Another Reason To Remove The United Nations From Lower Manhattan

Frankly all the United Nations has done for years is make bad decisions, snarl traffic in lower Manhattan, and provide an excuse for diplomats to avoid paying their tickets for double parking. Well, they are getting worse.

Townhall posted an article today about another bad decision by the United Nations.

The article reports:

As Americans prepared to celebrate our nation’s founding and the God-given rights that are protected by the US Constitution, China’s illegal and outrageous crackdown in Hong Kong officially escalated last week. As expected, the rubber-stamp communist “legislature” in Beijing passed a “security” law that effectively cripples the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement to which China is bound by treaty until at least 2047. Pro-freedom activists have been rounded up and arrested, with concerns swirling that at least some show trials will take place on the Chinese mainland. What the regime is doing is patently illegal under international law. It is an abuse of human rights and a brazen affront to human liberty. And yet, the hopelessly corrupt “Human Rights” Council at the United Nations voted to bestow its blessing on the Communist government’s anti-freedom power grab. They didn’t stay neutral, mind you. They explicitly endorsed the abuse:

…Among the HRC member nations giving China the thumbs-up are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, “Palestine,” Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Yes, each of those counties is represented on the UN’s human rights body. Why isn’t the United States colored gold on the map above, given the government’s harsh public condemnations of these abuses? Because, quite rightly, the Trump administration pulled the US out of this farcical commission two years ago. I’ll remind you that the UN’s committee on women’s rights added…Iran last year. It’s all so ludicrous. When the HRC isn’t busy doing Communist China’s bidding, it spends much of its time condemning Israel for sport. And this disgusting Beijing lackeyism on the Hong Kong matter doesn’t come in a vacuum; it arrives in the context of ongoing and egregious human rights violations elsewhere in China:

Please follow the link above to read the rest of the story.

Even if you accept the premise that the United Nations was founded with good intentions and not as a future vehicle for one-world government, they have obviously lost their way.

Just for the record, the preamble to the United Nations Charter includes the following:

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

    • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
    • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
    • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
    • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Their ruling on Hong Kong is in violation of a treaty and of international law. It is time for the United Nations to go away.

One of Many Reasons The Democrats May Be Worried

The Daily Signal posted an article today titled, “19 Black Americans Explain Why They’re Conservative.” Please follow the link to the article to read the details, I am simply posting the list:

  1. W.B. Allen: Good Sense Needs No Explanation
  2. Brian Bledsoe: Most Fair for All
  3. The Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath: Not Sellouts, but Solutions
  4. Michael E. Kerridge: Reasonable Human Imperative
  5. Liz Matory: From Liberal to Liberated
  6. Lenny McAllister: Advancing Freedom for All
  7. Emery McClendon: Working for Everyone
  8. Charlotte D. McGuire: Against All Odds
  9. The Rev. Dean Nelson: Best for All People
  10. Sophia A. Nelson: Sustained Opportunity
  11. Autry J. Pruitt: Maximum Protection
  12. C.J. Sailor: Essential to Thriving Communities
  13. Carol M. Swain: Hope and Encouragement
  14. A.J. Swinson: Self-Sufficient, Entrepreneurial, Morally Strong
  15. Jimmy Tillman: Christian Values and Critical Thinking
  16. Terris E. Todd: Way of Life
  17. Deana Bass Williams: 3 True North Principles
  18. Dee Dee Bass Wilbon: Founding Principles
  19. Daren Williams: Origins of Conservatism

Please follow the link to read their explanations. They are well thought out and provide a lot of insight as to how all of them came to the conclusions they have come to.

 

 

A Partial Solution–Not A Real One

On Friday, Reuters reported the following:

Britain is prepared to offer extended visa rights and a pathway to citizenship for almost 3 million Hong Kong residents in response to China’s push to impose national security legislation in the former British colony.

The national security legislation recently put in place in Hong Kong by China is going to have repercussions worldwide. As a free state, Hong Kong has been a global financial center. Its residents have enjoyed the fruits of that status. As simply another part of Communist China, Hong Kong will not have the same economy or status.

My first question is whether or not China will allow a mass exodus of Hong Kong residents. Is Hong Kong a valuable asset if the majority of the people leave? How many residents would be willing to give up the life they have known for the sake of freedom? According to worldometers.info, Hong Kong has a population of about 7.5 million. The median age of that population is about 44 years old.

The article reports:

Foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday that if Beijing went ahead, Britain would extend the rights of 350,000 ‘British National Overseas’ passport holders.

On Friday the interior ministry said that this policy would apply to all BNOs currently in Hong Kong – a much larger group of around 2.9 million people according to British government figures.

“If China imposes this law, we will explore options to allow British Nationals Overseas to apply for leave to stay in the UK, including a path to citizenship,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.

“We will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.”

The article concludes:

Beijing says the new legislation, likely to come into force before September, will tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in the city.

Chinese authorities and Hong Kong’s government say the legislation poses no threat to the city’s autonomy and the interests of foreign investors will be preserved.

Somehow I doubt that any of the claims China is currently making are true.

As Freedom In Hong Kong Dies

Breitbart posted an article today reporting that China had blocked America’s request for a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss China’s recent actions in Hong Kong.

The article reports:

China is one of five permanent members of the council, also including the United States, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. According to the U.S. mission, China single-handedly prevented discussion of the increasingly worrisome situation in Hong Kong where, as of Wednesday Chinese Communist Party authorities will be able to punish people present in the nominally autonomous region for any behavior they identify as threatening the national security of China.

The “national security” law China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) passed on Thursday overrides the autonomy of the Hong Kong authorities to handle local criminal concerns. Its opponents note that it is a violation of “One Country, Two Systems,” the policy China vowed to keep to when Hong Kong accepted Chinese sovereignty over it in 1997.

The U.S. mission to the U.N. called the law a “matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security.”

“As a result, the United States called today for a virtual meeting of the Security Council to discuss these acts and the PRC’s [China’s] proposed national security law that would threaten Hong Kong’s democratic institutions and civil liberties. Such actions confirm the PRC’s contempt and complete disregard for its international obligations,” the mission said. “Unsurprisingly, the PRC has refused to allow this virtual meeting to proceed in the Security Council.”

Below is part of the preamble to the United Nations Charter:
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Obviously they are not living up to their charter. It is time to remove them from New York City and stop giving them money.

Meanwhile, The National Review reported yesterday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that the city of Hong Kong is effectively no longer an “autonomous” entity.

The article reports:

“The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China,” Pompeo wrote in a statement. “I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China…it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.”

