Let’s Talk about VUI: Voting Under the Influence

Revisiting ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’ Mentality

The real face of our two-party but one-establishment system of politics seems to have made a rare appearance again with Obama’s speech last Tuesday. That is, to those among the wannabe gullible majority, since a small fraction have known this true face for a while. The good news is that finally we are seeing a significant number of apologists who are coming to the realization of being taken for a ride during this last election. The not so good news has to do with the depth of this new realization, thus the extreme vulnerability of being misdirected and exploited again, over and over, as has been done for decades.

ObamaSpeechArticleLast May I put forth a discussion topic on the issue of casting votes based on the ‘lesser of two evils’ decision-making process. Here are the questions I posed back then, which I am posing again now that we have more people waking up to smell their new Whitehouse Roses:

“Don’t you consider this, at least to a degree, to be acceptance of ‘no hope for real change’ when it matters the most, during elections? First, to readily accept that we are limited to only choices that have been declared as viable by the same MSM and establishment we seek to change. Second, to helplessly adopt a mindset that says evilness is an inevitable prerequisite for viable candidates.”

Then this on the fallacy of justifying one’s choice-making process based on the ‘degree of evilness’:

“When it comes to ‘evilness,’ there is no reliable standard of measurement. Let’s say, for example, that the pre-selected options are: Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, and Senator McCain. How do you measure their degree of ‘evilness?’ For arguments sake, let’s say there is a ‘standard of evilness’ measurement, and when applied to these candidates you get the following data: on a scale of ‘0 to 100’ on the evilness measurement index (‘100’ being absolute evil, ‘0’ being no evil qualities), McCain ranks 98, Clinton 96, and Obama 94. Based on this do people feel justified in voting for the lesser of the given three, even though that candidate still ranks extremely high in ‘evilness’? I’m just asking. I really want to get your take on this.”

Many referred to the previous administration’s figureheads as evil; many of us would find that aptly put and easily justified. After all, they sanctioned torture practices, extraordinary rendition, and world-wide assassinations; they took away civil liberties and put in place police practices ironically named the Patriot Act; they increased secrecy and decreased (ceased) accountability; they established untouchability and granted themselves immunity fit for kings, such as the State Secrets Privilege invocations; they spied on and illegally wiretapped Americans with no cause or oversight; they lied and engaged in preemptive wars …

Do we all agree with the evilness of all the practices mentioned above? Then, let’s be honest with ourselves, and let’s objectively plug in the same standards to the man who was marketed and sold to us by the establishment and its media tentacles as the ‘candidate of change, for change’:

The Obama Administration has agreed with and continued the Bush Administration’s illegal domestic wiretap practices. They have granted immunity to all involved in these unconstitutional and police state practices.

The Obama Administration has granted immunity to all criminals who’ve been engaged in illegal renditions and torture practices.

The Obama Administration has continued the previous administration’s secrecy practices, including the invocation of State Secrets Privilege, and the Executive Branch’s immunity from judicial oversight.

The Obama Administration has condoned and promoted the previous administration’s assault on American’s liberties through the Patriot Act.

The Obama Administration has fought against any rights for national security whistleblowers and blocked the passage of legislation attempting to grant protections to those who expose Executive branch criminality, waste, and abuse.

And now, with the latest on Afghanistan and the hints on Iran, we are seeing yet another side of this administration - previously coined evil for its predecessor. This time we are at least seeing some deserved reaction. Here is a recent commentary putting it in perspective:

"O=W" is a bumper sticker beginning to show up on liberals’ cars. After the president’s speech Tuesday night at West Point, I suspect it will spread rapidly.

For eight years, conservatives endured the agony of watching President George W. Bush attach the label "conservative" to a host of policies that were anti-conservative: Wilsonian wars, American empire, vast budget and trade deficits, increased entitlements, and the subordination of America’s interests to those of foreign powers. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and liberals are bidden to hold their tongues as President Obama makes Bush’s wars his own. The usual Washington sellout is in gear.

For me this paragraph is the best part; rarely found in other carbon-copy blogs and sites:

It should not come as a surprise. America is now a one-party state. The one party is the Establishment party, which is also the war party. Unless you are willing to cheer permanent war for permanent peace, you cannot be a member of the Establishment.

