The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I always thought the man who brought down Nixon was Nixon

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Late in the day, Bob Woodward confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number 2 at the FBI was, in fact, the legendary Deep Throat. No, the other legendary Deep Throat. Read the story here.

FEC poised to impose regulations on political bloggers

Well, the foot will soon be in the door to give the feds power over political speech on the internet. The initial rules will only affect those who receive money for political advertising, but we all know how often the US government stops once it starts regulating and controlling, especially when it comes to political speech. Read more here.

Monday, May 30, 2005

In honor of those that came before and gave so greatly, Thank You

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Happy Memorial Day!

Last Fall, I had the opportunity to travel to Colleville-sur-Mer, the American military cemetery that overlooks Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. As I stood among those crosses and stars of David, I was overwhelmed by the sacrifice that our American soldiers had made to free Europe from the grip of fascism. I was reminded of Ronald Reagan's wonderful "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" speech that was delivered on the 40th anniversary of the D-Day landing just a couple of miles north of where this picture was taken. To honor all of America's fallen heroes, here is that stirring speech.

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.
We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.
The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.
Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.
These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.
Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your 'lives fought for life...and left the vivid air signed with your honor'...
Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief; it was loyalty and love.
The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

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French President Jacques Chirac has had bad days before, but probably not this bad. French voters today handed the "oui" camp on the European Constitution a stinging rebuke as 75-80% of France's eligible voters turned out to reject the document and reject Chirac's leadership on this most pivotal of European issues. Chirac has said that he will not resign, but the fate of the daring and brilliant classical liberal reformer and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is all but sealed. Raffarin has been trying since taking office to reform France's huge and inefficient public welfare system and implement market reforms and into the socialist economy. Apparently a large enough of the French population sees the scraps they receive from the state as reason enough to reject the reforms that would likely have lowered France's crippling unemployment and gotten the perpetually stalled economy back on track. For the US, the rejection is a mixed blessing. Less competition from Europe can be both a help and a hindrance to American producers and consumers. Chirac will also likely name current Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin as the new PM. Villepin was the foreign minister who worked vigorously to scuttle any UN resolution condoning the Iraq war. As for the fate of the EU, it's hard to say. On balance, this was a defeat for economic reform in France and the dream of a united Europe across the continent. The winners are Jean-Marie Le Pen, the protectionist right-wing nut who argued against ratification on nationalist grounds and the communist, bureaucrats and trade unions who worried that economic reform and liberalization would lead to an erosion of their relative power. Read more on the French "non" vote here.

The Death of Canadian Values?

Michael Harris Paintings Posted by Hello

In light of the Sponsorship Scandal, the profoundly corrupt Martin Administration, unchecked industrial polution and a stinging rebuke about the treatment of native Canadians in a recent Amnesty International report, Clifford Krauss of the New York Times is wondering if the much bally-hooed "Canadian values" are anything but a happy-sounding illusion designed to make Canadians blind to their own political and social problems. Read his analysis here.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

This Week in Liberty

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Damné if they do, Damné if they don't...either way, they're still French

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The polls are open in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon off the Canadian coast as well as France's other dumpy and pointless imperialist left-overs. The real action begins in a couple of hours when voting on the mainland begins and the French will go to the polls and answer one simple questions, "Do we only want to be screwed by our own government or should every bureaucrat in Brussels get a crack at us?" I don't envy the situation. Most of my French friends plan on voting oui in the hopes that it will force the French state to get off their backs and institute reforms to the top heavy socialist infrastructure that has caused systemic hardship for the French economy for years. Of course, they are aware that the vote could simply shift the redistribution from one inefficient bureaucracy to another. It really is a no win for the French. I have a copy of the June 2003 European Constitution that I picked up at EU headquarters in Brussels. The thing is 161 pages long and manages to assume for itself every conceivable power of a nation-state except the ones that have traditionally defined a nation-state like common security and protection of property rights. What the EU is going to end up looking like as a result of the passage of this constitution is impossible to tell and the French have made huge sacrifices of sovereignty in order to bring the process to this vote. That may ultimately be the thing that dooms the treaty, the French people seem to know that they are ceding their sovereignty to a utopian dream with very real questions about its quality or feasibility. Add the Tukey's pending bid to join the EU and it is quite likely that the non vote will carry the day. Interestingly, it is not fear of an oppressive super-state that seems to be driving the French non vote, but rather the fear of what Harvard economist Diane Coyle has called "turbo-capitalism." The French are deeply concerned that the economic liberalization of their moribund socialist state will greatly lower the quality of life. This is a concern being drummed up mainly by the communists and labor unions, but I repeat myself. As such, it is probably about as correct as communists and labor unions usually are. For more about the economic liberalization of Europe and the French vote, click here. To watch a short slideshow primer on this process, click here.

