Brazil-A New Hope with Less Marx and More Mises

In 2012, Marcello, the Wandering Trader wrote “The powerhouse of South

real farmers don't live on subsidies ... they live in Brazil ! (http://www.trendlines.ca/free/economics/)
real farmers don’t live on subsidies … they live in Brazil ! (http://www.trendlines.ca/free/economics/)

America and the home of beautiful women known the world over.  Brazil has become an investors paradise with a massive common market and regulations that have been eased to promote growth and investment.

The upcoming years will prove to be the launching pad for Brazil with unique global events such as the World Cup in 2014, 2016 Olympics, and even the recent Rio +20 event.  All of the events are forcing Brazil to clean up its act and start playing at the new world standards.

There are little things that still plague the country, a small example would be how I had trouble finding reliable internet to day trade in Rio De Janeiro.  That doesn’t mean that Brazil’s economy won’t continue to grow.

It will continue to be engine of growth in South America and start to be the new anchor in the region as countries start to rely less on United States and more on Brazil…”

The reality of the 2016 Olympics mirrors the push-me, pull-you nature of a country trying to find itself.  It was the darling of the future in 2012. A new president Obama sent a healthy portion of billions earmarked for oil exploration and development in Mexico, Central, and South America to Brazil to develop its expansive deposits to liquid gold. Brazil also boasted agriculture, alternative energy, and all the riches its vast resources of the Rainforest.  Today, body parts are floating in the bays and a growth rate that vanished to zero, re-emerged only to grow negatively.

All is not lost, however. The future remains unwritten; the potential for a greatness bedded in the foundations of trade and freedom lies restlessly just below the surface. The Atlas Network recently published Brazil’s Ideological Crossroads: Menos Marx; Mais Mises a story by Eric D. Dixon. He points out that “…The people of Brazil are angry at a system that has failed them, and ready for change. As Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman observed, real change usually happens only after a crisis, and “the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around”. Atlas Network partners in Brazil have spent years laying groundwork for the ideas of liberty to be present at this moment, to provide a beacon of reason and hope amid a turbulent political and economic storm…”

Looking for a quantum of liberty? A reason to hope? Something optimistic? Read Dixon’s story.

The Eleventh Orchid

War rends the fabric of humanity in a way few of us can imagine. Immigrants from war torn areas enter their new countries for a new life but cannot erase the slate that forms the books of their lives.  Incoming individuals accept the challenges of new lives, new cultures, new languages, new value systems, and new dreams. They work until their backs are bowed and we who have not walked in their shoes see only the strength, the commitment to liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness. We regale the energy and renewal they bring to our society.  Beyond the pages we see of their lives today is a back story of family triumphs and tragedies, of hopes, dreams, failures, and determination.

In the Eleventh Orchid, John Malch brings us the story of one such family from Vietnam.  His family.  Told through the souls, dignity, and hearts of the players, the reader is allowed a peek at the emergence of the tools that may be used to mend the tapestry torn asunder by wars and politics.

The Eleventh Orchid

Prolog

Serene Lăng Cô, Vietnam Coastline
Serene Lăng Cô, Vietnam Coastline

The following memoirs about the Le Tien family was recalled by Le Tien’s eleventh child from her memory and stories told by her mother, relatives and friends. This book of memoirs was written to retain memories and profiles as proofs for the family’s tradition of culture and kindness. Reading the book will allow all the family’s descendants to access and learn more about their tradition and origin, resulting in helpful lessons which can be applied to everyday life.

It is the same for all times, building a family always needs: heart, self-reliance, knowledge, talent and dignity.

Continue Reading

Freedom Glow and the Silly Season

Do you remember Captain Hook poisoning Peter Pan’s buddy Tinkerbelle?

Tinkerbelle Public Domain)
Tinkerbelle
(Public Domain)

Probably not, but most of us who watched J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” on stage or saw the Disney movie as children remember saving her life by clapping wildly and shouting “I believe in fairies.” Well, here we are in the Neverland of elections, the renewal process of the republic that is the United States of America. We probably can’t save the Republic by clapping our hands and believing in fairies.

