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Archive for October, 2009

Anything Less Than Full Disclosure is Unacceptable

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

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

Last week a new bill was introduced in the Senate to audit the Federal Reserve. Some backers of my bill HR1207 and the existing Senate companion bill S.604 were a little miffed at this, but depending on how you think about it, this new legislation poses no great threat to our efforts.

With the economy in shambles, people are looking for answers – not just because of lost savings on Wall Street, but because of lost houses on Main Street. Because of the many problems we face, the Federal Reserve and its powers over the economy have come under scrutiny. This translates into a lot of political pressure on Congress. With all the House Republicans signed on as co-sponsors and over half of the Democrats, HR 1207 has enormous bipartisan support. It would be disingenuous for Washington not to embrace the principles behind this bill after all the promises for transparency. How can one credibly argue for more transparency in government in one breath and defend the secrecy of the Federal Reserve in the next?

However, there is still very powerful resistance to the disclosures that HR 1207 would require and efforts to weaken it will continue to pop up before this issue is settled.

The good news is that Washington is responding and the Federal Reserve has become the issue. Concerned Americans need to keep the pressure on by continuing to define what we want, and what we do not want.

One major concern is that HR 1207 constitutes some kind of power grab for Congress. Congress would not do a better job dictating interest rates or managing money supply growth than the Federal Reserve does for exactly the same reasons: Congress is not the free market. Any select group of people, no matter how wise and educated, simply cannot replace the wisdom of the market. HR 1207 does not seek to replace the wisdom of the Fed with the wisdom of Congress. That would be a giant step backwards. HR 1207 simply asks for full disclosure, and I am agreeable to allowing for a reasonable lag time to calm the fears that Congress intends to dictate monetary policy.

What we do want, what we insist upon, is that no longer will decisions that carry so much economic weight be made in absolute secrecy. We want to know what arrangements the Fed makes with other governments and central banks. We want to know who is benefitting from the actions of the Fed and what deals are being made. The Fed is already reacting to pressure by scaling back its liquidity facilities and returning to more traditional monetary policy through direct asset purchases. With nearly $800 billion in mortgage-backed securities on its books already, $800 billion in Treasury securities, and no real limit to what the Fed can acquire, there is a tremendous opportunity for malfeasance. We need to know who the Fed deals with, what they buy, how much they spend, and who benefits. As good as any step towards Federal Reserve transparency is, anything less than full disclosure at this point is unacceptable.

PA House bill challenges Health Care Bill

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Rep. Matthew E. Baker (R) introduced legislation (HB 2053) yesterday with 37 other house members which will ‘Providing for the rights of individuals to purchase private health care insurance; and prohibiting certain governmental action. The bill known as Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.

Its three pages long and my favorite Section is 5:

23 Section 5. Participation in related laws.

24 Neither the Governor nor the Department of Health, the

25 Department of Public Welfare or any other Commonwealth agency

26 shall participate in the compliance with any Federal law,

27 regulation or policy that would compromise the freedom of choice

28 in health care of any resident of this Commonwealth.

You can read the bill here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2053&pn=2829


M. Keller

Rand Paul Campaign Update

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Dear friend of liberty,

Dr. Rand Paul was warmly received last weekend in Hazard, Kentucky, where he went on a fact-finding mission about the coal industry. While there, he took a firm position that defending property rights is the surest way to steward the environment, and reaffirmed his commitment to protecting Kentucky jobs and preventing increased energy costs by opposing unconstitutional legislation like Cap & Trade.

News that Dr. Paul received over $1 million in donations during the third quarter – significantly more than any other senate candidate – is sweeping the state like wildfire. The campaign also released information that Rand had received more donations from Kentucky residents than his opponent. Despite already holding office and being backed by established pro-bailout senators, Rand’s primary opponent raised a disappointing $640k.

In addition to more in-state enthusiasm and the support of a growing number of local voters, Rand Paul also enjoys backing from average citizens across the United States who believe strongly in the Constitution. The factors combine to make Dr. Paul the most likely Republican to retain Senator Bunning’s seat, and put him in a strong position to represent Kentucky’s interests and the principles of liberty on the national scene.

Dr. Paul’s schedule is getting busier every week! This Thursday, he will speak at the Shelby County GOP meeting. On Friday, he will be doing a number of interviews. On Saturday, he will address the Franklin County Young Republicans, the Republican Liberty Caucus in Georgetown, and the Harrison County GOP Elephant Stomp. More detailed information can be found on the Event Calendar.

