Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Don't Wait for the Next Election--Vote with Your Dollars Now

Last December I wrote a post entitled, Don't Wait for 2014, Vote with Your Dollars Now.  I wrote about my own experience of deciding to purchase my pathetically small number of Christmas candles at Hobby Lobby to support them as they fought against the government mandate that they pay for abortions.

I promised myself last December that as long as Hobby Lobby remained open, I would always patronize them at Christmas with whatever candles and Christmas lights I needed for the holiday season.  Honestly, when I made that promise I did not expect them to be open past mid-2014.  Although I wanted Hobby Lobby to win their case and I prayed that they would do so, after so many years of political disappointments I simply did not believe that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule that a business can make moral decisions with its dollars.

Of course, Hobby Lobby did prevail at SCOTUS and is very much alive and well.  And this, my first Christmas living in the Dallas metroplex, I drove to a very conveniently located Hobby Lobby and made my purchases.  The dollar amount was small, but the commitment to support this business and others like it that stand for freedom was important.

In that spirit, I want to take this moment, now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, to remind all freedom loving Americans that where we spend our dollars does matter.  The society we fight to preserve is a free enterprise society which promotes personal freedom and responsibility allows people to find success beyond their wildest dreams.  And yet, so often when it is time to spend our money we forget that our dollars are the most important ballot we will ever hold.

As conservatives we just won a historic election, which has bought our country some time as we attempt to undo the massive damage that big government policies have done.  Our fight is not over; it is just beginning.  And the only reason we are still in this fight is because of companies who had the money and will to stand up to the government--companies like Hobby Lobby who were willing to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend their right to run their own business according to the dictates of their own conscience. Each victory has been a victory for freedom that ultimately made the victory one month ago possible.

Voting with our dollars does not have to mean a huge lifestyle change--it does not mean boycotting certain companies or products or making grand, sweeping promises we can't or won't keep.  We can vote in simple decisions--by choosing to give to charities that actually support conservative goals and values rather than those that are merely smokescreens funneling money to causes we find repugnant--yes Susan G. Koman Foundation, I'm talking about you.  In October I was making a purchase when the twenty-something clerk at the store asked me if I would like to donate some money to Koman.  When I politely declined she rolled her eyes as if to say that I was clearly a bad person who didn't care whether women got cancer.  I did not have time to explain to her that I cannot donate to Susan G. Koman because as a woman and a Christian conservative I support the health and well being of all women--including pre-born women who will be killed thanks to the organization's donations to Planned Parenthood.  I don't support abortion, so I don't give to Susan G. Koman.  Plain and simple. 

I do support free enterprise, freedom of speech and entrepreneurship; therefore, I buy my candles at Hobby Lobby.  I don't make all of my purchases based on a company's political views, but when I am able to do so, I support those organizations who support the liberties that we hold dear. I have found that the more consciously I evaluate WHERE I spend my money the easier it is to do so.  I invite all of you to do the same.  Through our spending we can send an even more powerful message than we can with our votes. 

Don't wait for the next election 2 years from now.  Make an impact in your day-to-day life.  You will be surprised at the changes you will see.

 Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give Thanks

Every Thanksgiving for as many years as I can remember, my mother had a tradition at Thanksgiving dinner. After my father prayed over the food, my mother asked each of us to name one thing that had happened in the last year that we were thankful for. As I got older, knowing that I would have to state what I was grateful for, I started thinking about the year a couple of weeks in advance of the holiday, and I found that even in difficult years, I had a lot to be thankful for. My mother's tradition, which she continues to this day, has helped me to really think about the meaning of Thanksgiving each year.

It seems almost inconceivable that it has been an entire year since I last wrote my Thanksgiving post.  When I wrote the post for 2013, the world looked bleak--in fact I had to really think about what I was grateful for after such a tough year. 2014 has been a much better year.  I am living in a city where I wanted to live since I was eighteen years old and and working with a great group of people.  Frontier 2000 Media Group is now four and half years old, has published a dozen titles and is launching new projects next year.  And I see real hope for our country.  So in that spirit, I record a few things that we can be thankful for this year.

1.  The Tea Party is alive and well (along with the desire for freedom and liberty that gave birth to it.)  In August I was able to attend the Americans for Prosperity national conference here in Dallas.  When I saw the enthusiasm of the three thousand Americans of all ages, races and ethnicities, many of whom had traveled a long distance to attend this event (some from as far away as Alaska), I was genuinely encouraged.

