As a libertarian, I am vehemently opposed to government control of my life. I wrote about how the Affordable Care Act was a violation of our Constitutional rights in my book Blessed Are They That Hunger a full 2 years before it was implemented. I discussed just two aspects of the law that would hamper our freedom as Americans. The fact that the government would make it illegal to be uninsured and the fact that religious organizations would be forced to provide birth control in violation of the tenets of their faith were clear violations of our religious and personal freedoms as protected by the Constitution. Since its implementation both of these issues have been bandied about by the media and there have been a multitude of court cases brought on by religious based organizations and corporations refusing to comply with the law. There are more insidious ramifications of the ACA-like appointed committees determining who will receive certain procedures-(or as they have been termed “death squads”) that have not even come to light yet, but will as the “roll out” continues. Because of these issues, I opted to avoid the “exchange” when my insurance was cancelled because it did not meet the ACA requirements. I opted to “keep my Insurance” and stay out of the ACA exchange in my state. This meant paying more than double the premium for a plan that would give me comparable coverage that would allow me to “keep my doctor”. I bit the bullet and tightened my belt to accommodate the large insurance premium that I was forced to pay. Everything was fine, until I had an auto accident in July and had to shell out a $500 deductible for my car. The budget just couldn’t handle that plus my nearly $500 per month health insurance premium. I got behind and was one day late on paying my premium. (I was not one day late really, I paid it on the due date, but they applied it a day later and my insurance was cancelled.) Once it was cancelled, I could not re-enroll until November, for insurance that would not be effective until January 2015. So now, thanks to the ACA, I- a person who was insured before the ACA -was suddenly, uninsured. Hey, wait a minute- wasn’t Obamacare supposed to get more people insured? The only option left for me, other than wait out the months until I could re-enroll was to get on a medical program designed for Christians who want to opt out of the ACA on moral grounds. It was about $150 per month less than I was paying with my previous coverage. It did not include free preventative care and I was due for my annual check up to renew my prescription meds, so once again I was paying more out of pocket. There is nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act for me. After the findings from my annual exam, my doctor wanted me to see three different specialists. Since my new insurance is really more for catastrophic coverage, that meant more expenses for me. I could imagine the bills piling up. I was afraid if I went back to my old plan I would end up uninsured again because of the exorbitant premiums and my current plan wasn’t cutting it so finally, despite my apprehensions, I had to apply for coverage under the exchange. Because of the deductions in my business, my taxable income put me in a subsidized coverage. Now I am totally at the mercy of the US government thanks to the ACA. I have been put in the position to be a dependent of the State when I was perfectly able to take care of my own insurance before the ACA mucked everything up. It seems that this law is really meant to force Americans into a socialized health care system whether they want to or not because only the wealthy can afford to be out of the system. This makes us under government control in the most vulnerable part of our life-our physical health and wellbeing. If it was a benevolent government concerned with the best for its people, that would be ok, however it is becoming increasingly clear as each of our freedoms gets taken away from this administration (as well as our privacy) that this is not a government that we can entrust our very lives to. Grrrrrr!
I pride myself on not being an ethnocentric American. I have traveled the world and served in third World Countries. I studied Anthropology in college and keep myself abreast of most world events. But as we libertarians spout a return to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and balance of power in the government, we look at the world through our red, white and blue glasses with no view for understanding-myself included.
A case in point is our harsh judgment of UKIP (United Kingdom Independent Party) as libertarians. They are touted as the Libertarian party of the UK, yet most American libertarians when presented with their party platforms and listening to their speeches, give them a “thumbs down” in the Libertarian assessment pool. UKIP is making some huge strides in the political realm of Great Britain. Their membership has reached a whopping 28% in EU elections (where they recently won their first seats) and polling at 15% in the general elections. Its American counterpart polls around 8%. This is especially impressive considering UKIP is about 20 years younger than the US Libertarian Party.
