Archive for Freedomworks

Breaking Down Political Barriers in the Art World

The Revolutionary Halo of (Social)Justice by Frances Byrd*

Something is happening. While the media fixates on the gaudy spectacles of politicians and celebrities, a culture movement is brewing.

Pretty girls are singing love songs to Friedrich Hayek. Libertarianism is becoming cool. Young people are seeing an anti-statist, liberty-based message and it’s turning their heads. The Tea Party was only the beginning of something much bigger. Liberty is on the move.

Once only flown in some conservative circles, the banner of liberty and opposition to big government is now flying in unexpected places. What conservatives never seemed able to do—make liberty hot—is now being done for them.

The next stop is the culture. Some are focused on Hollywood. Some are focused on music. Now is the time to make it a complete cultural phenomenon by bringing liberty to the fine arts too. That’s what Liberatchik is all about. We welcome musicians and poets and artists of all kinds, but first and foremost, if you’re a visual artist, we want you. We want you now! It’s time to open a new front in the liberty revolution. Join us!

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About Us: Liberatchik is an art movement devoted to Liberty. We are conservatives and libertarians who understand the power of art. We know it has the power to move people with its intrinsic value, but it also has the power to gather people into movements for a cause. That is our focus.

Learn More at Liberatchik

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One Parent's Concerns with Standardized Testing

As parents desiring to find a proper high school education for our 13 year old son, we have been researching a prep school in Indiana that shares our values of faith, founders and traditional academics. This school, as does the majority of all prep schools, employs the services of the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) exam. It’s this that I want to discuss.

To help my son, I voluntarily took the first practice exam, which we purchased directly from SSAT.org. Shock was soon displaced by dismay as I labored through the reading comprehension. Within the nine essays presented were subjects on racism, an anti-Christian, sarcastic dig, environmentalism, class warfare, history revision, and collectivism. Any follower of current affairs recognizes these to be the influential tools of manipulation used by those of the progressive ideology. The shortest example follows:

“Approximately 28 percent of all energy used in the United States is devoted to transportation and of that fraction, 40 percent, is supplied in the form of gasoline to fuel the nation’s nearly 255 million registered passenger vehicles. Americans use more energy to fuel their cars than they do for any other single purpose.The fuel used by American automobiles and personal trucks would just about fill all the energy needs of Japan, a nation of over 127 million, and the world’s largest consumer of energy – after the United States and China. In an urgent effort to reduce consumption of an increasingly costly fuel, whose chief reserves lie overseas, the government has RIGHTLY (emphasis added) identified the American automobile and current habits of its utilization as prime targets for change.”

My first thoughts were, “Do any of the teachers and administration of these schools ever read these tests? Isn’t it presumptuous on the part of the creators to include politically charged, behaviorally persuasive essays for children in 8th grade?” This started me on a journey and here is what I found.

The SSAT board consists of 19 participants who mostly come from private schools across the country. I found that the board chair, Kilian Forgus, is a spokesperson for one of their 2014 annual meeting sponsors, inResonance. On the face of it, I see a financial conflict of interest. More concerning to me, though, is their keynote speaker, Charles Fadel, Founder and Chairman of CENTER FOR CURRICULUM REDESIGN.

On his website at [http://www. curriculumredesign.org/about/team/#charles](www. curriculumredesign.org/about/team/#charles), he is presented as a global education thought leader and expert who was the liaison with UNESCO, the World Bank and Change the Equation (STEM) while the Global Education Lead at Cisco Systems. Of the other six speakers, five had backgrounds in global aspects of culture, trade, demographics, marketing and business. Progressive ideology uses the word “global” freely as a euphemism for ”make everyone the same”. One of the speakers, Amy Wilkinson, recently spoke at a National Governor’s Association meeting, the birthplace of the national institution of Common Core.

Can anyone say CONNECTIONS? Are these the types of philosophies that influence the design of that test? After three hours of research, I stopped for the night, but I can tell you that I’m not done.

Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, speaking at a conference on February 28, 1966 in St. Louis, Missouri had this to say,

“To take over our schools, the educational system will first have to be federalized and then prostituted entirely to serving the propaganda needs of the state planners, with absolutely no regard for truth or scholarship or tradition.”

Is this happening today? Is the SSAT just one of many means of prostitution and propaganda? Are the SAT and ACT similar? Who is guarding the minds and hearts of our children?

I ask myself whether it’s worth fighting. The machine is so big. I’m just one mom. But I’ve decided to adopt this statement from Secretary Benson’s same speech. “We must be neither fatalists nor pessimists. We must be realists, of high character and deep spirituality”. If enough of us can see this, we can stop it.

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American—The Land of Opportunity…..Costs

Americans are suckers for a clever slogan, whether it is Burger King’s “Have it your way” or Walmart’s “Save Money, Live Better.” Americans for generations have bought into these slogans. Even America herself has a slogan advertising, at home and around the world, “The American Dream, the land of opportunity.” Most people are aware of America’s slogan; and many were raised by generations that heartily agreed with its promise. However, as we stand as a nation in 2014, the brand is in question.

The new American slogan should reflect a certain level of truth about what it is like to chase a dream in this country, and shine a more sensible light on American prospects today. The new slogan should be “the American Dream, the land of opportunity….costs.” Sure you can still start a business or create something new, but you’d better be ready to handle the costs that come along with that dream. America is bad for business; all the matrices tell us that. We have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Not only that, but we place regulations on everything from environmental impacts to the actual workplace to healthcare, wages, and more.

Recently one of the most iconic American companies, and America’s second largest burger chain, Burger King has announced it seeking a merger with a Canadian partner and is looking to relocate their headquarters to Canada. Very soon, Burger King, inventors of the “Whopper,” the classic American hamburger, will be sold by a Canadian company. According to Stephen Moore, chief economist at The Heritage Foundation, “this multi-billion dollar deal would make the $11.4 billion hamburger company currently headquartered in Miami a Canadian company worth more than $21 billion.”

Why is Burger King doing this? The answer is very simple; the opportunity costs here in America are too high to continue to do business. Florida, where Burger King is currently located has a 38.6 percent tax rate, while Ontario, Canada comes in at 28 percent. Furthermore, a foreign-based company does not have to pay U.S. taxes on its earnings from the rest of the world. This is hardly rocket science; Burger King will make millions by relocating. The Washington Post notes “Burger King would hardly be the first large American corporation to move its headquarters—more than 70 U.S. companies have reincorporated overseas since the early 1980s. The practice has been especially popular lately—more than half of those inversions have come since 2003, or almost double the amount that did in the twenty years prior, according to data from Congressional Research Service (CRS).” America is doing everything but helping companies pack their bags.

What is more troubling is the response of President Obama and Senate Democrats. Instead of recognizing the opportunity costs imposed by the federal government on businesses large and small they are trying to force these companies to stay. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), member of the Senate Finance Committee, who could take over the Banking Committee in the next Congress, released a statement Monday calling on a boycott of Burger King and suggested that Congress should push for a minimum global corporate tax rate. Meanwhile President Obama has called companies trying to move for tax reasons “corporate deserters” and has accused them of a lack of “economic patriotism” and is once again reaching for his executive order pen to curb deals like this.

Icons and classics by their very nature should remain unchanged, but, sadly, it seems the American Dream can’t be one of them. We should be promoting America as the place where companies should want to be, but sadly our leaders seem to have other plans. Maybe everyone will take a page of out of the New Coke playbook and demand the Classic come back?

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WV Against Common Core Town Hall

What an amazing 3 days with the WV Against Common Core(WVACC) crew & Dr. Sandra Stotsky! We had great turnout on Sunday in Bridgeport, WV. FreedomWorks joined West Virginians Against Common Core to host a town hall forum on Common Core.

The meeting was designed to educate the public and legislators, who were in Bridgeport for Interim’s, on Common Core in West Virignia and persuade legislators to take a stand. There were almost 200 people in attendance, including over 30 West Virginia legislators and candidates. “We were expecting 65 people, had the room set up for just over 80, we ended up with almost 200 people, with over 60 more watching the livestream.” Dr. Sandra Stotsky, an expert on educational standards and former member of the Common Core Validation Committee, presented information and answered questions.

Monday was a full day of Dr. Stotsky and WVACC members meeting with legislators (on both sides of the isle) and doing interviews with radio hosts and other media from across the state.

Tuesday we traveled to Morgantown where Dr. Stotsky was able to sit down with WVU President, Dr. Gee and have an open dialog about common core and how it will affect kids coming into WVU and all colleges.

Having someone with Dr. Stotsky’s background and credentials come to our area really helped spark more interest in the common core agenda. We are seeing more and more people realize how bad it really is and they are wanting to know what they can do to help stop it.

WVACC is presently working on a multi-tiered action plan that will work best for West Virginia.

For more info visit: http://wvagainstcommoncore.wvconstitutionaladvocates.com/

Check out the photo gallery and these news stories about the event!

You can also watch Dr. Stotsky’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzZWBbKkxJ0&feature=youtu.be

WV MetroNews Story
http://wajr.com/common/more.php?m=15&r=1&item_id=28031

Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram
http://www.theet.com/news/local/educational-expert-addresses-concerns-with-common-core/article_b33e46a2-2c13-11e4-9abc-0019bb2963f4.html

WBOY-TV – WV Media
http://www.wboy.com/story/26358771/common-core-critics-held-forum-in-bridgeport

Connect-Clarksburg.com
http://www.wboy.com/story/26358771/common-core-critics-held-forum-in-bridgeport

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Congress Must Declare War on ISIS…or Not

Personal Freedom and Prosperity 110: The Rule of Law

Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power … to declare war

Congress Must Declare War on ISIS…or Not

President Obama is dithering over the extent of force, if any, the United States shall marshal against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is a recent vacillation by the President.

“History teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin and trying to go it alone without international support, or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.”

More important, Mr. President, our Constitution commands to not “rush (ing) into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.” Our Constitution states:

The Congress shall have Power … to declare war.

At the Constitutional convention, Virginia’s George Mason said the president “is not safely to be entrusted with” the power to decide on war. The reasoning of the Founders was clear and correct. Declaring and making war was too important to be vested in one person.

Tragically, Mr. President you have proved this to be true when you unilaterally declared war on Libya. Today, Libya is controlled by fanatical groups associated with ISIS, and the American embassy has been abandoned. No single person should make the momentous decision to bomb another country or people, an just as important is the decision to not make war.

Mr. President, as to the ISIS crisis, quit dithering and sending out political trial balloons. Instead, call Congress home from summer vacation, and have a thorough debate on the threat to America’s global interests, the interests of the Middle East, the interests of Europe, other economic and political consideration and all the possible consequences. Most important, please have a thorough and honest discussion with the American people. Then follow the Constitution and have Congress vote on whether to declare war or not. If America should go to war against ISIS or not, the decision is up to Congress It is too important a decision for one person to make alone.

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My Journey from Tyranny to Liberty

I am an Chinese immigrant who come to America to seek freedom from the Communist China. I was born right before China’s Cultural Revolution and grew up in Chengdu, Capitol of Sichuan province, China. As you know, in China there is only one party that is truly in power: The Communist Party. The government, which is the Communist Party, controls everything: Factories, schools, the press, hospitals, land, and universities. Growing up there, I never heard of such a thing as a “private company.” There were no choices of any sort. We were all poor. We had no gas or stove, no TV, no phones, no refrigerators, and no washing machines. In the cities, electricity was rationed. In the countryside, there was no electricity.

Our family of five had to live on the very low wages my parents earned. The local government issued coupons for people to buy everything from pork to rice, sugar, and flour and there was never enough. We got to buy only 2.2 pounds of pork per month for our family of five. We lived in a two room ‘apartment’, without heat in the winter and no indoor plumbing. I got impetigo every winter from the cold damp winter weather, which was common for kids to get. Eight families lived in our complex, and we had to share bathrooms (holes in the ground outside), one for all males, and one for all females. When the lights were out, no one would replace the bulb for a while so it would be totally dark to go to the bathroom. It became a quite scary adventure at night for us to go there. We had only government run hospitals which were filthy. I was afraid of going to a hospital because I might get diseases. The last two years before I left for college, we moved into a three-room apartment provided by my dad’s work-unit. It had concrete walls and a concrete floor, a water faucet and sink, but no heat. It had a shared public restroom without a shower or bathtub – but, it was infinitely better than what we had before.

I was eager to go to school when I turned 6 years old. My parents did not let me to go to school because they needed me to babysit my younger brother who was one year old. They could not afford his child care. I cried for a long time that night. My parents felt so guilty so they bought me a movie ticket next day. Finally, I went to school at age of 7. I was so happy and motivated to be a top student. As a child, we were brainwashed in public school every day. We were taught that two-thirds of the world population were suffering and living in hunger and our socialist country was the best. We didn’t think that maybe China should be counted as part of the two thirds of suffering humanity! We believed whatever the government told us because we did not know anything else. I thought the other countries must be hellish if they were worse than we were. Anyway, we chanted daily: “Long Live Chairman Mao, Long Live the Communist Party. I love Chairman Mao.” I was so brainwashed as a small child that I could see Chairman Mao in the clouds or the cooking fire. He was like a god to me. We were required to read all of Mao’s Red books, wear Mao’s buttons, write journals, and confess any bad thoughts to Mao.

We were required to conform, not stand out as an individual. I was held back to join the Young Pioneers because I was not humble enough (I told my classmates I should be in the first batch to join due to my 100% grade on every subject and they reported on me). The big powerful state from top to bottom was always watching us very closely: from Beijing’s central government to our neighborhood block committees and police stations. We had no rights, even though our constitution said we did. It was very scary that local police could stop by our home to pound on the doors at night for any reason. The government told us how to dress (Mao’s suit), what to buy and eat (coupons), where to live (household registration system) and what to read (government newspapers). The land belonged to the people (the government actually) and citizens were not allowed to have any weapons or off to prison they would go. Things have changed a lot in China since the open door policy of Deng Xiaoping really got going in the early 1980s; people have more freedom than ever before to start businesses, get jobs in another city, travel overseas, etc, but the political system is still fundamentally the same one party rule.

My favorite teacher in high school told me that he was sent to a Re-education Labor Camp because the Communist Party punished those who criticized the party even though the party was asking for feedback. His health was ruined during those years. He said “China is not a country of laws.” I was determined to study law in college. After three whole days, eight hours of testing each day, I scored very high and was admitted by Fudan University (one of the top five universities) in Shanghai law school. I became the first one in my entire extended family ever to go to college. When there I was depressed to find out that what we learned in school and what was reality were totally different things. The society was not ruled by law but ruled by men. After I became a law school faculty member at Fudan University in Shanghai, I had to be careful about what to say in the classroom or during the party political study and self-criticism meetings. My leaders in law school even intruded into my private life telling me, for example, that I received too many letters (I was too social), or I should not go to my boyfriend’s parents’ house for dinner and spend a night. I was a law school faculty member and yet I was still being treated as a child!

I realized I could not really have the personal freedom I dreamed to have if I stayed in China, so I decided to re-enter school in the USA. It was a long and stressful process for me to step down from my position and leave China. I went to the local security office to apply for my passport seven times and was treated as a deserter with papers literally thrown at my face. My law school made me sign a paper saying that I must return to my job in Shanghai after two years of graduate study, or they will eliminate my position and send my personnel file (everyone has one in China which follows you from birth to death) to my hometown in Chengdu, which would be a death sentence for my law teaching career. However, I was determined to leave and did not care about what I had to sign.

I arrived in America in 1988 with $100 in my pocket. The first ten years when I was in the U.S, I still had nightmares about being trapped in China by the government and having to dig a big hole in the ground, into the blue Pacific Ocean, so I could escape, jump into the Ocean, and swim to the United States. Even when I went back to China later to visit with my American husband in 1991, my fears would return. For example, staying at a friend’s apartment in Beijing, one night the police came to pound on the door and wanted to check our papers. Someone must have reported to them that that there was a foreigner in the neighborhood. I was pregnant with our first son at that time, and we were in deep sleep after midnight when the police’s door-pounding scared the heck out of me and brought all the childhood bad memories back. Fortunately, they only wanted to check our papers, or maybe just let us know who was in charge. Another time I was in China during June 4th (Tian An Men crackdown) anniversary for a business trip, I was in a business-friend’s car, when we were randomly pulled over by the local police to check out our IDs and search our car. They did not have to show any search warrant. I used to also travel often to Guangdong Province for business when I worked in Hong Kong. I remember the taxi drivers called the local police “mafia” because of their brutality and corruption.

I did not hesitate to become an American citizen in 1995. Here I could speak freely and have my rights protected. I do not take my new freedom for granted. I vote in every election. As a U.S. citizen, I have worked for private companies in Hong Kong and Denver. Later, I started my own business and worked hard to grow my business. For the past 15 years, my husband and I have raised three children in Parker, Colorado, enjoying a middle class life: kids, a house, a dog, and 2 cars. From the $100 I brought over from China to having my own businesses and properties, I know I am living the American Dream. All the immigrants I know who come to this country do so because they believe America is a land of opportunity and freedom. We know that if you are smart, work very hard, and save your money, you will be successful and make a nice living here. I love this country. I want my children to continue to enjoy the freedom that brought me here. I want my children to have the same opportunity I had to succeed.

By telling my own story, I wanted to share my message with you: big governments do not work; big governments are very dangerous because they eventually use force. Big government attracts people who love power and control. Big government seems to want to distract you and direct your choices to unimportant social conventions yet limit your choices on really important things like speech, self-defense, and property rights. The freedom we have in this country is precious. The governments in the US are essentially pretty good. However, we are losing more and more liberty every day. The two major parties of this country have always expanded the government (federal or state), even when they say they are shrinking them. Whoever is in power always wants to ‘do’ something, to ‘solve’ some problem. It never really works because government must use force to solve whatever problem of the day arises. Now the federal government is $17 trillion in debt from all the problems it has ‘solved’; we are losing our freedom to choose in many aspects of our life: health care, education, speech, privacy, what we want to buy to protect our families, how much money we want to keep after our hard work, etc., and even in New York drink sizes! Big government is like a cancer; it will grow and spread and keep growing if we don’t stop it. Do not believe things will always get better. I know that people are born the same everywhere, yet their cultures and systems of government can be vastly different. Our culture, our people, and our increasing reliance on more government are, I think, a very dangerous trend.

The country has been on the wrong path for too long, all our governments have been growing bigger for too long. What kind of country is this if we have to work over a half of the year to pay all the taxes and fees: federal, state, city, county; including payroll, phone, gas, car license, eating out, hotel stays, air travel, licenses, tariffs, etc. We are taxed to death for many things we don’t want and the country is broke. This is astounding to me. What kind of country is this if the government uses force to take your money and spend the way they see fit and still tell you it is good for you? Are you its servant or master? Do you own yourself or not? What kind of country is this if the government takes away your choice of marrying anyone who makes you happy? Are you a consenting adult or not? What kind of country is this if the government can put you into a prison for what you are consuming? What kind of country is this if we become like a China Socialist Iron Rice Bowl, where people are treated the same everywhere; where it does not matter whether you work hard or not, that you are told “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” and where you must redistribute what you produce. What kind of country is this where the government monitors our private email and phone calls? What kind of country is this if the IRS can target you based on your political affiliation? Why have we Americans become so unsure of ourselves that we want to be like other countries and to think like them instead of wanting them to be like us? When did this change happen? Where is the America I dreamed of – full of strong men and women without fear of acting on their own behalf?

Big government people have always been attracted to power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Big government people are perpetually alarmed busybodies who fearfully want to insert themselves into everybody’s business here and abroad, telling them what to do or not do. That is why I felt I had to become an advocate for liberty. Let us stop these people now. Wake up and stand up. Remember how this country was founded and what our constitution really protects – Individual Liberty! Vote for liberty, vote for small, effective, and limited government.

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Why is Burger King Moving to Canada?

Don't tax me, eh?

What happens when people and business flee the government regulations that burden them? In a somewhat shocking recent announcement, classic American company Burger King has said that they plan to move their corporate headquarters to Canada in order to escape the United States’ punitive corporate taxes, the highest such tax rates in the world.

President Obama has expressed displeasure at Burger King’s decision, and is even threatening to use his executive power to try to prevent, or at least, discourage, companies from following their model. He is also calling on Congress to act, but one wonder what laws Congress could pass, short of the eminently sensible move of lowering our own corporate tax rate, that would not be outright despotic in curtailing the freedom of business to relocate.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has proposed a global minimum corporate tax rate in response to corporations’ decision to relocate. Al this simply demonstrates that government is motivated, not by a desire to help people or make things better for its citizens, but simply to extract money from producers for its own purposes.

Corporations are not unique in their desire to escape regulation. A recent analysis of migration patterns shows that U.S. citizens are increasingly leaving heavily regulated blue states like California and New York in favor of the lower taxes, lighter regulations, and better economies of middle American red states.

The democratic process is a slow and messy one. Elections are held infrequently, and even with a clear mandate from the people, legislative change takes a long time to accomplish. At times, this is a good thing, when it prevents, bad laws from passing too quickly or easily. At other times, it can be frustrating, when the obstacles for removing an existing regulation seem nearly insurmountable, despite the demands of the people.

Fortunately, markets work more quickly and efficiently than governments. A business needs to make money in real time, and so must react quickly to changing circumstances in order to survive. We can therefore observe the behavior of both individuals and businesses to see whether regulations are succeeding in doing what they are designed to do.

The conceit under which the defenders of government intervention in markets labor is that regulations make things better the citizens. Whereas an unregulated market, they reason, would result in exploitation and chaos, government is necessary to improve the lives of ordinary people. If this is true, then we would expect to see people happily flocking to those places where government works best, and leaving those places where it fails to sufficiently regulate.

If people and businesses are moving in order to escape laws, it is clear that those laws are not working, or at least they’re not working in the sense of making people’s lives better.