The article notes:

In light of the recent moves by China to increase its authority over the city, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) sponsored legislation to sanction Chinese individuals and entities involved in threats to Hong Kong’s autonomy.

We need to make it financially disadvantageous for China to continue its violation of the treaty with Britain that promised Hong Kong would remain free. It is time to remove any  trade deals involving Hong Kong that are favorable toward China.

 

It Begins Again

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about what is currently happening in Hong Kong.

The article reports:

When we were discussing China’s new “national security” law for Hong Kong yesterday, it was noted that pro-democracy advocates were already railing against the betrayal of the promises China made when taking over control of the city from Great Britain. Protests were planned, but pro-Beijing lawmakers were warning that any sort of public demonstrations could be dealt with harshly. Well, that took all of one day to come to pass. Despite concerns about a new wave of coronavirus infections, demonstrators took to the streets and were quickly met by police forces firing tear gas canisters indiscriminately into the crowds at a large shopping center. And then the arrests began.

…Tam Tak-chi, one of the city’s most well-known democracy advocates, was arrested shortly after the protests began. He had previously predicted that he would be detained if China moved forward with its new legislation and it turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. He was charged with holding “an unauthorized assembly.”

The article concludes:

In that sense, much of the “freedom” enjoyed by Hong Kong since 1997 has largely been illusory anyway. China regularly intervenes in local elections if the residents begin electing too many people with crazy ideas about freedom and democracy. The top leadership positions, currently exemplified by Carrie Lam, are always held by pro-Beijing politicians who take their marching orders from the CCP. People have regularly been arrested in Hong Kong for demonstrating, giving speeches or contacting foreign media outlets, things that people in free nations simply take for granted.

Up until now, a certain amount of demonstrating and chatter about democracy has been allowed, apparently just to humor the locals. But now it appears that China isn’t going to even bother providing a fig leaf to the 1997 agreement they entered into. They’re probably sure that they can get away with it because nobody is going to risk going to war with them or attempt any sort of direct military intervention right on China’s doorstep to free Hong Kong’s citizens. And while it’s sad to say, they’re probably right.

This was predictable. I don’t know if the outcome would have been any different had the British not signed the treaty with China. However, we need to learn from what we are watching–China is not a reliable partner in any treaty. On May 5th, I posted an article citing a provision in the recent trade agreement (signed before the coronavirus outbreak in America) that says if there is a natural occurring disaster, the two parties will renegotiate. This is another example of the fact that China, under communism, is not willing to play fair on the international stage. Best wishes to the people of Hong Kong. I am not optimistic about your future.

Think About What Is Being Said Here

Hot Air posted an article today that included a recent quote from a Washington Post article:

Hot Air reports:

Over at the Washington Post, Keith Humphreys ended the week on a pessimistic note, opining that no matter how much testing and contact tracing is required to get us fully past this pandemic, America will never do as well as several other countries that seem to be taming the virus more quickly. The reason? Because Americans love their “freedom” too much. (Please note for the record that it was Humphreys who put the word freedom in scare quotes, not me.)

We love our “freedom” too much?! You mean that same freedom that men died for in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1912, World War I and World War II? You mean that same freedom that men and women today serve in our military to defend? You mean that same freedom that men and women spend months away from their families to protect? You mean that same freedom that allows you to post really dumb things in your newspaper?

The article continues:

He begins by quoting medical professionals who insist that the only path toward the new normal relies on our ability to “test, isolate, contact trace and quarantine.” He then lists a few examples of countries where those practices appear to be helping them tame the virus, including Germany, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. But, the author argues, we may never succeed in the same fashion because such programs would require not only a willingness to surrender considerable privacy rights and freedoms, but also a general attitude of trust towards the government which doesn’t exist in the United States today.

The article concludes:

I suppose we should examine this analysis with two questions in mind. First, is Humphreys correct? And second, even if we assume that he is, should we really be envious of people living under harsher authoritarian rule and emulate their behavior if it gets us past the pandemic faster?

As to the first question, I have no argument to offer. The author is absolutely correct. Americans are probably just about the orneriest group of curmudgeons on the planet when it comes to bending to the will of the government. That’s because we are arguably the freest people on Earth. We were born of generations of people who had experienced life under the rule of a monarch without any serious assurances of God-given rights. And they wound up telling that monarch to go stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. We’re not all that different today.

…In the end, we’re probably doing the best we can do in our fight against the novel coronavirus. Every nation has to come up with their own solution and ours will wind up being uniquely American, framed around both our scientific capabilities and our values. If that means that we can’t get our virus numbers down to nearly zero as fast as some other nations, so be it. Heck, we still don’t know with 100% certainty if this virus can ever be eliminated or if we’ll ever have a vaccine. But if not, we’ll at least go down swinging.

I wish we still taught civics in school. If we did, Keith Humphreys might realize that America was founded by people who had just fought a war against a tyrannical government. They set laws in place to protect what they referred to as ‘God-given rights.” The laws were to limit the government–not to limit people’s freedom. Anyone who wants to live under a more tyrannical system is free to move to another country–there are many out there that fit that description. Meanwhile, Americans like their freedom and are generally willing to protect it.

A Guest Post From Mark Jones, Chairman, Surry County Republican Party

America Needs to Go Back to Work

We have to put America back to work, and we have to do it sooner rather than later! President Trump’s instincts on this issue were right when he suggested a gradual, careful, and measured shift in parts of the Country. Most areas are mildly impacted with little strain on hospitals (which was the stated reason for the lockdowns in the first place). Putting America back to work is critical for so much more than our economy as it impacts our LIBERTIES, FREEDOMS, and our VERY WAY OF LIFE. THE CURE OF A TOO LONG LOCKDOWN WILL BE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE.

I have written multiple e-mails trying to put COVID-19 into perspective. I agree we MUST DO EVERYTHING we can to fight the disease and protect the elderly and vulnerable. Any loss of life is tragic, but I have used unequivocal data and research from several respected Universities to demonstrate that the death rate from the disease is being over-stated by the mainstream Media. Articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and additional articles by Stanford University Doctors support this and have been e-mailed and posted on the Surry GOP Facebook site. I’ll make them available to anyone who missed them.

The Media has scared the American people into believing we must destroy our American way of life, our freedoms, and our economy to save humanity from COVID-19. This is a lie. The Democrats, with help from the Media, are exploiting this crisis in an attempt to fill every socialist wish list on the planet including free “stuff” for everyone, on-line voting (to help them cheat), and TIGHT GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES (a socialist’s dream). The Democrats also want to hurt Trump who is set to face a very weak Democrat candidate (whether Biden, Cuomo, or someone else) this Fall. While the President is doing a good job under impossible circumstances against a hostile Media, Democrats continually try to exploit this disease to advance their Agenda rather than help America recover and go back to work. The longer panic-driven lockdowns occur, the more it plays into the Democrats’ hands, and the more Americans become used to their totalitarian philosophies.

To be fair, Republicans seem to have been scared and forgotten any concept of smart spending or concern about National deficits and debt. Many objective analyses of the so-called “Historic” and “Bipartisan” $2.2 Trillion Bill show that MUCH LESS than half of the Bill actually helps businesses or impacts COVID-19. The Senate, supposedly a “deliberative body”, sent it over to the House in a panic-driven rush. We were assured “it had to be done immediately”. Leaders in the U.S. House were in such a rush to pass the Bill they refused to debate or even record votes for and against. Wasteful and non-COVID spending in the Bill includes money for tens of millions of people still working along with funding for the Kennedy Center, Planned Parenthood, Unions, and National Public Radio. NO SENATOR OR HOUSE MEMBER SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT BILL. Americans deserve better from our leaders. Our children already face monumental debt and will face inflation worsened by the Bill. Economics 101 tells us bad things happen when you borrow and print money and infuse it into a system where people cannot make products. Congress talks about passing another and more massive Bill as if it must happen. Over the long-term, our very way of life and economic survival is at stake. Will leaders encourage spending sanity?

If you dare to speak out against the crackdown on freedoms and the massive spending, the Media trots out statistics from the misrepresented death toll of this disease. They will be quick to tell you about the latest tragic death as if to suggest that anyone who suggests we are on the wrong track just doesn’t care. If hyped death tolls don’t suffice, they film Italian Hospitals and present the video as coming from New York (CBS did this and publicly admitted it as reported in the New York Post). When lies are exposed, they bury the retraction. They fail to provide perspective. The first two deaths in North Carolina occurred on a day when five people died of the flu. Did the Media tell you? Do they talk about the 99% with mild reactions to the disease?

A commonly used and 65-year old anti-malarial drug (Hydroxychloroquine) shows promise for severe cases and as protection for Health Care workers, but the Media only criticizes the President for giving false hope and calls the drug “unsafe”. Multiple Doctors have reported that thousands of people have been successfully treated for COVID-19 with the drug. Millions of people have safely taken this drug for Malaria and Lupus for decades, yet the Media seems almost afraid that it might work and be safe for COVID-19. Ask yourself why the Media almost gleefully reports the worst news possible and why they refuse to focus on the fact that WELL OVER 99% (remember tens of thousands of people have gone untested) OF INFECTED PEOPLE HAVE MILD COMPLICATIONS from this illness. Multiple scientific papers support this, were provided in prior messages, and are available upon request.

The same people telling us we need to lock down for months and not worry about our economy are the same people who criticized the President for closing travel from China. They are the same people who complained when the President closed travel from Europe and the same people who encouraged large gatherings for Chinese New Year in New York and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They are the same people who favor open borders to allow illegal immigrants to become undocumented voters.

The United Nations is now calling for a 10% tax on every Country in the World to “fight COVID-19”. Henry Kissinger called for a “New World Order” in the Wall Street Journal. Many nations, and some American Democrats, have called for GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER of everything from businesses to banks in order “to fight COVID-19”. This is a dream-come-true for Socialists determined to advance their Agenda and SHOULD SCARE ALL MAINSTREAM AMERICANS more than the latest misrepresented death tolls from the Media. Never let a crisis go to waste! Fear will compel people to comply!

What the experts are not telling you is that their own models show severe lockdowns only DELAY THE EFFECTS of the disease until round two comes next winter. Multiple scientific papers show it and have been provided. Do we shut down America for months or even years? Do Doctors decide? That seems to be what the Media and Democrats favor – especially if they can force shut down through the Elections and force electronic or mail-in voting. Every time the President talks of finding creative ways to go back to work, the Media becomes frantic. HOW MUCH OF OUR FREEDOM AND OUR WAY OF LIFE WILL WE SACRIFICE FOR A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY? In addition to public health, we must also consider economic health and American Constitutional Liberties.

America must be smart enough to refuse to allow fear to rule our lives. Our Constitutional Rights and Liberties are what set us apart from the rest of the World. When President Trump suggested putting segments of our economy back to work, he was quickly attacked and told we could not do that. If “Essential Services” like grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores can remain open, can’t we figure out ways to open many other segments of our economy? How far will we allow the Media and fear to push us? As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.

If you have had enough of the fear and panic driven by the mainstream Media, I encourage you to speak up. Write and call elected officials including Republicans in our State and National Legislature. Write and call to support President Trump and Vice President Pence. They are doing a great job against impossible opposition from many Democrats and many Media outlets. Refuse to let fear deprive you of what made America special in the first place. Think for yourself. Ask yourself if this is the Country our forefathers fought to defend. It is time the American people let our leaders know we don’t want to see our American liberties and our economy destroyed out of fear and panic. How many of our rights and liberties will we sacrifice? When do we put segments of American Society back to work? When do sensible and courageous political leaders step up?

 

There Are Some Things To Remember When Viewing The Truce In Afghanistan

Hot Air (and many other places on the Internet) are reporting today that America has signed a peace treaty with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The article notes:

The United States is set to sign a peace deal Saturday with the Taliban, its adversary in Afghanistan’s 18-year war. The deal marks a major turning point in a conflict marred by years of both military and diplomatic stalemate.

One provision of the agreement is the full withdrawal of American troops that is “heavily conditions based,” according to two U.S. officials who have been briefed on the deal. The officials declined to elaborate on what exactly those conditions are. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss the deal publicly.

The article concludes:

This is something I was venting my frustrations about on Twitter yesterday. While I would be very pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong, I can’t believe that the promises of the Taliban are worth anything. Also, even if they were being sincere, they don’t control all of the fighters in their country, so their ability to maintain a ceasefire is dubious at best.

I realize I’ve preached this line to all of you in the past, but I’ve not seen anything to sway my opinion much. The Taliban is just waiting for us to leave. If they have to wait another 14 months or another 14 years, they will. They’re very good at waiting for invading armies to grow frustrated and go home. They’ve been doing it forever. And as soon as we’re gone, they will tear now the new government and return to being a primitive, seventh century nation just as they’ve always been. At this point, we should probably just face up to that reality, use this deal as a ticket to pull our troops out and leave them to their own devices.

There are some things to remember when considering the war in Afghanistan. We made two major mistakes in that war that essentially cost us the moral high ground. Because we did not have the courage to face the problem of pedophilia in the country or to eliminate the poppy crop. Both would have been very difficult, but both would have had a positive impact on the blatant corruption in the country. Unless we were willing to overwhelm the population and stay long enough to change the culture, we were not going to be victorious there.

