Archive for the ‘Opinion Article’ Category

The 545 People Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes

August 15, 2009

BY Charley Reese


(Date of publication unknown)– — –  P
oliticians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of the 235 million – are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

A CONFIDENCE CONSPIRACY

Don’t you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.

O’neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.

REPLACE SCOUNDRELS

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts – of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it’s because they want them in Lebanon.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses – provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

This article was first published by the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper

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A Four Step Healthcare Solution-by Hans-Hermann Hoppe-via Ludwig von Mises Institute-August 14, 2009

August 14, 2009

A Four-Step Healthcare Solution

Mises Daily by | Posted on 8/14/2009 12:00:00 AM

It’s true that the US health-care system is a mess, but this demonstrates not market but government failure. To cure the problem requires not different or more government regulations and bureaucracies, as self-serving politicians want us to believe, but the elimination of all existing government controls.

It’s time to get serious about health-care reform. Tax credits, vouchers, and privatization will go a long way toward decentralizing the system and removing unnecessary burdens from business. But four additional steps must also be taken:

  1. Eliminate all licensing requirements for medical schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical doctors and other health-care personnel. Their supply would almost instantly increase, prices would fall, and a greater variety of health-care services would appear on the market.Competing voluntary accreditation agencies would take the place of compulsory government licensing — if health-care providers believe that such accreditation would enhance their own reputation, and that their consumers care about reputation, and are willing to pay for it.Because consumers would no longer be duped into believing that there is such a thing as a “national standard” of health care, they would increase their search costs and make more discriminating health-care choices.
  2. Eliminate all government restrictions on the production and sale of pharmaceutical products and medical devices. This means no more Food and Drug Administration, which presently hinders innovation and increases costs.Costs and prices would fall, and a wider variety of better products would reach the market sooner. The market would force consumers to act in accordance with their own — rather than the government’s — risk assessment. And competing drug and device manufacturers and sellers, to safeguard against product liability suits as much as to attract customers, would provide increasingly better product descriptions and guarantees.
  3. Deregulate the health-insurance industry. Private enterprise can offer insurance against events over whose outcome the insured possesses no control. One cannot insure oneself against suicide or bankruptcy, for example, because it is in one’s own hands to bring these events about.Because a person’s health, or lack of it, lies increasingly within his own control, many, if not most health risks, are actually uninsurable. “Insurance” against risks whose likelihood an individual can systematically influence falls within that person’s own responsibility.All insurance, moreover, involves the pooling of individual risks. It implies that insurers pay more to some and less to others. But no one knows in advance, and with certainty, who the “winners” and “losers” will be. “Winners” and “losers” are distributed randomly, and the resulting income redistribution is unsystematic. If “winners” or “losers” could be systematically predicted, “losers” would not want to pool their risk with “winners,” but with other “losers,” because this would lower their insurance costs. I would not want to pool my personal accident risks with those of professional football players, for instance, but exclusively with those of people in circumstances similar to my own, at lower costs.

    Because of legal restrictions on the health insurers’ right of refusal — to exclude any individual risk as uninsurable — the present health-insurance system is only partly concerned with insurance. The industry cannot discriminate freely among different groups’ risks.

    As a result, health insurers cover a multitude of uninsurable risks, alongside, and pooled with, genuine insurance risks. They do not discriminate among various groups of people which pose significantly different insurance risks. The industry thus runs a system of income redistribution — benefiting irresponsible actors and high-risk groups at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups. Accordingly, the industry’s prices are high and ballooning.

    To deregulate the industry means to restore it to unrestricted freedom of contract: to allow a health insurer to offer any contract whatsoever, to include or exclude any risk, and to discriminate among any groups of individuals. Uninsurable risks would lose coverage, the variety of insurance policies for the remaining coverage would increase, and price differentials would reflect genuine insurance risks. On average, prices would drastically fall. And the reform would restore individual responsibility in health care.

  4. Eliminate all subsidies to the sick or unhealthy. Subsidies create more of whatever is being subsidized. Subsidies for the ill and diseased promote carelessness, indigence, and dependency. If we eliminate such subsidies, we would strengthen the will to live healthy lives and to work for a living. In the first instance, that means abolishing Medicare and Medicaid.
  5. Only these four steps, although drastic, will restore a fully free market in medical provision. Until they are adopted, the industry will have serious problems, and so will we, its consumers.

