A New Attack On Free Speech

Yesterday Godfather Politics posted a story about a new bill introduced in Congress by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey (D) and New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D)  called the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. For those of you that still believe that Congress names bills according to what they actually do, this bill should be a wake-up call.

The article quotes the beginning of the bill:

“To require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to update a report on the role of telecommunications, including the Internet, in the commission of hate crimes.”

“The report required under subsection (a) shall— “

‘‘(1) analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast  television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate, as de-scribed in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note);”

‘‘(2) include any recommendations, consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that the NTIA determines are appropriate and necessary to address the use of telecommunications described in paragraph (1); and”

‘‘(3) update the previous report submitted under this section (as in effect before the date of enactment of the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014).’’

Please do not assume that I support hate speech, but there are a few problems with this bill. Who determines what is hate speech? If I quote the Bible on the subject of homosexuality, is that hate speech? If I say that Jesus Christ is Lord (under Sharia Law, that is considered slander because it implies that Mohammad is not god), is that hate speech? Is criticizing the government hate speech?

You can see where this would go if the law were passed. Anything that limits our freedom of speech is wrong. Period. There will always be those among us who will say things we consider hateful, but it is their right to say those things. We have the option of attempting to correct them or ignoring them–we do not have the option of silencing them.

This is another reason why your vote is important when voting for Congressional representatives. Please do not vote for anyone who supports the idea of limiting free speech in America. It is a major part of our foundation as a nation.,

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Citizens Do Have A Voice

The North Carolina state legislature has listened to concerned parents and teachers who opposed Common Core.

Lady Liberty 1885 reported the following today:

At the fourth and final meeting of the NC General Assembly’s Common Core study committee, a bill was unveiled that will remove Common Core from the state’s statutes. The bill also calls for a return to North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which will be developed by an academic review commission.

The draft bill is titled “Replace Common Core To Meet NC’s Needs”. The draft number is TLza-24.  Update: Here is the link to the report and draft bill.

Chairman Holloway stated this bill is not intended to just rename Common Core but instead, replace it. The draft bill also leaves the national testing consortiums tied to the Common Core (PARCC, SBAC) in favor of a new assessment instrument to assess student achievement. In addition, the draft bill states, “The State Board shall not acquire or implement such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.”

This is wonderful news. The invasion of privacy included in Common Core, along with the age-inappropriate material and the convoluted approach to mathematics is not a good thing.

Thank you, legislators in North Carolina for listening to the people who elected you.

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The Dangers Of Being Uninformed

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog has done a number of articles recently about Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer. This is the link to one of those articles. Somehow the information in these articles has escaped the mainstream media, so if you don’t follow the alternative media, chances are this information is new to you.

Tom Steyer is an opponent of the Keystone Pipeline. He claims that his opposition is based on his principle of environmental concerns and that he is strongly opposed to any sort of fossil fuel. Okay. He is entitled to his opinion and principles. However, when you look a little closer, some questions crop up. Mr. Steyer is a major investor in Kinder Morgan, a company that is building a pipeline that will compete with the Keystone Pipeline. If you look even a little closer, you find out that Mr. Steyer made his fortune in coal.

Mr. Steyer has recently written a letter to the Middlebury College and Brown University Boards of Trustees stating that a coal free portfolio is a good investment strategy. That is very interesting considering that Mr. Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management L.L.C. (“Farallon”) in 1986.

The article at Power Line (linked above) reports:

In order to gain an appreciation of the extent of Farallon’s epic involvement in the coal sector under Mr. Steyer’s tenure one needs to spend time in Jakarta and Sydney, and in the regional financing centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and speak to professionals (bankers, lawyers, mining consultants and principals) who were directly involved in these Farallon-sponsored coal transactions. With a modicum of effort one discovers that since 2003 Farallon has played the pivotal role in financing the tremendous restructuring and growth in thermal coal production in the region. All of this took place under Mr. Steyer’s tenure as founder and senior partner of Farallon.

YouTube posted a recent interview of John Hinderaker on the subject of Tom Steyer:

As usual, liberal principles don’t apply to liberals–they only apply to Republicans and conservatives.

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How Far Do States’ Rights Go?

KWKT,com posted a story yesterday (updated today) about the federal government’s latest land grab. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has written a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze about a BLM potential seizure of land that rightfully belongs to Texas landowners.

