The Militant Libertarian

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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Manufactured Protests" Myth Starts To Crack

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Americans: Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs

by Paul Craig Roberts

“In a little time [there will be] no middling sort. We shall have a few, and but a very few Lords, and all the rest beggars.” R.L. Bushman

“Rapidly you are dividing into two classes--extreme rich and extreme poor.” “Brutus”

Americans think that they have “freedom and democracy” and that politicians are held accountable by elections. The fact of the matter is that the US is ruled by powerful interest groups who control politicians with campaign contributions. Our real rulers are an oligarchy of financial and military/security interests and AIPAC, which influences US foreign policy for the benefit of Israel.

Have a look at economic policy. It is being run for the benefit of large financial concerns, such as Goldman Sachs.

It was the banks, not the millions of Americans who have lost homes, jobs, health insurance, and pensions, that received $700 billion in TARP funds. The banks used this gift of capital to make more profits. In the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs announced record second quarter profits and large six-figure bonuses for every employee.

The Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy is another gift to the banks. It lowers their cost of funds and increases their profits. With the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, banks became high-risk investment houses that trade financial instruments such as interest rate derivatives and mortgage backed securities. With abundant funds supplied virtually free by the Federal Reserve, banks are paying depositors virtually nothing on their savings.

Despite the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy, beginning October 1 banks are raising the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit card purchases and cash advances and on balances that have a penalty rate because of late payment. Banks are also raising the late fee. In the midst of the worst economy since the 1930s, heavily indebted Americans, who are losing their jobs and their homes, are to be bled into bankruptcy by the very banks that are being subsidized with TARP funds and low interest rates.

Moreover, it is the American public that is on the hook for the TARP money and the low interest rates. As the US government’s budget is 50% or more in the red, the TARP money has to be borrowed from abroad or monetized by the Fed. This means more pressure on the US dollar’s exchange value and a rise in import prices and also domestic inflation.

Americans will thus pay for the TARP and low interest rate subsidies to their financial rulers with erosion in the purchasing power of the dollar. What we are experiencing is a massive redistribution of income from the American public to the financial sector.

And this is occurring during a Democratic administration headed by America’s first black president, with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.

Is there a government anywhere that less represents its citizens than the US government?

Consider America’s wars. As of the moment of writing, the out-of-pocket cost of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is $900,000,000,000. When you add in the already incurred future costs of veterans benefits, interest on the debt, the forgone use of the resources for productive purposes, and such other costs as computed by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University budget expert Linda Bilmes, “our” government has wasted $3,000,000,000,000--three thousand billion dollars--on two wars that have no benefit whatsoever for any American whose income does not derive from the military/security complex, about which five-star general President Eisenhower warned us.

It is now a proven fact that the US invasion of Iraq was based on lies and deception of the American public. The only beneficiaries were the armaments industries, Blackwater, Halliburton, military officers who enjoy higher rates of promotion during war, and Muslim extremists whose case the US government proved by its unprovoked aggression against Muslims. No one else benefitted. Iraq was a threat to no one, and finding Saddam Hussein and executing him after a kangaroo trial had no effect whatsoever on ending the war or preventing the start of others.

The cost of America’s wars is a huge burden on a bankrupt country, but the cost incurred by veterans might be even higher. Homelessness is a prevalent condition of veterans, as is post-traumatic stress. American soldiers, who naively fought for the munitions industry’s wars, for high compensation for the munitions CEOs, and for dividends and capital gains for the munitions shareholders, paid not only with lives and lost limbs, but also with broken marriages, ruined careers, psychiatric disorders, and prison sentences for failing to make child support payments.

What did Americans gain from an unaffordable war in Iraq that lasted far longer than World War II and that put into power Shi’ites allied with Iran?

The answer is obvious: nothing whatsoever.

What did the armaments industry gain? Billions of dollars in profits.

What about President Obama? “A corporate marketing creation,” sums up the distinguished British journalist John Pilger.

Obama is the presidential candidate who promised to end the war in Iraq. He hasn’t. But he has escalated the war in Afghanistan, started a new war in Pakistan, intends to repeat the Yugoslav scenario in the Caucasus, and appears determined to start a war in South America. In response to the acceptance by US puppet president of Columbia, Alvaro Uribe, of seven US military bases in Columbia, Venezuela warned South American countries that the “winds or war are beginning to blow.”

Here we have the US government, totally dependent on the generosity of foreigners to finance its red ink, which extends in large quantities as far as the eye can see, completely under the thumb of the military/security complex, which will destroy us all in order to meet Wall Street share price expectations.

Why does any American care who rules Afghanistan? The country has nothing to do with us.

Did the armed services committees of the House and Senate calculate the risk of destabilizing nuclear armed Pakistan when they acquiesced to Obama’s new war there, a war that has already displaced two million Pakistanis?

No, of course not. The whores took their orders from the same military/security oligarchy that instructed Obama.

The great American superpower and its 300 million people are being driven straight into the ground by the narrow interest of the big banks and the munitions industry. People, and not only Americans, are losing their sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers for no other reason than the profits of US armaments corporations, and the gullible American people seem proud of it. Those ribbon decals on their cars, SUVs and monster trucks proclaim their naive loyalty to the armaments industries and to the whores in Washington who promote wars.

Will Americans, smashed and destroyed by “their” government’s policy, which always puts Americans last, ever understand who their real enemies are?

Will Americans realize that they are not ruled by elected representatives but by an oligarchy that owns the Washington whorehouse?

Will Americans ever understand that they are impotent serfs?

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Americans Had to Work from January 1 to August 12 This Year Just to Cover Cost of Government

by Adam Brickley

Washington ( – Americans had to work from January 1 until August 12 this year just to cover the cost of government. That is 26 days more than they had to work last year to cover the cost of government.

“Cost of Government Day” this year fell on Wednesday, August 12, according to Americans for Tax Reform, the conservative group that calculates when the day occurs. Cost of Government Day is the day in the year when the American people have earned enough income to pay the total cost of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state, and local level.

The August 12 date is 26 days later than Cost of Government Day came last year, when it fell on July 16.

In fact, this is the first time the day has fallen in August. Until this year, July 20 was the latest date marking Cost of Government Day. That happened in 1982.

The day takes into account all taxes paid to all levels of government as well as the costs of complying with all federal, state, and local government regulations. ATR calculates that in 2009, the cost of government will consume 61.34 percent of national income.

Those costs are detailed in a 45-page report authored Monika Ciesielska, a fellow at ATR’s Center for Fiscal Accountability.

Of the 224 days it required Americans to pay for the cost of government in 2009, 111 went to federal spending, 49 to state and local spending, and another 65 to pay for regulations imposed by all levels of government.

“In 2009, federal spending has expanded by almost one trillion dollars, mostly due to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the American Recovery and Relief Act of 2009, passed under the guise of economic stimulus,” Ciesielska said in her report.

“We have calculated that had Congress not passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that created TARP, Cost of Government Day would have fallen on July 25. That means that it would have been 18 days earlier.”

Ciesielska noted that Cost of Government Day 2009 would have fallen about ten days earlier without stimulus-related expenditures.

Grover Norquist, president of ATR, said it’s no surprise that Cost of Government Day is taking longer and longer to reach. “In last year’s report, we cautioned that the looming entitlement crisis and efforts to drastically increase regulations were threatening to move Cost of Government Day later into the year,” Norquist said in a message on ATR’s Web site. “However, no one could have foreseen the magnitude of the federal spending spree which was to begin in the second half of 2008, and has not abated since.”

According to ATR, “The recent federal spending spree paints a bleak picture for taxpayers. It started with the passage of the financial market bailout and continued with the “stimulus,” the $410 billion earmark-stuffed “omnibus,” the $3.55 trillion budget, and more bailouts leading to current threats of a national energy tax and a government takeover of health care.”

ATR noted with satisfaction the growing grass-roots movement--including so-called Tea Parties--that are pushing for increased transparency and accountability around the country.

