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How I would put the Constitution back in the Oval Office
by Ron Paul
hat tip: Lew Rockwell
March 5, 2010
Since my 2008 campaign for the presidency I have often been asked, “How would a constitutionalist president go about dismantling the welfare-warfare state and restoring a constitutional republic?” This is a very important question, because without a clear road map and set of priorities, such a president runs the risk of having his pro-freedom agenda stymied by the various vested interests that benefit from big government.
Of course, just as the welfare-warfare state was not constructed in 100 days, it could not be dismantled in the first 100 days of any presidency. While our goal is to reduce the size of the state as quickly as possible, we should always make sure our immediate proposals minimize social disruption and human suffering. Thus, we should not seek to abolish the social safety net overnight because that would harm those who have grown dependent on government-provided welfare. Instead, we would want to give individuals who have come to rely on the state time to prepare for the day when responsibility for providing aide is returned to those organizations best able to administer compassionate and effective help – churches and private charities.
Now, this need for a transition period does not apply to all types of welfare. For example, I would have no problem defunding corporate welfare programs, such as the Export-Import Bank or the TARP bank bailouts, right away. I find it difficult to muster much sympathy for the CEO’s of Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs.
By Richard Girard
Hat tip: opednews.com
“The most dangerous follower is he whose defection would destroy the whole party: that is to say, the best follower.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900), German philosopher. The Wanderer and His Shadow, aphorism 290 (1880).
“Society does not consist of individuals but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.”
Karl Marx (18181883), German political theorist, social philosopher. Grundrisse, “Notebook 2″ (written 185758; first published 1939).
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”
John F. Kennedy (191763), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Commencement address, June 11, 1962, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
“And I shouted out ‘Who killed the Kennedy’s?’
When after all, it was you and me.”
The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil,” Beggar’s Banquet
My most recent article for OpEdNews, “Into a Thousand Pieces,” has drawn an unbelievable, positive response from the readership, for which I am extremely grateful. It is encouraging to know that almost forty-seven years after the last true President of the United States was murdered in Dallas, with the three unconstitutional branches of our government in firm control of our nation, that there are still other people who mourn him and desire some form of justice for him. And for ourselves as well.
A summation of the article is this: the set-up and cover up of John F. Kennedy’s assassination precludes any theory that does not include the National Security State apparatus’ involvement.
Folks, this includes any theory where Lee Harvey Oswald is the lone gunman.
by Will Durst
Dear Canada. Way to go, you hosers. Did yourself proud and put on one heck of an Olympics. Congratulations for providing an incredible 17 days of thrills and spills on the ice and snow and in the slush and fog. That was a winter games for the ages, except for that excruciatingly obvious lack of winter thing. As it turns out, Washington, D.C. might have been a better host city, but who knew? Although, a quick call to Al Gore might have been worth the international toll-call charges.
May I also offer up a big old heaping pile of thanks for keeping Celine Dion out of the Opening Ceremonies. I’m sure it was under the direction of Prime Minister Harper, counseled by a group of high-powered Ottawa lawyers to comply with certain articles of the Geneva Convention, but still, please accept the grateful indebtedness of an entire planet. Then again, no Neil Young? I think you missed a slam-dunk there, eh?
And good on you for winning the most golds. You may not have owned the whole podium but you certainly did hog that center platform, didn’t you? You really deserve to go out and celebrate. Use a pocket full of loonies and buy yourself some extra gravy to pour over your poutine.
Hat tip: Washington’s Blog
March 4, 2010
Joseph Stiglitz – former head economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a nobel-prize winner – said yesterday that the very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with conflicts that it is “corrupt” and undermines democracy.
If we [i.e. the IMF] had seen a governance structure that corresponds to our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a corrupt governing structure.
Stiglitz pointed out that – if another country had presented a plan to reform its financial system, and included a regulatory regime that copied the makeup of the Federal Reserve system – “it would have been a big signal that something is wrong.”
Stiglitz stressed that the Fed banks have clear conflicts of interest, since the banks are largely governed by a board of directors that includes officers of the very banks they’re supposed to be overseeing:
So, these are the guys who appointed the guy who bailed them out … Is that a conflict of interest?
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
- Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 “Ten Most Corrupt” list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch’s complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.
- Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year’s worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: “The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…” The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign’s office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.
by Michael Boldin
The following is based off a speech I gave at the first annual Tenth Amendment Summit in Atlanta, GA on February 26, 2010.
How can a “crazy” Californian and a “conservative” Georgian be friends? It’s simple – through the principles of ’98. In 1798, the John Adams administration signed into law that Alien and Sedition Acts, which made it a crime to publish “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government or its officials. In practice, it was used to quell the freedom of speech in dissent against the sitting administration.
In the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson responded:
“the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government”
But wait – that’s not all. He went on to say that all undelegated powers exercised by the federal government are “unathoritative, void and of no force.” And, that a “nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”
There’s been plenty of people talking about nullification lately, but many people don’t know what it really means. I can think of no better way to define it than how my friend Derek Sheriff from the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center has done:
Nullification is not secession or insurrection, but neither is it unconditional or unlimited submission. Nullification is not something that requires any decision, statement or action from any branch of the federal government. Nullification is not the result of obtaining a favorable court ruling. Nullification is not the petitioning of the federal government to start doing or to stop doing anything. Nullification doesn’t depend on any federal law being repealed. Nullification does not require permission from any person or institution outside of one’s own state.
Nullification is something that’s already happening around the country – and Derek explains the process:
Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, which is passed by both houses and is signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.
The US Economy is Set for a “Double-Dip” Recession
by Paul Craig Roberts
Happy news! The government has come up with a 5.9 percent GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. The recession is over.
Or is it?
Statistician John Williams has informed us that 69 percent of this growth, or 4.1 percentage points, is the result of inventory accumulation. That leaves a 1.8 percent growth rate, and the 1.8 percent is likely due to the underestimate of inflation and other statistical problems.
The Federal Reserve’s own monetary evidence contradicts the recovery assurances from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. The Federal Reserve continues to pour massive reserves into the banks. The monetary base, which consists of currency in circulation and bank reserves (the basis for new loans), has surged from $850 billion in 2009 to $2.2 trillion on February 24.
Despite this potential for massive new money creation, the broadest measure of money growth is still contracting.The banks are too impaired and so are consumers for the banks to create new money by making loans.
The economy, in other words, is going nowhere.
By Ron Paul
Last week I had the opportunity to bring up spending and transparency in two important hearings. On Wednesday I questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on some highly questionable uses of funds at the Federal Reserve, and on Thursday I asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about exorbitant spending at the State Department.
It is extremely important to continue bringing these issues up, especially in light of our difficult economic times, when so many are out of work, as I saw up close in my district at the Oceans of Opportunity Job Fair in Galveston two weeks ago. Those who are working live with the fear of losing their jobs as they struggle to pay bills. Meanwhile, Washington is talking of increasing their taxes, something voters were promised, clearly and adamantly, would not happen in this administration.
Government also struggles with money, but the struggle centers on how to get more of your money into government coffers. Rather than expanding the Federal budget in the face of economic downturn, we should be focusing on eliminating waste and being the very best stewards of public funds that we can possibly be. Most businesses have had to streamline and cut back in order to survive, and so it is only fair for our government to do the same.
By Tom Burghardt
Hat tip: Antifascist Calling…
Though production lines at the fear factory are still in overdrive, the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) are scrapping plans for a new generation of “high-tech detectors for screening vehicles and cargo, saying they cost too much and do not work as effectively as security officials once maintained,” The Washington Post reported.
Nearly two years ago, Antifascist Calling revealed that when DNDO awarded contracts totaling some $1.2 billion over five years to defense and security giants Raytheon, Canberra Industries (a subsidiary of the French nuclear manufacturing titan, the Areva Group) and Thermo Scientific for Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP) radiation monitors in 2006, it should have been “reality-check time.”
For the moment at least, it apparently is.
Hat tip: Washington’s Blog
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Free market capitalism is based on the idea that “the invisible hand” of the market will create the best possible outcome for the most people.
But as I noted a couple of weeks ago, the man who came up with idea of the invisible hand did not believe in unrestrained free market capitalism:
Americans have traditionally believed that the “invisible hand of the market” means that capitalism will benefit us all without requiring any oversight. However, as the New York Times notes, the real Adam Smith did not believe in a magically benevolent market which operates for the benefit of all without any checks and balances:
Smith railed against monopolies and the political influence that accompanies economic power …
Smith worried about the encroachment of government on economic activity, but his concerns were directed at least as much toward parish councils, church wardens, big corporations, guilds and religious institutions as to the national government; these institutions were part and parcel of 18th-century government…
Smith was sometimes tolerant of government intervention, ”especially when the object is to reduce poverty.” Smith passionately argued, ”When the regulation, therefore, is in support of the workman, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.” He saw a tacit conspiracy on the part of employers ”always and everywhere” to keep wages as low as possible.