Friday, August 29, 2008

The Senator from MBNA

The Senator from MBNA

From the past, a look at Joe Biden's connections.

By Byron York

Whitehouse Correspondent of the National Review Online

NOTE — Barack Obama's choice of Joseph Biden as his running mate is likely to bring up lots of old stories about the long-time senator from Delaware. In 1998, someone called me to talk about the sale of Biden's house, which had been a minor issue in his reelection campaign two years earlier. But when I traveled to Delaware, I found there was more to it than met the eye, and it was just part of Biden's close, intertwined relationship with MBNA, the giant credit-card company based in his home state. (MBNA was bought by Bank of America in 2006.) This is the story from The American Spectator in 1998: In the 1996 campaign, a Republican businessman named Raymond J. Clatworthy challenged Joseph Biden's run for a fifth term as senator from Delaware. By many accounts, Clatworthy ran a hapless, hopeless race. He tried to portray Biden as a soft-on-crime liberal. It didn't work. He tried to portray Biden as a big-government tax-and-spend liberal. That didn't work, either. He even brought in Hollywood GOP icon Charlton Heston to campaign for him in all three of Delaware's counties. Still no luck; the popular Biden maintained a strong lead in the polls going into election day.Despite his frustration, Clatworthy stuck to the issues. He had to; early in the race, he had vowed to stay away from personal attacks. Then, less than two weeks before election day, one of Clatworthy's campaign consultants ran a so-called "push poll" in which campaign workers call voters ostensibly to learn their opinions but in truth to spread damaging information about the candidate's opponent. Clatworthy's callers said that earlier in the year Biden had sold his house to a top executive of the Delaware-based credit card company MBNA. The price, they said, was twice the home's value, suggesting that MBNA had bought off Biden as well as his house.

Biden disputed the claim and provided the local paper, the Wilmington News-Journal, with an appraisal of the house fixing its value at $1.2 million—exactly the price that the MBNA executive, a man named John Cochran, had paid. The home deal, it appeared, was on the up-and-up. Biden called the accusation "immoral and unethical," and in short order the whole thing blew up in Clatworthy's face. The Delaware state Republican chairman called Clatworthy's campaign "crazy" to suggest that Biden had sold his house in a sweetheart deal. Clatworthy's press secretary told the News-Journal that the home sale was "not an issue we're going to deal with in this campaign." And Clatworthy was forced to fire the consultant who came up with the idea.It is perhaps not necessary to add that Clatworthy lost big when election day came around. Biden captured 60 percent of the vote, and Clatworthy returned to his businesses in Dover. According to the pundits and pollsters, the episode left many in Delaware with a strong distaste for negative politicking; at the very least, it seems unlikely that anything like the Biden house caper will be repeated anytime soon.

But as much as he bungled the issue, it turns out Clatworthy was on to something: Biden and MBNA have indeed developed a pretty cozy relationship. John Cochran, the company's vice-chairman and chief marketing officer, did pay top dollar for Biden's house, and MBNA gave Cochran a lot of money—$330,000—to help with "expenses" related to the move. A few months after the sale, as Biden's re-election effort got under way, MBNA's top executives contributed generously to his campaign in a series of coordinated donations that sidestepped the limits on contributions by the company's political action committee. And then, a short time after the election, MBNA hired Biden's son for a lucrative job in which, according to bank officials, he is being groomed for a senior management position.Of course, lots of members of Congress have intimate ties to corporations in their states or districts. And lots of companies encourage their employees to make big campaign contributions (MBNA has given more to some Republicans than it gave to Biden). And certainly lots of children of influential parents end up in very good jobs. But the Biden case is troubling because all those ingredients come together in one man—along with a touch of hypocrisy. After all, this is a senator who for years has sermonized against what he says is the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Joe's Money Crunch
It has become a minor ritual each year in Washington: political observers scan the latest financial disclosure reports from Capitol Hill and marvel at how many members of the Senate are millionaires. The list is headed by names like Kennedy and Rockefeller, but it also includes lawmakers like McCain, Helms, and Murkowski. In all, at least 39 of the 100 members of the Senate qualify for membership in the millionaires' club.Joe Biden isn't one of them. Even though he has an income that is impressive by outside-the-Beltway standards—a senator's salary is $133, 600 a year—Biden has struggled financially over the years. In his 1995 disclosure report, for example, Biden's liabilities appeared to outweigh his assets. On the positive side, he had between $1,000 and $15,000 in an account at the U.S. Senate credit union and another $1,000-$15,000 in the Delaware state pension plan (disclosure forms do not require senators to reveal exact figures). Biden's largest asset, valued at between $15,000 and $50,000, was six life insurance policies with the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance company.

On the liabilities side, Biden had a loan of between $15,000 and $50,000 from the Senate credit union, plus another loan of between $15, 000 and $50,000 against the cash value of those Connecticut Mutual policies. He also owed between $15,000 and $50,000 on a line of credit from the Beneficial National Bank in Wilmington (he had just that year paid off a loan of between $1,000 and $15,000 with the Delaware Trust Company). And he co- signed two loans totaling between $100,000 and $250,000 for his sons' college educations. Biden would have had a negative net worth were it not for the value of his home. Although disclosure rules do not force senators to list the value of their personal residences, Biden chose to include a letter noting his "good faith estimate" that he had between $500,001 and $1,000,000 in equity in his home. Of course, to get that money he would have to sell the house, a lovely old mansion on three and a half acres of what used to be a du Pont family estate outside Wilmington. Biden bought the house in 1975 but had been thinking on-and-off about selling it for years; he almost sold it before his disastrous run for the presidency in 1988. But the deal didn't happen until MBNA came along.

Not too many years ago, MBNA was a relatively minor player in the credit card business. Today, it is the second-largest issuer of Visa and Mastercards in the country, and some analysts believe it will eventually overtake Citicorp to become the nation's biggest credit-card bank.MBNA president Charles Cawley created his company's extraordinary success by focusing on something called the "affinity card" business. The idea is simple: MBNA markets cards to people who identify with groups or organizations to which they belong. Members of the National Education Association, for example, can get an NEA credit card—issued by MBNA. Fans of the Green Bay Packers can get a green-and-gold team card. Even luxury auto enthusiasts can get an MBNA-issued Jaguar owners card. MBNA has invented hundreds of different affinity cards and is always coming up with more. "They are the affinity business," says Franklin Morton, a Chicago-based analyst who tracks MBNA's fortunes. "They created the concept, they figured out how to market the hell out of it, and before anybody else figured out how to do it, they owned it."MBNA's success has bred an extraordinary corporate culture, almost a cult of Cawley. "Many of the people in management and skill positions work very long hours," says one observer. "They seem very committed, very dedicated to Cawley." Others note that top officers all live close to each other, and MBNA encourages them to display the outward signs of success, like houses, clothes, and cars. "There's a stress on putting your best foot forward," another observer says. "Appearances matter." But MBNA is perhaps best known for another corporate personality trait: its extravagant spending.

