the holistic radical

September 29, 2008

Stop this Bailout! Kick out Palin! Stop Raping Homeowners!

A trifecta of non-conservative reporting in today’s NY Daily News. Man, when your own party is saying your veep candidate should step down, you know you have a problem in making choices.

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Calls rise among Republicans for Sarah

Palin to step down from GOP ticket

BY THOMAS M. DeFRANK and DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Sunday, September 28th 2008, 9:53 AM

Sarah Palin faces the biggest test of her month-old candidacy with this Thursday’s vice presidential debate, but many Republicans are already convinced the Alaska governor is not ready for prime time – and may never be.

“It was fun while it lasted,” conservative National Review columnist Kathleen Parker regretfully concluded last week. “But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick.”

Those “circumstances,” Parker and others are now saying, include not just the Wall Street meltdown – a crisis that seems to cry out for seasoned leadership – but also Palin’s choppy, tenuous, even unintelligible answers to the few questions she has fielded on her own.

Palin’s interview last week with CBS’ Katie Couric is Exhibit A – a frightening glimpse, say fans and critics alike, into what happens when Palin is allowed to speak without a script.

“It’s very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia,” she told Couric in explaining why being able to see Russia from Alaska should count as foreign policy experience on her résumé. “It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right next to, they are right next to our state.”

On the Wall Street meltdown and polls showing Republican nominee John McCain slipping, she added, “What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it.”

It made some GOP veterans yearn for Dan Quayle.

“You needed the Jaws of Life to pry a coherent sentence out,” moaned one Republican operative.

Palin’s uneven answers may help to explain why her handlers have let her grant only a handful of media interviews so far.

It may also explain why her poll numbers have started to slip, as in a Fox News poll last week that showed her favorable ratings dipping to 47% from 54%.

Republican guru Ed Rollins believes Team McCain did Palin a disservice by keeping her so walled off from the press.

Palin was thrust straight into the big leagues with ABC’s Charlie Gibson and Couric (and a softball toss with conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity).

“They put her in storage,” said Rollins, “and it broke her confidence.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/09/27/2008-09-27_calls_rise_among_republicans_for_sarah_p.html?print=1&page=all

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Right-wingers are scapegoating hardworking American families

Saturday, September 27th 2008, 8:06 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/09/28/alg_gygi-drawing.jpgDarren Gygi

Conservative activists are busy concocting an utterly revisionist history of how America got into the current economic crisis.

Predictably, the talking points issued by right-wing bloggers, talk-show hosts and columnists lay blame on their favorite targets: Democrats, liberals, big government, neighborhood organizations – and above all, those irresponsible poor people who kept foolishly trying to snag a bit of the American Dream by becoming homeowners.

The starting point of the attacks  is the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, a splendid and important piece of legislation requiring federally insured banks and thrifts to negotiate with local communities about providing financial services fairly throughout their entire service area.

Back when I worked as an activist in central Brooklyn, it was CRA that required bankers to bargain with churches, block associations and other groups about keeping branches open, depositing bank funds in community credit unions, donating bank furniture to neighborhood groups and so on.

I spent so much time arranging reinvestment deals that the state Banking Department – under Republican Gov. George Pataki – offered me a job monitoring bank compliance with the law. (I declined.)

The law was – and remains – an important corrective to decades of red-lining, in which banks would take in millions in savings and bank deposits in low-income areas but refuse to lend any of it to even the most creditworthy families and businesses in those neighborhoods.

It isn’t a mandate with hard-and-fast penalties and loads of onerous regulations. Banks are only required to try to serve all parts of their business area – and the penalty for noncompliance is maybe getting denied permission to merge or expand operations in the future, an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Nor has the law ever been exclusively about extending mortgage loans: Banks can also open branches in underserved areas, offer low-cost checking accounts, sponsor financial seminars and make donations to community organizations.

In other words, CRA represents America at her best: a good-faith attempt to get big, self-interested institutions to expand opportunities to hardworking people who would otherwise be left on the outside looking in.

But you’d never know that from listening to the right-wing echo chamber, which would rather add insult to economically injured families. Typical of the tone is an error-filled video diatribe prominently posted on the Drudge Report Web site.

“Deregulation did not cause this. A bad government regulation caused this that made Main Street banks become predatory lenders to fulfill a government mandate to offer souped-up, shell game ‘affordable mortgages,'” the video says. “Bad social engineering caused this.”

Repeating a lie won’t make it true. For starters, CRA only applies to federally insured depository banks – not the investment banks, loan syndicators, mortgage brokers and other Wall Street players that fueled the subprime crisis. According to congressional testimony this year by Michael Barr, a law professor at the University of Michigan, 80% of subprime loans were made by those market players.

And nationwide, the number of agreements created between banks and community groups from 1977 to 1991 was only $8.8billion, a pittance compared with the hundreds of billions in shaky subprime loans now featured in the headlines.

Did some low-income Americans agree to risky loans that they knew full well they couldn’t pay? You bet. Did others try to game the system? Sure. But those were the exceptions, not the rule.

The Community Reinvestment Act was an opportunity-expanding watershed – in exactly the right way. It stands in a line with the 1932 Home Loan Bank Act, created at the height of the Great Depression, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act that outlaws racial discrimination in housing.

And guess what? Anti-government conservatives opposed each one of those landmark reforms, too.

This isn’t about policy. What we’re really seeing is a cramped, callous view of society in which the poor and the striving middle class are entitled to nothing in the way of help from the rest of us – not capital, not laws, not political activism, not even sympathy.

All those things are reserved for the Wall Street types, whose well-being and year-end bonuses, we are told, are now the nation’s highest priority.

