Kingly News

News and views from a strange, continuing journey

Archive for March, 2004

The real enemy

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Politicians are spending a lot of time trying to convince you that the other one is responsible for high gasoline prices. They’re right, but not in the way they want you to think! They also spend a lot of time pointing at the oil companies and accusing them of gouging.

Let’s consider some facts, however (something politicans really hate for you to do).

As Neal Boortz pointed out today (go to the link and check March 31, 2004, “Nealz Nuze archive”), gas prices are higher because of a combination of natural market forces and the interference of politicians–and, by the way, prices aren’t really higher! Here are just some of the factors he mentions:

  • There is a higher demand for gas in the U.S. this year. [Market effect]
  • Environmental regulations cause artificial shortages. Shortages drive prices up. [Government meddling]
  • There is an unexpected high demand for oil in China. [Market effect]
  • In the early 1980s a gallon of gasoline cost about $2.90 in today’s dollars. The politicians know perfectly well about the effects of inflation and how to figure it in–they just only do so when it suits their purpose. Inflation itself is mostly caused by [Government meddling].

Consider also that about 40 cents out of the cost of a gallon of gasoline in Tennessee (in our area, a gallon of gas is costing on average $1.63) comes from taxes. If they really want to lower our gasoline costs, that’s something the politicians could actually affect.

Wait, there’s more! Walter Williams points out that government colludes with organized business to artificially boost the price–and the “organized business” in this case isn’t “Big Oil”! So much for their much-vaunted claim of concern for the “average consumer”! Did we really believe them to begin with?

Once again, it doesn’t really make much difference whether we’re talking about a Democrat or a Republican. In either case, we’re talking about socialists in disguise. In either case, they want to put government in charge of all the details of our lives, and they want to blame the market and greedy businessmen for our problems, when they are the ones who really cause the problem. Don’t be fooled.

Written by Donnell

March 31st, 2004 at 9:06 pm

Posted in General

The facts about outsourcing

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Although this article deals with the situation in Michigan regarding outsourcing, the facts the author mentions apply in principle to all of us. This is a great example of a reasoned response to the political uproar–which is probably why unreasonable legislators will ignore it.

Written by Donnell

March 30th, 2004 at 9:29 pm

Posted in General

Practical solution to Social Security

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Most libertarians (and, of course, all right-thinking people) believe Social Security should be done away with or radically changed, but it can be a practical challenge to figure out how–after all, a couple of generations of Americans, rightly or wrongly, assumed it would be there for them, and for many it is too late to make other arrangements. It was foolish to trust the government to take care of you, but if the system can be changed so as not to penalize them while still ensuring its solvency and making it work “properly,” why not?

Cato has a suggestion that will actually work, and provides a good bridge for eventually getting government out of the retirement fund business–which is the best way to make sure it gets done better. The article is “Cato’s Social Security Solution.”

Written by Donnell

March 29th, 2004 at 8:53 pm

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News flash to the feds: The free market works!

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Finally, a piece of good news. The legislation that federalized airport screeners gives airports the option to privatize the function beginning Nov. 19. Already, thanks to the demonstrated problems with federal screeners, several airports are looking into it, and five airports using private screeners under a TSA demonstration project say they are satisfied with the private screeners supervised by TSA staff and plan to keep them.

Well, duh. What did we expect? Can anyone who has ever had to deal with a Department of Motor Vehicles really believe the government can do anything better than the market?

Read the full story at http://www.washingtontimes.com/business/20040325-122739-1729r.htm.

Written by Donnell

March 25th, 2004 at 1:40 pm

Posted in General

Update on Free State Project

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Free State Project Nicely On Track

by Cort McCadden

Recently Cort had the opportunity to interview the President of the Free State Project, Amanda. As their Web site explains, “The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to New Hampshire, where they may work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government. The success of the Free State Project would likely entail reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, reforms in state and local law, an end to federal mandates, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.” Cort talked with Amanda about their progress.

