For the full article provided by the Marin IJ click here.

Ron, Rand Paul discuss broken government with Blitzer
Posted By Steve Adcock On February 24, 2010 (10:44 am) In Voices and Choices

SOUTHERN ARIZONA – Small government Republicans Ron Paul and son Rand Paul discussed broken government with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this week, arguing that the “government mechanism is broken because the government is broke”.

“By the time you go broke, the government is too big and inefficient,” Ron Paul said early in the interview.  ”You have to admit that you can’t pay the bills.”

Dr. Paul argued that with a 10% inflation rate, you’ve wiped off a trillion in national debt.

“Show me a government program that has ever come in under budget,” son Rand Paul said, responding to CBO data that suggested cutting waste, fraud and abuse may enable national health care to be paid for without adding to the United States’ running deficit.

Both Congressmen Paul and Kentucky Senatorial candidate Rand Paul recognize the severity of our government’s debt and refuse to believe that adding government programs will somehow fix what ails the American people, literally and figuratively.

“I would reject what the president is proposing [regarding health care], and we as Republicans need to articulate a version of what we would do,” Rand said.  ”When government sets the price for health care, the patient quits caring about the price, and there is no price competition.”

Regarding the War in Iraq, “It is not in our national security interest, and the sooner we end this, the better,” remarked Ron Paul in response to a question from Blitzer regarding disagreements between the father and son in terms of national security.

“The most important enumerated power of the federal government is to take care of our national security,” Rand said.  ”I will make them debate whether they declare war or not,” Paul continued.  ”It’s not enough to just say that our national security is threatened.”

Read the Marin IJ article here.

Posted By Ron Paul On March 8, 2010 (3:55 pm) In Voices and Choices

Last week Congress voted to encourage participation in the 2010 census. I voted “No” on this resolution for the simple, obvious reason that the census- like so many government programs- has grown far beyond what the framers of our Constitution intended.

The invasive nature of the current census raises serious questions about how and why government will use the collected information. It also demonstrates how the federal bureaucracy consistently encourages citizens to think of themselves in terms of groups, rather than as individual Americans. The not so subtle implication is that each group, whether ethnic, religious, social, or geographic, should speak up and demand its “fair share” of federal largesse.

Article I, section 2 of the Constitution calls for an enumeration of citizens every ten years, for the purpose of apportioning congressional seats among the various states. In other words, the census should be nothing more than a headcount. It was never intended to serve as a vehicle for gathering personal information on citizens.

But our voracious federal government thrives on collecting information. In fact, to prepare for the 2010 census state employees recorded GPS coordinates for every front door in the United States so they could locate individuals with greater accuracy! Once duly located, individuals are asked detailed questions concerning their name, address, race, home ownership, and whether they periodically spend time in prison or a nursing home – just to name a few examples.

From a constitutional perspective, of course, the answer to each of these questions is: “None of your business.” But the bigger question is – why government is so intent on compiling this information in the first place?

The Census Bureau claims that collected information is not shared with any federal agency; but rather is kept under lock and key for 72 years. It also claims that no information provided to census takers can be used against you by the government.

However, these promises can and have been abused in the past. Census data has been used to locate men who had not registered for the draft. Census data also was used to find Japanese-Americans for internment camps during World War II. Furthermore, the IRS has applied census information to detect alleged tax evaders. Some local governments even have used census data to check for compliance with zoning regulations.

It is not hard to imagine that information compiled by the census could be used against people in the future, despite claims to the contrary and the best intentions of those currently in charge of the Census Bureau. The government can and does change its mind about these things, and people have a right to be skeptical about government promises.

Yet there are consequences for not submitting to the census and its intrusive questions. If the form is not mailed back in time, households will experience the “pleasure” of a visit by a government worker asking the questions in person. If the government still does not get the information it wants, it can issue a fine of up to $5000.

If the federal government really wants to increase compliance with the census, it should abide by the Constitution and limit its inquiry to one simple question: How many people live here?

BY William Anderson

August 31, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 46

We are berated, ad nauseam, with imprecations that America is the only advanced nation that fails to have universal health care. This statement is often followed by the rueful remark that the debate over government controlled health care has been going on without progress for 60 years and, ipso facto, it is time to settle it.

All right, let’s do that. Let’s look a little deeper. Why is there no settlement of the issue, and why is America unique in its obstinate reluctance to follow the example of our older cultural brothers in Europe?

When a debate continues for decades without resolution, it is prudent to consider the deeper underlying assumptions. Principles which underpin the arguments are likely being ignored and marginalized rather than addressed in a forthright manner.