The three states with the greatest cost-of-government burdens are Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

Connecticut taxpayers must work until Sept. 7 to pay off their government-imposed obligations. Alaska, by contrast, has the earliest Cost of Government Day--July 11.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

How can you distrust the government?

by J.D. Tuccille

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which federal officials denied proven treatment for syphilis to African-American men just to see how the disease progressed, came to a belated end in 1972, so Ezra Klein, the high-school intern ... err ... young columnist at The Washington Post can perhaps be forgiven for failing to recognize the officially sanctioned 40-year abomination as evidence that we do indeed have a "government capable of madness." But government officials have engaged in other horrors in recent memory, so his astonishment that many Americans distrust the state can only be taken as appalling naivete -- or incredible idiocy.

On August 11, Klein wrote:
What we're seeing here is not merely distrust in the House health-care reform bill. It's distrust in the political system. A healthy relationship does not require an explicit detailing of the "institutional checks" that will prevent one partner from beating or killing the other. In a healthy relationship, such madness is simply unthinkable. If it was not unthinkable, then no number of institutional checks could repair that relationship. Similarly, the relationship between the protesters and the government is not healthy. The protesters believe the government capable of madness. There is no evidence for that claim, which means that there is no answer for it, either. That claim is not about what is in this bill, or what government has done in Medicare and Medicaid and the VA. It is about what a certain slice of Americans think their government -- and by extension, their fellow citizens -- capable of.

Leave aside, for the moment, the wisdom of the various health care proposals rattling around the chambers of Congress at the moment. Can anybody with even a passing knowledge of the past century's history say with a straight face that governments -- very much including the one under which we live -- are not capable of madness?

R.J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii, has made a rather depressing name for himself by calculating the number of people murdered by governments during the course of the twentieth century. His latest estimate, revised upwards, stands at 262,000,000.

Yes, that mountain of bodies can mostly be blamed on the world's totalitarian governments, with bloody additions tossed in by merely authoritarian political systems. But democracies are capable of madness, too. The American Civil Liberties Union is currently digging through memos written by the late, unlamented Bush administration, which authorized the use of torture against detainees. The Obama administration is still resisting efforts to shine some light on just who is being held under brutal conditions at Bagram, in Afghanistan.

And then there's Tuskegee, which continued for decades under presidents and congresses from both major political parties.

Ezra Klein may ridicule public doubts about the wisdom of allowing the government further control over health care as the equivalent of demanding "what will prevent you from beating your wife?" of elected officials. But the truth of the matter is that government has been an abusive and untrustworthy partner for as long as it has existed. That doesn't mean that everything politicians touch ends in horror and bloodshed, but it's hardly an exercise in paranoia to voice the "distrust in the political system" that Klein finds so worrisome.

In fact, our political system was built on an (imperfect) system of checks and balances meant to minimize the toll it takes on life, liberty and property since the founders didn't trust what they were creating. So when Klein objects that "A healthy relationship does not require an explicit detailing of the 'institutional checks' that will prevent one partner from beating or killing the other," we have to wonder just how long he's been skipping Social Studies class to pen his oh-so-earnest columns.

In the end, maybe the Obama administration's proposals for a greater government role in health care will prove to be a good idea. I doubt it, but I've been wrong before. But in the course of the debate over those proposals, questions about the trustworthiness of the government -- and its potential for madness -- should take center stage.

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How much of YOUR paycheck is spent on TAXES?

Visual Economics

Untitled from Daniel Wesley on Vimeo.

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How the Repeal of All Gun Laws Will Free America

by John Longenecker

Most Americans do not make the connection between American Gun Control and today's scandals of bank bailouts, corporate takeovers, immense failures, government intrusion and indifference, massive disrespect for the electorate, and other harassment of the sovereign. There is a connection.

For a long time, I have urged the repeal of all gun laws. Since the very inception of gun control in this country, abuses of powers has served the public servants more than the electorate, and few of the promises have ever come true. The fears of liberty purists have all come true, right on schedule it seems. All of this goes without saying, but how do we find our way back home again to a nation of Independence from our own servants?

Gun laws - more than 20,000 of them - serve officials by unwinding natural values and rights of armed defense of the person and permit massive transfers of our wealth to others little by little. How gun control is related to modern crises is in how experiments and trials tested and proven on gun bans, restrictions and regulations give valuable feedback to social engineers as to how far they can go against the electorate. It's not enough to say that citizens must be disarmed first before any tyranny, it is more: it is a feature-rich test which surrenders up valuable information.

The idea -- the experiment - gauges how America's most vociferous defenders of liberty (gun owners) are actually very tolerant thanks to their respect for due process and faith in the law. This is used against them (and everyone else) in pushing back the borders of how far government can go in
unreasonableness against protest. Get it past gun owners first, and the rest of the nation is easy prey. This is what we are seeing now in scandals seemingly unrelated to gun control. All of the fighting we see in newsmedia every day now between indifferent, stubborn officials and their resentful
constituents is gleaned from what is learned from gun control. They have a very high confidence level in how far they can go thanks to what they know about how far they have been able to go in gun control.

Gun control is Number One on the list of these tests and abuses because it yields up that sort of social engineering information: how far can you push the American people on an issue that means so much to, say, oh.. 80 million? What can you learn about dividing Americans?

This makes it the pressure point to push in unwinding these by the ton. Imagine how neighborhoods will someday soon embrace and thank the average armed citizen for not only helping to regain control of their neighborhoods, but to once again have high expectations of public service and integrity of law enforcement, self-policing and professional integrity in office, and perhaps, just perhaps, fewer laws passed. Much of this would come from respect, respect which the official does not give the electorate at this time.

This is one of the best rewards of the repeal of all gun laws: the idea that so many anti-crime programs costing billions are simply not needed when the citizenry is armed. So many costly programs thrive because they know how little attention non-gun owners will pay and ignore bigger government is a veritable gold mine of data up to now. As it stands today, tens of millions are aroused as some officials have gone too far and aroused the sleeping giant.

After all, they also know form their data that some of the loudest complainers aren't even registered to vote.

Alright, so the sleeping giant is awake. But, then, what do we do next? How do we get our independence back again?

I write often that the armed citizen does not fight tyranny in eventual shoot-outs with our own American troops, but by every day impeaching the need for so many policies which, themselves tyrannize Americans. Americans are tyrannized by coercive rules and penalties, by sweeping mandates, by takings, by taxations, by abuses of powers, by bankruptcy in defending those cases, by education content, by zero-tolerance in school and workplace, and other paradigms of many who never consult the parent or citizen, but so-called experts. All of these are groomed for success by a blueprint of what is learned from Gun Control. All of these speak only to factions of America such that one cannot count on understanding and support from other Americans. All of these can be unwound for all by the repeal of all gun laws.

What's the payoff for the social engineers? How do officials gain from the tragedy of seemingly intractable violent crime? Moving America from a values system and personal dignity of Independence into a nation of utter dependency with all exits closed is the payday for officials. It is the old Hegelian model of governance in presiding over continuing crisis instead of presiding over prosperity and independence from servants, and nothing rouses cooperation better than violence.

But there is more to freedom that waiting for government to chase away thugs. Superb data works both ways: Lynch v. NC DOJ remarked that "Police have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others." Lynch went on to say that their duties lie elsewhere in keeping the peace, in enforcement of the law. This means after-the-fact, friends. Dependency is a terrible thing.

How many have to die before the sleeping giant has his coffee and make the connection of gun control to dependency on our servants?

Repeal all gun laws as the beginning of getting out from under bigger government and away from dependency on our very own public servants.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009



I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.

I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob you and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in your pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the politician, and I decide your fate

I march before a martyred world, an army for the fight
I speak of great heroic days, of victory and might
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.

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My Open Letter to Congress

The following is an open letter to the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Dear Congress,

Leave me the fuck alone.


Aaron Turpen
Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, USA

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The Free Market as Regulator

by Congressman Ron Paul, Texas Straight Talk

Since the bailouts last fall, lawmakers have been behaving as quasi-owners of the bailed-out banks and businesses, leading to calls for increased regulation of executive compensation and other wasteful expenditures. We have heard much about bonuses and executive pay packages that sound more like lottery winnings than an honest salary.

