Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Post Tea Party Talk

Ok, now that the Tea Parties have kicked things off… it’s time to reflect upon just what it is that we are working on kicking off.

Hopefully we’re not just blowing off steam.

I think I’ll have to continue this in the next couple posts, but for now, in taking an assessment of ourselves, and what we are fighting against, it might be instructive to take a look at how we are characterized by those whom we are opposed by, for it can tell us much about not only how they perceive the world, and us, but how common notions many of us may hold, have been poisoning us for decades.

“It’s funded by right wing billionaires”, “They are being organized by the GOP”, “They are right wing extremist hate mongers in league with the GOP”
It's worth taking a closer look at that, for there is much there to be seen.
  • They do not believe that anything could happen nationwide, without it being coordinated, instigated, and funded, by a central power from above.

  • They do not believe that individuals nationwide would see issues of principle which concerned them, and choose to take action to resolve them.

  • They do not believe that normal individuals would contribute their time and money without an immediate and direct payoff for them.

Take a long slow look at these beliefs, which of course can be heard and verified on CNN, NBC, New York Times, Democrat Party, etc, and demonstrated so well by this CNNette, they describe exactly what they think of us, and why. The underlying beliefs behind these assumptions, are consistent with the core philosophy of Proreregressives, and indicates why they think along Marxist, Socialist and Fascist lines, and why they are necessarily in concerted opposition to Individual Rights, to Property Rights, and to the Free Market, as they are.

The Free Market is based upon the understanding, that Individuals making decisions in the course of their own lives and businesses, will result in a highly productive, prosperous and efficient economy, and will do so not only without experts advising and ordering their actions, but BECAUSE there are not ‘experts’ advising them from on high, but BECAUSE they are not giving them step by step orders countermanding their own best judgments, the Free Market is so productive BECAUSE individuals are free to use their own minds and make decisions about their own interests, in their own lives, for their own purposes.

They do not believe in the Free Market, because they do not believe in the ability or advisability of allowing individuals to use their own minds to live their own lives!

These people who opposed our Tea Parties, mostly leftists of course, but many on the ‘right’ as well, do not believe that individuals can be expected to do anything in any significant numbers, or to accomplish anything, without being organized and guided by experts, and they do not believe that society can prosper and progress without the directions of experts in positions of power organizing society in accordance with ‘rational’ plans. And they really cannot believe that we would bother to rouse ourselves to fight for principles which might materially benefit “the rich”, more so than ourselves.

This cannot be said enough – it is core to the fight we are facing -

  • They Do Not Believe in Individual Rights, they believe instead in power and coercion, and that it is perfectly appropriate to use power and coercion to force individuals to serve their estimation of “the greater good”.

  • They do not believe in your ability to live your life in a way that meets their ‘expert’ expectations, and in any conflict between the two, they believe that their expert expectations trump yours.

  • They believe that your decisions will damage how they have determined it would be best for you to live.

  • They do not believe in Free Will.

  • They oppose the United States Constitution because it complicates their ability to do to you what THEY have decided is best for you.

  • They believe that experts in the government should control and organize society as only they are equipped to determine it should be.

    Who are ‘They’?

    They are 'progressives', they are statists, and they are found on the Left AND the Right, and in every fundamental principle and issue the progressives in the Democrat AND Republican party, ARE Anti-American.

    Some of the changes which the Proregressives have imposed upon this nation, and imperiled our liberty through, are:

    1. Mandatory public schooling using government approved curriculum taught by teachers certified through government approved colleges

    2. The FED, which gives the government control over the lifeblood of our economy

    3. The FDA, SEC, EPA and a myriad other alphabet agencies of unelected bureaucrats, with no defined terms, writing regulations over our lives and businesses, which have the force of law

    4. The soft slavery of the Income Tax through the 16th amendment, through which the government has first claim to all that you earn, and only through its generosity, are you allowed to retain whatever percentage of income it sees fit to dole back to you, or as Walter E. Williams once defined slavery: as “…a set of circumstances whereby one person is forcibly used to serve the purposes of another person and has no legal claim to the fruits of his labor” – if you don’t think that describes your circumstance, I’d like to hear how and why not

    5. The corruption of the Senate through the 17th amendment, which reduced the Senate from a deliberative body thrice removed from the heat of the demos – who the Representatives are representatives of, and who the Senate was designed to cool and balance - to nothing but a simmering body tied directly to the ups and downs of public opinion, but with a guaranteed triple term – the Founders worst nightmare.

