Friday, November 4, 2011

Spend, Spend, Spend

H/t Dennis Blankshine and Amanda Panda on Facebook. Left Click on picture to enlarge.

Under Executive Order of the President

H/t James M. Debrango on Facebook. Left click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why Pro-Freedom Voters Will Reject the GOP in 2012

The question an American voter needs to ask is, "Do I support a centrally planned, government directed economy, or a free market?"  The two major parties are committed to big government and central planning; if you oppose socialism, voting for either major party is a wasted vote.  Although Herman Cain pleads otherwise, three facts suggest that he is lying, just as other Republican candidates, including Ronald Reagan, have lied, about their commitment to freedom.

First, Cain continues to support the $2 trillion TARP  bailout (see video below).  He objects to its execution, but not its intent.  Second, Cain was a president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.  His intimate involvement with the biggest and most sensitive of government institutions renders his claims of being in favor of anything other than socialism suspect.  The days when Milton Friedman could call himself a libertarian and still support the Fed are passed. You either support freedom and liberty OR support the Fed--there is no middle course; the same choice was evident to Jacksonian Democrats with respect to the Second Bank of the United States.  Third, Cain has not brought to the fore concerns about the $16 trillion Fed asset purchases and up to $30 trillion monetary expansion ($3 trillion in  the past three years, with a potential expansion by banks through fractional reserve banking to $30 trillion).  These steps are more significant than Obamacare; Cain's avoiding their discussion camouflages his socialism.

Since the Civil War the federal government consistently has increased the scope of its central planning and government intervention. The leading party with respect to this trend until the 1930s was the GOP, especially Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.   A segment of the GOP became a force for small government because of the Civil War's forcing former northern Democrats (who were the limited government party at least until 1896) into the GOP.   Other reasons Republicans became associated with advocacy of limited government were the Democratic Party's backing of Populist William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s.

Despite the GOP's small government strand, its establishment strand never relinquished its commitment to big government.  Democrat Woodrow Wilson oversaw enactment of the first income tax and the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913, but establishment Republican Theodore Roosevelt made Wilson's election possible.  Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate to defeat the relatively conservative incumbent, William Howard Taft.

In the 1950s, the big government GOP establishment put forward Dwight D. Eisenhower to defeat Taft's son, Senator Robert Taft, also a limited government advocate.  This was accomplished in part by New York Times support for Eisenhower.  In other words, big government Republicans have been willing to defeat small government Republican candidates by running against them as third party candidates (Theodore Roosevelt) and by sabotaging legitimately run campaigns (Eisenhower).  Through deception, legacy media support, third party candidacies, and outright lies (claiming that they are for small government, as did Reagan and George H. Bush) the big government strand of the Republican Party has marginalized the small government strand.  

The only way to resolve the intense conflict within the GOP is for those who favor freedom to bolt. The reason is that the GOP has become so extreme in its socialism that it has supported literally handing the entire economy to control of failed banks.  The economy amounts to $14 trillion; the subsidies to banks potentially amount to tens of trillions.

There are other reasons as well. First, Republican support for radical environmentalism, such as the extremist UN Agenda 21 that the George H. Bush administration signed. Second,  Richard M. Nixon's termination of the gold standard. Third, George W. Bush's tax and spend policies such as his prescription drug plan and the bailout.  Fourth, the failure of the GOP to reduce the size of government under Ronald Reagan or the Newt Gingrich Congress. This failure occurred during years when the GOP controlled all three houses of Congress.

Only two candidates now support a pro-freedom platform.  These are Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. The cause of freedom will be better furthered by reconstructing the Republican Party into a pro-freedom party.  This would undo the damage that the Rockefeller Republicans, with the support of The New York Times and talk radio, have done to the small government strand within the GOP.

It is more important for those who support freedom to now aim to reconstruct the GOP.  The choice between socialists like Romney and Cain and a socialist like Obama is no choice--voting for any of the alternatives to Paul or Johnson is a wasted vote. 

How Iceland Defeated Its Bankers

It's not rocket science. Just let them fail.  None of the chief Republican candidates other than Ron Paul and Gary Johnson opposed the largest step toward socialism since another Republican, Richard Nixon, abolished the international convertibility of dollars into gold: the Bush-McCain-Obama bailout of Wall Street.  H/t Peter C. Bisulca on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Henry David Thoreau: Forgotten Libertarian

Some Thoreau quotes from Walden and Civil Disobedience that I recently assigned to my senior seminar class:

a. "I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.  He will put something behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves within, around, and within him...In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.  If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."(Walden, p. 256.)

b. "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured and far away.  It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute?" (Walden, p. 258.)

c. "However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.  It is not so bad as you are.  It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault finder will find faults even in  paradise.  Love your life, poor as it is." (Walden, p. 259.)

d. "I would not be one of those who will foolishly drive a nail into a mere lath and plastering; such a deed would keep me awake nights.  Give me a hammer, and let me feel for the furring.  Do not depend on the putty. Drive a nail home and cinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction--a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse.  So will help you God, and so only. Every nail driven should be as another rivet in the machine of the universe, you carrying on the work." (Walden, p. 261).

e.  "The American has dwindled into an Odd Fellow,--one who may be known by the development of his organ of gregariousness and a manifest lack of intellect and cheerful self-reliance, whose first and chief concern, on coming into the world, is to see that the alms-houses are in good reapair; and before yet he has lawfully donned the virile garb, to collect a fund for the support of widows and orphans that may be; who, in short, ventures to live only by the aid of the mutual insurance company, which has promised to bury him decently...It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradiction of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have the other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support..." (Civil Disobedience, p. 7.)

f. "...any man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one already." (Civil Disobedience, p. 10.)

g. "Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. (Civil Disobedience, p. 11.)

h. "A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight." (Civil Disobedience, p. 12.)

i. "Know all men by these presents, that I, Henry Thoreau, do not wish to be regarded as a member of any incorporated society which I have not joined."

Blind faith in Bad Leaders Is not Patriotism

H/t Liberty Non-Compliance and Flo Hoffman on Facebook.

Ron Paul or None at All

H/t Andrew Nappi and Daniel Parkman on Facebook.

1984 Was NOT Supposed to be an Instruction Manual

H/t Mackenzie Stout on Facebook

Monday, October 31, 2011

Communist Manifesto Inspires Saugerties Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel

I just received this from Gaetana Ciarlante, LCSWR

Letter to the Editor for pubilcation in this week's issue:
Dear Editor, 

There is great concern by Saugerties citizens over the plans that the current town council led by Supervisor Helsmoortel have for Saugerties. Saugerties now has headquarters for the very rich at Diamond Mills and shelters for the poor being housed at the Wenton Hotel, Hickory Ridge, the Commons and plans for more homeless Shelters and “Keeps” which this town board is embracing with our tax dollars.  Indeed the Town Boards continued polarization between the "Haves" and the "Have nots" is a page from the Communist Mainfesto in which the middle class is eroded away. In the case of Saugerties it is being accomplished through taxes and regulations. We pay the bills and get bombarded with regulations and taxes at every attempt to maintain our homes and our property while their practice of taxing through back door deals is making it next to impossible for many who take pride in owning our own homes and living independently to continue to do so.

While it is true that state regulations are imposed upon the town  there is much discretion as to the degree with which the town embraces these. Helsmoortel and his board have demonstrated a record of embracing all taxes, controls and government programs. For example while Helsmoortel defends his PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) for Dickinson Keep that may initially bring in slightly more money than New York State's 581A Tax Law, he cannot substantiate the reasons for granting this PILOT for 30 years. Developer Larry Regan stated many times during the Planning Board’s meeting that if the town did not want Dickinson’s Keep he would go elsewhere with the project. But in fact he reported finding that the town board welcomed his "Affordable" Housing Development while most of the tax paying citizens are finding it to be Unaffordable. The application to the state for Dickinson’s Keep includes a letter of endorsement for this project written by Helmoortel in January 2011 to the New York State Commissioner of Housing and Community Development.

A true leader of the people would seek out methods to alleviate the burden of its citizens, however no such action has ever come from this town board even after requested of them. Rather Helsmoortel portrays himself to his constituents as a victim of higher government when in fact he stands to gain personally through real estate transactions while the local workers and retirees place their homes on the market and prepare to flee for their own survival.  Knowing the pain inflicted on his people (vocalized clearly at the appeals to the infamous property tax re-evaluation of 2010 and many times since) a true leader would take into consideration the needs of his people.  At the very least there would be an appeal of the process to higher government of which Helsmoortel claims to be victim. Rather it took members of SACRED (Saugerties Assertive Citizens for Responsible Economic Development) to contact their State Representatives, of which Assemblyman Peter Lopez was the sole responder, to request a repeal of the regulations of New York State 581A. Meanwhile Helsmoortel and his Board continue to use every opportunity to apply new taxes and new regulations on the citizens of Saugerties.

