Monday, February 28, 2011

No, no Con-Con ~ By Henry Lamb

Proponents of a Con-Con say that the requirement that three-fourths of the states must ratify whatever comes out as a constitutional amendment is a safeguard to prevent radicals on either side from imposing radical provisions. These folks forget that the convention can specify what it takes to ratify whatever they produce. They could produce a new Constitution with an entirely new form of government and specify that ratification would occur upon a simple majority vote in national referendum. They could specify that the new document would be ratified when approved by state legislatures in any combination of states that represent more than 50 percent of the population. Under this scenario, a handful of blue states could transform the government of the United States.

Scary? You bet. Scenarios such as this should instill fear and force people to reject the idea of a Constitutional Convention for any reason. Here is a thorough explanation of the dangers:

Video provided by capousa ~ Feb 2, 2008
Henry Lamb contends that we should not desire to amend the Constitution of the United States by using the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) mode as specified in Article V, seen below:
ARTICLE V of the Constitution of the United States

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
And why the discussion on how to amend the Constitution? Henry has a thorough understanding that the founders had a good reason for having the States elect the Senators, and the 17th Amendment destroyed the balance between the States and the federal government.  He concludes by saying this: "The time has come to restrain the powers of the federal government, and the best way to do it is to return to the design created by our founders. Repeal the 17th Amendment!"

No, no Con-Con

By Henry Lamb

February 26, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

The U.S. Constitution provides two ways to offer amendments: by resolution of the Congress; and by a Constitutional Convention requested by two-thirds of the states. In either case, the proposed amendment(s) must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

There is a very good reason why all 27 amendments to the Constitution were offered by congressional resolution: a Constitutional Convention is an invitation to disaster.

Proponents of a Constitutional Convention claim that opponents of a Con-Con use "half-truths, myths and outright falsehoods" to instill fear of the process. They do not, however, provide any examples of the alleged "half-truths, myths and outright falsehoods."

Here is the whole truth, which is neither a myth nor a falsehood.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows states to apply to the Congress for a Constitutional Convention. Should two-thirds of the states issue such an application, Congress is compelled to call a Constitutional Convention. Note, however, that the Constitution provides the states only with the authority to call for a convention for the purpose of "proposing amendments." There is no authority for the states to specify what those amendments might be, or to set or limit the agenda of a convention.

When 34 states have applied for a Constitutional Convention, Congress is compelled to call one. Here's where the scary begins. Congress sets the time and location for the Con-Con. Congress determines how the delegates are chosen and how many delegates will be chosen. Congress could designate the existing Senate to be the delegates. Congress could designate the Electoral College from the last presidential election to be the delegates. Or, Congress could allow the states to choose their own delegates in whatever manner Congress might contrive. But this is not the scariest part.

Should a Constitutional Convention ever be assembled, neither Congress nor any state would have any authority or control over what the convention might do. There is no way for Congress to set or limit the agenda of a Constitutional Convention, regardless of what proponents might say. As evidence, consider the only Constitutional Convention that was ever assembled. It was assembled expressly to amend the existing Articles of Confederation, with explicit instructions from some states for their delegates to walk out should the convention stray beyond this specific purpose.

History demonstrates that the convention ignored its instructions and abolished the Articles of Confederations while creating an entirely new Constitution. There is nothing to prohibit another Constitutional Convention from doing precisely the same thing.


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Sunday, February 27, 2011

What soft socialism has wrought ~ By Robert Ringer

With springtime on the horizon, methinks it's time for the tea-party folks to take it to the next level and let Republicans know – much louder and more aggressively this time around – that they weren't kidding when they said wanted out-of-control government spending to come to an end.

If the deficit is $1.7 trillion, wouldn't a good starting point be to cut government spending by $1.7 trillion? Or is the idea of balancing the budget still just too extreme?

Robert Ringer brings up the concept of how you boil a frog by gradually turning up the heat. The term "Gradualism" is something that I hope you have heard of before, and Robert explains how gradualism has been implemented ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt using the new-baseline strategy. The problem is that it never ends well, because it isn't sustainable forever. That unless we stop it NOW, guess where this country is headed? The Republicans need to do a lot better than cutting $61 billion from a $1.7 trillion budget. There may not be too much time left for our freedom, otherwise.

What soft socialism has wrought

By Robert Ringer

February 25, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

With the angry uprising of pampered teachers in Wisconsin, the long-awaited Marxist revolution in the U.S. may finally be under way. It's been clear for decades that a forced ending to America's experiment with soft socialism would almost certainly trigger such a revolution.

Soft socialism was destined to fail from the outset, because it is the nature of life that a little bit of something bad tends to expand into a lot of something bad. That reality, however, has for decades been masked by the progressive's best friend – gradualism.

The average American had no idea that he was slowly being boiled alive, because soft socialism made it possible for him to buy a house he couldn't afford, go on vacations he couldn't afford and fill his life with high-tech toys he couldn't afford. This comfy lifestyle made him oblivious to the realities of life.

While there was no official beginning to the era of soft socialism in the U.S., there's no question that FDR's ascent to the presidency and the implementation of his New Deal was a major step in that direction. The centerpiece of FDR's New Deal was the 1935 Social Security Act, which defied the Constitution by implying it was the government's duty to fulfill the needs and desires of individual citizens.

It was billed as a modest program that would help a relatively small number of elderly people who were truly in need. Through the magic of gradualism, however, once the initial funding for Social Security was established as a baseline, a new baseline emerged each year to grow it into the monster redistribution-of-wealth program it has become.

