Monthly Archives: March 2013

Just Call Him President Vacation Man

According to an article in the Weekly Standard and ABC News Obama is averaging one vacation a month and lavishly too.

In the first three months of the year, members of the first family have been on three vacations, averaging a vacation a month. And now it’s being reported that the first daughters are on a spring break vacation in the Bahamas.The Obamas began the new year in Hawaii. “President Obama departed Hawaii this morning for Washington, after spending NINE days vacationing with family and friends in his native state. Here’s a quick look at how he spent his vacation,” ABC reported on January 6, 2013.“Obama played FIVE rounds of golf with SEVEN different partners, spending roughly THIRTY hours on TWO different courses on Oahu. The president made FIVE early morning trips to the gym at the nearby Marine Base at Kaneohe Bay. The First Family spent TWO afternoons enjoying the beach on the base and went for ONE hike to a local waterfall. The president spent ONE father-daughter afternoon with Malia and Sasha, bowling and going out for shave ice, an annual tradition.” Then the first lady and their daughters vacationed in Aspen over President’s Day weekend. “First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon and is here with her daughters for a ski vacation,” Aspendailynews.com reported in February. “Few details about her trip were available. Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co. She is reportedly skiing at Buttermilk today, where the Crowns, of Chicago, own a home on the Tiehack side.”

Now while thousands of students all across the U.S. go on spring break, the first family is enjoying another lavish vacation at Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. All at our expense mind you like all his vacations.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this coming from the man who closed the white house tours and cancelled the annual white house Easter Egg hunt because of the sequester and said we’ll all have to suffer for it when that was a complete scare tactic lie. He had to make up his own suffering situations for us when his doom and gloom lies were proven false.

The left loves to retaliate and say Bush went on lots of vacations too, but Bush went to his ranch in Texas for vacations and he had offices there for his staff and met with them daily. His was also working vacations since besides meeting with his staff he also worked around the ranch clearing brush and sawing wood.

Meanwhile as Obama cancels white house tours and says we can’t afford things, he manages to send a billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and has John Kerry give a million to the Palestinians while we “suffer” at home because of the sequester.

V.P.Biden also topped a huge bill for his one night stay in London and Paris topping a million dollars.

During his first term Obama went on more vacations than any other president and played more rounds of golf than any other president.

Yes, just call him President Vacation Man.

» No Sequester for Joe Biden » News — GOPUSA

Happy Easter! Rise Up!

Christians have cause for celebration today! The world may be celebrating the Easter Bunny, but for those of us who know Jesus, we celebrate His resurrection!

Two thousand years ago, a man laid His life down for you. Do you know Him? If you do not, I would love to introduce you to Him! He will change your life in ways you can never imagine!

People of The Lord Rise up!

This is a celebration
We’re calling out to every nation
To spread the word that Jesus is alive!
We’re people of His kingdom,
His resurrection is our freedom
For every heart, every tongue, and every tribe

YouTube Description:

More than 2,000 people from Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, gathered at Discovery Green in the heart of Houston to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The purpose of Dance Your Shoes Off! was to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ in a powerful and celebratory way. Most importantly, each participant left a new pair of shoes on the field for those in need. These shoes will be given to local mission agencies, including Star of Hope, individuals all across the world through our mission partners and mission trips.

Is Defining Marriage the Court’s Job?

This week the Supreme Court has been busy hearing two cases concerning the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States. No decision is likely to be made until the court takes their recess sometime in late June.

Many think that the court is going to make a wide, sweeping decision, declaring that same-sex marriage is legal. But is that really the courts job?

The court’s job is to interpret the Constitution and our laws, and make sure the latter aligns with our founding document. However, the court has been more “judicially active” in the past few decades, meaning they have been legislating from the bench – which isn’t their job.

The fact that one of these cases, the Proposition 8 case from California, is even being heard is complete blasphemy. During the 2008 California State elections, Proposition 8 was a proposition on the ballot to amend the California Constitution by defining marriage in their state as “between and man and a woman.”

In 2008 the people of California spoke, saying that they want marriage in their state to be only between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

Of course soon after the people spoke, litigation was filed and in 2010 in a district court, the law was ruled unconstitutional. Again in 2012, the very liberal ninth-circuit court of appeals upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that the law is unconstitutional under Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses in the Constitution.

I do not believe that these two court rulings could be more wrong.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly enumerates the powers that are given to the federal government. The 10th Amendment says that any power not enumerated to the federal government is reserved to the states.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to regulate marriage. That is a power that is reserved to each individual state.

If the people of a state decide to not allow same-sex marriage then that is perfectly okay! The same goes for any state that wants to allow same-sex marriage; it would be perfectly okay for the people of a state to allow same-sex marriage, because that is their reserved power.

It is completely wrong and unconstitutional for our federal government to overstep their bounds and arrogantly believe that it is their duty to define what marriage is.

Frankly, that isn’t the government’s job at all. Marriage is purely a religious institution, and the government, on any level, should not be regulating this ageless and sacred practice.

However, I know the inevitable is for the court to throw out a decision either for or against.

Firstly, they should look at marriage under the scope of “Is it a fundamental right, or isn’t it?” If they believe it is, what are the reasonable restrictions that can be placed on it? Would marriage in the cases of incest or polygamy be okay?

These are questions that are going to have to be asked and answered before any decision can be made.

If the court decides for America that same-sex marriage is legal, what are the limits? Where is the line in the sand for the court and the federal government? A wide, sweeping decision could likely open a whole new bag of issues concerning the power of the federal government.

These court cases having been making the nightly news headlines all week, but there’s one question I have to ask: Why is same-sex marriage more important than some of the bigger issues we have as a country, such as the $16.7 trillion debt?

One thing is for sure; 10 years ago this movement didn’t have nearly as much steam as it does now. America is fundamentally changing. But is it really the change we want or need? We are going to have to answer that question come the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.

