Free Society

Strategy toward a free society pt2 Alternatives

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

In my last missive in this string I went into reasons the President should be defeated. I harbor no illusions that this may not occur. I anticipated that Bubba Clinton would would not win in 1996 based on 1994 elections. My dislike for Bubba’s policies is exceeded by my respect for his political abilities. And I expected W Bush to go down in 2004—but he evidently learned the principle of keeping the war going through the election.  And it looks like Mr Obama is also learning this lesson.

So this is a range of alternatives to bring about freedom. The open revolution option is off the table—there may be a time when the level of chaos is such that it might become an option but I do not see it in my lifetime. We need to realize that we did not get in this situation overnight. See my article Smith to Keynes at:…es-and-krugman/

Alternative one: Vote for the Republican. This follows the strategy of a successful municipal campaign that took about five election cycles to get its point across. These things tend to be more dramatic on the local level so the message has to be emphasized. A large movement called “No Incumbents Without Cause” or some such that keeps tabs on officials is important.

Disadvantage: In this case it means Mitt Romney. The overall similarity between Obama and Romney is strong. Both are progressive who believe in big government and while Romney talks about reducing the deficit, he is unlikely to make any substantial cuts. The only difference I can see is that Romney would probably appoint vanilla judges as opposed to committed socialists.  Considering the performance of Justice Roberts in the Obamacare case, this may need reconsideration.

Alternative two: Vote for an alternative party. Gary Johnson (L) will be on the ballot in all states. A Green Party candidate is also available. Enough third party votes could force the election into the House of Representatives—the result would be dependent on who takes the house.

 Disadvantage: The last election decided by the House was in 1824 when John Quincy Adams was elected over Andrew Jackson—that year the political parties suffered meltdown. The last third party to receive electoral votes was the American Independent Party whose 1968 ticket (Wallace-LeMay) garnered 46. 1n 1912 the Progressive Party took second place with 88 electoral votes. In the 1992 election, Ross Perot’s performance in key Republican states gave Clinton the win. The minor parties played no significant role in 2000 despite Democrats’ contention about Nader. Harry Browne and Pat Buchanan took as many votes from Bush as Nader from Gore.

Alternative three: Do not vote. This is a principled decision as well. It is not my decision but it has a rationale that the lesser of the evils is still evil. Part of the theory is that extremely low turnout will discredit the electee and the real change comes from that.

Disadvantage: Low electoral turnout is a fact of life in the United States. Staying home to get energized may help but it may not translate into action afterwards. It is not really easy to get motivated by an event that is two to four years away.

Whatever the immediate strategy, it will probably not be enough to effect a change in and of itself. My next installment will be After November What?!

Free Society

Strategy toward a free society pt1 Where we stand

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.
The Obama administration has to go.  While I still hold out some hope that the Republicans might come to their senses, the likelihood is that Mitt Romney will be the nominee.  Quite frankly, Romney’s views are not significantly different than Obama’s.  The only real difference I can see is who they would nominate to the Supreme Court of the United States.  Romney would probably defer to the American Bar Association and some Neocon groups in finding nominees.  This would result in social conservatives who are vanilla on liberty issues.
Romney would probably be unable to formulate a coherent legislative strategy which is not a bad thing in itself–liberty groups would have to push against progressives and conservatives alike, but that is not a change in status quo.
Obama is a committed statist.  He has, in addition to the enemies list most presidents have had, a kill list of those he has decided present a threat to the United States.
One of his re-elect campaign components is his “truth team.”  The following link is an example of what the team does to elevate the tone of the campaign.
Obama’s appointees to the Supreme Court believe in an extremely low threshold for infringing on speech.  They have also indicated a desire to return to the standards of US v Cruikshank on second amendment cases though not on first.  Kagan also declined to recuse herself from a major case involving a statute she had a hand in writing.
Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, currently up for a contempt vote, has as little regard for freedom as the President.  In the Reno Justice Department, Holder was aware of the Mt Carmel massacre and the mechinations to protect an FBI sniper from facing state charges.  He was chief deputy when INS agents and Deputy Marshals kidnapped, using armed force, a six year old Cuban child legally in the country without a custody decision by the court with competent jurisdiction.  (And no, Ms Reno, the child was not returned to his father but to the most repressive regime in this hemisphere.)  Eric Holder has lied to Congress with impunity while prosecuting Roger Clemens for the same thing.  When cornered, Holder’s general argument is that it is because his accusers resent a black man being attorney general.
Obama’s first chief of staff was an intelligence officer with the IDF during the first Gulf War.  Is this a serious conflict realizing that American interests in the middle east may not be the same as those of Israel.
In NDAA2012, Obama made a show of a veto threat because of provisions permitting the indefinite detention of Americans on US soil without habeas corpus or trial.  According to Sen Levin, the President had demanded the provisions.  To make everyone feel better the President said this administration will not use these provisions–he did not say he would not.  If reelected Obama will begin a new administration at noon on January 20, 2013.  Another provision of NDAA is the tacit repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act which prohibits use of Army and Air Force personnel in civilian law enforcement.
Another blatant grab of federal power is an Executive Order which gives the President the power to seize industries when the incumbent judges that there is an emergency.  In other words, the order gives the current or future president a power the Supreme Court told Harry Truman he did not have.
There will be more to come including a discussion of alternatives.
Free Society

