X Date: The new fiscal cliff

ZeroHedge.com reports X Date is approaching, that is “the day past which the US government will no longer be able to rely on ‘extraordinary measures’ to delay the day of reckoning, and will be unable to pay all its bills without recourse to additional debt. It is not the day when the US defaults, at least not defaults on its debt. It will begin ‘defaulting’ on various financial obligations, such as not paying due bills on time and in full, but since this is something Europe’s periphery has been doing for years, it is hardly catastrophic.”

This may come as a surprise to those who still believe the Republican wing of the Republicratic Duopoly supports fiscal responsibility; in mid-January former Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan told reporters that the GOP would agree to a short-term increase in the debt-ceiling.

ZeroHedge also reports, “the US hit its debt ceiling on December 31, and has since been utilizing some $200 billion in Extraordinary Measure to stave off X Date” which is expected to come sometime between Feb. 15 and March 1.

What does this actually mean? The Treasury has approximately $201 billion in “Extraordinary Measures” available to spend.

Once the $201 billion, consisting primarily of plundering the government retirement G-fund, runs out, the Bipartisan Policy Center says, “There is no precedent; all other debt limit impasses have been resolved without reaching the X Date.” Which means, the Treasury has never failed during a debt limit impasse to meet a payment obligation, so no one really knows what will happen if the X Date is reached.

The Bipartisan Policy Center also reports, “Treasury will not attempt to ‘firesale’ assets during a crisis.” A firesale would be great! Imagine how much better run the various national parks would be if they were operated by private organizations. Just imagine visiting Yellowstone or Yosemite Park if they were being operated by the Audubon Society with voluntary funding. In total, the federal government owns approximately 635 million acres of land. If the land were to sale for as little as $10,000 per acre, the federal government would bring in $6.35 TRILLION for the land! Of course, there are many more ways the federal government could raise revenue or cut spending that do not involve threats of violence, unfortunately they’re not interested in peaceful solutions.

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Rapiscan revoked: Sometimes, you take the small victories

Well, our civil liberties are taking hits left, right, and sideways, but we have a small victories every now and again.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.

TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit for the software after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to produce generic passenger images, agency officials said in interviews.

The agency removed 76 of the machines from busier U.S. airports last year. It will now get rid of the remaining 174 Rapiscan machines, with the company absorbing the cost, said Karen Shelton Waters, the agency’s assistant administrator for acquisitions. The TSA will instead use 60 machines manufactured by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), the agency’s other supplier of body scanners.

“It became clear to TSA they would be unable to meet our timeline,” Waters said. “As a result of that, we terminated the contract for the convenience of the government.”

The decision to cancel the Rapiscan software contract and remove its scanners wasn’t related to an agency probe of whether the company faked testing data on the software fix, Waters said.

Yes, the Rap[e]iscan machines will soon be gone!

Apparently, Rapiscan couldn’t come up with the genericized template to pretend that the TSA pervs weren’t REALLY ChoMos in time, so the entire Rapiscan contract is cancelled (they weren’t looking at nekkid pics of everyone, they were just misunderstood, right?)

To [mis]quote Southwest, “you are now free to move about the country [mostly] unmolested.”

Update by SV: TIL what a chomo is. Thanks g4lt, for making me Google that.

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Germany wants 300 tons of its US gold

Back in November, German politicians were grumbling that they wanted to see their gold deposits being held at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Now, they’ve upped the ante and are beginning to cash out, demanding shipment of 300 of their 1,536 tons of gold held in the U.S.:

In what sounds like the setup for a stylish Hollywood heist movie, Germany is transferring nearly 700 tons of gold bars worth $36 billion from Paris and New York to its vaults in Frankfurt.

The move is part of an effort by Germany’s central bank to bring much of its gold home after keeping big reserves outside the country for safekeeping during the Cold War.

Shipping such a large amount of valuable cargo between countries could be a serious security headache. A gold robbery — the subject of such movies as Die Hard 3 and The Italian Job — would be embarrassing and expensive for Germany.

