Monday, June 30, 2008

The Cookie & The Ice Cream Sundae (A KB Opinion)

The Cookie & The Ice Cream Sundae (A KB Opinion)
Kevin Bryant
I wrote an opinion piece a few months back entitled: What Is Right With America? Since then I have come to the conclusion that there is even more wrong with America than I first realized. It all comes down to a few common denominators.

First off, America is about to select a president and over half the people that are going to be voting have no clue what the candidates stand for in regards to the issues of this election. Those that actually have a clue know what the problems are and what is going to be required to fix them. The other half is made up of those that fall into one of the categories listed below

1.) My daddy voted democrat; my daddy’s daddy voted democrat and by gosh I am too.
2.) I want change and Barrack Obama has promised that he is going to change Washington.
3.) Government owes me an above average lifestyle based solely on my birth right as an American.
4.) I Hate George Bush – I don’t know why exactly, but everyone tells me that all this mess is his fault.
5.) It’s about time we had a black man in the white house.

On one side we have John McCain. John McCain has the personality of an oatmeal cookie. He looks rough and has funny looking spots on him. Even though he is rough looking on the outside, he’s soft in the middle and kind of looks like every other cookie.

On the other side, there sits Barrack Obama. He’s more the ice cream sundae type. Looks that are smooth and inviting and give the appearance that it will be quite refreshing.

There they sit, side by side. One with great appeal and the other with hardly any appeal at all.

Now, you take the oatmeal cookies and the ice cream sundae and put them into the southwest Texas sun on an average August day and leave them out there all day. The ice cream sundae is going to be all melted and kind of gooey looking with little substance left but the banana that was buried under all that window dressing. But now you can’t even eat the banana because it is covered in spoiled milk from which the ice cream was made. A few feet away, you have the oatmeal cookie. The cookie wasn’t very attractive to look at a few hours ago and would never have been the choice for most people who had an option of picking and eating just one of them. But now, having faced the hardship of the environment, the oatmeal cookie still looks like the same oatmeal cookie and haven’t withered under the heat and suddenly looks quite appealing compaired to the banana with the smelly melted gooey mess all over it.

This is what we get to choose from come November. We can choose the rough looking plane old oatmeal cookie and know that we have chosen something with substance that isn’t going to change much from the manner in which it was formed, or do we choose the smooth and refreshing ice cream sundae with all the toppings even though we know that sooner or later, all that dressing melts away and it looks nothing like what it did just a short time before.

Unfortunately close to half Americans will choose Barrack Obama based solely on one of the 5 reasons I listed previously. He looks different, he talks different and he acts different. Deep down, there is nothing different about Barrack Obama. Same old liberal spewing out the same old garbage. The only thing new about Obama, he found a new way to spew that garbage.
A president shouldn’t be someone who is going to melt under pressure or is all dressed up to look attractive and appealing just to hide what is really inside.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The ABC's of Failure


