The FREEDOM Alternative
During 1990 to 1993, Peter Verderosa and Jim Davies made 100 episodes of a half-hour TV program to promote the unusual view that government is both needless and damaging. It was broadcast on Connecticut PATV but since then the material has been archived.
With the advent of YouTube and none too soon, in 2019 we decided to make some of these ground-breaking programs available again, and to a much wider audience. Jim has now loaded up to that medium a selection in which the content is not too closely related to that State or that time-frame but but is relevant to anyone, anywhere.
Here is the selection. Click any picture to watch that Episode. Enjoy!
PLEASE NOTE: The on-screen phone numbers no longer work. They expired in the 1990s.
2 The Price of Beer and the Cost of Government Using the example of the components of price in a six-pack of beer, this episode examines the immense burden government imposes on the cost of living, and concludes we'd be far better off without it. 4 The "Social Security" Scam The government's compulsory "Social Security" system takes 15% (no, not 7%) of all that most people earn, then pays out benefits without any contract; they depend entirely upon the will of current politicians. To call that "secure" is a travesty of English.
This episode features an interview with Louis Garofalo, a seasoned insurance broker with ample persuasive skills. Asked how easy the SS would be to sell, beside other competitive offers in an honest free market, he replied "I could not sell it." It's that bad.
5 How to Break the Government School Monopoly Educating our children is the most important thing parents can do for them, and for the first few years of life it goes extremely well. Then the government takes over, and the result is usually a disaster.
In this Episode Jan Loomis, Chair of the CT Home Educators Assn., explains how easy and effective it is to teach one's children at home, so that their natural thirst for understanding and knowledge is met. A far better, Freedom Alternative.
6 The Disaster of Drug Prohibition Prohibition miserably failed in the 1920s, but that didn't stop government trying again later with a different set of mood enhancers. The result is a million artificially created "criminals" behind bars.
In this Episode Monte Dunn shares some of his extensive knowledge of currently illegal drugs. The half-hour is an education on the subject (sorely needed, he says) all on its own.
8 Why It's Hard
to Find a Job
This episode features an interview with Lou Klein, a seasoned employment agent, who explains some of the obstacles placed by government in the path of the job-seeker.
He shows that absent government, involuntary unemployment would be impossible.
9 Objections to Freedom Sadly, not everyone is ready to take responsibility for their own lives, and so worry about freedom or even oppose it.
In this Episode Jim Davies and Peter Verderosa field some of the feedback viewers sent in after the first few were broadcast. Those not yet convinced may find their own concerns addressed.
10 The Day Government Began a War A notable episode, for two reasons:
1. It was first broadcast live during the very hour that the First Gulf War was beginning: the evening of January 16th, 1991; probably the only TV program on at that time that deplored and opposed the war.
2. As well as Libertarian Jim Davies, another panelist was a Liberal, the late Walter Hrozenchik - a Veteran for Peace who as a young G.I. had set eyes on the terrible destruction the US Government had wrought upon Hiroshima. While those two groups disagree about most things, we were totally united in vigorous opposition to the Gulf war. Many of the predictions we made then have since proven true.
12 Why Health Care Costs Make You Sick Dr Avery Grayson calmly diagnoses the problem, in this episode, as a case of poisoning by government regulation.
He shows that costs have risen inexorably since it began, and that the rate of increase greatly accelerated after some services became "free."
13 How to Fight Back Using the Constitution Andrew Melechinsky is the distinguished guest on this episode. He knew the US Constitution better than anyone, and used it in practice to try to make government obey its own supreme law.
That he (and everyone else) did not succeed is adequate proof that limited government is impossible. If you have government, it will eventually be total; there will no liberty at all.
14 Meet Some Firearms In this episode Monte Dunn, a "peaceful, loving and inoffensive person," presents part of his gun collection and explains what firearms are for and how to handle them safely.
When the US Government was set up, the people were promised that our right to own and carry them would never be "infringed".
20,000 restrictive gun laws tell us what government promises are worth.
18 Who Owns Your Home? - or other real estate, that you might have bought or built?
You do, of course, by right, and so it will be after government has vanished. But as guests Ed and Flicka Thrall prove in this episode, meanwhile it disagrees. It bullied them for 25 years, denying their right of ownership, ie to control use of their dance hall.
20 Government's Ugliest Faces This episode starts with a then-new report of the savage police beating of Rodney King, but features mainly its ugly practice of collecting taxes - ending with an attempt to auction off the home of TFA guest Andrew Melechinsky, which the IRS had recently seized - just as violent, albeit less physical.
Happily nobody bid, and the auctioning US Marshals are shown skulking back into their courthouse.
21 Cultural Corruption Not all the damage government does is big-budget. Sometimes it can spend relatively little, yet significantly change the culture.
Professional musician Donald Wood is the guest on this episode, and he wants that malignant influence to stop.
24 Leading-Edge Music Love it or hate it, composers always create new styles of music, and our guest in this episode is just such a writer and publisher - Jason Szostek. "Those Melvins" is one of his albums, and in the 21st Century he has focused on electronic compositions.
Audiences would be well able to decide whether or not to embrace such new styles, but Jason shows how the government's FCC prevents them being heard. Thus, it curbs human creativity.
29 Resistance Many TFA episodes show that government is a parasite in need of removal. But, how?
This episode shows two possible ways: a public protest demonstration, and a courageous individual, Juanita Martin, who defied authority and stood her ground.
Some years later, Jim prepared another way. Find it at TOLFA.us
30 André Marrou Many TFA episodes show that government is a parasite in need of removal. But, how?
One way may be to elect a President who will wind it down. This episode features an interview with one such candidate, who shows how much of that he could accomplish even without Congressional support.
Some years later, Jim prepared another way. Find it at TOLFA.us
31 The Drug War - Success or Failure? Government's "War on Drugs" has been a big success. It has given its agents plenty of jobs, spread fear among the public, enabled it with little protest to violate the financial privacy of everyone, placed a million of the black community's most promising young businessmen in prison, and so continued to keep it in second-class status. All this spells Power, which is the politicians' favorite "high."
A street survey is done in this episode, to discover how much people know about the facts of the Drug War. The results are alarming.
32 Dick Boddie Sixteen years before Obama, America could have elected a black man who understood the difference between individual rights and group privileges. In this episode Jim interviews Dick Boddie, hoping to be the Libertarian nominee for President. To the question "What would you do first, if elected?" Dick replied "I'd demand a recount."
Funny, but also profound; and one of the reasons why, some years later, Jim prepared another way to remove the government parasite. Find it at TOLFA.us
37 Family Values Part 1 This is the first of two episodes in which we discuss this vital topic, with participation by Walter Gengarelly. For part 2, click the pic for Episode 38.
As Walter shows, family and government are natural enemies.
38 Family Values Part 2 This is the second of two episodes in which we discuss this vital topic, with participation by Walter Gengarelly. For part 1, choose Episode 37.
Walter clarifies that a family is by nature a group that unites to form plans for life together, yet in every one of its aspects, government intervenes and over-rules those plans - regarding children, their birth, their education, which parent works, how finances are shared; every one of them, even including divorce. The State is the enemy of the family.
39 Abortion, etcetera So many important aspects of family values were uncovered by Walter Gengarelly in Episodes 37 and 38 that Peter and Jim decided to discuss them further in this one, in a lively and unrehearsed conversation.
We found that one of us was "pro-choice" and the other, "pro-life"; but we were both 100% agreed that government and its laws should stay totally outside the entire subject.
That's a view never seen on "mainstream" media. If you want to explore it, this is the place.
40 Coercive Treatment The USSR used to lock up those who disagreed with Communism, on the grounds that they must be crazy. Steve Mendelsohn reveals in this Episode that something comparable happens in the USA.
Cathy Ludlum was our second guest, in a memorable interview by Peter Verderosa. Confined to a wheelchair, she delighted us with her positive spirit and attitude and related how government's practice of labeling and restricting her and dictating where she was to live and what she could and could not do was as bad as, or even worse than, her disability itself.
"Never give up on your dreams," she told us. We won't.
44 A Freedom Fest Jim conveys in this episode some of the sheer pleasure and enthusiasm he experienced in a gathering of several hundred freedom seekers, at the Nominating Convention of the Libertarian Party in 1991. 45 Yuri Maltsev This episode features a presentation by Prof. Yuri Maltsev, one of the economic advisors to Gorbachev and Yeltsin on how best to transition to a non-communist economy in Rusia.
He moved to the USA and became Econ Professor at Carthage, WI.
46 Does Freedom Work? Peace is obviously better than war, voluntary exchange better than theft, and persuasion than force. Such are the moral arguments in favor of freedom instead of government.
But which produces better results; which works better in practice, a free society or a ruled one? That is the utilitarian or pragmatic question, which is explored in "The Pragmatist" magazine; and to find out, in this episode Jim interviews its producers Jorge Amador and Hans Schroeder.
48 Private Police? Some have a hard time imagining anyone but government running police forces, seeing them privatized.
News flash: to a large extent, they already are. This episode features an interview with Jim Hock, who worked in several private, competitive police companies and shows they already outnumber those funded by the theft of taxation.
49 Opposing Laws In the first part of this Episode Peter interviews several participants in the anti-tax rally in Hartford, CT - one of the largest demonstrations in that State's history. Among them is Wolf Neumann, recently arrived from the USSR, who gives Americans an urgent warning: that this country is heading where his went in 1917.
The second part features an interview of Dr Avery Grayson, about the Fully Informed Jury Association, and the Amendment it is promoting nationwide. He explains that jury nullification may be our final defense against government laws.
51 TFA's First Year: a Celebration with Champagne and Pot Peter and Jim break out the bubbly on the first anniversary of this program, and feature an examination of the many benefits of marijuana, with help from some Alaskan friends and even from the US Government.
53 The Man Who Met Göbbels and Hitler Featured in this Episode is a remarkable Englishman, Randall Johnson. In the 1930s he was in the travel trade and to promote tourism once met Joseph Göbbels one-on-one, and briefly Hitler himself. He reports that they were entirely ordinary men and politicians. The flip side of that is that every ordinary politician is a closet Nazi.
Randall tells of his escape from Germany in September 1939, by a combination of luck, bravado and a card signed personally by the Reichsminister.
56 Economics, the
Right Way Up
By controlling with its lapdog media how we all hear and read the daily news, government conditions us to a perverted understanding of economics.
Jim and Peter here take for an example the news from one day, and turn that false depiction inside out. Once we see how to read it properly, we can do this for any news, any day.
57 Unlimitable Government The US Constitution is the best attempt ever, anywhere, to set up a government with limits. Among those limits are promises that no person shall be deprived of property without a jury trial.
In this Episode, Andrew Melechinsky tells how the Feds had given notice that they will seize his home and evict him and his wife, having deliberately, wantonly and repeatedly refused to provide him with a jury trial. The threat was later carried out.
Accordingly, it's impossible to limit government; if one exists at all, it will eventually become absolute.
59 Flying Free This Episode was recorded near the 50th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, so in its first part Jim recalls how FDR fooled Americans into joining WW2. Then Peter reports that State politicians have reacted to the big anti-tax demonstration shown in Episode 49 (see https://youtu.be/dRsgoSjCPLI ) not by bowing to the protestors' will but by figuring how to divide us and conquer.
By 1920 Americans could look forward to owning a family car, and in many cases a small family airplane. The first of these dreams was fulfilled, the second was not; in the show's second half veteran aviator Walter Gengarelly explains why.
64 Made Homeless
Apologists or propagandists for government want us to suppose that by taking care of the indigent, it stops people being homeless.
This Episode demonstrates that the exact opposite is the truth. Steve Mendelsohn explains that "mental illness", which very often typifies "street people", is caused or greatly exacerbated by government institutions by first making folk in difficulties depend on its treatment, then throwing them out to depend on themselves, then repeating the cycle ad nauseam.
In both halves of the cycle, it uses force; and that, he says, is the core of the problem.
65 Freedom on Campus For this Episode, we visit the campus of Yale University.
Nancy Williams joins us to administer the "world's smallest political quiz", a.k.a. the Nolan Chart, to solicit student opinions about questions designed to place them on a two-dimensional opinion spectrum (the usual Left-Right one having but a single dimension.) We show some students taking the quiz and expressing surprise. We offer you the viewer a chance to take the same quiz on your own, to discover where you stand yourself.
66 "You Have to Stand Up to Government" So said Juanita Martin, in this remarkable interview by Peter Verderosa of her and Andrew Melechinsky, during which Peter "grills" them about their understanding of the Constitution.
Andrew has just been evicted from his home, and Juanita has occupied it anyway in an attempt to gain publicity for the fact that he was given no jury trial, and so to restore it to him. They make a convincing case that a government which operated within the limits of its Charter would be a vast improvement on today's reality.
By showing that it resolutely ignores those limits, Andrew has unintentionally demonstrated that limited government is impossible and therefore that it must be abolished altogether.
68 The Cuckoo's Nest In 1940, not many Germans knew that their government was killing off 300,000 psychiatric patients, as having "lives devoid of value." Even fewer Americans know today that the idea for doing so was begun here, 40 years earlier.
Even now, and despite Jack Nicholson's part in the movie depicting the sinister Nurse Rached, and Walter Matthau's in "Against Her Will", not many Americans know that such patients are routinely confined in psychiatric hospitals by government force at taxpayer expense.
But in this Episode, our guest Steve Mendelsohn shows that both are true.
70 Tough Questions for Jim Peter Verderosa plays "devil's advocate" in this Episode, by marshaling all the objections to libertarianism that he's recently heard, and throwing them at Jim as if pelting him with rotten tomatoes.
See how you think he does, in response.
71 The Social Security
There isn't one.
In this Episode Dan Plewecki is our guest. He has made a particular study of the government's Social "Security" system, and shows why it comes up a very long way short, why it ought to be made optional, and how everyone should prudently prepare a retirement pension.
75 Ross Perot, Authoritarian Walter Gengarelly joins us again for this episode and carefully analyses the 1992 candidature of Ross Perot. He finds him perceptive and intelligent regarding the country's problems, but defective about how to fix them; instead of shrinking the outfit that caused them, Perot favored a strong, authoritarian approach.
