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Jesus loving wife, granma, mom, JBS, retired medical professional. Love God, Family & Country. #DRIPusa, #R3s #clc #txtcot

How Did We Know This Would Happen???

Dr Paul
Image by relandee via Flickr

Subcommittee Guts Ron Paul’s Bill to Audit the Fed
by Charles Scaliger
Tuesday, 03 November 2009

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 1207), Congressman Ron Paul’s landmark bill to audit the Federal Reserve, has been gutted in a House subcommittee as it works its way toward a vote in the full House. The bill, which has garnered an astonishing 308 cosponsors from both parties, has attracted the scalpel of North Carolina Democrat Mel Watt (whose district happens to include Charlotte, the home of Bank of America, America’s largest commercial bank). According to Congressman Paul, whose Campaign for Liberty posted a video on the bill last weekend, Watt has cut out “just about everything” in prepping the bill for a full committee vote.

 

The bill in its original form required audits of Fed transactions with foreign banks, of its deliberations on monetary policy, of the activities of the Open Market Committee, and disclosure of communications between the Federal Reserve Board and reserve banks. All of these provisions, according to Congressman Paul, have been removed. “There’s nothing left,” Paul told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview. “This is not a partisan issue. People all over the country want to know what the Fed is up to, and this legislation was supposed to help them do that.”

Congressman Paul intends to try to reinstate the bill’s original language and provisions in full committee deliberations, and is hopeful that many of the bill’s hundreds of co-sponsors will exert appropriate pressure on the committee to bring the bill in its pristinity to a full House vote sooner rather than later.

One of the bill’s most powerful sponsors, Congressman Barney Frank (chair of the House Financial Services Committee), intends that the bill in its final form require a lapse of time between Fed actions and their disclosure to auditors and Congressional overseers. Frank believes that a delay would “lessen market impact” while ensuring Fed accountability in the longer run. Congressman Paul, however, is opposed to any such dilution of the bill’s language, believing that any mandated delays in holding the Fed accountable would allow the central bank too much room to evade responsibility.

Congressman Paul is still optimistic that the bill will pass in some form, given the magnitude of support it has received. He noted that the Federal Reserve and the interests that defend its so-called “independence” (read: “secrecy”) are very entrenched and unlikely to yield without a fight.

The current struggle underway to subject the Federal Reserve to congressional scrutiny may turn out to be as historically significant as President Andrew Jackson’s titanic contest of wills with the arrogant, crafty head of the Second Bank of the United States, Nicholas Biddle. The latter, in trying to stave off the dissolution of his beloved seat of power, used the resources of the bank to create a recession and marshaled all his allies in Congress and business against Old Hickory, but ultimately lost the battle. Whether Congressman Paul and his allies can carry the day against Fed Chairman Bernanke and his host of establishment supporters remains to be seen.

Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images

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Non-Negotiable Duties of the Patriot

framersThese Are Not Negotiable

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com
These Are Not Negotiable
by Chuck Baldwin
October 13, 2009

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies.”

I would argue that we, like our patriot forebears, have also endured “patient sufferance.” For at least a half-century, we have patiently endured the erosion and abridgment of our freedoms and liberties. We have watched the federal government become an overbearing and meddlesome Nanny State that pokes its nose and sticks its fingers in virtually everything we do. We cannot drive a car, buy a gun, or even flush a toilet without Big Brother’s permission. We are taxed, regulated, and snooped-on from the time we are born to the day we die. And then after we are dead, we are taxed again.

In the same way that Jefferson and Company patiently suffered up until that shot was fired that was heard around the world, we who love freedom today are likewise patiently suffering “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” In fact, I would even dare say that these States United have become a boiling caldron of justifiable frustration and even anger.

Accordingly, it is incumbent upon us to very seriously and thoughtfully examine those principles that we absolutely will never cede or surrender. We have already surrendered much of the freedom that was bequeathed to us by our forefathers. We are now to the point that we must define those principles that form our “line in the sand” and that we will not surrender under any circumstance. Either that, or we must admit to ourselves that there is nothing–no principle, no freedom, no matter how sacred–that we will not surrender to Big Government.

Here, then, are those principles that, to me, must never be surrendered. To surrender these liberties to Big Government would mean to commit idolatry. It would be sacrilege. It would reduce us to slavery. It would destroy our humanity. To surrender these freedoms would mean “absolute Despotism” and would provide moral justification to the proposition that such tyranny be “thrown off.”

*The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Men without guns are not free men; they are slaves. Men without guns are not citizens; they are subjects. Men without guns have lost the right of self-defense. They have lost the power to defend their families and protect their properties. Men without guns are reduced to the animal kingdom, becoming prey to the Machiavellians among them who would kill them for sport or for their own personal pursuits. As King Jesus plainly ordered, “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) This we will do–at all costs.

*The Right to Own Private Property

Like the right of self-defense, the private ownership of property is a God-given right that is rooted in the Sacred Text. As God told Moses, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.” (Deut. 19:14)

In fact, the history of Western Civilization is replete with the examples of free men who were determined (even at the cost of their very lives) to defend the right to own property. Without private property rights, men are reduced to serfs and servants. Like chattel, they feed themselves by another’s leave. This we will not do.

*The Right to Train and Educate Our Children

Education has never been the responsibility of the State. From time immemorial, education has been the right and responsibility of the family. This, too, has its foundation in the Sacred Volume. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)

Therefore, the absolute right of homeshooling or private/parochial/Christian schooling must never be surrendered. Homeschooling, especially, is fundamental to freedom. It is not a coincidence that throughout history, most totalitarian governments forbade parents homeschooling their children. Any government–federal, State, or local–that forbids, or even restricts, the right of parents to homeschool their children has taken upon itself the uniform of a tyrant.

*The Freedom of Speech and Worship

Speech and worship are matters of the heart and conscience (Luke 6:45; John 4:24). Only tyrants seek authority over matters of the heart. But, of course, that is what tyrants do: they seek to control men’s thoughts and beliefs.

Hence, the alternative media is essential to liberty: the Internet, short wave radio, as well as independent magazines and periodicals. It is almost superfluous to say that there is no such thing as a free and independent press among the mainstream news media today. In fact, the major media more resembles a propaganda machine than it does a free press.

The same can be said for most of the mainstream churches in America today. They more resemble havens for politically correct, Big-Government ideology than they do bastions of Bible truth. Therefore, home-churches and non-establishment churches are increasingly requisite to a free people.

*The Right to Determine One’s Own Healthcare

The marriage of Big Government and Big Medicine has created a healthcare monster. Already, the dispensing of medical treatment is micromanaged by Big Brother in a way that has resulted in skyrocketing costs and inferior care (and in some cases, even death). President Obama’s universal health care initiatives that are sure to come (in one form or another) will only exacerbate an already untenable situation.

Free men and women absolutely have the right to refuse vaccinations for themselves and their children. Forced vaccinations (of any kind) are an assault against the very foundation of freedom. Free men have the right to choose their own physicians, their own hospitals, their own insurance programs, etc. They also have the right to refuse any and all of the above.

God is Creator. He is also Healer (Exodus 15:26). Therefore, how men choose to seek God’s healing is a private matter between them and God. Alternative medicine is a right. Already, our military personnel are used as human guinea pigs to test a variety of drugs and chemicals. Public schools also require forced vaccinations. And now the push is on to force the general population to take the Swine Flu vaccine. At the current pace, it won’t be long until all alternative medicines and treatments will be illegal and the federal government will be America’s doctor. This is not acceptable.

*The Right to Life

2000 years of Western Civilization have perpetually reconfirmed that life is a gift of God. Both Biblical and American history repeatedly honor God as the Source and Sustainer of man’s existence. Therefore, evils such as abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia must be vehemently resisted. It is bad enough that any government (especially one such as ours) would legalize abortion, but the concept of FORCED abortion, infanticide, or euthanasia could only be regarded as a despotic attack on life and liberty of the gravest proportion. In fact, under Natural Law, such an attack would remove said government from the protection of Heaven and would place it in a state of war.

*The Right to Live as a Free and Independent People

God separated the Nations (Genesis 11). Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we Americans maintain our independence and national sovereignty. We simply cannot (and will not) allow ourselves to become part of any hemispheric or global union.

There they are: seven freedom-principles that are not negotiable. As Jefferson said, we are “disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable.” But cross these lines and free men must do what free men must do: “throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:

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© Chuck Baldwin

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Lia, Liar, Pants on Fire!!!

index5Who’s the Liar Now, Mr. Obama?

Written by Chip Wood
Monday, 21 September 2009 02:00

It isn’t easy to upstage the President of the United States when he’s delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress. But Rep. Joe Wilson managed the feat 12 days ago, when he blurted out, “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s pitch for his healthcare proposals.

Legislators from both sides of the aisle were quick to jump all over the Republican congressman from South Carolina for his rudeness. Katon Dawson, the former head of the Republican Party in South Carolina, opined, “If Joe’s mother or father were alive, they’d take him to the woodshed and whip him for bad manners.”

Before the night was out, Wilson had been pressured to call the White House to apologize. Not content that Rep. Wilson apologized directly to the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cronies demanded he also apologize on the House floor. When he refused, they voted 240-179 to “disapprove” his actions. Ah well, at least it distracted them from spending a few billion more of your tax dollars for a day or two.

By the end of the day last Thursday, Rob Miller, his opponent in last year’s election, reported that he had received some $400,000 in contributions from 11,000 donors to help him defeat Wilson next time around. Wilson promptly announced that he too had received a big chunk of moola from patriots who want him to stay in Washington. Looks like next year’s election in that district will be mighty interesting.

Lost in all of the hullabaloo were two things worth mentioning: First, Wilson’s outburst paled in comparison to the treatment President George W. Bush received on numerous occasions from his Democrat opponents. There were times during George W.’s State of the Union speech in 2005 when there were so many jeers, cat-calls, mutterings, and murmurings that it was difficult to hear what he was saying. Anyone remember the liberal media expressing its outrage then?

But my second point is far more important: For all of his impoliteness, Wilson was telling the truth. Obama wasn’t.

Wilson’s outburst was in response to the president’s claim that nothing in the Democrats’ proposals would lead to federal funding of healthcare for illegal immigrants. Wilson knows something most Americans don’t: Liberals in Congress have defeated every single attempt by Republicans to put such provisions into law. Of more than 20 such amendments that were introduced in the past year, not a single one has been allowed out of committee.

No wonder Wilson was so upset. He knows what’s really been going on behind those closed committee doors. He knows Obama was playing fast and loose with the truth. And so did everyone else in the House chamber that night.

I wasn’t surprised by all the blatant falsehoods in Obama’s speech. For me, the tone was set in the first five minutes, when the president told the assembled lawmakers, “I am not the first president to take up this cause. But I am determined to be the last.”

That may have been great rhetoric. The assembled Democrats obviously thought so, because they gave the president an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Yes, it might have sounded good. But it wasn’t the truth. And everyone listening to the president knew it.

Is there anyone anywhere who honestly believes that the government’s role in providing healthcare for the public will no longer be an issue when President Obama leaves office? That no one on either side of the aisle — Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative — will ever introduce new legislation to “improve” whatever system Congress agrees to during Obama’s tenure?

Give me a break. This debate will continue until long after your great-grandchildren have collected their last Social Security check. Obama knows that. So does every member of the House and Senate who sat through his speech that night. And to pretend otherwise is nothing short of political duplicity. (That’s a more polite way of saying, “He lies!”)

Another obvious fantasy in the president’s address was his claim, “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future — period.”

Let me see if I’ve got this right. Under ObamaCare, some 40 million Americans who currently do not have health insurance will suddenly get coverage … and it won’t cost taxpayers a dime? Does anyone believe this?

I was amused to hear the president say that one reason his plan would be more efficient is that the government-run program, unlike private insurance, wouldn’t have to make a profit. Nor would it have to pay all those expensive executive salaries.

Has anyone anywhere found one example of a government-run program that is more efficient than private enterprise? Anyone? Anyone?

It’s hard for me to believe that any adult American could be so gullible as to believe this. What I do believe is that a majority of Congress will pretend to believe it, knowing that a bunch of their constituents want it to be true. (Or, far more likely, don’t care if it is or not, so long as they get all those “free” benefits they’ve been promised.)

Another misleading remark in Obama’s address was his claim that “no federal funds will be used to fund abortions.” Did you notice that not a single pro-abortion legislator (who as a group are probably the most outspoken extremists in Congress) said anything in opposition to this part of Obama’s speech?

That’s because they know the fix is in. Despite repeated efforts by pro-life legislators, not a single proposal to put this into law has been approved in Washington. No matter what Obama says now, the pro-abortion crowd is confident that whatever legislation is finally approved, it will include a provision requiring that so-called “public option” health insurance covers abortions.

Finally, let me say a few words about the part of Obama’s speech I found the most offensive. That was his “my way or the highway” attitude. He accused talk radio hosts, cable news, and conservative leaders of deliberately spreading falsehoods. He wants you to believe that everyone who opposes his plan to nationalize medical care is lying.

There was not a word of criticism for the attack dogs on the left, such as House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who called opponents of these plans “un-American.” Or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who labeled those who disagree with him as “evil mongers.”

