Wednesday, April 16, 2014

link
Grosjean v. American Press Co. [1936]
A newspaper corporation has a 1st Amendment liberty right to
freedom of speech that would be applied to the states through
the 14th Amendment. The Court ruled that the corporation was
free to sell advertising in newspapers without being taxed. This
is the first 1st Amendment protection for corporations.

link

 The state of facts existing at the time of the formation of the Constitution forbids the supposition that the commerce of corporations was excluded. From the time when commerce began to revive in the middle ages, corporations had been a great and important instrument of commerce. This fact is too conspicuous to be overlooked. The East India Company, founded 1599, and made perpetual in 1610, had, in its pursuit of commerce, conquered and held vast possessions. Every commercial people, from Wisby round to Venice, had employed these associations as the instruments of commerce. Morellet, a French writer on commercial subjects, whose book was published in 1770, gives a list of a large number of these companies. Postlethwaite, whose Dictionary of Trade appeared in 1774, does the same. We need but refer to The Merchant Adventurers' Company, in the time of Edward IV, to The Russian Merchants' Company, to The Levant Company, The Virginia Company, The Turkey Company, The Greenland Company, The Hudson Bay Company, The Hamburg Company, The Great Dutch East India Company. And when the Constitution was proposed, some of the States to be united under it, as ex. gr. Massachusetts and Plymouth, had their origin, and settlement, and growth under the charters of trading corporations. In 1776 Adam Smith, [75 U.S. 168, 172]   whose Wealth of Nations was extensively read and admired, speaks of them largely.
Even if it was not then known that corporations had been extensively employed as instruments of commerce, still it the terms of the Constitution were broad enough to include all instruments, all would be included. How much more, when the use of this instrumentality was then known, conspicuous, and of vast importance. The truth is, that the Constitution has no reference to the particular instruments to be employed. These instruments may be greatly varied, according to the views of interest and expediency of those who carry on commerce.
Single persons, general partnerships, special partnerships, associations not incorporated, but having some of the incidents, corporations technically, all these alike are agencies of commerce. The Constitution has no reference to the modes of association by which the commerce should be carried on. This was of no more importance than whether sails or steam were used in the matter.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Right to bear arms



The Bill of Rights[1] is an Act of the Parliament of England passed on 16 December 1689.[2] It was a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689

 It reestablished the liberty of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law, and condemned James II of England for "causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time whenpapists were both armed and employed contrary to law".



OPINION

Charles Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society

Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.

By 

Updated April 2, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET
I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.
Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
Getty Images
A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.
More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. "The natural progress of things," Jefferson wrote, "is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." He knew that no government could possibly run citizens' lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.
Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.
Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we're "un-American" and trying to "rig the system," that we're against "environmental protection" or eager to "end workplace safety standards." These falsehoods remind me of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company:
Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.
Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our "commitment to a cleaner environment" and called us "a model for other companies."
Our refineries have consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions. In 2012, our Total Case Incident Rate (an important safety measure) was 67% better than a Bureau of Labor Statistics average for peer industries. Even so, we have never rested on our laurels. We believe there is always room for innovation and improvement.
Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.
Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. Now the mandate needs to go, so that consumers and the marketplace are the ones who decide the future of ethanol.
Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.
If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I'm dedicated to fighting for that vision. I'm convinced most Americans believe it's worth fighting for, too.
Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

FATCA pursues a decidedly non-cooperative approach to foreign financial institutions to ensure that Americans don’t play hide-and-seek with the IRS. Foreign financial institutions (FFIs) of all description—banks, stockbrokers, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and trusts—will be required to report to the IRS annual information on all clients (both direct and indirect) who are US persons. The information required includes the name and address of the US client, the largest account balance during the year, and the debits and credits incurred by the account. Any FFI that fails to stand up and report will be hit with a 30 percent withholding tax penalty on all US payments of dividends, interest, and security proceeds. Under a notice issued by the IRS on July 14, 2011, FATCA will begin to take effect in stages, starting January 2013.

The withholding tax penalty in FATCA overrides multiple tax treaties, but that’s just the beginning of its non-cooperative, indeed imperial “solution” to possible tax evasion by Americans. Imagine the US reaction if a foreign power—say China, Japan, or Russia—enacted legislation requiring US financial firms to report similar information on their citizens, and imposed a stiff penalty on US firms that failed to comply. One hopes that Congress and the Administration would scream to the rooftops. That’s exactly the response of FFIs to FATCA, and once enforcement kicks in, the backlash will likely extend to political levels abroad. Not only does the FATCA legislation brush past tax treaties and foreign privacy statutes, it also imposes significant accounting costs on perhaps 100,000 foreign financial institutions. The likely result is that many FFIs will refuse accounts owned by Americans, sell any holdings of US stocks, bonds and real estate, and place new portfolio investments in more friendly locales. Along the way, foreign governments will complain bitterly about another flagrant piece of extraterritorial US legislation.

