Posts Tagged ‘Ron Paul

24
Sep
14

The Cost of Whistleblowing

In Communist Russia and Nazi Germany the people raising an eyebrow about what was going on were simply rounded up and killed. Today though those who speak out are simply ostracized by society – even if what they leaked was in the best interest for the society to know.

As Ron Paul said, “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”

Original article below found at The Guardian.

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission made history by promising an anonymous overseas whistleblower a reward of $30m.

It doesn’t usually work out that way for whistleblowers. Ringing the bell on abuse in a company or government usually means losing jobs and status. The norm is pariah treatment and low-wage jobs, as well as trips to the welfare office and the lingering threat of prosecution or intimidation.

Consider: it’s not every day that you get to buy an iPhone from an ex-NSA officer. Yet a number of people visiting the Washington metro-area Apple store get to do just that. For over a year now, several days a weekThomas Drake puts on his blue Apple work T-shirt and goes to work.

Drake, former senior executive at National Security Agency, is well known in the national security circles. In 2006, he leaked information about the NSA’s Trailblazer project to Baltimore Sun. Years later, in 2010, he was prosecuted under the Espionage Act, but the government ended up dropping all 10 felony charges against him. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for unauthorized use of a computer.

Drake, unlike other NSA whistleblowers, has the freedom to move freely within any city or state within America. His freedom, however, comes with a very tangible price: his livelihood.

“You have to mortgage your house, you have to empty your bank account. I went from making well over $150,000 a year to a quarter of that,” Drake says in Silenced, a recently released documentary depicting the lives of several national security whistleblowers. Silenced, which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, is to be screened at additional movie festivals this fall. “The cost alone, financially – never mind the personal cost – is approaching million dollars in terms of lost income, expenses and other costs I incurred.”

“Obviously, I am a persona non grata within the government … and so I am unemployed,” Drake says to the cameras in Silenced. “I did look for work. I spent a lot of time looking for work. I applied for a part-time position with Apple, and several month later I actually got a phone call. I ended up working at an Apple store in the metro DC area as an expert.”

This kind of result is what most whistleblowers can expect. The potential threat of prosecution, the mounting legal bills and the lack of future job opportunities all contribute to a hesitation among many to rock the boat.

President Obama has approved legislation to help protect federal whistleblowers against retaliation and economic ruin. In November 2012,Obama signed Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act into law, which was to expand whistleblower protections available to corporate whistleblowers to federal workers.

Yet whistleblowers have been left on their own to struggle with the consequences of going public.

Jesselyn Radack says whistleblowers need better protections. She is a former Justice Department ethics attorney and whistleblower who went on to defend Drake and Kiriakou. She is currently one of Edward Snowden’s lawyers.

“The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act … has a big loophole that covers national security and intelligence officials, people exactly like Tom Drake at the NSA, Edward Snowden at NSA, and John Kiriakou at CIA, Steven Kim at the State Department, Jeffrey Sterling at the CIA, Peter van Buren, who was at the State Department – the people that I would argue we most need to hear from and want to hear from,” says Radack, noting that Obama’s order applies only to employees – not to contractors such as Edward Snowden.

Finance whistleblowers can, theoretically, collect awards ranging from $300,000 to $104m for disclosing secrets about their employers cheating on taxes and violating securities law. Activist investor Bill Ackman offered a $250,000-per-year-for-10-years deal to an employee of Herbalife for supporting Ackman’s thesis that the company fools its workers and customers. The company and other hedge fund managers, including Carl Icahn, dispute Ackman’s remarks.

The price of leaking national security problems, in particular, is steep. National security whistleblowers have no prospect of financial rewards.

Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst, became the first former government official to confirm the use of waterboarding against al-Qaida suspects in 2009. Three years later, in 2012, he was prosecuted for leaking classified information under the Espionage Act. After he was accused of violating the Espionage Act, Kiriakou had to look for employment outside the field of national security.

“I have applied for every job I can think of – everything from grocery stores to Toys R Us to Starbucks. You name it, I’ve applied there. Haven’t gotten even an email or a call back,” Kiriakou says at some point in the film. “I’ll be honest with you, I really miss working and so regardless of what the job is, I’ll be happy to just pass eight hours a day.”

He was not the only one in his family to lose his job as a result of his disclosures. His wife quit her job because of threats of security investigations, says Kiriakou.

After both of them were unemployed for seven months, she informed him that they couldn’t afford food for the next week. In the days to follow, they found themselves at a welfare office, where they were told they qualified for a variety of assistance including food stamps, medicaid and job training.

The stark reality of their financial situation was enough to get Kiriakou to consider changing his plea. That, and the possibility of not seeing his children grow up.

“She doesn’t make enough money to support our household. We could borrow enough for two years to keep her going,” he says. “But if I am found guilty and get more than two years, I mean – we think we are ruined now? – we’d be ruined permanently after that. I want to fight it but I have kids and I just can’t risk them losing me for six to twelve years.”

Kiriakou is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence. Instead of telling his children that he is going to jail, Kiriakou and his wife have told them that he is going to Pennsylvania to “teach bad guys how to get their diplomas.”

With Kiriakou in jail, his family continues to struggle to make ends meet.

“They are still in dire straits, living from pay check to pay check,” Radack told the audience at the New America after recently held screening of Silenced. A Facebook page, Defend John Kiriakou, lists instructions on how to contribute to Kiriakou’s commissary account. Another post invites supporters to buy him a subscription to The New York Times’ Sunday edition. Radack already purchased him a Monday through Saturday subscription. He receives all papers two days after they are published.

“I am sitting in front of you as a free human being, I can’t tell you what it means to be free,” Drake told the audience after the screening. “I paid an incredibly high price.”

06
Mar
14

Hasn’t Ron Paul been calling for this for DECADES!?

#CPAC Ted Cruz channels The Princess Bride, demands abolition of #IRS http://tiny.iavian.net/20t7

Didn’t Ron Paul run on this and everyone called him batshit crazy?

I hate when politicians take on issues when they are politically favorable, not when they need to be addressed.

23
Jul
13

Why Do We Have the IRS: Abolish It

For 126 years the United States of America had very limited taxes. In this time from 1787 until 1913 the government-funded itself by indirect taxes – mainly tariff, corporation, and other excise taxes. An indirect tax is one that is not levied on each person and can be avoided (or passed on) if you want to. An example of this is the tobacco tax – you do not have to pay the tobacco tax simply for being a resident. You only pay the tax if you voluntarily decide to participate in that activity that the tax is attached to – you can either not smoke or you can grow your own tobacco – you simply avoided that product or service to not pay an indirect tax.

CCH_Title 26Today most Americans have no idea about taxation. Even worse is that they have no idea what the difference is between direct and indirect taxation. Most Americans simply send off any paperwork they may have to a tax professional and that person does it. What is interesting is that you could send your paperwork off to five different individuals and you will come up with a different tax burden computation from each. Each tax preparer will interpret the code and take calculated risks off those interpretations. The sad part is that most of the time they are all right – the tax code is so insanely convoluted that there is an infinite amount of possibilities that one can arrive at for their tax burden – after all Title 26 was reported to be 73,954 pages (~4.5 million words) for 2013. Compare this with the 400 pages (240,045 words) the tax code was in 1913, the Bible with 1,291 pages (774,746 words), and War and Peace at 1,444 pages (866,562 words).

We are routinely told by our government that taxation is a voluntary system but yet every year the IRS sends out legions of enforcers and piles of fines to people they have somehow deemed to be delinquent.  All this despite numerous politicians stating that it is voluntary; even IRS Commissioner Steve Miller said that it was voluntary. How is a system voluntary if we are threatened with fines, court proceedings, garnishment, repossession, liens, and jail time?

Something doesn’t smell right, does it?

Obama-IRS_SMALL

But it doesn’t stop there. Recently we have learned that the Internal Revenue System has targeted political opposition to the President – and worse yet during and election year. This is an obvious abuse of power but despite this fact little to nothing has done to condemn or stop such acts. I think what bothers me about the entire connection with Obama is that a lot of people will claim that he had no knowledge of the targeting nor did he command the targeting. This may be true but I still think it begs a few pertinent questions.

The IRS Commissioner in charge during the targeting was Douglas Shulman. He was to serve for 5 years starting in 2008. So yes, Shulman was put into position during President W. Bush’s term. However, he served less than 9 months under Bush. Furthermore, the Senate that confirmed him was controlled by the Democrats and according to financial records Shulman donated to the Democrats. And this fact is evidenced even further by the White House visitor log showing that the IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House 118 times between 2010 and 2011. By law the President can remove the IRS Commissioner if he has a cause and what a better cause than the IRS targeting certain political groups.

As the proverb goes “You may know a man by the company he keeps.” President Obama had every right to remove Shulman but didn’t. I personally I find it hard to believe that someone visited the White House 118 times in 2 years (that is about once a week) and never squeaked a word about any targeting of the hosts (President’s) opponents. C’mon.

Have you ever thought about how America was before the Tax Code? Arguably America had her biggest growth before 1913 when there were very few taxes and little to no taxes on any income. If you go over to my article entitled The Sixteenth Amendment Did Not Allow the Government to Tax You! then you will see that only 0.37% of the American population even filed for taxes. It wasn’t even until 1916 that over 1% filed and 1943 over 30% filed – mind you that the Sixteenth Amendment was implemented in 1913. Courts have repeatedly ruled that no new powers of taxation were created with the Sixteenth Amendment but that sure as hell doesn’t stop the politicians and the government from saying that is exactly what allows them to tax your paycheck.

We Americans don’t say anything about these inconsistencies because we are scared of the IRS. Check out the list entitled 10 Outrageous Facts About the Income Tax from the CATO Institute.

