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Are You Sinking in Our Country’s Regulatory Quagmire? – Episode 050

We have a crisis in this country. This crisis isn’t about debt (although it is a symptom of the crisis), it isn’t about 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, 4th amendment, 6th amendment, or even 10th amendment concerns (although, again, they figure highly in the equation).

This crisis is about the corporatist bureaucratic oligarchy that we now have as a government instead of the limited republic of constitutional governance that our Founders gave us.

Please join Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy this week when they host Off the Grid Radio with a very special guest, Jonathan Emord. Emord is a constitutional and administrative lawyer that has successfully fought the FDA in court numerous times over its failure to perform its duties or its overreach into consumers’ choices in the marketplace. He is the author of four bestselling books (including Rise of Tyranny) and was formerly on staff at the Mass Media Bureau of the FCC during the Reagan administration.


Off The Grid Radio
Ep 050
Released: May 27, 2011

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so very much for joining us at Off the Grid News – the radio version of I’m Brian Brawdy, as always, here with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you today, sir?

Bill: Never better, Brian. I’m excited beyond belief to have our guest with us today because we’re going to talk about something that’s rarely discussed but it’s at the epicenter of where the real problems are in America today – I feel, at least – and that’s bureaucracy … if you want to go ahead and introduce our guest today, we’ll get right into it because this is very important stuff. Don’t miss a second of this interview.

Brian: And I would say not only important and timely, with everything going on in the news – so we will jump right into it. Our guest today has been practicing constitutional and administrative law before the Federal courts and agencies since 1985. Having begun his career as an attorney in the Federal Communications Commission during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. He has served as a Cato Institute vice president. He’s the author of all kinds of stuff, but one of my favorite books – “The Rise of Tyranny.” It is an honor to have for the full hour today, Mr. Jonathan Emord. Jonathan, how are you sir?

Jonathan: Just fine. Thanks for having me on.

Brian: We wanted to congratulate you right off the bat. Just last week I learned that you’ve had your eight victories now in terms of combating the FDA, so congratulations to have the ability to add that to your long list of accomplishments.

Jonathan: Thank you.

Bill: Brian, let’s start with Jonathan and talking about bureaucracy. We’ll lay a little foundation and then talk about his path through this thing. In 1944, von Misis wrote his little book on bureaucracy. I think it is appropriate that we’re talking about this because we’re just starting to get into the election season. I think what you’re going to find out – I see Trump’s starting to run, and you’re going to hear a lot of people talk about “let’s elect this guy, who owned this business, so that he can get in there and do something and run government like a business.” If you read von Misis’s wisdom, when he wrote “Bureaucracy,” he would say be careful when you do that because there’s no pricing mechanism in bureaucracy, so the standards that inform and allocate resources in the free market don’t exist in the bureaucratic world so you have … sometimes you get good people in, but they have no choice but to obey the standards that are already there, which are how closely can you follow whatever administrative law’s been given. So you have a huge problem from the beginning. Don’t let that be something that appeals to you – “we need to get Trump in there” or whoever, so that he can run government like a business, because it doesn’t ever work because the standards that they have are administrative standards and their measure of success isn’t a pricing mechanism but rather how closely can I enforce these laws. Jonathan, I know that you were a Reagan guy. You started out as a young man as I did. You worked on Reagan’s campaign, as I did, so I’m fascinated. Do you want to take us through a little bit of your history? How you got to where – because I think in order to talk to you about what you’re doing, we’ve got to talk about where you came from and how you came to some of the conclusions that you came to when you wrote “The Rise of Tyranny.”

