Tuesday, February 28, 2006
And why no one connected with John Fund can get life insurance
Scooter Libby made a mistake. He thought he was a NeoCon Insider. It was a natural mistake for him to have made, his business cards, the perks, the deference, the salary, and the access to power, all spell out Insider using the usual formula for such. But he was wrong and will now find himself tossed off the back of the Sleigh of State into the gaping maws of righteous indignation, there to serve his ultimate purpose, scapegoat and distraction. The NeoCons waste nothing, not even their hapless tools, that is their environmental policy.
Your standing and importance in the NeoCon world depend not on where you graduated college, in Scooter's case Columbia University, or on your overt title or what you do in the administration, that is mostly window dressing. What matters is how important you are to the inner workings of the NeoCon Cabal. No one who came on board after 1999 is really an insider. The insiders earned that status far earlier; Insiders do the work you can't afford to have known. Therefore no matter what they must be protected.
Scooter's knowledge about the actions taken by this administration can all be parsed as missteps by those at his level. The very visibility he was allowed and his connection to so many events points not to his importance but to his expendibility. Those in this administration who know themselves to have been brought on board after 2000 who also participated in questionable activities should be contacting their attorneys and working on building up funds for their defense.
The real NeoCon Insiders are political operatives placed in media, politics, and in prominent places in the larger cultural frame.
What you do as a political operative in carrying out the covert machinations of the Plan, that is what matters; that is what determines your expendibility factor. Real insiders do not have to worry about being tossed off the back of the sleigh. For them, anything is possible in terms of defense. They know too much for it to be otherwise.
This group is relatively small in number. What they did to earn that status goes to such questions as the shape and direction of policy for the last 10 years, the make up of the legion of pundits, the various 'sources' for leaks, and other points that, if considered, help the onlooker see the reality behind the political front presented by this Administration today.
One of the best examples of this is John Fund. He is carrying his weight as a political operative; he is not expendable though occasionally he is forced to spend time on the side lines for bad behavior.
The internal structure of the NeoCon world means the need to know is based on what the individual will be doing for the Plan. This correlates with their routine inclusion on insider information. Fund has been 'briefed' with confidential information since 2000 and before then with their internal plans, which he helped formulate. He is briefed because as a first level operative he handles what is most sensitive to them.
When the NeoCons transferred their cabal into positions within government and the media they assigned duties to those operatives they knew they could trust. Newbeys were used but not trusted with the most sensitive activities. For NeoCons trust takes a long time.
Fund, they knew they could trust. He had been one of them for nearly twenty years by then. He worked hard to make himself useful, suggesting many major appointments for this administration, providing names of individuals who would bring 'cover' for what the administration intended to do. He wrote the book they intended to use to stifle comment on the election fraud they had already planned, and providing presence useful to them ideologically, though that is now slipping.
Instead of looking at the administration and thinking in terms of the normal chains of command superimpose on that the driving need of this administration to manipulate public opinion while bolting into position the means to ensure they cannot be displaced.
The Alito confirmation demonstrated that Congress is iced; the Supreme Court is frozen; and at this point in time the electoral process is known to be owned by the NeoCons, thanks to Diebold and manipulation within various states.
Examine Fund's role as a political operative. You start to see how this was accomplished.
Fund was a nerd from Live Oak, California who dreamed of power. He was recruited by Robert Novak and placed at the Wall Street Journal in 1983. His qualifications are that there is nothing he will not do as well as his facility to use the rhetoric of the freedom movement to justify policies useful to NeoCons. His problematic personal history kept him from the position of speech writer for Bush in 2000. He is useful and protected but even then the Bush administration understood his potential liabilities.
Many of those serving in positions similar to Scooter's in this administration were suggested by Fund. He had started his political career as a Libertarian and was familiar with most of the players from that movement. That movement provided the policy that allowed the adoption of law that decoupled costs from accountability. In this way government has increased its real income. Look at services provided by government; notice how these are being cut back while taxes continue to rise. This puts money into the pockets of the NeoCons and the friends they appoint. Their costs are lowered; their income increased. Those funds were then redirected into such adventures as the War in Iraq.
From our National Parks to Social Services policy has been used to convert 'service' to profit centers that generated even more profits while the costs are borne increasingly by ordinary Americans through fees. What the Ports Deal tells you is that even this may not be enough; soon you may see a for sale sign in front of Yosemite and the Statue of Liberty.
Check out the action in any of the vast array of agencies and bureaus we entrust to provide services; talk to the victims and activists who are struggling against the system that is eating them alive. Every day their numbers grow.
The direction of American policy for privatization, outsourcing, and deregulation, all of which originated in libertarian think tanks such as Cato Institute in Washington D. C. and Reason Foundation in Los Angeles, were intended originally to allow the individual American more choices and so lower costs. Instead government keeps exacting taxes while the individual pays privately for services formerly funded through government.
John Fund put these players together for their mutual profit. Notice the large donors to each of these two think tanks. Koch Industries is run by Charles and David Koch, two men who have profited along with Halliburton from such expensive fiascoes as Vietnam and now in Iraq. The story of how what we once called 'the freedom movement' was subverted has a long history. That conversion stole the hope in which thousands of activists invested their lives. The means by which it was accomplished were devious, revealing amazing foresight.
These oil men connect neatly to the same people who took over the United Nations and the Environmental Movement. The motivation was always the burnishing of the bottom line and protecting profits.
