone, to be tried by Him. (Benefit of the Clergy was abolished in 1827.)
  • In the Bible, if you were accused of killing a man, then it was up to the victim’s family to extract vengeance by killing you. If you claimed innocence, you had to flee to a sanctuary city. In the Mosaic Law, the elders would hold a trial, consider the evidence, and either allow the accused to stay or send him out to be killed. According to English Common Law, you could flee to a church for sanctuary which is called “privilege of sanctuary.” Later, a king established 8 sanctuary cities. Instead of holding a trial, people were allowed to flee the country provided they left all their material goods behind.
  • The Bible requires two or three witnesses. English Common Law demands two witnesses.
  • The Mosaic Law requires an “eye for an eye”. However, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preaches a higher law of forgiveness. English Common Law never adopted “eye for an eye” when it comes to physical harm (though it does for property). However, it did implement death for the murderer.
  • You’ll see references to the “old law” and “new law” by legal experts who try and balance justice with mercy, and pick and choose which version to implement. They are obviously referring to the strictness of the Mosaic Law found in the Old Testament with the leniency of the New Testament.
  • Many more examples from Lord Coke and Blackstone are further given. For instance, you can’t accept a pension from a foreign king because the Bible says “No man can serve two masters.”
  • Interesting for the Libertarians: The right of property is found in Genesis 1:28.

Granted, these are not always pretty examples. Indeed, the history of English Common Law is that it did not spring into existence in its perfect and acceptable form, but adapted to the times. “In law, as in religion, the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” That is to say, just like we treat the Bible, we treat the law. It is not a computer program, but a contradictory text full of inspiration to guide our lives.

A word more. The Bible as a law book has not received the careful study to which it is entitled. Its theological importance, and, in later times especially, its literary inter- est have absorbed the attention of its readers, but there are other aspects from which it should be studied.

Let us rid ourselves of this terrible heresy, that the Bible has nothing to do with our Law. Let us instead study the Law and the Bible together, and take what we can from it and make a better law.

 

 

Tariffs as a Negotiation Chip

July 24, 2018 by

The way President Donald Trump is talking about tariffs recently leads me to believe he may only consider them a temporary bargaining chip. He recently tweeted:

Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!

Is his intention solely to lower trade barriers with other countries? That is, the US will impose tariffs only in retribution to tariffs placed on us? This certainly sounds like it.

Coming from a free-market libertarian perspective, tariffs are a terrible idea. Not only are you only taxing your own people, as they have fewer choices and so pay higher prices, but you are giving an unfair advantage to the country you are imposing tariffs on. See, all things being equal, will people go to a country with high tariffs to buy their goods, or a country with low or no tariffs? The answer is obvious: people prefer to trade where there are no tariffs. This is why countries like Hong Kong even exist: They are trade shelters, where people can come to buy and sell freely before making the “last stop” in a high-tariff country.

Thus, countries which impose tariffs are really only hurting themselves, separating their economies from the world trade system, and raising prices for their people. Yes, it raises revenue for government coffers, which may be necessary for, say, national defense, but that’s another discussion and I think all economists agree it’s better to keep money out of government altogether, allowing individuals to invest it as they see fit. (The “Tragedy of the Commons” AKA “General Welfare” means that people will not invest in public goods and services, making something like government necessary for those sorts of things.)

Regardless, it appears that President Trump’s strategy is not to replace income taxes with tariffs, similar to how President Jefferson did when he was in power, but instead to cause other countries to lower their own tariffs.

What would the effect be? Their economies would become more open, more competitive with the US. Capital would flow into their countries, capital that would’ve otherwise flowed into tax or trade shelters, or even into the US.

This sort of things honestly bothers me. It’s one thing to run your country as one of few tax or trade shelters. It’s quite another to encourage other countries to join you as a competitor.

In business terms, this is like Donald Trump challenging Jeff Bezos to make Amazon even more profitable, even though he knows it means he will have less access to investment funds and more competition in the marketplace.