We also need to remember two of the basic concepts found in Islam–hudna and taqiyya. Reliance of the Traveller, which is a classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence, states the following:

If the Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him Peace) made a truce with Quraysh for that long, as it related by Abu Dawud. It is not permissible to stipulate longer than that, save by means of new truces, each of which does not exceed ten years.

The purpose of a truce (hudna) was to give the Muslims time to stockpile weapons and become stronger.

In Islamic law, an obligation to lie exists if it is the only way to achieve an obligatory goal in Islam. Al-Taqiyya is based on a concept in Quaran 3:28 and 16:106. It is also found in the hadith,  the embodiment of the sunnah, the words and actions of the prophet and his family the Ahl al-Bayt (The Twelve Imams and the prophet’s daughter, Fatimah).

We are leaving Afghanistan. Under present conditions, that is a good thing. However, to believe that this will mean that Afghanistan will no longer be a disjointed terrorist state is naive. Afghanistan has never really experienced freedom under a central government. It is naive to believe that we can superimpose a central government that espouses individual freedom over what is currently there. We need to learn the lessons of the American revolution–unless the people are willing to fight for their freedom and respect the Laws of Nature and the Laws of Nature’s God, they will never be free.

Note: the information in this article about the principles of Islam are taken from Stephen Coughlin’s book Catastrophic Failure. It is recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand the Muslim plan for worldwide Sharia Law.

 

Good News For Britain

Breitbart is reporting today:

The government’s bill implementing the withdrawal deal has passed through both Houses of Parliament, meaning the UK will finally be leaving the EU on January 31st, 2020.

On Wednesday evening, MPs in the House of Commons rejected the amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill proposed by the House of Lords.

…In a brief comment after the bill passed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Parliament has passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, meaning we will leave the EU on 31 January and move forwards as one United Kingdom.

“At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we’ve done it.

“Now we can put the rancour and division of the past three years behind us and focus on delivering a bright, exciting future — with better hospitals and schools, safer streets and opportunity spread to every corner of our country.”

It has been 1,309 days since Britons voted to leave the European Union.

The article concludes:

Leaked plans for the narrative on Brexit Day seen by the Dail Mail reveal that Cabinet ministers will tell Britons that the nation can finally come together, saying: “We will mobilise the full breadth of our new freedoms – from encouraging technology and innovation, to signing new free trade deals around the world.

“As we maximise all the freedoms the British people voted to grasp, we must also work to heal divisions… and reunite our communities.”

Brexit Day will mark “the start of a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people”, the document said.

So what will this mean for Britain? I don’t claim to understand the British economy or be able to predict the future. However, a few things are obvious. The farther removed a government is from the people government, the less free the people are. Britain is regaining its national sovereignty and its economic freedom. I suspect there will be a rough patch for a bit, but I see the economy of Britain growing because of this move. One of the first things I believe will happen will be a trade deal with America that is designed to help both countries. Stay tuned.

Frightening Insight Into Some Of The Campaign Workers In The Bernie Sanders Campaign

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the videos released by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas showing some disturbing comments made by a Bernie Sanders campaign field organizer.

This is the video (warning–horrible language–the man needs his mouth washed out with soap):

The article at Townhall concludes:

Ok, so it’s not as earth-shattering as PV’s excellent series on CNN, but it shows who we’re dealing with in the trenches of the 2020 election. There will probably be more videos like this, but at the same time, you can see why the Democratic establishment doesn’t want these folks gaining more prominence within the ranks of the party. Again, we shouldn’t be shocked that a) there are nutty people out there; and b) the Sanders operations hire such people. In terms of sexual harassment, Sanders’ 2016 campaign was totally infested with such a problem. It was a den of sexism and harassment that was not really addressed, and Sanders’ excuse was that he was too busy losing to Hillary Clinton to tackle it. I doubt Jurek will be purged, but it’s always good to keep tabs on people like this. they do the same against us and our totally radical ideas about…the Constitution, lower taxes, freedom, more jobs, and a strong economy. But we’re the extreme ones, right? 

We need to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “A Republic, if You Can Keep It“. There are a number of Democrats running for President who are talking about ‘transforming’ America in ways that are totally opposed to the Republic established by the Constitutional Convention. Voters need to pay close attention to what is said openly and what is exposed about these campaigns.

Does Anyone Believe This?

Townhall posted an article today about recent statements by actress Jameela Jamil and feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

The article reports:

Last month, the magazine published an interview between actress Jameela Jamil and feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Their conversation went largely unnoticed by media outlets, but it shouldn’t have – mainly because of the absurd claims the two made. Among them, they insisted that abortion is necessary for democracy. And, they warned, some people control reproduction as a tool for sexism or racism, like white evangelical Trump supporters.

The article continues:

“It took me a while to understand that the first step in every authoritarian regime is controlling reproduction, and that means controlling us,” Steinem said. “Unless we—men and women—have power over our own bodies and voices, there is no such thing as democracy.”

The irony – that abortion violates the bodies and voices of millions of baby boys and girls – was lost on her. The irony that abortion itself can be used to control reproduction was also left untouched.

Steinem went so far as to make a Hitler comparison. 

“[E]very authoritarian regime that I have ever read about, including Hitler’s rise to power, every regime starts with controlling reproduction and that means controlling women’s bodies,” she stressed.

Obviously I am missing something, but it seems to be that if women controlled their bodies there would be much fewer abortions. We have birth control. Unwanted pregnancies can easily be avoided or dealt with through adoption. A mother does not need to freedom to kill her child to be free.

Hong Kong Fights For Their Freedom

One America News is reporting today that the protests in Hong Kong have spread across Hong Kong’s New Territories and Kowloon peninsula.

The article reports:

Pro-democracy protesters vandalized a train station in the central new town of Sha Tin and a restaurant seen as being pro-Beijing, overturning banqueting tables and smashing glass panels, two weeks before district council elections.

Violence spilled out onto the streets of Tuen Mun outside the “V city” mall, with running battles between riot police and protesters.

Now TV showed pictures of a circular, red welt and bruise on the upper arm of one of its reporters who said she had been hit by a tear gas canister in Tsuen Wan, to the west of the New Territories, where police fired tear gas late into the evening to clear the streets.

The rail station was closed in Sha Tin, amid scuffles between police and protesters young and old, on a day of planned shopping mall protests throughout the territory. Shopping districts across the harbor on the main island were quiet.

Protesters daubed graffiti and damaged shops at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong and “stormed” stores in Tsuen Wan, police said.

