Tuesday, July 05, 2016

A July 5th commentary on the "right to alter or abolish" government

This is most of a July 3, 2008 entry at my "Secede and Survive" Blog located for a few years at the "Vermont Commons" website. (Its editors have transformed it now into "The Vermont Independent".)  I've added a few graphics to the quotes from various pundits on the topic of "the right to alter or abolish government" found in the Thirteen Colonies 1776Declaration of Independence, for which we celebrate July 4th. Enjoy!
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Did Thomas Jefferson know that putting the peoples right to alter or abolish government in the Declaration of Independence would encourage people to do it? Actually, he feared there would not be enough revolutions. As he wrote to William S. Smith Paris on Nov. 13, 1787:

The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure.
My News.Google search for “the right to alter or abolish” resulted in the usual full reprints of the Declaration of Independence which many newspapers provide to educate our many confused sister and brother citizens.  I also came up with a couple of editorials of interest.

The Baltimore Chronicle, the Hawaii Reporter and doubtless other publications, printed an editorial by radical libertarian columnist Jacob Hornberger "The Real Meaning of the Fourth of July."

 [T]he real significance of the Fourth of July lies in the expression of what is undoubtedly the most revolutionary political declaration in history: that man's rights are inherent, God-given, and natural and, thus, do not come from government.

Throughout history, people have believed that their rights come from government.

Such being the case, people haven't objected whenever government officials infringed upon their rights. Since rights were considered to be government-bestowed privileges, the thinking went, why shouldn't government officials have the power to regulate or suspend such privileges at will?

Governments are called into existence by the people—and exist at their pleasure—for one purpose: to protect the exercise of their inherent fundamental and unalienable rights.

The Declaration of Independence upended that age-old notion of rights. All men—not just Americans—have been endowed by God and nature, not government, with fundamental and unalienable rights. Governments are called into existence by the people—and exist at their pleasure—for one purpose: to protect the exercise of these inherent rights.

What happens if a government that people have established becomes a destroyer, rather than a protector, of their rights? The Declaration provides the answer: It is the right of the people to alter or even abolish their government and establish a new government whose purpose is the protection, not the destruction, of people's rights and freedoms.

In the American Spectator Lawrence Henry celebrates the recent “DC vs. Heller” Supreme Court decision. (Dick Heller was a past officer of the Libertarian Party of DC.) Henry emphasizes that issue, writing: Fourth of July weekend, here's as good a time as any to review what the American idea really means. And how far we have fallen away from that idea.

Conveniently, we find a news hook: The Supreme Court's recent 5-4 ruling affirming that the Second Amendment to the Constitution really does assure citizens the right to keep and bear firearms. Along with many another commentator, I find that close decision frightening. How can there be any doubt? How can there be any argument?

Let's review:

Our Founders said, explicitly, that when a people found their rulers had usurped the rightful reach of their powers, it was the people's right to "alter or abolish" that government. And no mistake, our Founders, being realists, knew that "alter or abolish" might mean "change the government by violent means, if necessary."

HomeTownAnnapolis.com writes: In truth, no one ever expressed the purposes of a free society better than Thomas Jefferson in the opening words of the Declaration of Independence:

It is self-evident - it does not need to be argued - that all men are created equal, and have been endowed by their Creator with rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Governments are instituted by popular consent to guarantee these rights. If a government attacks these rights, the people have the right to alter or abolish it and try again....

for Americans, patriotism is not hard to define. If you accept the principles set out in the Declaration of Independence, and are ready to do all you can to live by and uphold those principles, you're a patriot. If you don't, you may be a fine person in other ways, but you're not a patriot.

And not to beat around the bush, conservative writer J.J. Jackson gets to the heart of it in his article “Alaska should just secede.” Quoting the Declaration, he writes: I think that it is high time some states start taking the issue seriously once again and using it as leverage against an out of control federal government that has expanded beyond the limited powers we agreed to give to it in our Constitution. While I would like to see all the states start pushing back against the gluttonous federal government and begin warning, that if it does not start acting as prescribed, they will leave the Union, one state in particular that should be seriously considering it, perhaps more than most others, is Alaska.

