Somehow, I Feel Vindicated

Somehow, I Feel Vindicated.

Back in November, just before the election, I wrote about who I was not going to vote for. With rare exception the Republicans got the knife as frequently as the Democrats. On my list of those not worthy of my consideration, I included one, Steve Daines, running for the lone Montana Congressional seat to replace Denny Rehberg (who I didn’t vote for in the Senate race even though I couldn’t stand his opponent). My reasoning was this: Continue reading

Patriotism versus Nationalism (versus Internationalism?)

Patriotism versus Nationalism (versus Internationalism?).

Also syndicated here.

Patriotism to me can be a love for the place where one lives, which need not necessarily exhibit irrational feelings of superiority or inherent exceptionalism. It also can mean a love for the exceptionalism (which may be incidental or dependent on factors other than race and geography) of a culture, often within geographical confines. It can extend to a willingness to die to preserve the place or the ideas in question. Patriotism can manifest itself in both agreement and dissent.

Nationalism, on the other hand, is blind love for a specific geographical or racial entity for irrational reasons, such as perceived inherent superiority or traditional feuding. Most often it is manifested in a subtle form of groupthink, the consequences of not conforming to include: ostracism, ridicule, bigotry, prohibitions of expressions of culture or language, and even confiscation of property. In extreme forms, and much less subtle, overt violence and genocide. It is often mixed with or perhaps intentionally covered by higher ideals. Democracy. Social justice. Equality. Brotherhood. Humanity. Liberty. To this extent is has an appeal with both the base and the virtuous, and is thus pervasive and not even all those who hold some of the views (for very few hold all of them) realize where they originate, or what their intended purposes are in the form they are presented.

Both ideas rest on that of taste. One acknowledges it as a personal preference and in relations with others it either defends from attacks (ideally not overreacting) or promotes its underlying ideas through persuasion and not force, and the other (according to its own idealism, though not always according to the practice of its leaders) seeks to foist it equally upon all (assuming, of course, you are one of the ones it suffers to live), the consequences and human rights be damned.

According to these definitions, which are my own but not too far distant from how they are defined by others, individual persons and conventions of persons, experts in fields and students of ideas, nationalism is very much the more problematic of the two.

And if you break it down further this is true for two reasons. One is the way it treats outsiders (geographical foreigners, ethnic inferiors, and so on). The other is the way it treats its own. Eliminating nationalism and replacing it with a generic internationalism (some would call this world government) only eradicates the first problem in the best case scenario. A highly decentralized internationalism (some would call this globalization) would go a long way towards reducing, and in some cases eliminating, both problems.

Amongst those that agree that globalization (even those afraid to use the word for fear of being associated with, or who recognize that the word has been misused by; those who either openly embrace, or whose proposals and ideas in some way perpetuate; world government) is a good idea, there is some disagreement about the way to go about it. I won’t go into arguments for or against (uni/bi/multi)lateral/free/managed trade or international law as it pertains to evident violations of human rights or other controversial subjects with well meaning and intelligent individuals on either side of the argument. I would instead like to delineate between potent attempts at world government and relatively impotent (but still menacing in their own right) attempts.

In the first category (potent) I would put imperialism, where it should be obvious that internationalism is in fact just nationalism applied to the world stage. Attempts such as this never fully succeed (partly because they may not really be conscious of what they are doing, or if they are, may have different goals in mind than that of tyrannizing the globe) in subjugating the entire world, but are potent in the sense that they cause much suffering and disorder and do so under a gradually increasing authority (in terms of both power and geography).

Also there is mercantilism. This often goes hand in hand with imperialism. Sometimes they have the same origin. Other times they just “benefit” from each other. And still there may be some combination thereof. In a sense, aspects of it have been practiced by every “traditional” empire going back to the Sumerians, but not until the rise of the modern, benevolent, humanitarian nations did it come into its own. France, Britain, the United States. And though not “true” mercantlism in the sense of application to one nation, several aspects of it have been incorporated into the cooperative efforts of the civilized nations (treaties and alliances; NATO being a prime example, the IMF another).

I wouldn’t even rule transnational corporations (in some instances being creations of, though not always faithful servants to, the state) and Non-Government Organizations out of having at least a small part in this category (potent attempts at world government), but at the present I would like to refrain from theorizing about possible conspiracies.

