Archive for June, 2010

URGENT: Congress set to deform America’s financial sector

June 30th, 2010 12:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, Economics, law, Market Regulation, Politics, price controls  |  1

The House and Senate are expected to vote on the final version of the fraudulent “financial reform” bill this week.

We need to defeat this bad bill, HR 4173, which is a whopping 2,319 pages long.

To achieve REAL financial reform we need to pass Ron Paul’s Free Competition in Currency Act instead. Please send a letter to Congress pushing for both of these outcomes.

You may borrow from or copy the following sample letter for this purpose . . .

In addition to supporting the “Free Competition in Currency Act” please vote NO on the big Obama-Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, HR 4173. Ron Paul’s currency bill addresses the root causes of the financial crisis, while the regulation bill does not.

The financial crisis was caused by . . .

* The Federal Reserve keeping interest rates artificially low
* The Federal Reserve inflating the money supply to satisfy Congress’s deficit spending
* Government policies encouraging or forcing financial institutions to issue credit to undeserving people

Together, these policies caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the mal-investment of easy money. The result was the Great Recession.

What does the Obama-Dodd-Frank bill do to address these problems?

NOTHING!

Instead, it sets up a “Consumer Protection” agency whose regulations will conflict with other regulatory agencies:

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Nullify, Repeal, and Vote them out!

June 29th, 2010 10:08 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Health Care, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Philosophy, Politics, Thomas Woods  |  2 Responses

“Nullify, Repeal, and Vote them out”, should be the rallying cry for Americans and it makes a nice campaign slogan for state representatives as well. I just received Tom Woods’ new book, “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century“, in the mail. I haven’t read it yet, but it promises to be another classic. I’m guessing Tom Woods will cover, in his new book, some of what I’m about to discuss below.

There appears to be a de-facto nullification movement brewing in the United States. There are three main areas fueling this:

  1. The National ID card or Real ID
  2. Marijuana legalization/decriminalization
  3. The health care mandate

The federal government demanded the states implement a national ID card. Back then they called it the REAL ID. These days they call it PASS ID and have attempted to make it more acceptable to the states. The states successfully thwarted implementation of original REAL ID by passing state legislation refusing to comply with the federal mandate. As of October of 2009, 25 states have passed laws refusing implementation of REAL ID in their state. This is the modern form of nullification. This is the model. Hopefully, PASS ID meets the same fate.

Several states have passed laws permitting marijuana for medicinal use and several are considering outright legalization. This goes directly against the federal laws against marijuana. This could become the next de-facto nullification, similar to REAL ID, if things continue down this path.

Opposing the new health care mandate is nullification in its infantile stages. Several state Attorneys General have filed suit on grounds that the health care mandate is unconstitutional. Virginia has passed a law exempting its citizens from the mandate.

You won’t hear many people within the debate on the above actually call what they are doing, “nullification”, but the net effect is the same. This idea of de-facto nullification appears to be the most effective and realistic method to oppose over-reaching federal government unconstitutional laws in our time. I expect to explore these ideas in more depth in Woods’ book and in my future writing.

Also, check out the upcoming “Nullify Now!” tour. Tom Woods, Jack Hunter, Jim Babka, and others are scheduled to speak.

See below for a “must see” Tom Woods  interview given by a “Zombie” about his new book.

The New Ideological Divide

June 28th, 2010 10:00 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Money, national debt, Peter Schiff, Politics  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of the new bestselling economic fable, How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes

Despite the apparent deficit-cutting solidarity that emerged from this weekend’s G-20 meeting in Toronto, it is clear that the great powers of the industrialized world have not been this philosophically estranged since the end of the Cold War. Ironically, in this new contest, the former belligerents have switched sides – the capitalists are now the socialists, and vice versa.
We now are witnessing a struggle between two camps that I playfully call the “Stimulators” and the “Austereians.” Both warn that a worldwide depression will ensue if governments now make the wrong choices: the Stimulators say the danger lies in spending too little and the Austereians from spending too much. Each side also has their own economic champion: the Stimulators follow the banner of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, while the Austereians are forming up behind the recently reformed former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. (It is cold comfort to witness “The Maestro” belatedly returning to the hard-money positions that characterized his earlier years.)
In a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Greenspan argued that the best economic stimulus would be for the world’s leading debtors (the United States, UK, Japan, Italy, et al) to rein in their budget deficits, a strategy dubbed “austerity” by the press. Greenspan explains that because lower deficits will restore confidence, diminish the threat of inflation, and allow savings to flow to private-sector investment rather than public-sector consumption, the short-term pain will lead to gains both in the mid- and long-term. Rather than redistributing a shrinking pie, this approach allows the pie to grow. Greenspan’s Austereian view has been echoed loudly in the highest policy circles of Berlin, Ottawa, Moscow, Beijing, and Canberra.

NRA Issues Gag Order to Its Board Members on Elena Kagan

June 28th, 2010 3:26 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Gun Control, Liberty, Politics, Second Amendment  |  9 Responses

Just the other day I outlined the perfect example of why I believe the NRA is no friend of those who value the Second Amendment.   Less than two weeks later, it appears they’ve done it again.

According to redstate.com:

Internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members are highlighting just how far the National Rifle Association has fallen.

The organization recently collaborated with the left to obtain a carve out of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation designed to silence bloggers and outside interest groups like tea party activists. This was a first amendment issue and the NRA gladly took a position and campaigned for its members to take a position on the DISCLOSE Act.

One of the NRA’s chief arguments was that it needed the carve out to be effective in its advocacy of Second Amendment issues. But here’s the problem: these internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.

That’s right: the foremost gun rights lobby in the nation is prohibiting its board from testifying in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings about the second amendment.

Read the rest at redstate.com

Supreme Court says 2nd Amendment applies to the States in a 5-4 decision

June 28th, 2010 10:18 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Constitution, Court Cases, Gun Control  |  6 Responses

Just minutes ago the Supreme Court of the United States delivered their opinion on McDonald v. City of Chicago. The Court has decided that the 2nd Amendment does apply to the states in a 5-4 decision.

Here are the results according to the SCOTUS blog:

  • Alito announces McDonald v. Chicago: reversed and remanded
  • Gun rights prevail
  • The opinion concludes that the 14th Amendment does incorporate the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to keep and bear arms in self defense
  • Stevens dissents for himself.  Breyer dissents, joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor.
  • The majority seems divided, presumably on the precise standard
  • The majority Justices do not support all parts of the Alito opinion, but all five agree that the 2d Amendment applies to state and local government.
  • Alito, in the part of the opinion joined by three Justices, concludes that the 2d Amendment is incorporated through the Due Process Clause.
  • Thomas thinks the Amendment is incorporated, but not under Due Process. He appears to base incorporation on Privileges or Immunities.
  • The difference between the majority and Justice Thomas doesn’t affect the fact that the Second Amendment now applies to state and local regulation.
  • Full Opinion is here.
  • It should be noted that, in the guns case, the Court says explicitly in Alito’s opinion that it would not reconsider the Slaughterhouse cases, which almost completely deprive the Privileges or Immunities Clause of any constitutional meaning.
  • The opinion leaves the fate of the Chicago gun ordinance in the hands of the 7th Circuit on remand.

The ramifications of the opinion will play out in the gun rights vs. gun control debate going forward.  This case (McDonald v. Chicago) was filed the day after the Heller decision was announced back in 2008. It will be interesting to see what new cases get filed given the results of this case. The gun rights lawyers are taking a step by step approach in their fight for the right to keep and bear arms.

This is pretty much what was expected. It appears Justice Thomas is the only one with the guts to use the Privileges or Immunities Clause which would have had far-reaching implications for law outside of the gun rights world. More later as the analysis begins.

Rand Paul interview with Liberty Maven on money bomb eve

June 27th, 2010 11:50 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Banking, Big Government, Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution, Court Cases, Economics, government spending, Gun Control, Liberty, Market Regulation, privacy, Rand Paul, Rand Paul Interview  |  5 Responses

We interviewed Rand Paul the first time back when he was trailing Trey Grayson in the Kentucky GOP primary by 11 percentage points according to polls at the time. As everyone now knows he ended up winning the primary and the first money bomb (or blast) is scheduled for tomorrow (June 28th).

Dr. Paul was kind enough to take time out of his insane campaign schedule to answer some questions for us. Check out Rand Paul’s second interview with Liberty Maven below.

And don’t forget to participate by donating during the money bomb!

Donate at RandPaul2010.com now.

LM:  Immediately following your landslide victory over Trey Grayson in the primary, the left-leaning media began attacking you and the attacks have not eased up. Thinking back, prior to your primary victory you probably anticipated being attacked from the left, but did you believe the attacks would be so unrelenting and national in scope as they have turned out to be? Do you fault yourself for inviting the initial attacks a bit, by agreeing to go on Rachel Maddow’s show the day after your victory?

Rand Paul: Our election night victory was spectacular. We won by 24 points. Over 500 people gathered for our victory. We had satellite TV trucks from every network and did 15 national interviews the next day. But it didn’t take long for the media to decide that they were going to be less than neutral after our victory. Since then it has been relentless attacks from the left-wing media in Kentucky and the left-wing media nationally. I joke with people that it was like Dickens wrote in the Tale of Two Cities: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But the good news is that the polls still show us with a double digit lead, despite all of their attacks. I think the mood of the country is for reigning in big government, for controlling the deficit, and for bringing attention back to a government that should be restrained by the Constitution.

It’s always easy to look backwards and say I could have, or should have done one thing or another. In retrospect, going on a Left-leaning network that apparently had an agenda since they had been discussing it all afternoon and misconstruing my position was probably not a good idea.

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Tomorrow’s to-do list: Donate to Rand Paul, Buy “Nullification”

June 27th, 2010 7:05 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Commentary, Constitution, Election, fascism, Fund Raising, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Philosophy, Rand Paul, Socialism, states rights, Thomas Woods  |  1

Tomorrow is June 28th and there are two events every liberty-lover should be participating in.

First up, is the first money bomb for Rand Paul’s General election campaign. Pledge here and donate tomorrow (or beginning at midnight tonight) here. He’s going to need a significant amount of money to defend the attacks that are now coming at him from national progressives and Obamatons.

Next, it is the official release day for Tom Woods’ latest and perhaps greatest book entitled, “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century“. I consider his previous book “Meltdown” one of the best economics books I’ve ever read. Given Woods’ track record his new book will be mind-opening to those willing to give it a read. The book and Tom were recently featured on Glenn Beck’s TV show about Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” (see the video below).

So that’s my To-Do list for Monday, June 28th, 2010. I hope it is yours as well.

httpvp://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=57C327D079811600

Supreme Court set to offer opinion on the Chicago Gun ban tomorrow

June 27th, 2010 5:58 pm  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Gun Control, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, states rights  |  3 Responses

The Supreme Court will release its opinion on the McDonald v. Chicago gun ban case on Monday. The opinion will decide whether the 2nd Amendment applies to the states.

From the SCOTUS blog:

The first opinion that could emerge is a historic ruling on gun rights, resolving whether the Second Amendment restricts the gun-control powers of states, counties, and cities, and not just the federal government’s powers (McDonald v. City of Chicago, 08-1521).   That’s because the author of the opinion (according to Tom’s analysis) could be Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.   He is the most junior Justice likely to announce an opinion Monday, and opinions are usually released in reverse order of the authors’ seniority.

Most watchers believe the opinion will be against the gun ban and in favor of applying the 2nd Amendment to the states, but it will likely not be as far-reaching as most gun rights advocates would like. This puts it in similar territory as the Heller case. Tom Goldstein, offers his thoughts regarding the likely outcome, also from the SCOTUS blog, in a prediction article:

The next case is McDonald v. City of Chicago, which presents the question whether the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is “incorporated” and therefore applies to state and local gun regulation. McDonald was argued in February, and the only Justice not to write from that sitting is Justice Alito. He therefore likely has the Court’s opinion.

Justice Alito was a member of the five-Justice majority that recognized a Second Amendment right outside the context of militia service in the Heller case. He therefore is a likely vote for finding incorporation. At oral argument in McDonald, Justice Alito seemed quite doubtful about the City’s efforts to suggest a narrow ground for ruling.

I predict that Justice Alito will write the Court’s opinion in McDonald recognizing that the Second Amendment is incorporated. But given Justice Alito’s sensitivity towards law enforcement, I doubt that the opinion will call into question a broad swath of firearms regulation.

We’ll post an update once the opinion is released tomorrow.

Last year I wrote about my own thoughts on “Incorporation” of the 2nd Amendment in this article.

Suiting Up for a Post-Dollar World

June 25th, 2010 2:51 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, Liberty, Money, national debt, Politics  |  Comments Off

John Browneby John Browne, Senior Market Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital

The global financial crisis is playing out like a slow-moving, highly predicable stage play. In the current scene, Western governments are caught between the demands of entitled welfare beneficiaries and the anxiety of bondholders who fear they will be stuck with the bill. As the crisis reaches an apex, prime ministers and presidents are forced into a Sophie’s choice between social unrest and bankruptcy. But with the “Club Med” economies set to fall like dominoes, the US Treasury market is not yet acting the role we would have anticipated.
Our argument has always been that the US benefits from its reserve-currency status, allowing it to accumulate unsustainable debts for an unusually long period without the immediate repercussions of inflation or higher borrowing costs. But this false sense of security may be setting us up for a truly monumental crash.
There is fresh evidence that time is running out for the dollar-centric global monetary order. In fact, central banks outside the US are already making swift and discrete preparation for a post-dollar era.
To begin, the People’s Bank of China has just this week decided to permit a wider trading range between the yuan and the dollar. This is the first step toward ending the infernal yuan-dollar peg. While the impetus behind this abrupt change remains a mystery, I have a sneaking suspicion that, as my colleague Neeraj Chaudhary explained in his commentary last week, the nationwide labor strikes were a prime motivator.

The “Golden Rule”, Libertarianism, and Non-intervention

June 24th, 2010 12:25 am  |  by  |  Published in Commentary, Individual Responsibility, Libertarianism, Liberty, Philosophy  |  1

My father taught me the golden rule at a very young age. It seemed so simple and reasonable to my young mind: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Today it seems so very libertarian to me. Back then it just seemed like common sense. Perhaps my life-long moderate Democrat father didn’t intend to plant libertarian seedlings in his eldest son’s mind at a young age, but he did just that.

I expect he may whisper to himself considering how I ended up politically, “My god, what have I created?”

I took the golden rule and ran with it.

A few years after I learned of the golden rule, I received an inflatable boat for my birthday. We lived in a community with a beach on one of the inlets of the Chesapeake Bay. A friend and I grabbed my new boat, ran down to the beach, put it in the water, and hopped in. It was a very windy day.

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