The reality of my skewed interpretation of UKIP hit me between the eyes or, I suppose ears, recently as I listened to Robin Koerner of Blue Republican Radio as he interviewed the Chair of UKIP, Steven Crowther. http://dailypaulradio.com/ukip-libertarian-interview-stephen-crowther/
We, as Americans, measure liberty by our culture and our Americanized view of the world. Two of the measures of liberty we fight for are freedom to bear arms and free market health care. We view both of these as an important measure of limiting government and, therefore, important libertarian issues.
When presented with these issues Mr. Crowther could not comprehend them as an important libertarian issue. In the culture of the UK, a society free of weapons (even in the case of the police) and unlimited free health care, is a benevolent function of government. It was in his view almost revered.
Never mind the fact that more medical breakthroughs have happened thanks to the free market medical system of the US. There is also the American clichéd view of Brits not having straight white teeth like the American obsession due to their social medicine. Had the British soldier who was knifed to death by militant Islamists been armed, he wouldn’t have lost his life. But I digress back to my American paradigm.
In any case listening to Mr. Crowther’s confusion at Mr. Koerner’s insistence on the importance of these issues for liberty caused me to recognize my own bias and lack of understanding of the differences between us.
It also struck me that if we strive for liberty in all areas we may be like the lion in the circus, who when presented with the three legged stool, not knowing which one to focus on, is controlled by the trainer. Maybe, like UKIP, who focus on getting out of the EU and immigration reform, we can take a few key issues, that are most important to Americans-like privacy and decriminalizing drug use. Then we can win them over for Liberty and a better America.
Why do we learn about the state of America from Hollywood not Mainstream News Medias?
The latest example is based on a Comic book no less. Captain America -The Winter Soldier is a perfect depiction of what America has become. It is not, however, the America portrayed in the “News” but the reality of our experience.
A new study by Northwestern and Princeton Universities tells us what most informed citizens are already aware of-namely that America has lost its Republic. We are no longer a Nation “Of the People for the People and By the People”. We are a Nation where the will of the economic elitists rule. We are an oligarchy. To add more fuel to the fire of this kind of corruption, a recent NY Times article reports an event at the White House pandering to 100 young billionaires.
In CATWS there is an oligarchy that makes the decision for SHIELD ( a para government agency) and these decisions effect the world. An interesting mirror of reality.
The director of CATWS has said in interviews that the theme of the movie is a protest to our government’s illegal use of drone strikes throughout the world. Today we find out that as the world celebrated Easter and CATWS enjoyed its third weekend at the top of the box office sales, the U.S. was responsible for the deaths of at least 46 people in Yemen by drones.
CATWS also touched on how data gathering can be used to victimize innocent people by a malevolent government. This is the new reality for Americans with the breach of privacy thanks to the NSA.
Another example of how CATWS reflected today’s America is the war between SHIELD and its nemesis organization Hydra. It reminded me of the dichotomy of the Democrats and Republicans. They are two sides of a coin and it is hard to tell which party has done more damage to the American way.
The fight to return to freedom was the message and I hope that the audiences takes it to heart.
I hope we will say with Captain America,” The price of freedom is high… and it’s a price I’m willing to pay!”
I had the privilege of meeting Former Congressman Ron Paul and hearing him speak at Cal State East Bay in Hayward California today.(http://www.independent.org/multimedia/detail.asp?m=2530) I think I found my soul mate. Too bad that he is happily married and more than a generation older than me, but soul mate nonetheless.
He validated every thought I have had and spoken about in my blogs, and my interviews on Libertarian Counterpoint on the Access Sacramento TV Channel, regarding The U.S. government. Ron Paul is a prophet. If you doubt me google his youtube videos from 2002 (or earlier) and see how many of his predictions have come true.
Truth hurts, therefore prophets are not very popular. That is why the bipartisan Leviathan that is the U.S. government had no place for him. It is well know that the farce that is the Republican Convention was manipulated to eliminate him from the presidential race in 2012. As Dr. Paul is quoted saying “Truth is Treason in the Empire of lies.” The Empire had no room for his brand of truth.
