California School To Use Tax Money To Train Students To Sell Obamacare

Credit: SPECIAL

“…Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother — it was all a sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which The Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.”–George Orwell in 1984

While they aren’t co-opting youngsters to spy on parents for speaking out against the government (yet), the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSF) is planning to use a $990,000 State grant to teach teens to sell Obamacare on their families.

The funding comes from a broader $37 million grant blitz by Covered California, the State’s health insurance exchange, to promote President Barack Obama’s nationally unpopular healthcare overhaul.

“We have confidence that the model LA Unified brought to the table will be successful in reaching our target population, which includes family members of students,” said Sarah Soto-Taylor, spokeswoman for Covered California.

The grant money provided to LAUSD will be used to encourage families to sign up for Obamacare via phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations and meetings with employees eligible for Obamacare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare, the grant award says.

LAUSD

Teens in the school district will act as sort of “unpaid propagandizers” for the Obamacare effort, according to an article from The Heartland Institute.

“Teens are part of a ‘pilot’ program to test whether young people can be trained as messengers to deliver outreach and limited education to family and friends in and around their homes,” said Gayle Pollard-Terry, a LAUSD spokesman, in an email to Heartland. “Teens will be educating adults that they already know (e.g., family or friends) and not other adults.

If the program is successful, stand by for more Federal initiatives to use schoolchildren as active propagandists for the State. No longer will they simply be passive recipients of government propaganda for seven hours each day.

If children are, as people like to say, the future, perhaps another of Orwell’s passages in 1984 is appropriate: “If you want a vision of the future… imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.”

Government Taking Taxing Your Guns Away

If America’s anti-gun crowd can’t get its way by encouraging the Nation’s lawmakers to pass unConstitutional gun-control legislation, they are likely going to attack the right to bear arms with the tax system.

The Washington Times’ Emily Miller said an alarming “perfect storm of liberalism” is fomenting as cities and States in the Nation’s more liberal regions are increasingly looking to the tax system as a means by which to control firearm purchases.

She writes:

President Obama’s hometown of Chicago started the movement late last year by enacting a $25 tax on new firearm purchases, which went into effect on April 1. Cook County stopped just short of adding a levy on ammunition.

In February, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, California Democrat, and 26 of the most uber-liberals in the House introduced a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to create an excise tax of 10 percent on any concealable gun in order to empower Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to establish a firearms buy-back grant program.

Since the Newtown, Conn., school-shootings tragedy, anti-gun states across the nation have introduced similar measures.

Miller touts a House proposal introduced by Representative Same Graves (R-Mo.), which would classify high localized taxes on firearms and ammunition as “infringement” on the right to bear arms.

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“When you place this outrageous tax on the sale of ammunition and firearms, it’s intended to curtail those rights,” Graves told Miller.

Graves’ Protecting Honest, Everyday Americans from Senseless and Needless Taxes, or PHEASANT Act (H.R. 2361), is designed to prohibit local officials from enacting additional taxes on firearms and ammunition. Backers of the bill say that pressure from 2nd Amendment supporters will likely give PHEASANT a good chance of passing in both legislative chambers.

Announcing the bill earlier in the month, Graves said:

You’re seeing a lot of municipalities just imposing a tax to infringe and that’s part of the problem. I believe that’s in conflict with the Constitution because it states the right for people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this is infringing upon their right to do that and we’re just trying to stop that. I am hopeful we can get it through the Senate. The president may decide not to sign it. He has a much different attitude toward Second Amendment rights than I do. One of the areas that have taken advantage to tax the sale of firearms and ammunition has been Chicago, which is obviously where he is from. I’m not too worried about Missouri, but I want to make sure that in the future we don’t ever have to worry about it in Missouri or any other state.

Graves’ effort would halt efforts like Massachusetts’ proposed 25 percent excise tax on all firearms, proposals in Connecticut and Maryland that would increase sales tax on all ammunition by 50 percent, and a Washington State plan to tax firearms at $25.

Miller concedes that the poorest Americans will be hit hardest by the taxes and fees, “These costly measures disproportionately affect lower-income people, who often live in higher-crime areas.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has fully endorsed the Graves proposal.

“Congressman Graves is to be commended for introducing a bill to prevent one of the latest tactics of anti-gun politicians, that is pricing firearms and ammunition out of reach of responsible, law-abiding Americans through new taxes on the state or local level,” Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF, said of the proposed bill. “We believe that such taxes are unconstitutional and, in effect, amount to a poll tax on the Second Amendment. We endorse H.R. 2361.”

Meanwhile, some on the left are introducing legislative proposals that would achieve the exact opposite effect of the PHEASANT Act. Representative Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) recently introduced the Firearm Safety and Buyback Grant Act, which proposes a tax on handgun purchases and concealed firearms. Proceeds from Sanchez’s proposed  tax would be used to fund gun-buyback initiatives.

