Will Obama Stop the Medical Marijuana Raids?

by Anthony Gregory, CampaignforLiberty

In 1996, California passed proposition 215, allowing for medical marijuana. We have seen similar decriminalization measures in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont. President Bill Clinton responded to such liberalizing laws with a series of federal raids on marijuana dispensaries, arresting the sick and their caregivers.

“Compassionate conservative” George W. Bush, running for president in 1999, indicated that he thought states should decide their own medical marijuana policies. Instead, as president he continued the Clinton policy, in direct conflict with the 9th-Amendment protection of rights reserved to the people and the 10th-Amendment guarantee of unenumerated powers being reserved to the states. Although no Constitutional language gives the federal government any legal authority to regulate drugs domestically, much less wage a full-blown drug war, the federal prohibition on marijuana has only been stepped up since 1937 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Marihuana Tax Act into law, de facto banning the substance.

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Obama, States Rights and Emissions

by Greg Heller, The Holy Cause

“Obama Moves to Let States Set Own Rules on Emissions”

So says The Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama plans to call on the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to consider allowing states including California to regulate automobile greenhouse-gas emissions, said people familiar with the administration’s thinking.

The move will signal a major policy break from his predecessor on an issue that has divided key Democratic Party constituencies …

… Mr. Obama’s plans were described to The Wall Street Journal by three people familiar with the administration’s thinking, including one administration official. Mr. Obama was expected to outline his plans in directives to the agencies to be released at a White House event Monday.

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Why Do You Pay Taxes?

by William ‘BJ’ Lawson, UnitedLiberty.org

As various tax-related mail begins to appear in the mailboxes of hardworking Americans across the country, it’s instructive for all of us to reflect on why we carry the burden of our government every April.

Take this morning, for instance. We can credit the “ingenuity of the markets”, and specifically the ingenuity of John Thain, for moving annual executive bonus payments by Merrill Lynch up by a month last November, thus disbursing $15 billion in executive bonuses just before closing Merrill’s acquisition by Bank of America. Fast forward a few months, and the United States taxpayer just gave Bank of America another $20 billion in newly-borrowed funds to put a band-aid on mortar wounds in Merrill Lynch’s balance sheet.

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Stimulus for Who?

by Rep Ron Paul

This week the House is expected to pass an $825 billion economic stimulus package.  In reality, this bill is just an escalation of a government-created economic mess.   As before, a sense of urgency and impending doom is being used to extract mountains of money from Congress with minimal debate.  So much for change.  This is déjà vu.  We are again being promised that its passage will help employment, help homeowners, help the environment, etc.

These promises are worthless. 

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The Future of Limited Government

by Jeff Wartman

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.Jacob Hornberger.

Every four years, voters in the United States are given a choice between two major party candidates in the Presidential election.  We are often told that either of these candidates are the “mainstream” candidates and if you want your vote to count, you need to choose between either one of the two major party candidates who have a “chance” at “winning”.

However, for true supporters of limited government and personal liberty, this is often a choice made in vain.  If you truly believe in a limited, decentralized government which protects both economic and personal liberties and rights, during most elections there isn’t a major party candidate that will generally fit your values.  You have a choice between the Democratic Party, of which too many members wish to violate your economic rights and liberties, and the Republican Party, of which too many members wish to violate your personal rights and liberties.  This is not a judgment of individuals in either party.  Most individual members are doing what they think is right.  This is a judgment on those than run the major parties.

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Abolish the Federal Reserve

by Perry Willis, DownsizeDC.org

The stock market rises and then crashes. Housing prices soar and then plummet. The Federal Reserve causes these booms and busts by constantly expanding and contracting the supply of money and credit.

Credit expansion by the Federal Reserve increases the demand for producer assets and investment instruments. This causes bubbles in things like stocks and housing. When the Fed then contracts credit to avoid systemic price inflation the asset bubbles burst.

This is the history of the Federal Reserve — booms and busts, mixed with episodes of economic stagnation and high inflation like the 1970s.

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Strengthening or Weakening the Economy?

by Rep Ron Paul

The economic situation continues to deteriorate this week as past and future bailouts were discussed on Capitol Hill.  The debate was over the accountability of already disbursed TARP money, and on whether or not to release remaining funds.   Banks that had already been bailed out before are looking for more money to fill the black holes that are their balance sheets, warning that they are simply too big to fail.

However, whatever ‘devastating’ consequences these banks are dreaming up and pushing on Capitol Hill regarding their own collapse will be nothing compared to the collapse of our currency if we keep debasing it through these foolish bailouts.  It should be that they are too big to bailout.  The world will not come to an end without this or that bank.  The most troubling thing to me is this rhetoric that only government can save the economy, and must act.  This is so counter-productive.

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Only the States can stop the Feds now

by Rich Hand

It is completely out of control in Washington DC. We have a bunch of bumbling idiots in charge of the treasury and the country’s future. Talk of trillion dollar deficits, cap and trade, bailouts, tax welfare to those that don’t pay, taking over our healthcare and economy; like in the Meatloaf song “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” where the woman screams – “STOP Right There, before we go any further do you love me, will you never leave me…”

The state Governors must pull out their pocket constitution and read the 10th amendment carefully for their next step in strategy. Instead of putting their hands out, they should be shutting the door on the federal government. As Raficki in the Lion King says to Simba- “It is time…”

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Opportunities for Peace and Nonintervention

by Rep Ron Paul

Last week I discussed our worsening economic situation and the fact that there are very few options for the new administration to improve things in the long run.  The same is not true on the foreign policy front.  Our interventionist foreign policy stands ready to be put on a new course with the new administration.  Unfortunately, it seems the new administration is likely to continue the mistakes of the past.

I’ve often discussed interventionist foreign policy and the resulting blowback.  The current administration’s foreign policy, I’m afraid, has created a huge impetus for blowback against the United States.  However, I truly believe much of the world stands ready to look beyond our nation’s recent blunders if the new administration proves to be heading in a more reasonable direction.

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The Constitution And Paper Money

by Dr. Clarence Carson, FEE.org

The United States Constitution does not mention paper money by that name. Nor does it refer to paper currency or fiat money in those words. There is only one direct reference to the origins of what we, and they, usually call paper money. It is in the limitations on the power of the states in Article I, Section 10. It reads, “No State shall . . . emit Bills of Credit . . . .” Paper that was intended to circulate as money but was not redeemable in gold and silver was technically described as bills of credit at that time. The description was (and is) apt. Such paper is a device for expanding the credit of the issuer. There is also an indirect reference to the practice in the same section of the Constitution. It reads, “No State shall . . . make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts . . . .” Legal tender laws, in practice, are an essential expedient for making unredeemable paper circulate as money. Except for the one direct and one indirect reference to the origin and means for circulating paper money, the Constitution is silent on the question.

With such scant references, then, it might be supposed that the makers of the Constitution were only incidentally concerned with the dangers of paper money. That was hardly the case. It loomed large in the thinking of at least some of the men who were gathered at Philadelphia in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. There were two great objects in the making of a new constitution: one was to provide for a more energetic general government; the other was to restrain the state governments. Moreover, the two objects had a common motive at many points, i.e., to provide a stronger general government which could restrain the states.

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