Thursday, July 21, 2016

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Frank J. Biga III said…

Amazing how conservative FDR seems in comparison to today’s Democratic Party. Maybe he wasn’t that bad after all? He did support unions though so that makes him am apostate from today’s so-called “conservative” values. No, I think FDR and the America he helped create are what we should strive for today. Our ancestors weren’t idiots. Many of the pro-middle class values and policies of FDR need to be fought for today, even if they violate the shibboleths of modern day conservatives.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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 Friday, July 15, 2016

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Friday, July 08, 2016


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Eternal-Vigilance-is-the-Price-of-Liberty_Engraved-Outside-National-Archives-in-Washington-DC_Photo-by-Vincent-J-Bove

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil –

Yesterday the 4th of July was celebrated nationwide with picnics, parades, and firework displays.  Of great concern is that too many within America’s younger generation have no idea what is actually being celebrated on Independence Day.  Somewhat redeeming is the result of a 2016 American Enterprise Institute (AEI) opinion study.  Fifty-six percent of those polled said they were very proud to be American citizens, which actually put our country more than midway down in the “highest response” category.  Even so, over half of American citizens love our country and are not reluctant to say so.

Most Americans understand the importance of liberty, but not all can explain what it actually means. 

Abraham Lincoln explained liberty in the following way:
“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, “Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland” (April 18, 1864), p. 301-302.

The Ten Cannots

An outspoken political conservative, Rev. Boetcker, is perhaps best remembered for his authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots, which was originally published in 1916 and sometimes falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln.  The pamphlet emphasizes freedom and responsibility of the individual himself.  Sadly, some of these “cannots” have become standard progressive thinking which is being promoted by the liberal Democratic Party, which are listed below for your consideration:

1.  You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  

2.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  

3.  You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  

4.  You cannot encourage the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.  

5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  

6.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.  

7. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.  

8.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

“Socialism” no longer a dirty word

Fast forward to the current 2016 presidential campaign where throngs of young people cheered loudly for avowed 74-year old Bernie Sanders, a self-described Socialist, running for president of the United States as a Democrat.  This man once proudly defended Communist dictatorships across the world.  

In America, for the first time in nearly a century, socialism is not a dirty word or a shunned label, but instead is treated as a benign economic system that is more equitable and fair than capitalism.  This is particularly the thinking of voters under 30.   A Pew poll from June 2015 shows a staggering 69 percent of voters under 30 who express a willingness to vote for a Socialist for president of the United States, well before Sanders’ electoral successes in the early Democratic primaries. 

It is interesting that America’s senior citizens understand Socialism to be associated with Communism, such as that which they experienced with the Soviet Union and the Cold War. What created this gap in thinking?  For seniors their opinion is based on having lived through the threat of the Cold War and its final end, which was the result of the Soviet Union collapsing for a myriad of reasons, largely associated with its failed form of government. 

What has caused the Millennials in our country to have a different opinion of Socialism?   The cause is largely due to the failure of our nation’s education system.  School books, professors, teachers, etc. no longer accurately define the superiority of America’s governing system nor provide the horror that results from once great countries who fell into Socialist and/or Communist style governments.

How close is this nation to discarding the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and instead embracing the lure of Socialism?  The massive crowds promoting Bernie Sanders should be a warning signal. That both Sanders and Clinton lean so far to the Left should send chills rather than thrills even up Chris Mathews’ leg. 

Communism Contrasted by the Virtues and Strengths of a Free Society 

In order to stop the creeping socialism in America, one must first understand the evils and deficiencies of communism and contrast them with the virtues and strengths of a free society provide by our forefathers and propelled America into greatness.  Four comparisons are noted:

SHOULD EDUCATION BE CENTRALLY CONTROLLED?

What Americans believe: 

Education is best controlled when it is in the hands of local boards, responsive to the wishes of the parents and the community.  The goal of education is to produce an intelligent, moral, and self-reliant citizenship.   Education must be free from propaganda and must prepare the student to exercise his proper share of control over his government.

