Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it. 

(Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 April 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/)

Make good use of it, indeed. I hope this has been a joyous Independence Day for you!

 

Ellen writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

Now’s the time to celebrate the First Amendment and support independent journalism by hitting DaTipJar. Thank you!

Hugo Chávez, back when he was alive, seized farms from their rightful owners in the interest of his “Bolivarian revolution.” He started small,

A group of red shirt-wearing Chavista thugs show up at a farm and seize the farm in the name of the government, under the pretext that the 103 hectare [254 acres] farm is “idle land” and that the law allows them to take it over for “food production.”

And worked his way up,

Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, ‘has ordered the confiscation of 717,000 acres from a British company amid a disagreement over compensation for earlier seizures of ranchland from the firm.

717,000 acres is nearly the area of the state of Rhode Island (776,957 acres). Soon enough, Hugo ran out of land to seize.

The results are food shortages, rationing, black markets, empty store shelves, and long lines, as it still happens in Cuba, and as it happened in the Soviet Union and its satellites, and in every other Communist state.

Since of course the Venezuelan regime is not going to recognize the fact that Communism doesn’t work, they blame everyone else (another Communist trait), including hoarders,

In March, Venezuelans were so worried about food shortages and diminishing stocks of basic goods, fingerprint scanners were installed in supermarkets in an attempt to crack down on hoarding.

Now, looking at that statement, a couple of things stand out:

  • Individual Venezuelans weren’t the ones installing fingerprint scanners; it was the Communist regime.
  • Venezuela’s shortages are not caused by hoarders; its shortages are caused by failed economic policy. For instance, if I felt a need to hoard toilet paper, I could drive to Costco and spend $200 on a year’s supply, and Costco would still not run out.
  • Venezuelans’ rights are down to nothing – the government even keeps count of their grocery purchases and penalizes those who don’t meet the criteria.

Now

Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores.

“Told to supply” means “to hand over.”

You’re probably thinking, “But Fausta, we have bigger things to worry about: ISIS, border crime, Iran nuclear deals. Why are you carping about Venezuela?”

Because, my friends, Venezuela is showing that free markets and free peoples go together:

markets—the mind of free millions—allocate scarce resources more efficiently and fairly than do committees in Congress; that the collusion of government with either big business or big labor stifles competition and leads to political cynicism; that government will be respected more when it does a few things well rather than too many poorly; and that innovation and human progress spring not from bureaucratic elites but from the genius of individuals.

That is what dictatorships – whether they name their agendas “Bolivarian revolution”, Marxist, Communist, or whatever new term –  don’t want you to know: free markets, free peoples.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog

 

 

 

 

This week has been a difficult one for religious freedom and liberty. Freedoms have taken a beating from all sides of the country. The week against liberty started off with MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Parry saying that our kids “belonged” to the community. (A funny reply on Facebook had a picture of Sarah Palin with the quote “Dear MSNBC, if our kids belong to you, do your kids belong to us? If so, can we take them hunting after church in our big pickup truck?” Awesome.)

By Tuesday, there was media blackout about the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist who murdered babies AFTER birth. That’s right, he killed babies…after they had been born. Main stream media has ignored this man’s atrocious behaviors. By turning a blind eye, the violation of the children’s rights is being ignored.

By the time Wednesday came around, California lawmakers had proposed SB-323, a bill that would remove the Boy Scouts tax exempt status if they did not allow openly gay men and boys to join their organization. Regardless of your belief about same-sex marriage, this removes the freedom of an organization to set restrictions around its membership. The government’s place is not to dictate to organizations that they must violate their religious liberty and extend membership to those outside the limits their beliefs dictate.

Another unfortunate assault came from the military. A United States Army officer sent a 14 page email labeling Christian groups as “domestic hate groups.”

“The message, apparently sent by Lt. Col. Jack Rich at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, also instructed those who received the e-mail to be on the look-out for fellow soldiers who might be supporters of the organizations (or who, at the least, aren’t upholding “Army Values”).” 

(It should be noted that this comes only a week after Foxnews’ Todd Starnes reported that a training instructor in the Army labeled evangelical Christianity “religious extremism.”)

The Attorney General in Washington also decided to sue a florist who opted out of providing flowers for a gay wedding. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, stated it was against her faith to provide arrangements for the wedding. The government is now suing her and threatening a $2,000 fine for each violation.

This week, Americans have had their freedoms challenged from state governments, the U.S. military, and the media. And this is just 1 week of a sampling of what was reported…a subsection of all of instances it occurs.

When people argue that gay marriage should be legalized or promote the ideal of “live and let live,” it’s important to realize that when the government promotes one entity, it can be robbing Constitution-protected freedoms from another. Marriage is not a “right” defined in any of the founding documents. Freedom of religion is protected.

Rebecca @ AmericaIsConservative.org