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January 30, 2008

Numbers that matter

Today’s Downsizer Dispatch . . .

Change the environment. Recruit more Downsizers. Share this with others.

Quote of the Day:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”
— attributed to Groucho Marx (in various versions)

Subject: Numbers that matter

More than 1,000 new people have joined DownsizeDC.org in January. This is more than we recruited in any single month all last year. We’re off to a great start. Thank you to those who helped spread the word, and welcome to all the new members of our Downsize DC Army. Your membership is important because . . .

We aim to change America’s intellectual environment. We aim to grow so large that we can . . .

  • Make the Downsizing message heard by everyone, everywhere, every day
  • Apply relentless, irresistible, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress and the media

    The 1,000+ new people who’ve joined this month are a big step in that direction. But there’s also another number that matters . . .

    So far this month we’ve sent more than 43,000 messages to Congress, asking them to obey the Constitution and downsize the federal government. If we can send just 4,000 more in the next two days, we’ll eclipse our best month from 2007. So here’s yet another number to help us do that . . .

    The number is 50.

    It was revealed on “60 Minutes” this past Sunday that only 50 out of 10,000 FBI agents can speak Arabic.

    We have supposedly been in a “war on terror” for more than 6 years now, fought mainly against Arabic speaking fanatics. And yet, in all that time, the FBI has only seen fit to hire and/or train 50 people who actually speak the language!

    We don’t know about you, but this strikes us as preposterous. Our politicians have . . .

    • Started, and bungled, two wars, while constantly threatening to start yet a third,
    • Squandered trillions of dollars,
    • Placed 750,000 people on a terrorist watch list (roughly one out of every 300 Americans),
    • Arrested and jailed people without due process,
    • Kidnapped people,
    • Tortured people,
    • Spied on people illegally,
    • And generally shredded the Bill of Rights . . .
  • . . . all in the name of their holy war on terror. And yet, amidst all this waste, crime, sloth, and misdirected effort, the FBI has only found time to hire or train 50 people who speak the language of their enemy. During the Cold War there were probably that many Russian speakers in just one Soviet studies department of any mid-sized university.

    Does it seem, perhaps, that we are dealing with a gang that can’t shoot straight, or think straight, or be straight with the American people? Why is it that all of the government’s attention is constantly focused on things that will destroy the Constitution, while doing little to really protect us, and neglecting simple, obvious things like hiring more Arab speakers?

    Could it be that the “war on terror” is really a scam? Or that the institution of government, and the profession of politics, are simply, inherently, and hopelessly incompetent?

    Whatever the case may be, it is time once again to repeat a tried and true theme of ours: the federal government needs to focus, and accomplish more, by doing less. It needs to DOWNSIZE. Fortunately, Ron Paul has introduced a bill that would help the government to do just that. It’s called the “American Freedom Agenda Act.” This bill would . . .

    • Repeal the “Military Commissions Act of 2007” and thereby restore the ancient right of habeas corpus and end legally sanctioned torture by U.S. government agents
    • Restore the ”Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” (FISA) and thereby outlaw warrantless spying on American citizens by the President of the United States
    • Give Congress standing in court to challenge the President’s use of “signing statements” as a means to avoid executing the nation’s laws
    • Make it illegal for government agents to kidnap people and send them abroad to be tortured by foreign governments
    • Provide legal protection to journalists who expose wrong-doing by the Federal government
    • Prohibit the use of secret evidence to label groups or individuals as terrorists for the purpose of criminal or civil sanctions

    This one simple 3-page bill will . . .

    • Restore basic Constitutional protections
    • Empower Americans to stand for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in the world at large, free from the stink of hypocrisy
    • Protect Americans and American soldiers from the same inhumane treatment by foreign powers that our government claims it can inflict on their citizens
    • Help our incompetent government to focus, and accomplish more by doing less

    Please send your elected representatives a message asking them to co-sponsor the “American Freedom Agenda Act” (HR 3835). Use your personal comments to mention the fact that only 50 out of 10,000 FBI agents can speak Arabic. You can send your message here.

    But before you go, there are a couple of other numbers to mention. We only have two days left in January. We need another $449 in contributions to win $3,000 in matching funds from a generous supporter, and thereby make budget for this month. Please help. You can contribute here.

    Thanks for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

    Perry Willis
    Communications Director
    DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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