In the second category (impotent) I would put such things as failed attempts at international cooperation. Take the League of Nations or the United Nations. I do not deny that they were/are to be feared. But the reason has more to do with the stupidity and inefficiency of bureaucracy than it does the greed or violence of imperialism. But more than that it is not so much the bodies themselves that should be of concern, but rather the ways they may be used by the member nations in their imperialistic and mercantilistic endeavors. 

Things such as the World Trade Organization I would have a hard time categorizing. Besides, as I said, I do not wish to formulate arguments on the issue of trade nor delve into conspiracy theories.

New Discovery: Jacques Delacroix (I had not read his piece in its entirety until moments ago, so I hope no one thinks I wrote this as some sort of response to it) goes into all of this as well (I had no idea until, for the purpose of seeing what others had to say on the subject I did a search for “WTO” on my friend Brandon Christensen’s blog), but is far less charitable to these types than I am (I think mirroring his overall more establishmentarian variant of libertarianism).

Anyways, at this stage I am not a flag burner. But neither am I a flag worshipper. At the present, this one will do:

File:Flag of Montana 1905.svg

PolyMontana and Einstein’s Definition of Insanity

PolyMontana and Einstein’s Definition of Insanity.

If you don’t like rude, disrespectful comments, refrain from reading this. I tell you it was warranted. If belligerent pride is what it takes to expose slander, hypocrisy, and ignorance, I am so sorry.

Dear Dr. Ed,

Would you agree with me that part of the problem with this country, specifically in Congress, is that people do not uphold their oaths? Well here’s a comment from that political outcast article you linked to:

“Take responsibility for your own screw ups. SOME of us have taken an oath to the Constitution, not the president. Romney stated up front that he would violate the Constitution. I’m not violating my oath to vote for some sleezebag that won’t even attempt to follow the Constitution. At least in four years YOUR party can try again. Maybe YOU can get it right the next time.”

The GOP was born in tyranny (I can safely say from a conservative perspective, devoid of all considerations of race, that Abraham Lincoln was this country’s absolute worst president. Obama is a playful piker by comparison. A common fallacy for the people living in each era is to think that theirs is the one that will either be the worst or the greatest, or both. Pure delusion!) and it will be that way until the day it implodes under its own weight. It is immoral, corrupt, and bloodthirsty.

I personally voted for every Republican at the county level (the ones I can trust, but also the ones, in theory, who I can keep in check, and not just with my vote; the government must fear it’s people, when it doesn’t, there is the start of tyranny; this applies equally to both parties; Obama or Romney do not have real cause to fear any constituent, let alone a bunch of hayseeds from Montana; they would gladly use any excuse, any pretense of fear, to do away with more of our rights, however), as well as for Tim Fox (a man who has done something to earn my vote) every one else on the GOP ticket got a big fat middle finger.

And if you think that makes me a traitor of some sort you have lost sight of all perspective. It is the local level that IS important, and it is the local level that SHOULD BE important. Any consideration beyond that is where the true vanity lies, that this country can be changed for the better (it can always get worse, that is the second law of thermodynamics, metaphorically) by one man at the top who has next to no accountability and all the motivation in the world to maintain the status quo regardless of what his principles may have at one time been. There may be some men with enough integrity to resign or take a bullet in the head before going down that road (those are the only three options so far as I can tell), but Romney is not one of them.

Denny Rehberg is a coward and an enabler and if he is never heard from again it is a far better thing than an oath breaker such as he deserves.

If four more years of Obama and six of Tester is what it takes to snap you and your fellow short sighted, long winded old geezers (Yes sir, you got us into this mess, so get off your goddamn pedestal) out of this game you have been playing for more than a century now, then so be it. Personally, I have serious doubts that it will.

And even were you able to accept this save for one thing: your worries that other, more moderate Montana and nationwide Republicans will just keep doing the same thing as well and never snap out of it, your fight IS and SHOULD BE with them. The only fight men with weak spines can win is against men with absolutely no backbone. I can feel mine right now, it is flexible, but it is strong. So I will continue to allow people I did not vote for and do not like to win, because, yes, I am standing on principle. You will never convince enough people with this stubborn outlook to change it. Which is why you should focus your attention on the idiots that keep nominating people we will not, and told you even before you nominated them that we would not, vote for. Face it, we have you over a barrel. You don’t like it, but all you do is whine about something you can not change.