    6. Devaluing and destabilizing our money through abandoning the Gold Standard, giving government to ability to change the value of paper money to suit their purposes, at our expense

    7. A constant and continual attack upon property rights, because all of your rights depend upon an inviolate defense of property rights – and an oppressive government is almost inconceivable without gaining control over that which all of your material well being rests upon - your property

    Do not make the mistake of thinking these Tea Parties are about the amount of money being taxed - This is NOT a tax revolt, any more than it was for the generation of our Founding Fathers. This is an issue of whether individuals should be secure in their property and so free to live their lives in liberty and in the pursuit of happiness, or whether Government should have first claim to their property, in order to set the boundaries of their lives, distributing favors and benefits as needed, to keep them in order and happy.

    The Tea Party revolt is about whether the government serves you, or whether you serve the government.

    In 1773 our Founding Father’s – YOUR Founding Fathers, whether your family have been citizens here for over two centuries or two months – YOUR Founding Fathers came to the most radical of political decisions ever proposed, that Individuals had minds and souls of their own, and that they should have the liberty to exercise them in their pursuit of happiness, and that no one had the right to rob them of the rights necessary to those ends.

    In 1787, those Founding Fathers, sobered by revolution and the specter of political dissolution and potential tyrannies, created the first moral government in the history of the world, one which upheld Individuals Rights to use their own minds to live their lives, free from the dictates of tyrants.

    It has come to us to reaffirm those founding principles, and stake our claim to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.


    QP said...

    Excellent work Van. Thank you for all you do for freedom. I'll just add this:

    "Barack Obama is now the most powerful man in the world.  We must work tirelessly, through all available legal and political means, to reverse the policies that have placed such unprecedented power in the hands of this one man."

    ~ from
    "America's 'November Revolution'"

    mushroom said...

    Our little corner of MO, as you know, is the reddest part of the state, always has been, even when I was a kid and Durward G. Hall was the only Republican from the state.

    Prior to the election an Obama supporter called in to one of the radio stations and said, "Why are you saying Obama's bad because he's an elitist? I want the elite to be in charge."

    This is our problem.

    Obama says "science" should determine whether or not we do stem cell research. Science is composed of "elite" scientists -- who are we mere mortals to question the ethical decisions of the elites?

    The attitude is rampant. "We know what is best for you." Half these boneheaded bastards couldn't change a tire. They have never made a payroll, run a business, met a deadline, bid on a project or done anything else that the "subject peoples" do each and every day.

    Rick said...

    What QP and Mushroom said.

    “Half these boneheaded bastards couldn't change a tire. They have never made a payroll, run a business, met a deadline, bid on a project or done anything else that the "subject peoples" do each and every day.”

    Yes. And the second half of the problem is, half the voters “have never made a payroll, run a business, met a deadline, bid on a project” either.

    But Mushroom, don’t get Van started about the tire changing bidness. Rumor has it he used to rip people off by overchargin 'em for air. True story. He sed so.


    Ex-Dissident said...

    Great post! I too have pondered about what motivated people to attend the TEA rallies. For myself, it is the fear of what sort of world my child will grow up in. Will she be a slave or will she have the same opportunities that I've had. Will she live among a responsible group of people or will she drown in a cesspool of delusional and unreliable opportunists. This is the same motivation that drove my parents to abandon USSR and immigrate here. As a Jew, they realized that my future in Soviet Union was limited. I know we are both saying essentially the same thing and simply using a different set of words to express our thoughts.

    The other question I am asking myself, is what to do next. As you said in your opening line, this was not a gathering to blow off some steam. This movement must continue and it must expand. The idea of working towards my child's future is pretty strong motivation. This message might resonate strongly enough in enough Americans to overturn the disastrous policies of our newly elected government.

    Unknown said...

    Van, do you think you could swing by my blog and answer a few of my questions? Or, would you like me to ask them here?

    Van Harvey said...

    Hey all, sorry to be so sparse in my replies lately, new job, projects to learn, etc.

    Ricky said "Van started about the tire changing bidness. Rumor has it he used to rip people off by overchargin 'em for air."

    I keel you !

    No... I never charged (or overcharged) for anything that shouldn't have been charged for, but yes, I checked and sold a bunch of tires for the first four years of married life. And... boy oh boy... going from 10 years of being a footloose and fancy FREE musician, playing up and down the west coast in front of hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people... to wearing my name on a uniform shirt behind a retail store counter... you want to talk about a 'humbling' and life reassessing period.

