Tag Archives: liberty

Freedom of Religion? Not According to the Obama Administration

The Obama administration has once again shown its arrogance and total disregard for the Constitution. In an edict sent out two weeks ago, the administration said every insurance plan would be required to pay for sterilization and abortion on demand, and will not be allowed to charge co-pays or fees. The Catholic Church would be required to provide these services at its facilities, including any affiliated hospital or university, and provide abortion coverage to its employees.

In the January 20, 2012 edict put out by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, stated that all health care plans would be required to cover sterilization and any FDA approved contraceptives, including morning after abortion methods, and would not be allowed to charge any co-payments or fees for these services. The regulations, to take effect in August 2012 as a part of Obamacare, would provide exemptions for “religious employers” but put enough strings into the exemption to disqualify Catholic hospitals and universities, or any of their other charitable organizations. To qualify for the exemption the facility would have to employ and serve “primarily” members of the Catholic Church. The edict also gave the organization one year to comply with the rule but until then they would have to refer any patients to other organizations who would provide the specified procedures. Since the Catholic Church hires and offers services to a wide variety of people, not just those of the faith, the exemption is problematic for them.

Before I go any farther, let me quote the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.

So far, as bad as the federal government has been in dealing with freedom of religion it has never gone to this extent. Since the 1947 Supreme Court’s unConstitutional decision that said the “separation of church and state” prohibited the public display of any Christian symbol or activity we have seen a steady erosion of our rights as Christians to exercise our religious freedom. Now they have come to the point of thinking they can totally obliterate or control any semblance of Christian faith in America.

This is in direct conflict with the 1st Amendment provision for “the free exercise thereof”, in referring to religious practices. Catholic Church leaders around the nation are incensed at this edict and vow to ignore it.
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York put out a tersely worded statement that was followed by a short video of his thoughts on this matter.

This edict from Sebelius is a threat to every Christian, regardless of denomination. If the administration can force the Catholic Church to adhere to this unConstitutional ruling, they can force every church organization in the nation to adhere to it. Christians have stood back for nearly 60 years and let the government run roughshod over their Constitutional rights but it is time to turn the page and begin to fight back vigorously.
We can no longer accept the Hitler-esque tactics of the Obama administration, or any administration that violates the religious freedom of Christians. The reward for accepting government rule has taken Christians to the point of no longer being free to exercise any tenet of faith without threats of fines or imprisonment from an increasingly tyrannical government.
Adolph Hitler enacted the same kinds of rules in Nazi Germany, rules that ultimately lead to the death of some 12 million Jews, Christians, and other groups of people. The same paganism that ruled Nazi Germany is taking over in America with a government that has steadily tightened restrictions on religious freedoms until the 1st Amendment means nothing any more. If the Catholic Church, or any other Christian organization, backs down and accepts this ruling the end of Christianity in America will be at hand.

Glenn Beck had three guests on his GBTV show Monday January 20, 2012 to discuss this matter. The guests included Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a Jew; Robert Morris, an Evangelical pastor; and Bill Donohue, President of The Catholic League. You can listen to the entire discussion at this link. Mr. Donohue stated emphatically that the Catholic Church would not comply with this rule, period. Beck, Rabbi Lapin and Pastor Morris all agreed that this is an issue that crosses denominational boundaries. Beck noted that he was a Mormon, sitting with a Jew, an Evangelical, and a Catholic; all agreeing on the premise that this edict is unConstitutional and dangerous to all people of faith. All four men pledged to stick together to defeat this tyranny, whatever the cost.

It is past time to stand up against the tyranny being foisted upon We the People on a daily basis by this administration. They have destroyed our economy, stopped any and all drilling for natural gas and oil on public land, that owned by We the People, passed regulations that make mining coal extremely costly, created regulation after regulation that fly in the face of the Constitution, and now have decided to destroy what little religious freedom is left in America.

Revolution is the only answer to this tyranny. This dictatorial administration must be stopped here and now. The members of Congress must be forced to do their sworn duty to” protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America” or get tossed out on their butts. Every member of Congress needs to get thousands of calls, e-mails, and letters protesting this travesty. If We the People sit this one out the end of our Republic is upon us. Freedom isn’t free; someone has to fight for it. If not me, who; if not now, when? Each of us needs to ask ourselves this question. Peaceful protest is the preferred method if possible; but whatever the method we must stand up and refuse to obey any unlawful regulation made by an unlawful regime.

Thomas Jefferson said, “We must hang together or we will surely hang separately” in reference to the Colonists forging a unified front to oppose British oppression. We the People face the same dilemma today. If we do not stand together to oppose this oppression we will find ourselves in the same situation the Jews and Christians of Nazi Germany found themselves in. Sitting back with the attitude of “I’m not a Catholic”, which I’m not, is not an option in this battle for freedom of religion. This affects all Christians regardless of denomination or dogma. Pastor Martin Niemoller, a victim of Hitler’s genocide said it quite well, “first they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist”…. “Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me”. If we live by this mantra we will all either be murdered or imprisoned for our faith, or we will deny our faith to survive the coming genocide. The choice is yours but the time to decide is short. Obama and his minions are moving rapidly to marginalize and destroy people of faith, starting with the largest group, the Catholic Church.

Those who sit back and assume they are safe from this tyranny are fooling themselves, and putting all of us in imminent danger. Saul Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals”, lays this plan out very clearly. Isolate, marginalize, and destroy is the tactic espoused by Alinsky and is being used by the Obama administration to destroy what semblance of religions freedom is still tolerated by this unlawful regime.

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

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 31, 2012

#NDAA TwitterBomb Monday Night

Today – Monday, January 30, 2012 – starting at 7pm Eastern, Twitter users are encouraged to participate in a “TwitterBomb” for the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA.

