Tuesday, May 27, 2008

South American Union

Representatives from South American countries formed a regional union set out to create a continental parliament this Friday. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hYwXUkXjzVHgHX9w0W0_F9zJe_DwD90RJB3O0

This brings the total of continental unions up to three: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_union. It reminds me of my days playing great war board games like Risk and Axis and Allies with friends and pairing off as we realized we would be defeated otherwise.

How far away are we from a North American Union?

U.A.E., Qatar May Drop Dollar Pegs Within Months, National Says

The Gulf Cooperation Council hoped to form a monetary union in 2010 when the Gulf states would drop the dollar peg; however, U.A.E and Qatar may drop the dollar peg as soon as a few months. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601116&sid=a1Kmior169Jk&refer=africa
-Dan in BA

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Dollar to the Crown - Craptastic ! !

This was sent in by Josh in Bratislava. It's in proportion to the dollar. Quite a sad milestone for the dollar. I have had to start selling my book in the US for more than $17 in order to break even! I used to sell it for $10.
- Allan

"SKK Slovakia Koruny 0.0502762974 / 19.8900883912"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If you live in Bratislava, the IRS wants to help you pay lower taxes

As nice as this sounds, there's just something about it that I don't really trust. Why does the typically customer-unfriendly IRS want to come to Bratislava to help people with their taxes? I am curious if it is meant to be part of a larger series in a fact finding mission of sorts, a survey, or a census to see who is out there that is not filing properly with the IRS. Does anyone else have any suggestions? Of course, maybe I am just wrong, maybe the IRS just wants to be nice and to help taxpayers living in Bratislava to be able to have the largest possible tax breaks imaginable.

Skeptical in Highwood,

"Bratislava Consular Section (Public Inquiries)" wrote: Subject: Tax Advisor Visit
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 10:12:28 +0200
From: "Bratislava Consular Section (Public Inquiries)"

To: All American Taxpayers in Slovakia
From: Consular Section, American Embassy, Bratislava
Date: 5/20/2008

American Community Messages

Dear Compatriots!

A representative of the Internal Revenue Service is tentatively planning to be in Bratislava on June 11th and available to speak with any fellow citizens who may have U.S. tax issues, problems or questions at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava.

If you are interested in attending, please let us know as soon as possible (but no later than June 6th)the following information:
* the visitor's full name
* contact telephone/mobile number and/or email address
* preferred time(s) between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm

The times and availability will be on a first-come-first served basis and will be confirmed to you by e-mail.


Robin L. Haase

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Information on the Upcoming July 12 March in DC - Allan

Announcement - Expanding the march!

Posted: 09 May 2008 06:29 PM CDT

Great news! Our plans are really coming along for the march and rally - we're lining up our speakers and entertainment right now. We have invited several Congressmen and authors (some best-selling) to speak about various subjects. Not only will you have the opportunity to stand up and show your representatives that you are paying attention, but you will have the opportunity to grow in your civic knowledge! Topics to be covered include the Federal Reserve, the economy, foreign policy, subversion of the Constitution, fascism and the impending North American Union, which, of course, includes the topics of illegal immigration, open borders, land confiscation in Texas for the NAFTA Superhighway, and more!

That's not all! We are expanding on the march/rally idea to include many educational and action oriented activities throughout the week! We want this march to be more than just a march. We want this event to aid in producing future candidates, campaign managers, activists, and citizen lobbyists! The only way to effect change is legislatively. Now is your chance to do that:

Wednesday-Thursday: Citizens Lobby Workshops for those who would like to lobby Congress on Friday the 11th
Friday: Lobbying your Congressman and Senators with your new found skills
Also Friday: Demonstrating in front of the Federal Reserve Building
And, Friday is the Marshal training for the special folks who signed up to help keep things humming along the march route as well as the rally.
Saturday: The march!!!!!
Saturday, post march: Book signing and opportunities to meet the speakers

One day or the whole week, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to have an impact, network, have fun, and learn along the way! So plan on taking some vacation time and join us!

Have you made your travel plans yet? Currently there are 4 cross-country convoys being planned - starting in California! We are also negotiating with Best Western to be our official Nationwide Revolution March Hotel chain. The enthusiasm is electric!

We'll have more details on the web site about the activities prior to the march as well as more info on the "Ronvoy" in a few days. We will have a special website with all the details posted on RonVoy.com soon!

Important: We are gearing up for a Memorial Day Money Bomb which will be on MarchBomb.com when it is ready. In the meantime, if people wish to donate, they can do it using the Chip-In widget on the RevolutionMarch.com home page. Without donations, this march can’t move forward, so please spread the word on this. Any donation, big or small, is needed and welcomed! Also, we will need your help finding sponsors for the event. Sponsors are organizations that will buy tables at the march to distribute their literature and will be given advertisement exposure on our web site, our radio program, and in our literature. We will have more info on that in a future email.

Please keep in mind when you are promoting that this is a family event, and that we encourage all people, regardless of age or political background to come and stand up for true freedom, and if you have any questions regarding the march, your job, fundraising, or any other aspect of this event, feel free to contact us at any time.

All we need now is the funding and sponsorship to ensure this event is a success! Please help us achieve our goals by donating here:

Revolution March Team

Friday, May 9, 2008

Peter James and His Campaign

This was sent in by Pamela in Orland Park, IL. It is about the candidate that Johannes interviewed last week. I am very impressed by this Peter James fellow.
- Allan in Highwood

"Peter James is our Republican candidate in Maryland's 4th
Congressional District. Peter faces a special election on
June 17, which provides a unique opportunity for us to pick
up this seat. There will likely be low voter turn out, so
it is absolutely essential that Republicans, and
liberty-loving independents and Democrats, go out to vote
for Peter. Time is short and this election is rapidly
approaching, please do what you can to help Peter today."

-- Ron Paul

Donate at peterjames08.com. Please pass this on to your meetup

Winning a Congressional race takes lots of money. Or so they
say. We were told that
in order for Ron Paul to win he needed to raise millions. Well
he raised those millions but
his message went unheard by millions that might have voted for
him had they heard his message.

I believe that there is a very low cost credible method to win
Congressional campaigns across the country.
I have won my primary with efficient direct mail and must now
face two General elections in Maryland's 4th District. On June
17th I will have a very low turn out election and can take
office immediately thereafter.

First, we need our own deliver system as the media is not
cooperating. Here is what I am doing about
it. I am developing a direct mail program that I can share
costs with local merchants and national
and international Ron Paul supporters that have some product or
service they wish to promote.
By mailing a "card stack" of 10 to 20 envelope sized
advertisements, a 25 cent postage rate drops to
2.5 or 1.25 cents per advertiser. So a 100K piece mailer now
costs only $1250 to $2500 in postage
instead of $25,000. We are looking to have weekly mailers to
all households this is our news outlet.

Instead of raising large amounts of money, I am making my own.
I have begun issuing a local currency
called JUST MONEY. This is a supplemental currency to help
local businesses by adding to the total
money supply that has been shrinking. I exchange 5 Terrapin
Notes for $5 Federal reserve Notes.
For every $2000 in Federal Reserve Notes I am removing from
circulation, I give away to one of the
JUST MONEY note holders an ounce of gold(~$860). This achieves
several things. I brands my campaign
as my web site is on the notes. So instead of having a flyer
that is read and thrown away, the note continues
to circulate. Imprinting my name everyday in the minds of
voters. By offering other local merchants
the ability to brand their businesses on the notes, they can
also have permanent advertising.

I am also developing a automated phone system for about $1000
a month I can have 100 VOIP
lines continually calling. But surveying local voters, I can
identify who the swing voters are and
which voters to ignore as to not inspire them to go out and
vote for my opponent.

We are scrapping web sites for business owners, home owners,
doctors, real estate agents, etc. We are
matching these name with local voters, party affiliation and
other demographics. To present custom
messages that will resonate with their most compelling issues.

To win this election I need to communicate a message that
resonates with only those voters that are
going to be voting. That will be roughly 10% or less of the
registered voters in my June 17th election.

By sending out absentee ballots to Republicans to increase
turnout and identifying swing independent
and democratic voters, I believe the election can be won for a
fairly low cost. Say $30,000.

Help me build this prototype campaign system and I will share
it with other liberty candidates.

Please go to my web site to donate just $5 to this cause. www.

