Why I believe President Obama will go down in history as this nations most important president

Yes, you heard that right.  It is my belief that President Obama, after all the dust has settled, will go down in history as this nations most important president.  That may seem like a strange statement from me, considering all the writings I've done here of late, but let me explain.

Why would I dare suggest that ole Barry may be one of this nation's most influential when compared to the likes of Ronald Reagan, JFK, or Abe Lincoln?  Could it be that he reminds me of the honesty of "I can not tell a lie" George Washington?  Of course not.  I don't think that President Obama has ever told the truth.  Lies come from his mouth every opportunity he has to open it.  Be it about promising to bring transparency and openness to the present administration, while allowing back room deals to pass his socialist agenda or denial of the public to witness the health care debates.  Or promising that if we passed a trillion dollar stimulus package that unemployment wouldn't go above 8%.  No, he has shown nothing but a complete lack of honesty  at every turn, promising that we would all be allowed to keep our health care plans if we wished, when the bill show's the exact opposite.  So no, it's not honesty that leads me to my belief.

Maybe it's his ability to lead and direct policy?  Again, the answer is no.  President Obama has absolutely no leadership skills to speak of.  He is a man that has never led anything in his life.  He's never ran a business, never had to make a payroll, and has never made a major decision on his own.  He was ill-prepared and ill-qualified to hold the office of President.   He is a man who was raised by handlers his whole career and whose only accomplishments include being a community organizer and voting "present" on 129 votes, to include such contentious issues as the sealing of rape and sexual crime victims records and partial birth abortions.  Even as President, he had no control of his own party, letting the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid walk all over his political promises without nary a reprimand.  Maybe it's leadership to maintain a level head in controversy, but Barrack lacks in this area as well.  He's quick to opinion on such topics as the Ft. Hood Massacre, claiming it's too early to claim terrorism when it was clearly proven it was.  Maybe when he claimed racial discrimination and that the police acted "stupidly" in the Gates arrest, before knowing all the facts.  Does the fact that he defended the building of the Cordoba Mosque at ground zero, before backtracking the day after show his skills of leadership?  No, it couldn't be his leadership because a leader would take the time to garnish all the facts before making a statement.

Maybe it's because of his unequaled amount of patriotism?  Surely, as President, I'm in awe of his love for his country?  Sadly, no.  Obama's first act as president was to go on a world wide tour in which he apologized for America to every dictator and enemy nation in the world.  His foreign policy has been modeled after the U.N. in which he assumes that all the trials and evils of the world rest squarely on America's shoulders.  He has bowed to the King of Saudi, exclaimed to the world that America has too often tried to force it's ideals on global citizens, and made nice with brutal thugs such as Hugo Chavez.  He has made America seem weak by refusing to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions, backing out of the European Missile Defense initiative, and by agreeing to the new START treaty.  Lastly, he has abandoned our long term allies, such as Israel and Britain, leaving them to suffer alone and without friends.  So no, it's not his patriotism, as he has a complete lack thereof. 

So it MUST be his character?  Surely he is a man of strong character and conviction.  Again, the answer is no.  Obama is a man of no character or of real conviction.  He takes no responsibility for his own actions, seeking to shift the blame in all cases.  Almost two years into his presidency, he still uses the same tired line of "He inherited this mess from Bush".  He claims that the deficit is all Bush's fault, but fails to see that he's created a greater debt in two years than the Bush Administration did in it's eight years or of any President in history for that matter.  The gulf oil disaster, Bush's fault, but ignores that his own inaction only served to make things worse.  He tells the American people that Republican's have no new ideas, no proposals, when he was offered many proposals on everything from health care to the economy, which he chose to ignore.  He regularly takes credit for things that he had no part of, such as the capping of the oil well or the draw down of troops in Iraq.  He claims legitimacy to the office, yet he has spent millions of dollars to hide his birth certificate.  Surely, with such a simple solution to end the controversy, a man of conviction would just provide his birth certificate, but not Obama.

So with all these critiques, why would I think that Obama will be a historical president?  The answer is simple, it was Obama who started the "no shot revolution" in America (to borrow a phrase from Mark Levin).  Had Obama not been elected, had he not showed all his faults, had he not tried to push his ideology and rapidly expand the intrusion of government into every aspect of American lives, we would have never seen the resurgence of conservative American values in this nation.  Yes, Obama was the straw that broke the camel's back.  It was his election that showed Americans the other side and that forced the voter to start moving back to center right.  We've seen what a move towards socialistic European style government will do this nation and we've decided that we don't want any part of it.  We've dealt with shady politicians, who only seem to have their own future ambitions in view, and not those of the people they represent and we are now starting to hold those politicians accountable for their actions.  People are starting to demand that their representatives "do it our way" or find another line of work.

Yes, we are witnessing a non-violent revolution starting to take place in this country.  Americans are missing the values and ideals that made this country great and they are seeking to make a return to them.  I've seen people who could care less about politics suddenly get heavily involved and become activists.  We've seen the growth of grassroots movements, such as the Tea Party, take hold, flourish, and become political powerhouses.  The American people are seemingly starting to find themselves, their voices, and are demanding that they be heard.  While this is a non-violent revolution, I suspect it will be a politically bloody one.  Democrats and Republicans alike are now fearing for their positions with a clear message from the American voter of lead or be forced out of the way.  Yes, this is American liberty at it's best.  Tired of the trampling of our founding documents and the visions of our forefathers, the voter is once again looking to gain control of an over-reaching, oppressive government. For this, we have Barrack Obama to thank.  It was his radicalism, his goal of deteriorating America, that fired the "second shot heard round the world" and re-ignited the lust for American liberty.  I know that someday I will be telling my nieces and nephews how I took part in this time in history, how I watched the re-birth of America before my very eyes.  I will use the posts that I create on this blog to detail to them the extent and danger that leftist, stateist control poses to the freedom that they enjoy.  I'm expect it will be with tears in my eyes that I will tell them how we came so very close to losing America, but thanks to Obama showing us the error of our ways, that America stood up and reclaimed it's birthright.  That had it not been for his desire to lead us down a wrong and destructive path, we would have never had the courage to put an end to the stripping of our liberty and save this great nation for them to enjoy.  So for that, I thank you President Obama.

Remember in November!!


Center for Biological Diversity trying to use EPA as an end run around 2nd Amendment

On August 3rd, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate and ban the sale and use of lead ammunition and fishing sinkers citing the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) as it's basis. 

The CDB is a known anti-hunting group whose mission is to "secure a future for all species, great and small".  More simply put, they wish to ban the hunting, fishing, or killing of any animal.  In sticking with their mission, they are attacking hunters by waging a war against the tools of the trade.  Instead of going after the guns themselves, they are attempting to find a way around the 2nd amendment by outlawing the munitions used.  With this petition, they are asking the EPA to step in and provide "regulation" of any lead based munitions or accessories.  While not all munitions are lead based, if allowed, it would provide a significant, and detrimental, amount of regulation and oversight by the EPA of our guaranteed right to keep and bear arms and an open door for future infringement.

However, does this petition have merit?  If you do a Google search of the aforementioned petition, you will see many people stating that the TSCA specifically excludes firearms and munitions from the act.  Me being one who likes to know the facts, decided to read the TSCA myself, in order to better prepare myself for argument.   Finding this exclusion was not easy, in that the wording of the TSCA never specifically mentions the words firearm, weapon, munitions, or ammunition.

However, within Section 3, Article B, Line (V),  the TSCA does explicitly exclude:

any article, the sale of which, is subject to the tax imposed by section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (determined without regard to any exemptions from such tax provided by section 4182 or 4221 or any other provision of such Code)

Section of 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 states:

There is hereby imposed upon the sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the following articles a tax equivalent to the specified percent of the price for which so sold:



Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers).

Shells, and cartridges.

So, it was clearly the intent of Congress, when passing the TSCA, to specifically exclude all firearms and ammunition from the act.  IRS, Title 26, Section 4181, is not hard to understand.  There are no other provisions of the code, it specifically, and only, deals with all firearms and munitions.  By providing an exclusion that calls out "any article, the sale of which is, subject to tax imposed by section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954"", the act clearly denies regulation of ammunition under the TSCA.

So, the CBD is perfectly within it's rights to bring up a petition to the EPA under this act, but per the law written within the Act, the EPA should have no other recourse than to summarily deny the petition.  HOWEVER, I don't think we can just rely on the EPA following the law.  Within the last two years, we've seen the law circumvented by agencies who decide which laws they will follow/enforce and which ones they won't.  Case in point being the Immigration Control and Enforcement  (ICE) Agency deciding that it will not deport illegal aliens referred to them.  If ICE can decide to ignore federal law and decide for themselves that they will not enforce it, what is to stop an agency such as the EPA (who consistently oversteps their authority) to ignore law (TSCA) and decide that it is within it's right to deny Americans their right to keep and bear arms by over-regulation of the munitions used?  Considering the government's track record on following of law and constitutional authority here of late, I don't think that we can assume that they will stay within their legal authority and not try to circumvent the 2nd amendment by regulatory fiat here.

The EPA has opened the CBD petition up for public comment and I urge each of you to go and express your opinions regarding the possibility of the EPA once again over stepping their authority.  You can reach the comment page here.  Feel free to use the information in this post with in your comments.  If you wish to add additional information, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has some pretty good arguments to include as well (link).

NOTE:  The EPA has until Nov 2nd, 2010 to accept or deny this petition.  How convenient that it must decide the day prior to the November Mid-term elections.  So please, make you voice heard soon and pass this along to all other Americans who will not see their constitutional 2nd amendment rights trampled, in any way!


The Enumerated Powers Act

Imagine if you will, a new bill to be presented to congress.  This bill, which we will call the Enumerated Powers Act, would require that every future piece of legislation presented before Congress include a statement detailing under which specific Constitutional authority the bill is being considered for enactment.   Considering that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly and finitely details the specific powers bestowed upon on our government, wouldn't it be fitting that every law brought forward for vote be made to show that it is within those Enumerated Powers?

Sounds like a wonderful idea to me, but unfortunately, I cannot take the credit for this common sense, extremely relevant idea.  That praise belongs to Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), who has already introduced such a bill to Congress.  In fact, Rep. Shadegg has introduced this piece of legislation to every meeting of Congress since the 104th.  For those of you that may not understand the numbering, we are currently in the 111th Congress, with the 104th being called to order between 01/4/1995 - 11/4/1996.   So each of the 15 years since 1995, this bill has been presented, but I'm guessing this is the first any of you have ever heard of it.  Wonder why?

The answer is very simple.  Our ruling class has been operating unconstitutionally and out of bounds of their specific powers for decades.  This isn't just a Democrat or Republican fault, but a rapidly expanding government fault.  Many of the things that we now accept as common, are in fact, unconstitutional per our founding documents.  True, we've witnessed an explosion of governmental growth over the past 18 months unseen since the day's of FDR, but to steal a quote for our current president, "Let me be clear", this has happened under both Republican and Democrat congresses.  Things such as Obamacare, the proposed Cap and Trade, bureaucratic expansions of the EPA, ATF, and other agencies, and even Social Security and Medicare are all outside the scope of the enumerated powers granted to our government by our Constitution. 

That being said, it's no wonder that you've never heard of this bill.  Our ruling class doesn't not want, I would even say, are desperate to avoid, having to base their legislation proposals upon {gasp} the specific powers they have been granted.  We have allowed a ruling class to gain power that feels that they know better, and can govern better, than the people whom they've sworn themselves to serve.  We have a ruling class that denies the states the authority to self govern, even though the states were granted that specific right to do so per the visions of our founding fathers.  We have allowed a judicial class to become activists who bend, mold, and pervert the words of our Constitution to fit political ideologies rather than uphold it as the law of the land.

In short, we have brought our current troubles upon ourselves, the governed.  We elected officials who have no understanding, or desire to understand, the importance and significance of the US Constitution.  We the people have voted in career politicians whose only ambition is to expand their financial, political, and social authorities while desecrating our founding principles.  Politicians who do not make the effort, or take the time, to fully understand the impact of the laws that they vote on.  Politicians who care more about earmarks and political favors than the best direction for this country.  Politicians who when asked about constitutionality respond with "Are you serious?  Are you serious?" or "I don't worry about the Constitution". 

We have allowed the media to be lax in their duties of vetting potential candidates and not asking the hard questions and looking for real answers.  We allowed ourselves to be taken in by a Presidential candidate who had no leadership abilities, no experience, and worst of all, a destructive ideology that is driving our country to it's death.  We, the people, have forgotten the words of the constitution, and the powered bestowed by it, ourselves.  We have forgotten that this is a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.  We have allowed this ruling class to ignore and abandon the very principals and documents that made this nation great and I believe that this bill would be the first step in taking back our nation.  The first step in returning to the great vision that the men who founded this country believed in, enacted, and provided for the US to become the greatest nation in the history of man kind.

I urge each of you to contact your representative and urge them to vote for HR405: The Enumerated Powers Act (full text of bill here).  We must ensure that this bill finally makes it out of committee and gets put forward for a vote.  Let us all find out whom in our ruling class is scared of being required to declare the constitutionality of their legislation proposals.  Let us find out who the patriots are and who are part of the problem.  If you do not know the name of your Representative, then contact me and I will help you find them and their contact information.

Make no mistake, I am under no illusions that this one bill will solve the problems of  the rampant, run away government that we are seeing now, but it is is a start.  It will allow people to become better informed on legislation at a glance, it will reinstitute the premise of constitutionality in our process, and it will help us weed out those of the ruling class who wish to over reach their power.  It will allow for us to recognize and address a government who has far too long stretched the meanings of the  General Welfare and Interstate Commerce clauses for their own means.  When every bill comes thru quoting either of the above, it won't be long before someone sees that they are being abused and demand reform and constraint.  To borrow meaning from Neil Armstrong, passage of this bill would be "One small step for law, one giant leap for American freedom and constitutionality."

Remember in November!!!


Stand Against Us and We Will Destroy You

This is basically the motto of the Obama Administration.  We see it every day, any one who dares speak up or act out against the failing, disastrous policies of our socialist in chief, gets the full weight of the federal machine levied against them. This time, it's Sheriff Joe Apraio of Maricopa County, AZ. 

I'm sure you've all heard of the controversy's surrounding Sheriff Joe in the performance of his duties.  Requiring inmates to wear government issued pink boxer shorts, the creation of canvas incarceration grounds known as tent city, illegal-immigration sweeps, banning of smoking, coffee, and pornography within his jails, and after learning that it was a federal mandate that prisoners be allowed to watch TV in prison, cutting off all channels but the Weather Channel and Disney.

Well it seems that Sheriff Joe has gotten the attention of the US Justice department and is currently being investigated for civil rights crimes including racial profiling/discrimination in his immigration sweeps and mistreatment of inmates within the Arizona prison system.   Never mind that this is a man that has won his elections by overwhelming majorities since first winning in 1992.  Never mind that this is a man loved and respected by a majority of those he is charged to protect within his county (except for those prisoners in his ward).  Instead concentrate on the fact that Sheriff Joe is a man that has denied that the federal system has the right to restrict his ability to protect those citizens whom he has sworn, and was elected by majority, to protect. 

In a letter issued to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Civil Right Attorney General Thomas Perez issued an ultimatum to Sheriff Joe to turn over millions of documents to the AG's office or risk being sued under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Sheriff Joe has refused to comply.  I, for one, completely agree with Sheriff Joe's decision.  The tenacity, and unethical treatment, of this law officer goes far outside the jurisprudence of the AG's office.

Investigations originally started in 2004-2005 upon the same claims proved to be baseless.  However, after debate surrounding AZ SB1070, and a subsequent ruling by judicial activist Susan Bolton knocking down several provisions of the bill in US vs Arizona, Sheriff Joe defiantly decreed that he would still perform his duties under various other state laws and that the ruling would have no effect on his efforts to secure his county.  He further stated that he was doing his duties long before SB1070 was even a gleam in anyone's eye, so this has no affect.

Well, that statement then garnished an unprecedented attack by the US Justice Department.  Never mind my opinions on how the DOJ has become the black hooded thugs sanctioned to ensure the policies of the Obama Administration go unchecked and unquestioned (subject for another rant), you need only look at how the DOJ is going about this "investigation".

So disappointed was the DOJ that they opened up a 1-800 to collect complaints about the Sheriff's office.  In my research, I can't find another example where the DOJ has used such a measure to try and gather "evidence" against a law enforcement office. ((Yes, there are whistle blower lines for generic misconduct, but never one set up for a specific office).  In addition, the turn over of the documents requested are so general in nature, that they pertain to no specific crime(s).  Lacking the basis of any real evidence, the DOJ is now looking to go thru millions of pages of documents in a hope to try and drum up some charges.  As quoted by Robert Driscoll, Sheriff Joe's attorney and former DOJ official under the Bush Administration:

"Generally the way it should work is you have evidence that someone's done something wrong, it's not that you're allowed to go fishing around and tell somebody what they did wrong after you look around for a year and a half,"

"If they had a good-faith basis to believe there was a pattern and practice violation of constitutional rights, they could file suit,"  [however]  "It's kind of the cart before the horse, because they've picked the person and they've picked the sheriff's office, and they didn't find a violation and so now they're trying to, for the lack of a better term, gin up a violation."

So, what we have is a Department of Justice who refuses to prosecute voter intimidation by the Black Panther Party when they had an open shut case including video, refuses to go after any "hate crime" suspicions perpetrated by minorities, sues one of it's member states over the their right to uphold FEDERAL immigration law, and now wants to take to task a man who was sworn to uphold the law of the law and protect his constituents.  Is it just me or does it appear that the our DOJ has become a protector of the illegal and criminal rather than upholders of American law?

By the way, the crimes that Sheriff Joe is being accused of?  Racial profiling in immigration sweeps because his sweeps regularly take place in Latino neighbors.  Ignore the fact that is also these very same communities that boast the highest crime rates.  Mistreatment of prisoners by dictating that even bilingual jail officers can only speak to inmates in English stating it provides for a risk that medical emergency may go unchecked.  Ignore the fact that it doesn't prevent guards from "listening" in Spanish, only regularly speaking in Spanish.  Ignore the fact that this is an English speaking country, where the vast majority of it's people speak that language.  Cruel and unusual punishment by forcing prisoners to live in Tent City where temperatures can reach 120 degrees.  Ignore the fact that, as Joe puts it, we have American soldiers facing the same conditions, but wearing 40Lbs of body armor, who did nothing wrong but commit themselves to the defense of our nation and "if you don't like it, don't come back".  Racial targeting in that most of Sheriff's Joe's sweeps result in the incarceration of primarily illegal aliens of Mexican descent.  Never mind that Arizona is a border state, over run by drug cartels and illegal's crossing the border, where Phoenix has become the #2 city for drug cartel related kidnappings and murder, behind only Mexico City.   Improper arrest and detainment techniques in immigration enforcement.  Ignore the fact that 100 of MCSO deputies were trained and instructed by the Federal Immigration, Control, and Enforcement (ICE) agency, who are supposedly charged with doing the work that Sheriff Joe is now doing.  Yup, Sheriff Joe sure does sound like a den of corruption to me.

In closing, the Sheriff's office is not an office of the US Constitution, but one of state constitution.  This is an example of balance of power, in that the Sheriff's office is responsible to the state, not the federal government, operating under state law and authority.  I agree, there should be a level of oversight to prevent egregious abuses, but that is the charge of the state.  If the DOJ wants to go after someone, then they should do so thru the state legal process.  Let the state conduct the investigation and make the appropriate measures, not the Fed.  In either case, this is just another attempt by the Fed to silence those who fail to fall in lockstep with Obama's policies.  Yet another case of our government choosing to protect those that knowingly and willingly break our laws, rather than those that abide or are sworn to uphold them.  First it was the Tea parties, then the State of Texas, now Sheriff Joe Apraio.  This is becoming more and more common place.  If we allow our government to grow at unprecedented rates, we will soon find ourselves in a position where no one is allowed to speak out against the "all knowing, all powerful" federal government for fear of the weight of that government being able to suffocate us.  Who's next?  You, me, the vote of the American people?   That's not the America that I was brought up to believe in nor one I wish to see us devolve to.  This has to stop and November will our first step in this nation's course correction.


End Note:  In a "let me be clear clarification" from President Obama regarding the Cordoba House mosque at the site of Ground Zero, he stated that he was no longer going to comment about the mosque because he did not want to, "get involved in local decision-making".  Well Mr. President, too bad your philosophy doesn't extent to Arizona or Maricopa County.  I guess the only time you don't want to get involved is when you accidentally step on a political landmine due to your inability to keep your mouth shut.  So much for consistency.


Mosque at Ground Zero

Note:  This is strictly an editorial piece.  You will find little, to no, links trying to prove a point.  This is strictly my personal opinion.

There has been a lot of media attention regarding the proposal to build the 13 story Cordoba House mosque just 600 feet from ground zero in Manhattan.  We've heard everything from "we are stereotyping Muslims" to "destroying religious freedom" from the proponents of the build.  So it got me thinking, from an intellectual standpoint, what do I think about this?

Honestly, my opinions are deeply divided.  I've found myself trying to balance my opinions between an intellectual standing and an intensely emotional one.  As someone who always stated that politics and opinion should be based on common sense and thought rather than emotion, I find it very difficult for me to do so on this subject.

From the intellectual, libertarian standpoint, I believe that a person (group) has the ability to do what they wish, as long as the outcomes of that decision do not harm, or impede, upon the rights of another.  Physically speaking, the building of this mosque has no direct affects on the safety of another, in that it causes no physical harm.  It does not impede on any rights (real rights) of another that I'm aware of , so from that standpoint, again it should be allowed.  And finally, I do agree with a statement that President Obama made, in which he stated:

'Let me be clear: As a citizen and as President I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.

'That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.'

The part with which I agree is that Muslims DO have the freedom to practice their religion with the borders of the United States, should they be legal citizens.  My personal opinions and reflections upon their religion have no bearing on the subject, as simply disagreeing with someone does not infringe upon my rights, nor should it infringe upon theirs.  I also believe that they should have the right to build a mosque on private property, however, this is where my emotional side kicks in and it is a side that I can not ignore.

While I believe in all the above, as an AMERICAN, the place that have chosen to build this mosque is an outrage and a travesty.  To build a tribute to the very religion that perpetrated the worst attack on American soil in history, taking more than 3000 American lives, is nothing more than a snub to the people of this great nation.  Now, I understand that not all muslims supported this attack, it was still under the umbrella of Islam that the attacks took place.  It is akin to building a memorial to honor Japanese Kamikaze pilots that died in the Pearl Harbor attack upon the shores of Pearl Harbor or a memorial to soldiers that "escorted"  the Cherokee along the Trail of Tears.  It is claimed that this building will serve as a way of healing, but muslim mosques are not the community centers we envision.  They are places of exclusive worship for muslims and are not inviting of those outside the faith.  There are more than 30 mosques within New York, so why this one, why here?  It's not because there is a lack of locations for muslims to worship, this building serves no other purpose than to add insult to our injury, to rub salt into what is still a very open wound.

The Imam that is pushing for this mosque has stated that the purpose of this mosque is to promote good will and peace between muslims and the west, but how can you possibly believe that is the intent when they propose to build this center in what would of been the shadow of the the very buildings that this religion's follower's brought to the ground and resulted in the  murder of  thousands of citizens.  This is not a building of peace and love, but one of occupation and conquest.  It will serve no means other than to remind the American people of the loss that we all suffered on 9/11 and to claim a victory in that loss.  It is for this reason that I cannot separate my emotional feelings from my intellectual ones in this matter.

Another portion that treads on the fighting side of me is the complete and total amount of hypocrisy that has surrounded this whole affair.  This land has sat for years undergoing zoning decisions, landmark status, etc, but as soon as this Imam decided to build a mosque, all that was put aside and the process was essentially fast tracked to allow it.  It seems that nothing can be done quickly in New York, unless you are muslim wishing to build a monument to those that murdered American citizens. 

Likewise, when you look at the leftist attacks that have taken place against religion in this country, it simply blows my mind that "religious freedom"  is now the rally cry of it's supporters.  You can no longer have "Christmas" celebrations in areas that are within view of the populace, churches are not allowed to have public Nativity scenes, Hanukkah has suffered the same fate, cries for the word "God" to be pulled from any type of publication, even from the very documents that mark the founding of this great nation, yet we are being asked to respect "religious tolerance" for the Islamic faith.  With no other way to put it, that's a crap argument and only goes to prove that the leftist only believe in freedom when it's a freedom that they want.  Remove all traces of Judeo-Christian faith, but allow the building of religious house to support those that killed our people, it's bullshit!  Piss on a picture of the pope, or make comedic commentary on Jesus/God, and it's freedom of speech, but draw a cartoon picture of Mohammad and you suffer death threats and cries from the left of intolerance.  Again, bullshit!

As equally unnerving, we are now supporting this Imam in his travels across the Middle East as he raises support for the building of this travesty.  Sure, the official word is that no fund-raising will take place, but if you believe that, then I've got some ocean front property for you.  So not only is this Imam, who will not condemn or call the Hamas a terrorist organization, traveling the world to raise funds for this monument of islamic victory, but he is doing it on the American tax payer dime, paid in full by our state department.  It seems the more Anti-American you are, the more support that our government gives you.

Lastly, while I quoted President Obama above, I am left in disbelief that he voiced those words in the place that he did.  As President, he is supposed to be guardian of American ideals and of the American people, but like multitudes of times before, he put his personal ideology before that of the people that he represents.  Even though he quickly backtracked on those statements, (isn't that the Obama way), the fact that he made these statements, with no clue or caring about the views of the American people, goes to show me that he has no leadership abilities whatsoever.  It would have been best if he would have just kept his opinions to himself, but instead, he choose to do what he always does, speak off the cuff with nary a thought to fact or consequence.  The police acted stupidly, "plug the damn hole" while doing nothing to support, but tons to hinder, and now supporting the slap in the face, and adding to the pain, of of all the survivors of 9/11 by the islamic faith. 

Considering that Islam has made it a point of record to build monuments of triumph, in the form of "holy" places, at all sites of their conquests, maybe we were stupid to expect anything differently.  However, the Will of the American people is much stronger than muslims give us credit for.  Should this travesty be allowed, I fear for the conditions that it may cause.  I fear for the acts that it may result in, but then again, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  Politically speaking, I think that the People will remember that our government not only allowed this disrespect to happen, but aided it with wide open loving arms of support.  I think the people will have their say, but it may take until November 2010 & 2012 for their voices to be heard.  For once, I cannot  separate my emotional and intellectual feelings.  In this instance, American pride, grief for those lost, and mourning for a country scarred win over.  I hope this mosque, if allowed, suffers the same fate as the great buildings that stood 2 blocks over.  Those things birthed by fire, shall also be devoured by it.


When you find yourself in a hole, grab a shovel!

Well folks, the educational amendment that I told you about in The Showdown at High Noon has been passed into law.  This is the educational amendment, originally included in a War Supplemental bill, that unfairly targeted Texas and provides $10B in educational funding and another $16.1B to help fund state's medicare responsibilities.

However, this "emergency spending" amendment is no longer part of the War Supplemental bill, but is now part of HR 1586, which was originally a bill in March 19th, 2009 that was to be used to limit the amount of bonuses received by TARP recipients, but is now part of the FAA  Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act.  And like the original bill, this one maintains it's crusade against Texas, by making them the only state not eligible for funds.  Again we have a bill which includes for unrelated funding begs the question, what does educational and Medicare funding have to do with FAA Modernization?

Interesting note:  The latest version of HR 1586 passed the senate under the name of "_____ Act of _______".  You read that right, this bill passed the Senate with no name.  The Obama Congress, in such a rush to pass this emergency spending, did not even take the time to give the bill a name.  In such a rush that M. Speaker Pelosi demanded the House had to be recalled so as to pass this bill immediately and without time to give the bill a proper name.  Don't believe me?  Check the link that has the text of the bill from Govtrack.us, in which the Short Title, Section 1 states that this Act may be cited as 'XXXXXXAct ofXXXX’.  Anyone else getting those "We have to pass the bill before we can find out what's in it" vibes again?  I guess we have to pass this bill before we can name it this time. 

What does this money do?  Make no mistake folks, the educational portion of this bill ($10B) is a financial bailout for the teacher's and government employee unions after having been threatened with layoffs in the wake of state budgetary financial concerns.  The sole purpose of this bill is to 1. Prevent the lay off of additional teacher union employees. 2. Rehiring of teacher union employee previously laid off, and 3. Sustainability of current union benefits packages and perks.  This money comes on top of the $53.5B teachers union bailout from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, some of which hasn't even been spent yet.

Now before anyone starts blasting me on "Don't you think teachers deserve to be paid for the advancement of our youth?", the answer is yes I do, but I believe that they should be paid fairly and within reason.  For years, teacher and government employee's unions have forced states into contracts that they can no longer afford, especially in today's current financial situations.  There are ways to keep teachers employed, but still allow for the states to make much needed budget cuts.

Let us take the case of the Milwaukee school board (MSB)as an example.  The MSB proposed an amended health care plan that would instituted co-pays and would have saved an estimated $47.2M.  Now, most of us that have health care are required to provide a co-pay for our health benefits, but the teacher's union refused to bargain with MSB, thus resulting in the layoff of 428 teachers.  Read that again, rather than to adopt a health care plan that most of American's deal with on a daily basis, they opted for the layoffs, yet the unions were not held to blame.  Instead, it became a cry of "Save our Teachers, Save our Children, Save our Future".  The teachers union had it within their power to prevent this layoff, but choose not to!  It's not like their benefits were being reduced to unusable levels, this is a plan condition that most Americans utilize.

What other "benefits" were the union trying to protect?  The reinstatement of coverage for Viagra.  Again, I can't make this stuff up people.  The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (MTEA) went to a judge to order the MSB to reinstate the drug at a cost of $786,000 per year.  Now, call me cynical, but my thoughts are that the inability to get an erection is not really a "health concern".  If you really are so hard up (pun intended) for this medication, then you should fund it yourself.  The cost of this unnecessary drug comes at a cost of 12 first year teachers, but I guess erections trump jobs when it comes to the union.

The second part of this bill ($16.1B) will be used to help fund state's inabilities to meet their Medicare responsibilities.  However, this funding won't even come close to covering many states responsibilities for just this year.

Using Arizona as an example, earlier this year, the Arizona legislature attempted to cut costs by scaling back Medicare eligibility and eliminating the Kids Care programs, however, upon passage of Obama Care, it was mandated that all future Federal Medicare dollars were contingent on states maintaining existing programs at current levels.  While this bill includes $236M in supplemental funding for the Arizona programs, it is estimated that it will cost $400M just to maintain the program thru June 30th, 2011 and does nothing for the estimated $1B gap expected in the next fiscal year.

So, the new federal policies have put Arizona (and other states) between a rock and hard place.  They cannot afford to keep up their entitlement programs as they currently stand, but if they make any cost cutting measures to try and bring the fiscal situation under control, then they would be cutting themselves off from any additional funding from the fed to support those programs going forward.  Simply put, who holds the deficit once this money goes away?  It won't be the fed, but instead the states who are already burdened with rapidly growing budget deficits, partially due in part to federal policies.  Sen. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa) has went on record stating:

We'd be better off not to take the stimulus", going on to state that Arizona could achieve greater savings if they were freed from all the federal constraints that accepting the stimulus would put on them.

So what is the price for this "latest of government bailouts?"  Congress has stated it has been paid for by closing a "tax loop-hole" for businesses doing work overseas and by a $12B cut to the Food Stamps program in 2014.  They also claim that this isn't a bailout, but instead "a jobs saving measure". 

So each piece in part, first the "tax-loop hole".  This change will now require that all businesses pay tax on proceeds made internationally, where as they used to be able to claim this as tax deduction for business expense.  While this may sound good for the "keep work in America" crowd, let's look at that.  Company A builds a factory in China, with the express purpose of supplying China with it's product.  As it creates, and sells, it's product, it is subject to Chinese taxation, which because they are a foreign (US) company, pays a higher tax rate that Chinese based companies.  Once they have paid that tax on their profits in China, they must then turn around and pay US tax on that same money.  Now let us be clear about something, businesses never pay taxes.  Business taxes are paid either by passing that cost on to the consumer (if tax goes up, price of product goes up to compensate),  paid at the cost of the employee, either in reduction of wages or layoffs to compensate, or paid by investors in companies thru lower investment earnings as profit is used to pay those taxes.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that none of those three options provide for any growth or benefit to our economy.

Now the cut to food stamps program.  While the libertarian in me hates any type of entitlement program, you think I would be supportive of this measure, but I'm not.  It's not the cuts in the program that I disapprove of, but instead the method of the cut:  Use the money now, make the cuts later.  This is akin to telling a car company to go ahead and give you a car to drive now, because in 2014, you will be reducing your gas and housing budgets by $20,000, so the car will paid for.  While this would get you laughed out of any retailer on the face of the earth, this seems to make perfect since to our government.

Lastly, this is NOT a job saving's measure.  Yes, it will save the jobs of those in unions, but at the cost of the nation's economy and debt burden.  The members of those unions are overly benefited, which results in a disparity between the labor and the cost.  If you "save" a job that is over paid, do you really save anything at all?  Again looking at the Milwaukee teachers union, the union members average a salary of $56,000 per year, with a $40,000 benefits package PLUS a health care plan that costs $26,000 (compared to $14,500 for private employees) for a total compensation package of  $122,000 per year.  I'm all for giving teachers what they deserve, they are a hard working bunch, but their compensation must be at a rational, sustainable level commiserate with other Americans.  If this money could be saved, what other jobs could be opened up in the form of new school programs?  If state taxpayers were not forced to pay the taxes required to fund this exorbitant packages, how much of that money left in the taxpayers pocket would be injected back into the economy, thus providing for other jobs.  The questions are endless.

So, I ask you, when you find yourself in a hole, what do you do?  Well, if you are the federal government facing a huge financial and budgetary hole, you grab yourself a shovel and start digging, mostly into the back pockets of the taxpayer.  When you are a state with disastrous entitlement programs that are not sustainable or achievable (think California or New York) or beholden to union contracts that are neither rational or fair, you grab yourself a shovel and start digging into the Federal reserve, which in turn uses it's shovel against the taxpayer.  I for one do not approve of my money being used to bail out those states in which I do not reside, nor do I approve of the Fed using me as it's personal piggy bank for programs that do not work and will bankrupt this country.  However, the only way I know to stop it, is to take away the shovel.  Hopefully, we will do just that in November.


The Show Down at High Noon

So what happens when a state claims sovereignty over affairs within it's own borders and directly challenges the authority of the Obama Administration:  The Fed then passes laws to single out that state and punish the citizens of that state for their impenitence. 

This is what is currently happening between the state of Texas and Obama's Democrat controlled administration.  For those of you that don't know, Texas Governor Rick Perry first had the audacity to refuse participation in the federal Common Core Standards and Race to the Top educational programs required to receive educational "stimulus" funds.  Effectively telling Washington to "keep their money", Texas denied receipt of those funds claiming that the programs, and the strings that went along with them, would hurt Texas Education rather than helping.  The Texas Board of Education then detailed their own, state mandated requirements, that provided for a much more elevated quality of education than those provided by the fed.

In a second move,  Perry then denied more fed funds for unemployment insurance that would have come with even more strings and costs to the citizens of Texas.  Acceptance of these funds would have required the state to redefine their unemployment standards, placing additional costs on Texas businesses that could better use the money to create jobs, rather than fund those without.  Basically, Perry took the "teach a man to fish" outlook on unemployment which has led to Texas being one of the few states weathering this financial repression.

The fed then fired back by having the EPA overturn a 16 year Texas air permitting program which will most likely result in 125 refineries and businesses having to reapply for permitting which will have huge financial, and possible job loss, implications. 

Perry, undeterred, then fired back a letter via the Texas Congressional delegation concerning Obama's attempts to take over the regulation of oil and gas safety.  In what was essentially a big "F*** YOU" to federal authority, Texas declared:

While Congress has every right to consider whatever regulation it deems appropriate on activities in federal lands and waters, it is not permitted to force states to submit their successful regulations and laws to a federal agency for approval and allow that agency to unilaterally dictate changes.

The letter goes on to state:

Federal laws and regulations failed to stop the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  Given the track record, putting the federal government in charge of energy production on state lands and waters, not only breaks years of successful precedent and threatens the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, but it also undermines common sense and threatens the environment and economic security of our state's citizens.

So, simply put, everything you guys (fed) touch turns into a disaster.  Rigs without our lands and waters are ours and you best keep your hands off!  Don't mess with Texas!!

Well, all of this "insolence" has not been unnoticed or forgotten by Washington, so they have decided to use law and appropriations to try and bring Perry in line.  How do they intend on doing that?  By attaching  $10B in educational funding to a supplemental war-spending bill, then adding an amendment that specifically singles out and targets the state of Texas.  Never mind the question about why educational funds are tied to a bill intended for the support of war-time efforts, let's concentrate on the provision that unfairly singles out Texas.

In a supplement amendment added by Austin Democrat Lloyd Doggett, undue, and against the Texas state Constitution, provisions are levied against Texas and Gov. Perry.  Titled "Additional Requirements for the State of Texas", this amendment states that Gov. Perry must certify that the $800M in funding will not replace state funding and would remain as additional funding.  Requires that Gov. Perry provide assurance that state support for educational funding for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013 at, or above, current 2011 percentages.  Lastly, it requires that the state allocate those funds based upon federal Title I algorithms.

So, besides being specific to, and singling out only Texas, this has several flaws.  1.  Per the Texas state constitution, the governor does not have the power of appropriation of funds, as that is a responsibility of legislature.  By law, no one legislature can bind a future legislature, so even if Perry had the power, he would be breaking state law by accepting.  In addition, the provision is unfair as Texas is the only state that would be required to make such a certification.  And to top it all off, by declaring that the funds would be subject to Title I appropriation would mean that state algorithms could not be used, thus possibly resulting in an unequal distribution of those funds.  However, that doesn't stop Washington elites from trying to add such an amendment.  How dare the state of Texas defy the federal government?  Do it not know that the fed is the all-seeing, all-knowing, saving grace that knows better than thou?  I guess Perry and his state have different answers to those questions than those on the Hill would like them to have. 

So there you have it.  As I watch this unfold, I'm reminded of a scene in the movie Braveheart, when facing the British Army, the Scottish Nobles ask William Wallace what his intentions were.  With a gleam in his eye, he states "I'm going to pick a fight!"  It appears that Gov. Perry is following in those footsteps, choosing to pick a fight with an over-reaching, over-bearing federal government rather than just folding to their demands.  In what I'm sure to be only the start of a battle regarding state's rights and the place of state sovereignty within the United States, I'm sure this is not the last we will hear from Gov. Perry and the this wonderful state of Texas.   I for one am proud that we have a governor willing to take up this fight and stand for the freedom of his constituents.  I hope others will follow, and that those already in the fight, will continue.  As I've said before, if the State has no liberty, then neither does it's citizens.  Given the amount of intrusion that this Administration has made into our personal lives, I'm starting to believe that it's no longer America that is the last bastion of freedom, but instead, the individual states that make up this country.

American by birth, Texan by the grace of God!