This is the letter:

April 22, 2014
The Honorable Neil Kornze
Director
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Kornze:
Respect for property rights and the rule of law are fundamental principles in the State of Texas and the United States. When governments simply ignore those principles, it threatens the foundation of our free and prosperous society. That is why I am deeply concerned about reports that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering taking property in the State of Texas and that it now claims belongs to the federal government. Given the seriousness of this situation, I feel compelled to seek answers regarding the BLM’s intentions and legal authority with respect to Texas territory adjacent to the Red River.

I understand that your office is in the early stages of developing a plan—known as a Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS)—to regulate the use of federal lands along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River. As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply troubled by reports from BLM field hearings that the federal government may claim—for the first time—that 90,000 acres of territory along the Red River now belong to the federal government.

Private landowners in Texas have owned, maintained, and cultivated this land for generations. Despite the long-settled expectations of these hard-working Texans along the Red River, the BLM appears to be threatening their private property rights by claiming ownership over this territory. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.

Nearly a century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River—subject to the doctrines of accretion and avulsion—was the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma v. Texas, 260 U.S. 606 (1923). More recently, in 1994, the BLM stated that the Red River area was “[a] unique situation” and stated that “[t]he area itself cannot be defined until action by the U.S. Congress establishes the permanent state boundary between Oklahoma and Texas.” Further, the BLM determined that one possible scenario was legislation that established the “south geologic cut bank as the boundary,” which could have resulted “in up to 90,000 acres” of newly delineated federal land. But no such legislation was ever enacted.

Instead, in 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation ratifying an interstate boundary compact agreed to by the State of Texas and the State of Oklahoma. With Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, federal law now provides that the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma is “the vegetation on the south bank of the Red River . . .”—not the “south geologic cut bank.” Given this significant legal development, it is not at all clear what legal basis supports the BLM’s claim of federal ownership over private property that abuts the Red River in the State of Texas.

This issue is of significant importance to the State of Texas and its private property owners. As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply concerned about the notion that the BLM believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations. Accordingly, I hereby request that you or your staff respond in writing to this letter by providing the following information as soon as possible:
1. Please delineate with specificity each of the steps for the RMP/EIS process for property along the Red River.

2. Please describe the procedural due process the BLM will afford to Texans whose property may be claimed by the federal government.

3. Please confirm whether the BLM agrees that, from 1923 until the ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River. To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s position.

4. Please confirm whether the BLM still considers Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact as determinative of its interest in land along the Red River? To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s new position.

5. Please delineate with specificity the amount of Texas territory that would be impacted by the BLM’s decision to claim this private land as the property of the federal government.
In short, the BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. It is incumbent on BLM to promptly disclose both the process it intends to follow and the legal justification for its position.
Sincerely,
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

At least Texas has an Attorney General that is willing to stand up for the rights of its citizens.

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And All This Time You Thought Common Core Was About Education

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Bill Gates will shut down his Gates Foundation (and Carnegie Corporation) financed nonprofit educational-software company InBloom Inc. permanently.

This was the company that was going to compile large amounts of information on students.

The article reports:

The strategy driving inBloom had been to create a huge database connecting local school districts and state education bureaucracies with behemoth education companies.

To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit had hoped to provide a smorgasbord of data about students. What homework are they doing? What tests are they assigned? What are their test scores? Their specific learning disabilities? Their disciplinary records? Their skin colors? Their names? Their addresses?

The Atlanta-based company had originally signed up nine states for the database. It planned to charge school districts between $2 and $5 per student for the privilege of participating in the student data collection scheme.

The intrusive data collection of student information was not the only surprise in Common Core. (also note that the school systems would be paying for the privilege of having their students’ privacy violated)  Upon investigating the curriculum which is aligned to Common Core, parents found lessons that were age inappropriate, lessons that were historically inaccurate and slanted, and literature for junior high reading that bordered on pornographic.

A few states are already are already responding to parental concern about Common Core and are backing away from using the standards and curriculum. Hopefully all states will move in that direction and then move to set up standards that work for them.

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An Emboldened Russia Begins To Move

There was no real cost to Russia for taking over the Crimean region of Ukraine, so Russia has decided to see exactly how far it can go. There are three stories linked on the Drudge Report right now that are merely a taste of things to come.