Although the media has long tried to pretend that the Tea Party is nothing more than a phony "astro-turf" movement, the mid-term elections show something quite different.  Americans who care about the size and growth of government are making their voices heard and we are making a difference.

2.  We are getting the message out!  Last year I wrote about my initial disappointment when Jim DeMint announced he was leaving the Senate to take over the Heritage Foundation.  He explained that we had lost in 2012 because as conservatives we had failed to communicate our message effectively--the message that small government and individual liberty and responsibility provide a better way of life for all Americans.  But two years later, the hard work of communicating that message, through blogs, through new media outlets, social media and face to face interactions, is paying off.  Heritage played a part, as did Breitbart, The Right Scoop, Bill Whittle, and countless others who worked tirelessly to tell Americans the truth about government.  Our very own Liberty Project grew this year from just a few hundred likes on Facebook to over 6000.  Together all of us are sharing our message and Americans are starting to listen.

3. We now have the Senate and with that prize we have the opportunity to bring some real "hope and change" to our government.  The 2014 elections represented a huge opportunity for conservatives to bring our ideas to the table and implement them.  We cannot take this victory or the opportunity and responsibility it affords lightly.  We MUST demonstrate leadership and positive change over the next two years.  We MUST be willing to override the president and stand up to his ever-growing abuses of power.  If we fail, we won't get another chance.  We have a huge job ahead of us and part of that job includes holding our elected representatives responsible for doing the job we have entrusted to them.  We must shrink government and empower the private sector.  We must stop persecuting business. And we must encourage Americans to get back into the workforce (after we create a climate where there is actually a workforce to get back in
to.)

4. Wherever we are in this country and in our lives, we are still alive, and we are not alone! "Don't worry about things--food, drink and clothes. For you already have life and a body--and they are more important than what to eat and what to wear. Look at the birds! They don't worry about what to eat--they don't need to sow or reap or store up food--for your heavenly Father feeds them...And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don't worry about theirs. Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you....So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time." (Matthew 6: 25-34 TLB)

Now that's something we can be thankful for every day! Happy Thanksgiving.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Isis, Ebola and the 2014 Elections: Do You Want To See Something Really Scary?

This marks the fifth annual edition of "Do you want to see something really scary?" The recurring title of this post is, of course, a tribute to Twilight Zone--the movie. I did not see it--my mother was extremely strict and never allowed us to watch horror movies or even light comedy containing anything that smacked of the occult. But I remember my father coming back from a trip and telling us that he had been driving with his nephew on a dark, wood-lined road when his nephew told about the scene from Twilight Zone where a set of characters are in a car at night trying to scare each other. Finally, one of them says to the driver of the car, "Do you want to see something really scary?" When his friend agrees, he turns his face away, and when he turns back he has become a monster who kills the young man who is driving.

Over the past four years that I have been writing this post, I have used it to highlight the scary problems in our political world.  And every year there is more and more to fear.  The real life events taking place in our country today are worse than any scary film plot ever hatched in the mind of any Hollywood producer.

1. ISIS/Terrorism:  Just two years after Obama and Joe Biden proudly proclaimed that "Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive" we are now dealing with unprecedented terrorism.  This new brand of terrorism does not need a unifying leader like bin Laden to unleash havoc on the world.  It is like the mythical Hydra--when one head is cut off, two more appear in its place.  The attacks this week in Canada and in New York City highlight the very real problem created by a soft, squishy foreign policy with regard to radical Islam.  We are now experiencing more and more isolated attacks against individuals in the name of Allah.

Add to that the fact that not only is the Obama Administration not serious about stopping ISIS, they are apparently helping to supply them through inadvertent food and weapons drops, and you have a mess of epic proportions. Obama not only has not stopped terrorism--he has emboldened our enemies on a level we have never before experienced.  He has essentially taken the fight against Islam from the desert sands of Iraq to our own shores and made each of us a potential target and a potential combatant.  The recent case of the young man in Oklahoma who beheaded his co-worker before being shot by the company's owner highlights that no part of the country is safe and no one, young or old, is off limits.

2. Ebola:  Living in Dallas I was confronted daily with news reports of Thomas Duncan and the nurses who were infected while caring for him--thankfully they appear to be recovering.  I also heard all of the conspiracy theories that Ebola has been brought here on purpose by our government to destroy us.  Regardless of whether you believe Ebola patients are being allowed in here intentionally, I think all of us will agree that the Ebola crisis is at best another example of gross mismanagement.  Individual schools are now denying applicants from Ebola-stricken nations while the federal government tries to figure out whether we should have a no-fly list. The U.S. government's primary responsibility should be to protect American citizens and to act in the best interest of the American people. What is in our best interests is restricting travel and access and quarantining those from infected nations--rather than worrying about being culturally sensitive we need to be working to curtail the spread of this disease.