Cort: Now your group has finally selected New Hampshire as the state to create the Free State Project. What were the main reasons that you think that New Hampshire was selected?

Amanda: It had to be the state motto: Live Free or Die!

But seriously, there are a variety of reasons why New Hampshire is the best state for a mass migration of liberty activists. New Hampshire has cultural, political, constitutional, and economic advantages that make it a very desirable state for our project. I’ll describe some below, but you can see all 101 Reasons at http://www.lpnh.org/101/. [Ed. note: a much easier-to-read but much larger download version is available at http://www.lpnh.org/101-Reasons-Vote-NH.pdf.]

Culturally, the people of New Hampshire have a long tradition of not wanting the government to tell them what to do. The Live Free or Die motto is not just something they put on their license plates; they actually mean it! They are very interested in solving issues at a local level, and they tend to be mistrusting of government. This fierce independent streak is why New Hampshire refuses federal highway funds in order to have no seat belt or helmet laws. They also have a very active gun culture and some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation.

Many of the people in New Hampshire agree with the FSP aims, and they have been very welcoming toward and interested in the FSP. Politically, New Hampshire is truly a “citizens’ government.” The New Hampshire House is the third largest English-speaking legislative body in the world, after the British Parliament and the U.S. Congress. With 400 state representatives in the legislature, the districts are small (around 3,000 people per district) and the state representatives are easily accessible. The state representatives are paid $100 per year, and it is only a part-time job; they meet two days per week when they are in session. Many of the state representatives are stay at home mothers, teachers, businessmen, retirees, and so on.

New Hampshire also allows fusion political candidates, so anyone running for office could win cross-nomination and run on the tickets of multiple parties. Elections are biennial, so every two years we have the opportunity to completely overhaul the entire state government. New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson signed on as a Friend of the FSP, telling us, “Come on up; we’d love to have you!” when we asked how he would feel about 20,000 pro-liberty activists moving to his state. In addition to the governor, two state representatives signed on as Members of the FSP. Also, one of the governor’s appointees to his Task Force for Government Efficiency is an FSP Member.

New Hampshire has no sales tax and no income tax. The citizens of New Hampshire have always been very anti-tax. When some complained that New Hampshire taxes weren’t high enough, the governor set up the infamous “Tax Me More” fund so that anyone who thought they were under taxed could voluntarily send in their donation to the Tax Me More fund.

Constitutionally, New Hampshire has a few nice features. It is the only constitution in the world that protects its citizens right of revolution. It is also one of the few constitutions that don’t mandate government-provided public schools. The New Hampshire Constitution has additional checks and balances that many constitutions do not, such as the elected five-person Executive Council that advises the governor.

Economically, New Hampshire is near a major economic center and has high projected job growth over the next several years. New Hampshire has the lowest taxes as a percentage of gross income, nationwide. Last year, I believe the unemployment rate was 2 percentage points lower than the rest of the nation. (I don’t know this year’s figure.)

Cort: I know that you hope that at least 20,000 will move to New Hampshire. How realistic is this? Do you see this happening, and by when?

Amanda: We aim to have 20,000 signed on by September 2006, and after that we all have five years to complete the move. We are currently at around 5,600 committed members, and growing daily. Many people have already started the migration in advance of the 20,000 members. Thirty people (that we know of) have already made the move, and we suspect there are many more who have moved but haven’t yet informed us. We are on track to reach 20,000 by our goal of September 2006. We are also beginning a project called the Underground Railroad to help the slaves from the other 49 states escape to freedom in the Free State. Now that we have forward momentum, it is only a matter of time before we are all in the same state and working toward freedom.

I will be moving soon as well!

Cort: What has been the general reaction of the people in New Hampshire about the project? Has it caught the interest of other independents?

