Military Terror Training Ramping Up

Recently, a State Department official quietly announced that the “War on Terror” had officially come to an end, but Americans are still subject to all of its implications.

Terror is now a commonplace theme in American life, used by the ruling class in the decade following September 11, 2001, to strip citizens of liberty and basic Bill of Rights protections.

Americans expect to hear about the “threat of a terrorist attack” and they expect to see drills that involve military vehicles patrolling their communities, even though such obvious militarization of the state has not always been the norm in this country. It has become the norm in other nations throughout history, with tyrannical circumstances.

In the name of safety, societies will do almost anything, even to the detriment of the individuals within; thinkers through the ages have warned us against the very nature of our new “safer” military state:

  • “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Benjamin Franklin’s statement was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759).
  • “In some ways she [Julia] was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connexion to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep people frightened’. This was an idea that had literally never occurred to him.” — George Orwell writes in his dystopian novel “1984.”
  • “Over-grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” — George Washington
  • “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears, he is a protector.” — Plato
  • “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison
  • “Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.” — Adolf Hitler

There are countless other quotations warning of the dangers of allowing domestic military control to become the rule of the state out of fear.

But fear of terror still reigns in the United States. With the warming spring and summer months it appears that Americans throughout the country will witness terror drills conducted by local military and law enforcement agencies.

In May, the United States will invite airborne troops from Russia to hold joint anti-terror drills in Colorado. It will be the first time that the Russian airborne forces have held exercises with the U.S. airborne forces on the U.S. territory.

From Business Insider:

 It’s worth noting the Russians will have access to U.S. military weapons training at the Army’s Fort Carson — “Home of America’s Best” — ahead of the scheduled May 24-31 drills. They’ll also be trained to understand and operate hardware used by U.S. forces in airborne missions including “parachuting, operation planning, reconnaissance, assault operations and evacuations by helicopter.”

If you live in Minnesota, don’t be alarmed if you receive an empty pill bottle in your mailbox on May 6. It is only a test — “Operation Medicine Delivery” — wherein the State’s Postal workers and law enforcement officials are practicing to deliver medicine to about 37,000 households in the event of an Anthrax attack. It’s a strategy that’s been studied nationally since 2004, but has not been tested full scale until now.

At Fort McClellan in Anniston, Ala., a government contractor is seeking people to act as role players in a “mass casualty exercise” on the base from May 8-13.

From an ad posted on Craigslist:

Military Mock simualted disaster role players

Government contractor is seeking individuals to act as role players to participate in a “mass casualty exercise” on the Ft McClellan military installation. Role players will participate in an exercise that will replicate civilians in the anniston area that have been injured during a disaster that is used in the scenario over 6 days. Role players will be medically treated during this exercise at numerous locations on Ft McClellan. The objective of this exercise is to train and assess medical units with regards to civilians that have been injured during a disaster.

It has been speculated by some highly respected intelligence officials that a fabricated crises will arise in the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential election. Some people believe the training exercises are extremely valuable and feel safer, others believe them to be propaganda efforts at best and, at worst, preparation for a false flag event.

Conceal In Style

If you carry a concealed firearm, you know that sometimes it can be difficult to remain inconspicuously armed in your everyday clothing.

Sometimes a holster is not an option and can’t be easily concealed.

Iconic clothier Woolrich, realizing this problem, has designed a pair of $65 chino pants that have the clean profile of a standard pair of pants with no external cargo or utility pocketing, but offer the added advantage of a hidden chamber pocket strategically placed for weapons concealment.

The New York Times reports that the company is not alone in creating innovative clothing options for individuals who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights every day, and demand for concealed carry garments for daily wear is on the rise.

The Times reports:

Carriers of concealed guns say the new options are a departure from the law enforcement and military look, known as “tactical,” long favored by gun owners.

The latest styles, by contrast, are called “concealed carry” or “covert fashion.”…

…companies are rushing to meet the demand for concealed-carry clothing. Under Armour, best known for its sports and action gear, will be adding a jacket and a plaid shirt with Velcro pockets for easy gun access.

Increased demand for these types of products could be a good sign for gun rights activists, as it may mean gun ownership for protection is growing in popularity.

Reports indicate that in recent years, gun sales are on the rise. According to figures released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun sales jumped from $19 billion in 2008 to $31 billion in 2011. The FBI’s figures show more than 14-million criminal background checks requested for firearms purchases in 2010 and that number has grown. Employment in the firearms industry jumped 30 percent in the same three years.

Obama’s Short-Term Memory Loss On Pot Policy

President Barack Obama, despite admitting to inhaling, probably doesn’t have too many stoner friends in the Nation because his promises and his Presidential actions regarding medical marijuana policy have differed.

Despite laws in some States that made legal the use of medical marijuana, Obama’s Department of Justice has continued to use Federal resources to conduct raids on medical marijuana producers in places like Colorado and California.

Obama, promising to end the raids that had begun under President George W. Bush, said on the campaign trail in 2008, “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”

But that is exactly what his Administration has done, and now he is backpedaling.

“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” Obama said in a recent explanation of his policy. “I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law.”