“If you can’t beat them, join them” are not words to live by. But that is exactly what any one who compromised on Romney did. That is why I have more respect for the people that actually liked Romney and voted for him than the ones who harped on him for two years leading up to his nomination and then suddenly jumped on his bandwagon. It is revolting and it needs to be called out.

I am not normally one to abuse my host, but you really were asking for it.

Henry Moore

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

The Second Most Interesting Man in the World Wrote a Book Called Nullification

The Second Most Interesting Man in the World Wrote a Book Called Nullification.

Perhaps more than any other person in the Liberty Movement (besides Ron Paul, of course), someone I would consider a mentor is Thomas Woods. Andrew Napolitano is a close second. And Frederic Bastiat is long-dead. I’ve read six of Tom’s books, but unfortunately don’t get around to visiting his site as much as I would like. So a thank you shout out to @LitMargaretNan for sharing this link on twitter: A Wikipedia Assignment for You Guys | Tom Woods

In this post he requested that some of his readers edit the wikipedia articles on The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and the Alien Act of 1798. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything on wikipedia, so I made this meme to commemorate the occasion:

On Tom’s site, I left this comment:

Tom. I’m thumbing through my copy of Nullification right now. Great read by the way.

Here’s what I put at the bottom of the Alien Act page. I’ll give someone else a chance to fix the Resolutions page.

“Others maintain that nullification naturally emanates from the Tenth Amendment in the last resort. Thus they see nullification as a legitimate tool of the states. The reasoning behind this is the idea that the individual states created the union, and aside from having the right to leave it (as enumerated in the Virginia and New York Constitutions), as equal parties were able to interpret for themselves on the same footing with the other parties in the compact. This was, in theory, to prevent tyrannies that might go unchecked by the three branches of the federal government. One such person, Thomas E. Woods, in is book ”Nullification” also holds that nullification, apart from being a legitimate function of the states, is a necessary one, increasingly so as the size and scope of the federal government increases.”

I highly recommend Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century to anyone interested in liberty, history, current events, or the meaning of the Constitution. And for anyone who is not interested in at least one of these things it must be because you are one of the undead. But that’s okay, I recommend it to you as well. After all, Nullification is 100% zombie-approved!

Whether you agree with it or not, nullification is happening. Little by little, the states are reasserting their Tenth Amendment rights. If the President, the Congress, and the Courts won’t enforce it, the states will. This will more and more be the case as things come to a head with debacles like ObamaCare, cartel money, mismanagement of land, gun control, and overbearing environmental and energy regulations.

Just one example. On November 6th, the voters of Montana interposed on their own behalf against the healthcare mandate.

Here’s some related articles:

2011 Montana Legislature’s Bill to Prohibit Infringement of Constitutional Right to Nullify Certain Federal Legislation

The Constitution, Nullification, And The Evolving Democratic And Republican Parties

Do The People, The States, Or The Courts Interpret The Constitution? Or All Of The Above At Different Levels?

Some Goings On In Iowa City

Some Goings On In Iowa City.

A friend of mine in the Liberty movement, a software engineer named Aleksey Gurtovoy brought these to my attention. The first one is an election day issue. That’s November 6th. I offered to help spread the word. Any readers in Iowa? Regardless, you should all check these out. It’s these kind of things that really count. Local issues. And no doubt these are coming to a town near you. That is if they haven’t already come while you were sleeping.

Vote NO on new JAIL in downtown Iowa City

As a rule, I advocate voting no on any new government spending, I don’t care what it is or what its for. I would be surprised if anyone who valued their own labor thought differently. But I guess they do exist. The informed ones are known as special interests. The uninformed ones are known as marginal voters.

And when, in addition to being something no one can afford, the new expense is for something that does more harm than good, there’s all the more reason to vote against it.

Effort to ban red-light cameras in City draws ACLU support | TheGazette

I’m no big fan of the ACLU. Mainly because civil libertarians are too broad and impure a faction. Now, I’m a civil libertarian, but too often that’s where their love of liberty stops, the civil realm. There are more civil libertarians out there that reject economic freedom than those that support it. How else would a silver-tongued demagogue like Obama be elected with 53% of the vote?* But politics makes strange bedfellows. As it does in this particular case. And I suspect that the Iowa ACLU is far less detestable than the national one or the California one as well.

