Wednesday, December 29, 2004

It Can't Happen Here by Ron Paul

Congressman Ron Paul writes:

"Undoubtedly many Americans and members of Congress don’t believe America is becoming a police state, which is reasonable enough. They associate the phrase with highly visible symbols of authoritarianism like military patrols, martial law, and summary executions. But we ought to be concerned that we have laid the foundation for tyranny by making the public more docile, more accustomed to government bullying, and more accepting of arbitrary authority – all in the name of security. Our love for liberty above all has been so diminished that we tolerate intrusions into our privacy that would have been abhorred just a few years ago...

"American history, at least in part, is a history of people who don’t like being told what to do. Yet we are increasingly empowering the federal government and its agents to run our lives...

"Many citizens believe that once the war on terror is over, restrictions on their liberties will be reversed. But this war is undeclared and open-ended, with no precise enemy and no expressly stated final goal. Terrorism will never be eradicated completely; does this mean future presidents will assert extraordinary war powers indefinitely?

"Washington DC provides a vivid illustration of what our future might look like. Visitors to Capitol Hill encounter police barricades, metal detectors, paramilitary officers carrying fully automatic rifles, police dogs, ID checks, and vehicle stops. The people are totally disarmed; only the police and criminals have guns. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, monitoring street activity, subway travel, parks, and federal buildings. There's not much evidence of an open society in Washington, DC, yet most folks do not complain – anything goes if it's for government-provided safety and security.

"After all, proponents argue, the government is doing all this to catch the bad guys. If you don’t have anything to hide, they ask, what are you so afraid of? The answer is that I’m afraid of losing the last vestiges of privacy that a free society should hold dear. I’m afraid of creating a society where the burden is on citizens to prove their innocence, rather than on government to prove wrongdoing. Most of all, I’m afraid of living in a society where a subservient populace surrenders its liberties to an all-powerful government...

"It may be true that average Americans do not feel intimidated by the encroachment of the police state. Americans remain tolerant of what they see as mere nuisances because they have been deluded into believing total government supervision is necessary and helpful, and because they still enjoy a high level of material comfort. That tolerance may wane, however, as our standard of living falls due to spiraling debt, endless deficit spending at home and abroad, a declining fiat dollar, inflation, higher interest rates, and failing entitlement programs. At that point attitudes toward omnipotent government may change, but the trend toward authoritarianism will be difficult to reverse.

"Those who believe a police state can't happen here are poor students of history. Every government, democratic or not, is capable of tyranny. We must understand this if we hope to remain a free people."

It Can't Happen Here by Ron Paul

Homeschoolers Need Grandparents (And Grandparents Need Grandchildren) by Linda Schrock Taylor

Homeschoolers Need Grandparents (And Grandparents Need Grandchildren) by Linda Schrock Taylor

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Why We Must Stay in Iraq (or Not) by Harry Browne

Harry Browne writes:

"Withdrawing from Iraq would not be 'the greatest surrender in history.' The greatest surrender already has occurred – when we surrendered to the federal government the power to sacrifice our lives and eat away our sustenance – when we allowed one man to put this nation in such jeopardy...

You mean [holding Iraqi elections] will justify the deaths of upwards of 100,000 Iraqis and Americans – probably none of whom considers an election in Iraq to be a worthwhile reward for losing his life? And since you consider it will all be worth it, are you now on your way to Iraq to offer your life? Or is it worth only other people’s lives?"

Why We Must Stay in Iraq (or Not) by Harry Browne

It's Time To Support the Troops by Sheila Samples

Sheila Samples writes:

"Now we can all get back to supporting 'the troops' by keeping them out of public view and safely back where they belong – like Bush says – in our thoughts 'n prayers. Criticizing the boss for sending them unarmed and unprepared into a never-ending, no-way-out bloody fiasco only demoralizes the troops...

"I have a considerable stash of words, but none sufficiently harsh to describe the contempt I feel for these Democrat and Republican legislators who silently lowered their heads – who turned their backs – and allowed Bush and Rumsfeld to send their young constituents to their deaths, untrained and improperly equipped...

"Congress had to know Saddam Hussein posed no threat whatever to America; that he had no connection to 9-11, and that Iraq was broken by 12 years of sanctions, by the disease and death resulting from our relentless bombing of Iraqi infrastructure and the withholding of medicines and food...

