Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas "Vacation"

I have been re-posting content from other blogs lately and thought I would change it up a bit today.

Lacey came down from Missouri to spend a little time with us over the Christmas Holiday. She and Toie went into San Antonio yesterday to do a little shopping and started sending me pics that I can only assume were applications to join "The Big Floppy Hat Club". I do have to admit that the sombrero picture is quite compelling but since they didn't actually purchase said chapeaus, nor did they bring me one, I can't approve any such application. 

I just found out yesterday that my parents are planning to visit from the Phoenix area in the next few days.  We are going to have a full and fruitful Holiday!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

The Daily Bell: The Astonishing Ron Paul

The original article can be seen in its entirety here

The Astonishing Ron Paul
Friday, December 21, 2012 – by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Lew Rockwell
As 2012 draws to a close, it's hard not to be reminded that 2013 will begin with Ron Paul retired from Congress. For all those years he was a fearless truth-teller, who exposed and denounced the horrors, domestic or foreign, of the regime. His farewell address – something practically unheard of for a congressman in the first place – will continue to be read years from now, as future Americans look back with astonishment that such a man actually served in the US Congress.

For most of his career, those speeches were delivered to a largely empty chamber and to audiences of modest size around the country. A man of Ron's intelligence could have grown in stature and influence in no time at all had he been willing to play the game. He wasn't. And he was perfectly at peace with the result: although he wasn't a major political celebrity, he had done his moral duty.

Little did he know that those thankless years of pointing out the State's lies and refusing to be absorbed into the Blob would in fact make him a hero one day. To see Ron speaking to many thousands of cheering kids, when all the while respectable opinion had been warning them to stay far away from this dangerous man, is more gratifying and encouraging than I can say. I was especially thrilled when a tempestuous Ron, responding to the Establishment's description of his campaign as "dangerous," said, you're darn right – I am dangerous, to them.

Some people used to tell Ron that if only he'd stop talking about foreign policy he might win more supporters. He knew it was all nonsense. Foreign policy was the issue that made Ron into a phenomenon. There would have been no Ron Paul movement in the first place had Ron not distinguished himself from the pack by refusing to accept the cartoonish narrative, peddled not only by Rudy Giuliani but also by the luminaries of both major political parties, accounting for the origins of 9/11.

How many bills did he pass, right-wing scoffers demand to know. A successful Republican politician, in between his usual activity of expanding government power, is supposed to have rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic five or six times, by means of bills with his name on them. At best, the bills these politicos boast about amounted to marginal changes of momentary significance, if even that. More commonly, even the bills they trumpeted turned out to be ambiguous or actually negative from a libertarian standpoint.

What is Ron's legacy? Not some phony bill, of zero significance in the general avalanche of statism. For his legacy, look around you.

The Federal Reserve, an issue not discussed in American politics in a hundred years, is under greater scrutiny now than ever before. Austrian economics is enjoying a rebirth that dwarfs the attention it received when F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize in 1974 – and when you ask people how they heard about the Austrian School, the universal answer is Ron Paul. One man brought about this intellectual revolution. How's that for a legacy?

And that's not to mention how many people Ron introduced to libertarian thought in general, or how many hawks reconsidered their position on war because of Ron's arguments and example.

Even the mainstream media has to acknowledge the existence of a whole new category of thinker: one that is antiwar, anti-Fed, anti-police state, and pro-market. The libertarian view is even on the map of those who despise it. That, too, is Ron's doing.

Young people are reading major treatises in economics and philosophy because Ron Paul recommended them. Who else in public life can come close to saying that?

How many bills did he get passed? Talk about missing the point.

Where are the hordes of students dying to learn from Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, or Mitt Romney?

Remember, too, that in politics there's always some excuse for why the message of liberty can't be delivered. I have to satisfy the party leadership. I have to keep the media off my back. The moment is inopportune. My constituents aren't ready to hear it – so instead of explaining myself and persuading them, I'll just keep my mouth shut, or minimize my position to the point where I sound like any old politician, except ten percent better.

And all the while, would-be donors are assured that this is all a facade, that the politician is really one of us and not what he appears to be. For the time being, you understand, he has to contradict his core beliefs in order to ingratiate himself into the favor of those whose support he will one day need.

Once elected, he still cannot really say what he thinks. Don't you want him to get re-elected?

Ron never acted this way. At times he would explain the libertarian position in ways likely to resonate with a particular audience, but he never compromised or backed away.

It's been said that if you ask Ron Paul a question, he gives you a straight answer. That's an understatement. All through his presidential campaigns he sent the guardians of opinion into hysterics. Why, he can't say that! That wasn't even one of the choices! To the gatekeepers' astonishment, his numbers kept on growing.

No politician is going to trick the public into embracing liberty, even if liberty were his true goal and not just a word he uses in fundraising letters. For liberty to advance, a critical mass of the public has to understand and support it. That doesn't have to mean a majority, or even anywhere near it. But some baseline of support has to exist.

That is why Ron Paul's work is so important and so lasting.

Ten years from now, no one will remember the men who opposed Ron in the GOP primaries. Half of them are forgotten already. But fifty years from now (and longer), young kids will still be learning from Ron: reading his books, following his recommendations for further study, and taking inspiration from his courage and principle.

With Ron's congressional career drawing to a close, we should remember that we have witnessed something highly unusual, and exceedingly unlikely to be repeated. And we should also remember Ron's parting advice: The real revolution is not in Washington, DC. It's in the world of ideas.

That's what Ron is devoting the rest of his life to, and it's one more thing he has to teach us. So watch for news of Ron's new work for peace, his new homepage, and his new TV extravaganza. Far from retiring, he is stepping up his work for liberty. And there is a place for all of us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ole Remus and the Woodpile Report


We lost the republic long ago. Within Remus's lifetime, loyal constitutionalist patriots have gone from the majority to a tolerated minority to a designated hate group and now, presumed terrorists. Meanwhile, the collectivists—the Democrat Republican Progressive establishment—are openly consolidating their power, strutting on the national stage like Mussolini in front of a mirror, their witless minions shouting down deviations from DC's two party one-party line.

DC has taken on the classic structure of totalitarianism: feuding official fiefdoms with fuzzy and overlapping authorities, all burrowing into the formerly private lives of the populace, legal cover provided by a Byzantine tangle of laws and impenetrable codes, a form of lawlessness in itself, as it's meant to be. In this pervasive fog and fear they needn't be lawful other than by their own calculations.

Socialists cannot be and never have been bound by law, or said another way, under socialism the legality of an act is determined by its compliance with collectivist theory, retroactively where convenient, and not by a body of law that can be known in advance. The citizen is quantified, society is qualified, i.e., the citizen's actions are measured against the putative good of the "masses". In the republic now gone, society was measured in terms of the good of the citizen. The republic's sole purpose was to guarantee the citizen's liberty against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This was the Constitutional basis of the legal system, the reason for equality under the law, and the only justification for war.

But this is in the past, we are well into the collectivist 'personality cult' phase. There's no longer a question of retrieving the republic, it must be rebuilt. What lies between now and then can't be known. What is known is this: collectivists can mount an insurgency like no other, ruthless, patient and unwavering, but once successful they remain insurgents and without exception descend into a Darwinian orgy of power lust, visiting excesses on each other and the populace until the nightmare consumes the realm.

There's no need for ol' Remus to flog the best among us to do this or that in response, even if he knew what to do. Besides, they aren't the best because of what they do, they're the best because of what they are. What needs to be done flows from that so it's enough that they are what they are. They're an anonymous and nameless and timeless meritocracy with a provenance that predates the republic—they need the internet like Jefferson needed the newsreel—and they shall rise among us, the republic shall flourish anew. Just how, ol' Remus hasn't a clue, but he doesn't have to, Thomas Paines and Benjamin Franklins and Thomas Jeffersons have ever walked among us. Their time has come again.

. . . . .

"There aren't any great men. There are just great challenges you like men ordinary that circumstances to meet. Admiral William "Bull" Halsey via"

. . . . .

Ol' Remus has been many things and one thing he was was a card-carrying worker in Mexico. He and anybody who's familiar with Mexico's underside will tell you nothing is what it seems, mostly because outsiders willfully misinterpret everything to their own advantage. They'll tell you of colorful poverty and curiously honorable small-time corruption and wary openness to strangers and simple food, in short, all the stuff that makes them feel right at home.

Point is, from time to time during conversations with his fellow yanquis Remus would mentally append something like this:

Look around, look closely, remember what you see. You only imagine you're looking at a people trying to achieve what we've achieved, and failing. You'd like to intervene and say they must do this or that, but stand in a different place and you'll understand you're looking at our future. You speak of what is sustainable. This is what is sustainable in this place at this time. This is one workable balance with the realities of life, not our balance perhaps, not in detail, but in kind.

We're standing in a very different place now, and it will be yet more different soon. Folks are getting, um - expedient, to strike their balance with the rapidly shifting realities of life. But be of good cheer, civil collapse isn't an unalloyed disaster in all places for all people. There's good news. The over-delicate among us will have succumbed, and succumb indelicately, largely by way of their delusions. A subset of the over-delicate will have imploded from sheer dissipation, as:

This cute little cabinet comes from a shop in La Paz. It was made entirely with hand tools. Can you believe that? I had this room built around it. I just adore it.

They're a bearable loss.

On the other hand, the career posers will go from zero tolerance to infinite tolerance between heartbeats because adapt-prepare-execute-adapt is the more viable plan, meaning when all you have is a nail everything looks like a hammer. There's a pressing need to sort things out, and until things are sorted out, ugly doesn't begin to describe the interval. Nothing focuses the mind like a life-or-death moment.

Ol' Remus believes the happiest outcome of any life-or-death dustup is to have been elsewhere. That's Plan A. He's noticed this is not a reliable strategy so he has a Plan B, namely, doing the best he can with what he has, using what he's learned. That's the adapt part of adapt-prepare-execute-adapt. Incidentally, the over-delicate, see above, include the determinedly improvident and their enablers, whose notion of adapting doesn't involve effort on their part. It means ginning up self reproach on the part of others so they'll make good their insufficiencies. They'll disappear, betimes, the unwilling and the unfit alike.

To review: unwarranted self reproach erodes whatever self confidence one has. Adapt. Learn from experience, your experience by preference. The experience of others has already been edited, and not impartially. They, like you, are the hero of their own life story.

Anyway, back to kozmik troofs. Our lesson for today is that the republic and the wealth we earned in the past few decades has fallen into the hands of fools and frauds. Doesn't matter how, the republic and its portable wealth are gone, pretty much. Self reproach is useless, so adapt, do the best you can with what you have, use what you learn .

Of wealth and the republic, the republic is the more valuable long term, that's the place to start. Remus believes we've nearly relearned to fit a building to its foundation, the foundation in this case being the Constitution. Ol' Remus notices the present squatters have taken to calling such talk terrorism. He also plans to be elsewhere when such folk are less eager to point themselves out.

The abnormality of recent decades is gone, there is no "recovery", we're in bad times and it's early yet, we've already entered a new era of scarcity and there's worse to come. But preparing should involve more than merely surviving when the future include restoring our former Constitutional unavoidable matter of getting through the intervening maelstrom, and it's right and prudent to prepare for it, but we still have our civic responsibilities, post-collapse. Damage Control is not shipbuilding.

None of this will happen if able citizens are drawn off by populist fervor and fritter away their efforts on details, as is currently the case. However satisfying small victories may be, they're still small victories, like an extra ration in the Gulags. It's time to consider historic action. With totalitarianism ascendant, and given decades of government schools, it may be the last chance.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


It got cold this morning, right at the freezing mark.  It didn't last long enough to cause an problems such as frozen pipes and such but it definately got my attention.  After spending the hotter part of the summer in South Texas, the blood has thinned a bit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Headed Toward the 11th Hour Compromise Tuesday, December 04, 2012 – by Ron Paul

This article originally appears on The Daily Bell website and can be read here.

As the year draws to an end, America faces yet another congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth touted as "saving" the economy. While cutting taxes is always a good idea, setting up a ticking time bomb with a sunset provision, as the Bush tax cuts did, is terrible policy. Congress should have just cut taxes. But instead, we have a crisis that is sure not to go to waste.

The hysteria surrounding the January 1 deadline for the Budget Control Act's spending cuts and expiration of the Bush tax cuts seems all too familiar. Even the language is predictably hysterical: if government reduces planned spending increases by even a tiny amount, the economy will go over a "fiscal cliff." This is nonsense.

This rhetoric is based on the belief that government spending sustains the economy, when in fact the opposite is true. Every dollar the government spends is a dollar taken from consumers, businessmen, or investors. Reducing spending can only help the economy by putting money back in the hands of ordinary Americans. Politicians who claim to support the free market and the lower- and middle-class should take this to heart.

The reality is, however, that neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about cutting spending. Even though US military spending is exponentially larger than any other country and is notorious for its inefficiency and cost overruns, Republicans cannot seem to stomach even one penny of cuts to the Pentagon's budget. This is unfortunate because this is the easiest, most obvious place to start getting spending under control. The military-industrial complex and unconstitutional overseas military interventions should be the first place we look for budget cuts.

Similarly, Democrats are digging in their heels on not cutting any welfare or entitlement spending and instead propose to fix the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, even though the US Government already has a progressive tax code and the rich already pay more than their fair share. Furthermore, these higher taxes would fall on small business owners, investors and entrepreneurs − in other words, the source of economic growth and new jobs!

The truth is that there is no excuse for government spending being as high as it is, nor for taxes being as high as they are. Even the God of the Old Testament only asked for ten percent as a tithe and offering, and Americans revolted against the King of England for taxes that amounted to less than five percent. Yet so many people today complain about "loopholes" for the rich that lower their actual tax rate to "only" 13 percent in some instances. Even that is a criminal amount to pay for a wasteful, abusive, unconstitutional government.

We are indeed headed to a fiscal cliff and have been long before this latest hysteria cropped up. But it is not cuts to spending or reduced government "revenue" that will send us over the cliff, it is continued government spending that will. Until the federal government limits itself to its constitutionally-mandated role, spending and taxation will remain out of control.

Look for a "bipartisan" compromise in late December, with Republicans giving in to tax increases and settling for phony spending cuts that actually grow government, and Democrats caving on defense cuts in exchange for tax increases. This is how the government has always grown: Both sides will sacrifice their pro-liberty, small government stances in certain areas in order to grow the government where they prefer.

Liberty always loses in the 11th hour.