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edward j williamson

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Everything posted by edward j williamson

  1. the tortured one, Actually, Libertarianism adheres to the doctrine of literal interpretation of the Constitution. We believe that the the Constitution is just as applicable in its original form and language today as it was in 1787. It is not a 'living document' as leftist liberals and socialist try to say. Rather it is a visionary document, written by some of the wisest minds ever in the history of this earth, and is meant to stand the tests of time - without change. The beauty of the Constitution is that it is just as applicable today, in its original form, as it was in the past and as it will be 200 years from now. I have heard Libertarians being criticized for being too literal, but certainly not of the 'living document' creed. We tend to hold that the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Ammendments are all that is really needed, and really all that the Founding Fathers deemed necessary for a society that values liberty, justice, and individual achievement and initiative.
  2. Actually it does not require a sales tax at all. The Fair Tax Initiative is much preferable to any income tax. The point is that the Income Tax and the 16th Ammendment is what makes big intrusive government possible in the first place. Simple excise taxes, which is what we had in the 18th century, would all but cover the costs of a constitutionally limited central government. That would be preferable to anything else, other than no taxes - which only would happen in dream land. As to a minarchist government: A minarchy is the ideal of a government that is limited in scope and size. Our plan of government as laid out by the Founding Fathers in 1787 is an example of minarchist government. A minarchy is a small formal government and that the scope of such a government should be limited to defending and not limiting or defining rights. Minarchists believe in natural law, and natural rights and that all government is limited to preserving these rights. Minarchist government upholds that the proper function of government includes providing a common defense, a judiciary, a legislature, and a means for people to settle disputes peacefully which can't be done privately in an equitable fashion. In short, government should not do anything that can be better provided by private enterprise.
  3. You allude to several important factors, to which I wholeheartedly agree. It is imperative that the Federal Government greatly reduces spending. Far and away it spends too much money on frivilous, unconstitutional, and unmandated programs, agencies, and entitlements. The federal government also needs to be reduced in size and scope, back down to the levels set forth in 1787 by our Founding Fathers. In actuality, simple excise taxes should be sufficient to fund a constitutionally limited minarchist government.
  4. I'm going to post an article that was written by a friend of mine who happens to be the owner of the board I am an administrator of. He is an old-time conservative Southern gentleman, a published author, a newspaper commentator, liberal hater, and one who detests big govenrment. He also is a retired CEO of a multinational company and one of the wisest people that I know. He is a big proponent of the Fair Tax Initiative. Mr. Fallin has given me permission to post his written articles anywhere I deem appropriate. With the intelligence of the people here, this should make for a good and productive discussion.-EW NATIONAL SALES TAX PROPOSAL IN LAYMAN'S LANGUAGE WILLIAM PENN FALLIN EDITORIAL COLUMNIST COFFEE COUNTY NEWS 1-27-03 NATIONAL SALES TAX UPDATE Congressman John Linder ® Ga. has again introduced his bill to eliminate the 16th Amendment which authorized the income tax. And with it, eliminate ALL INCOME TAXES IN EVERY PHASE OF OUR LIVES. Here is a brief synopsis of his proposal which is receiving bi-partisan support in Congress. For full details go online to http://www.FairTax.org The FairTax is a consumption tax designed to replace the entire federal income tax system, including personal, payroll, corporate, self-employment, capital gains, gift, and inheritance taxes. The FairTax allows Americans to keep 100% of their paychecks, dramatically reduce basic retail prices, and fully fund the Federal government, including Social Security and Medicare. With the FairTax, you will take home 100% of your paycheck. No income taxes or payroll taxes will be withheld from your paycheck, pension, or Social Security check. Did you know that hidden income taxes (corporate etc.) currently make up 20% to 30% of retail prices? It's true. According to Dr. Dale Jorgenson of Harvard, hidden income taxes are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, from 20% to 30% higher than they would otherwise be for everything you buy. Therefore, when the FairTax Act abolishes the federal income tax, prices will drop 20% to 30%. The proposed FairTax rate is 23%. Instead of paying 15.3% of your paycheck in payroll taxes, plus an average of 28% of your paycheck in federal income tax, for a total of about 43% of your paycheck going to the federal government, you pay only a 23% consumption tax each time you purchase a new product or service for your own personal consumption. At this 23% rate, the FairTax will pay for all current government operations, including Social Security and Medicare. With the FairTax, if you choose to buy any new product or service for yourself, a consumption tax of 23% will be added to the price. If you choose to buy a used car, resale home or used anything you do not pay the FairTax. Business owners who buy something for strictly business purposes (not personal consumption), will pay no consumption tax. Perhaps most importantly, to ensure that no American will pay tax on necessities, the FairTax plan provides a monthly rebate for every registered household to cover the 23% consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This is how the FairTax completely untaxes the poor, and lowers the tax burden on everyone else. This system partially works by eliminating legal loopholes and it collects from those "illegals" who currently OPERATE "OFF THE BOOKS." When tax cheats, thugs, gangsters and common thieves use any of their ill gotten gains and buy anything new they will pay 23% taxes like everyone else. Income tax cheating will be a relic of the past. Everyone will pay the 23% tax whenever they buy anything new. Like current state sales taxes it's extremely difficult to beat. That factor alone will produce tens of billions in new revenues now being lost.
  5. nemethnm, How is a consumption tax compulsary? Unlike the income tax, which is not only unconstitutional it is the initiation of force and 'legalized' theft, a sales tax is wholly voluntary. ramKatori, Not true. Statists and all other worshipers of big government try to use this argument, and it is patently wrong. The Fair Tax Initiative repeals the 16th Ammendment, eliminating both the IRS and the income tax. Don't fall for their line and scare tactics.
  6. Thanks for the link, the tortured one. I'll take a look at it.
  7. tortured one, As I did not see that debate I don't think I can really make any commentary on it. I have no respect for David Cobb. As to Badnarik - I supported his candidacy, but he certainly is no Harry Browne. Nor am I trying to, and I apologize if that is how it was perceived. This board deals with serious subjects I have no intention of playing games. Actually I have a great deal of respect for Objectivism. "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are two of my favorite books. As for gaining airtime? I am an Administrator on another very active 1000+ members boardand a moderator at another. Believe me, I have more airtime then I know what to do with. I was just responding honestly to some questions posed in this thread, nothing more.
  8. Again, another good question, AisA. I'll try to give a response that is worthy, or one that sheds some light on the subject. You have to remember that Libertarianism is more of a political school of thought. It deals more with the political arena than does Objectivism. As such it is more attuned to the political arena. As to the gentleman than mentioned that Libertarian foreign policy is too weak and that we would be in danger of losing our sovereignty, that is not the case at all. In fact, Libertarians endorse a strong defense, and we were amongst the first to endorse NMD (national missle defense) as proposed by the Reagan Administration and arming our ports and harbors. In addition, Libertarians and the LP are staunch supporters and advocates of the 2nd Ammendment and the call for the repeal of all gun control laws. We believe a well armed, observant populace is the best defense that we can have, both against foreign, domestic, and criminal enemies. Objectivists do not believe in preemptive war, btw. Now, I understand the Objectivist support for the War on Terror, because you believe it is done in the self-interest of the United States, and the US has a moral obligation to protect its interests. Fair enough, and in that sense I agree. Libertarians believe in military and political non-intervention and that foreign policy should be based on free trade. By observing our lifestyle and the freedoms we enjoy should be the impetus for other societies to take the necessary initiative to free themselves from the bonds of dictators and totalitarianism. Until the people of any particular nation or society are willing to sacrifice, to educate themselves, and to take responsibility for their own futures - as we did back in the 1770's - 1780's, no amount of meddling by our government or military will make them free.
  9. Hi ex-banana eater, I see you get around the net a bit, LOL. I absolutely said all of that, and in the context of what those responses were given I stand by them. However, I was referring to the folks that I was in a heated argument with, in response to ad hominems thrown my way when I first showed up here, all over semantics. Now, I realize that I was just as guilty, in retrospect, and have apologized for it. Therefore I have no wish to perpetuate that particular issue. You all do not want flame threads, and I certainly don't want to see that. Too many boards have devolved into nothing but rancor, this board has too many logical, intelligent people with a message that needs to be heard for that to happen. As for cultists? I don't think of Objectivists as a whole as cultists at all, just some of them. Actually, I have a great deal of respect for Objectivism and Objectivists. My statement, "No wonder why some people call them cultists" does not mean I think that is true. In fact, it bothers me when I hear liberals or religious right fanatics (which are cultists) say this because it is not true, but some folks I have run into perpetuate that myth. And as Rick said, "That is a shame"! It certainly is.
  10. Hi AisA, I don't disagree with the basic tenants and foundations of Objectivism. I may differ on foreign relations from Objectivists in my views, but I certainly understand, and can respect, the philosophy as it relates to foreign affairs. I happen to believe that our self-interests are better served through a policy of non-intervention (as opposed to the misconception that Libertarians advocate isolationism) in the internal affairs of other nations.
