Category Archives: Freedom

Forget the candidates. Let’s talk core beliefs.

The personalities are fleeting but the principles are permanent. Hopefully not semi-permanent.

I’m talking about how we organize as a group of 305 million individuals, the grand experiment in self-government that was launched 232 years ago and will hopefully extend through future generations (feels quite shaky now, though, doesn’t it?).

So let’s take a break from the campaign crud and think beyond the relative temporariness of all the faces we’ve grown to love and/or hate.

(I loved when SNL Weekend Update announced the winner of the VP debate: the person you already liked. So true! I watched the Twitter stream during the debate and noted that it was more an exercise in entrenchment than enlightenment.)

Is the polarization on the candidates due to our being easily swayed by smears, minutiae, and manipulation? Or is it because we have fundamental disagreements on what our political and economic systems should look like? I’d like to explore the latter.

I hope many of you will engage in this discussion. It’s harder to examine your core beliefs than to “go with your gut” on a candidate, and I hope you’ll indulge me. Just four questions.

Leave comments here or do a post on your own blog. I’d like to reach beyond my own readers to see others’ ideas of utopia. You can even add a question if you want — make the question(s) your own. And I don’t even need to say that we should stay respectful, right?

Whether you are in or outside of the US, I am interested in hearing from you.


1. Overall,* do you believe people are basically bad (1) or good (100)? Try to put a number on it.

2. Overall, do you think the best economic system would reward people based on what they need (1) or on what they deserve (100)? Again, put a number on it.

3. What do you think are the main functions (say, 5-10 of them) of government? You could even divide your list into (a) Federal and (b) State/Local.

4. In an ideal society, what percentage of the wealth created by citizens should go to fund government**? In other words, what is a fair price to pay for the functions of government you list in #3?

* Yes, in all these rating questions there will be “it depends” and “in some cases” and innumerable qualifiers. I am asking you to think overall.

** As a benchmark, all three levels of government currently consumed 38.8% in 2006 (data from Economic Report of the President, February, 2008.

Door #3?

Not sold on either Obiden or McPalin? Can’t stomach one pair taking away your economic freedom and the other taking away your personal freedoms?

There may still be hope in this already remarkable political season.

Ron Paul to Hold Major Press Conference Wednesday

September 8, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – Congressman Ron Paul will hold a press conference in the Ball Room at the National Press Club on Wednesday, September 10th at 10:00 am. Dr. Paul will announce his intentions for the fall presidential election and will be accompanied by several special guests.

This event comes on the heels of Dr. Paul’s historic three-day Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, Minnesota that drew over 12,000 supporters.


In case you think such a movement is small spuds, the Campaign for Liberty is on a roll. Yesterday it surpassed 100,000 passionate members.

Check it out and help stop the creeping authoritarianism.


More of our freedoms evaporated this week (courtesy our servant government, our elected officials who took the oath of office to uphold the Constitution).

Did you kiss them?

Will you miss them?

(Your freedoms, not your congresspeople.)

From Freedom Works:

Hidden deep in Senator Christopher Dodd’s 630-page Senate housing legislation is a sweeping provision that affects the privacy and operation of nearly all of America’s small businesses. The provision, which was added by the bill’s managers without debate this week, would require the nation’s payment systems to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government.


This Senate bill requires eBay, Amazon, Google, all credit card companies and other businesses to report transactions to the government.

As part of a HOUSING BILL, for cripes sake.

Not only does it strip us of another civil liberty (maybe we should try to get our liberties on the Endangered Species list), but the bill is expected to transfer $8.0 billion over the 2009-2018 period from the private (wealth-creating) sector of our economy to the public (wealth-consuming) sector.

Whether or not you have a small business, this means YOUR information will be reported to the government every time you transact. And small businesses will collect this $8 billion dollars from their customers — YOU. And anyone who has transactions involving these companies will be vulnerable to identity theft.

From The Hill’s Congress Blog:

The bipartisan housing bill currently being debated in the Senate contains an unrelated amendment that will burden innovative Internet companies and threaten the civil liberties of every American.


…These companies would be required to construct vast databases of personal information from merchants, including names, addresses, social security numbers, and detailed information about every electronic transaction. Not only would these requirements trigger higher fees for merchants and higher prices for consumers, but they will also needlessly subject millions of small businesses to the risk of identity theft.

This bill passed the Senate committee on Thursday morning. If the House and the Senate can work out the differences in their bills, this will go to the President to be signed into law (what are the odds that our President would veto?).

Good news? There is still time for your voice to be heard.

Call to action: Contact your Senators (you have two of them) today. Simply say one sentence in your own words: “I urge you to vote NO on HR 3221 because I value my civil liberties and you took an oath to protect and preserve them.” You can see how your Senators voted here, and you can also find their contact information.

Also contact your Representative (you have one) today and say the same thing. Here is information on how each Representative voted, and how to reach him/her. You’ll need to know who your Representative is or what congressional district you are in.

More good news: Believe it or not, Senators and Representatives actually do listen. I was once told that each letter or call carries the weight of 10,000 constituents. The People have turned the tide before. So please, send off a quick email or two right now.

The last resort will be to contact President Bush. We don’t really want to leave our civil liberties in his hands, do we?

Send your three emails (2 Senators and 1 Representative). Freedom is so much easier to keep than to regain.

And spread the word.