Archive for the ‘Liberty’ Category
Anybody who has Cable TV knows the frustration of having a few hundred channels but nothing to watch. Part of the reason is the bundling done by content providers. So for example, if you want Discovery Channel you are stuck with getting the Oprah network because they it is owned by Discovery communications and the company sells its programming as a group. For parents of Kids if you want Nickelodeon you have to take Logo (the Gay Channel), Other programming companies do the same which is the reason you have ESPN 1, 2,3, 4, Classic, etc. as part of your cable. The problem is while you may only want ESPN 1&2 your cable system pays for all of them and passes on the cost.
The Cable companies do the same thing. A family doesn’t get to pick its favorite 900 channels, but has to purchase tiers. So instead of purchasing just History Channel, National Geo, Discovery, etc. the monthly I receive includes things that are never watched on my family’s sets, a H.S. Sports channel, five different Christian Networks, a medical channel…etc.
John McCain wants to change all that.
The Arizona Senator introduced a new bill, the Television Consumer Freedom Act, that would present incentives to both cable operators and television networks to let consumers choose the channels in their subscription. Right now, all customers pay substantial “carriage fees” for the most popular channels—ESPN is pegged at about $5 per subscriber—whether they want them or not.
The biggest change would come in the way networks sell their channels to cable operators. Right now, media companies like Disney and Viacom sell their channels in bundles, forcing operators to pay for third-tier networks in order to get access to ESPN or Nickelodeon. Cablevision is currently suing Viacom for the practice.
McCain’s bill would force the networks to unbundle their products, theoretically allowing cable operators to be more thoughtful in their channel selection and pass the savings on to consumers. In the past, though, television networks have argued that bundling channels allows niche programming to exist when it would otherwise be economically unfeasible.
The bill “is about giving the consumer more choices when watching television,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “It’s time for us to help shift the landscape to benefit television consumers.”
While the bill requires networks to unbundle their channels, it only encourages cable operators to offer consumers a similar luxury. Cable companies that refuse to offer channels individually would lose out on a special compulsory copyright license which allows them to air content from broadcast networks for a set fee without getting tangled up in individual channel negotiations, as they do with cable networks.
While I may agree with McCain’s objective I do not believe it is government’s place to interfere in the business of cable TV. There is plenty of competition in the programming industry between cable, satellite and now streaming video on the internet so there is no monopoly issue. That’s why ignoble experiments such as Discovery’s Green channel (climate change 24 hours/day) is gone.
Another issue is McCain’s bill forces the programmers to unbundle but not the cable systems, so he is picking winners and losers in the marketplace.
There will be unintended consequences to McCain’s bill that we can only imagine, higher fees for the networks the systems do want leading to higher costs for consumers as the systems will carry only the more popular/expensive networks, less experimentation in programming leading to practically the same thing on every channel are just two. Whenever the government try to regulate an industry costs go up and production goes down.
Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer a cable/satellite marketplace that is unbundled but it is not government’s place to decide what into my cable box (Granted that’s what happens with the network news, but I’m not talking about news bias). As more and more options become available on line, the marketplace will force the programmers and cable networks to change. Today there are other problems, the economy, unemployment, cheap energy, losing our place of leader of the free world and countless others for John McCain to worry about which networks are wired into people’s households.
I haven’t even gotten to the question if government gets into our cable boxes what information will it retrieve from them, or will they eventually require cable systems to carry some networks and not carry others? You say never? Six years ago would you ever believe our government would pass a bill requiring someone to purchase healthcare?
Personal entertainment, whether it is in the movie theaters, internet, or coming out of our cable boxes is personal business. The only people who should be involved are the programmers, cable systems and the families who are paying to bring it into their households. The government has ruined so many industries through regulation, they should not get their grubby little hands on my cable box.
There was a strong push in the last Arizona election cycle to disenfranchise political parties by turning the Arizona Primary election into a “round one general election” in which there would be a single ballot with all candidates listed on it without regard to party affiliation, but only the top two vote-getters from the Primary would be on the General Election ballot. Some very good political thinkers were involved at least in conceptualizing this ballot proposition. The proposition failed by a two to one margin
The main thing the proposition was designed to do was to give independents (voters not affiliated with any party) a greater say in the primary. There are certain good things about today’s party system; it allows people with common political views to identify their positions on issues (platform) and to select candidates who will run for office in the general election. The founding fathers were not fond of political parties; but parties in their times were specific special interest factions such as merchants, or lawyers, or veterans, or bankers, or planters. The political parties spoken of by Washington and his contemporaries were what we would now call lobbyists or political action committees (PACs).