Rolling Stone magazine calls out the Obama Administration in a recent article:

The administration’s retreat on medical pot is certainly consistent with its broader election-year strategy of seeking to outflank Republicans on everything from free trade to offshore drilling. Obama’s advisers may be betting that a tough-on-pot stance will shore up the president’s support among seniors in November, as well as voters in Southern swing states like Virginia and North Carolina that are less favorable to drug reform. But the president could pay a steep price for his anti-pot crackdown this fall, particularly if it winds up alienating young voters in swing states like Colorado, where two-thirds of residents support medical mari­juana. In November, Colorado voters will likely consider a referendum to legalize all pot use for adults – and undercutting enthusiasm for the issue will only dampen turnout that could benefit the president.

Like so many of President Obama’s other promises, many medical marijuana advocates say his “rethink and decriminalize” rhetoric during the 2008 election went up in smoke when he got in the Oval Office.

Dumb America

An Analysis

American citizen, you are grotesquely ignorant.

On the whole, your society exemplifies Webster’s definition of the word “oblivious”: 1) lacking remembrance, memory, or mindful attention 2) lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness.

Perhaps you aren’t completely to blame for your disgusting inability to think for yourself, act in your own self-interest and attain feelings of emotional stability or good health without the guidance of a lifelong Nanny. Your devolution has been engineered by a parasitic State that understands the need to numb and stupefy your most basic human instincts and desires. You have been helped to the point of incompetence and made an idiot by a society of simplicity and convenience.

Your food is not food, and it is served to you through a window while you sit in your automobile.

If you do not attempt to provide for yourself and those who depend on you, it is done for you.

Your friends are not friends, but faces on a screen. You likely have thousands of them but few meaningful relationships.

Sex is exploited to divert your attention. Even political news sites often include more sex stories than news.

Your political views are molded by politicians’ and media’s exploitation of emotionally-charged social issues — abortion, women’s rights, race relations, etc. — so you do not realize that you are losing rights daily.

You idolize idiots for their physical attributes or charm. When given the opportunity to obsess over their lives so you can forget that your own is unfulfilling, you are grateful.

Politicians use phrases like “right wing” or “left wing,” to make you believe in freedom of political choice, democracy and liberty. There is no such thing in this collapsing society. There is only the slavery of consumption. If you are a person who recognizes this and attempts to live a lifestyle that diminishes the State’s involvement in your affairs, you are branded a terrorist, conspiracy nut or simply crazy.

The United States is the Roman Empire, and bread and circus rules the populace. If you think this is untrue, consider how ignorant the man holding the highest political office in the Nation believes you to be. President Barack Obama was elected on a platform of lies: ending war, restoring liberty by undoing the police state and giving average Americans more paths to greatness. He now makes television appearances and insults your intelligence by singing to you about the value of further empowering the increasingly something-for-nothing college scam.

Some of you, realizing how bad things really are and how much worse they will get, have attempted to force changes and reforms. You started the Tea Party; you attended rallies and elected new politicians to change government from within. Others among you joined Occupy Wall Street and began to call for a removal of corporate and special interests in government.

The elites recognized the call for change from both groups and quickly acted — but not in your favor. They mobilized their paid for mainstream media to make you — the idiot — believe that Tea Partiers are all right-wing, racist women-haters and that all OWS activists are baby-killing, anarchist queers. After polarizing both movements with social stigma, members were easily assimilated by the Republican and Democratic establishment as useful idiots for both sides.

It is amusing that both the Tea Party and OWS agree that Federal bailouts for corporations are an abomination, and both agree that these corporate bailouts were handed out because of corporate special interests paying off and offering support to lawmakers. Members in both groups that have not been brainwashed by the establishment decry the growing police state, the corrupt medical establishment and special interest meddling in government to control every aspect of American life. Support for the establishment-hated Presidential candidate Ron Paul and his mission to destroy the Federal Reserve can also be seen by the same members of both groups.

Adbusters, the anti-establishment publication credited with sparking OWS, recently recognized the Democratic takeover of the movement, writing: “First they silenced our uprising with a media blackout… then they smashed our encampments with midnight paramilitary raids… and now they’re threatening to neutralize our insurgency with an insidious campaign of donor money and co-optation. This counter-strategy worked to kill off the Tea Party’s outrage and turn it into a puppet of the Republican Party. Will the same happen with Occupy Wall Street? Will our insurgency turn into the Democrats’ Tea Party pet?”

What if you weren’t dumb and realized that by building on common ground rather than fighting over ideological differences put forth by the media, the two groups might actually have a chance to topple the political establishment and its false left-right paradigm? That would be bad news for the powerful elite who control your money and your life and who have worked so very hard to make you stupid. If people who think they are on opposing sides of the political argument were to ever wake up en masse and realize their propagandized realities, they would rise up together and kill their masters.

The “us versus them,” you see, has nothing to do with contention between average Americans no matter what political ideologies they follow. “Us” is me, you — the idiots — and “them” is the group of elite power brokers that push and prod us through the media and fiat money that they control. They are the ones with the shiny objects; Americans love shiny objects.

Marine Booted For Obama Remarks

A Marine Corps sergeant who criticized Dear Leader Barack Obama has earned himself an other-than-honorable discharge.

Gary Stein is the U.S. Marine sergeant whose Facebook group, Armed Forces Tea Party, was in the news last month because remarks on the page were found to be “contemptuous.”