Jonathan: Sure. When I got out of law school, I was going to get a PhD in constitutional history and started in the program and received a call from the Chief of Staff to Mark Fowler, who was then the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Jerry Fritz asked me if I wanted to work for Fowler at the Federal Communications Commission and I said, in response to that, that I didn’t believe that the Federal Communications Commission should exist so how could I possibly work for the agency? He laughed and said “that’s exactly why we want you to come out here.” I had written a piece in a seminar class in law school on the original intent underlying the First Amendment. My professor, unbeknownst to me, sent that to Mark Fowler and that’s what led to this action. When I got to Washington, I was dismayed on a number of levels, largely because of the fact that the bureaucracy was such a horrendous sty. It was a place where little was done except that which was politically necessary to get done. Most of the people couldn’t care less about those that they were imposing strictures – regulatory restrictions on. Didn’t care about the economic hardships that were imposed. Really wanted to work from 9 to 3 with a two-hour lunch break and avoid anything that would be of the slightest discomfort. It’s a disaster. Government, particularly the federal government, is not a pleasant place. It’s depressing. It reminds you of the former Soviet Union. A lot of gray halls and metal desks and people who are paranoid about being second-guessed by their superiors. To make a long story short, my superior asked me if I would join him in a private law firm. I went out and worked at various law firms, including Wiley, Rein & Fielding, staying with that same partner that I worked with initially. Went with him to another firm and then finally I wrote this book “Freedom, Technology, and the First Amendment,” articulated my views about restoration of the Constitution of 1787 – the intended meaning of the Constitution – and ended up at the Cato Institute as a vice president. Worked there for a time, got a call from Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, who are scientists in Nevada who are also very prominent folks in defense of liberty, who asked me to take issue with the Food and Drug Administration, because they said it was censoring truthful nutrient disease information and harming the public. So I looked into it and decided to go ahead and help them. We sued the FDA and then defeated the FDA and have since then a number of times. We’ve also gone to bat for folks against other agencies of the government as well.

Bill: Before you go any further, and I want to talk about some specific cases, Jonathan, but talk a little bit – because I think, in terms of creating paradigm shifts, we have to give people accurate information. What were your thoughts about – you were a Reagan guy and it sounds to me like Reagan really did believe he could dismantle government. He brought people in that really, in their heart of hearts, believed that and ran up against some problems in doing that but Reagan, for whatever his weaknesses may have been, he was an honest man with respect to his vision of dismantling government. What about the Bushes compared to him? Because I think the Bushes are viewed quite highly in a lot of circles, especially conservative circles. Can you shed some light on what’s really going on with Bush I and Bush II, administratively and the kinds of – how did bureaucracy grow during their administrations?