The three stories are:

RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away

U. S. Troops Arrive in Poland For Exercises across Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis

Russia Says Conducting Military Drill Near Ukraine

The first story is from Sky News. The story reports:

Two Russian bombers which flew close to UK airspace have been chased away by an RAF jet fighter.

The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev 95s, were spotted off the coast of northeast Scotland.

They were turned away from Britain when an RAF Typhoon was scrambled from Leuchars airbase, near Dundee.

Crews stationed there are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment’s notice.

…The two Russian planes were escorted by the Typhoon, as well as military aircraft from the Netherlands and Denmark, until they flew off towards Scandinavia.

Also known as ‘Bears’, the aircraft – turboprop-powered bombers which also conduct airborne surveillance - have been used for more than 50 years.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times and they are perfectly entitled to do so.

“Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation.”

If you believe the denial by Russia that the planes entered UK airspace, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying. You can have all the tolls.

The second story is from Fox News.  The story reports:

U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland on Wednesday as part of a wave of U.S. troops heading to shore up America‘s Eastern European allies in the face of Russian meddling in Ukraine. 

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to four countries across Eastern Europe for military exercises over the next month. 

First, about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, are arriving in Poland. 

Additional Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and are expected to arrive by Monday for similar land-based exercises in those countries.

Six hundred soldiers is not going to stop anything, but it might send a message that continued aggression against former Soviet satellites will not be accepted.

The third article is from Reuters. It is a correction of a previous article. The article states:

Russia on Wednesday conducted military exercises in its south-western Rostov region, which borders Ukraine, a spokesman for Russia’s southern military district said.

Another probe to see if the NATO nations or any other nations are willing to stand up to the naked aggression of Russia.

I hope that our State Department and Defense Department are smart enough to get out of this without starting World War III. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic.

 

 

 

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Justice Turned Upside Down

On Friday, National Review reported that the Center of Public Service and Social Justice at Yale University (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group) has rejected the membership request of Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) to join the group, the school’s community-service umbrella organization. Joining the Center of Public Service and Social Justice group would give the pro-life group access to Dwight Hall’s funds, meeting rooms, service vehicles, and many other resources.

The article reports:

CLAY had one minute to present its case for membership, followed by no deliberations whatsoever. Immediately after the presentation, one representative from each of the 96 member organizations of Dwight Hall voted. The exact tally is unknown to those outside Dwight Hall, but a majority voted against the pro-life group.

The article explains one reason for the opposition:

On the day before the vote, one of the student leaders of Dwight Hall wrote an op-ed in the Yale Daily News that asked fellow student leaders to reject CLAY’s petition for membership. Andre Manuel argued that the vote was not a matter of free speech but of a difference in opinion over the definition of “social justice.” According to Manuel, a group that denies reproductive rights cannot have a claim to an organization that promotes social justice.

Obviously, this social justice group sees no injustice in killing the unborn.

The article further reports:

But the group’s work is not limited to such activism (pro life activism). In recent years, with the opening of a nearby crisis pregnancy center, CLAY members have devoted themselves to volunteering and serving mothers in their time of material, emotional, and spiritual need.

All of these aspects of CLAY certainly fit within Dwight Hall’s purported mission “to foster civic-minded student leaders and to promote service and activism in New Haven and around the world.” By rejecting the group, Dwight Hall has made clear that its definition of “social justice” — with member organizations ranging from Amnesty International to Students for Justice in Palestine — does not include active service to the community by conservative groups.

This is what our young adults are being taught about social justice at one of the most prestigious schools in the nation. What a disgrace.

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Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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What Are We Telling Our Graduates?

Heritage.org posted an article today about the difference in numbers between conservative and liberal graduation speakers. They also looked at the statistics on Democrat and Republican speakers.

The article reports:

Democratic governors set to speak outnumber Republican ones by a ratio of 11-6, reports Campus Reform’s editor in chief, Caleb Bonham, while Democratic senators overshadow Republican  senators by a 9-4 ratio.

The most heavily weighted group of invited speakers? Liberal political appointees and operatives are 21-5 over conservative counterparts.

…“The bullies’ vision of America is alarming to behold, with the values of peaceful coexistence turned on their head,” Jennifer A. Marshall, director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, wrote recently for The Foundry in a piece about the growing intolerance of the Left.”