Business owners please email me to purchase an ad for our
mailers to free market doctors,
Republicans that vote, business owners, and homeowners.
In liberty,

Peter James
just-money <> comcast

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Letter from Ben Novak, Founder of Americans in Europe for Ron Paul, to Paulites Everywhere

A Letter from Ben Novak,

Founder of Americans in Europe for Ron Paul,

to Paulites Everywhere

Dear Paulites:

For some time I have been pondering two questions: First, why is Ron Paul working so hard to collect delegates to the Republican convention when John McCain already has it all sewed up? Second, if Paul doesn’t have a chance at the nomination, why does he look so happy and confident? Then it occurred to me: perhaps he has a strategy to win it after all. So, I thought about it a long time, and realized that he could indeed win it. So I decided to buck up your spirits by telling you how he is going to do it.

How Ron Paul Is Going to Win

A. The Strategic Foundation

Much despair seems to have come over Ron Paul supporters because of the disappointing results of the primaries. But I suggest that this despair results from a mis-estimation of both the character and genius of our candidate. For, Ron Paul intends to win this campaign, and has brilliantly planned every move in it to arrive at this point: victory is only one short step away. All it requires is that the delegates to the Republican convention consider the dilemma facing their party as the September convention approaches.

Their thinking will begin with the polls, which show John M'cCain's support growing weaker day by day. Although McCain has the advantage of being the presumptive Republican candidate while the Democratic candidates are still tearing each other apart, both Clinton’s and Obama’s numbers have begun to rise above McCain’s. If this continues through the summer, delegates will begin to consider the following five reasons why:

First, McCain’s position on the war is gradually sinking in. Two-thirds of the voters oppose the war and want to get out. McCain not only wants to continue it, but to expand it into Iran, and not only expand it, but to have it go on endlessly. McCain has joked in public about changing the words of a popular hit song by the Beach Boys from “Bar Bar Bar Barbara Ann” to “bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran,”1 and speaks with approval of keeping American troops in Iraq for not only “a hundred years,” but “a thousand years” and even speaks of “a million years.”2

Delegates will soon begin to think about what this means for the fall campaign. As soon as they do, however, nightmares may replace their dreams of victory. They will have visions of Democrats playing the tape of McCain’s little jig on “bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran," to the tune of "Bar Bar Bar Barbara Ann" over and over again, until that tune together with McCain’s words are singing in the head of every voter in the country. They will then flood the country with ads featuring McCain’s comment about staying in Iraq for “a hundred, “a thousand,” and even “a million” years,” until McCain is not only identified as the “war candidate,” but the “candidate of endless war.” McCain has given the Democrats the opportunity to focus their whole campaign on his mad love of war. Every older Republican will remind every younger one of the “little-girl-picking-flowers-with-a-mushroom-cloud-rising-behind-her” television spot that the Democrats used to devastate the Barry Goldwater campaign in 1964.

Second, as America heads into recession voters rate their fears about the economy even higher than their concerns about war. But McCain will be unable to take advantage of this because he is weak on pocketbook issues. He has little knowledge or background in economics, fiscal policy, trade, job creation, etc. Anything he proposes now will sound political. Either Clinton or Obama will crush him in the debates on these issues. In the end, McCain has no other issue than war.

Third, to win this election, Republicans must overcome the unpopularity of President Bush, whose ratings are now the lowest of any president since polling began. Democrats are already painting McCain as “Bush’s third term,” and McCain has done nothing to dispel this. Rather, he has prominently sought and obtained Bush’s endorsement. Soon Republican delegates will have to face the question: What possible reason can be given to voters for extending for a third term the most unpopular presidency they have ever known? McCain offers nothing but a continuation and expansion of Bush’s war policies.

Fourth, instead of wooing the Republican conservative base, McCain has made his “maverick” reputation the hallmark of his campaign. But, how does one build a base of trust and consistent loyalty on a confessed maverick—except under threat of war? With McCain, there is no other basis for unity but war.

Finally, McCain has few charismatic qualities, He has few dedicated followers and personally excites little enthusiasm. His sole claims to leadership are his prisoner-of-war-hero-status and expertise at war. Thus he has no choice but to focus this election on his strongest points: war and more war. If Republican party workers intend to make up for their candidate’s enthusiasm deficiency, they will have to become very excited about war.

