In Treasury Secretary Mnunchin’s report released today, the U.S. Postal Service’s future as a sustainable organization was appropriately and undeniably called into question. The Trump Administration has worked diligently this year to fashion positive USPS management changes and this report follows the President’s move to commission a Task Force review in April.
“The Task Force’s findings detail inexplicable financial malpractice on the part of the U.S. Postal Service,” said George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom. “Clearly there are many new directives that the USPS must advance to create meaningful change for the sake of American taxpayers, consumers, and postal workers. For years, the Postal Service has asked to be treated like a private business, however, every action it takes has resulted in greater losses and worse service overall.”
“For an agency of the Federal Government, full accounting transparency of the costs and revenues of each individual product is essential. Members of Congress and USPS regulators and its board of governors must have the ability scrutinize services, like parcels and others, where the agency is unable to cover the costs of delivery.”
As a limited government advocate focused on constitutional principles, Frontiers of Freedom believes that the preservation of affordable and timely mail delivery is essential. Furthermore in 2019, the Postal Service must be subject to reforms to ensure its solvency and decrease the risk of a potentially massive taxpayer bailout.
The situation is extremely critical. The Ukrainian people are freezing. In the cities of Cherkasky, Hmelnickiy, Herson, and Kharkov the authorities have been forced to declare emergencies. People all over Ukraine have gone to the streets to protest the inhuman conditions. The civil movement called the Organization of Ukrainian Mothers has called for nationwide protests. Its leader, Natalia Korolevskaya has announced that they will protest in front of the Parliament building and other government installations. Most of the protesting mothers have carried signs claiming that not starvation, in Ukrainian golodomor, but the threat of freezing to death, in Ukrainian holodomor will kill their children.
In fact, Ukraine is frozen both literally as well as figuratively speaking. Because of serial non-payments for Russian gas, Gazprom has stopped deliveries. Simultaneously, Ukraine cancelled the bilateral agreement on gas deliveries. More importantly, since its independence on August 24, 1991, Ukraine has failed spectacularly to build a politically stable and economically prosperous state. Its politicians have used their anti-Russian rhetoric to build up their individual fiefdoms and in many cases their criminal organizations. Simultaneously, they have abused Ukrainian nationalism to suppress the sizable ethnic Russian community, allegedly as a payback for the Russian oppression prior to the country’s independence.
Historically, attempts to create new states in Europe in the 20th century by the dominant European and the non-European powers ended, without exception, in failures, and subsequently in the necessary restoration of the status quo ante. Judged by the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in the late 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century neither the United States of America nor the dominant member states of the European Union learned the lessons from the forced and artificial unifications of the Czechs and the Slovaks, and the multitude of ethnic groups in the former Yugoslavia after the end of World War I.
Between the two World Wars Yugoslavia was held together by the joint vision of the Serbs and the Croats to establish a strong state of the southern Slavs. After 1945, Josip Broz Tito’s ethos as the anti-German and anti-Soviet hero provided the political glue that held Yugoslavia together, albeit barely. The dictatorship that Tito invented was based on allowing the Croats and the Slovens to get rich, while financing and thus taming the Serbs militaristic ambitions. The rest of the republics and the two autonomous regions were kept relatively placid by showering them with the money left from arming the Serbs.
Frontiers of Freedom released the following statement on property rights and condemning the ITC for approving of theft:
Protecting property rights has long been a core mission of Frontiers of Freedom. Our Constitution provided for property rights for physical property and for intellectual property. America became the world’s most innovative and economically powerful nation because our Founders grasped the importance of property rights and created a system that incentivized creativity, innovation and the productive use of such property.
Unfortunately, too many – in various industries and in government – dismiss the importance of IP rights. Too many users of patented technology (like big tech companies) think they should be able to use that technology in their products without paying at all or paying as little as possible. Along with that courts and legislators have taken steps to weaken those protections – causing the US to start losing its place as the world’s innovator.
