Category Archives: Liberty Movement

tom landry

One Irrefutable Definition of Leadership from Tom Landry

It’s funny, really, that America celebrates the day we signed up to fight a brutal war for independence, not the day that war was won.

But I want to write about football.

I’ve always hated the Dallas Cowboys.

Cut me a little slack, though. I was a Big Red fan from childhood, and a season ticket holder from 1978 to 1983. (“Big Red” refers to the St. Louis Football Cardinals for those of you under 40.) My heroes were Conrad Dobler, Dan Dierdorf, Jim Hart, Tim Van Gelder, Terry Metcalf, Jim Otis, Council Roudolf, Roger Wherle, Larry Stallings, Larry Wilson, J.V. Cain, Roger Finney, Tom Banks, Bob Young, Mel Grey, Roy Green, Pat Tilley, Ottis Anderson, Theotis Brown, Jim Bakken, Johnny “Dr. Doom” Barefield . . . shall I go on?

The St. Louis Cardinals played in the NFC East in the 1970s and 1980s, along with the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Giants. That was a killer division back then, and the Cowboys were killerest of all.

My anti-Cowboy aquifer runs so deep and cold that I once said, “If the Cowboys were playing al Qaeda I don’t know who I’d root for.”

As I matured . . . Strike that. I haven’t matured.

After the Cardinals moved onto Phoenix, my passions against the Cowboys subsided a bit. When Jerry Jones crassly fired the legendary coach Tom Landry, I immediately became a Tom Landry fan. Landry might have been the wisest and most gentlemanly NFL head coach of all time.

Tom Landry took winning as seriously as the next guy, but football and winning were not the most important things to Landry. In 1979, he berated and fired linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson because Henderson was goofing with a camera while his team was getting massacred on the football field.

Landry did more than humiliate Henderson, though. He might have saved Henderson’s life:

Just this morning, 9/11/94, I heard Hollywood Henderson — X-Cowboy of considerable fame — from Austin on the Fox Network. He said that in the days when he was playing for the Cowboys and “at the same time doing drugs,” and “ruining his life,” he “resented Tom Landry.” He resented Tom Landry’s Christianity, and the fact that he had a happy family life.

Now, in 1994, after spending some time in prison, and after 11 years of being free of his drug addiction, Hollywood Henderson says that he has a little different slant on life. He said that he once was hopeless, but is now hopeful. He says that today, Tom Landry is his “role model”!

The Hollywood Henderson story typifies Tom Landry’s simple definition of leadership:

Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.

—Tom Landry, Hall of Fame Coach of the Dallas Cowboys

Few people actually want to lift weights, eat healthy diets, and build stamina. But we all want to avoid disease, live long lives, and look good in a swimming suit. We need someone to help us do what we don’t want to do so we can achieve what we want to achieve. That someone is a leader.

America didn’t want to go through another deep recession in the early 1980s, but Ronald Reagan and Paul Volcker knew we wanted America to flourish again, so they orchestrated an interest rate driven recession that finally choked out inflation—from 13.5% in 1981 to 3.2% in 1983.

And the Revolutionary Army didn’t want to winter in Valley Forge, but Washington helped them fight through to ultimate victory and independence.

I know some people don’t like my criticizing Republicans who put their own personal agenda or the party’s power before American greatness and freedom. I sure don’t like it. Many are even more reluctant to get leverage on the GOP with bold actions. People worry that getting political leverage on Republicans could help Democrats and their anti-freedom agenda.

But we need more than a victorious Republican Party. We really don’t care about the name of the party that delivers us from tyranny, crony capitalism, and fascism. We want a strong, prosperous, and free America. In the words of the preamble to the Constitution, we want to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and posterity.

When I encourage liberty lovers to get some leverage against miscreant Republicans, I do it only because I want us to achieve what we all want to achieve. And I recognize that achieving our big goals often requires doing things we don’t want to do.

Here’s what Hollywood Henderson said about Tom Landry:

I have a vision of him standing on that tower. He was maybe three stories above the team in training camp. That’s sort of where I remember him the five years I was in the Cowboys’ training camp–30 feet in the air overseeing us. Untouchable. We couldn’t throw a rock and hit him. I tell you, you sort of didn’t like him. You were afraid of him. You resented him. But when the dust settled, you wanted to be like him. When you had a family, took care of a company, managed people, you idolized him.

