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Posted 06/07/16
by Adam de Angeli
    Tags: Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Republican Party, 2016

Last Friday, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, the most powerful Republican legislator in America and Chairman of the upcoming Republican National Convention, threw a stiff, back-handed slap at Donald Trump, the winner of the race for Republican nominee for President of the United States.

After issuing the weakest plausible endorsement of his party's nominee one day prior, Ryan took the first opportunity available to attack Trump, parroting the latest dishonest attack on the Republican nominee from the liberal establishment and its allies in the mass media.

This was not Paul Ryan's first attack on Donald Trump, nor the first time Ryan exploited the dishonest narrative of Trump's left-wing enemies. Not long after Trump had solidified his position as the front-runner, Ryan repeated the media's most repeated and most buffoonish attack on Trump: that the violent mobs of left-wing agitators opposed to Trump are his fault for provoking.

It was disgraceful enough that the Republican Speaker of the House would inject himself into the presidential race to trash the front-running candidate for any reason. That it was done in defense of violent left-wing mobs was all the worse.

Ryan's shameful behavior continues to this very day. Anti-Trump mob violence hit a new low last Thursday with Trump supporters beaten bloody, but the Speaker chose not to condemn those perpetrating political terrorism, but instead to attack his party's nominee.

The House Speaker did not attack the Republican nominee alone. Joining him was the next most powerful Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and a predecessor of Ryan's, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called what Trump said “inexcusable.”

Trump's supposed crime was questioning the impartiality of a judge presiding over a pending lawsuit against the Trump Organization. Judge Gonzalo Curiel is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, which last year called for boycotts against Trump, and La Raza Lawyers Association. “La Raza” literally means “The Race” and the National Council of La Raza is the largest illegal immigration lobby in the United States.

As Donald Trump stands to become the President of the United States and do everything in his power to stop illegal immigration in America, questioning the ethnocentric judge's impartiality is entirely reasonable.

There were many things Paul Ryan could have said to address the latest fabricated media scandal and maintained his own dignity, even if he didn't agree with Trump's remark.

Ryan could have undercut the attack, by exposing the liberal media's own double standard, by asking: “Would liberal media accept a white judge, under any circumstances, who was a member of a White Race organization?” This would have buttressed Trump's noble and important effort to alienate the public from the professional liars in the mass media.

He could have defended Trump at face value: “What judge could possibly be unbiased in a case that might affect the outcome of a race for President of the United States?”

Paul Ryan could have said how appalling it was that neither Clinton nor Sanders has condemned their supporters' mob violence.

He could have condemned the mass media for their inciting role, having spent the past year calling Trump the second coming of Hitler.

Paul Ryan could have taken the opportunity to counter-punch: “Hillary Clinton smeared a child victim of rape to a court to help a child rapist get a lesser sentence. Where's your story on that?” (This is true and I can't wait for Trump to play this card.)

Paul Ryan could have made any number of other defenses. Politicians, especially in leadership, have to defend colleagues from criticism all the time, right or wrong. It's part of the job.

Instead, Paul Ryan did the most damaging thing possible: he “disavowed” Donald Trump, vindicating the Left, the Democrats, the media, and the mobs.

It bears repeating: Donald Trump is the Republican nominee chosen by Republican voters, yet Paul Ryan took an opportunity provided by the mass media to amplify left-wing attacks on his party's leader.

It is now beyond doubt: Paul Ryan cannot be permitted to chair the national convention.

Any House Speaker understands it is his duty to support the party's nominee.

It is clear from Paul Ryan's conduct that the Republican Party establishment is planning mischief in Cleveland.

This is no surprise, if you are familiar with the history of the Republican Party. In 1980, the last time the establishment didn't get its way, party insiders attempted to hijack the presidency from Ronald Reagan.

As Phyllis Schlafly recounted in the updated edition of A Choice Not An Echo:

Realizing they couldn't stop Ronald Reagan's nomination, the liberal Republicans developed an extraordinary game plan, one of the most unusual grabs for power in the history of the American presidency. On Wednesday, July 16, the third evening of the convention, while delegates at Joe Louis Arena were plodding through the roll call that produced 1,939 votes for Reagan, thirty-seven for John Anderson, and thirteen for George Bush, Henry Kissinger was on the sixty-ninth floor of the Renaissance Plaza Hotel, a few blocks away, promoting an incredible deal under which he, not Reagan, would exercise the powers of the presidency. If he had succeeded, it would have been a complete restructuring of the executive branch of the government.

The cover for this proposed transfer of power from a constitutionally elected president into the hands of an unelected man who was not even eligible for the office (because he was not a “natural-born citizen”) was to be a Ronald Reagan-Gerald Ford “dream ticket.” That's how the idea was floated, but the details were not revealed. The reason the Establishment insisted on Gerald Ford as vice president was that he could be counted on to take orders from Henry Kissinger.

Speaking as the negotiator for Ford, Kissinger demanded that Reagan agree to turn over to Ford as vice president supervisory authority over the National Security Council, which controls U.S. foreign and military policies, the Office of Management and Budget, which controls federal budgeting and the purposes for which our tax dollars are spent, and the Council of Economic Advisers, which directs U.S. economic policies.