I don’t know what Trump’s long-term strategy is here, but it could be he wishes to overthrow or reveal the globalists for who they really are. Yes, there is a way to prosperity, and no it does not involve the heavy hand of government. Perhaps Trump sees America’s future in making other countries great too.

Communist Nations — Not so bad?

July 23, 2018 by

When I was a kid, I was raised to believe that the evil communist Russians were plotting to destroy the United States with nuclear weapons, so we had to build up our own arsenal in order to protect poor, defenseless America.

I know that this was part of the war propaganda. The truth is that after World War II, the United States of America effectively conquered the world. Soviet Russia may have had dreams of leading a glorious communist Russia, but Stalin pretty much ensured that communism would never be anything more than an idea you give young children to try and get them excited about government.

The reality of Russian life behind the Iron Curtain is still something I can’t really understand. I have two Russian friends, and both of them tell me the same thing. First, life in communist Russia really wasn’t that bad. In some ways, life in the US is worse, and it’s not the rampant capitalism — it’s the corruption. Second, Russians, like all people on planet earth, were focused on how to earn enough money to feed their family.

My religion teaches me that God is a pretty tolerant guy. As long as you don’t cross specific lines, he’s going to let you do pretty much whatever you want. The lines are pretty clear, and you can work out through the Bible and Book of Mormon where it is.

The line seems to be drawn at the family. Once a society makes it all but impossible to raise a family, that’s it for the society. Now, there could be a thousand different reasons why you can’t raise a family. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, it was their sexual proclivity. The Jews add that they also lacked any sort of charity or compassion, preferring to allow people to starve rather than sell them food or water. In the Book of Mormon, the Nephites were destroyed because they had become bloodthirsty, cruel, and savage. They employed women and children in their armies, and when all the women and children were slaughtered, they kept fighting anyway. The Lamanites, meanwhile, never resorted to women and children, and even though they did horrible things to their enemies, they lived on, protected by the Lord.

What great evil did Soviet Russia do? As near as I can tell, it wasn’t that hard to raise a family in Russia. Sure, people were randomly thrown into Gulags, but hey! They kept their children with them! UNLIKE TRUMP — amiright?

North Korea continues to exist, as far as I can see, because they are very pro-family. The idea that someone does not grow up to marry and start a family is unthinkable to them. The same is true, more or less, for Russia, though in recent decades there is less interest in raising families than before. I remain hopeful as Orthodox Christianity is all but a state religion in Russia, and from what I hear, religion is very important over there.

Well, let’s compare those countries with our home — the US of A. Here, things are really bad when it comes to the family. Our popular culture dumps anti-family messages non-stop, 24×7. I watch a lot of Japanese anime, and despite its quirks, its message regarding family is consistent: Grow up, get married, have kids. What about American media? When’s the last time you watched a show that glorified marriage, or put it as the central focus of adulthood? When’s the last time you heard a story about a mother and father who gave up everything to raise their kids?

I have a lot of hope for the US, but we need to be serious when it comes to issues of the family. If there’s anything which God seems to get upset about on a national scale, it’s this. It’s high time we remembered how important family is.

Why Individualism Matters

July 23, 2018 by

Studying up on Naziism, I am struck by how anti-individual it is. Repeatedly, the concerns of the individual are to be replaced by the concerns of the state. The thinking goes, “We either all succeed together (via the state), or we all fail.”

This sort of thinking, I believe, is at the core of Naziism. It is also at the core of a host of other bad philosophies, such as socialism.

Once you’ve determined that there is a collective victory that is superior and preferable to individual victory, the only question is how you define the collective. Modern-day globalists would like to lump all of humanity into that collective. Socialists would like to lump all working-class (IE, non-rich) into that collective. The Alt-Right is concerned only about the color of your skin, forgetting that even though we share the same skin color, we still do not agree and have historical and cultural differences. Thus, communism, globalism, naziism, the Alt-Right, these are not very different from one another. You hear the same message, “Us vs. Them”, with the definition of “Us” being the only deciding factor.

