Citizens For Legal Reform identifies a Dallas Texas meeting that takes place on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Tuesday of every month at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) located in the Furneaux Creek shopping center at the North West corner of the Old Denton Road and Trinity Mills Road (now the access road for the Geo. W. Bush Tollway). See Mapsco 2P . Doors open at 7pm, the meeting starts at 7:30 and generally ends about 10pm. Principle activity is to listen to a series of speakers on patriot/freedom/constitutionalist issues. We typically draw 200-300 people per meeting. This is probably the single biggest regular "patriot" meeting in the USA.
On alternate Tuesdays (2nd & 4th) the Texas Justice Council meets a the same time at the Dallas Park Central Hotel. They generally draw about 200 people.
Between the two meetings, there is a legal reform meeting in Dallas every Tuesday.
For further information, call 972-418-8993.
A recent TV documentary discussed how much arctic tundra had been destroyed in the former Soviet Union by irresponsible oil drilling techniques. Apparently, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of square miles of fragile arctic environment have been contaminated by crude oil spills. Who's responsible? The former Communist government of the Soviet Union. Which is to say no one is responsible.
If you consider the Russian experience, you will see that the essence of government, all government, is the avoidance of personal responsibility.
For example, look at the murders of Sam (age 14) and his mother Vickie Weaver up in Ruby Creek, Idaho, in 1992. Our Federal government tried Randy Weaver (Sam's father, Vickie's husband) and Kevin Harris for the killing of a government agent (they were found innocent). However, no government agent was tried for shooting the boy Sam (in the back) and his mother Vickie (in the head while she was holding a baby in her arms).
It's no mystery. The names of the government's killers are known. But there will be no trials, because government refuses to accept responsibility for its actions. Government doesn't try government agents for killing civilians anymore than "Bloods" (a Los Angeles street gang) tries fellow "Bloods" for killing Crips (another L.A. street gang). The issue is not one of morality, or justice, it's one of membership. Us against them. Will government try fellow government agents for murdering two civilians? No.
How 'bout Waco? About ninety people died, including four government storm troopers and over 80 Branch Davidians (many of them women and children). Our government tried eleven surviving Branch Davidians (civilians) for the murders of the four government agents, but who'll be tried for the fiery deaths of scores of civilians? Anyone? Nope. Why? Because the issue is not "justice for all", the issue is "privilege for a select few" -- membership in government. Just as the Bloods do not try fellow Bloods for killing Crips, our Federal government does not try "its own" for murdering civilians. Us..... Against..... Them.
Big government's avoidance of personal responsibility goes far beyond the relatively few, but dramatic, instances of civilian murders. Who's responsible for buying $200 toilet seats for the military? $500 hammers? Who's responsible for the national deficit? Or Watergate? Who, for that matter, is responsible for killing President Kennedy? And who's responsible for the $500 BILLION Savings & Loan loss that will have to be repaid by the American taxpayers (the same folks who were robbed in the first place)?
And the answer is (ta-dah!) "No One"! Ya know why? Because the responsible parties in virtually every case are government employees and officials, and the fundamental purpose of government is to avoid all personal responsibility. They call it "sovereign immunity", judicial immunity", "executive privilege" and a dozen other names. But almost always, the government refuses to be held accountable to the People. In large measure, government means the escape from personal responsibility.
The escape from personal responsibility is not only available for government employees, officials, and politicians -- it's also available to private (meaning government-approved) citizens. Look at corporations: these "legal fictions" are created by government for the express purpose of allowing corporate owners and employees to act without assuming the risk of full, common law, personal responsibility.
How 'bout government welfare programs? To some extent, every welfare recipient is living without the full personal responsibility of supporting himself.
"Special interests" of big business and the wealthy are likewise freed by government from the onerous task of earning their living on a "level playing field" in the free market. They are "licensed" (and from Black's law dictionary we find that license means given "Permission by some competent authority to do some act which, without such permission, would be illegal.") or given special privileges that protect them from the difficulties of lawful personal responsibility.
Even Congressmen specifically exempt themselves from their personal responsibility of obeying their own social legislation (like Civil Rights anti-discrimination laws). And consider our beloved "licensed" lawyers who, on average, loose 50% of their cases, but can't be held accountable for being incompetent. Again, these quasi-governmental officials are characterized by licenses and special privileges which always mean reduced personal responsibility.
