Sunday, November 30, 2008
Yes you read right....A man died...they kept shopping.
At a Wal*Mart in Columbus, OH a woman jumped on a man's back and began beating on him screaming "That's MY TV!!!" when she noticed a TV she had was in his shopping basket.
At a Wal-Mart in Niles, Ill., a mother fought back tears when she discovered someone had taken her shopping cart filled with toys.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union leader Bruce Both has come out and said that the trampling death in New York was preventable. Police said that the store may not have had enough security.
Wal*Mart as usual, defended theirselves by stating that the store had hired temporary help and security guards to accomidate the increased crowd.
The question I have, is why weren't they guarding the front door when the store was opening?
I've always been a vocal critic of Wal*Mart, because I don't believe their business practices honor the principals of a free market. They force their laborers in China to pay for housing, so they pretty much force housing on them. They undercut American manufacturing jobs by opening plants wherever you can find cheap sub-American labor practices.
They fight unionization tooth and nail, and urge their employees to take government aid. They offer low quality goods at a price that eliminates the spirit of competition. The reason they have low prices is the tax subsidies they receive and their labor practices.
However, in a time in this country where more people vote for American Idol than vote for their government officials, is it a wonder that "Black Friday" has become a mindless mass of human rage?
I wonder how much Credit Card debt was created on "Black Friday"
"Black Friday" is known as the day when retail stores intend to "Go into the black" and report growth in profits for the year.
I would argue that it's not a retail holiday, but a bankers' holiday. To think that we're smack in the middle of a Recession, with a great depression staring us down, and people are still getting violent over cheap foreign toys and electronics. Those banks that issue those monthly Visa and Mastercard statements must be smiling.
When will we learn that our consumer society is tearing us apart. After reading about the trample death, I thought to myself, "How many opportunities were there for ONE PERSON of the mass to realize that there is a human there and push everyone out of the way and help the guy up before he was dead?"
If you were up at 4 AM on friday burning a half a tank of gas to sandwich through the traffic jams and stand shoulder to shoulder through lines to put foreign goods on plastic money, I pray for you today.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I slept approximately 6 hours between last Thursday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. I worked three 8 hour shifts. I walked from the Fed to the IRS building and back twice. Had my son with me, and nearly lost my laptop computer. And strained my voice screaming "End the fed!" and "No Labor Tax!"
I tell you this not because I'm a whiny asshole. But so you can contrast it to any sacrifices you make in your daily life in the struggle for change. The weekend before I got about the same amount of sleep due to handing out rally-promotion fliers on the Plaza and in Lawrence. Every Wednesday consists of me waking up at 8am-ish and doing a little internetting, and then Laundry, before the LRP meeting and then an 8 hour shift at work ending at 8am. (thats 24 hours of getting crap done) I'm told all the time that if I don't get a sleep routine that I'm going to have a heart attack by 30 (I'm sure the 2L of Mt. Dew 5 nights a week doesn't help, and the pack of Camel Wides a day doesn't help either)
Anywho, The reason this is becoming something I felt like blogging about is because so many people out there thinks that the way to change our society lies in sitting around chatting about it. W accomplished a great thing on Saturday. We had 3 speakers who all just came off of a campaign, 1 Republican, 1 Libertarian, and 1 Constitutional. Men from 3 parties able to agree that a problem exists large enough to become motivated. We had marchers from all across the political spectrum. From Anarchists to Communists everyone agreed that the Federal Reserve system only rewards big bankers.
Where we are, at the starting point of 2009 is up to you! Can you, a Christian Conservative, march along side a Liberal Gay if it means saving your country from financial collapse, followed by riots, and massive imprisonment of your fellow man? Can you, a bleeding heart Democrat hold hands with a small-government conservative in a call to end foreign imperialism?
I heard, as I was handing out literature, a few people laugh at the uphill battle of ending the Fed. A few others exclaimed "That's not my cause"
It's time for us to stop dividing ourselves based upon our label.
It's also time to stop thinking that this revolution can be won from back room discussions.