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Executive Order Creates Election Commission

Obama_signingPresident Obama signed an executive order last week creating the nine member Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a move he signaled as a priority during the State of the Union speech.

The Commission, co-chaired by Bob Bauer, who was Obama’s lead counsel in his 2012 campaign, and Ben Ginsberg, who held the same role in the Romney camp is tasked with studying polling locations, voter access, voting machine technology and much more.

The executive order defines the mission of the panel as follows:

“The Commission shall identify best practices and otherwise make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay, and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.”

Though a very small percentage of polling locations experienced delays on Election Day 2012, locations with arguably the highest turnout in the nation had few problems to note. Minneapolis, for example, had some polling locations with more than 100% turnout, yet Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reported the day ran smoothly. Ritchie said of the estimated 3 million people statewide (MN had an estimated 76% voter turnout), “I think people had a really good experience.”

The debate about long lines and extensive wait times rears its head every few years, but the math simply doesn’t add up. Following the 2010 census, in accordance with a law enacted by Congress in 1975, polling locations were reviewed in each state and redistricting took place. Each Congressional district, state senate district and other districts were evaluated and potentially changed, and then approved by the states. The redistricted lines are based on census numbers so that each polling location has approximately the same number of residents, and therefore, approximately the same number of eligible voters.

Though the President’s new commission intends to study and recommend changes related to the “number, location, management, operation, and design of polling places,” “ballot simplicity and voter education,” and the “efficient management of voter rolls and poll books,” there is no mention of any attempt to dissuade voter fraud. In fact, the stated purpose of the commission is to “improve the experience of all voters.” As we have learned in the last few election cycles, not all voters abide by election laws.

Voter fraud is rampant in the United States. For a few examples, click here: EJ Haust Voter Fraud and here: Voter Fraud Still an Issue

Each state has authority over its election practices including ballots, technology, and polling locations, but the recommendations of this new commission are “intended to serve as a best practices guide for state and local election officials…” according to Josh Earnest, Deputy Press Secretary for the White House. That could prove valuable to activists seeking to make voting controlled by the executive branch.

Though the commission won’t have authority to directly override state election rules, its recommendations could conceivably be used as a tool by the Department of Justice to use when persuading judges to impose changes at the state level. The President is essentially giving credibility to a group of nine of his friends to create a “study” that will later be seen as the authority on election best practices. What Secretary of State, governor, state legislature, or judge will have the instinct to deny recommendations by this panel of experts?

The commission is required to submit its final report 6 months following its first public meeting. It will have staff, though none of the nine members will have a salary. All members will be allowed reimbursement of travel expenses.

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The Agenda Behind LGBT “Anti-Discrimination” Ordinances

Usually when a new statute or ordinance is created at the state or local level, it’s in response to a problem that needs correction. Such is not the case with the “anti-discrimination” ordinances being considered by several states and municipalities across the nation. As such, they are agenda-driven ordinances which solve nothing, but by the law of unintended consequences, can open a veritable Pandora’s box of legal and social problems.

These ordinances seek “to prohibit discriminatory acts in housing, employment and public accommodations based upon sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.”

Proponents of such ordinances and statutes claim they will “guarantee the safety for everyone living in the community.” There are, in fact, many state, federal and local laws on the books that seek to ensure residents’ safety; none can guarantee it, as evidenced by the police logs which are rife with infractions against the safety of others. Much like so-called “hate crime” laws, these ordinance single out a specific classification of people, granting them extraordinary legal protection beyond that afforded all other citizens.

There is no valid statistical information cataloguing discrimination based on sexual orientation, to my knowledge. All information currently available is anecdotal, at best.

In the absence of empirically verifiable data, we must look for an alternative motive behind the proponents of such laws. We need look no further than the plethora of websites advancing the radical LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) agenda.

The agenda is well defined by their own advocates. Jeff Levi proudly proclaims, “We are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a protection from wrong. We also have a right to see government and society affirm our lives.” That they seek public affirmation speaks volumes about how they view themselves and their lifestyle.

Gay rights activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen outlined a six-point plan in their book After the Ball, referred to by activists as “a gay manifesto,” which laid out the agenda for how the beliefs and attitudes of ordinary Americans could be transformed to affirm the lifestyle. As they stated, “The agenda of homosexual activists is basically to change America from what they perceive as looking down on homosexual behavior, to the affirmation of and societal acceptance of homosexual behavior.” They described how the movement should use “propagandistic advertising to depict all opponents of the gay movement as homophobic bigots who are ‘not Christian’ and the propaganda can further show them [homosexuals] as being discriminated against, hated and shunned.”

Recent polls indicate a growing level of acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle. These data provide empirical evidence which invalidates the movement’s premise; that they’re discriminated against by public opinion. But the problem is in the agenda of those who promote the lifestyle, and seek extraordinary protection, and redefinition and alteration of fundamental social conventions and institutions to affirm the lifestyle of 3% of the population.

Alan Sears and Craig Osten in their book The Homosexual Agenda, identified the four stages that the movement has gone through to reshape the issue. It’s now in the fourth stage of legitimization where, with the full backing of the American Psychiatric Association, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and the education establishment, and even local school districts, the issue has been taken from a treatable psychological disorder to normal, if not preferred, lifestyle in less than 40 years.

Most of the movement’s success can be linked to reshaping the argument from a moral and logical debate to one of “human rights.” As such, all who question the movement and the practice are labeled as “homophobic,” “hateful,” or “intolerant” toward those who are merely “different.” And they do so with all the acrimony, animus, and vitriol they can muster and get away with in print and the airwaves.

Society has been reprogrammed to assume they’re victims, even with all the laws on the books preventing discrimination and assuring Equal Opportunity Employment protections. With the passage of “hate crime” legislation, they now have super protection where opponents can and are literally deprived of their freedom of speech for expressing opposition to their agenda. In England and Canada, ministers have been arrested for referring to it as a moral issue. Following our current course, the same will undoubtedly occur here in the not-too distant future.