    Shivers just thinking about it. But then of course one of the key reasons why I did it is sitting right next to me... now bigger and stronger than me... reassessing priorities and values does pay off.

    And as we've all noted here, idiot cnn reportettes 'thoughts' to the contrary, the amount of a tax, or of a tax rebate, is of little or no consideration or motivation, behind the Tea Parties.

    The realization that our government is fast becoming something which seems intent on devouring our rights and liberties without a care ... something which our Founding Fathers couldn't have conceived, even when they considered the likelihood of a 'debased posterity'... that is what is motivating the Tea Parties, and we need to be considering real, concrete and attainable steps to roll it back.

    I, of course, would like to do away with the school systems, fed, 16th & 17th amendment, etc, outright!... but that is a pipedream, and a very long-range one at that. We need solid, significant, attainable actions we can take, and that the public can be realistically informed of, in order to understand and support them.

    Step by step....

    (Lance, thanks, I'll try...)

    Rick said...

    I loved the tire story. I think you said it like this to your accuser, “Uh…lady…the air is for free.”

    I’ve been thinking this over. I think the original tea party was more about “no representation” than it was about “taxes”.

    From wiki:
    “The complaint was never officially over the amount of taxation (the taxes were quite low, though ubiquitous), but always on the political decision-making process by which taxes were decided in London, i.e. without representation for the colonists in British Parliament.”

    That sounds more like now. Besides, our taxes haven’t gone up. Yet. But if you count my 201k (HT Starfish) that’s like a 50% tax, take or take, right there.

    I heard rumors of a BIGGER tea party on July 4th. Lots more people will have that day off and already “assembled”...

    Van Harvey said...

    Ricky said " “Uh…lady…the air is for free.”

    Omg... I sooOOO don't miss those days - the assumption that you were ripping them off... even while giving something at no charge. Ugh.

    "I’ve been thinking this over. I think the original tea party was more about “no representation” than it was about “taxes”."

    Absolutely, they saw it as a matter of principle that they were being subjected under tyranny, and they weren’t about to stand for it.
    The British just couldn’t grasp that. Even Franklin didn’t at first, he talked the British into repealing … in think one of the “Intolerable acts” (? memories hazy and no time to hunt it up… not really important), while including language that left it open that the crown had the right to levy such measures in the future – and the Colonies were up in arms, even calling for Franklin’s recall.

    It was the principle of the matter, not the $ that mattered.

    By the way, you’ve probably seen Bob Basso’s “Thomas Paine” video’s… and while I enjoy the spirit of them, and some of the message, much else is, as was the real Paine’s… ill advised (2 yrs mandatory service, etc). What politicians should keep their eye on, and hope against hope against, is that some equally as forceful doesn’t decide to produce some video’s as Patrick Henry!

    From his “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” speech:

    ”… This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? …

    … Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

    If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending -- if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!...

    … The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

    It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

    Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775”

    Heh… and we wonder why the founders are no longer taught in school.
    BTW, here’s where I’m at at the moment in half baked ideas on the next steps for the Tea Parties… what I don't think is needed, is a third party - I see no reason to believe that it would fare any differently than the Dems or GOP. For one thing, it would attract people who want to have political power, rather than people that want to limit political power.

    My current, though not thoroughly thought out sense is, that there needs to be something along the lines of a "Consumer Reports' organization, vocally educating and agitating for, particular measures - some activities and measures that cannot be tolerated - and some which must be enacted - and which will support or fight against any politician as they align for or against those measures.

    Immediate stop-gap measures which come to mind are:
    Repeal or rollback capital gains taxes,
    Repeal death tax,
    Pass legislation (perhaps even go for an amendment) barring the govt from interfering in the operations of businesses,
    Pass legislation (perhaps even go for an amendment) barring the govt from loaning or bailing out individuals or businesses.
    Cancel, rollback, repeal and reverse nearly all legislation, regulations and actions since September of last year.

    And wall to wall vocally informing the public why such measures are important, why the Constitution is important, and why their involvement is critical to their lives and liberties.

    As I said, not fully thought out yet… any thoughts?

    Rick said...

