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Archive for August, 2009

Doctor & patients sue White House over free speech violations

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 11:01AM
The Source

Doctor & patient groups say White House intended to shut up opponents

Washington DC — The Office of the President and other White House officials are defendants in a free speech lawsuit filed by a prominent physician group, and a non-profit advocate for inner-city poor.

The White House has “unlawfully collected information on political speech,” thereby illegally using the power of the White House to chill opposition to its plans for health care reform, according to the complaint filed in District Court for the District of Columbia, by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)

The lawsuit was prompted by the White House solicitation for the public to report any “fishy” comments to ‘flag@whitehouse.gov.’ Although the White House slightly revised its data collection procedure last week, the email address still exists, the illegal activity continues, and is part of an “unlawful pattern and practice to collect and maintain information” on the exercise of free speech, which “continues in violation of the Privacy Act and First Amendment even if the Defendants terminate a particular information-collection component due to negative publicity.”

The lawsuit outlines how the White House has employed a form of “bait-and-switch” tactic of accusing the Plaintiffs and other opponents of spreading misinformation about the Administration’s goals for health care reform, and thereby refusing to ‘come clean’ about its real agenda.

The lawsuit outlines that the White House knew that the data collection would chill free speech, and in fact, intended to do just that:

“43. As part of their effort to advance the White House healthcare reform agenda, Defendants have accused opponents (including Plaintiffs) of spreading misinformation on issues such as whether (a) health reform would provide public funding for abortions, (b) put “death panels” in place to deny care to the elderly or infirm, (c) amount to a government takeover of healthcare, and (d) increase healthcare costs..the Defendants and the administration have spread misinformation, semantics, and disinformation on these topics…..

“45. By denying and continuing to deny that healthcare reform legislation includes “death panels” that make individual life-or-death decisions on the elderly or infirm, the Defendants and the current administration have ignored and implicitly denied and continue to ignore and implicitly to deny both that their healthcare reform agenda involves rationing healthcare…”

“My hate mail started shortly after the White House issued the ‘fishy’ request,” said Kathryn Serkes, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for AAPS. “We were quite visible and vocal before then, so it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Who did they share their data with? With whom might they share it?”

AAPS and CURE demand that the White House remove all information already collected, and further, be prohibited from collecting any personal data in the future.

NOTE: AAPS is a non-partisan professional association of physicians dedicated since 1943 to protection of the patient-physician relationship. CURE, founded by Star Parker, serves poor and inner-city communities through church, individual, and market-based solutions to poverty.

The case number is Civil Action No. 09-1621-EGS.

Health Care? The Government Can’t Even Run a Railroad

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

By Barry Goldwater, Jr. on 8.26.09 @ 6:08AM

Nowhere in the debate regarding health care has anyone asked if the government is able and qualified to run such a system. Before we ask the government to manage universal health care, let’s check them out.

How successful has the federal government been in managing agencies, programs and businesses?

Let’s look at Medicare. The president and Congress propose to extend Medicare to cover the 47 million people who lack health care coverage. Did anyone remind Congress that Medicare is broke? It’s rampant with fraud and abuse. It is estimated that Medicare and Medicaid fraud cost taxpayers $60 billion per year.

Medicare is required by law to pay full retail prices for drugs that could be obtained for far less in a competitive-bidding system.

Health insurance companies are required by state regulators to maintain a reserve for future liabilities. Every working stiff in this country is required to pay premium taxes into Medicare, which has no reserve. The federal government has been running the largest Ponzi scheme ever created, and it is on the hook for $36 trillion in unfunded liabilities. And you, Mr. President, want the federal government to run health care?

On Aug. 4, 1977, Jimmy Carter declared war on energy dependence and created the U.S. Department of Energy. Every president since has done the same. Today, 31 years later, the Department of Energy’s budget is $26 billion. It employs 16,000 people and 100,000 contract employees. We are no closer to energy independence than we were in 1977. And you want the federal government to run health care?