The NDAA allows for the unlawful, indefinite detention of American citizens, and has been mostly ignored by the media and politicians.  Only two Presidential candidates oppose this unconstitutional bill: Ron Paul & Buddy Roemer.

Looking at the image to the right,coming from Google Trends, the top column is the frequency a topic is searched, and the bottom column is the frequency the topic is discussed in the news.

Monday night, we implore you to Google search every thing you possibly can about NDAA, and then post it and share it to your Facebook & Twitter accounts with the hashtag #NDAA – or, if possible, write out “National Defense Authorization Act” completely.

Search YouTube (owned by Google), where you can find videos by Jon Stewart and many, many others who have voiced their opposition towards the bill.  Post and share these videos repeatedly on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.  The American People succeeded in killing SOPA (Is ACTA Worse?), now let’s kill the #NDAA.

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” ~Samuel Adams~

 

Twensored? – #TwitterBlackout Tomorrow In Support Of Free Speech

#TwitterBlackout

WHY ARE USERS PLANNING A TWITTER BLACKOUT (#TwitterBlackout) ON JAN. 28th?
Including CDN’s own TJ Thompson (@_TJThompson) , Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl), and Rich Mitchell (@CDNnow)

Twitter has been the backbone of revolutions, regime change, and much more.  The ability to spread information around the world in an instant has changed the way people disseminate vital information.  The free flow of this information, and the ability to “Retweet” it, literally puts the world in the palm of our hands.  To put it simply: Twitter has changed the world.

Now, it appears that the world has changed Twitter.  Twitter announced Thursday that it can now block tweets, as well as individual accounts, from appearing to users in specific countries, and that it may use the feature to comply with governments’ request to censor information. Before, Twitter could only block tweets and accounts globally.

As it said on the Twitter Blog:

As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.

Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.

Are we being Twensored?

.

So Twitter users are banding together for a Twitter Blackout – with hashtag #TwitterBlackout – on January 28th, 2012.   This irony is that Twitter helped spread the news about the online blackouts in protest of the SOPA and PIPA legisation – and now ACTA – and now the service itself is being protested.  Stay tuned to see what impact this has on the microblogging site’s traffic, advertising, etc.

Keystone Pipeline: Why Obama Said No; And What Happens Now?

Yesterday the Obama administration announced he was declining the Keystone XL pipeline application due to the Republicans setting an “unreasonable timeline” of February 21, 2012 for a decision. That George W. Bush, still causing problems for Obama!!! Obama wanted to put it off until after the 2012 elections so he could continue to draw campaign money from both sides. As it is now, he will only get money from the “environmental” nut cases unless the supporters of the pipeline are willing to pay him for a favorable decision after he gets re-elected in November (snicker!!!).

This decision has all the markings of his pledge before the 2008 election to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. Remember when he said that he would bankrupt the coal companies and that energy prices would “necessarily skyrocket”? Here we are, a chance to keep that campaign pledge to his left wing zealots who want to see America become a Third world hell hole dictatorship. Remember when he closed off all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, ignored a court order to resume permits, and sent $4 billion to a George Soros invested company in Brazil so we could be “their best customer”?

As Obama once again applies his “laser focus on jobs” we see the prospect of 5,000 immediate jobs, 20,000 jobs over the next few years, and the potential 200,000 long term jobs fizzle in an orgy of pandering to his left-wing base. Of course, there is the magnificent prospect of the unemployment payments that will actually rescue our economy. This came from that paragon of economic brain trusts, Nancy Pelosi. Remember when she said that every dollar of unemployment payments generates $1.87 to the economy? That is very good news indeed. There certainly isn’t any sense in losing such an economic boost by providing thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of jobs. We once again see our country being taken down the road to financial ruin by those desiring to rule rather than govern. This is not new as we have seen what the radicals who have taken over the Democrat Party have been doing for several years.

Environmental groups opposed the pipeline saying it could harm the Oglala Reservoir under Nebraska. That is a huge concern to all of us I am sure. There is no doubt this pipeline will do as much damage to the environment as the Alaska Pipeline did to the tundra and the herds of deer, moose, elk and whatever. I have read many stories about the Alaska pipeline and the results of that coming “environmental disaster”. If I remember right, and I don’t have the stories before me, the herds are thriving because the heat from the pipeline is keeping the grass growing under it without damaging the permafrost. The food being provided by the vegetation in what was a total wasteland in winter, not to mention the heat off the pipes providing warmth for the herds, is actually increasing the numbers of animals.
The big question is what are the Republicans in Congress going to do about this situation? Yesterday we heard Republicans come out and denounce the decision with tough talk and big words, but will they actually do anything to reverse this decision? I have my doubts. As a matter of fact, I will be bold enough to say “No, they won’t!!!” The leadership in the Republican Party is so weak and so busy being “civil” and “reaching across the aisle to work with our Democrat friends” that I don’t expect them to do any more than they have done with the stimulus, TARP, debt ceiling, etc.

Unless We the People elect true conservatives in November we will continue to lose our freedoms daily. We used to lose a freedom here and there but now we see them disappearing in droves. It seems as if every piece of legislation that comes out, unread of course, takes another freedom away from us.

Obama and members of both political parties in Congress are combining to destroy what was once the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Our economic security, our physical security, and or liberty are all being taken from us by those who got elected by promising a better life for all Americans. If it isn’t already too late November will be the pivotal point of my lifetime. If we don’t make drastic changes, assuming Obama allows elections in November, we will lose what is left of our liberty.