There is a sharp distinction that needs to be drawn between acceptance of those of different persuasions, and acceptance of the militant, extremist tactics of the movement advancing their cause. Conflating the two is illogical and fallacious.

And this is not a “civil rights” issue like racial discrimination, because it is completely self-defined, based on inclinations and behavior. All one has to do to qualify for protection under this ordinance is claim to be homosexual or transgendered. Civil rights issues cannot logically be based upon what one merely claims themselves to be, without creating inequality under the law.

George Orwell said, “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” That is precisely what we are witnessing now, as those who accept and promote normalcy, the orientation which perpetuates the species and forms the anthropological and biological foundation of our culture and civilization, are publicly excoriated for having the temerity to publicly express it.

These “anti-discrimination” laws and ordinances have no needful basis in reality, and should be rejected. We openly and compassionately accept each other regardless of orientation. What we don’t accept is the radical agenda implemented to promote it.

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board.  He can be reached at [email protected].

 

Global warming now ‘Widely Accepted’ to be a falsehood

The hockey-stick, global warming, climate change .. whatever you want to call it. Skeptics have been called flat-Earthers among all other names, but now scientists are agreeing – climate change seems to not be happening.

While a two decade pattern of proven scientific data has directly contradicted the global warming alarmist view, some scientists say that we just haven’t waited long enough.

International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years “at least” to break the long-term warming trend. – The Australian

In the most non-nonsensical of  statements, the Whitehouse said that whatever is going on with non-rising temperatures requires explanation because the pause in temperature rise has occurred despite a sharp increase in carbon emissions.

Oddly, the Obama administration’s own statement may say more than they intended. If carbon emissions are rising at some epic scale and global temperatures aren’t rising then the cause-and-effect models that global warming leaders like Al Gore have been using .. are fundamentally false.

Butter knife packed in student’s lunch leads to suspension

Butter knife packed in student’s lunch leads to suspension

There is scarcely any foolhardy decision made by today’s educators that would surprise me in today’s societal climate.
In numerous bizarre cases of overreaction to the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, students have been reprimanded and suspended for such innocuous acts as “threatening” another student with a bubble maker or chewing a pastry into something vaguely reminiscent of a gun.
A middle school in Massachusetts recently got in on the act by targeting a student who brought – gasp! – a butter knife with her lunch.
Morgan LaPlaume, who wears braces, was spotted using the dull cutlery by the school’s vice principal. She used the knife to cut the fruit she brought for lunch, since she is unable to eat certain foods whole.
Reports indicate the administrator took LaPlaume to his office and promptly suspended her for violating school policy. The school principal made a statement on his assistant’s behalf, explaining the student’s parents signed a handbook containing the zero-tolerance policy pertaining to students bringing knives to school.
LaPlaume’s mother agreed she signed the paperwork, but could did not fathom the policy would be stretched to such ridiculous lengths as to include an eating utensil being used for its intended purpose.
When I was in school – not all that long ago, by the way – I picked up a case knife along with my fork and spoon and continued along to enjoy my lunch. Today’s children are so sheltered the possession of such silverware constitutes a breech worthy of suspension.
The utterly sickening common theme among all these cases of hypersensitivity is that, on their own, none will prevent an individual intent on causing harm from doing so. Until we, as a nation, address the real causes of such anomalies instead of demonizing those who want to protect themselves and their families, the only result will be a more helpless and victimized society.
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North Korean threats prove the utter failure of arms control and the appeasement of China

In recent months, North Korea has tested an ICBM capable of reaching the US, tested a nuclear weapon, published  a video simulating a nuclear attack on the US, made serious threats not heard in many years, cut off all hotlines, withdrawn from the 1953 Panmunjon armistice that suspended the Korean War, and put its missile force on the highest level of alert, possibly signaling that a war is near.

What has brought this disaster about? Why has the Korean Peninsula come to the brink of war, when the US has been very soft towards Pyongyang and its sponsor, Communist China?

Because of abysmally failed, utterly discredited policies that successive administrations of both parties have pursued over the last several decades: arms control and the appeasement of both North Korea and China. And the leftist, pacifist organizations which have advocated such policies still continue to fanatically support them to this day, claiming that disarming the US unilaterally or bilaterally with Russia and cancelling the modernization of America’s arsenal will somehow “induce” North Korea to forego nuclear weapons and ballistic missile. In addition, they and Henry Kissinger, the author of the failed appeasement policy towards China, still advocate such policy.

THIS is what has brought this crisis about. Successive, deep cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, Democrat sabotaging of the progress in developing missile defense system, unilaterally withdrawing tactical nuclear weapons from US warships and from South Korea, deep cuts in America’s military across the board during the 1990s and now, and the appeasement of both North Korea and China, emboldened both regimes and thus encouraged them to dramatically build up their arsenals and to stage provocation after provocation, leading to the current crisis.

So much for “arms control experts”, arms control being a means of advancing US interests, claims that cutting America’s arsenal would make the US and the world safer, and that China is a constructive partner rather than an enemy.

What we’re witnessing today is a total, abysmal failure of all of these policies.

North Korea and China, like all other bullies, only understand the language of brute force – not that of “arms control”, diplomatic niceties, “compromise”, or “inducing” and “setting an example”.

So, now that these policies have utterly failed (as I warned for many years that they would) and have brought Asia to the brink of war, what should the US do?

WRT North Korea, the US should:

  • Completely cancel sequestration and spare the defense budget from further cuts.
  • Resume the development of the Multiple Kill Vehicle, cancelled by Obama in 2009, to give missile interceptors the ability to engage several targets at once.
  • Resume the development of the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, also cancelled by Obama in 2009.
  • Upgrade all Tico class cruisers and Burke class DDGs commissioned after 1992 to be BMD-capable, upgrade the Aegis combat system’s command-and-control mechanism to enable the interception of ICBMs, and upgrade SM-3 Block 1B missiles to be capable of intercepting ICBMs.
  • Develop and deploy smaller, lighter, two-stage Ground-Based Interceptors.
  • Prod South Korea to build its own, fully-fledged national missile defense system.
  • Prod South Korea to close the Kaesong Industrial Complex and to cancel President Park’s attempt to “reach out” to North Korea.
  • Withdraw the vast majority of its 28,500 troops from South Korea, where they are easy targets, leaving only one F-16 wing. However, that F-16 wing should be equipped with tactical nuclear weapons, which should be brought back to the Korean Peninsula, per the wish of 70% of South Koreans.
  • Withdraw its troops from Western Japan to the east of the country or to Guam.
  • Avoid making Guam its sole or largest military hub in the Western Pacific. It would be an easy target. Instead, US troops should be dispersed across a large number of bases across East Asia, from Japan to Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mali, Diego Garcia, and beyond.
  • Affirm and accelerate the modernization of all three legs of the US nuclear triad (ICBMs, bombers, SSBNs), all 5,000 US nuclear warheads, and their supporting infrastructure.
  • Recruit America’s best and brightest scientists to work in military laboratories.
  • Develop and test new nuclear weapons. End the self-imposed test moratorium.
  • Cancel any planned cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal and start GROWING that arsenal.
  • Tell North Korea, in no uncertain terms, that the US will react with a massive nuclear retaliation to any North Korean attack on anyone, while simoultaneously leaving the door open for a negotiated settlement and a face-saving way for Kim Jong Un out of this. (If you give the enemy a choice only between an immediate shameful capitulation and fighting to the very end, he will choose the latter.)

WRT to Communist China, the US should:

  • Clearly and unambigously warn Beijing that failure to restrain North Korea will result in huge sales of American weapons to Taiwan, and may even result in withdrawing the recognition of the PRC and recognizing Taiwan as the legitimate government of China. To prove that this is not a bluff, the US should immediately sell Taiwan the submarines and the 66 F-16C/Ds Taiwan has requested.
  • Inform Beijing that America’s nuclear umbrella protects Taiwan as well.
  • Institute an immediate, total embargo on all Chinese products which should be maintained until a) the illegal, criminal Communist regime in Beijing is replaced by a democratically-elected government and b) China completely stops supporting North Korea.
  • Speed up the transformation of the US military into a force capable of defeating A2/AD weapons; end its reliance on short-range platforms and invest heavily in long-range platforms, especially the Next Generation Bomber.
  • Upgrade its missile defenses, cyberdefenses, and anti-submarine warfare and demining capabilities.
  • Make all Chinese officials personae non gratae in the US.
  • Shame China publicly for its support of North Korea as well as its own dismal human rights record.
  • Make the Black Book of Communism required reading at all US schools, universities, and military academies and schools.
  • Withdraw from the no-targeting agreement with China signed by President Clinton and target US nuclear weapons at China.
  • Stop understating the Chinese military threat and start telling the truth about it.
  • Stiffen the export control system and add China to the list of countries to be denied sensitive US technology.
  • Purge the US government of all officials who advocate the appeasement of China and North Korea or arms control.
  • Deploy more troops and platforms to the Asia-Pacific.
  • Make a commitment to defend any country attacked by China.
  • Warn the Europeans that if they sell any weapons to China, the US will withdraw from NATO.
  • Publicly say the following: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear-armed missile launched by North Korea against any nation as an attack by Communist China on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the People’s Republic of China.
  • At the same time, leave a face-saving way for China out of the current crisis if it permanently and verifiably stops supporting North Korea, Iran, and other rogue regimes.

Dissecting the Argument for Traditional Marriage

hmomoy (CC)

hmomoy (CC)

Since the Supreme Court is hearing the cases on gay marriage, of course there are piles of blogs, columns, and media commentaries about the oral arguments that were made in Court. In all honesty, I had no intentions of weighing in on this issue – at all – until a short exchange on Twitter with Charles (@repub9989) and the social media person over at The American Spectator (@AmSpec.) The whole conversation started because I had re-tweeted a link to Quin Hillyer’s piece on the matter – The Insufficiency of the “Procreation” Argument Against Homosexual “Marriage”. It’s a long title for a short piece of work that Hillyer freely admits really does need a much longer treatment. And he does point readers to James Taranto’s long-winded opinion on the matter. Of course that would have been much more useful if it had been a bit more simplistic.

Kudos to Taranto for engaging in an admirable performance of legal and linguistic acrobatics, however Justice Elena Kagan’s “trick” question had an answer that should have literally leaped into the mind of anyone that currently has, or previously had widow or widower over the age of 55 in the family (or even a really close friend.) Anyone currently receiving or about to become eligible to receive Social Security benefits knows this little gem. If a beneficiary is receiving payments due to a deceased spouse, those benefits are forfeit in the case of re-marriage. So, while procreation may be a logical reason to defend heterosexual marriage (and deny same-sex marriage) among younger citizens, Kagan’s argument about older citizens marrying is relatively rare anyway. Widows don’t tend to want to give up the benefits they receive even for the sake of love, so the new trend among seniors is co-habitation. If nothing else, it would have been priceless to see the looks on the faces of the Justices if Charles Cooper had replied with something akin to, “well, with all due respect, because individuals of that age could stand to lose governmental benefits if they chose marriage, they tend to choose to ‘live in sin’ instead – there aren’t very many people in that age group that actually want marriage licenses in the first place.”

It would have been amusing, even a bit refreshing, to see the honest truth displayed in the highest court, but it still would not have resolved the issue at hand. Is there a real reason outside of religious philosophy that can defend traditional marriage? Is there something that is not attached to ideology or religious belief systems to counter the secular left’s desire to render all gender neutral, at least as far as marriage is concerned? It is tempting to suggest that the left has become so steeped in science fiction that they are envisioning a country with the same sort of gender neutrality the writers and creators of Star Trek tried to create. Of course the real results that they are achieving are far from that world, and include militant feminists that refuse to accept that there are biological and psychological differences between the sexes. It also includes faithful atheists that believe they follow a religion, albeit the anti-Judeo-Christian sort that apparently reduces its “followers” to the point where they can be compared with Hollywood-style vampires that are terrified of any religious article. It would be comical if it wasn’t so sad – watching them fight against symbols of deities that they supposedly do not believe exist in the first place.

As an atheist, I find it particularly disturbing that I seem to regularly end up either defending deists, or the respective religions they follow. This situation is no different. As for defending the concept of traditional marriage from being sullied by permitting gay couples to legally marry, I have nothing. That is a religious affair, beyond my reach – and for that matter, it should also be beyond the reach of the Federal Government. As far as government in general is concerned, marriage is not sacred. It is already nothing more than a personal contract, and means for the government to keep tabs on taxpayers. Many years ago, I sat in a high school economics class where the teacher pointed out the entire problem with marriage. His contention was that it was far too easy to get married, and far too difficult to get a divorce. In the case of non-religious couples, at the very least there should be mandatory prenuptial agreements that must be completed before a marriage license could be acquired. I know this sounds suspiciously like increasing the work of government, but in reality, it would eventually reduce it. Imagine removing the necessity of having bureaucrats around to settle financial and custody matters for couples getting a divorce, because those matters were settled before they even got married. Yes, there would still be a need for them in extenuating circumstances, particularly in abusive relationships that fall apart. However, perhaps the process of completing the paperwork would in itself prevent at least a few of those doomed relationships from getting started in the first place. Individuals that choose to have their unions solemnized in a church would have to complete whatever their respective faiths required, and acquire a statement of permission from a priest or minister. That would be in addition to the required prenuptial agreement, since that would be the means for the state to guarantee an easy divorce. It was an interesting concept to say the least, but one that if it was in effect now, would arguably have settled this particular issue. While it wouldn’t have removed the state from the marriage business as many Libertarians are suggesting now, it would have placed a great deal of control over the process in the hands of the churches.

As Matt Lewis recently pointed out, conservatives have lost (are losing?) the culture war. Liberals are very big on pleasure and their right to do whatever they choose, as long as it feels good. Conservatives are focused more on the responsibilities that people must remember are inextricably linked to all rights. Instead of worrying about procreation, or even the concept of government protecting marriage from being destroyed by gays, conservatives should have shifted this argument to the realm of actions and consequences. The liberals do not play well in this arena, because they are so purely focused on self-gratification that they cannot shift gears easily to address the real consequences of their actions. Conservatives have been waging this battle for years over abortion. This argument really shouldn’t be about who may or may not get married legally, but about truly protecting the institution of marriage from the state. That old economics teacher had it right, because he recognized what religious leaders are oddly quiet about now. Instead of just saying allowing gays to marry is “wrong”, why aren’t they saying what has desperately needed to be said for years now? Why aren’t those leaders leaving the blame for the high divorce rate, and high numbers of single-parent families where it belongs? Yes, they often say it is the fault of liberal policies in government, but that idea should have been hammered home on the issue of same-sex marriage until even conservatives were complaining about the repetition. The bottom line remains that the true root cause of the erosion of the sanctity of marriage is a societal failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions. It is too easy for everyone to enter into marital relationships.

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever seriously suggest what I’ve outlined here as a solution to the problem, regardless of whether or not it actually would resolve the issue. I know social conservatives would never suggest it, at least not as I’ve stated it here, because it does not forbid same sex unions, per se. Admittedly, I intentionally avoided saying anything about that. The government has no place refusing such unions, because the state’s part in the process is purely the legalities – that is the case now, and should remain that way. Churches would be free to forbid those unions at will, and that would be protecting the sanctity of marriage – the state should not be able to dictate the actions of churches when it comes to the recognition of same sex marriage. Religion and politics do not mix well. This nation was founded because of that fact, but too many of us tend to forget that, or twist it to our own purposes. Too many people forget that the “separation of church and state” was meant to be a two-way street. It is meant to not only protect churches from interference by government, but also protect government from the same by churches. It was a good theory over 200 years ago, and it still is now.

Originally posted at PolitiChicks.tv.

Obama’s America Becoming a Police State

The video link here is beyond chilling.  The most chilling aspect of its beginning is the looks on the faces of the people.  These are people who seem to be surprised and confused.  These things don’t happen Obama's Gestapohere!  It often seems as though things happen overnight but it doesn’t happen that way.

Tyranny doesn’t happen over-night.  It happens in a series of events that build on themselves until you wake up one morning and life as you know it is gone forever, liberty is a thing of the past.  Adolph Hitler didn’t just start rounding up Jews on a whim.  He spent years putting the infrastructure in place to install his totalitarian state.  They had control of everything; the media, the child indoctrination centers they referred to as “public schools”, the monetary and economic structure, and national and local police departments.  Hitler and his henchmen made Jews the scapegoats.  Friends and neighbors soon began to hate Jews for who they were. German citizens bought into the blame game and generations of co-existence was gone in 6 years, all due to propaganda in the government controlled media and the government controlled schools.

The Aryan German people let Hitler have the Jews, and even helped him, because he was leaving them alone.  Then one day he struck; swiftly, efficiently, thoroughly, and without warning!!  The average German citizen woke up and found the Gestapo at their door because a disagreement over a debt, or a minor insult to a neighbor orhitler4 stranger led to them being denounced as traitors over a grudge.  The Gestapo kicked in their door and dragged them out into the street.  Some were shot dead on the spot; some were taken to prisons and tortured by sadists seeking information that didn’t exist. Most were never seen again.

This happened to your everyday, patriotic German citizens.  They had gone about their lives, ignoring or accepting the things that happened over the years as Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, Heydrich, and the rest ignored the rights of citizens and passed decrees that were “unlawful”.  Unlawful to whom???  Hitler didn’t see rounding up, “enemies of the state”, and shooting them as “unlawful”.

