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Becky's Take On Things

Every waking hour we weave whether we will or no.
Every trivial act or deed into the warp must go.

When you walk into the theater of former PS 122 in the Village and look west there's this poem made of stained glass incorporated into the back wall. It's from 1888. And I've been wondering for 20 years who wrote it.

8/3/08 -- The Ron Paul Phenomenon
8/3/08 -- Another favorite book: The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve
8/3/08 -- Government necessary? -- Addendum (five more links)
3/21/07 -- Terri two years ago--perversion of justice?


8/3/08
The Ron Paul Phenomenon
Ron has been one of my favorite people for about twenty-five years or so, and in this (2008) presidential campaign he has kindled my admiration anew. Unlike the other candidates who quietly bowed out (aside from their vice-presidential efforts behind the scenes) once Obama and McCain (shudder, shudder) had the two big party nominations sewed up, Ron stayed with the campaign through the last primary, and then when he closed his presidential campaign, he simultaneously opened his Campaign for Liberty
(see here) to keep his huge and active body of supporters on the internet and elsewhere, not only in the US but around the world, provided with opportunities to continue to reawaken our country to its roots and to the true principles which should guide our nation. Neither he nor his Revolution are going away, nor fading into obscurity.

If you take a look at the Campaign for Liberty site, take a look especially at "About" on the top menu--that's where you'll find the core convictions of both Ron and the Campaign for Liberty. Other than that, the content of the page is constantly changing to keep abreast of changing events.

Back on May 1 (2008) Ron brought out a new book, THE REVOLUTION, A MANIFESTO which promptly hit the top of the Amazon.com and the New York Times best seller lists for a bit. Duncan and I upon reading it, concluded it is so excellent and important that we decided to get a number of copies on hand for loaning out to anyone who would like to give the book a read or a scan, and might not otherwise get around to it. So far our count is at about 20 and moving.

The book jacket says this about him: "a ten-term congressman from Texas, [he] is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation's capital. He has devoted his political career to the defense of individual liberty, sound money, and a noninterventionist foreign policy," and I would add, faithfulness to the Constitution, limited government, and bringing our troops home immediately. He's been called Dr. No, because he will not vote for anything contrary to the Constitution, nor any increase in taxes. For 30 years his positions have been consistent, and can be found in detail here.

By the way, lewrockwell.com (anti-state, anti-war, pro-market) with the LRC Blog is one of the better places to keep up with Ron Paul activity and commentary, and is currently the only website I visit on a daily basis. From there, here's a fine YouTube by Ron regarding his first election and the Rally for the Republic which ran at the same time as the 2008 Republican National Convention, but eight miles down the road, and attracted an estimated 12000 people at the point of its greatest attendance.

Updating a bit on 5/2/11, Ron has since brought out two more books, each a gem in it's own right, END THE FED (2009), arguably the best ever short, pithy book on the Fed (we also put a dozen or so or these in circulation), and very recently, LIBERTY DEFINED, 50 Essential Issues that Affect our Freedom (4/2011).


8/3/08
Another favorite book: THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND, A SECOND LOOK AT THE FEDERAL RESERVE by G. Edward Griffin. This is one of the very few most important and significant books I have ever read. Here is what the cover says about it, and I agree with every word. I only quote it because I can't say it better myself.

Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? The money magicians' secrets are unveiled. We get a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, their pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money.

A dry and boring subject? Just wait! You'll be hooked in five minutes. Reads like a detective story -- which it really is. But it's all true.

This book is about the most blatant scheme of all history. It's all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity. Your world view will definitely change. You'll never trust a politician again -- or a banker.

The only book that has ever really explained the Fed to me. When Duncan and I first read it 15 or 20 years ago, we were so enthusiastic about it that we ordered a dozen or more copies, just so we could loan it out to people we could interest in giving it a read. Now Duncan has ordered another dozen for the same purpose. A tremendously valuable book for increasing one's comprehension about how things really work in the world of politics and money.


8/3/08
Government: Necessary? -- Addendum
It's been a year and a half since I wrote my government article
(see here), which was really about a Society Without a State, or, as I like to put it -- No State. Here are four or five more links to powerful online articles on the subject which have recently appeared, and which speak to why we need to be thinking about a Society Without a State, and how to move in that direction.

A Foundation for Panarchy by Michael S. Rozeff. He speaks of primary rights belonging to individuals, and only secondary rights being able to be claimed by states, and then goes on to the new (to me) concept of panarchy. Fascinating . Take a look at it.

