Friday, January 30, 2009

Financial Crisis Is Driving Hordes of Americans to Suicide

The Financial Crisis Is Driving Hordes of Americans to Suicide

By Nick Turse,
Posted on January 29, 2009, Printed on January 30, 2009

The body count is still rising. For months on end, marked by bankruptcies, foreclosures, evictions, and layoffs, the economic meltdown has taken a heavy toll on Americans. In response, a range of extreme acts including suicide, self-inflicted injury, murder, and arson have hit the local news. By October 2008, an analysis of press reports nationwide indicated that an epidemic of tragedies spurred by the financial crisis had already spread from Pasadena, California, to Taunton, Massachusetts, from Roseville, Minnesota, to Ocala, Florida.

In the three months since, the pain has been migrating upwards. A growing number of the world's rich have garnered headlines for high profile, financially-motivated suicides. Take the New Zealand-born "millionaire financier" who leapt in front of an express train in Great Britain or the "German tycoon" who did much the same in his homeland. These have, with increasing regularity, hit front pages around the world. An example would be New York-based money manager René-Thierry Magnon de la Villehuchet, who slashed his wrists after he "lost more than $1 billion of client money, including much, if not all, of his own family's fortune." In the end, he was yet another victim of financial swindler Bernard Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

An unknown but rising number of less wealthy but distinctly well-off workers in the financial field have also killed themselves as a result of the economic crisis -- with less press coverage. Take, for instance, a 51-year-old former analyst at Bear Stearns. Learning that he would be laid off after JPMorgan Chase took over his failed employer, he "threw himself out of the window" of his 29th-floor apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Or consider the 52-year-old commercial real estate broker from suburban Chicago who "took his life in a wildlife preserve" just "a month after he publicly worried over a challenging market," or the 50-year-old "managing partner at Leeward Investments" from San Carlos, California, who got wiped out "in the markets" and "suffocated himself to death."

Beverly Hills clinical psychologist Leslie Seppinni caught something of our moment when she told Forbes magazine that this was "the first time in her 18-year career that businessmen are calling her with suicidal impulses over their financial state." In the last three months, alone, "she has intervened in at least 14 cases of men seriously considering taking their lives." Seppinni offered this observation: "They feel guilt and shame because they think they should have known what was coming with the market or they should have pulled out faster."

Still, it's mostly on Main Street, not Wall Street, that people are being driven to once unthinkable extremes. And while it's always impossible to know the myriad factors, including deeply personal ones, that contribute to drastic acts, violent or otherwise, many of those recently reported are undoubtedly tied, at least in part, to the way the bottom seems to be falling out of the economy.

As a result, reports of people driven to anything from armed robbery to financially-motivated suicide in response to new fiscal realities continue to bubble to the surface. And since only a certain percentage of such acts receive media coverage, the drumbeat of what is being reported definitely qualifies as startling. MORE HERE

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Thomas Paine!

From my friend and fellow traveler Bob to all,

Thomas Paine
Happy Birthday Thomas Paine!
Today, January 29th, is Thomas Paine's birthday. On this day in 1737 Thomas Paine was born to a Quaker father and his mother was a member of the Church of England. Thankfully, Thomas Paine was a freethinker and evolved into a Deist!
Thomas Paine has done more than any other person in history to see to it that everyone gets a chance to learn about Deism. Even his efforts to get the American Revolution started by writing Common Sense and to sustain it after things went bad by writing The Crisis have promoted the growth of Deism, for if the revolution never started or had died an early death Deism would still be outlawed because separation of church and state never would have taken place.
For his promotion of Deism Paine had to pay a high price. After he wrote the first part of The Age of Reason during the French Revolution he was arrested and put in prison. His arrest had nothing to do with his Deist book, but was due to his calls to stop the reign of terror and in particular to spare the lives of the king and queen. When James Monroe secured his release from prison, Paine became aware of all the attacks from the clergy against his book and against him personally. To the horror of the clergy and the "revealed" religionists their attacks did not scare Thomas Paine. Instead, he wrote part two to The Age of Reason! Thomas Paine continued to promote Deism for the remainder of his life despite the personal attacks against him.
One attack on Paine that shows how "revealed" religionists have no God-given reason behind their beliefs is when Thomas Paine was refused the right to vote. If it wasn't for Thomas Paine there would probably not have been a successful revolution. As John Adams wrote, "Without the pen of Paine the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain." So instead of openly and honestly debating Paine, the Christians only called him names, made up lies about him and refused him his rights when they were able to. Rights which he made possible for everyone.
As Deists in the twenty-first century we should not only never forget the debt we owe Thomas Paine, but we should strive to our utmost to see to it that Paine's dream of bringing Deism to the world is achieved!
Progress! Bob Johnson

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Suck it up Freedom Lovers. The Powers That Be won't go quietly. Learn from history. The Michael Collins Gambit is the only moral and philosophical co-tactic to pacifism to change a society.
Western Rifle Shooters recommends The Wind that Shakes the Barley as a preview of what we're in for here in the U.S. of A. now that gun owners have been politically neutered. The Irish did in the 1920's what we're likely gonna have to do soon. Available on Netflix for instant viewing.
"This film is not an easy movie to watch, simply because the actors, screenwriters, and director all create a world that, but for the brogues and the misty hills, could be anywhere where freedom-loving people have decided that they have had enough of the tyrant's boot and are willing to do anything to live as independent citizens."
Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, this gripping drama by Ken Loach (
Raining Stones) is set during the early days of the Irish Republican Army, when British occupation of the Irish radicalized many a citizen and caused some to take up arms. The film provides some fascinating historical insight into the nascent resistance movement as it was in 1920, and Loach brilliantly conveys the profound emotional transition young men had to make to become saboteurs and killers. Loach's realistic style is absolutely mesmerizing, with many scenes built around the dynamics of large groups: contentious meetings, torture sessions, battles, celebrations, and the like. One has the sense of history as a pool of energy, and one also develops a kind of Renoiresque appreciation for the fact that different people on opposing sides of a life-or-death issue have their reasons for believing what they believe.

