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Sunday, July 24, 2005

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====================================================
Vol. 1 No. 20
Sunday, July 24,2005


FROM THE EDITOR

(0) The week in review

THIS WEEK'S NEWS, ACTIONS, COMMENTARIES

(1) Action Alert: CAFTA & Codex
(2) Action Alert: Sen. Vitter Moves to Block Anti-gun UN
(3) Government Shouldn’t Be Able To Steal Your Stuff!
(4) State senate: Big Brother was watching
(5) Tennessee: Eminent domain laws tightened
(6) Australia: Farmers declared independence, convicted of fraud
(7) Care for some tea?
(8) Support our troops! Or "shut up, please"
(9) Frogs and Thermometers
(10) Home, seized home
(11) Uncle Sam, meet the bloggers
(12) Israeli protesters defy police ban on march
(13) FBI monitored web sites for 2004 protests
(14) A Libertarian Proposal: Real liberty for you and your grandchildren
(15) The sounds of hope
(16) A weekend to stop the war
(17) Review: Molôn Labé!
(18) How Comcast censors political content
(19) Because the gov't is evil and stupid
(20) Bill strives to protect privacy
(21) Give choice a chance


FROM THE EDITOR

(0) The week in review
Two important actions this week: the House hasn't voted on CAFTA yet, so there's still time to urge your congresscritters to vote no ... if y'all remember, among the horrible provisions in CAFTA is one that will put the US under CODEX, thus affecting your ability to buy supplements and vitamins of your choice. Also, Pro-gun Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is getting ready to introduce a bill that would block the United Nations from implementing gun control measures affecting U.S. citizens. He needs co-sponsors ... and GOA is asking us to "contact your two senators and urge them to cosponsor the Vitter bill."

On the property rights front, JPFO is making available a free download of the Fourth Amendment song, "Steal Your Stuff" from our I Will Live Free CD ... this is a great song, folks! On the anti-war front, start making plans now for a weekend of protest in September.

My favorite column this week, from an activist standpoint, has GOT to be Jay Hailey's "Because the gov't is evil and stupid" ... a rendition of the BOR in modern day language ... this makes a great handout!


Til next week!
For Freedom
Mary Lou

THIS WEEK'S NEWS, ACTIONS, COMMENTARIES

(1) Action Alert: CAFTA & Codex
The Liberty Committee

Will the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) finally force you to get a doctor's prescription just to buy vitamin C, or E, or other dietary supplements you currently pick up "over the counter" in America? Powerful special interests are banking on it. The U.S. House is likely to vote on CAFTA next week. Please, take action today --
and spread the word." (07/13/05) [Editor's note: As of 7/24/05, the House had not voted on CAFTA, vote expected next week. There is still time!-MLS]

http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/update07.13.05.htm

----


(2) Action Alert: Sen. Vitter Moves to Block Anti-gun UN
Gun Owners of America

"Pro-gun Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is getting ready to introduce a bill that would block the United Nations from implementing gun control measures affecting U.S. citizens. Entitled the "UN Second Amendment Protection Act of 2005," the bill does still not have a number, as Sen. Vitter is trying to get original cosponsors to join him. Sen. Vitter's bill will prohibit any U.S. funding to the UN unless the President certifies that the world body "has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the United States to possess a firearm or ammunition." ACTION: Please contact your two senators and urge them to cosponsor the Vitter bill." (07/14/05)

http://www.gunowners.org/a071405.htm


(3) Government Shouldn’t Be Able To Steal Your Stuff!
JPFO

"As many are no doubt aware, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Kelo vs New London that private property may be taken by government and given to another private party for as specious a reason as increased tax revenue. Almost immediately, the town of Freeport, TX took advantage of the ruling to grab property it had wanted for some time. .... In light of these and other government abuses of our rights, we invite you to download the Fourth Amendment song, "Steal Your Stuff" from our I Will Live Free CD (lyrics below)" (07/18/05)

http://www.jpfo.org/stealyourstuff.htm

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(4) State senate: Big Brother was watching
Prison Planet

"A probe into a domestic surveillance unit within the California National Guard ballooned Tuesday into a full-blown investigation into widespread allegations of spying on U.S. citizens, misuse of state money and retaliation against Guard troops who brought the allegations to light.
Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Santa Ana, said after a Capitol hearing that he will order top National Guard officers to testify under oath after they refused to do so voluntarily. He might seek contempt of Legislature charges against those officers because, he said, the state military department has stonewalled his efforts to get documents about a secret unit called the "Information Synchronization, Knowledge, Management and Intelligence Fusion" unit. That unit collected information on a Mother's Day anti-war protest in front of the state Capitol. Dunn described the unit as the "tip of the iceberg" of domestic spying units within the California National Guard." (07/20/05)

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/200705waswatching.htm


(5) Tennessee: Eminent domain laws tightened
Nashville City Paper

"Nashville and the state of Tennessee are attempting to tighten their
laws dealing with eminent domain in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court
decision last month. The high court issued a landmark decision on
eminent domain in the case Kelo v. New London and ruled in favor of
the city, which used eminent domain to take a private property for
private redevelopment purposes. ... Last month's decision has worried
some Nashvillians. State Rep. Ben West (D-Hermitage) said he has heard
concerns from constituents directly and also through Metro Council
members. 'So I had the Legislative Legal Service do the research on
the decision,' West said. 'There is a provision in there where it
allows states to remain where they are.' ... Tennessee Republican
lawmakers are also preparing similar legislation. Sen. Mae Beavers
(R-Mount Juliet) intends to file two bills this week dealing with
eminent domain. ... 'We must now make absolutely sure that we have the best possible laws in place at the state level,' [she] said."
[editor's note: Similar actions are ongoing in Wilson, McMinn and
several other Tennessee counties, led by local Libertarian Party
activists in nearly every instance. - SAT] (07/19/05)

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?news_id=42944

-----

(6) Australia: Farmers declared independence, convicted of fraud
Ananova [UK]

"Three members of an 'Australian' family were convicted of fraud after declaring their land an independent kingdom. The Rigoli family named their property in northern Victoria the Principality of Ponderosa, reports News.com.au. Virgilio Rigoli, 67 - the self-proclaimed Prince of Ponderosa - and sons Philip, 36, and Little Joe, 25, refused to pay taxes.
During a pre-sentencing hearing, a Melbourne court heard the trio earned $6.9 million between 1991 and 2000. Virgilio wrote a letter to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), addressing it "to the devil possessed," and Little Joe wrote another letter explaining why he refused to pay tax.
"I do not recognise nor will I ever recognise the government of Australia, signed His Royal Highness, Little Joseph Rigoli," the letter read.
Fences were erected around their 24 hectare property, which issued its own Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1994. The farm was surrounded by a moat and people required passports to enter and leave." (07/19/05)

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1467799.html?menu=

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(7) Care for some tea?
The Libertarian Enterprise
by Lady Liberty

"Many people have clever quotes displayed in their homes and offices. These sayings can be as simple and traditional as a cross-stitched "Home Sweet Home," or as modern as motivational posters bearing admonitions from super-achievers and role models like Lance Armstrong. Me? I have bumper stickers taped to the side of a cabinet. They include such politically charged gems as "Ted Kennedy's Car Has Killed More People Than My Gun" and "Apes Evolved from Creationists," and those with personal meaning or entertainment value for me like "Even Chaos Has A Pattern" and "The Two Most Common Elements in the Universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity." But of all the bumper stickers I display, one is daily becoming more and more my favorite. That's the bumper sticker that says, "It's Time for Another Tea Party.'" (07/17/05)

http://www.ncc-1776.com/tle2005/tle328-20050717-09.html

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(8) Support our troops! Or "shut up, please"
LewRockwell.Com
by Jack Kenny

"It is grossly unfair -- but not, alas, uncommon -- for supporters of
the war to question the loyalty of even parents or spouses of those
killed in battle if the bereaved dare to question or oppose our
government?s self-appointed 'mission' in another, far-off land. What
is seldom remarked upon is how thoroughly the deck has been stacked in any public debate about war. Those who unfailingly support any war our rulers choose to prosecute are always patriots. Those who speak or write in opposition are always suspected, if not outright accused, of being disloyal to our troops. A willingness to send our young to war,
however weak or illusory the reasons, becomes the litmus test of
loyalty." (07/19/05)

http://www.lewrockwell.com/kenny/kenny8.html

-----

(9) Frogs and Thermometers
Liberty For All
by Heather James

"The metaphor of boiling a frog is often used to illustrate the
gradual (and, lately, not-so-gradual) theft of the rights of the
American people by their government. You put the frog in the pot when
the water is cold and heat it up gradually so the frog does not jump
out of the pot before it's cooked. Heat the water too quickly, and the
scalded frog jumps out of the pot. Everyone is familiar with this
illustration, and it's easy to see the US as a giant pot full of
'frogs', soaking leisurely in ever-hotter water. What of those 'frogs'
who are educated and involved, in whatever way, in trying to preserve
what rights we Americans have left, and trying to regain some of those
lost?" (07/19/05)

http://www.libertyforall.net/2005/july24/Frogs.html

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(10) Home, seized home
Washington Times
by Donald Lambro

