Sunday, May 31, 2009

Security Theater in Three Airports: Istanbul, Paris, and Atlanta (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs on his dreadful experiences at airport security checkpoints:

Bob HiggsReturning recently from a trip to Turkey, my wife and I had the distinct displeasure of passing repeatedly through “security” checkpoints, not to mention waiting in long queues in order to arrive at these unpleasant passages. Although every country’s airport security boasts its own unique idiocies, all have much in common. It’s a waste of time to fret about swine flu; the more pressing danger to the world is obviously fool flu - although I am not sure who are the greater fools, the politicians and their flunkies who put these stupid procedures in place or the masses who put up with them in the wholly mistaken belief that their security is thereby enhanced.

But let us not dwell on generalities when specifics lie so close at hand. Consider food. As all travelers have learned, the authorities strictly forbid passengers from bringing onboard an aircraft any food that has not been purchased in the airport outlets available to them after they have successfully navigated past the checkpoints. Moreover, U.S. authorities forbid travelers entering the United States from bringing various food items into the country with them. Nevertheless, because the Turks make scrumptious candies and pastries - I particularly recommend the baklava with finely ground pistachio nuts - we decided to bring some of these treats home with us despite the security prohibition, being confident that the security employees’ abysmal level of competence gave us as a good chance of success in the commission of this forbidden act. Suffice to say that our packages of candy and pastries sailed though all of the checkpoints ever so smoothly.

Read the rest

Roger Young's Images and Quotes of the Week

Roger Young has published yet another great Image Review of the Week....



....and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
"Ask yourself: With the government firmly in the pockets of giant businesses, whom would we trust to oversee a central bank?
No one.
And what would prevent it from becoming anything more than an instrument of private interest, with the power and the purse of the public added?
Nothing."

~ Lila Rajiva

Read the rest of the Quotes of the Week

Time for Government to Finally Ban Itself (Glen Allport)

Glen Allport calls for an end to the evil of coercive government:

Paradise ParadigmAfter centuries and millennia of tyranny, war, mass murder, torture, corruption, legalized theft, unjust imprisonment, economic devastation, and other needless evil, isn't it finally time we banned the cause of all that horror?

Can we not find the strength to end this intrusive, violent, coercive scam – this conspiracy against love and freedom, this formalized über-criminal empire, this sick enabler of Hitler and Stalin and Kim Jong-Il and so many other psychopaths, this boot on the neck of every man, woman and child? Is it not time, and long past time, to stop putting up with government wars and government concentration camps and government injustice and government central-planning inefficiency (directly or via government-granted monopoly) and other methods of government impoverishment and cruelty? Will we not finally understand that running society via coercion and violence is not merely inefficient but horribly, shockingly wrong?

There is only one way to do all that – only one way to save the human race from the terror and poverty and violence and other cruelty that government has inflicted for centuries: put an end to the evil of coercive government itself.

Read the rest

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bob Higgs surprised to find Ron Paul fans in Turkey!

A cool anecdote by the great Bob Higgs:

Bob HiggsAlthough forced population movements are not unique to the twentieth century, as anyone of Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, or Choctaw ancestry can attest, such atrocities are among the greatest disgraces of the past century. One of the earliest such movements in this era was the population exchange between Turkey and Greece under the terms of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the conflict from which the modern Republic of Turkey emerged.

Like most Americans, I know little about Turkey or the history of the territories its present government controls. So I consider the way in which I spent the evening of Monday, May 25, as one of my life’s wholly unexpected experiences. On that occasion, my wife Elizabeth and I found ourselves in the village of Şirince, high on a mountainside about nine kilometers from the town of Selçuk, which itself is about three kilometers from the ruins of the fabulous city of Ephesus, one of the greatest metropolises of the ancient world.

By a series of events unlikely to have happened to anyone but a certain lovely, vivacious, and outgoing Louisianan (a.k.a. my wife), Elizabeth, who had gone to Selçuk earlier on Sunday while I was still occupied with business elsewhere in Turkey, had become acquainted with an affable carpet dealer by the name of Aydin. Through him, we met Metin, a young man who works with or for Aydin. (In Turkey it seems that everybody works with or for a great many others, who are described in most cases as brothers, cousins, uncles, or nephews.) Both Aydin and Metin speak good English and have spent time in the United States.

Read the rest

Ron Paul on North Korea

In his latest video message, Ron Paul says don't get all worked up on North Korea:

YouTube - Dr. Paul on North Korea

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lew Rockwell on Alex Jones Show

Lew RockwellLew Rockwell had a fantastic appearance on Alex Jones TV with guest host Jason Bermas:

YouTube - 5/29/09 Lew Rockwell on Alex Jones TV with Jason Bermas

Great stuff on HR 1207, Ron Paul, the Fed, Obama's insane foreign policy, and more!

Obama Should Tell California to Drop Dead (Peter Schiff)

Peter Schiff says the ruling thugs in California should be forced to actually cut spending to solve their financial woes:

Peter SchiffDuring the height of New York City’s financial crisis in the 1970’s, President Gerald Ford had the good sense to turn down Mayor Abe Beame’s request for a federal bailout. The refusal prompted the famous New York Post headline, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” More than 30 years later, as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a similar plea to Washington, I hope President Obama will show similar restraint. Unfortunately, given Obama’s recent string of unwise economic decisions, it’s hard to imagine that his judgment will suddenly improve.

A federal bailout would spare California from having to make spending cuts needed to bring its budget into balance. The matter has become urgent since California voters rejected several tax-hiking ballot initiatives. Rather than taking the vote as a signal to dramatically curtail spending, the state turned to the feds. If they get a free pass, the politicians can avoid fixing any of their past mistakes or preparing California for the future.

California, like many states, expended its bureaucracy as the nation’s bubble economy inflated. When condos flipped like hamburgers and homeowners flush with equity spent like lottery winners, extra tax revenue flooded into Sacramento. However, instead of saving the money for a rainy day or paying off prior debts, the state government simply ballooned its spending. Now that the bubble has burst, and revenues are severely depleted, it is time for California to reconsider its excesses.

Read the rest, and also see his recent appearance on the Glenn Beck Show with Marc Faber, as well as his latest video blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tom Woods and Ron Paul in Seattle

Here's Tom Woods's fantastic speech at the Seattle Campaign for Liberty event:

YouTube - 5/22/09 Tom Woods at Seattle C4L Conference

And that was followed by Ron Paul's phenomenal speech:

YouTube - 5/22/09 Ron Paul at Seattle C4L Conference

And if you have a lot of disk space, you can download a high definition version of the entire conference here (warning: 1.8 GB!)

Freedom Watch!

Watch Freedom WatchAnother great show today with Judge Napolitano, Ron Paul, Tom Woods, Wayne Allyn Root, Peter Schiff, Mike German, Sam Dodson, Shelly Roche, and Michael Maresco:

YouTube - Freedom Watch #16: Ron Paul, Tom Woods, Wayne Root, more

Ron Paul on Fox, CNN

Ron Paul had a couple of recent interviews, the first of which was last night on Fox Business with Neil Cavuto:

YouTube - Dr. Ron Paul on Cavuto Fox Business News 05-26-09

And the second is an excellent appearance he made on CNN this morning:

YouTube - Ron Paul on CNN American Morning 5/27/2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Blinding Fog of War (Roger Young)

An awesome post by Roger Young:

The lies continue. After the fog of another Memorial Day has cleared, when death, destruction and suffering is glorified and rationalized, two supreme lies remain in the public sphere:

Lie #1: The dead men and women, whose graves you stand over, died for your freedom.

These folks did not die for your freedom- they died to maintain the power of the US government over its subjects and to project its power towards other governments that don’t follow it’s hegemonic direction. No one now in the gun sights of the US military is any direct threat to you or me. They are merely individuals brave enough to stand up against a rogue, power mad government intent on world domination. They are conveniently created “enemies” to keep the native populace alarmed and motivated. They are manufactured diversions to distract you from the reality that the US government, itself, is the true, genuine threat to your freedom.

Lie #2: War is sometimes necessary to defend those freedoms and we should feel fortunate that these men and women were willing to die for them.

War is the ultimate human failure. War (particularly, aggressive war) means all reason, composure, diplomacy and common sense have been rejected on the bet that killing and destruction will create the desired result.

The fact is that war cannot occur without willing participants. As I have often said, tyrants without armies are impotent. And each war results in less freedom, not more or the same. Only when individuals give up their humanity and principles to kill for the king can the obscene drama of war begin. Only when the state witnesses the fact that individuals are willing to surrender their benevolence and decency to fight, kill and die whenever ordered can the state feel confident to attack still more liberties that individuals hold dear.

I have no problem with people taking a day to remember family and friends slaughtered by the beast of war. What bothers me is the patriotic adornment, state glorification and celebration that accompanies a day better spent in quiet reflection, grieving and repentance. Do not extol their deaths as brave sacrifices but rather ponder the lessons learned from their tragic mistakes. Do not preach the bloody, slavish, civic religion of Capitol Hill but rather meditate on the timeless, always-relevant wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount.

Feeding the empire with your life and surrendered freedom will only bring tyranny; a tyranny that may be impossible to overcome.

(Source: Enlightened Rogue)

Peter Schiff Update

Peter Schiff finally went on Fox Business today to talk about the imminent rise in the price of gold, the worsening crisis, and his possible run for the U.S. Senate:

YouTube - 5/26/09 Peter Schiff on Fox Business

Peter followed that up with a great video blog:

YouTube - Peter Schiff The Schiff Report Video Blog May 26 2009

Cosmology in Crisis—Again! (Wal Thornhill)

Wal Thornhill on the observable and logical Electric Universe versus the deeply flawed and unscientific "Big Bang" theory:

“Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.”
—from The Sound of Music.

It seems the toughest thing for scientists to grasp—that a cherished paradigm like the big bang can be wrong. The latest crisis was reported in Physorg.com on May 5th: “Study plunges standard Theory of Cosmology into Crisis.” The study of dwarf companion galaxies of the Milky Way support the view that a “modified Newton dynamic” [MOND] must be adopted. “This conclusion has far-reaching consequences for fundamental physics in general, and also for cosmological theories.” One of the researchers involved said, “it is conceivable that we have completely failed to comprehend the actual physics underlying the force of gravity.”

In my news of April 21st I wrote, “we are so far from understanding gravity that we don’t know the right questions to ask.” There I proposed “Electrically Modified Newtonian Dynamics,” or “E-MOND,” as the solution for solar system stability. However, the problem involving the dwarf companion galaxies is more fundamental to cosmology. The first problem in physics is to choose the correct concepts to apply to our observations. That determines which physical laws to apply. But that’s not the end of it. We must remain aware that all laws are man-made and provisional—they are subject to modification on appeal. Historically, cosmologists have denied that electricity has any relevance in space. They have refused to consider how the laws of plasma physics might apply to their otherwise incomprehensible observations. Provisionality is a formalism to mask dogma.

Richard Feynman, lecturing his students on how to look for a new law in physics, said, “First you guess. Don't laugh; this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences. Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it's wrong. That's all there is to it.”

Sounds simple? Perhaps that is why we see so many proposals for new laws of physics in the mad scramble for a Nobel Prize. But the emphasis is all wrong. It encourages wild guesswork and burgeoning complexity. Complexity facilitates endless “twiddling of knobs” to match new “experience.” Theories become practically unfalsifiable and unscientific—as witness, “string theory.” Underlying the guesswork in cosmology is the paradigm of the big bang. A paradigm is a system of belief that tends to be taken completely for granted. The guesswork is limited to modifications that don’t disturb the conviction. Questioning the established paradigm is resisted. The case of “the modern Galileo,” Halton Arp, is a classic example where the big bang “disagrees with experience” —and the experience is declared to be wrong. Feynman could usefully have added that it doesn’t matter how many people believe a theory, “If it disagrees with experience, it's wrong. That's all there is to it.”

Read the rest

The "Water Cure" for Mancow Disease (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on waterboarding and the "Christian" apologists who approve of and enable its practice:

It took all of six seconds to exorcise the unearned and unwarranted self-regard that had possessed Chicago rant radio personality Erich "Mancow" Muller: All that was necessary was a brief application of the "water cure," a torture protocol now commonly referred to as "waterboarding."

Mancow (as we'll refer to him) insists that he underwent the procedure, in its most benign form -- he could call it off on his own terms at any time, and the purpose was to conduct a demonstration, not to break his will -- in order to prove that it is relatively harmless, and that critics of its use are exercised over nothing.

Six terrifying seconds later, Mancow emerged from the experience a chastened and wiser man. "It is way worse than I thought it would be," Mancow admitted while the horror was still freshly imprinted in his mind and body. For him, the sensation -- however brief -- of being helpless as water filled his mouth and sinuses summoned palpable memories of a near-drowning he experienced as a child.

Read the rest

Monday, May 25, 2009

Electronic Fertilizer (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer blogs:

I would like to figure out a way to transform all the nonsense heard on television - especially during holidays, all of which have been converted into empire-praising - from electronic to organic forms. I figure I could then package and sell this stuff as fertilizer for people to use in their private gardens, lawns, strawberry patches, etc.

One such bit of bilge has to do with the "men who fought for our freedoms." It should be self-evident that soldiers - particularly those conscripted into service - didn't even fight for their own freedoms: how could they have fought for mine? Furthermore, the war system always results in a diminution of freedom - whether "we" won the war or lost it. The state expands its powers over us because of war, something the state has learned - while most of us have not - by labeling most of its political programs as "wars": the war on drugs, war on poverty, war on terrorism, war on cancer, war on drunk-driving, etc., etc. Finally, the question is never asked: how can a man who is fighting and killing others be pursuing "freedom?" Of what is one "free" if he is in mortal conflict with others?

Then there is the trendy clap-trap about "giving back" to society. This is one of those cutesy phrases whose meaning is so vacuous as to communicate no concrete meaning to any intelligent human. To contend that I ought to "give back" is to suggest wrongdoing on my part; that I had obtained some benefit at the expense of others for which I ought to offer recompense. It is the secular age's moral equivalent of Marxist "exploitation" theories. In either instance, the state intervenes as the vehicle to correct the wrongdoing, whether by urging - or compelling - us to "give back" what rightfully belongs to others.

If my efforts to convert electronic into organic energy succeeds, I may come up with the means of ending starvation on the planet!

Remembering the Real Victims (S.M. Oliva)

S.M. Oliva blogs:

On this Memorial Day, it is somehow fitting that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has vetoed a bill that would have allowed "terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana to alleviate pain and suffering in their final days." Pawlenty did not want to upset the police special-interest lobby, who directly profit from the government's illegal war against drugs.

It's hard to come up with a better example of how the men and women who are supposed to be honored today have died, frankly, in furtherance of evil. We're told America's uniformed soldiers die in support of our freedom -- but that it is flatly contradicted by more than two centuries of empirical evidence, not to mention common sense. The soldiers die not to keep us free, but to protect the ability of criminals like Tim Pawlenty to torture innocent people who simply wish to reduce their own pain and suffering. The soldiers die so torturers may continue to live free of the consequences of their actions.

As libertarians, we should take this day to remember the billions who have died as the result of state aggression -- and yes, that includes the American state.

Torturing the Rule of Law (Ron Paul)

Dr. Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk:

(YouTube)

Congressman Ron PaulWhile Congress is sidetracked by who said what to whom and when, our nation finds itself at a crossroads on the issue of torture. We are at a point where we must decide if torture is something that is now going to be considered justifiable and reasonable under certain circumstances, or is America better than that?

“Enhanced interrogation” as some prefer to call it, has been used throughout history, usually by despotic governments, to cruelly punish or to extract politically useful statements from prisoners. Governments that do these things invariably bring shame on themselves.

In addition, information obtained under duress is incredibly unreliable, which is why it is not admissible in a court of law. Legally valid information is freely given by someone of sound mind and body. Someone in excruciating pain, or brought close to death by some horrific procedure is not in any state of mind to give reliable information, and certainly no actions should be taken solely based upon it.

For these reasons, it is illegal in the United States and illegal under Geneva Conventions. Simulated drowning, or water boarding, was not considered an exception to these laws when it was used by the Japanese against US soldiers in World War II. In fact, we hanged Japanese officers for war crimes in 1945 for water boarding. Its status as torture has already been decided by our own courts under this precedent. To look the other way now, when Americans do it, is the very definition of hypocrisy.

Matthew Alexander, author of “How to Break a Terrorist” used non-torture methods of interrogation in Iraq with much success. In fact, one cooperative jihadist told him, "I thought you would torture me, and when you didn't, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That's why I decided to cooperate." Alexander also found that in Iraq “the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.” Alexander’s experiences unequivocally demonstrate that losing our humanity is not beneficial or necessary in fighting terror.

The current administration has reversed its position on releasing evidence of torture by the previous administration and we must ask why. A great and moral nation would have the courage to face the truth so it could abide by the rule of law. To look the other way necessarily implicates all of us and would of course further radicalize people against our troops on the ground. Instead, we have the chance to limit culpability for torture to those who were truly responsible for these crimes against humanity.

Not everyone who was given illegal orders obeyed them. Many FBI agents understood that an illegal order must be disobeyed and they did so. The others must be held accountable, so that all of us are not targeted for blowback for the complicity of some.

The government’s own actions and operations in torturing people, and in acting on illegally obtained and unreliable information to kill and capture, are the most radicalizing forces at work today, not any religion, nor the fact that we are rich and free. The fact that our government engages in evil behavior under the auspices of the American people is what poses the greatest threat to the American people, and it must not be allowed to stand.

That Sickening State Worship Ceremony at Arlington (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell blogs:

I just watched the elected dictator, flanked by his uniformed bureaucrats, order us all to remember at 3:00pm, "to ring a bell," for example, for those "who gave the last, full measure of devotion" for (huh?) "equality, justice, and opportunity," in the multitude of US wars. We also heard that oft-repeated lie that Americans killed in US invasions of other people's countries "died for us" as versus for the imperial state. Oh, and in another awful phrase, we are in turn supposed to "give back" to the government in their honor, that is, gladly hand Moloch even more of our money and our children, and to support with all our being the US state's ambition to rule the globe, to bring "equality, justice, and opportunity" to all nations, whether they want them or not. Thanks, Obama, for more synonyms, along with Bush's "freedom" and "democracy," for DC domination.

Roger Young's Memorial Day Update

Roger Young, who on Memorial Day a few years ago wrote an excellent article on why we should not only remember the dead, but also the liars who killed them, has published another great Image Review of the Week....



....and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
“It is pastors who ought to be teaching and warning their congregations about what is wrong with the U.S. empire, the U.S. military, the CIA, U.S. wars, and U.S. foreign policy. Instead, we have pastors that lead their congregations to pledge to the flag, sing praise to the state on every national holiday, and honor the U.S. war machine on special military appreciation days.”
~ Laurence Vance

Read the rest of the Quotes of the Week

Memorial Day Church Boycott (Laurance Vance)

Laurence Vance blogs:

I have decided that I will no longer attend any church on Memorial Day unless I know for sure ahead of time that the church: 1. Will not pledge to the flag. 2. Will not sing patriotic songs. 3. Will not ask God to bless America. 4. Will not have veterans wear their military uniforms. 5. Will not have all veterans stand and be applauded. 6. Will not say that U.S. soldiers defend our freedoms. 7. Will not say that as Christ died for our sins, so U.S. soldiers died for our freedoms. 8. Will not recognise police and fireman as public servants worthy of our praise.

I suspect that I will be staying home next year or taking the kids on a picnic. It is a disgrace that some or all of these things take place in American churches on Memorial Day Sunday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Adam Kokesh at the Jekyll Island Project



The great Adam Kokesh, who recently announced he's running for Congress, made a nice speech at the recent Jekyll Island Project:

YouTube - Adam Kokesh at the Jekyll Island Project

And if you haven't seen Adam Kokesh's powerful speech at the Revolution March, it's one for the ages:

YouTube - Adam Kokesh's speech (Revolution March)

And also see Adam's speech at the Rally for the Republic:

YouTube - Ron Paul Rally For The Republic Adam Kokesh 09/02/2008

Friday, May 22, 2009

Housing's Big Picture Isn't Pretty (Peter Schiff)

Peter Schiff takes a sobering look at the housing market:

Peter SchiffWhile economists and real estate investors "celebrate" the slight deceleration in the pace of home price declines in the recent data, a quick look at home price trajectories over the past 100 and 50 years reveals little to cheer about and much to be feared.

More significant than small month-to-month changes is the flow of home price patterns over decades. In his book Irrational Exuberance, Robert Shiller determined that in the 100 years between 1900 and 2000, home prices in the U.S. increased by an average of about 3.4% per year. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation. If they had, home prices would have outpaced inflation by only the slimmest of margins.

This 100-year period includes the Great Depression, when home prices sank significantly, and it also involves decades in which our current home mortgage infrastructure simply did not exist. The second half of the century, with its baby boom, heightened inflation, suburban expansion and institutionalized mortgage apparatus, was much kinder to home prices. Even so, in the 50 boom years between 1950 and 2000, home prices increased an average of 4.4% per year. Even this pace barely beat inflation.

By all accounts, the home price boom that began in late 1997 (when the high of the previous 1989 peak was finally eclipsed) and topped out in June 2006 was extraordinary. The Case-Shiller 10-City Index, an amalgam of the home price trends in 10 of the largest U.S. cities, gained on average 19.4% per year during that time. The movements had very little to do with market fundamentals and everything to do with distortive government policies, a national mania for real estate wealth and a torrent of temporarily easy credit.

Read the rest

Accusers as "Victims": A Case Study (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg takes a courageous stand on an emotionally charged case that can be likened to a modern day Salem Witch Trial:

It would hardly be difficult to convict any man of child sex abuse if the prosecutor were provided with the following advantages:

*The accuser would be designated a "victim," and referred to as such in pre-trial hearings and during the trial, thereby leaving jurors predisposed to accept her allegations as fact;

*The trial judge grants a prosecution motion in limine (a request to exclude "prejudicial" evidence) forbidding the defense to call witnesses whose first-hand testimony would impeach the credibility of the accuser;

*In similar fashion, the judge prevents the defense from "prejudicing" the jury against the "victim" by referring to at least one previous occasion on which she made a false allegation of abuse;

*The accuser/"victim" is permitted to change critical, materially relevant details of her story without being accused of perjury or simply impeached as unreliable;

*Even as the judge carefully shields the "victim" from adversarial scrutiny, he permits the prosecution to mention that the defendant had previously been the subject of an abuse investigation, without being charged, prosecuted, or convicted of any offense;

*Most egregiously, the judge permits the prosecution to present an "expert" witness to explain how the critical piece of exculpatory evidence in a child rape trial -- a gynecological examination of the accuser showing perfectly normal physical development, including an intact hymen -- was actually a common finding in child sexual abuse cases.

Indeed, just as the notorious "magic bullet" of Daley Plaza managed to defy established laws of physics, changing directions several times without losing its lethal velocity, the accuser's virginal membrane possessed magical properties that permitted it to survive repeated episodes of full intercourse forced upon the girl by her step-father, which supposedly began when the accuser was 12 and the accused was in his late 20s.

Read the rest

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Peter Schiff's latest video blog

Peter Schiff recorded another great video blog about the flight from everything American, including stocks, bonds, and finally the dollar:

YouTube - Peter Schiff The Schiff Report Video Blog May 21 2009

Ron Paul Introduces the Protect Patients' and Physicians' Privacy Act

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement Introducing the Protect Patients' and Physicians' Privacy Act


May 21, 2009

Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Protect Patients’ and Physicians’ Privacy Act. This legislation protects medical privacy, as well as quality health care, by allowing patients and physicians to opt out of any federally mandated, created, or funded electronic medical records system. The bill also repeals the sections of federal law establishing a “unique health identifier” and requires patient consent before any electronic medical records can be released to a third party.

Congress has refused to fund the development of a unique health identifier every year since 1998. Clearly, the majority of my colleagues recognize the threat this scheme poses to medical privacy. It is past time for Congress to repeal the section of law authorizing the federal unique health identifier.

Among the numerous provisions jammed into the stimulus bill, which was rushed through Congress earlier this year, was funding for electronic medical records. Medicare providers have until 2015 to “voluntarily” adopt the system of electronic medical records, or face financial penalties.

One of the major flaws with the federally-mandated electronic record system is that is does not provide adequate privacy protection. Electronic medical records that are part of the federal system will only receive the protection granted by the federal “medical privacy rule.” This misnamed rule actually protects the ability of government officials and state-favored special interests to view private medical records without patient consent.

Even if the law did not authorize violations of medical privacy, patients would still have good reason to be concerned about the government’s ability to protect their medical records. After all, we are all familiar with cases where third parties obtained access to electronic veteran, tax, and other records because of errors made by federal bureaucrats. My colleagues should also consider the abuse of IRS records by administrations of both parties and ask themselves what would happen if unscrupulous politicians gain the power to access their political enemies’ electronic medical records.

As an OB/GYN with over 30 years of experience in private practice, I understand that one of the foundations of quality health care is the patient's confidence that all information the patient shares with his or her health care provider will remain confidential. As an OB/GYN with over 30 years of experience in private practice, I understand that a physician’s ability to provide effective treatment often depends on a patients’ trust that all personal information divulged to a physician will remain confidential. Forcing physicians to place their patients’ medical records in a system without adequate privacy protection undermines that confidence, and thus undermines effective medical treatment.

A physician opt out is also necessary in order to allow physicians to escape from the inefficiencies and other problems that are sure to occur in the implementation and management of the federal system. Contrary to the claims of the mandatory system’s proponents, it is highly unlikely an efficient system of mandatory electronic health records can be established by the government.

Many health technology experts have warned of the problems that will accompany the system of mandatory electronic medical records. For example, David Kibbe, a top technology adviser to the American Academy of Family Physicians, warned President Obama in an open letter late last year that existing medical software is often poorly designed and does a poor job of exchanging information. Allowing physicians to opt out provides a safety device to ensure that physicians can avoid the problems that will inevitably accompany the government-mandated system.

Madam Speaker, allowing patients and providers to opt out of the electronic medical records system will in no way harm the practice of medicine or the development of an efficient system of keeping medical records. Instead, it will enhance these worthy goals by ensuring patients and physicians can escape the inefficient, one-size-fits-all government–mandated system. By creating a market for alternatives to the government system, the op-out ensures that private businesses can work to develop systems that meet the demands for an efficient system of electronic records that protects patients’ privacy. I urge my colleagues to stand up for privacy and quality health care by cosponsoring the Protect Patients’ and Physicians’ Privacy Act.

Ron Paul Introduces the Coercion is Not Health Care Act

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement Introducing the Coercion is Not Health Care Act


May 21, 2009

Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, today I am introducing the Coercion is Not Health Care Act. This legislation forbids the federal government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance, and from conditioning participation in any federal program, or receipt of any federal benefit, on the purchase of health insurance.

While often marketed as a “moderate” compromise between nationalized health care and a free market solution, forcing every American to purchase a government-approved health insurance plan is a back door approach to creating a government-controlled health care system.

If Congress requires individuals to purchase insurance, Congress must define what insurance policies satisfy the government mandate. Thus, Congress will decide what is and is not covered in the mandatory insurance policy. Does anyone seriously doubt that what conditions and treatments are covered will be determined by who has the most effective lobby. Or that Congress will be incapable of writing a mandatory insurance policy that will fit the unique needs of every individual in the United States?

The experience of states that allow their legislatures to mandate what benefits health insurance plans must cover has shown that politicizing health insurance inevitably makes health insurance more expensive. As the cost of government-mandated health insurance rises, Congress will likely create yet another fiscally unsustainable entitlement program to help cover the cost of insurance.

When the cost of government–mandated insurance proves to be an unsustainable burden on individuals and small employers, and the government, Congress will likely impose price controls on medical treatments, and even go so far as to limit what procedures and treatments will be reimbursed by the mandatory insurance. The result will be an increasing number of providers turning to “cash only” practices, thus making it difficult for those relying on the government-mandated insurance to find health care. Anyone who doubts that result should consider the increasing number of physicians who are withdrawing from the Medicare program because of the low reimbursement and constant bureaucratic harassment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Madam Speaker, the key to effective health care reform lies not in increasing government control, but in increasing the American people’s ability to make their own health care decisions. Thus, instead of forcing Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance, Congress should put the American people back in charge of health care by expanding health care tax credits and deductions, as well as increasing access to Health Savings Accounts. Therefore, I have introduced legislation, the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act (HR1495), which provides a series of health care tax credits and deductions designed to empower patients. I urge my colleagues to reject the big government- knows-best approach to health care by cosponsoring my Coercion is Not Health Care Act and Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act.

Ron Paul Introduces the Affordable Gas Price Act

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement Introducing the Affordable Gas Price Act


May 21, 2009

Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Affordable Gas Price Act. This legislation reduces gas prices by reforming government policies that artificially inflate the price of gas. While the price of gas has not yet reached the record levels of last year, over the last two months the average price of gas has risen approximately 16%. In some areas, the price of gas is approaching $3.00 per gallon. There is thus a real possibility that the American people while soon by once again hard hit by skyrocketing gas prices.

High gas prices threaten our fragile economy and diminishes the quality of life for all Americans. One industry that is particularly hard hit is the trucking industry. The effects of high gas prices on the trucking industry will be reflected in increased costs for numerous consumer goods, thus further harming American consumers.

Unfortunately, many proposals to address the problem of higher energy prices involve increasing government interference in the market through policies such as price controls. These big government solutions will, at best, prove ineffective and, at worst, bring back the fuel shortages and gas lines of the seventies.

Instead of expanding government, Congress should repeal federal laws and policies that raise the price of gas, either directly through taxes or indirectly though regulations that discourage the development of new fuel sources. This is why my legislation repeals the federal moratorium on offshore drilling and allows oil exploration in the ANWR reserve in Alaska. My bill also ensures that the National Environmental Policy Act’s environmental impact statement requirement will no longer be used as a tool to force refiners to waste valuable time and capital on nuisance litigation. The Affordable Gas Price Act also provides tax incentives to encourage investment in new refineries.

Federal fuel taxes are a major part of gasoline’s cost. The Affordable Gas Price Act suspends the federal gasoline tax any time the average gas prices exceeds $3.00 per gallon. During the suspension, the federal government will have a legal responsibility to ensure the federal highway trust fund remains funded. My bill also raises the amount of mileage reimbursement not subject to taxes, and, during times of high oil prices, provides the same mileage reimbursement benefit to charity and medical organizations as provided to businesses.

Misguided and outdated trade policies are also artificially raising the price of gas. For instance, even though Russia and Kazakhstan allow their citizens the right and opportunity to emigrate, they are still subject to Jackson-Vanik sanctions, even though Jackson-Vanik was a reaction to the Soviet Union’s highly restrictive emigration policy. Eliminating Jackson-Vankik’s threat of trade-restricting sanctions would increase the United States’ access to oil supplies from non-Arab countries. Thus, my bill terminates the application of title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 to Russia and Khazaskin, allowing Americans to enjoy the benefits of free trade with these oil-producing nations.

Ron Paul Introduces the Sanctity of Life Act

SPEECH OF
HON. RON PAUL
OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2009

Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, I rise today to support the Sanctity of Life Act. This legislation provides that the federal courts of the United States, up to and including the Supreme Court, do not have jurisdiction to hear abortion-related cases. Since the Supreme Court invented a ``right'' to abortion in Roe v. Wade, federal judges have repeatedly thwarted efforts by democratically elected officials at the state and local level to protect the unborn.

