So Washington gets fat, and it does so on money taken from the rest of the country.
Just how fat have Washington and the Beltway counties gotten? According to the latest U.S. Census data, between 2000 and 2010 the richest of the Washington, D.C., area have accrued about twice as much new wealth as those not living in or around the area.
Also, some Washington counties have gotten about twice as much new wealth as some of the other richest counties in the United States."
Some on the left say that tinkering around the edges of Medicare and Medicaid with cuts to hospital and doctor payments would be enough—or that the President’s deeply flawed health law is entitlement reform. They argue that we don’t need to examine the structural problems that plague both of these programs."
Susan Rice’s Enrichment Program, Cont. | Washington Free Beacon: "Among the foreign entities in which Rice holds assets is Banco Santander. Santander and its investors lost more than $3.2 billion as a result of Bernie Madoff’s fraudulent Ponzi scheme. It is believed that Santander was aware of the fraudulent nature of Madoff’s scheme and continued to increase its investments anyway. A federal judge ruled that Santander could not be sued under U.S. securities law because, while the suit was filed in the U.S., the fraudulent acts were more readily apparent in Europe."
But that’s not what’s happening. Repressive governments want to assail the disruptive power of the internet, our common platform for expression, and they’re all jostling to get the upper hand through this treaty."
The White House’s Benghazi bungling is proving a disaster – Telegraph Blogs: "Carney’s response, as the president’s official spokesman is extraordinarily dismissive of the concerns of the American people as well as the United States Congress, and is representative of the administration’s shambolic handling of the Benghazi attack. Susan Rice is the US Ambassador to the United Nations and Obama’s likely choice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. What she misleadingly told millions of Americans on national television regarding the circumstances surrounding the first assassination of a US Ambassador since 1979 is of great public interest, and the nation deserves clear answers about what exactly the president and his top advisers knew before, during and after the Benghazi atrocity, and how they responded. As CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson asked earlier today, “who within the Obama administration deleted mention of "terrorism" and "al-Qaeda" from the CIA's talking points on the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi?”"
The Los Angeles Times on Thursday observed Obama "hasn't said anything publicly about his targets for entitlement savings or cuts in discretionary spending. Instead, he's tacitly stuck with the proposals in his fiscal 2013 budget, which Congress has already rejected.""
According to a recent study by New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff, median net worth is at the decades-low figure of $57,000 (in 2010 dollars). And as the numbers in his study reflect, the situation only appears worse when all the statistics are taken as a whole."
“The longer Democrats keep saying it, the longer it’s going to take to come up with an agreement,” he said. “The only reason Democrats are insisting on raising rates is because raising rates on the so-called rich is the holy grail of liberalism.
“Their aim isn’t job creation, they’re interested in wealth destruction,” he said."
Susan Rice’s Enrichment Program | Washington Free Beacon: "“That Susan Rice invested in companies doing business in Iran shows either the Obama administration’s lack of seriousness regarding Iran or Rice’s own immorality,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “Either way, her actions undercut her ability to demand our allies unity on Iran.”"
Senator Blasts 'Secret' Fiscal Cliff Negotiations | The Weekly Standard: ""I rise today to express my reservations about the fiscal cliff negotiations that are currently underway," said Sessions. "Over the last two years, Congress and the President have held an endless series of secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House. But the only thing these secret talks have produced is a government that skips from one crisis to the next. Everything has been tried but the open production of a 10-year budget plan as required by law and open discussions of the difficult choices.""
Articles: The Left's Scrooge McDuck Mythology of the Wealthy: "The fact productive Americans transferred over $15 trillion in wealth to the poor since 1964 is irrelevant. He is totally ignorant of real poverty where kids lack basic clothing and can't bathe. The "poor" of Dallas -- like most American poor -- have cars, cable TV, computers, smart phones, and are, more likely than not, overweight."
