A Game of Inches

It is a game of inches. That is the way we have gotten to where we are and that is what it will take to find liberty in this land again. You see, for the most part, liberty has been lost by little gains from the central government and those who would seek to restrain the liberties of others. On occasion, there are major advances in the destruction of liberty. While the history is mildly important, it is not paramount to know for the restoration of the Republic.

If this is a game of inches then we have been getting beat by those who seek to control and subjugate others. There doesn’t seem to be a concerted effort on the part of liberty activists and those who value liberty to slow the tide of government and the erosion of freedom. What we need is to lay out the options and not just go one route but use all of them. We need to use all avenues to beat back the creature from Washington.

So what can be done?

First, we need to know where we stand. We are standing in the face of government and a people that would like to be able to have everyone conform in thought, word, desire, and deed. We need to push back.

Smaller ways to do that are by simply having conversations. These are what plants the seeds that will burrow and sprout into the blossoming of a liberty tree in the minds of those you speak with. You will almost never win someone over with mere facts and a better argument. You need to approach them where they are and not bludgeon them over the head.

Get involved at the local level. You can effect change more easily at the local level where you may have more sway. This includes getting involved in the city councils, county governments, school boards and more. You don’t have to run but  you can support candidates that are pro-liberty and free market or you can start an advocacy group to push public opinion. You can write letters to the editor, articles in the paper, give speeches, participate in policy meetings for your city or county.

You can nullify! You can help your city, county, or State push through legislation nullifying or refusing to cooperate with the federal government. This can come in the form of Anti-commandeering laws, or laws outright nullifying federal law or regulations.

Your local Sheriffs can get involved by not cooperating with the federal government when they overstep their bounds. They can interpose themselves between the feds and the citizenry of a county. This has been done before and many Sheriffs have told their constituents that they would protect them in the case of federal encroachment. Take cues from the early resistance to the British during the secession from Britain.

What can you do specifically?

Get educated. Learn about our history of resistance to infringements of our rights. Learn the philosophy behind liberty as well as economics and the role of economics and the free market in having true liberty. Get involved, or run for office yourself. If you have children, raise them to value liberty. Show them why liberty is important and how it can enhance life for not only them but all people.
H.L. Mencken wrote once “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…”

Why Liberty?

I’m often asked:

Why should I hold liberty as a political value?

Why liberty?

Is it really that important?

 

The answer to these questions are self-evident to some, while to others they are elusive

and hard to understand.  Let’s take a look at some reason’s why you should choose liberty

whether you are a liberal or a conservative.

 

Should liberals choose Liberty?  The answer is unequivocal yes!  Liberals should favor liberty if they

would rather have those convicted or found with drugs to get help rather than being thrown in jail.

Those who value liberty see this jailing  as a profound evil that needs to be stopped so that those who

need help can get help. Drug legalization or decriminalization allows hundreds of thousands to be

released from jail to have a life again. This alone would allow users to get help rather than fear getting arrested

and to have their lives ruined. We know that if we legalized or decriminalized drugs  most

people would not rush to abuse them. This would keep the war on drugs from targeting  

minorities and would help with reducing violence in the inner city as well.

 

What about conservatives? Of course. If one of the things Conservatives are concerned about is

the debt crises, then liberty needs to be addressed. It is not conservative at all to fleece the

public to pay for pet projects and massively bloated government bureaucracy. Those who hold

liberty as a core political value see that this is theft on a massive scale. It is absolutely wrong to

take more taxes than absolutely needed to fund the constitutional responsibilities of government.

 

Those who favor equality should favor liberty as well. With liberty each person,

according to their own conscience, do what they please so long as they do not harm another person. This means that if two women would like to get married then they can. We should get government out of marriage rather than have them interfering in it. The government should not have had any say on who could get married and who couldn’t. That would be an outcome that all should be happy with.

 

If you are concerned about the constitution then liberty is probably a core value for you.

You see it as a bulwark against an encroachment or further encroachment of your rights.

Holding liberty as a value allows you to keep not only the constitution but the rights of every

person within your influence and allows you to have the moral high ground while protecting the

rights of even those you do not consider as friends.

