Sunday, May 1, 2016

Our Long National Nightmare Continues

I consider this post an extension of the one I posted previously, "How Mormons Should Think About The Presidential Election." So if you haven't already read that one, you might want to start with that first part or I'm likely to lose you here.  In that previous piece, I put forward my reasons why believing latter-day Saints would be violating the core principles of their religion if they were to support any of the current presidential nominees.

That previous post garnered some interesting reactions. Reader Mark Moe, for instance, wondered if my blog had finally jumped the shark.

I have no idea what he meant by that. I know what it means to jump the shark, of course;[1] a person or entity that has "jumped the shark" is presumed to have departed from the usual norm and crossed over into Crazyland, from which point everything starts to go downhill.

I kind of thought this blog jumped the shark seven years ago with only its third offering. In terms of my credibility with the LDS mainstream, it's been all downhill from there. So I hope Mark will write in and explain why he thought that last piece was the one that kicked the casket down the driveway.
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[1]  "Jumping the Shark" refers to an episode in the fifth season of Happy Days, where Fonzie, wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, accepts a challenge to water ski over a live shark. The shark jumping incident -ridiculously out of character for The Fonz- is seen by fans as an act of desperation on the part of the show's writers, and a harbinger of its eventual decline.

                                           No one ever looked more out of place in swim shorts than Fonzie.



Unless you count this guy.


Taking Me To Task For My Idol Of Paper
At least a couple of readers called me out for what they perceived as my over-abiding faith in the constitution, since that document has done little to prevent our national decline. To those readers, I say: point well taken. But I wasn't finished talking.

The constitution does not have the ability to police itself. In fact, politicians began to ignore its provisions before the 18th century was out, well within the first two decades of that document's ratification. The Constitution's mere existence certainly did not prevent even the near-perfect George Washington from overstepping his authority when he sent armed troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. And our second president, John Adams, the very guy who so zealously argued for the colonies to dump King George, forgot himself once he was in office and started behaving like a king himself, imprisoning those who had the temerity to point out that he was acting like a little tyrant.

John Adams, Second President of the United States.
It's hardly the fault of the constitution when the constitution isn't followed. That document lays out the rules intended to control those who are selected to lead our national government. It has been aptly described as "America's Scripture."

Yet don't we latter-day saints have scriptures of our own that we ignore? Scriptures that lay out the way in which our Church government is to be run? Do our leaders adhere to those rules?

Not that often. Even though most of these rules were laid down by Jesus Himself through revelation, don't modern Church leaders often ignore those commandments for the sake of expediency? Why then should we be surprised when our national leaders also ignore the contract God prepared to keep them in their place?

Just as we were taught in Primary that as long as we follow the prophet, all will be well (a teaching that contradicts pretty much everything revealed through Joseph Smith), we were also sold a bill of goods in grade school when we were told the constitution had checks and balances built into it, that the government therefore had the ability to self-correct. This resulted in generations of Americans not bothering to keep an eye on their elected representatives, because they were assured the government would police itself.

Whether in politics or religion, the problem comes down to human nature. It seems to be human nature for some men to want to control others; to dictate how others should behave for the benefit of "the common good." James Madison, fourth U.S. president and widely considered the father of the constitution, understood how ambition to do good had led even otherwise great men as George Washington and John Adams to bend the rules to their liking, which is why Madison famously said that "if men were angels there would be no need for government," and thereby no need for a governing document.

But men are not angels. If all Americans were followers of their true King, none of us would need to be forced to behave peaceably. The desire to do good continually would be already in our hearts. John Adams said "the constitution was intended for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." Adams was considered quite the moral and religious man, yet even he became self-righteously tyrannical when power was handed to him.

The Constitution Will Not Save Us
We should remind ourselves that the U.S. Constitution may have been inspired, but it is not holy. We won't be governed by the U.S. constitution when we get to heaven. That document serves a practical purpose here on earth: to restrain human nature in those who aspire to lead. There is no coercion in heaven, so in heaven there is no need for a constitution intended to restrain force.  Only here on earth, where men given authority tend to use that authority to exercise control over others, is there a need to rein men in. Those Americans fond of arrogantly chanting "U.S.A! U.S.A!" would do well to remember that those governing the U.S.A are automatically presumed to be inherently wicked, so wicked that they can't be trusted to control their own ambition.

When Jesus said to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world," he was not saying that his kingdom does not belong on planet earth.  His kingdom is very much intended to exist here.  Rather, the phrase ouk estin ek tou kosmou, as we get it from the Greek, is better translated as "My kingdom is not part of this order," or "my kingdom has nothing in common with these earthly systems (for governing)."

Yet we keep gravitating to a system where we want someone else -some Pontius Pilate or some kind of Ceasar- to run our lives for us.  Our stark fear of how we'll possibly manage without collective force has been woven into Western civilization for three thousand years. And it never, ever works out for our good.
"To the extent that faith and spirituality are cast aside and replaced by collectively enforced incentives and sanctions, the social order crumbles. Just look at our cities and our children!  A social order based on the negative coercion of force and the positive coercion of recognition -a society organized, in other words, on power and glory rather than on love and faith- is a society built on sand. 
"We know this, and yet we doubt our ability to live any other way." (Lance DeHaven-Smith, The Hidden Teachings of Jesus: The Political Meaning of the Kingdom of God, pg 18)

For Americans to constantly look to a system of government that today varies little from the order under which Pontius Pilate was operating, and hoping against hope that this time the person we select as our putative "king" will work out for the good, strikes me as a foolish hope.
Freedom Or False Hope?
Earthly governments always rely on fear and force.  That may be the best we can do right here and right now, but it is not the order God wishes for us to place ourselves under once we are awakened. Our moral free agency is the most important gift God gives us; "next to life itself" as president David O. McKay aptly put it. God gave us the Constitution not because the Constitution was perfect, but because it was a stop-gap compromise. Like the early Israelites, we're too dumb and prideful to govern ourselves. So we stupidly think some earthly king has the power to make us free.
"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself.  Can he then be trusted with the government of others?  Or have we found angels, in the form of kings, to govern him?" (Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, 1801)
When he made that statement, Jefferson may have been getting in a little dig at his predecessor, John Adams. But he was also calling attention to the fact that the Federalists, the faction that had taken control of the congress and the judiciary, had been amassing power to themselves rather than looking out for the liberties of the common people.

Jefferson considered himself a republican, which has nothing to do with the Republican (capital 'R') party, which would not be formed for another 60 years. Being guided by republican principles simply means recognizing that the constitution established a republican form of government, which means the majority doesn't rule.  The founders specifically rejected forming a democracy, as they knew from their reading of history that democracies always devolve into mob rule, followed by dictatorship.

There is one area in United States government where majority vote holds sway, and that is in the selection of the people's direct representatives. But even then, the representatives are bound by certain restrictions, restrictions that would prevent them from doing whatever the majority of the people were to dictate.

That's what it means when you hear that we are a nation of laws and not of men.  Men cannot do whatever they want if what they want violates the freedoms of others. Majorities are not allowed to use government to violate the prime directive:

Don't hurt people.
And don't take their stuff.

Sadly, as established in my previous post,  America no longer works as she was designed to.

One Who Tried To Save Her
When Jefferson took office, the government had been drifting toward a form of aristocratic control in the hands of a privileged few.
"The Federalists had spent twelve years pushing legislation through Congress that to Jefferson and other republicans undermined the Constitution and the 'spirit of '76.'  The government had become too centralized, too British in character; and it needed swift reform. 
"Thomas Jefferson called his election in 1800 a political revolution...The Federalists had unconstitutionally enlarged the powers of the executive branch...Jefferson brought a new vision of America to the executive branch, a reserved version of executive authority that jibed with his belief in republican principles and limited government. His first term is a model in executive restraint; it turned around an American political system that had deviated wildly from the promises that the proponents of the constitution had made when it was ratified in 1788." (Brion McClanahanNine Presidents Who Screwed Up America: And Four Who Tried To Save Her, Ch. 10)

Jefferson went to work attempting to undo the Federalist takeover of the judicial branch. But he was rightly reluctant to wade into the affairs of Congress, believing that the chief executive's involvement in legislation would have rendered the presidency too close to an elected monarchy.

