Scotland: May We All Live Free

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The important cultural analysis by Geert Hofstede, conducted in the 1970s and 80s, and impacting many research paradigms since, concluded that the United States is the most individualistic culture in the world. However, there are a handful of Western countries that approximate our American rugged individualism, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Along with the U.S., these countries share a legacy of freedom and liberty. The state of New Hampshire tells us, “Live Free or Die,” but this motto reflects the heritage of our entire Western experience.

Although we have much to learn from the rich traditions across the rest of the world, politicians would be foolish to ignore our traditions of individualism. Leaders in Westminster have promised to allow Scotland to practice increasing freedom within the continuing UK. Edinburgh has been promised new authority over taxes, spending, and social welfare. These promises were sufficient to bolster undecided voters and amass the NO votes needed to maintain the union.

Meanwhile, in America, the Obama Administration has—as a result of its frustration with our traditional protections of federal balance of power—sought by executive action to further regulate social policy in America. To be more precise, the Obama Administration has sought to federalize social policy when it fits with its agenda (as in abortion coverage as a part of mandated health insurance), while allowing states to ignore federal regulations when the federal laws disagree with its agenda (as in the legalization of marijuana). Obama’s use of executive action threatens the liberty and freedom of Americans and encourages libertarians to dream of votes for possible independence, as we have just witnessed in Scotland.

The larger goals of Scotland and England are very consistent and complementary. Yet, because the Western heritage is based on freedom and liberty, the Scots react strongly when the federal government in Westminster restricts their means and choices.

Several years ago, while touring in the UK, I noticed a difference in how dogs were handled in England and in Scotland. There were no incidents in either nation in which dogs threatened me in any way–they all behaved in a most prim and proper manner. Yet I noticed that dogs in England were always on a leash, while in Scotland they were allowed to roam. When I returned home, I did some internet searching. Although dog laws are appropriately a matter of local regulation rather than national law, I noticed that (as a general rule) local laws in England required that dogs be on a leash, but local laws in Scotland required that dogs be “under control.” There is agreement over the goal that dogs should not create threats or inconveniences to other people, but in England it is common to regulate the means, while in Scotland people are allowed to choose their own means—as long as they achieve the desired end. If your dog is appropriately trained, then the leash is not necessary.

Any modern Western society requires many regulations in order that one’s personal freedom does not interfere or threaten the rights of others. It is bothersome, for example, if my neighbors burn noxious waste. It is bothersome if my neighbors’ noise and lights impact my personal space. However, the lesson of Scotland is that regulating personal lives should, as much as possible, respect freedom and liberty. In order to do so, our laws (preferably local laws) should regulate the desired ends, while allowing people the freedom to choose the strategies to achieve those ends.

The British government has been using the term “devolution” to mean allowing local government to retake control of local issues, rather than regulating them at the federal level. It is devolution, I suppose, in that control is removed from the higher federal level and returned to the lower local level. More properly, however, it should not be termed devolution; it should be called freedom. In the West, we expect the right to personally control our daily lives and (where necessary) to regulate them at the local level.

Westminster promises to give more freedom back to Scotland. I long for a movement in America in which Washington gives more freedom back to our own state and local governments. Call it devolution if you will. I call it freedom.

Photo Credit: blogmuchomasqueunviaje.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Watch: What Three Military Officers Of This ‘Islamic Republic’ Just Did On US Soil Raises Red Flags

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBC News has just reported that the three missing Afghan soldiers have been caught trying to enter Canada from the U.S. More details as they become available.

Three officers from the Afghanistan National Army are missing and unaccounted for after disappearing on a supervised shopping trip in Cape Cod. The three men — a major and two captains — were reportedly part of a group of 15 soldiers and officers from Afghanistan participating in annual joint exercises on Otis Air National Guard Base.

The Washington Post reports that this incident marks the second time this month that a group of Afghan trainees has gone missing in the United States.