However, the federal courts have no legitimate authority to tell states and local communities what restrictions can and cannot be placed on abortion. Even some intellectually honest supporters of legalized abortion acknowledge that Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided. Congress must use the authority granted to it in Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution to rein in rogue federal judges from interfering with a state's ability to protect unborn life.

Madam Speaker, it is my hope that my colleagues will join me in support of using the power granted to the Congress by the Constitution to protect the ability of individual states and the people to restore respect for the sanctity of human life.

The Humanitarian Face of the State, With Fangs (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell comments on Obama's reversal on Guantanimo and says how the prisoners there are treated is a mere foreshadowing of how we will all be treated under the total state:

The glorious Barack Obama, broad-minded humanitarian universalist that he is, promised to reverse the wickedness of the Bush administration, which ran a prison camp in Guantánamo Bay and kept pictures of ruthless abuse from public view to save the face of Bush.

Bush the despot!

Obama the savior!

And sure enough, after taking office, Obama did something or other toward closing that prison camp just off our shores, along with its secret military trials and abuse. How the partisans cheered on one side and booed on the other.

Except that just the other day, Obama quietly reversed himself. Now the camps must stay. After all, there are real enemies there, the "worst of the worst." The trials will still be in secret. The military will still run them, because, you know, you just can't trust those civilian courts to arrive at the right verdict.

Read the rest

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ron Paul with Judge Napolitano on Fox

Ron Paul wasn't able to be on Freedom Watch, but he did appear on the Glenn Beck Show, which was guest hosted by none other than Judge Napolitano:

YouTube - 5/20/09 Ron Paul on Fox with Judge Napolitano: Close Gitmo Now!

Freedom Watch 15 with Rand Paul, more on YouTube

Freedom WatchWatch another great episode of Judge Napolitano's Freedom Watch!

YouTube - Freedom Watch #15: Rand Paul, Rockwell, Woods, more

Remember to tune in each Wednesday at 2pm EST to watch live!

Ron Paul: Current Conditions or Just a Bad Dream

Dr. Paul's speech on the House floor yesterday:

(YouTube - thanks to Marc Gallagher)

Congressman Ron PaulCould it all be a bad dream, or a nightmare? Is it my imagination, or have we lost our minds? It's surreal; it's just not believable. A grand absurdity; a great deception, a delusion of momentous proportions; based on preposterous notions; and on ideas whose time should never have come; simplicity grossly distorted and complicated; insanity passed off as logic; grandiose schemes built on falsehoods with the morality of Ponzi and Madoff; evil described as virtue; ignorance pawned off as wisdom; destruction and impoverishment in the name of humanitarianism; violence, the tool of change; preventive wars used as the road to peace; tolerance delivered by government guns; reactionary views in the guise of progress; an empire replacing the Republic; slavery sold as liberty; excellence and virtue traded for mediocracy; socialism to save capitalism; a government out of control, unrestrained by the Constitution, the rule of law, or morality; bickering over petty politics as we collapse into chaos; the philosophy that destroys us is not even defined.

We have broken from reality--a psychotic Nation. Ignorance with a pretense of knowledge replacing wisdom. Money does not grow on trees, nor does prosperity come from a government printing press or escalating deficits.

We're now in the midst of unlimited spending of the people's money, exorbitant taxation, deficits of trillions of dollars--spent on a failed welfare/warfare state; an epidemic of cronyism; unlimited supplies of paper money equated with wealth.

A central bank that deliberately destroys the value of the currency in secrecy, without restraint, without nary a whimper. Yet, cheered on by the pseudo-capitalists of Wall Street, the military industrial complex, and Detroit.

We police our world empire with troops on 700 bases and in 130 countries around the world. A dangerous war now spreads throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Thousands of innocent people being killed, as we become known as the torturers of the 21st century.

We assume that by keeping the already-known torture pictures from the public's eye, we will be remembered only as a generous and good people. If our enemies want to attack us only because we are free and rich, proof of torture would be irrelevant.

The sad part of all this is that we have forgotten what made America great, good, and prosperous. We need to quickly refresh our memories and once again reinvigorate our love, understanding, and confidence in liberty. The status quo cannot be maintained, considering the current conditions. Violence and lost liberty will result without some revolutionary thinking.

We must escape from the madness of crowds now gathering. The good news is the reversal is achievable through peaceful and intellectual means and, fortunately, the number of those who care are growing exponentially.

Of course, it could all be a bad dream, a nightmare, and that I'm seriously mistaken, overreacting, and that my worries are unfounded. I hope so. But just in case, we ought to prepare ourselves for revolutionary changes in the not-too-distant future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jesse Ventura on the Lying, Torturing US Government

The always entertaining Jesse Ventura speaks out against torture on Fox and Friends earlier today:

YouTube - Part 1: 5/19/09 Jesse Ventura Talks Torture on Fox & Friends

And after the show he talked about the constant lies of the government:

YouTube - Part 2: 5/19/09 Jesse Ventura After the Show on Fox & Friends

The Neoclassical Fallacy of Government as Deus ex Machina (Chris Brown)

Chris Brown uses the neoclassical model, which I recall being hammered home in my econ classes in college, to show that the government itself is the worst type of "pure monopoly" in existence:

Austrian economists have long been critical of the static, unrealistic models of neoclassical economics and instead take a dynamic, causal-realist approach. Similarly, the role of government, while receiving heavy analysis from Austrians, is taken as a given in most neoclassical models and textbooks, used today in almost all university economics courses.

Laying aside the Austrian critique of neoclassical models, an analysis of the role and characteristics of government — within the neoclassical framework — will show that this institution most closely resembles the model viewed as least efficient in terms of production and allocation of scarce resources.

The government is not a deus ex machina. The question of where the government fits into the neoclassical framework demands an answer. It cannot just be assumed that any market "inefficiencies" (in the neoclassical sense) could be limited or eliminated by government, when government itself is arguably the most inefficient of all institutions.

Read the rest

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ron Paul: Please Support Adam Kokesh

Adam Kokesh for Congress

Dear Friends,

Adam Kokesh has been a tremendous supporter - of both me AND you! As a leader of Iraqi Veterans Against the War, Adam has spent years traveling the country to spread our message of peace, a strong national defense and limited government. Adam has tremendous credibility because of his service in the United States Marine Corps and I have deep respect for his commitment to principle.

And now, Adam Kokesh needs our support.

Adam has formed an exploratory committee to run for Congress in his home state of New Mexico. Sending Adam Kokesh to Congress would be a tremendous victory for the Freedom Movement, and if we come together and stand behind him, he has a real chance to win.

This race will be difficult, but I know Adam has the energy and drive to be successful and pour every ounce of himself into this effort. I urge you to go to www.KokeshforCongress.com and support him in anyway you feel comfortable. Whether it is making a financial contribution, volunteering or getting more information share with your friends and family, Adam needs your support now so he can start down this long journey with momentum and a strong wind at his back.

We have a chance to help a real patriot and lover of liberty join me in Washington. Again, I hope you will help me support Adam Kokesh for Congress.

In Liberty,



Ron Paul

Audit the Fed, Then End It! (Ron Paul)

Dr. Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk:

(YouTube)

Congressman Ron PaulI have been very pleased with the progress of my legislation, HR 1207, which calls for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve and removes many significant barriers towards transparency of our monetary system. This bill now has nearly 170 cosponsors, with support from both Republicans and Democrats. Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a companion bill in the Senate S 604, which will hopefully begin to gain momentum as well. I am very encouraged to see so many of my colleagues in Congress stand with me for greater transparency in government.

Some have begun to push back against this bill, and I am very happy to address their concerns.