The ABCs of Failure
HBO Filmmakers Went Back to School, And What They Learned Was Sobering
By Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, June 23, 2008; Page C01
The camera sweeps from the boarded-up and blighted buildings of West Baltimore, past the sign for Slick Rick's Bail Bonds and into the halls of Frederick Douglass High School, where every day, teachers struggle to mold reality to the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. There -- in ways evocative of HBO's "The Wire" -- teachers find themselves butting up against scant resources and no shortage of apathy, often facing troubled teenagers who refuse to go to class but who show up for school just the same.
Unlike "The Wire," however, "Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card," which airs tonight at 9 on HBO, is pure documentary. The Oscar-winning husband-and-wife filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond take a cinema verite approach to a year (2005) in the life of a school under siege.
"It's not an entertainment doc," Alan Raymond says in an interview. "It's not reality TV. It's not a feel-good documentary."
Unless Douglass's standardized tests improve in the wake of President Bush's 2001 act, the historically black school -- which counts among its alumni Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway -- faces sanctions or closure. And meeting the requirements is the most Sisyphean of tasks.
At the time of filming, many of the students read at an elementary school level. More than 500 freshmen matriculate each year yet only 50 percent return for their sophomore year. Only 10 percent passed the reading proficiency tests; math scores are at 1 percent. Some 67 percent of the teachers are not certified.
The statistics are bleak, but hardly unique to Douglass. As the Raymonds see it, Douglass is just a stand-in for the American public education system as a whole.
"Urban education is a moral tragedy in this country," Alan Raymond says. "It is a system of public education that has essentially abandoned a large portion of this country. . . . We all know where that leads. It leads to consequences."
Adds Susan Raymond: "If you're depressed [after seeing the documentary], it means that we've succeeded."
For 10 months, the Raymonds hung out at the school, recording every nuance: Principal Isabelle Grant, a Douglass graduate herself, patrolling the halls, stopping to hug a student or urging latecomers to class. Sparsely attended PTA meetings. Teachers scrambling to come up with basic supplies. A teacher describing how she struck a deal on the down low with a teacher at another school to score some much-needed textbooks: "I met her at the back door," she says.
Then there's Sharnae, a young aspiring rapper, describing her life at 16: "Home is a place where you lay your head. . . . I've been independent myself for five years. I don't know anyone living with their mother and father. . . . I wish my life was different."
There was a time when life at Douglass was different. Operating since 1883, it is one of the nation's oldest historically African American high schools -- a draw for Baltimore's best and brightest black students at a time when Jim Crow ruled the day. In one of life's little ironies, Marshall took Brown v. Board of Education to the Supreme Court, winning the case and desegregating schools across the country; with integration, the black middle class scattered to the suburbs, leaving inner city schools like Douglass behind. As Susan Raymond notes in a voice-over, Douglass "is once again separate and unequal."
The Raymonds initially weren't aware of Douglass's history. They had searched the country to find the right school with the right fit for their documentary. But it took a while before they could find a school willing to open its doors. "Access for this type of filmmaking is very hard to get," Alan Raymond says. "To tell a school board you want to be able to go into an urban school" and film everything "usually struck terror in the hearts of the people we asked."
As 30-year documentary veterans, the Raymonds know a little something about getting unrestricted access to their subjects. In the 1970s, they pioneered the first reality TV series, eavesdropping on the lives of the Loud family for PBS's "An American Family"; 10 million viewers watched the Louds' marriage crumble while coming to terms with their chronicling everything from divorce to a gay son's coming out. Over the decades, the Raymonds kept in touch with the Louds, filming their lives in "American Family Revisited" (1983) and "Lance Loud! A Death in an American Family" (2003). ("Hard Times," the Loud family series and documentaries were screened in their entirety at Silverdocs last week.) In 1994, the Raymonds won an Academy Award for another documentary tackling urban education: "I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School."
"We've been doing this a very long time," Susan Raymond says. "When we film, that's the fun part."
"Lots of fights in the editing room," Alan Raymond adds. "Big-time fights." (The Raymonds are based in Philadelphia and have a son, who is in college.)
On Friday, the Douglass High School marching band pranced through the streets of downtown Silver Spring, tubas blaring, drumline thumping, flag corps twirling the school's orange, blue and white colors, across Georgia Avenue and into the auditorium of the AFI Cultural Center for the world premiere of "Hard Times." Afterward, the audience cheered Grant, Douglass's beleaguered principal, who has since retired, and applauded Matt Lampart, a Douglass graduate featured in the film who's entering his junior year at Morgan State University.
" 'The Wire' painted in broad strokes what the school system is like," says Matt McDermott, a former English teacher at Douglass who became disillusioned and left the school during filming. "This filled in a lot of the facts."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More news on the global warming front

This week the Senate debated yet another climate-control bill, though it got yanked Friday morning. So much for “the most important issue facing the planet.” Touted by former Vice President and (lest we forget) Nobel laureate Al Gore, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act threatened to cripple the economy with higher energy costs and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. The bill called for a 70-percent reduction of greenhouse gases by capping the amount of carbon dioxide released by affected industries. Companies would receive emissions allowances that could be auctioned or traded on the open market, known as cap and trade.
Gov. Schwarzenegger claimed the bill and the “leadership of states such as California” would pave the way for national reform, while Boxer remains on the Bush-bashing bandwagon, blaming the administration for trying to destroy a solution to global warming. Apparently, neither has read the National Association of Manufacturers’ prediction that California will lose more jobs than any other state. Forecasts place Texas, Florida and Georgia among the hardest to be hit overall.
Supporters downplay costs using a speculative mix of conservation, expansion of energy alternatives such as solar, wind and carbon-free nuclear power, and the sale of emission-allowance credits. Bill Kovacs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce points out the folly of their reasoning: “What is currently drafted just isn’t realistic.” Kovacs added, “Among the bill’s many flaws, the business community recognizes that the necessary technologies aren’t currently available to meet the demands of the bill. So while we reduce the use of fossil fuels, what energy sources do we use to run the economy until we develop and deploy new technologies?”
Republicans used parliamentary tactics, such as having the clerk of the Senate read the entire 491-page bill on the floor over a 10-hour span, to derail the legislation. They also hammered Democrats for proposing what would amount to an increase in the price of gas just as it approaches $4 a gallon. Finally, some backbone.
Reprinted from Patriot Post (http://www.patriotpost.us/)

Monday, June 23, 2008

33 Senators Voted Against English as America 's Official Language on June 6, 2007. On Wed. 6 June 2007 23:35:23 - 0500 Colonel Harry Riley , USA ,Ret. wrote:

Senators:Your vote against an amendment to the immigration Bill 1348......to makeEnglish America's official language is astounding. On D-Day, no less, when we honor those that sacrificed in order to secure the bedrock, character and principles of America , I can only surmise your vote reflects a loyalty to illegal aliens. I don't much care where you come from. What your religion is.