There is plenty of blame to go around in this economic swamp. But the fiction being peddled by ideologues only helps the real crooks slip away.

elouis@nydailynews.com

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/09/27/2008-09-27_rightwingers_are_scapegoating_hardworkin.html?print=1&page=all

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A whole lotta nothing: McCain, Obama offer not even two cents worth of wisdom on bailout

Saturday, September 27th 2008, 3:59 PM

John McCain delivered platitudes about forcing accountability ...Richards/Getty

John McCain delivered platitudes about forcing accountability …

... and Barack Obama spoke in generalities about protecting taxpayers. But neither offered any clear analysis or insight on the bailout.Dunand/Getty

… and Barack Obama spoke in generalities about protecting taxpayers. But neither offered any clear analysis or insight on the bailout.

For those who like boxing metaphors to score debates, here’s the most frightening one to come out of Friday night’s fight: Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain laid a glove on the financial meltdown.

That both men are trying, Muhammad Ali style, to dance like a butterfly around the crisis reveals neither has come to grips with the severity and its implications for the next President. After they delivered their platitudes about protecting taxpayers (Obama) and forcing accountability (McCain), their wells ran dry of ideas.

With the daily headlines filled with warnings of another Great Depression, we really do have something to fear: that our next President isn’t up to the job.

Obama and McCain railed vaguely against outdated regulations, but the same might be said of their campaigns. The world one of them will inherit has changed since they started running nearly two years ago, only they don’t seem to get it. Maybe the next bank failure will wake them up.

Then again, maybe not. The collapse of Washington Mutual happened hours before their first debate, yet it rated nary a word. It was the largest bank failure in American history. Ho-hum.

The disconnect is startling. Neither candidate would commit to voting for or against the proposed $700 billion bailout that could be finalized today. Nor could they talk about it with any plain-English detail. Do they even understand it?

McCain, who correctly said Wednesday the bailout discussions were more important than the debate, changed his mind Friday and never explained why. Perhaps the complexity of the issue and the lack of a risk-free political path convinced him the debate was actually safer turf than taking a stance on the largest government intervention ever.

Polls show that only about one-third of Americans support the bailout, yet the men vying to be responsible for it ducked the chance to explain to a huge TV audience why it is good or bad and what might happen next. They stuck to the tired refrain that the plan is more about saving Main Street than Wall Street, a Madison Avenue slogan as bloodless as it is outdated.

Moderator Jim Lehrer‘s prodding to detail how the crisis would reshape their economic plans was fruitless. Asked what they would cut in response to the new realities, the candidates fell back on promises crafted in the relatively flush times of last year.

They have their talking points and they’re sticking to them, facts be damned.

In biographical terms, Obama and McCain are unconventional candidates. But with a few exceptions – Internet fund-raising and made-for-YouTube ads – they are running utterly conventional campaigns.

They promise to be different, but I’m increasingly getting the creepy feeling that more of the same is what we’re in for, no matter who wins. The national landscape has changed in the blink of an eye, but the candidates are on autopilot.

We’re also getting a good lesson about why no senator since JFK has been elected President. The stereotype about Washington being the problem has more than a kernel of truth. Insiders navigate arcane procedures, busily scoring inside-baseball points while giving lip service to the global forces scaring the bejesus out of 300 million Americans.

It’s telling that Obama and McCain both deferred to congressional leaders of their parties during the summit with President Bush on Thursday. Instead of seizing the chance to set the agenda, they handed the baton to the people who either created or ignored the crisis while it was happening.

Come to think of it, that description also fits the two men who want to be President.

mgoodwin@nydailynews.com

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/09/27/2008-09-27_a_whole_lotta_nothing_mccain_obama_offer.html?print=1&page=all

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September 1, 2008

The Politically Incorrect thing to say

Filed under: elections, national policy, politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — sesame seed @ 2:23 pm

In this “politically correct” age, we’re supposed to look beyond things, superficial things, like race and gender, and judge people by their merit. People even thinking of voting for McCain because Palin is part of the picture aren’t just politically incorrect, they’re showing a complete failure of imagination. Folks, Alaska is not the nation, and she isn’t experienced. (She also has poor taste in jewelry—come on, you want a VP who wears hoops? Not to be blunt, but is it Pennsylvania Avenue or South Philly? I know our culture is getting completely crass & trashed—before the fall of Rome, absurd decadence to the lowet-common-denominator—but there’s one thing to have a puppet government and other for them to cut their “populist” facade and be in appearance as elitist as they are in actuality.) Ovaries or testes, both parties show the same kind of betrayal—selling this country out to multinational corporations and big bankers while taking the carpet out from under the middle class and instituting fascist police-state surveillance and military mechanisms in order to get away with their injustice. These big bankers love neve-ending wars that drain infrastructure and resources so we are perpetual slaves to their money, their policies, their visions of the future. Those are the facts of the matter.

April 9, 2008

What is the Significance of the National Debt?

It’s a good indicator of how we ruined a once solid economy.

http://www.naturalnews.com/022931.html

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

As we wind our way towards an election between the professional liars that have been put forward as candidates for U.S. President, it seems to be a great time to remind us all about the issue being routinely ignored by virtually everyone (except Ron Paul, of course, who was never really embraced by the “please lie to me” mainstream public). To what issue am I referring? The national debt, of course.

As you can see in this bumper sticker, the way to annoy a liberal is to “get a job,” as the pop culture bumper sticker says. To annoy a conservative, all you have to do is “defend the Constitution.” But how do you annoy everybody? That’s simple: Explain the national debt.

Americans don’t want to hear about the national debt. It’s like a family living paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on their credit cards, trying to pretend the collection notices are all being lost in the mail. They don’t want to admit they have no ability to actually pay off the debt they’ve incurred by pursuing a flamboyoant lifestyle, blowing wads of cash on high-priced wines, luxury vehicles, and an occassional line of coke — they desperately want to imagine they can keep living on money that appears from nowhere, regardless of how much they owe to everybody else and the fact that their incomes don’t even come close to matching their expenditures.