FATCA is ruinous for Americans and for American business overseas

FATCA has turned Americans into pariahs in the international financial world.
FATCA requires foreign financial institutions to report to the IRS the names and assets of all clients who are U.S. persons. Consequently, foreign financial institutions banks, insurance companies and pension funds are already turning away American clients due to the costly IRS reporting requirements and the perceived significant legal and financial risks. ACA has received multiple testimonies from Americans abroad who have had their foreign bank accounts closed, been refused entry into a foreign pension fund, or who cannot enter into insurance contracts overseas. How can Americans abroad survive and U.S. businesses develop globally without access to foreign banks, foreign pension funds and insurance coverage? In many cases Americans have been unable to participate in company pension funds or conclude insurance contracts, and as a result are rendered unemployable by this punitive framework.
If a U.S. company aims to develop exports, either through a sales representative or its own sales subsidiary, it necessarily must have foreign bank accounts to facilitate payments from foreign clients and to pay local expenses. It must be able to contract insurance plans for its company’s assets and provide pension plans for its employees. FATCA creates an enormous barrier for U.S. companies attempting to penetrate foreign markets with U.S. products and services. This barrier adds to the already burdensome IRS reporting required for foreign controlled corporations

American, We are watching you!

 the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) enacts Chapter 4 of, and makes other modifications to, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. It requires foreign banks to find any American account holders and disclose their balances, receipts, and withdrawals to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or be subject to a 30-percent withholding tax on income from US financial assets held by the banks.[

However, allegedly as a result of FATCA, European banks such as Deutsche BankCommerzbankHSBC, and Credit Suisse have been closing brokerage accounts for all US customers since early 2011 citing "onerous" US regulations, which FATCA will make more complex when it goes into effect in 2013.[14][15]

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Manhood!

Dave Barry's Manliness Manifesto

It's time to reclaim the rites of manhood


We live in ridiculously convenient times. Think about it: Whenever you need any kind of information, about anything, day or night, no matter where you are, you can just tap your finger on your smartphone and within seconds an answer will appear, as if by magic, on the screen. Granted, this answer will be wrong because it comes from the Internet, which is infested with teenagers, lunatics and Anthony Weiner. But it's convenient.
Today everything is convenient. You cook your meals by pushing a microwave button. Your car shifts itself, and your GPS tells you where to go. If you go to a men's public restroom, you don't even have to flush the urinal! This tedious chore is a thing of the past because the urinal now has a small electronic "eye" connected to the Central Restroom Command Post, located deep underground somewhere near Omaha, Neb., where highly trained workers watch you on high-definition TV screens and make the flush decision for you. ("I say we push the button." "Wait, not yet!")
It's time to reclaim the rites of manhood, argues Dave Barry. Getty Images
And then there's travel. A century ago, it took a week to get from New York to California; today you can board a plane at La Guardia and six hours later—think about that: six hours later!—you will, as if by magic, still be sitting in the plane at La Guardia because "La Guardia" is Italian for "You will never actually take off." But during those six hours you can be highly productive by using your smartphone to get on the Internet.
So we have it pretty easy. But we have paid a price for all this convenience: We don't know how to do anything anymore. We're helpless without our technology. Have you ever been standing in line to pay a cashier when something went wrong with the electronic cash register? Suddenly your safe, comfortable, modern world crumbles and you are plunged into a terrifying nightmare postapocalyptic hell where people might have to do math USING ONLY THEIR BRAINS.
Peter Arkle

