Posts tagged libertarians
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
Fusion centers are also involved in rolling out nationwide biometrics systems as well as centralized biometrics databases coordinated by the federal government.
In the past, Napolitano has claimed that fusion centers are “one of the centerpieces of our counterterrorism strategy,” while reality paints a completely different picture.
The Senate panel, which combed over 80,000 fusion center documents, determined that they could not “identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot.”
Furthermore, unnamed DHS officials told the senate panel that fusion centers put out “predominantly useless information” and “a bunch of crap,” according to Danger Room.
This is somewhat surprising coming from any DHS official given that their official risk assessments have a tendency to wildly underestimate actual risks, but perhaps even DHS employees are beginning to see the absurdity of these fusion centers.
Hilariously, an internal assessment from 2010 – which DHS unsurprisingly did not share with Congress – reveals that a whopping third of all fusion centers do not even have defined procedures for sharing intelligence, which is “one of the prime reasons for their existence.”
Even more troubling is the fact that the Senate has found that at least four fusion centers identified by DHS “do not exist.”
The sad reality is that the Senate’s finding, as noted above, is not in any way shocking. For instance, the Constitution Project (TCP), a national, bipartisan think tank determined, “without effective limits on data collection, storage and use, fusion centers can pose serious risks to civil liberties, including rights of free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion, racial and religious equality, privacy and the right to be free from unnecessary government intrusion.”
“Those of us who really yearn for a return to first principles, the natural law, the Constitution, a government that only has powers that we have consented it may have… are frustrated by the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” says Judge Andrew Napolitano, author of the upcoming book “Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Your Constitutional Freedoms,” Fox Business contributor, and former host of “Freedom Watch.”
Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch sat down with Napolitano at FreedomFest 2012 and discussed the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the individual mandate and whether or not there’s a substantive difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney from a libertarian perspective.
Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. ReasonTV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now:
By Tom Mullen on Mon, 03/05/2012
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.
Non-Aggression Is Not Pacifism (Libertarians Hit Back)
Heading into “Super Tuesday,” many conservatives lament that they do not like any of the remaining Republican candidates for president. Romney is too moderate, Gingrich too much a “Washington insider,” and Santorum both an insider and a guaranteed loser against Obama thanks to his willingness to bare his soul about some of his more outlandish socially conservative views.
That leaves Ron Paul, who would seem to be the ideal conservative candidate. Paul’s Plan to Restore America actually cuts $1 trillion from the federal budget in his first year as president, including eliminating the Department of Education that Ronald Reagan promised to abolish.
Paul is the only candidate that actually disagrees with President Obama in principle on “spreading the wealth around.” Paul doesn’t just nibble a few pennies away from financially insignificant welfare programs. He actually has a funded plan to let young people opt out of Medicare and Social Security. This is really a plan to responsibly end these programs. Government-mandated programs only survive because people are forced to participate. If conservatives really do oppose socialism, they should agree with Paul on this. Where do they think Social Security got its name?
For a large group of conservatives, they are with Paul right up until he explains his foreign policy. Suddenly, not only does the courtship end, they stop taking calls and change their phone numbers. That’s unfortunate because most conservatives make this decision upon a completely distorted view of Paul’s foreign policy.
All of Ron Paul’s policy decisions are based upon the same underlying principle: the libertarian principle of non-aggression. As he stated during my own interview with him last year (about the 7:30 mark here), “That’s the moral principle. The legislative principle is really in the Constitution.” Based upon this principle, the government is never allowed to initiate force against the innocent. That means that it cannot redistribute wealth, it cannot stop you from harming yourself with drugs or other vices, and it cannot start a war with another nation.
This is not some new age idea from the early libertarian movement of the 1970’s. This is the foundation of the founders’ philosophy of government. Thomas Jefferson made it explicit when he said, “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”
Jefferson’s first order of business upon reaching the White House was to cut military spending dramatically. His goal was a military establishment adequate to defend the nation but inadequate to the imperial designs of Federalists like Alexander Hamilton. However, when the Pasha of Tripoli declared war upon the United States, Jefferson did not hesitate to send in the Marines for a quick and decisive win.
The confusion starts when Paul’s policies are described as “dovish” or “soft” on Iran or other supposedly belligerent nations. People unfamiliar with libertarian ideas may honestly misunderstand them. Others deliberately distort them. Let there be no confusion. Non-aggression is not pacifism. Libertarians hit back.
