Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just What Is the West-Wide Energy Corridor?

Professor Eric T. Karlstrom



… Our federal energy policy is really a large trough arranged by the hogs for their convenience.



Amory Lovins, Colorado energy expert, Mother Jones, 2008



We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.



President George W. Bush, 2002



The Energy Policy Act of 2005 Mandates New Energy Corridors



Energy, including electrical energy, is essential for civilization as we know it. Today, America gets some 54% of its electricity from coal power plants and another 22% from natural gas power plants. With the possible exceptions of the production and distribution of food and water, no human activity has a greater impact upon the environment, the economy, and the way we live than how we produce and distribute energy.



Electrical blackouts rolled through California in 2001 and swept from Ohio to Canada and New York City in 2003. These blackouts are mainly attributable to deregulation policies sponsored, for the most part, by Republican politicians for the benefit of the energy industry. The blackouts, in turn, were used by the Bush administration as justification for an energy bill which mandates that a consortium of federal agencies, in partnership with “stake holders” (like energy companies), designate a national network of energy corridors to solve this (created?) “problem.” The resulting Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed when a re-elected President Bush claimed a “mandate” and Republicans controlled Congress. In addition to promoting the interests of the coal industry and investor-owned utilities over those of locally-generated energy and publicly-owned-utilities, this bill threatens private property rights, States’ rights, and millions of acres of already-protected federal and state land. Pepper Trail characterizes the new energy bill as essentially a “grab bag of tax breaks and incentives to various sectors of the energy industry that failed to raise vehicle mileage standards or take any other meaningful steps to reduce energy demand.”



The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates two new types of energy corridors: Section 368 instructs the Secretaries of Energy, Interior, Agriculture, and Defense to work with stakeholders (including energy companies) to designate two-thirds-mile-wide energy corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines, electricity transmission lines, and other energy infrastructure on public lands. Each corridor could hold as many as nine electric transmission lines and 35 petroleum and 29 natural gas pipelines. The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the West-Wide Energy Corridor indicates that this “corridor” would extend 6000 miles across eleven Western states and cover 3 million acres of federal land.



Section 1221 of the energy bill requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to identify areas of electricity congestion and permits DOE to designate National Interest Electricity Transmission Corridors (NEITCs) in order to resolve problems of electricity congestion. The bill also gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authority to override state siting-authorities that might turn down or fail to approve an energy company’s proposed electricity transmission line within a year. Companies are permitted to use the government’s eminent domain authority to condemn private land to ensure new transmission lines are built or existing lines are expanded. In practice, DOE’s mandate to designate NIET corridors has been interpreted by DOE as giving them the power to designate whole regions of the country- even entire States- as energy “corridors,” though these bear little or no resemblance to “corridors”



On October 5, 2007, DOE designated two NIET corridors in the country’s two most populous areas, purportedly in response to analyses that show consistent congestion in these regions. The Mid-Atlantic Energy Corridor would encompass 116,000 square miles (over 74 million acres) that include the Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City metropolitan areas, huge portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia and all of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Some 49 million Americans live within the affected area. DOE also designated the Southwestern Energy Corridor that encompasses the Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix metropolitan areas as well as large portions of southern California, Nevada, Arizona. This “corridor” would include 70,000 square miles (44.8 million acres) in seven counties in southern California and three counties in southwestern Arizona.



Many interested parties, including several state governors, requested DOE reconsider its designation order. Virginia’s Governor Timothy M. Kaine and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell asserted:



… the Designation Order is contrary to law, in excess of DOE’s statutory authority, and fails to observe procedure required by law. Specifically, DOE failed to consult with Virginia in conduct of the congestion study that served as the basis for its NEITC designations, in contravention of its explicit legal obligation to do so. Therefore, DOE’s designation of the Mid-Atlantic Area NIETC is unlawful.



On March 11, 2008, in response to many similar petitions, DOE issued an Order to Deny Rehearing. Dave Hamilton, of the Sierra Club, put it succinctly: “This is all about an end run around local input, local control and local authority.”



The West-Wide Energy Corridor



What’s 3,500 feet wide, 6,055 miles long and 29 million acres big? That’s wider than Hoover Dam, bigger than Yellowstone National Park and almost three times as long as the Mississippi River? This behemoth goes by the name of the West-Wide Energy Corridor, and if you live in the West it could soon devour a landscape near you.



Arising out of the political context of 2005, the Energy Policy Act did not entertain the possibility that energy use could actually be reduced through conservation, and it gave little consideration to local power generation by wind farms or solar arrays, for example, that would not require massive, long-distance energy corridors. In other words, the West-Wide Energy Corridor was never a prudent attempt to plan for the future: it simply takes a failed energy distribution model and makes it bigger.



So far, what appears to be a land grab has received little media attention.



Pepper Trail, “An Energy Octopus Wants to Eat the West,” 2008



The West-Wide Energy Corridor designates 6000 miles of 2/3 mile-wide corridors that would cover about 3 million acres of federal land in 11 states, including Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington (Figure 1).



Figure 1. West-Wide Energy corridor proposed in 2007 draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).



Note that a 2/3-mile-wide corridor would be the equivalent of nearly 12 football fields placed end to end! In November, 2007, a 1,000+ page “West-Wide” draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and thirteen cooperating agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), US. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the State of Wyoming. The document does not specify how DOE intends to extend the transmission corridors across State and private land. And it does not include project-specific activities at this time.



The West-Wide DEIS, dated October, 2007, was not published in the Federal Register until mid-November, at which point DOE initiated a 90-day public comment period. Because there was very little press coverage, many individuals, groups, counties, Indian tribes and even states were effectively shut out of the decision-making process. In “Energy Corridor Will Forever Alter Landscape of the West,” Grace Herndon reports that officials in San Miguel County, Colorado were not alerted to this plan until late 2007. She observes:



Now, apparently, it’s so critical to get this thing nailed down, that the plan is being fast-tracked… A path averaging 3,500 feet wide, taking up 6,000 miles and almost 3 million acres of public land alone-- for what national purpose? The trouble is that local and regional organizations are still struggling to grasp the outlines of this sweeping land use proposal, which not only affects federal lands but the privately-owned land-- the ranches and farms and the communities-- which lie between those federal holdings.



Art Goodtimes, San Miguel County Commissioner, stated: “There has not been meaningful consultation with the states or the tribes about this process, and I’m here to tell you that there has not been meaningful consultation with counties either.” Of 159 counties affected by this process, only three had been granted cooperative status. “We need a comprehensive energy plan in this country but we need more time to do this right.”



Nada Culver of The Wilderness Society explains: “The corridor locations were created from an original “wish list” proposed by industry and bisect many important and sensitive places, including places that are designated conservation areas and would be expected to be protected from such intrusions.” The Wilderness Society’s analysis indicates that the proposed corridors threaten six national wildlife refuges, three national parks, seven national monuments and more than 60 current and proposed wilderness areas. Among the impacted special areas are the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge on the Arizona/California border, Joshua Tree National Park, California, Grand Staircase National Monument in Utah, New Mexico’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and Arches National Park, Utah.



In “An Energy Octopus Wants to Eat the West,” Pepper Trail notes that the DEIS maps show that the West-wide Energy Corridor would create:



…a network of cracks spreading across the West, from Puget Sound to El Paso, and from San Diego to the Little Bighorn. On these maps, our beloved West looks like a shattered and poorly mended dinner plate. And that is an entirely accurate image.



These new energy corridors – averaging six-tenths of a mile wide – will fracture a landscape that is already a maze of hairline cracks – the lines made by highways, railroads and the current, comparatively delicate energy rights-of-ways. These existing corridors have been enough to severely fragment habitat in the West, interfering with the movements of pronghorn, elk and bison, denying undisturbed wild areas to wolves and grizzly bears, and weakening the ecological health of deserts, grasslands and forest.



The West-Wide Energy Corridor, if enacted, would be the death sentence for many wildlife populations… One tentacle would split the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming; another would run the length of California’s Owens Valley between Sequoia and Death Valley National Parks; another would cut from Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado to Bandolier National Monument near Sante Fe. You have to wonder why the government didn’t simply use the existing system of energy corridors and rights-of-way. (http://www.redding.com/news/2008/jan/288/energy-octopus-wants-eat-west/)



Local citizens’ and environmental groups across the West are now fiercely opposing the West-Wide Energy Corridor. Judith Lewis states:



“The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is fighting a transmission corridor that will plow a route along Utah’s Moab Rim. In Oregon, conservation groups oppose a proposed gas line that would bore under rivers in the Mount Hood National Forest. According to a map of the proposed transmission routes issued by the Dept. of Energy, the state of Nevada could be divided up like a quilt to transport energy straight through the Desert national Wildlife Complex. “No opening of any wilderness areas in this state to any energy corridors ever,” Bill Huggins of Friends of the Nevada Wilderness told the Department. of Energy at a public meeting in Las Vegas. “Absolutely not.” (from “Walking on a Wire” http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17749 ).



The Colorado portion of the DEIS maps show two main corridors. One runs east-west along Highway 50 from Grand Junction through Salida to just east of Pueblo, where it mysteriously stops. And a north-south corridor traverses western Colorado from Mesa Verde National Park in the south to near the northwestern corner of the state. Higher resolution maps reveal large gaps in the designated corridors where they cross state and private land (http://corridoreis.anl.gov/documents/dpeis/maps/Draft_Westwide_Corridors_Nov2007_Poster.pdf). DOE, however, is not providing information regarding the likely locations of these connections to the public. Pepper Trail notes:



Then there’s the contentious issue of property rights. On the maps, the lines representing the corridors are frequently interrupted, only to pick up again after a gap. Those gaps are private land; the map shows only the rights-of-way proposed for federal land. Obviously, those gaps must be filled in, and if you happen to be a landowner in the way, watch out!



Critics note that a fundamental problem with the “West-Wide Energy Corridor” DEIS is that it includes only one alternative- and this plan essentially calls for linking existing polluting coal power plants throughout the West. In this regard, DOE is in non-compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires that federal agencies “rigorously explore” and “evaluate all reasonable alternatives.” Western Resource Advocates asserts that DOE has not, but should, also consider these alternatives: 1) Reduce demand in population centers by increasing energy efficiency and the use of local power sources, 2) Focus the corridors on linking clean and renewable sources to the power grid, and 3) Maximize the use of existing power lines and substations through technology upgrades before designating new corridors. Tom Darin, energy transmission specialist for Western Resources Advocates, concludes: “Newly designated corridors must be ones that are needed, otherwise we will be unnecessarily carving up Western lands.”



Nada Culver of the Wilderness Society agrees, noting:



The Energy Department needs to seriously evaluate alternatives to minimize the number of corridors and maximize the use of renewable energy, and it should include requirements to presumptively limit all projects to designated corridors. The Energy Department has this one chance to get these corridors right and to improve access to renewable energies, such as wind and solar. With appropriate planning, they could address our transmission needs while also avoiding sensitive protected lands.



Incredibly, the draft EIS concludes that the corridors would not have environmental impacts. Nada Culver, states:



…. The proposed corridors still lack thorough consideration of the likely damage to federal lands and other places. The designations still don’t provide justification for the siting of corridors or information on the location and sources of energy to be moved through the corridors. The corridors can draw damaging development to areas where there might have only been a power line before. There are no exceptions for places already identified for protection, such as wilderness, wildlife refuges, parks and historical sites. This process will amend more than 160 land-use plans and permit projects with lesser reviews.



Also, the corridor designations would not preclude companies from proposing corridors and projects outside the corridors. Greg Trainor, utility and street systems director for the city of Grand Junction, Colorado, stated:



We are concerned generally with the broad swaths of land under the proposed action alternative and with the statement that, should applicants wish to apply for lands outside of the corridor, they may do so. That, combined with the “no effect” meaning… raises the question of the purpose of the corridor designation in the first place.