NSA Can’t Say Anything About Anything, It Would Help ‘Adversaries’

Shortly after the National Security Agency spy scandal broke, ProPublica journalist Jeff Larson filed a freedom of information request with the agency seeking any personal data it had collected on him.

While he didn’t expect a response, he received a Glomar response—neither a confirmation nor denial that the information he was seeking existed. The reasoning explained for the Glomar response is simply baffling.

In a letter to Larson, Chief NSA FOIA Officer Pamela Phillips wrote:

Any positive or negative response on a request-by-request basis would allow our adversaries to accumulate information and draw conclusions about the NSA’s technical capabilities, sources, and methods.

Our adversaries are likely to evaluate all public responses related to these programs.

Were we to provide positive or negative responses to requests such as yours, our adversaries’ compilation of the information provided would reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

The letter goes on to offer boilerplate justifications for its data collection efforts.

But the question remains for many Americans: Who does the NSA classify as an “adversary”?

San Diego City Attorneys Attempt To Give A Man 13 Years For Criticizing Bank Of America

How much time do you think you could get for writing anti-bank messages on a sidewalk? Jeff Olson, a 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for just that, is facing 13 years in jail and a $13,000 fine.

Over the course of about two years the man protested outside of a local Bank of America branch, sometimes using sidewalk chalk to leave behind scribbled slogans such as “Stop big banks” and “Stop Bank Blight.com.”

According to a damning report via the San Diego Reader:

Jan Goldsmith’s job as City Attorney is to represent the City of San Diego. In addition, it appears as if his office is also fully prepared to stand up for the little…rather, the big banks.

On Tuesday, the City Attorney’s Office will make their case for prosecution of a 40-year-old man for writing anti-bank slogans in water soluble chalk on the sidewalk outside of three Bank of America branches in Mid-City.

This week, North Park resident Jeff Olson will appear in court to fight a charge of 13 counts of misdemeanor vandalism charges for writing protest slogans in chalk from February to August 2012. The charges could send Olson to jail for 13 years and put him on the hook for $13,000 in restitution to the City and to Bank of America.

Olson, a former staffer for a U.S. Senator from Washington, began to get involved in political activism around the time that Occupy Wall Street was in full swing. But for him, sleeping in a tent downtown or singing along to protest songs was not the right strategy.

Furthermore, because Olson is being tried for vandalism for using the water soluble chalk to criticize the bank, Judge Howard Shore, who is presiding over the case, prohibited Olson’s attorney from mentioning the United States’ fundamental First Amendment rights in his client’s defense.

“The State’s Vandalism Statute does not mention First Amendment rights,” ruled Judge Shore on Tuesday.

“I’ve never heard that before, that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment rights,” Olson’s attorney Tom Tosdal later said of the judge’s decision.

Bank of America received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the U.S. government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after it made bad investments.

Watch: Prosecution In Trayvon Martin Case Uses Martin’s Racist Comments To Benefit Case Against Zimmerman

During a mumbling testimony in the George Zimmerman trial, prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, 19, who claims to have been on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was shot, said Martin told her a “creepy ass cracker” was following him before his fatal encounter with Zimmerman.

Jeantel also claimed that Martin’s remarks made her think that Zimmerman was a rapist and said Trayvon then informed her that the “nigger is now following” him.

Jeantel is a star witness for the prosecution, as her version of events portrays Zimmerman as the aggressor in the case.

“That a man just kept watching him,” she replied.

Following an objection from Zimmerman’s attorney, the prosecutor prodded, “Did you say anything back to him or did he say anything back to you?”

“Yes,” Jeantel answered. “I asked him how the man looked like. He just told me the man — the man looked creepy.”

“He said the man looked creepy?” the prosecutor asked.

“Creepy, white, kill-my-neighbors cracker,” Jeantel replied, adding after the court complained that her mumbling was making her testimony inaudible, “He looked like a creepy ass cracker.”

“He told me the man was looking at him,” she added, “so I had to think it might have been a rapist. Might have been a rapist.”

H/T: Mediaite

Obama Stalls Keystone Pipeline With Executive Order

The Barack Obama Administration announced Tuesday that it will, via executive order, halt further progress on the highly debated Keystone XL pipeline.

Executive action announced by the Administration asks the State Department not to approve construction on the pipeline unless the Environmental Protection Agency first determines that the project will not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The President’s order, announced during a speech on climate change at Georgetown University, will make it nearly impossible for construction on the pipeline to commence.

Obama has largely avoided discussing the Keystone project, as it put him in the middle of an argument between labor groups in favor of the pipeline and environmentalists opposed to it; both are groups that have supported the Obama Administration.

“As the executive order on Keystone contemplates, the environmental impacts will be important criteria used in the determination of whether the Keystone pipeline application will ultimately be approved at the completion of the State Department decision process,” a senior administration official told Huffington Post. “In today’s speech, the president will make clear that the State Department should approve the pipeline only if it will not lead to a net increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions.”