This sort of thinking, to me is dangerous. I’d like to explain why.

First, the collective is nothing more than the sum of the parts. If you have a V8 engine, the total power output is going to be to output of each of the cylinders, added together. Sure, you can arrange the same components in different configurations and avoid inefficiencies (a V6 will run better than a V8 with two cylinders non-working, after all), but ultimately, each component needs to be working at or near peak condition.

Thus, individual needs are the needs of the collective. If you want everyone to be happy, you have to make each person happy, one at a time. You cannot be collectively happy without individual happiness.

Second, the collective has no will, but individuals do. Individuals have desires and motives, and that’s what makes up the collective’s desires and motives. This is something few politicians really understand. It’s not the mob mentality that gives them power, it’s the reason why people come together to form mobs in the first place. Thus, it’s really pointless to talk about the collective as if it were a person. It is not. People are people, and nothing else. So if you want to represent the will of the collective, what you’re really doing is representing the will of each person of the collective.

Third, we get to the crux of the argument. Let’s say the collective you belong to is full of ne’er-do-wells who want nothing more than to do bad things. What can the collective do? The collective, after all, is nothing more than the sum of its parts, so the collective will also do bad things.

Or what if you belong to a collective of absolute saints. Will the collective be worse than that? What can you do to make it better, if there is nothing better the individuals could possibly do?

Knowing that the collective is neither good nor bad, but individuals are, we see the true problem: You need to manipulate individuals, control them, somehow, force them to be better (or worse), or rather, to bend to your will, rather than their own.

Thus we see what the collective really is: A device used to discourage individual thinking, and ultimately, to disempower the individual.

Now, a broken clock is right twice a day, so just because thinking of the collective gives a certain conclusion doesn’t mean the conclusion is necessarily wrong. However, it does mean that it isn’t a very good way of thinking about things, because it isn’t necessarily right either. In short, thinking of the collective without thinking of the individual is powerless, while thinking of the individual without thinking of the collective is powerful. In short, reasoning with the collective will limit your ability to reason.

Thinking about politics, government, social responsibility, morality, religion — these things all need to be done at the level of the individual. How will one person interact? What will they do better or worse? Will a change in policy change one person’s behavior? I think this is one of the reasons of the success of the United States. We have always been “hopelessly” individualistic, to the point where every person approaches government as “What do I get out of it?” rather than “What is good for all?”

I wonder how Naziism would’ve evolved if they had adopted this aspect of American politics and government — recognition of the false reasoning of the collective and the natural rights and moral responsibility of the individual. Would it even resemble what we know today?

We’re Still in Reconstruction

July 16, 2018 by

The Civil War purportedly ended in 1865. Note that it was a Civil War, not a rebellion, as it was the governments that revolted, not just the discontented masses. We had a full-blown war between two governments with armies and generals and all that.

The era that followed is rightly dubbed “Reconstruction.” During this time, the devastated South was purported “reconstructed”. What really happened, however, was the North imposed their will on the South, in a vindictive and fascist style.

There were four battles being fought, wars if you will, after the Civil War ended.

  • Congress v. the Presidency
  • North v. South
  • Black v. White
  • Republican Party v. Democratic Party

The first battle is still unresolved today. The question is “Who ultimately controls domestic affairs?” Or rather, “Who should take the lead?” Thanks to President Johnson’s ineptitude, the republicans took control of congress, with a significant number of radicals, and for most of the reconstruction, at least the latter part of it, congress did whatever it pleased, damn the constitution or the opinions of the president.

This showed that congress, ultimately, carries the torch when it comes to domestic affairs. They are virtually unstoppable when they are united.

Since then, we’ve had several strong presidents try to reassert control over domestic affairs.

If I had to pick a side, I would choose congress. However, it requires that the voters understand how important it is to elect the right sort of person to office in congress. You need battle-hardened warriors who want to take the fight to the government, not mealy-mouthed sponges who see their job as acting as a buffer between the will of the people and the Deep State.