Jefferson envisioned a country quite different from what we have today. With the acquisition of the vast stretches of land from the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson believed -as had been the original thinking of most of the founders- that the states would continue as sovereign entities separate from the federal government; that the government in D.C. would represent a federation of independent sovereigns.
"Eventually an "Empire of Liberty" would stretch from coast to coast in North America-but it was not to be a consolidated empire under the direction of a benevolent king. Jefferson thought that the new states would eventually form confederacies of their own, remaining on a friendly basis with the United States." (McClanahan, ibid)
Unfortunately, today we tend to think of the states as provinces under the rule of the president, who operates with royal prerogative like some kind of Emperor Over the Land.  That explains why so many otherwise sane and reasonable folks become frantic every time election season rolls around.

I'm writing this on a Saturday morning following two days of riots outside California venues where Donald Trump has been appearing.  Why are these people rioting? Because they actually believe the upcoming election will result in the coronation of a king, and they fear what Donald Trump may do if he becomes America's king.

These people should chill. And so should the people inside who hope to make Donald Trump their king. If Donald Trump is elected president, he will not have the power to build a wall across the border, nor will he be able to deport all the Muslims.

He probably could if he were king. But the president of the United States is not a king. So if Trump is elected president, he will just be the guy who presides over the ten square miles occupied by the District of Columbia, and not much else. In order to deport all the Muslims and build that wall across the border with Mexico (which the former president of Mexico has adamantly insisted Mexico will not pay for), Donald Trump will have to ask for funding from the people's actual Representatives, and also get permission from the senate. He cannot simply do whatever he wants.

This is not to say that whoever sits in the Oval Office is incapable of mischief. As long as the people permit their presidents to run roughshod over their rights, presidents will continue to do so. Bill Clinton took a boatload of liberties no president before him had ever tried to get away with, which served as precedents that George Bush built upon when he took office.  Bush's additional usurpations made it that much easier for Obama to cross more lines, further basing his actions on the wrongful precedents set by Bush. So we should not remain blind when our presidents keep recklessly stepping over the line.

This is how far we've slid: John F. Kennedy, a liberal Democrat with ideas considered so dangerous his election horrified conservatives like my parents, would be considered so far to the right today that he might never get elected.  And I am not joking. In a match-up between Mitt Romney and JFK, Romney would be seen as the liberal Democrat.

There is a simple way to keep our presidents out of mischief: just instruct our representatives in the House not to give them any money.

And speaking of money...

How Did We Lose Control of Our Government? 
Money buys influence. Everybody knows that. But few truly understand the extent to which the government of the people has been completely compromised by filthy lucre. Once you can convince a people that their president is in charge of the country -that he is, in essence, their king- it's a simple matter for those with endless financial resources to completely control the one man at the top. Author Nomi Prins describes how the corruption goes all the way back to the mid 1800's:
"The domestic power game emanated from the railways, an industry cultivated by the country's richest barons." (All The President's Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power, pg 2)
Later manufacturing giants such as J.P. Morgan, who personally owned 70 percent of the steel industry, and John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil, colluded with other titans of industry such as International Harvester, General Electric, and others as they came to the collective realization that merely making money wasn't everything. The real power was not in manufacturing goods, but in manufacturing "influence capital;" that is, using money to control political outcomes.

These wealthy barons soon shifted from making products to making money. They dropped the manufacturing game and focused on becoming bankers.  Really, really powerful bankers. "By the end of the nineteenth century," writes Prins, "the titans of banking were replacing the titans of industry as the beacons of economic supremacy in the United States."

Eventually, politicians discovered that J.P. Morgan's bank held more money and gold than the entire U.S. Treasury. As the government's need for money became more critical, the men who controlled the money became more powerful.  And in 1910, the richest men in America had themselves a brilliant idea: "why don't we just run the whole country ourselves?"

These men combined together in secret to hammer out a plan that in some respects resembled the ancient practice of "Tax Farming," except their modern version was far more nuanced and sophisticated. It was also nearly impossible to detect that private financiers were the ones now pulling the government's strings. The way tax farming worked in ancient times was like this: when a king found he needed vast amounts of money that he did not have, he would hire outsiders who would "farm" money off the king's subjects, shaking them down in return for a cut of the collections.

This year it is estimated that the IR$ will bring in 3.3 TRILLION dollars in collections, and all of it goes directly into the pockets of the families of the six banking titans who originally concocted the scheme.  None of your tax money goes to the government.

Don't believe me? Look at who endorsed the back of that check you sent to the IRS last year. It says "Pay to any branch of the Federal Reserve Bank in payment for obligations incurred by the U.S. government."

In other words, your hard earned cash is used to pay off the debts owed on money your government has already spent, and it's paid to those wealthy private families. You have been listed as collateral[2] for the government's debt. You are nothing but a crop awaiting the farmer's sickle.
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[2]See Modeleski, The Federal Zone, Chapter 8

Remember when the federal government "bailed out" the big banks following the crash of 2008? Most Americans whose homes plummeted in value thought that bailout would somehow benefit them, that they would get at least some relief from their rising mortgage payments. Then remember what a shock it was when the bankers took that 700 billion dollars of government money and awarded it all to themselves as performance bonuses?

Giving away all that money to the already rich did not sit well with most Americans, who could not understand why their representatives would act against the people's clear wishes.  Well, now you know why. Your representatives are owned.  As we learned years ago from the Wizard of Id, "He who owns the gold makes the rules."  Our representatives in congress had no choice but to do the bidding of their true masters.

And here's the amazing part: The government did not have seven billion dollars to fork over to those banks. It first had to borrow the money from some of the same bankers they were handing it over to, which meant the bankers received that money twice.  First they loaned 7 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury, then the Treasury handed the money over to the bankers and their friends, and finally they got the money paid back to them that they loaned to the government so the government could give them all that money. These guys are brilliant. Devilishly brilliant.
"At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, the powerful "Big Six" bankers used a major bank panic to help make the case for the establishment of the Federal Reserve...Over the decades, the faces at the helm of America's two poles of power changed, but the aspirations of the unelected financial leaders coalesced with the goals of the elected leaders -occasionally to the benefit of the U.S. population, often to its detriment." (Nomi Prins, All The President's Bankers:The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power, pg 393-394)
The Presidential Candidates Cannot Save Us
I promised, for what it's worth, that I would give my take on the major presidential candidates, (and before there's only two of them left standing.) As noted previously, my religion requires that I completely reject every one of them. I understand that sometimes people become very emotionally attached to the candidate of their choice, so I apologize in advance for being iconoclastic toward your idols. I like giving the horselaugh to presidential hopefuls, and I don't particularly care for their feelings, for the simple reason that they are usually campaigning for the opportunity to get in a position to hurt me and take my stuff. So I love watching when it all goes wrong for them. If you happen to be invested in any one of these fraudsters, for the next little while you can expect me to step on your toes.  Sorry. It's not personal-it's politics.

CAW! CAW! (That's the sound of a screeching old crow)
Since we're talking about banking and corruption, let's get Hillary Clinton out of the way first. It's loads of fun watching Hillary giving a rousing stump speech, but let's not forget she is a First Class hypocrite, a liar, and a convicted career criminal. There is no denying it.  She is famously in the pockets of the Big Bankers, and it remains to be seen how long they'll continue to prop her up before she becomes a liability to them.  I believe future historians will look back at our day and wonder how the American people ever put up with her for as long as they did, but if I'm around then for them to ask, I'll explain. Hillary Clinton was both horrifying and hilarious at the same time. She's horrif-arious.

Ted "Basketball Ring" Cruz 
Ted Cruz, like Hillary, is an establishment politician masquerading as an outsider, a phony man of the people with insider bona fides. Like Hillary, he is owned by the bankers. He's a fraud, and it shows. His star is fading even as I write this.

I'm going to miss Ted Cruz, because for sheer entertainment value, he was hard to beat. Most people think of Donald Trump as providing the comedy in this election cycle, but the joy of Ted Cruz is that you get to laugh at him, not with him, and that satisfies my mean streak.  Cruz has no sense of irony about himself. Recall how every time he tries to inspire with his dramatically effusive rhetorical flourishes, he flops magnificently.  And what could be better than watching him lose all five primary races last Tuesday, and then come forward to announce his new running mate?  Or how about his pandering to Indiana Hoosiers on their own basketball court and not knowing what you're supposed to call that thing you drop the ball into?

Pure...Comedy...Gold. Ted Cruz, R.I.P.

John Who-sich?
John Kasich remains in the race only because he is holding onto the slim hope that the Republicans will tire of the front runner, see him as the party's voice of reason, and magically nominate him at the convention.  Good luck with that, Panckake Boy. The ruse could work, but like Ted Cruz, Kasich sits at the Bush-Cheney-Dole-Romney-McCain Neocon Establishment Loser's Table, so I'm betting it will backfire.  Kasich is also beholden to the bankers (who isn't?) and the Republican rank and file are tired of the same old same old.  So goodbye, John Kasich. It was nice not getting to know you.

Could Be Worse
This brings us to Trump and Sanders, the two candidates widely presumed to be the most dangerous for America if either of them were to get elected president. But I hold a different view.  I think either of these two would be the least dangerous presidents of any in the bunch, and I'll tell you why.

Nobody likes them, that's why.  Well, some  people like them, but more people dislike them individually than the number who give a hoot. Sanders is looked upon with suspicion because he's a socialist, and Trump is looked on with suspicion because he's a jackass.

My theory is that because they are so despised by members of their own parties as well as the parties of the opposition, both would have virtually no chance of getting away with anything while in office. An argument could be made that finally the American people may start to take seriously their political obligations and vote representatives who will deny Sanders and Trump the funding for any projects they might propose.

You may ask, why couldn't the same be said of Hillary Clinton, because she is also widely despised?

That plan won't work with Hillary. Because she's an entrenched establishment figure, a Hillary president would be business as usual, and she would get away with things for the same reason Obama did.  Honest, legitimate opposition to Obama's policies were slammed down and written off as mere partisan grumbling -"that's just Republican sour grapes because their guy lost." Or worse yet, those with valid criticisms of Obama were written off as racists.

With Hillary Clinton as our first female president, honest criticism will be dismissed as the sour grumblings of misogynists. So she will get away with stuff in ways the Trumpster or our first Socialist president might not.

We actually could see some kind of awakening among the people if Trump or Sanders won. I'm not counting on it, but I am wishing for it. Gridlock is the way the government is actually supposed to work; changes should come slowly and methodically after calm deliberation.  If presidents Trump or Sanders never get the go-ahead from Congress for any of their pet projects, we might finally get government back under control.

Not Feeling The Bern
I want to take a little more time to discuss both these "outsider" candidates, starting with Bernie. I have several good friends who happen to be LDS who feel Bernie Sanders' views most closely align with gospel principles. Certainly Sanders recognizes the dangers posed to America by Wall Street. And if Sanders were president, he would be less inclined than the other candidates to take America into unconstitutional military actions.  So I understand the attraction of the movement behind Bernie Sanders for president.

But as Will Tippens writes, there's only one problem with Bernie: he wants to start a revolution, but he forgot to bring any revolutionary ideas to the rally.
"His policy prescriptions -far from fresh, radical, or different- have long comprised the political status quo in Washington. While it's true he often diagnoses real issues, he almost always suggests solutions that are a contributing or root cause of the problems in the first place."
The problem as I see it, is that Sander's cure will be worse than the malady, and although Bernie recognizes that Wall Street greed is destroying the middle class, he does not seem to be aware that the problem goes far beyond the big investment houses.  No president will ever be able to squash the bankers who own the Federal Reserve, because the Federal Reserve bankers now own the presidency. And they will continue to own whoever sits in the Oval Office until the people themselves awaken, as Moroni put it, to their "awful situation."  I don't see that happening.

Bernie's solution to big, out of control government, is for the government to get bigger and more out of control. I saw a Sanders supporter interviewed on TV saying, "I like that Bernie's a socialist. I think I'm a socialist myself!"

When the reporter asked the woman what she thought socialism means, she guessed, "I think it just means to be real sociable, and that's me."

This is not that different from the way some of my Mormon friends think. They think a socialist society would be something like a Zion society. But a Zion society operates voluntarily, where the people continue to own their own stuff, while at the same time looking out for one another.  The difference in a Zion society is that hearts have been changed, so members of the society are inclined to give freely, making sure there are no poor among them.

A socialist society, on the other hand, must be enforced by a police state.  It can work no other way. Either you give what is demanded of you "for the common good," or it gets taken from you by force.

Until recently I felt Bernie Sanders means well, though he is amazingly, stupefyingly ill-informed. His body does not appear to possess that important "think it through" gene. You may think the whole Bernie Sanders thing doesn't matter at this late date, because Sanders has no chance of being elected president.  But the Bernie movement has legs, and Sanders' bad ideas will continue to infuse our national discourse with concepts that cannot work. Hillary Clinton's ideas are very close to what Bernie has been proposing; her views only differ from his in slightly discernible degrees.

That's why I encourage my friends to read Tom Woods' free book, Bernie Sanders is Wrong. This breezy book not only puts to rest the fable of a socialist paradise in Denmark, but it also shows that the women working today in the Obama White House are getting paid 12 percent less than their male counterparts. That wage difference is guaranteed to continue if Hillary Clinton retakes the White House, just as it did when her husband was president, and will if Bernie gets in. The book explains why that wage gap exists.

Bernie Sanders' solution to the banking problem is to have government take over the banks. As P.J. O'Roarke quipped, that's like saying "Dad ruined dinner. Let's let the dog do the cooking now."

America's Founding Traitor
Would you like to know where Bernie really lost me? It's when I finally realized the man was not just ill-informed; he was a hypocrite.

And I'm not just talking about his yes vote to bail out the bankers on June 15, 2009. That two-faced act was bad enough. I'm talking about Bernie's trip to the theater with his wife.

I saw a news blurb reporting that Bernie Sanders had attended a showing of the musical "Hamilton" and he liked it!  Not only liked it, but quoted from it on the campaign trail.

Now let this sink in.  Here is the presidential candidate who spends his campaign railing against how big money is destroying the system, then he ends up raving about a show celebrating the one man from the founding era who worked tirelessly to put that corrupt system into place.  I was dumbfounded. Here's Bernie Sanders on the one hand calling for a rout of the big bankers, while on the other hand he's offering up praise to the father of America's first central bank. Somebody pinch me, I gotta be hallucinating! 


Here's what's wrong with paying tribute to Alexander Hamilton:
Thomas Jefferson came to understand that Hamilton was intentionally creating a system of institutionalized corruption in order to buy the political support in Congress for his party's big-government mercantilist/imperialist agenda — the very kind of political system the colonists had waged war against. In a February 4, 1818, essay written long after Hamilton's death in 1804, Jefferson recalled what Hamilton was up to: "Hamilton's financial system had two objects. 1st as a puzzle, to exclude popular understanding & inquiry. 2ndly, as a machine for the corruption of the legislature". Thomas DiLorenzo, Central Banking as an Engine of Corruption
And this is the guy Bernie "Enemy of Campaign Contributions" Sanders has been quoting on the stump? This is the candidate who has vowed, if elected, to dismantle corruption in Washington?

Bernie, don't play me for a fool.

Alexander Hamilton may as well danced on the graves of every single patriot who gave his life in the American revolution. He was as much a traitor to the American cause as Benedict Arnold, if not more so, the effects of Hamilton's betrayal are still with us. At least you don't find people singing glowing praises to Benedict Arnold on the Broadway stage. I wondered what possessed the author of the play to create a tribute to the turd in America's revolutionary punch bowl.  A bit of research turned up the story. Lin-Manuel Miranda had read a book about Alexander Hamilton, and that book inspired him to write this musical.

One book.

He should have read a second book in order to get a little balance to his story. Because Ron Chernow, the author of the book Miranda read, is one of those hack biographers who is enamored with the rich, powerful, and corrupt. And not just your run-of-the-mill rich, powerful, and corrupt. Chernow writes biographies of the lives of famous people who took pleasure in stomping the life out of the little people on their way to the top.  Chernow's books are popular with both Republican and Democrat elites for the same reason Machiavelli is admired in those circles.

Lin-Manuel Miranda should have read a second book about Alexander Hamilton. I'll happily suggest one: Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch-Enemy Betrayed The American Revolution-And What It Means For Americans Today, by an actual Constitution-era scholar, Thomas DiLorenzo.


In the years following the American Revolution, two competing schools of thought emerged on what kind of nation the newly formed America should be.

On one side was the the aristocratic class. These upper-crust snooty-snoots wanted America to be great. America's greatness would contribute to their own status as fashionable, stylish, well-considered fops. That camp is best represented by aristocratic wannabes like Alexander Hamilton.

In the other camp were champions of the common people such as Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson. These and their compatriots wanted America to be free.

You may have noticed that freedom lost the battle long-term. As George Will wrote, we are fond of quoting Jefferson, but we live in Hamilton's world.

A reading of the book's summary from the inside dust jacket of Hamilton's Curse will give you an idea of what we lost with the ascendancy of Hamilton's legacy:
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were without question two of the most important Founding Fathers. They were also the fiercest of rivals. Of these two political titans, it is Jefferson—–the revered author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president—–who is better remembered today. But in fact it is Hamilton’s political legacy that has triumphed—–a legacy that has subverted the Constitution and transformed the federal government into the very leviathan state that our forefathers fought against in the American Revolution. 
How did we go from the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government to the bloated imperialist system of Hamilton’s design? Acclaimed economic historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo provides the troubling answer in Hamilton’s Curse. 
DiLorenzo reveals how Hamilton, first as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later as the nation’s first and most influential treasury secretary, masterfully promoted an agenda of nationalist glory and interventionist economics—–core beliefs that did not die with Hamilton in his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. Carried on through his political heirs, the Hamiltonian legacy: 
• Wrested control into the hands of the federal government by inventing the myth of the Constitution’s “implied powers”  
• Established the imperial presidency (Hamilton himself proposed a permanent president—–in other words, a king) 
• Devised a national banking system that imposes boom-and-bust cycles on the American economy 
• Saddled Americans with a massive national debt and oppressive taxation 
• Inflated the role of the federal courts in order to eviscerate individual liberties and state sovereignty 
• Pushed economic policies that lined the pockets of the wealthy and created a government system built on graft, spoils, and patronage 
• Transformed state governments from Jeffersonian bulwarks of liberty to beggars for federal crumbs 
By debunking the Hamiltonian myths perpetuated in recent admiring biographies, DiLorenzo exposes an uncomfortable truth: The American people are no longer the masters of their government but its servants. Only by restoring a system based on Jeffersonian ideals can Hamilton’s curse be lifted, at last.
[Update May 3, 2016:
The day after I posted this piece, The author of Hamilton's Curse published an online response to the current Hamilton hysteria engendered by the Broadway hit. Here's an excerpt:

"Hamilton harbored the bloody impulse to literally murder tax dissenters and anyone who challenged the 'authority' of the federal government, as was proven by his behavior during the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion. 
"Hamilton was the political water boy for the crony capitalist one-percenters of his day. All of his efforts to create a bank run by politicians out of the nation’s capital (the First Bank of the United States) had one main purpose: to provide cheap credit for his big business political patrons in New York and Philadelphia, and to subsidize the banking industry itself, at the expense of the general public....He wanted to bring the rotten, corrupt, British system of “mercantilism,” against which the Revolution had been fought, to America, run by Americans like himself and his New York political cronies." 
That's the type of "anti-establishment" hero Bernie Sanders identifies with.

I've long believed poor Bernie Sanders was misguided at best; but at least I thought he came to the table with honest intentions.  I'm not so sure anymore about his integrity. Sanders' recent praise for the monster Alexander Hamilton betrays Sanders as just another big-government shill posing as a man of the people. Either that or he's just incredibly, mind-bogglingly stupid.

Make American Grapes Again
What are we to make of Donald Trump? He's vain, narcissistic, and morally unfit to be president.

In other words, no different than any of the others.

A story is told of a man who needs to get rid of a nest of raccoons in his attic.  These raccoons have been plaguing him for a very long time and they are entrenched. They won't leave. The man learns of an exterminator, but this exterminator turns out to be an insufferable jerk. But the man also hears that raccoons are terrified of this guy. The man calls the exterminator, and sure enough, the exterminator turns out to be a Class-A jackass.  Vulgar. Low class. No social filter. The homeowner decides he doesn't care what kind of person the exterminator is, as long as the guy can scare off the raccoons.  So he hires the guy, the raccoons make a terrible racket as they scamper away, but in the end, the important thing is the raccoons are gone. Jerk-Face succeeded in getting the raccoons out of the man's attic, which is all the man cared about anyway.

There's no question Americans are ready for a disruptor.  The fact that the party leaders establishment republicans are panicked that populist sentiment is on the upswing fills me with joy and rapture. Those entrenched raccoons deserve to be shook up.  I just wish it was somebody else but this guy doing the exterminating.  Donald Trump is the wrong guy at the right time.

Too bad Ron or Rand Paul didn't have the foresight to present themselves as crass, vulgar, and narcissistic, or they might have gotten the kind of coverage the media gave to Donald Trump. Four years ago, the Ron Paul movement early on reached numbers rivaling those of Donald Trump. But unlike Trump's candidacy, which the media treated as a joke,  the establishment understood Ron Paul could actually win if the masses were exposed to his message. So they engaged in a wholesale media blackout on the only candidate who would have made the perfect president; the only one who ran on the things he didn't want to do.

I don't want to see either Trump or Hillary Clinton as president of the United States, But let me tell you what I do want to see: a debate between the two of them.  In terms of sheer entertainment, that's going to be awesome. That first debate is going to pull first-man-to-walk-on-the-moon numbers.

Look, sooner or later this government is going to fall in and collapse on itself. There's nothing any of us can do about that.  We may as well enjoy the collapse while we can, before it's all gone and there are no more politicians left to point and laugh at.

I suppose my biggest objection to Donald Trump is his constant braggadocio about "Making America Great Again."  What does that even mean?  And how in hell does he think he can do it?

To paraphrase de Toqueville, America is great because America is free. If America ever ceases to be free, she will cease to be great.

God did not intend for other nations to envy America. He intended them to emulate us. We were supposed to be the shining city on a hill, not the baddest sonofabitch in the valley.  The hope was not that all nations would fear us, but that they would aspire to be like us.

Is it any wonder America today is looked upon with disdain on the world stage, even by our supposed friends? We have become the great big boastful bully on the block, blissfully unaware we have nothing left to boast about. Except maybe how awesomely great we are.

Here's how a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson warned his countrymen about seeking national greatness:

"A nation that makes greatness its polestar can never be free: beneath national greatness sink individual greatness, honor, wealth, and freedom.  But though history, experience and reasoning confirm these ideas; yet all-powerful delusion has been able to make the people of every nation lend a helping hand in putting on their own fetters and riveting their own chains, and in this service delusion always employs men too great to speak the truth, and yet too powerful to be doubted.  Their statements are believed -their projects adopted- their ends answered and the deluded subjects of all this artifice are left to passive obedience through life, and to entail a condition of unqualified non-resistance to a ruined posterity." (Abraham Bishop, writing in 1800, quoted in Sheldon Richman, America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited.)

The question we should be asking Donald Trump is "can he be bought?  Can the influence traders influence him with even more money?

Hard to tell, but he does have an achilles heel: his massive ego.  I think the Money Masters could easily persuade Trump to involve America in some foolish adventure by convincing him it would demonstrate his personal greatness to the world. "It'll be HUUUUUGE," is all they would have to say to get him to go along.

Don't confuse the Republican Party leaders with the real power behind the throne. While it's true the party apparatchiks fear Donald Trump, they are not the real power. They're more like middle managers.  The real question is: how do Wall Street and members of the FED feel about Donald Trump?  Is he malleable? If the real Powers That Be didn't want Donald Trump to get this far, they would have squashed him by now.  So one has to wonder about their game plan.

Controversial political analyst David Icke recently speculated in an interview that Donald Trump may be playing a special role of bringing voters back into the system over the belief that "this time America may see some real change."
"The vast majority of Americans have completely stopped participating in elections because they know the game is rigged.  In spite of all the hoopla over Barack Obama being the savior of America, in the last election Obama got less than 66 million votes out of a population of almost 226 million Americans of voting age.  Certainly if any candidate could get the populace out of their apathy, it would revive confidence in the system. 
"I see something I call 'the default position.' I see people all the time reverting to the default position. For instance, after election after election after election after election into infinity, of seeing increasingly obviously two candidates who are nothing more than two masks on the same face quite demonstrably fighting presidential elections; more and more persons (not least of course in the alternative media) are saying 'what's the point of voting when you're voting for two people controlled by the same force, basically?' 
"And then along comes Trump. And suddenly they're back to the default position, and that default position is politics can change anything. And so instead of holding that position where they recognize the whole political system is rigged, and people come to power and acceptance because they're either acceptable to the system or absolutely 100 percent funded by the system; instead of holding that position that I would say is reality, they go to the default position which is, 'no, politics can change it. I think that this guy's different.' 
"Now I remember speaking in Los Angeles in this big coliseum. I was talking that night -it was in the runoff to the election between McCain and Obama- I was talking there about the fact that Obama was nothing different from all the rest; he was just another version of it. And I wrote an article that got me a lot of stick at the time which was Barack Obama:The Emperor's New Clothes, or some such title.  I spoke with a Democrat talk show host afterwards, and he said to me, 'I bet you anything you like that Obama's not going to be what you say he is; this guy's different.' 
"I remember saying to him, 'look mate, I don't want to take your money,' because it was painfully obvious that Obama was the same. One simple reason alone among many others: Obama broke all the records for funding. The funding for his campaign came from all the usual suspects, the banks and the corporations. They're not turkeys voting for Christmas. 
"So what the people were saying -because he had this constant mantra, 'I stand for change! I stand for change! I stand for change!'-was that he was different. They bought it. And of course what he turned out to be was just the continuation of what went before. 
"You know, the list of countries for so-called regime change that appeared in that document by the Project For A New American Century, the authors of which then came to power with Bush in early 2001, revealed a list of countries that they wanted to 'regime change' using 'multiple theater wars' in their language. They were Iraq, they were Syria, they were Libya, and so on. But they hadn't done all of them by the time Obama came in. And he's a Democrat, right? He's not Bush. Yet what has he done? He's continued to do the same, to pick off the same countries on the list! 
"So, it's a one party state masquerading as a so-called 'free' democracy.  So when another person comes along like Trump, I can see the way that people say 'no, this guy's different.'

"So let's ask a few things here: First of all, it's known that the alternative media, saying that -quite rightly- the whole banking system/financial system is controlled by a network of the 'hidden hand' and creates money out of nothing on computer screens. And that basically creates money; as a debt, to start with, used as the foundation of so many of the human problems and so many of the aspects of human control.

"But here we have a guy who claims to be a billionaire who's made his fortune overwhelmingly in property and things like that, which requires enormous amounts of cash flow from the financial system!  And if Donald Trump wasn't serving that system, and wasn't at least, the very least, acceptable to that system, they could have crushed him any time they wanted.
"And yet I see people say, 'although this guy's done all of this; although he's been connected with some very, very shady people in his life, that somehow he's different.'  I think it's incredibly naive to think this guy came out of nowhere. I mean, look back to 2008, mate. It appeared that Obama had come out of nowhere. These people do.  At the very least Trump is acceptable to them. 
"And some of the things that he's said, about for instance killing the families of terrorists -I mean it's just bizarre. Ludicrous.

"You know, I've been researching all this now for 25, 26 years nearly, and one of my rules is 'don't judge every step at the moment the step's being taken.'  We're not really gonna have a really sound fix on what this Trump thing is all about until after the conventions and we see what comes out after that and which way it goes.  Because the political system is totally, totally rigged. And therefore, if someone is coming through the political system and is able to fund it all, then there's a reason behind it and it's not just all spontaneous.   
"There's another aspect to this that I would suggest. Because of this process over the decades of two blatant masks on the same face being put forward for you to say which one do you want -they call it choice- people have become more and more disillusioned with the political system and cease to see it as a way to change anything. And if you lack the audience for it -the credibility of it in the eyes of more and more people has been falling and falling and falling- they need to shore up this political system so it stays in place, to continue to do what it's done all along, which is put puppets in power. 
"So when you had Obama come in, the selling point of 'difference' was 'First black president! First Black President! See, it's different! It's different! First black president!'
Now they're talking about Clinton. 'Ah, first woman president! Oh yeah, Hillary! First woman president!'   
"You've got Donald Trump, 'Oh, he's an outsider, he's a renegade! He's a rebel!'  
"It seems to me akin to a stage show in a theater that's started to lose audience. Not as many people are coming. So get around a table and you think, 'how do we get people in? What gimmicks can we use? What methods can we use to entice people in so we fill the seats?' 
"In terms of a focus on the political system: Trump, Clinton, Obama have been godsends when it comes to the actual political campaign and maintaining an interest in it. What we've had recently with the trouble at the Trump events with people protesting, and Trump supporters hurling abuse back and the abuse going both ways; that's what the system wants! It's classic divide and rule. People are being manipulated to hurl abuse at one group of their fellow Americans, and abuse is coming back to their group of Americans.  And it's over complete irrelevance, in my view. An irrelevance. Because in the end, whoever gets into the White House, what the elite want, will happen. Unless the people stop it. 
"And we're not going to stop it with people fighting with each other and allowing themselves to be divided and ruled into irrelevance.  We're going to stop it by all these people who bought these manufactured 'sides' realizing that's what they've done and pulling their hostility down, putting their weapons down -whatever analogy you want- and coming together and realize that Clinton supporters, Trump supporters, Bernie Sanders supporters, are all being manipulated in the same way: to conclude that the political system is a way of changing anything.  It never has been, so why should it start now? (YouTube: David Icke Talks Trump & Rigged Elections

Like I said last month, the best plan is not to take any of it seriously.  If you are like me and enjoy watching self-righeous prigs squabble and gaffe, by all means, plant yourself in front of the television and soak it in.  These may be among the last laughs you get before the country you love completes its inevitable slide into the abyss.

A lot of people advocate not voting for president at all, but I'm not in that camp. A stay-at-home protest vote sends a message to no one.  This year libertarian candidate Gary Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states, so if you want to cast your vote for someone whose values comport with the values you espouse on Sunday, you might want to consider throwing your vote his way as a protest to the establishment. Or there may be another constitutional candidate on your ballot. There's another Mormon running for president again this year, and happily, he is not Mitt Romney

Has any candidate I've cast my vote for ever won the presidency? Nope. Never. Not once. But somewhere in New York and Washington, The Powers That Be are looking on the numbers of voters (in the millions) that represent a growing wave of dissatisfaction out here in the hinterlands. I like knowing that they know the natives are getting increasingly restless with their quadrennial con. And I like knowing they worry about our increasing numbers.

Besides, when I finally stand before my maker to be judged for my many, many sins, at least I'll be able to say I never threw away my vote on a candidate who helped to hasten the destruction of my country.

I think that should count for something.


47 comments:

Unknown said...

Drop the drama of the fake relationships and faces of the WWE and immerse yourself in flat earth research for a week. Then your foundations will be rocked and you will realize that nearly everything you believe in is a lie, especially the Luciferian ball model.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Great. Just great.
Now drunk people are posting comments.

Milo Jury said...

Nicely said. Hope springs eternal in America, and it is used to shackle us. So how does one begin to shake off these hooligans and live a Zion life? It seems to me that those who are most happy are those who ignore the media, try to be self-sufficient as an outgrowth of their own self-worth, and do kind acts for others. There are those who homeschool and try to get off the grid out of a state of fear, such as conspiracy theorists. I think their motives are incorrect. But to make a life that focuses on true christian living in a very small circle of influence would be the best goal of all. How does one do this? Can it be done?

Log said...

Milo,

It can be done - if you will simply do the things Jesus Christ taught during his ministry, even if you are alone in doing them. Self-sufficiency is a mirage and a decoy; a Gentile virtue. None of us can escape total dependence upon God for sun, rain, air, and food - the entirety of what we need to live and move and exercise our wills upon the world.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again."

That is to say, don't worry about self-sufficiency; give when asked and you shall be given to when you ask.

Daren said...

Rock, you got de Toqueville's quote wrong. What he really said was:

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (See here: http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/cdf/onug/detocq.html)

Milo Jury said...

Thanks Log. I have not posted on Rock's blog in a long time. Now that I have, I realized I miss your wisdom. I had not thought of self-sufficiency quite like that. I think I was referring more towards those who do not seem to partake in the latest fads or electronic gizmos or seem to be seeking Babylon for entertainment, fulfillment, etc. I was thinking about those who seem to be chained by some need to a man-made organization. But your point takes mine to a higher level of thought, and for that I thank you.
Based on what you said and quoted,how do you give? I think I know your answer but I will wait...

Log said...

Milo,

This post might help.

Or, just read through JST Luke 6, JST Matthew 5-7, 3 Nephi 11-17, and simply do what Jesus said, if you believe Jesus asked it of us. Also see Mosiah 3-5.

Think of it as the grand adventure in the gospel.

SB said...

Rock, it is not that we are not obeying the Constitution, it is that we are. It explicitly gives the general government the power to tax, regulate trade and raise armies, all under the guise of "general welfare" and "necessary and proper".

There is no one true construction of the document. The "founders" were not all in agreement. One side won out, the nationalists, who wanted stronger central power to be able to do the things I listed. The ambiguous language is purposeful.