While the Administration’s criteria for measuring the environmental impact of the pipeline remains unclear, a report out this week addressing the safety of the pipeline concluded that the pipeline would be minimally prone to failure, eliminating a key argument of environmentalists worried of the possibility of inland oil spills.

McCain Touts Berlin Wall-Style U.S. Borders

Immigration reform is an issue that could be tackled in a number of ways by Federal lawmakers. And depending upon how much you trust government, you may or may not like an amendment to the current Senate immigration proposal being touted by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). He says the amendment would provide the U.S. with “the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

It also allows for a renewed push for amnesty for what would amount to about 16 million new Americans.

“The legislation concerning beefed up border security removes any validity to the argument that border security is not sufficient,” McCain said on CNN of the amendment from Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).

The amendment, designed to warm conservative holdouts to the amnesty-laden Banda de los Ocho immigration proposal would, according to McCain, provide for 20,000 additional Border Patrol officers and 700 new miles of border fence.

“This is a border security measure which I think should suffice to satisfy any critic and it is a tough way forward and it is a way forward, a tough way forward so that we can resolve this and bring 11 million people out of the shadows,” McCain said.

Indeed, the measure made progress in the Senate Monday with a 62-27 vote — meaning 15 additional GOP lawmakers jumped on board with the proposal.

The promise of a heavily militarized boarder is contingent upon de facto amnesty for illegal aliens already in the Nation.

While the heavy-handed border proposal may seem like a good idea to many conservatives, reports of a border patrol checkpoint popping up more than 100 miles away from the southern border in recent years may make some civil libertarians uneasy.

In September 2011, former Representative Ron Paul discussed his concerns over exactly the sort of proposal McCain is now championing during a Presidential primary debate.

“The people that want big fences and guns, sure, we could secure the border,” the congressman noted. “A barbed wire fence with machine guns, that would do the trick. I don’t believe that is what America is all about.

“Every time you think about this toughness on the border and ID cards and REAL IDs, think it’s a penalty against the American people too. I think this fence business is designed and may well be used against us and keep us in. In economic turmoil, the people want to leave with their capital and there’s capital controls and there’s people controls. Every time you think about the fence, think about the fences being used against us, keeping us in.”

Paul was criticized for his remarks by conservatives at the time. But revelations about National Security Administration spying, massive government ammo buys and the Internal Revenue Service being used to attack dissidents may have more people thinking like the retired lawmaker than ever before.

No More Sunshine And Butterflies: NSA Fallout Broadsides Lib Lawmakers

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has had a pretty fail-safe formula for “preaching to the choir” speaking engagements over the past few years: Praise President Barack Obama, demonize conservatives and talk about rainbows, butterflies, abortion and homosexuality.

But revelations that the National Security Agency is spying on Americans is “gumming up the works” for liberals like Pelosi. She is increasingly being met by crowds of liberals angry that Obama’s tactics pretty much destroy the idea of leftist utopia.

“He did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents,” Pelosi said of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, addressing attendees of the annual Netroots National conference of liberal Internet activists. “We have to have a balance between security and privacy.”

She then moved to make the case to liberal supporters that Obama’s spying is somehow more noble than George W. Bush’s.

“People on the far right are saying oh, this is the fourth term of President Bush,” Pelosi said. “Absolutely, positively not so.”

The Democrat veteran lawmaker was promptly met with a barrage of shouts from the crowd in support of Snowden and the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s not a balance. It’s not Constitutional!” one attendee shouted before being removed. “No secret laws!”

And a chant could be heard emerging from the audience, “Leave him alone! Secrets and lies! No secret courts! Protect the 1st Amendment.”

As the event organizers attempted to quiet the crowd, the verbal jibes continued.

One man in attendance shouted at Pelosi what conservatives have been shouting at her for years, “You suck!”

IRS Handed Out Tax Dollars To Friends

Each year, American taxpayers file paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service declaring earnings, expenditures and write-offs; they then send the filings off to the tax agency and hope they aren’t subject to an audit. But when no one is watching the watcher, power is abused.

House investigators reveal in a recent report that one businessman’s friendship with an IRS official allowed him to accrue $500 million in taxpayer-funded Federal contracts.

“Today, the IRS cannot look taxpayers in the eye and truthfully say they are protecting their contributions to government,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa said in a statement. “By inappropriately using a personal relationship and abusing a provision designed to help disadvantaged businesses, the IRS and Strong Castle have made a mockery of fair and open competition for government contracts. Taxpayers deserve accountability and the Committee is troubled by this unacceptable behavior.”

Braulio Castillo, owner of Signet Computers, is accused of using his friendship with an IRS contracting official to secure the contracts. He denies any wrongdoing.

However, in a letter to Treasury officials, Issa said of the relationship between Castillo and the IRS employee: “At best, this is a conflict of interest that runs afoul of Part 3 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. At worst, the IRS may have a situation in which a contracting official is awarding sole source contracts based on false justifications, or receiving kickbacks in exchange for government contracts.”