After denouncing virtually everyone who has disagreed with him, the president then said, “Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together.” The amazing thing to me is that no one laughed out loud at the hypocrisy of such a statement.

As every conservative on Capitol Hill knows, there has been absolutely no effort to include them in this debate. Their ideas are not welcome — and neither are they.

To say that conservatives and libertarians have never offered any constructive suggestions about healthcare is a flat-out lie. Anyone who cares can check out proposals on “How to Insure Every American” by Republican Representatives John Shadegg and Pete Hoekstra. Or the very sensible ideas for health-care reform by John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods. Or the detailed analyses and proposals from the Cato Institute, Reason magazine, the Heritage Foundation, and a dozen others.

Republicans haven’t been included in negotiations on Capitol Hill for months. House Speaker Pelosi has shown nothing but disdain for those who disagree with her. Nor is it any different at the White House, where conservatives have been locked out of discussions on healthcare since early spring.

While he says he wants bipartisanship, Obama means he wants opponents to sit down, shut up and go along with his proposals. He seems determined to use the Democrat majority he enjoys in the House and the Senate to ram through the most drastic reorganization of healthcare this country has ever seen.

He doesn’t want to debate; he wants to dictate. We’re about to find out if a majority in Congress will let him.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears twice a month. This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.

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Who’s the Liar Now, Mr. Obama?

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Our Monetary Mayhem Began With the Fed

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governo...
Image via Wikipedia

Our Monetary Mayhem Began With the Fed

Our Monetary Mayhem Began With the Fed
Written by James Perloff

Nearly all Americans know they are plagued by inflation. In 1962, a postage stamp cost four cents, a candy bar a nickel, a movie ticket 50 cents, and a pair of tennis shoes $5. A new imported Renault automobile cost $1,395, annual tuition at Harvard was $1,520, and the average cost of a new house $12,500. Over the last century, a dollar’s purchasing power has declined over 95 percent — i.e., it won’t buy what a nickel did in 1909.

What causes inflation? The public hears various explanations from the establishment media — that oil’s rising cost causes inflation, since nearly all industry sectors use it; or that inflation is the fault of American workers demanding wage increases, which has a ripple effect throughout the economy. In other words, Joe tells his employer, “Boss, my wife’s expecting. How about a raise?” The boss says, “Joe, the only way I can afford that is by raising our prices — I’ll have to pass the cost on to our customers.” Then firms doing business with Joe’s company say, “Since you’ve raised your prices, we’ll have to raise ours.” And so, all across America, prices rise because “greedy” Joe, and millions like him, asked for a raise.

Furthermore, the public has been lulled into believing that inflation is inevitable, like “death and taxes.” Indeed, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the broad index used to measure the price of goods and services, that seems true. America has experienced general price increases every year since 1955, without exception.

But as we can easily prove, inflation is not inevitable. Figure 1 depicts American price levels from 1665 to the present. Note there was no significant increase for the first 250 years. Little blips upward are on the graph, as during the American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War, when the United States issued large quantities of paper money to pay for those conflicts. Of course, increasing the supply of money (which is what inflation really is) diminishes its value, causing prices to rise. But notice that, after the wars, money always returned to its normal value. A dollar in 1900 was worth the same as in 1775; there had been no net increase in the cost of living since George Washington’s day. Throughout this time, Americans asked for, and received, wage increases, without causing prices to rise overall.

Figure 1 Inflation GraphBut look at the graph’s right side. During World War I, our currency inflated, but instead of resuming its normal value afterwards, it continued inflating out of sight. American money, relatively stable for 250 years, began to rapidly and permanently lose its value. This did not happen by chance; every effect has a cause. Around the time of World War I, something significant must have happened to induce this transformation. As we shall see, the cause of this transformation has nothing to do with Joe and others who, suffering from the effects of inflation, asked for a raise.

The Bankers’ Beast

The change came from a single factor: creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Though most Americans have heard of it, few know much about it.

Ben Bernanke is current chairman of the Federal Reserve Board; Alan Greenspan held that position from 1987 to 2006. The Fed chairman has been called America’s economic czar, because he and the board set U.S. interest rates. This in turn impacts the stock market’s direction. If interest rates rise, CDs and other interest-bearing securities appear more profitable, causing money to flow out of the riskier stock market. But if interest rates fall, investors tend to return to stocks (the recent meltdown notwithstanding). Mutual fund managers try to stay ahead of the curve; when the Fed chairman holds a news conference, their fingers are often poised over their “buy” and “sell” buttons, hoping the chairman will reveal some hint about the direction of interest rates.

The Fed was established when Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. But the original legislation, containing the essential points of that act, was introduced by Senator Nelson Aldrich, front man for the banking community. Few today have heard of Aldrich, but many are familiar with billionaire Nelson Rockefeller, who was Gerald Ford’s vice president, long New York’s governor, and one of America’s richest men. His full name: Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller — named for his grandfather, Nelson Aldrich. Aldrich’s daughter married John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his son Winthrop served as chairman of the Rockefellers’ Chase National Bank. Long associated with America’s richest family, when Nelson Aldrich spoke on Capitol Hill, insiders knew he was acting for the Rockefellers and their allies in high finance.

The legislation he introduced in the Senate, which became the basis of the Federal Reserve System, was not written by him. It was crafted by several of the world’s richest bankers, at a secret nine-day meeting in 1910, at a private club on Jekyll Island off the Georgia coast. This is well documented. The first reporter to break the Jekyll Island story was B.C. Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine.

Many years ago, Citibank was called National City Bank, and was largely controlled by the Rockefellers. Its president, Frank Vanderlip, attended the Jekyll Island meeting and discussed it in The Saturday Evening Post 25 years later:

There was an occasion near the close of 1910 when I was as secretive, indeed as furtive, as any conspirator…. I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of the Federal Reserve System…. We were told to leave our last names behind us. We were told further that we should avoid dining together on the night of our departure. We were instructed to come one at a time and as unobtrusively as possible to the terminal of the New Jersey littoral of the Hudson, where Senator Aldrich’s private car would be in readiness, attached to the rear end of the train for the South. Once aboard the private car, we began to observe the taboo that had been fixed on last names…. Discovery, we knew, simply must not happen. If it were to be discovered that our particular group had got together and written a banking bill, that bill would have no chance whatever of passage by Congress.

Attending this meeting were agents from the world’s three greatest banking houses: those of John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and the Rothschilds. Together they represented an estimated 25 percent of the world’s wealth. Acting for the Rockefellers were Senator Aldrich and Frank Vanderlip. Representing the Morgan interests were: Benjamin Strong, head of J.P. Morgan’s Bankers Trust Company; Henry Davison, senior partner in J.P. Morgan & Co.; and Charles Norton, head of Morgan’s First National Bank of New York. But the most important figure, credited with running the meeting, was Paul Warburg, who belonged to a prominent German banking family associated with the Rothschilds. The latter, the world’s most powerful banking dynasty, had grown rich by establishing central banks that loaned money to European countries. Its patriarch, Amschel Mayer Rothschild, said: “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”

In 1902, Paul Warburg came to America, intending to establish a similar central bank in the United States. Shortly after immigrating, he became a partner in Kuhn, Loeb, & Co., the Rothschilds’ powerful banking satellite in New York City.

The Rothschilds had long been linked to America’s two foremost banking families, the Rockefellers and Morgans. They had provided seed money for John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company, and had influenced the Bank of England to bail out J.P. Morgan with a low-interest loan of 800,000 pounds, when his firm was verging on collapse in 1857.

The axis of Warburg/Rothschild, Morgan and Rockefeller, and their Wall Street confederates, became known as the “Money Trust.” It worked in unison to force a central bank on America. In 1907, Morgan, who controlled numerous newspapers, began a false rumor concerning the insolvency of a rival bank, the Trust Company of America. The rumor led to a drastic run on the bank by depositors. This was part of the frenzy that historians call the Panic of 1907. Subsequently, Morgan’s and Rockefeller’s newspapers clamored for a central bank to prevent further crises; Senator Aldrich echoed the call in Congress; and Paul Warburg traveled the country lecturing on why the change was needed.

All this materialized in the Federal Reserve, which ultimately resulted from the legislation, penned on Jekyll Island, that Senator Aldrich introduced. Partly because of the senator’s well-known ties to Wall Street, Congress never passed the Aldrich Bill itself. But the bankers gained acceptance of a very similar act, the Glass-Owen Bill, much of which was copied word-for-word from the Aldrich Bill.

On December 23, 1913, when Congress was eager to adjourn for Christmas, the Glass-Owen Bill passed, officially creating the Federal Reserve System. This name itself had been carefully chosen to deceive Americans. While “Federal” implied public control, it is in fact owned by private shareholders. “Reserve” suggested it would hold reserves to protect banks, but it has no hard assets — only bonds and other instruments of debt, and, as we will see, “fiat money,” created from nothing. “System” implied its power would be diffuse (through 12 regional Federal Reserve banks), whereas actual power would be centralized in the Board and the New York Fed with its powerful Open Market Committee.

Monetary Motives

Why did the bankers want the Fed? Whom do you suppose President Woodrow Wilson named first vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (a position from which national interest rates would be set)? Paul Warburg. Who was first head of New York Fed, the system’s nucleus? Benjamin Strong. Thus the very men who had secretly planned the bank now controlled it. The foxes were running the henhouse. At the time, neither Congress nor the public had any inkling of the Jekyll Island meeting.

Paul Warburg’s annual salary at Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. had been $500,000, the equivalent of well over $10 million in today’s dollars. He relinquished that for a Federal Reserve Board position that paid only $12,000. Was it altruistic patriotism that tempted Warburg to make this transition? Or was it because $500,000 paled in comparison to the countless millions he could make, for himself and his associates, by controlling American interest rates, and thus making the stock market rise or fall at will?

Charles Lindbergh, Sr., father of the famous aviator, was a distinguished member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Lindbergh helped lead the fight against the Federal Reserve Act. In December 1913, he declared on the floor of the House:

This act establishes the most gigantic trust on Earth. When the President signs this act the invisible government by the money power [Lindbergh here refers to the Rothschild-Rockefeller-Morgan alliance], proven to exist by the money trust investigation, will be legalized. The money power overawes the legislative and executive forces of the nation. I have seen these forces exerted during the different stages of this bill. From now on depressions will be scientifically created. The new law will create inflation whenever the trust wants inflation. If the trust can get a period of inflation, they figure they can unload stocks on the people at high prices during the excitement and then bring on a panic and buy them back at low prices. The people may not know it immediately, but the day of reckoning is only a few years removed.

Lindbergh’s words were prophetic. Did inflation follow the Fed’s establishment? Yes; Figure 1 graphically proves the impact on price levels. Were stocks unloaded on the people at high prices, then bought back at low prices after a panic? Yes. The “day of reckoning” Lindbergh predicted came with “Black Thursday” and the Great Crash of 1929.

The October 1929 stock market collapse wiped out millions of small investors, but not the Money Trust’s insiders, who had already exited the market. Biographers attribute this to their fiscal “wisdom.” But fiscal foreknowledge, especially of the Federal Reserve policy they were controlling, is more like it. The Fed increased the discount rate from 3.5 percent in January of that year to 6 percent in late August. While the Fed was not the only tool used to precipitate the crash, it was one of the most preeminent. Senator Robert Owen, who cosponsored the Glass-Owen Bill that created the Fed, later testified before the House Committee on Banking and Currency:

The powerful money interests got control of the Federal Reserve Board through Mr. Paul Warburg, Mr. Albert Strauss, and Mr. Adolph C. Miller…. The same people, unrestrained in the stock market, expanding credit to a great excess between 1926 and 1929, raised the price of stocks to a fantastic point where they could not possibly earn dividends, and when the people realized this, they tried to get out, resulting in the Crash of October 24, 1929.

Congressman Louis McFadden, chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency from 1920 to 1931, said of the crash: “It was not accidental. It was a carefully contrived occurrence. The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as rulers of us all.” McFadden stated further: “When the Federal Reserve Act was passed, the people of these United States did not perceive that a world banking system was being set up here — a superstate controlled by international bankers acting together for their own pleasure.”

Curtis Dall, son-in-law of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the syndicate manager for Lehman Brothers. He was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the day of the crash. He said of it: “Actually, it was the calculated ‘shearing’ of the public by the World Money powers.” Afterwards, the Money Trust moved back into the market — exactly as Congressman Lindbergh had predicted. They bought up stocks that once sold for $10 per share at $1 per share, expanding their ownership of corporate America.

Something From Nothing

But stock market manipulation was not the only purpose behind the Federal Reserve. Another was creating money from nothing. The book that best explains this, and the Fed itself, is G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature From Jekyll Island.

As nearly everyone knows, the U.S. government is very expensive. The federal deficit for 2008 was $455 billion. This means that, on an average day, the government spent over $1 billion more than it took in.

How does the government get money? Chiefly from taxes and the sale of government bonds. (The latter is a poor funding method, since money from bonds must be repaid later with interest.) But these revenues never come close to satisfying the federal budget’s demands.

Still, despite insufficient income, the government always meets its obligations. It continues to pay federal employees, defense contractors, Social Security and Medicare recipients, etc. How does the government manage this?

