The people shape their own destiny -- either as free people or as slaves.
If they remain self-reliant, they stay free -- Ever expanding state power destroys lives..
Government panacea is a defective idea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Big regulation

The official unemployment is dropping.  But like so many figures that come out of government, this one is misleading.  There is no growth in the actual jobs market.  Government regulation is an ineffective grower of the economy.

The Left deeply desires government to be effective -- more than anything else.  To the Left, having powerful government, one that can solve social problems, is so important, they are willing to overlook the inevitable social problem such a monster would create.  The total loss of personal freedom is only the first that comes to mind.

Obviously, a tyrannical government would be able to solve serious problems,if the officials of that government had the motivations of angels.  But they would be humans, tempted by the power they possess to serve their own selves and not the people at large.  Then they play a round of golf

When the people complain about too much regulation, they are not too clear.  What they really mean to say is the regulation the government is laying on them is not in service the whole people.  The complaint is about whom the American government is serving  -- the whole people, or only the people making the regulation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Government hyper regulation - musical instruments

The American government has perceived a dangerous source of environment treble....

 "Musical instruments may contain parts or products of species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and/or the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Brazilian rosewood, tortoiseshell, and elephant ivory are among the protected species most commonly found in musical instruments.

"If you are traveling with a musical instrument that contains Brazilian rosewood, elephant ivory, tortoiseshell, or another protected species, you will need to obtain proper legal documentation before crossing international borders.  You may need CITES documents for other species, particularly wildlife species, so always check before traveling."

For details, see the Fish and Wildlife Service (!) page on musical instrument regulation, from where I lifted the text above.

Musical instrument permit information
Permit regulations on cactus
More Fish & Wildlife Service excesses 

Government micromanagement is harassment.  This is insane.  This is wrong.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Religious freedom means economic growth

Nations that safeguard the religious liberty of its citizens can expect better economic growth than repressive societies -- true tolerance (not phoney lip service) results in economic gain for everyone.

WASHINGTON — Religious freedom, at first glance, may not seem a key predictor of economic growth. But a recent study argues that the more religious freedom a nation has, the better its financial system can perform.

"Religious hostilities and restrictions create climates that can drive away local and foreign investment, undermine sustainable development, and disrupt huge sectors of economies," the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation stated in announcing the findings.

Those conditions, in turn, stifle economic growth, the group says, noting "the ongoing cycle of religious regulation and hostilities" in Egypt following the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak that has "adversely effected (its) tourism industry and other sectors."

"Perhaps most significant for future economic growth, the study notes that young entrepreneurs are pushed to take their talents elsewhere due to the instability associated with high and rising religious restrictions and hostilities," the RFBF said.

The new study, "Is Religious Freedom Good for Business?: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis," is authored by three scholars in the field: Brian J. Grim, RBRF founder and president, who also is affiliated with Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs; and Greg Clark and Robert Edward Snyder, of Brigham Young University's International Center for Law and Religion Studies. Clark is vice president of the RFBF.

The study appears in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, and is available online.

One measure of economic progress was growth of a country's Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. According to the RFBF, the study looked at GDP growth for 173 countries in 2011 and found religious freedom correlated with lower corruption. Moreover, "when religious groups operate in a free and competitive environment, religion can play a measurable role in the human and social development of countries."

The authors analyzed 2011 GDP data and compared with data on religious restrictions, the level of economic and business freedom in a given country, and "measures of government regulation, taxes, labor issues, demographics and economic circumstances."

The result: "Religious freedom … is one of only three variables that remains a significant predictor of GDP growth," the report indicated.

In concluding the study, the authors recommend businesses "take religious freedom considerations into account in their strategic planning, labor management, and community interactions."

The authors also advise business leaders: "In evaluating locations for future research and development operations, countries with good records on religious freedom may provide a favorable environment in which to practice innovation and experimentation."

Religious freedom has been a complicated issue in many societies ranging from death sentences imposed by draconian blasphemy laws in the Middle East and Africa to more subtle restrictions through local zoning regulations, marriage and health care laws in the United States. Most religious liberty supporters have advocated from a perspective of individual rights to religious exercise and expression. Now, Grim and other scholars are at the forefront of an emerging movement that is making a case for religious freedom through its financial benefits.

Katrina Lantos Swett, an advocate for religious liberty and current vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, welcomed the RFBF study that highlights how religious hostility can drive away outside investment and undermine economic growth.

"This study also reinforces the growing recognition that religious freedom is not only a central factor in global economic growth but also contributes to peace and stability," she said. "As such, religious freedom merits a seat at the table of U.S. foreign policy."

By Mark A. Kellner.  See the rest of this article.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Israel, Hamas and Obama’s foreign policy

Americans need to be alarmed by what Obama’s actions on behalf of Hamas reveal about the general direction of American Middle East policy under his leadership.

By Caroline Glick, July 29, 2014

When US President Barack Obama phoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night, in the middle of a security cabinet meeting, he ended any remaining doubt regarding his policy toward Israel and Hamas.

Obama called Netanyahu while the premier was conferring with his senior ministers about how to proceed in Gaza. Some ministers counseled that Israel should continue to limit our forces to specific pinpoint operations aimed at destroying the tunnels of death that Hamas has dug throughout Gaza and into Israeli territory.

Others argued that the only way to truly destroy the tunnels, and keep them destroyed, is for Israel to retake control over the Gaza Strip.

No ministers were recommending that Israel end its operations in Gaza completely. The longer our soldiers fight, the more we learn about the vast dimensions of the Hamas’s terror arsenal, and about the Muslim Brotherhood group’s plans and strategy for using it to destabilize, demoralize and ultimately destroy Israeli society.

The IDF’s discovery of Hamas’s Rosh Hashana plot was the last straw for any Israeli leftists still harboring fantasies about picking up our marbles and going home. Hamas’s plan to use its tunnels to send hundreds of terrorists into multiple Israeli border communities simultaneously and carry out a massacre of unprecedented scope, replete with the abduction of hostages to Gaza, was the rude awakening the Left had avoided since it pushed for Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

In other words, in their discussion Sunday night, Netanyahu and his ministers were without illusions about the gravity of the situation and the imperative of winning – however defined.

But then the telephone rang. And Obama told Netanyahu that Israel must lose. He wants an unconditional “humanitarian” cease-fire that will lead to a permanent one.

And he wants it now.

And by the way, the eventual terms of that cease-fire must include opening Hamas-controlled Gaza’s borders with Egypt and Israel and ending Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza coast. That is, the cease-fire must allow Hamas to rebuild its arsenal of death and destruction quickly, with US political and financial support.

Until Obama made the call, there was lingering doubt among some Israelis regarding his intentions. Some thought that US Secretary of State John Kerry might have been acting of his own accord last Friday night when he tried to force Israel to accept Hamas’s cease-fire terms.

But then Obama made his phone call. And all doubts were dispelled.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Middle East - After Kerry fails, do terror groups unite?