Monthly Archives: July 2007

Gut Instinct

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff caused quite a stir recently when he said his “gut” was telling him a terrorist attack might happen soon. Of course, his Gut also told him that the federal government needed more power to stop it.
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:::Now why this announcement? And why now? And why no details? Is he really relying on his Gut?
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:::As one media figure put it, “All hail the Gut!”
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:::But what about your gut? Do you think a terrorist attack is coming soon? Why?
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:::And if so, should our government take extraordinary measures? Should we surrender more liberties? …sacrifice more privacy? …be scared?
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:::I’d like to hear from you on today’s (Sunday) Downsize DC Conference Call — my one hour radio show.

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Advance warning

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” :::– Robert Heinlein::::::Subject: Advance warning::::::Congress is about to do something very bad in a very bad way. We will tell you what, and how to fight it on Monday, assuming there are no surprises, so please be ready to read the Monday Dispatch and take immediate action. Speaking of surprises . . .

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Your food prices

Quote of the Day:::::::“Capitol: Seat of misgovernment.”:::– Ambrose Bierce, from “The Devil’s Dictionary”::::::Subject: Grocery prices::::::The tepid Democrat plan to reduce the number of troops in Iraq failed. The Defense Authorization bill to which that plan would have been attached has been withdrawn. With it goes the amendments that would have restored habeas corpus and dismantled the military tribunals.::::::But all of these issues will be back soon. The defense bill has to be passed, and when the vote comes we have a very good chance to pass the amendments. ::::::Your messages on these issues were helpful. You can be sure they have been reported to your members of Congress. Congress knows what you want. When these issues come back to the floor we will hit them again. ::::::Meanwhile, other bills will be brought to a vote. One of the most important is likely to be the agriculture bill. Year-in and year-out this is one of the worst bills Congress considers. It’s a grab bag of wasteful spending and corporate welfare. ::::::It’s not yet time to try to stop the bill as a whole. We need to be larger and stronger. But we can work with others to stop some of the worst aspects of this legislation.::::::Perhaps you’ve noticed that your grocery bills are rising. I certainly have. There are many causes. Recent government inflation that first drove up the stock market, and then the housing market, is likely to now be finding its way to your food bill. But there are also other causes . . .::::::Farmers around the country are having a hard time getting their crops harvested. Apparently, there aren’t enough Americans who want to do that kind of work, and there aren’t enough Mexicans to meet the demand. More importantly . . .::::::Government subsidies for ethanol production have caused a lot of farmers to shift from producing food to growing corn for fuel production. This is having downstream effects on everything you eat. Funny thing is, it costs more to make ethanol than we get out of it.

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Make Congress Do Its Job

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch…
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:::Is Congress doing its job?
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:::On paper, they sure look busy. Over the week of July 9-14 the House passed 14 bills totaling 663 pages. The Senate passed 3 bills that came to 498 pages. (A complete list of the Bills Congress passed, along with links to roll call votes, is available at the end of this post, below my signature.)
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:::One bill in particular stands out. On July 11, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration Administration Act (you read that correctly), which ran to an astonishing 308 pages. Health freedom advocates warn that this bill will turn the FDA into a public-private partnership with the ability to develop and patent drugs on its own. They further warn this bill will jeopardize our access to vitamins and other nutritional supplements that compete with Big Pharma.
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:::But only forty minutes were allowed for debate, and amendments could not be proposed or considered. Instead of questioning this process, Congress rubber-stamped the bill with only 16 votes against it.
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:::How many of the 403 who voted “yea” blindly followed the advice of lobbyists and Congressional leaders? How many then patted themselves on the back for “protecting” the American people from supposedly “dangerous” foods?
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Urgent Update

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch::::::Please share with concerned friends . . .::::::Subject: Habeas corpus, military tribunals, Iran::::::Congressman Ron Paul is right. The terrorist threat is primarily blowback from decades of bad foreign policy in the Middle East, much of it hidden from the American people. As Congressman Paul has noted, this is the conclusion of studies by both the CIA and the Defense Department. ::::::Sadly, U.S. foreign policy has only gotten worse since 9-11. Nearly everything our politicians have done has only served to further radicalize the Islamic world.::::::Yes, we know, the reasons for Islamic extremism have now moved beyond U.S. foreign policy, to include cultural issues. This is a cancerous development. But this tumor was first created by our foreign policy, and that is also where the cure must begin. ::::::We can start by restoring our own values.

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Emergencies in all directions!

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Please share with concerned friends . . .::::::Subject: War with Iran, war in Iraq, habeas corpus, military tribunals::::::We’ve had a breathless morning. There are emergencies developing in all directions. Urgent action is needed on a number of campaigns all at once.::::::PLEASE TAKE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS IMMEDIATELY.

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Victory Possible Now!

Please share with concerned friends . . .::::::Subject: This is our chance to restore habeas corpus and dismantle the military tribunals::::::We could win this one. So let’s be aggressive. The Senate will vote TOMORROW on two important bills . . .

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Our birthday

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::“Everything takes longer and costs more.” — Jerry Pournelle::::::Subject: Our Birthday::::::DownsizeDC.org was born three years ago today. ::::::Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday to us. ::::::During our first three years we have . . .

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Help Wanted!

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Two people needed to help with two things . . .::::::* T-shirt production:::* Java script and dynamic HTML

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Your Inner Strategist

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::Life is not lost by dying,:::life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day,:::in all the thousand small uncaring ways.:::– Stephen Vincent Benet::::::Subject: Mobilizing your Inner Strategist::::::How can you get more of what you want as a DC Downsizer?

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