Monday, June 30, 2008

Kent Snyder

Some very sad news. Kent Snyder, the chairman of Ron Paul's Presidential campaign, has passed away from pneumonia. Kent was the man that convinced Ron to run for President.

Ron Paul's blog on his memories of Kent Snyder

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Police Shooting Rubber Bullets at a Lawyer Protesting

This attorney was hit with rubber bullets during a protest and a second video came out about cops laughing about it. I encounter some very perturbed people on the campaign trail, each with their own stories about government not only failing them, but government actually doing them harm. It would be of interest to me to know if many people are today suing police departments. From what I hear on the campaign trail, the answer is "Yes." Many people have police department horror stories and many people are suing as a result. This is not a finger that I point at the police, this is a finger that I point at our elected leaders from the federal level on down, who do not show regard for our rights. This video is but an extension of that. - Allan

A Montage on the Evils of FEMA

Here is a montage of several videos, the most shocking of which to me is the hearing that Oliver North appears at. The editor of this piece juxtaposes several FEMA-related videos to successfully leave the viewer feeling claustrophobic at the end. - Allan

Police Abusing Power

This woman called the police for help and was treated like this.
This is horrific. It should not be surprising in a time where we
so blatantly disregard the idea that all Americans must have all
rights equally protected. There cannot be special bill of rights
for special groups of politically powerful people, there cannot
be special bill of rights for whites or blacks, there cannot be
selective readings of the bill of rights, every one of those rights
applies to every American. None of us can be free individually,
until we agree as a group to allow every other American to be
free, until we agree as a group that we will uphold each one of
those rights for every single American, regardless of what it
takes to do that. - Allan

Waiting for Police Permission to Return Home

People in Iowa waiting in line for permission from police before they may return home.
- Allan

the 4th Amendment in Iowa

Police in Iowa entering people's homes. What has happened to our fourth amendment when this is acceptable? - Allan

US Empire

A reading and accompanying cartoon from a book by Howard Zinn, both historical and auto-biographical at once. Well done. - Allan

Why is oil up? What is HJ Res 362?

This is so good. Why is oil up? According to Hon. Ron Paul because the dollar is down with $4 Trillion of money creation over the last 3 years and aggressive foreign policy. HJ Res 362 - "a virtual war resolution," is what he goes on to talk about. Demands that the President impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, and cargo leaving Iran and prohibiting the movement of all Iranian officials. "Where do we get the authority for this?" he asks. - Allan

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Munich Freedom March

Announcing the Munich Freedom March, July 12 in Munich, Germany. A sister event to the Revolution March in DC. - Allan in Highwood, IL

Friday, June 27, 2008

$34 bil Black Budget

The Pentagon's "Black Budget" on the low end, is estimated, in this article to be about $34 billion. That same article goes on to talk about who's making money for doing what for the Pentagon.
- Allan in 60040

Obama or McCain?

According to this article, from a usually pro-Obama publication, Iraqis do not trust either.
- Allan

The Return of Big Oil to Iraq

According to this article, the four oil companies that Hussein booted from Iraq about 35 years ago are finally returning: Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, and Total. - Allan

From where does the name of the dollar originate?

The following is an excerpt from Murray Rothbard's excellent "The Case for a 100% Gold Dollar"
- Allan

Names, therefore, whatever they may be, “Rothbard,” “Jones,” or even “dollar,” could not have arisen as money on the free market. How, then did such names as “dollar” and “peso” originate and emerge in their own right as independent moneys? The answer is that these names invariably originated as names for units of weight of a money commodity, either gold or silver. In short, they began not as pure names, but as names of units of weight of particular money commodities. In the British pound sterling we have a particularly striking example of a weight derivative, for the British pound was originally just that: a pound of silver money.[10] “Dollar” began as the generally applied name of an ounce weight of silver coined in the sixteenth century by a Bohemian, Count Schlick, who lived in Joachimsthal, and the name of his highly reputed coins became “Joachimsthalers,” or simply “thalers” or “dollars.” And even after a lengthy process of debasement, alteration, and manipulation of these weights until they more and more became separated names, they still remained names of units of weight of specie until, in the United States, we went off the gold standard in 1933. In short, it is incorrect to say that, before 1933, the price of gold was fixed in terms of dollars.

Also, do not forget about the academic endeavors of our friends in northern Europe at the Rothbard Institute.

Commodities Scoreboard for the Year

Posted by Jim Sinclair at - Allan

Anyone else think that gold is long overdue for an upward correction?

Score Board -- percentage change for the year, so far, in various items:

  • Crude oil up 42.5%
  • Ethanol up 20.7%
  • Heating oil up 43.9%
  • Natural gas up 76.5%
  • Unleaded gas up 39.5%
  • Cattle up 1.0%
  • Corn up 58.8%
  • Soy beans up; 26.4%
  • Coffee up 5.9%
  • Aluminum up 32.7%
  • Copper up 25.7%
  • Platinum up 33.4%
  • Gold up 6.0%
  • Silver up 13.4%.
  • S&P 500 down 10.24%
  • Frankfurt DAX down 18.32%
  • London FTSE down 12.23%
  • Paris CAC down 19.64%
  • Hong Kong Hang Sang down 18.33%.
  • Tokyo Nikkei down 9.47%
  • Singapore Straits down 14.04%.
  • Seoul Composite down 9.57%
  • Sydney All Ordinary down 15.76%
  • Taipei Telex down 7.40%

The Concluding Paragraph of DC v. Heller

I took some time yesterday to read the DC v. Heller decision. It ended up being a very educational explanation of a variety of gun control laws over the last 600 years, as well as an explanation of the right to keep and bear arms over that time. Additionally, it talked about what the word "keep" and "bear" and "arms" means, as well as the grammar of the 2nd Amendment. I agree with this blogger when he stresses the concluding paragraph of the ruling, a paragraph that is included below. Scalia took many opportunities to explain why his colleagues authoring the dissenting opinions were entirely wrong. I appreciate Scalia's statement in the last sentence of that paragraph, which recognizes the limits placed on the Supreme Court. That sentence, may be the most important sentence in the entire brief. - Allan in 60040

“We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certan policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Thursday, June 26, 2008

DC v. Heller

In case anyone would like to read DC v. Heller. Mayor Daley is unhappy today.
- Allan

Initially it sounds like a joke, but then it gets pretty sad

Officer shoots man wielding crutch, Forest View chief says

A Forest View police officer shot and wounded a man threatening him with a crutch outside a sports bar near the west suburb overnight, police said.

The shooting unfolded just after 1:30 a.m. when the unidentified patrol officer responded to a 911 call about a fight at 3rd Down bar, 4839 S. Central Ave. in unincorporated Cook County, said Larry Brouk, Forest View director of public safety.

After the officer pulled into the alley behind the bar, he got out of his squad and confronted a man brandishing a crutch and ordered him to drop it, Brouk said.

"He was using [the crutch] as a deadly weapon. You could kill somebody with that," Brouk said.

Brouk said the officer ordered the suspect to stop, but that he continued to approach the officer.

"After being told several times to drop the crutch, he failed to do so—at which point our officer had no other option but to use deadly force," he said.

The suspect was listed in critical condition at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Brouk said. The Cook County Public Integrity Unit will investigate the shooting, said Brouk, who referred further questions to county officials.

A Cook County sheriff's office spokeswoman could not immediately be reached. An employee at the bar declined to comment overnight.

Dan P. Blake, Tribune reporter

Bet you didn't know this

Shocking stuff, but I suppose it shouldn't be. Towards the end of the article Sam Brownback contributes an essentially meaningless quote? It sounds like his justification for this is something like "We must search all laptops because terrorists use laptops." - Allan in Highwood

Laptop seizures at customs raise outcry

Complaints from travelers and privacy advocates have spurred lawmakers to challenge the policy of random inspections.

WASHINGTON - Bill Hogan was returning home to the U.S. from Germany in February when a customs agent at Dulles International Airport pulled him aside. He could reenter the country, she told him. But his laptop couldn't.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents said he had been chosen for "random inspection of electronic media," and kept his computer for about two weeks, recalled Hogan, 55, a freelance journalist from Falls Church, Va.

Fortunately, it was a spare computer that had little important information. But Hogan felt violated.

"It's not an inspection. It's a seizure," he said. "What do they do with it? I assume they just copy everything."

For several years, U.S. officials have been searching and seizing laptops, digital cameras, cellphones and other electronic devices at the border with few publicly released details.

Complaints from travelers and privacy advocates have spurred some lawmakers to fight the U.S. Customs policy and to consider sponsoring legislation that would sharply limit the practice.

As people store more and more information electronically, the debate hinges on whether searching a laptop is like looking in your luggage or more like a strip search.

"Customs agents must have the ability to conduct even highly intrusive searches when there is reason to suspect criminal or terrorist activity, but suspicion-less searches of Americans' laptops and similar devices go too far," said Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.), who chairs a subcommittee that examined the searches at a hearing Wednesday. "Congress should not allow this gross violation of privacy."

Authorities need a search warrant to get at a computer in a person's home and reasonable suspicion of illegal activity to search a laptop in other places. But the rules change at border crossings.

Courts consistently have ruled that there's no need for warrants or suspicions when a person is seeking to enter the country -- agents can search belongings, including computer gear, for any reason.

The latest decision was from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which in April ruled that agents had acted properly when turning over information used to charge a traveler with possession of child pornography. His laptop had been searched in 2005 at Los Angeles International Airport.

Any routine search is considered "reasonable" under the 4th Amendment, legal scholars agree. But Feingold is worried that the law has not kept up with technology.

Said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "People keep their lives on these devices: diaries, personal mail, financial records, family photos. . . . The government should not be able to read this information."

In February, the group and the Asian Law Caucus sued authorities for more information about the program.

The issue is of particular concern for businesses, which risk the loss of proprietary data when executives travel abroad, said Susan K. Gurley, executive director of the Assn. of Corporate Travel Executives. After the California court ruling, the group warned its members to limit the business and personal information they carry on laptops taken out of the country.

Of the 100 people who responded to a survey the association did in February, seven said they had been subject to the seizure of a laptop or other electronic device.

Jayson P. Ahern, deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said in written testimony to the subcommittee that the agency would "protect information that may be discovered during the examination process, as well as private information of a personal nature that is not in violation of any law." The agency conducts "a regular review and purging of information that is no longer relevant."

Feingold said the testimony gave "little meaningful detail" about the program. He is considering legislation to prohibit such routine searches of electronic devices without reasonable suspicion.

But Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said officials have to balance individual rights with protecting the nation.

"Terrorists take advantage of this kind of technology," he said.

Hogan, the freelance journalist, said there was no reason for customs agents to think he was a terrorist. He advised people to take precautions with their laptops when they leave the country.

"I certainly would never take it again," he said.


Let's get out of Iraq

This is very good. It is al-Jabeeri saying that the Iraq can defend itself, that our embassy, the largest in the world and the size of the Vatican, is a problem, and that the presence of our military bases is a problem as well. - Allan in 60040

Ron Paul on the message of "Change"

Allan in 60040

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's just the Chicago Way

This is from one of my favorite journalists, John Kass, who advises people to not be frustrated that Obama has foresaken the ideals of public funding ($85 million) for the deep pockets campaign that he could have enough money to run ($5oo million). It's just the Chicago Way, Kass let's us know. Well written article with lots of little details:,0,6475840.column

For Obama tourism in Chicago, I welcome you to follow this link. You can see some of the places in which he learned the Chicago Way.,0,734093.htmlstory

- Allan in Highwood, IL

A Major Victory for Texas

I am pleased to report that last week we received notice that the Texas Department of Transportation will recommend the I-69 Project be developed using existing highway facilities instead of the proposed massive new Trans Texas Corridor/NAFTA Superhighway. According to the Texas Transportation Commissioner, consideration is no longer being given to new corridors and other proposals for a new highway footprint for this project. A major looming threat to property rights and national sovereignty is removed with this encouraging announcement.

Public outcry was cited as the main reason for this decision. I was very impressed to learn that the TxDOT received nearly 28,000 public comments on this matter, and that some 12,000 Texans attended the 47 public hearings held earlier this year. They could not ignore this tsunami of strong public opinion against the proposed plans. I was especially proud of how informed my constituents became on the subject, and how eloquently and respectfully they spoke and conducted themselves, considering how upsetting the plans were for our communities in Texas .

This is a major victory for the people of Texas , and a reminder of what we can accomplish with civic involvement. The informed and active citizen truly is a force to be reckoned with, as we have seen with the defeat of this proposal. We must keep fighting the good fight, and remain ever diligent against the encroachments of big government. We must do this if we wish to maintain our traditional standard of living in this country. As tempting as it may be to simply live our lives with no regard to government, apathy will inevitably be punished by ever more government intrusion. That is what this fight was all about. We can win if we stick together.

However, now is not the time to rest on our laurels. The bittersweet aspect of this victory is that we had to fight at all. We took time away from family and friends, doing other things, to attend these meetings, inform others, write letters, post signs and submit our complaints, and we should not have had to. Government should let us be, if we are peaceful citizens, harming no one. In a perfect world, government could be trusted to act in the best interests of the people without overwhelming pressure of this kind. This is not a perfect world. Constant pressure is needed to keep government in check, and we succeeded this time. But this will not be the last time citizen efforts and involvement will be required. We still face many unreasonable encroachments of big government today, from confiscatory, economy-strangling taxation to creeping disregard of the right of habeas corpus and other Constitutional rights, to thousands of nuisance bureaucratic regulations interfering with our every day lives. We have drifted far from what the founding fathers envisioned for this nation. Last week was just one victory towards getting back on the right path. We must continue to hold politicians’ feet to the Constitutional fire. If I had to guess, they will probably try to implement the NAFTA Superhighway again sometime in the future.

It is a never-ending battle, but it must be fought, and can be won. I am proud to stand with my constituents in this fight, and in the other fights we have ahead of us.

- Dr. Ron Paul, Lake Jackson, TX

Some Books at the Mises Institute

I've heard some good things about this series of books, the politically incorrect guides:

To further understand his own platform, there are two books that Ron Paul has recommended to me:

Finally, this will be my next step in economics study. It looks like a great packet. What I would like is some testing material to accompany it. I'm trying to twist Johannes's arm to take this course with me.

- Allan in Highwood, IL

LvM in Vienna

Historically significant places in Vienna connected to our man Ludwig von Mises. Johannes will soon have his first von Mises tourist on his hands.
- Allan in Highwood, IL

3 cheers for the Irish, Poles, and Czechs

My favorite part is the praise for Central Europe on the issue of due process. Good article on the stumbling blocks that have been put in the path of the pro-superstate faction.
- Allan in Highwood, IL