Al-Jazeera makes a telling comment in an article: "Before July 4th, the U.S. must confront July 3rd." It reminds readers about the July 3, 1988 attack on an Iranian commercial airliner that killed 290 men, women and children. And writes about talk of a U.S. attack on Iranian nuclear facilities: As the U.S. readies itself to celebrate another Independence Day on July 4th, I cannot help but think how the U.S. Government has become enslaved to hatred, revenge, retaliation, belligerent policies, nuclear weapons, and of course, Middle Eastern oil.

If the U.S. confronts the July 3rd massacre before celebrating July 4th, it may then be a true celebration! U.S. citizens may also want to recall the patriots’ purpose in signing the Declaration of Independence was not a call to alter and abolish a foreign country, but to change and abolish their own Government, which had become destructive and repressive.

Of course, potential tyrants also can quote the Declaration, as does Iranian Maryam Rajavi, head of the Iranian Islamic Marxist cult best known as “MEK” which seeks to overthrow the current Iranian government.  At a gathering of 70,000 Iranians in Paris she said: And I quote the Declaration of Independence, "Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government." (For a number of years MEK was labeled a terrorist group by the State Department, but its usefulness in spying on Iran was paid off by neoconservatives and neoliberals in the government by lifting that description a few years back.)

I can't help but comment on politicians who can’t talk about the Declaration of Independence without bringing in that great enemy of altering and abolishing government, Abraham Lincoln. More specifically Barack Obama in his recent speech on “Patriotism.” He starts with an interesting statement about American revolutionaries fighting the British on April 19, 1775. “They did so not on behalf of a particular tribe or lineage, but on behalf of a larger idea. The idea of liberty. The idea of God-given, inalienable rights.” (Something those itching to engage in violent revolutionary secession for the sake of THEIR tribe or lineage might keep in mind.)

After that he quotes from the Declaration of Independence but conveniently leaves out our right to alter or abolish the government that might make him its president.

However he almost makes up for it later saying: As Mark Twain, that greatest of American satirists and proud son of Missouri, once wrote, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." We may hope that our leaders and our government stand up for our ideals, and there are many times in our history when that's occurred. But when our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism.

Ed Quillen facetiously updates the Declaration in the Denver Post.  Noting that it “has this seditious-sounding stuff about how it ‘is the Right of the People to alter or abolish’ their government. He thus offers this version:

"When in the Course of human Events it becomes necessary for the Unitary Executive to dissolve the Political Restraints which have constrained him from assuming, among the Powers of Earth, his proper role as the Decider, a total Disrespect for the Opinions of Mankind means that no Explanation is required.

"Nonetheless, the Unitary Executive holds this Truth to be of divine Origin, that the Executive Branch of Government enjoys certain unalienable Rights, that among these Rights are Spying upon Citizens without a Warrant, the Rendition of Captives unto foreign Despotisms, the Invasion and Occupation of other Nations upon false Pretenses, and the Employment of Torture to gather Evidence to be used in secret Courts.

"And that to secure these Rights, the Unitary Executive has been instituted among Humankind, and if the Citizenry becomes destructive of these Ends, then it is the Right of the Unitary Executive to alter the Citizenry, and to institute an improved Citizenry, in such Form as shall seem most likely to effect the Safety and Happiness of the Unitary Executive.

Finally, Kirkpatrick Sale of the Middlebury Institute sends out an email wishing us all “Happy Secession Day.”

July 4 marks the day when the American colonies declared their secession from the British empire and their right to “institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles…as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

And thus began the War of Secession—not a revolutionary war, for there was no intent to overthrow the British government—that led to the free Confederation of American colonies and ultimately the United States.