Whether you're black, white, or some other color......male or female......
Democrat, Republican or Independent....... But I do care when you are a United States Senator representing Citizens of America .....and vote against English as the official language of the United States .Your vote reflects Betrayal. Political Surrender. Violates Your Pledge of Allegiance. Dishonors historical principle. Rejects Patriotism. Borders ontraitorous action and, in my opinion, makes you unfit to serve as a United States Senator........ Impeachment.......Recall........Or other appropriate action is warranted or worse.Four of you voting against English as America 's Official Language are Presidential Candidates: Senator Biden, Senator Clinton, Senator Dodd, and Senator Obama. Four Senators vying to lead America, but won't or don't have the courage to cast a vote in favor of "English" as America's Official Language when 91% of American Citizens want English officially designated as our language. This is the second time in the last several months this list ofSenators have disgraced themselves as "policital hacks"...... Unworthy asSenators and certainly unqualified to serve as President of the United StatesIf America is as angry as I am, you will realize a backlash so stunning it willliterally "rock you out of your boots"......... and preferably totally out of theUnited States Senate. The entire immigration bill is a farce.... youraction only confirms this really isn't about America ....it is about self-serving politics......despicable at best. It has been said:
"Never Argue with an Idiot.... “They'll drag you down to their level!"
The following Senators voted against making english official language of America :
Akaka (D-HI)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE) Wants to be President?
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Clinton (D-NY) Wants to be President? (GOD FORBID! )
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-MN) wants to be president
Domenici (R-NM) A coward. Protecting his senate seat
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WIN) Not unusual for him
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA) wanted to be president
Kohl (D-WI))
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT) Disappointment here.....
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL) Wants to be President? GOD FORBID!
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV) Senate Majority Leader (Dinghy Harry)
Sa Lazar (D-CO)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-M)

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale, and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged" !!! President Abraham Lincoln

It's funny but Senator John McCain's name isn't on this list

Friday, June 20, 2008

Vehicle idea of the future


Vehicle idea of the future
Al Ritter

Because of my background as an ASE certified mechanic for the first half of my life, and my continued hobby of cars and racing, people ask my opinion of where I think cars of the future are headed.

There is NO question that gasoline powered vehicles are becoming dinosaurs and rather quickly. The carbon-based fuel creates pollution, and to be honest doesn’t yield much energy vs. its quantity. Ethanol MIGHT be a transitional fuel additive, but not from corn as your government might want you to believe. The government program to use corn alcohol has to end and end now.

The government has subsidized corn ethanol production through oil company taxes, and what a poorly thought out program it has been. Any car racer knows that it takes twice the amount of alcohol to produce the same power as the same quantity as gasoline, making it not only inefficient but the nasty side effect has been more pollution.

When compared to other plant lifes as a possible source for the production of ethanol corn fails miserably. The yield per acre of ethanol for corn is one of the lowest of all plant forms. Saw grass is one of the most productive for alcohol production, eclipsing corn by close to 10 times, without causing food shortages! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. I view ethanol and the normal hybrids being produced today, as being “transitional” vehicle forms.

I don’t say this lightly, each have their respective drawbacks. Hybrids you say? Yes hybrids with the technology available today are transitional, because they burn gasoline to power an electric motor (somewhat more efficient then a regular car, but not the answer for the future.) Alcohol in its present form isn’t the most refined form of fuel either, contaminants are common in ethanol, and another nasty byproduct is a corrosive element to it. This might not be so much of a problem for carbureted engines, but we haven’t had them for over 15 yrs, which brings us to another problem.

Fuel Injected gasoline engines don’t like the addition of alcohol in the fuel because alcohol attracts moisture as in water, and modern electronic injectors HATE water!
Where does this leave us?

My Opinion:
The only fuel that will totally make our country fuel independent is hydrogen. Eventually when the politics are removed from the equation, people will begin to understand that hydrogen IS the fuel of the future. Technology exists RIGHT now to separate hydrogen from water…….yes WATER! We are 2/3 of the way to this transition being a reality. A patent exists right now and was sold to create (I know this is hard to believe) a new George Foreman grille! You load water into a holding tank and an electric process separates the hydrogen from the oxygen creating a fuel to burn for the grill. The only thing that is the sticking point is the cost of the electric to separate the two. Even so, can you imagine what a vehicle that never needs gasoline could save you in annual costs? Not only can water be used but also SEA WATER!

A new concept car has been built as “hydrogen fuel cell” vehicle, meaning that it IS still a hybrid, but instead of gasoline it burns hydrogen, but it is a HUGE improvement to what we have now. The eventual ending point to cars will be one that can convert water to burnable fuel, but as of right now the hydrogen fuel cell car is the next step to total fuel independence, in my humble opinion………lol.

http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Employment: For the Record

For the Record
Jerry Bowyer

“It wasn’t Bush, it wasn’t greedy corporations, or free trade, or history’s most over-predicted recession. It was not the oil companies, income inequality, or the excesses of cowboy capitalism. None of these things caused the unemployment rate to jump a half a percentage point in one month. Ask yourself a few questions: Why did unemployment surge at a time when unemployment compensation claims are historically low? More to the point, how could unemployment spike this much without a coinciding spike in corporate lay-offs? The answer to all of these questions is same: because very few people lost jobs last month. This huge jump in the size of the unemployed comes from new entrants to the economy—hundreds of thousands of them. In short, well over 600,000 people who were not job seekers in April became job seekers in May. And who starts looking for work at the end of Spring? That’s right—students. Hundreds of thousands of students are looking for work right now, and they’re not finding it. Congress is to blame. Last year Congressional Democrats (along with some Stockholm-Syndromed Republicans) passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which started a phased hike of the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. Free market economists warned them that this would increase unemployment—that rapid increases in unemployment compensation hit teens and minorities the hardest. But the class-warriors are running the people’s house now, and they would hear none of that, so they took to the floor, let loose the dogs of demagoguery, and saddled America’s pizza parlors, municipal swimming pools, house painting businesses and lawn mowing services with a huge cost increase. Now, we see the perfectly logical outcome of wage controls—rising unemployment among the most economically vulnerable.”

