Citizenship, Education

Antique Roman

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


Never believe it.
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.
Here’s yet some liquor left. – Horatio in Hamlet act V

It takes awhile to find that line though it rings true to me—it always has and yet it is not found in the memorable quotes because it is not “profound” to English lit professors. I admit to having not read the play itself since high school, following the admonition of my Shakespeare scholar father to watch rather than read.

Why I relate to the specific line is that I, too, am more antique (republican) Roman than 21st Century progressive American. The Roman republic was created when Lucius Junius Brutus defeated the tyrant Lucius Tarquinus Superbus (the Proud) and ended the monarchy in 509 BCE. From this republic which was defended by blood—Brutus watched the execution of his own sons for attempting to restore the monarchy. During the Republic 509-44 BCE the people of Rome began referring to themselves as Citizens and at Brutus’ insistence took an oath:

Omnium primum avidum novae libertatis populum, ne postmodum flecti precibus aut donis regiis posset, iure iurando adegit neminem Romae passuros regnare.
First of all, by swearing an oath that they would suffer no man to rule Rome, it forced the people, desirous of a new liberty, not to be thereafter swayed by the entreaties or bribes of kings.

We have never, since the beginning of the American Republic, been required to take such an oath although we insist on school children repeating a mindless pledge to a flag that was written by a socialist minister and used to enforce a belief in a unitary democracy.

At any rate, the antique Romans believed in defending the Republic but not giving power to a king or a dictator. Unfortunately, as time progressed the Senate allowed generals their way and was happy with conquest. While maintaining the trappings of republicanism, the actual form of government that began to develop was an empire. Cato the Elder, Rome’s Joe Lieberman, would end his senate speeches on any topic with ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam or “in my opinion we should destroy Carthage.” While Republicans would counter this, in 146 BCE Rome destroyed the Phoenician port of Carthage and the die was cast about a century before Gaius Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

At any rate, Caesar was content to keep the fiction of a Republic—the Senate made him dictator for life in 44 BCE. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a shorter term than expected as Marcus Junius Brutus, descendant of Lucius Junius Brutus, led the assassination that got him mention in Dante and Shakespeare. With Gaius out of the way, his nephew Octavian defeated Antonius and Brutus to become Caesar Augustus. Plutarch used the term “fall of the Republic” rather than “rise of the Empire.”

I am more of an Antique Roman than a 21st Centuty progressive. I am a citizen of the Republic.

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.
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.