Monday, February 25, 2008

Urgent: A FreeCapitalist Call to Action

Saving Freedom: A FreeCapitalist Call to Action
Launching the Faire Action Forums™ and Free Capitalist “Community Councils”

My whole life it seems, I’ve been thinking about making the world a better place. It seems to me that some people are simply born into the world thinking about the general condition of life on the planet. I am definitely, even if unexplainably, one of those people.

For example, I remember organizing my friends in the earliest grades of elementary school. I remember watching attentively the election returns in 1980, when I was only seven years old. I remember thinking then that the President of the United States could certainly make the world a better place. Many of us never think past some of these, our simple and childish notions of power and change. Its not that we’re wrong with these ideas – it’s just that being serious about them requires so much more.

Most adults, I think, still have very childish ideas about what it takes to change the world and even why the world might need changing. Even more specifically, most of us, from our earliest childhood have been socially conditioned to see the head of any tribe (using this term loosely to refer to any organized group) as being the most influential person in the tribe itself. In families for example, which are small tribes, being a parent means to most of us, through our still childish concepts, having all the power. In school, being the teacher or principle means having the power. On a sports team being the coach means having the power. So, from our earliest days it’s easy to fall prone to the false notion that if we want to have the power to change the world it means we must first become the head of the tribe. While there certainly is power and purpose in being the head of a tribe, the irony and simple refutation of this commonly misplaced notion is obvious to anyone who has actually been the head of tribe.

Tribalism (or collectivism) is the political philosophy of the naïve, the intellectually lazy, and the deceivers. To the collectivists, the fact that the tribe exists in the first place is a simple given. Collectivists seem to think that organizations like the family, the community, the nation, etc., just exist and thus they spend most of their time either striving to become the head/leader of the tribe or complaining that a new leader is needed to make life better for everyone. To a liberally educated adult – a person who loves liberty and freedom – the notion of making anyone’s life better is absurd given that we each hold that sovereign power for ourselves. The purpose of leadership in any tribe is not served by this naïve and dangerous idea that authority (and the power that comes with it) is the necessary ingredient for changing the world.

Unfortunately, this misplaced idea lays at the center of the most common political philosophy in our culture today. Consciously or subconsciously it engulfs the major political parties, all geographical regions and all age groups. It’s largely the result of what I’ve previously described as “the brain-off conspiracy”(see my previously published essay entitled the Brain-Off Conspiracy), a culture of civil deception perpetrated by those whose agenda is to take advantage of a collectivized world.

Certainly, leaders of tribes have power. That is not the distinction I’m pointing out. Great leaders have great power to do much good. But great leaders do not seek to be appointed or given a position of power over the tribe for the sake of the authority and power inherent in the position. Creators of tribes and those that recognize how a tribe is formed, protected and defended have a power deeper than the sum of power granted by the authority of any tribal head. These are society’s prime movers and first-handers. They are brought to power by the fruit of their own productive effort not by politicking, campaigning or the social acceptance antecedent to some ritualistic or ceremonial coronation. The difference is between the prime movers and the so called leaders who are really nothing more than second-handers, hoping to be anointed tribal chief as a gift to which they are entitled by virtue of their ego alone. Life will get better in the tribe, according to the second-hander, because they are in charge, regardless of the legitimacy or his or her ideas and agenda.

It’s important to develop the ability to make this critical distinction between first and second-handers. A person who knows, for example, how to constitute, sustain and defend the structure of a family is more powerful then the typical parent who simply has a family and seeks to rule over it. A person who knows how to build a community is more powerful than a person who simply holds the position of leader in a community. A person who knows how to build a sports team, a political group, a civic service organization, etc., is more powerful than the one (or few) who simply end up in charge of those organizations. The difference I’m describing is subtle but powerful. It is essential to recognize this distinction between prime movers and second-handers in order to discern between those who want to really do good in the world and those intellectual second-handers – the brain off do-gooders.

Our society has the tribal sickness of the second-handers like never before. We actually, as a people, believe that the way to solve most of our problems is to simply anoint a new leader of the tribe. Even more typical, we usually just assume that if the new leader of our tribe came from our neck of the woods or our social camp (see my essay entitled Earth Camp) then we would all be better off regardless of the actual, individual merits of such a leader.

Choosing new leaders can indeed lead to change, but it’s not the kind of change most of us imagine. Anyone who has been the leader of a tribe – in family, in business, in community etc., recognizes that a power deeper than simple authority alone comes from the network of people who lend their support to the integrity of the tribe, its leader and his ideas. Without that support even the most intelligent, charismatic and visionary leader fails, and then falls quickly.

An example of what I’m trying to casually point out (this essay is certainly not academic, that is a project for another day) is the group in our society who self-identify as Constitutionalists. I am a person who believes that the Constitution of the United States is a divinely inspired formula for not only protecting freedom but for building prosperity. In the current presidential election campaign Texas Congressman (R) Ron Paul has effectively illustrated the point I’m trying to make. Congressman Paul has a huge following of Constitutionalists among the younger politically astute and the more independent minded portion of the electorate. His support crosses traditional party lines, he campaigns on high ideals, and he has a decade’s long track record in the Congress that evidences the consistency of his philosophy and his performance.

Congressman Paul has raised abnormally large amounts of money through seemly spontaneous movements of supporters organized across the country using only the Internet. While it has been quite obvious to almost everyone that Ron Paul has never had a real chance to become the leader of America’s tribe in 2008 – it is not obvious to very many why this is the case. It is not because his ideas are unsupportable as some have suggested. It’s not because he cannot get grassroots support, he has demonstrated this to the amazement of many and it’s not because he lacks vision or intellectual acumen. Whether you are a Ron Paul supporter or not, the truth of the matter is that the reason congressman Paul, and many other’s like him who have gone before in decades past, will not become the leader of the American tribe is because those who support him, though their conscious ideals are much different, are actually subconsciously tribalists in their methods as evident by their dominate focus of changing the head of the tribe before first building an organization that is prepared to govern under new leadership. This contradiction seals Congressman Paul’s fate, even though he himself is generally speaking prime mover and first-hander. The second-handers, anointed by those who seek advantage over the common man, maintain their advantage with Congressman Paul as their adversary because of this simple contradiction in the minds of his supporters. I mean this as no insult, instead I mean to point out the stumbling block in the path of obtaining real, fundamental power for effecting social change that is too often encountered by many of the most ardent lovers of freedom in our day.

Let me go into just a brief explanation of the ideas behind my example. In Presidential politics there are generally two sub-tribes (Republicans and Democrats) that battle every four years for control of the larger American tribe. Congressman Paul and his constituents refuse to compromise with the dominant members currently in authority over the Republican tribe because of what they see as their principled stand on many issues. So, right or wrong, with the unconscious mistake of tribalism guiding their efforts, they will lose his campaign for the Presidency – claiming that their ideas are right and that the Republican tribe is wrong and has lost its moorings (an argument I heartily agree with by the way).

However, the unconscious implications of this kind of thinking is the very problem for those who see what I’m describing as the problem we face in America, and it certainly does not just plague Congressman Paul or his colleagues. This very problem is what has stood in the way of almost all those who have previously stood for freedom and liberty, trying to finish what America’s founders started more than two centuries ago. These have been good men and women who have dedicated their lives to the cause of making the world a better place whether it be through politics, civic affairs, volunteer community service, education, etc. Modern history is full of idealistic martyrs, but it reveals a few, invaluable examples of prime movers who find a way to move beyond this almost invisible enemy of our cause.

Lest anyone be offended at my attempt here of candid self criticism, remember the consequence of our general failure to date is leaving the control of our society to the deceivers and the brain-off conspiracy of those who are willing to give in to them.

Governor Mitt Romney learned this same lesson this year, or at least should have. Illinois Senator Barak Obama is also about to learn this lesson. If Senator Obama wins the contest to become America’s next President he will have an enormous challenge starting the first day of his Presidency. His challenge is subtle, and most men in positions like his in the past have not realized it until long after the challenge swallows any chance for their dreams of success.

Governing the tribe involves an army of tribe makers and defenders. These are “mini-leaders” who Senator Obama (or any future President) will have to turn to in order to actually govern the many different facets of the federal government. This is true in politics and in any sizable tribe/organization. Senator Obama’s challenge will be that he will need many more people to form his government than are actually his insiders. This means he will have to turn to others who are outside the very small Obama leadership tribe. I suspect he’ll turn first to the larger tribe of the Democratic Party. To do this, he will want competence and some experience. However, looking for experience and competence means that he will have to rely on many whose ideas and loyalties are preformed, independent of his and in some cases at odds with him - therefore challenging the very ideals that he has campaigned upon (for the record, though he’s pleasant to listen to and though I judge him to be authentic, I am no fan of Mr. Obama’s view of the proper role of government or his proposed policy initiatives – just in case you’re wondering).

The successful leaders, who are also among society's most important prime movers, are those who do not find themselves in the situation I’ve just described, and are able instead to turn to numerous colleagues of their own making from their own experience formed usually years in advance of any such challenge.

This is the problem of focusing on change by only changing the tribal head. While he has the authority in most cases, it is NOT the tribal head who has the power to make the world a better place at his wish and whim as we imagine in childhood. Instead, leaders with authority are subject in a multitude of ways to those who he relies upon to define and defend the tribe. A President depends upon his cabinet and the congress and even to some extent the judiciary to cooperate in his leadership. A congressman depends upon his peers, the Washington bureaucracy and the small special interests that coincide with his agenda. So it is at the State level, in communities, in business and in families. Therefore, an organization seeking to further a real movement of change recognizes that a revolution begins first by creating the organizational context for a new leader, and this usually occurs long before the larger tribes surrounding the revolution ever know what is, in fact, taking place.

To provide a simple example, going back to Congressman Ron Paul – let’s assume for a minute that he were by some odd chance elected President of the United States in November of 2008. President Ron Paul would want to eliminate the Federal Reserve system and return America to a sound banking system. But as President how would he do this? He does not have legislative authority or any lawmaking power whatsoever. Any action he took as President, even if he judged it to be legal and just, would have to past the muster of judicial scrutiny. He would therefore have to turn to Congress and to the judiciary. But who in Congress or the judiciary would support him just because he was the President? How would he gain their support? Without this kind of support – he could only talk, and as we are all to well aware talk is not the same as real change. I’m not criticizing Congressman Paul, I’m criticizing what we have come to expect as the blind game of tribal politics and the ritual of leader picking that has lulled so many of us into passive participation and occasional critical lip service in our republic rather than real civic involvement.

Why do I take the time to make this point about where power really rests in any revolution? Because, I really want to organize a revolution that is successful at bearing the constitution of the United States off triumphantly from its current brink of ruin and destruction. No one reading this should make any mistake in believing it will be possible to do this by simply “electing one of our own” to be the head of any tribe – we must first create and/or organize the social, economic, and political context required for a new leader of our country to be successful in some future day. Lest this seem discouraging to some, I firmly believe we can do it and that the success we create along the way will serve as a more lasting bulwark against the progress of our enemies than the work which will take place at the ultimate climax of our cause.

I’m not a politician, so I actually mean what I say. I want to organize change on such a fundamental level that it has only been seen twice before since America’s founding revolution. After the amazing success of the Founders, only the civil war era and the socialization of America after the Great Depression serve as historical benchmarks of real, fundamental and consequential change that has taken place in America. Unfortunately, these past two revolutions have been in the wrong direction for liberty.

America is becoming socialized, Europeanized and hollowed out by those who understand what I’m talking about and are using the naiveté of those who advocate change based upon the tribalist head-picking mentality. For the last eighty years, with very few exceptions – change at the top has resulted in only more disguised and homogenized consolidation in the real power structures that govern our society. To put it more simply, Senator John McCain, Senator Barrack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton have only so much to offer the American people. Specifically, they are Senator whose power to change the world rests with the same group of mini-tribe leaders who have been in control for decades. They bring with them nothing more than worn out promises, sometimes packaged in new rhetoric – but none of the merits of a prime mover who has created an organization prepared to defend liberty and restore the principled foundation of our republic. For all their talk about social reforms, policy changes, and a new future, they are stuck in the same rut of political reality that is carved out, defended and even advocated by people whose names the public does not generally know, but who have self-interest in maintaining the status quo. Spending endless energy identifying and uncovering the support structure I’m describing is an almost fruitless activity today. There is not time to waste in trivial discovery when the time for effective leadership, principled organization and real social movement is at hand.

To those with eyes to see and ears to hear, in our current political environment, America’s congressional leadership is more important and powerful than change at the executive level (though change there is important.) State leadership in the Governor’s offices and legislative offices around the country is more important than change in Washington (though change there is important). Community leadership in towns and counties across this country are in fact the MOST important political priority of those who want to organize and then actually succeed at implementing the real, fundamental change I’ve been describing, here in America. This is difficult to swallow for the politically naïve and over-ambitious citizen who reads the paper daily, for the man or woman who has personal ambitions to hold elective office (or who already holds such office), or for those who simply desire to be among those who support the right candidate next time. As I’ve said many times before, some things are true whether we believe them or not.

Our way of life, our future, and the cause of liberty is on the brink of ruin in America, and if in America then also across the globe. The brain-off conspiracy can be defeated, but only if a large, statistically significant group of people wake up and organize themselves in communities across this country – and do this quickly.

In my estimation (and the details of my reasons here are for another time to elaborate) we have perhaps a dozen years before America, as we now know it, and the world that we seek to improve may literally cease to exist. With the advance of certain power structures in global society, today we stand seriously in jeopardy of plunging headlong into a long dark spell, perhaps a generation or more of a new dark age where society's welfare and the safeguard of individual liberty is given over to the intellectual elite who have sought for generations to capitalize on the intellectual laziness and naiveté of the common man.

I’m not suggesting that our children are in trouble – though they are. I’m not suggesting that we are leaving problems to future generations, though we are. I’m not suggesting that history will write very unkind and condemning critiques of our generation, as those who lost the most powerful experiment in freedom that was ever experienced on planet Earth – though they will write that if we fail. I’m suggesting more purposefully that in our lifetime, today and through the next few decades, there is a battle being fought. It is not something that is coming; it is something being carried out now.

What I am declaring, what I am warning, what I am proclaiming with the fervor and conviction of one simple American citizen who has been carefully observing the affairs of the world is this – it will be adult Americans today and those who enter adulthood in the next decade who will be fighting the climax of this struggle and determining the fate of freedom. I’m also suggesting that we can win – but it should be obvious to almost everyone that we are a long way from winning today. The trends are against us, the social conditions are against us, and the political world in America, and even more so across the globe, is a mess.

I think there are many, many good men and women in elective office at all levels across the country today – but they cannot succeed playing the ritual of tribal monopoly. They can be helpful, even invaluable – but the solution does not rest with them alone. Benevolent tyrants are still tyrants. Friendly dictators are still dictators. Republicans, Democrats, and all others are not immune to the essential, fundamental truths that govern social affairs despite the tribe or camp of their birth and despite the donkey or elephant lapel pins we figuratively sport as we stroll into the election booth every few years. On a side note: voting in a contest between tyrants is not fulfilling civic responsibility. Voting is only the beginning of citizenship. Voting is to the cause of liberty what eating is to the good life of any man. It’s essential but hardly remarkable and certainly not sufficient for anyone.

So, what can we do? I’ve been working on this question now for more than twenty five years. While I’m certainly aware that many great minds and movements have been working at this issue for centuries, I believe I have developed an effective answer to the question that can actually be carried out by the people I know, those I work with and those who will associate together with us.

I’ve been all over the gamut as I’ve searched for solutions. I’ve learned how to debate in academic contexts – studying public policy and public affairs at some of the best colleges and universities in the country and literally traveling the globe testing my ideas with some of the greatest minds of our time. I’ve studied economics in both the classroom and as an entrepreneur in the business world, having gone from broke and bankrupt to over a billion dollars in business with a national business organization across many industries. I’ve gotten to know and become acquainted with some of the most powerful men and women in politics, in social and community affairs and in business all across this country. I’ve succeeded in short measures and failed over and over, as I’ve looked for answers to the most basic question, “What can we do?” This doesn’t make me more or less, it simply has offered me preparation. I certainly do not have all the political, social or economic answers, but now, approaching age 35, what I do have is something I want to share with those who also desire to make the world a better place. Specifically, I am interested in sharing this vision with those who think that saving the Constitution of the United States from the brink of utter destruction is the mission of our day - today.

My plan is simple but not easy. It’s based upon a few basic axioms. First and foremost it is based upon the idea that the universe is not a place of chance and that the blessings, good fortune, and prosperity available in this life are not based upon chance or happenstance. Instead, I’ve learned for myself that God governs in the affairs of men, more commonly discerned through the delineation of certain timeless and ancient principles known to our Founders and the leaders of all successful ancient people. I’ve learned that Jefferson and his colleagues were right – that collectivism must shrink in the face of eternal truth, namely the truth that each individual is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights and that sacred among these rights are individual life, individual liberty and the individual pursuit of happiness. No tribe has rights in and of itself and therefore no tribal leader and no collective group has any unique moral authority that is not first the individual right of any man. Finally I’ve learned that economics is not about money and material luxury but that economics, at its core, is as Mises describes it - the science of human action in social relations. Therefore, central to my philosophy and my plan is the idea that economic liberty is the foundation and safeguard for all other forms of personal liberty such as religious freedom, political freedom and each man’s individual liberty of conscience. This intellectual package is unique in the history of those who have advocated for our cause, and it provides the bedrock upon which a veritable revolution can be formed, launched and pursued with unlimited potential for success.

I’ve been organizing the Free Capitalist Project™ to bring about the organization that I’ve been alluding to for the last several years. I’ve also recently completed the foundation of a program I call Prosperity Quest™ which enables any individual to measure his or her progress on the path to personal liberty, prosperity and peace. It is a learning technology that creates a framework for the organization as a whole and for effectively measuring success on an individual basis and in families. It is a tool that has been sorely missing in the battle for freedom in modern times. Having accomplished much with the help of many good friends and associates who are also dedicated to this cause, I’m now embarking on a new chapter in my life and in the cause of liberty.

In the days ahead there will be a number of developments being announced related to the growth, progress and organization of the FreeCapitalist Project™. As a warning to the habitual schismatics, second-handers, moochers and looters, there is no room here any longer for freelancers or lone wolves. This is a deliberately formed organization and an objectively defined effort. The FreeCapitalist Project™ has a unique mission and plan of operation, and we are inviting all like minded individuals to join with us in making our sacred pledge to live principled lives, to defend liberty, and to advance the cause of liberty through principle based civic service at all levels of our society. We will focus first and foremost on serving our members and turning to them for support. However, consistent with our principles we will not stand in the way of any individual or group who also advocates true principles of liberty and will seek to assist other friends and organizations where we can.

Consistent with these new developments within the FreeCapitalist Project™ you may like to know that:

Thursday March 6, 2008 I’m officially launching the “Faire Action Forums” agenda and the Free Capitalist “Community Councils” agenda in communities across America.

Faire Action Forums. Faire Action Forums are local study groups, organized by private citizens who love freedom and free enterprise and who have become members of the FreeCapitalist Project™, choosing to be freely united in a structured cause of organized effort. The name of our forums has reference to the “Laissez-faire” doctrine that maintains the supremacy of individual liberty and private initiative.

Since rugged individualism is at the heart of the remedy for the mental virus I’ve labeled as tribalism and collectivism, the primary purpose of these study groups is to fortify the individual through study and productive association with like minded individuals who are committed to the basic but ancient principles of universal peace and prosperity.

Weekly Meeting. Forums meet at least weekly to study the Free Capitalist Primer and the American Founders University courses on the Introduction to Self-Reliance and the Fundamentals of Wealth (where the 13 Principles of Prosperity™ are first taught in a structured manner to members).

Public Preview & Private Study Sessions. While each local study group has a weekly “preview” meeting open to the public for an opportunity to learn more about the FreeCapitalist Project™ and its different programs such as the Faire Action Forums™ agenda, the actual study session each week is private and restricted to members of the Free Capitalist Project™ who are participating in the Prosperity Quest™ program as Apprentice Capitalists™ (sometimes referred to as simply “Apprentice” members). Forums must maintain an active membership of at least 10 Apprentice members.

Forum Leadership. Forums are organized by individual members of the FreeCapitalist Project™ who qualify for the privilege by participating in Prosperity Quest™ Mentoring, a Prosperity Quest™ program offered through a partnership with American Founders University. These participants are sometimes referred to simply as PQM Students. The Prosperity Quest™ Mentoring program is directed by me personally and is designed to empower each individual participant to most effectively realize the three core values of self-reliance, economic independence, and personal liberty - including a perspective shifting introduction to self-identity and the concepts of definite major purpose (DMP) and definite chief aim (DCA).

Community Organization & Civic Service. Forums are officially recognized and governed based upon guidelines set forth and administered by local Free Capitalist Community Councils.

Community Councils. The proper role of Government is to secure the individual rights of its citizens. As Jefferson penned, “…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Yet, in our day the prevalence of the brain-off conspiracy and its consequential philosophy of tribalism has corrupted American’s view of government and our mission. Over the largest portion of the last century it has fostered the widespread belief that the role of government is to remake and remold society based upon the desires and wishes of its leaders. This type of tribal politics has had dreadful consequences on personal liberty, and despite our apparent material prosperity, the ingredients for freedom, prosperity and universal peace have been substantially eroded to the point of extreme danger. Today is a time for extreme vigilance and productive organization.

Given the environment I’ve described, the political contests of our day are largely but erroneously defined by the promises that potential tribal leaders make as ritualistic but hollow social bribes. Since government is essentially the public’s delegated authorization for the use of physical force, the proper role of government is rightly limited. By going so far beyond this conceptual limitation today our society is “slouching towards” the wickedness and dismal circumstance of ancient Gomorrah. As Jefferson continued in the Declaration of Independence, “… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [the securing of individual rights], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Consistent with this idea, it is at the core of the mission of the FreeCapitalist Project™ to functionally demonstrate, as an unquestionable example, the type of positive civic organization and productive social change that can be accomplished by free people in voluntary associations, without implementing the use of force. Or to put it more simply – as part of our agenda we are organizing local (county based) Community Councils that coordinate the ideas and implementation of agendas, programs and projects advanced by our members and participants from the general public wishing to contribute to positive change and development in our communities through volunteer civic service. We will add our efforts to those of others who have previously organized and demonstrated to Americans that it does not take a new law or the unjust use of government to accomplish the good ideas that prevail in our communities. We will show instead, that through the power of free men organized in a volunteer manner we can better accomplish the positive result envisioned by so many who now turn only to the force of government because they see no other alternative.

FreeCapitalist Community Councils are not partisan and are first organized by appointment from the National FreeCapitalist Council at the State and County levels. Subsequently each Community Council is sustained through the free vote of FreeCapitalist members who participate in local Faire Action Forums™ according to jurisdiction, consistent with the Founder’s ideas of republicanism. These Free Capitalist Community Councils will, therefore, provide a counter balance to local municipal governments and actually work with them to counter the growth of tribalism and socialism now engulfing our communities through bureaucrats, over regulation, and the activities of over-zealous politicians.

In our early stages, as an organized body we have already begun to demonstrate the power of our principled approach to real social change by affecting the results of local elections, successfully electing Free Capitalists to office and teaching thousands of individuals to more effectively live consistent with the core value of self-reliance. We have also become substantial players in government reform having already succeeded in rooting out high levels of government corruption and demonstrating substantial political clout in state and federal election campaigns.

Our movement has already obtained a prominent voice over the public airwaves, over the Internet and through print media. We are just beginning, but we already have rational, fundamental reasons behind our hope and our faith in the principles we advocate and the cause we are ushering forth.

Conclusion. This is just a basic description of what I’m working to accomplish with a large network of dedicated and loyal colleagues. I’m publishing this expression of my personal motivation and agenda as a call to arms, so to speak. I’m looking for individuals who are interested in participating in this organization.

I’m looking for leaders who want to step forward and organize forums, participate in community councils, teach study groups, and help us organize and move forward. I’m looking for those who are interested in engaging their talents for the advancement of our cause. Everyone involved will be required to pledge to live, to the best of his or her ability, by these principles.

It’s important to note that there will be opposition. Certainly there already has been, and as we are sure to make mistakes here or there, it will be normal for those who do not see our real intent (sometimes for those who do) and who disagree, to point out our flaws and seek to thwart our progress. People will misunderstand, and the naïve and deceived will feel threatened by an organization based upon the ideals I’ve described. However, there is considerably more value in reaching out to those who are looking for what we have to offer. Despite the difficulties we face there are great days ahead for the FreeCapitalist movement. These are difficult days ahead for America, but there are also brighter days. It takes a statistically significant group of individuals united in a cause such as this to accomplish the bold design I’ve laid out here and that I’ll continue to describe and unfold as we move forward. I’m satisfied we are more prepared than ever to accomplish the most effective movement in American history to “complete the work of the American Revolution” and America’s founding generation.

If you believe you can be committed to the cause of liberty in the manner I’ve laid out here, and help us successfully organize the most powerful civic service organization in America, I will be hosting a series of training meetings over the next several weeks. Specifically, between now and March 15th 2008,

  • I am going to be training the leaders of the Utah County, Utah F.C. Community Council.

  • I am going to be training those who want to organize Faire Action Forums in Utah County

  • I’m going to be training members of the national Free Capitalist Council

  • I’m going to be training a Utah-based Free Capitalist “Student Leadership Council” for establishing student organized Faire Action Forums in high schools and colleges across the State

  • Finally, I’m going to be doing a worldwide training for individuals who are spread out across this nation and a few others in countries across the globe who are interested in starting Free Capitalist “master mind” groups which are preparatory groups for Faire Action Forums and the Free Capitalist Community Councils I’ve described.

So, it doesn’t matter your age, your background, where you live or what your prior association may have been with me and this cause. If you’re sincerely interested in being a part of what we do then this is your call to action.

Many of you have said to me in person, over email, and through letters in the past that you wanted to step up to the plate and help wherever it was needed. Well, I’m looking for those who are willing to do more than say it – I’m looking for those who are willing to do it and to do whatever it takes to advance these principles and this cause. I’m looking for those who have something deep inside of them that forms a driving motivation to make the world a better place – in a more powerful way than most people have seriously contemplated.

Most of you, who will accept my invitation, are people who have felt this way for the majority of your lives. Some of you are those who are just beginning to wake up to the challenge of our day. Some of you are politically inclined, while others are simply tired of the quiet desperation so plainly manifest in the lives of so many we love and associate with.

I personally extend my invitation to everyone who has taken the time to read what I’ve presented here. I invite you to leave behind the self-doubt, negativity and cynicism of the world, and the tendency to criticize and find fault. I invite you to come and join us in our quest to accomplish something talked about for generations, something possible for us to actually accomplish in our day. Accomplishing even the smallest portion of what I’ve described here in this short outline will add our sustaining voice to the cause of freedom, prosperity and peace. Ours is the generation to do it, the question is simply, “will we step up to the task?” Let us each become stronger members of our communities by being anxiously engaged in true civic service.

I look forward to hearing from many of you. Please write if you feel so inclined.


C. Rick Koerber
The Free Capitalist

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Francine's Domain - Scandal Brewing in Utah Government

FreeCapitalist News Item - February 14, 2008 10:55am -

In Utah right now there is a scandal brewing. The scandal penetrates the highest reaches of the Utah government. The question is, "Where will the buck stop?" as the evidence rolls out that an entire section of Government is in need of a major overhaul.

Steven Oberbeck of the Salt Lake Tribune, quoting Chuck Newton of the Financial Planning Association of Utah, reported yesterday that there have been enough "shocking actions" in recent years that he believes its highly likely that "some government officials may eventually be criminally prosecuted."

Mr. Oberbeck's report in the Salt Lake Tribune touches just the tip of the iceberg. The Department of Commerce is ultimately under the direction of Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. (R) - a politically ambitious McCain backer who has little tolerance for scandal given the import of this year's election and his political future. Huntsman is the one who appointed the highly controversial Francine Giani as the State's Executive Director over the Department. Ms. Giani is not an attorney, has no legal background and did not have any substantial experience in executive level positions. Yet, she currently holds Utah's highest regulatory position over business activities in the State.

Since Ms. Giani's appointment, the Department of Commerce has been the subject of a surprising degree of scrutiny. Many legislative leaders on both sides of the political isle have expressed "disgust" at how the Department's activities have been and are being carried out by Giani and her associates. One legislator, Utah Representative Jim Bird (R-West Jordan) recently uncovered an alarming complaint.
"Ms. Giani allegedly was made aware of illegal activities taking place within the division and responded by telling employees that she didn't care if the actions of the division were legal or not - but that employees were to perform the jobs without question."
Some Utahans are hoping that the current controversy will allow the public to clearly separate “lip-service giving do-gooders” in government positions from authentic leaders who care about civil liberties, small business and simple concepts such as fairness. At the core of this issue the question is, “How far up the chain does the corruption go?”

In recent years the State has behaved with little concern for small business owners who find themselves entangled in the Department of Commerce's web of scandal and corruption. One of the State’s highest elected officials recently commented:
“Francine Giani is the single greatest threat to small business and personal liberty in the State of Utah.”
It’s easy to give lip service to the idea that small businesses are “too heavily regulated” but when corrupt and over zealous regulators systematically engage in the type of behavior now being uncovered in Utah, it's time for change at the highest levels.

For the small businessman, the lifeblood of the local economy, abusive behavior by regulators can be a matter of life or death for their business - which means a loss of jobs for Utahns at a time of huge economic uncertainty.

As news of the present scandal spreads, residents are anxiously awaiting the Governor's response to the Giani controversy. Sources suggest the Governor feels conflicted given that he and Giani are reportedly "good friends."

Warning over forty years ago former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan observed,
“The world of [regulation] is reminiscent of Alice’s Wonderland: everything seemingly is, yet apparently isn’t, simultaneously…It is a world in which the law is so vague that businessmen have no way of knowing whether specific actions will be declared illegal until they hear the judge’s verdict – after the fact.” (Greenspan, Alan. Later Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Paper given at the Antitrust Seminar of the National Association of Business Economists, Cleveland, September 25, 1961.)
Quiet whisperings have become all too common in Salt Lake City among government employees, elected officials, and community leaders about this rogue agency stealthily persecuting small businesses. Over the last 12-15 months Ms. Giani’s commissars in the State’s Division of Securities have come under the most serious scrutiny.

Allegations of corruption, incompetence, mismanagement and "too many unfair prosecutions"under a cloud of controversy are growing relentlessly frequent and more substantial. Last week, apparently in an effort quell the unraveling of her department - Giani reportedly pressured Securities Director Wayne Klein to resign
"They obviously haven't told me the results of the audit but I've heard words like [the division is in] 'disarray' and the 'deeper we [the auditors] go, the deeper we need to go,' " (Representative Bird testimony last week during the Utah Legislature's meeting of the House Business and Labor Committee.)
Klein's resignation, however, is not likely to insulate Ms. Giani (or several other employees involved in this mismanagement such as Securities Enforcement head Mr. Michael Hines who is also suspected of official wrongdoing in the Department) from the political and legal fallout yet to come. Apparently hoping this will all blow over quickly, Ms. Giani has tried to appear disconnected recently asserting, absurdly, of Klein;
“He has been a good director, and in terms of his background in the securities industry, there is no one better.”
Utahns can only hope Ms. Giani is simply posturing here. Wayne Klein is not only personally vindictive but has a fairly well known reputation in the legal community from his previous positions both in the Utah Attorney General's office as well as with the State of Idaho for being a loose cannon, an unjust prosector, and having contempt for legal restrictions on his own activities.

It makes one wonder, in light of all the information that is now coming out, how Mr. Klein was appointed with the approval of the Governor and the legislature in the first place. According to Ms. Giani's recent statements to the press, Klein is precisely is the "type" of regulator she strives to appoint in her department. Yet, Klein is quite simply a commissar (listen to the Free Capitalist radio broadcast archives from August 31, 2007 for elaboration). Specifically, he has increasingly become an embarrassment to government and legal professionals. He and his staff routinely fail to demonstrate even basic familiarity with the A-B-C’s of securities law. Reportedly, his own agenda is more important than the letter of the law and he is known to stammer and hesitate when trying to describe even the most basic federal standards for simple concepts such as what constitutes an accredited investor.

One of Klein's former government employers recently remarked that he, and a number of other government officials are not surprised at the recent discoveries about Klein and Giani's philosophy of government.
“Mr. Klein is the worst kind of loose cannon. He’s often going after someone who’s offended him, regardless of the law. He’s really only effective if someone with very strong supervisory skills watches his every move and Francine is not that capable.”
Securities attorneys in Utah should not only be alarmed and offended at Ms. Giani's defense of Klein, especially given his track record, but extremely diligent in working to ensure that there is serious reform in the Department. With Ms. Giani still at the helm she’ll likely just pick another “Wayne Klein” to run the Division. As reported by a notable Salt Lake City attorney recently,
"It has become common practice in Utah for knowledgeable, reputable, and highly educated attorneys to have to grovel to Giani, Klein (and their heretofore behind the scenes bulldog Mr. Michael Hines, Director of Enforcement in the Division of Securities). None of whom have shown much if any appreciation for the details of the law. It's embarrassing."
In 2007 a group of private citizens and business owners, fed up with the egregious behavior of an entire section of state government, began a private investigation on their own to look into the State's activities. So far, the investigation has uncovered a remarkable cache of written documents and audio recording.

The evidence includes recordings and transcripts of private meetings, official and unofficial conferences, lunch meetings, early morning meetings (as early as 6:30am at the home of one resident) and late night investigative activities (with government workers showing up to the homes of some
"witnesses" as late as 10:00pm).

The mounting evidence shows a disturbing pattern of Giani, Klein, and Hines each engaging in deception, incompetence, misstatement of the law, and abuse of the legal processes. Perhaps even more telling, the evidence is beginning to show a growing rift in the Department of Commerce between those public servants who want to carry out the legitimate duties of the Department and those like Hines who reportedly remarked recently that he hopes to retire by "writing a book" about one of the cases he's currently investigating.

The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that it is precisely this internal rift between real public servants and self-serving bureaucrats that brought about the legislative audit working to uncover the details of this brewing scandal.
“After hearing from several division staff members who expressed concerns about how the agency was being run, Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, late last year requested that the Legislative Auditor General's Office audit the division."
This kind of situation makes for a very unfriendly business environment and is embarrassing to everyone in government. With a formal audit underway, it appears Ms. Giani is simply buying herself time to try and get out from under the explosive details now coming to light. Consider a few embarrassing examples of the work being conducted by Ms. Cruella and her henchmen.
  1. Wrongful Accusation of Criminal Behavior against Utah Citizens.

  2. Misuse of the Courts and Legal Process.

  3. Lying to Government Officials.

  4. General Incompetence when it comes to explaining rudiments of the law.

  5. Defaming Members of the Legislature who scrutinize the Department.

  6. Punishing Citizens with Evidence Against the Department for their Political Activity.

  7. Demanding "prior restraints" on Utah Citizens' free speech, in an attempt to silence
    criticism of the Department's methods in public or in the courts.

  8. Government employees lying to the public in order to "create" causes for investigation.

  9. Disseminating confidential information obtained during investigations to private sector colleagues to enrich their business efforts.

  10. Offering jobs and/or job referrals to witnesses who are willing to lie or distort the truth to defend the Department.
This kind of behavior is precisely what Ronald Reagan warned America about as early as 1964 when he deplored:
“It is time we realized that socialism can come without overt seizure of property or nationalization of private business. It matters little that you hold the title to your property or business if government can dictate policy and procedure and holds life and death power over your business. The machinery of this power already exists. Lowell Mason, former anti-trust law enforcer for the Federal Trade Commission, has written "American business is being harassed, bled and even blackjacked under a preposterous crazy quilt system of laws." There are so many that the government literally can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute.” (Reagan, Ronald, A Time for Choosing, Speech given October 27, 1964)
Legislation has recently passed the Utah House of Representatives that would rein in the powers of the division and its director in an effort to secure more just handling of the Department's responsibilities. However, as reported on FreeCapitalist Radio Monday February 12, 2008 this attempt to “rein in” the powers of Ms. Giani and her flying monkeys is being received about as well as the “Wicked Witch of the West” receiving Dorothy and her ruby slippers.

For example, after Bird's HB83 passed the Utah House, Giani defender Utah Senator Curt Bramble (R-Provo), apparently in an effort to help Giani and the Governor's office stall the brewing controversy, strategically stalled the legislation from being considered by the State Senate indefinitely.

Reminiscent of something behind the iron curtain in the 1980s the outgoing commissar Klein remarked to the attorneys of a Utah citizen recently, who was cooperating with State legislators in their attempts to get to the bottom of the abuses going on in the Department that: because of his political activities the Division was “forced” to take tougher action. In a similar case Klein justified:

“Part of the problem is that I’ve been painted in a corner because your client has gone on the radio and publicly accused us of stuff. He’s got legislators out there trying to cut our powers because what we’re doing as if he’s entirely right in what he’s doing and government is unfairly coming after him. So ordinarily we have more flexibility but where I’ve got public attacks coming in saying we’re being accused of being unfair…[interrupted].”
Ayn Rand also famously warned us of situations like the present scandal brewing in Utah under Ms. Giani's watch.
“This means that a businessman has no way of knowing in advance whether the action he takes is legal or illegal, whether he is guilty or innocent. It means that a businessman has to live under the threat of a sudden, unpredictable disaster, taking the risk of losing everything he owns or being sentenced to jail, with his career, his reputation, his property, his fortune, the achievement of his whole lifetime left at the mercy of any ambitious young bureaucrat who, for any reason, public or private,may choose to start proceedings against him…It is a form of persecution practiced only in dictatorships and forbidden in every civilized code of law. It is specifically forbidden by the United States Constitution. It is not supposed to exist in the United States and it is not applied to anyone-except to businessmen.”(Rand, Ayn. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pg. 50 – from a speech given at the Ford Hall Forum, Boston, on Dec. 17, 1961)
The official audit of Ms. Giani and her staff is still under way. Potential legal action is reportedly pending against the State from private parties alleging damages in the hundreds of millions. Additional complaints are coming in from victims of the Department’s abusive handling methods including complaints against the Division of Real Estate, Licensing, Securities, and Consumer Protection. Transcripts and audio recordings of Commerce employees lying about Utah businessmen and their activities and other highly problematic behavior on the part of government employees are being delivered to government officials and media outlets.

In the mean time, Utah citizens (the real Ma’s & Pa’s Mr. Hines is so fond of talking about while he pursues his agenda) are getting tired of being scammed by the so-called “scam busters.” Some investors have recently been told according to evidence obtained through recorded conversations that (consistent with what has been reported about Giani's style of administration) if citizens want the State to help them they have to be willing to distort the truth and cooperate with the State’s agenda - independent of the facts involved. One local businessman recently complained,
"For more than two years now the Department of Commerce has been after me. They have come at me from every angle, from the Real Estate division, the Securities Division, Consumer protection etc. Every time, I've been able to demonstrate that they have no evidence against me and that I and my associates have done nothing wrong. Yet, the government continues to make horrible allegations, publicly bad mouth me and my colleagues and even accuse me of being a criminal to legislatures, business colleagues, and some of my closest associates. All of this so that Francine Giani, Wayne Klein, and Michael Hines can "look" like they're doing their job. They've got all my clients in an uproar, they've told this story about what my business "really is," all truth be damned, and their efforts have cost dozens of real Utahans their jobs and as essentially bankrupt me and my partners to the tune of millions of dollars. All this and not one charge filed, not one official action taken, and not one person in government responsible. There's not even a forum where I can defend my case, I simply have to wait until these very powerful men and women are done playing politics with me, my investors, my customers, and my business. Maybe I'll get an apology like Mr. Teran received from the Department, after they've succeeded in destroying my company."
While the citizens of the State wait for the Governor to weigh in on the issue, thank goodness for good legislators and government leaders who don’t hesitate to reach for the pail of water when the Wicked Witch comes around.

On a side note, sources suggest that Ms. Giani may already be preparing for her exit, vying for a position as an investigative journalist (Geraldo watch out!) back at Utah’s local Channel 2, KUTV along side consumer watchdog Bill Gephart. If it’s true, it’s likely that Ms. Giani can serve the people of Utah better there – for certainly there’s a role for consumer watchdogs. If she does return to the media perhaps she’ll feel less burdened, being freed from sticky things like State law, due process, fairness, etc.

Its time for Utahns (including our Governor) to get past the old cliché of Utah being among the “scam” capitals of the world, and start taking a closer look at the corrupt bureaucrats irresponsibly promoting that myth to the detriment of good people in a good state working hard to do many good things.

Once again scandal is brewing in Utah. This time it's the government in need of systematic reform. Perhaps Mitt would accept an invitation to come save the day in Salt Lake City one more time.

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Overcoming the "Invincible" NY Giants Win Against the Odds

Free Capitalist News Item 01/04/2008 11:48pm -

So often the “air” of invincibility these days is simply “made and imagined” by the media. I don’t mean to take anything away from the Patriots; for sure they deserved to play in the Super bowl this past Sunday. But with their 18-0 record and all the talk about this team being perhaps the best to ever play the game, does it seem funny to anyone that from the first play of the game the team didn’t look like it really wanted to win. I know that sounds funny, but really have you watched any of the film. Whether it was how they acted after each play or the expressions on their faces, it seemed to me from the first play of the game onward that the Patriots just lacked “something.” In a nut shell, they were certainly not inspiring.

Now, the Giants on the other hand made repeated mistakes right and left and these were quite obvious for all to see. Nevertheless, despite their weaknesses –the tenacity, commitment and having that special “something” as evident by the poise and constant readiness of the Giants enabled them to overcome the “invincible.” The Giant’s last drive in the game, kept alive by a hand & helmet catch by David Tyree – a backup’s backup, should remind us all that the reason you “keep hanging on” in life is not just so you can say you kept hanging on, its so you can win.

The Giant’s showed a generation last Sunday night that it is possible to beat the “Invincible.”

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