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Archive for June 21st, 2010

American democracy is being dismantled … by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

[W]here in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation?

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP’s oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated. … But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without “due process of law.”

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

And, without constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a “crisis” … as an opportunity to expand the government’s power.

[D]uring the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law “for the relief of the German people.”

That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.—Thomas Sowell


 

Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

By Thomas Sowell  

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president’s poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP’s oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.

But our government is supposed to be “a government of laws and not of men.”

If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without “due process of law.”

Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don’t believe in constitutional government.

And, without constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a “crisis” — which, as the president’s chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to “go to waste” as an opportunity to expand the government’s power.

That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country’s wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard’s restrictions on the printing of money.

At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law “for the relief of the German people.”

That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP’s money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed “czars” controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the “useful idiots” of our time. But useful to whom?

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The vintage video below shows how the U.S.S.R. extinguished a natural gas leak fire. Some argue a similar device could be used to extinguish the Deep Horizon oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. The Soviets reportedly used nuclear devices to extinguish gas fires like the one on the video at least five times.


 

An Atomic Bomb will stop the Gulf Oil Leak, LOOK! 4:11 Video

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D.C. police won’t intervene to remove women from mosques

By Bill Myers

Department emails show that DC police has a changed its policy and will no longer intervene in protests by Islamic women over their place in mosques in and around the capital.

“We are not to get involved. Important that our officers not escort women out of there.”—Inspector Matthew Klein, May 24 e-mail

Some reform-minded Muslims have provoked confrontations in DC area mosques in an attempt to do away with Islam’s backward view of women.

“This is such a win. We’re supposed to be one community. Yet the moment we walk in, we’re separated one from the other.”—Fatima Thompson, protest organizer

However, the department’s change of policy violates the rights of property owners to have unwanted trespassers removed.

“This isn’t a lunch counter or a restaurant or a hotel. … [T]his is a private institution, and that’s what this turns on — private property rights. If you don’t want a trespasser on your lawn … you do rely on the police, ultimately, to eject people you don’t want.”—Ilya Shapiro, legal scholar at the Cato Institute

Read the entire Washington Examiner story at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/D_C_-police-won_t-intervene-to-remove-women-from-mosques-96758814.html


 

Firms paid to shut down wind farms when the wind is blowing

By Robert Mendick

Britain’s biggest wind farm companies will be paid thousands of pounds a day per wind farm not to produce electricity when the wind is blowing because the National Grid can’t use the power.

On breezy summer nights, wind farms could produce more electricity than demanded from businesses and households. Because the electricity cannot be stored, the National Gird uses a ‘balancing mechanism’ system to switch off or reduce the power supplied during low demand periods.

The system is already used to reduce supply from coal and gas-fired power stations during periods of low demand, but coal and gas power stations often pay the National Grid £15 to £20 per megawatt hour they do not supply. However, shutting down wind farms costs the National grid and consumers more for the reason that when wind turbines are turned off, wind farm owners not only lose money for the electricity they would have generated but they also lose ‘green’ subsidies for that electricity.  

In essence, already enormously profitable electricity suppliers end up receiving even more money from the National Grid for shutting down and not producing electricity.

“As more and more wind farms come on stream this will become more and more of an issue. Wind power is not controllable and does not provide a solid supply to keep the national grid manageable. Paying multinational companies large sums of money not to supply electricity seems wrong.”—Dr Lee Moroney, planning director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a think tank opposed to the widespread introduction of wind farms  

The Sunday Telegraph reported earlier this year that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidize wind farms and other forms of renewable energy.

Read the entire Telegraph story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/7840035/Firms-paid-to-shut-down-wind-farms-when-the-wind-is-blowing.html


 

Middle Class–Not the Rich or the Poor–Pay Majority of Federal Taxes, Says CBO Data

By Terence P. Jeffrey

A new Congressional Budget Office study of all federal tax revenues in 2007 reports that middle-class Americans, not the rich or the poor, pay most the taxes confiscated by the federal government. Middle-class households that earned between $34,300 and $352,900 paid 66.7 percent of all federal taxes, while households earning more than $352,900 (top 1 percent) paid 28.1 percent, and those earning less than $34,300 paid only 5.2 percent of all federal taxes.

Over the last 30 years, taxation has been getting more progressive on higher income households, while the tax burden has decreased on lower income households. During those three decades, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cut the top marginal income tax rates, but Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton increased the rates.

Read the entire CNS News story at http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/68094


 

Rahm Emanuel expected to quit White House

By Alex Spillius

Washington insiders say Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, will leave his job within six to eight months after growing tired of banging heads with Brother O’s ideological inner circle.

“I would bet he will go after the midterms. Nobody thinks it’s working but they can’t get rid of him – that would look awful. He needs the right sort of job to go to but the consensus is he’ll go.”—anonymous Democratic consultant in DC

Emanuel, the son of Jewish immigrants, was an accomplished ballet dancer and served as a civilian volunteer with the Israeli Defense Force in the 1991 Gulf War.

Read the entire Telegraph story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/7837686/Rahm-Emanuel-expected-to-quit-White-House.html


 

Pakistani agents ‘funding and training Afghan Taliban’

By Matt Waldman

“Pakistan appears to be playing a double-game of astonishing magnitude.”—the London School of Economics (LSE) report.

A LSE report finds “real evidence” to suggest that Pakistani intelligence funds, trains, and provides sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban.

“This goes far beyond just limited, or occasional support. This is very significant levels of support being provided by the ISI. We’re also saying this is official policy of that agency, and we’re saying that it is very extensive. It is both at an operational level, and at a strategic level, right at the senior leadership of the Taliban movement.”—Matt Waldman, report’s author

Read the entire BBC News story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/10302946.stm


 

Warning to Britain as almost half of Belgium’s euthanasia nurses admit to killing without consent

By Simon Caldwell

More than 100 nurses in Belgium admitted to researchers that they had taken part in killing patients who did not request or give consent to being euthanized.

Researchers found that nearly half (120 of 248) of nurses involved in the assisted suicide of patients admitted they were not given consent.

Belgium law only permits assisted suicides by a doctor with the patient’s permission, but the new study shows that euthanasia can’t be properly regulated.

“We should take a warning from this that wherever you draw the line, people will go up to it and beyond it. Once you have legalized voluntary euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia will inevitably follow.” Dr Peter Saunders, director of Britain’s Care Not Killing campaign

It’s also likely that many nurses under-reported their involvement for fear of admitting an illegal activity, the study reported.

Read the entire Daily Mail story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1285423/Half-Belgiums-euthanasia-nurses-admit-killing-consent.html


 

Miles of Oil Containment Boom Sit in Warehouse, Waiting for BP or U.S. to Use

By Gregory Sullivan

John Lapoint, president of Packgen, in Auburn, Maine, saw the need for floating oil containment booms in the Gulf and got busy manufacturing a lot of them, but no one in the Gulf seems interested in buying them.

A BP representative has visited his factory and inspected the product. The governor of Maine, John Baldacci, also visited the facility and made a video plea for interested parties. Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins wrote a letter to the Interior department, NOAA, and the Coast Guard about Packgen’s supply of boom and its demonstrated capacity to make more. No takers!

On May 2, Governor Bobby Jindal asked for three million feet of absorbent boom, five million feet of hard boom and 30 “jack up” barges. Only 800,000 feet of hard boom has arrived, while about 140,000 feet of that hard boom waits for BP to tell contractors where to take it.

“It is clear we don’t have the resources we need to protect our coast, we need more boom, more skimmers, more vacuums, more jack-up barges that are still in short supply. Let’s be clear, every day that this oil sits is one more day that more of our marsh dies.”—Bobby Jindal, Louisiana governor

Read the entire Pajamas Media story at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/miles-of-oil-containment-boom-sit-in-warehouse-waiting-for-bp-or-u-s-to-use/


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A deliveryman entering the Lakehurst section of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst inadvertently attempted to pass a base checkpoint with a weapon this morning, contributing to a lockdown at the base.  The driver was cited for attempting to bring a weapon onto the base. [I]t appears the driver, who was not identified, had no intention to harm anyone on the base.


 

N.J. Navy base lockdown was prompted by deliveryman with weapon

By MaryAnn Spoto

A deliveryman entering the Lakehurst section of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst inadvertently attempted to pass a base checkpoint with a weapon this morning, contributing to a lockdown at the base, military officials said.

Airman 1st Class Bryan Swink said 87th Special Forces at the non-commercial gates of the Lakehurst section of the base made the finding around the same time Special Forces at the commercial gates heard reports of shots being fired from off the base. The reports of gunfire appears to be unsubstantiated, but the investigation into that incident is continuing, Swink said.

Approaching the security checkpoint around 9:30 a.m. today, the driver for an undisclosed delivery company was questioned and his vehicle was searched according to routine procedures, Swink said.

The driver declared he had a weapon in his possession, Swink said. The driver was cited for attempting to bring a weapon onto the base, he said, noting visitors are prohibited from bringing any kind of weapon onto the installation. Swink said it appears the driver, who was not identified, had no intention to harm anyone on the base.

The Lakehurst section of the base was on lockdown for more than an hour this morning because of those simultaneous events.

Senior Airman David Carbajal said “several simultaneous incidents” prompted the lockdown at 9:15 a.m. The gates were reopened at 11 a.m. to allow people on and off the base.

The Naval station at Lakehurst, which encompasses 7,430 acres in the Pinelands, was combined with Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base last year as a result of a recommendation of the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

Now known as the Naval Air Engineering Center, it is perhaps best known as the location of the explosion of the airship Hindenberg in 1937.

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Top Democrat lawmakers have given the treasonous, scum-sucking National Rifle Association (NRA) its own loophole in the DISCLOSE Act legislation designed to increase disclosure requirements on campaign spending following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

At first the NRA criticized the legislation for being too sweeping, arguing that the organization would be forced to disclose its membership lists. However, North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler crafted an exemption for 501(c)4 nonprofit political organizations with “more than one million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations,” and “viola” the NRA fit the criteria.

“The focus shouldn’t be protecting one organization over another but rather protecting the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment, Third Amendment, Fourth Amendment and so on mean nothing if not for the protections guaranteed in the First Amendment.”—Tom McClusky, Family Research Council.

Organized labor initially opposed the Act too until Democrats revised its provisions to exempt unions from disclosure requirements. Companies and businesses that received government bailouts during the financial crisis are restricted by the Act, but not unions. In other words, the Act restricts General Motors from telling its workers who to vote for, but doesn’t restrict the United Auto Workers union from telling its members who to vote for.

For the first time, corporations, unions, non-profits and 527 groups will be required to report donors who give more than $600 if they urge voters to support a candidate by name. Conveniently, union dues average below the $600 threshold, and since unions get most of their funds from member dues, the $600 threshold will have little effect on unions, but a huge effect on associations and advocacy groups.

“It is inappropriate and inequitable to create a two-tiered system of campaign finance laws and First Amendment protections, one for the most powerful and influential and another for everyone else. There is no legitimate justification for privileging the speech of large entities, or of reducing the burdens of compliance for the biggest organizations yet retaining them for the smallest.”—quoted from a letter written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by 45 liberal nonprofit groups

I am a promoter of truth … I am an opponent of the guilty …

I.M. Kane

For more information on the horrendous Act and its strange bedfellow, see DISCLOSE Act shields Democrat-leaning groups from disclosure requirements by Jonathan Strong,  Democrats Holster ‘Disclose’ Bill Facing NRA, Accusations of Double Standard by Devin Dwyer, and DISCLOSE Act Exemptions for the NRA by Michael Beckel.

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BREAKING NEWS

The Lakehurst section of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst went on lockdown effective at about 9:15 a.m., Senior Airman David Carbajal said. The lockdown means no one is allowed to leave or enter the military base.


 

Lakehurst military base on lockdown

By Charles Webster

The Lakehurst section of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is on lockdown this morning, base officials said.

The lockdown went into effect at about 9:15 a.m., Senior Airman David Carbajal said. The lockdown means no one is allowed to leave or enter the military base.

Local police have cars and barricades blocking off Route 571 west of of Route 70.

The lockdown was briefly applied to the Dix and McGuire sections of the 40,000-acre base, but is now in effect only at Lakehurst, Carbajal said shortly before 11 a.m.

The New Jersey State Police has sent resources to assist with the incident, said State Police Detective Brian Polite.

No further information was immediately available.

The base is the Northeast center for training National Guard and Reserve troops, at a rate of 8,000 to 10,000 every year.

The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law directed that the former Fort Dix, McGuire Air Force Base and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station be merged into Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on a contiguous 60-square-mile complex.

Officials have said the base would have nearly 25,000 military and civilian workers and military family members.

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