Sunday, January 30, 2011

Words Have Meaning

JBS CEO Art Thompson spoke at the recent Nullify Now! event in Phoenix and brought up an interesting point about how vocabulary and the choice of words can be used to frame a point of view. He correctly pointed out that supporters and opponents alike generally use the term states' rights as opposed to states' sovereignty.

On the face it may not seem like much of a difference but when you look at the meaning of the two words, you see that there is actually a big difference in terms of interpretation.

At the time of the writing of the Constitution, rights were considered natural rights; something that we have and are inalienable. In other words, rights were not endowed by a law or government, rather they were self-evident. Today, on the other hand, what is looked upon as a right is something that is given to us through the government or by law. So, by today's definition, states' rights are derived from the federal government. This flies in the face of what the writers and ratifiers of the Constitution had in mind, otherwise, what is the point of the Tenth Amendment?

Now considering that the Constitution was a compact between the several states to create a federal government and that during the ratification process many states reserved the option to op-out if the federal government overstepped it's bounds, this brings about two questions.

First, if the states were indeed sovereign prior to the Constitution; as stated in the Articles of Confederation; Article II. "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled." weren't they not afterward?

Another, more simple, question would be where did the states give up their sovereignty especially since, as part of the ratification of the Constitution, they approved the powers of Congress in Article I Section 8 and Section 9, the President in Article II Section 2, the courts in Article III Section 2 and insisted on the inclusion of the Tenth Amendment? It just doesn't make sense.

You may be asking yourself, why is this such a big deal; whether we call it states' rights or states' sovereignty, isn't it all the same? Well no. To me, sovereignty is a much more powerful word that conveys a position of strength, while using the word rights implies asking for approval. Also, when discussing an issue such as nullification, we need to be able to show that the states are superior to the federal government and that the federal government derives it's power from the states. Otherwise we just look like we are asking for the federal government's permission.

Words have meaning and we need to be sure to use the correct ones if we want to get our point across. Our republic is far to important to lose over a matter of semantics.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You Say You Want A Revolution

A protester reaches out to shake the hand of a policeman
Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria and coming soon to Jordan. What do these countries have in common other than the current revolutions that have toppled or threaten to topple their governments? Well they are all US backed puppet-states who's corrupt dictators oppress and repress their citizens while doing our dirty work behind the scenes.

While these organic revolutions may bode well for the people of these countries, it does not bode well for the United States' control of the region. We have supported and brought to power these oppressive governments under the guise of freedom and democracy in what is really an effort to secure our influence in the region at the same time promoting our "War on Terror" and our unlimited support for Israel. It looks like that is about to change.

While we should be sitting back and letting the chips fall where they may, the CIA is undoubtedly working behind the scenes to co-opt these revolutions and bring to power a new set of dictators who are sympathetic to our government's Neo-Con belief that we control the world. I'd also bet that the same can be said for those that support the Sharia way of life.

Leviathan and it's dupes in the media will soon begin to spin this as being inspired by radical Islamists in an effort to quiet the American people's support for regime change in the region. Up until now there has been no mention by the revolutionaries that either radical Islam or US support of these tyrants is at the root of the uprisings. These people simply want to be free from the oppression that they face from their authoritarian leaders and in truth have done in days what Osama bin Laden and the other jihadists haven't been able to accomplish in years. This is proof that a spontaneous, citizen inspired uprising trumps any politically inspired ideology. When people want to be free they will band together to rid themselves of despots when they have had enough.

Our politicians should take notice. Up until now Americans have been willing to bring about change at the ballot box, in cyberspace and through peaceful demonstrations, but for how long? As witnessed by the events in the Middle East, you can only push a people for so long before they push back.

Via Memeorandum

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Arizona To Take On Birthright Citizenship

This is sure to get the pro-illegal immigration crowd, the Reconquistas and the Raaaaacism Industrial Complex in a tizzy. Let the cries of racism commence.

Yahoo!News
Arizona Republicans are to introduce legislation on Thursday seeking to challenge the right to U.S. citizenship for the children of legal and illegal immigrants born in the state.

State Rep. John Kavanagh said Republicans would introduce two bills in the Arizona Legislature seeking to provoke a legal review of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which anchors citizenship rights for the children of immigrants.

The immediate aim of the legislation "is to trigger ... a Supreme Court review of the phrase 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof' in the 14th amendment," Kavanagh told Reuters in a telephone interview.

It ultimately seeks "to deny citizenship to any child born of parents who are not citizens of the United States, be they illegal aliens, or foreigners on business or for tourist purposes," he added.

Via Memeorandum

Nullification Is Unconstitutional?

So says John Miller of the WaPo. Mr Miller bases this of course on the misplaced idea that the Supremacy Clause over-rides Article I, section 8 of the Constitution which granted Congress specific enumerated powers. Except people like Mr Miller most likely don't understand the Supremacy Clause because if they did they would know that federal laws are only supreme if they are "made in pursuance thereof" the Constitution. In plain English, the law must fall within the confines of the Constitution to be supreme. Put another way, as Tom Woods asks in response to another anti-nullification article by Paul Zummo, "does the Supremacy Clause say, 'This Constitution and laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, along with any old laws we may choose to impose on you, shall be the supreme law of the land?' That’s not what my copy has."

The big government types truly believe that the several states gave up all their rights when they ratified the Constitution, completely disregarding the wealth of information from the Ratification Conventions along with the opinions of those both for and against the Constitution in the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist Papers. These documents show to the contrary; that the states only agreed to such a compact if they had the means to get out if they became oppressed. Many of these men who formed our republic were scared to death that the proposed federal government would become a monarchy or oligarchy and sought to put measures in place to prevent such a thing from happening. Hence the Tenth Amendment and the notion that the states needed to retain their sovereignty in order to keep the federal government in check.