The paragraph above perfectly sums up the state of our political system. This is the point and inevitable conclusion I see missing in almost all other articles, editorials, and blog pundits. Don’t get me wrong. I see plenty of criticism out there directed at the Obama presidency, BUT, they all miss the real context, the core issue, thus, in the end they accomplish nothing in terms of the needed awakening.

For instance, a well-written commentary by a well-respected writer happens to have this very misleading title: “How the War Hawks Caged Obama.” Come on; give me a break! This is not some poor wild animal captured in a zoo, or a little child instructed by his parents, or an in-puberty adolescent engaged in mischief through ‘bad’ friends. This grown up president hand-picked his men and women, including the evil generals, such as Gates, HE decided to keep. I understand the blinded partisanship, and even more blinding denial, to treat this case as ‘…oh they made him so,’ or ‘…it is the pressure by the bad guys below’…But be a man, be honest with yourself and others, and treat this evil-doer just the same way you did (Yeah, I checked how you characterized (justifiably) the evil-doer administration before him) the other one.

Overcoming the destructive notion of Wasting One’s Vote

Last year, during the final stages of the primaries and the elections, I stood almost alone. I knew candidate Obama’s track record, which told me pretty much all I needed to know; that there weren’t going to be any changes, if not those for the worse. Not only did I have to counter-argue ‘vote for the lesser evil’ view, but I even had a few instances where a few ignoramuses actually accused me of being a racist! Their reasoning was: being an African-American minority proved Obama’s credibility and viability in bringing about the needed changes. Not only does that line of thinking itself happen to be absolutely racist, but it also defies any logic I could think of. I mean come on, I was looking at people who justifiably attacked and vilified Condoleezza Rice and Powell. Did either ones’ race or color have anything to do with who they were and what evil deeds they engaged in?!

I did not waste my vote on Obama or McCain. And, I am not going to give you one of those lines I truly despise ‘oh, I told you so.’ However I do want to bring up this notion of considering voting for an independent candidate as ‘waste of my vote, since he or she has no chance.’ Here is an excerpt from what I wrote last spring:

I know there are other candidates who are ‘much less evil’ and have much better track records. However, as you see, they don’t have a chance. The MSM and the establishment have either marginalized them or never acknowledged them in the first place. They have no chance, thus, I won’t ‘waste my vote and will choose between the ‘viable’ candidates declared ‘electable.’

We don’t give those ‘better’ candidates a chance even when we believe in them and their competence. What if every one of us who’ve been active and pushing for ‘real changes’ disregarded the ‘established’ etiquette of candidate viability, went out and actually voted for the candidate we trusted ? What if by doing this that ‘nonviable’ candidate ended up with, lets’ say 15% of total votes? Granted he or she has not become the ultimate winner, elected, but what do you think that 15% would mean in the next election? Would it encourage more people to do the same, cast their vote based on what they really believe? Would it motivate better people to rise up and take on leadership? Would it help the current landscape of the MSM – promoting coverage of a ‘people’s candidate’? And finally, what if two election seasons later we get to see a ‘people’s candidate’ with 50% or more of votes cast?

A while back I wroteThe Two Sides of the Same Coin’ on Obama’s presidency within its first 6 months. My list of his changes on changes in that article has by now tripled or maybe even quadrupled. I stand proudly with my record on ‘not wasting my vote.’ I hope more people are coming to the needed realization that their votes based on ‘lesser of the two evils’ and ‘not wasting my vote’ were indeed wasted. I hope to see more people voting as a statement of where they stand and what they truly believe, rather than casting votes on either side of the same coin presented to them by those above.

I hope this post-Obama speech awakening will be neither short-lived nor misdirected. While the Party-Connected media, websites, and blogs are savvy enough to know that real criticism is in order after Obama’s decision for the surge, they are pro-establishment enough to change the tune and misguide, misdirect, and misinform when the time comes for the next elections. That’s when both parties, tied together at the top as one big party, the war party, the establishment party, will try to have you drink the same Kool-aid again, walk the same path, think the same thoughts, and vote the same vote to elect those deemed viable and subservient by the now ruling establishment.

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  1. By the way, I voted for Cynthia McKinney and have gotten happier by the day that I did.