 

Should liberty be held as a principle for those against war? War, especially aggressive

war, is antithetical to those who value liberty. War is bringing forth those who want power. It

destroys civil liberties at home while being despotic abroad. It destroys friends and families

while also destroying the rights of those who are left. War brings about a frenzy that tends to

silence those who are against it while labeling them traitorous. This is a dangerous combination

for those who value civil liberties and free speech.

 

Liberty in defense of a nation?  Yes!  Liberty is a bulwark of defense. It allows people to

be who they want to be with no repression under the law. It provides the means for people to

defend themselves as well as others. This bulwark has served us well and will continue to do so.

 

What is liberty without economic freedom?  The short answer is not much. Without

economic liberty, we can’t truly be free.  If we are not free to choose, we are not free at all. We

should have the liberty to purchase the birth control of our choice or the weapon of our

choice.  We know that big corporations purchase congress, yet we have massive amounts of

regulations and fee’s and barriers to entry to prevent the little guy from competing.  A look

at history demonstrates that those who have lobbied for regulation of their own industries did so

because regulations thwart upcoming competition who can’t afford the cost.

Such regulations prevent ordinary people from starting their own businesses.  Why? Because

those who are already in business are creating barriers to entry. Simply ask why you need a

license or a degree to cut hair or a license to put flowers in a vase and this becomes obvious.

Believing in liberty is believing that everybody should have the opportunity to start and operate

their own business if they see fit.

 

Along with economic liberty, comes the ability to give more. If you are concerned about

the poor and the downtrodden then you need liberty. It allows for you to have more wealth  which

in turn allows you to be more charitable.

If you have more wealth than you are enabled to support the charities of your preference, or give

more of your time to them by volunteering. This allows you to act on your morals rather than having

your money go to things you may not agree with such as wars or wasteful government programs. With

liberty, you can take an active role in your community as you pursue prosperity.

 

Is liberty for you? If you believe in peace, tolerance, equality, civil liberties, the

constitution, individualism, and the ability to purchase what you want for yourself, then Liberty is

for you. If you value your children growing to be whoever they choose to be then liberty is for

you. Liberty is not a mere ideology, it is a principle, that when held as a core belief allows you to

become the person you want to be. It doesn’t ask you to conform but to simply allow others to

act for themselves without coercion.

Choose peace, choose tolerance, choose liberty.

Don’t coddle your children.

As much as it pains me to type it, I am a millennial according to the way polls split generations. Luckily I am not a safe space needing millennial. This idea of safe spaces brings me to the topic of this article, Coddling our children.

The lack of discipline in children and the rise of letting children have what ever they want, in my opinion, has led to a considerable decrease in the resilience of millennial adults. I think it goes without saying that beating your child is not discipline and that is not what I am talking about but the lack of boundaries being set and consequences, whether natural or artificial, are not being allowed to correct behavior. Without correction or reason children never learn about consequences and how to deal with or work through them.

Children need boundaries, they need to have consequences to see patterns and to develop and understand how things work. To remove consequences from life is to take away valuable learning experiences that will help prepare the child as they progress in life. These learning experiences help create an internal structure for the child to set their own boundaries and understand consequences and interact with the natural world as well as with others.

Participation trophies.

These are given out so that children do not know what it feels like to lose. Certainly, this was born out of a noble idea, nobody wants their child to be sad, feel the anguish of putting your best out there and coming up short, however, negating these feelings does not make them magically disappear from life. As they get older, they will lose and they won’t have the internal structures in place to deal with this disappointment. This goes for protecting our children from differing viewpoints as well. This point is usually for older children but these older children do not have the coping mechanisms to deal with those who disagree with them. This creates an environment where children with differing viewpoints can’t have a discussion because somebody asks for a safe space because they cannot cope with, and feel unsafe,  when others have a different view points.

What can be done about it?

There are a few things that can be done, and the parent is the one to help the child do it. A foundation must be set and tools obtained by the child to become a resilient, independent thinking, strong adult.

Children should be exposed to uncertainty or risks. I am not saying to let them go cliff jumping at night when they are three. I am saying that you can let them climb trees with out fearing for their lives. Kids used to work in coal mines and factories, they are more resilient than you may think, we just don’t give them the opportunity to show it. Let them go out there and jump out of the swing, climb trees, run in the yard without supervision. You can always give them advice and caution them to be observant but let them push themselves and grow. They are finding out their place within their bodies, let them work on it without constant “Jimmy get down from their”. Letting them push themselves gies them the opportunity to see how far they can go and how hard they can push.