  1. The U.S. “tax army” is bigger than the U.S. army in Iraq.
    Income taxes are so complex that there are up to 1.2 million paid tax preparers in the country — six times more than the number of troops in Iraq. The tax army includes legions of accountants, lawyers, and computer experts — some of the best minds in the country. Unfortunately, their brainpower is adding little to the nation’s standard of living.
  2. A tax form for every special interest.
    As the income tax grows more complex, the number of IRS tax forms has jumped from 402 in 1990 to 526 by 2002. Congress hands the accountants business on a silver platter when they create special interest tax forms such as “8845-Indian Employment Credit” and “8834-Qualified Electric Vehicle Credit.” When Congress penalizes an activity, we get tax forms such as “6197-Gas Guzzler Tax.” It’s time to end the micromanaging and adopt a simple flat-rate tax. Until then, Congress needs to supplement “6478-Credit for Alcohol Used as Fuel” with form “XXX-Credit for Alcohol Used for Drinking.”
  3. Double-tax on dividends: 60 years and still not fixed.
    Sixty years ago, a Treasury report noted that “double taxation of corporate profits is the principal problem raised in connection with the corporation income tax.” In the 1930s, a Treasury report argued that the tax disincentive to pay dividends caused corporate management problems. Recent scandals proved them right. Congress should bite the bullet and reform dividend taxes now — before the next round of corporate scandals begins. 
  4. Congress promotes discrimination through the tax code.
    The front of the Supreme Court building boldly declares “equal justice under law,” yet the income tax has hundreds of discriminatory provisions. For example, homeowners are treated more favorably than renters since they can deduct mortgage interest and other itemized deductions. Consider that a higher-income homeowner can effectively deduct car loan interest by shifting around his finances but a lower-income apartment dweller cannot. Americans would not stand for such discrimination on other taxes — imagine if each shopper at Wal-Mart was assigned a different sales tax rate!
  5. Congress on tax complexity: Who us?
    Congress frequently holds hearings on tax simplification so members can denounce the tax code’s complexity. Each time, congressional experts and outside think tanks provide useful simplification ideas. Then when the TV cameras are turned off, Congress promptly ignores them and votes for more special interest breaks. The result: The number of pages in the tax code and regulations doubled from 26,300 in 1984 to 54,846 by 2003, according to tax publisher CCH.
  6. AMT designed to catch 155 taxpayers will soon catch 37 million.
    The alternative minimum tax is an unneeded parallel tax system alongside the ordinary income tax. It began life in 1969 after Congress was shocked (shocked!) to learn that 155 wealthy individuals were not paying tax because they used too many of the deductions that Congress had provided them. The AMT has been a complex nuisance ever since. But this dumb idea aimed at the rich is set to explode on the middle-class as the number of AMT taxpayers skyrockets from 3 million today to 36 million by 2010.
  7. Voluntarism works for the U.S. military, not the income tax.
    For years, officials have hailed the income tax as a voluntary system. The Treasury calls it “our voluntary tax system.” The IRS says that it pursues “enforcement programs to promote voluntary compliance” and establishes “strategies to maximize voluntary tax law compliance by emphasizing customer satisfaction.” But with 32 million IRS penalties assessed each year and about $10,000 in income taxes imposed on each taxpaying household, the tax isn’t voluntary and these customers aren’t satisfied.
  8. Congress can’t figure out how to measure “income.”
    Although the income tax is 90 years old, Congress still can’t figure out how to measure “income.” Some income such as municipal bond interest is not taxed, but other income such as dividends is taxed twice. The income tax treatment of savings is particularly incoherent and unstable. For example, there have been 25 major changes in the capital gains tax since 1922. The solution is to replace the income tax with a low-rate tax that exempts savings.
  9. Family saving shouldn’t require an advanced math degree.
    Shouldn’t saving for education, retirement, and other items be as simple as putting money in the bank? Instead, Congress has manufactured hundreds of special savings rules, such as for 401(k)s, Keoghs, deductible IRAs, nondeductible IRAs, education IRAs, Roth IRAs, traditional pension plans, annuities, SIMPLEs, SEPs, MSAs, and others. The IRS guide to IRAs alone is 105 pages long! President Bush’s initiative to consolidate the savings plans and create a universal IRA would be a good step to bring some sanity to this mess.
  10. Income taxes: A bad idea that got worse.
    The income tax is not an example of a good idea gone bad. It was bad from the beginning, and it just keeps getting worse. The income tax distorts financial planning and business investment, and it encourages tax avoidance and evasion. Because the income tax is built on an unworkable base of “income,” the law is continually changing. Let’s simplify Americans’ finances and disband the tax army by pursuing fundamental tax reform.

Why would one want to contend with the IRS or the Tax Law when even the IRS doesn’t know what it says (or apparently what it does)? Here is another list of 10 reasons why the IRS is no good from FreedomWorks.

1. The Code is Too Complex.

The code is so big that politicians can’t even agree on how long it is.  Title 26, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code totals to about 3,400,000 million words.  The non-partisan Tax Foundation reports that the entire tax code with regulations in 2005 was over 9,097,000 words.  To put that in perspective, the Bible has 774,746 words.  The code has grown in length between 1995 and 2005 by 18.9 percent.  The directions for filing a typical form 1040 totals 161 pages.  The “EZ” version is 41 pages.

2. The Code is Beyond Comprehension.

No single person knows or understands the entire tax code– not even IRS Employees!

In 2008, the IRS was wrong on questions concerning tax law about 10 percent of the time.  Myriads of accountants and lawyers are employed to decipher the cryptic tax code.  It should be scrapped and simplified.  No small modification to the code can remove the enormous complication.  

3. The IRS is Too Big.

The IRS employed 90,647 people in 2008.  It had operating costs of $11,207,223,000.  If we simplified the code, then many of those IRS employees could go into more productive lines of work, rather than checking up on whether or not the correct amount of money was extracted from hard working Americans.  The money spent on the IRS is economic deadweight loss caused by the level of complication of the code.  If it were scrapped and replaced, billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved just by reducing the size of the IRS–not to mention all the gains from productively employing former IRS staff members in the private sector.

4. The Code Corrupts the Culture in Washington. DC.

Lobbying is the biggest business in Washington.  About $3.2 billion was spent in the 2008 on lobbying.  Many, if not the majority, of America’s 15,139 registered lobbyists are working on increasing the level of complication of the tax code by fighting for special loopholes and regulations that will save their company money or put their competitors out of business. Yet lobbying and ethics reform too often focuses on the symptoms, like gift bans, instead of the underlying cause. What would be America’s single most effective move to clean up the swamp of special interests in Washington? Scrapping the code and replacing it with a fair and simple one.

5. The Code Taxes Some Income Two or More Times.

Our code taxes certain types of income twice.  For instance, a company pays taxes on dividends that it pays out and then when stock holders earn money from the dividends, they pay taxes on them again.  When government taxes particular types of income more than others, it distorts the market economy by punishing certain kinds of behavior with double taxation. Absent government intervening through the tax code with the complicated and unfair system, the market economy would likely perform more efficiently.  

6.   Congress Uses the Tax Code to Legislate Morality.

Congress, with its recent passage of the SCHIP bill, raised taxes on cigarettes by 61 cents per pack.  Our corrupt and easily manipulated tax system allows members of Congress to pass laws that increase the cost of certain behavior.  In the case of SCHIP, they targeted smoking.  In the case of AIG, they targeted bonuses.  Frightening precedents are being set by Congress this session that will likely lead to even more explicit penalties for certain industries.  President Obama claims that he will place a cap-and-trade tax on industry that will eliminate construction of any new coal power plants.  Under a fairer and less easily manipulated tax system, government couldn’t pick winning and losing industries as we have witnessed recently.

7. High Marginal Tax Rates Penalize Success.

Marginal income taxes are higher for each dollar workers earn.  Our most productive members of society face federal taxes of 36 percent or higher.  Under our system, the top 10 percent income earners pay 70 percent of federal income taxes.  The president plans to increase top marginal rates to at least 39 percent–and that’s not even counting state income tax rates.  In virtually every state in the country, high income workers would face top marginal tax rates that would rob them of more than 50 percent of their income.  Our current code destroys the incentive of the most productive to work hard.  

Shouldn’t we be trying to give incentive to the most productive to continue working rather than taxing so much of their income away that they no longer think it’s worth working hard?  How many inventions or cures for diseases have we lost because the most productive stopped working when faced with 50 percent or higher rates on each additional hour of work?

8. Complying with the Code Costs Americans Billions.

Compliance is a multi-billion dollar industry and 59 percent of all individuals filing taxes hire someone else to do it for them totaling to 81 million returns done by accountants last year.  If we scrapped the tax code for a simpler one, people could fill out their tax forms easily.  The sum total benefit could be billions of dollars.  All those accountants and lawyers who make their living off the level of complication of the tax code could go into more productive work that would benefit all Americans.  

Compliance weighs more heavily on the poor–making our tax code more regressive than it appears.  Taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) under $20,000 pay 5.9 percent in compliance costs while those with an AGI of over $200,000 pay .5 percent of their income for compliance.

9. The Code Drives Political Donations

The Congressman on the House Ways and Means Committee Received  $55,157,458  in the 2008 Election Cycle.

The Ways and Means Committee deals with taxes.  It’s responsible for “raising the revenue required to finance the Federal Government. This includes individual and corporate income taxes, excise taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, and other miscellaneous taxes.”  It’s the busiest committee and it’s membership during the 2008 election cycle received $55,157,458 in campaign contributions.  

If we scrapped the code, the committee members would lose their power to manipulate the code in order to pay off their campaign contributors.  Our tax system leads to corruption and corporate capture of legislation .

10. Laws Should Rest on Principles of Justice.

The tax code is modified every few years along no reasonable principle.  The code is arbitrary and unpredictable, and is morphing from its stated purpose– efficiently raising government revenue– into an instrument that Congress uses to instill fear, punishment, and political control. The code should be scrapped and replaced with a more just system based on principles of fairness and equality before the law rather than on the whim of lobbyists and lawmakers.

IRS_decimal point

America grew best when she didn’t demand through a “voluntary” tax system. People were allowed to manage their finances and plan for their savings. With an ever-changing tax system in place that grows by hundreds of pages per year and is over 73,000 pages what it was originally supposed to be it makes it very difficult to plan anything – especially for businesses. It should be fairly evident by now that the taxes collected aren’t for your benefit – it is for the lobbyist and the political leaders to get ahead of their competition. If you can have the government make your competition squirm while you don’t then you gain an advantage. GE did this in 2010 when it filed a 57,000 page tax return on its $14 billion of profits and paid… no taxes at all.

