The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Thursday, March 10, 2005


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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Tsunami Victims You Won't Hear About

The earthquake that triggered a huge "tsunami" (tidal wave) which hit Asian shores killing thousands, displacing millions, and bringing world-wide cries of "disaster" was truly a natural disaster of epic proportions.

The victims we see on television; the wastelands that were once thriving communities we see being toured by world leaders; the thousands of orphaned children and widowed women we see displayed on relief ads are, however, only the tip of the iceberg when the victims of this natural disaster are counted.

About 300 million of those victims reside right here in the USA.

That's right, every American who pays taxes, including all of their children and dependents, are victims of the federal government of the United States of America which, using the Internal Revenue Service, took $350 million dollars form them at gun point and sent it for relief efforts in Asia.

That's right. $350 million was taken from American families, at threat of violence and imprisonment, and sent to Asia for the relief effort.

"But it's a good cause," you might say. You're probably right. But is any cause, however "good," justification for theft at gunpoint?

Interestingly, America has, throughout history, been the most giving nation in the world. For the Tsunami relief effort alone, we've voluntarily contributed nearly a billion dollars in relief to date. VOLUNTARILY, we've written checks, dropped coins into buckets, called in credit card numbers…VOLUNTARILY we've given money to help those in need halfway across the world from us.

Yet our political leaders, in their benevolence, still voted to take $350 million dollars from us by force so they could send it to Asia in our name. So that they could sit around at $100/plate luncheons and haughtily declare that they were able to make sure that Americans "paid for their share of the relief effort."

The American poor, who can barely afford to put dinner on the table, let alone afford private schools and $100/plate luncheons, were forced to cough up money from their meager earnings in order that those living on the coastline in Asia could have their homes rebuilt for them, their children cared for, and their families fed.

Who will be there when I can't afford to make my house payments, to drive my car to work where there is no bus service, or even buy groceries to keep my family fed? Who will be there when our 45-50% tax rate finally catches up with me and forces me to take shelter in the arms of the many government-run welfare programs in our nation (programs which are paid for by money from other hard-working families who are walking in my same shoes)?

Yet those who are in a position to afford to send money to relieve victims of tragedy here and abroad are still able to send three times what the United States government could send; this despite the fact that the US government has the resources and reach to force every American to pay a portion of their income to the IRS so that it can be sent abroad to help with these same relief efforts. Which system works better? Answer truthfully… private fundraising has proven time and again to be much more benevolent and much more efficient than any government-run agency could ever hope to be.

So you tell me…are there other victims of the Tsunami? Victims you aren't likely to see showcased on national television in commercials and newscasts? You bet there are. These victims are the American families FORCED to pay for the relief efforts. Families who, given a choice, would probably have given the money freely if they could. Is charity by force really charity? You be the judge.

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Book Reviews

It's time for me to finally get around to a couple of new books reviews. :) One is a classic and should be read by all. I have yet to see the movie, but will someday soon, I'm sure. The other is a great look at American history.

Papillion by Henri Charriere

This is a story of freedom: freedom that must be had at all costs. Papillion (a nickname meaning "butterfly") is arrested and convicted for a murder he did not commit and sentenced to life imprisonment in French Ghiana, the most ruthless of prison islands in the modern world.

Just over a month later, he makes his first daring escape attempt and sails 1500 miles in a rickety boat only to be caught by French authorities and put in solitary confinement.

Through sheer will and determination, he survives two years of solitary confinement and once again makes an escape attempt. He will not stop until he is finally free.

This is a true story written by the man himself. It vividly portrays life in the French prisons: the "underworld's" societal class, the cut-throat life behind bars, and the sadistic guards who torment their charges.

Above all, however, it's a story of the true Man of the West: the man who will be free no matter the cost and regardless of the time it takes to be so. The ultimate goal of Papillion is not to best the guards who keep him, not to change the world, or not to destroy that which binds him. The ultimate goal of Papillion is simply to "live free or die."

Trails of the White Savages by Gary Wiles & Delores Brown

This is one of the best history books I've ever read. I swear. It's about the Scots-Irish outcasts which Ben Franklin branded "White Savages," who became the trail blazers, warriors, and leaders of early 1800s America. It tells the stories of Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, Kit Carson, Davy Crockett, Joe Walker, Ewing Young, and more.

This is one of the most vivid history books I've ever read. The portions dealing with Davy Crockett are written as a Tennesseer back-woodsman would speak and tell a "powerful lot" in the process. You become the right-hand of Davy Crockett, seeing his career as a politician in new light and his ultimate ejection from the US House of Representatives for what it really was: him acting under his own conscience ("Be sure you're right, then go ahead." was his motto) and getting villified for it.

The tale of Andrew Jackson (dubbed "Sharp Knife" by the Indians and "Old Hickory" by the Americans) is no less riveting. He carried two bullets in his body for most of his adult life, a product of two of his sixteen total duels of honor. His health plagued him throughout his life, but his iron will and determination kept him from the sick bed and death. He has the honor of being the only American president to rid the nation of debt and keep us debt-free during his entire tenure. I wish someone today could enter the office and do the same...

Others portrayed in the book, such as Sam Houston (founder of Texas, many say, and who was also plagued by a festering leg wound received during his service under Gen. Jackson), are shown intimately and in their true light. Joseph Walker, well-known trapper and mountain man who is credited with restoring the Old Spanish Trail to California and with leading Capt. Bonneville on his historic mission across the US to Oregon (founding several forts and acting secretly as a spy for the US govt.).

This is a truly great book of American history and should be read by anyone interested in the early years of our nation's development. The so-called "White Savages" are shown as the trail blazers and leaders that they were in a time when that was what the nation needed most.

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