Residents Alerted to Obamas’ Hawaiian Holiday Plans | Hawaii Reporter: "With the staff, special forces, local police presence and equipment, the President's visit adds up annually to at least a $4 million vacation courtesy of the Hawaii and federal taxpayers.
While the President and his friends pay for their own rental homes, taxpayers pick up the cost of security and waterfront housing for the Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard as well as staff accommodations at a plush beachfront Waikiki hotel."
Incredibly, nearly all the most senior advisors to the nation’s first black president – whose appeal to minorities and women won him reelection – are white males. Democrats made much during the campaign of an alleged GOP “war on women.” But Obama’s own battalions include relatively few of the distaff variety."
Obamacare's Rationers Employ The "It's Good For You" Defense - Forbes: "We’ve already seen how this goes, and the results aren’t pretty. Back in 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — another government-run panel of independent experts — revised its breast-cancer screening recommendations by telling women to wait until age 50 before undergoing routine mammograms. Previously, the group had encouraged women to start mammograms at age 40.
One reason the Task Force cited for the change? Cost."
“I think there is no question that the way Americans eat and what Americans weigh is a big contributor to health problems and it’s a big contributor to health costs,” Summers said on Morning Joe today.It’s not the agenda now, but I think at some point you’re going to see tax measures and regulatory measures that are going to be directed at helping people be healthier. "
When Work Is Punished: The Tragedy Of America's Welfare State | ZeroHedge: "Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article "In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year." In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative - in the form of actual disposable income - to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, "the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.""
Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate - Telegraph: "In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.
This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.
The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.
It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes."
» Black Friday Gun Sales Hit New Record High Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!: "Final discussions on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are set to take place in March next year. The New American notes that, “Section III, Paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Programme of Action mandate that if a member state cannot get rid of privately owned small arms legislatively, then the control of “customs, police, intelligence, and arms control” will be placed under the power of a board of UN bureaucrats operating out of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs,” opening the door to UN peacekeeping forces to disarm American citizens."
Girls Not Coming of Age - Betsy Woodruff - National Review Online: "You’d think the feminist elevation of agency would result in women who take pride in being responsible for their own bodies. You’d hope that telling women that they can do whatever they want would imply that they’re responsible for what they do. You’d think serious feminists would argue that true empowerment is something you lay claim to, not something the federal government dispenses in all its benevolence. But for Dunham, that doesn’t seem to be the case."
Watch What Warren Buffett Does, Not What He Says | The Weekly Standard: "That last point is key: When taxes change, would-be investors will certainly change their decisions about where to direct capital, even "though the companies' operating economics will not have changed adversely at all." Buffett saw this clearly in 1986, with respect to Berkshire's own investment decisions; it's hard to believe that Buffett no longer believes that today, with respect to private investors."
EIB Guest Host: Mark Steyn - The Rush Limbaugh Show: ""If you took every single penny that Warren Buffett has, it'd pay for 4-1/2 days of the US government. This tax-the-rich won't work. The problem here is the government is way bigger than even the capacity of the rich to sustain it. The Buffett Rule would raise $3.2 billion a year, and take 514 years just to pay off Obama's 2011 budget deficit." -Mark Steyn"
Team Obama's secret emails | public, administration, government - Opinion - The Orange County Register: "An analysis by Bloomberg News in September found 19 of 20 Cabinet-level agencies failed to follow requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, disobeying the law's mandate to disclose public information. The analysis of government requests filed by Bloomberg News discovered an alarming number of transparency violations, particularly when it came to taxpayer-funded costs of travel by top officials.
"My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government," the president has said, correctly noting that accountability and public trust are dependent on government being transparent. He has an opportunity to live up to those lofty words. Or Mr. Obama can continue to stonewall and obfuscate, as have so many before him. The president should choose to disclose."
» Brzezinski: “Populist Resistance” is Derailing the New World Order Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!: "Brzezinski concluded that “persistent and highly motivated populist resistance of politically awakened and historically resentful peoples to external control has proven to be increasingly difficult to suppress.”
Although Brzezinski delivered his comments in a neutral tone, the context of the environment in which he said them allied to his previous statements would indicate that this is not a celebration of “populist resistance” but a lament at the impact it is having on the kind of “external control” Brzezinski has repeatedly advocated.
The remarks were made at an event for the European Forum For New Ideas (EFNI), an organization that advocates the transformation of the European Union into an anti-democratic federal superstate, the very type of bureaucratic “external control” Brzezinski stressed was in jeopardy in his lecture."
Obama’s memo on “insider threats”: "This memorandum quietly inserts yet another plank in the framework for absolute control by Barack Hussein Obama. It is he, not laws enacted by congress or the workings of the judicial branch, who will now determine who and what constitutes an “insider threat.” The mechanisms for reporting such threats are now in place, and actual or perceived threats to our government are to be identified and reported on by the very people he appointed to key government positions. It is the very essence of “Big Brother” within the government itself.
Everyone needs to wake up and understand exactly what’s happening not only in the U.S., but across the world. We are witnessing the consolidation of power that historically precedes a war for absolute control."
UN climate boss wants ‘centralized transformation’ that changes all lives | WashingtonExaminer.com: "She compared the UN-led ‘revolution’ on greenhouse gases to the Industrial Revolution. “The Industrial Revolution was also a transformation, but it wasn’t a guided transformation from a centralized policy perspective,” she said. “This is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science. So it’s a very, very different transformation and one that is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different.”"
Chief Economist: Quantitative Easing a Ticking 'Time Bomb': "Asked whether he believed Mr. Obama and Congress can avert going over the fiscal cliff, Mr. Roach said he thinks the federal government will do what it does best and "kick the can down the road" by using "smoke and mirror gimmickry... I think this is all a bit of a publicity stunt to make us look like we're going to the edge and then Washington comes in and rescues us from the brink. But I'm not optimistic that we'll get the grand deal that will really solve our longer term problems and that's disturbs me the most."
« The UN’s Internet Grab Commentary Magazine: "The same memo insists that the Obama administration must continue to support open access to the Internet and stresses that its efforts to push further “liberalization of international telecommunications networks” would be completely successful at Dubai. But it’s not likely that an administration whose response to Muslim outrage over an allegedly derogatory video on YouTube was to seize and detain its producer is going to be a strong advocate for free speech—or for keeping the Internet free from nation-state control.
The Internet has proven that creativity and innovation flourish best when governments govern least. The United States has a solemn duty to protect the legacy it founded. In that sense, he who controls the Internet does control the destiny of nations—and ultimately the destiny of freedom."
« The UN’s Internet Grab Commentary Magazine: "Given that Russia and China are prime movers in the bid to wrest Internet oversight from the United States; that their allies include Iran, Syria, and Venezuela; and that ITU’s Touré was trained and taught by Soviet apparatchiks, it’s hard to resist the feeling we’re watching a replay of the North–South debates of the 1970s, when totalitarians used the issue of the inequality of nations to push their real agenda of undermining the power of the United States and the West—not because they were barriers to prosperity, democracy, and free expression, but because they were their chief exponents. "
Review & Outlook: Here Comes the Regulatory Flood - WSJ.com: "Having come close to losing re-election because of a weak economy, Mr. Obama now keeps saying "our top priority has to be jobs and growth." This new regulatory flood will increase costs and uncertainty and make that priority that much harder to achieve."
Rall’s depiction was followed months later by that of Jeff Danziger of the New York Times Syndicate. Danziger drew a big-lipped, barely literate Condoleezza Rice, nursing the aluminum tubes cited by the White House as evidence of Iraq’s pursuit of nuclear weapons."
But calling Susan Rice "incompetent" is "racist".
