The Freeman's Burden:

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

Friday, March 21, 2008

Costa Rica Fears Iran's Interest in Region

In other words, America's aggressive, hostile foreign policies have made Iran and Latin American leftists sympatico despite the fact they have no other common interests. But, as an American, if I question our foreign policies and the consequences they produce, I am called a peacenik, anti-American, a coward and a terrorist sympathizer. Just another day through the looking glass in the neo-con's "new normal."

Costa Rica Fears Iran's Interest in Region

Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and potentially Ecuador (which has been at odds with neighboring Columbia in recent weeks) appear to be solidifying ties with Ahmadinejad.

At first glance, Iran seems to have little in common with Latin America. Trade and economic relations are rare, and the two regions have different cultural and religious traditions, a report in Friday's AM Costa Rica suggests.

But Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has found common ground with leftist leaders critical of the United States and its policy goals around the world.

Ron Paul on Kudlow explains why the Fed should be taken out back and shot

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dirka, Dirka, Mohammed, Jihad

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Koran forbid Muslims from portraying Mohammed in characture?

Outrage at Cartoons Still Tests the Danes


AARHUS, Denmark — “I think this is safe house No. 5,” Kurt Westergaard said the other day, and it was clear that he genuinely had lost track.

Last month the Danish police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent on charges of plotting to kill Mr. Westergaard, one of the 12 cartoonists whose pictures of Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten sparked protests, some of them violent, by Muslims around the world in 2006 and put bounties on the heads of Mr. Westergaard and his editor, Flemming Rose. Mr. Westergaard (he drew Muhammad with a bomb in his turban) has been in hiding ever since.

Americans, for whom the presidential election seems to have become a delirious, unending sport, preoccupying their attention, turn out not to be the only ones who preferred to forget about the cartoons. So had many Danes and fellow Europeans. They were shocked by the arrests.

Continue reading...

Don't let the Commodity Sell-Off Fool You

The financial problems revealed at Bear Stearns that may exist at other firms as well has inspired a general deleveraging of investments of all kinds to pay back loans and lower the level of leverage from ridiculously high levels. This has resulted in the selling of everything, whether it is gold and silver, commodities, or stocks. When you can’t sell what you want to sell than you have to sell what you can sell, and normally what tops that list are your winning positions. Gold, silver, and oil are among the few things that have done well for several months and their much anticipated correction came today. The only question now is how long will it last before their bull markets resume? With more financial problems evidencing themselves so frequently it can’t be long before people return to the only real money of gold and silver, and that is just one of many reasons driving them higher.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I wish I had better news

90 day US Dollar

"It is unsettling to watch the world's reserve currency disintegrate. Commodities from gold to oil and wheat are taking on the role of safe-haven "currencies". The monetary order is becoming unhinged." - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Time for America to Take its Medicine

The AP article about gold breaking $1000 that is featured prominently on today's Drudge Report comes tantalizingly close to getting to the root cause of this historic milestone before copping out with a false analogy about 1980 gold prices in inflation adjusted terms and then stopping short of saying it like it is.

The intentional debasement of the US dollar by the Federal Reserve is causing a flight of wealth out of dollars and into the safe harbor of real money.

What is real money? It's anything that has intrinsic value and can be used as barter to procure goods or services. The US dollar is not, by definition, money. Its value is not inherent, it does not represent any tangible asset. It only has value based on perception and supply. If the supply increases (and it does everyday as the print and borrow orgy in Washington continues unabated), then the value goes down.

History is replete with examples of the perceived value of currency collapsing into a pile of worthless paper as it is printed without regard for the simple economic principle of supply and demand in mind, namely that the more of something there is, the demand and, hence, the value of it, is diminished.

There is a precedent for this in our own history. You may have heard the term "not worth a continental." The continental dollar was the first national currency in these United States. The founders estimated that there was about $10 million worth of precious metals in the colonies at the time and proceeded to print notes that reflected that estimate. Unfortunately, as war debt mounted, the natural inclination was to print more currency to cover the costs. Soon the colonies were awash in more than $50 million "worth" of continentals. The currency was so debased that people were using them as kindling as they were now less valuable than dry sticks. Hence the term and a valuable lesson learned.

After the war, during the continental congress, it was agreed that only gold and silver could be used as legal tender, a hedge against a future "continental" debacle. Although this remains the constitutional law of the land, the creation of a central bank, the Federal Reserve, in 1913 and the severing of the dollar from the gold standard during the Nixon administration, has once more exposed our wealth to the inflationary trajectory of a pure paper economy.

With US troops in 130 countries, 2 wars ongoing and 2 more looming, massive new federal spending, out of control entitlements (social security and medicare) along with the mal-investment and inflation caused by the fiscal practices of the Fed and the Bush administration, in the last year alone, the dollar has lost 17% of its value relative to a basket of other currencies and a stunning 43.8% of its value relative to gold.

