Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Health Care Statistics - U.S., England, Canada

Information for your review.
A recent "Investor's Business Daily" article provided very
interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations
International Health Organization.

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years
after diagnosis:

U.S. 65%

England 46%

Canada 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received
treatment within six months:

U.S. 93%

England 15%

Canada 43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it
within six months:

U.S. 90%

England 15%

Canada 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within
one month:

U.S. 77%

England 40%

Canada 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:

U.S. 71

England 14

Canada 18

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in
"excellent health":

U.S. 12%

England 2%

Canada 6%

I don't know about you, but I don't want "Universal Healthcare"
comparable to England or Canada .

Moreover, it was Sen. Harry Reid who said, "Elderly Americans
must learn to accept the inconveniences of old age."


He is "elderly" himself but be sure to remember his health
insurance is different from yours as Congress has their own high-
end coverage! He will never have to learn to accept


The percentage of each past president's cabinet who had worked in
the private business sector prior to their appointment to the
cabinet. You know what the private business sector is... a real
life business, not a government job. Here are the percentages.

T. Roosevelt........ 38%


Wilson ................52%


Coolidge.............. 48%

Hoover.................. 42%

F. Roosevelt......... 50%


Eisenhower........... 57%

Kennedy.............. 30%


Nixon................... 53%

Ford..................... 42%

Carter................... 32%


GH Bush.................. 51%

Clinton ................. 39%

GW Bush................ 55%

And the winner of the Chicken Dinner is:

Obama................ 8% !!!
This alone can explain the incompetence of this administration....! ! ! !! 8 %

Yep! That's right! Only Eight Percent!!!.. the least by far of
the last 19 presidents!! And these people are trying to tell our
big corporations how to run their business? They know what's
best for GM...Chrysler... Wall Street... and you and me?

How can the president of a major nation and society...the one
with the most successful economic system in world history...
stand and talk about business when he's never worked for one?..
or about jobs when he has never really had one??! And neither
has 92% of his senior staff and closest advisers! They've spent
most of their time in academia, government and/or non-profit
jobs....or as "community organizers" when they should have been
in an employment line.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Schools that serve

Tooley's observations and studies may have been in India, but the principle is the same as here in the US. When you are a private company and have to rely on the goodwill of your customers, you come up with a way to please, or in this case educate. If you are government with unlimited power of taxation, there is no necessity to please, as in this case to educate.

Then Tooley broke the rules. With guilt feelings and some spare time, he actually went into the slums instead of riding past them with his driver. He was surprised to see little handwritten signs announcing the existence of private schools: He thought private schools are for the rich. Guided through alleys and up narrow, dark, dirty staircases, he entered classrooms and found dedicated teachers and students.

Tooley found schools that survive not with government money or international bequests, but through $2-per-month fees paid by rickshaw pullers who scrimp and save to give their children a chance not to pull rickshaws. He went on to visit 50 Indian private schools in poor areas over the next 10 days. Did some foundation make them possible? No, these were for-profit schools created by poor but persevering entrepreneurs.

Tooley was astounded to see high motivation and better results than at the better-funded government schools. He then visited other private schools for the poor in cities and villages throughout India, Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya), and even China. In The Beautiful Tree (Cato, 2009), he describes how he regularly found government schools with better-paid but poorly motivated teachers, and private schools somehow surviving on very little income.

Tooley's crucial conclusions: "In these genuine markets, educational entrepreneurs respond to parental needs and requirements. . . . Their quality is higher than that of government schools provided for the poor." And his findings are not merely anecdotal. Governmental officials showed little interest in his findings, but a Templeton Foundation grant allowed him to create research teams that tested 24,000 fourth-graders from a variety of schools in India, China, Nigeria, and Ghana.
The result: Children in private schools scored 75 percent better than comparable students in government schools. You'd think this would excite other World Bank researchers—but like Darrow Miller, Hernando de Soto, and William Easterly (see "Don't be a Bepper," WORLD, Jan. 13, 2007), Tooley looks for bottom-up rather than top-down strategies, and that could put a lot of Big Economic Planners out of work.

The title of Tooley's book comes from his sense that parents don't need government officials to tell them what to do: A beautiful tree can grow without supervision from "development experts" who believe that poor children will be educated only if governments, with funding from rich nations, establish free, universal public schooling.

The better way: Poor parents pay teachers directly. Voucher plans "if done in the right way" can help, but that's a vital caveat, because it's easy to end up with good ideas killed via fraud and unintended market distortions. The essential strategy is this: If students don't learn, teachers don't eat.

Read full World Magazine article here.

Ann Wagner: Challenger To Michael Steele For RNC Chairmanship

Wagner's resume is fairly extensive: She served as the US Ambassador to Luxembourg during the Bush administration, chaired Roy Blunt's successful 2010 Senate campaign in Missouri -- where she's also been state GOP chairman -- and is a former two-term co-chair of the RNC.

Bombs Don't Kill People; Terrorists Do

The sooner the politically correct administration is ousted from power, the sooner the TSA can start profiling and leave grandma alone.

The whole dreary debate over gun control smacks of the same tone-deaf Leftist foolishness. Americans grew up with guns, and often guns much less safe than those made today. Young boys went out and hunted game. Many families grew up with rifles or shotguns on racks in the living room. When people owned guns and knew how to use the guns safely, the danger of violent crime was much lower than today. The violent crime rate in America has increased by 170% since 1960 despite the increased number of federal and state gun control laws. Guns did not cause these crimes; criminals did. Treating all Americans like criminals did not make us safer at all.

The only way remove enough of the "things" which threaten air travel would be to strip-search every passenger, issue official garb (like inmates in prison or in a mental institution), and haul these passengers in an environment as sterile and as stark as the suicide watch cell of a county jail. We know, of course, the sane, humane, and easy way to make us safe: profile and research passengers. Before that happens, however, the Left must realize that life is full of "things" and that these are almost never the real problem. Neither the Holocaust nor the Gulag was a product of railroads and cattle cars. Those horrors were, as with the terrorists who would murder young children flying to Grandmother for Thanksgiving, the product of monsters. The way to end their evil is to defeat them.

Read full American Thinker article here.

Justices turn aside another challenge over Obama's citizenship

Obviously the SCOTUS has no stomach for challenging the President and the majority of the 2008 voters. If they refuse to take any of the challenges, the truth may never be known.

The reporter makes the statement "Obama and his staff produced copies of his birth certificate when he was running for president in 2008, and have previously dismissed questions over his citizenship." There seems to be a difference of opinion as to whether a Certificate of Live Birth is a valid substitute for a Birth Certificate.

If you go to FactCheck.org, you will see some discussion of the problems with the Certificate. You will also see a birth announcement published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961: 

I guess my problem is still the amount of money Obama has spent to hide his records from public view.  Where there is smoke, there usually is fire.

Excerpt: The Supreme Court has again cast aside an appeal that raised doubts about President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, a grass-roots legal issue that has gained little legal or political footing, but continues to persist in the courts.

The justices without comment Monday rejected a challenge from Charles Kerchner Jr., a Pennsylvania man who sought a trial in federal court forcing the president to produce documents regarding his birth and citizenship.

