FEE – Socialism is the Big Lie of the Twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.
In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.
Socialism Ignores Incentives
A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.
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The New American – After days of consideration, President Donald Trump on Monday night put to rest all speculation about whom he would nominate to fill retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy’s place on the high court. He named a leading light on the highly influential U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia: Judge Brett Kavanaugh (shown). Constitutionalists were hoping that Trump’s pick would be an originalist — someone who believes that the Constitution should be understood on the basis of what it actually says and the intent of the people who drafted it. But although Kavanaugh has stated that judges should not make law, his judicial record shows that he relies heavily on past judicial precedents that have often been in conflict with the clear language of the Constitution.
The president didn’t make up his mind until the very last minute, carefully considering Judges Hardiman and Barrett, whose credentials made them close seconds.
Kavanaugh, age 53, holds BA and JD degrees from Yale College. He spent his early years in private practice in Washington, D.C. before accepting a position as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1993. He became associate counsel to President George W. Bush in 2001. In 2003 he was named assistant to the president and his staff secretary before being nominated to the D.C. Circuit. That nomination was bottled up for nearly three years before clearing the Senate in 2006.
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The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 9 it states: No tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state. Export means articles or items shipped over state lines to any other state or country. (See Federalist Papers 42 (11 and 12) Supervision of Interstate Commerce). *Some feel this applies only to the Federal Government and not the states. Q: How do you feel about it after reading the “Federalist Papers 42 (11 and 12) Supervision of Interstate Commerce”? The following is from “Federalist Papers: In Modern Language”: #11 An important objective of this power was to give relief to the states that import and export through other States and are forced to pay improper contributions levied on them. #12 In Switzerland, where the union is very slight, each canton(state) must allow merchandise passage through its jurisdiction into other cantons, without additional tolls. Note: To the best of my knowledge before 1992, States were not allowed to charge sales tax on purchases being shipped over state lines. Why was that if not for unencumbered trade in a UNITED nation? This law is nothing more but a way for the poorly run state governments trying to bail themselves out on the backs of sovereign of citizens of other states.
Article 1, Section 10 states: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or exports,…….
In Amendment 14 it is stated: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States AND the State wherein they reside. (No state you do not physically live in or physically do business in should be able to tax you as you are not a citizen of that State. – Fremont’s opinion)
As, you know: U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 1 – All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. NOT ONE word about the Executive or Judaical Branches having any power to make law.
Please, tell your US Representatives and Senators to use the power of Congress and put a stop to Courts making unconstitutional law.
The New American – The plan to flood Europe with Muslim migrants is increasingly being challenged, with EU states Hungary, Poland, Austria, and Italy taking more and more of a hard line against it. Now opposition to it threatens to topple German chancellor Angela Merkel’s (shown) government; in fact, with many of her coalition’s members of parliament (MPs) coming out against open borders, some observers say she could be ousted as early as the end of the week.
As Politico reports: Click here to read more.
FEE – Since he published his bestselling book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, Steven Pinker has been criticized for excessive optimism.
Writing for Open Democracy, Jeremy Lent argues that Pinker is insufficiently concerned about depletion of the planet’s natural resources, including freshwater reserves. He faults the Harvard University psychologist for embracing a “neoliberal, technocratic belief that a combination of market-based solutions and technological fixes will magically resolve all ecological problems.”
The problem with Lent’s argument is that technological fixes and market-based solutions really are an important part of humanity’s efforts to overcome environmental challenges. If you’re unconvinced, just look at Israel’s desalination efforts.
Progress Isn’t Magic, but It’s Close
Lent notes some worrying environmental trends, including “the rise in CO2 emissions; the decline in available freshwater; and the increase in the number of ocean dead zones from artificial fertilizer runoff.”
Pinker does not deny the existence of these challenges. “Progress,” he writes, Click here to read more.
[Update June 5, 2018–SB 486 passed a second and third reading in Monday night’s legislative session. No lawmakers offered to amend the portion of the law addressed in this article. ~ jd]
Jun 4, 2018 (Raleigh) — Tonight at the Legislature, North Carolina’s lower chamber will conduct a third vote on an election reform bill that’s full of surprises, but one quiet little $10 million nugget will effectively mandate a single source for our state’s election machines, forcing all 100 counties to buy the same brand of equipment at non-competitive prices.
Peeling back the bill’s hidden meaning.
While common sense says that companies selling election equipment should warranty their work, up to the cost of a new election. The bone of contention involves how big an election.
For decades, North Carolina has required competing companies to post a bond covering the cost of a “statewide” election, specifically $10 million. While that all seems fair at first blush, it’s a red herring designed to drive out all competition. The failure of a voting machine in any given county would never require a new statewide election. Such a failure usually results in a manual recount. At worst, it forces a new county-wide election.
