Contract From America

The Contract from America

We, the citizens of the United States of America, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items and advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.
Individual Liberty

Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.
Limited Government

The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.
Economic Freedom

The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.
1. Protect the Constitution

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)
2. Reject Cap & Trade

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)
3. Demand a Balanced Budget

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington

Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)
6. End Runaway Government Spending

Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care

Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)
9. Stop the Pork

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)
10. Stop the Tax Hikes

Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)

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Tea Party 2.0

Posted by Erick Erickson

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer admits the tea party movement is getting members of Congress to thing about retiring.

Most excellent.

And that is what the movement should be about, more or less, but there is much more too. And judging by the reaction from yesterday, a lot of people got the point I was making, but a vocal minority not only did not get it, but were highly offended and thought I was attacking them.

Of course I was not attacking them. I would have to be attacking myself. I have said repeatedly that I consider myself part of the tea party movement. But their reaction and that of others suggests to me too many have become so fixated on being a part of this thing called the tea party movement that there is a reluctance to move forward into something else.

A friend suggested I should have referred to it as Tea Party 2.0, which actually gets to the gist of what I am talking about, but I am more and more convinced we must leave behind the moniker of the tea party.

Let me see if I can break this down again without causing more wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The Good

The tea party movement has gotten a lot of people off the sidelines and into the political arena. The reason the tea party movement is so shocking to so many is because you never see those types of people protesting. Tea party activists are worried about making ends meet, taking care of their families, and doing their jobs. They are not typical protestors. When they take to the street people notice.

Look at what Hoyer said.

The tea party movement also brought together a lot of likeminded citizens who thought they were alone in the world. They realized that not only were they not alone, but there were millions of others just as concerned.

Both Democrats and Republicans have become fearful. In fact, I know that just the other day a group of Congressional Republicans were sitting around a table ridiculing “teabaggers.” And some of these are Republicans that the tea party movement has embraced as their own.

They hate us because of our success.
The Bad

With the success of the tea party movement came the charlatans who could turn a silver phrase and dazzle the masses. And the money changers came in too. Read, if you will, this article this morning.

This happens in every successful group, but many of us have found it off-putting. My rule of thumb has been and remains to work with local tea party activists, not the national groups. That’s not to ding the national groups, but I find it more productive to work with local groups. And that won’t change.

There is, however, something more troublesome that I am seeing more and more of after yesterday’s post. A lot of people in the tea party movement have gotten a bunker mentality. My suggestion to move beyond the tea party movement was seen as an attack on it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve been derided as selling out for CNN, using my post to promote “competitors,” etc. There will always be crackpots convinced of something that is not so, but those people are not the majority of the tea party activists. But it gets me back to my overarching point.

In fact, already this morning I’m getting emails related to this article that this is just another media attack against the tea party movement. No it isn’t. And I think some in the movement need greater discernment.

The issues and advocacy within the tea party movement are issues that resonate with the majority of Americans. By continuing to be a “tea party protestor” I and others willingly pull ourselves out of the class of people known as “Americans” and become just one of those “tea party guys.”

Couple that with all these national groups that want to keep us as tea party guys and it becomes increasingly harder to reach the next step — to get to Tea Party 2.0.

I would submit that the people who want to get involved have gotten involved. And now to keep them involved, we need to move on lest they get bored. There is only so much protesting we can do.

And (and I realize this wasn’t clear enough originally) this requires the existence of local tea party groups. It just requires them to step up their game and be willing to let go.
What Tea Party 2.0 Looks Like

First of all, I think tea party 2.0 requires we stop calling ourselves tea party activists. We are citizens, taxpayers, voters, and Americans. Saying we are part of some designated group makes it too easy for malicious souls to dismiss us. We are Americans dammit!

I have cringed in the past 24 hours when I have seen people say I was attacking the tea party movement. That’s just it! The attacks sustained by us within the tea party movement by the media and the left have been attacks against our country’s ideals. They aren’t tea party attacks. They are attacks on the America as we know it. And I’m not the one attacking.

Throwing the tea party movement under the bus would be me throwing myself under the bus.