What is the message that we are sending our young adults?

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An Opinion From An Interesting Source

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article quoting Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner, on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal,

The article quoted Ms. Mitchell:

“This is a sea change! People need to understand — this has never happened before in my lifetime and I don’t think anybody’s lifetime, where you have the president of the United States, elected members of Congress calling on the IRS to silence their political opponents, and having the IRS management and top brass doing what the politicians wanted them to do, and essentially taking sides in a philosophical and political debate between conservatives and liberals,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner.

“The more we allow government to mushroom and metastasize, we become more like the former Soviet Union where you have the commissars who have laws for everybody else, the little people, that don’t apply to them, and they use the government to go after their opponents and people are afraid of the government,” Mitchell said. “I mean, this is happening. And we have to stop it.”

It has become very obvious that the Obama Administration wants to silence anyone who is opposed to their policies. If they are successful in this, it is not a stretch to think that any future administration of either party will employ similar tactics.

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When The Science Doesn’t Agree With The Politics

Associated Press posted a story today about a recent government study about the use of biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants. The study showed that these biofuels release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with gasoline.

The article reports:

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

Note–the “cellulosic biofuels have received more than a billion dollars in federal support.” That is obscene. America would have a better chance of finding alternative fuels if we allowed private industries to develop them and make a profit from the research.

The article concludes:

Still, corn residue is likely to be a big source early on for cellulosic biofuels, which have struggled to reach commercial scale. Last year, for the fifth time, the EPA proposed reducing the amount required by law. It set a target of 17 million gallons for 2014. The law envisioned 1.75 billion gallons being produced this year.

“The study says it will be very hard to make a biofuel that has a better greenhouse gas impact than gasoline using corn residue,” which puts it in the same boat as corn-based ethanol, said David Tilman, a professor at the University of Minnesota who has done research on biofuels’ emissions from the farm to the tailpipe.

Tilman said it was the best study on the issue he has seen so far.

Alternate fuels are somewhere in our future, but they are not currently ready for prime time. It’s time to get the government out of the energy business, build the Keystone Pipeline and get on with it.

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An Easter Message From General Boykin

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Post by Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin.
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What Are We Doing To Our Children?

Fox News posted a story today about some of the lessons given to fourth grade students at Pasodale Elementary School in El Paso, Texas. One of the lessons cited was the story of a wife finding a strange hairclip under her bed with a different color hair in it than her hair. The second lesson deals with a mother learning about the death of her son. In the second lesson, the entire situation does not even accurately describe how the military brings the news to the family of a fallen hero. These are not age-appropriate subjects for fourth grade students.

The article reports:

Today on Your World, parenting expert Dr. Deb Gilboa said she was “shocked” by the material.

She said, “This teacher either didn’t read the assignment before handing it out, or had not enough life experience to realize that there’s no correct answer to these questions.”

Last year in Arizona, FoxNews.com reported that students at Playa Del Rey Elementary School were asked to read the same passages. In that instance, the teacher hadn’t read the assignment and immediately apologized.

Dr. Gilboa noted that kids already see messages they’re not old enough to comprehend, but parents shouldn’t have to worry about that coming from a school.

The article does not state this, but I strongly suspect that the material is part of the suggested lessons included in the Common Core.  There are a number of textbooks that have been written to be compatible with the Common Core curriculum. The best thing that could happen for American students would be for the Common Core curriculum to be thrown out and states be allowed to set their own standards. Hopefully the textbooks adopted after the demise of Common Core will not include the kind of fourth grade lessons shown above. These lessons should be categorized as child abuse.

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But I Didn’t Think That Law Would Apply To Me!

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon reported that Media Matters is forcing its employees to make the vote to unionize under the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) a secret ballot. This is amazingly ironic. Media Matters is a liberal organization headed by David Brock, a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton.

The article reports:

It is unclear why Media Matters did not opt to allow its employees to organize through a card check campaign, in which a union submits signed petitions from employees expressing their interest to join the union. MMFA, its attorneys, and the SEIU did not return requests for comment.

Media Matters has a long record of slamming Republicans and conservatives who want to protect secret ballot union elections.

The organization published multiple pieces celebrating the Democrat’s so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for unions to organize through card check campaigns and prevent employers from forcing a secret ballot election.