Jonathan: President Reagan believed to his core that the government needed to be limited, that we needed to get rid of as much bureaucracy as possible. He had no faith in government beyond its essential functions of protecting the public from injury and from foreign invasion and ensuring that the justice system functions so that there could be redress of grievances. But he really wanted to, as much as possible, deregulate and eliminate government. He would have done a lot more – he would have closed down the Department of Energy and the Department of Education – had the Congress been in line with him. Remember that during the Reagan administration, the Congress was in Democratic hands and so it was a constant barrier to his effective introduction and pursuit of his objectives. I’m a great admirer of Ronald Reagan. I think the world of Ronald Reagan. The Bushes, however, had none of his ideological zeal. They didn’t understand American history. They didn’t understand the principles that underlie the Constitution, the Nondelegation Doctrine, the Separation of Powers, the notion that the people are sovereign and that sovereignty is dependent upon a government that serves the people that is responsive to them that is elected by them. They were very much, in the case of the first Bush, George Bush – George Herbert Walker Bush – he not only lacked the basic understanding of these historic elements but he also liked government. He was not like Reagan, an outsider who wanted to dismantle the government, he actually believed that government, if the right people were involved, could run efficiently. He also was a friend to a corporatist state. He believed that when government protects the interests of industry, and particularly industry leaders, it not only serves the self-interest of the person in office but also enables big enterprise to succeed, which he thought is a grand idea. He didn’t have any problem with that. So the government became a patsy increasingly for industry and also these basic deregulatory elements were eliminated with George Bush I. He had his vice president assigned to deregulatory tasks but unfortunately nothing material came of that. He, as President, did not make deregulation or reduction in the size and scope of the bureaucracy an objective. As a consequence, the government continued to grow under him and there really was not extension of the Reagan Revolution. It effectively ended with George Bush. Of course, George Bush, Sr. raised taxes, he did a number of things that were antithetical to Reagan’s values. Indeed, the signals – the writing was on the wall in George Bush Sr.’s inaugural address when he made clear that he would establish a “kinder and gentler America,” that contrast being with Ronald Reagan’s presidency immediately preceding his, suggesting that Reagan’s presidency had been severe or some way unkind. It was certainly unkind to many in government who would prefer that the deregulatory initiatives not be undertaken but it was manifestly kind to the American people because it invited us to re-establish fiscal responsibility and the core values of the American republic. George Bush, Jr. was, in my view, an extreme disappointment as President because he not only failed to have the understanding, again, failed to have the same understanding that his father lacked, but he also was largely oblivious to the operations of the government. Didn’t care. He wasn’t ideologically driven to deregulate at all. In fact, the government grew enormously under George Bush, Jr., more so than under Clinton. Clinton was more fiscally responsible and conservative, believe it or not, than George Bush, Jr., who grew the government by massive amounts. Towards when the fiscal crisis was upon us, rather than respond as Reagan would have – which would have been a massive deregulatory initiative to liberate the marketplace from regulatory restraints, to lay a foundation for an economic recovery, to reduce taxation, to achieve that same end, and to push a free market agenda – he adopted an expansionist government takeover approach which has been continued by Obama. That notion is that economic recovery must be led by government rather than by private initiative and that you increase taxation, increase fees on business, and direct those funds to a government-controlled resuscitation of market sectors. That is obviously bound to fail. It’s never worked in the history of mankind. Planned economies fail because they are incapable of judging the moment-by-moment changes in demand that arise in the marketplace. Only those who produce goods and run a competitive enterprise – a minority of those who compete will succeed in magnificently satisfying demand – those are the people upon whom we have sustainable economic growth and employment. But by investing trillions in government programs that have quite predictively failed, we have amassed this enormous, destructive debt that will drive us into a state where the dollar will no longer be the reserve currency for the world and where we will inevitably default and cause the world to distrust us and make it very difficult, expensive, for us to live here in America, unless the basic notions of the Founding Fathers are re-established. We have to dramatically limit the size and scope of the government, eliminate all functions that are not of the Constitution and, at the same time as doing that, we need to reduce taxation. I’ve advocated elimination of the personal income tax as one means to inspire, virtually overnight, an economic recovery, as the typical taxpayer pays on average $13,000 to $15,000 a year. Were that retained it would produce an absolute bonanza in the marketplace. Home starts would increase. Home building would become prolific. There would be increases in savings and investment. Large orders would be placed for such things as home improvement products and utilities and various things that people need but there’s been this pent up demand because people simply don’t have the resources to do it. That’s the way to inspire an economic miracle in the country, but it requires courageous leadership and a basic appreciation that freedom is the centerpiece of the American republic. That ours is a constitution of liberty and that we must rely on individual initiative and freedom to build this great nation, not government dictation, regulation, and control of the private sector.

Brian: Jonathan, we’re going to run to a quick commercial break. Ladies and gentlemen, join us for the remaining of the hour with attorney Jonathan Emord. You are not going to want to miss the remainder of our show. Come on back after these quick commercial breaks.

[0:17:02 – 0:21:15 break]

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming back to Off the Grid Radio – the radio version of Brian Brawdy here with Mr. Bill Heid, as always, and today a very special guest – attorney Jonathan Emord. Jonathan, you were talking – right before we went to the break – you were talking about how planned economies, for a variety of reasons, never work. That when a government turns into a legislative leviathan, was the term I gave to it, but a legislative leviathan that takes over, that it never works. My question, I guess, simple, straight up – where did we get this amnesia? How have we forgotten our constitutional roots? It seems to me like it’s not the government’s fault anymore, and I can’t blame you because you’re out there fighting it every day, but I can blame me, I can blame a good number of our listeners, I can blame regular folks because – it’s almost like in the Greek myth of the lotus eaters – they’re eating some kind of lotus and they’re absolutely asleep – not only to what’s going on but what’s happened to the original intent of the framers of our constitution. How did we fall asleep?

Jonathan: At the founding of the republic, the framers of the Constitution understood that there was an inherent risk that the design they created in the Constitution would be rendered over time a parchment barrier, meaning that it would be incapable of restraining the self-interest of people in power, which would be always towards accumulating more power and encroaching upon the power of the other departments and exceeding the limits of the Constitution. As designed, the Constitution is a brilliant instrument, to limit government power to establish a republic. At the origins of our country, that republic was established with a constitution that provided for enumerated powers in Article I of the Constitution – expressly enumerated, and any power not so enumerated was reserved to the states and any right not … all rights were reserved to the people. You had, in addition to that, separate powers – legislative, executive and judicial departments, and they were not to be collocated – those powers into single hands. In addition, you had a bill of rights to make manifest that rights not mentioned in the Constitution are through the Ninth Amendment still reserved to the people and it expressed prohibitions on exercise of power existed against invasion of the people’s rights. The Declaration of Independence set us in the right track. It was the first time in American – in world history – when the philosophy of John Locke and other Enlightenment thinkers who favored rights over monarchs, over absolute monarchy. It was the first time in American history when this notion of limited government in the form of a republic to defend the rights of individuals became ensconced in a written document and then later in a constitution. We had, in the Declaration of Independence, the basic principles of the American republic – all just governments are instituted among men to protect the rights of the governed. The government is to be based on the consent of the governed, making it clear that individuals were to be sovereign. This notion of a limited government, of expressly enumerated powers, of restrictions to avoid the violations of rights – all of these things were combined in a brilliant document, the Constitution of the United States. Now, what happened was, as we progressed into the Progressive Era – 1920s and then particularly in the 1930s, during the Roosevelt administration – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – the government began to expand in the form of delegating government power from the Congress of the United States to independent regulatory commissions. This movement was initially held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court but then that led Roosevelt to introduce a court packing plan to try to get New Deal justices on the court. Every justice 70 ½ years of age and older would have been replaced by a justice – not replaced by complemented by a justice such that there would be six new additional justices were this bill passed. The threat of its passage spooked the court and caused a shift in allegiance allowing unconstitutional laws delegated vast powers to the unelected bureaucrats to remain upheld. This – the newspapers of the day called “the switch in time that saved nine.” That laid the foundation then for a horrific course of constitutional history in which the Separation of Powers Doctrine, the Nondelegation Doctrine were written out of the Constitution along with other doctrines, such as the Contracts clause and Economic Liberties and Substantive Due Process – all these things which had formed barriers against the expansion of the government were effectively written out of the Constitution, written out of doctrine that underlied the Constitution, explained its separations, and as a result the Congress of the United States, year after year, in the face of any crisis – contrived or real – created these independent regulatory commissions so that now we have some 220 of them and nine-tenths of all federal laws are the product not of those we elect to office but the unelected heads of these agencies. That, I’ve said, is the transformation of our republic into a bureaucratic oligarchy. We no longer have the constitutional republic that was given to us. The very thing that is quintessentially necessary to make liberty protected in this country has been replaced by bureaucratic oligarchy. The framers of the Constitution were quick to recognize the danger. John Adams in his “Thoughts on Government” in 1776 warned that “a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one assembly because a single assembly possessed of all the powers of government would make arbitrary laws for their own interest, execute all laws arbitrarily for their own interest and judge all controversies in their own favor.” James Madison, likewise, in Federalist No. 47, 1788, said “the accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judicial in the same hands, whether of one, few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elected, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” These types of statements were made – complementary statements were made by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton – all of the Founding Fathers viewed the separation of powers and the non-delegation of powers to outside of the constitutional branches to be indispensible to the preservation of liberty in this country. So it’s not a surprise then that we find ourselves over-regulated, losing our economic liberty, frustrated because the cost of complying with regulation oftentimes makes it impossible to enter into business ventures and we find large industry using lobbyists to protect their interests, legislation being passed and regulations being promulgated that protect their interests against competitors and create these artificial distortions of the market that deprive people of access to competitive goods, that limit our choices and that increase the cost of things that we buy and invest evermore a disgusting relationship between industry and politicians. And, also, most particularly, between industry and the agencies those industry leaders are able to capture, such as the Food and Drug Administration.

Brian: Jonathan, do you find yourself at points going “what do I got to do to get people to listen?” IN the halls that you work in, and you’re obviously very articulate and very eloquent in defense of your beliefs, but what for regular folks? What for regular folks? What for some of our listeners going “great – Mr. Emord’s got me all worked up …” What can regular folks do armed with this information that you’ve given us? How can we make an impact?