Pretty well the opposite of Libertarian André Marrou.
76 How to Earn a Living in a Recession The government-caused recession had in 1991-2 made job-finding hard and raised unemployment.
So in this episode we offered some practical advice on how to find one or otherwise to make a living, with help from professional recruiter Lou Klein.
Peter Verderosa announced he will be going into semi-retirement from the show, and in a farewell spectacular demonstrates some of his vocal and acting skills.
79 How Government
Walter Gengarelly again takes part in this Episode, to help show how, against the backdrop of slavery and segregation, which were both allowed and enforced by government, today it discriminates against blacks with its zoning laws, minimum-wage laws, anti-drug laws, its low-quality monopolized schools, its prohibition of child labor and its "justice" system.
That last was nowhere more clearly exposed than by the Rodney King incident, in which his attackers had just been acquitted at the time of this recording.
82 Russia's Transition When this Episode was first broadcast Yeltsin was trying to move Russia from Communism to a mixed economy, on a "500-day Plan" despite the advice of Yuri Maltsev (see #45 at https://youtu.be/KAymf6GioVs ) to do it in 1 day.
We show how the "free" medical care from 70 years of Communism was of a standard way below the West - in some ways below that of the 19th Century; and how even the military was reduced to selling weaponry for kopeks on the ruble.
It was an exciting, historic time and had lessons for America's coming transition from a governed to a free society.
84 Gun Fun Monte Dunn takes Walter and Jim into the woods at Cornwall Bridge in this Episode, to give them a lesson in gun control.
Not, though, the kind of gun control favored by Adolf Hitler, Charles Schumer and their admirers.
87 Freedom vs. Authority A variety of examples are taken in this Episode, to show how sharply these two values differ. They come from politics (eg the contrast between Marrou and Perot), drugs, police harassment especially of blacks, sex, and education; and from the UK and Holland as well as America.
It's clear which of them works best. Which do you prefer?
88 The Need for Defense, and Other Myths About a quarter of what the Feds confiscate from us, they spend on "Defense." Jim and Walter Gengarelly discuss the probability of an invasion by Cuba, and remain puzzled. The US is running short of enemies. The need for defense against unprovoked attack is a myth, and there is no mandate to "police the world."
Other myths discussed include the one that "Social Security" is needed to ensure we all save for our retirement. Absent government and its taxes, an average earner could do FAR better on his or her own.
93 Forebodings This Episode turned out to be prophetic.
Jim and Walter discuss the attempt to impose on Europeans a supra government, and their resistance; the growing menace of immigration and customs control; the nomination of Bill Clinton; seizure of assets without trial, and the ever-increasing surveillance of the population.
All those became hot-button issues in the following quarter century.
96 Reloading Ammunition All governments do violence to people, so they all fear that people may one day shoot back. Hence the constant attempts to make gun possession illegal.
Failing that, they try to limit sales of ammunition; and reloading (adding powder and lead to used shell casings) is the fall-back answer to that trick. In this Episode, Monte Dunn shows how.
98 Murder and Terrorism
This Episode relates the then-fresh news of the outrage in Ruby Ridge, ID, in which Randy Weaver's wife Vicki, son Sammy and baby Elisheba were shot dead by government marksmen.
It continues to tell of IRS terrorism against innocent people as related by Montel Williams on CBS, and Jim reminds viewers that if they want government they must have taxes, and if there are taxes they must be collected by force.
Possibly, this is the most dramatic Episode in the TFA collection.
99 Alternative Medicine Principal guest in this Episode is Alan Mencher, PhD - a doctor not of Physick but of Physics - who has come to deplore as well as to account for the high cost of modern health care, and to explore some alternatives that one may try at home, given the important assumption that one takes responsibility for one's own health.
In so doing he uncovers some facts and possibilities that bring small comfort to orthodox providers, including the fact that some scholars are questioning whether "HIV" really causes AIDS.
100 Celebration of 100 TFAs Peter Verderosa emerges in this happy Episode from semi-retirement and brings the champagne; this is the Fall of 1992 and shortly some Libertarians will run for office in Connecticut. We interview four of them. Politics appeared to be the only way to beat back the violence of government.
Some years later, Jim prepared another way. Find it at TOLFA.us
108 Reflections on Liberty This is the final Episode of TFA , recorded in January 1993 shortly before Jim moved to New Hampshire. He and Peter Verderosa reflect on the fun they have had in making them all, recalled a few of the many wonderful people who have taken part as guests, and tried to distil the key aspects of what it means to live free.
Jim stressed the need to read, and showed a few examples of books to acquire. Subsequently he wrote some himself; six books and hundreds of articles and blogs indexed at TakeLifeBack.com. In 2006 he led the development of The On Line Freedom Academy, at TOLFA.us, which he recommends above all.