We can’t just blindly vote for Republicans as they have proven to be unreliable, and as dangerous as Democrats. Only 22 of the 87 freshmen TEA Party members elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 voted against the debt ceiling increase last fall. If we have another freshman class like that in 2012 we are doomed to a lifetime of tyranny. Our future is at stake and the Keystone XL Pipeline permit denial is just one more nail in the coffin of the Republic of the United States of America.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.
Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 18, 2011

It was sort of fun having a Constitution wasn't it?

“[T]o bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole kingdom.  But confinement of the person by secretly hurrying him to [jail], where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary force.”

William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England

After reading up on the disaster that is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was recently passed by Congress, I could make a laundry list of the problems with it.  There are so many major problems that I was having trouble coming up with an easy way of presenting them all.  Then it dawned on me – why not create an actual list!  (brilliant, I know)

Before I get to the list, let’s start with a little background.  The NDAA is controversial because its original text had a provision that might… well… destroy our due process rights a little.  That’s kind of a big deal because due process is what protects American citizens from arbitrary imprisonment, politicians using the courts to retaliate against opponents, and all kinds of other things that oppressive, out-of-control governments might do.

In a nutshell, the right to due process guarantees that anytime the government is going to strip you of any portion of your life, your liberty, or your property it has to go through a fair process that justifies why that is an appropriate action and allows you an opportunity to defend yourself.  If the NDAA is signed by President Obama – depending on which lawyer you talk to – it might allow him to use the military to indefinitely detain anyone he suspects of being a terrorist.  Without charging them with a crime.  Without giving them a trial.

If that sounds a little medieval to you, that’s because it is.  And here’s a short list of reasons that the NDAA and the process surrounding it pose a serious danger to our freedom:

1. There should be no ambiguity about violating our rights -

“[T]he glory of the English law consists in clearly defining the times, the causes, and the extent, when, wherefore, and to what degree, the imprisonment of the subject may be lawful.”

William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England

There is still a lot of debate over whether this bill strips Americans of their due process rights.  Some members of Congress insist that they amended the language to make sure that American citizens can’t be detained.  But some lawyers still aren’t convinced that final bill is any better.

The fact that there is any confusion at all is completely unacceptable.  When the issue being discussed involves the possibility of destroying the rights of American citizens, no member of Congress should settle for anything less than absolutely unmistakeable clarity that our rights are to be protected without exception.

In this case, not only are our Congressmen accepting the ambiguity, they seem to be creating it intentionally.  When discussing the effect the new amended language would have on the possibility of the NDAA allowing the indefinite detention of Americans, Senator Dianne Feinstein said:

“this bill does not endorse either side’s interpretation, but leaves it to the courts to decide.”

In other words, Congress isn’t going to actually do anything proactive to protect our rights.  They are just going to do what they have to do so that they can get home for Christmas on time and leave all that freedom stuff for the courts to figure out.

We’ve got some real staunch defenders of liberty in Washington D.C. today, don’t we?  Apparently this group of politicians is so cowardly that they can’t even bring themselves to take a stand on whether American citizens should have due process rights.  Unbelievable.

2. It takes more than a law to change the Constitution -

It’s extremely frightening that so many members of Congress would take a chance when it comes to protecting our due process rights.  But even more troubling for me is the fact that so many Congressmen believe – and the public is willing to accept – the idea that the Constitution can be over-ridden by just passing a law.

That’s the whole point of having a Constitution – to keep the government from just doing whatever the heck it wants.  The Constitution is the voice of the people declaring exactly what powers the government has permission to use.  A law is basically the voice of the government.  In other words, the people created this government – we are the parent and it is the child.

But if Congress can pass a law that takes precedent over the Constitution, that means the voice of the government is more important than the voice of the people in this country.  That is a situation that would absolutely destroy the idea of limited government and take our freedom with it.

If members of Congress truly feel the need to violate the due process of some Americans, the people of this country gave them a process for amending the Constitution (see: Article 5).  If our Congressmen aren’t willing to go through the amendment process, then they need to remember who is in charge in this country and live by the rules we have laid out for them.

3. Laws that probably won’t be abused aren’t good enough -

Most people seem to believe that the Congressmen who voted for the NDAA had honorable intentions and have a hard time imagining that our government would actually start imprisoning people at random.  Because of that, they have a hard time getting too riled up over this bill.

Do I honestly believe that Barak Obama is going to start rounding people up next year and sending them to Guantanamo Bay?  No I don’t.  Then again, I never thought our government would try to run a car company or force me to buy health insurance either.  Sometimes people surprise you.

And that’s the point.  We have no way of knowing who will be running our government in 10, 15, or 20 years.  So passing laws based on what we think our current politicians would do or because we trust a sitting president is extremely dangerous.  We need to pass laws while also considering the flaws of human nature.

William Grayson explained this concept perfectly when the Constitution was being debated in the Virginia Ratifying Convention:

“Power ought to have such checks and limitations as to prevent bad men from abusing it.  It ought to be granted on the supposition that men will be bad; for it may eventually be so.”

So whenever we grant power to the government, we should limit that power as if we thought the people in office were going to try to abuse it.  There will be a lot of people who hold office over the years and eventually we are bound to elect a crook.  When that bad person takes office, if there aren’t proper checks on his power he is going to use it to destroy our freedom.

When you look at it that way, somehow it doesn’t seem like such a good idea to give the president unchecked power to put American citizens in prison without a trial.