What Communists believe:

Education must be controlled by the Central government.  Individual will be indoctrinated to follow, without question, the dictates of the Socialist state.  The thought content of all studies must be filtered through specific basic requirements. Individualism is the enemy of the people, therefore the student must be regimented and taught to accept all decisions of government regarding his place in the State and economy.

FREEDOM OF THOUGHT — NATIONAL SAFEGUARD OR DANGER?

What Americans believe:

To be strong and enduring, a nation must be composed of citizens who are free to think for themselves.   In no other way can people fully utilize their imagination, resourcefulness and capacity for progress.   The freedom to explore new ideas is one of the most basic of freedoms.  When filtered through a sound code of morality the good ideas are separated from the bad, not immediately perhaps, but in time to prevent serious damage.  

What Communists believe:

To be strong and enduring a nation must be controlled by intellectuals who instruct the people in thinking in accordance with government policies.  Free thought leads to dangerous conclusions not in keeping with Communist doctrine, while controlled thought builds national unity.

IS LOVE OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND GOD “OLD FASHIONED”?

What Americans Believe: 

That in our way of life there are many things, many blessings that have no base in materialism — love of home, love of family, patriotism, loyalty to friends, and devotion to God.  These are all integral parts of American heritage and give satisfaction and happiness.

What Communists Believe:

That everything is material — if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.  The government must teach the people that love of home, and family, and loyalty to friends are secondary to anything which furthers the progress of Communism.  The people must discard God.  Materialism is the “be all” and “end all” of Communist endeavor.

JUSTICE — THE LAWS OF MANY OR OF A FEW? 

What Americans Believe:

That the accepted standards of justice are the laws which have been formulated through hundreds of years of man’s struggle to find a reliable code.  They find expression in the law of the land and in our great heritage of common law.   These laws are clearly promulgated.  Justices in our system are sworn to live up to this law and not to impose their own arbitrary standards of judgment. Thus, we are a government ruled by established laws and not a government of men.  

Communists believe:That the proper and final test of right and wrong is “does it serve the ultimate Communist purpose?  If it does, it is good; if it does not, it is bad.  With this cornerstone of justice, if any law exists that interferes with the goal, it is conveniently by-passed. Arbitrary decisions by superiors overrule the law.  Rule of man satisfies the Communist need, not rule of law. 

Are Americans in the process of losing their nation little by little?   You be the judge.  Sadly, many Americans make their decision based on whatever media source they use, which often is far from fair or balanced.  Many vote for a candidate based solely on their ethnicity, color, or campaign promises they rarely keep.  

It is far safer to evaluate candidates on facts, such as what they have already accomplished verses their failures.  Also, the specific Party to which they are affiliated holds a big key as to how they will govern, who they will pick for their administration, and which justices they will nominate for the Superior Court.  

America’s form of government allows the people to pick their leaders;  the question is will they use this precious gift to discern the best person, one who will absolutely honor our Constitution and system of laws

_______

Technorati Tags: Constitution, Independence, Nancy Thorner, Price of Liberty

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Quick, pay attention – think you know all you should about America’s founding? Well, here’s some “Constitutional Sound Bites” from a powerful new book authored by David Shestokas:

 “Declaration of Independence – Did you know?

  • Thomas Jefferson became a lawyer at 24 years old and wrote the “Declaration” at age 33.
  • The impact of the “Declaration of Independence” upon the world was dramatic.  When written in 1776 it was the first such document in history to declare a people free and self-governing.
  • Before the “Declaration of Independence”, a government was typically an empire controlled by a royal family.
  • The Declaration of Independence issued a list of grievances against King.
  • Jefferson patterned the Declaration like a complaint in a court case.  There is a statement of law, a list of violations of law and the proper remedy for those violations

Preamble to Constitution –  Words and phrases as understood by our Founding Fathers –  Did you know?

  • What was meant by “more perfect union?” –  Still related at the time to the Latin origin, perficere, to finish or complete.  It meant a more complete union than had existed before the “Constitution.
  • What was meant by to “establish justice?”  The implication is that justice did not exist under the “Articles of Confederation.”
  • What was meant by “general welfare?”  “General” meant applicable to the whole rather than to the local, individual, or special interests, while welfare” referred to a Constitution goal to promote the happiness of the nation as a whole.

U.S. Constitution” – Did you know? 

  • The “Constitution” represented the most important event in human history.  Before the ratification process took place in 1787 and 1788, self-government hadn’t existed before.
  • Gouverneur Morris, a lawyer at 19 years old, wrote the Constitution at age 35, yet he is one of the most unknown Founding Fathers.
  • Although Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were on the 5-member committee to write the Constitution, James Madison gave Gouverneur Morris credit for the final Constitution, which he wrote in four days!
  • Colonists knew what a “Power of Attorney” was.  This form was used by lawyers of the time for many different occasions. 
  • Power of Attorney was explained in terms of what many Americans have in the 21centruy, a Health Care Power of Attorney.  
  • Constitution followed the form of the commonly understood Power of Attorney. 
  • Constitution laid side by side with the Power of Attorney follows the same outline.

Bill of Rights – Did you know?

  • The first 10 amendments to the Constitution.
  • James Madison originally proposed 19 amendments to the First Congress.
  • These amendments were changes to the originally ratified Constitution.
  • Supporters of the Constitution had promised to add a Bill of Rights during debate about whether or not the Constitution should be adopted, in response to Anti-Federalists who argued against the Constitution because it lacked protections for basic human liberty.

The First Amendment – Did you know?

  • How many rights are named in the First Amendment and what are they?  
  • Remembering them all will place you among one in one thousand who are able to state the number of rights and then name them.
  • These questions were posed to Heartland attendees by David Shestokas.  Two got all five right.  Many forgot “Freedom to Petition for Redress of Grievances” There is a reason for this:  The people no longer have the right to have their representatives entertain their petitions.  
  • The other four rights are: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, and Assembly.

In a continuing series of free events sponsored by The Heartland Institute, David J. Shestokas, author and lawyer, was featured in keeping with Heartland’s recently established Center for Constitutional Reform, a project of The Heartland Institute.  Kyle Maichle as Project Manager of Constitution Reform, introduced Mr. Shestokas who provided insight into his book, Constitutional Sound Bites, which provides an accurate and accessible resource regarding the “Declaration of Independence”, “Constitution”, and “Bill of Rights.”  The book is available at Amazon in print and Kindle editions\

David Shestokas earned his B.A. in political science from Bradley University in 1975 and his J.D., cum laude in 1987 from The John Marshall Law School where he swerved on the institution’s law review.  Mr. Shestokas founded the Law Office of David Shestokas in November on 1987.  After practicing in areas such as criminal defense, corporate law, real estate, and business financing, he later served as Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County in Chicago from 1994 to 1998.  During that time he also worked on the Felony Review Unit, participating in police investigations and making charging decisions in more than 400 felony cases.  

David Shestokas reveals

As Mr. Shestokas notes: The leaders of Revolutionary American were used to reading long documents like the Federalist Papers to gain understanding of the important documents of that time, but it’s not the way the American people receive their information in the twenty-first century.  Americans have become used to getting information in small dose through sound-bites 

Keeping this in mind, Shestokas’ unique book assumes a question and answer format which allows readers to quickly and effectively grasp bursts of material, both children and adults, at a time when our Nation’s Founding receives little attention in American classrooms.  For as Mr. Shestokas related, it is difficult to be a good American without understanding how America was made and what America stands for. 

Below are the first three question posed to readers under Chapter 1, Constitutional Consideration, of Shestokas’ book.  Answers are located in the book below each question:

  • What events during the Christmas of 1776 saved United States independence and set the stage for the Constitution? 
  • How long after the Declaration of Independence did the Constitution go into effect?
  • Why does the United States have three branches of government?

Answers are set forth in a concise, easy to understand, and meaningful way.  This is definitely a must-read book with historical anecdotes that add depth and content which make 18th Century history come to life in 21th Century style. 

Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed a South Carolina House bill into law on June 1, 2016 that implements the study of U.S. founding documents into the social studies programs of the state’s public high schools.  All public education students, both in high school and in college, are required to pass a test after a year-long class.  Every state should have such a requirement.     

Power is always trying to restrict liberty.   Education is so important to understand when abuse of power is taking place, which our Founding Fathers, in declaring independence from England, wanted to leave behind.  Documents were fashioned to make this new nation unique and different from any other nation in the world.  

Beyond Constitutional Sound Bites, in collaboration with Dr. Berta Arias, Spanish professor and past president of the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education Shestokas has produced the first explanation of America’s Founding Documents in Spanish, Cápsulas Informativas Constitucionales, for the 36,000,000 Americans more comfortable with Spanish than English. Cápsulas Informativas Constitucionales is also available on Amazon in print and Kindle editions.

The collaboration of Shestokas and Arias has also lead to the first Spanish language website devoted to America’s Founding Principles: De Los Estados Unidos  http://www.delosestadosunidos.com/ (About the United States).

Future plans include a children’s book, and a book devoted to the amendments following the Bill of Rights.

The You Tube of the Heartland event featuring David Shestokas and his book, Constitutional Sound Bites, can be viewed here

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner –  

 On Monday, June 20, The Heartland Institute hosted a rare opportunity to hear one of the nation’s acknowledged leading conservatives, Stephen Moore, speak on his new book, Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy, which flies in the face of the nation’s political and media love affair with climate change. The luncheon event was held at The Union League Club, in the Loop in downtown Chicago. 

Heartland is known globally for its work debunking myths about human-caused climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels – in short, that global warming is driven by human activity and a warming planet is, on whole, beneficial. Fossil fuels constitute the lifeblood of the modern world, having ushered in the Industrial Revolution, but continue to be vilified by global warming alarmists.

In his book, Moore, with co-author Kathleen Hartnett White, make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels. They argue that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by “green” alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Moore’s Background

Moore is a Chicago boy, having graduated from New Trier High School in 1978. After various stops at conservative outlets and organizations – including one he started, the Club for Growth –Moore is now a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Heritage, where he focuses on advancing public policies that increase the rate of economic growth to help the United States retain its position as the global economic superpower. He also works on budget, fiscal and monetary policy, and showcases states that get their fiscal houses in order.

As an economist, Moore said he was influenced by two great economists of the last 50 years: (1) Julian Simon, who was proven to be right, when in 1980 he disputed those in this country and worldwide who claimed the earth’s natural resources were becoming so scarce they would become even costlier, and (2) Arthur Laffer, who triggered a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980’s, when in the Reagan administration he recommended tax cuts to stimulate the economy. Moore is currently an economic advisor for the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Moore’s Discussion

Moore believes that if our energy resources were utilized the way they were meant to be used, this nation would become energy independent in the near future, turning us into the Saudi Arabia of the next century.

Positive benefits from the development of our energy resources include the following, according to Moore:

  • Creating jobs by the millions.
  • Creating good jobs with good pay.
  • Reduce trade deficits.

As far as the value of oil, gas, and coal under U.S. public land:

  • Over the next 20 years, with current technology, this nation could have available $50 trillion worth of oil, gas, and coal.
  • The federal government could raise $4 trillion by leasing federal land for exploration. With a deficit of $20 trillion, $4 trillion would be tidy sum toward reducing our deficit.

Republicans have a great opportunity to gain the upper hand in the energy struggle, but they haven’t done a good job. The major donors to the Democrat Party are the unions (the teachers union dominates here in Illinois) and lunatic green movements funded, in part, by billionaire Tom Steyer of California, who is an environmental advisor to the Obama administration. Green groups want to keep coal and oil in the ground by stopping drilling and coal mining. Republicans need to drive a wedge between those who traditionally support the Democratic Party by getting out the message that “we (Republicans) are the ones who are trying to save your jobs.”