Many lawmakers voted in favor of these unconstitutional bailouts, believing that these corporations were too big to fail, and allowing them to go under would precipitate widespread economic disaster. This second wave of citizen outrage at the bailouts has left these lawmakers with a bit of egg on their face, and once again, they feel the need to "do something" to "fix" it. Shouldn't there be a regulatory structure in place governing executive compensation? Politically, it seems quite feasible. People are outraged that the system has once again gutted the many to make a few at the top fantastically wealthy. But they are incorrectly demonizing the free market.

What we need to realize is that there WAS a regulatory structure in place that was attempting to stop bad management, including overpaying executives. That regulatory structure is the free market, and when poor management brought these companies to the point of bankruptcy, Congress circumvented the wisdom of the free market, and inserted its own judgment at our expense. And now because of that intervention, we will burdened with massive new regulations. We can be certain this effort will fail.

The free market is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can't be eliminated by governments, not even totalitarian ones like the former Soviet Union. It can be regulated, over-taxed and manipulated until it is driven underground. Lately it has been wrongly accused of doing so many things it just doesn't do, that are really the fault of crony corporatism and convoluted government policies that brought on the crisis. Too many people equate the free market with big business doing whatever it wants, but that is not the free market. Unconstitutional taxpayer funded bailouts are what allow giant corporations to run roughshod over the economy. The free market is what puts them out of business when they misbehave.

The free market is you and your neighbors working hard to produce what you produce, and exchanging goods and services voluntarily, in mutually agreeable arrangements. The free market is about respecting property rights and contracts. It is not about building up oligarchs and monopolies and confiscatory tax theft - these are creatures of government.

We must watch out when government comes up with interventionist solutions to interventionist problems. The root of our problems lie in interventionism. Trusting the free market is the solution.

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Small Government Caused Our Current Problems?

by Robert Higgs

As soon as I saw the headline of an August 10 article by financial columnist Peter Cohan, I knew that something was terribly wrong. It reads: "How did the politics of small government lead to big government bailouts?" This is akin to asking, How did the extinction of the elephants lead to Barack Obama's election as president? If you make a claim of the form "A caused B," but A never happened, then you are wasting your time by delving into the historical details of this bogus relationship.

Yet we continue to see one example after another of what suspicious readers may be tempted to view as the Big Lie that deregulation or other obliging government measures caused the present economic mess. I won't go so far as to characterize this claim as a Big Lie. Although some of its purveyors, acting out of partisan motives, surely know that they are blowing smoke, others may simply suffer from economic ignorance, analytical confusion, or loss of historical memory. In any event, the public is ill-served by commentators who purport to speak with authority about our current economic troubles and related government's policies, yet peddle this worse-than-sophomoric tale.

The Cohan article in question consists of so much nonsense that a full critique of it might be enough to compose a student's senior thesis, but the part that interests me right now is the claim that "the idea of small government . . . helped create the ineffective regulatory agencies which allowed all kinds of questionable practices to thrive in American business, especially in the world of finance. By helping create a record debt bubble, which thrived in an era of weak regulatory oversight, small government nearly ruined the global economy last fall."

So, there you have it in plain English. To repeat: "small government nearly ruined the global economy last fall." Cohan spares us any evidence that we actually had a small government at any time during the past twenty-five years. I would be especially interested in such evidence, inasmuch as I have written a number of articles and books brimming with evidence that in fact the governments of this country at every level were growing in size, scope, and power during those years.

Like Cohan, those who continually blame insufficient regulation for our present plight offer little or no evidence, relying instead on the implicit assumption that if only the regulations had been much stricter, the bankers and other business-sector malefactors never would have perpetrated their evil deeds. This faith in the regulators is touching, to be sure, but it is also extremely naïve. We now have – and long have had – miles of regulations on the books and legions of regulators at work in scores of government agencies. What specific power did they lack? And had they been given even greater powers, budgets, and staffs, what enchantment would have transformed these ostensible guardians into smart, dogged champions of the public interest, rather than the time-serving drones and co-conspirators with the regulated firms that they have always been?

Somehow, no matter how many regulations are created and how many regulators are put on the government payroll, when these rules and enforcement agents fail to prevent a disaster, many people's response is to propose that the government write more regulations and hire more regulators. If these advocates of expanded government intervention had been in New Orleans as it was being submerged under floodwaters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, they no doubt would have proposed that the Corps of Engineers dynamite the remaining levies – to prove that they favored "doing something."

"Ironically," writes Cohan, "another Republican, Ben Bernanke . . . decided that in the midst of a catastrophic economic collapse . . . the prescription for the problem was the biggest government in American history." And thank goodness, too, he opines, because owing to all of the wonderful mitigation that the Fed's unprecedented actions have produced to soften and reverse this inexplicable, out-of-blue episode of financial panic and recession, "there is a good chance that historians will look back on Bernanke as the man who saved the world." I can't speak for all historians, of course, but speaking for one of them, I can guarantee that no such story will be disseminated under my name. On the contrary, by taking into account how the government and the Fed created necessary conditions for the financial bubble that burst last September – as many competent analysts have already shown, notwithstanding Cohan's disregard of their findings – we quickly appreciate that Bernanke's supposed world-saving would never have been deemed necessary had he and others in high government places not done so much to place the world in jeopardy in the first place.

Never one to linger over a single piece of nonsense when another beckons, Cohan proceeds without transition to the question, "How do we keep this from happening again?" To which his amazing answer is: "The most important way is to change how bankers get paid." Oh, sure, that will turn the trick. Never mind the government's countless measures from the 1930s onward to steer money into mortgage loans to borrowers with little likelihood of repaying them. Never mind the massive efforts of the government-sponsored giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create secondary markets for rotten mortgage-related IOUs galore. Never mind the Fed's pumping up of the real-estate bubble by rapidly expanding credit and holding interest rates at absurdly low levels for years on end. Never mind all of this and a great deal more. Simply change how bankers get paid, and the sun will shine on us again.

"We [by which Cohan seems to mean the government] need to change banker's pay so that they only get rewarded if their risks are profitable," he declares, "and punished if they lose money." Some readers might find this idea appealing, if they don't spend much time thinking it through. In truth, however, the government already plays too large a role: if the government and the Fed did not stand in the background, ready and willing to bail out reckless bankers, the bankers would act a great deal more prudently, as would their boards of directors when deciding how to compensate the managers. Moreover, I venture to remind our financial guru – who is described as the president of a consulting and venture-capital firm, a management teacher at Babson College and the author of eight books – that how bankers get paid lies properly within the domain of the banks' boards of directors. It's really none of my business, or his.

In contrast, how the government and the Fed act is my business because they purport to act on my behalf, and even if they didn't so purport, they still act in many ways that harm me. So I'm entitled to hold them to account for their actions. As long as the Cohans of this world continue to blame private actors and "the idea of small government" for the economic disasters that the government and the Fed produce, however, we have little chance to clarify what might – and should – be done to remedy our plight and preclude serial repetitions of such destructive actions.

Not content with having embraced several stupendously erroneous and misguided ideas, Cohan plows to an equally dim-witted conclusion by declaring that besides setting the compensation of bankers, the government should establish "an independent government agency to create financial statements for companies and money managers." Sure. Let the government keep the accounts. After all, the government has a flawless record of keeping honest accounts and scrupulously avoiding multi-trillion-dollar Ponzi schemes, such as Social Security, and pie-in-the-sky promises, such as Medicare that stretches to the limits of the known financial universe. The Department of Defense, which since 1994 has been required by law to perform an annual financial audit, has yet to perform one. Each year a DoD accounting functionary dutifully testifies before Congress that the department's accounts are in such a mess that its records cannot be audited. Is this the kind of financial-accounting proficiency we want to impose on the private sector? Cohan thinks so.

Got a problem? Just give the government a great deal more power, and our friendly, competent rulers will take care of everything. I shudder to think that columnists may actually get paid for spouting such childish twaddle.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Controlling the Internet

by Phil Giraldi

Those of us who rely on the internet for alternative news and viewpoints should be concerned about some recent developments. New legislation in Germany reported in the highly respected newspaper "Die Zeit" will require all internet users to be licensed with a backtracking feature that will enable the government to determine where any internet transmission originated. The new regulations will apparently require all users to have a tamper proof internet ID and will be enforced by special police. In Germany all telecommunications data, to include both internet and telephone, is already being retained by the government for six months under a law that has been in effect since 2008. It is of particular interest to note what German politicians and officials have said in supporting the legislation. One commented that it is necessary to stop the internet from becoming a "lawless chaos room." Another described the internet as a "source of criminality, terrorism, and much similar filth." Yet another said "What is illegal offline is also illegal online."