How the Upper Classes keep the Lower classes Lower

Click on Image to Enlarge
In 2007, only 4% of arrests were for violent crimes; another 12% were for crimes like burglary, theft, and arson; drug offenses (including drunkenness and DUIs) accounted for 31% of arrests.

Low income neighborhoods are devastated by the transfer (to put it nicely) of huge numbers of adult males to jails and prisons. Those men are not overwhelmingly committing violent crimes (as stereotype suggest), but are imprisoned because of the intensive policing of drug crimes in those neighborhoods. In another post, we put up a table that showed how the “drug war” that started in the 1980s disproportionately affected blacks.


Why Does the World Feel Wrong?

Why Does the World Feel Wrong?

by Will Groves

Exclusive to STR

January 27, 2009

Consider these events:

1. A president who started two aggressive wars, who bears responsibility for the loss of thousands of American lives along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives, leaves office as a free man without a felony record or any negative repercussions.

2. Meanwhile, the same populace that has intimate experience with lying politicians appears utterly smitten with a smooth-talking new president promising change and demanding sacrifice.

3. The Congress, which had an approval rate of 14% and which just passed a $700 billion bailout over the objections of a majority of Americans, had a re-election rate exceeding 95%.

4. Untold millions of Americans voice support of military troops as these very people are needlessly killed, injured, and separated from their families and productive work at home.

5. A general populace believed that buying unproductive assets, like housing, could make them wealthy, forever, without any coherent explanation why.

6. Researchers who pursue alternative explanations for AIDS and cancer get their funding cut and have the results of their research squelched, while others who try to improve life by providing healthful foods find themselves under attack.

Overt criminality by leaders and passive, unclear thinking by the proles have become the norm. The two go together, creating a symbiotic ecosystem of tyranny. Fraud, theft, and murder have become widespread, just as the scale of lies told and believed have reached new heights. Irresponsibility has become socialized while people in the honest pursuit of good get thwarted.

Those of us who want little more than peace and freedom don’t run the world. Pursuing freedom contradicts controlling others, so we can reason that people who pursue power have some motivations separate from our own.

I have not fully comprehended the implications of this until recently. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I had assumed that the people who wield power feel similarly about moral issues as I do—I just couldn’t see why they commit and justify unethical behavior. I already knew that states operate according to a code that the rest of us don’t follow in our own lives. Nevertheless, I assumed that a man who acts without regard to moral laws must feel guilty about it. Then, one day, I stumbled onto this idea: Suppose he doesn’t.

With only small ambitions, he probably behaves like a common criminal, a predator. He lies to gain advantage, uses force to get his way, and steals without conscience. Not feeling guilty about unethical behavior motivates him to instigate further criminal acts.

Small crime operations have one big problem, namely, the risk of getting caught. The prospect of prison appears unappealing, yet even with the high likelihood of arrest and capture during a career, common criminals approach their field with little sophistication and often pay the price. Other like-minded people see ways to avoid these problems. Just as normal people develop interests growing up and figure out how to pursue them at higher levels, a criminal mind can do the same. With greater intelligence and patience, he can pursue an ambitious career of criminality. With this objective in sight, one can easily see the state as the most expedient means to accomplish it.

Once a criminal joins forces with the state by becoming an employee, he can lie to his advantage, use force to get his way, and steal without conscience, just as the small-time operator does. The opportunities for mischief have no limits through thoughtful job selection. For example, if a man took pleasure in making innocent people squirm, he could become a police officer and plant evidence. For another, if he wanted to murder people, he could become a military officer and “accidentally” call in the coordinates of a house he’d like to see bombed. Whatever they do, the state shields them from the natural consequences of their actions. In all likelihood, if smart, they never get caught, never get punished, and probably get commended.

Too often, I have assumed that the people working for the state take the jobs only because of the easy hours and good pay, benefits, and retirement. For the predator, though, it offers all these things with the appetizing fringe benefit of satisfying their criminal urges without the risk of retribution.

It turns out this personality type has a scientific name: psychopathic. Lest you think I merely kid you, I quote from Scientific American:

Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it. Largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love, they have casual and callous interpersonal and romantic relationships. Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead. They rarely learn from their mistakes or benefit from negative feedback, and they have difficulty inhibiting their impulses.

This seems like a nearly perfect description of those who seek political power. That same article goes on to say that fields over-represented by psychopaths may include “politics, business and entertainment. Yet the scientific evidence for this intriguing conjecture is preliminary.” It turns out that much stronger evidence for this exists than the article lets on. MORE HERE

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I Am a Panarchist

A great perspective and excellent questions. I generally agree with him. However, the answers are not forthcoming from whom? Who is required to answer and then who has the power to make them answer? We live upon a treadmill of ambiguity, hypocrisy and fear. Maybe it is time to get off the treadmill. Or in the case of you politicos out there, the hamster wheels of politics. Although the author claims that,"The force and power to make me bow down is not an answer." The answer IS force. It is the root cause of social, cultural and civilization change. (See The Aggressor State) One must embrace force in its many forms as a tool, lever and weapon of defense and offense. Force is not only physical or violent. It is also emotional, intellectual, moral and philosophical. All power and authority (governments and Statisms) emanate from the ability to weld force better than another.

Carpe Libertas!


Why I Am a Panarchist

by Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael

A correspondent recently informed me about the Global Poverty Act of 2007. This bill did not pass Congress. It can be re-introduced in the current Congress. Obama favors this bill.

