Charles Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society

Below, is a very insightful article, from The Wall Street Journal, by Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries:

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

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The Many Uses of Gold

Below, is a very insightful article, from Geology.com, which breaks down, nicely, the many wonderful uses of gold:

The Most Useful Metal

Of all the minerals mined from the Earth, none is more useful than gold. Its usefulness is derived from a diversity of special properties. Gold conducts electricity, does not tarnish, is very easy to work, can be drawn into wire, can be hammered into thin sheets, alloys with many other metals, can be melted and cast into highly detailed shapes, has a wonderful color and a brilliant luster. Gold is a memorable metal that occupies a special place in the human mind.

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Why Free Speech Is Not So Free

On April 3rd, Mozilla , the developers of the popular Internet browser, “Firefox,” posted this post on their blog site – announcing that Brendan Eich has resigned, after only 10 days as CEO of Mozilla.

The below paragraph is from this CNN article, which gives some background into how the controversy began:

“Last week, Mozilla promoted Eich, a longtime employee who was previously the company’s chief technology officer, to the position of CEO. The move prompted renewed outrage by third-party developers and employees. Eich donated $1,000 to support Propostion 8 in 2008. The California ballot initiative sought to ban same-sex marriage in the state. The donation was made public in 2012 but Eich held onto his job.”

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The Use Of Coercion By The New Government

“The Congress under the new Constitution have the power “of organizing , arming and disciplining the militia, and of governing them when in the service of the United States, giving to the separate States the appointment of the officers and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” Let us inquire why they have assumed this great power. Was it to strengthen the power which is now lodged in your hands, and relying upon you and you solely for aid and support to the civil power in the execution of all the laws of the new Congress? Is this probable? Does the complexion of this new plan countenance such a supposition? When they unprecedently claim the power of raising and supporting armies, do they tell you for what purposes they are to be raised? How they are to be employed? How many they are to consist of, and where to be stationed? Is this power fettered with any one of those restrictions, which will show they depend upon the militia, and not upon this infernal engine of oppression to execute their civil laws? Continue reading

Why Unions Want A Higher Minimum Wage

Below, is a very insightful article, from The Wall Street Journal, called, “Why Unions Want a Higher Minimum Wage”:

Organized labor’s instantaneous support for President Obama’s recent proposal to hike the minimum wage doesn’t make much sense at first glance. The average private-sector union member—at least one who still has a job—earns $22 an hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a far cry from the current $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage, or the $9 per hour the president has proposed. Altruistic solidarity with lower-paid workers isn’t the reason for organized labor’s cheerleading, either.

The real reason is that some unions and their members directly benefit from minimum wage increases—even when nary a union member actually makes the minimum wage.

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The True Motivation Becomes Apparent

“When we see that the most ardent advocates of the minimum wage law have been the AFL-CIO, and that the concrete effect of the minimum wage laws has been to cripple the low-wage competition of the marginal workers as against higher-wage workers with union seniority, the true motivation of the agitation for the minimum wage becomes apparent.”

- Murray Rothbard (Making Economic Sense)

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Are You A Liberal Or A Conservative?

Allow me to begin this post with a few basic definitions:

Liberal:
• “favorable to progress or reform, as in political…affairs.”

• “of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism, especially the freedom of the individual and governmental guarantees of individual rights and liberties.”

• “favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.”

Conservative:
• “disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.”

While there are, likely, many scenarios that could be formulated for this post, I will, for now, restrain myself to one example, which is Social Security and Medicare:

Many of us would argue that Social Security and Medicare are New Deal and ‘Great Society’ dinosaurs, and seriously need to be reformed, if not abolished. Now, for those of us who take that view, wouldn’t that, for all intents and purposes, make us liberals, as we are “favorable to progress or reform”? And, conversely, those who are “disposed to preserve existing conditions,” conservatives?

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Who Needs Price Transparency?

