Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #133 “Liberty Sidelined In Education”

judgejimgray_portrait2            The logical extreme has happened in New York City!  According to an August 19, 2017 article on the front page of the New York Times, teachers who either had disciplinary problems or bad teaching records or who worked in schools that had either been closed or were experiencing a decline in enrollment were paid $150 million in salary last year alone – not to teach!  That constituted a full 822 teachers, more than 200 of whom had been receiving those payments for at least five years!  At an average salary of $94,000 per year!  They could have been re-engaged as teachers, but their performance was so poor that none of the school principals wanted them.  So, since the teacher’s unions were so strong that they couldn’t be fired, they were being paid their full salaries mostly not to teach.

How can a society that holds itself up as the Land of the Free tolerate such a result?  And how many other school districts around the nation are in the same situation?  In today’s world, imagine how much of a benefit it would have been to the students to have had that money for smaller classrooms, extra labs, field trips or tutors?  In too many places around our country our schools are failing our children.  So, as had been stated several times in this column, we must decide what the purpose is for our educational system: to educate our children?  Or to protect below-average teachers?  Liberty means that our children’s interests must be placed ahead of supporting teachers who cannot teach!  Thomas Jefferson famously said that we should have a bloody revolution every generation to keep the vested special interests at bay.  Fortunately, our Constitution has given us a means for the revolutions not to be bloody. But how long has it been?  When witnessing outcomes like this, maybe it is time for another of these revolutions!  How about trying it out with the Libertarians, who would never allow this result to occur!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Friday, September 8, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #132 “Frederick Douglass — Champion Of Liberty”

untitled          The truth is the truth, regardless of when it is spoken.  And who better to speak about timeless racial truths than Frederick Douglass?  A former slave and premier abolitionist writer, Douglass spoke and wrote often and forcefully that “It has long been the desire of our enemies to deepen and widen the line of separation between the white and colored people of this country.”  In literal effect, the only minority that counted for Douglass was the “Minority of One,” which was the individual.  And with what we have seen in the last few months and years in our country, we truly need to keep his teachings fresh in our minds because so many people from so many different standpoints are trying to separate us.

Douglass emphasized that America was a nation founded upon “human brotherhood and the self-evident truths of Liberty and Equality.”  In that regard, he went on to say that the designation or protection of specific groups or classes of Americans would lead to a focus upon benefits and burdens of class members at the direct expense of the protection of individual rights.  But, as he timelessly reminded us, “The Constitution knows no distinction between citizens on account of color.”  Instead, the “burden of our demand upon the American people shall simply be justice and fair play.”  Thus “We utterly repudiate all invidious distinctions, whether in our favor or against us, and only ask for a fair field, and no favor.”  In other words, Frederick Douglass was a champion of Liberty, and asked for no more nor no less – for everyone!  Each one of us today should simply and stalwartly demand and enforce the same!  That is fundamentally what America is – and should be – about!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Sunday, September 3, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #131 “How Liberty Saved The Bees”

Bees working on honeycomb            Last week we talked about how Government is Money.  In other words, people in government have their own biases and, often, personal desires for power and influence.  So Liberty —in this context defined as instituting a system for private individuals to have incentives to prosper by producing (legal) goods and services that other people will desire and purchase – will almost always triumph over government bureaucracy, controls and regulations.  And that is what has happened over the past few years with the survival of bees.

According to an article by Shawn Regan in the August/September edition of Reason, large numbers of honeybees started disappearing in 2006.  And not only were they dying, they were mysteriously abandoning their hives.  The situation became so widespread that in 2013 some experts predicted “a world without bees.”  In response, the Obama administration set aside $82 million in funding and formed a task force to deal with this “crisis” by creating a “national pollination strategy.”  But this crisis was averted because of Liberty, which rendered the federal monies and efforts unnecessary and even wasted.

What happened?  Commercial beekeepers, who make a profit both by “renting” their bee colonies to orchards during the blooming season, and also selling the honey that is produced, had incentives to deal with the losses of bees.   So they responded in two ways.  First they privately determined that two parasitic types of mites were killing the bees.  So they countered by the use of miticides, fungicides and other treatments.  Second, they artificially stimulated the production of thousands more queen bees which, in turn, generated hundreds of thousands more honeybees.  The advocates of Big Government felt good about themselves in spending the taxpayers’ money and “rallying to the cause,” but no government involvement was really needed.  What is needed instead in to nurture a climate that supports Liberty!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

(Okay, I know this was three paragraphs.  I could have combined the last two together, but I didn’t want to make my 9th grade grammar teacher, Ms. Menazian, mad at me!)



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Sunday, August 27, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #130 “Proof Once Again, Government is Money”

99a3f0e6e2ac09e2d96145fe3d41c7ef-350x196       Government is Money!  As Shakespeare said in a different context: “’Tis true ‘tis pity; ‘tis pity ‘tis true.”  But this dreary fact was recently brought home to me once again when I learned that each Republican member of Congress is expected each quarter to raise several tens of thousands of dollars for the National Republican Party.  Furthermore, before a Republican member of Congress can be appointed to chair a committee that member must “tithe” up to $100,000 to the party’s coffers, the exact amount depending upon the importance of the chairmanship.  I have no direct information as to what the Democrats do, but anticipate that it is equally discouraging.

So what is the answer?  Nothing is perfect, but my suggestion is to support the Libertarian Party.  Libertarians are classic conservatives: they really do want to reduce the size, cost and complexity of government.  In other words, Libertarians believe that you and I are better able to decide how better to spend our money than is the government.  But we are also classic liberals: we really do want to get the government out of our bedrooms and protect and defend our liberties.  And Libertarians would never engage in a “little honest payoff” in order to become a chair of a committee!  As has been written often in this column, we get the government we deserve.  And if this is happening on our watch, shame upon all of us!!  This is not Liberty!  This is not the honest government of “We the People.”   So we should contact the media, take to the airwaves, and otherwise pass the word that this is not what we condone!  And we should support political parties and candidates that would eschew such practices!  Thus we should show ourselves and the world that our government is not, or at least should not be, for sale!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Saturday, August 12, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #129 “Install A Statue of Responsibility?”

Screen Shot 2012-06-01 at 1.05.41 PM         Regretfully, our great country has strayed away from a climate individual responsibility and instead fallen back into one of victimization.  For example, numbers of years ago a man who had been drinking too much one night dove headfirst off the Newport Pier into three feet of water, hit his head on the sand below and, tragically, became a paraplegic.  So then what happened?  He sued the City of Newport Beach on the theory that it should have posted a sign warning people that there was sand under the water.  (As if, under those circumstances, it would have mattered.)  And he won!  (At least partially.)  So he received some money, and the city posted the sign in self-protection. Recently, my sister sent me some pictures of similar public warning signs.  These included signs:

  • in a grocery store sitting on top of large numbers of peanuts in the shell saying “This product contains peanuts;”
  • a ten by four-foot picture advertising a hot dog, saying at the bottom “Not Actual Size;”
  • over a lit barbeque saying “Caution: Fire is Hot;”
  • floating in a swimming pool saying: “Caution: Wet Floor,” and another saying “Caution: Do Not Breathe Under Water;”
  • a picture of a metal clothes hanger saying: “Caution: Do Not Swallow;”
  • in front of a door saying: “If Door Does Not Open, Do Not Enter;”
  • on a public street saying “Wet When Raining;” and, finally,
  • in front of a public beach saying “No Swimming If You Can’t Swim.”

Maybe some of these are simply meant to be funny, but all of them are at least unintentionally so, because they show how far astray we have come.  So in response to that reality, I suggest that we should balance the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor by creating and installing a Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco Bay.  At least that would be a start!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Monday, July 31, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #128 “More Liberty In Elections”

100_1437          There are two ways we all could have more Liberty in our elections.  The first is called “Approval Voting,” and the second is called “Instant Run-off” elections.  Approval voting means that people could vote for all of the candidates of whom they approved for every office.  That means that, for example, if there were five candidates running for an office, and a voter would be content to have any three of them win, the voter could vote for all three of those candidates (but no one could vote more than once for any particular candidate.) Then all of the votes simply would be counted up, with the candidate receiving the most votes winning the election (see www.Electology.org.)  In instant runoff elections, otherwise known as Ranked Choice Voting, people could vote for their first choice, but then they would have the opportunity to vote for their second choice as well.  Then all first choices from all voters would be counted.  But if no candidate won 50 percent plus one vote, with a flip of a computer switch, the candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated, and a second tally would be completed.  All voters who had voted for the eliminated candidate would have their second choice counted in this “runoff” election.  That procedure would be continued until one candidate won a majority of the votes (see http://ift.tt/1fQQa85).  This process is now utilized by a dozen states and cities in our country, and those people seem to be happy with it.

Both of these approaches would almost completely eliminate the “spoiler” or “lesser of two evils” issues, because people could vote their consciences.  In other words, people could vote their dreams, but they could also vote against their fears.  In addition, the more radical candidates would be forced to moderate their positions, because they would have more direct information about the preferences of more of the voters.   Actually, in many elections we have seen numerous voters casting their votes against candidates by voting for their opponents, instead of actually voting in favor of anyone.  Both of these approaches would change that equation, which would bring more Liberty to our elections.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, July 30, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #127 “Civil Asset Forfeiture: A Direct Attack Upon Liberty”

judgejimgray_ocregister         One of the most flagrant attacks upon Liberty and the due process of law is the federal government’s program of civil asset forfeiture.  This program allows the police to confiscate people’s cash and other property if they “suspect” that it is linked to criminal (mostly drug) offenses – even if the subjects are never even charged with a crime!  And, of course, the police have incentives to seize people’s property, since they get to keep part of the booty.  Furthermore, when seizures occur, it is up to the owners of the property to file a lawsuit to get it back, and even then they have the burden of proof to show that it was not gained from a criminal offense.  Some of those programs were pared down under President Obama, but US Attorney General Sessions recently announced a policy that will remove many protections from these “policing for profit” programs.