Vendors [must post a] bond or letter of credit …in the amount determined by the State Board as sufficient for the cost of a new statewide election or in the amount of ten million dollars ($10,000,000),
whichever is greater.” (SECTION 3.6A. G.S. 163A-1115(a)(1))
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The Daily Signal – This week, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment does not permit a police officer to enter uninvited onto someone’s driveway to search a parked vehicle, without first obtaining a warrant.
That’s an important ruling, since no one wants police officers roaming across their private property searching for evidence of a crime. But Justice Clarence Thomas raised another important issue in a concurring opinion: In that scenario, what remedy should there be against the officer’s unlawful behavior?
Thomas proposed an answer that bucks Supreme Court precedent, but holds true to the original meaning of the Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and generally requires police to obtain a warrant before searching or seizing someone’s property. The Supreme Court has recognized several exceptions to the warrant requirement, however, including for automobiles—since they can be driven off at a moment’s notice, and are subject to manifold regulations, courts will allow police to search vehicles based on probable cause that a crime has occurred without first obtaining a warrant.
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The Daily Signal – With consumer confidence at a 17-year high and economic prospects looking relatively strong, congressional Democrats have taken to grousing about the gas pump as a midterm strategy.
“These higher oil prices are translating directly to soaring gas prices,” declared Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, “something we know disproportionately hurts middle- and lower-income people.”
If this is true, then why have Democrats spent the past two decades advocating policies that artificially spike fossil fuel prices? If higher energy costs hurt Americans—and thank you, senator, for conceding this point—why have liberals favored increasing gas taxes, inhibiting exploration for fossil fuels (including a ban on fracking for less environmentally damaging gas in a number of places), and capping imports?
If higher gas prices disproportionately impact the working class and poor, then why do Democrats push for national schemes designed to create false demand through a fabricated marketplace?
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California has become a one-party state in a short amount of time.
Its example is a warning to America—not a guide.
#1 reason: Open Primaries… Never forget this as you hear the sirens sing!
|Hillsdale College 33 East College Street Hillsdale, MI 49242 USA|
Click here to read about: Fighting for Pastor Brunson’s Release, Additional Funds For Hurricane Matthew Recovery, and Taking Care of our Veterans.
Socialism is Slavery
By Marion Smith
This op-ed originally appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader on May 1, 2018.
One year ago today, an activist named Daniel Llorente interrupted the Workers’ Day march in Havana, Cuba. Wearing the Cuban flag T-shirt, Daniel unfurled an American flag over his head and ran in front of the procession replete with photos of Fidel Castro. He was tackled by undercover agents of the state.
The Cuban regime tries to take credit for the improvement of their people’s lives. It staked its legitimacy on the supposed emancipation and well-being of the working class. But the Cuban regime showed its colors by silencing Llorente and thousands of Cuban dissidents. Socialist regimes denigrate the very workers they claim to represent.
When the International Socialist Conference declared May 1 International Worker’s Day in 1898, it advocated for child labor laws, improvements in pay and safety regulations, and for the rights of workers to form independent organizations to advocate on their behalf. But by embracing Karl Marx’s theories of human nature and violent action, the early Socialists undermined their own aspirations.
Far from ushering in a more equitable society, socialist movements that subscribed to Marxist ideology engendered a new form of slavery in the modern world. In the USSR, unenthusiastic work was considered a treasonous offense, “counter-revolutionary sabotage” that resulted in prison or death. Whenever a factory or harvest underperformed arbitrary regime quotas, the laborers were blamed for sabotaging the revolution. When the 1932 Ukrainian harvest underperformed after Stalin collectivized farms, he blamed the farmers and workers and forced them to starve en masse. Millions perished.
Marxist ideology is still being used to hold more than a billion people captive around the globe. China, where Xi Jinping just proclaimed the Communist Manifesto’s continued relevance, continues to use a system of Laogai, or forced labor camps, and dictates where the working class can live and work based on a “social credit” system. Venezuela’s socialist regime seized the means of production. Venezuela’s military runs the grocery stores while Nicolas Maduro denies humanitarian food aid to his political opponents. The average Venezuelan has lost more than 20 pounds in the last year.
Millennial Americans who rightly take offense at the greed and inhumanity sometimes exhibited by global corporations must remember that workers’ rights have not improved thanks to international socialism. Workers are only truly empowered in a free society because employers and employees are able to negotiate with each other equally under the law. In a socialist system where the regime owns the means of production, the owner, manager, employer party apparatchik is the law. Workers who would demand better treatment face repression, imprisonment, or worse.
