Saturday, July 18, 2009

The 9/12 Project and "Vacation" Replay - 1

A major installment of the Tea Party Movement will take place on September 12, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Called the 09.12.09 March on Washington, it promises to be the most significant event thus far of the budding movement spawned by the arrival of Obama statism. The march is being sponsored by FreedomWorks foundation and includes 18 co-sponsors (so far), including the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

It will also mark my entrance into this area of activism. I plan to attend and take an active role in the March, along with my daughter Susan and wife Kathy. I will discuss this further on my blog, Principled Perspectives, in coming weeks.

In the meantime, as my vacation lull continues, I am republishing the following LTEs relating to this subject, along with my commentary response. The letters and my response appeared originally in the New Jersey Star-Ledger Reader Forum of April 22, 2009.

Tea Parties Past and Present

From the Star-Ledger Reader Forum, April 22, 2009

Letter #1

Defends tea partyers
I object vehemently to the charges by reader Lawrence Uniglicht in his letter to the Readers Forum, ("No tea for me, thank you," April 18) that all those protesting increases in taxes and an overspending government are malcontents and clowns. I suggest people look at Govs. Jim McGreevey and Jon Corzine, and Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez if they want to see clowns.

The protesters did not throw tea into Boston Harbor to start a war with England, but peacefully assembled to protest a fearful trend by a Democratic Congress and administration to take away our constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that our founders fought so hard to win. Protesters were from all walks of life. They did not break store windows, overturn and set fires to cars, or fight with the police. They personified what Americans are -- hard-working, law-abiding, and moral citizens.

As for constructive ideas from the Republicans, tea party opponents should know there were many proposals that were denied by the Democrats in Congress, mainly because they would be successful in restoring the economy to the way it was before 2006. That was the year the left-wing voted in a Democratic Congress, and we have been sinking toward socialism ever since.
-- Richard A. Ketay, Newark

Letter #2

History doesn't repeat
Once again, the American people are responding like sheep. A case in point is the recent "tea parties" across the country.

Had protesters been paying attention, they would realize the tax rate on the wealthy will only increase from 36-39 percent, far below the 90 percent rate under President Dwight Eisenhower.

The nationwide tea party, which was created to oppose taxation, borrowed its name from the Boston Tea Party. As a history teacher, let me take the opportunity to remind the American public that the Boston Tea Party was not about taxes. It was staged to protest the monopoly being granted to the East India Tea Company by Prime Minster Lord North, who was a primary investor in the company.
-- James O'Brien, Bayonne

My Commentary:

Posted by Zemack on 04/22/09 at 7:23PM
James O'Brien, the history teacher, doesn't understand the significance of today's Tea Parties, or of the philosophical common denominator linking them to the original Boston Tea Party. Richard A. Ketay does. The fundamental principle linking both across a span of centuries is a profoundly moral one...the uniquely American concept that the individual's life is his and does not belong to any "higher power" such as a king, warlord, democratic majority, state, priest, president, or ayatollah. That principle is embodied in the doctrine of unalienable individual rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

The concrete issues are different, but the principle is the same. Any government-imposed monopoly such as the East India Tea Company is a violation of individual rights because it forcibly bans individuals from exercising their liberty to promote their lives through the freedom of production and trade in a particular market. Today's protestors are not concerned with some narrow issue such as 3% in the income tax code. Rather, the massive confiscation of wealth through deficit spending and the forced transfer of wealth to politically connected failed corporations and irresponsible mortgage borrowers are what concern the protestors. This will be paid for either through direct, massive tax increases or through the inflationary back door...the confiscation of the purchasing power of our money through the government printing press.

Worse still is the use of the financial crisis as a cover for a breathtaking dictatorial economic power grab by government through its regulatory apparatus. This, despite the fact that it was the massive buildup over the years of government interference in the housing and mortgage markets, as well as the central bank money monopoly called the federal reserve system, that caused the crisis to begin with. The statist policies of Bush and Obama are a direct assault on America's founding principles of individual rights and a government limited to protecting those rights.

