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In response to the ghouls who are trying to exploit the mass murder at the political gathering in AZ, blaming the politicians and pundits for the tone of their rhetoric being too combative:

Yes, the quality of political debate is abysmally bad. That is a direct result of how the exercise of political power has more intensely affected the lives of citizens. Voters recognize how all the government programs, laws, regulations, taxes, etc. are dominating their lives and threatening their futures more and more each day, so they are understandably alarmed and getting more desperate to stop the “other side” from taking advantage of them.

“All of this is the predictable result of putting moral questions up to a vote, of rulers making election contests into mock battles, pitting one “side” against another. (Warren mentions the “Coke vs. Pepsi” mentality, which is spot on.)

“Around the 2010 election, I read somewhere [added: here via Beck] that an election is nothing more than two or more armies getting dressed up, marching to the battle field, then counting which side has the most soldiers and awarding the spoils of victory to that side without actually drawing blood. And, as Billy Beck has pointed out for many years: “All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.”

“My solution? Stop voting. Stop giving your permission to politicians to wield power over your neighbors. Work with your neighbors to solve problems via reason and persuasion, instead of resorting to force. Government, by definition, is the use of force.

(My comment here and here.)

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I predict that the politicians who win the elections tonight will all violate their promises. They will exploit their power to give one group special privileges at the expense of all of our individual rights. It looks quite a bit like 1994 and we all saw how the “Contract With America” turned out to be mostly useless.

Projecting forward, I think Obama’s people are going to exploit the image of Republicans as being obstructionists to try to boost his ratings for 2012. And, there’s a good chance the GOP will offer up yet another pathetic candidate who will sap the enthusiasm of voters who would have voted against Obama.

Never underestimate the ability of Republicans to screw up any advantages they have at a given point in time.

But that’s just one reason I have no intention of setting foot inside a polling station again. Richard Nikoley and Mike Soja offer some roundups of arguments against voting.

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When Rick Santelli, from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, stated on CNBC (Feb 19, 2009) that traders ought to engage in a “tea party” to protest the insanely irresponsible mortgage bailout, which was rewarding poor economic decisions at the expense of everyone else, I was a bit moved. At least some people on the national scene were getting just how reckless the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine was and the level to which Americans ought to be resisting. To be fair, Bush signed TARP with a few Republican supporters, including McCain, so the Democrats were only accelerating the large-scale looting of the efforts of taxpayers started a few months before. And, while TARP was unprecedented in its scope and scale, it was the logical progression from all of the travesties mainly tracing back to FDR’s authoritarian meddling in the economy in response to the Great Depression.

All of the political horrors being splashed across the news from the start of the new administration convinced me that in order to dissuade the government from trashing the free market with more of these legislative abominations, it was going to take the kind of determination and courage shown by the Sons of Liberty, who carried out the Boston Tea Party. Widespread non-violent civil disobedience could have warned the politicians away from going as far as they did, but that sort of movement never materialized. People were content to hold rallies and rely on elections, rather than demonstrating their resolve to shut down the machine of government through non-compliance.

When I saw news footage of tea party rallies in the days which followed, I quickly realized from the placards and t-shirts being shown that a good number of these people were rather ignorant, or at least hopelessly naïve. They had all sorts of different agendas, most of which were recycled Republican/”conservative” positions, rather than more principled advocacy of individual rights and across-the-board opposition to government abuse of power. Many were able to enumerate the misdeeds of the Democrats, but few had the insight to recognize that the vast majority of the GOP politicians were similarly unethical, but just in slightly different ways. At best, the tea party movement has targeted RINOs. Unfortunately, it hasn’t done anything to weed out the more irrationally religious candidates and pundits, or the law-and-order types.

When the immigration stupidity in Arizona became associated with a large number of self-proclaimed tea partiers, I saw no reason to hope that this “movement” was going to accomplish anything for liberty, but could turn out to be a net loss—if for no other reason than people who could have taken a stand for individualism against the Democrats were going to be drowned out in the debate. The media focuses on the more vocal, more sensational, oversimplifying the issues and pigeonholing people. And, when political opportunists like Sarah Palin and Mark Williams hoisted the tea party banner for their own agenda, I realized that the people who were sincerely interested in liberty and reining in government on principle were going to lose the opportunity to debate the important moral questions. Instead, people are distracted by Cordoba House (“Ground Zero Mosque”) and other irrelevancies.

Meanwhile, Democrat supporters have happily cherry picked the most irrational, ignorant self-proclaimed tea partiers as being representative of the movement, in addition to playing the race card because a few idiots (or perhaps agents provocateur) showed up at rallies with signs which were racist (or, at least, which could be portrayed as racist). But the race thing started before the tea party became hot, as one liar after another cynically accusing anyone who opposed Obama’s agenda of only doing so because he was black, and not on the principles of freedom.

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When I first read the “hatriot” section of Bill Clinton’s speech, I told my wife that he was quoting Billy Beck (well, almost). Apparently, Billy didn’t miss that, nor did the many people who sent him e-mail about it.