The Gospel of Panarchy. John Zube's concept of panarchy, and if you click on Index at the top left, you get other links on the concept.

The following three are by Hans-Hermann Hoppe whom I always find illuminating and worth reading.
Reflections on the Origin and the Stability of the State
On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution, in which he calls the American Constitution "a fateful error" and explores what can be done about our current situation, as well as the inherent advantages of insurance companies providing safety and justice services in no state situations.
And, Money, Banking, Nation States and International Politics, an education in itself on the drive toward a one world government.

3/21/07
Terri Schiavo
two years ago.
Did you feel the courts and the media got it right? Or did you feel they perpetrated a monstrous perversion of justice? For an analysis of the 15 year record of the case and the court's, media's and husband's malfeasance, go to my page on
Terri. Because of a proprietary concern, I focus on The Christian Science Monitor in particular, in dealing with the media treatment, and point to the question, How could the Monitor's reporting and investigatory methods have gone so far awry that their reporting came not even close to the fundamental facts and justice issues in the case? You might also look at my related wake up quote on judge ordered torture.

1/28/07
Government, i.e. the state -- Is it really necessary?
Or has it been an unnecessary, unethical enterprise from the beginning,
deeply flawed in its fundamental concept,
something we have to begin to move toward getting rid of, if we possibly can, if we want to have any hope of improving things in the world?

For most of my adult life I've believed the former, that government is a necessary evil. But in the last year or so I've become completely convinced of the latter view. There's an extensive body of online reasoning in support of it. Let me give a brief summary of the high points in this reasoning that are convincing to me, together with links to a bit of the online materials, which will lead you to more if you're interested.

1. The state, that is, coercive government (as distinguished from governments of voluntary entities), is a territorial monopolist of compulsion. They tend to start with protection and justice (law and order) and the power to tax for these purposes, and then incrementally aggrandize power until they are intervening in practically every aspect of human experience. The problem is in those two words, compulsion and monopoly. Compulsion or force should ethically be limited to defending against or preventing the aggressive use of force (criminal predation and aggressive war). But no state has ever been limited by this ethical consideration for long, and states have throughout history been the world's greatest predators, and the worst have occurred in the age of democracy, since the close of World War I.

As for monopolies, which interestingly can only be enabled by governments, every monopoly will always be characterized by constantly increasing costs (taxes, in the case of states), and constantly diminishing quality of product. The larger the state, the more pronounced this effect will be. Ask yourself if this has been your experience of government during your lifetime.

Here are a few online articles for starters, the first by Jesus Huerta de Soto, the following two by Hans-Hermann Hoppe:
Classical Liberalism versus Anarchocapitalism.
A bibliography on society without a state.
A brief (relatively) history of the modern state. (Already linked to above in the definition of the word state.)

2. The moment one thinks of the possibility of a stateless society, the first question that is likely to come up in thought is, yes, but how would protection and justice be provided for in a safe way, that would not in turn get out of hand or be insufficient in the face of large marauding states? This is a question I had to be satisfied on before I could give my mental assent to the concept of a stateless society. Consider Hoppe's answer, which in turn has built on Rothbard and others: The idea of a private law society. But Hoppe doesn't get to the specifics of our question until about half way through, so, if you wish to cut to the chase, scroll down, observing the sub-heads, until you get to 'The idea of a private law society.'

Then there's Order without law: where will the anarchists keep the madmen? This is another quite insightful look at the same question by a different author, John Sneed, going into more detail, and with a somewhat different conceptual method. It's the fourth from last item in Hoppe's bibliography by the way. Of course, there are many others on all that I'm talking about here -- I'm simply laying out a few of the most meaningful to me...

3. The next question, I think, that tends to arise in thought in consideration of a stateless society is, How can you get any state to give up its power, i.e., its monopoly, or let any of its territory go, especially one with as much aggrandized power as the US, as one example? In other words, How do we get from here to there? This one also needs a good answer before one can give mental assent. Let's approach the answer in a series of steps.

One. Consider Boéties Law, which in my words, is the concept that any state, no matter how tyrannical or otherwise it might be, needs the tacit consent of the bulk of its population in order to survive or continue. The following quote is from the online book The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, edited by Hoppe, in the last chapter by Jorg Guido Hulsmann: "Secession and the Production of Defense," p.385:

     Government could not possibly rule if it had to supervise each citizen at every second of every hour. It can only rule because the citizens by and large comply with its commands, so that it can concentrate its energies on combating those few recalcitrant individuals or groups who do not so comply.
     This is one of the great political laws: hegemonic bonds exist because a majority voluntarily complies with them. We might call it Boétie’s Law, after the sixteenth-century French philosopher Etienne de La Boétie, who expressed the matter succinctly: "It is . . . the inhabitants themselves who permit, or, rather, bring about, their own subjection, since by ceasing to submit they would put an end to their servitude."27
     In short, it is not the ruler who turns the citizens into subjects. Rather, the people choose to subject themselves to the ruler. The government seems active and the citizens appear to be passive subjects, yet as a matter of fact the subjects alone are the ultimate social agency by virtue of their free decision-making power. And since by virtue of their free will they can bring hegemonic bonds into existence, they can also abolish them by the token of the same liberty.
27Etienne de la Boétie, The Politics of Obedience (New York: Free Life Editions, 1975), p. 50.

A bit of elucidation on that word, hegemonic, p.373: "We will use the term secession to denote the disruption of what Mises calls a hegemonic bond, as opposed to the disruption of a contractual bond. As Mises points out:

There are two different kinds of social cooperation: cooperation by virtue of contract and coordination, and cooperation by virtue of command and subordination or hegemony. . . . In the frame of a contractual society the individual members exchange definite quantities of goods and services of a definite quality. In choosing subjection to a hegemonic body a man neither gives nor receives anything that is definite. He integrates himself into a system in which he has to render indefinite services and will receive what the director is willing to assign to him."5
5Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, pp. 196–97 (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1998).
Note: When page number is underlined, link will go directly to the section containing the page.

Two. Secession is a method which will sooner or later probably have to be used if states are to be whittled down. The Hulsmann chapter in the above Myth link, pp.369-414 covers the entire subject ably, but there are two major considerations regarding the concept of secession, which we need to place paramount in thought at the outset.

a) "First, the most important activity of a secessionist movement does not take place in armed battle, but in the battle of ideas. The secessionists have to persuade their fellows of the legitimacy and importance of their cause, thus making the idea of a private-property order generally accepted. Only if they win this battle, will they be able to build up libertarian guerrilla organizations that could eventually overthrow the armed forces of the government." p.401.

b) Any warfare in support of secession must be "based on the respect of private property and voluntary cooperation." p.401. In other words, secessionist activity cannot engage in any coercive or destructive action whatsoever against the populace or their property; secession activity would have to be directed only at agents of the state engaged in suppression--otherwise it would simply be a process of attempting to replace an existing state with a new state, in which case the whole concept of secession would lose its ethical basis.

So how do we get from here to there? Only by first winning the minds of a sufficient number of our compatriots; (notice that those nearest to us in viewpoint are the minarchists, but they can be very resistant to going that next step). And winning those minds means getting over the hurdle that for most of us it has been practically an inborn assumption that government, i.e., the state, is necessary, and will always be with us. And hard on the heels of that is the fact that it has been drummed into us incessantly that democracy is the highest form of governmental good. Not hardly. Consider the next link.

4. Democracy appears to be a form of the state that has enabled the state to accomplish tremendously more evil than it otherwise could have done. Here is an essay by Hoppe describing his 2001 book, Democracy: The God That Failed, which itself is not online.

5. If the above is convincing, does it behoove us to spread the word?

6. Is not this entire line of thought extremely important to any person deeply interested in liberty and justice? If this line of thought is praxeologically sound, would we not expect those valuing sound praxeological thinking to be impacted by it? But many, if not most, such writers appear unaware, in that they continue to tacitly treat the state as something necessary and inevitable and always to be with us. On the other hand, if it is not praxeologically sound, mightn't we expect some debate on the subject?  Is a puzzlement.

Praxeological:
"the idea of synthetic a priori -- the idea that there are true statements about reality, derived from axioms and logic, that do not need to be tested ." -- Hoppe in an interview with the Austrian Economics Newsletter (at the 8th question).