Now, while we're at it, that's something I don't understand. Why is it racist? Do people who claim that applying the term "incompetent" to a black person is "racist" because they have a pre-conceived notion of incompetence being a "racial" trait? Well, I'd never heard of that, but I would call Susan Rice incompetent. So maybe those squealing "racist" the loudest are themselves the "racists".
Why is Texas always a mere Fort Sumter away from seceding? - Yahoo! News: "But if the secessionist numbers are on the whole paltry, the emotions are real and widespread. Indeed, if national Republicans were chastened by the national election, conservatives in Texas seemed to double down on rebelliousness. If the tea party flagged nationally, not so in Texas, where tea party Republicans gained ground in the Senate, the legislature turned even more Republican, and GOP Gov. Rick Perry (who once suggested secession might not be the worst idea) dug in his heels for more battles with Washington, against which the state has already filed 24 lawsuits on issues ranging from environmental laws to voting rights.
Moreover, Texas is leading the online secession movement on the White House website – and not just because there are lots of Texans. Perhaps the greatest reason is that the fundamentals of nationhood – materially, legally and philosophically – are more evident in Texas, at least arguably, than any other state. Add to that its political counterweight status to Washington, it is, always has been, and likely always will be, the one state to most likely sign divorce papers."
Yeah, and guess what -- the economy's among the best in the country, too, despite Washington's War on Texas!
Obama's Soviet Mistake - English pravda.ru: "Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.
After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.
Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way."
The Obama administration proposed 80 new regulations… today « The Greenroom: "The Obama administration proposed at least 80 new regulations the day after Thanksgiving (go ahead and give ‘em a scroll-through for some good times), adding to the now 1,773 proposed in the last thirty days. …But tax hikes on the wealthy and more government spending are what we need to get our economy going again. Uh-huh."
PRUDEN: The ill wind blowing past Benghazi - Washington Times: "The timing here is crucial. The consulate was attacked on Sept. 11, a Tuesday, and President Obama was told not later than Friday that it was a terrorist attack. Mrs. Rice was dispatched Sunday morning, two days later, with the bright, shining lie, and repeated it five times. Mrs. Clinton and the president’s resident press flack did so as well.
The administration’s story blaming the CIA for faulty talking points has changed slightly: the talking points included disinformation to mislead terrorists. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, now says Mrs. Rice’s lie was “within the context” of what was presented as fact. Who knows who, if anyone, is telling the truth?
The president, trying to reassure Israel in its hour of maximum peril, says the Israelis are within their rights to answer the Palestinian rockets. Well, duh. With that and five bucks, a reassured Israeli can get a decaf latte at Starbucks. A decaf latte is considerably more than we sent J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador begging for help as terrorists closed in on the Americans in Benghazi."
MILLER: Crimes of gun-grabbing mayors - Washington Times: "Mike Bloomberg is on a mission to take away everyone’s guns. New York City’s billionaire mayor has bankrolled a coalition of municipal chiefs from coast to coast who tirelessly lobby for new laws restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The irony is that many in his coalition of pedophiles, embezzlers, wife beaters, cheaters and violent thugs are no longer eligible to legally own a gun."
The Privilege to Speak - WSJ.com: "The Times Co.'s notion that only certain types of corporations are "deserving of constitutional protection" is pernicious. It recasts freedom of expression as a privilege rather than a right. It assigns to the government the authority to determine which corporations are to be favored with the "media" distinction allowing them to engage in political debate.
The Times Co. wants itself and similar corporations to enjoy a monopoly on free speech. The only way to accomplish that is through a regime in which the government effectively licenses the press. That would be an anathema to America's constitutional tradition."
Guest Post: Statist Thugs And The Rocks They Crawl Out From Under | ZeroHedge: "Many people (myself included) have never found much solace in the establishment and its parade of self-importance. For me, most methodologies of government have always been a sick kind of joke. Elaborate buildings and ceremonies, nice suits and uniforms, the money and the celebrity, the news shows and talking heads; it’s all costume. It’s a parade of drunken clowns and carneys dipped in glamour and glitter and pomp."