 

I think it’s a uniquely American quality that we commemorate the dates we signed up to do the hard work, not the dates we accomplished the mission. July 4th, 1776. December 7, 1941. September 11, 2001. We are a people of rash vows. Or, at least, we wish we were.

G. K. Chesterton wrote an essay “In Defence of Rash Vows.” In it, he summarized the importance of this American tendency to celebrate the making of the vow:

The man who makes a vow makes an appointment with himself at some distant time or place. The danger of it is that himself should not keep the appointment. And in modern times this terror of one’s self, of the weakness and mutability of one’s self, has perilously increased, and is the real basis of the objection to vows of any kind. 

Tom Landry’s leadership gives us the confidence to make appointments with ourselves in the future so long as we have leaders who will drive us to do what we don’t want to do in order that might keep our appointment.

I never wanted to like Tom Landry. But I want to achieve the kind of things he achieved–helping people reach their goals even those goals required them doing things they don’t want to do.

Now, I’m going to work out.

America

I Saw Dinesh D’Souza’s America So Now You Have To

What if America didn’t exist?

america_the_movie

That’s the premise of Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie America: Imagine the world without her. (Find a theatre near you.)

Last Wednesday, my wife took Samantha, Jordan, and me to see the movie to kick off Independence Day weekend. Even without the movie, this July 4th was special for me. My son, Jack, re-enlisted in the US Navy on board the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor.

Plus, the holiday gives me a welcomed break from a hectic month at work. And there’s parties to go to and the finest 4th of July weather St. Louis has had in a long time–since 1997, if memory serves.

But I’m going to ask you to take someone to see America: Imagine the world without her. You’ll probably learn something new and important no matter how much you read.

For example, does the name Madame C. J. Walker mean anything to you? It should. If not, D’Souza will fill you in by answering the question, “Why don’t we ever hear about America’s first self-made millionairess?” The answer will surprise you.

Something else I learned—well, confirmed: Hillary Clinton is ideologically closer to Barack Obama than she is to her husband Bill.

I know Dinesh D’Souza’s had some issues with hubris of late, but that’s all the more reason to see America. He confronts his problems and points out how the Obama administration uses its power to reward friends and crush enemies.

In the end, America is about the real battle for liberty. America is liberty’s last and greatest hope. If liberty dies here, there’s no place else to run to.

The more people see America by D’Souza, the better the odds that liberty will prevail.

Lets Get Together

Why Don’t We Have an Anti-establishment Party?

I’m totally envious of Europe, and I think two American generations can fix it for me.

Gen X (born ~1961 to ~1981) is a thoroughly anti-authority generation. Millennial (born ~1982 to ~2002) is a completely anti-institutional generation.

It’s time for these great generations to get together and form an anti-establishment movement. Maybe even a party.

Check this out:

A new poll surveying young Americans’ political attitudes released by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics Tuesday found millennials have less trust in government than ever before.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-millenials-have-historically-low-levels-of-trust-in-government-2014-4#ixzz32lyajNI8

To an anti-authority, liberty-loving Gen Xer, that’s the most beautiful paragraph in the history of polling literature. As Pete Townsend said, “the kids are alright!”

Not that the Millennial folk will listen to me, but I gotta say they’re 100% right in distrusting government. The US government, their state government, their school board. Every level of government is a trough that big corporations fill for the satisfaction of the elected swine. Government’s like a big pig farm.

Last night, I took my son Patrick to Ballpark Village on our way home from Fast Eddie’s Bon Air.  It was his 21st birthday. BPV is an awesome place, but it was bought with taxpayer dollars–and without taxpayer input. In other words, Fox Sports Midwest and the DeWitt family stole Missouri’s ATM card and PIN and withdrew 19 million of your tax dollars to build an amazing sports and drink palace.

The DeWitts (and others) get the profits; you get the costs. Wonderful.

That’s an example of why Millennials think government is the cousin of lies. And that’s why America needs an anti-establishment movement, if not an anti-establishment party.

This movement or party, or both, will have a very narrow focus: reducing government activity to a few, necessary tasks. Kinda like Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution.

