Sunday, December 29, 2013

Five Libertarian Ideas #4

iPhone cookie prank
Not gonna lie, the iPhone cookie gag is hilarious, but only for a moment. This is already a top-ranking post on the Daily Paul. Seriously??? What will playing funny tricks on the police do to advance LIBERTY? Now the cops will be taking EXTRA good, long looks into your moving car to decipher whether you're on your phone or just another asshole with a cookie. —12/16

The Mexican Drug War
BLOWBACK BLUES: Just like Prohibition created organized crime in America, the war on drugs created organized crime in Latin America. It turns out lots of those anti-communist soldiers and guerrillas the U.S. government trained ended up becoming drug traffickers. They're trading with the Mexican cartels and training Mexican narco-guerrillas in military tactics. Oh, the sweet irony... —12/17

Confederate Army generals
The U.S. Army War College is pondering removing the portraits of Confederate generals from its walls, notably Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, in order to "tell a particular Army story"... Shouldn't we instead be asking what the U.S. government DID that some of the greatest generals in American history fought as rebels??? We NEED to maintain a spirit of national reconciliation. We NEED to keep alive the history of America's most painful war, so that history doesn't repeat itself. —12/18

Christianity and libertarianism
It's a shame how so many fellow Christians are so hostile to libertarian ideas. Christianity and libertarianism go hand in hand. The Bible makes it clear that we're born with free will and that believing in the Christ is a CHOICE. Many of my libertarian friends choose to be atheist, but I love them no less for it; I love them all the more for respecting my choices and my moral compass, unlike liberal or conservative Christians who would rather dictate to me the terms of my life on Earth. —12/19

Identity theft, Traget red card, and the Fed
The major security breach with the Target 'red card' credit cards just goes to show what can happen with easy credit. Virtually anyone can get a red card because this system of banking and easy credit is predatory and new interest rate victims are always needed. Easy credit points to high risk loans and expansion of the money supply, which in turn point to the Federal Reserve banking cartel. It was a fluke that these card holders were looted by identity thieves before the predatory creditors got to them. —12/20 

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iPhone cookie photo courtesy of the Daily Paul. Jesus stain-glass art by Alfred Handel; photo released under CC BY-SA 3.0 license by Toby Hudson, and obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Five Libertarian Ideas #3

World War I
World War I be damned! The Fed inflated currency for an Allied victory. WWI gave us the Armenian genocide. It gave us the rise of the Bolsheviks and a charming country called the Soviet Union. The lines in Africa and the Middle East were re-drawn with no regard for ethnic/religious rivalries. Worst of all, WWI and the lopsided Versailles Treaty gave us the Nazi Party and eventually World War II. Mr. Wilson, the war DID NOT make the world safe for democracy! —12/09

Private drones
I'm not a fan of having its private fleet of drones. Private drones can violate our right to privacy just as easily as government models. Better yet, any developments Amazon funds in drone technology can easily be taken over by the government in a time of war. —12/10

Rand Paul 2016
I highly respect the Libertarian Party. Hell, I even voted for Gary Johnson in November 2012. Still, I must say this: let's not split up the liberty vote in the 2016 presidential election. If Rand Paul is good enough for Ron Paul, then he's good enough for me. Rand's presidency will be a big step up for liberty if he's able to do even half of what he's been lobbying for in the Senate. —12/11

Balancing the right to life
A woman in Michigan nearly died because the Catholic hospital she was a patient at refused to perform an emergency abortion of a stillborn baby. This is disturbing! Private institutions have every right to not perform certain procedures per freedom of religion, but it's their responsibility to provide timely options for treatments at other hospitals so their patents' lives aren't jeopardized. If institutions don't regulate themselves, the American people will regulate them through big government liberalism. —12/12

GOP/Libertarian Party partnerships

Talking with many liberty activists, I see an EXCELLENT tactic on the rise. In Republican-controlled and swing districts, we run libertarians for Congress and state legislatures on the Republican ticket while the Libertarian Party runs candidates for city council and school board. In leftist districts where the GOP has no chance, the LP runs candidates for major office as dialogue changers while the LP and GOP partner on local races. The liberty movement will eventually dominate American politics as long as we continue putting principles before party. —12/13

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Drone image courtesy of AGX Technologia via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.  LP UK image courtesy of T.D. Fleming via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.  Both images obtained via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 Things That Piss Off Amputees

I often get a lot of questions from people who ask me about my disability.  Many folks in the liberty movement have seen my face all over the Internet, but not the rest of my body.  Needless to say, finding out I have one arm can be a little shocking for some folks.  After many interesting and colorful questions, here are a few things I’d like to share with everyone.  Keep in mind this is all from my own perspective.  So here are 10 things that piss off amputees:

1.      Being called an ‘amputee.’  I suppose it doesn’t matter for actual amputees, but it does for folks like me.  I’m not actually an amputee—I’m congenitally limb-deficient, meaning I was born without an arm.  There was no amputation and nothing was removed.

2.      Asking about parental drug use.  “Did your mom do drugs when she was pregnant with you?”   Now let me ask YOU something: Did your mom used to pull trains back in college during the era of sexual liberation?  Not exactly the most pleasant thing to picture, is it?  Neither is the idea of my MOM doing hard drugs.  To answer the question, no.  My mom was a patrol officer in the LAPD when I was born.  She was quite healthy and in tip-top shape.  Some things just happen and you need to get used to that.  For those whose disabilities really are from parental drug use, let them tell you, because that’s private and potentially embarrassing information.

3.      Staring.  If people were checking out my hard-earned physique, I wouldn’t particularly mind.  But I know 9 out of 10 times they’re either staring at my prosthetic arm, or on relaxed days, at my empty sleeve.  As your eyes tell you, there’s nothing there.  Neither another arm nor Waldo are hiding there, so you won’t find them by staring a little harder.

It's funny when we do it...
4.      Amputee humor.  Don’t try making jokes about “giving me a hand” or “getting a kick” out of something.  It’s funny when we do it, not when you do it.  You ever walked right up to a man and made racist jokes about his ethnic group?  Same train of thought here.  And for heaven’s sake, I’m a Jedi knight, not Robocop!

5.      Trying to help carry things.  It’s very polite to offer help to someone struggling with carrying heavy or awkward items.  If they take you up on your offer, great.  If not, don’t keep insisting.  If I need help, I’ll ask.  If you think I or any other amputee will fail, let us fail and get it over with, because we may prove you wrong after all.  Seriously, I work out for a reason.  I can carry more than your average Joe.

6.      Telling us stories.  It’s common practice for people to try to relate to an amputee by telling some old, tired story I don’t give a rat’s ass about.  Yeah yeah yeah, your father’s mother’s uncle’s brother’s second cousin’s former roommate (twice removed) lost his leg in a motorcycle accident back in 1985.  Yeah yeah yeah, I’m sure he inspires everybody.  The story would’ve been nice when I was 5 years old and doubting myself, but now that I’m pushing 25, I think I can make it through the day without feeling sorry for myself.  Now can I have my life back, please?  I have to go to class.

7.      Pity.  Don’t feel sorry for me.  Don’t lament over a tragedy that never occurred.  I can never miss what I never had, and those who do miss what they once had are a minority among amputees.  Pitying us only reinforces the idea that we’re victims instead of the empowered people we strive to be.  You should offer your sympathies to Lorena Bobbit’s husband long before offering them to us.

8.      Online dating.  I had to learn the hard way to make it absolutely clear in writing that I’m missing my right forearm.  It’s less than a footnote to me because I’ve conquered the disability, but it’s a giant shock to some people who’ve never been around a disability.  While I have met some high-quality women who don’t mind it, I have met others who read my profile and think I could be the father of their children… until they find out that some assembly is still required.  Then they run in the other direction.  At least it makes for fun stories at happy hour.

