Been a while…

So here it is. The New Year and I have not posted anything since last October. For those who are generous enough to follow me, I apologize profusely, and hope that my time off will be forgiven. I have had some family issues that popped up and now that they are taken care of, I am planning on getting back into the swing of things.

Well, as I expected President Obama was elected and things don’t look to change for the better anytime soon. Since I last wrote to my blog, a multitude of events have turned America on its ear, and sanity seems to have flown out the window. Sandy Hook, a “fiscal cliff”, less take-home pay for many of us, and higher health insurance premiums (for me at least) have all managed to make 2013 look to be a year of constant bickering between us all.

So, as the year begins, I will also begin where I left off; trying to spread the Libertarian word the best that I can, with hope that perhaps a few more folks will see the light that is true liberty, and that personal responsibility and the freedom to stand without an overbearing government is the right course for America.

Here’s to 2013…may it be a time for Liberty!

But I Do Care….Really, I Do!

I finished reading an article this morning about a study that was conducted on the psychological characteristics of folks who claim to be libertarians. When I finished reading it, I wasn’t really sure if I should be offended or proud, so rational thinker I am, I decided to give it the rest of the day to stew in my brain to see how things would turn out. Well, it seems that day was wasted, because I still can’t decide exactly how i feel, so I think the therapeutic thing for me to do is to write it down and see what comes out.

So, starting off, here is a sentence that very nearly caused me to spit my morning coffee onto my computer screen:

Revealingly, they score lower than both conservatives and liberals on measures of care for others and protecting others from harm.

But I do care, I thought to myself. I really do! The problem is that I care to send my money to whom I wish to send it to instead of forking it over to the government. I care to see to it that my family is fed first, and then I’ll see about helping you with yours. I care to not allow my life to crumble while building up yours. Damn! There I go being all about myself again!

Oh, and for the record, I have been involved in law enforcement and security for the better part of my life, which means I absolutely do care very much about protecting others from harm. I certainly am not in it for the pay! I’ll protect you from harm, but I will do so while staying within the framework of the Constitution.

And here’s another little quip that I found hard to swallow:

Libertarians also tend to be less social than most.

This is where it became painfully obvious to me that I was not included in the study. It’s clear that none of its authors have ever been to one of my parties…especially the ones I had while in the military – on your dime, thank you very much, if you were working back in the late 80’s! Come over to my house for a  a weekend barbeque and I guarantee some good food, even better brew, and some good conversation late into the night. I’m comfortable in crowded rooms, excel at public speaking, and have no problem telling you I love you if I really do, and meaning it! I don’t know what their definition of ‘less social’ is, but I’m betting that I ain’t it.

Okay…now for the stinger:

The libertarian style of thinking can even verge, in extreme cases, on autism.

Huh? I will admit I have a twinge of A.D.D. (SQUIRREL!) show up once in a while, but man….autism-like characteristics? Oh wait – the article continues to explain:

“The University of Cambridge-based psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading autism researcher, famously has shown that people with autism exhibit two critical features: They test exceptionally low on empathizing scales and exceptionally high on systemizing ones. Empathizing governs social relationships — Are you able to relate to other people? — while systemizing governs understanding and analysis of the outside world. Everyone falls somewhere on the empathizing-systemizing scale.

Libertarians score very low on the empathizing scale and very high on the systemizing scale. In other words, they are highly rational moral thinkers, less emotional than both conservatives and liberals.”

Whew! Now that’s a bit better. Or is it? It seems we’re highly rational moral thinkers who are not as emotional as the rest of the World. Is it just me, or did I just get lumped in with Star Trek’s Mr. Spock? According to the study, we have some trouble with empathy. Really? I think that we libertarians are highly empathic. You see, we understand other people’s misery…we can put ourselves squarely in their shoes.

We understand how it feels to pay taxes that you’ll likely never see again.

We understand what it’s like to send your child to a school that under-performs.