But worry not. As opposition to these ideas by the mainstream continues to come out, it shows that they are afraid that our message has the truth to support it. We have the words of Jefferson and Madison among others, backed up by of modern scholars such as Tom Woods who wrote the quintessential book on the subject, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century and Kevin Gutzman along with people in the media like Mike Church and Jack Hunter who are on the front lines spreading the message. And let's not forget the Tenth Amendment Center, an organization who's sole mission is to promote adherence to the Tenth Amendment, Campaign for Liberty, or the Repeal Amendment that seeks to restore the balance of power between the states and federal government.

We have the truth on our side, all the opponents of states' rights have are slurs, lies and fear.

Rand Paul Wants To Cut Spending By $500 Billion

CNN


"I'm talking about $500B in cuts, but that's only a third of the problem for 1 year."

And all Wolf can worry about is the 100,000 federal employees that may loose their jobs. Boo hoo, I call that a good start. But wait it gets even better, later Wolfie is incredulous when Rand says that he would cut all foreign aid, even aid to {gasp} Israel. It's only a matter of time before the gnashing of teeth begins from AIPAC, J Street, and the rest of the Israel-firsters, accusing the junior Senator from Kentucky of being an anti-Semite.

Honestly, I don't think Rand goes far enough. I agree that all the alphabet agencies, the EPA, FDA, USDA, FCC, DOE, DEA and the rest, should be folded up like a cheap suit but 6% of military spending cut, I'd rather see 66% cut and that would mean we would still be more spending than China and Russia combined! Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security need to be scaled back too, big time.

Rand's plan is certainly a good jumping off point but we need to think bigger. His plan only puts us back to about 2008 spending levels which was still a whopping $3 trillion. We need to go back to 1998 spending when it was at $1.7 trillion. Better yet, let's shoot for 1988's $1 trillion budget.

Via Memeorandum

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

GM Thanks US For Bailout; To Invest $540M In Mexican Plant

The good news is that Government Motors is putting our tax dollars to work. The bad news is that they are doing it in Mexico. How's that gratitude for ya?

You would think that after getting $50 billion of taxpayer money to prop up a poorly company that should have been allowed to go down the tubes, GM would do the right thing and invest the money here at home to create jobs for our unemployed. Instead, the company that screwed it's creditors at the expense of the unions, throws a big FU at the American people by sending some money (and 1,000 jobs) south of the border.

This is yet another example of why Keynesian theory is a failure and comes on the heels of Massachusetts based Evergreen Solar, who had received $58 million in subsidies from the state, closing up shop there and moving some of the 800 lost jobs to China.

But have no fear, in his SOTU (or is it STFU) address, the Socialist in Chief told us that he will do what it takes to "create countless new jobs for our people". Maybe he should have given a copy of the speech to his buddies at GM a few days early.

Reuters
MEXICO CITY, Jan 20 (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) said it is investing $540 million in its motor plant in central Mexico to build more fuel-efficient engines for the recovering North American automobile market.

The move by GM, flush with cash after its 2009 restructuring in bankruptcy, follows other investments in recent years by American, European and Asian automakers seeking to produce more fuel-efficient models in Mexico.

On Real Respect For The Constitution By Ron Paul

I am pleased that the Constitution has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, thanks to the tea party movement. The 112th Congress kicked off with a reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House. It goes without saying that Members of Congress should have read the Constitution many times, and should continue to study it.

Citing the particular clause of the Constitution that authorizes newly introduced legislation is a reasonable suggestion, yet in reality it will do little to restrain unconstitutional growth of the federal government. We have had such rules in the past and no benefit came of it.

The laws that are passed reflect the preferences and personal agendas of those in charge. For too long those agendas have expanded government at the expense of personal liberty, regardless of which political party was in charge. This expansion of government clearly violated the Constitution, yet it was always argued that this or that program somehow conformed to that "living" document.

By misinterpreting the general welfare clause, the interstate commerce clause, and the "necessary and proper" clause, Congress has justified every conceivable expansion of the federal government. Congress also has misinterpreted the 14th Amendment and legislated as though it had repealed the 10th Amendment. Sadly, Congress has also systematically abdicated its prerogatives and responsibilities to the executive branch over many decades.

Too many people, in and out of Congress, grew up being taught that the Constitution was a "modern living document." Though the authors allowed for flexibility through the amendment process, this process has been ignored for the sake of speed and convenience. As a result, the Constitution now has little actual meaning.

Our Constitution should be viewed as law, and Members of Congress should be expected to follow, respect, understand, and uphold the law. But a document is just a piece of paper if those who represent us and promise to obey it ignore it instead. Celebrating the Constitution without this understanding will do nothing to restore the greatness of America.

Simply praising the document distracts from the need for Members to resist special interests, political self-interests, emergency needs in times of crisis, fear-based economic myths, and the persistent temptation to seek security over liberty while ignoring personal responsibility and self-reliance.

I wonder: will this welcomed renewed interest in the Constitution lead to a healthy reassessment of all of our policies? Will there be no more wars without an actual congressional declaration? Will the Federal Reserve Act be repealed? Will only gold and silver be deemed legal tender?

Will we end all unconstitutional federal departments, including the Department of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor?

Will the Patriot Act be repealed and all warrantless searches stopped?

Will the TSA be abolished?
Will the IRS's unconstitutional collection powers end?
Will executive and judicial quasi-legislative powers end?
Will we end the federal war on drugs?
Will we end the federal government's involvement in medical care?
Will we end all of the federal government's illusionary insurance programs?
Will we ban secret prisons, trials without due process, and assassinations?
Will we end our foreign policy of invasion and occupation?