This is why federalism is so important. The ability of citizens to vote with their feet and escape the effects of bad policies is vital both for freedom in general, and for us to observe the actual effects of policies as they are implemented.

In a final bit of irony, billionaire and vocal supporter of higher taxes on rich people is helping to finance Burger King’s exodus in pursuit of lower tax rates.

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KTBS News ‘On Your Side’ Exclusive on Rev CL Bryant, Radio Show & Ferguson MO

FreedomWorks Senior Fellow Rev. C.L. Bryant’s great work in conservative activism was featured on KTBS News On Your Side in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Watch Video

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"What’s the Big Deal? It’s just Metadata."

The Obama administration has continuously defended the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata on Americans. President Obama says that it’s not that big of a deal. “When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” he says. The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper equates it to simply reading the Dewey Decimal System on the cover of a library book.

“The call-records program is not surveillance,” writes Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) “It does not collect the content of any communication, nor do the records include names or locations. The NSA only collects the type of information found on a telephone bill: phone numbers of calls placed and received, the time of the calls and duration.”

So, what’s the big fuss?

At first, the collection of telephone metadata may not sound that invasive. But it’s actually shocking how much personal information that it can reveal about a person.

Metadata can potentially reveal:

  • Medical conditions
  • Financial and legal connections
  • Whether you have a gun
  • Religious affiliation
  • Romantic relationships
  • Your close friends
  • Political affiliation
  • Any drug or alcohol addictions
  • And more personal information

There’s a lot you can infer about someone by only looking at phone numbers of calls placed, the time, and the length.

In a study published by Sanford University, Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler used a smartphone app to collect metadata from 546 volunteers. They wanted to see how much personal information they could find out about people making the calls by only analyzing metadata. Before they conducted the study, they didn’t anticipate finding much.

“We were wrong,” the authors write. “We found that phone metadata is unambiguously sensitive, even in a small population and over a short time window. We were able to infer medical conditions, firearm ownership, and more, using solely phone metadata.”

In total, the 546 volunteers contacted 33,688 unique phone numbers during the time of the study. Using public directories, the researchers were able to identify the person on the other end of the line in 18 percent of the calls.

They found out that 57 percent of participants made at least one medical call, 40 percent made a financial services call, 30 percent called a pharmacy, 10 percent called legal services, 8 percent called a religious organization, 7 percent called a firearms seller, and 4 percent called a political officer holder or campaign.

“The degree of sensitivity among contacts took us aback,” Mayer writes. “Participants had calls with Alcoholics Anonymous, gun stores, NARAL Pro-Choice, labor unions, divorce lawyers, sexually transmitted disease clinics, a Canadian import pharmacy, strip clubs, and much more. This was not a hypothetical parade of horribles. These were simple inferences, about real phone users, that could trivially be made on a large scale.”

Here are some specific examples from the study:

Participant A communicated with multiple local neurology groups, a specialty pharmacy, a rare condition management service, and a hotline for a pharmaceutical used solely to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Participant B spoke at length with cardiologists at a major medical center, talked briefly with a medical laboratory, received calls from a pharmacy, and placed short calls to a home reporting hotline for a medical device used to monitor cardiac arrhythmia.

Participant C made a number of calls to a firearm store that specializes in the AR semiautomatic rifle platform. They also spoke at length with customer service for a firearm manufacturer that produces an AR line.

In a span of three weeks, Participant D contacted a home improvement store, locksmiths, a hydroponics dealer, and a head shop.

Participant E had a long, early morning call with her sister. Two days later, she placed a series of calls to the local Planned Parenthood location. She placed brief additional calls two weeks later, and made a final call a month after.

Clearly, the government collecting telephone metadata is a big deal. It’s possible to deduce a lot of sensitive information about someone from their phone calls even without listening to the content of the communication. Frankly, it’s none of the government’s business.

That’s why FreedomWorks is supporting the USA Freedom Act to put an end to the bulk collection of metadata. Take action below!

Tell Your Senators to Support the USA Freedom Act

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FreedomWorks Activists at NC Fracking Hearing

My name is Mary Allison Page and I live in Gibsonville, North Carolina. This year, I will be a rising sophomore at Western Alamance High School. On Wednesday morning, I addressed the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission to express my support for hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. I attended the hearing with FreedomWorks activists from all across North Carolina.

The hearing was held to allow citizens the opportunity to express their opinions about the rules that the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has proposed. These rules would be the guidelines for how fracking will work in our state. FreedomWorks activists spoke in favor of fracking as a whole and in support of the rules as they have been proposed.

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