The Austrian economics that originally prevailed at Cato through the presence of the eminent economist, Murry Rothbard, was replaced by Utility Theory. Utility Theory allows for the manipulation of economic factors for the 'good of the many.' Rothbard's Austrian viewpoint rejected manipulation. Rothbard was a founder of Cato. He is no longer even mentioned in their history. He was purged by Ed Crane, Cato President, and Charles Koch, their only donor at that point, in 1981. (see contemporary newsletter on line at the von Mises Institute.) At the time it was a mystery to all of us in the movement. We assumed it was a personality conflict.
But the logic of the action is clear given the present train of events
John Fund is a dear friend of Cato. He occupies a seat of honor whenever he attends one of their events for which he is comped, as is appropriate for one who has done so much in their cause. Those who work for Cato have profited largely from their conversion of freedom.
In 2000 Fund was given an even more important trust by the NeoCons inner circle; to write a book that would allow him to speak as an authority on the issue of electoral fraud. His comments on that subject are calculated to sow division among those who are working for reform. This kind of disinformation campaign has been duplicated many times, both by him and by other NeoCon political operatives. But John Fund has arguably carried more weight and done more than any other single operative to advance the NeoCon agenda.
Do a google search on his name and note the specific subjects he takes up and writes about. He anticipates the action frequently, placing specious arguments then adopted by those who respect his authority and power.
John Fund was the essential component in constructing the justifications for this and for building defenses against criticism in advance. To do that he needed to know what was going to come down. Hence, briefings.
And despite the fact he was fired from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Staff in 2002 he continues to be billed as 'their man.' How many on line journalists get such briefings? How do I know he is being briefed? He said so.
Yesterday he appeared on the Joe Scarborough Show at MSNBC and the transcript for that show contains the following:
CROWLEY: ... there are so many things in this war on terror that
we cannot control.
Look, if a terrorist is—is—is intent on committing an act of terror
against the United States, they will do whatever they can to try to
find a way to do that.
CROWLEY: I am saying that, because there are so many things we
can‘t control in this war, why give up an area that we can control?
FUND: Joe, one of the saddest things...
SCARBOROUGH: John Fund.
FUND: One of the saddest things in this whole debate has been the
things we can‘t talk about.
It is certainly true, the United Arab Emirates had a spotty record
regarding terrorism before 9/11. Since 9/11, when George Bush
said, you‘re either for—with us or you are against us, the United
Arab Emirates has decided, they are with us.
There are things—and I got a security briefing on this today—there
are things the United Arab Emirates has done to support the war on
terrorism that are brave, that have put that government at risk,
that we can‘t talk about, and our government can‘t talk about,
because it would only mean more terrorist attacks on the United
So, they are silent. They can‘t speak for themselves. I am not
pro-Arab. I am not Muslim, but I am pro-common sense. Let‘s have
the 45-day review, and let‘s have this debate after the 45 days,
when we actually have all the information and all the facts.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
Thank you so much, John Fund. I usually agree with you. Tonight,
How many of you receive a briefing from the administration routinely? Fund is not a reporter assigned to the White House. He is not directly employed by the Wall Street Journal. Ask yourself why he has received these briefings for at least six years. The answers to questions are often unpalatable but important.
My own involvement in this story is of long standing. I had doubts and questions about John Fund from the time I noted he was using me to place rumors in the early months of the Clinton Administration. Not that I liked Clinton but neither do I like being used for someone's dirty work. I was then well involved in the National Federation of Republican Women. I had known John since before he was hired as Executive Director for the Libertarian Party of California in 1981. I was then Southern California Vice Chairman. Unlike Fund, I was always a volunteer whose focus was not on personal profit but on changes I wanted to leave my children. My family has a long history as champions for freedom.
It is always, perhaps, the personal, that forces us to accept the unpalatable. Events drove that message home for me.
My daughter, Morgan Pillsbury, told me she had been battered by John Fund while they were living together. I believe her. I saw the physical evidence. I am a witness, the only witness. That should have been handled as is mandated by law in New York. The deviations from what is normal procedure began to awaken me to the reality of this administration.
I was determined to see justice done. After a good many years the law suit Morgan filed is now wending its way through the system and a hearing is scheduled for this spring.
Two days ago I discovered evidence I was being stalked. Both my counsel and I agreed the timing was more than a little coincidental.
Earlier today I prepared and placed with my counsel a declaration of what I intend to say when called to testify. It is well to be prepared. The evidence I discovered is also in his hands.
Why am I being stalked? What do I know that concerns the NeoCons except that John Fund lied about a simple case of domestic violence? Sometimes you don't see what is significant. But over the past years I have been privy to things that never appeared in the media. I am not sure which item is of the most concern to them. I think about the train of events sometimes and wonder. John is, I came to realize, a tangle of truths and falsehoods; any inquiry will doubtless produce something the NeoCons cannot risk becoming known. Having watched the NeoCons for years I have no illusions about just how ruthless they can be. Contributing to No Child Left Behind did not give me a get out of jail free card. I do not anticipate having tea at the White House with Laura again.
Protecting John Fund appears to be more important than anyone, certainly I, had realized.
John has acted as a spy for the NeoCons, pointing out the vulnerabilities of those who were committed to the freedom movement, working to widen the chasms of distrust between all Americans, placing disinformation, attacking under pretense of politics and ideology, and accepting all of the benefits he so earned. He has championed an undeclared war on our freedoms; a conversion of our lives and wealth to their profit.
As a side note, many people will be surprised to learn that John Does not live in toney Georgetown digs. John lives in a pig sty of a bachelor pad in Jersey City. One might be lead to believe his Bible is the Bachelor's Home Companion by P. J. O'Roark, but seems to be able to conceal a large amount of his personal wealth.
Morgan commented about the papers she had to clean up and sent many on to me. My counsel now has those, too.
Most Americans do not yet realize that a war is being waged -- not against Iraq but against each of us. It is not the Republican Party that is charge in this administration but a small cadre who seized executive branch power and converted it to their own uses. Most Republicans are experiencing a deer-in-the-headlights moment right now. Their Party has been hijacked, their president has been hijacked, and they do not know what to do. I remain a registered Republican working for an effective coalition.
The attack on us and on our rights has hardly begun. You don't go to the trouble of setting up this degree of control without having made plans to use it.
That is where we are today. The NeoCons have garnered tremendous power and wealth, but we can still win.
Solutions exist. Those include getting off all of the grids, energy, being only the first. The NeoCons want a system that provides them with an income and control in perpetuity. We need to turn off the faucets.
Getting out of debt; paying off your mortgage, working to strengthen your local organizations and charities that provide the social services we all may well need, these are also essential. Prepare to become active in and for your own community. Finally affirm the rights of all Americans under the Constitution by ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. It was that wrong step that allowed all later compromises that converted our inherent rights to privileges meted out by government.
The means exist to fight back by moving outside the NeoCon game plan.
We have choices as we move towards a different vision for America. Families, individuals, communities, and towns, that is medium for governance envisioned by our founders; people directly controlling their own lives and acting in charity and good will towards those around them. Some day we may look back and see this as a wake up call that returned us to that vision.
Don't allow yourself to be distracted by the pseudo drama of Scooter Libby. He was never a player, just wolf bait.
Now I am going to see if I can increase the level of my life insurance.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
A typically smug and self serving article by a man identifying himself as the Reverend Rusty Waller was published on the cyber pages of Freedom's Phoenix recently; the aforementioned article purported to 'prove' that women are not legally enabled to run for the office of President.
The publication is one where my own byline also appears and the Waller article exposes the strategic significance of the Women's Movement to the campaign of NeoCons to reduce Americans to an absolute serfdom.
The NeoCons don't do anything without a reason, and you need to know.
The Reverend's line of argumentation depends on an interpretation of the intentions of the writers of various laws regarding gender specific words. The Reverend went on to cite 'Constitutional' authorities he neglected to name. A thorough reading of the piece reveals that The Reverend Waller is seeking time on the radio and in print to promote his 'campaign.'
The Reverend is asserting a different interpretation based on uncited opinions and what amounts to minute consideration of the words, 'he, and 'man.' Now cast your mind back to the floods of abuse heaped on women activists who insisted that gender used in language impacted them and their rights; remember the sneers and jokes over suggested changes.
I have to confess I thought then that those feminists were making a mountain out of a mole hill. Evidently I was wrong. To most reasonable people issues of this sort are viewed as sophist haggling, intended to prevent the clear intentions of the majority. It is exactly the kind of tactics we have seen used over and over again by the NeoCons as they move towards interpreting American law to support a monarchy.
If that were the only point to be raised from the Rev.'s article I would have just closed the window. But this pubescent doggerel also gave me a clear insight into other, far more interesting points.
Why would The Reverend Waller waste our time on such a marginalizing issue in the face of the threat presently hanging over our Nation?
The answer is money and power and the advancement of an agenda that continues to marginalize attempts to create a united front with which to oppose the NeoCons.
We have seen similar assertions made ad nauseum by other spokesmen promoted and sponsored by NeoCons and other centrist authoritarians before them on women's issues. Women, and their support, is the key to any effective coalition and to the continued use of government to rip away what remains of our rights. Old sins can still kill freedom.
There are two separate points to be made here. First, the tactics of dividing us. Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Wendy MacElroy, and legions of others have introduced red herring issues at times when it seemed that the possibility for unity existed and used a utility interpretation of law that allowed law to be used to transfer power and wealth. Utility theory, as opposed to the Austrian approach to rights allows minorities to be sacrificed in the interests of the collective. Hardly the tool appropriate to anyone alive to the issues of individual, natural rights.
Legislation has been used to chop up the right of women to control their own lives for over 200 years. Limitations and restrictions include their right to own property, work, inherit, have custody of their own children, contract, marry, and have now focused on chopping up their lives, turning control over to others through their children.
This should never have happened. The government should make no laws modifying the natural rights of anyone. That includes women.
The strategy of converting the rights of all through the precedent created centering on the rights of women continues to be used because it works. It works so well it has been applied nearly everywhere and between many other groups. “Why don't you guys fight?” works on all the playgrounds of life and politics is no different. While 'the guys' are fighting the pimple faced geek makes off with the marbles.
The introduction of specious arguments deepens divides, distracting us from effective opposition. It pays well, however, for the NeoCon Operative. Lucrative careers have been carved out for those willing to participate; the Rev. obviously wishes to join the ranks of Coulter, Reed, and their ilk. When the unethical see a means for getting what is not earned they all pile on.
Human nature has some nasty tendencies, as we all know. Those who are enjoying ill gotten gains rarely give up those benefits willingly. They will do anything to hold on to what they have come to view as their property.
How many societies of slave owners worked and moved for the emancipation of slaves in the antebellum South? I am tired of hearing about how, “slavery was about to prove economically inefficient,' and so would have ended. THAT is a utilitarian argument if I ever heard one. The American Mission Statement said nothing about your right to grab the life and property of another because you 'needed' it. If I need your car, just for the next year or so, is it alright for me to grab it providing I can get government to do the dirty work?