Today’s parties are made up of voters with diverse professions, economic stations, races, educational levels, and lifestyle, and serve primarily as a vetting process for candidate selection. party) more say in Primary elections. To me that alone doesn’t make any sense because primary elections are elections in which political parties nominate their candidates. Independents are independents because they don’t support party politics. Arizona already does something that I think is very bad in that they allow independents to vote in one primary of any party they wish. To me nobody except party members should have a say in who the party nominates.. I’m glad it did because I think it was a very bad idea.
Even minor parties have played a significant role in shaping our politics. By presenting their views to the public they have caused the two major parties to adjust to attract those voters. Two examples are the Socialist Party who originated the idea of vast social programs and redistribution of wealth, and the Libertarian Party who has pushed for a more stringent compliance with the constitution and lest government involvement in the lives of citizens. Both of these minor parties have never reached the number of supporters needed to enact their policies, but the Democrats have adapted many of the aims of the Socialist Party, and the Republicans have adjusted to the right in response to the ideas of the Libertarian Party.
One problem with a top two primary is that it does not give the voter more choices but limits them to only two in the general election. A second problem is that in a district in which one party dominates, no other party has a chance to make it on the ballot, both general candidates could be from the same party. It would virtually illuminate all minor party candidates from ever getting on a general ballot.
Many independents say there is no difference between the two parties; however, even the most cursory review of their stand on issues reveals that as false. The main causes of independent discontent with the two major parties can be categorized as: 1) They are all professional politicians who are mostly concerned with feathering their own nest and being reelected, and 2) They can’t work together to get anything done.
I think Item one is partly true; I do believe that many people in congress have a genuine desire to do what’s right, but their view may differ from that of many of their voters. They have elevated themselves to a special class that is paid much more than the average voter, has amazing perks and benefits, and gives them special exceptions to things the rest of us live with every day. When congress was first given an annual salary in 1855 it was $3000; comparing the consumer price index of 1855 to 2012, that equates to under $12,000 per year in today’s dollar. Then, being in Congress was a part time job, they spent a couple of months a year mostly approving a budget.
This brings us to item two. As the founders intended, the federal government dealt with relatively few departments and programs, they didn’t enact many new laws every year, they took care of business and got back their farm, store, law officer, parsonage, etc. For the last 80 years congress has gotten along too well, they have passed way to many laws, creating way too much government, and spending way too much public revenue. Any congress that refuses to raise expenditures or increase taxes is a good congress. Democrats want to keep using the public revenue to buy votes, and Republics want to reverse that process. In a nutshell that is the difference between the two parties. I will vote for the senator or representative who refuses to go along with government programs, trillion dollar deficits, and forever increasing taxes. A “do-nothing” congress is better than a “do-something” congress unless the something being done is cutting spending, cutting government, and cutting taxes.
So since the main accusation is that Democrats and Republicans are the same, you better look again. And if you want to save the country you better hope the “do-nothings” outnumber the “do-everythings”.
There are things that make schools particularly attractive targets for evil men or crazies who want to inflict harm on others or who want to hurt society: Schools contain large numbers of helpless children and a few adults who can pose no threat to an attacker; Being gun-free zones, schools guarantee that the will be no armed person in a school, with the possible exception of a school resource officer; and, once the slaughter starts, the attacker knows that it will take several minutes for the police to be called and to respond. The attacker also knows that if there is a single policeman assigned to the school, he could get rid of that threat to him by simply removing the officer or distracting him in some way; and even if the officer is not disabled the attacker would simply have to begin his attack in one of the more remote classrooms. For these reasons our children are like lambs in a slaughterhouse
The only real protection against a terrorist (and no matter their motive, the people who stage these attacks are terrorists) is to have numerous people in all parts of the school who can be first responders to an attack. The outcome at Sandy Hook Elementary School would have been very different had the first teacher who confronted the attacker, and the Principle who confronted him had done so with a gun.
Schools should be Attack Free Zones; meaning that if an unauthorized person enters a school they are considered a deadly threat and if they do not immediately surrender, they will be shot. This means that schools would have to have the ability to control all access to the school and to identify and control visitors or those on authorized business.
The two most rational objections to arming school personnel are 1) that they would create a confusing battlefield for police who respond- it would become difficult for the officers to identify the perpetrators as opposed to the armed school personnel; and, 2) School personnel are not trained in the needed skills and procedures. I think there is some valid concern on both points. However, if the arming of school personnel is done properly both these points become moot.
First the personnel would have to pass the normal gun ownership background checks, second, they would have to pass the concealed carry class, and third they would be required to be trained and sanctioned by the local police department, and would operate under direction of the police department as a reserve unit of the police. This takes away the concern about qualification.
