The idea that the United States is unique among the world’s nations has been recognized by many historians and ordinary citizens who sense our exceptionalism without fully knowing its genesis. That is why we have been such a strong magnet for immigrants. All they know about us is that we are the land of opportunity, a free country. Freedom is the main theme of our being. Indeed, freedom has made us the richest and most advanced nation in history. Few writers have bothered to analyze the source of our exceptionalism. But most Americans sense that its origin is embodied in our founding documents that gave us the best form of government for a free people. As a result, Americans became exceptional human beings capable of using their brains and talents to unleash their creative impulses. No government, no society, no culture in history had given human beings this sovereignty over themselves. The Declaration of Independence states: “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Parents Television Council (PTC), a conservative watchdog group, has released a new study of network cartoons that are being viewed by kids, and, predictably, the findings are grim. In Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter, PTC used data from the Nielsen research group to identify the network cartoon shows most viewed by tweens and teens from ages 12 to 17. Based on those findings, “PTC examined 123 episodes of animated programming that aired on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nick at Nite for the presence of sexual content, violence, drugs and explicit language between March 21, 2011 and April 14, 2011,” the report stated. The findings were disturbing, to say the least, with nearly 1,500 documented incidents of explicit language, drug use, violence, and sexual content during the time period studied. Noted the report: “On average, young viewers were exposed to adult content once every two minutes and 19 seconds. TV-PG rated animation featured sex, drugs, or profanity every two minutes and 31 seconds.” Researchers said that some of the most explicit and objectionable content was found on Adult Swim, “which used to begin airing at 11:00 pm ET and now begins at 9:00 pm ET (8:00 pm CT).” The network shares air time with the Cartoon Network, which has long been considered a child-safe channel.
History is replete with the deeds of successful individuals. Some rose to prominence as the builders of businesses while others served as the leaders of some noteworthy organizations. Still more made their marks as philanthropists, or served their nations in patriotic or religious endeavors, or spent their time and energy to make their own communities better places to live. There are very few of course who, in a busy lifetime, do all of this. William J. Grede was one of those very few. Born in 1897 and raised in Milwaukee, Bill Grede never considered any other place home. The product of strict but loving parents (his stepmother, whom his dad, Henry, married after his first wife died, was to Bill “the only mother I ever knew”), Bill went to work at his father’s carriage shop during summers when he was 14. He later worked at Uncle Art’s tire store. The experiences he gained at both taught him two very important lessons: 1) always provide quality products and service; and 2) there is profit to be made in integrity. During Bill’s early years, the Milwaukee area was a hotbed of socialism.
A federal court of appeals threw out Virginia’s legal challenge to Obamacare and with it, the principles of federalism and state sovereignty. Thursday, the three-judge panel of the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that the state of Virginia lacks jurisdiction to challenge the twin federal health care measures passed in 2010 and known collectively as Obamacare. In their decision, the federal judges held that “Virginia ... lacks standing to bring this action. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”   Of all the unconstitutional elements included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is the individual mandate that Virginia (and the 28 other states that have filed similar complaints) finds most irksome and offensive to its sovereignty.
China may soon be the largest economy in the world. It has always had those things required to be a giant on the world stage: very industrious people culturally inured to thrift, a large nation with diverse climatic conditions, and a huge population. As Dr. Thomas Sowell has pointed out in his brilliant studies of ethnic characteristics, throughout Asia the Chinese people have been the most financially successful. Malaya and Indonesia, for example, are lands in which a large percentage of the income and wealth is in the hands of ethnic Chinese immigrants.  Hong Kong, long before Britain left when its 99-year lease expired, had among the highest standards of living in the Eastern Hemisphere. Singapore, too, far outstrips most other lands in Southeast Asia. Chinese-Americans have also proven very capable professionals and entrepreneurs, starting from the very bottom of the socio-economic scale — lacking not only English language skills and a phonetic script, but a background in the Judeo-Christian religious traditions, and with a distinctive appearance that make them easy to recognize.
Writing for the New York Times, Andrew Sorkin was puzzled that he couldn’t find any evidence that Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, had given away any part of his significant $8.3 billion personal wealth. What he did find is that when Jobs returned to his old company in 1997, he canceled Apple’s philanthropic programs and they have remained dormant ever since. Sorkin explained: "None of this is meant to judge Mr. Jobs. I have long been a huge admirer of Mr. Jobs ... because of the enormous positive impact his products have had by improving the lives of millions of people through technology.... But the lack of public philanthropy by Mr. Jobs ... raises some important questions about the way public views business and business people at a time when some 'millionaires and billionaires' are criticized for not giving back enough while others like Mr. Jobs are lionized." He then compares Jobs’ stinginess to the generosity of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in establishing a foundation to “enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty” around the world. The unstated question to Mr. Jobs in Sorkin’s article is: Why not you, Mr. Jobs?
Unbeknownst to most Americans listening to 2012 campaign rhetoric, what’s being pitched is “free-market socialism." An oxymoron? Not exactly. “Free-market socialism,” a version of “market socialism,” is so named because it does not involve planners, as most of us understand that word. It is, in essence, a kinder and gentler form of highly regulated enterprise that nevertheless steers a nation toward an entitlement society with an emphasis on government-supplied jobs under the guise of entrepreneurship and “open” markets. Because “socialism,” per se, carries negative connotations for most Americans — most younger voters don’t know exactly what it means anyway — it’s fairly easy to deceive the public into believing a candidate stands for free-market principles, as in the Founders’ vision, and still accept a welfare state, complete with bailouts, federal control of production, and government-created jobs, using the private sector only as proxies (contract entities). The term “free-market socialism” was first bandied about on American college campuses in the 1960s by political science professors capitalizing on leftist-generated student rebellions. Purportedly, it combined a functional system of entitlements with a highly regulated (and therefore “fair”) free-market.
Though a number of Republicans across the country have been calling for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to throw his hat into the presidential ring, he has continually rejected the call and has sworn to finish out his gubernatorial term. Christie’s assertions have done little to decrease the public call for a presidential consideration, but perhaps a recent announcement by the Republican Governors Association will finally put an end to those calls. Christie has been elected vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, providing a more concrete indication that Christie will not be running for President in 2012. The RGA made the announcement yesterday morning, while also announcing that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will serve on the RGA’s executive committee. RGA chairman Bob McDonnell said of the recent moves, “No governors better exemplify the type of leadership our country needs right now than Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker.”
A 35-year-old Navy veteran, Luis Lebron, is suing the state of Florida over its policy that all welfare applicants be drug tested prior to receiving benefits. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), America’s legislative lobbying and litigation artisans whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States," will be representing Lebron. The Orlando resident is currently pursuing an accounting degree at the University of Central Florida, while taking care of his four-year-old son and mentally disabled mother. One of many victims of the Great Recession, Lebron was laid off in 2008, and has been unable to find another job since. After exhausting his veteran’s benefits, he applied earlier this summer for welfare benefits. "It made me feel really bad; I just felt like everything was caving in on me," Lebron lamented. "I felt like, I served my country for four years; doesn't that mean anything anymore? I've worked for pretty good companies. I'm going to school; I'm supposed to graduate. I shouldn't be in this position."
Liberty lovers across the country will be gathering in Reno, Nevada, from September 15-17 for the 2011 Liberty Political Action Conference. With a variety of educational seminars being offered and the presence of prominent speakers like Texas Congressman and GOP presidential contender Ron Paul, the event should prove to have a major impact on the growing movement for liberty that is characterizing the upcoming presidential race. According to LPAC’s website: The Liberty Political Action Conference will play host to freedom activists from across the country. LPAC will feature conservative, libertarian, constitutional, and free market organizations, activists, and businesses. We’ll also bring together tons of exciting personalities and leaders in the liberty movement to discuss sound money, foreign policy, civil liberties, and the Constitutional hot button issues facing the liberty movement today. Featured speakers include Ron Paul, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — both of whom are Tea Party favorites — executive director of the National Association for Gun Rights Dudley Brown, Barry Goldwater Jr., John Birch Society CEO Art Thompson, and senior faculty of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Walter Block, as well as many others.
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