Author Archives: Frank Salvato

About Frank Salvato

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamic jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, “Ezekiel and the MidEast ‘Piece’ Process: Israel’s Neighbor States.” He is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Genesis and Phoenix Broadcasting Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato has been interviewed on Radio Belgrade One. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.com and Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements.

It’s Not a War on Christmas

As the season of “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men” goes forward, so too do the disingenuous protests of the secular activist Progressives; protests against anything that might be construed, interpreted and/or seen as the religiously based, existing in the public square, be it the government square or the private-sector square. Many Americans find the objections of these secular Progressive activists to be not only in bad taste, but an assault on reasonable sensibilities and traditions. But to the secular Progressives, this annual “offensive” is a necessity; a “nudge,” if you will. And it has a lot more to do with an overall ideological goal than it does with removing Christ from Christmas.

It is true that, whether you believe Christmas is centered on a celebration of the birth of the Christ Child or not, Christmas is a federally recognized national holiday. Christmas was designated a federal holiday by the United States Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870, however this only applied to federal employees in Washington DC, the designation expanding, applying to all federal employees in 1968. To this legal end, Christmas is codified. But even before the holiday’s official recognition by the United States government, Christmas was a culturally recognized holiday around the world:

“Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed cultural holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night. Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part (central event) of the Christmas and holiday season.”

Given that the Founders and Framers of the United States of America rooted the entirety of our Founding Documents in the Natural Laws found in the Judeo-Christian philosophy, the recognition of a day designated to celebrate the Alpha and the Omega of this philosophy is not only fitting, but serves to offer up an opportunity to embrace a retrospect of what the root philosophy of all Americans is and should be.

To be sure, the United States is, in fact, a nation of immigrants; a diverse collection of cultures that over time have infused our unique American culture with rich and honored traditions. But, in each of these cultures, as part of each of these traditions, has always been, at their core, a celebration of thanks to the Deity, to God, to a Higher Power over the flawed egos of man. Perhaps that is what makes the traditional season of Christmas one that transcends cultures and languages; lines on a map; and political ideologies…all but for Progressivism’s most zealous.

At the core of turn-of-the-century Progressivism lays the notion that man can be perfected, nay, must be perfected if, in fact, there was to be a “Second Coming.” In an excerpt from The Social Gospel at DiscoverTheNetworks.org, authors, Daniel Flynn and Jonah Goldberg are credited with exposing:

“Flourishing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Social Gospel Movement was a Protestant intellectual phenomenon headed by clergymen who sought to reconcile Christianity with a Progressive social agenda; who saw the state as the instrument by which God could intervene in human affairs and promote the collectivism supposedly advocated by Jesus. This collectivism, said exponents of the Social Gospel, held the keys to the eradication of all manner of societal ills: inequality, alcoholism, crime, racism, poverty, ignorance, exploitation, and violence.

“Whereas Conservative theologians saw redemption and reconciliation strictly as matters between each individual and God, Progressives in the Social Gospel Movement held that redemption could only be achieved collectively, by means of unified, social and political activism. They maintained, moreover, that the Second Coming of Christ could not occur until humankind had eliminated all social evils by means of such activism. One notable mouthpiece of the Social Gospel was the Baptist minister and theologian Walter Rauschenbush, who said: ‘Individualism means tyranny.’”

Today, with the injection of hyper-secularism into Progressivism, an almost atheistic tenet has taken hold of the modern Progressive Movement. 21st Century Progressives (or modern day Progressives) are more inclined to believe that man – not a Higher Power, a Deity; not God – is the issuer of rights; that the rights we enjoy not only as Americans, but as “citizens of the world,” are derived from governments and not from Natural Law; from elitist oligarchs and bureaucratic experts and not by Intelligent Design.

So it is that modern Progressives need to expunge the idea of a higher power from the American (and, in fact the world) lexicon. If the idea of God, or Deity or Higher Power is to exist, then the authorities of man to establish right from wrong, good from bad, normal from abnormal, tolerance from intolerance, can always – always – be questioned. If the elitist oligarchs of the modern day Progressive Movement are to assume complete control; complete authority to execute social justice, economic justice and redefine the many ideas of equality, then they must dispense with the idea that they – themselves – are not at the top of the power pyramid; at the top of the intellectual “food chain.” The only way to do this is to eliminate the idea of the Higher Power; the Deity; God.

When one understands the need for secular Progressives to directly attack the idea of God; of Christ as the Son of God, it makes sense to take the fight to the opposition on their home turf, in this instance, Christians and Christmas (although Easter is actually the holiest day in the Catholic/Christian faith).

By playing on emotions – the most potent tool in the Progressive arsenal – and painting those who hold true to their religious beliefs as being “un-inclusive,” “intolerant of others,” and “insensitive” for their wont that Christmas include the idea of the Christ Child, Christianity and Judeo-Christian ethos, i.e. The Nativity in the public square; Christmas Carols that feature Christian lyrics; and even merchants saying the salutation “Merry Christmas” for its root word of “Christ,” Progressives aim to “shame” the truly tolerant and inclusive (any true understanding of Christianity reveals that Christians, and not Progressives, are the truly tolerant and inclusive). By shaming or making the majority of Americans “uncomfortable” for the accusations of intolerance and insensitivity, Progressives aim to force an abdication of traditional American values and beliefs. In doing so they inch closer to their goal of expunging the notion of Natural Law from the societal and then governmental lexicons, successfully achieving elitist, oligarchic and totalitarian control over the defining of rights, the common good, and the role of government in our lives.

To wit, this is not a “war on Christmas,” as Bill O’Reilly would say. This is a war on the very notion of the existence of God.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

The Opportunistic Politics Rolls On

Just as the American people begin eying the torches and pitchforks, readying their maps of Washington, DC, the establishment politicos have set themselves to brazenly cover their butts yet again. This time, they are proposing a way to absolve themselves from tough votes on raising the debt ceiling.

In the aftermath of our current President’s disingenuous declaration that raising the debt ceiling “doesn’t necessarily mean adding to the debt,” and his infantile temper-tantrum about the government being held “hostage” because House Republicans wouldn’t let him have the federal credit card for his “date with destiny,” it isn’t surprising that the usual suspects are floating a fiscally irresponsible, but politically advantageous, plan to avoid the ugliness of actually governing where the debt and debt ceiling are concerned.

RedState.com reports:

On Meet the Press, Chuck Schumer, who has enthusiastically praised [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, (Ri-KY), for doing his bidding, announced that he would introduce legislation echoing the “McConnell rule.”

“Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will propose legislation that would make permanent a plan to take the decision to raise the country’s debt limit out of Congress’s hands.

“By making the so-called “McConnell rule” permanent, the president would have ultimate authority to raise the debt limit and prevent the United States from defaulting.

“Congress would still have power to oppose raising the debt ceiling, but would not have to vote to increase the borrowing limit.

“‘If we were to do that, the chances of going up to the brink again, the chances of this kind of debacle, will decrease,’ Schumer said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday.”

The politics is brazen. The abdication of constitutionally mandated obligation absolute.

It is not negotiable – aside from passing a constitutional amendment – that the US House of Representatives is tasked with the exclusive – exclusive – authority to generate legislation having to do with the raising of revenue. This means that no piece of legislation emanating from the Senate, no executive order, no agreement amongst a “Gang of Idiots,” has the constitutional authority to raise revenue, including the expansion of our nation’s level of debt.

Raising the debt ceiling so that the federal government can continue to operate in the red expands the expenditures of government. This can only be viewed as authorizing the need to extract revenues from the only constitutional source of revenue the federal government has: the American people via taxation.

Perhaps the American people have forgotten this critical point. The United States government does not produce a product. Therefore, the United States government cannot produce a revenue stream outside the realm of taxation, or, at least this was the way it was supposed to be before the federal government got into backing “winners and losers” (read: every Energy Department funding initiative) through government-backed special interest subsidies and the quasi-nationalization of certain private-sector companies (read: GM and Chrysler).

It is for this reason the generation of revenue legislation – and later legislation authorizing the extraction of taxes from the American people – rests solely with the US House; the elected body closest and most vulnerable to the people. It is for this specific reason that US Representatives are elected every two years instead of four or six, and why they represent the least number of people, by comparison, in our federal system of government. The Framers wanted these people – these elected representatives – to be vulnerable to their constituents. This was the “stick” to the carrot of elected privilege.

Creating a mechanism by which our elected representatives can simply remain silent in order to allow the Executive Branch (read: the President) to mandate the raising of revenue – in this case the debt ceiling and along with it the ability to spend – is literally unconstitutional. Additionally, that Senators are even broaching this subject presents as unconstitutional because the US Senate is not vested with the power of the purse, only the US House has that power.

People like Mitch McConnell and Chuckie Schumer get away with floating unconstitutional political mechanisms like “The McConnell Rule” because our citizenry exists as constitutionally illiterate and selfishly apathetic to their role in government: engaged oversight. Until the American people start to consistently and constantly embrace a jealous appreciation for limited government – and through that jealously an elevated addiction to freedom and responsible individualism – political reprobates like McConnell and Schumer will continue to destroy the Constitution and, along with it, our freedoms; your freedom.