America has had enough of the lies. Today’s speech felt like a revival meeting as thunderous applause followed each truth. I wanted to shout “Hallelujiah!” He spoke about how America has intervened in conflicts around the world that were none of our business. He echoed my thoughts that avoiding the Syrian conflict was due in part to American citizens saying “no”.
He talked about how America has manipulated the conflict in the Ukraine and has put us in a very dangerous position with Russia. He spoke about how other speakers of truth like Edward Snowden are treated like traitors while our own elected officials lie to us.
He spoke about the absurdity of political correctness. See my previous blog. We do not have to agree with everyone and just because you allow people the right to make mistakes doesn’t mean you agree with their behavior. He talked about the danger of the government trying to manage our vices and that prohibition proved that it is a disastrous idea.
He believes the “war on drugs” to be an unmitigated failure. He said that the government propagates the war on drugs by making money on it and then punishes the people it makes money off of.
He said that Obamacare was a big deception and that the government really wanted socialized medicine and should have just presented it as such.
He encouraged us to be like the Amish and Mennonites and “opt out” of the government programs. We have that right.
Our rights are God-given and inalienable and no government has the right to take them away from us according to Dr. Paul.
He believes that the monetary system is a hoax and we are headed to lose our financial power as other countries like China buy up gold and real assets to back up their economies.
The final message he had for those of us who were fortunate enough to meet him in a lovely catered private reception was,” Now that you are enlightened to freedom you need to do something about it. Spread the word. Educate others. Support liberty candidates. Become a liberty candidate.”
And as a final Amen I think of Jesus’ words: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Thank you Ron Paul for having the courage to speak truth in the Empire of lies.
First it was The Hunger Games, and then it was Divergent and soon will be The Maze Runner followed by Jupiter Ascending. Dystopic Futures are taking Hollywood by storm. I am fascinated by this new Sci-Fi phenomenon in Young Adult Fiction. I am so fascinated that I wrote a book analyzing The Hunger Games called Blessed Are They That Hunger-Young Adult Fiction, America and The Bible http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000705175/Blessed-Are-They-That-Hunger.aspx (available Summer 2014 on Amazon, itunes etc). But apparently, The Hunger Games was just the beginning.
I saw the movie Divergent yesterday. Some are saying that it is a rip-off of The Hunger Games. There are similarities between the two films as well as the other movies that will be coming soon to theaters. The similarity that strikes me the most is how dark, violent and hopeless they are. I wonder what it is about these dark tales of oppressive totalitarian regimes that resonates with today’s youth?
In my book, I detail how many of the themes in The Hunger Games are reflected in our current society. As I watched Divergent and the trailers of the other movies that will be out soon, I hear a cry for help from the younger generation.
Like the characters in these stories, this generation was born into a society that they didn’t create. They must live under a repressive government that scrutinizes and controls their lives.
They have many more regulations than I had as a young adult. I was surprised to learn recently that freshman college students are not allowed to have their own vehicle if they live on campus at a California University. This was not the case when I was in school. There were no curfews when I was in high school, no restrictions on how many friends my age I could transport or where. There were not even seat belt laws. I could drive to the mountains with my friends and their skis in the back of my dad’s pick up.
If the cops came to a party where there was underage drinking, they sent us home. No one got arrested. No parents were held liable for the party.
The government is monitoring cell phones and internet use now. These technologies were not available in my youth.
Today’s youth are also being raised differently than my generation. They have more homework and scheduled programs and less time for free play. Parents are accused of being helicopters in how they hover over every action and behavior their children do. Young adults feel powerless.
