Freedom is Golden

by Rep Ron Paul

As the Olympics wind down, I am amazed at how things change every four years.  Many Americans were glued to their televisions to watch the excitement from Beijing, and also heard announcers wax nostalgic with memories of times when the Soviet Union was the USA’s biggest competitor for Olympic gold.

There was a time when it was unthinkable that a government as powerful as that of the Soviet Union’s could possibly crumble, yet crumble it did.  The irony is that the strength of the Soviet government was also its weakness, as no country, no economic system can remain strong under the crushing burden that is central planning.

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National vs Local Government

by Clay Barham

If you reflect back on how the institutions of governance grew in America, from 1620 to the present, you will see that National Government grew into its present level without much public support.  The settlements starting in New England, as well as Jamestown, were small and managed more from a town hall perspective than any formalized institution.  Every hamlet, town and county was an almost informal, non-national government.  None of them existed as the means for special interests to capture the loyalty of some inhabitants, nor was there any treasury worth plundering.

They existed mainly for peacekeeping and settling civil disputes.  Town and hamlets wrote their own laws or ordnances to establish behavioral boundaries acceptable to the majority of citizens.  On occasion, when special interests did gain excess power, or criminals were more powerful than the peacekeepers, vigilante groups formed by citizens corrected those conditions.  Each colony acted as its own governing institution as it related to currency, infrastructure and relations with colonies and nations outside of its boundaries.

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Washington DC’s Intervention Addiction

by Rep Ron Paul

One problem with politicians is that when problems they create come to a head, they typically feel this irresistible urge to DO something, rather than to UN-do something, or to simply back off to avoid exacerbating the situation.

Too often, that which they end up doing has very little connection to the cause of the crisis, but plays well in the press and superficially makes everyone feel better.  Bills that are rushed through Congress under duress are never studied enough, providing too tempting an opportunity to quietly slip in unrelated provisions that erode freedoms in ways that would never pass as a stand-alone bill.

We famously saw this with the PATRIOT Act, but Washington learned nothing from that.

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The State versus the People

by Paul Craig Roberts

What use is the political left? This is a serious question, not a rant. The same question can be asked about the political right. The question does not imply derogatory implications about individuals on the political left or the political right. Rather, the question concerns the basket of emotions, issues, and knee-jerk responses associated with the political left and the political right.

Traditionally, the political left has had a Benthamite view of government, seeing government power as the tool for improving society whether through revolution or reform. Paradoxically, the political left has believed in Big Government despite the political left’s emphasis on civil liberty. The political left sees government power not as a threat to civil liberty but as a tool for enforcing civil liberty; for example, through Brown vs. Board of Education and coerced integration in the southern states.

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Sowing More Big Government with the Farm Bill

by Rep Ron Paul

Recently Congress sent the latest Farm Bill to the president. The bill features brand new federal programs, expansion of existing subsidies, more food stamps and more foreign food aid. This bill hits the taxpayer hard, while at the same time ensuring food prices will remain elevated. The president vetoed the bill, citing concerns over its costs and subsidies for the wealthy in a time of high food prices and record farm income. Nevertheless, this over-reaching, government-expanding Farm Bill will soon be law.

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The Presidency: Executive or Imperial Branch?

by Ivan Eland

More memos recently have surfaced that were written early in the Bush administration by John C. Yoo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — the man who gave us the administration’s horrifyingly narrow definition of torture. As difficult as it is to believe, the recently released memos are even scarier than the original torture memo.

Yoo boldly asserts that the president’s power during wartime is nearly unlimited. For example, he argues that Congress has no right to pass laws governing the interrogations of enemy combatants and the commander-in-chief can ignore such laws if passed, and can, without constraint, seize oceangoing ships.

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The United States Are, or The United States Is?

Guest Commentary by David Smith

I have been pleasantly surprised by the Walt Disney Corporation’s recent foray into making decent movies, namely with the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘National Treasure’ franchises.  I would like to draw attention to a particular line of significance in the most recent release in these lines, ‘National Treasure:  Book of Secrets.’

Nicholas Cage’s character, Dr. Gates, goes about clearing his ancestor, Thomas Gates’, name in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln while simultaneously discovering Cibola, the lost Aztec city of gold.  While the movie is mostly fiction, it weaves in and out of history magnificently, beginning with the assassination of President Lincoln in Washington, D.C.’s Ford Theatre.

Cage (Dr. Gates) is later pictured speaking with his partners in a scene which sparked my interest, and of which I now write.  Gates says, “Before the Civil War the States were all individual.  Before the Civil War, you said, ‘The United States are.’  After, it became, ‘The United States is.’  Lincoln made us one nation.”

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Goodbye Alberto

Here’s our take on the resignation of Alberto Gonzales: Ok, so he’s resigning. They’re going to replace him with someone awful. It’s a sad reality that the problems we face aren’t based on personalities in government, but rather, on the systemic abuse of power by politicians. Gonzales is gone. Nothing is going to change. Why?…

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