Speeches and essays - General topics

Both Federal and State issues included:

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Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice.

 

This debate seems like one of those times when both sides are right and both are wrong.

The Pro-Choicer is right about the woman's right to control her own body. She is wrong if she thinks that she has the right to kill a fetus/baby just because it's inside her.

The Pro-Lifer is correct about the fact that society has the right to decide at what age it will protect the right to life of the fetus/human. They are wrong when they think they have the right to force their values on a woman by forcing her to supply the needed life-support to a fetus/baby (that she may consider to be a parasite, capable of ruining her life) through term and the following 18 years. Remember, while we (and the fetus) may have a "Right to life" we do not have the right to force others to support that life.

An important point here, is that there is a well defined line (which lately has been ignored more and more) that logically divides what morals/values that a moral society can establish with coercion (ie. jail, fines, execution), and those that it has to establish through social pressure (ie. discrimination, ostracizing, removal of citizenship). The former can only be used against the violent, the thief, and the killer. The latter is the only recourse that a moral society has to use against those whose only crime is having poor values (not caring enough to give of ourselves to help others in need).

While abortion is normally considered a fuzzy moral issue (is the fetus a thinking being? etc.) there is a restriction that if placed upon the way that an abortion is done, that would have the desired effect of changing abortion from the killing of the fetus (murder?), to the refusing to provide support to the fetus (ie. poor values). That restriction is that all abortions after the age that society deems the fetus to be worthy of the right to life, be done as a surgical act of separation rather then as a killing.

After an abortion/separation, any Right-to-Life group willing to put its money and technology where its mouth is should have the right at its own expense to try to save the fetus by supplying artificial life support or by transplanting the fetus into another woman. If nobody comes forth with the money and technology to save the fetus then yes the fetus will die a natural death. It will have died because nobody in society (not just the woman) cared enough to save it.

The fact that the woman could have saved the fetus easier only means that the Right-to-Life group should consider a monetary incentive to convince the mother to take the pregnancy to term and then to adopt (that might be the cheapest way to save it).

Incidentally, the "morning after" and "abortion" pills fall within this separation criteria, either by preventing the zygote from ever attaching itself to the woman's womb, or by causing it to be rejected shortly afterwards.

A practical point at which society might deem that a fetus has a right to life is at that point at which current technology has a reasonable chance of rescuing the fetus. That way the woman would not have to go through an abortion/separation that is more expensive and riskier to her than a regular abortion, when the fetus has little chance of surviving a rescue attempt anyway.

Note : an act of surgical separation near full term simply becomes a premature C section, followed by putting the baby up for adoption.

The final question is whether or not we as a society should ostracize the woman who gets an abortion, or the doctor that performs it. The answer is that the various social groups, churches, and the extended family must all decide this for themselves. Government, however, should not get involved either by removing the doctors license or his citizenship, particularly when abortions are done early in the pregnancy, since this controversy has many reasonable caring people on both sides of the issue.

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The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

 

An individual has the right to protect one's home, business, and one's self.

There has been a lot of talk and a number of laws both state and federal that have addressed the topic of Gun Control. Again, this is an example of the public and the legislator voting about something that the public does not even own, the right to defend and protect one's home and business. It is clear that this is one of the "unalienable rights" that was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. So this right predates the US Constitution and therefore any argument as to whether or not that document guarantees the individual's "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" is meaningless.

Please remember that the "Bill of Rights" in the US Constitution does not grant us these rights but instead is that document's acknowledgement of those preexisting rights. In other words the "Bill of Rights" is in the US Constitution to protect the US Government by preventing it from becoming so tyrannical that a armed revolt against that government would be justified. What this means is that the very government that would want to control or prevent the individual from bearing arms is the same government that the public needs to arm itself against in preparation for an armed revolt.

Now the right to carry weapons on public streets is a totally different issue and is something that the public and the legislature does have the right to vote on. The limiting factor however is that an individual must always have the right to carry the weapons necessary to protect him/herself from threats that one could expect to meet on those public streets. In other words, the government can not "disarm the public in the hope that this will make the streets safe" in a "cart before the horse" move but must first make the streets safe before it can expect the public to travel on those public streets without weapons.

One must keep in mind that the gun control laws only control the weapons that the "Law abiding citizen" carries and not what is carried by the criminal or "thug". Therefore those laws actually do the opposite of what they claim to do by making the public more vulnerable to the criminal element.

Also, our government and the public have this whole issue of concealed weapons totally backwards. The laws against carrying weapons on public streets should only apply to exposed and visible weapons. The carrying of totally hidden weapons should be completely legal since the enforcement of any law to the contrary would require a mass sweep of searches of individuals that clearly would be unreasonable and unwarranted.

Private and public buildings on the other hand can require that weapons be turned in at the door before entering and can use detection equipment to insure that this requirement is followed.

 

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When Democracy goes bad.

Democracy may be more humanitarian and fairer (whatever that means) then the average monarchy, dictatorship, or communism, but it still suffers from one of the major defects of governments in general. That defect is the seduction of those people in the government for more and more power. Couple this with the fact that power corrupts. Not only is there corruption of public officials, but in democracy there is the corruption of the voter, and of the well intentioned public official doing what he thinks is best or what he thinks the voters want.

The critical point where governments go bad ( and people too) is when they start believing that their "Good Causes" are so important that for those causes its okay to break some of the basic concepts in morality. Today's good causes are "To promote business", "For the greater good", "To enforce fairness", and "To enforce equality". These are good causes, yet they do not justify the taking of one dollar coercively in taxes or the incarceration of one person for not cooperating. Remember that even Hitler had his "Good Causes" that he felt justified his actions.

The basics of morality are that it's immoral to initiate violence, that it's immoral to take property (of all types) from its legitimate owner without the owners free consent, and that it's immoral to kill a living being capable of independent thought.

A Democratic system such as ours goes bad when the people of the society starts believing that they have the right to vote into law anything that the majority agrees to, and then believe that once it is law that they have the right to enforce it. What results is the enacting and enforcing of laws that control property and natural rights that are not even owned by society but instead are owned by the individuals. Those laws steal part of the ownership of that property away from that individual and are therefore immoral, this is true even if the laws were passed with the consent of the majority.

First a word on what we mean by society..

The meaning of "Society" is dependent on the context of the situation. When there is a conflict between two members of a motorcycle gang, then "society" is the people and values of that gang. It's only when a gang member has a conflict with an outsider that the larger meaning of society, the one that encompasses them both, is used.

And a word on Natural Rights..

The term "Natural" rights refers to those rights that are derived from each of us having a mind capable of independent thought. They include self ownership, owning the products of our own labor, etc, they do not include some of the things that people of today think as "rights" but which are only nice promises from government such as a right to work (we have the right to contract freely but not a right to force someone to give us a job), or a right to low cost medical care, etc. In many cases it would be immoral for government to enforce these supposed rights for to do so would mean the violation of someone else's natural rights.

And a few words on morality..

-- If someone has broken the basics by killing, stealing, or initiating violence then they have indicated that they are outside the domain of that morality, and thereby have given society the moral right to respond in kind toward them.

-- While the basics mentioned above are "provable", society's values above these basics are not, and that if society and government enforce their value systems in a manner that breaks the basics of morality against someone who has been upholding those basics, then that society and that government are immoral. If a government continues to act in this immoral "Might makes right" mode it will never be able to convince its citizens to live by a higher standard. In addition it will quickly loose the citizen's acceptance of its legitimacy, which every government ultimately needs for its survival.

In order to keep laws moral then, it is imperative that we keep track of what is owned by society and what is owned by the individuals.

-- An individual owns the products of his own labor, not society. Taxes that take part of what a person owns or earns without consensual exchange for government services are therefore immoral.

-- An individual owns his own body, not society. Laws that dictate what a person can and cannot put into their own bodies are therefore immoral.

-- An individual owns his right to contract freely with others, not society. Laws that require licenses before a person can sell their services, and laws that dictate who a person must employ and who they can't employ, or that dictate what the salary will be, are all immoral.

-- An individual owns the right to trade consensually things he owns for things that others own, not society. Therefore laws that prevent the sale of sexual services, or that restrict the sale of property and business to foreigners, or that restrict sales with other countries, are all immoral.

Society does own a few things and to the extent that government actually represents the will of society it has legitimate control over those things (and only those things!). Society owns the meaning of words thereby giving government some control over the interpretation of contracts. Society also has a limited right to define "Default" contracts and rules of liability, defining, in the absence of any contract specifying otherwise, who is the responsible party in a transaction. Note that our government has abused its control by believing it has the right to rewrite contracts or to ignore them all together in favor of its own concepts of "fairness".

Government has the right to manage "Public" property for the best use by the public. Public property is property that has been donated to the public by the previous owner, it is not property that was taken forcibly by taxes, zoning laws etc., and certainly not private property that just has public access. Also note that "Public" property is not "Citizen" property and therefore it is usable by all who are helping to support it and who are not abusing it, citizen and non-citizen alike.

Society has the right to determine what is reasonable restitution for the accidental violation of someone else's natural and property rights, and what is reasonable retribution for their intentional violation . It is not "reasonable" to execute a person for stealing a loaf of bread. It was reasonable in the old west to hang a horse thief who left its owner stranded in the desert. Note that our government has abused this right by believing that it can punish a person simply because that person disobeyed one of its laws even though no ones natural rights or property rights were violated.

Government has the right to provide services and to charge for those services just like anyone else. To provide protection of a person's natural rights and property with their consent, and then to charge for that protection. Note that while government has the right to withhold the protection of a persons natural rights if they refuse to pay, it does not have the right to actually violate a persons natural rights for not paying, nor does it have the right to prevent a person from protecting their own natural rights.

Society and the Government (or any group for that matter) owns its own membership. That is to say, it can give away or sell membership in itself to any person it wants, under whatever conditions it wants. In the case of the US Government, membership would constitute US citizenship. In other words, many of the laws that are now immoral could be made moral if the maximum penalty for breaking them was changed to the loosing of ones US citizenship. In a lot of cases this also would make a lot of sense. If a person refuses to pay taxes, or refuses to serve in the military, or if he desecrated the US flag, then remove his US citizenship. Note that the removing of a persons citizenship means the removal of all of the benefits that that citizenship gave him, it does not remove his natural rights.