The Saturday Essay

Regular American adults are no more capable of doing math than they are of photosynthesis. If you hand a cashier a $20 bill for an item costing $13.47, both you and the cashier are going to look at the cash register to see how much you get back and both of you will unquestioningly accept the cash register's decision. It may say $6.53; it may say $5.89; it may be in a generous mood and say $8.41. But whatever it says, that's how much change you will get because both you and the cashier know the machine is WAY smarter than you.
A while back, my daughter asked me to help her with her math homework, which involved doing long division without a calculator. There was a time, somewhere around 1963, when I definitely knew how to do long division; I figured this knowledge was still lying around in my brain somewhere. I mean, I can remember many other things from 1963. That was the year when the Beach Boys came out with their album Surfer Girl, and I can recall every word from every track on it, including an obscure and genuinely idiotic song called "Our Car Club," which contains, among other lyrics, these:
We'll get the roughest and the toughest initiation we can find
And if you want to try to get in we'll really put you through the grind
'Cause THIS club's the VERY BEST!
I haven't heard "Car Club" for decades, but I typed those lyrics without looking them up. My brain stashed them away in a safe place, in case I would need them someday in a lyrics-related emergency.
My brain did not, however, elect to save the instructions for doing long division. So when I tried to help my daughter, I was useless. I had a vague recollection that you start by dividing the littler number (or maybe just part of the littler number) into just the first part of the bigger number, then you multiply something and then you put the result down below. But I wasn't sure where down below, exactly, you put the result, and I had no idea what you did with it after that. 'Cause THIS club's the VERY BEST!
I tried for several painful minutes to show my daughter how to do long division, at which point she gently told me I should go back to watching "Storage Wars" and she would figure out long division on her own. And she did. I don't know where she got the information. Probably from the Internet. Possibly even from Anthony Weiner.
Peter Arkle
But it isn't my inability to do long division that really bothers me. What really bothers me is that, like many modern American men, I don't know how to do anythingmanly anymore. And by "manly," I do not mean "physical." A lot of us do physical things, but these are yuppie fitness things like "spinning," and "crunches," and working on our "core," and running half-marathons and then putting "13.1" stickers on our hybrid cars so everybody will know what total cardiovascular badasses we are.
That's not manly. I'll tell you who was manly: The early American pioneers. They set out into the vast untracked wilderness with nothing but a musket and a sack of hardtack and hominy, and they had to survive out there for months, even years, completely on their own, sleeping on the ground in bear-infested forests. That's why they brought the hardtack: to throw at the bears. They had no idea why they brought hominy. Like you, they had no idea what "hominy" means. It sounds like some kind of disease.
Patient: What is it, doc?
Doctor: I'm afraid you have the hominy.
Patient: Not the hominy!
But the point is, these pioneering men did not do "crunches." These men crunched the damn continent—blazing trails, fording rivers, crossing mountain ranges, building log cabins, forging things with forges, etc. We modern men can't do any of those things. We don't have the vaguest idea how to ford a river. We'd check our phones to see if we had a fording app and, if not, we'd give up, go back home and work on our cores.
We American men have lost our national manhood, and I say it's time we got it back. We need to learn to do the kinds of manly things our forefathers knew how to do. To get us started, I've created a list of some basic skills that every man should have, along with instructions. You may rest assured that these instructions are correct. I got them from the Internet.
Things a Man Should Know How to Do
How to Cook a Steak on the Grill
Peter Arkle
1. Make sure you choose a good steak. The main "cuts" of steak are the Brisket, the Loin, the Round, the Chuck, the Rump, the Groin, the Niblick, the Flanker, the Grommet, the Cosine and the Stirrup. They are all basically the same because they all come from the inside of a cow. You should select a manly-looking steak that is approximately the size and density of a standard manhole cover and does not have too many visible fly eggs.
2. Many people like to enhance the flavor of the steak by soaking it ahead of time in marinade or rubbing it with a blend of herbs and spices.
3. These people are wimps.
4. Place the steak horizontally on the grill oriented along an east-west axis.
5. Drink a timing beer. (VERY IMPORTANT: Not a "light" beer.)
6. When the beer is done, check the steak by prodding it firmly yet gently with your right forefinger. If it feels cold, you need to light the grill. (This should have been Step 1.)
7. Drink another timing beer.
8. Turn the steak over, using barbecue tongs or a No. 2 profilated Phillips screwdriver with a 10-inch titanium-coated shank.
9. Drink another timing beer.
10. Check the steak to determine how done it is, using this chart:
Doneness of Steak – Color of Steak
Rare – brown
Medium-rare – brown
Medium – brown
Medium-well – brown
Well – brown
Peter Arkle
11. If the steak is covered with molten or flaming plastic, you failed to remove it from the packaging. (This should also have been Step 1.)
12. Spray the steak with a fire extinguisher if necessary and serve it outdoors in a dark area.
13. This might be a good time to switch to tequila.
How to Survive If You Are Lost in a Forest and Night Is Falling
1. Always remember that the most important rule of wilderness survival is: Do not panic.
2. Granted, there are probably dangerous wild carnivorous animals lurking nearby.
3. Wolverines, for example.
4. According to Wikipedia, "The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself."
5. And do not get Wikipedia started on the question of venomous snakes.
Peter Arkle
6. But you must not panic.
7. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF.
8. Gather flammable wood to make a fire. The best kind of wood in this situation is the "fire log," which is easy to identify because it comes in a box of six.
9. Check your pockets to see if you have matches or a cigarette lighter, which of course you will not. You would not dream of smoking cigarettes because you are a modern, crunch-doing, health-conscious, risk-averse individual.
10. A fat lot of good that's doing you now with the wolverines closing in.
11. Fortunately, there are other ways to start a fire. Position yourself over your fire log and, with a quick motion of your wrist, strike a piece of flint against a piece of steel to make a spark.
12. Just kidding! If you had flint and steel, you would not be the kind of nimrod who gets lost in the forest in the first place.
13. An old Indian trick is to rub two sticks together rapidly to create friction.
14. This method has never once, in human history, resulted in an actual fire.
15. It's just one of those things that Indians enjoy tricking white people into doing.
16. Other examples are canoeing, face painting and "hominy."
17. Since there will be no fire, your only hope of surviving is stay up all night making noises that will keep animals away. Most leading wilderness survival experts recommend that you sing the "Macarena."
18. You should also do the hand motions because carnivorous animals can see in the dark. You may feel silly, but consider: Not one single person has been killed in the wilderness by animals while doing the "Macarena" since the National Forest Service began keeping records on this in 1902.
19. If you are still alive in the morning, carefully note the direction in which the sun rises. This will be either east or west, depending on what hemisphere you are in. Using this information, you can determine which way north and south are and, from there, you can calculate the time of day to within roughly two hours.
20. Another option is to look at your watch.
21. Carefully scan the horizon, noting landmarks—a river, a hill, a valley, a Motel 6 sign, etc. Use these to create a "mental map" of your current position.
22. Keeping all of this information in mind, calmly, and without panicking, run in a random direction, throwing your hands into the air and shouting, "I DON'T WANT TO DIE!"
23. If you are anywhere in North America, within 20 minutes you will come to a Starbucks.
24. There, you can purchase emergency scones while the staff calls for help.
How to Jump-Start Your Car When the Battery Is Dead
Peter Arkle
1. Obtain a working car from somewhere and park it next to your car.
2. Or, if the owner isn't around, you could just take off in the working car.
3. No, that would be wrong.
4. On both cars, locate the hood, which is a big flat piece of metal in the front with bird poop on it.
5. Open both hoods. There will be a button or lever inside the car on the driver's side that you need to push or pull, and then a latch somewhere under the front of the hood that you need to reach in and release. So your best bet is to use a crowbar.
6. Locate your car's battery. It will be a black box partly covered with a whitish-greenish fuzz. This is car leprosy. Do not touch it.
7. Obtain some jumper cables from somewhere.
8. Call 911 and let them know there might be an emergency soon.
9. Do this next part VERY, VERY CAREFULLY OR YOU WILL DIE.
10. Connect one end of the red jumper cable it to the positive terminal (also called the ignition or carburetor) on your car's battery. Then connect the other end of the red cable to an electronic part such as the radio of the opposing car. Repeat this process in the opposite order with the black jumper cable, taking care to reverse the polarity.
11. Try to start your car. If the engine explodes in a giant fireball, something is wrong.
12. Maybe you should have somebody else try to start your car while you go get coffee a minimum of 150 yards away.
13. If by some miracle your car actually starts, do not turn it off ever again.
14. When you drive, be alert for further signs of trouble such as a flickering of your headlights, which is an indication of a problem in your electrical system; or a collision with a building, which is an indication that you forgot to put the hood back down.
Excerpted from "You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About," to be published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA), on March 4.
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    Did You Ever Wonder?


    Subject: Fw: Did You Ever Wonder?
     
    -----
     Just Thinking... ☛
     
     I think I had amnesia once -- or twice. ☛
     
     Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic. ☛
     
     All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy. ☛
     
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous. ☛
     
     If the world was a logical place, men would ride horses sidesaddle. ☛
     
     What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free? ☛
     
    They told me I was gullible...and I believed them. ☛
     
     Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to edge his car onto a motorway. ☛
     
     Two can live as cheaply as one, but for half as long. ☛
     
     Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone. ☛
     
     What if there were no hypothetical questions? ☛
     
     One nice thing about egotists: They don't talk about other people. ☛
     
     When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail. ☛
     
     What was the greatest thing before sliced bread? ☛
     
     How can there be self-help "groups"? ☛
     
     Is there another word for synonym? ☛
     
     Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"? ☛
     
     Is it possible to be totally partial? ☛ Is Marx's tomb a communist plot? ☛
     
     If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales? ☛
     
     Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off. ☛
     
     It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one. ☛
     
     Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it? ☛
     
     Why is it that no matter what color of bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white? ☛
     
     Is there ever a day when mattresses are NOT on sale? ☛
     
     Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with the hopes that something new to eat will have magically materialized? ☛
     
     On electric toasters, why do they engrave the message 'one slice'? How many pieces of bread do they think people are really gonna try to stuff in that slot? ☛
     
     Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give their vacuum one more chance? ☛
     
    Why is it that no plastic garbage bag will open from the end you first try? ☛
     
     How do those dead bugs get into closed light fixtures? ☛
     
    Considering all the lint you get in your dryer, if you kept drying your clothes would they eventually just disappear? ☛
     
     When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'Its all right." It isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?" ☛
     
     Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over? ☛
     
     Is it true that the only difference between a yard sale and garbage is how close to the road the stuff is placed? ☛
     
     In winter, why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat? ☛
     
     How come we never hear any father-in-law jokes? OK, it's a small mind.