Thursday, October 1, 2009

Counter-terrorism team launches in Westchester NY

Taken from the North County News

WHITE PLAINS — Westchester County residents and visitors may notice some unusual police activity in the southern part of the county this evening, Sept. 29, as police for the first time deploy a highly visible Hercules Team as part of ongoing counterterrorism initiatives in Westchester.

The decision to use Hercules Teams in Westchester was not made in response to any specific terrorist threat. It is a new initiative of Counterterrorism Zone 3, which includes all police departments in Westchester, and has been planned for some time, according to Kieran O’Leary, spokesman for the Westchester County Department of Public Safety.

The chairman of Counter-terrorism Zone 3 is Chief Louis Alagno, of the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

Comprised of specially trained and heavily armed police officers, the Hercules Team will begin paying unannounced visits in the weeks and months ahead to a range of locations in Westchester from transportation hubs to busy shopping areas. The goal of the Hercules Team is to provide an additional, and unpredictable, layer of security to key locations in Westchester where people congregate.

A Hercules Team comprised of officers from the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Yonkers Police Department and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety will visit a number of different locations this evening.

“People should not be alarmed when they see the Hercules Team tonight or at any point in the future,” County Executive Andy Spano said. “These officers are being deployed as part of an overall strategy to deter those who would do us harm. It is one more way that law enforcement in Westchester is working to keep our communities safe.”

Good thing they are "Heavily Armed" to deal with the terrorist ground offensive that threatens our individual liberty so much...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Open Letter To Jacob G. Hornberger

Recently I read this article on a favorite website. I respect the author very much and wanted to reply to his piece. So I sent him this email:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your article posted today at I found it very informative. I hope you are able to take a few minutes to read this email. I am not expert on the attacks of 9/11, and fully agree that our foreign policy produces significant “blowback”. I hope your comments on the evidence are open to discussion. I am not attempting to convince you of anything. Your comments though, seem to indicate that the official story is the most plausible to you, or rather that the “truthers” are unable to "make their case”.

“…simply isn’t convinced by the evidence that the Truthers have produced to make their case. Personally, this is the category I fall into. “

I too felt the same way as you for years. That is until I asked some simple questions about the event. A detailed article explaining why the evidence you have seen is not convincing would be helpful to others like me. In my opinion the evidence to support the official story is the thinnest of all. There is no one that can fully explain how WTC 7 collapsed at freefall speeds into its own footprint towards the path of most resistance. The 9/11 commission ignored the topic all together. AT this point 6 out of 10 commission members have publicly stated that the commission was lied to and mislead by NORAD, the Pentagon, and the White House. Those who understand Operation Northwoods, have already crossed one of the most important roadblocks to truth, that is the idea that our own government could do such a thing.

Fear of being labeled a “truther” is large hurdle for most to jump. Over the years 9/11 “truthers” have been labeled “kooks” and “nut jobs” by the main stream media. You may recall a certain Congressmen who ran for the Republican nomination in 2008 that was also referred to as a “kook”. This constant reference to people who have questioned the official story has worked well to convinced the general public to ignore the issue, less they be called a “kook”. But the evidence exists, parts of which seem to be irrefutable.

Our Government and our World took a turn for the worst as a result of that day’s events. It is a fact that most of the legislation like the US PATRIOT ACT was drafted years prior to 9/11, and only able to pass into law because of the events of that day. It was used as an excuse to invade two countries. Over a Million lives have been lost as a result. Based on these facts, do you not think that a thorough review of 9/11 is a good idea?

I respect your opinion greatly, as you are responsible for waking me up to the ideas of liberty. Your voice is needed to help wake up others. To dismiss “truthers” without explanation, to even refer to those who do not trust the governments story as ”truthers”, is a way to stifle open debate and further strengthens the “official” story. Even if that is not your intent, that is the result. If someone claimed that the Keynesians’ economic theories are correct regarding the Great Depression, folks like you would want more information to back up such a statement. Why is 9/11 any different? There is a mountain of evidence available to those willing to look. Short sales on airline stock, inconsistent NORAD response times, burn temperatures, changes to standard shoot down procedures, eyewitness testimonies, peer reviewed papers, and on and on. The “coincidences” that had to happen to allow the official story to be true are overwhelming.

The political price of becoming a “truther” is more burdensome than excepting the official story. If “truthers” are “conspiracy theorist” then those who believe the official story are “coincidence theorist”. In the end the truth will be known. I wish I could dismiss “truthers” as easily as you, then too I wish more people could dismiss Keynesian economics as they do “truthers”! Thank you for your time. Looking forward to your response.


For those interested in 9/11 I suggest doing a little questioning. I started with "these people who think 9/11 is an inside job are crazy, and I bet I can prove it!"

Jeff Avitabile

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Essence of Government

by Doug Casey

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitable he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.

~ H.L. Mencken

I give a good number of speeches each year. For some time I’ve asked audiences a question: "What useful purpose does the US government serve?" I do that not to be challenging or provocative, but to actually find out if anyone else can think of a useful purpose the government serves. The question at fist shocks, then amuses and then perplexes almost everyone because it is both so obvious and outrageous that no one ever thinks of asking it. Most people accept the institution of government because it has always been there; they have always assumed it was essential. People do not question its existence, much less its right to exist.

Government sponsors untold waste, criminality and inequality in every sphere of life it touches, giving little or nothing in return. Its contributions to the commonweal are wars, pogroms, confiscations, persecutions, taxation, regulation and inflation. And it’s not just some governments of which that’s true, although some are clearly much worse than others. It’s an inherent characteristic of all government.

The essence of something is what makes the thing what it is. But surprisingly little study of government has been done by ontologists (who study the first principles of things) or epistemologists (who study the nature of human knowledge). The study of government almost never concerns itself with whether government should be, but only with how and what it should be. The existence of government is accepted without question.

What is the essence of government? After you cut through all the rhetoric, the doublethink and the smokescreen of altruism that surround the subject, you find that the essence of government is force. And the belief it has the right to initiate the use of force whenever expedient. Government is an organization with a monopoly, albeit with some fringe competition, on the use of force within a given territory. As Mao Zedong said, "The power of government comes out of the barrel of a gun." There is no voluntarism about obeying laws. The consent of a majority of the governed may help a government put a nice face on things, but it is not essential and is, in fact, given with any enthusiasm.

A person’s attitude about government offers an excellent insight into their character. Political beliefs reflect how a person thinks men should relate to one another; they offer a practical insight into how he views humanity at large and himself in particular.

There are only two ways people can relate in any given situation; voluntarily or coercively. Almost everyone, except overt sociopaths, pays at least lip service to the idea of voluntarism, but government is viewed as somehow exempt. It’s widely believed that a group has prerogatives and rights unavailable to individuals. But if that is true, then the Ku Klux Klan, the Irish Republican Army, the PLO – or, for that matter, any group from a lynch mob to a government – all have rights that individuals do not. In fact, all these groups believe they have a right to initiate the use of force when they find it expedient. To the extent that they can get away with it, they all act like governments.

Terrorists, Mobs and Governments

You might object that the important difference between the KKK, IRA, PLO or a simple mob and a government is that they aren’t "official" or "legal." Apart from common law concepts, legality is arbitrary. Once you leave the ken of common law, the only distinction between the "laws" of governments and the ad hoc proceedings of an informal assemblage such as a mob, or of a more formal group like the KKK, boils down to the force the group can muster to impose its will on others. The laws of Nazi Germany and the USSR are now widely recognized as criminal fantasies that gained reality on a grand scale. But at the time those regimes had power, they were treated with the respect granted to any legal system. Governments become legal or official by gaining power. The fact that every government was founded on gross illegalities – war or revolt – against its predecessor is rarely an issue.

Force is the essence of government. But the possession of a monopoly on force almost inevitably requires a territory, and maintaining control of territory is considered the test of a "successful" government. Would any "terrorist" organization be more "legitimate" if it had its own country? Absolutely. Would it be any less vicious or predatory by that fact? No, just as most governments today (the ex-Communist countries and the kleptocracies of the Third World being the best examples), demonstrate. Governments can be much more dangerous than the mobs that give them birth. The Jacobin regime of the French Revolution is a prime example.

Is the State Necessary?

The violent and corrupt nature of government is widely acknowledged by almost everyone. That’s been true since time immemorial, as have political satire and grousing about politicians. Yet almost everyone turns a blind eye; most not only put up with it, but actively support the charade. That’s because although many may believe government to be an evil, they believe it is a necessary evil. (The larger question of whether anything that is evil is necessary, or whether anything that is necessary can be evil, is worth discussing – perhaps in another forum.)

What, arguably, makes government necessary is the need for protection from other, even more dangerous, governments. I believe a case can be made that modern technology obviates this function.

One of the most perversely misleading myths about government is that it promotes order within its own bailiwick, keeps groups from constantly warring with each other and somehow creates togetherness and harmony. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of the truth. There’s no cosmic imperative for different people to rise up against one another – unless they’re organized into political groups. The Middle East, now the world’s most fertile breeding ground for hatred, provides an excellent example.

continue reading

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chuck Norris is Getting it!

Back in March of this year the pro-wrestler Glenn Jacobs (A.K.A. "Kane") wrote An Open Letter To Chuck Norris where he asked Chuck to abandon his support for the Fair Tax and instead support the End The Fed movement. Yesterday, Chuck posted an article on WorldNetDaily called "A Force of One: the Federal Reserve".

After reading Chuck's article, it is clear that he no longer will be pushing for a "Fair Tax". The Banksters should know Chuck Norris is not one to be taken lightly. They say under that beard is another fist, waiting to strike!!!

I don't know if it was Glenn Jacob's letter that pushed Norris to learn more about the Federal Reserve, but it is nice that we have another patriot on our side.

-J. Avitabile

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sleep easy

So I wake up this morning to read that Obama and Medveded have agreed to a path to an arms deal. about relief. I am so angry I cant even make jokes. The Russians? We are wasting time talking to the Russians about decreasing the amount of arms we both have. What the fuck is wrong with this world. We have the worst economic collapse in the history of the world going on right now, there are 2 active wars we are fighting, plus the global war on terror. Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, North Korea is shooting of missles like its the home run celebration at the new Yankee Stadium and our fearless leader is in Moscow talking to the Russians about Nuclear Arms Proliferation? Did I miss something? I thought that problem went away about 20 years ago. Next you will hear Obama call for the Berlin Wall to come down. I mean come on. Quit wasting our time and get something done.