The violence spread to the Kowloon district of Mong Kok, one of the world’s most densely populated areas. Police used water cannon and volley after volley of tear gas to try to clear the main artery of Nathan Road, which was littered with loose bricks under the bright, neon lights.

Police also fired tear gas late at night in the New Territories district of Tai Po, north of Sha Tin.

Protesters are angry about what they see as police brutality and meddling by Beijing in the former British colony’s freedoms, guaranteed by the “one country, two systems” formula in place since the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

China denies interfering and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble.

China has not lived up to the agreement signed with Britain to allow Hong Kong the freedoms it had previously enjoyed. The people of Hong Kong are fighting to regain those freedoms. We need to keep in mind that China signed an agreement guaranteeing those freedoms and has chosen to violate that agreement. This is something to remember as we negotiate trade deals with China–they are not a country that negotiates in good faith or a country that supports freedom.

Truth In Comedy

There is a bit of a dust up going on right now between China and the National Basketball Association. It seems that Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a tweet showing support for Hong King’s freedom movement. Obviously, the Chinese are not a big fan of free speech. Mr. Morey has deleted his tweets and apologized, but that does not seem to be enough for the Chinese.

In an article posted today, CNBC reports:

  • Searches for “Houston Rockets” and “Rockets” in Chinese on Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tmall and another site JD.com, yielded no results.
  • It comes after Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for the anti-government protestors in Hong Kong. The tweet was quickly deleted.
  • Chinese broadcast partners Tencent and state-owned CCTV said they would no longer show Rockets games.

We need to remember that China is NOT a free country.

Meanwhile, enter Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about their response to the dust up.

The article quotes an article in The Guardian:

South Park’s creators have responded with a mock apology to reports that China has censored the programme, ridiculing the country and comparing President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

The “apology” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone comes after reports on Monday that China had scrubbed all episodes, clips and content related to the long-running comedy cartoon from Chinese streaming and social media platforms in response to a recent episode that was critical of the country.

The episode, called Band in China, took aim at what it portrayed as a tendency in US culture to adjust content to accommodate Chinese censorship laws. “It’s not worth living in a world where China controls my country’s art,” says one character in the episode.

The episode also includes a plot line in which a character is caught selling drugs in China and as punishment is sent to a work camp, similar to the mass internment camps in Xinjiang where an estimated one million people, including Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are detained.

The article also includes the non-apology apology from Trey Parker and Matt Stone:

I think that is called ‘speaking truth to power.’

Trying To Change The Cultural Norm

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the discussion of whether or not we should allow drag queen story hours at public libraries. Where does free speech end?

The article notes:

Before our days, no one could ever have thought that we would have decayed to the point that drag queens would be reading to our three-year-olds. However, we have reached that point of absurdity. The maximizers of liberty have decreed that all must be permitted even though an overwhelming majority inside the community does not desire these lewd performances.

In a democratic society, where the people are supposed to rule, how does this angry majority defend themselves against the Drag Queen Story Hours and similar things that happen in their communities?

The article continues:

For this reason, some say liberalism has failed because its inner dynamism has pushed unrestrained and disordered liberty beyond the limits needed for society to function properly. A social consensus around certain moral norms that used to filter excesses is crumbling and coming apart. A tiny minority can now tyrannize over others in the name of liberty gone awry.

The problem with liberalism is that its value-neutral public square easily becomes a value-free place where a Ten Commandments monument and a Satanist Baphomet statue share equal space. Sacred text and pornography are equally qualified as literature. There is no notion of a moral right and wrong, save that defined by the exercise of freedom. Except when it threatens the physical integrity of another, anything can and must be tolerated. We must recognize any absurd self-identification or pronoun.

The article notes that there is a solution to allowing a total lack of standards to rule:

The only way to fight today’s destructive moral relativism is to have recourse to a universal moral law based on human nature and not individual whims. There must be a return to a natural law discussion that elevates the debate beyond the field of personal opinions and whims.

That is to say, there is a natural moral law, which Saint Paul says, is inscribed on the hearts of all men whereby all might know by reason those moral precepts that define the good in life. This law’s general precept, from which all the others follow, is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” This law is valid for all times and all people in all places.

This law is not limited to Christians, although the Church is its best guardian. Throughout history, it has provided that rock of moral stability that favored human prospering. It is hardly a novel invention since American law and English common law are rooted in natural law traditions. It is not too much to insist that we might return to our roots.

It’s time to bring back common sense and community standards.

The Recent Democrat Debate

I have only one comment on the Democrat debate held this week. Beto O’Rourke stated, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, we’re not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.” The audience cheered.

Mr. O’Rourke, the Second Amendment was put in place to limit the powers of government–not the freedom of American citizens. The Bill of Rights was included in the U.S. Constitution so that the states would approve the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was an insurance policy against the rise of a tyrannical government in America similar to the one America had just fought hard to overturn. The Americans of the Revolutionary Era wanted to make sure that another tyrannical government was never allowed to rise up in America. The Bill of Rights was their protection against that.

The statement from Mr. O”Rourke is disturbing. What is even more disturbing is that the audience cheered the statement, not understanding that the suggested action was not only unconstitutional, but would be only the first step in severely limiting the freedom of Americans. The Second Amendment is what protects all of the other Amendments.

 

Update On Hong Kong

Politico posted an article today about the latest events in Hong Kong. The article is taken from the South China Morning Post. Please consider the source when reading the excerpts.

The article reports:

Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has formally withdrawn the much-despised extradition bill that sparked the nearly three-month long protest crisis now roiling the city, confirming the Post’s exclusive report earlier on Wednesday.

She will also set up an investigative platform to look into the fundamental causes of the social unrest and suggest solutions for the way forward, stopping short of turning it into a full-fledged commission of inquiry, as demanded by protesters.

The decision to withdraw the bill will mean that the government is finally acceding to at least one of the five demands of the protesters, who have taken to the streets over the past 13 weeks to voice not just their opposition to the legislation, but the overall governance of the city in demonstrations that have become increasingly violent.

Apart from the formal withdrawal of the legislation, the protesters have asked for the government to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate police conduct in tackling the protests, grant amnesty to those who have been arrested, stop characterizing the protests as riots, and restart the city’s stalled political reform process.

Whether they will view the investigative committee as adequate in meeting the call for a commission remains to be seen. On the bill withdrawal, a government source said that Lam will emphasize that the move was a technical procedure to streamline the legislative agenda, with the Legislative Council set to reopen in October after its summer break.

