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Protecting Against Mass Murder -Part 1

RiflesMass 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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In part two I will discuss how such a security plan could be properly established without creating chaos.

Ted Nugent Goes Off: Obama Is an ‘Anti-American Monster, Suggests GOP Candidates Lack Testosterone

For those unfamiliar, Ted Nugent doesn’t shy away from sharing his opinions on myriad controversial political topics — from gun-rights to homosexuality, from religion to the military.

The veteran rocker recently said at a Republican event that, ”The whole world sucks, but America still sucks less.” He followed up the assertion by clarifying, “But with this administration, we are catching up,”

The Detroit native caught up with Mike Broomhead’s team at KFYI-AM in Phoenix for yet another bombshell of an interview. We warn, the following clip contains graphic language. Still, many will find Nugent’s trademark no holds barred attitude on politics a refreshing change of pace.

Among his more piquant revelations, Nugent believes that having Tim Geithner sever as Secretary of The Treasury, bearing in mind Geithner’s “tax cheating,“ is like having Jeffrey Dahmer ”in charge of a children’s playground.”

He also said that “welfare is slavery” and that we have “American hating maniacs” in our government.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1lRZWjoqbk[/youtube]

For the first time in 112 years, no one from the White House will appear at the VFW convention SORRY ONLY SOCIALISTS IN THE WHITE HOUSE NO PATRIOTS

Perry, Romney to speak in SAN ANTONIO.

By Abe Levy

Republican presidential hopefuls Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney will be in San Antonio this week for the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention, but for the first time in its 112-year history, no one from the White House has committed to making an appearance.

Officials with the nation’s largest combat veterans association said they have about 8,000 registrants, many of whom are battling airport cancellations from Hurricane Irene to make it to the downtown Convention Center for Monday’s kickoff.

That’s when Perry is scheduled to take the stage. By custom, he was invited as governor of the host state. Conference leaders said they have asked him to appear as state governor — not as a presidential candidate — because his invitation went out before he announced he was seeking the GOP nomination.

On Tuesday, Romney is set to speak. Several months ago, when invitations went out for speakers, the former governor of Massachusetts was at the time the lone presidential candidate to have announced, VFW officials said. The group’s policy is to invite only announced presidential candidates.

“No matter what, we take heat for it,” said VFW spokesman Jerry Newberry. “When President Clinton spoke one year, we caught heat from members. When President Bush did, we took heat. Same with President Obama. But we’re a diverse organization, and we don’t care what party (speakers) come from.”

Adding to the frustration is not having Obama or any of his representatives accept the group’s invitation. The organization is noted for its advocacy of veterans’ rights, especially health care and military benefits, both of which are on the chopping block in talks about reducing the federal budget.

“When the President is unable to attend, it has always been customary for the White House to choose a high-level administration official as an alternative speaker,” wrote Richard Eubank, the group’s national commander, in a statement.

“It is an insult of the highest magnitude that for the first time in the history of the VFW, the White House has apparently decided that this great and iconic organization of combat veterans and all of its members are not worthy of its notice by not at least offering a first-tier speaker from the administration.”

Obama is scheduled to speak to another veterans organization, the American Legion, on Aug. 30 in Minneapolis for its annual national convention. It has an estimated 2.4 million members and is made up of both combat and noncombat veterans.

The VFW’s national gathering will last four days, concluding Thursday after a series of seminars and business meetings designed to prioritize issues for its estimated 2 million members.

The convention will include free health screenings, the election of new officers and appearances by Mayor Julián CastroW. Scott Gould, the deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs; and former U.S. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway.

Still, their chief concern is that the federal budget will cut benefits that veterans have relied on. And they’re leery about reports that the military retirement program is under review for an overhaul, including the idea of offering a 401(k) plan instead of the well-established guarantee of a salary after 20 years of service.

“Those discussions could very well impact the health and welfare of our veterans and military families and their future,” Newberry said. “Can veterans be assured their entitlements are going to be there for them? Can our military members at war for such a long time be reassured that they’re going to be taken care of?”

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Perry-Romneyto-speakin-S-A-2144593.php#ixzz1WRu66kH6

Local Sovereignty: How to Get It Back

By American Vision.org

We have seen now how America was originally settled with nearly all governmental sovereignty vested at the local level. This was the legacy of Christian culture, and the better part of it. Early Americans did not have to worry about their wealth and freedom being voted away by alleged representatives far removed by hundreds of miles and two or three levels of government. We have also seen that this ideal of freedom has been lost gradually over time at many junctures, and always in the name of something like “the common good”; but more importantly, we have seen that these several creeping tyrannies were enabled and empowered by that one main instance of centralizing power, force, and money at the federal level—the Constitution of 1787. Nevertheless, whatever the causes are ultimately, it is easy to see that we today have nowhere near the freedom of our ancestors. The question, now, is how to get back to that level of freedom.

In this section, I intent to discuss the new mindset we need, some hurdles to overcome, and some practical actions to take toward restoring local freedom and local sovereignty. By “local sovereignty” I mean freedom of local governments from the dictates of higher levels of government. We must return to local control, and free local institutions from the bands and shackles of the federal and state machineries that entrap locals with grant money, encroachments on power and local decisions, licensing, and regulations. By the similar phrase “local freedom” I mean freedom of individuals from the same encroachments and impositions by their own local governments.

First, there are many hurdles in the way of gaining this freedom. The enemies of freedom have always been those who stand to profit from the public coercive systems. These people—either for the sake of some form of prestige or money (or both)—will consistently scheme and legislate to benefit themselves. These lusts exist at every level of government, but also in the hearts of individuals. So, the remedy for restoring freedom to the local level will mean confronting the many, many ways in which both individuals and government leaders have entrenched themselves in public funding based on taxation. Whether this manifests in publicly-funded construction contracts, public education, exorbitant pensions for public employees, union privileges, grants from higher governmental agencies, or a myriad of other versions of the same evil, the path to freedom means stopping these appropriations and redistributions of money, and derailing the long train of abuses of individual freedoms resulting from the alliance of the plunderers who want the money and the elites who think they can plan our lives better than we can and that they have a right to do so.

The problem ultimately is as much personal and individual as it is political. In this regard, the local and state levels are microcosms of the larger plundering going on in Washington, D.C. right now (with the exception that state and local governments have the formal inconvenience of having to balance their budgets); but local government themselves are a reflection of the lusts and corruption that local individuals choose to allow. Local governments often suffer under corrupt officials, constantly seeking to borrow more money, and constantly seeking grants from State and federal governments. But often the people themselves either agree with taking, taxing, or borrowing more money, or they are oblivious to it and don’t care.

So here’s the hard truth: if you agree with the appropriations (but perhaps you say “only at the local level”), then you’re complicit in a corrupt system that stretches all the way to Washington. Don’t talk about freedom and fiscal responsibility when you make multi-million dollar exceptions for yourself, your business, your industry, your union, your police and fire, or your local schools. Obama’s not the problem; you’re the problem. Until you address this problem, you have no moral authority in regard to people doing way over your head. On the other hand, if you are merely oblivious to the problem or don’t care, then you’re still culpable and complicit by your complacency—and you can bet that the liberals and statists just love you for it, for it helps them get their scheme across with less opposition. It’s been said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. I agree, although I would add that anyone who sits there and does nothing can’t be considered a good person to begin with. We need to confront both corruption and complacency, which is to say we need to wake up and take responsibility, take action.

Knowing that the problem begins with the individual heart and stretches all the way up to Washington, we’ll need to confront all levels at the same time. But we must concentrate our energy and focus on the areas in which we’ll have the greatest effect—ourselves and our local governments. We have already addressed vitally-needed personal lifestyle adjustments in education and the welfare State. We have emphasized the “don’t take the cheese” principle in those areas for individuals. Now it is time to focus on that concept at the level of local government. We must work to avert all public expenditure, debt, and taxation in local government, as well as all accepting of grants from higher governmental bodies. This is the first step in returning to anything like true local sovereignty to America—her counties must be free of strings attached to all higher agencies. But since that level of freedom does not yet exist, nor will it exist completely for the duration of the process of arriving at it, we must still attend as need be to State and national politics until we reach the desired position locally. We can’t take the chance of complacency at the back door where the Feds can creep in while we’re distracted with only local matters. Even when we achieve the goal locally, however, we cannot rest until surrounding counties, and then the vast majority of counties in the State have reached a similar level of understanding and practice of local sovereignty—for until a majority of counties exist that are willing to assert their freedom simultaneously against higher governments, the few that arrive at near local autonomy will always be exposed to the weaknesses attending their tiny-minority status. In other words, we’ll need a lot of free counties voicing their “nullifications” and independences at the same time, or else the federal government could simply ignore it and squash it with little repercussion. We need mass decentralized (yet legitimate) resistance so that no central authority can easily or effectively answer it. So, until we reach a time in which a growing number of America’s 3000+ counties care more about freedom than State and Federal aid, we must be vigilant in guarding our work and prayers toward that goal—for they are never safe from the threats of violence, force, defamation, and theft from above.

In short, anyone wishing to start a truly grass-roots, bottom-up movement for restoring local sovereignty is going to face multiple levels of opposition—from the higher levels of government, from the vast mainstream media leftist-propaganda machines, from entrenched Statism even in local media such as newspapers, corporate forces that use government to stop comeptition, and also from corrupt local officials. We must be prepared to meet all of this with truth, unwavering commitment to freedom, courage, and yet calmness, confidence, and kindness.

Second, we need to affirm this new vision of decentralized power. This vision must be deep and we must commit to it thoroughly. The vision of mass decentralization was actually voiced in this country at a crucial time by the famous economist F. A. Hayek. Nearing the end of World War II, he noted that western civilization was going to need to be rebuilt, and that this task would have to be done amidst an atmosphere in which Communism thrived as a powerful force, the forces and ideas behind National Socialism and fascism were still very strong, and academia was (as it still is) strongly socialist or even communist throughout the West. Hayek argued in his famous book, The Road to Serfdom, that any attempts at rebuilding along the lines of any large socialized, nationalized State would be doomed to failure sooner or later. His important conclusion was this:

We shall not rebuild civilization on the large scale. It is no accident that on the whole there was more beauty and decency to be found in the life of the small peoples, and that among the large ones there was more happiness and content in proportion as they had avoided the deadly blight of centralization. . . Nowhere has democracy ever worked well without a great measure of local self-government . . .Where the scope of the political measures becomes so large that the necessary knowledge is almost exclusively possessed by the bureaucracy, the creative impulses of the private person must flag. I believe that here the experience of the small countries like Holland and Switzerland contains much from which even the most fortunate larger countries like Great Britain can learn.  We shall all be the gainers if we can create a world fit for small states to live in.[1]

Of course we know that his advice was largely ignored. But the vision still remains. And at this point in American history—when leftists and even many conservatives continue to praise and protect the instruments of socialism even as they are already beginning to bankrupt the Treasury and society together—this vision of decentralized power still remains the only viable expression of freedom and liberty. And that vision today remains ignored, even ridiculed, although its been untried for the past 225 years.

The vision is simple. Local governments have to take back sovereignty in every area they can, and local people need to pressure local governments to do so, and to refuse monetary handouts from higher governments, and people have to hold their local officials accountable to these goals. Local government must begin to resist the enticements, entrapments, and encroachments of the higher levels. This will eventually mean 1) local individuals will have only local government with which to interact (state governments will only deal with counties, and the feds only with states, this is true federalism); 2) representation will be much more genuine, as local officials are elected from a much smaller sample of the population; 3) government can be much more transparent; 4) local officials are much more easily held accountable; and 5) if any of these ideals fails miserably and the locality grows intolerable, it won’t be hard to move to another county that upholds your values. These are just a few of the benefits of decentralization.

There are disadvantages as well: 1) individuals can no longer enrich themselves from swollen promises paid for by taxing the national population at large or borrowing trillions of dollars indebting your grandchildren; 2) ideologues, leftists, elites, and other pests can no longer easily impose their values on 300 million people by means of only a few-vote majority in Congress and the President’s celebrity ink pens; or worse, by means of a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. This is the kind of disadvantages I can live with.

I mean imagine that: a society in which a population of 300 million is not subjugated legally by the mere opinion of a 5 people. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

There is much more we could say in regard to this vision of freedom and liberty, but these are the basics. We will add many more aspects as supplemental articles and posts once the rest of the fundamental features of this project are complete.

Finally, there are some practical measures to consider in the meantime: First, learn everything you can about your local government. This will take a little time, and will mean shifting the focus of your political engagements from the national to the local scene. Sadly, most people know everything there is to know about Obama and Pelosi, et al, and yet couldn’t even tell you the name of one of their local County Commissioners. This needs to be balanced, and essentially reversed. Read the headlines of the national stuff; react if necessary; but focus, focus, focus on learning the local stuff. Learn your commissioners’ names, backgrounds, beliefs, values, career history, voting records.

Learn the organization of your local government; learn the schedules of all relevant board and commission meetings. Know when they meet. And show up for important issues.

Learn how to find and obtain all publicly available information: meetings, agendas, budgets, revenues, expenditures, bondholders and financiers, contracts, projects, land use plans, rezoning efforts, constitution and bylaws—everything. You will find that information-gathering in itself will begin to breed questions. Numbers and budgets and legal memos have their own way of whispering. You may discover corruption or questionable practices your officials wish to remain quiet or hidden. You may find that a board member is working to give himself or herself special privileges for their career advancement or profit. Maybe not. But the more information you have, the more transparent and accountable the government can be forced to be.

Don’t trust “minutes” of meetings alone. As “Sir Humphrey” of the old BBC comedy Yes, Prime Minister! once wryly said, “The purpose of meetings is not to record events, it is to protect people.” Go for everything you can find or have a desire to get.

Second, then start a blog or website dedicated to making your local government as public and transparent as possible. You can be as detailed or selective as necessary, as long as it’s honest and open. Post everything you can. Show any clear connections, show every cent that is taxed, how it is assessed and collected, how it is spent; show every cent borrowed and who profits from borrowing against future taxation, and who holds the bond. Show how much elected officials and public employees of all sorts are paid, and what their public pension benefits look like. This is all perfectly legal. WordPress and Blogger are absolutely free and easy to use. It would be great to have at least one such website dedicated to ultimate transparency in each of America’s 3000+ counties. It would better to have several in each county. Variety, choice, and competition will make them better and more effective. These would make fabulous projects for students; but really, anyone could do this, and everyone should.

Then, add video. This can be done merely on a YouTube or other video site’s channel, or better yet, embedded in a website. Record meetings, obtain interviews with officials whenever possible. Some local governments already record their meetings and post them themselves. The point is to have a clear and open public record, and get the word out to as many people, and make everything about local government as accessible and understandable to as many people as possible. This will lead, eventually, to the election of board members, judges, sheriffs, assessors, collectors, etc., who better represent a greater percentage of the population, and better represent local values; it will increase accountability; and it will help end corruption, self-serving, and waste. Taxes will decrease in many localities, choices will open up, people will be freer.

You should know that these ideas and these tactics are being upheld and implemented already with success. Some counties are beginning to assert local sovereignty against State and federal encroachments. For example, the local town of Sedgwick, Maine, recently declared absolute sovereignty over its local food supply. They were tired of state and federal regulations of local meat, raw milk, etc. So they declared their right and determination to be free of the tyranny: their new ordinance says, “[O]ur right to a local food system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government. We recognize the authority to protect that right as belonging to the town of Sedgwick.” They considered State and federal regulations as “usurpation of our citizens’ right,” and went on to declare, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” This was applied also for “any corporation” that would try to interfere. The town argued that these claims to local sovereignty are supported by the Declaration of Independence, the Maine State Constitution, and other Maine statutes. They reserved the right even to secede completely if necessary in the face of a contest.

That Sedgwick, Maine ordinance is currently being used as a model to resist federal regulation in many other municipalities. These will certainly lead to court battles and possibly intimidation from higher governments, but the fact that they exist and people are advancing them shows that the vision for local sovereignty is growing and can be implemented. The fight is only begun, but it has begun.

This is true in other areas as well, as some local counties and even States have declared that they will not honor Obama’s Health Care Act, but have declared it null within their jurisdictions. Some States have declared all federal firearm laws null and void within their boundaries, for guns or ammo manufactured there. There are at least a dozen or more areas in which States currently are nullifying Federal laws. And as this precedent becomes more prevalent in States, it will only make moral sense to extend it to counties. Local sovereignty, county sovereignty, will grow more viable as well.

This is, after all, the foundation of American freedom: the first American declaration of independence was not that of 1776, but was written by a single county. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, formally declared independence from Great-Britain on May 31, 1775, saying that “the Authority of the King or Parliament, are annulled and vacated.” They proceeded to set up an interim government all by their lonesome, until (as they expected) the rest of the Colonies should catch up.

Cases of local freedom—individuals asserting control over corrupt local officials—are occurring as well. In one case, a small town council in South Carolina had very quietly been paying itself an extremely rich pension package. When a few local business owners found out, they were outraged. At least one council member was opposed, and the businessmen approached him with a plan. They then showed up impromptu at a council meeting with video camera running. They got them members to confirm the terms of the rich package, and then asked for a show of hands on the council of all those who disapproved of it. The lone honest member of the council jetted his hand high, and the rest were caught on video exposed. The businessmen then simply thanked the council and left with the video. The council was so scared that it called a recess and chased the inquirers into the parking lot, trembling, asking what there were going to do with the video! They knew good and well.

In a similar case, a seventeen year-old kid exposed the appointment of a school superintendant whom a school board tried to rush through because he would be a big spender on behalf of the district. By simply showing up at both the interview process and the board meetings with a digital recorder, the corrupt thugs were caught, and were trembling in fear.

Another local contact of mine has been fighting these kind of battles for several years. He’s watched his community deteriorate with a combination of Federal Section 8 housing and corrupt local investment trusts, much of which came about only after an influx of “free school lunch” programs and Title 1 status gained for local public schools to receive massive federal aid. There is much to discern and sort out here, but the bottom line is corrupt local fat cat officials using government grants to empower and enrich themselves. And they are protected by liberal politicians above them, for several reasons. My contact said he started attending board meetings to record what was said. Very early on, one of these fat cats approached him with suspicious questioning and threatening demeanor—essentially threatening to wreck his career. The man is now very paranoid, because he has seen how deeply the corruption goes in his area, and how serious some of the insiders are about keeping it that way. There is work to be done here.

Another man wrote me telling how he won a seat on his local commission because the local conservatives were raising taxes and spending like crazy. He simply took a strong “TEA-party” stand against spending and corruption, and he was elected—despite overwhelming opposition from the local papers, labor unions, and even the local Chamber of Commerce. The local Chamber opposed him because it was dominated by big businesses that favor big-government for their corporate welfare. In other words, the local Chamber itself was corrupted by the forces of wealth redistribution. It had taken the cheese, and was now entrapped. My friend won the election nevertheless, but still faces an uphill fight against complacent and complicit officials, and, as he put it, “the grip that federal grants place on local units.”

There are some successes out there. But there are currently many challenges. One of the good things about seeing how deep and real the challenges are is that we realize how much more entrenched, powerful, and worse it must be at the higher levels, certainly in Washington, D.C. The nature of the problem is exactly the same; it’s just magnified at the national level. If we can’t dismantle tyranny locally, you can forget it happening in D.C. But this is what is encouraging about the successes we’re seeing: we in fact can have an effect locally, and many people are. There is a lot of work to do, and a lot of hill to climb. It will take time. But remember, we are planning for our grandchildren. It is time to start, get busy, and get a steady pace of reform.

It begins with people caring about the problem. It advances when people get focused, study, and explain the problem. It succeeds when they take action on the problem. This is county rights in action. It will only work when you get involved. For people can only be free if they will be responsible and courageous.

 

If you haven’t Read the book or seen the movie Atlas Shrugged – You Should

Turn Your Sound On

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W07bFa4TzM&feature=player_embedded

First Lady Now Requires 26 Servants

The Patroit Update

http://patriotupdate.com/

July 19, 2011

michelle royal highness

In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much,” she said. “See, that’s why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service— Michelle Obama.

She is served by twenty-six attendants, including a hair dresser and make-up artist.

The annual cost to taxpayers for such unprecedented attention is approximately $1,750,000 without taking into account the expense of the lavish benefit packages afforded to every attendant.

This unprecedented number of attendants is more than any First Lady in U.S. History.

Retired USAF MSgt says:

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Servant List and Pay Scale

The First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants (that’s 22 attendants to be exact)

1. $172,200 – Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
2. $140,000 – Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)
3. $113,000 – Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
4. $102,000 – Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
5. $100,000 – Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
6. $90,000 – Medina , David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
7. $84,000 – Lelyveld, Catherine M (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
8. $75,000 – Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
9. $70,000 – Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
10. $65,000 – Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
11. $64,000 – Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
12. $62,000 – Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)
13. $60,000 – Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
14. $57,500 – Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
15. $52,500 – Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary to The First Lady)
16. $50,000 – Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special-2Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide to The First Lady)
17. $45,000 – Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)
18. $43,000 – Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
19. $40,000 – Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
20. $36,000 – Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)
21. $35,000 – Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
22. $35,000 – Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady) (This is community organizing at it’s finest.)

There has NEVER been anyone in the White House at any time who has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life. One wonders why she needs so much help, at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President’s own pocket.

Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and “First Hairstylist” Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom traveled aboard Air Force One to Europe.

FRIENDS…..THESE SALARIES ADD UP TO SIX MILLION, THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($6,364,000) FOR THE 4 YEARS OF OFFICE????? AND WE ARE IN A RECESSION????? WELL…..MOST OF US ARE.

I GUESS IT’S OK TO SPEND WILDLY WHEN IT’S NOT YOUR OWN MONEY?????

10 Questions to Ask a Liberal?

At a recent gathering, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal thought she was complimenting me by saying, “you’re my favorite Republican.” She was surprised when I replied, “I not a republican, I’m a conservative.” I don’t think she understood the difference, and nervously asked me, “well, you’re not a Tea Party member, are you”? I said, “I am.” The conversation ended there.

