I, American – An analogy and tribute to “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read

By: Tisha Casida

I am an American – a human being residing in the United States of America, a citizen who has come here or who resides in this country.

Liberty is both my vocation and my avocation – it is what I am.

You may wonder why it is necessary to express the purpose of explaining what I am.  I am a mystery, and sadly I have been taken for granted as a mere incident and without background.

“This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, ‘We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders’.” (Read, 1999).

I, American, as simple as I may seem, do in fact warrant your wonder, for if you can understand me better, if you can be more aware of what I am, then it can help save the freedom that mankind could so easily lose.

Simple? Yet no one knows exactly how to make me.  I am but a human, a citizen, a member of a community and country, and yet there are innumerable antecedents to what I am.

It is impossible to explain all of the antecedents that made me, however it is possible to name just a few.

My family tree begins on every continent in every country through most every part of the world.  From deserts to the tropics, the mountains to the oceans, the world was the starting point for me.  Think of all the people involved in the innumerable journeys through good times and bad to get me to where I sit today.  Think of the man-power, the machinery, the technology, the will-power to get me here today.  Think of the millions of transactions amongst people, the billions of words, the countless moments of inquiry and faith that made it possible to be in this moment.

Starting in far-away places, my ancestors made choices to seek freedom and prosperity.  In making a choice to come here, the American dream was alive and loved.  It was not just a dream; it was the reality of the journey, the faith, the motion.  My ancestors came to America to work and keep what they worked for, in a place where liberty was alive and responsibility was respected and honored.

Consider the people who have come to America.  White, black, brown; European, African, Asian, Hispanic; people who do not cling to color nor to class nor to ethnicity. For once you are here, you are American – this is the melting pot, and we are all the same, we are all Americans.  People who have come here as people, people who have come here knowing and believing that we are endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The journey has not always been pleasant or good.  The creation of America held many tragic incidents involving the very people that She now desires to protect.  That is the road and the journey that exists, and I must move forward in an effort to do better, as an individual, as an American.  We can learn from our mistakes.

Consider the technology that has moved us here.  Inventions, the revolution in industry, and the revolution with communication – all of these over thousands of years have contributed to my journey.  Although my life cycle is short, the experiences I have are created on the shoulders of giants (Newton, 1676).  Piece by piece, moment by moment, I am standing here today because of these human discoveries, theories, interventions, and practices.

Consider the human desire that has moved us here.  Human beings from around the world, people who work hard, study, love, and crave the freedom that allows them to do those things.  Consider the faith – regardless of religion or origin – consider the faith of the people who want to move forward, want to protect what they love, want to be free in their just pursuit of happiness.

No one knows how to make an American, even though the 307+ million Americans have a part of shaping each other every day.  “There isn’t a single person in all these millions… who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” (Read, 1999).  Each day a citizen may decide to read a newspaper, watch a television show, or go to school, however the other citizens will never truly know how this affects them – we just know that it does.  None of us know what the other millions of Americans want, however we are still all able to co-exist and prosper.  None of us know exactly how this works, but we know that we are able to make transactions and decisions when we have the freedom to do so.

There is no master-mind dictating to people what they should do, what they should want, or where they should work.  For over two hundred years, the country of America has been able to grow without the master planning of its future.  There have been mistakes, and more recently attacks on Her freedom, however the 307+ millions of Americans who are a part of my country can still make informed decisions.  This “absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.” (Read, 1999).

We cannot “make an American”.  The Invisible Hand (Adam Smith), the liberty present in our country, and the free market where we all stand equally as consumers, are a part of a complex combination of miracles.  America is where you can find me, in “the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!” (Read, 1999).  We are free men and women, there is no greater miracle.

I, American, although made from many different races, classes, and religions, do not cling to those as testimony for how others should act or be.  I, American, although a part of a social system do not expect a social system, I take responsibility for what and who I am.  I, American, although faced with displeasure, anger, and poverty, righteousness, happiness, and prosperity, do not expect from anyone anything other than interaction in a marketplace where I can work, purchase, and sell goods and services without the intervention of a master-plan that tries to decide what is best for me.  I, American, understand what I am charged with and accept the responsibility and prosperity that accompanies such “risk”.  Having the liberty to make my decisions, is all I ask for.