14000feet said...

Milo Jury,

We homeschool. We grow a garden. We're kind of trying to live off the grid. We don't do it out of fear, we do it because we like the results. Our kids are having a better learning experience at home, the food we grow tastes better than the stuff we get at the store, and "living off the grid" gets rid of some of the things we don't need in our life. No aspect of fear in any of that, just rational evaluation (or the best we can do anyway). But, I get your comment, some do such behaviors out of fear. Some, not all.

I try (not always successfully) to "ignore the media" and encourage my family to do the same. There's so much that's good out there to experience, why waste limited time on the popular trash? Again, no fear, just trying to maximize the good.

Peace.

14000feet said...

Rock,

Your comments about the state and the Church were right on. Recently, I realized that 1984 wasn't exclusively about the state. It's about anyone in power: the Church, the state, whatever. The power corrupts - even when in the hands of "righteous men."

As for voting...

Read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. It's a quick read: 5 minutes. I don't vote. I refuse to support the regime. Even if you vote for the Constitution party, you demonstrate that you at least believe in the principle of the sham. I get what you're saying though...

Liberty Ghost said...

Rock, great post as always!

I think that we're well past the point that our republic can be reclaimed by the ballot. I think it will require the blood of patriots. Unfortunately, even then I am not optimistic unless the Lord intervenes again as he did in the 1700's.

I think that Egypt, spoken of in Isaiah 19, is a type for modern day America. In it Isaiah says that the princes of Zoan are fools! He says it twice for emphasis. Zoan is the Hebrew name for one of Egypt's capital cities (I think Tanis). The princes are the ruling elite, equivalent to our elected representatives. It also says that Pharoah thinks he is wise like the founding fathers of ancient Egypt, but clearly he can't see what is coming. It's an eerily accurate model for the modern American state on the eve of it's destruction.

Dale B.

SB said...

You may enjoy this also Rock, Tom Woods debates Michael Malice on Hamilton. Entertaining.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeE_s1Gw7X4



Alan Rock Waterman said...

Daren,
Well, I knew I wasn't quoting deToqueville precisely, which is why I prefaced my words with "To paraphrase de Toqueville..." But I take your point. My intention was to paraphrase de Toqueville's overall impression of America, not to quote him outright.

For those who may be unaware, Alexis de Toqueville was a French writer who spent several months traveling through young America and returned to France to publish his impressions. What was most unique about America, he determined, was that the people seemed to be doing quite well without either a king or an emperor, as was the common mode of government throughout Europe.

So what I was paraphrasing was de Toqueville's overall impression, which was that the secret to America's nascent greatness was that its people were free. My mistake may have been in placing that impression within a statement often attributed to de Toqueville. Here is that statement:

"I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

"Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

"America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

Many years ago I used to subscribe to The Weekly Standard, and was one day quite surprised to learn from an article I read there that those words are not found in deToqueville's book, nor in any of his writings. (I have the two volume reissue of Democracy In America, and read it over 30 years ago, but since I never finished both volumes, I had just assumed like everybody else that it was in there and that I had missed it.) So the "real" quote is a fake. de Toqueville never said it.

Anyway, I figured that since the idea that "America is great because America is Free" was the overall impression de Toqueville took away from his visit to the fledgling country, it made perfect sense for me to "borrow" the bogus quote and tweak it a bit.

So to clarify: I was paraphrasing de Toqueville, even though I was not paraphrasing the words in that commonly misattributed quote. I was distilling into one small sentence de Toqueville's overall impression of America that it took him nearly two books to describe.

Yeah, it's confusing. Because if de Toqueville HAD actually said "America is great because America is good," what I did was not a paraphrase of his words, it was something else. A tweak, maybe, or an inversion. Perhaps my real mistake was in putting those words in quote marks in the first place. I should go back and take them out.

The other thing I got wrong was placing de Toqueville's visit to America in 1828. That was stuck in my head for some reason, but after looking it up, I find he came here in 1831.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

14000 Feet,
Thanks for recommending the Ursula K. LeGuin story. It has a nice Twighlight-Zoneish feel to it.

Here's a link to the pdf, for others who are interested:

http://engl210-deykute.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/omelas.pdf

Alan Rock Waterman said...

SB,
I continue to maintain that the constitution, if consistently obeyed, would result in unbound freedom for the people.

While you are correct in asserting that the constitution provides for taxation, it did not permit direct taxation of individual, but rather tariffs, imposts, and excises. These are taxes that can be avoided, and if they became intolerable, the people living in the states could change them, ignore them, or move to a less oppressive state.

Even the 16th Amendment did not change the constitutional method of indirect taxation, though we have been indoctrinated to believe we are required to assess and pay a tax that does not, by law, apply to the wages of individuals. The Supreme Court affirmed that the 16th amendment created no new law. (The Springer case, I believe, though I'd have to look it up. I'm getting old.)

I did not get into this in my piece, at the same time the 16th amendment was fraudulently pushed through, the elites convinced the people that senators should be elected directly by the people, even though they were not intended to be the people's representatives, but the states. This seriously hurt the ability of the constitution to protect the state's interests (and thereby the people living within them) because, as we witness today, demogogues get elected through popular vote. That could have been avoided, but that constitutional safeguard has been eliminated.

I certainly agree with you that not everyone was of one mind at the constitutional convention. I wish Jefferson, Paine, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry had been there to prevent the mischief created by Hamilton and others. Jefferson was in France, and Patrick Henry refused to participate because he rightly "smelt a rat."

I have not yet finished reading Sheldon Richman's book, and I understand his thesis to be that the Constitution was flawed from the beginning, but I have watched the interview, and he notes that there is no black or white way to look at it. So I would say the problems with the Constitution stem from wrong interpretations (beginning with Hamilton), and you can drive a truck through some of the provisions if they are not taken at face value. Look at how often the 10 amendments are miscronstrued in favor of centralization of power.

But Thank heaven there IS a Bill of Rights, or else we would already be a dystopia right now.

Hard to argue with your position, though. All I can do is dream of what might have been if Jefferson's correct vision had prevailed, rather than Hamilton's.

By the way, I recommend everyone get hold of "Hamilton's Curse" and read it. What with the current buzz over the musical Hamilton, it would be good to argue the truth about that devil.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

SB,
Thanks also for that link to the Tom Woods debate on Hamilton!

I'm doing a lot of listening and reading of Tom Woods lately. God His latest book, too, Real Dissent.
http://smile.amazon.com/Real-Dissent-Libertarian-Allowable-Opinion-ebook/dp/B00N71YJQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462227955&sr=1-1&keywords=real+dissent

(Like everything else that's piling up around here, I haven't read it yet. But I got it, and it looks to be Dynamite!)

SB said...

Speaking of taxes, Richman addresses that in the book. It's good food for thought.

Love Tom Woods' daily podcast.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Hey, look what I found! That Weekly Standard piece I mentioned in a comment above. Didn't think I'd find it on the internet because it was from way back in 1995 before the internet.

Lousy title, though. If you just read the title and no further, you might think the author is saying de Toqueville was a fraud.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/the-tocqueville-fraud/article/8100

Alan Rock Waterman said...

SB,
I'm looking forward to seeing what Sheldon Richman says about taxes. Maybe if Tom Woods would stop putting out a new podcast every other minute I might get to something else. (I've already started watching the Hamilton debate, and I see a reference has been made to a previous podcast about Hamilton with Kenneth Guzman, so it's never gonna end for me.)

I Should have Richman's book read by the end of the week. At least I hope to. Again, I want to thank you for putting me onto it. Very insightful.

By the way, that should read "got his latest book" in my comment to you above. Not "God His." I'm such a dummy.

Connie Waterman said...

Rock,
As always you teach me some things I have not learned yet. It is pretty great having a husband who has gained so much knowledge, yet stays so humble. I learn as much from your Blog, as I do from your answers to Commenters.

I miss your company, while you work so hard on each Post. But...I always know that your sacrifice is to teach other's about what you have learned and what you are learning. Especially for those of us who were taught by the Public school system, on this 2 part series in paticular.

I would like to personally thank you for writing this blog. You brought me back to our core beliefs, when I left it all behind.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Gee Connie, are you in the next room? I forgot all about you!

SB said...

Rock, as you already know, the Hamiltonians were throwing fits at the prospects of removing Hamilton from the $10 bill. DiLorenzo with another take down:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/05/thomas-dilorenzo/establishment-love-affair/



mark moe said...

