Archive for May, 2009

Robert Gibbs Slams British Press

May 29th, 2009 8:39 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Media, Obama, War  |  2 Responses

In response to the Daily Telegraph’s release of its report on the prisoner photos, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs not only denied the accuracy of the report, but issued a rather peculiar statement about the British Press in general.

“If I wanted to read a write-up today of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League cup, I might open up a British newspaper. If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I’m not sure it would be the first stack of clips I picked up… Again, I think if you do an even moderate Google search, you’re not going to find many of these newspapers and truth within, say, 25 words of each other.

I’m not even really sure where he’s coming from on this one. The Daily Telegraph is not a British tabloid – it’s by all accounts a credible newspaper which has the largest circulation of any in the United Kingdom. Further, the report isn’t from an anonymous source – it quotes American Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who actually agrees with the Obama Administration when it comes to not releasing the photos, using their sensational nature as his justification. Is Gibbs really disputing the reporting of Taguba’s statements, or Taguba, the man who carried out the investigation of Abu Ghraib, himself?

On second thought, maybe I can see why he’d target the press.

Update: Was Gibbs right afterall? Taguba is now stating he never saw the photos in question, but rather was speaking generally about photos which have already been released, and was taken out of context.

Tricking Americans Into Real ID

May 29th, 2009 10:38 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, Liberty, Politics, REAL ID  |  2 Responses

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

MEDIA NOTICE: Today (Friday), Jim Babka is scheduled to appear on “Straight Talk w/ Jerry Hughes,” starting at 3:05 PM Eastern. Listening details can be found on the DownsizeDC.org blog.

Quote of the Day: “I won’t call it Real ID, I’ll call it enhanced or higher security drivers license.” — Robert V. LaPenta, President and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions, which stands to be a primary beneficiary of any government scheme for a national ID card


Jim Harper, at the Cato Institute, alerts us to new dangers on the national ID front.

The so-called Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and certain politicians, are trying multiple ways to impose a national ID card on us, even though the American people have made it very clear we don’t want it.

One under-handed scheme started with the passage of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires law abiding U.S. citizens to have either a passport or an enhanced drivers license to cross the Mexican or Canadian borders. An “enhanced drivers license”…

* Is an initiative of the DHS that has NO Congressional mandate
* Will require you to undergo a security interview, pay a fee, and get a new federal ID number (in addition to your Social Security number)
* Has an RFID chip that can be read at a distance, up to 30 feet away, even while it’s in your wallet!

Now things are being rigged to move citizens in the direction of the enhanced drivers license.

The problem starts with the fact that passports are too expensive. The high price gives people an incentive to pay for the enhanced drivers license, which is about half the cost. The Government Accounting Office had already issued a report saying that the $100 price for a passport didn’t need to be that high, but…

Now they’ve raised the price even higher. Representative Paul Opsommer of Michigan suspects the purpose of this is to drive even more people to get the cheaper (but more dangerous) enhanced drivers license.

Please notice that all of this is being driven NOT by Congress, but by un-elected bureaucrats in the DHS and the State Department. But that doesn’t mean Congress is blameless. Congress is doing nothing to reign in the bureaucrats, plus, some are even working to make things worse. For instance…

Read More »

Quick Hits: Dick vs. Barack, Organic Food, Korea, Sonia, GM, and random thoughts

May 29th, 2009 8:15 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Foreign Policy, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Philosophy, Politics  |  2 Responses

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another article of quick hits, random thoughts, and other items that didn’t materialize into full articles here at Liberty Maven.

Last week was the back to back speech duel between Barack Obama and Dick Cheney discussing foreign policy, torture, and how to keep America safe. I watched the conservatives on Twitter post comment after comment how Cheney whipped poor Obama. Then I hear on CNN that Obama got the better of Cheney. The desire to take sides like it’s some kind of sport saddens me. After being annoyed at the “game” all day long I summed up my thoughts with the following:

Obama vs. Cheney = Tyranny vs. Tyranny… Neither won and We The People lost (again).