"The starting point of all praxeological thinking is not arbitrarily chosen axioms, but a self-evident proposition, fully, clearly and necessarily present in every human mind." -- Ludwig von Mises in The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science p.4, mid-1st paragraph

"All that man can do is to submit all his theories again and again to the most critical reexamination. This means for the economist to trace back all theorems to their unquestionable and certain ultimate basis, the category of human action, and to test by the most careful scrutiny all assumptions and inferences leading from this basis to the theorem under examination. It cannot be contended that this procedure is a guarantee against error. But it is undoubtedly the most effective method of avoiding error." Mises in Human Action, p.68 -- (3rd paragraph from bottom of p.68-- page numbers embedded in the text)

Chronological Index

8/3/08 -- The Ron Paul Phenomenon
8/3/08 -- Another favorite book: The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve
8/3/08 -- Government necessary? -- Addendum (five more links)
3/21/07 -- Terri two years ago--perversion of justice?
1/28/07 -- Government, i.e. the state -- Is it really necessary?
10/14/06-- SuperSlab (wake up quotes)
10/7/06 -- Borders and Sovereignty (wake up quotes)
9/23/06 -- Foreign Aid (wake up quotes)
8/12/04 -- A favorite magazine: The New American
3/2/04 -- Judge ordered death by torture in 50 states (wake up quotes)
2/18/04 -- Wake Up Quotes -- Illegal Aliens
2/5/04 -- Trends moving in wrong directions
           -- What can we do?
3/20/02, 3/21/03 -- Liberty and Justice
3/20/02 -- About Paul and the Dialogue

Alphabetical Index

About Paul and the Dialogue -- Borders and Sovereignty -- Creature from Jekyll Island -- Favorite magazine -- Federal Reserve -- Foreign aid -- Government: Necessary? -- Government Addendum -- Illegal aliens -- Judge ordered torture -- Justice perversions -- Liberty and Justice -- New American -- Property confiscation -- Ron Paul -- SuperSlab -- Terri: justice perversion? -- Trends going against -- Wake Up Quotes -- What can we do?

3/20/02
LIBERTY and JUSTICE

That's what I'm most interested in. This was brought home to me very strongly when I revisited America's Pledge of Allegiance recently. The final words stood out to me: "...with liberty and justice for all"--and I realized that those words epitomize what America should really stand for in the world, and to each American, too. Yet we're yielding up our liberties, and our justice system is being perverted--among other reasons, because justice cannot exist without liberty. A large part of the world no longer believes that we stand for these ideals. Don't we need to do something about that?

And yet we have lots of democracy, that is, lots of chances to vote. If democracy is as great as it's made out to be, and we have more of it than we ever had before, why is our liberty slipping away, and true justice becoming more and more rare?

3/21/03
I posted this much to the net for a day or two, and then Duncan told me he had shown it to my young friend Elana, and she said I hadn't said very much. Well, I didn't immediately know how to respond to that, at least without a lot of words, so I decided to sleep on it for a bit, and all of a sudden it's a year later.

But at least I see it more clearly now.

I think I've said quite a bit. But it all depends on whether those three words, liberty, justice, democracy mean very much to whomever might be reading this, and that depends on how much that one has thought or read about the concepts or the history that lies behind those words.

Is it a small thing to say that the United States should stand for liberty and justice? Do you agree that it should? How can you know whether you agree unless you have a clear idea what liberty signifies? What justice truly means? Is it a small thing if much of the world, and indeed many in our own country, no longer believe we stand for either liberty or justice? Could that fact that so many no longer believe that we stand for either of these things be one significant reason why so many in the Middle East could rejoice at what happened on September 11 a year and a half ago?

Is it a small thing if our liberties are slipping away from us, or if our justice system is being perverted? If you would like me to back up my assertion that these things are happening, let me know.

2/5/04
WHAT CAN WE DO?

What would I like to see as many thinking people as possible, including myself, do?

Inform ourselves.

Why?
The greater part of the populace and, unfortunately, the greater part of thinking people generally are, in my view, misinformed, misled and, face it, ignorant about evils that appear good, falsities that appear true, invalidities that appear valid, and illegitimacies that appear legitimate, and because of this, we are proceeding headlong down a path to the loss of justice, our liberty and our heritage. Unless a sufficient number of people replace this ignorance, complacency and misapprehension of what is happening with an improved alertness and awareness, the way ahead appears dark. Here's just one for instance. Suppose you're a person who believes in prayer. Will you be able to pray and get good results about evils you don't even see as evil because you're mis-informed?

Why, when the question arises, do I convey to people that I feel we are losing, and that not only are there any number of trends continuing to go against us, but they are accelerating in their pace?

