2. The only way to influence the behavior of your elected representatives is to communicate with them - and the best way to ensure they keep voting your way when there is a huge amount of pressure against them is to let them know you’re glad about how they voted.  Well, OK, fine, the very best way usually involves donations to their reelection campaign, but you’re an active user of Tumblr, so I’m going to go ahead and not go into detail about that one.  Remember: you only need a couple of quarters to send a letter, and email is basically free.

    According to The Hill, the only people who voted outside party lines on S. 649 were:

    Democrats Who Voted “No”

    Republicans Who Voted “Yes”

    Harry Reid voted “no,” but only so he can bring it up again later (i.e., due to arcane Senate rules.)  He’d have voted “yes” if it could have passed, so I’m not putting him up there.  I’ll link to his comment form again, though, because he is more useless than the average Senate Majority Leader.  And that is, quite frankly, really saying something, but only because he is significantly lowering this particular bar.  Like, digging under it just so he can lower it some more.

    Bernie Sanders might as well be a Democrat on issues like this, given his version of “independent.”  He voted for it, duh.  Angus King is far less of a sure vote, but he voted for it, too (and he also caucuses as a Democrat, but again, it’s nothing like Sanders.)

    Anyway, so it’s easy enough to figure out how your folks voted.  In Ohio, you can tell Senator Portman how you feel about him having voted against the bill, and Senator Brown how you feel about him having voted for it.

    You can, by the way, use GovTrack to look at bills in a (significantly) friendlier format than used by the Library of Congress.


  3. Ban absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    Don’t ban drugs.

    Don’t ban guns.

    Don’t ban sexual activities.

    Don’t ban books.

    Don’t ban speech.

    Don’t ban religious activities.

    Don’t ban business activities.

    Don’t ban anything.

  4. blacknekomata:

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    - George Washington


  5. Strategic activism idea: figure out which committees your House and Senate representatives are on, and suggest spending cuts in relevant agencies.

    For example, if your Congressman happens to be on the Agriculture committee, perhaps suggest eliminating the Organic Cost Share Program.

    Or, if your Senator is on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee, maybe ask them to condense the Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration, and the US Small Business Administration into a single agency - and reduce their activities to supporting interstate initiatives (and, hey, since we’re cutting so much, maybe they can still support Indian businesses and even businesses in really rural areas in poor states - there’s two more agencies to condense.)

    In addition to aggressive (5-10% across-the-board on an annual basis) cuts and “no replacement” policies for positions held by retiring workers, this will help.  This kind of structural change may seem marginal, but we nickle-and-dimed ourselves into this situation, and it is HARD to run 380 agency offices with one or two people in each one.


  6. "Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong."
    — Ron Paul’s Farewell Address (via asderathos)

    (via the-liberty-republican)


  7. "Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong."
    — Calvin Coolidge  (via isthatthetruth)

    (Source: goodreads.com, via and-i-choose-freedom-deactivate)

  8. thinksquad:

    I would suggest anyone who hasn’t read “Economics In One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt to do so.

    Here is a pdf file of the book and also a link where you can purchase it

    (Source: thinksquad)


  9. Interesting.  We’ll see if it gets enough signatures to appear on the site.

    I’d love to see a list of all of the budget/spending petitions that aren’t yet visible, honestly.  This one wasn’t well written - I ran into it totally by accident.


  10. Both Harry Reid and John Boehner are jerks. BOTH.

    I don’t have to root for either one of them.

    Neither do you.