Come on out to these events, meet Rand, and help take back your country! Thank you for all you do for liberty.

Christopher Hightower
Rand Paul For US Senate

The Very Busy Politicians in Washington DC

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

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

With a faltering economy, multiple wars, and the approaching demise of the dollar’s reserve status, there are more than enough problems to keep politicians in Washington working day and night. In between handing out cash for clunkers and nationalizing healthcare, the administration is busy sending more troops overseas, escalating existing wars, and seeking out excuses to start new wars. Congress is working on “urgent” legislation to address crises like healthcare reform and climate change. The reforms are so very urgent that legislation must pass swiftly with no time to read the bills even though the new laws wouldn’t take effect for several years! Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is busy dealing with our dollar crisis by printing up more dollars.

Yes, there certainly is a lot for Washington to do these days. Most, if not all, of what Washington is doing however, is more of what created the problems in the first place. Capitol Hill is filled with politicians running around putting out fires – but with gasoline. The truth is that all these fires keep so many powerful people employed and wealthy that it is not truly in many decision makers’ interests to be very effective problem-solvers. If Washington ran out of problems, think how many lobbyists would be out of a job, and how many special interest groups would just disband? Sadly, whatever is bad for the greater economy is good for the economy and job market in DC.

Of course, no form of government, not even one that respected its Constitutional restraints, would magically create a problem-free society. The question is: how should a society deal with its problems? The form of government that our founders envisioned, in which the federal government was strictly constrained by the Constitution, allows private citizens and communities to solve their own problems. The role of the government should be to protect contracts, punish fraud and violence through appropriate laws, law enforcement and the courts. Not a whole lot of laws or bureaucrats are really necessary to work on just that. Instead, new laws are constantly needed to fix the problems that previous unconstitutional laws created. We have ended up with an incomprehensible maze of laws and regulations that severely constrains the people and expands the government – the exact opposite of what our founders intended.

This is all because the Constitution is treated like a suggestion manual instead of the supreme law of the land. Under the Constitution, politicians’ hands are supposed to be tied in most of the areas they involve themselves in today. But somewhere along the line, politicians stepped out of Constitutional bounds and started pretending to solve our problems for us. All we have to show for it is more problems.

Today, Washington politicians can busily “solve” one problem, knowing that unintended consequences from that “solution” will keep them and their friends all very busy tomorrow. The people are ultimately left suffocating under the burden of Washington’s helping hands. It is coming to a point where our economy, our dollar, and indeed, the rest of the world have had about all the help from Washington that they can stand. The United States is headed the way of Rome and the Soviet Union, for the same reasons, unless we reverse the trend.

I continue to hope that enough Americans will realize that the true strength of our country doesn’t come from Washington, but rather the limitations placed on government in the Constitution. We must resolve to reverse the destructive course that we are on and then never again let big government problem-solving take over our lives and our country.

Saving Face in Afghanistan

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

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

This past week there has been a lot of discussion and debate on the continuing war in Afghanistan. Lasting twice as long as World War II and with no end in sight, the war in Afghanistan has been one of the longest conflicts in which our country has ever been involved. The situation has only gotten worse with recent escalations.

The current debate is focused entirely on the question of troop levels. How many more troops should be sent over in order to pursue the war? The administration has already approved an additional 21,000 American service men and women to be deployed by November, which will increase our troop levels to 68,000. Will another 40,000 do the job? Or should we eventually build up the levels to 100,000 in addition to that? Why not 500,000 – just to be “safe”? And how will public support be brought back around to supporting this war again when 58 percent are now against it?

I get quite annoyed at this very narrow line of questioning. I have other questions. We overthrew the Taliban government in 2001 with less than 10,000 American troops. Why does it now seem that the more troops we send, the worse things get? If the Soviets bankrupted themselves in Afghanistan with troop levels of 100,000 and were eventually forced to leave in humiliating defeat, why are we determined to follow their example? Most importantly, what is there to be gained from all this? We’ve invested billions of dollars and thousands of precious lives – for what?

The truth is it is no coincidence that the more troops we send the worse things get. Things are getting worse precisely because we are sending more troops and escalating the violence. We are hoping that good leadership wins out in Afghanistan, but the pool of potential honest leaders from which to draw have been fleeing the violence, leaving a tremendous power vacuum behind. War does not quell bad leaders. It creates them. And the more war we visit on this country, the more bad leaders we will inadvertently create.

Another thing that war does is create anger with its indiscriminate violence and injustice. How many innocent civilians have been harmed from clumsy bombings and mistakes that end up costing lives? People die from simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time in a war zone, but the killers never face consequences. Imagine the resentment and anger survivors must feel when a family member is killed and nothing is done about it. When there are no other jobs available because all the businesses have fled, what else is there to do, but join ranks with the resistance where there is a paycheck and also an opportunity for revenge? This is no justification for our enemies over there, but we have to accept that when we push people, they will push back.

The real question is why are we there at all? What do our efforts now have to do with the original authorization of the use of force? We are no longer dealing with anything or anyone involved in the attacks of 9/11. At this point we are only strengthening the resolve and the ranks of our enemies. We have nothing left to win. We are only there to save face, and in the end we will not even be able to do that.

Activists Arrested for Planting Industrial Hemp at DEA HQ

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Farmers, Hemp Industry Leaders Arrested for Planting Industrial Hemp at DEA Headquarters in Act of Civil Disobedience to Protest ‘Reefer Madness’

Fed Up Captains of Hemp Industry Plant Hemp Seed on DEA’s Lawn With Ceremonial Shovels

DEA’s Continued Blockade of State Industrial Hemp Programs Violates Common Sense as Well as Obama’s Presidential Directive to Federal Agencies to Respect States’ Rights

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge, Vermont farmer Will Allen, and fed up American entrepreneurs, who have dedicated their livelihoods to developing and marketing healthy, environmentally-friendly hemp products, for the first time turned to public civil disobedience with the planting of industrial hemp seed at DEA headquarters (700 Army Navy Dr Arlington, VA 22202) to protest the ban on hemp farming in the United States. Even though the U.S. is the largest market for hemp products in the world, and industrial hemp is farmed throughout Europe, Asia and Canada, not a single American farmer has the right to grow the versatile crop which is used for food, clothing, body care, paper, building materials, auto paneling and more.

Hoping to focus the attention of the Obama Administration on halting DEA interference, North Dakota Farmer Wayne Hauge; Founder of Cedar Circle Organic Farm in Vermont Will Allen; Hemp Industries Association (HIA) President Steve Levine; Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps President David Bronner; Vote Hemp Communications Director Adam Eidinger and Founder of Livity Outernational Hemp Clothing, Issac Nichelson were arrested while digging up the DEA’s lawn to plant industrial hemp seed imported from Canada. At this time, they are
currently being held in Arlington County jail and are awaiting charges. They are expected to be released later this afternoon and will be available for interviews upon release. The six protesters planted hemp seeds with ceremonial chrome shovels engraved with:

Hemp Planting Oct. 2009 ~ DEA Headquarters ~ American Farmers Shall Grow Hemp Again

Reefer Madness Will Be Buried

Mr. Hauge is licensed by North Dakota to cultivate and process non-drug industrial hemp, just as Canadian farmers across the border have done profitably for over ten years supplying the booming U.S. market. However, the DEA refuses to distinguish non-drug industrial hemp cultivars grown for millennia for seed and fiber and has unconstitutionally blocked all state hemp programs such as North Dakota’s. Mr. Hauge, along with North Dakota State Rep. David Monson, sued the DEA in the U.S. District Court of North Dakota in 2007, and the case is currently before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. “In recent years there has been strong growth in demand for hemp in the U.S., but the American farmer is being left out while Canadian, European and Chinese farmers fill the void created by outdated federal policy,” said fourth-generation farmer Hauge. “When hemp is legalized, land grant universities across the nation will develop cultivars suitable to different growing regions to enhance yield and explore innovative uses such as cellulosic ethanol.”

Pictures and video of the action for free and unrestricted use, along with hemp farming footage and background information are available upon request in hardcopy and online. An HIA produced video of the action will also be posted, after 6 p.m. on 10/13 at: www.votehemp.com/DEAhempplanting.html

In the back drop of the spectacle at DEA headquarters, dozens of hemp business owners in town attending the HIA convention over the weekend fanned out across Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers in support of hemp legislation introduced by Representatives Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA) that would permit states to cultivate non-drug industrial hemp under state industrial hemp programs. Nine states have such programs, but their implementation has been blocked by DEA bureaucratic intransigence. This spring, however, President
Obama instructed federal agencies to respect state laws in a presidential directive on federal pre-emption:

“Executive departments and agencies should be mindful that in our federal system, the citizens of the several States have distinctive circumstances and values, and that in many instances it is appropriate for them to apply to themselves rules and principles that reflect these circumstances and values. As Justice Brandeis explained more than 70 years ago, ‘it is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.'”
– Source:

Vote Hemp and the HIA are dedicated to a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current policy to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps President and Vote Hemp Director David Bronner stated: “Dr. Bronner’s has grown into the leading natural soap brand in the U.S. since incorporating hemp oil in 1999, due in significant part to the unsurpassed smoothness it gives our soaps. As an American business, we want to give our money to American farmers and save on import and freight costs. In this difficult economy, we can no longer indulge the DEA’s self-serving hemp hysteria.”

SOURCE Hemp Industries Association

Ryan Fletcher, +1-202-641-0277, for Hemp Industries Association; or Adam Eidinger of Hemp Industries Association, +1-202-744-2671

HELP STOP LOCAL THIEVES…New Meetup: March & Rally to Support the Property Rights of an 80-Year-Old Widow

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

March & Rally to Support the Property Rights of an 80-Year-Old Widow

Join your fellow freedom lovers to stand up for property rights. We have three goals:

1) Block the theft of Elizabeth Patane’s property by Abington Township Commissioners
2) Save taxpayers millions of dollars
3) Send a strong message to other politicians considering eminent domain land grabs

Saturday, October 17, 2009

10:00 AM: Meet at Roychester Park
Parkview Ave & Harding Ave, Roslyn, PA 19001
Directions: http://tinyurl.com/yle8rfq

From here, we will visit the homes of homes of three of the eight commissioners who voted to take Mrs. Patane’s property.

12:00 Noon: Rally at Mrs. Patane’s property
1180 Easton Road, Roslyn PA, 19001
Directions: www.tinyurl.com/TheStolenProperty

1:00 PM: March & Canvass
March to the Township Building (no torches or pitchforks, please) with stops at the homes of two of the eight commissioners who voted to take Mrs. Patane’s property.

3:00 PM: Main Rally
Abington Township building, 1176 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001
Directions: http://tinyurl.com/yz84usn

4:30 PM: March & Canvass
March to the homes of of three more of the eight commissioners.

Full map: www.tinyurl.com/RallyForPropertyRights

The Abington Township Commissioners have begun unjustified legal proceedings to seize the property of Elizabeth Patane, an 80-year-old widow who has made it clear she will fight the taking to the last inch. A rally in support of Mrs. Patane’s property rights will be held rain or shine on Saturday, October 17, 2009, featuring a march on the Abington Township building (but please no torches or pitchforks!).

Supporters will begin gathering at noon on Saturday in the parking lot of Mrs. Patane property, 1180 Easton Road, Roslyn Penna, 19001 (www.tinyurl.com/TheStolenProperty). The rally will be called to order at 1 PM, and at 1:15 will begin a march on the township building, making two twenty-minute stops along the way. The first will be at the home of Commissioner Lori Schreiber who first proposed the taking, and the second at the home of Commissioner John Carlin who voted in favor of it. The route will follow sidewalks through residential neighborhoods all the way, so it’s alright to bring the kids and strollers along.

By 3 PM the rally is expected to arrive at the Abington Township building, 1176 Old York Road, Abington Penna. 19001. Numerous dignitaries will be on hand to address the citizens, including Dick and Nancy Saha of Coatesville, who successfully fought back efforts by that town to seize their family farm. Also speaking are Pat Sellers of Chester County, a veteran of the Saha victory, and Ken Krawchuk, former Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor and a long-time Abington activist. In addition to members of the Patane family, every Abington Township Commissioner has also been invited to briefly address the rally (although few are likely to accept). Ceremonies are expected to conclude around 4 PM.

In addition to the big march on the township building, there will be two roving rallies, one before the march and one afterwards. The morning rally begins at 10 AM in Roychester Park, and will pay visits to the homes of three other commissioners who voted in favor of taking Mrs. Patane’s property: James Ring, Les Benzak, and Carol DiJoseph. The afternoon rally begins at 4:30 PM to visit the final three: Michael O’Connor, Steven Kline, and Ernie Peacock. A detailed itinerary can be found at www.tinyurl.com/RallyForPropertyRights, but it is subject to change. Commissioners have until midnight Thursday to recant their vote in order to be dropped from the agenda.

According to official minutes posted at www.Abington.org, the Abington Commissioners voted in February to use eminent domain to seize Mrs. Patane’s storefront property for use as a neighborhood library, even though the main township library is approximately one mile away and no other neighborhood has its own library. Further, there was another building already for sale across the street from Mrs. Patane’s property which could have been purchased instead, and without litigation. Township officials have admitted that Mrs. Patane’s taxes were current and that there were no code violations or safety concerns. Still, Commissioner Peacock is on record saying, “Taking it is the right thing to do.” Initial outlays for the Patane property are anticipated to be almost $2 million (not counting litigation), but the Abington Commissioners have stated on record that they cannot say what the final cost might be, and that there is no fixed dollar amount or cost estimate for the project, nor any guarantee of success. The last high-profile taking in Abington ended up costing almost three times the property’s value due to costs of litigation, and Coatesville squandered $7 million attempting to seize the Saha farm before finally admitted defeat.

Learn more here:

Join Ron Paul at The Conservative Caucus’ 35th Anniversary Celebration!

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty:

On October 28, hundreds of longtime conservative activists and newcomers to the movement will gather at the Arlington Rosslyn Hyatt in Arlington, Virginia, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of The Conservative Caucus, which was founded by one of our Rally for the Republic speakers and my good friend, Howard Phillips.

Throughout the decades since its founding, The Conservative Caucus has consistently championed limited government, national sovereignty, and a return to constitutional principles against encroachments from big government proponents.

Congressman Ron Paul will serve as Honorary Chairman for the event and will also be the night’s keynote speaker.

For more information, including ticket prices and sponsorship details, visit The Conservative Caucus event website here.

I look forward to seeing you in Arlington, Virginia, on October 28 as we join Ron Paul and hundreds of others in celebrating the work of Howard Phillips and The Conservative Caucus over the last thirty-five years.


John F. Tate

Bombs and Bribes

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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

What if tomorrow morning you woke up to headlines that yet another Chinese drone bombing on US soil killed several dozen ranchers in a rural community while they were sleeping? That a drone aircraft had come across the Canadian border in the middle of the night and carried out the latest of many attacks? What if it was claimed that many of the victims harbored anti-Chinese sentiments, but most of the dead were innocent women and children? And what if the Chinese administration, in an effort to improve its public image in the US, had approved an aid package to send funds to help with American roads and schools and promote Chinese values here?

Most Americans would not stand for it. Yet the above hypothetical events are similar to what our government is doing in Pakistan. Last week, Congress did approve an aid package for Pakistan for the stated purposes of improving our image and promoting democracy. I again made the point on the floor of the House that still no one seems to hear: What if this happened on US soil? What if innocent Americans were being killed in repeated drone attacks carried out by some foreign force who was trying to fix our problems for us? Would sending money help their image? If another nation committed this type of violence and destruction on our homeland, would we be at all interested in adopting their values?

Sadly, one thing that has entirely escaped modern American foreign policy is empathy. Without much humility or regard for human life, our foreign policy has been reduced to alternately bribing and bombing other nations, all with the stated goal of “promoting democracy”. But if a country democratically elects a leader who is not sufficiently pro-American, our government will refuse to recognize them, will impose sanctions on them, and will possibly even support covert efforts to remove them. Democracy is obviously not what we are interested in. It is more likely that our government is interested in imposing its will on other governments. This policy of endless intervention in the affairs of others is very damaging to American liberty and security.

If we were really interested in democracy, peace, prosperity and safety, we would pursue more free trade with other countries. Free and abundant trade is much more conducive to peace because it is generally bad business to kill your customers. When one’s livelihood is on the line, and the business agreements are mutually beneficial, it is in everyone’s best interests to maintain cooperative and friendly relations and not kill each other. But instead, to force other countries to bend to our will, we impose trade barriers and sanctions. If our government really wanted to promote freedom, Americans would be free to travel and trade with whoever they wished. And, if we would simply look at our own policies around the world through the eyes of others, we would understand how these actions make us more targeted and therefore less safe from terrorism. The only answer is get back to free trade with all and entangling alliances with none. It is our bombs and sanctions and condescending aid packages that isolate us.