She’s a woman I like and respect. I think she feels the same about me, or least she did before that conversation. She’s not stupid or uneducated. She’s a professional with a Masters degree. In fact, she’s like most liberals I know. The typical liberal has a stereotypical view of what defines conservatives, republicans and Tea Party members. To liberals, they’re all the same and represent everything they stand against, or at least they think so until they’re asked some direct questions. They’re usually astonished to learn they’re not as liberal as they thought they were. Quite often, they actually turn out to be conservatives, they just didn’t know it.

Here’s some questions to ask them:

  1. Do you believe the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land?
  2. Do you believe America is a nation of laws, and everyone should be held to the same standard, regardless of class, race or religion? Or, do you believe some in our society deserve special treatment under the law because they’re rich, poor, politically connected, black, white, Hispanic, etc?
  3. Do you believe as our founders did that our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness come from our creator? Or, do you believe our rights come from the government?
  4. Do you believe as our founders did that the purpose of the government is limited to the preservation of the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the other powers granted to it by the people in the constitution? Or, do you believe the government can vote itself any power it deems appropriate no matter what the constitution says?
  5. Do you believe the money you earn from your job or business belongs to you, as well as the property you buy with the money you earn? Or, do you believe the government has the right to your money and property, and someone in Washington should decide how much of it you should keep based on the adage made famous by Karl Marx, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need?
  6. Do you believe that as long as you earn your money honestly and break no laws, there should be no limit on the amount of money you make? Or, do you believe as President Obama said, “at some point, you’ve made enough money?”
  7. Do you believe all Americans should have an equal opportunity to succeed or fail based on their individual ability, intellect and work ethic? Or, do you believe all Americans should have equal outcomes regardless of their ability, intellect or work ethic, and the government should redistribute the wealth of those who succeed to those who don’t in order to level the playing field?
  8. Do you believe America is a sovereign nation with borders, and we as a nation should decide which foreign nationals to let in and who we deny access? Or, do you believe there should be no borders and anyone who wants to enter our country is welcome, with or without permission?
  9. Do you believe the government should spend no more money than it takes in? Or do you believe we can just continue to borrow money from other countries without worrying about the National Debt?
  10. Do you believe the government spends too much money? Or, do you believe Americans are taxed too little?

You’ll find most liberals who answer these questions honestly will find themselves on the conservative side of most of these questions, usually anywhere from 7 – 9 of them.

So why do they think Republicans are sub-human, conservatives are Neanderthals and Tea Party members are a bunch of racists and crazies? Because that’s what the mainstream media has been selling as objective news coverage. Most people are busy earning a living and taking care of their families. They don’t have the time or interest to dig very far for the truth, so they read the New York Times and watch Katie Couric and think they’re getting unbiased news coverage. They have to look further to find out they’re not getting objective reporting, and too many people are not willing to take the time.

But have faith, my fellow conservatives, things are changing. Recent polls have shown less and less people are getting their news from network television and the main stream newspapers. More and more people are getting their news from cable and the Internet, and the cable news they’re watching and trusting more than any other is Fox News, and it’s not even close.

So print this post and keep it in your pocket and the next time you’re at a family gathering or discussing the world with some liberal friends, whip this little quiz out and put some people to the test. You may not change them into conservatives overnight, but at least you can shine some light on who they really are. They might even learn something!

Decision Time

Americans are at a crossroads.  Decisions must be made.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide, are we representative of the rugged individualism and independence or do we, as a whole, roll over and say “somebody needs to care for me, because I cant do it myself.”

 

We, as a nation, need to decide whether we will continue to be the policeman of the world, or do we say, “we cant do this anymore, sorry, folks, have at it amongst yourselves.” “Create what you like, regardless of what that might be.”

 

We, as a nation, need to decide if we want to have employment and self-determination or do we just want to go on the government dole.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide that being “An American” is a good thing and instills pride at the thought, a unique and successful experiment in a Republican form of government, or do we say, we are just another “member nation” of the World.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide if we wish to be more energy independent or do we rely on the rest of the world and their whims and simply buy energy.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide if we are a sovereign nation, with laws and rules created for our citizens or do we accept another’s rules and laws.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide who our allies are and build those ties to unbreakable, or do we simply keep sending funds, which we do not have, to anybody, regardless of their opinions of America.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide if we have the requisite fortitude to carry on as America, or do we say that we are too wishy-washy to make up our own minds about anything and the rest of the world needs to tell us how we think.

 

We, as a nation, need to decide, that as a mixture of all nationalities, our allegiance is to America alone, or are we just a landmass that hosts expatriates from all other nations of the world, with loyalty to their origins.

 

The time has come, no longer can we bury our heads in the sand.  We must decide.  As has been said MANY times before, “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

 

We, as a nation, need to decide, Are we, or are we not, PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

Republican Outlook 2012 – Part 4 – Ranking My Favorite Candidates

In my last article (Part 3) I evaluated the two presidential candidates from the 2008 Republican primary, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney, giving Romney the edge on both his business experience and his governorship. Today we will look at the remainder of my favorite candidates, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, and Allen West, ending with a ranking of my favorite five potential candidates.

Jon Huntsman, Jr. Huntsman gave the vice-presidential nominating speech for Sarah Palin, and has all but been endorsed for a presidential run by John McCain. To most of America Huntsman is an unknown. He has been an insider in Washington since the 1980s serving in the Reagan, G.H.W Bush, and G.W. Bush administrations as (respectively) White House Staff Assistant, Deputy Secretary of Commerce then Ambassador to Singapore, and Deputy US Trade Representative. He is currently serves in the Obama Administration as Ambassador to China.

He was Governor of Utah for two terms, winning the second term with almost 78% of the vote. The Cato Institute rated him the top governor on tax policy, and the fifth highest on overall fiscal policy. During his administration Utah was listed as the best run state government by the Pew Center on the States.

His business experience includes an executive with the Huntsman Corporation, an international Chemical Company with annual revenues topping $8 billion and over 10,000 employees; and CEO of Huntsman Family Holdings Company. He has also headed major philanthropic organizations including the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, the Utah Opera, Envision Utah, and The Family Now Campaign.

His stand on fiscal matters, taxation, and business is strongly conservative. He is more mixed on his social positions, being strongly conservative on abortion, and gun rights, but he has liberal positions on climate change, same sex domestic unions, the Department of Education, and the Obama Stimulus. He signed Utah up in the Western Climate Action Initiative, basically a western states cap and trade arrangement. He has shunned the Tea Party conservatives but has broad appeal to old school Republicans.

Sarah Palin The candidate for vice-president on the 2008 McCain ticket has a strong appeal to deeply conservative Republicans, the religious right, Libertarians, and the Tea Party movement. The fact that she shared the ticket with McCain has given her some standing with moderate and old-line Republicans.

Upon becoming Governor of Alaska, Palin embarked on two gutsy missions: To clean out corruption in Alaska politics and to cut spending; she did this with gusto rooting out criminal activity and cronyism not just from the state government, but even within her own party. She pared back government programs, size, and waste starting with getting rid of the perks of the office of the governor.

Besides being governor, Palin served on the town council, then as mayor of Wasilla, and as a member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission.

Her time on the commission gave her a good practical insight into natural resource issues. Her political position is solidly conservative on both fiscal and social issues. She has experience in operating family businesses and has worked as a correspondent on Alaskan TV Stations. She has shown a great sense of fiscal responsibility and is business friendly.

Because of her run for vice-president, authoring two books, hosting an excellent documentary series on Alaska, being supportive of and responsive to the Tea Party movement, and being a frequent topic of conversation and controversy on talk shows and news commentary she is now well known. In fact, she might be too well known; she is as disliked by the left as she is liked by the right.

While I really like her positions on all the issues, she doesn’t have the level of leadership that most of the other candidates have, and certainly not the degree of financial education and experience of most of them.

Allen West  The newly elected congressman won his seat on the strength of Tea Party support. Some would point to this, his only elective office, as being not enough political experience. However, one does not work as a battalion commander in a war zone without learning a lot about practical politics. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Kansas State and a master’s degree from the Military Command College in political theory, military history, and military operations. So is probably better versed in political processes and institutions than 90% of congressmen.

He served twenty-two years as a commissioned officer in the military including both Gulf Wars serving in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He earned a bronze star, Meritorious Service Medal (2 oak clusters), Army Commendation Medal (2 oak Cluster, Valor Device), Army Achievement Medal (1 oak cluster), Valorous Unit Award, Air Assault Badge, and Parachutist Bade, as well as ten service medals. After his retirement he worked as a high school history teacher, a college ROTC instructor, and a regional director for a military consultancy to the Afghan army.

West is both a fiscal and social conservative. He sees the last fifty years of liberal social programs and policies as trapping the poor in a culture of welfare and dependency. He has an overriding respect for the U.S. Constitution and is a deeply committed patriot. He has probably the clearest understanding of any person in Congress of the Muslim religion and the threat of both conquest by migration and conquest by aggression that exists from the radical elements of the faith. He has great clarity of thought and a direct and unapologetically sincere mode of speech. He is a motivator and is himself very motivated – he is able to think on his feet, does not need a teleprompter, and is unafraid of debate and discussion.

So the way I rank my favorite five candidates is:
1. Mitt Romney
2. Allen West
3. Sarah Palin
4. Mike Huckabee
5. Jon Huntsman

I could happily support a ticket that has any two of these five on it, but feel the strongest ticket would be Mitt Romney and Allen West, because they nearly perfectly complement each other with their individual strengths. Romney is excellent in economics, business, fiscal responsibility, Administration, and practical day to day politics. West is excellent in international politics, national security, the military, crisis management, and Middle East issues, a critical gap in the current administration.  It is important that the ticket have truely qualified candidates, that they form a strong team, and that they appeal to voters accross the broad spectrum of Republican politics.  To win the must pick up independents, Libertarians, and Democrats.

If this ticket should come about, I could see Palin as Secretary of Interior, Huntsman as Secretary of State, and my preferences for Huckabee include chairman of the FCC (this wouldn’t be possible if he still has ownership in radio and TV stations), or as a white house assistant for reducing government, combining and eliminating cabinet positions and moving functions that belong to the states back to the states, or as transitional Secretary of Education or Energy to transition the department out of existence.

The final segment, part 5, of this series of blogs, will look at those not on my list who are considered or are considering becoming candidates.

Republican Outlook 2012 – Part 2 – Resisting Infighting in the Conservative Family

Politics and religion are important and dangerous topics, and they often have an impact on each other. It grates on me to hear a candidate disparaged for his religious beliefs. There is not much that is more un-American than to do so. Religious intolerance within the Christian community threatens the power of Conservatism.

Polls show that 82% of Americans identify themselves “Christian.” This large percentage of believers belong to or attend literally “thousands” (according to adherents.com) of different denominations from the largest, Catholic, to the smallest single-congregation denomination. An outsider might ask, why so many different kinds of Christians? The answer is simple, beginning with the protestant reformation to the current day, believers have compared their church to the writings in the Bible; and often when doing this they discover some discrepancy, so they split off and start a new church that they feel is modeled more on that of the Biblical description of the church Christ organized during his mortal ministry.

Some of these splits have come about due to disagreement over such things as the mode of baptism, the necessity of baptism, the version of the Bible that is used, the way tithes and offerings are collected or administered, predestination vs. free will, the use of products such as alcohol, makeup, or meat, the use of musical instruments, female preachers, and many more such items.

Even with these divisions, the basic doctrine of Christianity remains in these churches. I studied religion in college, and I read a great deal on contemporary religion. I have not found any denomination that does not have certain basic beliefs as part of their doctrine:

  • Jesus of Nazareth was the only begotten Son of God; He lived without sin, gave Himself to pay for the sins of all humans, and is the Savior of the World, the only way back to God
  • The First and Greatest Commandment – Love God with your might, mind, and strength
  • The Second Greatest Commandment -Love your neighbor as yourself
  • The Ten Commandments

These are certainly not the only commonality between Christian denominations, but it is sufficient to illustrate that a Christian who proclaims belief in Christ is a Christian. If I believe that baptism by emersion in a requirement, and you do not, that difference does not give me the right to say you aren’t really a Christian. Whatever else you believe, because you believe in those four items above, nobody can rightly say you are not a Christian.

Religious tolerance means that you give each person the right to worship and serve God in the way they believe is right, whether it matches your belief or not. There is a limit on this tolerance in that the United States Constitution and the body of law resulting from it, including those from state and civil governments, is the only law allowed to deal with mandatory fines, seizure of property, incarceration, physical punishment, or execution for wrong doing. Other than that each church has the right to allow in or remove from membership whomever they wish and to conduct their worship and church business how they choose. And each member has the same right to participate or not.

Each Christian attends the church of their choosing because they believe it is the best church for them, or because they enjoy the fellowship, convenience, or programs. It is not fair to others to say they are not Christian because they don’t see religion in exactly the say way we do. Jesus told His apostles, “For he that is not against us is on our part.” All these churches believe the four things listed above, they are on our part.

As long as they honor the Constitution and obey the laws of the land, a candidate should not be criticized for being a “born again”, Catholic, Episcopal, Mormon, or an unaligned Christian. With the same Constitutional stipulation mentioned in the previous sentence, the same is true for non-Christian religious bodies as well. It speaks well to a person’s character that they respect t and honor their religious beliefs and are kind to others in theirs.

We need to honestly throw away religious bias and select candidates on the strength of their record, education, public service, their stand on issues, and their personal character. In the next of this series, I will exam the three candidates most know for their religious beliefs: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Jon Huntsman.

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