Digital Advertising Had Significant Impact on Medical Marijuana Vote in Florida

WASHINGTONDec. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Online video and banner ads had a significant impact on theFlorida medical marijuana race, according to a post-election survey of 800 voters conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research on behalf of United for Care, which was advocating for Amendment 2.

The survey revealed that those who saw Internet advertisements voted for Florida’s Amendment 2 at a rate of 65%, while those that did not, voted only at a rate of 53%. The 12% difference was not simply a function of targeting – for example – people who reported seeing Internet ads voted for Democrat Charlie Crist at a rate of 42% while those that said they did not voted for Crist at a rate of 40%.

The majority of the online advertising was a combination of cookie-targeted banner and video ads provided by Audience Partners, matched to the National Online Voter File® along with a proprietary medical marijuana support model that incorporated data from petition signers. Impact Politics, a campaign media and marketing strategy firm in Weston, FL, managed the digital buy and creative production for United for Care.

Audience Partner’s medical marijuana probabilistic model, created through extensive surveying and data modeling, provided Impact Politics and the United for Care Campaign the means to target voters “most likely to be persuadable” as well as those “most likely supporters” with a history of voting.

“We were outspent 3 to 1 on media, but the data modeling and analytics provided by Audience Partners allowed us to layer our online efforts across the state with unprecedented efficiency,” said Brian Franklin, President of Impact Politics and a senior consultant for the United for Care Campaign. “Access to this data allowed us to triage our resources, tweak our creative with real-time data, and maximize the impact of our online spend.”

United for Care’s digital buy placed a heavy emphasis on seniors most likely to be persuadable. In fact, 33% of those who recalled seeing online ads were over the age of 65.

While 65% of those who saw online ads voted yes for Amendment 2, the survey showed that those who saw any ads (including television only) voted 56% yes, and those that saw no ads at all voted 50% yes. 88% of those who saw Internet ads thought they were helpful in making their decision. Heavy Internet users decided earlier than lighter users – 85% decided how they were going to vote a month or more before the election.

Amendment 2 reached 58% support – the second highest level of support for medical marijuana in any state, and won roughly 500,000 more votes than Governor Rick Scott. Unfortunately for supporters of the amendment, Florida is one of the few states that requires 60% to pass.

About Impact Politics
Impact Politics is an award-winning political consulting firm that specializes in writing, strategy and new media for national, state, and federal candidate campaigns, ballot initiatives, and advocacy organizations. Founded byBrian Franklin, a Board Member of the American Association of Political Consultants and co-chair of its Technology Committee, the firm has won numerous Pollie and Reed awards, from Best Overall Internet Campaign and Best Online Targeting to Best Online Advertisements and Best Use of Humor in Online Ads. The firm is based in Weston, FL. More information can be found at www.impactpolitics.com

About Audience Partners
Audience Partners is an Enterprise Advertising Management company that operates an addressable advertising platform leveraging data science, programmatic ad buying and unique first party data assets to target individuals across screens on PCs, mobile phones, tablets, and addressable TVs. Focused on politics/advocacy, higher education and healthcare, Audience Partners’ success has been its ability to accurately reach high value audiences on their digital devices at scale by connecting offline databases with online devices. The company’s philosophy has been to use “first party, mailing address data” as the linchpin of its online targeting. Founded in 2008, the firm has offices in Washington DCPennsylvania and Toronto. More information can be found at www.audiencepartners.com

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141217/165113-INFO

South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee votes to allow “gay” groups to march: Deceitful and dishonest tactics used to manipulate vote, says committee member

Committee resignations and parade cancellations already beginning.

The headlines in Tuesday morning’s Boston Globe and Boston Herald shocked pro-family readers, announcing that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee had voted to allow a homosexual group to march. By mid-day the news was around the world – Fox, ABC, CBS, Breitbart, and even Reuters in Europe.

The Boston Globearticle.

The previous evening, Monday, Dec. 15, the Allied War Veterans’ Council (which runs the parade) met and voted 5-4 to approve the application by OUTVETS to march. That group is described in the press as “a group honoring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military veterans.”


OUTVETS and their banner. [Boston Herald photo.]

This was jarring because the annual South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been the only major parade of its kind in America that has not capitulated to the relentless pressure to include homosexual activist groups.

And the parade organizers had the ultimate legal backing. In 1995, led by then-Council Commander John “Wacko” Hurley, they won a unanimous US Supreme Court decision giving them the right to exclude anyone. And over the years they’ve boldly used that decision to stand up to the political establishment that demanded they give in.

John “Wacko” Hurley is a legend in South Boston for successfully standing up to the liberal establishment.

This year, MassResistance worked with the parade organizers to support them against the renewed political and economic pressure against parade sponsors by Boston politicians, homosexual activists, and the media. The pro-family forces prevailed and the parade was a resounding success.

But something else happened this time.

The vote – An outrageous manipulation of normal process

Early Tuesday morning (Dec. 16) MassResistance spoke with committee member Philip J. Wuschke, Jr., a former Allied Veterans Commander and the current parade organizer and treasurer, who was at the Dec. 15 meeting. (Much of what he told us was also published in an article later that day in the local Dorchester Reporter newspaper.)

Wuschke portrayed the meeting and subsequent vote as an outrageous effort to manipulate the vote and exclude the clear wishes of the majority of the committee.  According to Wuschke:

  • Meeting date changed. The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday. But four or five days beforehand it was suddenly moved to Monday. And the mailed notification of the change only reached some of the members.
  • Members not notified about vote. Members were not notified that the vote on OUTVETS would be taking place at that meeting.

Wuschke told us that he knows of at least five absent members who would have come and voted emphatically against this, had they known. Plus, John “Wacko” Hurley, the longtime Allied Council leader and strong advocate of the long-standing policy, told the press that because of illness he missed his first meeting in 50 years!

Wuschke also pointed out that the 5-4 vote was not technically legal because only nine members were in attendance, but an official quorum requires 12 members. In addition,  he said, the bylaws specifically prohibit any group from marching that identifies itself by its sexuality, or carries signs or banners that do so.

The driving force in the capitulation: the Allied Council Commander

This did not happen in a vacuum. The meeting and vote followed a period of “negotiation” between various elected officials, the Mayor’s office, some “community” organizations, and the Council to include a homosexual group, according to press reports. According to the Catholic Action League, it also included Congressman Stephen Lynch, and State Representative Nick Collins, both South Boston residents.

But in the end, we were told emphatically that the driving force was the Allied War Veterans Council Commander, Brian Mahoney. Mahoney appears to have been completely swayed by the pressure and decided that the parade needed to abandon its policy even if a majority of the members disagreed. He had reportedly also been seen meeting with local gay groups.

Along with a group of four other committee members, including Ed Flynn, son of the former Mayor of Boston, Mahoney was able to change the policy.

Mahoney tells press after the vote: They’re not really a gay group.

In his remarks to the press afterwards, Brian Mahoney, was clearly pleased about the vote and contemptuous of those who disagreed. “Who are we to judge?” he told the Boston Herald.

But mostly, Mahoney tried to claim that OUTVETS is not an LGBT group. “To us, it’s a group of veterans that wanted to march and deserved to be honored,” he told the press. He added that the group “has no social or political agenda,” and described their banner as including a “pallet of color” that “some might see as a rainbow.”

However, the leader and founder of OUTVETS, Bryan Bishop, was more honest. “I want to draw awareness to the LGBT veterans,” he told the Boston Herald,admitting that the common theme of the group is homosexuality.

The back story

It appears that this scenario was planned well in advance, with the collusion of Council members and powerful politicians.

OUTVETS appears to be a contrived group organized just for this purpose.

Since being elected last year, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh put considerable energy into attempting to force the parade to include homosexual groups. As a State Rep, he had described his vote for gay marriage as “the proudest moment of my career.” This was his new challenge.

OUTVETS was formed just this past September. According to the Boston Globe article, Bryan Bishop, the founder and organizer of OUTVETS, works for Mayor Walsh as a city employee.

The group marched in the City of Boston Veterans Day parade in November, then applied for the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The “negotiations” with local politicians appear to have been focused on getting this group into the South Boston parade. The manipulated vote appears to have been a planned result of that.

Almost immediately after the vote, the Mayor’s office released this statement:

“We’re very pleased that OUTVETS will be marching in this year’s parade. Mayor Walsh has been advocating for an inclusive parade for quite some time. We’re thrilled to hear that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council have decided to make the 2015 parade an inclusive event.”

This did not sit well with religious Catholics in Boston. On Tuesday, C.J. Doyle, of the Catholic Action League also released a statement:

“This was an illegal vote, at a meeting without a quorum, conducted by a suborned minority, subservient to outside political interests, who deliberately failed to notify the Council majority of the measure to be acted upon. No one, of course, should be surprised by such tactics, given the manifest contempt homosexual groups and their political enablers have always shown towards the democratic process.”

It also appears that the local media knew about it beforehand and was ready to run with it. Wuschke told us that while driving home from the vote he was already getting multiple phone calls from the press asking for comment. News rarely travels that extraordinarily fast.

Resignations from Allied War Veterans Council

We’ve been told that the level of anger among members of the Allied War Veterans Council over this is considerable. It was a sleazy, undemocratic process meant to subvert the will of the majority.

John “Wacko” Hurley, the legendary leader and member of the Allied War Veterans Council for over half a century, has resigned, according to sources. Other prominent members are expected to follow in the coming days and weeks, we’ve been told.

Major defections from parade already beginning

For the last 25 years the  Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in Still River, MA, has provided what has become the most memorable float in the annual South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade – St. Patrick blessing the crowds. This has become the centerpiece of the event and is widely photographed. The school band has also marched in the parade.

The school’s float of St. Patrick is synomyous with the South Boston Parade. [MassRsistance photo]

According to C.J. Doyle, Br. Thomas Augustine, the school’s principal, has emphatically stated that they will not be a part of the parade because of this decision. Br. Thomas has been public about this in the past — and we applaud him for standing by his principles. The absence of this group will change the character the parade, many believe.

And there are numerous religious schools and Catholic groups that regularly come from as far away as Florida to march in the parade. We suspect that many of them will also pull out.

This Catholic school comes from New Hampshire to march in the parade.
[MassResistance photo.]

We expect that other local LGBT groups who have worked hard in the past to be in the parade, such as MassEquality and gay Catholic groups, will now find the doors opening. It’s not a stretch to speculate that over time the parade could become more like the Gay Pride parade and less a family-oriented religious parade.

The Boston politicians want the parade to look more like this. [MassResistance photo]

And they want the “Catholic” message to be more like this.
[Mass­
Resistance photo]

As CJ Doyle observed, once groups can carry signs and banners identifying their sexual behavior, much more will follow.

This message of support on the South Boston Parade website will likely be coming down soon!

Can this vote be overturned? Not likely.

Wuschke and others explored several avenues for dealing with this, but now seem resigned that nothing can be done. As usual in these battles, the other side is resolute not to give up anything.

Mahoney has been emphatic that the vote is final, we’ve been told, and that a subsequent meeting will not be able to overturn it. He’s said that as Commander he controls the meetings and the agendas. The Parliamentarian, who was one of the “yes” votes, has ruled that the quorum question is not an issue because it’s regularly been ignored.

The sacrifices many made to get the parade’s freedom

Having been a part of the parade’s long legal battle back in the early 1990’s to gain the right to decide whom they may include, C. J. Doyle particularly laments that the sacrifices of many people are being unscrupulously tossed aside by Mahoney and his cohorts.

People suffered attacks in the media and had their livelihoods put at great risk for being in this fight. It was not unknown for pro-family activists in Boston to have their house assessments mysteriously go up, and have other problems with the city.

Chester Darling, the lawyer for the parade who took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, nearly went bankrupt more than once as the white-shoe Boston law firms fighting him purposely piled on motion after motion to overwhelm him, Doyle told us. But Chester fought on — and won.

It’s a truly outrageous action. We will keep you informed.

Boston attorney Chester Darling became a local hero when he won the 9-0 decision on the South Boston Parade case before the US Supreme Court in 1995. He later worked with Parents’ Rights Coalition (now MassResistance) on parents’ rights issues.
[MassResistance photo]

New FBI hate crime stats show yet again that claims about “Islamophobia” are false

No violence or hatred directed at an innocent Muslim or non-Muslim is ever justified. The fact is that there is far less of it than Islamic supremacist groups and the mainstream media would have you believe. We heard it yet again not just after, but during the Sydney jihad hostage crisis: there would be a “backlash” against Muslims, a wave of Islamophobic hate crimes. There has not been, of course. Leftists and Islamic supremacists use the specter of “Islamophobic hate crime” to shut down honest discussion of how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and intimidate people into thinking that there is something wrong with resisting jihad terror.

“New FBI Hate Crime Stats: Another Blow to Islamist Fictions,” by David J. Rusin, Islamist Watch, December 15, 2014 (thanks to Bob):

The FBI’s newly released hate crime statistics for 2013 offer a fresh example of how reality refuses to conform to the dubious narrative of widespread Muslim victimization at the hands of American bigots. As in previous years, most hate crimes were not religiously motivated, most religiously motivated hate crimes were anti-Jewish, and Muslims suffered fewer total incidents than many groups and fewer per capita than gays or Jews. Anti-Islamic crimes did not involve greater violence than others and have not become more frequent. A glance at the details:

    • Of the 5,928 incidents of hate crime tabulated in 2013, 135 (2.3 percent) were anti-Islamic, an increase of five over the prior year but still slightly below the annual average of 139 from 2002 to 2011.
    • The small rise in recorded anti-Islamic incidents could be attributable to improved data collection rather than a true uptick. Reports submitted by law enforcement agencies covered a population of 295 million Americans in 2013, 18.6 percent higher than in 2012.
    • There were 1,031 incidents inspired by religion last year, 625 (60.6 percent) of which were anti-Jewish. Anti-Islamic ones constituted just 13.1 percent.
    • Anti-Islamic incidents were also outnumbered by those targeting blacks (1,856), whites (653), gay men (750), lesbians (160), LGBTs in general (277), Hispanics (331), and people of other ethnicities (324). Anti-Asian incidents (135) equaled anti-Islamic ones.
    • Based on a 2013 estimate of 2.95 million Muslims derived from Pew’s 2011 figure and typical growth of 100,000 per year, there were 4.6 anti-Islamic incidents per 100,000 Muslims in 2013, the same as 2012’s rate and lower than the average of6.0 per 100,000 for 2002–11. The 2013 rate for Muslims was less than half that for Jews (9.6 per 100,000 for a population of roughly 6.5 million) and homosexuals/bisexuals (11.0 per 100,000, assuming that they comprise 3.5 percent of the U.S. population). The rate for blacks was similar to that of Muslims (4.5 per 100,000 for a population of 41.6 million).
    • Anti-Islamic hate crimes were no more violent than others in 2013. Of the 6,933 offenses spanning all hate crimes, 734 (10.6 percent) were aggravated assaults and 1,720 (24.8 percent) were simple assaults. The 165 anti-Islamic offenses mirrored this breakdown: 17 (10.3 percent) were aggravated assaults and 41 (24.8 percent) were simple assaults. Further, none of the five deaths in 2013 resulted from anti-Islamic hate crimes.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Florida: Muslim gets 15 years prison dawah for giving money to jihad groups

Islamic State beheads 150 women, some pregnant, for refusing to marry jihad terrorists

Danish TV on German anti-Islamization demo: “German middle class demonstrated”

Swiss magazine hacked, needs guards after posting article calling Quran “core of the problem”

Christian Fitnah: When the Oppression is Worse than the Killing

Politicians, religious leaders and citizens of the free world cannot seem to comprehend the Islamic savagery witnessed on a daily basis around the globe. They cannot grasp how dangerous the situation truly is nor agree on what must be done to stop the hate.

Christians, and Jews, tend to believe that all cultures have exactly the same goals (peace, prosperity, freedom) and exactly the same values (sanctity of life, honesty, human rights). And although all of these goals and values are undoubtedly part of every human culture, not all cultures value them to the same degree that we do in the Christian world.

Daily we read about Christians being driven from their homes, from their churches and even from the country of their birth. We watch, in disbelief, horrible atrocities being committed against Christians. Christian children being sold into slavery, churches burned to the ground, and even Christian’s crucified.

Our prayers seem to go unanswered for our Christian brothers and sisters. So what can we do to stop this hate filled madness?

President George W. Bush, after his visit to ground zero in New York, on September 16, 2001 at a rose garden press conference said:

[W]e need to be alert to the fact that these evil-doers still exist.  We haven’t seen this kind of barbarism in a long period of time.  No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society and then emerging all in the same day to fly their aircraft – fly U.S. aircraft into buildings full of innocent people – and show no remorse.  This is a new kind of  — a new kind of evil.  And we understand.  And the American people are beginning to understand.  This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.  And the American people must be patient.  I’m going to be patient. [Emphasis added]

crusades

What President Bush did not understand was the ideology behind the attack on 9/11. You see the United States is not fighting terrorism, terrorism is a military tactic.

Great nations do not make war against a military tactic they make war against any ideology that is incompatible and a clear and present danger to the nation and its values. The ideology behind the tactic is the target and must be fought using all means available. America has only been successful in war when it has identified the true enemy.

President Bush was widely criticized for using the word “crusade.” But was he right in using it? History tells us so.

Is it time for a crusade against those using terrorism against the innocent? Is it time for a renewed Christian Fitnah? Is it time for Pope Francis to declare a 21st Century crusade against all those who wish to destroy the church? How will the slaughter be stopped if not by fitnah? Will 2015 see Christians resist persecution or capitulate to slavery?

Quran versus 2: 191-193 reads:

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Pakistan school: Jihadis screamed “Allahu akbar” as they murdered children

Islamic State beheads 150 women, some pregnant, for refusing to marry jihad terrorists

Anti-immigration protests grow in Germany amid fears of Islamisation

FITNAH the film:

Hanukkah, the Maccabees, George Washington and more —

On this first day of Hanukkah The United West team brings to you some fascinating information like Gene Sweeney’s “Todah Menorah Memorial” that honors those who liberated the Nazi death camps.

Also we feature some powerful insights from Ambassador Henry Cooper regarding the influence the Maccabees family fighters had on American historic heroes, like George Washington and Patrick Henry!

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

10 Charts to Brighten Your Century

Sometimes the hysteria just isn’t backed by the data by Max Borders –

They say our human brains are evolved to remember stories. Stories help us organize information about the world. We used oral histories and myths before we used science and statistics. So the power of stories is still with us, and it still affects us.

Whether true or false, plausible narratives can spread quickly online. Unless false ones are debunked, they can stick around. The crisis du jour can become “common knowledge” as a single event somehow becomes evidence of a wider, growing problem. Politicians love this stuff because it gives them something to do.

Legal scholar Cass Sunstein and professor of economics and political science Timur Kuran rightly identify a phenomenon they call an “availability cascade.” The idea more or less says that people can easily get false impressions about the world — say, about the severity of a social problem — by looking at a rare occurrence or plausible theory that gets blown up in modern media.

But if we were to calmly look at the big picture, or perhaps just a picture — maybe a chart — we might find that some problem isn’t really getting worse, despite how intimately we can experience a rare-but-inevitable spectacle in the Internet age.

The following are 10 examples of popular, explosive narratives that, when considered through a more dispassionate lens, get diffused.

1. There is a rape epidemic caused by rape culture.

Rape is a horrendous crime. And if we can believe those who perpetuate narratives about an epidemic of rape and a “rape culture,” we would expect to see the disease becoming more virulent. But incidents of rape are lower than they have been in 40 years and have been reduced by more than half. It’s not clear what factors brought about such declines, but the declines should be acknowledged.

2. Police work is dangerous, so cops need military gear.

“They’re required to have daily contact with drunks, the mentally disabled, and criminal suspects,” writes Freeman contributor Dan Bier.

Arrests often lead to physical confrontation, assault, and sometimes injury. Police are constantly dragged into families’ and neighbors’ petty squabbles. It can be a stressful and sometimes thankless task.

But it just isn’t unusually deadly or dangerous — and it’s safer today than ever before. The data do not justify the kinds of armor, weapons, insecurity, and paranoia being displayed by police across the country.

3. Gun ownership increases violent crime.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. But, remarkably, in many US cities, guns have been severely restricted or banned outright. Paradoxically, in these cities, gun violence can be higher. The fairest assessment is that there is no general relationship between gun control and violence abatement. Some studies have even found a positive relationship between open-carry laws and reduced crime.

The most remarkable statistic is that, since gun-related violence peaked in 1993, there has been an appreciable decline in gun violence ever since — all despite (or perhaps because of) significant national increases in gun ownership.

4. Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to catastrophic climate change.

