Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cutting Federal waste is long overdue. Here are a few Republican ideas on where to start.

It started with an email I got the other day on a plan by some Republicans to cut Federal waste. I searched for more ideas on the Internet and found these and compiled them from various sources:

3rd CD, Pennsylvania, Republican Mike Kelly’s Top 20 Ways to Cut Spending

National Review Online

Then I added a few more of my own ideas.
  • Remove all U.S. Armed Forces from the 38th Parallel  Demilitarized Zone in Korea. We have been keeping 50,000 troops on the DMZ since the end of the Korean War - almost 59 years ago.
  • Close all U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and any other predominantly Muslim country in the Middle East.
  • Since remaining military bases in "friendly" countries are utilized to protect those countries, we should bill those governments for twice the amount it takes the U.S. government to run them. This is the same way private security firms charge for their services.
  • Eliminate all Foreign Aid. You really can't buy your friends.
  • Withdraw membership in the United Nations and remove this organization from U.S. soil.
  • Increase Tariffs for all imports from countries that do not provide a standard of living for its factory workers equal to our own minimum wage.
  • Eliminate the entire Dept. of Education.
  • Eliminate the entire Dept. of the Interior.
Here is the big list.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy $445 million
America 's Treasures Program $25 million
International Fund for Ireland $17 million
Legal Services Corporation $420 million
National Endowment for the Arts $167.5 million
National Endowment for the Humanities $167.5 million
Hope VI Program $250 million
Amtrak Subsidies $1.565 Billion
Eliminate 68 duplicate education programs H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon $1.3 Billion
U.S. Trade Development Agency $55 million
Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy $20 million
Cut in half funds for congressional printing and binding $47 million
John C. Stennis Center Subsidy $430,000
Community Development Fund. $4.5 Billion
Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid $24 million
Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 Billion
Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million
Essential Air Service. $150 million
Technology Innovation Program. $70 million
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million
Dept of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million
Beach Replenishment. $95 million
New Starts Transit. $2 Billion
Exchange Programs for Alaska , Natives Native Hawaiians, and their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million
Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 Billion
Title X Family Planning. $318 million
Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million
Economic Development Administration. $293 million
Programs under the National & Community Services Act. $1.15 Billion
Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 Billion
Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million
Energy Star Program. $52 million
Economic Assistance to Egypt . $250 million
U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 Billion
General Assistance to District of Columbia . $210 million
Subsidy for Washington Metro Area Transit Authority. $150 million
Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million
No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million
Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. (which sets "prevailing wages" for workers on federal projects). $1 Billion
IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 Billion
Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 Billion
Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 Billion
Sell excess federal properties the government does not use. $15 billion
Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million
Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million
Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million
USDA Sugar Program. $14 million
Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Develop. (OECD). $93 million
Eliminate the National Organic Certif. Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million
Eliminate funding for Obamacare administrative costs or legal defenses. $900 million
Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million
HUD Ph.D. Program.
Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
Eliminating all remaining "stimulus" funding. $45 billion
TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over ten years

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ambassador Alan Keyes comments on Sen. Mitch McConnell and the debt limit crisis.