At the same time, the Obama Administration is sending thousands of our young men and women from the military into infected areas. We all worry when our troops go overseas to fight human enemies, though we all understand that this is a necessary part of our existence and of military life.  But to send men and women overseas to combat diseases which they have neither the training nor experience to fight is irresponsible and corrupt.  We owe our troops more than to risk sacrificing their lives to battle a disease with no cure on a foreign continent.  The fact that our government is defending this decision is unthinkable.

3. The 2014 elections:  We have a real chance to see the GOP take control of the Senate this year.  I keep seeing trending hashtags with catchy slogans such as #stoptheGOP as Democrats vent because their candidates are in tight races.  Right now polls look good for a solid win in the next two weeks, and every time the president talks, our chances improve.  Yesterday he was on Al Sharpton's radio show reminding the nation that although Democrat Senators and Congressional Representatives may be distancing themselves from him now, they all support all of his policies and will vote with him faithfully.  (Obama's ongoing rhetoric reminding the nation that this election is really all about him and his policies almost begs the question, "Are you actually trying to lose or are you just really this narcissistic and clueless.")  In Texas, Wendy Davis' campaign has devolved in a vicious mockery of current attorney-general Greg Abbott's disabilities.  In spite of attempts to derail them, our state's voter ID laws have been allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court to stay in place for this election cycle.  For the first time in a long time, we have real hope.

But here's the deal--none of that matters if every last one of us does not get out this Fall and vote.  I don't normally agree with Obama about anything, but he is right about this.  All of these politicians who are pretending they have never heard of Barack Obama will go right back to voting the party line and supporting his every whim if they are re-elected.  The amnesty that he delayed until after the election will go into place as soon as Harry Reid is safely back in as Senate Majority Leader.  Obamacare's small business provisions are going to go into effect next year and those provisions are going to make it even more difficult for the over 90 million unemployed Americans to return to work. The war on coal and Obama's draconian rules aimed at stopping man-made climate change are just in their infancy; they are about to come to adulthood in radical ways. The policies that have wreaked havoc on this nation--policies that endanger our civil liberties, our freedom, our prosperity, our security and our very sovereignty will continue on unhampered unless on November 4th we are willing as a nation to stand up and say to the president, "You are right--for once.  This election is all about you and your policies.  We know that your lackeys support you unwaveringly and we have had enough.  It's time for some real hope and change and time for Harry Reid and his liberal cronies to go find a new job."

If enough of us are willing to do that on November 4th, we can awaken on November 5th to a country that is still badly damaged but a country with hope of recovery.  The road back is going to be long and difficult, but if we don't start making changes to this country's leadership today, there will be no road back.  If Harry Reid keeps his job, we can expect more of what we have already had for the last six years, plus two years of set up to elect yet another leftist idealogue as President so that we as a nation can continue careening further and further away from the nation we have been--the land of the free and the home of the brave--and more and more into a socialist dystopian hell.  Now that's a really scary thought.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The People's Climate March Against U.S. Prosperity and Freedom

Today the streets of New York City were filled with hundreds of thousands of people participating in the people's climate march.  I understand that UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, who has made international legislation to regulation climate change a top priority, was on hand.  Actor Leo DiCaprio marched, as did environmentalists and anti-capitalists from all over the world.  Ironically, these earth lovers left the city streets where they gathered littered with garbage--a testament to the fact that they are marching primarily AGAINST capitalism and the American way of life rather than FOR nature.

The People's Climate March coincides with the UN's climate change summit in New York.  Obama has announced that he supports the UN initiatives to control climate through wealth redistribution.  In fact, since Obama knows that in the current political climate he has little chance of getting a federal climate change bill passed, and since he is limited through what he can do only through draconian regulations, he is counting on the UN to do what he cannot.

The very thought that human beings can determine the weather patterns used to be the subject of bad jokes--"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. " Now climate is being used an excuse to advance a radical environmental agenda which is simply old-time Marxism repackaged and renamed.

As the UN and the Obama Administration work to further these goals, it is vitally important that every American fully understand what is at stake.  This is not about cleaning up the environment or saving the planet for our kids--it is about advancing the United Nation's radical environmental Agenda 21 and destroying Western Civilization.

In 1992, the United Nation's Earth Summit drafted a policy document called Agenda 21 which calls for "a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced--a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources...This shift will demand a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level."