It’s difficult to distill the topic of climate change into a graph. Indeed, I am not seeking to do that here. I am, however, pointing out an inconvenient truth: despite significant increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, average global temperatures in the lower atmosphere have been virtually unchanged for more than 18 years.

What does this mean? At the very least, it means we should be dampening some of the climate-change hysteria, questioning the models that have predicted greater warming, and embracing a reasoned agnosticism about the issue until it’s better understood.

5. The rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer.

The truth is, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting richer, too. In fact, globally, the poor are richer than they have ever been in human history.

But what about in the US? As columnist and professor Michael Shermer writes in Scientific American, “The top-fifth income earners in the U.S. increased their share of the national income from 43 percent in 1979 to 48 percent in 2010, and the top 1 percent increased their share of the pie from 8 percent in 1979 to 13 percent in 2010. But note what has not happened: the rest have not gotten poorer. They’ve gotten richer: the income of the other quintiles increased by 49, 37, 36 and 45 percent, respectively.”

6. The air is getting dirtier due to more cars on the road.

In the United States, there are more than twice the vehicles on the road today than in 1980. Yet, the air quality has never been better. Remember pictures of Los Angeles in the 1980s? Smog. L.A. hasn’t seen that kind of filthy pea soup since Magnum PI.

7. We’re nearing  “peak oil.”

In 2010, Paul Krugman wrote, “And those supplies aren’t keeping pace. Conventional oil production has been flat for four years; in that sense, at least, peak oil has arrived.”

Ever heard of Julian Simon? He’s the doomslayer who suggested we take any neo-Malthusian predictions of resource depletion with a grain of salt. Indeed, he suggested that because the human mind is the “ultimate resource,” resources would never run out. As long as there is a system of prices, property, and a profit motive, people will have incentives to conserve, innovate, or substitute. So what happened to peak oil? The Shale Revolution happened, just as Simon would have predicted. (Sorry, Professor Krugman.)

8. Our infrastructure is crumbling.

During the worst of the 2008 recession, one popular meme was that the nation’s infrastructure was “crumbling.” We were all to fear falling bridges and the general pothole-ification of America. Governments used such fearmongering to justify Keynesian stimulus policies through more taxpayer-funded investment in roads and bridges. But transportation analyst David Hartgen countered that false narrative right here in the pages of The Freeman.

9. The US health system ranks low among developed countries for health outcomes.

Not so fast. When one factors out deaths due to homicide and auto fatalities, the United States shoots to number one in health outcomes along a number of dimensions. Yes, health care is expensive. Yes, it’s convoluted. Yes, it’s corrupt — and it’s all thanks to political meddling. But the US health care system is still probably among the best in the world.

10.The Public Schools Need More Funding

Year after year, we hear that the schools are woefully underfunded. The streets run with crocodile tears. “If the schools had more resources,” education advocates cry, “American children would get a better education.” Each year, the schools get more resources. Another Taj Mahighschool goes up. Another football stadium gets built. Another administrator’s salary goes up. Another union boss enjoys champagne in a hot tub. And what happens to educational outcomes? Forty years on … no change.

ABOUT MAX BORDERS

Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of  Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

Chanukah Celebrates Rededication

Sometimes I think that Jews are going to have to arm themselves in order to celebrate Chanukah. These days, merely praying in a synagogue, whether it is in Jerusalem or Brooklyn has become hazardous.

Of course, those who hate Jews don’t really need an excuse to attack them. In November, Palestinian attackers killed five Israelis, four of whom were rabbis, in a Jerusalem synagogue. On December 8, a lunatic shouting “I want to kill the Jews” stabbed an Israeli student in the Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue in Brooklyn. The student survived the attack. Police killed the attacker.

December 16 through 24 marks this year’s celebration and one can only hope that it will be enjoyed without providing an excuse to attack Jews around the world. Chanukah celebrates an ancient military victory.

Known also as the Festival of Lights, the menorah that holds nine candles is the widely recognized symbol of the holiday; eight for the days and one to light the others. It celebrates the overthrow of an oppressive Greek ruler, Antiochus IV, and the rededication of the temple. Chanukah is not mentioned in formal Jewish scripture though the story is related in the book of the Maccabees. In 1948, Jews restored the nation of Israel.

Chanukah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday compared to the holy days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Passover. Because it falls close to Christmas, American Jews have incorporated it into their celebration and one suspects that most are likely to exchange gifts on December 25th to blend both holidays together as one

Of the estimated 14 million Jews worldwide approximately 5.5 million live in America. An estimated 6.2 million live in Israel, with 2 million in Europe, and about 100,000 in Africa, most of whom live in the nation of South Africa.

Fourteen million Jews may sound like a lot, but they represent about 0.2% of the world’s population. You could put them all in Texas and few would notice.

In the Middle East, Christians and Jews have been driven from their homes where many families had lived for centuries. In Syria and Iraq these days Christians are being crucified and beheaded for their faith. Muslims divided by whether they are Sunni or Shiite are also dying. It all seems so pointless.

Worldwide, religious and other forms of bigotry continue during this Chanukah and Christmas season as ever before.

One need look no farther than the United Nations which, on December 10, celebrated the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In 2014 the UN General Assembly adopted twenty more resolutions against Israel than any other nation for alleged violations of human rights. To put this in perspective, not one resolution was directed at China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia, among a long list of nations that deserve criticism.

Citing the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks noted that “Freedom of religion has deteriorated in almost half the nations of the world and sectarian violence is at a six-year high.”

Here in America, as the first Chanukah candle is lighted this year we are days from celebrating Christmas. These holidays are a good time to remind ourselves to resist those for whom religion is a reason to hate others as well as those who reject spiritual faith and seek to deny its message and joy to everyone.

These holidays are a time to rededicate ourselves.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

The Holiday That Isn’t: A “Bill of Rights Day” Is Not on the Calendar

Today is Bill of Rights Day, although you’re unlikely to see it labeled that way on your calendar. On this day, December 15, in 1791, the United States formally adopted the first ten amendments to the Constitution, securing, for a while at least, greater checks on the power of the new central government. In this article, originally published in the October 2008 issue of The Freeman, FEE president Larry Reed notes that a free people don’t have to wait for Congress to declare a holiday. We can celebrate now.


I know it’s only October, but that’s late enough in the year for most people to have already begun thinking of the holidays just around the corner. We will each observe the traditional ones according to our personal wishes—a precious right won for us by past and present patriots.

Allow me to advise you, however, not to let 2008 end without taking note of “the holiday that isn’t.” It’s not recognized officially, and few Americans really know of it. I had to be reminded of it by a friend from Arizona, Roy Miller, one of the founders of the Goldwater Institute.

The day is December 15. It was on that date in 1791 that the fledgling United States of America formally adopted what we know as the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Miller says, “Few days in American history were more critical to securing or proclaiming the principles behind the nation’s founding.”

A “Bill of Rights Day” is not on the calendar, but a free people don’t have to wait for Congress to declare a holiday to celebrate one. On December 15, take a moment to reread the Bill of Rights and reflect on its importance. Call it to the attention of friends and family. Without an agreement that a Bill of Rights would be added or without a consensus of what they would do, the Constitution itself would probably not have been accepted. The ten amendments ultimately adopted guarantee freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceful assembly and petition; the rights of the people to keep and bear arms, and to hold private property; rights to fair treatment for people accused of crimes, protection from unreasonable search and seizure and self-incrimination; and rights to a speedy and impartial jury trial and representation by counsel.

In this modern and supposedly enlightened age, not many people among the world’s 6.6 billion can honestly say they enjoy many of these rights to their fullest—or at all. Even in America we have to work hard to educate fellow citizens about the liberties the Bill of Rights is meant to protect. There are plenty in our midst who would sacrifice one or more liberties for the temporary and dubious security of a government program. This past June the Supreme Court affirmed the right to keep and bear arms but only by a 5–4 vote. No wonder Benjamin Franklin said the Constitution gave us “a republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

In the grand scheme of American liberty, how important is the Bill of Rights? It’s fundamental and foundational, and about as bedrock as it gets. In fewer than 500 words, many of our most cherished liberties are expressed as rights and unequivocally protected. It’s a roster of instructions to government to keep out of where it doesn’t belong. It bears the heavy imprint of a giant of republican government, James Madison.

Why did such critical protections end up as amendments instead of as core elements of the primary document? Here’s the background:

The Second Continental Congress, originally convened in 1775 at the outbreak of hostilities with the mother country, adopted the Articles of Confederation as the new nation’s first formal, national government. Some Americans came to believe by the late 1780s, however, that the Articles were weak and inadequate. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 produced a draft Constitution to replace them, subject to ratification by the states. A great debate ensued and people lined up in one camp or the other—the Federalists or the Antifederalists. The former favored the Constitution and in most cases, at least at first, without any amendments. The latter either opposed it altogether or conditioned their approval on adoption of stronger protections for individual liberties.

Keep in mind that virtually all the leading figures in this great debate were libertarians by today’s standards. They believed in liberty and limited government. Even the least libertarian among them would be horrified if he could see how later generations have ballooned the size and intrusiveness of the federal establishment. It never occurred to the most ardent Federalist that government should rob Peter to pay Paul for his health care, art work, alternative energy, prescription drugs, hurricane relief, or his notions of regime change in Somalia.

The Constitution and Centralization

So even without the Bill of Rights, the Constitution represented a huge advance for civilization. But during the ratification debate, enough citizens were wary of any centralization of power that they wanted to go further. I think they instinctively understood something that Thomas Jefferson once so aptly expressed, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” When the Massachusetts legislature made it clear it would not ratify the Constitution unless language was added to strengthen individual rights, it triggered a movement among the states to do just that.

Madison is regarded as the “Father of the Constitution” because he was its primary author and, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, part of the trio that wrote the Federalist Papers in its defense. On the matter of amending it with a Bill of Rights, he was at first opposed, being of the view that enumerating some rights in the form of amendments would open the door to government violations of any that were not listed. He eventually met that very objection by devising what became the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Madison became one of the most eloquent defenders of the Bill of Rights, and it is unlikely the Constitution would have been ratified without him or them.

In 1789 New Jersey was the first state to adopt the ten amendments that would become the Bill of Rights and when Virginia did so on December 15, 1791, they became part of the supreme law of the land. (Actually, 12 amendments were sent to the states, but two failed to win enough states to be ratified. The unratified amendments, originally numbers 1 and 2, set the ratio of House representative to population and forbade congressional pay raises to take effect “until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” The latter was ratified as the 27th amendment in 1992.)