I find it fascinating that Mr. O,Brien chooses to call today's protestors "sheep" for rising to defend individual rights, which means the right and responsibility of each of us to take charge of our own lives. In contrast, President Obama constantly demands that we suspend our own judgement and our selfish concern for our rights (the "old, stale" arguments, as he puts it) in order to "come together" to solve our nations problems. This language is a euphemism for relinquishing control of our lives to central planning ideologues who seek to consolidate federal control over private contracts and corporate governance, energy, healthcare, education, food production, finance and investments, etc.

Who are the real sheep? It is certainly not the Tea Party protestors, many if not most of whom are attempting to build an individual rights coalition to push back against the rising tide of statism sweeping Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The "Public Option" and Organized Crime

Here's more deception from the socialized medicine crowd.

For lack of a better term

by Clarence Page

July 12, 2009

My Commentary:

The proposed “public option” is intended to destroy private health insurance, and clear the way for single-payer medical tyranny. Everyone knows it. The politicians will do whatever it takes to support their “competitor”. They will use government’s tax and monetary powers to keep premiums “affordable”; regulatory powers to hamper private insurers; force below-market prices on providers; harass private executives with explicit or implied “back-room” threats of regulatory, IRS, or antitrust actions, etc.

The government is a unique institution, distinguished by its legal monopoly on the use of force. America’s great achievement was to limit that compulsive power to the protection of our inalienable individual rights. That is government’s proper role. Stepping outside of those constraints invalidates government, as America’s Founders understood. The employment of government’s unique powers of legalized physical force to destroy private businesses, industries, and livelihoods is legalized criminality.

To allege “competition” between a government plan and private business is to equate an armed thug with his victims. The public “option” is organized crime on a scale that relegates Al Capone to the status of a petty thief.

Any honest and objective healthcare reform debate must begin with an examination of how we got to this point to begin with. The problems in American healthcare have grown in lock step with the growth of government intervention over the past 75 years. The solution is to discover capitalism. The only just and moral course to take on healthcare reform is to rid healthcare of government interference. End all government insurance mandates, barriers to inter-state competition, and the third-party-payer system; phase out existing “public” plans like Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP, and let people take personal responsibility for their own healthcare, as is their unalienable right under American principles. Leave healthcare dollars in the hands of the people that earned it through some vehicle like HSAs, leave providers and insurers free to compete directly for those consumer dollars, and restrict the government to its proper role of protector of the individual rights of all (which includes anti-fraud laws and enforcement of contracts). The natural incentives inherent in a free market provide the proper, moral dynamics for affordable, widely available quality healthcare.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thomas Jefferson On Independence Day

The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826

To Roger C. Weightman, Monticello, June 24, 1826


The kind invitation I receive from you, on the part of the citizens of the city of Washington, to be present with them at their celebration on the fiftieth anniversary of American Independence, as one of the surviving signers of an instrument pregnant with our own, and the fate of the world, is most flattering to myself, and heightened by the honorable accompaniment proposed for the comfort of such a journey. It adds sensibly to the sufferings of sickness, to be deprived by it of a personal participation in the rejoicings of that day. But acquiescence is a duty, under circumstances not placed among those we are permitted to control. I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made. May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

I will ask permission here to express the pleasure with which I should have met my ancient neighbors of the city of Washington and its vicinities, with whom I passed so many years of a pleasing social intercourse; an intercourse which so much relieved the anxieties of the public cares, and left impressions so deeply engraved in my affections, as never to be forgotten. With my regret that ill health forbids me the gratification of an acceptance, be pleased to receive for yourself, and those for whom you write, the assurance of my highest respect and friendly attachments.

Happy Independence Day, from Mike Zemack

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Note to My Valued Visitors

During the month of July, I will be on “vacation”, sort of. Family will be visiting from out of state…namely, my 4 grandchildren with their mother (my daughter), while their father pursues his doctorate elsewhere.

So, together with my wife and my other 2 NJ grandchildren and their parents, I will be quite busy. So, my posting here may be light. I’ll be back in earnest come August.

In the meantime, I’ll fill the gaps by re-publishing some of my favorite posts that are still relevant today.

Have a great summer!

Mike Zemack