Indeed, Paul has said that if the people really do want to go to war, then he would ask the Congress for a declaration of war. He rarely gets time to explain why this is important. The declaration of war involves a debate about whether a state of war already exists. That’s why it’s so important. The declaration of war power doesn’t authorize Congress to start a war. It allows them to direct the president to end it. Check the language of every declaration of war that Congress has ever made. They all support this interpretation.
Active duty military seem to understand this implicitly, which is why they overwhelmingly support Ron Paul. They are ready to risk their lives for their country, but only when their country is truly in danger. Why don’t most conservative voters agree with them? They decorate their vehicles with stickers saying “Support Our Troops” but do not support the candidate that the troops want to be president.
It is no accident that the United States has never really won a war since Congress stopped declaring them. Instead, we send our troops into some far-off land for decades at a time with no clear definition of victory. Their hands are tied with confusing rules of engagement that keep them from winning and prolong the war. This is good for those who profit from war but bad for the troops who risk or lose their lives.
None of this happens in a Ron Paul presidency. Instead, war is far less likely to come at all, which is a good thing. If it is forced upon us, Ron Paul will have it properly declared by the Congress and then will fight it to win. Make no mistake. Of all of the Republican candidates for president, only Ron Paul will win the next war.
 Jefferson, Thomas Letter to Francis Walker Gilmer June 7, 1816 from The Works of Thomas Jefferson edited by Paul Leicester Ford G.P. Putnam’s Sons New York and London The Knickerbocker Press 1905 pg. 533-34
Democracy, which I consider to be the first step or beginning of socialism, thrives on propaganda, and uses this propaganda to indoctrinate the people. Once this indoctrination is complete, totalitarianism is the end result, and then propaganda is replaced by the razor’s edge of the state’s sword. This is our lot today. Propaganda has labeled those of us who desire to protect freedom as dissenters, and as enemies of the State. Given the now “legal” ability of the State to imprison indefinitely or murder any it chooses to, the sword has become the state’s weapon of choice. The circle is nearly complete!
According to a Reuter’s article published recently, the “FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists.” “Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday.” The article went on to say that: “These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority.
Pay careful attention to who is now considered to be an extremist according to the FBI. Those who refuse to pay or even those who oppose taxation, those who defy government environmental regulations, and those who believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard, are now all considered to be extremists!
To expand on this matter, it is a point of fact that any real libertarian is opposed to forced government taxation, is opposed to government mandated environmental regulations, and all real libertarians fully understand that the creation of the Federal Reserve and the destruction of the gold standard have bankrupted this country. Or is losing 97% of the value on our money not considered bankruptcy?
One thing that was correct in this article was this statement: “Routine encounters with police can turn violent “at the drop of a hat,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division.” Yes, any wrong look or posture by any citizen can result in extreme violence against that innocent citizen by police. This is proven every single day around this country, but I should mention that McArthur was mistakenly referring to violence by the citizen against police. What a queer position to take!
State and local police departments are inundating the FBI with requests for training to protect themselves from sovereign citizens. This statement has obviously been reversed, as I always thought that the sovereign citizen was to be protected by local and state police, not the other way around. It seems the idea of sovereignty is now reserved only to the nation state and its agents of force. This of course is backward, but then again, what in this country remains proper, and in the interest of liberty? Little or nothing remains, as the U.S. has become nothing more than a tyrannical, fascist oligarchy!
We are very close to the bottom of the sleigh run on our way down that slippery slope toward a total police state. Most of the pieces of the puzzle are now in place, and all that is left for the government authorities to do is to round up those “extremist sovereigns” still practicing their anti-government ways. With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and the now new expanded FBI definition of an extremist, all that remains to be done is to actually capture and incarcerate all those who believe themselves to be sovereign individuals.
Consider that being anti-government, or even speaking out against the government, or wanting to protect your hard earned property by insisting on real money, or not agreeing with government regulations, can now literally lead to indefinite military detention without any due process or trial. Consider that any who believe in individual sovereignty can now be sent away to black sites around the world, tortured, or worse, via the rendition process. Consider that any resistance to the State can now lead to arrest, imprisonment, beatings, or death. Consider that this once (so-called) free country is now a total police state bent on the destruction of all natural rights of individuals, and the U.S. government is desirous of total power and control over the entire population.
In reality these things do not have to be considered, because they are already happening! Some of the state’s indiscretions are still partially isolated at this time, but the fact of the matter is that legally, nothing stands in the way of this government’s desire to reach a dictatorial pinnacle.