This deal was announced as a “co-presidency,” but in fact so little power would remain in Reagan's hands that he would be president in name only. When CBS's Dan Rather stuck a microphone in my face on the convention floor and asked my opinion, I said, “It's completely unconstitutional. It's a plan to give Gerald Ford control of foreign policy, defense policy, and the budget, and that would leave President Reagan with little more than the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

Reagan's aides described themselves as “astonished” at the scope of the power that Kissinger demanded on behalf of Ford. The team of Rowland Evans and Robert Novak reported that Ford's price for going on the ticket with Reagan was the appointment of Henry Kissinger as secretary of state. Reagan had stated publicly that he would not appoint Kissinger, so the ambitious Kissinger worked the co-presidency deal through his old friend, Gerald Ford. The
New York Daily News reported that Ford nurtured such animosity against Reagan that in March 1980 Ford told friends, “Before this is over, I will get my pound of flesh out of that guy.”

Back at Joe Louis Arena on that fateful Wednesday evening, Gerald and Betty Ford visited two network skyboxes high above the convention floor and promoted the Reagan-Ford “dream ticket,” and Walter Cronkite broke the news of the “co-presidency” deal. It became obvious that the networks were part of Ford's bargaining apparatus, and the media eagerly supported the plot.

The pressure on Ronald Reagan from powerful people to accept the Ford-Kissinger deal became overwhelming, and there was no countervailing pressure from a united conservative movement for any alternative vice presidential candidate. Most Reagan delegates didn't know what was happening behind closed doors. Believing he might not be able to hold out if the Ford negotiators hammered him all night, Reagan telephoned George Bush at 11:37 on Wednesday night and told him to come to the convention rostrum immediately. Already in his pajamas, Bush was the most surprised man in Detroit. Appearing before the delegates, Reagan made his midnight announcement that he had chosen George Bush to be his running mate, praising Bush as “a man who told me he can enthusiastically support the Platform across the board.”

That night, Reagan saved America from its closest brush with a bloodless palace coup.

If the globalist establishment would do this to stop Ronald Reagan from becoming President, they will stop at nothing to prevent a Trump presidency. (Henry Kissinger, incidentally, will be at Bilderberg this week, plotting this very thing.)

That Paul Ryan believes he can attack his own party's leader with impunity leaves no doubt: He would rather pass a globalist trade deal and amnesty with President Hillary Clinton (and raise money complaining about her) than work with President Donald Trump.

But if the Republican Party establishment chooses to make war with the candidate elected by their constituent voters, it will not just be the White House they lose.

The worst losses will be in state legislatures.

After countless past races, the party establishment has lectured the grassroots about the importance of unifying—after their candidate prevailed over an ideological insurgent.

And in fact, even when the ideological insurgent wins, the establishment supports the winner. Because it's their job.

Self-serving though it is, the self-preservation motive is legitimate. Losing the majority is a nightmare, for politicians and party officials most of all. In addition to letting socialists destroy our state and country, losing a majority means massive staff layoffs. Every seat lost is an agonizing defeat.

Michigan Republicans hold the state House by eight seats, and nine of them received less than 52% of the vote in 2014. The threat of losing the House in 2016 was as serious as a heart attack to House Republicans even before this circus of a presidential race was taken into consideration.

Michigan is not extraordinary. The situation is that fragile or worse for too many of the 30 Republican and 8 split state legislatures and 31 of 50 governors. 246 of 435 Republicans in the U.S. House. 54 of 100 in the Senate.

With those numbers, it's hard to go any way but down—unless more Republicans find imaginative ways to mobilize legions of new voters, as Donald Trump did. Republicans would be wise to make every effort to earn the votes of these new Trump voters.

Instead, establishment Republicans are being cold and often outright hostile to their own nominee.

Which is to say, they are being cold and often outright hostile to the voters.

Their pathetic pretext for sabotaging their party? It's for the sake of conservatism itself, they say.

How galling the hypocrisy that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney presume to lecture the grassroots about standing for conservatism. How sad that anyone could think the neocons, who mutated conservatism into an unrecognizable hodgepodge of globalism and statism, should be taken the least bit seriously.

How galling the hubris that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, who received fewer votes against Barack Obama and Joe Biden after four years of their rule than Sarah Palin and John McCain received in 2008, claim to know what is best for the conservative movement.

Everybody knows the truth. There's only one reason the party would take the extraordinary step of attacking their own nominee at the top of the ticket.

Trump defined himself as the strongest candidate on national security in general and border security in particular. He ran as an America-first candidate against a field of globalists.

And that's why the establishment hates Trump: because he's not a globalist, and he's not someone the globalists can control.

They will stop at nothing, including destroying the Republican Party, to preserve their agenda.

For the Speaker of the House to attack his own party's nominee is absolutely sufficient grounds for dismissal from the role of convention chairman.

It must be done. It's the decision between victory and defeat for the conservative movement itself. Perhaps for all time, if Democrats flood in enough new Democrat voters by opening our borders.

If the Republican Party gets its act together, 2016 could be its greatest year yet.

Trump won the primary race because he had broader support than his opponents, so much that he was able to overcome every disadvantage of being an outsider. In polls of almost every election, Trump won every demographic, or close to it.

Trump's political brilliance is remarkable. My political mentor once said there were levels of political intelligence: the highest was seeing a smart play and the steps needed to execute it; the lowest was failing to see a smart play even after it was pointed out to you that it worked.

Donald Trump's political intelligence discovers a new, higher category: seeing and executing a play that is so cunning your opposition takes it for a gaffe and promotes and amplifies it.

Somehow, Trump has managed to execute several such plays. The “illegal immigrant rapists” play. The name-calling play. Snubbing the Fox debate to hold a fundraiser for veterans organizations worked on more levels than anything I've ever seen.

Trump may beat Hillary Clinton easily, but she might not be the nominee.

Clinton may be indicted. Until the DNC makes it official, Sanders or even Joe Biden might well be the nominee. The national delegates have the power to change the rules however they see fit and nominate anyone they want.

The national delegates generally consist of party bosses, elected officials, and their loyal supporters. It's entirely possible—likely—that they figure out before the convention assembles that Hillary is a loser. A Biden/Warren convention play could easily work. Sanders supporters would be happy Hillary lost and Warren was on the ticket, and be fine with Biden, who is basically the same as Barack Obama, for all anyone knows.

Hillary Clinton is a loser, and everybody knows it, including the Democratic Party officials.

It's easy to see Trump defeating Hillary in November. Biden/Warren, not so much.

Republicans must unify behind Donald Trump and enthusiastically support him to win in November—for every race on the ticket.

The Republican national delegates are, for the most part, active members of their state parties. Many are state and local elected officials. If the elite are allowed to attack Donald Trump, it harms them directly.

Ryan has already proven himself unfit for convention chairman. He spat on the nominee.

That cannot stand.

He must be made to step down as convention chair.

Delegates, prepare for the fight of your lives. The heart and soul of the Republican Party, and the future of America, is at stake.


Posted 02/11/14
by Adam de Angeli
    Tags: Gary Glenn, Right to Work, Michigan


Thank you so much for the supportive letters so many of you wrote me after my last letter, in which I announced my departure from Rep. Bentivolio's office.

I was especially flattered by Gary Glenn's reply that evening, which included an offer to consult for his campaign for Michigan House of Representatives as Senior Campaign Adviser, which I accepted. 

I'll be returning to Michigan tomorrow.

I could not ask for a better boss.  Since I met Gary three years ago at the founding meeting of the Michigan Freedom to Work Coalition, Gary has shown himself to be a man of impeccable personal integrity, and one who has fought in the trenches for constitutional limited government for decades.  He understands the challenges of controversial legislative projects and how to succeed.  

He speaks fearlessly for individual rights, and knows how to defend them.  

He is grounded in constitutional conservative principles, and always puts the Constitution first.  I have no doubt he will be the next champion of liberty in the Michigan House of Representatives where Tom McMillin stands now and Justin Amash four years ago.

Gary is an extraordinarily rare politician: one who has run a campaign about something other than himself.  

I saw it when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2012.  He knew he did not have the resources to win, but it wasn't about winning; it was his effort to light brushfires in people's minds for the Right to Work.  And those efforts paid off, that very same year.  

When the battle was over, I described him on my blog as the unsung hero of the Right to Work effort in Michigan. I meant it.  

This time, however, Gary is running to win.  And I'm excited to be a part of his team.

I told Gary I'd be up there Wednesday, the day after my last scheduled meeting in DC.  (For just about every campaign job, the start date is "immediately.")

But Gary, ever the gentleman, offered me the rest of the week to get my personal affairs in order.  

So, I'll be home tomorrow, and in Midland next week.

It has been an exciting time I've had in Washington, and I will truly miss the friends I've made here.  I'm sure we will stay in touch and work together another day; I will be back in DC now and again, too.

I'll definitely have to share some of my strange tales of life on the Hill.  It is a silly place.  (Nothing sensitive; don't worry.)

For now though, thanks again for all your kind words.  It really is encouraging.

And of course, I would be irresponsible of me not to ask you consider making a contribution to Gary Glenn's campaign.  His opponent is well-connected, the race will not be won easily, and the time to start is right now. 

If you can make a generous contribution, Gary and I would be very grateful. 

Click here to make a contribution to Gary Glenn for Representative!

If you can chip in a tank of gas, or enough for a quick meal on the campaign trail, it's a great help--every little bit helps, and it adds up.

(Don't worry, I won't send campaign e-mails to my personal e-mail list--at least, not very often...)

Thanks again for all of your support, and for your efforts to defend and restore our Constitutional Republic.

For Liberty,
Adam de Angeli

P.S.  My DC apartment is available for sublet.

If you're interested in living close to the Capitol, you won't find a nicer, more convenient location for $550 a month, and it's pet-friendly, too.  It is in Anacostia, but the nicest part of Anacostia, and I don't feel unsafe.  2.5 miles from the Capitol, you can get there in 15 minutes by bicycle or car, 30 minutes in rush hour, 45 minutes walking.  Free washer/dryer and dishwasher, nice kitchen, fenced backyard.  Month-to-month sublease.



Posted 12/31/12
by Adam de Angeli
    Tags: Ron Paul, Campaign for Liberty, activism, Revolution

At last, 2012 has come to an end.  I suppose there is no sense cheering the passage of time, but it's hard not to be happy to be at the end of an long, hard-fought election season and a bitter lame-duck legislative period. 

Even now, the talks surrounding the so-called "fiscal cliff" rage on, although the conclusion seems foregone: the Left will "graciously" compromise on only getting less tax increases and less spending increases than they wanted, while those of us who insist on balanced budgets and limited government will get nothing at all.  Maybe the talks will break down and the budget will actually shrink, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I can't wait for it to all be over. 

Not that next week will be any sort of reprieve.  Tomorrow, I'm moving to Washington, DC to work for Congressman Kerry Bentivolio.  We won't know until we get there, but I anticipate a pile of six months' worth of un-answered constituent letters and phones ringing off the hook from the moment Kerry is sworn in.  I'll be drinking from a firehose for the foreseeable future. 

Which means, regrettably, my blog will be on hiatus, as will my involvement in Michigan politics. 

I will be back sooner or later; you have my word on that.  I will do everything in my power to help make Kerry's office the most effective force for freedom and prosperity on Capitol Hill that it can be... but I know myself well enough to know I belong on the outside; and my home is the movement, never the Hill, and it's only a matter of time until I come back. 

But, since I will be signing off for now, I thought I'd offer a few final thoughts on 2012 and the future of the liberty movement. 

A lot of people in our movement tend to be pessimistic, and it's easy to see how bad things can be.  The endless wars of empire rage on, the Federal Reserve continues to destroy the dollar, and Congress continues to borrow money from the unborn generation.  There's no denying this. 

But in this respect, 2012 was no different from the years preceding it.  What is different is that, in the small fights, we are beginning to see things turning around.  

Nobody would have thought the Michigan legislature would pass Right to Work.  I wouldn't have guessed the bridge boondoogle would have fallen through yet again.  And despite promises by the governor to the contrary, we blocked state ObamaCare exchanges. 

Not that this forgives the cynical "Incumbent Protection Act" passed to shield them from union-backed recalls, nor the creation of new "metropolitan" governments (Snyder signed this one on December 20), nor creating a new mining tax and spending authority, nor the millions in corporate welfare they doled out, nor bankrolling a shiny new Red Wings stadium with our money, nor transferring to bureaucrats the power to criminalize anything, and so on.

But what it does show is that we are getting better organized by leaps and bounds.  Right to Work was a huge fight.  If we can win that, we can begin taking on more fights.

Likewise, at the federal level, things are still bad, but getting better.  Certainly it's a tragedy that Barack Obama will be sworn in next month, instead of Ron Paul.  But by making the fight, Ron Paul has brought millions of new supporters into the freedom movement.

And who would have predicted four years ago that the Federal Reserve Transparency Act would pass the House?

It seems like a drop in the bucket, compared to all the evil that the government does and continues to do, but what these small victories reflect is a growing organization and discipline for making change that is spreading like never before.

On college campuses across America, students turned out by the thousands to hear Ron Paul's message, the message of liberty.  A message whose bearers, just a few years ago, unhappily called themselves "the remnant." 

The message is getting out, and it will not be silenced. 

But equally as important as the message itself, is the tactics.  Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty are spreading more than a message: they're training political warriors, and building organizations at the state level, the county level, and the campus level. 

There is a movement building, growing stronger by the year.  And while the liberty movement is growing by leaps and bounds, our enemies, the communist conservatives, the neocons, are utterly discredited. 

Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and Newt Gingrich will always have their followers--those suckers who would pay to know what they already think.  But they will not be taken seriously. 

And of course, another big loser of the year was the mass media.  Newsweek is out of print.  Happy New Year to that!

2012 was a great year for the freedom movement.  It was a flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants rush. 

2013 will be a year of planning and preparation, teaching and training. 

There will be a few interesting skirmishes as well, I'm sure. 

Stay involved, never stop growing the movement, and in another four years, perhaps we will be celebrating the start of truly taking back our freedom.


Posted 12/24/12
by Adam de Angeli
    Tags: Ron Paul, Michigan, NRA, activism, Right to Work, Rick Snyder, Gun rights

If there's anything that makes me more upset than politicians exploiting the death of innocent children and the suffering of their families to rob people of freedom, it's doing it at Christmastime.

The one time of year that the politicians usually lay off, just a little.  Not one moment of 2012 was free of one political emergency or another.  Is it much to ask, a quiet Christmas week?

Yet here they are, in the wake of the recent mass killing in Connecticut, doing it again. Plotting to steal our liberty, with no moral compunction for using the dead to push their agenda.

You might think I'm talking about Sarah Brady, Dianne Feinstein, Barack Obama, MoveOn.org, and the anti-rights, victim disarmament lobbyists. Those whose goal is nothing short of a total government monopoly on force.

And I am. They make my blood boil. Before the young victims were even buried, these people were exhuming them—to use them as a club to beat pro-rights politicians over the head with. To ram radical new gun control schemes through Congress and numerous state legislatures as well.

That it was gun control itself, which allowed the killer to safely assume that nobody in the building could have stopped him from committing his murders and left the victims defenseless to be slaughtered, makes it all the more obscene.

They clamor to ensure nobody anywhere, not just in a gun-free school, can defend themselves in a deadly emergency.

But I'm not just talking about the state-supremacists and their hoplophobic followers.

I'm also talking about the National Rifle Association, Dick Morris, and a few other supposedly conservative voices seeking to exploit the tragedy for their own "Constructive Republican Alternative Proposal": ratcheting up the already severe police state environment in schools across America.

The National Rifle Association has long held a reputation among serious, informed patriots as a leading anti-gun organization in America—especially because it poses as just the opposite.

Nobody has any illusions about what Barack Obama's agenda is. But few gun owners understand that the NRA acts as a gatekeeper for anti-gun legislation.

The NRA brokered the deal that allowed the Brady bill to become law. The NRA happily supported the DISCLOSE Act to silence political speech, once an exemption was carved out just for them. And any time the NRA stands to make millions through its training and certification programs, licensing and sanctioning is on the table.

So it should come as no surprise that the NRA not only refused to state all-out opposition to Barack Obama's gun ban, but they are openly calling for a massive "mental health" database—which would surely be used by gun grabbers to strip law-abiding Americans, especially veterans, of their gun rights.

That's right—state-sanctioned "experts" would decide whether or not you can own a firearm.  How positively monstrous, and what a complete betrayal of the very cause they claim to defend.

They also took time out to attack the free speech rights of the makers of movies and video games.

But the NRA doesn't even stop there, and in fact, these suggestions were made only in passing. The thrust of the NRA's plan to stop gun violence is to place armed guards in every public school.

Some conservatives, even some Ron Paul supporters, like this idea. This worries me.

Those who champion liberty and limited government should be immediately suspicious of any plan to hire hundreds of thousands of new government workers with guns.  If the essence of it isn't enough of a tip-off, here's another: far-left Barbara Boxer wants the same thing.

They're also both talking about more metal detectors, more mental health screenings, and generally speaking, more government.  Always more government.

Is this really the best we can do? Send our children to an even more regimented, police-state environment under the authority of government-licensed strangers?

What are we really wishing for?

For some perspective, let's hear from the leading police-state scholar of our time, William Grigg.  Grigg writes:

There is a sense in which Boxer’s proposal is redundant, since armed "warriors" are already deployed in countless schools nation-wide: They are called "resource officers," but they are taught to perceive themselves as front-line troops on a combat footing.

"You've got to be a one-man fighting force," self-styled counter-terrorism "expert" John Giduck exhorted police officers at the 2007 National Conference of School Resource Officers in Orlando, Florida. "You've got to have enough guns, and ammunition and body armor to stay alive.... You should be walking around in schools every day in complete tactical equipment, with semi-automatic weapons.... You can no longer afford to think of yourselves as peace officers.... You must think of yourself [sic] as soldiers in a war because we're going to ask you to act like soldiers." [Grigg's emphasis.]

"Resource Officers" are not present for the protection of children; their mission is to intimidate them, and – with increasing frequency – make criminals out of them. A detailed story published by The Guardian of London points out that in 2010, police deployed in [American] public schools issued roughly 300,000 "class C misdemeanor" citations to school children, most of them for trivial disruptive behavior, such as "inappropriate" dress and excessive use of perfume. Those infractions can result in fines, community service, or even time behind bars – and an arrest record that can ruin the student’s future educational and employment prospects. This is a splendid illustration of the "school-to-prison pipeline" in operation.

Although horrific mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School are vanishingly rare, "lock-down" drills in which SWAT teams conduct training exercises involving hostage or terrorism scenarios are increasingly commonplace.  Many of those "hostage rescue" drills are better described as hostage-taking exercises, since they are used as pretexts for warrantless searches of lockers and student property. 

Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande, Arizona, held a lock-down drug sweep on October 31.  As had happened before in other schools across the country, the students were confined to their classrooms, then led in small groups to another room where they were forced to line up against a wall and be searched with the help of drug-sniffing dogs. 

This exercise introduced a new element: Among the four law enforcement agencies involved in the search was a group of prison guards employed by the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest for-profit prison contractor.

Notes Caroline Isaacs of the Tucson office of the American Friends Service Committee: "To invite for-profit prison guards to conduct law enforcement actions in a high school is perhaps the most direct expression of the `schools-to-prison pipeline’ I’ve ever seen." Clearly, the similarities between government-run schools and prisons are not limited to architecture. Posting National Guard troops around government indoctrination centers, as Boxer proposes, would destroy any residual pretense that there is a material distinction between "schools" and "prisons" in what is becoming an undisguised garrison state.

Like most contemporary liberals, Boxer is a passionate militarist who swaddles her enthusiasm for lethal force in rhetoric about compassion and equality. She can call for armed troops to patrol "gun-free" school zones without perceiving any contradiction, because she simply assumes that the rest of us exist only to serve the interests of the political class and its enforcement arm. It is their privilege to compel, and our duty to submit to whatever they choose to inflict upon us. This is what Boxer and her comrades have in mind when they invoke "national security."

Wooof.  Boxer and her comrades.  Comrades including the NRA, apparently.

The NRA, which will doubtless rake in millions in solicited donations from its members who hope the lobby will defend their rights, is every bit as guilty of exploiting the memory of the dead, for attacking liberty and for profit, as our enemies on the Left.

NBC reports: “Following [NRA president] LaPierre on Meet the Press, Sen. Charles Schumer, D- N.Y., said that the NRA leader is ‘so extreme and so tone deaf that he actually helps the cause of us passing sensible [anti-]gun legislation in the Congress... He is so doctrinaire and so adamant that I believe gun owners turn against him as well.’ ”

Dang right I'll oppose the NRA, although not in the sense Schumer means. 

The NRA must be exposed as the statist menace that it is.  Enough is enough. 

And Schumer is right. The NRA is humiliating the gun rights effort and ultimately will help usher in more gun control carrying on this way.

It hurts the pro-rights cause when LaPierre, claiming to represent gun owners, exploits the dead to usher in a police state.  The average American recoils in horror, with no idea that other pro-rights advocates disagree with LaPierre completely.

We should be calling on local gun clubs to cut their ties with the NRA.  We should be talking to gun owners with NRA memberships.  The NRA is not our friend.

They do not speak for me as a gun owner.  Not at all.

But to the public, who widely assumes the NRA is the gun owner's advocate, it's up to us to speak up.  Already I've had to explain to at least six liberals that the NRA does not speak for gun owners.  You will too.

Join real gun groups like the National Association for Gun Rights and Gun Owners of America, and state-based groups like Michigan Open Carry.

But catching a breath for a moment, now that we see the menace to liberty that the NRA is, let's ask: what might actually be a good remedy for this problem?

After the killings, Republican politicians were silent until the NRA spoke up.  Cowards.  Nobody had an answer. 

Well—not nobody. 

One group, Michigan Open Carry, not only had an answer, but toiled to pass it through the legislature. 

SB59 would have allowed anyone with a concealed pistol license (CPL) to get an exemption from Michigan's Concealed Gun Free Zones. 

In other words, school officials, properly trained and licensed, would be permitted to carry concealed. 

Anyone who would oppose this has no idea what being a CPL holder means.  It means extensive training and licensing.  It means the slightest infraction (such as an accidental reveal) could lead to very serious trouble.  Being a CPL holder is a serious responsibility that CPL holders take very seriously, as their freedom depends on it. 

Instead of paying the price of putting armed guards in every school—including the invariable contribution to the existing police-state environment that a government school is—simply legalizing concealed-carry in schools would mean that no would-be murderer could safely assume nobody would be able to shoot back.

That's a pretty good deterrent.  I say this because it's undeniable that these mass murderers have a way of choosing settings where the victims are disarmed.   There was this, there was the recent shooting in a disarmed movie theatre, and although most people don't know it, Fort Hood was a disarmed military base as well.  Columbine, Viriginia Tech, all "gun-free zones" except to the killers.

In fact, in a rare case where a would-be mass murderer chose a site that did not ban guns, at Appalachian State University, a student retrieved a gun from his car and actually stopped a killing in progress, saving untold lives.

Future murders could have been prevented, had only SB59 passed. 

In fact, it did pass. 

Governor Snyder vetoed it last week.  Citing the Newtown killings, disgracefully.

The very incident which showed how urgently needed such sensible legislation was.  Snyder was worn down by pressure from voters, incited by the victim disarmament lobbyists waving dead bodies in the air. 

There are a lot of lessons here.  About the NRA, about putting liberty first, about being wary of the recommendations of supposed friends, about the exploitation of suffering, about who we choose to let speak for us, about the real nature of the government school system.

But I want to close with a different sort of lesson, on tactics.

Not two weeks ago, Governor Snyder signed Right to Work legislation.  A courageous act on his part as well as the legislature's.  (And for those who still disagree with me on the subject, read Ron Paul's statement.)

Scratch that.  An exceptional and extraordinarily rare act of courage on the part of Gov. Snyder and the legislature. 

A week ago, I was almost ready to say, "now we need to help re-elect Snyder." 

But now Snyder has vetoed freedom, and created headlines that remind any would-be killers out there that our schoolchildren are and will remain defenseless. 

I'm glad I held my tongue, remembering the motto, "if you have nothing nasty to say about a politician, don't say anything."

Because there are very, very few men like Ron Paul.  The best of the rest will restore liberty in one corner only to take it away in another. 

I, for one, will not carry water for a politician who attacks any aspect of my freedom.  There's no excuse for diminishing liberty. 

The same applies for political organizations.  Shame on the NRA.


Posted 12/12/12
by Adam de Angeli
    Tags: Michigan, Campaign for Liberty, activism, Right to Work, Gary Glenn, Rick Snyder, Randy Richardville

The pundits got everything wrong as always (generally speaking), but most of all, they missed that what happened in Lansing yesterday was utterly unprecedented. 

As Rich Lowry put it: "Michigan is to unionization what Florida is to sand, Texas is to oil, and Alaska is to grizzly bears."

It was incredible to see.  This was an event so rare that it challenges us to re-think how politics can actually work. 

Nowhere was this clearer than as I walked, safely disguised in Carhartt coat and Dickies blue-collar shirt and jeans, about the crowd at the Capitol: an awesome throng of what must have been twelve thousand people or more.  The crowd was so massive, the cellular networks jammed from the traffic and cell phones were useless.  You could not deny the sensational "people power" the unionists wield like nobody else.

The mob was hysterical.  In the Capitol rotunda, people were screaming chants of "shut it down" and "kill the bill" without pause for literally hours.  Outside, mobsters destroyed a tent, trapping two people in wheelchairs inside, while another punched a reporter.  Police repelled organizers from storming Governor Snyder's office across the street, while on a nearby stage, union officials assured the crowd they had a wonderful, beautiful, massive and diverse group.  They were searching for a positive note to console the crowd for its devastating loss.

This massive enemy force, I thought.  This massive enemy force, feared and respected for decades, brought down in one week.  How in the world did we do it?!

I thought of so many political battles, past, present, and future.  When has anything worthwhile ever been easy?

When have we ever triumphed over the forces of tyranny without an exhausting, drawn-out fight with a barely acceptable result (usually, nothing more than the protection of the status quo over something worse)?

Seriously, when has something so worthwhile ever been so easy?  

Right to Work: A Fundamental Freedom

I'll pause here because there is surely a percentage of readers here thinking, it was easy this time because you're on the wrong side.  I received a couple of negative responses to my previous blog post supporting Right to Work, and I've noticed that among the liberty movement, a lot of people don't understand Right to Work, neither as a principle nor as a policy.  So let's examine that. 

(If you don't need to know why Right to Work is good, skip down to the heading, "So What the Heck Happened?")

To begin with, let's observe that Right to Work laws are not laws of force, but rather, they repeal and restrict an existing legal force: forced-unionism.  The National Right to Work Act would not add any words to existing code, but rather, strike words out.

Forced-unionism was created by the National Labor Relations Act.  And it stipulated that, once a union is recognized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) it created under the Executive Branch, that union now has the monopoly on labor for the company it works for, and it can compel all workers for the company to pay dues or fees to it, or fire them for failure to do so. 

In other words, if an employer and employee have a private labor agreement, a third party (the union) can go to the federal government for permission to interpose itself between these two parties. 

It's worth noting that sometimes even a minority of employees may be sufficient for the NLRB to grant the union this monopoly power, but why should it be acceptable for a majority either?  Even in the minority, workers and employers have the right to free association, and a majority should not be able to take that away. 

It is apparent that forced-unionism is anathema to freedom and free markets—in this case, the labor market—because the union is a form of price control, administered by the federal government.  Forced-unionism is not "workers rights," but the opposite—the absence of a worker's right to refrain from joining a union!

If forced-unionism actually benefited workers and wages, the entire Austrian theory would crumble.  For here would be government-sanctioned force, doing good.

It doesn't, of course.  I won't re-hash the entire Austrian case here, but if you're interested, read Hutt's "Theory of Collective Bargaining," on-line here.

I should mention, though, perhaps one reason Right to Work is poorly understood by the liberty movement is because many leading libertarians take on the narrow-minded view that Right to Work should be opposed because it would, they say, also prohibit companies from voluntarily entering into closed-shop arrangements. 

This is, first of all, silly, since companies would not voluntarily enter into a contract to deny themselves their own free choice in hiring.  It is precisely because of their dependence on involuntary contracts that union officials despise Right to Work.  And second, it's not even true: unions could do this by simply taking the form of employment agencies and only offering their services as an exclusive contract. 

Remember that Right to Work legislation acts by repealing, not enacting. It acts to reduce the force of government.

All of this doesn't even touch the issue of union involvement in politics.  As the National Right to Work Committee reports:

Big Labor's officially acknowledged campaign expenditures represent just the tip of the iceberg of union electioneering, as pro-forced unionism commentator John Tasini, a union consultant and former union official, acknowledged in a February 20, 2005 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.  

Mr. Tasini reported that several "union political experts" had admitted to him that "unions spend seven to 10 times what they give candidates and parties on internal political mobilization."

Federal reports show that, in 2009 and 2010, Big Labor contributed $58.9 million in cash to federal candidates and another $61.7 million to Big Labor-affiliated PACs. 

Following Tasini's formula, Organized Labor spent up to $1.2 billion dollars, mostly force-dues money, "on internal political mobilization" in 2009 and 2010.

A billion dollars in federal races alone.  Think of how many workers were forced to bankroll the candidates they voted against—under threat of losing their jobs.

As Thomas Jefferson said, "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”

So What the Heck Happened?

I know a lot of people at the National Right to Work Committee.  Dimitri Kesari, longtime director of governmental affairs for the two-million-member organization, was my supervisor at the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign.  John Tate, manager of that campaign and President of Campaign for Liberty, raised millions of dollars for them.  Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, lectured at a Campaign for Liberty grassroots leadership training event in Michigan last year.

None of them would have predicted this.  Indiana's Right to Work fight took some 8 years.  Every previous state's Right to Work fight has taken a decade or so. 

It's still almost unreal.  Right to Work fights always take years.  Because the unions are massive and massively well-funded, no politician wants to take them on. 

What happened in these states that finally led to passage was years of grassroots activism, years of pressure from the conservative movement in each state, until finally more Republicans feared the Right to Work grassroots more than the union bosses themselves.  Often, it took a few Republicans losing their seats in heated primary races.

What happened in Michigan was not this, not at all.  From conception to victory, Michigan got it done in one election cycle.  Again—unbelievable.

I didn't predict this at all.  In fact, as recently as ten days ago, I was calling the bill sponsors' bluff, saying it was all hot air.  I stand corrected. 

Yesterday, the unions were blaming everyone and anyone they could think of, from Dick DeVos, to the Koch brothers, to of all things, ALEC—a conservative think tank.  Which just goes to show, the unions were as clueless as anybody.

There was an organized push for Right to Work in Michigan, though, to be sure.  And various groups deserve some credit for what happened. 

The bill sponsors, Rep. Mike Shirkey and Sen. Pat Colbeck, sought good counsel to craft bill language that took advantage of every little esoteric rule—such as including a spending component to make the bills "referendum-proof."  Their work inside the legislature was invaluable. 

The unsung hero of the fight was Gary Glenn, a candidate for U.S. Senate during the primary race who traveled tirelessly across the state and lit brushfires in people's minds for Right to Work.  Glenn never had the resources to mount a winning campaign, but unlike other "also-rans" whose campaigns served no purpose than to stroke their own egos, Glenn was planting seeds.  He got Tea Party groups from every corner of the state fired up and passionate about Right to Work. 

Then there were the groups who mounted the support, including Campaign for Liberty, Americans for Prosperity, the Mackinac Center, MI-CPAC, and innumerable Tea Party groups.  And of course, the National Right to Work Committee itself. 

But, facing facts, none of the above groups, even combined, mounted anything remotely adequate to have brought us to victory. 

Seriously, we are talking about Union Michigan.  If a good bill and a little organized effort would be enough to pass Right to Work here, it would have been the law of the land in all 50 states, decades ago. 

We have but one group to thank for making the difference.  One group that enabled the state legislature to find the will to pass Right to Work. 

The labor unions.

Governor Snyder had always maintained that Right to Work was not on the agenda.  He was not lying.  It was a fight he didn't want to pick.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville had always maintained not only that it wasn't on his agenda, but that he would block it.  He was not lying.  He received considerable union contributions for his campaign. 

But all of that went out the window when the unions went after them on the November ballot. 

Proposal 2, which would have enshrined monopoly unionism into the Michigan Constitution, went down in flames.  It lost by a considerably worse margin than Mitt Romney.  It gave away the unions' weakness.

But the big catalyst was not Proposal 2, but Proposal 1, the referendum on the emergency manager law. 

The emergency manager law was Rick Snyder's baby.  He considered it the centerpiece of his administration.  So did many Republicans in the legislature, who considered it the most important thing they had done. 

The emergency manager law took on just one of the worst aspects of monopoly unionism: what to do when they kill their host company.  In the private sector, when unions destroy a factory, the company can relocate a plant somewhere else.  But when the unions destroy a public school district, moving is not an option. 

In Detroit, in Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint, and elsewhere, teacher unions had literally bankrupted the districts. Only then would the emergency manager law at last allow the state to bypass union negotiations and rebuild the schools. 

The unions spent millions of dollars—dues stolen from their forced members, of course—overturning this at the ballot. 

For Governor Snyder and the Republicans in the legislature, this was the last straw.  The unions could not be reasoned or bargained with. 

The unions did not care if they were depriving thousands of impoverished children an education.  They did not care that Snyder and Richardville were keeping Right to Work at bay, when Republicans had huge majorities in both chambers. 

The unions declared all-out war on the Republicans.

And the Republicans said, "Screw it.  They're rabid.  They can't be reasoned with.  We have nothing to lose."

And so it was, that in just one month, with only a little prodding from the grassroots, the Republican leadership did a complete 180 and passed Right to Work in a totally unprecedented maneuver. 

This Mike Flynn article, the best I've seen so far, sums it up more concisely than me:  "The new law is the direct result of an epic strategic miscalculation by the state's union bosses."

Flynn has the right conclusion, too: "There are many lessons here for conservative.  I'll just mention the most important.  Even when defeat seems littered around us, there are always opportunities for victory.  We must be ready to seize them."


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© 2017 Adam de Angeli.