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2013...One Hundred Years of the "Federal Reserve"...look outI candidly confess that I am not very superstitious. I don’t care how many cracks I step on on a sidewalk; I don’t care how many cracked mirrors I look at; I’ve never thrown salt over my shoulder; I’ve never rubbed a red-headed boy’s head for luck; I don’t carry four-leaf clovers or rabbit’s feet in my pocket; and the number 13 doesn’t scare me a bit. All of that notwithstanding, however, I can’t help but believe that 2013 is going to be a rough year.One thing is certainly clear: the last year that ended in 13 was a horrific year for the people of the United States. In fact, 1913 was one of the worst years of the Twentieth Century. Consider the following:February 3, 1913This is the date when the 16th Amendment was ratified, and the direct income tax and IRS were instituted. This was a flagrant repudiation of freedom principles. What began as a temporary measure to support the War of Northern Aggression became a permanent income revenue stream for an unconstitutional–and ever-growing–central government.April 8, 1913This is the date when the 17th Amendment was ratified. This amendment overturned the power of the State legislatures to elect their own senators and replaced it with a direct, popular vote. This was another serious blow against State sovereignty. The framers of the Constitution desired that the influence and power in Washington, D.C., be kept as close to the people and states as possible. For example, the number of representatives in the House of Representatives was to be decided by a limited number of voters. In the original Constitution, the ratio of “people of the several States” deciding their House member could not exceed “one for every thirty thousand.” (Article. I. Section. 2. Paragraph. 3.) And when it came to the US Senate, the framers also recognized the authority of each State legislature to select its own senators, thereby keeping power and influence from aggregating in Washington, D.C. The 17th Amendment seriously damaged the influence and power of the states by forcing them to elect their US senators by popular vote. The bigger the State, the less influence the State legislature has in determining its US senator. Senators who answered to State legislators, each answering to a limited number of voters, were much more accountable to the “citizens of the several States” than those who were elected by a large number (many times numbering into the millions) of people. For all intents and purposes (at least in the larger states), US Senators are more like “mini-Presidents” than they are representatives of sovereign states.December 23, 1913This is the date when the Federal Reserve Act was passed. This Act placed oversight of America’s financial matters into the hands of a cabal of private international bankers, who have completely destroyed the constitutional principles of sound money and (for the most part) free enterprise. No longer would the marketplace (private consumption, thrift, growth, etc.) be the determinant of the US economy (which is what freedom is all about), but now a private, unaccountable international banking cartel would have total power and authority to micromanage (for their own private, parochial purposes) America’s financial sector. Virtually every recession, depression, and downturn (including the one we are now experiencing) has been the direct result of the Fed’s manipulation (again, for its own purposes and with Washington’s cooperation) of the market.Already, 2013 is shaping up to rival the monstrous year of 1913. Here are some of the reasons why:Health CareThe elements of Obamacare will begin to be felt this year in earnest. The American people can expect the cost of everything associated with health care to quadruple or more. Physicians will begin leaving their practices or significantly scaling back their services. Hospitals will start dispensing assembly line-type care. The quality of health care will plummet. But, of course, welfare recipients (including illegal aliens) will see a dramatic increase in benefits.TaxesDon’t expect the Republican-led House of Representatives to hold the line on taxes. John Boehner and the RINOs in the GOP will give Obama the vast majority of what he wants on taxes. The result is our taxes are going up. Big time! This also means that the cost of everything else is going up. Real inflation is on its way, folks.Gun ControlThis is the big issue! Barack Obama and his gun-control fanatics in the Democrat Party have already declared war on the Second Amendment. They are going to attempt to outlaw semi-automatic rifles, high capacity magazines in both rifles and handguns, and make the private sale of firearms illegal. It will be the biggest assault on the Second Amendment since 1968–and maybe in US history!If gun owners, and freedom lovers of all types, expect to pass any freedom on to their posterity, they are going to have to fight, AND FIGHT HARD, to preserve their liberties. The same GOP-led House that is going to cave-in on taxes will also have a propensity to cave-in on more gun control. Only the biggest outcry of opposition that they have ever seen from their constituents will come close to helping them stay the line. Freedomists all over America had better take the gloves off come January and rally support against these assaults against the Second Amendment or our liberties will be gone FOREVER!In addition, State legislators, governors, etc., must also rise up in massive opposition to this tyrannical assault against the Second Amendment by Washington, D.C. In short, states need to tell Washington to go to hell! That they are not going to comply with Washington’s attempt to outlaw the most fundamental right in American history: the right to keep and bear arms.Thomas Jefferson correctly stated, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”George Washington said, “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence… From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable… The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes.”Remember, too, semi-automatic rifles are not “assault rifles,” no matter what media propagandists say. Assault rifles are capable of fully automatic fire. These guns are already illegal without jumping through a myriad bureaucratic hoops in order to obtain a special permit to possess them. That assault rifles are illegal is bad enough. To take away the citizen’s right to bear a semi-automatic rifle is to, in effect, completely disarm him. Such an act must be regarded as an act of war against the life and liberties of the American people!The semi-automatic rifle is the backbone of freedom; it is the single most significant protection against tyranny and oppression in modern times. Is it mere coincidence that the Bloody Butchers of Beijing are calling for the American citizenry to surrender their semi-automatic rifles? US troops won World War II because of the semi-automatic rifle. Switzerland maintained its peaceful neutrality even when the entire continent was soaked in war because of the semi-automatic rifle. The only reason that would-be tyrants in the US government have been kept at bay is because of an American citizenry fully armed with semi-automatic rifles. Foreign enemy-states such as Communist China are more intimidated by an American nation filled with citizens who bear semi-automatic rifles than they are our nuclear arsenal–and that is a fact!Furthermore, semi-automatic rifles have been around since before World War II, and they are used by millions of hunters every year. Predator hunters, especially, need a semi-automatic rifle. In 1990, one hundred thousand police officers delivered a report to Congress that only 2-3% of crimes were committed using semi-automatic rifles. In 1993, a Bureau of Justice report noted that, nationwide, “military-type” guns are only used in about 1% of crimes. These statistics would not vary much today.In fact, a person is much more likely to be killed with a knife than with a gun. According to FBI reports, a person in Chicago (for example) is 67 times more likely to be knifed or beaten to death than killed with a so called “assault weapon,” meaning a military-looking semi-automatic rifle.To view a fully-documented gun control fact sheet containing these facts and much more, go to:http://gunowners.org/fs0404.htmBeyond that, high capacity magazines are essential to self-defense. Bad guys who commit violent crimes are normally “high” on chemicals, drugs, alcohol, etc. Such people are often impervious to pain. Throw in a high level of adrenaline, and many violent attackers cannot be stopped with one or two bullets. Plus, such miscreants often attack like wolves: in packs.Police Captain Massad Ayoob: “The likelihood of multiple opponents who move fast, often wear body armor, know how to take cover, and tend to ingest chemicals that make them resistant to pain and shock, are all good reasons for carrying guns that throw a whole lot more bullets than six-shooters do.”Ladies and gentlemen, the semi-automatic rifle is the vanguard of our liberty; it is the surest and most trustworthy means of our self-defense; and it is the primary companion of any man who would both protect and feed his family.Make no mistake about it: to take away an American’s right to a semi-automatic rifle is to FULLY DISARM HIM. There is no Second Amendment; there is no right to keep and bear arms; there is no citizen militia; there is no liberty without the semi-automatic rifle! This is a line in the sand that is so important that no man or woman who believes in liberty should be willing to comply with any attempt by government to take away his or her semi-automatic rifle. There are some 50-75 million (a very conservative number) owners of semi-automatic rifles all across America. Each of us needs to make up our minds about this RIGHT NOW! What say you?As with 1913, it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a rough year. And it has nothing to do with bad luck and everything to do with bad government. But with God’s help, the enemies of freedom will not prevail! With God’s help, you and I will be free to pass down to our children and grandchildren both our freedom and our semi-automatic rifles come 2014 and beyond!*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by *If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/?page_id=19And follow my updates by liking the following Facebook pages:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chuck...226997970644468http://www.facebook.com/pages/Liber...190828020944911Also, follow me on Twitter:https://twitter.com/#!/drchuckbaldwinAnd please visit my web site for past columns and much more at:http://chuckbaldwinlive.com© Chuck Baldwin...my handle backwards is how I feel about current world affairs...