Americans today struggle under an annual government regulatory burden of more than 1.75 TRILLION dollars.
What difference does this make? For Steve Lathrop and his family, it cost them everything. It destroyed their dreams and now they live on the brink of bankruptcy.
Although few of us have been mired in bureaucratic red tape for over twenty years, many of us have struggled because of the terrible economic climate caused by excessive regulations and government intrusion in our lives.
Please help share Steve’s story! Government oppression of citizens is wrong! Let’s speak up. Maybe it will help Steve's family, and help protect others from unreasonable regulations.
Rand Paul, author of "Government Bullies," tells how every- day Americans are being harassed, abused, and imprisoned by the Feds.
Government Bullies is a book that will wake Americans up.
What our government is doing is cause for alarm!
"Each year, the United States spends $65,000 per poor family to "fight poverty" -- in a country in which the average family income is just under $50,000.
"Meanwhile, most of that money goes to middle-class and upper-middle-class families, and the current U.S. poverty rate is higher than it was before the government began spending trillions of dollars on antipoverty programs.
"The Dependency Agenda uncovers the hidden politics of the welfare state and documents the historical evidence that proves that Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" was designed to do one thing: maximize the number of Americans dependent upon the government.
"The welfare state was never meant to eliminate privation; it was created to keep Democrats in power."
by Shawn Mitchell
Published by Townhall.com
...It’s worth pondering whether Americans’ life, liberty, and happiness are well served by devotion to a two century old document. Does the Constitution matter today? Could you explain why to a teenager?
Reverence for the Constitution isn’t universal, even among its chief custodians. Justice Ruth Ginsburg recently raised eyebrows when she advised an audience of Egyptian activists she wouldn’t look to the US constitution as a model in 2012. She pointed instead to the constitutions of South Africa, Canada, and the European Charter of Rights and Freedoms, praising them as “great work,” more recent and more generous in “human rights.” The late Justice Thurgood Marshall also was cautious, asking a PBS interviewer: “What does the Constitution say about rocket ships?”
Actually, the Constitution says as much about rockets as it does about horses and buggies;
because it’s not the US Code governing Americans, it’s more like the rule book or owners’ manual that governs the government. It’s a uniquely successful compact in history. But it remains vital only as Americans understand it, support it, and demand politicians do likewise. Here’s my attempt at a simple, easy to share explanation:
Life is hard and sometimes dangerous. Government can help, but it’s important to think about what government should do, as our Framers had to when they organized America.
The big thing they realized is governing is unique. Some things need governing, but others are just about voluntary cooperation. Lots of people or groups, like street preachers, hotdog vendors, corporations, your mother—have things they want you to do: repent, buy stuff, call home. But Government has things you have to do or can’t do, at the risk of fines, jail, or, at some level of resistance, getting shot.
Government’s essence is controlling people—forbidding things, requiring things, and extracting the taxes to pay for things. Our founders realized the power to control people, as opposed to offer or invite is potentially dangerous. It must be limited and channeled, as George Washington described fire: a dangerous servant and fearsome master.
The Founders figured out controlling people involves three different kinds of power: making rules, enforcing rules, and resolving disagreements between the enforcers and the people. They also realized the controllers could be kept honest and fair only if those different powers were kept apart: the people who make the rules shouldn’t be the ones who enforce them; the enforcers shouldn’t decide disputes between themselves and the people.
That’s why the Founders arranged separation of powers. They created Congress in Article I, the Executive in Article II, and the Supreme Court and judiciary in Article III.
Our Founders also realized the young nation sat at the edge of a continent it might grow to fill. Even the 13 colonies had a diverse mix of heritage, religion, resources, climate, industry, and so forth. They determined people should govern themselves as locally as possible. Daily government was left with the states. The national government would be limited to matters that truly needed to be nationally uniform. It was delegated only enumerated powers.
The Founders crowned their structure with a Bill of Rights, identifying some, but not all, of the sacred liberties and protections needed for the free pursuit of happiness. The finished work was an intellectual revolution more spectacular than the military revolution that made it possible. The path has not always been smooth or safe. But most people agree, it’s the most successful system of
governing ever designed.
Some clever people today say the Constitution is outdated. It was designed for a small, simple society. Our modern world needs something more complex. This claim is curious, both as a matter of observable history and of theory.
If you hear such criticism, you might challenge it. Historically, ask if any other national system has lasted longer, or produced better fruits, including freedom, due process, stable government, opportunity, prosperity, and a magnetic draw to people around the world.
On theory, ask what has changed in the world or human nature that suggests government’s controlling powers shouldn’t be limited. Or why it makes sense to mix the powers to legislate, enforce, and judge. Ask too, if rigid, centralized government across diverse states and communities, geography, cultures, and economies makes more sense than before.