Comparison with the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC)



Just what are these new proposed corridors and who would benefit from them? It is a fair comparison to point out that the proposed West-Wide corridors are almost three times wider than the proposed 1200’-wide Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), which part of the “NAFTA superhighway” that would extend from southern Mexico to Canada. NAFTA stands for the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S, Canada, and Mexico that was passed via “fast-track” in 1994. The North America Super Corridor Coalition, Inc. (NASCO) website shows the NAFTA superhighway extending from Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico to Kansas City, and into Canada, where it branches out to Vancouver on the west coast and Montreal in the east (Figure 2).


Just What Is the West-Wide Energy Corridor?








Figure 2. Artist’s conception of the “NAFTA Superhighway.”



In The Late Great U.S.A.: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada, Jerome R. Coris notes that the 4000-page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the TTC reveals that the 1200’-wide complex involves 10 lanes of highway, with five lanes in each direction, of which 3 lanes are for passenger vehicles and 2 lanes are for trucks. The EIS also includes 6 rail lines running parallel to the highways, with separate rail lines in each direction for high-speed rail, commuter rail, and freight rail. The design also calls for a 200’-wide utility corridor that includes pipelines for oil, natural gas, and water, cables for telecommunications and data, and electricity towers (Figure 3).







Figure 3. Texas Department of Transportation drawing of proposed TTC.



Certainly, if all these transportation and energy facilities can be contained within 1200,’ one must question the need for 3500’-wide corridors. Like the West-Wide corridors, the TTC is designed to be an alternate to the existing interstate system. Indeed, it is to be a separate toll-road, constructed and maintained for profit by a Spanish corporation, that abandons the existing interstate structure without attempting to supplement it. According to Corsi, the TTC is apparently the beginning of a continental network designed to move inter-modal goods that derive from global trade.



Whereas the West-Wide energy corridor would carve up 11 Western states with some 6000 miles of 3500’-wide corridors, the TTC calls for building 4000 miles of highway/railway/utility superhighways in Texas over next 50 years at a cost of $184 billion. The 4000 miles of TTC criss-cross Texas and circle every major city, including San Antonio, Austin, Houson, and Dallas-Fort Worth (Figure 4).





Figure 4. 4000 miles of projected TTC in Texas.



Like the West-Wide corridors, the TTC will cut communities in half; people will have to drive tens of miles to get to the nearest overpass to see a neighbor or get to the other side of their ranches. And like the West-Wide energy corridor, the TTC will involve wholesale confiscation of Americans’ private property. According to Corsi, it will involve about one million eminent domain notices and will destroy some 584,000 acres of what is now farm and ranchland. These farms and ranches have produced food for America for generations. In Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London (545 U.S. 469 (2005), the Supreme Court decided that eminent domain could be used to seize private property from U.S. citizens even though the purpose of the land seizure was to benefit a private corporation. The decision says nothing that specifies that the corporation need be a U.S. corporation. In addition, a Texas state law (HB3588) allows a “quick-take seizure” of private property “if TxDOT (Texas Dept. of Transportation) and the property owner cannot reach an agreement” on just compensation for the land involved. Under current Texas state law, TxDOT can seize a property on the 91st day after the landowner is served with an official notice of quick take.



Similarly, according to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, after DOE designates a NIETC, when utilities propose transmission lines and state regulatory agencies either reject them or put off action for over a year, the utilities can ask the federal government to step in and review those projects. Thus, for example, San Diego Gas and Electric, a private corporation, could ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for eminent domain authority to condemn and seize the private lands needed for the project.



Finally and most importantly, the new energy corridors and the TTC have both been ushered into law in an extremely anti-democratic manner, through stealth and secrecy, and in violation of many existing State, local and federal laws. Both projects seem to have emerged from essentially Soviet-style central planning with no meaningful democratic participation from ordinary citizens or even from Congress. Both projects are direct attacks on private property, State’s rights, and the U.S. Constitution. As such, these projects seem to be intended to hand over vast portions of America to the individuals who control a handful of multi-national corporations. Jerome Corsi makes a compelling case that the TTC is part of an incremental corporate plan to merge the U.S. with Canada and Mexico in a North American Union. Unfortunately, such a merger would essentially mean the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and the civil liberties that Americans have enjoyed for over two centuries under the Bill of Rights. If we value our country, our democracy, and our Constitution, we would be well advised to get informed and organized, and defeat these “corridor” projects as they are presently defined.

Monday, July 7, 2008

JIM BEERS: FREEDOM OF RELIGION

Freedom of Religion


The first two phrases of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States of America as ratified on 15 December 1791 reads, "Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof". My American College Dictionary's primary
definition of "religion" reads, "the quest for values of the ideal life,
involving three phases: the ideal, the practices for attaining the values of
the ideal, and the theology or world view relating the quest to the
environing universe".

When citizens of the United States of America refer to "freedom of religion"
they refer, in a vernacular phrase, to this prohibition that government is
bound to protect "the free exercise" of religion for all citizens. This
"liberty" or "freedom" to practice religion free from the interference of
government or the wishes of other citizens to impose their "religious' (or
even non-religious) beliefs on their fellow citizens has distinguished us
from practically all other nations throughout history. To say this and
other Constitutional "freedoms" (speech, press, Arms, etc.) are currently
being eroded and challenged, more so than at any other time in our national
life, would be an understatement.

As lawsuits by government entities claim there is no "right to bear Arms",
as wealthy minority athlete's are tried and sentenced in two courts for the
same offense, and as "political correctness" and "animal rights" coercive
censorship and intimidation are employed in schools and in the media: only a
fool would argue that the future of American Constitutional civil liberties
is secure. Let us set aside these direct assaults on American
Constitutional "rights" and consider how certain of these "rights" are also
being manipulated to deny other Constitutional rights to all citizens in a
perverse "danse macabre" by politicians, bureaucrats, and an unholy alliance
of anonymous organizations with hidden agendas and an abhorrence of the
American Way of Life. I am referring to the imposition of the environmental
and animal rights beliefs ("values", "ideals", tenets) on all Americans.
Truly the use of government to impose these "values" and religious beliefs
is similar to the imposition of Moslem "ideals" or "religious values" on all
Saudis or Pakistanis through government power harnessed to powerful
religious entities. While such coercion should be abhorrent to Americans,
tolerance for this travesty is tolerance for subjugating the first freedom
spelled out in the 1st Amendment of our Bill of Rights to tyranny. Such
formerly guaranteed freedoms are what have ultimately been responsible for
the long history of immigration to this great nation and the almost total
lack of emigration from this nation with the possible exception of tax
evaders, criminals, and naive movie stars trying to make political
statements.

America's Founding Fathers purposely rejected the English religious model of
their day wherein the King was the head of "the church" and "the church" was
a state organ every bit as much as the tax collector and the sheriff were
arms of the government. According to our Constitution, you are free to
practice your religion as long as you do not interfere with the religious
practices of others: that is the meaning of "freedom". That means there
could be no religious requirement for office or for hiring into a government
job and that all religious believers, like non-religious adherents, were
equal before the law in all regards. For instance your property could not
be seized by government because you did not accept certain religious beliefs
and your customs and traditions could not be terminated because powerful
religious sects opposed your cultural pursuits or diet or uses of your own
property that did not interfere with your neighbor.

For over 35 years now we have witnessed bizarre environmental and animal
"rights" claims that are no more than twists of the definition of the
"quests for the values of the ideal life", i.e. "religion". These twists
are not only arguably distortions and unsupportable claims of a religious
nature: they have been and increasingly continue to be the basis for the
denial and elimination of other rights of other citizens.

Consider how the Endangered Species Act has come to justify government
seizure of private property without compensation; or how the Marine Mammal
PROTECTION Act came to be a precedent for giving quasi-human status to
marine mammals; or how the Animal Welfare Act came to be responsible for
eliminating medical testing in this country (and thereby jeopardizing the
future of medical development); or how the government land agencies (federal
and state) clamor for and get more land annually while they ultimately
eliminate all management of plants and animals and the uses and access of
the citizenry to these lands; or how children are propagandized about these
things in the classroom and in the media; or how animal uses from domestic
animal ownership to wild animal management are increasingly viewed as
government dispensations instead of citizen rights; or how energy use or
energy development for human benefit have come to be considered bad. I
submit that the basis for these incremental and growing denials of American
citizen rights are based on religious declarations (a "world view relating
the quest [sic, for the 'values of the ideal life'] to the environing
universe.") every bit as much as Moslem beliefs in Yemen or Hindu beliefs in
certain Indian states.

This "world view" (environmentalism and animal rights et al) is simply
personal beliefs of various sects. These sects may periodically publicly
disagree with each other like when some anti-hunting groups claim they are
"not really" against hunting, or when certain anti-human groups claim
Wilderness classification won't really stop human uses or that when they say
there are "too many people" they are only referring to Africa or India.
These things are done as they do "whatever is necessary" to establish their
"world view".

Like Protestant reference to The Bible, or Moslem reference to the Koran, or
Catholic reference to Papal teaching; the environmentalist and animal rights
believers refer to "science", "experts", and "studies" as the infallible
basis for their beliefs that should be imposed on all.

Just as Darwin's "studies" and claims were used by Margaret Sanger and
Planned Parenthood as well as Nazi Germany to justify classifying humans as
desirable or undesirable or unwanted or unproductive in the sense of
unsuccessful animal species that become extinct "for the better": similar
"studies" and claims abound today about everything from "too many people" to
"global warming" to "environmental collapse". As with Darwin's assertions,
there are scientific facts and suppositions and claims that deserve our
awareness and where appropriate our consideration. Science is an ever
advancing collection and analysis of the make-up and interaction of the
physical universe that surrounds us. Just as Darwin is claimed by a
professor to "prove" that man evolved from apes and by a Eugenicist to
"prove" that certain people or groups of people are inferior and therefore
less worthy of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" than others, so
too are "global warming" and "native ecosystem" and "the role of large
predators" claims open to interpretation and manipulation.

These environmental and animal rights claims are tenuous at best and at most
beliefs held by individuals and groups that should govern no more that their
own individual behavior in a Constitutional Republic like ours. There is
really no "infallibility" or "deity" teaching involved in these claims
although they are increasingly treated as though they were in fact religious
tenets in a theocracy to be observed by all or the power of government
should coerce their acceptance. The one thing that all these claims of the
past 35 years have in common is that always the only remedy is more laws and
more government and more control by the central government with a steady
loss of rights for all citizens. These "controls" on "freedoms" are
constantly touted as absolutely necessary, beyond debate, and irrefutable.
Like the claims by Lenin regarding the writings of Karl Marx or the claims
of Chinese communists about Chairman Mao's insights, the penultimate answer
for claimed societal ills is more power to impose one group's "values", i.e.
religious beliefs, on everyone else through the power of coercive
government.

Some examples:

1. Wolves "belong" in (fill-in-the-blank).. Says who? Just because some
academic or wolf enthusiast organization says so is NO basis for forcing
others to accept that value-laden belief.

2. Private property must be subjugated to the whims of popular demands when
environmental claims or animal rights claims are expressed.. In America,
under our Constitution, private property may only be "taken" by government
for "public use" and then only with "just compensation". Taking private
property for plants or animals is more un-American and evil than Robert
Mugabe taking farms from owners to give to supporters to curry political
support while destroying Zimbabwean agriculture.

3. When federal bureaucrats and academic "partners" declare that there
should be "more" of certain plants or animals, private property guarantees
are voided and essentially an endless chain of government power expansions
(see polar bear listing and watch the expansion of subsequent claims based
on that "Listing) are set in motion.. On what basis other than raw power
opportunism to impose a group's "values" on all others has such abuse of
power been allowed? Polar bears and their future are what they are and may
be. While it is admirable to show concern for their future, who says they
cannot be hunted when their population can withstand hunting? Other than a
blind belief in the tenets of "animal rights environmentalism" there is no
rational basis for this imposition of the "beliefs" of those opposed to
hunting on the "values" and "beliefs" of those interested in hunting polar
bears or other animals in a sustainable and "society-friendly" way.