"Power" is the ability to act effectively. As government grows, power is siphoned off from individuals and concentrated in the hands of fewer and more distant bureaucrats, officials and politicians. As government grows more powerful, the People are increasingly inhibited, restricted and tied down like Gulliver by the red tape of an army of Lilliputian bureaucrats.
This inverse relationship between government power and individual power is intuitively obvious: as government grows more powerful, the people become less powerful. As individuals loose power, they not only lose the ability to act in ways that are harmful, they also lose the ability to act in ways that are beneficial -- even when they see things that should be done.
As government grows more powerful, only government can act, and you, therefore cannot. If you can't act, then obviously, you can't be held responsible either. In fact, I suspect that the terms "personal power" and "personal responsibility" are virtually synonymous; you can't diminish (or increase) one without doing the same to the other. So government's growth not only reduces your personal power, it also reduces your personal responsibility. Therefore, government power is inversely proportional to personal responsibility.
This inverse relationship between government power and personal responsibility offers an important insight into the essence of government and perhaps even life itself. I'm no Biblical scholar, but don't Judeo-Christian faiths ultimately advocate personal responsibility? Aren't we to be judged by God some day? Won't that judgement hinge on some measure of personal responsibility? Therefore, aren't license and avoidance of personal responsibility contrary to the fundamental Biblical precept of personal responsibility?
Moreover, if personal responsibility is God's fundamental command, then what can we infer about the fundamental nature of a government that avoids personal responsibility? Is it illogical to conclude that in its usual (irresponsible) guise, government is inherently anti-religious and perhaps even predisposed to Evil? Is it possible that as government grows, so does it's propensity to do Evil? If so, is it possible that big government might be inescapably Evil? Likewise, what can we infer about the motives of a government that encourages its people to seek license and avoid personal responsibility? Isn't that government encouraging them to turn their backs on God?
On the other hand, if government power and personal license tend to Evil, wouldn't Freedom and personal responsibility be the essential goals of God and the prerequisites for a strong society and nation?
Here in the "Land of the Free", the concept of "Freedom" is confusing and seldom understood. Too often, the word "freedom" is confused with "license" (i.e., the privilege of doing that which would otherwise be illegal or immoral). If I am "free", can I drive 100 mph in a school zone? Can I drag any woman I choose off into the bushes and have my way with her? Does "freedom" mean living "for free" and never having to pay for my food or shelter (as in living on welfare)? Of course not.
We know intuitively that "freedom" does not include the right to do wrong. And though that intuition sounds simple, that's a powerful insight. Why? Because if freedom does not include the right to do wrong, then what could it include? What's left after you remove all "wrong"? Nothing but "right"!
Freedom, then, is the power to do that which is right!
If we consider our options as "free" men, we realize that to be "free" one must first be "responsible". A responsible person doesn't drive 100 mph in a school zone. A responsible person doesn't rape. A responsible person pays his bills. And more, a responsible person raises his children properly, meets his social duties and obligations, and works to support himself and his family. And remembers to floss. And helps his kids with their homework. And calls mom regularly. And helps other less fortunate than himself. And, and, and....
Damn. As a consequence of Freedom, personal responsibility is almost endless. In fact, if you stop to think about it, there's so much that each of us should do (but don't), that "freedom" begins to take on the grimly unattractive appearance of endless servitude to personal responsibility and obligation.
What's the good of being "free" if I can't get drunk whenever I want, seduce my neighbor's wife, and call in sick when I wanna go fishing? With all these damn responsibilities, what's the point to being "free"?
If there's no pay-off in Freedom, why not accept government slavery? (You don't like the word "slavery"? OK, we'll call it "welfare", "entitlements", benefits" or "security" instead -- how's that, you like it better now?) But why not? In the welfare state, I might not be free, but who cares if I don't have to worry about paying my rent, having a job, educating my kids, or remaining faithful to my wife? Why not kick back, relax, and be a slave (oops, "welfare recipient"), instead of some up-tight, obsessivecompulsive "do-gooder" fighting to be "free"?
Answer? Consider the former Soviet Union. Perfect example. Under the Communist cradle-to-grave welfare state, the Russians seduced each other's wives, aborted even more babies than we do here in America, and drank so much vodka they had the highest alcoholism rate in the world. They weren't free, but they weren't personally responsible either. So why not? Free food, free broads, free booze, and you can't be fired? Sounds like one helluva a system, doesn't it?
And yet, that "helluva" system collapsed, leaving several hundred million people impoverished, frightened, starving in some cases, and vulnerable to civil war. What went wrong? Free food, booze, broads, you can't be fired -- and they blew it! What could possible be missing?
The dictionary defines "self-esteem" as "an objective respect for oneself". Pretty dry but technically on target. Self-esteem is a measure of one's self-respect. Some people have high self-esteem, some have a little, some have none. While we seldom notice the benefits of self-esteem, it's easy to see the adverse consequences when self-esteem is missing. Have you ever known anyone who drank too much, used drugs, slept around, committed suicide, etc., who had any self-esteem? In my experience, the absence of self-esteem is the foundation for all self-destructive behavior. That being so, I believe the presence of self-esteem is a kind of "spiritual vitamin" that is essential for the maintenance of life.
How do we get self-esteem? Self-assessment. No one can claim it for you, no one else can give it to you, no one else can really take it away. Only you can grant yourself the award of selfesteem. You must respect yourself. Neither winning nor loosing (in the eyes of the world) can finally determine one's self-esteem. Win, loose, or draw, you must know in your heart that you've done your best. It's a little like Sylvester Stallone in the original Rocky movie -- he just wanted to "go the distance". He didn't have to win the fight to earn his own self-esteem, he just had to stand and not quit, to certify in his own mind that he wasn't "just another one of the neighborhood bums".
Self-esteem is the reward for a successful struggle (usually against your own fears and the inhibitions against doing right, that society has placed on you). You don't have to win, but you do have to fight to the limit of your ability. YOU have to fight. YOU have to struggle. YOU have to stand up and do what you believe to be right despite your fears. If you do, you succeed in validating yourself, in proving to yourself that you are worthy of life.
But there is no self-esteem without personal responsibility (YOU must do your own fighting). There is no personal responsibility without individual freedom (you must be free to choose to fight the battles your heart selects as Right). There is no freedom under the centralized power and control of big government (you are denied the opportunity to engage in a personal fight since all personal power and personal responsibility have been surrendered to the government). By taking our personal power and personal responsibility, big government deprives us of self-esteem, and leaves us as rotting flesh, corrupt, stillborn in our souls, and unless healed, sure to die without ever having lived. Put enough people like that in a society, and an entire nation will collapse. (Witness the former Soviet Union.)
In the end, all that governments can promise, is to distribute material wealth. They will rob the productive, Robin-Hood style, and give it to the poor (or more likely keep it for themselves). But in either case, materialism (the supply, demand, and distribution of food, goods and services) is the philosophy that lures folks into welfare, entitlements and slavery. I don't denigrate materialism as it clearly plays a powerful, productive role in all societies (which I'll discuss another time) -- but materialism is not everything. It's only part of life.
Even animals understand this. Ever heard stories of a wild lion captured, caged, cared for and well fed that nevertheless simply lays down, refuses to eat and dies? Ever heard stories of dogs that dig and chew at their cages until their claws break and their jaws shatter? It happens. Not always. Not even often, but it happens!
It also happens with people. And with societies, too. We each have to earn our self-esteem and the only way that can be done, is by pulling our own plow. We must each pay the full price of our own survival. "Living free" may not avoid poverty, but "living for free" guarantees self-destruction.
We are spiritually dependent on our own self-esteem. Diminish that self-esteem, and no matter how much free food, sex, booze and welfare you get, you will wither and die.
Look at the black community. They sense the problem. That's why Jesse Jackson et al are chanting, "Ah'm black and ah'm proud!" They understand that the black community's "collective" self-esteem is about zero, so they try to build it up by making the blacks say they have self-esteem. Won't work -- not so long as blacks are among the principal recipients of big government "benefits". Like any other slave, blacks may be able to look the part, "talk the talk" and "dress for success", but in the end, self-esteem can only be earned, never faked.
In our hearts, we each know if we've made meaningful contributions to the support of ourselves and those around us. To the extent we succeed, we feel self-esteem. To the extent we fail, we feel painful self-incrimination and seek to escape into alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, and similar forms of suicide.
We are more than material beings, we are also spiritual -- and our spirits sicken and die without self-esteem. The inability to provide the governed with self-esteem is the principle weakness, the "heart of darkness" of every government; they can never feed our spirits. Never satisfy our souls. Never.
Everyone knows it's important to exercise our physical bodies. No matter how well we eat, if we don't exercise, we are not only weakening our bodies, we are actually shortening our lives. Scientific fact.
But how many understand that we are more than merely physical beings? How many understand that we are as bound by the laws of God and nature to exercise our souls as we are by biological law to exercise our bodies? Just like muscles, our souls also atrophy by sitting back, cowed by fear, doing nothing. So how do we exercise our souls? By doing Right.
Remember the arctic tundra ruined by the irresponsible Soviets? No one was accountable, no one was responsible. Why? Do you think no one wanted to be responsible? Do you think the Russians simply laughed with glee as they polluted their own land? Some probably did, but what of the Russians who wanted to do the right thing, and stop the pollution? Why didn't they act?
Red tape. Government production demands. Supply bottlenecks brought on by government regulations. They knew what was Right, but they couldn't do it because big government prevented them. Big government prevented them because it was so cluttered with rules, regulations, forms, and permissions, that it had become too ponderous and too controlling to even allow immediate "personal" solutions to relatively small problems.
By taking power from individuals and concentrating it in the hands of distant bureaucrats, big government stripped personal power and personal responsibility from the man on scene where the oil spilled. Unable to act, a man in the arctic sat there, helpless, watching the oil spill, unable to do what he knew was Right. His self-esteem withered and he reached for a vodka.
Are you free to do what's Right in the USA? Ohh, you're "free" to watch TV and get the latest conditioning and propaganda. And you're "free" to vote for the liar of your choice. You're free to get drunk and smoke tobacco and (if you're careful) use a "controlled substance". And don't forget the "freedom" to murder you own children, provided they haven't been born yet (for as in Waco, only government can currently murder 'em after they've been born). But that's not "freedom", that license!
Can you see your children? Grandchildren? Father? Mother? Can you keep enough of the money you earn to give your kids the clothes, home, parental support and education the deserve? Hmmm? Can you even take care of yourself to the degree you know is necessary and right? Hmmm? New glasses? Hmmm? Dental care? Proper food, vitamins and medical care? Hmmm? Can you travel freely, open a bank account without a social security number, talk on the phone without fear of being recorded? Hmmm? Can you raise a son without wondering if he'll be murdered in some idiotic foreign "police action"? Can your children pray in school? Can they? Can you speak out in public without fear of lawsuit and financial ruin? When you see a social injustice is there a responsive public agency to help make it stop, or is your urge to do right imprisoned within the walls of bureaucracy?
How much can you do that you know to be RIGHT? That is the measure of your personal Freedom.
On the other hand, to the extent that you live each day walking by one injustice after another -- closing your eyes, pretending not to see, knowing the "system" is too cumbersome and indifferent for you to act or help -- to that extent, you are a slave. Ohh, you may be a well-fed, well-housed slave, but in your gut, you know damn well your life is empty, worthless, unlived. Your company dental plan may be superb, but your spirit is toothless. Without Freedom, there is no personal responsibility, no self-esteem, nothing but an itch to self-destruction.
Freedom is the capacity to do that which is Right. The reward for Freedom is self-esteem and Life.
Whoever, whatever, prevents you from doing Right, saps your selfesteem, kills your soul, and condemns you to a life unlived and an early grave. Whatever stops you from doing what you know to be Right is not only your greatest mortal enemy -- it's also your greatest spiritual enemy. And who does more to deny your Freedom and self-esteem than big government?
Will you live Free with the self-esteem of a man who does Right, or exist as an irresponsible "licensed" slave with nothing but intoxicants and regret? You have the right to choose, you have the responsibility to choose, you must choose. Why? Because this is the single, most fundamental choice in all of life: Freedom or slavery?
But what choice can there be once you understand the difference between Freedom and slavery? Remember all the self-destructive behavior associated with low self-esteem? Despite the sales pitch about all those government "benefits" (national health care sure sounds like a nice idea, doesn't it?), big government and the consequent loss of personal responsibility and self-esteem can lead you only toward self-destruction and death. In the end, the benefits and bondage of big government are at least hazardous to your personal health, and probably fatal for the nation.
We don't choose to be Free because it's easy. Freedom's hard, sometimes even painful. We don't choose to be Free because it's fun. Freedom can be exciting, exhilarating, and invigorating but it's not "fun" (at least not in the superficial sense). We choose to be Free because Freedom is the prerequisite for personal responsibility, personal responsibility is the prerequisite for self-esteem and self-esteem is the prerequisite of spiritual LIFE. We choose Freedom and personal responsibility as a first vital step to resurrecting our souls. We choose Freedom because we choose to live. In the end, the choice is not between Freedom and slavery, but between Life and death.
How will you choose? How will you choose for yourself? By your example, how will you choose for your children? How will you choose for your nation?
The world is watching for your decision. Waiting. And so, I suspect is God.
Your life and your nation's life will depend on your choice.