The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 23, 2008 Page: 2 of 36
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THURSDAY 23 OCTOBER 2DDS
THE CANADIAN RECORD
Is it time or a rebellion?
By John W. Whitehead
"50 percent NO and 50 percent HELL NO!"—Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) on feedback
received from his constituents regarding Congress' bailout package
ORPORATED FEBRUARY 1998
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FOR COURAGE, TENACITY B INTEGRITY
IN COMMUNITY JOURNALISM
MERE DAYSAFTER PRESIDENT Bushsignedinto
law an $810 billion bailout bill aimed at rescu-
ng the Wall Street financiers, one of the recipi-
ents, American International Group Inc., threw
a $440,000 bash for its executives at a swanky
resort, complete with spa treatments, banquets
and golf outings.
At the same time that AIG execs were cele-
brating lavishly, i nd irectly at taxpayer expense,
nearly 12 million American taxpayers, who
owed more on their mortgages than their homes
are worth, were in danger of foreclosure.
As if it weren't bad enough that a fiscally ir-
responsible corporate America ip going to be
bailed out at taxpayer expense, Congress in-
cluded more than $100 billion i n pork barrel pro -
ects in the bill. Nothing short of congression-
al bribes, these so-called inducements range
from an exemption from excise tax for wooden
arrows designed for use by children and tax
write-offs for motorsports racing track faeil-
ty owners to tax rebates on rum Imported from
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as
This is not relief, t is economic slavery. It
has become increasingly clear that the great-
est threat to our freedoms—and our bank ac-
counts—does not lurk outside our borders.
Rather, it prowls among us, in the form of a gov-
ernment of wolves that is running wild and rid-
ng roughshod over our freedoms.
There was a time when such a blatant dis-
regard for the burden being laid upon the
American taxpayer would have elicited howls
of outrage, protest marches and perhaps even
outright rebellion. Today, however, many
Americans understandably feel helpless to do
anything about their plight. After all, despite
the fact that calls and emails to congressional
offices were overwhelmingly against the $810
billion pork-laden bailout, the legislation passed
Yet consider this: at its core, the quest for
the American dream is about gaining sover-
eignty over one's life and property. Without it,
there can be no freedom. While we have become
accustomed to equating property with land
ownership, the term is much more fundamen-
tal and personal. It refers to a kind of sovereign-
ty over one's life and possessions—especially
one's money. Questions about who has ultimate
control over our money, how much of it can be
claimed by government and how it gets spent go
to the heart of the battle over property rights.
Governments generate no wealth on their
own. Any resources that they have at their dis-
posal have been appropriated from the origin-
al producers of that wealth, the citizens. This
fundamental truth has largely been forgotten
over the years. Yet the government's respect
for and treatment of the property of its citizens
often reflects its attitude regarding its citizens'
rights as a whole. Conversely, a government
that doesn't respect the rights of its citizens will
have even less regard for their property—be it
land, money or personhood.
With the Wall Street bailout, the President
and Congress simply disregarded the clear
will of the people. And while secret agreements
were obviously made and backroom bargains
struck, the Constitution and our rights were not
even given a second thought.
However, those who wrote the Constitution
drafted our founding document with the inten-
tion of ensuring that the power of government
remained with the people. The Framers want-
ed citizens to know what the government is do-
ng and how it spends taxpayer funds. And if the
elected officials aren't doing their jobs or the
people disagreed with their performance, the
Framers empowered the people to unseat their
representatives. Without these safeguards,
there is no representative government.
Since the country's inception, America has
been synonymous with the concept that there
are certain individual rights and freedoms that
no one, not even government agents, can violate.
As the Declaration of Independence boldly pro-
claims: "We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal, that they are en-
dowed by their Creator with certain unalien-
able Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty,
and the pursuit of Happiness."
These were revolutionary ideas in an age
of kings and serfdoms, and they served as a
springboard for the Constitution and the Bill
of Rights. These rights were considered abso-
lute and so precious that no government can
violate them. And the early American colonists
believed these principles were not only worth
fighting for, they were worth dying for.
