Friday, October 31, 2008

You Can Go Home Again

Taking Back America

Albert Einstein said, Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

They boiled us too fast over the last fifteen or so years. Now, most Americans realize that despite the rhetoric they are not free; a rhetoric that sold growing restrictions on us as freedom has stopped working. Us frogs, paddling around in the pot, the water growing ever hotter, figured it out.

Even mainstream Americans have finally noticed. Gun sales are up sharply.

A vocal minority has been working diligently over the last many years, but none of their efforts over that time have even slowed down the growth of government and the erosion of our rights. And despite the insight above, provided by that very intelligent individual, we are doing the same thing repeatedly and hoping that this time it will work. It is time to change our approach.

Freedom is natural. Government is not.

Nothing about human culture is natural. Let me repeat that. Nothing about human culture is natural. Natural behavior and natural attributes are common to all Homo Sapiens. List the number of identical cultural tools we all share. None.

Ideas are the basis of all human tools. That is true for a cutting blade and true for a monetary system. It is true of gathering and grinding grain; of using fiber to weave cloth; it is true of the Constitution and the Common Law. They began as ideas. What worked was improved. What did not work was discarded.

Remember that because we will go over it again. Keep what works. Dump what does not work.

The idea of money is less than 4,000 years old. The cutting blade is naturally far older.

Both were intended to improve the human condition, ensuring that babies prospered and that the tribe continued.

Only recently have we been wealthy enough to continue to use really bad ideas over and over again. Our monetary system does not work. Tremendous effort and rhetoric has been expended to persuade us it is indispensable.

Accepting rhetoric in the place of reality is only possible when you do not have the immediate test of trying the blade and finding it does not cut the haunch. Somewhere along the way we lost sight of what the words mean.

This is a very important word. Freedom

Freedom is not granted by government, not our government, not any government. Freedom, noticed by Thomas Jefferson, is the natural state to which we are born and as God made us.

Our Founders took their faith seriously. But they were already engaged in war when the Declaration was written in 1776, The Founders immediate attention was on the kind of government they would create and the principles on which it would stand. For them there was no contradiction.

Individual rights. Our natural and spiritual sovereignty. These are the foundation on which America as a nation stands. If you are a Christian you know that Christ called us into Community with Him; By our own individual acceptance and His Gift we become One through Him. To accomplish that we must become a community here in America. Real community is founded on our individual freedom, our right to decide for ourselves.

Freedom is not one thing, it is everything, touching us and beckoning us from all parts of our being. .

Freedom is the precondition to your survival. If you cannot act in your own interests you could well starve or become the dinner of some member of another species. Freedom is your right to run from the bear, gather berries, protect your home, and decide for yourself how you will spend your life.

The blandishments of rhetoric sold us on ideas that logically lead to serfdoms in many forms. Americans rejected the enticements of monarchs and their ilk, embracing their natural condition of freedom.

The Declaration of Independence mentioned no social contracts; I, for one, never signed one and would view with suspicion anyone who tried to foist one on me. Government was and is a tool. The Founders saw it as such or would not have made this our Mission Statement.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

I repeat: Government is a tool. This government works as well as keeping a bear in the house to eat your garbage. When it gets big enough it eats you, too.

The last two centuries have provided data we need to consider.

This government has proven conclusively that it is not a good tool for very many things.

The Revolution worked because the people who carried it out were used to governing themselves from small townships and there was a critical percentage of the population who agreed on the Mission Statement for America. They accomplished their goals through the Committees of Correspondence. They attended town meetings, discussed what needed to be done and made sure it happened. They had grown up seeing adults handle their own conflicts using Common Law. They saw and participated in Common Law Juries, passing judgment on both fact and law. They protected themselves using their own local cooperatives called Committees of Safety. They kept government small, local and directly under the control of the people. They were a people who governed themselves.

What works is direct government by the people at the local level for those few things we have government handle.

