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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

On December 31 of 2011, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). The law gives authority to the president to order the military to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without official charge or trial on the mere suspicion of being a terrorist or linked to a terrorist organization.

Since then, many have described the law as –

  • …one of the most controversial bills into law since the Patriot Act
  • This is treason on parade …
  • Americans really don’t seem to really want Habeas Corpus anymore…
  • Obama signs Martial Law bill …
  • So This is How Liberty Dies

There are two elements to this worth mentioning.

First, the liberties and rights described by the COTUS creates the dichotomy between our moral obligation to protect life and the desire to protect those liberties and rights. These two values are at odds with one another. Without the former there is no latter. To borrow the phrase, it’s a question of whether we “piss on the Constitution”, or piss on life.

Second, the hyperbole should be self-evident. As yet, there is no evidence to suggest that we are about to begin a campaign to summarily round up citizens in the dark of night and throw them into some form of political labor camp. Yes, there is a threat, but I don’t see this country doing that to itself and to do so would mean we’ve actually learned nothing from the lessons given by Hitler, the internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor and our civil rights movement. It will be a test for this nation and will shed some light on the kind of people we are. It will also divide. On the one hand there will be those who believe we will be able to balance these opposing beliefs. On the other, there will be those who don’t.

This on-going argument has a simple resolution which I suspect will soon present itself. This question of whether we have the right to protect the lives of innocents by detaining terrorists intent of robbing us of our perceived liberties and freedoms will be put before the SCOTUS. If the court upholds this law in its current form, the test for this country begins.

Regardless of the outcome the forces in our gov’t (We the People) will and should continue to influence the likelihood of its existence. In other words, the current state of the law represents a point along the line of its existence and there are sufficient reasons to believe its existence will not be a permanent one.

(There is a bit of irony in the fact that McCain, a former POW who suffered at the hands of his captors is a proponent of this law. There is little doubt there is anyone more wary than he and I doubt he is throwing caution into the wind.)

At the end of the day, this is really only a distraction, drawing our attention away from the reason the bill was signed into law to brave the criticisms created by its affront to our Constitution. It should cause you to think about how we are going to defeat those reasons before it really gets ugly.

Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court which held that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and searches him without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.

For their own protection, police may perform a quick surface search of the person’s outer clothing for weapons if they have reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is armed. This reasonable suspicion must be based on “specific and articulable facts” and not merely upon an officer’s hunch. This permitted police action has subsequently been referred to in short as a “stop and frisk,” or simply a “Terry stop”. The Terry standard was later extended to temporary detentions of persons in vehicles, known as traffic stops.

The rationale behind the Supreme Court decision revolves around the understanding that, as the opinion notes, “the exclusionary rule has its limitations.” The meaning of the rule is to protect persons from unreasonable searches and seizures aimed at gathering evidence, not searches and seizures for other purposes (like prevention of crime or personal protection of police officers).

The Scenario

A man (or woman), of any race, robs a bank (breaking the law). In the act of getting away the person runs through a red light while being observed by a police officer. The police officer, aware of the bank robbery and aware this might be the suspect gives chase and pulls the driver, now guilty of breaking a second law, over to the side of the curb.

After arresting the offender, the officer suspects the person might not be a legal citizen and asks for the appropriate papers to substantiate foreign citizenship which itself has been a law for over 70 years.

So the question is, how can the request for the citizenship documents (required by law to be on the person) be an act of racism?

Furthermore, if asking for citizenship papers is racism, is it not also racism to arrest the offender for robbing the bank?

I’ll advance this notion; those who advance the argument Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 is based on racism are themselves racists.

Under Federal law, federal law enforcement officials are not prevented from asking anyone for citizenship papers and may do it without an established reasonable doubt. In fact, federal law enforcement officials may pull over anyone for any reason and ask for name, date and place of birth. However, Arizona state law enforcement officials are prevented by law from asking the same questions. In the first place, they must have legal reason for pull anyone over before obtaining a legal footing to ask any questions at all.

One final thing; the United State Constitution obligates states to protect the borders from foreign invasion. That means every state carries that obligation. Even Arizona.

So to the critics of this bill….. STFU or get out of the United States.

The $940 billion health-care overhaul will take nearly a decade to roll out in full. What’s in it for you?

2010

Coverage

* Subsidies begin for small businesses to provide coverage to employees.
* Insurance companies barred from denying coverage to children with pre-existing illness.
* Children permitted to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until their 26th birthday.