9.      Lack of honesty.  Because we’re real people with emotions and stuff, we have relationships, even romantic ones!  And many of them come to an end. Such is life.  There is nothing more annoying than people walking on egg shells to spare our feelings.  Ladies, don’t say “It’s not you, it’s me.”  It’s the oldest line in the book.  Be honest—it is me.  Maybe I wasn’t romantic enough, maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to you, maybe it’s my random humor, or maybe I’m just an asshole.  So just be honest so that I can learn from it and improve myself.

10.  Lazy non-amputees.  People who illegally park in handicapped spaces or take the elevator for only one floor seriously need to be thoroughly beaten with an old World War II veteran’s prosthetic leg.  Lazy bastards!

So I hope these things made the picture a little more clear for some of you.  These are problems unique to an often overlooked sector of society.  By no means do we want all kinds of special attention—God knows special attention to amputees is often of the circus variety.  But remember that we’re human beings, with our strength and faults just like you.

Frankly, my disability was a blessing in disguise.  Without it, I never would have had the drive to swim across lakes, climb mountains, become an Eagle Scout, join the military, and become a serious liberty activist… all of the above-mentioned just to prove to myself that I could.

My day job is to help train combat medics. I LOVE what I do!

Bonus - Things that piss veterans off: When I’m sitting around with a bunch of my veteran buddies, all of whom were in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, but strangers come up to the group and they think I’m the war veteran.  I always tell the truth, but not gonna lie, it’s kinda hilarious.

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Online dating graphic courtesy of

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Libertarian Ideas #2


Prostitution, as voluntary exchange between consenting adults, could be a victimless "crime," but government bans make it a punishable crime and drive it into the criminal underground. Sex's high demand and low supply creates a need for prostitutes, so criminal pimps will kidnap and coerce modern slaves. This is how women and young girls get caught in human trafficking. Every client a prostitute serves is an act of aggression against her body and soul, inflicted on her by her pimp who is her "State" in the criminal underground. Does government intervention REALLY help??? –12/2

Anarchism vs. Minarchism
Anarchist and minarchist libertarians need to bury the hatchet already. Don't be elitist because you do or don't believe in eliminating the state right away. A revolution won't magically happen. We need to CONSOLIDATE the strength of our #libertarian organizations and work to elect Libertarians and libertarian Republicans who will vote and fight to End the Fed, end the TSA, fight the IRS, end the warrant-less wiretapping, bring back a gold or competing minerals standard, protect the 2nd Amendment, end the war on drugs, and bring our troops home.  –12/3

Anarchists and elections
Libertarian hatchet-burying Part II: Anarchist and minarchist libertarians often work together in the Libertarian Party and even the Republican Party's libertarian faction. The an-caps who participate in the electoral process agree on the following:

--Yes, the state is "violence", and so participating in elections would constitute in participating in "violence"
--Since the state has already committed "violence" by taxing/robbing us and stripping away our liberties, for libertarians to participate in elections is SELF-DEFENSE, which does not violate the NAP.
--By building our movement and winning libertarian victories at the polls, they can use their self-defensive actions to LOWER and eventually END the violence of the state.

Our movement will NEVER succeed if we can't pair THEORY with REALITY. –12/3

Attacking people with truth
Judd Weiss said it best: we need to DISCUSS our ideas with people, NOT argue or troll. Telling people "YOU'RE WRONG" is like beating them in the face with the truth, so then people have to DEFEND against the truth assault. They shut themselves off to our libertarian message in mental self-defense because our approach was that of a bully. There are more positive ways to counter their ideas, like "You have a good point but I see a better solution" or "Actually, I've seen LOTS of evidence to the contrary." Then they RECEIVE the truth because you're treating them like a peer, not like the enemy. –12/4