The U.S. Postal Service lost $7 billion last year and is talking about closing hundreds of offices. And you want the federal government to run health care?

The Federal Reserve was created by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to maintain a stable financial system. The Federal Reserve gets failing marks for its direct complicity in the economic meltdown and subsequent recession. The Federal Reserve has failed us. And you want the federal government to run health care?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created by Congress as government-sponsored enterprises to provide low-interest funding for the mortgage industry. These government-run mortgage banks were created to provide competition and cheap loans to those who could not afford normal market rates.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own more than $5 trillion in mortgage paper. On Sept. 7, 2008, they were declared insolvent and were taken over by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and bailed out with more than $400 billion — another government-run mess. And you, Mr. President, want the federal government to run health care?

Amtrak was created by an act of Congress in October 1970 to run the nation’s railroad system. Amtrak was supposed to reverse over two decades of continuous operating deficits. With a congressional mandate to become profitable, it was given $40 million in initial funding, along with $100 million in loan guarantees. After 38 years, Amtrak has never made a profit and receives a federal subsidy, with no prospect in sight of breaking even. And you want the federal government to run health care?

The war on drugs was started by President Richard Nixon in 1969. The United States has been spending $69 billion a year worldwide for the past 40 years, for a total of $2.5 trillion, on drug prohibition — with little to show for it. Today, there are more drugs on our streets at cheaper prices than ever before. It is easier for young people to obtain illegal drugs than a six-pack of beer. Why? Because sellers of illegal drugs don’t ask kids for IDs. And you want the federal government to run health care?

The list of government failures is long and telling. I can’t wait for “Government Motors'” new car. Are you waiting anxiously? Are you holding your breath? That car will be on recall for many years. And you, Mr. President, want the federal government to run health care?

The government has failed for 30 years to achieve energy independence. The government has bankrupted the Medicare program. The Postal Service is broke. The Federal Reserve was the primary cause of this economic meltdown and recession. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been taken over and bailed out. We have lost the war on drugs.

Mr. President, our government can’t even run a railroad. How the hell do you think the government will ever manage a universal health care system?

Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

This will never happen in America

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

11 reasons why the elections in 2010 will be the most important in the history of the United States of America.

What would you say if I gave you 11 reasons why the elections in 2010 will be the most important in the history of the United States?

1. What if I had told you in October 2008, before the last presidential election, that before Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office, the federal government would be in control of both the mortgage and the banking industries? That 19 of America’s largest banks would be forced to undergo stress tests by the federal government which would determine if they were insufficiently capitalized, so they must be supervised by the government?

Would you have said, ” C’mon that will never happen in America.”

2. What if I had told you that within Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office the federal government would be the largest shareholder in two of the US Big-Three automakers: Ford, GM, and Chrysler? That the government would kick out the CEO’s of these companies and appoint hand-picked executives with zero experience in the auto industry and that executive compensation would be determined, not by a Board of Directors, but by the government?

Would you have said, “C’mon that will never happen in America.”

3. What if I had told you that Barack Obama would appoint 21 Czars, without congressional approval, accountable only to him, not to the voters, who would have control over a wide range of US policy decisions. That there would be a Stimulus Accountability Czar, an Urban Czar, a Compensation Czar, an Iran Czar, an Auto Industry Czar, a Cyber Security Czar, an Energy Czar, a Bank Bailout Czar, and more than a dozen other government bureaucrats with unchecked regulatory powers over US domestic and foreign policy.

Would you have said, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

4. What if I had told you that the federal deficit would be $915 billion in the first six months of the Obama presidency – with a projected annual deficit of $1.75 trillion – triple the $454.8 billion in 2008, for which the previous administration was highly criticized by Obama and his fellow Democrats. That congress would pass Obama’s $3.53 trillion federal budget for fiscal 2010. That the projected deficit over the next ten years would be greater than $10 trillion.