Considering these factors, it is very likely that before summer is out, every Republican delegate will be sick in the stomach at the very thought of what a McCain campaign will do to the Republican party. John McCain will be seen as the losing-est Republican candidate since Bob Dole or Barry Goldwater, maybe even Alf Landon. Judging by the results the Pennsylvania primary and the Minnesota, Missouri, and Nevada delegate selection meetings, such thinking appears to have already begun.

B. “But, Isn’t It a Done Deal?”

But so what? What does all this have to do with Ron Paul’s campaign strategy? Doesn’t McCain already have enough delegates pledged to win the nomination? Isn’t it too late to be thinking about all this? Isn’t the whole thing a “done deal”?

No, it is not a “done deal,” not by a long shot. By the time you finish reading this, I think you will agree that Ron Paul’s strategy is the most brilliant since Harry Truman whistle-stopped his way to the biggest political upset in American history. So, let me describe how it will play out.

C. The Convention

The most exciting event to look forward to is the Republican convention. There will be huge platform fights about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the proposed attack on Iran, reducing our commitments to defend other nations, and reducing our military presence overseas. Then there are the domestic issues: paring down the federal government, following the Constitution, ending deficit spending, rescuing the economy—all fought over conservative principles upon which the GOP was once based. In these initial skirmishes, the McCain forces will probably win, but the result will be that McCain will be perceived as less and less of a conservative, and less and less of a Republican. Fewer and fewer Red-State delegates will be looking forward to having him in their districts after the convention.

Then comes the chance they have been waiting for to show their displeasure. When Ron Paul's name is placed in nomination there will be one of the biggest floor demonstrations and outbreaks of spontaneous enthusiasm in the history of political conventions. When Ron Paul speaks pandemonium will break out. It will be far more exciting than the Republican convention of 1978 when Reagan almost won; more exciting for television viewers than the riots at 1968 Democratic convention; indeed, it will surpass the Democratic convention of 1948 with its fights over civil rights and the Dixiecrats walking out.

But the Ron Paul supporters will not walk out. Instead, Ron Paul will be asked to endorse McCain, which he will refuse as he has already refused because of the war. The party must then and there face the stark choice between nominating the “war candidate,” or choosing another nominee—all under the glare of the biggest television audience in history.

The key to all this is not the simply the war, but continuing war, expanding war, endless war. That will rivet television viewers around the world. For this will be the overriding issue at the convention. Cameras will focus on the faces of Republican delegates as they agonizingly come to realize that the image John McCain as the “Candidate of Endless War” will not only define the coming election, but will also define the image of the Republican party around the globe for a long time to come.

A Brief Glance at the Past

Such a future does not look rosy if one considers history. In the middle of the first half of the nineteenth century, the Whigs were one of the two major political parties in the United States, capturing the presidency several times. In 1852 the Whigs nominated General Winfield Scott, a war hero whose stance looked to the electorate as inevitably leading to war. Scott decisively lost election and the Whig party never recovered. Its next convention in 1856 was so small and dispirited the party simply disappeared. Abe Lincoln was a Whig, but he learned the lesson: never become a war candidate. He left the Whigs to join the nascent Republican party, but although he subsequently became a war president, his stance in the campaign was not “war, war, war,” but “save the Union.” John McCain looks destined to be the Republican party’s Winfield Scott.

Back to the Present

By the time the platform fights are over the choice before the delegates at the Republican convention will be stark: Either go ahead and nominate McCain—though this will mean electoral defeat and the disappearance of the party—or scuttle McCain.

But, can McCain be scuttled? It seems impossible, since he has more than enough pledged delegates to win the nomination. But it can be easily done. All that is necessary is for a few hundred of McCain’s pledged delegates simply to "call in sick" on the day of balloting. That will be enough to deny him the nomination on the first ballot and open the convention.

Is it likely? It depends on whether or not the delegates begin to sense the electoral and party disaster looming head. If, for example, Romney and Huckabee grasp what a McCain candidacy will mean to the party, their juices will flow. They will have to decide whether to continue supporting McCain, “call in sick,” or join the fray. Acting either idealistically to save the party (for each imagines himself a future candidate), or selfishly to win the nomination for themselves this time, they may not only hold onto their pledged delegates, but canvas for more, at the same time spreading the idea that McCain can be stopped by encouraging McCain delegates to stay in their rooms on balloting day. For, if McCain fails on the first ballot, all pledged delegates—even McCain’s—are released from their pledges and can vote for whomever they want.

If this scenario plays out, by the end of the first ballot the convention will suddenly be wide open. Whom then will it choose? There will be four hats in the ring. McCain’s of course will still be there, plus Romney, Huckabee, and Paul. After the first ballot the convention will deadlock, none of the candidates appearing strong enough to clinch the nomination. Delegates will be arguing among themselves: If McCain can’t win because of his war position, neither can Romney or Huckabee, because each of them is as committed to the war as McCain—Huckabee even more so. Neither can change his position without losing his last shred of credibility.

More importantly, however, if either Romney or Huckabee emerges from a convention that denies the nomination to the man who won most of the primaries, it will look like the worst case of political manipulation since, well…

Another Glance at the Past

…the Whigs denied the nomination to their own sitting president, Millard Fillmore (who had assumed the presidency upon the death of Whig president Zachary Taylor). in order to nominate Winfield Scott. Fillmore had wanted peace and continued negotiation between North and South in order to avoid war, while the convention wanted a stronger position. Thus they rejected the candidate with the best claim to the nomination: their own sitting president. This plus the fact that Scott was a Southerner whose election would likely bring war doomed the party.

Back to the Present Again

This will be what the Republicans want to avoid in 2008. But do they have any other choice? Fortunately, they do, for that is precisely what Ron Paul has all the while foreseen, carefully positioning himself to save the party and win the election. Is this possible? Would the party ever turn to Ron Paul to save it? Consider the following factors in relation to how Ron Paul is positioned, and decide for yourself.

D. How Ron Paul Has Positioned Himself to Save the Party and Win the Election

First, whether McCain, Romny, or Huckabee is the Republican nominees, the Democrat candidate will get the anti-war vote. Only Ron Paul can effectively counter this, for he is the only candidate who is genuinely opposed to the war. Both Clinton and Obama are beholden to the war lobbies and dare not offend them, though they are allowed to indulge in peace-sounding speeches—so long as their backers are confident that they will toe the line once in office. But when confronted by Paul, neither Clinton will be able to continue speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Only Ron Paul can effectively make this an issue, catch them both up, and win the anti-war vote of both Right and Left.

Second, neither Clinton nor Obama will be able to deal with Paul on the issues or in the debates. Compared to them, Paul is the only candidate of real change, and he will make both Clinton and Obama look like the biggest defenders of the status quo since Herbert Hoover. Paul will have all the initiative, and they will be completely flustered. Paul will raise issues of war and empire, economics and deficits, debt and trade, jobs and the Federal Reserve and currency devaluation, taxes and spending, and most of all the meaning of the Constitution—from a perspective that neither Clinton nor Obama is prepared in the least to deal with. Voters will get the drift—Paul is the only one talking about real change, which is what voters have been hollering for most! None of the slogans Clinton and Obama have used all their lives will work against Paul; he can make both of them look as shallow, mendacious, and uninformed as they really are.

Third, compared to any Democratic candidate, Ron Paul is trusted, with both a public and personal life that is morally untouchable and exemplary. Thus Paul, and only Paul, can truly energize the vast distrust felt toward Clinton and Obama—and politicians in general. Not since Abe Lincoln or Dwight Eisenhower have the voters seen such a candidate—and both of these amply demonstrate the powerful attraction of such integrity. Ron Paul will shine like the sun compared to the lunar mendaciousness of Clinton or Obama.

Fourth, besides the war and the economy, Paul has created a whole other set of other issues that will not only make his opponents cringe, but provide perfect sound bites. Voters will be asked, for example: "Will you vote for the Democrats—or for the Constitution?" “Are you for preserving your jobs—or NAFTA?” “Are you for manipulation of the currency—or against the Federal Reserve?” “Should America follow the advice of the Founders—or keep up our entangling alliances?” “Can Americans afford the cost of policing the world?” “Does invading other countries really make us safer?” These issues can energize almost the entire Republican base, and will put Paul’s Democrat opponent on the defensive from Day One. Imagine Clinton or Obama trying to defend the IRS or the Federal Reserve, or explaining the Constitution. They will become laughing stocks, and Republicans will not have had such a good time since Ronald Reagan asked “Where’s the beef?”