When I was a child I had very little homework and went “out to play” in the neighborhood until sunset when I knew it was time for dinner. We played hide and seek all over the neighborhood and built forts in the woods and imagined all kinds of worlds. We flew kites in the fields and sometimes just laid on our backs and watched the clouds in the sky for hours, determining what shapes they made, while we made necklaces out of wild flowers.
Today’s young adults will be the first generation less likely to exceed their parents in economic security.
The characters in these movies are tired of being powerless and they take back their power-their inalienable right to be free. Today’s young generation want to be free of a culture that imprisons them.
My hope is that like the characters in the dystopic movies, the young generation will bring back freedom. The wars that have been fought and the lives lost to keep America free were in vain as we allowed our freedoms to be taken away in a quiet encroachment of the government- one law at a time. Those of us that remember that freedom can show them the way and fight to bring it back.
There is a new Civil War in America. It is a war between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. There has always been some animosity between these two parties. The tentacles of power of our bipartisan government now entangle and strangle our country with the mammoth growth they have seen in the last few years.
These are just a few of the statements made by our elected officials:
America will be far safer if we reduce the chances of a terrorist attack in one of our cities than if we diminish the civil liberties of our own people.
House Republicans want to pass a strong border security, illegal immigration bill. We want a bill. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it.
If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction.
The laws they have passed have increased our National Debt, eliminated our privacy, and increased the cost of health care while reducing its quality.
In the midst of this battle of the behemoths there is a growing movement. It is a movement toward a return to the inalienable rights of the people, and a government of the people and for the people-not controlling the people. It is called the Liberty Movement. It consists of the Libertarian Party, Independants and those members of the two larger parties who are pulling away from the established mores of their leaders. They are returning to the Constitution and the laws that protect our freedom as Americans.
If we are in a Civil War, the Liberty Movement is the blockade runner. Like Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, the blockade runners travel freely between the opposing factions keeping the country in motion while the battle attempts to lock it down from progress.
Rhett Butler and his fellow blockade runners insured that goods and services continued to pass between the North and the South to keep the South financially viable. Great Britain had a vital role in the blockade running business in order to protect their investments in America.
The Liberty Movement has its own British representative in the person of Robin Koerner- a British born permanent resident of the US (and soon to be US citizen), who founded the Blue Republican Organization. As the name implies, the Blue Republicans seek to break the Blue-Red paradigm to promote liberty. www.facebook.com/BlueRepublican
As the blockade runners did during the Civil War, the Liberty Movement is able to communicate to both of the parties. They find allies of liberty and form coalitions with them for policy changes. They promote candidates that will be a pillar for the will of the people, not the agendas of the Red-Blue Leviathan.
And like them, they are able to keep the US government moving forward (or a return back) to freedom from the oppression that has overtaken America.
Rhett Butler had something else in common with the Liberty Movement-no reputation, as he describes:
“Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.”
Which reminds me of someone else:
but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
May the Liberty Movement continue to grow to break the chains of Party Politics to build a stronger, freer America. May we never face the consequences of the battle.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
……in order to form a more perfect union. A more perfect union-that is what the writers of the Constitution were creating. A more perfect union of imperfect people, where there would be Justice, peace, protection, provision and freedom for now and generations to come. It is a beautiful assurance of a new way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It was based on inalienable rights. Rights that were given to mankind by a higher power. We who are made in the image of that higher power are born to this earth with His power within us. We are also born with the fallen nature that was rooted in the first act of evil. This Constitution was created to assure our birth rite, while impeding our evil nature. It is a nature that is self-serving, proud, greedy, and hungry for power.
According to Oliver de Mille in We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident, there are 12 checks in our system of government in the United Sates of America. These checks are meant to balance the power that would corrupt the government and destroy our inalienable rights.
There have been 11 presidents in my lifetime-11 regimes attempting to promote their interpretation of the Constitution on the unwitting masses. Each one, because of the Constitution, were unsuccessful in their attempt. The Constitution lays in the hands of those unwitting masses the power to control the destiny of the United States of America and control it they have.