  11. You asked a good question. Libertarians generally supported the retaliation against Bin Laden and their Taliban co-conspirators. We also wonder why, in the face of growing terrorism, our airline pilots and flight crews are/were unarmed, making possible the conditions to which those airliners could be hijacked. Even to this day a the majority of airlines in our nation still fly with unarmed pilots, or armed ones that are hamstrung by ridiculous restrictions and conditions. Yet Libertarians are accused of not wanting to protect America? Absurd! As to Iraq, they posed no credible threat to the United States either militarily, economically, nor have they attacked our shores or our ships on the high seas. To top it all off, we are not even trying to win the war in Iraq. Our government is hell bent on fighting a 'politically correct' war, and that will never work.
  12. Fair enough question. Because the person you initiate force against also is the sole owner and arbitrator of his own body and property as are you yourself. Now, if he endangers you in anyway than you have the absolute right and even duty to protect yourself and your property with as much force as possible and by any means at your disposal.
  13. Libertarian philosophy is based on a couple of premises - individual ownership (ourselves and private property) and what is sometimes referred to as the NAP (non-agression principle), which states that one does not have the right to initiate force against another person, but we have the absolute right to use any means to defend ourselves against the initiation of force. Another Libertarian premise is that while we do indeed have complete control and ownership of our bodies, we also accept the responsibility of the choices we make and the resultant consequences thereof.
  14. There is no Palestine and there are no Palestinians. That is a made up term for those Arab squatters who occupied Jewish land prior to 1948. The so-called Palestinians are not entitled to one damn inch of any of that land. Isreal is smart and correct in building that wall. They have been patient and far more generous than I ever would have been for all these years. Every attack they have made has been in legitimate defense of their nation, their people, and their self-interest. Arabs that live in Isreal proper have a higher standard of living than Arabs anywhere else in the world. They can vote, hell, their are Arabs who serve in the Knesset. Any Jews that have those rights in Arab countries? Meanwhile, the so-called Palestinian squatters murder innocent men, women, and children, call for Isreal's destruction, refuse to accept generous offers for peace, and they seek the complete annihilation of the State of Isreal. The Arab states can not defeat Isreal, as 1948, 1967, and 1973 have demonstrated quite well. The almost whole of the Arab world has attacked Isreal, yet they get their butts handed to them on a platter every time. No, if I were Sharon and the Knesset I'd state this to the 'Palestinian' people. One more suicide bombing, one more kidnapping, one more Isreali death at the hands of one of you than we will give you 48 hours to get your affairs in order and evacuate the West Bank and Gaza. After that we will absolutely decimate everything, including any person, that is within those borders. Isreal has every right to defend itself, and every time Palestinians are attacked it is in response to terror or unprovoked violence against Isreal or Isrealis. No Palestinian state should ever be formed. They had their chance for one and they didn't want it anyway. Like I said, they can live as productive, peaceful citizens in Isreal, enjoying freedom and as high a standard of living as they are willing to work for and achieve (higher than, coincidentally, they'd enjoy anywhere else in the Arab world), but there should be no seperate state for 'Palestine'. That would put Isreal at even greater peril and it would be a launching pad for exponetially increased terror - not to mention another totalitarian/ theocratic regime.
  15. Absolutely, John. Here is a published article written by a friend of mine, and the EZOP of the Political/Opinion/News board that I am an administrator for. As you probably know, there is a movement afoot within Congress being sponsored by John Linder of Georgia. It is called the Fair Tax Initiative. Here is the article I was alluding to: (Note- I have Mr. Fallin's expressed permission to use and post this article whenever and wherever I deem appropriate) NATIONAL SALES TAX PROPOSAL IN LAYMAN'S LANGUAGE -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WILLIAM PENN FALLIN EDITORIAL COLUMNIST COFFEE COUNTY NEWS 1-27-03 NATIONAL SALES TAX UPDATE Congressman John Linder ® Ga. has again introduced his bill to eliminate the 16th Amendment which authorized the income tax. And with it, eliminate ALL INCOME TAXES IN EVERY PHASE OF OUR LIVES. Here is a brief synopsis of his proposal which is receiving bi-partisan support in Congress. For full details go online to www.FairTax.org The FairTax is a consumption tax designed to replace the entire federal income tax system, including personal, payroll, corporate, self-employment, capital gains, gift, and inheritance taxes. The FairTax allows Americans to keep 100% of their paychecks, dramatically reduce basic retail prices, and fully fund the Federal government, including Social Security and Medicare. With the FairTax, you will take home 100% of your paycheck. No income taxes or payroll taxes will be withheld from your paycheck, pension, or Social Security check. Did you know that hidden income taxes (corporate etc.) currently make up 20% to 30% of retail prices? It's true. According to Dr. Dale Jorgenson of Harvard, hidden