"It is even more grisly when you consider they knew their silence would not only disrupt, but destroy thousands of families at home and abroad, and that even those troops lucky enough to return would never be the same again...

"Americans are not natural predators. Is it supporting the troops to maliciously turn them into monsters so they will be 'up' for the eyeball-to-eyeball killing they must do for 'God and Country?'...

"USA Today founder Al Neuharth... [suggested] last week that, although Support Our Troops is a wonderful patriotic slogan, '...the best way to support troops thrust by unwise commanders in chief into ill-advised adventures like Vietnam and Iraq is to bring them home. Sooner rather than later,' Neuharth wrote in a Dec. 22 editorial. 'That should be our New Year's resolution.'

"I don't know about you, but I'm with Rosa and Al. It's time to stop the killing – time to stop the grievin' 'n mournin'. It's time to truly support American troops."

It's Time To Support the Troops by Sheila Samples

Support Out Troops: Bring Them Home

USA TODAY Founder, Al Neuharth, writes:

"Despite unhappy holidays, nearly all of us who served in WWII were proud, determined and properly armed and equipped to help defeat would-be world conquerors Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Hirohito in Japan.

"At age 80, I'd gladly volunteer for such highly moral duty again. But if I were eligible for service in Iraq, I would do all I could to avoid it. I would have done the same during the Vietnam War, as many of the politically connected did.

" 'Support Our Troops' is a wonderful patriotic slogan. But the best way to support troops thrust by unwise commanders in chief into ill-advised adventures like Vietnam and Iraq is to bring them home. Sooner rather than later. That should be our New Year's resolution." - They can only dream of holidays at home

Hands Off the Electoral College by Ron Paul

Congressman Ron Paul reminds us that "our country is not a democracy."

"Our nation was founded as a constitutionally limited republic, as any grammar school child knew just a few decades ago. Remember the Pledge of Allegiance: 'and to the Republic for which it stands'? The Founding Fathers were concerned with liberty, not democracy. In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution...

"Yet we have become obsessed with democracy, as though any government action would be permissible if a majority of voters simply approved of it... But the founders created a constitutionally limited republic precisely to protect fundamental liberties from the whims of the masses, to guard against the excesses of democracy. The Electoral College likewise was created in the Constitution to guard against majority tyranny in federal elections. The President was to be elected by the states rather than the citizenry as a whole, with votes apportioned to states according to their representation in Congress. The will of the people was to be tempered by the wisdom of the Electoral College...

"By contrast, election of the President by pure popular vote totals would damage statehood. Populated areas on both coasts would have increasing influence on national elections, to the detriment of less populated southern and western states... A popular vote system simply would intensify the populist pandering which already dominates national campaigns.

"Not surprisingly, calls to abolish the Electoral College system are heard most loudly among left elites concentrated largely on the two coasts. Liberals favor a very strong centralized federal government, and have contempt for the concept of states' rights (a contempt now shared, unfortunately, by the Republican Party). They believe in federalizing virtually every area of law, leaving states powerless to challenge directives sent down from Washington. The Electoral College system threatens liberals because it allows states to elect the president, and in many states the majority of voters still believe in limited government and the Constitution. Citizens in southern and western states in particular tend to value individual liberty, property rights, gun rights, and religious freedom, values which are abhorrent to the collectivist elites. The collectivists care about centralized power, not democracy. Their efforts to discredit the Electoral College system are an attempt to limit the voting power of pro-liberty states."

Hands Off the Electoral College by Ron Paul

Cell Phone Ban Has Totalitarian Implications by James Ostrowski

Attorney James Ostrowski makes a compelling case that the New York state law against making a cell phone call while driving "is a law that forbids innocuous behavior that millions of people in this country engage in every day without incident, but leads to enforcement efforts that in and of themselves cause accidents!"

Cell Phone Ban Has Totalitarian Implications by James Ostrowski

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Roasted Chestnuts in July by Gary North

Gary North writes:

"One of the most popular of all Christmas songs was written by one of America’s great pop singers, Mel Tormé. It begins, 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. . . . 'It’s called 'The Christmas Song.' It was written in 1945 and was turned into a seasonal classic in 1946 by Nat 'King' Cole – in my book, the greatest of America’s pop singers.

"Christmas is merry. But what you do with it in July may make all the difference."

Fascinating story of the history of this popular song.