Who is us? Those who have valued liberty, justice and our American heritage. My strong feeling is that we are in process of losing these things that we have treasured, at an accelerating pace. Why?

Nothing is greatly obvious, because so much appears unchanged, but those who are so unfortunate as to be at the cutting edge of the erosion of liberty and justice can have their lives destroyed. Little of this is given any particular prominence in the mainstream media. So much is either hidden, or brought about very gradually and given plausibility and a fair face by the media and intelligentsia. When evils are spoken of, they are manipulated in such a way as to lead us away from both liberty and justice and toward greater governmental control with the ultimate goal being one world totalitarian tyranny. Why do I use that terminology? Because we are moving at an ever accelerating rate toward a single world government with supreme military power, the vehicle of choice being the UN controlled by the hidden elite. Such a government will equate to totalitarian tyranny for many reasons, but for the moment simply consider Lord Acton's dictum: "Power currupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Here's a partial and cursory list of trends moving in evil directions. I may add to it and refine it from time to time.

Hidden control groups exerting ever increasing power and control

Aggrandizement of power by the federal gov't
     by the UN
     by environmental organizations with destructionist agendas
     by militant homosexuals allied with militant feminists, both with destructionist agendas
     by labor unions interested in power rather than the well-being of workers,
          and given license to use violence freely by mis-conceived labor law
     by judges perverting the law

Perversions of justice, in multiple ways, proliferating, equating increasingly to a destruction of protections we previously took for granted, and to a general lowering of quality of law enforcement. A few examples:

Arbitrary confiscation of property from the innocent, without due process or possibility of legal redress, by various law enforecment agencies at various levels, under the curious new legal concept that property can commit crimes and therefore the owners of the property have no legal standing. All that's needed to institute such an action is the finger of suspicion pointed by someone standing to benefit from the confiscation. Very lucrative, therefore very popular, with law enforcement personnel not overly concerned with morality. Spawn of the anti-racketeering drug laws. Innocent resisters have been killed.

Criminal conviction for unwitting contravention of bureaucratic regulations that make no sense. Egregious examples exist, one such area being EPA wetlands regulations.

Lawless, amoral, out of control actions perpetrated by federal law enforcement agencies aggrandizing power. Examples:
     Ruby Ridge
     Waco
     Oklahoma City coverup
     Elian
     (there are many others)

Criminalization of conscientious actions by dedicated police officers for political reasons because blacks are involved. One example of many: Stacy Koon (there are many others)

Legally countenanced union violence, including grievous bodily (and property) damage, including murder

Illegitimate persecution of and application of grievous violence to peaceful right to life protesters

Undermining of police ability to protect us against crime

The world wide campaign to criminalize all private ownership of firearms

Perversion of education at all levels in a host of ways

Rewriting of history

Subversion of culture and morality

Attacks on family, marriage, all God-revering religion, but most especially true Christianity

Promotion and tolerance of promiscuous, perverted, abnormal sexual life-styles

Environmental pseudo crises

population
global warming
ozone hole
ddt
endangered species
...to name a few

Role of CFR and related orgs

foundations
federal reserve
IMF
World Bank
Export/Import Bank
ngo's
the list of such organizations that appear beneficial but are wreaking tremendous harm is endless. And this is not to deny that many of the people working in these organizations feel they are forwarding humanitarian goals.

...This is a beginning list. I may be adding to it and fleshing it out.

A  FAVORITE   MAGAZINE

8/12/04
The New American
This is a biweekly news magazine with some important differences--the differences being

The Constitution in its original intent, and the best interests of the country and the people, are their criteria for measuring actions, policies and proposals, independent of party affiliation.

You can rely on them for truth, accuracy, validity, and for telling it like it is.

And you find content here that you don't find anywhere else.

I've seldom found anything to criticize them for, and that's a rarity. Click here if you'd like to sample their approach on the web.

WAKE UP QUOTES

10/7/06
Re our borders and whether we will remain a sovereign nation (wake up quotes)
The whole 10/2/06 issue of The New American is devoted to The North American Union, which, if you think about those three words, you'll conclude that that political projection for our future could have something to do with our borders and our sovereignty. Maybe you've wondered why the current administration in Washington is so little interested in doing anything effective in keeping undesirables from crossing our borders and entering our country. The following quotes have bearing on all of that..

The quotes below are from an article by Warren Mass on "GOP deeds under a microscope," p.20:

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Cresencio Arcos spoke of the establishment of the "Border enforcement and security taskforce, which is known as BEST ... which represents an integrated effort to combat border violence. This effort involves DHS components, state and local enforcement agencies, and Mexico's Center for Investigation and National Security, known as Cisen."

Notice that word 'integrated.' Why are we integrating US and Mexican police forces?

Add to the BEST efforts what we glean from a news release by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 3, 2006 -- "In accordance with the Security and Prosperity Partnership [SPP], the Secretary of Governance of Mexico Carlos Abascal, and the U.S. Dep't of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff met in Brownsville, Texas, to sign an Action Plan to combat border violence and improve public safety" -- and we see beginnings of a framework of international border enforcement.

While no reasonable person would object to cooperation between law enforcement officials on both sides of the border, the "action plan" being created between Homeland Security and the Mexican Secretariat of Governance employs language that points to something much more extensive... For example: "The Presidents of Mexico and the United States have pledged our respective governments to a new vision of our shared border and our larger North American community ... affirmed in the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America." (Emphasis added.)

The combined references to the "North American community" and the SPP in a plan for policing borders provide a strong indication that this administration is committed to building a North American community modeled after the European Union, where national borders are as insignificant as county lines, and where a central, multi-national authority supersedes national sovereignty.

10/14/06
SUPER SLAB
"The NAFTA Super Highway, nicknamed 'SuperSlab' by some, is a planned system of roads, rail lines, and more that will speed up the unification of North America."

In 2004, Austin residents heard rumblings of plans for converting local roads, enjoyed by drivers for years as free ones, to toll roads.

Soon we learned that plans for new toll road construction, conversion of existing roads to toll roads, property confiscation for land acquisition, awarding of building contracts to a foreign consortium, shady campaign contributions, and passage of the largest spending bill in Texas history had slipped past Texas voters unnoticed. Local polls later revealed over 90 percent of residents oppose the policy, yet officials proceeded with construction despite overwhelming opposition. An investigation into local toll issues led to the discovery that tolls will be the funding mechanism for the larger Trans Texas Corridor (TTC), a segment of the massive NAFTA Super Highway. The Super Highway is important in developing the North American Union. ......

The Super Highway will have an insatiable appetite for acreage. According to the website of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the present scope of the highway in Texas is 1200 feet wide and 4000 miles long [and that 's just in Texas]. Millions of acres are scheduled for paving, and the right of "eminent domain" will surely be invoked to justify the land-gobble waiting for Americans whose homes, farms, ranches, busineses, and communities are in the way. .....

Interestingly, the TEN in Europe [Trans European Network as part of the facilitating of the European Union] was developed in the same manner. ....

Every American can expect to pay in the form of increased taxes as well as tolls ....

The Texas Project (TTC) is the test case for all aspects of this highly charged issue....

In Texas alone, there are four congressionally designated "high priority corridors," but nationwide, 80 have "high priority designation. [Eight north-south corridors going from mid-Mexico to Northern Canada and Alaska, and who do you think will being paying for most of the construction cost in Mexico and Canada?]

If the Super HIghway proceeds, and all that goes with it, American government will no longer provide its time-tested protections against tyranny and socialism. American law will be null and void, replaced by an incomprehensible mess of "trade" law.
      The New American, 10/2/06, p.21, in an article " 'SuperSlab' Paves the Way" by Kelly Taylor

9/21/06
Re foreign aid
Have you believed that foreign aid did some good in the world?

"Most of those with vested interests won't admit the truth. One who has, however, is Thomas Dichter the author of Good Intentions: Why Development Assistance to the Third World Has Failed, who has worked for the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, and Peace Corps, among other organizations. 'Somewhat late in my career,' he writes in a briefing for the Cato Institute, 'I have come to believe that as a means of reducing world poverty, aid has not worked, is not likely to work in the future, and cannot work.... I don't know a single colleague with long field experience who believes whole-heartedly that aid has been effective.'
     "The reasons for this are fairly straightforward, boiling down to the inescapable fact that such aid fosters dependence, increases resentment, props up dictators and corrupt governments, and throttles true development. Of course, this is not really 'aid,' but a transfer of tax money, mostly from the middle class in the West, to the rulers in the underdeveloped world, with much being siphoned off by intermediaries in the 'poverty industry.' "
                The New American, 9/18/06, p.42, in an article "Callous Foreign-Aid Fraud" by William B. Hoar

Mr. Hoar also quotes from two other books written by people from the aid community.

"A long time professional in the field of internatiaonal development--who happens to be a fellow at the CGD think tank [Washington-based Center for Global Development] --is William Easterly, author of The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. Easterly explains that medicine to prevent half of malaria deaths is available at 12 cents a dose, and there are almost 2 million child deaths annually caused by diarrhea that could be prevented with 10-cent doses of oral rehydration therapy. Yet, as he notes, while the West has spent $2.3 trillion in foreign aid over five decades, even such simple aid has not reached those sufferers."

And, "In Prosperity Versus Planning: How Government Stifles Economic Growth, David Osterfeld .... quotes a Micronesian official as follows: 'We have no technicians, no plumbers, no electricians. We have no economic base to be self-sufficient because the U.S. government just handed us everything.' "

And Hoar quotes my favorite Congressman, Ron Paul of Texas : "Foreign aid doesn't help poor people; it helps foreign elites and U.S.corporations who obtain the contracts doled out by those foreign elites. Everyone in Washington knows this, but the same lofty rhetoric is used over and over again to sell foreign-aid programs."

3/2/04
Re: judge ordered death by torture in 50 states
"For more than ten years, conscious and unconscious cognitively disabled people who use feeding tubes have been legally hydrated to death in the United States. This intentionally life-ending act--clamping feeding tubes and denying all sustenance--has become so ubiquitous that generally, little attention is paid. . . .

"St. Louis neurologist Dr. William Burke told me [the author, Wesley J. Smith]:

A conscious person would feel it just as you or I would. They will go into seizures. Their skin cracks; their tongue cracks; their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucous membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining. They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water. Death by dehydration takes ten to fourteen days. It is an extremely agonizing death.

. . . "Suffice it to say, that while many observers continue to oppose, on moral grounds, the removal of tube supplied food and water, the hard truth is that patients with serious cognitive incapacities--the conscious as well as the unconscious--are now routinely dehydrated to death in all 50 states.

. . ."If the owner of a horse or cow caused the animal to die by witholding food and water, he or she would probably go to jail, and rightly so. If a condemned murderer were executed by being shut in a room without food and water until he died, the American Civil Liberties Union would never stop sueing, and rightly so. . . . But dehydrate a person with a significant brain injury who requires a feeding tube, and it is considered medically ethical, the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, and an adjunct to the legally non-existent 'right to die.'" [Too often, that right to refuse is on the part of a person with legal decision making authority who will benefit financially from the death of the person in question.]

The above quotes are from an article entitled Dehydration Nation by Wesley J. Smith. It's well worth reading in its entirety, and you can do so here. And here's a 2013 article on the same subject.

2/18/04
Re illegal aliens
"Many violent foreign criminals...come to America precisely because it is considered a rich, soft target. 'Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens,' writes Heather MacDonald, a reporter for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. 'Yet in cities where crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status.'  ...  MacDonald explains:  'The LAPD's rule against immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country,... These 'sanctuary policies' generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.' ... MacDonald turned up some additional eye-openers...

Do the same hands off policies described above apply to terrorist illegal aliens as well? This is just a tiny bit of context with which to consider the administration's current amnesty proposals for illegal aliens.

3/20/02
About Paul and the Dialogue

Visitors to Duncans's Beemers or to his web page (www.duncansbeemers.com) may know me as Duncan's dad, or the rider of a red R80RT (before it was front ended--and after, because to my surprise Duncan restored it once again--except now it's just an R80), or as the maintainer of his web page, or the answerer of his e-mails. Here's an additional chance to know me -- for my ideas and views, and to talk them over with me -- if they interest you, of course, or, on the other hand, if you disagree. In any event, get in my dialogue, if you would like, just by e-mailing me at paul@duncansbeemers.com, or calling me at (978) 844-1883. Use a moniker if you choose. One of my favorites --Cajuninca -- was used by a fellow I had an extended debate with on Monitor Talk. When I asked if it meant some sort of confluence between Louisiana and Peru, he said, nope, simply means a cajun misplaced in california.

There are so many things I'd like to talk about here, it's hard to know where to start, or how to get into them all. So, I'll be starting a lot of bits and pieces, and then adding to them as I go along, and hopefully they'll begin to fit together, make some sense, and be of some interest. All of this is contingent on my getting the time, which I don't seem to get too much of, and when I do, I waste too much of it.

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