One recent profile in Barron's magazine called Cawley & Co. " plastic emperors." Certainly they pay themselves royal salaries. According to documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in 1996 Cawley received a compensation package worth about $6.6 million, a figure significantly higher than that of chief executives at other credit card firms. (MBNA's chairman, Alfred Lerner, is less active in the company's affairs than Cawley; he received $6.4 million.) John Cochran received compensation of nearly $4.3 million. Two other top executives topped the $3 million mark.And they spend as much on their toys as they do on their salaries. According to Barron's, the company maintains an extensive collection of antique automobiles, plus four Lear jets, plus two Gulfstream jets, plus a private golf course. There's also a warm-weather hideaway in Boca Raton and MBNA's "summer headquarters" in Camden, Maine, where Cawley has bought a $2.75 million home on the waterfront. "Moored in Camden's picturesque harbor," Barron's reports, "you can see MBNA's classic yacht, Affinity; its state-of-the-art cruiser, Impatience; as well as its snazzy sportfishing boat, So Far So Good and its power launch, Deliverance."

MBNA was originally based in Maryland, but in the 1980s moved to Delaware to take advantage of that state's more liberal interest laws. Almost all of Cawley's team of top executives moved to the Wilmington area, but John Cochran stayed behind at his home in northern Maryland, commuting to the company's new headquarters. It appears that was not a workable long-term arrangement; by many accounts, Cawley wants his top aides close to him and to the office. According to MBNA officials, the company asked Cochran to move to Delaware.At the same time, Biden was looking for a buyer for his house. How the two got together is not clear. When asked, an MBNA spokesman declined to offer any details, saying only, "That's a very personal question." However it happened, in February 1996 Cochran bought Biden's house for $1.2 million.The price was not twice the home's value, as Raymond Clatworthy's pollsters claimed, but there is evidence to suggest it was a pretty darned good deal for Biden.The appraisal that Biden gave the News-Journal during last year's campaign—showing that the house was worth $1.2 million—was done several years earlier, at the time Biden took out loans for his sons' education. In January 1996, as the purchase deal was under way, another appraisal was made, also putting the house's value at $1.2 million. A spokesman for Cochran provided TAS with a copy of that appraisal.

It is customary for appraisers to evaluate homes in relation to similar properties in the area, or "comparables." In the case of Biden's house, the appraiser compared the home to another large old house about a quarter of a mile away. That house—which was in similar condition—was judged to be worth $1,013,000. It sold in August 1995 for $800,000 (it should be noted that the house did not have a pool, which Biden's does; on the other hand the house had central air conditioning, which Biden's did not, and it was on a larger lot). The appraiser also looked at two other newer houses in the area. One was appraised at $1,230,000 and sold for $1,007,500. The other was appraised at $1,163,000 and sold for an even $1 million. In all three cases, the homes sold for a good deal less than their appraised value. In comparison, it appears Cochran simply paid Biden's full asking price. And, according to people familiar with the situation, the house needed quite a bit of work; contractors and their trucks descended on the house for months after the purchase.A spokesman for Biden says there was nothing out of the ordinary in the purchase. "Senator Biden sold his house in Delaware at the appraised value," the spokesman said. "That's a matter of public record." An MBNA spokesman says the same thing. "There was an independent appraisal done by Mr. Cochran's mortgage company," the spokesman says. "That appraisal was equal to the sales price."

It appears that MBNA indirectly helped Cochran buy the Biden house. According to a statement in the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission—in which it is required to detail the compensation of top officers—in 1996 MBNA reimbursed Cochran $330,115 for expenses arising from the move. The statement says $210,000 of that was to make up for a loss Cochran suffered on the sale of his Maryland home. An MBNA official declined to comment on the payment.Was the home sale a sweet deal for Biden? If you talk to people involved in real estate in the Wilmington area, you'll quickly find that few want to approach the question. "I wouldn't touch that with a ten- foot pole," said one agent. Another declined to say anything. And a third agent said only, "In my opinion, (Cochran) overpaid." None wanted to be identified by name.

A few months after the sale, during the 1996 senatorial race, MBNA cemented its ties to Biden when company employees began showering him with campaign contributions. According to Federal Election Commission records, MBNA became by far Biden's biggest single source of contributions. Company employees gave him $62,850 in the 1996 cycle, while the second-biggest contributor gave just $21,000.Judging by the timing of the contributions, it appears that there was a concerted effort among top MBNA executives to support Biden. For example, according to Federal Election Commission records, on April 16 MBNA executive vice-president and chief technology officer Ronald Davies sent in $1,000.Kenneth Boehl, another top executive, also sent in $1,000 on the 16th. And senior vice-president Gregg Bacchieri. And William Daiger, another executive vice-president. And David Spartin, the vice-chairman and company spokesman.The next day, April 17, vice-chairman and chief financial officer Scot Kaufman sent $1,000, as did Bruce Hammonds, MBNA's vice-chairman and chief operating officer. And John Hewes, senior executive vice-president of MBNA's credit division. And vice-chairman and chief administrative officer Lance Weaver. On April 18, MBNA general counsel John Scheflen sent in $1,000. On April 20, group president David Nelms sent in $1,000, as did vice-chairman Vernon Wright. On April 22, John Cochran sent in $1,000. So did senior executive vice-president Peter Dimsey. And finally, on April 26, Charles Cawley sent in his $1,000.

The law allows individuals to give $1,000 to a candidate during the primary phase of a campaign and another $1,000 during the general election phase. Once the primary contributions had been made, MBNA's second wave of donations appeared in late August. On the 25th, Gregg Bacchieri gave another $1,000. On August 27, John Cochran sent in his $1,000, as did William Daiger and another top official, Robert Desantis. On the 28th, Ronald Davies sent $1,000, along with Bruce Hammonds and David Nelms. On the 29th, David Spartin sent in his $1,000, as did Vernon Wright and Kenneth Boehl (Boehl's wife Kathleen also sent in another $1,000 on the 29th). On the 30th, John Scheflen sent his $1,000.The contributions fit an established MBNA pattern. In 1995, the Wilmington News-Journal reported that Scheflen wrote a memo to top staffers advising them to make specific contributions during the 1994 campaign. According to the paper, the memo "advised MBNA executives which candidates to give to, how much to give and when to give it—and to send photocopies of their checks to the bank's general counsel." Scheflen reportedly sent a follow-up memo asking to be informed in writing if an employee decided not to give. If you do not plan to make any suggested contributions," Scheflen wrote, "I would appreciate it if you would so note."The practice is known as "bundling," and it is something that troubles campaign finance watchdogs. "When you bundle the individual contributions," says Ellen Miller of the public interest group Public Campaign, "you can give more than with a political action committee." And the practice raises another question: Are the contributions truly voluntary? " When you do it in the workplace, many people feel there are unwritten rules, and certain pressures that can be applied with a wink and a nod," says Kent Cooper of another public interest group, the Center for Responsive Politics. " You might feel coerced into giving."

MBNA officials say there was no such coordination or coercion in the 1996 Biden contributions. When asked why many top executives contributed the same amount at the same time, spokesman David Spartin responded, "We all know each other very well. We all talk among each other, and made our contributions."Such help is particularly valuable for Biden, a longtime advocate of campaign finance reform, because Biden does not accept money from political action committees. He has also been a vocal critic of bundling. The practice makes a politician beholden to rich companies, Biden said during a debate on finance reform in 1993. "You are much less indebted to the 200 electricians who gave you two bucks apiece," Biden said, "than you are to the 50 du Pont family members who gave $2,000 apiece." (In 1996, du Pont contributions to Biden were dwarfed by those from MBNA.) When asked about Biden's acceptance of MBNA contributions, a spokesman for the senator would say only that Biden "is proud of the support he has received from the business community in Delaware.