    Thanks, Van.
    I have seen the Basso videos. Loved them. But ashamed to say I never read the Patrick Henry speech. Loved that too.
    You’re right about the 3rd party. Plus we would get probs like the Perot 3-way business. Unless you mean a new, 2nd party. But I guess that’s the same thing since the retreads, I mean Repubs, won’t just pack it up. Maybe I should study my Lincoln and see how he accomplished a new party. He did, I believe, and if I have it right, it must have seemed like the nuttiest idea before it was pulled-off. Maybe you said it here, or someone somewhere else, that perhaps what we would truly want is such pie in the sky. Like that time machine I’m still asking Santa for. But I can’t help thinking that eventually circumstances reach a point where revolt is almost automatic. In other words, both sides are not so surprised, really, by the time it happens. Believe me, I find the idea revolting myself. But I don’t know what else to call it. Not to mention, it sort of makes the Founders seem less than us – as if we are above what they did.
    Not sure about the ‘consumer reports’ org. Sounds like more government on top of what we have, but I’m probably not visualizing it as you are.
    In Paine’s Common Sense, he says how government creeps worse in small steps. My “country” is only 2% worse than my father’s, and his father’s only 2% than his, and his father’s, and his, and his. Who would revolt over 2%. Paine goes on to make the argument that the King will grant a band-aid for now, we will feel like we’re in charge, and go to sleep for another generation. Mark Levin suggests that it took 70 years to get here, it will take 70 years to re-educate our sons and their sons. I agree except I don’t think we have 70 years in this day and age. Things move a lot faster while attention spans grow shorter.
    My sense is that if it’s going to get reasonably repaired, the dems need to crash, and crash hard. Let ‘em talk. Let ‘em say all their stupid straight-from-their-heart, black-bottomed things. Then pray for a Reagan. Maybe it’s Romney, maybe it’s Palin. (I think that rhymes) And in the meantime, party like its 1775, and don’t stop (I’m serious – don’t stop the parties). I’ll tell you, everyday, every headline that goes by, makes running a straight, pure conservative campaign look like the easiest GD, no-brainer, sure-thing-landslide thing to do. The dems and our new King are making it easier.

    Van Harvey said...

    Ricky said “Not sure about the ‘consumer reports’ org. Sounds like more government on top of what we have, but I’m probably not visualizing it as you are.”

    Well, no I wasn’t picturing anything like a layer of government on top of what we have… but now that you say it, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t become quasi ‘ngo’-ish, meaning completely political while pretending not to be,… maybe it’s best left in its natural decentralized structures as they are now, each ‘chapter’ communicating, debating, but putting their own public pressure on their local pol’s… kind of a new situation we need to give some thought to.

    We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we have had many, many political parties, and presidents elected under them… Whigs, Federalists, Democratic-Republican, Know Nothings (!)… but in this current political climate, I just can’t see it being helpful or successful – better to have people who are united on principles, though not necessarily on their application (remember Madison & Hamilton agreed on principles, but violently disagreed on applying them), finding, screening and nailing or promoting, candidates through the existing parties.

    “… never read the Patrick Henry speech. Loved that too.”

    Henry was an awesome individual, and incidentally, an anti-Federalist in the ratification debates – he wasn’t going to have any national government that didn’t have a bill of rights, and largely because of his opposition, Madison agreed to draw up a bill of rights after it was ratified – and still he opposed it, words to the effect of “I don’t need to step into a jail cell, allow the jailer to close the door and then set me free again, when I’m already free to begin with!”

    Crud, late for work…gotta go....

    Rick said...

    Geez, I almost forgot to give you my thoughts :-D

    I think the torture nonesense may be to distract us. They may not like bringing it up. It makes us weaker and may bite all of us in the as*. But to them it’s not as bad as all of them being voted out of office. That would be unacceptable. And they can’t have that. The last power we have left may be our voting. They know it and are working on that too.

    Rick said...

    Yes. I hope you could tell I thought the Repub Party could be Repaired.
    Henry sounds like my kind of guy. I love that last line too.

    Unknown said...

    Van, thanks for stopping by and for answering my questions. As to your questions yes I am concerned by what is going on. I have been concerned by what "The FEDS" have been doing for along time now. But, I really have no idea what could fix things since things seem so entrenched.

    I do feel and I have written this before that the election of Obama was a direct response a bounce back away from the policys of Bush and in four years there will be another bounce back the opposite way. I just hope the ball ends a little more in the middle and with a little better understanding of fiscal responsibility and the idea that if a company fails due to the nature of finance that isn't the end of the world.