Most people agree that cash and property gained by illegal means should be forfeited to the government or otherwise returned to the victims.  But that should only occur with two conditions.  First, forfeiture could only occur after the subjects have been charged with and convicted of a criminal offense, with the same jury concluding that the property was obtained as a result of that illegality. Second, the forfeited property should go into the general fund, and not to any particular agency.  That will remove improper incentives.  Otherwise, at the very least, all of these forfeitures should be considered to be a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits the imposition of excessive fines.  Liberty demands that Attorney General Sessions rescind this new policy!  Fortunately, all of us have the opportunity to have our voices heard by contacting our members of Congress and demanding the passage of the FAIR Act to reform federal asset forfeiture laws and stop incentivizing law enforcement seizures without a criminal conviction!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Thursday, July 20, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #125 “Is ‘Be Yourself’ Good Advice?”

image         Mark Twain once supposedly said that “Be Yourself” is not good advice for many people.  Yes, in most regards each of us, as adults, has the Liberty to act as we wish, as long as that does not wrongly affect the abilities of others to do the same.  But how do we act with that Liberty?  The great UCLA basketball coach Johnny Wooden once said that “Character is how we act when no one else is looking.”  So every once in a while it should be helpful for each of us to pause and reflect upon how we act with that Liberty, which is to say: what really is our character?  How do we act when no one else is looking?  Is that the person we wish to be?

Many people have come to the conclusion that the greatest thing in life is not power, love, wealth or success, it is gratification.  Not the short-term shallow stuff, but deep down.  We can receive gratification by being involved with power, love, etc., but they are not ends in themselves.  For example, worshipping the false god of materialism, i.e., the religion of “My yacht is bigger than your yacht,” is ultimately unsatisfying.  (And you can always find somebody with a bigger yacht!)  Instead, gratification can come from anonymous acts for family, friends or society in general that help to make the world a better place.  The areas for most of us in which we can make these contributions are almost boundless: we live in the greatest country the world has ever seen and at the most exciting time, and we have so many opportunities to expand our knowledge, experiences, relationships and contributions.  So think of the small and large acts of kindness that each of us can do – every day in our normal lives.  Not only will that bring gratification to us and often to others, it will also demonstrate a character of which we can be proud.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Friday, July 14, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #124 “You And I Are Now The ‘We'”

iStock_000009330394_Full       “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union.”  The Preamble to our Constitution, the greatest document in the history of the world that was ever inspired by man, decreed back in 1787 that “We the People” are in charge of our government, and thus our own destiny.  And to a person, each of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention believed that the most important function of government was protecting our individual liberties from the encroachment of government.  And now that power – and responsibility – has been passed down from the Founders to us.  So now it is you and I who are “We the People.”  Would the Founders be proud of us?  Do we agree with them about the fundamental importance of individual liberty?  Or, even worse, do we actually care?

We are coming once again to the Fourth of July!  Happy Birthday America!  But let each one of us celebrate this birthday by resolving not to take our great country – and all of the freedom and hope that it represents – for granted.  Let’s resolve to do our part – on a regular basis – to stand up for Liberty whenever we think, talk, act and vote.  We deserve the government that we get and recently we have not been doing a particularly good job.  The Founders are relying on us.  So Happy Fourth of July, in all of its ramifications!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #123 “Look What Liberty Has Done!”

Judge1       There is much talk today about the disparity of earnings between the “top brass” and the regular workers and, somewhat obviously, a lot of it is true.  But if we think of it in a different fashion, we should have many fewer complaints.  Put it this way: how many of us would trade places with Henry VIII?  Henry was the King of England for about 37 years.  But he had undiagnosed gout, lived in a drafty castle, and if he wanted to travel he had to take a jolting coach ride by which he could travel only about 20 miles per day.  And he died at the age of 55!  (And who really would want to have 6 wives?)

So the point is that most people living in our country today have a much better life than Henry VIII.  Almost all of us have better health, life expectancy, comforts and enjoyment of life by far than even the epitome of life in the 16th Century.  And the difference between today’s rich and “poor?”  Your barber’s Timex watch keeps as good time as any CEO’s Rolex, his used Ford gets him here and there as well as the CEO’s Tesla, and his clothing is almost the same quality as the CEO’s designer brands.  Plus today almost everyone has cellphones, big screen televisions, computers and access to healthy foods and medicines.  Even airplane trips are available to almost everyone.  So even though there is a marked disparity in incomes, when it comes down to it, the difference between the lives of the wealthy and poor is so much closer today than it has ever been before.  So look what Liberty and the Free Enterprise System have done for us all!  That is not to say that we should not work to narrow today’s disparity of wealth.  But maybe along the way we should also focus on the life of Henry VIII, and be more thankful of what we have!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #122 “They Have Been Punished Enough!”