Nonviolent offenses aren’t crimes. It’s simple, that’s all there is to it. Installing a red light traffic camera, in addition to being a waste of time and a distraction from far more heinous crimes, is tyrannical. The last thing the police state needs is another tool it can use to further its powers and trample our rights. Now I’m not saying that this is the end of the world. It pails in comparison to many other issues. But the principles are the same. You still think this is a petty issue? Tell that to the men who threw off King George III because they had to pay a little extra for tea and paper.

*Well, there is another good reason and that is that the Republican Party is a failure. Obama was a referendum on Bush and McCain as much as anything else.

Obama is NOT the Worst President in this Nation’s History

Obama is NOT the Worst President in this Nation’s History.

You can read this also over at Liberty’s Republic. They could use the traffic!

You keep hearing this (that Obama is the worst president in history and therefore if we don’t vote for the so-called alternative we are all going to go up in flames along with our great republic), mainly from conservatives (there still are some that refuse to give in!) who don’t like Romney but convince themselves that this is a good reason to vote for him. Well, I am here to cry “foul!” There are several presidents much worse than Obama, not just from a libertarian perspective, but from a conservative perspective (though their criticisms would be different, except on economic policies, at least on the surface), but conservatives have short memories and are easily distracted by rhetoric, coming from both the persons in question and the court historians of latter days. For now, I will call attention to just three presidents many orders of magnitude worse than Barack Obama, and then apply the rules that make these men conservative heroes, to their mortal foe, our current president. To start, here is a response I gave to a RON PAUL SUPPORTER saying he was going to vote for Romney now that Paul was not the nominee.

Sorry, but I can think of worse presidents. Like the guy responsible for the deaths of 600,000[1] of his fellow Americans, a draft,[2] suppression of free speech, indefinite detention, and acts of terrorism against civilians.[3] Or the guy who got us into a world war that had nothing to do with us, leading to a stronger Federal Reserve,[4] a new military-industrial complex, two depressions (1920-1921 and 1929-1945),[5] the blatant suppression of free speech, involuntary servitude in the form of a draft, and the set of entangling alliances that got us into another world war.[6] Or the guy who prolonged a depression by a factor of ten,[7] aided and abetted one of the worst dictators in history,[8]whose arrogance and machinations dragged us into a world war,[9] who re-instituted the draft, got the ball rolling on nuclear weapons, detained an entire ethnic demographic on the pretext of security,[10] and sold Eastern Europe and parts of Eastern Asia to the Soviets and Red Chinese for more than a generation.[11] Obama doesn’t hold a candle to Lincoln, Wilson, or Roosevelt.

So why is it that people think he is the worst president? I realize that he is an awful president, but unless you have a very poor knowledge of history and/or are easily led astray, where do you get off saying he is the worst? That’s not only wrong by probably their own standards were they actually to apply them instead of getting all emotional at the first sign of wrongdoing, its borderline offensive.

So what are these criticisms of Obama that conservatives have but not necessarily libertarians don’t necessarily? Most conservatives criticize Obama for being too weak on national security and the borders. What they don’t realize is that Obama has actually been tougher on illegal immigrants than amnesty Bush ever was. And though his rhetoric would lead one to think otherwise, he has carried on the “War on Terror” and the surveillance state like its a job he was born for. But people bring up red herrings like Fast and Furious or the 30,000 surge when the generals wanted 40,000.

But Fast and Furious had nothing to do with an open-borders immigration policy. My best estimation was that it was intended to increase border violence to justify gun control and a further crackdown on border crossing. How conspiratorial of me! Sorry but I don’t buy the idea simply that “mistakes were made.” And crossing the border is not just harder for illegal immigrants (which is a useless blanket term) but for US citizens as well!

And the troop surge should have been at 0 (and yet Obama is called weak on defense because he only sent in 30,000!) And then we should have gotten out.  ”We just marched in, we can just march out.” Did it really take 30,000 extra troops to find Osama and put a cap in him? No. And the fact that it took ten years is disgraceful as well. If that was really what going to Afghanistan was ever really about Bush would have gotten him in six months. And Obama in three because he at least had someone’s “legacy” to build off of. “Our” money was not worthless, “our” troops were not ill-prepared, and “our” intelligence agencies were not incompetent. And don’t get me started on toppling Gaddafi and drone warfare and the assassination of US citizens and the National Defense Authorization Act.