The din of the candidates and their pundits consumes so much space, there is barely room for a wavicle of light to penetrate the gloom. The theme this cycle, for example, is ‘social justice’, which appears to mean just about anything but freedom. Who among us is not hearing the warning sounds from within? In a letter dated February 22, 2016, Atlas Network CEO, Brad Lips wrote:

“…And, being so deeply compassionate as they so loudly proclaim—their concern for justice really knows no limit.

They want to “fight for children” (who’s fighting against children?), protect the environment, they want to be concerned about (but not actually eliminate) poverty, they want racial justice, they want to raise the minimum wage, they want “free” college and health care, they want endless social welfare programs, they want to take wealth from its producers and hand it to their electoral supporters in the name of social equality, they want to regulate the water and the air and the land and the food, obesity, transfats, and the Internet, and they will even stoop to intervene in hair braiding and the size of the soda you can drink.

These politicians and their supporters claim their concern and intent is “social justice,” but the means they employ is the very definition of the socially unjust—using government to bend the personal behaviors of everyone to their will.”

In the midst of the insanity, take a few minutes to restore freedom’s glow to your soul by reading Aaron Ross Powell’s latest column, “The Inhumanity of Politics.” You already know what he’s saying, but it is ever so nice a reminder that man has a nobler side.

“Politics encourages us to dehumanize our opponents and, as a result, we dehumanize ourselves.

Politics is inhuman.

As human beings, we have the capacity for reason. With it comes the capacity to engage with others reasonably. If you want to change my mind about something, the best, most humane way to do it is via peaceful persuasion. Raise arguments. Question mine. Try to show me the error of my ways. That’s what good people do when they disagree….” Click here to continue reading.

Quantum of Light

I can say — not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots — that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.—Ayn Rand

Allegations of white privilege, injustice, environmental insults, discrimination, racial discrimination, and general horror in the U.S. are fairly bouncing off celestial spheres and shaking the world as we know it. How could an abomination such as the U.S. even grasp the measure of Ayn Rand’s description that the United States is “…the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”?  The answer may lie in individuals grown in the garden of the founding principles who reach for the goal of a nation where truths are self-evident; “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Such individuals do not look alike nor follow the same path; they must simply be hard working, moral, courageous, reasoned, treat others as individuals in their own right, and follow their own path. The fertile ground of freedom and liberty in the United States has witnessed the harvest of millions of such individuals; some famous, most not. But each has emitted a quantum of light so that the U.S. shimmers light the shining city of lore beckoning ever more to her shores. There are stories to share.

Antonin G. Scalia

Antonin G. Scalia, husband, friend, mentor, protagonist, antagonist, father,

Portrait of Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (Steve Petteway, photographer, Supreme Court of the United States)
Portrait of Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (Steve Petteway, photographer, Supreme Court of the United States)

grandfather, philosopher, and Associate Supreme Court Justice completed the circle of his life nearby the mysterious lights of Marfa, Texas, on February 13, 2016. Would that we could read his opinion on the media and political chaos swirling in the vacuum of his death. Would we recoil from his biting commentary or smile at his piercing humor? Perhaps a bit of both would rattle the cage of reason.

Love him or hate him (or his views), Scalia was principled and consistent in the opinions he authored during his thirty-year term in the Supreme Court and in the life he chose to live. Scalia, the man and the jurist, believed in the United States of America and the need for preserving the country’s legacy. The body of Scalia’s work observed ‘originalism,’ a philosophy centered about the roles and responsibilities of the government and its citizens. The Scalia article in Biography.Com compares and contrasts the ‘originalism’ and ‘living document’ judicial philosophies:

Justice Scalia adhered to the judicial philosophy of originalism which holds that the Constitution should be interpreted in terms of what it meant to those who ratified it over two centuries ago. This was in direct conflict with the more commonly held view that the Constitution is a “living document,” allowing courts to take into account the views of contemporary society. In Justice Scalia’s view the Constitution was not supposed to facilitate change, but to impede change to citizens’ basic fundamental rights and responsibilities. Justice Scalia abhorred “judicial activism” and believed the place for implementing change was in the legislature, where the will of the people are represented.

