"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”
— First Amendment in the Bill of Rights
An increasing number of mainstream press articles and responses in Letters to the Editor discuss the political concept of "separation of church and state"; frankly, many of them miss the mark. Our Founding Fathers, even Thomas Jefferson, interpreted something completely different in the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution than what liberal pundits today are leading us to believe.
First, the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the U.S. Constitution or any of our founding documents, but only in the fecundity of memoranda of ACLU lawyers and court rulings of activist judges.
Secularism and Societal Decay
What the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says is "Congress should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or...
The Peoples' Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt by Scott Rasmussen is a good book to initiate us as concerned citizens to the nuts and bolts of the process of getting the government budget balanced and the federal debt eliminated. The author, a well-known, respected pollster and regular commentator on the speaking circuit, has written about the pitiful state of American finances and proposes a blueprint about how we can correct the problems and restore fiscal sanity.
He postulates that the American people are willing to make the necessary compromises, reduce government spending, eliminate the federal deficit, etc. — only that the politicians lie to us blaming Americans for not supporting the cuts in government spending that are necessary. I wish it was really that simple!
Mr. Rasmussen's fiscal information, statistics, and dire warnings are right on target, but his prescription for curing the illness, and his rationale and methods for solving the economic ills of the nation are dangerous. One cannot run a government by the whim of the public opinion polls of the moment, or ignore...
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), more commonly referred to as ObamaCare, has become one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled, 111th U.S. Congress during President Obama’s administration.
Despite significant political opposition and poll-after-poll evincing the American people’s strong dissatisfaction with a health care plan that was correctly seen as further socializing American medicine, ObamaCare was passed by the two houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the president on March 23, 2010.
One stated goal of the plan is ostensibly to "expand access to insurance for nearly 30 million Americans" (photo, above). And to accomplish this ”reform,” the Obama administration has introduced the elements of compulsion — and more ominously, unconstitutional powers.
To increase access to insurance for 30 million uninsured Americans, ObamaCare forces insurance companies and managed care plans to extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; in effect, converting conventional rules of indemnity coverage (i.e., coverage for unforeseen medical illnesses and injuries) into prepayment...
The term "liberal" originally stemmed from the human quest for free inquiry and the study of the liberal arts. Aristotle explained that the greatest pleasure a free man could possess is to have the economic means to indulge himself in the study of nature, books, science (philosophy) — and the liberals arts, rather than to be forced to labor endlessly with no free time for leisure and the contemplation of life.
Liberal persons (e.g., philosophers, teachers, citizens, politicians) used to refer to those who engaged in free discourse, the free exchange of ideas, tolerance of other points of view (without necessarily approving of those views), personal autonomy, minimalist government with personal liberty, freedom to pursue happiness, health, occupation, and life in general. The ancient form of "liberalism" virtually disappeared with the Dark Ages.(1)
The Classical Liberals awoke from the slumber of antiquity during the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason with the writings of John Locke, Sir Edward Coke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, etc., and reached a climax of political influence in the 18th and 19th centuries in Great...
For Russia, as well as to the rest of the world, the approaching presidential election of March 4, 2012, is raising concerns as to how it will affect Russian democracy and the stability of Europe — Russia vis- à-vis the West. Just this past November, Russian Chief of Staff General Nikolai Makarov and President Dmitry Medvedev, threatened to have Russian missiles deployed against the proposed U.S. missile shield in Europe.
The increasing wave of protests in Russia over the parliamentary elections held in December 2011 is very disturbing not only as it concerns foreign affairs but also especially when we learn more about intrinsic Russian politics, the various political factions, and the causes fueling the unrest. Moreover, both US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and a leading GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, have expressed dissatisfaction with the present Russian regime, and more specifically with Vladimir Putin.
Protesters are accusing the Medvedev-Putin [photo, above] administration of electoral fraud, and protest rallies are now calling for fresh parliamentary elections. According to the BBC, “The parliamentary elections on 4 December were...
Miguel Faria was the Editor of The Medical Sentinel, a publication of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which supports fundamental liberty for all people and governmental non-intervention in the Practice of Medicine. Miguel was a refugee from Cuba during the 1960s when that country was taken over by a communist revolution. He escaped with his family to the USA and went on to become a US citizen, a neurosurgeon, and a noted author of several books on history, liberty, and authoritarian governments. He has experienced communism first hand, as have many of our readers from liberated countries. He is our World Affairs Editor.
Why is Surgical Neurology International (SNI) discussing these political topics and not reporting on some new procedure in neurosurgery? The reason is simple: SNI stands for the patient, as should every doctor. SNI believes that you are a good citizen and family person, first; a physician, second; and a neurosurgeon, third. Too many neurosurgeons all over the world have gone to the operating room and left the administration of medicine to others. They left the politics to others. The result is that control of medicine was handed to...
The State by Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) was recommended to me years ago by friends as a Libertarian classic of political science. However, having just finished this tome, I now suspect that some of them did not actually read the book, but instead only read passages from it. To my consternation, Oppenheimer's book turned out to be a Hegelian-Marxian treatise on the theoretical formation and development of the State based on the subjugation, conquest, and the endless "class contest" of one class of citizens over another.
I have read other libertarian classics specifically, Our Enemy, the State (1935) by "philosophic anarchist," Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945; pictured below), which was indeed influenced by Oppenheimer's book, and The Law (1850) by the French Republican statesman, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), a true classical liberal thinker, who today would be considered, correctly, a conservative. Those two books are more concise and apropos to the immediate subject under study, namely the State and how it functions today using coercion and monopoly of force to subjugate the individual to the collective. This is not the gist of the political philosophy I found in...
As we pointed out in Part I of this article, in Cuba all natural resources are at the disposal of the Revolution i.e., Fidel Castro and his ruling elites. Cuban ecologists who speak out are quickly silenced, and so national treasures like the tropical forests of the Ciénaga de Zapata, the marshland areas adjacent to the Bay of Pigs, are being destroyed, and with them, their exotic flora and fauna. Campesinos spent more time capturing young parrots (Amazona leucocephala) to sell to the Russians before they left and collecting mollusks for foreign collections than working in the unproductive farm cooperatives.
In "Natumaleza Cubana," author Carlos Wotzkow (photo, right) estimates from his own studies in the region that 50 percent of the Ciénaga de Zapata ecosystem has already been destroyed and lost in the wanton environmental degradation and ecologic destruction. (1)
Likewise, the "Plan Turquino," the much-touted government plan that employed young soldiers in agriculture and the tending of cattle has been an utter disaster. These "production zones" have brought desolation to once productive land. Cattle have destroyed rice fields and other crops, and...
While the Cuban lobby in Congress, led by the Progressive Caucus and the Democratic Socialists of America and even some misguided Republicans, like Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in an ungodly alliance with the well-financed captains of agricultural industries and mega-corporations (e.g., Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill and confreres in the agribusiness industry) (1-3) continue to clamor for opening Cuba to economic exploitation in collusion with Cuba's communist regime a silent degradation and destruction befalls Cuba's once beautiful flora and bountiful fauna.
In this endeavor, as well as the drive to obtain hard cash by any means, the totalitarian regime of Fidel Castro reinvents itself more and more as a fascist, corporativist state rather than the socialist worker's paradise of the bygone Cold War era.
Year after year, Cuba's once wondrous landscape, which Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Seas, once called "the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen," is being defaced and defiled by the predatory, anti-environmental polices of Fidel Castro Ruz for the benefit of himself and the upper echelon of his regime, the privileged mayimbe...
"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic," said Joseph Stalin (1879-1953). It is estimated that between 20 to 40 million people, mostly Russians, were killed by Stalin during his dictatorship (1924-1953). Stalin, the Soviet dictator, not only exterminated purported "enemies of the peoples" but also liquidated almost the entire slate of communist Bolshevik leaders, who had been his and Lenin's friends during the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Great Leader, Joseph Stalin, in fact, killed in peacetime more communists of all nationalities, than all his fascist, Nazi, and Western democratic enemies combined.
This is not a comprehensive list; others have done that already. This report is only an interesting sampling of vignettes of "communists devouring communists" during the twenty-nine year performance of the macabre Soviet symphony conducted by the director Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili, better known as "the man of steel," Stalin.
Old Bolshevik Cadres
"We will destroy every enemy, even if he is an Old Bolshevik, we will destroy his kin, his family. Anyone who by his...