corporate media shill attempts to condescend a “simpleminded”, southern, gracious atheist.
corporate media shill attempts to condescend a “simpleminded”, southern, gracious atheist.
The IRS’s Job Is To Violate Our Liberties
May 20, 2013
“What do you expect when you target the President?” This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton. Recent revelations that IRS agents gave “special scrutiny” to organizations opposed to the current administration’s policies suggest that many in the IRS still believe harassing the President’s opponents is part of their job.
As troubling as these recent reports are, it would be a grave mistake to think that IRS harassment of opponents of the incumbent President is a modern, or a partisan, phenomenon. As scholar Burton Folsom pointed out in his book New Deal or Raw Deal, IRS agents in the 1930s where essentially “hit squads” against opponents of the New Deal. It is well-known that the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson used the IRS to silence their critics. One of the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon dealt with his use of the IRS to harass his political enemies. Allegations of IRS abuses were common during the Clinton administration, and just this week some of the current administration’s defenders recalled that antiwar and progressive groups alleged harassment by the IRS during the Bush presidency.
The bipartisan tradition of using the IRS as a tool to harass political opponents suggests that the problem is deeper than just a few “rogue” IRS agents—or even corruption within one, two, three or many administrations. Instead, the problem lays in the extraordinary power the tax system grants the IRS.
The IRS routinely obtains information about how we earn a living, what investments we make, what we spend on ourselves and our families, and even what charitable and religious organizations we support. Starting next year, the IRS will be collecting personally identifiable health insurance information in order to ensure we are complying with Obamacare’s mandates.
The current tax laws even give the IRS power to marginalize any educational, political, or even religious organizations whose goals, beliefs, and values are not favored by the current regime by denying those organizations “tax-free” status. This is the root of the latest scandal involving the IRS.
Considering the type of power the IRS excises over the American people, and the propensity of those who hold power to violate liberty, it is surprising we do not hear about more cases of politically-motivated IRS harassment. As the first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy” — and who better to destroy than one’s political enemies?
The US flourished for over 120 years without an income tax, and our liberty and prosperity will only benefit from getting rid of the current tax system. The federal government will get along just fine without its immoral claim on the fruits of our labor, particularly if the elimination of federal income taxes are accompanied by serious reduction in all areas of spending, starting with the military spending beloved by so many who claim to be opponents of high taxes and big government.
While it is important for Congress to investigate the most recent scandal and ensure all involved are held accountable, we cannot pretend that the problem is a few bad actors. The very purpose of the IRS is to transfer wealth from one group to another while violating our liberties in the process, thus the only way Congress can protect our freedoms is to repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.
Former Congressman Ron Paul’s article first appeared at the-free-foundation.org, the temporary home for his weekly column until his personal web page is up and running.
alaska state trooper gets butthurt when he loses an argument with a young woman, so he arrests her.
Cotati California is a brutal police state (by TheRetrosoldier)
State Department Refuses To Answer Questions About Whistleblower Testimony
May 7, 2013
In a remarkable exchange Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney failed to directly address questions regarding explosive claims by a whistleblower that US Special forces…
US Senator: Big Sis Buying Ammo To Dry Up Supply
Inhofe: “I believe it’s intentional”
May 6, 2013
A US Senator has stated on record that he believes the Department of Homeland Security is intentionally attempting to exhaust civilian supplies of ammunition by buying huge bulk amounts, as documented by Infowars for some months.
Appearing on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on WABC in New York, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. said that the Obama administration was attempting to “dry up the market” and deprive gun owners of bullets.
“We have in this country the Second Amendment that preserves the right to keep and bear arms, and the president doesn’t believe in that.” Inhofe said.
“President Obama has been doing everything he could to stop the private ownership of guns in America,” the Senator added. “Yet he’s been voted down in a big way by a large majority, and so my feeling is that he’s doing this to buy up [ammunition] so honest, law-abiding citizens here in the United States, like my son, can’t even buy ammunition because government is purchasing so much.”
“We had someone testify the other day the DHS has the ‘right’ – this is a bureaucrat who said this – they have the ‘right’ to buy as much as they want, and they’re planning to buy 750 million rounds,” Inhofe said, referring to a House committee hearing last week, during which the DHS’s chief procurement officer denied that the agency was stockpiling ammunition, while simultaneously admitting that the huge open orders had been submitted.
Inhofe pointed out that the amount of ammunition on order “is more than three times the amount our soldiers are using for training to defend our nation.”
In addition, last week, The DHS released a market survey asking companies if they are able to provide 2 million rounds of ammunition within a short time period, increasing concerns that the federal agency is continuing its arms build up even further.
“I believe it’s intentional,” Inhofe said, describing the situation as “just another effort to restrict gun activity and ownership.”
“This has never happened in this country before. We’ve never had government trying to take that much control at the expense of law-abiding citizens. And we’re not going to let it happen.” Inhofe added.
Ammo shortages across the nation are now commonplace, with gun stores forced to resort to bullet rationing, and self production in an attempt to satisfy as many customers as they can, while some police departments are having to barter between themselves to meet demand.
Despite the official denials backed up by unquestioning media reports that the DHS is buying an abnormal amount of bullets, the Government Accountability Office announced last week that an investigation of the purchases is “just getting underway.”
Two weeks ago, Inhofe introduced legislation into the Senate that would limit such stockpiling of bullets by federal agencies.
The bill, known as the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability Act, or AMMO act for short, would stop short of limiting the Department of Defense on ammo purchases, but would prevent the DHS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from purchasing or storing more ammunition than those agencies retained on average between 2001 and 2009.
Speaking about the legislation, Inhofe noted:
“It’s designed to have the Government Accounting Office inventory not the Defense Department but all other departments that use weaponry,” Inhofe said, “as to what they’re doing in terms of the amount of ammunition they have bought to dry up the market for honest, law-abiding citizens.”
Listen to the full interview below:
May 6, 2013
When discussing NYPD Police Chief Ray Kelly’s assertion that “privacy is off the table” as a result of the Boston bombing, I mentioned I hadn’t heard any public outcry demanding the government and law enforcement step in and do something (i.e., curtail civil…
Glenn Greenwald notes the alarming revelation from a CNN Out Front interview between host Erin Burnett and Tim Clemente, “a former FBI counterterrorism agent,” where Clemente claimed that the FBI had access to recordings of every phone call made in America: BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can […]
On 24 April in the town where I live, a wonderful town that I love, a woman was shot to death in front of her four-year-old son, Joshua. According to authorities, she was a college student.
A young woman, obviously invested in education, undoubtedly with dreams of a good life for herself and her child, struck down. It’s a sad story, a tragedy worthy of deep sorrow and serious reflection about gun violence and gun policy, especially when added to the fact that it was the fourth fatal shooting in my town in a week. Despite the obvious potential of such a story to poke at the hearts and minds of anyone who hears about it, most people won’t hear about it. It won’t get in the 24-hour news cycle. And it certainly will not spark a national debate about gun control. Why? Because the woman who was killed, Donitra Henderson, was a black woman and she died on a street corner in Oakland, a predominantly black and Latino town, in front of her black child.
Gun violence affects black and Latino people in poor, inner-city neighborhoods on a regular basis. As The Washington Post reported, black people are 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun crime, and yet our deaths by gun are much less likely to result in national conversations in which liberals and conservatives duke it out over the second amendment. We become statistics, just one more added to the number of gun deaths in the US in a particular year, and that’s all.
As I wrote in my recent blog post, “Hey, White liberals: A Word On the Boston Bombings, the Suffering of White children, and the Erosion of Empathy,” if you’re not white, your tragic death doesn’t feel quite as tragic to the American media or the collective American conscience, which are inextricably linked. It does not inspire the kind of national outrage and grief that white deaths, and especially middle-class and affluent white deaths, inspire.
There is a certain level of indifference in this country to the deaths of people of color. But there is also a double standard in the narrative around gun violence, depending on where it takes place and who is affected by it. When it happens to wealthy white folks in the suburbs, it’s a tragedy visited upon those who didn’t deserve it. When it happens to black and Latino people in a city, it’s our own fault.
Take, for example, President Obama’s speech in Chicago about gun violence where he talked about policy change, but also focused a lot on the structure of the black family, saying:
“There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families – which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood.”
Compare that to speeches he made following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a predominantly white area, where a gunman murdered 26 people, including 20 children. The president never connected the violence there with the structure of anybody’s family or with the failure of any white parents. Even though the shooter, Adam Lanza, was raised by a single mother. Instead, he promised the people of Newtown that lawmakers would stand beside them and create policy to protect them. Those are two very different messages.
One reason this double standard is so easy to apply is that the question of why gun violence happens so much in inner cities is brushed over or ignored. There are many factors: the effects of racism on individuals and communities, failed education systems, high unemployment, etc. These are rarely discussed in connection to gun violence on a national level.
Without that connection, and thus with no greater social ills to help explain it, it’s seen simply as the fault of the people who live in those places, as if they have some inherent defect in their families and their communities. And because it’s our fault and not, as in the case of violence against middle-class white people, a national tragedy, it does not warrant a national conversation.
This double standard leads to the further devaluing of black and Latino lives. It also contributes to the sporadic nature of the national gun control conversation itself. Because gun control is only talked about on a national level when multiple murders happen in affluent white places, it’s talked about a few times a year at most.
If the conversation were shifted to include the tragedies of people in the inner city, if our lives were valued enough by the American media and the collective US conscience to warrant that conversation, it would be an ongoing debate. Maybe then it would at least have a chance at leading to some actual change. Which would be great. Especially for those of us who are most often affected by it.
New FCC chairman is “former lobbyist for cable & wireless industries”
April 30, 2013
President Barack Obama will nominate venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to be the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Wheeler is “a former top lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries” and will be nominated as soon as tomorrow, the Journal wrote. The Hill reporter Brendan Sasso said the White House has now confirmed that Wheeler will be nominated for the post.
The top FCC post is empty because of the departure of Chairman Julius Genachowski. When Genachowski announced his decision to step down last month, we wrote that he was “lauded by industry” and “blasted by activists” because of moves that benefited corporations instead of consumers. Genachowski won praise from consumer advocates in some instances, but the decision to let wireless operators evade net neutrality rules and his approval of mergers such as Comcast/NBCUniversal were criticized by groups pushing for more competition in communications industries.
Wheeler has been a venture capitalist at Core Capital Partners since 2005. “Tom was President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984,” his Core Capital biography states. “After several years as CEO of various technology start-ups, including the first company to offer high-speed data to the home and the first digital video delivery service, he was asked to lead the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), where he was CEO until 2004.”
Wheeler is an “Obama loyalist,” Time reporter Sam Gustin wrote two weeks ago while describing him as the front-runner for the FCC nomination. Wheeler previously received an appointment from Obama to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
“Mr. Wheeler will take over as the commission confronts a changing technology world,” the Journal wrote. “Many of its regulations were crafted for outdated telephone technology. Democrats would like to apply many of these rules to new communications methods, such as wireless technology and broadband Internet. But it isn’t clear whether Mr. Wheeler is on board with that approach.”
Law professor and net neutrality supporter Susan Crawford gained some support from FCC observers hoping the next commission head would be a champion for broadband competition. Crawford, author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age,” was never seen as a likely choice for Obama, though. She wasn’t corrupt enough for the current administration.
“Despite that vote of confidence, many in the public interest community remain suspicious of Wheeler—even as they acknowledge that he’s the frontrunner—due to his industry lobbying and the fact that his positions on the major issues facing the FCC remain largely unknown,” Gustin wrote. “In late March, more than two dozen public interest groups wrote to Obama expressing alarm that the president was considering a candidate ‘who was the head of not one but two major industry lobbying groups.’”
Tom’s past history as the head of two industry trade associations should deeply trouble you. Free Press, one of the groups lobbying against Wheeler, issued a telling statement.
“The Federal Communications Commission needs a strong leader—someone who will use this powerful position to stand up to industry giants and protect the public interest,” Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said. “On paper, Tom Wheeler does not appear to be that person, having headed not one but two major trade associations.”
Professor Griff on The Illuminati, NWO and Obama
America’s cops need more oversight, not more leeway to evade the law.
The horrific Boston bombings already have led to irrational calls for more security cameras and more police officers, with some Democrats absurdly using this tragedy as a reason to stop the slight sequester-mandated cuts in federal spending growth.
Never mind that police spending primarily is a local matter. The bigger questions that Americans have rarely asked, especially following the 9/11 attacks: Do we really want the government to hire new armies of police officers? Do we really want to pay the price for this?
Knowing my views on the growing public-pension crisis, most readers probably think the “price” I’m worried about the nation’s multi-trillion-dollar unfunded pension liabilities driven largely by the “3 percent at 50” pension deals that cost taxpayers millions of dollars for each “first responder” who retires at 50 after 30 years of service.
That’s a huge problem — the result in part of Americans’ irrational embrace of the “more police” logic after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. But that’s not the main source of my concern. My real concern involves our safety and civil liberties given that police officers, and other groups of public employees, have become a protected class that does not have to follow the same rules as the average citizen.