Saturday, October 27, 2007

American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007

The American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 is a bill that has been brought before congress by Dr. Ron Paul.

You can find the bill in it's entirety here:

The main generals points are these:
  1. No Military Commissions Except on the Battlefield
  2. No Evidence Extracted by Torture or Coercion
  3. No Detaining Citizens as Unlawful Enemy Combatants
  4. Restoring Habeas Corpus for Suspected Alien Enemy Combatants
  5. Prohibiting Warrantless Spying by the National Security Agency in Violation of Law
  6. Renouncing Presidential Signing Statements
  7. Ending Secret Government by Invoking State Secrets Privilege
  8. Stopping Extraordinary Renditions
  9. Stopping Threats to Prosecuting Journalists under the Espionage Act
  10. Ending the Listing of Individuals or Organizations as Terrorists Based on Secret Evidence
I recommend that everyone who agrees with these points write their congressmen. In my opinion, this is a very important piece of legislation for the obvious reason that it will help decide what future path our country takes.

The irony of course is that most of these points shouldn't even be an issue. Many of these points are clearly referenced in the constitution and therefore we shouldn't require laws guiding our decisions on some of these matters; we should simply follow the constitution, the supreme law of the land. It is quite sad that we have explicitly state what and what is not allowed, despite the fact that the constitution is quite clear on many of these points.

I would highly recommend to everyone to go to the following site that will show you how to write an email to your state representative.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Presidential Sanctions Legal?

I know it's a strange question to ask, but is it constitutional for the President to place sanctions on a different country? Think about that for a second, the president is telling everyone in America that they cannot not to business with a particular country. To me that seems like a personal liberty that should be left up to me and not the government.

Surely sanctions are unilateral and therefore not a "treaty." As such the congress doesn't have to ratify sanctions, but can the President just impose them at will? If so, that would mean there is not a system of checks and balances in this case. The executive branch would be the sole voice in this regard. Obviously no one man would be allowed to have such power (according to our constitution), as such I am obligated to believe that in fact sanctions are unconstitutional.

This is the section from the constitution regarding presidential powers:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

I just don't see anything in that statement that would give the president the right to impose sanctions on a foreign country; I don't see what right a president has to tell me with whom I can and cannot trade. For that matter, I don't see what right a president has to tell me where I can travel and where I cannot.

This is something I have never really thought about before. I had always assumed it was just implied, but is it? I'm not sure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Allen Wastle - CNBC Pulled poll

The other night, after the CNBC GOP (Grand old Party, or Republican Party) Debate, there was a poll asking the viewers who they believed won. Ron Paul was overwhelmingly winning the poll with over 75% of the vote. However, the poll and the results were eventually taken down. Allen Wastler, the editor of writes in an open letter why he decided to do this. Basically he says that the poll was not conforming with other "legit" polls so he decided to take the poll down. I don't even want to explain how this is wrong on so many levels. Obviously, there is a bias in this poll considering the fact that the participants must actively go to the website and vote, it is not a random sample, but this is no reason to take down a poll, even if you believed the results were somehow not representative. After all, elections are not "random samples", they are the results of those who pro actively go out of their way to have their voices heard and therefore vote. How is a poll any different?

Bottom line, I'm upset that Allen Wastler the editor of thinks he is allowed to interpret poll results and decide which should be kept up and which should be taken down. That is a perversion of our democratic society.

Here is a link to his letter which he later wrote.

I just wrote an email to cnbc expressing my frustration with this act.

Thomas Libary of Congress

I added a link to the side here to the Thomas Library of Congress. You can check out how both your senators and house representatives are voting. The sight is poorly organized in my opinion, but once you learn you away around it's alright. But go and check out how your legislators are voting on key issues, if they aren't voting how you want them to, send them an email and complain.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What I would like to see the news do

I am completely sick of the media always talking about bills and resolutions without telling me which bill they are referring to. For instance, they might say something along the lines of "Congress is debating a bill whether or not to further extend the patriot act." But they never say exactly which bill they are referring to.

I have no idea why they don't do this. It isn't hard. Just say, "Congress is debating H.J.Res 144 which is a bill concerning whether or not to further extend the patriot act." See? That was easy, now I can just go to either and check whether or not my state legislators are voting how I want them to vote. If they aren't I would write them an email telling them why they are wrong in my opinion and how this will affect whether or not I vote for them in the upcoming elections.

This is just an overall frustration I have with the media. They never link you to original sources. They will talk about a video floating around on the net, they will talk about a report released by the white house, they will talk about a bill or resolution going through the senate, but they will never directly give you or link you to the source. They simply talk about what is happening from their point of view and discuss it. Personally, in some major cases, I would rather just go over the source of the news myself, and come up with my own conclusions.

I am going to try and update this blog more often

I find that I have had a lot of thoughts on my mind recently. I also feel that I would like to share them with others and also write them down just so that I can read what my own thoughts were later on in my life.

I have been extensively following politics recently, specifically the 2008 presidential debate. Tonight's debate was about the economy, it was hosted by both CNBC and MSNBC. I was taking notes while watching the debate just to go my own thoughts in order. I don't have time to write them down now, but maybe later on I will. I had a lot of issues with some of the responses from the candidates.

I will say this though.

John McCain seems like a very sincere candidate. I don't agree with a lot of his views on certain issues, but he tells it like it is in his mind and is a straight shooter. I respect that.

Mitt Romney will be like George W Bush with respect to the US Constitution. He will assume he is above it and that it is only a piece of paper that would not apply to him were he elected president. As such, he will never receive my vote. It is my opinion that the constitution was created in order to protect Americans from people who would abuse power like him. He also seems bought and paid for, however I would imagine he is the only candidate that can compete with Ron Paul with regard to the knowledge of Economics.

Guiliani believes that the federal government should be extremely powerful which of course I obviously disagree with. He stated that he is a big fan of a 2 party system, I don't have anywhere near enough time to explain right now why I believe a 2 party system is horrible. In my mind, a 2 party system is almost as bad as a 1 party system, which is to say, terrible.

Ron Paul in my opinion seems to have the best views with respect to all the issues discussed tonight. However, he was not very good tonight at explaining why he is taking the positions that he does. However, I pretty much agreed with everything that he said tonight.