Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category
Today, residents of New Hampshire head to the polls to vote in the nation’s first presidential primary. The Democrats failed to field a legitimate primary challenger to Obama, pledging their implicit support for his foreign intervention and disregard for civil liberties at home. Glenn Greenwald confronts this hypocrisy masterfully.
On the Republican side, though, things are a bit more interesting. Polling suggests that Mitt Romney will easily win the state, followed by a possible second place finish for Ron Paul and Huntsman in third.
- Tom Woods, who spoke to Ole Miss YAL after the release of his book Meltdown, is on the ground in New Hampshire.
- A recent Politico piece suggests that Ron Paul’s libertarian message is failing to inspire voters, referring to his stump speech as “a grim, thousand-points-of-darkness jeremiad that makes the rest of the GOP field’s somber depiction of Obama-era America seem sunny.”
- In light of the current election season, A. Barton Hinkle discusses the liberal backlash against Citizens United and why the Supreme Court made the right decision.
- Now that Romney is the established front-runner of the Republican field, several of his opponents are laying it on. Both Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman have criticized Romney for firing workers while working at Bain Capital. As James Pethokoukis from the American Enterprise Institute notes, the attacks are purely political and suggest that the Republicans’ understanding of free markets is superficial at best.
“Of course, Romney and Bain weren’t in the game to create jobs. They were in it to make money for their investors and themselves. Then again, the same would go for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Warren Buffett, and just about every other successful entrepreneur and investor you could name. But that is the miracle of free-market capitalism. The pursuit of profits by creating value benefits the rest of society through higher incomes, more jobs, and better products and services.”
- On an unrelated note, Reason’s Brian Dougherty has a fascinating post which asserts that Haiti’s lack of prosperity stems from their insecure property rights.
Join us back here tomorrow to discuss the New Hampshire results!
James Robertson currently attends the University of Mississippi, where he plans to receive degrees in Political Science and English. He is the President of the Ole Miss Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As is common throughout history, when economic woes beset a people and policy makers are aloof to reality, it becomes pertinent to blame the foreigner for the ills of a self-inflicted wound. Such is the case today in the United States with a public debt surging past 16
trillion dollars, 1.5 trillion dollar yearly deficits, QE1, QE2, Operation Twist, and financial/environmental regulations that are equivalent to committing economic suicide. It concomitantly becomes apparent to federal policy makers to perfect the foul Keynesian economic soup with a dash of trade war hypocrisy.
As of late the artificial devaluation of the Chinese yuan has become the scapegoat of the brainiacs in Washington. They argue that renminbi is devalued by at least 30%, and this devaluation is driving the Chinese export machine as a form of protectionism. This development is also to blame for our rather lopsided balance-of-trade. George Mason’s Dr. Walter E. Williams illuminates the latter charge far better than I, here.
So who are these leaders of the charge against China’s unfair advantage. Why it’s the American version of Cobden and Bright, Senators Charles Schumer and Sherrod Brown, both of whom have been harsh critics of unfair price manipulation. Except when it has to do with domestic tires, or steel. So senators like Schumer and Brown aren’t necessarily opposed to artificial price levels, just those that benefit foreigners at our expense; however, they are in favor of tariffs that benefit select American producers at the expense of all American consumers.
Tyler Brown is a graduate student in History from Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He is a member of the Ole Miss Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty and a contributor to UMFreedom.com.
The University of Mississippi’s student legislature, known as the Associated Student Body (ASB) Senate, meets weekly to draft policy recommendations for implementation within the University. Several ASB Senators are also active members of Young Americans for Liberty, and one of them recently took issue with the ASB’s practice of saying a Christian prayer prior to each session.
What follows is the text of Dan Blazo’s invocation before the Ole Miss ASB Senate:
” Please, keep your heads up and your eyes open.
I thought about giving an agnostic prayer tonight about how none of us know the answers to the big questions in life, but I realized that that would be wholly inappropriate. In fact, it would be inappropriate for the same reasons that giving a Christian prayer would be.
As senators, each of us took an oath to uphold the ASB Constitution to the best of our abilities. Accordingly, I’d like to direct your attention to Article 10, Section 7 of the ASB Constitution, which reads:
“The ASB shall not discriminate against any student based on race, gender, age, ethnicity, ability or disability, marital status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, or national origin. Respect, tolerance, and goodwill are the keystones to enjoying the diversity of our campus, and it is the duty of the ASB to encourage and promote these ideals. The ASB is committed to achieving an intellectual, cultural, and social environment on campus in which all are free to think and make their contribution. We will achieve an environment in which every student may think, learn, and grow without prejudice, intimidation, and discrimination. We will achieve an environment in which personal dignity and respect for the individual are recognized by all students.”
So according to the Constitution, it is our duty to encourage and promote respect and tolerance among our constituents, who comprise a beautifully diverse group of young people with many ethnicities, philosophies, and religious beliefs, including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Christianity, and probably others as well. By praying to Jesus, we exclude all non-Christians from being represented by their government; we ostensibly represent only Christians. How does that promote religious tolerance? How is it respectful to our non-Christian constituents?
As representatives of a secular public university who would never trade our diverse community for one where everyone looks and talks and thinks more similarly, let us abstain from practicing any one religion at our Senate meetings. Let us open our hearts to the welfare of all people within our community by respecting the inherent dignity of us all, recognizing that our differences of race, religion, and party affiliation are only superficial.
If you wish to pray out loud together before the meetings, that’s great! I only ask that you do so on your own time. How would you feel if your student government opened every meeting with a prayer to a god you don’t believe in (say Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, or Zeus), a god who claims that all Christians are destined for Hell? Would you feel represented, or excluded and out of place? Whether or not you want to admit it, the Ole Miss Rebels don’t all pray in Jesus’ name. Our religious views are private matters. Senate meetings are inherently public affairs.
Let us separate church and government by removing the invocation from the Senate meetings. Let us remember that in the face of adversity, we need not close our eyes and look above for answers, but only recognize our own collaborative abilities to overcome any challenges that face us.
Thank you. “
Young Americans for Liberty salutes Senator Blazo for standing up for religious liberty.
“Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” – Thomas Jefferson, in Letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802.
James Robertson currently attends the University of Mississippi, where he plans to receive degrees in Political Science and English. He is the President of the Ole Miss Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty.
I recently stumbled onto an interesting site. MyGovCost.org takes an estimated projection of the growth of government expenditures and the information you give them about yourself to estimate the amount of taxes that you will be paying in the future.
It tells you the total amount of your estimated tax payments over the course of your life. It also breaks this number down into government programs such as Social Security, Defense, Welfare, etc. On top of that, it gives you an estimation of what you could have made had you been allowed to invest your tax dollars into the private market over the same time period.
I recommend checking the site out. It makes the true cost of government hit home pretty hard. Let us know what you think!
So how quickly did that title catch your eye? I sometimes enjoy throwing quick hits such as that out to truly get a glimpse into how ingrained our society is with government protection. Drinking and driving is no laughing matter, however. It is dangerous to the extent of immorality (in my opinion). When people drink and drive they put themselves and, more importantly, others at risk.
However, I believe the actual definition of the word ‘risk’ escapes us sometimes. Risk is not simply for the stock brokers and day traders. Human beings take risks every day. It is the necessary response to living in a world of uncertainty. You take risks just by getting out of bed in the morning. Yet, there are certain activities which seem to raise the risks of extreme casualty to unnecessary levels. It is up to the individual to decide when the level of risk is too extreme to continue with any particular task that is currently occupying his/her time. However, circumstances, understandably, change when we venture into the realm of one person’s risks causing particularly unnecessary risks to others.
Reason Magazine recently ran a story by Radley Balko about Eddie Lee Howard, an inmate on death row in Mississippi for the 1994 rape and murder of Georgia Kemp. His conviction hinged on the testimony of an expert witness, dentist Michael West, whose work in bite mark analysis was notoriously unreliable. This was the basis for Howard’s 2006 appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court, but his conviction was upheld. In 2008, though, the National Academy of Sciences released a report discrediting West and labeling his analysis as “impossible.” Despite these recent developments, Attorney General Jim Hood seeks to bar Howard from filing another appeal, on the grounds that Dr. West’s credibility had already been challenged, and found reliable, in the previous appeal.
As Balko points out, the Attorney General’s mission should be to seek justice, not convictions. While this new appeal also deals with Dr. West’s credibility, new evidence has come forth since that issue was previously raised before Mississippi’s high court. As the Supreme Court says, “death is different.” Taking a man’s life is no small thing, and before the state can deprive a citizen of life itself, the ultimate God-given right it is instituted to protect, every relevant fact available must be taken into consideration.
The question then remains – why does Misssissippi’s chief prosecutor seek to deny this man another chance to prove his innocence? Is it really in the state’s best interest to ensure that this accused murderer no longer lives, faulty testimony be damned? Two inmates who were sentenced to death due to West’s testimony have already been acquitted and released, the real murdered identified using DNA technology. Has Attorney General Hood lost sight of the purpose of our criminal justice system?
Yesterday evening, President Obama made his second Oval Office address to announce the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. The president delivered the news without much fanfare, though a large banner reading “Mission Finally Accomplished…Maybe” might have been appropriate.
One of the main problems with unconstitutional wars is that they never end. Without declaring war, Congress ceded control over the conflict to the executive branch. While Congress does control spending, few representatives are willing to deny military expenditures for fear of being labeled “unpatriotic.” One Congressman who was not afraid to stand and oppose the unconstitutional Iraq war, Ron Paul of Texas, criticized the Presiden’t speech for refusing to call this “end” what it really is – an escalation. An escalation of U.S.-backed private security forces (which will more than double), and American economic support to the struggling nation.
Joe Conason of Salon also did a good job at noting how the President avoided speaking in realistic terms about the true situation on the ground in Iraq and instead opted to employ references to their sunny march towards democracy. With a debt of over $10 trillion, though, the President wouldn’t have gotten much applause for acknowledging the lengthy committment that the United States is likely to have in Iraq.
Such are the trials and tribulations of a government that ignores the Constitution and refuses to operate within its boundaries. Now is the time to end senseless foriegn interventionism, plug the geyser that is federal spending, and advocate a return to a constitutionally limited government that works for its people, not against them, to protect liberty.
Glenn Greenwald reports that Obama has authorized the murder of a US citizen. Civil liberties, trial by jury, rule of law? Who needs them. Tyranny greater than Bush offered? Yes, we can.
Read Greenwald’s disturbing article here.
Democrats have just provided us with the largest expansion of the welfare state since Republicans did the same under George W Bush. But why, exactly, is Obamacare so atrocious?
For one, it represents a transfer of wealth. The many are taxed to pay for health insurance premiums for the few. Thirty-five million people (and Big Insurance) will enjoy the benefits of the money earned by the over two hundred million who actually worked for it.