The high-stakes, high-security plan is to move the precious metal — 374 tons kept in vaults in Paris and 300 tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank — to the Bundesbank in Germany’s financial center over the next eight years.

The speed at which the German central bank’s transition from an audit to actaully moving gold has been rather swift. As they are now in negotiations Lufthansa Cargo to move the 300 tons of gold across the Atlantic, they’ve allowed themselves until 2020 to complete the process of being able to store half their gold reserves in the Heimatland (homeland).

By 2020, the Bundesbank intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Germany. The other half will remain in storage at its partner central banks in New York and London. With this new storage plan, the Bundesbank is focusing on the two primary functions of the gold reserves: to build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold trading centres abroad within a short space of time.

Interestingly enough, stashed away in the extended Bundesbank press release was an interesting nugget (translated from German):

Function of Gold – Why do Central Banks hold Gold?
– Diversification
– Universal Acceptance
– Resilience to Shocks (State or currency risks)
– Confidence

This money-like exchange of gold for foreign currencies will likely embolden critics of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. Bernanke, who was queried by Ron Paul in a 2011 Congressional Committee famously folded on the issue, stated that gold wasn’t actually money, rather “it’s tradition. Long term tradition.”

In Germany, that tradition is alive and well, and demanding the Federal Reserve hand it over.

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White House: “LALALA I can’t hear you!”

Well, the petitions site has its place, and I for one applaud it, but can we please just set a target for the number of required petition signatures and go with it?!

In what seems to be an effort to curb time spent on outrageous petitions, the White House late Tuesday quadrupled the signature threshold for “We the People” petitions to 100,000.

Thank goodness we got an answer on the Death Star before the new rule took effect.

Previously, 25,000 signatures were required to garner an official response from the White House on a petition posted at the “We the People” website.

Right now, given the target is on its third move upwards, it looks as if the White House is only listening for what it wants to hear. If they wanted that, all they had to do is add a disclaimer at the top “ONLY SYCOPHANTS AND YES-MEN NEED APPLY”.

Liberty is tough, people, it’s giving those you don’t want to listen to equal time and equal chance to air their views. I’d hope that here at HoT we all “get it” — that liberty isn’t a one-sided coin — maybe we need a Libertarian in the White House a lot more than we originally thought. :)

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Leadership: The Video

I think it puts him in appropriate company…

-Rob Morris

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Obama issues dictatorial gun proclamation, executive orders

President Barack Obama today was seen signing 23 executive orders on gun control in front of a group of children ignorant about their rights (the orders have yet to be published on the White House website for us to properly ridicule, so we’ll ridicule the whole affair).

Here’s the relevant portion of the accompanying proclamation from WhiteHouse.gov:

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. The Secretary shall begin by identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.

Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 3. Publication. You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

His game of “Let’s play take away the guns from law-abiding Americans because a few assholes can’t act responsibly” has yet to be officially recognized by anyone with half a brain. Millions of Americans continue to wave loaded AR-15s and handguns with high-capacity lips and a copy of the Constitution in defiance of the latest effort to destroy liberties.

However, many are now anxious about how the government will try to enforce such ludicrous orders and bans being swiftly implemented (with New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s legislation being called “draconian” by the NRA). The flurry of legislation and imperial decrees now contrast to gun sales have hitting astronomical rates since 2008, and exploding in November/December of 2012.

One way in which Obama is flexing unConstitutional executive powers has been to direct doctors and mental health professionals to ask patients whether they own guns (and how many).

The answer to that line of questioning is obvious to liberty-lovers: NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS.

UPDATE: Interesting statistic of the day: the DEA has a budget of $2.415 billion (2010) and employs 10,784 (2009), while the BATF has a budget of $1.12 billion (2010) and employs 4,559 (2006). Obama has just budgeted another $500 million for gun control activities.

The War on Drugs has been an epic failure even though it has twice as many federal enforcers and funding. Does anyone seriously doubt the latest “War on Guns” will be any different?