How Obamacare Screws the Working Class…Hard

Now that it is becoming clear that the establishment House Republicans are about to capitulate to the Senate Democrats and Obama Progressives, it is clear that, short of Republicans taking the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, Obamacare is set to sink into the flesh of the American entitlement system not unlike a bear’s claws sink into the flesh of its prey. Regardless of whether or not the federal healthcare exchange website functions adequately or not (get used to it, it’s government inferiority at work), the bureaucracy has just expanded and your wallets are about to do the opposite.

One of the things that people are going to have to come to understand is how the Internal Revenue Service – yes, the same Internal Revenue Service currently under investigation for targeting Conservative political groups – will be assessing the penalties (read: enforcing Obamacare) on those who choose not to “participate.” The fact of the matter is that it is both less ominous, yet more disturbing, than people think.

The penalties levied under the Affordable Care Act, under the usually heavy hand of the IRS, is not so much under the ACA. In fact, the pathway for extracting the Obamacare penalty from non-participants is exclusive to the garnishment of any federal tax refunds due. If one chooses not to acquire qualifying health insurance, the IRS will withhold the amount of the penalty that must be paid from any federal tax return refund that is owed an individual in violation of the statute.

According to BusinessInsider.com:

The IRS will not have the power to charge you criminally or seize your assets if you refuse to pay. The IRS will only have the ability to sue you. And the most the IRS can collect from you if it wins the suit is 2 times the amount you owe. So if you want to thumb your nose at the penalty-tax, the IRS won’t be able to do as much to you as they could if you refused to pay, say, income tax.

So, unlike when an individual fails to pay their federal income taxes, there won’t be a cadre of black uniformed federal agents armed with fully-automatic weapons kicking in your door in the middle of the night. You won’t be “frog-marched” out of your house in irons, past your disenchanted neighbors, to face the swift righteousness of redistributive social justice (I am being sarcastic, but less so than I would have been just a few years back).

But one question that eludes the thoughts of most people where this matter is concerned is this. What happens if you don’t “participate” in Obamacare but you aren’t due any federal tax refund? What if you are one of the 47 percent who does not pay federal income tax? What if you are über-wealthy and can afford a wizard tax attorney who can figure out how you can “zero out” on your federal taxes each year?

Well, the short answer is this. If you don’t pay federal income tax, technically, you don’t have to pay the fines under the Affordable Care Act. If you are one of the hard-working Americans who has federal taxes withheld from your paycheck – oh, you know, like Middle-Class, blue-collar and union workers not covered by the Executive Branch union carve-outs of the law – you will have to pay the penalty out of your tax refunds. If you are one of the 47 percent of the American public who doesn’t pay federal income taxes, you get to “skate” the Obamacare penalty. Ditto for the “One Percenters.”

One has to wonder whether H&R Block is going to be flooded with new clients trying to figure out how to pay their federal income taxes to the penny throughout the year so that they “zero out.”

And let’s be honesty, the IRS is not going to come after every person who “skates” the $95 dollar (or 1 percent of earnings) penalty being assessed in 2014, even if they did seek to hire upwards of 16,000 new IRS agents since the passage of this freedom-crushing law.

So, when one comes to understand this very stark reality, the obvious question is this. If the indestructible demographic (the 21 to 32 year-old demo) doesn’t sign-up for the Obamacare exchanges in droves – and droves upwards of 80% of their demographic, and 47 percent of the country doesn’t pay federal income taxes, who actually pays for the expanded coverage mandated under the Affordable Care Act? Who is on the hook for Obamacare?

The answer – again – is the Middle-Class, blue-collar and union workers not covered by the Executive Branch union carve-outs of the law…and new taxes on everyone. Again, BusinessInsider.com reports:

Here are some of the new taxes you’re going to have to pay to pay for Obamacare:

A 3.8% surtax on “investment income”( dividends, interest, rent, capital gains, annuities, house sales, partnerships, etc.) when your adjusted gross income is more than $200,000, $250,000 for joint-filers. What is “investment income?” (WSJ)

A 0.9% surtax on Medicare taxes for those making $200,000 or more, $250,000 joint. (WSJ)

Flexible Spending Account contributions will be capped at $2,500. Currently, there is no tax-related limit on how much you can set aside pre-tax to pay for medical expenses. (ATR.org)

The itemized-deduction hurdle for medical expenses is going up to 10% of adjusted gross income. (ATR.org)

The penalty on non-medical withdrawals from Healthcare Savings Accounts is now 20% instead of 10%. (ATR.org)

A tax of 10% on indoor tanning services. This has been in place for two years, since the summer of 2010. (ATR.org)

A 40% tax on “Cadillac Health Care Plans” starting in 2018.Those whose employers pay for all or most of comprehensive healthcare plans (costing $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for families) will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount their employer pays. (ATR.org)

A”Medicine Cabinet Tax” that eliminates the ability to pay for over-the-counter medicines from a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account. (ATR.org)

A “penalty” tax for those who don’t buy health insurance.

A 2.3% excise tax on medical devices costing more than $100. (Breitbart.com)

So those are some of the new taxes you’ll be paying that will help pay for Obamacare…

Note that these taxes are both “progressive” (aimed at rich people) and “regressive” (aimed at the middle class and poor people).

The cost of this program will not be affordable for the individuals – almost every story but for those who get taxpayer-funded subsidies is one of tripled premiums and deductibles, and it won’t be affordable for the country, especially when the bureaucrats and elitist political class put the price tag of the whole Obamacare ball of infected earwax at approximately $2 trillion dollars.

Now, President Obama is quoted as having said, in an interview with the Spanish-Speaking television network Univision, that:

Once [the budget impasse is rectified], you know, the day after – I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform…And if I have to join with other advocates and continue to speak out on that, and keep pushing, I’m going to do so because I think it’s really important for the country. And now is the time to do it.

And as the “indestructible” demographic (21-32 years of age) fails to sign-up for the Obamacare exchanges, pro-amnesty Progressives will begin insisting that illegal immigrants (I’m sorry, I mean undocumented uninvited guests) be added to those eligible for Obamacare. Understanding that the 47 percent of those who do not pay federal income tax cannot be fined, and that the One Percenters can affords to have their taxes “zero out,” how long will it be until Progressives scream “crisis” and demand massive, Middle-Class killing. economy destroying, Cloward-Piven-styled tax increases?

Who is John Galt?

A Disgrace Worthy of a Resignation

It is unconscionable. It is rude, insensitivity, callus and unacceptable. With the news that family members of fallen soldiers killed in Afghanistan are not only being denied death benefits, but are being denied transportation to Dover AFB for the arrival of the caskets containing the remains of their loved ones, the Obama Administration has crossed a “red line” with the American people. Progressives in Washington and across the nation, you are now on notice: We – regular, rank-and-file, hard-working American every-men and -women – are not going to take the “pain” of your ideological agenda anymore.

Few things are sacrosanct among all Americans, the proper treatment and respect of the men and women of the Armed Forces – and their families – one such thing. But Mr. Obama, his administration, and the sycophants who voted for and support them have disrespected and caused unnecessary pain for these patriots, both fallen and family. Just as in the 1960s, these very same people and people of the same mindset, are once again spitting in the faces of the American soldier, this time extending that vile discontent to the survivors and their children.

FOX News reports:

It’s another ugly symptom of Mr. Obama’s partial government shutdown — and this time it impacts the families of soldiers who are dying for their country.

The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that, as long as the budget impasse lasts, it will not be able to pay death benefits to the families of troops who’ve been killed in combat.

“Unfortunately, as a result of the shutdown, we do not have the legal authority to make death gratuity payments at this time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman.

House lawmakers, though, are planning to vote Wednesday on a bill to restore funding for the payments. And Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), on Tuesday accused the Obama administration of needlessly withholding the money…

The Pentagon says it has specific instructions from its budget office not to make payments for deaths that occurred after 11:59pm on Sept. 30, 2013.

And that’s about enough…We should all demand – demand – the name of the imbecile who made this decision (I am certain that it came from Mr. Obama’s inner-circle) and demand – demand – that person’s resignation, terminating that person’s governmental career complete with withheld benefits.

President Obama is the Commander in Chief and that position mandates a responsibility to care for the whole of the military family. This responsibility is absolute and non-discretionary. That this situation even exists must – must and without question – rest on Mr. Obama’s shoulders personally.

In fact, if one of the duties of the Presidency is being Commander in Chief, this abdication of responsibility to our soldiers and their families (they are considered military families and many live on military bases, shop at military base PXs, etc.) for political purposes should be deemed an impeachable offense; disavowing any aspect of the position of Commander in Chief must be considered a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

We, as a nation, have been subjected to the arrogance and bully-tactics of Mr. Obama’s Chicago Progressive political mindset long enough. We have been subjected to the sycophancy of a Progressive mainstream media continuously lobbing softball questions to this president; ignoring not only the execution of poor government, but scandals that – in more than one case – have cost Americans their lives. I contend that this is too high a price for a country to pay just because Progressive ideologues insists on executing the politically correct, “social justice,” Marxist transformation of our nation, purely for power, fame and fortune.

