Archive for March, 2011

Ron Paul’s Brain on Foreign Policy

March 31st, 2011 11:05 pm  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Politics, Ron Paul, War  |  1

Ron Paul appeared on Canadian TV’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin to answer some very thoughtful questions regarding American foreign policy. Yet another excellent testament to Paul’s consistency and integrity when it comes to non-interventionism. He also discusses one of his favorite topics, the Federal Reserve.

Ron Paul on Tavis Smiley and CSPAN Washington Journal

March 31st, 2011 10:15 pm  |  by  |  Published in Liberty, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

Ron Paul, once again, shows why he should have been the GOP nominee in 2008, and POTUS today in these two excellent interviews on PBS and CSPAN.

httpvp://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2F3AA4F4D0231F63

Why the Libyan War is a Strategic Disaster

March 31st, 2011 8:39 pm  |  by  |  Published in congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, Liberty, War  |  Comments Off

Quote of the Day: “Most American interventions come from two closely related childish fantasies: first, that one side in a tribal war is all good and the other all bad; and second, that the weaker tribe are the ‘underdogs’ and therefore the good guys. Just look at those two ideas and you’ll see that they’re a series of disasters waiting to happen.” – Gary Brecher

We’ve each sent a letter to Congress demanding that they stop Obama’s Libyan war.

If you agree with this position you can copy or borrow from our personal comments . . . Read More »

Rand Paul fights for Constitution on authorizing war

March 30th, 2011 5:33 pm  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, congress, Constitution, Foreign Policy, Politics, Rand Paul, War  |  2 Responses

Rand Paul took the Senate floor today and fought for the Congressional authority to decide on matters of declaring war. Check it out below.

The Inflation Knuckleball

March 29th, 2011 11:38 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, Money  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital (www.europac.net)

By its very definition, fiat money is something created out of thin air: the word ”fiat” is Latin for ”let it be done” (as in, by decree). But the convenience that such a currency system offers central bankers is paid at the expense of savers. With nothing of real or lasting value on which to anchor, the value of fiat currencies can always blow away like ashes on a windy day.

For the past 40 years or so, every country on the planet has relied on fiat money. To a very large extent, this means that the national economies are far more exposed to the whims of their central bankers than they have been in the past. So, if central bankers go off their meds, the danger to the currency becomes profound. Unfortunately, at America’s Federal Reserve, it seems the inmates are now running the asylum.

We are being led to believe that falling prices are evil, and that only an increase in inflation can save our economy. From the moment the financial crisis took hold in 2008, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has looked to lower the dollar’s value and cause asset prices to rise – especially in real estate. But his pitch is wildly off the mark. The Fed can’t control the exact rate of inflation, nor can it direct where inflation will be distributed across the economy. In other words, inflation is like a knuckleball: once you let it loose, you’re never really sure where it’s going to go. And Bernanke’s pitches are so wild it would make Tim Wakefield jealous.

Read More »

Good News: REAL ID Delayed Again

March 28th, 2011 10:52 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, Liberty, privacy, REAL ID  |  Comments Off

DownsizeDC.org was the first organization to protest the REAL ID Act, six years ago.

Thankfully, countless other groups took up the charge, and secured nullification in 24 state legislatures.

Because of all that pressure, the Dept. of Homeland Security is once again extending the deadline for states to implement REAL ID.

Let’s build on the momentum. Tell Congress to kill REAL ID.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .   Read More »

Repeal Obamacare’s Mandatory Spending

March 25th, 2011 11:33 pm  |  by  |  Published in congress, DownsizeDC.org, government spending, Health Care  |  Comments Off

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “By preventing people and companies from taking care of themselves, government feeds its own growth.” – Downsize DC co-founder Harry Browne (1933-2006)

Many of Obamacare’s opponents believe that if we can’t outright repeal it, perhaps it would be easier to defund its implementation.

But even that is harder than it sounds.

That’s because the Obamacare bill contained obscure provisions requiring $105 billion in MANDATORY spending over the next nine years.

This means Congress can’t merely defund this amount in a budget bill. It must specifically REPEAL these provisions.

If they aren’t repealed, the federal healthcare bureaucracy will continue to grow.

Read More »

Correcting Fantasies About Social Security

March 24th, 2011 10:04 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, Social Security  |  10 Responses

Quote of the Day: “. . . entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right” — The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in Flemming v. Nestor (1960).

The feedback we received about our Social Security campaign makes it obvious that many people have been seriously misled by political saviors. What follows is for those who prefer fact to fantasy . . .

The story of one person can tell the whole story of Social Security.

Ida Fuller, a law secretary from Vermont, was the first person to receive monthly Social Security checks.

* Her first check came on February 1, 1940.
* By the time she received this check she had paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System.
* Her first check was for $22.54.
* By the time Fuller received her second check she had already received more than she had contributed to Social Security.
* She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92.

It should be perfectly clear to anyone who can handle basic math, that Ms. Fuller’s benefits did NOT come from amounts she had contributed into a trust fund. Instead . . .

Ms. Fuller’s benefits came from the Social Security taxes paid by her children and grand-children over the remaining 35 years of her life. In other words, the taxes WE pay go to fund the benefits of previous generations, NOT our own benefits.

The way Social Security functioned for Ida Fuller is how it still operates today.

Read More »

The Insidious Effects of Japan’s Disaster

March 23rd, 2011 9:34 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, Money, national debt  |  Comments Off

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

While the world’s attention has been focused on the physical destruction wrought by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the desperate attempts to contain the fallout from the shattered Fukushima Daiichi plant, and the daunting problems that Japan faces in rebuilding its infrastructure, few have truly illustrated how long-lasting and widespread the radiation’s effects may be. There has also been little mention of how large radiological events affect economies of countries outside the immediate fallout zone. In truth, the disaster could make as much of an impact on investors in New York, London, or Sao Paolo as it makes on an investor in Tokyo.

The world’s most significant nuclear accident occurred 25 years ago at Chernobyl, Ukraine. Although its effects are now well-documented, many forget how thoroughly the damage was covered up at the time. To avoid panic, the Soviet authorities grossly downplayed the risks to those living near the plant, as well as those who lived hundreds, and even thousands, of miles away. In the months that followed, high levels of radiation were detected as far away as Scotland!

While we can hope that the present-day Japanese are more prone to candor than the Cold War-era Soviets, a series of botched and contradictory communications from Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the plant, and the Japanese government have given us reasons to worry.

Read More »

Marching to War Requires Two Feet

March 22nd, 2011 7:00 am  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Foreign Policy, War  |  3 Responses

America has become a nation marching to war in lockstep, left foot following right foot towards the all-too-certain future that has already befallen the body’s other half. Crushing electoral defeats serve as little deterrent in a political system where the pendulum swings comfortably on the same axis, the defeat coming at the hands of the opposite extreme which just as aggressively pursues the same noble goals via the same dead ends with the same overdrawn credit card.

What are the American people to care if their government’s missile strikes land in the bedroom of a young boy who was guilty only of being born in the wrong nation, to the wrong family, at the wrong time? That missile was far enough away from the American’s suburban home not to leave an impression in his more sophisticated brain – you know, the one with the attention span that lasts longer than 10 seconds only when celebrity gossip or local rumors or evening sitcoms are on the agenda. The same brain that can comprehend the suffering of an upper-middle income child who needs more government grant money to get that Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, so they can go to Washington, DC and feel self-important, lobbying a tiny cell of the organism that is the American war machine.

That machine is marching, left foot following right.

That young boy looks down in spirit alongside a newfound friend from a faraway land called Afghanistan. Thousands of miles away, a child’s family is no longer weeping. The older brother has given his life a new meaning, driven by the emotion that could only be delivered from a plane high above. He doesn’t know who the missile was intended for, but he knows where it came from, and he is determined to exact revenge within his lifetime, for his brother, for his family, for his God. He’s training with a group he had no interest in just a year ago, far away from his family, who quietly, tearfully told him they understand.

His parents see the men in uniform patrolling the streets where they grew up. They march by in lockstep, left foot following right.

They’ve seen the strange men before – different uniforms, hammer and sickle where stars and stripes now sit – and they wait for the day when their homeland will once again be theirs, and theirs alone. They rush home to meet curfew as the sun fades below the barren mountains to meet the other side of the globe, giving rise to a morning that will see political speeches on the glory that democracy has bestowed upon such an ungracious people who are unwilling to accept responsibility for it.

Americans greet the day with a fill-up and a subsequent lament about the outrageous price of oil over their five-dollar lattes. In the corner of the marble-floored coffee shop, a muted television shows a talking head offering his take on the political ramifications for the next election cycle. Trendy twenty-somethings are too busy discussing the imminent danger of global warming for sea otters to look up and notice. Fiscally conservative thirty-somethings on the opposite side of the street are voicing their contempt at another tax dollar wasted on health care.

The missiles are too far away to matter – if a Libyan dies in the chaos and no American is around to hear it, he apparently doesn’t make a sound. Left side of the street agrees with right.

War isn’t personal, especially those of the humanitarian variety. Profiteering government contractors, self-righteous politicians, and Americans on Main Street have one thing in common: they all want to keep it that way. They all march in lockstep, left foot now following right. Previous generations have dragged their feet and forced the gears of the war machine to come to a halt, if only long enough for the leg in power to flex and leap forward once more. Nothing close exists in the modern-day war machine. Our generation has needed no story about the humanitarian causes for their violence, for they’ve managed to pretend it simply doesn’t exist. Of apathy and outrage, apathy was the easier pill to swallow, poison though it may be. The government and the media won’t stop selling it, FDA regulations be damned.

One day, the realities of war will set in, and it will be far too late to take back the lives, the money, the apologetic excuses for why the politician on my side means well, unlike the politician on the other side who did the same thing. That day can’t come soon enough.