Then, in the '60s, along came Lyndon Johnson with his vote-buying Great Society that destroyed the black community and, with it, the black family. Once baselines were established for hundreds of Great Society programs, Democrats and Republicans rarely spoke about cutting the budget, and anyone who suggested such a far-out idea was viewed as an extremist.

Instead, the debate has always been about restraining the growth of the budget beyond each year's new baseline. This clever "new-baseline" strategy is the key to progressivism: Get a bill passed (e.g., health care), establish a baseline, then, in the future, debate is restricted to what the percentage of increase should be each year for that particular bill. And an integral part of the new-baseline strategy is to vilify opponents of increased spending as cruel and calloused, a psychological ploy progressives have been using since our experiment in soft socialism began.

Long term, however, soft socialism doesn't work. That's because socialism, as both Marx and Lenin made clear, is merely a transitional stage on the way to communism. A little bit of socialism, because it appeals to the avaricious instincts in people, only whets their appetites for more. It is the nature of wealth redistribution to slowly bring down capitalism, which is why soft socialism eventually evolves into hard socialism – and, from there, communism.

Socialism destroys capital resources. And when the money runs out, a nation ends up with angry, spoiled adults – such as those protesting in Wisconsin – who have been happy recipients of years of artificial prosperity. Panicked and enraged, they boldly demand that their neighbors continue to support them in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. They have no interest whatsoever in hearing about economic reality.


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fantasy vs. reality: Margaret Mitchell vs. Scarlett O'Hara ~ By Victoria Jackson

If only the liberals could understand the difference. Spending money to fix a deficit is a pretend solution. Cutting programs is a real solution. Union entitlements are a pretend solution. Balancing the budget is a real solution. Amnesty for illegals is a pretend solution. Border control is a real solution. Giving free stuff to the poor is a pretend solution. Giving them a job is a real solution. A stimulus bill is a pretend solution. A free market for job creation is a real solution. Pouring tax payer money into public schools is a pretend solution. Good parenting is a real solution. Communism is a pretend solution. Capitalism is a real solution.

It's fun to play Scarlett O'Hara in a movie, but if you keep behaving like her when you get home – you're insane.

It is always fun reading what Victoria has to say. I look forward to it every week! Not every one of her columns will make it to this venue. Not because I didn't like the column, but because sometimes she makes it difficult to keep the context of what she writes in tact without seeing the whole column. I had a little problem doing that with this edition.

You will want to read the whole piece, just to make sure you get the complete picture of her thoughts. The way Victoria makes her point here is brilliant: Some things are pretend, and some are real. It seems that the enemy within is trying to use the pretend solutions to very real problems.

On a side note, when you watch the video by Polatik below, you may want to have your box of tissues close by. I'm a guy, but I'll admit I wasn't able to choke back a tear or two.

Fantasy vs. reality: Margaret Mitchell vs. Scarlett O'Hara
By Victoria Jackson

February 25, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

"Action!" I say, "Clippy, clippy, paper clippies" and walk through the library door with a box of paper clips. I see my husband on the floor with a gash to his head. I see my daughter's suitor running away. I assume there has been an assault. I grab a sword from a wall decoration and pursue the assailant. And, "Cut!"

I'm in Atlanta shooting a comedy for the 168 Film Festival, and I've been running up and down stairs in a "Gone With the Wind" mansion, wielding a sword and screaming for three days now. It's a fake sword, of course, rubber. Acting (pretend) is so much fun.

There is a lot of waiting, though, on the set; waiting for the lighting guys and grips to do their thing. So I start talking with the gracious homeowners who are letting us use their gorgeous home as a set. Their son is a Marine who just returned from Iraq and wrote a book, "The Quest for Absolute Truth" by Russell A. Newman. I'm very impressed with the book, the war hero and his parents who have worked hard, achieved the American Dream and offered up their only son to risk his life defending our liberty. They must be so proud. I'm proud to know them. This is reality.

"Action!" I run toward my daughter's suitor and attempt to stab him with the sword. He ducks and my sword pierces a priceless family portrait. "Cut!" The prop worked! We all have a good laugh. "Action!" Frustrated that I cannot retrieve my sword from the wall, I pick up another picture and smash it over the suitor's head! "Cut!" The prop worked perfect. We all high-five each other. This is fantasy.

Waiting for the next shot, I'm outside staring at a bird's nest buried in a thorny brown winter bush. I'm trying to decide whether or not I should steal it. It looks abandoned. Don't birds fly south for winter and then build new nests in spring? My phone rings and it's the only rapper I am a fan of, Polatik, aka David Sauselito. He wants me to hear his new rap, "Why Her?" "It's a testimony about the situation my family is going through right now, and how we are dealing with it."

I am immediately snapped back into reality. I met Polatik on the Tea Party Express bus. David is a pastor who used to be a criminal. Jesus changed his life, and hanging out with David is like attending a 24/7 Bible study. Now he is going through this trial. I hang up my phone and say a prayer for him.

"Action!" I am thrashing my fake sword again, this time from a moving golf cart as the suitor flees through our big, iron gate. I love pretending. The suitor shouts, "But I love her!" My beautiful, fake daughter (Carissa Capobianco) swoons. My fake husband (Andrew Masset), with a fake bandaged head shouts back, "We don't care!" and the gates close on the handsome, innocent suitor. "Cut!"


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Friday, February 25, 2011

Here's something worth protesting ~ By Erik Rush

These are the Orwellian machinations of government at which Americans used to snicker in years past when we heard Soviet premiers proclaim one glorious five-year plan after another. The crushing weight of the evidence screaming that a 180-degree maneuver off of our current course would be the sanest thing to do is irrelevant, as is the welfare of the American people. Progressive operatives, whether in Washington, Madison or elsewhere, will forge doggedly ahead with this doomed agenda, consigning Americans to increasing squalor, paucity and physical jeopardy.