It happens through a little-known mechanism. We’ll borrow from an illustration given by Griffin. Let’s say that, this week, the federal government is short one billion dollars needed to pay its employees. It sends a Treasury official to the Federal Reserve building, where a Fed officer literally writes out a check for $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury. This check, however, is not based on any assets the Fed actually holds. It is “fiat money,” created from nothing. If an American citizen wrote a check without assets to back it up, he’d be jailed. But for the Federal Reserve, it’s perfectly legal. The technical term the Fed uses for this is “monetizing the debt.”

Warburg and his accomplices knew that fiat money would give the government the potential to spend without limit. The banking cartel was, and still is, intimately linked to corporations that did business with the U.S. government. This meant these corporations (in modern culture, Halliburton, Bechtel, AT&T, etc.) could earn virtually unlimited revenues from government contracts.

But the mechanism also benefited the bankers directly. As Griffin notes, what do you suppose the federal employees will do with that billion dollars in salary? Deposit it in their banks. How does a bank make profits? By loaning out deposited money. The more money in, the more it can loan. Thus, out of nothing, the Fed has created a billion loanable dollars for the banks.

Furthermore, this billion automatically becomes ten billion, because under Federal Reserve rules, a bank need only keep 10 percent of deposits in reserve. For every dollar deposited, nine may be loaned. Thus the Fed’s creation of $1 billion from nothing actually manufactures an additional $9 billion in loanable money for the banks.

In Europe, the Rothschilds had perfected this system of fabricating bank deposits through central banks. Warburg largely designed the Federal Reserve from that model. For the bankers, the system meant countless profits, but for the rest of us, endless inflation. Why? Because every time the Fed creates dollars from nothing, it increases the amount of money in America, thereby decreasing money’s value.

A textbook example of inflation struck Germany in the early 1920s. Defeated in World War I, Germany was compelled to pay the Allies massive reparations. To meet this obligation, it printed huge quantities of money. This decreased the value of German currency so badly that by November 1923, a loaf of bread cost 80 billion marks. People carted paper money around in wheelbarrows; some used it as fuel for stoves.

Whenever the Fed “monetizes” the debt, it does the same thing as Germany, only on a smaller scale. In today’s high-tech world, of course, printing money is no longer necessary; the Fed can simply create money electronically, but the inflationary impact is the same. That is why, following 250 years of stable prices, we’ve had pernicious inflation since the Fed’s birth in 1913.

Incidentally, Washington politicians love this system. By letting the Fed finance their expenditures with money made from nothing, politicians know they can spend without raising taxes. Tax increases are a “kiss of death” at reelection time (as President George Bush, Sr. learned in 1992 after voters rejected him for breaking his pledge of “Read my lips, no new taxes”). When the Fed produces more currency, making prices rise, who do we blame? Not the Fed. Not politicians. Instead, we blame the local retail store. “Why are you guys jacking up your prices?” Or we blame the candy company for making smaller chocolate bars, or the cereal company for putting less corn flakes in the box. But these businesses are simply trying to cope with the same dilemma as we are: inflation. The culprit is the Federal Reserve, and the problem is not that prices are going up, but that money’s value is going down.

George Bush, Jr. waged war against Iraq without increasing taxes, and even introduced new tax credits and rebates. How did he manage this? Instead of raising taxes like his father, he had the Fed largely finance the war with fiat currency. This massive inflation caused the cost of food, energy, college tuition — everything — to soar.

Actually, inflation is a tax, a hidden one the public generally doesn’t perceive as such.

A Well-coordinated Plot

After developing this scheme, the bankers still faced a problem. The billions deposited in their banks, created from nothing, still belonged to depositors. To make it profitable, the bankers had to loan it to someone.

They wanted to loan the money especially to one man: Uncle Sam — right back to the government through which they had it manufactured. Why? Because Uncle Sam would borrow astronomically more than individuals or businesses, and unlike the latter two, could always guarantee repayment.

Government borrowing is generated through sale of bonds. The Federal Reserve was empowered to buy and sell U.S. government bonds. Who would purchase those securities from the Fed? To a great extent, the Money Trust’s own banks and investment firms. We thus see yet another motive for the Fed: interest on government loans.

But the Jekyll Island bankers still had a problem. How would America pay back all the interest on those loans? In 1913, the U.S. government had few revenue sources; its largest was tariffs collected on foreign imports.

The bankers’ solution? Income tax. Though now an accepted way of life, income tax was not always around. The original U.S. Constitution excluded it; in 1895, the Supreme Court ruled it would be unconstitutional.

Therefore the only way the Money Trust could establish income tax was by legalizing it through a constitutional amendment. The senator who introduced that amendment in Congress? Nelson Aldrich – the same senator who introduced the incipient Federal Reserve legislation.

Why did Americans accept income tax? Because it was originally only one percent of a person’s income, for salaries under $20,000 (the equivalent of over $400,000 in today’s dollars). On Capitol Hill, the tax’s supporters issued assurances it would never go up. So patriotic Americans said: “If Uncle Sam needs one percent of my salary, and I can always keep the rest, it’s OK by me!”

But we all know what happened. Congress later dolefully informed Americans it needed to raise taxes a smidge. A few smidges later and, depending on bracket, we’re losing 15 to 33 percent of our income to federal tax.

It was a long-range plan.

Some may object that rich bankers would never have wanted an income tax. After all, it supposedly “soaks the rich”: the wealthier you are, the more you pay. It’s true that the income tax structure is graduated. If an American today earns $100,000 or $200,000 per year, he or she usually owes lots of tax. But not the super-rich. The Warburg-Rockefeller-Morgan axis had no intention of paying income tax.

When Nelson Rockefeller sought to become Gerald Ford’s vice president, he had to disclose his tax returns. These revealed that in 1970, the billionaire hadn’t paid one cent of income tax. Likewise, the Senate’s Pecora Hearings of 1933 discovered that J.P. Morgan had not paid any income tax in 1931 and 1932.

How did the Money Trust escape taxes? Primarily by placing their assets in tax-free foundations. The Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations were already operational by the time income tax passed.

Let’s review the scenario. In 1913, the bankers created the Federal Reserve, which not only gave them control over interest rates and thus the stock market, but empowered them to create billions of dollars from nothing, which they would then loan back to America. Also in 1913, the bankers installed the income tax, enabling them to exact repayment on these interest-bearing loans to the government.

Only one thing was still missing: a significant reason for America to borrow. In 1914, just six months after the Federal Reserve Act passed, Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated, triggering the start of World War I. The United States participated; as a result, our national debt grew from a manageable $1 billion to $25 billion. Ever since, America has been immersed in skyrocketing debt — now officially over $10 trillion.