2011

Coverage

* Set up long-term care program under which people pay premiums into system for at least five years and become eligible for support payments if they need assistance in daily living.

Taxes and fees

* Drug makers face annual fee of $2.5 billion (rises in subsequent years).

2013

Taxes and fees

* New Medicare taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000 a year.
* Tax on wages rises to 2.35% from 1.45%.
* New 3.8% tax on unearned income such as dividends and interest.
* Excise tax of 2.3% imposed on sale of medical devices.

Cost control

* Medicare pilot program begins to test bundled payments for care, in a bid to pay for quality rather than quantity of services.

2014

Coverage

* Create exchanges where people without employer coverage, as well as small businesses, can shop for health coverage. Insurance companies barred from denying coverage to anyone with pre-existing illness.
* Requirement begins for most people to have health insurance. Subsidies begin for lower and middle-income people. People at 133% of federal poverty level pay maximum of 3% of income for coverage. People at 400% of poverty level pay up to 9.5% of income. (Poverty level currently is about $22,000 for a family of four.)
* Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor, expands to all Americans with income up to 133% of federal poverty level.
* Subsidies for small businesses to provide coverage increase. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and average annual wages of less than $25,000 receive tax credit of up to 50% of employer’s contribution. Tax credits phase out for larger businesses.

Taxes and fees

* Employers with more than 50 employees that don’t provide affordable coverage must pay a fine if employees receive tax credits to buy insurance. Fine is up to $3,000 per employee, excluding first 30 employees.
* Insurance industry must pay annual fee of $8 billion (rises in subsequent years).

Cost control

* Independent Medicare board must begin to submit recommendations to curb Medicare spending, if costs are rising faster than inflation.

2016

Taxes and fees

* Penalty for those who don’t carry coverage rises to 2.5% of taxable income or $695, whichever is greater.

2017

Coverage

* Businesses with more than 100 employees can buy coverage on insurance exchanges, if state permits it.

2018

Taxes and fees

* Excise tax of 40% imposed on health plans valued at more than $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.

—Sources: House bill; Kaiser Family Foundation

Correction:
The House health legislation imposes a 2.3% excise tax on the sale of medical devices. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the tax was 2.9%, the figure before a last-minute change to the legislation.

It’s really a shame we have to lose a program representing the best science, mathematics and engineering America can produce which inspires not only generations within the U.S. populace, but the world’s as well.

Obama speaks long and hard about achievements and personal endeavors but has no qualms about killing them with the stroke of his pen.

This man is a dangerous bane to this country and for its sake, he needs to go.

If anyone deserves to be on the moon, it’s Obama.

While I don’t wish to speak too harshly about President Obama’s state of the union address, we live in challenging times that call for candor. I call them as I see them, and I hope my frank assessment will be taken as an honest effort to move this conversation forward.

Last night, the president spoke of the “credibility gap” between the public’s expectations of their leaders and what those leaders actually deliver. “Credibility gap” is a good way to describe the chasm between rhetoric and reality in the president’s address. The contradictions seemed endless.

He called for Democrats and Republicans to “work through our differences,” but last year he dismissed any notion of bipartisanship when he smugly told Republicans, “I won.”

He talked like a Washington “outsider,” but he runs Washington! He’s had everything any president could ask for – an overwhelming majority in Congress and a fawning press corps that feels tingles every time he speaks. There was nothing preventing him from pursuing “common sense” solutions all along. He didn’t pursue them because they weren’t his priorities, and he spent his speech blaming Republicans for the problems caused by his own policies.

He dared us to “let him know” if we have a better health care plan, but he refused to allow Republicans in on the negotiations or consider any ideas for real free market and patient-centered reforms. We’ve been “letting him know” our ideas for months from the town halls to the tea parties, but he isn’t interested in listening. Instead he keeps making the nonsensical claim that his massive trillion-dollar health care bill won’t increase the deficit.

Americans are suffering from job losses and lower wages, yet the president practically demanded applause when he mentioned tax cuts, as if allowing people to keep more of their own hard-earned money is an act of noblesse oblige. He claims that he cut taxes, but I must have missed that. I see his policies as paving the way for massive tax increases and inflation, which is the “hidden tax” that most hurts the poor and the elderly living on fixed incomes.

He condemned lobbyists, but his White House is filled with former lobbyists, and this has been a banner year for K Street with his stimulus bill, aka the Lobbyist’s Full Employment Act. He talked about a “deficit of trust” and the need to “do our work in the open,” but he chased away the C-SPAN cameras and cut deals with insurance industry lobbyists behind closed doors.