If you want to bone up on the Bill of Rights before December 15, check out the website of the Bill of Rights Institute (www.billofrightsinstitute.org), which produces instructional materials and sponsors seminars about America’s foundational documents. Some excellent books to consult on the subject include We the People by Forrest McDonald, Fighting for Liberty and Virtue by Marvin Olasky, Simple Rules for a Complex World by Richard Epstein, and Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnet.

ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

A Natural Born Citizen is a True Citizen

Despite numerous efforts by our illustrious legal and academic professionals to use precedence and 1946 Rules of Procedure to alter or abolish the Natural Born Citizen requirement for the Oval Office found in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, using false history and tortured legal interpretations of 14th Amendment laws and cases pertaining to naturalized citizens, to avoid the need to amend in order to actually alter, the true meaning of the term Natural Born Citizen remains exactly as it was when our Founders chose the status as a requirement for high office in 1787.

In short, the term Natural Born Citizen is synonymous with the term “True Citizen.” Its point of origin is very well documented, as is the true meaning of the term and even the purpose should be obvious to every thinking individual with at least third grade reading and comprehension skills.

HOW IT CAME TO BE IN OUR CONSTITUTION

  • Our early settlers had left England and other parts of Europe because those countries had already experienced a shift away from Natural Law concepts to Common Law concepts, wherein men were making laws that infringed upon the Natural Rights of the people, not the least of which was religious persecution.
  • Our very first “founding document” by our earliest settlers was the Mayflower Compact. An effort to establish the New World on Natural Law concepts and the Natural Rights of a free people.
  • By 1774, there was a growing division between members of the original 13 colonies and England due to Common Law statutes which again, were infringing upon the Natural Rights of settlers in the New World. It was about much more than a tax on Tea. This was the reason for our Founders split from British Common Law rule that resulted in the Revolutionary War to declare our independence from British rule and establish a new independent sovereign nation. The First Continental Congress was convened by the colonies to begin the separation with Britain and form a sovereign nation of our own, one that would be based upon Natural Law and Natural Rights.
  • In April of 1775, the Revolutionary War had begun, as Britain attempted to force its Common Law statutes on the 13 colonies by sending troops to the New World, infringing upon the Natural Rights of our early citizens.
  • The Second Continental Congress convened in 1775, to begin the work that would result in the writing of our Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson wrote in just 17 days, once commissioned with the task.
  • In October of 1775, Benjamin Franklin received three (3) copies of The Law of Nations from Charles W.F. Dumas. Dumas was a “person of letters” aka a well-read man, he was a Swiss publisher. He was also a Swiss diplomat to America at the time, on behalf of the Swiss government.
  • Franklin placed one of the three copies of The Law of Nations in the New York Library, kept a copy for himself and gave the third copy to Thomas Jefferson, as Jefferson was writing the Declaration of Independence.
  • On December 9, 1775, Franklin wrote a letter of thanks to Dumas, stating as follows:

“It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising State make it necessary to frequently consult the Law of Nations.”

  • On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies ratified the Declaration of Independence, in which the preamble states as follows:
  • “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” – You can easily see that the Founders were entirely focused on creating a new sovereign independent nation governed by The Laws of Nature, not British Common Law. Their understanding of Natural Law and Natural Rights came from The Law of Nations, which Dumas had sent to Franklin during the founding period of the nation.
  • On July 25, 1787, Founder John Jay recommended in a letter to members of the Constitutional Convention that the term “Natural Born Citizen” (synonymous with True Citizen) be placed in Article II as a requirement for the Office of President and Commander-in-Chief, stating that only a Natural Born Citizen of the United States would be eligible for high office. Members of the Constitutional Convention agreed, adding the condition to the document that would be ratified less than two months later.
  • In September of 1787, the ratified U.S. Constitution included a Natural Law term Natural Born Citizen, synonymous with the term “True Citizen,” as a condition for access to the Oval Office, in Article II. You can also find in Article I, the enumerated power of Congress to enforce The Law of Nations, which means enforce all Rights under Natural Law as defined in The Law of Nations.
  • Since then, there has been no amendment altering the original definition of Natural Law or Natural Born Citizen, nor has there been any amendment removing the Natural Born Citizen requirement for the Oval Office in Article II.
  • On eight separate occasions, between 2004 and 2008, members of Congress proposed altering or eliminating the Natural Born Citizen requirement in Article II, failing in each of those attempts.
  • To legally alter anything in the Constitution, there must be an amendment to the Constitution and that amendment must be very specific in wording, as to what is being changed, altered or removed. The amendment itself must also be in perpetuation of the original context and intent of the Constitution, and cannot violate the original text or intent, or the measure itself becomes “unconstitutional.”
  • As a result, the term Natural Born Citizen means exactly the same thing it meant when the Founders made it a condition for access to the Oval Office in September of 1787.
  • Upon being elected the First President of the new United States in 1789 under the new constitution, on October 5, 1789, George Washington withdrew the one copy of The Law of Nations from the library where Franklin had placed it in 1775, as Washington explained in his notes, in order to learn the foundations upon which the new system of government had been formed and in order to properly govern under those concepts in accordance with the Founders intent under the constitution.
  • Washington never returned that copy of the book to the library. 221 years later, the staff of Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate learned of this situation and replaced the book at the New York Library. No effort to collect the estimated $300,000 in late fees was made.
  • On June 15, 1804, the 12th Amendment clarified that the same Natural Born Citizen and all other Article II requirements for the Presidency applies to the Vice Presidency, as the Vice President may succeed the President to the Oval Office.

WHY IT WAS PLACED IN OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS

The Founders reasoning for the Natural Born Citizen requirement in Article II is self-evident in the history of how it came to exist in our founding documents. In his letter to the Constitutional Convention, requesting the Natural Born Citizen be added as a requirement for high office under Article II, Jay explained his reasoning…

“Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American Army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.” – John Jay letter dated July 25, 1787

The reasoning of our Founders or the “original intent” of our Founders was a matter of National Security. In this case, it pertained to the highest and most powerful political office in our new nation, the office of Commander-in-Chief, or President of the United States.

The Founders reasoning and intent was clearly to prevent anyone with natural foreign loyalties or entanglements due to dual, divided or foreign citizenship, from ever holding the office of Commander-in-Chief. Therefore, as stated in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, “No person except a natural born citizen, – shall be eligible to the office of President;” (or Vice President as of Amendment XII)

The section which states “or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution,” pertains only to the Founders themselves, as they were all “citizens” of the United States at the adoption of the Constitution, but none of them were “natural born Citizens” at the adoption of the Constitution.

HOW THE LAW OF NATIONS DEFINES NATURAL BORN CITIZEN

Many have argued that the U.S. Constitution does not define the term natural born Citizen. Of course, the U.S. Constitution, unlike most legal documents, does not have a definitions section at all. None of the words that appear in the Constitution have a definition attached to them.

This is due to the fact that the U.S. Constitution was not written in legal-ease, but rather in basic simple common English, that any person able to read could easily comprehend, avoiding any need for citizens to rely upon the legal interpretations of men to understand their basic Natural Rights protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The ethical research of any subject requires an honest effort to seek truth, a complete study of all available information, when possible, a reliance on first source evidence, as opposed to second hand information or third party opinions which might be socially or politically motivated, and a recognition of and respect for the point of origin.

As the term was borrowed from Natural Law as defined by Emmerich De Vattel in the Law of Nations, we must refer to Chapter XIX Sections 212-220 of Book I to glean the true meaning of the term natural born Citizen, as it was used and intended by the Founders in 1787.

Contrary to the popular belief of many today who have not yet completed their research on the subject, Vattel did not define natural born Citizen in one sentence, or even one paragraph. Vattel spent nine sections of Chapter XIX defining natural born Citizen, and he makes it very clear that the term is synonymous with the term “True Citizen.”

Close and complete examination of Chapter XIX Sections 212-220 will eliminate all doubts and questions concerning the true definition of natural born Citizen, aka True Citizen. Upon inspection of all related sections, we find that Vattel has a common thread throughout concerning the meaning of natural born Citizen, or True Citizen. The following excerpts represent that common thread in order of appearance… the common thread in bold for ease of identification purposes.

  1. “As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.” – Section 212
  2. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent.” – Section 212
  3. “I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.” – Section 212
  4. “These are a kind of citizens of an inferior order, and are united to the society without participating in all its advantages. Their children follow the condition of their fathers;” Section 213 pertaining to “inhabitants” or foreigners allowed by the state to settle and stay in the country.
  5. “It is asked whether the children born of citizens in a foreign country are citizens? The laws have decided this question in several countries, and their regulations must be followed. (59) By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights (§ 212); the place of birth produces no change in this particular,” – Section 215 pertaining to children of citizens born abroad, which refers back to Section 212.
  6. The natural, or original settlement, is that which we acquire by birth, in the place where our father has his;” – Section 218 pertaining to the settlements of naturals…
  7. “We have observed above (§ 212), that they have a right to enter into the society of which their fathers were members.But every man is born free; and the son of a citizen, when come to the years of discretion, may examine whether it be convenient for him to join the society for which he was destined by his birth.” – Section 220 again refers back to Section 212, when attaching the natural rights of an individual to the natural birth father as it pertains to the individual right to withdraw from society once of legal age.

As you can see, a complete study of how the Law of Nations addresses natural born Citizen, True Citizen, is consistent in attaching Natural Birth Right Citizenship to the natural birth father.

Some ask, what about the mother?

As you can see, the mother is not mentioned as a means of passing natural born Citizenship to the child. Only the father is mentioned. Why?

In U.S. Law governing naturalization under the 14th Amendment, a mother can pass basic citizenship to the child at birth, but not natural born Citizenship under Natural Law. As a result, “These are a kind of citizens of an inferior order, and are united to the society without participating in all its advantages.”

In cases of married parents, all Natural Rights follow the blood of the father, including that of the family name, or surname, the family crest, family lineage and all natural rights of inheritance, including the natural right to inherit the citizenship of the father at birth by tacit consent, without any naturalization process.

This is because under the laws of marriage, two people become one entity, the father being the dominant legal figure within that union. The father is held most responsible for the actions of his family, to include his wife and his children.

Recent efforts, again by our illustrious legal and academic professionals, to alter even the age old definition of marriage have led to much anxiety and confusion over this very basic precept. The push for “equality” between genders and shifting gender roles have very much complicated this matter and frustrated many.

When the mother is not married, the condition of the natural birth father may or may not be known or documented.

However, when properly and ethically interpreting a document which is 227 years old, the definitions in force at the time the terms were used is the only correct definition, no matter how anyone feels about those definitions.