The consolidation of power in Washington has also grown immensely, much to the benefit of the political and financial elites who hold the reins of power. Both a central bank and an income tax — particularly a graduated income tax that largely consumes the wealth of the middle class in the name of taxing the wealthy — are powerful tools for bringing about this consolidation. In fact, this is why Karl Marx, in his Communist Manifesto, called for both in his 10-step plan for establishing a communist state. Step 2 was: “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” Step 5 was: “Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.”

Thus, in 1913, the United States enacted two of Marx’s conditions for a communist totalitarian state. The original Constitution excluded an income tax, which the Founding Fathers opposed. Concerning money, the Constitution declares (Article 1, Sec. 8): “Congress shall have the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” The Federal Reserve Act transferred this authority from elected representatives to bankers.

In America today, many young couples work hard. Commonly, both spouses hold jobs. A young man might say: “When my great-grandfather came to this country, he worked only one job, but he owned a house, had seven kids, and his wife never worked outside the home. But me and Mindy, we’re working two jobs, we have only one kid, and can barely pay the rent. What are we doing wrong?”

But it’s hardly their fault. When great-grandpa came to America, he paid no income tax, and his dollar was stable; it didn’t plummet in value every year as it does now.

But you’ll be glad to know the bankers are sorry about the trouble they’ve caused. They realize people can’t make ends meet, and they’ve found a solution: multiple credit cards. Can’t afford this month’s groceries? Just swipe some plastic. Of course, they will charge double-digit interest on that.

Thus the banking cartel created inflation and income tax, robbing us of our income; therefore we don’t have enough to live on, forcing us to borrow from … the banks.

The solution to the Fed? Get rid of it!

Graph Source: Robert Sahr, Oregon State University

See also “Creating ‘Wealth’: the Fed Shows No Reserve.”

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Hastings’ Amendment Attack on First Amendment

Hastings’ Amendment Attack on First Amendment | Print |
Written by Thomas R. Eddlem
Thursday, 09 July 2009 11:00

military recruitingThe House of Representatives passed a measure that is a direct attack on the First Amendment on June 25 by a vote of 389-22. Within the $671 billion fiscal 2010 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 2647) is a proposal to ban the U.S. military from recruiting or retaining “a person associated or affiliated with a group associated with hate-related violence against groups or persons or the United States Government, as determined by the Attorney General.”

The measure, offered by Armed Services Committee member and Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings (and a former federal judge impeached on bribery and perjury charges) uses a particularly liberal definition of “violence” that would define a person as extremist, including:

* “Groups or organizations that espouse an intention or expectation of armed revolutionary activity against the United States Government, or the violent overthrow of the United States Government” (Emphasis added.);
* “Groups or organizations that espouse an intention or expectation of armed activity in a `race war’” (Emphasis added.);
* “Other groups or organizations that are determined by the Attorney General to be of a violent, extremist nature.”

By giving the attorney general sole discretion over what constitutes a “hate group,” the measure invites political persecution of unfavored political activism. Though the amendment generally defines a “hate group” as one advocating “violence,” the amendment does define as “evidence of affiliation or association with hate group” being “involved in online activities with a hate group, including being engaged in online discussion groups or blog or other postings that support, encourage, or affirm the group’s extremist or violent views and goals” and having “attended meetings, rallies, conferences, or other activities sponsored by a hate group.”

Examples of “violent extremists” who would therefore be exempted from military service under this amendment would include:

* Persons who attend “Tea Party” events if they were sponsored by one or more “violent” groups designated by the attorney general (How many people vet all of the sponsors of a rally before they choose to attend? How many organizers of rallies have time to fret about turning away co-sponsors, even if they could?);
* Persons who blog or chat on a site sponsored by a group the attorney general designated “violent” (How many people check the owner of a website before they leave comments at the bottom of an article?);
* Persons who chronicle how policies of the current administration in Washington could lead the United States unnecessarily into a race war and counsel against it (Remember, the phrase in the definition is “or expectation of,” not just advocate in favor of.);
* Libertarians and libertarian websites who praise Shay’s Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion in America’s distant past for anti-tax activities (advocacy of violence against government).

There are more examples, but you get the idea. The Hastings amendment is designed not to ban violent revolutionaries from using military training to create terrorist acts, as this hasn’t happened and isn’t likely to occur. Even Hastings acknowledges that there are already regulations on the books to stop actual violent terrorists from joining the military: “The Armed Forces already have a great many regulations in place regarding the prohibition on extremist activities by military personnel,” Hastings acknowledged in a press release on his own congressional web page.

The measure also met with some strong language from Republicans, including Representative Tent Franks (R-Ariz.), who said on the House floor: “I want to state unequivocally that I believe that it is not the intent of this Congress to label pro-lifers, federalism proponents, and pro-immigration enforcement groups and their affiliates as extremists under the bill. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle should make a strong effort to assuage these concerns and make our intentions clear. If the intent of this amendment is to go after citizens because of their political views and moral convictions, then the amendment is unconstitutional.”

Franks, however, voted in favor of passage of the Defense Authorization bill that contained the Hastings amendment along with the overwhelming majority of both parties. Only two Republicans voted against the bill on final passage (Ron Paul of Texas and John Duncan of Tennessee), along with 20 Democrats.

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Senate Considers Vote on Concealed Firearm Laws

pistols.001” A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”

For most Americans, the 27 words of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are not all that hard to understand: a citizen has a fundamental right to “keep and bear Arms” and as is true with freedom of religion and freedom of speech, this right is sacrosanct, and any effort to abridge such constitutional guarantees is seen as a threat to the fundamental rights of the American people.

Last year’s landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller affirmed this understanding, recognizing that the right to bear arms is, in essence, inextricably bound up with the right of self-defense.

However, despite such constitutional guarantees, a recent Rasmussen poll “revealed” what may seem obvious to many readers of The New American: the American people believe President Obama will aggressively promote further restrictions on the constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms. The poll revealed that 57 percent of Americans “believe gun sales are up over the past several months because of widespread fears that the government will tighten restrictions on gun ownership.” In fact, only 23 percent of those polled believed that gun sales had risen on account of rising crime.

According to press reports, the U.S. Senate will consider today an amendment intended to bring the law closer to conformity with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. On Monday, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would bring clarity to the tangled web of state laws regulating the right to carried concealed firearms. According to an article at USA Today Online, the amendment states:

(1) A person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of any State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm, may carry in any State a concealed firearm in accordance with the terms of the license or permit, subject to the laws of the State in which the firearm is carried concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried.
(2) A person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and is otherwise than as described in paragraph (1) entitled to carry a concealed firearm in and pursuant to the law of the State in which the person resides, may carry in any State a concealed firearm in accordance with the laws of the State in which the person resides, subject to the laws of the State in which the firearm is carried concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried.