It is in that great tradition that the modern secessionist movement in America takes its inspiration, hoping to dissolve the imperial government of the present United States and institute new governments, at state or regional levels, that will positively effect their safety and happiness.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

The Essential Declaration of Independence...

July 4th Update: The below has just too much "blah blah" so I cut it to the real essentials - and substituted "people" for "humans" (instead of "man"). So this is an even better MEME... (Note, no memes are NOT a complete political philosophy.)

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Note that "people" might be a better substitute for "humans." Feel free to substitute if you do and circulate your own version. Something tells me NEXT YEAR people will be taking the July 4th Declaration of Independence language a LOT more seriously...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Toxic masculinity, subset of male-pattern violence

Amanda Marcotte in Salon discussed a subset of male-pattern violence, i.e, "toxic masculinity". After reassuring readers she was not talking about ALL MEN, she writes:
So, to be excruciatingly clear, toxic masculinity is a specific model of manhood, geared towards dominance and control. It’s a manhood that views women and LGBT people as inferior, sees sex as an act not of affection but domination, and which valorizes violence as the way to prove one’s self to the world.  
Of course, she's for getting rid of assault weapons, which is a great idea over the long haul, starting with getting rid of the government's assault weapons in civilian law enforcement. While she's right there is the psychological pressure to prove manhood through violence, there also is a political reality: special interests and politicians want to loot us and make us slaves to their whims and needs. The people need to defend themselves against the government.

This is somewhat more true of the Democrats (and their socialist allies) who ideally would have an armed spy on every block to make sure we are all unarmed, compliant and politically correct as  they loot us. Republicans have managed to convince gun owners they are on the side of liberty, as long as you don't use guns to defend your right to abortion, psychoactive drugs, resist taxes or compete with business special interests that bribe Republicans. (Democrats at least will let us have our abortions, and a little marijuana, too!)

Amanda Marcotte somehow fails to mention getting rid of militaries and war. Which makes her look like a total shill for the Democrats.  Good try, Amanda.

One guy in the comments section complains that she doesn't put any responsibility on women or say what women should do about it.  Unfortunately, women married to the worst kinds of bastards can't easily divorce them, and doing so often really sets them off, resulting in beatings and killings of women.  Women who are single or with decent guys are smart to stay away from those types of bastards, unless it is in a professional psychiatric setting with armed guards in the hallway.

Women COULD go on strike until we get laws pass putting a quota of 51% women in every legislative body in the country as a small step forward.  Of course, our goal must be reducing violence, not using jack booted thugs to lock up anyone who doesn't want to pay 75% of their income in taxes for more social welfare programs to benefit women and some guys. If we depend on the nuclear armed patriarchal state to protect us, we are condemning ourselves to destruction.

Women could do massive civil disobedience by starting currently illegal communes, i.e., by buying up land and nearby homes and businesses, with the help of those wealthy women who will be needed to support our cause. Millions of women could take care of basic economic needs, ensure child care, protect women from abusive bastards - and have lots of free time for even more massive resistance to male violence and war.  And we even could make them all proud secessionist communities which reject all male control, non-violently of course. 

We also can stop conceiving as many male children through conception techniques available today. But that's a last resort, if men don't straighten out their minds. Between guys who want to shoot up people to prove they're men or, at the opposite extreme, guys who want to be able to freely barge into women's private spaces to prove they are women, we have a bunch of sick puppies out there (to be generous) who need a lot of therapy.  But how much more sympathy must women give them? Women's sympathy for mentally unbalanced males is our undoing.  I've pretty much given up on it my old age. It's time for tough love and swift kicks in male psychic butts.

Gee, I liked the above so much I put it in comments on the article. Minus the photos, of course.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

18% of Bernie Sanders supporters will support Gary Johnson

Now that Hillary Clinton has SQUUUEEEZED Bernie Sanders out of the running for President, what will Bernie Sanders' supporters do?? Bernie's boys can always come over to the heavily male-dominated Libertarian Party and it's candidates. (The "LP" remains pro-choice on abortion so they don't have to worry about their brand new fathers-in-law walking behind them with shotguns to the altar.)

