During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama boasted about the alleged successes of U.S. and international military interventions from Libya and Iraq to the Ivory Coast and Afghanistan — even calling on the UN to wage more wars to promote peace if necessary. But according to critics, the results and justifications for the operations Obama cited leave much to be desired.  After noting that American troops would be leaving Iraq by the end of the year and that an “increasingly capable” regime in Afghanistan was beginning to take charge, Obama claimed that “the tide of war is receding.” He promptly followed that statement by discussing other nations where U.S. and UN troops are either currently waging war or recently did so. Obama then offered a list of more countries that should — in his mind, at least — be next in the crosshairs. Iran and Syria featured prominently among the future targets. “There is no excuse for inaction,” he declared. “Throughout the region, we will have to respond to the calls for change.” Obama also mentioned — albeit much more mildly — U.S. allies such as Bahrain and Yemen, where the U.S. government has been waging a secret war for years.
The sovereign debt woes of the European Union are nearing a critical stage. Greece's short-term bonds have recently shot to 60 percent, indicating an extremely high probability that the ancient country will default. Though Portugal and Spain, two of the other “PIIGS”  member-states in the EU, are temporarily off the radar screen, neither has solved its fundamental debt problems. In Finland, the only Scandinavian nation in the eurozone, the True Finns political party has enjoyed remarkable success running largely on a platform of refusing to bail out spendthrift EU members whose expenditure-to-revenue ratios would make full repayment of debt instruments unlikely without outside help. The other Scandinavian nations have become increasingly reluctant to join the eurozone over the last few years. The sovereign debt crisis originally involved four governments —  the so-called PIGS: Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. What is particularly disconcerting for those attempting to solve the EU's economic problems has been the inclusion of Italy in this group (now known as PIIGS).  
High-ranking officials across Mexico including the Attorney General are reportedly demanding answers from the U.S. government about its secret program that sent high-powered weaponry across the border to drug cartels, saying the Obama administration’s explanations so far are inadequate. The Mexican public is outraged as well. Hundreds of Mexicans including law-enforcement officers have been murdered with guns traced back to the operation, which was handled by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF). “Project Gunrunner” weapons were also involved in the deaths of at least a few American agents including Border Patrol officer Brian Terry. Under “Operation Fast and Furious,” the Obama administration was deliberately providing sophisticated and powerful weapons to violent Mexican drug cartels — often using taxpayer money. He was simultaneously campaigning for stricter U.S. gun control by citing violence in Mexico.
During the recent GOP presidential debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that Social Security is a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme." More and more people are coming to see that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but is it a lie, as well? Let's look at it. Here's what the 1936 government pamphlet on Social Security said: "After the first 3 years — that is to say, beginning in 1940 — you will pay, and your employer will pay, 1.5 cents for each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year.... Beginning in 1943, you will pay 2 cents, and so will your employer, for every dollar you earn for the next 3 years.... And finally, beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year." Here's Congress' lying promise: "That is the most you will ever pay." Another lie in the Social Security pamphlet is: "Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States government will set up a Social Security account for you.... The checks will come to you as a right."
“The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession,” President Barack Obama said in 2009. Two years later, in the midst of a still-struggling economy, Obama is proposing over $1.5 trillion in tax increases. What gives? The President has apparently given up on his attempt to cover his leftist views with a veneer of moderation. First he submitted a jobs bill to Congress that would spend almost half a trillion dollars at a time when the government is already borrowing over 40 percent of the money it disburses. Then he proposed paying for it with hefty tax hikes on the rich, promising to submit a more comprehensive deficit-reduction plan a week later. That plan, released Monday, is essentially a rehash of his jobs bill’s spending and tax hike proposals — things that would take effect immediately if they were to pass, though most of them have been previously rejected by Congress — combined with promised reductions in future spending that neither Obama nor the current Congress can guarantee will occur. The President claims it will reduce the deficit by $3.2 billion over the next 10 years.
As the nation continues to struggle with a prolonged economic slump and an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly above nine percent, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has warned the Fed against the temptation to jeopardize price stability in an effort to jumpstart the economy. Even "a little inflation" can be dangerous, Volcker warned in an op-ed piece in Monday's New York Times. Volcker noted "a sense of desperation" abroad in the land, since "both monetary and fiscal policy have almost exhausted their potential, given the size of the fiscal deficits and the already extremely low level of interests rates. "So now we are beginning to hear murmurings about the possible invigorating effects of 'just a little inflation.' Perhaps 4 or 5 percent a year would be just the thing to deal with the overhang of debt and encourage the 'animal spirits' of business, or so the argument goes."  Businesses will be encouraged to invest today in anticipation of higher prices tomorrow. A further weakening of the dollar would also boost exports, thereby spurring an economic recovery, some theorists have suggested, arguing that we can return to price stability as the economy expands again.
Shell Oil is set to tap Alaska's vast oil reserves now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final air quality permit to allow exploration development north of the Arctic Circle. The permit allows Shell to set up its Noble Discoverer drillship in the Chukchi Sea along with a fleet of support vessels including icebreakers and oil spill response crafts. The company will be allowed to operate them no more than 120 days annually starting in 2012. The permit sets strict air pollution control limits on the drilling equipment. In a press release, EPA explained the new permits are revised versions of those issued to Shell in 2010. At the time, environmental activist groups challenged them, and EPA's Environmental Appeals Board decided the original permits did not meet Clean Air Act standards. The new ones restrict fleet emissions by more than 50 percent from the levels allowed in 2010. EPA says it granted the new permits based largely on state-of-the-art pollution control equipment recently installed on the Discoverer and on Shell's agreement to further reduce emissions by adding more controls to its drilling fleet.
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.
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