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A comment at the Walls of the City blog:

I, too have been following Vanderboegh in real time, before his Sipsey Street Irregulars website came into existence, via David Codrea’s War on Guns website (which chronicles daily a dozen or more stories of police corruption, particularly with regards to gun laws–the sheer number of articles itself is a very bad reflection on the state of law enforcement) and the Western Rifle Shooters blog.

Vanderboegh wrote about a fictional Window War a decade or so ago, by his reckoning. It was a cautionary tale about gun control in the twilight of the Clinton administration. His repost occurred Feb 2009, just after Obama’s inauguration, during the uncertainty of a gang of top administration officials who were far more leftist than anyone before in such high office, who brought with them the brazenly corrupt Chicago-style political thuggery. Couple that with the rotten, power-drunk federal law enforcement agencies, who even during the Bush years were already running amok, and anyone paying attention quickly saw the potential for more Waco and Ruby Ridge incidents (which occurred or started during Bush 41, before Clinton upped the stakes with the scary-looking gun ban).

The Window War has been in the works for a long time. Personally, I believe Vanderboegh is a principled man who is not itching for a fight.

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At Walls of the City I comment on this post, which is a roundup of criticisms of Vanderboegh’s Window War:

I wrote a couple posts here and here about your article The Substance of Things, an objectivist critique of Vanderboegh’s Window War. I personally think that such tactics are a miscalculation, which run the risk of “copy cats” escalating the subversive acts to things like cutting propane lines to a house (wrong address, actually) or making death threats. As Vanderboegh himself put it (in reference to a different matter), that’s the Law of Unintended Consequence–you lose control over how things play out. Innocents get hurt. Bad people exploit the chaos to grab power.

My read of history is that civil disobedience–not just waving signs, but actual non-violent lawbreaking–gets much better results. It puts those in power in the position of showing who they really are, highlighting for the “fence sitters” and unaware just what is wrong with forcing people to buy health insurance, for example.

On the other hand, Roberta X’s call “to regroup and plan for elections…for the states to take the matter to court” doesn’t strike me as any more productive than the Window War. You can’t vote yourself into freedom. Elected officials, by their very nature, will never relinquish power once attained, even if it is at the price of your rights. Trying to win a majority is a losing proposition.

Which lead me directly to your claim that “the government has never been the problem with our country.” I could not disagree with you more.

Government was the problem when it ensconced slavery into the Constitution, when it interfered with the free market by imposing a government monopoly on mail delivery (something affecting us this very day), when it made Jim Crow laws, when it engaged in colonialism and foreign interventions (something affecting us this very day), when it imposed one collectivist “reform” or market “regulation” after another. No corporation or non-governmental group has the power of government to trample our rights and to behave unethically (harming the rights of others) purportedly in our name.

Spooner, Garrison, and Thoreau explicated the reasons why the government was wrong, why “its very Constitution is the evil.” Government is aggressive force instead of persuasive reason, which by its very nature is immoral.

Now, while I assert that non-violent civil disobedience will likely get better results now than the Window War, the cartridge box or the ballot box…I do not agree with the notion that violence is never the answer. See this post at The Smallest Minority, or the Solzhenitsyn quote Vanderboegh cites here.

I’ve been reading Vanderboegh for years and I know he has not “been wishing for our backs to be against the wall” nor is he an “extremist… who pleasure[s] [himself] at the thought of another civil war.” I may disagree with him about the usefulness of the Window War (and about God and the Constitution at root), but I do have respect for him as a principled individual, unlike those who cut propane lines, make death threats against legislators’ family members, etc..

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MSNBC radio talk show host Ed Schultz, who boasts that he would cheat on elections to keep his party in power, calls for using the Fairness Doctrine to steal the resources that other people pay for to “equalize” radio talk show audience. As he put it: “If we’re going to be socialist, lets be socialist across the board.” (h/t Drudge)

I don’t expect a cretin like him to understand the simple concept of private property–he is so far beyond the reach of reason. Why are the “right-wing” talk show hosts far more successful than “left-wing” hotheads like him or Air America? Because the audience, the consumers, freely choose to listen to what they like, which means most of them don’t like his ilk. Imagine Shasta demanding to get an equal share of the cola market, by fiat. You want Coke or Pepsi? Too bad.

Of all the times I’ve heard assholes like Shultz, Pelosi, Durbin, Harkin, Bill Clinton, et al. (D) call for reinstating talk radio socialism, I’ve never heard a one of them call for applying the same rules to TV. None of them want to force CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and ABC to run stories about Tea Party protesters and all the nasty negative aspects of the bills (as opposed to the bland reporting they did on the run-up to the House vote). Though, considering how much Fox News blows them away in the ratings, I’m sure they might be willing to force Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow on millions of people who don’t want them.

Beyond the issues of private property and individual choice, I want to know why “equal time” only extends to Democrats and Republicans. Why not libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, Tea Party independents, Naderites, or Bernie Sanders? Hell, what about the Nation of Islam, the Aryan Nation, or al Qaeda? Who decides which voices are valid? Who decides what proportion and why?

I guess if they can’t get their socialism across the board, they can knock down radio towers. If that fails, they can pull a Hugo Chavez and just declare the stations illegal.

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