Complaints are expected, even mandatory, and numerous regarding Justice Scalia’s approach to the law, but none argues that he was inconsistent. Scalia measured his decisions against a yardstick of the written words of any legislation he analyzed and whether or not decisions flowing from the court constituted judicial activism. A man habituated to a balance of toil and rest; he elected to stay in his business long after most Americans retired and continued to enjoy his particular passions. Scalia was a moral man who lived by the traditional principles of family, faith, and country. His courage in battling political and legal behemoths is legendary. Scalia chose his swath of friends from across the political and philosophical spectrum and appeared to revel in their individualism with the same pleasure as others who delight in wine tasting. Antonin Scalia understood his destiny; traveling ever forward on that trail. He taught the Supremes to ask questions, find the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and challenged them to excellence in thought and reason. While each American is a little poorer for his passing, we are each indebted to his stubborn fight to uphold the principles of freedom and liberty. The quantum of light he emitted glows brightly.

Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson’s light of freedom and liberty shines through the veil of the Great Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s. Robeson’s raw courage ran through his family with the power of a great river. On November 20, 2014, The Independent’s Jessica Duchen wrote “…Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1898. His father started life as a plantation slave in North Carolina, but escaped in 1860 and eventually become a pastor. Robeson recalls, in his book Here I Stand (1958), his father’s determination and loyalty to his convictions: “From my youngest days I was imbued with that concept,” he writes. His family’s longer history of activism is noteworthy, too; his maternal great-great-grandfather, Cyrus Bustill, became in 1787 a founder of the Free African Society, the first mutual aid organisation of African Americans….”  Robeson’s early life was marred by the horrifying death of his mother in a house fire. His father picked up the family; marching it into the light of reason.

Paul Robeson honed his raw intellect and natural athletic ability to a law degree and, at least, twelve varsity letters at Rutgers University where he is proudly hailed as a Rutgers Revolutionary.  After Rutgers, Robeson graduated from Columbia Law School. Robeson took his place as a lawyer in society only to discover it narrow, biased, and racist. An apostle of the founding principles of the United States, Paul Robeson was neck-deep in a culture he found personally abhorrent. What now?

Robeson’s wife, Eslanda, an intellectual equal, understood his range and encouraged him to take another path; entertainment. Under Eslanda’s careful management, his beautiful voice and natural acting ability supported the family well, and they moved to London. During the 1930s, the Robesons traveled to the Soviet Union several times and was delighted by the absence of racism he believed he had found there. This time marks the beginning of Paul Robeson’s activism and another great contribution each subsequent United States citizen.

During the 1950s Red Scare, Robeson’s passport was suspended under suspicion that he was a Communist. Why didn’t Paul Robeson take the easy road and deny he was a Communist? According to the Rutgers article:

“…House Un-American Activities Committee in June 1956, he had already lost his reputation, his livelihood and much of his income. 

Yet, he refused to back down and say if he was a member of the Communist party.

“It was the principle,” said Junius Williams, founding director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University-Newark. “He felt his rights were being violated; he had the Constitutional right of free association.”

Not only did Robeson refuse to say whether he was a member of the Communist party, but he also admonished the committee for running a witch hunt.

“I am not being tried for whether I am a Communist,” he told the House Un-American Activities Committee on June 12, 1956. “I am being tried for fighting for the rights of my people, who are still second-class citizens in this United States of America.”

Robeson went on to boldly declare to the committee members: “You are the non-patriots, and you are the un-Americans, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.”…

During this same hearing Gordon Scherer, HUAC member, asked Robeson “Why do you not stay in Russia?” To which Robeson responded, “Because my father was a slave, and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay here and have a part of it just like you,” Robeson replied to Scherer. “And no fascist-minded people will drive me from it.”

Robeson lost everything, including his ability to make a living. Robeson later wrote, in Here I Stand. “For more than ten years they have persecuted me in every way they could – by slander and mob violence, by denying me the right to practice my profession as an artist, by withholding my right to travel abroad. To these, the real Un-Americans, I merely say: ‘All right – I don’t like you either!’”

In 1958, Robeson won his court case, and his passport was restored. Thanks to Paul Robeson, one cannot be denied a passport simply because of political beliefs in the United States. Was Robeson a Communist? He refused to say one way or another. He was a great American, who believed and fought for the founding principles of the United States. The quantum of light that was Paul Robeson still shines brilliantly.

