For those of us who love liberty and freedom, who believe that each person owns himself, who hold the idea that a person can do whatever he wishes with his life and property as long as he does not infringe on the rights of another person or his property, we find ourselves beset on all sides by a State that is oppressive of our rights and the most violent and consistent aggressor against life and property.

The State, media, and government run schools are all working to teach our children a near blind obedience to government and its agents.

In an effort to combat all the State propaganda and ensure my children receive a more enlightened education, I began recording short podcast type lessons for them. The lessons are all designed to be about 5 minutes long and to teach the ideas of liberty in a language they can understand.

I'm posting these lessons online so that others who might find them useful can share them with their own children.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Good ideas don't require force

Americans like to call their country the "Land of the Free."

In a free society, the only actions that would be crimes and prohibited would be actions that hurt others, harm their property, violate their freedoms, or force them to do things they don't want to do.

So things like murder, theft, vandalism, and breaking contracts would still be crimes. But things like smoking in a private restaurant, not wearing a seat belt in a car, or carrying a weapon for self-defense would not be a crime.

But American democracy is a system where someone is always trying to get control of the government so they can make rules to stop people from doing things they don't like, and force them to do things they do like.

There are usually just two sides to vote for, the democrats and the republicans. Both sides want to force their ideas on other people who don't agree with them. So they want to make laws to keep people from doing things they think are bad like I mentioned earlier. And they want to force people to do things against their will, like fight wars all over the world, help countries like Israel buy nuclear missiles, and spy on their friends, family, and neighbors.

This isn't to say that some of the ideas aren't good. But if they are good ideas that people want to support, they shouldn't need to use threats of force, violence, and theft to accomplish them. People can voluntarily support ideas they agree with and try to persuade others to join them by presenting the benefits of the ideas.

Using government to force your ideas on others is immoral, unjust, and just plain wrong.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Tank Man," August Landmesser, and Saying "No!" to the Government

There are two famous photos of people standing up against their government at great risk to their own safety.  Both of these images can inspire people who want to resist abuses, theft, and violations of rights that governments force upon their populations.

The first photo is of a young Chinese man whose real name is unknown but is referred to as "Tank Man."  The Chinese are ruled by a communist government.  A communist government is one that restricts what property people can own, and severely restricts the rights of its population, even more than the government does in the United States.  They control all education, how much money people can earn and how much goods cost, who can own property, where people can travel, what people can say publicly, what newspapers can publish, what is shown on television, and don't allow citizens to own guns.  In 1989 college students were protesting in the capital city of Beijing against the Chinese government.  Protesters gathered in an area of Beijing known as Tiananmen Square, where at one point a million people joined together to protest.  The Chinese government sent 300,000 of its soldiers to Beijing to use violence and sometimes kill the peaceful and unarmed Chinese people.  Not much is known about Tank Man.  But from photos and videos that foreign journalists were able to sneak out of the country, we know that at some point he walked in front of a line of advancing military tanks.  He can be seen in the photos carrying a couple of bags.  I imagine he might just have been an ordinary person who was walking home from grocery shopping, saw the tanks advancing on where the protesters were, decided he had seen enough government violence against the people, and chose to do something about it.  When he walked in front of the tanks, the lead tank tried to go around him.  Tank Man moved and blocked the tank's path again. This happened several times, until finally the tank driver seemed to give up and shut down his engine.  Tank Man climbed on the tank and began yelling into the tank through different peep holes.  We don't know what he said, but I imagine that he might have told the driver to go home.  Maybe he told him it was wrong to commit acts of violence against peaceful people.  Maybe he asked the soldier to stop blindly following immoral orders from the government.  Finally he got back down from the tank, and continued to block the path of the line of tanks until some concerned citizens came out and took him away before the soldiers hurt him.
"Tank Man" blocking the path of the line of tanks.

Another shot that shows what "Tank Man" was courageous enough to stand up against.

The second photo is of a German man named August Landmesser.  In this photo, Mr Landmesser is in a large group of German workers who were gathered to celebrate the launching of a new Navy vessel at a shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.  All of the other workers are performing the Nazi salute, which is performed by extending the right arm out straight with the hand pointed forward.  August is surrounded by the sea of people, all signaling their obedience to Adolf Hilter and the German state, while he stands like a boss with his arms crossed.  Mr. Landmesser did not agree with the Nazi hatred of Jewish people, and had in fact married a Jewish woman.  Two years after this photo was taken, August was actually put in prison for two and a half years for marrying the Jewish woman.

A close up shot of August Landmesser standing with his arms crossed and squinting at the person leading the salute.

August Landmesser surrounded by the crowd performing the Nazi salute.

I like these two photos because they show two very different situations in which people refused to be controlled by the State, took a stand, and said, "No!" to wrong actions by their government.  In the example of Tank Man, we see a solitary man who is brave enough to go alone to stand up against the State.  Even though no one goes out to join him, he still shows his refusal to silently allow the State to  use violence against and violate the rights of his friends and neighbors.  I can hardly imagine the amount of courage it must take to stand before a moving tank, knowing that the soldier driving could roll over you or shoot you.

In the case of August Landmesser, we see a man who is brave enough to go against what all of peers, friends, and coworkers are doing and stand alone while refusing to show blind obedience to the State.  It can be difficult not to follow along with the crowd when they are all pledging allegiance to the flag, standing and singing the national anthem, or clapping for soldiers as they march by in a parade.  It takes a special courage to do the opposite of what all the mindless worshippers of the state are doing.

Once you decide that you're not going to go with the flow anymore, that you're going to march to the beat of a different drummer, you're going to find yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable.  If you have decided not to stand and recite the State's pledge at the beginning of the school day, it will be an awkward moment.  You will feel awkward if you stand and go along with the crowd, because you are doing something against your principles.  But it will also feel awkward to remain seated while the other 20 students and teacher all participate in the act of worshiping the State.  In a situation like that, I wouldn't blame you if you caved in to peer pressure and followed along just to avoid confrontation.  But maybe you'll be lucky and find some of the courage that Tank Man and August Landmesser showed us in these iconic photos.

Bonus: Actual video footage of "Tank Man's" heroics:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Government Bait and Switch

This weekend I caught the City of Houston luring people to park illegally so they could write parking tickets. Hear about it on this podcast.
Does it seem fair to expect people that it is illegal to park in an area that is clearly marked as a parking spot?
This is the small sign that is supposed to warn drivers that they will receive a ticket for parking in these parking spots.  Since so many people are still parking here, it is clearly not enough of a warning.

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK - the antiwar soldier

Martin Luther King Jr. is mostly remembered for his leading of the civil rights movement, but he was also and anti-war advocate.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

11 Year Old vs Police Sargent

This is a brave 11 year old who knows how to exercise his rights! He handles his interaction with this police officer as well as any adult could. If you choose to participate in filming police, just remember that it can be a dangerous activity. Police probably won't like what you are doing. They don't like when the public holds them accountable while doing their job. They can make up charges like "obstructing justice" or "interfering with a police officer" or "disorderly conduct" to arrest you. Don't assume that because you are a young person that they won't abuse and arrest you. The officer in this video has no problem threatening this brave boy. Police are not like the rest of us. They are all at least slightly sick in the head and don't have the same sense of compassion the rest of us have. Their job requires them to use violence on peaceful people every day, so you can't expect them to act rationally just because you are a child.
For more information about your rights dealing with police, check out these short podcasts:

Cop blocking and police intimidation
You have the right to film the police
How to deal with police

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cop blocking for some young fishermen.

Driving home from work yesterday I noticed some young boys walking on the sidewalk near our home with some fishing poles and a tackle box.  Then I saw a police officer pulling up behind them as they turned a corner.  I followed him around the corner because it looked like he was going to pull over and interview the boys.  As I rounded the corner, I saw that the cop was already out of his car and talking to the boys.  I pulled up and parked my truck in a safe spot where the cop couldn't hassle me for impeding traffic or parking illegally.  I got out of my truck and began recording with my iPhone as I walked over to where the cop was interrogating the children.  I was concerned about why he was stopping them, and concerned that he would try to violate their rights.  Police assume that kids don't know what there rights are, and can easily intimidate most kids into following illegal and unconstitutional commands.  Before I could get as close as I wanted, the officer let the boys go.  The interaction was short, so I'd like to think that he saw me filming and was embarrassed to be caught hassling these boys, and let them go rather than find himself on youtube doing something he knew was wrong.
The police officer with his dangerous "perps" all lined up. 

I asked the boys why he stopped them, and they told me that the cop was telling them that they couldn't fish where they had been fishing because it was too dangerous.  The place where they were fishing is a popular place for children in our neighborhood.  It is just a drainage ditch that collects water from several neighborhoods before it drains to Clear Creek.  There is usually a few feet of water trapped in the ditch, and local boys catch perch and catfish there.
The footing around the ditch can be dangerous.  It's a pretty steep climb down to the ledge, and fairly long fall if someone falls in.  But whether it's too dangerous to fish is up to the boys and their parents, not a police officer.

While I agree that it can be a dangerous place to fish, the police officer was lying when he told them they couldn't fish there.  Remember that not only is it legal for police to lie to you, but they are also trained to lie.  The ditch is public property, and there is no city ordinance that prohibits fishing there.  The police officer's intentions may have been good.  He may have actually been concerned about the boys safety.  But there is no need to lie to anyone about it.  Isn't it strange that instead of the cop just expressing his concern for their safety and maybe telling the boys that he didn't think it was a good idea for them to fish at the ditch, that he instead chose to lie?  It's a good reminder to us that police are not our friends, are not upright people, and are not to be trusted.

The good news is that I was able to talk to the boys about how to handle interactions with police, and share with them some of their rights.  One boy in particular was very surprised to find out that he didn't have to answer any questions the police ask.

As a refresher for you, remember that you shouldn't give permission for the police to search you or look at anything you are carrying.  Simply tell them, "Sir, I don't consent (or give permission) for any searches.  You don't have to answer any questions.  And pull out your cell phone, flip it sideways, and record everything that happens.

Check out these short podcasts for more advice on how to handle interactions with the police.
Cop blocking and police intimidation
You have the right to film police
How to deal with police

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Examples of 4th Amendment Violations

Now that we have learned about what the 4th Amendment says, we'll look as some examples of how the government violates the rights listed in the 4th Amendment.