But for a while now I’ve thought that there has to be something more. The national groups doing tea party organization have been nibbling at the edges, but I don’t think are doing enough — putting a little tabasco into the existing sauce really isn’t changing it up to have a greater impact. If anything, the tea party movement appears to be pulling itself out of the existing political process trying to reinvent the wheel. We should be pushing ourselves into the process.

My personal and internal private motto on Redstate lately is “blow s**t up.” It is the existing paradigms that need to go. That is one reason I am insistent on supporting outsiders as candidates these days. But to change the paradigms, to metaphorically blow them up, we must get involved in the existing processes of politics and government, not create something new to compete. The deck is stacked against us from the outside.

That is why I am supportive of things like American Majority’s Post Party Summits and the Defending the Dream Summit and Right Online among others including but not limited to Freedom Works and Smart Girl Politics. I have no affiliation with these groups, but I gladly give up my time, vacation, and family time to go to these events and speak in groups, one on one, and in workshops about greater activism, commitment, and education.

I have to laugh at the accusation that I’m out to undermine the tea party movement because of my affiliation with American Majority. American Majority just happens to be doing exactly what I think needs to be done: training existing tea party activists to get them to the next level of political involvement.

Another reason I like these groups is because they are very clearly separate from the tea party movement, but involved as facilitators. They’ll help local groups, train local groups, and get them to where I think we need to go.
The Nutshell

So where do we need to go?

In a nutshell: back to the classroom then into our town halls, state legislatures, Congress, and online. Some are already doing that. Good. I encourage that.

But I go to tea party events all over the country and hear people say “Get involved,” only to have actual tea party activists go home, email me, and ask the “how” that the person on stage never bothered to get to.

We must move beyond the protests and get to the fight. We are effective now. We should not settle. How much more effective can we be? I submit we can be more effective by throwing off the tea party label that has become, way too often, a clique, and embracing this as a very American cause — the first amendment right to protest, petition, and speak up.

This post is already too long, so let me get to bullet points:

* Learn how to be a better online activist.
* Start paying attention to your local government.
* Learn how to run for office and be a campaign strategist, whether or not you want to run or want to be a strategist. You will find the skills extremely useful.
* Write letters to the editor of your paper.
* Call in to local radio shows — not national, local.
* Find candidates you like and support them, blog about them, promote them and fund them.
* Stay connected to like minded souls in your community to know you are not alone — why I still like and support local tea party groups.
* Become active in the political party of your choice. Change it from the inside, not the outside.
* Learn to discern.
* Above all else: remember that when the left attacks the tea party activists, they are attacking the foundation of America. Stop responding as an aggrieved tea party activist and start asking what part of the American way of life they have a problem with.

All of the groups I mentioned above and others can help.
Conclusion

We have moved beyond the tea party movement. It served its role well and ably. It got people off the sidelines. But we need to move on. We need to become more involved in our local communities, politics, and above all else we must get into the existing political process.

You want to keep protesting, that’s fine by me. I support it. What I don’t support though is staying in the mindset that has developed. We must move on. The tea parties have served an honorable and good purpose. But we have to grow to Tea Party 2.0, which involves embracing the tea party legacy while moving beyond it.

The Salisbury Maryland 2010 American Tea Party

The Salisbury Maryland 2010 American Tea Party:

Date: Thursday April 15th
Time: 3PM until 7PM or Later..
Location: Steps of the GOB Building, Downtown Salisbury

The weather is supposed to be very nice tomorrow, much different than last years April 15th Tea Party. Bring as many people as you can as we are looking for over 1000 people to attend this year’s Tea Party. Also, we are asking as many people as possible to bring video cameras as we o not believe any MSM media will be there. We want to record the whole rally and place parts of it on you tube. God Bless the American patriots who are standing up for Freedom. Bring your family and friends, bring your chairs, your video cameras, and your opinions and voice!!!

Crash the Tea Party’ founder outwitted by foes

April 13, 2010
NY Tea Party Examiner: Stefanie Schappert

The formerly anonymous creator of crashtheteaparty.org has been publicly outed just days before thousands of Tax Day Tea Party rallies will be taking place nationwide.

Click here for more on crashtheteaparty.org

Jason Levin, a thirty-something techie from Portland, Oregon, was first outed by the conservative website FreeRepublic.com on Saturday, April 10th. A long time Free Republic blogger blew Levin’s cover with a simple domain name “Who’s Who” look up. Its obvious the self described “Star Trekkie/ Guido /Renaissance Man” probably didn’t realize when he registered his website crashtheteaparty.org under the name Ben Franklin from Pennsylvania; a savvier computer tech would be able to find his true identity in just a few clicks.

Besides photos, the FR blogger “icwhatudo” was able to reveal Levin’s address, phone and email; work and education history; Twitter and Linkedin account; and even pulled this personal and slimy quote from Levin’s MySpace page.

“As a black lesbian trapped in the body of a straight white man, I am able to pass as a member of the establishment wile still maintaining my oneness with the spirit of the Earf Muvah. I’m currently being sued by my inner child for molestation…but trust me, the charges are baseless.”

So now that Levin has no choice but to accept his position as the ultimate anti-tea party king, he has graced us with a public statement as reported by the Associated Press. Levin told the AP Monday, he “had over 65 leaders in major cities across the country trying to recruit members to infiltrate tea party events for April 15.”

The mission of crashtheteaparty.org is simple. “Infiltrate and dismantle” the movement from the inside out. The group’s strategy is to impersonate tea party supporters and portray them as right-wing extremists in front of the news cameras in order to discredit the cause. The biggest Tax Day Tea Party takes place in Washington DC on April 15th.

Levin went on to say “Every time we have someone on camera saying that Barack Obama isn’t an American citizen, we want someone sitting next to him saying, ‘That’s right, he’s an alien from outer space!'” Levin also did not shy away his prior accusations that most tea party supporters are “racists, morons, and homophobes.”

Not the first anti- tea party group, Democratic activist Craig Varoga started the teapartyisover.org in January 2010. According to conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, he created the site to target Republican’s who support the the tea party movement. Varoga’s site is now password protected.

The Free Republic blogger also posted these 2 pictures of Levin’s possible ‘tea party crasher’ accomplices….could-be relative Josh Levin, and supposed friend named Kristen.

White House press corps sued for doing Obama’s ‘bidding’

Lawsuit charges deliberate attempt to exclude media outlet
Posted: April 13, 2010

“WorldNetDaily”

U.S. President Barack Obama attends the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington

A lawsuit has been filed in Washington accusing the White House Correspondents’ Association of doing the bidding of the Obama administration in trying to belittle, exclude and irreparably harm a leading Internet news outlet, WorldNetDaily, which has carried commentary critical of the president.

The dispute arose over WND’s request – and payment – for three tables at the association’s annual banquet in Washington, which has been described as being to the news industry what the Academy Awards are to Hollywood.

“It … is the most prestigious event of the year in Washington, D.C. … It thus enhances a news outlet’s prestige to rent tables at and attend the event and is a must to maintain a news outlet’s, such as WND’s, reputation,” the complaint explains.

Learn everything you need to know about today’s media in “Stop the Presses!”

“News outlets who do not get sufficient access to the event are seen as ‘lesser’ and unimportant in the media world,” it continues.

But the association then notified WND it would be able to use only three seats at this year’s event, which is scheduled for May 1 and features entertainer Jay Leno as a speaker.

(Story continues below)

The lawsuit explains that during past administrations, WND has been given access to at least one table for its personnel and guests.

“However, it has been largely excluded from the event during the tenure of the Obama administration. This year, for instance, WND was among the first to order tables at the event and it ordered three tables. WND was led to believe by the WHCA that it would get three tables. WND needed three tables in order to bring its personnel and distinguished guests to the event, as this was the anniversary of Les Kinsolving’s tenure as a distinguished White House correspondent, and his daughter, Kathleen Kinsolving Willmann, has just written a book about his career, entitled ‘Gadfly.’ The three tables were thus necessary to celebrate the occasion and because WND has become over the years a major publication,” the complaint states.

