The Day I Spoke With the Devil

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06:00

Wakeup
to the standard wakeup kick to the head, from my daughter Chloe
(two). I reached over to check the time and as usual, her wakeup
kick was right on time. Picking my body up out of bed, I went out
to the living room and turned on my laptop. I was about to start
the first part of my daily reading ritual.

08:00

Breakfast
with my wife and kids, shower and shave, then back to the laptop
until noon.

12:00

Take
a taxi to a lunch meeting. My taxi driver looks across the road
at the local school whose playing field is covered with fire engines,
ambulances and security personal. They have blockaded the road leading
up to the Shangri La Hotel here in Singapore.

"Must
be for all the VIPs," he said.

"You
mean for all the jokers," I replied.

He
looks over at me not knowing whether to laugh or raise his guard.

"No,
a bunch of world leaders, I mean," he said.

"Exactly,
jokers," I replied.

12:30

I
am surprised at the amount of foot traffic making its way through
the Intercontinental Hotel where I was having lunch. Lunch begins
and I comment on the foot traffic. My acquaintance mentions that
perhaps it is for the big convention in town. As a Paleolibertarian,
I had given up on the mainstream press; thus, I was unaware of such
an event.

"Donald
Rumsfeld is in town," he says.

"Probably
getting ready to attack Korea," my other acquaintance says.

"Well
they (the Empire) did recently deploy some stealth bombers there,"
I said.

"Maybe
they are going to bomb Pyongyang?" one of them says.

"I
hope not. I own shares in Korea Electric Power," I said.

14:00

I
return home and begin reading essays from Antiwar.com
and LewRockwell.com. I
immediately click onto the Casualties of War link on the Antiwar.com
site, to see how many more people were killed overnight in Iraq
and Afghanistan. Well another three US service members were killed
bringing the total as of 2 June 2005 up to 1,669 in Iraq. This figure
does not include the wounded, the coalition forces casualties, the
casualties in Afghanistan and most of all the Iraqi and Afghan casualties.

This
is a personal issue with me as in 1990 I had recently joined the
Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Rumor at the time was that in the
event "Iraq I" was a prolonged conflict instead of four
years our military training would be completed in two years and
instead of having an option to sign a contract with the military
we would be drafted. At the time, I was an advocate of enlightened
dictatorships (democracy obviously was not working), an oxymoron,
by the way, and was fully prepared to do my duty if called upon.

About
eight years later I experienced the economic melt down in the supposedly
enlightened dictatorships of Asia. Hey wait a minute; I thought
these were enlightened dictatorships, if that assumption is correct
then why are all of us experiencing the current stresses of the
meltdown? This led me to question all my other values and assumptions.
Along my journey for the truth I came across Hayek's classic The
Road to Serfdom
, which led me to Mises' classic Liberalism:
The Classical Tradition
, which led me to "The
Mises Institute
," etc. Today I am a completely converted
Paleolibertarian.

Well
I am one of those types of people which hate being wrong and I felt
ashamed that I had bought into all the propaganda which had been
pumped into my life since day one by the politicized media, the
entertainment industry, the school system, the government and finally
all the other brainwashed people I came into contact with. Here
I was willing to kill other people and give my life for the Empire
so that it could pad the pockets of the political elite and their
political-capitalist friends. Boy was I upset.

16:15

Off
to the American Club with my daughter Lauren (three and a half)
for her tap dance lesson. We put on her tap dance shoes and wait
for her instructor to show up. In the mean time, I tell her my version
of the Disney's rendition of Aladdin. Her instructor shows up and
off they go together into the studio next to the squash courts for
her lesson that lasts forty-five minutes.

Quick
no time to waste, I pulled out Christian
Economics In One Lesson
by Gary North and started to read
away. I had recently converted to Christianity and was pleasantly
surprised at the parallels between its religious teachings and the
Paleolibertarian philosophy. The most obvious amongst these is that
God gave us life and that men should not murder other men but in
self-defense. Furthermore, this life would be meaningless unless
we could choose between right and wrong and deal with the consequences
of our decisions; thus, he gave us liberty. Finally, this liberty
would in turn be meaningless unless we were able to improve our
life and that of others. In order to do this he gave us stewardship
over his assets for the improvement of humankind, i.e. property.
There you have it, Life, Liberty & Property, the cornerstone
tenets of Classical Liberalism. Oh yeah, before I forget, God's
intended structuring of society was to be based on decentralized
institutions starting with the family. We were only answerable to
God and to man, if we broke the law. Then along came some do-good
Israelites (I am convinced that at heart they were parasites of
the state, can anyone say Neocons?) who demanded they have a king.
God warned them thus:

“This
will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will
take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before
his chariots.  And he will appoint him captains over thousands,
and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground,
and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and
instruments of his chariots.  And he will take your daughters
to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to
be bakers.  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards,
and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give
them to his servants.  And he will take the tenth of
your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and
to his servants.  And he will take your menservants, and your
maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and
put them to his work.  He will take the tenth of your
sheep: and ye shall be his servants.  And ye shall cry out
in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you;
and the LORD will not hear you in that day." (1 Samuel 8:11–18)

The
Israelites were not interested and God gave them their king and
now we are all suffering for it.

16:40

Two
men in suits show up with earpieces. Obviously, no one in their
right mind wears a suit outdoors in Singapore where it is about
30 degrees Centigrade (90 odd degrees Fahrenheit) in 100% humidity,
so my natural conclusion was that some theoretically important joker
was about to show up. I was licking my chops, perhaps Rumsfeld would
show up and I could give him a piece of my mind. It was hard to
concentrate on Gary North's newsletter with the suits around. One
went off to buy a drink. Thank God for private property, the club
would not sell him one because he was not a member. I know that
I should have offered to buy him one but my conscience was not working
correctly at the time. I thought, "Why should I assist a servant
of the Empire?" Jesus, please forgive me this sin. The next
thing I know the General Manager shows up and starts offering the
suits drinks, wait a minute aren't those my assets you are giving
away? The lesson here is that even in private clubs the elites will
have their way regardless of the abuse. How much more the abuse
must be in larger organizations like the government.

As
the time passed I thought of all the things I would tell Rumsfeld
if he showed up, maybe I would coin a phrase like “Hey, Hey, Rummy,
how many kids did you kill today?” One thing is for sure, if Rumsfeld
was going to play squash in the court in front of where I was sitting
I bet the suits would ask (i.e. tell) me to leave. Well that would
be my opportunity to say something smart like, “I'll move but this
is private property and I am a member and you're not. Do you think
that's right?” or “How does it feel to serve a government which
unConstitutionally (illegally) and based on false premises, kills
people?"

17:00

About
seven more suits show up. Once I see past the first row of guards,
there he is, the Devil himself, Donald Rumsfeld. Here is my chance
to incarcerate him and charge him with crimes against humankind.
That would be lawful in the Classical Liberal society, as we would
be permitted to volunteer our services in order to apprehend proven
criminals regardless of who they are because we are all answerable
to the same law. "Move body, mouth, anything. Here's your chance
do something!" I ended up doing nothing I just sat there. The
suits did not even provide me an opportunity to say anything (I
suppose an overweight middle-aged guy in sandals did not represent
much of a threat). I sat there and watched while Rumsfeld, wearing
a T-shirt saying "Navy Squash" warmed up. One of the other
lapdogs wearing a T-shirt saying "Pentagon, Washington D.C."
was warming up outside the squash court.

Rumsfeld
won the first game and decided to take a restroom break. He wandered
around aimlessly looking for signs and then looked at me, and that
is when it happened, "Do you know where the bathroom is?"
I gave him directions, and sunk deeply into my seat. The Devil had
spoken to me and I did nothing other than submit. There was no pride
left in me only disgust.

When
Rumsfeld returned some propaganda hound showed up and said, "I
just saw Rumsfeld in the restroom and wanted to see who the lucky
guys were that got to play squash with him."

"Excuse
me," I thought, "you have just put a mass murderer on
a pedestal and worshipped him. What in the world are you thinking?
Don't you pay attention to what is going on around you? What about
the Second Commandment, u2018Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven
image' (Exodus 20:4)?"

I
suppose we have all forgotten God's warning to the Israelites when
he gave them their king,

"Only
fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider
how great things he hath done for you.  But if
ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your
king.” (1 Samuel 12:24–25)

We
know what happened to Israel, we know that history has a tendency
to repeat itself and we know that today we have a king (government)
other than God, the question is, “Do we continue to ‘fear the LORD,
and serve him in truth’?”

17:15

My
daughter finally finished her class and ran up to me to change her
shoes. As she looked at Rumsfeld playing squash, she asked, "What
are they playing?"

"A
game called squash."

"Who
are those men playing?"

"They
are bad men."

"Why?"

"They
kill people."

June
4, 2005

Jonathan
Liem [send him mail]
resides in Singapore, is an avid investor and aspiring Classical
Liberal.

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