It is time to define Progressivism for what it is: a destructive force that is antithetical to our Founders’ vision of a limited government and a free people. It is also time to confront Progressivism at every level, in every governmental chamber, on every street corner and in every individual.

Progressivism is not unlike Islamofascism in that the ideology is not – not –compatible with the Natural Law right to individual liberty and the overall concepts of self-reliance and freedom. It also stands as just as lethal a threat to our nation.

That Mr. Obama has not already addressed the subject of getting the fallen soldiers’ families their promised death benefits and respectful transportation to Dover AFB for the arrival of the caskets is beyond disgraceful. If Mr. Obama had a shred of decency; an once of honor, he would have already ordered a solution to this problem from the available Pentagon funding (and yes, there is money there to satisfy this situation). That he hasn’t should result in his resignation from office…immediately.

Yes, it is that much of an issue.

Federal Government: Embarrassing to the Point of Painful

As the so-called “government shutdown” drags on, one thing is hard not to admit: the Obama Administration is acting in a manner that is attempting to extract the maximum amount of pain on the American people. While many are wondering how it came to this point, those of us who actually paid attention in Social Studies, Civics and American History classes – school subjects that are, today, given little, if any, attention –
understand it’s because the US Constitution and the purity of the original governmental process has been raped by the opportunistic political class.

Our nation has always had a robust political discourse, commencing from before we were even a documented nation. We have always been represented by a passionate, spirited political class; strong in their beliefs, but educated and knowledgeable enough to legislate and govern for the good of all the people. Today, this is not the case.

Today, we have a political class that insists on the importance of ideologically motivated political “achievements” over the honest representation of the American people; loyalty to political faction – of which each and every Framer and Founder warned – over loyalty to those who delivered them to power via the ballot box.

Today, we literally have people in the political class that have an inferior command of the English language, an inferior and under-performing understanding of the principles of the Constitution and the Charters of Freedom, and a devotion to Progressivism; a non-indigenous, Marxist-based ideology that believes the State is the Alpha and the Omega; the giver of rights and the final arbiter of freedom and liberty.

Today, we have a government that does not – does not – serve the American people, evidenced – in a singular point – by the overwhelming and sustained majority of Americans who do not want the Affordable Care Act implemented on any level.

FOX News reports:

Is the Obama administration employing a make-it-hurt strategy to gain political leverage in the budget battle on Capitol Hill?

Republicans are making that charge as the stalemate drags on, and point to the Pentagon furlough of 400,000 civilian staffers — even though Congress passed and the president signed a bill to supposedly keep them on the job…

Republicans argue that the intent of the law was to keep them on the job, and that the Obama administration “narrowly interpreted” it against congressional intent in order to furlough more employees.

It’s one example of how, Republicans say, the administration is making the partial shutdown of government services worse than it needs to be. Many have complained about the National Park Service cordoning off even open-air monuments in Washington, DC, such as the World War II Memorial.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), responded to criticisms by saying, “It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop the games.”

Shamefully, FOX also reported that correspondence on this situation has stalled because, as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), stated, “Unfortunately, most of the staff who draft congressional correspondence are furloughed.”

A few notes on this shameful situation.

First, and to be equally critical to both sides, if “staffers that draft congressional correspondence” have been furloughed, perhaps those elected to Congress should learn to (and actually) write their own correspondence.

Second, to the Progressives, Democrats and our embarrassing President, it is never “game-playing” when the taxpayer’s money is being spent. It is “game-playing” when members of our military who have been maimed and permanently injured can’t get medical care because the politically opportune refuse to entertain appropriations passed through a traditional method (not every spending bill has to be an omnibus package, in fact traditionally, the 12 appropriation bills have been passed separately).

House Republicans “screwed the pooch” when they didn’t advance ACA funding as a separate, stand-alone appropriations bill from the start. When House Speaker Boehner stated that this Congress would operate under “regular order” he should have stated that the House would be de-bundling all legislation into stand-alone pieces, shining the light of truth and accountability on everything that passed across the House floor. Sadly, traditional, inside-the-beltway pork politics prevailed and the practice of bundling legislation to appease the politically greedy has delivered us to this point.

Truth be told, had the political class not blindly followed the Progressive Movement into ratifying the 17th Amendment, none of this would have ever come to pass. But, then, the Commerce Clause wouldn’t have even come close to allowing much of what the Federal government has done that encroaches into our daily lives.

Additionally, if Harry Reid would have operated lawfully, the omnibus appropriations package would have already been legislated, as he is – is – bound by law to have produced a budget by April 15 of each year. He has not done so since before Republicans took control of the House.

The sad, but glaringly true, fact is this. Our government has become too big and too bureaucratic. Our government has manipulated and strayed from the boundaries of the US Constitution, which is a mandated blueprint for limiting government.

Until We the People insist on repealing the 17th Amendment so as to re-employ constitutional protections for the States, and until Congress re-visits the Federal government’s grotesquely over-reaching interpretation of the Commerce Clause, it will be up to the States to save the nation, either by Constitutional Convention (which in and of itself is very dangerous were the original words of the Constitution to be manipulated by the opportunistic) or by, God forbid, secession.

And it is with tears in my eyes for our country; for freedom; for liberty itself, that I acquiesce to the notion. Buy, my God, are we to allow the greatest achievement of freedom in the history of the world be extinguished at the hand of ideological bullies?

The words of Patriot Patrick Henry said so very seriously then, are just as cogent today:

“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! — I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

The Fomentation of a Government Shut Down

Well, it is upon us, the dreaded government shutdown. And yet the Earth still spins, the water still runs, the electric is on and Harry Reid is still tossing verbal grenades at anyone who dares represent an opposing view to the lock-step Progressive agenda. Imagine that! Our daily lives didn’t come to a grinding, catastrophic halt because the big government nanny state was sidelined by the fruits of their own discontent. In fact, to paraphrase an often heard chant at any Leftist-leaning protest march, “This is what not spending looks like!”

Truth be told, if our nation would have stayed true to our Founding Documents, the crisis that delivered unto us this dastardly government shutdown would never had existed. Indeed, if we would have executed government with fidelity to the Constitution, to governmental process and to the legislated laws instead of capitulating to the Progressive’s fundamental transformation of the United States of America (a transformation launched at the turn of the 20th Century), World War II veterans wouldn’t have had to push aside hastily erected barriers meant to shut down the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC, Tuesday simply to experience the memorial erected in their honor.

I mention a lack of fidelity to the US Constitution and the rule of law because had two specific established protocols – Article I, Section 3 of the US Constitution and The Budget Control Act of 1974 – been honored, not only would the environment in Washington, DC, been devoid of gridlock, but regular order would have mandated the annual delivery of appropriations to the various departments and agencies.

When our Framers crafted the US Constitution they included Article I, Section 3, which reads:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” (Emphasis added)

Where the members of the House of Representatives were to serve as the “voice of the people,” the Senate was supposed to act as the protector of States’ Rights. The check-and-balance between the co-equal branches of government was to have a check-and-balance within the Legislative Branch to assure that both the voice of the people and the rights of the States were balanced in any legislation that would emanate from that branch of government. By constructing this internal check-and-balance, the Framers enshrined the power to both force compromise with the Executive Branch and protect the rights of the minority (Read: States’ Rights) in the Legislative Branch.

But with the Progressive Era’s 1912-1913 achievement of the 17th Amendment, that check-and-balance, along with the protection of States’ Rights was obliterated, and a gigantic move toward a centralization of government power at the Federal level was achieved.

The 17th Amendment reads, in part,

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.” (Emphasis added.)

So, by effectively transforming the US Senate from a protector of States’ Rights to a redundant chamber catering to the voice of the people, Progressives created two chambers vulnerable to political faction; two competing political entities that could gridlock because their tasks were the same – their authorities derived from the same source.

Today, had the 17th Amendment not existed, the US House of Representatives would have advanced their bill to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Senate – given that 38 States have indicated they do not support the ACA – would have concurred, sending a Continuing Resolution to fund the whole of government but defunding the ACA to President Obama. The President would have almost certainly vetoed the legislation which, by virtue of the Senates’ loyalty to their respective State Legislatures, would have been overturned by the whole of the Legislative Branch. Of course, this is predicated on the ACA ever having had become law in the first place, which, under the original intent of the US Constitution, would be questionable.

Additionally, had the United States Senate, under the disingenuous and corrupt political hand of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), not insisted on existing in defiance of a federal law – The Budget Control Act of 1974, the entire Continuing Resolution process wouldn’t have taken place.

The Budget Control Act of 1974 mandates that,

“…Congress pass two annual budget resolutions (it later was decreased to one) and set timetables for finishing budget work. The budget resolution specifies spending levels in broad areas and may direct congressional committees to find ways to save money. Initially the date for completing the budget resolution was May 15, but later the deadline was changed to April 15.

“It’s a deadline Congress seldom has met. Since 1974, Congress has only succeeded in meeting its statutory deadline for passing a budget resolution six times. Sometimes it’s months late. Sometimes, as in Fiscal 2011, Congress doesn’t pass a budget resolution at all.

“Another section of the Budget Act of 1974 states that Congress cannot consider any annual appropriations bills until it adopts an overall budget blueprint…In Fiscal 2011 there should have been 12 appropriations bills.”

So, had Senate Majority Leader Reid actually adhered to the law by advancing a budget resolution to be reconciled, this “showdown” might never have come to pass. But, because there are automatic increases built into each annual budget to account for inflation, etc., it was to the benefit of the spendthrifts in Congress to refuse to advance – or even negotiate – a budget resolution. By using a Continuing Resolution they didn’t have to cut any spending in the face of repeated requests from President Obama to raise the debt ceiling even as the citizenry – and the elected GOP – screamed for fiscal responsibility and debt reduction.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Reid had an underhanded and completely partisan reason for not following the law. We should have come to understand that the Progressives of the 21st Century are vicious, win-at-all-cost, slash-and-burners when then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (P-CA), dismissed the idea of legitimately legislating the ACA by saying,

“We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.”

And we should have known that 21st Century Progressives would scald their own Mothers to submission to advance their cause when we were subjected to the over-the-top and venomous assaults they made on duly elected officials who dared to disagree with their political agenda:

“It is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the TEA Party, the anarchists of the country…” – Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV)

“Obama will not – he cannot – negotiate with a roving band of anarchists who say, ‘Build our oil pipeline or the troops don’t get paid.’” – Former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau

“I have never seen such an extreme group of people adopt such an insane policy.” – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

“These people have come unhinged.” – Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (P-FL)

“I believe it’s terrorism…This is an attempt to destroy all we know of the republican form of government in this country.” – Chris Matthews, MSNBC

“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” – Dan Pfeiffer, White House Senior Adviser

“I call them ‘legislative arsonists.’ They’re there to burn down what we should be building up…” – Nancy Pelosi (P-CA)

I could go on but you get the picture.

The bottom line here is this. Progressives will do anything and say anything; they will lie, cheat and steal, to achieve their goals; their agendas. They will alter the Constitution, create new behemoth entitlement programs, spend, raise taxes and amass debt from which there is no return, in any and all efforts to advance their nanny-state, centralized government vision for our country. And if those who believe in Constitutional law, States’ Rights, individualism, personal responsibility the free market and liberty don’t take a stand – now…well, it will all be over very, very soon…at the hands of the Progressives’ ideological death panel.

Of course, these are just the ravings of an “unhinged, roving legislative arsonist touting an insane terrorist policy, a bomb strapped to my chest,” don’t you know…

Durbin Thinks the Gov’t Has Profits to Spend

In a perfect example of Progressive thinking, Sen. Dick Durbin (P-IL), has taken issue with the idea of lawmakers and congressional staff having to be subjected to the mandates of Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare. As people like Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid throw around rhetoric like “hostage,” “extortion,” “legislative arson,” etc., they are – at the very same time – carving out incredible perks for themselves and their staffs, paid for them on the backs of the taxpayers, while creating a super-privileged class.

Since the US Supreme Court, under the direction of SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts, over-stepped their function in literally re-framing the
law as a tax — even as Progressive lawmakers debating the law stated without doubt that is was not a tax, it is fair to assume that this “tax” is covered by the authority of Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution, which mandates all taxes, “… shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Specifically:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;…”

Before the rhetorically challenged chime in, an “impost” is, by definition, a “tax.” But I am getting off track on the issue of tax inequity…\

In attempting to create – or, to be more accurate, further the privilege of the elitist political class, Mr. Durbin has suggested that government be treated on an even plane at the private sector.

The Washington Times reports:

“‘If Obamacare is going to force Americans all over this country to lose their employer-provided health insurance, be forced onto the exchange with no subsidies, then the men and women who serve in this body should feel that pain exactly the same,’ said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who on Tuesday staged a filibuster to block the chamber floor and draw attention to his fight to defund the health law.

“Sen. Richard J. Durbin (P-IL), though, said if members of Congress lost their taxpayer subsidies for health insurance, would Mr. Cruz want all workers to be stripped of support from their companies.

“‘You better think twice about this. If you want to stop the employer contribution to health insurance, that is the headline for tomorrow,’ Mr. Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, said.”

When Sen. “Dickie” Durbin (P-IL), took to the floor during Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX), elongated floor speech to advance this ridiculous notion, he tried to slough off the underwriting of Congress’s health insurance, making a subsidy of 72% sound like Congressmen and their staffs were shouldering some sort of burden. Then he equated it to what large corporations do for their employees.

Note to Mr. Durbin: Corporations make profits out of which they pay for the benefits they provide their employees, or at least they used to before Obamacare, which is making them abandon their employees.

The Federal Government doesn’t make a product by which to create a “profit.” Government “profits” are taxes extracted from taxpayers. So, because government doesn’t create profits they can’t use those profits to pay for your health insurance benefits, or those of your staffs.

That said, there should be no federal health insurance benefits with the advent of Obamacare. All federal – all – should be in the Obamacare exchanges; each and every federal employee – union or not, regardless of branch – should be forced onto the exchanges.

Suddenly Obamacare doesn’t sound so hot, eh, Mr. Durbin?

Worth The Effort for Several Reasons

As US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), continues his “filibuster” of Obamacare, many in the so-called Conservative punditry have smugly dismissed the effort as futile, tunnel-visioned in their understanding of why Cruz’s actions are not only critical to the eventual repeal of Obamacare, but to the effectiveness of the Republican Party and the survival of representative government.

A cursory examination of the by-products of Sen. Cruz’s efforts not only illuminates the incredible short-sightedness of the establishment Republican apparatus – both elected and not, but advances an argument to the American people as to why they should question the Conservative punditry and re-evaluate just how bright the Republican “strategists” actually are.

FOX News reports:

“‘Obamacare isn’t working,’ [Sen. Ted Cruz] said. ‘There are politicians in this body who are not listening to the people.’

“The feisty senator spoke through the night. His topics ranged from the American revolution and the Washington establishment to his Cuban-born father and the impact of the healthcare law. By 6am EDT Wednesday, Cruz and his fellow GOP conservatives had spoken for more than 15-and-a-half hours, the sixth longest since precise record-keeping began in 1900…

“The speech was reminiscent of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), earlier this year staging an old-fashioned filibuster to voice his concerns over drones.

“Paul joined Cruz on the Senate floor for a time, telling his colleague to make sure he is wearing comfortable shoes for the long night ahead and saying “we’re asking for a dialogue” on Obamacare.

“‘How do we get the dialogue unless somebody’s willing to stand up and say enough’s enough?’ Paul asked.”

Before the brilliance of what Mr. Cruz is doing is outlined, it should be noted that each and every Republican who has run for office since the passage of the ACA (Obamacare) has run on a platform of “defund, repeal and replace.” And while the House has consistently passed bills aimed at repealing Obamacare, none – none – of these efforts could possibly have been taken seriously. Ergo, establishment Republicans have done nothing – nothing – to keep their campaign promises. Conversely, Mr. Cruz and his brethren are keeping their promises; Mr. Cruz and his brethren are actually executing representative government.

Now, three (if not more) by-products come of Mr. Cruz’s efforts.

First, Conservatives have identifieddefinitively – who the RINOs are in the GOP. This will allow true Conservatives to target them in the midterm elections, as well as future elections. Frankly, the day of the RINO looks like it is coming to an end.

Second, this show of dedication to campaign promise and principle has served to foment an expectation among the voters that anything less than a one-year delay of the implementation of the ACA is completely unacceptable to the American people. To wit, even Democrats are now talking about delaying the implementation and re-working the law to codify “agreeable” elements, i.e. covering pre-existing conditions and portability, to name two.

And third, it breaches the “concrete wall” establishment Republicans have erected around the “official message” of the National GOP. By Cruz, Lee and the Senate Conservative Fund taking their message directly to the people, circumventing an impotent and ineffective Republican leadership, they have started the long journey to breaking the Progressives lock on “the narrative.”

The last point, if not all three, makes what Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Sessions, Pat Roberts, David Vitter, James Inhofe and Mike Enzi worth the effort…very much so.

The Real-Time Evolution of ‘Soft Despotism’

Today, many who consider themselves “visionaries” are sounding the alarm about the size and scope of government. From Obamacare to the Right to Bear Arms they decry government over-reach and the bureaucratization of our government. But those who truly understand the agenda of the Progressive Movement in the United States have been sounding this warning for years, explaining that for the Progressive’s agenda to be achieved a strong and authoritative centralized government must exist, unfettered by the interference that a free people, armed with Natural Law rights, would inject. Sadly, even those who brag about understanding these points, do very little about it, choosing to complain while failing to support the foot soldiers fighting the battle.

The frustration among those who are moved to action; who are moved to sacrifice time, treasure and station, is palpable. Further, as Progressives use the many-tiered bureaucracies – at all levels of government – to advance their agenda (and make no mistake, they are advancing), those American citizens moved to defend the freedoms bequeathed to them not only stand alone in their fight, they are often penalized and ostracized in the pursuit of defending their rights.

To wit, the BaltimoreSun.com reports:

The Howard County father whose arrest became a viral web video and a cause célèbre of conservative talk radio won’t be prosecuted for disrupting a meeting on state education standards.