Finally, when Ron Paul emerges from the marginalization and obscurity to which the mainstream media have consigned him up until now, he will assume the mantle of an American hero—the little guy who was always put down, but kept fighting, and to whom his party finally turned in its direst need. He alone fits the classic American image of Valley Forge: George Washington emerging from two solid years of defeats to win a stunning victory over at British at Trenton, thereby saving the American Revolution. Even though, or because, Ron Paul lost all the primaries, he will be seen as the new “Honest Abe,” who rose from losing every election until he was finally called to the presidency. Ron Paul as “Benjy Engie”—or the “Little Engine that could.”

E. The Bottom Line

Eventually, the most sincere Republican delegates will realize that, on the one hand, if any one of their other candidates is nominated, the GOP will come out of this election—win or lose—united only on, and identified only with, one issue: war. This will spell not only electoral defeat, but the doom of the Republican party. On the other hand, the delegates can realize that this fate is not pre-ordained; they have a choice. And that choice is to nominate Ron Paul, the only candidate who can:

  • save the Republican party;
  • get the war issue off its back;
  • take the wind out of his opponent’s sails;
  • put both his opponents and the media on the defensive;.
  • show up the shallowness and mendaciousness of his Democrat opponents;
  • offer real change;
  • take the initiative by presenting new and exciting issues for which his opponents are unprepared;
  • surprise the media and leave the “talking heads” speechless;
  • give the “Grand Old Party” both a principled and exciting base from which to face the future;
  • bring a new dynamic to the 2008 election year; and
  • make Republicans once again feel proud to be Republicans.

F. The Genius of Ron Paul’s Strategy

The true genius of Ron Paul will be seen in how this strategy works out, because Ron Paul is guaranteed to win either way. On the one hand, if the Republican party wakes up to the disaster it is facing, it will have no choice but to nominate him. On the other hand, if the GOP does not nominate Paul, the party will crack up after November, after which Paulites will easily take it over. Perhaps they will have to change its name, but in the end, there will only be two political forces in America: Ron Paul versus the Democrats.

And so, my fellow Americans in Europe for Ron Paul, and all other Paulites everywhere, fear not, and do not wallow in despair or dismay. Re-brighten your eyes, refill your hearts with confidence, and redouble your efforts. Thanks to Ron Paul’s strategy, the future is ours

1 To see a clip of the first speech in which McCain jokes about this song, see You Tube “John McCain Thinks War is a Joke” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAzBxFaio1I&feature=related; and for a second speech in which McCain sings the same song, see You Tube, “McCain laughs, sings bomb Iran” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rNqxn0ynO0&feature=related. To hear the tune of the song with McCain’s spin, and how the Democrats and media will see You Tube John McCain Thinks War is A Joke - "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran" at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67ANtTZpCmE&feature=related.

2 To watch McCain speaking of staying in Iraq for a hundred years, see You Tube: McCain: 100 years in Iraq "would be fine with me" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFknKVjuyNk&feature=related; and then of speaking on ABC News of “a thousand” and even “a million years,” see You Tube: Breaking: McCain Ups the Ante to One Million at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eivkAjyN_tQ&feature=user.

Thank you for sending this in, Ben. - Allan in Highwood

Monday, May 5, 2008

Loi - The Law - by Frederic Bastiat

A book recommended by both Morton Blackwell and Ron Paul, is The Law by Frederic Bastiat. An RP supporter handed it to me last week insisting that I read it, and read it I did. The whole way through, you can't help but think "Wow, this was actually written in the 1800's?" What a great critique of government intrusion, that rings true today, perhaps as much as it did in Bastiat's time. He points to the United States (in the year 1850, when he was writing) as a model country in which people are allowed to live their lives as they please, while having their freedoms protected by the government.

"There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person's liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues - and only two - that have always endangered the public peace."
Bastiat goes on to speak further about those two - slavery and protective tariffs.

Here Bastiat draws an excellent distinction about why government should not tread into other areas of social planning. This piece is called "Law is Force."
Since the law organizes justice, the socialists ask why the law should not also organize labor, education, and religion.

Why should not law be used for these purposes? Because it could not organize labor, education, and religion without destroying justice. We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force.

When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation; they oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive they defend equally the rights of all.
He throughout the book delivers a critique of socialism , including in this piece entitled "A Confusion of Terms."
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.
We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state- enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
The title of this piece, "Proper Legislative Functions" tells you what you can expect.

It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property. The existence of person and property preceded the existence of the legislator, and his function is only to guarantee their safety.

It is not true that the function of law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our wills, our education, our opinions, our work, our trade, our talents, or our pleasures. The function of law is to protect the free exercise of these rights, and to prevent any person from interfering with the free exercise of these same rights by any other person.

Since law necessarily requires the support of force, its lawful domain is only in the areas where the use of force is necessary. This is justice.

Every individual has the right to use force for lawful self-defense. It is for this reason that the collective force - which is only the organized combination of the individual forces - may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose.

Law is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized. Law is justice.

Somehow in this 105 page book - I come to the conclusion that I have an ally on my side when I hear people make the ludicrous comments like: "Reagan brought down the Berlin Wall" or "Reagan destroyed communism." Bastiat dislikes the concept of social planning by government and dislikes the pomposity of the great faith put in the power of social planners. One more quote from Bastiat before I call it a night.

If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest or mankind?
- Allan in Highwood, IL

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Defensive Gun Uses/Year

An excellent article that I came across while doing research for position papers. The authors of the article, put out by Northwestern Law School in 1995, researched often people in the US use guns to protect themselves or their property and the social and scientific significance of being able to protect yourself or your property with a gun. According to the paper defensive gun use can be assumed to be much more common than criminal gun use. There are 771,000 defensive gun uses/year according to an older survey, that was chosen from among a group of surveys as the survey with the very lowest number. It is a much higher number than I had originally expected.
- Allan in 60040

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Articles following up from Wednesday

This was sent from this week's meeting in Bratislava.
Thank you to Andrej for sending it. - Allan in Highwood

Hello friends

Please find enclosed to this email some links
which I promised to provide you on our last session.
Most of them are legal texts, but because of some
of us are lawyer may it will be interesting reading
for you. If you remember we have discussed some
specific cases like problem of torture:


This is the documents which caused huge
debate in American legal academy. Autor
of this documents John Yoo analyzes compliance
of some practises of torture with american
constitution and other legal statutes...


Commentary of John Yoo about his work


Discussion on one czech legal blog
about this problem

We have also discussed some specific
cases of murder and moral and legal
responsibility of wrongdoer. The
following link is judicial decision
of English court in one such case.


Kind regards

Andrej B

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Peter James on Money

Peter James is the Republican candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 4th congressional district. Running as a “Ron Paul Republican”, he caught my attention when speaking at the Freedom Rally in Washington DC on April 15th.

There is one thing that Peter James cares about more than anything else and that’s the current monetary system. On his website this reads as follows:

There is one single issue that so threatens our nation that all others pale by comparison. That is the creation of Money as Debt by the private banking monopoly. This is the greatest scam ever operated in history. It is a classic Ponzi scheme of gigantic proportions. Once you understand how the current money issuance system works, you will never look upon the world in quite the same way.

So to have people understand how the current monetary system works is a major concern of his. He wants to educate people on the issue, starting as early as kids in grade school. After all, he says, “it is a fundamental right to know what money is”.

Concerning the deficiencies of the current monetary system, one of the solutions he proposes is the issuance of local currencies. Consequently he is currently introducing such a local currency (Just Money) in his hometown Germantown, MD.

Last week I sat down with Peter James to talk about all this. See the interview at The Free Lunch.

-- Johannes

Ron Paul on the Environment

This interview helps to clarify a number of questions I've had about Ron Paul's position on the environment. Thank you to Sam from California for pointing it out to me.
- Allan in Highwood, IL

What I'm Currently Reading

Marching orders from Ron Paul. He does a good job both clarifying and simplifying issues. At the end of the book, he lists 48 other books that he would like us to read. This notion fits in very well with Johannes's concept of a Vienna-based study/discussion group. If we could read 2 books/month, we would have read through the list in 2 years. - Allan in Highwood