Saturday, June 30, 2012

I feel safer - Drones in the Sky - Don't You?

The Federal government has taken steps to make sure that our skies are filled with possible terrorist missiles. In fact, this year the FAA Reauthorization Act was signed with the thought of developing regulations in regards to drone flight in American skies. The FAA claims that they are expecting to have 30,000 drones in American airspace by 2020.
The Department of Homeland Security is happy about this and like the naked body scanners that they claim are both safe and vital in securing the flying American public, they also were over confident about the security of the unmanned drones. That is until their bluff was called by a Texas college.

A group of researchers led by Professor Todd Humphreys from the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory recently succeeded in raising the eyebrows of the US government. With just around $1,000 in parts, Humphreys’ team took control of an unmanned aerial vehicle owned by the college, all in front of the US Department of Homeland Security.
After being challenged by his lab, the DHS dared Humphreys’ crew to hack into a drone and take command. Much to their chagrin, they did exactly that.

Humphrey tells Fox News that for a few hundreds dollar his team was able to “spoof” the GPS system on board the drone, a technique that involves mimicking the actual signals sent to the global positioning device and then eventually tricking the target into following a new set of commands. And, for just $1,000, Humphreys says the spoofer his team assembled was the most advanced one ever built.
 “Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” Humphrey’s said. “In five or ten years you have 30,000 drones in the airspace. Each one of these could be a potential missile used against us.”
 The drone that was hacked was not a government drone, but rather a UAV owned by the university. However, the drones that will be in the air will not just be military drones but also commercial ones as well.
 While the drone overtaken by the College for a mere $1000, but Humphreys theorized, “What if you could take down one of these drones delivering FedEx packages and use that as your missile?” Humphreys asks. “That’s the same mentality the 9-11 attackers had.”
 Yes, I feel safer already, don’t you?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Declaration of Independence as adopted for today

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the form to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuse and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. …
The history of the present President of the United States is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws passed by the elected representatives of the people. Examples of this is the failure of the President and the current administration to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), uphold the Constitution in proving the qualification of the President to sit as a President by providing proof of being a natural born Citizen of the United States as required by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. He has, by executive order, circumvented laws passed by the Congress of the United States in the area of immigration and naturalization, to wit the granting amnesty to illegal aliens residing in the United States who were 15 years of age or younger when they initially entered the United States by executive order.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation ... to wit the United Nations attempts to control the right of citizens to own arms, the internationalization of our monetary policies and other similar acts to numerous to enumerate but found in his record of Executive Orders, which are available to all who have access to the Internet.
He has taken away our freedom of religion by forcing upon those religions his requirements for killing of the unborn and the succumbing to the Muslim agenda, which is to eliminate the Christian and Jewish religions.

Unacceptable Treatment of our Veterans

According to the election year polling data that serves as a constant reflection of what we—as a nation—care about, the economy consistently ranks at the very top of the list.

No big shock there.
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But as you tick down the recitals of what we perceive as our most pressing troubles, nowhere on the list of worries that supposedly rule our voting preferences do we see anything that reflects our concern over the following shameful fact of the American experience—every eighty minutes, each and every single day of the week, a veteran will take his or her own life.

I’m going to write that down again.

Every eighty minutes a veteran will take his or her own life.

So serious is the problem that veterans of our military services now represent 20 percent of all suicides in the United States despite the fact that only 1 percent of Americans have served in the military. Many of these people will jump in front of a train, put a bullet in their head or take some other way out because the United States of America – that would be you and me – is flat out welching on the deal we make with the people we send off to fight our wars. They promise to put their bodies into these deadly, bloody battles and we, in return, promise to take care of their war related injuries—both physical and mental—when they return.

The veterans are delivering on their promise. We very much are not.

And yet, remarkably, so many of us —including the two candidates who presently seek the office of Commander-In-Chief—continue to feel comfortable thumping our chests and declaring that America is an ‘extraordinary’ nation among nations, even as we breach agreements with those who were willing to die on foreign soil because we ordered them to do so.

There has been no shortage of well-written articles published by some of the largest media outlets in the country bringing this disaster to our attention. They often appear under a headline containing the words ‘national shame’ and tell us the story of a veteran who tried to get the care needed only to find that he or she ran short on their ability to ‘hang in there’ while waiting for an appointment with someone who might be able to help—an appointment we are contractually and morally, obligated to provide.

There are extraordinary non-profit organizations, like the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), who work 24/7 to bring this to our attention as they try to fill in the gap created by our malfeasance by sponsoring suicide hot lines connecting them to veterans in the effort to stem the sickening tide of suicide. Yet, despite the efforts of the many writers attempting to get us to focus on the problem, and the struggles of the IAVA and others to right this obscene wrong, none of it is enough to compensate for the fact that you and I are, at the end of the day, a bunch of deal breaking, contract breaching welchers who don’t care enough about our promises to those who would die for us to view this as a concern worthy of making a pollster’s list.

Obscene wait times for psychiatric visits.

How long is the wait time for a vet suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or some other combat related mental illnesses?

According to a report filed by the Inspector General, only 49 percent of veterans receive a full mental evaluation within 14 days of their first contact for mental health care—despite VA claims that rate is 95 percent. And while , in some cities, such as Denver, veterans wait 19 days on average to see a physiatrist, in others, such as Spokane, they wait as many as 80 days to get help.

The result of our failing to meet our obligations? See above – a veteran takes his or her own life every eighty minutes.
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Still, the politicians remain largely silent.

I can recall the words ‘veteran suicide’ mentioned by Ron Paul once or twice during the GOP debate series—yet neither the media nor the contestants viewed the subject as rising to a level of importance that would merit a full discussion during the Republican debate spectacles. While this failure of government would, seemingly, be a terrific point of attack for the Republicans, they do not bother with it because they know all too well that the public does not sufficiently care about this to make it an election issue.

And while President Obama did sign The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, promising to improve mental health care services to veterans, the reality is that the law has produced little—if any—benefit as waiting periods for veterans in desperate need of mental health care have grown to the point of absurdity.

It isn’t like the President is unaware. While still a candidate for the office he would eventually inhabit, Barack Obama had this to say in response to the growing suicide problem-Today’s news is a tragic reminder of the staggering and ongoing costs of the Iraq war, particularly on our troops and their families. We are more than five years into this war, and the Pentagon and VA are still unprepared to treat the unseen wounds of battle. We know that incidence of psychological injury increase with each additional tour of duty in Iraq, and that our troops are not getting the support they need. Too many are falling through the cracks because they need help but feel they can’t get it. When I am president, we’ll hire more mental health professionals, increase training to recognize the signs and to reject the stigma of seeking care, and enhance mental health screening and treatment from enlistment, to deployment, to reentry into civilian life.

And yet, we appear to be worse off today than when the President promised to undertake the necessary improvements in 2008—and that is, in no small measure, the fault of you and I.

It is our fault because we view this as an unfortunate situation that is happening to someone else and, therefore, does not rise to the level of importance that we attach to jobs, healthcare, national debt, etc.

But, in thinking that this state of affairs, while sad, is someone else’s problem, we are wrong.

It’s very simple. If our government can’t make good on a straightforward contractual obligation to our veterans, what chance do you imagine we have that our government will keep its promises to the rest of us when it comes to any number of more complicated issues?

And when I say this is simple, it is precisely that. All that it takes is some reorganization in the Veterans Administration (which is underway but moving far too slowly) and enough money to hire the mental health experts needed to meet the challenge. It will take bringing in extra people to catch up with the huge backlog in VA applications, not only for mental health care but disability qualification and other medical need. It will require keeping sufficient professionals in place to deal with the huge influx of veterans coming into the system over the next few years.

If this means taking a few bucks out of my future Medicare benefits, fine. If the money has to come from my social security or be produced by cutting back on ordering some fighter jets, great. It is well worth it because a nation that welches on its promises to its veterans is not a nation that can be trusted by the remainder of its citizens when it comes to making good on promises to the general public.

You can actually do something about this.

If you are troubled by this situation, and you certainly ought to be, there is something you can do.
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While I know that those who oppose this Administration will imagine that simply voting for the Republican candidate is all it will take, let me just say that you are wrong. And even if were that simple, think about how many veterans will die between now and the swearing in of a new president next January.
Google your elected officials in the House and the Senate to find their websites. Go there, find the comment section (which is actually taken seriously by your elected representatives) and tell your Member of Congress and Senator to (a) address this problem without turning it into just another political football and (b) clean this up before the next election – or else.

You will be amazed at how quickly this problem will be reversed.

A nation is its people and a people that would cheat its military veterans is far from extraordinary—it is a nation that is pathetic.

I write on politics with a 'specialty' in health care policy. My interest in the field began with an experience fifteen years ago in a hospital in Los Angeles that has led me to my current life where I consult a number of government officials and health care advocacy groups. In addition to my contributions to Forbes, I write a political column at The Washington Monthly. On Saturdays, you can find me on your TV arguing with my more conservative colleagues on "Forbes on Fox" on the Fox News Network and serving as a liberal talking head on other Fox News and Fox Business Network shows.

In God we Trust? Doesn't appear to be the case

Over the past fifty years, a very vocal minority group of atheists have been systematically striving to remove every vestige of God and Christianity out of American society. During that same time, Christians in large have sat on their butts and done nothing to stop the atheist onslaught.

However, one group is saying that enough is enough and that it’s time to stop allowing the few to dictate to the many. Lea Carawan, Executive Director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, has announced their plans to get the National Motto, In God We Trust, into every government public building including schools. She explained why in a recent interview with OneNewsNow, saying,

“The reason this is important is because there is an aggressive and an intentional attempt to remove God from every vestige of our nation by people who are basically bullying the citizens to give up their rights to publicly pray and express their faith, and many feel like there’s nothing they can do about it. We’re saying that’s not true.”
“Just like the fact that we have the right to publicly pray, we also have the right to put God up. If we continue to allow just a few anti-God, anti-faith groups to convince us that we don’t have that right to free and public expression of our faith, we’re going to lose it. And we are a Judeo-Christian nation established with ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto.”
I admire her intentions and wish them well, but I’m not sure the National Motto truly reflects where America’s trust is anymore. God is no longer at the heart of our federal government. God’s laws are readily being replaced with secular laws that attempt to justify sinful behaviors. It seems that the more outrageously sinful a person or group of people are, they more attention they get and the more they get their way.
The man who currently occupies the White House professes to be a Christian, but all of his words and actions say otherwise. 

When I listen to Barack Obama mouth hollow messages about his faith, I can’t help but think of the words of the Apostle Peter when he wrote,
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:1-3).
If America really wants to live up to its National Motto, then we have to fervently pray for the salvation of our leaders and that their hearts will turn away from the wicked ways of the world and once again embrace the God who gave us this great land over 200 years ago.

On April 30, 1789, newly elected President George Washington delivered his first inaugural address. In his address, he acknowledged who was really responsible for America’s freedom when he said,
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.”
On March 4, 1805, Thomas Jefferson delivered his second inaugural address in which he reiterated the words of George Washington, saying,
“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlightened the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures…”
Even though the National Motto of In God We Trust wasn’t officially adopted until 1956, it did speak of the America our Founding Fathers created. However, today it’s only a wish and desire that many of us Christians pray for and nothing more. To be honest, if a national motto is to reflect the heart of the nation, perhaps it should be changed to To God We Turned Our Backs. Heaven help us if don’t change the heart of the nation soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our Government Ruins another Innocent's Life

This has got to be one of the grossest miscarriages of law enforcement that I’ve read about lately.
Rick and Terri Reese, along with their two sons Ryin and Remington ran a federally licensed gun shop in Deming, New Mexico. They kept meticulous records of all the firearms and ammunition they purchased and which were purchased by customers. They performed the required FBI background checks when necessary. Basically, they ran their gun shop by the letter of the law for 17 years.
Even much of their hired help was legal as the Reeses often hired law enforcement officers who were either retired or off duty, to work in the gun shop. This brought in a substantial amount of business with the law enforcement community and agencies.
In 2011, Terri noticed a customer that had made an unusually large number of purchases. The customer, Penny Torres, told Terri that they were having a family reunion at a ranch in the area and that they all liked to shoot. Terri was suspicious of Torres story and being the law abiding gun dealer she is, she reported her suspicions to one of her friends that worked with the Luna County Sheriff’s Department. Terri told him that she suspected Torres might be a ‘straw buyer’ (someone who purchased guns for illegal purposes such as going over the Mexican border to the drug cartels, kind of like what the US government did with Operation Fast and Furious).
The Luna County Sheriff’s Department officer Terri reported to was someone she trusted and who she always turned to if they had any need for law enforcement. He told her that he would promptly report it to ATF and would let her know what happened with the case.
Torres was subsequently arrested, but ended up making a deal with the feds for leniency by implicating the Reese family as knowingly selling guns that were to illegally cross the border into Mexico. This launched an investigation by a recently formed federal agency known as Homeland Security Investigators (HSI), who set up a sting operation to entrap the Reeses.
HSI hired a confidential informant called Roman, who was seeking a reduced sentence for human trafficking and drugs smuggling. Roman agreed to go to the Reese’ gun shop, purchase weapons and drop hints that they would be heading across the border into Mexico but to do so in such a way as not to alarm them and cause them to refuse the sale. Roman was fitted with a wire to record everything that was said. HSI figured that if the Reeses sold the guns to Roman, that they could then arrest them on gun walking charges.
Shortly after Roman made his gun purchases, the feds swooped in to arrest all four members of the family. HSI and local law enforcement raided the gun store and the Reese home. They came in helicopters, armored vehicles and too many heavily protected and armed law enforcement officers to count. Not only were the four members of the Reese family arrested, but the feds confiscated every gun, all ammunition from both their store and their home, then they confiscated the home, cars, bank accounts, coin collections and virtually everything the family owned.
Each member of the family was eventually taken to a different jail or prison facility to be held without bail until their trials. The prosecution argued that they were flight risks or might even stage a Ruby Ridge type stand off because their home had a well and solar panels and they had found guns on the premises. Can you imagine that? They actually found guns and ammunition in the house and place of business of federally licensed gun dealers. It was also noted by the prosecution that Rick and Terry Reese were part of the local Tea Party, which must have made them look violent in the eyes of the prosecutor.
Six months after being arrested, Terri Reese was allowed to post bail, but the courts continued to withhold bail for the father and two sons.
Recently, the first preliminary hearing was held for the four members of the Reese family. According to a WND report, the prosecution revealed a number of revelations during the preliminary hearing. For one thing, Roman spoke little broken English and that most of the hinting of guns going to Mexico was said in Spanish, which none of the Reese family knew or understood. However, the transcripts that the court had to read had all been translated into English, so that it appeared that the conversation had taken place in English.
Additionally, the prosecution admitted that all of the Reese’ gun sales had been properly logged and all transactions appeared to have been legal. They also admitted that the Reeses has paid all of their taxes and that there was no evidence of any under the table transactions and that all banking and financial evidence indicated that all members of the family never received any money other than their normal paychecks.
When the defense pointed out to the prosecution that they used so many law enforcement personnel in their store, the prosecution replied that it didn’t matter because ‘a lot of them [cops and former cops] are dirty.’
Now the Reese family is awaiting the main trial which is scheduled for some time in July. Since all of their worldly possessions, even personal items accumulated over 25 years of marriage, have been confiscated, they have no money with which to use to pay for their defense. And if by some miracle they are acquitted of all charges, they have no home and no business to return to.
What galls me to spit in anger is that this family, even by the prosecution’s own statements in the preliminary trial, have never done anything wrong. Their lives have been raped by the federal government based on promises made to two convicts in lieu of lighter sentences. Roman’s statements should not be admissible since he spoke Spanish and the Reeses don’t. This is a horrible case of entrapment and what’s worse is that they are accusing the family of doing what the feds did in Operation Fast and Furious and NO ONE IS BEING PROSECUTED in that case!
We need to pray that the Reese family is exonerated and that the feds are forced to replace all of their possessions, guns, ammunition, house, cars, bank accounts, coin collection and pay for wrongful imprisonment. If anyone belongs in jail for gun walking, it’s Eric Holder, not the Reese family.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Does the Bible Still Matter?

After all the very visible fighting about public displays of religious symbols— from 10 Commandments plaques to graveyard crosses to faith-themed war memorials to holiday manger displays—you might have developed the impression that most Americans don’t think the Bible matters today and they like it that way.

You’d be wrong. That makes me feel better

There is a lot of speculation about both the current role and the appropriate role of the Bible in America. But each year, American Bible Society puts the guessing aside and asks a sampling of Americans to tell us how they view and use the Bible and what they believe its role should be in America.  Recently, American Bible Society released this year’s results from that research in the 2012 State of the Bible report.

The State of the Bible in America in 2012 can be summed up in a two words: encouraging and unsettling. I would think that this has always been the case

The research, commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research, found that the majority of Americans (69%) believe the Bible provides answers on how to live a meaningful life. Depending on how you view this, could be bad, could be good. Good that 69% believe, bad that only 69% believe...But while 79% believe they are knowledgeable about the Bible, 54% were unable to correctly identify the first five books of the Bible.  And approximately half of Americans surveyed didn’t know the fundamental differences between the teachings of the Bible, Koran and Book of Mormon, with 46% percent saying they believe all three books teach the same spiritual truths. Proving what? That people know about the bible but don't know the bible...
The State of the Bible in America in 2012 can be summed up in a two words: encouraging and unsettling.
While nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the Bible has too little influence in society—Well, that is good, would be better if 95% believed the Bible has too little influence in America a far cry from the anti-faith picture often painted in culture—approximately half (46%) say they read the Bible no more than once or twice a year. Because it is not in vogue 
What The State of the Bible report also confirmed is that the lack of engagement with the Bible among Americans isn’t caused by a lack of access to it. Here in the United States, 85% of households own a Bible. Actually, most families own more than one, with a household average of 4.3 Bibles. Why is it that we can't open it, read it and share it with our families everyday? Everyday the Bible speaks to what we are experiencing. You just need to open it and find the example, it is there!
Looking more closely at the data, something really interesting emerges. When we examine responses to the question “Do you believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to live a meaningful life?”, we find that older respondents agreed at a much higher rate than did younger respondents. While 61% of those surveyed between ages 18-27 agreed, those 47 years and older agreed at a rate of 75%. Why? because they do not understand the Bible. They need to read and study the Bible, then through thoughtful consideration, they can make intelligent and informed decisions. Their eyes will be opened.
Before you assert that older people are just naturally more traditional, remember that the older group is made up of the Woodstock generation, free-love ‘70s kids and the MTV generation. The data seems to say that the older you are, the more likely you are to value the Bible. Maybe it’s that our own life experiences prove the value of the Bible’s wisdom? Ha ha, you think? 

There is no doubt that the findings in The State of the Bible lead to some obvious questions. For instance…
 If Americans believe in the value of reading and applying the Bible, why don’t more of us do so? Perhaps it is pressure from the world, reading the Bible is not cool in the main stream. 
 If we believe that the Bible has the right amount of—or too little—influence in society, why is so much negative attention given to expressions of the faith in the God of the Bible? Because it is true. The Bible is truth. It's writings are proven without doubt and that scares people who do not want to fully submit to the facts
When survey participants were asked what frustrated them most about reading the Bible, the most oft-cited response was that they “never had enough time to read it.” Hmmm, I wonder if they will have time to die? Perhaps, they are to busy to live??? The busy-ness of our lives often make it difficult for us to follow through on what we say we value. BULL! Another reason I often hear from non-Bible readers is that they find the sheer size of the Bible to be overwhelming. Try just reading a few pages a day. Rome was not built in a day
So where does someone start who wants to be a Bible reader but doesn’t have a lot of time?Go to a bible study. When you are having fun and learning, you will find the time  A good place to begin is with the “Essential 100.”  This list of 100 key verses and related stories do not contain everything the Bible has to say.  What it does provide is a concise way to understand the bigger arc of the Bible without getting bogged down. For all of those who wonder what the Bible is really all about, The Essential 100 (available at is a great starting point.
So is the Bible really relevant in 2012? You won’t know until you read it.
Lamar Vest is the president and CEO of the American Bible Society. Founded in 1816, the American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. Just be very careful that you do not follow a writing of belief that is contrary to the direct writings and teachings in the bible. Let the Bible be the final word and not someone else's interruption of it.  
A note on survey methodology: The State of the Bible 2012 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of the Barna Group).

Published April 29, 2012

If you can't believe what he says about his own life ...

Yet another Barack Obama biography has been recently published. This time it was written by someone friendly to Obama. David Maraniss, in his book, Barack Obama: The Story, sought to chronicle the early years of young Obama and tell of things that molded and shaped him into being the person he is today.

Maraniss diligently researched as much as he could about Obama’s childhood, including the relationship between his parents. He looked up records and interviewed as many people as possible that may have had some knowledge of Barack Obama Sr and Ann Dunham, his father and mother.

But what Maraniss discovered was that the family history told by Obama at the 2004 National Democratic Convention and again during the 2008 presidential campaign is more fiction than fact.

For instance, Maraniss found out from close friends of Obama Sr in his 1961-62 college days that most of them never knew or heard of Ann or a child. One of those friends, a Cambodian named Kiri Tith was supposedly very close to Obama Sr. Tith told Maraniss that he had met Ann, but not though Barack and that he never had any clue that Ann and Barack even knew each other, let alone that she got pregnant by him. Yet Obama Jr tells everyone how close his parents were in those days.

Maraniss also notes that according to Obama Jr’s birth certificate, his family lived in the home of Dunham’s parents at 6085 Kalanianole Highway. But Obama Sr informed the INS that only Ann and her baby lived there without him. Yet, in his investigation, Maraniss learned that at that time, the Pratt family lived with Ann’s parents at that house and there was no room for Ann and her baby to stay there. When he interviewed the Pratt’s daughter, she had no recollection of Ann or the baby staying at the house.

There are other inconsistencies in Obama’s early life that Maraniss discovered. He said that when you add them all up, that Obama’s version of his life as told in 2004 and 2008 are “received myth, not the truth.”

So why is Barack Obama continually lying about his life? Perhaps this is why he has been refusing to make any of his records available for scrutiny. They probably contain a truth he would rather the American people never heard. Instead, he continues to lie to us every time he opens his mouth.

And if you can’t believe what he says about his own life, do you really want him in control of yours?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ernst & Young LLP ... Proud to be PRO GLBT ... I would never hire them

Leading professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP was recently honored as one of the “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” by DiversityInc magazine. In recognition of the firm’s commitment to workplace equity, Ernst & Young ranked 24 overall and ranked six on the magazine’s “Top Ten Companies for GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) Employees” list.

“At Ernst & Young we believe our competitive advantage is highly dependent on our ability to leverage the differences of our people to create diversity of thought,” said James S. Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young LLP.

“We are pleased to be recognized among this esteemed group of employers and proud of our efforts and achievements in building an inclusive culture.”

Mr. President ... release the documents about Fast and Furious

Barack Obama’s transition from president to king continues with his invoking of executive privilege to block Congress from documents related to Eric Holder’s involvement in “Fast and Furious,” the Justice Department program that put U.S. guns in the hands of Mexican drug runners.

For the second time in a week, President Obama has shown he not only doesn’t care what Congress thinks, but he has the power and the inclination to just roll over the Legislative Branch and anyone in it, particularly the GOP members.

Executive privilege is something to which presidents occasionally resort, but given the nature of the Fast and Furious probe, and following hot on the heels of Obama’s decree of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, this is not the normal legal functioning of the executive office so much as the second in a one-two punch to Congress’ midsection.

By keeping subpoenaed documents related to Fast and Furious out of the hands of the congressional panel led by California Congressman Darrell Issa, Obama is hiding information about a federal operation that didn’t just go awry, but that resulted in the death of a Border Patrol agent.
There is blood on Eric Holder’s hands, and he must give an adequate answer for it.

What that answer ultimately is and whether it would result in any penalties for Holder are things that should be determined through the legal process Issa’s oversight committee began. By refusing to release the documents in an effort to block a committee vote to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress, Obama is showing his own contempt for the people’s representatives.

Whatever Obama’s hiding apparently is more important to him than the life of a federal agent.
Could the documents reveal his own involvement in the botched arms-tracking scheme?

Based on the rules set out by the Supreme Court, it’s now up to Issa to show that the documents “essential to the justice of the case.”

Historically, most presidents follow up an executive privilege claim by voluntarily revealing some of the requested documents to fend off a confrontation with Congress. Based on Obama’s pattern, that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Obama likes to compare himself to other presidents, proclaiming that he is in the Top 4. But the most apt presidential comparison today is to Richard Nixon.

As the Watergate story broke, President Nixon also invoked executive privilege to try to block release of the recordings that came to be called the Watergate Tapes.

He too had reason to exert executive privilege. The Watergate Tapes sealed the coffin on his presidency, revealing as they did his involvement in planning the break-in at the Watergate Hotel.
Nixon resigned for the good of the country so that America would not have to be dragged through the spectacle of impeachment hearings.

To this day, Watergate — and Nixon’s abuse of executive privilege — is a low point in presidential history.

There’s a crucial point that must be remembered, however: Nobody died in Watergate.

Posted on June 21, 2012 by Tad Cronn

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Obama creates Executive Order for MARTIAL LAW

Martial law, the confiscation of private property, forced work camps, and the nationalization of the means of production: these are the typical ways a Communist revolution seizes and consolidates power. In most democratic societies, such a dramatic governmental paradigm shift requires the violent overthrow of the current ruling regime. However, on March 16th 2012 President Barack Hussein Obama effectively staged a revolution with nothing more than the swipe of a pen and public indifference. On that date, he signed the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order. This Executive Order will allow the President to institute martial law, confiscate private property, and create forced labor groups in the United States of America during PEACE TIME and in the absence of ANY national emergency!
This is the most dangerous time for our fragile Republic since the Civil War. We have a President in the White House who continually acts in contravention of our Constitution, a 24 hour liberal news media who almost unquestionably backs the President’s unconstitutional acts, and a large (and growing) section of the American populace who rely on government aid and actively trade freedom for a government check. Additionally, the world is suffering from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression and extremist groups on both sides of the political spectrum around the world are seeing their membership rise and are gaining influence. Now, our Constitutionally –challenged President has promulgated an Executive Order that would allow him to take complete control over the instrumentalities of both our government and economy! The situation is as dire as it has ever been.

Executive Orders are nothing new in the United States. George Washington was the first President to sign a Presidential Executive Order and nearly every President has used them in one fashion or another. The existence of Executive Orders is not problematic; rather the content is what is at issue here.

So what makes the Nation Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order so dangerous? First off, the Order does not require a national emergency. This is NOT an Executive Order that will be held in mothballs until the next Category 5 hurricane slams into our coastline or terrorists attack a major city. No, this Order can be used in the absence of ANY emergency. It ONLY requires that the President use the Order for purposes of the “national defense” and only requires the “potential” of a threat. By signing this Executive Order, President Obama functionally gave himself the legal authority to dissolve Congress and take absolute control of the government AT ANY TIME.

President Obama created this power to wield it; therefore, it is not a question of “if” he will use the power, it is a question of when. So, WHEN President Barack Hussein Obama decides to the use the power that he created for himself, the potentates of the Cabinet departments will take over control of the US government and Obama will become the final decision-maker and arbiter. The National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order delineates which departments will have control over which policy areas. For instance, the Secretary of Defense will be in control of the United States water supply, the Department of Labor can implement forced labor, the Department of Agriculture will have the authority to ration food and regulate agricultural activities, the Secretary of Transportation has control over all CIVILIAN transportation, and you can bet that your gun rights will be abolished as well; all of this without Congressional oversight, support, or even a single cameral vote.

President Obama seems to have an insatiable lust for power. This the same President who passed a Trojan horse “Healthcare” law that gives unprecedented and unconstitutional power to the President at the expense of the individual rights of American citizens; not to mention the fact that Obamacare is an attempt to nationalize medicine (to read more about the dangers of Obamacare, click here: Click Here This is the same President who went so far as to slip language into the 2013 National Budget that essentially grants illegal immigrants back-door amnesty despite national opposition to such action. The arrogance and willful disregard for democratic processes and the rule of law coming from our sitting President is frightening. And now evidence shows that he is becoming even more brazen with his Marxist rhetoric.

Last week President Obama unveiled his campaign slogan for the 2012 Presidential election. The slogan is one word: Forward. Seem innocuous enough, right? Short, illustrative and elegant in its simplicity; in fact, it seems like someone would have used it before, doesn’t it? Well, they did. The slogan “Forward” was historically used by European Marxists and Communist parties and publications. This is no accident; President Obama is now openly signaling to the American people that he will govern as a leftist extremist in his next term. In his first term, President Obama ignored the Constitution, attempted to expand Federal powers and unconstitutionally attempted to consolidate all Executive, Legislative, and Judicial power solely into his hands. This new slogan signals to the American people that he will become even MORE extremist if he wins a second term and has nothing to lose.

It is the DUTY of every American citizen to actively protect our Constitutional freedoms. It is up to each one of us to be a roadblock to Obama’s unconstitutional ambitions. One at a time we must fight each of Obama’s policy initiatives. It will take vigilance and determination, but isn’t our Republic worth it? The National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order is the lynchpin to Obama’s power grab; if we can hold the line here and roll back that executive order, we can start taking back our country and our freedoms!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mr. President, You are Out of Touch

WASHINGTON — With good reason, presidents have long been said to hold the power of the bully pulpit. But when President Obama sought to wield it on Friday, by calling a White House news conference to showcase his concern for the economy and Republicans’ refusal to work with him, he was the one who ended up getting pummeled.

Obama Speaks About Job Growth
By late afternoon, Mr. Obama was forced to clarify one line from his morning session with reporters — “the private sector is doing fine” — after Congressional Republicans and his presidential rival, Mitt Romney, had seized on the comment to criticize Mr. Obama as out-of-touch and detached from the millions of Americans who cannot find jobs or have given up looking.

“Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That’s the reason I had the press conference,” Mr. Obama said in clarifying his earlier remark when asked about Mr. Romney’s criticism during an Oval Office appearance with the president of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III.

“There are too many people out of work. The housing market is still weak and too many homes underwater,” Mr. Obama said. “And that’s precisely why I asked Congress to start taking some steps that can make a difference.” He ended, “What I’m interested in hearing from Congress and Mr. Romney is what steps are they willing to take right now that are going to make an actual difference. And so far, all we’ve heard are additional tax cuts to the folks who are doing fine.”

But for the day at least, the damage was done, as Republicans hijacked the news cycle with their barrage against Mr. Obama’s six words in a professorial 29-minute exchange. While the metaphor of the bully pulpit originated with President Theodore Roosevelt about a century ago and generally remains apt, it does not allow for a 21st-century media environment of constant cable television chatter, blogging and instant Internet videos that empower a president’s opponents to bully back.

Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Romney called Mr. Obama’s statement “an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who is out-of-touch. And we’re going to take back this country and get America working again.”

What was worse for Mr. Obama, the controversy was the capstone of an already bad week that had started the Friday before with a disappointing monthly jobs report showing an increase of just 69,000 jobs in May. There had been a similar media commotion over comments by former President Bill Clinton that were unhelpful to the Obama campaign (he, too, clarified himself later), a defeat for Democrats in Wisconsin’s election to recall the Republican governor and the latest monthly fund-raising reports showing that Mr. Romney and the Republican Party for the first time had out-raised Mr. Obama and his party.

Mr. Obama’s point at his news conference was that for more than two years, monthly jobs reports have shown growth in the private sector, but continuing cutbacks in the public sector as state and local governments slash jobs in their struggle to balance their budgets; the public sector — not the private sector — most needs additional government help.

He argued that “if Republicans want to be helpful” as Europe’s financial crisis again threatens the American economy, they should quit opposing proposals in his jobs plan of last September that would aid states so they can keep teachers and first-responders at work and finance public-works projects to employ construction workers left jobless by the 2008 housing bust.

Mr. Obama’s comment, in context, was: “We’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”

Republicans hope they can turn Mr. Obama’s “doing fine” line into the sort of bumper-sticker comment that would damage him with swing voters much like his 2008 rival, Senator John McCain, was hurt when he said “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.” Mr. McCain, however, spoke in September 2008 as the financial system was already imploding, and his comment underscored his well-known and self-acknowledged unfamiliarity with economic policy.

Seeking to even the day’s score, Democrats quickly mounted a counteroffensive by the same cable and Internet outlets to amplify one of Mr. Romney’s remarks on Friday.

Speaking of Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney said: “He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did: It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman, said in a statement that “Mitt Romney promised to eliminate even more public-sector jobs.”

Mr. Obama’s news conference also provoked Republicans to revive their charge that he is blaming Europe’s ills for slow growth here to distract from his own culpability.

“He used his old standby excuse — headwinds — for his failure on the economy,” said Kirsten Kukowski, press secretary for the Republican National Committee.

Yet many economists say that Europe is a big factor in the American outlook. AllianceBernstein, an asset management firm in Manhattan, wrote to clients and reporters on Friday that it had slightly lowered its forecast for economic growth this year “amid increasing international headwinds facing the U.S. economy.” And Bank of America Merrill Lynch said “the uncertainty shock from Europe is building rapidly, undercutting both U.S. and global growth.”

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What the First Amendment Really Says about Religion - Part II

The First Amendment originally left the entire issue of governmental involvement in religion to the States. When ratified in 1788, the Constitution contained no prohibition against individual state religious establishments; indeed, some States that ratified the Constitution had such religious establishments at the time of ratification, some of which continued to exist even after ratification of the First Amendment until they were ended by the States themselves (as in the case of Massachusetts which finally did so in 1833).
Supporting this view of the constitution independence of the States in religious matters, President Thomas Jefferson in 1808 noted:
I consider the Government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government. It must then rest with the State, as far as it can be in any human authority.[1]
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story's Commentaries on the Constitution[2] indicate that he also believed the First Amendment left religious establishments in the hands of the States:
It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambitions, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects, thus exemplified in our domestic as well as in foreign annals, that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject. The situation, too, of the different States equally proclaimed the policy as well as the necessity of such an exclusion In some of the States, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in others, Quakers; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendency; if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in extirpating the power. But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion, and a prohibition (as we have seen) of all religious tests. Thus the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions; and the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist, the Armenian, the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national councils without any inquisition into their faith or mode of worship.[3]
What is meant by the word "establishment" in the First Amendment? President James Madison during the debates over the ratification of the First Amendment indicated the word "establishment" to mean a governmental religion such as a state church. AS the initial proponent of what eventually became the Establishment Clause, you would think he understood the meaning.
Mr. Madison said, he apprehended the meaning of the word to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience. Whether the words are necessary or not, he did not mean to say, but they had been required by some of the State Conventions, who seemed to entertain an opinion that under the clause of the Constitution, which gave power to Congress to make all laws necessary and proper to carry into execution the Constitution, and the laws made under it, enabled them to make laws of such a nature as might infringe the rights of conscience, and establish a national religion; to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended, and he thought it as well expressed as the nature of language would admit.[4]
Here are some of the historical facts that brought the Establishment Clause into existence.
First, the resolutions of the State Constitutional Ratifying Conventions from Maryland, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, understood in their historical context, all urged a constitutional amendment prohibiting a single national religious establishment.[5]
Second, in response to these State Ratifying Convention's requests, James Madison introduced his original draft of the Establishment Clause which on its face is clearly designed to foreclose a national religion, not religions.
Third, Madison's interpretation given to Roger Sherman during the House's August 15, 1789 debate as to what the House's Select Committee's Report meant (regarding its recommended prohibition "that no religion shall be established by law") indicates clearly that Madison believed Congress was denied the power to "establish a national religion" not religions. [6]
Fourth, the final wording of the religious clauses of the First Amendment -- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" -- shows the intent to prevent a single and no some pluralistic national religious establishment. As Michael J Malbin has noted:
      Had the framers prohibited "the establishment of religion," which would have emphasized the generic word "religion," there might have been some reason for thinking they wanted to prohibit all official preferences of religion over irreligion. But by choosing "an establishment" over "the establishment," they were showing that they wanted to prohibit only those official activities that tended to promote the interests of one or another particular sect.
    Thus, through the choice of "an" over "the," conferees indicated their intent. The First Congress did not expect the Bill of Rights to be inconsistent with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which the Congress reenacted in 1789. One key clause in the Ordinance explained why Congress chose to set aside some of the federal lands in the territory for schools: "Religion, morality, and knowledge," the clause read, "being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of learning shall forever be encouraged." This clause clearly implies  that schools, which were to built on federal lands with federal assistance, were expected to promote religion as well as morality. In fact, most schools at this time were church-run sectarian schools.[7]
It can, reasonably be concluded from this documentation, that regarding religion, the First Amendment was intended to accomplish three purposes. First, it was intended to prevent the establishment of a national church or religion, or the giving of any religions sect or denomination a preferred status. Second, it was designed to safeguard the right of freedom of conscience in religious beliefs against invasion solely by the national Government. Third, it was so constructed in order to allow the States, unimpeded, to deal with religious establishments and to aid religious institutions as they saw fit. There appears to be no historical evidence that the First Amendment was intended to preclude Federal governmental aid to religion when it was provided on a nondiscriminatory basis. Nor does there appear to provide an absolute separation of independence of religion and the national state. The actions of the early Congresses and Presidents, in fact, suggest quite the opposite.

One of the earliest acts of the First House of Representatives was to elect a chaplain. On Friday, May 1, 1789, "the House proceeded by ballot to the appointment of a Chaplain" and "the Rev. William Linn was elected."[8] James Madison was a member of the Congressional Committee that recommended the Chaplain system.[9] Even though the First Amendment did not become part of the Constitution until 1791, if Madison believed in the mammoth concept of separation of Church and State that many attributes to him, Madison would probably have objected on principle alone even before the Amendment was proposed or added to the Constitution. Instead Madison is not only silent on the record regarding chaplains in Congress, he was a member of the Committee which recommended the Congressional Chaplain system.


[1] Paul L. Ford, Life of Jefferson, Vol. 9 (Cambridge, Mass.: Elson and Co., 1904), p. 174. Emphasis added.
[2] Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 2nd ed., Vol II (Boston: Charles C Little and James Brown, 1851), Sec. 1872, p. 591.
[3] Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, Sec.1879, pp 596-597. Emphasis added. Story relies heavily on Lloyd's Debates, which are frequently cited for these conclusions.
[4] Annals of the Congress, Vol. I, p. 730. Emphasis added
[5] Jonathan Elliott, Debates on the Federal Constitution,  Vol II (Philadelphia: J.B. Lipincott Co., 1901) p 553; Vol. III p 659; Vol I, p 328; Vol IV, p244; Vol. I p. 334.
[6] Annuals of the Congress, Vol. I, p. 703.
[7] Michael J Malbin, Religion and Politics, The Intentions of the Authors of the First Amendment (Washington, D.C.; American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1978), pp. 14-15.
[8] The Annals of the Congress, The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of The United States, Vol. I, Complied From Authentic Materials by Joseph Gates, Senior (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1834), p. 242.
[9] Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives, First Sess. of the Thirty-Third Congress, in three vols. (Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1854), Vol ii, House of Representatives Document 124 "Appointment of Chaplains," p.4.