Nelson Mandela’s lessons

Dear liberty movement: talking shit about Nelson Mandela for allegedly being a socialist/communist is NO way to win the liberty movement any supporters. He's far too well beloved, and I guarantee you any smack talk will burn bridges with potential libertarians coming from the left. It's much better to use Mandela's life to respectfully promote libertarian ideas, especially libertarian solutions to approaching and improving race relations. –12/5

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Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton image is by the U.S. Government and in the public domain.  The image was obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Five Libertarian Ideas #1

Electing libertarians

The liberty movement's best inter-party electoral strategy is to run Libertarian candidates for local offices and libertarian Republicans for state and federal offices. (11/22)

Facebook activism
Tagging a boat-load of people in politically charged photos is no way to grow the liberty movement. A much better (and less annoying) alternative for reaching those less politically inclined is benignly commenting on current events and the unfortunate people being hurt by the event or policy. (11/25)

Violence against women
The amount of domestic and sexual violence committed against women is unacceptable. That's why I support women who practice their 2nd Amendment right. A person's liberty is no less at stake when attacked by an individual instead of the state. (11/27)

Let's count our blessings that human ingenuity, the market economy, and voluntary cooperation have raised our overall standard of living and our ability to survive in what was once untamed wilderness. Now we have Internet, heating, running water, and the closest thing to Indian fighting these days is the day we all pig out and pretend there was no Indian fighting. (11/28)


I've really enjoyed seeing all the libertarian tributes to JFK on the Internet recently. He had his faults, but using his more liberty-friendly quotes to promote our libertarian views is a GREAT way to reach out to the left. (11/29)

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Adapted Gadsden flag image is in the public domain and was retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Poem: Silence

The specter haunting my door
Hovers o’er my shoulder as
Vultures to the wanderer or
Death to the ill

The absence of speaking
Lingers in my head as
Dust on an old path
Deep shadows at twilight

A sentry waits for word which
Will not come this snowy eve
It never does...
It only ever brings
Deep silence

Damn silence
Sweet words fall to the soul as
Drops of honey on tongue’s tip
But silence causes yearning
And in starving the yearning soul

Hunger for words
Hunger for knowledge
Hunger for wisdom
No hunger for games
Raw hunger

Not to be alone.
Would that I knew
When up became down
Down became up
Right and wrong changed

Empty places
Do I brave another night
In the cold, waiting for
Word whose messenger may
Split the silence and
Break my

Or will I take again my
Sword and armor
Pen and paper
Cut my losses and
Move on?

So cruelly imposes 
Longing, though in doing so
Builds strength, and in
Strength may I find

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Silence poem by Zach Foster. Snowy night in Athens photo courtesy of "Badseed" via CC BY-SA 3.0 license. Image obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, October 21, 2013

How the Affordable Care Act Hurts the Poor

President Obama with HHS Secretary Sebelius

Most of the dialogue saturating the endless media outlets is the demagogues’ propaganda either for or against the Affordable Care Act—otherwise affectionately known as ObamaCare.

One side is completely against it, virtually predicting the doom of medicine as we know it (not to mention the mass deaths that will occur when the next outbreak hits).  The other side completely for it, predicting the mass deaths which will occur when the next outbreak hit because those mean old conservatives hate the poor (and all beautiful things that induce happiness).

Let’s step around the propaganda of Fox News and MSNBC—both of which are as honest or balanced as a see-saw with a fat kid on it—and take a look at a real case.

We’ll look at one of my dear relatives, to whom we’ll refer as Jane Doe.  Like many women across the country, Jane is a single mother with three children.  Her ex-husband is a total deadbeat who fled California to avoid paying child support—she never even asked for alimony!—and he’s still out there somewhere, running.

Jane lives on a $30,000 annual salary.  When we look at the Austrian school’s theories of subjective value and marginal utility, it immediately becomes super impressive that she manages to maintain three children, a car, and a home in Southern California on her meager salary—all without any welfare or government health insurance plan.  Jane barely gets by, but she manages to do so, knowing her children will have a better life than she had.