At present, a complicated web of reciprocally recognized state-issued permits regulate such licenses for the concealed carry of a firearm. When traveling around the Union, Americans need to give careful consideration not only to considerable variations in various state and local laws regarding the right to keep and bear arms, but also to the question of whether their state-issued concealed carry permit will be recognized at all. Whether one is speaking of a trucker whose route carries him across state lines, or vacationing families who want to be safe while they “get away from it all,” citizens have enough to worry about without the added concern of questioning whether they may legally defend themselves from criminals. For Americans concerned about the preservation of their constitutional rights, the Thune amendment offers a step in the right direction on the way back to the simple language of the constitution: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

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Obama’s Orwellian Health Care Reform

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Obama’s Orwellian Health Care Reform
Written by Steven Yates
29 July 2009

President Obama promised the country healthcare reform. With the number of uninsured or underinsured Americans now exceeding 45 million, the country’s mood appears ready to accept his plans. In fact, he has continued to make any number of promises regarding health care reform, e.g., that under “his” plan you’d be able to choose your primary care physician, or through your employer, the insurance plan that best fits your needs. Now, however, as we read the fine print of the two 2,000-plus page bills currently before each of the two branches of Congress, evidence is emerging that “Obama care” would make George Orwell spin in his grave.

Our current health care system is far from perfect, but does afford consumers a range of choices such as those mentioned above. These choices would disappear in the long run under “Obama-care.” The present plan under consideration amounts to a federal takeover of the entire health care industry in America. Under it, you would lose many more freedoms than you would gain.

Fortune at CNNMoney.com recently took us on an excursion through the fine print of “Obama-care.” Their conclusion is that you would lose five specific freedoms under the plans currently being considered by Congress:

(1) You would lose the freedom to choose what is in your plan. The bills before both houses would require you to purchase insurance through “qualified” (by government) plans offered by health care “exchanges” to be set up in every state. The federal government would impose a minimum list of benefits each plan must offer. Many states already have such a list in place, and such policies have driven up health-care costs. The bills before Congress would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to add to the list of required benefits based on new recommendations from a panel of “experts,” meaning that the costs to Americans could be ratcheted up after a final version of “Obama care” is signed into law.
(2) You would lose rewards gained for not smoking or otherwise pursuing healthy lifestyle options as an individual. “Community rating” (already existing in 11 states) requires all patients to pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of age or medical condition. Younger and healthier people are forced to pay more than their actual cost, while older workers who can afford to pay more are afforded discounts. Under “Obama-care” this system would be federalized. Moreover, the bill specifically bars rewarding people who pursue healthy lifestyles such as participating in worksite exercise programs as being no different then barring insurance companies from charging higher premiums for customers with known health conditions such as diabetes.
(3) You would no longer be able to chose high-deductible coverage to lower your rates. Hundreds of employers offer employees Health Savings Account plans. Employees can deposit portions of their paychecks into the account with matching contributions from their employers. The employees can use their deposits to purchase a high-deductible plan for major medical costs (e.g., over $12,000) while also using the fund to pay for routine doctor’s appointments. HSAs prompt cost-consciousness. The bills before Congress endanger consumer cost-conscious health care. The required minimum packages would prevent patients from choosing plans covering only major medical expenses. Again, the federal government could set low deductibles that would eliminate HSAs after the bills are signed into law, according to John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
(4) President Obama has insisted that under “Obama-care” you would have the freedom to keep your present plan. Those who have closely read the bills before Congress contend that over the long run the reality would be otherwise. The legislation divides the insured into two main groups—employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as part of their benefits packages from their employers, and those not covered by ERISA but who have private insurance or through small businesses. The former may indeed “keep” their existing plans, but only because they have been “grandfathered” for five years. Afterward their employers would have to offer government-approved plans through the “exchanges” with all their rules and restrictions noted above, and below. The legislation would require all insurers offering plans to the second group to offer the government-approved plans. Employees who purchased their plans before the law goes into effect could again “keep” them, but with a major restriction: if their plan changes in any way, e.g., through switching coverage for a drug, the employee would be forced to drop out and seek coverage through the “exchange.” Millions of employees would lose their freedom to keep their existing health care plans within the first year. (You would not, it should go without saying, be allowed to choose to be uninsured under “Obama care.”)
(5) President Obama has maintained that under “Obama-care” you would retain the freedom to choose your own doctor. The Senate version of the bill requires that Americans buying health insurance through “exchanges” must obtain care through what it calls “medical home”—the Obama-care equivalent of an HMO. You would be assigned (not allowed to choose) a doctor, and that doctor would control your access to specialists if needed. Health care gatekeepers would guide patients to tests and treatments that have proven cost-effective. The danger here is obvious: patients could be denied necessary care if it couldn’t be shown to be cost-effective.

The present system has its faults. Some of us are wondering if the coupling of health care benefits to employment, a practice dating back to the 1930s, was a good idea to begin with. Our problem in a nutshell has long been that we Americans have wanted quality health care but have not wanted to pay for it, and have instituted mechanisms of avoiding paying for it. Consequently the system has delivered services at below-market-value rates. Moreover, the offering of health care services at below-market rates has failed to encourage healthy behavior within the population. Basic economics dictates that the costs have to be made up somewhere, and the consequences of offering health care services at below-market rates has been the explosion of costs we have seen recently—along with many employers no longer offering health care benefits to their workers.

What are we to conclude from this excursion? Perhaps that in true Orwellian fashion, Obama has said one thing while the massive proposal for health care reform will actually do something quite different — possibly moving us closer to the sort of society in which the elderly and others not contributing directly to the economic system would technically be part of the health care system but be denied crucial medications or procedures not deemed “cost-effective” — euthanasia without its name, in other words.

What can we do? First, we must go back to basics and realize that health care choices are decisions that stem from an individual’s basic and unalienable rights to life and liberty. As such health care decisions and expenditures should be made by individuals of their own free will. That won’t be the case under the Obama plan.

Steven Yates earned his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1987. He is the author of one book, Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (San Francisco: ICS Press, 1994) and numerous articles both in academic journals and elsewhere. He has taught philosophy at Clemson University, Auburn University, Wofford College, the University of South Carolina, Southern Wesleyan University–Columbia, and Midlands Technical College, and has held fellowships with or worked on projects with the Institute for Humane Studies, the Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute, and the Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty.