280x157-z71           Truly one of the most important factors affecting our country’s domestic tranquility is people’s ability to get a job.  In so many different ways, not being able to find lawful employment contributes greatly to a loss of self-respect which, in turn, leads to despair, crime and drug abuse.  And probably the ones most susceptible to those ills are people who have served time in prison.  Why?  Because if ex-felons cannot get a job, the odds are shown to be appreciably higher that they will commit another offense that will land them back in prison.

But what most people do not realize is that many state governments intensely and unfairly aggravate this situation!  How?  Because those states’ occupational licensing boards are empowered to – and often do – reject applications for as many as 118 different types of jobs simply because the applicants were previously convicted of a felony.  This includes applications for licenses to work as barbers, hair stylists, massage therapists and roofers, even though the conviction had nothing to do with those jobs.  Yes, maybe some applicants should be rejected based upon the specific circumstances involved, but the decisions should never be automatic!  In other words, after they have completed their sentence, the ex-felons have been punished enough and should be given a fair chance to be productive members of society!  And, of course, since this situation creates greater court and prison costs, the taxpayers are being punished as well.  So everyone loses (except the prison guards unions).  Thus, for all of our sakes, this deprivation of Liberty to pursue lawful employment should not be tolerated!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #121 “Liberty And Political Donations”

rsz_judgegray         Everyone knows that money is much too influential in today’s politics, so how can that influence be lessened?  To me the answer is to allow all natural people who are citizens or holders of Green Cards to contribute as much money as they wish to the candidates or ballot measures of their choice, with the firm provision that all contributions above a certain fairly small but fixed amount must be published in a timely fashion.  This would both be fair and consistent with freedom of speech.  Under today’s system, if Bill Gates were running for a public office he could contribute as much of his money to his own campaign as he wanted.  So why should he not be able to contribute to other campaigns as well?  And then if the voters feel that a candidate is beholden to Bill Gates or anyone else, they still would be free to vote for that candidate’s opponent.

But, critically, no organizations, including corporations and labor unions, should be allowed to contribute to any public elections whatsoever.   First of all, as a matter of basic fairness, since it’s the money of their shareholders and members, those shareholders or union members should not be forced to contribute to a cause with which they do not agree.  (And if they do agree, that’s fine, they can still contribute individually and also encourage other individuals to do the same.)  Of course, I understand that this idea conflicts with the ruling by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, but that is still my opinion.  Secondly, under today’s system with all of its purported contribution restrictions, the wealthy are still able to contribute virtually as much as they want to whatever cause they choose.  How is that?  Because wealthy individuals and special interests are able to “launder” their donations through Political Action Committees (PACs) or political parties, accompanied by their “private request” as to where the money should be spent.  And, of course, that is where the money goes, because the recipients are mostly in business to help those causes.  So why not make those contributions above-board, public and available to all?  And along the way, Liberty would be enhanced, as would more accurate information being available to the voters.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Sunday, June 18, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #120 “The Most Important Function Of Government”

C15120D0000-00-00                At the moment I am finalizing a new musical entitled “Convention,” which is about our great country’s Constitutional Convention in 1787.  As a result, for the past few years I have been heavily involved with research about the thoughts, beliefs and principles of our Founders.  (In that group I include women like Abigail Adams.)  And, although the delegates obviously had different backgrounds, biases and beliefs, do you know what the most important function of government was for virtually each one of them?  The protection of individual liberties from the encroachment of government!  (The second most important was security.)  This thought might be somewhat controversial today, but it shouldn’t be.  And it has been the purpose of these “2 Paragraphs” editions for the past 119 weeks to help more people to think and focus about government in these terms, i.e. the terms of Liberty.

The Founders believed that the provisions of the Constitution were so clear that most of them felt that a Bill of Rights was not necessary.   For example, Alexander Hamilton (who never sang any rap songs in his life!) felt that if some rights were enumerated in such a Bill, it might mean that others which were not expressly mentioned were forfeited, and he didn’t want to take that chance.  So what are some of the liberties that we have lost to the government over time?  That list is long, but it includes no provision in the Constitution at all to justify the federal government’s intrusion into the fields of education, healthcare, or the prohibition of presently illicit drugs, not to mention Congress’ forfeiting of the issuance of declarations of war to the President.  And, of course, all of these intrusions have increased the cost of government by many levels of magnitude.  This lasted even up to the year 1913, when the architects of the 16th Amendment, which allowed the federal government to levy income taxes, considered limiting the amount at five percent.  But that was determined it to be unnecessary, since they were sure the tax would never exceed three percent.  So in your deliberations about how our government should be acting, and how you should vote in our elections, please consider the Founders, and the Constitution they created for us all.  And then be sure to vote for Liberty.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion.   And, by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, June 4, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #119 “Don’t Let The Bad Guys Win”