I have a negative opinion of this bill. I could explain why my opinion is negative. I’ve done that before with other laws that have been passed by the federal government. Instead, I will go to the root of the political matter.

Dozens of these bills are introduced into Congress and many get passed. Along the way, there are hundreds of groups that favor and oppose these bills. One can be fighting these fights 24 hours a day. This is not my idea of living. In my remaining years, I’d like to do a few other things. Still, I have to protect myself and my life from the impositions of others. One course is to fight with the pen. This has certain non-monetary benefits that I shall not go into. Either that or I find a way to go underground, insulate myself from all this nonsense, and become invisible. That too has benefits. At some point, I may do that. I may become a dropout. Then I’ll take up painting. I’ll have a machine shop and make myself a grease gun and fire it off out of anyone’s hearing. I’ll raise a few chickens or pheasants and ducks as my father once did as a pastime. I will not raise geese, however. They seemed to like to attack at will.

I find that I have no need for the federal government or the other governments for that matter. What do they do for me? They do negative for me. They take from me. They impose on me. They impose on my neighbors and prevent me from dealing with them as I might and they from dealing with me. Who needs the grief that governments bring? Every so often I must get my car inspected. I must kowtow to the state’s insurance regulations. I must get it registered every two years. God forbid I should ever have to get involved with a case in court and have to deal with the state’s justice system. I’ve never used marijuana, but maybe I’d like to try it sometime for medicinal purposes. I’m not about to hit the mean streets looking for sources who supply me with a product of unknown quality. I’d like to have my dad’s old Mauser pistol. In Maine, I could shoot it. In New York, I am a felon if I have it in the house. Who needs this grief? I spurn countless products in the supermarket because they contain high-fructose corn syrup. I don’t like it. I’d rather have sugar. If it were not for the government, they might have sugar. I will have to pay extra at some point for the privilege of having something with sugar in it. I will bake my own cookies.

If you want your government to ban marijuana, make you go through a lot of rigmarole to carry a pistol, tax sugar, and subsidize corn or ethanol, be my guest. But I get nothing out of it. I don’t see why I have to be made to do what you (I speak of the nameless others here, not you, my sympathetic reader) want. What claim do these governments have over me? Why am I their toady?

Why must I persuade everyone else not to pass a law that harms me? Why is the burden of stopping this placed on me? I am fighting off additional chains. Obviously I am unable to do so. My success rate at this is zero. Why am I a slave? Why are we all fish enclosed in the same barrel? I didn’t ask to be inside this barrel.

So, let others pass the laws that they want for themselves and their own clique. Count me out. I am not your slave. You go your way and I will go mine. Tax yourselves all you want to. That is your right. My right is to bow out of your impositions on me. Let me out of the barrel. Let everyone out of the barrel. Let them find other barrels to be in if they wish, or no barrel at all. Let those who want to stay in this barrel stay. I won’t stop them. Just let me out.

I believe that others are deluding themselves to want a government such as we have today that has the power to pass so many laws. They are making themselves into slaves. It’s their choice. I also know that others have been making the case for liberty for decades without measurable success. Some people want to be imposed on for whatever reasons at certain times in history and at other times they do not. Some people want to be in the barrel.

My problem is not so much that they are self-chosen slaves but that they have made me into their slave. They have no guilty conscience about this. They seem to think it is perfectly all right to confine me to their barrel. They regard this as the natural state of affairs. I am expected (by them) to kowtow to various governments.

Why? Why am I expected to bow down before others? Why should anyone bow down who does not want to? Why should I be ruled by others? Why should anyone be ruled by others who does not want to be so ruled?

If you ever hear a good answer, let me know. I have not yet heard a good answer. The force and power to make me bow down is not an answer.

The proposal that we each go our own ways and choose our own methods of being governed while living in America and other states of this world is the novel proposal of panarchy. It is really the proposal that we each have complete liberty. And if some of you wish to dispose of that liberty and choose a group of others to govern you, that is your business. It is your right. But it is not your right to include me unwillingly into your group. I am fighting you now and forever on that score. I am fighting you the best way I know how, which, at the moment, is with the pen. This is not an antagonistic variety of fighting, however, not at this time. I urge you to give up your urge to dominate me and others. Let us be. Let us go. Wherever my message is heard, if any government officials should happen to read it, I urge you only to let us go. Stop imposing on us. Impose on those who want to be imposed on, not on me. The end game if you do not accede is something I cannot foresee or imagine. Perhaps there will be multiple declarations of independence. Perhaps the number of dropouts will rise. Perhaps you will bring about your own demise. Perhaps we will band together and ignore you. We will stop paying taxes. We will hunt for your weak spot. We will embarrass you perhaps, jeer at you, and make fun of you. A political joke book may bring you down. Maybe we will parade you around naked. Maybe we will run you out of town or tar and feather you. I do not know.

I have no idea how to get from here to there. Such a social and political change is beyond my ken. People ask me how to get to panarchy. I don’t know. Turn your creativity loose. You will devise the ways and means. These things are works-in-progress. The loss of liberty under monopoly governments has been a work-in-progress occupying decades. Liberty might return in a flash, or it might be something that is built up step by step over time as we learn and as attitudes change and experience accumulates. I do not know. I have no game plan. I am not that smart or wise. I don’t know enough to say. I rely on many others who will carry this forward in the future and have carried it forward in the past before I ever heard of anarchy or panarchy.

