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Liberty Tree

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sometimes we libertarian-types can be rather... errrr... independent. (Must be a character trait.) I was thinking that, at times, it gets pretty lonesome out here in the wilderness of liberty. So, it would be nice if there was a place on the web where people, having a libertarian tilt, could register their blogs/web sites/etc. That way, you could look to see if there were other like-minded people in your neighborhood/city/county/state/country (although I doubt we're that few and far between for the last option).
Maybe there is such a site. Anyone know of such a place? Or, do we need to create it?

Butch the Rooster

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A friend sent me the following joke...
Old Mikey the farmer was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called "pullets", and ten roosters, whose job it was to fertilize the eggs (for you city folks).
The farmer kept records and any rooster that didn't perform went into the soup pot and was replaced.
That record keepin' took an awful lot of his time, so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters.  Each bell had a different tone so Old Mikey could tell from a distance which rooster was performing.
Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.  The farmer's favorite rooster was old Butch, and a very fine specimen he was, too.
But on this particular morning Old Mikey noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all! Old Mikey went to investigate.
The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.
But to Farmer Mikey's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He would sneak up on a pullet, do his job and, walk on to the next one.
Old Mikey was so proud of Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair and Butch became an overnight sensation among the judges.
The result... The judges not only awarded old Butch the No Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pullet-surprise as well.
Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making: Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I just finished an excellent article at CBS News about our malfunctioning executive/legislative branches of government. Here's a teaser:
A New "King George"
The Nation: President Bush's Handling Of The War Recalls Warnings From Founding Fathers
by Robert Scheer
George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the "foreign entanglements" that George Washington feared would destroy the experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
It gets better. And Scheer doesn't spare the dysfunctional Congress for not exercising their power to de-fund the President, either. The whole article is supported by quotes from the likes of George Washington and James Madison. You know... real authorities on tyrannical governments.
After you finish the above article, take a trip down memory lane and read (or reread) this gem from '03. Then ask yourself, "Are things getting better? ...Or worse?"

Ron Paul - 2008 Video

Monday, July 23, 2007

I've been kicking an idea around for a Ron Paul for President video for a couple of weeks. Finally, yesterday, I sat down and created it. I wanted to base it on Dr. Paul's stated commitment to follow the original intent of the U.S. Constitution after he's elected as our next President--not drag us into another unneeded war or create another bureaucracy like so many of our previous presidents.
So, without further ado, here you go...
Feel free to share this video with friends, acquaintances, and enemies.

History's Mirror

Sunday, July 22, 2007

While searching for something on the internet, I stumbled on an article on dating back to July 4th, 2001. It was written by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, and is titled Independence Day in Perspective. He compares the actions of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War to those of King George III right before the Revolutionary War. After reading his piece, written just months before the September 11th attacks and the loss of much of our freedoms and liberties, I was inspired to create the following:
Do we have freedoms and liberties today? Sure we do. But the correct question is to what degree? Certainly, it is a lesser degree than we had yesterday.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Imagine the fear that shot through me when I read the following headline:
Bush cedes powers to VP
I know, frightful!
It turns out that the headline was truncated by Yahoo! News. It actually reads Bush cedes powers to VP for screening. He's going in for a colonoscopy and will be sedated. While under, Vice President Dick Cheney will have the helm. He'll be in charge of the whole enchilada. I'm betting Iran hold's its collective breath until Bush resumes power.
I thought I'd never say this, but I hope nothing happens to Bush while he's under. I can't imagine the destruction that would be wrought by Cheney if he's left in charge.
Oh, and Yahoo! News... Not funny!

Quote Of The Day

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Our handgun law has saved countless lives -- keeping guns out of the hands of those who would hurt others or themselves."
~District of Columbia's Mayor Adrian Fenty
But how many lives have been lost because victims were unable to defend themselves from attackers who could care less about your idiotic handgun law?
It seems the Mayor is bound and determined to keep D.C. a gun-free victim zone. He's asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a three-decade ban on handguns in the nation's capital.
Here's another quote for you. This one from the linked article:
Critics of the Washington ban say it is ineffective, noting the crime rate in the nation's capital is much higher than the national average, with 169 murders in 2006, 137 of which were committed with handguns.
137 murders committed with banned handguns? How can this be?!? The handgun law was suppose to save countless lives...
Oh, that's right. When you ban handguns, only cops and criminals will have them.

In Case You Missed It...

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review carried a piece by Eric Heyl that is too funny. Here's a snip...