This second incident comes just days after two Afghan police officers training with the Drug Enforcement Agency in Quantaco, Va., disappeared while on a tourism day trip to Washington on Sept. 13. The two men…were found on Sept. 18 in Buffalo, N.Y., where authorities believe they were trying to reunite with family.

The mysterious disappearance of foreign fighters here in the U.S. is especially troubling in light of the growing concern about the potential for domestic terrorism. Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic where the Taliban is still fighting to regain control of the country.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are said to be involved in the search for the three missing Afghan military officers, as we learn in the video report above, via Fox News.

 

Image Credit: Fox News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Alarming: Putin Could Soon Bring The U.S. Economy To Its Knees With One Simple Action

Photo credit: ID1974 / Shutterstock.com

The de-dollarization of the world economy continues to proceed as countries around the world sign swap agreements to trade in their own currencies and remove the US dollar from transactions with their non-U.S. trading partners.

It is no secret that Russian President Vladimir Putin would love to further this process and damage the United States economically as much as possible by minimizing the use of the dollar globally, and undermining its status as a global reserve currency.  The Western sanctions on Russia are starting to bite as the Ruble approaches forty to the dollar.

Unfortunately for Russia, it cannot harm U.S. interests on its own.  She does not have the economic strength and is playing this hand from a position of weakness.  However, there is a way the Kremlin could seriously harm the United States. Combined efforts by the BRIC developing economies would have a devastating impact on the value and influence of the dollar.

China is also keen on reducing USD hegemony in the global economy. India and Brazil are as well, although to a lesser extent than China and Russia. If these four nations teamed up to sell U.S. treasuries and remove the dollar from their foreign transactions, we could see the bottom fall out of the dollar’s valuation. The Federal Reserve would also most likely lose control of the bond market. So you would have a dual shock to the American economy–significantly higher interest rates and a weak currency.  We also would have trouble finding buyers for our bonds to support our ravenous spending habits if the BRICs refused to participate in U.S. treasury auctions.

This scenario is almost certainly being planned and implemented by Moscow already, with the latest indications being that they’re shifting their assets out of the greenback and into hard commodities like gold.  In a recent commentary on its website, Birch Gold Group, a national dealer of precious metals, noted that “Besides retaliating with more sanctions against the E.U. and the U.S., the Russians have been one of the world’s biggest buyers of gold this year. Over the past six months, according to the World Gold Council, Russia has added 54 metric tons to its gold reserves; Russians now have the 6th largest gold reserves, higher than both Switzerland’s and China’s.”

Perhaps the Russians know something we don’t?

With the recent Western sanctions targeting the life blood of the Russian economy, the main state-owned hydrocarbon producers, the Russians have been looking East.  Russia recently signed a multi-year natural gas deal with China to lock in a long term customer, albeit just above cost.  Moscow is also very aware of Western Europe’s efforts to diversify away from Russian gas supplies.

The point is that cooperation with the historically belligerent neighbors is already underway.  In the same commentary, Birch Gold observed that “Russia is also unloading U.S. dollars and euros and increasing its Chinese yuan reserves – which could hurt the dollar in the long run. China and Russia have recently agreed on a draft document to exchange currencies. Their central banks will swap currencies to stimulate further development of direct trade between the countries.”

The wildcard in the BRIC adverse scenario is the actions of India and Brazil.  Relations with India soured significantly last year after the U.S. arrested an Indian diplomat for alleged visa fraud. Since the election of Modi earlier in 2014, the United States has been keen to repair relations and have warmed up to the new Indian leader.  Perhaps the Obama administration realizes America needs more friends in the world, not less.  Relations with Brazil and the United States are also at an all-time low. This comes after the news that the NSA was spying on the Brazilian president. Efforts by the Obama administration to repair this relationship have so far been fruitless.

So it seems the United States finds itself in a situation where all of the BRIC countries are at odds with the United States’ policy agenda. Therefore, the potential for these countries to unite and coordinate their efforts to harm the United States economically is substantial.  This bodes ill for the status of the USD and influence of the United States in the long run.  In other words, a perfect storm.