Guest Post: Statist Thugs And The Rocks They Crawl Out From Under | ZeroHedge: " Regardless of the age, the culture, or the social conditions, there is ALWAYS a percentage of the general populace that embraces the totalitarian dynamic. There is always someone in our neighborhood, in our workplace, and within our family that finds vindication or advantage in supporting the state, even if the state has turned viciously criminal. They are not only useful idiots; they are conscious participants in the process of pacification and enslavement of their own society. They understand their role perfectly, and they enjoy what they do."
This was not a case of free markets run wild; it was a case of government policy distorting the markets by removing their built-in restraints. This case has been made by a handful of columnists and two serious books -- "Reckless Endangerment" by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner, and "Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac" by Oonagh McDonald -- but not yet by the silent and clueless Republican Party. How many more times must it lose till it does?"
Small Business Wasn’t Crying Wolf Re: Obamacare | Fox Small Business Center: "Fear is how I would describe the current mood of small business owners. One contractor I spoke to said he was ready to close the doors and move to Canada. A restaurant owner told me she won’t be expanding anytime soon. I guess the one bright side is the President won’t have to worry about access to capital for small firms, because business owners won’t be needing capital for growth.
Small business owners weren’t crying wolf when they expressed their outrage toward Obamacare. But America has voted, and that’s what makes this country great. We all have a voice and the freedom of choice. However, don’t be surprised if you show up to work one day and the business owner has padlocked the door. And remember, it’s not just your job that’s lost, it’s his livelihood too. "
Letting Us Down: GOP Losing Susan Rice Debate: "The GOP must stop letting us down like this. We can't change the media; we can't make the media do their jobs honestly, and we certainly can't assume that the media's ever going to do the right thing.
We can't lose the Susan Rice debate on the facts. The facts are on our side. The same goes for Libya. But unless and until we're fully prepared on the facts and willing to then take the debate directly to the media, we'll keep losing the game, because we drop too many easy pop-ups.
Wake up, GOP.
You are letting us down. Again.
The Democrats overcame this problem, and they're wrong about absolutely everything.
But as my grandmother used to say, Yougottawanna."
Obama’s EPA: Transparency for thee, but not for me? « Hot Air: "For all of President Obama’s grandiose proclamations that his administration would usher in a new era of government transparency and put an end to business-as-usual, the people he hired to get the job of governing done seem notably less keen on that ostensible goal. The EPA in particular has been waging a steady but subtle regulatory war against all things un-green, regardless of the costs, and I don’t think anybody believes they’ll be pulling back at all now that Obama has secured his second term. But, secret e-mail accounts? Avoiding internal watchdogs? Disguising your true motives? Could the EPA really be so shady as all that? …I’m disinclined to afford them the benefit of the doubt. "
Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants | Politics and Law - CNET News: "Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge."
Barack Obama blunders again on the world stage – Telegraph Blogs: "It is rather embarrassing, as well as sad, that the leader of the free world can’t even pronounce the name of the most famous human rights activist on the planet. Or that he is so quick to appease Burma’s authoritarian regime by calling it “Myanmar”. Barack Obama’s gaffes demonstrate not only a marked lack of attention to detail and a high degree of amateurishness on the part of the White House, but also a disturbing willingness to curry favour with unsavoury regimes. Hardly a good omen for Obama’s second term."
Republicans Want in on Welfare State - The Rush Limbaugh Show: "Milton Friedman said there's no such thing as a free lunch. What does that mean? What does it mean? World famous economist. It means there's no Santa Claus. And when government pretends to be Santa Claus, somebody pays. So does Newt believe what Friedman said? Do Bobby Jindal or Marco Rubio, do they believe what Friedman said or not? Do they believe there's a free lunch or no free lunch? And if they don't believe that there's a free lunch, then how can any of this be effectively addressed? "
Surprise: CA Education Tax Hike Will Go to Wall Street Cronies: "But a new study by five UC Berkeley doctoral students titled “Swapping Our Future: How Taxpayers And Students Are Funding Risky UC Borrowing and Wall Street Profits” says that millions of dollars of the freshly raised revenues won’t go to California’s school children. Instead, they will go to wealthy Wall Street firms who bag three-quarters of a million dollars a month because of bad decisions made by Wall Street cronies serving on the UC Board of Regents. According to the study, UC Board of Regents’ risky decision to move the University of California’s financial practices to bond issuances hedged by interest rate swaps cost UC $57 million and helped doubled its debt in the period between May 2007 and the end of last year."
Yep, Democrats are the party of the little guy and of those poor, defenseless children.
James Capretta and Yuval Levin: Why ObamaCare Is Still No Sure Thing - WSJ.com: "Champions of ObamaCare want Americans to believe that the president's re-election ended the battle over the law. It did no such thing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won't be fully repealed while Barack Obama is in office, but the administration is heavily dependent on the states for its implementation.
Republicans will hold 30 governorships starting in January, and at last week's meeting of the Republican Governors Association they made it clear that they remain highly critical of the health law. Some Republican governors—including incoming RGA Chairman Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Ohio's John Kasich, Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Maine's Paul LePage—have already said they won't do the federal government's bidding. Several Democratic governors, including Missouri's Jay Nixon and West Virginia's Earl Ray Tomblin, have also expressed serious concerns."
Can conservatives prevent the U.S. from becoming California? | WashingtonExaminer.com: "What are Californians getting for all this government spending? According to a new census report released Friday, almost one-quarter, 23.5 percent, of all Californians are in poverty. One-third of all the nation's welfare recipients live in the state, despite the fact that California has only one-eighth of the country's population. That's four times as many as the next-highest welfare population, which is New York. Meanwhile, California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011."
Answer: Pretty much what most conservatives could have (and tried) told them they could expect.
The situation is, of course, by design, and that design is being rolled-out nation-wide. When the whole enterprise collapses, that's when the one-worlders step in and say "Gee, having sovereign nations hasn't worked out, we need one world government".
News from The Associated Press: ""I don't think having some guys taking their clothes off and hanging out seven days a week at Castro and Market Street is really what San Francisco is about. I think it's a caricature of what San Francisco is about," Wiener said."
Bachmann on Petraeus Hearing: Americans Deserve to Know What Happened in Benghazi Attack - Stillwater, MN Patch: "“Almost immediately after Osama bin Laden was killed the Obama administration starting releasing specific details, including some classified information, about the operation and a timeline of events. By contrast, two months after the terrorist attacks in Benghazi with an Ambassador and three other Americans dead, we have little knowledge of what the President knew and what his actions were. The victims’ families, the American people, and Congress deserve answers.”"
"On my own recent visit to a U.S. Immigration office, I was interested to be told that, as a matter of policy, the Obama administration is now rubber-stamping all "fee waiver" requests for "exceptional hardship" filed by members of approved identity groups. And so it will go for all those GOP safeguards. While Canada and Australia compete for high-skilled immigrants, America fast-tracks an unskilled welfare class of such economic benefit to their new homeland they can't even afford a couple of hundred bucks for the necessary paperwork."
One-Party Statelets - By Mark Steyn - The Corner - National Review Online: "Just to be clear: I think Obama won the election, and his victory represents the will of the American people. Which is why the Democrats should have heeded Mubarak’s words and not over-stolen it. I was not one of those who objected to the presence of international observers at this month’s election, as if the United States were just another banana republic: By comparison with Canada, Australia, and most other free societies, the integrity of the American ballot is a joke, and ought to be a source of shame."
The Weekend Interview with Greg Lukianoff: How Free Speech Died on Campus - WSJ.com: "A 2010 survey by the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that of 24,000 college students, only 35.6% strongly agreed that "it is safe to hold unpopular views on campus." When the question was asked of 9,000 campus professionals—who are more familiar with the enforcement end of the censorship rules—only 18.8% strongly agreed."
Newsalert: In 37 Chicago Precincts, Romney Received No Votes: "In critical swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois there are a lot of precincts in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Chicago which reported 100% of their votes cast for Obama. These add up to many 10's of thousands of votes for Obama and 0 for Romney. I repeat, 0 for Romney. I have read a number of articles about this and people knowlegable in Political Science and Statistics are starting to take notice of this.Statistically, even if among 10's of thousands of voters all wanted to vote for Obama, it would not be possible to receive 100% of the vote because at least a few would make a mistake and vote incorrectly for Romney. Not to mention the fact that a least a few of those 10's of thousands might actually disagree with Obama. These types of election returns are only seen in countries run by dictators."
Obama’s EPA Continues Handouts for Rich Ethanol Farmers on the Backs of Consumers | RedState: "Folks, this is the regressiveness of the progressives on display for everyone to see. The same man who rails against tax cuts for those who pay the most in taxes, has no problem forcing all American consumers to subsidize a boondoggle for the rich. I have a novel idea, Mr. President. Let’s not steal money from the rich, but let’s not subsidize them either; let’s not subsidize the poor and working class, but let’s not create the need for the subsidy in the first place."
The EPA hearts Big Ethanol « Hot Air: "Agribusiness, however, most definitely loves a federal decree that essentially mandates people to buy their product. The Obama administration has no problem with business, you see — they love business, and they love to be loved by business. It’s the free markets they’re not too keen on, which in the long run comes at the cost of economic growth for everyone."
The Terrifying Line in Obama's Speech That Everyone Missed - Investors.com: "But while everyone was picking apart these and other flaws in Obama's speech, they overlooked the most frightening line of all. That was when Obama promised that he'd pursue "the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.""
In several areas routine surgery was put on hold for months, while in many others new thresholds for hip and knee replacements have been introduced.
The moves are part of the NHS drive to find £20bn efficiency savings by 2015.
The government said performance should be measured by outcomes not numbers.
Surgeons have described the delays faced by patients as "devastating and cruel". Peter Kay, the president of the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), says they've become increasingly frustrated that hip and knee replacements are being targeted as a way of finding savings."
GHEI: An end to European bailouts - Washington Times: "That leaves only one path to recovery: Adopt the tough reforms that politicians have been putting off until now. Italy and Spain finally are waking up. Even though those nations have increased taxes, they also are exploring labor-market reforms so critical to returning their economies to a growth path. In France, labor costs average $44 per hour — 13 percent higher than in Germany — reducing its potential for economic growth. Louis Gallois, former head of the parent company of Airbus, has called for a cut in payroll taxes as a way to decrease the cost of employment and for slashing regulation to restore French economic competitiveness. It remains unclear whether the socialist French President Francois Hollande, who wants a 75 percent marginal tax on high-income persons, will pay heed. Ignoring Mr. Gallois’ sensible suggestions will let France slip further into recession.
Reducing the size of government and increasing labor-market flexibility are essential for a country to get out of a low-growth trap. That’s something President Obama needs to realize as well."
Articles: The Dangers of Intellectual Arrogance: "This is what makes Barack Obama's characterization of himself as 'pragmatic' so laughable. In 2008, he admitted in a television interview that he would raise capital gains taxes even if he knew that he would take in less revenue. His reason? "Purposes of fairness." The whole point of raising taxes is to take in more revenue, and yet, incredibly, he said he'd still do it if it took in less! And why? Because that's what the progressive way demands. Soaking the rich is like a sacrament to the progressive mindset and no amount of argumentation or evidence could convince a true believer otherwise."
Articles: Three Fictions about Obama's Second Term (and Why They aren't Encouraging): "Did the president have a mandate in his first term to ram through his signature piece of legislation -- legislation that impacts one-sixth the economy and is quite historic? ObamaCare wasn't on the president's agenda in the 2008 election. A majority of Americans have consistently opposed the legislation and the law. Mr. Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi eagerly governed against the will of a national majority to pass ObamaCare. Leftists are about remaking society, not bowing to the will of the people."
Articles: The Victim of a Crime: "The welfare state is our enemy's supreme masterwork, a miraculous machine that takes by force the cream of America's profit and processes it, magically, into an acidic, viscous substance that clings to people and destroys them. It then pours that destructive substance over the American people, anesthetizing them while it kills.
Best of all, from the enemy's standpoint, America itself is financing the whole thing. Once set into motion, our enemies have only to sit back and watch, coaching here and there as necessary, or to elevate their pleasure. In their construct, it's a steady pace toward the inevitable, and when they rewrite history a few decades from now, the blight of America will disappear forever.
Will enough Americans wake up in time to save our experiment in freedom? Well, I hate to be pessimistic, but as the sign at the funeral parlor says, "It's Later than You Think.""
In the Name of National Security, Media Declares the Libya Scandal Over: "Listen, I get that public deception is sometimes necessary in the name of national security, but this wasn't a deception. Absolutely no one was deceived. It was a blatant political move to save Obama from the embarrassment of a successful terror attack occurring under his watch just days after having bragged about his handling of al-Qaeda.
Even though everyone -- including the terrorists we supposedly didn’t want to tip off -- knew from day one that the White House was telling a big fat whopper to help the president win reelection, we're now going to be told another big fat whopper by the media that says this was all okay because it was done for mom, apple pie, and Old Glory.
And I'll bet dollars against rubber washers they get away with it."
Californians Return to Work as Unemployment Benefits Expire: "After the California Employment Development Department made an announcement that federal benefits for as many as 400,000 unemployed Californians could end on December 29, California’s unemployment dropped in October as more Californians looked for -- and found -- work."
Citing officials directly familiar with the information, Solomon writes in the Washington Guardian that Obama and other administration officials were told that “that the attack was likely carried out by local militia and other armed extremists sympathetic to al-Qaida in the region.”"
WSJ: Hillary’s on the hot seat, not Rice « Hot Air: "In any normal political environment after these kinds of failures, the careers of both Clinton and Rice would be limited to the speaking circuit and book tours of memoirs. The fact that Hillary still looks like a viable presidential candidate and Rice a potential top diplomat is rather stunning, in context."
Congressman Paul made his mistakes, and had his detractors, but what he says here makes a lot of sense.
This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.
The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.
In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.
All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.
The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.
The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”
Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.
I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.
If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.
During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.
I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.
Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.
They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.
Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.
But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.
The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.
This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.
The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.
The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.
If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.
Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.
If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.
This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely—that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.
The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.
If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.
Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.
Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.
The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.
Just this recognition—especially if we move in this direction—increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.
But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.
Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.
It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.
After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.
Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:
Undeclared wars are commonplace.
Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
Debt is growing exponentially.
The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.
Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:
Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?
Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.
Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.
Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.
We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.
Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.
It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.
Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.
Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.
Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.
The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.
This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.
It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.
Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.
Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.
Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.
We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.
The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.
The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.
Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.
A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.
Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.
The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.
Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.
Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.
American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people—practically at will.
Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.
This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.
Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.
First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government.
Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.
When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase—as are already occurring— violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.
When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.
When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.
Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.
Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.
To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.
Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.
Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.
If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.
If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.
It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.
But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.
Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.
The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.
Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.
I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.
Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.
If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.
Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.
Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.
What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.
The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.
Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.
The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.
A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.
World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.
What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.
The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.
What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.
No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.
The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.
Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.
What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.
The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them. Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.
Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams concurred: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.
A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.
The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.
The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.
The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.
It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.
Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.
The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.
To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgmental policies.
These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.
The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.
I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.” The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.
If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.