On the battle front of North v. South, the question was “Which trade policy should we have?” The North, thanks to its heavy manufacturing core, preferred high tariffs and no income taxes. This would all but force Americans to “Buy American” but at the same time, keep the workers out of the purview of the federal government. The South, on the other hand, relied more in farms and farming, so they were looking for more mouths to feed. They wanted low tariffs, expecting other countries to reciprocate. At the very least, they wanted cheap machines to work their soil.

This war is still being waged today. We cannot seem to make up our mind on what our trade policy should be. I believe the “no tariff” crowd is going to lose, as the only excuse that made any sense was we needed to strengthen the countries on the frontline of the Soviet threat. Now that threat is gone, and so it makes no sense to give preference to our “trade allies”, if there ever could be such a thing.

Yes, according to free market economics, tariffs are a bad idea. But so are any taxes. Tariffs are the least bad tax because they’re optional, and there is a strong incentive to keep them as low as possible. On the one hand, you raise less funds with high tariffs, and on the other hand, there are always going to be people looking to buy cheap foreign goods.

The Black v. White battle is raging even today. Really, this is a battle not of skin colors, but of ideas. On one side is the idea that whether or not black people are functionally different, politically speaking, from whites, that it is not just to give them different treatment. On the other side is the idea that unless two people are exactly the same, they should not have the same political power.

I draw your attention to the actual message of the Alt-Right. Note that they are not saying, “Fewer rights for blacks!” Instead, they are saying, “Preserve our rights; preserve their rights.” They want to maximize political power of whites and blacks alike by allowing people to form political bands based on the attributes they feel are important. One does not need American citizenship to enjoy their rights, after all. (They can form their own governments made of people who think like they do.) Thus, we do not need to grant citizenship to every inhabitant of planet earth.

I would hope that this debate would draw to a close soon, but democrats insist that because blacks have some differences with white, they should not have the same political power, so it keeps coming up time and again.

Finally, the war between Republican and Democrat. This is an ancient war, started long before the first shots of the Civil War were fired. It rages on today.

My take on this war is it is stupid and counter-productive.

The Democratic Party was wrong time and again, and why anyone would want to call themselves a democrat is beyond me. To me, calling yourself a democrat is like calling yourself a Stalinist or a Nazi. Sure, you might not agree with everything those political philosophies endorsed, but that doesn’t excuse preserving their name. At least modern Nazi sympathizers are smart enough not to call themselves Nazis!

The Republican Party, however, was also wrong. The two parties are reverse sides of the same coin: Government control. The Whigs were right, and it’s high time we went back to Whiggism.

What does Whiggism look like?

  • Minimal government.
  • Goverment by the wise, experienced and able, not the well-connected or wealthy.
  • Maximize the rights of the individual.
  • Maximize the powers of the smaller governments.

Whiggism would almost look foreign today. Imagine walking into a town where certain federal laws were of no force. Or moving to a state only to realize that they acknowledge a different set of rights than the state you came from. No one would think of appealing a matter to the federal government, since the federal government would only care about issues that crossed state boundaries or affected the federal government.

It would be a return to state politics, where each state carefully examined itself every 2 and 4 years to see how they were doing protecting the rights of their own citizens. If they had a bad report card, there would be no appeal to the Supreme Court, there would be no federal army to save them. Thus, the states would be the last line of defense against tyranny.

This is not a bad thing: Tyrannical states would be quickly depopulated. States that can’t manage their own economy would become poor. States that did protect rights would attract new immigrants from other states, and would have strong economies. By their fruits ye shall know them, as the Bible says.

Now that Janus has been decided, next on my political wishlist is the abolishment of the 14th, 17th, and 19th amendments. Yes, these are not federal matters, but state matters. Consigning them to the federal government turns our federal system into an imperial one. The abolition of these amendments would see the virtual elimination of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, as each state’s politics would be completely independent of the others.

The other three wars being waged today, I believe, would resolve themselves if we could fix this critical issue.

 

 

Janus is Huge: It Disrupts the Democrat Machine

July 16, 2018 by

A long time ago, if I made a list of things that I would wish could happen, but probably never will, “Eliminate all public sector unions” would be near the top.

The public sector unions are one of the most important cogs in the Democratic Party machine. It means that democrats don’t have to worry what the voters think, because they can virtually raise infinite funds to run a media campaign to change the way they think.

The way the public sector unions work is as follows:

  • The government pays its employees salaries and benefits.
  • The employees pay their union dues.
  • The unions use some of that money to elect favorable politicians (always democrats).
  • The elected politicians negotiate salary and benefits with the unions.
  • Repeat ad nauseum.

If you could disrupt this process, you could eliminate billions from politics. Without a steady flow of union dues, and without the money being injected into politics from the public sector unions, democrats would have a hard time running their billion-dollar ad campaigns before elections.

Note on some terminology here, because the last thing the government unions want is for the public to understand what is really going on here.

  • “Public sector” means “government”. That is, police, firefighters, government-owned utilities, as well as the army of bureaucrats that make and enforce government policy.
  • “Union” is any sort of organization that purports to represent workers, and negotiates with their employers in their behalf.
  • “Political spending” includes overt donations to political campaigns or political organizations, but also includes any sort of spending meant to influence others, such as ads or signs. It also includes the money that unions spend to hire protestors.

You can read the decision at https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1466_2b3j.pdf

#walkaway — but to where?

June 29, 2018 by

As the democratic party implodes upon itself, and as their key supporters are walking away, let me take a moment to ask those walking away where they want to walk away to, and what they want to accomplish?

For so many years, democrats have lead by angering their base. They get votes by getting people angry, and the angrier they are the more often they will vote. This strategy works in the short term, but it has long-term consequences.

For starters, when your entire party platform is anger, you attract angry people to be your spokespeople and leaders. Anger, by itself, is nothing. Anger must lead to action, and what sort of action do angry people take? If you thought angry people make competent, wise decisions, with plenty of forethought and careful consideration, you would be wrong. And so the angry people leading the angry party make a lot of mistakes.

Sometimes these mistakes have violent consequences. It’s nice to have angry people vote for you, but when they start shooting at people and start talking about civil war, then you know you’re in the danger zone. See, violence isn’t the answer, especially in a society like ours where people shoot back. Well, violence is the answer, but it’s the answer to violence. So initial violence is never the right answer.

As a lifelong democrat, ask yourself: What is it you truly want? What would the ideal government look like? What would the laws actually say? When you consider these questions in quiet contemplation, outside of the anger and bitterness of your party leaders, you might find that your answers are so very different than their answers.

Now, you might find some things that agree with conservatives. I’m more than happy to work with you to accomplish these things in our society. But I’m going to assume that you’re not finding very many or these things, if any at all.

Regardless, this is the first step to any sort of political action: What do you believe in? What do you really want? What is the end goal?

Once you’ve spelled those out, then think about what it would take to get there. Take anger out of the equation, and you see that you have a lot of convincing to do. You need an army of convincers and the convinced. You, by yourself, are really powerless to change much in terms of government. But together, with a few hundred million others, you would be an unstoppable force.

So once you’ve got your goals in mind, start forming those alliances. That’s what a political party should be: a clearinghouse of political alliances. Sure, you’re not going to agree with everything the party stands for, nor are you going to follow lock-step with the party leaders into every issue. But you are going to seek out those people within the party who agree with you, champion the causes you believe in, and who knows? Maybe one day you and your people will be the party leaders.

Can the democratic party be that party? I would say no. Not simply because I really don’t like the history of the democratic party, but because it is bankrupt and has been bought and sold too many times. No, that brand is dead and gone. It’s time to find a new name, a new group, a new set of leaders and a new brand.