Along with this is give them independence. An example from my own house, my son always had me pour his drinks because he spilled juice all over the place the first time. Admittedly I didn’t want to pour his drinks anymore and he was able to pour it himself. Now I find myself in the situation where I worry he will spill things and offer my help and he tells me “daddy I got it”. He now does this with climbing trees, climbing onto my suburban and pretty much everything else. All I do now is offer guidance when he asks or when it is warranted. Let them out, run free and explore. You don’t have to keep them under lock and key. The worry with this is usually abductions, but these are rare and becoming even more so. Take precautions if you must but don’t stifle their independence when it is such a key element for their development in all facets of their life.

As I stated above with participation trophies, nobody wants to see their child hurt. What participation awards and the culture around that breeds is undeserved praise and entitlement. Your child does not and should not be praised for everything they do. If they do a good job, tell them so but there is no need to lavish praise on mundane things. If they lose, guide them through and help them cope. They will internalize this and be able to handle it better as they come across these situations agian, and it will happen again. Give praise when they accomplish something worthwhile rahter than praising the small things. It bolsters a sense of entitlement which is never good.

Along with quelling a sense of entitlement is to make your kids work for what they get. I am not talking about having your kids go mow all the grass so they can earn their food. I am saying give them some responsibility, let them earn money or in some houses points to purchase things. This helps instill a work ethic and shows them that you must work to get what you want rather than having things handed to you. I still remember the first thing I bought with my own money, a green bean bag chair. Working for the money to purchase that made me realize that I needed to take care of the things I buy. Nobody would be replacing it, it was soley my responsibilty. This also teaches a valuable skill that many millennials lack now, money management skills. Many of us I am sure, have felt the pinch of a tight budget and wished we knew these lessons sooner, this is your chance to pass it on to your children. You can help your children learn the skills and lessons associated with good money managment by letting them manage the money they have earned. Yeah they may blow it a few times but you can guide them and help them learn. You can teach them to save, know much to spend and you can see how they value their time and money in the process.

Are these sure-fire tips on how to avoid raising a safe space needing adult? No, but I believe this will go a long way in preventing it.

As a non-safe space needing millennial, it pains me to see how hapless my generation is. My hope is that this will help you give your kids a foundation they can build on so they can be strong, resilient, independent thinking adults.

Children Will Teach Themselves to Read When They’re Ready

Late last week, The Washington Post highlighted a bit of a rant titled “What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning,” by author Carol Black.

In essence, Black’s article takes issue with the modern education system’s insistence that every child fit into its timetable of learning. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the area of reading.

When people really want a skill, it goes viral. You couldn’t stop it if you tried.”

According to Black, Americans during the time of the Founding Fathers were regularly reading difficult material, and learned to do so from many sources, only one of which was the education system of the time. “They could read,” she notes, “because, in a literate population, it is really not that difficult to transmit literacy from one person to the next. When people really want a skill, it goes viral. You couldn’t stop it if you tried.”

Black goes on to note that this is the same motivation behind the way the current society has learned to operate computers: “We don’t know how to use computers because we learned it in school, but because we wanted to learn it and we were free to learn it in whatever way worked best for us.”

Yet despite seeing this natural learning take place with computer usage, we’re still reluctant to put it to practice in the realm of reading:

“In the modern world, unless you learn to read by age 4, you are no longer free to learn in this way. Now your learning process will be scientifically planned, controlled, monitored and measured by highly trained ‘experts’ operating according to the best available ‘data.’ If your learning style doesn’t fit this year’s theory, you will be humiliated, remediated, scrutinized, stigmatized, tested, and ultimately diagnosed and labelled as having a mild defect in your brain.”

Black’s comments remind me of a concept long promoted by Dr. and Mrs. Raymond Moore. As they explain in their book Better Late than Early, the Moores have “analyzed over 8000 studies of children’s senses, brain, cognition, socialization, etc., and are certain that no replicable evidence exists for rushing children into formal study at home or school before 8 to 10.