Would you have said, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

5. What if I had told you that the Obama Justice Department would order FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high-value detainees captured on the battlefield and held at US military detention facilities in Afghanistan. That Obama would order the closing of the Guantanamo detention facility with no plan for the disposition of the 200-plus individuals held there. That several of the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo would be sent to live in freedom in Bermuda at the expense of the US government. That some of our returning US veterans would be labeled terrorists and put on a watch list.

Would you have said, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

6. What if I had told you that the federal government would seek powers to seize key companies whose failures could jeopardize the financial system. That a new regulatory agency would be proposed by Obama to control loans, credit cards, mortgage-backed securities, and other financial products offered to the public.

Would you have said, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

7. What if I had told you that Obama would travel to the Middle East, bow before the Saudi king, and repeatedly apologize for America’s past actions. That he would travel to Latin America where he would warmly greet Venezuela’s strongman Hugo Chavez and sit passively in the audience while Nicaraguan Marxist thug Daniel Ortega charged America with terrorist aggression in Central America.

Would you have said, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

8. Okay, now what if I were to tell you that Obama wants to dismantle conservative talk radio through the imposition of a new “Fairness Doctrine.” That he wants to curtail the First Amendment rights of those who may disagree with his policies via internet blogs, cable news networks, or advocacy ads. That most major network television and most newspapers will only sing his phrases like state-run media in communist countries?

Would you say, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

9. What if I were to tell you that the Obama Justice Department is doing everything it can to limit your Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. That the federal government wants to reinstate the so-called assault weapons ban which would prohibit the sale of any type of firearm that does not require the shooter to pull the trigger every time a round is fired. That Obama’s Attorney General wants to eliminate the sale of virtually all handguns and ammunition, which most citizens choose for self-defense.

Would you say, “Cmon that will never happen in America.”

10. What if I were to tell you that the Obama plan is to eliminate states rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment and give the federal government sweeping new powers over policies currently under the province of local and state governments and voted on by the people. That Obama plans to control the schools, energy production, the environment, health care, and the wealth of every US citizen.

Would you say, “C’mon, that will never happen in America.”

11. What if I were to tell you that the president, the courts, and the federal government have ignored the US Constitution and have seized powers which the founders of our country fought to restrict. That our last presidential election may have been our last truly free election for some time to come. That our next presidential election may look similar to the one recently held in Iran. (And maybe under review by ACORN.)

I know – I know what you will say. That will never happen in America.

Hopefully you realize the significance of taking the census away from the Commerce Department and placing it under the White House, where Acorn has been given broad authority to manage it.
If we don’t do everything in our power to stop this madness in 2010 and 2012, may God have mercy on our souls. Pass this on to every freedom loving American you can.

We Need Sunlight to Disinfect the Legislative Process!

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Texas Straight Talk – A weekly Column
Rep. Ron Paul (R) – TX 14

During August recess, many legislators have heard an unexpected amount of discontent from their constituents about what is happening on Capitol Hill, particularly regarding healthcare. Some people are justifiably terrified at what the government could do to healthcare, should it get its claws even further into it. Others demand a public option for health insurance and are adamant that healthcare be treated as yet other absolute entitlement. One thing everyone agrees on is that the final bill needs to be read and understood by all legislators before a vote is taken. To any American, this is common sense. In Washington, that is unlikely to happen.

There is much confusion and debate over what is and is not in the reform plan being considered. Are there or are there not so-called death panels? What are the end-of-life consultations really for? How will private insurance be affected? Can you keep your current plan or will you eventually be forced into a government plan? Will it pay for elective abortions or not? What are the implications for medical privacy? The truth is no one knows what will be in the final bill until it is on the House floor, and provisions could be added in and taken out in the wee hours of the morning before.

In February, the House was forced to vote on an over 1,000 page “stimulus” bill that had first been posted on the internet just after midnight the morning of the vote. It passed. Then in June, House leaders rushed a vote on the cap-and-trade bill, even though an over 300 page “manager’s amendment” making substantive changes to the bill, was introduced shortly after 3:00 a.m. the morning of the vote.

