As Sarah Palin vacillates between running and not running, many among her Tea Party supporters are growing weary of the drama and are expressing their worry that the former governor of Alaska is merely using their dedication to further her own career and line her own pockets. One of these groups, the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots, cites Palin as a perfect example of the kind of political parasite intent on feeding itself on the good will and treasure of those devoted to the patriot movement. On Tuesday, the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots issued a press release calling out Palin and similar Tea Party celebrities for hitching themselves to the Tea Party wagon, teasing them with promises of running for office and restoring traditional American values to the halls of government. The Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots organization is composed of former members of the armed services. Their website sets out their mission:
Outrage is mounting around the world against United Nations “peace-keeping” soldiers as sex-crime allegations, ranging from charges of rape and exploitation in Haiti to wide-spread sexual abuse of children in the Ivory Coast, have exploded into the headlines this week. One of the most alarming incidents in recent times — several Uruguayan troops serving under the UN in Haiti held down and gang raped a teenage boy — was documented on video and spread over the Internet. The crime sparked even more anti-UN protests in the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation. Past demonstrations, related to UN troops spreading cholera, abusing citizens, or other matters, have resulted in Haitians being killed by international forces. But this time the concerns are being taken seriously. The resulting global uproar over what Haitian President Michel Martelly described as the “collective rape carried out against a young Haitian” caused an international scandal that is still growing.
Tony Blankley’s recent column, “Politics Turns Dangerously Rougher,” reflects my own thinking on where all of this conflict between the socialist left and pro-Constitution Tea-Party right is headed. Since the history of socialism is rife with revolutionary violence, and undoubtedly socialist Obama knows that history well, I have feared that the present conflict may be leading us to civil violence. The words of labor leader Hoffa at the Labor Day celebration in Detroit had a dangerous ring. Blankley writes: Whether Hoffa's words are criminal or not, with words like "terrorist," "lynching," "go to hell," and "take them out," the emerging tone of the Democratic Party regarding the Tea Party is ominous. It is the language of murderous violence, and it is targeted at a specific group of people. Most disturbing is the failure of the Democratic Party leaders to condemn such language — including Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz -— who on national television specifically and repeatedly evaded any comment on Hoffa's statement. Thus far, we have heard no repudiation of Hoffa’s intemperance from any high-ranking Democrat. Indeed, Hoffa’s language seems to indicate that the left is not at all averse to using violence to get its way.
The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) assault on American manufacturing may soon be arrested. As readers of The New American are aware, in what some have called its “worst decision,” the NLRB unloaded its regulatory arsenal on American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, Inc. and nearly eliminated a thousand jobs -- American jobs -- in the process. With the American economy mired in the contrived quicksand of the Federal Reserve’s boom/bust cycle, Boeing struck out and threw a rope of hope to thousands of American families by opening a new 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in South Carolina. For such an ambitious undertaking, the Chicago-based aerospace and defense company received nearly universal praise. One prominent exception: the federal government in the form of the NLRB. Rather than praise Boeing’s bravery and good will, the NLRB filed a federal lawsuit. The federal agency bared its litigious teeth after being “taunted” by Boeing’s lauding of South Carolina’s industry-friendly “right to work” labor laws.
A rare abortion debate has been incited among lawmakers in Britain, who are now reconsidering the nation’s approach to abortion. The debate is focused on whether clinics that are paid to perform abortions should also be permitted to give advice to women who are unsure of how to handle unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, the proposal to provide alternative sources for pre-abortion counseling was rejected by Members of Parliament today. Abortion law in Britain permits abortions up to 24 weeks' gestation, and also makes exceptions for abortions after 24 weeks if doctors believe the mother’s life is in danger or that the child will be born with a severe disability. Referrals to abortion clinics must be approved by two doctors. According to Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, impartial advice is always provided to women who seek abortions, and those members assure that the advice provided to women seeking abortion makes them understand the consequences of abortions.
The U.S. government has found another way to invade privacy in the name of fighting terrorism by proposing legislation that would track prepaid debit cards. As usual, the real losers would be, not terrorists who won’t comply anyway, but innocent Americans, or travelers, and card issuers burdened with yet another layer of record keeping and compliance procedures. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a branch of the Treasury Department, has drafted rules, taking effect Sep. 27, to establish a “more comprehensive regulatory approach for prepaid access.” It’s important to distinguish between these prepaid debit cards and the debit cards attached to your bank account. Once known as “stored-value cards” the cards will be renamed “prepaid access cards” — because they aren’t tied to a bank account, the money paid for them in advance could be anywhere, currently outside the reach of monitoring by the government. Which is precisely the point. An assessment of financial security threats in 2005 by the Treasury Department noted that the 9/11 hijackers opened bank accounts, signed signature cards and received wire transfers, which left a financial trail.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has looked at the 20,000 administrative rules in the Florida Administrative Code, and he is asking the Florida Legislature in one fell swoop to repeal 1,000 of those rules and to change another 1,200 of the rules. Scott has tried to create an Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform, which would be required to sign off on all new rules, but the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that this would violate the state’s constitution. The Florida Supreme Court, however, cannot prevent the Florida Legislature from asserting its power to stop proposed rules from going into effect. Why is Governor Scott doing this? “Every rule costs money. Just the fact that you have to research to find out if you’re in compliance. It’s so complicated that people have to hire consultants to figure out how to comply. Every dime a company spends on regulations is a dime they add to what you care about as a purchaser of a product or service. You hear stories. Why do we have to do this?
Following the announcement by the Italian Cabinet of additional austerity measures to include plans to combine all 1,963 towns in Italy with populations of fewer than 1,000, some mayors protested by turning in their honorary keys to the city while others began developing marketing plans inviting immigrants to their towns in order to raise their town’s population above the 1,000 minimum and remain independent. Luca Sellari, mayor of Filettino, had different ideas: he decided to create an independent monarchy with himself as prince, and a new currency, the fiorito (which means small flower) with an exchange rate of two fioritos to the Euro (about 72 cents each). The austerity plan would eliminate the jobs of 54,000 elected officials and save some money. Sellari wants to remain independent, however, and is moving to take Filettino (population 598) private.
When one studies international economics, one will inevitably encounter the topic of “free trade.” As always, it is a good idea to start with a definition, to avoid any possible confusion. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the expression “free trade,” whose earliest recorded use in the English language dates back to 1606, as “trade based on the unrestricted international exchange of goods with tariffs used only as a source of revenue.” Nowadays, free trade has come to mean the conduct of international business without any governmental interference, such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies, etc. Such a policy allows prices to be the result of nothing but pure supply and demand, without any artificial distortions entering into the process. The term “free trade” is often used these days in multinational agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), although such arrangements do not eliminate government involvement in trade but create multinational entities to regulate it.
Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled his economic agenda Tuesday, beating President Barack Obama to the punch by two days. (Obama will present his jobs plan in a speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday evening.) Romney’s plan is, as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich put it, “unremarkable, to say the least.” To his credit, Romney seems to grasp that the private sector, not government, is the source of American prosperity. In the summary of his agenda found on his website, Romney says that his plan “does not promise the immediate creation of some imaginary number of jobs, because government cannot create jobs — at least not productive ones that contribute to our long-term prosperity. It is economic growth, not government growth, that provides productive opportunities for American workers.” (This did not, however, stop Romney from claiming that his plan would create 11 million jobs during his first four years in office.)