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog today about Hong Kong. In the article he quotes a Claudia Rosette article at The Wall Street Journal:

[T]he millions of protesters. . .have been doing the world a heroic service. Like their predecessors at Tiananmen, they are exposing on a world stage the brutality of the Beijing regime. From the only place under China’s flag where there is any chance to speak out, they are shouting the truth, day and night, in the streets and from the windows—while they still can.

During more than 13 straight weeks of protest, Hong Kong’s people have demanded the rights and freedoms—including free elections—that China, in a treaty with Britain, guaranteed to Hong Kong for 50 years after the 1997 handover. At a press conference last week held by Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized some of the biggest peaceful protests, spokeswoman Bonnie Leung observed that if the authorities would simply keep those promises, “the whole movement will end immediately.”

Instead, President Xi Jinping and his puppet, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, have defaulted to threats, propaganda and force. Ms. Lam’s administration has deployed riot police, tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. Officers have made more than 1,000 arrests.

China has been pressuring Hong Kong companies, including Cathay Pacific Airways, to fire employees who join the protests. Chanting “Stand with Hong Kong! Fight for freedom!” the protesters have refused to back down. Some told me they are ready to die for their cause. Many of their predecessors did in Tiananmen.

Hong Kong police have begun firing warning shots with live ammunition. This weekend, police were caught on video beating unarmed civilians bloody on the subway. China has been conspicuously drilling troops of its People’s Armed Police across the border, and last week it sent fresh army troops to its garrison in Hong Kong, labeling this a routine rotation to ensure “prosperity and stability.”

(Emphasis added)

The article at Power Line Blog concludes with an UPDATE:

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, has finally agreed to withdraw the extradition bill discussed above. She takes her order from Beijing, so it looks like China wants to avoid a Tiananmen Square style massacre and the worldwide condemnation it would bring.

Will this concession, absent the freedoms China promised Hong Kong in 1997, be sufficient to take the steam out of the protests? Perhaps.

Another possibility is that the protesters, if anything, will be emboldened by the concession and that China, having made it, will believe it can defend a crack down by claiming that the protesters couldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

 Stay tuned.

 

Will Solving The Immediate Problem Actually Accomplish Anything?

A website called nffonline.com notes:

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said (paraphrased), ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’

Today Venezuela was rocked by violence as opposition leader Juan Guaidó attempted to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela.

The Associated Press is reporting today:

The violent street battles that erupted in parts of Caracas were the most serious challenge yet to Maduro’s rule. Still, the rebellion, dubbed “Operation Freedom,” seemed to have garnered only limited military support.

In one dramatic incident during a chaotic day, several armored vehicles plowed into a group of anti-government demonstrators trying to storm the capital’s air base, hitting at least two protesters.

Russia has troops in Venezuela as does Cuba. The Monroe Doctrine applies to the Russian involvement; it doesn’t cover the Cuban involvement. So should America get involved, to what degree, and how? Well, let’s look at history. I can’t think of any incidence where we have been involved in an overthrow of a government (no matter how tyrannical) and had a positive outcome. The only positive examples that you might be able to come up with would be Germany, Italy, and Japan (World War II). That was an entire world-wide war–not the overthrow of a country’s government. We have no history of replacing dictatorships with democracies and having everyone live happily ever after.

But for the sake of argument, let’s look at how American involvement that put Juan Guaidó in charge would change things. The generals in Venezuela are involved with the drug cartels that ship drugs into America through Mexico. Until we deal with the drug problem on our southern border, the corruption in the Venezuela military will continue. Can a country exist as a free country with a corrupt military that is working with the drug cartels?

We are back again to seeing the impact of a porous southern border that allows drugs to flow into our country and drug lords make enormous sums of money sending those drugs into our country. Unless we take the market away from the military generals in Venezuela and the drug cartels, any move we make to bring freedom to Venezuela will be in vain.

Where Are We And Where Are We Headed?

Politics in America right now is disturbing. It is becoming obvious that the resources of government were used for political purposes against a presidential candidate. Now that the candidate is in office, the ‘deep state’ continues to oppose him. During the next year and a half, we are going to be subject to endless investigations of everything Donald Trump has ever done combined with a media that wants to recapture the power they had during Watergate (the ability to drive a President from office). So what are we to do about it?

American history tells us that during the American Revolution, it is estimated that only 3% of the colonists were actively fighting in the field against British forces at any given time. These 3% were people who saw what was going on and chose to be involved. We need that 3% now. We need people who are willing to look past the lies being told in the mainstream media and do their own research. We need people who don’t believe the constant drumbeat of the major media that says “Orange man bad” and are willing to look at what the Trump administration has accomplished.

Next November there will be an election. President Trump will run again. A lot can happen between now and then, but even a casual glance shows that currently almost all of the Democrat candidates have wandered away from the mainstream of America. It’s up to voters to do their homework, decide what they want for America, and vote. The plans of the Democrat candidates will negatively impact our freedom and our economy. All of us who care about our country should fight those plans with everything we have. Study voting records of those in office, and study campaign contributions (opensecrets.org lists campaign contributions of all candidates).

Get involved. You future, your children’s future, and your grandchildren’s future depend on it.

 

Whatever Happened To Loving Your Country?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that a decision to put an American flag graphic on the side of the Laguna Beach police cars is opposed by some citizens of the community. The citizens either praise the flag graphic on police cars or pan it as too aggressive.

The article reports:

After hearing the criticism and acknowledging that the image they approved didn’t quite match the final results, officials agreed to reconsider their February decision to paint the Laguna Beach Police Department’s fleet of 11 squad cars. The City Council will take up the issue again at its Tuesday meeting.

“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” said Councilman Peter Blake. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”

Artist Carrie Woodburn went to the podium at the March 19 council meeting and said it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design” when the newly painted Ford Explorers rolled out.

“We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community,” Woodburn said. “It feels very aggressive.”

Has it occurred to these artists that the flag represents the country that has given them the freedom they have as artists?

Our Future?

I think most Americans realize that Big Brother is getting to be a bit intrusive. Our computer searches are mined for advertising information, Alexa listens to our conversations, our government has been known to listen to our telephone conversations. This is not headed in a good direction. However, it gets even worse when you consider the fact that the next step will be modifying our behavior to fit some ideal created by someone who believes he has the right to control everyone. Not a pleasant thought. Think it’s too farfetched? An article posted at Wired on January 23 might change your mind.

The article begins:

A friend of mine, who runs a large television production company in the car-mad city of Los Angeles, recently noticed that his intern, an aspiring filmmaker from the People’s Republic of China, was walking to work.

When he offered to arrange a swifter mode of transportation, she declined. When he asked why, she explained that she “needed the steps” on her Fitbit to sign in to her social media accounts. If she fell below the right number of steps, it would lower her health and fitness rating, which is part of her social rating, which is monitored by the government. A low social rating could prevent her from working or traveling abroad.

China’s social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of life for many more Chinese.

By 2020, if the Party’s plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one’s social rating.

Personal “creditworthiness” or “trustworthiness” points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing. High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a “green channel,” where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be “unable to move a step.”

We do an awful lot of business with China. When trade was opened with China, the idea was that our form of government and freedom would influence their government in the direction of freedom. Somehow, based on this story, I don’t think that is what has happened.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is no way I can summarize all of it, but I would like to share a few more points.

The article continues:

Perhaps we are reading the wrong books. Instead of going back to Orwell for a sense of what a coming dystopia might look like, we might be better off reading We, which was written nearly a century ago by the Russian novelist Yevgeny Zamyatin. We is the diary of state mathematician D-503, whose experience of the highly disruptive emotion of love for I-330, a woman whose combination of black eyes, white skin, and black hair strike him as beautiful. This perception, which is also a feeling, draws him into a conspiracy against the centralized surveillance state.

The Only State, where We takes places, is ruled by a highly advanced mathematics of happiness, administered by a combination of programmers and machines.

The article concludes:

Beauty is the ultimate example of human un-freedom and un-reason, being a subjectivity that is rooted in our biology, yet at the same time rooted in external absolutes like mathematical ratios and the movement of time. As the critic Giovanni Basile writes in an extraordinarily perceptive critical essay, “The Algebra of Happiness,” the utopia implied by Zamyatin’s dystopia is “a world in which happiness is intertwined with a natural un-freedom that nobody imposes on anyone else: a different freedom from the one with which the Great Inquisitor protects mankind: a paradoxical freedom in which there is no ‘power’ if not in the nature of things, in music, in dance and in the harmony of mathematics.”

Against a centralized surveillance state that imposes a motionless and false order and an illusory happiness in the name of a utilitarian calculus of “justice,” Basile concludes, Zamyatin envisages a different utopia: “In fact, only within the ‘here and now’ of beauty may the equation of happiness be considered fully verified.” Human beings will never stop seeking beauty, Zamyatin insists, because they are human. They will reject and destroy any attempt to reorder their desires according to the logic of machines.

A national or global surveillance network that uses beneficent algorithms to reshape human thoughts and actions in ways that elites believe to be just or beneficial to all mankind is hardly the road to a new Eden. It’s the road to a prison camp. The question now—as in previous such moments—is how long it will take before we admit that the riddle of human existence is not the answer to an equation. It is something that we must each make for ourselves, continually, out of our own materials, in moments whose permanence is only a dream.

This is scary–not scary enough to get me to get rid of Alexa–but scary.

One Has To Wonder About Their Motives

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article with the following headline, “Leaked Documents Prove Soros’s Open Society Is Working with UN in Supporting Current Illegal Migrant Crisis.”

The article includes the following:

Also in 2016 Breitbart.com obtained a leaked document from the Soros Open Society Foundation that reveals their close links to UN migration representative and former Goldman Sachs executive Peter Sutherland.

The George Soros Open Society also claims that through Sutherland they are able to influence international migration policy due to the current migrant crisis.

…George Soros’ Open Society Foundation admits influence and incredibly close links with UN migration representative and former Goldman Sachs executive Peter Sutherland in leaked document.

The paper, which told of how the migrant crisis presented an “opportunity” for the foundation to extend its global influence and attract more money, mentions Sutherland’s pro-migrant work. The foundation notes that through Sutherland they have been able to advocate at an “elite level” behind the scenes.

Open Society are one of the contributors to the Columbia Global Policy Initiative (CGPI) which hosts Mr. Sutherland and claim that through Sutherland they are able to influence international migration policy due to the current migrant crisis. On the United Nations website Sutherland is described as a “strong advocate for promoting practical action to increase the benefits of migration” and has routinely made comments against national borders and national sovereignty in Europe. Sutherland has even called for the European Union to “undermine the homogeneity” of member states.

Sutherland has even gone as far as defending all migrants regardless of whether or not they are legitimate refugees saying, “We’re not just talking, either, about refugees. We’re talking about economic migrants, many of whom could be the future, and some at the present… are survival fighters. They’re not to be dismissed as an irrelevance.”

It is becoming obvious that the United Nations has lost its way.

This is the Preamble to the United Nations Charter:

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

There is nothing in that Preamble about overwhelming countries with migrants in order to abolish national borders. If the United Nations truly worked for justice and human rights in the countries the migrants are fleeing, the migrants would not be fleeing.

We have to stop the migrant caravan at our border and insist that the people in the caravan go through the legal process of immigration. While we are at it, it might be a really good idea to get rid of the United Nations.

 

 

 

Some Overlooked History

Yesterday The American Patriot’s Daily Almanac posted the following:

On October 25, 1774, one of the first organized political actions by American women occurred in the town of Edenton, North Carolina, when fifty-one ladies gathered at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth King and signed a proclamation protesting the British tax on tea. Led by Penelope Barker, the patriots vowed to support resolves by the Provincial Deputies of North Carolina to boycott “the pernicious custom of drinking tea” and avoid British-made cloth until the tax was repealed.

The ladies of Edenton signed a resolution declaring that “we cannot be indifferent on any occasion that appears nearly to affect the peace and happiness of our country.” The boycott was, they declared, “a duty that we owe, not only to our near and dear connections . . . but to ourselves.”

It was a bold move in a time when it was considered unladylike for women to get involved in political matters. Unlike the participants of the famous Boston Tea Party, the Edenton women did not disguise themselves in costumes, but openly signed their names to their declaration “as a witness of our fixed intention and solemn determination.”

At first the British sneered at the Edenton Tea Party. One Englishman wrote sarcastically, “The only security on our side . . . is the probability that there are but few places in America which possess so much female artillery as Edenton.” They soon discovered otherwise.

Sometimes freedom has unique beginnings! Obviously the British did not understand that there was a revolution coming.

American Sovereignty

Yesterday The Washington Times reported that the International Court of Justice has ordered the United States to lift some Iran sanctions. The Court wants to make sure that the people of Iran are not harmed by the sanctions. Does the Court want to set up another ‘oil for food’ program like the one in the 1990’s? It’s amazing how much money dishonest people made from that program while the people of Iraq starved. (article here)

First of all, what are the sanctions on Iran about? Iran is probably the largest source of money for terrorism in the world. Iran supplies weapons and military equipment to Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the government of Syria, Palestinian terrorists, etc. It would be nice if Iran had a little less money to spread around. Iran has also partnered with North Korea and Russia in developing nuclear technology. This is not a country that is working toward peace.

There is also the matter of human rights abuses by the Iranian government. Homosexuals are dropped from buildings or worse. Dissidents are jailed and never heard from again. Fashion police roam the streets and beat women for being immodestly dressed. Human rights are not part of the Iranian government.

The sanctions are putting pressure on the regime. As the financial situation of the people worsens, they are rebelling against the totalitarian government. In this rebellion they have the support of America. If the International Court of Justice truly supported human rights and the humanitarian treatment of people, they would support the sanctions as a way to bring freedom to the people of Iran.

The article states:

The ICC’s David Scheffer responded in the Guardian by saying Bolton’s speech “isolates the United States from international criminal justice and severely undermines our leadership in bringing perpetrators of atrocity crimes to justice elsewhere in the world.”

Wahh.

In case the United Nations hadn’t noticed, this is the Donald Trump administration — not the Barack Obama wishy-washy White House. On globalism first, America second, this president doesn’t play that. MAGA, anyone?

The ICC, apparently, isn’t getting the message.

“The United Nations‘ highest court has ordered the United States to lift sanctions on Iran that affect imports of humanitarian goods and products and services linked to the safety of civil aviation,” NBC wrote.

And on that: “Ordered” seems a rather remarkable word. Better would be “begged.”

After all, what is the ICC to America? America may have helped establish this court back in 2002 — but that’s the extent of the relationship. America has not joined as a state party; the ICC does not dictate policy and procedure to the United States.

It’s almost a delicious anticipation to sit and wonder what Bolton will say to this ICC “order.”

Chances are, given his past and this administration’s bold “America First” dealings on the foreign policy front, it’ll be something like, Bite me, ICC.

That would be well stated, for sure.

I like having a President who not only stands up for American sovereignty, but is willing to support the quest for freedom in other countries.

Proof That Economic Policies Matter

The Cato Institute posts a report on freedom in each of the fifty states. The link posted here will send you to the North Carolina report, but you can get to information on any state from that link. I am focusing on North Carolina because it so beautifully illustrates the idea that economic policies matter.

This is the write up on North Carolina:

North Carolina is a rapidly growing southern state with a reasonably good economic freedom profile and an even better record on personal freedom, especially when compared with its neighbors.

North Carolina gradually improved its fiscal policies from 2011 to 2016. State taxes fell from 6.2 percent of adjusted personal income to a projected 5.7 percent, right around the national average. Local taxes have held steady over that period at 3.3 percent of income, seven-tenths of a percentage point below the national average. Debt and government consumption and employment fell, but so did financial assets.

Despite large inmigration, North Carolina has disdained excessive controls on the housing supply. Eminent domain was never effectively reformed. Labor law is good, with no minimum wage, a right-to-work law, and relatively relaxed workers’ compensation rules, but an E-Verify mandate was enacted in 2011. Regulation has killed off the managed care model for non-large-group health insurance. Cable and telecommunications have been liberalized. Occupational freedom is a weak spot, especially for the health professions. A sunrise review requirement for occupational licensing proposals was scrapped in 2011. North Carolina is one of the worst states for insurance freedom. It has a large residual market for personal automobile and homeowner’s insurance because of strict price controls and rate classification prohibitions. It also has a price-gouging law and a minimum-markup law for gasoline. Entry is restricted for medical facilities and moving companies. North Carolina’s civil liability system has improved over time and is now about average.

North Carolina has one of the best criminal justice regimes in the South. Incarceration and victimless crime arrest rates are all below average. There is no state-level civil asset forfeiture, but local law enforcement frequently does an end-run around the law through the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program. Gun rights are more restricted than in many other southern states, with carry licenses somewhat costly to obtain and hedged with limitations. Plus, buying a pistol requires a permit, there is local dealer licensing, background checks are required for private sales, and most Class III weapons are difficult to obtain (sound suppressors were legalized in 2014). Alcohol freedom is mediocre because of state liquor stores and somewhat high markups and taxes. Marijuana has not been liberalized apart from a 1970s-era decriminalization law. Gambling freedom is quite low. School choice was introduced in 2014, but only for students with disabilities. Tobacco freedom is about average because of reasonable taxes and workplace freedom (but not freedom in bars or restaurants).

The information also includes:

Note that the article says that North Carolina gradually improved its fiscal policies between 2011 and 2016. So what happened in 2011–the Republican party took over the legislature after 140 years of North Carolina being a one-party state (Democrat). The Republicans in the legislature have continued to cut taxes and cut spending. Those economic policies have brought people to the state and improved the economic position of the state. Economic policies matter.

Private Property Rights

According to The American Policy Center:

In a “Fifth Amendment” treatise by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (12/10/97), he writes: Our state, and most other states, define property in an extremely broad sense.” That definition is as follows:

“Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.”

The right of use has come under fire in recent years. One instance of property rights being violated occurred recently in Pennsylvania.

Yesterday Todd Starnes posted the following:

The owners of a Pennsylvania farm have been ordered by the Sewickley Heights Borough to cease and desist holding Bible studies on their private property.

Borough leaders accused Scott and Terri Fetterolf of improperly using their 35-acre farm as a place of worship, a place of assembly and as a commercial venue.

They were served a cease-and-desist order in October 2017, the Post-Gazette reported.

The Independence Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the farmers against the borough alleging an egregious violation of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the lawsuit, the Fetterolfs were threatened with fines of $500 per day plus court costs for having Bible studies at their home, having meetings where religious songs are sung, conducting any religious retreats for church leaders or seminary students or conducting any religious fundraisers.

The article concludes:

The lawsuit accuses the government leaders of violating religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and equal protection.

“Government should not target religious activities for punishment, particularly when similar secular activities are permitted,” attorney Jeremy Samek said. “In America, no government can categorically ban people from assembling to worship on one’s property.”

To that point, the lawsuit alleges the borough allows other activities and gatherings – ranging from political rallies to a Harry Potter event.

So if government leaders allow muggles to cavort in Sewickley Heights Borough, they should afford the same rights to Christians gathering for Bible study on private property.

There are situations where it might be appropriate to limit a home Bible study–if parking becomes a problem in the neighborhood or if the noise level was inappropriate. However, this was on a farm–I doubt there was either a noise or a parking problem. This is simply an illegal attempt to limit religious activity, and I suspect the Sewickley Heights Borough will lose the case in court. However, the thing to remember here is that in many cases the people holding the Bible study would not have the resources to fight the case in court. There are a number of legal advocates for Christians under attack that are handling this sort of case. We should all be grateful for these organizations–they are protecting our right to the free exercise of our religious beliefs.