Friday, December 31, 2010

Limiting Regulatory Overreach

Curtis Coleman
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: Over the past several decades, the U.S. Congress has become increasing derelict in its responsibility to create the nation’s laws, abdicating its legislative responsibility to executive-branch agencies where unelected bureaucrats have and are creating laws by regulation, circumventing the Constitutional mandate for elected representatives of the people to create laws by legislation. No single phrase more succinctly captured this perilous capitulation of responsibility than Nancy Pelosi’s infamous “we have to pass it to see what’s in it.”

Not only must this Congressional dereliction be stopped, it has created a critical need for increased Congressional oversight of the bureaucracies to which its irresponsibility has given birth. As The New York Times recently reported, “Federal rule makers, long the neglected stepchildren of Washington bureaucrats, suddenly find themselves at the center of power as they scramble to work out details of hundreds of sweeping financial and health care regulations that will ultimately affect most Americans.”

Here are three bills which have been or will be introduced in the U.S. Senate (and correspondingly in the House) which can augment an important and effective first set of tools for overseeing and limiting the regulatory overreach of the federal government’s proliferating agencies and burgeoning bureaucracies.

THE ENUMERATED POWERS ACT
On June 22, 2009 Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) along with 17 co-sponsors introduced the Enumerated Powers Act (S. 1319). This bill will require that each Act of Congress contain a concise explanation of the specific constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. The failure to comply with this section shall give rise to a point of order in either House of Congress.

THE REINS ACT
On September 22, 2010 Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, was joined by 12 other Senators to introduce the REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act.  According to a news release from Sen. DeMint’s office, “This legislation is intended to restore accountability to the process by which federal agencies finalize major regulations by requiring congressional approval for major regulatory actions.” Congressman Geoff Davis (R-Kentucky) has already introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House, (H.R. 3765).

The REINS Act would require that every new major rule proposed by federal agencies be approved via joint resolution passed by both bodies in Congress and signed by the President before they can take effect. A “major rule” is any rule that the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finds may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; or significant adverse effects on the economy.

THE 10TH AMENDMENT REGULATORY REFORM ACT
Over the weekend of December 24th, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) told The Hill that he will be introducing the 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act , which mirrors a bill (H.R. 4946) previously introduced by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) in the House.

“Wicker’s legislation is designed in response to the new healthcare legislation and the federal regulations that are tied with it,” reported The Hill. “Wicker said the new [healthcare] bill would create 159 ‘boards, commissions, bureaus, programs and offices of the federal government which could be reviewed and challenged on an expedited basis with this legislation.’

“With the legislation, state officials could challenge the constitutionality of proposed regulations and that agency would then have 15 days to certify that they are not violating the 10th Amendment. It would also speed up the court process on regulations challenged by states.”

These three bills represent critical “must pass” legislation on the road to the restoration of the federal government to principles of the Constitution. They also constitute compelling opportunities for American patriots to be proactive instead of reactive, to be for positive change instead of only against destructive attacks on the fabric of the Republic.
---------------
Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act, Enumerated Powers Act, REINS Act, Constitutional Crisis, Curtis Coleman, Institute for Constitutional Policy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas!

Tags: 2010, Christmas, Merry Christmas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Conservative's Christmas Wish

America, You Asked For It!: When President Obama began shredding the US Constitution and tearing down United States of America, conservative citizens rose up and battled hard for two years. An awakening on our side like I had never seen in my lifetime. In November, it appeared our fight to stop Herr Obama and his Czar-loaded administration's
march toward a United Socialist States of America had been stopped. Democrats staggered and stammered in recoil as the election results rolled in and casted many of their members out. Republicans, who had run campaigns on conservative platforms toppled their Democrat rivals from coast-to-coast, from the Rio Grande to the Canadian border. Conservatives, weary of a nonviolent political war that had not seen a cessation of hostilities for two full years, stepped down and drew a breath.

But, in the 50 or so days since that supposed conservative victory, many of the Republicans have chosen to join hands with their Democrat colleagues and help them close the year with big liberal legislative victories. With a conservative tsunami sweeping America, Democrats have practically turned unemployment benefits into a permanent entitlement program, sacrificed our military readiness and effectiveness by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed services, and ratified a treaty that limits us from deploying missile defense systems vital to our national security. All of these liberal victories came so RINOs could demonstrate their willingness to compromise with their liberal loser colleagues.

President Obama, ambient with arrogance, proclaimed this lame duck session the, "most productive post-election period in decades. And it comes on the heels of the most productive two years that we’ve had in generations." Only weeks after suffering historic losses in a mid-term election, Obama and Democrats have rebounded in the face of the conservative tidal wave to pass the most controversial of their liberal agenda with practically no Republican resistance. Instead of fighting to represent the conservative constituents who delivered their victories, too many Republicans have helped Democrats push forward in the name of compromise. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer described the situation perfectly when he said Republicans are "clearing his [Obama's] path and sprinkling it with rose petals."

Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006, not because they were acting conservative, but because they were not! They had control from 1994 to 2006, and during that time government grew at an astounding pace, our Constitution was ripped in a bipartisan "compromise" called campaign finance reform, and illegal immigration exploded while a Republican compromise did nothing to stem the tide. Republicans lost control in 2006 because they were NOT pushing a conservative agenda! And it appears too many have already started down that path again.

Democrats lost control of the US House and suffered big losses in the US Senate because they pushed a far left agenda too far in the past two years. In less than two years, Democrats forced on the American people (against their will in most cases):

  • A government takeover of numerous banks,
  • A government takeover of the domestic auto industry,
  • A government takeover of the health care industry
  • A government takeover of the student loan industry.
  • Government spending increases that increased our national debt by 40%,
  • A monetary policy that has resulted in massive price increases on almost everything while the government reports little or no inflation,

just to name a few of the liberal agenda pills we have been forced to swallow though the masses made clear they were opposed to the march toward Socialism. The historic election made it impossible to claim the American electorate supports Obama's agenda. But now some Republicans are bending over backwards to show they can be good sports and let the liberal jackass party share the political spoils. WHY?!?!?

As a committed Conservative, my Christmas wish is for newly elected Republican Congressmen and Senators to link up with true conservatives like Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC), respectively, when they take their place on Capitol Hill next month. My wish is for these newly elected employees of the people stand firm on the conservative principles that won them their seats. My wish is for these new members of our legislative body to buck their RINO colleagues and refuse to appease liberals in compromises that fly-in-the-face of the conservative voters who elected them. My wish is for them to realize doing nothing is better than doing something wrong.

In sum, my wish is for our newly elected members in the US House and Senate to remember who put them in office and VOTE CONSERVATIVE!
-------
John Allison is a high school math teacher, conservative activist, and blogs at America, You Asked for It!


Tags: Christmas, Election 2010, Lame Duck, Congress, Republican, RINO, Democrat, Socialism, Conservatives, Conservatism, Liberal Agenda, Obama, Krauthammer, Bachmann, Demint, Compromise, Appeasement

To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A veteran's view on gays in military

America, You Asked for It! This weekend may sound the death knell for the ban on gays serving openly in the US military. And if that death song is sung, it will be a detriment to the finest fighting force in the world.

Polling now shows a majority of Americans think it's time to repeal the ban, but less than 10% of American citizens have ever served in the US armed forces. I served four years in the United States Marine Corps, in a unit that heralded itself as the "tip of the spear," meaning we were the first to go in when Marines from our division were called. In two overseas deployments, our vehicles were always staged and ready to hit the beach when called. In my conversations with those who served before me, those who served with me, and those who served after me, I've come to know my views are not anomalous in the combat arms of the US military.

I'm not denying anyone, veteran or not, their right to an opinion on this matter, but I think the opinions of those of us who have served and are serving where the bullets fly and the blood splatters should carry a lot more weight than some protester on a corner at a college campus.

Those who want to repeal the ban often scream that an irrational fear or hatred of gays is the only reason anyone is against homosexuals serving openly. While I'm sure some of that exists, there are many other arguments to uphold the ban that any truly objective person can understand.

Let's start with living quarters. Most people have never been in a position where they were forced to sleep or shower with someone they didn't even know...unless they served in the military. In Marine Corps boot camp, everyone in a platoon showers together without stalls or privacy of any kind. The bathroom is one large room with toilets and urinals lining the walls, no stalls or privacy there. When I went through, Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) wasn't even policy. Homosexuals were banned from serving period. When we showered, it never crossed our minds that someone might be sexually stimulated because homosexuals were banned from serving.

In the field, we were assigned to sleep in the same tent with another Marine. We didn't get to choose who we slept with, but we didn't have to worry about the guy next to us being gay and coming on to us. On Navy ships, we slept inches apart in a room with 40 men. We dressed and changed without privacy, but we never had to worry about attracting the sexual attention of another man because gays were banned from serving. Our quarters on the airfield in Mogadishu, Somalia consisted of a plywood, one-room building. Forty men slept shoulder-to-shoulder on the floor.

For all of you who think because you have a gay person who works in your office and things work fine, you don't live, sleep, and shower with them. So, if you would feel the least bit uncomfortable working with that person under the above described conditions, you're a complete hypocrite if you still think gays in the military are a good idea.

