Pro-Gun Grab Groups Have Gotten Millions In Donations From Liberal Billionaire Soros

George Soros, the billionaire chairman of the American fund management firm that bears his name, has donated nearly $7 million to nonprofits that push a pro-gun control agenda between 2000 and 2011.

According to Newsbusters, Soros donated a combined $6,727,966 to five organizations during that period. It’s not yet known how much he’s spent on backing gun-grabbing advocates since the beginning of last year’s string of mass shootings, which raised liberals’ public zeal to legislate gun ownership.

Of the five organizations, only one — the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence — claims gun control as its single cause. But the others — the American Bar Association, The Children’s Defense Fund, The League of Women Voters and Physicians for Social Responsibility — all push gun control aggressively as part of their overall missions of societal reform.

Soros has been criticized by 2nd Amendment watchers as a known gun grabber since at least 2004, when he published a book arguing the Administration of President George W. Bush “infringed the rights of states to legislate and enforce provisions on issues such as gun control and medical marijuana.”

More significantly, Soros holds immense influence over at least 30 major liberal news outlets, including CNN, The New York Times and The Associated Press. He’s spent more than $50 million since 2000 to help fund such outlets, as well as to insinuate liberal points of view through the influence donor money buys at journalism schools both in and outside the United States.

A lot of good it’s doing: Gun and ammunition sales have spiked so greatly since December that manufacturers can’t keep up. As a result, firearms dealers are either turning customers away, rationing ammunition or putting customers on waiting lists.

California Lawmakers Pushing For Statewide Tax On Sugary Drinks

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t the only liberal with statist visions of better living through legislation.

Over on the left coast, California legislators are concocting a variation on Bloomberg’s famous — and failed — attempt to ban large soft drinks, only with an eye toward redistributing a little more of the wealth of the State’s 12.4 million households.

Democratic State Senator Bill Monning is sponsoring a bill that would impose a regressive penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary sodas and energy drinks, converting the funds raised through the tax into public spending thorough a new entity called the Children’s Health Promotion Fund. That fund would back community obesity prevention programs and further support public health programs in schools.

Remarkably, Californians actually seem to favor the State’s social engineering/money grab measure. A February Field poll found 68 percent of voters in favor of the bill, with the percentage among ethnic voters even higher. The tax would apply not only to canned and bottled beverages, but to fountain sodas sold at restaurants statewide as well.

Predictably, the bill also enjoys positive spin from the very State agencies in line to expand their bureaucratic offerings if the tax is approved. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy called the tax “fair-minded” in a statement of support for the measure:

Californians are becoming increasingly concerned about the obesity epidemic and its heavy burden on the well-being of Californians, especially our children. More than ever, California voters want solutions that not only hold the biggest contributor to the problem (sugary beverages) accountable, but that also raise funds to address the impact on our children. SB 622 does both of those and is a smart, fair-minded policy to protect our children, our state’s health and, ultimately our state budget.

“Protect… our state budget,” really? Check out some other ways California’s leaders are currently attempting to protect the State budget:

  • Imposing a 9.9 percent “oil severance tax” on oil extraction — an anti-business move against a “captive” industry in a State that has already seen other businesses flee to escape high taxes, regulations and penalties.
  • Raising the registration fee for every privately owned vehicle by $6.
  • Adding a State tax to every point-of-sale purchase of prepaid mobile phones, as well as to every separate purchase of additional phone minutes.
  • Issuing $9 billion in municipal bonds on a $69 billion high-speed rail system that has no set start date for construction, that Governor Jerry Brown wants China to help fund and that the White House is eager to subsidize by an additional $3 billion.

Last month, the State auditor concluded California had a net worth of minus $127.2 billion. Viewed from that awful perspective, there’s no doubt the State’s political power brokers “need” the public’s money.

That California voters have voluntarily continued their support of government tax-and-spend efforts — the rail system, the drink tax and hikes to both income and sales taxes (via the passage of voter referendum Proposition 30) — also reveals, beyond any doubt, that nothing’s going to change in the Golden State anytime soon.

Gun Grabbing Chicago Policies Not Helping As Homicides Rise

According to a crime-tracking blog, stripping residents’ 2nd Amendment rights isn’t doing much to get guns out of criminals’ hands in the Windy City.

Crime In Chicago tallies 510 shootings and 105 homicides through the first four months of 2013.

The blog provides daily updates on violent crime, and maintains data on crime in the city from previous years.

For 2012, the site reports 2,670 shootings in Chicago, an increase of 20 percent from the 2,217 shootings in 2011. Homicides in 2012 totaled 535, compared with 441 in 2011.