Why expect someone to give you a plan anyway? Think for yourselves. Plan for yourselves as best you can. All I know is that fighting the government, bill by bill, is exhausting and does not get at the heart of the matter. It is not a matter of individual bills in Congress, bad as each one may be. It is a matter of there existing a government that has the power to pass these bills in the first place and to impose them on all of us, willy-nilly. That is why I am a panarchist (and anarchist). I personally do not want to live under such a power and such impositions, which is why I am anarchist. But I also recognize that others of you might wish to do so, which is one reason why I am panarchist. I do not want to abolish your government that you may want for yourselves, but I want to have my own means of governance for myself. This too is why I am panarchist.

I have no greater purpose than these expressions today. They are crude. They are personalistic. That is how I feel today. I speak from my stomach as much as from my brain.

Yet a thoughtful person has asked me about how defense will work or can work if there is panarchy; and I have an extended (but still incomplete) response because defense is always a major issue whenever the question of altering our political system comes up. His e-mail read:

"If I actually am able to opt out of government protection (thereby paying no taxes) and yet can stay in my place described in your ‘thought experiment’ below, am I myself not ‘looting’? What I mean by this is simply that I will be enjoying the protection of the army (provided by my taxed neighbors who opt-in for state protection) which goes to battle (say a defensive war against a foreign entity) and emerges victorious from this war. My liberty, freedom, and property remain intact, yet I foot no part of the war bill. Thus I still envision coercion for tax payments by my neighbors regardless of any previous understandings we might have had previously. Am I missing something here?"

This is the argument that defense is a public good, or that there is a positive externality in the provision of defense that necessitates joint action imposed by force on all.

Defense is not a uniform good. It is not a pack of Camel cigarettes. Even to say that defense is a public good is a meaningless statement. What someone in Harlingen wants for defense may be vastly different than what someone in Boise wants.

Nothing in the idea of several governments on the same territory prevents people in their own panarchies from associating and federating to produce joint defense. That is what the colonies did in pre-Revolutionary days. They did not have a national government but they constructed a common defense. History provides other examples.

If your neighbors defend themselves and you happen to benefit, does that give them a right to force you to pay? If your neighbors benefit you by any number of their actions, does that give them a right to force you to pay them? If so, they control your agenda and you. How do they justify that? If they cannot build a tank without your contributions, does that justify their forcing you to contribute? They will then have to know that they are helping you and by how much. They will have to know that better than you do. Can they ever know that? What if the shoe is on the other foot and you demand that they pay for building your Maginot line? That preference reflects your idea of knowledge of defense, and it differs from that of your neighbors. When you and your neighbors disagree over the worth of your respective defense products, they have no argument that can persuade you and vice versa. Either you agree to buy your own defenses, or else you will fight until one of you wins and enslaves the other. That basic choice is the issue here. If we choose no force in such matters, it creates a certain set of societal incentives. If we choose force, it creates a very different set of incentives.

The state forces its method of defense on many of us and makes us pay for it. We are the conquered. It makes our property less secure and defenseless because it can force us to pay for its product that we may not want. How can the state be defending us when it is attacking us? Suppose I refuse the state’s defense. Suppose I tell the state that its evaluation of the defense benefit it claims to be providing me is not worth the price I have to pay. The state does not listen to me. It claims its judgment is superior to my own. That is propaganda to keep the conquered docile.

Does the state know better than I do what is good for me? If we allow that conclusion for defense, then will we allow it for my education, my health affairs, my management of my wealth, my entertainment, my speech, my choice of mate, my guns, and my consumption of marijuana and alcohol and tobacco? These controls are already here. The slippery slope to a totalitarian society is already evident. The state talks people into their own slavery.

I value liberty for its own sake, because I am human and I conceive of being human as making one’s own decisions over one’s life while conceding the right of others to make theirs. Those who do not value liberty take other stances on what to be human means. In one case, they view the human being as a creature like a dog that they (in the state) train and keep in its place, that can do a number of things on its own, but that is actually contained and kept within the bounds that they, the superior beings in the state, set for it. They are dividing human beings into the superior rulers and those ruled. In another case, there are those who view the human being as a creature that is nothing without the state. Others view the state as inherently superior to the human being. There are many philosophies that support statism as against liberty.

Shall we protect ourselves by forcing others to pay tribute for what we conceive of as protecting them? Then we must logically accord others the same right of action. This means that we decide to rule them, and they decide to rule us by force of arms. We cannot make someone pay without force. We cannot take their property without force. If we choose that route, we will increase the costs of protection of our property because we will have to defend against everyone else who has a right of action against us for any reason that comes into their heads. If they purify their air and we breathe some of it, they will force us to pay. Which scenario do you prefer, uncertain and perpetual war in which property is insecure because everyone can trench on everyone else's property at their own evaluation of external benefit and harm? Or a measure of peace in which we define property boundaries and use a criterion of not using force to extract resources from others?

The nations achieve uneasy peace, often broken by warfare, in which on an inter-national basis, there are defined territorial boundaries. The gains from war on an inter-nation basis often give way to the prospect of even greater losses, in which case peace occurs. Quite often, for a variety of reasons, wars break out. One reason is that states under-estimate war costs and rulers gain by wars even if the people ruled do not. On an intra-nation basis, within each nation, the predation and looting go on unabated within the nation’s political system. There is scarcely ever peace within a nation. Among nations there is anarchy, and there are periods of peace. Peace may even be the norm among nations. Within nations, where there is no anarchy but centralized rule, there is not peace. There is constant economic warfare and looting of property, one group by another. Quite often civil war breaks out to end intra-nation oppression. Anarchy and panarchy within the boundaries of existing nations look to reduce the problem of civil war and reduce the problem of internal economic looting, which gains the greater part of its strength from the existence of that nation’s monopoly government.

Panarchy envisions non-territorial governance. Society would discard government as we know it today in its territorial form for many and maybe all of its functions. Defense might be retained along the same lines as today, if that is what people in different panarchies want. It can be done through confederations. But defense as it looks today in the U.S. is highly unlikely if Americans were free to choose their own defenses.

The U.S. went beyond federation to amalgamation under the Constitution. The idea that was propagated was that a central government was needed to defend against European powers. This political solution had a big downside that was overlooked by the framers: The central power (the U.S.A.) could make bigger and more expensive wars by taxing the entire people under its territorial jurisdiction. All it needed was a majority in Congress. The Union lowered the cost of one or two regions combining to impose the costs of war on all the other regions. The result was an expensive military and more wars. This could never have happened under the Articles of Confederation. (The same process happens for all our political programs. Defense is just another program.)

With panarchy, if there happened to be regions (who knows?), each region might have its own defense and combine in a common defense only when it really paid to combine. Defense would become much more competitively supplied as a good, so it would become cheaper and more effective. The kinds of defenses used would be far different than the armed forces we now have. Offense would diminish because a given region would have to bear all the costs.

In the year 2008, we are living with an arrangement (the Constitution) that may have been a good idea for 1787 for defense, but has become very costly and downright bad for our times. The proof is the constant U.S. involvement in wars all over the world. Ever since U.S. government got big, starting at the outset of the twentieth century with roots going back to earlier days, the country has faced one large difficulty after another. If it hasn’t been wars, it has been economic and financial problems. If it hasn’t been those, it has been social and family decay. The problems are getting worse. The roots of them are political. We are not governing ourselves properly, and this is why we keep having these problems. We badly need to get out from under the monopoly federal government. This is another powerful reason why I am a panarchist.

January 22, 2009

Here is your change!


January 20, 2009

Dear Comrade #567-01-7094

I promised change in the recent Presidential campaign. In order to prove that I am a man of my word, I have enclosed yours. Spread the wealth!


Barack Obama [Penny glued to letter]

President Barack Obama

P.S. - To retain your citizenship status, fill out and return this required 44 page survey along with a redacted copy of your Hawaii certification of live birth and all of your firearms and ammunition within two days. Peace out!


Twinkies For Obama

Welcome Obama to his new home in style. Package up and send a Twinkie to the White House. Address and counter to register your gift at

Hostess TwinkiesBarack Obama

Friday, January 16, 2009

Elko man's $62 speeding ticket battle could cost residents

The legal principle is sound. The enforcers of the law MUST follow the law. If the signage does not follow the law then there is NO sign. However, Killian is a wuse for saying he is sorry. Boo Fraking Hoo!

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A Spring Creek man who beat a $62 ticket has created a legal speed trap that could cost Elko County and his neighbors much more.

James Killian, a civil engineer with the Nevada Department of Transportation, argued the ticket he received in April for going 39 mph in a 25 mph zone was unenforceable because the speed limit sign was too small and didn’t comply with uniform traffic codes adopted by the state in 2003.

Elko Justice of the Peace Al Kacin agreed, and dismissed the citation.

Now county and Spring Creek Association employees are taking inventory of traffic signs, trying to determine how many may need to be replaced if the local jurisdictions are required to comply with the updated standards.

Killian said he wouldn’t have raised the issue if he had known the unintended consequences of the judge’s ruling.

Political “Spin” !!!

See LINK - Story retracted, recanted, removed

Monday, January 12, 2009

PoLice Reform

Police Reform
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: the initial version of the following article was written more than a dozen years ago, and appeared, in two parts, in The Libertarian Enterprise Number 30, June 15, 1997. Those wishing to see the originals may find them at:

As desperate as the abusive police situation may be today, the warning signs were already plain, at least to me, four years before this century's "Reichstag Fire"—the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001—which gave the government the excuse it needed to turn the entire country into a prison. This article will be revised further and included in the book I'm writing with my daughter Rylla, What Libertarians Believe.

* * * * * * * *

The Problem

When you see three police cars pulled over at the side of a city street to deal with a single bicycle rider, you know there are too many cops. Every day we hear of some act of brutality carried out by federal, state, or local "law enforcement" against individuals or groups whose only crime was the exercise of their unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human rights. "Policemen" at every level of government have become, more than any mere military organization, the "standing army" hated and feared by America's Founders.

There are many reasons for this, foremost among them a failure on the part of those Founders to provide for proper enforcement of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights. Creating and enacting such a "penalty clause" should be among the highest priorities for libertarians and the Libertarian Party.

Much of today's general freedom movement (which consists of libertarians, "Constitutionalists", and even a growing number of "liberals" or "progressives") is attempting to identify the causes of America's ills. As long as the causes of a problem are addressed, there's nothing wrong with ameliorating its symptoms, as well. You may get a CAT-scan to see why you suffer from terrible headaches, but you also take an aspirin. Accordingly, I suggest the following steps -- many of which I've thought about for decades—to begin treating the symptoms by which we understand we've all begun living in a police state.

Any one of these measures (or all of them grouped together), may be pursued by concerned individuals and organizations—without regard to their political ideology—who find them interesting or useful, as conventional legislation, as constitutional or charter amendments, as initiated referenda, or as a part of settlements in lawsuits.

In the short term, what's important is to generate as much public discussion of them as possible, so the authorities will understand that, if they don't change their ways, their ways will be changed for them. MORE HERE

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 10, 2009


Congress Rising in the Desert Prepare Your Delegate Nominations!

Ed. note: This update regards the upcoming historic Continental Congress 2009 event to be held in Philadelphia directly across from Independence Hall. As part of CC 2009, delegates selected by the People from each of the fifty states will convene to discuss the Government's ongoing violations of the Constitution and strategies the People can employ to peaceably curtail the abuse. Although these violations have been widely debated for years, it is the Government's patent refusal to respond to any and all First Amendment Petitions for Redress that now compel the People to justly and actively resist the tyranny.

We strongly encourage our readers to review each of our
latest updates. At a minimum, please be sure to read our "Summit Call" and "Line in the Sand" web articles
which provide a good overview of the constitutional crisis and CC 2009 initiative.

Upon being mortally wounded or hurt by its foe, the mythical Phoenix of Greek lore would regenerate itself from its own ashes, becoming virtually immortal and invincible.

So too, the creature of a People's Continental Congress continued to experience its own rebirth as part of the resurrection of Liberty during the past two days in the desert southwest.

Bob Schulz reported exceptional, energized meetings in both Phoenix, Arizona and El Paso, Texas on the past two evenings. The enthusiastic crowds intrepidly embraced the concept of renewing the Founder's Continental Congress as a means to breathe new life into our withering Republic.

Crowds in both cities participated eagerly, going as far as actually starting the process of publicly vetting and nominating a number of well-qualified individuals capable of representing them as Delegates to the upcoming Continental Congress 2009 to be held in Philadelphia later this winter.

Bob Schulz wants again to offer his sincerest personal thanks to those who have supported and participated in the CC 2009 initiative thus far. He reports that the Congress project has clearly begun to "take wing," and is succeeding - as was hoped for - in transcending both organizational and single-issue boundaries as we move toward securing our common cause of Liberty.

This weekend, Bob speaks in San Bernardino and San Francisco, California. Details can be found on the CC 2009 meeting schedule web page.

Delegate Nomination Process to be Unveiled

The WTP on-line system to nominate potential Delegates to the Continental Congress 2009 is scheduled to be unveiled this coming week.

Nominations may be entered through the secure on-line entry system and nominees will be displayed on each state's WTP Congress state web page following preliminary screening and approval by WTP. See the MA state page to see the nominee display design concept.

Individuals planning to be nominated should begin to assemble a short description of their professional and educational backgrounds as well as a short personal public statement conveying their qualification and arguing their desire and ability to best serve as a People's Delegate. Nominees will also be able to include active html links to materials on other websites in their text responses.

It is strongly suggested that nominee statements be prepared and thoroughly reviewed off-line using your word processing software prior to entry into the nomination system where much of the information will be publicly displayed. Please take care to use proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and to spell-check all submissions.

Nominees will be requested to upload a relatively small sized "head and shoulders" graphic image (.jpg format) that will be displayed along with the nominee's details.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tasered Hula Hoop Lady Sues A-hole Porcine

Well here you go all you a-hole porcine lovers another perfect example of why YOU are the domestic terrorists. What a wonderful example of serving the public by abusing mentally challenged harmless people who are telling you they have a medical alert notice and can't comply due to injuries. Time to take this porcine into the woods for a wet down and tasering!

The officer who used a Taser to shock the Hula Hoop Lady of Granby Street in October felt he had no choice but to do so, according to Norfolk's city attorney.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Pamela Brown filed a lawsuit in Norfolk Circuit Court, seeking $5 million in damages against Officer Nicholas Parks. The lawsuit says Parks violated Brown's civil rights and used excessive force during the incident.

Brown, 49, was charged with making excessive noise and assaulting Parks after he responded to a noise complaint on the median of Granby Street near Wards Corner, where she hula-hoops. Brown suffered a brain injury in 1977 when she was hit by a truck, and she has seizures and short-term memory loss. A prosecutor dropped the charges in November.

According to the lawsuit, Parks disregarded Brown's repeated statements that her injuries prevented her from putting her arm behind her back, as the officer had ordered. The lawsuit says Parks ignored Brown's efforts to tell him about the documents she had with her that described her condition. MORE HERE

Sunday, January 04, 2009

More Why Cops Suck!

Readers often ask why I am so "down" on poLice. Here is just a sample of "WHY" from Radly Balko's blog The Agitator. Also, this excellent research expose Are Cops Constitutional? by Roger Root goes to the heart of the matter.
The basic problem is that cops are unaccountable financially and criminally by a system that covers up their abuses and a culture that won't hold them personally accountable by honor or blood. It will get worse until they are slapped down by an intolerant judiciary (lol) or people willing to hold abusive poLice personally responsible for their actions by vigilante justice.

  • Macon, Georgia man says police assaulted and choked his son after getting the wrong house on a “knock and talk” raid.
  • The Belleville, Illinois police officer accused of beating a man for wearing a t-shirt printed with the word “police” I posted about last week has been sued for civil rights violations four times since 1999. Two were while he was with the Belleville police department, and both resulted in settlements.
  • Police in D.C. caught on tape stealing from the city’s Toys for Tots program.
  • A police officer in Missouri is under arrest for stealing the laptop of a woman he pulled over. Problem is, the woman saw him steal it, and filed a complaint back in 2007. They ignored her. It wasn’t until the apparently not-so-bright officer brought the laptop back to the sheriff’s department to have software installed that the laptop was confirmed stolen, and the cop was arrested.
  • Puppycide in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Again, this comes down to training. These particular officers should have been taught (a) the difference between a charging dog and one bounding out to meet another dog, (b) how to deal with even a charging dog in a way that falls short of killing it, and (c) that it was a Great Dane, which generally a very gentle breed. What’s troubling in these cases is that the first reaction is always to shoot.
  • Cop drives 100 in a 45 in response to a shoplifting call. Ends up hitting and killing another cop. Now, other officers are coming to his defense, asking the DA not to press charges. Think they’d have the same reaction if a non-cop had caused the accident?
  • Police in New Orleans shoot man 12 times in the back. The shooting could well have been justified, but there are already some troubling discrepancies in the officers’ account of the incident.
  • Police in Bellaire, Texas shoot a 23-year-old man after mistaking him for a car thief.
  • Las Vegas cop arrested for offering to drop speeding tickets in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Teen (also the son of a cop) pulled over for expired inspection sticker. Cop asks to search the car. Teen says no. Drug dog then mysteriously “alerts.” Cop allows dog to search the car. No drugs. Teen drives away, and is now suing. The really sad part, though, are the comments to the story. Comments here are pretty sad, too.
  • Oregon officer caught buying steroids while on the job. His police department takes no action.
  • Friday, January 02, 2009

    Happy New Year!?!?

    This may prove to be the year of our undoing. The machine is corrupt and breaking down. The elite may not protect you as you have become a burden to their survival and profit margin bottom line. Our so called "social contract" with ourselves in the form of a constitution is casually reinterpreted in the favor of government rather than the "people" who created it. EVERY warning by the Anti-Federalists about the flaws and problems of this constitutional system are coming true in our lifetime.
    This experiment with "equal justice under the law" where you give up your basic human right to seek remedy by right and blood for an administered "justice" dictated by special interests is a failure. Talion law is the basic human law that you have a right to avail yourself of. It is time to consider going back to it.
    Many in the "Freedom Movement" celebrated the movie V for Vendetta but failed to understand the message. What was the movie about? Hint, it is in the name! "A shadowy freedom fighter known only as "V" uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society." He sought revenge against those who had injured him and others.
    How many innocent people have to be assaulted, SWAT teamed, tasered, beaten, and killed by "law enforcement poLice" before their atrocities are answered in kind? Look at Greece! That was only 1 teenager killed and they took to the streets and shut down government! You are kept toothless by your unfounded belief in the false justice system that slaps the wrists of a few psycho cops.
    You need to educate yourself and others in the philosophy, lifestyle and tactical defense of Liberty. In the left column are sources for you to use to be free!

    “Only the educated are free.” first-century stoic Epictetus

    by Tim Case

    December 30, 2008

    "The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."

    ~ Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988)

    "The common man, finding himself in a world so excellent, technically and socially, believes it has been produced by nature, and never thinks of the personal efforts of highly endowed individuals which the creation of this new world presupposed. Still less will he admit the notion that all these facilities still require the support of certain difficult human virtues, the least failure of which would cause the rapid disappearance of the whole magnificent edifice."

    ~José Ortega y Gasset (1883–1955)

    The glory years of Pax Romana can rightly be set as that period in Roman history from the beginning of Augustus’ reign in 27 BC to the end of stoic Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ reign in 180 AD.

    The Christian apologist Tertullian (200 AD) gives us an excellent example for how Rome was viewed during this period: "Surely a glance at the world shows that it is daily being more cultivated and better peopled than before. All places are now accessible, well known, open to commerce. Delightful farms have now blotted out every trace of the dreadful wastes; cultivated fields have supplanted woods; flocks and herds have driven out wild beasts; sandy spots are sown; rocks and stones have been cleared away; bogs have been drained. Large towns now occupy lands hardly tenanted before by cottages. Islands are no longer dreaded [as the abode of pirates]; houses, people, civil rule, civilization are everywhere."

    However, even as the ancient world basked in the glory of the Roman civilization its very foundation was decaying. The causes for this decay and the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire have long been debated by historians and are generally attributed to one or more of the following:

    1. Lack of Public Health which led to relatively short lives among the wealthy and debased living conditions among the lower classes and the poor.
    2. A marked decline in the morals and ethics among all Roman social classes as witnessed by the gladiatorial games, rampant prostitution, gluttony of the ruling class and alcoholism among all classes. Certainly the wealth of the empire contributed to various forms of social and individual debauchery. As one author put it: "The Roman Empire couldn’t stand prosperity."
    3. Excessive government with its accompanying political corruption which can be demonstrated through the Roman state’s use of the frumentarii or the Roman secret service. It was the frumentarii that Emperor Hadrian engaged, to collect the corn throughout Roman’s provinces. This brought them in contact with local politics, and as spies for the emperor they gathered a wealth of intelligence concerning the people and their thinking throughout the empire. This in turn earned those who spied for the emperor, the hatred of the people. The people feared and hated the frumentarii so much that when in the third century (217 AD) Macrinus appointed a former head of the frumentarii and prefect of the Praetorian Guard to the senate, he alienated a large portion of the Roman establishment against him, in effect signing his own death warrant which was summarily executed the next year. This is not to excuse the gangster rulers of the latter part of the 3rd century nor the totalitarian, socialist state created by Diocletian, Constantine, and their successors which not only aided but exacerbated the destruction of the Roman society.
    4. Excessive military spending with corresponding government projects and social programs which led, in due course, to inflation and then hyperinflation.
    5. Inflation, price controls, and the state’s attempt to completely regulate the Roman economy destroyed manufacturing along with the empire’s agricultural base. This swelled the unemployment rolls and sent large numbers of people to cities looking for either work or to get on the public dole. Such was the desperation of the empire that in 274 AD Emperor Aurelian extended the relief rolls by making government subsidy a right of heredity. He also replaced bread for the traditional wheat and added free pork, olive oil and salt to the rations, making the Roman state’s war on wealth even more pronounced.
    6. Inferior Technology is not often thought of as a reason for the decline and eventual collapse of the Roman Empire. However, behind all the architectural grandeur that was Rome there was deadly lack of simple technology needed to advance, protect and sustain the Roman civilization. From the early part of the second century there were no technical improvements in industry. Roman tools were poor at best: men working in quarries, mines and construction were required to use brute force to make up for inadequate tools. The Romans never devised a practical harness or horseshoes which would have made their draught animals more productive. The Roman horse collar applied too much pressure to the animal’s windpipe, causing choking, and greatly reducing the animal’s ability to haul or do any heavy work. The Roman military’s inability to develop heavy cavalry to protect the empire was due to their failure to develop the simple stirrup, a failure that would haunt them in later years.
    7. Civil war accompanied by external invasions.

    Each of these points can be expanded or elaborated on to show their relationship to the ultimate collapse of the Roman Empire. Certainly no serious student of history would dare ignore any of these lines of reasoning in studying the fall of the Roman Empire. However, there is one further item that is rarely addressed but which should be of equal importance to understanding why great empires, like Rome, ultimately fail.

    Whether we are talking about an autocracy, oligarchy, or democracy we are in the final analysis dealing with a coercive force which will become violent to attain its ends. As the state increases its power base and the demands upon its citizens, it will seek to have a domineering effect upon the human spirit. The result is the destruction of self-reliance, self-determination and self-confidence of free citizens and replacing them with a dutiful, subservient drone totally reliant on the state.

    The pressure the state exerts on it subjects was not lost on Tacitus who bemoaned the servile mood of the Roman Senate under Tiberius in contrast to the character of the Senate during the building of the Empire. Even Tiberius is reported to have said in disgust of the Roman senators: "O men, ready for slavery!"

    Three of the great writers of antiquity – Livy, Pliny the elder, and Tacitus – all recognized that the Roman society was becoming enslaved. Livy felt it was because of the wealth and Pliny concurred that the lack of intellectual interests was the result of the worship of wealth.

    Tacitus, however, stated that "genius died by the same blow that ended public liberty" laying the blame directly at the feet of the rising tyranny of the Roman state.

    However, it is the unknown philosopher of Longinus’ On The Sublime who pinpoints the cause when he says: "we of to-day, seem to have learnt in our childhood the lessons of a benignant despotism, to have been cradled in her habits and customs from the time when our minds were still tender, and never to have tasted the fairest and most fruitful fountain of eloquence, I mean liberty. Hence we develop nothing but a fine genius for flattery. This is the reason why, though all other faculties are consistent with the servile condition, no slave ever became an orator; because in him there is a dumb spirit which will not be kept down: his soul is chained: he is like one who has learnt to be ever expecting a blow. For, as Homer says – ‘the day of slavery takes half our manly worth away.’"

    In Catiline's War Gaius Sallustius Crispus opens his dissertation with this statement: "Every man who is anxious to surpass the lower animals should strive with all his power not to pass his life in obscurity like the brute beasts, which nature has made the groveling slaves of their bellies. Now our whole ability resides jointly in our mind and body. In the case of the mind it is its power of guidance, in the case of the body its obedient service that we rather use, sharing the former faculty with the gods, the latter with the brute creation…"

    We may say then, without too much contradiction, that the real war between a free people and the state resides over who will control the mind: the individual or the state.

    If it is the individual, society will continue to grow and flourish, while if the state wins control, the society rapidly decays, allowing the points often citied for the fall of the Roman Empire to occur.

    What is reflected by these ancient authors is not merely loss of liberty but a mood of apathy. This lethargy was prevalent throughout the empire and it was strictly due to the severe paternalism of the Roman state; the result being the people had lost their will to succeed.

    Curiosity was discouraged; the history of the Roman Republic which had been the foundation for the Empire was bastardized, forgotten or ignored. The accepted leaders of Roman cities were persecuted to the point they lost all their initiative and public spirit; their every thought being subject to the whims of Rome. For the general public the results were to suppress the entrepreneurial spirit, while in its place every effort was made, by the Roman citizen, to secure for himself and his family a docile and inactive life on a safe, if modest, income.

    In short, almost every intellectual endeavor was discouraged, suppressed, or redirected, reducing the population to "groveling slaves of their bellies" and to the Roman Empire.

    While history will judge when the American spirit of self-reliance, self-determination and self-confidence was destroyed we have an indication that its destruction is well advanced.

    Recently I was sent an email asking me to take a civics quiz that was designed and issued by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute of Wilmington, Delaware.

    While most LRC readers will find the quiz easy if not simplistic I was stunned to see the results when the quiz was issued to a random sample of Americans. Testing their "knowledge of America’s founding principles and texts, core history, and enduring institutions" showed that of the 2,508 respondents only 21 could pass it with a score 90% or better; 66 with 80 to 89.9%; 185 with 70 to 79.9% and 445 with a "D" score of 60 to 69.9%. This left an unimaginable number (1,791) who were not able to pass this basic quiz. What is worse is that the mean score of all who took the test is 49%.

    Now if that wasn’t bad enough the ISI broke the score down and found that elected officials taking the test scored 5% BELOW the mean with an average of 44%.

    The politicians’ weakest points were the questions dealing with U.S.-Soviet Tension in 1962, the Declaration of Independence, Sputnik and not surprisingly the definition of Free Enterprise. This from those who believe they are supernaturally endowed to be the sole lord and arbiters of our private actions and property when they should be the brunt of our jokes and exiled from our midst.

    I have often lamented that politicians always emanate from the dregs of society; the historical proofs now have modern confirmation.

    It is always dangerous to lay current events at the door of history and say because it happened before under these circumstances it will happen here and now. But given the recent presidential campaign and the promise of "change" trumpeted by the president-elect I suspect that we are doomed to witness the destructive exploits of another Diocletian rather than the calming influence of an Augustus.

    Given also that the society that elected the president-in-waiting is dominated by blind nationalism, trendy savior-worship, an unending ignorance of history, economics and philosophy and devoid of a critical thought process, I fear history will say of this moment, "the civilization of the modern world suffered final collapse."

    The American author and revolutionary Thomas Gordon wrote: "…[I]t is that we everywhere find tyranny and imposture, ignorance and slavery, joined together…" one then wonders how long America can last.