The second big argument I'll make deals with families. The military has become much more of a family friendly organization over the past couple of decades, but it's still a job that comes with frequent long deployments. Time away is already hard enough on wives and children left at home, but at least they don't have to worry about the guy daddy's with being gay. Imagine the added stress this would put on a wife at home, wondering if her husband is relieving his sexual frustration with his gay foxhole-mate. Stress at home destroys morale for deployed servicemen, and morale is essential when serving in combat zones.

The last case I'll discuss involves the mission. It's understood that serving in a combat zone is an extremely dangerous situation ALL the time. Those who've never been there don't understand what that really means. It means you have to be on your toes all the time, you have to be focused and attuned to what's going on around you always. Danger lurks everywhere and letting down your guard for an instant can get you and your buddies killed. Any distractions are dangerous. But we've never had to worry about sexual attraction creating that distraction on the battlefield because gays can't serve openly in the military. If two guys are getting it on instead of getting the job done, things are going to get really bad really quickly.

I can hear it already, supporters of repeal screaming that just because someone's gay doesn't mean they're going to be coming on to everything around them. It doesn't mean that people who aren't gay will suddenly fall to the lure of sex with their gay buddy. Maybe not, but are you willing to bet our national security on it? Are you willing to bet the lives of servicemen who will die because of that distraction that you don't think will materialize?

Though President Obama has managed to get political a Secretary of Defense and a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to support repeal of DADT, top generals in both the Army and Marines both oppose repeal. These branches bear the brunt of combat operations and their leaders understand the risks better than Washington bureaucrats, and generals who worry more over their own political futures than the welfare of their troops.

"My suspicions are that the law will be repealed" eventually, Marine Corps Commandant James Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "All I'm asking is the opportunity to do that at a time and choosing when my Marines are not singularly tightly focused on what they're doing in a very deadly environment."

Today "Taps" will likely sound for the ban on gays serving openly in the military. And if it does, the finest fighting force in the world--the combat arms units of the US military--will irreparably suffer. But our politicians, including some Republicans, are more concerned with their own reelection prospects than the lives of those brave young men who serve in the combat arms.

May the blood of every young warrior who dies because of this policy shift forever torment the politically correct legislators and low-life, politically motivated military officers who blind themselves to the realities of the battlefield and support this bill.
-------
John Allison is a high school math teacher, conservative activist, and blogs at America, You Asked for It!


Tags: Combat Arms, Don't Ask Don't Tell, DADT, Military, Gays, Combat, Marine Corps, Army, USMC, Democrat, Republican, War on Terror

To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices.

Thanks!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reviewing The Tea Party Movement

by Bill Smith / Ozark Guru: As we end 2010, conservatives have seen in the last two years an awakening within the general population with respect to the dangers of Big Government. In part, this awakening can be to the many groups, organizations, national figures, and the conservative new media. However, this article and the below research will address only the Tea Party movement.

As a conservative activist, I was involved long before there was a Tea Party.  I wish to thank those who nudge me along. As a retired military officer and university professor, at 60, I had planned to retire (slow down) except for writing/ blogging, speaking, fishing, golfing and enjoying home and family. I never expected that by 61, I would be more active than when I worked two or more jobs. By 2008, I was coordinating team efforts supporting 23 US Congressional candidates.  After my preferred candidates for the GOP presidential nomination withdrew or were defeated, I supported Sarah Palin and that "other guy" for president. By the end of the 2008 elections, I was physically exhausted. But as disappointed as I was with the election outcomes, I was encouraged and motivated by the number of young conservatives I met during the year.

William Clark, friend and adviser of Ronald Reagan, related how Reagan gathered his close supporters together after the election of President Jimmy Carter and said something to the effect that Americans can not abide socialism for very long. While he was proven right, Reagan had three years to build a coalition before launching his Presidential campaign.

In 2009, after Democrats took total control of Congress and the White House, a few conservative activists recognized that the American reaction would be more visceral and could be mobilized to respond to the Democrats pushing through their progressive agenda. When approached by these young activists wishing to build on "rant" by Rick Santelli on February 19, 2008, I realized that they were on to something. But, I questioned whether large numbers would rally. History has proved that I had no reason to be concerned. Then later, when large numbers responded and joined local Tea Party groups, I was concerned that the conservative movement would not be able to educate them on the political processes or ways to remain active which could lead to the Tea Parties deteriorating or being viewed as a tentative and short lived - thus ignored or suppressed by those in power.

Even with harassment by the Department of Homeland Security - negative warnings - of conservatives, including Tea Party members and the followers of three presidential candidates, I did not need to be concerned. As with any meaningful effort, Providence provided numerous people, including national personalities, who became nation-wide  teachers on the issues, threats to freedom and the processes. Existing conservative research and issue groups increased their communication and brought into their organizations many young conservative new media activists to expand their message outreach. Organizations like Americans for Prosperity and American Majority came along side local groups including the Tea Party groups to provided training, information and opportunities for involvement. In the end, leadership for the grassroots Tea Party was nurtured everyday grassroots Americans who adapted and learned as they organized.