The party will ignore the “issues” establishment uses to keep us divided. Stuff like gay rights and public prayer. Those are important issues, but the establishment uses them to keep us fighting about minutiae while it steals our power and freedom. So we won’t play their game.

We won’t field our own candidates. Instead, we’ll cast negative votes in both establishment parties to deny them their traditional constituencies. Negative votes might include voting for third party candidates or skipping offices where the choice is more of an echo.

Most importantly, we’ll use our personal power to influence public officials. We won’t harass and protest; we’ll smile and converse. We’ll lobby like paid lobbyists, even though we’re just people.

We’ve learned our lesson. Yelling at politicians only makes them stronger. We’re not doing that anymore. Now, we’re talking. And smiling. And connecting.

Look, Gen X and Millennials together are an overwhelming force. We both hate the establishment. Let’s get together and destroy it, shall we?

Lets Get Together
Bob Marley
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What the ACLU Teaches Us About Cliven Bundy

In 1977, the National Socialist Party (Nazi) applied to march and rally in Skokie, Illinois. Few communities want Nazis marching down their streets, but Skokie held a stronger case against the Nazis than most towns in America. About one person in every six of Skokie’s large Jewish population was a Nazi prison camp survivor.

The debate was clear-cut: American Nazis claimed the right of free speech while their Jewish “targets” claimed the right to live without intimidation. The town, arguing that the march would assault the sensibilities of its citizens and spark violence, managed to win a court injunction against the marchers. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union took the case and successfully defended the Nazis’ right to free speech [source].

The Nazis won their case in the US Supreme Court, but the ACLU lost 30,000 members because of its support of the Nazis.

I was in seventh grade at the time. My adolescent, knee-jerk reaction was predictably simplistic. I hated Nazis. I hated the ACLU. Therefore, I supported the people of Skokie and hoped the Supreme Court would rule for the town.

The Bundy Ranch Parallels

The Cliven Bundy story reminded me of the Skokie case. And it offers a cautionary tale for liberty lovers. Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher in Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Bundy grazes his cattle on state-owned public land. The US Bureau of Land Management claims to manage the land and demands a tribute for the “right” of grazing. Some years ago, Bundy stopped paying this tribute. He justified his action on two grounds. First, the Bureau of Land Management didn’t actually do anything useful. Second, the Bureau of Land Management was using grazing fees to systematically seize land from the state of Nevada.

Bundy’s fight came to a head recently when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s son struck a deal with a Chinese firm to build a solar energy plant on the land Bundy grazed. The deal offered millions in income to the Reid family. To smooth the transfer to China, Reid helped his former chief of staff into a senior position within the Bureau of Land Management (BML). The BML began a roundup of Bundy’s cattle. Bundy refused to back down. Soon, liberty lovers flooded the area to confront the BML and rescue Bundy’s seized cattle.

After a tense standoff, the BML backed down and returned the herd to Bundy. Then Harry Reid started calling names.He described Bundy’s supporters as “domestic terrorists.”

The Problem of Personality

Now we learn that Bundy’s views on race are approximately those of Archie Bunker.

Here’s the problem for us liberty lovers. The people who rallied against the BML were not necessary Bundy supporters. They were opponents of unrestricted government activity. The liberty lovers had no particular affinity for Bundy, but they believed Bundy a victim of an abusive, tyrannical, and corrupt federal government.

But many of us who defend liberty often make linguistic mistakes that damage our position in the public eye. Many of us described ourselves as “pro-Bundy” when, in fact, we were merely pro-liberty. By attaching our beliefs to a highly fallible person rather than to an infallible principle, we assumed the character and qualities of the person. So a flaw in Bundy becomes a flaw in the cause, at least to the casual observer.

Most Americans are casual observers, even of their own lives. Cat video on Facebook seem more interesting now than our child’s first steps. When people hear that Cliven Bundy wonders whether “Negroes” were better off slaves, Bundy’s idiocy infects the whole liberty movement like MERS virus in a Riyadh whorehouse (assuming there are such).

Promote the Principle, Not the Person

A few of us in the liberty movement need to learn a lesson from the ACLU. Though the ACLU lost 30,000 members in the Skokie fight, it survived. The ACLU managed to attach itself to the principle of the First Amendment’s rights yet distance itself from the message its client hoped to spread with First Amendment protections. The ACLU lawyers in the Skokie case represented everyone protected by the First Amendment. The Nazis were just a tool.