Reprinted from the Patriot Post (http://www.patriotpost.us/)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Experience vs. Judgment

I can remember when I was a kid, and applying for a job, and the store owner asked me what experience I had. I can remember being infuriated and thought the same thing every student thinks at one time or another. “How can I get experience when nobody will hire me?”

I can relate that experience to tie into the presidential campaign. Does John McCain have experience to be the president? McCain has the experience of being a POW in the Viet Nam Era, he has experience of being a pilot, he has long running experience of being a US Senator…..does he have experience to be president?…….of course not. Does Obama have experience to be president? Obama has experience of being an attorney, Obama has experience of being a state senator. Obama has experience working with local groups to help socioal programs of his community. …….does he have experience to be president?….of course not.

How can anyone express experience in a job they have never had? I’m sure if you ask all the past presidents, they would tell you the job they had was nothing like any job they ever had before, and if they were honest about the answer, they would admit they weren’t prepared at first to do that job.

If you don’t have experience, what is the next best thing to lead? Judgment is the single best thing that can prepare you to lead. Making good decisions, and admitting you need help in making those decisions is the sign for a good leader. One who surrounds himself with sound advice to inform him on issues that he has no prior experience is the mark of one who uses good judgment.

On the other hand, one who claims to have the answers to every question, claims to need no help, is the mark of a truly foolish person. One who claims to be the new messiah is nothing more then a true Narcissist.

Friday, June 13, 2008

One of my pet peeves

I was having lunch on Wednesday with one of my cohorts in crime (another conservative), and we were talking about the things in government that really light our candles. One such thing with me is the flawed system of the primary elections. I always thought I was the only one who was way out in left field on this one. (Did I just say left field?) I meant RIGHT field! Anyway, we were talking about how long, drawn out, and non-logical the primary election is. The time is long past I am afraid, where a “little guy” can be elected, and libertarians don’t write to me on this one I didn’t mean Ron Paul either. I think the Republicans, (the dems are on their own on this one), should have a nationwide primary election on the same day or two days maximum. Let ALL the people vote at once, so no states can decide early, on who the remaining states will have left to vote for. This would serve two very important purposes, #1 the PEOPLE would decide who the candidate will be, and not some deal brokered in some back room by shady politicians, but then I repeat myself. #2 a real politician of the people who doesn’t have much money in his war chest could actually have a chance at becoming the President. My friend laughed at me, and said that would return us to our roots, and did I think that would ever happen? Of course not, silly me……….I thought about bringing up another one of my pet peeves, but I’m sure term limits for congress might have gotten me laughed out of the restaurant. Logical thinking in government is truly an oxymoron now, it’s really sad to think it’s what our founding fathers wanted!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How the hell did we get here?

How the hell did we get here ?
(Giving credit where credit is due)

Sub-prime loans:

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977( Jimmy Carter Era) that claimed to prevent “redlining” (denying mortgages to black borrowers), by pressuring banks to make loans in poor to moderate income neighborhoods. Every time my cousin had to endure government audits and defend his position on the granting of what he considered to be “bad loans” his mood was somber to say the least. As he told me, “I was hired to make good decisions and make money for my investors, and yet the government is making the decisions on a certain number of loans, in trade for a silly rating system instituted by the government. During the Clinton era this act was made even more stringent through his “Welfare Reform Act”. Loyola College economist Thomas DiLorenzo said that, to insure that banks got a high government rating, they had to issue increasingly riskier loans to people who wouldn’t normally have even qualified for a mortgage. This combined with an over-inflated housing market (land and property), has now attributed to the tumbling of the house of cards of “sub-prime” loans. The rules are ridiculous by anyone with a shred of common sense…..lax underwriting standards, no down payment, and no verification of income, interest only payment plans, and weak or non-existent credit history.

Gas Prices:

Although the Democratic stance for the war in Iraq was for oil, they have lots of explaining to do about how they recently declared the Polar Bear as an “endangered species” to keep oil companies from drilling in Alaska even though the polar bears are no longer “endangered.” The Democratic Party keeps exclaiming how we need to find alternative energy sources, but yet won’t allow drilling in our own country, even though we can produce enough oil to be self-sufficient. They won’t allow new refineries to be built, even though we can’t refine the oil we produce presently. They haven’t allowed any nuclear power plants to be built in close to 30 years, even though the current technology allows the cleanest power to be produced by nuclear. Energy is available, and clean energy at that, but the democrats won’t allow it. How can we be self-sufficient when the democrats tie our hands as a country? Now Senator Obama seems to have adopted Senator Clinton’s idea of removing what they call “tax benefits” to large oil companies, thereby limiting their profits. Before removal of such “benefits” Exxon/ Mobil in the first quarter of 2008 made 12 million dollars in sales. The government taxed them 9.7 million in this same period. If we tax them more it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see they will merely pass along the price increase to us, but obviously the dems see that as “dumbing down the population” to appear as though they are for us……the little guy!

Osama Bin Laden:

When 9/11 happened some 100 days into George Bush’s presidency, the overwhelming conscientious (from the Bill Clinton administration) was that he was responsible for the horrible atrocity, even though President Bill Clinton was offered Bin Laden’s head on a platter numerous times. His concern revolved around the fact that his connections with the Saudi Royal family would have been compromised. Later the democrats claimed that George Bush had the connections with him. Because radical Muslim attacks started long before George Bush, in fact way back to the most embarrassing Presidency of Jimmy Carter, these actions were basically curtailed in President Regan’s term. Iran was afraid of Regan, as demonstrated by the release of the hostages within minutes of his Inauguration.

Iraq:

Most all the Democratic Party urged President Bush to invade Iraq, because of the threat of a threat of a nuclear program in the brewing, with the exception of Senator Obama, whom we know now wasn’t even a US Senator at that time. The information President Bush used to invade Iraq was collected and accumulated by the Clinton administration, and obviously President Bush should have been more diligent in collecting his own information. The fact that the Taliban was always in Iraq meant nothing to the Democrats, along with the fact that the military DID recover nuclear material after the invasion.


Health care:

The democrats have had a majority for the last 6 years to pass things into law but have been far busier trying to circumvent any and everything the President has tried to do. 41 challenges from Senator Reid alone to try to cut off funds to the armed forces. They have accused the Bush administration of not fixing the health care problems, yet they are the only ones who can sign bills into law. They have done NOTHING for the last 4 years to sign important bills into law. The only thing they seem to be able to do is attach Pork Barrel projects to important bills, and then place blame when the President vetoes it. Most of these bills have more money in pork then the original bill. They then blame the republicans and the president for not supporting a particular cause. The dems will never come to grips with the health care problem, because most of the PACS and special interests donate to the Democratic campaigns are lawyers who benefit immensely from litigations in medical malpractice cases.


Race relations:

It seems that Senator Obama has raised more questions about race then to help silence them. His relations with MANY Chicago ministers who have not only spewed racial hate speeches, but sexists ones as well, have served to sow a racial divide, and show that the people that surround Obama are showing the exact opposite that Obama wants to show as his “racial healing” stance. Rev Wright, Rev Moss, and Father Flagler, take your pick they all espouse hate.

Global Warming:

Al Gore is the lead in this alarmism that has invested his (hard earned?) money into convincing the public that the International Panel on Climate Change is correct in convincing us as a people that even though the scientific community as a whole is convinced that water vapor is responsible for 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the world. His speaking engagements to the tune of 5 Million a year and a company that he owns, that sells “carbon credits.” should be all that anyone needs to know about the farce that is being forced on our country to give the democrats yet another avenue for new taxes.

World Wide Income Redistribution:

Barack Obama has introduced a bill in Senate to substantially increase the United Nations’ Millennium Development Initiative, a far-reaching global welfare program. A history of 50 years of giving money to under-developed nations has shown to be a failure, but Senator Obama’s experience seems to be driving him to ignore the facts and push for the USA to designate .07 of the GDP to be divided by the United Nations to the poor nations of the world. You know the same organization known for corruption, and the very same crowd that supports the global warming alarmists. In just 6 short years, if passed, this bill will give 845 BILLION earned by American taxpayers to the UN, never to be seen again. We already give 15 billion a year to the UN for such grants, but the Democratic (eventual) nominee wants to increase that figure some 700 percent? We are already the country that gives the most of un-repaid aid in the world, and yet it seems that the democrats have run out of projects in our own country, and seek a better judge (UN) of economic aid. This Initiative also allows, once again, another “back door entry” to the Kyoto Protocol, the Law of the Sea Treaty, and most all of the previous UN previously initiated treaties, while disguised as a new plan. It really makes me wonder, when Obama only saw fit to vote 55 times out of two hundred times in the senate, and yet he has authored or co-authored some 573 bills since becoming a senator. It kind of makes you wonder if he thinks his agenda is somehow more important then any other senator’s. It appears to me to be nothing more then the conceit of a power hungry senator who wants to be our next president. Just to show what an idiot my senator from MD Barbara Mukulski is like, I wrote to her to express my opinion on this bill and this is what she replied to me. Obviously she is a co-conspirator on this bill with Obama.

I believe we do need to better manage what we are already spending. We also need to eliminate waste and inefficiencies in the aid, which we provide to foreign countries. That's why I am a cosponsor of the Global Poverty Act (S. 2433). This bill would require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade, debt relief, and coordination with the international community. This bill does not authorize any specific funding levels for aid programs and it does not give up any U.S. sovereignty to the UN - it would create a plan for U.S. programs run by the U.S. government.
I believe one of the priorities of our foreign aid efforts should be cost-effective programs that help the poor help themselves. We're already helping millions of people in many parts of the world, but we can achieve more results with a more comprehensive and coordinated plan.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. While we may disagree on this issue, knowing of your views is important to me. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance in the future.
There is nothing in our constitution that says we should be “sugar daddy” of the world, not a word about giving other countries our hard earned taxes. We don’t have anything that says we need to give charity (social programs) right here in our back yard and yet democrats continually give money away as if it grows on trees. Right now England takes almost 50% of their populations income, is this where we are headed?

