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FALL 2013 CONGRESSIONAL SESSION UNDERWAY – ACT NOW!
American Patriot Council
On September 9, Congress reconvened to wage this year’s budget battles that will take place between now and mid-October. For the fifth year in a row – every year he has been in office – President Obama has failed yet again to negotiate a budget with Congress, so there will be yet another fight to temporarily fund the federal government by October 1st to avoid a shutdown. This is the battle that provides conservatives and Republicans with the best opportunity to defund ObamaCare, so if you support defunding now is the time to contact your representatives in Washington and urge them to do so (a link with contacts is provided below). After this round of negotiations is over, this year’s fight over the debt ceiling will occur around mid-October.
For everyone who supports defunding ObamaCare, below are several links to help you determine where your representatives in Washington have stood on this issue and where you can contact them. Again, the votes on the continuing funding resolution and debt ceiling will be taking place in the immediate future, so if you want to make your voice heard, now is the time to speak out.
H.R.1005: Defund ObamaCare Act
H.R.2682: Defund ObamaCare Act of 2013
Have Your Members of Congress Signed the “Defund ObamaCare” Letter? Find Out Here!
Defund ObamaCare by Making Your Voice Heard (includes Congressional contact numbers & addresses)
COUNTERING THE LEFT’S OBAMACARE PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN
By Michael Dennin
As the rising fear of another electoral backlash against ObamaCare looms on the horizon, the president has not only resorted to arbitrarily suspending parts of his signature healthcare plan, he has resorted to fear-mongering and outright lies and slander to defend the law and his party from another massacre at the polls similar to the one that cost Democrats control of the House of Representatives in 2010.
The president’s lies and fear-mongering in response to the calls of Republicans and grassroots conservatives to defund ObamaCare first came to light in an August 9 press conference where he claimed that “the one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don’t have health care”. Not only is this lie patently absurd – the GOP isn’t capable of denying anyone healthcare in this country – it speaks to the president’s abject contempt for the intelligence of the American people in his fraudulent effort to delegitimize the opposition to the Left’s effort to hand control of our healthcare over to politicians and bureaucrats in the federal government. Coincidentally, on the very same day that Obama climbed own into the gutter to spout his libelous falsehood, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confessed that ObamaCare was exactly what its critics claimed all along – a deliberate step to destroy our existing healthcare system and the autonomy of individuals over their own private healthcare decisions in order to obtain the socialist holy grail of government-run healthcare. Reducing costs and improving care was never the real objective of the “Affordable Care Act” – the real objective was power and control.
As if it were even possible, Obama took the “progressive” craziness up a notch on August 17 when he declared “in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.” This decree was greeted with howls of laughter and derision from coast to coast for good reason. With a wave of his imperial hand, the president benevolently granted Americans a “right” that they had to purchase, but if they refused to submit to purchasing this “right” he would punish them financially. Not only did this ludicrous proposal mark the first time in history where a right had to be purchased, it marked the first time a person could be penalized for not exercising a right. How could anyone not scoff at this nonsense? Compounding his folly, the president then went on to add that “we’re going to keep it that way”, but he conveniently failed to explain precisely how he was going to keep something that never existed in existence. Finally, the president couldn’t resist the opportunity to make the battle over ObamaCare about himself instead of his policies, claiming that the opponents of his signature healthcare legislation believe that if they can “make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me. But, they’d be just sticking it to you.” This is quite a statement coming from the man who is sticking the destruction of our healthcare system and individual freedom to us. It is little wonder he has to distract from that fact by trying to convince people that the opposition to ObamaCare is something about Barack Obama’s person and not his policies, and what could this thing about Barack Obama’s person possibly be?