The only two wars ever fought on American soil or elsewhere that stood firmly on the foundation of our inherent, God given rights of self-ownership were the Revolution and Nat Turner's Revolt.
Rights are absolutes by any reading of natural rights theory.
Waller's line of reasoning is not premised in natural rights. Instead, he attempts a conversion to the divine right of kings with a spot of flag waving window dressing. Unused to thinking about the extrapolations, most men in the freedom movement buy in.
Geraldine Ferraro was nominated for the office of Vice President and her name was carried on the ballot in every state in 1984.
The Reverend Weller's assertion that a woman cannot be 'legally' elected to the office of president raises the question of how Ms. Ferraro managed that nomination. That is a question easily answered. The question was visited and dismissed in 1984. The qualifications for the offices of President and Vice-President are identical. These issues were called into question before Ferraro was qualified for the ballot. An issue paper dealing with her eligibility was written and made available by the Executive Office of the President affirming that women were eligible to hold either office and the point died a natural death never to be raised again until The Reverend Waller started campaigning for time on talk radio.
Again, why would he float such as issue today when our rights are under a focused attack from this administration? Motives matter and can explain a lot.
Let us move on to consider the authority of the Constitution.
Government has no rights; States have no rights. Only individuals have rights. Government is a tool we use to provide for services we can't get out of the Yellow Pages. That was the original idea anyway.
Government should never have been allowed to convert our inherent rights, as enunciated by Thomas Jefferson, into privileges controlled by the State. The Rev's 'reverence' for the Constitution is one in a long line of attempts to anoint that document, the Constitution, into the equivalent of the Ten Commandments. It was not. It is a tool written by men who were all too fallible. They no more intended it to be written on stone tablets than they intended the presidency, the CEO of one branch of government, to obtain the status of a monarch.
In this way the Rev spins the issues, enthroning by the premises thus deified the tyranny now oppressing us. This travesty should turn the stomach of any freedom oriented American.
These assertions contravene all of the founding premises on which natural rights theory stands.
The understanding of the nature of inherent rights and the capital invested in the enterprise for liberty preceded the Constitution. The war had been won, the the costs sunk, investments made when the switch was pulled.
By declaring revolution and stating its principles, inherent natural rights for all, the founders involved women and men in an enterprise that necessitated their acceptance of risk; a tiny percentage of the population comprised of men and women, actively participated. These individuals donated, struggled, provided the capital, and died. The benefits were enjoyed by many who never lifted a finger as well as by those who actually opposed the war.
The act of declaring the founding premises created a contract between those in positions of leadership and those investing in the enterprise. Women believed that after the Revolution their own rights would also be secured and ratified as inherent. Abigail Adams was typical of those women, who coming from a culture that had admitted the spiritual equality of women easily extended this into other arenas. They were defrauded.
By the same assertions of principle the founders enunciated adherence to a world view that asserted that the natural rights of each individual preceded all government, then and today.
They then proceeded to ignore that clear contract, beginning the conversion that confronts us today. They did so in large part because the Southern States threatened to withdraw. They should have let them and good riddance. Then those opposed to the continuation of slavery would have been better positioned to end that atrocity far earlier.
Americans as a whole did vote on the manipulative means used by Southern States to continue slavery, involving non-slave owners as their enforcement arm. In the immediate wake of the Revolution nearly a half million Southern Americans moved North or West, largely because they disagreed with the institution of slavery. At the same time over two hundred thousand northern slave-owners moved South to ensure they could keep their slaves. Feet can speak.
No State can grant rights, but it could mete out privileges. The exclusion of women and blacks in the enjoyment of their inherent rights laid the groundwork for the tyranny we face now. Government had no charter that allowed them to withhold the rights of women and blacks; therefore the actions of those who wrote the Constitution were fraudulent and should be revoked.
Government never possessed the mandate to limit rights to propertied white men. This was a taking of the most elemental kind.
That is the second point. The next point takes us back to the previously mentioned component of human nature. The desire to hold on to ill gotten gains. It is easy to control people when you deny them their rights.
If all humankind possess inherent rights and if the American Mission Statement was capitalized to secure those rights to all then you would think that those who emote endlessly about 'liberty' would have noticed after 230 years. Obviously, the greed factor is strong in the mouths and minds that emote for freedom as well as churning the impulses of the NeoCons.
Rights are not 'earned' they are inherent. Black slaves did not earn their rights; they were grudgingly granted to half of them as the partial fulfillment of the propaganda used to carry out the Civil War. That war was about Federalism, never about freedom or the rights of any man or woman.
A small minority of Americans understood that. Radical Abolitionists, opposed to slavery and active for suffrage, promoted secession from the Union. They were ignored but they were right.
Most Americans and most 'heroes of freedom' ignored the precedent they were setting both by their actions and by their lack of action.
If those who were enjoying the benefits of freedom had done the right thing at any point in the last 230 years then we would not today be faced with the nearly complete conversion of our form of government into a fascist dictatorship. Those who have enjoyed those rights have failed to recognize the founding principle that each of us has rights inborn. They emoted for freedom while through their inaction they delivered slavery in gradations to all of us. Their failure leaves them and those who followed them into positions of trust morally bankrupt.
If those who decline to act have clearly benefited by their neglect then they become parties to the fraud. Many women, such as Phyllis Schlafly, have also built careers on selling lies about the nature of rights.
There are a handful of men who did the right thing. A handful out of millions. Those who touted themselves as champions of liberty have a shameful record for supporting the women who worked by their sides on the issue of abolition and other issues of individual justice. The gender make up of movements that benefited all people were staffed mostly by women; they did not get credit but they made sure it happened. The movements focused on issues specific to women had minute numbers of men involved.
Freedom should be personal for each of us. The petty devices of the Rev., the far more egregious and successful conversions of such as Edward H. Crane, III through such organizations as Cato Institute have taken our own support and activism and used them for their own profit, furthering the conversion of rights. Crane and his cadre took the tools created by the freedom movement, each intended to return control and choice to individuals, and decoupled accountability from profit and resold them to government. By so doing they helped government deepen our servitude, limited choice, marginalized our rights, and strengthened the train of conversions that began when women and blacks were refused the acknowledgment of their own inherent rights based in a shared humanity.
All of those who cooperated are traitors to freedom.
Freedom is personal; the lack of its acknowledgment can destroy the soul. I have always been grateful that the men on the Pillsbury and Foster sides of my family were numbered among those who did the right thing. That is why I took the name.
The husbands of suffragists signed contracts affirming the wrongness of a state mandated contract; they turned their back consciously on the power that otherwise would have been given into their hands by government. They were honorable men. How many men of today's freedom movement would do the same?
After a struggle of over a century women finally obtained the right to vote. It was a right wrested from government, not given freely. The movement for civil disobedience had its beginning then from the strategic insights of Alice Paul. Alice Paul fought the successful battle for women's franchise, suffering imprisonment to accomplish that end. In his autobiography Mohandas K. Gandhi cited Paul as the source for his own work in non-violent protest. Alinsky and King learned from Gandhi. And yet no one in the freedom movement lists the heroes of women's suffrage and emancipation as heroes in the ongoing struggle for human rights. Instead they are denigrated and dismissed. But their fight was harder, longer and consumed all of their lives and the lives of their daughters and grand-daughters.
Ten generations have lived and died working and struggling.
Rights not acknowledged and secured to all become privileges controlled by government.
By ignoring the need to acknowledge the inherent rights of women men have put a noose over all of our heads participating in the conversion of American government into a fascist state. Those are the facts.
It is not yet too late to change course.
An effective coalition demands that women's standing as equal in law under the existing Constitution be ratified. If that had happened when it should the use of such legislation as Title Nine would never have been raised. All moral failures bring their consequences. Instead of dwelling on the past it is time to move forward to a real freedom.
The principle remains; the State may never modify the right of any individual to self determination; that is the truth we need to keep. There were men who understood the reality women faced and who worked for the emancipation of all. They are tragically few in number. Parker Pillsbury, a cousin who used to visit with my great-great-grandfather's family in New Hampshire, was one of these. They had a vision for the world and their lives that was never realized. They also failed, but not without trying. They never compromised.
Today the noose is tightening around each of our necks.
For most of the 30 years I have been active fighting for freedom I happily put aside my own interests to work on other issues. No more. No morally conscious person can do that. Now, the pragmatic need to build an effective coalition to oppose the NeoCons meets the need to finally do what should have been done 230 years ago. Confirm women in their inherent, God given rights. Ratify the ERA. By so doing action can speak the truth if those who emote the words of freedom truly believe in the principles.
What you do will matter. This is a war being fought out in the deepest places in our souls. What is more important to you? Affirming the mistakes of the past or rebooting so that all of us can enjoy the secured benefits of the inherent rights originally guaranteed?
It is for you to decide for yourself. For me I know. My ancestors served at Valley Forge, heard the Shot Heard Round the World and participated in every battle fought during the Revolution. They served on the Committees of Correspondence, signed the Declaration; many died. The women in my family provided the food, capital and labor that made that struggle possible.
The Revolution is not yet over. To be won it has to be all of us.
Confound the NeoCon agenda and finish the American Revolution.
Ratify the ERA.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
They came for the bloggers – and took the right of Free Speech from all Americans
As you read this our government is ramping up a campaign of oppression against the heartland of America. Operation Cyber Storm, aimed directly at the right of free speech is ready to be deployed against all of us.
Bloggers are thus acknowledged as Americans last hope for freedom.
Bloggers have for years now shown their collective muscle of the mind and heart, changing the direction of government action in many instances, and exposing the corruption that is now endemic to every institution for which Americans pay so dearly.
Now the government has decided they must be silenced. It is time to fight back. We can return America to the governance of the people. In that battle bloggers are our first line of resistance.
The existence of those cantankerous bloggers whose on line discourse, diatribes, and insights annoy so many have become the last, best line of defense for the much tattered First Amendment. The rapidity with which bloggers change opinion has made them a force with which to be reckoned. Therefore this government under the speciously constructed argument of 'terrorist threat' is going after the Blogsphere.
It is time for those who truly care about America and our liberties as Americans to abandon the futile activities that replayed endlessly the activist organizing of the 60s. They no longer work.
Alito was confirmed. The Congress is stacked; the Supreme Court is frozen for the forces of big government and tyranny. At this point we cannot count on electing replacements because the ballot process has been hijacked. It is time to climb out of the box and take the offensive.
Bloggers are under attack. They need to be protected. Therefore, the ACLU needs to organizing task forces and action network so that any blogger who is attacked for free speech issues will get all the support needed to spring him or her while using each case to awaken the public to what is happening.
Think of it as the medical support we owe our military when, to protect us, they put themselves in harms way.
We have been divided, right and left, Green and Libertarian. These chasms are in large part fiction, constructed to prevent effective communication and a unified front for protecting the rights of individuals against the predations of the unholy alliance between megacorporations and government.