These changes will take time, during which conservatives will eat your lunch and laugh about it. See, there was a political war, and the conservatives won. We get to celebrate and we get to take the spoils of war for a season. Your new party will take time to put together and to form, and to become effective. One day, if your ideas are good and you’re persuasive, you too can take the spoils of war won through political victory. That day, of course, is not today.

Split the State?

May 4, 2018 by

Rep. Matt Shea is stumping for splitting Washington State into two states, separating Eastern Washington from Western Washington. http://www.dailysunnews.com/news/2018/may/02/51st-state-rallies-coming-zillah-benton-city-and-w/

I think this is a great idea.

States should, ideally, be about 1 million people. This is about the minimum number of people needed to form an autonomous unit. Anything less, and there’s not enough diversity to fill all the roles necessary to make a healthy society. Any more, and there’s too many people and it’s too easy to corrupt.

This would mean that there would be about 350 states in the United States for our roughly 350 million people.

Each state would have 2 senators in the federal government, making a senate with 700 members. If we went back to 1 representative per 30k, then we’d have roughly 12,000 representatives. Presidents would need about 6,350 electoral votes to get elected.

Now, some geographic areas are densely populated, and breaking them up into states would not be reasonable. But when you look at larger cities, and how they rightfully divide up their city into different governing districts, to better represent the people and handle issues locally, I don’t see a big problem with it. We’re already seeing cities blend together, often across state lines.

Imagine the freedom you’d have by having a state government represent you on a smaller scale. You’d have your own laws, your own tax code, your own regulations.

Here in Washington State, Eastern Washington is usually in disagreement with Western Washington on all sorts of issue. Eastern Washington doesn’t want to invest in an expensive commuter rail system. They don’t want higher taxes and more police. They don’t want stricter controls on how property can be developed.

Indeed, rural states should be free to develop as they see fit, while more urban states should adapt to their burgeoning population with more controls on how land can be used, with deeper investments in infrastructure projects.

Real Marriage

May 1, 2018 by

In a previous post, I talked about the logical foundation of marriage, why it is the most reasonable solution to the problem of how to protect the rights of children with minimal invasion.

In this post, I want to talk about what marriage should be, and why.

Traditionally, marriage was the only place where expression of sexual activity was encouraged. It was expected that a couple would produce children, and not a few.

While societies tolerated violations of this basic principle, the norm throughout history was to have laws expressly forbidding sexual relations outside of marriage. The punishment varied according to time and the people, but usually it was death.

I look up to the original Mosaic Law, that God gave Moses via revelation, as the ultimate guide to what God’s law looks like. In it, God punishes adultery with death, both man and woman. Remember that adultery is having relations as a married man with a married woman who is not your wife.

Other sexual infractions would include fornication, which is having relations with someone who is not married. The punishment for that is that you either die or marry the person — what we call a “shotgun marriage” today. If you can’t satisfy your wife, and she wants a divorce, then you are killed when she divorces you.

These seem especially harsh in today’s world, and rightly so (death is a severe punishment), but honestly, it wasn’t so long ago that our laws read similarly. It wasn’t until the 70s that “no-fault divorce” became common. Up until that point, it would take acts of the state legislature or more to get a divorce.

I can’t help but think how our society would be different if we went back the traditional view of marriage.

  • The only single mothers would be widows. Widows get special treatment by the extended family and community.
  • Every mother and child would have claim on the income of a man. Thus, there would be no need for a social safety net. Men are expected to be able to provide, and those that can’t aren’t ready for marriage.
  • Every man would have a sexual claim on a woman, and every woman on a man. If they don’t like their sexual partner, their choices are to wait until they die or to build them up. IE, if your wife is fat and ugly, and you don’t like sleeping with fat and ugly, then it’s up to you to make your wife skinny and beautiful. Compare this to today, when if your wife gets fat and ugly, you can just walk away and find a skinny and beautiful wife to replace her with, throwing her away like yesterday’s newspaper.
  • A strong network, enforced by violent law, would develop. No longer would a marriage be a temporary union of two people and two families, but an unseverable, eternal binding. When two houses marry, they cannot ever be divided.
  • I believe men would become much more loyal to their family and their wife and children. They don’t get to walk away anymore, and if they want a better life, it would have to be through making his wife and children better. The same for the wife: She cannot improve her station in life without improving her husband and her children. But the children as well would be invested in their parents. If they are to have any inheritance, it is through helping to build the family business. This is the sort of loyalty we sorely lack today.

