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Health Care Reform: We’re Being Fooled Again PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Sheldon Richman   
Thursday, 25 March 2010 13:52

The medical system does need reforming -- radical reforming. It's more expensive than it ought to be, and powerful interests prosper at the expense of the rest of us. The status quo has little about it to be admired, and we shouldn't tolerate it.

Thus, the American people should be fed up with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid for insulting our intelligence with their so-called heath-care reform. It is nothing of the sort. What they call progressive reform is little more than reinforcement of the exploitative system we suffer today.

Whether intentionally or not, Obama and company have misdiagnosed the problem with the current system and therefore have issued a toxic prescription as an alleged cure. They essentially say that the problem is too free a market in medical care and insurance; thus for them the solution is a less-free market -- that is, more government direction of our health-care-related activities.

Yet if the diagnosis is wrong -- which it is -- the prescription will also be wrong.

 
My Plan for a Freedom President: How I Would Put the Constitution Back in the Oval Office PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Ron Paul   
Friday, 05 March 2010 06:06
Ron Paul addresses 12,000 supporters at the Restore the Republic Rally in Minneapolis, MN September 2008.

Since my 2008 campaign for the presidency I have often been asked, "How would a constitutionalist president go about dismantling the welfare-warfare state and restoring a constitutional republic?" This is a very important question, because without a clear road map and set of priorities, such a president runs the risk of having his pro-freedom agenda stymied by the various vested interests that benefit from big government.

 
Raising Hell -- Isn't That What Patriots Do? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Friday, 19 February 2010 14:04

"No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots." -- Barbara Ehrenreich, The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from a Decade of Greed

Recently, I was invited to speak to a group of affluent, upper-middle-class retirees. The host's estate was extensive, his home was airy and spacious, original art graced the walls, and the guests ranged from dignitaries to activists from the civil-rights era.

I had been invited to lead a discussion on ways to minimize political polarization and find common ground, and I agreed, hoping that these people -- who are well-educated, well-connected and well-to-do -- would want to get involved in the freedom struggle and effect change within their spheres of influence. Instead, I came face-to-face with those I've been writing about for years: materially comfortable, disconnected from reality, and totally oblivious to what's been going on in the American government as far as the erosion of our civil liberties and the amassing of power by the federal government.

I quickly realized that what these people call "polarization" is actually Americans challenging the status quo, especially the so-called government elite. To my surprise, I found myself on the receiving end of a group lecture in which I was reprimanded for being too negative in my views of the government. I was also informed that I need to have "faith" in our leaders and refrain from criticizing our president because Americans still live in the best country in the world. In other words, my patriotism was called into question.

 
Adam Smith's Prophecy: Today's Sovereign Debt Crisis PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Robert Romano   
Thursday, 18 February 2010 06:11
"[A] foolish man devours all he has." -- Proverbs 21:20

In 1776, when Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, Great Britain was faced with a monumental sovereign debt crisis that would not be seen again until the 21st Century -- when the U.S. finds itself with a $12.4-trillion national debt, rising to 100 percent of the Gross Domestic Product within a few years. The last chapter of his opus magnum, "Of Public Debts," was dedicated to persuading the British Parliament of the calamity the British Empire was faced with. And, alas, they did not listen.

Reading through it today, one might easily surmise that Adam Smith, the Scottish economist and Enlightenment political philosopher, was actually a time-traveler who had foreknowledge of the crisis that faces the world today. For the crisis he describes in exquisite, haunting detail eerily suggests the calamity that now threatens the economic survival of the modern world -- and threatens to enslave future generations for decades to come.

 
Should We Be Compliant Lambs or Nonviolent Gadflies? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 09:08

"We must see the need for nonviolent gadflies." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

When it comes to the staggering loss of civil liberties, the Constitution hasn't changed. Rather, it is the American people who have changed.

Once a citizenry that generally fomented a rebellion and founded a country, Americans are no longer the people they once were. Americans today live in a glass dome, says author Nicholas von Hoffman, a kind of terrarium, cut off from both reality and the outside world. In his words, they are "bobbleheads in Bubbleland. They shop in bubbled malls, they live in gated communities, and they move from place to place breathing their own private air in bubble-mobiles known as SUVs."

Quite simply, most Americans, having been beguiled by materialism and technology, are more or less compliant lambs, only protesting when someone takes away their cell phone or causes them material discomfort. And if the specter of a terrorist attack (no matter how tenuous) is raised, most are willing to give over their rights to feel safer. Indeed, while the government inches ever closer to authoritarianism, many Americans are blissfully oblivious to the fact that a police state -- even martial law -- may be one terrorist attack away.

 
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