  2. ZicaTanka says:

    @Sibel: Maybe we could talk Coleen Rowley into running as an independent, instead of a D, as she did in 2006. I don’t know her stance on election/ballot access reform, but she’s definitely shown herself to be a truth teller.

    @lenny: It was nice to have to struggle between McKinney and Nader. I really like them both.

  3. I offer KSAN reporter Scoop Nisker’s famous byline quote:

    “If you don’t like the News, go out and make some of your own.”

  4. Another idea, for anyone who still doesn’t like the idea of choosing our own alternative candidate and then voting unanimously for whoever wins our internal vote: how about spreading the idea of a major party boycott? “We don’t care who you vote for, just don’t vote Republican OR Democrat.”

  5. here are the top ten corporate doners for Barack Obama. Take a gander at these enormous sums of money going back only to 2006:

    Lawyers/Law Firms $45,518,596
    Retired $43,735,259
    Education $23,459,325
    Misc Business $16,668,854
    Securities & Investment $15,983,457
    Health Professionals $12,093,433
    Business Services $12,008,416
    Democratic/Liberal $11,229,581
    Real Estate $11,036,591
    TV/Movies/Music $9,265,115

  6. @ Sibel

    I suggest that “we” only support non main party candidates in all cases.

    We need to break the control of the two party system.

    We need to exact a pledge of self imposed term limits and their introduction and support of public finance.

    We demand transparency must be a main agenda.

    We need litmus tests of main isues

  7. Sibel, While I share your frustration, I have long ago come to terms with the apparent slowness of change in politics. Our democracy is like a large stone which masses of people are trying to push in different directions. It may not seem like much, but if you can move the center-of-mass two inches, it is a great victory. Although it may seem as if the unseen powers-that-be have prevented any real movement, what you don’t see–being they are invisible–is how much that small shift has caused those powers to scramble for new footing. I am heartened that this administration gives no base of support to those who openly advocate torture. I am relieved that Dick Cheney is nattering from the fringes rather than giving military commands from the White House bunker.

    Although the causes you cited are in our spotlight, ask anyone who is involved with government at the nuts-and-bolts level, and they will tell you it is like night and day compared to the previous crew.

    Given our present electoral design, the strategy of supporting the most viable candidate who will move the country in a desirable direction, is, in fact, the best strategy, and no amount of wishing will change that. Before the 2000 election, Michael Moore was invited to speak at a Florida college on behalf of Nader. He later realized the invitation had been arranged by Jeb Bush. Some evils are, indeed, worse than others.

    What has been holding back Obama–and all progressive-minded pols–is the monopoly stranglehold on our media by right-wing oligarchs and shadowy security services. Politicians live and die by the media, and it keeps them terrorized.

    We must knock many more holes in that monopoly, and let in more daylight–as BF helps to do. But we also need more unfettered mainstream outlets–radio, TV, and print.

    The only hope for even faster change is to somehow expose the corruption, murder, and false-flag treachery that has been going on in our terror-and-security industry. For that, we must all close ranks together and demand proper investigations–no matter what differences there may be in our individual bets as to what those investigations might turn up.

  8. I agree with Pogo that media consolidation is at the core of the problem with the mainstream media.

    Does anyone know if there is any rational justification for allowing:
    (1) any single entity (individual or corporation) to own more than one broadcast outlet (TV or radio)?
    (2) any entity to operate a broadcast outlet for profit?

    Normally I wouldn’t approve of such restrictions, but the airwaves are common property and should be used for the common good. We’ve tried loosening restrictions, and the results have been ghastly; time to go the other way.

  9. …and I meant to say: doing something about media consolidation is one of the first things any non-lizard candidate should look at.

    Of course, we’re stuck in a big of a chicken-and-egg situation where it’s going to be very difficult to get a non-lizard in office as long as our national nervous system is controlled by lizards.

  10. ZicaTanka says:

    I agree with Pogo about the MSM and proper investigations into treachery.

    But, as far as VUI goes, I’d suggest that we all need to stop letting the game play us, and simply vote for our favorite candidate. Again, most of the people I meet want to vote for a non D/R candidate. So why don’t they? Because it’s not only the MSM saying they’re not viable – it’s those same people I talk to! It’s only logical that each of us needs to stop helping the MSM corner us. That integrity will take us a long way. We need to be persistent and have a backbone when we vote.