Such a suggestion is shocking, particularly in an age in which we’re trying to get students reading by the time they leave kindergarten. Won’t such a practice damage children and set them on a course of functional illiteracy for life?

Not necessarily. In fact, the Moores have found that giving children time and space to explore and learn to read on their own timetable may actually set them on a path to greater understanding and maturity:

“Read, sing and play with your children from birth. Read to them several times a day, and they will learn to read in their own time – as early as 3 or 4, but usually later, some as late as 14. Late readers are no more likely to be retarded or disabled than early ones. They often become the best readers of all – with undamaged vision and acute hearing, more adult-like reasoning (cognition) levels, mature brain structure[,] less blocking of creative interests.”

If what the Moore’s research says is true, then is it possible that the educational decline America is experiencing is partly due to the push to get students into formal education environments at earlier ages? Would we get better results if we relaxed compulsory education laws and let learning take a more natural course until children reach age 8 or so?

Original article here at FEE

Dumb fee’s made worse!

This blog post is going to be a bit different. I live outside of a major city in Kansas ( I know major city and Kansas do not go together). This particular city is floating the idea of increasing the fee for the permit to have a garage sale. The fee is currently $8 and is not enough to cover the staff and paperwork cost. They propose to increase the fee by $2.50, although they haven’t decided yet. To make matters a tad worse, you can not get the permit online as the city government has not made that a capability yet.

The city estimates, it doesn’t even know, that it spends 44,000 a year processing the permits while only bringing in 19,500 a year. The proposed increase would only bring revenue up to about 32,000. Not only are they making people purchase a permit to sell their own property on their own property, they are making the taxpayers inadvertently subsidize those who have these sales by not covering the cost. Even the proposed rate hike wouldn’t cover the cost.

This is done in the name of public interest, more specifically, the interest of zoning ordinances. My proposal would be to get rid of the permit, it is not needed. It was a solution to a non-problem. The bureaucrat who is processing these should be let go to provide value in the market. The police who are sent out to check and enforce this should be freed up to tackle real crime, like violations of person and property. This will also save taxpayer money as well. That is a double bonus.

The idea that you need a license to allow people who voluntarily come on to your property to purchase previously owned property from you is absurd. It is simply another way for the “leaders” to reach into your life and make it a little bit worse. People did fine without garage sale permits before they can do it again. I know there might be a few little problem areas here and there but deal with those as they come up, don’t fleece the public twice. Once by requiring a permit and the second by subsidizing the permit buyer with taxpayer money. This is the land of the free, not Soviet Russia, you shouldn’t need approval or permits from our “leaders” to do something so benign.

As a parent, show your kids how you participate in an unregulated voluntary exchange. Have a garage sale or go to one and see what you find!