Imagine, if you will, if our Federal Government, in all their “brilliance,” created something called “The Managed Grocery Act.” And, in accordance with this law, every citizen would have a predetermined amount of their money automatically deducted from their pay checks. In return, every citizen would be issued a grocery card, and depending on the plan they have chosen, would be told which food products they could acquire.

Beyond that, every grocery store owner in the country, by law, would be required to remove all prices from the shelves, and the products offered would be highly regulated by the Government. Every consumer would be instructed as to which products, and the amount, they could acquire, but, by no means, could they be made aware of the individual cost of these items.

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Gifts to The Tenth Amendment Center

In the donation section of The Tenth Amendment Center’s website, are the below words:

“Gifts to TenthAmendmentCenter.com are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Why? Based on our principles – we won’t accept any government handouts, bribes, or tax discounts to partner with the organization we’re working to limit. We believe in freedom of action and equal treatment for all organizations. Thus, we see the tax “benefits” (at risk of giving up freedom to operate and express free speech) offered to some organizations to be unfair, unequal, and unacceptable.

The feds tell us that 501c3 and other non-profit groups are serving the community and deserve to be tax exempt. But doesn’t your neighborhood plumber or carpenter or grocer also serve the community? We think so. Therefore, we stay “for-profit” and will never get handouts or grants from those looking for benefits from Washington D.C. Please join us”!

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A Tea Party Leader’s Testimony To Congress

Below, is a clip, from February 6th, of Catherine Engelbrecht, who is a small business owner, and founder of the King Street Patriots, testifying before a Congressional Committee. In her testimony, she said that, ever since she applied for tax-exempt status for the King Street Patriots, her family and her business have been scrutinized by multiple federal agencies – which suggests that this scrutiny, from the Federal Government, may very well be “politically motivated.”

The Kronies (Cartoon/Action Figures)

On John Stossel’s January 30th episode of Stossel, he had on Emergent Order co-founder and CEO John Papola, to talk about cronyism, and how his video cartoon and action figures, “The Kronies,” relate to American politics.

For anyone who despises ‘Crony’ Capitalism as much as I do, you will, likely, appreciate this wonderful video – and it’s concept, and creativity. It is spot on!

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The Legislature Are Vested With Great And Uncontrollable Powers

“The legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontrollable powers of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers; and are by this [necessary and proper] clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the State governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual States, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter, therefore, will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way.”

- Brutus #1 (Anti-Federalist, October 18, 1787)

Nullifying Federal Mandates

The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions:
“In the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government” and “where powers are assumed [by the general government] which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” James Madison, in his Virginia Resolution of 1798, asserted the core premise of all nullification laws– that State governments not only have the right to resist unconstitutional Federal acts, but that, in order to protect liberty, they are “duty bound to interpose” or stand between the Federal government and the people of their state.”

Nullification Begins with YOU:
“Nullification is not secession or insurrection, but neither is it unconditional or unlimited submission. Nullification is not something that requires any decision, statement or action from any branch of the federal government. Nullification is not the result of obtaining a favorable court ruling.”

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Nullification

“Nullification: any act, or set of actions, that results in a particular law being rendered null, void or even just unenforceable within a particular area. So, for example, when a state passes a resolution denouncing a particular federal law, it is not nullifying that law on its own. Or, when a state or local government passes a law refusing to comply with a federal act, they haven’t nullified that law…yet. Or, even when a state or local government passes a law that includes criminal sanctions for federal agents trying to enforce a particular federal act in the area – the law may still not be nullified. What? You see, it’s less about the legislation and more about the results. So, on the other hand, when three-dozen states pass non-binding resolutions denouncing a federal act, swaying public opinion so strongly that the federal government simply stops enforcing the law – it has been nullified.”

- Nullification Objections: Dismantling the Opposition

The Liberty Amendments (Proposed Amendments)

Back in August, I wrote a post called, “Article Five And The Liberty Amendments,” referring readers to the Article V process in The United States Constitution, and Mark Levin’s great book, “The Liberty Amendments.”

In this post, I wanted to share the 10 (below) proposed Amendments that Mark Levin suggested in his book. While we may not agree with all of the suggested amendments, in their totality, or perhaps we may feel that some amendments should be added or deleted, Mark Levin gave us a great starting point for which to begin the discussion:

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Record High In The U.S. Say Big Government Is The Greatest Threat

Recently, Gallup released a very telling poll, which says that, 72% of Americans say that Big Government is a greater threat than big business or big labor. While, for many of us, this is not really a shock, it is definitely a positive sign for those of us who do not believe in Big Government, and favor Individual Liberty.

According to Gallup:

“Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time.”

The entire poll can be viewed here.

For Christians, Everyday Is A Holiday

Well, here we are, another Christmas season is upon us; and with it, comes more of the predictable attacks, by Atheist groups, on Christ and our Christian faith. Most recently, is a billboard, hung in Time Square, by the group, “American Atheists,” which states: “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody,” with the word Christ crossed out.

It would be one thing, perhaps, if they wanted to point out that, The Winter Solstice is what was originally celebrated this time of year by the Pagans and Secularists; and that, there is much evidence that Christ was not even born around this time of year. In doing so, they could easily, and more politely, make the point that this season can be enjoyed by all Americans, regardless if we are Christians. But, when they go to the next level, and claim that no one needs Christ, and explicitly cross out his name, they have elevated it to a much bigger and broader place, which is to, directly, and explicitly, attack our faith, and The Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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Is Pervasive NSA Surveillance And Hacking Part Of A Broader Conspiracy?

Below, is an insightful article, from The Washington Times, by Judge Andrew Napolitano, called, “Is Pervasive NSA Surveillance And Hacking Part Of A Broader Conspiracy”?

Readers of this page are well aware of the revelations during the past six months of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). Edward Snowden, a former employee of an NSA vendor, risked his life and liberty to inform us of a governmental conspiracy to violate our right to privacy, a right guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The conspiracy he revealed is vast. It involves former President George W. Bush, President Obama, their aides, a dozen or so members of Congress, federal judges, executives and technicians for American computer servers and telecommunications companies, and the thousands of NSA employees and vendors who have manipulated their fellow conspirators. The conspirators all agreed that it would be a crime for any of them to reveal the conspiracy. Mr. Snowden violated that agreement in order to uphold his higher oath to defend the Constitution.

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Most Arguments Against The Free Market

“A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it does this task so well. It gives people what they want, instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

- Milton Freedman

The Federal Reserve Steals From The Poor And Gives To The Rich

Below, is an insightful post, from former Congressman Ron Paul’s website, “Texas Straight Talk,” in regards to Federal Reserve policies, and how they favor the rich, and politically connected:

Last Thursday the Senate Banking Committee held hearings on Janet Yellen’s nomination as Federal Reserve Board Chairman. As expected, Ms. Yellen indicated that she would continue the Fed’s “quantitative easing” (QE) polices, despite QE’s failure to improve the economy. Coincidentally, two days before the Yellen hearings, Andrew Huszar, an ex-Fed official, publicly apologized to the American people for his role in QE. Mr. Huszar called QE “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”

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It’s Not About How Much Money We Earn

If we were to ask fellow American citizens, “do you believe that wages, in our country, essentially, have been stagnate for many years”? I am pretty confident that most Americans would say, “yes,” and agree that wages, today, do not rise at the same percentage that they once did. I would, also, agree with that sentiment, and would add that, once upon a time, companies, perhaps, were much more generous with things such as Christmas bonuses, profit-sharing etc. Unfortunately, however, the commonly accepted belief tends to be that companies, CEOs etc., today, are just plain greedy, and that the average worker is, simply, being screwed. While, there may be some truth to these sentiments, I believe, it completely misses the point, and fails to pinpoint the root cause.

Allow me to quote from this previous post, in which I was attempting to make the case as to why raising the minimum wage is a bad idea, and to point out the unintended consequences that come along with doing so:

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