The result of the historic Republican landslide in the 2010 elections, which was based largely on the public’s negative reaction to ObamaCare, should have been a “teachable moment” for Barack Obama, but Barack Obama doesn’t listen to the American people. He lectures them. He lies to them. He insults their intelligence. He tells them what is good for them and what their rights and responsibilities are, and whoever opposes him is “immoral”, “greedy” or a “racist” for refusing to submit to his neo-socialist ideology, agenda and policies. It’s the classic Stalinist morality play – opposition is “immoral”, opposition is “reactionary” (versus “progressive”). This is just a sample of the propaganda war that Obama and his neo-socialist co-travelers will be waging against the opponents of ObamaCare, most particularly those who want to defund the law regardless of the president’s threats to shut down the government. Obama & Co. will say and do anything to demonize their opponents because that is how the radical acolytes of Saul Alinsky delegitimize the arguments of their opponents, through the politics of personal destruction. Therefore, it is imperative that conservatives and libertarians be prepared to face and counter the Left’s propaganda and character assassination campaign, not only on an individual level but on the group level, as well. This means that we are not only going to have to defend our individual selves, we are going to have to defend each other, including our representatives in Washington, DC who are stepping up to fight and defund ObamaCare and the rest of the president’s socialist policies. Those men and women need our support and it’s up to each and every one of us to let them know that they have our support. As Benjamin Franklin said, we must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
GOVERNANCE, GREED AND BETRAYAL
By Robert Williams
We are told by pollsters that about three quarters of our American population declare Christianity as their faith. While the Constitution provides protection from government take-over of religion, with an 80 percent majority it is safe to say that as a populace Christianity is “our faith”. Christians believe in a benign attitude towards their fellow humans because that sort of attitude is a primary element of our faith. This benign attitude spread into secular circles enough to justify it as a commonly accepted American principle. It is no surprise then that we find it hard to understand and accept that some among us do not necessarily share this attitude and are motivated to commit dastardly acts. We especially find it hard to understand that there exists a particular non-Christian widespread faith in the world that is not at all benign, but just the opposite. We are also justifiably puzzled that after more than two thousand years of efforts to curb human mischief, we still have con artists and liars and thieves. We have even allowed such mean-spirited human vampires to dominate our government. The key to understanding this is partly that we have not sufficiently taken to heart our own faith’s warnings about false Gods and false prophets, — and partly because our wishful thinking chooses to disregard human nature.
In the animal world it seems that evolutionary pressure was served by grouping in a manner facilitating the most competent “alpha” member dominating the group until some younger and more competent member takes over by successfully overcoming the power of the existing alpha and thus proving the newcomer’s right to rule. In order to sharpen evolution with competition, the instinct to compete was strengthened. Greed was the natural outcome of alternating scarcity and plenty. Gorging and hoarding in times of plenty helped survive the times of scarcity.
As far as historians can tell, emerging humans copied animals, — and the same forces that drove animals to compete and hoard, helped tribal chiefs emerge as leaders. The unfortunate collusion of spiritualism and government that our Constitution protects against, began when the first “shaman” was able to influence the chief and make the collusion of the two — better cement intimidation of the group. Humans are born greedy and also seem to have copied the animal territorialism of guarding good food sources and hunting grounds. Of course these factors encouraged ambitious conflict with other groups. It is not so much that greed and ambition by themselves are destructive, it is the manner of their application. If greed and ambition motivate people to strive mightily in the creation of wealth, discovery, science, and art, — then the ultimate result provides jobs and philanthropy. This is too often overlooked because the mis-application of ambition towards tyranny has been so commonly spectacular and bloody.
A BRIEF RAY OF SUNSHINE
Almost by accident, a form of democracy was established in early Greece but did not evolve much because it excluded the common masses. Nevertheless the idea stuck around and became an essential part of later thinking.
LONG LIVE THE KING
Tribal chiefs evolved into the system of Kings and Nobles and Serfs that lasted right through the ancient Egyptian and Greek societies and the middle ages. For all that time the common masses remained ruled by the elite. What re-awakened interest in democracy seems to have been the huge changes that materialism and science knowledge brought about in the industrial revolution which released the masses from grueling hand labor. However, in spite of substantial pacifistic efforts by some parts of society, the greed, power mongering, and war merely got intensified by the availability of mechanical weapons. Obviously, human nature contained some built-in flaws. The thinkers of the past continuously pondered the situation but none quite came up with anything like the American Revolution and its resulting Constitution.