Now that I think about it, this is a great policy, maybe his best. After all it is the only thing he has done that hasnt cost the taxpayers 100s of billions of dollars. So maybe I was too quick to judge. Good job Barak. Thanks for doing something that wont either bankrupt us or devalue the American dollar.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Life, Liberty, and Property Are Inseparable

Written by Tom Mullen

The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society, to limit the power, and moderate the dominion, of every part and member of the society: for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society, that the legislative should have a power to destroy that which every one designs to secure, by entering into society, and for which the people submitted themselves to legislators of their own making; whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.

- John Locke[1]

Life, liberty, and property were the central, inalienable rights that formed the foundation of the great experiment in self government called the United States of America. The founders of our country never broke apart this sacred triumvirate, because each one of these rights is inextricably bound to the other. No one of these three can exist without the other. Moreover, when all three are secured, it is almost impossible for injustice to exist. Wherever one does find injustice, one invariably finds a violation of one of these three basic rights at its root.

While it is certainly true that today the rights to life and liberty are grossly violated in innumerable ways, they are nevertheless at least spoken of by our politicians. However hypocritically, they at least say that they value life and liberty, even as they pervert those sacred rights as justification for their wars and plunder.

Yet, they never even hypocritically evoke the right to property. No journalist ever challenges them based upon it, and honestly, most average Americans don’t talk about it either. As a principle, property has vanished from our consciousness. However, as all of the great philosophers throughout history have understood, there is no right to life or liberty without property. In fact, property is part and parcel of life itself.

What is property? It is that which an individual rightfully owns. Included among every human being’s property are his mind, his body, his conscience, and his actions. Every act of mind and body undeniably belongs to the actor, including that act which he engages in more than any other: his labor. To deny someone’s right to ownership of his mind, body, or labor is to make him a slave.

It is labor that allows each individual to sustain his existence and pursue his happiness. All consumption must be preceded by production. Production can only be achieved through human labor. In fact, there is no way for an individual to pursue any goal, whether material, intellectual, or spiritual, without exertion. Even the search for God requires an intellectual and spiritual effort – it cannot commence without labor.

For most of us, the bulk of our labor is devoted to providing the basic necessities of life for ourselves and our children. Some portion of it also provides the extras – the toys, the vacations, or the dining out that enriches our lives and adds to our happiness. A further portion is devoted to study, prayer, or just simple reflection – the quest for meaning and purpose in our lives. None of these things are possible without labor; our labor provides them all. Every item in every store is the product of someone’s labor. Every phone call you make is made possible by someone’s labor. Healthcare is someone’s labor, as is education.

However, the actual effort of mind and body is not the most precious aspect of labor. If human beings were immortal, we could afford to spend our labor and its fruits indiscriminately, consuming as much as we wished and providing anything to anyone who asked it of us. If a shoemaker were able to make shoes for the rest of eternity, then certainly there would not be a bare foot on the face of the earth. If the land developer were immortal, we would all live in a mansion.

However, we are not immortal, and it is this fact that places such a premium on our labor. Our labor is not just composed of the exertion of mind and body that is necessary to produce some good or service. That exertion happens over time, the hours or days of the laborer’s life. Every hour of our labor is an hour of our life from a limited supply which cannot be replenished. Whatever we have produced with our labor now contains that portion of our life which we have sacrificed to produce it.

So, when human beings trade their goods or services with one another, they are really trading pieces of their lives. If they have exchanged their labor for money with an employer or customer, that money now contains some part of their lives – a part that can never be reclaimed. That is why the same verb is used for both money and time – both are “spent” in exchange for some benefit. Both also represent each individual’s means of self determination.

Therefore, it is impossible to call a person free if he does not own his labor and all the product of his labor. It is only through his labor that he can provide better food, clothing and shelter for himself and his family, send his children to better schools, or realize the leisure time necessary to grow intellectually and spiritually. His labor is his means to determine the course of his life. Without self determination, there is no liberty.

Furthermore, to deny a human being ownership of his labor is also to deny his right to life itself. Since his labor is his means of sustaining his existence, once his right to ownership of his labor is denied he lives only at the arbitrary whim of whoever has claimed ownership of it. For such a person, life is now a privilege granted by someone else, rather than a right.

To the founders of the United States of America, all of this was self evident. When one reads the writings of Samuel and John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, or Locke, one finds one word that is used many times more often even than liberty: property. Recognizing property as nothing more than the individual’s labor and/or the product of his labor, the founders placed the protection of property as the very highest priority of government. In fact, they often stated that it was the only priority of government. While no high school history book or Hollywood biopic even hints at this fact, merely reading the words of the founders for oneself puts any debate on this point to rest.

Let us apply this concept to a contemporary issue. The unambiguous statements in the Declaration of Independence that all human beings have unalienable rights and that government’s sole purpose is to secure them should absolutely beg at least one timely question from most Americans today. Why did the founders not provide for the right to health care? Why did they not establish Medicare or Medicaid? Given a whole system of government whose purpose was to secure individual rights, why was this right so glaringly overlooked?

Of course, the answer to that question is that the founders recognized that health care was not a right. Health care, like every other good or service, is someone’s labor. No one but the laborer can have a right to it. To say that people have a right to health care is really to deny the health care provider a right to his own life, for it is impossible for both he and his patient to have a right to ownership of his labor. It is no less a crime to forcefully rob the health care provider’s fee from a third party (the taxpayer), for that simply denies the taxpayer’s right to his own life. In either case – whether the health care provider is forced to treat the patient for free or a third party is forced to pay the bill – someone’s labor, some part of someone’s life, is being stolen from him. This is the specific crime that government exists to defend its citizens against. By instead committing this crime, government becomes the most grotesque absurdity imaginable.

