The Fretts Perspective

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The Fretts Perspective

The Fretts Perspective will be a source for articles, addresses, position papers, responses, and other observations from Calen.

The Price of Liberty...

The price of liberty really is eternal vigilance, and that applies to Congress too.

When you go vote this year I'll ask you to take note of the abbreviations you see next to most names on the ballot. For example, next to my name, Calen Fretts, you will see "LBT" - that represents "Liberty." And next to my opponent's name, Jeff Miller, you ought to see a "5T" - for the $5,000,000,000,000+ (over five trillion dollars) in debt he has put his stamp of approval on over his last 11 years in office. This is despite Jeff Miller's repeated, contradictory statements over the years that he is actually against more debt. If so, stop voting for it.

If there's one thing I know, it's that trillions of dollars in debt is not "conservative," despite the Congressman's claims. And it certainly isn't what our nation needs anymore.

But if it wasn't a "5T" then maybe it would be an "NDAA." That's the National Defense Authorization Act, which gave President Obama illegal powers to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. Perhaps it could be "TSA" - the Transportation Security Administration and its naked-body radiation scanners and invasive body searches by federal agents as a condition of travel.

One possibility could be "FDA." Our Congressman voted to absolve medical corporations of lawsuits from people like you and I, no matter how harmful their products, simply because they got approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Or it might even be a "UN," for the billions of your taxpayer dollars Jeff Miller recently voted to use to continue funding the United Nations and international ‘peacekeeping’ operations.

How much more infringement on your wealth and your liberties will Congressman Miller vote for in the future?

In one of our recent debates, Jeff Miller actually said it is not his job to ensure that laws he writes and votes for are Constitutional. He said that was the job of the Courts. Watch the debate for yourself. This attitude led us to the big problems we have today. We need people in Congress who believe in the Constitution and won't bribe you with your own tax money.

The choice is simple: You can vote for the 5T, the NDAA, the TSA, the FDA, and the UN. Or, you can opt for Liberty. You know where I stand.

See you at the polls!

From the late 18th century until relatively recently, there was only one "free speech zone" that U.S. citizens had to worry about - it was called "the United States." The whole concept of a "free speech zone" is, on its face, a preposterous self-contradiction. If one must be within dictated confines to express a "freedom," then one is not truly free. While the idea has been around in the U.S. for a few decades now in limited forms, it has been greatly expanded just since the turn of the millennium. Now, the prevailing standard is that, in order to speak your mind or protest in public, taxpayer-funded areas, from universities to sidewalks, you must request permission from the government and restrict yourself to the areas they decide upon. This runs perpendicular to the freedom our nation was founded upon.

Take for example the "protest zones" at this year's Republican National Convention in Tampa. There were a couple such zones where, if you had something important to convey, you were granted the opportunity to do so; but only at the specified times, mind you. The rest of the city of Tampa was "off limits" to free speech. This means that citizens of Tampa who may have no problem expressing their freedom of speech on an average day were arbitrarily barred from doing so for this particular week. Of course, freedom of speech means nothing when nobody can see or hear you. Governments and public institutions have a tendency to relegate these "protest zones" to areas where they are "out of sight, out of mind."

You may have heard of H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." What this bill does is criminalize the First Amendment if you are in an area where individuals under Secret Service protection are temporarily located, even if you don't know you're committing a crime. Of course, who tend to require Secret Service protection? Politicians! So your politicians in U.S. Congress passed a bill making it illegal for you to express your freedom of speech or protest in the same area as them if they are under Secret Service protection. H.R. 347 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a "bipartisan" vote of 399-3, including your own U.S. Representative Jeff Miller. This ought to infuriate you.

Now I'm going to say something which may shock you. The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee freedom of speech. Why would I say that? Because a document, even one as visionary and revolutionary as the U.S. Constitution, cannot guarantee anything. The Constitution merely recognizes your natural right – as a free human being – to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to own and bear firearms; freedom to exercise dominion over your body and your property, so long as you harm no one else. These rights are yours from the time you are born until the time you die. They are not given and cannot be taken away – that is, they are unalienable - but they can be infringed upon by others – most usually governments. The Constitution recognizes these rights, but it is you who must guarantee them.

So, how do you secure these rights? You start by drawing a line in the sand. You must decide for yourself at what point you will cease complying with illegal, un-Constitutional, and immoral infringements on your natural rights, whatever the cost. You must exercise these rights, and familiarize yourself with them and their nature, and educate your family and others so they are not forgotten by future generations. And of course, you must refuse to re-elect politicians who repeatedly insist on violating your natural rights, as the majority of those now in Congress – including your own U.S. Representative – have done.

Real Economic Freedom Brings Prosperity

One of the essential keys to a booming economy is the success of small business. It is small businesses that create approximately two-thirds of the nation's net new jobs. As an entrepreneur of many years in the web development field, I understand the struggles small businesses go though. Most of these struggles could be mitigated or outright eliminated by simply getting government out of the way.

Government does not create jobs; in fact, whenever it interferes in the free market beyond its fundamental role of prosecuting force and fraud, it has the opposite effect of destroying jobs. Yet both Democrat and Republican politicians, such as our district's Congressman Jeff Miller, talk constantly about "creating jobs." They intend to do this through various forms of market interference such as granting special favors to some businesses or industries or special interest groups, or making business and hiring practices "fair," or some other supposedly well-intentioned and benevolent means. What these politicians do not understand is that capitalism free of such government "solutions" is in fact the only way to solve the problem.

Permits, licensing, and "fees" (in the form of taxes) are a favorite form of government protectionism. It is in fact large corporations who often lobby for these requirements, as it is they who can afford to comply while keeping the "little guy" out. But in a free market, there is a much better regulator: the consumer. When consumers are free to vote for the best product with their dollar, everybody wins - except those who profited from big-government protectionism. One method of getting outdated, bad laws such as these off the books would be to introduce a federal sunset provision, where all federal legislation expires after a period of 10 or 20 years.

Of course, the most hated time of year in the small business world is April. Business income is taxed, personal income is taxed, compounded on top of property taxes, sales taxes throughout the year, and more; not to mention the tax on your time, filling out paperwork to submit to the IRS. The proportion of your wealth that the government takes from you throughout the year is colossal; many estimates put the total well over 50%. Indeed, many politicians love passing temporary tax cuts, as this is always sure to keep the lobbyists coming back with more and more cash. But all of these taxes should be permanently repealed and replaced with one simple, Constitutional excise tax: the FairTax. Though this would put thousands of IRS agents out of a job, it would allow businesses to create new and useful jobs many times over.

Republican politicians do a lot of talking about lowering taxes, eliminating burdensome regulations, and decreasing government, but it never seems to happen. When it comes to really being sincere about getting government out of all facets of your life, there is no greater friend than a Libertarian.

Vote Libertarian!

Government is incompetent. That's a phrase everyone has heard, and most tend to agree with. But at one thing politicians have proven adept: getting reelected.

It is not just politicians who know how to stay in power, it is the whole political system. The two major parties have perfected the art of "good cop, bad cop;" when one party introduces a new, harmful, and possibly radical policy into the discussion, the other party is always there to put forth their own slightly less (or more) radical versions of the same harmful policies. The end result is a constant trend away from the Constitution and the rule of law, and toward statism and the rule of men. The only real difference is how hard the gas pedal is being pushed at any given time. With about one-third of one billion Americans, it is really possible that everyone thinks in only two political parties?

The question is, how are politicians able to stay in power so often when their perpetual incompetency is so widely understood? By bribing you with your own money. By tricking voters into believing that this time things will change. By convincing voters to vote for the "lesser of two evils" instead of the actual best candidate for the job. By selling the fiction that the only way to fix issues is "from within" rather than "taking your business elsewhere" to a party that truly represents your interests. This has been the trajectory of the United States over the past century, and just look at the rapidly declining state of economy, freedom, and the rule of law in our once great country.

When politicians violate their oath of office to uphold the Constitution, or their pledges to their constituents, they must be ejected from office at the ballot box. Otherwise they (and we) become more complacent with failure, and the state of the nation will continue to deteriorate. Libertarians want competition in all aspects of government. The Republicans and Democrats are about preventing competition through the law. This hurts us as a nation. The two-party system is chock-full of status quo politicians who have created the majority of the national problems they now claim to be able to solve. They could not see the current calamity coming and have no idea what to do now that it is here. Vote Libertarian!

The best national defense is in economic responsibility.

In a newsletter on August 5, 2012, Our Congressman referred to issues surrounding supposed automatic budget cuts which will take effect at the beginning of next year. Interestingly enough, he discussed the "national debt of more than $16 trillion," of which he voted for almost 1/3, and the "deficit exceeding $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year," which he repeatedly helped create. The best national defense starts with sustainable fiscal and economic strength, and when it comes to borrowing and spending (which weakens the U.S.), Jeff Miller has made his bed with the rest of the big-government statists in Washington, while telling you he is against them.

For example: the Navy has requested funding for nine DDG-51 Destroyers, but Congress appropriated funds for 10 of them. The Quigley of Illinois Amendment would have defunded the extra appropriations and saved almost $1 billion, but Congressman Miller voted against it. As fiscal conservative Congressman Justin Amash stated, "Congress should stop forcing equipment on the Armed Forces that they haven't requested and say they don't need."

Our own Congressman seems to have a penchant for directing our Armed Forces against their will. If he can't even come to cut a relatively minor $1 billion on something the Navy doesn't even want, how can we expect fiscal sanity elsewhere? Something's got to give.

Our Congressman also talks about the "failure of last fall’s “super-committee” to find the required savings without raising job-crushing taxes," but Congressman Miller himself joins in this utter failure as he voted for it! Not to mention, as I noted in a recent article, Congressman Miller voted to sell you out to Big Pharma in the same piece of legislation he now boasts.

Jeff Miller publicly criticizes policies he takes part in, and votes for, all the time. Your constituents deserve better, and that's why I'm coming for your job, Congressman Miller.

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