The original Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written to limit what Federal government could do, not us. Our Founders clearly felt that the Federal government they were building needed to be limited, not the rights of the people. They were familiar with people who successfully handled their own, local governments.


To establish a people who govern themselves you need a people who first free themselves.

If you want an oak tree start with an acorn; you will never persuade an acorn to become a orchid plant. If you want to be free then ignore the distractions of federal politics. Go home to your community; take control of the government there and take back your freedom.

Take Back Your County – The Agenda

  1. Understand the Common Law

  2. Ensure that your Sheriff will uphold the Constitution

  3. Take Judges and other Officials out of Office who fail to uphold the Constitution

  4. Place Elections in the hands of the people

  5. Ensure that your local government carries out only those jobs you, the people, determine it should undertake.

And take back the commerce of your county as well.

1. Cutting Off GridCorps

Mortgages – Get out of them and keep your home

Credit Cards – Dump the debt.

2. Local Barter/Trade System – Try Fourth Corner Exchange

3. Localizing Commerce

4. Energy Alternatives

5. Food Production

6. Health Alternatives

7. Wireless local networks

8. Alternative comm systems

9. Alternative Media

The County is the smallest Constitutional unit. One of the systemic glitches overlooked by our Founders was the size of the county. As we take them back we need to make the size smaller so that the people can keep an eye on what is happening. Steps 1. and 2. can be carried out simultaneously.

Remember what Einstein said. He was a very intelligent man. Remember another Man who died for us 2,000 years ago. He also wanted you to realize the freedom that is His Father's gift to you.

Remember, and go home to the real America.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Exit from Fascism Is Open

When you lose your illusions you see yourself and your own actions clearly. We need to see our present circumstances as they are and not as we want them to be. We have an opportunity to take back our country but that window of opportunity will close rapidly. We need to return to the form of government experienced by our Founders. We need to stop talking about freedom and set tasks that return control of government to the people at the most local level and change our economy from one that has us hemorrhaging jobs and money to one that keeps money local.
Each of these goals takes us to freedom; not just words but the reality. And despite appearances to the contrary, the establishment of a real freedom has never been more possible.
To accomplish that we need to build coalition from all ideological viewpoints. Without coalition we will not be able to come together as a people who govern themselves at that most local, community level. It is possible; we need to lose our illusions. The government we see today does not work and it cannot be fixed. All hierarchal systems are subject to the same problems.
When people are remote from you they seem alien and therefore less human. This was true with all people. Those they do not know they are willing to abuse and manipulate.

All movements experience the same problems, left to right, Patriot, Progressive, Libertarian, Liberal, Ron Paul, Environmental, Conservative, Free Market, Election Reform, Peace, have been created from frustrations with the present systemic conversion and corruption. All of us have spent to much time spinning our wheels, engaging in action that did not advance the agenda for freedom or justice. We need to change that, starting now.

A people who govern themselves must first free themselves, starting with their prejudices, misconceptions and illusions. We cannot free America; each of us must do that for ourselves, but we can give Americans the tools to do so.
Only by coming together and seeing the truth can we bring America back from the precipice. The community is our exit from fascism.
Over the last more than 200 years our form of government has been converted from a people who governed, handled it themselves at the most local level, to a serial monarchy that rules from the Federal level as subcontractors and partners to that small clutch of European bankers.
The present states, counties, cities and towns, have nearly all incorporated. This allowed those European Bankers and their domestic partners to limit liability, turn money entrusted for the common good into profits for a small cadre, now including judges, the local comptroller, and others. They had a real growth industry on their hands and they were willing to share the stolen property in small increments. In this way control was solidified.
The use of disinformation and ideology to divide Americans began very early, longer ago than the life of any living among us today. Terms such as Communist, Socialist, Radical, Constitutionalist, Right Wing Nut, Environmental Crazy and so forth all came into use as ideas used to divide and control us. When they started buying up the media it was the final nail in the coffin for freedom existing in a hierarchal world.
Those who laid out that strategy to ensure their own profits intended to destroy the foundations on which our freedoms rested. They wanted us to forget what freedom really means. They failed but they came close. Our freedom rests on cultural roots, values and practices and in our very nature.

