What’s New

October 15, 2006

It’s the economy, Einstein!

“I tell ye true, liberty is the best of all things; never live beneath the noose of a servile halter.”—William Wallace, Address to the Scots, c. 1300

Back in February and March, we commented about the deteriorating economic outlook. As we head toward the elections and winter, a massive budget deficit and trade deficit continues to exert corrosive pressure on the “dollar.” Short term, prior to the elections, government officials and the Fed are using every behind-the-scenes trick to prop up the system, but the reality is the paper “dollar” will continue to decline in purchasing power. The USDX (index) tells a sad tale. Since a 2002 high of 120, the value of
our fiat currency is now tracking at about 85 compared to a “basket” of other fiat, world currencies. So much for paper “standards!”

Total debt has soared while national income has barely crept upward. According to Federal Reserve data, today’s typical American family has a balance of only $3,800 in cash in the bank, has no retirement account whatsoever, owes $90,000 on a mortgage, and owes $2,200 in credit card debt. And the popular 401(k) retirement account, after decades of saving, only has about $27,000 in it! The average 401(k) “investor” has managed to accumulate enough to buy a new car! No doubt, enough to retire in comfort.

Paul van Eeden reports the International Diamond Exchange (IDEX) diamond prices are softening. The prices of 1.5 and 2 carat diamonds fell below their prices of a year ago for the first time in recent history. Diamonds are the ultimate luxury item and during times of prosperity (usually when stock prices are rising), demand is strong. Conversely, when times are tough, less people buy expensive diamonds.

Peter Cavelti wrote this past April: “Fifty years ago, in the wake of financing the largest military intervention in history and massive post-war reconstruction, the US national debt was roughly $200 billion, of which 5% was owned by foreigners…Today, the US has $8.4 trillion in debt of which foreigners hold 57%. Some say that a federal debt equivalent to more than two thirds of the Gross Domestic Product poses grave and inescapable danger. I would disagree with the word “inescapable” if the US Treasury’s debt were held primarily by saving-conscious Americans. But that is clearly not the case; ever more creditors are foreigners. Which is why, in the end, there will only be three things the US can do to reduce its debt burden: raise taxes, cut back program spending (such as infrastructure, health, education, defense, etc.) or devalue the currency. Monetary history suggests that the latter will be the preferred route. It is far less noticeable to Americans than the other alternatives and primarily hurts foreign bond holders.”

When calculated in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and taking unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations into account, the total federal debt is actually $49.4 trillion. This equates to more than $160,000 for every American.

The modest home you purchased in 1960 for $26,000, situated in one of the quiet farm communities outside Washington, D.C., is now “worth” $500,000. You could buy a McDonald’s hamburger for 15 cents in 1966. Is it “worth” a “dollar” today? The chart on the left shows the historical “worth” of the “dollar.” Since World War II, it has lost 95% of its purchasing power. Our fiat currency is no longer redeemable in gold or silver. Gold is now selling at about $600/ounce as compared to $35 then. Three cheers for paper “standards!”

David M. Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States, is the nation’s chief accountability officer and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). He warns the nation will go broke within a generation—unless it takes radical steps now to rein in out-of-control federal spending. “Last year was the first year since 1933 that Americans spent more money than they took home and, as you probably recall, 1933 was not a good year for the United States.” Because the United States relies on foreign central banks to finance its deficits, “It means that other players hold an increasing percentage of our nation’s mortgage; and it means the debt service is going to go overseas rather than domestic; and it means that we will have less leverage on them with regard to economic, foreign policy and national security issues—and they will have more leverage on us.”

Peter Grandich writes: “This past July, an extraordinary paper was published that said a ballooning U.S. budget deficit and a pensions and welfare time bomb could send the U.S. into insolvency. The author of that paper said by some measures, the U.S. is already bankrupt. What makes this paper so extraordinary is the fact it was published by one of the key members of the country’s central bank—the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The author was Professor Laurence Kotlikoff.”

Professor Kotlikoff wrote, “To Paraphrase the Oxford English Dictionary, is the United States at the end of its resources, exhausted, stripped bare, destitute, bereft, wanting in property, or wrecked in consequence of failure to pay its creditors?” According to his central analysis, “the US government is, indeed, bankrupt, insofar as it will be unable to pay its creditors, who, in this context, are current and future generations to whom it has explicitly or implicitly promised future net payments of various kinds.”

The professor noted, “The proper way to consider a country’s solvency is to examine the lifetime fiscal burdens facing current and future generations. If these burdens exceed the resources of those generations, get close to doing so, or simply get so high as to preclude their full collection, the country’s policy will be unsustainable and can constitute or lead to national bankruptcy.”

It is not only federal debt, but State and Local Government Debt is Soaring. This Cato Institute report explains why. “High levels of debt make government finances less transparent to citizens. People don’t appreciate the high costs of projects that officials are pursuing if they don’t feel the bite of current taxes. And if concerned citizens look into their government’s debt situation, they may find it very difficult to understand.”

Worth bearing in mind as our Virginia General Assembly friends “struggle” with the “transportation crisis” and other “critical spending issues” in Richmond—such as their penchant for handing out their own brand of hog jowls. Be sure to read through the $37 million list.

A story in June in the Arizona Republic: “Greed drove metropolitan Phoenix's home prices and sales to new records in 2005. Fear is driving the market this year…Builders, struggling to sell even deeply discounted new homes, are scaling back production and warning of lower profits. Each day more people, from contractors and mortgage firms to real estate agents, are losing jobs or money in the metropolitan Phoenix's rapidly slowing real estate market.”

According to figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, foreclosure activity fell in the first quarter of 2006 over the first quarter of 2005, but that is about to change in a big way. “This year,” the AP writes, “more than $300 billion worth of hybrid ARMs will readjust for the first time. That number will jump to approximately $1 trillion in 2007, according to the MBA. Monthly payments will leap too, many beyond what homeowners can afford. ARMs are a ticking time bomb,” says Brad Geisen, president and chief executive of property tracker Foreclosure.com. “Through 2006 and 2007, I’m pretty sure we’ll see a high volume of foreclosures.”

Readers may find this article by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. enlightening: The Case for the Barbarous Relic.

None of the above is great news. Most Americans go about life oblivious to reality—including 90% of the people holding (and running) for public office, those intelligent, capable and honest souls in whose hands you put your future. But there is some good news. Those who are aware of the precarious economic situation, those who today will take a few simple steps to prepare for the storms, will likely weather them in relative safety.