We should seriously look at shutting down the IRS. While everyone thought he was crazy Ron Paul repeatedly called to end the corrupt IRS.

I want to abolish the income tax, but I don’t want to replace it with anything. About 45 percent of all federal revenue comes from the personal income tax. That means that about 55 percent — over half of all revenue — comes from other sources, like excise taxes, fees, and corporate taxes.

We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s. We don’t need to “replace” the income tax at all. I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax, and I would vote for the Fair-Tax if it came up in the House of Representatives, but it is not my goal. We can do better.

As much as I hate to say it, the Second Plank of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto was “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” Why do we have such a tax system where we effectively punish those making money? Not to mention a system where people who pay no taxes repeatedly receive money and benefits for free.

Consider signing the petition here. Click below.

Cruz_Splashgraphic_abolishirs-300x177

06
Feb
13

Assasinating American Citizens Is Now Officially ETHICAL, WISE, and LEGAL

The idea that everyone is inocent until proven guilty – also referred to as Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – has been a staple of civilized law for centuries. I grew up with this idea that if accused of anything that I would have the chance of rebuttal. I grew up with the notion that in America I couldn’t be taken away, thrown in a cell, and held indefinitely unless someone had proven that I had done something worthy of such treatment.

assassinationThings have apparently changed in today’s world in this regard. Today as Americans we are filled with fear of the unknown. We seem far removed from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words which were later echoed by John F. Kennedy where they said, the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Today we fear something on every corner – we fear that a terrorist is standing in line with us to blow up a plane, we fear that we will die of some new super-flu, we fear that Iran will bomb us tomorrow, and we fear that our neighbor will use their AR-15 to shoot down our children. Many of these things are largely unfounded – very few planes have been hijacked and used as weapons in the history of humanity, very few people die from some contagious virus, nobody has indefinitely proven that Iran is building a bomb, and you’re more likely to die from a kitchen knife or a hammer than an AR-15.

But it is fear that motivates us to do things or to give up things we normally wouldn’t do with logic and reason. Fear is irrational and our government knows this – Rahm Emanuel infamously said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” In other words, when people are confused and cowering in fear, the impossible then becomes possible.

I am specifically speaking today about the idea of what we allow when we fear uncertainty. Nobody wants to be killed by a terrorist so to combat this fear we allow our government to handle the issue. However, when we allow the government to handle the issue we allow them to impede on us and our freedoms. In recent history our American government has passed legislation, implemented agency policy changes, or signed Executive Orders to seek out Americans they deem unsavory and assasinate them… without trial… or without any definitive proof that they have actually done anything other than talk bad about America or hang out with bad people who don’t like America.

When will Americans find such an action intolerable? For now the policy is distant – we are killing American citizens in other countries. Our news barely reports on it and when they do they are sure to invoke two American fears – that they are an Islamic and that they are a terrorist. In doing so, we disregard teh fact that the person was just as we are – an American citizen who is supposedly protected under law practice such as due process, burden of proof, and starting an investigation with a valid probable cause. This is what we citizens here are afforded here in Arizona, Ohio, and the rest of the United States so why isn’t this courtesy also afforded to citizens overseas?

I believe this is a very slippery slope and especially true when you consider how many times the government has accidentially killed the wrong person (for example, there was no wrongdoing found at Ruby Ridge but that didn’t stop them from shooting half a family). I am sure that Americans won’t care about this policy until they are the ones being detained or killed. Sounds like something Martin-Niemöller wrote about with Nazi Germany.

See associated article here.

Of the scores of people dubbed terrorists and taken out by American military drone strikes, three men — all killed in the fall of 2011 — were U.S. citizens.

And their lives illustrate the complexity of the issue, recently brought to light amid a newly discovered government memo that provides the legal reasoning behind drone strikes on Americans.

Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were killed by a missile strike in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011, while al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, was killed in the country just weeks later.

Since the attacks, family members have called the deaths unjust and sued the U.S. government, calling the killings unconstitutional.

Anwar al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico, became well known for his fiery anti-American sermons posted throughout the Internet.

Samir Khan, who’d lived in both New York and Charlotte, N.C., produced a magazine called “Inspire” that became known for its extreme jihadist views.

But the most controversial drone strike took place on Oct. 14, 2011, when 16-year-old Abdulrahman was killed by U.S. forces.

Family of the Denver-born teenager say he had no ties to terrorist organizations and was unjustly targeted because of his father.

Nassar al-Awlaki, grandfather of Abdulrahman and father to Anwar, said he tried to protect his grandson as Anwar al-Awlaki’s profile grew.

In December, Nassar al-Awlaki told CNN, “In Anwar it was expected because he was under targeted killing, but how in the world they will go and kill Abdulrahman. Small boy, U.S. citizen from Denver, Colorado.”

Nassar al-Awlaki said his grandson snuck out of their Yemen home one night, leaving a note for his mother saying he would return in a few days. The boy never returned, killed instead while eating at an outdoor restaurant.

“Since the issue regarding Anwar came, I tried to insulate the family of Anwar from everything, regarding this matter,” Nassar al-Awlaki told CNN. “I took care of him, and suddenly after 2 year absence from his father, he decided to go to our government in Yemen to seek information from his father. That was the only reason he went, and he did not tell us.”