"Who says you can't fight city hall, or even the Supreme Court? A
long-overdue property rights revolt is brewing around the country in
response to the high court's outrageous decision last month in Kelo v.
City of New London, Conn. The court ruled that governments can seize
private property and then turn it over to big-business interests for
economic development. The alarming property takeover ruling, by a
narrow 5-4 vote, reminds us anew of the sweeping governmental powers
issues that are at stake in choosing who will replace retiring Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor (who, by the way, wrote a blistering dissent
against the decision)." (07/18/05)

http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20050717-094454-7827r.htm

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(11) Uncle Sam, meet the bloggers
AlterNet
by Kelly Hearn

"A federal judge has ordered the Federal Election Commission to extend
campaign finance laws to the Internet. And the regulatory foray has
sparked debate about whether the anti-establishment, rant-prone but
politically relevant blogosphere is more akin to a world of activists
or journalists. Bloggers worry that bringing bloggers under the
regulatory scope of campaign finance laws will mean incurring
debilitating legal fees to defend against partisan lawsuits or FEC
investigations. That is unless the government classifies blogs as
'press,' which are exempted from campaign finance laws. The whole
affair has anti-establishment bloggers taking some
ever-so-establishment paths to Washington." [editor's note: they can
have my mouse when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers! - TLK]
(07/18/05)

http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/23532/

-----

(12) Israeli protesters defy police ban on march
Guardian [UK]

"The Israeli government last night appeared to give ground to thousands of anti-disengagement protesters by allowing them to continue an illegal march to the Gaza settlements. Thousands of police officers and soldiers were deployed to block the marchers' way but after a two-hour standoff last night, the police and army pulled back. The marchers had walked three miles from the southern Israel town of Netivot, where they had been met by a wall of security forces stretching for more than a mile. Their aim was to reach a campsite as the first step en route to Gush Katif, the largest block of settlements in Gaza." (07/19/05)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1531378,00.html

-----

(13) FBI monitored web sites for 2004 protests
Washington Post

" FBI agents monitored Web sites calling for protests against the 2004 political conventions in New York and Boston on behalf of the bureau's counterterrorism unit, according to FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The American Civil Liberties Union pointed to the documents as evidence that the Bush administration has reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States by blurring the distinction between terrorism and political protest. FBI officials defended the involvement of counterterrorism agents in providing security for the Republican and Democratic conventions as an administrative convenience. The documents were released by the FBI in response to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of civil rights, animal rights and environmental groups that say they have been subjected to scrutiny by task forces set up to combat terrorism. The FBI has denied targeting the groups because of their political views." (07/18/05)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/17/AR2005071700889.html

-----

(14) A Libertarian Proposal: Real liberty for you and your grandchildren
The Libertarian Enterprise
Ben F. Irvin and Greg Garber

"Thesis: After over thirty years of failing to start a revolution through persuasion, it is time for libertarians to reproduce themselves the way successful cultures and groups do: by generating a large number of children, either naturally, by adoption or ideally, by both." (07/17/05)

http://www.ncc-1776.com/tle2005/tle328-20050717-05.html

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(15) The sounds of hope
Common Dreams
Cindy Sheehan

"The sound I do want to hear is the sound of a Nation Waking Up. I will rejoice to hear the sounds of the collective Mea Culpa and the beating of breasts. I want to hear the deafening clicks as the steady stream of news-o-tainment is turned off, propaganda that is turning us into zombies who are numb to the truth. I want to hear the sound of our children getting off planes and boats from Iraq to the joyful squealing of their children and the deep sighs of relief from their spouses, parents, and other loved ones. I want to hear our citizenry lifting up their voices in chorus and singing, "We will never let this happen again.'" (07/18/05)

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0718-28.htm

-----

(16) A weekend to stop the war
CounterPunch
Ron Jacobs

"In a little more than two months, a weekend of protest against the war in Iraq is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, San Francisco, London, and several other cities around the globe. Like other protests against the US war on the world, this weekend is being organized by a wide number of organizations and individuals who are often not in agreement about many related subjects. As a participant in the protests, however, these disagreements should be secondary to our actual presence. With the US military death toll rapidly nearing 2000 and the Iraqi and Afghani cost in lives unknown to the general public, this is no time to debate subtleties of theory and politics .... For more info, For more info, please check out these websites:
http://troopsoutnow.org/
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/
http://internationalanswer.org/" (07/18/05)

http://www.counterpunch.org/jacobs07182005.html

-----

(17) Review: Molôn Labé!
Kn@ppster
by Thomas L. Knapp

"When _Molôn Labé!_ was being written, and at the time of its release,
the 2004 election had not yet occurred. Who would have predicted,
prior to that election, that the _Left_ would be bandying about
secessionist ideas by the beginning of 2005? The last great American
secession -- that of 1860-1865 -- seemed to explode out of nowhere.
But that is an historical illusion which exists largely because the
winners of wars write their histories. The roots of secession went
back nearly to the beginning of the nation, and a number of
individuals (William Yancey, Edmund Ruffin et al) had been working
hard for southern secession for _decades_ before it 'suddenly' became
a reality. There's a growing body of secessionist literature --
fiction and non-fiction -- proliferating in America right now (see,
for example, _The Third Revolution_ by Anthony F. Lewis). A decade or
three from now, when secession 'suddenly' arises as a reality, that
body of literature will be largely responsible, whether it is
acknowledged as such or not." (07/16/05)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2005/07/review-mol.html

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(18) How Comcast censors political content
Common Dreams
David Swanson

"I 'm working on a campaign headquartered at www.afterdowningstreet.org that seeks to draw attention to the Downing Street Minutes and to lobby Congress to open an investigation into whether the President has committed impeachable offenses. .... July 23rd is the three-year anniversary of the meeting on Downing Street that produced the now infamous minutes, and we are organizing events all over the country on that day. Or, we're trying to. But we noticed about a week ago that everyone working on this campaign was having strange Email problems. .... We didn't know it, but for the past week, anyone using Comcast has been unable to receive any Email with "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the Email. That has included every Email from me, since that was in my signature at the bottom of every Email I sent. And it included any Email linking people to any information about the upcoming events. .... Disturbingly, Comcast did not notify us of this block. It took us a number of days to nail down Comcast as the cause of the problems, and then more days, working with Comcast's abuse department to identify exactly what was going on." (07/16/05)

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0716-20.htm

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(19) Because the gov't is evil and stupid
The Libertarian Enterprise
Jay P Hailey

"While discussing the bill of rights with a neo-con recently it occurred to me that a lot of people are not familiar with what a radical set of ideas is held in the Bill of Rights. I set out to rephrase some of the BoR is more casual language (with some admitted editorializing on my own part) to illustrate this point. If it amuses you, read some of these to your conservative friends and watch them blanch. Betcha a dollar they say "But, that's Anarchy!' ' We hold this truth to be self evident—the Government is evil and stupid and unless watched like a hawk, will abuse people, violate their rights and their property. So we're setting down some limitations here—Because the government is evil and stupid it shall NOT ..... " [Editor's note: What a great handout this would make! Thanks, Jay!-MLS](07/17/05)


http://65.108.69.156/tle2005/tle328-20050717-02.html

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(20) Bill strives to protect privacy
Wired

"A bipartisan group of senators introduced comprehensive identity-theft legislation Thursday that throws some of the burden for preventing the increasingly common crime onto businesses and other organizations that collect personal information. The new legislation also would give consumers more control over their personal data. The Identity Theft Protection Act, introduced in the Senate commerce committee by a bipartisan coalition, addresses problems with recent high-profile data breaches by requiring entities that collect sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, to secure the data physically and technologically and to notify consumers nationwide when data is compromised." (07/15/05)

http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,68218,00.html

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(21) Give choice a chance
Cato Institute
by David Salisbury and John Merrifield

"The U.S. education system is governed by the political process.
Public elections and lobbying work to establish where schools will be
built, what will be taught, and which teachers will be hired. As a
result, our elementary and secondary education system contains all of
the inefficiency and stagnation symptomatic of government
bureaucracies. Low quality, high costs, a lack of innovation, and
perverse incentive structures plague the U.S. education system.
Thousands of reforms and billions of dollars worth of tinkering with
the system have failed to improve the lot of students. Based on the
track record of past federal reforms, the No Child Left Behind Act is
unlikely to yield any encouraging results. Incremental reforms in
America's school system will do nothing -- or worse than nothing --
unless reformers attack the problem at the root, which is the
bureaucratic and political control of schools. The solution is to open
the schools up to consumer choice and competition with private
schools, allowing parents to choose the schools that they think are
best for their children." (07/18/05)

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3990

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