The Seige

The Canadian confederal government and the American federal government have agreed to use each other’s armed forces in the case of civil emergencies. What we are talking about here is domestic deployment of heavily-armed, militarized units in response to the thinnest of emergencies: flooding in Toronto, a tornado in Kansas, a bombing of oil pipeline in Saskatchewan. These are crises, no doubt, but do they warrant military intervention? No, do they warrant military intervention from a foreign force not under the command of your civilian political apparatus?

People of North America, there are big changes being made to the foundation of your civil governance. The books and movies are true; totalitarianism can happen on our shores, and the building blocks are in place. The American federal government is increasingly detached from the control of the states, and the citizenry. When over 70% of the American electorate opposes a war, votes the opposition party into power to end the war, and the opposition party won’t even defund the war, it merely illustrates the utter lack of oversight you – joe citizen – will have over the supra-sovereign military planned under this agreement.

Get upset. This is the time to get upset and revolt. Your governments have gotten away from you. Hamilton is winning. For those not versed in American political history, Alexander Hamilton endeavored to create of our newly freed confederation a unified military-industrial empire. He conspired to replace our Articles of Confederation with the burdensome Constitution that has permitted, or even encouraged, the growth of today’s leviathan. The Canadian provinces have no rich tradition of independence, nor of principled liberty, but they have the inheritance of British culture: the Magna Carta, the English Civil Wars, the Second Treatise on Government, etc. All of this tradition is very tenuous. It requires the study and defense of individual rights in each generation. As we walk further from the American Revolution, the states forget their sovereignty, and the people no longer value the blood shed for their freedom.

As many libertarian writers have said, you do not need to feel debt or guilt; you do not need to put your life on the line (yet); you still have that inheritance, you free men of New Hampshire, California, Wyoming, Ontario, Florida, the Carolinas, Alberta, et al. Stand up in your state. Take back your militia (now nationalized as the National Guard), provide a check on the excesses of your so-called ‘leaders’ because they’re walking all over you with agreements like this.

Save Mackies!

The Ontario Libertarian Party condemns Niagara Escarpment Commission for its threat to close Mackies Mountain Archery. Their charge is that Mr. Mackie failed to obtain a ‘development permit application’ before building his archery. Yet again, we see how bureaucrats with a little power can ruin lives. In this case, it’s not just Mr. Mackie’s property at risk, but also the opportunities he creates for children with brain injuries.

The following is an open letter from David Honey of the Niagara Landowners Association:

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to request your assistance with an issue affecting numerous children, teens and people with acquired brain injuries in this community–the potential shutdown of Mackies Mountain Archery. Robert Mackie purchased nine acres of land on Zimmerman Road in Beamsville in 1999, then created Mackies Mountain Archery there in 2002. This small archery range provides specialized training, mentoring and recreation for people with acquired brain injuries and other handicaps, plus boy scouts, beavers groups and hundreds of youth in the community. Mr. Mackie has also planted 3,300 trees on this property since purchasing it, repairing the damage inflicted on this greenbelt land by previous owners.

The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) informed Mr. Mackie in 2006 that he had to shut down his archery range since he had not completed a development permit application. As requested, he completed the appropriate paperwork. The NEC then changed its mind and said he needed to shut down his archery range because he had not proven that the land had been used commercially before he purchased it. As requested. he researched previous records and proved that this land had been used commercially for 42 years–the previous owner had run a logging, lumber and firewood business. The NEC then changed its mind, again, and said he needed to shut down his archery range since his business had not commenced immediately from the date of purchase (he could not run his business full-time until 2002 because he was recovering from corrective heart surgery). Even the Town of Lincoln has sent a letter to the NEC stating that they have no objection to Mr. Mackie’s facility. The NEC has ignored this letter.

Mr. Mackie now runs the very real risk that his livelihood will be shut down by the NEC as early as November 15, 2007. It’s heartbreaking to see a business so important to the youth and handicapped people in this community being slowly driven into the ground by government bureaucrats who seem determined to stick with their original decision, despite all evidence that this decision was unnecessarily harsh. Mr. Mackie’s archery facility is wanted and needed in this community, and I would appreciate any help you could provide to resolve this matter promptly. I look forward to your reply. Thank you for your time and attention to this very important local issue.

