Ron Paul wrote this scathing assessment and prediction about the newly created DHS eleven years ago. He was outraged by the $3 billion price tag. The DHS 2014 budget is $60 billion. Were his warnings about the American people being spied on by our government accurate? Are you safer today than you were in 2002? Do you have more or less liberty and freedom than you had in 2002? Was it worth it?
There is a very simple and elegant solution to declining defense spending, one which has been used time and again in US history when the US government needed to provide the Fed with more securities (i.e. deficit) to monetize: war. According to RT that, or rather its more politicall correct equivalent "kinetic strikes", is what may be just over the horizon. RT reports that President Barack Obama is considering using military force in Syria, and the Pentagon has prepared various scenarios for possible United States intervention. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Obama administration is deliberating whether or not it should use the brute of the US military in Syria during a Thursday morning Senate hearing. Gen. Dempsey said the administration was considering using “kinetic strikes” in Syria and said "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government,” the Associated Press reported from Washington.
Ten-year old cystic fibrosis patient Sarah Murnaghan captured the nation’s attention when federal bureaucrats imposed a de facto death sentence on her by refusing to modify the rules governing organ transplants. The rules in question forbid children under 12 from receiving transplants of adult organs. Even though Sarah’s own physician said she was an excellent candidate to receive an adult organ transplant, government officials refused to even consider modifying their rules. Supporters of the current system claim that organ donation is too important to be left to the marketplace. But this is nonsensical: if we trust the market to deliver food, shelter, and all other necessities, why should we not trust it to deliver healthcare—including organs?
Looking at the banners in the massive Egyptian protests last week, we saw many anti-American slogans. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government that was deposed by the military last week was very critical of what it saw as US support for the coup. Why is it that all sides in this Egyptian civil war seem so angry with the United States? Because the United States has at one point or another supported each side, which means also that at some point the US has also opposed each side. It is the constant meddling in Egyptian affairs that has turned Egyptians against us, as we would resent foreign intervention in our own affairs. So, successive US administrations over the decades have supported all sides in Egypt, from dictator to demonstrator to military. There is only one side that the US government has never supported: our side.
From massive NSA spying, to IRS targeting of the administration's political opponents, to collection and sharing of our health care information as part of Obamacare, it seems every day we learn of another assault on our privacy. Sadly, this week the Senate took another significant, if little-noticed, step toward creating an authoritarian surveillance state. Buried in the immigration bill is a national identification system called mandatory E-Verify.
The world is a big place, after all. And there’s a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity ripe for pioneering, talented people. Snowden is now marred in a number of banal legal technicalities. The US government has cancelled his passport (another questionable legal move from Uncle Sam). So he appears stuck in the international transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. He’s not legally able to fly back to Hong Kong. Nor is he legally able to board a flight to Havana for onward travel to Ecuador, in order to apply for asylum. If Mr. Snowden had been able to procure a second passport prior to stepping into the limelight, he would likely not be in this predicament as he could have been traveling on his other passport. This is one of the hidden virtues of having a second passport. You might never ‘need’ one. But should such a need ever arise, it can really be a life saver.
The long US war in Afghanistan never made any sense in the first place. The Taliban did not attack the US on 9/11. The Authorization for the use of force that we passed after the attacks of 9/11 said nothing about a decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. But unfortunately two US presidents have taken it to mean that they could make war anywhere at any time they please. Congress, as usual, did nothing to rein in the president, although several Members tried to repeal the authorization. Afghanistan brought the Soviet Union to its knees. We learned nothing from it. Sadly, that is the story of our foreign policy.
"Well you know if you look at the last 13 years it was up 12 out of 13 and this year isn't even over yet, so I would say its responded pretty well. But you might say well yeah what about in the last year why hasn’t it? Well, markets do these things they go up sharply and sometimes they take a rest. But the long term is something you can get a handle on, but I was never very good on short term, whether it’s the stock market or whatever, or what government will do, they are just all over the place.
Over the course of decades we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the love of material possessions, the lure of a debt based faux wealth, the money for nothing entitlement promises of dishonorable politicians, the evil of currency debasement, the effectiveness of mass media propaganda, and the belief that we could sacrifice freedom and liberty for promises of safety and security made by a cabal of powerful rich men. Power has been concentrated into the hands of the few, who operate in secrecy and despise the people. They don’t want transparency or open debate. Freedom of speech is nothing but a thorn in their side. They believe they are smarter than the serfs and have no morality when it comes to committing illegal acts and disregarding the Constitution. They are not acting in the public interest. Their abuse of power and looting of the national wealth have put us on a path towards a bloody revolution. This is not a time for conformity, obedience or submission. It’s time to stand up and expose the evil doers. It’s time to rally around those who care about this country. Who are the real traitors? You know the answer.
President Obama announced late last week that the US intelligence community had just determined that the Syrian government had used poison gas on a small scale, killing some 100 people in a civil conflict that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. Because of this use of gas, the president claimed, Syria had crossed his “red line” and the US must begin to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government. The process was identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq war. That is exactly what the Obama Administration is doing with Syria: fixing the intelligence and facts around the already determined policy. And Congress just goes along, just as they did the last time. The president has opened a can of worms that will destroy his presidency and possibly destroy this country. Another multi-billion dollar war has begun.
There are three words that come to mind when we think of Ron Paul; principles, credibility and consistency. Not only is the video below great because we get to see Dr. Paul speak on the Congressional floor thirty years younger, but also because he was adamantly criticizing civil liberties threats in the context of a Republican President, Ronald Reagan. He warned us about what the NSA and other intelligence agencies are currently doing well before the internet became widespread.
What most undermines the claims of the Administration and its defenders about this surveillance program is the process itself. First the government listens in on all of our telephone calls without a warrant and then if it finds something it goes to a FISA court and get an illegal approval for what it has already done! This turns the rule of law and due process on its head. The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around... We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the persecution of Greenwald and the other whistle-blowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.
"I think we are going to go through the ringer... It is bad enough already, but there is no way that we can step back."
"I think monetizing debt and spending and deficit is going to get much, much worse until the world rejects the dollar."
"when people become frightened, they look for things of real value, and I don't think they can repeal the laws of economics that says that for 6,000 years metals have been beneficial. They will go to monetary metals, gold and silver"
"...if we have an authoritarian government, that is our greatest threat. So, I would like to think that there is no perfect protection, other than shrinking the size and scope and power of government, so that we can be left alone and take care of ourselves."
May was Iraq’s deadliest month in nearly five years, with more than 1,000 dead – both civilians and security personnel -- in a rash of bombings, shootings and other violence. As we read each day of new horrors in Iraq, it becomes more obvious that the US invasion delivered none of the promised peace or stability that proponents of the attack promised. We must learn the appropriate lessons from the disaster of Iraq. We cannot continue to invade countries, install puppet governments, build new nations, create centrally-planned economies, engage in social engineering, and force democracy at the barrel of a gun. The rest of the world is tired of US interventionism and the US taxpayer is tired of footing the bill for US interventionism.
Ron Paul kept a sign on his desk during his time in Congress that read: "Don't steal. The government hates competition." These days, perhaps a more appropriate saying would be – "Don’t violate people's civil liberties. The government hates competition." In the Land of the Free, it would appear they actually want to make this a law with the introiduction of bill S1057, "prohibiting the use of unmanned aircraft systems by private individuals to conduct surveillance of other private persons." So what the esteemed Senators are telling us is that it’s bad (and hence should be unlawful) to invade people’s privacy. Unless the government is doing it, in which case it’s just fine. Simply put, "No Drones for you."