Governments in many European countries and also in the US already read and monitor internet traffic. Some countries like China and Iran already control the servers for internet as well as the cell phone centers in their country and have not been shy about shutting down communications when threatened with what they perceive to be civil disorder. In many public places in Europe internet services are frequently screened by software that blocks certain websites and the use of words or phrases that are considered objectionable. This screening is also becoming common in hotels and other public places that offer internet services in the United States. But what is really dangerous is the development of technologies that make it possible to monitor the internet combined with legislation that gives the authorities the ability to go after users who can then be charged with illegal behavior, such as is happening in Germany.

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Swine Flu Vaccine Linked to Paralysis, Leaked Memo Reveals

by Mike Adams, Natural News

A warning letter about the swine flu vaccine was leaked to the DailyMail over the weekend. Written by Professor Elizabeth Miller, head of the Health Protection Agency's Immunization Department, it warns neurologists that the influenza vaccine of 1976 was linked to a devastating neurological condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). "The vaccines used to combat an expected swine influenza pandemic in 1976 were shown to be associated with GBS and were withdrawn from use," says the July 29 letter.

GBS can cause paralysis and death. One woman mentioned in the DailyMail story -- Hilary Wilkinson -- was stricken with GBS and had to be fed through a drip while needing a tracheotomy just to breathe. It took her three months in the hospital to learn how to walk and talk again. On the topic of the swine flu vaccine, she says today, "It makes me feel wary that the Government is rolling out this vaccine without any clear idea of the GBS risk, if any. I wouldn't wish it on anyone... I'm frightened to have the swine flu vaccine if this might happen again -- it's a frightening illness and I think more research needs to be done on the effect of the vaccine."

An 800 percent increase in GBS risk

A second letter has also surfaced with a warning about the swine flu vaccine. It's from the Association of British Neurologists and is authored by Dr. Rustam Al-Shahi Salman and Professor Patrick Chinnery. It says "Following the 1976 program of vaccination against swine influenza in the US, a retrospective study found a possible eight-fold increase in the incidence of GBS."

Adding to the concern, Dr. Tom Jefferson from the Cochrane Collaboration is on the record saying "New vaccines never behave in the way you expect them to. It may be that there is a link to GBS, which is certainly not something I would wish on anybody. But it could end up being anything because one of the additives in one of the vaccines is a substance called squalene, and none of the studies we've extracted have any research on it at all."

In other words, what we really have with the swine flu vaccine is an untested, potentially dangerous cocktail of chemicals and viral fragments that could plausibly be linked to a devastating neurological condition.

These doctors and scientists are warning about the possibility of dangerous neurological side effects precisely because the government is failing to do so. Governments and pharmaceutical companies don't want the People to know about any of the risks associated with the vaccine, so they don't talk about them. Nor do they reveal the rather startling fact that the vaccine has never been tested on children or expectant mothers even though those are the two primary groups being targeted for the vaccine.

Vaccines = Modern medical quackery

Even today, most doctors in both the U.S. and U.K. insist there is no link between the 1976 vaccine and GBS. They say there's "no convincing evidence" that the vaccine caused GBS. It's the same story with vaccines and autism. Instead of examining the real reasons why autism's rise almost perfectly mirrors the rise in childhood vaccinations, doctors simply dismiss any such link outright, without consideration.

Vaccines are the bedrock of the pharmaceutical industry's profit centers. Through vaccines, the drug companies can ensure generations of future profits from diseases that are promoted or worsened by vaccines: Alzheimer's, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and so on. They can also, importantly, prevent people from taking responsibility for their own immune system health.

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DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show

by Andrew Pollack, NYT

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

Dr. Frumkin is a founder of Nucleix, a company based in Tel Aviv that has developed a test to distinguish real DNA samples from fake ones that it hopes to sell to forensics laboratories.

The planting of fabricated DNA evidence at a crime scene is only one implication of the findings. A potential invasion of personal privacy is another.

Using some of the same techniques, it may be possible to scavenge anyone’s DNA from a discarded drinking cup or cigarette butt and turn it into a saliva sample that could be submitted to a genetic testing company that measures ancestry or the risk of getting various diseases. Celebrities might have to fear “genetic paparazzi,” said Gail H. Javitt of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Tania Simoncelli, science adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union, said the findings were worrisome.

“DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints,” she said. “We’re creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology.”

John M. Butler, leader of the human identity testing project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said he was “impressed at how well they were able to fabricate the fake DNA profiles.” However, he added, “I think your average criminal wouldn’t be able to do something like that.”

The scientists fabricated DNA samples two ways. One required a real, if tiny, DNA sample, perhaps from a strand of hair or drinking cup. They amplified the tiny sample into a large quantity of DNA using a standard technique called whole genome amplification.

Of course, a drinking cup or piece of hair might itself be left at a crime scene to frame someone, but blood or saliva may be more believable.

The authors of the paper took blood from a woman and centrifuged it to remove the white cells, which contain DNA. To the remaining red cells they added DNA that had been amplified from a man’s hair.

Since red cells do not contain DNA, all of the genetic material in the blood sample was from the man. The authors sent it to a leading American forensics laboratory, which analyzed it as if it were a normal sample of a man’s blood.

The other technique relied on DNA profiles, stored in law enforcement databases as a series of numbers and letters corresponding to variations at 13 spots in a person’s genome.

From a pooled sample of many people’s DNA, the scientists cloned tiny DNA snippets representing the common variants at each spot, creating a library of such snippets. To prepare a DNA sample matching any profile, they just mixed the proper snippets together. They said that a library of 425 different DNA snippets would be enough to cover every conceivable profile.

Nucleix’s test to tell if a sample has been fabricated relies on the fact that amplified DNA — which would be used in either deception — is not methylated, meaning it lacks certain molecules that are attached to the DNA at specific points, usually to inactivate genes.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Have They No Shame?

by John Stossel

Last week brought news that Congress, which had brayed about the use of corporate jets by the CEOs of the Big Three, planned to spend nearly $200 million to buy three Gulfstream jets .

Now the Wall Street Journal reports that Congress wants to double down -- and then some -- by upping the ante to $550 million to buy eight jets.

Lawmakers in the House last week added funds to buy those planes... plus funds to buy an additional two 737s and two Gulfstream V planes. The purchases must still be approved by the Senate. The Air Force version of the Gulfstream V each costs $66 million, according to the Department of Defense, and the 737s cost about $70 million.

Of course, there's a good reason for spending so much money when deficits are monstrous and growing:

(F)oreign travel by members of Congress and aides was increasing. Last year, House members spent about 3,000 days overseas on taxpayer-funded trips, up from about 550 in 1995...

This month, for example, 11 separate congressional delegations will swing through Germany. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R, Ohio) is leading five other lawmakers on a trip around the world. Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) is taking a group of senators and their spouses to Europe for three weeks.

One reader responds, "Congress treats the American taxpayer like an all-you-can eat buffet... Pelosi and Reid, you need to put yourself on a diet, or we'll do it for you in 2010."

A diet for the political class? I won’t hold my breath.

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Is Democracy for the Demos?

by Jim Fedako, Mises

Who benefits from democracy? To believe the standard reply, the masses — the demos — benefit from majority rule. I no longer accept that notion.

I recently finished Étienne de La Boétie's The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. The book is powerful, indeed. The essence of his argument is that the tyrant rules by the will of the people, as no other means exists for one man to control the fates of millions.

While the whole book is challenging and thought provoking — a truly wonderful read — it was a small section of Part III that pulled me in and launched me on a tangent.

La Boétie notes that the tyrant and his chiefs rarely live out their natural ends. No, they tend to die at the hands of those closest to them. What accounts for this state of affairs? It is the fear that one's supposed allies are real threats — they likely are. And it is this fear that drives the power-seeking toward nighttime adventures and assassinations.

Since power is ever and always intoxicating, is the order of government the issue? While it is true that, as power increases and becomes more centralized, violence and assassination become the likely means to transition from oppressor to oppressor, does it necessarily follow that democracy is a better arrangement?

Democracy has allowed for peaceful transitions from one ruling elite to another (or, between different factions of the same elite). It is likely the most suitable arrangement to transfer power without bloodshed. But what is the benefit of democracy to me, the common man? Is it to celebrate those rare occasions when the majority views the world as I do? For even a tyrant will occasionally rule in my favor.

Democracy is no benefit to those enfranchised. A man may cherish democracy during his time in the majority and worship it when his views are no longer in the majority. But is this freedom? Is liberty nothing more than accepting the majority at all times, under all costs?

Liberty requires the ability to use one's body and property in any manner, as long as those actions do not collide with the liberty of others. And when collisions occur, a judge or arbitrator decides each case based on property rights, and property rights only.

In a democracy, liberty is simply the right to cast a vote for or against an issue or candidate, and then to accept the decision of the majority under threat of the apparatus of coercion and compulsion. Here, in essence, the political die is cast, with the singular vote having no effect. The voter must abide by an outcome even though he disagrees, and will likely lose property and property rights in the end. This arrangement is no different from one where the voter casts a symbolic vote, a vote that remains uncounted, with the outcome already determined by the whims of the tyrant.

In either situation, the voter must accept the will of someone else. The right to vote, and the right to have that vote counted, changes nothing.

It would appear that democracy benefits the rulers, as democracy alone has provided the most consistent means for those formerly in power to sleep and die in peace.

And the same holds for the courtiers, nomenklatura, and apparatchiks. These sycophants need no longer dread midnight's knife and muffled cries, and the subsequent crowning of a new king. The elite and bureaucracy can retire to their farms and while away their passing years without fear — their riches and posterity intact.

As I see it now, democracy is not to the advantage of the demos, it is to the advantage of the power elite. Something to think about.

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Ron Paul Introduces Three New Bills Designed to Restore Free Speech to Health

by Ethan Huff

(NaturalNews) In recent years, numerous companies have been targeted, raided, and even shut down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for making health claims about the products they sell. These federal agencies operate outside the realm of constitutional legitimacy and thus have pejoratively muzzled free speech concerning natural health products and their health benefits for decades. In an effort to restore constitutional freedom of speech, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has introduced three bills which would help dismantle the web of corruption that censors legitimate health claims and truthful information about foods, herbs, and supplements that prevent, combat, or otherwise remediate disease.

Some readers may remember back in mid-2008 when the FTC performed a witch hunt against 130 companies and one non-profit religious group who made claims about their products' effectiveness in treating cancer. The FTC ordered that these entities remove all claims and testimonials and issue a statement to all their customers that drugs and radiation are the only useful and proven treatments for battling cancer and that none of the products or ingredients sold by these companies were helpful in preventing or treating illness.

Similarly, in 2005 the FDA threatened to raid cherry orchards who posted legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific studies on their websites about the health benefits of cherries, claiming that the dissemination of any information correlating cherries to health would cause the cherries to become unapproved drugs subject to seizure.

There have also been countless raids, including one back in January on a company who postulated that its health products treated depression and other illnesses. What resulted was the arrest and detention of the company's owner by U.S. Federal Marshals for speaking the unapproved truth.

As lunatic as all of this sounds, this type of behavior has become normal operating procedure at the FDA and FTC whose unrestrained power continues to escalate into increasingly tyrannical control over free speech. As such, Rep. Paul's three bills aim to end the illegitimate censorship of free speech and restore constitutional freedom of speech in natural health. Below are their summaries and information about how to support them.

HR 3394, The Health Information Protection Act, inhibits the FTC from acting against any entity for communicating the health benefits of its products unless the FTC presents "clear and convincing" evidence that those statements are false. In concordance with the Fifth Amendment, the burden of proof concerning an accusation of a false claim is to fall upon the accuser (FTC) to determine, with legitimate evidence, that a claim is false before demanding its removal. As it stands, the FTC has reversed the Fifth Amendment by preemptively and arbitrarily restraining communication without any evidence or reason while demanding that the accused party prove its claim to be true. HR 3394 will reinforce the already lawful Fifth Amendment that establishes the burden of proof upon the FTC to present a legitimate case before impeding any lawful communication. It will restore the freedom to communicate nutrient-disease health claims freely.

Similarly to HR 3394, HR 3395, The Health Freedom Act, will remove the unconstitutional FDA power of "prior restraint" over all nutrient-disease relationship claims. In other words, free speech health claims will no longer be universally banned but will be permitted. The burden of proof will properly and lawfully fall upon the FDA to establish "clear and convincing" evidence against a claim, after it has been made, if it believes a claim is false. The First Amendment of the Constitution was designed to protect the free speech of the people from the federal government imposing "prior restraint" on speech, the very thing the FDA has instated as the foundation for its operating procedure. This bill will preserve the proper and lawful prosecution of those who make false claims, but it will require the government and its agencies, particularly the FDA, to establish legitimate evidence against a claim that it believes to be false prior to taking any action against any person or entity rather, effectively restoring the First Amendment supremacy over the FDA.

Finally, HR 3396, The Congressional Responsibility and Accountability Act, addresses the roughly 90% of federal government law that is enacted not by Congress, as is mandated in the Constitution under the non-delegation doctrine, but by unelected bureaucratic agencies such as the FDA and FTC. As such, it would prohibit any law created by these agencies from being enacted without first being passed by Congress in concordance with Article I of the Constitution. HR 3396 will restore constitutional government by returning the responsibility of legislating law to Congress which will in turn protect the public from rogue federal agencies who tend to overstep their bounds and tyrannize the people.

While these bills mostly reinforce what is already provisioned in our Constitution, they represent the potential for reform by pinpointing specific areas for which our federal government and its agencies have unlawfully violated their roles and tyrannized people by outlawing free speech, particularly health speech. It is time to put these unelected bureaucracies in their place by supporting Rep. Ron Paul's health freedom bills.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Healthcare Rallies, Guns, and Astroturfing

Today, We Are Change Arizona posted a video on YouTube (below) of a rally in Phoenix protesting Obama's "town hall" on health care issues. No word yet on who the planted shills were asking questions in that meeting yet, but I'm sure that someone took notes.

A few days ago, I wrote an article about the Healthcare debate and how the reform debates miss the point.

Now what I'm seeing is that there is as much stupidity amongst those who protest against Obamacare as there are those who are for it. Sheep come in all political stripes, I guess.

It all started in New Hampshire when a guy showed up to an Obama town hall meeting carrying his pistol (openly). The event was in New Hampshire, where (gasp!) it's legal to open carry. The national news media attempted to make this into a big deal as if he was only "barely obeying the law" with it.

Regardless of the guy's intentions, he was well spoken when interviewed and didn't cave to the blatant attacks and character jabs the media threw at him. He's a great spokesman for the common man carrying firearms freely.

He's not a great spokesman for the opposition to health care reform. He's a detriment.

The gum-chewing, mostly articulate fellow in Arizona? Same. Great spokesman for the Second Amendment, crappy spokesman for opposing Obamacare.

Of course, the socialists progressives are having a field day with this. Now it's "anti-Obama gun nuts" and "Far right Obama haters bring guns to rally."

Anyone else see the issue here? I'm all for gun ownership rights. I'm one of those nutcases that believes that there should be no gun restrictions (zero, zip, zilch) of any kind. At all. But that's not the point here.

The point here is that these well-meaning knuckleheads are screwing us over without even knowing it.

I can understand their motivation. I've been guilty of doing the same sort of thing. After all, there are so many infringements on our rights that it appears that we have to take every chance we can get to make sure the world knows that we aren't going to back down and are exercising ALL of our rights (as not defined by the ACLU).

The problem is that it removes the legitimacy of our cause on the health care debate and puts us in the same astro turfing camp as the Obamabots who want socialized healthcare.

It removes the debate away from the real issue, which is the falsehoods being perpetrated as "healthcare reform" in Washington, and puts it into the media's love affair with "nutjobs."