income taxes are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, from 20% to 30% higher than they would otherwise be for everything you buy. Therefore, when the FairTax Act abolishes the federal income tax, prices will drop 20% to 30%. The proposed FairTax rate is 23%. Instead of paying 15.3% of your paycheck in payroll taxes, plus an average of 28% of your paycheck in federal income tax, for a total of about 43% of your paycheck going to the federal government, you pay only a 23% consumption tax each time you purchase a new product or service for your own personal consumption. At this 23% rate, the FairTax will pay for all current government operations, including Social Security and Medicare. With the FairTax, if you choose to buy any new product or service for yourself, a consumption tax of 23% will be added to the price. If you choose to buy a used car, resale home or used anything you do not pay the FairTax. Business owners who buy something for strictly business purposes (not personal consumption), will pay no consumption tax. Perhaps most importantly, to ensure that no American will pay tax on necessities, the FairTax plan provides a monthly rebate for every registered household to cover the 23% consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This is how the FairTax completely untaxes the poor, and lowers the tax burden on everyone else. This system partially works by eliminating legal loopholes and it collects from those "illegals" who currently OPERATE "OFF THE BOOKS." When tax cheats, thugs, gangsters and common thieves use any of their ill gotten gains and buy anything new they will pay 23% taxes like everyone else. Income tax cheating will be a relic of the past. Everyone will pay the 23% tax whenever they buy anything new. Like current state sales taxes it's extremely difficult to beat. That factor alone will produce tens of billions in new revenues now being lost.
  16. LOL How does Hannity do with ARI-affiliated speakers? I think Brit Hume is a good interviewer, for the most part. I like Ed Locke's columns. He is not so pompous as Bill O'Reilly and poses thoughtful questions while conducting an interview.
  17. But Yaron Brook was previously a guest on the show, so if your speculation were true why would he have been invited back? Perhaps you and I are not that interested in the Peterson case, but apparently quite a few others are interested enough to garner support for that sort of coverage. Yeah, you're probably right. I have to admit, though, that Fox and all the other news outlets are beating a dead horse with this Peterson case. Now, unfortunately, we're going to be hearing about the Robert Blake case for who knows how long. That'll be talked about nonstop. I didn't know that Dr. Brook had been on his show previously. I look foward to the interview tomorrow.
  18. All the people listed above, although except for The Passion of the Christ, I have always liked Gibson's movies. I'd add to that illustrious group of scum - Dr. James Dobson, Jan and Paul Crouch, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, just to name a few more.
  19. Yeah, I saw that too. I'll feast on a supper of crow if the interview happens, which I hope it does. It should be interesting.
  20. Dr. Speicher, Mr. O'Reilly has done this before to other speakers. Yes, I could might be biased, but I based my assertion on the fact that Mr. O'Reilly isn't fond of someone that he can not intimidate or pigeonhole as a leftist. He likes to debate lightweights and leftist nitwits that he can intimidate and make to look foolish. He probably (not based on fact, I admit) remembered back to the incident when Neal Boortz made him look like a complete boob. It could be that he doesn't want history to repeat itself. Let's put this in the context of why Dr. Brook was supposedly bumped. The excuse was the Scott Peterson verdict, or sentencing. One of those anyway. How long has this been big news? The verdict came down a couple of hours before The Factor was even scheduled to be on the air. It was no longer breaking news, yet he decided to preempt everything else? That, to me anyway, is ludicrous. Most viewers are sick to death of the Peterson case, and couldn't care less anymore other than the fact that they are glad to hear that the scum was sentenced to die. So why bump an invited speaker to feature some reoccuring, tired news story?
  21. A big thumbs up. Excellent article! I have always viewed "The Christmas Carol" as little more than a socialists screed against those who are achievers and producers!
  22. O'Reilly and Fox News are good for that, scheduling an excellent speaker and then cancelling with some so-called "breaking news". Yeah, as if this Peterson crap couldn't have waited, or Fox couldn't have dealt with it as part of their regular newscast segment. O'Reilly was looking for an excuse to bump this speaker and he found it! I also made changes in my schedule in order to see it. Damn, just damn! :cuss:
  23. Actually, one is punished for crimes he commits against other sovereign individuals. No person has the right to initiate force against another (other than for self defense) and if they do so, it is obligatory that he is punished by those that he has wronged. Our rights do not come from the government, the government is the protector of our rights, and they do so at the bidding of the people - not the other way around. Natural rights are something that we are born with, they are as immutable as gravity, and they have their genesis in the fact that each person is a sovereing individual, who is the sole owner of his own body. Driving a car is a privilege, pursuing happiness, defending one's self, owning property, etc. are natural rights.
