In Law #46 of February 25, 1947, the Allied Control Council formally proclaimed the dissolution of Prussia.
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On January 1, 1808, the importation of slaves into the United States was banned.
There’s a quiet on Christmas morning . . . after Santa has come and gone . . . and the kids are still sound asleep . . . sugar plum fairies dancing to their gentle snoring.
A moment to stop and think.
I hope they’ll like their presents; they always do. There’s so much love my wife and I want to share, to give to them.
Of course, the biggest gifts are never under the tree. The most important being a staple home, with love, and the freedom for children to grow into themselves.
My parents gave me that . . . along with the bicycles and baseball gloves and some really good books. I’ve tried to be the same kind of parent.
Another incredible endowment I’ve enjoyed is to be born in a country “conceived in liberty.” A place where individual citizens are the sovereigns, creating government to be a servant and not a master. Land of the free.
What a gift!
But Tom Paine told us that, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly, ’tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
Freedom is under siege. And, therefore, we who love freedom, grateful for our historic luck, must come together to protect our “expensive” gift.
Some may get discouraged after setbacks, but none of us got involved in politics because we like “the game” and figured we’d pile up a shelf of trophies. We’re engaged because we must be and we seek victories because, as Churchill once put it, “without victory, there is no survival.”
In 1776, on this very day, General George Washington and his soldiers of the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River to score a surprise military victory against the British at Trenton, New Jersey.
Thank goodness, for these brave patriots and their muskets. Three Americans gave their lives in the battle. To secure our liberty.
Today, the Gift has been handed to us. Not to play with on Christmas morning and forget about, not to let get broken without our fixing it, but to protect and defend and cherish.
My commentary strives to illuminate, to amuse and to motivate toward action, bringing citizens together. Citizens in Charge protects the initiative process — the best weapon citizens have to cut taxes, term-limit politicians, stop the drug war, protect property rights, and place limits on government. The Liberty Initiative Fund partners with leaders across the nation putting measures on the ballot to protect freedom and hold government accountable.
Thanks for your gifts to these efforts and to the many other important ones. We aim to protect the precious gift of freedom.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
Sometimes they inspire shudders.
And yet, I wonder about the latest Chinese engineering effort, Sky City, to be built in Changsha in record time, 90 days.
It’s supposed to house over 31,000 people, contain hotels and restaurants and schools and shops, too, and tower up 163 floors to a height of 2,749 feet.
How could such a thing be so quickly constructed, and still be safe?
Well, not really. It’s prefab. Much of the work has already been done. Building it will be a job of putting pre-fabricated pieces together. The company responsible for the effort has had some success on prefab buildings before, and . . .
The whole thing still sounds a tad hubristic. I wish the builders (and inhabitants) the best, but, even if it succeeds, there’s an ominous aspect to the whole project, if economist Mark Thornton’s theory about new-building skyscrapers has any truth to it. Tall buildings are built when people are optimistic. People are most optimistic during booms. Booms — at least inflationary booms — yield to busts, and many of the major economic depressions have been marked by unfinished or just-finished record-book skyscraper projects.
Does Sky City signal a Chinese bust coming soon?
It may. For the story of our time might be this: China is to America, now, what America was to Great Britain in the 1920s and ’30s. Similar monetary policies and bailouts.
And the loaning nation doesn’t get off free. At least, we didn’t in the decade in which the Empire State Building was finished.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
One thrill of my lifetime occurred soon after I helped launch U.S. Term Limits in 1992, when radio commentator Paul Harvey phoned me to fact-check a story he was doing.
Harvey, king of radio back then, was a huge fan of term limits. And I was a big fan of him. I loved his quirky vocal mannerisms and the way he told us “the rest of the story.” Today, three years after his death, I’d like to bring you “the rest” of a few recent Common Sense stories.
I. “There is no Olympic medal for political dishonesty,” I concluded a recent commentary about a Missouri State senate race where the principled Ed Emery was wrongly and ridiculously smeared by State Rep. Scott Largent. “Let’s hope Show-Me State voters show Largent the agony of defeat.”
Well, voters did just that. In the August 7 primary, Emery narrowly defeated Largent.
II. Recall my rant on the California parks system apparently hiding $54 million from the department of finance?
With an investigation underway, the Sacramento Bee not only reports “a department that wanted to keep secret a reserve of its own special funds” and — surprise, surprise – the unauthorized use of those slush funds, but also “a springtime rush each year to spend money authorized by the Legislature to avoid having the funds return to the general fund.”
Seems the parks department may also have been dummying up million-dollar contracts to make funding look like it was spent when it wasn’t.
All while asking for donations from the public and closing parks.
III. Objected, I did, to the Obama Administration’s successful push to get a record number of people to sign up for food stamps. Others have objected to David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, who posted on Facebook that we should follow the advice of the National Park Service — “Do not feed the animals” — noting that, “Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”
Fowler was denounced for being insensitive, for calling poor people animals.
But aren’t all people animals?
We’re not potted plants.
And now you know the rest of Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.