Topics on the show included…
“The Tyranny of Government Courts and Prisons”
Murray N. Rothbard | April 12, 2011
Compulsory labor permeates our legal and judicial structure. Thus, much-venerated judicial procedure rests upon coerced testimony. Since it is axiomatic to libertarianism that all coercion — in this case, all coerced labor — against everyone except convicted criminals be eliminated, this means that compulsory testimony must be abolished as well. In recent years, it is true, the courts have been alive to the Fifth Amendment protection that no alleged criminal be forced to testify against himself — to provide the material for his own conviction. The legislatures have been significantly weakening this protection by passing immunity laws, offering immunity from prosecution if someone will testify against his fellows — and, furthermore, compelling the witness to accept the offer and testify against his associates. But compelling testimony from anyone for any reason is forced labor — and, furthermore, is akin to kidnapping, since the person is forced to appear at the hearing or trial and is then forced to perform the labor of giving testimony. The problem is not only the recent immunity laws; the problem is to eliminate all coerced testimony, including the universal subpoenaing of witnesses to a crime, and then forcing them to testify. In the case of witnesses, there is no question whatever of their being guilty of a crime, so the use of compulsion against them — a use that no one has questioned until now — has even less justification than compelling testimony from accused criminals.
The Mises Review: Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and Kevin R.C. Gutzman | July 31, 2008
The question posed by the title of this book raises a further question, as the authors are well aware. If the Constitution is indeed dead, why does this matter? American conservatives have in past days been accused of “Constitution worship”: why should we care whether actions of the government conform to this particular legal document? Woods and Gutzman respond that the Constitution provides a way to limit the government. It is far from the best conceivable arrangement; but while we stand under its legal authority, we should use it as a weapon against the state’s continual grasp for power.
They put the point with characteristic force:
To be sure, our federal government has perverted beyond recognition the system that the Founding Fathers created. The chief restraint on government officials is merely their sense of what they can get away with. Nonetheless, the Constitution can still serve a purpose, as it remains a useful bludgeon to employ against government power grabs. By calling attention to what the Constitution really says, we can alert the people to just how consistently and dramatically their fundamental law has been betrayed. (p. 202)
Woods and Gutzman have selected twelve cases to illustrate this disregard of the Constitution. By no means are all of these examples of judicial misconduct; the legislative and executive branches have been as least as guilty as the judicial in seeking to enhance government power.
Bush signs housing bill in private
Mike Allen | July 30, 2008
With none of the fanfare that usually attends a landmark bill becoming law, President Bush signed the huge housing rescue bill just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after he arrived in the Oval Office.
Only a few aides and administration officials were present, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steve Preston and James B. Lockhart III, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The White House announced the signing by e-mail moments later.
Congress Should Rescind the State of Emergency Declared by Bush
George Washington’s Blog | July 30, 2008
The White House suspended the Constitution and implemented Continuity of Government Plans on 9/11, based upon a declared state of national emergency. Bush has continually renewed the declared state of emergency up to and including today. See this.
The White House has done everything it could to scare people and convince them that America is under attack, as a way to justify the yearly renewal of the declared state of emergency and the continuing unconstitutional seizure of power by the executive branch.
In other words, the ongoing state of emergency is both the result of fearmongering and the justification for tyranny.
But Congress has the power to revoke the state of emergency.
Obama’s $845 billion U.N. plan forwarded to U.S. Senate floor
‘Global Poverty Act’ to cost each citizen $2,500 or more
Bob Unruh | July 25, 2008
The U.S. Senate soon could debate whether you, your spouse and each of your children – as well as your in-laws, parents, grandparents, neighbors and everyone else in America – each will spend $2,500 or more to reduce poverty around the world.
The plan sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is estimated to cost the U.S. some $845 billion over the coming few years in an effort to raise the standard of living around the globe.
S.2433 already has been approved in one form by the U.S. House of Representatives and now has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar for pending debate.
Ron Paul: Housing Rescue Bill Has Provison That Will Require All Credit Card Transactions Be Reported To The IRS
Robert Wenzel | July 24, 2008
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, in a 7 minute video message, has spilled the beans on the so called “Housing Rescue” bill just passed by the House, and soon to be passed by the Senate.
The bill is some 600 pages long. Sneaked into the bill is a provison that will require that all credit card transactions be reported to the IRS.
Globalists Angle to Hijack Children with “Pre-K Education” Bills
Kurt Nimmo | July 24, 2008
Two bills now in the House of Representatives provide further evidence the government wants to tell you how to raise your children. The Pre-K Act (HR 3289) and the Education Begins at Home Act (HR 2343) aim to micromanage families in the military and those that fall below the poverty line.
H. Con. Res. 362 and S.R. 580: No Lies! No War!
Andrew Wimmer | July 12/13, 2008
There are now 238 members of the House signed on as cosponsors of House Concurrent Resolution 362 “expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony.”
