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[TBT] The Right to Discriminate

March 4, 2014 Leave a comment

It sounds ugly, it really does – allowing a private business or individual to deny their service to a specific person or group of people. At face value it seems ridiculous; perhaps immature. However, in the name of preserving liberty, there is merit to permitting discrimination in the private sector. The merit is found in the protection of personal liberty.

Before I venture further, it should be clarified that all public goods and services are to be available to everyone. Places such as public buildings, schools, libraries, hospitals, access to public officials, representatives and due process of law, as well as the services of police, medical emergency, fire emergency, et cetera, where funded by taxpayers and/or guaranteed by the Constitution should be accessible to all legal citizens.

In our hyper-sensitive, politically correct world it is taboo for someone to be denied in any way because of the beliefs of someone else. It can certainly seem asinine to anyone who does not share the perspectives of the person denying someone else. No doubt, given the choice, some businesses would abuse the right to deny people based on unfair and senseless discrimination. Still, the fundamental premise of the right to deny is to protect the right of individuals to freely act in a way that does not violate their personal principles. While it is unfortunate that discrimination has been abused for outrageous reasons, such as racism, in the past (and sometimes even today), the alternative is far worse. That alternative is forcing the compliance of individuals and private businesses, to go against their own beliefs.

To illustrate the issue, let us look at two hypothetical situations from either side in their worst case scenarios. One with forced compliance and one with discrimination permitted.

Example 1: John is a restaurant owner in the deep south. His establishment has been in his family for generations. John is also a racist. In this example, there is no law restricting his right to discriminate against his patrons. So John does what he wants and denies service to black, Hispanic and Asian people. He crafts a large sign to hang outside the restaurant that reads “WHITES ONLY”. As a result of his actions, only white people come to eat there. When someone of a different ethnicity arrives, they leave once they realize they are not welcome. Understandably upset, they take their money to a different restaurant.

Now let’s look at the other extreme.

Example 2: Saul is a Rabbi at his local Synagogue. Recently in his state, gay marriage was legalized. However, Saul, as a practicing follower of Judaism, knows that his faith considers homosexuality a sin and gay marriage to be unacceptable. A gay couple in the Jewish community comes to his synagogue and asks to be married by the Rabbi in the Jewish tradition. In this example, the law requires that all businesses and private establishments must offer their services equally to all and the Synagogue is not excluded. But the Rabbi does not comply with the law. It violates the teachings of his faith. The gay couple goes to the authorities who respond by warning Saul that if he denies the couple their right to be married, he will be punished. Saul still refuses to comply on principle. He is then fined for his actions, according to the local statute. The Rabbi and the members of his congregation agree that they should not have to pay this fine and refuse to pay it. The situation escalates and for failing to pay the fine, Saul is thrown in jail. The gay couple is still not married by that synagogue, and now the Rabbi is sitting in jail for refusing to violate the precepts of his religious beliefs.

Those two examples are concoctions of worst case scenarios from either side of the issue. In the first example, the victims (potential patrons of John’s restaurant) are forced to go somewhere else for the services they desire. In the second example, the victim (Rabbi Saul) loses his freedom to practice his faith and is jailed. While atrocities like racism and homophobia are deemed unacceptable by our society, a free country must seek to protect all personal liberties – even the offensive ones.

The freedom to act according to our deepest convictions and beliefs is one of the fundamental ideas the United States was founded upon. Without it, the vision of liberty is tarnished and weak. Sometimes legalizing freedom will offend or inconvenience others. However, to restrict the right of the individual from practicing his core values is strictly un-American.

The freedom to make our own choices is not supposed to be issued only to those we deem good and right. It also extends to the vile and disgusting among us. We might not agree with them, and we might even loathe them, but we cannot pick and choose who gets what liberties because freedom in and of itself can’t be discriminatory. Personal principles and beliefs will include religious beliefs, cultural traditions, political motivation, pro-homosexual, anti-sexist and anti-racist tendencies…in addition to racism, sexism and homophobia.

The catch

In a free country, business and individuals choose whom they interact with. But that does not mean there is a void of consequences for making those choices. I speak of the free market.

The free market is that unseen animal, the invisible beast, that lurks in the shadows of the deregulated, unstimulated, capitalist economy. It exists in the relationship between producer and consumer. The business and the client. The buyer and the seller. It dictates which establishments rise and which fail.

In a free market, the potential customers are unrestricted in their search for the goods and services they desire. They have their choice and how they make that choice depends on their preferences. Those preferences could be price, quality, quantity, accessibility or even how they feel about the company or person they patronize.

Yes, if a person does not like a business because of how that business conducts its business, they can take their business elsewhere. It does not even have to affect them personally; if they see a company mistreating or discriminating against another person or group of people, they can refuse to patronize it. When enough people cease to interact with an establishment, it hurts them…sometimes badly.

In the competitive business environment, such as we have in America, negative perception is not something companies want associated with their image. They want as many customers as possible to generate as much revenue as possible in order to reach their full potential. The same goes for individuals, only on a much smaller scale, and instead of revenue, community respect and personal success is often the currency. So if a business is going to discriminate against a group, it had better be for a good reason, and they should expect to deal with the consequences.

Let us go back to our previous examples

Example 1 continued: John already does not get business to his restaurant from American minorities, so his clientele is already limited. In addition, however, word gets out that he has made his business a “white only” locale. Some people will be fine with it, and might even be more inclined to dine there if they share his racist views. Others will be appalled and never set foot there again – if for no other reason than to avoid being seen as racist – but more likely because they find John’s action to be offensive. Maybe John’s restaurant survives….but maybe it does not. His fate will be dependent on how many other racist patrons he can attract to keep his business alive.

We will now look at the second example, but this time, there are no laws requiring the Rabbi to provide marriage services to the gay couple. He lives in the same world John does.

Example 2, alternate ending: The gay couple requests the wedding. Rabbi Saul refuses. The gay couple goes elsewhere for their services. They spread the word that the synagogue thinks homosexuality is a sin, and no more gay couples request the Rabbi to marry them. Saul is fine with that. Maybe he loses some of his more liberal members. Maybe he receives threats, or insults. But he is still free and still adhering to the fundamentals of his faith.

Either way, the gay couple did not get what they wanted from the Rabbi. In both versions the Rabbi stayed true to his beliefs. The only difference of substance is that in one situation, Saul was punished for his principles by the government and in the other he freely accepted the affects of others’ choices that related to him.

Disclaimer: I acknowledge that there are infinite variables that could be applied to this issue and that I only chose two hypothetical models. I constructed them only to illustrate the point so it is understood in a practical sense and its real-world effects.

Freedom is not always pretty. It does not always create a utopian world where everyone gets what they want and no one’s feelings are hurt. Yet when unleashed, freedom gives us the opportunity to reach our fullest potentials and the choice to live as we see fit.

“…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It’s not just an eloquent phrase – it’s the American way.

 

 

Former Drone Operators Report More Shady Business from the NSA

February 19, 2014 Leave a comment

From The Intercept, by Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald:

The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.

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[TBT] President Obama’s Question: To Kill or Not to Kill?

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment
All this past week, the President has been faced with a bit of a dilemma coming from overseas.
Full story from RT
 
There is a United States citizen (name not known to the public) in a foreign country (country not known to the public) who has been suspected of plotting terrorist attacks against the United States.  The man in question has been accused of being an Al-Qaeda facilitator.  As of now, this person is still alive (to our knowledge) and is bunkered down in a remote area. Complicating the matter is the fact that the unknown country in which the accused currently resides will not permit U.S. military forces to enter. According to the damning accusations, this person has planned multiple other terrorist attacks against the U.S. in the past. President Obama’s problem is the question of whether or not he should execute that person -by drone- or capture him and put him on trial.
 
If the Constitution was given a voice in the matter, the question would have already been answered. The clause “No person…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;” is very clear and precise. It requires that if an individual is going to have his life taken away from him, he is to be granted due process of law to determine if such an action is justified. If the man being targeted by the Department of Justice is in fact guilty of everything he has been accused of, it should be determined in court – as opposed to a single decision by the executive branch of the federal government. Not being able to forcefully enter the country he is hiding in is not a legitimate excuse to circumvent the law.
 
Unfortunately, the current Administration has already demonstrated that it feels it has the justification to execute American citizens without trial. Sadly, if the President decides to assassinate the unknown alleged terrorist, it would have precedent. The good news is that political pressure from outside the White House over the previous murders have brought a magnifying glass over the President in his current dilemma; perhaps causing this balk by the administration.
 
 Last year’s policy standards and procedures issued from the White House included a piece that stated “If the United States considers an operation against a  terrorist identified as a US person, the Department of Justice  will conduct an additional legal analysis to ensure that such  action may be conducted against the individual consistent with  the Constitution and laws of the United States,”
 
While that is encouraging, feet must be held to the fire in order to ensure those words are adhered to. We are watching, Mr. President!
 
Ben Swann gives his take:

Snowden Bombshell: Seems he downloaded entire roster of U.S. government – all names, home addresses and other personal info of **all** officials and gov’t employees — including law enforcement — plus bankers, corporate boards of directors and more!

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Edward Snowden is, without doubt, the single biggest headache for the establishment.

askmarion

edwardsnowden_thumb

February 6, 2014 — (TRN) — Edward Snowden, the former contractor at the National Security Agency took with him multiple “Doomsday” packages of information when he departed the country and began revealing how intensely the US Government is spying on its own citizens. He has the personal home info for all Elected Officials, Law Enforcement, Judges, Bankers, Corporate Boards of Directors and more!

At a classified briefing for members of Congress which took place on Wednesday, members found out that Snowden took with him:

  • a complete roster of absolutely every employee and official of the entire US Government.
  • The names, home addresses, unlisted personal home telephone and personal cellular phone numbers, dates of birth and social security numbers of every person involved in any way, with any department of the US Government.
  • The files include elected officials, Cabinet appointees, Judges, and **ALL** law enforcement agency employees including sworn…

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Categories: Uncategorized

The Re-Resurrection

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Hello! I’m back.

It has been too long since I last put hot words to use here.

It has been too long since I last let the fire in my belly come forth.

It has been too long since I last spoke my mind in defense of liberty!

No more. Beginning today with the return of Tru Blu Tuesdays I am back on the warpath of words. There is a lot going on that needs to be vetted. I can no longer hold my peace. The year 2014 is shaping up to be another year of turmoil in this country and Tru Blu Review will be there to cover it.

So back into the fray we go. Back into the glorious conquest of freedom. Back to the front lines of The Revolution!

Tyranny never sleeps, so neither shall liberty!

Categories: The Revolution

[Tru Blu Tuesday] Ukraine-gate

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Would you like to know how to make enemies? Are you a control freak? Does the prospect of intervening in matters that are not your business intrigue you? Well, here is a story just for you!

Read the Ron Paul Institute’s article for all the gritty details.
 
On February 5th, a YouTube video surfaced that embarrassed the United States. The video (see below) is a recording of two U.S. officials – US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt – having a conversation over the phone. The source is unknown, but the conversation is incriminating. In it Secretary Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt discuss people they would like to manipulate and place in political positions in the post-riot-induced Ukrainian government.
 
 
The background story:
Ukraine has been in political turmoil since November 2013. It started when the Ukrainian government halted plans to join the Protesters and police clash in UkraineEU and did a virtual about-face by taking steps to deepen its relationship with neighboring Russia. The people of Ukraine, many of whom favor the EU, have turned out in the thousands to protest these actions. Most of the protesting has been done in Kiev, the nation’s capital. In January, however, the protests became violent and lives have since been lost. Tensions are high as the people of Ukraine battle their government on a daily basis, seeking to invoke changes.
 
The implications:
The leaked phone conversation has essentially provided evidence that the U.S. has been running the opposition to the Ukrainian government. RPI has more details on this here.
 
This is bad. What Secretary Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt have essentially been caught doing is discussing some very invasive meddling in the affairs of another sovereign country. Picking and choosing who advances or holds what positions in a foreign government is unethical at best. Strategizing their opposition, effectively throwing a monkey wrench into Ukraine’s already delicate political scene, is no better. There is simply no place for that within international relations and certainly not from our country – the supposed leader of the free world. What agenda Nuland and Pyatt had cooked up is anyone’s guess, but it is my assumption that they were working to put people in charge in Ukraine who could serve American interests. Correction: American government interests.
 
Press conference video of State Department Psaki defending the leaked conversation.
 
Ukraine RiotsImagine if that was done to us! Imagine if China, for example, orchestrated riot conditions in Washington D.C. which managed to overthrow our government. (If that initially sounded appealing, considering the current administration, you and I think alike.) Let’s say they then puppeteer officials into our highest federal offices who will follow their agenda. American officials under Chinese direction! How would that make you feel as a citizen? I, for one, would feel violated.
 
Just as assuredly, when the people of Ukraine discover our governments interference with their state they will undoubtedly resent us as a nation.
 
The right path:
Other countries already have a low opinion of the U.S. Especially after stunts like the discovery that the NSA was spying on the Chancellor of Germany. Our leaders need to have integrity in all matters , and foreign affairs are no exception. We need to encourage peace and progress in other nations, but do so diplomatically as opposed to manipulatively behind the scenes. As the lone superpower left in the world, we have the responsibility of leading the rest of the globe. We cannot do so if we disrespect them and make them our enemies.
 
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, once pondered the defense of America’s actions towards the world in her infant years:
“…she has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own; she has abstained from interference in the concerns of other, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings as to the last vital drop that visits the heart.”
Unfortunately the same can not be said for our beloved America today as we have had our hands in too many foreign affairs to be considered innocent. It is a goal we can strive for, and an admiral one at that.
 
 
 

Happy Birthday Ron Paul!

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Today, August 20th, is the birthday of Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul. The 12 term Texas congressman, doctor, author and Constitutional guru turns 78 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love the guy. He is, in fact, a personal hero of mine and an inspiration to millions. In celebration of his birthday I’d like to share a little bit of why he is important to America and how he has impacted my life personally. Aside from the invaluable lessons in foreign policy, monetary policy, civil liberties and so much more, there are a few things I learned subconsciously from the little man from Texas.

Courage

Perhaps the biggest impression he has made on me is his willingness to stand for what he believes in, even when he stands alone. ron-paul-ronald-reaganDuring his service as a U.S. Congressman for 12 terms spread out from 1976 to 2013, Dr. Paul has almost always been in the minority. Even when all other Republicans fell in line behind President Reagan, of whom Paul had been a strong early supporter, when the administration began to stray from small government principles, the good doctor stuck to his guns in opposition. Countless times in his career he was the lone voice in a sea of corruption. No doubt there were nights when he wondered if he was sane for fighting unwinnable battles, but over the course of those few decades he stayed true to principle. Even when, in 2008, he stood as the lone Republican Presidential candidate against an aggressive foreign policy, Ron Paul did not back down to the pressure of what was popular at the time. Even then, when there was still significant support for the war, he showed no considerations to the mass’s opinions.

What he taught me, in doing so, is to always do what is right. When the world is pointing at me telling me I am wrong, but I know the truth, I will stick to that truth. When I stand alone with nothing but principle and my own conscience, I will be able to hold the moral advantage.

You see, when Congressman Paul was prattling on about the Federal Reserve or monetary policy all those years, he did not know he would become the spokesperson for sanity in America. He did not know he would become an idol for young adults. He absolutely had no idea he would have the impact he had today. He did it fully aware that his efforts would be totally fruitless. But because he had the courage to stay with it, he has given the world a voice for liberty again.

Consistency

rpbatmanOne of the things that drew me to Dr. Paul, and subsequently libertarian thinking, is the consistency of his philosophy. In politics, everything with Dr. Paul begins and ends with the Constitution. If it’s not in the Constitution, it should not be done by the government. If the Bill of Rights protects it, it had better be preserved. His political decisions stem from our nation’s founding document, as the Founding Fathers intended and a republic demands. Ron Paul does not change his opinions as the wind blows, nor does he tweak and twist his views to fit around an agenda. His Congressional service is built on a rock solid, dogmatic faithfulness to the U.S. Constitution.

I have adopted much of his philosophies as my own, (I might disagree with a few minor points on occasion) and as a result I actually believe that much more of what I say and think. Before Ron Paul woke me up, I was a card carrying, Team Red, cheerleader who held the party line on every issue, whether my conscience told me I was wrong or not. But with a libertarian, Constitutionally sound outlook on all things politics, I almost never have to second guess myself. Whenever I am unsure on something, I will even hold off on forming an opinion until I’ve given it the Constitutional litmus test. Now I am much more brazen in my stands, and ever so more consistent – just like the master.

Compassion

Watch the above clip. Ron Paul, being interviewed after the biggest surge of popularity in his career during the 2012 Presidential campaign, took the time to divert from the interview to correct an aggressive cameraman. Most politicians would probably care less about what is going on around them, and likely gloating in the swarms of attention sent their way. Not Ron. Ever the gentleman, he politely but firmly corrects the man, protecting the reporter.

It is only a small act in the grand scheme of things. He didn’t rush into a burning building to save a baby from the flames. However, this one little action spoke volumes of his character. This may be one of the greatest things Ron Paul taught me. No matter how big or important you think you are, compassion and caring for others is never below you. Throw him into a debate with an opponent and the Doctor will come out swinging hard with truth and the tireless aggression of a man half his age. Still, he never losses sight of the need for gentleness and thoughtfulness.

ronpaul

As a frightful and mysterious future awaits us on the horizon, there is no telling what tomorrow brings. Yet with Ron Paul’s wonderful example of courage, consistency and compassion, I know the tools to survive are already at hand.

Thank you Ron! Happy Birthday!

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