This is Our Last Hope

Like the marshmallow monster in the movie Ghostbusters, the federal government ranges across America from sea to shining sea. It wraps itself in red white and blue bunting, bullying, badgering and browbeating citizens to get its way. Over the last 100 years, the monster from the Potomac has grown exponentially, shoving its tentacles into nearly every nook and cranny of American life.

Conceived as limited and delegated with enumerated powers for very specific purposes, the United States federal government morphed into an institution with nearly unlimited power, scope and authority. Like the kudzu vine so familiar in southern states, it continues to grow at a chilling pace. Chop off one stem, and two quickly grow back to replace it.

No rational American believes that the United States can simply continue on its current path. We’ve maxed out the credit card and the bank is calling in the loans. The American people can either take proactive steps to shrink Washington D.C. and gain control of the overreaching federal monster, or the system will eventually collapse on itself.

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NSA: We Will Illegally Spy on Citizens Only When Absolutely Necessary

originally published at The New American Magazine

The National Security Agency (NSA) says Americans should trust them to use their surveillance powers only for good. This from the group whose leader refused to say how many Americans they are spying on because it was “beyond the capacity of his office and dedicating sufficient additional resources would likely impede the NSA’s mission.”

In other words, the NSA is too busy illegally recording our private emails, texts, Facebook posts, and phone calls to figure out how many of us are already caught in their net. And, furthermore, there is nothing Congress can do about it.

Apparently, NSA thinks it’s beyond the court’s oversight, as well.

In a motion to dismiss a class action suit challenging the nearly unlimited scope of the domestic surveillance agency’s monitoring of citizens’ electronic communication, attorneys for the Obama administration argued that it would use the authority granted it under the Terrorist Surveillance Program only when “absolutely necessary” and that disclosing the information requested would require it to reveal protected state secrets.

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Florida voters get oppotunity to say ‘No!’ to federal insurance mandates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – President Obama and Congress insist they have the authority to force every American to buy health insurance.

Last summer, the Supreme Court put its rubber stamp on that notion, ruling that the federal government does indeed possess the authority to force all 350-plus million Americans into a one-size fits all health care system via its taxing authority.

Florida voters will have the opportunity to tell the feds to go pound the plentiful Sunshine State sand on Nov. 6 when they consider Amendment 1, a health care freedom amendment.

If passed, the amendment will “prohibit laws or rules from compelling any person or employer to purchase, obtain, or otherwise provide for health care coverage.” The proposed amendment would also allow health care providers to accept direct payment for services.

Call it a tax or call it a penalty, in effect, the amendment would nullify the insurance mandate written into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Amendment 1 would “exempt persons, employers, and health care providers from penalties and taxes for paying directly or accepting direct payment for lawful health care services; and prohibit laws or rules from abolishing the private market for health care coverage of any lawful health care service.”

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The Internet Revolution is a Liberty Revolution

by Ron Paul

Until the late 1990s, individuals interested in Austrian economics, U.S. constitutional history, and libertarian philosophy had few sources of information. They had to spend hours scouring used book stores or the back pages of obscure libertarian periodicals to find the great works of Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, and other giants of liberty. Local library and university collections ignored libertarian politics and economics.

Today, however, the greatest classics of libertarian thought, libertarian philosophy, and libertarian economics are available instantly to anyone with internet access. Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever before for liberty activists to spread news and other information regarding the evils of government power and the benefits of freedom. For the first time in human history, supporters of liberty around the world can share information across borders quickly and cheaply. Without the filter of government censors, this information emboldens millions to question governments and promote liberty.

This is why liberty-minded Americans must do everything possible to oppose– and stop– government attempts to censor or limit the free flow of information online.

One such attempt is known as “CISPA”, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. This bill will create a monstrous coalition of big business and big government to rob Americans of their protections under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.

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Why Do We Have Paper Money?

by Jacob G. Hornberger via the Future of Freedom Foundation

Article One, Section 10, of the U.S. Constitution reads: “No state shall … make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

Article One, Section 8, reads as follows: “The Congress shall have Power … To Coin money, regulate the value thereof….”

Keep in mind the dual purpose of the Constitution: one, to call the federal government into existence and, two, to enumerate the powers that it would have. If a power wasn’t enumerated, then that meant that it could not be exercised.

Thus, there was no need to expressly prohibit the federal government from exercising powers that the Framers didn’t want it to have. It was understood that the only powers the federal government would have would be those enumerated in the Constitution.

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Stopping the Compact from Becoming a Trojan Horse

by Nick Dranias, Goldwater Institute

Tea Parties across the country have been championing the idea of using interstate compacts—which are basically legal agreements among the states—as a way of delaying the roll-out of President Obama’s so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The most popular compact idea, the “Health Care Compact,” has already been adopted by Texas, Utah, Missouri, Indiana, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia. It promises to move “the responsibility and authority for regulating health care from the federal government to the states.”

There’s only one problem. Section 1333 of the federal health care law specifically anticipates what it calls “Health Care Choice Compacts” and prescribes how such compacts must be organized, allowing them to exist only if they replicate nearly all of Obamacare’s most burdensome and costly regulations. In short, this little known provision could easily co-opt and subvert the growing Health Care Compact movement to ensure federal law continues to govern even the states that join the compact.

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The “He’s Kept us Safe” Scam

by Jack Hunter

When I used to blast President Bush for being the most big government president in history at that date, my fellow conservatives would remind me that “Bush kept us safe.” In other words, despite doubling the Department of Education through No Child Left Behind, giving us the largest entitlement expansion since Lyndon Johnson with Medicare Plan D, TARP, bank and auto bailouts, and the doubling of our national debt—Bush should still be considered a success for preventing another 9/11 from occurring. Never mind that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch. Never mind that by these parameters it could also be said that Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter “kept us safe.” What matters is that many Republicans still retain and defend this narrative, or as Governor Jeb Bush reminded his party of his brother during this year’s Republican National Convention: “During incredibly challenging times… he kept us safe.”

Now, Barack Obama “keeps us safe.” As of this writing, the final presidential debate, a foreign policy debate, has yet to take place. But if this year’s Democratic National Convention gave us any idea of what to expect, the President can not only brag that he has prevented another 9/11 from taking place during his watch, he can make the biggest boast of all—Obama killed Osama.

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Our Choice: Stand up or Lay Down Quietly

The Constitution was established to provide limited centralized government. It was established as an “agent” or servant of the States. It was to serve the common interests of the States so that they can act like a “Union” of states and not 13 independent states. But the servant became the master — not by force, but by stealth. It happened over many years as elected officials lost sight of the goals of the Constitution an un-engaged citizenry forgot that it was THEIR document. They forgot the pivotal role that the Constitution plays in securing their fundamental rights.

George Washington warned: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” He was trying to warn us of the danger of allowing the government to extend beyond its constitutional boundaries.

In fact, our Founding Fathers and those who ratified the Constitution in their state conventions, gave us plenty of warning as to the dangers of a centralized government.

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The Unraveling of a Gateway Tyranny

The Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values filed a lawsuit with the Arkansas Supreme Court in August to remove Arkansas’ medicinal pot measure from the ballot. Arkansas Matters .com ran the following article on the lawsuit that I feel needs a thorough rebuttal. Seeing as here in Oregon I have heard several of the same false premises argued against our very own measure 80  to legalize pot and hemp statewide. I have taken it upon myself to correct some of the silly assertions made by Jerry Cox of the Family Council Action Committee in the article.

To begin with, Mr Cox asserts that the medical weed law is to use his words:

“… illegal because of federal statute passed by Congress. Only the federal government can change that. The Arkansas Constitution and the United States Constitution both prevent Arkansas from passing laws that blatantly defy federal law.”

Of course this assertion should not fool regular readers of the TAC, nor should it fool any person who truly understands the Constitution (US or Arkansas) or the American federal system for that matter, but for newcomers to the debate I will lay it out once more. The Supremacy clause only renders federal laws “in pursuance” of the Constitution’s enumerated authority the “supreme law of the land”.

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