 

If this “perfect storm” were indeed to strike the U.S. Dollar, will your savings be protected? Don’t wait to find out. Safeguard your nest egg today with gold – the one currency that has stood the test of time. To learn how to get started, and how you can even move your IRA or 401(k) to physical precious metals, request a free information kit from Birch Gold Group – there is no cost and no obligation to you. All you need to do is enter your details at www.birchgold.com.

 

Photo credit: ID1974 / Shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Watch: Obama Admin Rolls Out Scary Gun Policies That Could Be Used In Tyrannical Ways

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The world watched riots and strike in Ferguson, Missouri over Barack Obama and Eric Holder engaging in blatant race baiting and fanning the flames of racism.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, now the Obama National political strife machine has rolled out another race-oriented initiative that has virtually escaped notice by the mainstream news media.

The Obama administration has begun quietly forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, according to The Washington Times.

This inexplicable new policy change provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling, reports the Times.

With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2012 amended its Form 4473, which is required for gun purchases, to identify buyers as either Latino, Hispanic, or not, as well as requiring the gun buyer to list his or her race as Black, Asian, White, Indian or Pacific Islander, or white.

We can hear it now: “Oh, my, we have located a Pacific Islander who just bought a gun, a jug of Hawaiian Punch and some Captain Crunch cereal at stores on the same city block on the same day. That fits the profile of a suspected serial killer. Send in the drones.”

Give me a break. But conspicuous by its absence were any questions on the form inquiring if someone was Muslim or Middle Eastern or part of a known terror group. But who cares about that? At least we’ll know if Pacific Islanders are stockpiling weapons…

Needless to say, the amendment is causing headaches galore for gun retailers, since they must fill in each and every new privacy-invading box exactly and correctly–or risk getting a visit from an ATF swat team.

Each box on the form needs to be checked off, or else it’s an ATF violation — severe enough for the government to shut a business down.

Frequently, people skip over the Hispanic/Latino box and only check their race, or vice versa — both of which are federal errors that can be held against the gun dealer.

So, while the Obama administration accuses conservatives of committing acts of racism, this liberal regime is leading the parade in setting back decades of civil rights gains.

The big question is, what will the government do with the data they gather from this gross intrusion of privacy?

But when The Washington Times contacted the ATF to answer this question, officials declined to comment on why race and ethnicity information are needed in the first place–or what they are used for.

Please forward a link to this video to fellow American citizens who might be concerned about yet one more “change” being given to us by the squatter-in-chief, who demands that we show race and national origin–while he has still not shown us his long form birth certificate or his college records proving he wasn’t a foreign student, ineligible to be President of The United States. And come to think of it, didn’t Barack Hussein Obama grow up in Indonesia and later move to Hawaii? Hmm…that fits the profile of a Pacific Islander!

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

ISIS Mocks “Uncircumcised Old Geezer” John Kerry For Becoming An “Islamic Jurist”

Photo credit: USAID U.S. Agency for International Development (Flickr)

ISIS recently mocked John Kerry, whom they called an “uncircumcised old geezer”, for becoming an “Islamic jurist”:

To the extent that Kerry, the uncircumcised old geezer, suddenly became an Islamic jurist, issuing a verdict to the people that the Islamic State was distorting Islam, that what it was doing was against Islamic teachings, and that the Islamic State was an enemy of Islam.

They also mocked Obama for “suddenly became a sheikh, mufti (Islamic scholar that issues verdicts), and an Islamic preacher, warning the people and preaching in defense of Islam” and claiming that the Islamic State has “nothing to do with Islam.” They noted that he had done so six times in the span of a single month.

It is a good question. How are Kerry and Obama suddenly Islamic scholars who claim to know that the true Islam is just, merciful, and compassionate? Is the Islamic State right in its claims that it represents the true Islam, a religion in which the concept of jihad is fundamental to the faith?

h/t: Weasel Zippers

Photo credit: USAID U.S. Agency for International Development (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom