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.
In the days following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began systematically disregarding civil liberties and arresting “suspects” they believed might commit a crime if given the opportunity. An example of these violations is found in the case of Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain. In 2007, these leaders at a mosque in Albany, New York were sentenced to 15 years in a federal penitentiary for their alleged connection with terrorist organization and their participation in a plot to launder money obtained by selling a missile to a Pakistani militant group known as Jaish-e-Mohammed. The FBI alleged that the two men had conspired to “make money through jihad” by laundering the proceeds of the sale of the shoulder-launched missile. What the FBI also admitted was that the crimes of which Aref and Hossain were accused, tried, and convicted were “not real” and that there was never any threat to the American people from the supposed conspiracy.   According to a story published recently in Harper's Magazine:
Dr. Alieta Eck has had a long career in medicine, starting as a registered pharmacist before going to medical school. She graduated from the St. Louis University School of Medicine and then did a residency in Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and is part of a four-physician multi-specialty practice. Most notably, Dr. Eck is one of the founders of the Zarephath Health Center in Somerset, New Jersey, an organization that provides healthcare to the poor and uninsured. Most impressive is that the organization services their patients without receiving a single federal dollar. They are funded solely by donations and rely on volunteers. Not only does the health center cater to the physical needs of those who utilize its services, but it addresses their spiritual and emotional needs as well. Dr. Eck has been a leading proponent of free-market medicine and a staunch opponent of ObamaCare.
President Obama will be the featured speaker at an “interfaith faith prayer service” at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on the evening of September 11th to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the nation. Curiously, while the event will also include a “Roman Catholic bishop, a Jewish rabbi, Buddhist nun, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America, and a Muslim musician,” reported Ron Kerby at Beliefnet.com, “…not a single protestant or evangelical has been invited to participate.” Most conspicuously absent, noted Kerby, will be official representation from the nation’s 16.6 million Southern Baptists, by far America’s largest Protestant denomination. “Completely left off the program was anybody represented by the National Association of Evangelicals,” he added. “No Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Wesleyans, or Mennonites. Nobody from the Church of Christ or the Assemblies of God.”
In a news release last week, the Environmental Protection Agency labeled hay a pollutant, according to the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA). A non-profit organization representing thousands of U.S. cattle producers, R-CALF USA says the EPA’s outlandish affidavit could potentially require farmers and ranchers to store hay in pollution containment zones. The issue culminated from an EPA compliance order charging Callicrate Feeding Company with a list of environmental violations. The EPA’s Region 7 office detailed the violations in a news release: An inspection in February 2011 identified significant NPDES permit violations, including failure to maintain adequate wastewater storage capacity, failure to meet Nutrient Management Plan requirements, failure to conduct operations within areas that are controlled in a manner capable of preventing pollution, and failure to maintain adequate records. The order requires the operation to comply with all terms of the Clean Water Act and its NPDES permit, and to coordinate with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on its compliance. The order requires the operation to comply with the terms of its Nutrient Management Plan, including sampling and recordkeeping requirements. The feedlot has a permitted capacity of 12,000 cattle and was confining approximately 3,219 cattle at the time of the inspection.
A Christian a cappella singing group at the University of North Carolina (UNC) is under scrutiny after its members voted to expel another member who is openly homosexual. The Christian Post reported that the student group, called Psalm 100, “was founded on core biblical principles. When its members discovered that William Thomason, a UNC senior, disagreed with the biblical teaching on the sinfulness of homosexuality, a vote was held to have the student removed from the group.” Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs at UNC, told the student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, that the university would investigate to see if the group had violated the school’s non-discrimination policy. “We are on notice that there is a question as to whether or not a student organization has acted in compliance with the policy or not,” the official said. “We take that very seriously and that will be investigated.”
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