Ron Paul’s Congressional Farewell Speech

On November the 14th, Ron Paul delivered what may well be his last speech on the House floor. Off and on over the last 36 years he has served 23 years in office, frequently as the lone voice of constitutional and economic liberty.

His service, principles, and this speech are likely to be remembered as prophetic, like many of his earlier predictions, as our country heads down the path of increasing statism, collectivism, and economic crisis.

Below the video are a few excerpts of his 49-minute speech to give you a taste. The full transcript can be found at the Daily Paul.

May God Bless Dr. Paul – thank you for trying to lead us back to the Founders’ vision via common sense.

A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliant and productive, become the true victims.

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The First Veterans, Remember Them?

Why was our country founded? Why were the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights written? I think the simple answer is that all of these happened in response to a coercive big government’s increasing control over individual liberty and freedom. Simply put, America’s founding fathers and first veterans had finally had enough and were tired of being told what to do and how to live their lives. And as historical as that revolution was, it was carried out by a very small minority of the actual colonists (most were just fine with doing nothing and letting it stay the way it was).

They were tired of being told what to do and how to live their lives. Something we can all relate to.

That is precisely why they wrote the Constitution and Declaration of Independence the way they did. That is why they wrote, “…all men are created equal…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is why they wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” That is why they wrote, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That is why they wrote, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That is why they wrote, “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…” That is why they wrote, “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law…” That is why they wrote, “The Congress shall have Power to…declare war…”

They did not write, “Treat some men worse than others because of their beliefs.” They did not write, “Only the ones we agree with can pursue happiness.” They did not write, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion – except Christianity.” They, however, also did not write, “Congress shall allow discrimination of Christians.” They did not write, “The Federal Government may violate the States’ and Individuals’ rights as they see fit for the common good.” Just as they did not write, “It is ok to throw out all these rights in the name of ‘protecting’ the public – therefore the Government may authorize perpetual search and grope, wiretaps, assassinations, indefinite detention of citizens, and maintain indefinite surveillance if a non-invading enemy hates our country and fights us outside our soil.” They also did not write, “It is ok for the President to authorize military force, when not being attacked, without Congressional approval.”

Finally, they did not write, “It is the goal of Congress to grossly outspend revenue in order to fund any programs the ruling party sees fit and, if need be, print more money and devalue the dollar, thus jeopardizing the liberty of the entire country.”

The problem is that we have now traded one coercive big government, that was worthy of a revolution, with another, two-party version that is on the road to becoming the same thing. The bickering back and forth over which “evil” is worse misses the point. Both the establishment Democrats and GOP want to be our masters and force their philosophy upon the people, violating our individual liberties along the way. This was NOT the way the Founders intended, and it is not just the Left that has been doing it.

The Government has no business forcing anything on the States or individuals that is not within their enumerated powers.

So why did Romney lose? I think there were simply more people, representing more electoral votes, that didn’t want the coercive GOP to tell them what to do. And, there are many that are happy to have the government give them things without worry about the debt.

And if Romney would have won? There would have been more people, representing more electoral votes, that didn’t want the coercive Democrats to tell them what to do. And, there are many in the GOP that are happy to have the government continue to spend money we don’t have in foreign entanglements and pork without worry about actually balancing the budget.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt…I am for government rigorously frugal and simple.”

Daniel Webster wrote, “It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”

So who are the enemy and who are the patriots? Do you think the Founders would have welcomed and armed the “hemp” users who volunteered to fight the British because of the promise of individual liberty?

Our country was founded on the principle of respecting the rights of all to pursue their version of happiness and to be left alone by big government. That is the beauty and uniqueness of our founding. I am not advocating that you change your beliefs. I am advocating the respect of those you may disagree with that are willing to defend the Constitution with you.

I would suggest a return to our roots, sniff out and run-off big government politicians, and invite all that agree with the principles of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence to join. As it was with our first revolution, we may initially be in the minority compared to those content with our current “masters.”