Capital Gains are imaginary, but taxed anyway

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Capital gains occur when the value of property changes in dollars. This can be due to value added to the property through the efforts of the owner, changes in value due to market forces such as scarcity or demand or changes due to inflation or government action.  While there are those searching for revenue who define this as income, this is a change in the value of property, not income.

The first may example may be the fixer-upper house that a person buys for its market value when it has, through neglect, vandalism, natural disaster etc., lost much of its value. While no one actually buys a house, but rather the real estate upon which it sits—except in the case of a condo. But the condition of a dwelling or other building on the premises impact what will be paid for the land. The person buying as investment had better know what it will cost.

Hypothetical 1: In 1986 we looked at what would be ideal for a couple writers who had the wherewithal to handle the utilities, stairs etc. As we walked through the place, I noted the wiring—at least $10,000 to make it fire safe, double that for computers. I would have gone through it with a plumbing contractor as well, but as we stepped outside I noted a foundational crack. The hypothetical person (Hyp1) who bought the house at a bargain price was going to spend an additional two to three times in upgrades. So look at the house at $50,000 (remember this was 1986) plus $125,000 (conservative) in repairs and then it gets sold in the bubble for a quarter million. It was purchased at fair market value, it was sold at fair market value. What was sold was the property for which Hyp1 sold not only the house for which $175k was the cost basis, but also the future use of the property and the fact that a comparable or greater price would be necessary to replace it.

Hypothetical 2: So in October 1987 a different hypothetical buyer purchased 100 shares XYZ Corp at $29. This was fair market value the day after the big correction. But the income from the stock was solid and the seller had panicked. In other words the fair market value was impacted buy panic, not performance but it was still fair market value on that day. I March of 1998 our hypothetical buyer decided to get into the burgeoning green energy industry so he looked at his XYZ that had split twice and was now valued at $129 with a cost basis of $80 since the last split. Hyp2 sold 200 shares and was bought Greeniecorp which filed bankruptcy in December. Had he not taken the bath on Greeniecorp he would have paid capital gains tax on $9,800. In selling those shares Hyp2 sold all future interest and income that would accrue to those shares, not merely notes.

The second category involves market forces. And it still involves purchase and sale at fair market value. In this case, the ultimate seller relinquishes the value and future interests as well as the property itself.

In the third scenario, inflation or other government action, there is no change in the value of the property—there is a devaluation of the money. To call the change in price a gain is wrong. The government has, through its actions change the value of the exchange and should not benefit by taxing the difference.

Free Society, Uncategorized

Marketing and desparation

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Well, it happened. Playboy is seeking me out….along with maybe 200,000 other “potential” subscribers. I know the game and everyone else knows the game. How do you market a hard copy magazine in a digital age? What they are looking for are demographics: male, over 55, has other magazine subscriptions.

Here’s the deal. Male. That has always been a demographic for Playboy. This was proclaimed by Hefner in 1963.

Over 55: There are a couple reasons for this. One is that the over 55 male population is perceived as sexually restless in “studies” and market research questionnaires with warranty cards. The reliability of such research is suspect. I can recall sitting in McDonalds with some friends filling out “anonymous” questionnaires—it can be a hoot. It is like faking an identity on the internet—and do not say there are safeguards because there are people who regard them as a challenge. Secondly, the over 55 crowd might be willing to read hard copy. And this is more critical. You can interviews with serious thinkers on the internet (and is that not the reason to read Playboy in the first place) as well as finding purveyors of hedonistic paraphernalia. If the magazine fails to attract readers, ad revenues fall.