4. Dams "destroy" rivers; levees destroy floodplains; irrigation destroys
groundwater: all three should be eliminated. In truth, dams "change" rivers
and create reservoirs that produce power, recreation, dependable water
supplies, and social welfare and stability. Levees "change" floodplains and
provide the stability for agriculture, water transportation, and flood
control. Irrigation has been responsible for much of the increase in the
world food supply, the success of American agriculture, and can be
responsibly sustained indefinitely with current knowledge and practices.
Whose belief system is being imposed on others here? On what basis other
than the belief of some sect (their relative numbers are and should remain
immaterial if any Constitutional freedom or right means anything, otherwise
such "rights" mean nothing) is the "changed" environment "better" or
"proper" or the "only real one"? I submit it is simply the values and
beliefs (i.e. religion") of the currently powerful "believers" subverting
our right to Freedom of Religion.

5. Other than the sensible study of biology and historical changes, on what
possible basis have the terms "native species" and "native ecosystem" become
the basis for government policies and laws? The answer is of course,
certain groups "values" about what other people's land and public lands
"should be". The fact of their preference for a date or "ecosystem" is no
more relevant than any other is not considered or mentioned.

6. Claims about the need to eliminate "Invasive Species" through government
programs are based on what? The date Europeans arrived? Some bucolic
notion of species or ecosystem "purity" under primitive and deadly societies
was "better" is simply expressed antagonism against the modern American
society and nation.

7. Wilderness and Roadless areas are important and valuable. Says who?
Wilderness areas tend toward unity and not biodiversity. Wilderness areas
do not support associated rural communities or their economies.
Wilderness/Roadless areas are fire pits due to the natural accumulation of
fire fuel and fighting fires in these areas ranges from impossible to
expensive and highly destructive of human lives and nearby residences.

8. Predators are a "necessary" part of the environment.. Says who? Hunters
(when allowed by state agencies and federal land managers) serve as very
effective predators as well as generators of culture, traditions,
recreation, revenue to government, and profit to rural and associated
industries from gun and equipment manufacturers to motel and café operators.
Predators can be deadly to people but believers tell us we "must live with
them" and we are "in their habitat". How does such sophomoric nonsense get
imposed on the rest of us through the coercive cooperation of government in
these beliefs?

9. Gamefowl should not be allowed to fight as they have for eons; horses
should not be slaughtered for any reason; pet numbers should be regulated as
should their owners (termed "guardians" by believers); meat should only be
raised as certain sects believe until it is banned from human consumption
altogether; bullfights, hunting, fishing, trapping, leather, fur, dog
"training", wild animal control, wild plant and animal use, rural roads,
rural private property for all but the wealthy, ranching, rodeos, gun
ownership and any semblance of "local controls" should all be incrementally
eliminated. The various sects behind each of these "values impositions"
point to "scientists" and "claims" as to why their "claim" is true and why
it "must" be imposed on all. These range from "claims" regarding global
climate changes to "studies" about animal "welfare" as a basis to eliminate
all animal testing for human benefit.

The relationship of all of these examples with other anti-energy actions,
anti-animal ownership, anti-animal use, and the purchase and closure of land
by government agencies and their tax-subsidized surrogates is a matter of
record and obvious to the most casual observer. Each of these "claims" of
environmental and animal rights "values", i.e. religious beliefs, are simply
the beliefs of others. More often than not the "scientific" basis for their
imposition is paid for and paid to those that benefit directly and
personally from the imposition.

Under our Constitution the number of people demanding that others be coerced
to believe as they do is irrelevant to government compliance in such
demands: that is the meaning of "Constitutional guarantee". Unlike certain
African or Asian nations, were we to have a 30 or 40 percent Moslem
population, calls for Sharia law or Moslem rules on what Americans could eat
or what pets we would be allowed would not be legally possible or even
conceivable unless the United States Constitution were amended. Yet we
shrug as the environmental and animal rights "values" and beliefs are
imposed on us throughout society based on "ideals" and "values" that we do
not believe in a manner that has been forbidden throughout the life of this
nation until very recently. The precedents and expansion going on here is
very, very dangerous to our national life.

Part of the fault for our docility has the cleverness of those imposing
their beliefs not only incrementally but also in a way that always an aspect
of the religious belief being imposed seems worthwhile and non-threatening.
Cockfights attended by "rednecks" or a bullfight attended by "Hispanics" or
deer hunting or trapping by some poorly educated bumpkin always seems like a
"worthy cause" to some suburban elite or urban professional in search of
such a "worthwhile cause". The fact that these legal precedents (banning
such things for others) eventually morph into laws that for instance, the
urban/suburban elitist can not dispose of a sick or now (due to fuel prices)
too-expensive horse or that the urban professional suddenly is faced with
licensing and training requirements and police searches without warrants and
unrealistic requirements for care and feeding as well as number controls for
their pet cat or dog or canary is always realized too late.

The point is not that by keeping a dog or hunting or ranching or simply
living in a rural area becoming infested with deadly predators that I am
"practicing" a religion. The point is that environmental and animal rights
"believers" have adopted a very strict belief in how man relates to animals
and how the environment relates to man. This strict belief is similar to
Amish or Quaker or Buddhist or Confucian or Christian Science beliefs in man
and the world. While such beliefs are protected and the right of each and
every American to pursue; the Constitution prohibits their imposition on
others, much less all others.

Here are a few of my beliefs that I do not impose on others, yet others want
to deny me because of their beliefs:

- If you are opposed to hunting - don't hunt.

- If you are opposed to eating meat - don't eat meat.

- If you are opposed to logging - don't use wood, buy some private property,
and revere trees.

- If you are opposed to a cockfight or bullfight - don't go to one.

- If you oppose animal testing - don't use products that result from animal
testing.

- If you believe that powerful central governments are best - move to one.

- If you think animals are equal to humans - live with them on your own
property.

- If you oppose dams and irrigation and energy development - build a cabin,
plant a garden, & burn wood.

- American public lands should be for all.

- Everyone uses public lands managed for timber and grazing and hunting to
hike and camp and study nature and just plain enjoy themselves.

- Public lands, with only minor exceptions, and areas of significant human
habitation and private property should NOT be inhabited by wolves, grizzly
bears, or mountain lions.

- Animal control should be accomplished by citizens wherever possible.

