Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Private Property

Incorporation Doctrine Leaves District Court Judge in Never-Never Land

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659)

Judge James A. Parker of the District Court of New Mexico ruled against the tiny town of Bloomfield, New Mexico, last week, giving the city until September 20th to remove a five-foot-high, 3,000-pound monument celebrating the 10 Commandments from in front of its city hall.

The judge admitted that, thanks to incorporation and the resulting judicial confusion emanating from rulings that the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government, he was on his own:

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Review: America: Imagine a World Without Her (book and film)

This review first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 24, 2014:

Statue of Liberty

Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America: Imagine the World Without Her, co-produced and directed by John Sullivan and Gerald Molen, is based on his book with the same title and, like his previous offering, 2016: Obama’s America, is filled with nuggets of pure gold. However, just like his previous effort, it takes some effort to mine them and to separate them from the iron pyrite — fools’ gold — that often misleads and distracts the reader and viewer.

His book was released in early June and its initial popularity was unintentionally enhanced by Costco’s decision to pull the book from its stores followed by its awkward reversal to restore it to those same stores. D’Souza’s first film was the second-highest grossing political documentary of all time, while his present effort, released over Independence Day weekend, is already in seventh place, and climbing.

His distractions begin with his title. At no time in either his book or his movie does he answer the question of how the world would look without America’s influence. His first chapter is inaccurately titled as well: Suicide of a Nation. A suicide is self-inflicted, a deliberate purposeful effort to end one’s life. This title assumes that the average American is deliberately immolating his country by ignoring his responsibility as an informed voter in a constitutional republic.

D’Souza quickly corrects that initial idea, however, by focusing his attention on both the myths and the machinations of the disciples of destruction who are deliberately weakening the country by deceiving those voters. D’Souza might have titled his book America: Imagine a World Without Saul Alinsky and Howard Zinn, but that probably wouldn’t have garnered the audience or the coveted A+ rating it received from CinemaScope.

There are other difficulties that need to be exposed before this review can begin in earnest. Underlying D’Souza’s work is the assumption that Progressives want to punish America for its alleged theft: for its stealing of land from Mexico and Native Americans, for its eternal meddling in the Middle East to secure its oil, for its co-opting of the labor from its slaves in the 19th century, for its looting of resources from poor countries around the world. At no time, however, does D’Souza acknowledge the real purpose behind efforts to bring down America’s standard of living: to comfortably submerge the United States into the New World Order. There is no mention of the influence of foundations such as Ford, Carnegie, or Rockefeller. The world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations garners not a single reference in either the book or the movie. Thus, the “punishment” meme is a distraction away from the Progressives’ real intentions.

D’Souza repeats the myth that the Civil War was fought primarily to end slavery, and that Obama absorbed most of his colonialist-oppressive worldview from his father, when instead it came from hard-core communist Frank Marshall Davis. D’Souza claims that America is the “first country in history to be based on invention and trade” without any explanation as to why. He fails to explain the vital and fundamental roles the rule of law, enforcement of contracts, private property, and especially that of a limited government that allowed people to write their own ticket to their futures.

That being said, there is much useful for those involved in the freedom fight, including responses to claims made by Progressives that America is guilty of massive theft and needs to be punished. Early on he makes clear his intentions and purposes:

I intend to turn the progressive critique on its head. [Progressives] are not on the side of the ordinary citizen, because their policies lead to stagnation, impoverishment, indebtedness, and decline — all in evidence today.

It is progressives who rely on government seizure and bureaucratic conquest to achieve their goals and increase their power….

I intend to blow the whistle on these people, starting with Obama and continuing with Hillary Clinton and the whole progressive menagerie.

For instance, he rebuts the claims that America stole vast territory from native Americans without remuneration or guilt:

The Indians have gotten a bad deal. At the same time, we should be clear about what the alternatives are.… You say, “Give us back the Black Hills,” You point out that there is uranium and other minerals in those hills, and now that land is worth a fortune. Once again, no Indian tribe knew how to mine uranium and no Indian tribe knew what to do with uranium if they had it.

Other Americans have added value to the Black Hills by figuring out how to tap its resources, and now the Indians want the land back so they can take advantage of what others have figured out how to do.

He dismisses claims that America stole Mexican territory:

After the [Mexican-American War ended in 1848], the United States immediately recognized as valid the property rights of Mexicans who were now part of U.S. territory. The change was not in any individual’s land ownership but in the fact that people who were once Mexicans now became Americans.

While progressives deplore American aggression … what we do know is that the vast majority of Mexicans who ended up on the American side of the border, following the Mexican War, never attempted to return to Mexico. And neither have their descendants.

