Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Daily Dose: July 9, 2011

It's time once again for The Daily Dose!

In tech news tonight...

Some Things Were Not Meant to be Posted on Facebook
A 19-year-old man in Connecticut has been arrested after a video posted on Facebook was seen by police. The man was recorded driving down a residential street while running stop signs and hitting several garbage cans. You can watch the news report here.

And in more tech news...

FCC Delivers Net-Neutrality Rules to OMB
The FCC has published its rules regarding the so-called "net neutrality" proposal. These rules prohibit internet providers from varying internet speeds depending on content accessed or price paid. For example, a provider could not give greater bandwidth to someone downloading a video than it gives to someone reading a page of text. Providers would also be prohibited from offering tiered service levels that allow a person to pay more for faster service. You can read more here.

Moving to Pakistan...

Pakistani Islamic Leader Says Rape Should Only Be Reported With Witnesses
A leader in the Pakistani Islamic Party has been reported as saying that a woman should not report a rape unless she has four male witnesses. When questioned on this point, his only reply is, "Argue with the Quran and not me." Please remember, this comes from the only true religion, and anyone who believes otherwise is an infidel. (Sarcasm) You can read more here.

Finally...

Did you know that one city requires a license in order to have a going out of business sale? A state requires all computer technicians to have a degree in criminal justice or an apprenticeship with a private investigator? What about the city that gives 90 day prison sentences for giving an "unlicensed" tour? Read about 12 Ridiculous Government Regulations.

That's all for The Daily Dose. Be sure to check back on Monday for all the latest news affecting your freedom!

The Problem of Unlimited Money


This article is the fourth in the State of America's Finances series. To read the first article in the series, click here.

One of the important jobs of young children is to annoy their parents on each and every shopping trip they are forced to endure by constantly asking their parents to buy them things. Thinking back to my own childhood, I would like to think that I never engaged in this type of parent-annoying activity, but I am sure that my mother would disagree. In fact, she likes to share the story of the time that she told me she did not have the money to purchase a particular item, and I responded by saying, “Why don't you go to the ATM and get money?” In my mind, the ATM provided access to unlimited access to money for my parents. Unfortunately, I discovered later in life that the ATM only dispenses money that you previously gave to the bank to hold.

However, it appears that our lawmakers in Congress have yet to learn this important lesson. Not only have they run up a massive debt for our nation, but they also go to the bank and attempt to withdraw money that they don't have. The only difference is that Congress actually receives the money instead of the non-sufficient funds message that anyone else would receive. They can do this successfully because the bank they go to is The Federal Reserve Bank, the bank that is also responsible for printing money.

Last year, the Federal Reserve announced a plan for “quantitative easing,” basically meaning that it would print more money and put it into circulation. This allowed Congress to spend additional money without the need to increase the debt; they could just use these “new” dollars instead. However, as the additional money enters the market, all the money loses some of its value.

To help understand this, imagine a pizza. Eight certificates are made granting the owner a slice of that pizza. Logic says to cut the pizza into eight slices and give one to each certificate holder. However, as the maker of the pizza, I forgot to pay the people who provided the sauce and cheese. Since I am out of cash, I print out two more certificates and offer them to pay my debts, and the compaines accept these certificates as payment. There's still only one pizza, but there are now ten certificates. Instead of cutting the pizza into eight slices, I now have to cut it into ten, meaning that each person receives less pizza. To think about it another way, in order to receive the same amount of pizza, a person now must own 1.25 certificates.

As the Federal Reserve began to print money, prices for many items began to increase. Gas prices had settled at around two dollars per gallon, but now have climbed and recently topped four dollars per gallon. Prices for food and clothing have also climbed. In February 2011, three months after the Federal Reserve announced a second quantitative easing program, the government reported food prices rose almost 4%. Just like the pizza analogy, a person must own more dollars in order to continue receiving the same amount of product.

While the Federal Reserve's plan has lessened the overall value of America's debt, it has increased prices and hurt Americans. As our gas tanks and stomachs require more money to fill them, less money is available to be spent elsewhere. This decrease in overall spending hurts the economy even further, resulting in additional layoffs. It should come as no shock that when quantitative easing began, the economic indicators pointing to an economic recovery began to turn down again.