  11. @ ZicaTanka: The last time we had a president who was neither a Democrat nor a Republican was 1865 — Andrew Johnson — and he only rode into office as Lincoln’s VP. The last time a non D/R president was actually elected was 1950 — Millard Fillmore, of the Whig Party.

    People have been talking about the need for an independent candidate to win the presidency for as long as I can remember — at least since 1980. We had a strong contender then, John Anderson — an established Republican running as an independent — and he still only got 7% of the vote.

    Wikipedia adds this: “Anderson’s finish was still the best showing for a third party candidate since George Wallace’s 14% in 1968, and the sixth best for any such candidate in the 20th century (trailing Theodore Roosevelt’s 27% in 1912, Robert LaFollette’s 17% in 1924, Wallace, and Ross Perot’s 19% and 8% in 1992 and 1996, respectively).”

    My point is this: we can’t just do the same old thing, the same old Campaigning for Who We Really Believe In — much less just Voting For Who We Really Believe In — and expect something different to happen. We need new ideas, something that will change the game — or else we are, as you say, just letting the game play us.

    If that’s what you were saying, then I agree — but it sounded to me like you were arguing that we should just vote for who we like, and never mind how the system is set up. Going by that logic, Lucy Van Pelt will pull the football away again and again.

  12. Ack! I hope it’s obvious I meant 1850 for Millard Fillmore. I was *thinking* 18 as I typed…

  13. @ Woozle & Zica Tanka: Don’t forget the congressional race. Nov 2010 is next…

  14. Sibel, when asked about candidates meeting the requirements you ask, may I give the name Adam Kokesh. He’s a form United States Marine, who went to Iraq, and now is 100% opposed to the war, and wants to bring the troops home.
    I think he would be a good person to make the readers here at the Boiling Frog learn more about.
    RJ Harris from Oklahoma would be another person I can think of that might be a good person to learn more of as well.
    I’m sure if you do a search on either one of these gentlemen, you will be able to find them.
    Thanks for your kind words. BTW, I don’t agree with Ron Paul on everything either, but then again, I think it would be terribly boring if 2 people agreed 100% of the time.

  15. @woozle: Thanks for the response. I’d like you to understand that my opinion is that the most basic and integral aspect of the freedom to vote is that of a person choosing the candidate with whome they agree the most.

    New ideas – Yes! But, let’s not forget about the concept of reinventing the wheel. What we also need is persistence.

    I have a few questions for you:

    What is success and what has it been for those alternative attempts you mentioned?

    How about setting a new record?

    Did the internet exist on any of the dates you mentioned?

    I think we’re on the frontier of the time when Lucy will not only take the football away from Charlie before he kicks it, but then fakes a hand-off and runs it in for a touch down 🙂

    @Sibel: Thanks for the reminder. I’m wondering what you think of my suggestion about Ms. Rowley and also some points to consider (from many commenters here) in identifying some stars to introduce.

  16. @woozle: p.s. (Yes, the internet did exist in 1992 and 1996, but I think it was a couple years later before I could find [my favorite beer].com. In other words, whoa, dude, like wow.)

  17. @woozle: p.p.s. (My favorite beer in 1998 was Old Milwaukee.)

  18. @Hatchcar: Thank you; I’ll check both. War is one of the top items on the list: civil liberties, Foreign Policy, Lobby & Campaign Finance…all among top items.

  19. @ZicaTanka:

    “I’d like you to understand that my opinion is that the most basic and integral aspect of the freedom to vote is that of a person choosing the candidate with whome they agree the most.”

    I’m not sure what you think I’m proposing, but I’m not suggesting any coercion to vote any particular way. That’s probably illegal anyhow. I’m proposing that people simply verbally agree in advance — nothing legally-binding — to officially vote for the candidate who wins an online referendum (to choose a non-D/R candidate), regardless of whether that candidate was their favorite.

    I will refine this a little bit and add that if anyone feels that the process by which winner was chosen was in any way corrupted, they should still feel free to vote however they wish — although it would seem reasonable to ask for an explanation and evidence. I’m thinking that any “rules” would be enforced solely by social feedback (e.g. shaming anyone who breaks the “rules” without a good reason), not by any material sanctions.