Too bad every household in America doesn’t have its own Federal Reserve, huh? If it did, we could all just print money to pay off our debt, save our skins, and ignore the fundamentals of economics. But even in Washington today (and New York), the Federal Reserve is too busy bailing out greedy, criminally-operated banks to turn much attention to the much larger issue of the United States’ national debt. Apparently, saving the banks is more important than anything else, and the Fed is now committed to destroying the U.S. dollar through runaway hyperinflation in order to prevent a few rich bankers from facing the consequences of their outrageous sub-prime lending sprees.

America runs its finances like a crack addict

But let’s get back to the national debt for a moment. The United States government is broke. The only reason it’s been able to operate for this long is because other nations and foreign central banks have been foolish enough to keep lending the U.S. government more money. It’s like giving cash to a crack addict and hoping he will somehow seek out a drug rehab center on his own.

This is the person who never gets a job, never makes an honest living, but yet somehow manages to hit up everybody else for cash. You know how it works: “I need to buy a car to get a job,” they say. And then when you pony up the cash for their car, they get drunk and wreck the car, and they never try very hard to get a job in the first place. They keep spending and spending, tossing money down the drain on blows of crack, meth, heroin or booze. They promise to go into rehab someday, if you’ll only help them through “the next month” with a little more cash. This is the life of a drug addict. (Do you know one? Everybody does, it seems…)

America is that drug addict. It borrows cash from the central banks around the world, blowing it all on Medicare prescription benefits signed into law by Bush (money for drugs, see?). It spends trillions on military campaigns that accomplish nothing positive, yet enrage the global community and recruit lifelong enemies of this nation. Notice how the price of oil has more than tripled since the war with Iraq started? It’s so bad now that truck drivers are going on strike over the price of diesel.

America spends money not merely like a drunken sailor, but like a crack-addicted sailor with a wheelbarrel piled high with one-hundred dollar bills, locked in a room full of Gov. Spitzer’s favorite hookers and a suitcase spilling over with blow.

Don’t dare explain the national debt to anyone

But try to explain the simple workings of finance, debt and economics to the uninformed, and you’ll be accused of being a doomsayer, a pessimist, or — the worst insult in today’s fear-based society — unpatriotic! How dare you point out the economic truths that will soon bring this country’s federal government to its knees! Such blatant truths shall not be tolerated… especially not in a country whose entire financial system is based on a cascade of fictional financial instruments propped up by nothing more than wishful thinking and Enron-style accounting fraud.

Let me translate all this for you in serious terms: The United States is already broke. The Federal Reserve is destroying the currency. The U.S. dollar will soon be virtually worthless. There is no saving the dollar, and there’s no saving the savings of any U.S. citizen foolish enough to be holding dollars when the music stops. The Federal Reserve has already decided to do anything in its power to save the rich bankers; even if it means destroying the value of all the dollars held by hard-working Americans. The day will come, folks, when your savings accounts will all be “recalibrated” and you’ll be given ten cents on the dollar while the Fed slinks away with 90% of your savings, using it to bail out overpaid bank owners.

And the federal government? Under a long string of presidential crooks — Democratic and Republican alike — it has decided to pursue a dangerous experiment called, “What happens if we never pay our debtors while running up more debt?” That experiment, not surprisingly, will end in the financial demise of this nation. (But there’s good news: A new, better system may emerge from the dust of the greenback… keep reading…)

You can’t defy the laws of gravity… nor economics

These aren’t careless predictions, by the way. These are simple observations the follow the fundamentals. Why are the nations of the world fleeing the U.S. Treasury debt auctions? Why are dollars increasingly worthless everywhere except in the United States itself? The answer is because the Fed is hyperinflating the currency to save the banks, even while the government is snorting yet more crack and spending unprecedented levels of increasingly-worthless dollars on drugs and war (or, as they call it, “medication and defense”).

Hence the bumper sticker: Annoy everyone. Explain the national debt. People don’t want to hear this. They’d rather imagine none of these problems exist; that debt doesn’t matter; that unlimited dollars can be created out of nothing with zero impact on peoples’ savings; that the U.S. government is wise enough to avert financial disaster. These are the hopes of the deluded. These are precisely the ramblings of Enron’s accountants before the crash, or dot-com stock pushers before that crash. They’re the slobbering blatherings of all the people who said housing prices will never fall, and therefore everyone will get rich off the never-ending housing price booms!

Being right does not make you popular

I’ve spend many years pointing out the idiocies of the deluded. I publicly predicted the dot-com crash and began warning people to get out of the market in 1998 – 2001. (This is a matter of public record, not some wishful hindsight.) I also publicly predicted the collapse of the housing market right here on this website, beginning nearly two years ago. And now, those predictions that once seemed “radical” are the Wall Street Journal’s front page news. What am I predicting now? Like I said, it’s not a prediction, it’s just an observation.

It’s like observing gravity. If you toss something into the air, you can be confident it’s going to come falling back to the ground. You don’t have to “predict” gravity; it’s a law of the universe. It works by itself, like clockwork, regardless of what you want it do to (I’m ignoring near-light speed travel, relativity, quantum physics, and all that fun stuff for the purposes of this metaphor, by the way, for those readers who are physicists). Likewise, when you see a nation throw its dollars into the air, spending its way to oblivion, ignoring its debt and ramping up its spending to even higher levels, it doesn’t take much of a prediction to know that it’s all going to fall back to the ground in a grand economic collapse.

So I’m not even calling the coming collapse of the U.S. government a “prediction.” It’s just common sense. It’s as obvious as gravity. If you don’t believe me, do the math. There is no mathematical solution to the current financial crisis facing not merely the banks and the currency, but the federal government itself. The only unknown factor is WHEN things will happen. Can the Fed help the economy limp along in a state of near-collapse for another year? Perhaps. Five years? Maybe. Ten years? I doubt it.