Our Constitution is written in stone, in the sense that it cannot be altered at all other than by amendment process. It does live and breathe, but only to the degree that society sees fit to amend the original Articles via the amendment process to meet with modern times. The amendment process was intentionally made very cumbersome to prevent people from altering our foundations of freedom and liberty on a whim for light or transient purposes.

The mere fact that some don’t like it does nothing to change it. Even court opinions, or congressional legislation, or executive orders do not have the power to constitutionally alter anything in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, or supersede them in law. Such efforts are all “unconstitutional” on their face.

INALIENABLE NATURAL LAW

It is not possible to change a condition which exists in nature. Our Founders wisely chose Natural Rights under Natural Law as the foundation for everything they created, because the Laws of Nature are constant, they are inalienable, they are beyond the power of man to regulate.

I was recently asked why I thought The Law of Nations has never been updated for modern use since its publication in the mid-1700s…. I answered… Because the Laws of Nature never change.

Some have no clue what the Laws of Nature are or how they affect their daily lives, much less why our Founders based everything upon these Laws. So, I often put the subject in terms that people can relate to by using the example of gravity, another law of nature.

Men can dislike, legislate against, rule against in the courts or order from existence from the Oval Office, gravity. The very best of scientists have never been able to alter or abolish gravity. At best, they have only been able to temporarily escape the effects of gravity. Yet sooner or later, what goes up will still come down. And that’s because gravity, like natural born Citizen, is a condition which exists in nature and it is inalienable by men.

Because our Founders had no trust in the pursuits of men in power, they entrusted everything to the Laws of Nature, and provided in our Founding documents that our Rights are all Natural Rights, Rights that exist in Nature, of Nature’s God, not of men easily manipulated via Common Law processes.

By 1823, Thomas Jefferson among other Founders had already witnessed the destructive nature of an unbridled judiciary, stating as follows:

“At the establishment of our Constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions nevertheless become law by precedent, sapping by little and little the foundations of the Constitution and working its change by construction before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account.”

WHY DON’T MODERN LAWYERS KNOW THIS?

In short, it’s because they do not want to know it and even more importantly, they do not want you to know it…

The Rules of Procedure “unconstitutionally” installed in the U.S. Justice system in 1946 made it possible for lawyers to alter or abolish Natural Rights in their Common Law by simply legislating against them, ruling them out of existence from the bench, or ordering them out of force from the Executive Branch.

Since then, American Law Schools have not taught Natural Law of Constitutional Law. Instead, they have focused on how to infringe upon the Natural Rights of every American by using precedence and procedure found only in Common Law. They had granted themselves the power to change law, the Constitution and the Bill of Natural Rights, by merely “setting a new precedent” or blocking public access to the proper justice system via “procedures of the courts.”

As a result, very few if any lawyers alive today know any of the truths presented in this essay on the subject of Natural Law and natural born. Further, even fewer want to know these truths and almost none of them want the American people to know this historic truth.

However, the truth exists… and it will not vanish, so long as the people grasp it, protect it and preserve it. They must, as the information provided herein is much greater than the subject of who can and cannot hold the office of President…

It is the Foundation of freedom and liberty, without which, the people of the United States will possess neither.

I have spent so much time and effort researching and writing on this subject for one single reason… I know that if the American people cannot get this one thing right, there is no chance that they will get anything else right in their efforts to defend the Constitution and regain control of their stolen Republic.

This is the lynch pin to everything. If the American people can get this one issue right and act swiftly to enforce it, they can save their country. If they cannot get this right, they will get nothing else right…

Florida Common Core: If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target!

It is often said, If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target, so we must be mighty close in our battle against Common Core.

Jeb Bush decided he’s had quite enough, and has “lost patience” with Common Core opponents, he said in a December 2nd article.  What he means is we should stop upsetting his run for the Presidency in 2016 with the truth about his selling our kids down the river for campaign money from Pearson PLC, Bill Gates and the “one world government” cronies.  He would rather not hear about the kids who are suffering and permanently harmed by the propaganda and poor education pumped down their throats such as:

  • Thanksgiving is a hurtful holiday.
  • The Pilgrims were the first terrorists.
  • Gorbachev was responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • The Constitution is a guideline and must change with new times.
  • America is an Imperialist nation.
  • Our Founding Fathers were prejudiced male chauvinist pigs.
  • “George Washington was anything BUT a man of the people.”
  • “Ronald Reagan was a charismatic leader who invented his own past and sometimes believed it.”

Just last week Nancy Graham, the Superintendent of Lee County Schools, the 34th largest district in the nation, decided at a statewide meeting of school board members, she would “tell all” about the famous school board vote to OPT OUT of high stakes testing which occurred August 27, 2014.

Using Saul Alinsky techniques to vilify and discredit those who disagree with her support of Common Core, she resorts to calling out a grandmother who supposedly started all this mess, claiming she misrepresented herself as having children in Lee Schools, and labelling this grandmother a “pretend” grandma to the laughter of the audience.  And frustrated, she embellishes, this “pretend” grandma keeps attending school board meetings.

I confess.  I AM the “pretend” Grandma. Anyone who knows me knows about my two, very real, and wonderful granddaughters I would give my life to protect.  When I confronted her, she claimed her staff told her I lied to them and told them that my granddaughter was in Lee Schools. I NEVER LIED or MISLED anyone.  I told them I paid to send my granddaughter in Lee County to a private school.  She seems to think schools don’t impact the entire community and if we don’t have children in them, we shouldn’t be involved.  If the schools were any good, I wouldn’t have to pay $8,000 a year to send the grandkids elsewhere.  At least 4 of the 5 board members don’t have children in Lee County Schools.  I guess they shouldn’t be involved either.

Superintendent Graham stated in her talk that the “silent majority” were more well informed than citizens who urged action against Common Core and High Stakes Testing.  After nearly two years of research, conferences all over the country and dozens of meetings with experts on standards, testing and child psychology, I take personal exception to that assertion.  The 400 people or so who attended the opt out meeting spoke clearly, eloquently and many had intimate knowledge to share on the crushing impact of high stakes testing and Common Core.

She talked about how she prevented us from talking to the head of curriculum about the books which violate state statute and our sensibilities to get another audience laugh.

She accuses all of us who complain, saying we are making a “calculated strategic attempt to move forward a personal agenda.”  She said we are making impassioned speeches and they are so earnest but nothing we say is true, mocking us once again.  She mocks “talk show hosts” specifically.

Even her own school board, her bosses, don’t escape her rebuke.  She said one board member claimed he was going to opt his children out. Then to her shock and horror, they voted to opt the district out.  The board asked her opinion and she made the audience laugh once again by saying she couldn’t possibly say what was really on her mind.  Then she stated that they promised never to make any vote that would surprise her.  REALLY?  She reveals there was a flurry of calls to the Department of Education and they to her, obviously plotting how to reverse the vote.

Superintendent Nancy Graham did NOT talk about the threatening call several board members received from the district’s bonding company representative, Jerry Ford, or others by state officials.  Two of the three members who voted to opt out, refused to be intimidated.  One succumbed.  Not so mysteriously, one board member, Mary Fisher, asked to call a special meeting at which she would rescind her vote.

Graham said she didn’t want to talk with reporters because they got the story wrong (mocking them).  She insisted instead on talking with the editors only in a private 1.5 hour meeting so SHE could set them straight.  Now their stories are accurate (according to her warped point of view.)  She says we are now “back on track” while absolutely NO changes requested by her Board or by the public have been made, whatsoever.

Opposition to her dictatorial and arrogant leadership is at a boiling point, and now she faces an investigation by outside counsel for financial mismanagement.

Jeb Bush is fighting to keep the lid on opposition as well, doing expensive national ads trying to portray Common Core as the friend to minorities, which is anything but the case.   Data now shows that they are the first to feel the lash of the testing and inappropriate standards.

In an article written by Tess Brennan, she estimated as many as 80% of minority students in Lee County might be expected to fail the new Florida State Assessment.

This is hardly “friendly” or helpful to minorities.  Many call it child abuse.  Bill Gates, himself, said this is an experiment and we won’t know the outcome for at least 10 years.  That is nearly an entire school experience for a child.  Are we really willing to experiment with an entire generation?  The empirical results after only a few years are eye popping, brain exploding, mind boggling failures.  What else do we need to make a sound decision?

Please call your legislators and tell them we have endured enough of the punitive high stakes testing and Common Core propaganda.  Let’s use a little logic of our own and make a decision to unleash the individual, God given potential of our children, not force them to be common with Common Core.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a B-24 Liberator of the 464th Bomb Group bracketed by flak bursts from German anti-aircraft guns, Nov 1944. Source: United States National Archives via D. Sheley.

Islamic State tortures Christians in their own Churches

“Bishop Kevin?”

“Yeah, you got ‘im.”

“This is Imam Mohammed down at Masjid Amr ibn al-As…”

“Mo! Hey, buddy, great to hear from ya! How’s it going? Look, I gotta tell ya, the baba ghanouj at last week’s outreach was…to die for –”

“I am so glad you liked it, Your Grace, but I am calling you about an urgent matter.”

“Hey, Mo, fire away. Anything you need, you can count on me, buddy.”

“Yes, I know. Listen, I’ve gotten word that one of your parishes out in the suburbs is hosting a speaker on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.”

“Yeah, Mo, have you heard the latest from Iraq? Good gravy, Father Bud was telling me about it this morning after Mass.”

“Your Grace, I have told you about that Father Bud–”

“I know, I know, yeah, Mo, I know he can be a bit officious, but it’s so hard to get good guys these days, you know? I am sure you good folks have the same problem.”

“Actually we have a flood of applicants for seminary. But that is beside the point.”

“Hey, Mo, that’s great. Wow, that’s terrific news. More power to ya, eh, buddy? Anyway, look, so Bud was telling me about how in Iraq, they were torturing Christians in their own churches. Now, I know you condemn–”

“Yes, Bishop Kevin–”

“Hey, Mo, call me Kev.”

“Uh, yes. Kev. Anyway, of course we condemn all forms of extremism, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. But I want to make sure you understand: if you allow a talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally, it might undercut the positive achievements that you as Catholics have attained in your inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims. It might possibly also generate suspicion and even fear of people who practice piously the religion of Islam.”

“Oh, my word. Cripes, Mo, I had no idea. You know how much the dialogue means to me. That baba ghanouj! What do you want me to do, buddy?”

“Your Grace, I want you to cancel this talk, and to disallow any discussion of the persecution of Christians in majority-Muslim countries on Church properties.”

