The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What is really in the Stimulus bill? Find out here...

Read the original at this link.

The Majority leadership finally made available at 11pm last night the final text of the 1,073-page borrowing-and-spending "stimulus" -- just 10 hours before consideration of the bill began on the floor this morning. The House unanimously approved a Republican proposal a few days ago to post the final legislation online for 48 hours for the American people to review before a vote is held in the House or Senate, but it does not appear that Leadership will be following through with this, since a vote is expected today.

Click Here Watch the Video of my Latest Comments about the "Stimulus" Spending Bill on the House Floor Today.

When Congress is trying to pass THE most expensive spending bill in the history of not just the United States, but the whole world’s history, Americans deserve to know what is buried in the pages of the text. We all do. You should be able to have the time and opportunity to give your feedback to your elected officials in Washington, D.C. who are making these cloaked, billion dollar decisions with your tax dollars and the tax dollars of your children and grand children and beyond. What is the Democratic Leadership trying to hide? Some of my Democratic friends in Congress are likewise offended by the way this legislation is being rushed through for a vote.

Here are just a few of the many deeply troubling points about the bill that you should know:

- Transportation and Infrastructure spending constitutes a mere 6% of the entire package despite many from the Majority party claiming this is an “infrastructure” bill.
- Direct small business tax relief in the legislation amounts to about one-third of one percent of the total bill, just $3 billion in tax relief out of a $789.5 billion bill!

Also, this spending bill calls for questionable or non-stimulative provisions such as:

- $8 billion for a High Speed Passenger Rail Program which will fund a project from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, which happens to be an earmark to bring more Californians to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s home state to gamble
- $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
- $2 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Fund, providing funds to organizations such as ACORN, which has many complaints filed regarding voter fraud or unlawful voter registration in recent elections
- $10 million for the inspections in urban large cities
- $300 million for federal procurement of plug-in vehicles
- $170 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to research the cause, effects and ways to mitigate climate change
- $400 million for NASA to accelerate climate research missions
- $5.5 billion for federal buildings (GSA), as if we don’t have enough federal buildings. How about projects that are not further bloating our massive federal enclaves.
- $142 million for the Coast Guard to alter or remove 4 obstructive bridges
- $1 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund, which can be used for sexually transmitted disease (STD) education and prevention programs at the CDC
- $500 million for a health professions training program—funding which an earlier committee report said were allocated because, “a key component of attaining universal health care reform will be ensuring the supply of primary care providers.” Universal health care is code for Washington deciding what procedures or medicines you can have or not have as healthcare is rationed across the nation.

Americans are hurting, and we need to take swift action that will create jobs and spur economic growth, but this $790 billion spending bill is not the solution. Neither Members of Congress nor the American people know what all lies either hidden or for a bureaucrat to throw away in this legislation, but what we have found makes clear that this bill is more about passing liberal spending priorities than providing true relief for citizens.

American industry has been trying to hold on to their wonderful workers, but in the last month 600,000 workers were let go. The businesses say they were holding out for the hope Pres. Obama promised but it has become clear that there is no hope in what they had heard the Democratic leadership (not to be confused with some moderate Democrats in Congress) were sticking in this overloaded spending bill. Their leadership said through their actions and even directly in some quotes that the American people can not be trusted to spend money the way Pelosi and Reid want it spent, so Washington has to spend their money for them.

Such a critical and expensive bill that will affect every American and generations to come deserves more time and transparency and review. Furthermore, Americans deserve to have the time and opportunity to provide feedback to their leaders in Washington, DC. What else is hidden in this bill that Democrat Leadership is trying to rush it through passage without thorough review by Americans and Members of Congress? You can view the overwhelming, 1,000+ page text here: Please contact representatives in Congress by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121 to demand greater accountability and transparency on such a critical issue and true relief for American citizens.

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Gods of Entertainment: The Power of Mass Media to Influence

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A Viable Alternative to Federal Regulatory Agencies

by JordanBrown (click for original)

It seems that many people are frustrated with one or more aspects of the Federal Government, yet are unwilling to reduce its size or scope in any significant way. Perhaps the most common argument against reducing (or eliminating) the State goes something like this: “I don’t like being taxed so heavily, but I think it’s important that we regulate X, and reducing taxes or the authority of the State will just allow the crooks in X industry/corporation/group/ to commit more fraud.” In short, many people are afraid--understandably so--of a dirty environment, heavy-metal laden vegetables, and corrupt elections, and believe that only the Federal Government has the funds and authority to handle those issues.

But valuing uncontaminated food does not, in any way, mean that the FDA is the best organization to keep tainted products off the grocery store shelves. In fact, it would seem that the exact opposite is true. The Government Accountability Office has a long list of federal agencies and programs that are at high risk for waste, corruption, and inefficiency. On the most recent high-risk list are such items as ‘FDA Oversight of Medical Products’ and ‘EPA’s Processes for Assessing and Controlling Toxic Chemicals.’ These are not problems with small, relatively insignificant programs, nor are the failing grades issued by a libertarian organization critical of the State. This is a government agency, admitting to gross failure of other government agencies.

Here’s the text that further explains the failure of the EPA to regulate toxic chemicals:

"EPA’s ability to protect public health and the environment depends on credible and timely assessments of the risks posed by toxic chemicals. Its Integrated Risk Information System, which contains assessments of more than 500 toxic chemicals, is at serious risk of becoming obsolete because EPA has been unable to keep its existing assessments current or to complete assessments of important chemicals of concern. Overall, EPA has finished only nine assessments in the past three years; at the end of 2007, most of the 70 ongoing assessments had been underway for more than five years. EPA urgently needs to streamline and increase the transparency of this assessment process."

Also on the list—30 items long--are Medicare, Medicaid, Department of Defense Supply Chain Management, Oversight of Food Safety, and Effective Mechanisms for Sharing Terrorism-Related Information to Protect the Homeland. Only three of the items are new additions to the 2009 list, and many have been on the list for ten or more years!

These failing agencies come at a high price. The EPA’s 2008 budget was $7.2 billion; the FDA’s was $2.4 billion. But budgets are just the most obvious cost—the inefficiencies themselves likely cost much more. For example, it costs pharmaceutical companies, on average, $800 million to get a new drug approved by the FDA, and many of those drugs fail to receive approval. This expensive process, along with the excessive wait times, drastically increases the price of the drugs that do reach the market, and often keeps experimental treatments out of the hands of willing, terminal patients.

Some will argue that an inefficient FDA or EPA is better than nothing at all, but agencies like the FDA also create a false sense of security; their stamp of approval often means individuals don’t feel that they need to conduct any independent research regarding the quality of food or pharmaceuticals, even when GAO reports and salmonella outbreaks would seem to indicate otherwise.

An example of a viable alternative to the federal alphabet soup is the Underwriters Laboratory. The UL is an independent organization that tests more than 3 million products against a list of more than 1,001 standards of safety:

The UL Mark does not carry any legal weight beyond that of any other trademark. In this sense, it is different from the CE Marking or the FCC Part 15 requirements for electronic devices, which are required by law. In practice, however, it may be extremely difficult to sell certain types of products without a UL Mark. Large distributors may be unwilling to carry a product without UL certification, and the use of non-certified equipment may invalidate insurance coverage. It is common practice in many fields to specify UL Listed equipment or UL Recognized materials. Local jurisdictional authorities, such as building, electrical and fire inspectors, may be reluctant to accept a product for installation in a building unless it carries a recognized third-party compliance mark such as the UL Mark.

Failure to receive a UL Mark is far worse than any fine or legal slap on the wrist that government regulatory agencies hand out, because it tells consumers and wholesalers that a product isn’t safe. There is no way to get around that, or pass (non-existent) fines on to the consumer. The only solution for the manufacturer is to improve its product, or sell only to those individuals willing to take the risk that the product will catch on fire, emit toxic gases, etc.

Similarly, economic incentives keep approval organizations like the UL honest and efficient. If a private organization analogous to the UL managed food safety as poorly as the FDA, it would go out of business. One outbreak of salmonella would deal a serious blow to the organization. A second failure--due to negligence, malfeasance or bribery—would ensure that the organization would be replaced by one more trustworthy. Those harmed by the organization's failure to identify the tainted food would have grounds for a lawsuit, and at least the possibility of recompense.

In contrast, failing government agencies continue to receive federal funding, regardless of how many years they have been on the GAO’s high-risk list, because they are part of the State—a monopoly--and therefore face no economic repercussions. There is no real accountability or oversight because the regulatory agency employees get paid regardless of performance or whether they provide a service that people would even be willing to pay for in the free market.

As Barry Donegan pointed out in a recent article, agencies like the SEC are often full of industry professionals who are unwilling to truly regulate others in their field. Once again, an independent organization that had published requirements for those individuals wishing to become recognized as certified professionals in a certain field would serve the needs of consumers far better than a federal agency. A financial services consumer would have the option of patronizing a fund manager who couldn’t meet the requirements needed to become a member of the fund managers association, but he or she would face the potential economic consequences of that decision.

It’s important to recognize that some federal regulatory agencies do provide useful services, they just do so poorly and at the taxpayers’ expense. A more efficient and just system would utilize market incentives to ensure honesty and quality, while passing on the cost of regulation to those consumers who value certified products and services enough to pay a little extra.

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The Growing Army of Angry Men Whose Lives Have Been Destroyed by the Federal Government

by Mark R. Crovelli

One of the hardest things to deal with in the current economic depression is the disgusting hypocrisy of the U.S. congress, the new president, and the members of the Federal Reserve System. It is one thing to be told, as we all are, that we must hand over fat wads of our hard-earned money to these warmongering and thieving snakes or face jail terms, but one feels a whole new level of revulsion when these people make statements to the effect that they, and they alone, are in a position to "save the economy" by "creating jobs." These statements are made by people who have done virtually everything in their power to destroy the American economy over the last few decades, but who have now proclaimed themselves to be our saviors. Only the most naïve and unlearned among us could possibly be falling for the idea that a bunch of self-serving politicians, bureaucrats and bankers are going to "save" us from problems they have caused.

On its face, the idea that politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers could "save" the economy is laughable. These are people, after all, who live exclusively at our expense. That is, these are people whose entire livelihoods are dependent upon taking money away from productive people and spending it on themselves and their favorite wasteful projects. It's true that they do not all share the same ideas about how to spend the money they take from us. Some prefer to use it to blow up innocent people in foreign lands, while others simply want to take our hard-earned money without our consent and hand it over to other people. The bankers, on the other hand, merely content themselves with printing vast amounts of new money out of thin air that they either hand over to the Treasury Department, or gift to their other banker-buddies to lend out at a profit at our expense. Nevertheless, it should be crystal clear that these people do not actually produce anything themselves (except the bankers, who are very skilled counterfeiters of money). They take money from us through taxation and inflation, (and threaten us with severe punishments if we refuse to obey), and then spend every last penny of it – and more – on war, socialized boondoggles, and welfare. These are the people who would have us believe that they can "save" the economy? How exactly would they accomplish such a thing? More taxes, more idiotic socialized projects, more war, and more newly-printed green paper? Do these actions really seem likely to produce a vibrant and healthy economy, or do they seem more like the actions undertaken by the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.?

They would also very much like for us to believe that they are the only people in the world capable of "creating jobs" in the United States. A more ridiculous idea would be hard to find. Again, these people are only in the business of taking money from productive people, and either wasting it entirely (e.g., war), keeping it themselves, or giving it to other people (e.g., entitlement programs, foreign aid, and paychecks for bureaucrats). As such, any actions undertaken by these people will necessarily depend for funding upon those who are forced to pay taxes; namely, the increasingly-dwindling group of productive people who have not yet lost their jobs in the private sector. Does it really seem possible that this sort of parasitism on the productive people of the United States really can create jobs that produce the things that people actually want? If socialized job creation is the only way out of this economic quagmire, as the politicians would have us believe, then why don't they socialize the entire economy? If it were indeed the case that the federal government can "create" productive jobs better than the private sector, then why don't they take over all aspects of the American economy, and we can all live happily ever-after in a brave, new, socialized America where everyone is enslaved, I mean employed, by the State.

And don't think for a moment that the politicians and bureaucrats are themselves going to help the productive people shoulder this onerous tax burden. On the contrary, politicians and bureaucrats do not actually pay taxes. As Murray Rothbard has noted in this regard:

"If a bureaucrat receives a salary of $5,000 a year and pays $1,000 in 'taxes' to the government, it is quite obvious that he is simply receiving a salary of $4,000 and pays no taxes at all. The heads of the government have simply chosen a complex and misleading accounting device to make it appear that he pays taxes in the same way as any other men making the same income. The UN's arrangement, whereby all its employees are exempt from any income taxation, is far more candid."

Hence, while Mr. Obama is fond of telling us that "we" are going to have to get out of this recession together, what he really means is that those of us who are employed in productive private lines of work in this country are going to have to hand over more and more of our hard-earned money to those people in this country who pay no taxes at all; namely, men like Mr. Obama himself and the rest of the fat, parasitic political and bureaucratic class that infests this country.

Some of the more shameless of the political class in this country, or their academic lackeys, have even tried to convince us that the trillions of dollars they are wasting in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to help us get out of this depression. They have been taking our money and blowing it up in these two dreadfully poor countries year after year, and they would like for us to believe that this senseless destruction of wealth is going to make us richer. Often known as "Military Keynesians," this group is perhaps more aptly described as the "kill ourselves rich" crowd. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that neither you nor I are made better off when the federal government steals our money, hands it over to Lockheed Martin to purchase bombs, and then uses those bombs to blow up Pakistani civilians. The only people who benefit from this forceful expropriation of our money and indifferent murder are the merchants of death occupying lucrative posts at Lockheed, Blackwater and the Pentagon.

What the political and bureaucratic classes are actually accomplishing very well, however, is creating a veritable army of angry men whose lives have been destroyed by the federal government. Many have lost their jobs, thanks to the collapse of the largest artificial economic boom in American history – a boom that was directly caused by the actions of the federal government and the Fed. In addition, thanks to years of merciless and ceaseless money creation by the Fed, this army of men has found that their savings purchase fewer and fewer goods over time. This depreciation of the dollar will inexorably increase astronomically over the next few years as the massive amount of new money the Fed and treasury have already jointly printed, and are planning to print over the coming months and years, floods the system.

This army of angry men has very little to be optimistic about in the near future. At best, they might be able to keep their present jobs in the private sector – shouldering a heavier and heavier portion of the tax burden that funds the congress and president's wars and socialization schemes, while the value of their savings continues to erode into dust. Those who have lost their jobs might be permitted to work on Mr. Obama's "public works" projects, and thereby become virtual slaves to the whims of the political and bureaucratic classes. Many others will simply find it easier to start sucking at the state's teat in the form of unemployment insurance or food stamps, et cetera, and thereby lose all respect for themselves. One thing is certain for every member of this army of angry men, though; every single one of them will now find it very difficult, if not impossible, to carve out a living for himself, on his own terms, and without being at the complete mercy of politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers he has never even met. The age of the independent, responsible, and free American citizen is now dead.

The hour is fast approaching when each and every one of us will have to decide for ourselves whether we will try to fight this devastating government machine, or join it.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Orwell Cinema: Living in the Land of the Blind

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New Hampshire Fires First Shot Of Civil War

Resolution Immediately Voids Several Federal Laws, Threatens Counterstrike Against Federal “Breach Of Peace”

The New Hampshire state legislature took an unbelievably bold step Monday by introducing a resolution to declare certain actions by the federal government to completely totally void and warning that certain future acts will be viewed as a “breach of peace” with the states themselves that risks “nullifying the Constitution.”

This act by New Hampshire is a clear warning to the federal government that they could face being stripped of their power by the States (presumably through civil war!

The remarkable document outlines with perfect clarity, some basics long forgotten. For instance, it reminds Congress “That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, slavery, and no other crimes whatsoever;. . . . . therefore all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force;”

Federal gun crime laws? Void. Federal drug crime laws? Void. The gazzillion other federal criminal laws that deal with anything other than the specific enumerated crimes? ALL VOID.

One would think that if any lawyer anywhere in the entire country was worth his salt, all federal criminal trials would have ended years ago. This seems to prove that most lawyers are dullards.

New Hampshire deals a complete death blow to the pending federal hate crimes legislation by pointing out “That, therefore, all acts of Congress of the United States which do abridge the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, are not law, but are altogether void, and of no force; . . . . .”

Read the rest at this link!