Although Cuba has ratified all of the international labor conventions against forced, demeaning, and dangerous labor conditions, “it willfully fails to comply with them,” writes the AFL-CIO. The Cuban regime recently banned all independent labor unions.
The superiority of independent labor over Communism was known to the shipyard workers of Gdansk, Poland when they founded the Solidarity trade union. With the support of the United States, Solidarity helped bring down Communism in Eastern Europe.
If May 1 really is about workers, then don’t celebrate socialism. Celebrate free enterprise that allows workers to thrive. Let’s celebrate a free society in which individuals are able to pursue their dreams, provide for their families, and bargain collectively.
For dissidents like Daniel Llorente who want freedom and prosperity, the American flag symbolizes hope. America manifests the noblest Western traditions of free and honest enterprise. On this May 1, Americans would do well to remember that Socialism is not the best hope of workers, it is their ultimate enslavement.
Marion Smith is executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C.
This op-ed originally appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader on May 1, 2018.
April 26, 2018 12:00 AM
James Comey has recently embarked on a media blitz to “tell his story” and sell his new book. Perhaps, instead of cashing in, it is time for the former FBI director to come before Congress and clarify some of his previous troubling comments that don’t seem to square with the evidence.
Here are five questions Comey needs to answer:
Question 1: Did Comey and his FBI improperly coordinate with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice during the height of the Clinton email investigation?
On July 7, 2016, Comey testified under oath before Congress, following his public statement in which he recommended against referring Hillary Clinton for prosecution to the Department of Justice for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Comey said the following:
I did not coordinate that (statement) with anyone. The White House, the Department of Justice, nobody outside the FBI family had any idea what I was about to say. I say that under oath. I stand by that. There was no coordination.
There is a growing body of evidence that Comey misled Congress with this claim.
For example, texts exchanged between the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page demonstrate Comey added language assuring there was “no coordination” between the FBI and DOJ following the public scrutiny created by the infamous tarmac meeting between Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. The DOJ was so involved in the steps the FBI had taken to wrap up the Clinton email investigation they provided language to articulate the investigation’s findings and case law the FBI used to support their conclusion. Documents produced to Congress also demonstrate the FBI and DOJ met frequently to discuss developments in the investigation. These facts suggest significantly more coordination between the FBI and DOJ than Comey originally testified about.
Question 2: Why did Comey leave out pertinent facts when he briefed then-President-elect Trump on the Russian dossier?
According to his own memos, Comey briefed Trump in January 2017 on the Russian dossier. Looking at Comey’s memos, it appears he failed to mention the FBI had already terminated their relationship with the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, for failing to “maintain confidentiality” after he had leaked sensitive information to the media. This made Steele an unreliable source by the FBI’s own standards. Conveniently, Comey also neglected to tell the president about the dossier’s origin as a campaign opposition research project, funded by the Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
If this briefing on the dossier was truly in the president’s interest, as Comey claims, then it’s certainly curious as to why this information was not shared.
Question 3: Did Comey and James Clapper coordinate to give the Russian dossier credibility and leak its contents to the media?
In the January 2017 briefing, Comey told Trump news organizations “like CNN” had the Russian dossier but were looking for a “news hook” to report on it. Remember, while no outlet had published anything on the dossier to that point, it conveniently took less than a week after the briefing for the dossier’s allegations to become public … via CNN.
This raises the question: Did Comey and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper work together to organize the dossier briefing for the purpose of giving CNN what they wanted — a “news hook”?
Months after the briefing, Comey testified under oath the dossier was “salacious and unverified.” Documents produced to Congress demonstrate FBI officials raised concerns related to the legitimacy of the dossier. The timeline and evidence we have for this time period suggests, yes, it was Comey and Clapper who held a briefing with Trump on a “salacious and unverified” dossier, approached the media with the details of that briefing, and provided cover (a news hook) for reporting the allegations.
Question 4: Why did Comey fail to mention he had secretly hired his friend, law professor Daniel Richman, as a “special employee” of the FBI?
Comey testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and claimed he asked “a good friend” and “professor at Columbia Law School” to provide the contents of one of his memos to a reporter. Congressional investigators now know Comey misled the public with this testimony, since he had quietly hired this same friend, professor Dan Richman, as a “special government employee” of the FBI to work on “special projects.” Comey did not have any other special advisers from the outside hired as special government employees.
That Comey would offer a special job and give a high-level clearance and full access to his friend, when there are 35,000 employees at the FBI, is odd, and certainly relevant. Why did he fail to tell the public about this?
Question 5: Did Comey give his memo to anyone else?