The NDAA gives the government, mainly the executive branch, Carte blanche power in its march toward rounding up any American that it deems as a threat to its false sovereignty. This power not only extends to the capture and detention of citizens, but the president also claims the power to assassinate any he chooses to on his say so alone. He claims this power without fear of law, and without fear of judicial scrutiny. The powerful in government you see, are now in a position that puts them “legally” above the law, and therefore they answer to no one. This situation is a travesty beyond imagination, but it is real, and it is firmly in place.
Given the horrible USA PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, and all the other rights destroying legislation passed since September 11th, 2001, what chance do we have to regain freedom? Given the massive power now evident in the Department of Homeland Security, the military, the TSA, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, does liberty have a chance? Can freedom be regained in an environment tainted by the malignancy of this monster we call the U.S. government?
Who among us could be considered by this government’s definition to be an enemy belligerent, an enemy combatant, an unlawful combatant, a terrorist, an extremist, a believer in gold as money, a survivalist, or a libertarian? If you answered yes to any of these things, you could be subject to arrest, prosecution, incarceration, indefinite detention, citizenship loss, torture, or assassination. This is the country that has been built by all those who support this flawed system of government, and who continue to allow its aggressive march toward totalitarianism by their implied consent and apathetic behavior. Those I speak of have no understanding of freedom or liberty, and have not the courage to fight for right. They either worship authority, or fear it, but either way brings a deserved slavery.
Those of us who fight for freedom will never accept slavery. Those of us who believe in the sovereignty of the individual will never bow to the state apparatus. Those of us who seek the truth will never hide from it. Those of us who believe in the sanctity of life and liberty will continue to fight.
The State understands this courage and commitment, and will take every step to stop it. But if those who are willing to fight for the liberty of all are no longer present due to government mandate, what will become of the rest of society? What will become of freedom?
February 10, 2012
We’ve been following developments in the Republican presidential campaign bids and last week we told how among all the candidates Ron Paul has been shown to have the most solid support. A recent poll suggested that four of the candidates were pretty level in Iowa, Paul, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and today we have news that New Hampshire voters also seem to be paying more attention to Ron Paul.
Although much of the mainstream media continues to write off Paul’s chances, recent indications suggest that the 76-year-old Texan congressman could surprise people when the first primary takes place in just seven weeks. Although Mitt Romney has been the favorite in New Hampshire all year, it seems the race for second is far from over. Last week numbers from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center’s Andy Smith showed that Ron Paul is now in third on 12%, an increase on last month.
This has led Smith, a long-time pollster to say, “I could very well see Ron Paul coming in second place.” Key advantages that Smith feels Paul has are “more money than other candidates, and he seems to have a more committed young following. Those young voters [are] always important on the campaign trail because they essentially will work for free and they’re very enthusiastic about Paul,” as reported by Jon Greenburg over on NPR. The enthusiasm of young voters for Ron Paul was illustrated last week when a town hall meeting at Keene State College was packed out, with the majority being young students.
NPR predicts that the outcome for Ron Paul could be very different this time from the 2008 New Hampshire primary where he gathered less than 8% of the vote, especially as Paul is making distinct efforts to get his message out to wider areas of the electorate. Paul’s base now includes not only hard-core libertarians but he also has a substantial amount of younger voters on his side. Although registered independents have often been a favorable part of the electorate for Ron Paul, this time around it seems that increasing amounts of registered Republicans are also considering voting for him.
However former state Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen notes that while voters are feeling good about Paul because of his ability to sidestep the usual campaign attacks, his gut instinct is that many primary voters won’t go as far as Paul hopes. NPR notes, “that’s probably true for the race for first place. But in the race for second, Paul might be the one to watch in the home stretch. Over on USA Today another report tells how The New Hampshire Union Leader paper came out with an endorsement of Newt Gingrich on Sunday, signaling that Mitt Romney may not be such a clear winner of the January 10 primary as has been suggested. Joseph McQuaid, editor of the paper, was interviewed by C-Span yesterday and predicted the winner will come down to just three of the candidates, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
It’s certainly intriguing to be following the Republican presidential campaigns and we know from response to our previous articles that support for Ron Paul is widespread and passionate so we’d like to know what you think of these latest insights. Are you a younger voter who Ron Paul has successfully reached out to? What do you think is the main reason for his increasing popularity? Young or old we’d like to hear from you on this so let us have your comments.