Thursday, May 2, 2013

Common Core Standards; federal government tyranny

By Jim Mullen
Despite its lack of constitutional authority, the federal government relentlessly treads on the educational system with one giant bureaucratic boot after another.
The very essence of every federal program is to encourage dependency, dissuade initiative, stifle competition, and raise prices. Additionally, they appoint panels, boards, and ruling commissions to regulate liberty into submission. Innovation and flexibility fall victim to one giant bureaucracy after another and they insert themselves into every cranny and crevice of American life. Justifying their existence requires formulating more rules, regulations, paperwork, and demanding more money. Politicians calculate and design everything to establish a self-perpetuating monster that drives enterprising thought and action into a progressive hell-on-earth.
Just as every other federal interference, takeover, or “comprehensive” legislation has failed, Washington-style education reforms have, likewise, failed miserably.
Acronyms by the thousands and volumes of complicated legalese or “government-speak” permeate the U.S. Department of Education.  In what can only be described as deliberate obfuscation the department works feverously to make prying eyes bleed and inquiring minds turn to pulp at any attempt to decipher their leftwing, progressive gibberish.
Over the last several decades, progressives’ call for education reform centered around their desire to federalize the system and disembowel state and local constitutional authority. The driving force behind the leftists’ effort has involved throwing federal tax dollars at states and local school districts. This largesse accompanied disinformation and coded ideological claptrap formulated to open the arms of educators, politicians, and bureaucrats to embrace and accept any condition or program for “free” money.
Every new federal “program” including “No Child Left Behind” resulted in the same outcome; lower test scores, more dependency, billions of dollars wasted, and another generation trapped in an ever-expanding cycle of poverty, ignorance, and indoctrination.
The latest, and perhaps the most bizarre and diabolical of all federal takeovers of education has a most unassuming and non-threatening title of “Common Core State Standards Initiative” (CCSSI). Once implemented, the federal government will control assessment tools, textbooks, and computer programming used in education.  A national data collection system called State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) will work in tandem with Common Core to determine a child’s educational opportunities.
All school-choice programs will quickly turn into federally approved programs, and the educational system will, in all practicality, be federalized. In other words, centralized in Washington, DC where great schemes hatch and monumental malfeasance and breathtaking failures grow like weeds in rich bureaucratic meadows.
Once touted as “international bench-marked,” Common Core standards focus on changing the social and political values of American children. They are rooted in standards shaped by United Nation treaties and beliefs of the UN universal Declaration of Human Rights. Few goals address academics; math standards actually lower expectations.
The national data collection system (SLDS) will follow a child from Kindergarten to adulthood. IQ scores, test scores, disciplinary, and medical records are just a few of the data with which students’ educational and job opportunities will be afforded. Over 400 data points collected by schools and teachers will include personal, financial, and family information.
Thanks to the weakening by the Obama administration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) these data can be shared. Hundreds of data points on every student will be given or sold to outside corporations, researchers, and government. This is a tracking and informational system of Orwellian proportions never imagined even by Soviet Bloc nations.
As Libertywatch.org/  explains, “The attitude is that all of this data on our children belongs to the government, and if we, their benighted parents scream and beg, maybe they will protect it or say they are going to do so. The questions never get asked, “Why are you collecting so much data on our children without consent?” and “By what authority do you do so?”
When these systems are in place, every student in every educational setting must meet federal standards. Textbooks are being written that meet the goals of CCSS. The government is funding organizations that create testing tools to assess student’s progress in accepting the social and political ideologies being taught in the classroom. The expected implementation date of CCSS is within the next two to three years.
Stealthily, and without public or legislative notice, this initiative, usurping state and local control of school curriculum passed in 46 states and began in 2009. The Common Core Standards Initiative sets curriculum in every participating state at the same level. States, by adopting this “common core,” are relinquishing their constitutionally guaranteed right to control education.

This clandestine project bypassed the state and federal legislative processes and went unnoticed and unreported to Congress and state legislators. State boards of education bureaucracies approved most of the measures. Not surprisingly, promises of billions of dollars from the federal government and from liberal, private foundations, seduced the boards. Amazingly, they signed on to the Standards before they were even written.
The National Governor’s Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers signed-off on CCSS and gave the appearance that they were state-led, but make no mistake; the federal government leads and drives Common Core.