maxresdefault         I am writing this just as the details of the Manchester explosion are coming forward.  Maybe this analysis will not be well received by some, but it is something that must be said and understood by civilized society.  Nevertheless, first I must say that without any doubt this is a tragedy, and sympathy must be given to the victims.  But having said that, we must focus upon what is happening, the type of beasts that are behind it, and what humanity’s best response should be to these inhuman acts.  And that response must be: Don’t let the bad guys win!  For instance, just after the explosion all major news networks I saw devoted uninterrupted hours to the story.  No!  Don’t give the bad guys the satisfaction!  Furthermore, some people were saying that we must respond by more surveillance of those who might cause such tragedies.  Does that mean that all Muslim immigrants are suspect and must be surveilled?  No, once again, that turns this into a fight between Christianity and Islam, which is exactly what the bad guys are trying to effect.

Instead, the best response is to focus upon the following five realities.  First, we must recognize that the best protection against these evil acts is prior intelligence.  Use whatever legal means and resources are necessary to infiltrate organizations that sponsor or advocate such beastly acts, and head off those people.  Second, we all must understand, as adults, that there is only so much that governments can do to protect us from random acts of terror.  Reality dictates that if someone wants randomly to do harm to others, there is little that can be done to stop them (other than prior intelligence).  How can we ever stop demented people who decide to blow themselves up at a local supermarket, bus station or crowded street corner?  We can’t.  Third, we can reduce these acts by stopping the glorification of those who are responsible.  How?  By never broadcasting their names, pictures or even the name of their terrorist groups.  We can call them the terrorists, cowards or losers that they are, but don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that they will be sensationalized.  This only encourages others to copycat them.  Fourth, don’t have all activity come to a stop when these beastly acts occur.  This just shows fear and, in turn, shows the bad guys they are having their way.  Instead, adopt the attitude of the people during the Battle of Britain, where hell was literally falling from the skies on a regular basis.  When the air raid sirens went off, those on the ground did what was necessary to protect themselves by going into a shelter, etc.  But when the “all clear” sounded, they went back to their normal lives without fear or whining.  And fifth, let these cowards know that they are never going to be successful in taking away our Liberty.  Fundamentally the terrorists want to show the world that our civilization is no better than any other, and we must not allow that to happen.  The great Viktor Frankl once said that there are only two races in the world, the decent and the indecent.  We must continue to show that we are in the former category.  And by adopting these five approaches we will ensure that, no matter what happens, the indecent race/bad guys are never going to win!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Saturday, June 3, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #118 “Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense”

Judge-Jim-Gray_600x300-590x300            “Zero Tolerance” laws and rules allow judges, bureaucrats, school principals and other officials to avoid having to make responsible decisions.  And they also frequently result in stark injustices.  For example, once a junior high school student went to a swap meet where he bought a sterile marijuana seed that was immersed in formaldehyde and encased inside a Plexiglas pen.  Then he took his purchase to school to show his friends.  But due to Zero Tolerance rules about bringing drugs onto campus, the student was suspended for a month.  Do you think that helped the students learn to respect authority?  Soon, however, the decision was revoked when his father showed up with an attorney.  What do you think the students learned from that result?

The better approach is to give people in responsible positions the discretion to make decisions based upon the laws or rules, the facts of the situation and the parties involved.  And then require them to explain their decisions.  Otherwise, we might as well put a judicial robe on a computer.  To state the obvious, life can be complicated, and we must not expect that “one size fits all circumstances.”  So we need the Liberty to use discretion at all levels of society and in almost all situations.  In summary, this means that arbitrary is incompatible with Liberty.  So keep this issue in mind when thinking, talking or voting about things like mandatory minimum sentences in criminal cases, and zero tolerance rules at home, your cities or schools or anywhere else.  In other words, think about and vote for Liberty.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, May 28, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty #117: “D-Day, June 6th, 1944”

maxresdefault            I greet you as my wife and I have just returned from experiencing the Beaches of Normandy, which witnessed the largest and most complicated military landing in history.  On that day, June 6, 1944, about 4400 Allied troops were confirmed to have been killed.   At our ceremony, which was led by Dwight David Eisenhower, II, the grandson of the Allied commanding officer, I literally got tears in my eyes, and believe that you would have too! So why did this landing take place?  Because the Allies believed in the triumph of Liberty over tyranny.   We all owe a major and lasting debt to those troops and their families!  And their efforts have helped to preserve Liberty for almost 73 years!