    However, you raise a good point when you say “Did the internet exist on any of the dates you mentioned?” Technically it did exist in 1992 and 1996 (I started my online store in 1995), but obviously it was nothing like the political forum it is today.

    I extrapolate from this that you are suggesting it should be possible to organize sufficient opposition to overcome the national D/R bias without extracting any verbal promises from anyone. This may be true, and eventually it probably will be. I just hope it will come soon enough; I fear that the powers-that-be will soon recognize the true threat the internet represents to them — and our window of opportunity may close abruptly when they figure this out, and push through legislation to “fix” the “problem”.

    How far do you think we would be able to get if, say, major internet providers were allowed to restrict access to any web site they disagreed with? This has already been tried several times, and although there is a counter-movement to stop it, it’s not clear to me who is winning… and as contributors to this blog have pointed out, they already get away with arbitrarily filtering email. Putting the numbers together (i.e. adding in Comcast, which has been seen to take similar actions in the past) I estimate that at least 24% of the US — including Washington DC — is already walled off behind similar filters which are not accountable to anyone.

    “What is success?” It comes in stages: electing a president who actually represents the people; getting a non-lizard majority in Congress; getting rid of some of the horrid rule-changes of the last decade or three… shall I go on? It’s a good question, and I could probably write a whole essay about it.

    I’m not worried about reinventing the wheel; if what we’re talking about is representative govenment, I think the wheel needs to be re-examined very closely so we understand how it works.

  20. A couple of addenda:

    1. Somewhere in the stages of “success” is “rebuilding civilization on foundations of sanity”, followed by “making genuine forward progress that doesn’t leave anyone behind involuntarily”.

    2. As far as reinventing the wheel, I should have added that sometimes it’s better not to start with what you’ve already done when you’re rewriting things from scratch. (This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t learn from history but that we should feel free to try things which haven’t been tried before, especially if they now seem “obvious” — just “reinventing the wheel”. We should not feel constrained by the decisions of the past, if they don’t seem like good decisions in the light of subsequent experience.)

    This is certainly true in software design, and well-designed government often strikes me as being very similar to a large multi-user enterprise software package. Some of those, even ones that companies will pay millions for and depend heavily upon, are very badly written indeed. Such software generally gets the job done, much like the sausage-factory we now have for government, but at a true cost that is difficult to measure because of how fundamentally it affects the way we do things.

  21. @Sibel Woozle has made some good observations.

    On VUI, The idea of “Vote your conscience, and let the system be damned” is a perennial favorite that keeps being re-invented, like perpetual motion and the Martingale Gambling system. But, like those systems, it is based on an illusion, and you always end up losing more than you gain.

    The first illusion is that there are some wonderful candidates out there that everybody loves, but we never vote for them because we think they can’t win. In fact, there are fifty wonderful candidates–one for each tiny slice of the electoral spectrum, and each could get 1/50th of the vote. The primary system allows each of us to vote for whatever crazy candidate we want, including highly unlikely ones such as Dennis Kucinich or some wacky black guy named Barack Obama. Those who insist on clinging to their heart’s desire in the general election simply leave to the rest of us the work of moving that center-of-mass the further 2 inches in the desired direction.

    But even if there were some way of causing your favorite fringe candidate to win, it would be immoral. Why? Because we live in a democracy, which means that the winner will necessarily occupy a point not too far from the center-of-consciousness of the country. Where is the center-of-consciousness today? Somewhere to the right of Barack Obama’s.

    This is not surprising. If you drive coast-to-coast, you will be bombarded by nonstop far-right radio noise. The Monopoly Media is relentless. Very seldom will you come across a show like Air America–and even that network will self-censor on certain key issues.

    There is nothing wrong with the constitutional design of our electoral system–as far as the voting part goes. What is wrong is a controlled monopolized media, the corruption of money in the process, and various kinds of cheating and manipulation, such as with black-box voting computers. (One of the issues that Air America was afraid to go near in the past.)

    We must focus our attention on these issues, where each effort registers and gives us slight progress–not toward a naive counterproductive strategy that splinters and weakens the small amount of political effect each voter does have.

