Ron Paul Kaiser Family Foundation Interview
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The Illusion of Choice: When Every Option is Corrupt and CoerciveOur health care problems, like those of Cuba, Canada, England, Sweden, and almost every other nation on Earth, have been caused by government action. More government will make things worse, not better.There are many ways to arrange economic life, but the two forms currently fighting for dominance in the West are corporatism and coercive-socialism. (Their proponents use different names, but I find these more accurate and descriptive). Both corporatism and coercive-socialism posit the need for a State with sole authority to initiate coercion against peaceful individuals. Democratic elections, combined with relentless propaganda during the school years and from the media, are the primary tools for making the system appear fair and legitimate in either form.
We broke the system by letting our politicians get involved, and now the system is at a crisis point. Fixing the problem requires undoing the damage.How would that work, exactly? Why not listen to someone with decades of experience as both a doctor and a congressman -- Dr. Ron Paul, for example. Paul is an OB-GYN and was a flight surgeon during the Vietnam War. You can listen to a detailed, highly-informed interview with Dr. Paul on the topic of health care by the Kaiser Family Foundation by clicking here; the page includes the option of podcast, transcript, or a terrific high-definition video (16 min 39 sec).
Aaron Russo's Passing
Sunday, August 26, 2007
[Another] Quote for Today
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Quote for Today
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
~ Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823)
|D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h |
Is our campaign for the Read the Bills Act getting results? We are certainly encouraged that Congress has taken some steps in our direction. Sen. Dianne Feinstein writes to a Downsizer:
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Specie backed money is money distributed, normally as paper money, that is assigned value based on valuable minerals tied to the paper money. The idea is that with specie backed money, though the paper itself holds no true value, it represents whatever mineral is held in reserve, historically gold and silver. Holders of the paper money could theoretically exchange their bills for the gold or silver that it represented. This way, the money held a true value, while not being as bulky or tough to carry around as say gold, silver, or cows. Specie backed money has generally given way to fiat money, money that is not backed by any valuable resources. Today most currencies are fiat currencies, with values assigned by the governments issuing the bills, and holding no true values.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
David Horsey on Karl Rove
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Free Speech (If You Can Find It)
Monday, August 13, 2007
What You Need To Know
Revised May 17, 2004
The Texas Election Law requires certain disclosures and notices on political advertising. The law also prohibits certain types of misrepresentation in political advertising and campaign communications. This brochure explains what you need to know to insure that your political advertising and campaign communications comply with the law.
Please note that the law changed effective September 1, 2003. The requirements relating to the disclosure statements on political advertising are different. Also, the new law clarifies that communications on Internet websites are now covered by the political advertising laws. We have used italics in this brochure to summarize the new law.
If you are not sure what the law requires, do the cautious thing. Use the political advertising disclosure statement whenever you think it might be necessary, and do not use any possibly misleading information in political advertising or a campaign communication. If you are using political advertising or campaign communications from a prior campaign, you should check to see if the law has changed since that campaign.
Candidates for federal office should check with the Federal Election Commission at (800) 424-9530 for information on federal political advertising laws.
REQUIRED DISCLOSURE ON POLITICAL ADVERTISING
I. What Is Political Advertising?
The disclosure statement and notice requirements discussed in this section apply to "political advertising." In the law, "political advertising" is a specifically defined term. Do not confuse this special term with your own common-sense understanding of advertising.
To figure out if a communication is political advertising, you must look at what it says and where it appears. If a communication fits in one of the categories listed in Part A (below) and if it fits in one of the categories listed in Part B (below), it is political advertising.
1. Political advertising includes communications supporting or opposing a candidate for nomination or election to either a public office or an office of a political party (including county and precinct chairs).
2. Political advertising includes communications supporting or opposing an officeholder, a political party, or a measure (a ballot proposition).
1. Political advertising includes communications that appear in pamphlets, circulars, fliers, billboards or other signs, bumper stickers, or similar forms of written communication.
2. Political advertising includes communications that are published in newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals in return for consideration.
3. Political advertising includes communications that are broadcast by radio or television in return for consideration.
4. Political advertising includes communications that appear on an Internet website.
II. When Is A Disclosure Statement Required?
The new law provides that political advertising that contains express advocacy is required to include a disclosure statement. The person who causes the political advertising to be published, distributed, or broadcast is responsible for including the disclosure statement.
The new law does not define the term "express advocacy." However, the law does provide that political advertising is deemed to contain express advocacy if it is authorized by a candidate, an agent of a candidate, or a political committee filing campaign finance reports. Therefore, a disclosure statement is required any time a candidate, a candidate's agent, or a political committee authorizes political advertising.
The precise language of political advertising authorized by someone other than a candidate, the candidate's agent, or a political committee will determine if the advertising contains express advocacy and is therefore required to include a disclosure statement. Generally, the question is whether the communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of an identified candidate, or expressly advocates the passage or defeat of a measure, such as a bond election. The inclusion of words such as "vote for," "elect," "support," "defeat," "reject," or "Smith for Senate" would clearly constitute express advocacy. Similar phrases, such as "Cast your ballot for X," would also constitute express advocacy. It is a question of fact whether a particular communication constitutes express advocacy. If you are not sure whether political advertising contains express advocacy, do the cautious thing and include the disclosure statement. That way there is no need to worry about whether you have violated the law.
Remember: The concept of "express advocacy" is only relevant in determining whether political advertising is required to include a disclosure statement. The political advertising laws governing the right-of-way notice, misrepresentation, and use of public funds by political subdivisions will apply to political advertising regardless of whether the advertising contains express advocacy.
III. What Should The Disclosure Statement Say?
A disclosure statement must include the following:
1. the words "political advertising" or a recognizable abbreviation such as "pol. adv."; and
2. the full name of one of the following: (a) the person who paid for the political advertising; (b) the political committee authorizing the political advertising; or (c) the candidate or specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate, if the political advertising is authorized by the candidate.
The disclosure statement must appear on the face of the political advertising.
The advertising should not be attributed to entities such as "Committee to Elect John Doe" unless a specific-purpose committee named "Committee to Elect John Doe" has filed a campaign treasurer appointment with the Ethics Commission or a local filing authority.
IV. Are There Any Exceptions To The Disclosure Statement Requirement?
The following types of political advertising do not need the disclosure statement:
1. balloons, buttons, emery boards, hats, lapel stickers, magnets, pencils, pens, pins, wooden nickels, candy wrappers, and similar materials;
2. invitations or tickets to political fund raising events or to events held to establish support for a candidate or officeholder;
3. an envelope that is used to transmit political advertisement, provided that the political advertisement in the envelope includes the disclosure statement;
4. circulars or fliers that cost in the aggregate less than $500 to publish and distribute; and
5. political advertising printed on letterhead stationery, if the letterhead includes the name of one of the following: (a) the person who paid for the advertising, (b) the political committee authorizing the advertising, or, (c) the candidate or specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate, if the political advertising is authorized by the candidate. (Note: There is also an exception for holiday greeting cards sent by an officeholder, provided that the officeholder's name and address appear on the card or the envelope.)
V. What Should I Do If I Discover That My Political Advertising Does Not Contain A Disclosure Statement?
The new law prohibits a person from using, causing or permitting to be used, or continuing to use political advertising containing express advocacy if the person knows it does not include the disclosure statement. A person is presumed to know that the use is prohibited if the Texas Ethics Commission notifies the person in writing that the use is prohibited. If you receive notice from the Texas Ethics Commission that your political advertising does not comply with the law, you should stop using it immediately.
If you learn that a political advertising sign designed to be seen from the road does not contain a disclosure statement or contains an inaccurate disclosure statement, you should make a good faith attempt to remove or correct those signs that have been distributed. You are not required to attempt to recover other types of political advertising that have been distributed with a missing or inaccurate disclosure statement.
VI. The Fair Campaign Practices Act.
The Fair Campaign Practices Act sets out basic rules of decency, honesty, and fair play to be followed by candidates and political committees during a campaign. A candidate or political committee may choose to subscribe to the voluntary code by signing a copy of the code and filing it with the authority with whom the candidate or committee is required to file its campaign treasurer appointment. A person subscribing to the code may indicate that fact on political advertising by including the following or a substantially similar statement:
(Name of the candidate or political committee, as appropriate) subscribes to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.
VII. Special Rule For Judicial Candidates, Officeholders, and Committees.
Candidates for the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, courts of appeals, district courts, statutory county courts (county courts-at-law), and statutory probate courts are required to file a form declaring their intent to either comply with or exceed the voluntary expenditure limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act. A candidate who has declared an intent to comply with the expenditure limits, as well as a specific-purpose committee supporting such a candidate, may state the following in political advertising:
Political advertising paid for by (name of candidate or committee) in compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.
If a candidate declares an intent to exceed the expenditure limits, however, both the candidate and any specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate must include in their political advertising the following statement:
Political advertising paid for by (name of candidate or committee), (who or which) has rejected the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.
I. When Is The "Right-Of-Way" Notice Required?
All written political advertising that is meant to be seen from a road must carry a "right-of-way" notice. It is a criminal offense to omit the "right-of-way" notice in the following circumstances:
1. if you enter into a contract or agreement to print or make written political advertising meant to be seen from a road; or
2. if you instruct another person to place the written political advertising meant to be seen from a road.