Have other magazine subscriptions: If someone does have subscriptions, they are more likely to subscribe. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. And I admit to subscribing to a number of magazines catering to male interests—shooting, flying, fishing, military, &c. So I probably fall in the 50-60 percent likely category—remember that this is also 40-50 percent unlikely, but those are decent odds when you are in a dying industry.

Then there are the special offers like price. This is the same as other magazine offers I get. A dollar an issue is nothing to sneeze at.

In other words, it is a trying time in the magazine industry as a whole—I am considering going to online subscriptions for several that I already get. Advertisers understand this. Back when I was hustling ads the primary tool we used was the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the knowledge that drive time radio was better because it is the buffer in the background. You tend to remember what you hear while doing something else—you do not have to remember where you heard it but you have heard it twice a day for the last three months.

Compleat Idler

The Compleat Idler

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

This is about the art of idling, a nasty habit affecting young men aged 10-17 and older. I do not know whether young women engage in this as there were none in any of my circle of idlers. It is something adults discourage and they may occasionally be right. However, I am going to tell a few stories in what may be called an apologia. And be aware that in these articles there may be words or tags that you do not recognize. That is the signal to crank up  I took the title for this category from Isaak Walton whose book The Compleat Angler is a discourse on society from a Royalist Anglican point of view in the seventeenth century,

What you may discover are hobbies, sources of information, games, activities and books. The one element I will not discuss is smoking because it is not necessary to the culture and may have helped me to cardiac rehab.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” It’s one of those quotations that has many variants—an idle mind, idle hands the devil’s tools. In New England Puritan society, idleness was frowned upon, especially among apprentices who were supposed to be learning trades. Idling was not condoned on the Sabbath as that was allowing the Devil in. New England Puritan society affected the whole of New England because the Puritans were the dominant culture—and this culture moved on as the great American migrations mixed people up.

My mother’s culture was Yankee on both sides. They settled in Nebraska and brought their culture with them. My father’s German Protestant culture had similar attitudes regarding work. A point of clarification must be made. Idlers are not lazy—they are just energetic about different things.

At age eight I began going out to my grandfather’s shop or picking up a Red Ryder and walking the dry irrigation ditch after school instead of digging into the insipid story in the reader I was talked to. I loved working with tools and I had built a lego fortress and put a couple new tubes in an old radio so I could listen to shortwave while I did homework. So it was in Spanish—so I did not understand it—it was relief.

When we were in San Diego I managed on two consecutive evenings to pick up KOA-Denver on the AM band by attaching a wire hanger to the loopstick. I should have been doing my book report. The purpose of a book report, according to the curriculum manual I glommed onto in Methods/Language Arts is to encourage students (they may have said “pupils”) to read works that are not in the curriculum. My experience had been the opposite. I read a lot of books from the library—it was Great Expectations and Silas Marner that I suffered through, waiting for Saturday when I slipped on my brown hiking boots, jeans and hooded sweatshirt to go wandering down to the cliffs. It was Saturday that I could go to the library, or my friend Mike and I would hop the bus for San Diego (we lived in Point Loma) to haunt bookstalls and discuss philosophy with a couple old guys in a coffee shop. This had little to do with the business at hand, but we learned about Spinoza and Pascal.


Free Society

Liberty: by the numbers

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Unfortunately, liberty in the United States is a matter of numbers. So I’m going to review a few—no powers of ten or need for a graphing calculator. Simple and super majorities.

For starters:

270 – the number of electoral votes necessary to elect the President of the United States.

3 – the number of electoral votes guaranteed to the Democrats. Three electors are guaranteed to the District of Columbia by the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution. For all intents and purposes, DC is a safe zone for Democrats unless someone more amenable to the welfare state shows up on the Republican side.

34 – the number of Patriots in the Senate necessary to prevent ratification of treaties not in the interest of liberty.

234 / 67 – the number of votes in the House and Senate necessary to override a presidential veto.

60 – the number of votes necessary in the Senate to pass a spending measure or a revenue measure that comes from the House.

5 – Justices can alter your rights for good or ill.

300 – Spartans (and 700 Thespians) opposed Xerxes at Thermopilae.

15 – Stars and 15 stripes were on the flag at Fort McHenry.

1 – person can make a difference. You or me, because we cannot rely on he or she.

Free Society

When will they ever learn?

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Bill Press, California Democratic hack and commentator is embarrassed by the National Anthem because of its “military jargon” and the fact that it spans two octaves. He has no clue as to the origin of the anthem or the significance of that origin. He obviously does not follow and has not read my post Flag of Defiance from 25 April.