But now we all must truly ask ourselves: do we deserve this gift of Liberty?  Do we take it seriously?  Even, are we worthy?  If so, what are we doing to preserve the Liberty that those soldiers bequeathed to us?  Particularly today when we have discovered that our government has been surveilling us and monitoring our emails and telephone calls for years, where in some states criminal defendants, mentally fragile people and parents are not provided with skilled attorneys to represent them in often life-changing judicial proceedings?  Yes, this is a complicated world, but the hallmark of Liberty must be to protect each one of us from the wrongful and arbitrary intrusions of government.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that if the Liberty of any one of us is reduced, it is reduced for us all.  But he was the one who ordered thousands of Japanese Americans to be placed in internment camps.  So no, do not solely look to those in government for the protection of Liberty, because fundamentally it is the responsibility of “We the People!”  And if we fail, those lives lost on the beaches of Normandy will have seriously reduced meaning.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion.   And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, May 21, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #116 “The Hoax Of Government Control”

image           Being dependent upon government is a cruel hoax: good for politicians and bureaucrats, but over the long (and often even short) run, terrible for the recipients.  As a stark example, consider our Native Americans.  We can start with an observation by Henry Ford who, although certainly not my favorite person due to his social views, said something that all people should have emblazoned upon their thought processes: “Anyone who thinks people can prosper by relying on the government should talk to the American Indian.”  Fact: Native Americans have the highest poverty rate of any minority group in our country.  That comes as a result of having been controlled by the federal government since the early 1800s.  Their lands are held in “trust” for them by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or BIA (which most Native Americans refer to as “Bossing Indians Around), which has a budget of $3 billion per year.  The Bureau of Indian Education spends $850 million of that money per year on educating 42,000 students, which comes out to more than $20,000 per student per year – while the national average is about $12,500 per student.  So money is not the problem.  And, by the way, those two government agencies have about 9,000 employees, which pencils out to one bureaucrat for every 111 Native Americans still on a reservation.

           What is the answer?  End the trust system and government supervision, and bring in Liberty!  As everyone knows, trusts are generally only used for children and incompetent adults.  So that represents the low regard our system holds for Native Americans.  Instead, transform the system slowly but steadily to disband these “protective” federal agencies and let the various tribes begin to make their own decisions  (Can you imagine having a Bureau of Irish Descendants’ Affairs?!  What arrogance, and how transparently silly!).  Let Native Americans pursue and enjoy the benefits of the Free Enterprise System.  Institute a system that allows the tribes and/or individuals to own their own land, which they then could improve, sell or use as collateral for loans to underwrite start-up businesses.  Today, even though reservations contain about 50 percent of all of the potential uranium reserves and 20 percent of oil reserves in our country, Native Americans are prohibited from pursuing their development.  And if they try to do things like that with their land, it takes 49 steps among four different federal agencies, thousands of dollars in application fees and about four years to get government approval.  Furthermore, they should be empowered to take over the education of the children still remaining on reservations.  It might in some ways have been justifiable in the early 1800s to give Native Americans “special government care,” but not today!  Not now!  Instead give them Liberty!  What do they have to lose?

* Taken from The New Trail of Tears by Naomi Schaeffer Riley

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Friday, May 12, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #115 “Liberty Requires Foreseeability”

judge-jim-gray-1024x686        As has been said several times in this series, Liberty does not at all mean that “anything goes.”  Instead, Liberty implies responsibility which, in turn, means that we must have laws which are enforceable and enforced. So what is the purpose of the law?  Of course there are many, but one of the main purposes can be answered with one word: foreseeability.  Obviously every action cannot be litigated, but with foreseeability, we all will generally know that if we act, or don’t act, in a particular fashion what the likely legal result will be.  

            So that is where attorneys come in.  Attorneys study the laws and the past recorded cases that have been adjudicated in the courts which can be used for our guidance.  Then attorneys both give advice about possible future actions, as well as opinions and strategy about how they believe present disputes about past actions would be resolved if they were to be litigated.  So by and large, our Justice System is working.  Yes, it could always be better, faster and less expensive, but in most instances it is providing the necessary foreseeability for us and our system to thrive.   And this, in turn, promotes a society in which Liberty can also thrive and people can prosper.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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Monday, May 8, 2017

Liberty in Action in Nepal

UntitledI simply had to share this with my “2 Paragraphs” recipients, because it demonstrates what Liberty is doing in Nepal.  Please read the enclosed explanation from my friend Ron Kohut, who is instrumental in bringing this clinic into being, and take a look at the YouTube video.  You will once again be impressed and gratified what the private sector can do and is doing!  Big time thanks to each one involved, and if you would like to learn more, feel free to contact Ron.

-Jim Gray

____________________________________________________________________________________

From: Ronald Kohut
Sent: Friday, April 7, 2017 3:52 PM
Subject: Nepal

Dear friends,

This video, which is focused on the work of the NRH’s, explains better than I can the work that you are making possible through your generosity. I am amazed that we can together accomplish so much from so far away. Our ability to do so is, in large part, as a result of 26 years of devoted and tireless spade work by Olga, Som, and the rest of the NYF family.
I had dinner last night with Olga and Som at Olga’s home in Sausalito. Olga lives in Sausalito six months a year and in Kathmandu the remaining six month. At 92, Olga is still going strong. You will see Olga and Som in this video. They both have the most unbelievable stories to tell…the rewards of long  lives devoted to the betterment of the lives of others.