  22. @woozle:

    Part of my last comment was in response to your comment:
    My point is this: we can’t just do the same old thing, the same old Campaigning for Who We Really Believe In — much less just Voting For Who We Really Believe In — and expect something different to happen. We need new ideas, something that will change the game — or else we are, as you say, just letting the game play us.

    I don’t think people have been campaigning nor voting for “Who They Really Believe In”. It has been “Who They Are Told To Believe In”. And that’s the wheel I didn’t want re-created. I have a problem with the majority running away from their conscience while parroting the non-viability messages they are fed.

    I’m all for creative uses of existing tools and building new ones. And I share your concern about net neutrality. I like your attitude about trying new things and I’ll keep looking into your project at your site.

  23. @Pogo:
    “But even if there were some way of causing your favorite fringe candidate to win, it would be immoral. Why? Because we live in a democracy, which means that the winner will necessarily occupy a point not too far from the center-of-consciousness of the country.”

    If the fringe wins, it’s not the fringe. The problem we have now is that the real fringe, the super rich establishment, has convinced the commoners that they are the fringe.

    “Where is the center-of-consciousness today? Somewhere to the right of Barack Obama’s.”

    Who told you that?

  24. @Pogo:
    “Where is the center-of-consciousness today? Somewhere to the right of Barack Obama’s.”

    I understand that your opinion came from the right-wing radio and media you were mentioning. And you’re right that has a huge effect on consciousness.

    I think there’s a deeper consciousness involved. We need a spark to wake up the snoring. It’s the “deep state” vs. “deep consciousness” battle.

  25. I see comments are still being taken here. I wish to ask those who participate in this blog a simple question. Harry Browne, who was the Libertarian Presidential nominee in 1996 and 2000 asked this question of all the voters.

    “Would you being willing to give up your favorite government program if it meant you never had to pay income tax again?”

    A great majority of people derive not only their income and livelihood from governmetn largess, but there’s a large segment of the population who love control and power, and will do anything to maintain that power and control.

    Myself, I seek zero control over anyone, and that includes people in foreign lands. Of course, it’s not to say that there are control freaks in those countries as well, but this government with it’s militaristic campaigns only creates more of these control freaks, but builds consensus for them in those countries.

    Yes, part of the problem is the people we put in Congress, however, not to look at each other in the mirror and ask who’s to blame, and dismiss that the people are part of the problem I think is quite naive!!

    Full Disclosure: I’m a 25 year employee of the Postal Service, which derives it’s existence totally from the government monopoly on mail service. I’ve long advocated ending the monopoly, and letting the Postal Service compete head on with FedEX and UPS and all others in the field. So, as you see, I speak from a hypocritical position. As I’ve said to Sibel many times, I have nothing to hide here.

  26. @ hatchcar: several responses…

    1. If you had asked me that question several years ago when I was earning a decent income, I think I would have said something like “I can’t really tell you, because I don’t know what my favorite government program is; could you suggest some examples or give me a list to choose from?”

    …and then I would have gone on to add that my problem with income tax wasn’t so much having to surrender a portion of my “hard-earned income” (which was made possible in part by “government services” such as interstate highways, the internet, regulation of interstate banking, etc.) as it is the complexity of figuring out how much the government thinks I owe them, at the risk of severe penalties if I happen to get the wrong answer while doing their math for them, and the uncertainty of not being able to quickly calculate how much of a given raise I might receive would be swallowed up in tax-bracket increases (in order to answer questions like “is it really worth working an extra 10 or 20 hours this week, even if I do get time-and-a-half? or will it just get swallowed up in taxes?).

    Income tax should be calculated via a simple formula, and the minimum income to which it applies should be as high as possible — i.e. only as low as needed to meet whatever expenses it is needed to meet. (…which is in itself a big question; I’ve heard that income tax does not actually go to pay for any services, but actually just pays the interest on the national debt — can anyone confirm this? And where does the funding for those services actually come from, if this is the case?)

    2. The choice implied by your question is not really an accurate representation of reality, unless we find that income tax really only provides funding for approximately one major government program.

    3. Another problem with that question is that it frames the decision entirely in terms of personal benefit; I think most people understand that many government programs — and social welfare in general — is intended to spread risk across society, so that nobody has to deal with catastrophic situations unaided. If we do not do this, it costs society as a whole.

    4. I agree that forced taxation is an odious solution at best, and I would like to see some kind of system which is solely enforced by more social means (e.g. boycotts of businesses which didn’t pay their voluntary taxes) — but we need an informational infrastructure to support this kind of thing before it could possibly be effective.

    Those who would abolish compulsory income tax would do well to investigate exactly what income tax funds are currently used for (and publish in detail, with sources) and suggest viable alternatives if needed.

    Also, aren’t USPS and FedEx allowed to deliver letters now? The only monopoly the USPS has, as far as I am aware, is the right to access people’s mailboxes — and I don’t see how they could enforce that monopoly if I were to put a sticker on my mailbox saying “UPS authorized for full access”.

    5. To the extend that “the people are part of the problem”, I do not think it is because of inherent selfishness or some other vice; I think it is pretty clear that the opinions of a large chunk of the US population are being heavily manipulated by the way the issues are presented in the mainstream media — and that, in turn, is because the mainstream media are far too centrally-controlled. The worst crime you could accuse the majority of is “credulity” — something which has been heavily trained into them by various means. I highly recommend this essay (which I may have picked up here, because at the moment I can’t remember where I got it), on that subject.

    We have in effect allowed a small group of people to take control of our national nervous system — the means by which we used to reach something approaching national consensus on vital issues.

    I submit that fixing this situation should be a top priority for anyone trying to set America back on a track to sanity.

  27. First and foremost, the idea of an income tax should be appauling to any rational person. The idea that someone else makes the decision of how to spends one’s money first before the person earning the money gets to make any decision is replusive to what the founding principles of this country are.

    Can you guess in this scenerio what % control the government has in making this important decision? I’ll wait for your answer.

    Secondly, you are correct that indeed the Grace Commission stated in it’s final report in the early 80’s that indeed, 100% of the money collected in income tax pays for the interest expense on the national debt. Bondholders, (many of them foreigns) get the money first.

    The Federal Reserve with it’s funny money operations make up the difference, and this is the main reason why we are in the mess we are currently suffering. ( I would highly reccomend reading the Austrian School of Economics theory on the Business Cycle, and on Money and Credit)

    Yes, it frames the decision soley on personal benefit. Who should benefit from one’s labor? Don’t you think that the “person” may have a family to support as well? Or maybe he or she would like to start a business, or give it to charities, or make alot of decisions on their own without someone else making it for them? This collective mindset also needs to end. Don’t think for a moment I’m trying to be a selfish jerk.

    You don’t think for a moment with increasing one’s wealth there are side benefits to it. Sure, some people may hoard it, but how many people out there give to charities, not only their money but their time and talents to improve other lives. I get the feeling you’re selling people short when it comes to the idea that we can’t care for others.

    As far as the essay, the author touched on 2 very important points, and those are the public schools and the media. Both have failed in their missions, and they also need to be scrapped. Here’s a great alternative to the media that Sibel has presented to us, and such things as homeschooling, and even some of the Christian and Catholic schools have provided a far better alternative to the public schools. (Forced complusory taxation to fund the schools should end).

    Fed Ex can only deliver “letters” if they are more than $3 dollars more than what a first class letter would cost, or twice as much if it is sent by priority. Note, USPS offers a service where they do the paperwork and FedEx does the leg work. Also, USPS uses Fed Ex planes to load and ship first class and prioirity mail. Fed Ex has thousands of boxes in front of USPS retail window units. UPS delievers packages to USPS retail window offices on a daily basis. For those who fear privitization of the mails is going to hurt the Post Office, hmm, it’s already here!!!

    The Feds should operate on 1/10th of what they currently spend now. The Consitution, before the 16th Amendment was passed, used the process of taxing the states based on the how many people lived there, and apprioationed that amount. Seems that would be a better system than what we have now. What do you think???

    And finally, what’s this “Risk” business, and “spreading risk” among the society? Forcing people to help others in need maybe a worth while goal, but it’s tyranny, and morally replusive.

    Finally, I wasn’t taking about a specific program per se. The point is who is better at spending one’s own money. Yourself, or in this case, the government? That’s the point!!!!!

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