Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty teeth.

First Inaugural Address of George Washington...April 30, 1789

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

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.

Abraham Lincoln said:

"In this age, and in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it nothing can suceed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions."

James Madison Declared

The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the PEOPLE altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY, wherever the derivative may be found, RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE ALONE. (Federalist Papers, No. 46, p.294; emphasis added.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Bretton Woods Agreement

Following the end of World War II the allies where faced with the challenge of developing a postwar monetary system. In 1944 they meet in the Bretton Woods of New Hampshire. About two and one half years had gone into the planning of the postwar monetary  system that was to be used by the Treasuries of the U.K. and the U.S. and Forty four allied nations and neutral Argentina. A system was designed to legal binding obligations among these allied nations to form an international organization, the IMF, International Monetary Fund. Two rival plans were developed; one by the U.S. represented by Harry Dexter White and the other by the U.K. represented by John Maynard Keynes. Ultimately a compromise was agreed too that resembled the U.S. plan to a greater extent. In order to solve the monetary chaos that occurs during post and interwar periods their judgement was to form the Articles of Agreement of the IMF.

What emerged was the 'pegged rate' or also know as the 'adjustible peg' currency system which obligated members to declare a par value (a 'peg') for their national money and to intervene within maximum margins that were agreed upon.

They agreed on several items which resulted in what was the 'pegged rate' monetary regime which became known as the 'par value system'. They also agreed that if exchange rates did not float freely, countries would require adequate supplies of monetary reserves. If some countries could not supply this reserve a supplementary source would of these funds should be established. What eventually emerged was a system of subscriptions and quotas embedded in the IMF. The members of the IMF where then permitted to borrow monies in amounts regulated by the size of its quota.

Another point on which all the governments agreed upon was to end the economic warfare that occurred during the 1930s. A system of rule was created to ensure fairness in currency practices. The IMF was responsible to oversee these new rules of fairness governing currency transactions.

Most importantly they agreed that there was need for an institutional forum for international cooperation on monetary policy. The IMF in the postwar years did provide such a forum.

Putting all these agreements together essentially created and defined the Bretton Woods Agreement or System. The IMF which was at the center of this agreement was hoped to perform three important tasks:
  1. Regulatory administration of the rules governing currency
  2. Financial (supplying supplementary monies as needed)
  3. Consultative (a forum for cooperation among governments)
All however did not go as smoothly and as optimistically hope for right after the end of the war and even to this very day. The United States eventually became the leading economic contributor and responsible entity to carry on the tasks of the IMF. The U.S. managed to keep an open market, to continue the flow of money and grants first through the Marshall Plan and eventually through the finally reopened New York market. Also the U.S. continued a lending policy for the provision of short term funds in times of crisis.

Though a multinational agreement in formal design quickly became the U.S.'s Bretton Woods Agreement and the U.S. dollar the exchange standard and to this day remains so. For a period of time during the "cold war" the U.S. welcomed this control and the world did not mind having a source of liquid capital as needed in crises or perceived crises. The system eventually broke down in the early 1970s for many reasons.

I will share more with you about the demise of the Bretton Woods Agreement in future blogs. Promise!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'Education is a basic civil right'...WHAT?

Gov. Pat Quinn just signed the education overhaul bill in an elementary school in Maywood. It takes effect immediately and largely has the support of unions and advocacy groups.

According to Senator Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, "this is not a bill to attack the teachers". She sponsored this bill. She goes on to state that "Education is a basic civil right." Here we go again with politicians making something a civil right when it is not. I guess if you say it enough people will believe you. Just to make sure I pulled out my copy of the U.S. Constitution and no where, I repeat no where is it stated that education is a basic civil right granted by it. So don't believe everything you read in the newspapers or everything a politician says...check it out for yourself.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

U.S. don't count on NATO in the future

Brussels, Friday, June 10, 2011 -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at the Biblioteque Solvay regarding security and defense. According to an article by Associate Press reporters Desmond Butler and Robert Burns, the Secretary warned that the "NATO military alliance is at risk." His reasons, "penny-pinching and the distaste for front-line combat." Well isn't that just too bad after we have hauled their hind ends out of two world wars. According too the reporters the Secretary stated that the United States "won't carry the alliance as a charity case" anymore.

The only NATO country that agreed and with gusto was Britain; so much for the rest of our so-called allies. I guess now we know who we can count on in the future...not many.

Gates warned the Europeans of the distaste of Americans towards Europe's priorities. He warned "the blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic at large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense."

In essence I believe that Gates was telling the Europeans that they need to start "carrying their fair share" of the load that the U.S. has been doing for "six decades".  Well it is about time someone in a high position in the government told the European "users" the truth of the situation and that we are sick and tired of constantly bailing them out of situations they got themselves into.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Martin Anderson's Policy Memorandum No.1

by Martin Anderson

The Plan

(1) We must speed up economic growth to increase the take-home pay of workers and to provide more jobs.

  • Reduce federal taxes
  • Index federal income tax brackets
  • Reduce and eliminate counterproductive federal government regulation of business, education, and the professions
(2) Federal spending must be controlled

  • Reduce and eliminate waste and extravagance in federal spending
  • Establish effective controls on federal spending
  • Give the President line-item veto power over the budget
  • Transfer certain federal programs, along with the tax resources that finance them, back to state and local governments
(3) Balance the federal budget
(4) Economic policy must be consistent, dependable, with no abrupt changes
(5) Propose an "Economic Bill of Rights"
    • Section 1.Limit the amount the federal government can spend
    • Section 2.Require the federal budget to be balanced
    • Section 3.Prohibit the imposition of wage and price controls
    • Section 4. Establish line-item veto power for the President
    • Section 5. Require a two-thirds vote of Congress on all major spending bills
This plan should show positive results within at most one to two years.