II. What Should The "Right-Of-Way" Notice Say?
Section 255.007 of the Texas Election Code prescribes the exact language of the notice:
NOTICE: IT IS A VIOLATION OF STATE LAW
(CHAPTERS 392 AND 393, TRANSPORTATION CODE)
TO PLACE THIS SIGN IN THE RIGHT-OF-WAY OF A HIGHWAY.
Note: The notice on political advertising signs printed or made before September 1, 1997, contained a citation to a prior law. You may continue to use those signs if they otherwise comply with the law.
III. Do Yard Signs Have To Have The "Right-Of-Way" Notice?
Yes. The "right-of-way" notice requirement applies to signs meant to be seen from any road. The notice requirement assures that a person responsible for placing signs is aware of the restriction on placing the sign in the right-of-way of a highway.
IV. What About Bumper Stickers?
Bumper stickers do not need the "right-of-way" notice. They do, however, need a political advertising disclosure statement.
V. Where May I Place My Signs And How Long May Signs Be Posted?
For information about exactly where you may or may not place signs, or for information regarding the length of time your signs may be posted, check with your city or county government and with the Texas Department of Transportation at (512) 416-2901.
I. Are There Restrictions On The Contents Of Political Advertising?
Political advertising and campaign communications may not misrepresent a person's identity or official title, nor may they misrepresent the true source of the advertising or communication. The election law does not address other types of misrepresentation in political advertising or campaign communications.
Note that the misrepresentation rules apply to both political advertising and campaign communications. "Campaign communication" is a broader term than "political advertising."
A "campaign communication" means "a written or oral communication relating to a campaign for nomination or election to public office or office of a political party or to a campaign on a measure."
II. Misrepresentation Of Office Title.
A candidate may not represent that he or she holds an office that he or she does not hold at the time of the representation. If you are not the incumbent in the office you are seeking, you must make it clear that you are seeking election rather than reelection by using the word "for" to clarify that you don't hold that office. The word "for" must be at least one-half the type size as the name of the office and should appear immediately before the name of the office. For example, a non-incumbent may use the following formats:
Vote John Doe for Attorney General
John Doe for
III. Misrepresentation Of Identity Or Source.
A person violates the law if, with intent to injure a candidate or influence the result of an election, the person misrepresents the source of political advertising or a campaign communication or if the person misrepresents his or her own identity or the identity of his or her agent in political advertising or in a campaign communication. (If someone else is doing something for you, that person is your agent.) For example, you may not take out an ad in favor of your opponent that purports to be sponsored by a notoriously unpopular group.
IV. Use Of State Seal.
Only officeholders may use the state seal in political advertising.
Iowa's Famous Straw Pole
Sunday, August 12, 2007
What's the big deal all about?!? It's a pole... made of straw... So what?
. . .
Or, am I missing something?
Friday, August 10, 2007
"The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust."
-- James Madison (Federalist No. 57, 19 February 1788)
A Look at Protect America Act of 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
CLARIFICATION OF ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE OF PERSONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATESSec. 105A. Nothing in the definition of electronic surveillance under section 101(f) shall be construed to encompass surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States.
36USC1801(f) "Electronic surveillance" means--(1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;
(2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States, but does not include the acquisition of those communications of computer trespassers that would be permissible under section 2511 (2)(i) of title 18;
(3) the intentional acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States; or
(4) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device in the United States for monitoring to acquire information, other than from a wire or radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes.
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.
Definition of the Day
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
(2) "Entity" means a person other than a natural person.
(Source: see Page 3, Line 27)
(8) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, association, governmental entity, or other entity, of any kind or nature.
So and "entity" would be Coca Cola, or the Boeing Company, or the City of Seattle, but not Mr. Smith. However, they would all be considered persons in law. Interesting.
An Ominous Warning?
Dear Friends,With the 2007 session over, this is my report on the legislation that I believe will most affect you. There is not enough paper in Washington state to explain the frustration felt by those of us who attempted to protect your rights, your liberty and your freedoms. It has been said that "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session," and this year is especially true.As expected, with an income surplus projected to be over $2 billion, the Democrat supermajority spent it all and much, much more. You, citizen taxpayer, are now deep in debt and the bottom of the financial hole is yet to be determined. You may have heard of the spending bow wave--this one should be considered a tidal wave. Be prepared to pay more taxes as the legislation begins to take effect.When we learned last winter that the taxpayers had overpaid the amount needed to maintain our bloated state government, special interest groups showed up to help the budget committee spend it. It quickly became apparent that there was not enough "extra money" to meet the demand. Unable to tell them NO, everyone but you got a piece of the surplus. (Returning the money to its rightful owner, you the taxpayer, was never a consideration.)
Government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.