Head To Jefferson City Wednesday To Fight Common Core and Medicaid Expansion

Senator John Lamping John Lamping is one of the brightest stars for liberty in the Missouri Senate, and he needs our help this week. Let's support liberty by fighting Medicaid Expansion and Common Core State Standards in education.

Tell Us You’re Going!

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Committees hear two big bills on Wednesday, March 13, in Jefferson City.

  • Medicaid Expansion
  • Common Core restrictions

“The more I look into this Common Core data collection, the more onerous it gets,” Lamping told me. “I’d say it’s Orwellian, but Common Core cuts literature from secondary school curricula, so kids probably won’t know who Orwell was.”

It’s the data collection that scares Senator Lamping and many others.

“They want to collect data on the private lives of children and they families.”

You can read more about Senator Lamping’s bill here.

missouri-state-capitol

Government Planning Is Killing the Economy

Friedrich Hayek warned more than half a century ago that central planning doesn't work. Here’s why:

  • Central Planners (government) makes a plan
  • The plan includes specific expectations
  • The expectations are never, ever, realized
  • A “crisis” ensues
  • So the planners demand more control
  • And create more plans
  • Ad hoc
  • Willy nilly
  • Capriciously
  • So you must wait for things to settle down to make your decision

Today’s Wall Street Journal article about the fiscal cliff demonstrates the futility of central planning:

"We're all sitting on the sidelines right now wondering what's going to happen to us," said John Odland, chief financial officer at MacMillan-Piper Inc., a freight-transport firm in Seattle. "A lot of my contemporaries are feeling the same way, saying, 'Let's just wait and see what these knuckleheads do.' "

Why should private, free citizens have to wait on government for anything?

Here’s a better solution: get the damn government out of the economic planning business.

It’s true that individuals are no better at planning than government experts. But they’re no worse, either.  The difference, then, is the number of people affected by a plan that doesn’t work.

If Joe Shit the Ragman’s plan for his business or his family or his vacation fails, who’s affected?  Joe, maybe his wife, maybe his employees. And it stops there.

If Barack Obama’s plan or Ben Bernanke’s plan or Tiny Tim Geithner’s plan for the economy fails, who’s affected?  All of us.

Moreover, if Joe’s plan fails, it’s up to him and him alone to sacrifice while a better plan takes shape for him and is family.

But if a government plan fails, the government invents new powers, which always come at the expense of your personal power, new taxes, and new plans. From the same WSJ article:

Each scenario involves prolonged uncertainty. Most consumers would start to pare their spending after receiving smaller paychecks due to higher payroll-tax withholding. Income-tax refunds for 2012 could be delayed while the Internal Revenue Service programs its computers to account for tax changes. Government agencies could start cutting back, hurting employees and suppliers. Many other employers likely would slow hiring or cut jobs. And investors could eventually look at those risks and send stocks lower, threatening a downward spiral in consumer and business spending.

We are throw more than good money after bad; we are throwing away good lives after bad.

The only solution to the fiscal cliff problem is to STOP CENTRAL PLANNING, restore power to individuals to make decisions, and reinvigorate a sense of community so people are more likely to help their neighbors.

Life As You’ve Known It Is About To Change

You have a choice. You can drive that change, or you can be swallowed by it. In a free society, people have liberty to do anything except a few prohibited things.

In a totalitarian society, people have liberty to do nothing except a few permitted things.

In a free society, the people have a black list of things they must not do, and government has a white of a few things it may do.

In Barack Obama’s America, the government has the black list and the people live by a short white list.

You have a choice. You can live in a society where a few things are prohibited but everything else is up to you. Or you can live in a society where you must get permission to do anything.

Yes, the choice is that stark. It's up to you whether your society is free or controlled.

And voting is not enough. If you want a free society, you must bring others like you to the polls.

We can help you do that.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday St. Louis Tea Party’s Liberty HQ is open all day. We can provide everything you need to sustain the free society, including a walk list—paper or smartphone—so you can call out others to vote for freedom with you.

Come to 9966 Lin Ferry Dr, St. Louis, MO 63123, at Lindbergh and Tesson Ferry, to control your destiny.

You are not alone. But you will be if you don’t act.

Socialism Sucks. Here’s How to Avoid It In America

Some of the “cool” kids say they like socialism. Of course they have no emotional clue what socialism is.

nationalsocialism

Maybe they’ve read about socialism, seen the movies, and heard about it from their college professors—ya know, like the one who actually visited the old Soviet Union.

