There are many gigantic horses’ hindquarters milling about in Washington DC trying to figure out ways to save us from ourselves. I have to say though that Joe Lieberman is the biggest of them all.
Earlier, I wrote of his bill to give the president the power to shutdown the Internet in the event of a “cyber-attack”. Here he attempts to assuage the public by crying, but “it’s for national security!”:
And yes… the climax of his argument is that having the power to shutdown the Internet has worked so well for China that it should be done in the United States.
Joe, if you like China so much, just go there and leave us freedom-lovers the hell alone.
A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or shut down portions of the Internet.
I wish this surprised me. I wish I didn’t just nod and say, “of course”, when I read this.
It appears that “national security” ranks right up there with the Constitution’s Commerce Clause as the top two excuses given by the U.S. government to bend you over and forcibly extract freedom from your nether-region.
Apparently, our elected masters aren’t happy with just killing humans in no-win wars. Now they want to be able to “kill” the Internet, whatever that means.
The idea of an Internet “kill switch” that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to “declare a cybersecurity emergency,” and another from senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to “order the disconnection” of certain networks or Web sites.
How can anyone support something like this? Apparently it’s something to “laud” and “commend”.
On Thursday, both senators lauded Lieberman’s bill, which is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA. Rockefeller said “I commend” the drafters of the PCNAA. Collins went further, signing up as a co-sponsor and saying at a press conference that “we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber resources.”
I’d much rather our lawmakers laud, commend, and follow the Constitution. You know, that document that they swore an oath to defend, but apparently is now so dangerous that it must come with a warning label.
I hope for a timely mass awakening before the alarm clock sounds signifying the end of freedom. Remember, there is no snooze button on this alarm clock.
When lawmakers think it is perfectly fine to propose liberty-sucking bills such as this isn’t it time to realize that they firmly believe this is their world and we just live in it?
Make no mistake. It is not us and them.
It is us or them.
The strategy is threefold: nullify, repeal, and vote them out.
A fellow citizen contacted me this morning concerning your recent vote to approve the spending of $503 million in HR 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009, last week with a 422-5 vote. This individual was distraught that Congress intends in the future to restrict the freedom of the internet, and after further review I believe her concerns are not unwarranted.
This $503 million-dollar bill enlarges and expands the funding of the existing Cyber Security Research and Development program in a time where overspending is a key concern. Section 105 tags $395 million for ‘Computer and Network Security Research Grants’ for the building of new buildings and research grants dedicated to subsidizing education and post-doctoral research. Another $108 million is tagged in Section 107 for the ‘Federal Cyber Scholarship for Service’ program which doles out free tuition in exchange for requiring recipients to work for the federal government.
HR 4061 copies section 11 and 12 of the highly controversial S 773 bill sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. This draconian bill, in section 18, gives broad executive power to the President to “declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network.” I see HR 4061 as part of a slow, stepwise progression to the possible licensing, regulation, seizure, and censuring of the internet.
Rand Paul was kind enough to participate in an email interview with us earlier this week. Tomorrow he celebrates his father’s birthday with a money bomb of his own. Organized by grass roots supporters and dubbed the “Run Rand Run” money bomb, it aims to raise $1 million for his Senate campaign.
Yesterday a new scientific poll was released showing that Rand Paul trails the establishment GOP candidate by only 11 percentage points. Rand showed up with 26% to Trey Grayson’s 37%. This is a very strong showing for an anti-establishment candidate challenging a career politician. There are still 9 months to go before the May 2010 GOP primary in Kentucky. This poll proves the viability of Paul. Grayson now has to prepare himself for a dogfight. A lot can happen in 9 months.
Here is our short interview with Rand Paul from earlier this week.
LM: Starting off with a bit of a personal question, what was it like growing up in the Ron Paul household? Was he as strict with his children as he is with following the Constitution?
Rand Paul: All the kids were into sports. My older brother was a nationally ranked swimmer and my younger brother played baseball in college. I swam for a non-scholarship program at Baylor. My earliest memories are of discussing politics with my father’s friends. I always gravitated to the adult conversation.
I adore the all-American game of poker. I’ve been playing it regularly for over a decade, and as a strong, free-market libertarian, I believe the government should have no role in it. (Certainly there’s no mention of poker in the Constitution).
But given the overreaching federal government we currently have, there have been numerous attempts to limit and/or ban the playing of the game, whether it be live or over the Internet. Often, such bills are passed by slipping them into “must-pass” bills, like when the UIGEA was snuck into the otherwise unrelated SAFE Port Act at the last minute.
In response, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) was created. And several high-profile players, for whom I have great respect, such as Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, and Victor Ramdin got involved by campaigning and testifying in Congress on the subject. When the PPA was first created, I was happy to join, and I paid to become a registered member.
The main argument that the PPA should be making, from my point of view, is twofold:
Poker is primarily a game of skill, not a game of chance. Therefore, many of the “gambling” laws (which have language specifically referring to “games of chance”) do not apply.
The Federal Government has no Constitutional authority over games adults play, period. And prohibiting businesses of any kind on moral (or any other) grounds is blatantly unconstitutional and immoral.
However, with respect to the second point, the PPA is decidedly not taking a libertarian stance. Indeed, their main strategy seems to be to cozy up to government and appeal to its instinct for control to convince it to regulate poker instead of banning it, because, heck, a lot of money can be made by doing so.
Indeed, in talking with proponents of the PPA’s approach, the general consensus is that the choice is between prohibition and regulation. But I don’t see either as a positive choice long-term. What about freedom?
When I heard William “BJ” Lawson speak for the first time in person I said to myself, “This is the Ron Paul Republican who can win”. Then I checked out his opponent David Price and immediately thought, “I know Lawson can win.” At first glance, the problem is the heavily Democratic North Carolina district he is in, but if you dig a bit deeper, Lawson is the perfect candidate for a district of this kind. He is not your normal present day Republican. Lawson has the ability to attract those on all sides of the political spectrum much like Ron Paul did during his own campaign.
Below you will discover the Liberty Maven rankings for BJ Lawson on the Paul-O-Meter, where candidates and current lawmakers can be rated on how closely they are in line with Dr. Ron Paul on the issues. To learn about the Paul-O-Meter methodology please see this article. You may also assign your own rankings or request a candidate be added to the system.
Continue reading to see if BJ Lawson truly deserves the moniker “Ron Paul Jr.”
It is now time to rate the vice presidential candidates on the Paul-O-Meter. We start with John McCain’s VP pick Sarah Palin. The perfect strategic pick for McCain, Palin has little history. She’s been Governor of Alaska for less than two years, but now that McCain’s handlers are pulling Palin’s puppet strings it is difficult to see a difference between the two.
Here we examine Palin on 20 issues to see how she stacks up to Ron Paul. Hopefully this will help some see the lips through the lipstick.
It is now Ralph Nader’s turn to be viewed through the Ron Paul colored glasses of the Paul-O-Meter. The Paul-O-Meter rates the candidates on how closely they resemble Ron Paul on the issues. For a complete description and methodology of the Paul-O-Meter please see this article. Thus far we have rated Barack Obama, John McCain, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin.
UPDATE: Chuck Baldwin’s Communications Director posted a comment clarifying his position on a few of the issues. This has modified Baldwin’s overall score. Read the comments for more details.
It is now Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin’s turn to be spun through the Paul-O-Meter. So far we have rated Barack Obama, John McCain, and Bob Barr. Will Chuck Baldwin beat Bob Barr’s current high score of 88? Read on to find out.