For America to once again become the standard for a free society, our love of liberty and desire for peace must far surpass any public display of fidelity to the Constitution. We must first look to strong moral character, respect for the rule of law, and an understanding of the proper role of government in a free society.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Only Illegal If You Do It

Much like Big Brother was watching the inhabitants of Oceania, Big Sis is watching just about every move you make. The state is recording us everywhere making sure we remain subservient little sheeple; so much for the Fourth Amendment.

So what happens when Joe or Jane Citizen decide to turn the tables and record one of their agents? Well they face the distinct possibility of going to jail if they happen to do it in any of 12 states that have eavesdropping laws on the books. Why, because among other things, the powers that be claim that doing so interferes with them doing their duties and that their enforcers may hesitate to do perform their duties if they are being recorded. This suppression of our rights is the most egregious in Illinois where "audio-recording a law-enforcement officer, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general or judge in the performance of his or her duties is a Class 1 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison."

The First Amendment provided that no law shall abridge our freedom of speech but these laws, similar to the one in Illinois, take away that right and shield the state from public scrutiny. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." yet today our liberty to put that fear into the state is being taken away from us and we are too happy to abide.

Via Memeorandum

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Welcome To The Libertarian Patriot

I've been feeling that it was time for a facelift here and while my thoughts on freedom served it's purpose as the name of my little blog, I didn't think that it gave me much of an identity. So I welcome you all to the new Libertarian Patriot.

With the name change comes a new dedicated URL; TheLibertarianPatriot.com and a new email; TheLibertarianPatriot@gmail.com along with some tweeks to the banner, done once again by fellow blogger Wes Messamore, the Humble Libertarian. Wes does great web design at a ridiculously low rate, having also redesigned the blogs of the Left Coast Rebel, Rational Nation USA, and Libertarian Republican. If you're looking to make your blog stand out, Wes is your man.

With the changes I'll be focusing more on libertarian, states rights and Constitutional issues along with enlisting the talents of other libertarian bloggers to add content here at The Libertarian Patriot. So thanks for your past support and I hope to give you more of a reason to visit here in the future.

Once again, I welcome you to The Libertarian Patriot!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Senator Ron Paul?

With Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison's decision not to run for re-election in 2012 the door is open in the Lone Star Sate for a GOP battle-royal and one name on the lips of Texans, Rep Ron Paul according to a new PPP poll. With a crowed field expected, Dr Paul has the name recognition, finances and a large enough base to win the seat.

To me it makes much more sense for the 12 term Congressman to take a swing at the Senate, where he has a better chance of winning and can make a big difference, imagine Ron and Rand together, than to try another run at the White House. While we would miss Rep Paul's views influencing the 2012 Presidential race, former NM Governor Gary Johnson would be there to shape the debate along the same limited-government lines.

One thing that could prevent Dr Paul from a run at either the Senate or for President is that he finally became Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology where he has a real chance to if not end the Fed, at least rein it in substantially.

PPP
Raleigh, N.C. – The race to take Kay Bailey Hutchison’s spot on the GOP ballot line in 2012 is afoot, and there is a host of candidates furiously putting together staffs and campaign plans to enter what should be a crowded field. Right now, name recognition dictates that David Dewhurst and little-mentioned possibility Ron Paul are the favorites ahead of Attorney General Greg Abbott and six others with single-digit support.

Dewhurst is the preferred Senate nominee of 23% of Republican primary voters, just ahead of Paul’s 21%, with Abbott at 14%, Rep. Joe Barton at 7%, Elizabeth Ames Jones at 6%, Tom Leppert, Michael Williams, and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz at 3% apiece, and former Secretary of State Roger Williams at 1%, with 19% undecided or preferring someone else.

“A Ron Paul candidacy would instantly make this one of the most interesting Senate
races in the country next year,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “If his son can get elected, what’s to say he can’t?”
Via Memeorandum

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nullify Now! Phoenix Reminder

There are less than 2 weeks before the Tenth Amendment Center's Nullify Now! tour makes its stop in Phoenix on January 29th, so if you've been procrastinating to get tickets for this great event, the time is short. Best of all, they're FREE, that's right FREE!

You get to see special keynote speaker and potential 2012 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson along with a half a dozen other speakers talk about state sovereignty, nullification and why the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution gives the states the power to nullify unconstitutional laws. All for FREE.

Sheraton Hotel, Phoenix Downtown
340 N. 3rd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Showtime: 3pm-9pm. Lunch and dinner will be available from multiple nearby restaurants during intermissions.

And if you cannot make this event, the Nullify Now! tour has a stop near you.

Cincinnati, OH: March 5, 2011
http://www.nullifynow.com/cincinnati/

Manchester, NH: March 19, 2011
http://www.nullifynow.com/newhampshire/

St. Paul, MN: April 2, 2011
http://www.nullifynow.com/minnesota/

Austin, TX: April 16, 2011
http://www.nullifynow.com/austin/

Los Angeles, CA: May 28, 2011
http://www.nullifynow.com/losangeles/

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Government Run Bank, Seriously?

Ok, I know that the banks and the Fed are already so co-mingled that you can't separate the two but Matthew Yglesias has completely lost it in his proposal of A Public Option for Banking. His reasoning for this is in light of JP Morgan Chase's decision to create new fees for the customers which it inherited from Wa-Mu which could cause some of these folks to pull their accounts and go "unbanked".

To this end, Mr Yglesias suggests that the Treasury Department, through the USPS, "create a public option for small-scale depository banking". Yes, the same USPS that lost $8.5B in 2010. And with the fractional reserve system that banks take advantage of, the Treasury would have this money at their disposal. I know I'd feel safe with them holding my funds.