The AnCap Answer To The Native American Question

One of the most common objections AnCaps face is: “by your logic no one legitimately owns property, because virtually all property, especially land, has been stolen at some point in the past so all current titles are tainted”. The examples often brought up are the deprivations faced by Native Americans. However, there exists a sound answer from an AnCap perspective.
This answer is more of a practical/legal one than it is an ethical one (this is due to it addressing a practical problem: imperfect information). If any individual is able to demonstrate a superior objective link to a given plot of land (or any other good for that matter) i.e. that he is the rightful heir in title and that the land in question was taken via aggressive means from his ancestor in title then he should, of course, have title to that land transferred to him and away from the current possessor. However, it must be a particular person demonstrating a particular claim to a particular plot of land.
We may know, generally speaking, that Native-Americans had their land stolen from them, but legally speaking (and from a perspective of justice) two wrongs do not make a right. That is, arbitrarily transferring land from current possessors to others simply because they are Native-American would be tantamount to taking land from those who currently have the best known superior link to the land (current possessors) to those who in all likelihood are not the particular heirs in title to whatever particular plot of land is in dispute (after all, anyone could make a competing claim to someone else’s property without verifiable evidence). This in itself would not restore the true victims but merely transfer land from some who may or may not in fact have clean title to others who do not have have a demonstrable claim to the land. This would only be a superficially appealing solution to those who collectivize people (native americans are getting land back from white men), but justice deals with individuals not demographics.
With this said I’m sure there are many who can demonstrate a superior particularized claim to particular plots of land that are currently not in their possession, and they most certainly should have title to said land transferred to them.
Moreover, even if we started from the current distribution of resources and land, establishing a stateless free market will nevertheless tend to bleed resources away from those who are unproductive (and who amassed and maintained their wealth via cronyism/parasitism) and redistribute them organically to those who are productive (individuals who add value to the economy by satisfying consumer demand). Thus, a more just allocation of resources and land is tended towards once a free market is established, regardless of whether victims of the past are restored. Rothbard has this to say:
“It might be charged that our theory of justice in property titles is deficient because in the real world most landed (and even other) property has a past history so tangled that it becomes impossible to identify who or what has committed coercion and therefore who the current just owner may be. But the point of the “homestead principle” is that if we don’t know what crimes have been committed in acquiring the property in the past, or if we don’t know the victims or their heirs, then the current owner becomes the legitimate and just owner on homestead grounds. In short, if Jones owns a piece of land at the present time, and we don’t know what crimes were committed to arrive at the current title, then Jones, as the current owner, becomes as fully legitimate a property owner of this land as he does over his own person. Overthrow of existing property title only becomes legitimate if the victims or their heirs can present an authenticated, demonstrable, and specific claim to the property. Failing such conditions, existing landowners possess a fully moral right to their property
.”1 Resources 1. Murray N. Rothbard, “Justice and Property Rights,” in Property in a Humane Economy, Edit Samuel L. BlumenFeld (Lasalle. Open Court, 1974), 121.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Once you have a good understanding of economics, it’s easy to recognize where government economic policy, economic misconceptions, and economic fallacies arise. But how do you get to that point? Where do you get a good understanding of economic concepts? Most people (myself included) fall victim to economic misconceptions at some point. There is no shame in that, especially considering a wide range of authorities – politicians, media types, teachers, professors, etc. – encourage and promote a distorted view of economics.

The prevalence of entrenched misconceptions is not easily broken. It takes a special communicator to be able to break through the tumult of advocates of unsound economic thought. There are, thankfully, a few special people that have crafted resources so valuable, they have become staples in the economic canon. Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson is one of those staples. It is virtually indispensable in terms of the innumerable amount of people it has no doubt helped clarify their understanding of the economic world.

With succinct clarity, Hazlitt explains the most basic and most important lesson of economics: A proper understanding of economics comes from understanding the long-term and full effect of a policy or action – not just the immediate effect. Hazlitt explains why knowing the lesson is so important:

Nine-tenths of the economic fallacies that are working such dreadful harm in the world today are the result of ignoring this lesson. Those fallacies all stem from one of two central fallacies, or both: that of looking only at the immediate consequences of an act or proposal, and that of looking at the consequences only for a particular group to the neglect of other groups.

That lesson is taught in the first chapter. Hazlitt spends the next 22 chapters of his book applying this basic lesson to real-world claims and hypothetical situations destroying fallacies and dispelling myths in the process.

He begins the applications of the lesson by retelling Frederic Bastiat’s classic illustration of the broken window fallacy alluding to the “seen and the unseen” – a perfect example of how someone can believe one action can be an economic benefit if only the immediate effect – and not the full effect – of an action is examined. Hazlitt also ends his applications of the lesson with Bastiat. He uses an illustration of two wealthy brothers, one a “spendthrift” and the other “a prudent man”. The example shows us savings – sometimes thought to be a drag on an economy – is actually necessary for capital production and wealth creation because savings, when invested via banks and other lending institutions, acts as both spending and saving. Spending can only act as spending.

In between the first and the last applications of the lesson, Hazlitt dispenses with some of the most persistent economic misunderstandings including beliefs about tax and tariff policies, minimum wages and other price controls, the effect of technology on jobs, how unions impact wages, and many others.

For over half a century, Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson has been a staple in the free-market economist’s canon. If you have not read it, and you want an easy-to-read, clear and concise primer on a proper understanding of economics, it’s hard to find a better book to recommend. If you don’t have a copy. I suggest getting two. One to keep on hand for your own reference, and one to pass around to your friends. You’re going to want to share this great piece of economic literature!

Freedom, or is it an illusion?

