Monthly Archives: April 2008

The ultimate test of ethanol

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::Change the political environment. Recruit more Downsizers. Share this message with others.
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::: Quote of the Day:
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:::”Government’s view of the  economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
:::– Ronald Reagan
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::: Subject: The ultimate test of ethanol
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:::Our campaign against federal mandates and subsidies for ethanol provoked a huge response, both for and against. While thousands of DC Downsizers sent messages to Congress, an unusually large handful also wrote to us complaining that we were unfair to ethanol — even though they agreed that federal mandates and subsidies should be repealed.
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:::How were we unfair? Apparently, many of the problems associated with ethanol disappear when ethanol is produced and used directly on farms, using primarily farm waste in combination with passive solar power.
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:::We have no quarrel with this assertion, and our campaign has nothing to do with that source and use of ethanol.
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:::We would even agree that ethanol produced and used directly on farms could actually lower the price of food, in addition to having a beneficial impact on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. But exactly the opposite is the case for industrial ethanol produced for use in the nation’s cars. It’s the latter phenomenon, driven by federal law and subsidy, that we oppose.

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The Unknown Taxpayer

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Change the political environment. Recruit more Downsizers. Share this message with others.::::::Quote of the Day:::::::”The rule of law thrives when the law is at peace with the people, not when it’s a cudgel.”:::— Jim Harper, scholar, Cato Institute ::::::Subject: A message from the Unknown Taxpayer::::::We received a message from a DC Downsizer over the weekend. This person wishes to remain anonymous, but has agreed to let us share the message . . .

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Progress on “Enumerated Powers Act”

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Change the political environment. Recruit more Downsizers. Share this message with others.::::::Quotes of the Day:::::::NINTH AMENDMENT: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.::::::TENTH AMENDMENT: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.::::::Subject: More progress on the “Enumerated Powers Act”::::::The “Enumerated Powers Act” would force Congress to cite its Constitutional authority for every law it passes. When we last reported to you on this bill in mid-March it had 44 co-sponsors. Since then the bill has gained 3 more co-sponsors. Perhaps the 12,534 messages sent by DC Downsizers (up from 8,328 in our last report) helped generate this progress.::::::Let’s keep pushing.

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Tax Day Feelings

Lots of Americans are doing their taxes this weekend. I’m one of them.
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:::It would be nice if there was a radio program that made you feel better as you filled out those forms and wrote your check. Well, today’s Downsize DC Conference Call (radio show) will NOT be that program!
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:::Everyone should feel bad about the IRS and the Income Tax. And for those wage slaves who are excited about their big refunds . . . they should feel bad too! Why? Because Big Government hurts, and if you got that large refund, that just means you lent the federal government your money at zero interest. 
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:::Downsize DC was founded on an idea . . .
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:::* Democrats tax and spend. In fact, the two remaining candidates are both calling for an increase in your taxes.
:::* Republicans borrow and spend. And, the presumptive nominee has all kinds of new spending plans, especially for fighting the strawman of terrorism.
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:::. . . The PROBLEM is the spending!
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:::Big Government costs you, inconveniences you, and occasionally hurts people you love. But it routinely injures a neighbor, damages your industry, and destroys your community — it even kills people. We must Downsize DC for harmony and human progress.
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:::I’m not usually prone to ranting and

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Jim Babka Interviewed

Jim Babka, President of DownsizeDC.org, was interviewed by Wikinews last week. Though brief, this interview provides an excellent summary of what Downsize DC stands for and does. You can read it here.

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Truth or Satire?

Truth or Satire?

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Excellent Statement on the Enumerated Powers Act

Congressional candidate Richard Matthews has an excellent statement on the Enumerated Powers Act::::

Richard Matthews is in full support of the Enumerated Powers Act. It was first introduced in 1995 by Rep John Shadegg of Arizona’s Third Congressional District and in Maryland is co-sponsored by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of the Sixth District. This bill has been reintroduced every two years but has never entered into the agenda of it’s assigned committee (Judiciary, and Rules), nor been offered for a up or down vote on the floor.::::::The Enumerated Powers Act is a simple bill that requires Congress, on every bill, to site the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of the Act in question. This straightforward bill should be supported by every member of congress without hesitation.

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Harnessing the power of “social confirmation”

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Subject: Harnessing the power of “social confirmation”::::::We often think of sociology as a soft science, or as not a science at all, but sociologists are increasingly delivering interesting experimental results. One such result has something to teach us about the work of trying to Downsize DC.::::::Three sociologists at Columbia University, Duncan Watts, Matthew Salganil, and Peter Dodds, conducted the following experiment . . .

  • They recruited 14,000 people to register at a website
  • This website allowed people to listen to, download, and rate songs by unknown bands
  • One group was given only the names of the songs and the bands, while . . .
  • The other group was also shown how many times each song was downloaded

The results were startling, and highly informative . . .

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Bush administration continues lying

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::Change the political environment. Recruit more Downsizers. Share this message with others.
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:::Quote of the Day:
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:::”The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
:::– H.L. Mencken
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:::Fact of the Day:
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:::U.S. policy is at war with itself in Afghanistan. The Afghan army is destroying poppy fields in the service of America’s “war on drugs.” Meanwhile, the American army is fighting the Taliban to protect the Afghan government, and Afghan farmers are paying the Taliban to protect their poppy fields from the Afghan army. Thus, the harder we fight the “war on drugs” in Afghanistan the harder it becomes to win the war against the Taliban. Source: Newsweek, April 7, 2008
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:::Subject: Bush administration continues lying

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:::Courtesty of Ed Brayton, more evidence of lies from the Bush administration . . .
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:::Our new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, gave a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on March 27. In the speech Mukasey asserted that national security secrets would be exposed in court unless the telecom companies that participated in the Bush administration’s warrantless spying program receive immunity for their actions. 
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:::This is a lie.

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Government stupidity

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::Change the political environment. Recruit more Downsizers. Share this message with others.
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:::Quote of the Day:
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:::“Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
:::– H.L. Menken
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:::Fact of the Day:
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:::633 Iraqi civilians were killed and 701 wounded in February — a 30% increase over January.
:::1,720 Iraqi civilians were killed in March and another 4,140 were wounded — a 31% increase over February.
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:::Subject: Government stupidity
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:::The most incompetent institution in the world — otherwise known as the federal government — has a new plan to protect you from terrorism. Get this . . .
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::: Fishermen on Lake Erie must now carry passports, in case they cross the invisible border with Canada that bisects the lake. Then, thanks to the so-called Department of Homeland Security, when the fishermen return to shore, they must drive to a government office and have their pictures taken.
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:::Do you feel safer?

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