I, American, in a country that has had millions of immigrants come to Her for liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams, believe in the creative interactions that have made our prosperity possible so far.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.”  (Read, 1999).

I, American, seemingly simple and often misunderstood, believe in the miracle of my creation. I believe in the liberty that rewards responsibility. I believe in the free men and women who are my fellow citizens.  I, American, believe.

References:

Newton, I. (1676, February 15). Letter to Robert Hooke. Retrieved  June 20, 2010 from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton.

Read, L. E. (1999). “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Smith, A. (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Edwin Cannan, ed. 1904. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

The Dangers of Silent Consent

“First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me” Martin Niemoller

Yes, I know – there are those of you who despise my use of Hitler and the Nazi regime as metaphors for current events.   In my defense, I truly believe in “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, courtesy George Santayana.  And that motto guides much of my daily activities and decisions on what course of action to pursue.

So I point your attention in the direction of the woes experienced by Grazin’ Acres dairy farm in Wisconsin.  Who cares that your impassioned letter or email may not be read by those interfering with food production/consumption and private contract issues?   The sheer volume of written protest is our attempt to let those who engage in these behaviors know they do not have our Silent Consent.

Links to view Contact information and my emailed protest.

Lt. Col. Allen West – Let Freedom Ring

Good American Post – Staff Reports

Operation “Go West” – the campaign for retired Lieutenant Colonel, Allen West, is where you will find this message, “2010 will present a historic opportunity to reclaim our America. We are at a crossroad where only you can help us become that ‘city on a hill’ that is the American ideal and the American promise.”

We have heard this before – all candidates have such rhetoric.  What makes Allen West so different?

Let’s start with the fact that he can eloquently explain topics that are important and urgent, and appears willing to fight for what is right – not necessarily what is popular.  Interview after interview, West coherently answers questions about our domestic issues and international issues.  He can quickly quote and refer to SunTzu, the Koran and Plato, to name a few historic resources.  He is not afraid to call people out for committing actions that harm our republic and liberty.  His replies to questions are detailed, and researched – making our current politicians look exactly like that – politicians – not representatives of our Republic.   West is a man who has actually studied the problems, and is informed enough to make decisions by taking positive actions to make a difference!  This isn’t just rhetoric, it’s what makes this candidate so different.

He is a man who loves his country and believes that people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin (King, 1963).  West says to an audience, “I don’t see myself as African-American, Black-American – I see myself as an American”.  He goes on to say “…I am very proud of the heritage of my parents, I am very proud of the heritage of my people, but if you stick a knife in me, it’s gonna come out red, white and blue…” (see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxB75lVN1us).

He excelled in the military, serving our country for 22 years.  His honors include: a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award.  Badges that he proudly wears include: Army Master parachutist badge, Air Assault badge, Navy/Marine Corps parachutist insignia, Italian parachutist wings, and the German proficiency badge (Bronze award).  Lt. Col. West has put his life on the line for our country and freedoms.  The people that he meets around the country who have a connection to our armed forces, can appreciate a man of West’s caliber and strength.  The freedom and liberties that we are trying to save today should reflect the men and women who have already given their lives for this country, as well as those who are serving in our armed forces now.  We owe it to them to be informed by standing up for liberty.

Lt. Col. West appeals to a large base of voters who love this country for what it stands for and the constitutional principles it was built upon.  West is dedicated to liberty, the constitution, and free markets.  His campaign embraces his love of country, as well as his love of life.  West is an avid distance runner and PADI Master certified SCUBA diver.   He likes riding motorcycles and attending church, all American values and a lifestyle we should admire.

Listening to Lt. Col. West speak and interact with thousands of community members, it’s clear that he is probably one of the most qualified candidates for any office, including President of the United States.  However, upon digging deeper, and going beyond his amazing love for country, community, and prosperity, we have found that, in fact, he is indeed true to his word, with an intriguing background and dedication to freedom.

We could use about 534 more of them in our House of Representatives and Senate.  Please take the time to look at his campaign here: http://allenwestforcongress.com

Reference:

King, M.L. (1963, August 28). I Have a Dream. Address at March on Washington. Retrieved on July 1, 2010 from http://www.mlkonline.net/dream.html.

The Good American Post Joins the Liberty Bus

HELP CHIP IN TO FUEL THE LIBERTY BUS!!!  SIGN UP HERE!

After meeting at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, The Good American Post will join up with the Liberty Bus in the great state of Colorado.  We are looking for sponsors and venues that are interested in having this great organization share information about their mission – which is parallel to what The Good American Post stands for.

The goal of the Liberty Bus is to enhance the understanding of:

  • WHY government spending must be significantly reduced
  • WHY private enterprise is a more effective alternative for services
  • WHY individual choice, risk and reward are imperative for liberty to survive in America
  • HOW YOU can change the direction away from government dependency and toward liberty

Want to join in?  Contact us if you are interested in sponsoring the Liberty Bus & Liberty in America at your venue, or find out more about their organization HERE.

We can be reached at: goodamericanpost (at) gmail.com

The Good American Post Joins the Liberty Bus

After meeting at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, The Good American Post will join up with the Liberty Bus in the great state of Colorado.  We are looking for sponsors and venues that are interested in having this great organization share information about their mission – which is parallel to what The Good American Post stands for.

The goal of the Liberty Bus is to enhance the understanding of:

  • WHY government spending must be significantly reduced
  • WHY private enterprise is a more effective alternative for services
  • WHY individual choice, risk and reward are imperative for liberty to survive in America
  • HOW YOU can change the direction away from government dependency and toward liberty

Want to join in?  Contact us if you are interested in sponsoring the Liberty Bus & Liberty in America at your venue, or find out more about their organization HERE.

We can be reached at: goodamericanpost (at) gmail.com

BANKING REFORM – Limited Purpose Banking

We will be continually promoting this concept that was brought to our attention from one of our readers – it is WE THE PEOPLE that will save this country.

Have you heard the term “limited purpose banking”?  It is a very simple, efficient, and honest means of getting our financial system back on the track of preserving YOUR money.  The concept?  All financial institutions change to operate strictly as “pass-through mutual-fund companies”(Bloomberg, 2010), where the investments can lost value, but the funds themselves can never fail.  Details about mutual-fund securities would be disclosed in real-time (giving the market valuable information to be able to make purchasing decisions).  This would also replace 115 federal and state financial regulatory bodies with ONE “Federal Financial Administration” to oversee limited-purpose-banking funds.

Create transparency, eliminate bureaucracy, and let the free-market work.  That is what I call smart and sustainable solutions to our banking industry.  Read more about it HERE.

– Tisha Casida

A Banking System to Create PROSPERITY

– Tisha Casida

In theory, a banking system is supposed to create safety and prosperity for its customers – the people who make deposits and take out loans.

What happened in the past couple years in the United States is unprecedented and unsustainable, not to mention unethical.  Hard-working Americans who trusted in their investments were taken to the cleaners, while those who stole their retirements, livelihoods, and future were the beneficiaries of a government-funded bailout.

Could this have been prevented?  Of course it could have!  Could we do better now?  Of course we can!  Here’s how.

Our financial system “was supposed to channel our hard-earned savings into the best real investments: new homes, offices, factories, equipment and research. And it was supposed to correctly price our assets”(Kotlikoff & Leamer, 2009).  When it collapsed, it was doing neither of these because Wall Street had turned into a gambling machine.

Limited Purpose Banking (LPB) “would transform all financial corporations, including insurance companies and hedge funds, into mutual funds”(2009).  These mutual funds would still be called “banks” and would be regulated by a new “Federal Financial Authority” (FFA) that would replace over 115 state and federal regulatory agencies (yes, that would probably save some taxpayers money, not to mention time, and heartache) and the FFA would “rate, verify, supervise custody, disclose and clear all securities purchased, held and sold by LPB mutual funds. Private rating companies could stay in business, but no one would need to trust them ever again”(2009).

Under such a system, banks would never fail because they would never hold financial assets, they would be limited to their “legitimate” purpose – being a financial intermediary.

The Good American Post will do our best to figure out how our readers and listeners can learn more and get involved, you can read a detailed article about LPB by Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Edward Leamer HERE.

Reference:

Kotlikoff, L.J.,  & Leamer, E. (2009, April 23).  A Banking System We Can Trust. Forbes.com. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/22/loan-mortgage-mutual-fund-wall-street-opinions-contributors-bank.html.

WALK THE TALK – Support Local

It’s easy to tell people what they should do.  It’s easy to say what you are going to do.  But actually doing something is a whole other level, and the level that we need to be at to really make sustainable changes with anything.

Simply a rant against people who talk but don’t walk?  Perhaps.  Or perhaps a reminder that we all need a reminder to do things.

Supporting local means trying to source products and services from someone imediately in your community – meaning that person is alive and operating in that community.  A local farmer or gardener grows produce there, a local shop-keeper has items that he or she resells there, a local brewer makes their beer there, a publication houses writers and advertisers there.

It is hard to purchase everything local – so don’t try doing that.  To start, try one or two things, and then build as you go – that is generally more sustainable for those of us who work for a living.

It all starts somewhere, but it must start – we make the difference, and we must walk the talk.

– Owen Sotto

State Capitalism vs. Democratic Capitalism

State capitalism is not really a form of capitalism at all.  And if you love a true free market, then neither democratic capitalism nor state capitalism are friendly to a market (sans the heavy hand of government).  In an excellent article by Sheldon Richman, you can read more!

Get Out of Our House

By Richard A. Correa Sr. SGT  RIARNG Retired

If you are a sitting member of the United States House of Representatives then you need to GOOOH (Get Out of Our House). This is the message to United States representatives from GOOOH members from all over this great country. And the members of GOOOH, working with those who are concerned about the direction this nation is headed, are going to do all we can to cause these 435 professional politicians to be looking for new jobs come January 2011.

GOOOH is one of the many grassroots organizations that have sprung up since 2008. It is non-partisan and owes no allegiance to any political party. Its members come from all walks of life, all political persuasions, and they all have one thing in common – they are tired of seeing the professional political class that has a strangle-hold on the US Congress, looting the treasury to enrich themselves and their cronies while hardworking Americans foot the bill. They are tired of the corruption of our representatives and senators, and fed up with the special favors to those that keep them in power. And they will no longer allow these voracious scavengers to ignore the will of the people while they pander to the special interests that leach off the federal treasury.

So how does GOOOH plan to change all of this? By organizing groups of citizens in each congressional district to challenge the professional politicians and replacing them with citizen legislators. A daunting challenge to be sure, but as the recent gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, the recent senatorial election in Massachusetts, as well as the close election in New York’s 23rd congressional district show that it can be done.

By using the internet, social networking groups like Facebook and messaging applications like Twitter, GOOOH has been able to organize a network of dedicated volunteers in every state, county and congressional district. These volunteers are reaching out to their fellow citizens (at work, at play, or at home) to garner support and recruit new members. And the response from our fellow citizens has been very positive.

I have been honored with the responsibility of being the state coordinator for GOOOH in the state of Colorado. I have been in contact with hundreds of Coloradans to create the state level leadership group and the many district groups. While the organization of this is still in the initial stages, so many of the folks I’ve written to and spoken with have volunteered to help.  In the work that I do,  I find myself humbled by peoples’ responses and efforts to change how things are done in our country.

As GOOOH continues to move toward the goal of replacing the professional political class with citizen legislators we ask all Americans to consider what we propose. The United States of America is a great nation because of its people, not the politicians or the government policies they espouse. Our best days are still ahead of us and this nation will return to the prosperity we have experienced when we replace the entrenched incumbents in Washington with citizens like yourselves, who will use common sense in carrying out the duties of US Representatives.

Correa served in the regular army from 20 dec 1970 to 1 July 1980, in the army reserve from jan 1982 to June 1986, and in the Rhode Island Army National Guard from June 1986 until April 1993.

He is a master military parachutist, awarded the expert field medical badge, a graduate of the 82nd ABN DIV Recondo school (the jungle operations course of the school of the americas), an honor graduate of the Ft. Bragg Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense course, the basic parachutist course, the army jump master course, as well as qualified as a parachutist in the British and Canadian armies.  He was also trained as a medical corpsman, a surgical technologist, a supply specialist and an infantryman. Correa has served in the positions of senior medical aid-man (including on a LRRP team), infantry scout section leader, a long-range surveillance team leader and as the training and operations NCO of a long-range surveillance detachment.

For more about
Get Out Of Our House, please
go to: goooh.com

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