“Mo, hey, no worries. You got it. I wouldn’t dream of offending you, Mo. After all, we’re such good buds! You can count on me. I will call the parish and get that speaker canceled in a jiffy.”

“I knew I could count on you, Your Grace–”

“Kev!”

“Uh, yes. Kev. Thank you. See you next week at the mosque.”

“You betcha, Mo! I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Make sure there is plenty of baba ghanouj!”

“Oh, I will, Your Grace. I will.”

“Isis in Iraq: Christians tortured in churches, photos show men being whipped for drinking wine,” by Thomas Wyke, International Business Times, December 14, 2014 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Iraqi Christians are reportedly being tortured in local churches by Islamic State in northern Iraq.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, a Christian resident from the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, said: “These two churches are being used as prisons and for torture.Three of the Christian prisoners died because they were sick and nobody cared for them.”

The man, known as Abu Aasi, claims that Christian prisoners in the churches are being forced to convert and that Islamic State have been “breaking all the crosses and statues of Mary”.

Whilst the claim could not be independently verified, thousands of Christians have fled Mosul since the city was seized by Islamic State in August 2014.

Faced with the prospect of conversion, paying a special tax or execution, up to 20,000 Christians reportedly fled Mosul in just 45 days, according to a UN report….

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Germany: Thousands take to the streets to protest “Islamization”

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“Pastor” Obama creates a new Bible!

Welcome to “Jumpin’ Jum’ah Freaky Friday” where we take a humorous look at Islam, the “religion of peace,” and make important points for Muslim, Jews and Christians. One of our stories today is really funny but very sad.

President Obama, a self-professed Christian, clearly indicates that he knows NOTHING about the faith he says he converted to (from Islam) as he delivers an immigration speech in Nashville. Not only does he invent “new” verses in the Bible, but the verse that is actually in the Bible he butchers to a point of making it incomprehensible! Don’t miss the shocking BBC report about how Muslims killed over 6000 people in the month of November.

Tune in for a fast-moving show that will tickle your funny bone and increase your gray matter!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Convicted Terrorist Ayers Appears on Iranian Media to Give a Rebuke of the United States

NPR ‘ridiculing Christianity,’ says Baptist pastor

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of CBS News.

Black and Blue: How the State Brings Order

We need rule of law, not law and order by Sandy Ikeda:

Today, the difference between law and order and rule of law is literally a matter of life and death. Rarely has that difference been illustrated so starkly as on the streets and inside the courtrooms of St. Louis County, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York. The tragedy is that too few can articulate it; the terror is that too many can’t even see it. At least, not yet.

Rule of law

The rule of law is often contrasted with the rule of man. According to the rule of law, law should lie as far as possible beyond the arbitrary, unpredictable choices of public authorities.

But the rule of law also contains the idea that the law should neither deliberately privilege nor harm any individual or group. Legislation that aims at a certain outcome for a specific person is contrary to the rule of law. An edict that intentionally takes property from persons in group A in order to benefit persons in group B also violates the rule of law. The law should apply equally to everyone regardless of their status. But as F.A. Hayek pointed out, when the state attempts to impose any large-scale plan on its citizens, its commands must necessarily discriminate against some and favor others.

At the same time, those who believe government (that is, a monopoly over force) is necessary for a free society — to provide national defense, for example — but who also believe in the rule of law tend to support aggression under certain circumstances. One is tax collection, so long as it doesn’t target particular individuals or groups, and so long as the persons or groups benefiting from the tax revenue can’t be identified beforehand. The rule of law is supposed to constrain political power.

The rule of law implies stability and predictability. It weighs against expediency and opportunism in legislation, shifting this way and that as circumstances change. And it weighs in favor of governing according to abstract principles that apply universally. Laws that avoid privilege and favoritism (“rent seeking” in modern terminology) tend to do just this.

When government is small and nonintrusive, the rule of law may, in fact, promote a peaceful kind of law and order. But today, when governments around the world are anything but small and nonintrusive, the difference between law and order and rule of law has never been so stark.

Law and order

No one disputes that a certain kind of social order is a good thing. In general, rioting and pillaging are wrong. But when oppression becomes intolerable and peaceful forms of protest have been ineffective, disorderly conduct and even the destruction of property can be positive forces for political and social change. Think of the Boston Tea Party.

I think it’s safe to say that behind that level of oppression is the authority’s fear that it is losing control, a fear sparked by significant acts of individual defiance against authority. That defiance is usually against the authority of police, the blue tip of the spear wielded by the State and aimed at the heart of the most vulnerable citizens.

Ironically, the very chaos governments fear is itself the consequence of too much “law and order,” and their response is then usually to try to impose even more oppressive and unequal “law and order.” Think of the American Revolution. Think of Tiananmen Square. Governments equate order with control. They view society not as what happens when people freely follow their own plans, but as a machine that they must consciously direct, maintain, and occasionally overhaul, lest the cogs freeze up and the wheels stop turning. For them, society cannot order itself, but must be deliberately ordered by law — the law and order of a police state.

In a police state, no one knows how many people the police kill every year. In a police state, the police are not accountable for the harm they do to the same degree that ordinary citizens are. In a police state, the police have extraordinary privileges under the law that the rest of us do not.

The “law and order” of a police state is the result of surveillance, discrimination, and aggression. The law and order that emerges from a minimal government under the rule of law derives from privacy, equality, and peaceful cooperation.

ABOUT SANDY IKEDA

Sandy Ikeda is a professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism.

The System Protects the System

The problem is not just benighted cops, but over criminalization by Michael Munger:

An interesting split has been developing in the reactions to the Ferguson and the Staten Island grand jury decisions. When you look closely, this is exactly the division that has for so long defined the American left and right and has kept libertarians on the sidelines.

The left is outraged that the state is not doing exactly what the left expects from an idealized, unicorn state. When they said they wanted a system where everything was controlled by the state, for the common good, they genuinely believed that all that is necessary for good results is good intentions. Any failure must be a problem with implementation.

But the real state is made up of human beings. People are deeply flawed. The left wants to rely on abstract systems, then be perpetually astonished when things go really wrong. It’s not bad people that are the problem. “The thingthe thing itself” is the abuse, folks.

The right? Well, the right is just denying that there is a problem. The system is working. The grand jury has spoken. The only problem is the protesters, who are law-breakers.

The problem with that view is that grand juries almost always indict — unless the case is being brought against a police officer. Then, they almost never indict. That’s not really a “system” at all. That’s a problem. Judge Scalia got this right, in a different context.

The libertarian middle (look, when the political system is a muddle, we’re the middle!) accepts parts of both arguments. The system is, in fact, working exactly as designed, so the right is correct in that sense. But this is a really bad outcome, and it hurts poor people the most — so the left is correct, too.

You can’t have all those laws, a strong presumption in favor of the state’s truthfulness, and expect to protect the poor.

As always, Bastiat said it best, and most succinctly, in The Law:

When under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices. Now, is it the most unfortunate who gains from this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating.

The system is not designed to help the poor. Of course police officers are going to use excessive force. Of course police officers are going to have and act on racial and class-based preferences. And then the system — in the courts, the prosecutor’s office, and the grand jury — is going to protect itself. That’s the system, unless you believe in unicorns. The system is designed to protect the system. And it does that very well, so it is well designed. If the left were really serious about helping the poor, they would recognize that the only answer is much less of the system.

We have criminalized so many behaviors (in the Staten Island case, selling packs of cigarettes!) that we have given the police enormous pressure to perform — and gigantic latitude to act on prejudice, bigotry, and simple anger. The police, in their defense, have an impossible job. They have come to see almost everyone around them, every day, as a lawbreaker and a danger to society. Harvey Silverglate has famously estimated that most of us commit at least three felonies per day. The only thing that prevents us from being jailed is the discretion and public spiritedness of the prosecutor.

Of course, I myself don’t really need to worry. I have creamy white skin and quite a bit of money in my bank account. White people are largely unaffected. The almost-but-not-funny hashtag #crimingwhilewhite shows the truth: rich white people can break the law, and they won’t get charged nearly as often.

Still, even I don’t want to have to rely on the discretion and public spiritedness of the prosecutor. I’d rather rely on the fact — and it is a fact — that I haven’t actually done anything wrong, and therefore the laws that could be used to charge me with felonies shouldn’t exist in the first place. More and more, our government’s motto when it comes to citizens is “trust but terrify.”

As long as overreaching laws effectively criminalize being black or poor, it’s not surprising that the police will continue to treat black people and poor people as criminals.

This kind of race-based law enforcement is given the stink eye by our friends on the left, but they can’t seem to draw the obvious inference: the answer is not better police or more enlightened officials. The answer is fewer laws. That’s the long division in our society, the most important difference that arises from class and social status.

Decriminalize normal nonviolent daily activity, and the police will have fewer excuses to harass people they don’t like — people who often can’t fight back.

ABOUT MICHAEL MUNGER

Michael Munger is the director of the philosophy, politics, and economics program at Duke University. He is a past president of the Public Choice Society.

Fifty More Ways to Leave Leviathan: Innovation and Entrepreneurship can make you Freer

by Max Borders and Jeffrey A. Tucker:

It’s been over a year since we published “50 Ways to Leave Leviathan.” That successful piece showed how innovation and entrepreneurship are gradually undermining the top-down, command-and-control approach to governance.

It is happening quickly by any historical standard, but it is also happening incrementally in ways that cause us not to notice. The bigger the pattern, the more slowly we tend to recognize it. The bigger the implication, the more resistant we are to acknowledging it.

We even take it all for granted. In reality, the ground is shifting beneath our feet. Those in power feel it, and it scares them. The innovation can be slowed, but it can’t be stopped, much less reversed. This great transformation is already underway.

The theme, as always, is human freedom, which is the insuppressible urge within all of us to live full and ever more prosperous lives, regardless of the barriers put in the way.

Here are 50 more ways to leave Leviathan. Each one is worthy of a separate article and analysis, but assembling them this way shows how one paradigm of social and economic organization is crumbling and another is taking its place. The unrelenting power and energy behind these innovations and workarounds are making the old models of social organization obsolete.

1. Become an e-resident of Estonia. Estonia was once an unwilling satellite of the Soviet socialist empire. Today, the country is leading the way toward the breakdown of nation-based political organization, especially with its new e-resident program. Anyone can become a resident for $61. What can you do with that? Well, you get a cool card, and there might be some business and banking benefits. No one knows for sure, not even those who champion the program. But it’s a step in the right direction. Digital residency might mean more than physical residency in the world of the future.