The people had seen what these men were doing but said, “it can’t happen here, we have a system of laws”.  They didn’t think Hitler was a despot.  He was a great leader, Der Fuhrer, who would never turn on his “Aryan” citizens.  He “cares about us”!!  Then one day the Jews were under control and he came back for them.

When Pastor Martin Neimoller made his famous “first they came for…” quote he could have been speaking about America’s society today.  Many will ridicule this video, and the whole concept of Nazi Germany, because “it can’t or it won’t happen here, we have a Constitution”.  But take a look at this picture and answer the question, “when did this; become this?”.  Police to GestapoOur society in the United States of America today mirrors the society of 1936 Germany.

Hitler offered money to those who turned in their neighbors.  New York City is now offering a $500 bounty for snitching on anyone possessing an “illegal weapon”.  Holding a grudge against someone?  Want to cause them some misery?  What is happening in America today HAS happened before and we are taking the exact same path they took then.  Apathy and denial are the two most dangerous states of mind in any free society.

How can people ignore or dismiss the Patriot Act, NDAA 2011 and its “indefinite detention without charge”, the TSA, the Department of Homeland Security, or the explosion of local SWAT teams and the military equipment they are being given by the federal government?  Policemen now kick in doors in the middle of the night dressed in black face masks and body armor head to toe.  The uniforms are just that, uniform around the nation.  The equipment and the tactics designed for an urban battlefield are being ”uniformly” spread to police departments and sheriff’s offices throughout the nation, and being funded with primarily federal funds.  Helicopters participate in “live fire” operations using blanks, in American cities, in conjunction with local police forces.  Why are they doing this???  Who are they going to round up and put in the FEMA camps that were a “figment of my imagination” in 2010?

How can anyone with any amount of cognitive ability not see where both political parties are taking us?  How does someone dismiss 2 billion rounds of ammunition, tens of thousands of full automatic “assault rifles”, and MRAP Urban Rescue Vehicle 2armored vehicles with gun ports and machine gun mounts operated by local law enforcement?  What SWAT team really needs this kind of firepower?  Who are they going to use this equipment against?

Both political parties refuse to secure the border and do anything about all the illegal aliens.  It is very apparent that they aren’t looking to round up illegal aliens so why do we find ourselves with an internal security apparatus having so much armament?  No Demomcrat Logofree nation has ever had this kind of domestic military force and remained free for long.  This is the SS and Brown Shirts of Nazi Germany being paraded before our very eyes yet many people deny there is any danger.  It reminds me of a joke where a woman catches her husband with another woman and he asks her “are you going to believe what I tell you or your LYING EYES”???

Conspiracy Theory??  At one time I thought so.  By themselves many of the events over the last 10-15 years pose no “clear and present danger”, but when they are looked at with an open mind and in the view of 20th Century history it is another vision altogether.  We the People are calledrepublican logo mentally unstable and enemies of the state by the “leadership” of both political parties.  Veterans who defended liberty are labeled as mentally ill by members of Congress.  Some have been “detained” and had their lawfully owned firearms confiscated in a clear abuse of the Constitution.

Can’t happen here?  Won’t Happen here???  Don’t bet your life on it!!!!  Are you going to believe what they tell you or are you going to believe “your lying eyes”???  Time is short and one morning Americans will wake up and find out their nation is in the grips of a totalitarian regime as evil as Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell

Claremore, Oklahoma

March 28, 2013

Rebuttal of David Axe’s lies

The Next Generation Bomber program has been a subject of utterly false smears since its inception. The proponents of massive defense cuts, doing America’s enemies’ bidding in the US, have been trying to get this vital program shut down ever since it was started, but because it has not experienced any cost overruns or details, all they can do is make false claims about how the program was started, about past bomber programs, and wildly inaccurate predictions about the future. In other words, blatant lies.

An example of this type of smear campaign has been conducted by the liberal Danger Room blog, and particularly by one of the contributors therein, David Axe, a total ignoramus whom I have proved dead wrong on numerous occassions in the past. In March 2012, he wrote an utterly false screed for Danger Room and the liberal “Center for Public Integrity” making utterly false claims aimed at undermining support for the NGB. In summary, he falsely claimed that:

1)      The Air Force overloaded the previous “Next Generation Bomber” with pricey gizmos, so it experienced cost overruns and “crashed”;

2)      Then-SECDEF Robert Gates killed it, was very skeptical of it, and the Air Force waited until after he and Gen. James Cartwright were gone from the Pentagon to resume the program, finding Leon Panetta more agreeable;

3)      The B-2 bomber cost over $3 bn per plane and this led to the program’s order cut and eventual closure in 1992;

4)      The NGB will cost $55 bn and there are supposedly good reasons to believe it will cost much more than that.

 

All of these claims are blatant lies. Here’s why:

Firstly, the Air Force did NOT overload the original NGB with any “pricey gizmos”, and that program did not experience any cost overruns. It was still in its infancy, in the study and design stage, when Obama began his first round of massive defense cuts and ordered Gates to kill the NGB. But Gates did not terminate the program – he merely delayed it. As he explained to Sen. Thune in 2009, he did not doubt whether there was a need for an NGB, but rather, what form should that aircraft have, and he also wanted to wait for the outcome of New START negotiations with Russia and the clarification of their impact on the nuclear triad.

Then, in February 2010, once New START negotiations were finalized an once the QR proved the needd for long range strike capabilities, including the NGB, Gates endorsed the project and requested $200 mn for it. (Congress did not yet provide the funding because, being unable to pass regular approps bills, it instead had to pass a FY201 Continuing Resolution (CR), and CRS normally prohibit new program starts. So the NGB program office could not yet have been stood up.

