Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

You’re just lying to yourselves.

To all my conservative friends…

3/4 trillion dollar bail out, or subsidized insurance and loans.

Look me in the eye and tell me your party believes in a free market.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26884523/?GT1=43001

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26894553/

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September 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tears for the unmorned

Deborah Jeane Palfrey was a somewhat mousy woman, with wispy brown hair a penchant for wearing red lipstick that wasn’t quite the right shade of red. She attended Rollins College in Orlando, where she got her bachelors degree in criminal justice. She attempted to go to law school at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, but left for reasons of her own. While working as a paralegal in San Diego she made extra money as a cocktail waitress. This work brought her in contact with a lot of escorts. She found the working conditions appalling, and decided to go into the business herself, running an escort service. Apparently, she had a hard time paying the bills this way, as she did get caught “hooking” herself and spent 18 months in prison.

After getting out she decided that if this was the way she was going to make a living she was going to do it right. She headed straight for the halls of power and privilege in this country, Washington D.C., and began an escort service called Pamela Martin & Associates. Her idea was to bring college educated and very attractive escorts to D.C. where they could entertain men who had access to the deepest pockets in the world: the tax revenue of the the 300 million richest people on earth. She chose brilliant women, among them Brandy Britton, a former sociology and anthropology professor at the University of Maryland.

It worked fantastically. From 1993 to October 2006 she made a good living of about $160,000 a year. The problem was her home. She had two houses, each worth about $450,000. The IRS suspected trouble. Unfortunately, for the IRS, or fortunately for Ms. Palfrey, there just wasn’t any real evidence. They couldn’t get a warrant. Well, no worries. The IRS doesn’t NEED warrants! Since Ms. Palfrey was selling her house federal investigators could just pretend to be a couple buying her home! Then she would let them in and they could just wander around and look at things all they wanted! It worked.

Then they had everything they needed to get a warrant. The IRS found $500,000 in various accounts. She was now accused of money laundering. In April, 2008 she was found guilty of money laundering. In the process, she outed Randall L. Tobias, US Deputy Secretary of State, Ambassador and Director for US Foreign Aid, and Senator David Vitter. (Both God fearing Republicans, by the way.) If you’ve a dark sense of humor, it might amuse you to know that Randall Tobias was responsible for the United States policy on treating AIDS abroad. While telling the poor of Africa the only way to avoid AIDS was abstinence he was screwing nice, clean, $300 an hour whores. Also, he left a $18.6 billion dollar drug company (and the 18th largest company on Earth) to take on the position of Deputy Secretary of State.

Well, poor Deborah was found guilty, but she refused to take it lying down, if you pardon the pun. She said, “I am sure as heck not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, you know, four to eight years here, because I’m shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever, not for a second. I’ll bring every last one of them in if necessary.” 1

She had 10 to 15 thousand names that she was going put out in the open. 2 If that sounds bluster, 5 lawyers contacted her immediately after she announced that, to keep the names of their clients secret. Whatever was on that list must have really bothered some people. Remember Brandy Britton? She was one of Deborah’s girls. She was called as a witness, but inconveniently, hung herself before she could testify.

Sadly, we will never know what Deborah’s plan was. She hung herself this morning, just like Brandy Britton. Which is odd because she said not long ago, “I guess I’m made of something that Brandy Britton wasn’t made of.” That makes two suicides, both in the exact same manner, on what could have been the case of the century. But the FBI is unconcerned. “… the FBI was notified about the death, “due to the ongoing cases we knew Ms. Palfrey had in the Washington area,” but they are not investigating. ” 1.

Well, I think we can all rest assured there is no foul play here. After all, it’s not like anyone important could possibly have been implicated by her list. Who could possibly gain from her death?

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Americans Hate Freedom

I realized something today.

Americans hate freedom.

Now, this statement will offend some. They will cry out, “We are the freest nation on earth,” “Americans love freedom,” and “Americans love freedom so much they will fight for the freedom of others.” I say, bologna.

As to the first: “We are the freest nation on earth.” How would one measure that? Well, how about percentage of the population incarcerated? Communist China has a population of 1.3 billion with 1.5 million in prison. America has a population of 300 million with a total of 7 million in prison. (1.) The US has more people in prison, both as a percentage of the population and as raw numbers, than any other nation on earth. The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. (2.)

Perhaps it could be measured by the amount of red tape through which people have to wade? Well, the tax code (which is not even considered part of the enormous US legal code) is 13,458 pages in total length. (3.)

Well, perhaps, our constitution would tell us. Our first Amendment promises us, among other things, free speech. However, according to Brandenburg vs. Ohio, the Federal government is allowed to stop speech which will result in lawlessness. (4.) Boy, that would make it hard to organize the Boston Tea party, wouldn’t it? Also limited by B vs O is speech which hurts peoples feelings and speech which causes discontentment with the existing government. Second amendment? Superseded by US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. What about the 3rd and 4th Amendment? Canceled by eminent domain. (Yes, I am aware that the Bush signed a law that says owners must receive just compensation. How do we figure a fair sale price for that which is stolen?) 5th Amendment? Still good. Except for the eminent domain part. 6th Amendment? Speedy Trial. Need I say more? 7th Amendment? Still good. 8th? Not so much, if you end up as an American citizen in a black site prison (5.) (6.) 9th Amendment? If we don’t follow the constitution, why would rights listed elsewhere be followed? 10th Amendment? Thats, funny. That would mean that any federal power not mentioned in the US constitution belongs to the states. Like the alphabet soup of Federal agencies that dot our political landscape, for instance.

So, pretty much the whole Bill of Rights has gone down the crapper. What about the “War for Iraqi Freedom”? Don’t we love the people of the world so much we will fight for their freedom for them? See, that’s kinda funny, to say “fight for their freedom for them” We go to someone else’s country and say, “We are free. You will be like us, and we will smart-bomb everyone who disagrees.” If you are not free to disagree with the occupying US government, exactly how much freedom are we exporting? You can’t fight someone else’s war for freedom. Not won’t. CAN’T. Freedom is a choice. You can’t make someone be free. It’s like a toddler with a gun saying “Have fun, or else.” Not much fun is it?

If you look at a pie chart of government expenses (Provided conveniently by the US accounting office.)

Federal Budget Pie - where it goes

the government's deceptive pie chart

So, you can see that at least 50% of the spending of the government is social programs. However, the truth is somewhat higher. Many things which you might not consider social programs at first blush, in fact, ARE social programs. The Department of Agriculture administers the Food Stamp program, the WIC program, and makes subsidy payments to agri-industry. $17 billion to Cargill for instance. Not to bad for a company that made $88 billion in sales and is the second largest privately held company on earth. (7.) (8.) Things like that make the above charts a little optimistic.

After spending around 20 to 30 hours (over severals months) here it seems the cost break down is more like 70% handout, 15% defense, 10% debt, and 5% all other federal costs. But, I digress. An examination of social security is sufficient to make the point that Americans hate freedom. The purpose of social security is to take a portion of your income for the rest of your life to pay for the current users. When you need the system you trust that your kids and any recent immigrants will make enough money that their income will pay for your RV. There is a name for an investment system where each set of new investors pays the dividends of the previous investors. It’s called a Ponzi scheme. What if you don’t want to trust a bunch of strangers and the future economy to provide for you? Well, you can still do your own retirement… while paying for everyone else who doesn’t. You can’t love freedom and social security! If you love freedom, you have a problem taking money from other people against their will for yourself, and you have a problem having your money taken away from you to give to other people. Love of freedom and acceptance of coercion can not dwell within the same heart.

So, I conclude, Americans hate freedom. We love coercion. We love it with every part of our hearts. We love telling others what they must do so much, we will surrender our right to decide what we want to do. I could go on and on. But this is only the setup for what I really wanted to talk about today, which is WHY American’s hate freedom.

I can only come up with 2 basic reasons that a person would hate freedom:

1. Freedom is hard work

and

2. Fear of responsibilty.

(One) breaks down into hard physical work and hard mental work. Imagine a person who is not very smart and not born to money. If they want to retire they will have to work many, many hours at unrewarding jobs for many years. They will have to live in bad parts of town (to have low rent) and never drive a new car. This is hard, and not fun, but not as hard as the mental part. The poor person who is trying to save does not get to buy whatever they want, they have to think about every purchase. If they are unintelligent, this will be very time consuming, and again, not enjoyable. They will have to chose work carefully to not spend too much time and money getting to work everyday. They will not be able to vote for whichever politician they like, for they will have to consider things very carefully before they vote or their hard earned money will go away.

(Two) This one is about fear. A person who loves freedom has no scape goat. When they suffer from heart disease at the age of 29, they cannot sue Krispy Kreme. They cannot blame bad parenting, or poor schooling. They can only say, “I did this of my own freewill. I alone am responsible and I alone bear the consequences.” This is anathema to the average American.

I say again. Americans hate freedom and love coercion. Americans hate freedom because they are lazy and afraid.

Now this presents me with a conundrum. All my life I have studied the form of government. I mistakenly thought the important part of government was the form. I realized this was false with the following thought experiment: Who rules more democratically? The king who fears revolution or the president who does not? Obviously, the ruler who must obey the desire of the people or lose his job rules more democratically. The form is meaningless. People who love freedom will self correct any error in form. People who hate freedom will bring coercion upon themselves.

The question facing all government, be it family government of children, church government, or national government is not, “What is the form?” It is this: how do we make people love freedom? The purpose of government is force. (I hear liberals whining about this. I say to them, “Do you think people would pay for those social programs you love so much if no one made them? Government is force.”) Since you can’t force someone to be free, government can do nothing to encourage freedom other than allow it.

But where does that leave me, the little man who wants to make the world a better place? How can I personally encourage freedom? I can’t force anyone to take it. I can’t talk about it for if people desire freedom only because of my words, they aren’t really free.

The only answer I know is this: I must be free. I must enjoy freedom whenever I can. I must fight for my freedom and allow others to do the same. People can then see my life and choose whether they like what they see or not.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Government, Politics, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment