By Elisha Dorfsmith
“Progressive policies set out during the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson created the nanny state that we live in today.” — Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
(Buy “Theodore And Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom” on Amazon HERE.)
Several years ago when Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar was campaigning for his first term, he was asked at a tea party event who his favorite president was. Without hesitation he said “Theodore Roosevelt”. The room erupted in applause and I was left shaking my head. How could someone who waved a pocket Constitution at every event consider a president who trampled the Constitution to be one of his role models? How could a group of self proclaimed Constitutionalists cheer when they heard his answer?
Sadly, this is just a small part of a much bigger problem in our country today. History is forgotten, the Constitution is waved but never read, and tyrants have become our heroes.
I was very happy when Judge Napolitano announced that he had written a new book. I was even more anxious to read it when I learned it was focused on Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. The Judge has a consistent track record of upholding the Constitution and defending the truth. Having his Constitutional expertise applied to these presidents would certainly be a fascinating read. It turned out to be even better than expected.
The book starts out with a short biographical sketch of the presidents and then jumps straight to their policies. Those familiar with Napolitano know that he’s a no nonsense kind of writer. In this book he takes the positions and bills these presidents supported, explains how they destroyed the Constitution and then shows the consequences of their actions today.
By chapter two, the Judge is ready to dive into the really controversial issues. First on the list, compulsory education and the now commonly accepted idea that government is better at raising your children than you are. How children are forced to give up their basic rights while attending public school. How public schools were intended to be reeducation and brainwashing camps.
Big government progressives will probably toss the book after reading that but the Judge is just getting started.
Under Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson:
1. The FBI was established against the wishes of Congress.
2. The monster known as the Federal Reserve was created.
3. The states’ rights trampling 17th Amendment was implemented.
4. Racism and eugenics made their way into legislation.
5. The military draft was justified and expanded.
6. Prohibition and the idea that government owns your body became mainstream.
7. Government propaganda was legitimatized.
8. Dissenters and whistleblowers were thrown in prison.
And that list just scratches the surface. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were undoubtedly two of the most dangerous tyrants in American History. We all suffer the consequences of their oppressive agendas and actions on a daily basis.
Theodore And Woodrow is one of 2012′s most important books. Someone should probably send a copy to Congressman Paul Gosar so he can see why it’s not such a good idea to go spouting the name Theodore Roosevelt as someone who should be held in high regard.
Bonus points: The Judge dedicated this book to Ron Paul.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
From time to time I try to update my readers on what I’m reading, watching and listening to. Below is my take on three recent titles that you may find interesting.
Government Bullies by Senator Rand Paul
If you think you live in a free country think again! In his second book since being elected Senator, Rand Paul takes on one unaccountable government agency after another showing how our supposed free country imprisons, fines and flat out ruins the lives of innocent everyday Americans.
Those of us in the liberty movement often hear people arguing with us say “if I’m doing nothing wrong then I have nothing to be afraid of.” This book gives you tons of ammunition to combat that kind of thinking by giving example after example of people who thought they were doing everything right and legal and ended up paying a big price.
Rand sets his sites on a long list of offenders from the EPA to the Lacey Act to the TSA, FDA and USDA. We literally cannot turn around without being bullied by some liberty trampling government agency and it’s getting worse. The big question: at what point will Americans say enough is enough?
Many in the liberty movement have turned their back on Rand Paul because they feel that with his endorsement of Romney he turned his back on them. Government Bullies proves that love him or hate him, Rand is one of the good guys and will continue to be a champion of liberty for years to come.
Forward by Ron Paul is an added bonus.
Seven Principles Of Good Government by Gary Johnson
Some of the more fascist members of the Republican party would tell you that you should not read this book or even mention the unspeakable name of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
How dare we read what we want to read, associate with who we want to associate with and say what we want to say. We cannot allow this kind of freedom in America. But enough of the Republican establishment nonsense.
Seven Principles of Good Government is not at all what I expected when I first picked it up. It reads like a biographical self help manual and the blurry pictures inside give it the feeling of a cheap self published book. It looks like it was thrown together in a hurry. That said, it’s an enjoyable read and very insightful.
The Libertarian candidate gives us a very intimate look into the life of a popular former two term Republican Governor who is not afraid to do things differently and think outside the box. Johnson has a great track record and is a very intelligent guy who knows what it takes to be a leader. I certainly hope that he will help lead the Libertarian Party back to their libertarian principles (Libertarians lost a lot of credibility with the Barr/ Root ticket in 2008).
Despite it’s many shortcomings, this book succeeds at it’s main mission of spreading the message of freedom and liberty. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Atlas Shrugged Part II
Very hyped by conservative, tea party and libertarian groups, Atlas Shrugged Part II hit theaters this month to mixed reviews in much the same way Part I was received. The movies, like the book, have acquired a large cult following and that following seems to be growing.
The critics are also growing although unfortunately, they seem to be more intent on criticizing the philosophy behind the movies rather than the films themselves. There is plenty of room for legitimate reviewer criticism.
Atlas Shrugged II has the same low quality B movie feel that Part I had even with it’s bigger budget and better production. I get the impression that the filmmakers were purposefully going out of their way to keep the low budget atmosphere intact. Many scenes and a lot of the dialogue comes across as awkward and lighting and camera shots seem off at times.
The biggest difference between the first and second installment is the fact that the cast has changed and that this time around they had an advertising budget to promote the film and help get it into more theaters.
One thing that has always amused me about the Ayn Rand phenomena and especially the Atlas Shrugged movies is how well Christian conservatives and evangelicals have embraced them. It seems that many people have no idea how Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism felt about religion. At one point in the film a character (in a fun shout out to Rand’s atheism) says something like “maybe we should pray.” I found confused Christian reviews that actually said these films encouraged prayer. Another theme throughout the films (although not as prevalent as in the book) is the celebration of adultery. As a non-religious viewer I find the paradox very amusing.
Atlas Shrugged is a brilliant book that deserves so much more than these movies have to offer. Maybe someday someone will do it justice and create a truly worthy film. For now, enjoy it for what it is, a fun (sometimes fun to make fun of) movie that shows how a massive out of control government can destroy everything that makes a country great. And then look around and ask yourself if the exact same thing could be happening in real life. Who is John Galt?
By Elisha Dorfsmith
One of the purposes of this blog is to share the philosophy of liberty by showcasing books, music, and movies that promote freedom and inspire action. Past reviews can be found HERE.
Several excellent titles have been released over the past few weeks that are worth highlighting. Three are listed below:
The Real Crash: How To Save Yourself And Your Country by Peter D. Schiff
“But the government was a chief architect of the mess that we’re in, and every day, government is making it worse.”
“Here’s the problem with U.S. foreign aid: it is governments giving money to governments. When individuals give foreign aid, it’s people giving money to people.”
“You cannot speak intelligently about the root causes of the 2008 crash–or about our current instability–without speaking about the Federal Reserve System of the United States (the Fed).”
“The only way to create a stable financial system is to force banks, investors, and creditors to bear their own risk. The only way to make them bear their own risk is to end bailouts once and for all.”
Order The Real Crash at Amazon HERE.
Ron Paul’s Revolution: The Man And The Movement He Inspired by Brian Doherty
“Students, housewives, street anarchists, soldiers, small-business people, even government employees have all found themselves dedicating their lives, fortune, and sacred honor to pushing the message of Ron Paul.”
“The Republican Party showed its disdain for Paul and his fans nearly every chance it got. Saul Anuzis, the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, openly called for Paul to be kept out of the GOP presidential debates.”
In the end, Paul went into the 2008 Republican convention in Minneapolis with somewhere between twenty and thirty-five pledged delegates, third to McCain and Huckabee. Paul refused to endorse McCain and so was not invited to appear. Paul tells me they told him he could show up if he wanted and some nice gentleman from the Republican National Committee would give him his credentials, walk him around the floor, and walk him out.”
“How will you change your message, Ron Paul, in order to revive your poll numbers? he was asked. “I don’t change my message,” Paul said.”
Order Ron Paul’s Revolution at Amazon HERE.
Pennywise: All Or Nothing
“Now our freedom will not be trampled down.”
“We won’t walk away, we’ll never give up we”ll never give in.”
“We want a Revolution.”
“We don’t want your laws. So take ‘em back right now.
They’re bullshit anyhow.”
Order All Or Nothing at Amazon HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
I always find it refreshing when I come across a new book that clearly and adequately explains the positions and principles that those of us in the liberty movement work so hard to promote and defend. With publishers releasing one shallow political title after another, it is a rare experience when I actually find a book that deserves an endorsement on my blog.
Red And Blue And Broke All Over by Arizona’s own Charles Goyette is the most recent must read addition to my collection. While many of the topics are very familiar to the seasoned liberty activist, Goyette approaches them at different angles and sprinkles in lots of fresh insight and a writing style that keeps the pages turning.
The end result is an intelligent, easy to understand primer on personal and economic freedom and the basics of what the philosophy of liberty is all about. Goyette puts particular emphasis on private property rights, fascism and crony capitalism, the blessings of liberty, and (one of my favorite topics) the broken window fallacy.
Those who appreciate the writings of Thomas E. Woods Jr., Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Peter Schiff and Ron Paul will definitely want to add this important work to their library.
Order Red And Blue And Broke All Over at Amazon HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
This morning I finished reading It Is Dangerous To Be Right When The Government Is Wrong: The Case For Personal Freedom by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.
Every once in a while I read a book that is so well written and so important it deserves it’s own review on my blog. This is one of those books. Those of you who have read his other titles or seen his show know that the Judge has a brilliant way of articulating freedom and liberty. It Is Dangerous To Be Right just might be Napolitano’s best work to date. That’s saying a LOT!
If you enjoy the liberty issues I discuss in my blog, you will appreciate the material covered in this book. Even before Chapter one (in the introduction) the Judge touches on a wide variety of topics critical to understanding the philosophy of liberty, including natural rights and the non-aggression principle. He also sprinkles in some V For Vendetta quotes.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Judge touch on several topics recently covered in this blog. Remember my posts about the First Amendment, “time, place, and manner” and “free speech zones”? Napolitano focuses several pages specifically on these subjects, all the while refusing to compromise his stand for liberty.
Other topics in the spotlight include privacy, self ownership, the nanny state, and perpetual war. There is even a section titled The Moral Case for Prostitution.
Few in the mainstream media dare to address and expose the deliberate destruction of personal freedom by our government. Judge Andrew P. Napolitano bravely defends individuals from government intrusion in a way that is both educational and thought provoking.
It’s time to WAKE UP America. We are no longer free.
I have only scratched the surface in this review but I hope I was at least able to encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and read it for yourself.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Blogging can be a very self indulgent exercise so please forgive me for taking a break from the usual activism and going in a completely different direction. This post is full of memories and history, nostalgia and inside jokes.
In 2003 when my wife and I were recording the above album we were also publishing an independent compilation CD of homemade recordings called Sediment. The purpose of Sediment was to encourage people to throw caution to the wind and try their hand at homemade recording experiments. We considered it a musical form of anarchy because no rules applied. We published five issues and over 100 songs before we decided to retire the project.
One of the biggest highlights of Sediment was when our local paper in Big Bear, CA asked if they could do a story on our compilation for their weekend edition. Somewhere I still have a copy with me on the front page smiling and holding Sediment 2.
Over the three or so years that we published Sediment it featured everyone from Jerry Davison of the Christian band Jacob’s Trouble to the ever mysterious Philip Stranger (who ended up living with my wife and I in Flagstaff for over a year and a half).
While submissions came in from all over, there was one location that seemed to have a huge concentration of aspiring artists…a message board for a band called Daniel Amos. DA fans affectionately called it the DAmb and I was one of the top posters there (this was before Facebook ate everybody’s time).
It was on that message board (in a password protected area called the argument dump) where I argued and debated politics and theology and slowly came to the realization that I clearly identified with libertarianism and the philosophy of liberty.
I have since been banned from that board which is a long story that involves the financing of a Swirling Eddies project that went bad and lots of disgruntled fans including myself.
Moral of that story: even lost hungry dogs can end up biting the hand that feeds them.
My wife and I have not recorded anything since 2009 but my son has recently shown in interest in the recording process. We just might sit down and make some noise again in the near future.
You can find hours of our recordings HERE.
“Have fun and never take yourself too seriously!” –Platyhelminth
By Elisha Dorfsmith
You’ve seen their posters on bulletin boards around town advertising unconventional and controversial documentaries and films. Tacos Locos and the Orpheum Theater are their venues of choice. They have promoted films covering everything from food freedom to the tea party movement. So who exactly are these Red Pill Movie guys?
Red Pill Movies got its name from the dystopian film The Matrix and is the brainchild of local activist Frank Mulligan who started the group in 2007. He was soon joined by brothers Peter and Paul Perreault. Their hope is that Red Pill Movies will help make the public more aware of ideas and information that the mainstream media often ignores or suppresses. At Red Pill Movie screenings, attendees are challenged to seek the truth by questioning everything and coming to their own conclusions.
Red Pill Movie events bring out a diverse crowd of movie fans, truth seekers and activists from across the political spectrum. The organizers are always on the look out for films that are not afraid to ask the tough questions. Upcoming Red Pill events can be found on their website.
The Perreault brothers discuss Red Pill films with attendees at a recent event at Tacos Locos.
“We bring you the media that the media won’t bring you.” –Frank Mulligan
Red Pill Movies founder Frank Mulligan and myself after a State Representative LD2 Debate. Frank ran as a Libertarian against State Representative Tom Chabin.
A few of my favorite Red Pill Movies:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
An enthusiastic crowd of 350 people attended tonight’s sold out private screening of Atlas Shrugged at Harkins. The event was organized by the Flagstaff Tea Party whose members had been actively requesting the movie in Flagstaff. The group ended up renting the theater themselves to hold the screening after it was confirmed that the film would not be coming to the area.
Atlas Shrugged is destined to become a cult classic and despite the critics, Ayn Rand fans everywhere are giving the film rave reviews. While it is low budget and may be hard to follow if you are not familiar with the story, the message is clearly brought together at the end. Government is too big and too intrusive.
