Tag: Defense

The 16th Amendment: A Transfer of Power from the States to the Federal Government »

This is the centennial year of the 16th Amendment—the income tax amendment—which was ratified in 1913. While often associated with the growth in government spending, its biggest effect has been to shift the balance of power toward the federal government and away from the states. It is not difficult to imagine that the scope...
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Drone Strikes on Americans »

If you have a few minutes, take a look at a government white paper obtained by NBC news on the lawfulness of lethal attacks on U.S. citizens with attachments to terrorists. NBC has this summary of the test for ordering a killing: the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted...
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The Names Behind the Collateral Damage »

Drones Watch has compiled a list of the names of children killed in America’s drone bombings of Pakistan and Yemen. Should a major terrorist attack hit the United States, this is as likely a reason as any. Each one of these children is as infinitely valuable as the American children shot in school massacres,...
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A December 1941 Speech that FDR Never Delivered »

On or about December 5, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (probably with the aid of one or more speech writers) prepared a speech on U.S. relations with the Far East, in general, and with Japan, in particular. The speech was to be delivered to the Congress in order, as its opening sentence indicates, “to...
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The National Security Agency Collects and Stores Everyone’s Email, Indefinitely »

William Binney, a mathematician who worked for the NSA for 32 years as a cryptographer, goes on the record to detail that the FBI’s going through General Petraeus’s email is no particular exception: all electronic communications of all Americans are under constant surveillance and are permanently stored so security agencies can look through them...
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Defense Cuts Would Encourage Needed Improvements »

The U.S. Defense budget has not received nearly as much media scrutiny during this election cycle as it merits. Leaving such a vital topic almost exclusively in the hands of the usual cast of characters—defense secretaries, current and former; members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees; and retired chairmen of the Joint...
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Obama’s Trifecta: The 3 Biggest Lies »

With his latest ad, “Your First Time,” President Barack Obama has now completed his trifecta on the the 3 Biggest Lies in the World. You remember those, don’t you? #1: The check is in the mail. #2: I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. #3: Of course I’ll still respect you...
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The Buck Stops Here »

President Harry Truman famously had a sign on his desk in the White House saying “The Buck Stops Here!” In this context, it is interesting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that she takes responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. I am not sure what...
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Thoughts for Constitution Day »

By my reading, almost nothing the federal government does is Constitutional. The entire national security state and empire are dubious at best. The welfare state is unauthorized. Nothing in Article I, Section 8, the clause empowering Congress to legislate, gives that body the general authority over education, health care, the environment, most businesses, and...
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GM, QE3, and Crony Capitalism »

Yesterday on The Beacon I noted that the Federal Reserve’s new “quantitative easing” measure, QE3, is an example of crony capitalism: the use of public policy to increase the profitability of specific firms and industries. Today I want to compare QE3 with another example of crony capitalism to reinforce the point. General Motors provides...
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