National Animal Id

Justifications for NAIS are based on lies, and are perpetuated by apathy, greed, cowardice and an arrogant disregard for reality. Politicians, USDA/FDA bureaucrats, “industry leaders” and mass media have denied, ignored or ridiculed objections to NAIS, but the truth is clear: NAIS has absolutely nothing to do with national security, disease control, or food safety. National Animal Id is a land, livestock and people registration plan, an industrial, inventory-tracking and control scheme, and a “public-private partnership” racket designed to license agriculture and to bring the food supply system under the boot of centralized power.

The Great Cuyahoga Valley Land Grab

In his essay, Leaving the Left, Keith Thompson says he “can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives.” One of the turning points in his rejection of modern ‘liberalism’ was the National Park Service’s ‘atrocity’ in Ohio almost three decades ago. “Communities were destroyed, churches and schools closed, houses boarded up and the tax base eroded by land acquisition overkill. It was an atrocity. It reminded me of what the American military official had said about the Vietnamese village — it was “necessary to destroy it in order to save it.” Read about this NPS atrocity.

US Senator George Allen: A Property Rights Betrayal

In Governor Allen’s Inaugural Address, 1994, he stated: “In recent times, the will of the people has been frustrated by an unholy alliance of manipulative well-heeled interests, entrenched bureaucrats and political opportunists. It is time for this to end. For this great house that Jefferson designed was meant to be the people’s capitol, not the citadel of special interests.” Today, Allen wholly supports that unholy alliance of manipulative well-heeled interests, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) National Heritage Area (NHA), a National Park Service scheme to impose back-door federal land-use control on a million acre swath of the Piedmont. His complete policy reversal has created a substantial backlash among Virginia voters. Read the story here.

"Sustainable Development" Privileges the Few

“The revered intellectuals sit on endless committees defining meaningless terms like sustainable development and are paid handsomely for doing so,” says Morgan J. Poliquin, a Canadian Geological Engineer. “They are also lauded, much like actors, by their own organizations, which continually self-produce awards. Mingling with media, wealthy patrons, government officials, and business leaders, they frequent the most exclusive locations on the planet to discuss the implementation of their leadership. The self-interest of the legislators and government is readily apparent as their incomes are derived from the taxes that society is required to pay, purportedly for their management of the new laws and regulation that will ensure sustainable development.”

Five years ago, Diane Alden described the progress of the intellectual plague of elitist barbarism sweeping the American conscience. Her remarks were aimed at today’s ruling political class and their glitterati friends—of both parties, the same described by Mr. Poliquin. During the past five years, the barbarism has only increased:

These new barbarians and true believers have taken the rule of law and liberty and the Bill of Rights and Constitution and turned them upside down…This ‘new order’ they propose will destroy the very freedoms that have allowed their beliefs to gain so much ground over the years…Our tyrants, which include some senators, may wear $1,000 suits and have $200 haircuts, but they are tyrants nonetheless. As Roman historian Catellus stated regarding the Roman Senate over 2,000 years ago: “We pile up riches for ourselves while the state is bankrupt. We sing the praises of prosperity—and idle away our lives. Good men or bad—it is all one. All the prizes that merit ought to win are carried off by ambitious intriguers. And no wonder, when each one of you schemes only for himself, when in your private lives you are slaves to pleasure, and here in the Senate House the tools of money, or influence. The result is that when an assault is made upon the Republic, there is no one there to defend it.” (Words attributed to Marcus Portius Cato by Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust) in The Conspiracy of Catiline, ca. 44-40 BC)

Winston Churchill, a witty fellow

And to conclude this update on a lighter note, in an election campaign, a voter told Churchill he would rather vote for the devil. Churchill countered, “But in case your friend is not running, can I count on your support?”

May 15, 2006

Journey Through Hallowed Ground: National Park Service Bunko-game

In the name of historic preservation, sustainable economic development and apple pie, a new, National Heritage Area (NHA) scheme is in the works to radically transform more than a million acres of Virginia’s heartland and to impose the “appropriate” quality of life on people of the Piedmont.

Cate Magennis Wyatt (right) is heading a “socially-conscious” aristocracy whose plans are to restructure traditional societal institutions in a vast, prosperous and culturally important area of the Old Dominion. The goal is a highly-controlled, neo-Fascist “Third Way” structure of “public-private partnerships” and “governance by consensus,” a mockery of Mr. Jefferson’s and General Lee’s visions of individual liberty, private property owned and controlled by millions of individuals, and government small, local and free of entrenched special interests.

The JTHG project is illustrative of the social and material decadence of New Age dogma, a nihilistic ideology adopted by a class of “new barbarians.” Read the report.

Rewriting History, American Style

In this 2002 essay, Professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo examines the apotheosis of Abraham Lincoln and debunks “the preposterous myth that there was never any such thing as a right of secession—in a country that was formed by a war of secession.”

DiLorenzo also points out how “Lincoln unequivocally denounced the principle of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, especially when it comes to men of the white and black races.” Lincoln’s goal was colonization—to send every black person in the US to Africa, Central America and Haiti. Why are some modern ‘historians’ rewriting history? Read this important article.

Mississippi River Trail Study Act—yet another NPS land and power grab

J. Peyton Knight, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, The National Center for Public Policy Research, testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on Resources, Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands on April 27, 2006. His testimony concerns H.R. 1796, the Mississippi River Trail Study Act, to create a 2,300-mile historic/scenic trail the entire length of the Mississippi.

Knight explains why the act would not only create another federal spending boondoggle, but would threaten every property owner along the trail with land condemnation. The testimony is replete with examples of NPS land condemnation policy, such as NPS treatment of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement’s Graymoor property along the Appalachian Trail in Garrison, New York. His testimony is here.

March 6, 2006

More on our economy, military intervention, empire and loss of freedom

“As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”—Justice William O. Douglas, US supreme Court (1939-75)

How much faith can you put in an I.O.U. from a “friend” who is an aggressive bully, who has sinking job prospects, soaring credit card bills, a double mortgage, a chronic gambling problem and, as it turns out, a bad habit of lying about how much money he has—and just about everything else he says turns out to be false?

Who is this “friend,” you ask? In his February 15, 2006, speech before the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul has given us a clue to the mystery: The End of Dollar Hegemony. A must read.

Free Societies, Prosperity and Private Property

In a short, concise article, Peter J. Boettke, associate professor of economics and deputy director of the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy at George Mason University, discusses the historical importance of defined and enforced private property rights for achieving economic prosperity and social harmony.

Meet the International Democrat Union

Tom DeWeese, President of The American Policy Center, writes, “There are two conflicting philosophies of governing in the world. One, the American view, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, states that all people have rights they are born with and that government’s only job is to protect those rights at all costs…The other says that government decides the rights we should have…that all so called rights are subject to the whim of whatever gang is currently in power…making the definitions of what constitutes the ‘common good.’”

Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas recently commented, “All democracies turn into dictatorships—but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it’s Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea...That’s the issue that I’ve been exploring…how does a democracy become a dictatorship?”

Most Americans, particularly ‘conservatives,’ have never heard of the International Democrat Union. To understand one of the ways the American Constitutional Republic is being transformed into a democracy, which historically has always led to dictatorship and tyranny, read Tom Deweese’s article.

On Conservation Easements: From the ‘Other Side’

John D. Echeverria, Executive Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute, makes some critical observations about the fallacies and myths of conservation easements. He may not be someone property rights advocates would consider a friend, having filed a brief in support of the Kelo decision and having written an article opposing Oregon’s Measure 37. Nevertheless, it is important not to simply dismiss what this talented attorney writes because he is “another one of them.”

Mr. Echeverria believes conservation and preservation goals are better accomplished through the government regulatory framework which he sees as being more efficient and more democratic. We strongly disagree with this alternative and with his land use control philosophy, but concur with most of his arguments about conservation easements.

Therefore, it is Ordered the Skeptics Perspective on Voluntary Conservation Easements is Affirmed, in part, and certain questions are Remanded to the Court of Public Deliberation for further proceedings.

Environmental Ruin, Property Rights and the Tragedy of the Commons

David J. Theroux provides what we believe has proven to be, by far, the best solution to resolving many of the issues raised by John D. Echeverria. Anyone who has not read Garrett Hardin’s 1968 Science essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, will find it useful background to Mr. Theroux’s 1994 essay featured in this update. Hardin’s ‘classic’ is not very optimistic about man’s continued “upward reach,” but he helps define the ‘commons mentality’ of today’s ignoratti who place “the public interest” and “the public good” above the Unalienable Rights of the Individual.

Theroux lucidly and correctly argues in Property Rights v Environmental Ruin we need not suffer “the tragedy of the commons” with natural resources, energy, forest lands, agriculture, and water and air quality when competitive, free-markets and private property rights are allowed to function as they should—instead of the currently-entrenched, special interest process of political and regulatory manipulation fostered by too much government. His insights, now 12 years old, are even more urgently needed today by citizens and policy-makers. As we debate the ESA, the sale of National Forest lands, Kelo, land-use “planning” and “urban sprawl,” and a host of other issues involving the fundamental freedoms of Americans, “the political/bureaucratic arena needs to be abandoned for a system of absolute private property rights.”

A Gentleman, a Freeman passes on

Harry Browne was one of America’s most articulate spokesmen for Liberty, a true Liberal in the Jeffersonian tradition. When we asked permission to post some of his articles on this site, his response was enthusiastic and supportive. He wanted to help people, to share information and ideas, to know America would benefit—no strings attached.

Here is a portion of the press notice on Harry’s life and death:

Harry Browne, best-selling author and two-time Libertarian Party presidential nominee, died in his home in Franklin, Tennessee, Wednesday night, March 1, after a long illness. He is survived by his wife Pamela and his daughter Autumn.

Browne broke into national prominence in the early 1970s with three best-selling books. How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation was the first to make the best-seller lists. His next book, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, is widely regarded as a modern libertarian classic and has gone through many printings and editions. His third book, You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis, reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list…Browne twice ran for President as the nominee of the Libertarian Party in 1996 and 2000. He was a frequent guest on radio and TV, both as a political and financial commentator. Browne was a co-founder of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. and a strong advocate of that organization's “Read the Bills Act,” which would require Congress to read every word of every bill before voting on it. Browne was born on June 17, 1933 in New York City. He died of Lou Gehrig's disease.

Lew Rockwell comments: “He was a man of great principle who courageously and consistently stood up for liberty even when his position clashed with mainstream political culture and public opinion…No matter whether the topic was taxes, education, states rights, war and foreign policy, or the drug war, he took the right position…After 9-11, when others fell silent or acquiesced to regime priorities, he stuck his neck out and defended personal liberty against the surveillance state, less government against the homeland-security state, and peace against the war on terror. He never hesitated. He wrote the truth with grace and good humor…”

Here is one of Mr. Browne’s last articles: The War Against Strawmen, a.k.a. “The War on Terrorism”

Be sure to visit his website where you can also listen to many of his archived radio shows.

February 1, 2006

They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose.

The Law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common’
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

—English folk poem, circa 1764

A month into the New Year, the general advance of collectivism and loss of Liberty in America shows little sign of slowing.

Even with a general public partially awakened from its stupor by the Kelo decision, the NSA Spying Scandal, Abramoff, a massive invasion of illegals, unending foreign wars, and the government’s voracious appetite for more and more private land, the majority of American people still don’t “get it.” The underlying reasons and connections between all the seemingly unconnected domestic and international issues and policies do not seem to register. Connect some dots:

UK will be first to monitor every car journey Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years. Next…US?

USDA Using Satellites to Monitor Farmers Satellite technology used to monitor when farmers plant their acreage, how they irrigate them and what crops they grow. “A lot of farmers would be shocked at the detail you can tell. What it does is keep honest folks honest,” said G. A. “Art” Barnaby Jr., an agricultural economist at Kansas State University.

Why do honest folks need to be kept honest? What Mr. Barnaby should have said, if he were bright enough or honest, is, “At some point, as government keeps tightening the screws on farmers and ranchers, they will become rebellious. We need to have powerful, federal surveillance and control mechanisms, including Animal ID and Premises ID, in place so we can deal with them when they become a threat to our system. Control of the nation’s food producers and food supply system is one of the most effective ways to enforce people control, not only over farmers and ranchers, but over the general populace.”

This poster by Maria Voron, “Shock-brigade Reaping for a Bolshevik Harvest” (1934), promotes collective agriculture where peasants work in brigades, as in industry, an ideal of a disciplined, ordered system. The robust figures give no hint of the actual crop failures, famine and brutal repression in 1931-1932, the result of forced collectivization.

For those who desire a better understanding of serfdom and “vertical industrial integration” of American agriculture, the Soviet Liquidation of the Kulaks as a Class and The Great Famine are worth reading. In 1929, Stalin ordered the first Five-Year Plan, decreeing Soviet agriculture be collectivized by the end of 1933. For individual farmers, it meant turning their land and livestock over to the state and becoming ‘workers’ on giant collective farms. Reluctant landowners were accused of being “class enemies, rich kulaks exploiting the masses,” thus setting the stage for Stalin’s decree in December, 1929 to “liquidate the kulaks as a class.” Famine historians estimate 7-10 million farmers and family members died as victims of starvation, torture, rape and murder. It kept the honest folks honest, no doubt.

At the door?

The Laws of Nature have not been suspended. Most humans learn little from history. After twenty-five years of life in the Big Bubble, it appears we are on the threshold of “difficult” times. I strongly suspect pin-pricking events in 2006 will be confirmed with loud repercussions undreamed of by a ‘generation of simpering fools’ who expect ‘A Bowl of Cherries’ to continue playing on their Big Screens.

Even a cursory study of the ‘fall’ of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Dark Ages reveals it began long before the Republic came to dictatorship under the Emperors. The Roman Constitution was trashed; the Senate became a den of corruption and thievery; the land was invaded by warring aliens; there were constant foreign wars and rampant devaluation of money resulted in hyper-inflation and a return to a barter system. Moral virtues gave way to the bread and circuses of the welfare state. Every form of depravity, licentiousness and disease swept the land.

On the bright side, America has a steadily growing core of strong, independent people who understand where we are headed, who are prepared to save what has not been lost, and to rebuild what has. Doing so will be painful. Not being involved is not an option. Those who believe otherwise will be ‘led to the slaughter.’ And for those who think their option is seeking refuge with the Emperor and his minions…I recently finished reading Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer. It was hard to put down.

Here are some fiscal 2004 figures to consider. Total federal receipts were $1.880 Trillion and total expenditures $2.292 Trillion, leaving a deficit of $412 Billion. Total reported federal debt was $7.379 Trillion (today about $7.8 Trillion). Interest on the debt was $321.5 Billion—almost $1 Billion/day, the largest portion going to foreign bond holders like Red China, a nation repeatedly (and again recently) threatening US cities with ICBM nuclear strikes. Gosh, mommy, why is our “partner” such a bully?

The true federal debt, with all unfunded liabilities taken into account, as they should be and would be if there were honest government accounts, is approximately $44 Trillion. Total federal liabilities now exceed the total private net worth of all U.S. households. These figures do not include state, municipal or private sector debt. To put it another way, if the federal government confiscated all the property of all the households in America, its liabilities would not be covered. Of course, there would be nothing left to pay state, municipal and private debt. Perhaps the reasons behind Kelo begin to make sense.

Peter Grandich writes in the January 4th Blue Chip & Income Report, 2006: The Year Americans Will Begin To Pay the Piper, “Just one sentence captures my overall opinion of what’s happening in America concerning our social and economic status—Americans have been robbing Peter to pay Paul but Peter is tapped out…Most Americans I counsel have little or no idea of exactly how dire our debt and deficit situation in America is. I believe when historians look back, they will recall Mr. Greenspan’s comments in Jackson Hole to be among the most profound comments of his entire career. And, I believe Greenspan’s commentaries reassured me of my desire to get as many Americans as possible to change their ways before the tidal wave of debt, deficits and the aging crisis washes away the house of cards they currently live in and off of…We buy (especially stuff from overseas) and spend like a drunken sailor causing us to borrow from the very foreigners who sell us far more stuff than we do to them. These folks then lend us the money by financing our deficits. What do we then do? Yes, that’s right, we buy and spend more than we sell and save and the cycle just continues. Or will it?

“Our trade deficit is setting records of which no one should be proud. Virtually every major trading partner like Canada, Mexico, the European Union and of course, China, is seeing more black as we see more red. Four years ago, responsible economists, politicians and the like said our then-current trade deficit was a serious problem. It has since doubled; surpassing $700 billion for 2005.Our Current Account deficit, the broadest measure of international trade, has been hitting new record highs almost monthly.

“I’m often asked how can this continue and what is the most likely ramification? I always answer the same—it ncan’t continue indefinitely and when it does break, our dollar will become the 21st century peso.”

Paul Craig Roberts writes, “Gentle reader, if you prefer comforting lies to harsh truths, don’t read this column… If the free trade/outsourcing propaganda were true, would not at least some US export industries be experiencing a growth in employment? If free trade and outsourcing benefit the US economy, how did America run up $2.85 trillion in trade deficits over the last five years? This means Americans consumed almost $3 trillion dollars more in goods and services than they produced and turned over $3 trillion of their existing assets to foreigners to pay for their consumption. Consuming accumulated wealth makes a country poorer, not richer…household income has fallen for a record fifth year in succession. Growth in consumer spending has resulted from households spending their savings and equity in their homes. In 2005 for the first time since the Great Depression in the 1930s, American consumers spent more than they earned, and the government budget deficit was larger than all business savings combined. American households are paying a record share of their disposable income to service their debts. With America hemorrhaging red ink in every direction, how much longer can the dollar hold on to its role as world reserve currency?”

On January 23rd, the former national director of the National Security Agency appeared before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. General Michael Hayden, now principal deputy director of National Intelligence with the Office of National Intelligence, discussed the National Security Agency's warrantless spying on Americans. He claims to be an expert on the Fourth Amendment. Here is the exchange between Hayden and Jonathan Landay, Knight Ridder investigative reporter:

QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I’d like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I’m no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American’s right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use—
GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually—the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But the—
GEN. HAYDEN: That’s what it says.
QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.
GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But does it not say probable—
GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says—
QUESTION: The court standard, the legal standard—
GEN. HAYDEN: —unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: The legal standard is probable cause, General. You used the terms just a few minutes ago, “We reasonably believe.” And a FISA court, my understanding is, would not give you a warrant if you went before them and say “we reasonably believe”; you have to go to the FISA court, or the attorney general has to go to the FISA court and say, “we have probable cause.” And so what many people believe—and I’d like you to respond to this—is that what you’ve actually done is crafted a detour around the FISA court by creating a new standard of “reasonably believe” in place of probable cause because the FISA court will not give you a warrant based on reasonable belief, you have to show probable cause. Could you respond to that, please?
GEN. HAYDEN: Sure. I didn’t craft the authorization. I am responding to a lawful order. All right? The attorney general has averred to the lawfulness of the order. Just to be very clear—and believe me, if there’s any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it’s the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you’ve raised to me—and I’m not a lawyer, and don’t want to become one—what you’ve raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is “reasonable.” And we believe—I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we’re doing is reasonable. [End exchange. Read the full article here.]

The Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (Emphasis added)

It is unlikely General Hayden is illiterate or a moron. His dishonest answers and apparent contempt for the Constitution are in line with the thinking of many of his superiors. Hayden adds one more piece to the mountain of evidence lending credibility to last December’s Capitol Hill Blue report about the President calling the Constitution “just a g--d----- piece of paper.”—the man who placed his hand on the Bible and declared he would “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution also told a newsman, “How would I know what was constitutional or not?”

Devvy Kidd writes:

Two months ago a woman named Deborah Davis was reading a book while riding to work on a public bus. When her bus stopped outside the gates of the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado, a guard climbed aboard the bus and demanded that all the passengers produce identification. Mrs. Davis didn't bite: “I told him that I did have identification, but I wasn’t going to show it to him,” Davis explains. “I knew that I wasn’t required by law to show ID and that’s why I decided I wasn't going to. The whole thing seemed to be more about compliance than security.”

This guard who obviously has no understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, called the federal dragoons who proceeded to drag Mrs. Davis off this public bus, handcuffed her like some criminal, shoved her into the back seat of their Barney Rubble guard car and transported her to a police station within the Federal Center…Mrs. Davis’ son is in Iraq fighting Bush’s war to control the oil in the middle East while his mother is being subjected to the same treatment as those who live in communist countries and did under Hitler's regime. Read Devvy’s article.

National Heritage Areas — Congressional Testimony of R. J. Smith

The federal government and its surrogate NHA ‘partners’ continue their lust for “protection” of natural resources, “buying” more and more private land with the printing-press. “Dollars” used are borrowed and your birthright is “sold” for increasingly worthless IOUs. You and your children are indentured to pay the debt, with every American presently ‘mortgaged’ for approximately $200,000.

On June 24, 2004, Robert J. Smith, Director of the Center for Private Conservation, testified before the US Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on S. 2543 to establish a program and criteria for National Heritage Areas.

Smith explains why the definition of a NHA coming under the purview of the National Park Service “is so vast, so all-encompassing, so expansive, so wide as to permit the designation of almost any plot of land in the Nation as a national heritage area…no piece of hallowed ground…will be safe from possible designation as a new area controlled by the Park Service…Mr. Chairman, I think the only way to adequately protect private property rights if we want to save certain areas and set them aside is not to create this program, to privatize heritage areas now, and make all such programs totally private and totally voluntary. I think it’s time for the land trusts, the chambers of commerce, the tourist bureaus, and so on, to step up and stop taking private property, and protect these areas the old-fashioned way, doing it by buying them.” Read the entire testimony here.

Cash Cows Don't Graze

Wal-Mart, the Sierra Club, Land Trusts and the US Department of Interior add up to a conspiracy to allow the world’s richest people to bypass laws, shut down citizen rights, and scoop up America’s resources. Another government/corporate/non-profit land trust “partnership” to buy up private ranches in northern Arizona and southern Utah, and the related grazing permits and water rights, it’s called “new environmentalism” with a “market-based” approach. Read Toni Thayer’s story of the betrayal of “a bunch of smaller operations, all trying to make a living grazing cattle.” This is how The Wildlands Project is being implemented, spreading wilderness and decay across our land.

Death of a Sawmill

Jim Petersen, the founder of Evergreen Foundation and the publisher of Evergreen Magazine writes a sobering story of his friend Jim Hurst, who auctioned his sawmill after 25 years of beating his head against the wall of ‘environmentalism’ and a government no longer able to be trusted by many sawmill owners. “I suspect the decision to terminate his remaining 70 employees tore his guts out,” writes Petersen. “They were like family to him. Jim’s outfit was the economic backbone of tiny Eureka, Montana, a sawmill town since the early 1900s.”

As the Jim Hursts of America continue to close their doors, our rural communities, our farms, ranches, churches, schools, civic organizations and local businesses are being transformed into abandoned relics.

With the Death of a Sawmill, weeds growing in silence at the office door have replaced the men and women who once gathered there on payday.

The Federal Contract on Your Land

If you live in a National Heritage Area, a National Historic District or other federal “protected area,” the largest law firm in the world has written a “Contract” on your land. It’s written by their lawyers, in their terms, not yours. This article exposes the US National Park Service “partnerships” policy, a tactic designed to allow the NPS to stay in the background while using local “stakeholder” surrogates to do their land acquisition.

Included is an excerpt from the 1999 Congressional Testimony of Katherine Stevenson, National Park Service Associate Director for Cultural Resource Stewardship and Partnerships. She candidly reveals the thinking of top NPS officials about the “willing seller” policy which “unfairly ties the hands of the [NPS]. Throughout the National Park System, we usually have the power of eminent domain…[condemnation]”

Have you ever wondered how the NPS and its “partners” can “preserve” your land better than you can—by borrowing billions every year and putting you, your children and your grandchildren, the “future generations” they claim to adore, deeper and deeper into debt? Could it be a big con-game?

November 15, 2005

It has been a long, eventful summer and fall…

During the past six months have we have seen a feeding-frenzy by those interests who control the power centers of America. Since 1945, Congress and its private banking cartel, the Federal Reserve System, have robbed Americans of 95% of the purchasing power of the “dollar.” The theft continues unabated. States and localities have gone on a taxing and spending binge with “no end in sight.” Government at every level continues to tighten the screws on the rights of all but the privileged elite, with more regulation and increased disregard for our personal liberty. The madness of war drains our nation. But there is an end to all these things, and it may not be what most of us expect. Despite discouraging news, there are many positive signs.

“Eternal things are eternal still. The truth never changes. The liars & murderers & usurers & frauds presently running this country want you to believe that they can’t be beaten. They want you to think that they are the wave of the future & you are a relic of the past. But eternal things are eternal still. The truth never changes, & the truth always makes you choose sides. You’re not the first one to be downcast. But you are confusing God’s mercy & patience with his tolerance of wickedness. You are mistakenly assuming that because God forbears to do justice for a time that he will neglect justice altogether. Nothing could be further from the truth. God may delay, but he will do justice.”—Franklin Sanders

The Coming Category 5 Financial Hurricane

On September 15th, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas delivered this speech in the US House of Representatives. Dr. Paul outlines the reasons we face a coming financial crisis far exceeding any natural disaster, “If Congress does not show some sense of financial restraint soon, we can expect the poor to become poorer; the middle class to become smaller; and the government to get bigger and more authoritarian.” Read it here.

Jury Nullification: The Top Secret Constitutional Right

The citizen jury’s role “as a check on official power” is, in fact, “its intended function.” The long-running debate about the power of a jury of peers in a criminal trial to judge the law as well as the facts of a case, “and to vote on the verdict according to conscience,” has been suppressed, often with hostility, by most judges and prosecutors.

Professor James Joseph Duane, Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, Virginia, writes, “If our criminal justice system is to retain some semblance of integrity in the long run,” Americans must understand their basic Constitutional Right to “preserve the jury’s constitutionally protected veto power over unjust prosecutions…to return a verdict of not guilty in the interests of justice.” Read the article.

More on “Smart-Growth” Stupidity

Dr. Ronald D. Utt’s writes about the clever deception called “Smart-Growth”: “Having failed us once, planners are asking for a second chance—along with more regulatory power than ever before—to impose their aesthetic sensibilities on the rest of us, the philistine masses. Instead of letting the planners have their way, communities should work to restore and strengthen individual property rights. Part of this is giving property owners and builders the freedom to construct housing that people want—not what the planners want to impose on them.” The “Smart-Growth” concept is being used by collectivists and the anti-growth movement to further diminish property rights with even more restrictive land-use regulations in thousands of communities. Utt’s article was an op-ed in the May 15th, 2005 Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.

TESRA: “Property Rights Champion” Endangers Property Owners

Congressman Richard Pombo (R. Cal.), Chairman of the House Committee on Resources, forced a reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act through the House in a matter of 10 days—with virtually no chance for public scrutiny or Congressional debate. Read our July 4th letter to Mr. Pombo.

We believe the new Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA), H.R.3824, is a collusive scam perpetrated by Big Government, myopic Greens and Corporate special interests. TESRA: Wolves dress not in sheep’s clothing details some of the behind-the-scenes maneuvers by Mr. Pombo, the “Alpha Male” of the House Committee on Resources, and his pro-ESA Coalition. Many Americans, especially rural land owners, have been misled into believing his new bill will protect property rights and will protect species. Nothing could be further from the truth. TESRA is another betrayal of the Rights of millions of property owners.

VLRC Email Lists Grow

The VLRC email message list continues to grow. Current categories include: 1) Property Rights; 2) Agriculture; 3) Forestry; 4) Constitution/Law/Government. There is no cost or obligation. The purpose is to provide information not usually covered by the mass media. Substantive news reports, articles, court decisions, government agency notices, etc., come from news sources across the US. Mailings are sent BCC (blind cc) to protect your confidentiality and do not include partisan political items. Receipt of mailings is a voluntary arrangement. If you or someone you know would like to receive informative, periodic emailings, averaging about a dozen per week, simply email a request to be included.

Links and Quotations Pages Updates

We have updated our Links Page with several important resources. Under Property Rights, at Freedom 21 Santa Cruz, you can explore the centralization of economic and political power (public/private partnerships) sweeping the nation under the guise of “Sustainable Development” and its illegitimate child, “Smart-Growth.”

At Erich Veyhl’s Property Rights, the open campaign for government control of rural America is documented. Well-researched compilations of National Park Service/DOI National Heritage Area abuses, such as the Thott study of the NPS “willing seller” fraud, expose the federal threats of condemnation to force property owners to become “willing sellers.” In the name of “historic preservation,” tourism, and economic revitalization, National Heritage Areas are the vehicles used to implement federal land use regulation.

If you have not looked at the Quotations page lately, there is no better time than now to read the thoughts and wisdom of great thinkers of the ages (and the vile thoughts of some villians, too).

May 10, 2005

Historic Preservation Easement Challenged in US and Virginia Courts

Congressmen Acknowledge Continuing Pattern of Park Service Abuse in Historic Districts

One of the most significant and unusual Property Rights cases of the last several decades is now before US and Virginia courts. Peter F. Blackman, who three years ago purchased Eastern View Farm in Louisa County, Virginia is contesting the validity of a purported historic preservation/conservation easement held by the US National Park Service (NPS). The NPS has, so far, stood in the way of Blackman’s efforts to repair, maintain and restore an 1850s farmhouse.

If the outcome of United States v. Blackman, filed in June, 2004, in the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Charlottesville, favors Mr. Blackman and leads to the US District Court vacating the easement, it appears it would be the first time anywhere in the United States such an easement was nullified by any court. Read the full story.

May 1, 2005

Report from our South African Correspondent

After recently spending two weeks in South Africa, Baron P. Schwartz reports on that nation’s social, cultural and economic state of affairs. South Africa’s history, geography, institutions and rich natural resources are, in many respects, similar to America’s.

His insightful observations should serve as a warning to Americans of the costly and degenerative effects of the statist paternalism so evident in South Africa, now sweeping our own land. Read his report here.

Who really makes the decisions in America?

Dr. Steven Yates has written one of the most informative summaries of the history and operations of the elitist power structure now governing America.

And in 1987, Arthur S. Miller wrote, in The Secret Constitution and The Need For Constitutional Change, “...those who formally rule take their signals and commands, not from the electorate as a body, but from a small group of men (plus a few women). This group will be called the Establishment. It exists even though that existence is stoutly denied; it is one of the secrets of the American social order. A second secret is the fact that the existence of the Establishment—the ruling class—is not supposed to be discussed.”

This is a longer read than most articles posted on this site. It exposes how the establishment elite have infiltrated and used America’s public and private institutions, its power centers, to undermine Freedom and consolidate control in the hands of a self-perpetuating oligarchy. For those who are deluded into believing “things just happen” by chance or by mistake, and there are no “conspiracies” in this world, read Dr. Yates’ The Real Matrix.

The National Park Service and the National Historic Desecration Act

Hearings were held in the US House Resources Committee’s National Parks Subcommittee, April 21, 2005, on proposed amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act. Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated “a disturbing trend of abuse” has emerged where historic preservation is used to clobber private property owners.

Dr. Leri Thomas comments, “Sadly, well-intentioned people, who love history and historic things, when pressed, would rather destroy artifacts purely because of the National Historic Preservation Act.”  Learn why one “preservationist” stated, “If I could find a bone on that property, you bet I’d nominate it!” Read Dr. Thomas’ article, Amending the Historic Preservation Act

April 15, 2005

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights Raped…

When Scott Bieser, Kevin Tuma and Russmo produced these cartoons three or four years ago, most ‘patriotic’ Americans believed Uncle Sam was the champion of Freedom and Justice, not only at home, but around the world as well. The prevailing attitude was, “Sure, there are always isolated instances of abuse by government officials, but after all, this is still America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave…”

Many individuals have warned America is not the Land of the Free. Whether judged by millennia of historic precedent or by the standards of just a few decades ago, the reality is America is now in the initial stages of the imposition of tyranny very similar to the initial stages of the communist or fascist police states which subjugated European nations in the early and mid 1900s.

With the enactment of the PATRIOT and Homeland Security acts, various Executive Orders and Presidential Decision Directives, and the almost total abdication of Constitutional responsibility by Congress and the federal Judiciary, the framework for a centralized police state has been established. The acceptance of ‘tyranny-lite’ by Americans, within the shell of a hollow Republic, is being accomplished through subtle psychological conditioning, through dependence on a socialistic welfare state, and through cultural manipulation by the media and education establishments.

Those who oppose the gradual transformation from liberty to tyranny are labeled “paranoid” or the “lunatic fringe.” In light of the structural changes in government since September 11, 2001, only ignorant fools continue to believe America is truly a free nation. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have been shredded, compromised by judicial imperialism, by congressional cowardice and by executive dictate. The average citizen no longer has assurance government is instituted to protect individual Rights to Life, Liberty and Property. Instead, government and its favored special interests have become institutionalized violators of Rights, feared by productive men and women who are forced to submit to a variety of abuses and to pay the taxes to support incompetence, crime and even treason in Washington and the halls of our state capitols. Let’s look at some specific examples.

Since 1945, the “dollar” has lost 90% of its value. The “dollar” is under attack, and there are signs its status as the the “World’s Reserve Currency” is being questioned by industrialized nations. America is a debtor nation, dependent on commerce with hostile powers such as Red China for much of our ‘consumer goods.’ Why? 99% of Americans do not know or understand why the “dollars” in our pocketbook are not really dollars. During the past 50 years, while we were “on vacation,” thieves entered our home, helping themselves to our property, our earnings and our savings. Yet, not one person in a thousand understands how it is being done. Not one person in a thousand has studied the writings of Dr. Edwin Vieira, a Virginia Constitutional scholar and attorney who is arguably the most learned living authority on the history of our monetary system. Read his recent article, Are Monetary and Banking Crises Inevitable in the Near Future? and his speech from 2003, Trashing the Constitution.

In Federal Criminal Law: Expediency Over Principle, William L. Anderson, Ph.D., examines the reasons “the fences that the founders of the United States carefully erected in order to protect those rights that they claimed were God-given, [have been] left to the mercy of political animals that care only about results and not about truth…What we see here is that the federal system has become a legal system that exists of the prosecutors, by the prosecutors, and for the prosecutors.”

In a speech in the U.S. House of Representatives, April 2, 2003, the Honorable Dr. Ron Paul of Texas tells Americans why The First Amendment Protects Religious Speech. It’s up to us, the people, to reassert and protect the First Amendment. Most elected officials and judges won’t.

Not only do we have rampant corruption in political offices, but we have arrogance and idiocy. Here is the essence of a March 24, 2005, telephone conversation between John Taylor, Host of the Tuesday Morning Group Coalition in Potomac Falls, Virginia, and Senator Ken Stolle’s office. It would be a comical exchange, except it illustrates the caliber of people we seem to elect. Ken Stolle is a Republican Virginia Senator from Virginia Beach (8th District):

Wanted to tell you about a conversation I had with Senator Ken Stolle’s office this morning. In yesterday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, in responding to Jerry Kilgore’s suggestion that future tax increases be subject to voter approval, Senator Ken Stolle said, “We entrust our legislators with certain responsibilities, and I would not favor an erosion of those responsibilities.”

So, I asked a gentleman in the Senator’s office to whom “we” referred. He said, “The people elect representatives to make decisions for them and once we get that responsibility we’re not going to give it up just because people might disagree with us.”

So I asked, “When you say ‘we’re not going to give it up,’ who is ‘we’?” He responded that it was “elected officials.”

Finally, I said, “You sound like you are old enough to have finished your education, so I have just one more question.  In a democratic republic, who is the sovereign?”

His response, “I dunno.”  (I kid you not.)

[End of John Taylor’s message.]

Mark Twain had it right when he said, “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

Getting Burned is a personal account of disobedience. It is also an account of our failure, as a society, to follow principles of Law and the difference between legalities and Law—and the consequences.

Jane S. Shaw, a senior fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, wrote Facts Not Fear Needed About Environment which originally appeared in California Forests Magazine. She comments on the fallacies of “environmental education” and says, “instead of ‘environmental science,’ we should just teach science.”

Kelo v. City of New London is one of the most important Property Rights cases to come before the US supreme Court in nearly a century. Collin Levey, a weekly columnist for the New York Post and the Seattle Times, and Jeff Jacoby, an op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe, have written two powerful commentaries. Read Taking a Wrecking Ball to Property Rights and The Pirates of Eminent Domain. Jacoby says, “If state and local governments can force a property owner to surrender his land so it can be given to a new owner who will put it to more lucrative use, no home or shop in America will ever be safe again.” Levey says it’s “a property-rights case in which politics is being conducted by bulldozer.”

March 20, 2005

Private Land Covenants

Wallace Kaufman explains his success as an environmentally conscious entrepreneur and land developer in North Carolina. When his large parcel of rural land was divided into numerous tracts, the use of private, voluntary land covenants, restricting certain land uses, was a preferable, free-market alternative to compulsive, politicized, government “land use planning.” Read The Power of Land Covenants.