Now for the good news: The good news is that the U.S. federal government will eventually go bankrupt. Yes, that’s the good news! Because after the financial chaos passes (which will not be fun, believe me), we have a chance to create a new society, a new currency and a new, honest system of government that actually represents the People for a change. The current cabal of corruption and criminal behavior that sits in Washington and pretends to protect the interests of the voters is about to find itself on the receiving end of an angry mob. The 200+ year experiment called The United States of America is in its final chapter. But out of its failure, we can learn important lessons. We can learn things that will help us create a better future society. Lessons like:

• Never let a private company (the Federal Reserve) control the money supply.

• Never let “representative” legislators vote in your place. Insist on a DIRECT Democracy in the next society. (We don’t need Senators and Congresspeople, folks. The whole concept is long since outdated, and most Senators and Congresspeople are crooks.)

• Never let a government abandon the gold standard for its currency. If you do, that government will inevitably hyperinflate the currency and leave the people broke.

• Never let corporations run the government. If you do, your government will become a branch of the corporations, and the regulators (like the FDA, USDA, etc.) will become agents of corporate-sponsored terrorism that abandon all ethics and destroy the health and safety of the People.

• Never allow the centralization of power in one branch of government. For example, do not allow the creation of Executive Orders we’ve seen signed by the President.

• Never allow one man (the President) to commit acts of war. Didn’t we learn this after Vietnam?

• Never allow people from industry to take jobs in the government where they become biased, pro-corporate pushers of everything from pharmaceuticals to beef.

• Never allow politicians to censor scientists.

• Never allow the population to be dumbed-down through sub-standard public schools that only raise a generation of obedient workers, not skeptical thinkers.

• Never allow the media to control the population through advertiser-supported propaganda and violent programming.

• Never allow politicians to destroy citizens’ rights. When they attempt to do so, march on your capitol (in a non-violent way, of course). Arrest the politicians. Prosecute them for crimes against the People.

• Never allow corporate lobbyists to have access to lawmakers. If you do, you’ll end up with a corrupt government that only protects corporations, not the People.

• Never allow your government to operate in secret, with secret prisons, secret wiretapping laws and secret war “evidence” that is never made public. Secrecy breeds corruption. Honest societies do not need to conduct their judicial processes in secret.

• Never allow corporations to play God with the food supply by genetically modifying the crops.

• Never allow corporations to be granted intellectual property ownership over seeds, genes, animals and medicines. If you do, you will one day wake up impoverished, “homeless on the continent your fathers conquered,” to quote Jefferson.

• Never allow banks to operate on a fractional reserve system of loans and money creation that’s just begging for a series of cascading failures.

… I could go on, but you get the point. We have learned some very tough lessons over the last 200+ years, and once this present government collapses, it is crucial that we apply those lessons in creating a new system that abandons tyranny and embraces genuine freedom. We will have this opportunity soon. Many Americans will lose their life savings on the journey towards this new opportunity, but if we maintain our collective vision of a brighter future society, I believe we can create something much better out of the ashes of this failed experiment called the United States of America.

Please note: In no way do I support violence of any kind in creating a new society in the aftermath of this current one. I only support collaboration, openness, freedom and great respect for all living creatures as well as our sacred planet Earth. I believe the passing of this failed government is a blessing, not a curse, and I believe the collapse of the U.S. dollar will ultimately help awaken many to the tough but rewarding decisions that will face us all in the very near future. We must consciously decide to take back our freedoms, our rights and our futures from a system of corporate and government control that has destroyed our planet, exploited our people, and stolen our savings. But if can make the rights decisions based on creating a more promising future for our children, then the rewards will be unimaginable.

We the People hold the power to create a new society based on the freedoms and promises once held sacred in this land. Be ready to play your role, a constructive role, in the aftermath of this current society. And do not be surprised when gravity kicks in and this entire fictional government charade comes crashing down along with the fractional reserve banking system, the criminal Federal Reserve, the war-mongering politicians and the endless, endless debt. There is no way out now other than collapse and rebirth.

I can’t say when it will come, or exactly how it will play out. I only urge us all to remain positive, informed and constructive. The coming chaos will be painful in the short term, but out of the ashes of a failed society, we can work together to rebuilt a new one based on real freedom, honest money, sensible medicine and limited government.

March 12, 2008

NAU: The Truth is Hitting Critical Mass–Vote for a Candidate who will OPPOSE IT!

Ron Paul–the only candidate taking a stand on the looming North American Union (NAU). Learn more.

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NaturalNews.com printable article

Originally published February 25 2008

The North American Union – You Could Be Voting Your Rights Away

by Barbara L. Minton (see all articles by this author)

(NaturalNews) One issue that is conspicuously absent from the rhetoric of the presidential candidates is the North American Union (NAU). The questions of immigration and border security are frequently raised and the candidates claim to realize the need for a clear immigration policy and effort to secure the borders of the United States. Yet when you begin to understand the purposes of the North American Union and the agenda of its proponents, you will understand why this will never happen. And you may also begin to see that you are being manipulated by the major candidates.

The NAU, a goal of the Council on Foreign Relations, follows a plan laid out by Robert Pastor. It is currently promoted by the Bush administration to expand the size and scope of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Its goal is to effectively create a North American trading block by erasing the borders between the U.S., Mexico and Canada resulting in free, unimpeded movement of people and goods across those borders. It is also a political union that would integrate the governments of the three countries. And clearly it is an economic union with the intention of equalizing the wages and standard of living of all but the ruling elitists.

Sounds a lot like the European Union, doesn’t it? There are even plans for a common currency called the amero. But there is one glaring difference. The people of the United States have never been asked if they want to become integrated with Mexico and Canada, two countries of enormously different laws, culture, economic systems, standards of living, and acceptance of the role of government.

The European Union followed years of open debate at all levels, intense coverage of the ramifications and implications in major media, and a vote of the people.

History and Origins of NAU

President Bush signed the Declaration of Quebec City in April, 2001, making a “commitment to hemispheric integration”. After Hugo Chavez of Venezuela voiced opposition, these plans were scaled back to include only North America.