This is not to imply that we are at some sort of crossroads because President Obama and his pet Congress are closing in on expanding government healthcare. We came to that crossroads decades ago and quite undeniably took the wrong road. Until our philosophy changes and we recognize that retirement benefits, health care, research grants, corporate subsidies, investment in alternative energy – all money, goods, and services – are really pieces of someone’s life that cannot be seized from them without their consent (not even by majority vote), we will never restore the liberty that we have lost. Instead, we will continue to be the most pitiable form of slave, not bound to one master, but to everyone.

When a fellow human being offers to buy your product or hire you for your services, he has paid you the highest compliment imaginable. That person has offered a piece of his life to you in exchange for something that you have to offer, which is itself a piece of your own life. He is saying that you have value and that what you offer is worth hours or days of his life that he can never reclaim. This consensual interaction between free people is the most beautiful aspect of civil society and has been responsible for every improvement in the quality of human life that has ever occurred throughout history.

Conversely, when a fellow human being points a gun at you and demands that you provide him with some good or service, he commits the most egregious crime imaginable, short of pulling the trigger and ending your life at that moment. For in reality, he is really stealing a piece of your life that you can likewise never reclaim. He may be committing this crime because he wishes to increase his wealth without earning it, or he may desperately needwhatever he takes from you, but it is the same crime nonetheless. This interaction is the most evil aspect of civil society and has been responsible for every war and human misery that has ever occurred throughout history.

Government can only be organized to fulfill one of two purposes: to protect your property or to take it from you - for whatever purpose government or its constituents deem fit. There is no third choice. To organize society around competing groups stealing from one another is to create a society whose citizens exist in a perpetual state of war with one another – for the use of force to obtain another’s property without his consent is the definition of the state of war.

Such a society cannot endure indefinitely. Ours has come to the beginning of its inevitable end. Countless empires throughout history – some much more preeminent in their worlds than we are in ours – have disintegrated for exactly the same reason. We can still choose justice over injustice but our philosophy must change. We must again institute a government that secures our rights, rather than annihilates them in the attempt to provide us with the property of others.

This will not happen by any act of government itself. Whether we elect a liberal or a conservative, we will never achieve different results by continually electing different people or parties but asking them to do the same thing – provide us with the property of others. It must be the people who change their philosophy and then demand that government assume its appropriate role according to that philosophy. Our government ultimately gives us what we ask for. For the past century, we have increasingly asked it to make us slaves, seduced by the siren’s song of comfort and security without responsibility. This can only be provided to each of us at another’s expense and can only be provided to others at ours. Once we reject the idea that we can claim a right to another human being’s life, the chains that bind us will be broken. Then, it will matter not who makes our laws.

Check out Tom Mullen’s new book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. Right Here!

[1] Locke, John Second Treatise of Government Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Indianapolis, IN (1980) Pg. 111

Thank you Tom for permission to re-post your work here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

yes WE can.....

It's becoming painfully obvious to anyone willing to turn off the Main Stream Media and do a little reading that the current administration is working against the best interest of the American people. This is not a rant against Obama in particular or Democrats in general. In fact, like most, I thought there was no way one could do more damage to the American Experiment then our previous President. We are trapped by a Federal Government that sees no limits to their power and a two party system that work together to expand that power. Leaving "We the People" and more importantly you the Individual in a difficult situation.

When the government increases in size and power, it is at the expense of individual liberty. When will we wake up to this fact and curb the growth of government while we still can? My concern is that it has already grown too big, and the nation is now too dependent to reverse this trend. Writing letters to our congress requesting that they limit their power so as to expand ours is not a likely solution. Some of my fellow citizens seem all too happy that the Federal Government has taken more control of their lives. Some want even more power handed to the "Nanny State". Calls for universal health care are growing louder and is down right scary. Those who wish the government provide them with free health care are some of the most well meaning , and naive folks out there. The US Government has provided free health care to Veterans and American Indians for's that working out? That may be a simple argument but that's all that's needed to see the flaws in the proposal. If you saw a construction company build a house next door to you, and it was awful looking and shabby and the roof leaked and the siding blew off, would you hire them to fix up your house? Another thing to consider is not what we are gaining, but what we are loosing. When the Government is put in charge of determining what doctor you should see, or what procedure they will pay for, what you want does not matter. Anyone who has had to deal with today's HMO's, Doctors and insurance can attest to this problem right now, everyone is a decision maker except the patient!!! Do you honestly believe that the government is able to step in and make it run smoother? The more I learn about the current health care system, the more I see government as the problem as it is. If you are an employer who is dishing out huge amounts a month to provide your employees with health care, what are you going to do when the Government offers free health care?

This is not just about health care. If it was just that issue, i would not be as concerned as I am. It is about the proper role of Government. This country was founded on the principle that the Government is evil. At worse it's a Tyrannical Despotism, at best it's a Necessary Evil. Notice that even in it's best form it's still evil! Our founders knew this. They structured the Federal Government with this in constant view. There was a major debate over the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. The debate was not about if they should or should not include the Bill of Rights for their value, but rather was it necessary to even state what the founders and the people knew to be understood. The Constitution only grants specific powers to the Federal Government. It was written for the purpose of creating and chaining down a Federal Government. Before the ink was dry on our new Constitution some went right to work "interpreting" the document. I always found that to be an interesting concept..."interpreting" the Constitution, is it written in German or something? Now through the magic of "interpretation" we have a Federal Government that can do anything imaginable. Is this what the founders intended?