For the past twenty-two years, all of us have experienced almost daily indoctrination into global environmentalism and "sustainability" as this "profound reorientation of human society" works its way into our daily lives.

To really understand what the global environmental movement is doing, we need to accept that all of us who live in wealthy developed nations, and particularly everyone in the U.S., are the enemy as far as the U.N and environmentalists are concerned.  The major threat to the world's survival is Western affluence and Western lifestyles. According to environmentalists, we produce too much, and we consume too much because of economic systems which foster prosperity. This prosperity and our levels of consumption and production cause other nations to want to emulate us and to produce and consume at equal levels. But this aspiration for a better life is "unsustainable" and will lead to global disaster, according to climate change proponents. The only solution to this problem is to reduce the living standards of Western nations to the levels of third world countries so that all of the world is in an equal state of misery.

In 2012, the Earth Summit and Agenda 21 had a twentieth anniversary party in Rio de Janeiro where the U.N. reaffirmed its dedication to global environmentalism in a new document called The Future We Want.

The Future We Want is a 21st century message with 21st century messaging. It has its own Twitter hashtag--#futurewewant--and links to live streaming UN web TV with messages from the current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, covering everything from his zero hunger challenge to the eradication of poverty worldwide to his goals for a more sustainable future. Last year, China asked 230 of its citizens to participate in a video titled, "The Future We Want 2032" which they stated their dreams for the next two decades.

I really encourage all Americans to watch this short film, 2032: The Future We Want, which includes young Chinese people expressing hope for a future in which national boundaries no longer exist and they are able to speak Chinese with people from all over the world.  The film takes on special significance when we recognize that China's one-child policies are a model for the global environmental movement and that a primary goal of the "sustainable" movement is to transition China to the world's premier economy.

Here in the U.S., Agenda 21 is being implemented locally, in cities and towns across America that have joined ICLEI.  However, it is also being implemented through mandates from the EPA, the USDA, various grant programs which provide funds for "smart growth" and executive orders signed by President Obama. This piecemeal enactment is necessary because we have failed to pass a federal climate change bill which would allow proponents of climate change legislation a huge framework in which to enact all of the elements at once. Agenda 21 calls for each of the 177 countries which signed onto the treaty to enact a federal bill implementing its goals.

Although there are hundreds of U.N. programs linked in some way to climate change and Agenda 21, I have reduced the U.N.'s policies down to five basic stages of implementation. Many of these are happening simultaneously.

Stage One--Control of Housing and Transportation

This stage is being implemented through "Smart Growth" and Smart Code which rezones areas of cities to mandate small, urban mixed-use housing with retail on the bottom of buildings and residents packed into tiny housing over the stores.  Although Smart Growth advances on a local level, the Obama Administration is openly using all of the tools at its disposal to get rid of suburbs and "Manhattanize" America.  Closely related to this is an increased emphasis on public transportation through grants and funding designed to increase the usage of public transportation while the EPA and the government raise fuel efficiency standards on cars that will price lower-income people out of cars  totally. Also closely related is higher energy prices which make driving automobiles unaffordable--for example, refusing to approve the Keystone Pipeline.  Obama's "war on coal" will increase the cost of heating and cooling single family homes to the point where they are no longer cost effective.  These policies, combined with new restrictions on mortgage credit which take effect in January of 2014, high property taxes produced by urban redevelopment projects, and high housing costs produced by land rationing, will all serve to move people out of individual housing and into tightly packed "sustainable" human settlements.  A primary goal of Agenda 21 is the abolition of all private property, and getting people out of houses is key to the accomplishment of that goal.

Stage Two: Global Arms Control and Disarmament

This stage is essential because of potential fallout from the remaining three stages. It is no accident that Obama began his second term by demanding new gun control measures and a national gun registry. On an international front, he is also insisting that we reduce our nuclear arsenal even as other nations like South Korea and Iran are working to develop their own nuclear weapons.  Last month the U.N. announced that it was Iran's "turn" to chair the nuclear disarmament conference.  In an ironic twist worthy of the world's great literature, the treaty that is supposed to protect the civilized world from "rogue nations" is being overseen by the leader of one of the most dangerous nations on the planet.  But Obama is a "citizen of the world" and he understands that the decline of the U.S. is necessary to the accomplishment of the U.N.'s greater goals, so he does not mind crippling the defenses of our nation or our citizens.  The weaker we are, the better