My first understanding of this power was during the protests of the Vietnam War. We the people stood up against the loss of life in what some perceived to be a senseless war. As the protests got louder the votes of the people led to change in leadership that ultimately ended the war.
As an adult, when Clinton came to office, I feared for what his policies might do to our country. Once again, the checks in our government prevailed. As the people experienced policies that were detrimental to our way of life, the voice of the people was heard and there was a shift in leadership in the Congress and Senate. This shift kept the harm at bay.
We are currently under the greatest violations of those inalienable rights that I have ever experienced in my lifetime. There are more laws inhibiting our freedom, less protection of our privacy, and more imposition of our government. I had nearly lost all hope for America.
Once again, however, the people are rising. The true power of this country has kept us out of war in Syria, demanded our privacy be returned and soon, I anticipate the imposition of the government on our healthcare will be abated.
I am reminded about when Jesus spoke of freedom to the Hebrew people.
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?
Those in authority have tried time and time again to enslave us, but we as Americans stand up and say “We have always been free men and women in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we had the power all along in our ruby slippers- better known as The Constitution of the United States of America.
I love America. As the grandchild of immigrants, I know what a great country this is and the opportunities that are here. My grandfathers came to America from Europe with a few dollars in their pockets and one nice suit. They were able to build a comfortable life for their families, although neither of them had more than an 8th grade education. They embraced this country and never looked back with any kind of loyalty or love for the countries they came from. They became Americans and they raised American children who raised American grandchildren.
Although English was a second language for my grandfathers, it was the only language their children knew. They would say, ” You are an American you need to speak English”. My grandfathers spoke in their native language to their wives and their friends who were also immigrants but never to their children.
As their granddaughter, I understood the sacrifice that was made and the hardship endured by my grandfathers to become American citizens. They were proud to be Americans and we became proud Americans because of them. The only time I remember seeing my grandfather Sus cry, was as I sat on the floor in front of the black and white TV and played with my dolls, while watching John F. Kennedy’s funeral. Grandpa loved America and he loved his president.
Grandpa Amadeo, on the other hand loved Nixon and Reagan but all of America cried for John F. Kennedy. The political climate of yesterday was an arm wrestling competition compared to the embittered nuclear-sized wars that are today’s party conflicts.
We were a nation of differences united for one good, the good of America. The land of the free and the home of the brave.
The land that their sons were willing to go to war for during the Korean War and now their great granddaughter (my daughter) is willing to serve as a U.S. Marine.
It wasn’t a perfect world and it wasn’t a government free of corruption, but it was a government that allowed personal choice and freedom for Americans. There were less laws to interfere with personal choice and freedom. There was opportunity for free enterprise and free enterprise meant jobs for Americans. My grandpa Sus (who barely wrote English) was able to work in an unionized bakery where with my grandma’s job in an unionized cannery, they could earn enough to own their home and raise their four children.
Free enterprise meant the opportunity for my grandpa Amadeo to start his own business that has continued for two more generations and gave a good livelihood for his family and their families. That business provided the means for me to be the first person to graduate from college in both my mother’s and father’s family.
Free enterprise allowed me and my siblings to each own our own business and provide a good life for our children.
It was one nation under God. Prayer was allowed in school and creationism was taught and most businesses were closed on Sunday because most Americans were in church.
Since then government involvement with personal choice and personal liberty has decreased our quality of life as Americans. Laws and taxes inhibit free enterprise and cost America businesses and jobs. The government has taken God out of schools and replaced it with fear and violence. Government control has reduced the quality of education that our children receive. Taxes reduce our disposable income and now our freedom to choose our healthcare is being controlled by the government.
Can we return to the America we once were?
I remember my dad saying in the 70’s “We are becoming a communist country one law at a time.” As I look at the constraints that we face today because of laws and compare it to the life that I have lived in a freer America, I know this is true.
I love America and I hope and pray that we can turn the tide and return to a freer braver country for future generations.