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Remember what the Fourth of July stands for


The Fourth of July is more than fireworks, barbecue and watermelon — much more. It’s a day that marks the anniversary of one of the most momentous occasions in human history.

On that day in 1776, 56 brave men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming that the 13 original American colonies were no longer willing to live under tyrannical British rule.

Those men, among them some of the most notable names in American history, risked their own fortunes, their safety and that of their families by signing the document; they were still in the earliest stages of a war against an enemy that vastly outgunned them and was better trained. By signing their names to the very spirit of patriotism, the men risked being hanged in the event of defeat; and they risked consigning their families to lives of misery and poverty and persecution.

But they were not alone. Thousands of the signers’ fellow countrymen had already denounced loyalty to Great Britain and taken up arms against the British in the name of American independence. Seven bloody years after the signing of the Declaration and eight bloody years after the initial shots at Lexington and Concord, a new, free, republican nation was born.

Those 56 who risked their lives by signing their names to a document that declared in no uncertain terms that they meant to create a better place where freedom reigned supreme would undoubtedly have trouble recognizing their nation today. Given the state of political discourse and the tendency for bureaucracy to destroy freedom in order to centralize power and enrich the oligarchs, the federal government has effectively come to represent everything for which those men claimed disdain in the Declaration.

Have you ever actually read the Declaration? If so, how long ago was it? Only by reading the document can one understand just how the United States has come full circle back to tyranny.

Click here to read the document in its entirety. Read it slowly, and pay extra attention to the stated list of grievances. How many of those can we reasonably claim today?

For a thorough historical background and to better understand the Declaration’s signers, read “They Signed for Us,” which was written by Merle Sinclair and Annabel Douglas McArthur and first published in 1957.

If you have a little more time, visit readthedeclaration.com to request a free copy of the Declaration and the Constitution and to add your name to the list of Americans who read the founding documents over the holiday. Or better yet, buy three copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — one for each of your two senators and one congressweasel — and mail a copy to each with an admonition for them to read it and legislate accordingly.

But most of all, take time from your celebratory fireworks, meal preparations or travel to remember the Fourth of July, those brave men and women who fought for freedom, and what liberty really means.

Civil Rights Icon: ‘The Problem is Blacks Killing Other Blacks, Not the Confederate Flag’


An international civil rights icon and former Atlanta mayor weighs in on the debate the entire country is talking about. FOX 5’s Morse Diggs sat down with Ambassador Andrew Young to get his take on the Confederate flag and his answer might surprise you. He said some people fighting against the flag are more worried about treating the symptoms than treating the illness. Also he is not advocating a tax on the flag. The former two-term mayor suggested people focus more on the substance of the problems and issues of today and not on a symbol. He said a lesson should have been learned by what happened at the State Capitol. He said supporters of former Governor Roy Barnes won a big state battle but lost the State House. When looking at the flags that fly at Stone Mountain, it’s not hard to miss the presence of the Confederate Flag. For some it’s a symbol of past or even present attitudes of intolerance. Andrew young claimed it doesn’t answer anything. “I would never trade the flag for a single job,” said Young. “The problems we face don’t have anything to do with the flag. The fact is that 93% of black people killed are killed by other black people. So black lives matter. Let us start believing that we matter.”
Read more at http://conservativevideos.com/civil-rights-icon-the-problem-is-blacks-killing-other-blacks-not-the-confederate-flag/#pQzULdwXKtoLU8Uj.99

Driving Miss Crazy

Driving Miss Crazy

This May Change a Lot of Concepts -California Labor Commission: Uber Driver Is Employee

by Matthew Feeneyuber-logoUber,
According to the California Labor Commission, a San Francisco-based Uber driver who filed a claim against the rideshare company is an employee and not, as Uber argued, an independent contractor. The ruling orders Uber to pay the driver about $4,000 for expenses.

The ruling, which Uber considers non-binding, could potentially have devastating implications for the rideshare company in California. If similar rulings are issued regarding other rideshare companies like Lyft or sharing economy players such as Airbnb, Instacart, and TaskRabbit, we could see the growth of these popular and innovative companies stifled as they cope with the costs associated with having providers classified as employees.

The California Labor Commission ruling states that Uber is “involved in every aspect of the operation.” It is true that Uber provides a technology and that it carries out background checks on drivers. But Uber does not provide vehicles or set any hours or for its rideshare drivers. In fact, according to research on Uber wages conducted by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Uber’s Jonathan Hall, only 38 percent of Uber drivers rely on Uber as their sole source of income.

Regulators and lawmakers ought to realize that Uber drivers, who are often driving for Uber part-time while using their own vehicles on their own schedule, shouldn’t be treated the same as traditional workers.

Uber might seem like something relatively new given that it relies on users hailing rides with smartphones, but fundamentally it is making a very familiar experience easier. People were offering car rides in exchange for money long before the rise of the Internet, let alone smartphones. What makes Uber and other rideshare companies like Lyft so popular is that if someone wants a ride, they no longer have to find a friend ready and willing to give a ride at a particular time or stand on a street corner waving their hands in the hope of hailing a taxi. Rather, they can simply open an app and find a driver who is ready and willing to give a ride in exchange for a fare in a matter of minutes.

Uber and the sharing economy more broadly fit awkwardly into existing regulatory frameworks, but this should be welcomed as an opportunity to revise outdated regulations and laws, not an opportunity to regulate popular new companies as if they are the older incumbents they are competing with.

As the commission itself noted, Uber would not exist without drivers like the one who filed the claim. Certainly, Uber as we know it will become a very different company if its drivers in California are classified as employees. It will begin to look more like its traditional competitors rather than an innovative technology company, which would be a great shame.

Warming Embrace

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The Pale Blue Dot

In the Liberal Communist Progressive Crosshairs

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EPA and Sierra Club Communicated through Private Email on How to Destroy Coal

15880917134_bc4737459cHillary Clinton is not the only one in government who has been using an unofficial private email account for government work.

Guess who “helped” the Environmental Protection Agency develop rules to destroy regulate coal?

According to the Daily Beacon: “Top EPA Official Used Personal Email Address to Solicit Green Group’s Input.”

A high-level official at the Environmental Protection Agency used a personal email address to collaborate with a left-wing environmental group on major greenhouse gas regulations, newly released emails show.

Michael Goo, then the head of EPA’s policy division, in May 2011 emailed John Coequyt, the director of the Sierra Club’s international climate programs and a registered federal lobbyist, from his personal Yahoo email account.

Goo laid out a plan for the agency’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) regulations in a memo titled “NSPS Option X.” The NSPS regulations, when finalized, are expected to dramatically restrict greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Goo’s use of a personal email address could violate federal law, according to Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), who has investigated EPA officials’ use of personal email addresses in his capacity as the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

“For two years, his communications with the Sierra Club and other outside groups were hidden from congressional inquiries and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests—potentially violating the Federal Records Act,” Smith said in a May statement.

So radical environmentalist groups got special treatment and special input on regulations having to do with an industry they hate and want to destroy. That’s our government for you.

Is it any surprise, then, that the EPA wants to keep the alleged scientific basis of its rules and findings secret from the public? If they are letting radical environmentalist groups assist them, investigating the scientific basis of their decisions might expose how much ideology and how little science is driving those decisions.

The EPA is just another center of corruption in our Federal bureausaur that should be defunded and shut down.

Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2015/06/epa-and-sierra-club-communicated-through-private-email-on-how-to-destroy-coal/#J1d3spw9UEgDvl2Y.99

Bureaucratic incompetence is corruption

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The IRS is blaming employee mistakes for the allegedly permanent loss of 24,000 emails at the center of the Lois Lerner/Tea Party discrimination scandal. The agency posits its excuse — that the email washout was the result of a simple error — as an alternative to some conservatives’ accusation that IRS employees acted corruptly and maliciously.

Every time a government agency or employee is caught up in something that appears to be illegal, immoral, ill-advised or self-serving, the inevitable internal review yields a benign-sounding reason at the heart of the matter: Nobody meant to do bad. They just messed up. Honest mistake. There’s no motive, no evil intent — only incompetence, a failure of oversight, a workflow in need of further refinement.

But perhaps we should back away from the granular and regard the bureaucracy in its entirety. One scandal, involving real people with real names and personalities, can always be chalked up, plausibly, to good intentions undone by bad systems.

But take a macro-scale view of the same phenomenon, multiplied hundreds or thousands of times at every level and layer of government.

We can infer that those who work in government believe that scandals are more palatable to the public if they can be explained without condemning (or even identifying) anyone’s motives. If systems are to blame instead of people — if well-meaning people press the wrong buttons, email the wrong documents or naively confide in the wrong reporter — then the public is satisfied that nothing more can be done to correct an affront to their interests. It’s just another perpetrator-less crime.

This view presumes the system is inert and immovable. It’s not a variable; it’s too big to consider as a contributing factor in government malfeasance. If a scandal, at its core, can be blamed on systemic flaws, everyone shrugs and sort of ruefully says, “That’s too bad.” Life goes on.

That’s a dangerous place for the zeitgeist to be. Take a step back and ask: Malice or mistake — what’s the difference?

At this scale, among government agencies, programs, employees and (lest we forget) elected servants — all of whom aspire to supervise the overlapping interactions and obligations of 330 million people (plus the rest of the world) — what really distinguishes institutionalized incompetence from outright evil?

Certainly not outcomes. In today’s United States, it’s difficult to tell the difference between a scandal that arises from base human instincts and one that arises from someone’s ignorance of a metal gadget’s owner’s manual. The cumulative devastation of 1,000 culprit-free scandals is hard to distinguish from the devastation wrought by one good, unapologetic, rapacious, bloodthirsty, concupiscent political regime.

None of this is to argue that many, if not most, of the failures of America’s bureaucracy owe to anything other than dumb ineptitude. Most probably do; we could even grant, for the sake of argument, that they all do. That concession gets rid of the left’s beloved saw about conspiracy theorists and smoking guns. If we remove malice from the equation, there’s no sinister personality, no secret evil, behind all the bad things government does.

So what? The present age is sufficiently dystopian to allow for personal metaphors to circumscribe impersonal things, and there is much about the American system that is — yes — evil. There is much about America that continues to be very good, as well; but our institutional strengths have been in a state of decadence for a long time.

But that’s a topic unto itself. Until a tipping point’s worth of Americans come around to the idea that soulless system-blaming is just as outrageous and inexcusable as naked corruption, we’re stuck with more of the same.

GOWDY CATCHES CLINTON IN A BIG LIE

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The State Department said Thursday it cannot locate 15 work-related emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server released this week by the committee probing the 2012 Benghazi attacks — indicating she never turned them over, in a revelation the committee chairman described as “significant and troubling.”
The emails consist of more in a series of intelligence reports passed to her by longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, officials told The Associated Press.

At the least, the existence of the emails turned over by Blumenthal but not by Clinton directly contradicts Clinton’s news conference in March in which she claimed that all work emails from her personal server were turned over to the State Department.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, called the revelations “significant and troubling.”
– See more at: http://americanactionnews.com/articles/holding-back-benghazi-emails-missing-from-clinton-s-doc-dump#sthash.p4j8y83z.dpuf