Here’s a revolutionary idea to fight big government overregulation

Charles Murray believes the country as we know it is over. We live in an increasingly lawless country, where only people with money have access to the courts and even those with money are burdened by countless regulations that handcuff them from doing any real business.

"The Constitution is broken. We could have nine Antonin Scalias or nine Clarence Thomases on the court. They could not reverse a handful of decisions from 1937 to 1943, because if they did, they would be saying about 90% of what the federal government does is unconstitutional. No president would enforce such a Supreme Court decision. The legitimacy of the Supreme Court would be shattered. It can’t happen," Charles said.

"Point number two, we live under an increasingly lawless legal system," Charles said. "If I can’t afford to enter the court system when I have a legitimate grievance that I know I would win if I had enough money, but if I can’t afford to get into it because I can’t afford either the fees or the time that it’s going to take to litigate it, in what sense am I protected by the rule of law?"

Even worse is the legal system created by the regulatory state.

"We have a large extralegal system called the administrative state which lies outside the ordinary rule of law," Charles said. "If the OSHA comes after you, you don’t go to an ordinary court. You go to an administrative court in which the judge works for the Department of Labor or OSHA. The prosecutor works for OSHA."

Charles continued, "The due process of law is in many cases not available to you. You don’t have to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, just a preponderance of the evidence, and guess what, if you’re found guilty and you appeal it, the people on the Court of Appeals work for OSHA. This violates a foundational principle of American law, which is legislation is supposed to be administered by—it’s supposed to be created by the legislature, and an independent judiciary is supposed to adjudicate things. But the entire regulatory state violates all that."

RELATED: Check out Charles's new book By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission

So how do we fight back? Charles thinks you can overwhelm the regulatory state by having people guilty of small infractions fight the battles in court.

"I talked about earlier about somebody coming out of nowhere and providing legal support to ordinary people, but let’s do it on a big scale. I call one version of it the Madison Fund, and it would be a couple hundred million bucks. I’m talking big money. The purpose of it would not be to defend the innocent. It would be to defend the guilty, people who are guilty of violating stupid, pointless regulations. And the idea is to overload the enforcement capacity of the regulatory agencies," Charles explained.

"I want to have an incentive for the bureaucrats to back off, or as one of my friends put it, I want to pour sugar into the government’s gas tank. Once you establish that principle, here’s your endpoint. I want the regulatory agencies to act like state troopers on interstate highways. So, you know and I know that if the speed limit is 65, the flow of traffic on most interstates is about 72, okay? A majority of the American citizens are engaged in civil disobedience because the state troopers can’t stop everybody, so they stop people who are going crazy fast, people who are driving erratically," he continued.

"That’s what I want for the entire regulatory agencies so that they don’t go after us when we have a trivial violation that hasn’t harmed anybody. They reserve their enforcement capability for people who have caused some damage. That would be a big improvement. It doesn’t get laws off the books, okay? It doesn’t get regulations off the books. It changes the way they’re enforced to something that’s a lot more reasonable. No harm, no foul," Charles concluded.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

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