The nine-year Marine veteran said he started the page to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights. Stein was first cautioned by his superiors at Camp Pendleton in 2010, after he launched the Facebook page and criticized Obama’s healthcare overhaul. He volunteered to take down the page while he reviewed the rules at the request of his superiors. Upon determining that he was not in violation of the rules, Stein re-launched the page.

“I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career,” he told The Associated Press.

The Marines say Stein failed to follow Pentagon directives that say military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement. Officers also are not allowed to use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the President.

Supreme Court Hearing Immigration Arguments

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today regarding the United States’ inefficient immigration system  as it considers Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration reform law.

With nearly 11 million illegal aliens in the country and conflicting views about what to do with them, the arguments will focus on whether the Federal government is the only authority over immigration issues or if States like Arizona have roles to play as well.

“It’s Arizona’s right to protect its citizens,” said former Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce (R), who was the author and main force behind Arizona’s law, in an interview with Fox News Latino. “States have inherent police powers. This law takes the political handcuffs off law enforcement in cracking down on undocumented immigrants.”

Some States, like Alabama, have moved forward with Arizona-type immigration reforms despite making changes to clear legal hurdles; others will likely wait until the Court makes a decision about the Constitutionality of such laws this summer. According to Pearce, there are 34 States waiting for the decision to move forward with similar legislation.

A Pew report released on Monday says that in recent years, illegal immigration to the United States from Mexico has decreased sharply for the first time in two decades.

The report says:

The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.

The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.

More information about the Supreme Court and the Arizona Immigration law can be found here.

Social Security Cannot Go Broke

If you have looked at a news site in the past two days, you know that Social Security and Medicare are set to go broke in the next two decades, which is earlier than previously expected.

The unsurprising revelation comes from the Social Security Trustees’ annual report on the state of the government retirement and Medicare trust funds. Social Security is expected to exhaust its trust funds by the year 2033, three years earlier than last year’s projection. Medicare, while stable at the moment, will see its hospital insurance fund go broke by 2024. Social Security disability insurance, according to the report, is in the most trouble; its trust fund will be exhausted by 2016.

From the report:

Social Security and Medicare are the two largest federal programs, accounting for 36 percent of federal expenditures in fiscal year 2011. Both programs will experience cost growth substantially in excess of GDP growth in the coming decades due to aging of the population and, in the case of Medicare, growth in expenditures per beneficiary exceeding growth in per capita GDP. Through the mid-2030s, population aging caused by the large baby-boom generation entering retirement and lower-birth-rate generations entering employment will be the largest single factor causing costs to grow more rapidly than GDP. Thereafter, the primary factors will be population aging caused by increasing longevity and health care cost growth somewhat more rapid than GDP growth.

This is not breaking news. The social welfare program has long been in trouble. The increased number of retirees and decreasing number of working Americans are rendering the “pay-as-you-go” social welfare mammoth unsustainable. However, even when the fund runs dry, about three-quarters of currently scheduled benefits could be carried by the taxpayer for about 50 years, according to analysis.

Some people have called the Social Security program a Ponzi scheme for workers who will be nowhere near retirement age by 2033 and call for an “opt out” option that would allow working individuals to invest elsewhere the money taken from their checks for Social Security.

But, how then would the government fund the program?

The Federal government can print fiat money to infinity; it will always be able to pay Social Security no matter what the balance sheets say. By keeping the presses rolling, Federal officials could take the advice of one Forbes contributor who says he can fix the program for $49.99:

We’ll buy a really nice pen (that’s what costs $49.99), have one of those federal workers write “44 quadrillion dollars” on it [the Trust Fund balance], and put it in the drawer. By my calculations, this will keep Social Security solvent through 3575, plus granny will get a free lifetime supply of Werther’s Original. Entitlement crisis solved!

Or, we could just admit that the Trust Fund balance is arbitrary and bears no meaningful relationship to the government’s ability to pay Social Security benefits.

The Forbes writer’s plan essentially removes any initiative for Americans to work and save in an attempt to retire with more than just monthly government bread, because in the end they will have had their savings taxed through inflation.

Social Security is not going to go broke, despite the mainstream media’s effort to make the Nation believe it will; and whatever the “plans” to repair the social welfare system, they will quit working, saving Americans in the same place: the pocketbook.

Executive Order, Un-Constitutional Congress

The use of executive orders by Presidents of the United States is not new, but the nature of these orders has become more alarming and totalitarian than at any other point in the history of the United States.

On June 8, 1789, three months after being sworn in as President, George Washington issued a Presidential directive asking his chief officers to issue him reports “to impress me with a full, precise, and distinct general idea of the affairs of the United States” that they each handled. This is considered by many historians to be the first executive order.

Since then, Presidents have signed more than 13,592 executive orders. Some of them, called “proclamations,” are fairly innocuous. They created holidays, recognized individuals, etc. Other executive orders were downright tyrannical in the eyes of many.

In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which ordered Cherokee Indians off of the lands that they inhabited by order of previous treaties with the Federal government. The Cherokee fought the legislation and won in the Supreme Court (Worcester vs. Georgia, 1832) in a decision rendered by Justice John Marshall. But Andrew Jackson disagreed with the court, and famously said, “John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can.” Thus began the Trail of Tears.