How would we go about changing the law?

First, we need to call out the horrible situation people who don’t live by such a law find themselves in. I think we already have plenty of scientific evidence that stable marriages are the source of mental stability, financial security, and more. Being born in a stable married couple means you get all the advantages in life, while being born to a single parent means you are doomed. Compare the two at every chance you get, and let people see what an important difference there is.

Second, we need to teach people to live by the higher law of marriage. Don’t marry out of love — marry out of commitment, to yourself, your spouse, your children. We need to help people who find themselves wondering whether they should move on find a better way to fix their marriage. The internet should be flooded with messages telling people how to find sexual satisfaction with their married spouse, how to build a long-term relationship, how to handle all the ins and outs and daily struggles of marriage and make it work.

As people begin to devote their lives to their marriages, we can change the laws to make marriage contracts binding. Change divorce laws, eliminating “no-fault” divorce. Make divorces require a special dispensation from the legislature or the governor. You’re going to hear sad stories about how women feel trapped in their dead marriage. Turn those stories on their heads: “Isn’t it your fault the marriage died?” If the husband is abusive, then punish abuse — but don’t sever the marriage. Hold him accountable in rendering his duty to his wife and children, even if he has to live behind bars because he is violent. Make women realize their “golden ticket” is in staying married, not alimony. Make men realize they have a lot to lose if they leave the marriage.

Once we have eliminated divorce, we can turn our attention to the deviants who engage in sexual activity outside of marriage. If the are able to do it without anyone knowing — how can we catch them and punish them? That’s not the purpose of such a law, and there’s no need for hiring an army of secret police to spy on people’s bedrooms. No, we should be focused on those who openly mock their marriage covenant, and hold them accountable, not just for breaking that covenant, but infringing on the rights of the spouse and children, and assaulting the moral sense of the community. Had they kept it secret enough that neither spouse nor children nor society could discover it — what harm have they really done?

The purpose of the death penalty is not to create mountains of corpses. No, it is to impress upon the minds of the marriage partners the depth of their covenant. It is to allow the other spouse the freedom to seek the death of their partner should they violate that covenant (and imagine how bad a spouse must be to have death wished upon them!) or the general institution of marriage (for when society feels like an individual has gone too far.) There is no lighter penalty because people should not seek it except for the most exceptional cases with the most obvious of evidences. We do not want to consume the court’s time with allegations that so-and-so spent too long looking at someone, or they speak to each other too intimately, or they seem to have had a few moments alone in a secluded space. I do not expect that many people will be killed for the crime of adultery, just like we hardly solve all the murders nor do we punish the murderers very often. It is only for when the crime is so horrible that either the spouse cannot tolerate it or society feels it is being insulted that we would even consider it.

A few years ago, I wondered to myself if we would ever reach a point where even talking about having strongly enforced marriage laws would be a possibility. It seems we are at that point. The whole homosexual marriage issue has compelled conservatives to question marriage as an institution, to understand what it is really about. It has caused men to question what it means to be a man, and women to question what it means to be a woman. Rather than moved us away from our past, our traditions, our heritage, and our religion, it has brought us closer.

I don’t see it as a crazy probability that in the future men and women alike will demand real marriage. I don’t see it as strange that we would punish sexual behavior outside of marriage. I don’t see it as far-fetched that we wold return to our traditional values anymore. We were told that we did these things in the past because we were ill-informed and naive, or just bigoted and full of hate. But as we examine the truth, we find our ancestors knew more than they told us, or rather, knew more than we were willing to believe.