His response on the big screen is even more convincing, showing that following the war the United States essentially owned all of Mexico, but gave half of it back. It also paid $15 million to the government of Mexico and assumed some $3 million of debt that government owed to American citizens. So much for colonialism, according to D’Souza.

As far as slavery is concerned, D’Souza was equally candid:

Did America owe something to the slaves whose labor had been stolen? … That debt … is best discharged through memory, because the slaves are dead and their descendants are better off as a consequence of their ancestors being hauled from Africa to America.

He enlists the help of Muhammad Ali to make his point. As D’Souza noted in both his book and movie, following one of his most famous fights in the 1970s held in Zaire, Ali was asked: “Champ, what did you think of Africa?” Said Ali: “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat!”

D’Souza also makes a compelling point by bringing to light some history that Progressives ignore: that there were black slave owners oppressing their slaves in addition to white owners.

He successfully enlists the help in both his book and the film of Alexis de Tocqueville, who highlighted his astonishment as he observed the American experiment in person in the early 1800s. He noted that people considered themselves equal to everyone else, that it was a voluntary society where people helped other people, and no one ran to the government for assistance. De Tocqueville considered the Christian religion as foundational to political freedom while noting that slavery degrades the work ethic: It makes slave owners lazy, as well as the slaves, as neither has the incentive to engage in work.

Another of D’Souza’s nuggets is his revelation that the first female millionaire in the United States was black: Sarah Breedlove, otherwise known as Madam C. J. Walker, the founder of Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, a maker of beauty and hair products for black women. In a lengthy clip, D’Souza had a black actress play the part of Breedlove in encouraging other black women to get involved in her company. It was something right out of an Amway recruiting presentation! Over and over again, Breedlove, born a slave but emancipated in 1865, reiterated the American promise: Given the opportunity, anyone in America can make their own future.

D’Souza spent the balance of the 100-minute long film exposing two of the prime movers behind the Progressive lies, Howard Zinn and Saul Alinsky. Zinn, a hard-core communist, authored A Peoples’ History of the United States which has sold more than two million copies and is required reading at colleges across the land. Zinn described his goal in writing it elsewhere as “not a revolution in the classical sense of a seizure of power, but rather from people beginning to take power from within the institutions.”

D’Souza outed Saul Alinsky in two riveting revelations. The first of these was Alinsky’s devotion to Lucifer as the first radical, dedicating his book Rules for Radicals to him:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer

The second was D’Souza’s revelation that Alinsky was mentored in his youth by Frank Nitti, best known as Al Capone’s “enforcer” and later the front man for the Chicago Outfit following Capone’s incarceration. Alinsky learned firsthand from Nitti just how extortion worked thanks to Nitti’s vast experience in prostitution, gambling, control of labor unions, and blackmailing of the Hollywood film industry.

D’Souza traced the links in his film from Zinn and Alinsky to Obama and Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately the flow charts briefly shown on the screen weren’t reproduced in his book, but his intention is clear: Obama is a disciple of Alinsky who was a disciple of Nitti, all of whom are disciples of the Great Deceiver Himself.

For those not involved in the freedom fight, the book and the movie on which it is based might be a bit much to digest in one sitting. Happily, evidence and proof is available not only in the copious notes provided by D’Souza for each chapter, but also from The John Birch Society (jbs.org).

In this reviewer’s opinion D’Souza has created a good work, despite its flaws, and will help those long involved in that fight with new insights, new revelations, and new responses to old tired charges that America was built on theft.

 

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Supreme Court: “Involuntary Servitude” OK in New Mexico

Slavery by Another Name

Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court not to consider a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling could have vastly greater consequences than just hurting a photographer in Taos.

When Elaine Huguenin received an email request to shoot a same-sex “wedding” in the summer of 2006, her polite reply sent Vanessa Willock over the edge. Doing the shooting was against her religious beliefs, said Huguenin, but

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Swiss banks are now IRS agents

Bloomberg’s note on Monday that Swiss banks were having a hard time complying with the terms of an agreement between the Swiss government and the US Department of Justice hardly caused a ripple of media concern much less outrage. The time for such expressions is long past.

In accordance with the deal cut back in August 2009 the Department of Justice now has the power to force Swiss banks to

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Plastic Water Bottle Ban Proposed for San Francisco

The popular three-term President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, David Chiu, unveiled his proposal on Tuesday which would ban the sale of plastic water bottles on city property. Initially the ban would only apply to sites where there are already alternative water sources like drinking fountains, but would eventually apply to all events on San Francisco property. By 2016 the ban would also apply to outside vendors as well.