Respectfully,

David Honey, President
Niagara Landowners Association

As you have read, time is short: the NEC may strike as early as November 15th. The Ontario Libertarian Party is deadset against this decision, and all attempts to abrogate the rights of property owners. Private property is the cornerstone of practical liberty. Mr. Mackie should not be required to get permission from the state every time he wants to modify his property – that’s why it’s his. Even if he wanted to comply with the law, as is, it would be virtually impossible considering the multiple overlapping jurisdictions of government agencies. His own town has sent a letter in his defense, and yet their democratic mandate will be overruled by an obscure provincial bureaucracy.

The Ontario Libertarian Party appeals to the Commission to reconsider its ruling. Further, the party advocates a return to full ownership of land. That means an end to zoning, ‘protected lands,’ ‘public lands,’ and all other forms of regulation alien to our tradition of liberty. Many justifications have been put forward for these impositions, the most often an invocation of the ‘communal good,’ but as we can see with the Mackies Mountain Archery case, regulations often hurt those who are most vulnerable.

Free Burma NOW!

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The call went out across the globe, and this libertarian stood up. The people and monks of Burma had the courage to resist the criminal junta dominating their lives, and for that they are being jailed, tortured and murdered. They have no arms and no money, and they must be so scared. But what matters is the they persevere, and that example inspired me.

So, I went online, found a rally – THE rally – and took to the streets of Toronto. We grouped in front of the Chinese Consulate, so that our chants would echo through the halls of East Asia’s Evil Empire. The organizers were a mixed bag, mostly socialist, but that wasn’t important. On this day, I didn’t care if I had to sit through an NDP or Amnesty International speech calling for ‘solidarity’ and ‘less talk and more action from Ottawa.’ I knew why I was there: people are dying. People are dying, right now, for their freedom. People are dying miserable, cold, silent deaths because they know that living as slaves is worse than no life at all.

For those who don’t follow closely current events, here is a synopsis: the military of the former state of Burma toppled their civilian government in 1962. Ever since, there has been a cycle of rapprochement and crackdown. In 1988, student groups rose up in protest against their slavery. They were brutally crushed. Since then, the populace has remained largely docile – frozen by fear as in many totalitarian states. With much of the population starving, and the military junta getting rich off of corporatist deals with the Chinese and Indian Empires, a recent cut in fuel subsidies was judged too much to bear. The revered Buddhist Monks of Burma rose up to demand an apology and a return to the rule of law. Brave civilians formed human chains to protect the marching monks from the junta’s batons and bullets. Alas, human will cannot repel bullets when the shooters have iron hearts. The crackdown has begun again…

We, the relatively free, often hear these stories from parts of the world that never embraced liberty. The most conscientious among us may pause, reflect, and feel sorrow for the foreigners’ plight. But we often do nothing. Now, I’m not going to go on a paternalist rant about how awful everyone is for sitting by. If you really think about it, there’s little one can do short of giving up one’s life to wage battle in the jungles of Southeast Asia. I applaud that, but we are not duty-bound to that. I do not believe calling for your military to intervene absolves you either; in fact, it perhaps indicts you as the same type of person as General Than Shwe. The soldiers serving your state pledged to defend you, your territory, themselves, and their families. To order them into someone else’s affairs undermines the foundation of self-government.

So, what can you do?, I asked myself. I can speak, to ensure that the Burmese do not suffer in vain or in silence. That’s what these rallies are about. Children often say that if the Holocaust were happening today, they would do something to stop it. Yet, all around I see the complacency and conformism that allow such atrocities. I decided the important thing was to do something positive and to be as vocal as possible. I went on behalf of the Ontario Libertarian Party. I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with people with whom I would normally disagree. There was a great turnout that night, and we made an impact in the general consciousness. Evidence comes by way of the Toronto Star, which interviewed your author about his reasons for attending. While Ms. Surya Bhattacharya didn’t mention my oft-iterated support for the Ontario Libertarian Party, she quoted accurately my true reason for attending: “I wanted to march to show support for the monks and for the pursuit of political liberty.”

Libertarians are the most ethical people on the planet. We have mulled over ethical systems until we found pure justice: that every person owns himself, that every person deserves to pursue life as he sees fit, and that every person deserves to retain the fruits of his labor. We all believe it, but we seem the least motivated of all parties to realize our ideals in the real world. Why are the socialists in charge of the most important movements against war and tyranny? They are tyrants themselves! Regardless, we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all that will champion freedom, in whatever way they can. People are standing up to one of the least libertarian regimes on Earth. They’re doing the work for us, making the sacrifices for us; shouldn’t we join them? I’ll see you there.