“This year, in anticipation of the event, which will take place on May 1, 2010, WND tendered $6,750 USD for three tables. However, the WHCA cashed only one of the checks, number 13662, for one table. … The amount of the check is $2,250.00 USD. Accordingly, WHCA accepted WND’s offer to buy at least one table for the event.”

The complaint explains WND also was “led to believe” it would get the two additional tables for which it submitted payment, and “WND invited guests … for three tables.”

“On information and belief, after the WHCA accepted WND’s order for one table for the event, the Obama administration and White House intervened and put pressure on the WHCA to reneg on even this commitment. As a result, and in an insulting manner, WND was then informed that it would only get three seats at the event, and not even its own table,” the complaint continues.

“Obviously, this harmed and continues to harm WND’s ability to celebrate not only the anniversary of Les Kinsolving and the publication of his daughter’s new book, but also harms WND’s access to White House reporting and its reputation generally, as it is being treated as a ‘black sheep’ in the media world,” said the complaint, filed by Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, on behalf of WND.

He confirmed service of the lawsuit was accepted by George Lehner of the law firm of Pepper Hamilton.

The complaint also cited the Obama administration’s previous attempt to retaliate against a news organization.

“For instance, Fox News, which has also been critical of the Obama administration, and which the White House also fears and loathes, was subject to a boycott [from the White House],” the complaint said.

“Thus, what is apparently a political ‘hit’ on WND takes on great credibility in the world of Washington politics,” the complaint states.

A commentary by Kelly Boggs at Baptist Press outlined the Fox incident from Oct. 22, 2009.

“White House officials tried to bar Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett from a press pool event. The administration was making Executive Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews, and Fox was told that while other members of the pool would have access to Feinberg, it would not be allowed to participate,” he wrote.

In that case, the other four members of the pool, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN, “told the White House that if Fox was not allowed to participate then none of them would participate…”

The report confirmed “the White House relented and Fox News was allowed to participate.”

The White House has expressed the opinion at the time that it did not consider Fox a “news” organization.

“While the White House is certainly entitled to its opinion concerning Fox News, it is not entitled to selectively apply the Constitution – especially the freedom of the press,” wrote Boggs. “Of the five networks that make up the White House press pool, Fox News has by far the most conservative editorial content. As a result, the White House is under constant scrutiny and criticism by the hosts of editorial programs like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. On the news front, Fox News tries as hard has any news organization to report the facts of every situation or event, seeking to live up to another of its catch phrases, ‘We report, you decide,'” Boggs wrote.

He explained there are differences between a news report and the commentary articles that express opinion and contain criticism.

WND, launched in 1997, is one of the oldest Internet publications and reports on a wide variety of news events to a readership estimated at eight million.

The lawsuit contends, “Most of the officers and directors of the WHCA are of a liberal bent and feel great kinship with the Obama administration and are thus prone to do its bidding.”

The complaint seeks specific performance of the contract that resulted when the association took the payment from WND, and “actual and compensatory damages in excess of $10 million USD for harm to its business and other relationships.”

Ed Chen, president of the correspondent’s organization, earlier told a WND reporter asking about the allocation of seats, “Well, basically a number of factors go into this. The demand has never been greater and almost nobody, individual or organization, can get more than what they had last year.”

But he then got upset about the fact WND was reporting on the conflict and hung up on a reporter.

Today, the association in response to a WND request for comment, directed WND to submit an e-mail request. But the subsequent e-mail did not generate a response.

Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND, said, “We’re one of the fastest growing news organizations in the country, while most of our competitors are shrinking. Yet, many of them are getting up six, seven, eight tables. On what basis are those decisions made? Has it occurred to Mr. Chen and his colleagues playing favorites like this and making up the rules as they go along is dangerous business and highly discriminatory?”

He continued, “This is not just a major social function. It’s a news event. Why is the White House press corps playing the role of palace guard here? What standards are they using to make fair and equitable decisions about who they allow in their party? Is this the new closed country club mentality of the 21st century?”

