June 1, 2016—In an article I recently wrote for The Advocates for Self-Government, I detailed how the US. government’s own watchdog group has been focusing on privacy and surveillance issues while never touching on the […]
February 3, 2015—Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in. A little bit of good news today. Not too long ago I talked about the President’s desire to give everybody free two years of college in junior college. Free of course means somebody else is going to pay for it and somebody will also worry about it.
But one of his ways of raising the money was to take away the tax benefit from the people who save money in savings account which are exempt from taxes and take that money and use it to give the free education. People who are responsible for their own effort to save money and take care of the kids are going to be punished to take care of other people who might be just, “I’m going to go to college. I don’t know what for but I’m going to take it, it’s free.”
This I thought was a terrible idea. It reminded me of the time when I put a bill in Congress to try to protect the young people who go to 4H and they raise animals and they earn thousands of dollars when they sell their animals. Then the next week or so, the IRS is on their doorstep. These kids that have gotten money that they can use to go to college, they go and put taxes on that. They take the money and then the kids who wanted to go to college with their own money are forced and, “Oh borrow it from the government”, which is completely the wrong way.
In this circumstances, the good thing that came of this was there were a bunch of Republicans and a bunch of Democrats that raised concern about this and Obama backed out. He will. But to me, the story here is that if the people are upset and there’s an attitude that they want to send to Washington, they will listen. But you need to have a clear message and you need enough people to do it and they will back out.
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February 2, 2015—I’d like to make a few comments about what’s going on with our relationship with Cuba. I have said all along that I would like to see more open relationships with Cuba, more trade and travel. I think that would have been the best thing to do many decades ago.
But today it’s moving along because President Obama has moved in that direction. Of course conservative Republicans are nearly hysterical about it. Of course, many free market people understand that the more you trade with people and talk to people and intermingle, the less likely you are to fight with them. It’s time we get rid of the embargo and it’s time we dealt with Cuba in a different manner.
Although the door is open now to move in the direction of diplomatic relations, there are still some obstacles. Raul Castro is saying, “Well, we got to talk about Guantanamo. We have to talk about reparations and a few other things like this.” He’s being firm and I think he has to grandstand a bit for the Cuban people. Of course, our president has to try to grandstand for those individuals who don’t want to see this and say, “Oh yeah, we’re going to be tough on these negotiations.”
But it’s interesting, the demands from our side is that, first they have to have a much more open Internet. That’s a good idea. But is that our business? If we want to deal with a country, if they’re going to learn from us, those people are going to demand a more open Internet. But to put that as a condition I think is foolish.
The other condition that the president wants Cuba to have more than one party. But what about the many, many Americans in the independent category saying Republicans and Democrats are essentially the same. They talk differently and they have their factions and their special interests but foreign policy never changes, monetary policy never changed, economic policy doesn’t change. To say that we don’t want to have one party—we have one party, only the two parties act together but the media is locked in with them too.
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February 3, 2015—Hello, everybody, and thank you for tuning in. The Senate just had a recent vote on Keystone and the pro-Keystone Pipeline people won 62 to 36. It’s a very good victory. It required nine Democrats coming over, and yet it isn’t quite enough to override a veto.
My bet is that the President’s probably going to stick to his guns. He’s not going to back down now and not veto it. The big question is whether any more Democrats would come over. The only reason they might is for political benefit and thinking that it’s a dangerous vote to vote against the pipeline. But it looks like the president will veto this. The bill still has to go into conference and it has to be reconciled with the House vote, but I don’t think that’s as big a problem as facing the veto.
One thing about this whole issue is that I think the president has way too much power. The president shouldn’t be able to say, “Oh, there will be a pipeline or there won’t be a pipeline.”
We’ve drifted so far from how issues like this should be handled. It says very clearly in the Constitution that for international trade, the Congress is in charge, not the president. The president is not the dictator and yet they assume that and the President has this power. There are eight U.S. Federal agencies that deal with this: environmental agencies and labor organizations and they all have to reconcile this. So the president ends up with a lot of power. That’s one of our problems why this has been delayed so long. The president has too much power.
The Congress should, under constitutional circumstances, the Congress could pass a bill and say that it’s permissible for Canada and such-and-such state to work out an agreement to have a pipe come across the international border. It wouldn’t be any more complicated than that. There’s been pipes crossing the borders for years. There are hundreds of thousands of pipes laid in this country. Texas is literally swarming with pipelines and this has been blown up, I think for environmental reasons as much as anything.
During the debate the question of eminent domain came up. I’ve been very interested in that because I do not believe that for practical reasons or constitutional reasons that you should have eminent domain powers to serve the interests of private groups. I don’t think it was meant to do that. Unfortunately, the Kelo ruling by the Supreme Court said that it was constitutional to take property for the benefit of commercial interests.
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January 26, 2015—Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in. Today I would like to talk a little bit about a very delicate subject, and that is euthanasia. It’s legal in some states of our […]
January 20, 2015—Hello, everybody. Thank you for tuning in. A headline caught my attention. I was hoping it would be good news for us. It says, “A new bill could mark the beginning of the end of Common Core.” Sounds pretty good.
Most of the states have signed up for Common Core, so they haven’t been willing to fight it. But I think they were frightened that they might lose some federal funding if they didn’t go along.
Anyway, there’s a lot of resentment. The Republicans have run against it and they want to change it. But the introduction here for this change and on Common Core comes from Lamar Alexander. He’s a moderate Republican.
It really doesn’t do a whole lot. What it does is it tries to give more management by the states. But it doesn’t attack the principle of why we have nationalized educational system with testing. I don’t think they’re going to change this universal testing, which is an utter menace that everybody despises and yet they do go along with it.
One thing interesting about this is the support for Common Core comes from a lot of business establishment, business lobbyists. You think they’d be indifferent to it or against it. But I guess they’re convinced if we have better educated kids coming out of the public school systems, they have better workers and whatnot.
There are a lot of problems in education. Most think that it needs better management, central control, and more money. I don’t agree with any of that. I think you need less centralization. You don’t need more money. As a matter of fact, less money such as in home schooling. They get a better education.
But the problem that we face in our country with the deterioration of the schools has been not only the nationalization and the control from Washington and bureaucracy in some of the discipline problems that they’re involved with where a kid in grade school points his finger at somebody and they call the policeman and haul him off in hand cuffs. That kind of stuff is not quite like what school should be all about.
There are problems in the family, especially in the poorer neighborhoods and that’s a contributing factor. Parents, at least one parent sometimes, put the kids out on the street. No legislation is going to correct that. Also, the issue of poverty still exists and that contributes to it. And our drug laws contribute to it because with the poverty and the lack of parental control and these kids get involved. If they do get into school, they can be troublemakers.
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January 15, 2015—Hello everybody and thank you for tuning this. There’s a special case going on in Minnesota now with a mother who’s worrying about taking care of her 15-year-old son. It’s a tragic story […]
January 13, 2015—I want to talk a little bit today about a piece of legislation introduced early in this new session of Congress. It was introduced by my friend Walter Jones along with Steven Lynch […]
January 12, 2015—Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in. It wasn’t too long ago that I made some comments about the case in Connecticut where the 17 year-old girl did not want to take […]
January 8, 2014—I want to cite a case in Connecticut which deals with personal liberty and parental responsibilities. There’s a story out now that a 17-year-old girl has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Had started […]