Whew, it’s been an interesting political year and an exciting year for liberty. And with the run-up to the 2016 presidential election and the potential for increased scrutiny congressional scrutiny of some of the Obama administration’s unconstitutional actions ahead, 2015 looks promising.
For now, we’d like to remind you that Personal Liberty will not be publishing a P.M. Edition for Thursday, Jan. 1, or Fri., January 2. But stay tuned, the P.M. Edition will return on Monday, Jan. 5, to keep you up to date on all of the latest political happenings.
Wishing you a safe and happy new year,
Larry Wright, CagleCartoons.com
As 2014 draws to a close and we reflect on the past year, we are reminded that 2014 was not so great and we’ll be happy to be looking at it in the rearview mirror. That said, not much of anything was resolved. So looking ahead at 2015, it will likely be more of the same old same old for the foreseeable future. It’s a shame we can’t just fast-forward to 2016.
If you’re one of those people who’s given up on the mainstream media as a source for any useful information, or if you just like to check in on MSM reports solely for their comedic value, why not give it another chance? All it takes is three minutes and change (and, perhaps, a sense of humor).
The Washington Free Beacon mined the major TV news outlets for a fast-clip edit to recap the “news” of 2014, demonstrating in the process that it’s (somewhat) possible to find coverage of topics that are often better reported by alternative media. Finding good coverage… well, let’s not get picky.
The fact this clip is only 3:32 in length — and padded with plenty of pop culture fluff and several MSM follies — only underscores the fact that, in the traditional 24-hour TV news cycle, the mainstream press fills most of its time talking about stupid, stupid stuff.
Try as it might, the left side of the Internet and TV world hasn’t been able to stigmatize the Gadsden flag and its “don’t tread on me” message successfully enough to deter anybody from slapping it on their bumpers and windows, or from rocking it on a mug or T-shirt.
So let’s see how well the Democratic National Committee does with its newest attempt at fighting the culture wars on the Tea Party’s turf: this handy coffee tea tumbler, which (for $30) professes a pithy antipathy for “obstructing progress” (wow, two of the ideological left’s favorite words, right next to each other!).
Not only will the “I Hate Tea (Parties)” travel tumbler keep your beverage warm, it’ll give the DNC a grass-roots boost (because you bought it) in the process. And it’ll let people know you identify with a group that hates another group (isn’t there a convenient name for a group like that? We can’t quite put our finger on it.)
Anecdotally, we see a lot more Gadsden flag iconography — even in cities — than we do “Ready for Hillary” bumper stickers and the like. In fact, the only Democratic graphic that people seem unashamed to continue sporting is the classic Obama “O” decal that abounded during the president’s campaign cycles.
Again, that’s just our observation. What’s yours?
In an effort to raise awareness about the continuing erosion of U.S. privacy and property protection, Reason Magazine has reimagined a Christmas classic to include forced police entry and civil forfeiture.
‘Twas the Night Raid Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our home
Not a creature was stirring but CNN’s gnome;
The stockings were hung by the family tree,
In hopes that St. Nick would come visit Philly.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
Except my wayward son, a sugar plum head;
With mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
He snuck to the porch and sold 40 bucks of smack.
Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Downstairs, to the entrance, I flew like a flash,
A yell of “Police!” and the front door was smashed;
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But cops with guns drawn, not a single rein-deer,
One arrested my son so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he was not St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, my house they did seize,
“How can you do this?” I pleaded from my knees.
“It’s called civil forfeiture,” bellowed the cop,
“I’ll take what I want, and I’m not gonna stop.”
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had so much to dread.
“In just Philly alone, in just 10 years’ time,
One thousand private homes are now mine, all mine!”
The grip of a rifle he held tight beneath;
The laser sight circled my heart like a wreath.
His scope—how it twinkled! trained on my dog Thor,
He kicked out my family, padlocked our door.
“Loitering, jaywalking, BS traffic stops:
All excuses to rob you—’cuz we’re the cops!
TVs, cash, cars galore: everything is fair game,”
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
Take church funds! Take shark fins! Take crosses, SUVs!
Buy Vipers! Buy hookers! Buy drones and Zambonis!
To the billions we seize! with no charges at all!
Now dash your hopes, dash your rights, dash away all!”
Then with that last word, he went straight to his work,
And stole all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a snort, he said “Sucks your son blows.”
He sprang to his cruiser as his team he advised:
“The rest of our wish list, we’ll seize from good guys!”
And I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight–
“Happy Christmas to all. On to the next house tonight!”
More at Reason.
A reminder: P.M. Edition will not run on Christmas Day or on Friday.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid, and the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, ’tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
CNN’s Gloria Borger rejects the notion that President Obama is a lame duck, saying “he’s flexing his executive action muscles.”
Discussing her recent analysis “Obama sheds Clark Kent demeanor, tries on Superman costume,” Borger insisted that Obama has “a list” of executive orders and he’s “checking it twice” ahead of the new year.
Wow, Superman and Santa Clause. What a guy.
H/T: Weasel Zippers
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Totalitarian regimes were all over the headlines this week. North Korean despot Kim Jong Un successfully quashed the release of an American movie, raising serious questions about the power of foreign terroristic threats over U.S. free speech. And President Barack Obama announced that he intends to bring about the end of a half century of chilly relations with Cuba, which remains in the hands of former dictator Fidel Castro’s family. Therefore, you can now enjoy a Cuban cigar but not watch a film critical of a dictator. Wait, what country is this?
It’s hard to tell whether IRS commissioner John Koskinen has a realistic grasp of the way the agency he leads is perceived by more than half the Congress, as well as an unknowable number of American citizens. But he apparently believes casting the agency’s financial troubles in a pitiful light makes for a sympathy-generating tactic.
Koskinen responded to Congress’ recent $346 million IRS budget cut Thursday by indicating the agency could impose a temporary shutdown on itself to save on personnel costs, furloughing employees in order to save an estimated $29 million per day.
“There isn’t any more give in the system. You make any further cuts in this organization and the wheels are going to start falling off,” Koskinen told the press Thursday.
“At some point, we’re going to set a new American record for the number of years in a row we get a budget cut.” Koskinen stressed that furloughs, which would halt all agency activity on a day-by-day basis, aren’t being planned — but that they couldn’t be ruled out.
He also took the opportunity to credit the budget reduction for potentially delaying the timely processing of Americans’ tax returns for 2014.
“Everybody’s return will get processed. But people have gotten very used to being able to file their return and quickly get a refund. This year we may not have the resources,” he said.
The IRS will operate on a $10.9 billion budget for the coming fiscal year. The largest annual budget the agency has ever received came in 2010, when it was allocated $12.15 billion.