  24. This is what I have been contending for years, and is the subject of one of my articles that I posted here. I enjoyed reading all the well reasoned responses to the initial post in this thread. What most 'people of faith' don't stop to consider, or ask themselves is, what is the real factual basis and empirical evidence for the premises articulated in the Bible? They don't stop to consider that man has basically been literate for, at the most, 4500 years. That the Bible is a collection of origin myths, most of which are retold in several versions throughout the world. Basic scientific knowledge, the knowledge and realization of scientific laws and principles, and an understanding of the physical world were not known to people until late in the previous millenium. Origin myths sought to explain, in the absence of the knowledge of scientific laws, the age old questions of origin, reasons for existence, etc. As the realm of science began to explain basic laws of nature, previous explanations, for the most part, were relegated to the realm of story telling. To me, the Bible is a collection of origin myths, parables, allegory, poetry, and songs.
  25. Every year Dr. Hull posts this article, and I think updates it a bit. This is an excellent article. I agree completely with his premises - individual achievement, through creative effort, generates the abundance each and every productive person has to be thankful for!-EW http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=New...ws_iv_ctrl=1021 Thanksgiving: The Producer's Holiday Thursday November 18, 2004 By: Gary Hull This holiday is designed to celebrate, not faith and charity, but thought and production. Thanksgiving celebrates man's ability to produce. The cornucopia filled with exotic flowers and delicious fruits, the savory turkey with aromatic trimmings, the mouth-watering pies, the colorful decorations--it's all a testament to the creation of wealth. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, because this country was the first to create and to value material abundance. It is America that has been the beacon for anyone wanting to escape from poverty and misery. It is America that generated the unprecedented flood of goods that washed away centuries of privation. It is America, by establishing the precondition of production--political freedom--that was able to unleash the dynamic, productive energy of its citizens. This should be a source of pride to every self-supporting individual. It is what Thanksgiving is designed to commemorate. But there are those, motivated by hatred for human comfort and happiness, who want to make Thanksgiving into a day of national guilt. We should be ashamed, they say, for consuming a disproportionate share of the world's food supply. Our affluence, they say, constitutes a depletion of the "planet's resources." The building of dams, the use of fossil fuels, the driving of sports utility vehicles--they insist--are cause, not for celebration, but for atonement. What if, they all wail, the rest of the world consumed the way Americans do? If only that were to happen--we would have an Atlantis. For it would mean that the production of wealth would have multiplied. Man can consume only what he first produces. All production is an act of creation. It is the creation of wealth where nothing before existed--nothing useful to man. America transformed a once-desolate wilderness into farms, supermarkets and air-conditioned houses, not by taking those goods away from some have-nots, nor by "consuming" the "world's resources"--but by reshaping valueless elements of nature into a form beneficial to human beings. Since human survival is not automatic, man's life depends on successful production. From food and clothing to science and art, every act of production requires thought. And the greater the creation, the greater is the required thinking. This virtue of productiveness is what Thanksgiving is supposed to recognize. Sadly, this is a virtue rejected not only by the attackers of this holiday, but by its alleged defenders as well. Many Americans make Thanksgiving into a religious festival. They agree with Lincoln, who, upon declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, said that "we have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven." They ascribe our material abundance to God's efforts, not man's. That view is a slap in the face of any person who has worked an honest day in his life. The appropriate values for this holiday are not faith and charity, but thought and production. The proper thanks for one's wealth goes not to some mystical deity but to oneself, if one has earned that wealth. The liberal tells us that the food on our Thanksgiving plate is the result of mindless, meaningless labor. The conservative tells us that it is the result of supernatural grace. Neither believes that it represents an individual's achievement. But wealth is not generated by sheer muscle; India, for example, has far more manual laborers than does the United States. Nor is it generated by praying for God's blessing; Iran, for example, is far more religious. If the liberal and conservative views of wealth are correct, why aren't those countries awash in riches? Wealth is the result of individual thought and effort. And each individual is morally entitled to keep, and enjoy, the consequences of such thought and effort. He should not feel guilty for his own success, or for the failures of others. There is a spiritual need fed by the elaborate meal, fine china and crystal, and the presence of cherished guests. It is the self-esteem that a productive person feels at the realization that his thinking and energy have made consumption possible. Come Thanksgiving Day, when some success-hating commentator condemns America for being the world's leading consumer, tell him that he is evading the underlying fact: that this country is the world's leading producer. And then, as you sit down to dinner, celebrate the spiritual significance of the holiday by raising a toast to the virtue of your own productive ability and to America's productive giants, past and present. Dr. Hull is co-editor of The Ayn Reader and is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
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