THE FULL SUN FINALLY COMES OUT
The American Revolution instituted the most radical change in previous history by giving ultimate power to the masses. That appears to be the principle difference between early Greek democratic experiments and the American Constitution, which went far beyond Greek concepts by introducing the idea of voting citizens being “represented” in a governing body elected by the people who could thereby periodically change members of the government institutions. This modified form of democracy was referred to as a “Representative Republic”.
THE CLOUD WHICH OBSCURES
But from the first there have been wise skeptics. Shortly after the Constitutional Convention one of the founders of the American system, Ben Franklin, famously remarked, “—we have a Republic, if we can keep it”. He knew well that all humans harbor power greed to a smaller or larger degree. He presumed correctly that soon the most tenacious power-mongers around would find enough loopholes in the new system so they could manipulate advantages to themselves and their supporters. Once lodged into positions of power these fanatics would find ways to consolidate and perpetuate their power and thus erode and ultimately destroy the original intent that the people should rule by consensus.
Such fanatics seem to be born convinced that if left to their own devices the masses will ruin society and therefor somebody smarter has to take over. The fanatics believe that only they are smart enough to organize the lives of millions in the minutest detail, so they set up enormously expensive regulatory agencies to enforce tens of thousands of complicated and often foolish or self-contradictory rules. They sell this idea to the unwitting public by claiming such methods are not only wise but also “humanitarian” and “compassionate”. They entice primal instincts by promoting “equality” in substance even for those who accomplish nothing and refuse to work. They claim it is “unfair” that some humans are born with more accomplishment in their genes than others. Therefore the wealth that a minority generates must be confiscated and forcefully redistributed to those of less ambition and talent no matter how great their numbers. The fanatics drum the the populace with a constant theme of ”we are your saviors and we alone can make you happy and prosperous”. This plays on the old tribal instinct of wanting a father figure leader, and so large segments of populations fall for it.
When the fanatics have achieved sufficient control, their tune changes from benign fatherliness to an openly vicious, “we know better than you” and “you will do as we decree and shut up or you will be tagged as against progress and punished accordingly”. The worst irony of this is its cyclic nature. From inspiration to self-rule and then back to tyranny. Most of the more “advanced” world is now supposed to be “modernized”, “civilized”, and “educated”. Nevertheless we placidly accept the fallback into tyranny as “Hope and Change” even though its recent utter failures in “socialized” Europe have happened right before our eyes. Why is this so tragic? Because there is nothing intrinsic about the cycle that prevents it from being broken. All we would have to do is stay in the sunshine of Liberty and refuse to move backwards by letting the power mongers prevail with their pandering falsehoods that money can just be printed and borrowed indefinitely to finance handouts even after the takers exceed the producers. All we really have to do is massively boycott the handouts and the excessive regulations. We certainly can regulate ourselves more and do more for ourselves. The only alternative is economic meltdown and slavery.
OPPOSITION TO STASIS
Nature’s primal urge is to evolve in order to survive. Therefor we are naturally reluctant to oppose change and this emotional factor can be manipulated into accepting any change as automatically “good”; — even change that is not defined until after it is agreed to in the voting booth. This may be why autocrats find it so easy to influence the populace simply by promising change. Too often too late, we realize that some changes are not at all “good”. This happened in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist Cuba, North Korea, and China. China saw their neighbor Soviets collapse so the Chinese partly woke up and began to allow some free enterprise. That change for the better immediately produced dramatic results for everyone to see. Everyone except Americans hoodwinked by their own leaders.
NO NEED TO ABANDON
Folks who get caught up in change for change sake are missing one key point. Basic proven principles of behavior and style of government don’t need to change arbitrarily. In fact our Declaration of Independence and Constitution warn against that very thing. To return to an autocratic system proven by history as greatly inferior is not good evolution, it is devolution — and insanely destructive of hard won gains.
WHAT ITS GOING TO TAKE
The negative situation has been built up over many decades by determined fanatics following a relentless plan to infiltrate, brainwash, censor, dumb down, and take over. Short of a very bloody civil war, there is no quick solution — but there is a counter strategy that has a good chance.
1- promote awareness, 2- gather resistance, 3-fill the Internet, 4-harass political incumbents, 5-vet candidates, 6-boycott bad policies, 7-never give up, 8-never forget that when good men do nothing, evil triumphs.
UTOPIA – THE LEGACY AND THE MYTH
By Robert Williams
The 2002 Oxford American Dictionary defines utopia as an, “imagined perfect place or state of things”. For thousands of years religions have upheld ideas of Heaven as utopia and Hell as the opposite. Various ways of avoiding Hell and gaining Heaven have been prescribed. Throughout all but a few hundred recent years humans have in general lived under the Hell on earth of autocratic governments and slavery. Finally, using some of the less autocratic examples of European and British thought, the American colonies gained political freedom and formed a unique new country and constitution intended as a guarantee against the loss of governing by the people, of the people, and for the people.
The main ingredient of American constitutional thinking was a small central government with built in checks and balances against the strong tendency of humans to remove power from the people and concentrate it in a small elite of “Statists” arrogant enough to believe they and they alone posses sufficient talent to run even the minute details of living “properly”.
Of course our Constitution did not immediately create utopia. There was still poverty, disease, criminality, ignorance and natural disasters. What it did do was create a rule of law which was supposed to prevent government from interfering with the individual initiative necessary for progress towards utopia. Millions of free minds have far more power to achieve solutions than a few elite no matter how bright that elite may be.
The legacy is what our founders gave us. The myth is that a very large, very intrusive central government can bring about instant utopia. But myths have always existed because humans tend to be lazy. We prefer the “easy fix” over the “sweaty fix” and so we like to believe myths and the soothsayers who propagate the myths. Most politicians are soothsayers by habit. “Elect me and I will bring you utopia in my first term”. Sound familiar?
So what has happened in the recent 100 years in America is elegantly pointed out in the following brief excerpt quoted from Mark Levin’s new book, “The Liberty Amendments”. Mr Levin says in part, “The Statists have been successful in their century-long march to disfigure and mangle the constitutional order and undo the social compact. To disclaim the Statists’ campaign and aims is to imprudently ignore the inventions and schemes hatched and promoted openly by their philosophers, experts, and academics, and the coercive application of their designs on the citizenry by a delusional governing elite”. Mr. Levin goes on to propose some amendments for re-establishing power to the people, such as term limits for members of Congress and the Supreme Court, — and a supermajority legislative override, among others.
So why should we “amend” anything? The simple answer is to save a legacy that is eminently worth saving and provide protection against the rape of our children and our children’s children. Stateists and their fellow travelers have found ways to numb the public while they systematically chew up our legacy and spit it out in our faces. They have gotten away with this because they have taken advantage of apathy about loopholes that were always there and other loopholes that have been developed by scheming power mongers who actually care nothing for the principles of a true democratic republic and care only about accumulating power and wealth for themselves and their supporters. Evidence for this is there for anyone to see. Lobbying has become endemic. Politicians constantly vote raises for their already bloated salaries and constantly increase their privileges at public expense. Expensive phony junkets and making their family members and friends phony “aids” in order to pay for grandoise trips even during hard economic times. Exempting themselves from an enormous and invasive health care law they pass without even reading it. Then they blatantly admit to having not read it. That sort of open chicanery should be worth a long jail sentence. Instead there is barely a whimper from a public sold on the myth that the new 2700-page law will make inexpensive health care universally available. If that was really true there would be no need to punish resistors with a “tax” for not signing up — for not buying something they don’t want. Even the world’s worst dictators have hesitated to attempt forcing their entire public to purchase things on the market they do not want.