“We’ve been through this kind of treatment by the Washington press corps in the past,” said Farah. “We’ve grown to expect it, despite the fact that we are the oldest independent online news source on the Net, despite the fact that our White House press correspondent is the third most veteran member of those covering the White House and despite the fact that we always play by the rules.”

Farah said the White House press corps and the correspondents association have shown nothing but antipathy for New Media enterprises like WND in general and even more disdain for those who subscribe to the traditional role of the American press as a vigorous watchdog on government.

Dating back to February 2002, WND was denied accreditation to the Senate Press Gallery for routine access to cover the Capitol. Ten days after WND threatened legal action against individual members of the Senate Press Gallery, WND was granted accreditation in September 2002.

This year, WND planned to debut a book about its White House press correspondent, Kinsolving. Kinsolving has served as a White House press correspondent since the Nixon administration, but, as Farah explains, is still treated with “disdain and contempt” by his colleagues and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs – frequently being snubbed for questions while other correspondents are given multiple opportunities to grill him.

“This is an illustration of what some call the ‘government-media complex’ or the ‘state-sponsored media,'” says Farah. “It’s one thing when you have to battle government secrecy and corruption, which we expect to do as part of our jobs as newsmen. It’s another thing when you have to battle your own colleagues who act like self-appointed press cops, blocking independent media from doing the job they refuse to do.”

The correspondents’ group explains on its website that it “represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on coverage-related issues.”

An elected board of directors addresses issues of access to the president, work space arrangements, logistics and costs for press travel to travel with the president.

Listed on the website as board members are Doug Mills of the New York Times, Steve Scully of C-SPAN, Don Gonyea of National Public Radio, Julie Mason of the DC Examiner and Caren Bohan of Reuters.

Special army unit ready to be deployed on American soil just before Nov. elections

April 13, 2010 Conservative Examiner: Anthony G. Martin

In October of this year, one month prior to the November midterm elections, a special army unit known as ‘Consequence Management Response Force’ will be ready for deployment on American soil if so ordered by the President.

The special force, which is the new name being given to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, has been training at Fort Stewart, Georgia and is composed of 80,000 troops.

According to the Army Times,

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

The key phrase is ‘may be called upon to help with civil unrest.’

This afternoon a local radio talk show host reported that he had been in contact with a member of the military. This military source stated that the armed forces have been alerted to the strong possibility that civil unrest may occur in the United States this summer, prior to the midterm elections of 2010.

The source described this as ‘our long, hot summer of discontent’ that could be eerily reminiscent of the summer of 1968 when riots broke out in many of our largest cities.

However, the summer of 2010 could well be much worse due to the players involved. In 1968 the major players were war protesters. This time, the outrage simmering beneath the surface of American society involves a broad cross-section of the heartland, and most of them are heavily armed.

It is highly unlikely that these citizens would ever initiate armed conflict of any kind. In their view, gun rights are for self-defense–and for defense against tyrannical government, which our Founders regarded as the most dangerous force on earth.

However, it has become clear that other groups may well initiate violence in order to start an ‘incident’ that would give Obama and a rogue Congress a reason to implement martial law, confiscate the citizens’ guns, enforce curfews, and suspend all future elections until such time as it is deemed ‘safe’ to proceed with human liberty as encapsulated in the right to vote.

Tea Party members, for example, have been warned in recent days that members of Andy Stern’s SEIU union and members of the organization formerly known as ACORN plan to infiltrate Tea Party gatherings in order to incite some sort of incident that could result in armed conflict.

In addition, all indications point to a humiliating defeat for the Democrats and Obama in November. Not only will the House in all likelihood transfer to Republican control, but it is increasingly possible for the Democrats to lose the Senate as well.

And there are Leftwing groups in this country that would use whatever means necessary to prevent that from happening.

ACORN has already gone underground, changing its name so as to fly beneath the radar screen. How many people will the group register to vote illegally?

And with Obama’s plan to naturalize between 10 and 20 million illegal aliens, a brand new voter base for the Democrats will be in place prior to November.