Said Chiu:

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The Rise of “Saudi America”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 6th, 2013:

 

Back in early February Citigroup apologized for missing the huge explosion of oil and natural gas occurring in Texas, North Dakota, and elsewhere. Its report, entitled “Energy 2020: Independence Day” began:

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Tracking America’s Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 30th, 2013:

For years, both the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have published studies purporting to measure just how much freedom countries around the world enjoy, based on a number of indices. Heritage tracks how closely countries hew to the rule of law, how they apply principles of limited government, how onerous the regulatory state is, and how extensively open and free markets are embraced.

Cato, on the other hand, looks at how much personal choice each country’s citizens enjoy, how free they are to engage in voluntary exchange, and how secure their rights in private property are.

Both have recently published their results for 2013, based on the latest available data. The news isn’t good. In some cases, it is

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Once Reviled, Capitalism is Making an Extraordinary Comeback Worldwide

This article originally appeared at McAlvany Intelligence Advisor

 

Hidden inside an obscure study just released by Barclays is a nugget of huge importance that reflects a sea change in the growth of entrepreneurial capitalism. The results of this development could equal if not exceed those of the

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US Now Produces More Oil than it Imports for the First Time since 1995

When Brantley Hargrove noted in the Dallas Observer on Thursday that the US produced more oil than it consumed during the last week in May (for the first time since February, 1995) he was awfully quick to give nearly all the credit to Texas. But he was proud, nevertheless:

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The Connecticut letter – combining foolishness with illogic

The letter I’m referring to is the one sent by grieved parents to Connecticut legislators about limits to magazines for firearms and published by NBC News.

At least it’s sincere:

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Chris Christie, Just Another Fascist

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chris Christie is a great example of someone who, on the hustings, sounds wonderful: less government, tough on unions, balance the budget and all that sort of thing. For a brief moment, Ann Coulter fell for him as well.

But let reality intrude and all the falsehoods and chimera and gloss disappear. Here’s the guv on gouging:

Having visited some of the hardest-hit areas of our state, and having seen firsthand the suffering people are experiencing, I assure New Jersey’s residents and retailers that we are taking a zero-tolerance approach to price gouging. Fuel, electricity, food, and a place to sleep are not luxuries, certainly not for individuals who have been displaced from their homes and in many cases have limited resources at their disposal. We are not asking businesses to function as charities. We require that they obey New Jersey’s laws – or pay significant penalties.

He is a statist after all. In fact, to be completely accurate, he thinks government’s role is to override the market and intrude and reward and punish according to some tissue-paper standard of “right” and “good.” The proper word – get ready! – is

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Immigrant Returns $221,510 Left in His Cab

English: New York City Taxi: Yellow Cab Deutsc...

Yellow Cab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is one of those “morality” plays that shows up every now and again in our declining culture that reminds us of eternal verities: like the concept of private property and respecting it.

It took a Las Vegas cabbie from Ethiopia to remind us.

A young man won the money at the Wynn casino and put the cash into a briefcase, but left it behind when he exited the cab. Adam Woldemarim, an immigrant from Ethiopia, noticed it, opened the briefcase and saw the cash all neatly stacked. He continued working for about an hour before returning the case to the cab company’s office.

There he returned the case to the casino winner who

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Presidential Debate Questions from Light from the Right

George Will – Debate questions for the presidential candidates

The spectacles we persist in dignifying as presidential “debates” — two-minute regurgitations of rehearsed responses — often subtract from the nation’s understanding. But beginning Wednesday, these less-than-Lincoln-Douglas episodes might be edifying if the candidates could be inveigled into plowing fresh ground.

George Will

George Will (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Will has some suggestions for Presidential Debate questions for Obama and Romney. And so do I. Here is one from Will on the Supreme Court:

Do you rejectthe Kelo v. New London decision, in which the Supreme Court deferred to governments’ desire to seize private property and give it to wealthier private interests who would pay higher taxes?

I have a better one:

Do you support the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare on the basis that a tax – any tax – is ok as long as Congress intended it to be a tax?

Will has one on foreign policy:

On Oct. 7, we begin the 12th year of the war in Afghanistan, and 51 recent NATO fatalities have been at the hands of our supposed Afghan allies, causing U.S. commanders to indefinitely suspend many joint operations. Why are we staying there 27 more months?

I have a better one (or three):

Why are we there in the first place? What is your take on the War on Terror, which is a war against a strategy and not a war against an aggressor? And why didn’t Congress get involved in declaring war, as the Constitution demands?