A young man approached me about his holding a TEA Party in the Ozark Mountains. On April 15, 2007, Richard Caster, age 17, held the first meeting of the Ozark Tea Party which went on to have as many as 3000 people attend their events. Caster can be identified as one of the "early adopters" discussed later. As an aside, two years later in the 2010 elections, Caster was elected as the youngest Arkansas County Justice of the Peace (County board member) in Arkansas.

The above is just one of literally thousands of stores of people who for varied reasons got involved mostly via the Internet in holding their first Tea Party.   So, who were these people, what was their experience in politics, and why did they get involved? Then who joined the Tea Party after they were launched ; what were their interests and why did they join?

Sam Adams Alliance has completed research on Tea Party members. The below will present a summary of their findings in two categories: The Early Adopters and The Next Wave. All statistics below are taken from their reports which are available at their website. Sam Adams Alliance was the first to explore through in-depth research and survey data, the motivations, priorities and points of view of Tea party leaders.

The Early Adopters - Reading the Tea Leaves revealed that Tea party activists were a diverse group trying - often for the first time - to change the political landscape by holding elected officials more accountable.

The Early Adopters report reveals that:
  • A large number of Tea Party leaders are politically involved for the first time. 47% of activists surveyed said that they were "uninvolved" or "rarely involved" in politics before their participation in Tea Party groups.
  • When asked which issues were "very important" to them, 92% said "budget," 85% said "economy," and 80% said "defense."
  • No respondents listed social issues as an "important direction" for the movement.
  • 86% oppose the formation of a third party.
  • 90% cited "to stand up for my beliefs" when characterizing their initial reason for involvement.
  • 62% identified as Republicans, 28% as Independents, 10% as "Tea Party"

The Next Wave - A Surf Report gauges the activists who entered the Tea Parties after May 2009 and how they are shaping the momentum and impact of the Tea Party movement.

The Next Wave report reveals that:
  • Tea Party momentum is building: 74.5% of Next Wavers said the movement is "gaining active supporters" and 66% indicated that the movement is "more enthusiastic."
  • There was a nearly 30-point drop among Tea Party activists in their affiliation with the Republican brand.
  • There is a decrease in Republican sources of entrants to the Tea Parties and an increase in independents: 20% of Next Wavers were independents prior to the Tea Parties (compared with 12.6% of Early Adopters that were independents) and 74% of Next Wavers were Republicans prior, compared to 81% of Early Adopters.
  • The longer a Tea Party activist is in the movement, the more likely they are to be optimistic about the political landscape
  • Of those who were inspired by an individual to join the Tea Party movement, 63.6% -the largest number- cited a friend as being instrumental in their involvement." Only 37.5 percent of Early Adopters were recruited by friends. Rather, media personalities brought the highest number into the movement.
  • 89.3% of Tea Party activists have been active in introducing new people into the movement.
  • Both Early Adopters and Next Wave activists were new to politics; 40.5% of Early Adopters and 43.6% of Next Wave activists said they were uninvolved/rarely involved with politics prior to their Tea Party involvement.
Sam Adams Alliance has indicated they will perform future research into exploring the interactions between establishment political players and the Tea Party newcomers, as well as an investigation into understanding why those who share the same values as the Tea Party have not embraced the movement.

Looking back at the November 2010 election, even the biased media noted the reaction by the American voters. Setting aside liberal strongholds, in less than two years, voters voted to remove from office or to rejected the elections of new candidates who were liberals / democrats. As a result, major shifts occurred in the US congress and in State and local governments. Tea Parties activists put both voice and feet to the citizen dissatisfaction and were willing to get out and motivate others to vote conservative. Tea Party members and other did not wait four (4) years for a leader like Ronald Reagan to lead them to victory; instead they acted.

We can only imagine at this point in time the impact that Tea Party members will have in holding the new Congress accountable. And come 2011, if a responsible, honorable, conservative candidate with good communication skills runs for President, the America voters will have the opportunity to sweep liberals from the control of State governments and the US Congress and the White House. From a dream on Jan, 2009 to a real possibility on Jan 2011; let's make it a fact on Jan 2013! Remain faithful, be involved and remember that being a conservative is not for the faint of heart.
-------
Dr. Bill Smith is a retired Air Force officer and former director of the $2.2 Billion European F-16 Co-production Program. He is a retired professor and is the editor of the ARRA News Service, Blogs For Borders and Conservative Voices. He is a conservative political activist, writes for several other sites and can be followed on Twitter (@arra).

Tags: Tea Party, research, research, Sam Adams Alliance, Bill Smith, Ozark Guru To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Even After November, Dems Don't Seem To Understand

By John Allison: Evidently, the slap in the face Democrats experienced in the November elections was not enough to wake them up to the fact that Americans are sick and tired of their flagrant waste of our tax dollars. Worse than last week's House bill that would freeze spending at fiscal 2010's already catastrophic levels, the Senate bill is packed full of earmarks and seeks to spend an extra $16 billion dollars Uncle Sam doesn't have!
The omnibus spending bill is likely to get the most attention, spanning 1,924 pages and spending an average of $575.13 million per page.

High-rolling Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, even made sure his bill was bloated with $8 billion in earmarks that had been gutted from the House bill. The free-spending Reid is even threatening to keep the Senate in session through the customary break if Republicans continue to honor voters' wishes and stall the wasteful legislation.

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated Democrats have yet to even show the bill to members of his party who would rather see a short term bill that will keep the government operating until the new Congress can be seated in January.

Though President Obama is suddenly making efforts to come across as a reach-across-the-aisle, bipartisan type of guy, his henchman Reid continues the behind-closed-doors, Democrat only crafting of legislation to be rushed out and voted on in the wee hours when few are watching. Just as his heavy in the House, Nancy Pelosi, last week derailed the supposed compromise he forged with Republicans on the soon-to-expire Bush tax rates, Reid is running interference for his party boss Obama. These shenanigans are likely designed to allow the President to claim he is working for compromise with his opposition, while his lackey congressional leaders give him cover with his liberal base.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all though is that at least four Republicans are considering voting with the jackass party to spend another $1.1 trillion of your hard-earned money. Bob Bennett (R-UT), Kit Bond (R-MO), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have all indicated they just might vote for the massive waste of taxpayer dollars.

Last month's elections made clear the will of the American people and too many in DC failed to get the message. With our national debt fast approaching $14 trillion, everyday Americans have been demanding spending cuts from our elected officials in the nation's capitol. But they're still not listening!

So, as you celebrate Christmas this year (probably less festively than in times past because you have no choice but to tighten your belt), know that Democrats in Washington (along with a few RINOs) are working hard to squander as many of your wages as they can before your newly elected representatives take their seats.

Don't ever forget how they take us all for mindless fools. 2012 is just around the corner!
-------
John Allison is a high school math teacher, conservative activist, and blogs at America, You Asked for It!

Tags: Budget, Election 2010, Waste, Spending, Debt, Tax Cuts, Harry Reid, US Senate, Omnibus, Mitch McConnell, Obama, Bipartisanship To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

ACLU Wages War on Christmas

H/T Moonbattery for Photo
By Chris Slavens: It’s that “most wonderful time of the year” again. Children eagerly await a visit from jolly Santa Claus, while their parents try to squeeze shopping into a schedule already filled with parties, parades, church programs, and visiting relatives. Grandmothers bake dozens of gingerbread and sugar cookies, while rascally uncles down too much eggnog. Affluent northerners travel to Florida to escape cold weather, while everyone else yearns for a white Christmas.

And the ACLU—that staunch defender of American traditions and values—threatens to sue public schools for acknowledging what all the excitement is about.

Each Christmas season is marked by a series of spirit-dampening stories of towns forced to disassemble nativity scenes, retail stores intimidated into requiring employees to use generic greetings like “Happy Holidays,” and similar Scroogish travesties. This year, one such story comes from Tennessee, where the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to 137 public school administrators, supposedly in response to complaints from families, reminding them not to focus on any one religious holiday.

In other words, don’t call Christmas parties “Christmas parties.” Call them winter celebrations, holiday galas, solstice shindigs, or any other creative misnomer that obfuscates their true purpose and creates a comfortable non-reality for the handful of unfortunate students whose malcontent parents are offended by the celebration of a holiday that is jointly religious and secular in nature.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that 92% of Americans celebrate Christmas, while a mere 6% do not. Of that 6%, only 25% celebrate an alternative holiday. That’s a whopping total of 1.5% of Americans who celebrate a December holiday instead of Christmas. And, apparently, most of them live in Tennessee; how else could that state’s chapter of the ACLU have received so many complaints?

Defending the letter, Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, cites U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and hints that acknowledging Christmas could be considered an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

She is alluding, of course, to the oft-misinterpreted establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from establishing a state religion. It obviously applies to a third-grade teacher planning a classroom Christmas party for the last day before break—or so those on the far left argue, rather unconvincingly.

Could it be that Weinberg is one of the 6% of Americans who do not celebrate Christmas, and is using the ACLU’s legal muscle and financial assets to push a personal agenda? Such Grinch-like behavior would certainly be unprofessional, if not unethical. If there was a Santa, Weinberg would be on the naughty list for sure.

The ACLU expects public schools to stage a pointless charade of pretending that the concerts, parties, and vacations common to this time of year are not specifically scheduled around December 25. This is an unreasonable expectation which deserves no serious consideration.

The correct course of action for public school administrators to take is to ignore the ACLU, which is not a government entity and does not represent the views of a majority of parents. It would be wrong to alter school policy simply to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit; this would be yielding to what is called the “heckler’s veto,” by which an antagonistic group goads the government into restricting another group’s First Amendment rights. In this case, the hecklers are the ACLU and the instigators it claims to represent.

Lawsuits are expensive, true, and no administrator wants to be on the receiving end of one, but what is the cost of a lawsuit compared to the cost of an eroded culture and disunited society, purposely divided by secularist troublemakers who value political correctness over common sense?

Chris Slavens is a conservative columnist. He writes from Delaware.

Tags: ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, Christmas, Tennessee, public school, Hedy Weinberg, First Amendment, establishment clause To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Modern De Facto Slavery Of America

Photo by Current View
Related Article: Socialism is Slavery
By Patrick L Booth, Contributing Author: Slavery is properly defined as: The state of one bound in servitude - as the property of a slaveholder or household or a mode of production in which slaves constitute the principal work force. In the simplest terms, slaves have no right whatsoever to claim the fruits of their own labors. Slaves work for someone else who gives them whatever they have, to eat, to wear, to use, to live in, etc. and who keep the profits derived from their labor.

Upon hearing the word slavery, many people, perhaps most, associate it with USA history; the US Civil War and black chattel slavery of those imported into the USA from the 16th through 18th centuries. To many it conjures mental images of black field hands laboring in the South, picking cotton, wearing rags, a bandanna wrapped around their head and white slave owners cracking the whip over the heads and backs of their slaves.

However, ancient history is not the subject of this article. Though illegal in just about every country in the world, chattel slavery most certainly still exists in the world, fortunately no longer here, but there are other forms equally as vile. Making something illegal doesn't make it disappear. Herein I discuss the history and modern meanings of slavery in our time and how it affects us all.

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." --Thomas Jefferson

If even the source of ones livelihood might be forcibly taken, whether legally or not, is that not a loss of liberty and an enforced form of slavery? Confiscated by due process of law, perhaps, but taken nonetheless. We just don't call it slavery because most everyone has agreed upon this form of governmental subjugation. If you actually think you own your house, etc. then stop paying the taxes assessed upon it and see how long it takes before someone else more willing to pay taxes takes possession of it.

How many farms and homes were lost to governments for non-payment of property taxes? It used to be a common theme for Saturday serial matinees but no more. Now we just get the government (or actual tax payers) to pay for it or lower interest rates through Fannie or Freddie or some other entity.

We invented the use of taxes in various forms for our mutual advantage to fund education and various other governmental services such as law enforcement. Although governments can now forcibly take properties to give to other entities that might pay higher taxes and enhance the revenues available to politicians, true liberty would require each recipient to pay specifically and only for the exact services each entity received or the expenses of their prosecution and incarceration as required.

Our modern "Entitlements" based form of social security and welfare arose because people feared the loss of even their most basic necessities to high taxes, low wages, and the inability of the so-called common man to put aside enough wealth to care for themselves in their old age. Roosevelt called Social Security the Old Folks retirement security fund. Now it is just a part of the vast entitlement and welfare system that affects virtually every facet of life in America. Entitlements exceed 60% of all the monies spent by the Federal Government and our national debt is several times our gross national product every year. Factually, Social Security hasn't taken in as much as it has spent in several years nor has there ever been an actual savings account. The monies derived from SS were simply spent each year by greedy politicians to buy votes from the weak minded and ignorant voters who simply did not know where their monies were going.

There is also the bondage of debt even though much of it is self imposed, for individuals and for nations. Borrowing monies that can never be totally repaid or that must be repaid at usurious interest rates ties individual, even national, effort to the enrichment of others at the expense of relinquishing the fruits of ones' own labors. That is a large reason China is growing precipitously and we are on the decline. They own most of our national debt and we pay them huge sums in the form of interest on that debt.

Of course, our pols cry "We are only indebted to ourselves!" but it isn't true. When the Federal Banking system has to borrow enormous amounts of money each year, they "sell" bonds to back-up that debt and those bonds derive interest. Nor is there the slightest chance we will ever get out of debt so long as we "spend" far more than we take in.

That fact is the principal one the Progressive Socialists who call themselves Democrats want to substantially increase income taxes on everyone in the US. Of course, they say they only want to increase taxes on the "rich" since they have more and should bear a greater amount of the burden imposed on all of us by dishonest socialist politicians. But the top levels of income in the US (those above 1 million annual income - 1 in 6 of our population) already happen to be bearing far more than 1/2 of all the monies taken through income taxes.

What the Austrian school of Economics (and most people not socialist Dems) wants is for the numbers of higher income people to be increased as rapidly as possible so more monies will be generally available. Since lower income people (those who receive the various forms of welfare) pay no income taxes anyway (or vary low percentages), it is easy for the dishonest Dems to say they only want to keep those poor "middleclass" incomes from having to pay higher taxes. The greatest fight is about how to grow those higher income populations.

Today, many people live fragile existences in a struggle for financial survival and their American Dream can be ended by missing just a few paychecks. The carrot at the end of the stick formerly known as "the American dream" has been replaced by a whip best described as our American nightmare. You no longer work just to achieve a better life for yourselves and your children. You work to keep a roof over your head and pray that you don't lose it because of oppressive taxation or bad policies being enforced from Washington. Most Americans are oblivious to the extent of taxation only seeing it happening each April 15. They aren't told by politicians or the media that besides income tax, they are taxed for just about every action they take and item that they buy. Go over a bridge, pay a toll (tax); pay your utility bills, pay surcharges (taxes); buy a product, pay sales tax; buy a vehicle or fuel for a vehicle, pay federal and state taxes. And those taxes are invariably controlled by politicians supporting their favored programs.

Americans willingly become de facto slaves when fear replaces free incentives such as motivations to work for themselves. Our leftist media regurgitates liberal-left talking points generally disguised as news stories about the wealthy living it up while common men and women struggle to feed themselves and their children. The idea is older than Marxism. Create dissatisfaction to the point that people will seek out populist politicians who promise much whether or not they can deliver anything (a chicken in every pot.) Then the Pols ask for even more power for themselves and their puppet masters to cure the very problems they create.

The latest promise of a heaven on earth is Obama's "Hope and Change" medical care plan. Though it is dressed up with flowery language and high-sounding platitudes, it is nothing more than a grand power grab of life-and-death decision-making. A friend asked me rhetorically: Why would Americans turn over their health and welfare - their very lives - to a bunch of crooked politicians who spend most of their time covering up, lying, cajoling and cheating, all in the name of power? How would you answer that?

Why indeed, are Americans so anxious to turn over life-and-death decisions to governments already proven incapable of managing even the smallest of programs? Could it be they prefer enslavement? Is it so much easier than self determination? Is Socialism really preferable to the free market system that once made us the envy of the world, the richest, freest nation in history? May God forbid it.

Although it was once commonly held that slavery was rare among primitive pastoral peoples and that it appeared in full form only with the development of an agricultural economy, there are numerous historical instances that contradict this belief. Domestic slavery and sometimes concubine slavery appeared among nomadic Arabs (who still practice it), among Native Americans who were primarily devoted to hunting, and among the seafaring Vikings to "serve" their farms in their stead. Some ascribe the beginnings of slavery to war and consequent subjection of one group by another.

Slavery as a result of debt, however, is evidenced in very early times with some peoples having had the custom of putting up wives and children as hostages for an obligation; if the obligation was unfulfilled, the hostages became permanent slaves. The Jewish nation arose from just such a servile existence. But the American experiment was to combat that idea and the ideals of individualism and American exceptionalism arose.

In 1863, the first Republican Party President, Abraham Lincoln, signed the historic Emancipation Proclamation, a document which changed the course of history for an entire group of people, an entire nation and an entire culture. It was intended to end the horrors of slavery by making ownership of human beings by other human beings, illegal. It has become a world famous document widely quoted and studied.

Unfortunately, a great many American citizens do not recognize the current revival of slavery as it is a bit more refined and less obvious enslavement. More and more Americans are willing to give up certain freedoms in return for uncertain promises of government largesse not realizing government can only give them what it takes from others. Most of these citizens don't even realize what they're doing or losing because the news and education media refuse to perform their role as purveyors of truth and accuracy. Our schools are culpable by re-educating our youth teaching them Socialistic values are the highest goals instead of the Christian values that grew our country.

Enslavement is not coming with a bang, but expands with a slow, relentless monotony. Each day, each week, each month, each year brings us closer to that state of de facto slavery as a result of our greed thinly disguised as "civil rights" and entitlements. Ask most Americans and they will tell you that food, clothing, shelter and other necessities are "rights," not just necessities but rights to which they are entitled and that must be provided by an omnipotent government.

Even when actually warranted, government charity most often morphs into government nightmares. For example, President Lyndon Baines Johnson's "Great Society" poured billions of taxpayer dollars into programs that have done more damage to the American family than any other public handout. The government pays women who bare children a monthly allowance based on the number of children in the household. The program and its underwriters failed to understand that the way the program's requirements were structured, millions of men no longer required for familial support were freed to leave home and in fact decided that the need for marriage was trumped by their need - or desire - for "free" money.

Then, rather than retreat from such obvious government mal-run social programs, succeeding presidential administrations and numerous lawmakers willingly continue to embrace spending programs that at best do not solve the problems they were created to solve. At worst they create additional societal problems. But they do buy votes from their new slaves so those lawmakers can remain in office. The current Free Healthcare Program of Obama and the Democrats is a classic example. Allow the Feds to say who gets what medical attention and how much is to be paid for it and intelligent Doctors will quickly realize they are better off not becoming Doctors or going into other professions.

All socialism is a form of enslavement and its practitioners and advocates need to be removed from positions of power and authority as quickly as possible.
----------------
PL Booth is an aviator, biker, lover of the Constitution, citizen activist and blogs in the Missouri Ozark Mountains at the Blue Eye View.

Tags: PL Booth, Blue Eye, socialism, enslavement, modern slavery, slavery, America, entitlements, free healthcare, obamacare, national debt, excessive taxation, Democrats, RINOs, Obama administration, wealth redistribution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grandma Got Molested at the Airport

Hilarious parody of the classic "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" drawing on the absolute insanity going on with the TSA in airports across the country.

Enjoy! [Video]
------------
John Allison writes at America, You Asked for It!

Tags: TSA, Humor, Parody, Civil Rights, Conservative Voices To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Stop with the Class or Results Envy

Editorial by Leanne Hoagland-Smith: Today I have had it! No really have had it with class envy, class warfare, wealth envy or what I really believe is results envy. Who cares what someone makes or does not make? It isn't any of my business as long as their behaviors are legal according to the law. If they gain results through illegal means then there exists a process for that to be reconciled.

The recent talk about the extension of the Bush tax cuts which have been around for 10 years and truly are no longer cuts has my head spinning. What I cannot believe is how many people believe they deserve the efforts of others regardless of how they spin it.

Sure there are people who amass great amount of wealth compared to others who have not. For the most part, they saw opportunities where others did not see them. They took risks while others were sitting on the sidelines waiting for a moment of luck or confirmation that all would be great!

Over 2,000 years ago a Roman Senator by the name of Seneca said: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Why should I care if they pass that wealth onto whomever they delegate? Their wealth has been taxed at least once if not twice. And more importantly why should the government take even more of what they had already taxed? This does not make sense expect for those who continue to fuel the fires of wealth redistribution so that we are no longer a society where meritocracy is valued. Just look to the removal of valedictorian, salutatorian or even dodge ball if you disagree.

Today over in my Facebook page I shared a comment by Vince Lombardi who said: "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?"

His comment is a fair and accurate assessment of the human desire to win. Yet one person complained about the multi-million dollar paychecks. Possibly in some cases they are not deserved because they violated the law. If they did and were not prosecuted, then that is the fault of the voters who elected them. However in many cases, these folks worked hard, saved their hard earned dollars, made risks, possibly lost those dollars, worked even harder, took more risks and eventually got ahead of the game so to speak.

Life is full of greatness provided you see and are willing to work to achieve it. When anyone starts to focus on what others have done and then expect those who worked or benefited from the past results of others such as in inherited wealth, then this devalues the human condition.

For those who are of Jewish or Christian beliefs, when we envy the results of others we are violating the ninth and tenth commandments of coveting. It is not our place to covet what is not ours. If you want something that bad, then go out and work for it. Do not expect the government to take from those who have worked and give to you because you choose not to work or work as hard as necessary to get what you want.

Maybe the problem is a simple confusion between needs and wants. Even many who are poor in the US live far better than my grandparents lived back in the 1920's to mid 1960's where they still had an outhouse, washed and bathed in saved rain water and cooked on a wood burning stove. My grandmother believed she still had the best life. However by today's standards of not having a cell phone, not having a color plasma TV, not having a washing machine, not having a dishwasher, not having a car (she rode a bike until she died at the age of 84), she lived in abject poverty.

When people start complaining about what others have, I am going to start telling them stop with the class envy, wealth envy and results envy. If you are not happy with what you have, then take action to make your life better through your own results and not through the redistribution of wealth by others. Life is what you make of it. You either have an attitude of abundance and opportunity or scarcity and limitations.

P.S. Life is truly not fair not ever will be given each of us are unique human beings with different genes unless of course you are twins. So get over life being unfair and start making good choices based upon your own individual efforts and not look for others to bail your butt out or provide for your needs which are really wants in disguise.

Tags: Leanne Hoagland-Smith, editorial, class envy, results envy, wealth envy, redistribution of wealth, death tax To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!