But those sources give only an intellectual view of socialism. You can’t actually feel it. And life, in the end, is about feelings. 

Don’t believe me? Everything you do is an attempt to feel pleasure or avoid feeling pain. But that’s fodder for another blog. This one’s about the evil of socialism.

Here’s what life is like in a socialist country, told by someone who lived it, Thomas  Peterffy. He escaped Hungary during the Cold War. And he’s spending his money to make sure it doesn’t happen in America.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2QtDExs6lM]

Misery Has Company

Like Peterffy, Friedrich Hayek lived under socialism—National Socialism. His message in The Road to Serfdom is similar:
Hayek’s warning is clear. He couldn’t be accused of insanity for describing how socialism, once begun, must end with death camps and gas chambers.

In the democracies at present, many who sincerely hate all of Nazism’s manifestations are working for ideals whose realization would lead straight to the abhorred tyranny,” he wrote.

In socialist Italy today, six scientists were convicted of a felony for failing to predict an earthquake—which is impossible. Hayek was right. And he predicted such tyranny.

Socialism Will Make You Evil

Hayek goes on:

To be a useful assistant in the running of a totalitarian state, therefore, a man must be prepared to break every moral rule he has ever known if this seems necessary to achieve the end set for him. Neither the Gestapo nor the administration of a concentration camp, neither the Ministry of Propaganda nor the SA or SS (or their Russian counterparts) are suitable places for the exercise of humanitarian feelings. Yet it is through such positions that the road to the highest positions in totalitarian state leads.

Hayek explains that the need for evil arises from the nature of totalitarianism—socialism, National Socialism, communism.

Collectivism means an end to the truth. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the ends selected by those in control; it is essential that the people should come to regard those ends as their own. This is brought about by propaganda and by complete control of all sources of information.

Which Explain Benghazi

The Obama administration attempted to propagandize the Benghazi Massacre because totalitarians can’t be seen as wrong in the eyes of the serfs. Obama wanted you to believe that a YouTube video caused Ambassador Stevens’ death, Obama wanted to blind you to his own incompetence.

Ask yourself why the Obama administration wants complete control of the internet. Ask yourself why the Obama administration wants complete control of medicine. Ask yourself why we would tolerate such a totalitarian regime in America.

But before you answer that last question, you must ask yourself this: why did good people in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Austria, and many other countries tolerate the evils of socialism in the 20th century?

Perhaps because it was fed to them to bite-sized chunks under the guise of “efficiency” and “fair share.”

Vote With Your Vote

Right now, we have a simple prescription: vote.

Barack Obama’s life and language are festooned—if not infiltrated—with collectivism, socialism, redistribution. He believes the world is owed everyone’s fair share. Barack Obama has accumulated power, not just in Washington, but in his own hands.

Mitt Romney believes in the America we’ve always believed in. He is a leader who succeeded in business. Romney might not roll back the decades of decline in individual liberty, but he will at least interrupt our trip down the road to serfdom.

Note: The originally published version of this blog was draft. I forgot to push the Publish button after making some edits.

Why Not an Annual Celebration of Freedom?

The first entry in National Review’s “The Week” from sometime around 1990 listed ten or so former Soviet bloc countries that recently had shed the yoke of communist repression. And it made a simple statement:

“It must be nice to live in a country where you get freer every day.”

Kariem HaqqI thought of this while talking about the 13th Amendment Freedom Week with its evangelist-in-chief Kariem Haqq at St. Louis Tea Party Coalition’s 3rd Anniversary Tea Party.

The idea behind the 13th Amendment Freedom Week is simple and profound: let’s celebrate the event that delivered America’s promise to everyone by celebrating ratification of the 13th Amendment.  In the process, we can begin to move many African-Americans away from victimization and toward a fuller appreciation of the blessings of liberty.

In the Introduction to The 13th Amendment Freedom Week Manual, Mr. Haqq writes:

This endeavor is also being undertaken to help black people in America see and understand their history in a clearer and more positive perspective. It represents a different perspective than just simply the negative, horrific, and traumatizing experiences that are presented to the world, which seems to be the norm rather than the exception.  Presenting black history in this light, without the appropriate balance of the good that that many (black and white) individuals contributes to black people’s freedom and advancement by sacrifice and death is to risk developing and perpetuating a defeatist “victimization complex,” full of anger, hatred, and revenge.

Mr. Haqq’s initiative would make the first week of December, 13th Amendment Freedom Week. Each year,13Amendment Americans would reflect on a different aspect of freedom and liberty in light of the 13th Amendment, which freed the slaves and signaled the high water mark of liberty in America.

Here’s how Freedom Week goes:

Day One:  Abolitionists Day. Celebrates the heroes, black and white, who worked to end the sin of slavery in America

Day Two: Forms of Government: Takes time to remind ourselves that a democratic-republic is the worst form of government . . . except for all the others.

Day Three: Economics Systems: Reflects on the immense freedom offered by our traditional free market system and reminds of the horrors that await us should we continue down the path to economic slavery of communism, fascism, or socialism.

Day Four: U.S. Constitution and other Documents. Educates about the power of a document that limits the power of government to those permitted by a free people.

Day Five: Genealogy and Awards:  Activities to discover our personal place in history and how liberty has blessed us and our family.

Day Six: Celebrations:  Celebrates freedom and liberty. You’ve heard of Christmas in July? This is like 4th of July in December.  (Who doesn’t love fireworks?)

Day Seven: Guiding Principles for Reflection and Contemplation: Thanks to God for giving us our freedom, and prayers that we can keep it.

Quite honestly, this is about the best idea I’ve heard of in a long time. I’d love to help promote Freedom Week, beginning in December 2012.

I think Mr. Haqq is right. The civil rights industry and the public education system have prepared blacks to be helpless victims, intellectually denying them the freedoms fought and earned for all Americans through the centuries.

Meanwhile, too many whites avoid race altogether. We expect blacks (and others) adopt our appreciation for America’s freedom history without bothering to put that history into a context and perspective that transcends decades of leftist propaganda and brainwashing.

Mr. Haqq understands this.

[T]hey [whites] did not want to offend one another by telling the truth, or to do anything for the benefit of black people understanding their own positive role in history.

From our founding to the 13th Amendment we were getting freer every day. Since then, we’ve lost more and more power to a despotic government in Washington. This gradual enslavement damages blacks and whites alike. Could Freedom Week unite Americans to re-assert our God-given liberty? Don’t those who understand the joy of liberty have a morally duty to share the wonders that liberty? If so, aren’t we further obliged to be relentless in our search for words and activities that allow our message to be received?

What do you think? Should St. Louis Tea Party Coalition make The 13th Amendment Freedom Week a major push following the election?

I really want to hear your thoughts on 13th Amendment Freedom Week in the comments below.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

In the course of our lives, we sometimes lose our way. We wander off the good path. Or we fail to blaze the trail we should. GhostOfChristmasYTC

THE Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.

It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.

He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him, and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. He knew no more, for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved.

"I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come?" said Scrooge.

The Spirit answered not, but pointed onward with its hand.

--Dickens, Charles (2004-08-11). A Christmas Carol (p. 53). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Nations are no different.

Dickens warned us about the dangers of putting money before God, about worshiping wealth rather than using wealth to do good.

Sometimes, the luxuries that surround us blind us to the real purpose of wealth. I’m not talking about charity, and certainly not about government redistribution. I am talking about the good society.

Liberty, the right to pursue happiness and acquire property, lead to wealth—a surplus of goods and currency.Our wealth literally buys our futures. 

If we invest in earthly things, things that gratify our temporal sensations, our investments will rot and blow away with the wind.

If we invest in higher things, our investments will be repaid. 

Scrooge invested in things of the earth. They made him miserable and despised. Just as his treasured decayed, so did his soul. And his body.

Simon Sinek, a man who’s dedicated his life to helping others find their purpose, learned the Scrooge lesson in Iraq. He shared his story in an amazing video.

Just before the the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, the Ghost of Christmas Present introduced Scrooge to two wretched little children, dirty and pale, who clung to the spirit’s legs.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

"Spirit! are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.

"They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And bide the end!"

"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.

"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"

The bell struck twelve.

--Dickens, Charles (2004-08-11). A Christmas Carol (pp. 50-52). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Do we dread or celebrate our glimpses of America’s future?  Is our Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come bright or dark?

Midnight approaches, America. 

Why Tea Party?

A college student asked me a question:  Why join the Tea Party? stltpc-image

He was wondering why anyone would want to associate with people who behaved reprehensibly at two earlier Republican debates.

Here’s how I replied:

Johnny,

Sorry that I'm just getting to this.  I get a lot of email, and sometimes I miss things.

I organized the tea party in St. Louis in 2009. I did so because I've seen that governments accumulate power until they crush liberty and freedom. Governments use every means to increase their power over the people.  Most recently, it's been debt.  

Did you know that you owe about $50,000 in federal debt--in addition to all other debts and taxes? You.  If you get married, you'll have a combined $100,000.  

You'll pay that debt in one of three ways:  taxes, inflation, or reduced income.  Either way, you have no chance of out-earning me if you follow my exact career path and work just as hard.  

But that's just money. What about life and liberty?  

No weak government ever committed a holocaust.  But powerful governments do it all the time.  The Nazis.  The Soviets.  Pol Pot.  Ho Chi Minh. Mao.  Castro.  

Talk to someone who fled one of those regimes.  Learn what happens when all the power, all the police forces, all the taxing and permits and borrowing and judging accumulate to a small group of people.

Hell is what happens.  

Show me what happens when good people, people of character, are free to live their own lives. 

Prosperity.

Were there idiots at those debates?  Sure.  Then again, look at the idiots at OWS encampments, defecating on police cars and raping women. Put 100 people in a room and 5 will lack the ability to form human bonds.  

Do we need police and anti-trust laws and other regulations?  Of course. But we also need a constant and vigorous defense of our liberty. 

That's why I called for a Tea Party in February 2009, and that's why I hope you'll join our little band in St. Louis. We stand on guard for your liberty.  And that's one of hell of an important job. 

Here's some other people's views on Why I Tea Party

Cordially,

Bill Hennessy

Why do you tea party?

What’s the Big Deal with the Establishment?

A friend of mine told me this story.

He sat that there bragging about getting a tax cut for friends of his.

I said, ‘you do realize, don’t you, that you’re just like the Democrats, except you’re giving taxpayers money to a different special interest.’

He looked at me and said, ‘but our special interests do good with the money.’

My friend was talking about the second highest-ranking Republican in the Missouri House at the time.

parthenon

That’s Establishment thinking. The idea that legislators can spend . . . I’m sorry, “invest” . . . your money better than you can.

Okay, so maybe I have a fixation with the Establishment.  Just maybe, though, my fixation is justified.

The Establishment does some good.  It has access to lots of money and media.  It has database and training programs to help candidates win.  It throws great parties in really cool hotels, allowing ordinary people to watch drunk Republicans skinny dipping with Dumbo-ear water wings. 

Most importantly, the worst, most corruptible, most cynical, most self-serving of the Republican Establishment is still better for America than the best of the Democrat Establishment.  (Don’t forget when when you’re vilifying a candidate between now and the primary.)

There’s still something wrong with the Establishment.  It’s purpose is to advance and perpetuate the Establishment. 

Our purpose is to advance and perpetuate a uniquely American freedom.

In 2010, our purposes happened to blend very well with the GOP’s. That led to harmony on the right and a big win for Republicans.

After the swearings-in, the Establishment did what the Establishment does: like any organism from a simple protozoan to an advanced primate the GOP started working on self-perpetuation. 

Like Obama, the Republican Establishment believes that people cannot run their own lives.  Instead, other super-people (called politicians and bureaucrats) must run our lives for us.

The GOP Establishment supports subsidies for corporations that should be able to stand on their own. It supports bailouts for company that should be allowed to die their own. It maintains regulations for matters that the market regulates better. It chooses winners and losers, from Government Motors to the failed Aerotropolis here in Missouri.

The Establishment demonstrates its mistrust of people and markets every day.

We utterly reject that notion.

The reason the Tea Party exists is not to end the Establishment.  As I wrote last week, that can’t really happen

Instead, we hope to mold the Establishment into a vessel of liberty and good government, not a tool for social engineering.

Who will feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick, visit the imprisoned . . . ?

The candidates blew the emotional turning point in Monday’s CNN/Tea Party debate. Blew it. Big. Before we go into that, hear me out on the pressure on those candidates.

Lights, Camera, Panic

Imagine being on a stage. Searing white brightness reduces your range of vision to a few degrees of arc. You hear hundreds of people making the sounds that audiences make, but you can’t really see them.