Property Rights: The Key to Freedom, Prosperity AND Equality

Canadian Lorne Gunter is a senior columnist at the Edmonton Journal. This excellent article was originally a speech delivered to the Fraser Institute Student Seminar, Edmonton, Alberta on February 1, 2003. Learn why the right to own and enjoy property is the fulcrum on which all other rights balance, here.

Hunting and Property Rights

Mountain States Legal Foundation president and chief legal officer, William Perry Pendley, addresses the South Dakota’s amended state statute to permit hunters to fire at and kill small game on private property without permission, a fundamental change in South Dakota, which, since 1973, had barred hunting on private property without the owners’ permission. In striking down South Dakota’s new hunting statute, the State Circuit Court recognized the ‘right to exclude’ extends to any physical invasion, “no matter how minute,” and firing over and onto private property is such an invasion. The full article is here.

The National Chr…uh, I mean, “Capitol Holiday Tree”

Cut 'er down, boys!

The first “Capitol Holiday Tree” from Virginia was selected from the Highland County portion of George Washington National Forest. Read “Allie” Williston’s commentary on the ‘political circus’ here.

Warning: Williston’s article may have adverse effects on some readers. Please read the package insert for warnings, precautions and symptoms of side-effects.

Home Schooling and the Future of Higher Education

Educator Nancy Levant, the author of The Collapse of Intuition, provides solid reasons why dull 10-hour days, curriculum work loads, homework over-loads, harried teachers, and proficiency tests are depriving your children of higher education. She says, “If you have hopes for your children to be other than employees for big business and living in human settlements governed by NGO’s, then you are going to have to participate in your children’s educations.” Read her commentary here.

Virginia Puts Your Personal Records Online, Including SSNs, Tax Liens, Divorce Records…

ID theft by criminals and terrorists? Who said the Virginia legislature is “here to help you” and to look out for your welfare?

Since Virginia legislators voted to make your personal records, which are held in circuit court clerks’ offices, available over the internet, The Virginia Watchdog is exercising the First Amendment right to free speech and is going to publish examples of public records... All Virginia circuit court clerks must have remote access to their records on or before July 1, 2006 unless the public gets involved and demands their legislators stop this madness. For details about this invasion of your privacy, read BJ Ostergren’s article, The Online Records Issue in Virginia.

Find out who the legislative culprits were who voted for this invasion of your Rights, and find out what measures you can take to correct the situation. There is plenty of valuable information on The Virginia Watchdog’s website.

February 12, 2005

“Invasive Species”: Another Invasion of Property Rights

The mass media has been covering the so-called “invasive species” issue during the past year or two, and as usual, most reportage is not based on fact or science. Instead, there is a unified clamor from ‘environmentalists,’ politicians and left-wing commentators who are calling for more federal involvement in state and local affairs, more legislation and bureaucracy, more wasteful spending, and more controls on the Rights of private property owners—all in the name of “combating invasive species.”

Jim Beers, a USFWS biologist for thirty years, now retired, has written extensively on natural resource issues. The following two articles explain how another federal power-grab is in the making, perhaps even more “invasive” for Americans than the noxious Endangered Species Act. Read The Purpose of Invasive Species and Invasive Species Support is a Fool’s Errand.

In Invasive Legislation: Citizens’ Control Needed, Kathleen Jachowski makes clear the federal government “would have unbridled control of what will be allowed to grow and where in this United States.” She discusses the further infringement of States’ Rights by Big Brother.

Jim Slinsky’s Ethnic Cleansing of our Plants and Wildlife? explains the potentially devastating effects of federal invasive species legislation on hunting, fishing and trapping, and why it “is not a stretch to foresee federal agents trespassing on private property” with any new federal agency “stacked with environmental zealots.”

The Public ‘Education’ Establishment fiddles while “Rome Burns.”

Author, investment consultant, nationally-acclaimed speaker and radio program host, Harry Browne writes about the worst step America has taken on the road to serfdom: allowing government to educate our children. In Free the Schools and Education for All, Browne says, “Either we provide worthless government schooling for everyone at an enormous cost—or we provide real education and self-responsibility to everyone at a fraction of the cost.”

More on Our Open Borders

Ed Garrison’s article, The Top Ten Reasons to Enforce Our Immigration Laws Now, is another great essay dispelling the myths about “illegal immigrants.” He points out the fallacies being deceptively promoted by those who would turn America into a Third World nation, including the current Bush administration which refuses to enforce the statutes and laws designed to protect our Lives, Liberties and Property.

As we enter the New Year, more ominous signs of the transformation of America into a militaristic police state continue to appear. One of the most disturbing is Congressional approval of a defacto National ID System. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas commented last year: “Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us safer are terribly mistaken. Subjecting every citizen to surveillance and “screening points” will actually make us less safe, not in the least because it will divert resources away from tracking and apprehending terrorists and deploy them against innocent Americans!...Just as we must not allow terrorists to threaten our lives, we must not allow government to threaten our liberties. We should reject the notion of a national identification card.”

Several articles have been posted explaining how the “security provisions” in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 are leading to internal passports for Americans, road-block checkpoints and to “we the people” being required to “Show your papers, Comrade!” just like the slaves in Stalinist Russia or in Nazi Germany.

In the first article, It’s Here...The Federal ID Card, Hari Heath gives a detailed analysis of the ‘premature’ attempt to institute a federal internal passport system with the “Driver’s License Modernization Act of 2002.”

In the second article, Preserving Freedoms, former Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia and Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America , comment on the implications of a National ID disguised as a national driver’s license.

Government IDs and Identity Theft is a January 6th speech by Congressman Ron Paul before the US House of Representatives.

Also included is an article from Popular Science, September, 2002, Your ID Please, Citizen.

And the final article is perhaps the most chilling. In Those Who Say We Are Safer Are Wrong, Charlotte Iserbyt writes about the Bush administration’s Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Information Awareness hiring of two ex-KGB chiefs (secret police in the Soviet Union), Gen. Alexander Karpov and Gen. Yvgeny Primakov. Primakov, who was also Premier of Russia in the late nineties, is a close associate of Saddam Hussein, and was in Baghdad one month prior to the U.S. invasion, advising Hussein on how to deal with the United States! Why would these thugs be hired as “advisors”? Could it be we have similar thugs within the federal power structure?

“Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you.”—Benjamin Franklin. Will you act to preserve your Rights, or will you, in Hari Heath’s words, “submit to another layer of administrative treason?”