AFL Blog Archive
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke
Exactly twenty years ago today, on December 21, 1989, the Communist façade of Romania cracked, and the entire country erupted into an anti-communist revolt that changed the lives of millions of people, many who are still alive today. Granted I was only a teenager, I count myself among those who were present, eyewitnesses to an epic battle between political ideologies, armed men, and ultimately good and evil.
Not too far north from where I grew up, in Bucharest, a few days before Christmas serious clashes between armed groups ensued, with most casualties being innocent bystanders, even women and children. It was discovered later that within the span of a couple of weeks, mass-graves were created where hundreds of people, victims of the clashes, were buried by the authorities in an attempt to hide their actions.
Soon after, I moved to the United States, fortunate enough to experience life without the consequences of recovering an entire nation from the depths of Communist destruction. But even here I am constantly reminded of how frail liberty is, that even in this greatest country on earth there are constant attempts by politicians to undermine freedom, to constantly minimize the individual’s freedom while expanding the government’s size and power.
It does not take a history buff to recognize that the world we live in is in a constant state of flux, that from a human perspective, without care and sacrifice the world tends to slowly disintegrate into chaos, disorder, violence and tyranny. Consequently we can recognize that it takes real and tangible human sacrifice and intervention to obtain and maintain freedom. The reality is that a majority of the world is wickedly evil, that tyrants run most countries, and that freedom-loving nations are in minority.
So far, America has been a sort of aberration, a freak nation…abnormal but extraordinary nation, breaking the historic trend of tyrannical nations ruled by fear and violence, by putting human freedom at the very center of its existence. This in itself is unnatural in the context of entire human existence. Of course a price had to be paid for that freedom, just as Romanians paid their own price in ’89.
But it has become clear to me that it has been too long since Americans had to fight and pay the ugly price for freedom, and forgetting the sacrifice paid to be free is no worse than choosing tyranny. It has been too long since Americans have preoccupied themselves with something more than excessive consumerism and material wealth, neither being connected with the principles of true freedom of the individual.
Looking back through pictures of what happened in 1989, one thing caught my eye in a manifesto printed back then; it was a list of demands made by the people, starting with free elections, freedom of speech, freedom of travel, with the last item on the list being "better living and better food." The people of one of the poorest countries in Europe at that time were less concerned with food and quality of life than freedom of speech. Could Americans learn a lesson from the demands made by Romanian revolutionaries in 1989?
During the 1989 revolution in Romania, the Romanian flag was often displayed with a cutout, a hole in the middle, the place where the communist insignia was once printed on the flag. The flag that was once the symbol of tyranny and government abuse has again become a symbol of freedom. The song Wake up Romanian, which was once the national anthem in the 1800s was again restored, replacing the communist-era anthem. During the revolution, tens of thousands of people were singing:
Wake up, Romanian, from your deadly sleep
Into which you've been sunk by the barbaric tyrants
Now, or never, your fate renew,
To which your enemies will bow to.
Just a week ago I met a fellow Romanian in Columbus, Ohio; it was the first time I met this man, but as soon as I mentioned to him the political situation here in the U.S. his response was, "Remember…we lived through it…we can recognize Communism from 2 miles away. Americans would not recognize it if it stared them in the face."
Wake up, American, from your deadly sleep.
Posted by Advocates for Liberty Member, Virgil Vaduva
"Evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us" — John Galt (Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged)
The evil here is the self-serving career politicians on Capitol Hill and in the White House and the flying monkeys in their myriad alphabet agencies.
By stealing from the producers and redistributing to the non-producers, they have created a perpetual underclass of dependents and a perpetual voting block to keep them in their seats of power. In other words, rather than helping the poor, they have enslaved the poor. Whomever one is dependent upon is one's master.
In a representative republic, the "representatives" are charged with "representing" their constituents, and are supposed to be accountable to their constituents. The people are supposed to tell their representatives how they want to be represented; how they want their representative to vote on legislation. The representatives are the obligated to carry out the wishes of their constituents, serving as the voice of their constituents in Washington. If they fail to do this, the voters are duty-bound to hold them accountable at the polls. That is how our system is supposed to work.
Shamefully, over the years "we the people" have not only allowed the politicians to pervert our system, but to make a career out of it. Officially, the United States of America does not have a "two party system", but because elections are now bought by special interest groups with deep pockets who give primarily to the two "major parties", in effect we do have a two party system. Add to the power of the special interest groups the aforementioned perpetual dependent class, and the Republicans and the Democrats have virtually locked out any candidate who does not have an "R" or a "D" after his or her name. Because these two parties have arranged things this way, the power of the vote is rendered pathetically weak. Neither party has to represent their people anymore, because the people have been brainwashed into believing that no real alternative exists. The people are frustrated with the lack of representation from either of the two "major parties", but feel that if they do not "choose between the lesser of two evils" their vote is wasted. In reality, a vote cast for a party that does not represent one's values is a wasted vote.
Since the politicians, special interest groups, and the dependent class have conspired to render the weapon of the ballot virtually useless, what are the people to do? How can the people, that is to say the producers- those who make America work- take back our Republic? In the old days, the answer would have been armed revolution, as the founders intended. However, that option is unrealistic today because our State militias have, in effect, been federalized, the States have relinquished their sovereignty, and the people are grossly outgunned by the Federal government.
We the people do still have the power. We have just allowed the politicians to have the reigns when they should be at the other end of the reigns. The productive people of this republic still have a weapon in our arsenal which we have yet to use. It is a weapon more powerful than any bomb the government has at its disposal. It is our productivity.
Money runs Washington. The perpetual underclass created by government is dependent on government, but government is still dependent on the sweat of the producers. If the producers quit producing, the money dries up. If the money dries up, those who are supposed to represent us will start representing us. Just as the dependent class is enslaved by the Government, the Government is enslaved by the producers.
The problem has been that we have allowed the Government to take on the roll of master, because it is easier that way. We have been lazy. But we are still in charge; we still have the power. We just have to wield it. We could do that by "going on strike". Small business owners could shut their doors. Employees of business owners who are not willing to cooperate could call in sick. Truckers could stop trucking. We could all refuse to participate in any kind of financial transaction for a week, two weeks, however long it takes to bring the evil mob in Washington to their knees and put them in their place.
Realistically I know we can never get all the producers to cooperate. Too many Americans prefer the "tranquility of servitude" to the "animating contest of freedom". But the plan wouldn't require universal cooperation to be effective. Even if only a tenth of the population would agree to participate, it could have a powerful effect. The threat alone would probably be enough, but only if everyone is totally committed to following through with the threat should it come down to it.
I know what I am suggesting here is an extreme measure, but extreme situations warrant extreme measures. Indeed, extreme measures seem to be the only measures that are ever effective. Our republic is collapsing right now. The people know what's best, but the arrogant politicians refuse to listen. Our "representatives" are "fiddling while Rome burns". We must take back the reigns if we are to save our republic. The politicians are not going to do it. They are the problem, not the solution.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” — Samuel Adams
If there is any hope of real reform and real change, the government needs to get out of the Nanny/Big Brother business.
The way to truly reform health care is to get rid of the third party payers, be they government or insurance companies. As consumers become responsible for their medical purchases and health choices and the providers become aware of the consumers willingness and ability to pay, prices will come down and quality will improve. Lasik surgery has become more prolific and more affordable as quality has continuously risen. While HSA contributions (limited to a paltry $3000 per year) can be used for these elective procedures, rarely do insurers cover them...as it should be.
State mandates of coverage and deductible limits stifle consumer choice. For the person who isn't into therapist-chic or can responsibly enjoy adult beverages in moderation, he or she may not want to pay for mental health and substance abuse coverage. And those people shouldn't have to pay for something they will never use. State mandates are the result of lobbyists and politicians getting together to favor a segment of the medical field, all at the eventual cost of the end-consumer.
The removal of pre-existing conditions should be a temporary transition only: from employer-owned policies to individual-owned policies. When we have been shackled to our employers as the result of government mandates, we should not be punished...nor should the insurance providers by making such a mandate long-term.
The fact that we are prevented from purchasing insurance from other states seems to be a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause. Real reform from D.C. would come in the form of breaking down these state barriers that imprison and strangle the currently-not-so-free market.
The further the decision-making is from the source of the problem, the less effective the attempted solution. Expecting bureaucrats in D.C. to understand my specific family structure and health lifestyle is ridiculous. Central planning doesn't work.
We are NOT in favor of BAD reform. We believe that the latest bill passed by the House is BAD reform, BAD medicine.
Congress should expect a flood of civil disobedience if the House bill is not killed in the Senate.
It's all about the company you keep.
While perusing the White House visitor's list, you might find some interesting entries:
Last night, our founder traveled to the OSU campus in Columbus to attend a town hall on Issue 2, sponsored by The Ohio Liberty Council, Ohio Freedom Alliance, The Central Ohio 912 Project, and OSU Young Americans for Liberty. The trip was well worth it. It seemed to be 3 YES and 2 NO panelists. However, the last person on the panel, saying that he was not representing either side, made BY FAR the best arguments against the issue. His name is Maurice Thompson, a constitutional law attorney at The Buckeye Institute (614-224-4422, email@example.com).
For those reasons, Advocates for Liberty is AGAINST Issue 2 (and Issue 3 for that matter, even though we don't really care whether people gamble or not--it's a personal choice).
The Ohio Liberty Council had two video cameras covering the event. According to their site, the video will be posted in the next few days. Until then, the audio of the Issue 2 debate is available.
Campaign for Liberty has an interesting blog post that is somewhat related (talking about the case when the Ohio government raided a family farm). The Buckeye Institute has more information about the case.
Regarding the connection between the mentioned case and Issue 2, here is a little quick research:
Hope this helps. I'll pass anything else I can find as I have time to research it.
Mercatus Center at George Mason University has published a freedom index:
by William P. Ruger & Jason Sorens
According to their research, using data publicly available at http://www.statepolicyindex.com, Ohio doesn't even rank above half of the states for any freedom ranking.
Their conclusion of how free we are here in Ohio:
"Adjusted government spending is over a standard deviation higher than average. Ohio is higher than average in every spending category except transportation. Gun control laws are relatively poor, though not in a class with Illinois, New Jersey, and others. Marijuana laws are liberal overall, but cultivation and sale sentencing could be reformed. Most gambling is illegal. Private and home school regulations are unreasonable, including teacher licensure and mandatory state approval of home school curricula. Asset forfeiture rules are appropriate. Eminent domain reform has not gone nearly far enough. Draconian smoking bans are in place."
Here are some other indexes of freedom:
Is it any wonder that the insurance and pharmaceutical industries are behind these kind of reforms? According to the New York Times, "The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess...."
Michael F. Cannon, Cato Institute's director of health policy studies, writes, "You cannot improve a bad product by forcing people to buy it. But you can make it worse. Mandating that people purchase health insurance - on their own or through an employer - will increase its cost and oust millions from their current source of coverage." He also remarks, "The health insurance lobby, for example, is all too happy to force you to buy health insurance."
The comparison between auto insurance mandates and health insurance mandates is flawed. While you can escape paying for auto insurance by refraining from driving a car, you cannot escape the clutches of a government mandate forcing you to purchase health insurance. Michael F. Cannon explains, "The only way to avoid a health insurance mandate is by divesting yourself of a body."
Check out the "Baucus Bill" (America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009), specifically Title I, Subtitle D (Personal Responsibility).
According to OpenCongress.org, Senator Max Baucus received campaign contributions in 2008 from the following pertinent special interest groups (from the top 25 interest groups giving campaign contributions to Baucus):
Here is more related reading from the Cato Institute.
They tried mandates in Massachusettes. See how well they worked:
Want a poster to use to promote the fight against government-run health care? Here you go: http://healthcare.cato.org/sites/default/files/Cato_HealthcareAd_color.pdf
Here are some remarks from Hugo Chavez:
The original video was posted to the YouTube channel of Charisse Carney-Nunes. Here is her book: I am Barack Obama
The following video took place at B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey (Burlington Township School District)
If you would like to politely ask a reasonable question or make a levelheaded comment regarding this video, you may contact B. Bernice Young Elementary School: 609-699-4025 (Liz Scott, Public Relations Coordinator).
How does the following video sit well with you? Do you know your local school's curriculum? Do you the content of your school district's textbooks? Do you know what is on the high school reading list (Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm seem pretty timely)?
Why not ask?
Beavercreek City Schools Administrative Offices : 937-426-1522
Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Lynn Hickman Long: 937-458-2429, Lynn.Hickman-Long@beavercreek.k12.oh.us
Want to contact Congressman Steve Austria or Senator Sherrod Brown regarding their comments during this webcast? Call or write them.
Is this what you want?
1-10 of 17