Media Matters researcher Meagan Hatcher-Mays took to the organization’s blog to criticize “a wave of Republican anti-union legislation [that] has placed obstacles between workers and union representatives and disrupted opportunities for workplace productivity.”

It is becoming very obvious that the best way to illustrate the problems with the liberal agenda is to ask liberals to abide by their own laws.

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History Repeats Itself In A Frightening Way

USA Today is reporting today that Jews have been ordered to register in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk. The article shows a picture of the leaflet that was given to Jews emerging from a synagogue. The leaflet asks that all Jews over the age of 16 pay a registration fee and provide a list of all the property they own “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.”

The article reports:

The leaflets bore the name of Denis Pushilin, who identified himself as chairman of “Donetsk’s temporary government,” and were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue and other areas, according to the reports.

Pushilin acknowledged that fliers were distributed under his organization’s name in Donetsk but denied any connection to them, Ynet reported in Hebrew.

Emanuel Shechter, in Israel, told Ynet his friends in Donetsk sent him a copy of the leaflet through social media.

…Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it’s unclear whether the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group operating within the pro-Russian camp.

Either way, this is frightening.

We need to remember that the Jewish people are ‘the canary in the coal mine.’ When the Jewish people are treated badly, bad things will follow. I am not recommending that America send military forces into the Ukraine, but we need to move quickly to get Russia out of there. I strongly suggest collapsing the Russian economy by developing our own energy resources. If the price of oil drops, the Russian economy will be in serious trouble. America needs leadership that will make this happen.

 

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If You Can’t Beat It, Charge For It

The quest for individual energy independence has increased as utility rates have risen due to the environmental policies of the Obama Administration. If the Obama Administration continues its war on coal, we can expect electricity rates to go even higher. As that happen, people are looking for ways to generate their own electricity and cut their utility bills. Well, not so fast.

Think Progress, a progressive organization, posted an article yesterday reporting that Oklahoma will be charging consumers who provide their own energy through solar panels or windmills an additional fee (read “tax”).

The article reports:

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

“We knew nothing about it and all of a sudden it’s attached to some other bill,” Ctaci Gary, owner of Sun City Oklahoma, told ThinkProgress. “It just appeared out of nowhere.”

The article further reported:

The bill was staunchly opposed by renewable energy advocates, environmental groups and the conservative group TUSK, but had the support of Oklahoma’s major utilities. “Representatives of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said the surcharge is needed to recover some of the infrastructure costs to send excess electricity safely from distributed generation back to the grid,” the Oklahoman reported.

Adding the surcharge is not smart. The advantage of people adding individual solar panels or windmills to their homes is that the panels can generate electricity during peak use times and prevent utility companies from having problems meeting the demand at those times. Obviously, the surcharge will discourage people from adding either panels or windmills. I suspect that a single small windmill does not create some of the problems that a large wind farm causes.

Allowing people who choose to add alternative power to their homes should not be a political issue. If the addition conforms to community standards, the use of alternative energy should be welcomed. If the utility companies have become so powerful that they can prevent the individual from becoming energy independent, it is time to elect people to government that will stand up against those companies. I don’t want to deny anyone a profit, but I also don’t want to see people denied the opportunity to become energy independent.

Sometimes conservation measures are not welcomed by bureaucrats. In the small town we used to live in, residents were asked to conserve water. After we had done our best to do that, the residents were told that because we were using less water, the Water Department was forced to raise the water rate to cover expenses. Simply speaking, that is not fair.

 

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Yes, We Are Bailing Out Detroit

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that despite denials by the White House, Washington is bailing out Detroit. The bailout of $100 million is being described as “blight remediation.”

The article reports:

…it (the $100 Million) allows the city’s new managers to reshuffle more cash into the city employees’ pension funds, which were looted by city and union officials for several decades.

The stealth bailout was exposed by the Detroit Free Press, which said the $100 million would be taken from the so-called “Hardest Hit Fund.” That fund was created by the administration in 2010 to counter the disastrous implosion of the federally-inflated real estate bubble.

Evidently the “Hardest Hit Fund” had been drained over the years by unconventional practices, including the periodic payout of funds to employees in years when the funds’ value were boosted by Wall Street investments.

Keep in mind that the stock market has been in fairly good shape over the last few years due to the influx of money from quantitative easing. That should have kept the funds viable had they been handled properly.

