During the fallout following the government bailout of banking, investment, insurance, and the auto industry, President Obama justified the extension of corporate welfare by informing the American people that these businesses were “too big to fail.” Regardless of the logic of such a stance, in the history of republican political thought, the opposite of the Obama Doctrine has been asserted as axiomatic. As the theory went (goes), a republic cannot function properly toward the end of preserving liberty if it grows too large. One might say of republics that they can be “too big to succeed.” That is the sentiment behind a recent collection of essays addressing the increasingly untenable size of the federal government and the possibility and desirability of its perpetuation.   Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-first Century is a collection of seven essays compiled and edited by Donald Livingston. The collection is an extension of the Abbeville Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina in 2010. Contributing scholars include Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, Yuri Maltsev, Kent Masterson Brown, Marshall DeRosa, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Rob Williams.
Anyone who watches television news for more than a few hours is likely to see an advertisement for gold. As the Federal Reserve continues to print fiat money in vast quantities — backed by nothing except the vague promise that this paper is legal tender and can be used to pay all debts public and private — people are increasingly looking for something of real value. And that something is gold. When American currency was redeemable in gold, its value was stable. Even “bimetallism,” which provided that currency could also be redeemed in silver, did not significantly affect the value of the dollar. Historically, a major issue in certain presidential campaigns — such as those of William Jennings Byran v. William McKinley in 1896 and 1900 — was whether to allow dollars to be redeemed in silver. Because of America's silver mines — primarily in the Rocky Mountain region — allowing such an exchange would bring more currency into circulation, producing mild inflation. What person alive then would have ever imagined the dire straits of today, when our currency is backed only by a federal government drowning in debt?
Arizona created quite a national furor a year ago by enacting a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, but the ease with which non-English-speaking people can obtain driver’s licenses there has attracted refugees now living in Massachusetts. The Bay State has suspended the driver's licenses of 124 Massachusetts residents who obtained licenses from Arizona, which they then converted into Massachusetts licenses, the Boston Globe reported Monday. State Police are investigating hundreds of other cases in which Massachusetts residents may have gained driving privileges through Arizona's more flexible policy. Massachusetts offers the written exam required for a driver's license in English and 26 other languages, second only to California. But the state requires the applicant to take the exam unaided, while Arizona allows the services of a translator. Arizona also allows applicants to bypass the written test altogether with certificates from state-approved private driver schools. And while Arizona requires proof that the applicant is in the country legally and requires multiple documents for proof of identity, the state, unlike Massachusetts, does not require proof of in-state residence.
Shequita Walker, a 40-year old disabled woman from Atlanta, Georgia, asserts that she was arrested merely for sitting outside in a chair. Her account of the events indicates that she was sitting outside when she was approached by a police officer, who asked her to move from her chair. When she refused, she said she was thrown to the ground and arrested. The Atlanta Journal Constitution provides some background: Shequita Walker, 40, suffers from severe joint pain and has a limited range of motion. For several years, Walker has enjoyed sitting in a metal chair in the vacant lot next to her apartment complex on Boulevard. Walker says she isn't on the sidewalk or in anyone's way, and has spent many hot afternoons waiting on the ice cream truck to drive by so she can buy a cold treat. On April 21, however, police officer Kenneth Thomas asked Walker to move from her usual spot. Walker replied that she was not in violation of any law and was within her rights to remain in place. She also told Thomas that other officers had seen her in that spot on numerous occasions and had never given her any trouble.
Atheist Richard Dawkins has written a children's book, entitled The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, which encourages the notions of atheism and evolution and describes Judeo-Christian beliefs as a myth. According to Dawkins, the work is intended for families to read together and “enjoy [his] take on the universe’s truths.” Dawkins explains something of what motivated him to write the book: I’ve had perfectly wonderful conversations with Anglican bishops, and I rather suspect if you asked in a candid moment, they’d say they don’t believe in the virgin birth. But for every one of them, four others would tell a child she’ll rot in hell for doubting. NewScientist’s Andy Coghlan has this to say about the new book: Dawkins has repackaged his passion for atheism — and for the capacity of science to deliver demonstrable truths about nature — in a book designed to appeal to teenagers. [...]
An atheist group has turned its attention to the federal tax code, but not because of its astronomical size and scope. Instead, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is concerned with what it alleges to be an unconstitutional exemption for Christian ministers. The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which typically launches battles to ensure the oft-used maxim of “separation of church and state,” has joined three of its officers in filing a lawsuit against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. A portion of the lawsuit reads: Section 107 has the effect of fostering governmental entanglement with religion, precisely in order to limit the tax break provided by §107 to religious clergy; the IRS must make complex, intrusive and subjective inquiries into religious matters when applying §107 in order to limit its preferential scope to ministers of the gospel.
If the American Physical Society's numbers on global warming are accurate, the earth's temperature has been "amazingly stable" and "human health and happiness have improved" during a century and a half of minor climate change, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever said in a message to the APS, explaining why he is resigning from the society. Giaever cited a 2007 statement by the organization calling the evidence of global warming "incontrovertible." "Global warming is occurring," the APS said at that time. "If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now." Giaever sent word of his resignation in an email to AP official Kate Kirby, International Business Times reported. In it, the 82-year-old native of Norway took sharp issue with what he appears to regard as dogmatism by the organization on the subject of climate change.
“Pass this bill now,” President Obama is repeatedly demanding, regarding his new American Jobs Act. There’s nothing new in the legislation, just more government spending, more transfers of money from “the rich” to Obama’s political allies, more spending for infrastructure enhancement so we all won’t allegedly be buried by collapsing schools and bridges. And the “rush” tactics are the same. As with ObamaCare, there’s a proclaimed “crisis,” followed by demands to pass legislation “now,” even if no one’s adequately analyzed the bill, even if no one’s read it, even if the legislation will only make things worse, and even if we’re already flat broke. And as with earlier stimulus packages, roads are a particular priority in the American Jobs Act, so much so that you’d think we were all riding around in mud ruts.
Many in the media and in politics have gone ballistic over the fact that Texas Governor Rick Perry called Social Security "a Ponzi scheme." Although many act shocked, shocked, as if Rick Perry had said something unthinkable, Governor Perry is not even among the first thousand people to call Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Not only conservatives, but even some liberals, have been calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme for decades. Moreover, neither the media nor the politicians who are carrying on over the use of the words "Ponzi scheme" show the slightest interest in any hard facts that would tell us whether Social Security is or is not a Ponzi scheme. It is a "gotcha" moment, and that is apparently what some people live for. What makes this nonsense become fraud is the insinuation that calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme means advocating that people who are depending on Social Security be abandoned and left with nothing to live on in their retirement years. That is the big scare — and the big lie.
Although rarely looked at as such by the typical person, labor is an economic transaction. It’s a simple trade — one where the worker willingly gives to his employer, in exchange for monetary and benefit compensation, the use of his physical and mental services. As with any free market economic activity, either party can prevent ongoing transactions, whether such termination is based on dissatisfaction with what the exchange garners or on the influence of supply and demand in the micro- and macro-markets. Basically, the act of employment is really no different from making a purchase at the local grocery store. Unions, though, don’t see it that way. Whereas non-unionized employment sees equal strength and value between worker and the company, unionized plants are different. There, the workers are granted dominance in the transaction and the standard rules of fair and equal trade are thrown out the window. Through its perverse leftist outlook, organized labor views any given job as a right rather than a privilege.
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