Yglesias

Since postal services generally already have widespread retail operations, this is often done in collaboration with the post office and is known as “postal banking.” But in an electronic age, you don’t really need physical banks at all. Everyone could just be given an account with a $5,000 maximum on a Treasury Department computer and they could mail you an ATM card with your draft registration card when you turn 18. The accounts could pay 0 interest and wouldn’t need to offer any services beyond basic “money goes in, money goes out” and nobody would have to be “unbanked.” It would cost the government some money to administer such a system, but it would also amount to the government getting interest free loans from Treasury Bank customers so if people actually used it it would be a wash.
Now in the free market the solution is already present and no one needs to go unbanked. If consumers don't like the fees, they can take their business to other institutions. Local banks, credit unions and companies like ING Direct will gladly offer the same services without the fees and for those that don't want or need a bank account, Wal-Mart already has Money Center's where consumers can cash a check, transfer money, pay bills and get a pre-paid debit card. The solutions are already there and I'm sure that is there is still a need, some entrepreneur will create a business to fill the void.

Simply put, there is absolutely, positively no need what-so-ever for the government to get in the banking business when a private company, in the free market, can provide the same service just as well or better and actually turn a profit. We need less dependence on the government, not more.

Via Memeorandum

Easy: Cut Spending On EVERYTHING

Cross-posted with permission from the Left Coast Rebel

Guest post by Wes Messamore, editor in chief at The Humble Libertarian:

CBS News reports (m) that most Americans (that is 77%) want to cut Washington's out-of-control spending rather than raise taxes (which only 9% favor) in order balanced the insane Federal budget deficit, but only 38% could name a specific program's budget that they'd be willing to see cut.

*facepalm* Come on Tea Party- you're embarrassing me! And after I've stuck up for you so vehemently.

That's an easy answer, folks. Cut EVERY program's budget! There's simply no way that any department or agency is spending every red cent well, not even the Defense Department. Off the top of my head, I can name an easy $1 billion annually that should be eliminated from the Pentagon's budget- and that's the $1 billion they send to Pakistan every year, which we now know that Pakistan is using to coordinate attacks with the Taliban on our own troops! That's not just wasteful spending, that's criminally stupid spending. That's your tax dollars funding attacks on your children, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews- some of the finest and bravest young people our country has to offer.

10% Across the Board, Tell Department Secretaries to Figure it Out

I propose Congress passes a bill to mandate a 10% cut to the budgets of every department in the executive branch across the board- no exceptions. The bill would leave it to the discretion of the President and each department head to decide what gets cut and how to implement the cuts. That's their job. Easy. Problem solved. Budget crisis eased (for now). If the bureaucrats don't implement the cuts properly, they'll just come up short. Congress will have to be tough and only appropriate the amount for each department that it says it will, whether they stay within their budgets or not.

Parkinson's Law

After extensive experience in the British Civil Service, Cyril Northcote Parkinson formulated this law in 1955, which he articulated thusly: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion," noting also that: (1) "An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals" and (2) "Officials make work for each other." He found in particular that the total number of employees in a bureaucracy rose by 5-7% per year "irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done."

The law can also apply to budgets, so that "work expands so as to fill the budget available for its completion." Instead of hemming and hawing over what to cut, we should simply make the cuts and watch as the bureaucracies magically continue to function anyways because they'll be forced to eliminate the wasted-spending and the non-essential.

Try or Die

Ever notice how you can feel overwhelmed with items to do at work, but the moment you have to leave early for some reason, you get all your tasks done within an hour, which would have taken you four hours to complete if you had all that time available to do so? It's the same law at work. Just tell the White House they're getting 10% less across the board, and they can figure out how to implement it.

I bet you anything the sky won't come crashing down all around us. And we might actually make some real progress toward not committing fiscal and monetary suicide. We could even do this in a bill that every Congressman and citizen would be able to sit down and read in one sitting, and actually understand what it says. Let's be decisive and solve the problem. Now is not the time for timidity. It's try or die. Cut spending on everything, 10% across the board, no exceptions, right now.


EDITOR'S NOTE: While I agree with the notion that we need to cut everything, I feel that this proposal doesn't cut enough and we can do even better. Sorry Wes.

Never mind cutting them by 10%, get rid of the alphabet agencies all together. Yes, gone are the EPA, FDA, USDA, FCC, DOE, DEA and all the rest. I'd also cut the military budget by at least 2/3, which would still equal about what China and Russia spend COMBINED. Social Security along with Medicare/Medicaid don't get a pass either, they would get slashed too.

And forget about the GOP's lame promise to cut back to the 2008 spending levels which was still a whopping $3 Trillion, we need to go back to 1998 spending when it was at $1.7 Trillion. Better yet, let's shoot for 1988's $1 Trillion budget.

Drastic times call for drastic measures and those are the type of cuts that I want to see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Health Care Is Such A Mess

Recently my wife had a severe asthma attack that required a trip to the ER. She was released that night and she's fine now but the bill came today from our insurance company.

The hospital billed nearly $3,400 for services over a 4 hour period but because of their negotiated rate with the insurance company, they will only see about $750 of which our co-pay is $250. So in short, the hospital takes a $2,650 haircut which will undoubtedly get passed along to someone else.

[I should note that the attack could have been prevented. My wife is very aware of her condition and can feel an attack coming on but it was New Years Eve day and her regular doctor could not see her so she went to a clinic in a local pharmacy. There she was told that since her symptoms were less than 24 hours old they could not prescribe anything for her. Had they written a script for an antibiotic and steroid, it would have been nipped in the bud.]

