Rand Paul for Senate

March 12th, 2010

A great new video from the Rand Paul campaign:

No. Your Answers to The Census Aren’t Confidential

March 6th, 2010

Mary Theroux explains why you shouldn’t believe government claims that Census answers are confidential:

I saw a huge new billboard in San Francisco the other day—part of the $350 million ad campaign supporting this year’s $14 billion Census—picturing an American Indian in full regalia against a black background, apparently in the process of worshiping the sky, with the stylized text “Tell your story.”

If he’s wise, he might want to think twice about thereby providing information that can be used against him.

As examples, 1940 Census data was released and used to locate and intern Americans of Japanese, Italian and German descent, as outlined in these stories from Scientific American, “Confirmed: The U.S. Census Bureau Gave Up Names of Japanese-Americans in WW II: Government documents show that the agency handed over names and addresses to the Secret Service,” and USA Today, “Papers show Census role in WWII camps.”

The Census Bureau played a role in the confinement of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were rounded up and held in internment camps, many until the war ended in 1945. In 1942, the Census turned over general statistics about where Japanese-Americans lived to the War Department. It was acting legally under the Second War Powers Act, which allowed the sharing of information for national security.

The newly released documents [further] show that in 1943, the Census complied with a request by the Treasury Department to turn over names of individuals of Japanese ancestry in the Washington, D.C., area because of an unspecified threat against President Franklin Roosevelt. The list contained names, addresses and data on the age, sex, citizenship status and occupation of Japanese-Americans in the area. [emphasis added]

And more recently, in 2002,

the Census turned over information it had collected about Arab-Americans … to Homeland Security.

While the Census Bureau assures us that “your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential,” the exceptions above negate such assurances. And, of course, their release of the “strictly confidential” data was perfectly legal: during World War II, under the terms of the Second War Powers Act, and more recently under the terms of the still-in-effect USA PATRIOT Act.

And there’s more.

(Via David Beito)

The Fun Always Happens in TX-22

March 5th, 2010

Ron Paul whipped his three challengers (Larry, Moe and Curly as they’ve been called) in the Republican primary for his seat in Texas’ 14th Congressional District. Next he’ll face whip the winner of the Democratic runoff election. (His son Rand Paul also looks on track to win the Kentucky Senate seat).

However, the real action is in Ron Paul’s old district TX-22. Dr. Paul lost, then won, then lost, then won (in a special election) that district, which he later gave up to run for Senate.

Later, TX-22 was won by none other than Tom “the hammer” DeLay. After DeLay nearly lost a primary challenge (in the midst of his corruption scandal) he decided not to run again and was beat by Democrat Nick Lampson, who was an incumbent representing the recently redistricted TX-9. Lampson won that election when the only Republican was write-in candidate Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (whose name was notoriously difficult to write in). Next year, Lampson lost the Republican leading district to Republican Pete Olson.

Now Olson faces Lyndon LaRouche Democrat Kesha Rogers. Rogers wants to bring home the troops but unfortunately, apparently, wants to send them to to the moon. Texas Democrats are already mulling the possibility of removing Rogers as the Democratic candidate (which would leave Democrats with a write-in candidate) because she supports impeaching Obama.

Ron Paul Speech: My Battle Against the Fed

March 1st, 2010

Audio of Dr. Paul’s speech from Jekyll Island below the break…

Read the rest of this entry »

George Will: The Plot to Create Dependence on Government

February 27th, 2010

Health Care Summit

February 26th, 2010

I could only bear to watch a few minutes of the awful posturing that took place today at the White House.

I can’t take credit for this (someone at my office made the observation), but I think this sums it the meaningless blather well: The summit at the White House today was model congress for Congress.

Job Op: Online Community Manager for a Libertarian Feature-Length Animation Thriller

February 4th, 2010

Are you well versed in monetary policy, the events of the housing crisis and are you looking forward to end of the Fed’s era?

Well here’s a juicy job opportunity that might interest you if you fit the qualifications of being online media guru & an amazing community organizer:

Online Marketing Manager for Independent Film

Lineplot is an animation production company in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA. We are hard at work creating a feature-length thriller-romance film, Silver Circle, to be released in early 2011. In addition to telling a great story, the film will bring free-market and sound-money principles to a wide audience.

We have ambitious online marketing plans, with the goal to make this a grassroots-driven hit movie. We want to hire a highly skilled and results-driven communicator - an online guru who can reach beyond simply marketing our movie, to building an engaged community, an actual movement around the film.

We want to make this film into a phenomenon and community is key.

The Manager’s job includes:

Website Project Manager/Designer: The manager will launch the movie’s political website/blog over a 2-3 month period. Then, continue to manage and grow the community online until the launch of Silver Circle in early 2011. Includes: managing the overall timeline, key milestones and dependencies, setting up website metrics, overseeing status reporting, managing a design team (if necessary), creating website infrastructure, brand and feel.
Preferred skills: web design, HTML/CSS, Dreamweaver, and Wordpress.

Online Communications & Marketing: The manager will write/edit/produce content regularly for the site, establish a network of online affiliates, and moderate members of the community. Build relations with key bloggers and influentials to reach a large and well-targeted audience. Find and engage with strategic, relevant, even controversial online conversations and communities to find new ideas and new readers. Leverage search engine marketing to draw more readers and sign-ups for the websites, videos and other media. Create monthly email newsletters. Develop online campaigns, contests, polls, money bombs and fundraising. Report on ROI from campaigns and help develop new strategies.
Preferred background: Proven track record in building traffic to websites and in building engagement with communities.

Live Events: Organize and assist with real-life marketing activities: screenings, trade shows, volunteer events, college campus events, summer intern events in Washington DC, film festivals, comic/animation shows, and fundraisers.
Essential: Incredible interpersonal skills.

Volunteer Coordination: Give volunteers creative opportunities to help spread awareness, interest and create energy for Silver Circle. Recruit and engage online volunteers to spread the word in creative ways. Facilitate and energize the group into a movement, all while managing results and metrics.

The manager will work closely with our small team to define the strategies and tactics to engage our politically astute audience. Ideally the candidate will understand and have a strong interest in the liberty movement, libertarian ideas, monetary policy, and/or independent film.

Ideal skills/attributes include: superior writing skills, excellent verbal presence, the flexibility to manage in a fast-paced film startup, strong understanding of marketing analytics and metrics, and project management skills. Aptitude in web, graphics design and Mac productivity software is key. BA/BS and 2 -3 years of experience in web communications and strategy development preferred.

Salary: Depends on experience.

Submit: Cover letter, resume and portfolio of web projects (websites, blogs, content developed)
To: Pasha Roberts (producer/director) on facebook or email.

Explaining The Madness of the Health Care Bill

December 26th, 2009

I think that Peter Schiff gets it right:

While ramming their new legislation through Congress, the Democrats have taken great pains to point out that they do not intend to “socialize medicine.” But make no mistake, that’s where we’re headed. Even if some naïve centrists believe that their efforts have denied the Left a total victory, the practical implications of the current legislation sow the seeds for complete capitulation.

This first round of reform could be labeled as the ‘neutron bomb’ of the insurance industry: it leaves some of the private apparatus standing, but it irradiates whatever remains of the industry’s market viability.

The bill’s centerpiece is a clause prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition. However noble and marketable an idea, this proscription removes the very basis upon which any insurance model operates profitably.

A system of insurance requires that premiums be collected from a pool of low-risk people so that funds are available in case a high-risk event befalls a particular person. In that way, premiums can be low and coverage can be widely available, even if the benefits offered are hypothetically unlimited.

For example, homeowners buy fire insurance even though their houses are very unlikely to burn down. Recognizing that a fire could wipe them out financially, most homeowners endure the cost of coverage even if they never expect to collect. The same model applies to health insurance in a free market.

However, the health care bill removes the need for healthy individuals to carry insurance. Knowing that they could always find coverage if it were eventually needed, people would simply forgo paying expensive premiums while they are healthy, and then sign on when they need it. But insurance companies cannot survive if all of their policyholders are filing claims!

Correctly anticipating this incentive, the Senate bill imposes an annual fine which gradually escalates to $750 for those who fail to buy coverage. So what? I would gladly pay $750 in order to avoid the $8,000 per year I pay now for personal health insurance. Currently, I’m relatively healthy for a 46 year old and I don’t anticipate making a big claim. But if I do, under the new rules I can always get ‘insurance’ after the fact. Heck, if I can stay healthy for the next couple of decades, I’ll save a fortune. Think about how much easier the decision would be if I were 20 years younger! Since most people are capable of figuring this out, the entire insurance industry would collapse under such a system.

There can be no question that $750 annual maximum penalty is a mere placeholder. It is the camel’s nose under the tent. When the non-discrimination provision kicks in, the only way these companies could remain solvent would be for Congress to raise the fine to the point where the penalty is greater than the gain of skipping coverage.

For me, that would have to be roughly $8,000 per year. Introducing such a fine right now would have surely killed the bill. So, the wily wonks in Washington have chosen to move slower, knowing that once the first step is taken, the second becomes inevitable.

However, there is another, more devious possibility. Perhaps our elected officials actually intend to bite the hands that feed them. They could double-cross insurance companies by not raising the fine in five years, thereby forcing the industry into bankruptcy as millions of healthy people opt-out. During the ensuing ‘insurance crisis,’ our courageous leaders could ride to the rescue with a nationalized, single-payer system.

The real tragedy is that the current bill does nothing to restrain the forces that are propelling healthcare costs into the stratosphere, namely: regulatory bans of insurance competition, the out-of-control medical malpractice industry, federal programs and subsidies, and a tax code that favors a third-party payment system - which alienates the patient from the cost of his care.

To consider that many in Washington have the nerve to market this multi-trillion dollar monstrosity as a “deficit reduction bill” is to realize that our representatives have lost all touch with reality. For those keeping score, the government made similarly rosy projections in the mid-1960’s when Medicare was first introduced. The inflation-adjusted cost of that program already exceeds the original estimate by a factor of ten. That’s probably where we are headed this time around.