In the Bundy Ranch case, the Bureau of Land Management threatens to spread corruption and to seize state property. It operates in abject violation of the law. It does so for the financial benefit of a powerful and wealthy member of Congress.

The fight in Nevada is between liberty and tyranny, not Bundy and blacks.

Thirty-seven years after Skokie, I admit that my knee-jerk position was less than perfect. I can say “let the Nazis march if anyone may march.” I won’t say “let them wear their swastikas.” The death camp survivors on one side. The evil on the other. I still can’t go all the way.

The ACLU was right, though, to defend the First Amendment, even if its client was evil incarnate. Right principles like freedom of speech, press, religion, and association apply to angels and demons alike. As Thomas More explains to young Will Roper in my favorite dialogue from Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons:

I hope those who rallied against tyranny in Nevada two weeks ago will continue to stand for their principles even though the person at the center of that fight is a seriously flawed old man. And I hope the liberty movement, myself included, remembers the lesson of Skokie by attaching itself to principles instead of people, giving even the devil the benefit of the law.

P.S. Though the Nazis won their case in the Supreme Court, they never held the Skokie march.

free-speech-zone-reaction

Yes, the Government Should Fear the People

Every inch of US territory is a Constitutionally guaranteed free-speech zone. I am all for arresting and prosecuting without mercy any government employee–including military–who attempt to limit the size or scope of this zone.

us-free-speech-zone

During the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management set up “free-speech zones.” I prefer to call them “First Amendment pens.”

The government uses these pens to segregate people. The US government says, “If you want to speak your mind, you may do so only within the pen. If you want out of the pen, keep your damn mouth shut.”

free-speech-pen

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Free-Speech Zones are Unconstitutional

Luckily, government courts agree with the Constitution on this matter. College administrators seem eager to abandon the First Amendment. (Remember that US university professors and administrators were the intellectual source of Hitler’s persecution of Jews, too.) Numerous colleges try to limit free speech to tiny areas on the fringe of campuses, but judges quickly bar the abridgments to free speech:

In 2002, West Virginia University dropped its free-speech zone policy after being sued by a civil liberties organization. Two years later, a federal judge struck down Texas Tech’s policy establishing a 20-foot-wide gazebo as a free-speech zone. Last year, Des Moines Area Community College abandoned a policy restricting student leaflet-distribution activities to a table in the student center. And earlier this year, Modesto Junior College in California agreed to drop its free-speech zone and pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a student who was barred from distributing copies of the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day. [source] 

Look again at what’s going on here. The US government limits free speech, giving special privileges to those who surrender their power to speak. That’s one of the highest crimes against the United States a person can commit, and those guilty–including those who simply follow orders–should be prosecuted without mercy.

People Have The Power

The Declaration of Independence provides our moral and philosophical justification for defending our rights and preserving power to the people:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Over 1,000 freedom lovers descended on the Bundy Ranch prepared to fight and die for the First Amendment. They were prepared to defend the Constitution against its greatest enemy: the US government.

On Thomas Jefferson’s birthday (April 13), remember what the Declaration’s author said about little rebellions as we saw in Nevada:

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

and

When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.

So let the government fear the people. It should. We built it up, and we can take it down.

bundy-standoff

The Government’s Surrender to Cliven Bundy Destroys Taleb’s Weak Argument for Gun Control

Events of the past week show the power of the Second Amendment to challenge government tyranny, regardless of the government’s firepower advantage. Let me back up, though.

A Smart Man’s Stupid Argument for Gun Control

A year ago, the gun control lobby pumped a Facebook post by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one of my favorite thinkers.

In his post, Taleb argued that the Second Amendment means nothing because the federal government has massively superior firepower:

So to continue, let us examine the arguments against gun control, one by one. 1) Argument of self defense: mass murder weapons like automatic rifles is not compatible with “self defense” (“mass” in that context =weapons that can kill >4 persons). 2) Argument of government tyranny: Why don’t gun advocates fight for the right of private citizens to own large tanks and atomic weapons? A semi/automatic rifle is too potent for self defense, and too weak against government tyranny.