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The Scourge of Judicial and Prosecutorial Immunity

The Prosecutorial and Police Destruction of the Life of Timothy Cole
by William L. Anderson

Although my recent column urging that immunity for police, prosecutors, and judges be eliminated received a lot of positive response, nonetheless some lawyers and others wrote to complain that if this actually were done, then those same officers of the court would face endless litigation from unscrupulous criminals. I understand that point well and even am sympathetic to it, but in the end believe that if the rest of us are subject to endless lawsuits from unscrupulous people, then everyone should be put in the same situation, if there is to be equal justice for all.

The problem is that many of the unscrupulous people are the officers of the court. Furthermore, there really are few remedies available for people to take when it turns out that the prosecutors, police, and judges have been reckless with the truth and gained a wrongful conviction. Instead, we are told that it is something with which we have to live.

With those points in mind, I would like to present the case of Timothy Cole, wrongfully convicted in 1986 for a rape he never committed. Even after another person confessed to the rape, and even after DNA testing had confirmed that Cole did not rape Texas Tech sophomore Michelle Mallin in 1985, it did no good. Timothy Cole died in prison in 1999 from complications from asthma.

Cole went to prison because Mallin identified him in court as the rapist. Forget that so-called eyewitness identification is notoriously inaccurate, and forget that Cole’s defense already had alerted police and prosecutor Jim Bob Darnell had been given ample evidence of Cole’s innocence. None of that mattered to any of the government employees seeking a conviction, and a compliant jury rendered its verdict after about six hours of discussion.

Today, Darnell is the "Honorable Jim Bob Darnell," a state judge in Texas. Yet, his actions in the Cole case were anything but honorable, for an honorable man seeks for truth, not scalps, and there were lots of holes in Darnell’s case in 1986. First, Mallin noted that the man smoked heavily throughout the ordeal. Cole, who suffered from asthma, did not smoke and, indeed, would have had a severe reaction from smoking.

Second, Cole’s fingerprints were not found anywhere on or in Mallin’s car, despite the fact that Mallin testified that the man was not wearing gloves. Third, Cole had an alibi, as friends testified in court that he was with them when the alleged rape occurred. Darnell would have none of that. Even though it was clear that there was a serial rapist on the loose, and that Mallin’s rapist had engaged in similar patterns in other attacks, all of that information was suppressed, thanks to Darnell’s insistence and the judge’s compliance:

By then police had backed away from Tim as a suspect in multiple rapes. No physical evidence connected Tim to the crimes, and victims had not recognized him in the lineups.

But Darnell blocked near any mention of that in front of jurors. Police on the stand who more than a year earlier had hunted for a serial rapist made little comment on any connection to other rapes.

Again and again, Darnell hammered on how the witness had picked Tim out of the lineup…. And when Reggie and friends testified to Tim's focus on school, to his presence at a party at his duplex the night of the attack, Darnell shredded the alibi apart by casting doubt on the memories and motives of the witnesses.

Tim's defense attorney, Mike Brown, pushed back. Didn't a victim confuse Tim for Terry Lee Clark? he asked the detectives. Didn't police fail to find any physical evidence that this victim recognized? Didn't the rapes in vacant fields by knifepoint continue after Tim's arrest, like the ones committed by a violent offender, Jerry Wayne Johnson?

Darnell: "Are we going to try every rape that occurs in Lubbock County over a six month or one year period of time involving black males?"

There was still more reason to doubt, Brown said. Didn't this victim fail to describe some of Tim's more obvious features? Tim removed his shirt for the jury, showing his mottled back and arm, birthmarks that covered his upper body.

Darnell: "Is that person going to be embracing that individual and remembering everything about that person's back when they are being sexually assaulted and their soul is being taken from them?" he asked days later in closing as the victim burst into tears.

In fact, one of the reasons that Mallin was so sure of her identification was that police investigators insisted that Cole was the man and, in effect, confirmed for her the identification she had made. Yet, today, we know that the defense was right; it was Terry Wayne Johnson who committed that and other rapes around Lubbock. Terry Wayne Johnson, a heavy smoker. Terry Wayne Johnson, whose DNA would be a match when checked many years later.

Read the rest: The Prosecutorial and Police Destruction of the Life of Timothy Cole

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

U.S. is NOT a Democracy, Moron!

It's time to start re-educating people on what America's form of government truly is (or was supposed to be, anyway). What we have now is some kind of quasi-fascist-democracy or something, but our Constitution created a REPUBLIC. It's time to repeal the Constitutional amendments that have been destroying our Republic.

Drop the Fed, restore the Senate to a state-elected body, and make this country truly free again. It's time to kick ass and take names.

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The man who helps people disappear

Original story at this link.

Frank Ahearn strides up Third Avenue, New York, in his big suede boots, his thinning ponytail waving in the wind. He has a vente latte welded to his palm. Six feet tall, the goatee-bearded and denim-clad Frank M. Ahearn (pronounced Ayhern) could have walked straight out of a novel by his favourite mystery writer, Elmore Leonard. Like a Leonard character, he thinks fast and speaks faster. Born and bred in the Bronx – he now lives in Venice Beach, California – Ahearn notices everything that’s going on around him. Nothing escapes him, because Frank M. Ahearn is a skip tracer. One of the world’s best, he is employed by companies, private investigators and individuals to find people who have skipped town leaving behind debts, unpaid employees or angry partners.

“In 20 years, guess I must have found close on 40,000 people,” says Ahearn, ignoring a pedestrian stop light. “I’m a New Yorker, man, I want to get there today,” he shouts over the din of the traffic. “Most people who vanish just take off and go, right? BIG MISTAKE! I’ll find you,” Ahearn promises. “People leave behind their debts, they use their frequent-flyer programme to escape, not knowing that I can access that, along with their utility bills. People have no idea how many footprints they leave, how many connections they reveal.”