Washington thrives on crisis. If enough people can be convinced that we are in an emergency, they will more likely tolerate rushing legislation to the floor like this. Last minute changes will be slipped in, benefitting who knows what special interests and at what expense to the taxpayer. But the mantra is repeated over and over: We are in a crisis. We must act immediately.

It should be unconscionable for legislators to vote in favor of legislation they have not had the opportunity to read. This is why I have re-introduced the Sunlight Rule, H.Res 216. The Sunlight Rule prohibits any piece of legislation from being brought before the House of Representatives unless it has been available to read for at least 10 days.

The Sunlight Rule allows citizens to move for censure of any House Member who votes for a bill in violation of this act. Because the Sunlight Rule could never be waived, any Member could raise a point of order requiring any bill in violation to be immediately pulled from the House calendar until it can be brought to the floor in a manner consistent with this rule. This rule does not require that Members read the bills. It merely guarantees the opportunity to do so. It has 4 cosponsors.

Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” The Sunlight Rule would do much towards negating the cycle of pseudo-crises and cleaning up the legislative process here in Washington. I sincerely hope this is the year Congress remembers its deliberative duties and passes it.

Rand Paul for US Senator from Kentucky

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Congressman Ron Paul

Dear Friend,

The first independent Senate poll in Kentucky has Dr. Rand Paul, after only 3 months of campaigning, just 11 points behind establishment candidate Trey Grayson. The numbers read 37% – 26% and have sent shortwaves across the state. There is no doubt now that Rand Paul can win this race and go to Washington as a true voice of Liberty. Today, we need to build on that momentum by donating at this website, www.RandPaul2010.com

Grassroots organizers have across the country have been organizing across the country to have a money bomb for Rand today, August 20th. An influx of campaign cash would propel Rand to incredible momentum and allow him to fund the type of aggressive grassroots campaign he will need to take this seat and head to United States Senate.

On the heels of this tremendous poll, the political elite are watching today’s efforts intently. Let’s show them that Liberty can prevail and donate $25, $50, $100, $250 or more right now.

Victory is possible, but we need your help. Please go to
and donate right now!

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

Campaign For Liberty’s Northeast Conference

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

August 21, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Our Northeast Regional Conference on Sept. 17-19 in Valley Forge, PA will feature Congressman Ron Paul, Judge Napolitano, Tom Woods, Phil Giraldi, and Peter Schiff.

How can an event with such a powerful lineup get any better?

I am proud to announce that British Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan is now confirmed as the latest addition to our Conference!

Daniel Hannan has become an international sensation for defending the principles of a sound fiscal policy. He made headlines when he openly criticized British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his policies of spending Great Britain into even larger debt, referring to Brown as “The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government.” The video of that interaction has achieved worldwide fame and reached approximately 2.5 million views on Youtube alone!

Don’t miss out on what is sure to be the biggest Regional Conference yet! Register or become a sponsor today and use promotional code Madison when registering to receive a free gift from Campaign for Liberty.

Daniel Hannan has graciously agreed to take part in two private events with C4L members. Hannan will be holding a private briefing on Saturday afternoon, Sept 19, in which he will discuss his time in the British Parliament, his battles against the forces of big government, and his continued struggle to uphold liberty.

This is a very rare opportunity to hear Hannan in person in what will be a very intimate gathering. Spots are extremely limited, so sign up today!

Later that evening, he will also take part in our “Gold Reception,” where he will be joined by Peter Schiff and Tom Woods for a time of appetizers, drinks, and interaction with C4L members.

The private briefing and Gold Reception are each $100.

Become a sponsor and receive admission into both of these events as well as access to grassroots training, our Diamond Reception with Ron Paul, briefing with Judge Napolitano, and more!

You may also purchase tickets for both of these events separately by visiting our registration page. If you have already purchased tickets for the Conference or any related event, you can purchase a ticket the same way you used to register for those events. Just uncheck the boxes of the events you’re already scheduled to attend and then select the Private Briefing with Daniel Hannan and the Gold Reception.

Don’t forget to use promotional code “Madison” to receive your free gift!

Finally, on Saturday night, Hannan will once again join Peter Schiff and Tom Woods for our Economic Liberty Symposium. The Symposium is a FREE event that is open to the public.

Click on the video below to watch Daniel Hannan take on Gordon Brown and champion restoring Britain to sound economic footing:

With Congressman Ron Paul, Judge Napolitano, Tom Woods, Phil Giraldi, Peter Schiff, and now Daniel Hannan, as well as hundreds of liberty minded activists, this will be without question an event of a lifetime.

I look forward to seeing you there!

In Liberty,
John Tate


Ban Factory Farms & Stop Forced Vaccinations

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Despite years of warnings by public interest organizations such as the Organic Consumers Association and the Humane Society of the U.S., earlier this year, drugged-out pigs and chickens on intensive confinement factory farms have incubated a highly infectious H1N1 virus that set off a global pandemic.

This so-far only moderately virulent but rapidly spreading strain of influenza, which contains genetic material from pigs, birds and humans has already infected 162,000 people and killed hundreds of people across the world, including the United States. The World Health Organization has warned that although the current H1N1 Swine Flu is far less deadly than the Bird Flu, it could mutate into a much more dangerous strain. As the flu season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, profit-obsessed drug-makers are racing to supply governments with vaccines and medicines. There are numerous concerns about the safety of these messures, including:

A leaked memo revealed that the swine flu vaccine has been linked to paralysis.

The fast-tracked vaccine contains novel adjuvants, including dangerous squalene which was in all probability responsible for Gulf War syndrome.

If the greed of drug companies prevails over safety concerns, vaccines will be pushed on a frightened, ignorant and passive public through the school system, work places and free vaccination programs. Schoolchildren could be first in line for the swine flu vaccine this fall — and schools are being put on notice that they might be turned into shot clinics.

It is important to know that you can avoid quasi-forced vaccinations of yourself and your children. Plus, there are homeopathic alternatives for treating and building a natural immunity to the swine flu.

Please click here to tell Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Congress and the President that you reject forced vaccinations and vaccines rushed to market without proper safety testing. Tell them you want them to address the root cause of swine & bird flu: factory farms. Then, contact your local officials with the same message. Many decisions about who will be vaccinated or recieve medical treatment and how will be made at the local level.

The Invasion of Genetically-Engineered Eucalyptus

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

By Jim Hightower
August 6, 2009
Straight to the Source

Here’s a great idea: Let’s bring into our country a genetically-engineered, non-native tree that is known to be wildly invasive, explosively flammable, and insatiably thirsty for ground water. Then let’s clone thousands of these living firecrackers and plant them in forested regions across seven Southern states, allowing them to grow, flower, produce seeds, and spread into native environments.

Yes, this would be irresponsible, dangerous, and stupid – but apparently “Irresponsible, Dangerous, and Stupid” is the unofficial slogan of the U.S. Department Agriculture. In May, with little consideration of the devastating consequences for our native environment, USDA cavalierly rubberstamped a proposal by a profiteering corporation named ArborGen to do all of the above.

Substantially owned by International Paper, ArborGen shipped tissue from Brazilian eucalyptus trees to its New Zealand laboratories, where it was genetically altered to have more cellulose. New Zealand, however, outlaws plantings of genetically-engineered crops, so ArborGen sought out a more corporate-compliant country: Ours. The engineered eucalyptus was waved right into the good ol’ USA to be cloned, and it’s now awaiting final approval for outdoor release in our land.

This has happened with practically no media coverage or public participation. It is happening solely because a handful of global speculators hope to profit by making ethanol from cellulose-enhanced eucalyptus – never mind that their self-aggrandizement would put America’s native forests in danger of irreversible contamination by these destructive, invasive Frankentrees.