Jonathan: Well, we can make an impact. We proved in the mid-term elections in 2010 that we can. We can take out of office those people who are responsible for maintaining this awful system where we are deprived of our liberty and property and even our lives, when drugs are approved that are unsafe, for example. We can overcome the system by removing from office those who are committed to expanding their own power, their own self-interests, through government and replacing them with those who are committed to these principles and who are willing to act on them at all costs. We need those who are running for office, who are committed to cutting the budget – not by $500 billion, but by $1 trillion or more. We’re over our budget each year, presently, by $1 trillion. The minimum we have to cut is $1 trillion, just to achieve a balance of the budget. That’s not to say achieving a just government, which would required hacking away at these institutions that are overgrown, bloated, heavily regulatory, stifling innovation and competition in our country and that operate on the essential premise that the government is sovereign and knows better than you do how to conduct your own affairs. That’s not the premise this nation was predicated upon. It’s predicate on individual sovereignty, it’s predicated on the notion that government is to be our servant not our master. I think people get it. I think increasingly more and more people get it. I think that the days of politicians promising right and left costly programs to solve every human ill are recognized for what they are – pipe dreams that never could be financed and never could be sustained. It’s a fraud on the American public. I think people know that. When the President of the United States advocates a national system of rail – high-speed rail – that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, not only is it absurd because there is no demand for high-speed rail all over the United States, but in addition to that, Americans understand what that means. That’s “make work” jobs, that’s a short-term investment. It’s going to cost us a fortune – the billions spent are not going to be covered – and we’re going to end up in a deeper hole than we are now. Even if the system were established it would be no better than the best government can offer in public transit, which is a half-baked system broken down, constantly having safety problems. This is no way to “run a railroad.” So we’ve got to get back to the idea that we must be self-reliant, we must be independent. We have to realize that this great nation is great only because of the success of a free market, only because of individual initiative, only because of the chance for people to innovate free of regulation. That is what has made this nation great. Going the other course is inevitably in the direction of defeat and it starts with the premise of defeat. It starts with the notion that we can’t help ourselves. That’s rubbish. All of our greatness over the years, regardless of the trials we have been through and the weight of burdens in front of us have been overcome, not by the government but by individual initiative.

Brian: I would say then, for me, as I listen to you say that about the 220 agencies, nine-tenths of all the rules are coming from these different agencies that really have nothing to do, Jonathan, with the elected officials that we put in office. Do you see someone out there – is there someone in the tea leaves or on the horizon, when you look at it, and though “you know what? This is the individual …” – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian – is there anyone that you’re looking at now going “I think this is the person that could stand, regardless of the cost, and start to beat back this behemoth.” anybody on your radar?

Jonathan: I am impressed by a number of the Tea Party people, those who have stuck to their guns and are voting consistent with their principles in Congress. I think these people are great. I’ve been a long-time friend and supporter of Ron Paul. Ron Paul is an honest man. He is a person of extreme principle and conviction. He is dogged in his pursuit of revitalization – a restoration of the Founders’ republic. He is unafraid to stand up against a united Republican Party and say that its action is wrong for one reason or another. I admire him. He’s courageous. He’s willing to do what is necessary. A lot of people will disagree with certain aspects of Ron Paul’s political creed simply because he’s willing to articulate all aspects of his political creed. Very few politicians are willing to do that. They hide the ball in order to induce support based on platitudes that have generally good sound to them. Obama’s particularly adept at doing that. But we cannot save this country unless we remove people like Obama from office. We have to take him – he’s a pleasant looking fellow, he’s a nice man but he’s absolutely disastrous to the America that we all know and love based on freedom. He’s an enemy of that freedom and he does believe, in his heart of hearts, that government should take over the private sector, should be the primary vehicle to engineer an economy of the future. His notion of building a nation tomorrow that will be based on government initiative is precisely the opposite of what this country is all about. Never was this nation supposed to be a driver of market forces or a channeler or director of those forces. The government was to be relatively insignificant in our lives instead of being this enormous, as you put, leviathan that lords over everything we do in industry. Thomas Jefferson perhaps put it best in his first inaugural address when he said “a wise and frugal government shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Brian: I cannot think of a better quote from Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural address to run to a quick commercial break. Ladies and gentlemen, come on back, the final segment with attorney Jonathan Emord. You are going to love the remainder of our show. Quick commercial break and we’ll be right back. Brian Brawdy, as always, here with Mr. Bill Heid and our very special guest for the remainder. Come on back.

