Instead of being a mere prejudice of education, which may be easily shaken, belief thus founded on reason, becomes fixed and immoveable: and all the scoffings of the scorner, and speculations of the infidel, lie as lightly on the mind, or pass as imperceptibly over it, and make as little impression there, as the spray upon a rock. — Alexander Keith
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Hello. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. And I’ve got good news! A federal judge has just ruled that Barack Obama’s executive action on amnesty for illegal immigrants violates the separation of powers and is, therefore, unconstitutional. Glory hallelujah! We’ve finally found one judge in all of America who actually recognizes the law and is brave enough to enforce it.
But in our country and our republic it’s not just the legal court that matters; it’s the court of public opinion that finally determines winners and losers. Unfortunately, the court of public opinion is Obama’s “home court” because he is a master salesman who understands that “facts tell, but stories sell.” Emotional personal stories are always necessary to close the sale. If you want to sell anything from a used car to stocks to a dishwasher to public policy, there is no better way than telling a great, emotional and compelling personal story, preferably a tear-jerker. Read more »(1165 words, estimated 4:40 mins reading time)
Is waterboarding torture? The truth is most Americans don’t care how you define the word. What they care about are the results from it.
When the Pew Research Center took a poll of Americans asking whether CIA interrogation methods following 9/11 were justified, only 29 percent said they were not. More than half, 51 percent, said they were. The other 20 percent, or 1 in 5, said they didn’t know.
The Pew survey was taken just days before we learned about the Taliban’s slaughter of more than 130 schoolchildren in Pakistan. I bet if that same survey were taken today, the number approving those “enhanced interrogation techniques” would be substantially higher. It’s hard to argue that we can’t support aggressive interrogation when jihadist crazies will gloat about shooting children in the head at point-blank range and burning teachers to death in front of them.
The news out of Peshawar, Pakistan, is indeed disgusting. One of the more incredible headlines I read was this one on CNN’s website: “Taliban try to justify slaughter of children.” The Taliban said the children were fair game because most of them were the sons and daughters of military personnel. There’s no way to reason with fanatics like this; the only way to be safe from them is to kill them or imprison them. Read more »(627 words, estimated 2:30 mins reading time)
In December 1777, Gen. George Washington and his Patriot forces were smarting from recent defeats at Germantown and Brandywine, and lamenting the fact that Philadelphia — the new nation’s capital — had subsequently fallen into British hands. While British Gen. William Howe and his troops were preparing for the winter in relative comfort in and around Philadelphia, 20 to 30 miles away the Patriot forces were stamping about in the wilderness, shifting positions in the area around the city.
The week before Christmas, Washington informed his troops that they would be building their camp in the wilderness and would not be going home for the winter. The commander of the Pennsylvania militia, John Cadwalader, had recommended the troops not be allowed furlough because they — and the people of Pennsylvania — “were disappointed” that Washington had not been able to keep Howe out of Philadelphia. Removing the American army from Pennsylvania would be seen as a sign of fatal weakness, Cadwalader told Washington. Plus there was a danger that if the troops left they would not return in the spring. Read more »(765 words, estimated 3:04 mins reading time)
If you were about to take a final exam, would you have more hope or more fear if you didn’t understand any of the questions and you had not prepared for the test at all? I think that virtually all of us have had dreams where we show up for an exam that we have not studied for. Those dreams can be pretty terrifying. And of course if you were ever in such a situation in real life, you probably did very, very poorly on that test. The reason I have brought up this hypothetical is to make a point. My point is that there is hope in understanding what is ahead of us, and there is hope in getting prepared. Since I started The Economic Collapse Blog back in 2009, there have always been a few people that have accused me of spreading fear. That frustrates me, because what I am actually doing is the exact opposite of that. When a hurricane is approaching, is it “spreading fear” to tell people to board up their windows? Of course not. In fact, you just might save someone’s life. Or if you were walking down the street one day and you saw someone that wasn’t looking and was about to step out into the road in front of a bus, what would the rational thing to do be? Anyone that has any sense of compassion would yell out and warn that other person to stay back. Yes, that other individual may be startled for a moment, but in the end you will be thanked warmly for saving that person from major injury or worse. Well, as a nation we are about to be slammed by the hardest times that any of us have ever experienced. If we care about those around us, we should be sounding the alarm. Read more »(1727 words + 1 image, estimated 6:54 mins reading time)
““Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),”
Baby steps: that’s all we’re talking about here. More helpful solutions to the abusive government practice of civil forfeiture would involve abolishing it outright across all “enforcement” agencies, regardless of their scope and, in a perfect world, the IRS itself.
