Monday, February 28, 2011

Gov. Chris Christie Needs a Second Look

Gov. Chris Christie Needs a Second Look
Al Ritter

In a time and place in a political landscape where we are right now, voters need to be reassured that the actions of their local politicians reflect the direction they want them to go. We can use the November elections to make a bully pulpit stand for the much needed return to conservative principles, or we can use that pulpit to make a stand for non-political party stand to punish certain groups.

Let there be no mistake that Gov. Chris Christie is making such a stand, but his intentions are based on national polling of issues of fiscal restraint more than the stand of the Republican Party. Blasphemy you say? Follow with me here for a minute, and don’t shoot the messenger. Gov. Christie is merely playing a numbers game right now in his fledgling career as Governor of New Jersey. He is working off the idea of reduced spending rather than increasing taxes, which are very popular republican ideas. The fact that that he is forcefully challenging unions who only represent 12% of working Americans isn’t hurting his cause either.

So far Governor Christie is playing the odds, and doing so quite convincingly. There are many Conservative Americans who see his confrontational actions as being great for a much abused party in the last 5 years. To those Republicans I say this……..DO YOUR HOMEWORK on Chris Christie, the actions you see are but a small part of the man running New Jersey. Our republican resurgence after November of last year is due to the fact that we take nothing for granted anymore and we do our do diligence in researching politicians BEFORE endorsing them into the national spotlight to run for federal offices. There WILL come a time where Christie will have to make an unpopular stand based on his state’s needs rather than the popularity of a poll.

Chris Christie has a background as a lawyer, and serving as both a lobbyist and an Attorney General, his stances on issues are purposely gray. He reveals his stances on public issues only as needed to complete a designated project.

I guess I was taken in by his bully pulpit style too in the beginning, but his overall stances do NOT mirror the republican stance on conservatism. To begin with Christie leans towards amnesty of illegal aliens, he supports cap and trade initiatives, he supports the gun laws already on the books, and wants to actively enforce them. Christie also supports federally funded healthcare reform. Maybe these things aren't trigger point issues for you, maybe they are, but the point remains, you should be aware of them.

Forgive me for bringing this up, with the massive popularity Christie is enjoying right now, nobody in their right mind would question him, but then you already know me as being right to the point. Do your own research on each and every individual you think would do well on the national level, let’s not put a Moderate in the Whitehouse after being so oppressed by a far left wing candidate this last time………… the words of the immortal Ronald Regan………Trust, but verify!

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest................... Benjamin Franklin

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wisconsin House Passes Union Busting Bill!

Wisconsin House Passes Union Busting Bill!
Al Ritter

The absent Democratic State Senators from the state of Wisconsin, say they are doing what their state constitution won’t allow and that is a filibuster. Yet early this morning the Wisconsin State Assembly (congress) completed just that, an action of filibuster by state congressmen that lasted some 59 hours on the assembly floor. The vote was counted at 1 AM and carried from the republican majority to break the public sector union stronghold that threatened to drive the state into bankruptcy due to unfunded pensions and benefits.

Obama has even weighed in twice on his support for the unions, and has even devoted a page on his personal website to the plight of the state senate democrats. The reality is that this wasn’t a move to replace a filibuster absence in state law. If the state congress has the ability to filibuster, then logic says the state senate has that same ability. This was purely a case of “I’m taking my ball and going home” attitude of democrats. What they have done is illegal in their home state, which is the reason they have fled to Illinois. Wisconsin State Police have no jurisdiction in Illinois, and it would be almost impossible judging the political stance from Obama that a federal warrant would be sworn out for the absent lawmakers.

This surprisingly enough hasn’t been the first time this has happened; in 2003 Democratic Texas lawmakers did the same thing fleeing to New Mexico to avoid a critical vote that they didn’t agree with.

Republicans on the federal level have had to deal with Democratic majority rule for 5 years now and not one time have they fled to avoid a vote. This is childish behavior plain and simple, lawmakers are paid to VOTE not to run and hide once the going gets tough. Let’s call this what it really is, and it’s NOT a physical replacement for a filibuster………it is an unlawful action to avoid a quorum vote. I only hope the voting citizens in Wisconsin see this cowardly act for what it truly is in the next election!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How's My Sanity?

How’s My Sanity
Kevin Bryant

I’m having one of those moments when I think I need to check the level of my own sanity. Why do I say this, because I believe the whole world has gone nuts. Like the other day I was thinking that America needs a “Slap Your Child Day”. Why, because most liberal progressive protesters here in the United States are between the ages of 18 & 26. They want everything handed to them and most do not believe in hard work and sweat. Then my mind went to thinking that we can’t just stop with the kids, because their parents are mostly to blame for their children’s beliefs. My daughter is an oddity compared to most kids today. When she was in high school two years ago, she held not one but two part time jobs and still went to class. The best thing about this is that I did not have to push her to get the jobs. She did it because she wanted to. But, in the end, I scratched the “Slap Your Child Day” idea except my daughter still knows that if she becomes a progressive type, I will remind her that it’s not acceptable to me.

I’m not sure how, but a couple of days after that, I was standing out on my deck and it occurred to me that if you remove all the freshmen US Senators and Representatives from this equation, that leave roughly 440 members between both houses that were there before the last election. Out of those 440, I was going to issue a challenge. Who can honestly name 10 members of congress who put the constitution first when fulfilling their duties? I was even going to agree with anyone who put Dennis Kucinich on that list. Though I do not agree with his interpretation of the constitution, I believe that he strongly supports what he believes the constitution says. But then I got to thinking deeper and I couldn’t come up 5 names myself. Out of 440 members of congress, I came up with 4 and that includes Dennis Kucinich. Am I that distrustful of politicians or are my beliefs that less than 1% of congressional members believe and support the constitution and use it to base their judgments on founded in truth? I’ll let you be the judge.

Has my grip on reality slipped a little, who knows. But if you are starting to doubt my sanity, then this one should place the proverbial nail in my coffin. I take a look at the middle east right now and with the exception of Iran, I think every government of every country that are having protest to overthrow that government should retaliate against the protesters with military force. Yes, even Muammar Qaddafi, I believe should stay in power. I think it is a better to keep him than have to deal with what is likely to replace him. It is becoming easier with each passing generation to convince those below the age of 30 that socialism and communism are the best forms of government. It doesn’t matter if that government is based in government control or religious extremism. People who have never experienced real freedoms don’t know what they are and will listen and follow anyone who professes to be able to grant them freedoms, never mind the fact that freedoms are given by our creator and not government. Our own President does not understand this concept.

So, How’s My Sanity?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Is it Surprising That Obama Speaks Out on Wisconsin Matters?

Is it Surprising That Obama Speaks Out on Wisconsin Matters?
Al Ritter

In the light of the role of Federal Government his involvement in the matter should raise eyebrows. We need to look at this situation as a political boondoggle and not as statement on right or wrong. The federal government has no balanced budget amendment, nor will they ever. The feds are a collection of overspending progressives that strangely think that the only way out of a recession is to throw obscene amounts of money at the problem in hopes that it will soon go away.

As a result of that thinking, and a non-understanding that states can only spend what they receive in taxes, the administration has made their opinion known twice now on the Wisconsin protests. Twice Gov. Scott Walker has told the Obama Administration to butt out of their state affairs and pay closer attention to the fiscal health of the federal government.

It is certainly no secret that public sector union bargained benefits far exceed the benefits of that in the private sector. Pensions are the worst in WI when public workers only contribute 4 to 6% of the total pensions they receive after retirement, while the citizens supply the remaining 94 to 96%! Amazingly the benefits they receive in retirement only 4 to 6 cents to every dollar is supplied by the worker!

Healthcare is similarly ridiculous. Each municipal employee only pays 8% of their healthcare insurance premiums, while workers in the private sector pay 20%!

Union workers only represent 12% of the workers in this country and yet they are solely responsible for the majority of unfunded pension problems in most of our states. These kinds of union bullies are also the ones who fund the democratic campaigns, creating a massive conflict of interest. It is certainly no coincidence that Barack Obama has been in their pocket for years, it’s no wonder Scott Walker has told him to butt out of their fiscal business twice now!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pooling our sovereignty with others only undermines it

Pooling our sovereignty with others only undermines it

January 20, 2011
By John Bolton

For decades, Americans have slept while their national sovereignty has been threatened, chipped away and eroded by a series of innocuous-sounding and nearly imperceptible decisions. We have been locked in a struggle between our sovereignty and the advocates of "global governance" that most of our fellow citizens didn't even know was under way, let alone how disparate were these two worldviews.

This conflict is not about the buzzword "globalization" and its implications for commerce and culture, but a sharp confrontation about power and government: our power and our government.

Although "sovereignty" has many often contradictory meanings, for Americans, the idea is actually quite straightforward: Sovereignty rests in the Constitution's opening phrase "We the People," meaning our control over our own government.

Advocates of "pooling" U.S. sovereignty with others to address "global" problems are really saying we should surrender some of our sovereignty to international organizations that other nations will influence or even control.

That is unquestionably a formula for reducing U.S. autonomy and our authority over government. Most Americans feel we don't adequately control government now, so it is no wonder that, once aware of the scope of the threat, they will refuse to cede even more authority to distant bodies where U.S. influence is reduced or uncertain.

For President Obama, our first post-American president, surrendering sovereignty seems perfectly reasonable, consistent with his essentially European social-democratic worldview. Obama sees his foreign-policy role less as an advocate for America's "parochial" interests and more as a "citizen of the world," in his own phrase.

The description President George H.W. Bush applied to his 1988 election opponent, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, also applies to Obama: "He sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. roll call, somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe."

Threats to U.S. sovereignty are both imminent and long-term. They have varying characteristics, and they are often not necessarily immediately obvious as threats. One element that runs through many of them, however, is the concept of international "norming," the idea that America should base its policies on the global consensus rather than making our own decisions as a constitutional democracy. "Norming" is a way to constrain U.S. sovereignty by moving our domestic political debate to align with broader international opinion.

Because of the centrality of individual freedom in the United States, norming advocates are invariably on the international Left politically; there are simply no other nations as liberty-oriented as we are.

Thus, much of the threat to our sovereignty comes not in traditional national security areas, but on policies heretofore considered entirely domestic in nature.

Take four issues where our free and open political system allows continuing, robust domestic debates: global warming, abortion, gun control and the death penalty.

Yet the "norming" advocates say that the rest of the world, through treaties, United Nations decisions and "customary international law," has already decided these questions: for massively increased government taxation and regulation to combat global warming, for widely available abortions, for gun control and against the death penalty.

The issue here is not where you stand on any one of these particular issues, but who gets to decide them: us, or the rest of the world "voting" in our decision making. This is the core issue of American sovereignty and the threat to it represented by the Obama worldview.

Clearly, Obama will now have a far less compliant Congress, so there is every prospect he will use the international route to achieve his objectives.

By clearly understanding how threats to our sovereignty arise, by making them politically important, and by holding our elected officials accountable, we can defend our sovereignty vigorously. But there is no time to waste.

John Bolton is the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. This article is excerpted from the Encounter Broadsides series.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Worldwide Distrust of Government

Worldwide Distrust of Government
Al Ritter

If you think for just one minute that America is alone in their distrust of government, just quickly skim over the news of the day. It seems that distrust of government is a worldwide epidemic. Egypt was the most recent, but Lebanon was the country before that, and now Bahrain and Yemen are close behind.

Whether for suppression of thought, inhumane practices, violation of human rights, extreme taxation, or frivolous spending, the result is the same, the people have had enough! It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a country lead by dictators, tyrants, or a country run under the name of democracy, the end result is the same, when pushed hard enough the people push back.

The countries of Lebanon and Egypt want to start over, throw out their constitutions and start over hopefully to give the people more of a voice in the running of their country. Whether the new government will be a democracy or merely handed over to another tyrannical party remains to be seen.

The one thing that remains clear as a bell, people across the world are tired of being lied to, having their money stolen from government in the name of taxation, told how to think, and most of all watching their countries teeter on the brink of bankruptcy from corrupt leadership.

These uprisings should send a strong signal to President Barack Obama that forced policies against the populace’s wishes can have strong repercussions. The United States has never had a political coup in their short history, but with all that’s going on in the world right now, the climate is right!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Doubling Down on Bad Policy

Doubling Down on Bad Policy
Al Ritter

President Obama in his State of the Union speech introduced his desire to supply the country with a $53 billion dollar high speed rail service. He hopes to use China as a pattern for the institution of this multi -billion dollar program. What has being ignored in this whole program are the major differences in our countries.

To begin with, China’s mass transportation system is in its infancy while America’s mass transit system has been in a constant state of evolution since the 1700’s. China needs a high speed mass transit system more than America does. Only 47% of their citizens even own a car, while China has now replaced the United States as the largest energy user in the world. China population is flocking to the urban areas while America’s citizens are moving in record numbers to the rural areas to avoid city sprawl and crime.

China is far more adept at welcoming a mass transit system than America is. China is in the middle of a massive industrial revolution, something we had some 220 years ago.

Obama forgets the massive expanse of Amtrak when the failing railroad giants were taken over by government in 1971 because the passenger transportation business had failed and had gone into bankruptcy. To avoid the failure of a “businesses too big to fail,” the government consolidated the different rail companies into one large grid work to be known as Amtrak.

Problems arose immediately, as the government became painfully aware that even this new entity couldn’t survive without an infusion of government money known as subsidy. This term only means one thing ……..they company can’t survive on fares alone. Our government has a rich history of rescuing companies that can’t survive the test of capitalism. Government always seems to know better than the citizens of what we need and when we need it. They never admit they made a mistake and continue long after the industry becomes a money losing situation. To this day Amtrak requires yearly infusions of tax payer money to supply a service that America as a whole refuses to support.

In the 80’s and 90’s the state of Maryland, under Governor Wm. Donald Schaefer requested funds from the federal government to create a Light Rail System. This system was expanded in the 90’s despite the fact that fares only covered 50% of operating costs. This becomes a social program rather than a mass transit system when the fares don’t support the operation.

To assume that we need a high speed mass transit system similar to China’s when our needs don’t even come close to mirroring China’s is yet another democratic party’s need to hire employees to build a project that nobody will use………there as only so many times we can dig a hole and fill it back in. We need to stop senseless spending on non-essential social programs.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Group Now Leans Left

Another Group Now Leans Left
Al Ritter

For those of you who enjoyed reading the news from the AOL website, be forewarned, Arianna Huffington will now control the news content on all AOL subsidiaries. In a deal announced early today, the Huffington Post will be purchased for $315 million by AOL.

Part of the deal allows Arianna Huffington to stay in control of the Huffington Post, but to work in an expanded role in controlling the news content on all AOL sites. This transformation is very worrisome as it puts a person in charge who deals with opinion and not news in a journalistic capacity.

The merger was accomplished with full approval of the board of directors of both companies and they intend to make the transformation as soon as possible.

How can I explain the ramifications of this in terms the normal person can understand? This would be akin to Keith Olbermann taking over NBC and controlling all “news content.”

This purchase will allow Arianna Huffington access to a much larger audience, but in a very subversive way, opinion masquerading as news. The Huffington Post has some 26 million hits per month, and this deal allows her to access an additional 110 million in the US and 250 million in the world.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Maryland and the Tobacco Law Suit

Maryland and the Tobacco Law Suit
Al Ritter

In 1997 Tobacco manufacturers made a settlement through the US Attorney General to pay states a specific amount for damages caused by smoking. Now mind you, Maryland is playing both ends against us. What does this mean? Well Maryland knows that smoking costs everyone in healthcare costs, but accepts money from the sales of cigarettes ($1.20 per pack) AND accepts money from the settlement.

How much you ask? Well back in 2008 the amount was $540.8 million, but that amount increases yearly based on a variable scale based on inflation. The amount now is largely contested but the expenditures aren’t. Maryland spends very little, in fact one of the lowest states in the nation on smoking cessation programs.

The original settlement with the tobacco companies stated that these funds would be used exclusively on treatment of smoking related illnesses or smoking cessation programs. Unfortunately this is where state sovereignty takes over, and through Maryland law the general assembly decides how that money will be spent.

For argument sake let’s say that the yearly income is still at $540.8 million a year, and we have NO idea how much Maryland takes in on taxes on cigarette sales, but rest assured it is massive. We are now half way through the original settlement of 25 years, so we only have 13 years left of the $540.8 million per year income left. Maryland has thrown this money into the general slush fund, and spends little (3% at last reporting) on smoking prevention.

My question is this…….Maryland has become increasingly dependent on Federal funding (Stimulus), and earmarks through Senators Mikulski and Cardin. Add that to the tobacco settlement and you can see we have had it pretty easy in Maryland compared to other states.

Political retribution on the ability to secure federal funds has been no secret in the Obama Administration. If the winds of change happen in Washington according to the general consensus in 2012, funds from the federal government will surely dry up. O’Malley has done his best at “making hay” while the opportunity has afforded itself.

O’Malley doesn’t care what happens in the last two years of his reign of terror, he will be gone in 2014. Maryland will receive the tobacco settlement long after he is gone, but certainly not indefinitely.
The General Assembly has been hooked on money, especially money they never earned. When the federal money, and the tobacco money dries up whom do you think will have to make up the difference in income?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Common Sense

Common Sense
William G Burmer

Dear Patriots:

There is an interesting historical commentary with regards to the wit and humor of “Mark Twain” in the January issue of the “New American.” I commend it to you for a good read.

I often lament that common sense has been taken over by “politically correct” speech. Mark Twain had a way with words we can all relate to, here are a few.

“Common Sense is the least common of all the senses.”

1."Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one. "

2."Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."

3."Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.”

4."Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."

In the present quest by the “Left” (communist) to silence opposition to their tyrannies, Mark Twain lamented “Scorn and ridicule are not always adequate to silence unwelcome opinion . . . but they are often the only weapons available.” So much for Please and thank you, they simple do not register with the Statists mindset.

And my favorite: "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."

Let us pray our new Congress can find and inroad to the redress the American People deserve; More importantly, that the American People can find favor with God, in obedience to His Laws. “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or imbeciles who really mean it.”

Sometimes I wish I had said that.