Creating a pretext or a scenario to wheedle information out of people and organisations is Ahearn’s key skip-tracing weapon. “You call up, you ask questions. In the end, every ‘No’ leads to a ‘Yes’,” he says, easing into a pizza at Grace’s Trattoria, an unremarkable Italian on East 71st Street. “I’m very persuasive on the phone, and the people who work those sites are trained to sell stuff, not protect information.”

The previous week in Los Angeles, it had been Ahearn’s turn to say “No”, to Sharon Stone and an offer to make a movie of his life. “I had dinner with her and her producers. They were not offering enough. Do they think I’m running a lemonade stall and desperate for cash?” Stone was interested, not only because Ahearn is a skip tracer extraordinaire, but because he has re-engineered his considerable skills to help honest people who have a genuine and compelling need not to get found by stalkers, kidnappers, violent partners or the Mob. Frank M. Ahearn is the man who can help you disappear.

Read the rest at this link.

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Warning over 'surveillance state'


Electronic surveillance and collection of personal data are "pervasive" in British society and threaten to undermine democracy, peers have warned.

CCTV cameras and the DNA database were two examples of threats to privacy, the Lords constitution committee said.

It called for compensation for people subject to illegal surveillance.

The government said CCTV and DNA were "essential" to fight crime but campaign group Liberty said abuses of power mean "even the innocent have a lot to fear".


Civil liberties campaigners have warned about the risks of a "surveillance society" in which the state acquires ever-greater powers to track people's movements and retain personal data.

Controversial government plans for a database to store details of people's phone calls and e-mails were put on hold late last year after they were branded "Orwellian".

Ministers are consulting on the plan, which would involve the details but not the content of calls and internet traffic being logged, saying it is essential to fighting terrorism.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said it had written to local councils to ask them to ensure surveillance powers were used "proportionately" and not for tackling minor offences such as dog fouling.

A spokesman said: "It is right and important that councils have these powers of surveillance - they are an effective means of tackling real problems that can blight communities, such as rogue traders, fly tippers and loan sharks.

"But the public must have confidence in who has these powers and that they are used in a proportionate and proper way which is why we are working closely with the home office and local government to develop training and guidance."

In its report, the Lords constitution committee said growth in surveillance by both the state and the private sector risked threatening people's right to privacy, which it said was "an essential pre-requisite to the exercise of individual freedom".

People were often unaware of the scale of personal information held and exchanged by public bodies, it said.

"There can be no justification for this gradual but incessant creep towards every detail about us being recorded and pored over by the state," committee chairman and Tory peer Lord Goodlad said.

'Misuse of powers'

Among areas of most concern were the growth of CCTV cameras, of which there are now an estimated four million in the UK.

The UK is said by privacy campaigners to have the most cameras per head of population in the world, but no definitive figures are available.

According to a 2004 European Commission report, Britain has the highest density of CCTV cameras in Europe. It found 40,000 cameras monitored public areas in 500 British towns and cities, compared to fewer than 100 cameras in 15 German cities and no open street CCTV at all in Denmark.

In its report, the Lords committee said the use of cameras should be regulated on a statutory basis in the UK, with a legally binding code of practice governing their use.

There was evidence of abuse of surveillance powers by some councils, with cameras wrongly being "used to spy on the public over issues such as littering".

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Christians Use Prophecy To Excuse Laziness

by Chuck Baldwin

In response to my two previous columns regarding the current development of a devilish New World Order, many professing Christians wrote me with comments to the effect that we should not be concerned about whatever global tyranny may be developing, because "it's all a part of God's plan," or "Jesus is coming soon," and similar statements. I, too, believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to earth. But, then again, so did Christians from every generation over the last two millennia. In fact, the Apostle Paul was looking for the return of Christ while he lived (Philippians 3:20). But does anticipation of Christ's Second Coming excuse personal neglect, indifference, and downright laziness? Of course not.

Had pastors and Christians of colonial America believed and acted as most Christians believe and act today, this country would still be a Crown colony and we would never have known the freedoms and liberties that our forebears bequeathed to us. Christians of that era, however, believed that it was their duty and obligation to fight for right and do everything within their power to resist tyranny. They also believed that God would honor and bless their efforts, which He certainly did!

It is extremely difficult for me to reconcile the apathy and slave-like mentality that seems to permeate modern Christendom (in America) with both our own heritage and the very Word of God. For example, the Apostle Paul is very clear when he writes that a Christian must never "do evil, that good may come" (Romans 3:8). Yet, that is exactly what many, if not most, Christians are doing today.

When confronted with an obvious evil (a burgeoning tyrannical New World Order, not to mention a number of lesser evils), modern Christians will shrug and glibly say, "It's God's will; we must not oppose it," or words to that effect. This attitude says, "I will tolerate or even condone evil in order to hasten Christ's return."

In the first place, no one knows when Christ will return, no matter how many books or tapes they have produced to say they do. In Acts chapter 1, Jesus was asked by His disciples if He would, at that time, set up His kingdom. The first words out of His mouth were, "It is not for you to know." Oh, we can speculate, surmise, and make educated guesses, but that's the best we can do. It's time we were honest enough to admit it: only God knows when Christ will return. In fact, Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).

In the meantime, millions of Christians across America are trying to play God. They talk as if they know when Christ will come. It's actually worse than that. They have the attitude that they have no personal responsibility to defend freedom and resist despotism. They seem to look at God as some kind of glorified fireman, who is obligated to rush in at the last minute to rescue them from a burning fire--a fire that they helped ignite, or at least, refused to put out themselves when they had the opportunity to do so. It's the old, "God would not let that happen in America" syndrome.