Mormon Bishop Ends Attack On Woman, Using His Samurai Sword

A weapon in a good guy’s hands — be it a gun or, maybe, something else — is far from dangerous.

For a woman who was being attacked Tuesday in front of a Salt Lake City home, a 29-inch samurai sword proved to be her salvation.

That’s because homeowner Kent Hendrix awoke to a commotion, went outside and saw the woman being mugged. His son had told him something bad was happening outside, so Hendrix grabbed his sword on the way out and approached the scene.

One look at the blade and its wielder, who also happens to be a Mormon bishop and a fourth-degree black belt, was enough to convince the alleged perpetrator to scram. Hendrix noticed the man appeared to have dropped a tube of Chapstick as he fled, so Hendrix snapped it up and yelled, “I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate [memorized] — you are so done!”

An hour later, suspect Grant Eggerston turned himself in. He was booked for robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.

Hat Tip: The Blaze

 

Bone Up On Your Rights Before Encountering A Bad Cop

A helpful video produced by Flex Your Rights, an educational nonprofit that seeks to inform Americans about their Constitutional protections against state infringement, offers some invaluable advice on how to handle an encounter with a police officer who has more on his mind than protecting and serving.

The video enacts 10 different dramatic scenarios portraying encounters with aggressive, mean and just plain crooked cops that illustrate — frighteningly, at times — how innocent people have very little wiggle room when a bad cop with a sense of entitlement throws them off their guard. Aside from the immediate danger a cop with evil intent presents, victims face an equal danger in defending their actions, in the aftermath, when they have to explain their side of the story in court.

Explains narrator Billy Murphy, criminal defense lawyer and former judge:

There are lots of good police out there doing what needs to be done – and I don’t need to tell you that there are also a few too many cops who don’t respect the basic rights of innocent people…and even the nicest cop will use your mistakes against you. That’s precisely why every citizen – every one of you – must possess the tools to confidently assert your rights if you have to.

The video, which has been in circulation since 2010, can be bought directly from the organization’s website.

Or you can check it out on YouTube. Just be sure to share.

 

Credit Company Ends Financing For Small Gun Shops, Cites Mass Shootings

One of the Nation’s largest consumer finance companies will no longer provide consumer credit service to gun shops, citing “tragic events” and a changing financial services industry.

GE Capital, which contracts with American retailers to extend point-of-sale credit to customers, announced Wednesday it would tighten up on a policy it had originally approved in 2008 to “cease providing consumer financing programs to merchants whose primary business is to sell firearms.”

The company is headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., and employs many people who live in nearby Newtown, the site of last December’s school murders. Peter Lanza, the father of alleged shooter Adam Lanza, holds a vice president’s position within the company.

“As a responsible lender, we regularly review our lending policies and products to meet changing conditions and requirements,” said the company’s statement. “In 2008, we adopted a policy to cease providing consumer financing programs to merchants whose primary business is to sell firearms. Recently, we implemented a more rigorous audit process in our sporting goods segment in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms. This process has affected less [sic] than 75 retailers…”

Of course, the pullout doesn’t apply to general retailers or sporting goods stores that offer guns as part of their larger consumer inventory. Stores like Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, which sell guns, won’t be affected, but local mom-and-pop stores will be.

The company sent letters earlier this month to stores who had agreements, telling owners “GE Capital Retail Bank has made the difficult decision to discontinue offering the GE Capital Sport Finance program to your store(s).” GE also pulled the plug on merchant services accounts for Visa and Mastercard point-of-sale terminals in gun stores that had agreed to go with the company for its credit and debit card-swiping service.

GE Capital isn’t the first finance company to shun those who make their living from gun-related sales and services. In fact, the company’s exit marks the removal of gun stores’ only remaining option for offering consumer financing for their products, according to Bloomberg.

Lawmakers Trying To Exempt Themselves From Obamacare

That’s right: Congressional kleptocrats are meeting in secret to sort out a legal way they can exempt themselves from having to join the very same insurance exchange groups they created when they voted for President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.

POLITICO broke the story late Wednesday, revealing that leaders from both parties, as well as the Obama Administration, have, for months, been holding confidential meetings to discuss exempting members of Congress and Capitol Hill aides from participating in one of the central pillars of Obamacare.

Never mind that regular Americans don’t have a voice in Washington to assure them the same kind of exemptions.

The story quotes an anonymous source who reveals just how aware of their crimes Congressional leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) really are: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”

There’s no way to know how pervasive all these discussions have been, or if libertarian-leaning conservative darlings like Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have, in private, taken any kind of principled stand against such hypocrisy — or if they were ever even included in the scheme’s  loop of information.

It’s strange, at the least, that no Obamacare opponent in Congress has blown the whistle on these meetings, if they’ve been going on for months. A lot of political capital could have accrued to the right conservative tattler over a story like this one. Maybe silence is an honor-among-thieves thing in Congress.

With that said, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ripped the talks after the story hit, telling Breitbart through a spokesman that McConnell:

[D]oes not support, and is not involved in drafting, legislation that would do special favors for Congress when his constituents are still facing the increased premiums and taxes, the mountains of red tape, the loss of health care plans they like and want to keep and fewer jobs under Obamacare…It’s no surprise that Democrats would want to exempt themselves from the train wreck they created in Obamacare, but Sen. McConnell believes the entire country should be exempt from this historic mistake. The law is a disaster and needs to be repealed.

One source told POLITICO the talks are, in part, intended to prevent “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, since Obamacare mandates could motivate Federal employees to enter the private sector to get out from under the plan’s coverage setup for government workers.

That’s a telling statement, if for no other reason than that it reveals just how destructive Obamacare is to capitalism and the profit motive and how it inversely rewards merit and individual accomplishment.

Too, it reveals how Washington leaders see the circumstances as exemption-worthy when they encounter a specific problem that conflicts with the wisdom belied by their own voting patterns.

Hey, we’ve all got problems.

As they prepare to implement Obamacare, States like Maryland are having millions of them.

U.S. Underground Economy Getting Bigger As Traditional Economy Contracts

Analysts cited in a CNBC story Wednesday believe the mainstream economy in the U.S. would look a lot worse, if not for a burgeoning off-the-grid network of transactions that has kept many Americans afloat as traditional employment has suffered.

Experts believe the underground economy may account for as much as $2 trillion per year in the United States, with all of those untaxed transactions falling beneath the radar of the Internal Revenue Service.

Tellingly, one professor compares the circumstances surrounding the surge in the American underground economy to those of developing countries, with participants motivated by a combination of desperation over generating income by traditional means and resignation that things aren’t going to fix themselves.

“You normally see underground economies in places like Brazil or in southern Europe,” said Fordham University professor Laura Gonzalez. “But with the job situation and the uncertainty in the economy, it’s not all that surprising to have it growing here in the United States.”

DARPA Developing Satellite-Free GPS-Replacement Technology

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing an alternative for global positioning systems the military hopes to use as a means of weaning soldiers from any need for dependence on a systemic array of satellites and signaling networks.

Citing concerns that enemy technology can scramble GPS signals, confuse American equipment and strand men in the field, DARPA and researchers at the University of Michigan are working on autonomous locating devices that could be carried individually — residing on tiny chips that use accelerometers and gyroscopes to pinpoint a person’s position and direction of travel.

“DARPA envisages using this technology to replace GPS in some contexts, especially in small-caliber ammunition or for monitoring people,” observes France24.

Store Pulls Pressure Cookers, Weiner Comes Clean, ‘We’ve Had Enough Bushes,’ Celebs Consume Poverty Lifestyle, Taxing The Flu: Thursday Morning News Roundup 4-25-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • The Williams-Sonoma chain of upscale kitchen stores has decided to temporarily remove pressure cookers from its Massachusetts stores. Insensitive Crate & Barrel, meanwhile, is still selling them. And, at last check, evil gas stations were still selling explosive gasoline.

 

  • Disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, who’s trying to make a political comeback in a bid for the New York City mayor’s office, admitted Wednesday there may be more embarrassing photos of himself floating around besides the 2011 ones he tweeted that led him to resign from office.

 

  • Amid talk that son Jeb may be considering a run at the Presidency in 2016, former first lady Barbara Bush doesn’t sound enthused about the next generation of Bushes entering national politics. “He’s by far the most qualified man, but no,” Babs told the “Today” show. “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

 

  • Ben Affleck and other celebrities are attempting to raise awareness for worldwide hunger by pledging to live for $1.50 per day as part of the Global Poverty Project’s “Live Below The Line” campaign. For people who feel guilty about being wealthy, choosing a week of austerity stems from the same consumerist impulse as buying a new Jaguar.

 

  • Congress is set to impose a 75 cent per-shot tax on flu vaccines administered in the United States, in anticipation of raising more than $100 million to fund a “no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims.” The fund itself has been around since 1988, and has paid out $2.5 billion. Its current balance without the tax? $3.5 billion.

 

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.