The Obama administration poured billions of dollars into the bribes for states from “Stimulus” money, “No Child Left Behind” wavers (the unfunded mandate from the Bush-era), more Title I funding, and Race to the Top inducements.
States and local boards are depending on a windfall of federal tax money in exchange for their capitulation. Once fully implemented, that pledge for support will collapse like all political and bureaucratic promises that end as unfunded mandates. Funding and cost information on this boondoggle are being kept under the same rug where Obamacare, and every other federal government failures were swept.
Most states are now rife with grass-roots organizations fighting this most vile federal invasion that violates three federal education laws: the General Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As we have learned, obeying the law is unimportant to government; control is everything.
Loss of dignity comes largely from an educational system that indoctrinates, not educates, and is responsible for the lack of free spirit and determination, and low expectations sweeping our nation. From age 4 through graduate schools, the system teaches dependency and that government is there to take care of everyone’s needs. Gaining common sense and wisdom from an education became lost in the fog of liberal ideology.
When one understands the federal government’s penchant for, and indeed, their record of, heavy-handed control and underperforming results, one can see this Common Core thrust is but the initial salvo for complete and total domination of education at every level. Government never raises the bar for performance or results; rather it lowers everything and everyone to the lowest common denominator. In this case, it’s the lowest “Common Core” standards to which our youth will be subjected, and by which they will be judged.
Just one absurd example of the lowest common denominator is that literary works like the classics draw dust; replaced by informational texts. Two recommended spellbinding reads are “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag,” and “Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.”
Disinformation and subterfuge are the means by which government expands oppression. States around this nation are in a life-struggle to bare the truth about this federal government’s oppressive invasion.  In weeks to come Americans must join local, state, and national groups engaging in opposition to this outrage. Be prepared for the progressives to launch their usual barrage using Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to lie, ridicule, and intimidate.
One must, likewise, remember that progressives use the current deplorable state of our educational system as justification for nationalization. What they will not say, however, is that the progressive movement is responsible for nearly every disastrous problem found in the US educational system. Every crisis to a liberal is an opportunity for a never-ending cycle of more government power, which exacerbates one disaster by creating another.
Tyranny lurks in the shadows of government like deadly predators lying in wait for their prey. The weak, unprepared, untrained, and the lazy, are the first to fall. Allowing the federal government at the throats of our young people is to disallow children the opportunity to know the unique American experience of liberty in a freewill republic. Our youth must learn that there is more to the American dream than living a comfortable, monotone existence with a lifetime of dependency upon government.
Jim Mullen

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Taking guns away from lawful citizens

By Jim Mullen, West Virginia Writer: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) still doesn’t get it. He can’t fathom the reality that the freedom-loving Mountaineers of West Virginia are livid about his unwavering support of Barack Obama and his left-wing Democrats in their unconstitutional quest at further restricting the free exercise of Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Both are shamefully taking a tragic event and using it to further their political agendas by grandstanding and self-aggrandizing.

Manchin continues to reassure West Virginians that nobody is after their guns, while doggedly working with the anti-gun extremists to limit the size of clips and expand background checks. He and the Obamaites preach that we must have ‘reasonable’ rules.

The battle now is to ban so-called “assault weapons” and high-capacity clips. The radical left obviously believes lawful Americans cannot be trusted.

Weapons are only “assault weapons” when in the hands of criminals. When in the hands of law-abiding American citizens, they are “defensive weapons.” These are some of the weapons Manchin said we must look at to stop the killing of innocents. We all know what he meant by the term “look at.”

It is obvious to even the densest anti-gun zealot, that criminals will pay no heed to ANY gun-control law. Therefore, it’s apparent that the quest for more anti-gun legislation is aimed at disarming lawful citizens and does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. The facts are irrefutable; gun-control legislation disarms or makes criminals of lawful Americans, but does nothing to disarm criminals or reduce violence or murders of innocent people.

Criminals depend on government to disarm the public, thus allowing thugs and gangs unrestricted domination in our streets, neighborhoods, and cities. U.S. cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest crime and murder rates. Witness the cities of Chicago, Washington, DC, Detroit, Baltimore, and on, and on.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to ban 157 different models of defensive weapons, as well as magazines containing more than 10 rounds. However, the liberals and the media, including the Senator from the Mountain State, claim that nobody is trying to take away our guns. Every Democrat on the committee voted for the ban, while every Republican voted against the ban.

Americans must face facts, it’s apparent over the last several years that the New Democratic Party is a mortal enemy of gun owners and the Second Amendment. The NRA should also take heed when they endorse a Democrat for office when there is another candidate with an excellent record on gun rights. Endorsing candidates like Harry Reid and the Senator from West Virginia is shortsighted and the NRA actually undermines the very rights that they otherwise so feverishly defend because they add to the Democratic majority.

The West Virginia Senator supports backdoor registration of guns through background checks at gun shows and private sales or purchases.

Background checks at gun shows are little more than background checks for private sales and trading of guns and ammunition, which he favors. He knows none of these laws will reduce gun violence or murder rates in this country. Yet, under Manchin’s plan, if one wants to purchase a gun from a neighbor, one must pay for a background check and get approval from the federal government. These extended background checks are another back door, roundabout attempt at registration that allows government to know who owns guns, what type they are, and where to find them.

Not a word emanates from the mouths of Manchin, Obama, Feinstein, or any other left-wing anti-gunners about the real causes of crime and murder rates in this country. Most violence comes directly from inaction and misguided programs by federal, state, and local governments.

The free exercise of American rights under the Second Amendment does not cause violence.

Here are just a few of the shortcomings, incompetence, and corrupt bureaucracies of government that do result in lawless, senseless violence.
· The failure of the liberal courts and the justice system in general to PUNISH criminals.
· The failure to build more jails and prisons.
· Early release and catch-and-release of criminals; including violent felons.
· Plea-bargaining and reductions of sentences.
· Left-wing lawmakers, state and federal, who consistently and shamefully go out of their way to twist, manipulate, and distort, every societal issue to bestow the victimhood label on criminals, and not on the real victims; law-abiding citizens of our country.
· Failure to address criminal, illegal aliens pouring over our border with drugs, guns, and human cargo.
· Overcrowding, then release from jails of illegals to reduce the excess numbers.
· A corrupt government-controlled educational system that, especially in the inner cities, fails to give young people even a rudimentary education and then dumps them out on the streets without sufficient skills to compete in the world.

Much of the debate for years in this country has centered on handguns. For decades, nobody talked about long guns of any kind. To the leftists, handguns represented everything that was evil about the Second Amendment. The unvarnished truth is that the left-wingers believe the very existence of the Second Amendment is evil.

Concealed permits are under constant attack. By declaring gun-free zones and limiting where one can legally carry a weapon, the tyrants hope to make it so restrictive as to make concealed permits worthless. One such limit in declaring schools as "gun-free zones" to prevent shootings, could only be imagined, and implemented by the most naive and ignorant of liberal minds.

Some notable quotes by Obama, the anti self-defense chief, should tell everyone where the leftist-in-chief stands:
· “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
· “I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities.”
· “It’s a scandal that Bush didn’t renew the ‘assault weapon' ban.”
· If you need 19 rounds to shoot a deer, you probably shouldn’t be hunting.”

Here are some notable votes by Obama:
· Voted to uphold civil actions and lawsuits against gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of guns and ammunition.
· Voted to ban hundreds of common rifles and shotguns.
· Voted to uphold local gun bans in Illinois.
· Voted to uphold prosecution of people using guns in self-defense.

Now, let’s examine some Joe Manchin quotes and excerpts from the Senator’s own writings:
· “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It’s common sense. It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common-sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.”
· “We must look at the use of high-capacity ammunition magazines and military-style assault weapons.”
· “I truly appreciate President Obama’s intentions to ‘push without delay’ a set of recommendations to address the kind of madness we witnessed in Newtown.”
· “I don’t know anyone in the hunting or sporting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about.”
· “I think everything should be on the table.” “I think everything should be looked at.” In response to MSNBC’s question of do you think the gun laws should be changed?

One will notice Sen. Manchin never once points out that the Second Amendment never mentions hunting and not one word crosses his lips about self-defense. He obviously thinks the Second Amendment should be on the table for discussion, and it’s all about hunting.

It’s always easier for lazy, corrupt, and ideological politicians to take the easy path. They use manipulative hyperbole, and emotional rhetoric to push for legislation that has proven repeatedly to be ineffective, and destructive. Like vultures, these zealots circle after every despicable shooting by an outlaw or insane person and then use the tragedy and suffering of others to gain an upper hand to implement their anti-gun tyranny.

They know they cannot ban all gun rights at once any more than a boa can instantly kill and devour its prey. They do it slowing, one contraction at a time.

Little-by-little, Obama, Manchin, Feinstein, and their left-wing ilk formulate their “reasonable rules” which are, in reality, slow narrowings and constrictions designed to squeeze the life from our Second Amendment and devour our guns.

Knowing what Obama and this West Virginia liberal hunter have said publicly, and knowing the history of the anti-gun radicals, does anyone believe them when they say, “Nobody is coming after your guns?”

Disarming America is not a solution for violence; rather it is one of the chief determining factors for the violence raging through the streets of this country. An unarmed nation is a nation on its knees, and that is exactly where the leftist tyrants want Americans. The free exercise of American rights under the Second Amendment does not cause violence.

For one to see the tragic results of liberal politics and gun control that disarms lawful people, one needs to look to the cities in the control of the New Democratic Party. Here, guns are banned outright from lawful Americans or restricted to such a point as to make their right to own guns and defend themselves, a cruel joke. They are microcosms of what liberals want for the rest of the country.

When liberal-progressive government is in control of peoples’ lives, they keep citizens disarmed, uneducated, indoctrinated, and dependent. When will we cease to allow our government to cast their tyrannical, liberal, magic spell over this great land?
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Jim Mullen
Parkersburg, WV
FreedomforUSNow.com
Twitter: @freedomforusnow
Parkersburg Conservative Examiner

Tags: Anti-gun radicals, gun control, President Obama, anti-gun agenda,  loss of liberty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jimmy Carter’s Libel Israel Week

Ken Blackwell, ARRA News Service: Some politically correct colleges in America and Western Europe observe something they call “Israel Apartheid Week.” It’s another opportunity to libel Israel for building a defensive perimeter to keep out Arab suicide bombers. These misguided young people who libel the only democracy in the Mideast look to former President Jimmy Carter for their inspiration. Carter was the most prominent person in the world to apply the hated term apartheid to Israel’s purely defensive barrier. Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, has served as a text for the libelers of Israel.

The French have an apt expression for what Israel is doing: “This animal is very vicious; when you attack it, it defends itself.” What Israel did in building a barrier between them and those territories that were staging areas for suicide bombers is entirely understandable. Americans are clamoring for more effective borders — north and south — and we have not yet, thank goodness, experienced suicide bombers in our pizza parlors.

There is no doubt that many Arabs in Palestine are suffering because of the barriers. They used to move freely in and out of jobs in the Jewish majority sections. Now, they must endure checkpoints. But whose fault is this? If they protest that they are not terrorists, our sympathy naturally goes with them. But if they try to finger the terrorists who dominate their towns, they will of course be attacked and in many cases killed. And their families punisned, as well.

Former President Jimmy Carter is working on his humility. It’s hard when you are so prominent. Speaking on NPR of his role as Mideast peacemaker, Carter said this:I doubt that any other prominent human being has been blessed with such a great opportunity, as I have, to actually know what's going on there.Now, Winston Churchill traveled throughout the region and created two Arab kingdoms as Britain’s Colonial Secretary, Iraq and Trans-Jordan. But he never won a Nobel Peace Prize, as Carter did. And Churchill’s contemporary, T.E. Lawrence, the famed “Lawrence of Arabia, just might be considered a prominent human being. He led the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Without his efforts there would probably be no Arab states.

It should be noted that Chaim Weitzman, founder of the Jewish State, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, and Golda Meir, Israel’s longtime chief diplomat, might also have been considered prominent human beings. And they, too, might have actually known something about the Arab-Israeli Dispute.

Carter’s humility doesn’t extend to precision in writing. He boasts that he wrote every word of his book himself. And then had this to say about his choice of words:NPR: The sentence [in your book] said that Palestinians and Arabs in general should end suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism, when international laws and the ultimate goals of the roadmap are accepted by Israel?

Carter: The "when" was obviously a crazy and stupid word. My publishers have been informed about that and have changed the sentence in all future editions of the book.
He said it. You read it. It’s not just a slip of the tongue, or the fingertips. This “stupid and crazy” sentence went around the world and gave legitimacy to the idea that terror attacks on Israel would cease only when Israel agreed to yield up more territory to her enemies according to an internationally-agreed upon “roadmap” for peace.
Has any other country ever allowed a “Quartet” of foreign powers to decide its fate? Actually, one did: Czechoslovakia in 1938 was not even invited to the Munich conference at which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, France’s Premier Edouard Daladier, Italy’s Duce Benito Mussolini and Germany’s Fürer Adolf Hitler deprived Central Europe’s only democracy of its vitally needed border defenses. That infamous conference bought no peace and precious little time for the shamed democracies.

On too many U.S. campuses, liberal activists are inspired by Carter’s condemnation of Israel’s self-defense. They shout down Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, and promise to bring to the U.S. the kind of intimidation and libel the PLO has brought bring to all international forums. The late Yasser Arafat even wore a holster and pistol at the UN General Assembly in 1974. This was just months after he ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel.

We pay Jimmy Carter some $199,000 a year as a former president. He also gets office expenses and Secret Service protection. He has been protected by us for thirty-two years.

With all this protection, he is safe to jet around the world, meeting such worthies as the leaders of Hamas — the openly terrorist faction that rules in Gaza. On one of these taxpayer-supported trips, Mr. Carter proudly related how he met with the late Syrian dictator:On one occasion [Hafez al-Assad] invited me to meet with him and his entire family, and I met all his children and got to know them. One of them was a college student who is now the president of Syria.Hafez al-Assad murdered some 20,000 Syrians at Hama in 1982. His son, the one Jimmy was so proud to meet, has topped his father. Bashar al-Assad has reportedly killed 60,000 of his Syrian people.

Jimmy Carter’s single term was distinguished by utter ineffectiveness. Americans in forty-four states booted him out unceremoniously. But even that electoral drubbing was not enough to humble his pride. Americans are generous. We thought Jimmy Carter was a good man, but just one over his head.

Now, we see increasingly that he can be mendacious and malicious, and seems determined to intrude himself where he never has to worry about the voters’ wrath again.
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Ken Blackwell is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: IJimmy Carter, libel, Israel, Kim Blackwell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Carbon Tax Fight Looms

Phil Kerpen - ARRA News Service: The White House continues to inch closer to a carbon tax. In Obama's first post-election press conference, he dodged the question. The next day his spokesman Jay Carney said: "We would never propose a carbon tax, and have no intention of proposing one." Great, but they don't have to propose it. The proposals have now been made by Obama's key allies. Senator Barbara Boxer, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee introduced a carbon tax bill with Vermont's Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist. On the House side, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman, has introduced a carbon tax discussion draft. This week Obama indicated he's quietly preparing to back these proposals.

"If we move aggressively on an issue like climate change -- that's not an easy issue for a lot of folks," Obama said to the first meeting of the operatives of Organizing for Action — his supposedly non-partisan continuation of his presidential campaign. "I want to make sure that a congressman, senator feels as if they've got the information and the grassroots network that's going to support them in that effort."

So the bills have been introduced and Obama is readying his grassroots army. This is looking increasingly real, and the economic stakes are enormous.

Let's start with the pain at the pump. The Boxer-Sanders bill taxes carbon dioxide at $20 per metric ton, which works out to 17.8 cents a gallon of gasoline. So it basically would double the existing federal gas tax. (Which of course begs the question — don't we already tax carbon enough?) It gets much worse; Boxer-Sanders automatically raises the tax 5.6 percent per year for 10 years, enough to double the tax to 30 cents. And the tax would also hit your electric bill, of course, and industrial energy users would be hit hard.

A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that a carbon tax similar to Boxer-Sanders would knock an immediate half a percent off of GDP and threaten millions of jobs.

The Waxman discussion draft is potentially much worse. It proposes a range of starting prices and automatic increases up to $35 per metric ton and 8 percent. That would mean about 31 cents a gallon gas tax to start, automatically jumping to 67 cents by year 10 and $1.34 by year 20. Of course electricity generation, manufacturers, and every product grown, shipped, or manufactured would also be hit.

But perhaps the biggest danger is that despite the widespread economic damage, these proposals could become politically viable by incorporating large scale income redistribution. Even one supposedly conservative advocate of carbon taxes recently suggested 11 percent of the revenue should be used to increase social welfare spending to alleviate the impact of higher energy prices on the poor. We can safely assume the liberals will push for a much larger piece than that, perhaps issuing free gas cards much like existing food stamp cards so hardworking taxpayers can pick up the (fast-rising!) gas tab not just for themselves but for others, too.

Fortunately, some leaders in Congress are not waiting for the Democrats to spring this trap. Congressmen Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Joe Barton of Texas have introduced a resolution of disapproval making clear that a carbon tax would be economically destructive and should be rejected. Such "Sense of Congress" resolutions are usually just political statements, but given the marshaling of Democratic forces, it could serve as a vital prevention strategy to put the House firmly on the record in opposition now and prevent any risk of a carbon tax emerging as a real possibility. House leadership would be wise to bring the resolution to the floor and put the House on record against this terrible idea.
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© Copyright 2012 Phil Kerpen. He is the president of American Commitment where he first shared this article; a contributing author for the ARRA News Service and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, Carbon Tax, Boxer-Sanders bill, Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders, Carbon Tax, impact on families and businesses, higher energy costs, higher tax To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo, Homeland Security? Time For A National Conversation

Armored Personnel Carriers in
Baghdad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Ralph Benko, ARRA News Service: The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, to far too little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As elsewhere reported, some of this purchase order is for rounds forbidden by international law for use in war plus a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending fewer than 6 million rounds a month. 1.6 billion rounds, therefore, would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.

Add to this perplexingly outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation. As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:
“[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.” …

“These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions.

“Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women. On the streets of America… ?

… “They all have gun ports… Gun Ports? In the theater of war, yes. On the streets of America…? “Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets?”
Why indeed? It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America. There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok. About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division. And is wise to the ways. The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this: it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget. So… why not?

Why, indeed, should the federal government not be deploying armored personnel carriers and stockpiling enough ammo for a 20-year war in the homeland? Because it’s wrong in every way. President Obama has an opportunity, now, to live up to some of his rhetoric by helping the federal government set a noble example in a matter very close to his heart (and that of his Progressive base), one not inimical to the Bill of Rights: gun control. The federal government can (for a nice change) begin practicing what it preaches by controlling itself.

And … remember the … Sequester? The president is claiming its budget cuts will inconvenience travelers by squeezing essential services provided by the (opulently armed and stylishly uniformed) DHS. Quality ammunition is not cheap. (Of course, news reports that DHS is about to spend $50 million on new uniforms suggests a certain cavalier attitude toward government frugality.)

Spending money this way is beyond absurd well into perverse. According to the AP story a DHS spokesperson justifies this acquisition to “help the government get a low price for a big purchase.” Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: “The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”

At 15 million rounds (which, in itself, is pretty extraordinary and sounds more like fun target-shooting-at-taxpayer-expense than a sensible training exercise) … that’s a stockpile that would last DHS over a century. To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant.

Meanwhile, Senator Diane Feinstein, with the support of President Obama, is attempting to ban 100 capacity magazine clips. Doing a little apples-to-oranges comparison, here, 1.6 billion rounds is … 16 million times more objectionable.

Mr. Obama has a long history of disdain toward gun ownership. According to Prof. John Lott, in Debacle, a book he co-authored with iconic conservative strategist Grover Norquist,
“When I was first introduced to Obama (when both worked at the University of Chicago Law School, where Lott was famous for his analysis of firearms possession), he said, ‘Oh, you’re the gun guy.’

“I responded: ‘Yes, I guess so.’

“’I don’t believe that people should own guns,’ Obama replied.

“I then replied that it might be fun to have lunch and talk about that statement some time.
“He simply grimaced and turned away. …

“Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama showed disdain.”
Mr. Obama? Where’s the disdain now? Cancelling, or at minimum, drastically scaling back — by 90% or even 99%, the DHS order for ammo, and its receipt and deployment of armored personnel carriers, would be a “fourfer.”
  • The federal government would set an example of restraint in the matter of weaponry.
  • It would reduce the deficit without squeezing essential services.
  • It would do both in a way that was palatable to liberals and conservatives, slightly depolarizing America.
  • It would somewhat defuse, by the government making itself less armed-to-the-teeth, the anxiety of those who mistrust the benevolence of the federales.
If Obama doesn’t show any leadership on this matter it’s an opportunity for. Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to summon Secretary Napolitano over for a little … national conversation. Madame Secretary? Buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and deploying armored personnel carriers runs contrary, in every way, to what “homeland security” really means. Discuss.
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Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to he ARRA News Service. The article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author.

Tags: 1.6 Billion Rounds, Ammo, Homeland Security, Time For, A National Conversation, Why?, Ralph Benko To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!