Unless, of course, we stop them.

There is not much that I could add to Erik's column because it says it just like it is, and so perfectly. Erik does a great job explaining how the socialists cement their political power by getting the public-sector labor force on their side, keep adding more of them by increasing the size of the government, and so on. Yes, it is much like they do with giving the entitlements to "the poor."

But the whole key to this column are the last six words: "Unless, of course, we stop them." I suppose we would want to assume that Erik was meaning those words in a peaceful way, as in voting, tea parties, and doing our best to wake up our sleeping neighbors.

Here's something worth protesting

By Erik Rush

February 24, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

Politicians and labor leaders, working in concert, establish entitlements for public-sector workers who are more than happy to receive them. These far and above exceed those benefits for which workers in the private sector contribute portions of their compensation, and are ultimately paid for by taxpayers.

This is how it works with socialists and is a key method by which they cement their political power. Essentially, it places taxpayers in a situation wherein they are enslaved to the government via the self-interest of public-sector workers. The more public-sector workers there are, the more secure the government's power.

Changes in economic conditions – because economic conditions always change – may preclude the continuance of these entitlements, or the latter simply outstrip the public-sector employer's ability to pay them. Then, politicians and labor leaders paint those who call for austerity or concessions (taxpayers and prudent politicians) as anti-worker.

If all of this sounds like an old communist trick, there's a good reason for that: It is.

Speaking of old communists, more than a few commentators took significant exception to radical activist and Sith lord Frances Fox Piven's December 2010 call for demonstrations and rioting in America in response to government counter-measures regarding widespread economic distress.

And voila! – like a well-timed Hollywood film cut from foreshadowing to conclusion, suddenly there are demonstrations under way in two (going on three) states in America. As in Greece and other European nations, public-sector workers in the U.S., in response to their state governments' proposed austerity measures, have taken to the streets, viciously excoriating any and all who advance or advocate these measures.

Some of the key players here have been Wisconsin teachers, who have essentially gone on strike to get their point across. As it happens, the National Education Association, America's teachers' union, has among its "recommended reading" materials the book "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky, the pioneering radical community organizer. This is by no means covert; the book is plainly and shamelessly displayed on the NEA's website.

It is no secret President Obama has come down on the side of the protesters in Wisconsin and is closer to labor unions than any president has ever been. But isn't it strange that the game plan public-sector employees in the Midwest are currently using is right in the vein of methodology outlined in the study materials of old-school radical Marxists?

We are, I suppose, expected to ignore these associations.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

John Hinckleys on the Internet ~ By Phil Elmore

Each of us has seen viral videos featuring people who are obviously a little cracked. Be they narcissists or simply weirdos, all of us can think of someone who just might be dangerous. What ALL of those people will likely do, frequently on the Internet, is tell us what they think and how they feel. They are themselves the best predictors of their crimes.

We should listen. We should act.
As always, this a very thought provoking commentary by Phil Elmore. And as always, I had to think about this one for a while before posting it here. And what I thought of was, who exactly will be the "We" in "We should listen. We should act."? I would easily assume, by the context of what was written about in this column, that Phil was giving the word "We" a general meaning, as in you and I, the folks that are the average internet users, socially connected via the Web. That sounds innocent enough. So, why did that statement "We should listen. We should act." make me pause for a moment?

What I believe Phil was saying was that we could spot the "John Hinkleys" of the world by what they are posting before they go on a violent rampage. But are "we" experts in psycho analysis? Profiling? Most of us probably aren't, so then I would assume by "we should act," Phil was saying that we would be notifying authorities when we notice a possibly dangerous individual online.

But then, there is another problem with that! At what point do we decide the individual is a possible offender? Not only are we not really able to determine if and when a person will begin acting on what they may say online (it's a little above our pay grade), should we even consider that law enforcement officials could do anything prior to a crime actually being committed? Does that mean that police would be arresting people for "thought crimes?"

Well, for now, the courts handle competency cases, people can be committed for mental care, so there shouldn't be much to worry about.... Yet.

My whole point: Where does society draw the line between freedom of speech and what determines that a person is enough of a danger to society that they should be detained for a period of time? Could a person or group in power be able to "lower the bar" so that they could eliminate their political enemies easier? Could an opposing point of view be determined to be deranged and dangerous? Oh, wait...

John Hinckleys on the Internet
By Phil Elmore

February 24, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

The image is burned into my brain. It was 1981. The man is wearing a three-piece suit. He has a mustache and he's wearing brown shoes; everything about him screams, "Late '70s, early '80s." He is wearing an enormous ring on one hand, which might be a class ring or might be something specific to the Secret Service. He is guarding President Ronald Reagan. He is standing on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C.; he is one of many in a milling, agitated crowd.

He is holding an Uzi submachine gun.

I first saw a picture of this agent years ago, while reading a compendium on handguns. The section on the Uzi featured the image. The picture was taken after John Hinckley Jr. was tackled, for he had just shot President Reagan, Press Secretary James Brady, a Wasington, D.C., police officer named Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy. The round that injured Reagan was reportedly a ricochet from the President's own armored limousine. While Reagan would make a full recovery, Delahanty retired. James Brady was permanently disabled. History was made.

