Talk about flags and something more important…

Normally I wouldn’t waste space over such trifling things; but it has to do with history, and I will take any opportunity to spread historical facts that have been obscured by the years of bias and revisionism.

First of all, the controversy has to do with flags.  A flag is a symbol; and symbols may mean different things to different people.  To some, it means slavery and oppression.  To others, it means state’s rights and independence.  Nobody is wrong, but as we will see – no one is completely right.

The problem here is that both sides are stomping their feet, yelling as loud as they can, proclaiming that they are right.  But let’s ask – what if they are both wrong?

The Civil War, at least at the outset, was neither about slavery or state’s rights.  It was, like our own revolution, a war over taxation.

Admiral Sennes of the CSS Alabama writes, “fully three quarters of the expense of maintaining the United States Government was paid for by the South.”  We may estimate that as much as one million dollars per year (in the currency of the day) was collected in the Southern states and sent to the north, where it was used for internal improvements there.  The South saw little of the money it sent to Washington ever again.

This money was even used to subsidize industries in the North, at the expense of the South.  Most tax revenues would have been collected as tariffs, and this placed a burden on the Southern economy.  (Years before, the nullification debate was sparked when the Federal government attempted to raise the rate of those tariffs.)

Is it not understandable that the South wanted to be free of this economic burden?  The North, however, did not want to loose their cash-cow; and they betrayed the principles of 1776 to keep them.

Yes, the South did support the practice of slavery but remember, few anywhere in the North wanted to see it completely abolished.  Perhaps they wanted to stop it’s spread, but that was only to balance political power (agricultural viz. industrial interests) and those abolitionists we so often hear about were in a small, radical minority.  Lincoln had no intention of abolishing slavery; had the rebellion never happened, he likely never would have issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Why?  The Emancipation Proclamation was a political move.  England was looking into giving assistance to the South; for the southern cotton fed the English factories.  At that point of the war, due to the genius of the Southern generals and the experience of the southern soldiers, it looked like the South might win the war on their own – who knows what might happen if the powers of England were behind them.

But Lincoln knew that the English were vehemently anti-slavery; turning the war into a battle over slavery would discourage England.  That is exactly what happened; though England continued to sell the South weapons and other necessities for hard money through the duration of the war.

But look at the glorious Emancipation Proclamation: it freed the slaves in states that Lincoln had no jurisdiction over.  Slaves in Northern states where the practice was still permitted (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia) would have to wait until 1865 for their freedom.  So much for Lincoln’s glorious emancipation of the slaves.

Now for the issue at hand.  Should the flag be removed at the South Carolina capitol building?  I don’t care.  It really doesn’t matter.

But remember – the Confederate Flag never flew on a ship importing Slaves from Africa – the southern states, long before the congressional resolution of 1808, had banned the practice on their own.  The flag of the United States, however, did.

The Confederate States of America never invaded another sovereign nation, save for the journeys into Maryland (1862) and Pennsylvania (1863) – but the destruction of these two campaigns paled in comparison to the devastation brought on by the United States in the south.

The Confederate States of America never meddled in the affairs of other nations; caused bloody wars for economic benefit, etc.

The only stain upon the Confederacy was slavery.  But is this not a stain on the United States as well?

Anyway, enough of this.

A shady fast track trade agreement has passed the Senate, giving greater power to pass equally shady trade agreements.  Though we cannot know fully what it will do – many of it’s provisions are still shrouded in secrecy.

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SQ 776 and the Death Penalty…

The death penalty is again an issue.

Nebraska’s conservative legislature voted to do away with the practice in the state, to the surprise of many conservatives.  Ron Paul made a few waves when he wrote that if you are pro-life, anti-war, or against big government, you should also oppose the death penalty.

Paul:  “Given the long history of government failures, why should anyone, especially conservatives who claim to be the biggest skeptics of government, think it is a good idea to entrust government with the power of life over death?”

He is exactly right.  We wish to restrict the powers of government – so why on Earth would we grant them the greatest power of all?

This all coincides with our own SQ 776, up for a vote in November of 2016, which seeks to constitutionalize capital punishment.

It is clear that the death penalty does not deter crime as is often thought.  Additionally, it has been well proven that it is a greater burden on the taxpayers to send a man to death at the hands of the state than it is to throw him in prison for the rest of his life.  (If we would stop locking up so many marijuana users, perhaps we would have room for them…)

These are facts, which can be proven with numbers and statistics.

But supporters of the death penalty answer: “But these are very, very bad people!  Some people deserve to die!” and so on.

Nothing is worse than trying to justify your political position with emotional appeals, especially when it flies in the face of facts.

Conservatives, of all people, should know that governments are not infallible.  So why are they so willing to trust them to use this power correctly?  A large concern is taking a man’s life by mistake, but the largest concern of all is giving the state power over LIFE and DEATH.

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(Ron Paul’s Article on this subject can be found here:  http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/june/14/death-penalty-the-ultimate-corrupt-big-government-program/ )

The Ideal Foreign Policy…

Much has been said lately about our national security and foreign policy.  No wonder; these are obviously ongoing issues.

I propose a simpler foreign policy and plan for national security.  A plan which is simple, cheap, and sensible – for this reason it will never be adopted, since no one is set to profit from it.

STOP INTERFERING IN THE AFFAIRS OF OTHER COUNTRIES.

It was our military interference in other countries which has given the motivation for terrorism; it was our bringing of arms and munitions to those countries that has made it possible.  What a cruel irony, that much of the weapons used against us are of our own manufacture!

And our solutions (and I don’t mean our domestic security measures, which are not at all solutions to anything) seem only to be furthering and perpetuating the problem.

People want to kill us.  This is the apparent problem.  How much we have contributed to this problem is a worthy discussion but forgive me for leaving it out here; nobody likes long winded articles.

We should never be led to think that the way to rectify a mistake is to continue making that same mistake.  Surely an absurd idea, yet it is the basis of our foreign policy – nay, it is the basis for all of our policy from economics to education.

Peace in the middle east will never be had if we continue to bring war, armies, and arms to the area.

Now for my plan; we simply adopt a policy of non interventionism.  Will we be venerable to attack?  Perhaps.  But as I have said elsewhere, lightening poses a greater risk to Americans than terrorist attacks.  Do we fight this too?  No, because you cannot fight nature.  Likewise, it is fruitless to fight human nature, which sometimes tends to want to subjugate other humans.  But we can remove some of the motivation behind it, and pull away the can of gasoline away from the fire.

And after all, our present policy of interventionism is making us no friends and more than anything, it is COSTLY.  If anything, this massive expenditure is only making us weaker.

To those who say we must have security, I answer: security is just an illusion.  Complete security can only be found in a sealed concrete room; but this is known as a prison and that would never do for supposedly free Americans.

To those who say we must fight for our freedom, I answer: our freedom cannot be gained by fighting cave dwellers a world away.  One would think that this would be obvious, but one should never make assumptions.  We have freedom already; it is a natural right after all, and the true enemy to liberty is the burden resulting from the massive taxes necessary to pay for this absurd machinery.

To those who say that we must dominate the world, I answer: if it is for us to dominate the world, it must be through ideas, technology, exchange, commerce, by the example of peace and freedom.  This is real, sustainable, and inspiring; to dominate the world by force is unsustainable and oppressive, not only to others but to the people who must pay for it – ourselves.  The former method can be had at no cost, enriching ourselves all the while; the second is costly and only weakens us further.

Bastiat: “Show me a people who are fed on unjust ideas of their foreign domination, oppressive influence, preponderance, and irresistible power, who meddle in the affairs of neighboring nations, constantly menacing or being menaced, and I will show you a people bowed down with taxes…”

The GOP’s “Millennial Engagement Committee”

Brogdon has it right again.

“I believe now is the time to share the principles of our republican party with the younger generations while encouraging them to get involved … from the young professional to the new family, the republican principles of limited government, individual liberty, and free markets provide the best solutions for up and comers.”

I have said it before and will say it again: the Republican party can be the party of freedom and common sense if they put their minds to it.

And I am not able to speak for the entire millennial generation, but all most of us want is freedom and common sense – which we are not getting from either major political party.  Such is why we are seeing 90% of new voters register as independents in the state.

But let’s keep one vital thing in mind: the objective is freedom and common sense, and not the Republican party.

The Republican party is the vehicle to get to the destination, but it is not a destination itself.  It is the means to an end, and not the end itself.

Such has been the problem in recent years; the partisans have done everything for votes, compromising ideals to achieve the growth of the party.  But it has been in vain, as the party has gone nowhere, but now it’s foundation has been compromised.

Let’s put an end to all this.

The 2016 GOP Candidates – Who They Really Are

Whether or not Paul really accomplished anything in his efforts against the Patriot act this past weekend is up for discussion – mostly, it was a symbolic victory.  I don’t think that Paul, or any one man can single handedly stop the massive surveillance state that has been created.

And, though really nothing at all has been accomplished (thanks to the ironically named “Freedom” Act) this is nice because it shows who the 2016 GOP contenders really are when difficult issues such as these come up.

Let’s see what some have to say about the Patriot act, shall we?

We can’t really be surprised by what establishment republicans have to say.  But just for good measure:

“There is ample evidence that the Patriot Act has been a tool to keep us safe, ample evidence, there is no evidence of anyone’s civil liberties being violated because of it.”

Jeb Bush said this at the SRLC.  I did not have the pleasure of going, but it seems I didn’t miss much.   It’s safe to assume the man does not know the meaning of “civil liberties.”

“President Obama has done nothing to change the policies of the Bush administration in the war on terrorism. And I mean practically nothing, and you know why? Because they work.”

Well, look at this!  Two sentences put together by Chris Christie without profanity.  Too bad he’s wrong.

As for the minor candidates, Rick Santorum (who is always wrong) supports it, as does Bobby Jindal.  Rick Perry, who was apparently critical of the NSA’s activities in the wake of the revelations offered by Edward Snowden, is now critical of Paul, saying that Paul has a “basic misunderstanding of the situation in Iraq and Syria.” Scott Walker, like a true politician, is saying nothing of substance on the issue.

Marco Rubio supports the NSA programs, saying that “they are important for the security of our country.” Always the same thing.

As for the superconservative superstar Ted Cruz?

“We need to vigorously go after terrorists and at the same time respect the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, there is no need for the federal government to seize and possess bulk metadata. USA Freedom Act protects our constitutional rights but also ensures that the government has the tools to go after terrorists. We need to walk and chew gum at the same time.”  

But you can’t do both at the same time, at least not the way you are going about it.  “Going after terrorists” somehow always involves the diminishment of American liberty and privacy.  You cannot have your cake and eat it too.  And going after terrorists is a bit more complicated than chewing gum.

Much of the criticism of Paul has to do with his supposed political grandstanding – his fight has been great for fundraising.  Perhaps.  But I am inclined to ask, so what?

Yes, Paul has his eyes upon the White House.  But the people criticizing him for this aren’t exactly innocent – they have agendas of their own.  They are, after all, politicians.

So either Paul is either grandstanding to raise money or fighting for privacy.  Like the little girl in the old taco commercial, we should ask,

Why not both