The situation caused by the dictatorial power grab and social engineering projects of Statist fanatics has already gotten so out of hand in reducing the “inalienable” Constitutional rights of the citizenry, that it will be very difficult to correct. A typical characteristic of power mongers is that they are one and all ego-maniacs that have a great deal of personal aggrandizement at stake. They will fiercely oppose any change in their status and vigorously pursue every avenue of suppression they have made for themselves — including the ridiculous claims that their actions are always selfless and always “for the good of the people”. It therefor behooves what segment of the American public that is not yet hoodwinked, to waste no time in firmly resisting the flooding tyranny with concerted and dedicated action.
Article V of the Constitution provides a way for desperate citizens to redress wrongful and tyrannical rule by a supposedly democratic government turned rogue. It says in essence that there are not one but two ways to pass protective amendments. One way is for Congress to initiate and supervise the amending and ratification process and the other way is for the States to take charge on their own, — governed only by the consensus of their citizens. Article V is a bit contorted in its wording, but well worth reading nevertheless. Using Article V to essentially bypass a thoroughly corrupt Congress and Administration is not an easy path. In fact, if anything, it is longer and more tortuous than the more often used method employing Congress. The problem with employing Congress is that would be tantamount to trusting a fox to guard the chicken house.
Mr. Levin in his book “The Liberty Amendments” proposes a number of amendments and gives arguments for their need. Some of these amendments have been proposed before by other proponents, but Mr. Levin’s list is tailored for current times. The titles are quoted below (not necessarily in the same order or exact same wording as in Mr. Levin’s book), with some abbreviated interpretations of my own in parentheses.
STATES AUTHORITY TO DIRECTLY AMEND THE CONSTITUTION (See also the pertinent paragraph above. By two thirds majority, State legislatures may propose amendments to the Constitution and if three quarters of other States adopt the exact same wording, this Amendment process is Constitutionally valid without the intervention of Congress).
STATES ATHORITY TO CHECK CONGRESS (Upon three-fifths vote of state Legislatures, States may override a Federal Statute or Executive Branch regulations resulting in a burden exceeding 100 million dollars).
TERM LIMITS AND OVERRIDE OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES (Term limits of 12 years and a three fifths vote of Federal House and Senate may override any Supreme Court majority opinion).
PROTECT THE VOTE (To vote in a primary or general election, every citizen shall show photographic identification issued by the voter’s State of residence).
RESTORE THE SENATE (Repeal the 17th amendment so that National Senators are again chosen by State Legislatures as prescribed in Article I of the Constitution and thus bring back the balance of power between State and Federal government).
SPENDING (Failure of Congress to pass a timely fiscal budget will result in an automatic across-the-board 5 percent reduction in expenditures).
TAXING (Congress is limited to a maximum 15 percent taxing on personal income regardless of source and shall not tax a decedent’s estate, nor impose a value-added or national sales tax).
LIMIT THE FEDEARL BUREAUCRACY (Fedearal Departments and Agencies expire every three years unless re-authorized by Congress in bills without extraneous attachments).
PROMOTE FREE ENTERPRISE (Congress must restrict itself to regulating commerce with other nations and between States and with the Indian Tribes, and not within a State, — period.)
PROTECT PRIVATE PROPERTY (If taking private property for public use results in a devaluation of said property the government shall compensate the owner accordingly).
by Robert Williams
According to Fox News on August 4, 2013, a group of libertarians gathered in Las Vegas recently for an event called “FreedomFest” at which they debated whether America will soon fall as Rome did. Here is a synopsis I made of their conclusions. The comparisons to Rome are quite interesting.
Rome had a constitution that was often ignored. “Elected” Roman leaders often legislated by “executive order”.
Romans started out as a frugal and hardworking. After they gained power and prosperity they suffered moral, economic, and national collapse because of overspending, overborrowing, overtaxing, and devaluing the currency.” (sound familiar?)
Late in Rome’s days Nero took trips with 1,000 carriages. (which of our presidents does that remind you of?).
Roman Emperor Tiberius gathered “beautiful boys and girls”, so as Tacitus wrote, the emperor “could defile them.” Illicit sex in the Oval Office anyone?
Emperor Commodus held a show in the Colosseum at which he personally killed animals while well protected by his guards. Which well protected American president strutted about his role in the killing of Osama Bin Laden?