I don't care how articulate, nicely dressed, thoughtful, or intelligent you are. They own the cameras and they will make you look insane. Don't give them something to focus on that has so many psychological implications in people's minds.

In the first instance, in New Hampshire, the only thing that saved the guy was that he was alone carrying, he was a surprise so the media was too slow to react and get any footage, and by the time they got him on camera (well after the event), it had been talked up so much that it was kind of a let down to finally see the guy. He looked normal, coherent, and didn't even have foam at the mouth.

This next one, though? Ya, they were all over him and the guy was only too happy to mug for the camera and get his AR on TV. That's all that was really shown, so you know. The interview in the video above was by someone who agreed with the guy. So it was good. The media dispensed with that and just showed closeups of the gun and only begrudgingly admitted he was a black man. All in all, it looked bad for our side.

Can't we focus? Can't we just take care of this (huge) issue before it gets out of hand? Why do we need to muddy the waters with this?

I understand the "all our rights, all the time" argument, but it's too complicated. Think from a 30-second sound byte perspective: if you can't explain your stance to a 5-year old within thirty seconds, you've failed in modern media.

Sorry, folks, but that's how it is. Focus, focus, focus. The narrower your points of argument, the more likely you are to win. Watch Dr. Ron Paul when he speaks in the debates during the 2008 elections.

Narrow, focused points, carefully crafted to convey the idea without wasting effort.

I realize that not all of us are as eloquent as Ron Paul and not many of us have been battling for liberty as long as he has. But let's take a lesson from his Presidential and Campaign for Liberty campaigns. Focus!

What those who promote freedom seem to have a hard time realizing is that not everyone really wants it. At least, they don't think they want it because they equate it with a lot of bad things. Think about that.

"Know your enemy as you know yourself." --Sun Tzu

Here's an example: let's say you are anti-abortion. I would assume that at least 75% of the "conservatives" out there would agree that abortion is bad. Let's say that I'm attempting to sell you on abortion as a good thing. How would I do that? What would be my strategy for changing your mind? Would I endlessly tell you that it's about "women's freedom" and "freedom of choice?" Maybe I'd harp on the whole "it's my body, my choice" thing? Think that'd work?

Well, they've been doing that for years now and you aren't convinced. Why hasn't it worked?

Probably because they're marketing to someone other than you. They aren't trying to convince you, they're trying to convince your publik skewled, brainwashed kids. You aren't convince-able, but those kids of yours who've been going to the socialist brainwash camps since they were five years old? They're convince-able.

Think about that for a minute and then think about what's happening at these healthcare debates. We're dealing with people who've been so brainwashed, that anything that looks "anti-Obama" or that appears to be in any way against the socialist agenda must be capitalist dogma and redneck Bubba talk.

Now consider this: if I showed you a passage from the Bible that says that a baby is not a human until it has been physically born and taken a breath.. what would you do? How would you react to that? I bet you'd start to question your stance on abortion.

Well, the good news is that it's probably not in the Bible. I haven't read it in a few days, but I'm pretty sure that's not in there. Guess what?

The Obama Bible has direct contradictions to his health care plans. It's right there, written by the jackephants horses themselves. It's the legislation in Congress right now that is nothing like what Obama and friends are telling people his healthcare plans are.

It's right there, handed to us, and easy to use.

But instead, people are bringing guns to rallies, holding up creative, but divisive signs with Obama as the Joker, and chanting things like "Liberty!" and "Freedom!" instead of "Obama is lying!" "Read the bills!" "That's not in there either!"

See my point?

Once again, the freedom and liberty crowd is preaching to the choir instead of trying to win over new converts.

When the Mormons send their missionaries out to convert people to the LDS Church, they don't go to other Mormon's houses to preach the gospel. When the Jevhovah's Witnesses walk through a neighborhood looking to bring people to Jesus, they don't go to other Witnesses' houses.

Why are we so intent on selling freedom to freedom lovers?

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Many Gun Owners, the State and Media Agree; 2a Is No Longer Relevant

by Michael Gaddy

As a government grows more and more intrusive on individual liberties, that government’s fear of the armed citizen increases exponentially, just as an armed robber fears a well-armed potential victim. Here in America in the last seventy plus years, our government and their stooges in the media have sought to relegate the right of a free people to keep and bear arms into a privilege, subject to government approval, rather than an inalienable right. Sadly, many gun owners have agreed to participate in this madness.

I have been consistent in my objections to asking permission and paying for the privilege to carry a weapon on my person, if and when I chose to do so. Yet, the majority of objections I receive to my position come from people who currently own guns and have jumped at the opportunity for government approval to do what they already have the right to do. Is this not an open acknowledgement to those in power the Second Amendment, and the remainder of the Bill of Rights, mean nothing and are subject to the whim of some elected criminal, bureaucrat, or an agenda wearing a black robe?

When I decided to write this article, I did not contact the government, submit to a background check, submit fingerprints, take a government endorsed writing class and pay for permission. What is the difference in the exercise of my inalienable right to free speech and my inalienable right to keep and bear arms? The difference is: the state currently fears my ability to resist tyranny with a firearm more than with words, but as we can see from the reaction of the government and its media lackeys to the spoken objections to the tyranny of socialized medicine, that is about to change.

In today’s political climate, if one dares to speak out about the intrusion of the state into every crevice of liberty and freedom, they are compared by the socialist mouth organ to Nazis, Hamas and Hezbollah.

If the First Amendment rights follow the pattern of the Second Amendment, only those who have been vetted by the state will be allowed to speak or write publicly, and then only after passing the prerequisite courses, state scrutiny, and of course, pay the required amount for the privilege.

I can see the stooges proudly proclaiming their newly paid-for right to speak and write, just as they do now with their permits to carry a concealed weapon. Then, many will lobby for reciprocity from other states the right to speak or publish, or perhaps even campaign for a national permit to exercise their First Amendment rights.

An American, exercising his inalienable right to keep and bear arms, recently became the focus of the state and the media in New Hampshire near where Obama was to appear. Chris Matthews and other members of the propaganda ministry were apoplectic. How dare anyone other than a government bottom feeder be allowed near the Messiah with a firearm? What would have happened had this man decided to exercise his First Amendment rights at the same time he was exercising his Second?

What did the state and the media fear most about this man with a gun? Was it the man, the gun, the spirit of the man, or perhaps it might have been his ethnicity? After all, according to the media, if he were there to object to the socialist plans of Obama that would reveal his latent racism. We all know, white people concerned about government taking over their health care want to shoot anyone who is only half white.

What a masterstroke it was for the state to get Boobus to admit the only rights he has are those subject to the "reasonable" restrictions of his masters. The precedent has been set and we have agreed; you must submit yourself before the god called government, pass their background checks, take their approved qualification course, submit the required monies and wait for your ID card certifying you have permission from the state to exercise at least one of your former inalienable rights!

If you, and/or a member of your family, are assaulted by a madman with a weapon while in a restaurant, on a school campus, in church, at the mall, in a bank, in the parking lot where you shop or work, in a carjacking or a mugging, or visiting Obama’s home town, you must remember, the only people allowed to defend their lives and those of their loved ones are those who have been sanctioned by the state to do so. That is freedom in America today, granted by the state, bought and paid for.

Through our inactions and apathy we have acknowledged the state to be the masters of our lives; perhaps we can apply for the privilege of having our own health care, the right not to be forcibly injected by some vaccine whose side effects are worse than the disease or the right not to be imprisoned in a FEMA camp. Remember, we traded our rights for security. It is turning out to be one heck of a bad bargain.

Resistance, anyone?

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Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist (Documentary)

This is the first half of a soon-to-be-released documentary. The second half will be released soon.

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Line in the Stand: The State Sovereignty Movement

by Timothy Baldwin

On July 10, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin became the second governor in these States United (Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee is the other one) to sign into effect a State Sovereignty Resolution. These Sovereignty-type bills, resolutions and laws are an obvious and rightful response that the super-majority of the States in the Union are expressing to and against the usurping powers of the federal government. While the effects of federal tyranny are being felt more seriously than ever, history and human nature prove that the people of a society do not respond or revolt immediately against tyranny – though they have a right to. America’s resistance is no different. Fortunately, the sleeping giant is being awakened, to the dismay of our Centralist-worshipers today.