Also in 2010, Gates challenged the services, including the Air Force, to come up with $20 bn in annual savings that could be reinvested in higher defense priorities. The services rose up to the challenge, and as a reward, the Air Force was allowed to reinvest its savings in higher priorities, including – and most prominently – the Next Generation Bomber, which Gates explicitly endorsed during his press conference on January 6th:

“Finally, a major area of investment for the Air Force will be a new long-range, nuclear-capable penetrating bomber.  This aircraft – which will have the option of being piloted remotely – will be designed and developed using proven technologies, an approach that should make it possible to deliver this capability on schedule and in quantity.  It is important that we begin this project now to ensure that a new bomber can be ready before the current aging fleet goes out of service.  The follow on bomber represents a key component of a joint portfolio of conventional deep-strike capabilities – an area that should be a high priority for future defense investment given the anti-access challenges our military faces.”

He then requested funding for that program in his FY2012 defense budget request. Sometime thereafter, the program office was stood up. The CSBA, from which the DOD sometimes borrows ideas and which has documented the need for an NGB, endorsed all of Gates’ proposals, including the one to develop and field the NGB.

Gates later reaffirmed the need for the NGB a few more times, most prominently in his final policy speech as SECDEF, at the AEI in May 2011:

“when it comes to our military modernization accounts, the proverbial “low hanging fruit” – those weapons and other programs considered most questionable – have not only been plucked, they have been stomped on and crushed.  What remains are much-needed capabilities – relating to air superiority and mobility, long-range strike, nuclear deterrence, maritime access, space and cyber warfare, ground forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – that our nation’s civilian and military leadership deem absolutely critical.”

So no, the USAF did not have to wait for Gates and Cartwright to leave the Pentagon. The program was started not merely with Gates’s blessing, but BY Robert Gates, as a result of his own (correct) conclusions about the need for it, driven by the vast and increasing arsenals of A2/AD weapons wielded by America’s adversaries, which threaten all American in-theater bases at risk and will force the DOD to operate, more and more often, from over-the-horizon, over intercontinental distances. This requires a profound shift from short-range to long-range strike programs, including and most importantly, the Next Generation Bomber, as Gates astutely and correctly observed in January 2009, just three months before caving in to WH pressure to delay the Next Gen Bomber:

“In the case of China, Beijing’s investments in cyberwarfare, antisatellite warfare, antiaircraft and antiship weaponry, submarines, and ballistic missiles could threaten the United States’ primary means to project its power and help its allies in the Pacific: bases, air and sea assets, and the networks that support them. This will put a premium on the United States’ ability to strike from over the horizon and employ missile defenses and will require shifts from short-range to longer-range systems, such as the next-generation bomber.”[1]

Far from being an NGB skeptic, Gates was one of that program’s biggest supporters – except the short period from April 2009 until February 2010.

As for the B-2 bomber, it never cost $3 bn (let alone more than that) per copy – not even if R&D costs (which were already sunk before production began) are included to exaggerate the cost (as is almost always done). The correct price tag was $737 mn per copy without, or $1.2 bn per copy with, R&D costs.

And the reason why these costs were so high was because the planned order quantity of 132 bombers was inexplicably cut by the liberal G. H. W. Bush administration down to just 21, a woefully inadequate number to defeat even a trivial adversary. If the DOD had bought the 132 B-2s originally planned, each of them would’ve cost no more than a Boeing 747.

Which brings us to the final issue: can the Air Force develop and build the 100 planned NGBs for $55 bn ($550 mn per copy)?

To hear David Axe say it, no. He falsely claims that the costs will likely be much higher.

But that’s utter garbage. There’s no reason to believe the costs will be higher. There is every reason they will be much lower than $55 bn and $550 mn per copy – because they can be.

If Airbus can build A380s for less than $400 mn per copy, the USAF can surely build NGBs for less than that, given that they will be much less complex than the A380 jumbo jets.

There are many ways the USAF can make the NGB cheaper than $550 mn. One would be to maximize the use of off-the-shelf parts, which the USAF plans to use. Another would be to fully fund the research & testing phase and buying a sufficient number of test aircraft (at least 6). Another would be to install capabilities into the bombers in batches. So the first batch would not initially have the full planned capabilities, or the capabilities that later batches would have, until these would be retrofitted into the first batch. Another would be to build the NGBs on the government-owned production line in Fort Worth, Texas.

And still another would be to build far more than 100 NGBs – at least 200. That way, the Air Force would get a two-fer: very capable, needed aircraft being produced at a low cost and in large quantities.

The unit cost of an aircraft is determined by three things: the aircraft’s complexity, the aircraft program’s R&D budget, and the planned production quantities. If  you produce few aircraft, don’t be surprised if they cost $550 mn or more per copy. If you produce 200 or more aircraft, they’ll cost less than $400 mn per copy.

Finally, let’s remember that the USAF, indeed, the entire DOD, spends very little on long range strike programs: only $1 for every $20 it spends on short-range strike aircraft and fighters. In other words, the defense budget is currently heavily biased in favor of these short-range aircraft which will be utterly unable to take off if American in-theater bases are destroyed.

It is time to start devoting more money where it’s needed – to long-range strike programs, including the NGB.

[1] Robert Gates, Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age, “Foreign Affairs”, January/February 2009.

Courage Is No Longer Just a Word

On Sunday, June 26, 2011, the world premiere of the first episode of the new Colony Bay Entertainment series: “Courage, New Hampshire” took place in Monrovia, CA.13-IM-0250-CourageNH-PremiereBanner-655x300_2

The Inspiration channel, which ranks among the fastest growing basic cable networks in America with a broadcast reach of up to 73 million viewers, recently announced it will broadcast “Courage, New Hampshire” nationally on Memorial Day 2013.

See the ISPN trailer:

http://youtu.be/GmQ3aqRZbqE

“We are very excited to make this announcement,” said INSP Senior VP of programming, Doug Butts. “Original scripted dramas are going to play a significant role in INSP’s future programming strategy. Courage, New Hampshire is an outstanding addition to our already strong programming line-up.”

“With the overwhelming success of period shows like Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, North & South, etc., audiences will find Courage, New Hampshire equally compelling,” Butts said. “Courage, New Hampshire fits perfectly with the INSP brand.”

Visionary, screenplay writer, director, actor and co-producer James Patrick Riley noted, “I am looking forward to seeing INSP deliver a large audience.  I am hoping that we will eventually go into regular production, with many more seasons to come.  Likewise, it would be great to establish ourselves in mainstream media, because we have done something really special here.  To have created an American 18th century serial episodic period drama is something really phenomenal.  Not even any of the major networks have attempted that.”

When asked about the future of Courage, Colony Bay Entertainment executive and Courage co-producer Jonathan Wilson replied, “Currently, we are in the pre-planning stages for a season two, so stay tuned.   We can’t say a whole lot about the number of episodes, but we’re pretty sure about one thing…There will be more romance.”

In episode one-“The Travail of Sarah Pine”- The viewer visits the frontier township of Courage, located in western New Hampshire.  When British soldiers arrive in search of deserters their quarry escapes, but one of them catches the eye of Justice of the Peace Silas Rhodes and a dramatic, gripping trail ensues.

Dramatic, believable acting by an outstanding cast of talented actors (featuring Alexandra Oliver as Sarah Pine, Nathan Kershaw as British deserter Bob Wheedle, James Patrick Riley as tavern keeper and Justice of the Peace Silas Rhodes  and Basil Hoffman as royal solicitor Simeon Trapp) propel the show.

In episode two-“The Sons of Liberty”- Justice Rhodes travels to Portsmouth for the execution of two notorious criminals.  Royal Governor Wentworth details how ruling New England will require a “light hand”, and the Township of Courage greets the arrival of a new pastor.

Performances by Donal Thomas-Cappello as the deceptively sinister Reverend Silence Laud, Isabelle Gardo as the desirable Abby Lamb, Greg Martin as the burglar and Joe Massingill as the counterfeiter make this episode delightful and compelling.  Mike Gallagher appears as a jovial barkeep and Andrew Breitbart plays the part of the High Sherriff.

In episode three-“A Snake in the Garden”- Governor Wentworth begins enforcement of the unwelcomed, unpopular white pine act.  The “Reverend” Silence Laud makes romantic advances on the lovely Miss Lamb, and the sons of liberty are the only one who stands between royal imprisonment and a farmer’s freedom.

Donal Thomas-Cappello reprises his role as Reverend Laud, and Isabelle Gardo returns as Abby Lamb.  Jonathan Salisbury as Noah Pine, Allen Marsh as Abraham Fox and Patrick Finerty as William Bramley further drive the drama of this episode.

In episode four-“Ambition”- Reverend Laud becomes ensnared in his own deceit while Governor Wentworth takes steps towards enforcement of royal justice upon Courage.  While at a training day in Portsmouth the neighboring towns’ gathered militias are pushed by Courage townsmen to ponder the question: “are you with us?”

The circle of drama continues as the Sons of Liberty stand against corrupt British rule.

The production quality is top notch, featuring crisp photography and well-paced editing that tells the story while avoiding the pitfalls of encryption or dragging scenes.  The beautiful music is consistently appropriate.  The compelling screenplay employs clever, time appropriate dialogue which evokes a wide range of emotions while conveying time tested morals.

James Patrick Riley and Jonathan Wilson, co-founders of Colony Bay and the driving force behind the success of Courage are to be congratulated for their fine production.  It is highly recommended and can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

To obtain a four DVD copy of Courage, go here:

Give the Gift of Courage

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/courage-is-no-longer-just-a-word/

 

In Deep with Michelle Ray – Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!

When: Thursday, March 28th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight: Let’s talk about sex. And marriage. And civil unions. And sex.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

South African Guard Tries to Lay Hands On Putin’s ‘Nuclear Suitcase’, Russian Spokesman Throws South African Gov Under the Bus

At this year’s BRICS summit, Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s security detail was challenged while trying to enter a building.

via the Daily Mail-

Armed guards from Vladimir Putin’s entourage were involved in an ugly fight in South Africa after they were ordered to put top secret suitcases – believed to contain the codes for Russia’s nuclear arsenal – through a security scanner.

Angry ‘pushing and shoving’ broke out after some members of Putin’s security detail were prevented from following the Russian president into the conference hall staging the summit, which was hosted by South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma and also involved Brazil, Russia, India and China.

What’s interesting is the apparent lack of diplomacy that happened next, when a Russian spokesman threw the host of the summit (South Africa) under the bus.

Kremlin officials blamed the embarrassing bust-up on the South Africans, with Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying: ‘They manage football better. A lot of confusion.’

He added: ‘The incident happened because of the fault of the inviting side.’

Also interesting?  The spokesman said South Africans “manage football  better” in response to the incident over the suitcase presumed to have nuclear codes.  This is interesting, because the American counterpart to that suitcase just so happens to be referred to as a “football” by members of our President’s security.  (of course, in this case, “football” refers to “soccer”, but an interesting tidbit, still)

SO WHAT IS THIS BRICS SUMMIT ABOUT, ANYWAY?

Simply put, it’s a group of five (it used to be four) nations that happen to have large populations and a lot of economic potential, but they lack the same kind of pull that the United States and Europe have enjoyed over the years.  It has been their hope that maybe they can band together and use their synergies to help achieve prominence and leverage on the world stage that they haven’t been able to obtain individually.  As this piece on Bloomberg details, their results, so far have been mixed at best.

WHO ARE THESE BRICS NATIONS?

An investment analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. famously came up with the BRIC designation (South Africa was an afterthought) in 2001

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.

While the Bloomberg piece suggests that the BRICS summit can sometimes (or often) come across as a fruitless endeavor, it should be noted that these countries are becoming more and more coveted by various corporations around the world due to their large populations and practically untapped markets.

India, for example, has been seen by many as the next place for a great smartphone boom, as more of it’s 1.2 billion citizens become upwardly mobile.