- Public lands should be managed for financial returns from timber, forage,
and wildlife management.

- Harmful (to humans and human activities) plants and animals should be
depressed or eliminated by state governments.

- "Native" plants or "native" ecosystems should not be a basis for
government laws or policies.

- Federal "Wilderness Areas" or "Marine Sanctuaries" should be eliminated
and limited to privately owned or state owned properties.

- Any government agency, legislator, or bureaucrat responsible for
introducing or protecting large predators that subsequently kill a human
should be liable for a charge of manslaughter or worse.

In one sense all this is like gun control. If you don't want a gun around -
don't have one. If someone misuses a gun - prosecute them. Don't tell me
that I no longer have a Constitutional right because parentless children are
running wild in some cities or that I can't hunt anymore because you are
concerned about some animal or plant. In a Constitutional Republic you have
a right to your beliefs just as I have a right to mine. "The free exercise
thereof" concerning religious belief does not mean you are "free to impose
on others" your values and beliefs. Congress has made laws for the past 40
years that arguably effect "the establishment of a religion". This
"religion" is the environmental and animal "worship" that is the object of
most parts of all those laws and the basis for what is being taught to our
children and spread by federal programs.

Redressing the harms of this truly religious oppression of the past 40 years
calls for determination and commitment. If these harms go uncorrected and
they are allowed to continue to grow, as the upcoming election would seem to
indicate, the tragic consequences will affect every American and hollow out
American Constitution and our rights until they collapses into the dustbin
of history and the tyranny of the majority makes us each subject to the
capriciousness of whoever holds the power of government.

Jim Beers
6 July 2008

- If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

- This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at
http://jimbeers.blogster.com (Jim Beers Common Sense)

- Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak. Contact:
jimbeers7@verizon.net

- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist,
Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.
He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and
Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western
Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the
Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security
Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress;
twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60
Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to
expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Centreville,
Virginia with his wife of many decades.








This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA, the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The Klamath Bucket Brigade's website - http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html -- please visit today.

BEEF, GUNS & SCAPEGOATS: JIM BEERS

Beef, Guns, & Scapegoats

Isn't it queer to watch politicians like Senator Obama and "The Mayors
Bloomberg, Daley, and Newsome" (sounds like a cheap law firm doesn't it?)
express their happiness over the recent US Supreme Court decision confirming
that the 2nd Amendment's simple phraseology meant what it said. These major
gun controllers say they found a pony in all the horse&*# about people
having a "right to bear Arms". Their imaginary pony is "their right" as
government officials to regulate and restrict gun sales, purchases,
ownership, possession, and use. That is to say that "THEY" are still the
ones that will "control" our rights as they see fit. Can this be the same
decision that the NRA is using to sue these same three Commissars?

Gun control seems to be a virus that can never be completely eradicated.
One of the major, if not THE major reasons for this can be found in Western
Europe during the last century and in the recent riots in Korea over the
Korean government decision to resume the import of US beef into Korea.
Aside from the academic mention of these two similar problems, there are
things to be learned and considered as we debate global warming, invasive
species, animal property rights, and a host of environmental and animal
rights issues; all of which are and continue to take away rights and
liberties every bit as seriously as the machinations of the three Commissars
and the Presidential candidate mentioned above.

Briefly, up until the 1920's long guns and handguns could be purchased and
possessed and carried anywhere by anyone in Britain and Germany (just as I
could as a young boy growing up in Illinois in the 1950's). Read the
Sherlock Holmes' stories (early 1900's) and note Watson pulling his revolver
from drawers and pockets at various points in the story.

In the 1920's the British and German governments watched the communists in
Russia mowing down landowners, bureaucrats, royalty, academics, and just
about anyone they didn't like. The British and German gentry and
politicians and tycoons looked at their factory workers and said, "not here"
and promptly registered, regulated, and "controlled" guns. Thanks to the
gun registry Hitler's thugs rounded up all the guns as soon as they took
power and to this day we wonder why hardly anyone resisted all the
atrocities. British gun control sped along to where today the idea of
American "cowboys" and their precious 2nd Amendment is a constant object of
ridicule and wonder in a nation of citizens under more government controls
than most Americans can imagine.

In the US a similar gun control campaign took off when cities came under the
control of mobs and street crime, corruption, and urban populations took off
relative to rural populations. Mob killings, machine gun bank robberies,
crooked mayors and Police Chiefs, prostitution, gambling all cried out for
solutions. Many of the Mayors that got elected in the 30's and 40's down to
the present did so by selling a phony solution. That solution was "getting
rid of the guns". Somehow this was supposed to turn criminals into
schoolteachers. As urban families disintegrated in the 60's and as welfare
concentrated dysfunctional child-raising in urban crime areas, the message
about "it" (i.e. gangs killings, drugs, and street crime) being the fault of
guns and gun availability only grew. This only intensified the "need" to
"regulate" (i.e. outlaw) guns and when that was seen to be counterproductive
the Mayors began singing the tune about "nearby states" selling guns to the
otherwise peaceful urban choirboys being the root cause of urban unrest. The
only answer from urban leaders was and remained outlawing guns. Since the
Mayors appoint "their" Chief of Police and since the big cities control the
Association of Chiefs of Police this organization, their "recommendations"
and findings gave "gravitas" to claims that the US Constitution and the
Founding Fathers were full of beans re: guns and that any notion about
citizen rights to guns should be erased for good.

So the gun as scapegoat has worked well for the Daley family in Chicago and
for the Giulianis and Bloombergs in New York and the Newsomes et al in San
Francisco. Keep them in power to get rid of the guns so that "our" city can
be like some Disney movie set. Forget about men that go "clubbing" and
"impregnating" every weekend, don't punish offenders, run the police like
some sort of neighborhood club and just work hard to get rid of gun shows
and gun stores and gun ownership and responsibility and everything will be
alright.