Ever since the Affordable Care Act became active law this year, Jane is faced with a dilemma.  According to the Act’s individual mandate, all households are required to be on some kind of medical insurance plan, whether it’s private-sector insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, or ObamaCare.  The CHEAPEST plan which will cover her and her three children is ObamaCare, and that coverage sings the tune of $375 a month.

Jane has enough trouble making her $40 a month car insurance payment—she has a spotless driving record.  How in the world will she pull $375 out of a hat???  She can’t!  So now, with this utopian law imposed on her by the federal government, she has two choices: find a way to come up with $375 every month that she doesn’t make, or face the penalties.

Based on the situation, one of two things can happen.  If she’s lucky, Jane can go without unaffordable coverage and pay the $99 mandate “tax” this upcoming tax filing deadline, but she knows the fine gets bigger each year until the penalty becomes jail time.  If she's not lucky, she gets the "tax" plus a fine of 1% of her annual income (before the punishment progresses to jail time).

Basically speaking, Jane is financially screwed because of ObamaCare.  At this point, some left-leaners may be inclined to support the Affordable Care Act.  That the $375 a month will come in handy if she or one of the kids gets hospitalized, right?  Wrong. 

While there are always endless possibilities of bad things to come, we have no idea anything will happen.  Here’s what we do know: Jane and the kids live a remarkably healthy lifestyle.  They go for annual check-ups at the free clinic and are all in top shape.  The only times Jane has ever needed to go to the hospital were to give birth, and to this day Jane and the kids always play safely and manage all risks outside.

However, the “Affordable” Care Act is going to be quite unaffordable for Jane Doe, and it’ll hit her exceptionally hard.  This is why conservatives and libertarians oppose ObamaCare!

We also propose an alternative: repeal the interstate bans!  The health insurance market is made up entirely of cartels who can control prices because consumers are stuck buying what's in their state.  They can charge what they like because We the People were legislated into being fish in a barrel.  

Thanks to special interests, there are federal bans on buying a health care coverage plan from out of state, even if it's more affordable or better suited to the consumer's needs.  Thanks to the federal government threatening the states to withhold funding for Medicare and Medicaid, many states also have bans on buying health insurance across state lines.

The moment we repeal the bans and break the health insurance cartels, and the cartels are forced to return to the competitive market rather than dictate what the market is, the cost of health insurance will go down.  That way, Americans like my Jane Doe will be able to afford health insurance without Uncle Sam having anything to do with it.

Simon Rosenberg, New Democratic Network, on ObamaCare:
"I don't think it is going to work, and everyone is going to be really mad at Obama."

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Obama/Sebelius photo by Dept. of HHS and in the public domain. E.R. photo courtesy of Theorry Geoffrey via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.  Rosenberg photo courtesy of "Meelar" and used via CC BY-SA 3.0 license.  Photos were obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Libertarians, Don’t Get Too Excited About the Shutdown

Furloughed workers pissed off at us

While Republicans have been nearly giddy about the government shutdown—hailing this as a victory over the Obama Administration—the libertarian crowd has been all kinds of excited about the debacle for different reasons.

The primary reason libertarians have been happy is the seeming anarchy ensuing from the shutdown.  By no means has this been a chaotic anarchy, but rather an orderly one.  While state and local police continue their regular law enforcement duties, the overwhelming majority of federal agents—of all departments and agencies—have been on an indefinite furlough.  Yet the market economy has shown that life goes on.

Most of American society has been running quite smoothly, and after a week-long dip from the shock of the shutdown, the Dow Jones has actually consistently risen.  Libertarians and conservatives alike are also glad that the furlough of nonessential employees has shown us exactly where the federal government can be cut in the future in order to lower national spending.