During the Civil War, and with the help of a rubber-stamp Congress, Abraham Lincoln (whose Administration actually coined the term “executive order”) used the power of executive orders to shut down newspapers, imprison dissenters and eviscerate the Bill of Rights, in order to ensure that the Federal government would always hold supreme command of the United States.

Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the highest number of executive orders, though many were related directly to World War II, including his decision to intern Japanese Americans living on the West Coast.

Bill Clinton was often criticized for over-using the executive order. Clinton’s most significant abuse of his executive powers took place in using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate millions of acres of Federal land as protected national monuments. He also declared many non-emergency emergencies.

During the George W. Bush years following 9/11, Americans became the victim of executive orders which created the Department of Homeland Security and a number of liberty-quashing initiatives. The Bush Administration, playing to a public terrified of the “axis of evil,” expanded Presidential power vastly, often subversively through Vice Presidential actions and unConstitutionally.

In a 2007 speech against this massive abuse of executive power, a young Senator from Illinois who had previously taught Constitutional Law classes said this: “It’s time to give our intelligence and law enforcement agencies the tools they need to track down and take out terrorists, while ensuring that their actions are subject to vigorous oversight that protects our freedom. So let me be perfectly clear: I have taught the Constitution, I understand the Constitution, and I will obey the Constitution when I am President of the United States.”

Fast-forward to present, that young Senator, now President Barack Obama, is quickly shaping up to be a more unilateral President than his predecessor. A new report by The New York Times explains that Obama’s initiatives are less focused on issues that rip away privacy and liberty, and more on domestic social welfare issues.

When Republicans took control of Congress in 2010, Obama had no reason to worry with using his executive powers to increase spying and stealing liberty in the name of safety; most Republicans in Congress are completely happy to write bills that do just that. Obama’s problem has been GOP obstructionism in moving forward with growing the size of the Federal government and implementing socialistic welfare initiatives.

From The Times:

Mr. Obama has issued signing statements claiming a right to bypass a handful of constraints — rejecting as unconstitutional Congress’s attempt to prevent him from having White House “czars” on certain issues, for example. But for the most part, Mr. Obama’s increased unilateralism in domestic policy has relied on a different form of executive power than the sort that had led to heated debates during his predecessor’s administration: Mr. Bush’s frequent assertion of a right to override statutes on matters like surveillance and torture.

The U.S. Constitution has seemingly become null and void on all fronts as the President uses unilateral power to push his socialist initiatives and Congress pushes its own draconian “for your security” laws that are gleefully signed into law by the President. He has supported Bush-era assaults on liberty with no outcry from either his detractors or his devout supporters.

The Nation, in the words of Presidential candidate Ron Paul, has become an “elective dictatorship.” He said recently, “The drafters of the Constitution intended the default action of government to be inaction. Hopefully, this means actions taken by the government are necessary and proper. If federal laws or executive actions can’t be agreed upon constitutionally- which is to say legally- such laws or actions should be rejected… Sadly, previous administrations have set precedents that the current administration is only building upon. It is time for Congress to reassert itself and its constitutional role so that future administrations cannot continue on this dangerous path.”

It seems the political class of the Nation has two sides, with unConstitutional goals the same.

Michelle Obama, The White House Starlet

Michelle Obama is quite the ham. She has made cameo appearances on television about 44 times since her husband took office as the President of the United States.

It is not uncommon for modern first ladies to make television appearances — Hilary Clinton and Laura Bush both made appearances during their time in the White House — but Obama is the fitness-loving propaganda arm of her husband’s 2012 campaign.

Whether doing push-ups on “The Biggest Loser,” chatting with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show,” or appearing on children’s shows like “iCarley,” “Sesame Street” and Nickelodeon’s “Kids Choice Awards” alongside the likes of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, the first lady has been highly televised.

According to FOX News, Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center said Obama really is “off the charts” in the number of times she’s appeared in entertainment television cameos, even more so “than I dare say many big name actors and actresses.”

The first lady’s stated mission in appearing on so many television shows is to push her “Let’s Move” initiative and encourage Americans to exercise and eat healthy foods. Some people say she is also doing a great deal of campaigning.

“I think they have a great asset and they’re using it,” Schoen said. “At its core, there is an election in seven months and it helps.”

In light of recent criticisms about living a jet-setting lifestyle on the taxpayer dime, perhaps the first lady could get paid for her future cameos and put the money toward her Air Force One fuel costs.

The Collectivist War On Women And Everyone Else

Currently, the “war on women” and “war for women voters” memes are hot topics among the Nation’s news media as President Barack Obama and establishment-declared Republican front-runner Mitt Romney duke it out over women in America.

Obama and the Democratic Party often attempt to paint themselves as the women’s party, the minorities’ party and the protector of the underdog in the United States. At the same time, the party works to make the GOP appear to be the party of the affluent white male.

NPR pointed out last week that both Romney and Obama have distinct strategies for courting female voters: Obama’s focus remains heavily, and in traditional Democratic fashion, on “micro” issues — i.e., contraceptives or Republican disdain for Planned Parenthood — while Romney is focusing more broadly on the economy, jobs and how they affect American women.

Data from the Pew Research Center show that 66 percent of women aged 18 to 34 in the United States consider a fulfilling career high on their list of priorities in life, compared to 59 percent of men in the same age group. The data indicate what Pew describes as a shift in traditional male and female roles that has been occurring for decades.