America is the only advanced country whose founding assumption is popular sovereignty. This is a proposition that stands with hardly a seconding voice throughout the contemporary international community. Yet it is the taproot of American exceptionalism.

Even here, however, the principle of government subordination to the people is by no means universally accepted. It has never been firmly ratified by our political class, those spiritual descendants of Europe’s nobility. Our soi-disant elite appear to view with dismay their countrymen’s continuing preference for self-rule.

Thus arises the question of corporal ownership. For Americans, the answer has been settled. Since the terrible bloodletting of the Civil War, and now excepting military service, ownership of one’s body is a matter between the individual and God, with no intermediation by government.

Yet assertions are now being made that government should have responsibility for, and thus authority over, the maintenance of our bodies. It necessarily follows that government must have the power to approve or withhold care. This concept collides destructively with the founding principles of individual responsibility and autonomy upon which popular sovereignty depends.

This is the reason that the debate never ends. It is also the reason that any resolution of the question will necessarily either confirm or deny the original intent of the Founders.

So let’s make up our minds. Does the government, in the last analysis, own your body, or do you? If your answer is the former, be aware that you have opted for veterinary medicine, for you are now accepting the moral status of a domestic animal. If your answer is the latter, you must accept responsibility to make mortal decisions for yourself, and pay for the care that you want with money that you have reason to see as your own.

Such money is not out of reach. Medical savings accounts, amalgamated with catastrophic insurance, could take the place of the ad hoc hodgepodge of plans, schemes, dissimulations, and promises under which we are now burdened and threatened.

And there would be greater efficiency and encouragement of individual choice. We all have an enhanced interest in thriftiness and fair value when we, and not third parties, are the payers.

The wisdom expressed in the Federalist Papers began with the insight that men are not angels. The system that the authors designed placed liberty at the head of other considerations. The Founders were determined that concentrations of power should be confounded.

The system now congealing in Congress for health care is not informed by such principles. Access to the most intimate personal information, direct interaction with bank accounts, and mandated Procrustean protocols remain features of the various schemes under consideration. Such programs would be managed by impenetrable, impersonal, and unaccountable bureaucracies. Do we wish to place such profound coercive powers in the hands of anyone, much less those who now stand expectant and eager to receive them?

The view of human nature recognized by the Founders is now in grave peril. Whither goes America? Was liberty merely an 18th-century fad, or is there still something exceptional about our country?

William Anderson, a retired physician, teaches at Harvard University and consults to the intelligence community.

Read the Reason article by Ronald Bailey here.

More US companies refuse to hire smokers
Posted By VOA News On February 18, 2010 (9:58 am) In World News

The World Health Organizations says smoking is considered a high risk factor in six of the eight leading causes of death worldwide.  Medical experts have long preached about how smokers can quit. Now a growing number of employers in the United States are refusing to hire them.  Some smokers are wondering what kind of discrimination is next.

More and more Americans who smoke are beginning to feel unliked and unwanted.  Federal laws prevent them from smoking in public buildings. They are not allowed to smoke within a certain distance of those buildings.
Since the federal law was passed a decade ago, many state and local communities have followed suit.

Now a growing number of companies and hospitals will not hire smokers, or worse, will fire them if they are caught lighting up.

Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee is now giving check-ups to prospective employees.  A urine test that detects nicotine means no job is offered.

Nurse Kristi Edmondson thinks her smoking habit is nobody’s business but her own. “Memorial should not dictate to us what we do in our own time, off the time clock,” she stated.

The head of the hospital’s parent company, Memorial Health Care Systems, is James Hobson. He defends the decision. “It’s relevant to creating that healthy lifestyle,” he said. “And again it’s relevant to the entire community.”

A growing number of large American companies are finding that health care costs for smokers are higher than for non-smokers.

A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that medical care and the loss of worker productivity averages about $3,000 annually for each smoker.

As a result, some companies now require smokers to pay a larger share of their health insurance than non-smokers.

While 29 of the 50 U.S. states have laws that protect the rights of smokers, 21 others do not.  Weyco an insurance benefits administrator in (the state of) Michigan, began imposing random smoking tests in 2005 on its own employees.

The President of the National Workrights Institute is Lewis Maltby. “Most people think they have a right to freedom of speech.  They don’t know that their freedom of speech disappears where their boss is concerned,” Maltby said.

The World Health Organization says at least five million tobacco users die every year from lung cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related causes. The WHO says if current trends continue, tobacco-related deaths will climb to at least eight million a year by 2030.

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