The Obama administration has remained mostly mum regarding Abdulrahman’s death, and at times has struggled to explain it.

“I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well-being of their children,” former White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said to a gaggle of reporters in October. “I don’t think becoming an al-Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.”

During his presidential campaign, Republican Rep. Ron Paul criticized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, saying: “Al-Awlaki was born here, he is an American citizen. He was never tried or charged for any crimes. No one knows if he killed anybody. … But if the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad.”

Anwar al-Awlaki’s ties to the United States go back to his father Nassar, who came to the country to earn a master’s degree. His son was born in New Mexico, and though the family returned to Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki came back to the U.S. for college, eventually becoming an iman.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, he became a popular spokesman for moderate Islam, and was often used to juxtapose perceptions that Islam is a religion that spreads hate. But less than a decade later, he was hiding in Yemen as a name on the CIA’s kill list.

“I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim,” he said in an audio message in March 2010.

Conversely, Khan was never interested in the peaceful side of Islam. The New York Times reports that as a teen, Khan’s attraction grew exponentially to militant sites on the Internet after 9/11. Parental concerns and intervention from community leaders proved unsuccessful. Khan was 25 when he died in Yemen.

In July 2012, Samir Khan’s mother, Sarah, joined Nassar al-Awlaki in a lawsuit against four senior national security officials.

“I don’t really necessarily agree with some of the things Anwar said against the United States, but does that mean they should kill him outside the law?” asked Nassar al-Awlaki.

11
Nov
12

The GOP should help crash America

Those Who Fell To Communism

Photo by by rhapsouldize of DeviantArt

Before the 2012 primary election I argued that the last chance for America is to elect Ron Paul as President of the United States. The main charge against the GOP was that all the contenders – save Ron Paul – were big-government politicians and big-government was exactly what was ruining America. Before you go and get excited please understand that I’m not singling out Democrats here as big-government folks as many people like to try to pin the tail. Fiscally the Democrats want to spend money they don’t have on “social programs” and the Republicans want to spend money they don’t have on wars and nation building. Regulation wise the Democrats want to legislate the market and the Republicans want to legislate morality. They both support progressive taxation, passing laws without reading them, pseudo-safety, spying on citizens, groping citizens as they travel, and controlling their right to protect themselves. They both support fiat currency, the Federal Reserve, Quantitive Easing, fractional-reserve-lending, not auditing the Federal Reserve, bailouts, and fake stimulus checks. And best yet they all are in favor of ceding our sovereignty to the United Nations, Germany, Mexico, NAFTA, the IMF, or whoever asks for it.

I’ve heard a great divide lately after the 2012 Presidential election from all sides. I’ve heard many say that they feel that a second American Civil War is on the horizon. Others simply are realizing that as 47% of Americans don’t even pay incomes taxes on the large, that we are at the crucial turning point where half of Americans are simply voting to maintain eating out of the fiscal trough and they will vote for whoever promises them the most feed – in this case Obama promised the most.

I said before the election that if Ron Paul didn’t get elected President that it was all downhill – that America will fall. I followed that up in my conversations with friends that the faster America falls, the better. Now, I’m not saying that I want America to be overthrown, I simply want her to fall as quickly as possible so that when she does fall there will still be enough people who are able-bodied and who still value Freedom and Individualism to pick up the pieces and rebuild the greatest nation on Earth.

Apparently I’m not the only one. Arnold Ahlert said it best,

As a result, I have a suggestion for the Republicans, one they won’t hear from anyone else: give Barry and Company everything they want, without an iota of resistance. Let ’em raise taxes and the debt ceiling, gut the military, and run up trillions of dollars of additional deficits and debt. Then stand back, and let an utterly corrupt media chronicle the demise — without being able to pin an ounce of the ensuing socialist catastrophe on an ‘obstructionist’ GOP. (link)

I’ve heard more people say that they feel that they should just quit their job and start collecting welfare and food-stamps. I think many of us know people who are indefinitely on these social programs, many of who abuse those programs and it quite frustrating to watch them live the good life while we struggle to do the right things in life – pay for our mortgages, buy groceries for our fridge, and cut our debt down. I personally know of multiple people who own homes on my tax dollar and eat like kings who don’t have jobs and haven’t in some time. There comes a breaking point where we look around and wonder why we are the only one working and struggling while others are living off our sweat in luxury… and then we say fuck it and join in.

Why fight it? Let’s just crash this bitch.

07
Nov
12

2012 Election Results From a Conservative Libertarian in Arizona

The dust isn’t 100% settled but I’ll go ahead and say it – congratulations to Barack Obama for his 2012 American Presidential win. Unfortunately, I can’t go so far as to say congratulations to Obama for winning as I can say congratulations to the Republicans for losing it. The GOP lost this race on their own terms and I unfortunately they seemingly didn’t learn from 2008 with John McCain.