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s recent comment that Ann Romney, Mitt Romney’s wife and a mother of five, had not “worked a day in her life” reignited the debate about women’s roles in the United States. According to some people, the focus of the discussion has been misguided. Rather than acknowledging that men and women both frequently take equal part in earning money and child rearing, political opportunists on both sides have muddied the issues.

With Democrats ramping up their “war on women” rhetoric and accusing Republicans of wanting women to avoid careers and with Republicans similarly accusing Democrats of hating stay-at-home mothers, a complex issue that is nearly impossible to view on a collectivist level is overly simplified for sound-bite politics.

Here are some issues that are largely disregarded:

  • Sometimes, stay-at-home parents are men.
  • There are a large number of non-working, single parents who rely on welfare as a primary source of income. Legislation aimed at helping them rejoin the workforce has been described as harmful to women’s rights to stay home and offer their children the best care.
  • Contention between women who pursue careers and those who choose to stay at home has been created by politicians and hyped by media to further other agendas.
  • Many families simply can’t afford the child care costs incurred when both parents are away from the home each day.
  • Some of the women/men earnings discrepancies are statistical fallacies. Contrary to what politicians and media say, women do not always earn less than men.

Both Obama and Romney have joined in using collectivism and political campaign rhetoric to create media hype around nonissues to take focus away from a terrible economy and the near-constant destruction of civil liberties in the United States by the political class. Perhaps women, and all Americans, would find a better advocate outside of the two-party paradigm in a candidate focused on the rights of individuals rather than groups — a rare commodity in the political world.

Panetta: U.S. Within An Inch Of Another War

The United States has been at war for more than a decade in the Middle East, and last week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that every day it becomes more likely that the Nation will go to war with North Korea.

“We’re within an inch of war almost every day in that part of the world,” Panetta said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, responding to a question about the threats in the Korean Peninsula. “And we just have to be very careful about what we say and what we do.”

The Defense Secretary also said that charges from Republicans that President Barack Obama has been weak with regard to responding to foreign threats are unwarranted.

“I think it’s pretty clear this administration took a firm stand with regard to provocative behavior North Korea engaged in,” Panetta said. “We made clear they should not do it, and we condemned the action even though it was not successful.”

Panetta promised “worsened” relations between the U.S. and North Korea if the hermit kingdom attempts another nuclear test. The Defense Secretary also told the House Armed Services Committee last week that he believed China was aiding the country in its ballistic missile ambitions through “trade and technology exchanges.”

Along with the potential for conflict with North Korea, the U.S. remains threatened by Iran and Syria, Panetta said.

House Passes Sportsman-Friendly Bill

On Tuesday, lawmakers in the House passed legislation that makes it harder for areas to restrict hunting and fishing on public lands and ensures that lead will continue to be used in bullets and fishing tackle. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Republican sponsors of the bill say it is aimed at protecting American sportsmen, but Democrats have accused them of pandering to the gun lobby, calling the legislation unneeded because 85 percent of Federal land is already open to hunting.

The law requires Federal land managers to support hunting and fishing on Federal land, but allows them to close the areas for reasons of national security or fire safety. Upon doing so, they must submit a detailed report to Congress explaining the reasoning behind restrictions.

Anti-lead groups that have argued that lead poisons the environment are dealt a blow in the bill, as it blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from requiring alternatives to lead be used in fishing tackle and ammunition.

Ted Nugent Will Be ‘Dead Or In Jail’ If Obama Re-Elected

Ted Nugent, The Motor City Madman, made headlines this week after giving Republican voters a spirited pep talk at the National Rifle Association’s convention about the need for change within the Federal government this November.

Whether or not you enjoy “Uncle Ted’s” music or agree with his politics, if you are liberty-minded, you likely agree with his feelings about the way the Federal government is treating the Constitution:

If you don’t know that our government is wiping its ass with the Constitution, you’re living under a rock someplace. And that there’s a dead soldier, an airman, a marine, a seaman, hero of the military that just got his legs blown off for the U.S. Constitution—and we got a President and Attorney General who doesn’t even like the Constitution. We’ve got four Supreme Court justices who don’t believe in the Constitution. Does everybody here know that four of the Supreme Court justices not only determined you don’t have the right to keep and bear arms, four Supreme Court justices signed their name to a declaration that Americans have no fundamental right to self-defense? That sounds like a stoned hippie. That doesn’t sound like a Supreme Court anything.

Nugent urged attendees to do everything in their power to convince people to vote for Mitt Romney and against President Barack Obama so that the United States does not become a “suburb of Indonesia.”  The musician-turned-conservative activist also promised that he will be “dead or in jail” this time next year if Obama is re-elected.

Nugent is being criticized by the liberal website Right Wing Watch for saying that in the spirit of Americans’ historical penchant for defiance against tyranny, voters should “ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”

Taxes Take Center Stage

Yesterday represented Tax Freedom Day in the United States, the day when the average American taxpayer has stopped working for the sole purpose of paying local, State and Federal taxes.

Republican Presidential contender Ron Paul took the opportunity to remind Americans of his dedication to undoing the U.S. tax system.