Josef Malcherczyk

“…Josef Malcherczyk chose to immigrate to the United States because the

Joseph Malch 1950-Rancher, San Martin, California, 1943 - 1953
Joseph Malch 1950-Rancher, San Martin, California, 1943 – 1953

Constitution guaranteed him the sanctity of his person and the product of his labor. Many passed through the U.S. portals of immigration to escape perpetual serfdom; Josef came to escape the enslavement of gentry. Josef Malcherczyk became Joseph A. Malch, a builder of businesses, an employer, a husband, and father to five first generation American sons, all of whom served his adopted county—in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

Joseph A. Malch worked hard, learned a new language, and a tough, demanding new culture, which he subtly changed by his very being. His is the story of our ancestors and the magic of American exceptionalism. Apart from Native Americans, who among U.S. citizens cannot trace their heritage back to courageous immigrants who forever left family, friends, lives, and a well-understood culture to knock on immigration’s door to the unknown?

The legal immigration process was never easy, considerate, courteous, or even humane. It was rude, prodding, even crude and dehumanizing. Still, legal immigrants came by the millions. They came for the promise and hope offered by a Constitution that recognized and attempted to protect the rights and responsibilities of Natural Law, a philosophy in which a system of right or justice is held to be common to all humans and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society. Highbrow philosophical concepts aside, immigrants massed on the shores because rumors abounded that everyone who wanted to succeed could do so if they worked hard enough. The United States became the gold rush of the soul.”…

Joseph Malch’s quantum of light enriches the United States.

Conclusion

The United States glitters with the lights of millions who over the past 240 years thrived under a suite of founding principles celebrating the individual: “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

It’s a work in progress.

“I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound, as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom, of the individuals of whom they are composed.” — Alexander Hamilton

Open Network—Weavers of freeorder

Winds - PatResBannerRev_09Jan06The Age of the Internet blasted open the world’s minds for all to see and share, for better or worse. The Internet spurred a creative explosion never before seen in history and placed science and industry in the hands of unique human beings. The Internet can, by its very nature, only encompass the present and the past, while speculating on a variety of futures. The future we are destined to live lies in the hands, souls, and hearts of individuals who share the weave and warp of the human tapestry-the network that spontaneously lights up the world as connections for the future are sealed. This is not your grandfather’s network peddling products.

Leif Smith and his partner, Pat Wagner, founded a small business to serve the ancient and always emerging open network; the result of the best that humanity has to offer. Leif uses “Open Network” to name an emergent pattern of voluntary collaboration, a freeorder, comprised of and arising from all aspects of the world in which an explorer of sovereign spirit may rejoice. This network is very old. No one invented it.

Leif Smith explains, “Even in the age of the Internet, there is a need for curators, people with a point of view, as is found in great museums and libraries.” Only, open network curators do more than use the glories of the past to pollinate better futures. The curators, or weavers, notice arrows pointing forward to a future potential. The Office for Open Network opened in 1975 in Denver, Colorado. The idea of a business to serve open network was new, and it worked. The enterprise thrived and received national recognition in magazines and books. The concept was inclusive and nimble. Continue reading Open Network—Weavers of freeorder

Freedom Fighter— Portraits in Prudence and Courage

The world is a kaleidoscope of newly crystallized conditions clicking into place

Left: Dr. Tom Palmer, Right: Jaycee Johnson
Left: Dr. Tom Palmer, Right: Jaycee Johnson

and, before the eye resolves the design, snaps a new, equally ephemeral design into view. Pattern seekers haunt world news and editorial sites hoping for clarity while others pack their lives with activity hoping the world will right itself. Most humans ignore the dangerous world around them, some feel impotent frustration, others feed fear, hatred, and anger, and a few pick up sticks and set out on voyages of personal understanding. Rarely appearing is a freedom fighter armed with liberal ideas such as freedoms of speech, the press, religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and international cooperation riding out to offer feasible alternatives to brutality, oppression, and evil. Dr. Tom Palmer[1] provided an Atlas Network Update From the Field on Defending Liberty in Sarasota, Florida on January 7, 2016.