Without a radical reform program that will divest the Fed of the power to print money through control of interest rates and a return to some sort of value-based currency such as the gold standard, there is little hope that the dollar can be saved. With its demise, the savings and retirements of millions of Americans will be wiped out. It has already begun, but we have only seen the beginning of this catastrophe.

MTV Calls a Spade a Spade

Saturday, March 08, 2008

We're winning in Iraq, huh John?

Lest anyone forgets how completely full of it McCain is...

Death toll rises in Baghdad bombs

The morning after the attack the streets were still awash with blood. Sixty-eight people were killed in twin bomb attacks on a shopping area in central Baghdad, Iraq's interior ministry has said. The Thursday blasts left another 130 people injured, officials said.

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Iraqis Protest in Basra Over Security

Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday in Basra, protesting deteriorating security in the southern city where Iraqi forces assumed responsibility for safety last December.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said that Iraqi security forces had discovered a mass grave in Diyala province containing perhaps 100 bodies.

Police also reported that the bullet-ridden bodies of 13 men were found near the same town.

Also Saturday, two separate bombings in the province northeast of Baghdad left six people dead.

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'National crisis' for Iraqi women

A similar survey undertaken by the organisation in 2004 found that despite the fact that none of the women felt their families' most basic needs were entirely met, 90.6% were optimistic about the future.

But in late 2007, the nationwide poll of 1,513 Iraqi women found only 26.9% continued to be optimistic about the situation in their country.

According to the report, 63.9% or those questioned said violence against women was increasing.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

This Campaign is Winding Down, but the R3VOLUTION Lives on!

Dr. Ron Paul announced today that his bid for the Republican nomination is winding down. Needless to say, this is bittersweet for all of us that have worked so hard for all these many months to help him spread his message of peace, prosperity and hope. Although the campaign may not end in the presidency, the movement that this effort has spawned will continue to grow and mature. The genie is out of the bottle and for that, we all owe Ron Paul an eternal debt of gratitude.

While we will continue to work hard to secure delegates and make an impact in St. Paul, this seems like an appropriate time to say thank you to all of the folks that have worked so hard to bring us to this point.

There are so many people that need to be thanked for everything that they have done in the last year that to even attempt to do so would inevitably neglect some who are deserving of praise.

I do want to express to my fellow staff members that it has been an honor to work with and share this experience with such a smart, capable group of dedicated revolutionaries. Together we have endured praise and criticism, shared in victory and defeat, and reveled in the company of so many that share our values, hopes, patriotism and ideals. To say that I am honored and humbled by your talents and your friendship seems trite and insufficient.

Also, let me express my gratitude to our amazing, driven, and committed supporters. Although we, the staff, often found ourselves in the cross hairs of your ire, I never forgot that it was rooted in your profound love for our country, and its future.

Together, we have taken a little known congressman from south Texas and made him a national figure. We have given voice to the frustrations and fears that so many before endured in solitude, unaware that they were part of a larger community of patriots. We have proven the pundits wrong, outlasted 11 of 12 opponents, and lit the fires of liberty in the hearts of millions in this country and around the world.

You have built a movement and have been kind enough to let me come along for the ride. Thank you. May God bless you all, Ron Paul and the United States of America for generations to come.

Don Rasmussen
Special Assistant
Ron Paul 2008

Ron Paul's Statement to Supporters

The Legacy of Ron Paul

Of course I am honored to have played a role.


WASHINGTON - The excitement of Rep. Ron Paul’s unorthodox presidential campaign has faded since last fall. The chances were always slim that Paul would get to go to the White House to collect President Bush’s endorsement, as Sen. John McCain did Wednesday.

But Paul scored a victory Tuesday night, crushing challenger Chris Peden in the Republican primary in his Texas congressional district.

Paul’s victory in his heavily Republican district means the 33-year House veteran will be around for at least another two years to voice his dismay both at America’s overseas entanglements and at Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s policies.

Continue reading here

Remembering the Dungeon Master

A political blog may seem like a strange place to pay homage to America's founding nerd...on second though, no, no it doesn't. Be that as it may, there are few people who have had as profound an impact on my life as Ernest Gary Gygax.

With his passing this week, I found myself reading the praises and personal stories from some of the millions of fans around the world and remembering fondly my own time as a knight of the dinner table.

As an angry, socially ill-adjusted teen, my one safe haven from a world that I didn't like and couldn't relate to was in the lush landscapes of my own imagination. Gary Gygax opened that door for me by creating what is to this day one of the most innovative and influential games in history, Dungeons & Dragons.

Although my parents worried, rightly, that I had escaped far to often into that world and, for a time, it became my preference to reality, the skills I developed and friends I made sitting around the kitchen table with my dice, bag of Cheetos and stack of books are ones that serve me well to this day.

As one commenter put it: "Gygax invented a game that promoted co-operation, initiative, memory skills, negotiation, imagination, compromise, planning, foresight, accountability, an awareness of cause and effect, tolerance and attention to detail. Name me an educator who has come up with a better way of introducing these skills to young minds."

In fact, I never quit being a proud D&Der. Until I moved to DC to work on this campaign, I got together every week with Greg, Gavin, Tony, Willie, Ian, Kristen, and a host of others that came and went over the last few years to hurl fireballs and thwart the plans of evil kings.

In the end, it was much more an excuse to spend an evening with friends than escapism, and the memories of those evenings are among my most cherished. For that, I have Gary Gygax to thank.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bush + More War, Less Jobs = McCain

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ron Paul wins big in Texas-14 House Race

With 100% of precincts reporting, the voters of the 14th congressional district of Texas have returned Ron Paul to congress for his 11th term. Dr. Paul won 70.2% to 29.8% over some guy who's name I have already forgotten. I only wish that the American people had been given the chance to get to know Ron as well as the district and I know him. If they had, this would have been the result of the Texas Republican Presidential Primary as well. I can taste The Wonkette's and Eric Dondero's tears and they are oh, so sweet.

Huckabee Ends Presidential Campaign, Blames God

O.K., he didn't blame God, but he will certainly have plenty of free time to figure out what the life lesson the giant co-dependant in the sky was supposed to be teaching him by lifting him out of obscurity only to crush his ambitions against the rocky crags of John McCain's cheeks.

For my part, I like Mike personally; he is a deceptively nice guy. However, when I began doing opposition research on him, I realized that he was that special kind of corrupt, political whore that only Hope, Arkansas can produce.

That leaves a Republican field that consists of John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney. Romney, you ask? Yes, remember that he only "suspended" his campaign, refusing to release his delegates. If McCain falls ill, has a public meltdown, or is immersed in scandal between now and November 3rd, Romney is positioned to sweep in and rescue the party or, more likely, he is positioned to sweep in and get stomped by Obama. Ain't politics fun?

Sanford 2012?

I must confess that if there is anything that would lead me to consider voting for John McCain, it would be the announcement that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was running as his VP. Of course, I would then slap myself and take a shower, but given the contempt and bile that I reserve for The Little Furher, that is a pretty big admission.

The appeal of a McCain/Sanford ticket should be obvious from McCain's perspective. Sanford is an actual conservative, young, handsome, popular and southern. In other words, all of the things that John McCain is not. It would be a balanced ticket that helps to solves McCain's issues with the base, neutralizes the age problem, the religion problem, the gay marriage problem, the fiscal conservatism problem, the southern state problem...O.K., I could keep listing McCain's problems until the cows come home. The point is that there are many good reasons that the pundits keep bringing up Sanford's name.

The real question is: What is in it for Mark Sanford? It is a matter of conventional wisdom that he is a rising star within the GOP. A conservative constitutionalist with a strong record on cultural as well as fiscal issues, Sanford once famously walked into South Carolina's legislature with a pig under each arm. He introduced the pigs by their names, "Pork" and "Barrel" before releasing them in the chamber and chastising the lawmakers for their reckless spending.

Sanford was mentioned often and early as a possible candidate for the nomination in 2008 and would seem to be a favorite for the nomination in 2012. He is also a shrewd political operator which is why I would be very surprised if he were to accept the VP slot on a McCain ticket. The strong possibility that McCain will get stomped by Obama come November will relegate his unfortunate running mate to the annals of loser history beside such noteworthy n'er do wells as Jack Kemp, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Lloyd Benson, and Geraldine Ferraro.

It is also unlikely that McCain would follow the Bush/Cheney model of giving over the reigns of government to the veep and vacationing except when a really bad idea needed to be promoted. That would leave Sanford in the political wilderness, unlikely to even emerge to break a tie in what will probably be a more heavily Democrat Senate then today. Worse yet, Hell might freeze over and he would be stuck living in the Naval Observatory for 8 years, attending funerals for foreign dignitaries and watching daytime TV.

So while it may give Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace something to speculate about in the absence of actual news reporting, I think that the chance of a Mark Sanford VP bid is about as unlikely as, well...a John McCain presidency.

Friend of Freedom Tom McClintock Ready for Primetime

Popular Ron Paul-style California Republican Tom McClintock has announced that he is taking his brand of conservatism to Washington DC. Learn more about McClintock here and read about his announcement here.

Ron Paul in Forbes

This pretty much says it all (from

Candidate Central: A Word From Ron Paul

America became the greatest, most prosperous nation in history through low taxes, constitutionally limited government, personal freedom and a belief in sound money. I decided to run for president because I am deeply concerned that the conservative movement has drifted away from these principles that we once so fiercely defended. Deficits have exploded, entitlements are out of control and our personal liberties are threatened like never before.

The current state of our economy drives home the hard truth that living beyond our means has caught up to us. Oil is over $100 a barrel, the housing market is in sharp decline and the dollar is in a free fall.