Do people seriously think these are things Bush wouldn’t have done (I refer here more to the national defense policies than the immigration ones) if he could have? And the only reason he couldn’t have, would have been the backlash coming from the left that is now blindly in the tank for Obama! And would the right say Bush was weak on defense for doing them? Hell no! Because he would have used fancy rhetoric about freedom and democracy and justice. Not only would he not be deemed weak, he would be lavished with praise. So why does Obama seem so weak on these pet “conservative” issues? The answer, as you have no doubt discerned by now, is rhetoric. It’s all perception. If you are casting your vote on that instead of reality, you are in fact wasting your vote, not those of us who plan on voting for neither Romney nor Obama.

Most conservatives today idolize Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt. If not always for their economic policies, absolutely for their national defense policies or flag-wrapped rhetoric! But the policies are more or less the same as Obama’s, or at least in the same vein. So why don’t they just vote for Obama? Because it’s his non-flag-wrapped rhetoric that scares them, not his actual policies which they mischaracterize as somehow radical. But they are actually quite normal, just accentuated by his statements and the faux reaction coming from the establishment right.

By normal, I do not mean that they are in-line with how our nation prior to Obama’s inauguration was perceived by conservatives. What I mean is in-line with actual reality. And what is this reality? That every president from Hoover and Roosevelt, on up through Eisenhower and Kennedy, Carter and Reagan, and Bush and Obama has simply maintained the status quo, making no attempts to change it or utterly failing in their attempts to do so because they were not so courageous and upright and insightful as they made themselves out to be or once were.

If Obama had an R next to his name and was as eloquently conservative in his demagoguery as Newt Gingrich is most conservatives would support him. No questions asked. So much for vetting! For proof of this I give you Mitt Romney. And once the rhetoric is forgotten, give it 50 to 100 years, “conservatives” will idolize Obama too. The same thing has already happened right before our very eyes in the instances of the presidents I cited above.

1: That’s the traditional statistic. It has been revised upward to 850,000, but I digress. back

2: Bullying the Supreme Court, exiling of opponents, Union-busting, racism, a false flag attack, and maybe even voter fraud should be added to Lincoln’s list. Not to mention several forms of corruption and public-rent seeking long before having reached the highest office of the land. back

3: When ending slavery and cruelty is your excuse for enslaving and maiming others, you know there is something else that is afoot. back

4: Via the Liberty Bond Act, which fundamentally amended the relatively innocuous original charter; as well as exchange imbalances resulting from the different levels of inflation each nation suffered as a result of World War One, which resulted in an end to the gold standard that finally culminated with the 1971 Nixon Shock. back

5: These in fact have the same root, the fiscal and monetary policies around the world during and resulting from World War One. back

6: World War Two is often laughingly blamed on so-called isolationists. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was the interventionists during World War One and their subsequent failures (sometimes inadvertent, sometimes intentional) to seek peace and offer forgiveness after the war. back

7: The Depression of 1920-1921 only lasted about 18 months whereas the one from 1930 to 1945 arguably lasted at least 180 months. There is nothing in the fundamentals of their respective beginnings to suggest one should have dwarfed the other. The differences were the government reactions and the policies that ensued. However, part of the blame does rest on Herbert Hoover‘s head. back

8: Josef Stalin to you neophytes and deniers. back

9: FDR’s State Department refused to negotiate with the Japanese whom “we” had aggressed against and ultimately neglected to communicate with the lower echelons of the Defense Department about the threat that was posed. Pearl Harbor is not so shocking. back

10: Japanese Americans. There were a few exceptions of course. But these were made up for by the Italian-Americans and German-Americans that were detained separately. Oh, haven’t you heard? I guess the reverse-racist court historians forgot to tell you that white people have been mistreated in this nations past too! back

11: The Yalta and Potsdam Accords, as well as the occupation of former Japanese conquests by the USSR and soon-to-be Communist China. And this in spite of the fact that the pretext for the war, at least on Britain’s part (I said pretext; the reason, however, has more to do with Britain’s superiority complex, which happens to have been the same thing the Kaiser in World War One and Hitler in World War Two were suffering from; of course, a steady, sustained erosion of their century-and-a-half-or-so world hegemon status didn’t help the matter), was to “liberate” many of these regions! back