To pay for their excesses and buying votes with “bread and circuses”, Roman emperors devalued the currency. Our Fed does that by buying trillions of government debt.
Nero reduced the silver content of coins. Trajan reduced it even more. According to history, in the year 300, wheat that once cost eight Roman dollars required 120,000 Roman dollars. American inflation seems headed likewise.
The president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence Reed, is reported to have warned that Rome, like America, had a continuously expanding welfare state which started with “subsidized” grain at half price. That was so wildly popular and resulted in so many votes that Roman leaders could not stop. A man named Claudius ran for office on a platform of entirely free wheat for the masses. He won hands down. Greed for power made sure it was downhill from there. Free olive oil, free salt and pork, etc. etc. People lined up to get free stuff and the government paid little attention to making sure these generous subsidies went only to the truly disabled poor. Everyone could get in the game, so incentive for producing things dropped to a state of bankruptcy. Detroit anyone?
As inflation increased, Rome imposed wage and price controls. Romans rioted and Emperor Diocletian denounced their “greed,” saying, “Shared humanity urges us to set a limit.” Sounds a lot like today’s anti-capitalist politicians, doesn’t it?
It got so bad that Rome even punished those who tried to reverse the corrupt and failed policies. Remind you of IRS targeting?
Rome did finally utterly collapse and was sacked and raped by the Goths. But there is today at least one difference. We have movements like the Tea Party and the Internet to alert people about the real danger of an increasingly imperial Washington. Because of the addictive human greed for power, the blessings of liberty are fragile and not guaranteed. We barely still have the means to fight. The only question is — with half the population on the government side, will the other half fight?
FALL OF THE IDEOLOGUES
by Michael Dennin
Back in July when Americans prepared to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a revolution of another sort broke out in Egypt, where that nation’s military deposed the country’s Islamist president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, after tens of millions of Egyptians took to their streets to demand his removal. Consumed with gaining power and fundamentally transforming Egypt into an Islamic state, practical matters such as improving the economy and delivering basic public services were ignored and even harmed to achieve the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological goals. Predictably, as conditions throughout the country deteriorated and Morsi became more autocratic, the public became increasingly dissatisfied with a president that they thought, with good reason, had exceeded his mandate and made life worse for ordinary citizens, and thus the “second revolution” in Egypt began.
In America, a majority of voters elected a president who is consumed with power and fundamentally transforming the United States of America into a collectivist state. Like Morsi, Barack Obama’s “transformational agenda” is his top priority, and practical matters such as jobs and the economy have been ignored and even harmed to achieve his socialist ideological goals. Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, the president’s policies have contributed directly to the worst economic “recovery” in American history, resulting in painfully low growth and high unemployment. Furthermore, Obama has pushed against popular opposition to military strikes against Syria (where America’s enemies are currently killing one another), increasingly resorted to executive fiat to unilaterally impose his agenda on the entire country, and been embroiled in scandals ranging from the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 to the harassment of his political opponents by the IRS to the data mining operation conducted by the NSA that has invaded the privacy of virtually every household in the United States. Not surprisingly, as the president’s failures and autocracy have mounted, his approval rating has correspondingly nosedived as a growing majority of Americans have become increasingly disenchanted and dissatisfied with his administration and its policies.
The similarities between the failed presidencies in Egypt and America are both obvious and striking, but what, ultimately, is at the root of these similarities? In a word, ideologues, and the lesson we all can learn, from Cairo to Washington and beyond, is that bad things happen when ideologues obtain power and control over an entire people. Ideologues will always to put their ideology and transformational agendas before everything else, and in the most extreme cases, they will put them before the lives of other human beings. This is because at the heart of every ideologue who wants to fundamentally transform a people and/or a society is the nihilist who wants to destroy the world around him, and this explains why many of the most murderous and destructive monsters in human history were ideologues. This is why people should never, ever underestimate the capacity of ideologues to inflict harm on the individuals and societies around them, and more importantly, this is why people should never make the mistake of granting ideologues any measure of power over their lives in the first place.