Author of this article: Steven Yates
Show Other Articles Of This Author

* What Is the Bank for International Settlements? (30 June 2009)
* Real Danger From the Extremists (04 June 2009)
* Police Interfere With Emergency Medical Vehicle (01 June 2009)
* Supreme Court Pick: Sonia Sotomayor (26 May 2009)
* New Restrictions on Credit Card Industry (22 May 2009)

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The Second Amendment: States Teeth

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The Second Amendment and the States
Written by Patrick Krey
June 2009
CourtsThere are few topics that can divide people who are normally ideological bedfellows like the legal doctrine of the “incorporation” of the Bill of Rights against the states and the Second Amendment. This subject is rearing its head again with the upcoming appointment of a new Supreme Court justice as well as federal courts’ recent conflicting opinions in regards to the Second Amendment. The Wall Street Journal reports that on June 2nd, “A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled … that the Second Amendment doesn’t bar state or local governments from regulating guns, adopting the same position that Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, did when faced with the same question earlier this year.”

This ruling contrasts with a recent ruling by “the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco … that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states and local governments” — in other words, states and local governments are bound by the Second Amendment. Which court is correct?

To understand the debate in this topic, it helps to briefly review constitutional history. When the Constitution was first proposed, opponents of the new document criticized it for lacking a bill of enumerated rights, which were common in virtually every state constitution of the time. In response to these complaints, proponents of the new Constitution agreed to add a series of amendments in the first Congress that would codify restrictions on the federal government to infringe certain fundamental rights. The resulting first 10 Amendments, collectively referred to as the “Bill of Rights,” were ratified on December 15, 1791.

It is important to note two little-known historical facts regarding the proposal and ratification of the Bill of Rights. Alexander Hamilton, himself a prominent advocate of a liberal reading of the necessary and proper clause as well as a loose construction of the Constitution, argued that a Bill of Rights would be dangerous because it would imply that without such an enumeration of rights, the new government might actually have the power to infringe on these rights and might even now open the door for the government to regulate in these areas. In Federalist # 84, Hamilton wrote:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? … I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government.

Hamilton basically was saying that the national government lacked the power to do any of the things that the proposed Bill of Rights were prohibiting, and codifying these restrictions might lead some to argue that the national government could actually regulate in those areas, which he felt was completely unconstitutional.

In addition, James Madison, widely regarded as “The Father of the Constitution,” wanted to have the Bill of Rights restrictions to be held against the states but was rebuffed in this effort because of widely held reservations to further empower the new government over the states. The first Congress refused to even submit such a proposal to the states for ratification because it was so unpopular. As a matter of fact, numerous states had gun-control laws on the books at the time, as well as state-chartered religions. It was not that the citizens were necessarily opposed to state involvement in these matters but rather did not want any federal intrusion.

These two historical facts illustrate that, at the time of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, it was recognized by the Framers and Ratifiers that the national government had no authority to enforce the Bill of Rights against the states, and whatever authority it did have was clearly delineated in the text of the Constitution itself. Therefore, the Bill of Rights did not give the national government any new powers but simply reiterated important restrictions upon it and not the states. This understanding is consistent with the position that not only does the Second Amendment protect an individual “right to bear arms” against federal action but also that the national government lack any power whatsoever to regulate within this area. Additionally, the states are free to regulate (or not regulate) in that area based on their own state constitutions.

The fact that the Bill of Rights did not apply against the states was not modified until after the ratification of the 14th Amendment and the judicial creation of the incorporation doctrine. The incorporation doctrine refers to the court selectively “incorporating” certain amendments in the Bill of Rights against state governments via a liberal reading of the 14th Amendment — completely contrary to the original understanding at the time of its ratification as explained by widely respected legal scholar Raoul Berger in Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment. As the late Congressman Larry McDonald explained, the rationale behind the incorporation doctrine “runs completely contrary to thoughts and purposes of the original framers…. Their intent was to limit the rights and powers of the federal government, not to help expand them.”

The courts liberal interpretation allowed the federal courts to widen their jurisdiction and judicially review numerous state laws. Some libertarians welcome this development in constitutional history as a great opportunity to spread freedom because it gives advocates of individual liberty “two bites at the freedom apple — one under his state constitution and one under the U.S. Constitution.” Sadly, the constitutional record of incorporation is not something many advocates of individual liberty can be proud of.

Constitutional historian Kevin R.C. Gutzman details the sordid history of the incorporation doctrine:

This is what the Incorporation Doctrine has given us: in place of reservation of these areas of law to state governments for regulation via legislative elections, we get seizure of control over them by unelected, unaccountable, politically connected lawyers (that is, federal judges) who purport to substitute “reason” for the (one infers) “unreasonable” regulations crafted by elected officials…. It was under the cover of the Incorporation Doctrine that federal courts recently invented a right of child rapists not to face the ultimate penalty for their crimes. It was under the cover of the Incorporation Doctrine, indeed, that a Supreme Court majority for several years banned capital punishment altogether. It was under the cover of the Incorporation Doctrine that the Supreme Court eliminated state prohibitions of various types of pornography. The Incorporation Doctrine also underlies the Court-created ban on prayer, even on moments of silence, in public schools. The Incorporation Doctrine has allowed federal courts to invent rights to burn flags, ban invocations at high school graduations, and establish essentially a national code of “acceptable” punishments.

Furthermore, it was with the help of the incorporation doctrine that the “politically connected lawyers” on the court were able to invent “penumbras” giving rise to the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, and there were even discussions at the height of judicial activism to engrain a right to a minimum wage within constitutional law. Libertarians should be careful what they wish for because the “interpreters” on the court do not always see eye-to-eye with their vision of liberty.

Ironically, libertarian proponents of incorporation who usually are almost universally opposed to state power, let alone massively centralizing power in a super state, are in effect advocating the use of a larger, more powerful central government (via its court system) to force smaller governments to “be more free” without recognizing the fact that freedom means different things to different people. Such a contradictory line of thought is in direct conflict with the proud Jeffersonian decentralist tradition of those who founded our constitutional republic.

This leads us back to gun-rights activists who are currently expending numerous resources trying to get federal judges to incorporate the bill of rights against the states. Ironically, years of money spent trying to get federal judges to advance the cause of gun rights resulted in the disappointing Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller where the “conservatives” on the court acknowledged that the Second Amendment protects an individual right “to bear arms” but that right is not “unlimited” and there is still room for reasonable restrictions on gun control. As renowned constitutional attorney Edwin Vieira, Jr. wrote last fall in The New American, “Could Heller allow gun regulation to the point that the regulation could become a prohibition for all practical purposes? What effect will it have, if any, on existing or future gun laws in other jurisdictions throughout the country?”

The Heller decision was disheartening to gun rights advocates who believed that vast amounts of money spent on endless legal challenges would engrain an unlimited right to gun ownership in our constitutional law. Related efforts to incorporate the limited protections of Heller against the state will face similar frustration. Those who put their faith in “politically connected lawyers” to uphold their rights and advance the cause of freedom will continue to be disappointed. Perhaps these activists will now realize that federal judges are not reliable friends of individual liberty and instead will focus their energy on a much more realistic goal of making Congress constitutional.

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