Decent people may have disagreements about how to get there but they all understand where we want to go. The rights of individuals as enunciated by Jefferson remain today the Mission Statement of America, more profound and compelling of our loyalty than any government or political party. How ever we live, as long as we do no harm to others, is ours to decide.
Political parties are tools we created to help us achieve the goals left uncompleted at the time of America's founding. Political parties were immediately used to oppose the full participation of each individual in that vision. Blacks remained in slavery; women dispossessed of their rights to their own property and to their bodies. Slavery, as Americans are beginning to see, comes in many kinds.
Where political parties fail because they have proven to be incapable of advancing the work of human emancipation they must be discarded. One of their most profound failings is in the divides they made possible. The redefinition of meanings, linking loyalty to words like 'conservative' instead of to the profound principles underlying America's Mission Statement worked to convert our rights, inherent and preceding government, to privileges, granted by government.
The change in definition that has helped create these divides is beautifully enunciated by R. J. Eskow in his article that appeared today on Huffington.com.
The solution is a working coalition and the way to make that work is to start working together to protect our first line of defense, a common problem, the coming persecution of Bloggers.
Our uniting agenda must include protecting Bloggers as the last bastion of free speech and the Internet as the village commons where opinions are aired, judged, and adopted through the process of persuasion and consent.
Left, Right, Libertarian, and Green; we have common cause and a common need. That need is urgent and compelling. We cannot yet guarantee an honest vote but we can support the warriors of the word who are out there in the trenches.
Blog Power: Celebrate the heroes among us; this is the war we can't afford to lose.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Because today is the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, one day following the celebration of love that marks Valentine's Day I will use this occasion to inform some ignorance and blindness.
Women are offended by being treated as property because we know perfectly well that men think of us so – and that the law acts to reinforce that viewpoint. It was a viewpoint that offended Susan B. and it still offends today.
Vedran Vuk, at whose article this is aimed, may be a savvy economist of the Austrian persuasion but he has failed to understand what his girlfriend knew all too well. In his article posted today on mises.com today he cheerfully continued the same obtusely offensive line that women hear all too often. Women are, of course, expected to hold their tempers; men may engage in righteous indignation.
The clash between our inherent rights and law treat women as commodities instead of securing to them the rights with which nature endowed them. The latter is the basis of America's Mission Statement. The former is how things really are.
Rhetoric vs. Reality; Privileges vs. Rights: The Bush administration, and indeed all of our interactions with politics, have fully informed us of the very real differences between the two.
Bush asserts his inherent 'right' to executive privileges that include wire tapping and suddenly the protests and noise level rises. But, Baby, you asked for it.
Rights precede government. The point of the mission statement enunciated in the Declaration of Independence was that each of us possessed those rights and government, if it is to act in accordance to that truth, may not change, withhold or modify those rights. Each of us is sovereign in fact.
That was the understanding throughout the period when women were sweating blood to produce the capital that kept the Revolution going. Men were free to fight because, as in the earlier case of John Peter Zenger, wives, mothers,sisters, and daughters kept the gears of commerce moving and food on the table and in the pot out in the encampment.
Abigail Adams expected women to be secured in their rights; so did most women then living. It was not to be. Commodifying women was too profitable for those in power to give up.
So government moved in, placing the foundations for the conversion of rights that has come back to bite men in the ass today. Through that means has government converted to themselves the power to decide who has rights and who does not. So instead of lives secured from the predatory power of government men now are beginning to experience some tiny sense of what women have faced for 230 years in an America that sold the idea of independence (a costly venture in large part capitalized through the work of women) and delivered the foundation for the conversion of rights, preceding government, to privileges, meted out by government.
Women continued to fight.
In 1953 married women in California were finally given the right to control their own paychecks. Women have sweated and paid for every tiny increase in their right to act autonomously, something men take for granted. How would a man feel is his wife could walk in and pick up his paycheck? How did married women feel when the State asserted through the State contract of 'marriage' that their husbands could, by right, rape them?
But Vedran thought his sweetie should glow with happiness to be treated as property? He is lucky she only smacked him once.
It might be pleasurable to be treated as a cherished race horse - for a while. But the fact, lying in the future securely disguised by the paeans of praise ringing in equine ears and the lavishing of oats, green grass and pats, is that as soon as the horse stops fulfilling the fantasies of the owner the horse, property, and having no rights, is dog food. That is the model of 'love' enunciated by Vadran.
The fact is women today, after 230 years of struggle and work, still are not secured to their rights under the Constitution and will not be until the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified.
If by “love” men mean that they assert that women should regard being “loved” for however short a period, as being as good or better than the recognition of their rights then I suggest that the other tenet in the Declaration of Independence, the one about Revolution, is in order. We have been more than patient.
Austrian economics is a theoretical model that assumes each individual has the right to free exchange. It cannot work if the market, which includes all human action and not just monetary exchanges, prevents some groups of people from registering in that market the full constellation of the values they choose, negotiating compensation by the same means.
Let the market decide is meaningless if the laws imposed by men prevent women from full participation. Using legislation to limit and mandate human action is a form of slavery. No real Austrian should approve.
Get all your laws off my body – and Happy 186th Birthday to Susan, a woman who understood the issues of freedom from her bones out past her skin. We will not see her like again.
Monday, February 13, 2006
The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
George W. Bush has dismissed the Constitution and Bill of Rights as “just words on paper.” As Americans confront the grasping hands of this administration, we need to remember where their rights originate. Blood and courage from mortal men and women established the rights enumerated and the Constitution would not have been ratified without each of those Amendments, most especially the First Amendment.