It's time for Americans to rediscover our lost history. The history we were taught in school is insufficient in providing the understanding needed to maintain a free society and a properly functioning Republic. In fact I'll go as far to say that the history lessons we receive from Government funded schools is purposely misleading about the proper role of government. Only when we have a well informed citizenry will we truly be able to secure the blessings of Liberty.

-- J. Avitabile

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
~ Mark Twain

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Glenn Greenwald's "Most Important Issue"

I read Glenn Greenwald's blog at  almost everyday.  It is refreshing to see topics that most media ignore.  It is also nice to read an intelligent, well thought out article, and Greenwald does this with the best of them.  

Recently I came across an article written by Jeremy Scahill(see below post), documenting torture at Guantanamo that is still taking place under the Obama administration.  While this may be of no surprise, it is important.  You may remember that President Obama on his first days in office wrote a series of executive orders, among them was one that banned "enhanced interrogations"(a.k.a. torture) of detainees.  This article painstakingly documents how torture is still the norm or SOP(standard operating procedure) of Gitmo.  If this is the case, then CIA black sites are most likely still in operation.  The media, and the base of supporters who elected Obama, seem to be ignoring this issue.  Maybe they think if they ignore it it will go away.  

I am simply amazed that a blogger like Greenwald who has been covering Gitmo and related executive abuses for so long could simply not mention this report.  All this at a time when the national media was debating what should be done with the detainees after closing Gitmo.  The president announced a new system of "preventative detention" which is the equivalent to thought crime.  Still not a word about this report or it's implications to future thought criminals.  

Greenwald, who i admire, often suggests folks write congressmen and pressure Obama and others on issues that are important to the future of this country.  So after a week or so of reading Greenwald's work and seeing no mention of this report, I was prompted by his often given advice of applying pressure to those who I wanted to influence.  I wrote a few lines in the "comment" section of his blog, inquiring about why he has not yet discussed it and what he thought.  After a few other commenter's suggested I write my own blog (how little they know), I finally came across Greenwald's response.  And Here it is:

"There is never any such thing as The Most Important Issue. There are always many important issues. People who don't move beyond the adolescent stage of self-absorption always think that whatever issue they are most interested in at any given moment is, by definition, the Most Important Issue.

Every week, there are a whole slew of extremely important issues I never write a word about. For one thing, like everyone else, I only have a finite amount of time and energy and can't write about every important issue. I can't possibly write about all the important issues.

Beyond that, there is a whole slew of reasons why I may not write about even a very important issue: maybe I'm not aware of it; maybe I have nothing worth saying about it; maybe I'm ambivalent about it; maybe I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to write about it; maybe I think others are already writing everything there is to say about it; maybe I think there are more constructive ways to spend my time; maybe the topic just doesn't interest me much; maybe I'm not in the mood to write about it, etc. etc.

Imagine if I had spent last week writing about this Gitmo issue instead of what I wrote about -- how many people would be here saying: "Obama proposes indefinite detention and you have nothing to say about it??? Are you in the tank now for Obama?" -- or: "Obama nominates someone who is going to be on the court for the next 30 years and could swing the balance of power on all executive power issues and you have nothing to say???," etc.

No matter what issues I choose to write about, there will always be people who think that the issues I selected are unimportant and that I'm ignoring the Most Important Issue. I appreciate -- and rely on -- constructive suggestions about what topics to cover. I frequently follow those. But I don't appreciate petulant complaints that the topic I choose to write about -- the one that is interesting or important to me - isn't interesting to someone else. Who cares? There are 43 million blogs on the Internet. When the bloggers who I read focus on something that doesn't interest me, I just go read something else. I don't write to them telling them to focus on what interests me instead." -- G. Greenwald

My response:

Your Blog is always pointing out what others write, and how they ignore blatant hypocrisy. You have repeatedly praised Obama's executive order banning the use of "enhanced interrogation". You always say you will judge Obama on his action not his words.

You did judge him on his words...granted it was his written word. Now it has come to light that the actions taken are contradictory to the words. NOT a peep from you.

This is just important to me...I am self absorbed. Well, you have no one to thank but yourself. You turned me on to this stuff. Pretending that this is just a minor issue that only concerns me is simply not the case. Your own writing shows how important this issue is. If these orders are nothing more then for show, then what things do you have left to point to to praise Obama?

I thought i let it go yesterday,then i read you ranting response about how

"Imagine if I had spent last week writing about this Gitmo issue instead of what I wrote about -- how many people would be here saying: "Obama proposes indefinite detention and you have nothing to say about it???"

well imagine you write about indefinite detention and fail to mention that those detained may be tortured!

Talk about then write:

"But I don't appreciate petulant complaints that the topic I choose to write about -- the one that is interesting or important to me - isn't interesting to someone else."

You do this to others all the time. I can't count the amount of post you have done where you are breaking down what others have written and complained about the content. Your rant is obviously searching for a good reason to avoid the topic.

Make it about me..not about the issue.

"I may not write about even a very important issue: maybe I'm not aware of it; maybe I have nothing worth saying about it; maybe I'm ambivalent about it; maybe I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to write about it; maybe I think others are already writing everything there is to say about it; maybe I think there are more constructive ways to spend my time; maybe the topic just doesn't interest me much; maybe I'm not in the mood to write about it, etc. etc."