The Dutch are even more hostile to this Constitution than the French and they go to the polls in just three days. Read more about The Netherlands and the EU Constitution here.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The DHS's Brave New World

International Driver's Licences are already available and recognized in many country's but not yet required Posted by Hello

The head of the Department of Homeland Security is in discussions with the British Home Secretary about synchronizing the technology used in each nations national ID cards. DHS Director Michael Chertoff has also directed 26 other nations to to issue new passports that comply with US standards. It is clear that over at the DHS, any debate about how far new legislation goes in creating national ID cards is academic as they are proceeding from a position indicative of a belief that the matter is resolved. The DHS apparently also believes it has the right to issue dictates to foreign governments. And some people wonder why the Bush Administration is considered authoritarian and arrogant. Read more here.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Pentagon admits, white washes Koran charges


Pentagon spokesman has admitted several claims of Koran abuse within the military establishment, but assures a nervous nation that it all fell within the established procedures. Reminds everyone that detainees are "evil-doers." Concedes three cases of intentional Koran mishandling. Does the Bush administration owe Newsweek and the American people an apology? Admits an incident involving a waste pail at the old Camp X-Ray facility. Stay in touch with The Freeman's Burden to learn more as this story develops.

Growing pains in Mongolia

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You have to admit, there are very few places you can go to find commentary on Mongolian land reform. But it's interesting because it tells us a lot about the sociology and economics of growth and the struggle to maintain tradition. Many underdeveloped countries lack private property rights. In fact we see that the more robust property rights protections are, the less likely debilitating poverty and oppressive government will be the norm. So the efforts of Mongolia's leaders to move from a culture of herders and communalism towards a free market capitalist state can offer a great deal of insight into the right and wrong steps towards assuring meaningful reform while maintaining stability. Read more here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Quantanamo Bay singled out in Amnesty International report

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I really hadn't planned on writing on it, but as I surfed from site to site, it became apparent that a lot of people all over the world are reading about this report. Tom Friedman once commented that if the United States wanted to improve its reputation in the Arab world, then it needs to get the Palestinian show off the air, referring to the images on Arab news of Israelis using American made arms transposed against the bodies of unarmed Palestinians. I agreed with Friedman about that, but as that particular conflict has been somewhat restrained of late, the alleged Gitmo abuses have rushed right in to fill the void. From the President's patently unconstitutional suspention of prisoner and POW rights and his completely illegal tribunals, to reports of sexual humiliation, Koran desecration and torture, Gitmo has been a sad part of a bad, and frankly scary, policy that every American should be deeply ashamed of this administration for. There are prisoners in Gitmo who have been denied basic legal rights and face execution without any right of appeal except the President who created these courts in the first place. Many have never even been charged and others are charged with shooting at the soldiers who were invading their country. Read more here.
I choose the CBC story because I figured it was worth noting that even sweet little inoffensive Canada got slammed in the Amnesty report. It serves as a reminder that human rights groups need constant crisis just as much as governments do. Only their motivations are different. The non-profits want to keep the donations rolling in and governments need to convince enough people that the laws they are constantly passing are going to eleviate the crisis.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Have we learned nothing?

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The FBI is asking Congress for broad new powers to issue administrative subpoenas (self-issued, no judge required). This, of course, directly violates the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, but I am afraid that in this environment of fear that the Bush Administration continues to propagate, politicians will be unable to resist the temptation to be seen as doing "something" in the name of national security, even if that something is laying the groundwork for the rise of a fascist state. Read more here.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Posted by Hello

This past weekend was the 2005 Seattle Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society. The Libertarians of the University of Washington made our presence known through participation, donations and voluntary activism. I want to thank every one who donated on our behalf. Thanks to your efforts, our Relay was the biggest fundraising RFL in the country. Some have expressed concerns about the uses to which your money will be put. You will be glad to know that through special arrangement, all Libertarian donations to the American Cancer Society through this event will be used for non-political purposes. While we don't believe that it is appropriate for an organization such as the ACS to use its lobby power to use government to ban smoking on private property, we do believe that, in the absence of government coercion, people will come together voluntarily to work towards the common good. We proved that this weekend and I am very proud of our efforts. I also want to congratulate Penny, who advanced to the second round of the Relay Idol singing competition before being robbed by the judges. She did a great job and we are all very proud. - F2S
To view the LUW Relay web page, click here.
To donate to ACS, click here.
To donate to the Libertarians of the University of Washington, click here.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

One man's terrorist...

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Venezuela is demanding the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a known anti-Castro activist, former CIA operative and killer of more then 70 people as a plane bomber. Carriles is a Venezuelan national who escaped from custody there more then 20 years ago. The US has, thus far, has refused to extradite Carriles on the justification that he might be turned over to Cuba, the nation he committed his crime in. Read more here.
In other "Freedom is on the March" news, Iraq's new government is now much closer to Iran(here and here), The US has backed off predictions it would be able to draw down troops this year, Sunni groups have united as several of their number have been recently murdered and massive street protests continue to the US occupation. The US is worried about backlash over the pictures of Saddam in his whitey-tighty's and Australia has become the latest nation to join the coalition of "We're outta here!". All this as Afghanistan is boiling over amid a new report of US prisoner abuse and the Koran abuse story. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Friday, May 20, 2005

This Week in Liberty

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Newsweek may be a victim of White House pressure, not shoddy reporting

I'm not one for elaborate conspiracies, bureaucracy tends not to lend itself to that level of organization, but sometimes simple conspiracies can eloquently illuminate a rather dubious-looking official story. Such is the case with the recent Newsweek blow-up. Does it really seem likely that Michael Isikoff, one of the most respected journalists in the country, really ran with a single, anonymous sourced story of this magnitude? Does it strike you as at all coincidental that The International Committee of the Red Cross has been documenting Koran abuse at Quantanimo for the last three years, but when the story hit the mainstream press, all it took was the President expressing his outrage with the messenger, while discounting the validity of the message, to get Newsweek to retract the thing?

I submit for your consideration the following senario. The Newsweek story hits. There is no immediate reaction from the White House. When riots flare up in Afghanistan as a result of the story, suddenly the White House is morally outraged by the wreckless disregard for the facts and human life displayed by Newsweek. This just as Afghan President Harmid Karzai is about to visit the States and call the Administration to task for a detailed report on widespread torture and murder by US soldiers in his nation. Someone at the White House, Karl Rove perhaps, gets the managing editor of Newsweek on the phone. "If you don't retract that story and throw Isikoff to the wolves, Newsweek will never get access to a member of this administration again!" Suddenly, Newsweek apologizes. They call the White House. "There, we have apologized for running the story." "Not good enough, I said retract it." The next day, Newsweek retracts the story. Is this possible? Sure. Did this happen? I have no idea, but it makes a little more sense then what is being floated as the actual chain of events and its certainly consistent with the thuggish abuses of power we have come to expect from the Bushies. Posted by Hello

New Einstein home movies just released

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I know this has little to do with politics, but I found it fascinating. New color home movies of Albert Einstein have just been released. Click on the image to watch the news feed from the BBC.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Canada's Corruption Plagued Liberal Minority Government Survives Critical Vote

Belinda Stronach & Paul Martin Posted by Hello

It took every ounce of political capital that Paul Martin could muster, but in the end it proved to be enough. Thanks to a last minute bribe to give former Conservative MP Belinda Stronach a cabinet seat to defect and a tie-breaking vote by the Speaker, the Liberals managed to squeak out a 153-152 win on a vote to support a massive new budget. The Liberals gave the New Democrats huge new federal spending and a suspension of business tax breaks in exchange for their votes. If the vote had failed, Martin would have had to ask the Governor-General to dissolve parliament and new elections would have been called. Instead, Canada will be shouldered with budget-busting social spending and no new economic stimulus, to say nothing of a corrupt and ineffectual minority government. Conservative Leader Steven Harper blamed the Liberals for their slimy tactics to secure the votes, but it was Harper who, in the face of the Gomery Inquiry and Martin's Liberals incompetence, still couldn't manage to bring down the worst government that Canada has seen in a generation. Read more here, here and here.

"Anti-" Patriot Act under scrutiny

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Ask yourself, "How often has government sought broad, easily abused powers while assuring us that it would always be responsible with them. Social Security will be voluntary, the Department of Education will not become a national school board, we just want to threaten Saddam, etc, etc, etc. Meanwhile, the state consolidates power, becomes more ambitious and discovers all of the tools at its disposal to enforce a particular rulers brand of "civil" society. Enter Patriot Act II. Under provisions of the new act, the Stasi-like tactics of breaking into people's homes, wire tapping, monitoring financial records and even surveiling friends and families would be expanded to allow all these activities without even the simple check of requiring a judge's order that are now in place. Imagine how this authority could be abused in the future, under different circumstances, by different men claiming to be acting in the best interest of the nation. The Fourth Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (Bold mine)

This act is a clear violation of the letter and intent of our Constitution. The sponsor of this act is Pat Robertson, a Republican. I urge everyone to e-mail him and express your outrage and concerns by clicking here.

Read more about this story here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Profile in Courage

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The Freeman's Burden would like to give special acknowledgment to New Mexico representative Heather Wilson. Wilson was the only Republican to vote against the recent authorization bill that also made the "Real I.D." Act law. Even Ron Paul voted with his party to force states to standard driver's licenses and link to federal data bases. Ms. Wilson, along with independent Bernie Sanders and every single Democrat in the House, took a stand for personal liberty over fear and cynicism. For the complete voting record, click here. Over in the Senate, the vote was 100-0, proving that the Senate Dems lack the courage and convictions of their House colleagues.

Isolating the interior design gene

Steven Pinker of Harvard looks at current research and asks, "Why not a gay gene?" Read the article here.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Kuwaiti'd a long time for this

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The news has been really dark lately and I am afraid that that cynicism has pervaded these pages as well. As a classmate accused me today, "You're just an optimist." I don't think he meant it as a compliment, but hey it's true and if thinking people are generally decent, hard working and honorable is naive, then I'll cop to that too. Kuwaiti women today, by parliamentary vote, won universal suffrage. It's not all bad in the Middle East. Read more here.

No "republic" left in republicanism, or at least the Republican party

David Boaz of The Cato Institute looks at all of the ways that the Republican party and George W. Bush have shifted power from the states to the superstate, the federal government. This is a huge philosophical shift for a party that once believed and understood the historic and practical importance of dividing power across a system of federal and state governments and across the branches of the national government in order to buffer against the combination of excessive power and corruptible men. If history is any guide, it is not a question of if we will someday have a tyrant wielding massive consolidated power in this nation, but when. Read the story here.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Even freemen have to study