Hey,

Mark here...

Anyway... I think personal matter of religion are your forte. The dive into politics is a very slippery slope!

Reading history ,especially political, that is accurate is likely only from the winner's perspective.

Hech, think of LDS history where if you ask most members how the transition from JS to BY event down... Most don't know...

It your baby, but your analysis of direct LDS matters open eyes. Adding in politics in general may close them.

I like you and the blog-- so not mean spirited and if you'd like to talk on the phone I'd like that... Let me know, give you my #.


Sincerely, MArk Moe.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for that heads up, SB. I added an update in the body of the piece quoting this excerpt (it can be found under the subhead "America's Founding Traitor":

[Update May 3, 2016:
The day after I posted this piece, The author of Hamilton's Curse published an online response to the current Hamilton hysteria engendered by the Broadway hit. Here's an excerpt:
"Hamilton harbored the bloody impulse to literally murder tax dissenters and anyone who challenged the 'authority' of the federal government, as was proven by his behavior during the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion.

"Hamilton was the political water boy for the crony capitalist one-percenters of his day. All of his efforts to create a bank run by politicians out of the nation’s capital (the First Bank of the United States) had one main purpose: to provide cheap credit for his big business political patrons in New York and Philadelphia, and to subsidize the banking industry itself, at the expense of the general public....He wanted to bring the rotten, corrupt, British system of “mercantilism,” against which the Revolution had been fought, to America, run by Americans like himself and his New York political cronies."

That's the type of "anti-establishment hero" Bernie Sanders identifies with.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for the clarification, Mark.

You'll recall I pointed in that first part that my point of view is based on the religious principles inherent within Mormon teachings. This is no partisan screed I wrote. I can see your point were I to take sides in this national circus, supporting one candidate over another. But I reject them all, and I do so on firm religious grounds. And since this is indeed a blog about my religion, I feel it is entirely proper to discuss my religion as it applies in the public square.

The position I hold is this: I'm not trying to tell anyone who they should or should not vote for. I don't really care. BUT...I am expressing the opinion that if a member of the Church is to hold to his or her religious principles, it seems to me that the support of ANY of these mainstream candidates would conflict with those principles.

But what does it matter what I think? Mormons -especially those in leadership positions-regularly abandon the teachings of their religion all the time.

I understand that we have all been propagandized from childhood that religion and politics don't mix. But religious PRINCIPLES -the manner in which we are expected to conduct ourselves with one others in society- do count. We should not throw morality out the window for the sake of political expediency.

It's worth noting here that the LDS Church bends over backward in an attempt not to preach against immorality. Oh sure, it condemns its own members for trifles, to be sure. But it denounces the sins of society only in the most general terms, and only when it is certain it will not step on any political toes. That policy is not born of religious conviction. It is born out of fear the Church could lose its corporate tax exemptions.

Unincorporated churches (of which there are a growing number) continue to preach about moral failings of society such as the horrific numbers of late-term abortions. This church was once among the voices raised against this national holocaust. But the moment abortion-on-demand became settled by the Supreme Court as legally acceptable, you never heard a peep out of our leaders in general conference. They became afraid of running afoul of The Man.

Our Lord was very specific in the Book of Mormon and in His revelations through Joseph Smith that our interactions with others should be conducted according to his laws. Politics is defined as "the making of a common decision for a group of people." Our primary obligation as sons and daughters of God when making decisions that will affect any group of people, is to take care we don't hurt any of those people, and that we don't enable others to take their stuff.

If our religion requires us to treat all men justly, how can we leave our religious principles at the door? Why should it be thought odd for me to compare the principles that guide us with the goals and principles espoused by the various candidates who hope to rule us?

Four years ago I made that comparison with Mitt Romney, and concluded Romney's political principles don't jibe with those he claims guide him in his daily life. But that's politics, I guess.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Sure Mark, I'd love to talk to you on the phone. PM me on Facebook with your phone number. But note it may be a few days before I get back to you.

Colt H. said...

Interesting read, Rock. Since you are all about wanting your posts to be accurate, I found at least one error, that was prefaced as opinion. "Hillary giving a rousing stump speech, but let's not forget she is a First Class hypocrite, a liar, and a convicted career criminal. There is no denying it."

Calling her a hypocrite and a liar is quite easy to do. All men are liars and hypocrites. However you then say that she is a "convicted career criminal." When exactly has she been indicted and then convicted by a jury of her peers? Had she ever been, those foaming at the mouth would have jumped on this and be shouting it from the rooftops. Perhaps you just misspoke, we all do. Perhaps you could clarify when she has been convicted, what the judgment was in her case etc.

I would point out that Mormons are not unique in placing a trust in men, whether it is with ecclesiastical authority or with political leaders promising things. Of all the people running, in full discourse I support Sanders, with eyes wide open. Not so much for the man himself, but rather the hope of a better change in an economic system that he inspires. I do find your reasoning for considering him a hypocrite bordering on hilarious if it wasn't so asinine. Perhaps I'm harsh in that assessment but could you could offer the link to whichever quote that would indicate what makes him so hypocritical? Simply liking a dramatized version of a historical founding father seems like a stretch at best to dislike someone or to even claim that they are a hypocrite. Does me having watched The Apprentice and enjoying it for what it is make me a hypocrite even though I think that a Trump presidency will damage us far greater than any of the other candidates? Or speaking to someone of your generation, if I were to quote a Beatles song "All you need is love." When one of the Beatles in John Lennon was a known cheater. I don't think that makes me a hypocrite, but a human that responds to catchphrase or music that speak to you. But I feel you have rather loose definitions of what a hypocrite constitutes. Will Sanders change everything? Of course not, anybody that's been burned by authority (no pun intended) especially from the church knows well enough that human beings are flawed beings, and I would fully expect Sanders to make mistakes if he were ever to take the office of president. However when I step into the voting booth it isn't to vote for one best suited to keep the chair warm until Jesus shows up or even for the ward bishop, but rather one who can keep our nation focused on ourselves and for issues that have real world consequences, and not ones whom are so thin skinned that they would resort to calling other national leaders names like a second rate middle school bully.

Will there be anybody that will be good enough for the pedestal that we have constructed and expect them to stand on without being wobbly? Nope, it'll never happen. We can and will agree on that. But to be so dismissive to those that might vote for their economic and civil interests, truly shows the level of privilege that we as a nation, specifically Anglo Europeans have that we can just vote our consciousness when there are still those around the world and those disenfranchised within our own country who do rely on some of these people to fulfill even five percent of what they promise on the campaign trail. I use to feel the same way that I wouldn't vote the lesser of two evils, and that I would vote my conscious and go with a third party candidate. However that becomes more difficult to do when there are many out there that need the assistance that the government might give them for whatever reason. One can make the case that government isn't here for that. That being said, government wouldn't have been necessary had religion or charity fulfilled it's mission in helping and providing for people. The size and scope of the government is their failures as an institute to care for their fellow man.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Hi Colt,
It would appear for starters that I have a fundamentally different idea than you of what government's purpose is, as you say "The size and scope of the government is their failures as an institute to care for their fellow man."

The purpose of government is to PROTECT the rights of the individual, not to provide for his wants. Whatever failures there are to religions or charities does not permit government to step in and fill a role it was not designed to do. Jefferson described Government's ONLY legitimate role in his first inaugural address:

"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. That is the sum of good government."

To recap, government's role is to:

1. restrain men from hurting each other and taking their stuff.
2. Otherwise leave them alone to regulate their own pursuits.

It would be nice if we had some benevolent entity that provided our wants for us, but government has no resources to give. In order for government to extend care to one of us, it must steal from another. You speak of charities as though charities have failed, but most charities (except those that pocket for themselves a hefty percentage of their donations) are raging successes in accomplishing their goals.

I personally volunteer with a local federation of churches here in Sacramento that provide hearty dinners, breakfasts, and overnight accommodations for the homeless in this city, and thanks to those who are generous with their time and money, this charity and others like it are succeeding very well where the government consistently fails in attempting the same role.

As for Hillary Clinton's criminal convictions, I expected the reader to click on the links I provided. That's where you'll find citations where both she and her husband were censured AND found guilty of violations which required the payment of fines and restitution. It's not hard to find further evidence of crimes for which the Clintons have not been convicted, but where their behavior is clearly criminal. (Look up the definition of "crime." A person does not have to be caught for them to have engaged in criminal behavior.)