We understand what it’s like to have a loved one sent off to a foreign country to fight a war that drags on and on and on…with no end in sight.

We understand what it’s like to need a helping hand, only we also understand that we have no right to force you to give it to us.

It was right around the ‘very low on the empathizing scale’ part that I started to see the big picture.

“There are upsides to such a coolly analytic cognitive style. For instance, libertarians are better at logic problems –

Sweet! An upside! Finally we have something to cheer about! We can solve logic problems…which must mean that those on the left and those on the right defy logic, right? We are the logical ones! Is there something wrong with that? Well let’s see…

The downsides include a “greater susceptibility to autism” –

Crap! And just when I was feeling good about myself.

The good news can be found in the concluding two paragraphs of the article, where David Boaz, the VP of the Cato Institute, comes to our defense by letting letting us know that he sees “no evidence that libertarians display less love, compassion or morality than other people”, and Legal scholar Richard Epstein, at New York University, pretty much says that we libertarians can discern between the political and personal world. He says, that “liberty is the guiding value on matters of public policy while allowing for the personal values to dominate [personal] interactions.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself.
So what is my verdict on this study? I think it’s flat wrong. Many of the libertarians I know on a personal level just don’t fit the mold that is presented here. Maybe they hit the 12,000 most extreme libertarians, or maybe just folks who think they’re libertarians but really aren’t. I don’t know, but I have to believe that

I’m every bit the human that everyone else is. I make mistakes, I laugh, I cry, I get angry, I get sad, and most importantly, I love.

The Deficit and Foreign Aid: A House Not In Order

We cannot continue to dish out money to other governments without having enough cash to take care of our own. Why do we continue to give “aid” to Israel and Egypt? Neither one of them is a “developing country”. While foreign aid only represents some one percent of our budget, it is a start (but bigger than Big Bird!).

Now, now…don’t jump to conclusions and hang the sign of “Isolationist” on me yet. I am, after all, a Libertarian, which means that I am about as far from an isolationist as one can get. I believe in opening up trade with everyone, and that relationships between nations can fare well under an open market.

Before spending tax dollars on foreign aid, we must first put our own house in order. To illustrate my point, let’s pretend for a moment that your home is the United States, and that you are all three branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial – wrapped up into one. You get to decide where your money goes, and how much is spent. And no, you can’t just print money like the Fed does…that would make this scenario too easy!

Unfortunately, like many Americans, you run into tough times. Your bills are piling up and you are going further and further into debt. You fall into a maddening cycle of borrowing money to pay your bills, (and no, you can’t just print money like the Fed does…that would make this scenario too easy!) which only leads to more bills. Things are tough enough that your children are suffering and you are scarcely living paycheck to paycheck. To sum it up, your financial life pretty much stinks!

One afternoon there is a knock on the door. It’s your neighbor from across the street. He asks you if you can spare some money, as his situation is as bad as, if not worse, than yours. He has kids too, so feeling like being the good guy, you pull out your wallet and peer inside. There’s a $20 bill in there. You look back at your neighbor’s sad face and are about to reach inside to give it to him when the image of your own kids flash in your mind. You know if you give him the twenty bucks, your own kids will suffer. You know that if you give it to him your children will go to bed hungry. You also know that if you give it to him that it is unlikely that it will change his situation, but rather will only allow him one more meal for him and his family. It won’t solve his long-term problems, and will only serve to increase yours…

What would you do? Seriously – would you give someone else money that is marked as food for your kids? And if you don’t have any little ones, how about your mother, father, sister, brother, or other beloved member of your family? Would you take from them to give to your neighbor? I submit that it’s easier said than done. I am a father, and I know in my heart that, considering the circumstances, I could not give that $20 away.

Does that make me evil? Cold-hearted? A jerk? Maybe in the eyes of some, but if taking care of my family before sending aid to others makes me appear so, then I am guilty as charged.

How does this have anything to do with our foreign aid? Well, it appears Uncle Sam wants to be the good guy…all the while bombing country after country under the guise of stopping the Enemy-of-the-Month. Problem is, he’s out of money, and we, his ‘children’ are suffering. It demonstrates that we must also use caution when heading out to save others. I believe it is morally good to help those in need, but I also believe we should continue to do so via private, willful donations to charitable organizations.

We as a nation do not yet have our house in order, and until we do we will sink deeper into debt with no end in sight. Once we do have it in order, we can enjoy enough peace and prosperity to enable all of us to give some back to our favorite charity…without Uncle Sam having to do it for us.

The message is clear: send the right people to represent us in Washington and we can get our house in order. Then we can relieve our financial burden – and increase our ability to give – one percent at a time

Atlas Shrugged Part II Trailer

Just started reading Atlas Shrugged (slow going due to lack of time, but a great read so far) so I have put off seeing part 1. Now that part 2 is out I’m going to have to make sure I’m done with the book and part 1 before part 2 comes out on Blue Ray!


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An end to stop-and-frisk?

So the debate over “stop-and-frisk” in New York has blown up again…as it should. It is incredible that in this day and age we allow police officers to stop someone and shake them down without probable cause.

We employ our police officers to protect our rights and the rights of others. How is it that we, as employers who pay for their protection, seem to have very limited say in how they go about their line of work? The Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, didn’t even show at the city counsel meeting. Doesn’t he work for the city? If an issue directly relating to his department is on the blocks, then how is it he can dismiss the need to show before the very people who employ him?

Not only is this a clear violation of the Constitution, but it is an embarrassment to humanity. No one can tell me that race does not factor into stop-and-frisk. As the article shows, most of those who were stopped are blacks and Latinos. I guarantee you that if Officer Suburbia Joe started to stop-and-frisk white teens as they walked too and from school, the outcry would be loud enough to crack the Liberty Bell all the way to the top!

The only time that the governing body of a police department should be told they cannot implement police policy is if those same policies and procedures violate the rights of others. That, of course, would be for the courts to decide. And while I believe every officer has a right to defend their own life and be afforded ways to keep themselves safe, it should not be at the expense of the rights of others.

Fortunately, a federal appeals court has shown some shred of sanity by allowing a class-action lawsuit go to trial next year in an attempt to overturn the stop-and-frisk legislation. We should all watch this closely, as if this insane law is allowed to continue it will be just a matter of time before  it spreads to affect us all.

The Free And Equal Debate Is On For October 23!

Well, it’s a start! Gary Johnson will go head-to-head with three other candidates live on the web and via satellite October 23rd. I’m looking forward to it, and it’s sure to be better than the question and answer segment between him and Jill Stein.

Participants as of this time are Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Virgil Goode, and Rocky Anderson. The article states that invites went out to President Obama and Mitt Romney, but there has yet to be a response from either party. One can only hope that they will attend.

While it’s not going to get the attention that the other debates pull, it’s a step in the right direction!

I noticed this tonight and just knew I had to share! Ron Paul is so very deserving of this and I just finished signing the petition, which is linked to this piece. It’s a no-brainer! He is such an advocate for peace and prosperity that if they pass him by, they are doing the World a grave injustice.

So, let’s get it done! Sign away!

Rights Of Liberty

The Nobel Peace Prize’s very name was diminished when Barack Obama won it in 2009. At first I didn’t feel so strongly but after four years of bombing innocent Muslims cowardly with drones, I became rather against The Nobel Peace Prize, seeing it now as promotional tool used by politicians as opposed to an award given to worthy individuals who through their efforts were strong proponents of peace and positive human evolution.

After awarded to Obama how could anyone possibly see the awards merit anymore? The award was given to him due to his promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a “new climate” in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world. This appears truly absurd if one looks at the President’s track record of “war on terror.” He took over the “war on terror” after George W. Bush only to surpass Bush when it came to assassination and bombing…

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