UPDATE II: Scratch that previous update number, the apparent amount being budgeted for the attempt at a gun controlling police state is over $4.5 billion. The biggest expenditure is $4 billion “to help keep 15,000 cops on the streets in cities and towns across the country.”

That’s just over $260 thousand dollars per cop.

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Confirmed: Big Boi really is libertarian, you know

Last month Antwan Andre Patton, aka Big Boi of the Outkast crew, left radio hosts shocked and speechless after telling them he voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson during a segment on racism. Now, in an interview with the Huffington Post (LIVE!), Patton not only confirmed that “hey ya” he’s a libertarian voter… but went even further and stood up as an ardent supporter of libertarian views.

Here’s the interview video, and the relevant transcript:

ALYONA MINKOVSKI, HUFFPOST LIVE: There was a radio interview that you did where you recounted a story of a woman coming up to you after Barack Obama’s election saying, “We won.” And then you said, “I voted for Gary Johnson.” What’s the story behind that? Did you really vote for Gary Johnson?

ANTWAN ANDRE PATTON AKA BIG BOI: Well, I was, you know, leaving to go out of town, and it was a lady — a Caucasian lady — and she was like, “Oh yeah, congratulations on y’all win last night,” you know, with like an attitude. And, you know, just to let her know I was on my P’s and Q’s, I was like, “I don’t know what you talkin’ bout, I voted for Gary Johnson.” And she looked shocked to even know that I knew there were other candidates on the ballot, you know what I’m saying? So, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

MINKOVSKI: Did you vote for Gary Johnson?

PATTON: Yes, I’m a Libertarian. I’m liberty, justice for all, liberty for all. I’m really pro-people, pro-freedom, and, you know, this is all about positivity. Like, you know, I have nothing against the president at all, you know, he’s a nice guy, but, it’s just, you know, the things that they’re standing on right now just didn’t agree with me. Anything that benefits the public and not just big banking, that’s what I’m with.

Not in the transcript but definitely in that interview: his outspoken support of the second amendment for use against tyranny… including whatever guns you want, just so long as you’re responsible (sounds libertarian to me).

Patton, we like the way you move with that positivity (hit him up on twitter to say hi). Libertarians, you can chalk another famous name on the boards.

(h/T Eric Dondero)

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Bartering popular after Greek economic collapse

Bartering and alternative currencies are gaining ground, at least in Greece. The UK Guardian reports, “Euros discarded as impoverished Greeks resort to bartering … Communities set up local currencies and exchange networks in attempt to beat the economic crisis… It’s been a busy day at the market in downtown Volos… But not a single euro has changed hands – none of the customers on this drizzly Saturday morning has bothered carrying money at all. For many, browsing through the racks of second-hand clothes, electrical appliances and homemade jams, the need to survive means money has been usurped.” One of the women at the market said, “It’s all about exchange and solidarity, helping one another out in these very hard times. You could say a lot of us have dreams of a utopia without the euro.”

Locals in the port city of Volos have created their own currency, known as the Tem. Christina Koutsieri said, “frankly the Tem has been a life-saver. In March I had to close the grocery store I had kept going for 27 years because I just couldn’t afford all the new taxes and bills. Everyone I know has lost their jobs. It’s tragic.”

Christina is among the 1,300 people who have signed up to use the informal bartering network which sets an exchange rate of 1 Tem to 1 euro.

The Daily Bell reported, the Guardian “article is not the only mainstream post dealing with these systems. Recently there was a BBC profile of Greek alternative barter/currency systems… the BBC article mentioned nothing significant about the option of gold and silver… Are Greeks turning to gold and silver as well, as those in Zimbabwe have done once the economy collapsed? You wouldn’t know it from this article but we would bet gold and silver are finding their place alongside such barter/currency systems.”

I’m a big supporter of both alternative currencies and barter and I’m pleasantly surprised by the growth of each within the liberty community. The most popular forms of alternative currency that I come across are gold, silver and bitcoin. I dream of the day that I can do all of my exchanges in something other than a currency forced upon me by a government.

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Giving libertarians a bad name

It seems the past few years have seen an increase in the number of people calling themselves “libertarian.” Normally this would be excellent news for people who support a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.

It becomes a problem when people who call themselves libertarian begin advocating for a more intrusive government. Some so called libertarians support gun control, humanitarian wars, the continued us of foreign aid, higher taxes on “the rich,” universal health care, a massive welfare program, stricter immigration laws and many other non-libertarian policies.

Glenn Beck is among these unlibertarian-libertarians.

He is now claiming that he will be relaunching ‘The Blaze’ as Global Libertarian Network. The problem lies in the fact that Beck’s network will misrepresent libertarian ideals and promote his message of false-libertarianism.

reposted from FPP.cc

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Drone war cover-up: Now in Yemen, too!

The US government isn’t the only government trying to conceal the use of drone warfare which has expanded during the Obama Administration. The Washington Post reports of a drone strike in Radda, Yemen that killed 11 of the 14 people in the truck that was hit. The Post reported, “The Yemeni government initially said that those killed were al-Qaeda militants and that its Soviet-era jets had carried out the Sept. 2 [2012] attack.”

Jason Ditz of Antiwar.com reported, this “wasn’t the first time Yemen sought to cover for the US in a massacre, and it likely won’t be the last. But while the US has avoided blame in the international media, at least sometimes, there is little doubt in the minds of drone victims that the attacks are US policy.”

The federal government has even tried to cover-up these attacks. The New York Times sued for disclosure and on January 2, a federal judge rejected their bid to force the US government to disclose more information about its drone war.

The Obama Administration made Yemen a front in the “war on terror” and ramped up attacks after the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death. In fact, Yemen is only one of at least six countries in which drone warfare has been used as part of the endless war which began under the Bush Administration.

Estimates report approximately 2,000 people killed by drone strikes in Pakistan, approximately 1,000 in Yemen and untold numbers of people have been killed by drone strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia.

Most of the people killed in these attacks are civilians who posed no threat to the American government. However, the continued presence of American military around the world is actually creating enemies! Nasser Mabkhoot Mohammed al-Sabooly, the truck’s driver said, “If we are ignored and neglected, I would try to take my revenge. I would even hijack an army pickup, drive it back to my village and hold the soldiers in it hostages. I would fight along al-Qaeda’s side against whoever was behind this attack.” And Abdul Rahman Berman of Yemen’s National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms warns that the drone policy is a losing proposition, noting that “if the Americans kill 10, al-Qaeda will recruit 100.”

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Assault Hammer of Truth?

From Breitbart:

In 2005, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618.

And so the list goes, with the actual numbers changing somewhat from year to year, yet the fact that more people are killed with blunt objects each year remains constant.

For example, in 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

Massive pro-gun and pro-freedom facebook page “The American Patriot Nation” has been running a series of wall posts eviscerating the argument against guns. Their angle? Pointing out that the most dangerous (i.e.- most people killed) weapon in America isn’t actually an “assault” rifle, rather it’s blunt objects such as hammers, baseball bats, crowbars and rolling pins.

Here’s the hilarious images:

According to FBI crime stats, hammers and other blunt objects are used to commit more homicides than rifles.

Pick your poison…


Hammer control time!


Guess which items are used more in murders?

No word yet on how Congress will react towards these ridiculously true revelations. We’re rushing to outfit Hammer of Truth with pistol grips, high capacity databases and some matte black paint just in case.

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We will move quickly to the left in Colorado this year

Here are the numbers in the Colorado State Legislature.

House: 37 Democrats, 28 Republicans

Senate: 20 Democrats, 15 Republicans

Those in the Colorado State Legislature will pass any legislation they want and Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper will sign it. Anything is possible in the next few months so brace yourselves. Legislation that is sure to be passed without much effort are: Gun control; Homosexual marriages/civil unions; In-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities for illegal immigrants.

What else will be passed? Anything they want to pass and ram down our throats. I predict TABOR will be ignored with plenty of new taxes (they will call them fees or maybe not this session). This will be history in the making this year.

There is no stopping them this time, even in the courts, because most of the local State Courts, the State Appeals Court and the State Supreme Court are all controlled by progressive/leftist/socialist judges.

The only Colorado State offices still controlled by Republicans are the Secretary of State, State Treasurer and State Attorney General. They are all up for re-election in two years. Unless something huge happens in the next two years all those offices will go Democrat.

What do I think? It does not matter. What matters is the majority of voters in Colorado want this and are excited with the unlimited possibilities this brings for a socialist Colorado.

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Federal court rules flipping off cops constitutional

Huffington Post reports:

A police officer can’t pull you over and arrest you just because you gave him the finger, a federal appeals court declared Thursday.

In a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”

John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed on speedy trial grounds.

A federal judge in the Northern District of New York granted summary judgement to the officers in July 2011, but the Court of Appeals on Thursday erased that decision and ordered the lower court to take up the case again.

Richard Insogna, the officer who stopped Swartz and his wife when they arrived at their destination, claimed he pulled the couple over because he believed Swartz was “trying to get my attention for some reason.” The appeals court didn’t buy that explanation, ruling that the “nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness.”

If you’re planning on displaying your denunciation digit with your local boys in blue, you’ll definitely want to download and print out the full ruling (PDF).

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Seeking unification of constitutionalist third parties

These days, Cody Quirk has had enough.

“After living through the nightmare that took place on Tuesday the 5th, I really have had it; I’ve gone through this for much too long to stomach anymore, I just can’t tolerate it now, period. So I’m putting my foot down and bring an end to it once and for all.”

An end to what, exactly? The Youth Chairman & Carson City Central Committee Chair of the Independent American Party of Nevada (affiliated with the national Constitution Party) answers in detail:

“Ever since the days of George Wallace and the once great American Independent Party, there has been nothing but infighting, strife, and division amongst those third-parties that believe in constitutional government and the restoration of our Constitutional Republic. Ever since the early 1970’s, there has always been two, three, or more political groups that all claim the constitutionalist or paleoconservative mantle, yet cannot merge, or even work together simply because of petty, or selfish differences.

“Believe me, I’ve researched heavily into modern third-party history, the main causes for these divisions have little to do with entryism. or infiltration by outside groups; the main causes have been certain individuals, with a hidden agenda, a prejudice, or a arrogant self-righteous personality -that usually end up either as a leader, or in a powerful position where they can cause serious damage and strife to a political third-party that’s usually in its growing stages, and they pretty much stop that party’s growth and progress in it’s tracks where it would end up becoming politically insignificant or even extinct, all thanks to such individuals. And in a scenario where a third-party splits, many of the individuals in either one, or both factions, are so bitter and hard-headed against the other, that not only will they refuse to work together, but in some cases, they even work to undermine, or sabotage, the other party’s, or faction’s, efforts; therefore hurting their cause, and/or progress, and also emboldening the two-party system, all thanks to such self-destructive actions.

“This has happened to many third parties throughout our history, including the Bull Moose Progressive Party, the Reform Party, etc. However when it comes to third-parties of the constitutionalist, or paleoconservative, persuasion; this kind of infighting has become so common among such parties that share my ideology, that any talk of uniting these parties together as a single, national entity is often scoffed, or laughed at. And any serious attempt, or effort to accomplish that goal, is considered like a ‘Quest for the Holy Grail’.

“…Well, not only do I intend to find that Holy Grail, I intend to make sure it’ll never get lost again.”

The politically active and hard-working Nevadan recently started up a group to accomplish just that. Which is, to open dialogue and work towards uniting the Constitution Party, the National Independent American Party, the America First Party, the American Party, and every other third-party out there that shares the same beliefs of restoring constitutional government and putting ‘principles above politics’.

Read the full article at Independent/Third Party News and Views

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Tea Party 2.0: Fiscal cliff fiasco fuels fresh opposition

There’s growing rumors that the Tea Party isn’t quite dead, or at least the fiscal conservative anger is coming back with a vengeance. From the Daily Beast:

Until last night, the conventional wisdom in Washington was that the Tea Party was on the wane. Congressional leaders of the nascent movement, like Allen West and Joe Walsh had lost reelection, or, like Jim DeMint, had decided to leave politics altogether. House Speaker John Boehner had stripped some of the more outspoken members of the Tea Party caucus of their congressional leadership posts, a sign that the GOP establishment was no longer going to be led by its ultra-conservative tail. The big money groups backing the Tea Party were falling apart in a spate of post-election season squabbling.

President Obama thanked Speaker Boehner after the House passed the Senate’s fiscal cliff legislation.

But after 85 House Republicans joined Boehner in raising taxes without spending reductions during the end game of Monday night’s fiscal-cliff negotiations, Tea Party leaders and conservative activists from around the country are dusting off their tri-corner hats and “Don’t Tread On Me” signs, and now say that their members are as energized as they have ever been since the first Tax Day protests in 2009. And the Republican Party, they add, had better beware.

“We now have 85 members of the House who have shunned their noses at us,” said Dustin Stockton, a Texas- and Nevada-based operative and the chief strategist of The Tea Party.net. “Our job now is to recruit and inspire and motivate people to run against those Republicans who did it.”

Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist — during a Meet the Press panel with financial commentator Jim Cramer in early December — was among the first to sternly warn the Republican establishment that fiscal cliff and tax hike negotiations would breed dissent among conservatives:

“Tea party two is going to dwarf tea party one if Obama pushes us off the cliff,” Norquist said. “Let’s not pretend who’s pushing us over the cliff.”

Thanks to his anti-tax pledge, Norquist has been a prime target since fiscal cliff discussions picked up steam in November. Democrats have gone so far as to create an online petition against Norquist.

Whither Ron Paul? He’s taking a new tack in his rhetoric, hinting at the end of fiscal reform and the begin of a much more turbulent stage of America history:

“We have passed the point of no return where we can actually get our house back in order,” Paul begins, adding that “they pretend they are fighting up there, but they really aren’t. They are arguing over power, spin, who looks good, who looks bad; all trying to preserve the system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends and print money when they need it.” With social safety nets available to rich and poor, there is no impetus for change and “the country loses,” but Paul concludes, the markets are starting to say “there is a limit to this.”

When the shoe drops on the next credit rating cut (and it will), I believe it will be the spark that ignites the whole powderkeg.

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Stephen Gordon’s “2013 Congressional Liberty Team Lineup”

Stephen Gordon — the highly acclaimed expert Libertarian/Republican strategist, consultant and commentator (and HoT alumni) — posted his picks for who to watch in the 133th’s Congress. As stolen from his facebook page:

Senate Starters:
Rand Paul
Jeff Flake
Mike Lee
Ted Cruz
Senate Second String**:
Ron Johnson
Pat Toomey
Tom Coburn
Marco Rubio
House Starters:
Justin Amash
Tom McClintock
Steve Stockman
Thomas Massie
Walter Jones
Adrian Smith
Scott Garrett
Kerry Bentivolio
Ted Yoho
Steve Chabot
Jason Chaffetz
Jimmy Duncan
House Second String**:
Tim Huelskamp
Jim Jordan
Dave Schweikert
Michael Fitzpatrick
Raúl Labrador
Mick Mulvaney
Tom Price

* This is just the preseason lineup, which will obviously change through this congressional session. It’s my best guess, at this moment, of who is most likely to carry the freedom football in the proper direction for a touchdown for liberty.

** These players have demonstrated some potential ability, but have thrown too many interceptions, fumbled the ball too often, or otherwise made too many mistakes on the field to be included in the starting lineup. However, with enough constituent coaching, liberty workouts and freedom scrimmages, they have the potential to help move the ball towards the liberty goal line.

For all the naysayers who buy into the malaise and believe the endless propaganda asserting that the libertarian message of fiscal responsibility, freedom and liberty is dead in Congress, there’s twenty-seven representatives who are apparently working hard to disprove that notion.

Of course it’s a little awkward to note that there’s no women in this liberty team lineup, so hopefully the 2014 elections will see some females putting on some makeup and running serious campaigns.

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Julie Borowski addresses the lack of female libertarians

Miss Julie Borowski — the latest cute blonde “token” libertarian girl — has been slaving away in front of the YouTube audiences for well over a year and racking up over a million views in the process. I’ve stayed away from exploiting championing the females of libertarianism (mostly due to a jealous girlfriend for many years, c’est la vie), but I’ll have to hand it to her for this latest video.

In the video, Borowski rhetorically asks, “Why are there so few female libertarians?”

She quickly answers “It has nothing to do with our philosophy. It is because libertarianism is not yet mainstream and part of popular culture.”

Borowski has previously lamented the lack of women libertarians on her blog. She writes, “Women are more likely to visit popular culture websites and connect with their peers on social media. Men are more likely to look at “nerdy” websites that discuss views that are outside of the mainstream like libertarianism.”

It’s easy to diss on women’s magazines and celebrity gossip culture for their lack of enthusiasm for libertarianism (or fiscal responsibility in general, their advertisers would run away in droves). Yet when it comes to the male equivalent, it’s only fair to say that we have our fair share of extremely anti-libertarian, irresponsible role models to contend with as well.

As for a pop culture solution for libertarians. Well, watching Borowski apply gobs of makeup and go off on a libertarian rant is certainly an entertaining start.

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Hammer of Truth™

I’ve been sorta quiet here at Hammer of Truth for a little while. Blame the holidays, but 2013 is finally upon us and we’re proud to announce that we’ve officially filed for trademark status with the Colorado Secretary of State.

In other “27B stroke 6″ news, Hammer of Truth is officially a publication owned by liberty sucker, LLC.

If we’re going over the fiscal cliff, perhaps all this paperwork will cushion the landing.

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Ron Paul’s new year’s resolutions for Congress

As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.

In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.

I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.

All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.

Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.

Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.

There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.

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2012 Year in Review

The year began with the collective eyes of the country on Iowa in anticipation of the earliest Presidential caucus ever. The January 3 Caucus saw Rick Santorum win by the narrowest of margins, only to end up without a single delegate from the Hawkeye State. Santorum could not hold onto his momentum and lost in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida & Nevada before winning ten more contests only to drop out and endorse the eventual GOP nominee, Mitt Romney who lost the general election to President Barack Obama. The GOP faction of the Republicratic Party maintained control of the US House of Representatives, the Democratic faction of the duopoly maintained control of the US Senate and the two sides continue to give the illusion of disagreement.

However, on the important issues, there is little disagreement, at all. Tougher sanctions against Iran passed with little opposition, there was little opposition to Obama’s expanded use of drone warfare, and both factions of the duopoly tried to push internet censorship bills.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced a third round of Quantitative Easing (QE3), “which came in the form of an open-ended commitment by the Fed to purchase $40 billion of mortgage debt per month until the job market improves.” So, while Bernanke inflates the US Dollar, people are turning to alternative forms of exchange. Bitcoin is one of those alternatives, and is becoming more and more popular everyday. Bitcoin Central, a Bitcoin exchange that is popular in the eurozone, has worked out a deal with Credit Mutuel and Aqoba to allow users in Europe to more easily transfer Bitcoins. This effectively puts Bitcoin Central on par with PayPal as a means of transferring money within the EU.

There were also two stories about very disturbing crimes, which brought the topic of gun-ownership to the public, once again. The first, being a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July; the second being a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conecticut. This second event has lead both factions of the duopoly to clamor for more laws, with the NRA even supporting a plan to essentially militarize the school buildings. On the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting, a man in China broke into a school and stabbed over 20 people, yet few people talk about knife control legislation. But I digress.

The year was not a total failure for freedom, as two States “legalized” marijuana for personal consumption. Voters in Colorado and Washington actually passed legislation to regulate and tax marijuana, though in a small way it is a victory for liberty, as fewer people will now be imprisoned for enjoying this herb. The Supreme Court, in a round-about way, ruled that individuals do have the right to film police and in June the court overturned portions of Arizona’s “papers, please” legislation.

All-in-all, 2012 could have been better, and certainly could have been worse. Here’s hoping 2013 sees bigger and better things for me and for liberty!

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Can an Anti-interventionist be Secretary of Defense?

President Obama has already tapped John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, a pick that should pass the Senate without issue. However, the “leading candidate” for Secretary of Defense is facing an uphill battle. John Glaser of Antiwar.com writes, “Hagel is an outsider when it comes to his own party in the realm of foreign policy. Hawks have harshly criticized him as unworthy of the position because of his record of opposition to interventionism, military quagmires, sanctions, and for not toeing the line demanded by the pro-Israel lobby.”

While in the Senate, Hagel defended his position by saying, “I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator.”

Glaser adds that Hagel has been brought through the gauntlet by the GOP and conservative pundits because they refuse to forgive him for departing from their interventionist doctrine.

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte said, “If he is nominated and comes before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I plan to vigorously question him on his prior statements, and [his positions on Israel and Iran], in particular.”

In 2006, when asked about Iran, Hagel replied, “I do not expect any kind of military solution on the Iran issue…. I think to further comment on it would be complete speculation, but I would say that a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option. Iran is a complicated issue.”

Too many elected officials in DC wish to continue the policies of endless war and wish to continue funding foreign governments. They support these policies so much that when someone speak out against them, instead of defending their position, they attack the person speaking out.

Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft says, “He got two Purple Hearts on the front line. That’s about the best recommendation you can get from somebody whose job would be to advise on the use of troops around the world.”

I think it’s about time the Secretary of Defense wasn’t a war-monger seeking to continue the growth of the American Empire. Maybe, just maybe, Chuck Hagel will be able to convince President Obama to halt to drone wars and actually begin bringing troops home from around the globe!

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Larry Pratt (Gun Owners of America) bests Piers Morgan

Another gun control debate where the knee-jerk reactionaries resort to name calling and emotional appeals — in contrast to calm-headed assessments of what is truly evil (certain people and policies which create victim zones).

Larry Pratt, the executive director of GOA, seems to be quite cool and calm, even laughing at the ridiculous claims of Piers Morgan who at one time or another during the badgering said the following things:

You are talking complete and utter nonsense….

What you just said, Mr. Pratt, was an absolute lie….

You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?…

What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America. You don’t actually care….

It’s complete nonsense….

I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days. It’s down to idiots like you….

You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense, and you shame your country.

I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that some twat from England is trying to lecture Americans on gun ownership rights after yet another horrific shooting spree occurs in a “gun free zone” (a.k.a. where all the unarmed victims are), or the fact that we’re supposedly not allowed to laugh at his accent-laden stupidity.

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Penn Jillette frustrated debating anti-gun women

During a HOT TALK “debate” segment of The Wendy William’s Show — riddled with fallacies, factual errors and ganging up — Penn Jillette could be seen becoming visibly frustrated with the amount of ad hominem attacks against gun owners (the majority), folks with Asperger’s and a plethora of other boogeymen to blame for Adam Lanza’s horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

We’re thrilled that even with the multiple times Jillette is seen throwing up his hands at the amazing level of stupidity that host Wendy Williams, Sue Simmons, and Nicole Lapin kept clucking on about, he somehow manages to keep his cool (to a point). We’re not especially thrilled that he missed the opportunity (when he got a word or two in between bok boks) to educate them about the true reason for the second amendment, or the fact that the majority of shooting sprees have taken place in so called “gun free zones“.

Undoubtedly these three bitches will move on to talking about bullying or some other pop culture boogeyman without realizing the irony.

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