You can't turn off this kind of decades-long propaganda-scapegoating
machine. South Korea found this out recently. After 10 years of blaming
the US for everything under the theory that North Korea would "see the
light" and be all "kissy" with their southern brothers once it was clear
that South Korea no longer respected the US, it became apparent that blaming
the US for everything (as US Mayors do guns) wasn't working. So the new
South Korean administration has tried to reverse things and work more
closely with the US. A tiny step was to be the resumption of the import of
US beef into South Korea long after an isolated incident of tainted beef was
discovered. The big anti-American riots over US beef (really any increased
US cooperation) are a testimony to the acrimony that has been established by
10 years of making the US a scapegoat for Korean political problems.

We must remember all this not only as we work to preserve our gun rights but
also as we confront the propaganda and proposals of the environmental and
animal rights movements. Scapegoats and false assumptions are everywhere:

The only solution to warmth (or cold or wetness or dryness) in the
atmosphere is federal programs.

The only way to "save" land is for the federal government to control and
close it.

The only way to restore a healthy (i.e. "native") ecosystem is to empower
federal agencies.

The only way to quell violence is to outlaw hunting and propagandize the
young.

Animals "can't" be owned; we are but "guardians" of (formerly identified as
'dumb') animals.

Apes and whales are just like us (conversely we are "just like them"?).

What we eat, where we live, and how we live should be determined by those
smarter than us.

Oil and gas should not be developed and refineries should not be expanded to
"force us to "change".

"Wilderness" and "Sanctuary" closed areas are their "highest and best use".

Retired federal Park bureaucrats publicly arguing to deny Constitutional 2nd
Amendment rights on federal lands indicates a "healthy" situation.

I could go on here but you get the point. Just as we allow Mayors to hold
power by scapegoating guns and just as South Korean politicians hold power
by scapegoating the US: so too are the environmentalists and animal rights
movements and their allies (politicians, bureaucrats both federal and state,
academics, and ideologues of all stripes) stripping us of our rights as they
propagate false assumptions like controlling world weather and the
equivalency of humans and animals in rhetoric strewn with scapegoats like
hunters and trappers and ranchers et al. If only we can get rid of them all
like guns, what a wonderful world it would be.

By the way, my handy dictionary defines "scapegoat" as "one who is made to
bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place". I do not intend to
let anyone "make" me "bear blame for others or to suffer in their place".
Just as I intend to expose the lie inherent in blaming guns for urban
violence in order to protect MY 2nd Amendment rights: so too do I deny the
false assumptions and scapegoating inherent in the environmental and animal
rights propaganda of the past 40 years.

For my money, the big city Mayors need to start prosecuting criminals and
protecting the rights of all citizens to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of
Happiness": if they want to practice taking away rights I suggest they
request a transfer to Russia or Zimbabwe. Regarding the South Koreans, they
are like our environmental and animal rights friends: they seem to be
committed to having their own way so I say let them have their own way and
leave mine alone! US beef is high quality and a better buy than oil these
days so in a free market you are free to make your own decisions. As to our
environmental and animal rights friends, this is a free country so practice
your beliefs yourself on your own property and leave the rest of us and our
property (both public and private) alone, in free country you are free to be
yourself; NOT to oppress others.

Jim Beers
6 July 2008

- If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

- This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at
http://jimbeers.blogster.com (Jim Beers Common Sense)

- Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak. Contact:
jimbeers7@verizon.net

- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist,
Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.
He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and
Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western
Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the
Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security
Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress;
twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60
Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to
expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Centreville,
Virginia with his wife of many decades.








This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA, the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The Klamath Bucket Brigade's website - http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html -- please visit today.

SOMETHING BIG IS GOING ON: RON PAUL

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog/?p=115

Something Big is Going On


The following statement is written by Congressman Paul about the pending
financial disaster. He will introduce this statement as a special order and
insert it into the Congressional Record next week. Fortunately, we have the
opportunity to debut it first on the Campaign for Liberty blog. It reads as
follows:

I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of
America. The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our
liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I
have days—growing more frequent all the time—when I’m convinced the time
is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur. These fast-approaching
events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be
limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political
system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.

Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should
have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find
ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the
innocent people of the world—unless we quickly change our ways.

America, with her traditions of free markets and property rights, led the way
toward great wealth and progress throughout the world as well as at home. Since
we have lost our confidence in the principles of liberty, self reliance, hard
work and frugality, and instead took on empire building, financed through
inflation and debt, all this has changed. This is indeed frightening and an
historic event.

The problem we face is not new in history. Authoritarianism has been around a
long time. For centuries, inflation and debt have been used by tyrants to hold
power, promote aggression, and provide “bread and circuses” for the people.
The notion that a country can afford “guns and butter” with no significant
penalty existed even before the 1960s when it became a popular slogan. It was
then, though, we were told the Vietnam War and a massive expansion of the
welfare state were not problems. The seventies proved that assumption wrong.

Today things are different from even ancient times or the 1970s. There is
something to the argument that we are now a global economy. The world has more
people and is more integrated due to modern technology, communications, and
travel. If modern technology had been used to promote the ideas of liberty,
free markets, sound money and trade, it would have ushered in a new golden
age—a globalism we could accept.

Instead, the wealth and freedom we now enjoy are shrinking and rest upon a
fragile philosophic infrastructure. It is not unlike the levies and bridges in
our own country that our system of war and welfare has caused us to ignore.

I’m fearful that my concerns have been legitimate and may even be worse than
I first thought. They are now at our doorstep. Time is short for making a
course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep
hibernation.

There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than
the world has ever experienced. Instead of using globalism in a positive
fashion, it’s been used to globalize all of the mistakes of the politicians,
bureaucrats and central bankers.

Being an unchallenged sole superpower was never accepted by us with a sense of
humility and respect. Our arrogance and aggressiveness have been used to
promote a world empire backed by the most powerful army of history. This type
of globalist intervention creates problems for all citizens of the world and
fails to contribute to the well-being of the world’s populations. Just think
how our personal liberties have been trashed here at home in the last decade.

The financial crisis, still in its early stages, is apparent to everyone:
gasoline prices over $4 a gallon; skyrocketing education and medical-care
costs; the collapse of the housing bubble; the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble;
stockmarkets plunging; unemployment rising;, massive underemployment; excessive
government debt; and unmanageable personal debt. Little doubt exists as to
whether we’ll get stagflation. The question that will soon be asked is: When
will the stagflation become an inflationary depression?

