There is a lot of buzz right now about petitions at whitehouse.gov for the peaceful secession, of now all fifty, states. The reaction has been mixed. I have seen comments along the lines of

Those proposing to secede should be kicked out of the country!”

A very emotional response, but to what? Would secession not get the people out of the country fast enough? Perhaps it is the “peaceful” aspect of the secession that is objectionable. Who knows? Other comments express a hopeful quality. Such that the person must truly believe there is a possibility that the President, with all his power and wisdom, will somehow magically grant their wish.

Realistically the ability to secede is, of course, a state right. People often point to the example of the American Civil War as a precedent for how states do not have such a right. That is simply ridiculous. War is violence and violence does not prove who’s position is stronger, only who’s forces are stronger. I must say I love how the war is most often referred to as the Civil War. It is such a beautiful manipulation (brain game). It makes one think that the war was civilized or that it was originally about civil rights rather than state rights. That however is a whole different article.

The petitions will not magically release the Federal Government’s despotic control or its contempt for the constitution and rule of law. A petition is an appeal. One does not beg for something from a public servant. The public servant serves as directed by the people or is removed from office. There has been far to little use the impeachment process and recall elections for rouge public servants.

What the petitions will do is what they are doing already, and that is foster public debate. It is encouraging to see so many people taking the time to think about and discuss the issues raised by the petitions.

It is also good to see that people have not lost their sense of humor. I wish Canada all the best in its efforts to secede. :-)

Peacefully grant Canada to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government
<br/> <br/><br/>

  1. stock.xchng - To Sign a Contract 3 (stock photo by shho) [id: 1221952] Available at: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1221952 [Accessed November 15, 2012].
     
 
 
 

Liberty1 is the ability to have control over one’s actions. Clearly one can not have liberty if one’s mind is not one’s own. Many who value liberty, value property rights. The relationship between life, liberty and property are well described by Frédéric Bastiat2. I believe that property agency3, like most things, blooms from the center outward. We should focus our attention on owning our minds and our bodies before expanding attention to other forms of property.

Mindfulness to me is a state of control, of focus; it is the ownership of the most important part of our physical existence, the right now. It is the only place we really live. Gaining mastery of mindfulness is journey with many rewards. While mindfulness has played an important role in many religions for thousands of years, the expansion of its adoption beyond religion, is encouraging. I think we are just beginning to understand the many advantages. Every day it seems there are new discoveries in psychology, medicine, and other fields that show promise for learning mindfulness. Commonly touted benefits include relief from stress, improved focus, improved observation, strengthened immune system and others. I would describe mindfulness as navigating a river on a kayak, where the river is conciseness and mindfulness is the kayak. It would be possible to navigate the river without the kayak, but given a choice would you want to?

Here is a short video that introduces the concept of mindfulness.

Here is a more technical/neurological, yet simple and accessible, explanation from the same site that provided the video.

I own a book called Present Moment Awareness.

Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Living in the NowUsing this affiliate link will help support our efforts to serve you.

It is a great guide to mindfulness. You can read my review here.

In a world of noise, distraction, constant battle for your attention, and constant battle for your mind (the brain game), mindfulness is a powerful skill we can use to enhance our mind, body and life.

  1. Liberty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty [Accessed October 27, 2012].

     

  2. Frédéric Bastiat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastiat [Accessed October 27, 2012].

     

  3. Agency (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agency_(philosophy) [Accessed October 27, 2012].

     

  4. Convert Chinese 念 to images - Create writing and calligraphy images of Chinese characters, words, sentences, symbols. Available at: http://www.words-chinese.com/chinese-writing-and-calligraphy?it=%E5%BF%B5 [Accessed October 25, 2012].
     
 
 
 

I have no use for the Obama and Romney presidential debates. The only way I could be tempted to watch them would be if some kind of BS-Beer-Bingo were involved. Perhaps drink a sip of beer with every lie or fallacy. Could one even enjoy the beer that way? Nah, if I want to see crazy antics and general silliness I will go for deliberate comedy.

The debates that get attention and support from the mainstream media are those that are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates2 (CPD), an organization created by the Republican and Democrat parties to control presidential debates. These debates appear to be no more than theater designed to make a viewer believe that the only tickets that matter are those of the Republican and Democratic parties, and that the race outcome is not yet determined. I would like to see candidates from all the parties engage in an actual debate of the major issues. The questions should be exposed in advance so that they can be judged prior to the execution of the debate. The debate should be scored where candidates are penalized when they use logical fallacies, evasions and lies. They should also be scored on how well each question was addressed in the time allotted. It would then be up to the viewer/listener to select the candidate that best aligns with their values, not by how funny a candidate is or how great he or she looks on TV.