Nowadays in the United States the questions being asked are not about issues but usually about the people who bring up these issues. Take Mr. Snowden for example. Former NSA analyst has exposed many things about the programs that the Government has implemented to spy not only on the rest of the world but U.S. citizens as well.

 

Lets see if we truly have freedom still. We have a president who has murdered 4 U.S. citizens with drone strikes and no due process. One of these happened to be a 16 year old teenager who was born in Colorado. Does this sound like freedom if our president assumes this power to kill citizens? Does it sound like freedom if the government collects all your info that you conduct on the Internet, phone calls, text messages and email? Does it sound like freedom if you have no privacy? A common statement I hear is ” If are doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about”. Really? That isn’t freedom that is a constitutional republic becoming a police state.

Is it freedom if the executive branch uses the IRS to harass their political enemies? Is it freedom when your rights that are inherent to you for you being human and bestowed upon you by your creator depending on your religious leaning are subject to men and woman elected to be your representatives yet abridge, infringe and destroy your protections by legislative fiat? Our rights, Which they took an oath to protect, are sacred to each and every one of us and are constantly being attacked by these men and woman who say they represent us.

Is it freedom that we know have secret courts deciding what is constitutional? Is it freedom that this court has hardly ever declined a request from the government to look at your information? Is it freedom that they do not publish their opinions in these secret courts for the broad use of these laws? Is it freedom when our representatives in both the house, the senate, and the executive agreed that they should have the ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens with no evidence of wrong doing and no right to due process or a lawyer? Is it freedom if the people who serve us, and answer to us, have more power than than we do? Is it freedom that it is either Democrat or Republican? Is it freedom that they limit the debate to what they want to talk about rather important issues?

Is it freedom that they have made so many bureaucracies that are not answerable to the people? Is it freedom that these agencies are allowed to infringe on our rights? Is it freedom that what you own can be taken if a tax is not paid on it every year? Is it freedom that these officials abuse the citizenry with no repercussions? Is it freedom that congress in concert with the executive, tax small businesses out of existence? Is it freedom to have your money taken by force to pay for programs that you have no interest in? Is it freedom that you are mandated to pay for a retirement program you have no interest in? Is it freedom that the peace officers are now law enforcement and abuse their powers just as much as those who pass the unconstitutional laws?

Is it freedom that those who serve the public make more than the public? Is it freedom that those in office feel the need to be protected by guns but want to take and/or limit yours? Is it freedom that you can now be arrested and charged with a crime for exercising your freedom of speech? Is it freedom if you can no longer say what you want, only what is politically correct? Is it freedom that the government uses force to coerce you into purchasing an item? Is it still freedom if that same government uses force and taxes to make you purchase health insurance that you may not want or need?

Tell me does it still feel like freedom when the freedoms our founders fought for we do not enjoy now? Is it freedom when you have to ask the government to be married? Is it freedom when those in power are not prosecuted for their crimes while those not in power are prosecuted for those they did not commit? Is it freedom if the government has more say on how your child is raised than you do? Is it freedom when the government determines what is a recognized religion and what is not?

Is this still freedom to you? Are we so blind and scared that we don’t dare stand up and demand our freedom? Freedom is not easily obtained but that gem is well worth the work for it. You cannot expect freedom to be handed to you. You can not expect those in power to give you your freedom back once they have taken it. You must demand it. You must defend the freedoms and rights of even your enemy if you want to keep yours. Freedom is hard to grasp and hard to keep but the fight and work that goes into it is well worth the pain.

If the law or the Government is of such a design as to cause injustice, then I say break them both.

Are We Selfish?

As a libertarian, I get told I am selfish all of the time. As a libertarian with children, I often get scolded about raising my children to be selfish. Is it true that I am selfish? Am I really raising my children to be selfish? Is community really important, is it something we should teach our kids about or should they be rugged individualist? These are some things I want to talk about today.

Here in our house we often speak about individuals and individual rights. We talk about self-governance and self-responsibility and how the collective does not have more rights than the individual. We talk about self-reliance, self-worth, self-discipline and other things to grow the person. This doesn’t mean my wife and I are teaching our children to be selfish. I encourage our son to go play with other kids and share if he wants to. I don’t force him to share and when his cousins come to me asking me to make him share I simply ask “whose toy is it”? and when if it is my sons then I tell them they must ask him. I encourage my son to share as I think it is a nice and wonderful thing to do but I want him to do it of his own will.