Well according to this poll, they can vote for the LP candidates, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.  While they are too dang wishy-washy by most libertarians' standards, they're still a heck of a lot better than Hillary Trump and Donald Clinton!  Anyway, you can argue with this article about the 18% number. Just an FYI...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Orlando Shooting: Let's admit it! Male-Pattern Violence Rides Again

Do libertarians and peaceniks have the CHUTZPAH to name who is initiating and fighting most wars, with a few female camp followers or Thatcher/Clinton types in the mix?? If we can't face naming who does 98% of aggression, we are USELESS... 

It doesn't matter if Mr. Mateen killed people because he was a homophobe or an ISIS supporter or just crazy, or all three.  What matters is he dealt with personal/political issues in the way that alpha males and those who work for them or rebel against them have been doing for thousands of years: taking up a weapon and injuring and killing people. Whether they do it alone or with a small gang or a big gang (aka an army), it's all the same dynamic.

This is the most important article I've read in a few years:  MALE-PATTERN VIOLENCE by Jennie Ruby in the Feminist publication OFF OUR BACKS.  I had heard the phrase before but never seen an explanation of WHY it is such an important differentiation from "male violence".  I'll give you a few quotes from the first half of the article:
The statement “Most violent crimes are committed by men” is often misheard as “most men are violent,” or even with a kind of gender dyslexia, as “women are never violent.”

The conversation never goes on to examine what it is about men that causes the violence, what we could do to help men stop their violence, or anything else constructive.

This reluctance to talk about men’s violence is widespread and seems to amount almost to a taboo.
Why do both men and women resist naming male violence? One reason is that we are afraid to insult, alienate, or anger male family members and loved ones—and men are often angered by discussions of male violence. ...When feeling accused, a man may lash out by raising counter-accusations, confuse the issue, deny the wrong-doing, become sullen and withdrawn, or even, dare I say it, become violent...
Another reason men resist naming male violence is that men tend to think of the male as the default human. This means they can’t see male patterns as male—they just see them as human. So male researchers and theorists often write about “human” aggression, “humanity’s” wars, and so forth. But can we stop “human” violence without acknowledging and examining the fact that it is disproportionately committed by men?...
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe data show that in the U.S. and Europe, 85%-100% of people convicted of assault are men. And 90% of murders are committed by men...
The sooner we stop denying that men are the ones who commit most violence and begin to examine what it is about men that causes this, the sooner we start to solve it.

We need terminology that will break through the statistical dyslexia and the resistance surrounding the term “male violence” and allow us to focus on the problem. I think we’d have more success with a phrase that could not be misinterpreted as “all men always do it.” For example, most people can understand that “male-pattern baldness” is a male problem and that when women do have thinning hair the pattern and etiology are usually different. What if we start calling male violence “male-pattern violence” as distinguished from “female-pattern violence”?

Male-Pattern Violence
“Male-pattern violence,” then, is characterized most notably by its far greater overall prevalence than female-pattern violence. A far greater proportion of men commit male-pattern violence than women commit either male-pattern or female-pattern violence. Male-pattern violence also has a different etiology than female-pattern violence. Male-pattern violence is often characterized by motivations of aggression, revenge, competition for dominance, competition with other males (for example in drug- or gang-related violence), or feelings of ownership or entitlement toward women. Male-pattern violence includes sexual violence, including sexual violence against their own children. ... Male-pattern violence ranges in scope from these individual crimes up to full-scale war and genocide.

Female-pattern violence is more often characterized by self-defense, response to long-term abuse by a husband, killing children because she cannot properly care for them, and involvement in male-initiated and male-led violence ranging from crime to war (e.g., women in the military)...
I think the term male-pattern violence side-steps the whole “some men aren’t violent” thing because it is obvious it is talking about a pattern that most often occurs in men, but can also happen in women...
See article for the complete argument... 

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Two New "Women's Pride" Videos

I've been on a minor video-making binge last two weeks and as it happens both videos stressed women's pride!  Women - especially libertarian women - being "pro-choice and proud" on abortion. And "Woman-born woman" pride against those who try to reduce half the human race to just a gender that includes men with penises.  REDICULOUS... So here they are.. (Carol's background music from a song I wrote about abortion 40 years ago! And a song I wrote back in 2015.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Five weeks of defending women against the state!

From my last post, you can see I am very concerned with the issue of womens' safety and freedom in private and public spaces.  Yup, I get REAL hepped up on those issues, almost as much as on nuclear war - which is the ultimate way our overwhelmingly male masters threaten the lives of women and children, as well as their own sex.

Soon after the last post I discovered that going into the 2016 Libertarian Party convention the LP platform committee had voted for removal of the plank reading since 2006:
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.  
The platform plank USED to be a lot more hard core, but the abortion prohibitionists, in league with the vote grubbing libertarian-lite types, have been relentless in watering down the plank and trying to get rid of it.  After learning that, I then noted that the LP Radical Caucus was being overly influenced by one or more anti-abortion types who want to get rid of the plank. And thus their decisions to not take a position on the plank actually looked anti-plank -- and not at all radical.

That was enough to set off the Pro-Choice Fanatic in me. I've kept a meager website for our old group for years, but in last weeks I have:
* Beefed up http://pro-choicelibertarians.net with Wordpress. (Yup, got much better at Wordpress with this effort. Yay!)  See the "Our History" page for Carol and others activism over almost 30 years on the issue in the LP.
* Started a Facebook page for pro-choice libertarians only.
* Started a Pro-Choice Libertarians twitter feet. http://twitter.com/ProChoiceLibs
* Been making lots of fun buttons and memes. See graphics of just a few below.
* Our group got hundreds of buttons and leaflets out at the convention to make it clear we are back and we are proud and intending to kick prohibitionist butt!
* And I made lots of new contacts enthusiastic about my next project: updating Secession.net.

Governor Gary Johnson - who just has been named the Presidential candidate - is pro-choice. (He got 1.3 million votes in 2012 as the LP candidate.) This is his issues statement on abortion below. Libertarians would be quite angry if he started promoting some of his former positions. (SPACE TO COMMENT ON VP CANDIDATE ONCE CHOSEN A LITTLE BIT LATER).
Abortion and the Right to Life

         Gary Johnson has the utmost respect for the deeply-held convictions of those on both sides of the abortion issue. It is an intensely personal question, and one that government is ill-equipped to answer.
         As Governor, Johnson never advocated abortion or taxpayer funding of it. However, Gov. Johnson recognizes that the right of a woman to choose is the law of the land today, and has been for several decades. That right must be respected, and ultimately he believes this is a very personal and individual decision. He feels that each woman must be allowed to make decisions about her own health and well-being.
         Further, Gov. Johnson feels strongly that women seeking to exercise their legal right must not be subjected to persecution or denied access to health services by politicians in Washington or elsewhere who are insistent on politicizing such an intensely personal and serious issue. As Governor Johnson did support a ban on late term abortions.
I'll let the website and the graphics below tell a few more "thousand words" about my recent activities.

And of course, I had to give hell to those ABORTION PROHIBITIONISTS who pop up and yell baby killer, talking about their "consciences".
The only real ABORTION PROHIBITIONIST candidate was first runner-up AUSTIN PETERSEN who DOES talk a really good libertarian line on most issues, except abortion (really bad) and foreign policy (too often pro-war sounding). He has an interesting libertarian-ish resume as well as lots of appearances on (neocon) Fox News. He has lots of young followers, many of whom are pro-choice.