During dinner, I learned that the NRH is still on schedule to open on July 15th. We may be traveling to Nepal in November. Anyone interested in going should let me know.

https://youtu.be/84xaK2P5UNE

All my best,

Ron




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Monday, April 24, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #114 “Liberty Is In Our Bones”

James-P.-Gray             According to our Declaration of Independence, Constitution’s Preamble, Statue of Liberty and many other icons of our history, Liberty is in the bones of our great country In fact, as accurately stated by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, our great nation literally was “conceived in Liberty.”  So this is not some marginal or philosophical issue, it is the foundation for our country.  But do we actually care today?  Is it still really important to us?  If so, do we stand up and protect it when we vote, or when in our daily lives we see people with ostensible authority over us or others overstep their bounds?  Or do we meekly surrender our Liberty because of yet another restriction thrust upon us at airports by the TSA, or our rights to Free Speech because it might “hurt the feelings” of the listeners, or in our right often simply to be left alone by government and other people?

Let each one of us resolve right now – today – to make Liberty a big part of who we are and how we act.  As citizens of this great country we certainly have many rights that are deprived to many people of other countries.  But we also have responsibilities.  What are those?  To vote, to serve on juries when called upon and also to pay our taxes.  (Yes, as a Libertarian I believe taxes are much too high, but that is an issue for a different column.)  But we also have a responsibility to “make the system work!”  That means, among other things, we should step up as individuals when we see that government or other entities are depriving Liberty either to us or to others who are not able to stand up for themselves.  Benjamin Franklin famously said that any people who would compromise a little Liberty for a little more security deserve neither.  With today’s threats of terrorism directly resulting in increased government surveillance and intrusion, as well as so-called “Freedom From Speech” zones, these are also the “times that try men’s souls.”  How will historians write about how we stood up for the Liberty that is our heritage?  The Founders of our Great Country, and our descendents, are counting on us!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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Saturday, April 22, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #113 “My Act Back Then Was Not Based On Liberty”

gray       This past April 8, I “celebrated” my 25th anniversary of having publicly spoken out against our nation’s failed and hopeless policy of Drug Prohibition.  But my position at that time was really based only upon pragmatism, not philosophy.  At that time while looking back over my own experience as a criminal defense attorney in the Navy, a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, and a trial court judge for almost nine years, I had concluded that we were simply churning low-level drug offenders through the criminal justice system for no particularly good purpose, but at great expense of time and resources.  Furthermore, even when we occasionally arrested, convicted and incarcerated a big-time drug dealer, the same illicit drugs were still plentifully available on the streets in the same neighborhoods within at least a week.  Why?  Because other dealers simply and rightly saw it as an employment opportunity.  In addition, I also had concluded that all of the violence and corruption – and beheadings – in Mexico, for example, had literally nothing to do with drugs, they were all caused by drug money.

Only later as I started thinking as a Libertarian did I also conclude that this was also a matter of Liberty.  For example, the government should have as much ability to control what I, as an adult, put into my body as it does what I put into my mind!  It’s none of the government’s business!  But if, for example, I drive a motor vehicle under the influence of, you name it, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine or alcohol, that is – and should be – a crime.  Why?  Because now I am putting your safety at risk.  So the answer is to hold adults accountable for their actions, but not what they put into their bodies.  Accordingly, now I am fully convinced that we simply must repeal Drug Prohibition both for pragmatic as well as philosophical reasons!  Again, why?  Because the criminal justice was designed for – and is quite good at – protecting us from each other, but is not designed for – and is truly not good at – protecting us from ourselves.  Thus, in this important area like in so many others, Liberty brings the best results.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #112 “Could Greed Be Good?”

Untitled          In his book No They Can’t – Why Government Fails but Individuals Succeed, John Stossel again poses the question “Could greed be good?”  Remember how much criticism Ayn Rand received when she openly wrote and stated that Greed is Good?  Well, they are both right.  The problem really comes from their choice of words, because they have negative connotations.  But both writers are discussing is that when people act (legally) in their own financial self-interest, basically everyone wins.  A great explanation of this reality comes from the definitive essay entitled “I, Pencil,” where author Leonard Read explains how so many different people provide us with pencils by harvesting wood, graphite and clay powders for the pencil’s lead, and rubber and metals for erasers, and then transporters, advertisers and merchants all act in their own economic self-interest (i.e. greed) to provide the finished product, even though they do not really work with or even know each other.  Thus it should be readily apparent that government is not able to do nearly as good and effective job at supplying goods and services as individuals acting in their own economic self-interest.