Amanda: Many of the people in New Hampshire are intrigued by the idea. New Hampshire has a long history of independence and mistrust of government, so average citizens agree with us about many things. After one of our FSP Members explained libertarianism to a New Hampshire police officer, the officer responded with, “Well, I guess all the cops in New Hampshire are libertarians, then!” And the fact that the governor (a successful politician) could sign on as a Friend of the FSP tells me that he thinks the people of New Hampshire are receptive to the idea. The fact that the governor thought that it would be politically advantageous to sign on as a Friend tells me a lot about the political climate in New Hampshire.

Cort: I have noted that media coverage of the project has been quite extensive. Have you received many inquiries about the project from people who have read or seen about the project?

Amanda: Yes, in fact most of our sign-ups have come from people who have read about us in the media!

Note: for more information on the Free State Project, go to http://freestateproject.org/.

Written by Donnell

March 25th, 2004 at 10:22 am

Posted in General

Think it can’t happen here?

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Here’s a really thought-provoking article. Think it can’t happen here? Remember that Hitler came to power through the legitimate political process. Read the article, “How Hitler Became a Dictator.”

Written by Donnell

March 24th, 2004 at 2:30 pm

Posted in General

Email list handled separately for now

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We’re still getting dual emails sent out from our Blog on occasion (i.e., when we put up a new post, a copy of that post plust the next-to-newest post goes out). We’ve been in touch with the Blogger folks (who provide our blogging software), and they have confirmed that the problem must be in the blogging software rather than in my code. They are looking into it. In the meantime, we’ll send a copy of the latest Blog post out by hand, so don’t be concerned if you see something on the Blog you haven’t received in email yet.

We apologize for this inconvenience, and will get it fixed as soon as possible. I’ll apologize in advance if you get two emails THIS time, in fact–there seems to be no way to tell when it will send two and when it will send just the latest post.

Written by Donnell

March 23rd, 2004 at 8:29 am

Posted in General

Practical liberty

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Here at Give Me Liberty Now!, we pursue pragmatic approaches to increasing liberty now as well as examining the theory, ideas, and attitudes behind it. In chasing down some other information, I came across just such an article called, “How to Abolish Government.” Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? As with most articles, it doesn’t give you every detail, but we figure you don’t need the details. You’re all independent thinkers, or you wouldn’t be reading this. 🙂 The article gives you some very good, practical, starting points and directions. Adopt some or all of them, and help move the country toward liberty.

Other posts will focus more on achieving personal, whether the system liberalizes or not. This one, as its name implies, focuses more on changing the system.

Written by Donnell

March 22nd, 2004 at 10:37 pm

Posted in General

Quotes to ponder regarding guns and liberty

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Note the sources on these quotes. The ones you recognize from history may help you to figure out the modern ones or the ones you don’t recognize.

These quotes were assembled by Mark McCullough for his paintball site. The full page of “other stuff” (non-paintball), including many other quotes, is available at http://www.f4og.com/otherstuff.html.

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” – Mahatma Ghandi

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” – Noah Webster, An Examination into the leading Principles of the Federal Constitution. in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States , at 56 (New York, 1888).

“Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA … ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the state.” – Heinrich Himmler

“There is no reason for anyone in this country — anyone except a police officer or a military person — to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun … The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution.” – Michael Gardner, president of NBC News, in USA Today, January 16, 1992

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out right ban [ on guns ], picking up every one of them… “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in,” I would have done it.” – Senator Diane Finestein (D-Cal)

“What good does it do to ban some guns. All guns should be banned.” – Sen. Howard Metzanbaum

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.” – Adolph Hitler

Written by Donnell

March 18th, 2004 at 11:19 pm

Posted in General

To vote Libertarian or Republican?

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Here’s an article that is great food for thought. Here are some key paragraphs:

“Let me make this clear to Republican-leaning libertarians:

“Your party is screwing up.

“It talks the small-government talk, but it doesn’t walk the small-government walk.

“Its politicians don’t think that they have to address the concerns of libertarian voters, because they don’t believe that you have the guts to walk away and take your vote elsewhere.”

Read the whole article at http://www.rationalreview.com/tlknapp/031504.shtml

Written by Donnell

March 18th, 2004 at 4:29 pm

Posted in General