2. Skip licensing with TaskRabbit. Occupational licensing is one of the dumbest ideas ever, a real holdover from 18th-century mercantilism. Why must we create a state-protected cartel for every task? Well, TaskRabbit is helping to bust them all up with a system for connecting service providers with service seekers. Know how to fix a sink or need one fixed — or hundreds of thousands of other tasks? Get connected in minutes. So much for the gatekeeping monopolists who stand between us and our needs.

3. Get anything delivered with WunWun. When you need a government service, you get it on their terms. More and more, when you need anything else, it will come to you. WunWun is fairly new and only operates in New York and San Francisco, but you can see where this idea is headed. Click a button on an app and, if it can be brought to you on a bicycle, it will be there in no time. You pay with a credit card. This service is going viral, and paying with cryptocurrency will be an option.

4. Hire or be hired with oDesk. In the old days, getting a job meant impressing a company enough to take you on long term. But in the digital age, anyone can work for or with anyone else, and oDesk is one of hundreds of platforms that make this possible. Freelancing was once the exception, but with government rules and mandates making conventions less viable, millions are turning to task-based employment. Work for whomever you want, whenever you want. It’s a great way to overcome the barriers of the regulatory state.

5. Moonlight with eLance. If you have a skill and a job, but government regulations limit you to 30 or 40 hours of work per week, you can still put those nights and weekends to productive use. Many services, such as eLance, allow you to pick up extra cash without checking with the central authorities. It is completely beyond the capacity of the Department of Labor to monitor this type of work. They call it “exploitation,” but we all know it’s just a matter of making ends meet.

6. Foil the revenue cops with Fixed.com. Since the financial crisis of 2008, local governments have been hurting for revenue, so they unleashed the cops to bring in the money. This is one major reason why nearly everyone feels oppressed by the police these days. But the app economy has come to the rescue. Scan your ticket and submit, and a local attorney will push for dismissal. The fee you pay is a fraction of what the government demands. For now, it’s mostly a San Francisco service, but it will soon expand.

7. Put that car to use with Getaround. You have to get somewhere, but it is not always easy because government transit systems are so terrible. Now there is a way to share your car with others and make money at the same time. This app, one of many such services, allows you to rent a nearby car for the day, putting idle resources to work without crazy government mandates for carpooling and public transport. It’s the market at work fixing yet another big problem.

8. Your house becomes a restaurant with EatWith. Why should the regulators say what is and what isn’t a restaurant? If you have a kitchen or an appetite, there are others who might want to make an exchange with you. Such services are busy every day busting up the eating cartels. They are also helping to bring back the dinner party.

9. Get a business loan at the Funding Circle. The Fed broke the banking system in 2008 with its crazy bailouts and zero-interest-rate policies. It is not a reliable source for doing what banks have always done to make money. But the private sector has come to the rescue with online sources for business loans. The interest on such loans is market based, revealing the weird world we have today with regard to interest: there’s the official rate, and then there’s the real rate.

10. Monitor overlords with copblocking. It’s become a thing now that the police are filmed by regular citizens all across the United States and the world. Ten years ago, filming a cop might have gotten you arrested. Today, there is nothing they can do about it, since everyone carries a video maker in her pocket. Filming is not a perfect solution, but it sure makes the cops more accountable. Livestreaming means that the video is still out there even if your phone is confiscated or smashed. Copblocking has become a way of life.

11. Try mobile health care. Time was when health care came to you. As the industry became more cartelized and expensive, the industry dictated the terms and you had to go to them. But regulations have pushed matters so far that the system is breaking down, and many providers are seceding toward a consumer-driven model. Even companies like Uber are looking into putting doctors and nurses on wheels. Such services will only be for the well-to-do — for now. But just as mobile phones got better, faster, and cheaper, so will health care delivery. Mobile health care startups are already attracting a lot of venture capital. First up: Uber for hangovers. (Note: Uber Logistics is coming soon.)

12. Get married on the blockchain. Marriage before the 20th century could be a purely private affair between individuals or within religious institutions. States took over marriage in the 20th century with licenses and strictures everywhere. There’s no better way to depoliticize this institution than finding another way to contract a marriage besides going to the State. The blockchain — bitcoin’s payment system — is perfect for posting contracts that are time-stamped, nonforgeable, and verified. Why not let it be the way out of State-controlled marriage? (See Bitnation.)

13. Use blockchain contracting. People who love the distributed ledger have counted fully 84 possible uses of the blockchain for keeping all kinds of records and contracts, including public and private equities, bonds, spending records, crowdfunding, microfinance, land titles, health records, forensic evidence, birth certificates, wills, trusts, escrow, business accounting, and just about anything else that involves contracts. This is serious future stuff: a fully functioning body of law in the cloud that works without lawmakers or bureaucrats.

14. Manage transactions with Counterparty. Let’s say you have an idea for a legal institution that isn’t yet available, or you want to pioneer a new system for business-to-business exchanges and invoicing. There are at least two well-funded platforms that specialize in innovation on distributed networks: Ethereum and Counterparty. They are busy working (in private) with some very large companies right now. Private, lower-cost alternatives to government are on the way.

15. Encrypt your smartphone data. Ever since people became aware that government is using surveillance to track our every online move and every phone call, people have demanded solutions. Apple was the first to act to encrypt all smartphone data to the point that not even the company itself can access it (iOS8). The same change is being made to the Android operating system. The FBI went nuts and denounced this encryption, but it’s too late. Users feel safer, and there’s no going back.

16. Buy and sell through Open Bazaar. Last year, the government took down the Silk Road online marketplace, seemingly ending a peaceful solution to the violence of the drug trade. Several more sites popped up to take its place, but the ultimate solution lies with a distributed network with no central point of failure. This is what the company Open Bazaar is doing. It will be a marketplace that anyone can download and implement. It lives on a network too diffuse to be dissolved. And it is designed for bitcoin.

17. Use tax preparation software. It is nearly beyond the capacity of mere mortals to prepare taxes by hand these days, but software has come to the rescue. There are so many packages available that put the power of a huge team of accountants in the hands of every person, and at a very low price. It’s amazing to see how the private sector has managed to save us time and money in this most arduous task.

18. Ditch school and go Praxis. Everyone knows there is a huge college bubble developing, with debt and costs exploding. The question has been: what will replace the traditional path to higher education? Innovative alternatives combine work and study into affordable one-year programs that bypass traditional college entirely. The student integrates into a commercial space and thereby completes the program having obtained actual, valuable skills. That’s a massive change for the better.

19. Enjoy pot legally. Forty years ago, Richard Nixon started a war on pot as a political maneuver. It boosted his credibility and attacked his enemies. Sadly, tens of millions of innocent people have been abused and caged as a result. But the public isn’t standing for it anymore. States and cities are decriminalizing it all over the country in response to noncompliance and voter revolt. Nearly half the states have liberalized. Only the South remains to act in some form. It’s a beautiful thing to see freedom from the drug war dawning at last.

20. Build your car from a kit. Federal regulations have made a mess of car coolness over the years, mandating higher hoods and trunks and dramatically reducing visibility thanks to safety standards (even as fuel economy mandates lighter cars). Whatever happened to the car of the future that looked sleek and amazing, like an arrowhead? Well, there is a loophole: you can build your own. This is what FactoryFive allows you to do. How satisfying to drive an embodiment of the rebellious spirit!

21. Become a homebrewer. It’s seems incredible that the United States once banned the production and distribution of alcohol by constitutional amendment. Talk about nuts! Prohibition was repealed in 1932, but the prohibitionist mindset is still with us. That hasn’t stopped the homebrewing of beer from taking off in a dramatic national trend, however. The craft-brew movement started with a guy working in his basement. It’s now a large commercial industry to supply enthusiasts. Be your own bootlegger.

22. Contribute to community charity online. The rap about capitalism is that it’s all about greed. That’s nonsense. A major employment of capitalist tools has been the building of huge community-based networks of philanthropy. Through sites like Groupon Grassroots, you can now support a large variety of meritorious projects right in your own neighborhood. Charity has never been more networked and effective as compared with tax-funded transfer payments.

23. Grow plants from open-source seeds. Since the movie Food, Inc., the public has been widely and rightly upset about patented seeds. Seed patents conflict with 6,000 years of agricultural practice in which people save and share seeds. The Open Source Seed Initiative is fighting back against government-protected monopolists by producing excellent seeds for sharing around the world. It’s the application of the most successful software model to the practice of growing food. No government agents or crony thugs involved.

24. Live in a tiny house. Since at least the 1920s, the American dream has been all about home ownership — and the bigger, the better. Bankers loved it and so did government, which subsidized the trend for the rest of the century. Then the system exploded in 2008. Today, people are busy rethinking, and one result is the tiny house movement. Tiny houses are affordable, easy to keep up, and allow for flexible and light living. They’re also illegal in most municipalities, but thankfully they can also be mobile.

25. Sip ayahuasca tea from abroad. Native populations of South America have used the herb ayahuasca for centuries as a natural hallucinogen. They say it makes profound spiritual revelations possible. Maybe. But whatever: the drug warriors hate it. That hasn’t stopped the development of an active market for spiritual tourism and for acquiring ayahuasca teas from abroad. Nothing can stop the forces of supply and demand.

26. Attend Voice & Exit. This festival of the future is poised to give TED a run for its money. The idea — the human algorithm — is about abandoning systems that are no longer working and starting new systems (in the spirit of this article). “Exiters” flock to the event each year to celebrate human flourishing, and there will soon be events in multiple cities. The founders are proud of their post-partisan ethos and welcome people from all backgrounds. But the focus is on celebrating voluntary solutions to improving oneself, one’s community, and the world. (Disclosure: Max Borders is a Voice & Exit cofounder.)

27. Drink butter coffee. How could something so simple and wonderful elude us for so long? The trend to mix butter and coffee underscores how brilliance and innovation need not involve complex technology. It only requires insight. When you embrace butter coffee, you are leaving that state-perpetuated myth that fats found in butter are unhealthy. It took a peer-to-peer network of ancestral health practitioners to bring down the anti-fat propagandists and scientific “experts” a peg or two.

28. Be a fully informed juror. It’s the traditional right of juries to judge not only the defendant’s guilt or innocence but also the law under which he or she is charged. But jurors are rarely told that. Sometimes, however, their conscience guides them in the right way, as with many recent marijuana cases. There are hundreds of documented cases in which juries have simply refused to convict regardless of evidence. Prosecutors have become discouraged at even finding jurors, so they shelve the cases. The FIJA is doing heavy educational lifting here.