I have a big political economy midterm tomorrow, so I am not spending time today thinking deep thoughts or surfing around obscure news sites. I did want to take this opportunity to invite everyone to check out a couple more new features that can be found near the bottom of the left hand column of the page. The Mises institute has posted a cartoon version of Friedrich Hayek's seminal cautionary tale, "The Road to Serfdom". You can view it by clicking the link. Also check out The Advocates for Limited Governments "World's Smallest Political Quiz", the chart on where libertarian views fit in the left v right of politics and the flash movie, "The Philosophy of Liberty". You will also notice some new blog links and the additions of a couple of hugely influential books to the "Pillars of Liberty" section, Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" and John Locke's "Second Treatise" I also want to thank everyone for their patronage of this site and the positive comments and constructive criticism that you send me. If there is anything I can do to make this a more effective resource, please let me know. One more note, for those of you with IPods, keep your eyes open for "The Freeman's News This Week", my new podcast that should debut in June. Thanks again for all your support. - F2S

Saturday, May 14, 2005

This Week in Liberty

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The Uzbek Problem

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What happens when real politik meets Bush's idealism? Well in the case of the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan the answer is a tepid US response to a viscous and violent crackdown of Muslim protestors by a Washington and Kremlim-backed knuckle dragging strongman, Islam Karimov. The US has a base in Uzbekistan and doesn't want to lean to hard on its leader despite his long record of human rights abuses and totalitarianism. If this does not sound consistent with Bush's "freedom is on the march" rhetoric, yet strangely familiar, this is the same kind of relativism and equivocation that was the hallmark of US Arab policy for 40 years. That didn't turn out so good. If you want another comparison, remember how Bush's father encouraged an Iraqi uprising at the end of the first gulf war, but refused to support the insurgents. Fast forward twelve years to Dubya's encouragement of democracy in the former soviet states. Georgia, Ukraine and Zyrgyzstan all just threw off oppression with enthusiastic encouragement from the US and the administration is actively encouraging it in Belarus (to their credit). But the US is less excited about representative government in Uzbekistan. What, besides the usefulness of an authoritarian ruler, could lead the US to have a different take on similar events there? Perhaps the fact that the oppressed populous is 88% Sunni Muslim and living next door to Russia which already has a Muslim problem in Chechnya and the Caucuses. I'm not saying, I'm just saying, if you know what I'm saying. Read more about Uzbekistan here and here. Learn more about current events there here and here.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Freedom is on the (forced) march

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The joyous liberation of Iraq continues unabated. Thousands of Iraqi's in the here unto peaceful western part of the country, freed from Saddam's tyranny, expressed their exuberance by running for their lives as the American war machine leveled their villages this week. Read more here.

Well, at least the Afghanis appreciate all the peace and freedom their enjoying....umm, right? Read more here.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The "Real" ID scam

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This is an e-mail I received today that I thought might interest y'all:

May 12, 2005

Outrage of the Week: Senate Unanimously Passes the "Real ID" Act

In a 100-0 vote, the U.S. Senate passed the 2nd largest supplemental spending bill in the history of the nation. If that were not enough reason to question the common sense of our legislators, the Republican and Democrat leaders also passed the Real ID Act which was hidden within the spending bill.

With the passing of the bill, states will have to abide by federal standards for providing driver's licenses and I.D. cards to citizens. States will also have to link their citizen databases to federal systems in order obtain funding for the program.

Driver's licenses issued by states not fulfilling federal requirements will not be accepted by any federal agency. What does that matter? Here are a few scenarios that may occur if your state were to not fulfill the new federal obligations:

Flying to see a relative in another state? Don’t forget your papers: Domestic travelers could not pass through airport security checkpoints without a passport or a "Real" I.D. card.

Want to serve your country? Apply for a passport first: Prospective military enlistees could not meet identification requirements with only state issued identification.

Want to get a job? Not without federal documentation: The INS I-9 form is a required document for all U.S. workers. Section Two of the form requires identification to be examined by the employer. As no federal agency will accept "old" driver's licenses, your I.D. would no longer be valid. Be sure to bring your passport along to your next job interview.

Aside from the authoritarian restrictions that will be implemented within the next three years (the bill is to be fully implemented by May 2008 if signed by President George W. Bush), there are many other consequences of the bill.

