Thursday, January 31, 2008
Regulation or Deregulation
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Libertarians preach the morality of the market, and socialists preach the morality of the state. Those convinced of the market's morality want de-regulation; those convinced of the state's morality want regulation.
In truth, neither seems to work.
Consider for example the rules against collusion. The political left imposed this regulatory rule in order to prevent monopoly behavior by companies. One consequence has been that, unable to collude, firms are slaves to their bottom lines. In order to compete successfully in the competitive new world of globalism, firms have curtailed pensions and health insurance for their employees.
Or consider the regulation of new drugs, which drives up costs and delays remedies without, apparently, doing much to improve safety.
Or the fleet milage standards that regulation imposes on car makers. These regulations destroyed the family station wagon. Families needing carrying capacity turned to vans and to panel trucks. Car makers saw a new market and invented the SUV, which as a "light truck" was exempt from the fleet milage regulations. The effort to impose fuel economy resulted in cars being replaced by over weight fuel-guzzling SUVs.
On the other hand consider the current troubles resulting from banking and financial de-regulation. The losses from this one crisis greatly exceed any gains from de-regulation.
Or consider the plight of the de-regulated airlines and deterioration in the quality of air service. Or the higher costs of telephone service and the loss of a blue chip stock for widows and retirement funds that resulted from breaking up AT&T. Or the scandals and uncertainties from utility de-regulation which permits non-energy producers like Enron to contract to deliver electric power.ARTICLE CONTINUES HERE
Monday, January 28, 2008
The Federal Rules of Evidence have been modified to facilitate bad convictions. Rule 404(b) of the Rules of Evidence permits trial prosecutors to introduce evidence relating to “other crimes, wrongs or acts” for which the defendant has not been convicted or even criminally charged; this is permitted in order to prove “motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident” behind an alleged crime. In practice this nullifies the Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy.
The “Stop Snitchin'” movement – death threats and other forms of intimidation included – is propelled “not by a reflexive anti-law enforcement mentality” or simple thuggishness, but rather a “real sense that the federal system is out of whack and that people are being put away for the rest of their lives” based on the purchased perjury of informants and other “cooperators.”
Geneva France of Mansfield, Ohio was a 22-year-old single mother of three small children when she met Jerrell Bray. At the time, Bray was dating one of France's friends.
Perhaps in the interest of impressing France, Bray boasted that he could stuff her in the trunk of his car and take her to Cleveland – and she'd never be heard from again. He then immediately asked France out, an invitation she quite sensibly – and predictably – declined.
Mr. Bray, a veteran drug dealer, was an informant working under the supervision of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Lee Lucas. On the basis of Bray's unreliable word alone, Geneva France and dozens of others were convicted on drug-related charges.
Last May, Bray – who was still selling marijuana while working as a DEA asset -- shot a man in Cleveland during a drug deal. After being sent to jail, Bray admitted that he had lied when he claimed that he had seen Geneva work as a drug courier. After sixteen months in prisons in West Virginia and Kentucky, Geneva was given $68 and a bus ticket. More here
An increasing reliance on state informants is a reliable symptom of tyranny. Imperial Rome, like imperial America, was lousy with delatores (or informants) who collaborated with accusatores (corrupt, malicious prosecutors), and wretched individuals of both types disfigure much of medieval history. Informants played an indispensable role in modern totalitarian states.
Today he'd wear a wire: Judas Iscariot,
helps Roman officials arrest a known radical.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
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- 48 Hours in New Hampshire
by: Vickie Karp Vickie Karp is a Texas voting activist and author of Hacked! about electronic vote fraud in American elections.
- 48 Hours in New Hampshire
Friday, January 25, 2008
The Constitution of no Authority.
BY LYSANDER SPOONER
PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR,
It is no exaggeration, but a literal truth, to say that, by the Constitution -- not as i interpret it, but as it is interpreted by those who pretend to administer it -- the properties, liberties, and lives of the entire people of the United States are surrendered unreservedly into the hands of men who, it is provided by the Constitution itself, shall never be "questioned" as to any disposal they make of them.
Thus the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 6) provides that, "for any speech or debate (or vote), in either house, they (the senators and representatives) shall not be questioned in any other place."
The whole law-making power is given to these senators and representatives (when acting by a two-thirds vote); and this provision protects them from all responsibility for the laws they make.
The Constitution also enables them to secure the execution of all their laws, by giving them power to withhold the salaries of, and to impeach and remove, all judicial and executive officers, who refuse to execute them.
Thus the whole power of the government is in their hands, and they are made utterly irresponsible for the use they make of it. What is this but absolute, irresponsible power?
It is no answer to this view of the case to say that these men are under oath to use their power only within certain limits; for what care they, or what should they care, for oaths or limits, when it is expressly provided, by the Constitution itself, that they shall never be "questioned," or held to any responsibility whatever, for violating their oaths, or transgressing those limits?
Neither is it any answer to this view of the case to say that the men holding this absolute, irresponsible power, must be men chosen by the people (or portions of them) to hold it. A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. Neither are a people any the less slaves because permitted periodically to choose new masters. What makes them slaves is the fact that they now are, and are always hereafter to be, in the hands of men whose power over them is, and always is to be, absolute and irresponsible.
The right of absolute and irresponsible dominion is the right of property, and the right of property is the right of absolute, irresponsible dominion. The two are identical; the one necessarily implies the other. Neither can exist without the other. If, therefore, Congress have that absolute and irresponsible law-making power, which the Constitution -- according to their interpretation of it -- gives them, it can only be because they own us as property. If they own us as property, they are our masters, and their will is our law. If they do not own us as property, they are not our masters, and their will, as such, is of no authority over us.
But these men who claim and exercise this absolute and irresponsible dominion over us, dare not be consistent, and claim either to be our masters, or to own us as property. They say they are only our servants, agents, attorneys, and representatives. But this declaration involves an absurdity, a contradiction. No man can be my servant, agent, attorney, or representative, and be, at the same time, uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me for his acts. It is of no importance that I appointed him, and put all power in his hands. If I made him uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me, he is no longer my servant, agent, attorney, or representative. If I gave him absolute, irresponsible power over my property, I gave him the property. If I gave him absolute, irresponsible power over myself, I made him my master, and gave myself to him as a slave. And it is of no importance whether I called him master or servant, agent or owner. The only question is, what power did I put in his hands? Was it an absolute and irresponsible one? or a limited and responsible one?
For still another reason they are neither our servants, agents, attorneys, nor representatives. And that reason is, that we do not make ourselves responsible for their acts. If a man is my servant, agent, or attorney, I necessarily make myself responsible for all his acts done within the limits of the power I have entrusted to him. If I have entrusted him, as my agent, with either absolute power, or any power at all, over the persons or properties of other men than myself, I thereby necessarily make myself responsible to those other persons for any injuries he may do them, so long as he acts within the limits of the power I have granted him. But no individual who may be injured in his person or property, by acts of Congress, can come to the individual electors, and hold them responsible for these acts of their so-called agents or representatives. This fact proves that these pretended agents of the people, of everybody, are really the agents of nobody.
If, then, nobody is individually responsible for the acts of Congress, the members of Congress are nobody's agents. And if they are nobody's agents, they are themselves individually responsible for their own acts, and for the acts of all whom they employ. And the authority they are exercising is simply their own individual authority; and, by the law of nature -- the highest of all laws -- anybody injured by their acts, anybody who is deprived by them of his property or his liberty, has the same right to hold them individually responsible, that he has to hold any other trespasser individually responsible. He has the same right to resist them, and their agents, that he has to resist any other trespassers.
It is plain, then, that on general principles of law and reason -- such principles as we all act upon in courts of justice and in common life -- the Constitution is no contract; that it binds nobody, and never did bind anybody; and that all those who pretend to act by its authority, are really acting without any legitimate authority at all; that, on general principles of law and reason, they are mere usurpers, and that everybody not only has the right, but is morally bound, to treat them as such.
If the people of this country wish to maintain such a government as the Constitution describes, there is no reason in the world why they should not sign the instrument itself, and thus make known their wishes in an open, authentic manner; in such manner as the common sense and experience of mankind have shown to be reasonable and necessary in such cases; and in such manner as to make themselves (as they ought to do) individually responsible for the acts of the government. But the people have never been asked to sign it. And the only reason why they have never been asked to sign it, has been that it has been known that they never would sign it; that they were neither such fools nor knaves as they must needs have been to be willing to sign it; that (at least as it has been practically interpreted) it is not what any sensible and honest man wants for himself; nor such as he has any right to impose upon others. It is, to all moral intents and purposes, as destitute of obligations as the compacts which robbers and thieves and pirates enter into with each other, but never sign.
If any considerable number of the people believe the Constitution to be good, why do they not sign it themselves, and make laws for, and administer them upon, each other; leaving all other persons (who do not interfere with them) in peace? Until they have tried the experiment for themselves, how can they have the face to impose the Constitution upon, or even to recommend it to, others? Plainly the reason for absurd and inconsistent conduct is that they want the Constitution, not solely for any honest or legitimate use it can be of to themselves or others, but for the dishonest and illegitimate power it gives them over the persons and properties of others. But for this latter reason, all their eulogiums on the Constitution, all their exhortations, and all their expenditures of money and blood to sustain it, would be wanting.
The Constitution itself, then, being of no authority, on what authority does our government practically rest? On what ground can those who pretend to administer it, claim the right to seize men's property, to restrain them of their natural liberty of action, industry, and trade, and to kill all who deny their authority to dispose of men's properties, liberties, and lives at their pleasure or discretion?
The most they can say, in answer to this question, is, that some half, two-thirds, or three-fourths, of the male adults of the country have a tacit understanding that they will maintain a government under the Constitution; that they will select, by ballot, the persons to administer it; and that those persons who may receive a majority, or a plurality, of their ballots, shall act as their representatives, and administer the Constitution in their name, and by their authority.
But this tacit understanding (admitting it to exist) cannot at all justify the conclusion drawn from it. A tacit understanding between A, B, and C, that they will, by ballot, depute D as their agent, to deprive me of my property, liberty, or life, cannot at all authorize D to do so. He is none the less a robber, tyrant, and murderer, because he claims to act as their agent, than he would be if he avowedly acted on his own responsibility alone.
Neither am I bound to recognize him as their agent, nor can he legitimately claim to be their agent, when he brings no written authority from them accrediting him as such. I am under no obligation to take his word as to who his principals may be, or whether he has any. Bringing no credentials, I have a right to say he has no such authority even as he claims to have: and that he is therefore intending to rob, enslave, or murder me on his own account.
This tacit understanding, therefore, among the voters of the country, amounts to nothing as an authority to their agents. Neither do the ballots by which they select their agents, avail any more than does their tacit understanding; for their ballots are given in secret, and therefore in such a way as to avoid any personal responsibility for the acts of their agents.
No body of men can be said to authorize a man to act as their agent, to the injury of a third person, unless they do it in so open and authentic a manner as to make themselves personally responsible for his acts. None of the voters in this country appoint their political agents in any open, authentic manner, or in any manner to make themselves responsible for their acts. Therefore these pretended agents cannot legitimately claim to be really agents. Somebody must be responsible for the acts of these pretended agents; and if they cannot show any open and authentic credentials from their principals, they cannot, in law or reason, be said to have any principals.
The maxim applies here, that what does not appear, does not exist. If they can show no principals, they have none.
But even these pretended agents do not themselves know who their pretended principals are. These latter act in secret; for acting by secret ballot is acting in secret as much as if they were to meet in secret conclave in the darkness of the night. And they are personally as much unknown to the agents they select, as they are to others. No pretended agent therefore can ever know by whose ballots he is selected, or consequently who his real principles are. Not knowing who his principles are, he has no right to say that he has any. He can, at most, say only that he is the agent of a secret band of robbers and murderers, who are bound by that faith which prevails among confederates in crime, to stand by him, if his acts, done in their name, shall be resisted.
Men honestly engaged in attempting to establish justice in the world, have no occasion thus to act in secret; or to appoint agents to do acts for which they (the principals) are not willing to be responsible.
The secret ballot makes a secret government; and a secret government is a secret band of robbers and murderers. Open despotism is better than this. The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: I am the State: My will is law: I am your master: I take the responsibility of my acts: The only arbiter I acknowledge is the sword: If anyone denies my right, let him try conclusions with me.