There are various reasons that the world economy has been globalized and the
problems we face are worldwide. We cannot understand what we’re facing
without understanding fiat money and the long-developing dollar bubble.

There were several stages. From the inception of the Federal Reserve System in
1913 to 1933, the Central Bank established itself as the official dollar
manager. By 1933, Americans could no longer own gold, thus removing restraint
on the Federal Reserve to inflate for war and welfare.

By 1945, further restraints were removed by creating the Bretton-Woods Monetary
System making the dollar the reserve currency of the world. This system lasted
up until 1971. During the period between 1945 and 1971, some restraints on the
Fed remained in place. Foreigners, but not Americans, could convert dollars to
gold at $35 an ounce. Due to the excessive dollars being created, that system
came to an end in 1971.

It’s the post Bretton-Woods system that was responsible for globalizing
inflation and markets and for generating a gigantic worldwide dollar bubble.
That bubble is now bursting, and we’re seeing what it’s like to suffer the
consequences of the many previous economic errors.

Ironically in these past 35 years, we have benefited from this very flawed
system. Because the world accepted dollars as if they were gold, we only had to
counterfeit more dollars, spend them overseas (indirectly encouraging our jobs
to go overseas as well) and enjoy unearned prosperity. Those who took our
dollars and gave us goods and services were only too anxious to loan those
dollars back to us. This allowed us to export our inflation and delay the
consequences we now are starting to see.

But it was never destined to last, and now we have to pay the piper. Our huge
foreign debt must be paid or liquidated. Our entitlements are coming due just
as the world has become more reluctant to hold dollars. The consequence of that
decision is price inflation in this country—and that’s what we are
witnessing today. Already price inflation overseas is even higher than here at
home as a consequence of foreign central bank’s willingness to monetize our
debt.

Printing dollars over long periods of time may not immediately push prices
up–yet in time it always does. Now we’re seeing catch-up for past inflating
of the monetary supply. As bad as it is today with $4 a gallon gasoline, this is
just the beginning. It’s a gross distraction to hound away at “drill, drill,
drill” as a solution to the dollar crisis and high gasoline prices. Its okay
to let the market increase supplies and drill, but that issue is a gross
distraction from the sins of deficits and Federal Reserve monetary shenanigans.

This bubble is different and bigger for another reason. The central banks of
the world secretly collude to centrally plan the world economy. I’m convinced
that agreements among central banks to “monetize” U.S. debt these past 15
years have existed, although secretly and out of the reach of any oversight of
anyone—especially the U.S. Congress that doesn’t care, or just flat
doesn’t understand. As this “gift” to us comes to an end, our problems
worsen. The central banks and the various governments are very powerful, but
eventually the markets overwhelm when the people who get stuck holding the bag
(of bad dollars) catch on and spend the dollars into the economy with emotional
zeal, thus igniting inflationary fever.

This time—since there are so many dollars and so many countries
involved—the Fed has been able to “paper” over every approaching crisis
for the past 15 years, especially with Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the
Federal Reserve Board, which has allowed the bubble to become history’s
greatest.

The mistakes made with excessive credit at artificially low rates are huge, and
the market is demanding a correction. This involves excessive debt, misdirected
investments, over-investments, and all the other problems caused by the
government when spending the money they should never have had. Foreign
militarism, welfare handouts and $80 trillion entitlement promises are all
coming to an end. We don’t have the money or the wealth-creating capacity to
catch up and care for all the needs that now exist because we rejected the
market economy, sound money, self reliance and the principles of liberty.

Since the correction of all this misallocation of resources is necessary and
must come, one can look for some good that may come as this “Big Event”
unfolds.

There are two choices that people can make. The one choice that is unavailable
to us is to limp along with the status quo and prop up the system with more
debt, inflation and lies. That won’t happen.

One of the two choices, and the one chosen so often by government in the past
is that of rejecting the principles of liberty and resorting to even bigger and
more authoritarian government. Some argue that giving dictatorial powers to the
President, just as we have allowed him to run the American empire, is what we
should do. That’s the great danger, and in this post-911 atmosphere, too many
Americans are seeking safety over freedom. We have already lost too many of our
personal liberties already. Real fear of economic collapse could prompt central
planners to act to such a degree that the New Deal of the 30’s might look like
Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

The more the government is allowed to do in taking over and running the
economy, the deeper the depression gets and the longer it lasts. That was the
story of the 30ss and the early 40s, and the same mistakes are likely to be
made again if we do not wake up.

But the good news is that it need not be so bad if we do the right thing. I saw
“Something Big” happening in the past 18 months on the campaign trail. I was
encouraged that we are capable of waking up and doing the right thing. I have
literally met thousands of high school and college kids who are quite willing
to accept the challenge and responsibility of a free society and reject the
cradle-to-grave welfare that is promised them by so many do-good politicians.

If more hear the message of liberty, more will join in this effort. The failure
of our foreign policy, welfare system, and monetary policies and virtually all
government solutions are so readily apparent, it doesn’t take that much
convincing. But the positive message of how freedom works and why it’s
possible is what is urgently needed.

One of the best parts of accepting self reliance in a free society is that true
personal satisfaction with one’s own life can be achieved. This doesn’t
happen when the government assumes the role of guardian, parent or provider,
because it eliminates a sense of pride. But the real problem is the government
can’t provide the safety and economic security that it claims. The so-called
good that government claims it can deliver is always achieved at the expense of
someone else’s freedom. It’s a failed system and the young people know it.

Restoring a free society doesn’t eliminate the need to get our house in order
and to pay for the extravagant spending. But the pain would not be long-lasting
if we did the right things, and best of all the empire would have to end for
financial reasons. Our wars would stop, the attack on civil liberties would
cease, and prosperity would return. The choices are clear: it shouldn’t be
difficult, but the big event now unfolding gives us a great opportunity to
reverse the tide and resume the truly great American Revolution started in
1776. Opportunity knocks in spite of the urgency and the dangers we face.

Let’s make “Something Big is Happening” be the discovery that freedom
works and is popular and the big economic and political event we’re
witnessing is a blessing in disguise.

Ron Paul