Jeff Jacoby listed some of the reasons he was thankful on Thanksgiving Day in 2003, including the feast on the table, the company of his family and loved ones, the good fortunes enjoyed during the year, the privilege of being an American. But what about such common things taken for granted, like airline schedules, and movie theaters, and recipes in the paper — and the turkey?

He wrote, “Isn’t there something wondrous — something almost inexplicable — in the way your Thanksgiving weekend is made possible by the skill and labor of vast numbers of total strangers?” The magnificent choreography of the free market, including the poultry farmers, the food distributors, the truckers, the architects who built the hatchery, the technicians who keep it running, the people prepping the turkey — from slaughter to defeathering to inspecting to wrapping to transporting to pricing to displaying — all of this coming together voluntarily by the mystery of the free market. All of this, he said,

had to be precisely timed so that when you showed up to buy a fresh Thanksgiving turkey there would be one – or more likely a few dozen – waiting. The level of coordination that was required to pull it off is mind-boggling. 

The Supreme Court approved petitions last week to hear arguments in two cases challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. One of the issues that will be argued before the justices of the high court is the legality of the currently operating Medicaid scheme.

Admittedly, the question is a very “narrow” one, but it will have far-reaching impact on the future of federalism and on the power of Congress to raise and spend revenue.
 
In one of the cases filed against President Obama’s pet project, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected a similar claim against provisions of Medicaid. In that suit, filed by the Attorneys General of the states of Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Nebraska, the court held that the expansion of the program made under provisions of ObamaCare was constitutional.
 
The essence of the states’ argument is that the use of the existing Medicaid arrangement to provide expanded healthcare coverage to citizens of the states is unduly burdensome on the governments of those states. ObamaCare mandates that the states cover 100 percent of the administrative expenses associated with implementing the new Medicaid policies set out in ObamaCare.

The federal government continues its infringement upon private business rights by proposing legislation that mandates that airlines may no longer charge baggage fees to their passengers. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) — who introduced the bill on Tuesday, just days before one of the busiest travel days of the year — described it as a way to spare passengers from having to pay “unfair fees.”

Entitled the Airline Passenger BASICS — Basic Airline Standards to Improve Customer Satisfaction — Landrieu’s proposal permits passengers to check in a single piece of luggage and carry on an additional one free of charge, as long as the two items are within the size limits. It also mandates that airlines provide free access to water and restrooms, imposing a penalty on any airline which fails to comply.

 

Four months after several reports showed that Asian Muslim gangs in Britain had turned thousands of British girls into sex slaves and prostitutes, the government finally appears ready to act. London’s Daily Mail reported early this week that the country’s minister for children and families wants to crack down and put the sex slavers out of business.

 

They arrive now with monotonous regularity. Another day, another announcement by a New Hampshire politician of his or her endorsement of Mitt Romney for President. Former Governor John Sununu. Former Governor and U.S. Senator Judd Gregg. Senator Kelly Ayotte. Umpteen members of the New Hampshire House and Senate. Romney's the one. A businessman. A leader. The one who will create what all America wants — jobs, jobs, jobs! Overseas, seas, seas. Yet the Romney record suggests he'll be creating the jobs overseas, seas, seas, and that's what we'll be hearing from the Obama camp from here to reelection.

Oh, how those beltway bandits love to promise jobs, jobs, jobs. That was the promise of the first President Bush. When we went to war with Iraq to liberate Kuwait, it was, said Secretary of State James Baker, for “o-i-l” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.”  A year later, GOP challenger Pat Buchanan would ridicule the promise of new jobs, noting that Bush never told us they would be in Shanghai, Tokyo, and other ports of call. Manufacturing jobs. Good pay. Jobs that are gone and aren't coming back any time soon.

By their fruits, you shall know them. Our largest employer used to be General Motors. Now it's Wal-Mart. The siren song of free trade has carried off the best of American jobs and creativity.

Judge Roy Moore, the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was unseated eight years ago for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments display from the state’s Judicial Building, has launched a campaign to regain his position.

During a press conference November 22 on the steps of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore said the time is right for a solidly conservative justice to lead the state’s judicial arm. “There is no question that I know this job,” he said, “and I believe the people of Alabama know exactly what I stand for.”

In announcing his candidacy, the 64-year-old Moore “pointed to his previous experience as chief justice, including keeping the courts open despite what he said were significant budget cuts,” reported the Associated Press. “He also said the court under his leadership effectively outlawed gambling machines in Alabama, ended an occupational tax in Montgomery County, and stopped a long-running school equity funding lawsuit.”

With the nation still deeply in debt and Americans struggling to make ends meet,  residents in an Ohio valley are proving to the nation that perseverance and optimism are key ingredients to overcoming economic woes.

Mahoning Valley, Ohio, was once a thriving area, but that was before the steel factories were shut down. "The factories no longer spew black smoke into the sky, there are no employees patrolling behind their high metal fences, the lights inside are permanently off and there's an eerie silence all around," Fox News reports. "The buildings stand as large, empty symbols of the industry that used to keep the Mahoning Valley running."

Local historian Jim McFarland explains, “This was the center of the steel industry, mostly because of the location, halfway between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, halfway between New York and Chicago — that led to a lot of manufacturing.”

That manufacturing resulted in a vast number of jobs in steel plants along the Mahoning and Cayuhoga Rivers, where generations of families were employed.

On Monday, November 21, I was chatting with a longtime acquaintance about the anniversary that would fall the next day, on November 22. On that date 48 years ago, John F. Kennedy was assassinated by ... well, there's the rub. For skeptics, the official version of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin still rings hollow.

But for some reason, my friend asked if I remembered Thanksgiving Day that year, 1963. I said the one thing I remembered on that Thanksgiving, the Thursday after the Friday assassination, was my aunt saying she had heard someone at work say we had nothing to be thankful for that Thanksgiving. I recall my aunt saying, rightly, that we still had much to be thankful for, the death of the President notwithstanding. For one thing, one President was dead and another had taken his place with no further bloodshed. No coup, no putsch, no riots, no soldiers in the street. Just President Johnson casting a pall of moral grayness over the landscape: "Let us continue."

But continue toward what? Within hours of Kennedy's assassination we had become a nation transformed, having been a people rather evenly divided about our President a mere thousand days after he had won — with the help of the posthumous vote in Illinois and elsewhere — one of the closest elections in history, to a nation united in the belief that the slain hero was well worthy of canonization and a place of honor on the church as well as the state calendar.
 

One of our local radio stations is already playing Christmas music full-time. It’s amazing how many songs have been written about Christmas. Most of them are secular, but the most common message they convey is one of family joy, of children and Santa Claus, of remembrance of all the Christmases we enjoyed in the past with loved ones who are no longer with us.

So despite the attempts by atheists to ban Christianity from American public life, particularly in the public schools, they cannot eradicate Christmas from family life, let alone the shopping malls. As anyone can see, Christmas has acquired great economic power. And that is because Christianity is at the foundation of our spiritual life and political system.

Secular humanism tries to give the impression that Christianity was just a passing phase in American history, and that our culture is advancing into a new secular religion more in keeping with modern values. But the humanist movement cannot remove the need in people’s lives for attachment to their Creator. In recent years we’ve seen a revival of religious fervor in America, particularly in the South where mega-churches have been built to accommodate the large numbers of people who need all the spiritual nourishment they can get.

Governor Rick Perry, so goes the conventional wisdom, is a real conservative. How could he not be? After all, his three terms as governor of Texas has marked a period of spectacular job creation. It has been said that nearly 40 percent of all jobs in the United States at present are to be found in the Lone Star State.   In addition to this consideration, there are several others to substantiate the pervasive belief that, from the conservative Republican’s perspective, Perry is the genuine article.

 If we are to accept Republican Party rhetoric of “constitutionalism,” “limited government,” “individualism,” etc., then what we must determine is whether Perry is the partisan of liberty that, presumably, Republicans should want as their party’s presidential nominee and, ultimately, their President. It is to the end of making this determination that we shall now look at some highlights from Perry’s political career.

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