How does any of those above reasons apply to this issue? You mean to tell me that your not aware of this? Or ambivalent to it? If this is truly your reasons for not addressing this issue...maybe it is time to read another blog.

and to all you "leave Glenn alone, get your own blog" types...

I will and I do"

--Jeff Avitabile

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama

The 'Black Shirts' of Guantanamo routinely terrorize prisoners, breaking bones, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles, and 'dousing' them with chemicals.

by Jeremy Scahill

As the Obama administration continues to fight the release of some 2,000 photos that graphically document U.S. military abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, an ongoing Spanish investigation is adding harrowing details to the ever-emerging portrait of the torture inside and outside Guantánamo. Among them: "blows to [the] testicles;" "detention underground in total darkness for three weeks with deprivation of food and sleep;" being "inoculated ... through injection with 'a disease for dog cysts;'" the smearing of feces on prisoners; and waterboarding. The torture, according to the Spanish investigation, all occurred "under the authority of American military personnel" and was sometimes conducted in the presence of medical professionals.

read the rest of the article

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Open Letter to Chuck Norris

by Glenn Jacobs

Dear Chuck,

Like so many others, I have a great deal of respect for what you have accomplished in your life. You are the epitome of the American Dream; rising from a troubled childhood to the heights of international celebrity. While you and I may not agree on many political issues, I believe that you are sincere in your concern for the future of the American republic.

However, I think you miss the mark with your support of the Fair Tax. Yes, the current federal income tax system is immoral, invasive, and represents a form of slavery (resting on the premise that individuals are not entitled to the fruit of their labor), but eliminating one tax and replacing it with another is never a good idea.

Besides, we have bigger fish to fry. While taxes are certainly an important issue, it is not the taxes we see that are our greatest worry at this point. The tax we should be concerned about is the one that we don’t see.

As long as the Federal Reserve System retains the monopoly power to issue currency, it really doesn’t matter what the tax system is. Theoretically, the Fed can print all the money the government needs and we will be taxed through the loss of purchasing power of the dollar. This is going to become more and more evident as the federal government grows to unprecedented proportions. The crisis that we are witnessing now pales when compared to the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare. The only way for the government to deal with them is to inflate the debt away.

The Fed is an unconstitutional institution. According to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress is empowered to "coin money and regulate the value thereof." In 1913, Congress delegated that authority to the Fed. This action in itself is questionable as it would seem that a constitutional amendment would be required for Congress to delegate authority with which it is specifically vested.

The issue, however, is even bigger than that. It is no accident that these powers were included in a clause which grants Congress the authority to "fix the standard of weights and measures." That is because the dollar itself is not money; it is a measure of money. Money, according to the Framers, was gold and silver. Congress is simply empowered to standardize the dollar as a measure of precious metal – traditionally, 1/20 of an ounce of gold. 

In other words, the Constitution does not grant Congress the power to create money or to regulate the value of the dollar by manipulating the money supply. The power which the Fed claims to posses under congressional mandate – the power to create money – never existed in the first place.

As Thomas Jefferson predicted, the Fed’s monopoly on the issuance of currency is enslaving America. Most insidiously of all, we are being enslaved with our own productivity. The law has been perverted into an instrument of plunder. All these bailouts are really reverse wealth redistribution as taxpayer money is lavished on political capitalists. In addition, the Fed is backstopping trillions of dollars of losses in the commercial banking sector. Where are the Fed and the government getting all this money? What the government cannot expropriate or borrow will be created out of thin air by the Fed, expanding the money supply and ultimately causing price inflation.

Inflation is most pernicious tax of all. It destroys savings by devaluing the monetary unit. It distorts the price signals on which entrepreneurs rely to make decisions about how best to meet customer demand, choking the economy with waste and inefficiencies. It punishes the poor since they receive the new money only after prices have already risen, if they receive the new money at all. And worst of all, very few realize who is to blame for these problems.

Inflation is the politician’s best friend. It allows him to promise his constituents all sorts of goodies seemingly for free. When the bill comes due in the form of higher prices, the politician can blame greedy businessmen or OPEC sheiks. In reality, the trail leads back to the government profligacy.

Some will say that the Fed is an independent agency and is therefore not subject to political caprice. Balderdash. The Fed works closely with the President to implement monetary policy. In addition, the folks at the Fed are people just like you and me. Who wants to take the blame when the economy takes a downturn as it inevitably will if the Fed contracts the money supply? Why not just keep the printing presses cranking and let your successor deal with the consequences? That is what Alan Greenspan did and he was heralded as a god; don’t you think that that may have gone to his head? 

The problem with central banking is not whether the central bank is run by private interests or the government. The problem is that it is controlled by people, people who answer to political pressure and not market forces. For this reason (as well as many others), central planning never works. The Fed – America’s central bank – is simply central planning under a different name.

The only way for the American people to restore their freedom is to take back control over their money. We must eliminate legal tender laws and break the Fed’s monopoly on currency. If the government is going to be involved in monetary affairs at all, we must reinstate a gold standard in order to limit its ability to inflate.

Chuck, you have never backed down from a fight, and this fight will be an epic. The people who think that they run this country are not just going to give up. Just like Nicholas Biddle, they will do everything possible to stay in power, even threatening to destroy the economy. The truth is that the economy is being destroyed right now and the only way to save it is to allow the free market to work.