If Comey gave his memos to a personal friend he had hand-picked as an FBI “special employee,” the question becomes: How many other people did he give these memos to?
Congressional investigators have received information that Comey may have misled the public on how many people he shared his memos with. If so, it is Comey’s responsibility to the public to come to Congress and correct the record by answering whether he truly gave this information to only his friend, as he testified.
Comey owes the American people far more than a public relations tour, a few memos, and a new book. He owes them the truth. It’s time he comes before Congress and gives it to them.
Rep. Mark Meadows, a Republican, represents North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District.
FEE – The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong.
Today (Sunday, April 22) is Earth Day 2018 and time for my annual Earth Day post…..
In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 18 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:
1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
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The Tribune Papers – One of America’s favorite hymns was written by a Swedish pastor, Carl Gustaf Boberg, after witnessing an awesome thunder storm in 1886. We know that hymn, O Store Gud (O, Mighty God) as How Great Thou Art. Ninety years ago, in the late 1920’s, when the Swedish State Lutheran Church had begun losing its spiritual and moral influence because of advancing theological liberalism within, the “evangelical free churches” in Sweden were both numerically strong and influential. The evangelical free churches were vibrant, growing, and having a political and social impact as well as moral and spiritual influence. In the late 1920’s approximately 23 percent of the members of the Riksdag (Swedish National Parliament) were members of these evangelical free churches. Usually, the members of the evangelical free churches retained nominal membership in the Swedish State Lutheran Church. The modern and increasingly liberal Church of Sweden (Svenska Kyrkan), although no longer a state church, remains an important social and political force in Sweden.
There were weaknesses in the evangelical free churches, however, that would soon cause their numbers and influence to be swept away like a house of cards before a strong wind. One of the characteristics of the Swedish evangelical churches was that in reaction to the formalism of the Swedish State Lutheran Church, they tended to avoid doctrinal confessions and theological precision, preferring a more experiential Christianity. They also had a tendency to devalue the intellectual side of Christianity and their own culture in favor of their more emotion-oriented, experiential brand of faith.
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Dick’s announced in February ― following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida ― that it would stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines in all of its Field & Stream stores, where these items had been sold by the large sports retailer.
The company also announced that it would no longer sell guns to people under the age of 21 at any of its stores.
A company spokeswoman told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week that the retailer was “in the process” of destroying the unsold inventory of rifles, which include AR-15s and other military-style semi-automatic weapons, at its four distribution centers nationwide.
“We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations,” the representative said, adding that weapon parts would be sent to a salvage company to be recycled.
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NC Speaker Tim Moore – Raleigh, N.C. – As families and businesses across the country complete the final touches on their returns for Tax Day 2018, the annual deadline highlights billions of dollars of relief provided to North Carolinians this decade.
The state General Assembly secured a lower income tax rate, corporate tax rate, sales tax rate, and a substantially higher zero-tax bracket for residents since 2011.
State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) detailed North Carolina’s surge in economic competitiveness following the tax relief in The Hill, The Washington Times, and Forbes, in just the last year.
“Families being able to save or spend their money instead of having it taxed away helps North Carolina’s overall economy,” Moore wrote.
“Top-tier wage and job growth, tax relief and lower unemployment are a winning combination for North Carolina.”
North Carolina’s historic tax relief will continue to take effect through 2019. Here are more tax facts and highlights of how the relief benefits North Carolina.
Click here to read more.
FEE – After more than two dozen failed attempts, Socialism has proven itself to be a disastrous philosophy. Socialism is extremely in vogue. Opinion pieces which tell us to stop obsessing over socialism’s past failures, and start to get excited about its future potential, have almost become a genre in its own right.
For example, Bhaskhar Sunkara, the founder of Jacobin magazine, recently wrote a New York Times article, in which he claimed that the next attempt to build a socialist society will be completely different:
This time, people get to vote. Well, debate and deliberate and then vote—and have faith that people can organize together to chart new destinations for humanity. Stripped down to its essence, and returned to its roots, socialism is an ideology of radical democracy. […] [I]t seeks to empower civil society to allow participation in the decisions that affect our lives.
Nathan Robinson, the editor of Current Affairs, wrote in that magazine that socialism has not “failed.” It has just never been done properly: Click here to read more.
UNC-TV ARTS – Author & film historian Frank Thompson works to research & recover silent films made in NC. His focus is currently on Asheville & environs, where a wealth of films were shot during the silent era. Mr. Thompson compares those films to documentaries or time capsules for the way they have preserved their locales as they were at the time of filming, giving audiences a glimpse back into the past. Check out his Facebook page by clicking here.