We have focused on politics and ignored the local and cooperative institutions that made America the most powerful force for prosperity and security that has ever existed. It wasn't hidden from us, we just overlooked it, taking it for granted. Americans had problems in the 1800s and they solved those problems using innovation, initiative, sweat equity, and their own hard earned money.
The often repeated dichotomy between “Private Sector and for profit” and “Government Solutions” ignores neatly what actually works best. When you see it you understand why and how a free people could and did govern themselves. They cooperated.
Many call it the Civil Sector. It is made up of churches, fraternal orders, civic organizations, charities and other groups, who solve the problems that occur in any community. Those are the people who see problems and take action. They are staffed and run by the people who raise the money and do the work. Staying local works. That is the core of the solution.
The Civil Sector generated enormous profits from what they did and do - but those profits are not calculated in money but in social benefits, stability, and security enjoyed by all of us.
Such organizations came in all flavors for every taste and need, you can take your pick. Americans did just that.
The Elks started the first member support program when they were still 12 out of work actors in New York in 1867. One of their number died. Looking at each other the remaining 11 ponied up the funds to bury their dead friend and support his wife and children. In just three decades they had over a thousand chapters.
The Grange, known also as the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, started on December 4, 1867 in Washington D. C. Its major objectives were to support stewardship of America's natural resources; promotion of world-wide free trade; a combination of local and federal support for rural education, medical, communications, and road systems; non-partisan political participation; assurance of safe and properly labeled food products; organization of cooperatives and other economic services to support rural Americans; and elimination of direct government farm programs so as to assure a competitive and efficient farm system. It is the first organization that allowed women to hold any office.
Those are two examples. There are thousands.
Today our civic sector is struggling because all such organizations have been sidelined by government in ways overt and subtle. But they remain with us and they and new ones can be used or rebuilt.
We have the tools for rebuilding. Community. Cooperate. Constitution. Common Law. The three Cs.
Instead of using the word, “govern” think “how do we handle it ourselves?” The Civic Sector can help solve the problems that we will encounter at the local level. It was the tool Americans built to solve their own problems. It is still there, waiting. Go home to your community. Look at what is there and how many solutions others have built for us.

The institutions we pay for, courts, government, and so forth are presently under the control of a small group. We are locked into an economic system enforced by corporations. We can break out. We can enact change that affirms our inherent nature for individual freedom. The solutions are already there because Americans innovate like no one else on the face of the Earth. We do not need to politically persuade, just show others why those solutions will make their lives better. When that becomes obvious the opposition will be trampled into goo.
We can go home to the real America. America Goes Home is coming. Until then find the exits at The Melinda Show on The Micro Effect.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bailing out the Banks, James Dean, and Freedom.

In real life, James Dean was much like the character he played in Rebela psychologically troubled young man raised in a broken family. Known mostly for his attitude, Dean's life was marked by pain. Sullen and painfully vulnerable, he was tormented by an offensive world and his own internal desolation. I try so hard, Dean once wrote to a friend, to make people reject me. Why?