On Wednesday, William Lacy Clay, Jr. of Missouri’s 1st District became the first and only member to withdraw his sponsorship. On Tuesday afternoon, a group of fifteen of us visited Clay’s St. Louis office and spoke with him for 30 minutes via teleconference. While we would like to claim that our conversation with him and our subsequent refusal to leave his office at closing time were key to his reversal, this isn’t the time for tallying political wins.
House Concurrent Resolution 362 and its companion, Senate Resolution 580, pave the way for open war with Iran. It is that simple, and we must be equally clear and bold in our opposition.
New War Powers Plan Skirts the Constitution’s Clear Wording
John F. McManus | July 11, 2008
Two former secretaries of state spent the past year concocting a new plan to give the president a role in war-making that the Constitution does not allow.
As the Vietnam War was winding down, Congress passed the 1973 War Powers Act over President Nixon’s veto. This highly questionable measure set guidelines for any president’s future use of the nation’s armed forces in the absence of a declaration of war by Congress. In effect, it gave the president power never awarded by the Constitution. Never tested by the Supreme Court, the Act has sat unused, is criticized from all sides, and is today considered null.
Congress votes to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, legalize warrantless eavesdropping
Glenn Greenwald | July 9, 2008
The Democratic-led Congress this afternoon voted to put an end to the NSA spying scandal, as the Senate approved a bill — approved last week by the House — to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, terminate all pending lawsuits against them, and vest whole new warrantless eavesdropping powers in the President. The vote in favor of the new FISA bill was 69-28. Barack Obama joined every Senate Republican (and every House Republican other than one) by voting in favor of it, while his now-vanquished primary rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, voted against it. John McCain wasn’t present for any of the votes, but shared Obama’s support for the bill. The bill will now be sent to an extremely happy George Bush, who already announced that he enthusiastically supports it, and he will sign it into law very shortly.
Prior to final approval, the Senate, in the morning, rejected three separate amendments which would have improved the bill but which, the White House threatened, would have prompted a veto. With those amendments defeated, the Senate then passed the same bill passed last week by the House, which means it is that bill, in unchanged form, that will be signed into law — just as the Bush administration demanded.
HR 362 and the Alarming Escalation of Hostility Towards Iran
Alan Nasser | July 8, 2008
The current tension among political observers as to whether the U.S. and/or Israel will undertake military action against Iran before president Bush leaves office has been greatly intensified by the prospect that Congress will pass a frightening resolution, HR 362, as early as this week.
The Demands of HR 362
HR 362, sponsored by Rep. Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat, calls for the president to enact more draconian economic sanctions against Iran. These include an embargo against any imports of refined petroleum. (While Iran is of course a major exporter of oil, it imports at least 40% of its refined petroleum.) The wording of the Resolution is chilling in the extreme: “Congress… demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by… prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.” The resolution is moving quickly through the House and could pass as early as this week.
AT&T Whistleblower: Spy Bill Creates ‘Infrastructure for a Police State’
Ryan Singel | June 27, 2008
Mark Klein, the retired AT&T engineer who stepped forward with the technical documents at the heart of the anti-wiretapping case against AT&T, is furious at the Senate’s vote on Wednesday night to hold a vote on a bill intended to put an end to that lawsuit and more than 30 others.
[Wednesday]‘s vote by Congress effectively gives retroactive immunity to the telecom companies and endorses an all-powerful president. It’s a Congressional coup against the Constitution.
The Democratic leadership is touting the deal as a “compromise,” but in fact they have endorsed the infamous Nuremberg defense: “Just following orders.” The judge can only check their paperwork. This cynical deal is a Democratic exercise in deceit and cowardice.
Klein saw a network monitoring room being built in AT&T’s internet switching center that only NSA-approved techs had access to. He squirreled away documents and then presented them to the press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation after news of the government’s warrantless wiretapping program broke.
Gun-Grabbers at the Chicago Tribune
Kurt Nimmo | June 29, 2008
It really bugs the gun-grabbers that the Supremes did not completely scratch out the Second Amendment last week, although they made a small first step in that direction. For instance, so steamed are they over at the Chicago Tribune they are calling for the Second Amendment to be repealed. As usual, they predicate their argument on three words — “well regulated Militia” — and claim beyond this you and I have no right to own firearms. “The amendment was intended to protect the authority of the states to organize militias. The inartful wording has left the amendment open to public debate for more than 200 years,” the Tribune claims.
Statement on FISA
Ron Paul | June 20, 2008
Statement on HR 6304, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments before the US House of Representatives, June 20, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I regret that due to the unexpected last-minute appearance of this measure on the legislative calendar this week, a prior commitment has prevented me from voting on the FISA amendments. I have strongly opposed every previous FISA overhaul attempt and I certainly would have voted against this one as well.