There is a movement in America which, although it is still in its nascent stages, is causing the Establishment to tremble. It is a movement which promises to smash the shackles of the central bank and liberate Americans from the clutches of power-mad politicians and their corporate cronies.

Chuck, forget about the Fair Tax and add your voice to our battle cry.


March 21, 2009

Glenn Jacobs [send him mail] is the actor and wrestler Kane. Visit his blog.

Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We Are the 'Enemy of the State'

From its very infancy, our government has made a vital part of its existence the theft of property that belongs to others and the demonization of those who would resist, or those who see the state for what it really is. From the American Indian to the veterans who have fought the state’s illegal wars, resistance to, or speaking out against the criminality of the state will bring down the full force of the state’s wrath, up to and including elimination.

Henry Clay, whose protégé was Abraham Lincoln, said of the American Indian, " The Indians' disappearance from the human family will be no great loss to the world. I do not think them, as a race, worth preserving." Clay saw the Indian as an impediment to the desires of the state: acquisition of the lands possessed by the American Indian.

Clay’s beliefs and political goals led to the forced relocation of Cherokees from the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia to Oklahoma during the winter of 1838. Over 20,000 Cherokees were dragged from their homes, which were then plundered and burned. They were force marched, most of them barefooted, to Oklahoma during the dead of winter. Over 4,000 Cherokees died on this march. To the Cherokees it became known as the "Trail of Tears."

Abraham Lincoln would instigate, promote, and conduct a war that would consume the lives of more than 600,000 Americans. The purpose of the war was not to abolish slavery, as is claimed by idolaters of the state, but to secure the property of citizens of the South, a confiscatory seizure of their monies known as the Morrill Tariff. Lincoln would reveal his intention to invade the South to secure these monies and his lack of concern for slavery in his First Inaugural Address.

continue reading this artical....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Francisco's Money Speech"

The following is an excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, © Copyright, 1957, byAyn Rand.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor--your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?

"Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions--and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made--before it can be looted or mooched--made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.'

"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss--the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery--that you must offer them values, not wounds--that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade--with reason, not force, as their final arbiter--it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability--and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

"But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality--the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

"Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth--the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Or did you say it's the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money--and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another--their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

"But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich--will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt--and of his life, as he deserves.

"Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard--the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money--the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law--men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims--then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion--when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing--when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors--when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you--when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice--you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, 'Account overdrawn.'

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world? You are.

"You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its life-blood--money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men's history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves--slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody's mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer, Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers--as industrialists.

"To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money--and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man's mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being--the self-made man--the American industrialist.

"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose--because it contains all the others--the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money.' No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity--to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.

"Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters' continents. Now the looters' credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide-- as, I think, he will.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns--or dollars. Take your choice--there is no other--and your time is running out."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Newspapers Subsidies

So guess who is gonna be lining up for their share of the bailout? Tribune Media, The New York Times and other giant newspapers. It turns out that they are in horrible financial shape. Of course they wont really talk to much about that, but it turns out that newspaper subscriptions are at an all time low. Huh, strange. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that by the time I get my morning gazette, I have seen the news on my favorite 24 hour cable news station, but I have also read about it all over the web, including an obligatory trip to Wikipedia (no one wants the truth anymore) and probably blogged about it. Plus when I watch the TV news there is no reading involved and if I do read it on the web then I don't have to worry about getting nasty newsprint on my fingers. Now, I will say for disciplining the dog (Sorry Harley) nothing works better then a good old fashioned New York Post but that's about it.

So I say either adapt, or die. Its Darwin at its finest. Now, I know that's cold but I believe that giving money to these media companies is a very dangerous idea. I mean these are the people who are molding public opinion. Do you really feel comfortable with trusting our politicians to honestly and fairly dispense tax payers money to these companies? I surely do not. A bailout would essentially create state owned newspapers. Sounds a little scary doesn't it? Also the newspapers would be afraid to criticize whomever was in elected office out of fear that they would not receive government funding. It would makes today's slanted news look like campaign commercials.

What you need to understand about newspapers, tv news shows and online media outlets is that they like Walmart are a business. The more people that buy their papers, and watch their programs and visit their websites, the more money they make. Think about it, you really think that news people are above sensationalizing stories for ratings. Dan Rather passed off a fake story about President Bush during his reelection campaign. It was a disgrace and ended up costing Dan his career (and rightfully so). So do you really think that these people can be trusted with taking money from the government and not being biased in the process? They are the ones who are rooting for disaster anyway. Ironically the worse things get, the better it will be for them. That means they are rooting against us, rooting against America. Kind of puts a chill down your spine. After all they have tremendous influence over what we think and how we act and yet they benefit from our downfall? Yikes.

So I will say what I always say, I believe in a free market. I dont believe that we should be bailing anybody out. Sink or swim, thats what I always say. If you are unable to make it, then you have been extincted. Time to evolve into something that works.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Forgotten Right

 by Tom Mullen

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”

– John Adams (1787)[1]

It is starting to become apparent to even the most disinterested observer that something much bigger than even a worldwide recession is happening. The seeds of revolution have taken root. Iceland led the way by taking to the streets to force regime change through peaceful demonstration. The French are currently protesting en masse against their government’s bailout of the banking system. One would be naïve to think that these are isolated incidents. It is apparent that these are just early warning signs of a worldwide cauldron that is about to boil over, catalyzed by the financial and economic cataclysm that will plunge untold millions into poverty and desperation.

While I applaud the peaceful demonstrations going on in France and Iceland, I also recognize that they are premature. As did Americans in the last election cycle, these Europeans are demanding “change.” However, also like Americans in the last election cycle, they have failed to first answer the crucial questions, “From what? To what?” They have not looked within to assess who they are, what their society is, and what they want it to be. Therefore, they run the risk of simply replacing one oppressive tyranny for another.

Likewise, we will never regain our freedom in America until we address the fundamental problem in our society. I say “the problem,” because at the root of all of what we perceive as a myriad of problems, including the police state, the welfare state, the warfare state, the military industrial complex, the Wall Street oligopoly, the high cost of healthcare and education – everything – there is one philosophical problem that ultimately leads to them all: the repudiation of property rights.

It is likely difficult for most 21st century Americans to absorb this statement, based upon the fact that they have been told now for generations that property is about greed, that accumulating property is oppression, or even that “property is theft.” However, let us look back at the philosophers who inspired our founders and see what they have to say about property. Of course, as I have written here, the primary philosophical basis for the American Revolution came from Locke. What did Locke have to say about the purpose of government?

““The great and chief end, therefore, of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.”[2]

Certainly this statement must be startling to most 21st century Americans, who believe that they are supposed to look to their government to fight unemployment, manage the economy, ensure access to healthcare, promote democracy abroad, and pursue a myriad of other ends outside of protecting property. Surely, Locke has over-emphasized property rights here, has he not? Certainly he is alone in his simplistic assessment of the role of government, is he not?

He is not. In seeking guidance on how to construct our government, the American founders also looked to the ancients, particularly the Roman Republic. There, we find Cicero writing,

“For the chief purpose in the establishment of constitutional state and municipal governments was that individual property rights might be secured. For, although it was by Nature's guidance that men were drawn together into communities, it was in the hope of safeguarding their possessions that they sought the protection of cities.”[3] [emphasis added]

The conditioned response of Americans today is to view these ideas as a defense of one class of people at the expense of another. We have been trained to associate “property” as a concern of the “property class,” or in more common American terms, “the haves,” as opposed to the “have nots.” This is a great deception that has lead directly to our ruin. In fact, it is the poor and those of modest means for whom property rights are most important. It is they who, not possessing significant material wealth, must all the more jealously guard the property that they do have. In the end, however, we are all property owners when one considers the most fundamental, most important property of all: our labor itself.

We learn from Locke that all property has its roots in labor. In order to survive, man must work to produce the means of his survival. This is true for people no matter what their financial circumstances. The doctor, the lawyer, the construction worker, the janitor – yes, even the Wall Street financier – must sell his efforts to his fellow man in order to acquire the means of his survival. Therefore, whoever has control over the individual’s labor has control over the individual’s life, and control over the individual’s future. If I steal all of your possessions, you can acquire more. However, if I appropriate your labor, I own all of the property you can ever or will ever acquire. This is an undeniable reality that we have lost sight of, to our peril.

America was founded upon the idea that each individual had an unqualified right to the fruits of his labor.[4] This more than anything was what the founders meant when they spoke the word “liberty.” It was the extent to which this right was respected that made America different than every other society in history, before or since. This was the great secret that made America the engine of prosperity and innovation that it was. This is what made America the land of opportunity to change one’s lot in life. It was this right that gave birth to the American dream.

However, we no longer hold this right up above all others. Instead, we have become a society that is based upon competing groups seeking to plunder each other via the force of government. The rich plunder their neighbors with corporate bailouts, subsidies, and regulatory fascism. The middle class plunder their neighbors with Social Security, Medicare, and criminal unions. The poor are forced to accept legal plunder that they do not want and which provides them with the most miserable quality of life, when the stolen capital that underwrites it could employ them all if it weren’t seized from its rightful owners. Of course, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg; there is much, much more. Virtually every political movement in America is based upon a promise to provide its followers with other people’s property.

This scenario is neither unprecedented nor has it been unrecognized by the great lights of liberty. Bastiat wrote,

“Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.”[5]

This vision of Bastiat’s has become reality in America. However, it cannot go on forever. Fortunately for humanity, a society based upon legal plunder is ultimately unsustainable. Just as respect for property rights provides the means to prosperity, violation of them leads to poverty and want. As force replaces voluntary exchange, productivity decreases, and subsequently more force is required to plunder even more. This cycle repeats until society is reduced to an authoritarian nightmare, the first signs of which are becoming apparent in the former “land of the free.” If the people wake up, the nightmare can end. If they continue to slumber, the nightmare can get much, much worse.

This is the great truth that we must rediscover before any revolution can be successful. Before we commit to “change,” we must answer the questions, “From what? To What?” The answers to those questions must be “from a nation of looters to a nation of free individuals who acquire property in the only civilized manner: via voluntary exchange." We must reject the use of force as the means to pursue our happiness, and renew our faith in freedom. Once this great work has been accomplished, let the revolution begin.

Check out Tom Mullen’s new book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. Right Here!

[1] Adams, John A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787)
[2] Locke Second Treatise Ch. IX, Sec. 124
[3]Cicero, Marcus Tullius De Officiis Book II Chapter XXI
[4] “Individuals” who were included in the system. Of course, the founders recognized but did not remedy the obvious contradiction to this inherent in slavery.
[5] Bastiat, Frederic, The Law