The Importance of Morality in Our System of Government

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly news video update for July 21 - 27, 2014.

Senate Dems Quietly Revive Radical UN Disabilities Treaty

Senate Democrats are reviving the radical UN Disabilities Treaty to grant oversight of U.S...

"Freedom Index": Rating Congress Based on the Constitution

Do you know how your U.S. representative and senators vote on key issues? Do you know if t...

Illegal Immigrant Surge: Unexpected — or Planned?

As our nation struggles to deal with an almost uncontrollable surge of illegal immigrants ...

Working Together to Rewrite the Constitution

The deceptive Left-Right coalition to rewrite the Constitution by means of an Article V co...

  • The Importance of Morality in Our System of Government

    Monday, July 21 2014 14:01

    Published in News

  • Senate Dems Quietly Revive Radical UN Disabilities Treaty

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:40

    Published in News

  • "Freedom Index": Rating Congress Based on the Constitution

    Thursday, July 17 2014 10:06

    Published in News

  • Illegal Immigrant Surge: Unexpected — or Planned?

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 16:25

    Published in News

  • Working Together to Rewrite the Constitution

    Thursday, May 29 2014 14:29

    Published in News - TNA

The John Birch Society
Former Congressman Newt Gingrich has never shied away from controversy, so the recent turmoil among his presidential campaign staff, leading to the abrupt departure of a number of his senior aides, was very much in character. At the time, the candidate whom Robert Novak of the Washington Post had once identified as a top presidential contender seemed to be dead in the water. Gingrich, however, has opted to soldier on, and while campaign funding is lagging, the toxic political climate and economic turbulence have made presidential electoral politics more uncertain than at any time in recent memory.  
Announcing his entry into the 2012 presidential race, Gary Johnson rattled off a list of crises besetting the United States, from “record unemployment” to “loss of our nation’s industrial might.” “Why am I telling you this?” he asked, then answered: “Because America is better than this. And because I can help fix it.” “I’m a fix-it man.”  
President Barack Obama has called for a luxury tax on corporate jets as a means to generate revenue to fight federal deficits. The president's economic advisers ought to be fired for not telling him that doing so is unwise and counterproductive. They might have already told him so, only to have the president say, "Look, I know you're right, but I'm exploiting the public's envy of the rich!" Let's look at what happened when Obama's predecessor George H.W. Bush signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and broke his "read my lips" vow not to agree to new taxes. When Congress imposed a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts, private airplanes and expensive automobiles, Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes. What actually happened is laid out in a Heartland Institute blog post by Edmund Contoski titled "Economically illiterate Obama, re: Corporate Jets" (7/12/2011).
Suppose a nation was so blessed with natural resources that it almost could not be poor. Suppose that this nation led the world in gold and chromium production, that it was second in the world in platinum, zirconium, and manganese production, third in vanadium production, fifth in diamond production, seventh in iron and coal production, and produced large amounts of many other minerals and valuable elements as well. Now suppose that this nation was also among the most richly endowed agricultural areas in the world — that it produced very large export crops of apples, apricots, pears, lemons, tangerines, grapes, and oranges, and that it also was among the world’s major producers of corn and wheat. Such a land would be even more blessed than Saudi Arabia, because as valuable as oil is today, it is affected by the market price of energy for that single resource.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), among other prominent Democrats, blamed the Tea Party for S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. government's long-held AAA credit rating. In the aftermath of this historic U.S. fiscal shift, which arrived despite the $2.5 trillion deficit reduction plan passed last week, the congressional blame game is an inevitable outcome, and Sunday shaped the springboard for Congress to indulge the media in partisan pandering. "This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal," Sen. Kerry said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, referencing the Senate’s bipartisan "Gang of Six" plan, which compromised spending cuts for tax increases. Responding to Kerry’s accusation, John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who recently called House Republicans "hobbits" for their thwarted balanced budget amendment — defended Tea Party Republicans, while congratulating them for keeping their 2008 campaign promises.
The White House has informed Governors that they are forbidden from opting out of the Department of Homeland Security’s controversial Secure Communities (SComm) program. The plan mandates the cooperation of federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies in the identification, arrest, and deportation of criminal aliens. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the branch of DHS tasked with managing the program. On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security informed Governors that the SComm program does not require state ratification and that it would operate in those states with or without approval of the state government. Furthermore, state executives were told that any agreements entered into by DHS with states regarding the scope of the particular state’s participation in the identification and tracking scheme were immediately null and of no legal effect.
Most Americans are aware that U.S. forces are involved in missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Those who pay closer attention to the news may know that American troops are also active in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. But according to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.com, those six nations comprise only five percent of the total number of countries in which the Department of Defense is conducting operations. “A secret force within the U.S. military,” says Turse, “is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries” — at a rate of 70 such operations per day. This “secret force” is known as the U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM. “SOCOM carries out the United States’ most specialized and secret missions,” Turse writes. “These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.”
Environmental contention stirs as discussions cultivate over the long-delayed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, to southern parts of the United States. Due to environmental concerns, lawsuits from oil refineries, and opposition in the U.S. Congress, the project has been on hiatus, as it lingers in the State Department’s permitting process, awaiting President Obama’s approval. In urging the President to act, Republicans and business leaders allege that the $7 billion expansion will create 20,000 jobs — 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 manufacturing jobs — and ease U.S. dependence on foreign oil. TransCanada, the Canadian company that proposed the expansion, estimates that the pipeline would deliver over one million barrels of oil a day to the U.S. "We could help reduce the amount of imports from the Middle East," asserted TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha, "which would ensure energy security for the United States."
With gold bouncing up from $1,668 an ounce on Friday, August 5 to $1,778 on Tuesday, August 9, it was the biggest three-day rally since the start of the great recession in 2008. At the same time, the equities markets were falling precipitously, losing over 600 points on the Dow on Monday alone. What is the connection? The easy answer is fear, loss of confidence, and uncertainty. A credit rating agency has taken away the United States' top-tier AAA rating on its bonds, the spreading debt crisis in the Eurozone has now reached Italy and Spain, and the assumptions tying the financial system together are beginning to be questioned. In its report entitled “On the Coming Gold War,” Redburn Partners says a “rising gold price is a warning signal: it casts doubt on the US economy…. Gold is the only asset to outperform in periods of either uncontrollable inflation or deflation: the US economy is on the knife-edge between the two … gold is a vital barometer.”
The state of Wisconsin is seeking relief from the No Child Left Behind education reform law after the Obama administration announced it would permit states to receive waivers from the strict testing requirements under NCLB. In an announcement made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday, Duncan indicated that states would be allowed waivers if they utilize other accountability measures. Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers and Governor Scott Walker immediately jumped at the opportunity. They created a task force that represented a number of state education interests in order to find alternative accountability measures that would best suit Wisconsin’s interests. According to Evers, No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s signature education law, is broken. Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute concurs.  Citing a study conducted by Jaekyung Lee at Harvard in 2006 using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Coulson explains:
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