The above quote came from yet another article published this time by John W. Whitehead at Rutherford Institute. Again it mischaracterizes a man 53 years dead of whom the author knew nothing except self-serving comments from Dean acquaintances collated with his own projections.
What we think we know is too often mythology. This is true about individuals and it is true about our institutions.
John W. Whitehead claims to 'know' about James B. Dean from books written by individuals who in fact knew little about him. Jimmy died young. He lived his life from the time he returned to Los Angeles struggling to establish himself as an actor against the wishes of most of his friends and family.
Those struggling to make their way in the entertainment industry do what is necessary to succeed. Such individuals range from those without a serious thought in their heads to individuals, like James Dean, who were serious thinkers. Serious thinkers are normally reluctant to express ideas that mark them out as marching to the beat of a different drummer in Hollywood.
During his life time James Dean was not famous. At the moment he died only one of his three movies had been released. That was East of Eden; Rebel Without A Cause was not yet in the theaters. Giant was yet to be finished.
When he died no one had yet considered the tiny body of work Dean left behind as a potential legacy. No one expected him to die. But today James Dean's movies represent the only tangible statement of his skill and those movies in themselves have proved to be a monumental commentary. The three films illustrate ability and mastery that plumbs depths and exhibits an intelligence unusual in an actor only 24 years of age. The roles he created in those movies expand to dominate the screen against far more experienced actors. The intelligent portion of Hollywood understood that, but as with all professions only a few could see what was so clearly before their eyes. They felt, without understanding, his power, never able to comprehend its source. Most people who are fascinated by the magnetic appeal Dean was able to project ascribe that appeal to those causes that more define themselves than they do James Dean.
These are facts. The brilliance of Jimmy's performances in these three movies were a testament to a well-honed and practiced mastery of his craft. The characters portrayed are not Jimmy.

It is easy for strangers to ooze opinion about someone when that person has been six feet under for more than half a century. His family was reticent and had never really understood him. Dying when he was 24 years old, he could never speak for himself; but those movies burn with the intelligence and hard work James Dean brought to every facet of his life. Many young actors are the product of the need in Hollywood for fresh meat. They last only a season, until the next meat comes down the sidewalk. Not so with James Dean.

John W. Whitehead never knew Jimmy. He expresses opinions based on mythology, a common failing to people who rely more on books and opinion than on actual experience. Since much of American culture comes from the same doubtful process this is, perhaps, understandable. But allowing ourselves to see only the surface of things is costing us now. Today we are living with a bizarre collage of institutions that were either converted from their original purpose or made up out of whole cloth for purposes never publicly admitted. Because we are creatures of habit who value security, a survival strategy longer than human memory, we tolerate much. As Thomas Jefferson said, mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Along with too much tolerance for forms we fail to discern the wizard behind the curtain, the truth garbed in illusions.

The Federal Reserve, the banks on the corner, the courts on which we depend for justice; All of these are very different than they appear on the surface. When Whitehead looks at James Dean he sees a petulant, angst-ridden boy caught in a morass of ideas not of his making or understanding. But the real Jimmy was an intellectual who delighted in ideas and understood their function in creating our world far better than does Whitehead. Jimmy would have seen behind the curtain to the Wizard; he would have known that the Emperor had no clothes.

James Dean was a man who thought deeply, intensely, and understood the power of ideas. He tested ideas for truth using a finely honed discernment that is rare in any individual. Rutherford positions himself as a man dedicated to the ideas of freedom. But Jimmy understood the inner reality that transforms us, using freedom to grow spiritually.

I know this for a fact because Jimmy discussed those ideas with me and lived by his own rules. Jimmy was free and he understood what freedom means in every sense.

I saw Jimmy when he visited us, usually at lunch time, from the time I was three until that last week in 1955. Jimmy came, I am sure, at least partly in hopes of a sandwich at first. Then, he was a starving student and want-to-be actor. His tastes in food were eclectic but he always helped clean up. He was one of the few people in the world who could dry the dishes in a way that satisfied my mother.

Jimmy's mother and my own mother had known each other; were cousins, according to Jimmy.

Every visit Jimmy made involved talking about ideas, not just philosophy, but about how the world worked. From Jimmy I learned the whys for such things as photosynthesis, “Trees breathe. They breathe in light and breathe out life,” he told me when I was four. Jimmy was always thinking, taking ideas apart and then reassembling them, in ways that made them new.

On that last visit Jimmy said this to me about freedom, something that, presumably, Mr. Whitehead understands himself.