A decision just last month is particularly egregious. The U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm filed a case against Apple at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for infringing some of their patents. An administrative law judge (ALJ) of the ITC found that Apple was guilty of infringing these patents, but in an strange conclusion decided not to impose an exclusion order – the one remedy available to the ITC. As Apple imports its phones (manufactured overseas) into the US, the ITC – a US agency – has the authority to impose an exclusion order to prevent them from importing devices that include infringed technology. The possible order would not apply to all Apple phones, btw, in case anyone worries iPhones would suddenly be banned. It would only apply to certain infringing devices. Of course, Apple could stop violating Qualcomm’s patents and there would be no issue.
It is outrageous that a judge can conclude that a company has violated the patent rights of another company but then impose no punishment or remedy whatsoever. The decision sets a very dangerous precedent and only encourages more IP theft by letting would be patent thieves think they can get away without punishment.
Our patent and IP laws work when individuals and companies believe they will pay a price when they violate those laws. If ignored, it encourages patent theft and damages the cycle of innovation that has set America apart! The ITC is one of the key agencies that is charged with enforcing those rights and must let anyone know – including powerful companies like Apple – that the law will be enforced pure and simple.
The ruling by the ALJ is only the first step and we are hopeful that the full ITC sees the importance of enforcing patent law and ensuring that patent infringement is punished accordingly.
Frontiers of Freedom has long been a leader in protecting property rights. Our Constitution provided for property rights for physical property and for intellectual property. And with good reason. America became the world’s most innovative and economically powerful nation because our Founders grasped the importance of property rights and created a system that incentivized creativity, innovation and the productive use of such property.
Sadly, some foolishly think that property rights are old fashioned or that everything should be free. But these folks miss the point that if new innovations were free, we would see far fewer innovations. That would mean fewer new life sustaining medications, fewer new movies, less new music, and fewer new electronic devices and gadgets. Imagine if someone argued that food is so important that everyone should be able to get it free and simply walk into grocery stores and restaurants and grab whatever food they want. How long would food be available? How long before grocers and restaurants close down? That’s the point. We need to incentivize the production of the things we want and need and we need to encourage innovation.
For this reason, Frontiers of Freedom was part of a group that sent the following letter to Capitol Hill hoping to highlight the importance of intellectual property rights. Continue reading
One of the most important parts of the Constitution is one of the least recognized. While American’s appreciate the importance of free speech and free elections, few realize that America may well have become the world’s unmatched economic superpower because the Founders wisely authorized Congress to protect intellectual property rights. This, in turn, provided the incentive to innovate and create.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries….” With this under-appreciated constitutional provision, the Founders made the U.S. the engine of innovation that drove technological, economic, and medical advances for the entire world. Continue reading
It’s all-shutdown-all-the-time in Washington these days. But all that talk has obscured the far bigger challenge facing the nation next week, when the government runs out of room to borrow more money to cover its expenses as it hits the congressionally imposed “debt ceiling.” It would be a disaster for the global economy to see America default on its debts. While it is true America can continue to pay the obligations on its debt and most of its other outlays each month with the tax dollars that are collected, that is only a stop-gap solution. As a nation we must find a sustainable long-term solution to run away debt and eventual insolvency.
Therefore, it is incumbent on all parties to work to work to find a practical and workable long-term solution. Thankfully, we have a recent precedent from the last debt ceiling debate. The result was sequestration. It worked in curbing spending growth, but was a blunt tool, applied across the board. The current shutdown gives us much better information about where the next sequestration should be targeted. Continue reading
Official White House records show that the embattled former IRS Commissioner, Douglas Shulman, visited the Obama White House at least 157 times. Most of those visits, interestingly enough, around the time the IRS was deciding to target conservatives. In contrast, not one Obama Cabinet Secretary came anywhere close to 157 White House visits. Not the Secretary of Defense, despite the wars in Iran and Afghanistan. Not the Secretary of State, despite the terrorist attacks at Benghazi and elsewhere and the generally unstable world situation. Not the Attorney General, despite the problems associated with Operation Fast and Furious, the administration’s desire to give terrorist’s trials in civilian courts, or the push to close Gitmo. Not the head of Homeland Security, despite the problems with border security or the debates surrounding immigration.
Barack Obama is the world’s most inept and feckless leader. This is not merely my opinion. Any serious review of the facts reveals inescapably that the official, yet unspoken, position of the Obama White House is that Barack Obama is completely incompetent.
Of course, Barack Obama didn’t hold a press conference and explicitly admit that he is an incapable bungler. But if you believe Obama’s and his Administration’s explanation for everything from the Benghazi attacks, to the related cover-up and whistleblower threats, to the recent IRS scandal, they are implicitly admitting that Obama is the weakest, most ineffectual president ever.
UPDATE: CBS News is now reporting that Obama administration officials say that mistakes made in responding to the Benghazi incident reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” “We’re portrayed … as either being liars or idiots,” an anonymous Obama Administration official said and then admitted, “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.” How bad do things have to be before an Obama official is willing to cop a plea to being “idiots?”
While British Prime Minister David Cameron was in town this earlier this week, President Barack Obama held a press conference and was asked about several growing scandals including the Benghazi coverup. At issue were the CIA talking points that Administration officials radically changed – removing all references to warnings before the attack, terrorism, al-Qaeda, and the planned and coordinated nature of the attack. Obama claimed it was all a politically motivated “sideshow.”
Obama made at least three claims that were clearly false. First, he said that from the first day, he was clear that the attack was an “act of terrorism.” False. Second, he claimed that he sent a White House official to Capital Hill to testify that it was terrorism. Again, false. Third, he said that Congress reviewed administration emails and determined several months ago that “there was nothing afoul.” Again, completely and totally false. Continue reading
by George Landrith
At the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, the president revealed a sad truth – the mainstream media actively works to advance his political career. He quipped that his campaign manager “David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.”
In deed, the mainstream media has been diligently advancing Obama’s political career since at least 2008. And the media’s active participation in the Benghazi cover-up is proof positive of the media’s deep and profound dishonesty. Continue reading
For years, media bias has been hotly debated. Let me settle this here and now. The mainstream media is not biased. Bias implies some level of subtly in the prejudice. There is nothing subtle about the media’s blatant partiality which actually reaches the level of dishonest propaganda.
There is an unmistakeable trend in play – some evil and/or demented person kills and injures a large number of innocent people and the extreme Left and the “mainstream” media (but I repeat myself) blame conservatives for the evil-doer’s actions. This is an almost reflexive reaction for the media and the Left. Continue reading
Ronald Reagan coined the phrase, “Peace through strength,” but it was not a new idea and it had not been an historically partisan concept. It dates back to George Washington who said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Washington and Reagan understood that peace is achieved through strength and conversely that weakness invites attack. This was once a universally accepted truth among American leaders. Current events prove, it should again become American policy regardless of party.
We live in a dangerous world. Kim Jung-un is threatening military invasions and nuclear attacks. We’ve recently learned that the North Koreans are much closer to being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile than was previously believed. China, already a nuclear power, is rapidly developing a large navy and stealth aircraft. Russia has been sending its military aircraft into American airspace on provocative test missions. Continue reading
The question Left of center is, “How do you feel about it?” How do you feel about ObamaCare? How do you feel about gun violence? Do you feel that the rich pay their fair share? Feelings are legitimate, but apply to relationships and people, not public policy issues. I love my family. But I think about public policy.
Sadly, too many Americans “feel” about public policy issues which unfortunately “liberates” them from thinking. As a result, more and more people are becoming unaccustomed to rational analysis and thought.
I don’t visit the doctor to hear how he feels about my health, nor a plumber to learn his feelings about my leaky pipes. We want expertise, not feelings. Continue reading
Most people do not know that the National Football League is treated as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, nor do they realize that the NFL receives a special broadcast antitrust exemption. None of that makes sense. But on top of it all, the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, are corrupt and lawless which is one more reason not to give the NFL special tax and legal treatment.
First, the NFL is clearly a for-profit business and should be treated as such. Giving the NFL, a big business with billions in revenues every year non-profit status is absurd. Sports is a big business, not a nonprofit foundation. Continue reading