One of these was the right of the people to
change or do away with a government that at-
tempts to undermine their rights. As the Dec-
laration concludes, "whenever any form of Gov-
ernment becomes destructive of these ends, t is
the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and
to institute new Government, laying its founda-
tion on such principles and organizing its pow-
ers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Governments are brought nto being to
protect our rights. When they systematically
violate them, the people have a right—nay, a
duty—to resist. This was the true spirit of 1776
that moved the American colonists to start a
revolution against a government that was vio-
lating their rights. This willingness to stand
and fight against corrupt government was what
it meant to be an American in our nation's early
years. And if we truly want to be Americans to-
day, it will mean practicing every form of non-
violent resistance available to us as citizens—
including picketing, mass protests, sit-ins, boy-
cotts and so on.
It will certainly take more than voting for or
against a particular politician. Thomas Jeffer-
son was right: "What country can preserve its
liberties f its rulers are not warned from time
to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
EDITOR'S NOTE: Constitutional attorney
and author John W. Whitehead is founder
and president of The Rutherford Institute.
By the Hays Free Press editorial board
JOHN CDRNYN IS COMPLETING his first term as our j unior sena-
tor from Texas. Unlike his Republican cohort, Kay Hutchison,
he has not developed a strong reputation n Washington. In fact,
in a much-publicized exchange on the floor of the senate, he was
chastised, in clear and colorful language, by the GOP candidate
He's not a bad man by any stretch, but neither does he show
outstanding potential. If he is elected for another term, he'll al-
most certainly be there till doomsday. As a close ally of President
Bush, he has rarely strayed from the Bush line—the one that has
us teetering on the banks of economic disaster.
His Democratic challenger is State Representative Rick
Noriega of Houston, who is polling about 10 points behind Cornyn.
Noriega is a National Guard officer who has pulled a couple of tours
in the Afghanistan-Iraq conflict. In the only debate between the
two candidates (last week) Noriega came across as solid, bright
If you like the status quo, such as it has been, then vote for
Cornyn and get more of the same.
For the pragmatists among you, voting for Noriega makes
some political sense. Current polls and many tel 1-it-like-it-is Re-
publicans are convinced that Democrats will capture the White
House. If they do, having a Democratic Senator as one of our two
in Washington will strengthen our posit ion on the national stage.
What would you do
By Maureen Backman, Public Citizen.org
AMERICA'S TAXPAYERS-INCLUDING YDU —deserve a refund.
Our country is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great
Depression. AIG, an insurance giant, recently received $123 bil-
lion of taxpayers' money to rescue it from bankruptcy. But even
though AIG executives knew their company was in danger of
going broke, they continued the party, leaving taxpayers to deal
with the hangover.
This is despicable! Just days after the government announced
an $85 billion loan to the company in September, AIG decided to
pay for a $444,000 week-long retreat at a posh California resort for
ts top-performing insurance agents.
Plus, earlier this month, as AIG asked for an additional $38
billion loan, i ;s executives traveled by private jet to go partridge
hunting in England, which cost $90,000. Last week, New York
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened legal action if this
wasteful spending continued.
We cannot allow AIG to get away with this. While you and
many taxpayers are struggling with high prices, mortgage pay-
ments and credit card bills, these executives were enjoying mar ; ■
cures, pedicures, massages and weekend getaways while receiv-
ng taxpayer money to bail them out.
That is why Public Citizen is sending a petition to AIG's top
two executives, demanding that they give you and the rest of the
country's taxpayers a refund. They must return to taxpayers the
$444,000 they spent on a spa weekend and the $90,000 they spent
on a hunting trip.
We need all the support we can muster to end this pattern of
rresponsible spending at the expense of taxpayers. Only through
a massive groundswell of support will we be able to recover this
So add your name to the thousands of signatures on our petition
(found online at http://action.citizen.org/petition.jspfpetition_
KEY=1710), and encourage at least five of your friends to do the
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Brown, Laurie Ezzell. The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 23, 2008, newspaper, October 23, 2008; Canadian, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252727/m1/2/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hemphill County Library.