The imagery sticks with me because it is a sight to which we in America are unaccustomed: a man with a submachine gun in plain view on a public street. It is imagery that quickly, simply and efficiently conveys foreboding and alarm. We see an image like that and we wonder when the next such shooting may occur. We marvel at the seemingly random nature of such horrors. We fret over what may endanger our families and ourselves. What we don't stop to think about these historic and iconic acts of desperation is that they are less likely to occur without some advance notice. By this I mean that, had the Internet existed in 1981, Reagan's would-be killer might well have revealed himself before the shooting.

Hinckley was, to put it bluntly, nuts. He was obsessed with the movie "Taxi Driver" and was more or less stalking actress Jodie Foster. He sent Foster mail and was, from all reports, fairly high-profile in his madness. Long before he tried to kill Reagan – ironically, imitating a movie character who was himself mentally disturbed – there was every reason for the people around Hinckley to believe he was capable of such an act. Is there any doubt that someone like that, were he just getting started today, would be posting to Jodie Foster fan sites, commenting on the movie's Internet Movie Database page, and erecting creepy Facebook pages devoted to the objects of his obsessions?

Jared Loughner, the infamous Arizona shooter, wrote online of various issues he had. There was no doubt to anyone reading those posts that he was emotionally disturbed. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech murderer, was enamored of popular entertainment and disturbing movies like "Oldboy"; he took pictures of himself posing with a hammer, after the fashion of that film's protagonist. And then there was "Gunkid," born John Melvin Davis – a felon who holds the distinction of being, perhaps, the most infamous and prolific Internet troll ever to post online. "Gunkid" was sent to prison for possession of firearms and ammunition after breaking such laws previously. He was notorious for the outrageous things he wrote about guns, their applications, and his own ownership and use of them. He wrote ridiculous things, advocating methods that were unworkable, encouraging behavior that was actually dangerous. If he's not in prison right now, you can bet he's posting similar nonsense online under any of several tens of aliases.


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Connecting the dots to anarchy ~ By Patrice Lewis

What worries me about this attitude is that when food shortages hit on a long-term basis or when unemployment spikes beyond the government's ability to provide, hungry folks will listen to anyone who claims to have the ability to solve their problems and blame others for causing the hunger.

If money is worthless and food is hard to come by, how long before we react with fear and anger? How long before we're willing to blame anyone and anything? How long before some charismatic leader assures us that he can solve all our problems? How long before violence erupts?

Can't happen here? Don't fool yourself. Hunger has no nationality. It doesn't belong to any skin color, language or culture. Buy food now – because when the pantry is truly empty, it's too late.

Patrice points out the fact that various events could result in a crisis right here in America. Yes, it can happen right here. Agricultural failures, economic crisis, or even a fuel shortage could change things in a short amount of time. Once again, as she has written before, Patrice stresses the point that we need to be prepared.

Connecting the dots to anarchy
By Patrice Lewis

February 19, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

Last year here in north Idaho, my garden failed. Miserably.

Not from lack of trying. But after having the "winter of no winter" (very little snow), we also had the "summer of no summer." Well into the third week of June, the cold and rainy conditions made it nearly impossible for vegetables to grow.

It was a harsh lesson in some ways. Right now a garden's failure is merely an inconvenience. But in times past, a garden's failure could be catastrophic. After all, the French Revolution was triggered in large part because people were starving. Some say the recent riots in Egypt were fueled by surging wheat prices.

Keep this in mind for a moment as we review some recent headlines:
  • A leading U.K. scientist warned about a threat of food riots around the world unless research into increasing crop yields is stepped up.
  • A severe drought is threatening to destroy China's wheat crop. Emergency measures to divert water for irrigation are leaving nearly 3 million people short of drinking water. "China's grain situation is critical to the rest of the world – if they are forced to go out on the market to procure adequate supplies for their population, it could send huge shock waves through the world's grain markets," said Robert S. Zeigler.
  • Global food prices have hit "dangerous levels" that could contribute to political instability, push millions of people into poverty and raise the cost of groceries. The USDA predicted last week U.S. corn farmers will have 675 million bushels of corn at the end of August, before next year's harvest begins. That's just an 18-day supply.
Of course it's not just food that's an issue. What about debt?
  • President Obama's budget, released Monday, was conceived as a blueprint for future spending, but it also paints the bleakest picture yet of the current fiscal year, which is on track for a record federal deficit and will see the government's overall debt surpass the size of the total U.S. economy.

British columnist Andrew Simms isn't afraid to state the obvious: "This year is the 10th anniversary of the fuel protests [when protesters blockaded British oil refineries, bringing the supply of fuels to gas stations to a halt], when supermarket bosses sat with ministers and civil servants in Whitehall warning that there were just three days of food left. We were, in effect, nine meals from anarchy. Suddenly, the apocalyptic visions of novelists and filmmakers seemed less preposterous. Civilization's veneer may be much thinner than we like to think."

Are you connecting the dots yet? This is the elephant in the room that everyone refuses to see: We're not as secure in this country as the government and mainstream media would like us to believe. There are sporadic news reports about dire possibilities, but few people are willing to connect the dots on the individual level. And yet it's well-documented that America, too, has a mere three day supply of food in stores, thanks to just-in-time deliveries and the efficiency of modern-day transportation and manufacturing systems. America itself remains a mere nine meals from anarchy.


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Who controls your state? ~ By Henry Lamb

The federal government is beginning to feel the heat, as more and more local organizations and state and local officials are getting educated and encouraged to stand and no longer be steamrolled by an out-of-control bureaucracy. Still, the best way to put a collar around the neck of this runaway federal government is to repeal the 17th Amendment and return real governing power to a state-elected Senate in Washington.
You can always count on Henry Lamb to inform you of the things our federal government is doing which is marginally legal, if not totally illegal! Once again, this latest column by Henry will possibly shock you, as he explains how the federal government is taking property that should belong to the states and their citizens or business entities. And why is that a bad thing? Just read the excerpt below:
Free-market capitalism demands that private owners be left alone to use their land as they choose. Only in a socialist, communist or dictatorship form of government can the authorities arbitrarily take control of the use of private property.

Who controls your state?
By Henry Lamb

February 19, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

Why should the federal government dictate how land is used in Florida, or in Utah, or any other state? In the first place, land should be managed by the owner. In a free society, property – especially land – is an extension of the person who owns it. To acquire the property, the owner had to invest his time and effort or receive the property as a gift from another. In any event, property is a part of the owner. Just as a person determines how he will use his time and effort, he should also be able to determine how he will use his property. Should a person use time and effort – or his property – to inflict damage upon another person, the damaged person can rely on government to hold the guilty party accountable. This is government's only legitimate role in property owned by others.

Aside from the 10 square miles set aside by the Constitution for the capital, and land purchased with the approval of state legislatures, the federal government should own no land within any state. The Constitution does authorize the federal government to "… make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other property belonging to the United States. …"

The evolution of the equal footing doctrine aside – logic, reason and common sense should demand that land within a state should belong to the state, or to the individual citizens of the state who have acquired it. Land in territories that are not states is subject to regulation by the federal government. There is zero justification for the federal government to own, claim to own, or control by decree or regulation the land within the borders of any state.

But it does.

In Florida, the federal government continues to dictate how land is used. The Fish and Wildlife Service has now identified several counties it feels the need to control. There are folks in Florida who don't feel the need to have the federal government control the use of their land. Stop Federal Sprawl is more than 21,000 local people who have the right idea about the role of the federal government. This news clip explains the government's claim and the people's concern:

The federal government wants to control the use of 150,000 acres of private property north of Lake Okeechobee, by designating the area as a "Wildlife Refuge." The plan is to appropriate 700 million tax dollars to buy 50,000 acres and to secure conservation easements on the remaining 100,000 acres. The justification is that this area is the headwaters for the Everglades and has the potential of polluting the Everglades if the land is misused.

Currently, if a private landowner in the area pollutes the Everglades he can – and will – be held responsible and be required to restore any damages he has caused. This is current law, and it is enforced every day. There is no need for the federal government to waste $700 million in taxpayer funds and whatever else it takes to secure 100,000 acres of conservation easement.


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Still misunderstanding 'birthers' ~ By Joseph Farah

Good journalists, with any seasoning at all, understand that politicians lie, deceive, obfuscate and conceal.

If you don't start with that supposition, you will be hoodwinked every time you cover a story. You might as well become a publicity hack for politicians if you take their word for anything – including where they were born and who their parents were.

The scandal of Obama's questionable constitutional eligibility is not just that our political system failed us in 2008. The scandal is compounded by how our "free press" continues to fail us through sophomoric misreporting and disinformation on the subject.

Joseph Farah isn't arguing about what Obama's birth certificate says (or doesn't say). He's not claiming that the President was born somewhere else besides Hawaii. What he IS asking is why the media refuses to question why Obama has kept his long-form birth certificate and other vital documents from public view. Doesn't that raise enough questions that a good journalist would want to look into? What I think really upsets Joseph is that the mainstream press is way too busy getting tingles running up their legs for Obama, and not being good journalists.

Still misunderstanding 'birthers'

By Joseph Farah

February 19, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

The headline in the Capitol newspaper The Hill said: "Pawlenty dismisses 'birthers.'"

This I had to read. I even watched former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty deliver the speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, just to make sure I understood what this likely presidential candidate said about the issue of constitutional eligibility.

It turns out The Hill, like some other news organizations, completely misrepresented Pawlenty's carefully chosen words, with which I happen to agree 100 percent.

Watch the video for yourself.

(Please note: Unfortunately, the video and audio are not in sync.)

Video provided by GovernorTimPawlenty ~ February 11, 2011

Pawlenty said: "I'm not one who questions the existence of the president's birth certificate. But when you listen to his policies, don't you at least wonder what planet he's from? On what planet do they create jobs by taxing the daylight out of people trying to grow jobs? On what planet do they try to reduce the deficit by spending even more? On what planet do they make health care better by putting bureaucrats in charge?"

I've been called "the king of the 'birthers." How is it that I agree with Pawlenty?

I don't know any thinking, rational person who questions the existence of Obama's birth certificate. Of course he's got one. The question is not whether he has one. The question is what it says about where he was born and who his parents were. That question remains an open debate because the American people and all controlling legal authorities have been systematically denied a peek at any document that might offer an answer.

The Hill's lead for the story said: "Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) explicitly distanced himself from 'birthers' during a highly anticipated speech before conservatives on Friday."

Pawlenty did no such thing. He said nothing with which thoughtful "birthers" could disagree. He not only jokingly questioned Obama's American birthright, he questioned what planet he was from. This is explicitly distancing himself from "birthers"? Only to pseudo-journalists who report caricatures and stereotypes as facts. Only to the kind of pseudo-journalists who think reporting is regurgitating nonsense they've heard Keith Olbermann say.


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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hawaii to keep Obama 'birth certificate' secret

Now, Democrats in the state legislature are claiming the demand to see Obama's birth certificate was not as great as they originally thought, certainly not a demand sufficient to slow up or otherwise interfere with the orderly operation of the Hawaii Department of Health.

Rep. Rida Cabanilla, the Democrat who first introduced the bill, said she decided to drop the issue after she learned [...] that requests to the Hawaii Department of Health to see Obama's birth documents have declined to just a few a week.

