Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Motorcycle Gang Trouble in Eureka Springs

The Morning News is reporting that members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang ambushed and beat with baseball bats at least four members of the Banditos motorcycle gang after an event in Eureka Springs. There are two very different things I want to say about this, and I shall begin with the least important...

The Banditos have traditionally been a southwestern gang, but changing demographics have likely resulted in an expanded territory for this group. For that matter, the Hell's Angels have traditionally been concentrated in the West. That makes it a little interesting that the members arrested for the attack were from the Northeast, which has traditionally been the turf of an outfit called the Pagans. Still, as the largest gang in the country, they have a national reach.

Let me now move to the more important part of this story. To do it, we will have to do more than describe a series of events, we shall have to put them together and discover what the sum of it means. Now let's compare the increased incidents of lawlessness in Eureka Springs with Fayetteville's "Bikes, Blues & BBQ's". It is a much bigger event than the one in Eureka, but they have much less trouble. Why? Here is what Events Coordinator Nelson Driver says about it, "The 1 percenters, the bad boys of the club world, don't like coming to a family-friendly event where they're tripping over baby strollers," Driver said. "We've had people call to say they'd bring their buddies down if we'd drop the family orientation, and my reply has been that they should stick to Sturgis." Sturgis, S.D., hosts a motorcycle rally each August that is one of the top such events in the nation."

Did you get that? The family friendly atmosphere keeps the worst of them away. It makes it an unappealing place for the evil element. Eureka Springs is trying as hard as it can to repel the family element as evidenced by their not-so-subtle recognition of homosexual unions. Of course, they would reject that assertion saying that they just want to recognize "all families", but you shall know them by their fruits. The wildest and meanest bikers in the country avoid the Fayetteville function because the atmosphere reminds them of what real family life is like. The atmosphere in Eureka Springs apparently does not. Families and children throughout human history have had a civilizing effect on young men (and women). Those who consciously reject the idea of being civilized reject that environment.

Eureka Springs has chosen the path of moral relativism, but where does it lead? Those of us with goodwill for the city would ask her to consider well if she really wants to travel to that parched and barren land. We have visited and loved that city in the places of our memories, but our futures are separate ones as we seek virtuous paths of light and life.

Monday, July 30, 2007

South Carolina Straw Poll Shows Thompson #1, Paul #2

Former Senator Fred Thompson won a GOP straw poll in South Carolina yesterday with 46% of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul finished second in the contest with 18%, edging out former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney with 17%. South Carolina is an early primary state, and Thompson forces have stacked a lot of chips on the contest- most observers say Thompson will all but skip the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire and focus on the deep-south state where he best resonates with voters.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Top Tier" Hiding Out & Letting Media Impose Them on GOP

I have a question. What qualifies a GOP candidate for President for the label "top tier"? Is it actual strength on the ground or is it simply a label that the establishment media applies to the candidates it prefers, regardless of what is happening on the ground? And if you think that those the establishment media calls "top tier" candidates are called that because they really are the ones who are strong on the ground, then I have a question for you: Why are they all running and hiding from the alleged "second tier" candidates?

The first serious Republican test of strength on the ground has traditionally been the "Iowa Straw Poll". Since it has been held, no one who failed to finish in the top two has ever won the nomination. Mitt Romney lavished tons of campaign cash early in Iowa. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain (back when he was still considered by the media to be a "front runner") announced that they would skip the event. Presumed candidate Fred Thompson has delayed announcing his candidacy, thus providing him cover for a poor showing in the Iowa Straw Poll. Recently, even Romney announced that he was "scaling back" his Iowa operations. Why? Why is the so-called "top tier" afraid to go head to head with the much-ignored "second tier"?

So are they "top-tier" because of their numbers on national polls? The oft-cited national polls are based on pure name-ID at this stage of the game. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The media mentions Giuliani, Romney, and Thompson one million times and then takes a poll of typical voters who are not paying much attention. And whose names come to the forefront but the very ones that the media has been pounding into the publics' ears over and over and over? Compare that to a real contest where candidates have to muster real supporters on the ground. In Iowa, the candidates have to go around and meet real people and be measured by them in the flesh. And there, the "top tier" candidates are fleeing the contest. Will the establishment media then report that there is a new "top tier" based on the results? Of course not. They will then all chatter about how "the results are meaningless" since their self-designated "top tier" candidates decided to "cut and run" from the political battlefield.

Several second tier candidates, including Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo, are going to do well in that Iowa straw poll. No GOP candidate has ever won the nomination without finishing in the top two. But with the media providing covering fire, the "top tier" have fled the contest knowing that their pals with the microphones will dismiss the results as "meaningless". Conservatives, do you want the establishment media to pick your candidates for you? If not, why are you letting them? I would suggest you take a fresh look based on the straw poll results in Iowa in about two weeks.

In the meantime, the "top tier" continues to avoid as many direct comparisons with second tier candidates as possible, even if it means disrespecting the state republican parties in other crucial states. For example, in Florida the state Republican Party wanted to cosponsor a debate with CNN/YouTube. Romney and Giuliani opted out, Fred Thompson is still teasing (my guess, he wants to wait until that Sept. report on Iraq, which will give Republicans cover to do what they would have called "cut and run" months ago. They know the continued nation-building in Iraq is a loser in 08).

Only former top-tier guy McCain, who impaled himself on illegal immigration, and Ron Paul have agreed to show up. I don't know what the other 2nd tier guys are waiting for, maybe for a top tier guy to say "yes" first. But why should Romney, Giuliani, or Thompson do that? The establishment media has shown itself all too willing to carry their water for them. They are the media-anointed "top-tier", regardless of what is happening on the ground in early primary states.

Collusion in NWA Gas Prices Not Making A Statist of Me

OK, I will admit that I am frustrated. This weekend I went to Little Rock and back. Gas in NWA when I left was around $2.95, except at that CITGO on Olive Street in Rogers where it was $2.88. The owners of that station must not be going along with efforts to hold prices artificially high in our area. They are frequently a lot less than other area stations.

I then went down to Central Arkansas. The famous "Flying J" Conoco station in Russellville was selling it for $2.67 a gallon the same day most stations in NWA sold it for $2.95 a gallon or more! But we went past the Flying J that day and stopped at a Kroger in Conway. We used our discount card to get the gas for $2.60 a gallon. On the way back Sunday, we did tank up at the Flying J, where gas was down to $2.63 a gallon. Gas in Little Rock was about $2.85 this weekend.

It seems pretty clear that there is some kind of collusion or price fixing going on among most station owners in NWA. Even my conservative friends are tempted to ask the government to come in and "fix" this "problem". But if you will really think about it, the best way government can "fix it"...........

(continued, Click "Sunday" below and scroll down for rest of story or if sent straight here just scroll down...)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thompson Shakes Up Campaign Staff

ArkansasWatch has scooped the national media. MSNBC is now reporting what we suggested in this space earlier: The Thompson campaign is not doing as well as widely believed with their fund raising. Sources report that the amount raised is "about three million". That likely means $2.7 million raised. And the trend for them is getting worse, not better. They have been spending pretty freely, so the odds are that their cash on hand is much less- perhaps only half that. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney remain that only two Republicans with significant campaign cash available. John McCain, Ron Paul, and perhaps Fred Thompson form a second tier that have enough cash to be a factor but are way behind the top two. After that, there is a drastic drop-off in cash.

As for a blogger in Pea Ridge figuring out the Thompson-cash story before the mainstream media did: We live in awe inspiring times. There is enough information floating around out there that the average guy who is paying attention and is willing to put a few things together can accurately predict tomorrow's news before it happens.
Former Michigan Senator Spence Abraham will be the new non-campaign director for Fred Thompson. As Senator, Abraham had a conservative voting record (ACU score of 92) but that counts globalist votes as "conservative". Abraham was a consistent advocate of Open Borders and worked relentlessly to weaken immigration controls and regulations. For example, in 1997 he received the Congressional Award from the race-based organization, the National Council of La Raza (it means "the Race" in Spanish)


Staff shake-ups on the Thompson non-campaign for President, and speculation swirls that it will further delay his possible entry into the race. Disappointing fund raising totals may be a part of the problem. The problem sure isn't polling, as Thompson appears #1 or #2 and rising in every non-internet poll conducted. The Thompson organization has gone to great lengths to avoid the campaign finance disclosure laws that Thompson himself voted for as a Senator. Why? CNN reports that past chairman Tom Collenmore resigned because Thompson's wife was trying to run the campaign. That would be one troubling answer, but the other possible troubling answer is that Thompson does not have nearly as much cash on hand as people have been led to believe.

Even though he has gotten around disclosures of contributions nationwide, the state of Florida has a separate set of laws so that Thompson is obligated to reveal how he is doing in that large and early-voting state. It turns out he has raised only $44,000 in Florida. Considering that Florida has at least 1/20th of the nation's population, a good rule of thumb might be that it would be the source of about 1/20th the contributions of a national candidate like Thompson. If that is even roughly accurate, the Fred Thompson campaign has only raised about $880,000 as of July 15th. That is not an estimate of how much they have on hand, but how much they have raised. Of course, you can at least double that because Thompson's home state of Tennessee and the K Street lobbies in Washington are going to give disproportionately to Thompson. It is rumored that he raised over half a million in a single fund raiser in Tennessee, but take that away and it is possible that Fred Thompson has raised about as much money as Mike Huckabee and has less than half the cash on hand of Ron Paul. If that is so and it gets out, the bandwagon loses at least a wheel.

Fred Thompson does not have a reputation as a hard worker. I can tell you, raising money is hard work. While we don't know for sure because they are going to a lot of trouble in order to avoid having to tell us, my head and gut tells me that the Thompson machine, while not poverty stricken, is far from a monetary juggernaut.

Is Bush Taking a Page from Clinton Playbook for Iraq?

Bill Clinton "contained" Kim Jong Ill by writing him checks from the Public Treasury so that he would quit saber-rattling for two years until Clinton left office, basically leaving the problem to the next guy (G.W. Bush). It was basically a bribe to quiet down. That did not last long once the money ran out, but it did keep keep the problem under the carpet long enough for Bill Clinton to get out of town and make it the next guy's problem.

We have found out the hard way that Iraq does not have nuclear weapons, much less a delivery system. Because of that they cannot be the same kind of problem for us that North Korea could be. But they are still a problem. I am getting reports from troops in the field that leads me to believe that President Bush is taking a page from the Clinton playbook in an effort to "win" in Iraq.

By "win" I don't mean a military victory. Surely our troops have won battle after battle. They have done all that one can reasonably hope to do by military means. But military means cannot be used to force a population to have the internal virtue required to defend their own liberty and sustain self-rule on a basis of respect even for the other guy's tribe. Here the President is in a pickle. Our guys are fighting, and consistently winning when we can catch the terrorists. But most of the administration's "political goals" for Iraq remain unmet. Can anyone out there tell me how our troops can achieve "political goals" for the people of Iraq? Meanwhile, the Iraqi legislators have decided to take a month or so vacation.