The forthcoming database sharing will now put U.S. citizens in the same class as criminals. While the Social Security Administration tracks names and employment data, the federal government will now have access to at least your physical description, disabilities, and your photo. In the past, this level of detail was only offered to the federal government within criminal databases.

If you are comfortable with the above, please take the time today to send a "thank you" note to your Republican or Democrat senators. Be sure to let them know that you enjoy having your personal freedom and privacy stolen. Otherwise, choose to support the Libertarian Party, which will continue to follow principle and fight for your individual liberty.

To discuss the Real ID Act on the new LP Blog, see:


And this is the amazing letter I received from my one of my two brain dead senators on the subject, apparently it was o.k. to sell out privacy and liberty because that was the price of funding the troops involved in the illegal war she didn't support. The mind wobbles.

Dear Mr. "free2smooze":

Thank you for contacting me regarding the inclusion of the REAL ID Act in the Emergency Supplemental Act. I appreciate hearing from you about this important issue.The Emergency Supplemental Act (H.R. 1268) is a critically important piece of legislation. This bill will ensure that our troops in Iraq, who put their lives on the line for us every day, are properly equipped and protected. It provides vital funds to support the emergence of a free Afghanistan, and it provides much-needed funding for tsunami relief. I supported the original Senate version of the Emergency Supplemental Act that passed on April 21, 2005. Unlike the House-passed version, the Senate version did not include the amendment that reflected the goals of the REAL ID Act (H.R. 418). In fact, the Senate-passed version included an amendment expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should not delay critical funding needed by U.S. troops around the world by conducting a debate about immigration reform. While we have long recognized the need for comprehensive immigration reform, this debate has no business taking place as part of an emergency spending bill. The REAL ID Act is a complete overhaul of our immigration laws that would, amongst other things, impose complicated new driver's license requirements on states, make it harder for refugees at risk of persecution to be granted asylum, and suspend all environmental laws along the U.S. border. Legislation of this importance deserves to be the subject of focused study and serious debate. Passing REAL ID without careful consideration is reckless, irresponsible, and a disservice to the American people.However, the conference committee, which reconciled differences between the Senate- and House-passed versions of the bill, included the REAL ID provision in the final version of the Emergency Supplemental Act brought before the Senate for consideration. I supported the final version of the Emergency Supplemental Act that passed the Senate on May 10, 2005, even though I strongly oppose the REAL ID provisions that were also included. I supported the legislation because I recognize the immediate need of emergency funding to our troops. I hope that the Senate returns to the issue of comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible and that stand alone legislation is introduced that better reflects our national priorities.Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Finally, you may be interested in signing up for my weekly update for Washington state residents. Every Monday, I provide a brief outline about my work in the Senate and issues of importance to Washington state. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at . Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.


Maria Cantwell

United States Senator

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Your Iraq Five Day forecast

Posted by Hello

Thursday will see an increasing chance of horrific mortality in the north, with a slightly lessening chance of being called home to Allah in the west.

Friday will bring a flurry of car bombs to the Sunni Triangle and Greater Baghdad regions.

Saturday will see a rise in humiliated young men joining the infidels and dying to keep their children fed.

Saturday it looks like some temporary clearing in most of the country, but a rise in sexual humiliation and torture at secret U.S. prisons in Anbar, Mutanna and Irbil.

Sunday you will want to pack your flack jacket if you have to be out as a sharp rise in friendly fire incidences will rob mothers of their children and families of their fathers throughout the nation.

Today 76 more innocent civilians have been killed for George Bush's ego. Read more here.


In Brief:

Canadian Govt' loses confidence vote, but refuses to resign. Promises resignation if budget vote fails. Read more here.

Cuban bomber, responsible for murder of 76, is CIA agent and being protected by US Govt'. Read more here.

While America slept, the US senate voted 100-0 in favor of a war spending bill that will also authorize the creation of a national ID card. Bush says he is "enthusiastic" to sign the bill. New Zealand is looking better and better. Read more here.