Kerchner's attorney, Mario Apuzzo, had argued in a petition with the Supreme Court that Obama did not fit the definition of a "natural-born citizen" required for the nation's highest office, as defined by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.

That clause states, "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Read full CNN article here.

Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

The Times article provides a narrative of a number of the cables that are of interest. It is a quick 4 page read.

WASHINGTON — A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks posted 220 cables, some redacted to protect diplomatic sources, in the first installment of the archive on its Web site on Sunday.

The disclosure of the cables is sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and American ambassadors around the world have been contacting foreign officials in recent days to alert them to the expected disclosures. A statement from the White House on Sunday said: “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”

The White House said the release of what it called “stolen cables” to several publications was a “reckless and dangerous action” and warned that some cables, if released in full, could disrupt American operations abroad and put the work and even lives of confidential sources of American diplomats at risk. The statement noted that reports often include “candid and often incomplete information” whose disclosure could “deeply impact not only U.S. foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world.”

Read full NYT article here.

Thomas Sowell: The "Gridlock" Bogeyman

The press will print "Gridlock" all over the front pages as soon as the new Republican House defeats one of the Obama/Reid bills. But, as Thomas Sowell says, "Gridlock is good".


Whenever the party that controls the White House does not also control Capitol Hill, political pundits worry that there will be "gridlock" in Washington, so that the government cannot solve the nation's problems.

Almost never is that fear based on what actually happens when there is divided government, compared to what happens when one party has a monopoly of both legislative and executive branches.

The last time the federal government had a budget surplus, instead of its usual deficits, there was divided government. That was when the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, where all spending bills originate, and Bill Clinton was in the White House. The media called it "the Clinton surplus."

By the same token, some of the worst laws ever passed were passed when one party had overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress, as well as being led by their own President of the United States. ObamaCare is a product of the kind of arrogance that so much power breeds.

Both in Washington and in the media, there is virtually zero interest in comparing what actually happens when the federal government intervenes in the economy and when it does not.

More than a century and a half of ignoring downturns in the economy never produced a depression as deep or as long as the 1930s depression, with its many federal interventions, first under Herbert Hoover and then under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The unemployment rate was 6.3 percent when the first big intervention took place, during the Hoover administration. It later peaked at 25 percent, but its fluctuations were always in double digits throughout the 1930s, as FDR tried one thing after another. As late as the spring of 1939, nearly a decade after the stock market crash of 1929, unemployment hit 20 percent again.

It is not a matter of faith that a market economy can recover on its own. It is a matter of faith that politicians speed recovery. But there is no way that Barack Obama is going to stop intervening in the economy unless he gets stopped. Only gridlock can do that.
Read full Townhall article here

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

EU Debt Crisis - Next Debt Crisis May Start in Washington:

Obviously Sheila Bair does not believe in the often time tested Laffer Curve that higher taxes have a diminishing effect on government revenues. She takes the liberal zero sum line and proposes additional taxes as a cure.

Curiously enough, she does not single out ObamaCare as the most recent Democrat "out of control" spending program. Wouldn't repeal of ObamaCare be a good start in establishing fiscal responsibility?

The US needs to take urgent action to cut its debt in order to prevent the next financial crisis, which may start in Washington, Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposits Insurance Corp. (FDIC) wrote in an editorial in the Washington Post.

The federal debt has doubled over the past seven years, to almost $14 trillion, and the growth is a result of both the financial crisis and the government's "unwillingness over many years to make the hard choices necessary to rein in our long-term structural deficit," Bair wrote.

"With more than 70 percent of US Treasury obligations held by private investors scheduled to mature in the next five years, an erosion of investor confidence would lead to sharp increases in government and private borrowing costs," she added.

There needs to be "a bipartisan national commitment" for an austerity package of both spending cuts and tax increases over many years in order to solve the problem, according to Bair.

"Most of the needed changes will be unpopular, and they are likely to affect every interest group in some way," she said.

Read full CNBC article here.

Homeland Security seizes domain names

One of the offbeat blogs TorrentFreak goes into more detail and lists the multitude of sites targeted by ICE. Their take on this is that Homeland Security is using a rather broad brush, and questions whether proper warrants were obtained. Website owners state they were shut down without notification.

Is this, along with Congress bill COICA, a prelude to the takeover of the internet by the Federal government or just aggressive enforcement of our copyright and trademark laws? My guess is that the courts will get this one.

The Hill article:
The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names over the past few days, according to TorrentFreak.

ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.

The sites are replaced with a note from the government: "This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations."
For instance, borntrade.com, 51607.com, and amoyhy.com have each been seized.

One of the site owners told TorrentFreak that his site was shut down without any notice or warning.

The effort comes as Congress considers the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). Critics, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) say it is too heavy-handed. He has vowed to put a formal hold on the bill.

Read The Hill article here.

Health Law Faces Threat of Undercut From Courts - We Can Only Hope!

On the road to a Republican majority and Presidency in 2012, the courts are an integral part of the campaign to stop ObamaCare and the takeover of 1/6th of our economy by the Federal government.

Yesterday I posted a Glenn Beck video showing the establishment of an unbelievable number of Federal agencies under ObamaCare. If you have not viewed it,you should. Health care quality and affordability are not the object of this legislation by the Democrats. The object is the control of our economy and we, the people.

As the Obama administration presses ahead with the health care law, officials are bracing for the possibility that a federal judge in Virginia will soon reject its central provision as unconstitutional and, in the worst case for the White House, halt its enforcement until higher courts can rule.

The judge, Henry E. Hudson of Federal District Court in Richmond, has promised to rule by the end of the year on the constitutionality of the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain insurance, which takes effect in 2014.

Although administration officials remain confident that it is constitutionally valid to compel people to obtain health insurance, they also acknowledge that Judge Hudson’s preliminary opinions and comments could presage the first ruling against the law.

“He’s asked a number of questions that express skepticism,” said one administration official who is examining whether a ruling against part of the law would undermine other provisions. “We have been trying to think through that set of questions,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case freely.

The administration argues that other key provisions do not depend on the insurance mandate. Those provisions include establishing health insurance exchanges, subsidizing premiums through tax credits and expanding Medicaid eligibility, all scheduled for 2014.

Nor, administration officials said, would an adverse ruling necessarily undermine certain insurance regulations that recently took effect, like the requirement that insurers cover children younger than 26 on their parents’ policies.

In a hearing last month, Judge Hudson remarked on the difficulty of determining Congress’s intent regarding a law with hundreds of disparate provisions. “This bill has more moving parts than a Swiss watch,” he said.

Lawyers for Virginia have sought to turn one of the federal government’s arguments on its head. They note that the health law explicitly refers to the insurance requirement as “an essential part” of the act’s regulatory scheme, and that Justice Department lawyers — in pressing their point that the law permissibly regulates commerce — have called it the “linchpin.”

If it is so essential, Virginia’s lawyers have asked, why should a judge believe that Congress intended for the rest of the act to stand without it?

Read full NYT article here.

Dream Act - Dems want to hand $44 billion to illegals

The Democrats are gradually losing the Independent voter because of their sharp turn to the left and Socialism. The Dream Act is just another attempt to add millions of new Democrats to the voting rolls. Just another attempt to buy votes with the taxpayers' money,

Want to know how the lame ducks in Congress plan to "cut" federal spending – which seemed to be a dominating theme of the 2010 elections? They're proposing a plan to take upwards of $44 billion a year from taxpayers and hand it over to illegal aliens who are in the United States so they can go to college.

