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Downsize DC Bonanza, October 2009:
VIP communications for Congressional tickle-prods... from liberating health care from the state to abolishing (various modern forms of) slavery
by Downsize DC Dudes

Downsize DC is the premier vehicle for emailing Congressional members with the correct libertarian arguments and positions on the issues and on the bills they continue to pass willy nilly... usually without reading them. As you know, the vast majority of Congress acts to serve the Cartel interests that got them elected. But increasing numbers of Congress are listening to the enraged and informed—to be informed is to be enraged... or at least passionate—public, and we can bend Congress to the will of the people if we simply lead them insistently on the issues. If you have never written Congress, or if you want the best organization for doing so, please join the Downsize DC army and subtly ENCOURAGE THE SLIMY BASTARDS TO PAY ATTENTION!

This guest column is actually a compendium of several important messages from Downsize DC as follows:

  1. End the Fed, Your Pressure Works 10/13/09
  2. Another Letter vs. Big Government Healthcare 10/13/09
  3. Apply Pressure to Douse the Patriot Act 10/12/09
  4. Citizens Must Have Full Money Power 10/09/09
  5. Do Not Pass the Healthcare Bill 10/07/09
  6. Drug Laws Fail Constitution Test 10/06/09
  7. End Civil Forfeiture 10/01/09

Please read what interests you and pass it on; I also encourage you to join and participate in Downsize DC. Please send this particular column along to anyone you like... or even anyone you don't like, but who may care in his or her own way for making the world better. — bw

I want my government small enough to fit inside my Constitution. — Harry Browne

Subject: End the Fed, Your Pressure Works

Please send Congress another letter demanding that they audit the Federal Reserve. Your constant pressure can make a difference, as evidenced by this email we just received from DC Downsizer Nick Hasulak . . .

"I've used the Educate the Powerful system to send probably over 30 messages to Senator Boxer regarding HR 1207/S604 (the Audit the Fed bill). As recently as August 27th, her response was basically "I'll keep your opinions in mind". Finally today, October 8th, I received an email stating that she had signed on as a co-sponsor to S604! It's extremely gratifying to win this victory even if it is small! Knowing her past record, I know this change is due to nothing but constant pressure from the People. DownsizeDC works!"

The Audit the Fed bill currently has...

  • 30 co-sponsors in the Senate (up by 3 since our last report)   
  • 301 co-sponsors in the House (up by 11 since our last report)

The Audit the Fed bill already has a substantial majority in the House. Can we achieve the same thing in the Senate? Here's the letter I sent to my elected representatives to try and make this happen... "Thank you to Representative Giffords and Senator McCain for co-sponsoring the Audit the Fed bill. I hope Senator Kyl will see fit to join them soon."

Check to see if your House Rep. is a co-sponsor here
Check to see if one or both of your Senators is a co-sponsor here

Then, send your letter to Congress here.

Perry Willis
Communications Director, Inc.  

Subject: Another Letter vs. Big Government Healthcare

Here's what I said in my letter (you can crib from it for your letter)…

I don't believe the cost report from the Congressional Budget Office on the healthcare bill proposed by the Senate Finance Committee. I do not believe the claim that any Big Government health care scheme will reduce the deficit, but even if it does, it will do so at the cost of higher taxes. I still think Congress is trying to defraud the American public…

First, it remains the case that most of the costs will still come after the 10-year period covered by the CBO report.

Second, you're going to raise taxes now, but delay the start of the most significant expenses until 2013.

Third, the federal government has a terrible record when it comes to predicting the true costs of government healthcare interventions. A study by the Joint Economic Committee shows that government healthcare programs cost at least twice as much as promised, and often much more.

Congress's record of getting it wrong is so consistent that it suggests willful deceit. Please end the fraud! Do not pass any of the proposed Big Government healthcare bills. Instead…

Create a truly competitive national market for health insurance by allowing individuals and employers to buy health insurance regulated by the state of their choice. This is a very simple change that will allow citizens to avoid the expensive special interest mandates that make insurance too expensive in many states. Check out:

Second, make the deposit limit for Health Savings Accounts similar to the tax-free benefits available through employer provided health insurance. Expand the HSA deposit limit to something like $8,000 for individuals, and $16,000 for families. If you're really honest about wanting to improve healthcare, you'll make these simple changes first.

Friends, I don't believe Congress. I don't trust Congress. I want simple changes that will restore the free market, not complex changes that will expand the federal government. I'm guessing you want that too. Well, the only way to get what we want is to put some more pressure on them. You can send your letter to Congress here.

Jim Babka, President, Inc.  

Subject: Apply Pressure to Douse the Patriot Act

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee set aside Russ Feingold's JUSTICE Act, which would have amended the PATRIOT Act to protect civil liberties.
It then replaced Senator Pat Leahy's already weak bill with an even weaker one. Several safeguards found in the JUSTICE Act are not in the new bill. 

The Committee defeated amendments requiring evidence
that targets of business records requests and National Security Letters must have some connection to terrorism or espionage.

But hope is not lost . . .

The Senate Judiciary's bill (S. 1692) hasn't yet passed the full Senate   In 2006, almost two-thirds of House Democrats, including now-Speaker Pelosi, voted AGAINST the PATRIOT renewal   The voters did not punish these Democrats for their votes; in fact, later that year Democrats won control of Congress.

The Obama Administration generally wants the continuation of the Bush status quo on civil liberties. We must encourage Congress to listen to the people instead of the President. If House Democrats show some backbone, they could exercise leverage by...

  • Introducing and passing the JUSTICE Act  
  • Adding greater civil liberties protections to any PATRIOT renewal bill, or . . .   
  • Threatening to do NOTHING and allow three provisions of the PATRIOT Act to expire on December 31

Send your elected representatives a letter demanding that they roll back the Patriot Act. This is what I said in my personal comments:

I was disappointed with the results of the Senate Judiciary hearings last week. We must have strong civil liberties protections in any PATRIOT Act renewal bill. I hope a better bill is produced on the Senate floor, and encourage the House to pass the JUSTICE Act. If Congress can't provide better safeguards for my civil liberties, please oppose any PATRIOT Act renewal bill and work to repeal the PATRIOT Act outright.

You can send your letter here.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director

Subject: Citizens Must Have Full Money Power

This week the UK Independent newspaper reported that a host of countries are planning to abandon the use of Federal Reserve Notes, for oil purchases. You should ask Congress to give you the same option for your own transactions. Otherwise, you risk losing everything you've worked for.

Send another letter to Congress asking them to repeal the legal tender law that forces you to do business ONLY in Federal Reserve Notes. In your personal comments use the latest news about countries dropping the dollar for oil transactions. Here's what I wrote in my letter to Congress . . .

Several countries are making plans to stop using Federal Reserve Notes for oil purchases. I want the same freedom for my personal transactions.

The Fed has nearly doubled the money supply since last Fall. This will cut the future value of my savings in half and send my cost of living through the roof. Add to that . . .

  • The $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare
  • Your big bailout schemes,
  • Your so-called stimulus package,
  • Your cap and trade boondoggle,
  • Your disastrous healthcare plans, and the result is...

I see no hope for the dollar. You guys have ruined our currency, and I WANT OUT.

If foreigners can stop using Federal Reserve Notes, I should have the same freedom. Why should foreigners have more right to control their own economic destiny than I do?

Many in Washington claim they want to protect the Fed's independence. What about my independence? I just want you to repeal the legal tender law so I can use forms of money other than Federal Reserve Notes (like gold and silver for instance). Doing this would also moderate the Fed's behavior. If they want me to keep using Federal Reserve Notes then they'll have to stop their legalized counterfeiting activities.

Please represent me. Break the Federal Reserve's money monopoly. Give me the same right that foreigners have.

You can send your own letter to Congress using's Educate the Powerful System.


Jim Babka, President, Inc. 

Subject: Do Not Pass the Healthcare Bill

We're all exhausted by the healthcare debate, but our exhaustion is dangerous. Congress may exploit our fatigue to pass a bill that will change your life forever! Do not relent…

Send Congress another letter opposing the boondoggle healthcare bill.

Here's what I said in my letter…

The Senate Finance Committee finalized a healthcare bill without knowing what it will cost. That's irresponsible. Even worse, you guys are hiding the true costs of your proposals by pushing their full implementation beyond the 10-year accounting window used by the Congressional Budget Office. That's fraudulent.

If corporate CEOs behaved this way you'd use Sarbanes-Oxley to put them in jail. Madoff defrauded in the billions. You guys commit fraud in the trillions. DO NOT PASS THE HEALTHCARE BILL!

Send your own letter to Congress here.

Sources: A Michael Tanner op-ed in The New York Post

Perry Willis
Communications Director, Inc.

Subject: Drugs and the Constitution

Our last Drug War Dispatch generated some concerned emails. You can read our response here. What we didn't mention in the previous Dispatch was the Constitutional problem of the War on Drugs. That's because… Many people seem not to care what the Constitution requires. Today's message is for those who do care.

Drug control is NOT a Constitutional power of the federal government. At the very most the federal government could, perhaps, ban the importation of drugs, and prohibit sale across state lines under the Commerce Clause of Article I, Section 8.

But nowhere in the Constitution is Congress empowered to prohibit the sale or possession of any item within state boundaries. The Tenth Amendment dictates that whatever Congress is not empowered to do must be left to the States, or to the people. This means Congress cannot .. .

  • forbid the personal possession or use of drugs
  • prohibit drug sales within the same state
  • intervene in other countries with money or troops to fight undeclared drug wars

This means that drug prohibition laws can only exist at the state level. Imagine what could happen if some states had no prohibition laws, while other states had prohibition laws of differing severity. Competing claims about drug prohibition could be tested, in the real world. As it is . . .

Federal prohibition laws not only prohibit the sale and use of drugs, they also prohibit us from learning what would work best.

The 10th Amendment's Constitutional restrictions on federal power used to be well-known and understood. For instance, those who wanted to prohibit alcohol in the 1910's knew that the Constitution didn't give Congress the power to do this. So they had to pass the 18thAmendment, ratified in 1919. Alcohol prohibition was a failure, so in 1933 the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment.

If prohibiting alcohol required a Constitutional Amendment, how does prohibiting other drugs NOT require a Constitutional Amendment?

It's an important question. To ignore the Constitutional process is to ignore the rule of law. No matter how one feels about drug use, the rule of law, especially as applied to government power, is essential to protecting our lives, freedoms, and property. With this in mind . ..

We want to ask you to do something different today. We've changed the message to Congress for our "Help End the Mexican Civil War" campaign. For today's action item it reads...

"You've sworn an oath to protect the Constitution, so could you please answer three questions:  

  1. Where does the Constitution authorize the federal government to wage a War on Drugs?
  2. If alcohol prohibition required a Constitutional Amendment, how does prohibiting other drugs NOT require a Constitutional Amendment?
  3. Shouldn't we be allowed to learn what works best by having states with different drug laws, or NO drug laws, in keeping with the 10th Amendment? I would appreciate an honest, thoughtful response."

If members of Congress receive enough of these messages, some will feel compelled to reply. We want to see what form these responses take, and we'd like to compare the names of those who respond with the list of those who have co-sponsored the "Enumerated Powers Act."

Remember, the "Enumerated Powers Act" would require Congress to cite its Constitutional authority for every law it passes. This would be impossible for them to do in the case of most drug prohibition laws, except those provisions that might squeeze through under the Commerce Clause.

If you receive a response could you please forward it to us, so we can publish it on our blog? Please let us know if you want us to omit your name to protect your privacy. Or, you can post the response in the Comments section of this blog post:

You can send your Constitutional questions to Congress here.

Please share this Dispatch with any friends who care about Constitutional requirements.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President

Subject: Whatever happened to "presumed innocent?

Quote of the Day: "While few would argue that criminals ought to be able to keep the proceeds of their crimes, civil forfeiture allows the government to seize and keep property without actually having to prove a crime was committed in the first place.... Proceeds from civil forfeiture at the state and local level usually go back to the police departments and prosecutors' offices, giving them a clear and unmistakable incentive to seize as much property as often as possible." - Radley Balko


The government wants to seize the home of a widowed cancer survivor. She hasn't been charged with any crime, but her now-dead husband once grew marijuana on their property. He used it to ease his chronic pain. Under federal civil asset forfeiture law, that might be enough for the government to take this woman's home.

Such outrages are nothing new in the War on Drugs, but we're seeing more abuses as criminal law becomes increasingly federalized. For instance, federal agents are now exploiting the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to seize bank accounts and computers.

The leader of a new Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering task force admits that unlike criminal cases where the suspect is presumed innocent until proved guilty, in civil asset forfeiture cases . . .

  • if you lose property to an asset forfeiture seizure you must prove your innocence in order to get it back
  • you have no 5th amendment protections—even your silence can be used against you

Civil asset forfeiture is also alive and well at the local level, where police steal money from citizens in order to pay for new equipment. Under Illinois law, the state can withhold cash, cars, or other property for six months without even a preliminary hearing! Under the law, three innocent people had to wait over a year to get their cars back. They, along with three innocent people who had money stolen from them, have argued the Constitutionality of the Illinois law.

The "good" news is that this law will be argued in the Supreme Court this month in Alvarez v. Smith.

The bad news is that the most positive outcome is likely to be only a reduction of the time you must wait before a preliminary hearing. The Court isn't expected to strike down the law, even though civil asset forfeiture proceedings clearly violate the 14th Amendment provision that no state "can deprive any person of... property, without due process of law."

Congress can do what the Court will not. Tell your representatives to abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture using our Educate the Powerful System.

Use your personal comments to mention the example of the widow who may lose her home because her now dead husband grew marijuana that he used to ease his pain from cancer.

You can send your message here.
And don't forget to share this message with your friends:

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director


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