During a speech to the House of Representatives in 1807, Representative William Armisted Burwell perfectly demonstrated the mindset our modern representatives should have taken when approached with the idea of indefinitely imprisoning American citizens.  In this case, Burwell is discussing a proposal to suspend habeas corpus, but his arguments would have been just as relevant had he made them in the House earlier this month about the NDAA:

“What, in another point of light, would be the effect of passing such a law?  Would it not establish a dangerous precedent?  A corrupt and vicious Administration, under the sanction and example of this law, might harass and destroy the best men of the country.  It would only be necessary to excite artificial commotions, circulate exaggerated rumors of danger, and then follows the repetition of this law, by which every obnoxious person, however honest he may be, is surrendered to the vindictive resentment of the Government.  It will not be a sufficient answer, that this power will not be abused by the President of the United States.  [I don’t believe President Jefferson would] abuse it, but it would be impossible to restrain all those who are under him.  Besides, [I] would not consent to advocate a principle, bad, in itself, because it will not, probably be abused.”

In other words, it’s never ok for a Congressman to vote for flawed legislation because he’s pretty sure that it probably won’t be abused.  That is an incredibly careless approach to take to a situation that could lead to the violation of someone’s right to liberty.

Think about it, would you feel comfortable walking up to a random person at the mall and handing him the keys to your house along with directions on how to get there?  Of course not.  Sure, chances are that this person isn’t a crook and won’t use the keys to rob your home, but it’s disconcerting just to know that he even has that opportunity.

If it’s that uncomfortable to think about another person being able to take our possessions, why are so many Americans cool with giving the president the opportunity to take away our freedom?

This is why so many of us are furious over the current NDAA.  Remember, we aren’t only giving this power to Barak Obama.  We are also setting a dangerous example for every president that comes after him.  It comes down to common sense – if you go to the mall enough times and give your keys to enough strangers eventually you’re going to come across a crook.  The same is true in government – if you give enough politicians an opportunity to destroy your freedom eventually you’re going to elect one who will actually do it.

Members of Congress need to lose the cavalier attitude and start writing laws in a way that limits the possibility of abuse as much as humanly possible.  It’s unacceptable for them to even allow the opportunity for this section of the NDAA to be misinterpreted in a way that poses a danger to our due process rights.

4. Issues affecting our rights should be debated publicly -

If you decided to do something that you knew was wrong, where would you do it?  Probably somewhere private, where no one could see you, right?

That’s why it is very telling that some members of Congress chose to slip this section on indefinite detention into a bill that they thought would pass without much scrutiny.  They are trying to hide something they know is wrong.  After all, if they were proud of this provision and honestly thought that the American people would support it, why not publicize it or even make it a separate bill so everyone can see what a great job they’re doing?

But even a week after it’s passage, a Yahoo search brings up virtually no mainstream media coverage of the controversy surrounding the NDAA so clearly our politicians are making no attempt to inform the American people about it.  This is just one more glaring example of the fact that many members of Congress believe that they are part of a political aristocracy that knows better than the rest of us unwashed masses.

Unfortunately for them, our government was created to serve the people – not the other way around.  Let’s not forget that the people of this country are the source of all the government’s power.  So any time legislation is being considered that could possibly have an effect on our rights or how they are interpreted, Congress has an obligation to have an open and extremely public debate that involves getting feedback from the public.

Nearly everything about the way this bill was handled is shady and endangers our freedom.  As it stands today, Congress passed a law:

  1. that may or may not strip Americans of their due process rights (no one knows for sure),
  2. that absolutely violates the Constitution, and
  3. that might give the President unimaginable power to destroy the liberty of every American citizen (but they’re pretty sure it probably won’t be abused).

No wonder no one in Congress wanted us to know about this.

Of Infamy and Liberty: 70 Years of an Exceptional America

A quiet Sunday morning in paradise.  Balmy and breezy.  The entire world seemed so far away; all the anguish, the uncertainty, the conflict.  But here, here it is different.  Deep blue ocean in every direction.  There’s no depression here, no soup lines, no stock market crashes, just….. peace.

The generation we have come to know as the “greatest” saw that fleeting peace washed away with the low ominous buzz of the Japanese fleet. Wave after wave of Zeros mercilessly pounded their targets, burning both flesh and metal into cinder.  Panic gripped those who were trained not to panic – there was no training scenario that would prepare any of these men and women for a situation so unthinkable.

December 7, 1941

November 22, 1963

September 11, 2001

Among others, these are dates that stand out in the memory of every American over the age of about 5 at the time of their occurrences.  Days of infamy.

Yet it was this day, 70 years ago and half a world away that shoved America and the rest of the world into an era that historians have and will continue to mark as a worldwide turning point.

Seventy years.  The Bible speaks of 70 years as the portion of life for a man (a strong man, 80).  It took little over 70 years for the grandest of totalitarian experiments, the Soviet Union, to rise, develop, prosper, challenge and eventually falter.  It was approximately years from the 1st coming of a long prophesied Messiah in a lowly manger to the seemingly permanent disbandment of that’s Messiah’s chosen people, who only recently were pulled from the ash heap of history to become a nation once again.

America – a nation that, already had been put to the canvas by a depression, had spent the next years avoiding the “10 count” only to have the enemy deliver a knockdown blow with such force, that most would have stayed down and accepted defeat.

But America refused to throw in the towel.  In fact, she responded to the clarion call with what strength she had left.  Soon fighting on 2 fronts, it was the determination of a nation that refused to see the light of liberty doused by the onslaught of evil.  We fought, we built, we tore down, we survived, we thrived…. We won.

Our enemies, then and now, saw us (see us) as weak because of our liberty, but over the past 70 years, America has proven to be its strongest when we embrace those liberties.  Rather than it be a dividing force, it unifies us when virtually all other issues divide us and any attempt to take those liberties away only serves to ground us in who we truly are – an exceptional country.

Considering what has transpired over the decades since that horrific morning at Pearl, one has to ask, what would the world be like if America had stayed down?

What country would have developed the first atomic bomb?  Would it have been used to preserve peace or to conquer a globe?  What about the jet engine?  The first steps into the “final frontier”?  How many countries would be long since dust had our flame been extinguished?  Those afore mentioned people, chosen of God?  Would there be a coalition of nations whose mission (at least then) was not to conquer the world, but to unite it?

Many who were alive during that period of test and triumph (as well as those who came along after) see the destruction at Pearl and wish it wouldn’t have happened.  And as no amount of hoping would ever change what is set in history, one has to wonder if we could have survived the inevitable heartbreaks that life continued to hand to us?  Could we have survived the slaying of a national leader in the height of a cold war just waiting to heat up without the brand of Pearl Harbor still fresh in our memory?  Would 19 men with box cutters been successful at toppling a nation, much less the Trade Towers, without the image of the USS Arizona in her final resting place below the sea?

For most of the 7 billion people on Terra Firma, tomorrow will simply be…. Wednesday.  But for Americans, the day of infamy should be much more than just another time to stop briefly to remember an event of mass human tragedy.  For the 4% of us blessed to live in this land (as well as most of the other 7 billion), Pearl Harbor Day should be a day to celebrate liberty – as much or even more so than on Independence Day.  July 4th may be the day we declared liberty, but December 7, 1941 was the day we stood up to defend it.

The case for enslaving Justin Bieber

Whether he knows it or not, on Tuesday President Obama is going to make the case for enslaving Justin Bieber. He is headed to Osawatomie, Kansas in a desperate attempt to recreate Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 New Nationalism speech – in which Roosevelt put forward the same Bieber-enslaving arguments.

In that speech, Roosevelt makes the point several times that individuals only have rights as long as they benefit his vision of the common good:

“It is not even enough that [great wealth] should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community.”

Later he says:

“The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows.”

Roosevelt is all about taking property away from people when he thinks they don’t deserve it. What he never gets around to explaining though, is where he gets the authority to do that. It certainly isn’t in the Constitution.

But even if it were, what logical foundation would Roosevelt have for confiscating property from law-abiding citizens?

Imagine that a buyer and a seller willingly get together. The buyer firmly believes that the product or service that the seller is offering is well worth the asking price, so they engage in a business transaction.

Why in the world should Roosevelt be able to confiscate the seller’s profit just because he doesn’t believe the sale was in the public interest?

Take Justin Bieber for example. He willingly creates a product and the people who buy his music believe it’s well worth the money. But can anyone honestly argue that what he does is a “benefit to the community”? All Bieber does is turn 12 year old girls into overly emotional basket cases and annoy the crap out of almost everyone over 25. Does that mean the government should send someone to knock him down and take his money just because his music sucks?

Of course not – that would violate Bieber’s God-given right to property. He is the one who created that wealth and he did it without violating the rights of anyone else. So who else should have a claim on that property but Bieber?

Roosevelt’s approach would easily lead to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to violate Bieber’s property rights as long as it is in the best interest of the public. In other words, he believes it’s acceptable to subordinate the rights of one person to the benefit of someone else in society.

But by that logic, why is slavery wrong? After all, slavery is a violation of a person’s rights for the benefit of someone else.

It wouldn’t be hard to argue that all of society would be better off if we completely banned Bieber from making music and instead forced him to work as slave labor in a factory that produced toys for underprivileged children. If that arrangement promotes the common good, then why would it be wrong?

As great as enslaving Bieber might sound to any parent that has been forced to sit through one of his concerts, obviously slavery is always wrong. But it should be just as obvious that it is always wrong to violate a person’s rights.

Some people will say, “That example is over the top! Using slavery as an example is way too extreme.” Oh. So Roosevelt’s plan is ok because it only violates someone’s rights a little bit. In other words, the problem isn’t that slavery violates one person’s rights for the benefit of another… it’s how much.” Got it. That should work well. Who gets to decide how much is too much?

That is exactly why policies should never be made based on what’s in the public interest. The purpose of government is to protect and enhance the rights of individuals. Whenever decisions are made based on what is best for society, it always leads to these creepy justifications for who’s rights can be violated and when.

Once one justification has been made it is then much easier to make another, and before long the government has an incredible amount of power to impact everyone’s daily life. In the end, what was sold as just a minor violation of one person’s rights could open the door to the destruction of freedom for all.

Latest threat to your liberty… bag fees?

Someone needs to let Sen. Mary Landrieu know that the commercials for Southwest are supposed to be funny because apparently she didn’t get the joke.  She thinks we honestly need a bag police:

Airlines would no longer be allowed to charge passengers for their first checked bag under a bill being introduced in Congress ahead of the holiday travel season.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., announced the legislation Tuesday, describing it as way spare passengers from “unfair fees” while encouraging them to ease up a bit on the carry-on bags.

“Air travel can be a stressful experience for many reasons, but unfair fees for basic amenities should not be one of them,” Landrieu said in a statement.

At first glance, this looks like just one more laughable idea coming out of Washington.  But this proposal is a perfect example of the way politicians are trying to make government the solution to every problem in life – and how that is destroying our freedom.

All people are born with a God-given right to liberty – which means a person can do anything he wants with himself and to himself as long as he doesn’t violate the rights of someone else.  After all, if a person’s actions affect only himself, why should anyone else have the authority to tell him he has to stop?

So if a person voluntarily decides that it is worthwhile for him to give an airline $120 to carry his bags to a far off city, and there is an airline who is willing to carry his bag to that city for $120 – what business is that of anyone else – least of all government?  Who has been harmed in this voluntary exchange?

No one is having these bag fees forced upon them.  Nonetheless, Sen. Landrieu is determined to end the horror of allowing consumers the freedom to choose how to spend their own money.  As she said when she announced this legislation:

“Passengers have been nickeled and dimed for far too long and something has to be done about it.”

She’s right.  Passengers who don’t want to pay bag fees ought to do something.  Something drastic.  Something like… choosing to fly Southwest Airlines.  That sure is an awful lot to ask, but hopefully Americans will be able endure that kind of overwhelming hardship.

If flying Southwest is too much of a burden, people can choose to drive… or take a train… or stay home.  These are the kinds of choices everyone has to make in a free society.

Granted, Sen. Mary Landrieu may be sincere in believing that it’s a bad decision to pay bag fees.  In that case she can choose not to pay them.  But she has no authority to impose that decision on everyone else.

The airline industry expects to operate on a 0.7% profit margin this year.  Not exactly windfall profits to say the least.  So if the bag fees are eliminated, they will have no choice but to make that revenue up somewhere else – whether Sen. Landrieu likes it or not.

It’s sad that this basic point has to be explained to members of Congress, but the bottom line is this: if the airlines don’t collect at least enough in fees to cover the cost of operating the plane, they’re going to stop flying altogether.

Sen. Landrieu – like most politicians – seems convinced that government is the solution to all our problems.  But freedom means having choices.  If she is successful in eliminating bag fees, she will also be eliminating a choice for the airlines in how to run their business and a choice for the consumer in how they want to travel.  In other words, everyone will be a little less free.

And in return for giving up that freedom, all that will be accomplished is forcing the airlines to shift their fees to a different aspect of the flight experience.  What a brilliant plan!

Giving Thanks for…. 4%

This is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. By proclamations of pioneers, framers and Presidents long since past, we have consecrated this final Thursday of November to be a day that we give thanks for all of the persons and things we hold dear to our hearts.

Of course, this started out – and for most Americans continues to be, a time of giving thanks to GOD. From the first Thanksgiving of famous lore to the ones we will have today, we have been grateful for many things.

Topping the list for most is family, friends and the like. Others, who share the mental depth with a standard kiddie pool, may think of toys, big and small. But for me, other than for my relationship with the Lord Almighty (shhhh! That’s protected speech….) I am grateful the most for one thing – 4%.

Four percent, you say? Of what? Is that what you made off your munies last year? I wish… Maybe 4% body fat? HA! One of my cheeks has 4% body fat (not telling which one either…). Four percent APR on your home re-fi? Much better than the ‘70’s for sure, but no…

I GOT IT! Four percent unemployment! Uhhh nope. Haven’t even been in the vicinity of that since the year 3 B.O. (that would be Before Obama. 2005 on the old calendar).

No, the 4% I am talking about is the statistically minuscule chance that I would be born in the greatest country the world has even seen – America! Now, I know how cheesy that sounded, but think about it. If you are a natural born American, there was a 96% chance that you would have been born in another country. Not that being born in countries like England, Canada, France (…well) are necessarily bad, but what of the billions born into true and abject poverty? And I am not talking about American poverty either. Someone square in the middle of the American poverty class (about 10k) would qualify to be in the top 13% of wage earners around the world! Our poverty line – at about $20,000 for a family of 4 – would vault you into the 90th percentile. In some countries, you would be royalty!

And while the basic, and most worthwhile things to be thankful for – life, family, friends – are a universal blessing to most, being in this 4% offers opportunities to add descriptors to the afore mention gifts. The 4% provides us with not only life, but a chance for a good life; not just a family, but a happy, prosperous family; and not just friends, but trustworthy friends. Plus one thing the most of the world still lacks – LIBERTY!!

America is not all wine and roses, far from it, but despite press coverage that might suggest otherwise, it is still the United States that the world turns to for help. It is still America and her Constitution that other counties try to emulate. It is this 4%, that many in the other 96% will move heaven and earth, leave everything they know behind to travel to a land that still holds the promise of prosperity.

So I am grateful to be a part of this 4%, for because of this, I have many more things to be grateful for!

What OWS Wants Should Terrify You

Occupy Wall Street can’t seem to get it’s message unified, even among themselves, but I think that in the minds of many of the more disillusioned participants is a vague vision. One that was put to paper first in 1961 in the pages of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This vision should terrify you.

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

These words begin Harrison Bergeron , a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The concept so bizarre and inconceivable, that it was published first as a work of fantasy. The idea that government can form an agency whose entire raison d’être is to make every citizen equal, and devise enforcement for such a policy, is the ultimate in crimes against the individual and the death of private innovation and motivation. It is evil empowered – the literal smothering of Ego and will by government sanctioned force.

Yet, isn’t that what the 99% want? Aren’t they vaguely ( or not so, in some cases) suggesting that the government step in and take down the 1%? Aren’t they pining, not to excel and propel themselves out of disparity and helplessness, but to have someone else drag down those who do not share in their misery and lack of motivation? Aren’t they suggesting that their entire base of failure is because of a small number of people who do not define their existence and motivation by socially accepted definitions of limits on success and prosperity? Maybe it isn’t even that deep.. maybe it is pure denial of responsibility and cohesive blame at the nexus of their lashing out without a defined path to resolution. Regardless of the “why”, the “how” that they are driving towards isn’t just the end of the individual and of American Exceptionalism, but also the entire basis of the Great Experiment. It is the end of America as it was intended.

Read Harrison Bergeron in its ten page entirety here and then, for a fantastically terrifying and inspiring adaptation see the trailer for 2081 below ( and then go buy it. YAY, Capitalism!)

 

** Quick update: I was made aware that the Handicapper General in 2081 is none other than Tammy Bruce! How awesome is THAT? Follow her on twitter here!

911 Remembered

Ten years ago on September, 11th, an icon of American capitalism was attacked and destroyed by Islamic Terrorists. The Twin Towers were not only representative of New York City’s modern architecture, but they were the symbol of America’s powerhouse economy, built in a country of freedom and liberty.

That was before – this is now:

Because of two Jihadist pilots, we are no longer the country we were before that day. Many of our freedoms have been infringed and virtually wiped out of our everyday life. From warrantless wiretaps to TAS’ groping searches, Americans can no longer feel free to say what they please or go long distances unmolested on airplanes. Loved ones can no longer walk to the airport gates to say goodbye to their families or friends. Our “open-door” immigration policy is still in effect and more and more terrorists have been infiltrating our country. Our Southern Border is insecure. Islamic Jihadist literature has been found in the washes used by Coyotes that bring in illegals in Arizona. Al Qaeda has set up an enclave in Mexico and established terrorist training camps there.

Historically, Muslims build mosques on the sites of their greatest conquests and they plan to do so again. Our Politically Correct government is willing to give the organization that wishes to build a mosque close to the site of Ground Zero, a sacred place of history for Americans, the money that they need to build the Muslim abomination.

We are still under attack.

The result of their attack is pictured below:

On the 10th anniversary of this vile and repulsive attack, let us take time to remember those who died there, the people in the buildings who jumped from the floors above the collapsed stairwells, the first responders who lost their lives trying to save the lives of others. Remember the families who lost loved ones that day and may not have any portion of their remains. Let us take time to pray for them.

And let us take the time to dedicate ourselves to
NEVER AGAIN!

Oh Say Can You See

I remember several years ago while looking to buy a house the realtor kept bring up properties that had HOA’s (Home Owners Association). I told her don’t even worry about pulling the files on the properties. I knew then that it would just cause grief and trouble if someone tried to tell me what I could do on the property I paid for.

In a single day I read two separate news reports where an HOA is being tyrannical and downright un-American. In one case the HOA is demanding that Fred Quigley- a veteran who fought in Korea and Vietnam- take down his flag pole. Mr. Quigley  proudly flies the flag that he so honorably served, the flag of The United States of America, on this pole.

In the other case, the HOA has halted construction on the home that was to be built by Homes for Our Troops for Sgt. 1st Class Sean Gittens who was paralyzed by an IED.

The HOA in Macedonia, Ohio told Mr. Quigley (I am sorry I could not find out the rank he attained or I would address him as such) he could fly his flag from a stanchion from his home but Mr. Quigley would not hear of it. In a statement concerning the matter, he stated:

“To me, a flagpole is a thing of boldness and is substantial. Putting a flag on your house is like putting a wreath on your door. It doesn’t mean as much.”

The HOA even stated that “landscapers have to work around it” and it would require electricity to be ran to the pole for illumination. OH MY GOSH! A landscaper would have to do what he is paid to do and run a line to the pole for a light. I was actually surprised that the HOA knew that flag etiquette deems that the flag be illuminated in the event it is flown at night.

I am proud to say that Mr. Quigley’s community have rallied around him. Many of his supporters gathered together with him as The American Legion performed a Flag Raising Ceremony at Mr. Quigley’s flag pole.

Sgt. Gittens and his family have been up against a very determined HOA. The HOA in the Evans, Georgia neighborhood have stated that because the Gittenses’ house would be smaller than most of the houses in the area, it would bring down property values even though the house exceeds the minimum square footage. The HOA even had the audacity to request that they build a second story on the house. REALLY?! A disabled veteran who is bound to a wheelchair or bed at all times should be required to build a second story?! The Gittens Family decided to build their new home elsewhere to end the conflict. Homes For Our Troops will now be able to build a home for the good Sgt. And his family without having to battle the HOA the entire time.

John Gonsalves, president and founder of Homes for Our Troops, made a statement saying:

“This home is about freedom and independence adapted to the Gittenses’ needs, but it’s also about roots. Luckily we can enjoy the [American] dream because of people like Sgt. Gittens. So who deserves it more than him?”

I would personally like to take these HOA presidents behind the woodshed and give them a few lessons on how to honor our veterans and OUR flag. There should be no other held in higher regards than those who have put his/her life on the line to defend our great nation and/or do her bidding. It is because of these individuals that we have the freedoms we have today. All of our freedoms have been bought and paid for with the literal blood, sweat, tears of our great men and women who make up our great military. Many have even given their very lives so that you might be free today.

July 4 Update: Ohio Veteran Wins Fight To Fly American Flag On Pole Outside His House

_______________________________________________________________

For those of you that own firearms, train hard and well and teach those that do not know how.
Be good stewards of the right to bear arms, for we are the last line of defense against tyranny.

-Benjamin Wallace

 

 

John Stossel’s Evolution to Liberty

Stossel demonstrates how he started his career with a jaded view of capitalism and business, but came to realize that the government didn’t actually make things better. John makes the point that the government’s regulatory interventions come in after things were already getting better. This might be a great video to share if you know someone that preaches the “evil capitalist” line, but has nothing to back it up. Thanks to @Galtsgirl who shared this on twitter.

A Deeper Look at Dangerous Streamlining Bill S.679 – Chief Scientist of NOAA

A Deeper Look into the Troublesome Aspects of “The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011″…

* * *

Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain…
What’s the worst that could happen?…
There really are no ‘important positions’ that would be affected by S.679…

Don’t worry your pretty little head…

Supporters of the Back-Door-to-Dictatorship bill, or “The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011”, as it’s euphemistically listed in the U.S. Senate, tell us there’s nothing to fear.

All this harmless act proposes is to “…free up the Senate so that it can focus on our country’s most urgent needs of reducing spending and debt,” according to the bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Lamar Alexander, in a reply to this writer, “…rather than on confirming hundreds of junior positions in a president’s administration, like the public-relations officer of a minor department.”

Oh. Well, that’s a relief! If that’s all it is, maybe I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about it. After all, what possible harm could come from our elected public servants relieving themselves from the onerous duty of rubber-stamping trivial, junior-level, non-essential posts that “are not involved in policy making,” as the good Senator pointed out.

Except…

When one reads the fine print, actually examines the job descriptions covered by S.679, a few positions jump out as not-quite-so “junior”.

Positions like the Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for one example.

Still, not to worry, we’re told. “These positions are part-time advisory board or commission positions, or full-time positions that are not involved in policy making…,” the senator reassured.

The Chief Scientist of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration … a junior position? Not involved in policy making? Well, that’s good…

Except…

That may be news to NOAA, its administrator, the Chief Scientist, and probably President Obama himself. On the administration’s own organizational chart, the Chief Scientist answers directly only to the NOAA administrator.

According to an Oct. 2009 email by that organization’s administrator, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, agency was “Reinstituting and elevating the role of NOAA Chief Scientist, to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. As senior scientist for NOAA, the Chief Scientist will drive policy and program direction for science and technology priorities.”

Should we be concerned that the person appointed by the president into this scientific position, one which will admittedly drive policy, might need at least a cursory glance by the Senate? What’s the worst that could happen… that Obama would hand-pick a decidedly leftist, socialist-leaning progressive? Have we any proof he’d do that?

Except…

We’re probably shouldn’t count his recently-departed climate czar, Carol Browner, of course. The ex-Clintonian EPA head who ordered her staff to wipe clean her government office computer’s hard drive before she left that post? The very same day the agency was ordered by a judge to preserve electronic records? Though Browner was acquitted of any wrong-doing, in an apparent case of ‘geez, your honor, I didn’t know I was s‘posed to keep them records’, one has to question the timing of the action.

And we probably shouldn’t be concerned that Obama could again pick someone like Browner, with ties to the group ‘Socialist International’. Ties that were also swept clean after Obama picked her as his czarina. Up until a week prior to that naming, the site listed her as one of its leaders of their Commission for a Sustainable World Society. The group is highly critical of America, promotes global governance, and calls for a reduction of wealthy countries’ economies in response to climate change.

So much for a ‘more transparent’ administration. Unless ‘transparent’ means ‘vanishes into thin ether’…

But not to fret… we have no reason to suspect Obama would appoint a globalist, socialist, climate-scarologist, ‘America-is-evil-ist’ radical for the Chief Scientist position of NOAA. Not when that agency is seen as an authority in matters climatic. Not when the climate is being used as a reason to make vast, sweeping transformations in the way Americans live and work.

Surely he wouldn’t have two such radicals pushing to affect ‘change’ in America because of the global climate threat?

Except…

To hold that position, we also must overlook another of the president’s men, science czar John Holdren.

Holdren’s official title is Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology.

Holdren has touted mankind as the evil cause of global warming… wait, we’re calling it ‘climate change’ now, after the bitterly cold and snowy years we’ve had.

Holdren has worked to discredit scientists who dared challenge the progressive stance of anthropomorphic climate change, those who use their data to suggest the recent warming period was cyclical, not dependent on mankind’s actions. Holdren has suggested such draconian population measures as mandated limited family size, forced sterilization and abortion for women who defy such limits by daring have extra children.

But regardless of whom Obama places in the NOAA Chief Scientist seat – or any of the more than 200 ‘junior, non-policy-making posts named in S.679 – we shouldn’t worry. None of these positions could possibly be affect significant changes in America’s energy policy or business regulations or everyday processes.

Even if the Chief made outrageous recommendations, America’s rule of law and reliance on due processes that would keep such progressive chicanery from taking effect. Right?

Except…

This particular administration, has a track record for bypassing the process in order to get its progressive objectives accomplished (ObamaCare, anyone?). Senate leadership of this and the prior session have shown not only an inability to impede that agenda, but an unwillingness to do so. Senator Harry Reid, and his cohort in the House, former speaker Nancy ‘We-have-to-pass-it-so-we-can-know-what’s-in-it’ Pelosi, rammed the President’s health-insurance agenda down America’s collective throats, despite vocal outrage from across the country’s demographic.

The current Senate, still under Reid’s leadership even if several seats changed party, offers little or no improvement if supposedly Republican Senators like Lamar Alexander and Mitch McConnell don’t oppose but actually co-sponsor such legislation as S.679.

One must ask – and I do – if the co-supporting senators have actually read through this bill? Or if they’re relying on the its sponsor, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to just give them the gloss-over?

One must also ask – and I do – why the senators seem so willing to hand over their responsibilities, which we sent them to the Capitol to perform in our stead?

Cap-and-Trade legislation failed to get through the legislature. Yet Obama has announced his mulish faithfulness to the progressive eco-agenda without needing the legislative branch, stating the old adage that there’s more than one way of ‘skinning the cat’.

By bestowing greater regulatory power to unelected bodies, like the EPA, and employing executive orders, the president has attempted to circumvent the will of the American people and Constitutional processes that give us voice in our own governance.

The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 threatens to streamline the American people right out of the process which our founders knew was necessary: the governance of the people, by the people and for the people, not the rule over the people by one man, unanswerable to the people.

America doesn’t need, or want, a dictator. But if we don’t all act – flood the Senate with calls, letters and emails telling them to drop S.679 – that’s exactly what we may end up with.

If We the People fail in our duty, sitting back while those we send to speak on our behalf give up that duty, then perhaps we’re only getting what we deserve.

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