An observer of history and these current events cannot help but draw strikingly similar comparisons to America’s political struggles during the early to mid-1800s, where there was a serious threat to our original form of constitutional government by the Centralists of that day. During the presidency of John Adams, the people of the States realized and rejected the pro-centralist view of Adams and his ilk (e.g., Alexander Hamilton), and a battle between the ideology of centralism and federalism thrust itself into the forefront of political concern.

On the heels of the Adams administration, the people of the States United spoke clearly and loudly through their election of Presidents Thomas Jefferson in 1801 through James Buchanan in 1857. All of these Presidents (through either political expediency or conviction) rejected the centralists’ philosophy and confirmed the fundamental political ideology that the Constitution of the United States of America was a compact assented to by the individual States of America, and that the Federal government’s authority only extended to the specific and enumerated grants acceded to it by the sovereign people of each State. It was not until 1861 that this understanding of Constitutional government and State Sovereignty was seriously challenged.

Since the Reconstruction period after the War Between the States, the philosophical acknowledgments of what State Sovereignty means, implies and mandates has been flipped on its head, to where the States seem to believe that they are powerless over the demands of the federal government. This concept is completely contrary to the original principles of our Confederated Republic, which was overwhelmingly acknowledged from 1787 to 1860.

Those who adopted the views of the Centralists during the twentieth century, of course, had their heyday: from the implementation of the sixteenth and seventeenth amendments, to the implementation of our fiat currency system; from the assumption of all federal laws as superior to all state laws, to the Federal Supreme Court being considered the only arbitrator of issues regarding political sovereignty; from excessive federal borrowing and spending, to tyrannical federal mandates and directives imposed on the people of the States. Now, their heyday is turning into our payday and we the people are fronting the bill.

What Governor Palin acknowledged on July 10, 2009 – as have thousands of men and women in their State government capacities across these States United – is what America’s Founding Fathers and statesmen pre-1861 accepted, acknowledged and proclaimed: (1) that each of the States is independent and possessing a natural right to govern itself according to the will of its sovereign people reflected in its own constitution; (2) that each of those States has a natural and compactually agreed-upon right to defend, secure and protect the freedoms and liberties of its own people; and (3) that any powers not delegated by those people through their States to the Federal government by the expressed intent and purposes understood and explained in the US Constitution are void and unenforceable. Indeed, most would have argued that each Sovereign State had all powers of nationhood (pursuant to the natural laws of nations, as understood by philosophical and political statesmen), with exception of those powers delegated to the federal government in the United States Constitution, which was ratified and acceded to only for the WELL-BEING – not the suppression – of those sovereign peoples and those Sovereign States.

Read more here.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taxpayers vs. Tax-Eaters

by Jim Panyard
The Two Classes in Society

Playing off the sloganeers of Ronald Reagan’s 1984 Presidential re-election campaign, it’s safe to say, “It’s Mourning in America.”

Even The Gipper would admit it.

As of June 2009, 155 million people were laboring in the shrinking private sector of the American Empire with a per capita income of $39,751 and a per household income of $50,740.

In addition to supporting themselves and their dependents on those earnings, they were also supporting:

22.5 million government employees at the federal, state and local levels. The average pay of those on the federal government payroll is $75,419 this year, according to Econwatch. The story is much the same at the state and local levels. In Pennsylvania, for example, the average state employee has a pay package of about $68,000 per year, while the state’s household income is $48,576. (As an aside, there are only about 20 million jobs in the nation’s manufacturing and construction sectors, combined.)

3.9 million welfare recipients
46.5 million Social Security recipients, a number projected to rise to about 72 million in the next 20 years.
14.7 million Americans drawing unemployment benefits, with that number expected to rise consistently in the foreseeable future.

The productive sector workers are also paying for everything the Leviathan State does, such as wars, roads,Imperial adventures, private stadiums, bailouts, counterfeiting, ad infinitum. They also pick up the soaring tabs for 47 million Medicaid and 42 million Medicare recipients.

If this isn’t rampant socialism, it will do until the real thing arrives.

How can 155 million productive workers support themselves, nearly 100 million nonproductive others and a seemingly endless list of government endeavors (most of which could be done more economically and more effectively by the private sector)?

Answer: They can’t. Or, as they say in the computer business, “Game Over.”

America’s ongoing and growing financial bankruptcy is matched by its moral bankruptcy with 50 million “legal” abortions and counting; illegitimacy becoming the societal norm and celebrations of sodomy across the nation.

Theologian and author R.J. Rushdoony noted, correctly, that a nation’s religion is reflected in its culture.

What about hope? As my Dad used to say, “S(p)it in one hand and hope in the other. See which one fills up fastest.”

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Is There a Natural Anti-Liberty Mindset?

by Karen Kwiatkowski

The immediate and obvious answer to this question might be "Yes, of course there is." An anti-liberty mindset would explain our wars -- at home on freedoms we like to think were sanctified in the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and abroad on other people and other countries who do not quickly enough bend to our great will.

The anti-liberty mindset would also explain how Americans quietly bear government taxation that consumes over half of what they make each hour, and each year. At this point, logic tells us that no future generation will be able to pay the obligations taken on by our government. But an anti-liberty mindset certainly explains why Americans tend to believe that our children somehow will be willing to try!

If a natural and predominant anti-liberty mindset exists in 21st century America, notwithstanding this country’s 19th century groundbreaking role in everyman over every government, then the libertarian movement, whether as a unique political party, as green shoots in mainstream politics, and even as a social networking opportunity is doomed.

There are many signs of an entrenched anti-liberty mindset -- and Will Grigg’s fascinating reports of everyday police action against individuals in this country communicate largely that most people still side with the police. Most who watch the ubiquitous cop or military shows on TV, whether dramatically posed or reality postured, tend to cheer for the state over the individual. A recent annual Harris poll asking for the "most respected" occupations found that of jobs with highest prestige in the eyes of the "people" are nearly all government enforcers. The only occupation with over 60% in the "highest prestige" category was that of firefighter, the one-third of firefighters who are employed full-time as firefighters working for local government. Over 50% of poll respondents believed that scientists, doctors, nurses, military officers and teachers were positions of highest prestige. Given the flow of federal and state dollars into these occupations, all may be considered government jobs of a similar sort. Police officers and clergy rated 40% for most prestige. Garnering less than a 40% rating for "highest prestige" in descending order, were the generally market-based private professions of engineering, farming, architecture, elected members of Congress, law, business leadership, athletics, journalism, union leadership, entertainment, banking, acting, stockbroking, accounting, and real estate.

Charles Burris recently shared a report paid for by those in authority that examined whether public school discipline practices "foster the public good." The report itself was not surprising. My several years of teaching in a public high school left me amazed at the prison-like atmosphere, minute-by-minute demands for submission and conformity, and an underlying sense of institutional threat. That experience confirmed to me that public school is not, and was never, about creating learners or thinkers, but instead an attempt to develop automatons unpracticed in independence, and consequently unable to effectively question authority. What was interesting in this 2009 report was the underlying theme that chronic troublemakers in school should be removed into -- dare I say -- some sort of educational internment camps.

Lastly, we have the recent non-story of employee allegations under oath that Erik Prince, former CEO of Xe, nee Blackwater, arranged for and threatened murder of both Americans and non-combatants in the several wars in which Xe/Blackwater is supporting overseas. One would expect that a scandal of this nature might be treated with the same frenzy as the Bernie Madoff situation -- but of course, these allegations are one of many reports that directly challenge the cherished idea of military service as a prestigious occupation and government killing as a moral endeavor.

It seems to me that the anti-liberty mindset is the most serious challenge facing America today -- even beyond the ongoing catastrophe of our fiat-money system that continues to enable the corporate state. The fiat-money system will eventually crash the state -- but we will still be battling the anti-liberty mindset in the smoking ruins.

However, the anti-liberty mindset may be itself vulnerable to collapse. The cycle of state growth is corruption, overreach, terror, and eventual collapse. In spite of admonitions to respect police and law enforcement, more and more people see these state agents as tax collectors, felons in uniform and pigs, no offense intended to the four legged variety. In terms of protection, we utilize private security systems that we pay for -- no one today expects a policeman to actually be there when a crime is committed, or even to arrive until long after the assailant has fled. We get more crime solving on TV shows and books than we do in real life, where as a rule, no forensics are done and no sustained investigations materialize.