[0:36:32 – 0:40:47 break]

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, speaking of a different paradigm, we are most certainly discussing one today. We have the great pleasure, for the final 10 minute segment, to spend that with attorney Jonathon Emord. He is the author – just to say, Bill, “The Rise of Tyranny” – he’s the author of “The Rise of Tyranny,” he’s got a couple of best-selling books on but he’s done so much, including – and this is why I’d love for the two of you to kick it around – Jonathan has had, I should say his law firm Emord & Associates, which you can find out more at That’s e-m-o-r-d – He has a list of all of his achievements. Jonathan, if you would, eight victories against the Food and Drug Administration – for some of our listeners they might be going “why do we have to fight against our own Food and Drug Administration?” In the end, are they really doing us any good at all? Why do you have to fight them and, most certainly, why do you have to win against them? This is a government agency, right? We’re all drinking the Kool-Aid. We think they’re there, they’re protecting us, they’re watching out for us and the like. But I’m guessing maybe that’s not necessarily true.

Jonathan: You’re absolutely right. The sad reality is expressed by none other than the associate director of FDA’s Office of Drug Safety, Dr. David Graham, is that FDA is inherently biased in favor of the pharmaceutical industry. I’m quoting him now – “it views industry as its client whose interests it must represent and advance. It views its primary mission as approving as many drugs as it can regardless of whether the drugs are safe or needed.” It’s not only Dr. Graham, who as I point out is the head of – the associate director of FDA’s Office of Drug Safety, it’s also FDA medical reviewers. Dr. David Ross stated – FDA medical reviewer – stated “even if a product doesn’t work or we don’t know how it works, there is pressure on managers that gets transmitted down to reviewers to find some way of approving it. There’s been a cultural shift at the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry is now viewed as the client.” The problem is that the industry has captured the agency. The reason for that is the heads of the agency – there’s only one true dictator head of the agency – the Commissioner of FDA is a single person and that person’s a political appointee and they realize that they’re only going to be there for a short while then they’ve got to go out and find a job. The best way to feather your own nest is to favor certain major multi-national companies that are government-sponsored monopolies – drug companies – and if you play your cards right then when you leave you can be employed directly or indirectly by them and make multiple six-figure salaries and have that for the rest of your life. These people are basically jaded. The problem is that invariably they seek their own interest in feathering their own nest. That results in some pretty horrific consequences which include approval of drugs that are, by the agency’s own medical reviewers’ estimation, too unsafe to be allowed. These are drugs that cause heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, liver failure and various other adverse effects. Yet, they are upheld by the agency and put into the market. The agency has to approve all new drugs and it elects to do so based on criteria that does not assuredly protect the American public.

Brian: It is unbelievable to me, as I sit here and listen to you say that the mens rea, the culpability of these commissioners, heading up some of these places are only going to be there for a few years. They know they’re political appointees so they’re going to go ahead and make as many friends as they can with the very industry heads that the regular folks out here think that they’re supposed to be regulating. It’s the perfect, perfect example of – what is it, the fox guarding the hen house. I’m … I guess I’m a little naïve, to be honest with you, Jonathan, I’m stunned that it’s that quid pro quo with the heads of some of these agencies. “Look, let me see what I can do, and this is my resume filler. I’m going to react favorably to some of the very industries that I’ll then, when I’m unemployed, I’ll be sending my resume to.”

Bill: But Brian, the bottom line – and let’s ask Jonathan – really, at the end of the day, does the FDA approve unsafe drugs?