"The demand is dying down," Cabanilla told the Associated Press. "If they still get a lot of requests, I could have pushed it more."

Jerome Corsi lets us know that the plan for Hawaii to sell a certification that Obama was born in their state has died. I wonder if the legislators finally realized what a fraud that would have been. Or, could it have been something else, like an outside influence from the White House, that told them not to do it?

In the following video, Karl Rove explains to Bill O'Reilly how it is a great strategy by the Democrats and Obama administration to keep the birth certificate issue going in order to divide the Republicans.

Video provided by TheREALjohnny2k

So, perhaps the plan to sell the fake birth certificates would have put more focus on Democrats on the island and discredited them rather than on the division between the Republicans and discrediting the "birthers."

But then, maybe the Hawaiian legislators realized just how stupid it would make them look, so they dropped the plan. They may have also realized that Billy Mays is no longer alive to do the infomercial.

Why Hawaii now wants to sell 'birth certificate'

Hawaii to keep Obama 'birth certificate' secret
Democrats kill plan to sell access for $100


By Jerome R. Corsi

February 18, 2011 ~ 7:45 pm Eastern

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

The Hawaii state legislature has abandoned plans to develop and sell for $100 a newly created document carrying the official seal of the state designed to convince an increasingly skeptical American public that Barack Obama actually was born in Hawaii.

There is no indication the Hawaii state legislature made any effort to locate Obama's long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate in the vault archives of the Hawaii Department of Health as part of its work.

But the bill, HB1116, died in the House Health Committee without a hearing, after the legislature missed a Friday deadline for the plan to advance to the House Finance Committee, a required step before the bill could move forward.

The explanation for dropping the bill – Hawaii's privacy laws, an objection Hawaii House Democrats did not consider an obstacle when the legislation was introduced last month.

House Health Committee chairman Ryan Yamane told the Associated Press on Thursday that he did not think it was appropriate to sell to the public private information protected by Hawaii's privacy laws.

"We shouldn't take knee-jerk reactions," Yamane, a Democrat, told the Associate Press. "Just because there are people who want this information, that doesn't mean we should change our state statute so a private, personal record could be accessible for $100."

This was the same excuse Gov. Neil Abercrombie had used to abandon his much-touted effort to use the power and authority of the governor's office to settle once and for all the Obama birth controversy by finding in the vault archives of the Hawaii Department of Health Obama's long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate and releasing the document to a skeptical public.

Hawaii's Revised Statute HRS338 restricts making public birth certificate and other birth vital records only to those who have a "direct and tangible interest," namely the person applying for the certified birth certificate copy, a member of the immediate family, or others with a legal interest such as an adoptive parent or a legal guardian.

The language of HB1116 attempted to skirt these restrictions by modifying Hawaii law such that for a fee of $100, the Hawaii Department of Health will release "a copy of a birth record" for those HB1116 defines as "persons of prominence," such as Barack Obama or any other Hawaiian running for president.

The tip-off that the proposed legislation intended to withhold from public disclosure President Obama's long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate, if such a document exists, came in an interview Democratic Rep. John Mizuno, one of the Democratic co- sponsors of the measure gave to Gina Mangieri reporting for KHON2 in Hawaii.

"If the people are so concerned about Barack Obama and if he was actually born in Hawaii, born in the United States, let them pay a fee of 100 bucks," Mizuno told KHON2. "We can certainly use the money, and we don't need to hear their complaining anymore."

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Depends on what the meaning of the word 'destroy' is ~ By Erik Rush

Progressives (American neo-Marxists) have long known that given the American sociopolitical dynamic, this nation would require a significantly different "undoing" than would Egypt, a European nation or some Central American banana republic, for them to effectively actualize their vision. This is what they have been working toward for decades, and what the Obama administration has accelerated dramatically since 2009.

Americans want comfort and stability – in some cases, even more than their liberty – and this attitude has been encouraged by liberals over the years via the psychology of dependency and entitlement. So, just how unpleasant will things have to get before the American people become willing to trade their remaining liberties for food, fuel, medicine and safety from hordes of gang-bangers and looters?

Erik tries to assure his readers that when he and others talk about Obama "destroying" America, it isn't meant as physical destruction. And really, it hasn't just been Obama that is responsible, though he may be the progressive that finally pushes America over the edge of the cliff. The progressives have spent the last century eroding away the American spirit that has kept this country free.

Depends on what the meaning of the word 'destroy' is

By Erik Rush

February 17, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

As America's economic and geopolitical situation becomes more and more grave, conservative and libertarian-leaning observers become baffled and at odds with each other over their respective analysis of the Obama administration's policies.

President Obama's nauseatingly contrite foreign policy and appeasement of Islamists have emboldened our enemies worldwide, and it may well be years before we know to what degree this has factored into recent events in Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia and other Middle Eastern nations. His singleminded determination to continue "spending while the economy burns" (whilst attempting to convince us that he is being prudent) appears nothing less than madness to many.

However, the charge made by some (including myself) that the president is intent upon "destroying America" has invited ridicule, since the left and the press in particular typically paint all Obama detractors with a very wide brush. Logically, of course, it doesn't make any sense that a world leader of any political persuasion would intentionally destroy his country.

Well, this would depend upon what the meaning of the word "destroy" is.

If the meaning of "destroy" is turning America into a barren, smoldering, toxic moonscape from coast to coast, something out of "The Road Warrior" or "Resident Evil," then Obama almost certainly does not wish to destroy America. This paradigm of destruction would be dismissed by Americans as ludicrous – at least as far as someone wanting to bring it about intentionally.

But there are other kinds of destruction. A family can be destroyed without its members being slaughtered and their house burned down. Varying brands of calamity and/or dysfunction have served to consign family units to a state of non-being. It happens all the time. Similarly, nations throughout history have been destroyed without the wholesale annihilation of their people, their farms being burned and their cities razed to the ground.


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Friday, February 18, 2011

Google's war on 'content farming' ~ By Phil Elmore

What if those reprisals harm those who've done no wrong – except in the eyes of Google's search algorithms? Digital journalist Pekka Pekkala writes eloquently of the unintended consequences of Google's crackdown, saying, "As tempting as it is to gloat over Demand Media's misfortune, the Google announcement might have severe consequences to all publishing. ... The big question is how will Google judge who is doing spammy, search-engine inspired headlines and who is doing real customer research with Google Analytics."

Gatekeeping is increasingly necessary in a society overloaded, overflowing and thoroughly saturated with information. Filtering search results of "lower quality" could benefit the user in the same way that publishers will remain relevant to electronic publishing – by screening the useless, the incompetent and the irrelevant. We must, however, ask ourselves who the gatekeepers will be ... and whether we can trust them.

By reading Phil's column today, along with all of the content at the links he provided, I learned all about "content farms," and what their purpose is. In a tiny way, this blog, "Blogging in Our Time 2 Escape," could almost qualify as a content farm. (Okay, my bad; maybe a "backyard content garden plot" would be a better description.) But just the same, the content found here does bring visitors from the search engines (mostly from Google). So, if Google is going to start using an algorithm that is going to filter out "content farms" from search results, could it have an adverse effect on this blog?

As Phil mentions in this column, we must "ask ourselves who the gatekeepers will be ... and whether we can trust them." In one of the linked articles Phil provided, I read on CNET that "Google's Personal Blocklist Chrome extension will allow users to block what they consider low-quality sites from their personalized Google results." Google will track the domains that users flag, and potentially use that information in their search results ranking algorithm. If for some reason Google tends to have users that just don't like the political slant of a blog's content, could that have a serious negative impact on various blogs?

Google's war on 'content farming'

By Phil Elmore

February 17, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

You may not have heard of a "content farm," but if you've ever searched for popular keywords on the Web, you've seen articles "grown" on one. What you don't know is that the Internet's de facto masters have declared war on content farming. The question you must ask yourself is whether contributors to the network of networks that is the Web should be left alone to do as they will ... or if search overlords like Google should save you from yourself by ignoring this "farmed" content.

Tom Krazit, writing for CNET, reports that Google recently introduced a tool for its Chrome browser that lets users screen out results from content farms. Data collected from users' flagging of such "poorly written and sometimes nonsensical" material uploaded "for really no other reason than to appear within search results and draw traffic from Google" would (or could) be used to create a virtual blacklist. This hasn't happened yet, but Google is looking at ways to rank its search results by analyzing which sites and what material users have condemned as content-farmed.

What is the harm of content-farming, really? Technology and news analyst Mathew Ingram likens the content farm to a virtual "sweatshop," in which "digital sharecroppers" toil away for the enrichment of the intergalactic media masters who ultimately own and run the sites. Aggregators – websites that collect and archive material that serves as search engine fishing nets – thus profit largely because people are willing to volunteer their effort.
[Little of the content uploaded to aggregators], which drives a lot of traffic and comments and other valuable forms of engagement, is paid for. Writers do it because they have an idea they want to pitch, or (in too many cases) because they are self-important and like to hear themselves talk. In other words, the same reasons people write blogs ...
Every one of the contributors to those "sweatshops," after all, is an individual poster, sometimes writing to keywords for marketing purposes, but sometimes writing simply because he or she wishes to contribute content to the larger whole. There are ways to make money at it, too. "All of these writers [can conceivably] find ways of monetizing what they do," Ingram writes. "[T]hey get paid for other related services, or they write books or get paid to speak/consult and so on." Combine the possible profit motive with the natural desire of Internet contributors to see their work "published," and you've got a powerful motivation to keep farming content regardless of public reception to it. The reasons are as varied as the individuals behind the keyboards.

"While it's easy to poke some fun at [the quality of some content-farmed] articles," writes Matt Law, "it's worth remembering that there's a person behind every one of them." Many of those contributors, remember, write for nothing or close to nothing, simply for the gratification of seeing their name on a virtually published article.


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will multiculturalism end Europe? ~ By Patrick J. Buchanan

How does a liberal, permissive society that celebrates diversity impose its values on a militant immigrant minority that rejects them?

Answer: It doesn't. All the rest is chatter.

This is what James Burnham meant when he wrote that liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.

In the past few days, there has been a lot of discussion of this subject of multiculturalism. And it is coming from Europe, as Patrick is writing about in this column. I may not have believed it had not there been video evidence:

Videos provided by TheREALjohnny2k

Yes, this is still a controversial subject everywhere in the Western world. Pat Buchanan has been writing about the death of the West for a long time, but it is now a subject that has is being brought up quite frequently in the EU.

Will multiculturalism end Europe?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

February 14, 2011 ~ 6:14 pm Eastern

© 2011

Multiculturalism has "totally failed," says German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"State multiculturalism has had disastrous results," says Britain's David Cameron.

Is multiculturalism a failure in France? "My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," says President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Ex-Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has declared multiculturalism a failure in Spain, saying it divides and debilitates Western societies.

Only in Canada and the U.S., it seems, is the issue still in dispute.