In spite of our purported respect for teachers, we really do not respect them at all. Instead, we have developed a well-deserved cross-generational contempt for teachers in government institutional settings. In the age of the Internet and online encyclopedias, where one is a click away from learning how to do nearly anything, and the great writings that may interest us are instantly accessible -- we have teachers who wish instead for us to sit quietly and complete badly formulated true/false questions from even more badly written eight-pound textbooks. Confirming this is a recent story in national newspaper insert called "American Profile." The second youngest person who actually remembered an exceptional teacher was a 39-year-old woman -- and the teacher she remembers is currently her boss! The youngest was an 18-year-old college student who lauded her second grade teacher for "inspiring curiosity" and "being kind." She must have had more recent teachers, but likely none who could be accused of inspiring either curiosity or humanity.

Finally, in spite of our ostensible regard for those who serve the state as members of the military, the long-term trends bear out that it is less respect we have for these people than it is fear and dislike of them. America has already evolved a Praetorian class, with a volunteer military made up of people groomed socially, genetically, and geographically to serve the state, and who are socially, economically and geographically unwelcome in most communities after their service. Most military retirees who identify as such, cluster in certain state supported locations near atrocious domestic military bases and expensive government health care. The mentally and physically wounded from our wars are kept unseen, unheard, often heavily medicated and out of journalistic view. Those others who truly integrate into civil society do so without reference to their military service, and keep it thankfully buried like any other mistake that is in the past.

Is there a natural anti-liberty mindset? No, there is not. Children want to ask questions, to explore, to experiment, and to think. People truly want charity, or as that word is also understood, kindness and love. In such an environment, liberty flourishes. But there is an artificial anti-liberty mindset promoted incessantly by all things state, and by all things political. It can be rejected, combated, and I hope, destroyed. The first step is to recognize that the anti-liberty mindset is not natural -- in spite of the state’s sustained and subtle messages to the contrary.

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Healthcare Reform Debates Miss the Point

by Aaron Turpen

I’ve been watching, sometimes engaging, sometimes just observing, but always noting the sides of the arguments on health care reform. While endlessly entertaining (much better than reality TV), the arguments on all sides of the issue are all fundamentally missing the most basic of points.

Some are getting close, but still miss.

There are three basic sides to this issue: those who want to reform the current system, those who want universal/public healthcare, and those who oppose both ideas.

Reformers - The reformers are, sadly, the real minority. They’re the only voice of reason, in my mind, and are generally coming up with proposals that get entirely ignored by the other two sides. The problem there is the word “reform.” It’s another of those words that the “progressives” (today’s way of saying “socialist”) have hijacked to make their own–with an entirely different definition, of course.

The true reformers in this debate are asking that the current system have some big cuts made to it. Basically, reformers are asking for the removal of the restrictions and mandates of government so that health insurance and care can operate as a free market solution rather than as the quasi-socialist/capitalist mashup it is now.

These reforms would include TORT reform to limit lawsuits and liabilities, removal of state and federal mandates on insurance that requires mandatory coverage of things like hair plugs and Viagra, etc. Liability lawsuit coverage accounts for an estimated 47% of current medical costs while these required mandates, which vary by state, can account for up to 1/3 of insurance costs.

None of these true reforms are listed in current health care bills to any extent.

Universal/Public/Single Payer Advocates - These are the full blooded socialistic, Europe-worshipers who want America to become another arm of the EU. That basically summarizes my view of their ideology. They want fully nationalized (or quasi-national) health care, mandated, controlled, and operated by government.

Their changes to health care aren’t listed in any of the current health care bills. They just think they are. Probably because this seems to be what President Obama is alluding to when he talks about “health care reform.”

Objectionists - That’s the name I give to those who just flatly reject any change to the health care system. They usually do so either out of ignorance or because they are merely opposing the Single Payer Advocates (above) and believe anyone who uses the word “reform” is one of those “evil liberals.”

These are generally well-meaning people and at least they have their hearts in the right place. Many are true Patriots who deserve our thanks for their dogged opposition on many issues besides just health care. The problem is that most of these people are driven by disinformation almost as wildly incorrect as the Single Payer Advocates have.

They believe a lot of hokey things related to the proposals. Most of it is rooted in truth, but has been greatly exaggerated for the benefit of talk radio hosts and bloggers. Many of these people have talking points that are literally 140 characters or less (Twitter).

The Real Issue - The real issue at stake isn’t health care reform, the creation of universal health care in America, or the take over of healthcare by government. The issue here is three separate proposals for health care that are in Congress right now.

None of them matches any of the three sides to the current debate. Not a one. The closest is the now-famous House Bill 3200. This is the one most often pointed towards during debates. Facts be damned, though, the people debating it have usually never read it. The monster is 1,018 pages long, so it’s no wonder.

The problem is that a few people have read some key provisions or summaries of some sections of it and have written some things based on that information. This has been exploited and expanded on by others until it’s become a firestorm of questionable information with little root in the original.

That’s just one of the bills. Most people aren’t even aware of the other two.

The first is commonly called the Kennedy Health Care Bill, and is (probably wrongly) attributed to the bulletproof Senator Kennedy. This bill is about half the size of the House bill, but manages to cost just as much if implemented. You can read that bill here.

There is another in the Senate Finance Committee that will probably die on the vine now that Kennedy’s has been released. Still, it exists. Good luck finding the text.

The real problem, as I’ve pointed out, is that nobody in the debate is arguing the bills themselves. They’re arguing facts that whirlwind around the bills, but aren’t really the facts from the bills.

What I’d like to see is a concerted effort by the opposition to the fake health care reform gathering together to oppose the bills themselves. If we were to show up to meetings with real, actual facts and with printed copies of the bill in our hands, we would have much more credibility.

Instead, we are fringe. We are the “shouting mob.” We are the “birthers,” the “capitalists,” the “insurance company shills.”

Let’s be the truly informed public. After all, leftists hate facts. They can’t stand them. They get in the way of emotional argument, which is their only selling point.

How to Argue Against These B.S. Bills - Now we get to the crux of the issue. The real nitty-gritty. This is what will separate us from the angry, shouting, right-wing mobs they want us to be.

Refute their emotional arguments by ignoring them and stating facts instead.

When they shout about how many people bankrupted because of health care costs, mention that the current bills proposed do nothing to change health care costs, only the insurance for health care coverage. Health care costs will continue to rise under the current proposals, it’s just a matter of who’s footing the bill.

When they scream about how Canadians pay only 8% of their GDP on health care while we pay nearly double that, you could point out that the Canadians spend very little money on health care innovation and we spend 5x as much as all of Europe (combined). Again, neither of these facts are in the bills proposed. So they are irrelevant.

When the spout out that 47 million people don’t have health care coverage in the U.S., refute the number as meaningless since 12 million of those are not Americans (illegal immigrants) and many of the rest are uninsured by choice. Further, current proposals will force us to pay for coverage for those illegal immigrants and will force those who do not want insurance to get it. So much for freedom of choice.

When the talk turns to “poor people” (aka “underprivileged”) and how they need health care coverage, point out that the current system covers them through Social Security and Medicare.

Finally, when the long-winded vocals on the huge costs of medical care are given, mention that government pays for nearly 43% of our nation’s health care already through Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Those programs pay fixed rates to doctors, who must make up their losses by… charging higher prices to the rest of us. Not to mention the huge malpractice insurance rates (due to the amount of litigation), Medicare and Medicaid paperwork requirements, etc. that they have to pay for.

All in all, a reasoned, thoughtful, and factual debate should definitely cause the progressives to be the ones who begin to look more like the shouting mobs with unreasonable attitudes. They’ve already proven themselves to be the true astro-turfers here.


OpenCongress interactive HR 3200 page. Here you can read, comment on, and read others’ comments on the House bill that’s going to make or break Dingle’s career.

Kaiser Family Foundation side-by-side presentation and analysis of the three major proposals, continuously updated as committees change them.

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