The results are fairly similar between 2008 and 2012. In 2008 Obama won 362 electorial votes with McCain winning 176 (69,456,897 vs 59,934,814popular votes – 52.9% vs 45.7%, link). In 2012 Obama won 303 electorial votes with Romney winning 206 (54,744,018 vs 53,685,409 popular votes – 49.7% vs 48.8%, link). A 3.2% decrease for Obama and a 3.1% increase for the GOP is a pretty trivial number in my opinion as it swings this much every year.

EDIT: According to the final results Barack H. Obama received 332 electorial votes and Willard Mitt Romney received 206 electorial votes (65,899,625 vs 60,928,981 popular, 51.02% vs 47.18%, link). Furthermore Gary Johnson received 1,275,821 popular (0.99%), Jill Stein with 469,500 (0.36%), and other with 580,631 (0.45%). This reinforces my claim that the GOP lost fair-and-square – that if all people who voted for 3rd parties voted with the GOP that Obama still would have won the election.

For the past two years the GOP has nominated a moderate Conservative – for all intensive purposes in my mind, a Socialist-lite. As Jed Babbin said in an article written in in 2008 of John Mcain, “In nuclear physics, every subatomic particle has an opposite. When they collide, they combine to produce another particle that resembles neither. McCain is the political antimatter that collides with conservatism and produces ‘liberal republicanism'” (link). McCain has a fair Conservative scorecard from places like ACU but in reality he is just not a strong Conservative and certainly not a steadfast conservative who will stick by his guns hell or highwater. McCain couldn’t support lower taxes in 2001 and in 2008 he went soft on illegal immigration.

Fast forward four years and the GOP again nominated a bastion of Conservatism birthed into Mitt Romney. stated early in 2012 it was said by Conor Murphy, “[i]f Republicans wish to elect a conservative to the White House, then they would do well to avoid nominating the poster child of big-government Republicanism, Mitt Romney” (link). The biggest selling point of the GOP 2012 contender was “I’m not Barack Obama.” Of course, please forget that Romney supported TARP bailouts, signed anti-gun legislation, grandfathered Romneycare which was the design for Obamacare, prefer to keep the TSA, signed on Agenda-21 friendly legislation, and want to make the PATRIOT Act permanent – all items that are selling points not of a Conservative but rather of a big-government Socialist.

Arguably in recent history since the Reagan Revolution the Republican Party has shifted, not more to the right… but rather to the left – see Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain. Likewise the Democratic Party has shifted to the left – see Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. So in reality the entire political spectrum is shifting left and moves further away from truly representing us those on the right.
 
It should be painfully obvious at this juncture that because of this shift to the left the GOP is splitting and has been for some time. Those of us on the right want to remain on the right. We do not wish to comprimise and shift left with the GOP. I believe a fairly large faction of GOP and independents want to see the GOP shift right but it seems that the powers to be at the GOP prefer to move left to try to pander to the middle-ground independents and Blue-Dog Democrats.
 
If you watched the GOP debates you would be hard pressed to see many fundamental differences btween most of the candidates – save Ron Paul and Gary Johnson – than Barack Obama. All of them generally supported spying/detaining citizens under the PATRIOT Act or the NDAA, support bailouts, support spending money which they don’t have (Democrats want to spend it on “social programs,” while Republicans want to spend it on “safety”), support progressive taxation, support pre-emptive wars without Congressional declaration, support the war on drugs, support the Federal Reserve manipulating our currency, and last but not least they both do not support creating a viable plan that will reduce the debt.
 
I admit, I am happy that Obama won. America may not survive in one piece as she stands now but maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Let me explain. Any time a President sits the opposing party becomes the watch-dog opposition. They watch their every move and complain and bitch to try to stop them. For many of us in America today Obama is the most Left-winged President we’ve had. Because of this we’ve become more watchful and aware fo what our politicians are doing. In some sense, we’ve held them more accountable and made them squirm. Beginning in 2007-2008 the Tea Party and the Ron Paul rEVOLution gained immense popularity. These became the watch-dog groups to which many Americans now subscribe to. Since Obama has a second term such groups will be in overdrive watching his every move. Hopefully the people who are concerned about America will realize that they must watch and they must act. If they act then they have the chance to push America back to the right side of the political spectrum.
 
I know that some people will argue that it would have been better to chance the 2012 election and let Romney sit but I say that it would have hurt America’s chance to push the GOP back to the right. As it stands now the GOP has two elections that it lost due to them not picking someone Conservative enough. For 2016 they now have the chance to continue on their path and probably lose another election or swing back to the right and pick up the disenfranchized people on the right – forget the no-man’s land in the middle of the political spectrum as those people will probably willy-nilly decide on what direction they want to vote at the last minute – it’s hard to pander to such a group so why is the gOP trying? Maybe there is even a chance that if those middle-moderates see the GOP return to a principled stance of small-government and true fiscal responsibility (not a fiscal responsibility that says no big spending to social programs but a big fat yes to abhorent military spending) that they will be more appealing to vote for. As of now the GOP, even to me who leans Right, seems like a desperate greyhound dog trying to catch a mechanical rabbit on a track and it’s too ignorant to know that it never will catch it… and that isn’t a pretty sight to many voters. At least the Democratic party seems to stand up and say with conviction that it will do everything that it can to make the world more fair and to create their Utopia.
 