Let me put it bluntly. Had not Admiral Cochrane decided to break contact, the King’s forces would have swarmed the States with enough troops and enough glory hunting generals like Robert Ross that the lamp of freedom would be extinguished.

The Star Spangled Banner is not about war and armies. It is a tribute to militia standing up to invasion and prevailing against the major power in the world. This embarrasses those who believe in an all powerful central government because it strikes at the premise of the national army. It talks about free men, not mercenaries or conscripts. And it is not limited to this nation but to the free standing against empire—how subversive.

Mr Press is certainly entitled to his opinion, as flawed by illogic and ignorance as it is.

Compleat Idler, Education, Free Society

Who is Silence Dogood?

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

James Franklin opened the lock and pushed the door open to the New England Courant. There was no sign of his apprentice Ben. Looking down he saw a folded paper and picked it muttering about that “Dogood woman.” As he walked to his desk he began reading. When he got to “As for Idleness, if I should Quaere, Where are the greatest Number of its Votaries to be found, with us or the Men? it might I believe be easily and truly answer’d, With the latter,” he noticed Ben slipping into the room and moving behind the press.

“About time, Ben,” he groused. “We have another missive from the widow. You might as well set it in type. And be sure the punctuation is right.”

“Do you not wish to read it first.”

“I will read it and be infuriated with the rest of Boston. Why did I let Father talk me in to allowing you as apprentice?”

“I can set type.  And I can read.”

“Be at it then and after sweep around the press. You are the idlest apprentice in Massachusetts Bay.”

James Franklin did not know the identity of Silence Dogood. Goodwife (pronounced “Goody”) Dogood slipped interesting letters under the door of his print shop in Boston. They poked at the customs and what was happening in the colony from a decidedly puritan point of view although in a strangely familiar style.

James Franklin was a busy man. He had no time to go around looking for a middle-aged woman who would probably lecture him on his habits. And it would do no good to send his 16-year-old apprentice Ben who would most certainly use the time in sport and idleness with his contemporaries.

Ben had spent eight months in school as his father wished him to prepare for the Anglican clergy. And being bored he dropped out. Ben could read the Bible and the Prayer Book (even though it was disapproved by his dissenting family). And he began running with a crown of idlers who read the latest journals that had been discarded. The Spectator from London included the best essayists in England and occasionally Dean Swift from Dublin. They even tried writing articles in the styles of the writers. And they got good, but the best was was Ben Franklin, the chandler’s son.

Someday James would teach Ben to write, but not now. Ben offered and was scolded for idleness. But Ben spent spare time writing commentaries. He heard James and his friends discussing the affairs of the day them and heard gossip in taverns or coffee houses on his way home and occasionally managed to snag an unused periodical or book. And every so often he would slip a commentary under the door.

James Franklin was a busy man. He had no clue as to the identity of Silence Dogood.  He was furious when told.


New England Courant The first regular newsletter in the colonies. Published by James Franklin except when incarcerated. It was transferred by letter to his former apprentice, Benjamin Franklin, to prevent its seizure by forces of the Crown. James, upon release from custody, found a letter from Ben transferring back as Ben was striking out in the world—eventually landing in the great port of Philadelphia where he would also have trouble with the authorities. James, himself, departed Boston and published in Providence as the dissenter Roger Williams had done in 1634.

Quaere Ask or inquire. The term is still used by law professors and their former students but spelled query.

Votaries Devotees.

Silence Dogood One of many noms de plume of Benjamin Franklin. It mocks the naming of women in Puritan society and “Do good” is a command.

Dissenting Josiah Franklin was a Congregationalist as opposed to the Church of England which was epiacopalian in governance. Churches other than the CofE were called dissenting bodies.

Dean Swift Jonathan Swift, the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, was a brilliant essayist and a disgruntled clergyman. Remember this when reading Gulliver’s Travels or any of his politically incorrect essay.

Chandler Candle maker. Although a dissenter, Josiah Franklin plied his trade for the Anglican churches which could better afford his wares than the Meeting Houses where he worshipped. His desire that Ben be an Anglican clergyman was a desire for upward mobility.

Compleat Idler, Free Society

What a difference fifty years makes

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Fifty or so years ago in a high school parking lot, the place does not matter but we can call it Littleton (in those days they rode horses in the downtown and had one zip-code) or Scottsbluff or any of a number of towns in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, about five guys were standing around the open car trunk admiring Fred’s new Remington with the Weaver 6 power scope. The principal, the coach and a couple teachers came out to see what was going on.

“Well,” said the principal, “it looks like somebody else is going to be gone opening day.” There was laughter as well as a suggestion by the Latin teacher that they just close school that day.

In those days you could walk the a school parking lot and pop trunk lids and find a rifle or shotgun in most cars. It was not a big deal.  When you got something new the coach had to see it.

Today, such scenes are viewed through the filter of “zero tolerance” and handled by the “school resource officer” with backup from BDU clad SORT members who look like storm troopers out of Star Wars. There would follow a suspension for at least the remainder of the school year regardless of state attendance requirements, not to mention referral to the juvenile or adult justice system. Academic work completed during that time could not be counted.

Education, Free Society, Technology, Uncategorized


(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Back in the late 20th Century (or possibly the early 21st), I was writing a novel and the main character looked his rival in the eye and said, “All power is temporary, save that which created the cosmos.” That is about all that is left of that piece of fiction, because it states a truth that neither the elites nor their conspiracy theorist opposition understand.

It goes back to the Enlightenment which rejected hierarchies and looked instead to Nature and Nature’s God. Unfortunately, there are some people who have made some discoveries and get the idea that they know “the secrets.” Nature (whether we call her Danu, Artemis, Isis, Sophia or Our Lady of Guadalupe) has a sense of humor and she chuckles at those who think they control her because they have uncovered something they think they can hide from the “unwashed.” The fact is that because it has been uncovered by someone means it is likely to be uncovered by others.

So we have “enlightened” elites who have replaced the “hierarchical” elites and are willing to go to vast extremes to prevent “commoners” from gaining the secrets. This is done by restrictive admission to educational opportunities, censorship of what is published, societies to “protect” the hidden knowledge. Further the reason this is done is to convince the rest of us that we are somewhat inferior and should remain in our place—with me they failed when I figured out that a couple shots of Tennessee sippin’ whiskey makes me everyone’s superior. However, Andrew Carnegie endowed buildings for public libraries. And Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have made what is on the internet much more accessible. There should be a theory about how much mass a genie must attain to be permanently free of the bottle—in this case it seems that we may have passed it some time ago.

“Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the screen.” And then we discover that the Great and Terrible Oz is just a balloonist from Omaha.

The Bilderberg Group just finished their 2012 Meeting in Chantilly, VA. And the Alex Jones faction of the alternative press did all in their power to “expose” what was going on. And the Bilderbergers, playing their part, gave cryptic interviews to their favored “journalists” and otherwise maintained the appearance of a secret cabal. Therein lies the “power.” It is a game and each player is dependent on the other, the power monger is dependent on the conspiracy theorist for publicity and the conspiracy theorist needs the power monger as a foil.

Yes. The power of secret societies is based on perception. In fact any show of phenomena beyond the understanding of the masses is perceived as witchcraft. A gentleman attending the San Diego County Science fair back when I was in high school thought that a Tesla coil—built by a friend of mine—was satanic. He did not realize how his radio worked. So it has been with gunpowder, steam, the telegraph and the internet. I can see the power of the internet, but it is largely psychological—in fact, the internet is somewhat like a mechanical device improved by a patent medicine salesman who went by “Doctor Colt.” Yes, the internet does for the war of ideas what Colt’s revolver did for Captain Walker’s Rangers—it levels the playing field.

Those “secret” groups who exercise power because people let them exercise power by assent. They are like the character of the Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz who turns out to be defeated by a bucket of mop water. Because the Bilderbergers promote this aura of power, elected officials bow and scrape as the mayors were doing to Royal Governors in New England in 1769. A few years later, a few barrels of Governor Hutchinson’s tea in the harbor, and there is an altered paradigm. A few words, beginning with “When in the course of human events” and ending with “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” and the paradigm is further altered.

How to break the power. I might recommend a mopping formula based on water, chlorine bleach and ammonia which is not recommended by the folks at the extension but does a heck of a job on really sticky floors—as well as eating sponges. The first thing is to stop groveling. As long as elected officials believe the forces have power they will. All the rebels need to do is convince twenty percent of the masses the power is phony. Historically, that is critical mass. Sam Adams had fifteen percent of Boston when they went on board ship to assure Governor Hutchinson had no reason to warehouse the tea. It was Wilhelm Tell who told the Austrians they had no power and backed it up with a few well placed bolts. It was Wallace at Stirling Bridge. It was Smith’s militia at Fort McHenry. It was the folks at the Alamo who delayed Lopez a good ten days so Houston could prepare at San Jacinto. It was los Heroes Nin~os at Chapultapec. It is the seven over the hill gunfighters who take the job because they do not have anything else—and the farmers who hire them because they cannot find anyone else.