Luckily, several scrappy grassroots groups have mobilized to bring common sense and public pressure to bear on USDA. For updates and action items, visit www.nogetrees.org.

“Public Overwhelmingly Rejects Genetically Engineered Trees,” Stop GE Trees Campaign, July 16, 2009.

Please click here to take action against ArborGen’s plan to plant 260,000 franken-trees.

Common Sense 2009

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Larry Flynt

Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate
Posted: August 20, 2009 08:15 PM

The American government — which we once called our government — has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “economic royalists,” who choose our elected officials — indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.

This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment’s hesitation, they took our money — yours and mine — to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don’t care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as “useless eaters.”

But, you say, we have elected a candidate of change. To which I respond: Do these words of President Obama sound like change?

“A culture of irresponsibility took root, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street.”
There it is. Right there. We are Main Street. We must, according to our president, share the blame. He went on to say: “And a regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis — the Great Depression — was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy.”

This is nonsense.

The reason Wall Street was able to game the system the way it did — knowing that they would become rich at the expense of the American people (oh, yes, they most certainly knew that) — was because the financial elite had bribed our legislators to roll back the protections enacted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Congress gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial lending banks from investment banks, and passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed for self-regulation with no oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently revised its rules to allow for even less oversight — and we’ve all seen how well that worked out. To date, no serious legislation has been offered by the Obama administration to correct these problems.

Instead, Obama wants to increase the oversight power of the Federal Reserve. Never mind that it already had significant oversight power before our most recent economic meltdown, yet failed to take action. Never mind that the Fed is not a government agency but a cartel of private bankers that cannot be held accountable by Washington. Whatever the Fed does with these supposed new oversight powers will be behind closed doors.

Obama’s failure to act sends one message loud and clear: He cannot stand up to the powerful Wall Street interests that supplied the bulk of his campaign money for the 2008 election. Nor, for that matter, can Congress, for much the same reason.

Consider what multibillionaire banker David Rockefeller wrote in his 2002 memoirs:

“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

Read Rockefeller’s words again. He actually admits to working against the “best interests of the United States.”

Need more? Here’s what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.” They’re gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.

Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone, notes that esteemed economist John Kenneth Galbraith laid the 1929 crash at the feet of banking giant Goldman Sachs. Taibbi goes on to say that Goldman Sachs has been behind every other economic downturn as well, including the most recent one. As if that wasn’t enough, Goldman Sachs even had a hand in pushing gas prices up to $4 a gallon.

The problem with bankers is longstanding. Here’s what one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had to say about them:

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their father’s conquered.”

We all know that the first American Revolution officially began in 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. Less well known is that the single strongest motivating factor for revolution was the colonists’ attempt to free themselves from the Bank of England. But how many of you know about the second revolution, referred to by historians as Shays’ Rebellion? It took place in 1786-87, and once again the banks were the cause. This time they were putting the screws to America’s farmers.

Daniel Shays was a farmer in western Massachusetts. Like many other farmers of the day, he was being driven into bankruptcy by the banks’ predatory lending practices. (Sound familiar?) Rallying other farmers to his side, Shays led his rebels in an attack on the courts and the local armory. The rebellion itself failed, but a message had been sent: The bankers (and the politicians who supported them) ultimately backed off. As Thomas Jefferson famously quipped in regard to the insurrection: “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Perhaps it’s time to consider that option once again.

I’m calling for a national strike, one designed to close the country down for a day. The intent? Real campaign-finance reform and strong restrictions on lobbying. Because nothing will change until we take corporate money out of politics. Nothing will improve until our politicians are once again answerable to their constituents, not the rich and powerful.

Let’s set a date. No one goes to work. No one buys anything. And if that isn’t effective — if the politicians ignore us — we do it again. And again. And again.

The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It’s time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.

The Free Market as Regulator

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Texas Straight Talk – A weekly column
Rep. Ron Paul (R) – TX 14

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

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

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

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

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

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