What just happened?!  

Posted by BEN

I was just watching Congressman Paul question Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He asked him some very important questions and Bernanke gave some very elusive answers, as usual. Then Paul asked Bernanke if WWII pulled us out of the Great Depression. Paul was immediately cut-off by Barney Frank, even though he still had some time left, and they went on a break. This effectively nullified Paul's question and Bernanke didn't even have to answer it.
I will post the video as soon as possible, but honestly this was blatant censorship and I am amazed.

The Revolution is Brewing  

Posted by BEN

I am surely not the only blogger to put this up, but this is a taste of the frustration that so many people are feeling right now. The government is creating the worst moral hazard ever and stealing from our grandchildren to do it.

The Principles of '98 (1798)  

Posted by BEN

Well, what was once thought lost after the Civil War may now be brewing again. Thomas Jefferson's Kentucky Resolution, also called the principles of '98 or 1798, asserts that when the Federal Government oversteps its powers enumerated in the Constitution, states have the right to 'nullify' that action. This nullification principle takes different forms, but it was the basis for the Civil War and it is the principle under which at least 20 states are now reclaiming powers usurped by the Federal Government.
Here is the resolution introduced recently in the Texas legislature.

By:AACreighton H.C.R.ANo.A50

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the

United States reads as follows: "The powers not delegated to the

United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the

States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people";

and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of

federal power as being that specifically granted by the

Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment

means that the federal government was created by the states

specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated

as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the

Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of

the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union

of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal

government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says,

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a

Republican Form of Government," and the Ninth Amendment states that

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not

be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people";

and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New

York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that congress may not

simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the

states; and

WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations

and some now pending from the present administration and from

congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States;

now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas

hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the

Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise

enumerated and granted to the federal government by the

Constitution of the United States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal

government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective

immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these

constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that

directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal

penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation

or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it

further

RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official

copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to

the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the

senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the

Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this

resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a

memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

Black September: Now we find out how bad it really was  

Posted by BEN

Around the 2:00 mark, you will hear the meat of what happened in September 2008. If this was going to happen 6 months ago, what are we in for now that the government has spent trillions more?




“On Thursday, at about 11 o’clock in the morning, the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of money market accounts in the United States to a tune of $550 billion being drawn out in a matter of an hour or two.

The Treasury opened up its window to help. They pumped $105 billion into the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks.

They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts, and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn’t be further panic and there. And that’s what actually happened.

If they had not done that their estimation was that by two o’clock that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.

Now we talked at that time about what would have happened if that happened. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.”

The Warfare State  

Posted by BEN in , , , ,

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about war. This is not really much of a change from my earlier adolescent years when I idolized war heroes and played violent video games for hours. Some things never change, but my thoughts on war have definitely been refined over the years. There’s a lot to say about war, but I wanted to stick with some misconceptions that I have had or hear commonly.

Some people claim that war stimulates the economy, so it is good for economic growth. I heard this a lot in school, especially in the context of WWII. The theory is that the war brought us out of the Great Depression. Plenty has been written on this to disprove the idea, but I am interested in refuting the broader theory. The fact is that war cannot possibly be good for an economy, just as natural disasters cannot make us better off economically. War redirects the resources of an economy away from consumer demands toward destruction. Instead of producing goods for domestic consumption and trade, war channels production for destructive ends. Soldiers are consuming, not producing, and factories are making bombs to blow up bridges instead of steel and concrete to build them. This is all beside the fact that productive people are being killed, greatly reducing future abilities to produce.

Sure, war increases government spending, but the money government spends has to come from somewhere. People pay for war through higher taxes. Usually outright taxes are unpopular, so governments find other ways to get the money they need now—the ‘buy now, pay later’ gimmick that you saw last time you stepped into a furniture store. The easiest way to do this is debase the currency by inflation. The people pay the tax through higher prices instead of explicit taxation. Thus, a hidden tax levied without representation. I want to emphasize that I am not arguing that war is never necessary; I am simply refuting the claim that it has economic benefits per se.

Randolph Bourne astutely observed that war is the health of the state. War makes government thrive like nothing else. In wartime, governments increase their power over their subjects by nationalist rhetoric, taxes, and curtailing of individual liberties. The examples of this are numerous, and one need only look to the history of virtually any war to find that governments increase in power—particularly the governments of the victors but often the governments of the losers as well. In US history, war has followed the ratchet effect. After the war, the government’s power is sometimes decreased, but it never returns to the level it was previously, creating an ever-expanding state.

But above all other considerations, I must insist that war is nothing less than the conglomeration of every evil, horror, depravity, perversion, and violation of natural law of which man is capable of. In other words, it is the breeding ground for the sum of all the most terrible vices that man has ever expressed. It seems clear to me that much of the emotion I feel when watching a war film is a conflict between the apparent necessity of violence and the utter horror at witnessing what awful things we can do to each other under the guise of powerful ideologies.

Again, I am not advocating pacifism here. I am not saying that war is never justified, but I am saying that it is quite rare—much rarer than widely considered—and must morally be only in blatant defense. The idea of pre-emptive war feeds on this justification in a most pernicious way. To accept the doctrine of preemption is to make war totally subject to the whims of government. Under this doctrine, defense becomes offense and a country cannot defend itself without violently preempting every conceivable threat to any one of its so-called interests.

What are your thoughts on war? When is it justified? What wars in history do you think were just/unjust? Why?