What about community?

This is often brought up. Us libertarians do not care about the community. I would disagree! I often stress the importance for people to be active in the community in some way. Instead of begging for help from D.C. get help from your neighbors. Help shape your community the way you want. Take part in local elections, show your children what it means to serve your community and how neighbors can come together and help each other without being forced. Show them by your actions how you can make the state help unnecessary. We, twice a year, donate some of our possessions and money. We encourage our son to do the same, more about that later, though.

Do you even Charity bro?

Written in a dumb form but a question I receive nonetheless. We do participate in charity, we even volunteer if need be. Not as much now, with two children, one being eight months and me going to school full time but we do when we see the need. As stated above, we also donate. We have shown our son by example to donate money as well. We usually give him three different choices to choose from and he picks one. If he has his own we would donate to that one instead. He saves his own money from doing work around the house. Instead of giving small amount here and there we do have him save it for the twice a year donation. He has even received handwritten notes of thanks. This has encouraged him to do it again when he hears how it has helped.

So your not selfish?

This isn’t to say that I am not selfish, I am. We are all. There is no way around it. To say that I am selfish because of a political belief is absurd and to assume I am raising my children this way is even worse. I think it is safe to say that everybody has been and will be selfish again. Here in this house, though, we do stress the importance of the community and helping others in need, we just so happen to think we shouldn’t take your stuff to help our neighbors. We will give freely of our own. With that being said, I urge you to lead by example on how you and your children can help your community.

Nullification: A Powerful Weapon in the Fight for Liberty

We are faced with increasing federal tyranny these days.

Most Americans seem unaware or ambivalent about the federal reach into their lives. Most do not know just how invasive it has become.

Sitting at my desk, I can see printers, pens, lamps, diplomas, books, a clock, my laptop, and little knick-knacks. All of these items are regulated. The federal government has touched the lives of every single American in ways that it never had the authority to do. Everything on my desk has been taxed; some items have been taxed multiple times. The light bulb in the lamp that sheds light on this writing is now no longer made per the government instituted ban on incandescent light bulbs. The Internet that allows me to share this with you is in danger of being regulated by the federal government – the same government is in charge of the health care of millions, Social Security, and many wasted and completely pointless projects. The same government that will be taking in over $3 trillion, that is trillion with a huge T, and will still be spending more than it brought in.

What can be done to stop this leviathan?

There are several options available.

State legislatures can put anti-commandeering amendments on the ballot to be inserted into the state’s constitution or simply pass anti-commandeering legislation. These measures prohibit the state, and its actors, from using state resources to enforce federal acts. This can be extremely effective as demonstrated by northern state refusal to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Without state assistance and resources, slave catchers found it extremely difficult to haul accused fugitives back south into bondage.

What else?

Nullification.

This is such a powerful tool wielded by not only the states but the people of the states as well. The state legislatures can become a shield, or as James Madison put it, interpose between the federal government and the people. Nullification is simply any action that serves to render a federal act null, void, or simply unenforceable within the borders of a state. Nullification can include anti-commandeering actions, or more aggressive measures to block federal enforcement.

Nullification has proven to be extremely effective in the past. The North used this tactic against the embargo of 1807.Both Connecticut and Massachusetts lead the way in fighting federal tyranny. Nullification was used against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the Real ID act of 2005, and, of late, marijuana laws.

Yet another option is for mass non-compliance. This allows the citizens to take a more active, rather than passive, role in helping to fight federal tyranny. Civil disobedience is a tried-and-true American tradition. This worked during the Stamp Act crisis, the Molasses and American Revenue Act, the Townshend duties, and more recently, the civil rights movement, and mass anger against President Obama trying to bomb Syria.

We may need to call on all of these approaches to push back this tyranny of Washington and take back our liberty that was stolen in the night. We must not ask, but demand that our sacred rights be respected. We must hold fast to our principles, our resolve, and march forward to victory in this cause lest we fall to history as the generation who let liberty falter and that great flame extinguish without a fight.