Roasted Chestnuts in July by Gary North

The Christmas Truce by Laurence M. Vance

Laurence M. Vance writes:

"The Christmas of 1914 was the first Christmas of the 'war to end all wars.' The war would drag on through three more...

"Brief and localized pre-holiday truces were springing up, usually initiated by the Germans...

"No one knows for certain where and how the truce officially began. What is known is that men from both sides up and down the front agreed on informal truces for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...

"Where they couldn’t talk the language they were making themselves understood by signs, and everyone seemed to be getting on nicely. Here we were laughing and chatting to men whom only a few hours before we were trying to kill!

"That last sentence alone shows the utter folly of war. It also shows that left to themselves, men would not naturally engage in such a senseless war like World War I. It takes the state to get men to hate and kill other men that have never aggressed against them and that they don’t even know.

"After a silent night and a day, the war continued – the commanders saw to it...

"The situation described by Lew Rockwell just after Christmas two years ago has not changed: 'The US remains the only government in human history to have dropped nuclear weapons on people, it has far more weapons than anyone else, and remains the only country that reserves to itself the right of first strike.'

"Instead of invading the world, the United States should declare a truce with the world. No more threats. No more bombs. No more troops or bases on foreign soil. No more spies. No more trade sanctions. No more embargoes. No more foreign aid bribes. No more foreign entanglements. No more simultaneously playing the world’s bully and policeman. In a word: non-interventionism; that is, the principles of our Founding Fathers. What is wrong with 'peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations'? What is wrong with avoiding 'entangling alliances'? What is wrong with 'having as little political connection as possible' with foreign nations? What is wrong with not going abroad 'seeking monsters to destroy'? Can anyone honestly say that Bush’s principles are better than Jefferson’s principles?

"Over 1,300 U.S. soldiers won’t be celebrating Christmas this year – or any year. They died in vain for an unconstitutional, immoral, senseless war while in the service of a reckless, imperial presidency. They will forever have a silent night."

The Christmas Truce by Laurence M. Vance

Monday, December 13, 2004

Lyn Nofziger on political party affiliation

Lyn Nofziger writes in his mini-autobiography:

"I am a Republican because I believe that freedom is more important than government-provided security. Sometimes I wish I were a Democrat because Democrats seem to have more fun. At other times I wish I were a Libertarian because Republicans are too much like Democrats.

"What I actually am is a right-wing independent who is registered Republican because there isn't any place else to go. In the future I expect to be critical of both parties and their leadership and a lot of other people and things, too.

"Hope to see you around. 10/19/04"

Welcome to Lyn

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Conservative by Charley Reese

Charlie Reese explains what is a true conservative:

"A conservative believes that not only should the Supreme Court strictly construe the Constitution, but so should the president, the House, the Senate, governors, mayors and everybody else. A conservative does not approve of wars, except in defense of the land and the people, and only upon a declaration of war by both houses of Congress. A war to liberate somebody else from a nasty government is unconstitutional, illegal and immoral...

"A conservative is against foreign aid. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress authorized to tax the American people and then hand their money to a foreign government as either a gift or a loan. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to provide welfare, health care, housing or education. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention abortion or gay marriage. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to subsidize either individuals or corporations...

"Philosophical and moral issues are to be decided by the legislatures of the states, not by federal courts or even by Congress, whose duties and powers are strictly limited by the Constitution. Whether homosexuals should be allowed to marry or form civil unions and whether abortion should be legal or illegal are both questions to be decided by the state legislatures. No state or federal judge should have a say in the matter, and Congress likewise has no authority to intervene one way or the other...

"A conservative Christian believes that his own soul is not imperiled if other people down the street decide to do some sinning. A conservative Christian recognizes that he is commanded to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and comfort the sick and dying. He is not commanded to shift this responsibility to government. He is not commanded to judge other people's lives and to regulate their behavior. A conservative Christian recognizes that something does not have to be illegal in order for him to refrain from doing it.

"A conservative believes in the real, traditional values of this country: courage, hard work, self-reliance, frugality, chastity before marriage, faithfulness after marriage, loyalty to family and loyalty to the Constitution. Loyalty to a political party or to a politician is profoundly un-American...

"Now, it should be noted that the republic handed to us by our Founding Fathers died with the Confederate States of America. That's what that war was about. Since then, we have had a centralized national government ever increasing its powers, and an imperialistic foreign policy. People in Washington pay lip service, if that, to the Constitution, and people outside of Washington don't seem to care.

"As for traditional values, they are little observed. America is a decadent country, especially its cultural elite. One would have to be deaf, blind and living in a monastery not to recognize this. A true conservative has no place in either major party. They are both committed to a centralized government at home and imperialism abroad. One's only choice on Election Day is to try to pick the more competent of two candidates...

Conservative by Charley Reese

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Congressman Ron Paul Denounces National ID Card

“National ID cards are not proper in a free society,” Paul stated. “This is America, not Soviet Russia. The federal government should never be allowed to demand papers from American citizens, and it certainly has no constitutional authority to do so.”

“Nationalizing standards for drivers licenses and birth certificates, and linking them together via a national database, creates a national ID system pure and simple. Proponents of the national ID understand that the public remains wary of the scheme, so they attempt to claim they’re merely creating new standards for existing state IDs. Nonsense! This legislation imposes federal standards in a federal bill, and it creates a federalized ID regardless of whether the ID itself is still stamped with the name of your state.”

“Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us safer are terribly mistaken,” Paul concluded... “Every conservative who believes in constitutional restraints on government should reject the authoritarian national ID card and the nonsensical intelligence bill itself.”

Paul Denounces National ID Card

Saturday, December 04, 2004

TSA- Bullies at the Airport

Congressman Ron Paul points out the out-of-control airport security gestapo tactics.

"A new TSA policy begun in September calls for invasive and humiliating searches of random passengers; in some instances crude pat-downs have taken place in full public view. Some female travelers quite understandably have burst into tears upon being groped, and one can only imagine the lawsuits if TSA were a private company. But TSA is not private, TSA is a federal agency-- and therefore totally unaccountable to the American people...

"In the rush to hire a new workforce, 28,000 screeners were put to work without background checks. Some of them were convicted felons. Many were very young, uneducated, with little job experience. At Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York, police arrested dozens of TSA employees who were simply stealing valuables from the luggage they were assigned to inspect. Of course TSA has banned locks on checked luggage, leaving passengers with checked bags totally at the mercy of screeners working behind closed doors...

"... we must understand the reality of TSA: its employees have no special training, wisdom, intelligence, or experience whatsoever that qualifies them to have any authority over you. They certainly have no better idea than you do how to prevent terrorism. TSA is about new bureaucratic turf and lucrative union makework, not terrorism...

"TSA has created an atmosphere of fear and meek subservience in our airports that smacks of Soviet bureaucratic bullying. TSA policies are subject to change at any moment, they differ from airport to airport, and they need not be in writing... Think you have a right to know the laws and regulations you are expected to obey? Too bad. Get in line and stay quiet, or we'll make life very hard for you. This is the attitude of TSA personnel...

"Passengers, of course, have caught on quickly. They have learned to stay quiet and not ask any questions, no matter how ludicrous or undignified the command. It's bad enough to see ordinary Americans bossed around in their stocking feet by newly-minted TSA agents, but it's downright disgraceful to see older Americans and children treated so imperiously. But any objection, however rational and reasonable, risks immediate scrutiny. At best, complainers will be taken aside and might miss their flight. If they don't submit quickly and attempt to assert any rights, they will end up detained, put on a TSA list that guarantees them hostile treatment at every airport, and possibly arrested or fined for their 'attitude'...

"Airlines should be using every last ounce of their lobbying and public relations power to stop TSA from harassing, delaying, humiliating, and otherwise mistreating their paying passengers. They should be protecting their employees, passengers, and aircraft using private security and guns in the cockpit. After all, who has more incentive to create safe skies than the airlines themselves? Many security-intensive industries, including nuclear power plants, oil refineries, and armored money transports, employ private security forces with excellent results. Yet the airlines prefer to relinquish all responsibility for security to the government, so they cannot be held accountable if another disaster occurs. But airlines are finding out the hard way that millions of Americans simply won't put up with TSA's abuse... Who can blame anyone for avoiding airports altogether?

"While millions of Americans undoubtedly welcome any TSA indignity under the guise of 'preventing terrorism', millions more are not willing to give blind obedience to arbitrary authority. TSA creates only a false sense of security, at great cost not only financially but also in terms of our dignity. How we as Americans react to authoritarian agencies like TSA is an indicator of how much we still value freedom over our persons and effects."

TSA- Bullies at the Airport