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Rally At the Breach! – A Note on the U.S. Constitution

May 28th, 2009 10:46 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Commentary, Constitution, Election, Liberty, Politics  |  1

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – attributed to Abraham Lincoln at age 28

by Jake Towne, the Champion of the Constitution

Originally published Thursday, May 28, 2009 at http://www.nolanchart.com/article6389.html

spoonerThere’s an interesting essay that the great American thinker Lysander Spooner once penned in 1867 entitled “No Treason.”   To very briefly summarize this document, Spooner points out that there is no treason committed by those who disagree with Constitution of the United States. Recently a friend brought this up to me for a rather heated debate – which might have something to do with the fact that my pen-name since I started writing is “the Champion of the Constitution.” (photo)

This article is my attempt to recap this conversation and add some points I’ve had after some time for reflection. While I concede the point that there is no treason in disagreeing with the Constitution – although it’s quite different if you happen to be a politician who swore to uphold it – it is my firm belief that in our day and age we must rally around the Constitution.

First, yes, it is true that neither I nor you signed the Constitution.

Yes, it is also true that neither did our parents or grandparents.

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Two-faced Obama: New Report on Prisoner Abuse Photos

May 28th, 2009 3:43 pm  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Obama, terrorism  |  Comments Off

After backtracking on a previous promise to release photos of alleged prisoner abuse, a new report casts doubt on Obama’s honesty in stating the photos were “not particularly sensational“  – a justification for his change of heart. While the photos have not been released to the public, some journalists were given access to the classified photographs – and have begun to reveal what they saw. A report claims that the photos depict instances of torture, including rape of both male and female prisoners, in addition to other forms of sexual abuse, which occurred at Abu Ghraib and several other prisons in Iraq.

The Pentagon has already quickly denied the report’s accuracy, but with the government refusing to release the photos to the public they are also denying themselves any ability to fully refute the claims made against them – assuming the claims are false. I simply don’t understand how the Obama administration can, on the one hand, attempt to downplay what is depicted in the photographs, and on the other think it too dangerous to release them to the public.

While the stated fear is consistently that releasing the photographs may “inflame anti-American opinion, and … put our troops in greater danger,” isn’t the fact that torture and prisoner abuse took place really what will inflame opinion? Covering up what happened – and ineffectively at that – simply raises more questions and keeps the issue at the forefront. While Obama rightly states the abuse to be unacceptable, without an open process – without proper transperency – it creates and fosters a culture where abuse could spring up under the protection of the government not wanting to reveal what is essentially embarassing to them.

Until the photos are fully released, the continued spectre of what they may be hiding will do noone any good – nor will the slow, inevitable drip by drip reveal of details from people who have seen them. On this one, I agree with Martin Garbus at the Huffington Post – releasing all of the photos now and coming clean is the only way to begin the process of truly moving forward. But not only that, it’s the only course which would actually save lives, not merely veil an embarassing truth.

When Will Americans Grow Up?

May 28th, 2009 2:08 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, Liberty, Politics  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “When a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state … this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.” — P. J. O’Rourke


Three of the very most important issues of the moment are…

* The planned re-design of the economy through a “cap and trade” system to limit CO2 emissions
* The planned re-design of our health care system by increasing government involvement at all levels
* The massive expansion of the money supply by the Fed, which threatens hyper-inflation

But will the media and the American people be able to maintain an adult focus on any of these issues, or will they instead spend the next few weeks obsessing about the merits and de-merits of one person — President Obama’s new nominee for the Supreme Court.

Sadly, American adulthood is sometimes more fiction than fact. We predict that the national discussion will now focus on the new Supreme Court nominee and that most of the debate will resemble a high school campaign for class president. It will be driven by adolescent partisan tribal loyalties, and will overlook one overwhelming fact…

Any Supreme Court nomination made by any president from either party is almost certain to be bad. To think otherwise is to ignore history. Remember, for instance, the Kelo decision, in which…

* Supposedly liberal justices endorsed using the coercive power of the state to enrich corporations, yet…
* joining the liberal justices with the deciding vote was the now-retiring Justice Souter, who had been appointed by a supposedly conservative president

Partisan political appointments are no different than partisan political elections. They serve the interest of the political class, NOT your interest. We’re reminded of the spot-on way “The Onion” satirical newspaper summed up a recent election. Their headline read, “Politicians Sweep Midterm Elections.”

Exactly.

No matter whom you elect, the politicians win. No matter whom a president appoints to the Supreme Court, the politicians win. And every time we expend energy debating personalities, labels, or political parties, the politicians win.

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Ron Paul, The High School Teacher

May 27th, 2009 10:41 pm  |  by  |  Published in Constitution, Education, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Ron Paul, Video, War  |  5 Responses

Ron Paul visited Ballou High School in Southeast DC a few weeks ago to speak to students as part of CSPAN’s Student’s and Leaders series.

This is Ron Paul in his element. He’s speaking to young people and he’s a teacher at heart.

He gives a talk and then gets some questions from the students. Watch the full video below from CSPAN. It is almost an hour long.

Should Congress read the bills or pass pointless resolutions?

May 27th, 2009 12:38 pm  |  by  |  Published in congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, government spending, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress.” – Will Rogers


In addition to bills that become law, the House and Senate also pass hundreds of resolutions each year. Many of them are statements of appreciation or recognition of people and events. They may seem harmless, but they waste Congress’s time, time that could be spent reading bills that actually matter.

Moreover, these resolutions are often handled with comic incompetence . . .

  • On May 19, the House recognized “Women’s Health Week,” which had ended on May 16
  • On the same day, it also honored “Police Week,” which likewise had ended the previous Saturday
  • On May 20, the House recognized “National Teacher Appreciation Week,” which had ended on May 10
  • Four months after he announced his retirement, the House congratulated football coach Tony Dungy

The House also passed a resolution urging every American to visit national cemeteries, memorials, and markers on Memorial Day. They even bothered to call for a roll call vote, as if anyone would dare oppose it.

They also passed a resolution recognizing May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day and urged us to “plan events in communities across America to raise public awareness about the issue.” They again took the time for a roll call vote.

May 25, of course, was also Memorial Day. If Congress was at all sincere with either resolution, they would have seen the unfairness to both missing children and America’s war dead by having them compete for attention on the same day.

By merging such special days together, and recognizing events well after the fact, Congress ends up trivializing what they are supposed to be honoring.

The House also held pointless time-consuming roll call votes recognizing at least four other anniversaries of various events. (My favorite celebrated the IEEE, without bothering to mention what the acronym stands for.) In any case, none of them needed Congressional recognition to establish their significance.

Meanwhile, over the past three weeks the House passed 25 bills totaling 1466 pages – bills that will actually impact our lives. Members of Congress claim they don’t have time to read these bills.

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Ron Paul on CNN: The financial system has collapsed

May 27th, 2009 8:57 am  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, Ron Paul  |  7 Responses

Ron Paul appeared on CNN American Morning this morning and talked about the contradictory actions the Obama administration is taking to help curb our economic woes. A few of Paul’s quotes from the interview are below.

On Obama: “But he contradicts himself. He wants to spend more money, but he admits we have no money.”

On Washington: “They seem to live in a different world. They’re not living with reality.”

“They are begging and pleading for inflation.”

“The financial system has collapsed. The house of cards has come unglued.”

Watch and listen to more of the hard truth below.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

The Money Bomb Gets Passed From Ron Paul To Son Rand

May 27th, 2009 8:20 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Fund Raising, Politics, Rand Paul, Ron Paul Republicans  |  10 Responses

Rand Paul June 1st MoneyBomb

The concept of a money bomb, pooling a bunch of campaign donations in a single day, was made famous during Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign of 2007 and 2008. Many others have utilized the practice to draw in campaign funds and press mentions since then. Now, it is Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, who is ready for his own.

This one is to raise money for his exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate representing Kentucky. The day is next Monday, June 1st, 2009. The goal is $25k in a single day. More details are here.

We need more Ron Pauls in DC. Without cloning Ron Paul  it is unlikely you’ll find someone more similar than his son, Dr. Rand Paul.

Please help Rand Paul out by donating on June 1st!