Stage Three--Control of Food Production and Agriculture
"Sustainable" agriculture and food rationing is being preached everywhere right now. In a very misleading ad, ConAgra Foods is currently implying that 1 in 5 children in the United States is hungry.  According to the USDA, 1 in 5 American children is "food insecure" without hunger or threat of hunger--which means that their families are concerned about the family finances as it relates to food. Only just over 1% of children is hungry, according to the USDA. One in three American children is obese--which in the doublespeak world of global environmentalism is actually the same thing as being hungry. All of this propaganda is being pushed out to persuade Americans that we need to give up our high output, high consumption ways of producing food in exchange for "sustainable" farming systems where we will only consume food that is grown locally and is in season.  This goes back to the theory of over consumption and over production that I discussed at the beginning of this post.  Current food systems produce plenty of food, but those methods are "unsustainable."  As Babtune Osotimehin, a Nigerian doctor serving as the executive director of the UNFPA, said a few weeks ago at the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, "A homeless person in Denmark actually consumes more than a family of six in Tanzania." And since the biggest problem that the world is facing now is that "every young person who grows up in Tanzania wants to drive an SUV" the solution is to ration and create scarcity until all of us are starving, rather than to try to lift up the standards of farming in Tanzania so that they can be better nourished.
The U.N.'s Zero Hunger Campaign is the newest program dedicated to ending over-consumption and food waste.  On June 5, for World Environment Day, U.N. officials asked people worldwide to pledge to reduce their own food consumption. I only hope that everyone who signed the pledge understands what they are really signing on for and the profound and dire consequences of trading systems of food production which have historically produced an abundance of food for systems which have historically produced famine and starvation.

Stage Four--Worldwide Population Control

There is a reason that when President Obama spoke at the Planned Parenthood Conference he invoked God's blessing on them.  The global environmental movement says that the world cannot support more than between 1 and 2 billion people.  This is one reason that China is heralded as a hero in the Globalist New World Order.  Their "one child policy" combined with forced abortions makes them perfect country for other nations to pattern themselves after.
Ted Turner, founder of CNN, has said that if we do not reduce the world's population, within 30 or 40 years the planet will be eight degrees hotter, and all of the people left on it will be cannibals.  According to Turner, we MUST reduce the population of the world to prevent this. Turner says this can be done voluntarily, just as it is in China.
Of course, China's policies are not voluntary. Last year China made international headlines for the forced abortion of a young married woman who already had a child but had decided she wanted another one. Her dead baby was laid beside her in the hospital bed where she was recovering, and the photos of her lying next to her forcibly aborted child soon went viral and resulted in three Chinese officials being fired.

Yet, at the Women Deliver Conference a few weeks ago,  Princeton professor Peter Singer advocated new policies where women are not allowed to have children for the good of the environment.  Singer maintains that even with more reproductive choices and family planning, too many women are choosing to have children, and we are entering a new era in which women's reproductive rights can no longer be considered "fundamental".

Maurice Strong, chair of the Earth Summit in 1992, gave an interview to the BBC in the 1970's in which he predicted that in the future people will have to receive licenses from the government in order to be allowed to reproduce.

Stage Five--Global Governance
Speaking on a panel at the Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Kavita Ramdas, an Indian representative of the Ford Foundation, said that people must be forced to make better choices for the environment.  "You force it...you can force women to have less children, you can force people to consume less."  But the problem with "forcing" people to do what they don't want is that this is incompatible with Western ideals of democracy in which politicians who try to force unpopular agendas typically find themselves out of a job.

To achieve the massive restructuring of the world demanded by global environmentalists, we have to get rid of pesky documents such as the U.S. Constitution which grant individual rights and freedoms as well as democratically-elected forms of government.

Global environmentalists don't really care if the science behind their programs is debunked as long as they can bring in this new system of global governance to correct all of the inequities of the world and create a new world order.

As 1992 Earth Summit chair Maurice Strong has famously stated, "We may get to the point where the only way to save the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse."  His sentiments were echoed by former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1996, "The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order."

While the 1992 Earth Summit treaty was never ratified by the U.S. Senate, making it only a soft treaty and basically unenforceable, the Obama Administration is looking for a way to sign a new binding treaty which will force the U.S. to comply with the massive economic and lifestyle changes Agenda 21 requires.  And they are looking for a way to do that without Senate ratification, something that has never before been accomplished.  The Obama Administration believes that they have found a loophole that will allow them to unilaterally commit the U.S. to new carbon emission standards without any Congressional oversight.  If they can accomplish this, the Obama Administration will have finally accomplished its goal of completing remaking every aspect of American society with one stroke of a pen.

It is time for Americans to wake up and understand that the global environmentalist movement is not about science--it is about crashing centuries of Western civilization, freedom and democracy and remaking the world into a destitute Hell managed by a global, centralized government of elites.  The very people who are selling us this bunk know that they are scaring us into abandoning freedom, prosperity and our way of life in exchange for poverty, misery and slavery.  Shame on us if we sit by and let them succeed.


Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.



Download The Planner Free this weekend (through Monday September 29, to see how Agenda 21 plays out in the life of one American family. 




Monday, September 1, 2014

Ted Cruz, the Koch Brothers and Americans for Prosperity

I spent Friday August 29 and Saturday August 30 at Americans for Prosperity.  I did not know anything about Americans for Prosperity when I signed up to attend the conference.  I went because for the past four months since moving to Dallas I have been wanting to hear Ted Cruz speak in person.  I had wanted to attend a conference in Fort Worth at the beginning of August where Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry were scheduled to speak but I was not able to do it.  So when I saw on Twitter that both would be speaking at the Omni Hotel at the AFP conference at the end of the month, I saw it as my second chance.

I have to say, this was an amazing weekend.  AFP is 10 years old and has had eight conferences.  The first six were held in Washington D.C.; last year's was in Orlando, Florida.  Promptly after that conference ended, Rick Perry called Tim Phillips, President of AFP, and asked him to hold the next one in Texas.  As Phillips joked in his introduction of Perry, Perry's motto is that if there is a job or an event anywhere in the country he goes after that job or event to bring it to Texas.  (The jam packed freeways and bumper to bumper traffic on I-35 speak loudly to his success.  Texas added 50,000 jobs in the month of July, and the city of Dallas is stretching to keep up with the expansive growth, not only from major players like Toyota who are moving here, but also the 50 other companies that are bringing jobs to the Dallas metroplex).

The line up of speakers was terrific--Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Marsha Blackburn, Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson, and Bill Whittle. All gave inspiring speeches.  But the best speech, by far, was Ted Cruz, who spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of 3000 chanting "Run Ted, Run."  It is no coincidence that the AP chose to highlight Cruz's speech by asking rhetorically whether Cruz is announcing his run for president.  After hearing his speech and seeing the audience reaction, I would say the answer is most definitely "yes."

Cruz assures us that we will repeal Obamacare--every word of it--in 2017 in the White House Rose Garden.  And he says that with such passion and conviction that we can believe that he CAN do this, and WILL do it.  Perhaps more importantly, he makes us believe that WE can do this.  And believing that WE can do it inspires us to work hard TO accomplish it.

Americans for Prosperity is a very effective grassroots organization.  The much maligned Charles and David Koch founded the organization.  (David Koch spoke at the conference.)  During the conference we saw videos of Harry Reid sneering at the Koch brothers, and we saw a speech by Obama calling out "organizations with innocent sounding names" like AFP.  And yet, the power of AFP is not the Koch brothers or their money.  The power of AFP is the 3000 Americans who traveled from Alaska, Colorado, Florida and Wisconsin to attend this conference.  The power of AFP can be seen in the 14 year old young man who has knocked on thousands of doors spreading the message that freedom is better than big government.  The power of the AFP can be seen in the one million door knocks completed across the nation in ten years as friends and neighbors explain the benefits of freedom and prosperity to each other.  The power of Americans for Prosperity is seen in the 70 + year old volunteer who survived a massive heart attack and went back to her volunteer work of hosting parties in her community to explain the value of prosperity.

Ted Cruz's speech reminded us that we have a voice and we the people still have the power to effect change in our country.   At the end of his speech, he asked each of us to vote 10 times.  ("No," he teased, "we are not Democrats; I do not want you to cast 10 votes.  What I want you to do is to go out and get 10 people to vote who would not normally vote and take them to the polls.")  I'm in, Senator Cruz.  I hope everyone reading this is in also.



Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Elizabeth Warren, Economic Patriotism and the War on Profit

Three things you should know if you want to start a business, currently own a business, or have been tasked with the job of regulating business:

1. Business does not operate the same way that the government operates. Business (any business, from the bakery at the corner, to the mortgage bank, to the Wall Street mega corporation), exists pretty much solely for the purpose of making money (profit). In order to make money, businesses must identify a need/desire/want, find a product to meet this need/desire/want and market said product to their target audience.  The more successfully the business does this, the more successfully they accomplish their goal of making money.

