Thursday, March 19, 2009

China - The Communists Reject Reform

Although China has made huge strides economically and socially, politically it steadfastly refusing to reform. Wu Bangguo, Chairman of China's Parliament, and China's second-ranking Communist Party official, recently issued a statement claiming that China would never accept a multiparty system. The statement also rejected any reform that would embrace separation of powers, a bi-cameral legislature, or an independent judicary.

Over 1.3 billion Chinese continue to live under the thumb of the Communist Party. Having visited China, I can personally attest that they are a wonderful people, full of life and huge potential. They are warm and generous. Unfortunately, their government refuses to acknowlege what we take for granted in our First Principles. The rule of law, unalienable rights, and limited government are rejected. The Social Compact and equality, while given lip service, is also ignored. The rights of the people remain secondary to the control of the government.

If China really wants to enter the world community, it is time for serious reforms that embrace the First Principles.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March (the 15th of March), made most famous by the assassination of Julius Casear by a group of Roman Senators. The leaders of the cabal, most notably Brutus, claimed that they struck Caesar down to stop him from becoming an all powerful emperor. In the end, their plot was spoiled because the civil war that erupted after Caeser's assassination was ended by the victory of a faction led by Augustus Caesar (the nephew of Julius) - who promptly became emperor. The age old Roman Republic died, and world would never be the same.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"We the People" Bear Responsiblity as Well

Cicero, in explaining where blamed lay in Rome, stated:

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new wonderful society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.' Julius was always an ambitious villian, but he is only one man."

Indeed, despite all the gnashing of teeth to the contrary, America remains a republic. As such, we the people bear the responsiblity for our current state of affairs. Haven't we done our own share of dancing and rejoicing, courting the dangers we face today?

We can save our freedoms and liberties - as well as our society - if we expend the energy and time to do so. If not, we can only blame ourselves.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Tax Code Amok?

President Obama's difficulty in placing key cabinet officials and others in his administration because of tax problems continue. Although many have taken the opportunity to embarass the President over this issue, it presents a unique opportunity to address a much bigger issue - the incredibly large and complex tax code.

Put simply, no one can read the entire tax code. It is constantly extremely complex, mammoth, and nearly always changing. This state of affairs simply undermines the fundamental First Principles of America by making it nearly impossible for our citizens - including the political elite - to comply with the law. It also subverts our unalienable rights to due process - which assumes, among other things, proper notice of the law. Let's face it, if Obama's cabinet nominees can't figure out the law, how can 300 million other Americans.

The time has come to reexamine the tax code and bring it in line with our founding First Principles

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Books lies the soul of man

Carlyle wrote:

"In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and the material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream. . . . All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been; it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books."

Today we seem to have forgotten that problems we face today present but a new cast on old problems. We act as if this recession were done outside the sweep of history, or that we cannot possibly glean wisdom about today's wars from yesterday's historians. Are we really so bright, so brilliant, so ingenious, that we need not consult with the wisdom of the ages? Yes, the old fashioned musty things - books - can be our salvation - if only we would crack open the pages.