Monthly Archives: July 2016

Venezuela Death Spiral Continues

If you have been told that the end result of socialism is poverty and food shortages, you haven’t been told the whole truth. As bad as abject poverty and food and fuel shortages can be, things can always get worse.

A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages.
That “effectively amounts to forced labor,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

Things are so dire in Venezuela that the ruling government is moving on to slave labor. If the citizens don’t rise up and force out the leftists who have watched over Venezuela’s predictable death spiral, the next thing the people will be facing will be starvation and genocide.

When Hugo Chavez came to power and put the country on the path of socialist utopia, it was predicted by many that the end result would be economic ruin. With the previous examples of Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam, why would anyone expect Venezuela to turn out any different? But remember this. As bad as things are in Venezuela today, things are about to get worse.

A whole lot worse.

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Ted Cruz

Presidential candidates always get what they political class refers to as a “bounce” following their party’s conventions. GOP runner up Ted Cruz seems to be experiencing a bounce of his own following his non endorsement speech at the Republican convention, only it is not the kind of bounce he was hoping for.

In an extraordinary public rebuke, two influential donors who were among the biggest supporters of Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign excoriated Mr. Cruz on Saturday for his decision not to endorse Donald J. Trump at the Republican National Convention.

The remarks from Robert Mercer of Long Island and his daughter Rebekah Mercer suggest widening fallout over Mr. Cruz’s convention speech, in which he did not endorse his former rival and, instead, suggested that Republicans should “vote your conscience” for candidates “up and down the ticket.”

There is a lot to like about Ted Cruz. He is one of the strongest supporters of limited government and a return to the type of constitutional republic that the founders created. It is doubtful that he would have nominated anything less than stellar originalists for the Supreme Court, and Cruz administration would have tackled government overreach similar to the way Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s.

But being the kind of plain speaking politician who has no qualms against going after members of your own party (like attacking Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor for example) doesn’t make you a hero with your fellow Republicans. It makes you hated.  As if Cruz losing financial backers wasn’t bad enough, there are now rumors that three term Republican Governor Rick Perry is considering running against Cruz in the primary when Cruz faces reelection for his Senate seat.

The best place for Cruz to end up would be the Supreme Court, but his feud with Donald Trump is going to make that an impossibility. Trump displays the temper and the vindictiveness of a petulant adolescent. So with Cruz facing a tough reelection fight against a more popular native son of Texas, and his complete lack of friends in high places, Cruz faces the prospect of going from one time presidential hopeful to being completely out of the national picture.

Unless he reinvents himself, or improves his relationships with his fellow Republicans, his political free fall will be inevitable.

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Give Me Liberty

Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty” rallying call is undoubtedly one of the greatest speeches in American history. You cannot read it and not come away with both a sense of awe at the courage displayed in the face of what was a formidable task ahead, and also with a sense of pride in America. Sadly. many people haven’t read or heard any of it save the last line that it is famous for. So, for those who need some greater understanding in what it means to be an American, here it is in it’s entirety.

“NO man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if entertaining, as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.  And in proportion to the magnitude of the subject, ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of Heaven which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth – and listen to the song of the siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?  For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the house?  Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation – the last arguments to which kings resort.

I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging.

And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.  We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.  Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned – we have remonstrated – we have supplicated – we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.  Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.

In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.  There is no longer any room for hope.  If we wish to be free – if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending – if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained – we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak – unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? 

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.  The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged, their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable – and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

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