Before you are journalists bent on catching in a gaffe, or unprepared, or vulnerable. On either side of you stand your ideological soul mates. They, too, stand ready to skewer you with your own words.

I only marvel that people can even speak in that circumstance.  So what you’re about read does mean I could do better.  I couldn’t.

Still, when you take the stage, you better be ready.  And Dr. Paul and his colleagues were not.

Let Him Die?

The turning point in that debate involved Dr. Paul. He had the opportunity to champion his greatest cause—liberty.  He missed it.  The rest of the Republicans missed it, too.

Clarence Page recounts the moment in today’s Chicago Tribune:

Moderator Wolf Blitzerasked Paul, a medical doctor and fierce libertarian, if a seriously ill young man who had decided on his own to forgo health insurance suddenly needs expensive hospital care, should the state pay for it?

Paul, shaking his head, lectured, "That's what freedom is all about. Taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody. ... "

At that point Paul was interrupted by a burst of applause from the tea party-filled audience.

"But congressman," Blitzer persisted, "are you saying society should just let him die?"

"Yeah," shouted at least two voices in the crowd. But Paul, to his credit, said, "No."

So who pays? Paul asserted that in his experience, friends, neighbors, churches and charities step forward to help.

Society vs. Government

Here’s how the scenario might have played out.

In answer to Blitzer’s second challenge, “are you saying society should just let him die?” Paul might have made a crucial distinction.

“Society, Mr. Blitzer, is not government; government is not society. Throughout the vast majority of human history, in fact, society was the unwilling slave to its unwanted government.  The history of man is a history of cruel domination.

“Two hundred thirty years ago, something changed.  On this continent, away from their masters, society woke up and said, ‘my only master is God.'  That society broke the chains that bound it to its European masters and formed its own government—a government subservient to the people.

Who Pays?

“Now you ask, ‘who pays for the sick who cannot pay for themselves.’ Well, we do. But not through some massive bureaucracy as far from Santa Monica as Philadelphia is from London. Instead, we, the people who surround our sick brothers, take care of him. This isn’t a Pollyanna dream; it’s the only way a free people can exist.

“Can we just abolish all of the systems and services that Washington has forced upon us over the decades?  No.  The good society that once occupied this land is a shell of its former self.  Most of us have lost the capacity to completely care for ourselves, much less caring for others.

“Corporate officers who believe their only job is to amass and hold ridiculous wealth, corrupt union bosses who exploit the hall to build their mansions, and ordinary citizens who turn a blind eye to the decay and want all around them—these are all the products of a government that over-reached its purpose.  Excessive government pacified us into the callous, hollow people many have become.

No Off Switch

“No, Wolf, we can’t just flip the switch on the federal programs that sweet-talked Americans out of their humanity. We need to wind them down as we, the people, restore the dignity, honor, and nobility we once carried.

“No, we’ll never reach every person—there will always be pathological money whores who exploit society. Like everyone else—everyone except the exploiters—I want government there to stop them.

“But I don’t want government to be the charity ward.  If you proxy out your decency, your proxy, not you, enters the Pearly Gates.

“Finally, no, our society should not stand around and watch a man die. But now it does. We expect somebody to do something about this. We wash our hands and say, ‘it’s government’s job.’   We seem to to have forgotten that, on this continent, the government is me.”

The After Party

The purpose of The After Party is to live that answer.  We must mend the tattered fabric of American society. We must learn how to offer our services and accept others’ hand.  Relying on government aid dispensed by a paid bureaucrat is demeaning.  Accepting the loving help of a stranger is the essence of humanity.

Twelve months from now, for thousands of participants in The After Party, government programs will become a superfluous waste of time, money, and energy.  We will be a force for good that no government can challenge.

Join Us 

If you want to mend the torn fabric of society as we ease out from under a bloated bureacracy, then fill out this simple form.  You will not receive our other, regular Tea Party news.  You will be in a special list of those who want to be prepared for that day when Washington can no longer pretend to be our consciences.

Thank You, Harvard

A Harvard study recently concluded that attending American Independence Day celebrations could turn kids into Republicans. Harvard-logos-2

The reason 4th of July creates Republicans has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with education.  Here’s why:

  • On July 4th, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, not the founding of the United States.  (That would come with the passage of the Constitution thirteen years later). 
  • July 4th events teach kids—in an environment free from teacher-union propaganda—the reasons we broke from England.
  • July 4th celebrates philosophical and moral principles that establish an empowering, liberating chain of thoughts:
  • All political power resides with individual people;
  • People may voluntarily join with other people to make governments;
  • Governments have no authority except what the people, the governed, permit;
  • No person has the right to coerce another person to act
  • No government may exist with the consent of the governed;
  • People have the unalienable right to dismantle any government they choose.