Now in a true free market, this would never happen and the hospital or future consumers, including myself, would not take the hit. Health insurance would only be used for catastrophic care like an ER or hospital visit which would greatly reduce our premiums (I pay about $4K a year on top of what my employer contributes). Hospitals would save money because people could go to a doctor for routine care and pay cash, thus reducing their costs and the amount they charge for services. A visit to your doctor would be less overall because they would not have to deal with the added costs of dealing with insurance companies. I know I'd gladly pay a cost slightly higher than my current co-pay knowing that I'd see a much bigger cut in my premiums and people without insurance would have access to inexpensive routine care too.

The same would be said for prescription drugs. After ending big-pharma's monopoly on drugs, in a free market costs and overhead for the pharmacy would come down and they too could provide drugs at a fraction of what they are now. Sure it may cost my wife her job because she works for a prescription processing company but, sacrifices must be made and she can always find other employment. Again my out of pocket cost would increase slightly but that bigger cut in insurance premiums would offset that and drugs would also be affordable for the uninsured.

There are a few other things that need to be included to fix the mess like tort reform and 100% deductibility of health care costs on our state and federal taxes. Right now you can only itemize 7% of costs over $4,000 and have premiums calculated in pre-tax earnings on your federal return. But you get the picture and things will certainly get worse once ObamaCare kicks in.

Some may say this is a Pollyanna approach and doesn't take into consideration the enormous costs of Medicare and Medicaid but by reducing the overall cost of routine care and drugs, more people could afford these thus reducing dependence on government programs. This would also reduce the $1,100 burden that Medicare took out of our checks last year. More savings for the average American.

As much as the progressives say they want to provide affordable health care to the masses, they seem to ignore these simple cost saving methods. After all, DC is responsible for the drastic increase in costs by their creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 along with the HMO Act of 1973. Government is what created the mess, why makes us think they will be able to fix it?

Charles M Blow Chides The Left For The Tucson "Witch Hunt"

You know things are bad when a charter member of the left calls out his own. The haters on the left were so thrilled with the idea that their paranoia about conservatives, in general, and Sarah Palin, talk radio and the "Tea Party", in particular, came to fruition so they thought, with the Tucson Shooting that they completely jumped the gun in assigning blame.

Charles M Blow writes in a NYT op-ed today, chiding the left for their "witch hunt" to blame the shooting on the right.
Immediately after the news broke, the air became thick with conjecture, speculation and innuendo. There was a giddy, almost punch-drunk excitement on the left. The prophecy had been fulfilled: “words have consequences.” And now, the right’s rhetorical chickens had finally come home to roost.

The dots were too close and the temptation to connect them too strong. The target was a Democratic congresswoman. There was the map of her district in the cross hairs. There were her own prescient worries about overheated rhetoric.

Within hours of the shooting, there was a full-fledged witch hunt to link the shooter to the right.

“I saw Goody Proctor with the devil! Oh, I mean Jared Lee Loughner! Yes him. With the devil!”

The only problem is that there was no evidence then, and even now, that overheated rhetoric from the right had anything to do with the shooting. (In fact, a couple of people who said they knew him have described him as either apolitical or “quite liberal.”) The picture emerging is of a sad and lonely soul slowly, and publicly, slipping into insanity.
Mr Blow continues.
Great. So the left overreacts and overreaches and it only accomplishes two things: fostering sympathy for its opponents and nurturing a false equivalence within the body politic. Well done, Democrats.

Now we’ve settled into the by-any-means-necessary argument: anything that gets us to focus on the rhetoric and tamp it down is a good thing. But a wrong in the service of righteousness is no less wrong, no less corrosive, no less a menace to the very righteousness it’s meant to support.

You can’t claim the higher ground in a pit of quicksand.

Concocting connections to advance an argument actually weakens it. The argument for tonal moderation has been done a tremendous disservice by those who sought to score political points in the absence of proof.
Sadly, the rest of the leftist media mafia has not had the same ah-ha moment as Mr Blow. We have seen no retractions from Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, Michael Daly, Sheriff Dupnik or the other myriad of Libtards who were so quick to blame the shooting on the right. Being one to give credit where credit is due, I commend Mr Blow for calling out the left for their incorrect assertions that the right was to blame for this massacre.

Via Memeorandum

Judas Priest On Government Surveillance


It's been flying under the radar but Congress is prepared to extend the Patriot Act until 2012 in an effort to continue the trampling of our civil liberties in the name of the "War on Terror". After almost 40 years of touring, the Priest is retiring but their lyrics from nearly 30 years ago ring true today. We must fight to end the Surveillance State.

Via LRC
Listening the other day to one of my favorite rock bands from the 80s, Judas Priest, I was struck by the prescience of the lyrics to their great song Electric Eye, from their 1982 Album Screaming for Vengeance. Released almost 30 years ago, it eerily describes the Bush-Obama PATRIOT-act surveillance state:
Up here in space
I’m looking down on you
My lasers trace
Everything you do

You think you've private lives
Think nothing of the kind
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye

Always in focus
You cant feel my stare
I zoom into you
You don't know I'm there

I take a pride in probing all your secret moves
My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m elected electric spy
I’m protected electric eye

Electric eye, in the sky
Feel my stare, always there

There's nothing you can do about it
Develop and expose
I feed upon your every thought
And so my power grows

I’m made of metal
My circuits gleam
I am perpetual
I keep the country clean

I’m elected electric spy
I'm protected electric eye
Protected. detective. electric eye
According to Wikipedia, ““Electric Eye” is an allusion to the book Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, in the use of the name of the pseudo-omniscient satellite that watches over the community at all times. In this dystopia, the form of government, Ingsoc (Newspeak for English Socialism), is utterly totalitarian, and if citizens are caught rebelling in any manner, they “disappear.”” So Judas Priest’s prescience is due to Orwell’s own prescience.