Below is an email I received from Ambassador Alan Keyes who has made some sharp comments against Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell's proposed handling of our nation's pending debt limit crisis. Let me first state that I have a lot of respect for all of the people mentioned in this message, Barack Hussein Obama excepted, and I have often criticized Senator McConnell for acting more like a RINO than a true Republican. I also have the highest respect for the TEA Party in spite of the fact that today's news says that the TEA Party is rallying around House Speaker John Boehner to support him although Speaker Boehner has been unwilling to use the full power of his office to oppose Obama's Marxist/Socialist plan to bankrupt America. Matter of fact, the vast majority of Republicans seem to be intimidated by the White House and have not yet begun to probe into the secrets Barack Hussein Obama, II has tried so hard to keep hidden. And dare not raise any questions about that fraudulent long form birth certificate that Obama brazenly showed the American public. Any common citizen that did that would be charged with a half dozen felonies.  So, before I get off the subject too much, let Ambassador Alan Keyes explain his concerns in his own words.
Did Mitch McConnell really propose allowing Obama discretionary authority to raise the debt limit for the remainder of his term? According to an AP story I read Wednesday, that's exactly what he did.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a new plan to allow the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions. Those increases in the so-called debt limit would automatically take effect unless both the Republican House and the Democratic Senate enact legislation specifically disapproving it.
Then, Obama would be able to veto such legislation.
In a recent commentary Ann Coulter derides the adverse reaction to this proposal of those she refers to as "some hysterical Republicans." She contends that contrary to their view, "McConnell's bill does not forfeit any of Congress' authority. The House and Senate will still have to decide whether to accept Obama's proposed cuts when they write their appropriations bills."
In the fashion often characteristic of people accustomed to think that humor is a substitute for careful reasoning, Coulter uses name-calling to parry the imagined blow of McConnell's critics. Her aim is to distract readers from the cardboard quality of the argument she uses to shield him from what would otherwise be their common-sense agreement with his critics. Readers unfamiliar with the logic of the Constitution's approach to money issues will doubtless be impressed by her weightless argument's decorative qualities. I am not among them.
Is it just a coincidence that the U.S. House of Representatives currently reflects what appear to be the deep concerns of people at the grass roots, while both the Senate and the presidency appear to be mainly influenced by elitist opinion and priorities? Is it just happenstance that the House more accurately represents grass-roots resentment against fiscal policies that consolidate elitist control of the nation's economic activities and resources? As elitists seek to overturn the constitutional sovereignty of the American people, when Mitch McConnell proposes a procedure that takes the initiative in money matters out of the hands of the U.S. House to place it, however conditionally, in the hands of the executive, is it prudent and sensible to see this de facto amendment of the Constitution exclusively in the context of what appear to be the politics of the moment, as nothing more than a cunning political ploy?
Is this a de facto amendment of the Constitution? The Constitution (Article I, Section 7) provides that "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills." Beyond verifying the mere fact that they did so, this citation naturally leads us to think about why the framers singled out money-raising bills in this way. We know from The Federalist and other such writings that they were acquainted with the history and practices characteristic of republics since ancient times. They therefore knew that in dictatorial republics (Corinth and Syracuse when rule by tyrants, Rome during periods of dictatorship), one ruler (literally the monarch) monopolized the prerogative of legislation. The sovereign right to initiate, promulgate and enforce the law was in the hands of the tyrant or dictator.
In republics ruled by the few (oligarchic republics) a relatively small elite group monopolized the prerogative of proposing laws. Some, like Sparta, would allow a somewhat larger group of elite citizens to vote on these proposals, while leaving the multitude of inhabitants with no choice but acquiescence, resistance or rebellion. By contrast, in democratic republics like Athens, the multitude of the citizens directly exercised the sovereign power of legislation, with results prone to be determined by tumultuous passions, manipulated by demagogues ultimately intent on substituting their own tyrannical rule for that of the people.
Because none of these alternatives produces a result both just and stable, the framers of the U.S. Constitution devised a historically original alternative. The scheme of representation (as Madison called it) puts the direct power of legislation in the hands of a few, who are to the people at large what the Spartan citizens were to the mass of Sparta's inhabitants. But unlike the Spartan elite, these few are subject to periodic election by the people, who can by this means pass judgment on the results of their use or abuse of the lawmaking power. Yet again, however, in the composition of the body that exercises the legislative power (the U.S. Congress) this division between the many and the few is reproduced, with the U.S. House of Representatives intended to approximate more directly the views and characteristics of the people in their grass-roots communities.
As I consider McConnell's suggestion, I find myself thinking of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the War Powers Act and the other steps by which the U.S. Congress surrendered its constitutionally mandated initiative in respect of the war-declaring power of the U.S. government. With 20-20 hindsight many today decry the surrender of constitutional prerogative that allowed Obama deceptively to claim the right to involve the U.S. in purely offensive war making in Libya, without congressional approval.
Is McConnell's proposal part of a similar surrender with respect to the money issues? It masquerades as a clever ploy intended to tag Obama with the damaging political consequences of the U.S. government's runaway spending and indebtedness. But it's too clever by half (or is it two-thirds?). McConnell's proposal actually shifts the initiative in money matters away from the body intended to represent people at the grass roots to the executive. The executive gains a free hand so long as he is supported by an override-proof minority of the U.S. Senate (i.e., the one-third that blocks both a veto-override and any Senate decision to remove the president from office after his impeachment by the House.)
Given present circumstances, this shift may appear to be narrowly focused on the supposedly arcane issue of the debt ceiling. (Actually it's no more arcane than a parent's decision to require a limit on any credit he co-signs for college-age children.) But, as I discussed in my column last week, the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment makes it unconstitutional to cast doubt on the lawfully authorized public debt of the United States. Give the executive branch license to contract new debt without explicit congressional action, and you are actually empowering it with a constitutional argument that forces the Congress to approve the new expenditures required to service that new debt.
But this borrowed money is acquired subject to the terms of a contract with the creditor (China for example), rather than to any bill approved by the U.S. Congress. With no need for prior congressional approval, what will prevent the executive from using borrowed funds to finance whatever schemes and projects he (or the foreign powers backing him?) likes, while claiming that the language of the 14th Amendment constitutionally requires the Congress to appropriate the funds needed to deal with the consequences? McConnell's proposal thus opens the way to a regime of executive prerogative that would turn congressional action into a mere rubber stamp of executive decisions, much as the Roman Senate became the rubber stamp lickspittle of the Roman emperors and their cohorts.
If the GOP really wants to force Obama's hand, they should simply propose legislation, based on the 14th Amendment language (authorized by law), that requires the executive to give first priority in expenditures to servicing the debt, including veteran's pensions and the Social Security system's paid-for retirement and survivor benefits. This would assure respect for the Constitution and for the promises the nation has made to its defenders and working people, while forestalling Obama's abusive efforts to intimidate America's seniors.
As for McConnell's shift of power to Obama, this is the way the republic ends. This is the way tyrannical empire rises. The Republican Party makes a show of caring about the U.S. Constitution. Do the actions of leaders like McConnell prove that it is all a sham; or do they simply prove that the GOP's leadership lacks the competence to understand and defend what they profess to revere? Either way, what sense does it make to pretend that a party subject to such leadership offers an alternative that will save the American republic? Whether from treacherous malice or tragic incompetence, they simply hasten its demise.
Keep Faith,