Got a problem with Bush? Pack your bags

By Eric Heyl
Friday, July 13, 2007

WASHINGTON (Exaggerated Press) -- Taking a tack from wireless provider Sprint Nextel Corp., the federal government announced today it is terminating the citizenship of people who contact the White House too often.

You can read the rest of this article here. Good stuff!

Can't Touch This!

A Great Day For A Ride

Saturday, July 14, 2007

As some of you may recall, a few months back I purchased a motorcycle. I've found that going for a quick ride is relaxing and the view over the handlebars can't be beat. Today, I decided to take a run up the Mountain Loop Highway. I grabbed my camera and snapped the following photos along my trip. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar enough with what the names of these places are, so you'll have to forgive my geographic ignorance.
I hope you all get a chance to steal away a few moments to enjoy our great outdoors. I hope you enjoyed the pics!

Presidential [Candidates] Limits?

It seems that the second tier Democrats are being pushed out by the top tier candidates, too.
At least the corruption and back-stabbing is universal. I still think it's wrong that the more affluent competitors in a presidential race get to pick whom they will run against. Democracy? Only when it's convenient.

Sign Of The Times? Let's Hope So

My wife told me about a sign she saw on the way to where she works in Arlington. So, I hopped on my bike and took a ride out to snap a picture of it...

Ron Paul for President

Pretty Cool!

Unfortunately, the owner(s) of the sign weren't home as I was hoping to ask them a few questions. Fortunately, however, the dog that the "Beware of Dog" sign warned me of was sleeping on the far side of the house. He's a rather large rottweiler and I'm thankful he only noticed me after I had exited the fenced yard to snap this photo. If you're the owner of this sign and would like to share your thoughts on Dr. Ron Paul and why you've posted this sign, you have my card (I left it in the front screen door). Contact me via email (preferred) or phone and we'll get together.

Now, I wonder where I can get my own sign...?

Did You Know...?

Friday, July 13, 2007

It seems that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an inventory control problem of a mammoth proportion. After an audit, it appears that approximately 22 million dollars worth of equipment has simply disappeared. Poof, vanished! You would think that an agency charged with monitoring diseases would be keenly aware of the signs of kleptomania... Just a thought.

On the margin, while researching how this theft ranks with other high-dollar thefts, I found
this little gem from

Central Bank of Iraq -- Nearly US$1 billion is stolen on March 18, 2003, just hours after the United States began bombing Baghdad. This is considered the largest bank heist in history. (Source CNN [1] )

Pretty astounding! How fortuitous to have planned a bank robbery for that night. Talk about a major diversion!