The main argument seems to be that Congressional oversight over the Fed is government interference in the free market. This argument shows a misunderstanding of what a free market really is. Fundamentally, you cannot defend the Federal Reserve and the free market at the same time. The Fed negates the very foundation of a free market by artificially manipulating the price and supply of money – the lifeblood of the economy. In a free market, interest rates, like the price of any other consumer good, are decentralized and set by the market. The only legitimate, Constitutional role of government in monetary policy is to protect the integrity of the monetary unit and defend against counterfeiters.

Instead, Congress has abdicated this responsibility to a cabal of elite, quasi-governmental banks who, instead of stabilizing the economy, have destabilized it. It took less than two decades for the Federal Reserve to bring on the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It has also inflated away the value of our currency by over 96 percent since its inception. It has invisibly stolen from the poor and given to the rich through this controlled inflation, and now openly stolen through recent bank bailouts. It has predictably exacerbated the very problems it was meant to solve.

Detractors have also argued that the Fed must remain immune from the political process, and that that more congressional oversight would distort their very important decisions. On the contrary, the Federal Reserve is already heavily entrenched in the political process, as the Fed chairman is a political appointee. High level officials routinely make the rounds between positions at the Fed, member banks, Treasury and back again, taking care of friends and each other along the way.

As far as the foolishness of placing complex monetary policy decisions in the hands of politicians – I couldn’t agree more. No politician or central banker, no matter how brilliant, is smart enough to know more than the market itself. The failure of central economic planning has been witnessed over and over. It is frankly beyond me why we ever agreed to try it again.

To understand how unwise it is to have the Federal Reserve, one must first understand the magnitude of the privileges they have. They have been given the power to create money, by the trillions, and to give it to their friends, under any terms they wish, with little or no meaningful oversight or accountability. Thus the loudest arguments against greater transparency are likely to come from those friends, and understandably so.

However, it is the responsibility of every member of Congress to represent the interests of the people that sent them to Washington and find out what has been happening with our money. As the branch of government with the power of the purse, we really have no other reasonable choice when the economy is in the shape it is in.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ron Paul is Surprised (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell blogs:

When Ron was invited to speak at the graduation of 14 home-school students in his town of Lake Jackson, Texas, he expected a small gathering. Instead, the large Baptist church was packed with an SRO crowd. The entire parish turned out to support these children, and the concept of parent-run private education. Of course, so did Ron. Here is the story. What an optimistic moment for the future of Texas.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who, Me? Yes You! (Peter Schiff)

Peter Schiff places a lot of the blame for the housing bubble squarely on Alan Greenspan:

When, during the invasion of Iraq, the United States Government issued its famous deck of playing cards with the 52 arch villains of the Iraqi police state, Saddam Hussein’s face adorned the Ace of Spades. If the Obama Administration wanted to engage in a similar public relations campaign for the real estate crisis, the top card should be reserved for Alan Greenspan.

Yet in a speech this Tuesday before the National Association of Realtors, Sir Alan “the-bubble-blower” claimed that his low interest rate policies in the early and middle years of this decade had no effect on mortgage rates or real estate prices. As a result, he claims no responsibility for the subprime mortgage crisis. But even current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who shared interest rate policy responsibility as governor of the New York Fed during the Greenspan regime, recently admitted that overly accommodative policy helped inflate the bubble. So what does Greenspan know that everyone else doesn’t?

His primary defense is that mortgage rates were a function of long-term interest rates which were simply not responding to the movement in short term rates, which he did control. While it is true that the flow of capital from foreign creditors with excess dollars did keep long rates low despite rising short rates, this “conundrum” was not the leading factor in the housing bubble. Although rates on thirty-year fixed rate mortgages are based on long-term bonds, by 2005 such loans had become an endangered species. The housing bubble was all about adjustable-rate mortgages with 1-7 year teaser rates primarily based on the Fed funds rate.

Read the rest

Rand Paul is running for US Senate!

Rand Paul 2010Dr. Rand Paul, eldest son of Dr. Ron Paul, announced on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC that he is running for US Senate in Kenutucky! Watch his announcement and see his campaign website!

Rand Paul for KY Senate 2010

Ron Paul on MSNBC this morning

Dr. Paul appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning to show why Keynes is wrong and the Austrians are right:

YouTube - Ron Paul discusses Austrian vs. Keynesian economics on Morning Joe 05/15/2009

Ron Paul Introduces Consumer Debt Bill

SPEECH OF
HON. RON PAUL
OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009


Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation to help Americans struggling with consumer debt by excluding discharges of debt from the definition of taxable income. Currently, when someone is relieved of consumer debt, such as credit card debt, they are taxed on the forgiven debt. So, for example, if a credit card company agrees to forgive $12,000 of a $15,000 debt, the debtor's taxable income increases by $12,000--even though the debtor does not actually have an additional $12,000 in his or her bank account.

The only way for Americans to avoid turning cancelation of debt into a taxable event is by declaring bankruptcy or insolvency. Thus, the tax code's perverse incentives could cause more Americans to declare bankruptcy, which is neither in the best interest of the debtor or their creditors.

Madam Speaker, the tax code should not punish Americans who work out a settlement with their creditors that enables them to avoid bankruptcy. This is unfair to both the debtors and their creditors. I therefore encourage my colleagues to cosponsor my legislation removing discharged debt from the definition of taxable income.

Ron Paul: America's Treasury is Bare

Watch the speech on YouTube, the text of which is reprinted below:

Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, today we passed the supplemental bill. And I'm deeply disappointed about that. I was disappointed also that I wasn't able to get any time to enter into the debate because the time was rather limited and it was a closed rule. But I did want to make a couple of comments and the concerns that I have had about this supplemental.

When the President sent the supplemental over, it was $84.9 billion. And there were some of us that were hoping that we wouldn't be funding the war through supplementals, but it looks like that hasn't changed, the process would continue, even though there were some that believed there would be a change in the way we funded these wars. When that bill came to the House, there was a lot of expression about concern about spending too much money. But by the time it got to the floor, it was $96.7 billion. And things were added, for instance, $2 billion for the flu epidemic that didn't occur, but still, we are going to spend $2 billion trying to figure out whether we are ever going to have an epidemic.

It was very disappointing that even though it was a closed rule, the minority had one chance to do something about it and maybe reduce some of the spending. But lo and behold, when that amendment was offered, it was offered to increase the spending by $2.9 billion. There was a lot of expression of the outcry about this spending and the deficits we have and the deficits exploding and the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid underfunded, and we are in the midst of a crisis. But it doesn't seem to bother anybody about spending. But the truth is, the Treasury is bare. The Treasury is empty. And yet we continue to spend all this money.

So where do they think they are going to get this money? Well, we can't tax the people any more. The people are broke. And yet still we resort to more borrowing and more printing of money which will not last forever. It will eventually come to an end. And I think that is what we are witnessing.

This process bothers me a whole lot that we come to the floor with the supplementals. We rush them through. We talk about this excessive spending. And lo and behold, when we finally vote, we get a total of 60 people who would say, Enough is enough. And besides, what are we doing? Where are we spending this money? I thought we were supposed to, with this change in administration, that we would be fighting less wars. But no. The war in Iraq continues. We expand the war in Afghanistan. We spread the war into Pakistan. And we always have on the table the potential danger of Iran.

So when will it ever end? We can't even define the enemy. Who exactly is the enemy over there? Is it the al Qaeda? The Taliban? Is it the Government of Pakistan? If you can't define the enemy, how do you know when the war is over? If we are in war, which we are, how can this be anything other than war? When was this war declared? Oh, well, we got this authority 5 or 10 years ago. Who knows when? Perpetual war. This is what we are involved with. Perpetual spending. And then we say, well, we have to do that to be safe. That is what is preposterous. It is the very policy that makes us unsafe. We pursue this policy, and the more we do, the less safe we are. There is a big argument now about whether we are safer now with the new administration or is it making us less safe?

The truth is the policies of the last 10, 15, 20 years have made us less safe. And as long as we occupy countries, as long as we kill other people and civilians are being killed, we are going to build enemies. And as long as we are known throughout the world that we torture people, we will incite people to hate us and want to come here to kill us. So we aren't more safe. We are less safe by this foreign policy. And some day we have to wise up, change our ways and not be the policeman of the world, not to pretend that we can be the nation builder of the world, swear off and make sure we don't torture, because you don't get worthwhile information from torture. All it does is incite people against us. And the occupations can never be of any benefit to us.

What about the financial calamity that is coming? I'm afraid this is the way this will end, through another financial crisis much bigger than the one we currently have, because you can't create $2 trillion of new money every year and expect this system to continue.

The Soviet system collapsed because they couldn't afford it. Their economic system was a total failure. We did not have to fight the Soviets. Even though they were a nuclear power, they collapsed and disintegrated. And that is what we have to be concerned about, because we cannot continue to finance this system and pursue a policy which endangers us.

So if we care about the American people and care about our liberties and care about our Constitution, we ought to look seriously at our foreign policy and not continue to pursue the supplemental appropriations where we continue to spend money that we don't have.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Christians for Torture (Laurence Vance)

Laurence Vance on an even worse poll that shows how low Christianity has gone in this country:

The most ardent atheist would be rendered speechless should he hear of Christians for abortion, profanity, adultery, or drunkenness. Of all people in the world, it is certainly Christians – and especially the conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist kind – that atheists, agnostics, and infidels expect to be opposed to these things.

So what in the world is an atheist to think when he sees the widespread Christian support for torture? Yes, torture. But don’t Christians claim to follow the ethics of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament? Aren’t Christians commanded to put off anger, wrath, and malice (Colossians 3:8), "be ready to every good work" (Titus 3:1), and "live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18)? Yes, Christians.

What is really tragic is that most Christians who of late have weighed in on the subject of torture are not arguing whether or not waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" constitute torture – they readily admit that they do – but that torture is justified in the name of fighting terrorism, national security, defending our freedoms, keeping us safe, or protecting our children and grandchildren.

Read the rest

Freedom Watch 14

Freedom WatchJudge Napolitano had another great show today! Ron Paul, Daniel Hannan, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, Peter Schiff, Tom Palmer, and Shelly Roche all made appearances on this fantastic episode:

YouTube - 5/13/09 Judge Napolitano's Freedom Watch 14

Freedom Watch can be viewed live each Wednesday at 2pm at the Fox News Strategy Room.

Thanks once again to Marc Gallagher at the Libery Maven for recording, editing, and uploading Freedom Watch each and every week for those of us who can't watch it live!

Jayson Werth Steals Four Bases - Three in Same Inning!

A pretty cool and rare feat by Jayson Werth of the Philadelphia Phillies:

YouTube - Jayson Werth steals 4 bases

Never-Ending Government Lies About Markets (Tom DiLorenzo)

Tom DiLorenzo gives a much needed history lesson on the benefits of the market economy, which are greatly diminished by the machinations of the state:

The purpose of government is for those who run it to plunder those who do not. Throughout history, governments have used violence, intimidation, coercion, and mass murder to enforce this system. But governments' first line of "defense" is always a blizzard of lies — about its own alleged benevolence, altruism, heroism, and greatness, along with equally big lies about the "evils" of the civil society, especially the free market.

The current economic crisis, which was instigated by the government's central bank and its boom-and-bust monetary policies, among other interventions, has once again been blamed on "too little regulation" and too much freedom.

Will Americans ever catch on to this biggest of all of government's Big Lies?

Read the rest

Forbes Magazine: Anti-Capitalist Tool (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell wrote this excellent post on his blog:

Forbes Magazine runs an unintentionally truth-telling article about the Fed, demanding that we pay no attention to the man behind the curtain: "The Federal Reserve Needs To Be Boring Again," by Thomas E. Cooley. You should yawn at the news that an institution set up by the state and Wall Street banksters to inflate, expand the state to their profit, and cartelize the banking industry, has made possible world wars, the massive welfare state, and other government depredations. Not to mention ripping off 95% of the value of a dollar, causing artificial booms and busts, and redistributing wealth from the rest of us to the state and its best friends. And hey, Ron Paul, don't you dare ask for Fed transparency. Leave these wise men (from Wall Street and the banking industry) to make their complex decisions in private, like causing the housing boom and bust. They must be supervised only by God. But if you disagree with Mr. Cooley and want to learn more, there is Ron's forthcoming End the Fed and Tom Woods's Meltdown. Read also Murray Rothbard's What Has Government Done to Our Money, The Case Against the Fed, and A History of Money and Banking. His power-elite analysis of the Fed is unmatched. Oh, and by the way, thanks to the Fed-produced crisis, Ron Paul, and the Mises Institute, the central bank will never be boring again. Audit the Fed? Sure. But let's also sell off the marble from its palaces and sow salt in the earth where they stood. Nothing could be better for our children and grandchildren, and for our civilization.

And Tom Woods adds:

Lew, following up on your comment, Murray Rothbard points out here that when, say, the government puts a tariff on steel, everyone pretty much understands that the steel industry by and large supports and probably lobbied for it, and that it's obviously not being done out of a disinterested commitment to the common good. But as soon as you suggest that regulations, wars, the Fed, etc., might be similarly motivated, you've committed thoughtcrime.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ron Paul on Torture

Dr. Paul speaks out against the continuing policy of torture by the "peace" president who is, of course, all about Change:

YouTube - Ron Paul on Torture

Congressman Paul Introduces Bill for Fuel Efficient Cars

Congressman Ron PaulFor Immediate Release
May 11, 2009

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Ron Paul is urging his colleagues in congress to cosponsor his legislation HR 1768 the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Automobile Tax Credit Act.

This legislation would help Americans spend less on gas and reduce pollution by providing a tax credit of up to $2,000 when they sell or trade in a car and obtain a vehicle that has at least 20% higher average fuel economy than their previous vehicle. It also creates a federal tax deduction for any state or local taxes paid on the purchase or the more fuel-efficient automobile, and makes interest on loans to purchase the more fuel-efficient vehicle tax deductible.

“Providing tax deductions and tax credits to make it easier for Americans to purchase fuel-efficient automobiles is a win for American consumers, a win for the environment, and a win for those of us who favor free market solutions to pollution and high gas prices,” Congressman Paul stated in a letter to his congressional colleagues.

Congressman Paul has frequently made the case for the free market and private property rights in protecting the environment, and has signed the Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax” Pledge. This pledge states that “climate change legislation should not be used as a guise to fund a massive increase in the size and scope of government…” and reaffirms Congressman Paul’s promise to vote against any legislation related to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Space Shuttle launch--"the demonstration of man’s highest potential"? (Stephan Kinsella)

I have to agree with Stephan Kinsella on the shuttle and the rest of the government's space program:

The Atlantis space shuttle launch a few minutes ago reminded me of Ayn Rand's overdone, starry-eyed praise of the Apollo 11 moon launch. Rand saw the launch as "A Symbol of Man’s Greatness," "the concretized abstraction of man's greatness," "a demonstration of man at his best," and "the demonstration of man’s highest potential." The rocket launch by a bureaucratic agency of a criminal organization had, she claimed, "moral-epistemological" "significance". Dunno. All I see is a billion dollars wasted hurling a refrigerator into space.

Darth Greenspan (Dan O'Connor)

Dan O'Connor hold out hope that, like Anakin Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, Alan Greenspan redeems himself and reveals the evil Federal Reserve for what it really is (the article is worth checking out if only for the pictures!):

The former chairman of the US Federal Reserve shares a lot in common with one of the most famous villain characters in the history of Hollywood, Darth Vader, who was first a member of the Jedi coalition when his name was Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin Skywalker was a tremendously talented young boy discovered by Obi Wan Kenobi, who initially believed that Anakin was the "Chosen One" foretold by a Jedi prophecy to bring balance to the Force and restore harmony to the universe.

As a youth, Anakin Skywalker received close training from Obi Wan Kenobi and fought many great battles as a member of the Jedi league, but he developed a few dangerous qualities as he grew older — specifically a desire for power, a belief that a central authority was capable of controlling society, and a misplaced confidence in the "Dark Side" of the Force.

Read the rest

Stop "Helping" Afghanistan and Pakistan! (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul talks about his growing concerns over the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan:

(YouTube)

Congressman Ron PaulWhile much of the country’s attention is on other issues, a serious situation is developing in Pakistan that threatens to plunge us into another fruitless and bloody war. It is very frustrating to see that many who were so vehemently against the wars of the last administration have suddenly lost interest in foreign policy simply because we were promised change.

Those still paying attention know that nothing could be further from the truth. Very little has changed, except perhaps rhetoric, but what does that matter when the bombing missions are only getting deadlier? Rather than drawing down violent military interventions into the affairs of other countries, the new administration is escalating the foreign policy of the previous administration.

In Pakistan that entails the continuation and even escalation of military interventionism just across the border with Afghanistan. The targets are believed to be enclaves of Taliban militants, however, many innocent civilians have been caught in the deadly crossfire, severely damaging our image in the region. Many ordinary Afghanis and Pakistanis that never had cause to take up arms against us are being provided with motivation as family and friends are killed and maimed by our clumsy and indiscriminate bombs. Is it worth it for us to be involved in this way at such a high cost of blood, treasure and goodwill? Is there anything to be gained by this policy?

We are helping the Taliban and other enemies to actually gain numbers and strength, while driving them down from the mountains in the border regions deeper into Pakistan, where they have been making a menace of themselves. As our bombings follow them, beleaguered villagers have little choice but to leave their homes and join the swelling numbers of refugees or take up arms and join the fight against us.

Nonetheless, instead of recognizing the cascading unintended consequences of trying to deal with Pakistan’s problems, all signs in Washington point to further escalation. Both the House and Senate have newly introduced bills to triple foreign aid to Pakistan, from $500 million to $1.5 billion, with every indication that the leadership in Pakistan is taking advantage of the situation with the Taliban to milk more aid from the US taxpayer. We are broke. This is money we don’t have, and it is an insult to the American people to run up the national credit card for this type of military adventurism after many Americans thought they were voting for peace.

The bottom line is our involvement in Pakistan’s internal problems is not making us safer. In fact, we are adding to the numbers of our enemies and increasing the threats to our security here at home. We are inciting the very terrorism and extremism we are trying to stop. Every dollar we send, even if it is for humanitarian purposes, frees up resources to make war and potentially prop up unpopular leaders. The factions and politics of the Middle East are irrational and dangerous. We play with fire when we meddle in their affairs, and we isolate ourselves diplomatically by making more enemies than friends. We need to bring our troops home, end all foreign aid, and maintain a neutral stance on the world stage. It, in fact, is the only foreign policy we can afford right now, and it would gain us more friends and trading partners than our bombs ever could. Besides, that’s what the Constitution permits and our founders strongly advised.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Roger Young's Images and Quotes of the Week

Roger Young has published yet another great Image Review of the Week and Quotes of the Week that are well worth checking out! My favorite quote from his list:

“The age for the veneration for governments, notwithstanding all the hypnotic influence they employ to maintain their position, is more and more passing away. And it is time for people to understand that governments not only are not necessary, but are harmful and most highly immoral institutions, in which a self-respecting, honest man cannot and must not take part, and the advantages of which he cannot and should not enjoy. And as soon as people clearly understand that, they will naturally cease to take part in such deeds - that is, cease to give the governments soldiers and money. And as soon as a majority of people ceases to do this the fraud which enslaves people will be abolished.”
~ Lyoff N. Tolstoy

Also see Roger's recent Light Flashes, where he gives quick reactions to current events.

UPDATE 5/11/09: See another great edition of Enlightened Rogue's Light Flashes!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Don’t Be Fooled by Inflation (Peter Schiff)

Peter Schiff says the recent stock market rally has only occurred due to the massive inflation by the Fed, and the necessary correction has yet to occur:

Strike up the band, boys, happy days are here again! Recently released short-term economic data, including unemployment claims, non-farm payrolls, home sales, and business spending, which had been so unambiguously horrific in February and March, are now just garden-variety awful. With the Wicked Witch of Depression now apparently crushed under the house of Obamanomics, the Munchkins of Wall Street have sounded the all clear, pushing the Dow Jones up 25% from its lows. But the premature conclusion of their Lollipop Guild economists, that the crash of 2008/2009 is now a fading memory, is just as delusional as their failure to see it coming in the first place.

Once again, the facts do not support the euphoria. Over the past few months, the government has literally blasted the economy with trillions of new dollars conjured from the ether. The fact that this “stimulus” has blown some air back into our deflating consumer-based bubble economy, and given a boost to an oversold stock market, is hardly evidence that the problems have been solved. It is simply an illusion, and not a very good one at that. By throwing money at the problem, all the government is creating is inflation. Although this can often look like growth, it is no more capable of creating wealth than a hall of mirrors is capable of creating people.

Read the rest

Beware of Obamanomics (Tom Woods)

Tom Woods takes a look at the dangerous ramifications of Obama's deeply flawed economics:

Meltdown, by Thomas E. WoodsIn 1920–21, the United States faced a grave economic crisis, worse than the first year of the Great Depression. Double-digit unemployment and a 21 percent decline in production over the previous twelve months greeted the new president.

That president, the now-despised Warren G. Harding, told Americans that the bust following the artificial, credit-induced boom of the war years had to be faced up to, and that no government, however wise, could make it disappear:

The economic mechanism is intricate and its parts interdependent, and has suffered the shocks and jars incident to abnormal demands, credit inflations, and price upheavals…. We must seek the readjustment with care and courage. Our people must give and take. Prices must reflect the receding fever of war activities…. All the penalties will not be light, nor evenly distributed. There is no way of making them so. There is no instant step from disorder to order. We must face a condition of grim reality, charge off our losses and start afresh. It is the oldest lesson of civilization.… Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.

Government actually cut its budget during the crisis. There was no fiscal "stimulus." The Fed looked on passively. And by the summer, recovery had already begun. According to today’s textbooks, that wasn’t supposed to happen. But it did.

President Barack Obama’s approach to the present crisis couldn’t be more different.

Read the rest

Beyond Obama’s Probationary Period (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer takes a look at Obama's first 100 days and notes a distinct lack of meaningful Change:

Butler ShafferThe 100-day "cone of silence" suspended above the Obama administration has been lifted and has thus far proven as uneventful and meaningless as the feared consequences of Y2K. As for any significant media criticism of the new administration, you need not spend time before the television set or searching the editorial pages of your favorite dying newspaper for evidence of same. As it has long been the mainstream media’s purpose to promote – rather than question – the political establishment’s scheme of things, it will prove to be as round-heeled as it was in the post 9-11 period.

Thus far, I see nothing to indicate a reversal of the arrogance of power for which George W. Bush was rightfully criticized, and which was a principal reason for Obama’s having been elected to the presidency. The empty slogans of "change" and "hope" were largely interpreted by most Americans as "anybody but Bush!" But with Obama’s continuation – and escalation – of the war system; his inconstant positions on torture; the continuing insistence on governmental secrecy; his urging of the Supreme Court to overturn an earlier decision restricting police interrogations unless a suspect’s lawyer is present; and his uninterrupted efforts to further socialize the economy – all of which were vigorously undertaken by Mr. Bush – it is apparent that his campaign promise of "change" had nothing to do with the destructive policies he had inherited from the previous reign.

Read the rest

Watch John Stossel's great 20/20 special "You Can't Even Talk About It"

John Stossel had a great special that aired last night, and if you missed it, you can watch it here:

YouTube - John Stossel's "You Can't Even Talk About It"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Peter Schiff on Economy, Senate run

Peter Schiff went on Fox Business today to say that the "rally" is just of the bear market variety, and the stress tests are a complete joke:

YouTube - 5/8/09 Peter Schiff on Fox Business: Market Boost Just an Illusion

Peter also recorded a video blog with more updates on the economy, and added that he is seriously considering a run for US Senate!

YouTube - Peter Schiff The Schiff Report Video Blog May 8 2009