Or maybe Obama will destroy America. Maybe he will drive us straight into the ground of blasé Socialism. It is my hope that if it comes to that then there will be enough of us willing to fight for a new revival – a new America that our Founding Father’s would be proud of where individualism reigns instead of collectivism.
 
It is my hopes that because people are more involved with politics today than I’ve ever seen they start to realize that We The People need to keep our politicians in check. The power of laws needs to be returned to the Congress, to where we can voice our opinions of where we want to take this country every two years in the House and every 4 in the Senate. We can’t sit around and say that “my Congressperson is doing great” and then turn around and say that Congress is doing a horrible job – this makes no sense. We need to make the Congress do it’s job – they need to threaten impeachment when it is warranted and question the Executive branch when it supercedes its power with items such as Executive Orders. Then when the President wants to appoint a puppet in the Supreme Court, the Congress needs to stand up and block that nomination in favor of someone who will judge blindly and without partisanship. But as of now, the Congress generally sits around and does nothing except ceede their power elsewhere and certainly never challenges the Executive branch.
 
In any case, I can only see the second term of Obama as being a good thing for us in the long run. Make no mistake about it, I’m not excited about how the next four years will be for us… if we even have another four years. However, I think that if we want to truly prosper then Obama part two is the best thing that could have happened to us.
15
Sep
12

United States Credit Rating downgraded…. again

All fiat currencies and empires will fall. Do you know how the credit rating affects you? Original here.

The Federal Reserve pulling the trigger and buying up $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities per month in an attempt to foster a nascent recovery in the real estate market, and by doing so they have enacted the third leg of quantitative easing (QE3). This will mean the Fed will have created over $3 trillion our of thin air since 2008!

This move by Ben Bernanke will not help the economy one bit, but will devalue the dollar further.

Already the nod towards QE3 has resulted in another credit downgrade for America, just over a year after it’s first downgrade.The credit score has moved from “AA” to ‘AA-,” according to Egan-Jones.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke points to the current rate of unemployment as the reason for the necessity of the stimulus. He said, “We’ve seen not enough jobs growth to bring down the unemployment rate, and what we need to see is more progress.”

So, in other words, unemployment continues above eight percent and that is a “grave concern” according to Mr. Bernanke. Therefore, we crank up the printing presses and dump billions of new dollars into the system as “stimulus,” but what is really happening is the value of the dollars we now hold just lost buying power. However, Bernanke would have us believe that this “stimulus” will somehow bring about “progress” and presumably “employment.” This has to be some of the worst reasoning I’ve ever heard. This is the result of Keynesian economics.

“We’re just trying to get the economy moving in the right direction, so we don’t stagnate at high levels of unemployment,” Bernanke said Thursday.

So getting the economy going in the right direction requires devaluing American currency?

The LA Times report,

The Fed said Thursday it would buy $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities until the outlook for the labor market improves substantially.

Bernanke said the program “should increase downward pressure on interest rates,” particularly mortgage rates, which would encourage more home sales and refinancing.

He would not give a specific level of unemployment the Fed was aiming for, but said the goal was not to continue the purchases until the labor market was at a full employment rate of about 6%. The unemployment rate in August was 8.1%.

“There’s not a specific number we have in mind, but what we’ve seen in the last six months isn’t it,” he said. “We’re looking for something that involves unemployment coming down in a sustained way.”

In a statement on Friday, ratings agency Egan-Jones said,

… the FED’s QE3 will stoke the stock market and commodity prices, but in our opinion will hurt the US economy and, by extension, credit quality. Issuing additional currency and depressing interest rates via the purchasing of MBS does little to raise the real GDP of the US, but does reduce the value of the dollar (because of the increase in money supply), and in turn increase the cost of commodities (see the recent rise in the prices of energy, gold, and other commodities).

The increased cost of commodities will pressure profitability of businesses, and increase the costs of consumers thereby reducing consumer purchasing power.

Hence, in our opinion QE3 will be detrimental to credit quality for the US.

[…]

From 2006 to present, the US’s debt to GDP rose from 66% to 104% and will probably rise to 110% a year from today under current circumstances; the annual budget deficit is 8%. In comparison, Spain has a debt to GDP of 68.5% and an annual budget deficit of 8.5%.

We are therefore downgrading the US country rating from “AA” to “AA-”.

The downgrade and stimulus are not good signs for stocks either. Traders on Wall Street are skeptical of the Fed’s move and are saying so. Alan Valdes, director of floor operations at DME Securities said, “I don’t think this is going to have a very happy ending because as we’ve seen through QE1 and QE2, it’s not going to create jobs.

To a lot of traders, this is a sign that the economy’s a lot weaker than you think and we’re still on life support.”

Texas Congressman Ron Paul warned against the Fed’s actions this week, stating “I think the country should have panicked over what the Fed is saying that we have lost control and the only thing we have left is massively creating new money out of thin air, which has not worked before, and is not going to work this time.”

Some believe Barack Obama is behind the stimulus in order to help him limp into November and possibly be re-elected. That remains to be seen, but Jim Pethokoukis and Ed Rendell spoke to the subject on CNBC. Watch the segment below:




Quotes:

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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