Monthly Archives: April 2008

We interrupt this broadcast

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::“I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman.”:::– Homer Simpson::::::Subject: We interrupt this broadcast for our regular scheduled month-end commercial::::::Today’s the last day for us to make budget for April. We made good progress yesterday, but we still need to raise $1,587. We’re asking you, because we have only you to ask. Contributions in the following amounts would do the trick . . .

  • 1 of $1,000 and 1 of $500
  • 3 of $500
  • 6 of $250
  • 15 of $100
  • 30 of 50
  • 60 of $25
  • 150 of $10

You can contribute here, and then . . . ::::::We’ll get back to work. Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC army. ::::::Jim Babka:::President:::DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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What the calendar says

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::“With $10,000 we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things. Like love!”:::– Homer Simpson::::::Subject: What the calendar says::::::The calendar says April has only two days remaining, so here we are with our usual month-end frundraising drive. We need just $2,312 more to make budget for this month. DC Downsizers are our only source of funds, so if we don’t ask you . . . we have nowhere to go.::::::Here are the contributions that would do the job . . .

  • 2 of $1,000 and 1 of $300
  • 5 of $500
  • 10 of $250
  • 23 of $100
  • 46 of $50
  • 92 of $25

::::::If you can help, here’s the place to do it. ::::::Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.::::::Jim Babka:::President:::DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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How to Stop the SPP

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::Last week, the Presidents of Mexico and the U.S. met with the Prime Minister of Canada to work on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The SPP is a working relationship between bureaucrats in all three countries to promote greater uniformity in economic and security matters. Here are two of the SPP’s goals, from the SPP’s own website:
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  • Safe Food & Products: Strengthen cooperation to better identify, assess and manage unsafe food and products before they enter North America, and collaborate to promote the compatibility of our related regulatory and inspection regimes;
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  • Energy and Environment: Develop projects under the newly signed Agreement on Science and Technology; and cooperate on moving new technologies to the marketplace, auto fuel efficiency and energy efficiency standards ;
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:::What’s the goal here? Simply, if something is manufactured in Mexico or Canada, it won’t have to be inspected when entering the United States. In addition, if something is imported into Mexico or Canada, their inspections will be “good enough” and the goods can be trucked into the United States with no further inspections.
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:::What is the driving force behind this integration? Not the people of the three countries. Congress had no say in the formation of the SPP.

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Free Talk on Downsize DC

I’m traveling this weekend. So Ian and Mark of Free Talk Live agreed to host my Sunday radio show, the Downsize DC Conference Call.
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:::Free Talk Live is a show hosted by long-time DC Downsizers, heard on more than 30 stations around the U.S., Monday thru Saturday. Their format is simple — they want you to call them. You choose the topic. That’s when the fun begins on Free Talk Live.
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:::I have no idea what they have planned today, save for an update from my sponsor, Gun Owners of America.
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:::My guess is

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National Security Letters Reform Act

DownsizeDC.org has joined 28 other organizations in sending the House and Senate a message asking them to support S. 2088, the National Security Letters Reform Act. Here is the copy of the letter sent to the Senate:

April 22, 2008::::::Hon. John Conyers, Jr., Chairman:::Hon. Lamar S. Smith, Ranking Minority Member:::House Committee on the Judiciary:::2138 Rayburn House Office Building:::Washington, DC 20515-6216::::::Re: National Security Letters Reform Act, S. 2088::::::Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter:::::::The Judiciary Committee will soon consider issues relating to National Security Letters. We write to express our support for the National Security Letters Reform Act (S. 2088). ::::::The PATRIOT Act and Intelligence Authorization Act of FY 2004 drastically expanded the FBI’s authority to obtain the business and personal records of Americans by issuing National Security Letters (NSLs). NSLs, which do not require prior judicial approval, can be used to obtain a wide range of documents based upon vague claims that the information is merely “relevant” to a terrorism investigation. Once the FBI acquires records with an NSL, it can keep them indefinitely, even when it concludes that the subject of those records is innocent of any crime and is not of intelligence interest.

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Progress Report

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .::::::Quote of the Day:::::::“It is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil.”:::– Fredrich von Hayek, Nobel Laureate in Economics, from “The Constitution of Liberty”::::::Subject: Progress Report::::::We’ve been busy this month, mostly with behind the scenes stuff that you’ll begin to see in May. Meanwhile, we’ve been clicking right along in April with our integrated campaign of education, recruitment, and pressure on Congress . . .

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Is today really Tax Freedom Day?

Is today really Tax Freedom Day?

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Bureaucratic bookkeeping vs. targeted surveillance

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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:::”Nothing is as terrible to see as ignorance in action.”
:::– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) Source: engraved on a plaque at the Naval War College
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:::Subject: Bureaucratic bookkeeping vs. targeted surveillance

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:::Which is more likely to protect you from terrorism, a database and a plastic ID card, or targeted surveillance of probable terrorists?
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:::REAL ID is mere bureaucratic bookkeeping. It aims to put EVERY LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN in a database, give us a special ID card, and then constantly ask us the totalitarian’s favorite question, “May I see your papers please?”
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:::But how exactly would a REAL ID card protect you from a suicide bomber? Could you throw it at them, or use it to shield yourself from the blast? Would a suicide bomber even . . .

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Interesting, Informative, Entertaining Radio

On today’s (Sunday) Downsize DC Conference Call (radio show), I’m going to have two guests. And we have a brand new feature you’re going to like.
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:::And if at least one of my guests can’t get you interested and excited — ready to listen and even participate — well, you might be asleep. Wake up! It’s going to be quite an informative and entertaining program.
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:::Guest #1 – David Keating, SpeechNow.org
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:::The show starts at 3:06 PM Eastern (2:06 PM Central, 1:06 PM Mountain, and 12:06 PM Pacific), and I’ll be joined during the first hour by David Keating, Executive Director of the Club for Growth. But it’s not his day job that interests me this April afternoon. He’s also the man behind SpeechNow.org. 
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:::SpeechNow.org is suing the Federal Election Commission (FEC), with the expert assistance of folks like former FEC Chair Brad Smith. This group, led by today’s guest, David Keating, is challenging the restrictions campaign finance laws place on the exercise of First Amendment rights — asserting the “freedom of association” principle
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:::Many of you may remember or know that my show sponsor and my employer, DownsizeDC.org, Inc., which has been operating since mid-2004, was preceded by RealCampaignReform.org, Inc.(RCR). RCR was the organizing plaintiff of Paul v. FEC, one of eleven plaintiff groups that participated in McConnell v. FEC, a challenge to the un-Constitutional, McCain-Feingold, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). I have a deep and abiding interest in this issue because I recognize that . . .

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Senate underscores need for RTBA and OSTA

Senate underscores need for RTBA and OSTA

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