Monday, April 16, 2012


by James Craig Green

The tragedy of American Democracy is that the founding fathers rejected it more than 200 years ago for good reasons, but "the people" and their favorite self-serving politicians cheerfully brought it back.

For two decades now, I have written about how fundamentally different the American Revolution was from the French Revolution. America was founded on limited government, individual freedom and respect for individual rights. The French Revolution was founded on almost pure democracy, which led to the Guillotine, the Reign of Terror and finally, the emperor Napoleon. "Collective rights" are no rights at all, because the majority can outvote any individual. The Soviet Union, Communist China and the Cuba of Fidel Castro are what you get when collective rights are enshrined into law as superior to individual rights.

As I discussed in April 2011's post UNCHAIN THE BUILDERS 4, the American Republic was NOT based on democracy, but has unfortunately devolved into one. It took more than 200 years of corrupting history, but now the U.S. has become a democracy, since there are more people who are net takers from government than net payers, as I explained in THE PROBLEM WITH DEMOCRACY (June 2011).

Thomas Jefferson, who was in France at the time the U.S. Constitution was being created, understood as well as his fellow Virginian James Madison, the dangers of democracy:

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not

once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny

Democracy may be the most addicting - and most destructive - narcotic ever invented. It allows people who contribute nothing to dominate those who produce everything. This is why at least since 2004 (according to the Tax Foundation), the majority of Americans vote for a living, as I explained in May 2011's  WHO BENEFITS AND WHO PAYS FOR GOVERNMENT?. The 2007 Tax Foundation study described there, based on tax and spending data for all levels of government ending in 2004, shows how three-fifths of Americans receive more than they contribute to American government. This is pure democracy in action, as Thomas Jefferson perceptively warned against at the beginning of the American Republic more than two centuries ago.

As I have stated many times, the best example of a democracy is a lynch mob - only one dissenting vote.

Have you ever wondered why America's Founders REJECTED democracy in the Presidency and the Senate, but only allowed it in the House of Representatives? One brilliant insight into this question was provided by James Madison, drafter of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and fourth President of the United States. In  FEDERALIST NO. 10 , Madison clearly explained, as he called it, the "mischiefs of faction." By this term, he meant majorities tyrannizing minorities. This was precisely why he recommended a democratic House of Representatives, but NOT a democratic Senate, nor a democratically-elected President. Each of these were supposed to be immune to the majoritarian passions of the mob. Unfortunately, the Senate's structure was converted to a democratic form in 1913, with the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The rejection of direct democracy by the founders was also exhibited in the Electoral College which elects the President.

To say American Government was founded on democracy is one of the most damaging but widespread myths about the federal government. Of the three branches of the federal government:

1. Legislative (Congress, consisting of the House and Senate)
2. Executive (The President, chosen by the electoral college), and
3. Judicial (Supreme Court, appointed by the President, ratified by the Senate),

...only one half of one branch was created as a democracy. Arguably, this may be thought of as only one-sixth of the federal government as the founders' originally intended it to be.


Today, the mob is in control of everything. Since at least 2004 (shown by the Tax Foundation study), more people receive net benefits from government than they contribute. This was what Jefferson meant by his famous quoted above... The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

Democracy is destroying America, because those who, on balance, produce useful goods and services can have their income, production and assets stolen by those who don't. By on balance, I mean that the majority who receives more from government than it contributes, as explained in WHO BENEFITS AND WHO PAYS FOR GOVERNMENT, has no incentive to cut government spending. This is destroying America from within. The best current proof of this is annual budget deficits for the federal government that exceed ONE AND ONE HALF TRILLION DOLLARS. That's EVERY year, not a lump sum over several years. This is called Bankruptcy elsewhere, but to the feds and their large contingent of dependents (most Americans), such language is considered impolite at least, and treasonous at worst.

American government has accrued AT LEAST 50 TRILLION DOLLARS of public debt in our lifetimes, with Republicans, Democrats and those who voted for them directly to blame. Since only about one-out-of-five Americans elect the President and Congress, the 80 percent who don't continue to be screwed at an alarming rate. I should note that the 50 TRILLION DOLLAR figure is a low estimate, generated by former Comptroller General of the U.S. David Walker. A much higher estimate of 120 TRILLION DOLLARS, published by the Cato Institute, reflects even more insanity by U.S. Governments and their most ardent supporters.

We should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it get this bad...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


by James Craig Green

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13, the ill-fated mission in which Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert would have lost their lives but for the outstanding work by their NASA ground support teams. This was the mission, later made into a movie with Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell, in which one whole side of their command vehicle blew out, forcing them to return to Earth from the Moon without landing. I'll never forget Tom Hanks' quote in the movie after shutting down all unnecessary systems to save battery power - Gentlemen, we just put Isaac Newton in the driver's seat. He meant, of course, that periodic course corrections would not be possible in this mode, relying only on Sir Isaac Newton's laws of gravity and motion while coasting. Few people seem to realize that Newton's magnificent laws, which survived intact for more than two centuries before Einstein's relativity, were not good enough to get to the moon and back without an occasional course correction.

Wikipedia article on Apollo_13

In the spring of 1970, I was a second lieutenant in the Air Force, stationed at Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I had graduated from the University of New Mexico in February 1969 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, working as an orbital analyst for the Air Defense Command. I was getting ready to spend a year in southeastern Turkey at a remote satellite-tracking ground station west of the Ural Mountains near the Soviet Union.

I didn't know it then, but a dozen years later, in 1982, I would meet Jack Swigert in my first campaign as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in Colorado's brand-new 6th Congressional District.

Jack, a national hero after Apollo 13, was a lifelong bachelor, a real gentleman and the Colorado Republican Party's candidate for Congress in the newly-formed district. The Democrat was Steve Hogan, city councilman from the City of Aurora. Then, there was little ole' me... soon to garnish a whopping two percent of the vote just for showing up.

Little did I know I would have the opportunity of a lifetime, participating in several televised debates and many other joint public meetings, more than a dozen public appearances in all.

Jack Swigert was a shoe-in within a congressional district where the Republican would obviously win by a two-to-one margin over the Democrat. However, early in the campaign, he was diagnosed with cancer and tragically died two months after his election.

Of course, I never had a chance to win the election, but my intent was to promote my libertarian philosophy of free markets, a defensive foreign policy and massive reductions in government spending, opposed vigorously by most Democrats and Republicans. Fortunately for me, Jack was not the least bit threatened by my presence, so I enjoyed a forum over several months to present my entire political philosophy on an equal footing with the two major party candidates. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

My most fond memory during the campaign was near its end, when Jack showed he had been listening to me. I just about fell out of my chair when he said, in response to a question about national defense: When it was called the Department of War, its purpose was defense. Now that it's called the Department of Defense, its purpose is war. I couldn't have imagined another Republican candidate (without the popularity and media presence of an astronaut) saying this without suffering severe criticism from his Republican colleagues during the Reagan years. But, everyone knew Jack was going to win, so I was never a threat.

I was saddened to hear of Jack's death in January 1983, and attended his funeral service at the Catholic Church on South Monaco in Denver. When I walked in, one of Jack's campaign volunteers who I had gotten to know during the campaign took me up to the VIP section, and sat me down right behind Alan Shepard, the first American in space and the only one of the original Mercury astronauts to walk on the moon.

It was not an appropriate time to glad-hand famous people or take pictures. At his graveside, I gave Jack my first salute in a decade.

Next time you go to Denver International Airport, you may want to visit Jack's life-sized statue in the middle of Concourse B. I'll never forget the national hero who generously allowed me to participate in so many debates with him and criticize both Republicans and Democrats in 1982.

Rest in Peace, Jack...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Posted by James Craig Green from Anthony Watts' website, Watts Up With That?

Advocates of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) hypothesis will not be pleased to see the following letter and list of signatures, which have been a long time coming. Thanks to my friend Terry Donze for forwarding this, to Anthony Watts and Alan Cheetham for their excellent websites and the Heartland Institute for its tireless efforts to promote honesty and sanity in science.

My previous UPDATED ARTICLE on the subject of AGW described the excellent work of Anthony Watts and Alan  Cheetham, prior to the current NASA blockbuster shown below.

March 28, 2012

The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
NASA Administrator
NASA Headquarters
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.

Thank you for considering this request.


(Attached signatures)

CC: Mr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for Science

CC: Ass Mr. Chris Scolese, Director, Goddard Space Flight Center

Ref: Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, dated 3-26-12, regarding a request for NASA to refrain from making unsubstantiated claims that human produced CO2 is having a catastrophic impact on climate change.

/s/ Jack Barneburg, Jack – JSC, Space Shuttle Structures, Engineering Directorate, 34 years

/s/ Larry Bell – JSC, Mgr. Crew Systems Div., Engineering Directorate, 32 years

/s/ Dr. Donald Bogard – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 41 years

/s/ Jerry C. Bostick – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 23 years

/s/ Dr. Phillip K. Chapman – JSC, Scientist – astronaut, 5 years

/s/ Michael F. Collins, JSC, Chief, Flight Design and Dynamics Division, MOD, 41 years

/s/ Dr. Kenneth Cox – JSC, Chief Flight Dynamics Div., Engr. Directorate, 40 years

/s/ Walter Cunningham – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 7, 8 years

/s/ Dr. Donald M. Curry – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Leading Edge, Thermal Protection Sys., Engr. Dir., 44 years

/s/ Leroy Day – Hdq. Deputy Director, Space Shuttle Program, 19 years

/s/ Dr. Henry P. Decell, Jr. – JSC, Chief, Theory & Analysis Office, 5 years

/s/Charles F. Deiterich – JSC, Mgr., Flight Operations Integration, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Harold Doiron – JSC, Chairman, Shuttle Pogo Prevention Panel, 16 years

/s/ Charles Duke – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 16, 10 years

/s/ Anita Gale

/s/ Grace Germany – JSC, Program Analyst, 35 years

/s/ Ed Gibson – JSC, Astronaut Skylab 4, 14 years

/s/ Richard Gordon – JSC, Astronaut, Gemini Xi, Apollo 12, 9 years

/s/ Gerald C. Griffin – JSC, Apollo Flight Director, and Director of Johnson Space Center, 22 years

/s/ Thomas M. Grubbs – JSC, Chief, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Branch, 31 years

/s/ Thomas J. Harmon

/s/ David W. Heath – JSC, Reentry Specialist, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr. – JSC, Flight crew training and operations, 3 years

/s/ James R. Roundtree – JSC Branch Chief, 26 years

/s/ Enoch Jones – JSC, Mgr. SE&I, Shuttle Program Office, 26 years

/s/ Dr. Joseph Kerwin – JSC, Astronaut, Skylab 2, Director of Space and Life Sciences, 22 years

/s/ Jack Knight – JSC, Chief, Advanced Operations and Development Division, MOD, 40 years

/s/ Dr. Christopher C. Kraft – JSC, Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center, 24 years

/s/ Paul C. Kramer – JSC, Ass.t for Planning Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Div., Egr. Dir., 34 years

/s/ Alex (Skip) Larsen

/s/ Dr. Lubert Leger – JSC, Ass’t. Chief Materials Division, Engr. Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Humbolt C. Mandell – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Program Control and Advance Programs, 40 years

/s/ Donald K. McCutchen – JSC, Project Engineer – Space Shuttle and ISS Program Offices, 33 years

/s/ Thomas L. (Tom) Moser – Hdq. Dep. Assoc. Admin. & Director, Space Station Program, 28 years

/s/ Dr. George Mueller – Hdq., Assoc. Adm., Office of Space Flight, 6 years

/s/ Tom Ohesorge

/s/ James Peacock – JSC, Apollo and Shuttle Program Office, 21 years

/s/ Richard McFarland – JSC, Mgr. Motion Simulators, 28 years

/s/ Joseph E. Rogers – JSC, Chief, Structures and Dynamics Branch, Engr. Directorate,40 years

/s/ Bernard J. Rosenbaum – JSC, Chief Engineer, Propulsion and Power Division, Engr. Dir., 48 years

/s/ Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt – JSC, Astronaut Apollo 17, 10 years

/s/ Gerard C. Shows – JSC, Asst. Manager, Quality Assurance, 30 years

/s/ Kenneth Suit – JSC, Ass’t Mgr., Systems Integration, Space Shuttle, 37 years

/s/ Robert F. Thompson – JSC, Program Manager, Space Shuttle, 44 years/s/ Frank Van Renesselaer – Hdq., Mgr. Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, 15 years

/s/ Dr. James Visentine – JSC Materials Branch, Engineering Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Manfred (Dutch) von Ehrenfried – JSC, Flight Controller; Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, MOD, 10 years

/s/ George Weisskopf – JSC, Avionics Systems Division, Engineering Dir., 40 years

/s/ Al Worden – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 15, 9 years

/s/ Thomas (Tom) Wysmuller – JSC, Meteorologist, 5 years

Monday, April 9, 2012


On April 5, 2012, Peter Schiff wrote an excellent article explaining why President Obama is so confused, befuddled and so completely WRONG about how economies work. While spouting leftist dogma that resonates with most Democrats and many Republicans, the President continues to display his ignorance of economics shared by many, if not most, Americans. It's called OBAMA'S PRETZEL LOGIC.

Here's an excerpt:

While it is true that the American middle class rose in tandem with her economic might, it was the success of the country’s industrialists that allowed the middle class to arise. Capitalism unleashed the productive capacity of entrepreneurs and workers, which brought down the cost of goods to the point that high levels of consumption were possible for a wider cross section of individuals. While Henry Ford, as Obama noted, paid his workers well enough to buy Ford cars, those high wages would never have been possible, or his products affordable, if not for the personal innovation he, and other American industrialists, brought to the table in the first place.

The economists that Obama follows believe that business will only create jobs once they know consumers have the money to buy their products. But just as wet sidewalks don’t cause rain, consumption does not lead to production. Rather, production leads to consumption. Something must be produced before it can be consumed.

Once again, I encourage you to read Peter Schiff's excellent article in its entirety, OBAMA'S PRETZEL LOGIC.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, because it is spot on.

You can also buy Peter's recent book, HOW AN ECONOMY GROWS AND WHY IT CRASHES (which I have recommended here before) on Earlier this year the book stimulated a multi-week discussion on market economics in my friends Ari Armstrong and Amanda Muell's LIBERTY IN THE BOOKS monthly discussion group in Denver (scroll down to see Peter's book).

Yours in Liberty,


Monday, April 2, 2012


By H.L. Mencken (1926)

(exerpts below chosen by J. Craig Green)

Section 1 (Democratic Man), Chapter 1 (His Appearance in this World)

Democracy came into the Western World to the tune of sweet, soft music. There was, at the start, no harsh bawling from below; there was only a dulcet twittering from above.

Democratic man thus began as an ideal being, full of ineffable virtues and romantic wrongs – in brief, as Rousseau’s noble savage in smock and jerkin, brought out of the tropical wilds to shame the lords and masters of the civilized lands. The fact continues to have important consequences to this day. It remains impossible, as it was in the Eighteenth Century, to separate the democratic idea from the theory that there is a
mystical merit, an esoteric and ineradicable rectitude, in the man at the bottom of the scale – that inferiority, by some magic, by some strange magic, becomes a superiority – nay the superiority of superiorities. Everywhere on earth… the movement is toward a more completer and more enamoured enfranchisement of the lower orders.

Down there, one hears, lies a deep, illimitable reservoir of righteousness and wisdom, unpolluted from the corruption of privilege. What baffles statesmen is to be solved by the people, instantly and by a sort of seraphic intuition. Their yearnings are pure; they alone are capable of a perfect patriotism; in them is the only hope of peace and happiness on this lugubrious ball. The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy!

This notion, as I hint, originated in the poetic fancy of gentlemen of the upper levels – sentimentalists who, observing to their distress that the ass was over-laden, proposed to reform transport by putting him in the cart…

Early Democratic man seems to have given little thought to the democratic ideal, and less veneration. What he wanted was something concrete and highly materialistic – more to eat, less work, higher wages, less taxes… His aim was not to exterminate the Baron, but simply to bring the baron back to a proper discharge of his baronial business. When, by the wild shooting that naturally accompanies all mob movements, the former end was accidentally accomplished, and men in the mob began to take on baronial airs, the mob itself quickly showed its opinion of them by butchering them deliberately and in earnest… (Mencken discusses the French Revolution,1828 America and Marx here).

…The dictatorship of the proletariat, tried here and there, has turned out to be – if I may venture a prejudicial judgment – somewhat impractical. Even the most advanced Liberals, observing the thing in being, have been moved to cough softly in their hands.

But it would certainly be going beyond the facts to say that the underlying democratic dogma has been abandoned, or even appreciably overhauled… The central aim of all the Christian governments of today, in theory if not in fact, is to further their liberation, to augment their power, to drive ever larger and larger pipes into the reservoir of their natural wisdom. That government is called good which responds most quickly and accurately to their desires and ideas. That is called bad which conditions their omnipotence and puts a question mark on their omniscience.

Purchase "Notes on Democracy" by Mencken

Wikipedia article on Mencken