A Republic of the “Mass”

Thomas Jefferson, ever the democratic republican, believed that the safest repository of power was in the masses. The right to political power is always with the people, not with the representatives, and only when the masses exert that right will the power be effectively and appropriately checked. However, the masses are very easily swayed, mainly by three influences: 1) education, 2) forms, and 3) economics. When these influences are mal-aligned with liberty, the people allow their political power to be assumed by the aristocracy. And an unchecked aristocracy is the greatest threat to liberty, according to both John Adams and Jefferson.
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A New Beginning

This is what I have been waiting for. I don’t think he goes far enough with the non-violence idea, but it’s a start. Please read the entire thing. If Pres. Obama’s presidency accomplishes nothing else than changing the tone regarding U.S.-Islam relations, it will have shifted the world in a critical direction.

“Too Big to Fail”

How often over the last six months have we heard the phrase? Bear Sterns wasn’t, but AIG is. Now the federal government is requesting expanded powers to take over these companies that are deemed by someone as being “too big to fail.” Although this might theoretically be a better option for the taxpayer to have a supposed stake in these companies (by the government owning them instead of bailing out these corporations), the threat to liberty is likely greater. As companies are protected from the consequences of their bad behavior they will continue that manner of practicing business, destroying the economy. As the government sets a precedent of taking over businesses that “need to be protected” from failure, the tendency toward government ownership of the means of production may proceed unmitigated, with concerning fallout.

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Worse than Socialism

Socialism is generally defined as holding in common the means of production and labor in an economy.

State socialism is when the government owns those means. This economic construct is laden with inefficiencies and lack of freedom and potential for oppression and force. Besides, it doesn’t work.

There is, however, a worse economic construct than socialism, and that is corporatism. Corporatism is the situation in which taxpayers support, via subsidy, private corporations and entities.

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Pat Tillman and disinformation

I usually don’t discuss stuff like this, but the situation, background and evidence surrounding the death of this Army Ranger really begs questions and doubts. It saddens me that his death was treated the way it was. I’m not implying with others that there was anything planned or pre-meditated (however there is some evidence that calls it into question), but I think it’s obvious that there was a cover-up or another absolute bungle of investigation. For recent comments, especially from the family, see here. Also, you can check out a couple of other sites here.

The reason this comes to my attention was that I read portions of the original SF Chronicle article a couple of years ago and was interested that Cpl. Tillman was reading Noam Chomsky. It was this and discussions with friends that got me reading stuff from the Nobel Prize-winning U.S. foreign policy gadfly.

Often we don’t want to see the propaganda within our own media and government. We want to believe that we are part of a group/nation/country that respects truth and goodness more than money and power. However, history doesn’t demonstrate that this happens often. For this reason we must seriously question anything those with political and military power want to do, for often the truth is sacrificed for expediency.

War Profiteering

This post started as a response to a comment by my friend Todd here in response to this post. Recently I read many letters of George Washington written throughout the entire founding period, collected in this book. The following excerpts are from letters written in 1779 in response to questions about the duration and management of the War for American Independence. They relate specifically to the concept of those who want to extend or encourage war as a way of making money.
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