The plan is called the Dream Act, for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors, and its critics know it as an amnesty program for illegal aliens. Its supporters say anyone who doesn't want to spend the money on college subsidies for illegal aliens is "racist."

But policy experts are warning the act is truly transformative and in the end, among other things, would authorize federal loans to literally millions of newly qualified applicants and provide a preference for the children of illegal aliens in state college admissions.

But many say plans to address the landmark change not only are being pushed now by Reid, who failed to get it through the U.S. Senate earlier, and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but they are planning to march it through the process without hearings.

Sessions said some of the more stunning provisions of the plan are:

Section 3 of the bill repeals Section 505 of the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996" (8 U.S. Code 1623) which currently prohibits the government from giving educational benefits to any "unlawfully present individual," thus ensuring that illegal aliens will qualify for "in-state tuition," at the state college of their choice, even if they live in another state.

Section 10 of the act enables illegal aliens who receive amnesty under the bill's general provisions to apply for federally guaranteed student loans under Title IV of the "Higher Education Act of 1965" (20 U.S. Code, et seq.), including Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Stafford/Ford loans, federal work-study programs and federally sponsored tutoring and counseling.

Another section of the bill ensures that illegal aliens can continue to receive these federal student loans, which are often used to cover living expenses, as well as tuition, over the course of eight years, even if they do not complete a college degree.
An earlier version of the bill failed in the Senate in September, garnering only 56 Democratic votes, when it needed 60 to prevent a GOP filibuster.

Reid, with his renewed push for the drastic changes, is believed by some observers to be paying back Latino supporters, who helped him narrowly defeat tea party favorite Sharron Angle in the Nevada senate race a few weeks ago, by bringing the controversial measure back, and enhancing it with additional goodies.

Read WorldNetDaily article here.

Glenn Beck on FDR/Obama Federal Agencies created

Friday, November 26, 2010

GM's union recovering after stock sale - Non Union Retiree Bondholders Suck Wind

Fortunately, as a retiree, to the best of my knowledge, none of the funds, my 401K was invested in, held GM stock. Many retirees were not so lucky, and lost a good portion of their pensions. On the other side, the union members who are beneficiaries of exorbitant benefit plans, will, according to this article, come out whole or better and expect to get all their "concessions" back once GM becomes profitable.

The bankruptcy that Obama and his cronies engineered, bypassed existing laws and bought union votes with the savings of non-union retirees and money, courtesy of the American taxpayer.

General Motors Co.'s recent stock offering was staged to start paying back the government for its $50 billion bailout, but one group made out much better than the taxpayers or other investors: the company's union.

Thanks to a generous share of GM stock obtained in the company's 2009 bankruptcy settlement, the United Auto Workers is well on its way to recouping the billions of dollars GM owed it — putting it far ahead of taxpayers who have recouped only about 30 percent of their investment and further still ahead of investors in the old GM who have received nothing.

The boon for the union fits the pattern established when the White House pushed GM into bankruptcy and steered it through the courts in a way that consistently put the interests of the union ahead of many suppliers, dealers and investors — stakeholders that ordinarily would have fared as well or better under the bankruptcy laws.

"Priority one was serving the interests of the UAW" when the White House's auto task force engineered the bankruptcy, said Glenn Reynolds, an analyst at CreditSights. The stock offering served to show once again how the White House has handsomely rewarded its political allies, he said.

Perhaps the biggest losers are the investors in the old GM. None of the bankrupt company's previous stockholders got any money, while the claims of thousands of investors who purchased the company's bonds are still being kicked around in a Manhattan bankruptcy court.

"It gives outraged flashbacks to the old GM bondholders," who remain mired in the bankruptcy proceedings and are unlikely to recover more than 30 percent of their investments, Mr. Reynolds said

Read full Washington Times article here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reagan's Thanksgiving Talk To America

The Euro Game Is Up! - Nigel Farage

Declaration Of Dependence

The Tea Party could use this as a rallying cry leading up to the 2012 elections.

Such is the decision of these 50 states; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to forsake their freedom for servitude. To defend this decision, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

- The people are no longer capable, or willing, of making educated decisions regarding our own health, welfare, and financial responsibility.

- The people are no longer willing to defend their lives, family, or property from attack by criminal elements in society.

- The people are so terrified of terrorism that they will allow the various government agencies to search their personal information, invade their privacy, while submitting themselves to all manner of indignity in return for a small measure of security.

- The people have forsaken a practical education which would prepare them to be civic minded and productive citizens, instead allowing their minds to be filled with politically correct ideals and views geared towards a global society.

- The people have determined that the needs of society outweigh the needs of the individual and therefore are willing to sacrifice their time and their wealth to benefit society in general.

- The people have forsaken national pride and sovereignty and replaced it with the belief that our country is open to all who deserve a better life.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these States united, and of Right cease be Free and Independent States, that they are hereby bound as servants to the government, and that all inherent and unalienable rights are hereby forfeited — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we meekly surrender our self respect and dignity.

Read full Neal Ross "Declaration Of Dependence" here.

Taxpayers Bolster U.S. Hybrid Automobile Sales in Waning Consumer Market

Obviously the technology is currently not even close to being cost effective and the product is, at best,  suitable only to urban driving.  Obama doesn't know that there is a vast country out there that needs transportation that goes more than 50 miles without a charge.  Most people also know that these batteries will not last and will have to be replaced at significant cost.  Again, the technology is not ready.

The following part of the article, after acknowledging that the demand is declining, shows some interesting cost factors that the taxpayers should be aware of.  Obama wants 1 million plug ins by 2015 and has committed $11 billion of your children's money for the research to do this.  That comes to about $11,000 per vehicle.  That, together with the $7,500 tax incentive per vehicle sold, gives you $18,500 per vehicle sold that you, the taxpayer, are paying.  That, in itself, is enough to buy a small, economical, fuel efficient automobile that didn't need government funding to develop.

About the only thing good about this boondoggle is that Obama is keeping his main political base, the unions, employed.

Now is the time for the government to stop meddling with the economy and free enterprise and let the people determine how this whole thing transpires.

"Obama has set a goal of 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015 and has committed more than $11 billion in taxpayer funding to help support the technology.

Hybrid and electric vehicles can be $3,000 to $20,000 more expensive than gasoline models, Smith said. The U.S. offers as much as $7,500 in tax credits for the purchase of plug-in vehicles and about a dozen U.S. states offer additional incentives."

The U.S. General Services Administration, which runs the government fleet, bought at least 14,584 hybrid vehicles in the past two fiscal years, or about 10 percent of 145,473 vehicles the agency purchased in that period, according to sales data obtained by Bloomberg under a Freedom of Information Act request. In fiscal 2008, hybrids accounted for less than 1 percent of government purchases, the data showed.

The government is boosting investment in a technology that has failed to win broad acceptance after more than a decade in the marketplace. Consumer sales of hybrids are headed for their third consecutive yearly decline. Government agencies and businesses have said they also will purchase all-electric models being introduced by automakers including GM.

“At some point, the reality is that for this technology to be accepted, it needs to be done without a government crutch,” said Jeff Schuster, director of forecasting at J.D. Power & Associates in Troy, Michigan. “But without a huge gas-price increase or further government demand, the natural demand just isn’t to be there.”

Stimulus Money Used

About 3,100 of the hybrids purchased by GSA were paid for out of $300 million that the agency received from the 2009 economic stimulus package.

Read full Bloomberg article here.

This I Believe By Robert A. Hall

The Old Jarhead has a set of beliefs that should be a model for the Tea Party, Republicans and Libertarians alike. I chose to print it in its entirety. Please go to his blog site at the bottom of this post. You will enjoy his no nonsense style.

This I Believe

Updated November 22, 2010

I believe in limited government. Government is at best a necessary evil, which tends to drift toward tyranny if not checked, as Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democratic Party, noted. Every power that the government has is at the expense of individual liberty. Government is necessary to defend the nation, to provide infrastructure, and to protect us from each other. But as the repository of most force, it is also always a threat to freedom.

I believe in the separation of powers, between the branches of the federal government, and between the federal government, the states and the people. They were created by the founding fathers because they knew that no person or party could be trusted with unlimited power. The concentration of power in the hands of the federal government, especially the bureaucracy, is a great threat to freedom. I believe most people won't learn this lesson until it is too late.

I quaintly believe that all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people, as the Constitution says. That this is no longer the case is eroding freedom.

I believe that government cannot give you anything, unless it takes it from someone else. And government takes things by the threat of force—police, courts, jail—however silken the glove that covers the fist.

I believe that government does not create wealth. Printing money, as President Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe, only produces inflation, where it costs a $100M to buy a loaf of bread. And our government has started on this path, as it always offers a seemingly painless way to pay off government debts and buy votes. It becomes addictive.

I believe private citizens, seeking to advance their own private interests, create all wealth and progress, which gave western civilization the highest standard of living in history—and provided the wealth for government to do both the necessary, and the unnecessary.

I believe it is bad for America when government is totally controlled by one party, Republicans, Democrats or any other.

I believe that the blame for the economic disaster that started in 2008 goes beyond any one party, one country, or one class of persons. There is plenty of blame to share around.

But conceding this point, I believe my retirement fund, and the economy in general, looked a lot better in 2006, when Republicans controlled the Congress, than they have looked since, with Democrats in charge of the Congress since January of 2007. We will see if the Republican House victory in the 2010 midterms can stop the destruction of the private sector by the statists.

I believe Congress is broken, the courts are broken and the election process is broken. I believe I could come up with solutions to fix those things, but that both parties are so wrapped up in their own short term self interests, that one or the other will defeat or emasculate any reforms in service to tomorrow's agenda or next year's election. I believe most "reforms" proposed by either party are changes they believe will help them in the next election.

I believe we need computerized elections, with built-in runoff where you vote “one” for your first choice, “two” for your second choice and so on, and a candidate doesn’t win until she reached 50%. And I believe we need a non-partisan re-districting process.

I believe nothing can be fixed as long as so few citizens are paying attention, and even fewer have a grasp of basic economics. Polls before the 2008 election gave Congress a 12% approval rating—so the public voted to strengthen the leadership of that Congress. Probably because polls also showed that 67% of the public couldn't say which party controlled Congress. And the trend continues, with a whole lot of folks not knowing which party won which house in 2010.

I believe in individual responsibility. The idea that someone else is responsible for all your troubles, and to take care of all your problems, is the source of much of our misery.

I believe there is no difference between a thug with a gun at the local 7-11 taking the money I earned for his own use, and a bunch of people who want to take that money getting together to elect officials who will send police and tax collectors to take the money I earned and give it to them, under a slogan like, "Spreading the Wealth Around."

I believe in fiscal responsibility (And have lived it—I carry no credit card debt and a mortgage for a much smaller home than my salary would have allowed. But I’m not “under water” on that mortgage.). I believe that politicians are buying our votes in the next election by spending our grandchildren’s money on programs that various voting blocs want, with dollars they haven’t printed yet. I believe that we already have "public financing of campaigns," because far too many politicians get reelected by spending the public's money on projects that interest groups want.

I believe that, no matter how "socially conservative" they may be, Republican legislators lining up at the earmarks feeding pen to get money to buy votes back home are the real RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), not those Republicans who are moderate on social issues, but are for fiscal responsibility and limited government.

I believe that political decisions should be made by people the public can replace if we don't like the decisions—legislators and elected executives—and not by those who are isolated from feedback because they can't be removed from their jobs, like judges and bureaucrats. But most law—in the guise of regulations or court ruling—is made by unelected people.

I believe that the bureaucracy and the courts have carried many laws, such as affirmative action and the Americans with Disabilities Act, far beyond what the Congress intended or the people would support if asked to vote in our "democracy." Once the bureaucrats put it in place, of course, it develops a vocal constituency, so legislators are afraid to enforce the original intent of the law.

I believe in Freedom of Speech, and believe it is under threat from both Islamists and liberals who want to outlaw anything they find offensive as "hate speech." Freedom of Speech is already lost on most college campuses, where you now have the freedom to speak the prevailing orthodoxy or shut up. It is the left who shouts down speakers they don't agree with, or threatens them with violence. It is Islamists who want to criminalize any unfavorable mention of Islam, including quoting from the Qur'an and the Hadith, as "Islamophobic" or "hate speech."

I believe in Freedom of Religion, and will tolerate anyone's faith and defend their right to worship as they please, as long as they don't want to use the government or violence to force others to comply with the tenants of their faith. But I also believe that a religion that preaches it should be the government of the world, and the only faith, that subjugates women and girl children and that makes it a religious duty to force others to convert, must be fought. That's not a religion—it's a fascist political party seeking a tyrannical theocracy.

I believe there are tens of millions of Muslims who want to live in peace with each other and with people of other faiths, but I also believe, based on daily news reports, that one can hardly ever know who is a moderate, peaceful Muslim, and who may suddenly “go Jihadist” and kill you for Allah, because violence is preached in so many of their places of worship. I believe that it is the hate and domination preached by many standard schools of Islam that is responsible for violence and terrorism, not poverty and grievances. Bin Laden and some of his lieutenants were far wealthier than you and I. In Britain, it was doctors who carried out some attacks—hardly the underprivileged.

I believe it is Jihadist murderers who sully and insult the name of Islam, by carrying out their horrors in the name of God, not people drawing cartoons.

I believe that not to speak out against thousand of honor killings of young women (many in western democracies), the genital mutilation of young girls, and the brutal subjugation of women in Islamic societies out of a concern for "multiculturalism" or fear of being labeled "Islamophobic," is cowardice.

I believe in tolerance and respect for people who are black, white, red, brown, yellow, old, young, male, female, gays, straights, Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans and Global Warming Devotees, and don't think they should be discriminated against, either by Jim Crow laws or Affirmative Action laws. I believe the law should judge us, and we should judge each other, as individuals.

I believe that gay people don’t choose to be gay, anymore than short people choose to be short. Never was I mad enough at a woman to think, “Well, maybe I should date guys.” You are entitled to believe they are sinful, but not to discriminate against them, in my book. As to gay marriage, I don’t believe in special treatment for gays. I think they should have to marry and suffer like the rest of us. (Note to wife: that was a JOKE, dear!) Seriously, if your marriage is so weak that a gay couple down the block being married is going to hurt it, you have a problem and need help. And I believe that gay couples often provide better homes for kids than a lot of single moms are able to do, where the dad has abandoned the children, which is now the common practice in some sub-cultures and spreading into the wider culture. And certainly they are better parents than straight couples where domestic violence is a factor. (Fire up the computer for the hate mail!)

On the other hand, I believe we can not only discriminate against, but must fight, those who would impose their values, views and rule on us by force, including Nazis, Communists, Islamists, and Bill Ayer's Weather Underground.

I believe that America is far from perfect, but that to equate her flaws with the grinding tyranny of other regimes, past or present, is the worst kind of sophistry and moral blindness. With all her faults, we need to guard our borders not to keep people in, but to prevent the tens of millions around the world who would like to come here from swamping our institutions, destroying the culture that made us great, and further ruining our economy.

I believe that free markets and decentralized decision making have given people in the western world the best standard of living, the most leisure and the more freedom than any place or time in human history. I believe that centralized control of the economy is so inefficient that it destroys prosperity and freedom, and creates poverty. I believe that is being demonstrated now, and is going to get worse.

I believe that business leaders who talk about free markets, but run to the government for taxpayer bailouts when their decisions prove bad, are hypocrites. They are CINOs—Capitalists In Name Only. And while I understand contracts, and the need to attract good talent, I am sickened by huge bonuses for the executives of failing businesses that receive government bailouts. Running a company or bank into failure is “good talent?” And my disgust extends to the disaster at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, where the execs got millions for starting the wreckage of our economy.

I believe that millions of people have died so that liberals could feel good about themselves. Liberals fought to force America out of the Vietnam War, and cut off military support to South Vietnam, so that when the North broke the peace treaty and invaded the South, it had no chance. The Cambodian Communists murdered a quarter of their population. In South Vietnam, tens of thousands died in “re-education camps.” Millions fled the country, with many thousands of “boat people” drowning, or being raped and murdered. No matter, they still congratulate themselves for supporting the “progressive” victory.
And liberals fought to end evil white rule in then-Rhodesia until in 1978 a black-majority government, headed by Robert Mugabe, was installed. Farms were taken from the evil white farmers and given to black supporters of Mugabe—unfortunately, farming skills and work ethic were not included in the transfer. Today, Zimbabwe, which once exported food, is starving. Life expectancy has declined from 60 to 37 for males, and to 34 for females. Infant mortality has gone from 53 to 81 deaths per 1,000. South Africa is on the same path. Liberals fought apartheid until black rule was established there as well. Since then, soaring crime has driven out those who can afford to flee. According to the South African Institute of Race Relations, 800,000 whites out of four million have emigrated since apartheid ended. Skilled blacks who have the financial resources are bolting as well. They take with them the knowledge to run an economy and government. But the disintegration of South Africa isn’t a suitable topic for the Brie and Chardonnay set in wealthy liberal neighborhoods like Chicago’s Hyde Park.

And liberals helped bring down the evil, pro-American Shah of Iran. Since then, Iran under the Mullahs has hanged Gays, stoned women for adultery, engaged in a war with Iraq that slaughtered millions, and started work on an Atomic Bomb to create a new holocaust in Israel. Those deaths don’t matter to liberals as long as they can feel self-satisfied about opposing the Shah.

And liberals all read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and fought to ban DDT, to save the birds. That banning DDT resulted in the deaths of millions of third world children from Malaria doesn’t intrude on their self-congratulations. Tough for the kids, but what's a dead black baby in Africa compared to liberal ego satisfaction?

I believe that liberals want Hispanic and black Americans to remain in poverty, so they must continue to vote for liberals who will provide them government programs. Liberals oppose requiring Hispanic citizens to learn English, even though those who speak English have higher incomes and standards of living. And don't mention that black ghetto culture is keeping so many blacks in poverty and killing thousands of other blacks every year through gang violence. Don't mention that single parenthood is the leading cause of poverty, and that the vast majority of black children are born to single mothers. Let's keep it that way so blacks have no choice but to vote Democrat to get their handouts. If they suffer and die because of it, so what?

I believe our universities have become Madrassas of left-wing propaganda. Conservatives and Republicans don't get promoted or tenure, if they get hired in the first place. So our students are exposed only to what the left wants them to believe. I believe the purpose of education is to teach kids how to think, not what to think.

I believe that having the government run entirely by lawyers puts the entire system at the service of the self-interests of the legal profession. Before the 2010 election, lawyers were in complete charge at the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives and of course, the Courts. It has only improved a little. I believe that the endless delays and appeals created in our legal system by the legal profession have been good only for lawyers, but have made a mockery of justice, due process and any deterrence for crime. I believe that this costs all of us a large percentage of our incomes, and many of us our lives. And I believe the Democrat lawyers running the government will make it worse, to increase lawyers' fees.

I believe that any American who denigrates America should have to spend a year in a third world country, preferably one under Shari'a law, living as the natives live. The survivors would be allowed back in to kiss the earth they used to spit on.

I believe that anyone born in America—or who becomes a citizen—has won the lottery, because they thus have a standard of living and freedoms unknown to 99% of the humans who have ever lived.

I believe that if you define someone as “poor” who owns a car, color TV and air conditioning, you don’t have a clue as to what poor means. I lived in the village of Khe Sanh for a few weeks. Poor is a one-room thatched hut, children with only a cast-off tee shirt for clothing, and rice—when they were lucky.

I believe that law-abiding citizens have the right to own firearms to defend themselves and their families. Thanks to lawyers who have clogged the courts, citizens get very little protection from the legal system.

I believe that if you don’t care about something more than yourself (e.g., your country, your place of worship, your community, your family, a great cause, the organization you give your work time to, art, poetry, literature, nature) you will never be happy. The more of these things that subsume you, the happier you will be.

I believe the person who has nothing for which he or she would die has no reason to live, and is to be pitied.

I believe the person without faith is without a future.

I believe that “class” isn’t what clothes you wear, what wine you drink, what car you drive or what house you live in. Class is how you treat people. There are waitresses and plumbers with more class in their little finger than wealthy elites who hold them in contempt.

I believe acquiring wealth should be only a bi-product of doing what you love. Otherwise, you’ve wasted your life.

I believe the person who loves things more than people is always unhappy.

I believe if you can’t trust the people who work for you to manage their own time and work, with only a little direction, you should replace them. (I know that’s hard if they are government employees or in unions designed to protect the jobs of the least productive.) If you can trust them, do so. You and they will be happier and more productive.

I believe that when you want the government to take over something you think is important, you should imagine it being run by the Post Office, the Pentagon or the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

I believe that hard work may not get you ahead, but thinking the world owes you a living makes you an unhappy slave to those giving the handouts. I believe people voluntarily dependant on the handouts of others are slaves. There are exceptions for children, the elderly, and the disabled, but not for capable adults. People addicted to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, food, or anything else are also slaves.

I believe that if you work hard and are a success, those who don’t will call it luck.

I believe you can know only a very small fraction of all there is to know about your own field, never mind other folk’s area of specialty. There is no person you cannot learn something valuable from. And if you think you know everything, you probably don’t know that you are a boring jerk.

I believe school is always in session. Learning is life—learn every day. If I knew that I was to die tomorrow, I’d still want to read a book, or talk to an expert, and learn something new today. It’s as vital as breathing.

I believe the person with a strong vocabulary has an advantage. The person who loves reading has a huge advantage. Being a good writer is an even larger advantage, but to be a good writer, you must both write a lot and read a lot.

I believe that moral courage is as important as physical courage—just rarer.

I believe that hope is not a strategy. A goal without a plan is just a dream. “Then a miracle happens” is not a plan. I believe that “change” is a process, not a goal.

I believe that humor, like water, is essential to life, but can be equally destructive.

I believe that our culture, our political freedom and our economic freedom are inseparably entwined, and that we are on the road to losing them for future generations. There is no political freedom or economic advancement without protection of the right to own property. People in poverty-stricken third world countries are bright and willing to work hard. But property rights are not protected, so it becomes impossible to gather the capital to create businesses and jobs.

I believe in God, and ask Her every day to protect my granddaughter and my wife, but I don’t believe in telling other people what or how to believe. I believe certitude about the Almighty is the ultimate arrogance of the ego. I believe if everyone would worship as he or she wished—or not—and shut up about it, the world would be a better place.

I believe that there are four key elements of leadership: 1. Leaders set the example. 2. Leaders look out for the welfare of their subordinates and followers. 3. Leaders take responsibility for their actions and decisions. 4. Leaders have integrity and moral courage. And I believe true leadership is in damned short supply in this world.

I believe that every American owes service to our country in some way. I believe those who are willing to risk their lives in that service—our police, firefighters, EMTs, soldiers, sailors, airmen, coastguardsmen, and Marines, are owed honor and respect by their fellow citizens.

I believe the failure of our wealthy elites to serve as leaders in our military today, as they did in WWII and before, heralds the downfall of our republic. Then they will ask, “Why didn’t someone do something?” I believe the "me first" generation will get what it deserves. Unfortunately, so will those who don't deserve it.

I believe that all the success I have had in life is due to the discipline and values instilled in me by my Marine Drill Instructors, Sgt. William H. Harris, Sgt. Michael P. Martin and Sgt. Ezekiel Owens. Jr. Wherever they are, I salute and thank them.

I believe that if the necessity arises where you must send men and women into battle to defend our freedoms—and it will—then the toughest possible training is what will help them survive and triumph. Therefore, I believe, contrary to the bedwetters in the media, that Marine Boot Camp is the most humane military training in the world, because it facilitates survival in combat. I believe if you’ve never been under fire, your opinion is uninformed—and probably ignorant.

I believe that most critics of our military in the media, Hollywood and politics would curl up in a quivering ball of tears if they were asked to endure for a week what our military men and women endure in peacetime, never mind when deployed to a war zone. I believe most of those critics are moral and physical cowards, and they know it—it eats their souls and makes them venomous.

I believe that if all the chips are on the table, and lives are at stake, you’d be better to have one half-dead old Marine at your side, than all the politicians and Hollywood entertainers you could cram into hell.

I believe that it was the highest privilege of my life to wear the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. I don’t believe the country owes me anything for doing so, but that my serving was partial payment on what I owe our country for my freedoms—a debt that can be never fully paid, but with my life.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state senate.

Go to Robert A. Hall's blog here.

The First Thanksgiving


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DOJ and the New Black Panther Party Litigation An Interim Report

This 144 page report is detailed and repetitive as all legal documents tend to be. In effect the commission reported that they cannot reach a conclusion because Holder and the DOJ are stonewalling them. It is ironic that the DOJ would be in charge of enforcing any subpoena against themselves. Looks like a case of the fox guarding the hen house.

We have an Administration running roughshod over our liberties with no one to protect us. What happened to openness and transparency? The only answer is to rid our Nation of this Chicago blight and regain control in 2012.

Although the U.S. Department of Justice has cooperated with many previous
Commission investigations and requests, the DOJ has an inherent conflict of interest when it would prefer not to cooperate fully with the Commission’s investigations of DOJ actions. In the NBPP investigation that is the subject of this report, the Department of Justice refused to
comply with certain Commission requests for information concerning DOJ’s enforcement actions, and it instructed its employees not to comply with the Commission’s subpoenas for testimony.

Moreover, the Department’s denial of the Commission’s request for the appointment of a special counsel to help resolve the discovery disputes in federal court was communicated by a career attorney without addressing or acknowledging the Department’s conflict of interest and without any indication the Commission’s request was ever brought to the attention of the Attorney General.


Congress should consider amendments to the Commission’s statute to address investigations
in which the Attorney General and/or the Department of Justice have a conflict of interest in
complying fully with the Commission’s requests for information. Options to address a
potential conflict of interest might include the following:

 Enactment of a statutory procedure by which the Commission may request the
Attorney General to appoint a special counsel with authority to represent it in federal court, which request the Attorney General must personally respond to in writing
within a specified period of time.

 Enactment of a statutory provision to clarify that the Commission may hire its own
counsel and proceed independently in federal court if the Attorney General refuses to
enforce a subpoena or other lawful request, especially those directed at the
Department of Justice, its officers, or its employees.

 A conscious decision not to alter the Commission’s statute or a statutory confirmation
that the Attorney General and Department of Justice can act against the
Commission’s interest without any particular explanation.

[Chairman Reynolds and Commissioners Gaziano, Heriot, Kirsanow, and Taylor voted in
favor; Comissioners Melendez and Yaki voted against; Vice Chair Thernstrom was absent.]

Read full report here.

California businesses are leaving in-mass... THE LIST

This article on Facebook lists many companies that are leaving or have already left California due to the adverse business climate engineered by the socialistic politicians that run the state. Heres hoping the voters in the state wake up before it is too late. Based on the last election, hope is dwindling.

I don't care who you are or what you "believe" politically, you better take note of what is going on in CA. We are already over 12% unemployment here, and if the current "thinking" in Sacramento doesn't change, there won't be any jobs or tax base left.

I would urge everyone who lives in the state of CA to consider mailing this on to every Californian on your email list.

Even if you do not read this entire e-mail, you ought to scroll down and see what a massive list this really is. California is no longer the Golden State, thanks mostly to the inept morons in Sacramento and their inept policies.

Read the list here.

Bobby Jindal: Make Congress part-time

This article in POLITICO by Jennifer Epstein shows that Bobby Jindal has the right idea. When people get to Washington, they become immune from the needs of the non elite. Passing laws that don't apply to them, creating employment benefits for themselves that far exceed what you and I get, and giving away OPM (other people's money) to purchase votes to help in their re-election.

Many years ago I was the campaign treasurer for a mayoral candidate in a small town in NJ. I supported him, not only because he was a Republican with many of the beliefs that I had, but because I didn't think he would do much. His agenda was pretty much the status quo and our town was fairly well run.

Jindal and Mark Twain are right. When Congress is in session, every day costs the taxpayers money. Think of how much each day cost the Nation as they rushed through the $700 billion TARP and the $800 billion Stimulus, not to mention ObamaCare. They are bankrupting our country.

What we need is a dash of "Congressional stalemate" and a cup full of Jindal/Twain isms.

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal wants members of Congress to stay home more often.

“We used to pay farmers not to grow crops, let's pay congressmen to stay out of Washington, D.C.,” Jindal said in an interview with Human Events. “Mark Twain said that our liberty, our wallets were safest when the legislature's not in session.”

Jindal, himself a former congressman, said once elected, many lawmakers become entrenched in Washington and become the very people they once campaigned against.

“Make them part-time, give them term limits,” Jindal said. “Don’t let them become lobbyists. When they have to live under the same rules and laws they pass for the rest of us, maybe you’d see some more common sense coming out of Washington, D.C.”

As the system works today, he said, “you’ve got a permanent governing political class.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TSA Body Scans - It's All About The Money

Article: "OSI Systems is the owner of Rapiscan Systems which manufactures the Secure 1000, one of the most commonly used backscatter x-ray machines. And, no it is not the Deepak Chopra you’re thinking of.

OSI Systems Chief Executive Officer Joins US Presidential Visit to India
HAWTHORNE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIS), a vertically-integrated provider of specialized electronic products for critical applications in the Security and Healthcare industries, today announced that Deepak Chopra, Chairman and CEO, was selected to accompany US President, Barack Obama, to Mumbai and attended the US India Business Entrepreneurship meeting, which was held by the US India Business Council (US IBC). The goal of the meeting was to promote further trade between US and India...."

Naked Body Scanner Manufacturer's CEO Obama's Guest on Trip to India

WASHINGTON — The companies with multimillion-dollar contracts to supply American airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years and hired several high-profile former government officials to advance their causes in Washington, government records show.
L-3 Communications, which has sold $39.7 million worth of the machines to the federal government, spent $4.3 million trying to influence Congress and federal agencies during the first nine months of this year, up from $2.1 million in 2005, lobbying data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show. Its lobbyists include Linda Daschle, a former Federal Aviation Administration official.

Rapiscan Systems, meanwhile, has spent $271,500 on lobbying so far this year, compared with $80,000 five years earlier. It has faced criticism for hiring Michael Chertoff, the former Homeland Security secretary, last year. Chertoff has been a prominent proponent of using scanners to foil terrorism. The government has spent $41.2 million with Rapiscan.

"The revolving door provides corporations like these with a short cut to lawmakers" and other decision-makers, said Sheila Krumholz, of the Center for Responsive Politics.

The use of body-scanning machines has ignited controversy over privacy and health concerns.

Body scanner makers doubled lobbying cash over 5 years

‘SNL’ TSA Skit: “It’s Our Business to Touch Yours”

U.S. corn ethanol "was not a good policy"-Gore

It is great that Gore finally admits what many of us have known for some time. Ethenol takes as much energy to produce as it creates. The only effect was to create additional Federal subsidies, decrease the supply of corn used for food and increase the price of food globally.

Just another detrimental distortion of the free market by the liberal activists.

U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on Dec. 31.

Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Industry, which said biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

"First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

"It's hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going."

He explained his own support for the original programme on his presidential ambitions.

"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

U.S. ethanol is made by extracting sugar from corn, an energy-intensive process. The U.S. ethanol industry will consume about 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop this year, or 15 percent of the global corn crop, according to Goldman Sachs analysts.

Read full Reuters article here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Airports consider congressman's call to ditch TSA

One item not mentioned is that the TSA is now required by the Federal court to allow union elections for screeners. We should be looking to reduce government intrusion in our lives and the TSA has been a major increase in public employment. Privatize it and see what innovations come out of it. Just think of the problems unionization of the system will create not to mention the exorbitant costs to the the taxpayers.

In a climate of Internet campaigns to shun airport pat-downs and veteran pilots suing over their treatment by government screeners, some airports are considering another way to show dissatisfaction: Ditching TSA agents altogether.

Federal law allows airports to opt for screeners from the private sector instead. The push is being led by a powerful Florida congressman who's a longtime critic of the Transportation Security Administration and counts among his campaign contributors some of the companies who might take the TSA's place.

Furor over airline passenger checks has grown as more airports have installed scanners that produce digital images of the body's contours, and the anger intensified when TSA added a more intrusive style of pat-down recently for those who opt out of the full-body scans. Some travelers are using the Internet to organize protests aimed at the busy travel days next week surrounding Thanksgiving.

Private contractors are not a cure-all for passengers aggrieved about taking off their shoes for security checks, passing through full-body scanners or getting hand-frisked. For example, contractors must follow all TSA-mandated security procedures, including hand patdowns when necessary.

"I am a frequent air traveler and I have experienced ... TSA agents who have let the power go to their head," Erickson said. "You can complain about those people, but very rarely does the bureaucracy work quickly enough to remove those people from their positions."

TSA officials would select and pay the contractors who run airport security. But Dale thinks a private contractor would be more responsive since the contractor would need local support to continue its business with the airport.

"Competition drives accountability, it drives efficiency, it drives a particular approach to your airport," Dale said. "That company is just going to be looking at you. They're not going to be driven out of Washington, they will be driven out of here."

San Francisco International Airport has used private screeners since the formation of the TSA and remains the largest to do so.

The airport believed a private contractor would have more flexibility to supplement staff during busy periods with part-time employees, airport spokesman Mike McCarron said. Also, the city's high cost of living had made it difficult in the past to recruit federal employees to run immigration and customs stations — a problem the airport didn't want at security checkpoints.
"You get longer lines," McCarron said.

Read full AP article here.

Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

Just another payoff by the Democrats to their benefactors with no regard to the Constitution and individual freedom.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is among the most draconian laws ever considered to combat digital piracy, and contains what some have called the “nuclear option,” which would essentially allow the Attorney General to turn suspected websites “off.”
The mechanism by which the government would do this, according to the bill, is the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), which translates web addresses into IP addresses. The bill would give the Attorney General the power to simply obtain a court order requiring internet service providers to pull the plug on suspected websites.

Scholars, lawyers, technologists, human rights groups and public interest groups have denounced the bill. Forty-nine prominent law professors called it “dangerous.” (pdf.) The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch warned the bill could have “grave repercussions for global human rights.” (pdf.) Several dozen of the most prominent internet engineers in the country — many of whom were instrumental in the creation of the internet — said the bill will “create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation.” (pdf.) Several prominent conservative bloggers, including representatives from RedState.com, HotAir.com, The Next Right and Publius Forum, issued a call to help stop this “serious threat to the Internet.”

Critics of the bill object to it on a number of grounds, starting with this one: “The Act is an unconstitutional abridgment of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment,” the 49 law professors wrote. “The Act permits the issuance of speech suppressing injunctions without any meaningful opportunity for any party to contest the Attorney General’s allegations of unlawful content.” (original emphasis.)

Because it is so ill-conceived and poorly written, the law professors wrote, “the Act, if enacted into law, will not survive judicial scrutiny, and will, therefore, never be used to address the problem (online copyright and trademark infringement) that it is designed to address. Its significance, therefore, is entirely symbolic — and the symbolism it presents is ugly and insidious. For the first time, the United States would be requiring Internet Service Providers to block speech because of its content.”

The law professors noted that the bill would actually undermine United States policy, enunciated forcefully by Secretary of State Clinton, which calls for global internet freedom and opposes web censorship. “Censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company anywhere,” Clinton said in her landmark speech on global internet freedom earlier this year. She was referring to China. Apparently some of Mrs. Clinton’s former colleagues in the U.S. Senate approve of internet censorship in the United States.

Read full Wired article here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

FOX's Roger Ailes Lets Rip - Part 2

Excerpt: Ailes was appraising the Daily Show star in a friendly, good-natured tone. But that tone changed when the conversation turned to Stewart’s continuous carping about the excesses of cable news:

“He hates conservative views. He hates conservative thoughts. He hates conservative verbiage. He hates conservatives.”

“He’s crazy. If it wasn’t polarized, he couldn’t make a living. He makes a living by attacking conservatives and stirring up a liberal base against it.”

“He loves polarization. He depends on it. If liberals and conservatives are all getting along, how good would that show be? It’d be a bomb.”

But Stewart played clips of MSNBC as well as Fox at his Washington rally last month, casting them as part of the “24-hour politico, pundit, perpetual panic conflictinator.” He says his concern is the not the ideology of cable channels but the tone of the discourse.

“Oh, horseshit,” Ailes shot back. “Look what he does to Sarah Palin.” If Stewart wants to go after cable hosts for the entertainment value, fine, “but don’t give me a social speech on the steps of the Washington Monument. Don’t lapse into non-comedy.”

The onetime Republican strategist is a man of strong opinions, in case that wasn’t clear, and he also puts his money where his mouth is. When Juan Williams was fired by National Public Radio for remarks he made on Fox about fearing airplane passengers in Muslim garb, Ailes rushed to award him a three-year, $2 million contract.

“A guy who gets fired and humiliated in the press can lose a lot of confidence,” Ailes says. Calling Williams “a pure liberal,” Ailes says he wanted to compensate the pundit for his losses because he was “mad” and “I didn’t want him to have to call his wife and say we lost money.”
Then he turned his sights on NPR executives.

“They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view. They don’t even feel guilty using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive.”

Read full Daily Beast article here.

Ron Paul: Enough Is Enough Re: TSA

FOX's Roger Ailes Lets Rip

Roger Ailes is considered a genius in the news business and he obviously dances to a different drum. While the majority of the MSM has gone the liberal/progressive route, Ailes has taken the middle of the road, with a slight bend toward the right. The MSM has followed the Democrat party to the far left and has left the moderate Democrats with nowhere to go except to FOX. That explains the unrest of moderates that Ailes has tapped into.

“The president has not been very successful,” the Fox News chairman says in a lengthy interview. “He just got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea, and he came home and attacked Republicans for it. He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with.”

The 70-year-old Ailes, dressed in a lavender shirt and tie, goes on in this vein, saying the network isn’t singling out Obama for criticism but that its style “tends to be more direct” in challenging presidents. Then he offers this observation about Obama:
“He just has a different belief system than most Americans.”

That seems a rather loaded phrase—different belief system—even if you strongly disagree with most of Obama’s policies. It fits the view of those who are trying to paint the president as being outside the mainstream. But from the big second-floor office at Fox’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, it’s the rest of the media that are using a distorted lens.

“He’s had 3,000 press secretaries since he got into office,” Ailes says of Obama, but these days, “he’s making it harder for the press to make him look good… When the press falls in love, they fall in love hard. They’re like teenagers in love. It’s like the old Frankie Lymon song, ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love?’”

Sipping coffee from a “Fair & Balanced” mug, Ailes insists that his channel lives up to the logo in its treatment of the administration. “We are not interested in savaging them. We are interested in the truth. We’re interested in two points of view; most networks aren’t.” Fox has beaten the drums on some stories that the mainstream media have wound up following, such as allegations that led to the resignation of environmental aide Van Jones, and others—such as a voter-intimidation case involving two New Black Panther Party members—that are widely viewed as overblown.

Ailes may dismiss the constant carping about Fox, but he understands the importance of public perception. He says he was “totally surprised” when his parent company, News Corp., donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association and another $1 million to the Chamber of Commerce—and realized that “lefties would use it to immediately try to damage Fox News.”
But Ailes registered no protest. “Rupert Murdoch’s worked for 60 years,” he says. “He’s the biggest media mogul in the world. I don’t think anyone can tell him what to do with his money. That’s sort of his right.”

In a conversation about the donations, Ailes recalls, Murdoch told him: “I hope that didn’t cause you any problems.”

“Nothing we can’t handle,” Ailes replied.

Read entire Daily Beast article here.

Examiner: Census Shows Move Away From High Taxes And Unions

It appears that many people are voting with their feet. Not only are people moving between states, but recent articles suggest that higher income earners are finding solace offshore. The 2010 US census shows a move toward lower tax and less unionized states.

Migration from high-tax states to states with lower taxes and less government spending will dramatically alter the composition of future Congresses, according to a study by Americans for Tax Reform.

Eight states are projected to gain at least one congressional seat under reapportionment following the 2010 Census: Texas (four seats), Florida (two seats), Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington (one seat each). Their average top state personal income tax rate: 2.8 percent.

By contrast, New York and Ohio are likely to lose two seats each, while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be down one apiece. The average top state personal income tax rate in these loser states: 6.05 percent.
The state and local tax burden is nearly a third lower in states with growing populations, ATR found. As a result, per capita government spending is also lower: $4,008 for states gaining congressional seats, $5,117 for states losing them.

And, as ATR notes, “in eight of ten losers, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. In 7 of the 8 gainers, workers are given a choice whether to join or contribute financially to a union.”

Imagine that: Americans are fleeing high tax, union-dominated states and settling in states with lower taxes, right-to-work laws and lower government spending. Nothing sends a message like voting with your feet.

Read Washington Examiner article here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Father And Daughter

Father and daughter

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so
many others her age, she considered herself to be a very Liberal
Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in Favor of
higher taxes to support more government programs, in other Words
redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch
Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the Lectures that
she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she
felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to
keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to Higher
taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The
self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to Be the
truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by Asking how
she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and
let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that She was
taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which
left her no time to go out and party like other people She knew. She
didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many
college friends, because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked , 'How is your friend Audrey
doing?' She replied, ' Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are
Easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She Is
so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited
to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for
classes because she's too hung over.'

Her wise father asked his daughter, 'Why don't you go to the Dean's
office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your
friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA, and
certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.' The
daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired
back, 'That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I've worked really
hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard
work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played
while I worked my tail off!'

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, 'Welcome to The
Republican party.'

If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between
Republican and Democrat I'm all ears.

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat..
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have
a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3 Year-Old Girl Accosted By TSA

I heard the last sentence on this video and had to laugh. You can ask your ticket agent to de-select your child if she/he has been randomly selected for a physical search. I can see it now in the terrorist handbook "Mohammed, if you see you are selected for a body search, ask the ticket agent to de-select you".

This is almost as ridiculous as this article Obama Gives a Pass: TSA Won’t Touch Muslims’ Junk

Let's start profiling like Israel does and get rid of this useless politically correct crap.