Dr. Palmer addressed the ISIS cult, Putin’s ambitions, and our own stupidity. Opening with the ISIS cult, he pointed out the large ISIS cult footprint of evil and horrific brutality, which he labeled terror porn, and identified the steps being taken to contain their recruitment. The Atlas Network seeks out courageous leaders, helps them start local organizations and trains them on how to be effective advocates of liberty. In the Middle East, Atlas Network supports several such groups of young people engaging in countering ISIS recruiting. Dr. Palmer pointed out that the ISIS cult appeals to the base fantasies of boys unmoderated by stable value systems; sex, violence, and glory. Countering such appeal requires two fronts. First it’s vital they understand that if they join ISIS, their new ISIS friends will eventually turn on them and kill them; the ISIS cult provides ample video footage to prove the point. Second is devaluation through laughter; making fun of the ISIS cult. Anyone who has ever laughed at a teenager in the throes of a fit of passionate anger knows this is an effective ‘turn-off.’  Continue reading Freedom Fighter— Portraits in Prudence and Courage

Josef Malcherczyk—America’s Secret Super Power

Josef Malcherczyk was born March 16, 1887, in the village of Raszowa in the

Josef Malcherczyk 1907-Conscript in Prussian Army
Josef Malcherczyk 1907-Conscript in Prussian Army

County of Silesia, Prussia. His education was equal to K-12 followed by vocational training as a blacksmith. Josef was conscripted into the Prussian Army between 1905 and 1907. He developed an unexplained obsession with America, and when he was almost ready to go there, he presented his father with fait accompli. Thus, forfeiting his inheritance of a sizable freehold ancestral farm that had been in the Malcherczyk family since 1706.

Josef arrived in America on March 10, 1910, on the NECKAR, his ship of travel. An Aunt who was a Dominican nun sponsored him with his first job at St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. ln 1911, he pursued his blacksmithing trade at mining camps in

SS Neckar
SS Neckar

Colorado and New Mexico. ln Tyrone, New Mexico he met and married his first wife, Ethel Braser in 1914. On July 4, 1914, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen at El Paso, Texas.

Josef and Ethel had three sons, Robert, Joseph, and James, between 1916 and 1920. Together they moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1920, he built a blacksmith shop in Glendale and operated a prosperous business until 1943 when he retired. On May 3, 1928, Josef changed his name to Joseph A. Malch. Their fourth son, Bud, was born on April 22, 1930. Unfortunately, after a sudden illness from pneumonia, Ethel died in December 1930. Three years after Ethel’s death, Joseph married Appolonia Didion on July 4, 1933, and his fifth son, John, was born on July 13, 1935. Continue reading Josef Malcherczyk—America’s Secret Super Power

New Year Resolution

Celebration of Freedom

The publisher, associates, and friends present

Freedom Glow

CONSIDERING:

Freedom is a state of mind;

Freedom’s tools are knowledge translated into action so others might know and act;

HAVING SEEN:

Each time such an action occurs a packet of light* complete with the unique frequency of an individual is emitted;

And each time an individual picks up a freedom tool and works it in their own life a unique packet of light with a unique wavelength is emitted; and

RECOGNIZING:

We see twinkling of Freedom Glow in New Delhi and New York, in Amsterdam and Tajikistan, in Tehran and Jerusalem, in Accra and Mogadishu, in Denver and Austin around the globe and into space;

Freedom Glow can be seen in art, and music, and economics, and politics, and philosopher’s musings, and medicine, and science—anywhere we care to look;

RESOLVES:

1.  To Present stories, one person at a time, to light a darkened world for all to see.

2.  To Unveil the creative nature of freedom wherever it is found.

3.  To Unearth a node in a grid for communication.

4. To Interview amazing people performing astounding feats.

*Light is energy and light is, by nature, a duality. We can think of light as a particle called a photon that emits or absorbs energy as moves between the veils of energy in an atom. Light also behaves like a wave with frequencies similar to notes played on a piano or violin. For example, red and blue are both light but different wavelengths.

Fun on the horizon:

The Big Roundtable founded in 2013 to promote the telling of true stories with anchoring values of journalism, voice, inclusion, and surprise.

Khabele+Strong Incubator, a learning community taking a pragmatic approach to prepare students for a rapidly-changing future.

Elena Achú and Elvira Urrelo, who belong to the Quechua indigenous community, and Nicolasa Yufla, an Aymara Indian who brought solar power to their village in the Atacama Desert after training at the Barefoot College in India.