Will has one on domestic policy:

Do you agree that a financial institution that is too big to fail is too big to exist? If not, why not? The biggest banks emerged from the Great Recession bigger. At the end of 2011, the five biggest (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs) held more than $8.5 trillion in assets, which is 56 percent of the 2011 gross domestic product. Why should they not be broken up?

I have a better one:

Since the Federal Reserve is essentially a cartel designed from its beginning to protect big banks from the consequences of their own folly, why shouldn’t the Fed be abolished?

I won’t be holding my breath Wednesday night to see if any of mine make it.

Woody Guthrie, Hard-Core Communist

Mark Steyn: Your Land is My Land

Elsewhere on National Review Online [NRO] this fine morning, Lee Habeeb has a terrific column on Woody Guthrie and “This Land Is Your Land,” a song I have always loathed, mostly on musical grounds—the consciously childlike melody, and the stiltedness of its central rhyme (“this land is my land … New York island”). I especially dislike it at my town’s Memorial Day ceremony when it intrudes on the Fifth Graders’ otherwise splendid repertoire of “God Bless America” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

But Lee reminds us there are other reasons to loathe it. From Inauguration Day 2009:

Hope and change were in the air that cold winter day, and Seeger and Springsteen figured it was time for America to hear the rarely performed stanza.

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me,
A great big sign there said, “private property”;
But on the back side, it didn’t say nothin’;
That side was made for you and me.

No wonder we’ve never heard that stanza. It changes Guthrie’s song from a celebration of America into a bitter indictment of a nation built on unjust private-property rights.

English: Woody Guthrie, half-length portrait, ...

Woody Guthrie, half-length portrait, seated, facing front, playing a guitar that has a sticker attached reading: This Machine Kills Fascists Türkçe: Woody Guthrie, üzerinde “Bu makine faşistleri öldürür” yazan gitarıyla birlikte (8 Mart 1943). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mark Steyn “loathes” this song but spends precious little time on the hard-core communist who wrote it. On the other hand, Joe Klein did, and here is a little piece of his biography on Guthrie that should suffice for any skeptics or doubters about Guthrie:

It was also in California, that Woody was first introduced to the Communist Party by Ed Robbin on KFVD who was a correspondent for [the] Communist Party’s paper, People’s World, and by actor, Will Geer. He played at countless labor strikes, union meetings, migrant camps, and Communist Hollywood parties with actor, Will Geer, and wrote for The Light, another Communist paper, and People’s World.

Shortly after leaving KFVD, The Light sent Woody back out on the road to investigate the conditions of the migrant Okies. According to Klein, the migrant culture Woody found this time was different: bitter, hardened, angrier, and more open to the action proposed by the union men who were seeking them out. Woody was angered, himself, by what he saw and…“having spent most of the 1930’s on the sidelines, Woody finally was spoiling for a fight. And, as he looked around, the people who seemed to be fighting hardest for the things he believed in were members of the Communist Party.”

I too loathe his song “This Land…” but for different, and perhaps more important, reasons than Steyn’s.

The Pauls Introduce Their New Internet Freedom Manifesto

WASHINGTON - JUNE 22:  U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-...

With Ron Paul’s bill H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, headed for a floor vote in the House in the next two weeks (and likely success at passage with 263 sponsors), he and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are now focusing on the Internet.

His Campaign for Liberty (C4L), started in 2008 with some four million dollars of campaign funds from his unsuccessful run for the White House that year, has issued its manifesto to continue the fight: “The Technology Revolution: A Campaign for Liberty Manifesto.”

Starting with his first term as a member of the House of Representatives from Texas in 1976, Paul has led the fight to expose the secret machinations of the Federal Reserve, making that his primary theme in the freedom fight. That theme can be traced to the publication of his The Revolution: A Manifesto in 2008 to his End the Fed in 2009, and finally to his latest book, Liberty Defined, published in January this year.

But with his campaign for the presidency likely to fail at the Republican Party’s convention next month and his decision not seek reelection to his House seat, Paul is passing the torch to his son. As explained on the C4L website: 

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Policing for Profit in Tennessee

Asset ForfeitureWhen George Reby was pulled over for speeding in Putnam County, Tennessee, little did he know it was going to cost him $22,000 despite never being charged with a crime.

An insurance investigator from New Jersey, Reby was driving down Interstate 40 on his way to a convention. He had $22,000 in cash with him, rolled up in 22 $1000 packages in a bag, which he intended to use to purchase a car that he had found on eBay. From the video provided by NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Reby was stopped for speeding and the following conversation between Reby and Office Larry Bates took place:

Bates: Are you carrying any cash?

Reby: Around $20,000.

Bates: Do you mind if I search your vehicle?

Reby: No, I don’t mind.

From there it all went downhill. Bates seized the money under the suspicion that Reby might be planning to use the money to purchase illegal drugs. When interviewed by NewsChannel 5, Bates was asked why he was suspicious: 

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As Regulations Strangle the Economy, History Provides an Alternative

Small Steps Toward Deregulation

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...

Because of disappointment over the economy’s rate of recovery which appeared to be confirmed by the March jobs numbers coming in at half the rate expected, the House is making efforts to roll back regulations that are said to be inhibiting the recovery.

The Wall Street Journal explained that, although the jobless rate edged down in March from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent, “that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches.” Indeed, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve a record 88 million people are “not in the labor force,” up from 60 million in the early 1980s.

Regulations emanating from regulatory agencies have turned into a veritable waterfall under the Obama administration, forcing the White House last summer to promise to “review hundreds of regulations that could get streamlined or scrapped in response to criticism from the GOP and business that burdensome rules are holding back the economy.”

Writing at The New American, William Hoar noted that, even if such a review actually took place and then resulted in any kind of rollback of regulations, it would amount to no more than “a speed bump for the diktaks racing out of Washington.” In fact, the White House is a significant part of the problem. Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) noted that since Obamacare became law it has grown from a 2000-page bill to more than 6,000 pages of regulations in the Federal Register.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) got so exasperated with the regulations threatening to asphyxiate the economy that he announced plans to introduce legislation to abolish every

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The Beauty of Private Property—from China?

English: Deng xiaoping and his family in 1945....

A farmer in the communist collective of Xiaogang, a small village in eastern China, was starving, along with his family and his neighbors. At one of the political indoctrination classes he was forced to attend, Yan Junchang had a revolutionary idea: why not try privatizing the farms and letting the farmers keep what they grow?

He huddled together in his hut with a number of other farmers and, in 1978, signed a secret agreement to establish the beginnings of a private property society. It had to be kept secret because if they were found out, they would be considered “capitalist roaders,” a pejorative term first used by Mao to describe anyone who dared introduce any principles of private capitalism into his collectivist society.

Prior to the agreement, starvation was the rule. There was never enough food. Children went hungry, and wives were forced to make soup from tree leaves and bark. They went to other villages to beg only to discover that they were suffering as well. In 1958 the village population was 120. After Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” 67 of them had died of starvation.

Yan’s agreement divided the collectivist farm into individual pieces with the understanding that any excess food crop beyond what was required by the collective they could keep for themselves. As Yan explained: 

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Supreme Court Just Might Upset Rent Controls in New York City

Central Park

When R.S. Radford, a principal attorney for the public interest law firm Pacific Legal Foundation, learned about the ruling against a property owner suffering under New York City’s rent control laws, he appealed the case to the Supreme Court. At issue in the case, Harmon v. Markus, is whether James and Jeanne Harmon, the owners of a handsome brownstone near Central Park, are entitled to relief from the city’s onerous rent control laws that force them to accept lower-than-market rents from three of their renters.

Harmon filed the original lawsuit against the chair of the Rent Guidelines Board claiming that the rent control laws violated his Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution’s “taking” clause. (“No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”) When he was denied, he appealed, claiming that he had been denied the right of due process under the 14th Amendment. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed it out of hand, and that’s when Pacific Legal jumped in.

Radford explained why his firm was involved: “Jim Harmon and his wife own a building in New York City that has some rent controlled units that are occupied, apparently, by fairly affluent tenants, and he simply can’t use the property the way he would like to.” Harmon indicated that he would eventually like to pass the building on to his children and grandchildren but the regulations limit his rights as a property owner to do so.

The three units in question are renting for about 40 percent of fair market rents and the renters have long since outstayed the terms of

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Bill of Rights Day: Celebration or Mourning?

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Cato Institute’s newspaper ad reminding citizens that December 15th was Bill of Rights Day summarized the desperate shape those first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States is in, thanks to an overweening government and an uninformed citizenry. Reviewing each of the amendments, Cato pointed  to specific infringements of each of them, concluding that “It’s a disturbing picture, to be sure, but not one the Framers of the Constitution would have found altogether surprising. They would sometimes refer to written constitutions as mere “parchment barriers” [to totalitarian government].

The erection of the original “parchment barrier,” the Bill of Rights, was initially considered unnecessary because the language of the Constitution explicitly enumerated limited powers to the newly created government and why should further protections against powers not even granted be needed? As “Brutus,” one of the authors of the Anti-Federalist Papers, wrote: 

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann