Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
From Texas Congressman Ron Paul:
The Illusion of Safety
by Ron Paul
Recent incidents of violence in Norway and London have made us understandably uncomfortable here at home, as many fear that a worsening economy will lead to violence and unrest in American cities. This is why Congress must view the economy as its first priority and a matter of national security: unless and until we get our fiscal house in order to foster economic growth, civil society will continue to deteriorate.
The fundamental lesson every American should learn from these incidents is that government cannot protect us. No matter how many laws we pass, no matter how many police or federal agents we put on the streets, a determined individual or group can still cause great harm. Both Norway and England have strict gun control laws, and London in particular has security cameras monitoring nearly all public areas. But laws and spy cameras are useless in the face of lawless mobs or sick mass killers. Only private individuals on the scene could have prevented or lessened these tragedies. And we should remember that theft, arson, and property damage were not the only criminal acts in London--innocent bystanders were assaulted and killed as well. In those instances deadly force used in self-defense would have been fully justified.
Perhaps the only good that can come from these terrible events is a reinforced understanding that we as individuals are responsible for our safety and the safety of our families. This means, frankly, that we must safely own and use firearms to deter or prevent criminal assaults on our homes and persons. It is absurd to think police or government agents can protect 310 million Americans around the clock.
Thanks to our media and many government officials, however, Americans have become conditioned to view the state as our protector and the solution to every problem. Whenever something terrible happens, especially when it becomes a prominent news story, people reflexively demand that government do something. This impulse almost always leads to bad laws, more debt, and the loss of liberty. It is completely at odds with the best American traditions of self-reliance and individual responsibility.
Do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, and metal detectors? Do we want to imprison every disturbed or alienated individual who fantasizes about violence? Do we really believe government can provide total security? Or can we accept that liberty is more important than the illusion of state-provided security?
Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference unless they use force or fraud against others. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
While I agree with Davies that libertarianism is a political doctrine, I think it is a moral code also in that a libertarian must respect the rights of individuals.. I would also disagree with his statement on interventionism.
According to Dr. Stephen Davies, libertarianism is first and foremost a political doctrine. Libertarians seek a society most conducive to human flourishing amongst autonomous self-defined individuals. Libertarians argue that this state of affairs is accomplished when the role of government and power is kept to a minimum. Although some have argued that libertarianism is a cult or rigid creed, Dr. Davies argues it is not, as there is a great deal of debate within the libertarian tradition. These internal debates are a sign of intellectual vitality, and are healthy for any intellectual tradition.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
From Texas Congressman Ron Paul:
When a Cut is Not a Cut
One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involves one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth. In spite of the rhetoric being thrown around, the real debate is over how much government spending will increase.
No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the "cuts" being discussed are illusory, and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases. This is akin to a family "saving" $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda. But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about their unrepentant plundering of the American people.
The truth is that frightening rhetoric about default and full faith and credit of the United States is being carelessly thrown around to ram through a bigger budget than ever, in spite of stagnant revenues. If your family's income did not change year over year, would it be wise financial management to accelerate spending so you would feel richer? That is what our government is doing, with one side merely suggesting a different list of purchases than the other.
In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of "cuts" that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to "cut". It would only take us 5 years to "cut" $1 trillion, in Washington math, just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic.
A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense. Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the recession continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply returned to that year's spending levels, which would hardly be austere, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending, and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever.
We pay 35 percent more for our military today than we did 10 years ago, for the exact same capabilities. The same could be said for the rest of the government. Why has our budget doubled in 10 years? This country doesn't have double the population, or double the land area, or double anything that would require the federal government to grow by such an obscene amount.
In Washington terms, a simple freeze in spending would be a much bigger "cut" than any plan being discussed. If politicians simply cannot bear to implement actual cuts to actual spending, just freezing the budget would give the economy the best chance to catch its breath, recover and grow.
Monday, August 1, 2011
A series of video clips from the past showing Ron Paul predicting the mess we find ourselves in today. Perhaps it is time that this country follow Dr. Paul's advice instead of the so called leaders who have led us down the path of destruction.