We were sitting in the back yard watching butterflies. My little brother had exercised his own freedom by wandering off with his new lasso after our cat, Tiger Lady. Tiger had retreated slowly, keeping an eye on him. Jimmy and I watched. At age three Stephen's aim was not very good. My new lasso was sitting on my lap. Jimmy had brought them with him and shown us how to spin.

Later, I would continue to practice spinning. Jimmy had just finished telling me about the courage and perseverance of Howard Roark, the character from the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. At age 6 I had yet to hear of Rand. Looking me right in the eye he said this, “Your freedom is not one thing. It is everything. Freedom is your life, how you spend it. As you grow it will become all the things you dream, wish and work for. Those things,” he said, “will be the record you take to God of how you spent the life He gave you. Freedom is God's gift to you.” Freedom is different for each of us, in each case unique. Freedom knows only the limits you, yourself, accept.

James Dean was no hormone-driven Hollywood wind up doll. He was insightful, intellectually alive, and very aware of the kind of people and motives that confronted him in the reality of Hollywood, 1955. To be successful in Hollywood you had to play the games Hollywood expected. Jimmy understood people; he understood their limitations and their prejudices. He had learned to project what was expected of him.

The Hollywood perception of James Dean is colored by the timing of when he died and by the limited access he allowed to those whose approval he needed to succeed in the career he was passionately pursuing. If he had died three years later he would have had time to let Hollywood know who he really was; if he had died ten years later he would have changed Hollywood. But that is not what happened.
There was only one James Dean. How much of him you saw depended on how much it was safe for him to show.

Jimmy had no obligation to share what was private and assuming you know about others can lead you astray. Jimmy, dead, remains who he was. The projections that made him an icon are irrelevant to that truth.

But how we see people does matter.

The truth about the world around us, about the people we have placed in positions of trust, the institutions they run, their motives, and their work, is today at the source of the melt down we face. Large, centralized organizations do not work; they break down for simple, human reasons.

Humans work best in small communities where they can assess those they choose to trust. The reason America worked in the time of the colonies through the Revolution was their communities were small and operated on the idea of cooperation, not profit. The system today has removed the ability for us to know each other through personal contact. The Federalization of government, carried out in contradiction of the Constitution, removed the check on greed and deceit that has mangled our history.

Today we confront the immediate need to see people and institutions for what they are and enact change. As long as we iconize people, removing the warts, we cannot know who to trust. As long as we persist in a form of government that is diametrically opposed to that envisioned by our Founders we will be vulnerable.

Systemic deceit promote a reliance on mythology as fact that is destroying us.

Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were very different from the myths they have become. Icons do not reflect truth but projection and spin. Both Lincoln and Roosevelt are examples of that process. Each promoted a centralized state that was useful to those who today are asking to be bailed out. The myths on which the Roosevelt and Lincoln reputations were constructed employed fictions that promoted a continuing agenda of Federal power and centralized control. They were not what we have been taught to see.

We need the simple truth and a return to what works.

At the beginning of this week a group of wealthy bankers whose predecessors set into motion the largest scam in the history of the world, came to the American people demanding their debts be underwritten by the same people they have been defrauding for generations. Instead of being jeered and stoned, as they deserve, the Bush Administration is doing all possible to accommodate them. This administration will continue to do that, buoyed up by the mythology that the Federal Reserve Bank and its partners are Constitutional entities working lawfully to ensure that the need of the American people for a means of exchange is fulfilled. The facts are nakedly contrary; the FED is private. Its business is emptying the pockets of Americans, converting their hard earned wealth into gold and other real property intended to profit only that same, small group of bankers and stock holders. That is the crème de la crème of Bush's 'core constituency.'

The mortgage meltdown was carefully orchestrated as just one means by which the theft of American wealth could take place. The price of homes rose; fractional reserve banking ensured that every hopeful home owner would pay many times what that home was worth many times over. First, Americans paid through their mortgage payments, each adding to the mindbogglingly enormous flood of real wealth flowing into those same banking pockets. In so doing they traded earned dollars, real money, for more fiat currency guaranteed only by their own credit. No one ultimately profits but the bankers.