That was Nassim Taleb last year—a weak, thoughtless argument on both points, but particularly the latter.

Armed Militia Groups Rush to Nevada

Jump ahead to today. Hours ago, the US government’s Bureau of Land Management cried “uncle” in its attempt to intimidate Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public. [source]

[For background on the standoff, see the Bundy Ranch blog.]

The standoff is about a week old. It began when government agents began rounding up Bundy’s cattle. It was complicated by a deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and China to seize the cattle grazing land for a solar energy farm. And the standoff peaked when militia and liberty groups rushed to Nevada last week to stand with the Bundys.

The Bundys have raised cattle on the land for more than 100 years—long before the Bureau of Land Management was born. During the standoff the US government erected First Amendment pens to confine free speech to a small area around the ranch.

That’s right. If you wanted to exercise your First Amendment rights in Nevada, you had to do so in a government pen surrounded by heavily armed government agents and in the crosshairs of a government assassin sniper.

Government Backs Down

Today, the government backed down, returning to Bundy the cattle it had seized and withdrawing troops from the area.

ABC US News | ABC Business News

The reason given was concern for public safety.

The real reason is the liberty movement’s refusal to stand by while the US government illegally seizes private property.

On Wednesday, federal troops began tazing and beating protestors. Then, more freedom groups arrived, swelling the citizen protestors from hundreds to thousands. Protests spread into Las Vegas. Protestors exercised their Second Amendment right to defend their First Amendment right.

The government faced a decision: do we open fire on Americans? or do we stand down?

Taleb’s Argument in Tatters

According to Nassim Taleb, the Bundy’s resistance was futile. The government would its superior killing power to mow down a few thousand Americans and teach the rest of us a lesson. And many freedom lovers, I’m sure, believed that’s just what the government would do.

But the government blinked. Hell, the government squeezed its eyes shut and pulled the blanket over its head. The Bureau of Land Management crawls on its belly back to the rock from which it slithered.

And all because Nassim Taleb over estimated the government’s willingness to murder Americans en masse.

Taleb argued that semi-automatic weapons do citizens no good because the government would use fully automatic weapons, grenades, cluster bombs, tanks, drones, and, if necessary, nukes to murder thousands or millions Americans and teach us all a lesson. The Bundy Ranch provided the perfect test for Taleb’s hypothesis.

But Taleb’s hypothesis was rejected. The US government, at this point, lacks the bloodlust to slaughter taxpayers in broad daylight.

Further, the government backed down, not because of free speech, but because thousands of armed Americans showed up to their land grab willing to fight and bleed and die for freedom.

The government wasn’t mad enough open fire.

But Let’s Not Get Carried Away

This victory for liberty over US government tyranny could be pyrrhic. I hope the militias and liberty lovers don’t take this victory too far by spoiling for another fight soon. While I’m a big fan of staying on offense as the best defense for freedom, I promise you that, on a golf course somewhere, Barack Obama is spitting nails over the Bundy standoff.

The best course for the liberty brigades is to continue advancing our vision for a free America with friends, neighbors, and politicians. Do it with a smile. Don’t gloat. Don’t threaten. Don’t try to intimidate.

Freedom is fun, and smiles are free. Let the world see that God favors those who take their victories, like their setbacks, in stride, always optimistic, always open to enjoying the fruits of liberty.

Smile, and they will come.

UPDATE

Why the Standoff at the Bundy Ranch is a Very Big Deal from Liberty Blitzkrieg Blog:

I have noted time and time again that the feds are becoming increasingly out of control and belligerent to American citizens. We know the stories (think Aaron Swartz) and we know the overall trend. However, the reason the Bundy Ranch confrontation is so interesting, is that for whatever reason this particular incident seems to be striking a chord of dissent. It is often times the most random, unforeseen and innocuous things that spark social/political movements. This standoff has it all.

However, my long-term fear is that unless the government and its puppet masters on Wall Street and elsewhere in big business change course, social upheaval will prove inevitable, whether the Bundy Ranch sparks it, or some other incident down the road. These are troubled times and they are likely going to get worse before they get better.

1980s-clothing

Who Will Be America’s Clothing Czar

Are you ready for America’s first Clothing Czar?

According to RightQuestion.org, this person, “will decide what you will wear every day for the
next four years.