Yet these European leaders are not leading anyone. They are far behind the people, and their belated appreciation of the idea of national identity is but a product of political panic. Take Merkel in Germany.

Last summer, Thilo Sarrazin published a book the title of which may be translated as "Germany Abolishes Itself."

Sarrazin argued that Germany's gastarbeiters, guest workers – Turks, Kurds, Arabs – are dumbing down the nation. While Germany's birth rate fell below replacement levels decades ago, these foreigners with less intelligence and much higher dropout, welfare and crime rates are rapidly replacing the declining German population.

"It is a matter of culture," said Sarrazin, and "Islam is the culture." This is why Muslim immigrants are "socially, culturally and intellectually inferior to most everyone else." Yet Sarrazin did use the phrase a "genetic minus" to describe migrants from the Middle East.

Were these the ravings of a neo-fascist intellectual and closet admirer of the late Fuhrer? Not at all. Sarrazin was a proud member of the Social Democratic Party of Willy Brandt and a board member of the Bundesbank.

With Merkel and the German establishment howling for his head, Thilo resigned, unrepentant. Two-thirds of Germans said he had a right to speak his mind, a third said they agreed with him, and "Germany Abolishes Itself" has sold over a million copies.

It was in response to the firestorm of the Sarrazin affair that Merkel discovered that multiculturalism was a failure. Her EU colleagues have since been falling all over one another to agree.


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Despite egging on by NBC, Boehner won't slam birthers

During this past week's Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, freshman Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, clowned that he himself is an American citizen and that he has the birth certificate to prove it.

When Gregory asked Boehner about the appropriateness of the remark, Boehner said, "The gentleman was trying to be funny, I would imagine."
When I saw the segment on "Meet the Depressed" with Speaker John Boehner being badgered by NBC host David Gregory, I had a different take on it than what Joe Kovacs had according to the title of this story. True, the Speaker of the House didn't bash the birthers. But, he didn't defend them, either. Instead, Boehner tried to deflect Gregory's ridicule of the "birthers" by stating that he believed that Obama was born in Hawaii and that he is a Christian. But more than anything, David Gregory gave us a great example of how the liberal mainstream press is using the Saul Alinsky tactic of ridicule when it comes to defending the President. In another video (see just below) that was included in Kovac's story, Gregory does the same thing to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Video provided by TheREALjohnny2k

Despite egging on by NBC, Boehner won't slam birthers
House speaker: 'It's not my job to tell the American people what to think'


By Joe Kovacs

February 13, 2011 ~ 6:22 pm Eastern

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

Despite intense egging on by NBC newsman David Gregory, House Speaker John Boehner refused today to attack people who have doubts about Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency.

Gregory was pressing the Ohio Republican about a recent focus group of Iowa voters on "Hannity" on the Fox News Channel. Some had said they believe Obama is Muslim, and not Christian.

Gregory, host of "Meet the Press," asked Boehner: "As the speaker of the House, as a leader, do you not think it's your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?"

Video provided by TheREALjohnny2k

"It's not my job to tell the American people what to think," Boehner responded. "Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That's good enough for me. The president says he's a Christian. I accept him at his word."


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Monday, February 14, 2011

Someone tell Obama: Business people aren't stupid! ~ By Herman Cain

This president refused to even acknowledge the failed policies of the last two years in an interview with Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly. He is in denial that his policies are redistributive of income in nature. He is in denial as to what the American people really want. He believes that the American people want what he wants for America: a government-controlled socialistic America!

With all due respect, Mr. President, your assessment is wrong.

Intelligent and informed thinkers are reclaiming America! We out-number the stupid people.

You'll see in November 2012.

The Hermanator (Herman Cain) tells us why business people won't follow Obama off the cliff.  In the speech he gave to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on February 7, 2011 (see below), Barack Obama said the following (starting at 5:24) "But combined with a brutal and devastating recession, these forces have also shaken the faith of the American people -- in the institutions of business and government." Sorry, Mr. President, I think the shaken faith is in the government, and you with your socialist agenda. As Herman explains, the President is in denial of his failed policies. He should not expect businesses to duplicate the government's deficit spending idiocy. Companies are not going to start spending their investors' cash irresponsibly. That isn't the way to "get in the game," but a good way to face bankruptcy along with "3 million-plus businesses that filed for bankruptcy in the last two years."

February 7, 2011
: The President speaks about his plan to win the future by helping businesses innovate and create new American jobs:

Video provided by whitehouse ~ February 07, 2011 (34:29)

Someone tell Obama: Business people aren't stupid!

By Herman Cain

February 14, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

After I published my 2005 book, "They Think You're Stupid," I thought I should have titled it "They Think We Are All Stupid All the Time" because it appeared that pure politicians, especially liberals, didn't think any of us were capable of seeing through their denial, deceptions and lack of leadership.

Based on President Obama's latest speeches and comments from other prominent liberals like Howard Dean, the latter title would have been more appropriate. They continue to try to convince the public that their failed policies are working, that they need more time and that more federal spending – plus bigger government – is the answers to our problems.

In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week, the president urged U.S. business leaders to "get in the game" in support of their country by spending more cash. He wants businesses to follow the government's lead: Namely, ignore the real state of the economy and spend irresponsibly for the good of the country.

That would not be good for the country! The last thing we need is more bankrupt companies on top of the 3 million-plus businesses that filed for bankruptcy in the last two years. That would only add to the already staggering level of unemployment.

The business people in the audience listened respectfully, but they are not about to spend their investors' cash irresponsibly. They are not about to invest heavily during a stalled economy, and they are not about to hire people they do not need.

Successful business people are not stupid. That's why they are successful!


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