Jonathan: Absolutely. In a January 7, 2009 letter from nine FDA physicians and scientists, in desperation, to President Obama and his Chief of Staff – then Chief of Staff John Podesta – you know him, he’s in Chicago – the letter stated, and this is a letter of desperation seeking the help of the President to stop the abuses at FDA. This is from nine FDA physicians and scientists. It says “managers …” – every division in FDA is governed by political managers. It says “managers have ordered, intimidated and coerced FDA experts to modify scientific evaluations, conclusions and recommendations in violation of law and to accept clinical and technical data that is not scientifically valid.” It is simply … what we have is a market-driven system of regulation where the regulators view the industry as the client and there are all sorts of consequences of this because these are government-sponsored monopolies, these institutions. What happens is drugs are pronounced with – month after month, new drugs are approved and put into the market and there’s all this argument that they’re essential and they’re life saving and that they alter people’s health that are essential. But if you listen to the scientists there, and here again I’m quoting from David Graham, Associate Director, Office of Drug Safety at FDA, this is what he has to say – “industry is saying that there are all these life saving drugs that the FDA is slow to approve and people are dying in the streets because of it. The fact is that probably about two-thirds to three-quarters of the drugs that FDA reviews are already on the market and are being reviewed for another indication. There is nothing life saving there. There is nothing new. A very small proportion of drugs represent a new drug that hasn’t been marketed before. Most of those drugs are no better than the ones that exist. Only about one or two drugs a year are truly new and most of them aren’t breakthroughs and aren’t life saving.” So we’ve got this horrendous marketing campaign with people’s health and the consequence is that you’ve got Vioxx, for example, in the case of Vioxx it was a painkiller for arthritis. It was approved by the agency over the objection of the medical reviewers who said that it would increase the risk of heart attack to unacceptably high levels. There are many other painkillers that could substitute for it that did not have those effects. It was approved into the market and then the heart attacks start rolling in. There were 140,000 heart attacks from Vioxx and 60,000 deaths from those heart attacks. 60,000 is the figure of people who died that is comparable to the number of tries that died in the Vietnam War. We’ve got a catastrophe here and even in the presence of that catastrophe, then-FDA Commission Lester Crawford refused to remove the product from the market even though his medical reviewers were desperately seeking that. Instead said all of the complaints the agency was receiving, even the scientific evidence that was published in the peer review literature proving the increased risk of heart attack – he declared that all to be anecdotal and just two weeks before Merck withdrew the drug itself from the marketplace, Lester Crawford approved it for use in pediatric rheumatoid arthritis patients – for use in kids – even though there’s all this evidence of heart attacks. 10,000 complaints coming into the agency of heart attack. All the scientific protests about it, recommendations from within the agency, from the medical reviewers to get the drug off the market. He stuns the scientists inside the agency and shocks the scientific community outside the agency, by saying that he’s going to approve the drug, this dangerous drug, for use in kids.

Bill: All this going on, Jonathan, while … meanwhile, back at the farm … meanwhile, back at the truck farm – tremendous amounts of time, energy, resources are being leveled at some farmer that wants to sell vegetables along the road to make sure he can’t do that. Are we living – is this hell on earth? Is this the craziest thing in the world?

Jonathan: That’s what happens when you expend $14 trillion on government. If I were to tell you that some institution in the world would soon receive $14 trillion, you better look out, because that institution with $14 trillion will be able to take over and influence and control everything. $14 trillion is a sum of money so astronomical – we now consider it commonplace because we hear about these trillions of dollars being spent – but it’s so astronomical that it’s unmistakably clear that any institution, including government, that receives that kind of money is going to be out of control. It has to be. There’s no way to control it. There’s absolutely no way to cap and limit, circumscribe something that is so bloated and so expensive. So when the President talks about how it is so essential that the Republicans be called out for cutting government down to nothing, when they advocate a reduction of $500 billion from the budget – a budget of $14 trillion, advocating $500 billion reduced – that is absurd. That is such a farce. That is nowhere near cutting to the bone. That’s scraping off the outer epidermis – outer layer of the epidermis. That is absolutely doing nothing of any consequence to the government. The whole notion – this is a charade. $14 trillion budget leads to the largest government institution … you realize, the amount of money that we are spending, the government is spending, exceeds the value of all goods and services created in the United States. That is, the entire gross domestic product of the United States, everything we produce, is less than the dollar value of what the government spends.

Bill: So, Jonathan, Bill here – we’ve made this wine now it’s time for us to drink a cup, as the song says. We’re going to get what’s coming, whether it’s this person’s fault, that person’s fault, but it’s collectively – because of what you’re saying, because of the stifling bureaucracy, because of this choking government that we have – let’s spend the last few minutes talking about what’s the way out. Is there a collapse coming? What sort of thing’s coming out? And in your epilogue, you have, I think, a good opening towards doing that. You quote Ronald Reagan, again one of my favorite contemporary heroes, in his first inaugural, where he says – and I think this is critical – “in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” That’s what you’re saying. And until we come to that conclusion, don’t you agree, collectively as a people, there’s no way back.