Imagine, now, that you’re a fourteen year old. Your mother just made you change clothes from something you wanted to wear to something she wants you to wear. Worse, your parents are making you go to a stupid 4th of July parade when all of your friends are going swimming.

At this hot, sticky, stupid parade, a father a few feet away explains the Declaration of Independence float to a boy perched on the man’s shoulders.

“England believed that God gave us kings or queens who ruled over everyone else. Americans believe that God created people equally and that all of us rule only over ourselves.  The Declaration of Independence explained to the king of England and to the American people that we would no longer tolerate being ruled by a dictator.  We’re each going to make our own decisions about how to live.”

Take a moment this weekend to thank Harvard. They have demonstrated that conversations about liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, and equality inspire people to vote a particular way.

And those who live in ignorance of liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, and equality vote Democrat.

Related: Meditate on This: SimpleStrategies.me

Meditate on This, Why Don’t You?

I was 18 and a college freshman. It was a Tuesday night in October. My 1970 Chevy Impala felt wide open in the fifty-degree air and the smell of freshly fallen leaves. I drove through Forest Park feeling the rhythm of the yellow street lights as I moved between light and dark. "Memory" from Cats came on the radio. I lit a Camel (no filter).

I was free.

parkatnight

In America, we often think of independence as a collective thing. That's bassackwards, isn't it?

Independence is individual.

July 4th is Independence Day--the day we celebrate breaking free from Britain.  We broke from a nation, as a nation. The collective celebration makes sense.

But we did not break free because of some philosophy about groups of people; our philosophy, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, is about the rights of individual human beings.

We do need other people. We are social animals. But we are free to associate, to work with, to help or ignore those we choose.  No human being has the just authority to force any of us to associate with any other.

Independence is about people.

We broke from England to experiment with governments of our own choosing.

Independence means that I have all I need to live my life as I see best, limited only by my intrusions into others' lives.

On Independence Day weekend, think about that. Take five minutes to meditate on the word "independence" and its personal promise to you, not to the collective.

Independence is earned.

Then take a moment and think about the threats to our independence. They abound. Our families can stifle us. The corporations we work for bind us. The debts we take on chain us. And governments at all levels shackle our bodies, hearts, and minds.

In 1838, a young French aristocrat toured the United States and wrote about his impressions. Toward the end of this two-volume collection, Tocqueville wrote about despotism in America, should it ever return. It's a sobering, staggering premonition. Here's a tiny sample:

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Happy 4th of July. And congratulations on your independence . . . if you can keep it.

<p><em><font size="1">Cross-posted from </font></em><a href="http://simplestrategies.me" target="_blank"><em><font size="1">SimpleStrategies.me</font></em></a>

Why We Must Evangelize Liberty

declaration-of-independence Earlier I linked to Glenn Reynolds’s Examiner column about the hard work that lies ahead for Tea Partyers.  If you haven’t read that piece, do so after reading this.

At Tea Party marches and rallies, we are surrounded by others who understand and cherish liberty.  We know the horrors that occur when a government loses accountability to and, yes, fear of the people they govern.  Such regimes become murderous, intolerant, and repressive. We know that such a regime in North America is just as dangerous as in Southeast Asia or Europe. 

What we often forget is that millions of our fellow Americans don’t understand these things.  Public education, and even many private schools, have filled people’s heads with nonsense. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have spent decades removing First Principles from our nation’s classrooms.  They have largely succeeded.

If we are to begin making fundamental changes in America, we must get out and introduce ourselves and our principles to those who have been enslaved by ignorance.  We need to let our neighbors know that we don’t have horns, we’re not out to destroy them, and that our principles will allow them to achieve degrees of prosperity and happiness they never dreamed possible.

When the call comes, please be prepared to assemble your teams and his the streets in your neighborhood.  Help us spread the good news of liberty to your block.  In return, you’ll get the peace of mind of know you emancipated a human being.  You’ll also get a government you desire and deserve.

Not bad for a day’s work, huh?