The Baltimore County state’s attorney’s office dropped assault charges Monday against Robert Small, who had been led out of the Thursday night meeting in Towson by an off-duty police officer. Small interrupted education officials, complaining that new standards were aimed at sending children to community colleges…

After a lengthy presentation by [US Department of Education] officials, members of the public were asked to submit their questions in writing. Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance then selectively scanned the pile of questions and picked out ones to be read aloud…

The Ellicott City father of two wasn’t satisfied that his question would be answered so he stood and interrupted Dance. He said he believed the new standards would lower expectations for students and that teaching would be aimed at “getting students to community colleges rather than Harvard.”

Mr. Smalls was then arrested…silenced…denied his First Amendment Free Speech Rights and his right to redress his government.

Whether or not you agree with the Common Core initiative is irrelevant to the point I am trying to make here, although it should be noted that Common Core, in the form in which it is being implemented, is a dramatic over-reach of federal authority and a mere shadow of what the National Governor’s Association intended for it to be. Textbooks are being geared toward the suggested curriculum standards and Progressives are taking the opportunity to advance their agenda (read here and here) through these textbooks and curricula.

The larger point I am making here is that our government – in the form of those elected to serve the citizenry – has not only gotten too large and too dependent on bureaucrats and the bureaucratic process, but arrogantly totalitarian as well; totalitarian to the point of usurping the rights guaranteed in the US Constitution.

It cannot be denied that Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance picked non-inflammatory and Common Core sympathetic questions to feature from the pile of questions submitted. Only an intellectual midget would suggest otherwise. And while this is disingenuous at best, it pales in comparison to the panel’s use of force to silence a parent…a taxpayer…the very person who pays the salaries of each and every authoritarian who sits on the panel that silenced him.

Redress of government is a constitutional right, at every level. When a parent – a taxpaying parent and an engaged and educated parent – is denied his or her constitutional right to redress government at the most base level; when a concerned and informed parent is silenced from questioning the implementation of a program he or she feels denies their children a basic education, tyranny reigns. In the Baltimore County School System, tyranny reigns, supported by the oppression only afforded by an oligarchical and corrupt system.

Democrat strategist Pat Caddell opined on this issue saying,

“What we saw here is much bigger than just this. It is the idea that the people work for the…that people are the slaves to the officeholders. Superintendents of schools who won’t take questions…We see this sort of thing with security…We see it when the EPA goes to Alaska and raids with armed people and four agencies going in with guns on gold-mining operations in some little town. The things the government does now to oppress people, the laws we have now…the NSA spying on them…the fear…and imposing of a ‘soft despotism,’ which is, ‘if you get out of line will come get you’…”

Mr. Caddell’s frustration and – dare I say fear-based concern – was palpable, and rightly so.

Make no mistake, as government grows this “soft despotism” with expand, morphing into full-blown oppression: Free speech will be a concept recalled with longing as “hate speech” laws expand; Redress of government will become non-existent, those courageous enough to defend liberty and freedom sequestered for “threatening the government” and/or publicly ostracized to the point of demagoguery. We have witnessed the latter in the despotic treatment of the TEA Party by the mainstream media and Progressive Movement, conciliatory and vulnerable establishment Republicans in tow.

Mr. Smalls not only deserves better, he should bring legal action, not against the Baltimore Police Department, but directly against those who violated his constitutional rights.

The people of Baltimore County deserve better and they should demand that they receive better. But that can only be achieved through action; at the expense of time, treasure and station. The concerned citizens of Baltimore County should stage a recall of their Progressive school board members and then run for those positions themselves. Once elected, they can provide constitutionally conscious oversight of the day-to-day operations of the country school system, including curriculum and textbooks.

And finally, the people of the United States deserve better than the elitist, oligarchical, career-conscious, gaggle of political opportunists currently elected to office. A perfect litmus test for divining the opportunistic among this class is to juxtapose their campaign promises with their chamber votes. If someone ran on defunding, repealing and replacing Obamacare, but now provides politically opportune and cowardly excuses for not doing so, identify him or her as the elitist, political opportunist that he or she is and act accordingly.

Additionally, hold your no- and low-information family, friends and neighbors accountable for their abdication of responsibility to the community; their abdication of responsibility to be informed and engaged. Truth be told, if you are a citizen and you are not informed and engaged, then you are an intellectually lazy and societally narcissistic, willing to benefit from the diligence and hard work of someone else; expecting someone else to provide the oversight to government so sorely needed today. If you are a citizen and you are not informed and engaged then you are societally selfish and deserve neither the Natural Law rights bequeathed to you, nor the protections they afford. If you are a citizen and you are not informed and engaged then you are the problem.

Personally, I will not exist as a slave to an oligarchical government because 41.8% of the US voting population thinks that it’s not worth their time or that they are too good to do the hard work of keeping an eye on their government’s actions, size and willingness to oppress.

I stand with Mr. Smalls. I will not sit like “cattle” as elitist oligarchs destroy our country. How about you?

Progressives, Dems Slap the Faces of Benghazi Dead

In a move that illustrates why the overwhelming majority of American’s have grown to despise partisan politics – and come to be understandably offended by the actions of the Left, Progressives and Democrats on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee executed – under the guise of protest – one of the most insensitive and disrespectful actions in the history of the United States House of Representatives. They staged a pre-planned and organized “walkout” before the testimonies of the families of those slaughtered in Banghazi on September 11, 2012.

Those elected to office are sent to Washington to represent the whole of their constituencies, not just those with whom they agree. By staging this inarguably childish – and ultimately selfish – political theater, they have abdicated their responsibility to represent those with whom they disagree ideologically. This is an abdication of their obligation to the office; to their constituents. It is an action that even their supporters should abhor and, in fact, penalize them for.

The Capitalism Institute reports:

Earlier today, an important hearing regarding the attack on Benghazi was being held by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. The parents of the Benghazi heroes who died fighting to protect the US consulate were about to speak.

Then, in a turn of events that’s disgusting even by DC standards, most of the Democrats stood up and walked out. Apparently, they were either protesting or trying to show disrespect — either way, if there was any honor in their districts at all, this would end their careers…

Here’s the list of people who walked out:

Carolyn Maloney (P-NY)
Danny Davis (P-IL)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (P-DC)
Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
Jim Cooper (D-TN)
John Tierney (P-MA)
Mark Pocan (P-WI)
Matt Cartwright (P-PA)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Peter Welch (P-VT)
Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
Steven Horsford (P-NV)
Tammy Duckworth (P-IL)
Tony Cardenas (D-CA)
William Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Remember, last week John Kerry stopped the Benghazi survivors from being even questioned by congress.

What were these vicious ideologues trying to prove? That they could be indignant to the point of insulting parents and family who had to receive coffins in place of an embrace from their loved ones as they returned home from serving their country?

What was the statement the country was supposed to take away from their actions? That they are too good to listen to the grief that their political party’s infantile foreign policy has foisted onto these families?

Will these indignant Progressive and Liberal zealots have us believe that there was some “higher principle” to take away from their affront to the aggrieved; some “larger purpose” to their hate-filled and arrogant actions?

Progressives and Liberals would have you believe that their party – the Democrat Party – is the party of compassion and understanding; that the Democrat Party is the political party that commiserates with those affected by “social injustice” and morally transgressed in our country. The actions of these fifteen intellectual reprobates proves – in no uncertain terms – that Progressives couldn’t care less about those they disagree with, even when life has been lost…even when life has been lost in the service of our country…even when life has been lost in the service of our country at their political party’s direction (or indirection, if you will).

The mother of slain diplomat Sean Smith, in probably the most moving comment of the session, asked:

“Every time I see this on TV, I see these bloody fingerprints crawling down the wall of that Benghazi place, and I keep asking everybody…‘Do those belong to my son?!’”

How can any human being – elected to office or not, ideologue or not – care less about this woman’s torture; care less about that singularly important question? What kind of monster(s) ignores this woman’s plea for answers?

With each footstep that each of these fifteen political derelicts took leading to the doors of the committee chamber, we should all remember that those were footsteps that Amb. Chris Stevens, Diplomat Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty will never – ever – be able to take…anywhere…ever.

I think it is safe to say that the actions of these fifteen “lawmakers” exemplify the worst in American politics today.

The sad thing in all of this is that there are people who will vote for these national disgraces again in 2014, dismissing their cruel and unusual actions against the grieving families of the Benghazi dead. To those people I say, when you cast your vote for one of these fifteen, take note of the blood dripping from your hand, because it is there.

I must say, over the years I have become thoroughly disgusted with the Progressive movement for their selfish, narcissistic and ignorant nature. This action seals it.

God bless those who lost their lives in the Benghazi slaughter, for which our Commander-In-Chief offered no aid; for which our President and his Progressive minions have affected no justice. And God protect those who grieve for their loss.

We Need to Be Honest; Dispensing With the Spin

As we consider the anniversary of September 11th – now, both 2001 and 2012, it is important to consider some simple truths. These truths eluded our government and the nation in the early days after September 11th, 2001, because partisan politicians in Washington, DC, erected walls that kept our law enforcement and intelligence communities from honestly informing each other about the threats to our nation and her citizens. Even more disturbingly, today, little has changed. Twelve years after the initial attacks by al Qaeda on our country, most of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations are left unaddressed and an administration has been elected to office that refuses to identify the enemy for their common bond.

Sun Tzu wrote, in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt.”

Before September 11th, 2001, we, as a nation, were unfamiliar with not only Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, but also the whole of the Islamist dogma. Now, after the slaughter of four brave Americans in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012, our nation’s leadership, hobbled by the Progressive tenet of political correctness, refuses to accurately identify the enemy; to identify the root cause for the overwhelming number of terrorist acts around the world.

Before September 11th, 2001, we were ignorant of the lesson found in Sun Tzu’s quote. After September 11th, 2012, our leadership simply ignores Sun Tzu’s wisdom.

It is indisputable that with precious few exceptions, the perpetrators of almost every terrorist act in the world today have a direct connection to Islamist jihadis; who, in turn, exist solely under the ideological umbrella of the religion of Islam. Those who argue to the contrary are either uninformed, deniers, fools or intellectually stunted. Yet our current leadership exists so crippled by their ideological dogma that they, purposefully, refuse to identify the obvious enemy; the enemy who has declared, in no uncertain terms, that Islam will reign supreme; that they intend to conquer the world in the name of their religion.

A perfect example of this pig-ignorance comes in the issue of Syria.

Whether you believe President Obama and his team are inept in their foreign policy, unconcerned about anything but the “fundamental transformation” of the United States domestically, or sympathetic to the Islamist cause – or perhaps all three, the notion that there is a side to champion in the Syrian conflict is ignorant folly. Yes, Bashar al Assad is a tyrant, brutal to his own people in his quest to retain power in that country. And it is a distinct possibility that he or his field commanders may have used chemical weapons against civilians as well as rebel forces. But intervening in an effort to champion al Assad’s opposition literally places the United States in an alliance with those who support and fight in the name of al Qaeda, the very people who both slaughtered 2,996 people and injured over 6,000 more on September 11th, 2001, and viciously murdered four Americans, including a US ambassador on September 11th, 2012.

Additionally, each action and non-action taken by this administration has not only decreased the standing of the United States in the Middle East, but has facilitated the rise of Islamists to positions of influence throughout the region. Even the Obama Administration’s objection to the Egyptian military’s deposing of the illegitimately elected Muslim Brotherhood to government, in the aftermath of Mubarak’s fall from power, favored Islamists; those who would establish Sharia law and band together to form a regional caliphate.

So, the base question that each and every American should be asking him or herself is this. What the hell are we doing? Why are we aligning or aiding any faction, movement or government that exists sympathetic or in allegiance to anything Islamist?

Further, why haven’t we had the courage – as a free people – to ask the questions that politically correct Progressives and the intellectually squeamish run from, like:

▪ Why isn’t the Islamist ideology held accountable for the violent actions of those who commit atrocities in the name of Islam?

▪ Why hasn’t Saudi Arabia – the protectors of the most holy locations in the Islamic religion, been held to account for not only the actions of their charge, but for literally exporting the most virulent strain of Islam (Wahhabism) to foreign shores?

▪ Why are our elected officials so adverse to recognizing – and then stating as their positions – that the tenets of Sharia law are not compatible with the freedoms and liberties enshrined in our Charters of Freedom and in Western ideology?

▪ Why – why – are our leaders so frightened of identifying an enemy who has declared war on the West – and the United States and Israel, specifically, for years and years and years…?

▪ Why – why – is the West so terrified of confronting the evil that exists in the Islamist ideology; the evil that cuts the heads of innocents, eats the organs of its foes, burns Christian churches to the ground as they execute priests and nuns; the evil that wants to finish what Adolf Hitler started with regard to the world’s Jewish population?

▪ And why, why, why, do we elect idiot politicians who make excuses for bloodthirsty jihadis, even to the points of denying that “Allahu Akbar!” is an Islamist battle cry and lobbying for weaponry and alliance?

The issue of whether the United States should act because chemical weapons were used in Syria is a serious matter. The use of WMD is something that the entire world community should take very seriously. But when both sides of the conflict despise you; when both combatants in the fight hold you, your nation, your nation’s citizens and the whole of the Western world in contempt, perhaps that fight; perhaps the action needed in the aftermath of the use of those WMD, must come from within that faction’s own world. If the use of WMD is so outrageous to the whole of humanity, perhaps Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain should take action against Syria, the rebels or whoever else is eventually found to be guilty of this atrocity.

To wit, the fact is undeniable: Whoever wins in Syria will not be a friend to the United States and the West, so aiding one side over another is a pretty stupid investment of blood and/or treasure.

And while the debate on the use of WMD in Syria is one that should be undertaken, it should be undertaken with the pre-condition that we in the West – and especially we here in the United States – realize that Islamists are not our friends, evidenced not only by their actions, but by their words; their threats, their promises and their declarations.

The battle – both ideologically and physically – between the West and Islamism is a fundamental battle between good and evil; between the cultures of personal liberty and oppression. Islamism, Sharia and all of the Islamist tenets that entangle that dogma in conquest, oppression, violence and the worship of death, exist as nemesis to the free world; the enemy of freedom itself.

That limp-wristed politicians, Progressives and sympathetic apologists from the West refuse to admit the obvious doesn’t make the fact any less real. It just makes the West – and the people of the West – subject to the dangers, subject to the murderous violence, that Islamism projects onto the world.

On this observance of September 11th, 2001 – and now September 11th, 2012, I, again, offer my condolences to all those directly affected by the loss of life, and offer my appreciation to all those who have answered the call to defend liberty and freedom around the world.

On this observance of the “September 11ths,” I stand unashamed to say, I know who the enemy is…both inside and outside the gates.

Government Shutdown?…Blame Obama & Reid

There are two statements one can make with certainty about the current situation inside the beltway. First, truth is a rare commodity. What was promised to be the most transparent administration in American history has proven to, by comparison, make Richard Nixon’s Administration look like Wikileaks. And second, the Republican Party, at its highest level, has a lethal messaging problem. These two truths combine for a moment in time when the United States government is not only susceptible to Progressive despotism, but well down the road to succumbing to it.

Where the transparency and honesty of the Obama Administration is concerned, the examples of dishonesty are many. From using the Internal Revenue Service to cripple their ideological and political opponents to advancing fiction as the cause of the slaughter of four Americans by al Qaeda operative in a quest for an election victory, the list of matters ringing dishonest emanating from this administration is profound:

▪ The IRS scandal
▪ Benghazi cover-up
▪ The NSA surveillance scandal
▪ Spying on the media
▪ Fast & Furious
▪ Being able to keep your current coverage under Obamacare
▪ The Pigford debacle
▪ Sebelius violating the Hatch Act
▪ The use of secret emails by agency heads
▪ Solyndra
▪ Dropping prosecution of the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation

The list goes on and on and on, all the while the mainstream media provides cursory coverage at best, even as they provide rhetorical cover for the administration’s misdeeds.

But perhaps the most dishonest misinformation emanating from the Obama White House – and from the Democrat and Progressive controlled Senate, for that matter, is that Republicans want to shut down government. This out-and-out lie was false in 2011 and it is false today.

Since Republicans wrestled control of the US House of Representatives from the talons of Nancy Pelosi and her Progressive coven, the House has satisfied its constitutional obligation to craft and pass a budget, on time, each and every year, including for 2014. Conversely, Democrats and Progressives in the Senate have manufactured gimmicks and excuses to elude their budgetary obligations.

On January 7th, 2013, The Washington Examiner’s Byron York wrote:

“Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget. The law requires Congress to pass a budget every year, on the grounds that Americans deserve to know how the government plans to spend the trillions of taxpayer dollars it collects, along with dollars it borrows at the taxpayers’ expense. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last allowed a budget through the Senate in April 2009, has ignored the law since then.

“There’s no mystery why. The budget passed by large Democrat majorities in the first months of the Obama administration had hugely elevated levels of spending in it. By not passing a new spending plan since, Reid has in effect made those levels the new budgetary baseline. Congress has kept the government going with continuing resolutions based on the last budget signed into law.

“While Reid has forbidden action, the House has passed budgets as required. Senate Democrats have been highly critical of those budgets, designed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. But under Reid’s leadership, Democrats have steadfastly refused to come up with a plan of their own.”

Yet the narrative advanced by Reid, his Democrat Senate cronies and the White House is that it is Republicans who exist as “the party of ‘no’” in the US Congress. The facts, as they present, prove otherwise.

Which leads us to the current misinformation spin being advanced by the Progressives in Washington, DC: The Republicans want to shut down government over Obamacare. Truth be told, even the staunchest TEA Partier in the House and/or Senate has gone on record as not wanting to shut down government.

Article I, Sections 7, 8 and 9, respectively, of the United States Constitution states mandates that the “power of the purse” resides solely with the US House of Representatives:

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills…”

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States…”

“No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

A plan being advanced by the fiscally responsible in the US House proposes to fully fund the US federal government, devoid of any funding for the notorious and ill-crafted Affordable Care Act. The facts surrounding the proposal are thus:

▪ Government funding through the Continuing Resolution will expire on September 30th.

▪ The House should pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the entire federal government, except for Obamacare. To do so, the Continuing Resolution should include the Defund Obamacare Act (HR2682/S1292) to explicitly prohibit mandatory and discretionary Obamacare spending.

▪ If Republicans stand together, with 218 votes in the House and 41 in the Senate, we can win. House Republicans should send the Senate a Continuing Resolution that fully funds the government without funding Obamacare, and Senate Republicans should ensure that no Continuing Resolution providing Obamacare funding is signed into law.

▪ If Republicans do this, President Obama and Harry Reid will falsely accuse Republicans of threatening a government shutdown. But only they control whether to shut down the government just to implement their failed law.

To date, more than 60 House Republicans and 14 Senate Republicans have joined in this effort. The likes of Richard Shelby (R-AL), John McCain (R-AZ), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Roy Blount (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Orin Hatch (R-UT) have come out against the measure for what can only be construed as purely political reasons.

Given that the Progressives of the Obama White House and the Reid Senate have no issue with crafting falsehoods to advance their political power, Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians and fiscally conservative Democrats should admit this inevitability. Whether fiscally responsible Republicans fund government devoid of Obamacare or not, Progressives and Democrats – including their sycophants in the mainstream media – are going to blame the GOP for any and all push back on the budget, the debt ceiling and the implementation of Obamacare, no matter what Republicans do.

This makes it all the more frustrating, if not infuriating, that Republicans at the national level – both elected and not – are miserable at messaging. In the last decades Republicans have shown not only a weakness in being able to message; to convey simple cognitive thoughts, to the American people, they have displayed a complete inability to craft and take control of “the narrative,” pre-emptively.

And while “establishment Republicans” (many of whom are Progressive elitists in their own right) blame their inability to communicate to the American people on a “facture within the party,” this avoids the stark truth that the national Republican party hasn’t had a coherent message or employed a potent counter-measure to the Progressive message since the days of Ronald Reagan.

(A note about the “facture within the party: It is more a confrontation between moderate Republicans who have allowed the party to be “nudged” to the ideological Left continuously and without reciprocation during their tenure, and those loyal to the party’s charter and tenets circa 1856; those identified as the TEA Party faction of the Republican Party; those advancing the “Defund Obamacare” movement in Congress. To wit, establishment Republicans didn’t want Ronald Reagan as their nominee either. He would have been considered a TEA Partier had the movement existed in his day.)

That said, the only thing keeping the Defund Obamacare initiative from saving the country from economic devastation and a nation devoid of individual rights is intestinal fortitude; courage and conviction.

On August 21st, 2013, a gunman, armed with an AK-47 and over 500 rounds of ammunition, entered a Georgia elementary school. Michael Brandon Hill, a 20-year-old man with a history of mental health issues, proceeded to take the school bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff, hostage, in what could have been yet another senseless tragedy; another murderous rampage. Instead, the situation resolved in Mr. Hill being taken into custody unharmed, the children of the school safe and sound, all because Ms. Tuff had the courage to try to do the right thing. Ms. Tuff talked the would-be gunman into surrendering and seeking medical attention. Because of Ms. Tuff’s courage, because of her willingness to put the good of the children before her own self-preservation, everyone involved in the incident lives to see another day: Hill gets the help he needs and the children live to embrace their futures.

That the “establishment Republicans” on Capitol Hill would display the same courage as Ms. Tuff when it comes to doing the right thing; when it comes to making a decision to take a stand; when it comes to placing the good of the people about political self-preservation. Sadly, there are very few Antoinette Tuffs on Capitol Hill. Sadly, there are very few Antoinette Tuff’s in the Republican Party.

But there was a time when this was not the case.

Dispensing with the ‘It’s the Law’ Rhetoric

Over the past few months, Progressives and Democrats who favor the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – both elected and not – have insisted that the new and expanding entitlement will go forward as planned because, after all, it is “the law of the land.” When I ponder this statement I find myself less inclined to laugh and more inclined to succumb to sadness. That a faction that holds the Constitution in such disregard would so disingenuously foist the hypocrisy of this statement in defense of what is arguably an unconstitutional law, defies humor.

A cursory recollection of how this horrific, economy-killing piece of legislation came to be, not only illustrates a fundamental transgression of the spirit of American government, it shows how the Progressive movement executes an “ends justifies the means” political game plan. Because Progressives believe that the United States should provide socialized healthcare to every living being existing legally in the United States (and some who do not), they purposefully circumvented the legislative process, crafting the legislation with special interest groups – including labor unions, Progressive think tank operatives and foreign aligned special interest groups, behind closed doors and excluding members of the minority party. They then moved the legislation forward – at times threatening to “deem it passed” – along party lines, ignoring the protests of the minority party and howls of discontent from the American citizenry, and into law.

Today, as Republicans in the US House, which has the constitutionally mandated power of the purse, threaten to exclude any aspect of Obamacare from the funding of government operations – which is their constitutional right to do, Progressives and toady Democrats protest that the ACA is “the law of the land.” The proclamation would have even the slightest bit of weight if these same hypocrites always acquiesced to “the law of the land.” The fact is that they transgress the “law of the land” as a matter of policy; to advance an agenda that is often times anathema to the American system of government and the rule of law.

One can look back to the first Obama Administration’s abdication of the rule of law when newly installed Attorney General Eric Holder approved of political appointees at the Justice Department quashing the prosecution of New Black Panther Party members who executed one of the most egregious instances of voter intimidation in modern history. The “law of the land” mandated that the DoJ prosecute these constitutional transgressors to “the fullest extent” of the law. If “the law of the land” was so precious to these Obama-ite Progressives and Democrats, they would have been exploring ways to include charges of racial discrimination (as the perpetrators were Black and targeting White voters) and hate crimes. But, “the law of the land” wasn’t so important as to be followed in this instance.

One could look into the non-enforcement of immigration laws by the Obama Administration to evidence their selective support of “the law of the land.” For the entire tenure of Mr. Obama’s presidency we have witnessed border patrol members and their union representatives catalog a litany of directives emanating from DHS obfuscating efforts to secure our nation’s borders and hold to justice those who have broken our laws to exist here. Yet, in a post-911 world, when we hold proof-positive in our hands that Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda are working with Mexican and South American drug cartels, the “law of the land” isn’t so important to the Progressives and their sycophant Democrats so as to be honored.

The several Congressional investigations into operational and political malfeasance executed under the Obama Administration provide ample evidence that the Executive Branch Progressives have little use for “the law of the land” when it does not suit their need or the advancement of their ideological, globalist or social justice agendas. The US Constitution gives the power of oversight – including subpoena powers – to Congress. Yet today the Obama Administration routinely obstructs congressional investigators, usurping “the law of the land”:

▪ Fast & Furious saw the Holder Justice Department illegally facilitating the movement of banned weapons across the Mexican border. And even in the face of the deaths of US Border Patrol Agents, the Obama Administration – to this day – thwarts efforts to fully investigate the program.

▪ The politically motivated use of the Internal Revenue Service to target what can only be described as opposition groups, i.e. TEA Party, Conservative and Libertarian advocacy groups, stands as one of the more serious misuses of a federal agency to affect politics in the history of the country. In fact, it was the second count in the impeachment indictment leveled against former-Pres. Richard Nixon. Yet, the Obama Administration shows little interest in assisting congressional investigators in their pursuit of protecting the American citizenry from their own government’s unlawful actions. (Note to Mr. Obama…President Nixon at least had the nobility to resign).

▪ The expansion – not just the continuation – of the NSA domestic surveillance program arguably usurps the Fourth Amendment protections provided the citizenry, but under the guise of protecting the country, even some members of Congress who have Top Secret clearances are kept in the dark on the program by members of the Obama Administration.

▪ And as four brave Americans – Amb. Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith & Glen Doherty – lay cold in their graves, exclusively because Mr. Obama and his Progressive crew couldn’t be exposed for their putting politics ahead of protecting American assets overseas; American soil in the form of Embassy grounds, the “most transparent” administration in American history hides behind anything that will give them cover so as not to act in the spirit of “the law of the land”; so as not to afford the justice “the law of the land” is owed those four dead Americans (Note to former-Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: Yes, it does matter, to every American but the Progressive elected class, evidently).

But getting back to Obamacare being “the law of the land,” and the fact that these Progressive ideologues intend to inflict this economy-killing, divisive, wealth-redistributing program onto the American people, regardless of the fact that it has never – never – been popular with over half of the nation, and that it now falls well short of providing health insurance to “every American,” I have two questions:

1) If “the law of the land” is so very important to follow, then how is it that these same people ignore the fact that “the law of the land” allows the House of Representatives to refuse to fund the entitlement program?

2) If the “law of the land” is so sacrosanct then how can these Progressive elitist oligarchs decry any part of the US Constitution – the literal “law of the land” – as malleable; as subject to dictates of the day?

The truth be told, the only time “the law of the land” means anything to Progressives is when it serves their purpose. In any other case it is an edict to be scorned, rebuked, castigated and/or ignored. That Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the White House Communications Office and President Obama himself shamelessly hide behind the “It’s the law of the land” declaration in their defense of the legitimate House effort to save the country from this legislative mistake would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious.

So, let’s dispense with this rhetoric, shall we?