What I am hearing from troops returning from deployment is that our government has pulled out our country's checkbook and started paying off tribal leaders to make nice with us and turn on Al-Quida. The Saudis are helping finance the pay-outs as well. The problem is more difficult than the one Clinton faced, because Clinton knew that if he gave oil, cash, and electric power generation equipment to Kim then N. Korea would behave. In Iraq (and Afganistan to some extent) there is no single person to pay off. Instead, we are handing out taxpayer goodies to a wide variety of desert sheiks. We are then arming their young men. They are turning on Al-Quida in droves. Unfortunately, they frequently use their guns on other tribes as well.

The Iraqi government, largely Shia, take a very dim view of us backing the largely Sunni tribes and essentially starting another militia whose loyalty is to themselves and our checks rather than the government of Iraq and our ideals. Still, if the government does not like it, they could have tried harder to whip their national army into shape. They have not done so. Even though these new militias occasionally massacre the wrong people, continued U.S. and Saudi funding keeps them largely in-line and focused on killing our common enemy- those aligned with Al-Quida.

It appears that the President is making a last big push to kill as many Islamic militants as possible, and paying off everyone else that could make trouble to behave themselves. I predict that shortly after the checks from American taxpayers are stopped that they will return to their centuries-old traditions of cutting one another's throats. Hopefully by then we will have declared victory and gone home.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ron Paul Triples in Gallup Poll, Wows 'Em in S.C.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, an OB-GYN, must now be considered to be one of the 2nd tier candidates most likely to rise to the top tier after tripling his support in the latest Gallup Poll and receiving 16 standing ovations at a South Carolina GOP event attended by hundreds- including the GOP county chairman who once threatened to exclude Paul from the upcoming GOP debate there. If you want to see it yourself, go to the fifth post on this blog for links to You-Tube videos of the event.

Now to see Paul's numbers in that Gallup poll you have to scroll down a bit. Paul was at 1% last month, this time he is at 3%. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has also generated some buzz as a possible 2nd tier candidate who could break out, got 2% in the poll.

It seems many members of the media are trying hard not to tell you about Ron Paul- like the person who wrote the article about the poll. Twice the article lists the candidates that have more than 3% then notes that "no other Republican exceeds 3%". Never mind that the one that does have three percent had 1% a month ago, and that internet polls consistently show him in the top tier. It seems to me that the writer went out of their way to avoid mentioning the name "Ron Paul". Whenever that happens, it make me even more determined to mention it. People read blogs like this one to find out what the establishment media does not want to tell them. Ron Paul is getting some traction. You may have heard it here first.

ARHealthNet- Beebe Pushes Huckabee's Socialist Legacy

From the "Not a Dime's Worth of Difference" Department:

One of the last things Huckabee did before leaving the office of governor here in Arkansas was unveil his socialized health care plan for small businesses. Perhaps you've heard the various commercials touting the ARHealthNet program:

ARHealthNet is a unique partnership between state and federal government, employers and families, designed to provide needed health coverage for low income employees at an affordable price. http://www.arhealthnet.com/

When I am out trying to sell group health care to businesses I hear this commercial repeated ad nauseum. The state is taxing me to fund a competitor that can help put me out of business.

I wish it were a "unique" partnership, but it's merely socialism wearing pig lip stick.

The initial press release stated that "ARHealthNet is one of the first true partnerships between state and federal government, businesses and families." So they understand that this is new ground in health care in Arkansas-- a huge expansion in socialized medicine. I say expansion, because you remember how it started out as "for the children?" Says Huckabee in a press release from December 2006,

"This is just what the doctor ordered for the health and well-being of the state's small businesses... ARKids First has been a huge success in covering children. ARHealthNet will now reach many of the uninsured adults." http://www.achi.net/current_initiatives/health/Docs/061220%20Waiver%20News%20Release.pdf

You can see that socialists like Huckabee are proud of their incremental approach to state nannyism. The commercials tout the "advantage" that small employers will have (over the small employers of other states?). I suppose that in today's corporatist America, any nth-degree relationship that can be established between a state service and the private business sector is justification to stick the taxpayers for the bills of yet another collectivist program. But ask yourself, if programs like ARHealthNet are such great investments for business, why are we taxpayers the ones asked to pay for it?

As I said, I have an interest in this since I sell group health insurance. I am beginning to think that the government will make that service obsolete because both parties want the government to take over health care. I guess I can sign up for a government retraining program! It is getting harder and harder for an honest man to make a living in this country without the permission of some government bureaucrat. The coverage offered by the state's new group health insurance plan is weak- if I tried selling something like that and calling it "group health care" they would probably pull my insurance license. But it is cheap for the members, not just because the coverage is minimal but because the taxpayers are footing part of the bill. It would be like the government owning McDonald's and offering Big Macs for a dime (with the taxpayers subsidizing the rest). What would it do to Wendy's to have that kind of government sponsored competition?

Government health care is going to be a disaster for this country, as it has been for other countries and as it has been for the government health care system that has already been set up- the much-maligned VA system. If this government provides shoddy care to its veterans, what makes you think it will do better for you?

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

North American Union: Without Your Knowledge or Consent

The North American Super Corridor will allow China to send toxic products throughout the United States without the bother of passing through our ports with their burdensome health and safety requirements.

I enjoy the writing of Alan Caruba. Here he talks about how the leaders of Mexico, Canada, and the United States are by-passing their legislative bodies to make de-facto trade law (called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)). Please read it.

In spite of the fact that the average citizen has never heard of the SPP, many of our leaders are aware of the threat. Fourteen states have already passed resolutions directing the federal government to abandon the SPP. They understand the threat, but you probably have not even heard of it, because the corporate media is not about to foil the plans of their top advertisers by telling you. Rush will blather on about his cigars and golf game. And with his trademark overarching arrogance, King George will ignore them, you, and Congress and do whatever he wants.

A key part of the SPP is the "NAFTA superhighway", or "North American Super Corridor, or "Trans-Texas Corridor". The name keeps changing, perhaps because people don't know what to be opposed to if the label keeps shifting. But the result is the same. They want a way to get Chinese goods distributed while by-passing our ports and using foreign-national truck drivers.

Occasionally a federal official will say they are not involved in this project, and it is a partial truth because much of this is being done by extra-governmental organizations not accountable to the Constitution of the Republic or democratic oversight. But members of the legally constituted governments of the people keep trying to insert themselves in this process- in order to thwart it. For example, the Texas state legislature passed a two-year moratorium on the construction of toll roads in the state in an effort to block NASC. The "uninvolved" feds threatened to withhold Texas's federal highway money if the moratorium stood. Governor Rick "Good Hair" Perry stood strong with the international elites against the citizens of his state by vetoing the moratorium. Unlike his recent plan to vaccinate every 10 year old girl in Texas public schools for venereal disease, this one may stick.

The people pushing this thing want our economy's joined at the hip with these other countries, and that can't be done unless a lot of our laws are "harmonized". And how do you do that if the people of each country want different laws? You can't, so the will of the people must be excluded from the arrangement. Mexico is corrupt. Communist China is busy poisoning its own country right now. Their sham economy is going to collapse in the next twenty years, and unless we start de-linking now ours is going down with it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hidden Agenda For Changing Arkansas History Standards

These New Changes Reflect the Views of the United Nations IBO Globalists Organization
(See footnote #1 for articles on the IBO programs being pushed in Arkansas)

(A result of teaching 7th grade world history in California: "In her 22-page ruling announced Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said Excelsior is not indoctrinating students about Islam when it requires them to adopt Muslim names and pray to Allah as part of a history and geography class, but rather is just teaching them about the Muslim religion." 2)

Citizens of Arkansas should be aware that there is a hidden agenda behind the controversial new focus on world history at an earlier age in the required Arkansas standards. The changes reflect the philosophy of the United National International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) that is now being pushed in Arkansas and mirrors the controversy over the proposed national history standards in 1994 that the US Senate voted 99 to 1 to reject. The basis for that rejection was the promotion of world history and international studies over Western history. 3

A newspaper article noted that "Arkansas students have traditionally learned about state history in the seventh and eighth grades; however, recent changes in history and social studies guidelines now place a greater focus on teaching those students world history instead. "

Teachers, university professors, and state historians recently condemned at a news conference the Arkansas Department of Education's guideline revisions. They said the new guidelines turned history upside down. These historians said, "World history has its place, but you need Arkansas history first, then American history," 4

And this upside down approach has a specific purpose in the plans of the United Nations International Baccalaureate Program that promotes an international globalist and multiculturalist agenda. Patriotism and love for one's own country have no place in the International program that produces real global citizens. In fact, patriotism and love for one's own country have to be eradicated.

Therefore, rather than allowing students to develop patriotism and love for one's state and country by approaching history from the traditional view (state and national history first), the worldwide IBO Director George Walker explains how the new upside down history approach fits IBO's agenda. He quotes an author who said the following: 5

She then argues the case for a new kind of geography which puts the students into contact with the whole world before they ever see a map of their own country. Individual maps are hopelessly misleading in their scale, she says, so the Swiss have no idea that the delta of the River Ganges is as large as Switzerland! The geography teacher (who conveniently happened to be her father) called the subject ‘international culture’ and spent much time getting each student to build up maps of the world. She had equally radical ideas about history which, she insisted, should not be taught before the age of 12 if it was to avoid becoming a gallery of dubious national heroes. For the next six years it should become world history with events in India, China, Japan and the Middle East synchronized with those in Europe.

IBO Director George Walker also said: (Walker was IBO Director from 1999 through 2005)

'"It’s not going to be any old history course; it’s going to be this special kind of history'” and that, of course, is her legacy to the IBO and it is no coincidence that the IB Diploma Programme grew out of a syllabus and an examination called Contemporary World History."

For more quotes about how IBO also wants to produce citizens with no allegiance to their religion as well as to their country, see this footnote: 6

For rest of article, click Friday below or if sent here, just scroll down. You can also read the article online at this link which has thirteen footnotes of documentation. http://www.wpaag.org/Ed%20-%20Why%20World%20History%20for%207th%20graders.htm

State Inspectors Clear SAM's Club to Sell Liquor

Even though there is still a lawsuit in the works to try and stop it, SAM's Club got the final go-ahead from state inspectors this week. According to state regulations, a "facility" which sells booze is not supposed to be able to sell anything not directly related to the consumption of alcohol. Perhaps some of you who have been to the new SAM's in Fayetteville can tell us whether or not SAM's sells anything besides liquor in the same "facility" that its alcohol is in. (The regulation makes no mention of whether or not another entity can sell something non-alcohol related in the same facility where alcohol is sold.)

Some of you might think it is a dumb regulation and it ought to be changed. Perhaps so, but that is not the point. The point is that SAM's will have a competitive advantage over the other stores like HARPs and the stand-alone liquor stores as well if this decision is allowed to stand. Justice demands that the law be applied equally to great and small alike. Since the system is not geared to give the small special breaks, the danger is usually against giving the big guys special breaks.

The ABC board originally did not approve the request from SAM's, and changed its mind after a SAM's club representative had a chat with an ABC board member in a nearby bar about what the board member's favorite charities were shortly before the hearing.

Now we don't know that anything wrong happened here, but it seems to me that there was at least the appearance of impropriety. Rules should be enforced fairly and impartially. Even those who work for or with the powerful should want the powerful subject to the same rules and regulations as the rest of us. In fact, it is even more important for them, because a powerful player that takes advantage of those around it is even more likely to put the squeeze on them than on the average person.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Fair Tax" is a Gimmick, Not a Solution

Since before the 4th of July I have been telling readers that I would do an article de-constructing the so-called "fair tax". The issue is a more poignant one than ever for Arkansans, as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has vowed to make the "fair tax" the "centerpiece" of his campaign for President. Since the name does nothing to describe what is actually being proposed (you have to watch those kind), let me spell out that the "fair tax" is a national sales tax that would replace all income and payroll taxes. There would be a rebate amount so that the tax would still be regressive.

I understand that people are frustrated about the tax code, and the IRS. Congress has deliberately made it complex because their power is enhanced by a code that is riddled with special provisions for groups that lobby them the hardest. But I want this truth to sink into your heart and mind: the real problem with our taxes is not the method of collection, but the amount that is spent. It is simply enormous beyond the capacity of the human mind to fully understand. Government is now so huge and consumes so much of the earnings of the middle class that it is a significant threat to our liberty and prosperity, as well as an impediment to the upward mobility of the working class and poor. And it is growing exponentially as politicians, loosed from all restraints of constitutional propriety, promise to dump rail-road cars full of taxpayer money on every "need" they can imagine.

Big-spending politicians (and I regret that our former Governor is among them) are misdirecting your attention and energy when they incite you over a program to change the method of tax collection. While they distract you with one hand pointing to the proposed change in collection methods, the other hand continues to reach for your wallet. The first problem in taxation is the amount taken, not the method of collection. Now that they can deficit spend and buy your votes with your grand children's money the problem is even worse.

But the problems with the "fair tax" run well beyond one of misdirection. Consider the claim that it would "do away with the IRS". Well, maybe an IRS that audited for INCOME, but it would soon spawn and even more oppressive IRS that audited for spending. At current spending levels, the sales tax would have to be 26 cents on the dollar. Make that 35 cents on the dollar once you add in state and local sales taxes. That is going to encourage cheating and black markets. Legitimate businesses would be at a disadvantage relative to folks who sell in the alley or parking lot. A lot of those businesses might agree to do a little "after hours sale".

They would still be cheating on taxes, just using unreported sales rather than unreported income. If the neighbor boy cuts your yard, the government is going to want to know about the transaction. People will adjust their behavior to abuse the system, and the government will respond with investigators and amplifying regulations. We are then back to square one. Check that, we are further back. When the government was taxing income then once you had it, it was not their business where it was spent. With a "fair tax" it will be. The "fair tax" will lead to a police state that makes the IRS look like quilt judges at the county fair.

A tax on income that is flatter, and simpler would be a real "fair tax". In the Bible, Israel basically had a flat tax (flat percentage of income). If you really want to get rid of the IRS, then change the code so that the national government sent each state it's share of the bill, based on population with some allowance for varying income, and let each state decide on its own how to collect its share. Somebody will come up with the best solution, and other states can copy it. More importantly, it takes the power away from the central government and brings it closer to home.

Ron Paul Leads in Contributions from Military

thespinfactor.com has an interesting report on contributions from the Republican Presidential campaign. It seems that Congressman Ron Paul leads all GOP candidates in contributions from military employees. Paul is the lone Republican candidate who opposes continued military action in Iraq. He has been quoted as saying "we should not be over there refereeing Iraq's civil war" and "it was a mistake to go and a mistake to stay". Apparently, Department of Defense employees feel the same way. It is nothing less than amazing that a man who has only raised a fraction of the totals of the GOP's top tier has more money from the military than any other candidate.

One caveat to the numbers is that John McCain has about 22% of his donations listed as "occupation requested" so that we simply don't know if they came from the military or not. Still, it is unlikely that including those funds would close McCain's gap behind Paul, and even if it did it would make Paul a strong number two. Here are the figures....


RON PAUL: 24,965 [6,975] [6,765] [4,650] [5,075] [1,500]
MoneyMcCain: 17,475 [6925] [6305] [1795] [800] [1600]
Romney: 3,551 [2,051] [0] [1500] [0]
Giuliani: 2,320 [1,450] [370] [250] [250]
Hunter: 1000 [0] [1000] [0]
Huckabee: 750 [250] [0] [500]
Tancredo: 350 [350] [0] [0]
Brownback: 71 [71] [0] [0]
Thompson: 0 [0] [0] [0]

Units are contributions in dollars by employees of the respective military organizations.

Source: Finance Reports for the 2007 July Quarterly.


49.5% Ron Paul
34.6% McCain
7.0% Romney
4.6% Giuliani
2.0% Hunter
2.3% Others

*Note: These statistics include the contributions of employees who recorded or indicated their military branch. Contributions where no employer was specified were naturally not included.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cash On Hand

Today was the day that the quarterly fundraising numbers for Presidential candidates was reported. The most important number is "cash on hand". Compare "cash on hand" with "amount spent so far" and it is a decent measure of "potential energy" in a campaign. For example, it is widely recognized that John McCain's campaign is in trouble. He has raised piles of money- $11 million this quarter, but he has also spent piles. If it has helped him at the polls it has only helped by slowing his drop. If the $11 million has not raised his support then the three million he has left (due in part to a 1.7 million dollar loan) won't help much either. His three million represents low potential energy because he has already spent several times that amount. The cash on hand cannot push him up. Compare that to Ron Paul. He has about the same amount of cash on hand as McCain, but none of it is in the form of a loan and Paul has only spent $655,000 to date. So even though their "cash on hand" is about the same, the Paul campaign has significantly more "potential energy". Keep that principle in mind as we go through the numbers with other candidates...

The situation on the Democrat side is pretty simple- and scary for Republicans. Hillary has $45 million dollars on hand. Barak Obama has $36 million. Sen. John Edwards has a very respectable 13 million on hand. Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd have 7 and six million dollars respectively. Six million dollars cash on hand would make on a legitimate contender on the Republican side without a doubt, but on the Democratic side it makes them virtually uncompetitive. Joe Biden is the only other Democrat with over a million ($2.7) and he is uncompetitive. Richardson and Dodd are $30 million dollars behind the two leaders. Republicans can only hope they spend most of that cash fighting one another in the primary.

The Republican situation is a lot less clear. Rudy Giuliani has a big lead in cash on hand with $18 million. His next closest rival is Mitt Romney with $12 million on hand. Romney's trouble is that about $9 million of that pile is a loan to himself. He is down to about $3 million in "raised" money. He has spent cash at twice the rate of Rudy. He has spent it at a pace he cannot sustain unless he self-finances. He is leading in the early states, but trailing elsewhere. He may have peaked in those early states TOO early. In other words, Romney's pile also has lower "potential energy" than a narrow look at "cash on hand" would lead one to believe.

There are many states Giuliani is going to have a hard time winning regardless of how much money he spends. Not so Hillary and Obama on the Democratic side. That is why his huge lead in the money is not as overpowering as one might think. We don't know how much non-candidate Fred Thompson has, but some rumours are saying that it is in the area of $7 million dollars. We will see. John McCain ($3.3 million and most of it borrowed) and Ron Paul ($2.4 million) are the only other two Republicans that have more than $1 million in the bank. In fact, none of the others is even close to one million.

Based on this view, we would expect the McCain and Romney campaigns to stall. Ron Paul is the second tier candidate with the best hopes of rising. On the Democratic side, the two leaders have such an overpowering advantage that it will almost impossible for a 2nd tier candidate to gain energy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hindu Prayers and Protests on the Senate Floor

Kali, the Hindu Goddess of destruction and the female part of the god Shiva, who along with Rama and Vishnu make up the highest rung of Hindu gods.

Last week for the first time the Senate was opened with Hindu prayer. Specifically a Hindu prayer with a pantheistic view of reality. Three Christians in the senate gallery protested by praying while the Hindu was praying. They were quickly apprehended by the sergeant at arms and escorted out. It is not known if they will face any other legal repercussions.

My first two impulses were contradictory: 1) As a believer in the one true God of the Bible and of our Founders, I felt that the Senate had once again shamed itself and 2) those Christians should not have tried to interrupt that Hindu, because freedom of religion means freedom for everyone to practice their religion. Those were my first impulses, but I have turned it over in my mind and I think the matter is more complex than that....

To find the right answers, one must first ask the right questions. Question one: Why would the Senate invite a pantheistic Hindu to open their session with prayer? What do they mean to say by doing this? Since no Senators were Hindus, it could not have been an act of real faith from some member of that body. Answer: The act of bringing in a Hindu to pray can mean nothing other than to show that the Senate believes that all gods should be treated "equally". That of course can only mean that they should all be equally irrelevant to the Senators whose unbiblical policies are taking this nation to ruin.

Some members of the Senate may prefer a "pantheistic view of God" as it allows them to consider themselves gods too- a view I suspect many now have. They like that much better than the Founder's view that rights were God-given, not state granted. The Founder's view limits what government can do to it's citizens, and is therefore an obstacle to their plans for us.

The parading of pagan "holy men" does not represent real acts of faith by the senators, but rather these are symbolic acts designed to underline their position that the God of the Bible has no special place in our nation. He is but one god of many, all quaint and none relevant. The new gods are the god-men senators themselves. Now that all supernatural powers have been dismissed, the new highest power is the state. They need no pantheon of gods, for in their minds the Senate itself is a pantheon of gods.

This defiant posture is a threat to the liberties and rights of every single American; Hindu, Christian, Jew or atheist. It is well known that the signers of our Constitution held that rights came from God. While not everyone of them were traditional Christian, none of them were pantheists. The vast majority would be considered "Christian Right" in today's environment.

Even Jefferson, the one who had the most deist leanings, said "I consider the teachings of Jesus Christ to be divinely inspired", and "Can the rights of the people remain long secure once we have removed their only firm basis? That they are the gift of God?". Even the ones with a vague idea of God still thought there was one God, we were not Him, and His moral order was equal to or very much like that of the God of the Bible. That was the context under which they felt it was "self-evident" that men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights". The Hindu culture did not produce such a view of man, nor could it do so.

The Senate's rejection of God's sovereignty is a direct attack on the very basis of our rights as citizens of the United States. Regardless of whether or not the protesters should have interrupted the Hindu prayer, the members of the Senate responsible for this philosophical attack against the basis of all our liberties should be turned out of office. Harry Reid was the main culprit. In the long run, there is no way a man with a philosophy so badly flawed will produce public policy that is very good.

But was it OK for the protesters to interrupt? If the Hindu was praying in a public park or the town square, I can clearly say "no". Two wrongs don't make a right, and this was not how Jesus dealt with the pagans. But the protesters were not really protesting against the idea that Hindus also have the right to exercise their religion. They were protesting against the idea that the Senate no longer feels obligated to acknowledge that there is any god at all that is above them. They were protesting that the Senate was acting to free itself from the restraints of the God of the Bible on their conduct and view of government. I have now concluded that this was not an improper act because it was a civil protest against unrestrained government, not an attempt to suppress one's neighbor from practicing their faith as they see fit.

There is no place in our formal laws where the Senate is obligated to acknowledge the God of our Founders, nor should there be, but our system was designed to work on that basis. They can have a pantheistic pagan come pray, but they shouldn't have. Even the rights of Hindus are more secure when government officials understand and acknowledge that they are bound by accountability to the God of Scripture.

For a more detailed look at the balance between public officials and the acknowledgment of God here is a 25 minute audio file (or video file).....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Conservatives are the Rhinos Now

Republican in name only?

The disconnect between the average voter who identifies as a Republican and the people who run the Republican party has never been greater. Conservatives have been fond of labeling big-spending, government-growing, globalist, pro-aborts as "Rhinos". That is, "Republican in name only". The current Republican chairman in our state, Dennis Milligan, says that conservatives who identify with the Republican party should not use that term to describe other party members. I agree with him, but not for the same reason. He is trying to silence grassroots opposition to a leftward shift imposed on the party by the few who control it. I on the other hand, think conservatives should stop using the term "RHINO" to describe left-leaning statist republicans for a different reason: it's not true. Those people aren't "RHINOs", conservatives are. Except for the nation-building exercise in Iraq where conservatives are truly divided, the conservatives are the ones who are out of step with the party, not the left-leaning statists.

Consider the inanity of calling corpo-statists who downplay social issues as "RHINOs": When the Republican President acts like a "RHINO", all the "top tier" presidential candidates are RHINOs", and the national senate leadership (Lott, McConnell, Kyl, McCain, et all) are "RHINOs", and the national chairman is a "RHINO", and the staffers who run the national and most of the state party operations are "RHINOs" and the Chairman of your own state party is a "RHINO" maybe it is time to face the reality that these people are not "RHINOs" at all. You are.

Look, don't shoot the messenger here. I know some of you are emotionally involved because you have a certain amount of history with a given political entity. It is the same reason your conservative friends who "voted Democrat all their life" just could not bring themselves to vote for Republican candidates. Do you remember how you felt about them then? Mercifully I hope, because some of you have now become them- maintaining loyalty not to a real political party, but the the memory of one. It is OK to be loyal to memories, but it is dangerous to succumb to the illusion that those memories are still real.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is the Pope Catholic?

Pope Benedict: Drawing the Line

According to sources that I don't trust (the secular-extremist establishment media) Pope Benedict is reported to have issued a clarification of the Roman Catholic Church's position on other churches. The gist of his position is that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church, and that the protestant churches can't strictly be called "churches" in his way of looking at it because they lack "apostolic succession" and the "means of salvation".

Let's assume though, since he is the Pope, that a miracle occurred and the secular media accurately reported the words and intent of the Pope correctly. People have asked me if those statements offended me as a Protestant Christian. Of course not. I would expect the head of the Roman Catholic church to feel something like that. I would urge my fellow Christians who are "out of fellowship with the one true Church" to not get bent out of shape over it either. Nobody has a "right" to anyone else's approval. We don't have a "right" to the Pope's approval. In fact, contrary to the One False Church of Politically Correct Tolerance Worshippers, the Pope has every right to determine for himself who and what he approves and disapproves of. And so does each of you. If the Pope is somehow required to approve of my church then how much does his approval mean?

In the times we live in, the high priests of tolerance represent a jealous god- nothing can be right except "tolerance" and nothing can be wrong except "intolerance". But the tolerance of evil is itself evil, and sometimes true love is the force which motivates confrontation and correction. Do I think the Pope is correct in where he draws his lines? Most of them, yeah I do. I disagree with him on this one, but overall I find it is refreshing that he is not afraid to confront even (and especially) the evils that our modern culture is determined to insist be redefined as good. After all, how much moral courage does it take to confront an evil that everyone already disapproves of?

Protestant churches are in danger of falling into silly irrelevancy. The "emergent church" is emerging into post-modern confusion, doctrinal weakness, and moral relativism. When the last Protestant church abandons moral absolutes, I will convert to Catholicism. By then, I will share his disapproval of the other religious organizations that I too will be unable to see as real "churches". Until then, your Holiness, I disapprove of your hat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Class Warfare

For the first forty years of my life I understood class warfare to be 1) morally wrong and 2) something demagogues did by rousing up poor people to be envious of the rich. I had always experienced "class warfare" in terms of lower classes making attacks on the upper classes, i.e. those same demagogues suggesting that "the people" should use the government to plunder someone else's property just because they had more than the next person. I have now come to see that "class warfare" is being waged both ways, and the middle and working classes don't understand the struggle, are not defending themselves effectively, and are therefore losing. But before I go into that, please allow me to flesh out a little more on the "war on the rich" aspect of class warfare.

Raised with a biblical worldview, I instinctively saw that this view of government (organized plunder of those who have more just because they have more) to be a perversion of the original intent of government to protect God-given rights, including the right of holders of wealth to enjoy what is theirs. Not only does the bible warn against theft and coveting and envy, but it also puts forward the principle that the act of creating gives a creator certain rights over what they have created. Ergo, wealth belongs to those who (honestly) create it, or to whomever they choose to give it. It does not belong to the government for redistribution in a way that the politicians deem to be more "fair".

My father had a great affinity for the Latin culture. He visited Cuba several times before it fell to Castro. He told me the story of a shop keeper who said to him, "I used to look at all the big houses on the hill where all the rich people lived and said to myself 'when the revolution comes I am going to live in one of those big houses.' Instead, he discovered that one of the first things Castro's thugs did after gaining power was to take away his shop! He said, 'I did not realize it at the time, but there was a peddler with a cart looking at my shop and telling himself that once the revolution comes, he would have my shop." The politics of envy will lead us to consume one another. The politicos who get to play "referee" will be the only winners. Wealth creation through service to others will decrease as any rewards for it are seized by the government and distributed as patronage. That will make us all poorer, both in terms of wealth and in terms of the respect we have toward serving others.

The other side of class warfare had not been as obvious to me as some of it was to the left. The complexity of the tax code is a prominent example. The tax code does not have to be complicated, but if it was not, politicians could not trade tax advantages to special interests in exchange for campaign cash. The complexity of the code also favors those who can afford lawyers and accountants to shift income over to forms that are not taxed. Still, the complexity of the tax code favoring the rich does not quite balance out the progressive structure of the tax code favoring the poor. The top 1% of wage earners (about $315,000 a year and up) pay 36% of all income taxes and make about 21% of all income.

The class warfare being waged by the upper class on the middle, working, and lower classes also takes more subtle forms than the tax code. The immigration debate is an excellent example. Here the rich actually fool the left into advocating their position. Consider this next part closely, and then as they say "follow the money": The rich tend to make money by owning the capital part of wealth and expend money on labor to work that capital (so that even more money can be made). The primary way the middle, working, and lower classes make money is to sell their labor to those who have capital they want utilized. It is thus in the interests of the rich to flood the markets with as much labor as possible. This drives down the price of labor. This allows those who make their money through capital to enjoy larger profits at the expense of those who make their money through selling their labor. Because of this, the rich tend to favor H1-B visas, lax immigration policies, are unconcerned about a secure border, and generally are more sympathetic to illegal aliens. Whatever their professed motives, these positions align closely with their economic interests.

As regards to illegal immigration, there are significant costs born on a society that bears too great a load of them (aside from the labor economic distortions). This involves crime, disease, and the disproportionate crowding of public schools and other services, along with a general deterioration in neighborhoods as they are overrun by individuals who may lack the personal habits required to successfully maintain a first-world society. Almost none of these costs are borne by the upper class however. They live in isolated, even gated, communities with their own schools and move in their own circles. All they know is that the costs of having their lawns manicured, their cars repaired, and their garbage picked up have gone down. When their businesses have an opening, they can choose from a dozen or more applicants for each position on the assembly line, so upward pressure on wages in virtually non-existent.

So a good part of the reason for the disconnect between the elites and the rest of the county is that the elites literally cannot see what the problem is. For them there is no problem. For the rest of us, our towns are being turned into third-world mud holes right in front of our eyes even as the earning power of our wages declines. Yet such a proliferation of labor is in the economic self-interest of the owners of capital. It is all too easy for them to rationalize such economic self-interest away as "being merciful". It completely escapes them that in the short run either position is "being merciful", all that changes is the identity of the group that you choose to be merciful to- the law abiding or the illegal aliens. In the long run, only the rule-of-law position is merciful because a breakdown in the law will harm everyone. Eventually, if we ignore too many laws and accept too many people then we cannot provide anyone an escape from a third world society because we will have become one.

In conclusion, though not all understand it, our citizens are divided against one another in class warfare, and our politicians are part of the problem. Please bear in mind that God does want to divide us- but on the basis of good and bad, not rich and poor. Class warfare in either direction is a violation of God's law, wherein He tells us to favor neither the rich nor the poor as well as the part where we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourself. Without the restraint of God's law in our hearts and minds, we face a "lord of the flies" destiny. I once again urge my countrymen to learn and return to God's standards for civil government.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Is Fred a Fraud?

Fred Thompson: Last Great Conservative Hope or Trojan Horse of the Establishment?

I have a lot of conservative friends who are grasping for an "electable" (read "pumped up by the establishment media") candidate who reflects their values. I care about these people, and that is why I am going to be absolutely ruthless in crushing their dangerous illusions about Fred Thompson. This is an "intervention" for my conservative friends. They keep hoping for a champion that the establishment media has already pumped up into prominence for them. That is not going to happen. If we want someone to rise up to challenge the establishment then we are going to have to do the hard work ourselves, not count on the establishment to pump them up for us. The human tendency to look for a shortcut, an easy way out, is our enemy. It is time to look at things realistically. Forget about an easy way out, and start looking for any way out.

The Fred Thompson non-campaign recently announced that it had the support of officials from the last three Republican administrations. The last two of those are G. Bush I and G. Bush II. The "G" stands for "globalist". The "officials" from the Reagan administration center around James Baker. He is the one who derailed the last three years of the Reagan revolution by backstabbing all of the conservatives and replacing them with moderates. By the end, the Great Ronald Reagan was surrounded by them. That led to decisions like the failed 1986 amnesty bill.

Despite his posing, CFR member Fred Thompson is weak on the issue of illegal immigration. He has been quoted as saying that we need some kind of "regularization" for the millions already in this country illegally. He made a good vote or two on securing the border back in his days in the senate, but his overall score by Americans for Better Immigration is a "C".

He is also weak on defending innocent unborn life. Although the NRTL may give him high scores for his votes you have to understand two things 1) NRTL has been completely co-opted by the GOP establishment so that their real top priority has shifted from "protecting innocent life" to "not embarrassing the Republican party" and 2) There has never been a vote before the Senate that would have reduced abortion by even one half of one percent. The tough bills never make it out of committee to differentiate the posers from the champions. He can get a "100%" voting record by voting for bills that "maintain current policy giving US military doctors overseas the choice to refuse to provide an abortion". There is also evidence that Thompson was behind the failed push to weaken the GOP's pro-life plank in 1996. The insiders did not get their way on that one, so Bob Dole et al just decided to ignore the platform (Dole said he had never read it and did not feel bound by it).

The National Taxpayer's Union said in 2000 "Thompson voted for the $792 billion tax cut, death tax elimination, marriage penalty relief, and the termination of the telephone tax. But he disappointed taxpayers in supporting the omnibus appropriations bill and the massive FY99 supplemental bill. He has been a strong defender of federalism in the Senate. Unfortunately, by far the biggest issue in Tennessee in the past two years has been a proposal by the Republican Governor, Don Sundquist, to introduce a first-ever state income tax. Taxpayers have revolted against the measure, yet Thompson refuses to oppose the measure. His fence-straddling on the issue has seriously eroded his free-market credentials. When conservatives needed him most, he wasn’t there to fight for them. This doesn’t inspire confidence in how he would govern in budget negotiations if he were in the White House." They gave him a decent overall score (though worse than McCain at 80%) but again, the tough votes never get to the senate floor. People can get high voting scores without risking much.

In other words, he will cut taxes, but not spending, just like the guys we have now. This results in buying your votes with your grandchildren's money. Borrowing and spending is no more conservative than taxing and spending, and actually less moral.

I could go on, but that should be enough except for those in deep denial. Fred Thompson is mulling entering the race because the establishment wants to keep conservatives from rallying around one of the three real conservative candidates in this race. He is there because their efforts to cram Rudy down our throats are not working. If you want someone who will represent you then you must forget about easy answers and look to one of the three men that the establishment media is trying to ignore and distract you from: Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter. All Congressmen.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Honorable Ron Paul (R) Texas, on Patriotism

Before the U.S. House of Representatives

May 22 , 2007

In the Name of Patriotism (Who are the Patriots?)

For some, patriotism is “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” For others, it means dissent against a government’s abuse of the people’s rights.

I have never met a politician in Washington, or any American for that matter, who chose to be called “unpatriotic.” Nor have I met anyone who did not believe he wholeheartedly supported our troops wherever they may be.

What I have heard all too frequently from various individuals is sharp accusations that because their political opponents disagree with them on the need for foreign military entanglements, they were “unpatriotic, un-American, evil doers deserving contempt.”

The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power. The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility, and out of self interest -- for himself, his family, and the future of his country -- to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state.

Resistance need not be violent, but the civil disobedience that might be required involves confrontation with the state and invites possible imprisonment.

Peaceful non-violent revolutions against tyranny have been every bit as successful as those involving military confrontation. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. achieved great political successes by practicing non-violence, yet they themselves suffered physically at the hands of the state.

But whether the resistance against government tyrants is non-violent or physically violent, the effort to overthrow state oppression qualifies as true patriotism.

True patriotism today has gotten a bad name—at least from the government and the press. Those who now challenge the unconstitutional methods of imposing an income tax on us, or force us to use a monetary system designed to serve the rich at the expense of the poor, are routinely condemned. These American patriots are sadly looked down upon by many. They are never praised as champions of liberty as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. have been.

Liberals, who withhold their taxes as a protest against war, are vilified as well—especially by conservative statists.

Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war once it’s started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic and all dissent must stop. Yet it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.

It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous, undeclared, no-win wars that are politically inspired. Sending troops off to war for reasons that are not truly related to national security -- and for that matter may even damage our security -- is hardly a way to “patriotically” support the troops.

Who are the true patriots: those who conform or those who protest against wars without purpose? How can it be said that blind support for war, no matter how misdirected the policy, is the duty of the patriot?

Randolph Bourne said that “war is the health of the state.” With war, he argued, the state thrives. Those who believe in the powerful state see war as an opportunity. Those who mistrust the people and the market for solving problems have no trouble promoting a “war psychology” to justify the expansive role of the state.

This includes the role the federal government plays in our personal lives as well as in all our economic transactions. And certainly the neo-conservative belief that we have a moral obligation to spread American values worldwide, through force, justifies the conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one, that our liberties are undermined, the economy becomes overextended, and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibitive.

Out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, most citizens become compliant and accept the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in order to remain safe. This is a bad trade-off in my estimation, especially when done in the name of patriotism.

Loyalty to the state and to autocratic leaders is substituted for true patriotism—that is, a willingness to challenge the state and defend the country, the people, and the culture. The more difficult the times, the stronger the admonition becomes that the leaders be not criticized.

Because the crisis atmosphere of war supports the growth of the state, any problem invites an answer by declaring “war” -- even on social and economic issues. This elicits patriotism in support of various government solutions while enhancing the power of the state. Faith in government coercion and a lack of understanding of how free societies operate, encourages big government liberals and big government conservatives to manufacture a war psychology to demand political loyalty for domestic policy just as is required in foreign affairs. The long term cost in dollars spent and liberties lost is neglected as immediate needs are emphasized.

It is for this reason that we have multiple perpetual wars going on simultaneously. Thus the war on drugs, against gun ownership, poverty, illiteracy, and terrorism, as well as our foreign military entanglements, are endless.

All this effort promotes the growth of statism at the expense of liberty. A government designed for a free society should do the opposite: prevent the growth of statism and preserve liberty. Once a war of any sort is declared, the message is sent out not to object or you will be declared unpatriotic. Yet, we must not forget that the true patriot is the one who protests in spite of the consequences, condemnation or ostracism, or even imprisonment that may result.

Non-violent protesters of the tax code are frequently imprisoned—whether they are protesting the code’s unconstitutionality or the war that the tax revenues are funding.

Resisters to the military draft, or even to selective service registration, are threatened and imprisoned for challenging this threat to liberty.

Statism depends on the idea that the government owns us and citizens must obey. Confiscating the fruits of our labor through the income tax is crucial to the health of the state. The draft, or even the mere existence of the selective service, emphasizes that we will march off to war at the state’s pleasure. A free society rejects all notions of involuntary servitude whether by draft or the confiscation of the fruits of our labor through the personal income tax.

A more sophisticated and less well known technique for enhancing the state is the manipulation and transfer of wealth through the fiat monetary system operated by the secretive Federal Reserve. Protestors against this unconstitutional system of paper money are considered unpatriotic criminals and at times are imprisoned for their beliefs. The fact that, according to the Constitution, only gold and silver are legal tender and paper money is outlawed, matters little. The principle of patriotism is turned on its head.

Whether it’s with regard to the defense of welfare spending at home, confiscatory income tax, an immoral monetary system, or support for a war fought under false pretense without a legal declaration, the defenders of liberty and the Constitution are portrayed as unpatriotic while those who support these programs are seen as the patriots. If there’s a “war” going on, supporting the state’s efforts to win the war is expected at all costs. No dissent!

The real problem is that those who love the state too often advocate policies that lead to military action. At home they are quite willing to produce a crisis atmosphere and claim a war is needed to solve the problem. Under these conditions the people are more willing to bear the burden of paying for the war, and to carelessly sacrifice liberties which they are told is necessary.

The last six years have been quite beneficial to the “health of the state,” which comes at the expense of personal liberty. Every enhanced unconstitutional power of the state can only be achieved at the expense of individual liberty.

Even though every war in which we have been engaged civil liberties have suffered, some have been restored after the war ended, but never completely. This has resulted in a steady erosion of our liberties over the past 200 years. Our government was originally designed to protect our liberties, but it has now instead become the usurper of those liberties.

We currently live in the most difficult of times for guarding against an expanding central government with a steady erosion of our freedoms.

We are continually being reminded that “9/11 has changed everything.” Unfortunately, the policy that needed most to be changed—that is our policy of foreign interventionism—has only been expanded. There is no pretense any longer that a policy of humility in foreign affairs, without being the world’s policeman and engaging in nation building, is worthy of consideration. We now live in a post 9/11 America where our government is going to make us safe no matter what it takes. We’re expected to grin and bear it and adjust to every loss of our liberties in the name of patriotism and security.

Though the majority of Americans initially welcomed this declared effort to make us safe, and were willing to sacrifice for the cause, more and more Americans are now becoming concerned about civil liberties being needlessly and dangerously sacrificed. The problem is that the Iraq war continues to drag on and a real danger of its spreading exists. There’s no evidence that a truce will soon be signed in Iraq , or in the war on terror or drugs. Victory is not even definable. If Congress is incapable of declaring an official war, it’s impossible to know when it will end. We have been fully forewarned that the world conflict in which we’re now engaged will last a long, long time.

The war mentality, and the pervasive fear of an unidentified enemy, allows for a steady erosion of our liberties, and with this our respect for self reliance and confidence is lost. Just think of the self sacrifice and the humiliation we go through at the airport screening process on a routine basis. Though there’s no scientific evidence of any likelihood of liquids and gels being mixed on an airplane to make a bomb, billions of dollars are wasted throwing away toothpaste and hairspray and searching old women in wheelchairs.

Our enemies say boo, and we jump, we panic, and then we punish ourselves. We’re worse than a child being afraid of the dark. But in a way, the fear of indefinable terrorism is based on our inability to admit the truth about why there is a desire by a small number of angry radical Islamists to kill Americans. It’s certainly not because they are jealous of our wealth and freedoms.

We fail to realize that the extremists, willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill their enemies, do so out of a sense of weakness and desperation over real and perceived attacks on their way of life, their religion, their country and their natural resources. Without the conventional diplomatic or military means to retaliate against these attacks, and an unwillingness of their own government to address the issue, they resort to the desperation tactic of suicide terrorism. Their anger toward their own governments, which they believe are co-conspirators with the American government, is equal to or greater than that directed toward us. These errors in judgment in understanding the motive of the enemy and the constant fear that is generated have brought us to this crisis where our civil liberties and privacy are being steadily eroded in the name of preserving national security. We may be the economic and military giant of the world, but the effort to stop this war on our liberties here at home in the name of patriotism, is being lost.

The erosion of our personal liberties started long before 9/11, but 9/11 accelerated the process. There are many things that motivate those who pursue this course—both well-intentioned and malevolent. But it would not happen if the people remained vigilant, understood the importance of individual rights, and were unpersuaded that a need for security justifies the sacrifice of liberty—even if it’s just now and then.

The true patriot challenges the state when the state embarks on enhancing its power at the expense of the individual. Without a better understanding and a greater determination to reign in the state, the rights of Americans that resulted from the revolutionary break from the British and the writing of the Constitution, will disappear.

The record since September 11, 2001, is dismal. Respect for liberty has rapidly deteriorated.

Many of the new laws passed after 9/11 had in fact been proposed long before that attack. The political atmosphere after that attack simply made it more possible to pass such legislation. The fear generated by 9/11 became an opportunity for those seeking to promote the power of the state domestically, just as it served to falsely justify the long planned-for invasion of Iraq .

The war mentality was generated by the Iraq war in combination with the constant drum beat of fear at home. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, who is now likely residing in Pakistan , our supposed ally, are ignored, as our troops fight and die in Iraq and are made easier targets for the terrorists in their backyard. While our leaders constantly use the mess we created to further justify the erosion of our constitutional rights here at home, we forget about our own borders and support the inexorable move toward global government—hardly a good plan for America.

The accelerated attacks on liberty started quickly after 9/11. Within weeks the Patriot Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. Though the final version was unavailable up to a few hours before the vote—no Member had sufficient time to read or understand it—political fear of “not doing something,” even something harmful, drove Members of Congress to not question the contents and just vote for it. A little less freedom for a little more perceived safety was considered a fair tradeoff—and the majority of Americans applauded.

The Patriot Act, though, severely eroded the system of checks and balances by giving the government the power to spy on law abiding citizens without judicial supervision. The several provisions that undermine the liberties of all Americans include: sneak and peak searches; a broadened and more vague definition of domestic terrorism; allowing the FBI access to libraries and bookstore records without search warrants or probable cause; easier FBI initiation of wiretaps and searches, as well as roving wiretaps; easier access to information on American citizens’ use of the internet; and easier access to e-mail and financial records of all American citizens.

The attack on privacy has not relented over the past six years. The Military Commissions Act is a particularly egregious piece of legislation and, if not repealed, will change America for the worse as the powers unconstitutionally granted to the Executive Branch are used and abused.

This act grants excessive authority to use secretive military commissions outside of places where active hostilities are going on. The Military Commissions Act permits torture, arbitrary detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants at the full discretion of the president and without the right of Habeas Corpus, and warrantless searches by the NSA (National Security Agency). It also gives to the president the power to imprison individuals based on secret testimony.

Since 9/11, Presidential signing statements designating portions of legislation that the President does not intend to follow, though not legal under the Constitution, have enormously multiplied. Unconstitutional Executive Orders are numerous and mischievous and need to be curtailed.

Extraordinary rendition to secret prisons around the world has been widely engaged in, though obviously extra-legal.

A growing concern in the post 9/11 environment is the federal government’s lists of potential terrorists based on secret evidence. Mistakes are made and sometimes it is virtually impossible to get one’s name removed, even though the accused is totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

A national ID card is now in the process of being implemented. It’s called the Real ID card and it’s tied to our Social Security numbers and our state driver’s license. If Real ID is not stopped it will become a national driver’s license/ID for all America .

Some of the least noticed and least discussed changes in the law were the changes made to the Insurrection Act of 1807 and to Posse Comitatus by the Defense Authorization Act of 2007.

These changes pose a threat to the survival of our republic by giving the president the power to declare martial law for as little reason as to restore “public order.” The 1807 Act severely restricted the president in his use of the military within the United States borders, and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 strengthened these restrictions with strict oversight by Congress. The new law allows the president to circumvent the restrictions of both laws. The Insurrection Act has now become the “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act”. This is hardly a title that suggests that the authors cared about or understood the nature of a constitutional republic.

Now, martial law can be declared not just for “insurrection” but also for “natural disasters, public health reasons, terrorist attacks or incidents” or for the vague reason called “other conditions.” The President can call up the National Guard without Congressional approval or the governors’ approval and even send these state guard troops into other states. The American republic is in remnant status. The stage is set for our country eventually devolving into a military dictatorship and few seem to care.

These precedent setting changes in the law are extremely dangerous and will change American jurisprudence forever if not reversed. The beneficial results of our revolt against the king’s abuses are about to be eliminated and few Members of Congress and few Americans are aware of the seriousness of the situation. Complacency and fear drive our legislation without any serious objection by our elected leaders.

Sadly, those few who do object to this self evident trend away from personal liberty and empire building overseas are portrayed as unpatriotic and uncaring.

Though welfare and socialism always fails, opponents of them are said to lack compassion. Though opposition to totally unnecessary war should be the only moral position, the rhetoric is twisted to claim that patriots who oppose the war are not “supporting the troops”. The cliché “support the troops” is incessantly used as a substitute for the unacceptable notion of “supporting the policy” no matter how flawed it may be. Unsound policy can never help the troops. Keeping the troops out of harm’s way and out of wars unrelated to our national security is the only real way of protecting the troops. With this understanding, just who can claim the title of “patriot”?

Before the war in the Middle East spreads and becomes a world conflict, for which we’ll be held responsible, or the liberties of all Americans become so suppressed we can no longer resist, much has to be done. Time is short but our course of action should be clear. Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is required. Each of us must choose which course of action we should take—education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience, to bring about the necessary changes.

But let it not be said that we did nothing.

Let not those who love the power of the welfare/warfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring. Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security. Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


This is a tale meant to be told in the form of a "Graphic Novel". I don't have an illustrator, so I must request that you use your imagination in setting the scenes.

Scene: Congressmen Mic Mawby’s office. There are two Senators, Chambers and Knox, with him.

Chambers: Look Congressmen, the other five congressmen from our state are on board with this immigration reform bill. I am going to level with you. This is something the big boys want and want badly. You need to get in line.”

Mawby: Senator Chambers, our constituents don’t want this bill. No matter how you spin it, its amnesty. They want the country protected.

Chambers: They need to be educated.

Mawby: The more educated they are about this bill, the angrier they get! Your demands make no sense to me. Senator Knox, you have announced your opposition to this bill, why are you here asking me to vote for it?

Knox: We are both up for re-election next year, but you are in a safe seat. You could buck the home folks on this one and still get re-elected. I’ve made a number of votes that have got people, uhh, stirred up. As long as there are enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill, I can lay low on this one and pretend I am against it.

Mawby: So you actually want the amnesty bill to pass?

Chambers: Get your terminology right. It’s not amnesty. We don’t use that word to describe the bill.

Mawby: We can change the law Senator, I didn’t realize that we could change the definition of words.

Chambers: Grow up. Don’t pull that dictionary crap on me. We live in a day of mass media. We can tell people 200 times a day what a word means for today. Then next year we can tell them 200 times a day that it means the opposite. And they’ll accept it, because they hear it 200 times a day. How the H*ll is a dictionary going to stop a tidal wave like that? Mass media determines what so-called “reality” is every day.

Mawby: But dictionaries define words.

Chambers: Dictionaries are irrelevant, they get shouted down by the media. And if you insist on sticking to some definition you read in a dusty book somewhere instead of what the big boys are calling it today, then you are going to be buried. The people changing the rules aren’t going to be seen as odd for redefining things. You are going to be seen as an odd by the average slob on the street who doesn’t even own a dictionary.

Mawby: But words mean things.

Chambers: You’re not listening boy. Words don’t mean anything other than what the power brokers say they mean. And the big boys have made it clear that we are to tell people that this bill is not amnesty until they accept it.

Mawby: How can you talk to the people? How is meaningful communication possible when words mean different things on different days?

Chambers: Meaningful communication? We don’t want to communicate with those average idiots on the street, we want to bullsh*t them. Most guys around here are sharper than you. We don’t have to spell it out for them. We don’t work for those dumb-as-rocks slobs buying tube socks at Wal-Mart. We just have to make them think we do. And that means we have to project a certain image. And projecting a proper image takes lots of money. Ergo; we work for the people who write the checks in this business.

You’re a former quarterback at the university. You got some name ID and it got you this far, but you are going to have to learn how this game is played if you want to stay in it.

Mawby: My image is my reality. I don’t have to play games.

Chambers: Hah! I’ve seen dozens like you come and go in my time here. They thought they could buck the system too. Your image! These people can make your image into anything they want it to be. Your image will be worse than Hitler’s in 2 years time if you don’t wise up. The party backed you when you were a fresh face that people liked, but if the folks who pull the strings don’t start getting return for value then you are done. You are going to find yourself running for office with no monetary help, no endorsements, and a whisper campaign that will destroy you. They won’t complain to people that you are against this bill, they will tell people that you want to take away their social security, that you are mentally unstable, that you are corrupt.

Mawby: God help me to never get like you.

Knox; Let’s all just calm down here. Mic, look I like you. I want the best for you. The truth is, almost all of us are for this bill, including the majority of those making noise like we oppose it. The folks who write the checks are going to let me oppose this one in public, but in private I have to do every thing I can to get it passed. That includes this talk with you today. If you play ball on this one, you will get political capital. Capital to spend on some of these other things you want done. To do the good you want to do, you have to work within the system we have. This will be a feather in your cap.

Mawby: It’ll be a knife in the back to the people who sent me here. Your system stinks, and I’ve had enough of your good-cop bad-cop routine. Get out of my office.

Scene: Leaving the building.

Knox: We need to hammer him and fast. Can you believe that guy? That Dudly-do-right sh*t head. I never did like the jackass.

Chambers: Me neither. When he begs the bosses to back off and promises to play ball, I’m going to enjoy it when we get to tell him it’s too late.

Knox: Me too.

Scene: Mexican Consulate, State Capital

Consulate: Senor Murta, the transfer of your associate is being arranged, but it remains a delicate matter.

Murta: My associates are playful bunch, sometimes maybe even a bit rough, eh?

Consulate: Rape and murder are not matters of play. Especially this time. The woman was a respected citizen.

Murta: These Yankees are weak to respect women.

Consulate: Her husband was also a well respected science teacher.

Murta: Ha! These fools respect all the wrong things. No wonder they are falling all over themselves to turn their country over to us.

Consuate: In his younger days he was also a well respected soldier. Five medals for bravery in the first Gulf War. I am not sure what branch.

Murta: That is different! Hey! If he is still that much man, he should be able to find another women or two.

Consulate: You take this matter too lightly. We are for the time being still guests in their country. The governor of this state invited our consulate to be here, and even provided Yankee taxpayer dollars to build it. When your gang runs wild in the streets, it causes us problems.

Murta: You don’t seem to object when the dollars my men produce go through you and back into the home country.

Consulate: Your activities are very profitable, especially the narcotics, and we do want to cooperate with you. We appreciate your cash remissions back to our country. But you are not the only ones who can siphon money out of their economy and into ours. We have large numbers of ordinary laborers that can also do this, and when we help them we have the favor of the business interests which run the government here. Your activities are proving so troublesome that even the large amount of money you provide is not worth the problems.

Murta: I expected this compadre. So what amount would be worth the problems?

Consulate: An additional twenty percent would be acceptable, provided your men are more cautious in the future.

Murta: For that I could have you replaced with a whore who would provide me even more services for my money. Not even half of that. I will pay seven percent more. And as far as my men goes, for the type I need, this sort of thing is just a cost of doing business.

Consular: My government has instructed me to accept no less than a 12% increase.

Murta: My sources in the government tell me that it was to be 10%. Perhaps you want to keep a little extra for yourself, eh?

Consular: No more than the customary amount, to insure good service.

Murta: Ahh. The high cost of good government. Very well, 12%, but I am envious. You government people are the real criminals.


Scene: Inside a Catholic Church, panning to confession booth

Aaron Storm: Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

Father: What sin burdens you Aaron Storm, so close after your sorrow?

Storm: I have heard some things. I have had some thoughts. Thoughts that trouble me.

Father: What things my son? And what are these thoughts?

Storm: That my wife’s killer might be in the Mexican consulate. That they are going to help him leave the area soon. This is from a student of mine who lives on the wrong side of the tracks, but I trust them. My wife taught them two years before.

Father: And you have told the police what you have heard?

Storm: Yes. They did not act like they believed it. They did not want to believe it. It was too inconvenient to believe the consulate is involved.

Father: And do you believe them?

Storm: I know enough to know that it was an illegal alien. The police said he was a member of this MS-12 gang. I know the consulate assists in helping many illegals operate in our country. I know there is a lot of crime. If they are not helping that one now, they helped other criminals who hurt other people.

Father: And these thoughts of yours. They are for revenge?

Storm: Yes. I am consumed by thoughts of burning the consulate to the ground. I may not be rational right now. I am just so angry. And lonely.

Father: The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God my son. God has appointed the state to bring wrath on evil doers. It is not for us to take our own revenge.

Storm: What about justice then? Can nothing be done?

Father: Let the system bring justice.

Storm: What if we live in times where the system is broken?

Father: Then let God judge the system, and those who permitted it. Your wife loved you. She would not want you to be consumed by this. Your mind may be imagining that you are burning down the consulate, but you are really consuming yourself with such thoughts.

Storm: What should consume me if not avenging my wife? What should I do with my self that is better than protecting the next victim? Is it not a worthy cause to spend ones self on?

Father: Not like this. I beg of you to repent of such thoughts. Once you cross the line to operating outside the law, it is difficult to keep from going down that path further than you intended. Operating outside the law almost always has terrible consequences.

Storm: Our leaders and theirs should have thought about that before they started operating outside the law.


Scene: police station

Reporter Kelley Alworth: “Hey Kirkland, you got anything for me tonight”

Detective Kirkland: “Apparently not by your standards. I spent an hour with you on the Debbie Storm case, and not a peep in the news or the papers.”

Alworth: “I was madder about it than you Kirkland. It was a gripping crime story. The surviving husband is a charming and quotable man. Yet my editors tossed it.”

Kirkland: “Could your writing have anything to do with it?”

Alworth: “Funny flat-foot. No, he put the kibosh on it because it was too stirring.”

Kirkland: “Your writing was too stirring? Now you’re being funny.”

Alworth: “Not my writing Lance, the story itself. He said that we are supposed to de-emphasize stories that could inflame relations between the average Joe and the “immigrant community”.

Kirkland: “So that’s why I look in the paper next day and there is no peep of your story, but a big one on the Latin food festival.”

Alworth: “That’s right, and another one where business leaders forge ties with leaders of immigrant groups. Plus another one where a government study shows that immigrants are good for the economic health of a community.”

Kirkland: “Not to mention that editorial Thursday insinuating anyone who is against the immigration bill is a heartless bigot. I’ll bet you got some cancellations on that one.”

Alworth: “Nahhh. Most of the people with their own opinions have dumped us already.”

Kirkland: “Good point. I read it from our copy at work. I canceled my home subscription two election cycles ago.”

Alworth: “Hey, you trying to put me outta work?”

Kirkland: “Not me deary. I am trying to get you a good story, but when I do your boss won’t print it.”

Alworth: “Follow the money. Some businesses who buy a lot of ads don’t like stories like that. Well, let’s keep trying. What have you got?”

Kirkland: “The latest big one is a robbery and double homicide. Victims and perps both illegal immigrants.”

Scene: Night, outside Mexican consulate, which is burning to the ground.

Andrea Salas: “This is reporter Andrea Salas outside what little remains of the Mexican consulate. Tonight an arsonist fire bombed the consulate, leaving one unidentified person dead inside. Firefighters have been working to put down the blaze.

We have footage from stoplight security cameras that show the perpetrator in action.

(grainy footage of Flamethrower in costume tossing Molotov cocktail into building.)

Governor Mike Harrison’s office has released a statement of sympathy, saying that the authorities will bring this domestic terrorist to justice, and offering taxpayer support in rebuilding the consulate. The identity of the victim inside is unknown, and the Department of Homeland Security has taken possession of the remains. They are calling this a hate crime. Here is special agent Richard Lugar:

Lugar: “The government does not tolerate incidents like this. We will pour in as many resources as necessary to solve this case. We will turn this city upside down until we find the person or persons who did this. “

Salas: Senator Stanton Chambers said this incident is an example of why we need to pass the immigration reform bill now working its way through the legislature.

Chambers: “This ugly incident just highlights the urgent need to pass the immigration reform bill without further delay or debate. We need a plan that will provide legal status to the hard-working immigrants in our country that is not amnesty. This bill is not perfect, but the urgency of the situation shows that we must act now.”

The TV turns off. Salvatore Murtha is watching at the MS-12 gang HQ.

Murta: We have to act now alright. We just lost one of our own. I think I know who did it.

Gang member: Who?

Murta: The husband. The one whose wife was killed. Some big mouth let out word that we were smuggling Juan out through the embassy.

Gang member: Payback? Yankees don’t do that. They are domesticated, heh heh.

Murta: This one was a big war hero before he got domesticated. Maybe some of the sheep got rubbed off of him.

Gang member: So you got proof?

Murta: I ain’t the police. I don’t need proof. We are gonna kill this guy on a hunch.

Scene: Storm opens the door to his home. Lugar, with gun pulled:

Lugar: You are under arrest Storm. You have the right to remain silent, but my guys are still going to beat the h*ll out of you until you talk.

Storm (up against the wall): Talk about what officer?

Kirkland: Take it easy Lugar

Lugar: This is a homeland security matter. You local yokels are just along for the ride. Take it easy yourself Kirkland.

Storm: What is this all about?

Lugar: Do you have an alibi for your whereabouts on the night when the Mexican consulate was burned to the ground?

Storm: Yes.

Lugar: Hah! Who is it?

Father McBride in the background: I am his alibi. I came to his house for counseling purposes. I was there before, during and after the fire.

Lugar: At midnight? Are you two gay or something?

Kirkland: Lugar!

Lugar: I told you to shut up. I am in charge of this investigation.

Storm: No. I needed counseling and some company. I have been having a hard time since the murder of my wife. The father and I are friends from way back.

Lugar: Priest, are you lying? I don’t trust religious fanatics.

Kirkland: Where did you come from? My apologies Mr. Storm, Father McBride. Let’s get out of here.

Lugar: For now, OK. But I’m going to be keeping an eye on you Storm.

SCENE: on the TV

Salas: This is Andrea Salas reporting. Homeland Security Commander Richard Lugar has announced that they have a shocking new suspect in the Consulate Firebombing- Congressman Mic Mawby. Mawby has long been a vocal and fiery opponent of immigrants, now police suspect his rhetoric has transformed into violence. Here is Senator Lawrence Knox on Mawby.”

Knox: Whether or not he committed this specific crime, I can understand why the authorities consider him a suspect. Frankly, many of us around here consider the Congressman a bit unstable. I hate to say that, because I always liked him, but he had a dark side. We will have to wait and see how this specific investigation turns out, but people that know him are not as shocked as you might think. He was always a verbal flamethrower, it now appears he may be an actual one”

Salas: The Congressman was not immediately available for comment. Has the identity of the Flamethrower been found so soon? We will keep you informed as events occur.

Scene: TV clicks off. In the room is a shocked Mawby and a few congressmen and senators.

Mawby: They didn’t call my office. The police have not questioned me. They went with this without….they…

Knox: Feeling a little panicked Mawby?

Mawby: Wait a second, how did you wind up knowing about this Knox? You got interviewed, and they didn’t even get a quote from me?

Chambers: You are slow Mawby. Did you think you were a legitimate suspect? Most of the country is mad at this situation. You think the Department of Homeland Security just picked a guy at random to blame and it was you? A sitting Congressman? It’s all been arranged. This is just the beginning of your nightmare. The whole point of this is to give mild mannered personas like Lawrence here a chance to go on television and suggest that you are a nut. Once enough of us do that, it won’t matter that two months from now we find the guy who actually did it. The point will be made that even the people in your own party think you are a fruitcake. And it’s going to get worse.

You look a little pale hero. I wanted to be around to see this. Still going to that Charity event tomorrow? Even if they let you in to that one, a month from now you won’t even be invited to a Tupperware party.

Scene: Charity Event. Mawby is with his wife.

Mawby: Well darling, the chill is in the air.

Mrs. Mawby: I’m here with you.

Mawby: Good thing, normally I am swamped with people who want to talk to me. Tonight they are acting like I am a killer.

Mrs. Mawby: At least three men in this room suggested as much on TV yesterday. We might as well be at home playing with the kids. Here we are stuck in the corner at a party, watching TV.

Mawby: Turn it up!

Mrs. Mawby: What?

Mawby: If I’m the flamethrower, then how come he just struck again while I was standing here?

On the TV screen an office is burning in flames.

Salas: That’s right, only minutes ago the Flamethrower struck again. Once again security cameras have caught images of the costumed vigilante killer- this time as he destroys the office of Senator Stanton Chambers. Chambers has been known as a staunch supporter of immigration reform that is not amnesty. We will keep you posted as the reign of terror continues.

Chambers: My offices!
Knox: They are gutted!

Mawby: Hello Senators. Would either of you care for some nuts?


Lugar: Yesterday’s bombing makes us look like idiots. We announce a sitting Congressman is a suspect, then the next day Flamethrower strikes again while the Congressman has 50 alibi witnesses.

Assistant: So what do we do?

Lugar: We lock down every possible suspect. I want them all brought in or under surveillance. That is the bad boy bloggers, local AM radio talk show hosts. All of them.

Assistant: Does that include the Congressman?

Lugar: No way! We have enough egg on our faces with that one.

Assistant: How about the first guy, Aaron Storm?

Lugar: Yeah sure. I didn’t like his attitude. Let’s lock him down.

Kirkland: Wait a minute, you are talking about locking people up based on their attitude? What’s the charge? And Storm has a good alibi.

Lugar: If you trust Jesus freaks, which I don’t. If you don’t want him locked up, maybe you can volunteer to stake him out.

Kirkland: That’s a big time commitment. I still have other cases. In fact, Bridges just turned over the Debbie Storm case to me. It seems he has been re-assigned to you.

Lugar: We need Bridges for stake-out. You too. If you don’t want Storm locked up, then agree to stake him out. I’m pulling men off the Al-Quida sleeper cell unit to solve this Flamethrower case. Your Debbie Storm case can wait.

Kirkland: What are they thinking in Washington? Pulling guys off an Al-Quida investigation to catch an arsonist who may have killed one murderer? And how can you go around just arresting people for writing a controversial blog? Real cops need probable cause to do that.

Lugar: We’re the real cops now. When the government declares an emergency, we can’t afford to mess around. Homeland security is an elite unit. Those Constitutional niceties are OK for you local guys, but sometimes to protect the country you have to act decisively. It’s for the greater good. You want in, stake out Storm, you don’t, we’ll round him up with the rest.

Kirkland: I’ll stake out Storm.

Scene: MS-12 headquarters. Several Arabs are there too.

Murta: Look Al-Jihadi, this Flamethrower is putting a wrench into all our plans.

Al-Jihadi: How so? Surely a couple of fire bombings will not change things?

Murta: But there was another one today out west. The first copycat they are calling it. How many more will there be? People are getting nervous.

Al-Jihadi: But so long as the border remains open, what does that matter?

Murta: My counsular says that some Senators are backing off because of all the anger. American politicians are very insulated. They are not used to things like this. If the immigration bill is rejected, momentum will shift to an emphasis on border security.

Al-Jihadi: We cannot permit that. We are the first of an army to come. Our goal is to bring in 100,000 martyrs in the next seven years- paying you handsomely for helping us bring them in of course. Once they are in place we will unleash a wave of destruction that will make them beg for the days of the Flamethrower.

Murta: Yes, but to get to that place we need to eliminate the Flamethrower and get things back to normal.

Al-Jihadi: But can’t the American Government itself do that for us?

Murta: They are blundering oafs. We think we know who did this. We should take care of this problem ourselves and quickly before any more Yankees get ideas. Ideas of causing so much trouble that their politicians actually start listening to them.

Al-Jihadi: So you are not afraid of the government of the United States?

Murta: Right now, they are in our back pocket because they think it’s good for business. But this Flamethrower is lighting a fire that risks having them jump out of that pocket.

Al-Jihadi: My foremost mission is the sleeper project. Send some of your own men to do this job. If they fail, then we will join with you against this menace to our plans.

Scene: Kirkland on stake out.

Kirkland: What the…????

(Aaron Storm gets in the car)

Storm: Officer Kirkland, hello. Nice night for a stakeout isn’t it?

Kirkland: I’m doing you a favor. Lugar wanted you locked up.

Storm: I was hoping you would be staking out MS-12 headquarters, working on Debbie’s murder. We both know where it is.

Kirkland: It’s frustrating. We know they are a gang, but we can’t prove it. If we arrest them with no proof, the papers and the lawyers will be all over us. We’d wind up in prison, like Ramos and Compean, those poor border patrol agents. The system is rigged so that some kinds of criminals are taboo to collar. I hate it.

Storm: You are staking me out. I’m here. Maybe we could take a drive.

Kirkland: What’s that?

(car of MS-12 gang rides in with lights off. They get out at Storm’s house)

Kirkland: I recognize the vehicle. It looks like MS-12 is taking an interest in your house.

Storm: Are you going to call for back up?

Kirkland: For trespassing? They haven’t tried to kill you yet. Besides, most of the force is out rounding up bloggers, right-wing radio guys, and anybody who likes to wear camos.

Storm: You know why they are here. Lugar isn’t the only one that considers me a suspect. How about we take a ride to a little shed about a half mile down the road?

Kirkland: Sounds safer.

Scene: at the shed

Storm (as he enters the shed) I’ll be out in three minutes

The door comes open, and Flamethrower appears on a motorcycle, but with helmet off.

Kirkland: Oh no.

Flamethrower: I have some business to finish with MS-12.

Kirkland: You know what really hurts- that Lugar was right.

Flamethrower: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day- and Lugar has the kind of face that can stop one. But as it happens, father McBride was not lying.

Kirkland: It sure looks like it.

Flamethrower: I was going to do it that night. I had the gear all ready. He knew I was on the edge. He stayed with me all night, trying to talk me out of it.

Kirkland: So someone else destroyed the consulate? Who?

Flamethrower: I don’t know. But when I saw the news video, I knew it would be an easy fix to make my outfit look like his.

Kirkland: And then you took out the Senator’s office?

Flamethrower: Afraid so. The system’s broken, and those guys aren’t listening. I figured if someone else could take out the consulate, the least I could do was send a message to Washington. We all have to do our part.

Kirkland: That congressman must be glad you did- it sure got him off the hot seat.

Flamethrower: Sounds OK by me. I voted for him. Of course, I voted for the Senator too, but he turned out to be a traitor.

Kirkland: Murta has thirty killers over there. You can’t take MS-12 alone.

Flamethrower: In a better world, I wouldn’t have to. I can try anyway.

Kirkland: You know I’m going to have to take you in.

Flamethrower: No you don’t officer Kirkland. The best thing you could do is let me take care of the business that you just admitted you can’t take care of.

Kirkland: But you can’t take the law into your own hands. For things to work, everybody has to respect the law.

Flamethrower: You mean like the laws against illegal aliens? I’ll tell you what, I’ll start respecting the law when the government does.

Kirkland (drawing his gun): I’m sorry. I’ve gotta take you in Storm. I’ve got no choice.

Flamethrower: You’ve always got a choice officer Kirkland. What you need is the courage to make the right one. (he puts his helmet on and drives off past Kirkland)

Kirkland: Sigh

Scene: Back in Washington

Senator Chambers: It’s a disaster. Four more arsons at Senate offices across the country. Polls, unreleased to the media of course, say more than half the population blames “government failure to secure the border” for the bombings. Some of our coalition is starting to think that a civil war is bad for business and that we should back off this immigration bill.

Senator Knox: Some, not most?

Chambers: The cooler heads will prevail. We are just going to have to push this thing through. We’ve lost some votes, so to get it done, you are going to have to change your vote tomorrow.

Knox: Stanton, I can’t do that. After all the commitments I’ve made. After all the hits I’ve taken. I can’t vote for this thing. I need political cover.

Chambers: I know you face an election, but we can work with the other party. The same people that are kingmakers over here have influence over there. Maybe we can work it so that all of their top candidates are told to sit this one out. There may be a renegade or two that jumps in, but the party will let them twist in the wind.

Knox: You can’t trust the other side that much. I don’t even know if our side will go that far to save me. Even if they do, if I switch my vote so inexplicably then just about anyone could beat me.

Chambers: I am sorry to have to mention this Lawrence, but you really have no choice. The powers that be want this, and they have the goods on you. They have it on all of us.

Knox (burying head in hands) Groan. All but a few of us- like that miserable Mic Mawby.

Chambers: He’s a light-weight. I haven’t seen that guy all day.

SCENE: Flamethrower approaches the car of MS-12 thugs that went to his home to assassinate him. As he zooms by he fires a flare into the window, then tosses in a firebomb. The car crashes. One guy gets out with a gun and shouts into a cell phone. He fires at Flamethrower. One hits and Flamethrower topples over, but he’s wearing a bullet-proof vest. Flamethrower quickly spins back up and sprays him with flames. He gets back on his cycle and takes off.

Gangster: It was Ramon. The Flamethrower got them. I heard Ramon scream his last words.

Murta: Flamethrower knows we’re after him, and we know he is after us. Get everyone, including the Al-Quida USA guys. It’s war.

SCENE: Kirkland on the phone and at the scene of the burned out car:

Lugar: Why didn’t you call me right away?

Kirkland: My first call was to the County Sheriff. We go way back.

Lugar: A sheriff? This is a federal operation!

Kirkland: Right. There is nothing here but dead gang-bangers, but I know where Flamethrower is going.

Lugar: Where?

Kirkland: A warehouse at 13th and Argyle. MS-12 uses it as a headquarters.

Lugar: It’ll be mayhem. I’m bringing my SWAT team with me.

Scene: Flamethrower approaches MS-12 HQ in the night. He hears a noise. He spins. He is looking at his twin. It is a Flamethrower face off.

Storm: You’re a handsome fellow.

Flamethrower II: Likewise I’m sure.

Storm removes his helmet: You took care of the consulate?

Flamethrower II: Yes, and you sent the message to the good Senator?

Storm: It was the least I could do. I suppose MS-12 is your target tonight.

Flamethrower II: My grand finale. I’m hoping to get that immigration bill beat tomorrow.

Storm: The man you killed in the consulate was MS-12 too. One of the worst. He murdered my wife.

Flamethrower II: The authorities are not releasing information on his identity, but I have my sources. I knew what kind of man he was. I’m only sorry we didn’t get him in time to save your wife.

Storm: I’m Aaron Storm. MS-12 thinks I’m both of us and they are out to kill me. I’d appreciate your help.

Flamethrower II (removing his helmet) I’m Congressman Mic Mawby. I’d appreciate your help, and if we live through this, your vote.

Storm: I had your sign in my yard last time.

Mawby: Thanks. Let’s go.

Scene (flames, explosions, shots and mayhem as the Flamethrowers are locked in a deadly duel with MS-12 and Al-Quida in the USA.)

Scene: Kirkland is waiting with a county sheriff and some deputies when an armored truck pulls up and starts disgorging DHS SWAT team members. Lugar struts up to Kirkland.

Lugar: Give me a good turnover, what’s the situation?

Sheriff: The situation is that Federal operations still need the approval of the Sheriff of each county. You did not bother to apply for or get such permission before your goons started turning this county upside down. Detective Kirkland and I have had a talk about your methods. I know that it is usually just a formality, but this time I am invoking the rule to avert a bloodbath. I deny you and your men permission to operate in this county.

Lugar: But, do you hear that battle going on down there? The bloodbath is already going on in that warehouse.

Sheriff: And that is where it should stay. And since the real Flamethrower is down there, he can’t be any of these other folks you have locked up. Kindly release them on your way out of town.

Lugar: Forget that. I’m a federal agent. If the President wants he can declare Martial law here.

Sheriff: When he does I guess you can come back. Until then, it’s my call and I want you gone.

Lugar: No way. This is an emergency situation. Were the ones with the authority here.

Kirkland: You know, when I was a little boy, my grandfather used to tell me stories about his days as a soldier in WWII.

Lugar: What?

Kirkland: I was always envious of Grandpa.

Lugar: What are you babbling about Kirkland?

Kirkland: ‘Cause I always thought that I’d never get a chance to shoot a Nazi.

Lugar: Huh?

Kirkland (pulling his gun): Until now. You heard the Sheriff Lugar, get your stormtroopers back in that tank of yours and get out of here.

Lugar: We’ll go, but you are finished in this business Kirkland. You haven’t heard the last of me.

Lugar (as he drives off) You’ll regret this by morning!

Kirkland: I think I’ll sleep better than I have in a long time.

Sheriff: The noise has sorta died off down there.

Kirkland: If I know Storm, so has MS-12.

Kirkland: “Storm, come out of there. It’s over.”

Aaron Storm walks out with his helmet off and his hands over his head. “I have done what I had to do. I accept the consequences. I don’t want it to go any farther”

Kirkland: If you need a character witness, I’m available.

Storm: I think I have a better chance with an insanity plea!

As they drive off, a second Flamethrower steps out into the darkness.

Scene: TV announcer:

In political news today, the top story is the failure of the immigration reform bill by one vote. Rising anger among the population was a factor in the dramatic turnaround on the measure. Critics say the next attempt at solving immigration issues will have to start with border security.

In other surprising political news, Congressman Mic Mawby has announced that he will run as an independent for the United States Senate for the seat currently held by incumbent Lawrence Knox. Here was some of Mawby’s announcement.

Mawby: You know, the Senator was on TV last week insinuating that I was a little bit nuts. Maybe so, but at least I don’t vote for the worst immigration bill in history after telling people for weeks that I was going to vote against it. I didn’t do that, Senator Knox did. And there are a number of other votes of his that I will look forward to discussing the sanity of as well.

As for my eschewing a political party, I think the events of the last days have shown us that the system can’t always be fixed from the inside. We have a great country, but we need men and women willing to make the sacrifices required to keep her great. I’m going outside the system, in an effort to save it, and I would be grateful for your help. Thank you, and may God bless America!