Moore and Harold Hamm

Moore said he was influenced by the story of billionaire industrialist Harold Hamm, who left home when young because there wasn’t money enough to feed all 14 children … and Hamm was 13th in line. Hamm now owns most of the energy resources in North Dakota. Invited by Hamm eight years ago to travel to North Dakota, Moore was amazed to see what was happening in the state. “Wildcatters” like Hamm had developed fracking and horizontal drilling. The code was cracked to find more natural resources, which put America way ahead of the rest of the world – yet no government was involved in this development.

As Chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, the fortune of pioneering oilman Hamm peaked at nearly $19 billion in 2014, but has since been reduced to $11 billion when oil prices plunged. Hamm does remain bullish for the future, however, and expects a new boom to come. Hamm expects $60 oil again, and says America will double output again.

Moore said he believes that if not for the shale and gas revolution, Obama wouldn’t have been elected. But that doesn’t keep Obama from running around the country falsely proclaiming how we are running out of oil and gas. As Moore stated, “We are running into it, not out of it, through fracking and horizontal drilling.”

Vilification of Coal and Oil

Even if global warming was scientifically indisputable and here to stay, Moore said, it could not be stopped by shutting down sources of American energy. In Virginia where Moore lives, EPA regulations on coal have shut down entire towns. These once-vibrant communities have been replaced by unemployment lines.

And what is to be done about China and India where there are plans to construct 500 new coal plants, Moore asked? For every one coal plant shut down in this nation, 10 new ones are being added in China and India – and they use coal technology much dirtier than here in the U.S. Compared to 50 years ago, this nation’s emissions have been reduced more than any other country in the world, but that is still not enough for the greens. Climate alarmists continue to spread their unwarranted fear to a somewhat gullible public.

It comes as no surprise that children are being told that coal and oil must be replaced by so-called “green energy” to prevent Mother Earth from heating up and being inhabitable. This indoctrination is now standard practice in the public schools from K – 12th grade. It’s difficult to talk about global warming at the college level. The new thing with kids is to believe it’s cool to go with windmills and solar power. Moore asks this question when meeting with children: “Where does your electric power come from?” Most often the response is: “It comes out of the socket.”

Sources of Power in U.S.

Well over 90% of this nation’s electrical power comes from four sources, ranked in order: natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro power. Wind comes in at a measly 4.7% and Solar at 0.6%. Combined, coal and natural gas supply about 70 percent of this nation’s electrical power. If a global warming catastrophe were really upon us, nuclear power would be the way to go. It is a clean and safe form of energy which gets the most bang for the buck. Yet the public has been turned against nuclear power through bad publicity over unfortunate nuclear events.

According to Moore, we are witnessing a war on energy. Presently this nation’s economic growth is pathetic, at less than 2 percent. Energy independence and tax reform could quickly increase this nation’s growth to 4 percent, but this will have to wait until the next Republican president.

Natural gas was described as a wonder fuel – it’s abundant – it’s made in America – and it’s clean energy.

Introductory Comments made by Jim Lakely

Jim Lakely, in describing the five issues covered by The Heartland Institute, spoke about the environment as being the issue Heartland is most known for. Accordingly, Heartland is a target of the eco-Left for not embracing climate alarmism and declaring that the science is not settled.

The most recent development is how ExxonMobil is being accused of misleading the public on climate change. The corporation is being sued by the attorneys general of the Virgin Islands, New York, Massachusetts and 14 other states. Likewise, The Competitive Enterprise Institute is now fighting a subpoena that requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy. Although The Heartland Institute is mentioned in all the lawsuits, it has yet to receive a subpoena in what amounts to a fishing expedition to silence those who do not subscribe to Obama’s stance on Climate Change.