He spoke of doing what’s best for the next generation and not leaving our children with a “mountain of debt,” but under his watch this year, government spending is up by 22%, and his budget will triple our national debt.

He spoke of a spending freeze, but doesn’t he realize that each new program he’s proposing comes with a new price tag? A spending freeze is a nice idea, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. We need a comprehensive examination of the role of government spending. The president’s deficit commission is little more than a bipartisan tax hike committee, lending political cover to raise taxes without seriously addressing the problem of spending.

He condemned bailouts, but he voted for them and then expanded and extended them. He praised the House’s financial reform bill, but where was Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in that bill? He still hasn’t told us when we’ll be getting out of the auto and the mortgage industries. He praised small businesses, but he’s spent the past year as a friend to big corporations and their lobbyists, who always find a way to make government regulations work in their favor at the expense of their mom & pop competitors.

He praised the effectiveness of his stimulus bill, but then he called for another one – this time cleverly renamed a “jobs bill.” The first stimulus was sold to us as a jobs bill that would keep unemployment under 8%. We now have double digit unemployment with no end in sight. Why should we trust this new “jobs bill”?

He talked about “making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development,” but apparently it’s still too tough for his Interior Secretary to move ahead with Virginia’s offshore oil and gas leases. If they’re dragging their feet on leases, how long will it take them to build “safe, clean nuclear power plants”? Meanwhile, he continued to emphasize “green jobs,” which require massive government subsidies for inefficient technologies that can’t survive on their own in the real world of the free market.

He spoke of supporting young girls in Afghanistan who want to go to school and young women in Iran who courageously protest in the streets, but where were his words of encouragement to the young girls of Afghanistan in his West Point speech? And where was his support for the young women of Iran when they were being gunned down in the streets of Tehran?

Despite speaking for over an hour, the president only spent 10% of his speech on foreign policy, and he left us with many unanswered questions. Does he still think trying the 9/11 terrorists in New York is a good idea? Does he still think closing Gitmo is a good idea? Does he still believe in Mirandizing terrorists after the Christmas bomber fiasco? Does he believe we’re in a war against terrorists, or does he think this is just a global crime spree? Does he understand that the first priority of our government is to keep our country safe?

In his address last night, the president once again revealed that there’s a fundamental disconnect between what the American people expect from their government, and what he wants to deliver. He’s still proposing failed top-down big government solutions to our problems. Instead of smaller, smarter government, he’s taken a government that was already too big and supersized it.

Real private sector jobs are created when taxes are low, investment is high, and people are free to go about their business without the heavy hand of government. The president thinks innovation comes from government subsidies. Common sense conservatives know innovation comes from unleashing the creative energy of American entrepreneurs.

Everything seems to be “unexpected” to this administration: unexpected job losses; unexpected housing numbers; unexpected political losses in Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Jersey. True leaders lead best when confronted with the unexpected. But instead of leading us, the president lectured us. He lectured Wall Street; he lectured Main Street; he lectured Congress; he even lectured our Supreme Court Justices.

He criticized politicians who “wage a perpetual campaign,” but he gave a campaign speech instead of a state of the union address. The campaign is over, and President Obama now has something that candidate Obama never had: an actual track record in office. We now can see the failed policies behind the flowery words. If Americans feel as cynical as the president suggests, perhaps it’s because the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

Real leadership requires results. Real hope lies in the ingenuity, generosity, and boundless courage of the American people whose voices are still not being heard in Washington.

– Sarah Palin

Obama projected a fighting tone against the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that eased limits on corporate spending on elections, saying,

Doh!


“We don’t need to give any more voice to the powerful interests that already drown out the voices of everyday Americans. And we don’t intend to.”



The recent election outcome in Massachusetts should be evidence enough about whose voice was drowned out.

When you look at the contributions made during the presidential campaign, the numbers don’t back up Obama’s claim, which is turning out to be typical for him.

The overwhelming majority of McCain’s contributions came from individuals, who gave almost $200 million. The next largest contributors fell to Political Action Committees who contributed $1.4 million and represents around .712% of the individual’s total.

When Obama realized he could obtain more money from individuals Obama pledged not to accept money from PACs so his numbers are even lower. Individual campaign contributions totaled almost $659 million while PAC contributions amounted to $1,500.

Source

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