Jonathan: That’s right. I have great confidence that we will solve this problem. We have no choice but we also have a population that is becoming increasingly suspicious and skeptical of government and they should be. That was what the framers intended us to be like. They never trusted the government they created. They wanted eternal skepticism. In “The Rise of Tyranny,” my book that I’ve written about this subject matter and in “Global Censorship of Health Information,” which talks about the drug monopoly and the drug industry’s takeover of the FDA, I give a lot of the educational information necessary to appreciate the full extent of this that we can’t get into. But let me just say this, I think we do have it in our power to solve this problem. We have to remove from elected office incumbents who have favored supported the expansion of the government and put in place of them those who are interested in severely cutting the budget and reducing the size and scope of this nation so we can be free again. We also have it within our power to achieve great things beyond all possible imagining presently if we just allow the individual to be as free as possible and to limit the role of government. We have a nanny state. We have a system of regulation that operates principally on prior restraint – that means that it presumes that when you next do something, will do something illegally – that is, you will do something of harm to others. The presumption of harm to others then leads to a prior restraint, a law that forbids everyone from engaging in a particular kind of conduct which in and of itself is not harmful. That whole regime of prior restraint is how modern regulation operates. It is stifling industry. It’s denying the oil industry the chance to turn the American continent into a place that is self-sufficient with oil. It’s denying the average business person the opportunity to get involved with manufacturing of foods and supplements and over-the-counter drugs and new products, even toys, because there’s this enormous regulatory restraint and cost to do anything. To give you an idea that only a monopoly can give a therapeutic substance to someone in this country, no one may legally sell, for example, prune juice for treatment of chronic constipation, even though we all know that’s true. You put that on your label, you’ve committed a felony, you go to jail for a longer than a life sentence potentially and you also have your product removed from the market by agents of the federal government. This is the kind of heavy handedness that is intolerable in a free society. WE don’t want a police state here. We don’t want a police state here for the purpose of defending us from alleged threats of terrorism that are supposedly ever present – they aren’t. We have a bunch of terrorists in the world who are equivalent to the mafia or a gang of thugs. We can eradicate them but we don’t have to enslave our whole population or inconvenience every human being in the United States every day in order to achieve the objective of getting rid of an enemy. We got rid of most of the adverse effects of organized crime in people’s – where they lived in central cities and so forth. We’ve done that through law enforcement. We didn’t require everyone at an airport to be frisked or checked or go through machines that would examine every aspect of your anatomy in order to determining that you’re not a card-carrying member of the Cosa Nostra. Is it one out of 350 million Americans who is a terrorist in the United States? Is it 20? Is it 100? Is it 1000? If it’s 1000, should we inconvenience every American citizen? We have to start rethinking our approach and it has to involve elimination of prior restraint. We can do these things. I’m confident that this election coming up in 2012 gives us an opportunity to do that. WE need to remove the President of the United States – Barack Obama – from office. We need to get rid of those in the Senate, principally Democrats, who are creating a roadblock to serious reduction in spending. We can do that, all we need to do is change 13 seats. If we change 30 seats, we will have the ability to dramatically cut the size of government. We have to do both. We have to change the composition of the Senate and the White House and keep the Tea Party movement going in both the House and the Senate, maybe in the White House too. It’s all possible. We have optimistic future in front of us. I believe in the American people. I think we will restore this country and I think we will champion our own rights to freedom, will not let the government rapaciously steal from us what is ours by birthright.

Brian: Jonathan, I think that’s how we’re going to have to end it. I promised that we would only hold you for the hour. Ladies and gentlemen, before we go, I want to talk to you about Mr. Jonathan Emord. You can find out more at Check out his book “Rise of Tyranny.” He also writes – he’s a weekly contributor for And also, on June 10-12, if you’re a listener and you live within a couple hours drive of the Chicago area, he will be at the Health Freedom Expo – that’s June 10-12. If you want to come and say hello and meet him in person, that’s where he will be. Jonathan, we know you’re a busy guy and thank you so very much. We absolutely learned a ton from our hour today, so thank you for hanging with us.

Jonathan: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me on.

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, as always, thank you for listening to Off the Grid Radio. Be sure to email us with your questions, comments, critiques – [email protected]. You can find us on Facebook – and follow us on Twitter @offgridnews. On behalf of everyone here at Solutions from Science and Off the Grid News, thank you so very much. An hour is a very valuable chunk of your day. It’s an honor to have spent it here with you. Thank you so very much.

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