The critics likely will talk about how things should be different; but they won’t show that anything has ever worked better than the United States Constitution.
Restore the Law's FOCUS
by Paul J. Larkin, at NationalReview.com
You’ve been invited to participate on a new game show called Do You Know the Law?
Two wrong answers eliminate you.
“Why not?” you say to yourself. “I know as much law as the next person. What’s the worst that could happen: embarrassment?”
The first panelist correctly answers the question, “Can you steal your neighbor’s car?” The second aces the query, “Can you lie on a loan application?” You, however, get the question, “Do you import spiny lobster from Honduras in a plastic bag or a cardboard box?”
You are flummoxed, though not alone. (It turns out that a lawyer and a judge on earlier shows got it wrong, too.) After guessing “plastic” and not hearing applause, you figure that at least all the tough questions are behind you. But on your next turn, you hear, “What is the minimum-size lobster that you can import from Honduras, 5 inches or 5.5?” Guessing incorrectly again, you are whisked away bemoaning the unfairness of being asked questions that no reasonable person could answer correctly.
But the feds expect everyone to get those questions right. Just ask Abner Schoenwetter. He was charged under a law called the Lacey Act with precisely those “heinous” crimes: importing lobsters that, supposedly in violation of Honduran law, were too small to be taken and should have been packed in boxes, not clear plastic bags. Turns out, the law was void. But the U.S. Justice Department prosecuted him anyway, and the federal courts upheld his conviction.
Unfortunately for Abner, he wasn’t just asked to leave the courtroom empty-handed. He spent five-plus years in federal prison
for getting those two questions wrong. True story. And if you find it startling, disturbing, and outrageous, you’re not alone.
Welcome to the world of overcriminalization — the overuse and misuse of the criminal law...
There are more than 4,500 federal criminal statutes, and hundreds of thousands of implementing regulations. No one could know everything in the federal criminal code...But even if someone managed that feat, he still would not be home safe. The Lacey Act demands that you also know every law — civil and administrative as well as criminal — of every foreign land....
But there is hope. Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Representative Paul C. Broun (R., Ga.) have introduced companion bills in the Senate and House to prevent such miscarriages of justice as befell Abner Schoenwetter. Read More: National Review
Watch Senator Paul's Testimony
It's Time to Speak Out and
Stop this Dangerous Legislation!
Please take 5 minutes to watch this short video about Protect IP and SOPA's imminent threat to the internet. Then speak out and help stop this dangerous legislation! Click "like" to spread the word!
SOPA and Protect IP are a
Dangerous Form of Censorship
We need to send a clear message to the world that we support the principle of a free, unified, and open internet. If we cease to support the right of free speech, "then the only difference between the U.S. and China is what's on the black list."
If, indeed, terrorists are threatening the safety and security of the United States, why do TSA agents at every airport in the country waste vast amounts of time and money harassing obviously harmless citizens?
When I travelled a few weeks ago, I passed through security in front of a group of radical-looking young men. But the TSA agent chose me, the middle-aged mom, to subject to the naked radiation scanner while she smiled at the radicals and waved them on.
Why is there absolutely no "intelligence" in our screening processes?
Why are billions and billions of dollars and hours spent in obviously wasteful, stupid, and often harmful harassment of the least likely of suspects?
How long will this unbelievable waste of time and taxpayer dollars be tolerated, especially when America is drowning in debt and the resources are needed for real national security efforts?
Here's just one example from this week of TSA agents following their absolutely absurd "proper procedures." It happened to an 85-year-old Long Island grandmother...
From New York Daily News
: "Lenore Zimmerman, who lives in Long Beach, says she was on her way to a 1 p.m. flight to Fort Lauderdale when security whisked her to a private room and took off her clothes.
'I walk with a walker — I really look like a terrorist,' she said sarcastically. 'I’m tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched.'
TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a review of closed circuit TV footage from the airport shows 'proper procedures were followed.'
But Zimmerman, whose hunched back puts her at 4-foot-11, said her ordeal began after her son, Bruce, drove her to the JetBlue terminal for the Florida flight. She lives in warm Coconut Creek during the winter.
She checked her bags, waited for a wheelchair and parted ways with her doting son — her only immediate relative.
When Zimmerman reached a security checkpoint, she asked if she could forgo the advanced image technology screening equipment, fearing it might interfere with her defibrillator.
She said she normally gets patted down. But this time, she says that two female agents escorted her to a private room and began to remove her clothes.
'I was outraged,' said Zimmerman, a retired receptionist.
As she tried to lift a lightweight walker off her lap, she says, the metal bars banged against her leg and blood trickled from a gash.
'My sock was soaked with blood,' she said....
She says the TSA agents showed no sympathy, instead pulling down her pants and asking her to raise her arms.
“Why are you doing this?” she said she asked the agents, who did not respond.
The TSA claims the footage does not show any sign of the injury.
“Our screening procedures are conducted in a manner designed to treat all passengers with dignity, respect and courtesy,” Farbstein said.
Zimmerman says a medic arrived to treat her injury. The process took so long that she missed her 1 p.m. flight and had to catch a later one.
Her son said he was shocked when his mom called around 9 p.m. that night and described what happened.
'She was put through a hell of a day,' he said.
Zimmerman, who takes blood thinners, later had a tetanus shot for fear of infection from the walker wound.
Bruce Zimmerman, 53, said he can’t understand why the agents targeted his mom.
'She looks like a sweet, little old lady,” he said. “She’s not a disruptive person or uncooperative.'”
Read more: New York Daily NewsPlease "like" if you believe security screening procedures should use a much more intelligent, and a far less invasive approach.
The internet is a modern-day miracle of communication, education, business, and economic development in America.
It has transformed our lives in many wonderful ways.
But now, the government is seeking broad new regulatory powers that will have a crippling effect on the internet as we know it.
This currently proposed legislation called the "Stop Online Piracy Act" in the House and the "Protect Intellectual Property Act" in the Senate is aimed at stopping piracy on the internet.
But far from stopping illegal activity, it opens the door for censorship and abuse while making the internet less safe and less reliable.
In the words of today's Wall Street Journal
"These bills would go so far to protect copyright that they would strangle the Internet with regulation. The Web would be transformed from a permissive technology where innovation is welcome to one where websites are shut down first, questions asked later.
"The legislation has bipartisan support and could come up for a vote before the end of the year. If it passes, the government will take down an entire website when a copyright holder claims an infringement online. A violation could be a single link on a single page, such as user-generated content that includes a movie clip or song lyric.
"It would also be unlawful for a site to 'avoid confirming a high probability' of infringement. This is legalese to make websites responsible for anything posted on them or potentially posted on them by third parties. Payment providers, ad networks and search engines would get infringement notices barring them from working with these sites, which would put the sites out of business before any violation is proven.
"Silicon Valley has belatedly realized it must fight the new proposals. Fred Wilson, a New York venture capitalist, recently hit the corridors in Washington and wrote on his blog: 'Venture capitalists will think more than twice about putting $3 million of early-stage capital into startups if they know that the vast majority of the funds will go to pay lawyers to defend the companies instead of to hire engineers to create and build product.'
"'Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were three-person startups not so long ago,' Mr. Wilson wrote. Each 'could have been litigated out of business before they had a chance to grow,' because all have inadvertently permitted violations of copyright by users.
"The proposed changes to the law would effectively repeal the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This created a safe harbor in 1998 for online providers so long as they agreed to cut off users who violate copyright. Rights holders use a 'notice and take down' process. Sites such as Facebook and YouTube comply with more than 10,000 such takedown notices a year, but they are not directly liable for infringements any more than phone companies are liable when people speak on the phone to plan a crime. This has allowed the Web to grow while providing copyright protection."
Please watch the video and click LIKE to help spread the word.
We must act quickly to prevent this destructive legislation from being passed!
From Police State Watch
: "Perhaps you are so disgusted by the attitude and tactics of the TSA at the nations airports, that you have chosen to cut back on air travel as much as possible, or stop flying completely.
Well, Big Sis has news for you! ...The TSA is beginning its roll-out onto the streets of America!
The Tennessee Highway patrol began multi-jurisdictional checkpoints on its highways this week, under the auspices of fighting terrorism. Of course, the 'authorities' always use these checkpoints for any purpose they please- setting up a dragnet for drugs, DUIs, and even bureaucratic regulatory violations!
Did anyone doubt what Barack Obama had in mind when he said: 'We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.'
Despite running a campaign as a peace candidate, and a civil libertarian, the President has shown himself a real proponent of government force, by using any and all means necessary. With their ubiquitous 'See something, Say something' campaign, the Dept. of Homeland Security clearly envisions a civilian spy force- looking for terrorists around every corner- and reporting any other suspicious activity along the way!
Is this the kind of country you want to live in? New York and DC are likely terrorist targets, and if the people of those cities feel better with massive police state surveillance- so be it. But this is going NATIONWIDE. It is an absurd waste of money and resources, and history shows that law enforcement/intelligence centralization is dangerous!"Read More: The Atlantic