2.  Any business that tried to operate the way government agencies do would quickly find itself out of business.  Government agencies get their funding through tax revenues which they lobby to raise whenever budgets are tight.  Since government agencies get their revenues from the people to provide services that people often do not want (consider the IRS, for instance), these agencies do not have to consider whether they are providing good quality service or good quality products.  The government is a monopoly, so government agencies do not have to worry about competition (unless of course we count the Post Office, which has actually found itself rendered irrelevant by its own resistance to change an outdated business model.)  Businesses, on the other hand, have to constantly consider competition, alliances, relationships, service and myriad other things to stay competitive in a tough environment.  Even a business model that once thrived will die if the owners/board of directors do not pay attention to changing market trends, audience tastes and competition (consider the awful demise of Radio Shack.)

3. For-profit business and non-profit organizations have completely different models.  A non-profit organization faces some challenges of competing for limited funds and working to find and develop its audience.  But though a non-profit may generate a lot of money (which is often made possible by the considerable tax advantages offered to non-profit institutions) the goal of non-profit businesses is not to make profit.  They can be content with paying salaries and working toward their altruistic goals.  For-profit businesses strive to cover all the business expenses, pay all the salaries, pay its taxes, and then make a PROFIT.

I bring up these distinctions because the left-wing of our country has apparently completely lost sight of the goal of American business to earn profit.  Profit has become a dirty word in this country.  Businesses that want to make a profit are vilified as greedy and evil. 

This nonsensical view of profit is the basis for much of the yammering from the left demanding that President Obama use executive order to mandate "economic patriotism" by acting to stop U.S. companies from leaving the U.S., abandoning their corporate citizenship and merging with companies based in countries that offer greater tax advantages.

As taxes rise in the U.S., more and more companies are abandoning their citizenship (a process called inversion).  The newest example is the mega drugstore Walgreen which raised a lot of ire when word got out that it was considering merging with an overseas company and moving its corporate headquarters to secure a better tax structure.  The news this morning from the Wall Street Journal is that The Walgreen Company has backed off this proposal and is now considering a merger with British pharmaceutical company Alliance Boots but will not move its headquarters in the process or take advantage of the inversion.  The change of heart probably has something to do with the vitriol directed toward the company when word got out a month ago that the inversion was being considered.

Not surprisingly, business and profit hater Elizabeth Warren (current senator from Massachusetts and first interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) is one of the key proponents of the demand that Obama use his executive "pen and phone" to write directives preventing U.S. businesses from repatriating to other, more tax-friendly countries.  Warren's argument is essentially the same message Obama has been selling for the past five years, "If you have a successful  business in this country, you didn't build it.  You took advantage of roads, and bridges and existing infrastructure, you hired workers educated at public schools; you worked on the Internet using technology developed by this country...etc. etc....  In other words, you as the business owner owe whatever success  you have to the collective.  Since the collective made your success possible, the collective is entitled to the rewards of that success--the profit--in the form of high taxes.  And if you choose to avoid those taxes you are not patriotic.  In fact, you are really nothing more than a 21st century Benedict Arnold--a traitor to your people and your country.

This entire leftist argument is completely asinine because it deliberately ignores the points I laid out at the beginning.  To buy what Warren is selling, you have to sincerely believe that businesses do not have a right to make a profit.  But without profit, there would be no returns for investors (many of whom are the "little" people that Warren pretends to want to protect.)  Profits generate more investment, which generate more business, more jobs, more money in the economy which in turn creates more consumer need, and yes, more business.  Warren's model of the world is the agency she helped to create--the CFPB--whose employees are among the highest paid in government.  The CFPB is housed in the Federal Reserve and sets its own budget with no Congressional oversight.  No competition, no selling products, no worrying about the economy.  If they run out of money, oh well--there's always more where that came from.

For bureaucrats who have never run a business, it is easy to look at corporations and declare them "evil" for wanting to make money, for needing to provide a return on investment to their investors, and for expecting to make a profit.  The simple truth is that if  you own a successful business you did build that.  All nations have roads and bridges. Not all have thriving economies.  The prosperity of America has been due in large part to a tax structure that rewarded growth, to a regulatory system that rewarded ideas and innovation and to a culture that rewarded a solid work ethic. 

Companies who are leaving the U.S. today (or considering leaving) are not doing so because  they have lost their patriotism.  They are doing so because the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  They are doing so because in a global economy, companies must compete globally and that means taking advantage of every opportunity to reduce taxes.  And they are doing so because in business, profit is not evil--profit is the end goal.

Rather than trying to bully U.S. companies to stay in this country "for the greater good" or because they "owe it to this country" the U.S. should be lowering taxes and regulations to incentivize them to stay. This whole nation should be doing what the state of Texas has been doing successfully for over a year--providing incentives for businesses to start here, to move here, to grow here.  This is not a question of right or wrong or good or evil--it is a question of profitable or not profitable.  And in business, profit is good.


Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

FAIR Legislation We Should All Support--Rand Paul's Theft Protection Plan

In this world of Obama liberalism we hear the word "fair" so many times that most of us have stopped listening.  The definition of "fair" has come to mean the same to everyone, for everyone, regardless of effort or output.  But liberty-minded Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has introduced a new "FAIR" plan that all of us should support--from all political spectrums and sectors of the nation.  FAIR in this case is an acronym for Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration, but the act is also being called the "theft protection" act.  Paul's legislation is aimed at restoring our constitutional fifth amendment protections against unreasonable confiscation of property without due process.

Most of us are familiar with the fifth amendment and the legal phrase, "pleading the fifth." But the fifth  amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a lot more than just that we can't be forced to testify against ourselves.  The amendment reads as follows:
 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment of indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.



Sounds pretty clear cut, right?  For over two centuries, this paragraph has protected Americans from forfeiting their property to the government without due process of the law. Increasingly, though, police departments are using federal RICO laws to strip citizens of their private property without any due process and without any clear evidence of wrong doing. Rand Paul has been featuring a few stories of egregious abuses by law enforcement who seized property without cause:
 
1.  A 64 year old Texas woman with NO criminal record was accused of being a drug dealer after being discovered with cash in her car during a traffic stop by the policeThe money came from the sale of land, but the police confiscated it anyway, and she had to sue in federal court to get it back.

2.  Automobile owners in New York City had their vehicles confiscated after they were discovered giving rides to friends.  They were accused of operating an illegal taxi service.

3. A Nebraska man, Emiliano Gonzalez, who was pulled over for speeding had $124,000 in cash seized from a cooler he was carrying.  Gonzalez said that the money was going to be used to purchase a refrigerated truck for his produce business.  Police did not believe him and accused him of being a drug dealer though they never had evidence to support that claim. Courts initially ruled that the government must return the money, but in 2006 a federal judge ruled that the police could keep the money because of a "preponderance of evidence."  Though the government never proved its case against Gonzalez, the judge basically said they didn't have to--the suspicion of wrongdoing was enough.



Property forfeiture rules are based on the concept that property can be guilty of committing a crime and therefore can be seized.  Law enforcement does not have to prove illegal activity--they merely have to show that they are suspicious that this activity has occurred, and they can basically take what they want and, in most cases, keep it.  Laws that were originally written to rein in organized crime decades ago are now being turn on ordinary citizens to deprive them of their property without so much as a hearing.

For anyone out there who actually thinks this is a good idea, let me remind you that our constitutional protections of life, liberty and property are an anomaly around the world.  America has long been the exception, not the rule.  In countries where law enforcement is permitted this kind of heavy-handed abuse of the populace, crime does not drop.  In fact, it increases because the citizenry is afraid to call the police, fearing that the cops will do worse things to them than the criminals will.

I spent nearly all of my life living on the Mexican border in El Paso, Texas, and I witnessed first hand what it means to live in a society where the police are feared and vilified.  I experienced this up close and personal a few years ago when a real estate agent I knew was being stalked.  Lorena (not her real name) was receiving harassing and threatening phone calls at her home late at night and she became terrified.  I told her that she had to call the police and she became even more terrified.  Lorena's fear had nothing to do with her visa status--she and her husband and all of her adult children were U.S. citizens.  Rather, she feared the police because she was born into a society where calling the police routinely resulted in robbery, sexual assault or some other abuse.  The message on the border was clear--no matter what happens to you NEVER involve the police; they will make whatever problem you have much worse.

What has made the U.S. exceptional has been, in part, a system of clearly written and evenly enforced laws by trained law enforcement who are held accountable for their actions.  No system is perfect, but we prosecute our law enforcement when they are discovered breaking the law.  Citizens are "innocent until proven guilty."  The Constitution protects life, liberty and PROPERTY and those protections provide a framework in which we can prosper as a society.

Unfortunately, the forfeiture laws and practices that are springing up around America threaten to morph us into a society very much like Mexico, where the police are feared, where property is subject to confiscation and where the only rights belong to the government.  That is why Paul's legislation is so important.  We need to close the loopholes and make property forfeiture difficult and expensive for the government.  We need to restore the citizens' trust in government by making government accountable for its actions.  And we need to do it now, before we begin to see generations of Americans grow up who expect government to be corrupt and abusive.  When that happens, we have already lost the battle for individual liberty and constitutional rights.




Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.