A few weeks after Biden was re-elected in November 1996, there came yet another tie between the senator and MBNA when the company hired Biden's son Hunter (the younger Biden is a Yale Law School graduate who was admitted to the bar this year). MBNA officials seem delighted with their new executive."Hunter Biden is an outstanding young man," a bank spokesman says. "We're very fortunate to have him here at MBNA."Beyond that, the company is not eager to talk. First, a spokesman declined to discuss Biden's salary. Then, when asked what young Biden is doing for the bank, the spokesman paused and said, "That's not something we get into details on." When pressed, the spokesman said, "He's a talented young guy that we are grooming for a management position." The spokesman said Hunter Biden has been "moving around the bank" as part of his introduction into the business. Hunter Biden himself declined to discuss his salary or his job.

In 1993 Joe Biden, along with fellow senators John Kerry and Bill Bradley, sponsored a campaign finance bill that would have, among other things, sharply limited the influence of political action committees and the practice of bundling. In March of that year, Biden appeared before the Senate Rules Committee to testify on behalf of his proposed reforms. He was openly critical of other bills that would have imposed less severe restrictions. Such moderate measures, Biden said, were "like moderate chastity. There ain't no such thing."Then Biden told the committee about an experience he had in 1972, during his first run for the senate. He was just 29, with a chance to become the second-youngest senator in American history. But he needed some quick cash for campaign ads. Looking for support, he visited a group of rich businessmen.Biden said they asked him, "Joe, what's your position on capital gains?" Biden said he knew what to say to get the donations he desperately needed. I knew the right answer for $20,000," Biden said. "I knew the right answer for $30,000. I knew the right answer for $40,000." But as Biden tells the story, he wouldn't say what the fat cats wanted to hear, and went away with nothing. It was a tough call, one that could have cost him the election. But Biden said he learned an important lesson about "the manner in which money corrupts."It might be interesting to hear the young Joe Biden's reaction to a case that would arise twenty-five years later. A top executive of a rich and spendthrift company buys the home of a financially strapped senator, paying a generous price. After that, virtually the entire top management of the company gets together in a coordinated campaign to donate money to the senator, getting around campaign contribution limits. And then, after the senator is re-elected, the company hires the senator's son.What's the right answer for that?

And now you know, the rest of the story……

I had a friend email me last week about a claim that to be quite frank I considered to be BS. As I do with most all off the wall claims, I searched the Internet and various sources to confirm this outlandish story, or to disclaim it.

Let’s pose a question to start this off. If I was a presumptive nominee for the highest office in the United States, and I wanted to promote and enamor myself to the people of Europe, how could I accomplish that? How could I get a massive amount of people to collect in one place to hear me speak?

In America we were led to believe that Barack Obama had 200,000 youths appear in Tiergarten Park, Germany, to hear him speak, about change and the world stage as he sees it.

Now let’s hear the real story that the left leading media NEVER reported.

Barack Obama funded a rock concert in Germany, featuring the wildly popular rock group “Reamonn”, that can fill a paid venue with no problem, and a reggae artist by the name of “Patrice.” The progression was very calculated, Patrice opened the event, and Obama spoke in between the two acts to captivate the audience for 30 minutes while he plied them with free beer, brats, and free entertainment.

The attached poster appears on Obama’s bi-ligual page on his website, it cleverly shows no names of the bands, but proclaims it was funded by the Obama campaign.

Now for a personal observation, the right claims that the crowds were there for Obama, but my question is….”If they were there for Obama exclusively, why did he need two bands to sandwich on either side of his speech, and why would he need to give them free beer and food?” I think we know the real story!

I couldn’t believe this was the REAL story behind all the hoopla in Germany on July 24, 2008, but much has come out about this some 30 days later. The left leaning media had done an excellent job of covering this up, but now YOU know the rest of the story, and how devious this man can be…………….

Obama with German Band Reamonn
“My colleagues in the national media are absolutely biased, in the tank supporting the Obama candidacy while claiming the mantle of objectivity.” —CNN’s Lou Dobbs

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Ad the Obama campaign is fighting to keep us from seeing

A group called the American Issues Project has paid to produce an ad about William Ayres from the Weather Underground, and personal friend of Barack Obama. Senator Obama’s campaign was hatched in Mr Ayres’ home. Obama’s campaign has contacted the Dept. of Justice to investigate campaign finance laws on the funding of this group. Please view the ad they don’t want you to see.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


By: Kevin Bryant

Is it just me or have a lot of you seem to notice that Obama wants everyone to believe that he is the second coming of JFK?

If this is a set plan by the Obama campaign, then I truly believe that JFK is not only rolling over in his grave but he’s more likely to be turning cart wheels in there. It’s true that Kennedy was a member of the Democratic Party, and didn’t have much experience holding a national office when he won the white house, but that folks is where the similarities end. If Kennedy were alive today, he’d be looking around wondering where his party went.

Kennedy initiated one of the largest tax reductions on the tax paying working class in the history of the United States. Obama wants to increase taxes on the paying working class in larger amounts than Kennedy reduced them.

Kennedy was a man of vision who could think for himself. Obama is a messenger of the and DailyKos and spreads their vision of how things should be.

If Kennedy were alive today, I believe he would be a republican. Obama is alive today and he is so far left, he bypasses democrats and is himself a socialist.

Kennedy’s speeches were original and they held meaning. Obama’s speeches are primarily resurrections of Kennedy speeches with a more modern twist and he really doesn’t seem to care a thing about what they say so long as he gets favorable press from them.

Kennedy was a leader. Obama is a puppet.

Under Kennedy, the economy maintained steady growth. If Obama is elected, the economy as it stands now will seem like prosperous times compared to what will happen.

The second coming of Kennedy, I DON’T THINK SO.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Obama/ Biden

Obama’s choice for the Vice Presidential spot brings up some serious questions. Last year Biden said that he wasn’t interested in the VP spot, and he would turn it down to stay the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. What has changed since then? Obviously Joe Biden didn’t expect Barack Obama to win the Democratic Nomination, or he might not have said such a thing last year.

Another thing that raises questions is……..If Barack has used one theme over and over in his campaign it has been…….”I’ve always been against the war in Iraq.” Now if Obama has picked his VP for his experience in foreign relations, he is going to have a hard time explaining Biden’s support of the war. The fact that Biden later flip-flopped his stance only confuses the matter.

Obama has identified himself as the candidate of change, one who is on the proverbial "outside" of Washington, and yet has picked for a VP one of the longest serving senators (35 years.) Who kind of message does this send?

If Obama has in fact picked his VP to firm up his lack of experience in foreign affairs, why would a voter chose to vote for his ticket when the second guy has more experience then the main man?

Biden has said that he changed his opinion of the war, saying that Bush lied and led us into it fraudulently. He hopes that the American people have forgotten that the information that President Bush used to make the decision for war was collected by his predecessor President Clinton. A bi-partisan senate committee investigated the manner in which Bush made his decision to attack Iraq, and found NO wrong doing. It was certainly amusing to see all the past video clips of senate and congressional representatives making a case to attack Iraq. In all fairness though Senator Clinton backed the war then and backs the war now.

Senator Biden has the uncanny ability to say the wrong things at the wrong time. When my son graduated from the University of Delaware, Senator Joe Biden spoke at the commencement exercises. Rather then speaking about the hope of these freshly graduated students, he chose to speak about the very war in Iraq he voted in favor of. This was when he had just changed his view. It might have been different if he had been speaking to his constituents in Delaware, but students in a University are a microcosm of America. It was quite evident the parents of these students didn’t appreciate the ranting tirade of Joe Biden either, as about half of them walked out! This clearly showed that Biden’s judgement was over shadowed by his need to be “right.”

Another interesting item for discussion is how will Biden explain his previous overwhelming support of John McCain. He has never voiced the same such support for Barack Obama.

It will be interesting to see what Biden’s take on Obama’s rather public stance on abandoning the Iraqi war in favor of attacking Pakistan and Afghanistan, while holding a hair trigger on Iran.

Friday, August 22, 2008



Wikipedia defines terrorism as follows:

Terrorism is "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion."[1] There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism.[2][3] Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war.

Terrorism is also a form of unconventional warfare and psychological warfare. The word is politically and emotionally charged,[4] and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. One 1988 study by the US Army found that over 100 definitions of the word "terrorism" have been used.[5] A person who practices terrorism is a terrorist

They go on to list key criteria as follows:

Psychological impact and fear – The attack was carried out in such a way as to maximize the severity and length of the psychological impact. Each act of terrorism is a “performance,” devised to have an impact on many large audiences. Terrorists also attack national symbols to show their power and to shake the foundation of the country or society they are opposed to. This may negatively affect a government's legitimacy, while increasing the legitimacy of the given terrorist organization and/or ideology behind a terrorist act.[12]

Perpetrated for a political goal – Something all terrorist attacks have in common is their perpetration for a political purpose. Terrorism is a political tactic, not unlike letter writing or protesting, that is used by activists when they believe no other means will effect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure is seen as a worse outcome than the deaths of civilians. This is often where the interrelationship between terrorism and religion occurs. When a political struggle is integrated into the framework of a religious or "cosmic"[13] struggle, such as over the control of an ancestral homeland or holy site such as Israel and Jerusalem, failing in the political goal (nationalism) becomes equated with spiritual failure, which, for the highly committed, is worse than their own death or the deaths of innocent civilians.

Disguise – Terrorists almost invariably pretend to be non-combatants, hide among non-combatants, fight from in the midst of non-combatants, and when they can, strive to mislead and provoke the government soldiers into attacking the wrong people, that the government may be blamed for it. When an enemy is identifiable as a combatant, the word terrorism is rarely used.

They also go on to describe outlets for terrorists:

Media exposure may be a primary goal of those carrying out terrorism, to expose issues that would otherwise be ignored by the media. Some consider this to be manipulation and exploitation of the media.[59] Others consider terrorism itself to be a symptom of a highly controlled mass media, which does not otherwise give voice to alternative viewpoints, a view expressed by Paul Watson who has stated that controlled media is responsible for terrorism, because "you cannot get your information across any other way". Paul Watson's organization Sea Shepherd has itself been branded "eco-terrorist", although it claims to have not caused any casualties.

The mass media will often censor organizations involved in terrorism (through self-restraint or regulation) to discourage further terrorism. However, this may encourage organisations to perform more extreme acts of terrorism to be shown in the mass media.
Lord Vader without his helmet

With all the definitions being explained, is it out of line to suggest that Al Gore has perpitrated an act of terrorism on the American peole? He readily admitted that it was perfectly acceptable to over-estimate the severity of Global Warming to shock the people into listening to his “point of view.”

If this is entirely acceptable for him, what exactly is the difference between Al Gore talking about “man- made” global warming and how it represents a preponderance of evidence when 33,000 scientists have now signed on reject not only his theories but the very data gathering, explaination, computer modeling, and the conclusions of the United Nations formed IPCC panel formed to institute political policies rather then to explain climatic changes, and say a man standing in a dark theatre and screaming, “FIRE”?

If the intent of terrorism is to inflict fear for a political gain, why hasn’t Al Gore been charged? Seems simple to me but then again what do I know?..........Al

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When will Gov. O’Malley get it right?

The three Amigos of tax reform

Governor O’Malley’s attempt to rob Maryland taxpayers has once again back fired after his “windfall profits” tax bringing the tax on cigarettes to $2 a pack has had an unintended effect on their sales. Cigarette sales had dropped some 25% in the first half of the year. After instituting a new law as a stop gap method of seeing the money go elsewhere, the Maryland Legislature made it illegal to transport more then 2 packs over state lines.

They could have saved their time, had they looked at the surrounding states cigarette sales levels that have stayed the same. Maybe internet and black market sales are flourishing, but one thing for sure is that the Maryland Democrats aren’t getting it!

It’s sort of ironic how the claimed “income” from the taxes on cigarettes was never designated for smoking cessation programs, and how $522 million a year from the tobacco suit settlement, is used in the general slush fund, while very little is used for the intended purpose. If the slumping sales is any indication to the future, Maryland Politicians will have very little income on sales tax on tobacco products in 20 some years, but they will be VERY used to spending the $530 million a year they get now!

See my article from April 18, 2008 entitled “Taxes on Tobacco used for non smoking programs?”

Monday, August 18, 2008

Irena Sendler

Does the name sound familiar? Probably not, but her deeds are VERY memorable. Her contribution to mankind was undeniable, and yet her recognition for those deeds were snubbed. Glen Beck, the lone voice of conservatism on CNN, gives a commentary on this incredible woman, and by the time the video is over I guarantee, your mouth will be hanging open!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Story you won't hear on CNN

On the afternoon of 27 November 2007, Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Cooper of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment—the “Night Stalkers” —was leading a formation of six helicopters north of Baghdad. The formation comprised two AH-6 Little Bird attack helicopters (one flown by Cooper), two MH-6 troop-carrying Little Birds, and two MH-60 Black Hawks carrying Special Operations soldiers. When the formation was 50 kilometers from Baghdad, Cooper heard his wingman shout “Mayday!” An insurgent had hit the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade, severing the tail rotor. Despite the damage, Cooper’s wingman was able to land his helicopter without sustaining major injuries, and the other helicopters in the formation landed to assist.

The Black Hawks soon evacuated the downed pilots, leaving behind 20 special operators and the Little Bird pilots to set up a perimeter around the disabled helicopter. Forty minutes later, eight enemy anti-aircraft gun trucks approached the crash site, and Cooper took off in his Little Bird to investigate. He immediately came under attack by the enemy force but stayed in the air to draw fire away from the exposed U.S. soldiers on the ground. Meanwhile, two more trucks unloaded enemy forces into a house about 800 yards away, where they began to set up mortars and machine guns.

Cooper immediately began attacking the numerically superior force using his Little Bird’s miniguns and rockets. When his helicopter ran out of ammunition, Cooper landed and the men on the ground quickly unloaded the rockets from the downed helicopter and put them on Cooper’s, despite intense enemy fire. Cooper took off and again started to pummel the enemy despite the bullets that were striking the helicopter inches from his face. When low fuel forced Cooper to land again, the soldiers on the ground used a Leatherman tool to remove an auxiliary fuel tank from the disabled helicopter and attach it to Cooper’s Little Bird. Cooper went back into battle a third time, finishing off the trucks and mortar positions once and for all.

For Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Cooper’s “complete disregard for his personal safety and extreme courage under fire,” he became the first Night Stalker to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. “I just happened to be the guy there that day,” Cooper said. “Any one of the Night Stalkers that’s in this formation would have done the same thing I did.”

Reprinted from the Patriot Post (

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Government Files just Released!

By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE and RANDY HERSCHAFT, Associated Press Writers
August 14, 2008

WASHINGTON - Before Julia Child became known to the world as a leading chef, she admitted at least one failing when applying for a job as a spy: impulsiveness.

At 28 as an advertising manager at W&J Sloane furniture store in Beverly Hills, Calif., Child clashed with new store managers and left her job abruptly.

"I made a tactical error and was out," she explained in a handwritten note attached to her application to join the Office of Strategic Services, a World War II-era spy agency. "However, I learned a lot about advertising and wish I had been older and more experienced so that I could have handled the situation, as it was a most interesting position."

Child was not yet married and was applying for the job under her maiden name, McWilliams, according to previously top-secret records released by the National Archives on Thursday. She was hired in the summer of 1942 for clerical work with the intelligence agency and later worked directly for OSS Director William Donovan, the personnel records show.

Details about Child's background and nearly 24,000 other OSS employees are revealed in the newly released documents, withheld from public view as classified records for decades by the CIA.

The 750,000 documents identify the vast spy network managed by the OSS, which later became the CIA. President Franklin Roosevelt created the OSS, the country's first centralized intelligence operation.

The OSS files offer details about other agents, including Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, major league catcher Moe Berg, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and film actor Sterling Hayden.

Other notables identified in the files include John Hemingway, son of author Ernest Hemingway; Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt; and Miles Copeland, father of Stewart Copeland, drummer for the band The Police.

Some of those like Child on the list have been identified previously as having worked for the OSS, but their personnel records never have been available before. Those records would show why they were hired, jobs they were assigned to and perhaps even missions they pursued while working for the agency.

The release of the OSS personnel files unmasks one of the last secrets from the short-lived wartime intelligence agency, which for the most part was later folded into the CIA after President Truman disbanded it in 1945.

"I think it's terrific," said Elizabeth McIntosh, 93, a former OSS agent now living in Woodbridge, Va. "They've finally, after all these years, they've gotten the names out. All of these people had been told never to mention they were with the OSS."

The CIA long resisted releasing the records. But a former CIA director, William Casey, himself an OSS veteran, cleared the way for transfer of millions of OSS documents to the National Archives when he took over the spy agency in 1981. The personnel files are the latest documents to be made public.

Information about OSS involvement was so guarded that relatives often could not confirm a family member's work with the group.

Walter Mess, who handled covert OSS operations in Poland and North Africa, said he kept quiet for more than 50 years, only recently telling his wife of 62 years about his OSS activity.

"I was told to keep my mouth shut," said Mess, now 93 and living in Falls Church, Va.

The files provide new information even for those most familiar with the agency. Charles Pinck, president of the OSS Society created by former OSS agents and their relatives, said the nearly 24,000 employees included in the archives far exceed previous estimates of 13,000.

The newly released documents will clarify these and other issues, said William Cunliffe, an archivist who has worked extensively with the OSS records at the National Archives.

"We're saying the OSS was a lot bigger than they were saying," he said.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Think this couldn't happen in America?


Marburg Journal
Published: August 6, 2008
MARBURG, Germany — This fairy-tale town is stuck in the middle of a utopian struggle over renewable energy. The town council’s decision to require solar-heating panels has thrown Marburg into a vehement debate over the boundaries of ecological good citizenship and led opponents to charge that their genteel town has turned into a “green dictatorship.”

Old and new coexist in Marburg, where a hilltop castle overlooks a solar-powered building. The city seeks to expand solar use.

Some Marburg residents are concerned about how pending solar rules will affect historic buildings like these in the city center.

The New York Times

Officials in Marburg face opposition over a solar initiative.

The town council took the significant step in June of moving from merely encouraging citizens to install solar panels to making them an obligation. The ordinance, the first of its kind in Germany, will require solar panels not only on new buildings, which fewer people oppose, but also on existing homes that undergo renovations or get new heating systems or roof repairs.

To give the regulation teeth, a fine of 1,000 euros, about $1,500, awaits those who do not comply.

Critics howled that the rule, which is to go into effect on Oct. 1, constituted an attack on the rights of property owners. The regional government in Giessen stepped in and warned that it would overturn the rule.

City officials in Marburg said, in turn, that they would take their case either to administrative court or all the way to the Hessian state capital, where they would try to get the state building code changed to protect their ordinance from officials in Giessen.

In the middle of this political chess match sit homeowners like Götz Schönherr.

From his deck, Mr. Schönherr can see the town’s famous hilltop Gothic castle as well as two of its three power-generating windmills. On his roof, a solar panel glints in the sunlight. He already uses the solar energy to heat his water, which has allowed him to turn off his boiler for roughly six months a year, a boon for his pocketbook but a decision he said he made for the sake of the environment.

And yet Mr. Schönherr opposes the new ordinance.

Mr. Schönherr had hoped to reinsulate his home, but to do so, and to satisfy the solar regulation, he would have to install a larger solar panel. It would cost him close to $8,000.

“That leads, in my case, and I would think in other cases as well, that people say, ‘Well, let’s just not reinsulate the roof,’ ” Mr. Schönherr said. “So it’s absolutely counterproductive.”

Officials in Giessen agree. “We have no problem with the use of solar energy,” said Manfred Kersten, press spokesman for the regional government in Giessen, “but this was a poorly constructed ordinance.”

Germany is one of the world’s top champions of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting renewable energy. Thanks to hefty federal subsidies, the country is by far the largest market for photovoltaic systems, which convert sunlight into electricity.

Marburg, a historic university town where the Brothers Grimm once studied, is a model of enlightened energy production and consumption. In addition to the windmills and solar installations, the town’s utility company buys hydroelectric power from Austria, is transitioning its fleet of buses and other vehicles to natural gas and even lights footpaths with solar-powered lamps.

As a result, the Marburg dispute sometimes feels like an argument between the enlightened environmentalists and the really enlightened environmentalists.

“Marburg is already a leader when it comes to the use of solar energy, but up until now they’ve always tried to convince people rather than forcing them,” said Hermann Uchtmann, the opposition politician behind the “green dictatorship” charge who leads a local citizens political group, the Marburger Bürgerliste.

Like Mr. Schönherr, who is a member of the group, Mr. Uchtmann hardly fits the predictable mold of the Luddite opponent of renewable energy. He is a chemist at the local university who once built a solar-powered desalinization station for the town’s sister city, Sfax, Tunisia.

“It’s unfortunate that they decided to compel people, because I think you breed opponents that way rather than friends of solar energy,” Mr. Uchtmann said. He said he found the demands too invasive for existing homes, especially in the case of older citizens who might not live long enough to justify the upfront costs of installing the solar systems.

“I’m right up against the border myself,” said Mr. Uchtmann, who is 64. But he said he could support a solar-heating requirement for new buildings.

Because the town of 80,000 has a level population and relatively few new homes are built here, restricting the measure to new construction would not go far enough for the politicians behind it.

“We have a serious energy problem with the older homes,” Marburg’s deputy mayor, Franz Kahle, said in an interview at the historic town hall on the city’s colorful market square. To make a real leap forward, he said, a dramatic step was necessary.

“Before, solar installations were the exception and their absence was the rule,” Mr. Kahle said. “We want to get to the point where the opposite is the case.”

He pointed out that building codes constantly dictated what property owners could and could not do with their homes and said that the solar regulation already offered exceptions for cases of hardship or alternatives for those living in the shadiest spots.

Marburg’s law has attracted attention nationwide as a model for environmentally active politicians.

“What they are doing in Marburg is good and progressive, and we, and other cities, need to move forward with similar initiatives as well,” said Birgit Simon, deputy mayor of Offenbach am Main and a member of the Green Party. She said she hoped a coalition of left-of-center parties in the state Parliament could change the building codes to make the Marburg ordinance sustainable and imitable.

Among Marburgers interviewed one sunny afternoon this week, there was near universal support for the ordinance’s goals but an almost equal level of confusion about its exact nature.

“In principle, it’s a really good idea,” said Cornelia Janus, 35, who works at the university. But she questioned whether the costs might be too high and whether historic buildings and monuments would be protected.

“For a city like Marburg,” she said, gazing toward the churches and the castle arrayed along the hillside, which draw tourists from around the world, “that’s pretty important too.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Senators and Congressmen Who Forgot the Past

Senators and Congressmen Who Forgot the Past

In a time where a Senator’s remarks are short lived, we find it necessary to remind the public who said what and when.
November is closing in fast and we need this information to make an informed decision!
no opinions just video!

Monday, August 11, 2008


By Charlie Reese* --
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes? ·
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does. · You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. ·
 You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. ·
You and I don't set fiscal policy, congress does. ·
 You and I don't control monetary policy, The Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 300 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. The plate is so full of problems its totally overwhelming.I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board, because that problem was created by the Congress.In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority.They have no ability to coerce a senator, a Congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing.I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.
 The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall, power, love of the lime light and perks. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.Who is the speaker of the House?Nancy Pelosi, she is the leader of the majority party.She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want.If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted-- by present facts - of incompetence and Irresponsibility.
Wake up America before its too late.
I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.
When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.·
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair or don't care. ·
 If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red or don't care. ·
 If the Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ. ·
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
It’s a windfall for them. One term, and their set for life. There are no insoluble government problems.Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible. They and they alone, have the power.They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!'
*Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Windfall Profits Tax AGAIN!

The ‘windfall profits’ tax is back, with Barack Obama stumping again to apply it to a handful of big oil companies. Which raises a few questions: What is a ‘windfall’ profit anyway? How does it differ from your everyday, run of the mill profit? Is it some absolute number, a matter of return on equity or sales—or does it merely depend on who earns it? Enquiring entrepreneurs want to know. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama’s ‘emergency’ plan, announced on Friday, doesn’t offer any clarity. To pay for ‘stimulus’ checks of $1,000 for families and $500 for individuals, the Senator says government would take ‘a reasonable share’ of oil company profits. Mr. Obama didn’t bother to define ‘reasonable’... This extraordinary redefinition of free-market success could use some parsing. Take Exxon Mobil, which on Thursday reported the highest quarterly profit ever and is the main target of any ‘windfall’ tax surcharge. Yet if its profits are at record highs, its tax bills are already at record highs too. Between 2003 and 2007, Exxon paid $64.7 billion in U.S. taxes, exceeding its after-tax U.S. earnings by more than $19 billion. That sounds like a government windfall to us, but perhaps we’re missing some... business subtlety. Maybe [Obama has] in mind profit margins as a percentage of sales. Yet by that standard Exxon’s profits don’t seem so large. Exxon’s profit margin stood at 10% for 2007, which is hardly out of line with the oil and gas industry average of 8.3%, or the 8.9% for U.S. manufacturing (excluding the sputtering auto makers). If that’s what constitutes windfall profits, most of corporate America would qualify... The fun part about this game is anyone can play. Jim Johnson, formerly of Fannie Mae and formerly a political fixer for Mr. Obama, reaped a windfall before Fannie’s multibillion-dollar accounting scandal. Bill Clinton took down as much as $15 million working as a rainmaker for billionaire financier Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies. This may be the very definition of ‘windfall.’... The point is that what constitutes an abnormal profit is entirely arbitrary. It is in the eye of the political beholder, who is usually looking to soak some unpopular business. In other words, a windfall is nothing more than a profit earned by a business that some politician dislikes. And a tax on that profit is merely a form of politically motivated expropriation. It’s what politicians do in Venezuela, not in a free country.” —The Wall Street Journal

What really irks me about this idea is, how would the Democrats decide who gets taxed in their “windfall profit” tax? The Oil Industry makes on the average 9.8% profit, while companies such as Citicorp makes 15.7%, Altria group (makes of Marlboro cigarettes) made 22%, Merck Pharmaceuticals made 25.3%. The question is, if allowed to tax one company at a higher rate, who or what will be the deciding factor on what corporation is next?……Al

Updated oil issue!

Exhibiting a depth of economic knowledge reminiscent of a cookie sheet, Barack “Tire Gauge” Obama released a six-page policy paper to pass for a serious “emergency economic plan,” otherwise known as income confiscation and redistribution. One part of his plan would extort billions of dollars in what he considers “windfall profits” from America’s oil companies over the next five years to pay for another one-time stimulus check ($500 for individuals or $1,000 for families) to offset the rising costs of energy this winter. Big Oil is a handy target for Obama, given, for example, ExxonMobil’s recent $11-billion quarterly profit announcement. But economist Mark Perry points out that Exxon’s tax bill this year ($61.7 billion for the first half of 2008) will outstrip the entire tax contribution of the lower 50 percent of all American wage earners. Furthermore, Exxon’s profit margin was only 10 percent—not at all out of line with most businesses and not exactly a “windfall.” (In a bit of unwelcome news for Obama this week, the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics noted that his campaign has received more money from Exxon employees, $42,000 to $35,166, than the McCain campaign. Obama also received more money from Chevron and BP. So much for the Demos’ too-clever new website, “Exxon-McCain ‘08.”)

reprinted from the Patriot Post (

Friday, August 8, 2008

Senate approves first SUV design

In the first only resolution passed during a senate “recess” was accomplished today by the senate in a heated debate even among the only ones present (democrats). The senate approved the first primary wind powered SUV by a narrow margin. The extreme liberals were on a 12th hour vigil to deny the half sane remaining crowd, on the basis that the rubber dust left from the tires of the “big bad” SUV would contribute to global warming, as defined by “our father who art in Tennessee.” Soccer Moms seemed to be the target of the elite left crowd, as Senator Obama this week declared that tire under inflation and poor tune up practices has contributed to dependency on foreign oil in the past, thus leading the charge by the dems to approve the new SUV design.

As you will see the new approved design incorporates the new democratic push for wind power. Of course the new design now requires all bridges, stoplights, and power lines to be raised by 13ft., but as the democratic caucus has declared, “this is by far a more acceptable situation then drilling in the ANWR province. The new changes to our roadways will cost the taxpayer and additional 13 trillion dollars a year, but as the dems referred to it as a “win for the world.”

The far left is not yet satisfied with the new design, saying it leaves a lot to be desired. Further changes in the successive years include solar panels, the addition of lithium batteries, and a wind up key for the back door. As the Democratic Party said late last night, “this is a vehicle we can live with, ignore all the hype the republican party comes up with, this IS the SUV of the future”

Car and Driver magazine did a road test of this vehicle before the dems unveiled it yesterday, saying….”this is the scariest ride we have ever been in, the sails lift the inner wheels in each turn, and the view over the windmills on the hood block vision to the point of obstructed vision.”

The dems countered that, this was a clear conspiracy to deny the American public of a true green vehicle. Further testing will include a trailer that has an onboard spill-proof still designed by non other then previously presidential pardoned Junior Johnson of NASCAR fame to supply the needed ethanol fuel to traverse a mere 200 miles, previously handled by diesels to over double that limit, but now considered economically in feasible.

The Bush administration has remained mysteriously quiet.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Barack on Iraq:

January 2007—“And until we acknowledge that reality, uh, we can send 15,000 more troops; 20,000 more troops; 30,000 more troops. Uh, I don’t know any, uh, expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to, uh, privately that believes that that is gonna make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.”

July 2007—“Here’s what we know. The surge has not worked. And they said today, ‘Well, even in September, we’re going to need more time.’ So we’re going to kick this can all the way down to the next president, under the president’s plan... My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.”

September 2007—“After putting an additional 30,000 troops in... we have gone from a horrendous situation of violence in Iraq to the same intolerable levels of violence that we had back in June of 2006. So, essentially, after all this we’re back where we were 15 months ago... It is a course that will not succeed.”

January 2008—“I had no doubt, and I said when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence.”

Now: “What I said was even at the time of the debate of the surge, was if you put 30,000 troops in, of course it’s going to have an impact. There’s no doubt about that.”

Reprinted from the Patriot Post (

Monday, August 4, 2008

Around the nation: DC ignores Heller ruling

On 26 June, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia vs. Heller that Washington, DC’s handgun ban violated the Second Amendment, forcing the city to draft new gun legislation. The DC city council is now considering that new legislation, but if it passes, it’s almost certain that the District will end up in court again. That’s because DC’s new law doesn’t look much different from the old one.

While handguns would be allowed in DC homes under the new legislation, semiautomatic pistols would still be illegal. “The semiautomatic ban is clearly unconstitutional,” said Alan Gura, the attorney who successfully challenged DC’s handgun ban. “The overwhelming majority of handguns people use in the United States are semiautomatic.” This is significant because the Supreme Court majority opinion noted that weapons in “common use” could not be banned, but only “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

Also basically unchanged is DC’s requirement that guns be locked or disassembled unless there is an “immediate threat.” In other words, the District of Columbia expects residents to assemble and load a revolver while being attacked by an intruder in the middle of the night. We doubt the Supreme Court would be amused, especially since Chief Justice John Roberts mocked the very idea during the oral-arguments phase of Heller.

No matter—Washington, DC, is intent on defying the Heller ruling anyway. “[B]ecause we really haven’t changed the storage rule from the prior unconstitutional law and because of other features, I do agree that this is a lawsuit waiting to happen,” said council member Mary Cheh, “but we’ll be prepared.” The problem is, the law-abiding citizen who is threatened in his own home won’t be prepared.

Reprinted from the Patriot Post (

Sunday, August 3, 2008

For The Record


“Barack Obama had ample reason to recall the Berlin Airlift of 1948 during his dramatic speech in the German capital last week. The airlift was an early and critical success for the West in the Cold War, with clear relevance to our own time, the war in Iraq, and the free world’s conflict with radical Islam. But having reached back 60 years to that pivotal hour of American leadership, Obama proceeded to draw from it exactly the wrong lessons. The Soviet Union had blockaded western Berlin on June 24, 1948, choking off access to the city by land and water and threatening 2.5 million people with starvation. Moscow was determined to force the United States and its allies out of Berlin. To capitulate to Soviet pressure, as Obama rightly noted, ‘would have allowed Communism to march across Europe.’ Yet many in the West advocated retreat, fearing that the only way to keep the city open was to use the atomic bomb—and launch World War III. For President Truman, retreat was unthinkable. ‘We stay in Berlin, period,’ he decreed. Overriding the doubts of senior advisers... Truman ordered the Armed Forces to begin supplying Berlin by air. Military planners initially thought that with a ‘very big operation,’ they might be able to get 700 tons of food to Berlin. Within weeks, the Air Force was flying in twice that amount every day, as well as supplies of coal. ... It would take nearly a year and more than 277,000 flights. But in the end it was the Soviets who backed down. On May 12, 1949, the blockade ended—a triumph of American prowess and perseverance, and a momentous vindication for Truman. But not once in his Berlin speech did Obama acknowledge Truman’s fortitude, or even mention his name. Nor did he mention the US Air Force, or the 31 American pilots who died during the airlift. Indeed, Obama seemed to go out of his way not to say plainly that what saved Berlin in that dark time was America’s military might. Save for a solitary reference to ‘the first American plane,’ he never described one of the greatest American operations of the postwar period as an American operation at all. He spoke only of ‘the airlift,’ ‘the planes,’ ‘those pilots.’ Perhaps their American identity wasn’t something he cared to stress amid all his ‘people of the world’ salutations and talk of ‘global citizenship.’... Sixty years later, it is a very different kind of Democrat who is running for president. Obama may have wowed ‘em in Berlin, but he’s no Harry Truman.” —Jeff Jacoby

Reprinted from the Patriot Post (

Saturday, August 2, 2008

More on Oil

By MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer

July 31, 2008

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama seized on a record oil company profit to argue that rival John McCain offers only tax breaks for Big Oil and "short-term gimmicks" to consumers struggling with soaring gasoline prices.

The Illinois senator quickly incorporated news of Exxon Mobil's nearly $12 billion quarterly profit into his remarks at a town hall meeting here.

"No U.S. Corporation ever made that much in a quarter," Obama said. "But while Big Oil is making record profits, you are paying record prices at the pump and our economy is leaving working people behind."

McCain's response, Obama said, is to propose a corporate tax plan that would give "$4 billion each year to the oil companies, including $1.2 billion for Exxon Mobil alone" and a gas tax holiday that Obama said would only "pad oil company profits and save you — at best — half a tank of gas" over an entire summer.

In recent days, Obama has complained that McCain is offering little of substance to voters and does little more than attack.

"All those negative ads he's running won't do a thing to lower your gas prices or lift up the debate in this country," Obama said.

As the campaign sought to contrast energy problems with McCain's campaign tactics, Obama joked about a new McCain commercial that calls the Democrat the biggest celebrity in the world while showing images of pop culture celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

"So far all we've been hearing about is Paris Hilton," said Obama. "I do have to ask my opponent: Is that the best you can do? Is that what this election is really all about? Is that worthy of the American people."

Obama said McCain is part of a Washington establishment that "has failed the American people on energy and that failure has led directly to our current crisis."

In response, the McCain campaign labeled Obama's criticism a "hypocritical political attack," and cited his vote in 2005 for an energy bill backed by President Bush. McCain opposed the legislation.

The two rivals have clear differences on energy policy. McCain favors a gas tax "holiday" for the summer driving season and wants to expand offshore drilling. Obama opposes both and instead advocates longer term assistance to develop alternative energy sources.

"That's how America is going to free itself from our dependence on foreign oil — not through short-term gimmicks, but through a real long-term commitment to transform our energy sector," Obama said.

Developing alternative energy is a big issue throughout the upper Midwest, a crucial swing region in this year's election.

While the exchanges between Obama and McCain have been growing sharper, he said, "I'm not interested in getting into a tit-for-tat, that's not going to lower your gas prices."

Before the town hall meeting, Obama met with victims of this summer's flooding to assure them he would push for rapid assistance to rebuild in a city that suffered $1 billion in flood damage.

"This city is going to rebuild," said Obama. "People are hurting, people are suffering. We need to make sure these communities have the assistance they need in a timely fashion."

What Barack Obama didn’t say is just as important as what he did say. Although Exxon/Mobil made a gross first quarter profit of 12 billion dollars, the federal government taxed them 9.7 billion. So my question still remains, who makes more profit per gallon of gasoline or diesel, the oil companies or the federal government? At least McCain has suggested alternatives, what has Obama suggested? Alternate fuel sources, what the hell does that mean? What alternate fuel source can run my car in its current configuration? It’s time to confront all these jackasses that spew the same crap. Why did they go to recess without voting on the drilling issue? Pelosi thinks she is going to save the world……..spare us your theatrics and just vote up or down so everyone can see who you are for, do you hear that Harry Reid?….Al

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who will you trust to protect us?

With a renewed Russian threat to assemble a new “Axis of Evil”, we have to wonder who would be the best candidate to support our country. John McCain believes in National Defense, and increasing the defense budget. After the Clinton Administration decreased our defense budget by 35% the attack on the Twin Towers happened, leaving us with a decreased capability to fight an Islamic war on many fronts. Barack Obama, on the other hand, wants us to give up our defenses while many countries seek to destroy us. He has concluded that Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, are all “small countries” and pose us no threat!

Vladimir Putin is on a course now to assemble a consortium of countries to secure Russia’s supply of oil, while in the same time strangling our country for supplies. Threats aren’t just physical, economic damage can hold us hostage too. Obama seems to have a simplistic view of foreign affairs, and that view will serve to hurt us. It wasn’t coincidence that had Russia invading Georgia, they have a pipeline of oil and they are a democracy, but of course Obama had 4 different positions on this invasion before actually deciding on anything.

You need to view this video to see his exact words;

Laws that would not make sense

Laws that would not make sense

By Kevin Bryant

How would you like to wake up tomorrow and read in the paper or hear on the radio & television that fast food chains have now been outlawed because they are a major contributor to obesity? Perhaps a law was passed that outlawed any form of beverage that contained sugar because it promotes tooth decay or caffeine because too much of it can cause someone with a weak heart to have a heart attack? Better yet, let’s outlaw sex between consenting adults if they have not been certified by a government agency in the last 30 days to be healthy enough to have sex and be free from any diseases. That doesn't make any sense does it?

What about laws to help protect the environment. Let’s outlaw combustion engines because of the carbon dioxide they put off. Plastics in any form will be outlawed because they take fossil fuels to produce. Can you imagine a world without plastics? So much for the bottled water industry, medical care as we know it, no computers, no electronic games, no cars, just about everything as we know it would no longer be available to us. This too doesn't make any sense does it?

How about all humans will from this day forth be required to wear a breathing filtration system to remove carbon dioxide from your exhaled breathes regardless of the fact that plants need it to grow. Or better yet, laws stating that humans are the only animals allowed to live on the earth’s surface and all others must be eradicated by any and all means available. I think we could all agree that this would be a stupid law.

These all would be stupid laws that would not make sense to any civilized society. They would have a major impact on our rights and liberties. Could you imagine the outcries if these were actually made into law? The restrictions they would place on our everyday lives would set us back hundreds of years.

I believe we can all agree that if these laws were to be implemented, they would go well beyond the scope of the authority granted by the constitution to the city, state and federal governments.

Here is another example of a stupid law that is not constitutionally supported yet continues to grow in popularity and has a direct effect all our lives: City and State Smoking Bans. Now I know all the non-smokers out there are saying they are good laws and they are there to protect us and our children. If they protect us from harmful second hand smoke how could it possibly be a bad thing?

Most smokers are very polite and do not smoke around those who do not. Most smokers agree that smoking bans in restaurants and other places that center around family are good things and they support them. It’s the same with not smoking in office spaces and or most other indoor businesses. Now think about the smoking bans and how they could possibly affect non-smokers negatively. We’ll get back to that question in a few minutes.

You have to be 16 to drive a car. You have to 18 to vote and enter into legally binding contracts and you have to be 21 to buy alcohol. By the time most of us reach the age of 21, we can think for ourselves and are beyond a shadow of a doubt in a court of law responsible for our own actions. By the age of 21, a vast majority of the population is capable of judging for themselves what they want to do and how to live their own lives. At 21, you enjoy all the freedoms granted to you by the constitution & the bill of rights.

But wait, do you really?

Multiply this one example by all the adult only establishments in your area. Imagine that you are a bar owner. You have owned this bar for 15 years and have had a strict policy to card anyone that does not look at least 35 years of age to verify that they have a legal right to be in there and to purchase an alcoholic beverage if they so choose to. Your bar has been a mainstay of where people go to after getting off work at the office or factory or wherever they work. For years you have served many of the same people who come in and have a drink or two, sit around with all their buddies or girlfriends and been able to light up and relax. You have enjoyed an occasional cigar with them and taken part in many conversations.

Now here comes a group of people who have never or would never set foot inside your establishment and now they want to tell you what you can and can not do inside a building that you own or rent. They wish to take away a freedom that the adults only of your community have enjoyed for many years. They petition for a vote on it. The measure passes and now smoking has been outlawed in any business within the city. These same people who voted for the smoking ban are the same ones that would never enter your establishment to begin with yet, in one swift act, one of your rights as a business owner and property owner has been taken away from you.

Now, remember when I said we would get back to negative affects that a smoking ban would have on non-smokers. We have now come to that part. Because smoking is no longer allowed even in the adult only establishments, between 25 and 40 percent of the people who used to frequent that bar after work now just goes directly home. The loss of patrons is directly proportional to the loss of revenue that your bar was taking in. You just lost a big chuck of your income. Now you have less money to spend items for yourself, your family and your home. Now, you also owe the city, state and federal governments less in taxes because you are not making as much as before. Because of the loss of patrons, you now have to let half your staff go because you can no longer afford to keep them employed.

In the city of St. Louis, MO the smoking ban has resulted in, depending on which report you read, a loss of between 5 and 9 MILLION dollars in lost revenue from sales tax on alcohol and tobacco from bars, casinos and other adult only establishments. As a result, property tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, various utility taxes and rates all has risen to cover the loss of revenue as well as the cost of using public services and visiting government operated establishments.

So, the bar owner makes less, spends less and pays a higher price for taxes and basic services all because a group of people want to tell him and everyone else how to live their lives. Because of their actions, now everyone must also pay higher prices for those same services and taxes. We are not done yet, because not only do you now have to pay a higher amount because of the loss of city revenue, but that amount has increased even more because the staff you had to let go are now receiving unemployment checks and other various subsidies and assistance because they no longer have jobs.

Loss of revenue and higher taxes.....Still think smoking bans are a great idea?

He who surrenders freedom for security deserves neither – attributed to Benjamin Franklin