What I see happening here is a game of divide et impera4 (divide and rule). The idea is that one may overpower an adversary by diluting/dividing the adversary’s strength. This technique has been used effectively for military, political, economic and other conquests dating back to at least ancient Rome. Imagine a ball-game with a home team and a visitors team. If the visitors team can start a quarrel between two of the home team players then the visitors team may gain an unfair advantage over the home team. The strength of the quarreling players would no longer be directed at the visitors team, thus the visitors team would be able to make better use of its strength against the home team.

I believe an interesting slight of hand takes place every election cycle where the conflict between liberty and statism5 is obscured and redirected into a contest between two statists. It is remarkably clever how the majority of the American population can be divided into two teams, a red team (Republicans) and a blue team (Democrats). It seems that the leadership of both teams/parties ensure that the nominees for important seats support a statist ideology. Combine this with the false dichotomy fallacy6 delivered by the main stream media and a statist presidency is virtually assured. A false dichotomy fallacy is used in this case to make one believe that there are only two tickets in the race for presidency, a ticket from the Democratic party and a ticket from the Republican party. The reality is that many other parties continue to exist in the US and support alternative Presidential tickets7. The fallacy is used to manipulate us into believing that if we do not vote for one of the two tickets mentioned above, that our vote will somehow be of less value. I often hear “If you don’t vote for ____, you are throwing away your vote!” The reality is that the only way I throw away my vote is if I cast it for somebody other than the candidate that most closely aligns with my values. Lets get real folks, the presidential election in the US is not decided by the popular vote anyway. We all remember the electoral college system, right? Vote your conscience, vote your values and let your voice be heard! After all, your voice is all you have in the Presidential election. Another element of Divide and Rule is to encourage useless spending to reduce funds available for useful spending. Save your energy and campaign contributions for other races, like the Senate, where your vote actually contributes to the outcome.

The way the divide and rule illusion seems to work is that the elements of liberty are divided between the two major parties. This way one party can not become the party of liberty and thus become a real threat to the status quo. An example would be that currently, social liberty is associated with the Democratic party, and fiscal liberty with the Republican party. I am oversimplifying a bit here because the Republican party also attracts people who support decentralized government and oppose the disarming of the people. The key is often in the statist implementation of ideas rather than the ideas themselves. The two major parties are then separated on emotional issues. Emotional issues are good to keep the focus away from issues than can be debated logically. They are what distract us from needs and interests common to both major parties, and to solutions that address the causes rather than the expression of our problems. They keep the people distracted and divided and thus weaker. Before the election is complete I expect to see many attempts to divide the American people, such as by race, religion, economic status, education or anything else that proves effective, but especially issues that produce a strong emotional response.

It is encouraging to see evidence of the statist paradigm braking down in the Republican party, but only time will tell if it can become the party of liberty. Ultimately the Republican liberty candidate, Ron Paul, did not win the nomination for President at the national convention. The irregularities, such as violations of parliamentary procedure, un-seating of delegates, and many others, discussed at length by Republican National Convention attendees, disenfranchised Ron Paul supporters but did not alter the likely predetermined outcome. This will hopefully motivate the people of future conventions to plan actual conventions rather than theatrical indoctrination ceremonies. Many folks reported issues at the Democratic National Convention as well, so It seems this kind of experience is not a shocking anomaly confined to one party.

In any case, a presidential debate should be an actual debate, of debatable issues, debated by all the candidates expected to be on the ballot of at least one state, not simply Republicans and Democrats. Being less popular before a debate does not lessen the value of a candidate’s position.

I am excited and encouraged to see there will be an alternate presidential debate hosted by Free and Equal Elections8 on October 23rd. More information can be found at freeandequal.org. I wonder how this debate will compare with the CPD debates? Will it be a real debate?

  1. stock.xchng - Horse smile (stock photo by LilGoldWmn) [id: 822158] Available at: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=822158 [Accessed October 18, 2012].
     
  2. Commission on Presidential Debates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Presidential_Debates [Accessed October 15, 2012].

     

  3. stock.xchng - bust (stock photo by myles) [id: 43300] Available at: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=43300 [Accessed October 18, 2012].
     
  4. Divide and rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule [Accessed October 17, 2012].

     

  5. Statism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism [Accessed October 15, 2012].

     

  6. False dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma [Accessed October 18, 2012].

     

  7. 2012 Presidential Candidates (P2012) Available at: http://politics1.com/p2012.htm [Accessed October 17, 2012].

     

  8. About - Free & Equal Available at: http://freeandequal.org/about/ [Accessed October 18, 2012].

     

 
 
 

Recently my home and property were targeted for aerial chemical spraying. I do not mean what many people call chemtrails. I mean the use of aircraft specially equipped to apply chemical aerosols to my home and property in order to kill things, and to do so without my consent. The aerial spaying was a violation of my liberty. We are talking about my body, my health, my family, my pets, my garden, my plants and my property. The state and county rather than protecting my rights, as it the purpose of government, acted to violate them. No government organization has a higher claim to my body and my property then I do, yet they acted as if they did. I would be upset if they had they decided to hire folks to ride flying unicorns and drop cotton candy on me simply for the violation of my liberty. There were no unicorns and what was sprayed was not cotton candy.

Not only did I not consent to the spraying but I found out about it with scarcely enough time to cover my organic garden plants, bring my in animals and shut down the A/C. Had I left the plants uncovered they would have been saturated with pesticides. Had I left the animals out they would likely have been injured or killed from the exposure. Had I left the A/C on, the unit would have drawn the chemicals into our home.

Here is a picture of one of the areas that I covered with plastic. I wrapped the sites each evening prior to the aerial spraying, and un-wrapped them the next morning.

Organic liberty garden wrapped in plastic
Even the aerial spray process strikes me as strange. I am sure that the following quotes from the Aerial-Application-FAQ2 were intended to make me feel good but it just makes me more suspicious.

These are very quiet, low noise aircraft by comparison to a commercial jet. As a result, they will fly virtually undetectable.

Why on earth would they feel it is important that the aircraft be undetectable? The document also has this comment:

Pilots for these craft fly with military spec night vision goggles.

I am sure that comment was intended to comfort me that the pilots will not crash into my home or each other, but it also seems a bit spooky. The same document mentions:

… planes will fly approximately 300 ft above the ground at 170 mph.

I am not a pilot but my understanding is that my airspace extends 500 feet from the tallest structure on my property. These aircraft do not have my permission to invade my airspace and 300 from the ground is clearly inside that range. I am not a lawyer, but I would not be surprised to find that because an “emergency” was declared these folks can do whatever they want. I am sure they were immune from prosecution if they had crashed into my property killing me, my family and my animals.

The aerial spraying was performed allegedly to reduce the mosquito population in response to an unusually high incidence of West Nile Virus. Jude Mary Horn of Denton county provided the legal lube to permit aerial spraying, against the will of the home-owners, by declaring a “West Nile Virus Health Emergency”3. According to the statistics4 there was an increase in West Nile Virus fatalities across the state in 2012, but the statistics also show there have been cases every year for several years. Clearly the pest management plan failed and continues to fail. Why not address the problem before it gets so bad that county and state leaders feel they need to declare an emergency? Did they simply want to see how people would react to having chemicals dumped on them?

If the chemicals sprayed were as described by Clarke, the company hired to perform both the surveillance of the mosquitoes and the pesticide application, then a pesticide mixture called Duet was used. Duet contains three primary components5 6. (Since there are three perhaps they should consider changing the name to trio?)

flask of chemicals7

The three components are:

Phenothrin8
Identified as being toxic to zooplankton, fish and insects including honeybees, and may be an endocrine disruptor in humans. So in addition to killing the mosquitoes, this kills other animal life that are not West Nile Virus disease vectors.
Prallethrin9
This one is identified as being highly toxic to fish and insects including honeybees. Again the toxin kills other organisms that are not West Nile Virus disease vectors.
Piperonyl butoxide10 11
This by its self seems to be only mildly toxic to the aquatic and insect life. It is used as a synergist, that is to say it is included because it prevents organisms from breaking down toxins such as Pralethrin and Phenothrin thus making the pesticide concoction more potent. It seems it may cause delayed mental development in children and perhaps other problems.12

Who knows what the full effects of the chemical combination are on humans13? In any case, the effects seem rather dire for fish and beneficial insects including honeybees.

We have established that legal measures were taken to force the spraying. We have also established that the chemicals are harmful. One must expect then, that the results of the risk-benefit analysis must have weighed heavily toward the benefit side… Sadly, no.

The aerial application of these chemicals for the identified West Nile Virus vector, Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, targets only the adult mosquitoes. I find the reported results of a 60% reduction to be highly suspect for three reasons.

  1. The company hired to perform the aerial spraying, was the same company that provided the pesticides, executed the surveillance, and analyzed the results. The results of the sampling and analysis could have far too much impact on this one company’s business for me to believe they could remain impartial.
  2. There was not proper use of control (non-spray) areas. Results should have been compared to the changes shown in control areas. Without such a comparison there is no way to know if changes in the target mosquito population were due to the aerial spraying or perhaps due to natural variations in the population.
  3. The population surveillance was far too short to take into account the mosquito life-cycle and natural variations in adult population. By sampling only right before aerial spraying and right after, one may get data only for mosquitoes that were adults during that time. There is no way to understand how the population of the target mosquitoes changed as new mosquitoes became adults especially in the absence of the mosquito predators killed by the aerial applications. Recall that the pesticides used, are known to harm fish, many of which eat mosquitoes, such as mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) found throughout Texas15, as well as insects that eat mosquitoes16. It is important to note that surveillance was performed only for mosquitoes and not for other organisms that would be killed by the pesticide mixture. Perhaps, in the longer term, the spraying actually causes a increase in the target mosquitoes. In any case we can not know from this poor sampling.

According to the county health department report17, chemicals were dumped on my home and property for a meager 60% reduction in the target population for two days, September 2nd and September 3rd, with no examination of the collateral damage. They violated my liberties and usurped my decisions all for a pathetic 60% reduction? I can not imagine anybody would examine the issues and conclude that the aerial spraying was effective, safe or ethical. What was the real reason the this spraying was done?

What can we do?

We can do three things to prevent future harm.

  • The first is to educate our selves and our neighbors. There is a great site called www.stopwestnilesprayingnow.org. It does a fine job of exposing why this type of chemical assault should be stopped.
  • We can encourage a more effective and less harmful pest control plan.
  • Finally, we can take action to stop future spraying by working with local community leaders and petition local government. The following is a good example for North Texas. www.change.org/petitions/dallas-stop-the-spray-combat-mosquitoes-the-intelligent-way Please consider signing this petition to help support these efforts, even if you do not live in North Texas.

Please comment with your thoughts, links to other petitions, and other actions so we may all work together to fight for the our health and the health of our planet!

  1. Image used by Growing Liberty LLC with artist permission. Contact us here for more information. 
  2. Aerial-Application-FAQ.pdf Available at: http://dentoncounty.com/Heart/WNV/PDFs/Aerial-Application-FAQ.pdf [Accessed September 26, 2012].

     

  3. Denton County declares West Nile health emergency | wfaa.com Dallas - Fort Worth Available at: http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Denton-County-wants-aerial-spraying-167107745.html [Accessed September 26, 2012].

     

  4. West Nile Virus Activity, by County and Year Available at: http://webds.dshs.state.tx.us/westnile/Default.aspx [Accessed October 11, 2012].

     

  5. duet-msds.pdf Available at: http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/MSDS/2012MSDS/duet-msds.pdf [Accessed September 26, 2012].

     

  6. 22759Duet12pp.pdf Available at: http://www.clarke.com/images/pdf/brochures/22759Duet12pp.pdf [Accessed September 26, 2012].

     

  7. stock.xchng - science (stock photo by hberends) Available at: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/574983 [Accessed October 10, 2012].
     
  8. Phenothrin - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information Available at: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC34506 [Accessed September 26, 2012].
     
  9. Prallethrin - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information Available at: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35755 [Accessed September 26, 2012].
     
  10. Piperonyl butoxide - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information Available at: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33240 [Accessed September 26, 2012].
     
  11. Piperonyl butoxide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piperonyl_butoxide [Accessed September 27, 2012].
     
  12. Common insecticide used in homes associated with delayed mental development of young children Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210103715.htm [Accessed September 26, 2012].
     
  13. Topical Pyrethrin Toxicity Leading to Acute-Onset Stuttering… : American Journal of Therapeutics Available at: http://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/2008/07000/Topical_Pyrethrin_Toxicity_Leading_to_Acute_Onset.6.aspx [Accessed September 28, 2012].

     

  14. stock.xchng - Bee2 (stock photo by rkpix) Available at: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=606806 [Accessed October 2, 2012].
     
  15. western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis Available at: http://www.bio.txstate.edu/~tbonner/txfishes/gambusia%20affinis.htm [Accessed October 2, 2012].
     
  16. Laboratory studies on the predatory potential of dragon-fly nymphs on mosquito larvae. - Abstract - UK PubMed Central Available at: http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/15562955/reload=0;jsessionid=HYOhzG6BavQ9BTfnaikn.0 [Accessed October 11, 2012].
     
  17. Report-Results-from-Aerial-Spraying-in-Denton-County.pdf Available at: http://dentoncounty.com/Heart/WNV/PDFs/Report-Results-from-Aerial-Spraying-in-Denton-County.pdf [Accessed October 2, 2012].