The Independent Task Force on North America, a project organized by the Council on Foreign Relations and co-chaired by Robert Pastor, was launched in October, 2004. This group published two documents: Trinational Call for a North American Economic and Security Community by 2010 (March, 2005), and its final report Building a North American Community (May, 2005). This Task Force had as its central recommendation the establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community. The boundaries of this community would be defined by a common external tariff and outer security perimeter. Also called for is the replacing of all three branches of the US government with a North American version effectively ending U.S. representative government.

In March 2005, at their summit meeting in Waco, Texas; Bush, President Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Martin of Canada issued a joint statement announcing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The creation of this agreement was never submitted to Congress for discussion or decision. The U.S. Department of Commerce merely created a new division implementing working groups to advance a North American Union agenda. This agenda included movement of goods, finances, e-commerce, environment, business facilitation, food and agriculture, and health. The result is an action agreement to be implemented immediately and directly by regulations, without any envisioned Congressional debate or oversight.

In September 2006, Rep. Virgil Goode (Va), Rep. Ron Paul (Tx), Rep. Walter Jones (NC), and Rep. Tom Tancredo (Co) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 487, expressing concerns about the NAU. Resolution was passed by the House of Representatives with the Senate concurring that the U.S. should not enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; the U.S. should not engage in the construction of the NAFTA Superhighway System, and the President should indicate strong opposition to these or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the U.S.

In October 2006, Congressman Paul formally denounced the formation of the SPP and the plans for the North American Union and the SPP as “an unholy alliance of foreign consortiums and officials from several governments”. Paul says that the real issue raised by the SPP is nation sovereignty. “Once again, decisions that affect millions of Americans are not being made by those Americans themselves, or even by their elected representatives in Congress. Instead, a handful of elites use their government connections to bypass national legislatures and ignore our Constitution – which expressly grants Congress the sole authority to regulate international trade.” In this speech Paul predicts that the NAU will become a sleeper issue for the 2008 election, stating that “any movement toward a NAU diminishes the ability of average Americans to influence the laws under which they must live.”

A report authored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIC) was presented to all three governments in September 2007. CSIC is a political influence group of internationalists who have crafted many of the government policies of the past several years. At the core of the report is its plan for America’s future, North American “economic integration” and “labor mobility”. The plan for government integration is also revealed as the report states: “to remain competitive in the global economy, policymakers must devise forward-looking, collaborative policies that integrate governments”. Also called for is the adoption of “unified North American regulatory standards”.

Features of NAU:

The Trans-Texas Corridor and the NAFTA Superhighway

The NAFTA Superhighway and its entry point at the trans-Texas corridor were first proposed in 2002. It consists of a 1,200 foot wide highway that also carries utilities such as electricity, petroleum and water as well as railway tracks and fiber-optic cables. When completed, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the U.S. through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union. With Mexican drivers and without the involvement of the teamsters union, the Mexican trucks will drive straight into the heart of the US, crossing the border in fast lanes, and checked only by a new electronic system. The first customs stop will be the new Smart Port complex in Kansas City. From there the trucks may disperse into the U.S. or continue northward into Canada, again crossing the border with only an electronic checkpoint.

Millions of acres of land for the completion of this highway will be taken under the new laws of eminent domain.

A government pilot program has allowed Mexican trucking companies to make deliveries anywhere in the U.S. since April 2007, even before the completion of the superhighway. There is no limit on the number of trucks the 100 companies in the pilot program can operate. Eventually all Mexican trucking companies are to be granted the same access. These Mexican drivers are paid substantially less that their U.S. counterparts, their operations are not regulated, and they are driving on U.S. taxpayer subsidized roads.

The Amero

This is the name of what may be the North American Union’s counterpart to the euro. It was first proposed by Canadian economist Herbert G. Grubel in his book The Case for the Amero published in 1999, the same year the euro became currency. Robert Pastor supported Grubel’s idea in his book Toward A North American Community published in 2001. If implemented, the Amero’s debut may come later in the progression of the NAU, with exchange rates that depend on market forces at the time, after the economies of the three countries have been integrated and homogenized.

The North American Plan for Avian and Pandemic Influenza

Finalized and released at the September 2007 summit of the SPP, this plan calls for a “comprehensive coordinated North American approach during outbreaks of influenza.” It gives authority to international officials “beyond the health sector to include a coordinated approach to critical infrastructure protection,” including “border and transportation issues”.

It sets up a “senior level Coordinating Body to facilitate the effective planning and preparedness within North America for a possible outbreak of avian and/or human influenza pandemic under the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).” The SPP is to act as “decision-makers.” “The chair of the SPP Coordinating Body will rotate between each national authority on a yearly basis” resulting in foreign decision making for Americans in two out of every three years.

The plan suggests that these powers will include “the use of antivirals and vaccines… social distancing measures, including school closures and the prohibition of community gatherings, isolation and quarantine.”

Council on Foreign Relations

Since its inception in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has attracted men and women of power and influence. Its stated intentions are to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty of the national independence of the United States. The ultimate, declared aim of the CFR is to create a one-world government, and to make the U.S. a part of it. The stated intentions of the CFR are clearly treasonous to the U.S. Constitution.

The influence of the CFR is wide. Not only does it have members in the U.S. government, but its influence has also spread to other vital areas of American life. Members have run, or are running, NBC and CBS, the New York Times, and The Washington Post, and many other important newspapers. The leaders of Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Business Week, and numerous other publications are CFR members.

The organization’s members also dominate the political world. U.S. presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have been CFR members with the exception of Ronald Reagan. The organization’s members also dominate
the academic world, top corporations, unions and military. They are on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudy Guiliani are all either members of the CFR or have close ties with it. Mike Huckabee is reportedly not a member, but following his interaction with the group in September, he has become a favored candidate in the eyes of the media. Republican Ron Paul is the only remaining significant candidate who does not have ties with the CFR. He has has voiced opposition to the NAU for several years.

Where Do You Stand on This Issue?

There is an ideological battle being waged between the forces supporting globalism and the forces supporting national sovereignty. If you plan to participate in the 2008 presidential election, you will need to answer these questions for yourself: Do you believe in the timelessness of the Constitution, or do you believe that the Constitution has served its usefulness and it’s time for another model for government? Are you in favor of international government and more regulation by the United Nations, or do you favor continuation of the institutions that have served the U.S. in the past? Do you want big government with its attendant costs and regulations, or do you favor small government that allows for self direction?

About the author

Barbara Minton is a school psychologist by trade, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

http://www.naturalnews.com/z022707.html

February 4, 2008

Great post by Jon Rappoport about what this election really means

Filed under: elections, Ron Paul — Tags: , , , , , , — sesame seed @ 1:09 am

I’m really enjoying receiving Jon Rappoport’s email newsletters and I wished I’d joined earlier. Here’s a great post. He all but endorses Ron Paul, but leaves it to you to make the key inferences about what this election is really about, or should be about: getting the government out of people’s lives and wallets. I believe more in social welfare than he does, however, and I do believe there should be a nationalized health insurance (one not in the pocket of Big Pharma, to boot). There’s no reason why a social safety net (that is, an ECONOMIC safety net) has to be the same thing as state-sponsored fascism. We can have economic, communal, municipal security without imperiling our liberties. It’s called using our tax dollars to build housing and schools, not prisons, and stop paying the big bankers at the Federal Reserve to print our currency. Getting out of Iraq would also help balance the books immensely.

PLATITUDES OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

FEBRUARY 4, 2008.  Let’s run down the short list:

CHANGE.  Everyone suddenly started mouthing that one right after Obama won Iowa.

HOPE.

WASHINGTON IS BROKEN.

EXPERIENCE.

I’LL BE READY ON DAY ONE.

Since when is the federal government supposed to be in charge of hope and change?  I vaguely recall the whole idea behind the Constitution was limiting the size and influence of the government, thereby guaranteeing individual freedom.  Of course, that was probably just a dream I had.

Those who fondly remember JFK will make three basic assertions about his plans:

HE WANTED TO SHATTER THE CIA INTO A MILLION PIECES.

HE WANTED TO GET OUT OF VIETNAM.

HE WANTED TO TAKE THE POWER TO COIN MONEY AWAY FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND PUT IT BACK IN THE HANDS OF CONGRESS.

Assuming JFK really wanted to accomplish these goals, it was all about shrinking the role of government.

Obama.  Hillary.  McCain.  Mitt.  When out of their mouths we get various high-flying sentiments, they are mostly talking about government taking the lead.

Why should government take the lead?

Why should people look to government to inspire them?

Might it be because people can’t inspire themselves?

In that case, the problem lies elsewhere, and the solution does, too.

It reminds me of Christmas.  The time for giving.  That’s the only day for giving?  People need redoubled shopping opportunities and more debt and a story about a child’s birth to motivate them?

People need an election to galvanize them?

Washington is not broken because the two sides of the aisle are hammering each other.  It’s not broken simply because special interests are controlling the agenda.  It’s broken because it was never meant to be this big and this much trouble.

Example: Why in the world does the FDA have the power to give approval to new medical drugs on the basis of whether they’re effective?  That’s none of their business.  The consumer can decide that on his own.  We don’t need a (corrupt) federal agency to make rulings of this kind.

Update on Hillary:  AP is reporting she suggests the possibility of garnishing the wages of people who’d refuse her universal healthcare plan once it is in effect.

How do you like them apples?

You work for a company.  Your employer is paying into the universal health plan (because he has to).  You, however, say, “No thanks, I don’t want to be insured under this plan.”  Boom.  Your wages are garnished.

It takes everyone (under the gun) to pay into the plan so “it is affordable,” according to Hillary.

Beautiful.

Yeah, It Takes a Village, but the village has to be under the control of a dictator.

JON RAPPOPORT   www.nomorefakenews.com

We need a Super Tuesday strategy–a game plan

Filed under: elections, Ron Paul — Tags: , , , , , , , , — sesame seed @ 12:55 am

OK–Listen up, New Yorkers. Clinton can’t win her home state. That would send a really bad message. She hasn’t been a great senator and, besides, we really don’t want her for President. Why don’t we want her for President? Three reasons out of many: 1) She is relying on people not to think about her policy proposals or her husband’s administration and just think of the fact that “she’s a woman” and we need a woman president–which is true, we should get a woman president soon, like in many other nations, but not one that (reason 2) continues a dynasty in the White House. I was brought up in a country where anyone could be president, there were no dynasties and no aristocracy or plutocracy where a select few took turns trading power among themselves.

Therefore, Obama needs an overwhelming show of support to beat out Clinton. A good show beating Clinton in her home state (as indicated on TV that day and with exit polls, etc.) will hopefully influence other states to push Clinton out as well, whereas a good showing by Clinton in her “home” state (uh, she ran for Senate in NY the first time saying publicly that she was not using it as a stepping-stone to presidency–how not manipulative at all) would not so tacitly endorse her to other states–it would send the message that New Yorkers think she’s done a “good job” as Senator and would make a good president, neither of which is true.

New York, Get Clinton Out of the Race!

New York, Vote Obama for the Primaries!

New York, Vote Ron Paul in the General Election!

Do not vote McCain–Giuliani endorsed McCain so he could try to get on McCain’s ticket later as his running mate. Keeping Giuliani out of the White House now means keeping McCain out. Sorry, McCain, politics is the bedfellows you keep.