There are probably several employees at most schools who are already competent marksmen and trained in gun safety. There are likely military veterans or reservists, concealed carry permit holders, reserve officers, or shooting hobbyist on the school staff. These people would be the obvious first class of trainees. The goal would be to have most employees, including administrators, teachers, classified staff, custodians, and bus drivers qualified and armed. Since the reasons schools are such enticing targets for evil or crazy people is because they know they will easily be able to do great harm, having this type of reserve protection would take away that primary attraction as a target.
The second valid concern is identification of school police reservists. First, since they are under the direction of the police, trained by them, and mingle face to face with officers they would be known by sight to the police. Second they would be provided with a recognizable police vest which they would don in the event of an attack anywhere on the school. The teachers in classrooms would lock down their classroom, direct the children to take cover, and then take a defensive position to stop the attacker from entering.
Teachers involved in other activities with students would move them to designated safe areas and take up a defensive position to protect the children. Administrators and other non-teaching personnel would don their vests and move quickly to the trouble area, firing on an attacker at the moment they are encountered.
The reserve officer school personnel would be organized into rank leadership based on competency and training and the senior officer (who might be a teacher or a janitor rather than an administrator) would assume command of the crises until a ranking police officer is on the scene.
Chances are, that in most cases based on this scenario by the time police arrived all school reservists would be “in uniform”’ the threat would be neutralized, and all arms would be holstered, avoiding the chaos envisioned by detractors.
Chances are good that this would prevent injury or loss of student life; or at the worst would limit the number of such casualties.
I will cover reestablishing a healthy American gun culture in Part 3.
Mass murder has unfortunately always been a part of human history; among the worst of these are attacks on children. It is easy to buy into the idea that what we have witnessed in the last decade is a worsening of mass violence in the US. But the reality is that it is no worse than it has ever been. In fact the worst single act of school violence in the US happened in 1929. “There is no pattern; there is no increase.” (James Alan Fox, Ph.D. The Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts) It seems like there is more because we have it clearly brought to us by the media, we see the horror and feel the loss and desire to take action.
It is also common to blame firearms for mass murder, but the worst American attacks have been by explosives or arson. The worst school massacre was by explosives at the hand of a school board member who lost the election. In fact gun violence has declined to about half the rate it was in the 1990’s. The violence against students dropped from 54 to 13 per 1000 during that period. At the same time there was a huge increase in gun ownership. Not only was there a general increase in gun ownership, but the increase in semiautomatic rifles has even had a greater increase.
How could we change gun laws to make society safer? We could rescind them and stop infringing on the right of our citizens to own and bear arms.
Gun laws that limit ownership do not make society safer. What these laws do is limit the good citizens’ right to self-protection; while the criminals and crazies don’t care if the gun they use is legal or not.
Likewise, Gun laws that prohibit private ownership of guns do not make society safer. They take away the good citizens’ right to self-protection; criminals and crazies don’t care if the gun they use is legal or not.
One of the arguments for disarming citizens is that in countries where guns are banned the murder rate is lower than in the United States. England is the most touted example. Gun ownership in England is practically forbidden and they have a lower gun murder rate than the US. However, the correlation of gun ownership is irrelevant because England had a lower murder rate than the US when both countries had no limits on gun ownership. In fact the murder rate was lower in England in the 1950’s before gun control, than it is now with complete gun control.
Australia recently passed draconian gun laws confiscating millions of guns from their citizens. Since disarming the populace, violent crime of all types, including murder has skyrocketed.
Switzerland, Israel, and Finland have very lenient gun laws (Switzerland actually requires each home to have and assault rifle), yet their murder rate by citizens is lower than that of the US.
Gun ownership is much higher in American smaller cities and towns and in rural areas, yet the murder rate is lower. Gun ownership is much lower in black communities than white communities, yet the murder rate is much higher among blacks, and almost all murders of blacks are committed by blacks; mostly young males killing each other.
In the US cities like New Orleans, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles have strict gun laws, yet they are the most violent cities in the US, with the highest gun murder rates.
Instead of worrying about guns in the hands of responsible citizens we should be addressing how to identify and neutralize the threat posed by potentially violent people. We should first figure out how to prevent them from doing harm, then figure out how to reduce the pool of those with mental problems or other violent tendencies, and how to reduce their access to potential victims.
We should consider measures that will reduce potential damage that can be done in our schools by a nut with a backpack of homemade bombs, flammables, automatic weapons, a machete, or a steel bar. Once such a murderer is inside a “gun free” school and police are called, dozens of children can be heinously murdered.
Even if you have a policeman on the campus at all times, the criminal only has to have two minutes to massacre a roomful of children. It can take longer than that for a resource officer to identify where the problem is and respond. Because the terrorists in Israel aggressively targeted children they have trained and armed teachers, administrators, and other school workers. This means that the damage that can be done will be limited because response will be immediate and massive.
If there had been two concealed carry citizens in the crowed when Rep. Gifford was attacked, chances are good that many could have been saved. If the teacher and principle had been armed at Sandy Hook, there could have been many innocent lives spared. Guns in the hands of good people is a good thing. Guns in the hands of bad people is a bad thing. It is the bad people that need controlling, not guns.
In part two I will discuss how such a security plan could be properly established without creating chaos.
The Oath Keepers recently held a convention in Las Vegas, NV, open only to police officers and sheriffs in which former sheriff (and current congressional candidate) Richard Mack discussed how the 168 attendees could reacquaint themselves with their oath to the Constitution and their own protection when they carry out their duty. One of those duties include issuing a warrant for the arrest of Barack Hussein Obama.
This has gone way past the issue of Obama being a natural born citizen. It’s now about the multiple high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and how he may be brought to justice. Peace officers represent the last line in the sand when members of Congress have repeatedly failed to honor the oaths they swore to uphold the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.Putting aside the issue of Obama’s eligibility as a natural born citizen to hold office, there are a significant number of wrong doings he has committed that would allow any peace officer desiring so, to issue a warrant for Obama’s arrest. As a recidivist offender of the United States Constitution, a mere twenty-six are listed below.
Putting aside the issue of Obama’s eligibility as a natural born citizen to hold office, there are a significant number of wrong doings he has committed that would allow any peace officer desiring so, to issue a warrant for Obama’s arrest. As a recidivist offender of the United States Constitution, a mere twenty-six are listed below.
Impeach Obama for Criminal Complicity
Arrest of Barack Hussein Obama – Petition2Congress
26 Obama Crimes
Convicted felon and Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko’s purchase of land
adjacent to Obama’s house in Hyde Park, IL. In 2006, Rezko sold a 10 foot strip of his property to Obama for $104,500, rendering the remainder of Rezko’s $625,000 investment too small to be developed and, for all intents & purposes, worthless.
The provision of the Obama campaign donor lists to ACORN in 2007 and 2008, more complete lists than the ones he provided to the FEC. ACORN used the lists to illegally raise money for Obama’s election from donors who had already maxed out their legally allowable contributions.
Widespread voter fraud including voter intimidation, ballot stuffing, falsified documents, and threats of violence against Hillary Clinton supporters committed by the Obama campaign and ACORN during the 2008 Democrat primary election. For more information see my CFP article How Obama Used an Army of Thugs to Steal the 2008 Democratic Party Nomination.
Obama’s refusal to release his long form birth certificate which would show conclusively that he is a dual citizen and therefore not constitutionally eligible to serve as President. Obama’s college records, which have also not been released, would also contain information regarding his dual citizenship status.
Protecting union interests over those of GM and Chrysler bond holders during bankruptcy proceedings, forcing investors to accept millions of dollars in losses in direct violation of bankruptcy laws, money to which they were legally entitled.
Preferential treatment given to minority and women owned car dealerships by Obama administration officials as part of the auto industry bailout program and the forced closing of a disproportionate number of rural dealerships located in areas that did not vote for Obama.
Unsubstantiated firing of Corporation for National and Community Service Inspector General Gerald Walpin for exposing Sacramento Mayor and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson’s misuse of an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant.
Purchase of Congressional support for the passage of Obama’s healthcare bill including the “Cornhusker Kickback”, “Louisiana Purchase” and having the Department of Interior increase water allocations to the Central Valley of California to secure the votes of Democrat Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa.
Lying to the American people by promising they could keep their healthcare coverage if they wanted to, when in reality tens of millions will be forced out of their current plans.
Attempted bribery of Rep. Joe Sestak with job offers to get him to drop out of the Senate primary race against Sen. Arlen Specter.
Directing the EPA to unilaterally set carbon emission standards, thus bypassing Congress which opposes Obama’s energy reform bill. For more information see my CFP article Forget Cap and Trade: EPA Regulation of CO2 Emissions Will Begin in 10 Months.
The Obama administration’s statement that a panel of experts had agreed with their plan for a 6 month Gulf Coast drilling moratorium, when in actuality none of them had supported the measure.
Bullying BP to set up a $20 billion slush fund to compensate Gulf Coast businesses and residents affected by the oil spill, to be administered by an Obama political appointee without any judicial or congressional oversight.
Implementing a third oil-drilling moratorium after the first two were thrown out of court, creating a de facto Gulf Coast offshore drilling ban in opposition to two judge’s rulings.
Establishment of a commission to investigate the Gulf Coast oil spill that contains not one oil industry expert and whose transparent purpose is to push a partisan political agenda rather than investigate the cause of the disaster.
Obama’s policy of intentionally not securing our nation’s borders, in opposition to Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution which calls for the President to protect states from foreign invasion, in an attempt to blackmail Republican support for comprehensive immigration reform. In essence, Obama is holding border states and residents politically hostage during a time they are being overrun by a narco-paramilitary invasion.
Department of Justice illegal race based policies regarding voter fraud as exposed by former Justice attorney J. Christian Adams. This includes the dropping of voter intimidation charges against 2 Black Panthers brandishing weapons in front of a voting location in Philadelphia and the stated intention by political appointees to ignore voter crimes committed by African Americans, Latinos and other minorities.
Department of Justice purposefully allowing some states to continue their disenfranchisement of military personnel serving overseas in direct opposition to the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which was established in response to the more than 17,000 military votes that were not counted in the 2008 election because ballots had arrived after the deadline.
Recess appointment of Donald Berwick as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services without even a token attempt to put him through the Congressional nomination process, signaling that Congress’s constitutional obligation to vet presidential appointees means nothing to Obama. The same can be said of the 30+ Obama administration czars.
Spending $23 million of taxpayer money through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support a constitutional referendum in Kenya in spite of the Siljander Amendment, which makes it illegal for the U.S. to lobby for abortion in other countries. The Kenyan referendum was partially written by Planned Parenthood and is designed to legalize abortion in that nation.
The participation of the Obama administration in the firing of Sherry Sherrod from the USDA without due process because of publicized out of context remarks she made at a NAACP meeting in March 2010.
The White House sham investigation of BP’s involvement in the release of the mass murderingLockerbie bomber from prison. The Obama administration not only knew beforehand of the Scottish government’s plan to set Abdel Baset al-Megrahi free on “compassionate” grounds, they even sent a letter to Scottish authorities stating their preference for his remaining in Scotland over his transfer to a Libyan prison.
The canceling of 77 properly filed oil field development contracts approved by the Bush administration by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, preventing the extraction of up to 3 trillion gallons of oil buried under Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and North Dakota, more than enough to end our dependence on foreign oil and supply the U.S. with its energy needs for hundreds of years at current consumption rates.
Investigations by the Department of Homeland Security to determine the political affiliation of people making Freedom of Information Act requests and the subsequent delay and even altogether ignoring of requests made by Republican affiliated individuals.
Impeach Obama Campaign
The hardest to prosecute in court, but worst crime of all that Obama has perpetrated against the American people is the economic tyranny that his socialist policies have wrecked upon our nation.
While Obama has been living the life of a king, including frequent 5 star vacations, dozens of concerts at the White House and endless rounds of golf, all paid for by taxpayer money—the increased transportation and security costs alone are in the millions of dollars—he has called for the rest of us to endure economic sacrifice. The annual trillion dollar deficits and borrowing of 41 cents of every dollar of government spending by Obama is leading to unsustainable and potentially catastrophic debt.The video below is a summary discussing Sheriff Mack’s accomplishments and goals of his current project. This is a man who sued the Clinton Administration over the Brady Bill, lost and was finally vindicated by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Sheriffs « Political Vel Craft
September 22, 2012 Impeachment Proceedings Begin Against Obama
“Information Clearing House” – Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) held a press conference, Sept. 21, in Rayburn B-318, to discuss House Concurrent Resolution 107.
Rep. Jones was joined by a group of senior retired military officials, constitutional lawyers, and congressional co-sponsors, to discuss HCR 107 (the bill to send an impeachment warning to Obama), which currently has 11 cosponsors.
This bi-partisan resolution, introduced in March of this year, reasserts the power of Congress to declare war, and states that any President who circumvents Congress, unless the United States is attacked, will face an article of impeachment.
Speakers at the press conference included:
Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC)
Bruce Fein, specialist in constitutional and international law, Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan, author, “American Empire: Before the Fall”.
Lt. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (USA.Ret), former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell (2002-05) Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, author of “Operation Dark Heart”, exposed the Pentagon data mining program known as Able Danger, and uncovered two terrorist cells involved in 911.
A statement of support from Gen. Joseph P. Hoar (USMC-ret.), who served as the Chief of Staff and later as the Commander-in-Chief of the Central Command, was also read.
112th Congress (2011-2012)
H.CON.RES.107 — Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high… (Introduced in House – IH)
HCON 107 IH
H. CON. RES. 107
Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 7, 2012
Mr. JONES submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.