    Hans-Hermann Hoppe, an Austrian School economist and libertarian/anarchocapitalist philosopher, is professor emeritus of economics at UNLV, a distinguished fellow with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and founder and president of The Property and Freedom Society. Send him mail. See his article archives. Comment on the blog.

    This article originally appeared in The Free Market, April 1993.

    You can subscribe to future articles by Hans-Hermann Hoppe via this RSS feed.

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President Obama’s Health Care For Clunkers-Ron Hart-August 05, 2009

August 12, 2009

www.thedestinlog.com/opinion/president-10379-care-ron.html

citizens May Need Three Shots This Fall??? July 30, 2009

July 31, 2009

The World Hell Organization flexes its syringe-wielding-tentacles (locally) once again.

Authoritarians are so arrogant, they think the sheep will let the government inject them with a government-contrived substance that will make thousands sick, and possibly hundreds or thousands succumb to the side effects of the inoculations.

Some folks are really gullible. Oh, and by the way; the federal government will provide the vaccine and equipment. Well, that means we are paying for that too.

THANKS BUT NO THANKS!!!

I’ll be responsible for my own health.

Check out this link from the chattanoogan.com

www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_155820.asp

The Meaningless Constitution by Don Cooper July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009

Courtesy of

LewRockwell.com

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The Meaningless Constitution

by Don Cooper
by Don Cooper
Recently by Don Cooper: A Fistful of Dollar


Article 8, Section I, Clause I of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Taxing and Spending Clause:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

It’s this clause that our government most commonly abuses in defense of their special interest legislation and subsequent taxing and spending.Supreme court associate justice Joseph Story (1812–1845) argued that the “Welfare Clause” gave congress the power to tax and spend as an independent power of the legislature; that is, the General Welfare Clause gives Congress power it might not derive anywhere else.

[T]he [General Welfare] clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated, is not restricted in meaning by the grant of them, and Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. … It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution. … But the adoption of the broader construction leaves the power to spend subject to limitations. … [T]he powers of taxation and appropriation extend only to matters of national, as distinguished from local, welfare.”

Interpreting the constitution in this fashion makes no common sense. If this one clause in the constitution gives the legislature discretionary power to tax the people and spend it on whatever programs they deem to provide for the general welfare then the constitution serves no purpose since any administration can and will define anything they want – most likely special interest legislation – to be providing for the welfare of the people and who is going to stop them and that is precisely the purpose of the constitution: to keep the government in check. In other words, in a document meant to constrain the power of the federal government our founding fathers gave them unbridled power.

Given the nature of men, the long dubious history of government corruption, fraud and waste, I find it difficult to believe that anyone thinks our legislature should be or posses the faculties to be our moral compass. Or that they truly act in the interest of the general welfare of the people rather than themselves.

Furthermore, any taxing of the people and spending by the government – even defense spending – by nature necessarily decreases the welfare of those taxed.

Consider the congress decides that providing healthcare for Americans is providing for their general welfare.

But the government has to pay for this healthcare somehow so they either raise our taxes, borrow money from foreign countries or have the Federal Reserve print more money to pay for it. All equally effective forms of taxation.

Let’s assume the government taxes Peter an extra $500/year in order to pay for healthcare for Paul. But of course that $500 won’t be $500 by the time it goes through the government’s inefficient beauracy so they also have to tax Robert, David, Jim and many others just to provide healthcare for Paul. Now Paul is better off because he now has healthcare. But all the people that were taxed to pay for it are worse off. They didn’t want to give that $500 to the government. They wanted to use it for clothes or food or investment or any number of other things.

Even if they receive the national healthcare as well they are still worse off since they had no choice in the matter. What if they don’t want government healthcare? They still have to pay the taxes. What if they don’t get hurt or sick to the point that they need to use the national healthcare? They still have to pay for it. And since $1 always comes out in any government program less than $1 there are many more people who are worse off resulting in a net negative change to social welfare.