In a statement, Paul said:

My ultimate goal remains to repeal the 16th Amendment and end the tyranny of the IRS once and for all. Of the four men seeking the presidential nomination of one of the major parties — President Obama, Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, and myself — I am the only one who has consistently opposed increases in taxes and spending. I am also the only one who has consistently fought the Federal Reserve’s assault on the middle class’ standard of living. My campaign to Restore America Now is the clear choice for any American concerned about rolling back taxes, cutting spending, and curbing inflation.

Paul’s “Plan to Restore America” contains several tax provisions, it would:

  • Extend 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
  • Eliminate the individual income tax and the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
  • Get rid of the estate tax.
  • End taxes on personal savings and tips.
  • Eliminate the dividends and capital gains taxes.

Newt Gingrich’s “Jobs and Growth Plan” would:

  • Extend all 2001-2011 tax cuts that would otherwise expire in 2013.
  • Offer an optional alternative tax system, which would create a 15 percent flat tax rate and allow taxpayers to claim a standard $12,000 exemption for each individual and dependent.
  • Repeal the Federal estate tax.
  • Lower the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent.
  • Capital gains, dividends and interest income would not be taxable under the flat tax system.

Mitt Romney’s plan would:

  • Extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
  • Allow some provisions set by the 2009 stimulus act to expire, including the earned income tax credit.
  • Repeal the Federal estate tax.
  • Cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.
  • Extend for one year the full expensing of capital expenditures.
  • Make the current research and experimentation credit permanent.
  • Allow a “tax holiday” for the repatriation of corporate profits from abroad.

On Monday, the Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s “Buffett Rule” that would raise taxes on those with incomes higher than $1 million. The plan had been denounced by all of the GOP candidates and conservatives as a whole as a wealth-redistribution scheme.

As Romney has been declared the inevitable GOP nominee by the establishment, many pundits have focused more heavily on the candidate’s tax proposals and how they will be implemented.

Romney has identified specific loopholes and deductions for the wealthy that he plans to eliminate in order to finance his tax cut and ensure that the Nation’s top earners face the same tax burden they do today.

“I’m going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction,” Romney said. “By virtue of doing that, we’ll get the same tax revenue, but we’ll have lower rates. The nice thing about lower rates is that small businesses get to keep a larger share of what they’re earning and plow it back in to hire more people and expand their business.”

To this point, he has been tight-lipped about the possibility of cutting Federal agencies to ease Americans’ tax burden. But a reporter recently overheard the candidate sounding much more like a conservative’s conservative at a closed-door fundraiser, according to MSNBC.

“I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go,” Romney said. “Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I’m not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we’ve got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states.”

Michigan Lottery Winner Nabbed For Welfare Fraud

The Michigan woman who, despite hitting a $1 million jackpot, still felt entitled to food stamps has been charged with fraud.

Amanda Clayton, 25, continued to draw thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded food stamps after winning the Michigan Lottery “Make Me Rich” jackpot, according to reports. Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura D. Corrigan today announced that the Attorney General’s Criminal Division charged Clayton with two felony counts of welfare fraud after investigation revealed she failed to report her lottery winnings, as well as her employment, as required by State law governing public assistance programs.

“It’s simply common sense that million dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance,” said Schuette.  “We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to uphold state laws intended to ensure wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

Besides winning the jackpot, Clayton was employed while she was receiving the assistance from August 2010 to March 2012. It is alleged that income from Clayton’s employment during that time period was never reported.  From August 2011 through March 2012, Clayton allegedly collected approximately $5,475 in food and medical assistance benefits for which she would otherwise have been ineligible.

Clayton was arrested Monday.

Children’s Book Pushes Veganism

If one new children’s book makes it into your elementary-aged child’s school library, he or she may come home refusing to eat dinner because the food you have prepared has feelings too.

“Vegan is Love,” a children’s book set for release on April 24, encourages children to avoid animal products altogether, covering food, clothing and products tested on animals, according to The Daily Mail. The book was written by 29-year-old Los Angeles mother Ruby Roth, who is raising her child on a vegan diet.

A Kirkus review of the book says:

Presented in picture-book format, this nonfiction work features a different concept on each two-page spread. These concepts include clothing choices, animal testing and using animals in entertainment venues as well as eating habits, farming and environmental degradation. With each, Roth examines the impact of peoples’ choices on the Earth and the animals that live on it. Colorful, stylized paintings vary in subject matter, from cheerful organic farms to starving children, wounded animals and raw meat. The graphic nature of some of the pictures suggest that adults would be most comfortable sharing Roth’s message with older elementary children, a reality somewhat at odds with the appealing cover and brevity of the text. The lack of an index or print citations to specific information may leave readers wondering whether some of her sweeping statements are entirely (or still) correct, depending on when the book is read. Roth’s decision to ascribe emotion to animals may also leave some readers unconvinced.

 

 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will celebrate the launch of the book on May 5 at its Los Angeles headquarters. Some critics of the book say that it will scare impressionable children into unhealthy eating habits.

Ron Paul Dodges Neocons In Video Game

Ron Paul may soon join the ranks of Mario and Luigi if one liberty-minded game designer is successful in bringing the candidate’s Revolution to the world of video gaming.

Daniel Williams, 27, of Houston said he wanted to use his love of video games to educate young people about Paul’s political message.