"Freedom" in George Bush's America - from

• Paying federal, state, and local income taxes, Social Security taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, and import taxes that add up to almost half of what you earn;

• Standing in long security lines at airports, being forced to remove your jacket and shoes, submitting to searches that are made without any warrant or probable cause, in violation of the 4th amendment to the Constitution;

• Knowing that your email might be filtered and monitored — without a warrant or probable cause;

• Knowing that your bank accounts and other personal affairs are subject to inspection by U.S. Treasury agents — without a warrant or probable cause;

• Knowing that a mistaken identification could cause you to be arrested but never charged with a specific crime, put into prison, denied access to an attorney, and even denied the ability to tell your family where you are — in violation of the 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution;

• Being forced to testify against yourself by revealing all your income and expense information to the IRS — in violation of the 5th amendment.

A cautionary tale

Posted by Hello

February 10, 2009
Insta Pundit University of Tennessee School of Law Knoxville, TN

Dear Mr. Pundit,

I am writing to inform you that the Federal Election Commission has voted unanimously to support my recommendation that there is "reason to believe" that you have violated federal election law. Pursuant to that finding, the Commission has opened an investigation of these violations.
I hereby direct you to provide sworn written answers to the following questions related to your violation of federal election law.
1. Did you on or before August 30, 2008, state on your "blog" that "If elected, Hillary Clinton will be the worst U.S. president of my lifetime"?
2. Did you on or before August 10, 2008, state on your "blog" that "John McCain is an enemy of the First Amendment. If he is elected president, the nation is in trouble."?
3. Did your "blog" on August 10, 2008, and August 30, 2008, receive in excess of 100,000 visitors?
As part of its investigation, the Commission has subpoenaed your hosting company to provide information about activity on your "blog" on the dates in question in relation to the questions above.
Please note: if you refuse to provide sworn written answers to these questions, the Commission can ask a federal district court to enforce these subpoenas and orders.
In your last letter to the Commission, you stated that "my alleged blogging about Senators McCain and Clinton is protected from government regulation by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." You conclude: "The Constitution says 'Congress shall make no law... abridging freedom of speech.' No law means no law."
This is incorrect. The Supreme Court has long recognized that Congress may restrict the financing of campaigns to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. The Court has also stated that Congress may close loopholes in campaign finance law by regulating speech that influences federal elections.
In 2008, Senators Clinton and McCain were the major party candidates in a federal election for the presidency. The Commission has ruled that messages that reach over 100,000 voters nationally (or 25,000 voters in an electioneering area) may be assumed to influence a federal election. The complaint against you alleges that your statements received well over 200,000 hits on the dates in question.
You also state that you received no payments to blog about the election from any candidate, candidate's committee, or political party. That is irrelevant. Congress and the Commission, with the blessing of the Supreme Court, have decided that your influence on federal elections justifies regulation of your activities. If your attempts to influence federal elections were not regulated, the entire structure of campaign finance regulation (and hence, the very integrity of our democracy) would be threatened.
Frankly, we are surprised that a law professor would make such absurd claims based on the outmoded "Congress shall make no law" view of the First Amendment. In fact, Congress has complete authority to regulate freedom of speech to realize the values underlying the First Amendment. If you doubt that, please read the Supreme Court decision in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003).
In 2007 Congress passed the Internet Freedom, Responsibility and Level Playing Field Act which states that Internet messages influencing federal elections shall be valued at ten cents per voter affected by the message. If the facts are as alleged in the complaint, you have apparently contributed $20,000 to the presidential campaigns of both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton. Federal law limits individual contributions to $2251.01 annually.
The Office of General Counsel will review your sworn, written answers to these questions and prepare a brief that recommends whether the Commission should find there is "probable cause to believe" you have violated federal election law. You or your attorney will have fifteen (15) days to respond to this brief.
Have a great day,
Office of General CounselFederal Election Commission
This article appeared in the American Spectator on May 10, 2005.