By real law the lack of any exchange of values makes the whole invalid, unenforceable. The credit that backs the faux funds, resting on values never issued by those same bankers, is the credit of the homeowner, who then, to add even more insult to injury, is forced to pay taxes on a home and income whose value has been inflated through that process.

The bankers whine for Congress to keep the illusion going. Congress, nervous now, hesitates. The outcome will not be as anyone expects.

That is all it is, illusion, a mythology with no more real substance than the movies that have romanticized the world of finance from one rapacious gold merchant ripping off unwary customers in Frankfort, Germany in 1770 to one of monumental myth.

Americans are close to losing nearly everything they accepted as secured to them. The fact that many of us knew they were dancing on the thinest of edges does not change the shock waves now reverberating through all of our lives. Americans believed that banks could be trusted, that there would be food on the table, that their homes belonged to them and that there was hope for tomorrow.

Losing the myth, the illusion, is the first step towards real freedom and real hope. Be glad this is happening. There is no freedom until you have the truth. When you have the truth anything is possible, even justice.

James Dean understood the need for truth. He was an individual who saw clearly and who had values that were defined and honed through years of thought. If he had lived Jimmy would have transformed the entertainment industry; injecting the vibrant ideas and values that moved him originally into acting. Because that industry supplies the memes and cultural content of so much that we, as Americans, live and breathe every day of our lives, and because the world watches us as the edge of cultural change, it is fair to say that James Dean would have changed the world. That was his intention and his aim; to impact the world through the craft of acting.

He understood how it could be used. He intended to use it.

James Dean had confronted such issues and the life of the spirit, mortality, the profound differences between people, and the ideas that drive the world when he was very young. He began life as a Mama's boy, enveloped in maternal attention. He shared with his mother a world of make-believe that helped him understand the difference between reality and fantasy. They also talked about ideas. That world was shattered when his mother died and he was relocated to Indiana to live with his aunt and uncle, two people who were decent, kind, hard-working and very different. He was a sensitive child. He did not forget his mother, he continued to remember and to grieve, creating an intense internal life of ideas. Those ideas eventually took him into acting. People who are highly intelligent and creative make their own rules.

You know how little his family understood him by where they chose to bury him. If Jimmy could have chosen he would have been next to his mother, never his father.

Jimmy knew what Hollywood wanted him to be so that is what they saw. He was much more.

James Dean loved thinking about the processes of life. He loved books and the ideas that roil in the mind when that mind weaves the possibilities of what is now with what could be. He pounced on new facts with delight.

The first time I met Jimmy it was over Beanie sandwiches in the kitchen of the family home in West Los Angeles. He was a student; I was a kid. He was the kind of person who listened and responded thoughtfully; he was able to connect and engage in a real discourse, not talking down to me but exploring the ideas that found their way into our conversation, introducing ideas as part of the text. With Jimmy if there was conversation there were ideas to discuss.

It was on that very first visit that Jimmy and I discussed mortality. It was the first time anyone had mentioned the subject to me. I had been watching a tortoise dissolve back into dust, so to speak. I had discovered the tortoise already very dead behind a bush in the back yard of the house. I was fascinated by the process of its dissolution as ants carried it away and it shrank into itself. I had not told anyone else because I knew how they would react. The tortoise would evoke shrieks and Mom would remove it.

Given a chance I hauled Jimmy back to look, too. Jimmy was delighted. He proceeded to tell me about observing the same process with a cow on a farm back home. Then, squatting down for a closer look, he told me that the essence of the tortoise, the thing that had make it move and live, was gone. The same happened to all that lived, he told me.

If you only know the character Jimmy portrayed in his three movies you don't know Jimmy, only his undoubted ability to craft a performance. It is your loss, not mine.

But if you make the mistake of believing mythology over reality, about Jimmy or about banking, your brain still needs training wheels.