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

Is It Time for the Term Limit Debate, Again?

What do Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and independent candidates Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode have in common?

They are in favor of a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits.

During the recent Independent Candidates debate, when asked what one amendment would they propose for the Constitution, both Johnson and Goode proposed congressional term limits.

The Washington Post reported that during a recent town-hall meeting in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Paul Ryan said he supported congressional term limits. When asked he said, “I agree with that. I’ve always supported that in Congress. That takes a constitutional amendment. What you don’t want to do is have a state do it to itself and short-change its seniority and its clout in Congress. But I’ve always been a fan of term limits. I’ve always supported that. I’ve always believed that this should be something that you serve temporary, not for an entire lifetime.”

Mitt Romney had discussed this concept earlier during a town hall meeting in Hudson, NH on December 11, 2011. When asked if he agreed with term limits, Romney said, “I surely agree with you…I would love to see term limits in Washington for our Senators and for our Congressmen…the vision in this country I’m sure in the mind of the founders was we would have citizen legislators…the great early leaders of this country and they went to Washington, served, and went home…wouldn’t that be nice…(but) some people go to Washington and then they stay to serve themselves …”

Yes, times were different then. George Washington turned down a third presidency, after barely agreeing to his second. It wasn’t until after FDR died during his 4th presidency that Congress finally decided enough was enough and the 22nd amendment was born, at least limiting the President to only two terms.

Given that the current Real Clear Politics average Congressional Job Approval rating is 15.4%, it is not that surprising that PollPosition.com found 71% of Republicans, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Democrats were in favor of congressional term limits. That poll number fluctuates and so there is work to do for a vote on a term limit amendment to succeed.

It is also not surprising that Congress has yet to adopt limits for themselves. There are a few brave souls out there, however, proposing to do just that. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has sponsored S.J. Res. 11: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States … relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve to 3 in the House of Representatives and 2 in the Senate. The bill currently has (10) co-sponsors including: Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH], Coburn, Thomas [R-OK], Ensign, John [R-NV], Hutchison, Kay [R-TX], Johnson, Ron [R-WI], Lee, Mike [R-UT], Paul, Rand [R-KY], Rubio, Marco [R-FL], Toomey, Patrick “Pat” [R-PA], Vitter, David [R-LA].

The career politicians will argue that the American people should be trusted to choose their own leaders and if we don’t like them, we should vote them out. They may also argue that having congressional term limits amounts to showing we lack of faith in the voters’ judgment. They also typically argue, like Orin Hatch for example, that “having Senators and Representatives with experience in the legislative process can ensure that a particular state’s interests are being served” and “over time” the politicians, “become better equipped to help their constituents deal with the burdensome federal bureaucracy.”

Yeah right. They appear to become the burdensome bureaucracy. If the people want term limits, maybe they should “show some faith in the voters” and allow it to happen.

Yes, Governor Romney, it would be nice to have citizen legislators that are actually interested in serving their states and country and not themselves. Then we may actually have elected officials that can take time out of their successful business, engineering, economics, medicine, farming, and teaching careers to actually make a difference in mending this country, instead of better honing their manipulation skills.

There are a number of organizations promoting this concept. For more information you might start with www.termlimits.org.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

Our President’s Current Unconstitutional Capacity

In an interview with Face the Nation, Mitt Romney reveals that he is willing to attack Iran, without congressional approval. Romney said,

“If I’m president, the Iranians will have no question, but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage therefore, if I’m president, that we need to have war powers approval or a special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.”

The Constitution does not grant the President the power to unilaterally launch war. The President does have latitude to respond without congressional approval if we are attacked.

He is correct, however, that apparently our President “has that capacity now.” He has the capacity, not because it is constitutional, but because our Congress is spineless and more worried about getting re-elected (i.e., blaming these controversial decisions on the sitting President). See reason.tv’s great video about the history of this disturbing power shift.

Surest Roads to Sovereign Suicide

Here’s a quick quiz. Which of the following is the biggest threat to our national security, according to Admiral Mike Mullin, (former) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

  1. Iran
  2. al-Qaeda
  3. Taliban
  4. Our national debt

The correct answer is “D.” Admiral Mullin said, “”Our national debt is our biggest national security threat” on June the 24th, 2010 during a speech he made at a “Tribute to the Troops” breakfast. Does that alarm you? Can you ever remember a top military mind saying something like that?

Here’s another quiz. If you were our enemy planning the demise of the U.S., which of the following would be the best strategy:

  1. Institute economic policies that may appear to help in the short-term but actually involve tremendous risk of leading to an economic event even worse than the 2008 housing-bubble collapse.
  2. Engage in expensive foreign policy strategies that lead to fanning-the-flames of hatred for the U.S., do nothing to actually lead to actual democracy but embolden Islamic extremists to further organize and act-out.
  3. Go to war in the Middle East against an enemy that has allies capable of further destabilizing the U.S. economy.
  4. Place the final decision-making authority of the above in the hands of one or two men, rather than the Congress, at a time when the Congress is not in session.
  5. All of the Above.

The correct answer is “E. All of the Above.”

It is important to search for some answers to these complicated issues. Below are a few of the explanations I have found to be particularly enlightening. Please feel free to add some of your own.

QE3 won’t go to decreasing unemployment. Look just about anywhere on the web, there is a tremendous amount of negative response to the Fed’s decision to move to QE3. For example, Peter Schiff, from the Schiff Report, explains how the Fed’s recent plan to print money, decrease interest rates, and purchase mortgage-backed securities is what got us here in the first place and will be “the final nail in the U.S. dollar” and “a day that will live in infamy.”  Another great explanation is from Reason.com’s Anthony Randazzo. He said, “The fact that QE promotes activities that led to the housing bubble should have stopped its progression as an idea a long time ago, especially since these problems are greater than any gain that would come from this now perpetual pace of money creation.”

The move to Audit the Fed is gaining some steam as more co-sponsors in the Senate are adding their names to Senate Bill 202. As of Sunday evening, there are 32 co-sponsors. If you are interested in joining the cause, you can visit Audit the Fed.

Caroline Glick helps to answer the question posed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the Benghazi attack. Clinton pondered, “Today, many Americans are asking – indeed, I asked myself – how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?” Glick explains how our government, “determined – based on nothing – that the masses of the Muslim world from Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond were simply Jeffersonian democrats living under the jackboot. If freed from tyranny, they would become liberal democrats nearly indistinguishable from regular Americans.”

 Pat Buchanan provided a cost-benefit analysis of our involvement in the Middle East in his recent article, Is It Time To Come Home? He notes that, “In this brief century alone, we have fought the two longest wars in our history there, put our full moral authority behind an “Arab Spring” that brought down allies in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, and provided the air power that saved Benghazi and brought down Moammar Gadhafi… The cost of our two wars is 6,500 dead, 40,000 wounded and $2 trillion piled onto a national debt that is $16 trillion, larger than the entire U.S. economy. And what in heaven’s name do we have to show for it?”

As Julian Pecquet wrote, Defense Secretary Leon Paneta acknowledged plans to position troops in as many as 18 different locations and expressed concern that extremists would strike, “from positions of weakness,” due to the void left by the fall of dictators in the Middle East. He argued that even with damaging the al-Qaeda leadership, “We always knew that we would have to continue to confront elements of extremism elsewhere as well.” My question is, why, for how long, at what cost, and to what end?

Finally, there is a very well made video (see below) explaining the history of making the war decision and how Congress has increasingly bowed-out and left it to the Executive branch. In the intro, Nick Gillespie wrote, “As deadly and violent attacks on American embassies and consulates in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere multiply in the Middle East, it’s vitally important to remember that foreign policy decisions – especially acts of war – are not supposed to be the province of one man.”

 As for fighting a war with Iran, the thought of the economic war options China and Russia bring to the table is frightening and should give us pause and even more reason to demand that our politicians get our country’s debt problem in order and stop allowing the Fed to devalue our own currency.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

George Washington Would Have Loved A Large Magazine

Effective self-defense requires using whatever means is necessary and sufficient to provide for that defense. A free people have the right to effective self-defense. Therefore, our citizens have a right to whatever means is necessary and sufficient to provide for their own defense.

Most self-defense laws specify the use of only the force needed for self-defense. I don’t have the right to shoot and kill someone hitting me with a Nerf bat. I do have the right to shoot someone who is pointing a loaded gun at me threatening to shoot me. I’m not required to try a Nerf bat on them first. As the threat and weapon class increases, I am forced to keep-up to provide an effective defense.

Individuals throughout history have tried to make sure they took it upon themselves to be armed with the most advanced weaponry available when their lives depended on it. During the Civil War the standard battle weapon was the painfully slow musket. By mid 1862, the revolutionary Henry lever action rifle was being purchased by individual Union soldiers not satisfied with the risk of the old guns. The Henry was accurate, reliable, and most importantly, allowed for rapid firing of .44 caliber rim-fire cartridges. The Henry was the AR-15 of the 1800’s and, with similar rifles, also significantly influenced the frontier West; and not just for American citizens. Native Americans realized the importance of upgrading their weaponry to keep pace with the invading enemy as their life, liberty, and property were being threatened. With the help of the lever-action rifles, Cheyenne and Sioux warriors destroyed the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn. Using common sense to make sure you were not out-gunned was also the reason why the Texans stole the famous, “Come and Take It” cannon from Santa Anna’s army.

A common argument from the left is that even if you could arm the citizens, what good would that do in fighting off the much more powerful militarized opponent? Thank goodness the actual colonist doing the fighting against the British did not take that position. Or how about the North Vietnamese that defeated America’s advanced weaponry with Sun-Tzu tactics and the AK-47? Perhaps even more convincing is that our Government’s own bipartisan foreign policy strategy doesn’t buy the “what’s the point” argument. That is why the US arms citizens of other countries to battle their “tyrannical” governments in an attempt to “promote democracy.” Our own government is trying to promote the second amendment right, for those judged to be on the “correct” side, in other countries. They don’t pass out shotguns and .22s to these rebels, they arm them to compete.

Does anyone really believe that the colonists would not have individually purchased and used any available advanced weaponry options to fight the British? Would George Washington have used a .50 cal sniper rifle or .308 cal assault rifle with hi-tech optics if he had the option? Would he rather have a 4 round, one in the chamber rifle, or a huge magazine cartridge with multiple back-ups?

So why would our own Government NOT want us to have the right to access the same weaponry they would provide to foreign rebels fighting against tyranny?

I also wonder if law-abiding citizens surrounded by gang warfare in Chicago would like to be armed to defend their life, liberty, and property?

With all that in mind, I offer a few suggestions for the necessary and sufficient weapons for our individual defense.

In the home, a nice semi-auto 9mm with a 17 round clip is great to keep by the nightstand, especially if you can put a laser and tactical light combo on it. The recoil is manageable, less muzzle flash, quicker target acquisition than the .45 ACP, the rounds are plentiful and cheap and that allows for lots of inexpensive practice. If the semi-auto scares you, then a good ole fashioned .38 caliber double-action revolver might be just the ticket. It is definitely the easiest to learn and use. In addition, a great pump 12-gauge shotgun, with birdshot, is also handy for bad-guy clearing during a home intrusion or last stand in the closet.

When it comes to concealed-carry, it is mostly about what you feel you can handle and if you can quickly and reliably put shots on target.

For the nightmare apocalypse scenario, whatever that may be, there are still lots of options out there and I’d love to hear your suggestions. Just don’t get stuck with a musket. Personally, I like the Arsenal Firearms double barrel .45 ACP semi-auto pistol.

Whatever you choose, just make sure it provides for a necessary and sufficient defense. It is still your right.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com