If you’re a Goth, what if the Czar disallows Goth? What if he’s an 80s fan and orders collars up?

What other questions do you have for the new Clothing Czar?

The good news: you can vote for the Clothing Czar of your choice.

What questions would you ask?


In the Right Question Institute’s exercise to get young people to vote, the facilitator lets them know there is no Clothing Czar.

But there is a President. And Congress. And, together, they appoint judges.

And in Missouri, there’s a governor and legislature and judges on the ballot.

And these real offices make decisions about your life every day. Maybe they’re not as personal and immediate as What Not To Wear. But the decisions government makes for you are far more important.

The government is about to decide very personal things:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Taxes
  • Security
  • Schools
  • Jobs

And the NSA listens to your phone calls, reads your emails, and, potentially, spies into your bathroom window with a drone.

So, while the Right Question Institutes wants to you write down as many questions as you can about the fictitious Clothing Czar, I want you to consider just one question:

Why would you let anyone make those decisions for you?

I understand that in our representative system, we elect people to handle some details we don’t want to bother with. But the list above includes personal life decisions, not general, boring government activity.

Why wouldn’t you want to own your own life instead of renting the one some bureaucrat chooses for you?

In the end, that’s the only reason I dabble in politics and self-governance. I want to own my own life, and I want everyone else to be free to own theirs, too.

If you want to own your own life, say so in the comments. It’s an important question. Your life, literally, depends on your answer.

50 Years Later Dr. King’s Dream Becomes a Night Terror

It was one of the greatest speeches in the history of speaking. It promoted two self-evident goods: freedom and equality.

He spoke first of equality.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

The equality Dr. King dreamt of was equality of opportunity for blacks.

We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

He dreamt of equal protection under the law. He dreamt of a nation with the courage to “live out the true meaning of its creed.”

Since 1963, America has largely erased the evils of racial segregation. We’ve come a long way since the days of Black Only drinking fountains.

But we’ve replaced racial segregation with new, subtler segregation. We’ve allowed an insidious evil to enslave us equally and divide us from the opportunity we were promised. We’ve divided the nation into the elites and the plebes. And we’ve built a pervasive police state to keep the plebes in check.

Between freedom and equality, Dr. King gave freedom the highest honor. He closed with a cry for freedom:

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                 Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

White and black are now equally slaves to the elites’ spy network. The NSA watches your every move, reports you to the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The elites train their spies to cover their tracks, to fabricate evidence trails, to lie to Congress and judges about the way evidence was obtained.

The NSA shares your life’s most private moments with an increasingly militarized police force that kicks down your doors and invades your home. This police force choreographs these illegal raids intentionally to terrorize its victims.

The spying, the SWAT raids, the dog shootings, and the terrorizing tactics are not to protect you; they’re to protect the Elites from you.

Dr. King’s dream—our dream—has become night terrors.

But we will wake up.

Today, I have a dream. I dream of a day when governments, created by our will and animated with our power, heel to commands of their creators’ voices.

I dream of a day when we throw open the curtains that hide the government.

I dream of the day when every human—white and black—strives for the respect of his fellow plebes and no longer grovels for the favor of the elites.

I dream of the day our America dream walks.

I dream of the day we own our own lives.

God bless you, Dr. King. Please intercede with Jesus on our behalf that your dream comes true for those you’ve left behind.

Pray for us, Dr. King, that every person finds the character and courage to wake from this terror and reassert his power over government.

Rejoice with us, Dr. King, on that day when every American of every race, creed, and color can stand hand-in-hand and sing:

Free at last!

Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

 

The audio of Martin Luther King’s Dream speech is here. Please listen to it and share it with someone in the throes of a nightmare.

empty stage

We Need a Stronger Third Eye

What do we look like to people who aren’t politics wonks?  And why does it matter?

This question is for my friends on the right. By “on the right,” I’m talking about conservatives and right-leaning libertarians. (I’m not going to debate definitions, so accept mine or stop reading.)

Developing a Third Eye

When I was an acting student many long years ago, I had a director, Don Garner, who stressed the importance of the actor’s third eye.

He wasn’t talking about make-up and special effects. He was talking about developing an ability to see yourself on stage as if you were watching yourself through a camera in the house. Great actors, he claimed, had this third eye. They could see what they looked like from the audience’s point of view. Until you developed that sense, your physical presence was at the mercy of your fickle mind.

In other words, you might look like dolt.

I think we on the right could use that third eye skill. And a third ear.

Most People Want To Get Through Life as Best They Can

When I was going through a divorce that was none too pleasant, at some point I had to stop fighting my ex-wife. I kept waiting for her to stop fighting, to be reasonable. Then someone (I don’t remember who) made a point.  He said, “it’s like goin’ through a crappy little town on your way to vacation, Bill. She’s just trying to get through life the best she can.”

He was right. That’s what we all do. We’re all trying to get through life the best we can, and it pisses us off when someone interrupts the comfortable route we’ve been driving.

Sure, some people take a stupid route to get from A to B. Some people choose destinations that are the places people like us are trying to get the hell out of. And some people drive drunk. But they’re all just trying get through life and they’re driving the best vehicle they can afford.

When we tell them their car’s ugly or their destination’s a toilet or their map’s out of date or their left blinker’s been on for the last 20 miles, they don’t say, “thank you.” They say, “mind your own damn business, ass hat.”

Why are we surprised?

The Challenger Launched

Roger Boisjoly was right. The O-rings on the Space Shuttle tended to fail during cold-weather launches. He tried to stop the launch, risking his career, on the eve of the January 28, 1986 launch of the Challenger.

He failed. The Challenger launched as scheduled. And exploded in mid-air to a nation’s horror.

We are right about much. We on the right. But being right doesn’t necessarily translate into winning. Sometimes, they just don’t listen.

Why?

Third Eye Blind

If Roger Boisjoly had developed a strong third eye, the Challenger launch might have been delayed. But he didn’t. The brave engineer expected others to see his charts and tables through his two eyes. And they couldn’t.  So the Challenger launched and people died.

The people at NASA, the families of the astronauts, the students of teacher Christa McAuliffe, were on a path through life that included a Space Shuttle launch. They didn’t want to hear Roger Boisjoly’s arcane warnings about O-rings. They didn’t want their trip interrupted.

Why Should They Listen to Us?

Government debt is is a problem, but it’s not the real problem. The real problem is freedom. Government spending is a better proxy than debt for the loss of freedom.

Government spending represents decisions that someone else makes. Decisions that obligate you and me and our kids. Decisions that limit our futures.

Every penny spent by a bureaucrat is a choice denied to you and me.

You and I can’t understand why others aren’t as freaked out about this as we are. So we blame them.

We call them ignorant, selfish, mis-educated, drunk, stoned, communist, brain-dead.  And we might be right.

Why are we surprised when they tune us out?

The NASA bosses should have figured out a way to see things through Roger Boisjoly’s eyes. They didn’t. They will go to their graves wishing they had, but that doesn’t bring Christa McAuliffe and her crewmates back.

In the end, it’s up to the person, to the people, with further vision to explain the situation in words that others understand. It’s up to us to turn on our third eye and see what about us blinds them to our vision.

It’s not their fault; it’s ours. They’re trying to get through life as best they can with what they’ve been given. If we look dangerous or crazy or mean, they won’t stop and ask for directions. Until they do, we can’t give them a better map.

That sucks, I know, because it’s hard work, and we’ve already done so much. But it’s way more productive than standing around bitching that no one sees the horrors that we see until it’s too late.

That third eye and third ear will tell us what we look like and what we sound like to people who have no idea what our little play is about. Until we turn on those senses, we’ll keep playing to an empty house.

Let’s turn them on before it’s too late.

 

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Why the Missouri DOR’s Enhanced Interrogation Methods Should Make You Mad

Pulled from comments, in response to TJ, you asked: “I am somewhat confused about the current outrage. Shouldn’t the DOR verify, to the greatest extent possible, that an applicant for renewal of any state issued ID be who they maintain to be, live where they claim to live and so on.”

If you’re buying beer at Schnuck’s, you expect the cashier to card you, right? That’s because the cashier is required to verify your are 21 or older.

Wouldn’t you think it creepy if the cashier took your picture and photocopied your driver’s license?

Missouri Department of Revenue - Prying Eyes
Missouri DOR (Department of Revenue) records your personal identifiable information in violation of Missouri law. Lawmakers in Jefferson City are working on legislation to force DOR to comply with existing laws.

When you ask him why he took your picture and copied your DL, what if he told you, “I’m going to forward this information to the federal government. I don’t know why they want to know that you bought beer today, but they do.”

There’s no difference here. A fee collection office is just a supermarket for licenses and permits. The DOR’s verification duties are set by Missouri law. So are its limits.

Missouri law prohibits DOR from recording, by any means, personal identifying information. Missouri law also prohibits Missouri DOR from sharing that information.

The DOR fee office employees are under orders from the state to violate the law.Fee office workers were the first contact Missouri Family Network because they knew that they were breaking the law by using the new equipment and process.

*****

I’m posting my reply to a comment on my first story about the Missouri DOR’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on people trying to renew driver’s licenses and concealed carry permits. Thanks to commenter, TJ, for challenging me.

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Breaking: Dem Appointed Director of Missouri Revenue Caught Lying to Senate

“That is the third time you’ve lied to me!”

Those were the words of Missouri State Senator Kurt Schaefer to Director of Revenue Brian K. Long in a heated hearing at the Missouri State Capitol this morning.

Missouri Department of Revenue - Prying Eyes

Senator Schaefer and researchers at the Missouri Family Network, who broke this story, learned prior to the hearing that Long’s department has ordered Missouri fee office workers to violate state law by collecting and storing personal identifying information (PII) on everyone who renews a driver’s license, non-driver ID, or concealed carry permit in Missouri.

From Missouri Family Network:

DOR is in fact (confirmed beyond question) retooling fee offices and requiring scanning of citizens’ source documents in violation of32.091.7 RSMo and 302.183 RSMo, which according to 302.340 RSMo constitutes a class A misdemeanor for each day’s offense.  (see these laws reprinted below)

Source documents are being required and scanned for CCW endorsements or endorsement renewals beyond the background checks, certifications, investigations and other guidelines required under Missouri’s Concealed Carry laws, and appear to be in violation of 571.101 RSMo and related Statutes (due to volume constraints, not reprinted here).

A variety of Missouri laws prohibit DOR from collecting PII. Missouri law also prohibits any state employee, including Brian Long, from complying with the federal Real ID act. 

Long’s office, however, used three Department of Homeland Security grants to circumvent the law, by installing biometric cameras in Missouri fee office and ordering fee office to record birth certificate and family residence data on everyone applying for a driver’s license or concealed carry permit.

Later, Senators Schaefer and Brian Nieves took to the Senate floor to expose Long’s lies and illegal activity. Senate President Pro Tem Dempsey called on Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate DOR.  (Wish we had a real AG now.)

Fee Office Workers Admit They’re Feeding Your Data to Homeland Security

We called the fee office in Union, Missouri, today. They confirmed that renewal of either DL or CCW permits required that they copy your birth certificate, driver’s license, and proof of residency for use by Homeland Security. 

For months, Long and others at the Department of Revenue have maintained that the DOR was not collecting personal information and was not attempting to comply with Real ID. 

In meetings prior to today, Long had told Schaefer that the DOR was not using Homeland Security money to fund the purchase of biometric recording devices.

Missouri Family Network, however, uncovered clear evidence that Long’s statements were false.

What This Means To You

This means that Missouri is collecting enough information on you to identify you with facial recognition technology, like the technology used to kill terrorists with drones and satellite guided missiles.

It means that if you work at a Missouri license fee office, you could be subject to a civil suit by anyone whose personal information you collected and turned over the Homeland Security.

It also means that Jay Nixon and Brian K. Long are circumventing Missouri law to feed your information into a master federal database of gun owners, identifiable by facial recognition software.

What You Need To Do Right Now

1.  If you suspect that a fee office has photo copied any of your documents or used biometric photography, you could be the victim of a crime.  You can report it to the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation office [email protected].

2.  Contact Governor Jay Nixon and ask him why his DOR violates Missouri privacy law. Phone: (573) 751-3222.

3.  Because this involves misuse of federal grant money, contact your US Representative and Senator and ask them to investigate.

4.  Contact your Missouri State Representative and Senator, asking them to pass legislation that requires removal of biometric imaging devices from DOR fee office and indemnifies DOR fee office workers from law suits.