Dream Interviews:

Michael Strong, Magatte Wade, Michael Lotus, James C. Bennett, Zudhi Jasser, Khurram Dara, Steven Hildreth, Fernando Prol, Leif Smith, Pat Wagner

Most Desired:

Your ideas, your posts, your contributions.

M_Margarets Chair

Voices of Islam

Donkeys bray and elephants trumpet across acres of microphones manned by Wallpaper-islam-15679036-1105-884bobble heads masking a clash of ages inside Islam-reclamation and reformation. Demands to separate archaic cultures from the tenets of belief are rising. Voices of the Islamic faithful grow in volume as tales of personal and religious history unfold. These are the standard bearers of Islamic transformation through evolution or revolution. Human history is the record of such odysseys.

 Arsa Normani

Arsa Normani

Asra Nomani, author of Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam and Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love, is a woman of faith who came to the United States from India when she was four years old. According to a Fox News article published on April 14, 2015, “Nomani advocates a progressive, feminist interpretation of Islam, at odds not only with violent extremists in the Middle East and Africa but also with millions of non-violent fundamentalists around the world.” But, is this really the case?

Khurram Dara, a practicing attorney and author of The Crescent Directive and Contracting Fear, is an American Muslim whose parents came from Pakistan. During a January 11, 2012, interview with Relevancy 22 stated “… My understanding of Islam has always been one that puts everyone on equal footing.

Khurram Dara
Khurram Dara

I think you’ll find more of that here among American Muslims. It’s important to remember the role culture can play in behavior, and there is a tendency for culture to be confused with religion, which may explain the poor treatment of women in many of the Islamic regimes in the Arab world. In any case, my own belief and my understanding of Islam is that oppression of women should not be tolerated in any circumstances….”

Contracting Fear is an education in the history, evolution and implementation of Islamic Law in the Middle East and Middle America as compared to and contrasted with Law in the United States. Dara makes the point that ‘the sharia’, a law system that once protected the governed from potential excesses of rulers, is not what is practiced as Sharia or Islamic Law today.   In the Preface, Dara writes:

“…Recognizing the inconsistency between Islamic Law today and its function in the premodern world is not novel; most scholarship on Islamic Law is settled on this fact. But outside the academy, political rhetoric and public discourse in the Muslim world indicates this difference is neither understood not appreciated. In many majority-Muslim nations, governments use political propaganda to convince citizens that their administration of law is in accordance with Islamic principles—and that opposing this type of law is akin to opposing Islam. As a result, many in the region have contracted fear: they fail to challenge the administration of law because they fear doing so means challenging their faith. But, as I argue, they should feel no hesitation in criticizing or condemning Islamic Law as practiced today, nor should they feel any less pious for doing so, precisely because of the enormous differences between the classical sharia and its recent reinvention, neosharia law. The sharia as it originally existed also seems to be misunderstood. Despite its obvious religious connection, much of the sharia was the product of premodern Middle Eastern politics and culture. It was a pluralistic evolving, and dynamic mechanism for social order and political stability. These realities, I argue, should change the perception, especially among Muslims, that Islamic law is static, permanent, and incapable of change…”
Continue reading Voices of Islam

Velociraptors, Chaos, and Silver Bullets

Speedy, nimble thieves, velociraptors were savage predators and able

Laura Pressley, 2014 City Council Candidate
Laura Pressley, 2014 City Council Candidate

scavengers. Hunting or scavenging in small coordinated groups, facing a velociraptor tribe was terrifying. Teeth embedded in jawbones of large prey bear mute witness to the chaos of the kill and the return to order recorded in the fossil record. Welcome to the 21st century political stage, a reflection of global geopolitics. A world in which challengers become prey or carrion to establishment politicians who revert to 75-million-year old velociraptor tactics. This is, however, the 21st century and chaos also breeds creative heroes with silver bullets who will not be denied. The super-heroes of today come from all walks of life; engineers, secretaries, and chemists. They arise with ideas and solutions in hand. Today’s silver bullets offer people the tools of liberty and control of their own destiny. In a dark world, these heroes illuminate the ‘possible’ throughout the land from Niceville, Florida to Acme, Washington. Laura Pressley is one of the super heroes. She’s one light of liberty illuminating the dark Austin, Texas skies. Pressley is fighting and winning a battle to secure the integrity of the ballot box. Continue reading Velociraptors, Chaos, and Silver Bullets