In Conclusion:

A President’s position is largely over-rated, the real positions of power in our country, has to do with senators and congressmen. They hold the “elite status,” they make our laws they vote for self-entitlements, they work by different laws then we do as the masses. They have claimed they don’t have to adhere to term limits as other civil servants do. They have their own retirement plans, and don’t adhere to social security, they have their own health plans and thereby don’t really care if they fix these problems or not. Why do we allow this to continue? Why don’t we make them answerable to the will of the people? How have they amassed this power? They amassed this power because of the unbridled constraint of their positions. They are answerable to no one. They are above the law; they are always given the benefit of the doubt, in court, or in public opinion. We MUST take back our country from these people who think they are above the law. We need to replace the thought they all have, of “they will never throw us out,” because they have a history of being right. Close to 80% of incumbents get re-elected regardless of what they have done to their constituents. Our MD senators for years have assumed they are undefeatable. As far as I’m concerned senators and congress should be split down the middle in each state, half republican half democrat. A lopsided congress doesn’t do anyone any good. Politicians think we are stupid, are you willing to prove them right?

Monday, June 9, 2008

America Under Attack

AMERICA UNDER ATTACK
Kevin Bryant

There is not a day that America is not under attack. She is attacked on our southern border by the drug cartels and by illegals trying to gain access to this country. Islamic extremists attack her. She is attacked in the world press including some of our own news outlets. The environmentalist and the atheist attack her. She is even victim of attacks by viruses and bacteria brought into this country as well as the ones that are home grown.

Not during the Revolutionary War or even WWII has America been attacked so ferociously attacked and with such hatred for our way of life as it is being attacked right now from our very own congress.

They have successfully placed polar bears on the endangered species list even when they aren’t, virtually assuring that we never drill for oil in ANWR. They successfully passed ethanol mandates, driving up the price of food we eat. They passed tax rebates for many Americans knowing that they would have to borrow the money from China to pay for it further increasing our national debt.

There has been not one single action taken place in congress over the past 4 years that has actually benefited the average American family. The last one that comes to mind was the 2003 Bush Tax Cut. Instead, congress has set their agendas in support of special interest groups and force unnecessary, illogical, unproven and costly global warming initiatives down our throats.

Today’s politicians on both sides of the aisles have not learned the meaning of the term “public servant” and instead choose to embrace party politics. It is time for them to learn that they were not chosen to go to Washington solely for the purpose of supporting self-interest but rather to serve the general public as a whole and act in the public’s best interest.

Here in Kansas City, 2 of our elected congressional officials (Cleaver in the house and McCaskill in the senate) have continually shown that they support their party over their constituents time and again. I will not be voting for either of these candidates when it comes time for them to run for re-election. If you have the same problem with those that are supposed to be representing you, then I would suggest that it is time to send them back to the private sector and bring in someone who does understand that the people should always be placed ahead of their respective parties.

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton

Friday, June 6, 2008

Patriot Perspective


PATRIOT PERSPECTIVE
The right of the People... shall not be infringed
By Mark Alexander
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” —Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
There is no more important constitutional issue than that of defending the plain language and original intent of the Second Amendment.
Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by our Constitution’s principal author, James Madison, wrote in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
It is no small irony that the latest assault on the Second Amendment is taking place in our nation’s capital. The Supreme Court will announce its decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller in June, and that decision will likely have far-reaching implications for the “interpretation” of our Constitution’s most important provision.
And make no mistake, the newly-emboldened Left, with Barack Hussein Obama leading the charge, is gunning for those rights. Obama supports the D.C. regulations because he, “...wanted to make sure that local communities were recognized as having a right to regulate firearms... The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can’t initiate gun laws isn’t born out by our Constitution.”
Does he suggest, by extension then, that our national Constitution can be amended by judicial dictates and local ordinances?
Of course, in addition to serving on the Woods Fund board with Weather Underground terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Obama also served on the board of the Joyce Foundation, which since 2000, has given more than $15 Million to radical gun control organizations and is closely linked to the Soros Open Society Institute, which advocates a worldwide ban on civilian firearm ownership.
Indeed, the Second Amendment is “the palladium of the liberties of the republic,” and those who fail to support it as such, and reject detractors like Obama, do so at great peril to themselves and the liberty of future generations of Americans.
The subject of this dispute is the Washington, DC, “Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975,” which banned handguns and mandated that all other firearms, including shotguns and rifles, be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock,” ostensibly to deter so-called “gun violence.” D.C.’s FCRA actually prohibits a person who owns a legal handgun (pre-1976 grandfathered one) from transporting the handgun from one room to another in his or her own home.
Of course, suggesting that violence is a “gun problem” ignores the real problem—that of socio-pathology and the Leftists who nurture it. (See the Congressional Testimony of Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott, one of the children murdered at Columbine High School in 1999.)
Will that decision comport with the Constructionist view (original intent) of our Constitution, or will it be another adulterated interpretation of the so-called “Living Constitution”, the ACLU’s perverted distortion of our Constitution by its cadre of judicial activists?
It is our hope that the Court will affirm the ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that the District’s ordinance banning possession of handguns is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.
Though every constitutional constructionist knows that the Second Amendment assures an individual right to keep and bear arms, militias being the people, the ACLU’s “Living Constitution” mob argues that “the people” means “the state militia,” as outlined on the ACLU’s website under “Gun Control”: “We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias. ... The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns.”
Well, they may believe that, but in the inimitable words of Founder John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
It seems the lawyers at the ACLU are always viewing the First Amendment through a wide-angle lens, while they view the Second through a pinhole. Alas, they have it backwards.
In the 1788 Massachusetts Convention debates to ratify the U.S. Constitution, Founder Samuel Adams stated: “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
That same year, James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers (No. 46), “The ultimate authority... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition.”
Similarly, Federalist Noah Webster wrote: “Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state.”
To understand how the right to bear arms was understood in proper context as an individual right, consider some of the earliest state constitutional provisions both before and after the ratification of the Bill of Rights: Pennsylvania—That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state (1776); Vermont—[T]he people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State (1777); Kentucky—[T]he right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned (1792). Tennessee—[T]he freemen of this State have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defence (1796) and, Connecticut—Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state (1818).
These are not references to state guard units as the ACLU insists.
Though the Supreme Court rarely referenced the Second Amendment in the first hundred years of our nation’s existence, because its meaning was understood, in one early reference, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856), the Court noted, “It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union...the full liberty...to keep and carry arms wherever they went.” The implication is that the right to carry arms was considered to be universal right for U.S. citizens.
Of course, Washington, D.C. is not the only major city violating the Second Amendment. New York City has restrictive gun regulations, but consider this comment from Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College, from an 1821 commentary on American life: “In both New-England, and New-York, every man is permitted, and in some, if not all the States, is required to possess fire arms.”
Times have indeed changed, and not in the interest of liberty.
If you know some of those Chardonnay-sipping elitists who insist that guns should be banned, get them a few of these “Gun Free Household” stickers for their front and back doors.
Speaking of Chardonnay, here’s an interesting fact: Alcohol-related traffic deaths outnumber homicides with guns by a wide margin. In the latest year of record, there were 12,253 homicides with firearms (many of which involved alcohol) but 16,885 alcohol related highway fatalities. (Perhaps the ACLU should be fighting for a five-day waiting period to purchase alcohol?)
Here’s another inconvenient truth for the Leftist gun-grabbers: The U.S. ranks 41st in the world in homicides but first in the world in private gun ownership (39 percent of households). The firearm homicide rate in the United States was 4.17 per 100,000 in 2005. But Israel, which is awash in so-called “assault weapons,” has a total homicide rate of 2.62 per 100,000.
The National Institute of Justice estimates that Americans use firearms in self-defense approximately 2.73 million times per year. While firearms are used in 67 percent of illegal homicides in the United States, they are used in 99 percent of justifiable homicides. In other words, bad guys use guns sometimes, but good guys use guns almost all the time.
Put another way, smart guys protect their families with “Second Amendment Security”.
On this point, I would argue that gun ownership is not only a right, but a duty and obligation of all Patriots. After all, we are the Militia.
(For good reference pages on the Second Amendment, see Sources on the Second Amendment and Brief Amicus Curiae in DC v Heller, both by my colleague Eugene Volokh, Professor, UCLA Law School. Read Charlton Heston’s comments on the Second Amendment, 1997.)


Reprinted for Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Affirmative Action in the campaign?

I’d like to think, “affirmative action” hasn’t found it’s way into the presidential campaign, but I fear it has. Howard Dean (democratic screaming meme), and his merry band of the DNC, has deemed that the Florida and the Michigan count for the democrats will only be counted at half the amount the people have voted. Is this a joke or what? Barack Obama wasn’t even ON the Michigan ballot, and yet Hillary’s overwhelming victory in that state will only be counted as half, because of some date that the Democratic hierarchy has chosen to be the “formal date” to vote? I see the Florida Supreme Court has already voted not to hear the challenge from Hillary. You already know my stance on the campaign, but damned if I think ANYONE’S vote should be thrown in the trash, and it is my prediction that if the US Supreme Court has to make a decision on it, they will rule in favor of everyone’s vote being counted regardless on any other states ruling.

In my opinion this whole thing about not counting Michigan or Florida is crap, pure and simple! No party Dem or Republican should be allowed to make a decision NOT to count a single vote. Let the chips fall where they may, but don’t handicap one candidate over another. Those of you who know me already know that I’d be complaining if it were the Democrats or the Republicans. Howard Dean needs to count all the votes, not just the ones who favor his favorite candidate!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Trail of Tall Tales


Sen. Barack Obama has gained a fervent following by preaching messages of hope and change, but has a long campaign tethered him to the sphere of age-old politics? A series of statements on the stump suggest Obama is perfectly capable of joining the ranks of silver-tongued politicians.
1. Spiritual Adviser, April 29, 2008Non-truth: Obama told reporters at a news conference that his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was never his spiritual counselor.
“He was never my spiritual mentor. He was my pastor. And to some extent how the press characterized in the past that relationship, I think, was inaccurate,” Obama said.
Truth: During a June 5, 2007, speech at Hampton University, Obama introduced Wright by describing him as “the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me.”
Sources: CQ, Newsmaker Transcripts, Special Events April 29, 2008; “Obama Says White House Ignores ‘Quiet Riot’ Among Blacks,” CBS2Chicago.com, June 5 2007.
2. Jeremiah Wright, April 16, 2008Non-truth: During a March 14 interview with FOX News, Obama said he was never in church when his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, made the now infamous sermons during which he proclaimed “God damn America” and asserted that the U.S. brought on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with its own “terrorism.”
“None of these statements were ones I had heard myself personally in the pews,” Obama said, calling the sermons “unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Truth: During a March 18 speech Obama said, “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” He added, “The remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial … they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country.”
Nearly one month later, on April 16, Obama told a group of Jewish leaders in Philadelphia that he “did not become aware of [Wright’s statements] until I started running for president,” implying that he did not hear the remarks while he “sat in church.”
Sources: “Obama Rejects Sermons from Pastor Who Was Like an Uncle,” FOXNews.com, March 14, 2008; “Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, ‘A More Perfect Union’” barackobama.com, March 18, 2008; “Obama Tells Philadelphia Jewish leaders He Would Not Sit Down With Hamas,” Obama speech, pool report, April 16, 2008.
3. Selma Voting-Rights March, March 5, 2007Obama told an audience at a Selma Voting Rights March commemoration that during this historic civil rights event in 1965 “there was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma.”
Non-truth: He said his parents “got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama.”
Truth: Obama was born in 1961 — four years before the 1965 Selma march occurred. He later clarified his remarks, saying, “I meant the whole civil rights movement.”Sources: “Sen. Obama Delivers Remarks at Selma Voting Rights March Commemoration, Selma, Ala.,” Newsmaker Transcripts, March 4, 2007; “Clinton and Obama Unite, Briefly, in Pleas to Blacks,” The New York Times, March 5, 2007.
4. Lobbyist Money, April 12, 2008Non-truth: During campaign speeches, Obama frequently makes the contention that “I’m the only candidate who doesn’t take money from corporate PACs and lobbyists.”
Truth: Obama has raised nearly $14 million from lawyers and lobbyists. In October, Obama raised about $125,000 at a fundraising event in the Washington offices of Greenberg Traurig, the law firm that once employed convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Obama has sought to draw a distinction between “lawyer advocates” and “lawyer lobbyists,” but some non-partisan experts see that as “a distinction without a difference,” as they both operate as special interests.
Sources: “Full Text of Obama’s Speech to the Alliance for American Manufacturing,” Time.com, April 14, 2008; “Obama Draws Fine Line Between Lobbyists, Lawyer Donors,” Newsday, April 12, 2008.5. Nuclear Legislation, Dec. 30, 2007During a campaign event in Newton, Iowa, Obama touted his sponsorship of a bill in the Senate that required nuclear power plant owners to notify authorities immediately of all radioactive leaks, no matter how small.
Non-truth: That was “the only nuclear legislation that I’ve passed” he told the crowd.
Truth: Obama had rewritten the bill to ease its passage and removed the language requiring the reporting of leaks. The bill died when it reached the full Senate, and did not pass as he claimed.
Source: “Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate,” New York Times, Feb. 3, 2008.6. Law Professor, March 30, 2008Non-truth: During a campaign fundraiser in Tallahassee, Fla., in March 2007, Obama spoke of his time as a “constitutional law professor” at the University of Chicago, “which means unlike the current president, I actually respect the Constitution.”
Truth: Obama never held a professor position at the University of Chicago. The university said he was a lecturer and taught courses to students at the law school, but “did not hold the title of professor of law.”
Sources: “Obama: Bush Fails to Respect the Constitution,” Associated Press, March 30, 2007; “No ‘Professor’ Obama at U. of C,” Chicago Sun-Times, March 30, 2008.
7. Life Magazine Claims in Obama’s Autobiography, March 25, 2007In his 1995 autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” Obama cited a copy of Life magazine as having stirred a racial awakening in him.
Non-truth: He wrote that when he was 9 years old, living in Indonesia, he flipped through Life magazine and read an article about a black man who had scarred and ruined his skin applying chemicals that promised to make his skin white. “I imagine other black children, then and now, undergoing similar moments of revelation,” he wrote.
Truth: No article or pictures exist of any such story, according to Life historians. When questioned about the mix-up, Obama couldn’t name the specific magazine in which he read the article.
Source: “The Not-So-Simple Story of Barack Obama’s Youth,” Chicago Tribune, March 25, 2007.
8. Obama’s Fluency, March 25, 2007Non-truth: Obama has claimed on numerous occasions that, as a boy growing up in Indonesia, he was fluent in the country’s language. “It had taken me less than six months to learn Indonesia’s language, its customs, and its legends,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.”
Truth: His first-grade teacher in Jakarta said he struggled with the language, needing help with pronunciation and vowel sounds, and teachers and friends remembered him as a being a quiet boy as a result of his difficulties.
Source: “The Not-So-Simple Story of Barack Obama’s Youth,” Chicago Tribune, March 25, 2007