The article further reports:

Detroit has been under Democratic control since the departure of Louis Miriani in 1962, when the city’s residents had the nation’s highest per capita income.

The city crashed in the 1970s, amid racial acrimony and incompetent management at the city’s vital auto plants.

Many other cities and states face severe pension difficulties. They’re led by Chicago and Los Angeles, where Democratic control has boosted the pensions of government employees.

Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, has promised to send $350 million in state funds to the city.

It matters who runs your city. Part of the problem is unfunded liabilities (large pensions promised to union government employees). In order to get our cities and states under financial control, we need to make sure that the promises we make to our municipal and state employees are paid for at the time the promises are made. The federal government can print money–states and cities cannot.

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Waking The Sleeping Giant

Last night the guest speaker at the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA) was Dr. Timothy Daughtry, author of Waking the Sleeping Giant. The CCTA holds a non-partisan monthly public meeting to educate voters about issues facing North Carolina and America.

The mission statement of the CCTA is:

The Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association, a grassroots, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, advocates minimum government and maximum freedom. We are dedicated to the preservation of free enterprise and the United States Constitution.  Excessive taxation upon citizens is unconstitutional, immoral, and a complete contradiction of success through the free market system.  We are dedicated to serve our community, our state, and our country by oversight, research, public education and advocacy in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.

Dr. Daughtry pointed out that politically America is basically a center-right country, yet most legislation in the past one hundred years has been initiated by the political left. Generally speaking, conservatives are playing defense while liberals are on the offense with a long-range plan.

The mainstream of America can be described as believing in a Judeo-Christian worldview, personal responsibility, and a sense of independence. The political left generally believes in moral relativism, entitlement, and more government power. The book, Waking the Sleeping Giant, explains what the mainstream needs to do to take back America.

I strongly recommend reading Waking the Sleeping Giant, but I also strongly recommend attending the next public meeting of the CCTA on May 20 so that you can become a better-informed voter.

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Happy Birthday, Mustang

This week Mustang turns 50. She looks pretty good for her age:

Yes, I know that’s a 2010, but that’s the picture I like!

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line about Mustang’s birthday (with a few comments on her history).

The article included the question, “Which gives off more air pollution, a 1969 Mustang parked in a driveway with the motor off or a  2013 Mustang, roaring down the road at 60 mph?”

The answer is surprising:

If you’re very clever (or keep up with Matt Ridley), you’ll know the answer is that the parked 1969 Mustang gives off more air pollution, in the form of unburned hydrocarbons evaporating through the old-school carbuerator and unsealed gas tank caps (among other places).  A good object lesson in the advancement of engine technology.  And the fact that the real heroes of environmental improvement were engineers with pocket protectors more than hippie environmentalists.

Amazing.

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Yes, Conservative Groups Were Purposely Targeted

A website called Tpnn posted a story today featuring a picture of the memo sent from Lois Lerner that began the IRS attack on Tea Party Groups.

This is the memo:

irsloislernerThis memo brings the administration into the targeting of Tea Party groups. It will be interesting to see if the mainstream media picks this up.

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A Graph Tells The Story

Yesterday the I J Review posted the following graph:

education-trends-national

So what does the graph tell us? More money does not equal better education. More employees do not equal better education.

The article concludes:

There is no connection between more funding and better education results; but the stagnation in educational quality has come not only with more funding, but increased federal control over education.

Decentralize control over public education and give parents and educators more options. You have the data that spending America into a huge amount of debt for all manner of feel-good social spending projects doesn’t work, now do it for the children – especially since they’re paying for it.

Why are we supporting a federal education bureaucracy that does not work? Let’s give the money back to the taxpayers.

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Changing The Parameters To Mask The Results

Today’s New York Times is reporting that the Census Bureau, an agency which President Obama brought into the sphere of the White House, is changing the way it reports health insurance date. The change will make it more difficult to measure the impact of ObamaCare in the report due out this fall.

The article reports:

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.

“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau.

Can you pick out the taking points?

This will, of course, mute the effectiveness of attacks on ObamaCare in the fall election.

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A Discussion On Benghazi From People With The Proper Experience

On April 2, YouTube posted the following discussion on Benghazi featuring Clare Lopez and Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy:

As you can see from the video, both of these people have the experience to comment on the events on the night of September 11, 2012, and the aftermath.

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