But a bipartisan bill introduced by two House members this month is a step in the right direction: It takes aim at the IRS by imposing a two-week probable cause discovery period on the agency anytime it seizes a person’s financial assets as part of a collection attempt. That’s a lot better than the open-ended liberty the agency currently enjoys, a liberty that has ruined small businesses and the lives (and livelihoods) of those caught up in the practice.
One of the most notable examples of how the current law aggrandizes the government while trampling on the rights of individuals comes from Iowa, where the owner of a small restaurant had her assets seized as part of an IRS investigation into why the proprietor was making large numbers of small cash deposits without notifying the government. Read more »(379 words, estimated 1:31 mins reading time)
‘Tis the season for people with nothing better to do to argue over whether religious holiday displays like as Nativity scenes have a place on public property. But according to the results of a recent poll, a majority of Americans have no problem with the displays.
Polling data out from Pew shows 44 percent of Americans feel that Christian holiday symbols should be allowed on government property, even in instances where they are not accompanied by other religious holiday fixtures. Twenty-eight percent report that they are fine with Christian holiday displays as long as other religious traditions are celebrated on the public grounds as well.
Just 20 percent said all religious displays should be banned from government property.
The high level of support for Christian religious displays in America can be explained by another statistic Pew observed:
[M]ost Americans believe that the biblical Christmas story reflects historical events that actually occurred. About three-quarters of Americans believe that Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, that an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, and that wise men, guided by a star, brought Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. And eight-in-ten U.S. adults believe the newborn baby Jesus was laid in a manger. Read more »(456 words, estimated 1:49 mins reading time)
The president and first lady recently told People magazine stories of what they feel were “racist experiences” they have endured being black in America. But while it’s undeniable that there are all manner of examples of a lingering equality deficit when it comes to certain race-related issues in the United States, some Americans might have a tough time taking the Obamas seriously.
Michelle Obama told the magazine how she became offended when no one recognized her as the first lady while on a shopping trip at a Target store.
“The only person who came up to me in the [Target] store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her,” she told the magazine.
Obama added, “Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
So, the first lady went on a shopping trip to Target and was forced to endure an interaction with another human being who needed help getting something off a shelf. Read more »(609 words, estimated 2:26 mins reading time)
A small Tennessee town has deployed a new tactic in the ongoing effort to shield elected officials from scrutiny and criticism: force anyone who works for the city to promise not to say anything bad about its leaders on Facebook and other social platforms.
The five-member city commission of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, voted earlier this month to adopt a social media policy that, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, forbids city workers, elected officials and contractors from saying “anything negative about the city, its employees or other associates… Examples include posted videos, blogs, online forum discussions, Facebook and Twitter, Commissioner Jeff Powers said.”
The commission approved the policy on a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Paul Don King cast the single opposing vote, saying the city can’t tell people what to say on their own time.”[W]hat we [the board] are trying to say is that if I’m a city employee, you’re trying to tell me what I can say at night,” he told the paper. “I call that freedom of speech. I can’t understand that.” Read more »(342 words, estimated 1:22 mins reading time)
“I hope I’m wrong, but I am afraid that Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy — worse than Vietnam, not in the number who died, but in terms of its unintended consequences and its reverberation throughout the region.” — Madeleine Albright
Quoting Madeleine Albright makes me queasy, but it shows even the progressives sometimes get it right. And as we look back upon Iraq, it can only be seen as an unmitigated disaster that has built up for a dozen years.
Following 9/11, President George W. Bush wanted Baghdad to be another Venice with the Tigress River as its picturesque canal. A dozen years later, American intervention has led to ethnic cleansing and the rise of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Sunni leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), whose terrorist army has murdered tens of thousands of people in Iraq and Syria and who may yet set the Middle East ablaze. Read more »(1438 words, estimated 5:45 mins reading time)
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.””
The next presidential election is still nearly two years away, and yet the mainstream media is already telling Americans who they are supposed to vote for. Now that Jeb Bush has all but officially declared that he is running for president, a “dream matchup” between Bush and Hillary Clinton is being touted as “inevitable”. But is this what the American people actually want? Most liberals seem to truly dislike Clinton, and most conservatives can’t stand Bush at this point. And yet when the time comes, the big money donors will line up behind them and they will get far more media coverage than the other candidates. Yes, there is still a chance that another establishment candidate such as Mitt Romney could jump ahead of Bush on the Republican side, and there is also a chance that Hillary Clinton may decide not to run at all (more on that below). But when it is all said and done, it is virtually certain that Americans will have a choice between establishment candidate #1 and establishment candidate #2 on election day 2016, and that is absolutely sickening.
We have already had 20 years of Bush/Clinton, and if it is Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton in 2016 we will be guaranteed another four years. Read more »(1315 words + 2 images, estimated 5:16 mins reading time)
A federal judge in western Pennsylvania declared portions of President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions unconstitutional in an opinion handed down Tuesday.
“The Court holds that the Executive Action is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers and the Take Care Clause of the Constitution,” wrote Judge Arthur Schwab.
Schwab’s opinion, the first addressing Obama’s immigration expansion, says that the president went “beyond prosecutorial discretion,” which the White House had previously said gives the president to act on immigration laws.
The Obama administration’s application of prosecutorial discretion in differing immigrant deportations, the judge argued, could allow future presidents to differ prosecutions in other matters.
“President Obama has stated,” Schwab wrote, “that he is constrained from issuing an Executive Action/Order on immigration because such action would exceed his executive powers… While President Obama’s historic statements are not dispositive of the constitutionality of his Executive Action on immigration, they cause this Court pause.”
The judge also noted that Congress’s inaction on immigration didn’t alter Obama’s constitutional authority.
“Congress’s lawmaking power is not subject to Presidential supervision or control. … Perceived or actual Congressional inaction does not endow legislative power with the Executive.” Read more »(315 words, estimated 1:16 mins reading time)
New projections out from the Census Bureau show that the U.S. is on track to be a “majority minority” nation by 2044, with white Americans making up just under half of the population.
According to Census, the number of whites in the U.S. will increase modestly through 2025 before experiencing a gradual decline into 2060 due to an increasingly aging population and fewer births.
The year 2044 will mark a tipping point where whites make up 49.7 percent of the U.S. population with the nation’s remaining population being 25 percent Hispanic, 12.7 percent black, 7.9 percent Asian and 3.7 percent biracial.
Over the next 46 years, Census expects the rate of growth for the nation’s Asian and Hispanic populations to double, 129 percent and 115 percent respectively.
A Brookings Institution analysis of the Census numbers contends that the shifting racial numbers likely won’t have a big impact on perceptions of racial disparity:
[C]ontinued racial disparity across generations will occur because of the exit of whites from the younger ages as both old and new minorities take up the slack. Between 2014 and 2060 the minority share of the youth population will rise from 48 percent to 64 percent. While the senior population will also become more diverse, in 2060 whites will still comprise a majority of the age 65 and older population at 55 percent. Read more »(331 words, estimated 1:19 mins reading time)
A trio of craft beer makers is suing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission over a 2013 law that forbids brewers from retaining the right to distribute their own products and instead reserves those rights for distributing companies.
The law, ostensibly designed to “protect the independence of distributors by prohibiting manufacturers from selling off their territorial rights,” extends the virtual monopoly over distribution that Texas distribution companies currently enjoy. It changes the prior Texas provision that allowed craft brewers to negotiate territorial exclusivity agreements in exchange for payment.
In the process, it prevents brewers from putting their own product in front of the public without being forced, by law, to pay a middleman — with the middleman keeping all of the profit.
“It used to be the case that beer distributors would compensate the brewers in exchange for the right to sell their beer to the marketplace,” Liberty Briefing’s Geoffrey Pike wrote Monday. “With the new law in effect, the distributors get those rights for free and are then able to sell those rights to other distributors.”
The plaintiffs, with the help of attorneys from the Institute for Justice (IJ), drove the absurdity of that point home in their filing. Read more »(379 words, estimated 1:31 mins reading time)
The sheriff’s department in Spokane, Washington, is taking heat over its explanation for obtaining a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), after a video of one deputy’s remarks was posted last week to Alex Jones’ YouTube channel.
In the Dec. 7 video, an off-camera questioner asks the deputy why an MRAP — a vehicle whose military usefulness she doesn’t dispute — makes sense for a local law enforcement agency.
His response? “I mean, we’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition. They have weapons here locally.”
Those remarks drew immediate outrage — not only from the viral Internet, but from local residents — for their implication that people who regard themselves as “constitutionalists” are nothing more than ideological enemies of the state, as least as far as law enforcement is concerned.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich defended the deputy’s explanation, saying Infowars had taken the deputy’s comments out of context and used them to “distort the truth,” according to this Infowars report.
A group of local motorcyclists is planning a protest against the sheriff’s office Saturday at the Spokane Valley Police Department, a municipal agency that contracts with the sheriff’s office for law enforcement services. Read more »(269 words, estimated 1:05 mins reading time)
Matt Drudge of Drudge Report fame and a handful of other members of the conservative punditry took the Republican rollover in the latest budget debates to mean that President Barack Obama must have some salacious dirt on House Speaker John Boehner. But the reality is actually probably less exciting, as both men hold positions that require considerable pandering to the establishment views of their respective parties — and both men are increasingly perturbed by dissension in their ranks.
Boehner has long suffered — at least since the 2010 Tea Party sweep — criticism from a vocal minority of libertarian-leaning Republicans who have occasionally derailed the plans of big government good ol’ boys in the GOP. And even when new-blood congressional conservatives have failed to bring about legislative change, they’ve garnered significant populist support for various small-government ideals by publicly, and raucously, criticizing establishment GOP colleagues whose whipping powers have been inflated by longevity.
Boehner hasn’t been shy about expressing his dislike of the most conservative factions of his party. Last year at this time, after a round of much more heated budgetary debates, wherein the GOP’s most conservative members held the speaker’s feet to the fire, Boehner ranted against so-called “outside groups” meddling in Washington politics. Read more »(780 words, estimated 3:07 mins reading time)
The 8th largest economy on the entire planet is in a state of turmoil right now. The shocking collapse of the price of oil has hit a lot of countries really hard, but very few nations are as dependent on energy production as Russia is. Sales of oil and natural gas account for approximately two-thirds of all Russian exports and approximately 50 percent of all government revenue. So it should be no surprise that the fact that the price of oil has declined by almost 50 percent since June is absolutely catastrophic for the Russian economy. And when you throw in international sanctions, wild money printing by the Central Bank of Russia and unprecedented capital flight, you get the ingredients for an almost perfect storm. But those of us living in the western world should not be too smug about what is happening in Russia, because the nightmare that is unfolding over there is just a preview of the economic chaos that will soon envelop the whole world. Read more »(1092 words + 1 image, estimated 4:22 mins reading time)
As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the next two weeks, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation.
Up to 40 people may be held by supposed extremists in Sydney, but the entire world is currently being held hostage economically by international banks. This is the crisis no one in the mainstream is talking about, so alternative analysts must.
Cells age as we age. This is fact of life. All living things eventually face cell deterioration, and that includes the cells in your body. It’s the chemical process called oxidation, which occurs when cells interact with oxygen molecules.
When this happens to fruit, it rots and becomes rancid. Cell oxidation is a normal body function, and dead cells are typically replaced by new healthy cells. However, in the human body some of the cells don’t die. Instead, they transform into free radicals.
Free radicals roam the body and injure healthy cells, damaging the DNA. This is how sickness and disease start.
In a healthy body, free radicals are eliminated before they can cause major damage. However, advancing age and exposure to environmental toxins plus unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking and a poor diet can cause the body to lack the energy to destroy free radicals.
Free radicals can be found at the root of all the big, life-robbing diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants work to prevent and reduce the oxidation process as well as help prevent free radical damage. Read more »(583 words, estimated 2:20 mins reading time)