So why should we expect government to do a better job than private individuals or companies at delivering the mail, building or repairing highways, or providing good schools or quality healthcare for reasonable prices?  The answer is that government should be used in some areas like K through 12 education to set minimum guidelines, and others like building or repairing highways to issuing contracts and then monitoring the operations to ensure that specifications, quality controls and prices are met.  But otherwise government should leave these matters for the Free Enterprise System, where individuals will be free to act in a “greedy” fashion.  In other words, John Stossel and Ayn Rand were right: in this context, Greed Really is Good!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion.   And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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Monday, April 10, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #111 “Housing Crisis? Try Liberty!”

images     On page B3 of the Sunday, March 19, 2017 edition of the Los Angeles Times, there were two stories bemoaning the unaffordability of housing in California.  So the lawmakers in Sacramento have been springing into action by proposing more than 130 bills that try to “tackle” the issue.  Included in these is a bill that would provide a fund of $100 million of taxpayer money to help build housing for teachers, who otherwise would not be able to afford to live in their school districts.  But the only law we really need to employ is the law of supply and demand!

Think about it this way.  If you were an investor, why would you invest in building apartment buildings if the rent was being capped by rent-control laws which would keep you from being able to get a maximum return on your investment.  You would put your money elsewhere – which directly results in a scarcity of apartment units which, in turn, drives up the rents.  Even worse, if you were an investor who already owned apartment buildings that were subject to rent control, you would do everything you lawfully could to convert your units into condominiums – or parking lots – so that you could get a stronger return on your investment.  And if that isn’t enough, these serious but foreseeable problems have been compounded by the fact that about 25 percent of the cost of building new homes, apartment buildings or condominiums is spent attempting to comply with basically unnecessary government regulations.  This is what has fueled the unaffordability of housing!  The resolution: Employ Liberty!  Reduce government involvement and allow the market to satisfy the demand, and this government-generated crisis will be a thing of the past.  In other words, get the government out of the affordable housing business, and let Liberty handle it.  That is what works!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayoai, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #110 “Depriving Liberty Brings Obligations”

rsz_judgegray     Without question, there are times when some people should/must be deprived of their Liberty due to things like criminal convictions or mental health issues.  In what situations and for how long that is to occur are issues for a different day.  But when the State does take people into its custody, it has an absolute obligation to do its best to protect every one of them from harm, and to provide them with competent medical care, treatment and services as needed.  And, yes, sometimes that means they should receive better treatment than they would receive on their own on the outside. Nevertheless, in the last few decades many jurisdictions in our country have failed to live up to these fundamental obligations.

To begin with, the largest “mental health” institutions in most local jurisdictions (including Orange and Los Angeles Counties) are their local jails.  Too many times the mentally ill are routinely shoved into cells and either denied proper care or overmedicated simply to keep them from “causing trouble.”  To my lasting regret, there were some times during the middle 1980s where I could see that this was happening with defendants who were appearing in my own courtroom when I did not intercede.  And suicides from those mentally fragile people are not uncommon.  In fact, it is estimated by the Huffington Post that about one-third of more than 800 jail deaths in our country between July of 2015 and July of 2016 actually were suicides. Whose fault is this? Bluntly, it is our government, and if it is not working, we have no one to blame but ourselves.  So please take these issues into account when you are voting or talking to your local officials.  Some things are too fundamentally important in a civilized society to be ignored or left to others.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at JudgeJimGrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.

 




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Monday, April 3, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #109 “The Liberty To Fall Down”

Untitled           Back when I was growing up, our family rule was for my sister and I to be home in time for dinner.  Otherwise, we were mostly on our own.  So we learned to make forts, climb trees, invent games and wrestle with our friends, all the while learning by our experiences to control and reduce risks in whatever we happened to be doing.  Yes, sometimes we fell down, but we learned from our missteps to be more careful the next time.  In fact, starting with kindergarten, I was walking about a mile to school along a busy street either with others or by myself (I was simply told to be careful and always to cross the busy street with the crossing guard). And through all of these activities, all of us lived to tell about them!

Today in many ways we have gotten away from that approach.  Our children mostly play only in organized sports practices or games, they are “safely” driven everywhere and are only allowed to play on monkey bars if there is foam rubber padding on the ground beneath them.  And it is virtually child abuse to let them walk to school by themselves!  But that is a shame.  Statistics show it is no less safe today for children to walk to school than it was when I was growing up.  Furthermore, losing this Liberty to Fall Down has resulted in fewer young people realistically being able to calculate risks in the business world or elsewhere in their lives.  Unfortunately, this has also been accompanied by a rise in concern that our children could be injured by “micro-aggressions,” so that we must be detect “trigger warnings” so we can protect these “snowflake” children from melting into a puddle if anything goes wrong by creating “safe places” to which they can retreat (from the real world).  All of this is summed up by the quote: “All the worry in the world doesn’t prevent death, it prevents life.”  So let’s ease away from some of the protections, and let our children (gradually) learn to grow up in Liberty.  It’s a better way, more fun and also a better result!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion.  And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at JudgeJimGrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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