Those mere words, all forty-four of them, tell us that the truth is the first and best defense against oppression.
The ratification of the Constitution hung in the balance as Mason traded with Madison and the deciding factor was the inclusion of the Bill of Rights, a brief document that secured to each of us guarantees for the limitation of government power.
It is the ideas thus enshrined that connect us to the truth of America's Mission Statement.
The Founders thought they had taken care of the issue of free speech as a tool for self defense. They remembered the case tried in New York forty years before that had proven the need for free speech.
The Case of John Peter Zenger had been tried in 1735 and its example had demonstrated to the Founders, who were certainly aware of it and its import, the nasty tendencies of government to use its power to stifle dissent and the truth.
Zenger, a printer doing business in the Royal Colony of New York that year, had had the audacity to print truthful information about the then Royal Governor, William Cosby, a pompous windbag fond of his perks. Cosby was then confronting political opposition to his predations and the abuse of the rights of the English subjects under his governorship.
Zenger was charged. He stood by his guns and spent eight months in what can only have been horrendous conditions in the New York jail before his trial. His wife ran the paper in his absence, keeping the case and its issues in the public eye. She missed only one issue while seeing to publication and caring for their many children.
The day of trial arrived.
The Royal Governor made his case; the printer had put into his paper the facts. The jury retired and found, as another jury had in the case of William Penn in England in 1670, that Zenger was not guilty. In the case of the New York jury this was because the truth is its own perfect defense. This action on the part of the jury enunciated into practice and custom the primacy of truth as a defense and the principle of jury nullification in the Colonies.
The Penn Case, tried in London in 1670, had refused to convict for a crime because English juries had the right to consider the law as well as the case at hand, the basis for jury nullification.
Each case helped create the theory of American law and rights as we know them today.
When considering Bush and his assertion of 'inherent' executive privileges we should note that the only inherent rights involved belong strictly to the people, preceding all government. Bush is obviously misremembering something from grade school, doubtless the last time he paid attention in any class.
Zenger broke the law according to the statutes. He was found innocent because the law was unjust. His right to speak the truth was superior to all statutes. The truth was not to be abridged. Clearly, the Founders understood the potential for statutes to void the rights they protected within the Bill of Rights. Statute is always inferior to rights secured by the Bill of Rights and the natural rights of each of us as individuals.
So although most Americans do not even remember his name at this point in time we need to retell his story and appreciate the example and courage both he and his wife showed in facing down the forces of corruption and power in their lifetimes. Their courage, his expressed by speaking out and enduring incarceration, and hers by assuming his job on top of her own, was a gift to each of us.
As Americans we are facing a time when we will need to remember the courage and gifts that earlier adherents of freedom and justice have lent to us. We need to step up to the plate, assume duties that may be unfamiliar, and send our own message out to become precedent.
A free people who understand their rights refuse to bow down to oppression. The truth will be heard.
Zenger. Americans must remember.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
In the wake of the Alito confirmation the Left is in shambles, unfocused, unbalanced, and unable to act. They are not alone.
Large sections of those who identify themselves as republican or libertarian or independent are living through a deer in the headlights moment; they know that the executive mandate now poised like a sovereign anointing over the head of George W. Bush is the last thing they want. But their tools for organizing political protest, the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party, are lost to them, swallowed up by the NeoCons who so suavely converted their labor and lives to cold hard cash in NeoCon pockets. NeoCons are no more Republican than they are Democrats.
The 'game' of politics has turned into a reality as frightening as Godzilla arising from the Hudson River to eat New York.
That is the bad news. The good news is that the means are within our grasp to drive a wedge in the machinery of tyranny now poised to roll over the rights and lives of Americans. It is time to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and to get serious about a common understanding of our rights, where they originate and who has them.
That will surprise most people in the republican-libertarian camp. It surprised me when I realized three years ago I had been sold a bill of goods by my own movement. I had spent all of my life as a libertarian and a republican. I had been told that the ERA was about privileges for women, in effect, about entitlements. Wrong. It is about nothing more than recognizing for women the original package of rights envisioned by our founders for everyone.
When, after many generations of struggle women were unable to secure the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment most women settled for privileges and hoped it would work. They were wrong to have done that. Never settle when it is your rights that are at issue.
Ironically, it was Republican women and the Republican Party who had originally championed the battle for rights for women as an extension of their right to vote.
That long history had forged the largest political organization in the world, and arguably the most effective for most of its history, the National Federation of Republican Women. In 1980, when the ERA was struck from the platform of the Republican Party a generation of women who had poured their lives into the Republican Party went through the same deer in the headlights moment now being experienced by so many non-NeoCon libertarian-republicans. In one moment they had been betrayed, losing their political home and the investment of their time and money made over long life times.
That was one in a series of actions that converted the Republican Party into the NeoCon tool it is today.
The NeoCons are a minority, a small powerful minority, we need to remember that.
96% of all Americans from all ethnic groups, both genders, and all parts of the country have already affirmed in their hearts equality for all and the equality of women under law. (see link at ERACampaign.net, Newlstter No. 6)
Most us want to do the right thing. We have been divided and confused by a highly sophisticated campaign of disinformation designed and implemented by those we know now as NeoCons.
The mission statement of America has always been clear. Our rights are not granted by government; they preexist any government we choose and cannot be altered. But instead of securing those rights to everyone our Founders made a profound mistake. All too human, they failed to sunset slavery, leaving blacks in servitude. They failed to secure to women their right to control their own lives and property.
It was a failure that has haunted us ever since.
That failure is the basis of the conversion of all rights to privileges to be granted or withheld by government. This is why libertarian-republicans should sit up and take notice.
If our Constitution affirms the original Mission Statement then we have ground on which to stand and reverse the conversion of basic rights to privileges controlled by government. And by so doing a common ground will have been created for cooperation, right and left, so that the unceasing attrition of our liberties can be opposed successfully.
It is the right thing to do, and it is time for Progressives, Democratic moderates, and Liberals to deliver. Women have been the heart and power of the Democratic Party for generations. That party has failed over and over again when it had the control of state legislatures and the Congress to secure to women their proper rights under the Constitution.
They, too, preferred to grant privileges instead of the absolute security of rights. It is time to put aside other issues and do what should have been done generations ago. The leadership of the Democratic Party has ignored and compromised away the essential acknowledgment of rights for women that would have provided exactly the protection we now so desperately need.
But it is not too late.
The ERA today stands just three states short of ratification. There is no time limit on the need for the amendment; securing those rights are as relevant today as they were in 1776. Active campaigns exist in most of those states and together the non-NeoCon segments of the republican-libertarian wing of American politics and the Left possess enough clout and money to do the job if they choose to do so.
Women from all parties and persuasions should keep watch.
The outline of the campaign is simple.
We need a website to apply to the legislators in each of the unratified states the scrutiny and encouragement they need to ensure ratification. We need money to lobby them. We need to communicate and to network, watching for the ugly tactics that will come from the NeoCon camps.
The NeoCons think they have won. They set up this scenario in 1980 with the removal of the ERA from the Republican Platform. They set out Phyllis Schlafly to tell women that the ERA would diminish their womanhood. Today the idea promoted by Schlafly that women had a 'right' in the "Christian tradition of chivalry to be supported and protected by men" sounds like text from a harlequin romance.
Women dying for their country in Iraq, raped while serving there, or left homeless by no-fault divorce law understand the reality that Schlafly, who profited so richly from her work, was really selling.
Allowing government to convert rights to privileges is making slaves of all of us.
Business and Professional Women, a major leader in the earlier efforts for the ERA, is once again putting ERA high on its action priority list. Now, every day, women are working and organizing.
It is time for all of us to come together, right, left, libertarian and independent.
If freedom is not for everyone then none of us are truly free.
With the ERA in place Alito can could still damage our freedoms, but the ERA will built a buttress against the predators he represents.
Alito is in. If it hadn't been him it would have been one of the clones lined up to take his place provided by the Federalist Society. When the opposition controls both the ball the field and both the teams you cannot win. Now is time to take a hard look at our approach and examine, with egos deactivated, how this happened.
The Supreme Court is now totally iced, frozen into compliance with the view that America's checks and balances are no longer in force. We discovered a week ago, beyond doubt, that the NeoCon strategy is working. It works so well that the Congress is in effect a one party legislature and that party is not Republican but NeoCon. Make no mistake, the two are not identical. Expect to see independently minded Democrats to go the same way as the independently-minded Republicans did, starting in the late 80s. Therefore changes and reforms that necessitate Congressional action will fail. Protests and call-in campaigns are a waste of time until the voting system has been changed.
The way to change the voting system is through action at the state and local level and demanding only paper ballots and radically reforming the registration process. Other specific reforms must also be instituted from the local and state level. Until then attempts to influence Congress are a waste of time.
Congress no longer works as a balancing power as envisioned by the Constitution.
The present make up of the Congress is a product of electoral fraud. The NeoCons placed the programmable means for producing the outcome that would keep them in power and used it beginning in 2000. Before then they had relied on removing independently minded Republican candidates in the primaries. If you doubt this see the history of Republican primaries in California starting in the late 1980s. Managing election results through voting machines facilitated the process but the idea had been present for a long time.
The voting machine manipulations have been documented in studies that went over the numbers in exhaustive detail. Read Mark Crispin Miller's book, Fooled Again, for more on that.
A huge group of concerned Americans used every traditional means to get legislators to do what is right; they failed. Alito will now move against the reforms that give women some of the autonomy guaranteed originally by our Constitution to men. He will help affirm an executive branch that is in effect a monarchy. It will be a serial monarchy, with presidential elections having all the reality of pro wrestling.
The recruitment of attorneys for placement on federal benches took place through the Federalist Society, created by the NeoCons for just this purpose.
The whole nomination process carried a double agenda. It was both a ploy to distract attention from awareness of Bush's views on executive privilege and placed Alito to advance that agenda. It worked smoothly.
So what will happen when cases heard in lower courts move up to appeal for hearing at the Supreme Court, for instance, the Fitzgerald effort? That effort to bring the NeoCons to justice will be stalled and then hit the barrier of the Supreme Court, another of the balancing powers hijacked by the NeoCons.
This is what we can expect along with the routine use of executive privilege to justify anything the present resident of the Oval Office wants done.
When you are in a maze with no way out you better get the hedge clippers. We must accept that the system is broken and cannot be fixed using traditional means. There are other means, we need to use them.
The first tool we need to accomplish the goal is a real coalition, right, left, and other. We need to awaken the sleeping mainstream of Americans by moving past the divides of political prejudice. That done, we can start rebooting the system and returning governance to the people. That is what our Founders intended, that a people exercising their inherent rights govern themselves; it is time to do the job. We can build out a structure for governance the NeoCons can't control while at the same time cleaning up the environment. It can be done.