Though the game, “Ron Paul, The Road to Revolution,” appears to be more fun than educational, it does have some Paul-centric themes: Traveling through the political landscape of the United States, the Paul character grabs gold coins (sound money) and visits each branch of the Federal Reserve Bank while dodging neocons. The designer also said gamers could expect an “epic” encounter between Paul and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

According to Raw Story, the game should be available for play free on the Internet by July.

Maybe now Paul will be able to defeat the Fed once and for all.

Obama Signs Natural Gas Executive Order

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that increases Federal involvement in the oversight of unconventional methods for mining natural gas.

The order establishes a working group that includes various White House offices such as the Council on Environmental Quality and National Economic Council, along with other cabinet departments and agencies like the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

The order comes just after many Republican lawmakers have chided agencies working on regulations for the industry — specifically related to hydraulic fracturing — saying they are hampering growth.

Some proponents of the Presidential order applaud the action, saying that it could streamline the oversight process of the natural gas industry in the United States.

American Petroleum Institute head Jack Gerard said his organization is “pleased that the White House recognizes the need to coordinate the efforts of the Federal agencies that are reviewing, studying or proposing new regulations.” He does, however, call for the Federal government to work closely with State regulators.

Others say that the President has effectively taken over the industry.

A portion of the order states:

Because efforts to promote safe, responsible, and efficient development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources are underway at a number of executive departments and agencies (agencies), close interagency coordination is important for effective implementation of these programs and activities. To formalize and promote ongoing interagency coordination, this order establishes a high-level, interagency working group that will facilitate coordinated Administration policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.

Some critics argue that because the order states the importance of protecting long-term supplies, it gives the Federal government the power to shut down gas production at will under pressure from environmentalists, while claiming the need to protect reserves.

Britain: George Washington Greatest Military Foe

Outnumbered and outgunned, George Washington led the fight for American Independence against the British, which at the time was the world’s most powerful Nation. Washington has always been a hero to Americans, and the Brits recently gave the legendary man another title: Britain’s most outstanding military opponent in history.

In a contest run by the British National Army Museum, historians organized a list of 20 opponents that the country had met on battlefields since the 17th century.  The adversaries were then whittled down to a list of just five, including the likes of Irishman Michael Collins, Frenchman Napoleon Bonaparte, the German Erwin Rommel and the Turkish Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Washington won the title in an online vote in which he took 45 percent of the whole.

Here is a breakdown of the top five from The Telegraph:

George Washington (1732-99) – 45 percent: Guided the American rebels to victory over the British in the War of Independence. Often outmaneuvered by British generals with larger armies, his leadership enabled him to hold together an army of secessionists from 13 different states and keep it in the field – and ultimately prevail – during the protracted struggle.

Stephen Brumwell, author and specialist on eighteenth century North America, said: “Washington scores highly as an enemy of Britain on three key grounds: the immense scale of damage he inflicts upon Britain’s Army and Empire – the most jarring defeat that either endured; his ability to not only provide inspirational battlefield leadership but to work with civilians who were crucial to sustain the war-effort; and the kind of man he was. As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent.”

Michael Collins (1890-1922) – 21 percent: Helped transform the Irish Republican Army into a powerful force which fought the British to a standstill in the Irish War of Independence, securing the separation of most of the island of Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Under him, the force waged a guerrilla campaign, mounting attacks and ambushes on barracks, police stations and convoys before quickly withdrawing. His tactics made much of Ireland ungovernable – with an army that never exceeded 3,000 active volunteers at any given time.

Gabriel Doherty, lecturer at University College Cork, said: “He was much more than just a great military leader. He had many different hats and his political and administrative skills tend to be a lot more overlooked.”

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) – 18 percent : Emerged from the turmoil and terror of revolution to become France’s greatest military commander, conquering much of Europe. His greatest victories were against other countries, but his final campaign, culminating in the Battle of Waterloo, tested the Duke of Wellington to the limit.

Alan Forrest, professor of modern history at the University of York, said: “Napoleon was, of course, a supremely gifted general and military tactician, and he also had an unerring gift for propaganda and self-promotion. He recognized in Britain his most implacable opponent, and concentrated all his resources – political and economic as well as military in his attempt to defeat him.”

Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) – 10 percent : A decorated veteran of the First World War, he led the German “Blitzkrieg” of France in the Second World War before making his name battling British forces in North Africa, where he earned the nickname “Desert Fox”. His skill at handling armoured formations enabled his “Afrikakorps” to consistently outmatch his opponents, often against heavy odds.

Dale Clarke, a reservist officer in the Royal Artillery, author and technical adviser on historical films and television shows, said: “A myth may have grown up around Rommel but there is an underlying truth that he was a superb leader who knew that in war you have to instantly grasp the initiative and keep your men moving forward. He is still the ultimate enemy, because of his sheer tenacity and skill.”

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) – 6 percent : Fought a tenacious defensive campaign at Gallipoli in 1915 which forced the Allied invasion force to withdraw. Displayed great leadership and tactical acumen, reacting immediately to the landing at Anzac Cove to launch successful counter-attacks, preventing his opponents from securing high ground.

Matthew Hughes, from Brunel University, said: “Atatürk resisted the British-led amphibious landings and was the man at the front who stopped the enemy troops taking the peninsula, advancing on Istanbul and knocking Turkey out of the war.”

Is Romney Firing Blanks On Gun Support?

Mitt “varmint hunting” Romney joined the National Rifle Association at its annual meeting in St. Louis on Friday.

In the NRA’s mission statement the organization says its express goals are to “promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological and artistic context.”

Many of the organization’s members are likely wary of Romney’s record on guns, considering his proverbial “Etch A Sketch” rhetoric concerning the issue.

Here are a few of Romney’s past positions concerning gun control:

  • In 1994, Romney backed two gun-control measures that were strongly opposed by the NRA: a ban on certain assault weapons and the Brady Law, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales. “I don’t think (the waiting period) will have a massive effect on crime, but I think it will have a positive effect,” he said. Also in 1994, Romney, speaking about his devotion to tough control laws, said he did not line up with the NRA.
  • While running for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney said: “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won’t chip away at them.”
  • In 2004, as Governor of the State, Romney made good on the promise by signing a complete assault rifle ban into law, declaring the firearms “instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”
  • During his Gubernatorial tenure, Massachusetts approved raising the fee on gun licenses from $25 to $100.

Romney took a bit of a turn on the issues during his first Presidential run. Romney told The Washington Post in 2008:

I believe we need to focus on enforcing our current laws rather than creating new laws that burden lawful gun owners. I believe in safe and responsible gun ownership and that anyone who exercises the right to keep and bear arms must do so lawfully and properly. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all federal approach to gun ownership because people keep and use firearms for different reasons. Law-abiding citizens have a right to protect their homes and their families and as President, I will vigorously defend that right.

In a 2007 interview, Romney told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:

…I’m a strong proponent of Second Amendment rights. I believe people, under our Constitution, have the right to bear arms. We have a gun in one of our homes. It’s not owned by me, it’s owned by my son, but I’ve always considered it sort of mine. (Emphasis added.)

Borrowing his son’s gun that is kept in one of his homes was apparently enough, however, for the candidate to sign up for a lifetime membership to the NRA before his first Presidential run. Perhaps it is even enough for the millions of Americans who keep several guns in their one home for self-defense, hunting and sport shooting to believe that the candidate is sincere in his devotion to protecting 2nd Amendment Rights.

How ‘Justice’ Suits The Liberal Agenda

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) says it has become the recent victim of liberal political opportunism sparked by recent events in the news.

For more than 30 years, the nonprofit organization has been a key player in promoting legislation throughout the Nation that it sees as beneficial to the advancement of the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, Federalism and individual liberty in the United States. ALEC says in its mission statement that it promotes the aforementioned principles by aiding in the development of policies based on the Constitutional premise that governmental powers “are derived from, and assigned to, first the People, then the States, and finally, the Federal Government.”

And for its dedication to small government and personal freedoms, ALEC says that liberals who favor “state-dependent utopia” detest the organization.

ALEC has helped to pen legislation that would help to privatize some aspects of education, cut social welfare programs, combat healthcare initiatives like Obamacare and implement voter ID laws, among bills pushing for other conservative reforms. The organization has also advocated Stand Your Ground laws in States throughout the Nation, which has sparked a liberal attack on its policy initiatives in the wake of the Trayvon Martin controversy.

Over the past couple of weeks, liberal pressure on corporate sponsors of ALEC has led companies like Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., McDonald’s Corp., Kraft Foods Inc., The Wendy’s Company and Intuit Inc., as well as the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to publicly sever financial ties with the free-market and personal liberty advocate.

Liberals like the writers at the left-leaning, anti-corporate blog “Crooks and Liars” applaud the companies for withdrawing ALEC support. A “Crooks and Liars” post states:”

As ALEC whines and twirls in a strange dance of damage control, remember that the Stand Your Ground law that triggered the corporate exodus from them is only the tip of the iceberg. They have done grave harm to many states and most people. Whether it’s education, Voter ID, health care, guns, or taxes, ALEC is the author of far too much turnkey legislation with deep and barbarous cuts to those institutions we hold dear in this country, like schools, and hospitals, and public streets. They deserve no sympathy, nor quarter. They should be accountable for each and every evil they have wrought on states and people who live in them, and those who sponsor their efforts should be equally accountable…

And ALEC agrees with the liberals who are urging customers throughout the country to call and complain to companies who support it on at least one thing: The liberal endeavor to destroy the nonprofit is a subversive effort to use a tragic situation to hamper the organization’s other legislative ambitions. It isn’t just about Stand Your Ground laws.

Ron Scheberle, Executive Director of ALEC said in a press release late last week:

First, the people now attacking ALEC and its members are the same people who have always pushed for big-government solutions. Our support for free markets and limited government stands in stark contrast to their state-dependent utopia. This is not about one piece of legislation. This is an attempt to silence our organization and it has been going on for more than a year.

Second, ALEC is one of America’s premier ideas laboratories when it comes to advocating free market reforms. We are a target because our opponents believe they have the opportunity to attack an effective, successful organization that promotes free-market, limited government policies that they disagree with. We work to promote the Freedom of Choice in Health Care initiative against ObamaCare’s individual mandate. We support fair tax policies and tort reform. This is an all-out intimidation campaign designed to promote government-based solutions rather than the free-market principles that we have seen work.

If ALEC is correct, one might suggest that through a campaign of liberal smoke and mirrors Martin has unwittingly and posthumously become the face of big government in the United States as a consequence of this liberal initiative. Is that the true meaning of justice to leftists in America?