I had a "Chuck Baldwin" sign in my yard for months that said "Stop Illegal Aliens"
The Aliens weren't my cause. In Fact, I believe we need to stop Immigration for the safety and welfare OF the migrant worker. I thought of taking the sign down, but in the end, Baldwin's message fit into the grand scheme of things, and it "Wasn't my cause" but it was a part of the struggle towards a change in the end game.
I mention this scenario because I want you to keep an eye on www.libertyrestorationproject.org and other grassroots organizations for ways to be involved. I want you to twist your thoughts and ask yourself "Can I justify a greater good in this event, even if I don't 100% agree with this message or the way these other people are presenting it?"
And if not, then ask yourself if maybe you have a better idea at tackling these problems, and go anyway and interface with your community to try to get your ideas into the grassroots movement.
As long as we have exposure, the movement will grow.
As long as we allow ourselves to unite for the greater good, the movement will grow.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall, Land Of The Free, Home Of The Brave.
Help me keep it that way.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I would argue that the biggest problem is that we can't see past to agree on is that the problem is that government right now is not a government of the people. Individual citizens have little stake in their ruling circle, yet the taxpayer seems to bear the brunt of the policies set forth by these men. The problem is who controls the discourse. If we, the people, pushed for positive reform and regulation, and took a stake in our governing bodies, big government and regulation wouldn't be a bad thing, because it would not be government as we know it, it would be an arm of the populous. The congress was set up to represent the people, and if the will of the populous was followed and not lobbyists for big banks and corporations, then it would be our law to reject or repeal when we felt necessary.
There are a few answers to the question of an alternative to the Federal Reserve Bank Note problem. Many solutions are offered, and while I'm not an expert on any of them, I've always felt that when the cause of a problem is centralization, the solution is not one centralized solution, it would be a basket of ideas, such as below.
The Constitution of the United States is one example of this. When the Royal Throne of England was a centralized power sticking its boot on the throat of the colonies, the answer was a constitution that established three co-equal branches of government to perform their own respective duties including checks and balances.
So as we discuss “Ending the Fed” what do we do in its stead? I have some ideas I've been kicking around in my head that I hope to get some feedback on, please don't beat me down too bad, as I'm not as well versed on alternatives to this problem or economic issues as some of the more educated.
First, I always hear that the gold/silver standard is too limited. So while it is indeed part of the solution, it couldn't possibly be the viable complete end game. Inflation is required to be able to fight wars and kick start during recessions.
Regulation and taxation of banks and stocks and trade should be treaded lightly, but I think it's also part of the solution.
My plan is first to Federalize the Federal Reserve Bank and place it under the control of the Treasury again, with strict rules in place for a Congressional vote before each centralized issuance of currency.
The Federal Treasury Bank would print Two (2) currencies. The “Greenback” and the “Silverback”
The Greenback would be essentially fiat, only it would be interest free, used for treasury bonds, authorized for government spending and international trade. Issuance of greenbacks would require a budget plan. The greenback cannot be used for loans through the financial sector, only for outright trade, or government spending loans. There can be no “Fractional Reserve Banking” of greenbacks.
The “Silverback” would be used in the financial sector. Issuance of the Silverback is done through the banking sector. The Silverback can also be inflated, through fractional reserve banking. Although 75% of physical reserves of physical SILVER required for any bank to make a loan. The treasury would be forced to re-value the Silverback (against amounts of silver) monthly, and banks would need to report loans and reserves. As part of this re-valuation, the Greenback would also have purchase power value adjustments vs. Silverbacks.
I keep hearing three problems about Wall Street. A. “Short” selling B. Futures trading speculators C. Audit games. All three of these problems can be solved by simply giving the shareholder a real share in the risk, regardless of how short a person owns the share.
First, require all futures commodity trading to receive shipment of 25% of the product. Secondly, require stocks to be held for at least 7 days. I know this sounds extreme, but stocks are not supposed to be a gambling tool, if you want a share in the company, become a long term shareholder not a gambler. It's called “Investing” for a reason.
Federal taxation would come from import goods, luxury taxes, and excise taxes. I'm also in favor of the inheritance tax, as long as it limits itself to personal, individual profits in excess of 75% the value of any company involved in the transfer of wealth.
I know that much of these ideas are EXTREMELY idealistic, and against the very nature of some policies of the freedom movement. Please help educate me as to the fallacies of these lines of thinking.