29. Hire a virtual assistant. Minimum wage laws and other regulations mean it’s too expensive to hire assistants the way people once did. That’s tragic. But technology finds a way. You can hire an assistant online without having to fork over the big bucks for benefits, health insurance, and unemployment insurance. They work through email, Google hangouts, Skype, and other conferencing systems. And you can find them at sites like Brickwork.

30. Eat grass-fed beef. Government apparently wants all edible animals stuffed with corn — because the corn lobby remains one of the most powerful in Washington. But not all consumers are going for it. They are finding ways to import grass-fed beef and even to do ranching their own way. Food innovations such as these can’t be stopped, no matter how many agents the feds send out to arrest the supposed bad guys. Rogue farming and ranching are on the rise.

31. Read or publish an eBook. Time was when only the rich could afford home libraries. They were treasures, more valuable than houses and the land they sat on. It was only in the 20th century that home libraries became common. In the 21st century, anyone with a cheap e-reader can downloadhundreds of thousands of books at no cost. It’s a breathtaking development, and yet how many of us take all this knowledge for granted? Every dystopian novel features a world of censorship. That world is impossible today.

32. Participate in Liberty.me. The ideas of liberty have always needed an action plan, something besides begging the people in power to recognize human rights and liberties. Now there is a global liberty community that provides discussions, libraries, friendship, and turnkey publishing, effectively crowdsourcing the building of liberty. It’s a community for doers, not just dreamers, and it’s made possible entirely through digital media. (Disclosure: Jeffrey Tucker is the founder.)

33. Benefit from drones. Two years ago, the word “drone” was synonymous with US imperialism and murders abroad. Then the private sector got involved, and drones are now used for humane purposes such as delivering groceries and other products. Amazon Prime Air is the pioneer here, but it is not difficult to imagine these glorious machines flying all over the airspace in a way that serves people, getting them what they need or want in a way they want it. That even includes beer, except that the FDA shut this service down. For now.

34. Use multisig. Bitcoin can brag of its peer-to-peer structure, but what if you want more than one party around to execute a transaction? For example, business partners need to all be involved in decision making. Another example is a bequest: the beneficiary needs access. Twelve months ago, multisig seemed like a dream. Now, it’s a reality. All the main exchanges offer multisignature interfaces. You can have many people involved in making a transaction now, potentially hundreds. This is the ultimate in customizable payment and money systems.

35. Stream your music. Some readers might remember meandering through record stores looking for “long-playing” records. Then came eight-tracks. Then came cassettes. Then came CDs, and they were amazing. But they didn’t last long. The world became fully digitized with the iPod and MP3s. But that didn’t last long, either. Just within the last 12 months, we’ve seen miracles happen. Infinite libraries of thousands of years of music are now available for low fees, via tiny devices, at sites like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, and hundreds of others. You can listen to anything, anytime, anywhere. It’s mind-boggling, and it makes a mockery of regulatory attempts to control technology and the arts.

36. View nanoscale lithography. Copyright is pretty weird, forbidding reproduction of an “owned” image or text without specifying the medium or scale. What if you take a giant picture and reduce it to microscopic size and embed it in another piece of art? Is that infringement? One artist decided to test the notion. How absurd can copyright enforcement be? The result is “When Art Exceeds Perception,” an exhibition of art at Cornell University. The reproductions can’t be seen by the naked eye, but the copyright holder is still objecting, which is, as it turns out, part of the art itself.

37. Be your own quant. Ten years ago, there was an emerging hysteria about how “quants” — super-smart number crunchers with private knowledge — were ruling the financial space, edging out individual investors and even medium-sized institutions. They were rigging the game and grabbing all available profits for themselves. Today, the same and better knowledge is being democratized with such services as Kensho, which is bringing quant-style power to every investor and institution, essentially running a Google-style search feature for investments. So much for the monopoly. The market’s tendency is to distribute valuable information.

38. Skip the student loans. A key problem with government loans is that they are not creative. Students rack up debt and find their careers hobbled for years. What if there were a different way? Lumni suggests this: they will pay for your education and, in return, you give a percentage of your income back after you get your paying job. It’s not a loan; it’s an investment — or a form of seed funding. It’s flexible, and the company benefits from your later performance. Now that’s creative.

39. Write a judge at a sentencing hearing. No one wants a case to go to trial anymore, not defenders and not prosecutors. It makes sense: courts are broken beyond repair. Sadly, this means that many innocent people plead guilty just to break free of the system. But there’s still the sentencing, and the judge has massive discretion. Your letters on behalf of the defendant can and do make a huge difference. They should be personal and authentic. Your plea for leniency can keep one good person out of a cage.

40. Learn anything. Online learning used to be a novelty. Then it started becoming mainstream and comprehensive. Today, it is exploding beyond belief. Here is a site that offers 100 other sites that teach just about anything you could ever want to know. And the crazy-great Khan Academy isn’t even listed. It boggles the mind to consider that there was a time when government imagined that it could control what we learn.

41. Transfer money ridiculously cheaply. Life was proceeding normally, then suddenly an $80,000,000 transaction floated across the Blockchain. As always, the money moved, completely and wholly and fully verified, within minutes, unlike a bank transfer or a credit card transaction. But here’s the kicker: the transaction only cost $0.04! That’s a savings of $2 million from what any other form of moving that sum would take. To anyone but the government, that’s serious money. Can Bitcoin break the network effect of nationalized money? Absolutely.

42. Remit money cheaper. Banks and wiring companies are charging too much money for people to send money home — mainly to poor countries. But remittances are about to get a lot cheaper. Companies like TransferWise, Moni Technologies, and WorldRemit are competing, paradoxically, to keep more money in the hands of people in the developing world.

43. Start a podcast. Podcasts are old school, but in this world of nonstop surprises, that doesn’t make them outmoded. They are more popular than ever before, and ever easier to start. This makes sense, given the growing length of commutes and people’s desire to gather interesting information — and to know what’s true. At the height of State power in the 20th century, the State controlled all information flows. Now, anyone can start a fireside chat with the world. The monopoly of information is ruined.

44. Make a movie. Five years ago, people were still buying camcorders. They were expensive and not that effective. They were a vast improvement over the on-shoulder models from 20 years earlier. But today? Everyone with a smartphone carries a movie maker in his or her pocket. Anything and everything can be streamed, and the competition has caused movie quality to soar. Plus, there are no more secrets in public spaces, and this has to be a good thing for human freedom, given that the State has lived on hiding its deeds from public notice for, well, thousands of years.

45. Get a Fiverr. Maybe you want to send a customized Christmas song. Maybe you need a new logo for a blog. How about a custom shirt design or a new stamp for your business? All of this can be done for five bucks. That’s right, a full website that is offering P2P services that used to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. It’s all voluntary and everyone wins. How can you not come away with a smile? Note that the prices of state services are forever rising while the private sector is forever driving them down.

46. Pay with dogecoin. This “alt-coin” — a spin-off cryptocurrency — started as a ridiculous joke. It was an Internet meme of a Shiba dog looking oddly smart and sweet. Nothing more. The image was slapped on a cybercurrency on its own blockchain, just to show that it could be done. And then it took off like a rocket. Everyone laughed until it became real. Today, dogecoin is the number three most-capitalized cryptomoney, after litecoin and bitcoin. It’s also fun to mine and ridiculously plentiful. Sure, it could crash, like so many others. But while it lasts, it teaches us a lesson: there is value in Internet fashions. It’s all subjective.

47. Partake in the Creative Commons. Not every government imposition on market institutions allows for a way out. But in the case of copyright — a regulatory intervention that has become a major source of mischief in the digital age — Creative Commons is the answer that freedom-lovers can embrace. FEE founder Leonard Read pioneered this approach in the late 1940s, long before people even questioned copyright. FEE in 2014 has gone all the way by putting all its content in the commons with no restrictions. Goodbye censors. (Note that CC offers many varieties of licenses, and some are even more restrictive than government copyright.)

48. Tsu me. There are hundreds of social networks today, and one really big one. How long can that last? A site called Tsu.co opened in October and, within only a few weeks, it rocketted to the top of all site rankings. The move has been so fast that plugins haven’t caught up to it yet. Yes, the new social network learns (steals) from Facebook in lots of ways. But that’s the way the market works: the experience of one company becomes a collective good that everyone can try out — and then improve on. No one stays on top forever. Just ask MySpace.

49. GetGems. Instant messaging is still the thing, but what if it lived on a distributed network with no central control that also allowed instant currency exchanges at near-zero cost? That’s what going on at GetGems. It’s some pretty edgy stuff, but remember: these are the early days of such innovations. No one can prevent us from talking to each other — or exchanging with each other — in whatever way we choose. (See also other forms of crypto-texting.)

50. Buy your own kingdom. An art teacher in Portugal had a snappy idea: buy an island off the coast of Madeira. Then he had an even better idea: turn it into his own kingdom. That’s what he did, and he calls it the Principality of Pontinha. Earlier last year, there was talk of selling the Belle Isle section of Detroit. Wonderful. Even better: just sell all unowned and state-owned things and privatize the world.

The planners thought they had it all sewn up. None of these innovations was part of their plan. This is a snapshot in time, a glimpse of the dawn of something new and unexpected. We can only hope that by next year, this list will seem dated, even anachronistic.

Edward Snowden described the NSA, a well-funded government bureaucracy, building an “architecture of oppression.” But the ideas presented here show something very different being constructed. Call it a latticework of liberty, or maybe a fractal of freedom. Whatever it is, its fronds unfurl and spread into the spaces left by the State. And the State always leaves spaces.

As they say in The Hunger Games, every system has a flaw. It’s genius to find it and exploit it and bring about something new. Dramatic social and economic change is not flowing from policy circles in Washington, DC. This is not top-down reform. It’s happening despite and not because of political trends.

This list is also evidence that high theoretical arguments over the precise structure freedom should and must take are beside the point. We have to wait to see for ourselves, and, meanwhile, the real problem is power itself.

This “50 ways” phenomenon is the mechanism by which humanity evolves away from power and toward peaceful, voluntary cooperation. How far can we take it? Who knows? But erecting utopias in our heads is not nearly as useful as contributing to this latticework. You can hate the state and its works, but doing something about it requires that we devise and use more ways to hasten its obsolescence.

This is our challenge. This is our charge.

ABOUT MAX BORDERS

Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

ABOUT JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Jeffrey Tucker is a distinguished fellow at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events.