My apologies to Ron Paul as well–but we need to get Clinton out on the democratic side first before we can really vote for Paul. A Clinton vs. Paul general election would be harder to fight than a Paul v. Obama election. Really, if we had more than a stupid two-party system, this “game plan” calculation wouldn’t be necessary. Ah, well, once they put in electronic voting machines everywhere, it will barely matter who anyone votes for, and campaign finance will be more of a joke than it is already. Paper ballots now! It’s a big country, yes, but do you really need to know by midnight who won? Are we in that much turmoil that power can’t transition calmly if it takes a couple of days?

I’d still love to see a Paul-Obama ticket, or a Paul-Kucinich ticket.

Suggestions for this game plan? Make a comment.

January 20, 2008

Giuliani’s Agenda–Please do not vote for this man

Filed under: elections, politics — Tags: , , , — sesame seed @ 7:22 pm

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Silver tongue may haunt Rudy Giuliani

Sunday, January 20th 2008, 4:00 AM

Rudy Giuliani made millions as a lawyer and consultant, but he pocketed far more by giving $100,000-a-pop speeches to corporate bigwigs – many who would likely hope for a friendly ear in a Giuliani White House.

The Republican presidential hopeful has released details on 126 speeches he gave in 2006 and early 2007, when he exited the lucrative speakers’ circuit and hit the campaign trail in earnest.

But an exhaustive review of public documents by the Daily News has identified a total of 280 speeches that the former mayor has given since leaving City Hall in 2002, many to powerful corporate interests who paid him handsomely – and whose lobbying of Washington will unquestionably continue no matter who wins the White House.

The groups include a drug company active in embryonic stem-cell research, as well as a hospital association working to add “flexibility” to the nation’s immigration laws – both hot-button issues within the GOP.

The list – representing an estimated $25 million in income for Giuliani between 2002 and 2007, based on his typical fees – poses an unusual source of potential conflicts.

As President, Giuliani would have oversight of contracts and policies affecting industry groups that have directly paid him big bucks in the past, experts noted.

Of the 280 speeches Giuliani is known to have made since 2002, roughly 220 were to private, business-oriented groups in the U.S. Of those groups, 44 already employ lobbyists in Washington, disclosure forms show.

“This is kind of a subtle way for corporations to spread their influence,” said Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania and now president of Common Cause, the national campaign finance watchdog group. “If you’ve given someone $100,000 for an hour-long speech and [you] call the White House asking for a meeting, my guess is that meeting will be held.”

The speeches are perhaps the least investigated, but not only, source of potential business conflicts in Giuliani’s past.

The former mayor remains a partner at his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, as well as at Bracewell & Giuliani, the Texas-based law firm that has carried his name since 2003.

He has so far refused to release a complete client list from either firm. But a review of court records, business filings and other publicly available documents has turned up some 175 legal and consulting clients, many with backgrounds that seem ready-made for political attack ads.

They include Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry, owners of nuclear reactors, a pharmaceutical giant fined for fraud, a tobacco company and even an admitted cocaine smuggler who later developed a system for tracking down terrorists.

Aides to the former mayor have argued that Giuliani was simply giving speeches “to a wide range of companies that wanted to hear him speak about his own unique experiences and lessons on leadership.”

“Rudy Giuliani is his own candidate, and he will continue to run for President on the issues and ideas he believes are important to the future of this country,” said Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella, adding that he is not alone in the speech-making department.

Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister and GOP rival, collected $35,000 in speaking fees last year from drug-maker Novo Nordisk, a leading advocate for embryonic stem-cell research, Politico.com has reported.

Giuliani’s general response to his past business ties is that his firms performed good, honest work and he has stepped down from any day-to-day dealings. He has also argued that many of his law firm’s clients predated his arrival in 2003.

That’s a degree of separation, however, that does not exist for Giuliani on the speaking fees – they were paid directly to him and typically amounted to more money per speech than the average American family makes in a year.

Many of those who paid Giuliani $100,000 or more for an hour-long speech represent interests that could prove troubling to Republican voters.

He pocketed $48,000, for instance, from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a company that has been active in embryonic stem-cell research.

He received an undisclosed sum from the American Hospital Association, which has worked to increase flexibility in immigration laws – a position not embraced by many GOP voters – to let hospitals employ more foreign-trained nurses.

In other cases, Giuliani seems to have largely adopted the policy goals of groups who swelled his bank account in the years after he left City Hall.

They include several health care companies and associations, among them Assurant Health, a leading underwriter of health insurance policies bought by individuals who paid Giuliani $40,000 for a speech in July 2006. Giuliani has made growing the individual market for insurance a centerpiece of his health care plan.

The former mayor also spoke to the American Nuclear Society (ANS), nuclear power’s main industry association. Giuliani the candidate has vowed to expand nuclear power as part of a plan to push the country toward energy independence.

Recently, the ANS lobbied Congress, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on issues related to disposal of high-level nuclear waste, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed with the U.S. Senate.

dsaltonstall@nydailynews.com

List from Daily News Article

Couldn’t find the associated graphic on the Daily News website, so here is a list from the callout box associated with the above article, which practically replaces the article, which itself is a little vague with the proper names.

Follow the Money

Here are Rudy Giuliani’s main sources of income in recent years, as well as some of the politically wired or controversial clients and audiences he has accepted fees from as a lawyer, consultant or speaker.

Giuliani Partners LLC: A consulting firm. Income reported by Giuliani for 2006: $4,108,328. Clients have included:

  • Seisint Inc.–Giuliani Partners hooked up with Florida-based Seisint in 2002, but the company hit the skids amid concerns that its data-tracking product violated privacy. It didn’t help when one of the company’s founders, Hank Asher, admitted to smuggling cocaine earlier in life.
  • Purdue Pharma–The maker of the painkiller OxyContin, Purdue hired Giuliani to help address growing PR and security woes after OcyContin became a popular black market drug. Purdue and three top executives ultimately pleaded guilty to marketing fraud and paid $634 million in fines.
  • Entergy Nuclear–Entergy operates Westchester County’s Indian Point nuclear power plant, which has faced growing public opposition since 9/11 over safety questions. The company also hired Giuliani to develop a security plan.
  • Qatar–Giuliani Safety & Security has provided counterterrorism advice to Qatar, an emirate on the Persian Gulf. Qatar’s Interior ministar, Sheik Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, is suspected by some former U.S. officials of protecting Al Qaeda suspects.