How arrogant can we be? Ask believers from despotic regimes around the world what they think about God letting tribulation come, and they will quickly tell you, "We are already in tribulation." Are Christians in the United States really that arrogant as to believe that God loves them more than He loves believers in other countries? If not, can we not see that if believers around the world have suffered (and still suffer) the heavy hand of tyranny and oppression, it is certainly possible for tyranny and oppression to come to our land? The fact is, the only reason that Christians in America have not (for the most part) suffered tyranny and oppression is because of the hard work and sacrifice of our forefathers. We are simply enjoying the fruit of their labor.

In the second place, how do we know what God would do, if we only had the backbone to do our duty? How do we know that God would not give America "a new birth of freedom" for our children and grandchildren, if we only had the courage and fortitude to oppose the evil being thrust upon us by these would-be tyrants? America is only the "land of the free," because it was the "home of the brave." Take away the latter and we lose the former. And that is exactly what is currently happening.

In the third place, Christians have a moral imperative to resist evil, even if their efforts are fruitless. We are not responsible for outcome, only effort. Believers throughout history acted on principle, leaving the results with God. (Read Hebrews chapter 11.) Some were delivered; some were not. That did not matter. What mattered was doing one's duty. We Christians are to give our bodies as "a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1). It is God's prerogative to use our sacrifice as He sees fit. Therefore, there is no such thing as a "losing effort," when it comes to doing right. Doing right (resisting evil) is its own reward. The three Hebrew children were not commended because God delivered them from the burning fiery furnace; they were commended because they were willing to go into the burning fiery furnace. So must we be.

I believe the real reason why so many professing Christians are so apathetic and indifferent to what is happening has nothing to do with the teachings of Scripture, Bible doctrine, eschatology, or anything of the like. It has everything to do with old-fashioned laziness. Today's average Christian just flat does not want to be bothered. He has a comfortable house, an easy chair, television, and a set of golf clubs in the closet. He takes two or three weeks' vacation every year, goes to church on Sunday (a church that does not intrude on his comfort zone, of course), pays taxes, and votes for his favorite "pro-life" Republican candidate every two years, and assumes that he is a "good" Christian and "patriotic" American. He is neither!

A real Christian patriot would never allow his country to be taken over by a gaggle of elitist goons bent on stealing his liberties--including his religious liberties--without doing everything in his power to prevent it. A real Christian patriot is active, alert, engaged, zealous, and committed to preserving liberty.

What if Jesus doesn't come for another 100 years? Another 200 years? What are we going to say to our grandchildren when they ask us what we were doing when our freedoms and liberties were being stolen? What will we say to our Christian forebears when we meet them in eternity? They sacrificed everything so that we could live in peace and freedom. What will we say to them? What will we say to God, who handed this land of liberty to us on a silver (albeit blood-soaked) platter?

Tell me again that "there is nothing we can do about it," or "it's God's will," or "Jesus is coming soon." Better yet, tell it again to the suffering Christians around the world; tell it again to our Christian forebears; tell it again to your children and grandchildren who are going to inherit a land of tyranny and oppression, all because you were too lazy to resist.

I know unbelievers who have more character and determination about preserving liberty than many who call themselves Christians. And I have a ton more respect for them, too. Our Lord told us, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48). Yes, Christians in America have been given the best of both worlds, and many do not even appreciate it enough to see to it that their own children--their own flesh and blood--will live to enjoy the same blessings. They are pathetic!

So, the next time you hear some piety-draped Christian talking about how he won't engage the enemy and fight for liberty, because of prophecy, or some other spiritually-sounding platitude, just remember, it has nothing to do with prophecy, or anything of the sort: it has everything to do with old-fashioned laziness. My feeling toward him is the same as that of Sam Adams (a fellow Christian) toward the Tories of old: "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest for freedom--go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" Amen!

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The Best Choice for Politicians is Confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office: DO NOTHING.

by Wayne Allen Root

For weeks I've been interviewed nonstop in the media about President Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan. Again and again, even conservative hosts said to me, “Well we have to something. What would you do?” My answer is that sometimes the best choice is to do nothing. The response from talk show hosts and experts was always the same, "Huh? Are you mad? Do nothing?”

Well sometimes no decision is better than a rush-to-judgment. Sometimes “do no harm” is more important (and more successful) than “do something at all costs.” Shouldn't we have learned that lesson from our decision to invade Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein from using his Weapons of Mass Destruction (that never existed)? Why rush our decisions? Why rush multi-billion or multi-trillion dollar decisions that could make or break our entire American economy? Why not step back, breathe deep, listen to economists on both sides of the argument and slowly, deliberately make decisions after months of deliberations and debate. Didn't we already rush a trillion dollar decision only a few months ago with the bailout? Did that work out well? The bailout can only be described as a disaster. Didn't we hear the same arguments from politicians? That without the bailout the economy will crater? Well we rushed to judgment with the bailout because of the hysteria. The result- we've wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars, dramatically increased our deficit and national debt, damaged (if not destroyed) capitalism and free markets, and the result is…NOTHING.

The bailout money has been spent (or should I say wasted)…the economy is in free fall; the stock market has continued its decline; real estate values have continued to melt away; jobs are being lost by the hundreds of thousands per month; and the companies that we gave the money to, in many cases already need more money- much more. And what have these companies done with the money? Paid it out in million dollar bonuses to executives that oversaw the disaster in the first place. Bravo! Quite a job that Congress has done once again! This just proves the folly of allowing or empowering politicians to control our lives; confiscate our money; transfer money from one group to another (a surefire conflict of interest); or make decisions on our behalf.