Video - Freedom Watch: Judge Napolitano And The Repeal Amendment

"We wouldn't have unfunded mandates, the Tenth Amendment would reign supreme, the states would be sovereign within their own borders,"



Give the states the power back, let your state and federal legislators know that you support the Repeal Amendment.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dorwan Stoddard - An Overlooked Story Of Heroism

Dorwan Stoddard, RIP
An overlooked story of heroism

Dorwan Stoddard and his wife, Mavanell, grew up together as friends in Tucson, and were high-school sweethearts in the 1950s. The two parted, moved away, and married others. But 15 years ago, having survived the death of their spouses, the two were reunited — and then married — in their hometown.

When Jared Loughner began firing on the crowd gathered around Rep. Gabrielle Gifford at the Safeway supermarket in Tucson on Saturday, Mavanell thought the sounds came from firecrackers. Dorwan knew otherwise and quickly pulled his wife to the ground and threw himself over her. Mavy — as she is known to her friends — was hit three times in the legs, and is now in stable condition and expected to survive. Dorwan was shot, fatally, through the head, at the age of 76. Dorwan was memorialized at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ — a small Tucson-area church where he and Mavy had worshipped and served — on Sunday.

Trading his life for his wife’s was Dorwan’s final act, after which he could manage no final words. Rev. Mike Nowak, the pastor of Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, visited Mavy at the University Medical Center, to which she and Dorwan were both rushed, and she spoke about the aftermath of the attack: “She talked to him for ten minutes as he breathed heavily. He never talked back to her.”


Read the rest here

Monday, January 10, 2011

Paul Krugman Needs A Psychiatric Evaluation

Even faced with overwhelming evidence that mass murderer Jared Lee Loughner was a lone nut-job who attempted to assassinate a member of Congress, killed 6 people and wounded 13 others, NYT columnist Paul Krugman still tries to pin Loughner's motives on the right.

Nowhere had Loughner mentioned or even alluded to Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Fox or the Tea Party yet the Nobel Prize winning Economist Krugman uses a strawman to make the point that the aforementioned have created a Climate of Hate that drove Loughner to commit this dreadful act, whether he was aware of it or not.

Never mind that the killer was described as having a "nihilist" view of the world by a friend and listed among his favorite books Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto. Just watching Loughner's YouTube videos shows that he he had clearly lost touch with reality. The same can probably be said for Mr Krugman.
It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.
These words and the op-ed they came from are clearly the words of a delusional man who is so isolated from reality that he actually believes them. Paul Krugman would have you believe that the right is solely responsible for all that plagues the country, nee the world, and that the left are the sainted defenders of all that is good.

If anyone is responsible for the toxic vitriol that infects our political discourse, it is people like Paul Krugman and his ilk that pretend to take the moral high-ground while spreading falsehoods that further inflame the divide.

Via Memeorandum

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Congressman Calls For Revival Of The Sedition Act In Wake Of Shooting

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." - Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

Representative Robert Brady of Pennsylvania sure isn't letting one go to waste. In the wake of the Tucson shooting, where his collegue Rep Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and Federal Judge John Roll was murdered, the Congressman intends to introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived (emphasis mine) as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official. And it should come as no surprise that he has Sarah Palin in his crosshairs, referring specifically to a map Gov Palin had on her website targeting districts for the 2010 midterm elections. Never mind that Democrats have used the same symbolism in the past and there is NOT ONE BIT OF EVIDENCE that suggests that the shooter, Jared Loughner, took some twisted message from the map or was even a Palin supporter.

As we witnessed with the Patriot Act after 9/11 or the clampdown on airport security after the shoe bomber and underwear bomber by the TSA, Leviathan will do everything in it's power to erode our Constitutional rights under the guise of a crisis.

I can make things easier for Congressman Brady; there already was such a law and it was called the Sedition Act of which he can just copy section 2.
That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.
Before he does so however, he may want to take note of the SCOTUS decision in New York Times Co v Sullivan where the Court opined, "Although the Sedition Act was never tested in this Court, the attack upon its validity has carried the day in the court of history." If that's not clear enough then let's take the opinion in Watts v United States, "The Alien and Sedition Laws constituted one of our sorriest chapters; and I had thought we had done with them forever ... Suppression of speech as an effective police measure is an old, old device, outlawed by our Constitution."

Damn that pesky First Amendment, but nice try Rep Brady.

Via Memeorandum

Fred Phelps Is A Piece Of Shit

H/T HillBuzz

It's bad enough that this asshole and his Westboro Baptist Church protest at the funerals of fallen soldiers. Now he praises mass murderer Jared Lee Loughner for the shooting in Tucson and plans to picket the funerals of the victims, including that of Christina Taylor-Greene, the nine-year old victim who attended Congresswoman Giffords' "Congress On Your Corner" event with a neighbor.

Is it not painful enough that the families of the victims have to bury their loved ones because of this senseless, violent act? But now they have to deal with extremists who will attempt to disrupt the funerals to spread their message of hate.

Sure, he and his group have a First Amendment right to free speech but to use these funerals, especially one of an innocent child, to spread their message of hate is immoral to say the least. Fortunately the good people of Tucson also have the same right to shout these hatemongers down, which I am sure they will.



Via Memeorandom

The Motivations Of Jared Loughner And The Rush To Judgment

Even before the blood had dried in the horrible tragedy where Rep Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and six others, others including a Federal Judge, an aide to Rep Giffords and a nine-year old child were killed, it seems that members of the looney left were lining up to access blame for Jared Loughner's actions. And the partisan media is doing their best to ramp up the vitrol too.

You have the likes of Jane Fonda and New York Daily News writer Michael Daly, among others, laying the blame on the shoulders of Sarah Palin and a year-old political advertisement for the shooting, Arizona Democrat State Senator Linda Lopez and NYT Economist Paul Krugman suggesting that the "Tea Party" may be behind his motivations and countless other members of the left pointing to his YouTube screeds about creating a new currency and the gold standard as proof that he was motivated by conservative values. Let's not forget Keith Olbermann who blames everyone from Palin to the "Tea Party" to Glenn Beck to Rep Giffords' opponent Jesse Kelly.

These are but a few examples of how ridiculous their rhetoric has become.

In reality all that we know is that Mr Loughner was a very disturbed young man who, for reasons that no one other than he knows, showed up at a forum where a sitting US Congresswoman was meeting with her constituency and opened fire. Maybe he was politically motivated to do this but at this point, we do not know. Everything right now is pure speculation.

For the left to attempt to spin this tragedy for their political gain is just sickening. Let's learn the facts before we make any rush to judgment.

Via Memeorandum

EDITOR'S NOTE - Portions of this entry have been changed from the previous version to reflect the changing coverage and overwhelming bias in the media.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Violence Is Not The Answer

Today's shooting in Tucson where AZ Rep Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and five others including a Federal Judge, an aide to Rep Giffords and a nine-year old child were killed further exemplifies how political discourse has gotten out of hand in this country. In the last year we had some jackass fly a plane into an IRS building in Texas, a bomb wielding nut-job take hostages at the Discovery Channel and a deranged shooter firing shots at officers in a Pentagon train station among others. These actions do nothing other than drive the wedge between us further.

This crap needs to stop now!

We are all adults and as much as we vehemently disagree with each other on the issues; violence is not the answer. If you don't like something, there are plenty of non-violent avenues you can take. If you lose, you lose; life is sometimes unfair. People like Martin Luther King and Gandhi achieved their ends through non-violence and we can do the same.

So here is my message to the blood-thirsty shut-ins on both ends of the political spectrum, get out of the basement, away from your computer and experience the real world. Maybe then you will think twice before committing these random acts of senseless violence.

Federal Judge John Roll Among Victims Of Giffords Shooting


Among the victims of the horrible shooting in Tucson today was Federal District Judge John Roll. Five others were also killed in this senseless act of violence, including a nine-year old child.

Some news reports say that Judge Roll was just an innocent bystander who was not participating in the event being held by Rep Giffords, but happened to live in the neighborhood and had just stopped by to say hello to the Representative.

The families of all the victims are in our thoughts.

About Judge John M Roll
John McCarthy Roll was a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. He joined the court in 1991 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. Roll was the former Chief Judge, serving as the court's lead judicial administrative officer in conjunction with the Clerk of Court on the court's day to day operations.

On the recommendation of Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain, Roll was nominated by President George Bush on September 23, 1991 to a seat vacated by Alfred Marquez as Marquez assumed senior status. Roll was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 22, 1991 on unanimous consent of the Senate and received commission on November 25, 1991. Roll served as the chief judge of the District of Arizona since 2006.

Judge Roll in 2009, faced death threats after presiding over a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by illegal immigrants against an Arizona rancher. After Judge Roll ruled the case would be certified, threats came from talk-radio shows which fueled controversy and spurred audiences into making threats against the judge.

The threats materialized after one show, Judge Roll's name logged more than 200 phone calls as some callers threatened the judge and his family.

This resulted in the judge and his wife were under a protection detail for one month as Judge Roll was given twenty four hours a day, seven days a week security by the US Marshals Service. An US Attorney's investigation ruled that four men were identified as threat makers, but no charges were filed.
Via Memeorandum

What Is Known About Rep Giffords Shooting Suspect Jared Lee Loughner

According to the AP, the suspect has been identified as Jared Lee Loughner age 22 of Tucson.

Gawker has this is an eyewitness report from Stephen Rayle, a former ER doctor who helped subdue the suspect and said that Rep Giffords was able to move her hands after the shooting.
The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was "not particularly well-dressed"; he didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character".
While we need to wait to find out the gunman's motivation in this terrible tragedy, there is no call for this type of action if this is indeed politically motivated by someone from the right or left. We are a civilized society and no matter how much you disagree with someone's politics, there is absolutely no justification for attempted murder. This type of action cannot and will not be tolerated in our society.

EDITOR'S NOTE - The alleged suspect's last name is now being reported as Loughner not Laughner. It has also been speculated that this is some video he posted his YouTube channel a few weeks ago. His MySpace page has been taken down at this time.





Via Memeorandum

Giffords Shooting - Conflicting Reports About Congresswoman's Death

NPR has backtracked on their initial report that Rep Giffords has died as the result of a shooting at an event she was holding in Tucson.

KOLD13 in Tucson is reporting that as of 12:46 MST Rep Giffords was still alive and in surgery.

KOLD13
According to Darci Slaten, University Medical Center public affairs officer, Gifford's death has not been confirmed.

"She is alive and in surgery right now," Slaten said.

Earlier, CNN and Fox News had both confirmed Giffords' death.

The third-term congresswoman was reportedly shot in the head, according to the "Tucson Citizen."

The shooting happened just after 10 a.m. at the Safeway on Ina and Oracle, Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ogan said.

Breaking - AZ Rep Gabrielle Giffords, 6 Others Murdered At Event

NPR is now confirming that Rep Giffords has died. It's too early to say if this was politically motivated but it is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts go out to her family.

NPR

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others died after a gunman opened fire at a public event on Saturday, the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office confirms.

The 40-year-old Democrat, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

At least three other people, including members of her staff, were injured. Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson.

Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up and fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.
Via Memeorandum

EDITOR'S NOTE - According to the azcentral.com, there are conflicting reports about Giffords' condition: CNN, FOX and NPR news report that the congresswoman is dead; but MSNBC interviewed the Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and he said as of 12:25 p.m., she was still alive.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Video - Gary Johnson Speaks At Bill Of Rights Day Celebration 12/15/10

I finally had a chance to see former NM Governor and prospective 2012 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson speak at the Bill Of Rights Day Celebration in Phoenix on 12/15/10. In his speech he covers a range of topics from his record as governor to his opposition to government intervention on both the domestic and international fronts. His no nonsense approach to smaller government, non-intervention, the free market and civil liberties make him the logical choice in 2012 to reel in the out of control Leviathan that has taken hold of DC.