Of course, the ultimate success of the trilogy will depend largely on if the other two sequels are released. I think the chances of them being released are good but it wouldn’t hurt to encourage your friends and family to support the film to ensure the project is completed. If you missed tonight’s screening I have heard that there may be another private screening in Sedona in the coming weeks.
Rand fans waiting for the doors to open.
Tea Party volunteers.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Few potential 2012 presidential contenders appeal to young voters the way Ron Paul does. Today I had this fact illustrated firsthand when I went to a local bookstore to buy a couple copies of Liberty Defined. As I set my books on the counter, the girl at the register glanced at them and her eyes lit up. She was not aware that Ron Paul had a new book out. I explained that it was just released yesterday. She said that in 2008, she and her parents were very involved in the “revolution” in the Sacramento, CA area. They spent hours waving signs and handing out Ron Paul literature like so many other liberty activists across the country. She asked if I thought he would actually run in 2012. I told her that I was pretty sure he would. Her eyes lit up again as she explained that she had just turned 18 and could not wait to vote for Dr. Paul this time around.
Liberty Defined is not the kind of book you would expect from a potential candidate gearing up for an election. Rather than playing political games and pandering, Paul cuts straight to the issues regardless of how controversial they may be. I think it’s safe to say that Liberty Defined will make everyone feel uncomfortable at one point or another…even libertarians.
This kind of focus and conviction is what makes Ron Paul so appealing to young voters. While many may disagree with him from time to time, they know that he is not there to make the masses feel warm and fuzzy in their comfort zones. He’s not there to make empty promises. He’s not interested in being popular.
Liberty Defined covers 50 issues categorized alphabetically from Abortion to Zionism. Talk about loaded topics and the potential for knee jerk reactions. No other modern presidential contender would ever be so brave. Paul tackles each topic more eloquently than I have ever seen him write or speak before. He uses history, facts, and personal experience in his effort to carefully apply the philosophy of liberty to each issue. The result is a masterpiece that is unlike anything I have ever read. I challenge anyone (even those who disagree with what he says) to read this book and come back and tell me that Dr. Paul is not being 100% straightforward and honest. Liberty Defined is essential reading for every liberty activist.
As I have mentioned several times on my blog in the past, my wife and I plan to be very involved with the Northern Arizona Ron Paul campaign when he makes it official. Dr. Paul has his paperwork filled out and ready to submit and he should be announcing his presidential run in the coming weeks. In anticipation of his announcement, I took the liberty of starting a Flagstaff Ron Paul 2012 Facebook page. Please join and invite your friends. The sooner we start meeting and planning, the more organized we will be!
A couple days ago I stumbled across my album of Ron Paul’s visit to ASU in 2009. What an exciting event. The enthusiasm among college students was incredible! I am posting a few of the pictures below. Let the revolution continue!
A crowd gathers before Ron Paul speaks.
Ron Paul at ASU December, 2009.
Lighting the fires of liberty.
Dorfsmith family on the front row.
Ron Paul and my son Adrian.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Don Peavey traces his passion for political activism back to the Ron Paul Revolution of 2008. Finally, someone on the national level was saying what he had been thinking for years and that inspired him to get involved and try to make a difference.
When Ron Paul lost the Republican primary, Don continued to stay active in local politics. He spent a great deal of time working with with the States’ Rights Coalition Of Northern Arizona and fighting oppressive city ordinances like the infamous crackdown on Heritage Square.
As a steady surge of liberty oriented media outlets like Free Talk Live hit the Web, Don was inspired to try his hand at alternative media and began setting up interviews with local politicos and activists. He recorded a series of audio podcasts with guests that spanned the political spectrum from Flagstaff City Council member Art Babbott to the late David Nolan (co-founder of the Libertarian party).
A few months ago, Don had the opportunity to switch from audio to video and the podcast evolved into Free Flagstaff Media, an alternative media outlet that is touted as an “independent voice in an independent city”. Free Flagstaff Media offers a wide range of videos covering everything from activism to culture to local politics. It also includes some fantastic interviews with local personalities. So far, Don has interviewed Craig Watkins, Joe Donaldson, and Jeff Oravits.
“Independent media and the internet have pretty much made it so anybody can do whatever they want and there’s really nothing anybody can do about it.” Says Don. “I can say things I couldn’t say on regular TV.”
As more and more Americans realize that the mainstream media is more interested in defending the status quo than speaking the truth, the appeal of alternative media will continue to grow. It’s exciting to see outlets like Free Flagstaff Media bypassing the confines of traditional news and exercising the freedom to say what they want.
You can contact Free Flagstaff Media HERE.
Also, be sure to “like” the Free Flagstaff Media facebook page.
Hanging out with Don Peavey at Flagstaff Brewing Company.
Don discusses Free Flagstaff Media.