This bailout travesty proves the accuracy of what my friends at the Congressional Effect Fund have found. They have studied the effects of Congress on our economy for almost 50 years now. They have found that whenever Congress is in session for the past half century, the stock market is up 1.7%. When Congress is in recess (NOT in session) the U.S. stock market is up 17.6%. Do you get it? Politicians do damage to our economy every time they open their mouths…every time they make a decision…every time they pass a bill. It turns out that doing NOTHING is in fact preferable to letting politicians provide a solution. If only politicians took a Hippocratic oath- ABOVE ALL ELSE, DO NO HARM. Based on historical data, this would mean doing absolutely nothing.

Well occasionally even I need a little positive reinforcement. I got it today from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office). The CBO is made up of economists, math whiz kids, and policy wonks that understand numbers. Unlike politicians, the CBO simply reports the facts- without lies, distortion, cherry-picking stats to support conclusions, hype, promotion or propaganda in order to sell something to the American people. The CBO just does the math and reports the facts. This must scare the heck out of politicians like Obama and his team of spend-a-holics.

The CBO reported today that my gut instincts were right all along. The CBO's non-partisan numbers prove that President Obama's economic stimulus package will do no good…and actually cause more harm than if we did absolutely nothing. The CBO reports that the stimulus bills now before the House and Senate might provide a small amount of short term economic uptick, and add a few jobs, but by 2011 the effects would be nil. Yet the damage is long-lasting- the CBO reports that this new trillion dollars in spending will dangerously increase debt to the point where it will lead to a LOWER GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the next decade than if the government did nothing. The CBO further reported that the real cost of this bill is hidden- because the interest or “service” on the debt will add hundreds of millions, if not billions, to the true cost. Further, in the long run, all this government borrowing and spending will cost the private sector billions of dollars in available capital- thereby killing jobs and damaging GDP.

This is exactly what I've been saying and arguing for weeks on FOX News and hundreds of national and local radio stations across the USA. Perhaps we should put a common-sense S.O.B. (son of a butcher), small businessman, and citizen politician in charge of the economy. It could not be worse than the fools (and tax cheats) currently in charge.

But even the straight-talking CBO left out an important part of the picture: INFLATION. The Fed has had the printing presses working overtime since Fall to print all the money to pay for all these bailouts and handouts. The result will be catastrophic double-digit inflation within two years. Once again government, just like under FDR, has found a way to make things worse and extend the economic crisis, and turn a deep recession into a full-scale depression. Perhaps even the CBO didn't have the heart to pass along this much bad news all at once.

FDR's toxic solution was more government intervention; more spending; more debt; more taxes; and more laws hurting the private sector while strengthening labor unions. Obama's solution is exactly the same. With his trillion dollar stimulus plan (I call it The Obama Socialist Agenda”), Obama will hire hundreds of thousands of new federal employees- all members of government employee unions; hire at least 100,000 new teachers- all members of teachers unions; pass Card Check legislation making it easier for private sector employees to be intimidated and coerced into unionizing; and handout $200 billion dollars of stimulus funding to states- to keep millions of state and local government employee union members from being fired, downsized or having salaries and pensions reduced.

This is all economic suicide for America. It will turn a deep recession into a long depression- just as FDR did in the 1930's. Do you know how we got out of the Great Depression? Only World War II ended a more than decade-long depression (1929-1940). By the way, for those who have forgotten history, unemployment rates were in the teens as late as the 1940's- almost as high as when FDR took over for Hoover.

But the worst part of Obama's socialist stimulus giveaway is being ignored by the biased-liberal national media. All of these government jobs being proposed by Obama will NEVER go away. The economic stimulus will only pay for them for 2 years. After that, the stimulus money is gone- but we still have a huge bill left over to pay for these bloated government employee salaries, pensions, and health care benefits for LIFE. As of now- before any new government jobs are created- USA Today recently reported that the federal government retirement system has an unfunded liability of $5.3 trillion- including $1.2 trillion for retiree health benefits. This is just the UNFUNDED portion. Does anyone understand the “Perfect Storm” of debt headed straight for taxpayers? Now Obama will hire hundreds of thousands of additional government employees- who will all require salaries for the next 25 years; then pensions and medical care for another 25 years.

The result? If not the kind of disaster we experienced during the Great Depression, we can certainly expect the kind of misery we experienced under President Jimmy Carter- sky-high interest rates, sky-high inflation, and dramatically higher taxes for our children and grandchildren. Welcome to Obamaville.

Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. His new book will be released by John Wiley & Sons this Spring entitled, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.” The book is available for pre-sale at Wayne also happens to be Barack Obama's college classmate (Columbia University Class of '83). For more of Wayne's views, commentaries, or to watch his many media interviews, please visit his web site at:

By Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate

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Repudiate the bailout!

The never-ending bazillion dollar government toilet flushing of our tax money, forcibly transferred from our billfolds to the balance sheets of politically-connected billionaire bankers and business barons, will have to be repaid by the next generation of Americans. It’s time right now for that next generation to stand up and repudiate the debt. Announce that you don’t accept it and won’t repay it. It’s not your debt, after all, it’s the unprincipled politicians’ debt.

To keep the bailouts going the politicians will have to either borrow money which means everyone’s children and grandchildren will have to pay it back with interest, or they’ll simply run the printing presses which means everyone’s children and grandchildren will have to pay it back with severely inflated paper pretending to be money.

Think taxes are onerous now? Just wait, kids!

And you know the political classes don’t care, right? They’ll be long gone and you’ll be stuck with their tab.

Passing debt down to the next generation is tax slavery. It’s repugnant and immoral.

Levying taxes on people unborn or too young to vote is taxation without representation. That’s repugnant, illegal, immoral and un-American.

Not to mention unconstitutional. We fought a war against an English king over this very issue.

Underage people should protest. Parents of underage people should protest on their children’s behalf. Everyone should protest on principle alone.

Read the rest here.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Pork

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Obama's First News Conference

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The Founding Father of Economic Statism

Economic Liberty Lecture Series: Thomas J. DiLorenzo from The Future of Freedom Foundation on Vimeo.
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Monday, February 09, 2009

Defense Department Announces Civilian Expeditionary Workforce

Obama's promise of a civilian security force is set in motion
by Steve Watson

The Defense Department has established a "civilian expeditionary workforce" that will see American civilians trained and equipped to deploy overseas in support of worldwide military missions.

The move is seen by some as an initial step towards fulfilling president Obama's promise to form a civilian national security force as powerful as the U.S. military.

The intent of the program “is to maximize the use of the civilian workforce to allow military personnel to be fully utilized for operational requirements,” according to a Defense Department report.

The program was officially implemented one week ago, on the 23rd January, when Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England signed Defense Department Directive 1404.10 (PDF), which provides a summation of the duties the workforce will undertake.

The directive, which is effective immediately, states that civilian employees of the DoD will be asked to sign agreements stating that they will deploy in support of military missions for up to two years if needed.

Workforce members, who are divided into different designations under the directive, will serve overseas in support of humanitarian, reconstruction and, if necessary, combat-support missions.

"If the employee does not wish to deploy, every effort will be made to reassign the employee to a nondeploying position." the DoD report states.

While the directive suggests that the DoD will at first seek volunteers to serve in the civilian workforce, section 4, subsection (e) paragraph (2) states:

Management retains the authority to direct and assign civilian employees, either voluntarily, involuntarily, or on an unexpected basis to accomplish the DoD mission.

In addition, the directive states that all workforce members will be subject to physical and psychological testing, both before and after deployment.

The directive refers several times to the civilian workforce as a component of the "Total Force", which it describes as "The organizations, units, and individuals that compromise the DoD resources for implementing the National Security Strategy." This "Total Force" includes active, reserve and retired military personnel in addition to DoD civilian employees.

Back in July 2008, Barack Obama, then the presidential front runner, called for a "civilian national security force" as powerful as the U.S. military.

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded," Obama told a Colorado Springs audience.

The comments that were ignored by the vast majority of the corporate media but were found to be troubling by some independent journalists who compared the idea to the formation of the Nazi Hitler Youth.

Fears of "youth brigades" or civilian stasi style units increased following Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel to chief-of staff.

In his book, "The Plan: Big Ideas for America," Emanuel writes: "It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service."

The book also notes, "Some Republicans will squeal about individual freedom, ruling out any likelihood that they would let people opt out of universal citizen service."

Emanuel is also an enthusiastic supporter of the United States Public Service Academy Act, a lobbying group founded in 2006 in order to promote the foundation of an American public service academy modeled on the military academies - a youth corps whose students would be trained in "civilian internship in the armed forces".

Furthermore, in a rediscovered 2006 audio clip of an interview with Ben Smith of the New York Daily News, Emanuel outlined the agenda for compulsory military-style training, essentially a domestic draft, aimed at preparing Americans for a chemical or biological terrorist attack.

When controversy arose over the program last November, the use of the word "required" to describe the program was removed from Obama's website and replaced with "community service" type terminology.

Though the civilian expeditionary workforce program is restricted to DoD employees, similar programs have already been established for public sector workers.

One such program has seen hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and utility workers recently trained and dispatched as "Terrorism Liaison Officers" in Colorado, Arizona and California to watch for "suspicious activity" which is later fed into a secret government database.

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Second Amendment guarantees other nine

The following is an LTE to the Freelance Star in Fredericksburg, PA. Click the title to this blog entry to see the original.

After reading Joe Sucha's Jan. 29 letter regarding the "certain loss of Second Amendment rights," I felt compelled to clarify a very important aspect of each of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights ["Kidnapping is OK, but gun ownership is not!"].

Each was described by the Founders as "unalienable," which is to say we are born with them. Our governments are in place, primarily, to ensure the protection of those rights.

If a state or federal government ceases to guarantee the protection of any of those rights, it has become illegitimate insofar as being in compliance with lawful parameters and intent set forth by the Founders, and has become rogue.

There are more than 100 million gun owners in this country. If only 10 percent of them happen to be determined patriots, the rogue government and its agents should be ventilated and defused rather quickly.

The alternative is slavery in an Orwellian nightmare.

The Second Amendment was set down mainly to give teeth to the rest. That is not an opinion. It is a fact of history.

Charles Stinnett

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Kiva - Loans That Improve the World

I know most of what I post here is purely political and usually America-centric. Often it's about Libertarianism versus the status quo statist oligarchy. Well, let's look at something purely libertarian now that all of us can agree with, whatever our political bent.

Kiva is a website that facilitates loans. Not the kind that we're used to: big banks charging hefty interest or a central bank charging interest on something they create for free out of thin air. Nope, these are loans from regular people like you or I to entrepreneurs the world over who are working to improve lives in their area.

These entrepreneurs aren't motivated by some "feel good" and unrealistic ideal (like most supposed socialists are). Instead, they're motivated by something all libertarians can understand: profit so they can live a better life and improve the lives around them through a better economy.

By giving these people loans, whether it's $25 or $25,000, you're improving their chances of making their small business succeed. That success will lead to jobs, an influx into the local economy, and more. That's an economic stimulus package that anyone with half a brain (even Keynesians) can understand.

I think Kiva is a great opportunity and an awesome way for libertarians to support a charity we can really get behind. Something we can really believe in. So go check it out and participate.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Michael Phelps: Pothead

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