Add to this the growing unrest over continued high unemployment, the coming spike in interest rates and inflation, and the still-boiling outrage over the manner in which Obama and the Democrats shoved ObamaCare down the throats of the citizens, and all of the ingredients are present for a major F-5 tornado to sweep across the heartland.

To what extent would soldiers use deadly force during such ‘civil unrest’ should the Consequence Management Response Team be utilized? During the anti-war riots of the 1960s they killed student protesters. What about now?

The military source cited by the radio host today was asked this very question. He would merely say that the culture of the U.S. military is changing–half support Obama and the other half are dead-set against him.

His conclusion? There is no way to know for sure if they would obey an order to open fire on ordinary citizens.

Update: The Cato Institute published this warning when the program was launched in its first phase in 2008 (the program has been updated and expanded since 2008). The Founders insisted that standing armies were never to be used against American citizens on our own soil, no matter what violations of this principle have occurred in the years following. In the spirit of the Patriots and of real journalists government must be questioned constantly and held to intense scrutiny in order to preserve liberty.

Satire From ‘The Onion”

U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths

April 13, 2010 | ISSUE 46•15
* via @TheOnion – U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths

WASHINGTON—Citing a series of fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets.

Representatives from the nation’s leading flag producer claimed that as many as 143 million deaths in the past two centuries can be attributed directly to the faulty U.S. models, which have been utilized extensively since the 18th century in sectors as diverse as government, the military, and public education.

“It has come to our attention that, due to the inherent risks and hazards it poses, the American flag is simply unfit for general use,” said Annin & Company president Ronald Burman, who confirmed that the number of flag-related deaths had noticeably spiked since 2003. “I would like to strongly urge all U.S. citizens: If you have an American flag hanging in your home or place of business, please discontinue using it immediately.”

Added Burman, “The last thing we would want is for more innocent men and women around the world to die because of our product.”

Millions of U.S. flag–related injuries and fatalities have been reported over a 230-year period in locations as far flung as Europe, Cuba, Korea, Gettysburg, PA, the Philippines, and Iraq. In addition, the company found that U.S. flag exports to Vietnam during the late 1960s and early 1970s resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, a clear sign that there was something seriously wrong with its product.

Despite fears about the flag’s safety—especially when improperly used or manipulated in ways not originally intended—sales continued unabated over the years, potentially putting billions of unsuspecting people in danger.

“At first, we wanted one of our flags in every home in America,” Burman said. “Unfortunately, the practical applications of this product are far outnumbered by the risks it presents. Millions have died needlessly, and when you ask people why, they point to the flag.”

Unfortunate casualties of Old Glory’s near-continuous 230-year use.

Added Burman, “Frankly, we should have pulled it off the market decades ago.”

Studies conducted by the Annin & Company research and development department revealed that faulty U.S. flags have caused more than just injuries and deaths. During the mid-1950s, the flags were found to have the bizarre side effect of causing fear, paranoia, and hysterical behavior among millions of Americans. This was dismissed as an isolated event until September 2001, when similar symptoms reemerged on a massive scale.

As hazardous as the flags may be on their own, Annin & Company officials claimed the products become even more dangerous when used in conjunction with other common household items.

“When combined with alcohol, excessive patriotism, grief, or well-intentioned but ultimately misguided ideals, U.S. flags transform into ticking time bombs, just waiting to go off,” Burman said.

Manufacturers are addressing the flag’s unsafe and potentially lethal alignment of stars and stripes by designing a revised model that they hope will cut down on deaths in the United States and overseas, where experts say the flag is nearly 1,000 times as deadly.

In the meantime, Annin & Company is advising all Americans to either ship their flags back to the manufacturer or, if no time permits, dispose of them in an efficient manner.

“I understand that people might be reluctant to stop using a product they have found to be reliable over the years,” Burman told reporters. “But I can’t in good conscience allow them to use something I know to be dangerous. We’ll try to make adjustments soon and come up with something that benefits everybody rather than hurting them.”

Added Burman, “In the interim, I would recommend that all Americans switch to the Canadian flag, which seems to be working just fine.”