The New American Colonies

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I noticed an interesting correlation while reading an article by the late Frank Chodorov. His article, titled Time for Another Revolution, spoke at great length about the evils brought on by the passage of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He observed that the moment the national government acquired the ability to fund itself with fiat currency, it began to grow uncontrollably. He explained that in its original manifestation, the national government was to be limited in powers. Americans were made to look to their own individual state governments for all other unspecified powers.
Knowing that I could never explain it as well as he, let's just read the quote:
Bribing the Constitution
Further, the wealth acquired by the State at the expense of the producers enabled it to buy its way into sovereignty. The Founding Fathers put a check on the central power by clearly delimiting its scope, specifying that all other prerogatives, named and unnamed, shall reside in the component and autonomous commonwealths. They knew from experience what a far-away and self-sufficient authority could do to human liberty, and sought to avoid that danger by making local government the residuary of all unspecified power; not that the local politician is different in kind from the national politician, but that his proximity to the people makes him more sensitive to their will. [Ed. note: ...and more accountable for corruption.]
However, with the advent of the income tax this safeguard lost all meaning, for from then on the local politician was less and less under obligation to his constituents; on the other hand, they fell under his obligation by his ability to hand out gratuities derived from federal grants, for which he gave up nothing but the dignity vested in him by the Constitution. His political preferment is now largely a matter of dispensing federal patronage. The American no longer regards his local government as anything more than an agency of the State.
Thus, the original federation -- the Union -- has been superseded in fact by a single, centralized power, and the citizen of the commonwealth has become a subject of that power. The income tax alone made this possible, inevitable.
The transmutation of the Constitution by bribery has also been effected through private channels. The income tax has made the State the largest single buyer in the country and, since "the customer is always right," it is unthinkable that the recipients of its patronage would oppose the State on any issue important to its purposes. Subvention of agriculture, education, and the press has been supplemented by gratuities to sundry pressure groups, all easing the shift of sovereignty from the individual to the State. To top it all off, the capital absorbed by the State, via the income tax, has put it into business in a big way, so that it is now the largest employer in the nation; loyalty to a boss of that potential breeds a peculiar kind of freedom of conscience. (Emphasis and comments added.)
It got me thinking about how the individual states have become nothing more than placeholders on a map of the "United States of America." With all our entitlement programs, government subsidies, and National government encroachments, how can any state call itself independent and sovereign? With every cash transaction--better know as a taxpayer-funded grant of money--between the national and a state government, there are a myriad of strings attached. Each one of those strings are meant to bind the state down to the will of the national government. For proof of this, all one needs to do is look at the No Child Left Behind fiasco in which the states may receive as little as ten per cent of their educational funding from federal sources, but 100 per cent of their educational direction is dictated to them from the same.
Keep in mind we've seen this all before. It was the American colonies who felt the rope burns of oppression from their mother country, Great Britain. Sure, the colonies were upset they were being taxed without having a say in how those taxes were levied or spent, but I'm positive they felt that taxation with representation wasn't much better, either. However, that, in and of itself, was not what fanned the fires for revolution. For a clearer explanation, one must read past the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. The revolutionaries gave a long list of grievances which the King of Great Britain refused to address. Many of those in the colonies would have gladly remained under crown rule if the King would just allow them more autonomy. The colonists were wanting to be more independent, were wanting to govern themselves, while the King had other plans for them.
And this is where I observed that our present situation very much resembles the situation faced by those colonies of America. Just look at a the very definition of what a colony is:
Colony defined:
  1. a. A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.
    b. A territory thus settled.
  2. A region politically controlled by a distant country; a dependency.
Today, the states, one could argue, have become nothing more than distant territories controlled by that far off country we call Washington D.C. Sure, the American colonies of old were separated by a great body of water from Great Britain, but the same could be said of most of the states today--the only difference being in the material which separates them. Through subsidies and grants and federal aid, we've sold our political souls to those who call Mordor-on-the-Potomac home. We've traded our independence for federal government largess and have become the new American colonies. If you don't believe me, just ask yourself this question: when was the last time any person or any state successfully defended themselves from national encroachment by citing either the Ninth or Tenth Amendments? In today's political environment, those amendments are laughable and have virtually become inapplicable--and that's too bad. Those two amendments were drafted specifically to protect the individual--whether it be the citizen or the state--from usurpation by the national government. Both have failed miserably in keeping the states and the individual free and independent.

It's in the PI

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I know the news about Bush commuting Scooter Libby's prison sentence is so last week, but I had to laugh when I ran across this David Horsey comic in the Seattle PI...
Sometimes a picture is truly worth a thousand words!

Swarms of Officers

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Declaration of IndependenceOn every Fourth of July, since 1776, our nation celebrates its independence from the King of Great Britain who's tyrannous rule was best characterized in our Declaration of Independence as:
a long train of abuses and usurpations... to reduce [the states] under absolute Despotism...
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
Not to mention one of the chief complaints giving cause to declare their independence which was recorded in that document was:
He has ... sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people.
Now, I'm not saying that our government is doing the same, but while reading an article this morning, it reminded me of that last sentence about swarms of officers:
In the nation's capital, security will be heightened on the National Mall as organizers seek to reassure visitors following recent attempted car bombings in Britain.
Park Police and 20 other law enforcement agencies will flood the area with officers and high-tech security devices, U.S. Park Police Chief Dwight E. Pettiford said. A police helicopter will monitor crowds from above.
As with past July 4 festivities since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the mall will be fenced off and visitors will be required to pass through security checkpoints. Police said the 19 checkpoints will open at 10 a.m. and have been widened this year to eliminate potential bottlenecks.
So, if you're visiting the nation's capital, or any of the other major city's fireworks displays around these united States, enjoy the show, and be grateful of your independence from oppressive, tyrannical government.
BONUS: Yahoo! News also has this video about the added security forces:
Special officers armed with weapons and dogs are on duty around airports, subways and bus stops for the July Fourth holiday.
I guess the correct question to ask is: are the officers protecting the innocent from evildoers, or are they protecting government from the people?
P.S. It's always been a pet peeve of mine when people celebrate "the Fourth of July". To be clear, you are not celebrating a day, you are celebrating an event: the declaration of our independence from bad government. The linked article from above made this mistake in its title, "Nation celebrates 4th of July".

Justice Served?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Quoting from this AP article concerning I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's brush with justice...
After months of sidestepping pardon questions, Bush stepped in. He did not issue a pardon but erased a prison sentence that he felt was just too harsh.
"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a written statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison."

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