A note on the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights...

The Constitution is not some magical document that gives us rights, neither can it take away our rights. It is only a statement of agreement between the federal government and the state legislatures. An agreement that establishes the internal structure of the federal government and defines the relationship between that government and the respective states. By including the Bill of Rights, the founders of our constitution were acknowledging the natural rights of the individual and acknowledging that an important and necessary role of government was the protection of those rights.

Through the years our constitution has been amended and reinterpreted to exclude more and more of this protection. These changes do not remove the natural rights of the individual but rather allow the federal and state governments to infringe on those rights thereby allowing them to become more and more immoral. The predictable results of this trend, if not reversed, is the loss of credibility and legitimacy of our government with the citizen, and the eventual collapse of our system of government.

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A letter to the IRS

In the latter part of 1988 (unsure of exact date) I was contacted by the IRS. They wanted to know what information I could provide them with that would help them in their case against Bill White, a noted Libertarian activist. Bill had set up the Libertarian Fellowship where people could give up all their worldly possessions to the fellowship and live in a vow of poverty under the protective umbrella of the fellowship. The IRS thought it was all just an attempt at tax evasion. The following is my reply:

**********

Dear Sirs

My association with Bill White has been mostly through the United Libertarian Fellowship of which I am a member. Although I am not very active, I have attended a number of the Fellowship's pot-luck socials. These socials are for the express purpose of introducing prospective members to the philosophical, moral, social, and yes religious values of the Fellowship, and for the sharing and witnessing between members of those values. I share these values.

The philosophy of the Fellowship deals with the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and the fact that people have been endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights - life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and most important, self ownership. A person owns himself, the product of his labors, and whatever he receives in trade by mutual consent, from another. These are natural rights and laws; a person forfeits these only by violating the rights of others, except for this, no man-made law can morally take away a persons natural rights.

Evil is the violation of another person's natural rights. Evil is the taking of what another person legitimately owns by force or the threat of force. Evil, even for a good cause, is still evil.

So, you see the United Libertarian Fellowship is a legitimate religious/philosophical union of people - a church if you will. The I.R.S. on the other hand is the illegitimate evil mouth that feeds a government bureaucracy bent on reducing all of us to its slaves, forcing us to grovel at its feet for handouts.

Sincerely

John H. Webster

********

note: It does my heart good to think they probably read the whole letter.

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Free speech messages given on KICU TV 36

Democracy doesn't always mean freedom !

(Jan 1990)

This is John Webster of the Libertarian Party.

The basis of freedom is self-ownership; where people own the products of their own labor and where they are free to trade and contract together peacefully.

Even democratic Governments destroy freedom whenever they make and enforce laws over things they do not own, over Rights and Property owned by the individual. These laws are immoral, stealing from, and enslaving the individual for the benefit of those in power.

Libertarians are working to restore that freedom. To learn how you can help, please call the number below.

*** LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA 1-(800) 637-1776 (from within California)***

Un-alienable Rights

(date unknown)

This is John Webster of the Libertarian Party.

- All men have been endowed by their creator with certain un-alienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

- You forfeit natural rights, only by violating the rights of others. You do NOT lose them :

.. by refusing to pay taxes,

.. by hiring undocumented aliens,

.. by growing marijuana,

.. or by putting a price on sexual encounters.

- Our government was setup to guarantee our natural rights. Over the years it became our big brother -- supposedly protecting us. Today, Government is becoming our controller -- our owner.

- For information on how you can help reverse this trend please call the number below.

*** LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA 1-(800) 637-1776 (from within California)***

Devaluing the Dollar

This is John Webster of the Libertarian party.

Last year the Government encouraged the Federal Reserve to reduce the value of the dollar. By doing so, they reduced the value of our paychecks and the value of our savings. That lost value was stolen back by the Federal Reserve as they printed more money -- New money to loan to Government and big banks. And they said they were doing it to help us ?

Manipulation of the dollar, subsidies and price supports, import quotes and tariffs, all are examples of phony economics that give government and special interests a free ride -- and make the rest of us pay the price.

For information on how you can help fight back, please call the number below.

*** LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA 1-(800) 637-1776 (from within California)***

The IRS EXTORTION RACKET

What is the difference between a PROTECTION SERVICE and a PROTECTION RACKET. This is John Webster of the Libertarian Party with the answer. If you don't pay, with a protection service you lose protection, with a protection racket they send out goons to teach you a lesson you won't soon forget.

Again this April we will be paying Government for it's services and protection. If we don't pay, the IRS sends out agents to seize our property and to throw us into jail.

Under this threat of force, hard working people are taxed to bail out bankrupt companies and to sprinkle free benefits on special interest groups.

To help promote an alternative to this extortion please call the number below.

****

*** LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA 1-(800) 637-1776 (from within California)***

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