America’s Rating as a Free Country Continues to Plummet

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This is a sad article for me to post….we are losing our freedoms folks.

Freedom can be defined in many ways. However, one of the greatest indicators of freedom and liberty is economic freedom. True free-market capitalism is the basis of individual liberty. However, America is no longer a top 5 contender, and we haven’t been for a years. Actually, America is barely even in the top 10. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom study reports that America continues to fail. Who took first place in economic freedom in 2012? The

Source:http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/12067-economic-freedom-by-country.html#axzz2JI3AV7Pz

Source: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/12067-economic-freedom-by-country.html#axzz2JI3AV7Pz

answer may surprise you. It was Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s score was an 89.9%, which was a 0.2% increase from 2011. Following Hong Kong in order: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and finally America at number 10. America’s economic freedom score was a 76.3%, which is down 1.5% from 2011. In fact, America is no longer even rated as a “Free” nation, which is a title granted only to countries with a score above 80%, but a “Mostly Free” nation. Right behind America rated at number 11 is Denmark. Denmark places the highest total tax pressure on its citizens in the world.

This study takes the following 10 benchmarks into account when rating countries: Freedom from corruption, property rights, individual fiscal freedom, restrained government spending, monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. As mentioned earlier, economic freedom is more vast than it may sound on the surface. It includes all of the above benchmarks, which affect our everyday lives. Money is not the root of all evil; however it is at the root of our lives and if we are not economically free one must ask themselves if our freedom simply a fallacy. There are 9 other countries more economically free than America and our rating is dropping drastically. In 2010, America was rated number 8.  With the numbers trending down and all of the benchmarks trending towards negative values America’s rating should not be expected to improve when the 2013 ratings are released.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty. -Margaret Thatcher

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AL-JAZEERA buys CURRENT TV from Al Gore

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9:16 p.m. | Updated Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister.

It just bought itself 40 million more chances to make its case.

Al Jazeera on Wednesday announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. Al Jazeera plans to shut Current and start an English-language channel, which will be available in more than 40 million homes, with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar.

For Al Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar, the acquisition is a coming of age moment. A decade ago, Al Jazeera’s flagship Arabic-language channel was reviled by American politicians for showing videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers. Now the news operation is buying an American channel, having convinced Mr. Gore and the other owners of Current that it has the journalistic muscle and the money to compete head-to-head with CNN and other news channels in the United States.

Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But the deal was not signed until Wednesday.

A spokesman for Al Jazeera said that antitrust regulators had not expressed any objections to the deal.

New York Times

Freedom Threatened By Plan To Federalize Local Government In Florida

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A new initiative by the federal government called Seven50, a cousin of Agenda 21, seeks to relieve local governments nationwide of direct representation by and for local citizens in matters of education, infrastructure, and population.

Indian River County Commissioner Bob Solari (772- 226-1442) is putting out an urgent call to attend a special Indian River County Commission meeting concerning this topic on Tuesday, December 18 at 9 a.m. in the Vero Beach County Chambers (1801 27th Street, Vero Beach, FL.) Though Alabama already has passed legislation to curb the Seven50 agenda, seven southeastern counties along Florida’s coastline from Miami to Vero Beach threaten to place their citizens’ lives under control of HUD and other federal agencies by backing this “diversity” proposal.

Morphing the highly unpopular Security and Prosperity Partnership to Agenda 21 and finally into Seven50, our federal government is hell-bent on removing any local control and input from average American citizens concerning what they can do with their own land, private property, local schools, and local infrastructures from bridges to meeting houses. “What we want to be when we grow up,” says Marcelor Camblor-Cutsaimanis in a video interview with Nancy Ferre on PBS as she attempts to explain the benefits of Seven50. Of course, the public TV host heaps praise upon this blatant attempt by the feds to exercise total control over the lives of Americans.

Whether you live near Southern Florida’s east coast or took part in Alabama’s efforts to rein in this dreadful plan, you must inform your neighbors about the dangers of Seven50. The UN and the Obama administration have been relentless in their efforts to marginalize our freedoms. A puff piece about this fifty year, UN initiative to destroy local and county governance claims Seven50 is “good” for us given the ”…realization that local governments and civic groups can’t effectively tackle [their] problems and needs in isolation.” Well, just ask the still-suffering inhabitants of ocean front towns along the New Jersey and New York coastlines how they feel about the FEMA response to the destruction of their homes and businesses by Hurricane Sandy.

Counties across the nation are being REGIONALIZED to circumvent the structure and policies of local governance . It is an insidious program operating under the radar. Why didn’t the PBS interviewer ask activist Cutsaimanis about the FEMA performance in Staten Island, where residents are being drowned in federal red tape and frustrated by buck-passing and bureaucratic inefficiency?

If you live near the area, pleased attend the Vero Beach, FL county commission meeting on Dec. 18. And wherever you live, find out if Seven50 threatens to supplant local governance, turning your town or county into a “protectorate” of the federal government.

[url=http://www.westernjournalism.com/freedom-threatened-by-plan-to-federalize-local-government-in-florida/]Western Journalism[/url]

18 Democratic senators revolt against Harry Reid on Obamacare tax

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Eighteen Democratic U.S. Senators and senators-elect sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week calling for a “delay in the implementation” of the medical device tax in Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The provision was an integral part of the version of the Obamacare law, which was passed in the Senate under Reid’s stewardship in 2009. It is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

An effort to repeal the provision failed in Congress in June. At the time, Reid characterized the proposed repeal as a Republican attack on Obamacare.

“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. … With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax — causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses,” according to the letter. “We urge you to support delaying enactment of this provision in a fiscally responsible manner.”

The provision’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers has sparked panic within the medical devices industry. Indiana-based Zimmer Holdings, which manufactures hip replacement implants, laid off 450 workers in anticipation of $60 million in taxes in 2013. Michigan-based Stryker Corp., which also produces hip implants, laid off 5 percent of its workers in a bid to compensate for the $100 million it will pay in taxes next year.

The provision has proved to be problematic for Democratic senators from states with large numbers of medical device companies. Indiana Senator-elect Joe Donnelly and Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow signed the letter alongside the next Massachusetts Senate delegation, Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry, whose state is home to more than 400 medical device companies.

Democrats sent their letter to Reid less than three weeks after dozens of medical device industry executives “swarmed” Capitol Hill in a lobbying push that resulted in more than 60 different meetings with legislators. The trade groups Advanced Medical Technology Association, Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, and Medical Device Manufacturers Association led the lobbying effort to delay the provision.

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Timothy Geithner: Ready to Go Over ‘Cliff’ If Taxes Don’t Rise

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These guys don’t really care about America….they just care about getting their way or the highway for us…..

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither told CNBC Wednesday that Republicans are “making a little bit of progress” in “fiscal cliff” talks but said the Obama administration was “absolutely” ready to go over the cliff if the GOP doesn’t agree to raise tax rates on the wealthy.

“I think they’re making a little bit of progress,” Geithner said. “They’re clearly moving and figuring out how to try to move further.”

But Geithner said the White House would “absolutely” go over the fiscal cliff — triggering over $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases — unless tax rates increase on the top 2 percent of wage earners.

“What we’re trying to do is put in place a comprehensive, balanced set of fiscal reforms that put us back on the path of living within our means,” Geithner told “Closing Bell.”

Geithner, who is the Obama administration’s lead negotiator in the cliff talks, added that if Republicans are willing to accept higher rates, “we think we can do something really good for the economy. We can make the government use the taxpayers money much more efficiently, lock in some spending savings and do some long-term reforms to entitlements.”

President Barack Obama told business leaders earlier in the day that a deal could be reached in a week if Republicans would accept higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans.

“We’re not insisting on rates out of spite, but rather we need to raise a certain amount of revenue,” Obama told the Business Roundtable, an association representing chief executives of large U.S. firms.

Continue reading CNBC

 

If We Only Had a Constitution

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Excellent article by a pastor in Illinois:

United_States_ConstitutionWe are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.

Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.

Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children.  Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.

We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.

Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.

Illinois Conservative

Obama fiscal proposal ‘classic bait and switch’

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The top-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee Sen. Orin Hatch accused President Obama of pulling a “bait and switch” this week with the administration’s proposed deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

https://i0.wp.com/1.bp.blogspot.com/-FoN9pq38XbY/UJrrw3nJT8I/AAAAAAAAV90/6M-zeSuxjaM/s1600/fiscal-cliff.jpg“What [Obama] proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the American people—a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on, billions of dollars in new stimulus spending and an unlimited, unchecked authority to borrow from the Chinese,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in Saturday’s weekly GOP address.

“Maybe I missed it but I don’t recall him asking for any of that during the presidential campaign. These ideas are so radical that they have already been rejected on a bipartisan basis by Congress.”

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was dispatched to Capitol Hill to share Obama’s plan with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) The deal included $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, $50 billion in economic stimulus spending and $400 billion in spending cuts. Republicans have demanded more severe spending cuts – including entitlement reform – to begin a discussion on raising taxes.

Full article here

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