The Federal Reserve must stop dispensing cash to a government that views it as an unlimited source of money. Congress must learn the lesson that I had to learn as a young child: banks should only give money out when money has been deposited. Although today's children are still doing their job of annoying their parents in the store, price increases thanks to quantitative easing are annoying those parents even more.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Daily Dose: July 8, 2011

It's time for The Daily Dose, a daily update of all the news affecting your freedom.

Tonight, we'll start at the airport...

Ron Paul Calls for Elimination of TSA
Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul said today that Transportation Security Administration should be replaced by private security firms. Which would be better: several private security firms who have to do the job well in order to maintain their contract or a soon-to-be unionized government system that will make it difficult to even fire those who don't do their job well. A video of Paul's comments is available here.

Moving to Washington...

NLRB to Hold Open Meeting on 'Ambush Election' Rule
A new rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board will allow union elections to take place in as little as 10 to 21 days. This new rule will allow unions to organize for months in secret, and then hold elections without giving the management time to present its side. An open meeting on this rule will be held July 18-19 in Washington. However, comments on the proposed rule may be submitted by letter through August 22. You can read more about it and see how to submit a letter here.

And on gun control...

White House to Release New Gun Safety Measures
The White House is preparing to propose new safety measures regarding guns, although the White House is currently refusing to give any indication of what these new steps may entail. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "The president directed the attorney general to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve American safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights..." However, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has pointed out that the Obama administration has failed in enforcing current gun policy and that George W. Bush had a much stronger stance on controlling guns through enforcement of the law than the current administration. You can read more here.

That's all for The Daily Dose! Be sure to check back tomorrow for all the latest news affecting your freedom!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Daily Dose: July 7, 2011

It's time for The Daily Dose, your daily update of the news affecting your freedom.

Tonight, we'll start with an update on voting requirements...

Democrats Lashing Out at Tighter Voting Requirements
As many Republican state legislatures and governors have begun working towards tighter restrictions on voting regulations, including ID requirements, Democrats are criticizing the laws, with some even claiming that they are "Jim Crow" provisions. Yesterday, former President Bill Clinton even claimed that Republicans are trying to disenfranchise minority voters. Let me get this straight: you need an ID to drive a car, fly on a plane, purchase alcohol, purchase cigarettes, start working a job, use a credit or debit card (in some cases), write a check, to enter places with age restrictions (over 18, over 21, etc.), or mail a package at UPS. However, asking for an ID to vote is disenfranchising people. If you cannot get an ID, then you probably are not qualified to vote. You can read more from FOX News here.

And what lights up your world may not be changing next year...

House to Vote on Repealing Incandescent Light Bulb Ban
At the end of the year, the 100 watt incandescent light bulb is scheduled to be phased out as part of a larger plan to eliminate all incandescent lighting. While supporters of the ban point to the availability of alternatives that are more energy efficient, opponents of the ban are quick to point out the discrepancy in price between the CFL bulbs and the incandescent bulbs. If CFLs are so much better than incandescent bulbs, why are there discussions of people hoarding bulbs? It is time for Congress to get out of the business of regulating the details of our lives and allow the free market to work. You can read more on the incandescent bulb ban here.

And in the latest news on budget plans...

Cato Institute Says Republican Budget "Cuts" Will Increase Spending
The Cato Institute has put out a video showing how the budget cuts being proposed by the Republicans will actually increase spending by $1.8 trillion. The "cuts" are to "baseline spending," which is the spending that would be likely to occur if spending continues on its current path. To put it simply, under this proposal, spending will increase by $1.8 trillion. Without this proposal, spending will increase by $3.8 trillion. You can watch the video here.

Finally...

Have you noticed the increase in food and gas prices lately? Tomorrow's article will be the fourth in the State of America's Finances series. The article will explain higher prices using children in a store, ATMs, and pizza.

That's all for The Daily Dose tonight. Be sure to check back again tomorrow for all the latest news affecting your freedom!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Daily Dose: July 6, 2011

Welcome to The Daily Dose, your daily update for news and information affecting your freedom.

Beginning in Australia...

Australian State Says Police Can Look Under Muslim Veils
New South Wales, Australia, has passed a law allowing police to require a Muslim woman to remove her veil for identification purposes. This follows a court ruling in which a Muslim woman was exonerated because police could not prove that it was actually the woman who made a false claim. While I am sure that Muslims will not like this new law, no one is forcing them to live in New South Wales. You can read more here.

And in the latest security threat to American airplanes...

Woman Escorted Off Flight for Photographing Employee
A photographer was deemed a "security risk" and removed from a flight for photographing the name tag of an employee she said was being rude. The photographer, Sandy DeWitt, took the photo and planned to complain to US Airways. However, after she had boarded the plane and settled in her seat, the employee confronted her and then reported to the pilot that she was a security risk. However, despite her new status, she was directed to two different airlines which had flights later that day. However, US Airways is now reporting that DeWitt was using foul and explicit language. You can read more here.

And in Georgia...

Report Finds Teacher Cheating and Corruption in Atlanta School System
The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting on an investigation into Atlanta's school system. Reports include allegations of teachers changing test answers, aides ignoring or changing reports of misconduct, and superintendents silencing those who spoke up regarding the corruption. This only highlights the problems with our "testing-based" educational analysis. So much of the perceived performance of a teacher, a school, and an entire district is placed on one single test. We will not solve the problem of corruption on these tests until we eliminate the weight that they carry in everyone's eyes. Teachers should be judged by how they perform in the classroom, not by how their students perform during one week of testing. While testing can be one way to evaluate a teacher, it must not be the only way. Furthermore, safeguards must be put in place to ensure that a teacher does not have access to the answer sheets of his or her students. You can read more about the Atlanta report here.

That's all for The Daily Dose tonight! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the latest news affecting your freedom!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Daily Dose: July 5, 2011

It's time for The Daily Dose, a daily update of all the news and analysis affecting your freedom!

Breaking my personal silence on this matter...

Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty of Murder, Manslaughter, Child Abuse
Since the start of this blog three weeks ago, I have not mentioned the Casey Anthony trial anywhere here. Today, however, I see a reason to bring it up. Unless you are completely oblivious, you should know by now that Casey Anthony was found not guilty on all of the major charges. After taking some time to analyze, I feel the jury made the correct decision. The prosecutors were unable to prove how Caylee died, and they could not prove that Casey Anthony did it. There certainly was plenty of circumstantial evidence to show she may have killed Caylee intentionally, but it does not convince me beyond a reasonable doubt. While I think she probably was the one who killed her daughter, I would have to say the evidence did not convince me beyond the legal standard of reasonable doubt. While the jury made an unpopular decision, I do feel they made the correct decision.

In Union news...

Teamsters Pushing for Fewer Hours for Drivers
The Teamsters Union is pushing for Congress to approve lowering the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to drive each day and increasing the number of rest hours a driver must have at the end of the week before returning to the road. Teamsters cites safety, but RedState points out that truck-related incidents, injuries, and fatalities have decreased since the limits were raised. The obvious reason for Teamsters supporting this change is to increase the number of union members. You can read RedState's analysis here.

And in Washington...

Rand Paul Promises Debt Ceiling Filibuster
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has promised that Republicans will filibuster any attempt to raise the debt ceiling unless it is accompanied by Congressional approval of the Balanced Budget Amendment. Jim DeMint also stated in April that Congress would not approve raising the debt ceiling. You can read more here.

That's all for The Daily Dose tonight. Be sure to check back tomorrow for all the latest news affecting your freedom!

Independence Day

On April 18, 1775, British troops were sent to Lexington, Massachusetts, to seize weaponry held by the Colonial militia. The famous ride by Paul Revere alerted the citizens, and the British troops arrived to see 77 American minutemen waiting on the village green. The 'shot heard round the world' was fired, and with it, the fight for America's independence had begun.

A little over one year later, the Second Continental Congress convened to address the latest efforts in the war and decide how to proceed. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution for independence, and on July 4, 1776, the members of Congress approved the official document explaining their decision, The Declaration of Independence. With its publication, America legally became an independent nation.

However, The Declaration of Independence actually did very little for the cause of independence. Fighting between the American army and the British army would continue for over five more years, and the official treaty ending the war was not signed until September 3, 1783. With the Treaty of Paris, the British crown officially recognized the colonies as independent, and therefore, America's independence was secured. Why do we celebrate July 4 as Independence Day instead of other dates such as September 3?

Tradition could be one reason. Although July 4 would not become an official federal holiday until 1870, the date was celebrated as early as 1777, one year after the Declaration was adopted. With the revolution still being fought, the only date that we had to celebrate was July 4. Bristol, Rhode Island, celebrated July 4 in 1777, and it hosts the longest-running Independence Day celebration, having been held continuously since 1785. Since celebrations of Independence Day were taking place before the treaty was signed, it certainly is possible that the tradition of celebrating it on July 4 was well-established before the war ended.

Another possible reason could be found in the way that the revolution ended. The fighting in America died down following Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown in October 1781. Following this defeat, political support for the war in Britian faded and forced the pro-war Prime Minister to resign the following March. The peace party took control of Parliament and voted to end the war in April 1782. A preliminary agreement for peace was reached in November of 1782, but the official treaty was not signed until September 3, 1783. The US ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784, and Britain ratified it on April 9, 1784. This period of two and a half years likely downplayed the significance of the treaty in the eyes of the Americans.

However, there could be a more intentional reason this day is celebrated. Our founding fathers were very wise, and they left us clues in many of their decisions. Perhaps this was another calculated decision by wise men to celebrate not the victory in war that gained our independence, but the bravery of men to stand up for their rights. What we celebrate on July 4th is the day when our founders stated that Americans will take no more encroachment of their rights. While it may have seemed easy to sit in a room and sign a paper (especially as troops were fighting at that very moment), that signature was considered treason by the British, and they certainly knew that anyone who signed that paper would be put to death if captured.

In the celebration of July 4th, we have a reminder that independence and freedom are won by those who put their foot down and refuse to tolerate anything which would take it away. As we look around America today, this is a message we desperately need. As an expanding government begins to encroach on the rights of American citizens, we need a new generation of brave men and women to stand up to our government and tell them that we have had enough loss of freedom in this nation.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Daily Dose: July 4, 2011

It's time for the Independence Day edition of The Daily Dose!

We will start in Washington...

US Rep. Tells Obama to Force DREAM Act Through Executive Order
US Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has been recorded calling on President Obama to sign an executive order to implement the DREAM Act without Congressional approval. 235 years ago today, a group of Americans signed a paper declaring their independence from a unilateral ruler who refused to grant power to a congress of the people, but now, a Congressman is proposing that we implement a system with a single ruler who can govern with executive order. You can watch the video here.

Moving to Tennessee...

Tennessee Creates Mandatory Fine for "Obscene" Bumper Stickers
The state of Tennessee has created a mandatory $50 fine for bumper stickers considered to be obscene or offensive. However, the decision of what constitutes an "obscene" bumper sticker is left up to a police officer and possibly a judge. Could a bumper sticker promoting a political thought be "obscene" to a police officer who has different opinions? It is laws like this one which test the limits of free speech. You can read more here.

And in Ohio...

Victory! Veteran Allowed to Fly Flag
Recently, The Daily Dose mentioned the story of an Ohio veteran who was not allowed to erect a flagpole to fly a flag. Last Thursday, a letter was delivered to the veteran's lawyer informing him that the Homeowner's Association would no longer fight the flagpole. This is a victory for freedom of speech and property rights. You can read the update article here.

And in media coverage...

FOX News Reports Breaking News: "The President Is Dead"
If you are one of the 34,000 people who follow the FOX News Politics twitter account, you may have received quite a shock this morning. Following a hacking of the account, 6 tweets were posted announcing the assassination of the President. FOX says that the account was hacked, and it vows to investigate and find those responsible. You can read more from FOX here.

Finally...

In tomorrow's article, we will look at why America celebrates July 4th instead of September 3rd. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more!

That's the Independence Day edition of The Daily Dose. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the latest!