Governments are always wrong in their estimations of the cost of their programs. In the 60’s Medicaid part A was estimated to cost $9 billion by 1990. As of 1990 Medicaid Part A had cost $67 billion in real dollars. Social welfare was certainly decreased.

Every dollar the government takes out of someone’s pocket is a dollar that person no longer has to spend for himself. Even if he is a recipient of the program his welfare is still less since he was forced to participate in a program he had no say in and had to give up other things he wanted to do.

Even if someone wants the government healthcare their welfare will decrease due to the quality of the care. The governments’ inherent inefficiencies, corruption and waste will provide subpar healthcare. Everybody remembers the scandal at Walter Reid Army Hospital. That is government run healthcare. Just visit your local VA or Army hospital. Talk to people about Medicare and Medicaid and other social healthcare programs that already exist and see what they say. The quality will also continue to go down as the costs go up since there are no market signals to correct the inefficiencies. The inefficiencies will be dealt with by spending more money to correct the problem decreasing social welfare even further.

Economically, financially, logistically and socially it is impossible for the federal government to provide for the general welfare regardless of what they do. That’s why if a clause in the constitution is not clear and concise then it should be discounted and not interpreted to be anything more than what it is. Clauses like general welfare clauses are an example as compared to clauses such as:

“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

If the purpose of the document is to limit the power of the federal government then the constitution should be interpreted without making any assumptions regarding meaning.

For example, if the federal government wants to create a new department to regulate water then there had better be a clause in the constitution explicitly giving the government the legal authority to regulate water. If there isn’t then they do not have the authority and only via an amendment to the constitution can they gain it. Amendments are difficult to make and that is precisely what the authors of the constitution wanted: to make it difficult for the government to increase its power. Again, the amendment process is meaningless if the clause “general welfare” means anything they want. No need to amend the constitution we’ll just say it’s providing for the general welfare.

Any clause that could be interpreted to mean many things therefore means nothing.

July 30, 2009

Don Cooper [send him mail] is a Florida native, Navy veteran and economist living and working in the Midwest.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Don Cooper Archives

Why Rep. Wamp and Mayor Haslam can NOT be Governor of TN! [or who I’m (NOT) supporting for TN Governor] by Matt Collins July 13, 2009

July 14, 2009

The following is contributed by Matt Collins. His credentials follow the article below.

Definitely a must read for folks who strive for accountability in government!

You’re kidding me. Our elected officials are supposed to actually keep their oath to uphold the Constitution? The supreme law of the land?

Yup, that’s it. It’s so simple; but these folks are hard to find due to “Special Interest Influence” and arm-twisting from the “Dark Side”.

—————————————————–

<<I HAVE POSTED THE FOLLOWING AT: http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=21733 FEEL FREE TO COPY AND REDISTRIBUTE – citizens of TN should know about their candidates>>

DISCLAIMER:
Nothing I communicate is to be considered an official statement representative of any organization I belong to or am an officer of, including the Campaign for Liberty, Republican Liberty Caucus, WTN, Liberty on the Rocks, America’s Future Foundation, The Tennessee Liberty Alliance, Rand Paul for Senate, or the Davidson County (Nashville) Republican Party. My opinions are my own.


Why Rep. Wamp and Mayor Haslam can NOT be

Governor of TN!
[or who I’m (NOT) supporting for TN Governor]

The Davidson County (Nashville) Republican Party held our annual summer picnic Saturday (7/11); all of the Republican gubernatorial candidates were present. After speaking with each candidate individually I am still unsure who I am going to support, however there are definitely two of the candidates who have not only disqualified themselves, but should never hold and elected office again!

I‘ll start with Bill Haslam the Mayor of Knoxville.

In case you are unaware Mayor Haslam joined NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun coalition in an effort to curb crime in Knoxville. However Mayor Haslam then says that upon joining the coalition the leadership took a different direction and he withdrew from the organization. Fair enough and at the DCRP picnic Saturday 2nd Vice Chair Dan Davis and myself asked him about this issue. I wanted to hear the straight scoop directly from him in order to give him a chance to explain his actions before I decided.

Mayor Haslam discussed the story as I explained and he said his intention in the entire situation was simply to “stop the wrong people from having guns”.

I asked him “what kind of people are you referring to that you say shouldn’t have guns?”
And he responded with “felons, criminals, and those without a permit”.

Then I asked “so you believe we need a permit or permission to exercise a right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment?
Mayor Haslam said “well, for handguns yes

That told me everything I needed to know; I thanked him for his time then I ended the conversation and Dan and I walked away.

What Mayor Haslam does not understand is that ONE DOES NOT NEED A PERMIT TO EXERCISE A RIGHT!!!
We have a right to bear arms that both the US and TN Constitutions guarantee shall not be infringed. Do we need a permit for free speech? Do we need a permit to print a newspaper? Do we need a permit to have a trial by jury? Do we need a permit to birth children? NO, of course not. Why? Because these activities are fundamental individual RIGHTS which cannot be taken away without due process (obviously those convicted of violent crimes should be denied their right to posses firearms). We do not need permission from the government to exercise our rights. If we have to ask permission, then it isn’t a right, it’s a privilege! Rights and privileges are opposites.

The idea that our right to self-defense, our right to bear arms, and that our right to buy/sell/own personal property is first contingent upon a governmental grant of approval is insulting to the very ideals of freedom on which the American Republic was founded. I suggest Mayor Haslam read the US and TN Constitutions because ignorance of both that magnitude and of that authoritarian mindset is dangerous to individual rights and to a free society. He is obviously unfit to govern if he cannot understand the simple and basic difference between rights and privileges.

(Upon edit apparently I am not the only one who takes issue with Mayor Haslam in this regard)

Continuing on to the other gubernatorial candidate, Zach Wamp, the US Congressman from Tennessee’s 3rd District.

Representative Wamp voted for the October ’09 bailout. Representative Wamp calls himself a conservative but one has to ask what is conservative about spending billions of nonexistent dollars, increasing the size/scope of the federal government, and voting against the US Constitution? As an aside it is worth noting that the bailout Representative Wamp voted for also included an audit of carbon emissions which laid the foundation for the coming cap-and-trade / carbon tax; next time you see him be sure to thank him for that.

All US Congressmen upon being seated are administered an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”. Nowhere in Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution (the part that lists Congressional power) is the federal government given the authority to bail out banks, businesses, or mortgages. By voting for and supporting the bailout Congressman Wamp clearly violated his oath to support and defend the US Constitution. On those grounds alone he should be removed from office immediately, and personally I would like to see him, along with most of the rest of the members of Congress, either in jail or forced to perform restitution to those of us who are footing the bill for his unconstitutional action.

When one is entrusted with and given the awesome power to make laws governing the life and property of others, the abuse (or negligence) of that power is not only criminal, but amoral; Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary labels an individual “who betrays another’s trust or who is false to an obligation or duty” as a traitor. Does that denotative description fit Representative Wamp’s blatant violation of his oath?

Several DCRP officers and myself approached him near the conclusion of the Picnic because we wanted to discuss HR1207 (Audit the Federal Reserve Act). Representative Wamp extended his hand to me to shake it and I absolutely refused; I am not interested in being friendly towards those who violate the Constitution. To be fair he said that he was very supportive of HR1207 and that “we ought to do more than just audit the Fed….it’s the cause of a lot of our problems”. While I agree with the Congressman on that specific issue I honestly wanted to vocalize that the other cause of our problems were big-government Republicans acting like big-government Democrats such as himself. However in the spirit of, at minimum, being cordial, I held my tongue. But prior to walking away I did thank him for and told him I appreciated his support on HR1207. I still did not shake his hand.

Regardless of his support for a call of transparency in Auditing the Fed, the fact of the matter is that he broke the trust of the People of the United States by clearly violating his oath to uphold the US Constitution. One or multiple positive actions do not negate the fundamental premise of breaking the highest law in the land, usurping more power to the federal government, and going against one’s sworn oath. Even though Representative Wamp has called his vote for the bailout “a mistake” how can the voters continue to trust him after such a grossly grievous err in judgment especially considering the significance of the consequences resulting from his action?
At this point we have a candidate who has violated his oath, and another who is of the authoritarian mindset that the People need permission from the government before exercising their individual and guaranteed rights. I have 3 more candidates in the TN gubernatorial race to investigate before I decide who to support, hopefully at least 1 of the 3 will not disappoint me because the thought of voting for “none of the above” in the upcoming primary is extremely depressing– I refuse to vote for anyone who is going to increase government, or decrease liberty.

In conclusion it is prudent to ask if we attain smaller, more limited-government, more liberty, more personal freedoms, and less taxes by continuing to vote for elected officials that have broken our trust and ignore the Constitution? Should we reward politicians who take our money, our property, and our freedoms by elevating them to higher office? Should we continue to vote for more of the same? Upon a review of history, I think not. If the Republican Party, and ultimately the country, is going to restrain its government, we must vote for those who adhere to principles, not compromise them.

Matt Collins
principle before politics
Vice Chair Davidson County Republican Party
Vice Chair Republican Liberty Caucus of TN
Coordinator Davidson County Campaign for Liberty
Talk Radio Producer 99.7 WTN Nashville
Member America’s Future Foundation
Member Liberty on the Rocks

DISCLAIMER:
Nothing I communicate is to be considered an official statement representative of any organization I belong to or am an officer of, including the Campaign for Liberty, Republican Liberty Caucus, WTN, Liberty on the Rocks, America’s Future Foundation, The Tennessee Liberty Alliance, Rand Paul for Senate, or the Davidson County (Nashville) Republican Party. My opinions are my own.

Ron Paul Strikes Gold by Chadwick Matlin July 02, 2009

July 5, 2009
Ron Paul Strikes Gold

By Chadwick Matlin
Posted Thursday, July 2, 2009 – 4:38pm
Bu

Excerpt: “Paul wants to audit the Fed primarily because he wants to destroy it; the audit bill is just the latest chapter in Paul’s lifelong crusade against it. His vendetta is fueled by the belief that the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional, a central bank within a country that doesn’t allow central banks. That the Fed can manipulate the currency and “create legal tender out of thin air” is heresy. And so Paul attempts to dismantle it the only way he can: through legislation.

Thus we come to the audit. For Paul it’s a foot in the door to a much larger goal. To the 244 co-sponsors—74 of them Democrats—it’s a way to show their constituents that they’re worried, too, about where taxpayer dollars are going. It’s an amusing dissonance between the leader of the rebellion and his revolutionaries. The two parties are after entirely separate goals, one (transparency) vastly more achievable than the other (the end of the Federal Reserve).

This again makes Paul’s coalition all the more remarkable. The distrust of the Fed has reached a point at which a majority of House members are following a radical into battle. Congress’ frustration was evident last month when Bernanke got roasted in front of Congress, putting his future as Fed chairman and the health of Obama’s regulatory plan in doubt.”

Read full article here: www.infowars.com/ron-paul-strikes-gold/

Self-Defense-June 19, 2009

June 19, 2009

Dear Council Members,

I hope you are all having a restful and relaxing summer.  Even though I
have had conflicts which have caused me to miss the last couple of
Council meetings, I continue to follow developments in our community
through the media and I am as committed as ever to keeping our Town a
great place to live.

Let me begin by thanking you for holding the line on the Town budget and
avoiding a tax increase.  In a year when the economy is in deep
recession and properties are being reappraised by the county (leading to
a de facto tax increase for some citizens) it is more important than
ever for local government to live within its means.  You are to be
commended for tightening the Town’s belt rather than imposing a tax
increase on residents who would have a very difficult time coming up
with the money.

I would also like to thank you for asking the Planning Commission to
review the SROZ zoning put in place by your predecessors several years
ago.  There are good reasons why those council members were recalled.
One is the existence of the SROZ itself, but the second and more
important reason was the arrogant dismissal of the views of their
constituents on the part of those elected officials.  I trust you will
not fall into the same trap.

With that in mind, I would like to share with you my opinion on the bill
recently enacted by our General Assembly in Nashville regarding the
legalization of handgun carry by permit holders in state and local
parks.  Specifically, I strongly urge you not to exercise the “opt out”
provision that (in my opinion) was unwisely included by legislators.

As one of hundreds of thousands of Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit
holders (and one of hundreds in our community), I have demonstrated my
responsibility as a gun owner by taking and passing a state-approved
safety course including classroom instruction on the law as well as a
marksmanship test on the firing range.  I have also submitted to a
criminal background check and have been found to be responsible enough
to be trusted to carry a weapon for defensive purposes in public.  If I
am responsible enough to be approved to carry a weapon in Wal-Mart,
Pruett’s, or (now) O’Charley’s or Friday’s, I feel I am equally as
responsible to carry a weapon in any of our municipal parks.

While I think Signal Mountain’s parks are among the safest anywhere, and
I never feel threatened in our community, I feel the principle of
self-defense rights for law-abiding citizens is important to uphold
everywhere.  The shootings by a crazed gunman at Virginia Tech prove
that no place, however laid-back or pastoral, is immune to violence.  It
is an obvious fact that criminals and lunatics, paying no attention to
the law, will be armed wherever they go.  The only way that sane,
law-abiding citizens can even the odds is to reserve the right to arm
themselves as a deterrent and counterbalance to those who mean us harm.
Even though I rarely, if ever, feel the need to go armed in Signal
Mountain, I often pass through our local community – parks included – on
the way to other, less safe locations.  Disarming me – or other
law-abiding citizens – is not the way to increase overall liberty or safety.

As Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence and
our third President once said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms
… disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit
crimes.  Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better
for the assassins; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides,
for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed
man.”  Jefferson was joined in his sentiments by our first President,
George Washington, who said “Firearms stand next in importance to the
Constitution itself.  They are the people’s liberty teeth (and) keystone
… the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable … more than 99%
of them [guns] by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane
hands.  The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil
interference [crime].  When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour.”

I know that Hamilton County, the city of Chattanooga, and Red Bank have
unfortunately moved to ban the legal possession of firearms in their
parks.  I know it will be politically tempting to follow their lead.
However, their actions are neither wise nor in keeping with the wisdom
of our Founders.  My copy of the Constitution does not say “right to
keep and bear arms, except for local parks.”  Criminals will be armed in
public parks regardless of the law.  I strongly urge you to resist the
knee-jerk impulse to ban legal weapons carry in local parks and uphold
the letter and the spirit of the Second Amendment in our community.

If you have any questions or would like to engage in a more thorough
discussion of this issue prior to acting (or preferably not acting) on
the issue, please feel free to contact me by return e-mail or by
telephone at 423-645-5599.  If there is any other service I can perform
for our community, please know that I am always happy to serve or
participate in any way I can.

Please accept my best wishes and my sincere thanks for your service to
our community.

Best regards,

Joe Dumas

Fascialism: The New American System by Thomas DiLorenzo-via LewRockwell.com-June 12, 2009

June 12, 2009

“If classical liberalism spells individualism, fascism spells government.”
~ Benito Mussolini,
Fascism: Doctrines and Institutions, p. 10

The two worst scourges of humanity in the twentieth century were socialism and fascism. Together, they wrecked much of the world economy because of their shared “fatal conceit” (F.A. Hayek’s term) that government central planners were superior to private property and free markets. Fascist and socialist governments (not that there’s much difference between them) murdered over 100 million of their own citizens, as the sociologist R.J. Rummel has documented (See his book, Death by Government), and instigated wars that caused the deaths of millions more.

Incredibly, the two-party duopoly that has long ruled America has adopted both fascism and socialism as the defining characteristics of our economic system. Call it Fascialism. It is a recipe for national economic suicide.

Economic Fascism

Economic fascism as practiced by Italy and Germany in the 1920s and ’30s allowed private property and private enterprise to exist, but only if it was strictly controlled and regimented by the state so that it would serve “the public interest” and not private interests. The philosophy of German fascism was expressed in the slogan Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz, which means “the common good comes before the private good.” “The Aryan,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “willingly subordinates his own ego to the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it.” This sounds a lot like John McCain’s campaign theme of “Country First” (before self-interest), doesn’t it?

Of course, it is the government that decides what constitutes “the common good.” Is there any doubt that government will now define what constitutes “the common good” in the banking and automobile industries – and in health care once it is fully nationalized?

The philosophy behind Italian fascism was virtually identical. “The fascist conception of life,” Mussolini wrote in Fascism: Doctrines and Institutions, “stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State.”

It is remarkable how contemporary economic policy pronouncements are so often identical to those made by early twentieth-century European fascists. Mussolini complained in 1935, for example, that government intervention in the Italian economy was “too diverse, varied contrasting. There has been . . . intervention, case by case, as the need arises.” His advisor, Fausto Pitigliani, explained that under fascism government regulation would achieve a certain “unity of aim” instead.

This is exactly how the powers that be in Washington, D.C. have diagnosed the current financial crisis: There’s been too little financial market regulation, they tell us, and it has been too, well, diverse and contrasting. Thus, they have recommended a Super Regulatory Authority that will supposedly regulate, regiment, and control all “systemic risk taking” in the entire economy. The only debate is whether an entirely new agency should be created to achieve this “unity of aim,” or if the Fed – which caused the current economic crisis in the first place – should be given the responsibility.

Government-business “partnerships” were a hallmark of both Italian and German fascism. As Ayn Rand once noted, however, in such “partnerships” government is always the “senior partner. ” Government-business “collaboration” was supposedly needed in fascist Italy, explained Fausto Pitigliani in his 1934 book, The Italian Corporatist State, because “the principle of private initiative could only be useful in the service of the national interest.” It is this “service of the national interest” that is the intended work of the newly appointed “Car Czar” in the Obama administration (along with twenty or so other “czars” so far). It is inevitable that the end product will be the world’s worst cars, endless subsidies and bailouts, and mind-boggling debt piled onto the backs of the taxpayers. All to pay off a campaign debt to the United Autoworkers Union, which bears most of the responsibility for the destruction of General Motors and Chrysler in the first place.

The hallmark of the Obama administration’s economic policy thus far is a forced “partnerships” with dozens of large banks along with General Motors and Chrysler. It is threatening hundreds of other “partnerships” in the name of environmental regulation. And that’s just in the first five months. Mussolini would be envious.

Italian fascism created one gigantic bailout economy. Italian social critic Gaetano Salvemini wrote in his 1936 book, Under the Axe of Fascism, that “It is the state, i.e., the taxpayer, who has become responsible to private enterprise. In Fascist Italy the state pays for the blunders of private enterprise.” “Profit remained to private initiative,” Salvemini wrote, but “the government added the losses to the taxpayers’ burden. Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social.” Sound familiar?

Mussolini himself boasted in 1934 that “three quarters of the Italian economic system had been subsidized by government,” Salvemini wrote. The Obama administration (with a jump start by the Bush administration) is on a path to exceed this level of plunder.

Socialism

In the preface to the 1976 edition of his famous book, The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek wrote (p. xxiii) that when the book was first published in 1944, socialism meant “unambiguously the nationalization of the means of production and the central economic planning which made this necessary.” But by the 1970s “socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state.” Thus, ever since the 1930s the Democratic Party in America has been the party of socialism, with the Republican Party either providing little or no effective opposition or, as with the administration of President George W. Bush, serving as accomplices. The Bush administration vastly expanded the welfare state, while Obama intends to expand it much faster, especially if he succeeds in implementing health care socialism and imposing even more punitive levels of income taxation on the most productive citizens.

Obama promises the worst of all economic worlds: A vast expansion of the welfare state form of socialism, as defined by Hayek, along with a heavy dose of old-fashioned, early twentieth-century, Stalinist socialism with the nationalization of banks, automobile companies, the health care industries, and whatever else he can get away with. The Mussolini-like cult of personality that has developed around him will facilitate this disastrous path to national economic suicide.

June 12, 2009

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe and How Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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American Capitalism Gone with a Whimper

June 6, 2009

American Capitalism Gone with a Whimper

by Stanislav Mishin
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May 18, 2009

(Reprinted by permission of the author)

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breathtaking speed, against the backdrop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blinds the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega-preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo-Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Weimar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breathtaking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beaten our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motors) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self-given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western-sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked-down-upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.