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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Outside opinions…

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This is a Very interesting read and well worth your time.

AMPUTATE OR DIE

Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
Thursday, 17 June 2010

It was a sobering dinner party last night (6/16).  Hosted by a London billionaire in his exquisite home – a Boccaccio hung on the wall behind me – the wine flowed liberally, but the conversation between the ten of us was stone-cold serious.

There were lighter moments, as when I proposed a toast to “a great hero of Europe – Geert Wilders.”  Every one raised their glass in a smile, but the biggest smile was that of a spectacularly gorgeous super-model (you’ve seen her in many a high-fashion ad).  She was from Holland.

Then a well-known Hollywood producer raised his glass to toast his hero – Ronald Reagan.  “We need him again,” he commented.  I guarantee you’ve watched one of his TV shows.

But when a self-made billionaire with an 11-figure private equity fund and a clear grasp of Austrian economics starts to talk about America’s prospects, you listen.  So we all listened.

Being in London, he started there.  “To call (new Brit PM David) Cameron a disaster is like calling Hurricane Katrina a squall.  He’s as much a Conservative as I am a Moslem.  I have already started preparing to relocate to Switzerland.  If he succeeds in his current push to raise capital gains taxes from 18% to 50% — and it looks like he will – the British economy and the London real estate market will crash.  The best play around will be to short the pound.

“In short, Cameron and Osborne (George Osborne, David Cameron’s Oxford classmate and now in Cameron’s cabinet as Chancellor of the Exchequer, equivalent to our Treasury Secretary) lead secret lives.  Just as they hide from the public that they are homosexual behind the pretense of a marriage, they hide their liberal agenda behind the pretense of being conservative. They will destroy Britain’s economy just as sure as Obama is destroying America’s.”

There followed a spirited exchange about financial escape hatches —  if the euro, the pound, and the dollar fall off their respective cliffs, where does anybody go?  The time-worn adage of “buy gold, buy silver, buy Swiss Francs” may work for individuals, but world equity markets are in a trap from which there is no clear exit.

One opinion was, “The best run governments around today are those of Canada and Singapore – having one’s savings denominated in their currencies is not a bad idea.”  Then we got back to America.

“You know what my biggest fear is?” our host asked.  “It’s not really Obama, for what he’s done is to accelerate what the liberals have been slowly doing for decades – so quickly that their socialism is obvious to everyone.  Which means the solution is obvious to everyone.  My biggest fear is that voters will give Republicans the power to repair America on November 2nd – and the Republicans won’t have the courage to do it.”

All I could respond with was “Ouch,” to shake my head and sigh.  I mentioned an email I just got from a friend of many years in Las Vegas.  He’s a very successful banker and businessman who knows everyone in Republican politics in Nevada – and I had asked his opinion of how Sharron Angle might possibly beat Harry Reid.  The reply I got back shocked me.  He will do nothing to help her, he said, as she is too “extreme.”

Why is she considered extreme? our host asked, not on intimate terms with Nevada primary elections.  Because she wants a government restricted to constitutional activities, I replied, which means, for example, eliminating such things as the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Our host leaned over the table to look at me as if his eyes were lasers.  “Jack, you need to explain something to your friend.  You need to explain something to America and all those Congressmen you know.  Amputate or die.  That’s the choice America has right now.  That’s the choice Republicans will have after November 2nd, because they’re the only surgeons around who can do the surgery.”

Everyone was quiet so he continued.  “Gangrene will kill you.  If you don’t amputate a finger or other limb that’s gangrenous, it will spread bacterially [via Clostridium perfringens], and you will die.  Look at these unconstitutional growths of government on the body public as gangrenous infections that have to be amputated for the body to continue living.”

He looked around the table at all of us.  “You know that I know all the main players in the world economy.  Some are fools who don’t know what they are doing like Strauss-Kahn (Dominque Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, International Monetary Fund), some are not like Trichet (Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank).  America has no adult on the economy’s lever – Geithner is more of a hopeless disaster than Bush’s Paulson was, and Bernanke is worse than Greenspan.

“So I don’t know any player whose smarts I really respect who has much hope for America, who doesn’t see an alternative future than the destruction of America’s wealth through hyper-inflation.  They think elephants will fly before Republican elephants will do what is necessary if the voters give them the power to do it.”

He looked at me – so everyone else did.  “Are they wrong, Jack?” The question hung in the air as I felt my face redden.

“Thanks, pal,” I responded with a smile to gain a little time.  Everyone did laugh for just a moment, then I had to jump into the waiting silence.  Here’s what I said.

“The situation is dire, there is no doubt, the gravest since the Civil War.  The only hope I see is with the anger of the TeaPartyers.  That anger is directed just as much towards Republican cowards as towards Democrat fascists.  We don’t have to wait long to see the power of that anger.  Just six days from now (6/22) in South Carolina, Nikki Haley the TeaPartyer is going to wipe out Gresham Barrett the RINO, even though the state GOP establishment is doing everything slimy to smear her.

“I think your player-friends have to see things not as Democrat vs. Republican but as the Court Party – the establishment in power be they Democrat or GOP – vs. the Country Party, the TeaPartyers who want an end to all the corruption, Dem or GOP.  Your players are part of the Court Party.  The TeaPartyers you might think are like those who led the French Revolution – but they are like those who led the American Revolution instead.

“Yes, the TeaPartyers own most of the 300 million guns in America, but they don’t want blood unless there’s no choice.  Note the ‘unless.’  November 2nd better be an honest election.   What the TeaPartyers must grasp is Churchill’s call after the battle of El Alamein [November 1942], that November is only ‘the end of the beginning.’

“So you are right – the only hope is radical surgery to cut out all the metastasizing cancer, to amputate unconstitutional gangrene, or another metaphor, to be like Alexander and cut the Gordian Knot with a swordstroke.

“But the question really is not whether Republicans have the courage to perform the surgery, to defund ObamaCare, to defund the entire Obama agenda, to defund entire agencies like the Department of Education, Energy, and the EPA.  It is whether the TeaPartyers have the courage and capacity to force the Republicans to. I mean, how is eliminating the EPA extreme, and EPA unconstitutional fascism not extreme?  We’ll find out, because they are America’s only hope now.”

Everyone waited for our host’s response.  “And the hyper-inflation?  The debt’s already baked in the cake, no matter what future spending is cut.”

“Hyper-inflation is only another word for total default.  The only way to avoid it is a government default on its debts only.  Then we can switch from a worthless fiat currency to an asset-backed currency.”  I smiled.  “Gold brings freedom.”

He smiled in return and raised his glass.  “We can all drink to that.  To gold, to freedom, and these TeaPartyers – may Jack be right about them.  May they amputate fascism before the fascists amputate our freedom.”

The Examiner.com

Singapore’s newest air force base being built in Idaho

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Just heard this news article read on the radio this morning and I thought I was hearing the host wrong. So when I got home just now I googled it and nope I didn’t hear him wrong. The country of Singapore is building a air force base in Twin Falls Idaho.

“Why are we letting planes of a dictatorship pollute our airspace, startle and stress out bighorn sheep and sage grouse, mar our clean desert skies with contrails and pollutants?” Katie Fite, a representative of Western Watersheds Project, wrote in a 2006 letter in the environmental impact statement.

So read it for yourself:

Singapore military aiming for Idaho air space

The Republic of Singapore’s newest air force base will be 80 miles west of Twin Falls.

In October, the Mountain Home Air Force Base will welcome the initial elements of a 10-jet Singaporean training squadron under terms of a 5- to 20-year deal that will bring hundreds of Singaporean military personnel and their families to southern Idaho.

“It’s more than a possibility,” said Mayor Tom Rist, responding to a base spokesman who cautioned against assuming the deal will happen. “It’s coming.”

The Singaporean military currently has two detachments at other U.S. air bases, but this will be its first long-term residency in North America, according to the Ministry of Defense Singapore’s Web site.

The environmental impact of the 10 – and perhaps as many as 20 – Singaporean F-15SG fighters whizzing through the skies should be relatively small, according to an environ-mental impact statement published last year.

However, it could mean a 25 percent annual increase in sorties from the base and jet noise over a 15 percent larger area.

Mountain Home aircraft routinely use bombing ranges that border on Twin Falls County, and often practice touch-and-go landings at Joslin Field, Magic Valley Regional Airport.

The impact of the new international training base includes a $60 million construction plan and building spree that will add 112,567 square-feet of new on-base facilities to handle everything from aircraft engine repair to munitions storage and office space.

The move will add 307 foreign military personnel and American contractors – including 179 RSAF active-duty personnel and about 128 support workers. They would boost the base population by about 25 percent if no personnel currently stationed there are moved elsewhere. The Air Force anticipates moving an unspecified number of personnel and planes to other bases in the near term, however.

The first RSAF personnel, responsible for general set-up operations, will arrive in October. The first F-15SG aircraft is expected in April 2009.

The United States has routinely trained military forces from allied countries since World War II. Singapore, a former British colony not much larger than Twin Falls County, has several training bases in Australia as well as two in others in the U.S. because it lacks room to make training flights, according to the RSAF Web site.

Mountain Home in recent years has had shorter-term training missions involving Israeli, German, British and Australian personnel who have used the base’s top-flight electronic training range, said Mountain Home’s economic development director, Ron Swearingen.

But never before has the base been used for housing and training foreign troops on a “semi-permanent-ongoing basis,” Swearingen said.

Swearingen said the move will benefit his town of 14,000, adding cultural and social diversity. He said he’s now busy coordinating how the city will accommodate it.

It’s unclear how Mountain Home schools will cope with a large influx of children who may speak English but who could be limited to Malay or Chinese dialects, Rist said.(I’m sure we’ll do them like the illegals coming here…accommodate them with translators…it would be so terrible for them to have to learn English you know.)

Not everyone considers the RSAF a plus.

“Why are we letting planes of a dictatorship pollute our airspace, startle and stress out bighorn sheep and sage grouse, mar our clean desert skies with contrails and pollutants?” Katie Fite, a representative of Western Watersheds Project, wrote in a 2006 letter in the environmental impact statement.

Fite’s environmental group generally opposes expansion of the base or bombing ranges.

“We are alarmed that the citizens of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada get new and added air and visual pollution, range fires from flares, litter from chaff, noise, sonic booms, testing and use of devices of unknown kinds … with unknown effects on human health and wellbeing – to benefit the Singapore Air Force!”

Mountain Home was selected over Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., which was also studied by the Air Force.

“A combination of factors, including the base’s flying training range, F-15E squadron and existing infrastructure, helped determine Mountain Home’s selection to host the unit,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Stines, a Mountain Home deputy chief of public affairs.

According to the environmental study, the Singaporean personnel will be under American operational control while they train at Mountain Home. Their commander will be an American, said Bill Richey, a Mountain Home-based specialist in military affairs.

The planes will bear a Singapore flag and RSAF insignia, but the markings likely won’t be visible from the ground on most flights, reducing the chances of alarming Idahoans, said an air combat spokeswoman in Langley, Va.

A Singapore military defense attache based in Washington, D.C. did not return a phone call Tuesday evening.

The RSAF recently bought 12 F-15SG aircraft – an advanced version of the F-15E Strike Eagle currently flown from Mountain Home, Stines said. Defense Industry Daily reported that Boeing anticipates delivering the planes in stages beginning this year. Singapore retains the option for eight more planes, Stines wrote.

“Amounts were not disclosed, but previous reports have placed the contract value at around $1 billion exclusive of options,” the daily reported. “An associated weapons and services request could be worth another $741 million if all options are exercised.”

Richey said the RSAF will pay for its training under a contract that spans 20 years.

“That’s pretty permanent,” he said. “It’s an outstanding strategic partnership. For the United States it’s a real positive, plus for the overall strategy of the whole world. For Idaho, it’s an economic boon.”

Just how big of a boon is unclear. Mountain Home contributed more than $455 million to the local economy in fiscal year 2007, base officials say.

“With the projected numbers of RSAF and support personnel at less than 200, we expect there will be some increase in Mountain Home AFB’s contribution to the local economy considering such factors as additional payrolls and initial construction contracts,” Stines wrote.

Richey said Singapore’s location in the Malaysian straights makes it a primary channel of commerce. The country has also shown willingness to strategically partner with the U.S., including a port built to accept American aircraft carriers

Read the entire article @ Times News