But a secret government is little less than a government of assassins. Under it, a man knows not who his tyrants are, until they have struck, and perhaps not then. He may guess, beforehand, as to some of his immediate neighbors. But he really knows nothing. The man to whom he would most naturally fly for protection, may prove an enemy, when the time of trial comes.
This is the kind of government we have; and it is the only one we are likely to have, until men are ready to say: We will consent to no Constitution, except such an one as we are neither ashamed nor afraid to sign; and we will authorize no government to do anything in our name which we are not willing to be personally responsible for.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
To: All those currently exercising positions of responsibility in the Government of the United States of America, whether elected or appointed, and whether at the federal, state, or local level
Whereas the United States Government's claim to legitimacy is purportedly based on such principles as the consent of the governed, human equality, and the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and
Whereas few if any of those over whom you claim authority have ever consented to such governance; and
Whereas governments, as claimants to such authority over others, are by their nature inconsistent with human equality; and
Whereas your laws, ordinances, decrees, and policies generally stand in violation, directly or indirectly, of the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
We, the undersigned, hereby demand:
That you cease to claim to be acting in our name or as our agents; and
That you cease all attempts to exercise authority over your fellow human beings, on this continent or elsewhere; and
That you work to dismantle the institution or set of institutions known as the Government of the United States of America, in every branch and at every level, as speedily as possible; and
That you make no attempt to interfere with its replacement by voluntary associations of free and equal individuals.
View Current Signatures
"Certain questions answer themselves by being asked." - Leon Trotsky
"Is the truth sometimes ignored or even rejected because the recipient cannot imagine agreeing with the messenger?" - Myth of the Innocent Civilian
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
After rescuing my damsel in distress, it is now time to shift focus to rescuing the people of the State of Missouri and restoring common sense. Please support my bid for Governor.
Dubie or not Dubie?
It's time to ask the question.
|January 13, 2008|
Without comment, the Supreme Court decided not to hear We The People v. United States, a case which, if heard, would have required the Court to declare -- for the first time history -- whether the Government is obligated to respond to proper Petitions by ordinary, private individuals for Redress of Grievances - specifically Grievances alleging unconstitutional behavior by the Government, and whether the individual having so Petitioned, has the Right to act to peacefully hold the Government accountable if the Government refuses to respond.
The decision by the Supreme Court has grave consequences for the future of individual Rights, Freedom and Liberty, popular sovereignty, government accountability and the great experiment in (self) government that is America. (continued...)
Friday, January 11, 2008
However, it's no longer necessary to steal this book on the net. While digital copies can be found in many a dark alley on the Internet, the book has recently been made available for free on the brightly lit pages of Tenant.net. If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, now is a better time than any.
In late October, Napolitano gave the keynote address at the conference Reason in DC, where he delivered a spellbinding speech that blended a masterful understanding of American history with a blazing outrage at the excesses of the new security state. "Who [is] the greatest violator of the Constitution?" asks Napolitano. "George W. Bush has shown less fidelity to the Constitution than any president since Abraham Lincoln."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Ron Paul had two precincts, Sutton and Greenville, that BOTH claimed to receive ZERO votes for him in the recent New Hampshire primary.
In the same ballot Rudy Giuliani received many more votes than would be expected for a candidate with no momentum from previous primaries and very low poll numbers in a state where he did not see fit to even campaign.
Barack Obama received significantly less votes than was predicted in the vast majority of polls whilst Hillary Clinton received significantly more votes than were predicted.
This coupled with the statistical analyses demonstrating that BOTH candidates potentially lost HUGE numbers of votes when comparing hand counts to machine counts (91% of the vote in New Hampshire was machine counted) should, in the interests of ensuring that a true representation of the will of the people is reflected in the results, be enough to drive any Paul or Obama supporter to sign this petition, regardless of party or candidate affiliation.
Given that both men are running for the office of President of the United States, an office that exists solely of the people, for the people and by the people, one assumes that they will both accept this request and represent the will of the people to demand this recount should enough signatures be accumulated.
We, the undersigned, call on Congressman Ron Paul and Junior Senator Barack Obama, in the interests of fair play and truth at the ballot boxes, to request a hand recount of ALL votes cast in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary.
Click here to sign the petition NOW!!