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Thursday, June 29, 2017

May 1927 – Model T Production Ceases

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
11:18 am

On May 26,1927  Henry Ford and his son Edsel drove the final Model T out of the Ford factory. Completion of this 15 millionth Model T Ford marked the famous automobile’s official last day of production.

ModelT

 

The History.com article stated

More than any other vehicle, the relatively affordable and efficient Model T was responsible for accelerating the automobile’s introduction into American society during the first quarter of the 20th century. Introduced in October 1908, the Model T—also known as the “Tin Lizzie”—weighed some 1,200 pounds, with a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine. It got about 13 to 21 miles per gallon of gasoline and could travel up to 45 mph. Initially selling for around $850 (around $20,000 in today’s dollars), the Model T would later sell for as little as $260 (around $6,000 today) for the basic no-extras model. …

No car in history, had the impact—both actual and mythological—of the Model T: Authors like Ernest Hemingway, E.B. White and John Steinbeck featured the Tin Lizzie in their prose, while the great filmmaker Charlie Chaplin immortalized it in satire in his 1928 film “The Circus.”

I have never driven a Model T, but have always loved seeing those old cars in real life or in pictures, faithfully restored or heavily customized. Just for fun, here is a hot rod that originally was a Model T. My guess is that nothing but the “bucket” is original equipment, but who cares? Enjoy!

ModelT2

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Freedom to Choose Our Destiny

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Monday, May 11, 2015
6:52 am

Forkroad

President Thomas S. Monson has often taught, “Decisions determine destiny.” Because of the atonement of Christ, each of us possesses the freedom to choose where our lives will lead.

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)

 

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Happy Birthday, Library of Congress!

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Saturday, April 25, 2015
3:32 am

Libary of Congress Reading Room

My father once said, “The Marriott family liked the University of Utah more than Brigham Young University. They only gave BYU a basketball arena.  They gave the UofU a library!”

Perhaps that viewpoint is debatable, but one thing is true – 2015 years ago yesterday, the Library of Congress was established. As reported by History.com:

President John Adams approves legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress,” thus establishing the Library of Congress. The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library’s first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps.

In a welcome message on the Library of Congress website, James H. Billinton, current Librarian of Congress stated:

The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.

As Librarian of Congress, I oversee the many thousands of dedicated staff who acquire, catalog, preserve, and make available library collections within our three buildings on Capitol Hill and over the Internet. I am pleased that you are visiting our Web site today, and I invite you return to it often.

According to LibraryScienceList.com:

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the United States. It features 883 miles of shelving, houses 155 million items total, and holds 33 million books that are written in 460 different languages. It’s also home to 68 million manuscripts, 6.5 million pieces of music, more than 5 million maps, over 3.4 million recordings, and more than 13.5 million photographs.

We would do well to heed the counsel of Benjamin Franklin, who founded the nation’s first public library, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” Later, he would also say: “The doors of wisdom are never shut.”

With all the material in the Library of Congress, there is no shortage of what to read or watch.  Let’s just remember the Proverb, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)

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In Pursuit of a “Known Traveler Number”

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
5:02 pm

Precheck

I have been using the TSA PreCheck service since soon after its inception in 2011, without paying an enrollment fee, after being invited by US Airways to participate. This has allowed me to use the simpler and faster TSA PreCheck lane at airport security, rather than joining the majority of fliers in regular security lines. However a couple of weeks ago, I received a notice from American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, that I now needed to register for a “Known Traveler Number” (KTN) so I can continue to use the PreCheck service. I don’t really know why my gratis status is no longer acceptable, but it apparently it is.

So, I filled out a pre-registration form at Universal Enroll last week, booked at a screening appointment at a registration center a few miles from my house, and went through the final process today. 

Today’s registration process was unexpectedly painless. It took less than 15 minutes, including a short wait in the lobby, fingerprinting, stepping through a series of Identity Proofing steps and paying the $85 fee. Alas, I still don’t have a KTN.  That is supposed to be issued in a week or two after some big computer in the sky processes my information. Then, I am supposed to be set up to use the PreCheck lane every time.

The downside?  The government has me in yet another identity database.  My KTN will be linked to my SSN, as well as to my fingerprints and other personal identification data. Big Brother seems closer than ever before!

Next step after the KTN?  I will need to get a new Arizona drivers license that is Real ID compliant before January if I want to continue flying. Yet another Federal tentacle into my life! 

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1775: The American Revolution Begins

Freedom Article, Freedom History
Author: admin
Sunday, April 19, 2015
6:56 am

Shot heard around the world

Two hundred forty years ago today, the “shot heard around the world” signaled the start of the American Revolutionary War. As described on History.com

At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

The next few years would be difficult and trying, but eventually, the brave colonists would prevail. I shall ever be grateful for those who redeemed this great nation by shedding their precious blood in our behalf. (Doctrine & Covenants 101:80)

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Thank You, Valiant Soldiers, for Preserving our Freedom!

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Monday, May 26, 2014
12:38 pm

May I raise my voice with countless others on this Memorial Day to pay tribute to valiant soldiers who fought and often died to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

Roosevelt

I found this photo on a blog post that referenced an article by a British war correspondent embedded with the American army. He reported on the GI battle uniforms, vehicles, equipment and supplies.  His comment on the American Jeeps:

The jeeps … were unmatched, and the Germans loved to capture them for their own use.”

It appears that this photo is of President Roosevelt visiting the US troops. Quite the presidential limousine, don’t you think?

Again, thank you, thank you soldiers, for your valiant service, for a job well done.

Roll on Yellow Jeep Journey!

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Signers of the Declaration, I salute You!

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Monday, July 4, 2011
7:13 am

Today we celebrate the crowning event of that fateful July 4th, 1776, when a group of men with vision and faith, courage and fortitude, had the temerity to officially accept the principles of a sacred document, the Declaration of Independence, that marked the birth of our great nation:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

It took great courage to declare independence from a sovereign power. There were many in the Colonies who did not agree. But the brave Founders were fueled with passion, grounded in determination, and sustained with an abiding faith that the cause they supported was in accordance with God’s will.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[70] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. …

And so, probably not fully realizing the grandeur of the moment, these great men pledged their all in support of the equality of man and freedom of the soul.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Today, dear founding fathers, I salute you, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. May the God in Heaven bless your sacred memory.

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Will the Government Micromanage Online Privacy?

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Saturday, November 20, 2010
3:22 am

I currently publish two blogs: “Discovering Identity”  and “I Love Freedom (this one).”  Usually, the information I publish on these blogs doesn’t overlap, but this subject certainly does, and is posted on both sites.

Thanks to an acquaintance, Jane Grafton, I recently read two opposing views on the subject of federal government regulations of privacy:

An LA Times article, Privacy and the Web, concluded:

Although Washington shouldn’t try to micromanage the Net, it should make clear that websites have a duty to help users manage their personal information effectively, giving them the chance to understand the tradeoffs they’re making and to choose wisely.

Phil Lieberman of Lieberman Software responded in his post, “Internet Privacy Is No Place for Government Regulations”:

Attempts by the federal government to constrain the collection of data, and the ability to tailor offers based on this data, is a case of the government meddling in areas where it has no place.  Interference with the free market serves only to punish those companies that know how to efficiently mine their data and so is the worst form of government interference with the free market.

I’m all for privacy and opt-in/opt-out options. However I feel it does little good to cripple those companies who are good at business for the purpose of expanding the nanny-state. Any decision to overreach with privacy controls will also provide a bounty for greedy and litigious attorneys looking for fresh kills on the Internet.

What do you think? 

Although the LA Times article mildly asks the federal government not to “micromanage the Net,” history has that government has the propensity to always micromanage everything it touches.  How’s that for a cynical view?

If I believe the most effective way to deal with this issue would be for private industry to self-regulate. In much the same that PCI DSS has become an effective industry-driven regulation of the credit card industry, perhaps we need an “Online Privacy Standard” developed and enforced by the online industry itself. 

Otherwise, if such industry self-regulation doesn’t happen, given the current mood in Congress, I think federal government regulation of online privacy is a foregone conclusion (more cynicism).

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Radical Idea – Let’s Fix Congress

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Saturday, November 20, 2010
2:23 am

A good friend, Joel Brame, forwarded the following email message to me yesterday.  It is kind of a radical idea, but I agree that it would fix much of what ails Congress today, and return that august body to its original intent – to represent the people of the United States, rather than serving themselves and special interests.

I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between.  Even though we disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends.  My friend and neighbor wants to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010."  It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.    

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House.  These people will become American heroes.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits.

   12 years only, one of the possible options below..

   A. Two Six-year Senate terms
   B. Six Two-year House terms
   C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2.  No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 

3.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11. 

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.  Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

I have long thought that politicians get so wrapped up in the prestige and power of their offices that they soon forget what it is like to be a common citizen.  It indeed takes an exceptional person to not succumb to the the trappings of political power.  It is tragic that the Congress has progressively set itself up as an elite body that only superficially answers to the voice of the people. 

I like the ideas this congressional reform proposes.  Now, we just need to figure out how to get people with the guts to put it into law.

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Open Letter to Glenn Beck: Short and Long Term

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Monday, August 30, 2010
11:59 am

Hello Glenn:

Congratulations on the success of the Restoring Honor rally. I would have enjoyed the experience of gathering on the mall with you and other patriotic Americans.

However, I am concerned that you are sacrificing critical moral values to build short term gain.  It has been disappointing to learn that you have gone on record saying that "homosexual marriage is not a threat to the country.”

Last June I posted an article entitled "Freedom to Marry?" on this blog. In that article, I attempted to explain to a former professional colleague why I support laws that limit the term "marriage" to the union of one man and one woman.

A brief excerpt:

"Inherent in our existence as human beings all of us possess free will, also called agency, or the ability to act for ourselves and not be acted upon by someone else.   …  As members of a civil society, we accept limitations on how we exercise our agency based on two fundamental principles:

  1. A person may act in ways that do not harm or threaten other people or property.
  2. A person may act in ways that do not undermine the ability of the society to flourish and sustain itself.

"The first principle largely addresses immediate or short term affects; the second encompasses long term consequences.  Restrictions on marriage within our society are primarily based on the second principle."

Glenn, I believe you, like too many others, err in limiting attention to only the first principle, without regard to the second.  The Thomas Jefferson phrase you quote, “If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?” certainly is limited to only the first principle.

I believe that we must, as a moral society, accept and defend both principles.  Certainly the Judeo-Christian tradition you claim to espouse encompasses both the short and long term views.

Best regards,

Mark Dixon

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