Bracewell & Giuliani

The mayor’s Texas-based law firm. Income reported by Giuliani for 2006: $1,200,901. The firm’s legal and lobbying clients have included:

  • Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry–The firm is representing Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry in a Texas lawsuit on the same side as Citgo, which is controlled by Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez–another former Bracewell client.
  • The Scooter Store–The firm lobbied the Feds on Medicare coverage of power scooters. The store later agreed to pay $4 million in fines and give up $43 million in Medicare reimbursements over Justice Department allegations the company made false advertising claims to wheelchair patients.
  • News Corp.— The firm helped Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. lobby against the Indecent and Gratuitous and Excessively Violent Programming Control Act, a bill aimed at keeping graphic sex and violence off TV.
  • UST Public Affairs Inc.–The world’s leading producer of smokeless tobacco, including marquee brands Copenhagen and Skoal. Giuliani’s firm lobbied against a bill that would prevent tobacco firms from selling products through the mail.

Speeches

Giuliani has disclosed his fees from 126 mostly corporate groups that he addressed in 2006, but he gave many more in prior years. Income reported by Giuliani for 2006: $11,390,000. Audiences over the years have included:

  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. –The drug company has been active in embryonic stem-cell research, a controversial issue among evangelical voters.
  • American Hospital Association–The nation’s leading hospital advocacy group, it has lobbied Washington to increase “flexibility” in immigration laws to let hospitals employ more immigrant nurses–a hot-button topic for the GOP.
  • Assurant Health–The company is a leading underwriter of health insurance policies bought by individuals. Giuliani has made growing that market for individual health policies a centerpiece of his health care plan.
  • American Nuclear Society–The nuclear industry’s leading association, the ANS has recently lobbied Congress, DOE and EPA on issues related to disposal of high-level waste. Giuliani has vowed to exapnd nuclear power aspart of a plan to push the country toward energy independence.”

Sources: Federal Election Commission, U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database

NY Daily News, Sunday, January 20, 2008, page 22.

January 18, 2008

Ron Paul makes some excellent comments on the nature of freedom, leadership, and what the role of government should be–important notes for the current election

A great article by Ron Paul. Although I do not agree with everything he speaks of here–especially his invocation of Ayn Rand–at least he is discussing and questioning the serious philosophical underpinnings no other candidate seems to be addressing. No other candidate is even mentioning Orwell, despite how Orwellian our times have become–they want to put us further in the mire and take away more of our liberties, not preserve us from them.

In my opinion, government should promote economic rights, and then step out of the social/cultural/educational arena almost entirely (i.e., publicly funded schools and libraries are good, but not when moral police determine curriculums and what those institutions get to buy–which infringes on your right to do research and get information, and your freedom of speech). The government should not have anything to say about sexual acts, abortion, or anything else that does not violate someone else’s health or safety. (Yes, I know Paul is pro-life; I also know that he wouldn’t waste his political energy–or spend his “political capital”–making it a major issue to try to actively push through a law banning it. If anything, he’s the most pro-health freedom candidate out there, wanting to make it very hard for the FDA to [as it is currently trying to do] limit our access to herbs and alternative therapies not monopolized by Big Pharma and their lobbyists).

What’s impressive here is that Paul is an old-school public civil servant, not a new-school spin-dominated “pol.” He is concerned about checking the powers of government, not enlarging it, as Bush has done so egregiously (with exploding the power of the executive and with signing statements, and now with probably knowingly allowing his government to mislead the public–if not overtly lie to the public–concerning the nature of CIA torture and the existence of taped evidence thereof).  Paul is the only candidate who seems actually concerned about governance, not media damage control or PR doctoring of mass opinion, or of maintaining propaganda. For this alone, he represents true freethinking and change, and a step in the right direction, even if he does not support as much of an economic safety net as I would like. At least, unlike the other candidates–including the democrats–he doesn’t get in the quagmire of promising what he can’t deliver.

————

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/161/what-does-freedom-really-mean/

Dr. Paul’s WritingsWhat Does Freedom Really Mean?

Summary:

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.


“…man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan


We’ve all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different.

George Orwell wrote about “meaningless words” that are endlessly repeated in the political arena*. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, political words were “Often used in a consciously dishonest way.” Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good.

The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect pre-existing rights. Yet how many Americans know that the word “democracy” is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents?

A truly democratic election in Iraq, without U.S. interference and U.S. puppet candidates, almost certainly would result in the creation of a Shiite theocracy. Shiite majority rule in Iraq might well mean the complete political, economic, and social subjugation of the minority Kurd and Sunni Arab populations. Such an outcome would be democratic, but would it be free? Would the Kurds and Sunnis consider themselves free? The administration talks about democracy in Iraq, but is it prepared to accept a democratically-elected Iraqi government no matter what its attitude toward the U.S. occupation? Hardly. For all our talk about freedom and democracy, the truth is we have no idea whether Iraqis will be free in the future. They’re certainly not free while a foreign army occupies their country. The real test is not whether Iraq adopts a democratic, pro-western government, but rather whether ordinary Iraqis can lead their personal, religious, social, and business lives without interference from government.

Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created the least coercive government in the history of the world. The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens. Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders’ belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King.

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth. To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive– and thus incompatible with freedom. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government.

The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength. Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state– but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today’s Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. “Conservatism,” which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity.

Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us. We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule. We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action. We must reject the current meaningless designations of “liberals” and “conservatives,” in favor of an accurate term for both: statists.

Every politician on earth claims to support freedom. The problem is so few of them understand the simple meaning of the word.

 

*Politics and the English Language, 1946.

Keywords: Civil Liberties, Constitution

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