 Last week Helsmoortel placed a full page ad quoting Saugerties School Superintendent, Seth Turner, as saying he did not know how much the Dickinson's Keep project will cost without an in-depth study. While Helsmoortel tries to use this response from Seth Turner to support his full speed ahead attitude with Dickinson's Keep Turner comments in fact support that the Town board is careless and neglectful and imposes upon our town a project without knowing the impact both financially and socially.  In no way did Turner minimize the figure of $500,000 per year but in fact kept open the possibility that it may cost far more.

Meanwhile it remains a mystery as to why Helsmoortel would have requested and hired a specific attorney from Albany, John Vagianelis, to represent the Town of Saugerties while knowing that Vagianelis’ law firm also represents the Funding Company through which Regan Development Corp. would seek their funding for Dickinson's Keep. This conflict of interest was pointed out by Town Supervisor Candidate Kelly Myers at the town informational hearing on October 11. Shortly afterwards, Helsmoortel removed Vagianelis but surely would have continued if not for Kelly's diligent work and courage in bringing forth this conflict of interest. The Town of Saugerties already has its own competent attorney, John Greco. The questions remain as to:

1. Why Greco was not used to represent Saugerties in the Dickinson's Keep deal?
 2. How much did the town pay Vagianelis?
3. What is the plan is to have Vagianelis repay that money to the town?
4. What is Helsmoortel's explanation for actively requesting Vagianelis when the town already has its own attorney?

 The deals negotiated through Vagianelis for Dickinson Keep and any other project in which he had such a conflict of interest must be considered null and void and monies paid to him should be repaid to the town. When asking Helsmoortel about these dealing with Vagianelis at the October 19 Town Board meeting he responded to me with an attitude of arrogance, contempt and disrespect and offered little information.

While the project of Dickinson’s Keep may appear on the surface to be of benefit to the poor that too is highly doubtful and will be the subject of future writings. 

  During the meetings with SACRED Kelly Myers came forward to assist the property owners and has become an active member. 

Though very knowledgeable, she repeatedly displays the attributes of integrity, courage, and humility. Her attitude is filled with respect, gratitude and compassion. Without prompting or invitation Kelly Myers, Joe Roberti Sr. and Pam Riggins have attended all the meetings related to Dickinson's Keep and investigated these improper proceedings.  Joe has many years of experience with volunteer organizations and government committees. Everyone who knows Joe recognizes his hard work and tireless investigation of issues put before him before making decisions.

I am not one who advocates change for the sake of change; however our current Town Board demonstrates the meaning behind "Nero fiddled while Rome burns." Leanne Thorton has become the hostess who gives out awards but steers clear of any independent thinking or judgment; She said voted against the repeal of the PILOT, brought forth by Jim Bruno after he learned Larry Regan had provided the board with mis-information, and justified her actions by saying she didn't know enough about it. Leanne needs to learn that government is not a garden party and the role of government is to protect, not entertain the people. This Saugerties town council falls far short and has become self-serving.  In conclusion our current Town Board can best be described as careless, arrogant and without regard. At worst it is conspiring, ruthless, corrupt and illegal in its deal making.

It's time for a big change. Kelly Myers will lead the town effectively and with compassion. Joe Roberti Jr. and Pam Riggins promise hard work and diligence in their roles on the town council.

And always remember that is our duty as citizens in a democracy to play an active role, stay aware and defend liberty at every opportunity.

Let's take back our freedom and let it begin in Saugerties.
Gaetana Ciarlante, LCSWR

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Obama versus Paul

H/t Donald Meinshausen on Facebook

Saugerties Meeting Re Public Housing

From Patriot 246: 

Malden Firehouse

Tuesday November 1, 2011
7:00 PM

§      A 40 unit rental housing development with a total of 106 bedrooms (Dickenson Keep)
with a

§      $500,000 Projected School Tax Increase for     Town of Saugerties Property Owners
with a

§      30 year PILOT for developer/owner (Regan Development Corporation) to pay $13,000 per year for school taxes.

Written support for this development provided by Senator John Bonacic and Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel and the Town Board.

Come, learn more and speak your mind.

Hosted by SACRED (Saugerties Assertive Citizens for Responsible Economic Development)