To learn more about Gary Johnson and where he stands on the issues, please visit his website OUR America Initiative and support his campaign. Of all the names being bandied about for a run on the GOP side in 2012, only Gov Johnson and Rep Ron Paul stand for the liberty and freedom that our Constitution provided for us.

Part 1



Part 2



For more video from the Bill Of Rights Day Celebration, click here.

Video - Bob Levy Speaks At Bill Of Rights Day Celebration 12/15/10

Bob Levy of the Cato Institute and author of The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom
speaks about some of the cases in his book on how SCOTUS went against the intent of the Constitution to expand the powers of the state, at the Bill Of Rights Day Celebration in Phoenix on 12/15/10. It was an eye opening speech that gives a brief synopsis of how Leviathan grew to the size it is today and how it can justify the unconstitutional laws that it imposes upon us today.



For more video from the Bill Of Rights Day Celebration, click here.

Tenth Amendment Center's Common Sense Money Bomb


By Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again”

Tom Paine’s powerful words hold just as much meaning today as they did on January 10, 1776 when he first published Common Sense – what historians call “the most popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.”

With a federal government that rarely follows the rules that govern it – the Constitution, that is – there’s a lot of work to do to “begin the world over again.” Our moment is now.

THE ESSENTIAL QUESTION

When the federal government violates the Constitution – what do we do about it? Do we lobby congress and ask federal politicians to limit federal power? Do we go to court and ask federal judges to limit federal power? Do we “vote the bums out” in the hopes that the new bums will give back all that power?

What do we do about it? That’s the question that more and more people are asking every day. Why? Because those three options are what we the people have been employing for nearly a century. In all that time, we the people have been marching and protesting. We the people have sued and voted bums out.

The result? I hate to be the bearer of bad news folks, but all these efforts have been a complete and utter failure. It doesn’t matter what political party is in power in Washington D.C. It doesn’t matter what individual occupies the White House either. Year in and year out, federal power grows and your liberty is reduced.

PARCHMENT

So what DO we do about it?

In Common Sense, Paine answered that question for us – “When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”

While the ratification of the Constitution created a system of government to decentralize power and create fertile ground for liberty – if we’re relying on the federal government to police and limit itself, that power will always grow. In fact, other great founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison warned us that if the federal government ever became the sole and exclusive arbiter of the extent of its own powers, those powers would never be limited – regardless of elections, courts, separations of powers or any of the other vaunted parts of the American system.

As Paine warned us – “virtue is not hereditary.” So even if we were to have a perfect constitutionalist president. Or a Congress full of the same, there’s no guarantee that it would last, and sooner or later those that seek power for evil purposes would get in control. The history of the United States is all the proof we should ever need to understand this stark reality.

DUTY

The existence of the Constitution itself will never protect liberty. You need to. I need to. Our friends and family need to. It’s up to us.

Where does that leave us?

Well, it’s quite simple: We the People need to learn to exercise our rights whether they the government want us to or not!

ACTION FOR TODAY

Since 2006, the Tenth Amendment Center has been championing this message and consistently promoting liberty through decentralization. While the task may seem insurmountable at times – no matter how much the odds seem stacked against freedom, it’s essential to do what’s right. And for the Tenth Amendment Center, doing what’s right is pretty straightforward:

We demand adherence to the Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.

But we need your help to continue these efforts. On January 10th, 2011, in commemoration of Thomas Paine’s historic work, we defend the philosophy held within his writings by holding a mass donation day in support of this revolutionary effort for the cause of liberty, The Tenth Amendment Center.

If you agree that an unconstitutional “law” is no law at all – stand up for the constitution and pledge to support the center in our work right now.

Only with your help can we being the world over again. So if you believe in the constitution and the message of the Tenth Amendment Center – the time to act is now. Not next year, not next month, and not next week. Today. Not tomorrow. Now.

Help us celebrate the anniversary of Common Sense. Help is what we need and help is what you can give us today. Click the banner below and pledge to support this movement now!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Food For Thought - US Military Spending

A picture's worth a thousand words.

Happy New Year FMJRA

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish the many readers of MTOF a happy New Year and also thank my fellow bloggers who have made the first full year of this humble blog what it is today. There will be some changes to MTOF in the coming year which I hope will make it a better place to visit.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give a special shout out to those of you who have sent traffic my way over the past year.

Tim at Left Coast Rebel has been my biggest supporter and carried over the momentum he built with LCR in 2009 into 2010. LCR is one of the fastest rising blogs on the interweb and Tim is regularly featured at the Daily Caller and Pajamas Media.

Other conspirators that have been instrumental in spreading the word of MTOF include Clay from BBCW, Carl at Uncouth Rumination, Teresa from teresamerica, Les at Rational Nation USA, Stacy and Smitty from The Other McCain, Bastiatarian, and Trestin. I can't forget fellow Arizonians Bill at Zero Gov and Soloman.

I'd also like to give a special mention to Wes at The Humble Libertarian who in addition to sending traffic my way, designed the banner on this site. Wes does great development work and has also done website development for some of the above.

A big note of thanks goes to Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center who has been so kind to post some of my work at the TAC Blog. It is a great honor to be there and the TAC is a worthy cause that is fighting for our Constitutional rights.

I'm sorry to anyone whom I omitted, I appreciate everyone who has sent traffic my way last year. Here's to a wonderful and prosperous 2011.

Cheers
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