This is all fine and dandy, but there are reasons for libertarians and conservatives alike to beware the shutdown and not to jump on the excitement bandwagon.  Frankly speaking, this government shutdown will have negative consequences for the liberty movement.  One example:

It’s most unfortunate that Senator Ted Cruz has been painted as the mastermind of the shutdown, since it was really the brainchild of eighty Republicans from the House Neo-Fascist Caucus.  Nonetheless, Cruz is getting massive heat following his filibuster to prevent the passage of the Affordable Care Act, so affectionately known as ObamaCare (which Mitt Romney actually invented).  This is a perfect example of how the liberty movement is to be seen.

The LIBERTY Republican blamed for this unpopular mess
Many from the left gave Senator Rand Paul a nod of approval when he pulled his thirteen-hour filibuster over the drones subject.  The same was not so for Cruz’s filibuster.  Remember, the left is the left for a reason; there’s a huge difference between protesting so the government will stop assassinating its own citizens, and protesting so the poor won’t be offered cheap health insurance.

Yes, I know the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea.  I know it will destroy jobs and businesses, ultimately make health insurance more expensive, and lower the overall quality of health care.  Trust me people, you’re preaching to the choir.  It still doesn’t change the reality of the present situation.

The whole idea of shutting down the government—at this time, in the way it was done—was stupid.  No other word can describe such a hair-brained scheme by House Republicans.

The truth is that a lot of people are hurting. The government created a situation where 800,000 public workers are directly dependent on government for their livelihood. Much as I believe we should cut those jobs in the near future (with enough notice for the workers to find another job), we have to face the here and now.

As a libertarian, I'm all for limiting government and doing it fast, but we can't just bury our heads in libertarian economic theory. We have to face the reality: shutting down the government the way it was done this time means 800,000 families are getting no income for making ends meet.  They’re going to blame someone for their stopped income, and I doubt they’ll magically turn libertarian and blame their source of income—government.

I'm libertarian through and through, but this government shutdown was a BAD idea. Let's face it: the GOP made this shutdown happen and the shutdown's been incredibly unpopular.  That means it's discredited the entire party, which now makes it 100 times harder for libertarian Republicans to run for office in 2014.

We’re no longer the crowd who passionately fought against two dictatorial administrations to preserve everyone’s civil liberties.  We’re now the bullies who prevented poor people from getting health insurance and who put 800,000 people out of work with no warning.

Many who have fallen under the spell of the Democrat Plantation and the promises of the Affordable Care Act honestly can’t distinguish between a neoconservative and a Constitutional conservative/libertarian.  Simply having an R after one’s last name on the ballot will cost a great many votes in the 2014 midterm elections.  Even worse, if the liberty movement doesn’t go into overdrive NOW to distinguish between our movement and the neo-fascist Republicans, this shutdown will cost Rand Paul a LOT of votes in 2016.

Face it, Obama won the election and his party controls the Senate and the Supreme Court.  ObamaCare is happening whether we like it or not.  If Congressional Republicans wanted to score a victory, it would have been wise to argue from the beginning only to remove the individual mandate.  They should have just let ObamaCare happen so it would take effect and be a total disaster.  THEN they could have said "We were right all along!"

Unfortunately, the economy further tanking from excessive government intervention will now be blamed on the GOP for shutting the government down.

In review, the shutdown did show which jobs can be cut in the future, but it also resulted in the following:
--It failed to prevent ObamaCare from launching
--It failed to repeal the individual mandate
--It severely weakened Republicans’ collective bargaining power in Congress
--It made the Republican Party severely unpopular, strengthening statist Democrats by default
--It will make 2016 elections incredibly difficult and 2014 elections a suicide mission for the liberty movement

The inevitable increase of seats won by statist Democrats in upcoming elections will result in more government, a national economy further harmed, and more of our liberties stripped away.

So, are you still happy about the shutdown?

The great leader whose presidential candidacy just got 100x harder

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Protest photo by Congressman Keith Ellison (CC BY 2.0 license). Ted Cruz photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 3.0 license). Rand Paul photo by Allison Stillwell (public domain).