Here are a couple of additional sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zUpKOC-t6g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kypl1MYuKDY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83MGS8Y6nSU

A simple Google search of the words Hillary Clinton" and "criminal" turns up more examples than I have had time follow through with, but I felt the examples I provide the reader were a good start.

(Continued below)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Colt, (Continued)

My reason for labeling Bernie Sanders a hypocrite is simply because he has based his entire campaign on denouncing the corruption of money in politics. Okay, well and good. I admired him for that...UNTIL he emerged from the Broadway theater April 8th raving about the subject of the play "Hamilton." As cited in the quotation I provided in my comment at 4:50 above, Hamilton stood for pretty much everything that Bernie Sanders repeatedly CLAIMS to be against:

"Hamilton harbored the bloody impulse to literally murder tax dissenters and anyone who challenged the 'authority' of the federal government, as was proven by his behavior during the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion.

"Hamilton was the political water boy for the crony capitalist one-percenters of his day. All of his efforts to create a bank run by politicians out of the nation’s capital (the First Bank of the United States) had one main purpose: to provide cheap credit for his big business political patrons in New York and Philadelphia, and to subsidize the banking industry itself, at the expense of the general public....He wanted to bring the rotten, corrupt, British system of “mercantilism,” against which the Revolution had been fought, to America, run by Americans like himself and his New York political cronies."

What other word than hypocrite comes to mind for you?

You'll note from a reading of my piece that I allowed for the possibility that Sanders was simply ignorant of Hamilton's crimes; but Bernie Sanders puts himself forward as an expert on how and why banking has corrupted politics. How could he have been ignorant of Alexander Hamilton's seminal role in that corruption?

I readily admit to seeing red at the very mention of Alexander Hamilton being a hero of the Revolution- I get nearly blinded with rage. If there is any place Hamilton's visage DOES belong, it's on a Federal Reserve Note, the very symbol of the debt and corruption he is largely responsible for introducing into our culture.

SB said...

Chad said, Of all the people running, in full discourse I support Sanders, with eyes wide open. Not so much for the man himself, but rather the hope of a better change in an economic system that he inspires.

What economic system does he inspire? More centralized decision making? More central planners? The replacement of cronies he doesn't like with cronies he does like? We ought to be against all cronies, privilege/rent seekers, and strong men to make it right.

•Mosiah 29:38

38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.

Rock, you're exactly right, if there is anyone whose grill belongs on a Fed Reserve note, it's Hamilton. As a fighter of central banking, Jackson's face never should have been on one.

mark moe said...

This is key:

http://www.mormonthink.com/files/jeremy-runnells-disciplinary-council-transcript.pdf

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mark Moe,
I saw this on on ThoughtsOnthingsAndStuff a few days ago; I'm toying with the idea of writing a post about it, as his was a brillian turning the tables on those who could not provide the answers. It could well be adapted by believers who are purged for the fraudulent charge of "apostasy" when there is no apostasy involved.

Log said...

But there is apostasy involved. Apostasy means nothing more nor less than disloyalty to the higher-ups. If your allegiance is to Christ and not to the United 15 Apostles, peace be upon them, thus admitting the theoretical possibility of a divide between Christ and His Infallible Mouthpieces, you are an apostate to the Church.

Of course, having the fulness of the priesthood means, in part, having the key to ask and be answered - and if you had that key, would you willingly cut someone off from the Church if you truly believed cutting someone off from the Church meant casting them down to hell, or would you rather ask and be answered from God?

MrHFMetz said...

Another post; you write almost faster than I can read. Anyway thanks for this blog. And thanks especially for the link in one of your latest posts to this marvelous book: "The perfect Day". I'm still busy with it, but I feel like commenting on it right now; it is a great book and a must read for every true Mormon.
It is touching to see how some people use time and make effort for the good of others.

MrHFMetz said...

I read your post and this one really took time. Being of European stock I don't understand your election circus very much (but which American does?), but no matter who is going to be your next Pres. (and it probably will be Trump, the man America deserves), your country has already gone to the dogs anyway; perverted by wicked people, morally eroded and divided on almost every issue you can think of, waiting for the dollar to collapse and the economy to fail. May God be with us when that will be. Sorry to be so rude but this is the state of affairs right now in my opinion.
Good post; as usual, I might say, but this one more than usual. Regards.

mark moe said...

Rock, the Runnels court is exactly what you can dissect!

Please do!!

Coriantumr said...

It would appear, from a distance, that the US is facin' it's Gracchian moment though. This morning the representative Ryan was still saying that it's all about HIS party. Not about the people he represents. He got there by the Grace of God and the Koch Mafia. And he'd be right. As I've said to people who have the Constitution as their Iron Mask idol.......The document is written by the haves for themselves...........It does grant some representation to "The people" but it's not like you're going to have your own veto empowered Tribune.

SB said...

Rock, Tom Woods recently interviewed Richman regarding his book:

http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-663-is-the-constitution-an-enemy-of-liberty/

Rico said...

A Clinton presidency would mean that Obamacare would stay forever. It will also mean more bathrooms for transgenders to share with our wives, sisters, or daughters. It may also mean that a nuclear war with Russia or China could happen sooner. And the guy who brought us Obama, ie, Mitt Romney is making this all possible. Thanks of course to the Republican Party Establishment that seems to be hell-bent on a suicide mission to stop Trump, with Capt Romney asking for volunteers to be the kamikaze pilot. Why Romney is not sacrificing himself for his cause has absolutely nothing to do with his future presidiential ambitions.

"Romney's Third-Party Delusion"
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/romneys-third-party-delusion/

Colt H. said...

Rico transgender have been sharing bathrooms with our wives, sisters, daughters, and mothers, years before Caitlyn Jenner came into the public conscientiousness and North Carolina rewrote their laws. Mitt Romney hardly had anything to do with bringing us Barack Obama, at least in 2008, the argument can be made for 2012 and on.

Point is more of what this country will look like is more determined on what the State Legislatures,House of Representatives and ultimately the Supreme Court. If I was a betting man I would put money on a Nuclear conflict with China if Trump ever got the codes as opposed to Clinton who is more willing to sell us out through trade agreements. With Clinton there is too much money to be made and power to wield to go and do something trumpish like start a trade war or world war.

Diego Chamberlain said...

Mr. Waterman said in this comment section that, if obeyed, the Constitution would allow for unbounded liberty. I agree with that, but I believe that the total failure of the Constitution demonstrates that it was not worth adopting in the first place.

I mean, our SECOND president who was also a Founding Father walked all over it.

Outside of small groups in which everybody is personally connected, you cannot expect folks to cooperate with an honor system. And that's all the Constitution is. You're just trusting the government to police itself, and you're trusting the military/general population to remove the government if it doesn't.

All political systems ultimately rely on force to function, and if you want things done your way, it's best to use force. I understand Joseph Smith to have been a supporter of democracy, and I've read passages of 1 Nephi that seem to be pro-democracy, but otherwise, I firmly believe that the Mandate of Heaven, not constitutionalism, should be the governing principle of any society.

JR said...

Clinton has already said that if president she will attack Russia. Why Russia and not ISIS? Hhhhmmmmmm......

Trump had repeatedly said no more wars except to annihilate ISIL or ISIS or DAESH, take your pick. No more protecting the world.

If Clinton gets elected the 2nd Ammendment will be abolished then the country will become communist. The U.S. will lose her sovereignty, the citizens lose all their freedoms. It is already happening.

If that is what you want then vote for the vile, corrupt Hitlary Clinton and within one year America as we know it will cease to exist.

And if you are White, then God help you, and if a Christian then you really are in trouble if Clinton steals the election.

And Romney is a traitor, to this country and the LDS religion. He is another elite globalist communist, wanting the West destroyed.

Christian said...

Rock, I just got word that you're in the hospital, or have been recently. Dear brother, I'm praying for you and Connie. We need you. May the Lord preserve you and strengthen both of you through this trying time. God bless you, brother! Rest well and share your thoughts with us again when you're ready.
Christian

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thank you, Christian. I've been out for a couple of weeks now, but they say it may take a few months to get my strength back. I recently left an account of the whole sorry ordeal on my Facebook page.

I hope to get a new post up by the end of this month.

mark moe said...

Rock,

I hope you have a speedy and steady recovery.

Sincerely,

Mark

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks, Mark.

Greg S said...

Government by its very nature is a corrupt, immoral and violent institution. They are antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The governments of this world do satan's work.
https://gregstocks.wordpress.com/