‘Dickileaks’

In a debate on one of the FOX News Channel shows, Left-of-Center radio show host Leslie Marshall responded to her debate partner’s call for honesty in politics by saying, “Please! We’re talking about politicians.” And there you have it in a nutshell. The American people have moved beyond the concept of apathy where the idea of honesty in politics is concerned, and have arrived at full-blown political sadomasochism. Having completely given up on demanding that those who serve them do so with fidelity to public service, the majority of Americans have simply accepted – as the new normal – that politicians of all stripes offer nothing but false promises, untruths and opportunistic spin for narcissistic gain, i.e. power and wealth. And while this is today’s status quo, it doesn’t have to be this way. Nevertheless, it seems as though we live in an all-encompassing state of political Stockholm Syndrome, unwilling to affect fundamental change, which we, as a people, have the power to do.

A quote often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, reads, “Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite,” or “Every country has the government it deserves.” This philosophical observation certainly applies to the United States, even if in the most ironic way. Given the fact that our nation allows for the free election of a representative form of government based on a checked-and-balanced (via the Electoral College) democratic system of election, We the People – literally – have the power to shape the personality and morality of the government that we created to serve us. Yet, astoundingly, we have been led to believe that no one vote – no one voter – can affect the outcome of any given election. Again, I refer to Leslie Marshall, “Please! We’re talking about politicians.”

But surrender to this “new political normal” is an exercise in “political sadomasochism”; an embracing of several weaknesses, including acquiescence to a special interest ideological class, apathy toward being engaged enough to search out the facts, and cowardice to confront the more manipulative among us. This political sadomasochism produces – via our own hands – government, at every level, which we all love to hate, blame, demean and complain about; government that places politics and the well-being of politicians and political parties above good government and serving the people.

No better example exists than in the State of New York, where disgraced former US Congressman Anthony Weiner and disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer are literally leading in the polls for New York City Mayor and New York City Comptroller, respectively.

Everyone – unless they have been sequestered for the last several years, knows the stories that delivered these two men away from public service.

Anthony Weiner, an incredible narcissist and über-abrasive, über-Progressive political operative, has a problem with Tweeting pictures of his penis to young women who aren’t his wife. Recent revelations have proved that he continues to do this even though his wife, Huma Abedin (close buddy-buddy of Hillary Clinton’s), stands by her man, exclaiming that since his resignation from the US House – a resignation executed because he couldn’t keep his cyber-penis in his cyber-pants – he’s been a “model husband and Father.” One has to wonder if “Señora Danger” (Weiner used the moniker Carlos Danger to interact with his cyber-sexual conquests) has changed her mind or if she just likes her men a little bit arrogant and abusive.

Elliot Spitzer, on the other hand, had to resign because he had a penchant for employing high-paid hookers. To her credit, Mrs. Spitzer was recognizably mortified when she stood by her man, as he proclaimed to the world that fidelity to his marriage just wasn’t enough for his sexual appetite.

In both of these examples, we have men who worked their entire lives to attain political power; positioning, campaigning, working up the political ladder and achieving elected office. In both of their careers they achieved some good things. But there is a troubling and undeniable fact that precludes the both of them from every being elected to office again, or at least should preclude them from attaining seats of power every again. They lied to, they willingly deceived, and they manipulated and humiliated the people that trusted them the most, their wives; their life-partners; their soul mates. They both took advantage of the people that are supposed to be the most important people in their lives. And then they asked them to publicly humiliate themselves so they could get the butts out of the media fire.

Truth be told, if a person cannot even be faithful to their spouse; if a person cannot have fidelity to the most important relationship in his or her life, how is anyone supposed to believe that they will have fidelity to any relationship: personal, professional or political?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Lie to me once as an elected representative in government and you should resign, take stock of your life and realize that your time in political life has come to an end by your own hand. But should you lie, cheat and steal and then apologize, huge crocodile tears in your eyes, promising never to do it again while your humiliated spouse stands in your disingenuous shadow, and convince me to vote for you again…well, then, as de Tocqueville espoused, you get the government you deserve.

It is stunning to me that the people of New York are allowing these two liars, these two cheats, to exist but a minute from again taking governmental office. This may sound a bit harsh, but after the outpouring of affection the rest of the nation afforded the people of New York City after September 11, 2001, I expected more than just a “thank you, now back to our regularly scheduled cesspool of politically partisan deviance.” I expected that when given a second chance, they would have done the right thing, corrected wrongs and strived to better themselves as an exercise in appreciation for support, compassion and friendship. I don’t know about you, but New Yorkers’ embrace of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer is tantamount to a slap in the face. But then that’s just me…

The overriding point to all of this is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can have better government; government over politics. We all just need to have the courage and dedication to demand that our elected officials respect the people and the office – respect the opportunity – enough to actually serve the electorate, instead of lying to them while lining their pockets and setting up lucrative careers for a post-elected life. We need to support honest people when they want to run for government and reject the notion that the parties are just too big, too powerful to challenge. Because We the People, by virtue of the United States Constitution, literally created the American system of government, We the People have the power to set the standards by which we are served. The fact that we do not is a testimony to our cultivated political sadomasochism.

So, we can either pretend that we do not have the power to achieve government that serves, and glean the scandals of the Weiners and the Spitzers – the scandals of “Dickileaks,” or we can do the hard work and act like Americans and settle for nothing less than the very best. If we cannot, then maybe Eric Holder, while wrong about the subject matter, was correct when he called us a “nation of cowards.”

“We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…” – The Preamble to the United States Constitution.

News v. Propaganda: The Danger of Losing a Check & Balance

As illustrated by today’s mainstream media, there is a very fine line between news reporting and the act of propagandizing. The aware understand that news reporting consists of the sometimes painful process of conveying the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of a story, while at the very same time expunging the reporter’s opinion and bias from the report. This is true reporting; this is true journalism.

Today, especially in the mainstream media — and beginning most often in the schools of journalism, aspiring reporters and established journalists alike routinely inject opinion, bias and emotion into their reporting. Intentionally or not, this is the blatant manipulation of the news; the manipulation of the consumer, the American citizen, through propaganda, be it special interest, ideological or government driven.

ForeignPolicy. com reports:

“For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the US government’s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic US consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for US domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

“Until this month, a vast ocean of US programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It’s viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq…

“A former US government source with knowledge of the BBG says the organization is no Pravda, but it does advance US interests in more subtle ways.”

The need for the federal government to even have a “news generating” journalistic arm is questionable. News releases meant to inform the people on the actions, policies and concerns of the federal government are routinely issued; and issued for the free press — which holds First Amendment Rights so that it can dig into said statements to assure honesty and accountability — to relate to the American people. In reality (and this is predicated on a press that is not corrupted for ideological purposes), the government/media relationship is supposed to afford the public with a check and balance on governmental power.

When the federal government is able to create the news and then report on its own creation, there is no avenue for a check and balance. And when there is no avenue for a check and balance the atmosphere is ripe for the arrogance of power; when there is no avenue to hold the federal government accountable for the information they “issue” to the people, there is, inherently, a move to propagandize, even in the most innocent of ways.

Today, the Obama Administration has proven time and time again that its idea of “transparent government,” is anything but.

The Obama Administration’s idea of transparency in government requires those seeking accurate information to file multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, for Congress to issue subpoenas, and in some instances for Congress to even hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt of Congress for his refusal to be forthright and penchant to mislead.

Today, the National Security Agency gathers information on American citizens who have done nothing to warrant their Fourth Amendment Rights to be transgressed, while the Director of National Intelligence tells congressional committees that they do no such thing and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation exists clueless as to who is supposed to be investigating the matter.

Today, the Internal Revenue Service targets Conservative non-profit groups for audit based on their political beliefs, even as everyone involved in that corrupt and criminal process scurries from responsibility like rats leaving a sinking ship, doing so while the team leader of the “gang of hate” pleads her Fifth Amendment Right to avoid self-incrimination.

And now, on the eve of the holiday on which the entire country celebrates the anniversary of the most courageous act in the history of man; a quest for liberty against the world’s pre-eminent power of the age; an oppressive and totalitarian regime that stifled the rights and freedoms of its own people, we witness perhaps the second most radically ideological federal administration in American history — led by a man who stated publicly that he believes the Constitution of the United States is flawed, quietly unleashing the power of one of the most powerful propaganda machines in the world on its own people under the guise of transparency.

Maybe it’s just me, but questions come to mind where this revelation is concerned. With the mainstream media being so incredibly “in bed” with this administration, why would they need to have this propaganda effort? And, given that the mainstream media has been “carrying the water” for this elected group of radical ideologues (which in and of itself conjures up the images of Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad and Putin), what can be so intricate, so important, so “it’s got to be just right” that they couldn’t trust their info-lackeys to deliver the message with fidelity?

My fellow Americans, I don’t know about you, but this simply doesn’t smell right. And with the current administrations record of clandestine activity — crafting legislation with the help of labor unions behind closed doors, myriad scandals that target the American people and political foes alike, and their overall distrust of the very people they were elected to serve — can we really be sure they can be trusted with such a potent “weapon”?

Perhaps we should ask the people of the former Soviet Union if this is a wise move. Perhaps, we should recall the warnings issued by the soon to be oppressed and slaughtered of pre-Hitler Germany.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to wake-up and call this administration on what it really is…