Religious Disclaimer

There are those in the Christian world who may decry my martyrdom as blasphemous, but I say unto you, does Jesus Christ have a monopoly on self-sacrifice? Is a war hero such as Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan not worthy of praise? Does the fact that he reacted in a moment make him more worthy than I? I think not. On the contrary, who among you has the courage to face his own reality so clearly as have I done mine and denounce thereby the very spoils system that would turn me into a petty thief -- the same system that divides our nation? Humayun Khan was fighting an enemy overseas, I am fighting the enemy within.

Now you may believe that charity can be enforced with the threat of punishment, but this is not charity at all. For when the government takes from one by force in the form of taxation and gives to another in the form of redistributive entitlements it pretends compassion and creates social division. The result is political competition for the spoils that corrupt officials collect, and our productive capacity is thus diminished as a consequence.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) in his tract Common Sense wrote that government is a necessary evil. In short, government is like fire; it is both useful and very dangerous. The job of government is to preserve our right to person, property, and nation. And, when these rights so implied cannot be clearly defined, then and only then, should government interfere in the market place. This is the notion of negative law promoted by Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) in his tract entitled La Loi. In short, government is primarily a punitive force and dangerous if not clearly under the control of the free, sovereign people over whom it governs.

During the so-called Progressive Era that began around the time of Teddy Roosevelt, the idea was introduced that government was benevolent and no longer a danger. Under Woodrow Wilson our money supply was taken over by the banking industry, and we were told that free markets are dangerous and must be controlled. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt came into office in 1933, he believed that he could better implement the misguided programs already introduced by Herbert Hoover. In order to achieve this negative feat it was necessary for him to circumvent Congress, and he established the administrative state that we have today. Policy created by a president is not law passed by Congress; it is not subject to the same political scrutiny, much less the will of the people.

Whereas Captain Khan was fighting with force against a foreign enemy, I am struggling inside against a domestic enemy. I am not reacting to a sudden danger, I am responding thoughtfully and decisively to a deeply embedded and dangerous social institution -- the UnAmerican spoils system, the "fruit" that has been born by the so-called positive law system of government installed during the Progressive Era.

At home we wage war against evil in peaceful protest, with civil disobedience, and at the ballot box. Only as a last resort do we use force. Show the same courage that I am showing now, stand up to the spoils system as I am doing, and our nation would be a much better place. Please help me to help you!

making the proper choice

Now it is your decision. I have made mine. Please select from among the available alternatives unless, of course, you can think of another.

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and the Courage to Act,

Roddy A. Stegemann, A.B., M.A., M.A.
Paul Revere Apartments
First Hill, Seattle, Washington

Edited for grammatical and stylistic error on Sunday, December 18, 2016