Ambassador Alan Keyes

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who has done a better job protecting the environment.

I love the emails my friends send me. Some of them are very much on target when it comes to pointing out modern day fallacies. Especially the differences between our younger and older generations. Take this one from a friend in California that compares how well our older generation used to protect our environment to what our young adults are doing.
In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. 

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. 
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.

The Green Thing


Monday, July 11, 2011

2000 year old scripture confirms what every conservative has always known.

So much wisdom in so few words. This is the best email I’ve received in several weeks. Read the enlightening words of wisdom in this little message today.
“I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left." But then I read this verse in Ecclesiastes 10:2 in the Bible:
"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.”
Could it be that the Holy Bible written almost 2000 years ago was able to explain today’s greatest political dilemma? In addition to the opinions of some Psychiatrists that Liberals all suffer from a mental disease, now we have the Holy Scripture adding a more authoritative source.

This was too good to pass up so I looked it up on Google and found these on a web site called Biblos.
New International Version (©1984)
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.

New Living Translation (©2007)
A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.

English Standard Version (©2001)
A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
A wise person's heart leads the right way. The heart of a fool leads the wrong way.

King James Bible
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

American King James Version
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

American Standard Version
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Bible in Basic English
The heart of the wise man goes in the right direction; but the heart of a foolish man in the wrong.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a fool is in his left hand.

Darby Bible Translation
The heart of a wise man is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

English Revised Version
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Webster's Bible Translation
A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart is at his left.

World English Bible
A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left.

Young's Literal Translation
The heart of the wise is at his right hand, And the heart of a fool at his left.
Then I discovered some people had already discovered this truth and produced some great looking t-shirts to carry the message. This is a free plug for
"A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left." Great message, great truth, pass it on.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bombs beneath the Burqa. Why the Burqa should be outlawed in America.

This excellent repost from the Australian web site Winds of Jihad only left out one more illegal use of Burqas: Male perverts gaining entrance into women's public lavatories. And let's not forget that the Hamas terrorist funding group CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, wants airport TSA screeners to keep hands off anyone wearing this Islamic bag that completely hides the wearer's identity. But that would be politically incorrect to suggest otherwise. Maybe we should think twice before making fun of the French. They have already passed such a ban.

Under the Burqa

by sheikyermami on July 7, 2011
Terrorists in Drag: Bombs Beneath the Burqa
Frontpage/by Phyllis Chesler

There they all stand, guilty as sin, Afghan Taliban terrorists disguised in women’s burqas—but exposed when they were captured by the Afghan Border Police. Their photo (or rather photos) were taken by an Afghan photographer somewhere near Jalalabad and have just been seen worldwide.

One of these charmers was wearing an explosive vest; six had AK-47s. Clearly they were up to no good. One wonders how long they will remain in jail and what they will do when they emerge.

These photographs conclusively validate the concern that Dr. Daniel Pipes has had about the security risk that burqas represent. For the last six years, Dr. Pipes has been detailing the number of common criminals and Islamist terrorists who have robbed jewelry stories and peeped into women’s bathrooms while wearing burqas, or who have blown themselves and others up from under the protective cover of a mere woman’s shroud.
In December, 2009, a suicide bomber dressed in a full veil and abaya gained access to a ceremony attended by Somali government officials in Mogadishu and killed 19 people, including three cabinet ministers. In February, 2010, a female suicide bomber killed 54 Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. She was dressed in an abaya, which police said allowed her to hide an explosive device. In December, 2010 in Pakistan, a woman wearing a burqa threw a grenade and detonated an explosive vest at a U.N. security checkpoint, killing 41 people.

This is not just happening in Muslim-majority countries or in war zones.
In August, 2010, a man wearing a burqa robbed a bank in Silver Spring, Maryland. In January, 2011, a man wearing niqab (a face veil) attempted to rob a bank in Philadelphia. Three years earlier, also in Philadelphia, three men dressed as Muslim women stuck up a Bank of America branch. One of the men shot and killed a police officer during their getaway.

Why are burqas allowed in public? Or rather, why don’t we view them as potentially suspicious as opposed to a religious custom which we infidels are obligated to honor and revere?

For reasons of safety, the West, and for that matter the entire Muslim world, should immediately ban the burqa as a security risk.

Continue reading page: 1 2 (source)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jury finds the state of Florida failed to prove its case against Casey Anthony. Wasn't she supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty" anyway?

There is a lesson we should all learn from the recent acquittal of Casey Anthony. The lesson is about the law and how it is more important than public opinion. None of us would ever want to be falsely accused of a crime and then subjected to a public opinion poll to decide our guilt or innocence.
A long time ago I learned how our great nation was so different from any other in the world. I learned about the difference between a Democracy and a Republic. I learned that our Founding Fathers held such contempt for the word Democracy that it was not used once in the Declaration of Independence or in the United States Constitution. What separates a Democracy from a Republic stems from the root meanings of these two words. Democracy comes from the Greek words “dêmos” which means “people” and “kratos” which means “power” and while some define the term as “Majority Rule” it is commonly seen as “mob rule”. On the other hand, the word Republic has its origin in two Latin words, “res” and “publica” and I was taught this means “the public thing” or “the law”.

How this affects us today can be seen right on our televisions when opinion polls are used to determine if someone is guilty or innocent. And at the same time we only hear the parts of the story someone wants us to hear, we all manage to form our opinions on it, incomplete as they may be. While we might all have differing opinions on any matter I strongly believe that none of us want to be part of a lynch mob that storms the local jail, drags out the accused and hangs them from a tree all because someone got our blood boiling with emotional rhetoric. Every mob has a few outspoken leaders that churn up the emotions of the people and on television we have Nancy Grace on CNN. Take the recent trial of Casey Anthony that has captured the attention of the world, and the “shocking” verdict of NOT GUILTY. The Associated Press has a story today that brings out that Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor, averages 1.5 million viewers a night and gained 49,000 new fans on her Facebook page since she started covering the Casey Anthony trial. AP says "Nancy Grace began covering the story in 2008 as a missing persons case and has made little secret of her belief in Casey Anthony's guilt." But the best quote from the AP story was “Michelle Zierler, director of the Project in Law and Journalism at the New York University School of Law, said she had essentially been convinced that Anthony was guilty from watching coverage of the trial. The jurors, however, weren't exposed to this coverage. (emphasis mine)

The most chilling words I ever heard in a courtroom was during the jury selection process when a prospective juror said, "Anyone arrested by the police has got to be guilty." That is the same bias heard today on the media channels that sensationalized the Casey Anthony trial. I wonder how many future prospective jurors will be affected by this? I wonder how many self-righteous people will sit on a jury and feel that cops don't make mistakes. After all, the CSI-type television dramas tell us how perfect they are. There were very few commentators that mentioned during or after this trial that our basic principle of American Justice says: We are all presumed innocent, until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Weren’t we also taught once that it is better for ten guilty people to go free than to convict one who is innocent? I am not saying that Casey Anthony is guilty or innocent but that she was presumed to be innocent until the state of Florida proved its case against her and the jury decided that the state failed to do so.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

The last word on the Delta Air Lines smear.

This was published yesterday on WorldNet Daily News in the Letter to the Editor section. A little after the fact, but better than nothing. As I have said before, the most valuable asset conservatives have is their credibility and they must protect it at all costs. If you don't verify your facts you run the risk of spreading false rumors and then no one will believe what you have to say.


Friday July 01, 2011

WND: Pot calling the kettle black
Your story "WND sues Esquire for faked report" contains the following statement, which I happen to agree is entirely true:
"You can't just make up words and put them in people's mouths, deliberately misleading the public, deliberately defaming others and deliberately lying to inhibit commerce," Farah said.
How, then, can WND make up words when describing the actions of other companies? Your lead story on Delta Airlines, titled "Delta adopts Saudi 'no-Jew' fly policy," is as phony and misleading as the story in Esquire because Delta has no flights to Saudi Arabia and has said they have no intention of having any flights there, and they do not codeshare with any airline that does. So how could they possibly adopt such a policy?
What WND did in the story on Delta is exactly the same as what Esquire did to you. You deliberately misled the public and deliberately lied to inhibit commerce.
The facts are that the traveling public is required to obtain their own visas if it is required to enter a foreign country. Every airline is required to ask for proof that the passenger has a visa before allowing the passenger to board the flight. If the passenger did not obtained a required visa then they will not be allowed on the flight, but the airline doesn't know the reason why the passenger hasn't got one.
Nelson Abdullah